Friday, September 28, 2012

Parmesan Rosemary Muffins - A Game Changer

Seven years ago, I saw this magazine in the newstand called Weekend.
The cover drew me in. A beautiful photo, great design, intriguing headlines.  I bought the magazine and quickly became a fan.  I bought a few more when they came out.  
I struggled with reading a magazine called "Weekend" since my life, with young children felt like it never included a weekend.  Of course, there were Saturdays and Sundays, but not what I would consider a weekend. Groundhog Day, you know?  Every day is much the same, and when the weekend comes,  while there is a shift in schedule, the days are still filled with bottom wiping, meal preparing, disciplining, noisiness, exhaustion and duties.  It is hard to relate to a magazine called Weekend that features articles about day trips, house projects and book reviews.  And includes photos of people lying on rafts in floppy hats, and napping and reading novels, and hosting candlelight dinner parties with adult friends.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Cracked Out on Cracker Toffee

I have cooked several things lately that I am excited to share with you: Pulled BBQ,  Black Bean Torte,  Homemade Sushi, Chicken Salad, Rosemary Parmesan Muffins and thick French Toast, to name a few.  I was deliberating about which should be this week's post and then Cracker Toffee (A.K.A. Crack) resurfaced in my life and I can't stop thinking about it.  It quickly rose to the top of the "to post" list, when my co-worker Patsy asked for the recipe.  So, here's what happened: I innocently went to a baby shower last week for my friend Stephanie.  I knew the treats being served would be delicious, as the hosts are all great cooks.  And then I saw it. There on the serving table was one of my favorite confections: Cracker Toffee.  I love it and haven't had it in a long time! I ate one piece, and a slice of poundcake with Strawberry Coulis, along with caramel corn, and banana pudding adorably served in repurposed glass baby food jars.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Chicken Bryan A.K.A. a party in your mouth

At the beginning of my blogging adventure, two years ago, I wrote about a tradition of ours called "The Celebration of Daves". It's a celebration meal honoring Dave Hunt and David Thomas – two incredible, food-loving men, prepared by their food-loving, food-preparing wives.  This tradition has stood the test of time.  (We think it's been about 14 years). The four of us (David, Connie, Dave and I) are all highly motivated to continue this sweet annual ritual. We love this tradition because it is food and friends, period. We don't get to spend much time together, especially as couples.  And we all love good food, so this dinner is one we cherish and anticipate all year long.

connie and me a decade ago
aproned and cooking for the
Celebration of Daves
(In addition, Connie and I love to work together in the kitchen and it's such a rare treat).  We most often hold this celebration in late July or early August.  However, this year, with schedules and an early start to school, we just finally had our dinner last week!

When Connie and I were on the phone discussing menu options, we were tired and stumped about what to make.  We decided to ask our honorees if they had any requests.  When I asked Dave, he said, "Oh, it doesn't matter!" and then, "What about Chicken Bryan?"  I said, "Oh that would be delicious and special, however, it requires grilling, which I fear will be tricky for us to pull off with all of the rest of the cooking inside without someone to monitor the grill."  (I wanted to protect him from managing the grill on his birthday celebration meal.)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Quick-to-Fix Favorites: from Icy Orange Juice to Croutons

WARNING: This is a quirky, random post.  The common denominator of all of these 4 recipes is that they are EASY, recipe-less and favorites!  You know when you try a recipe and it is so simple and great you just have to tell someone? I feel that way every time I make each of these.  I have a magnetic dry erase board on our refrigerator where I write foods I want to try, menus for the week and a running list of things I have made that I want to post on this blog to share with you.  These items have all been on the list for a while and I have been deliberating about how/when to share these simple treats.  I want you to try them! They aren't really recipes, but rather instructions. They are 5-minute-prep-kind-of-foods. WHO doesn’t love those?? – Icy Orange Juice, Sopas, Garlic Edamame and Homemade Croutons 

Icy Orange Juice 
a childhood tradition that lives on in my house

I’ve had a long term relationship with Icy Orange Juice.  It was the special treat mom made when we had sleep overs and she would make homemade biscuit donuts and this special breakfast drink.  It's just a can of frozen orange juice concentrate and ice water blended together, but it makes a thick, icy, slushy orange juice drink.

If you are my age, you might have grown up with Orange Julius shops in your world.  

There was one at the mall when I was a kid.  This is reminiscent of it, minus the milk…which you CAN add if you are going for a creamsicle type of treat.

What you need:  1 large can frozen orange juice concentrate, ice, water, a blender and a pitcher