Sunday, November 28, 2010

I'm back, birches!

Uhm, so you may not have noticed my extended holiday from blogging. Now that I'm back, I intend to mix the cooking with complaining about wedding planning. First up - things I don't have pictures of!!

(1) I've actually been doing more cooking these days. I found a solid recipe for roasted vegetables from my mom's cousin's cookbook. This made an appearance again for Thanksgiving (round two). I also made some recipes that involve lentils and I'm working around to making soup.
(2) We joined a CSA! CSA pick up starts this Wednesday! Hopefully some of the random root vegetables we get will become soup. Yes, there will be a food processor on the wedding registry.
(3) I made a yummy applesauce cake courtesy of Smitten Kitchen ( I highly recommend giving it a shot. I made some minor modifications - adding cardamom and using vanilla syrup intended for coffee instead of vanilla extract. Oops, just didn't have any on hand!
(4) Chocolate chip cookies, courtesy King Arthur Flour Cookbook. The best part about these? I planned ahead and stuck some pre-formed cookies in the freezer. Hot fresh homemade cookies in minutes? I love it!

I have pictures of Thanksgiving baking for you, and I plan on experimenting with some yeast breads (and bagels) this week!

*Birches? Yes, that's an android auto-correct, and we're embracing it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Birthday!

You may have seen birthday cake photos up here before. This is one skill that I kind of have, so I rock it whenever necessary. The basic recipe is brownies & ice cream. I add a few special touches. This year I went with Dublin Mudslide and Mud Pie. Because there was only one container of mint chocolate cookie and only one of Dublin Mudslide! Seriously, Safeway??? Also, I couldn't find my brownie recipe that is specific to ice cream cake, so I used the regular one. Verdict: DAMN that is hard to slice.

Below is the setup:
JV let me borrow a spring form, so I put one layer of frozen brownies in there, filled the cake pans with ice cream, and waited to bring it all together. You're probably also thinking that my kitchen is a cluttered mess. Well, the morning that I made this cake I just happened to wake up to puddles on the bathroom floor and kitchen counter (and later discovered, in the linen closet - thankfully the towels soaked it up). So I put all of those utensils through the dishwasher and did not put them back in their regular spot.

This is up close and personal on the Dublin Mudslide, now nestled atop the first brownie layer.

Here is my layer of crushed oreos... And that's the last of the construction pictures, as I discovered that Mud Pie was wicked melty. Back in the freezer, quick!

And now....... Drumroll please......

My boyfriend lighting his own candles (you can maybe make out the m&m S in the middle):

TA DA. How do you like dem apples?

(Or the Crispix, favorite cereal right there.)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Cooking, Part 2

Thank goodness for Trader Joe's, they make life so easy... Especially after a nearly hour long trip to whole foods for beer and these guys:

Pizza for dinner. Clearly I made the crust in the shape of a heart.

And used the roasted garlic sauce:

And goat mozzarella:

(Goat mozzarella? Yes... Tastes like a cross between mozz and goat cheese. Yummy.)
The final product:

Total cost on the pizza, probably $6? Time to make, 12 to cook, 5 to put together, however long it takes the oven to preheat... And about 50 times better than Jerry's $5 Monday night pizza.

Valentine's Cooking, Part 1

I came across a suggestion of this recipe on someone's blog recently, and googled around until I found this recipe. This year's Valentine's Recipe: Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats

I have to say, peanut butter is an AMAZING addition to rice krispie treats. It's like fluffernutter RKTs... Definitely give it a shot next time you make them.
The only change to the regular recipe is adding 1/2 cup of creamy pb to the melted marshmallow goo before you add in the cereal.

Here is my pb:

Marshmallow goo + pb

+ cereal

+ cookie cutters.... Awww. Except the addition of pb seems to make these even stickier and gooier, thus waaaaay more difficult to cut.

And you could cover them in chocolate if you wanted too:

Pretty! I hid these in the fridge, and they were a welcome treat since we totally destroyed the half of the pan not cut into hearts. Seriously, this recipe is soooo good.

Snowstorm & Comfort Food

In case you've been living under a rock, we had a kind of enormous snowstorm, and then another, smaller, storm. We have been sort of "snowed in" - we only got one car dug out Saturday, mine is actually rescuable from it's space, but there is about 6 feet of snow between the car and the street right now.
Wednesday we went to the grocery store, only to find it had just closed, so we went up to CVS and got some pop tarts and juice. Since we go grocery shopping once a week, we didn't get caught up in the madness of buying milk and bread... Of course, a gallon of milk and loaf of bread only lasts so long, and after a while we decided we were a little hungry.
On Thursday, after hearing rumors that Trader Joe's was stocked, we still tried to go to Safeway, but upon discovering that they still didn't have vegetables or milk we walked two miles to Trader Joe's and got some real groceries. Milk! Half and half! Bread! Cheese! Yum.
So I made this for dinner:

And this is after we devoured it (hungry from that 2 mile walk):

Sooooooo best mac & cheese recipe EVER.

We've also been being a little crazy and doing a lot of running. On Thursday, SB and I went for a five mile run on our usual loop. This involves crossing the Key Bridge and running along the Potomac and then passing Arlington Cemetery. Can you guess how much of that was plowed? Yeah, about half of it. Let me tell you, running through three feet of snow is an amazing workout.

Snow photos: