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Archive for April, 2011

Yesterday was such an amazing day, so much so that I actually YELLED in joy.  I didn’t want to cram too much into yesterday’s post so let me fill in the rest of the details for you.

It started off lackluster with misting rain.  I’ve got to say that I really dislike misting rain.  It’s that kind of rain that you can’t avoid because it just sort of floats around in the air before sticking to your skin.  But!  All was not lost because the rain picked up (I much prefer a full-on rain) and joined forces with some lightning and thunder.  It would have been better if there was a little more booming going on but, what do they say?  A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?  Wait, no.  I think it’s beggars can’t be choosers.  Or maybe, when in Rome.  Something.

Long story short, all the elements combined to make me a very happy girl.  The rundown goes like this:

1. I received a pineapple upside cake (remember?).
2. Rain/lightning/thunder occurred.
3. Lee (aka the boyfriend) picked up my NEW glasses.
4. I picked up some herbed goat cheese and a perfectly delicious french loaf (more on this in a moment).
5. My new bathing suit arrived in the mail.
6. My heavily discounted Vosges chocolate caramels arrived in the mail.
7. My SO AWESOME owl mug arrived in the mail.
8. A SURPRISE PRESENT FROM LEE ARRIVED IN THE MAIL.
9. I opened said surprise present and found a beautiful set of oven mitts and tea towel that I had wanted (he’s the sweetest).
10. Making a comfort food dinner to complete a rainy day.

Seriously, I was kind of like a five year old last night when everything seemed to join forces (like Captain Planet?) to make me happy. Not that I’m not normally happy but, you know.

The owl peaks out amongst the goodies

Mail Goodies

But back to this comfort food business. I ended up making “gourmet” grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. To give you an idea of how good they were, Lee told me, “You know, this is just, SO GOOD. Like, I would pay $100 dollars for this! This is one of the best grilled cheeses I’ve ever had. No, wait, no. This is THE best grilled cheese I’ve ever had.” And there you have it. Out of the mouths of babes (what’s with me and idioms today?).

The recipe is pretty simple but oh so flavorful and one hundred dollars good.  What’s the secret ingredient?  Goat cheese.  It’s like a velvety goldmine of deliciousness.  You may, however, want to hide the fact that there’s goat cheese in this sandwich, depending on your sandwich recipient.  I certainly wouldn’t blame you.

“Gourmet” Grilled Cheese

Yields: 2 Sandwiches

4 slices of good quality bread (I used slices from a French loaf)
1 tablespoon butter (I used Smart Balance Light)
1 ounce or 2 tablespoons herb goat cheese (I had a Mediterranean spices and garlic goat cheese)
4 slices American cheese
4 slices tomato

Spread a thin layer of butter on the outside of each piece of bread. Place two slices of the bread, butter side down, in a large frying pan. Spread a thin layer of the goat cheese on the non-buttered side of the bread in the pan. Arrange the American cheese on top of the goat cheese layer, two slices on each piece of bread. Place the tomato slices on top of the cheese layer, again, two slices on each piece of bread. Top with the remaining pieces of bread, butter side up. Cook over a medium flame for a few minutes, flipping the sandwich over when the underside turns a golden brown. Cook for a few more minutes until the same golden hue emerges on the other side. Serve by cutting in half and enjoying with some blue corn tortilla chips, fruit salad, or perhaps a dessert of your choice!

Wow

Golden Goodness

Ooey gooey

Cheeeeeeeeeese

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There was a war of words at work yesterday (oh the alliteration!) that erupted over the absence of pineapple upside cake in my life.  Marjorie’s thing is her pineapple upside down cake and she recently gave one to a co-worker of ours.  “WELL THEN,” I thought.  Eventually I brought it to her attention that she had forgotten my cake, at which she guffawed.  I then threatened to cut off her supply of all future baked goods AND stop handing over her beloved fruit of choice: THE BANANA.  She seemed non-pulsed by my threat and told me she would take her banana-getting business elsewhere.

Cut to today when, lo-and-behold, I find a full pan of pineapple upside down cake waiting for me at my desk.  I laughed a hearty, gleeful laugh.

Pineapples and Cherries - Yum

Bullseye!

But it was a whole pan’s worth and I knew better than to take that whole pan home.  I cut a slice to enjoy later and left the rest in the company kitchen.  Do you want to see the remains?  Of course you do!

The Aftermath

I think maybe some squirrels got in there.

Anyway, I guess I owe Marjorie a bunch of bananas.  And I owe YOU a recipe!  I asked Marjorie if she’d like to share her recipe and she told me that I could go for a hike.  And look at the Duncan Hines box.  I thought that I might instead make a variation and boy was I ever happy with it.  The crumb of the muffin was moist, yet airy, and tasted surprisingly buttery.  This is a fantastic handheld version of the classic!

Pineapple Right Side Up Muffins

Yields: 8 muffins

1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sweetened coconut
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup oil
1 egg
3/4 cup pineapple chunks (I bought a whole pineapple and cut fresh chunks but you could most certainly use the canned stuff)
8 maraschino cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.  Mix the flour with the baking powder then mix in the sugar and coconut.

In a separate bowl beat the egg, oil, and buttermilk together until well blended.

Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture, mixing until you can no longer see any flour.  Add in the pineapple to your mixture and stir until incorporated.

Spoon the mixture into a muffin pan fitted with liners.

Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a knife inserted at the center of a muffin comes clean.  I would recommend checking the muffins at 15 minutes just to see where they’re at.  They should be nicely golden by the time they’re done.

Take them out of the oven and gently press a maraschino cherry into each muffin.  Let cool and enjoy!

Look at that color!

Pineapple Right Side Up Muffins

Recipe source adapted from The Mistress of Spices.

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Oh, hello there.

So.  Here I am, finally.  I’ve had thoughts for a blog kicking around in my head for awhile now but the procrastinator in me always waved them aside.  I’m hoping that this space will be a facilitator in motivating me to try new things, ideas, foods, etc.  I’m also hoping that maybe, MAYBE, other people will be motivated to do the same!

Which brings me to (fanfare): MY VERY FIRST RECIPE POST!

I bought a package of strawberries because they were on sale and then bought another package of strawberries because I’m greedy.  I ate one container and then found a wonderful recipe for Fresh Strawberry Pie.  What was a girl to do?  Send her boyfriend out to buy another container?  Why, yes, of course.

So I made it and waited patiently for my time to DEVOUR IT.  Seriously, this pie is super simple and super delicious.  I highly recommend it, especially since strawberries are in abundance and summertime is knocking on our doors.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

1 9-inch pie crust, baked
2 pounds fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 envelope unflavored powdered gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water

Slice about 3 cups of the strawberries into quarters and place them in a medium bowl.  Crush the berries with a potato masher or fork (or your fist).  Place them in a saucepan over medium heat with the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and salt and stir to combine.  Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally for about 5-7 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken slightly.

Soften the gelatin in the cold water and set it aside.

Remove berry mixture from the heat and add the softened gelatin and stir until the gelatin has dissolved.  Set aside to cool slightly.

Cut the remaining berries into quarters, and gently fold them into the cooled cooked mixturePour the filling into the baked pie shell, and chill in the refrigerator until set, at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.  Makes 1 pie (which is half-eaten in the picture below).  Feel free to add a little touch of whipped cream for a little va-va-voom.  I did.

mmmm

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Recipe Source comes from Sing For Your Supper.  Thank you!

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