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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Cornmeal Pancakes with Beer-Braised Short Ribs

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OMG, y’all.  This recipe makes me want to make short ribs every week.  I think the name should be reversed, though.  Those pancakes were the perfect companion, but definitely the sidekick, in my opinion.  Please don’t misunderstand.  I am not dissing the pancakes.  They are essential in the Breakfast for Dinner concept.

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It all started out in the usual way.  Just sear the ribs on all sides.

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Then soften a chopped onion and give it a bath in some Guinness with a little beef broth.  I like to think of this as beer soup.

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There’s a little bit of steam in the way, but you get the idea.  Three hours in a 300 degree oven and they will fall off the bone.  You’ll probably want to let them cool a little bit before you shred them, though.  Just sayin’.

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Just when you thought they couldn’t look anymore delish.

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The way we got to this part was pretty interesting.  Unfortunately I had already had a couple of cocktails by this point so there’s no photographic evidence.   The gist is that you put the liquid in an ice bath in order to cool it quickly and skim off the fat.  At the time I didn’t think it was doing much, but there was a lot of fat stuck to that bowl when I went back to clean it up.

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The pancakes themselves were pretty basic.  The recipe actually called for fresh corn, even for the south that’s tough to come by in February, so I used frozen instead.  No harm.

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A little chopped granny smith apple on top is the perfect touch.    I do have one criticism:  this only made four servings.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

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Chicken Marsala

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I honestly wasn’t too jazzed about this dish.

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But just look at how juicy it is.

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It all started very humbly.

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To think I used to not like mushrooms.  Maybe I’ve told the fascinating story of how when I was eight we went out for Chinese food and I ate soup with mushrooms.  Loved them ever since.  The End.

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So simple and so pretty.

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Are these the smallest chicken breasts ever?

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Just four ounces each.  Ellie Krieger suggests five ounces in Comfort Food Fix.  I usually pay the extra money for the Perdue chicken that’s packaged individually.  The other day Publix only had the version with Italian seasoning.  Seriously, people?  As a society we’ve become so pathetic that we can’t even pour salad dressing onto chicken anymore?  Here’s the ironic end to this little ditty:  these teeny chicken boobies — as my mother used to say — are the brand that Paula Deen is promoting.  For real.  Her picture is even on the bag.   I guess she’s taking her new image to heart.

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BTW – I learned a little something about Marsala wine.  Apparently you can keep it in the fridge for months.

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Yes, I do realize that a ditty is supposed to be sung.  For all you know I was singing as I was typing.  You should try it.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

Salted Peanut Butter Cake Balls

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I really wish someone would write a whole cookbook on things that you can do with salted peanut butter.

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They totally remind me of buckeyes!

I actually feel a little bit guilty about these.  My friend Avery gave me a cake ball baker two years ago for Christmas.  I generally don’t like to jump into the latest trend, but I do get a birthday cake pop at Starbucks every once in a while.   Needless to say, said baker is still in the box and sitting in the basement.

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Then I stumbled upon a little book simply called Cake Balls by Robin Ankeny and Charlotte Lyon.  It turns out you pretty much just bake a cake, crumble it, mix with some frosting, roll it into balls, and voila.  I realize I’m probably the last person on the planet to learn this.

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The point is that the cake ball maker is still collecting dust.   Please, don’t tell Avery.   She just had twin girls three weeks ago, so she won’t have time to read this blog for another 18 years.  Did I mention she already has a two-year-old daughter?

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Cake balls were really just an excuse to use these cutie little wrappers.

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The book describes cake balls as amazingly delicious bite-size treats.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  And here’s a secret:  I used a boxed mix and a can of frosting.  The book contains recipes from scratch, which I am usually a stickler for.  I figured if I was going to spend time scooping, rolling, and dipping, then I deserved a shortcut.

Eat Well and Savor.

Strawberry and Lemonade Whoopie Pies

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Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all!

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I am here to tell you that these are not whoopie pies,  Just because you put filling in between something that purports to be cake does not make them whoopie pies, even if there is marshmallow fluff in said filling.

Here’s where my trouble began.

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Who could go into a cooking store and not be tempted by this book?

I should have known that I was headed for trouble when the batter wasn’t even close to resembling the picture in the book.

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There’s actually pureed frozen strawberries and powdered drink mix in there, but I think some good old red food dye was in order.

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They look normal enough, don’t they?

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Do not be decieved.

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They totally stuck to the pan and they’re crunchy.  Do I really need to say whoopie pies are not supposed to be crispy?

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I finally resorted to just putting them on a cookie sheet.  After two batches I just couldn’t take it anymore and I made one big one.

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And then I turned it into a true Valentine dessert for Jake.

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I should also mention that I wasn’t impressed with the filling either.  It called for lemon oil — which I couldn’t find anywhere — lemon juice, and lemonade drink mix.  I actually thought the drink mix was an ingenious way to get a rainbow of flavors.  Frankly, I left out the oil and the juice because the kool-aid was pretty strong.

And don’t go feeling sorry for Jake because he’s getting kitchen rejects for Vday.  Check out what I found at Publix.

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I will admit that I am dying to try that coconut doughnut on the cover, so I haven’t given up completely on this book.  Usually when a recipe goes awry there’s a telltale sign that I ignore and that just wasn’t the case this time.  When it comes to the doughnuts I will tred lightly.

Eat Well and Savor.

Mom’s Turkey Meatloaf

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Sorry, but my mother never made turkey anything.  Well, except for Thanksgiving dinner and maybe a sandwich.  From the sounds of it in The Food You Crave Ellie Krieger’s mother didn’t either.  I guess this is just based on her mother’s flavors.  I think it does make for a nice picture.

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The one ingredient that might be difficult to discern is the oatmeal soaked in milk.  That’s just a sneaky way to add some fiber.

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Needless to say, I was a little less than thrilled with the onions on top.  Frankly, I didn’t love the onions inside, or the red pepper for that matter.  I’m sure I’m to blame for not chopping them small enough.

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It was extremely moist, though.  And the perfect comfort food for the rainy week we’ve been having.

Eat Well and Savor.

Happy Trail Mix Oatmeal

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How can you say no to oatmeal with chocolate and peanut butter?

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There’s some almonds and raisins in there too.

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This is from Hungry Girl to the Max and it comes in at 304 calories.  It’s actually made with old-fashioned oats and almond milk.  Well, it was supposed to be vanilla almond milk, but that’s not what I had in my cupboard.  BTW – one teaspoon of chips, whether they be chocolate or peanut butter, go a long way.  HG actually recommends mini chips and/or chopped, but I think they melt at just the right pace when they’re big.

I had this fabulous concoction for lunch today.  I’ve been trying to watch the calories, which translates into eating Fiber One every morning.  However, this morning I had to treat myself to a latte and some toast with Biscoff spread.  Um, yeah, I licked the plate.  That’s right, I have jumped on the Speculoos bandwagon.  I’m a little late to the party but I am still going to shout from the rooftops about my support for that yumminess.

In between my two breakfasts today I managed to watch three hours worth of documentary about the Queen.  Honestly, I could have watched for six.  Bring it on, PBS.

Speaking of documentaries, last night I watched Grey Gardens, the Barrymore/Lange movie, not the documentary by the same name.  It was fascinating and based on a true story.  I do find it a little surprising that no one named the mental disorder that these two Ediths obviously had.

Isn’t Edith/Edie the cutest name, though.  In high school it was the nickname of my very good friend Amy.  I think a teacher gave it to her because she laughed like Edith on All in the Family.  Hmm, it might have been our boss at the ice cream place where we worked.  Ice cream sounds good, doesn’t it?

Recently I read Jenny Lawson’s book.  I think some of her rambling may have rubbed off on me.  She is overwhelmingly hilarious.  Google her now.  Thanks to my friend Marnie for sending her my way.

Okay.  I’m done now.  Almost time for Downton Abbey.

Eat Well and Savor.

Fried Calamari

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Here’s yet another not-low-calorie recipe that was pre vacation and will not be repeated for a while . . . although I did recently purchase a new skimmer (which for some reason I thought was actually called a spider), so there may be some deep-frying again some day.

For now, we can just enjoy the beautiful pictures.

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Fried calamari is our go-to appetizer if it’s on the menu, no matter how it’s prepared.  Shockingly, this is the first time I have made it at home.   I have worked with squid one other time, but it wasn’t fried; however, both recipes were compliments of Giada and Everyday Italian.

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It’s hard to believe that these little critters fry up so nicely.

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After a little swim in some 350 degree oil they’re ready for my plate.

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Totally worth the effort.

In other news:  I had my hair colored today at Van Michael in Buckhead.  The lady that sat down after me drove all the way from Augusta for her appointment.  Uh, that’s about 2.5 hours.  I can’t really judge:  when I lived in PA I used to go six hours back to Columbus for my favorite salon.  Of course I used the excuse of visiting my family, but still.

Eat Well and Savor.