Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hell's Kitchen

Soooo I realized the other day when my BFF was telling me her hubby was accepted for tryouts to next season Hell's Kitchen (go Kevin! go Kevin!) that I had missed the beginning of the show!

So I ran home at lunch and set the ol Tivo to record, actually I don't think its Tivo anymore since we got Fios when we moved to the new house. Anyhoo.... anyone else baffled as to why that crazy dude freaked out on Chef Ramsay like that? It's not as if Chef was being antagonistic like usual. I guess I may have missed something from the previous episodes.

I'm so glad they let Robert come back! I hope he gets his shit together and wins... though after I was watching last night I'm not so sure he will last too long.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

TWD: Vanilla Ice Cream

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was chosen by Lynne from Cafe Lynnylu. The recipe may have been for Vanilla Ice Cream but the theme was more like "What can YOU add to YOUR Vanilla Ice Cream?"

There was a plethora of mix-ins and other concoctions from bakers all over the blog roll, but my favorite, most creative was Caitlin at the Engineer Baker that put Riesling in her ice cream! Wine and Ice cream... how can you beat that! However creative they all were my culinary point of view was best expressed by Megan over at My Baking Adventures when she said "for me-vanilla is merely the vehicle in which to get the hot fudge sauce into my mouth." Couldn't have said it better myself Megan.

Surprisingly and much to my honey's dismay I didn't add any chocolate to mine. Instead I made the Vanilla bean Cinnamon version and mixed in a swirl (ok not so swirly heck you can barely see it!) of Pink Lady Apples sauteed in brown sugar and Calvados. It was strangely dry... dry ice cream weird I know but even at its melty state in the bowl it tasted dry and not creamy at all :(

Monday, July 27, 2009

Don't forget to Pie...

I'm mostly posting this to remind myself because last month I completely forgot all about it until it was too late. All I got to do was drool over the fantastic Taste of Summer pies and not vote for any of them!

The next round of You Want Pies with That? is a Nutty theme.
Let’s get creative with nature’s protein and nutrient powerhouse, the humble nut. Peanuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, pistachios… whatever you chose, let’s use nuts as a prominent feature in next month’s pie. Whether it’s a nut-based shell that perfectly complements the filling, or a nut-studded filling, I can’t wait to see what all you creative bakers come up with.
There are so many possibilities I don't even know where to start! I love nuts but sometimes they don't like me so much. I seem to have "sensitivity" to them but eat them anyway. And even thinking of turning on my big oven makes me sweat, so I have to figure out what I could possibly bake in the little toaster oven. Decisions decisions....

Pie Charms by Inedible Jewelry too cute for words

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dadada... Drum!

Fun cake for a long time customer of mine. This was for her son's 5th Birthday. You can see some close ups here.

TWD: Too hot!

It's just too hot to bake or cook anything. Our BBQ has refused to function, the oven moved to the neighbors where there is air-conditioning and I think even my eyeballs were sweating yesterday.

So instead I bring you a loverly photo taken by my Dad the other day... amazing something that makes me so miserable (the sun, not my dad) can be so darn pretty.

There are many beautiful Brioche Plum Tarts to be ogled over on the blog roll at Tuesday with Dorie and the recipe can be found over at Chez Us.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bubble & Brown Baker

Am I being lured in by the purdy color of Rachel Ray's Bubble & Brown Baker?

I really feel like I NEED this....

I have the old standby clear pyrex dishes and a few retro white dishes with cute roosters (and roosters are all the rage according to the Renegade Craft Fair we went to this weekend) but I can just imagine a bubbly potato & Gruyere gratin in this will just taste so much better in one of these.

Anyone have these?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

PPPR: I give up!

We were doing pretty good I thought but a few things brought me to the breaking point.

First, I don't even know if we are over or under budget but... probably over. Much akin to the feeling I get whilst balancing my checkbook I gave it up because I can only handle so much of that feeling....

Tuesday I didn't bring lunch and didn't have time to go home. Attempting to be a cheapo I had a Mt Dew, Jalapeno Cheetos and Swedish fish... all around ethnic smorgasbord for sure! Costing me roughly $5.00 that could have been spent on fast food that could have been slightly (yeah right) more healthy.

The hubby asked for bread! Bread people.... how could he need more bread! There's no room in the budget for more bread what is he thinking! I guess actually taking lunch will have that effect eh?

So by late Wednesday night at about 8pm I just wanted some blonde girl named Tiffany to bring me a burger and then take away the dishes...

Good luck to those of you that are still at it... I admit 8 days is a horrible horrible record. But there always has to be someone that quits first and that someone will be me! Ha I love being first!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

TWD:Tribute Katherine Hepburn Brownies

Our host for this weeks Tuesdays with Dorie is Lisa from Surviving Oz. She created the fantastic new logo for the site. I don't know how people come up with such things... color me jealous for sure. Just look how cool it is!

Ok on to the recipe... Tribute to Katherine Hepburn Brownies. Chock full of walnuts with a hint of cinnamon and coffee these brownies have a very distinct flavor. They contain only a bit of flour so I don't know how they are staying together so nicely without being mushy & gross like I expected. I only used 1/2 of the chopped chocolate (I know crazy talk) but I think more chocolate would have been too much because they are right on the border of too much (even more craziness). They still don't replace my favorite recipe but they are pretty tasty.

Monday, July 6, 2009

PPPR: Day 5 & 6

So yesterday I fell back on an old habit... one that will send me over my budget for sure. I was to lazy to take out anything to defrost for dinner. So off we went at 6pm to Fresh & Easy to get something for dinner. Bad bad bad! I have plenty of food to cook... why am I too lazy to take anything out! Meh...

Oh well... the honey burned some steaks and we grilled up some asparagus... good food.

Tonight, I still was too lazy to defrost so I made spaghetti & meatballs. Cool thing about that is the pre-made party meatballs from TJ's are tasty and can be tossed into sauce to defrost. A little garlic bread on the side... again good food on the cheap. No pictures though... to lazy for that ;)

Oh yeah the no-bake cookies from Day 4 were awesome! There are some still in the fridge and they are so good cold.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

PPPR: Day 4

Finally an actual cooking day for me! Since I'm worried that the hoodlums around here will burn down the neighborhood were sticking close to home for the 4th of July. Right now I feel like they are throwing M80s (I think that's what they are called) over the fence its so ridiculous but I guess they are having fun....since ohhh 9am this morning.

Anyhoo... back to the food.

I marinated pork (look away Jenn!) in BBQ sauce with a little twist of OJ and sweet chili sauce to give it a little something extra. For some reason my mom never used BBQ straight up, she always put it on the stove and simmered it with extra stuff, usually a load of butter (no my mom isn't Paula Deen). Since this was normal procedure growing up I usually add something in there out of habit. Not butter though I save the butter for other things like the slow roasted corn on the cob and steamed then pan sauteed creamer potatoes on the side.

For dessert there is no-bake cookies cooling on the counter. I hope they are good because they sure have potential to be tasty. And not turning on the stove in this July heat is a blessing for sure.

I tagged this recipe last week when I saw it over on the Brown-Eyed Baker... she got it from Ezra Poundcake who got it from ya gotta love the internet! Remember back in the day when you would watch cooking shows and you could send in a self addressed stamped envelope for the particular recipes from that show.... haha how far we have come!

TWD: Perfect Party Cake

I delayed my Tuesdays with Dorie recipe this week so that I could make the Perfect Party Cake for an actual party.

Since I was running a bit low on the necessary ingredients I decided to use some left over strawberry butter cream and a little store bought dark chocolate spread for the inside. I didn't eat a piece of this cake but got rave reviews from the entire family.

For the recipe as it was meant to be, cruz on over to and see Carol over at mix, mix....stir, stir.

Friday, July 3, 2009

PPPR: Day 3

$0.00 spent on meals today as we went to party at our cousins house for an early 4th of July celebration. I brought along the Perfect Party Cake as my contribution to the meal.

Nothing beats a delicious free meal when your on a crazy budget!

You other Pantry Raiders to see how they are doing.... way better than me I assure you.

Maria of Two Peas & Their Pod

Dayna and The Laur Challenge

Becky of Project Domestication

Tracy of Sugar Crafter

Jen of My Kitchen Addiction

Nikki of Crazy Delicious Food

Ashley of Smashed Potatoe

Kimberly of Only Creative Opportunities

Susan (fearless leader) She's Becoming DoughMessTic

Thursday, July 2, 2009

PPPR: Day 2

This is quite troubling... I went grocery shopping and spent more than 1/2 of the budget! In my defense Trader Joe's was crazy packed and I just wanted to get the hell out of there! So I just bought what I needed without much forethought. Hopefully I can still make it because I don't know how we could have got through without the things I did buy, nothing frivolous went into the basket. OK well I did buy Tea Tree Tingle body wash but that doesn't count as food. If you have a TJs near you, you have to try this stuff it's the only body wash I've ever bought that I've used the entire bottle every time. Every other BW gets tossed out before its used after sitting around neglected in the shower for a few months.

Nothing exciting today for tonight's dinner because the hubs stood me up to go to dinner with his boss. I guess he really does think I'm going to starve him since he's now looking for food elsewhere. Cripes it's only the second day! Oh hell I hope his boss pays or there goes the budget!

Ahhh! Sweet Vacation!

I decided a few days go to take off two extra days for the three day weekend at work because that place has me seriously burnt out, 5 days might not even make a dent in the stress.

My plans? To sleep-in and do absolutely nothing and/or stuff around the house if the mood should strike.

What I want to know is... why on your days off do you wake up at the butt crack of dawn wide awake. But if its a work day you snooze it until your practically late for work?

I'm sure there are lots of you on vacation this week... I pass a round of margaritas and wish you all a great vacation!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

PPPR: Day 1

So as you may well know, I've joined up with some other bloggers in a quest for frugality. Spurred on by Susan @ She's Becoming DoughMessTic, the challenge is to spend only a set amount on food for our families, utilizing what we have currently in our pantry/fridge/freezer. I picked the amount of $150 for 4 weeks and you can see my starting ingredients here. This will now be known as the Penny Pinching Pantry Raid or PPPR for short mostly cuz it's funny :P
Oh and I have to tell you my honey said "You want me to STARVE!" when I told him the Penny Pinching news.... hilarious.

On my drive home I began scheming... ala Chopped. A few ingredients, what should I make? How ever much I hate Tim Allen's fake game show host voice (which sucks cuz I really like him!) I love that show mostly because I spend my time yelling at the tv the whole time "Why didn't they do this or that.... idiots!"

The players~ canned chicken, peas, 1 hash browns (stay with me) curry powder, egg, flour & cornmeal. Put them all together and you get... Indian Chicken Nuggets!

These were pretty darn good! I also mixed up a little Lingonberry jam, curry powder and sweet chili sauce to make sort of a chutney. Served it with steamed rice and a bit of naan.

For desert I made a little banana fritter with flour, oats, egg, milk, baking powder, salt & chopped super ripe banana. These are really tasty, they will be good for breakfast tomorrow too toasted maybe... yummy...I better go hide some away!