I talk about food a lot. And other stuff.

But mostly food.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Virginia and Tacos at U of M

I made tacos for my family tonight.

When I was in college, I dated someone with what I'll politely call a limited palate.  It mostly consisted of Cheez-its, Coke, plain hamburgers and, every week, tacos.  We made tacos every Thursday and watched Star Trek: The Next Generation.  To this day, I can't cook them without hearing the ST:TNG theme song in my head.  

What foods have specific memories for you?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Feeling Guilty, Eating Richly

Hi.  I said I would post every day in February and I made it 22 days.  Not bad.  What I realized is that I don't have time every day.  Good lesson.  I also learned that while I cook food and think about food and eat food every day, I don't always have that much to say about it or pictures to show.  Ot time and energy to tell you about it.  So, good.  From now on I'll post more than I did in January and not as much as I tried to in February.  Seems like a good plan.

Now. More food talk.

I made creme bruleĆ©.  I used Mark Bittman's recipe.  It was awesome.  There's a twist at the end... follow me through the process.

Creamy eggs:


Going in:

Coming out:


I had twice as much custard as I had room in my ramekins.  So I froze the rest in my ice cream machine. I have found my new base for ice cream.  This was incredible.

Even more so drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt.  Trust me.  It's amazing. 

I might even dare to say more amazing than this.  But not by much.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Great Scott!

You can check out cookbooks from the library?!?!? I mean, of course
you can, but it never occured to me to look. I'm gonna have so much
fun. (When Mother Lets Us Cook was published in 1908. Can't wait to
see what's in that one.)

Sent from my iPhone - please forgive typos.

Cold outside

I did some shoveling yesterday (credit to my husband for doing our
driveway. I did my parents' walk and the second pass at our
driveway). I also lit a fire. So it wasn't so bad.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I'm a chilly Northern woman.

Snowed in at my parents' house. Dad made Fig Zinfandel Pot Roast out
DELICIOUS! (My Dad's an awesome cook. He follows the recipe and
everything.) I dug my car out and moved it over for the plow tomorrow
morning. Eight inches and counting, continuing til tomorrow afternoon.

Sent from my iPhone - please forgive typos.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Future Soon

I wasnt to try some new recipes.  Namely this coconut curry soup and this skillet bread. Some family favorites: asparagus canapes that are wrapped in rolled out white bread and something I've yet to try called Tuna Cheese Chowder (omg, really? but I bet it's great).  I also want to make this:

Because it's just too funny and I bet my kids will like it.  Which makes it even greater.
Thank you to the amazing Caissie St. Onge for the above idea, months ago.  I will, of course, post pictures.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Weathering Storms

A moment of honesty:  Life is stressful.  I'm pretty overwhelmed.  Lately, more and more, I feel like this:

I'm trying, though, in my quest to become a lighter-hearted, easier breathing, not-everything-is-so-hard-and-freaking-serious-believing person, to recognize that those days will continue to happen -but when they do, I'm going to hear this in the background. And maybe give myself a little break.  (That link opens in a new window.  Go ahead. Play them both at the same time. It made me feel better.  Hope it does, you, too.)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Comfort Food starring Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

Well, we're a little more than half way through February.  The last two days haven't been as cold.  50! Woo!  Even though the snow is melting and I can see the outside edges of my deck, it's so foggy today that I couldn't see two car-lengths in front of me while driving.  I still feel like I need to walk around the house in a fleece robe or a down blanket.  Also, I still really need comfort food.

Lately I've been very interested in putting Crescent Roll* dough with pretty much anything.  It bakes up so nice and has so much butteriness to it.  What's not to love? If I had had any today, I would have make a pizza/tart with asparagus and blue cheese.  I keep thinking about pot pies.  I love that they sell it without the little perforations now, too.  And these little bundles are like bites of Heaven.  Thanks to my friend Emily Volman for the inspiration.

Top row: Apples and brie
Middle row: Apricot jam, goat cheese, thyme
Bottom row: Apples and bluecheese

Make little bundles of whatever you like, bake them in the oven at 350 for a few minutes. (5 -10?)

What are your favorite comfort foods?

*This is an unsolicited, uncompensated product mention. If you happen to be in a position to solicit or compensate me about using a product, I'm more than happy to receive, try and write about your product.  Contact me here.

You Stink, But I Heart You

I forgot to post yesterday.  As a sign of my devotion and undying love for you, I give you a picture of the roasted garlic I made on Valentine's Day.

And crostini with lots of garlic, goat cheese and fig jam on top.

I'll see you again later.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Secret Ingredient

I made pot roast again. Rainbow Foods keeps having this amazing promo
where you buy the meat and they give you a pound of carrots, a package
of celery and a five pound bag of potatoes for free. I can't not get it.
This time, however, in addition to the great deal of red wine, pinch
of boullion crystals, tomato paste, leeks and carrots, I added about a
tsp of Cocoa Powder to the sauce. It's amazing and I feel like a genius.

Sent from my iPhone - please forgive typos.

What did you do, Ray?

I needed to go to bed before posting this last night.  Here is your Valentine's post.  Another will follow today.

Inspired by Siri at Siriously Delicious, and directed by this recipe from A Farmgirl's Dabbles, my children and I made marshmallows today for Valentine's Day.  I found a heart-shaped candy mold I didn't know I owned and wondered if in addition to the little marshmallows, we could make heart shaped ones.  The anwer: YES.

Sugar, Corn Syrup, water.  Look! I got a candy thermometer! Neat!

Unflavored gelatin and water - the texture was like hardened Rubber Cement.  I didn't have high hopes at this point.

But I persevered.

And low and behold, it became white and sticky.

I was roasting garlic in my square 8" pan, so round it was. Am I the only one who thinks that a kitchen that was roasting garlic and making marshmallows at the same time smells good?

I found a candy mold that I didn't know I had.  Probably given to me by The Best Neighbor In The World from our last house.  Hope she's well in Chicago.

I cut them into strips then cubes.  Pro tip: Keep your knife and your hand wet, and it won't stick!  I also sugared my board.

Rolled in powdered sugar and stored air tight with parchment between the layers.

Look how cute the hearts came out!

Melted chocolate, tempered with cream, dipped hearts, served with cinnamon graham crackers.  Yum.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Date Night

Last night Billand I had our Valentine's Date Night. We went to
Pizzeria Lola, them to see The King's Speech, then ended up at our new
neighborhood watering hole, Thd Prairie Ale House, pictured here.
Fantastic night all around!

Sent from my iPhone - please forgive typos.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Easy Cake Cookies

My littlest valentine and I made cookies while my bigger -but-still-little valentine was at a birthday party this morning.  We made cake cookies, a thing I've never done before.  

1 box cake (in this case, strawberry, an artificial flavor I will never get again)
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil

Mix 'em up, drop 'em on a greased sheet bake 'e, for 8 - 10 minutes at 375.

I shaped half of them into hearts while he stirred in the very small amount of white chocolate chips we had left into the remaining batter.

Of course, quality control is very important when it comes to chips, and we encourage that in our house as long as we're the only ones eating the result.

On the sheets:

Baked.  They puff a little, but don't spread much:

We made vanilla butter cream frosting, tinted pink.  Because how else are the sprinkles going to stick?

1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
4 cups confectioner's sugar
6 TBS cream
2 tsp vanilla

Alternate sugar and cream into the butter in about three or four rounds for best results.

Safe keeping until the cookies are cool and everyone is packed up and at my parents' house, where they can get sugared up while Mama and Daddy go on a date for Valentine's Day.

Did I mention the quality control?  We split one.  It was 10am.  I'm a good mother.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Today we found out my five year old daughter needs glasses.  I got mine in 3rd grade, but probably should have gotten them sooner.  Hopefully hers won't be as gooney as mine were:

Now I'm getting all obsessed with glasses... and in my head all I can hear is this: