My warm-up drawing for the day turned into a cookbook cover. I consider it a rough, mock-up. I could tweak, change and alter this thing forever, if I let myself.
…And now I think I need my own cookie fix… : )
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My warm-up drawing for the day turned into a cookbook cover. I consider it a rough, mock-up. I could tweak, change and alter this thing forever, if I let myself.
…And now I think I need my own cookie fix… : )
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SAD is in full-swing this month. That’s my MNINB group’s May challenge: Submit a piece A Day. So far I’m batting a thousand.
I’d just finished sending off a piece of Flash Fiction to Ether Books this morning when I became time conscious. What’s that? It means I got a closer look at the time and realized I still had zucchini bread to make before going into anything further.
You knew about the cookbook I’m writing, didn’t you? I’m just now getting around to putting together the recipes I’m responsible for in the book. We need to have all of the modified and personally designed recipes finished in a couple of weeks so that I can get them plugged into the manuscript. Anyone who thinks writing a cookbook is easy should watch Julie and Julia. It has nightmare potential.
I’m fortunate. I only have responsibility for a few of the recipes, aside from doing the editing. My two partners have borne the brunt of the cooking endeavors, and one of those—sister of mine—is doing all the photos. Can’t beat that with a stick, to quote grandpa.
I was using a newly developed recipe for my Zucchini-Oatmeal Nut Bread and it turned out beautifully. The whole-ground wheat flour kept it a deep golden brown as it rose in the oven. The apple sauce replacing the oil in our healthy version sent its aroma wafting across the kitchen seeking nostrils for appreciation. That nuttiness of crushed walnuts lent its own aspect to the bread’s prospective deliciousness.
Back to the point: the bread was doing its thing in the oven along with a tray of tiny Bundt pans of bread batter. While they baked, I rode the recumbent bike, listened to the radio playing in the background, and thought about those items still on my editorial calendar for the day.
Karaoke thoughts entered the picture when the radio came on. We don’t have such a machine. We do it the old-fashioned way, personal memory and raw voice. We choose not to use a microphone. No one in his right mind would want to hear us sing anyway.
Which brings me back to the bike. I try to do three plus miles a day on the bike. When I’m pedaling, I use the time to plan out stories, read writer’s magazines, or plot schedules. Getting organized will bring about such aberrations of thought.
And what I was considering today was how much like cooking writing really is. A recipe is nothing more than a plot, with a beginning, middle, and ending.
The ingredients list represents all of those necessary characters, each with dimensional measurements and traits. The setting and plot twists appear in the directions for combining all of those ingredients. Bowls are involved. Mixers take precedence over the future of the ingredients, all the while a specific order of action must be followed, so that the plot is satisfied, and tAdd a Comment
This Sunday's Washington Post Magazine had a fantastic feature article about one of the best things we discovered when we moved to the DC area: Berger cookies.
On the bottom they are like black-and-whites--a mild cakey vanilla round--but on top they are piled with luscious, decadent fudgy frosting. They define the phrase "sink your teeth into it".
While they are a Baltimore phenom, it's still a hit-or-miss proposition to find them where we live, next to DC and a half hour from Baltimore. So when the article said there was a decent copycat recipe on the King Arthur Flour website, I decided to give it a shot.
They came out great (photo at right). I daresay the cake bottom was even a little tastier, though the real Berger frosting is still the winner. The recipe wasn't very hard or time-consuming, despite the process of frosting the cookies after they cooled. I used recipe #2, with 50/50 mix of bittersweet and semisweet chocolate chips.
Guess what this family will be having for snacks, coffee breaks and breakfast this week? :)Add a Comment
I mix, blend,
whip, stir, knead…
at your command.
Three layers stick
whenever we pick.
Violets on the Windowsill
purple for our blooms.
You make the air go blue
because of what the pans decided to do.
Write a bit.
the humor in all of it.
start again. Don’t quit.
© Mary Lee Hahn, 2012
Poem #8, National Poetry Month 2012
Cathy, at Merely Day By Day, is joining me in a poem a day this month. Other daily poem writers include Amy at The Poem Farm, Linda at TeacherDance, Donna at Mainely Write, Laura at Writing the World for Kids (daily haiku), Liz at Liz in Ink (daily haiku), Sara at Read Write Believe (daily haiku)...and YOU?
This year, for the first time, Little Dude asked me to MAKE the cake for his birthday party.
For a moment I sat, stunned. "You don't want me to get it from the bakery?"
"No, I want you to make me chocolate chip-cookie dough cupcakes. Because I love your baking the best." He flashed me a smile and dashed off to play Ninjago or Pokemon or some other game that involves teenish boy-men smacking each other with magical creatures or swords.
Because he loves my baking the best.
I was sunk.
Happily, I found that chocolate-chip-cookie-dough cupcakes are quite The Thing on the internet. I made my own with this mix of methods, with my very own mixed but tasty results:
1. I made the this "cookie dough stuffing" recipe for the middle and froze it overnight, which all the recipes seem to agree is critical. I went with an eggless recipe because I really didn't want all of Little Dude's friends to get food poisoning along with their rock-and-roll goody bags at the party.
2. I mixed up a boxed yellow cake mix and filled the cupcake tins. Then I plopped a dough ball in each. No need to cover it or otherwise mess with it. The cake will take care of it.
Now here's the first thing I wish I had done differently. I didn't have any boy-birthday-appropriate cupcake wrappers/papers: I only had Christmas ones. So I merrily sprayed the heck out of the pans and trusted that would work.
Wrong. I spent a lot of time and anxious energy trying to coax those cupcakes out of the pans. Thankfully, first graders don't really evaluate whether a cupcake is PERFECT before shoving it in their mouths. Husbands are a different story. They point out the raggedy sides. And then they shove the cupcake in their mouths.
And then I boot them out of the kitchen.
3. After the cupcakes cooled, I frosted them with icing that tastes like cookie dough--for real. This stuff tastes AMAZING.
But here was my second mistake: the recipe says to dump all of the confectioners sugar in at once, then blend. DO NOT MAKE THIS MISTAKE. The sugar went everywhere. Happily for me, my sweet and helpful mother was visiting. As she wiped away probably a half pound of sugar, she simply smiled and said, "you have never done anything halfway, my dear". Look, at left. She really did smile.
Blend the sugar in gradually. Little bits at a time. Or you'll wish you had listened to me.
So how were the cupcakes? Raggedy. Rich. Delicious. I would definitely make these again, so long as I had suitable cupcake wrappers. In fact I have some extra dough balls stashed in the freezer, just waiting for another opportunity to whip these up.
Little Dude's review: "They were really good, Mom. But I didn't like the frosting."
Me: "Oh. OK. Well, I won't freeze the leftovers to put in your school lunches, then."
Little Dude, panicked: "Wait, no, you can freeze them. I'd eat them for LUNCH." (As opposed to breakfast, I guess... not that we EVER have cake for breakfast in this house...)
So, you might want to consider vanilla frosting if you're making these for kids. But for grown-ups? Go whole-hog and do the dough frosting!Add a Comment
I love making a storytime theme out of things that I personally enjoy – it keeps things fresh after your 100th storytime, not to mention I think that your enthusiasm really shines through for a topic in which you’re personally invested. So, if you’re like me, you can try a cookie-themed storytime:
“Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar?”
COOKIES: BITE-SIZE LIFE LESSONS by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Jane Dyer
IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond
Food version – Use already-baked cookies and let kids decorate with sprinkles, frosting, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, raisins, and anything else delicious you can think of.
Non-food Version – Cut out circles of paper and let kids decorate their “cookies” with confetti, strips of paper, glitter (if your library allows it), stickers.Add a Comment
What interested you in doing artwork for TheyDrawAndCook? Do you cook as well as you draw?
Well when I first discovered theydrawandcook I thought the idea of an illustrated cookbook was very cute and unique. It was a great way to get my work looked at and see other illustrators that really inspired me. (The recipes were also very cute and I did try some!)
Im not the greatest cook but I am a very good baker. My last two years of Pratt I used baking as a stress relief from art. I didn’t realize how much I really enjoyed it until recently. I suppose art and baking have always been a large part of my life. When I was growing up my mom taught me how to bake and every night she would read a Golden book to my sister and I. What I would really like is to figure out a way to combine them. I am currently looking into Johnson & Wales cooking school to take a baking class for next January. (Earlier if I can!) I would love to build sets out of baked goods for my children’s books. I’m still working out the kinks but eventually I will find a way to make things work.
What do you use to work with? What tools/materials can you not live without?
Now this is a question I have been trying to figure out for a while now. In the past year I have tried watercolor, collage, acrylic, gouache, ink, etc. Watercolor is my favorite but recently I have been very successful with collage. Two years ago my professor (Rudy Gutierrez) assigned a project that frustrated me to no end. Somehow I ended up with a beautiful mixed media collage of a wolf. I have never been a fan of collage so I stopped only to recently make a few new ones. Katelan Foisey and David Hollenbach have been great inspirations for me in the last few weeks. They do amazing collages that are unlike anything I have ever seen. I don’t feel like I have found what makes me, me yet but I am on my way.
No matter what paper or medium I work with I always feel the need to incorporate watercolor somehow. (It’s not a Heather painting unless there’s transparency!)
What’s your ideal studio environment?
At first I thought it would be at my desk with a pair of headphones and an ipod but now I would say I prefer to be near other people. There is nothing better then working at a table with a group of your friends. Listening to everyone’s stories and corny jokes somehow makes me much more productive.
What kind of volunteer work do you do? How does it inspire you creatively?
During my sophomore year at 1 Comments on New Artist Showcase: Heather Sisson, last added: 11/9/2010
On Monday night, I came across a recipe for bran muffins that I had been staring at for the past few years. As I sat there, blinking at the sample picture of these gorgeous, plump muffins, I wondered, “Why didn’t I ever make these?” Perhaps it’s because my mother has an aversion to muffins (she thinks they’re the butch version of cupcakes) or because my brothers tend to dislike anything with the word “bran” in them, I’ve successfully avoided them for the past couple of years. I had never tasted a bran muffin before in my life.
So I decided to bake them. I ran out, purchased this toaster oven bake set that fit perfectly into my new Breville oven and returned home, excited to flour up the kitchen island. I substituted several ingredients in the recipe. In lieu of vegetable oil, I used applesauce (which was undetectable in the finished product); swapped buttermilk for almond milk plus 1 T of lemon; and used 1/3 c of raw sugar and 1/3 c of stevia in place of the 2/3 c of brown sugar.
Even without the oil and buttermilk, the muffins were moist, delicious and nutty. The cranberries added a nice tangy splash to the subtly sweet, woodsy texture and the muffins formed perfectly in the toaster oven. When the muffins were cooled, I cut one into fourths, and fed a piece to my brother.
“It’s oil free,” I explained. He opened his mouth hesitantly, with an “I’m-preparing-for-the-worst” look on his face. However, he soon brightened up and exclaimed in surprise, “It’s good!”
He ate a whole one later that night.
Smeared with nut butter or just plain butter, these muffins make a healthful breakfast-on-the-go or dessert.
Healthful Bran Muffins
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My father gave me my mother's recipe book when she passed away. It wasn't her only recipe book—not by a long shot—but it was the three-ring vinyl notebook she'd assembled: cut-outs from magazines, handwritten instructions to self, note cards with which she helped my brother memorize multiplication tables in between the stirring and testing and waiting. Water has since washed away much of the ink, as have oil splots and tracks of dark chocolate, and so it's only by experimenting that I can estimate measurements or temperatures; nothing ever turns out quite the same. But when something emerges reminiscent of her, I christen it My Mother's xxxx. Making these My Mother's Brownies, as finally perfected a few days ago.Display Comments Add a Comment
So I've been fairly good so far in my quest to not be a consumerist pig and buy needless clothing and stuff to fill my closets. Good by my standards at least. I did in fact return the infamous trench coat after being completely wracked with guilt for not lasting 24 hours.
It's been about 6 weeks now, and I *have* purchased a few not completely necessary items: a lemon zester, a digital food scale, 4 books, a tube of cherry blossom lotion, 4 pieces of printed paper from the Paper Zone, a not-exactly-dirt-cheap-but-less-than-$8-so-it-was-really-really-really-hard-to-turn-it-down hat from BR (more on *why* I allowed myself *inside* of a clothing store in the first place later), and some fabric for projects. I know, for some of you, that's more than what you buy in a year, but for a girl who could go shopping once a week, it's not bad.
Just checking in to say that Seattle broke all kinds of records this week with our heat wave. Can I just say, long freaking week. Triple digits and buildings closing and buses stop running because of the excess heat. We're not equipped for all this extreme weather we've been having. Week long snow in the winter, triple digits in the summer. It's like we're suddenly east coast.
I think I got a total of maybe 10 hours the entire week. What with sweating all over, frozen peas on my toes to keep me from going feverish, my windows wide open to all the neighborhood noise, including screeching cats and raccoons, it's been highly uncomfortable. This evening finally got down to a reasonable temp with a slight breeze going through the apartment, which was enough to finally turn on the oven.
What? Yeah I know, I baked, literally. But I had all these blueberries that just didn't want to go in the freezer, or do plain old smoothies, they wanted to be exotic, they wanted to do something fun, like be French and go into a clafoutis. So that's where they went, and they are deeeeeeeeeeelish! Way to end a scorching week.
See, I don't even sound like myself anymore, it's the heat talking. Looking forward to cooler weather in the 80s (yeeeesh, I know, it sucks, what happened to our mild summers?) this weekend and into next week. I hate to say it, but can it be fall yet already? I'm done with summer. (side note: saw the movie (500) Days of Summer the other day to escape the heat...cute movie!)
It’s possible that you’re sitting there looking through your galley proofs, going over all the last-minute edits your editor, the copy editor, and copy chief are suggesting, and it makes you just a tad nervous because what if any of you missed something, and what if those suggestions they made that you don’t really agree [...]Display Comments Add a Comment
While editing my last comment on the previous post for too many italics (I forgot to turn them off), I discovered Elizabeth's comment yesterday in last month's Solstice post, asking for the Happy Winter Fudge Cake recipe mentioned. I'm happy to oblige, especially because it includes a bit of poetry. (PS If you you ever have a question, please just email me offblog at the address to the leftAdd a Comment
Good Afternoon All:
Time has flown today as it's after 3 o'clock in the afternoon. It's been one of those calm and glorious days when nothing too exciting happens. My house is quiet right now, except for the chop chop chopping of my daughter Ava preparing vegetables for the grill basket. Gary and my oldest son, Garrison, are out practicing driving for his behind the wheel test tomorrow. My other son, Brayden is lurking about somewhere. Most likely, he is sitting on the living room couch engrossed in "The Lord Of The Rings", as he has been each day this week.
We're having a bar-b-que this evening and have no plans to do anything more than that!
The most uneventful days can often be where I find myself most at peace. The quietness allows me to hear the sounds that sometimes get lost in busy-ness. It may be my kids footsteps plodding down the hall or the cat using his scratching post to it's full potential. It doesn't matter so much what I hear, but the simple fact that I hear what sometimes goes unnoticed and unheard. At this very moment, my house is echoing with the sound of hungry goldfinches flocking about the back yard feeders. Sitting next to me is my Praying Mantis habitat with hundreds of freshly hatched and voraciously hungry insects. I can hear them jumping and tapping all about inside their netted home.
Somewhere in a distant room is a television tuned to The Food Network. Likely, my daughter is watching TV while she's preparing for the bar-b-que.
The comforts of home rely so much on all of my senses. Hearing my home is something that I have learned to appreciate. Being aware of the sounds is just as heart-warming as the sights and smells. Although I must admit, the smells that gently tickle your nose when Ava is making a special desert can often place your focus on the smells of home.
Several night ago, Ava made her first attempt at baking with yeast. She made homemade Cinnamon Rolls. They were heavenly. They rose perfectly and had a wonderfully subtle glaze on top.
So, home can be the ultimate comfort, touching all of your senses, sometimes all at once. Whether it's the tapping of Mantis, or the sweet smell of homemade Cinnamon Rolls, the simple gifts that home offers can be the best and most worthy gifts in a lifetime.
Garden Painter Art
My mother did not bake ordinary pies. Creating a pie was a day’s event, begun with two knives cutting butter and shortening into flour until it resembled sand, a forgotten summer sight until its culinary resurrection. She floated from cupboard to bowl, bowl to oven with a grace befitting a ballerina. She sliced. She whipped. She dolloped. She made the house smell better than Willy Wonka’s factory.
And so, when I was nine years old, I thought my mother finally deserved public acknowledgement of her pie prowess. When I saw a poster announcing our library’s fall pie contest, I entered her name. When I returned home and told her, she was more excited than I was.
Which pie shall it be? The apple-cranberry? No, too predictable. The three-berry pie? No, out of season. Ahh, I know. The chocolate-amaretto chiffon pie.
Children aren’t supposed to have a taste for amaretto. I was the exception. The almond-flavored liquor enhanced the chocolate flavor so well, I thought I might faint. Her creation began with homemade chocolate pudding, then a tall dome of whipped cream, onto which she drizzled an amaretto-chocolate reduction. Slivered almonds and chocolate shavings dusted the top with such even precision, you might think she arranged each piece with tweezers. I do not know how we transported the pie unscathed, but we arrived and unveiled the masterpiece to such gasps of amazement, the librarians had to shush us.
The event boasted eight pies, but zero competition. An apple pie with a rustic crust appeared soggy and deflated. Mom’s hand-fluted crust would have made Martha envious. My teeth stuck together just looking at the shoo-fly pie. The chocolate-amaretto pie melted on the tongue.
A librarian instructed three judges to score the pies on a scale of 1 to 3 according to three criteria: appearance, taste and originality. Yes, yes and yes. She would win all three. I would be so proud. She would remember that it was I, her eldest daughter, who launched her pie celebrity.
The first sign that this would be a real contest was when one judge glanced at another’s appearance score for Mom’s pie. “Wow, you’re a tough cookie!” she said. Translation: Mom probably received a 1 from the Russian Judge instead of a well-deserved 3.
Tasting came next. The judges took one bite of each pie. There was tongue swishing, water gulping, and lip pursing. A gentle scribble, scribble on their note cards.
Finally, originality. With pumpkin, pecan, and plain ol’ lemon meringue, Mom’s fusion of almond and chocolate would take that category for certain.
Our entire family waited nervously for the awards to be announced.
“Third place: the shoo-fly pie!” A tiny, elderly woman shuffled to the front of the room and accepted a ribbon and a cookbook. She posed for the town photographer.
If Mom did not take second, then I knew first prize would be hers.
“Second place: the pumpkin pie!” A young mother smiled as she received a ceramic pie plate.
Hooray! Victory! A pie for the record books! A pie to launch a career! My mother, the world’s best baker! (Or, at least the best baker in this town of 20,000!)
“And the winner is…and we have to say, this was a unanimous decision…the apple pie!”
What? That sorry-looking blob? It’s just APPLE! Anyone can make an apple pie! It takes a creative genius to pair chocolate with amaretto (especially in 1979)!
The worst part of the defeat was that the woman who won was not even present. Yep, it was a drop-off pie.
Once the prizes were announced, the pies were cut and plates distributed. And which pie do you think disappeared first? Mom’s chocolate-amaretto chiffon. Our family snubbed the other pies and dug into our favorite.
In the end, I learned that public accolades aren’t important. After all, there’s really no accounting for taste.
Thank you Nicky from Nicky Bee Shop on etsy for featuring my Gingerbread Surprise card in this delicious Treasury!
(I'm down there in the middle of the bottom row.)
I painted that piece for my Christmas card a few years back. Its one of the few pieces I have that's all done in watercolors. I love painting that way, and don't know why I don't do more of it! Colored pencils have kind of taken over lately, but I think I'll go back to doing more painting this coming year. Yes, I definitely will.
Nicky has some really cool things in her shop. I love this cookie tin full of Christmas cookie ornaments!
People on etsy are so clever. I'm always amazed at people's ideas and creativity and productiveness (is that a word?).
I'm great at thinking up cool ideas, then tend to poop out before they actually get made. You could (and I have) spent hours looking at all the wonderfully crafty things on etsy. Very inspiring!
I'm baking today, finally.
Two pans of shortbread are in the oven as we speak. Peanut butter cookie dough is chilling and will get baked next. After that its my famous chocolate cookies which are actually Martha's recipe, but don't tell anyone. As for gingerbread, well, we'll see.
The house is smelling really good and the kitchen floor has a good dusting of flour and sugar on it, perfect for sand dancing (you know, the old soft shoe).
So, if I had to give last week a title, it would've been A Series of Unfortunate Events. It started with the whole running out of home heating oil and Monday, continued with my car breaking down only minutes before we were supposed to meet with a potential wedding caterer on Wednesday, and culminated in Joe's car breaking down the very next day - with a whole lot of messy family drama and minor-league trauma in between (nothing I want to go into - but suffice it to say, it was a VERY bad, bad week).
Here's an example: Thursday night, Joe and I baked our traditional Valentine's Day red velvet cupcakes with white chocolate cream cheese frosting. The cupcake part was fine - they came out REALLY red and tasted divine. But when we went to do the frosting, we realized we'd left the cream cheese out too long and it somehow got rancid in our 67 degree house. We were also planning on using leftover white chocolate chips, instead of buying bars, for the frosting, but chips have a stabilizer in them that don't let them melt the way bars or chunks do. So we wasted 3 cups of powdered sugar trying to turn rancid cream cheese and unmelty chips into frosting. Which meant that Joe had to run out to the grocery store after midnight to buy replacement cream cheese, chocolate bars, and powdered sugar. This after two earlier stops at the store for ingredients we neglected to stock ahead of time.
(The sweat equity was worth it, though. The cupcakes are always a huge hit, and this year when I was frosting them I had the brilliant idea of skipping swirls and instead piping a white chocolate heart on top. It was beyond precious.)
So then Saturday was Valentine's Day, and the icky turned into de lovely. We started the morning by topping some Trader Joe's whole grain french toast with bruleed bananas, then groomed the dog and took him over to PetCo (where the pets go) for a $6 family portrait. After that, Joe and I got haircuts (one of those quick, cheapy places over by Shoprite) and then hit up GameStop, where Joe proceeded to convince me that we needed several games for the Wii. This after $1,100 in home heating oil and car repairs. I relented, though, because he got a nice little bonus at work and the week before was putting in 14-hour days trying to make headway on some projects. One of the things he picked up was actually my Valentine's Day gift - My Fitness Coach for the Wii. I'd had the Xbox version when I was staying with my parents, saving up for the house, and really loved it. We also put a $5 pre-order depost on EA Sports Active, which looks so freaking cool that I can hardly stand it.
Afterward, we grabbed our Scrabble board and headed to Panera, where we snagged - and I still can't believe our luck - the two leather club chairs in front of the fireplace. We spent the next two hours playing Scrabble in front of the fire, sipping hot Chai and soliciting tons of "awws" from people who walked by or sat near us. It was so cozy, and so romantic, and so very us.
Back at home, we started to prep the very elaborate Valentine's Day feast we'd planned. The first course was to be Ina Garten's shrimp bisque. The recipe calls for seafood stock, but since I couldn't find that, I went with Better Than Bullion's Lobster Base. Oh. My. GOD. It was a disaster. The bullion was super salty, and I made the rookie mistake of NOT TASTING IT before adding the two teaspoons of salt the recipe called for. (In my head, I could hear Tom Collichio chastizing me for not tasting my food.) We tried everything we could to rescue the bisque - adding more tomato paste, adding more cayenne, adding more roux-thickened half and half ... finally we realized we were going to have to pick up more shrimp and add more leeks to make it palatable, and put the soup away for the next day. Then Joe started having stomach cramps, so we decided to postpone the entire romantical feast for Sunday.
The next day, I made us blueberry-and-Greek-yogurt smoothies before we hit the gym. Then it was off to Shoprite to pick up more shrimp. We came home to an odd-looking poop from the dog. There was a thing sticking out of it that resembled a giant earthworm. We scooped the sample and put it in a bag, put the bag in a Tupperware container, and put the container in another bag before popping it into the fridge. Then we spent the next hour Googling intestinal parasites to see if we could identify what it was that came out Skitty's body. Joe was so creeped out he didn't even want the dog kissing him. It was ... yeah, not good.
After we recovered from the "ew" factor, we headed into the kitchen. We sauteed an extra leek and the new pound of shrimp before pureeing it and adding it to the super-salty bisque. It tamed the flavor some, but not enough so that I could enjoy it. I had a very small portion before deciding my tummy still couldn't handle it. Such a disappointment! Expensive ingredients + lots of labor should = yumminess, right? I was afeared that our Weekend of Loveliness was morphing into A Series of Unfortunate Events, Take II.
But then Joe saved the day by making Alton Brown's chocolate mousse - my absolute favorite dessert - and it was AMAZERFUL.
Soup + mousse = full tummies, so we postponed the Valentine's Day Feast yet again. Which meant that Monday morning's breakfast consisted of a petite filet mignon (that we butchered ourselves, I might add), accompanied by sauteed mushrooms and topped with a homemade blue cheese chive sauce and a fried egg. I could only get through half of my filet, but even so, it was ... decadent.
A quick trip to the vet revealed that Scouty's foreign object was not, in fact, a giant mutant Earthworm, but something resembling waxed paper. Suddenly it dawned on us that while we were out on Saturday, a spurned Scout most likely raided a trash can, fished out a cupcake wrapper, and promptly swallowed it. Even though I was annoyed at the dog for trash munching, just knowing that he was okay and not infested with mutant worms brought such a sense of relief. The rest of the day was spent catching up on work and chores, and after I taught my final creative writing class of this session at the Y, I came home to help Joe finish off this totally scrumptious Curry Cauliflower Soup and a batch of Lavendar Blueberry Muffins for breakfast the next day. The latter recipe came from Recipes for Life After Weight-Loss Surgery, which my mom got me for Christmas, and they, too, were super yummy. You make them with oat flour, yogurt, and unsweetened applesauce, so not only do they taste awesome, but they're also really good for you. We used plain Greek yogurt instead of the traditional kind, so the muffins pack even more protein.
After we cleaned up the kitchen for the upteenth time, we took the dog out and ruminated on how much we'd actually cooked in the past five days. Out of everything, we only had one unmitigated disaster (the first batch of cupcake frosting) and one minor one (the too-salty shrimp bisque). Which isn't bad, considering everything that came out perfectly, including our home-butchered filet.
And now I just realized that I've written a novel here, AND that it's already 9:15 a.m., so I better wrap up.
Hope everyone had a loverly long weekend and a happy kicky sticky sweet V-Day!
Stuart is baking his first-ever pie. It is in the oven. We are watching it.
Edit: Pie Success!!