Saturday, July 31, 2010


Good Bye Dear Friend
You have been a good and faithful servant.
You gave your life in the quest of providing joy to another.
You've led a long life, longer than most.
You have been cherished and will be missed greatly.
And now to lament the wine sacrificed in this carnage.....
Don't anybody tell Shanna,
she's gonna kill me.

Soak It To Me, Baby

Ok, so only those of you who are old enough to remember
Rowan and Martin's Laugh In
will find the title if this post amusing.
As I've said before, I crack myself up :o)
So I have a couple of marinade recipes for you.
The first one comes from "Mr. Food", anyone remember him?
I came across a cookbook of his while helping my mother and aunt move.
I refuse to take responsibility for the purchase of said book,
but I cannot deny that I did read it.
But, hey, I found this gem!
In my never ending quest to find ways to make chicken not "taste like chicken"
this marinade is pretty darn effective.
Couple of points of interest: check out the pink pepper corns.
Indra's son turned me on to them and they are really good.
A bit mellower taste than regular black. Other point, is actually a good tip.
The fresh ginger, just throw it in the freezer and grate it frozen.
That way you always have some on hand for that random recipe that calls for it.

The second is good with beef, like a flank steak or london broil.
My only issue with it is that it calls for
2 CUPS of wine, that's a lot of marinade.
Just cut it in half. Generally speaking, I like to use fresh herbs but marinades
seem to lend themselves to dry for some reason.
Just rough up the dried stuff in your palms to start to release some of the oils.
But dried parsley creeps me out so I use fresh.

My way of thinking, a marinade is just another name for a sauce.
While you should NOT used the marinade that the raw meat has been
swimming in, you can make extra and in the case of the teriyaki use it to dress
some quinoa or couscous to serve the chicken on.
The red wine one would be good cooked down
and served over some roasted potatoes.
Go create!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Caprese Skewers

I have made these little gems a few times now and each time they've been a big hit.
The best part about them is that they are
Stupid Easy to make.
Just grab a container of those marinated mini mozzarella balls
and a pint of grape tomatoes, or cherry, or those mini heirloom.
Cut everything in half and then skewer together (cut sides together).
The hardest part of this was finding the cool bamboo skewers.
I'll save you some time, Cost Plus.
You're welcome. It's just how I roll.
I show up with these and people think I'm amazing.
I choose to set them straight.
You don't have to.
You're amazing :o)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bright Idea #2

Well, I hesitate to share this with you all but I just gotta!
I believe I have found (and let me tell you, I feel very Steel Magnolia saying this)
my Signature Gift!
I found that card and it set the wheels in motion.
The inside reads: Enjoy every sip! Happy Birthday.
I think I will run back to Target and buy every one of these cards that they have.
How much fun is this?
A festive bag with the ingredients for the Best Margarita EVER (along with the recipe)
and a package of drink umbrellas. The umbrellas aren't listed in the recipe but they really should be or at least it should be understood. Shake and serve with umbrellas!!!!
I think you can expand this gift as needed. You could include a cocktail shaker, swap out Jose for Patron, margarita glasses, salt to rim the glasses, a Jimmy Buffet CD.
Oh, I could go on and on.
So, back to my dilemma, you all now know what your next gift from me will be
(well, except you, Val) and while I am happy for you to replicate this gift, please know that I have first dibbs on any mutual acquaintances.
Oh, and FYI, I love Val, she just doesn't drink :o)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

There are Bike Rides, and then there are....

Lory is my soul buddy,
kinda like a soul mate but not *that* way . ;o)
We may start out doing the most mundane thing and somehow
it usually winds up being a story.
Lory is a very serious biker, I am a very recreational biker.
We really should have taken a picture of our helmets and sunglasses together.
Those are Lory's in the picture.
My helmet is not quite so aerodynamic and my sunglasses would be quite at home strolling through town shopping. That picture would have explained it all.
Ah, missed opportunities.
However, the opportunity to get in some great exercise and spend
quality time (read, margaritas) together did not escape us.
I also should have taken a picture of my bike. I looked like a sherpa.
But, hey, my bike has a jaunty little basket.
Aside from said margaritas (please note umbrellas, I crack myself up)
I made Smitten Kitchen's Artichoke-olive Crostinis,
mozzarella/tomato skewers and threw together some strawberries and grapes.
I'm always on the look out for recipes that I can take on a bike picnic.
It just needs to be something that doesn't need to be particularly hot or cold.
And will fit in my basket.
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
I'll post the Smitten Kitchen recipe along with Lory and my
bright ideas. :o) Because margaritas make us smarter :o)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Goat Cheese Scones with a Smile

So, here we are again with my blog having a mind of it's own.
Not only do I have random underlining,
I cannot for the life of me put these two photos in the order I choose.
So, let me say this, I made these scones Saturday because it seemed to make good sense to do a little cooking while I had the time to do it.
I'd take pics and then just archive them for during the week.
That's how picture number 2 came to be.

Then a friend called today
(Hmm, she's a good christian friend and suddenly the underlining disappears)
I digress, yet again.
So, Steph calls and we decide to have coffee on her deck instead of the coffee shop
as we had previously arranged.
I happen to have some fairly fresh scones.
(BTW, they are better the day after you bake them)
Of course I bring my camera because no food is eaten in my presence
without it's close up.
I gotta say, I believe the scones look downright happier in the photo
taken on Steph's deck.
Here's the lesson,
not only do we enjoy our food more when consumed in fellowship,
the food is happier too.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Just to make you smile :o)

Terrorizing a Friend

Today's post is in celebration of Indra!
She's having surgery number ....well, I guess I've lost count, today.
The good news is we are down to the final stretch.
Lots of friends followed my oddesy last December/January into private nurse duty.
Well, maybe more like personal comic relief duty.
The above picture is an homage to the terror I inflicted on Indra while she was at my mercy.
She was not able to bend over to put her socks on for herself so I figured if I had to do it for her, I might as well have fun, and so never had a matching pair on her the whole time. Indra does not share my same sense of style.
She allowed as how she would willingly don this festive look for the
party we threw in January to mark the auspicious occasion of her going a whole week without a surgery since the first one December 4th.
The following picture is my first foray into cake ball world.
(and possibly my last)
I publish this as a public service.
I called them Boob Balls (with Indra's permission) and served them at said party.
They do not look a thing like I had in mind.
They had a mind of their own.
Perhaps they found the whole concept wrong.
Indra was on meds. I was drinking for two.
My list of excuses is long but my point is,
not everything comes out exactly as you plan.
Go with it.
Sometimes it makes for a great story later :o)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

BLTs with Wasabi Aioli

I don't like mine toasted.
Rips up the roof of my mouth. What' s THAT about??

Honey likes his toasted.
Here's a shout out to that tomato, the first (hopefully more to come) from my garden!
Aggie turned me on to the concept of wasabi aioli.
We tossed around a bit what differentiated aioli from mayonnaise and concluded the olive oil and the garlic turned mayonnaise into aioli.
I'm pretty sure that the Hellman's mayo that says "made with olive oil" is really aioli
dumbed down for the masses. But I digress..
So taking my newfound knowledge and running with it I decided I could make a "cheat" aioli by adding great flavors to store bought mayo. And, it worked!
I do have in mind making it from scratch one of these days but for a busy Saturday lunch this worked out great.
I'll post my "formula" in the recipes.

The Art of the Tart

Caprese Tart
This was really fun to make and looks quite impressive.
The recipe is from The Runaway Spoon
I made it one afternoon for my artsy friends ,
Cheryl, Carol and Val.
I just like saying their names all together like that.
We get together every so often and create things together.
Sometimes one of us will devise a project that we all do
and other times we just bring whatever we are working on and "create" together.
The dynamics of friendships.....well, that's a whole subject for another day!
This afternoon I asked them to just come and allow me to create lunch.
I've always been an artist, my most common medium being paint, but I have found lately that cooking has become an artistic expression as well. Who knew, food as an artistic medium!
Now that I have reframed the act of cooking in my mind
(changed it from an act to an art)
I'm having a blast!
So, here's your thought to ponder for today:
Whereas cooking may have been a chore in the past, reframing the way I look at it has changed it to a joy. What chore could benefit from a little perspective adjustment for you?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wine, Glasses and Corks, oh my!

So my big decision today is should this post be about
the high class wine in the box,
the collection of wine glasses
(and maybe more importantly the glasses that gave their lives)
the collection of corks that seemed to have appeared on their own,
(because clearly my box o' wine does not require cork or cork screw)
Hmmm, ok, if you know me you know there is a story(s) in relation to each of these items.
Which one do you want to read?
Oh, and if you missed my tutorial on how to post,
Aggie, of Aggie's Kitchen, (shameless plug, shameless plug)
walked me through it last night. Make your comment and when it asks for that profile thing,
just choose name/URL and put your first name.
Works like a charm. Come on you guys, I'll drag you
into this century with me :o)

Bright Idea #1

OK, so usually my bright ideas get me into trouble
but so far I've been pretty safe with this one.
Martha or someone once suggested you freeze your leftover wine from recipes that only call for a small portion of the bottle in an ice cube tray. What is she, whack? I subscribe to the adage
"I cook with wine, and sometimes I put some in the food".
But, I do have recipes that call for a partial can of broth and I'm really not interested in chugging that as I cook, so now Martha isn't looking quite so nutty.
I freeze broth, left over coffee and actually now that I think about it, I used to make my kids baby food and freeze that in ice cube trays.
Once it's frozen solid you just pop the cubes into zipper bags and label them.
I've even bought lemons and limes when they are on sale, squeeze them up and freeze them for frozen margaritas. It also works great with watermelon.
I just liquify it in my Vita mix, mmm, watermelon margaritas.....
Oh, so you know how I said this bright idea hasn't gotten me in trouble yet? Did I tell you about the 4 hour bike ride Lory and I took that was only 20 miles long but did involve a thermos of said frozen margaritas......
Oh, and FYI, each cube is approximately 1 oz.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


So, just a little FYI,
If you want to comment go ahead and when it asks for the "Select Profile"
Click on
and just type your name in. You'll be all good to go :o)

Jose 2 Way (s)

In my search for Wasabi powder I stumbled across this
Blue Agave
and remembered Tiffany telling me about the amazing margarita her Sweetheart made using this stuff. Not only can she shape a mean eyebrow, she knows her margaritas! I just pulled the most straightforward recipe I could find off the internet and gave it a try.
Those (market research and replicating results, ya know) were the smoothest margaritas I have ever made!
Oh, and can I just mention, you gotta love a store where you can buy
Blue Agave and a cute swimsuit.
Thanks, Marshall's.

So then,
just so you aren't tempted to just DRINK all your Jose,
I'll post a fantastic Margarita marinade. It's a great summertime chicken idea. Just butterfly or pound out whole breasts or do K-bobs.
I'll post both recipes to the left of these posts, God willing and I remember how :o)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

So, I'm finding it rather humorous
that this blog will be driven by what pictures I can grab from the mysterious depths of my computer.
So here you get Roasted Red Pepper Hummus courtesy of America's Test Kitchen. I get the books that have all the magazines bound into them. What a great resource. Everything I have made from them has been great and they explain why you do things the way you do (or don't) which makes it easier when trying to adapt other recipes.

Hmm, understanding the how and why of things just makes things fall into place....hmmmm.
Me thinks there may be a computer/picture file tutorial in my future.....

Monday, July 19, 2010

Salmon Dinner

You will all find out my Bestie Foodie Buddy (but not in a creepy stalker way) Is Aggie of Aggie's Kitchen. She held my hand through my catering Michael and Michelle's wedding and that makes her good people in my book. We seem to have the same attitude towards cooking and food in general. But don't ask me to explain, can't verbalize it, just feel it.
Hmmm, me + blog = good idea?
But, I digress. K, she adapted this from Alton (cut back on the sugar a bit) and posted it along with a great salad recipe. It looked so good that I just made the whole thing. She used a citrus balsamic vinaigrette in the dressing which I didn't have so I substituted black cherry balsamic. Also, I didn't have water cress and arugula so I used the butter lettuce I had and tossed in some toasted pecans for good measure. I guess my point is, check out some of these great recipes you see and don't be intimidated. Substitute things you have (you probably like those flavors profiles if they're in your pantry) and go for it! Worse comes to worse, call Dominos.
Oh, and then she told me to serve the leftovers in a sandwich with wasabi aioli.
So I did.
Next I learn how to make aioli AND how to make the underlining that just appeared to go away.

Cupcakes in a Jar

Allrighty then, here is where we start!

While these are not my inaugural venture into cupcakes in a jar world, they are my favs!
I can't take credit for the concept (thank you Unwrapped) but I am having too much fun coming up with more effective ways of constructing them as well as flavor combinations.
These little babies were Shanna's brainstorm. They are Dreamsicle inspired.
That's an orange sheet cake that has jello poured over it while hot and a frosting made with pudding, milk, vanilla and cool whip.
Yummm!!! Serve these babies cold!