Monday, November 16, 2009

Rainbow. Cake.

I found inspiration for the boys 1st Birthday cake here: Tasty Kitchen*.
Anyway. This was no simple feat making this cake. It took three people to wrangle babies while I baked for hours and then frosted, stacked and froze for another bunch of hours. By the time I got home I was totally beat and didn't care what the hell the cake looked like because I was DONE!

Here is the final product:

Not too shabby.

I'd better figure out what we're doing next year because this year was a total home run.

*or from a MckMama post if we're being honest but this is where the recipe was posted by the woman who brought this tower of delicious to the MckGathering.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Most Delicious Mac Ever.

A few months ago I was reading one of my favorite local/ food blogs and I was introduced to the idea of adding a few of my favorite things to one of my absolute favorite dishes. Jalapenos + Bacon + Macaroni and Cheese. Oh gosh. It's so good.

There are pictures and words and possibly some semblance of a recipe on that original post but I must say I didn't really pay attention for the drooling. This is what I came up with after those three magical things were put together for my brain to wrap itself around.

1 lb box of Rigatoni (cooked al dente) drain and set aside

4 Tbls Butter- melt in heavy saucepan add 4 Tbls flour, cook roux until bubbly and the raw flour smell is gone

Add 4 cups of milk- I do it slowly and whisk the roux in as I go. Bring to a low boil and let thicken a bit.

To make it super fantastic: Add chopped up Jalapeno slices from the jar (hot, mild, many or few- it's up to you) Bacon- I just used a package of the Hormel bacon pieces you find near the salad dressing because I was being kind of lazy today. A few splashes of the juice from the jar of jalapenos.

Cheese, obviously. I use one package of shredded (2 cups) today I had Colby Jack on hand but I've used Cheddar or the 6-cheese Italian blend- it's whatever you like.

Once the cheese is melted and the sauce is thickened to your liking pour the sauce over the pasta and mix it a bit.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

What We Ate: State Fair Edition

It's that time of year where seemingly all of Minnesota crams into St. Paul for 10 days of food and fun. It's really no secret, we go for the food.

We plan. We make lists of what we want to eat. We write down locations for these items so we are not sidetracked by fancy signs beckoning us to delicious sounding delicacies such as Australian Fries with Sweet Chili Sauce and Sour Cream or Carolina Barbecue Baked Potatoes. I almost *almost* got both of these today. It sounds sooooo good! And the smells? Oh the smells. Once you get out of the really crowded areas where the air is thick with sweetness and grease you can smell things like smoked meat or Italian seasoning and you just get ready to EAT.

So this year we did really well. We stuck to our game plan and we weren't totally stuffed when we walked back to our bus. That was surprising. We even had a few "extra" things since we were feeling pretty proud of our sticktuitiveness. Is that even a word?

Here's the low down, in the order we ate them:

Fried Green Pepper Rings.
This was a new one for us and the hype did not disappoint. I think it will be a Fair staple from now on.

Big Fat Bacon.
I love bacon. I think last year was the first year for BFB and we didn't get to the fair last year so we had to try it. 1/3 pound of bacon on a stick, maple glazed with orange chipotle dipping sauce. I'd probably get this again.

Lefse with Butter and Brown Sugar.
Probably one of Johns favorites- it was at the top of the list this year instead of one of the last things we got.

Peach Glazed Pigs Cheeks.
Sounds weird. Tastes like Pulled Pork. I could've used a little more sauce but they were pretty good. Next year I'll get the Pig Lickers (chocolate covered bacon) instead.

Cheese Curds from The Mouth Trap.
I'm not a huge fan of Cheese Curds but I'll never pass them up. These were lightly battered, salty and had just they right "chew". Another of John's favorites.

Fried Green Tomatoes.
This is my favorite. It's the only way I'll eat tomatoes unless they are chopped up on a taco or in a sauce of some sort. Serve with ranch and Tabasco. YUM!

Key Lime Pie Bar.
Frozen Key Lime Pie. Covered in Chocolate. On a stick.

Minnesota Wines.
We happened to wander into the Agriculture building and got ourselves some Wine on a Stick- three 2 ounce pours of our choice of wines. We tried a Rhubarb and a Raspberry from the fruit wines category and a dry red- I do not remember their names and the only one we walked away loving was the rhubarb. It was delightfully good.

Pronto Pup.
AKA Banquet on a Stick- just don't call it a corn dog. It's like a corn dog...but different. I personally like corn dogs better.

Next year we'll have to try out a few things we didn't this year. Dole Whip always catches my eye and at the last minute I think "It's just soft serve Ice cream!" and I don't get it. Of course the entire bus ride home I think of how good a little pineapple soft serve would be. Next year.

The one thing that wasn't originally on our list that we tried to get was a shake from the Dairy Barn. Those things are cheap and really really good. We inched our way around the barn and when we finally got to the line it was like 40 people long. We skipped it. Next year we'll do that right away before it gets crazy.

Friday, August 28, 2009

What happened?

I used to cook all the time. Now every night is a struggle and it usually ends with this: "Do you want me to just pick something up at Surdyks?"

Spending $15 on sandwiches a few nights a week is taking it's toll on the budget. Not to mention we're getting really tired of Surdyks Deli. Which is a shame because I haven't had a better slice of Red Velvet cake and their Minneapple Melt is out of this world.

So I'm going to buckle down and make dinner. Every night. For a week.

It's a start.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Texas Poppers

This is my first official post, so bear with me. I've been trying new things lately, as far as cooking goes. On Sunday, I grilled for the first time! Not just meat, but potatoes and nectarines as well. To be honest, I think I cooked the meat a little too long but nobody complained.

Last night, I tried out a recipe that I got from my dad. He calls them Texas poppers. It's supposed to be as follows:

Pineapple cream cheese
Dad's secret BBQ sauce for dipping (it really is a secret, sorry!)

You cut the top off the pepper, then take out the middle and slice it in half the long way. Put a wad of cream cheese inside. Put a shrimp on top, wrap with bacon and secure with a toothpick.

I couldn't find pineapple flavored cream cheese* at the store, so I got plain. No big deal. I also made them without the shrimp, but that was on purpose. I kinda like them that way. My mistake was when I put them in the oven to BAKE. I should have put them on BROIL. I've had these twice before and the pepper was a little crunchy, while the bacon was fully cooked and somewhat crispy.

How long do you cook them? I don't know! I haven't done it right yet.

*Erin adds crushed pineapple to plain cream cheese and likes that better than the kind you can buy already combined.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What we ate: 4th of July

Our contributions were simple:
Breakfast Burritos

Breakfast Burritos were what you'd expect- eggs, sausage, potatoes, onions, salsa, cheese. What makes them special is cooking them outside and eating them by a campfire. That's a good reason to get up off the floor of a tent in the morning.

Sausages were from Kramarczuk's the best sausages in my opinion. We picked up our favorites: Moroccans and Cherry Bombs. Add caramelized onion relish (no one touched the habanero pineapple relish) and you've got a little bite of heaven.

S'Mores. I don't like graham crackers unless they are crushed and mixed with sugar and butter and pressed into a pan so we have alternatives. Usually I use Fudge Stripe Cookies, this year I brought Oreo Rings. Caramel marshmallows with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Strawberry marshmallows with plain old Hershey bars. It was some good snackin' at the fire that night.

There was other food of course- steaks with baked potatoes and sauteed mushrooms, chicken salad with grapes, gas station coffee and Guinness.

It was a good weekend of eating.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Night Dinner.

Friday nights are designated Mom time. Now Mom, daughter and grandson time, but, still the same routine. Yes, John is here most nights, but he has no interest in Friday Night Lights, he's just here to eat, hold babies and do a little yoga while we sit on the couch with our drinks and watch coach Taylor save the day.

For the past year or so we've gotten together to watch FNL and have a meal based around something we haven't cooked or eaten before. In the beginning we had a great time planning menu's and preparing the meal. Sometimes it was elaborate, sometimes it was quick and easy. While I was pregnant there wasn't much cooking as I was so sick. Since the boys came along there has been more pizza delivery than actual cooking, but we're going to get back on track.

Tonight was a pizza night and although I love a good pizza, I love a new special dish even more. So, the search is on for next week. I'm thinking French Chicken. Not new, but I don't think my Mom has had it before. There is nothing wrong with heavy cream in my book and the combination of lemon juice and beef bouillon (strange as it sounds) has my mouth watering.

I was not very good about posting menu's from our early dinners but there are a few posts here, here, here and here.

There were some good ones that didn't get documented that I wish had, nothing like looking back on a great meal and good time. And also, the Oreos. I need to make those Oreos again.

Because because because because BECAUSE!

I used to write.
I used to write a lot.

Now, I have a place to write. There is the baby blog and a catch all blog but I don't have a place to focus on something that I really like to talk about but haven't really written much about.

Food and cooking.
Food and cooking and restaurants.

So this will be the place for that.

I've invited my Mom and my Sisters to join me in the fun of writing about food and all that goes with it- memories and recipes and the search for that perfect plate of burnt ends. Or whatever you may be searching for.

Oh, and the TITLE of this post? I just got done watching the KU game and I have the Wizard of Oz on my mind...because of the wonderful things he does......