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Sunday Summary

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Monday:  Thankfully, I had today off.  I decided to take a trip to IKEA.  Am I the only one who finds that place overwhelming?  I was looking for some rectangular planters and they didn’t have them.  Of course that didn’t stop me from picking up a few bargains.  And when I say bargains you should know that I bought five items and my total bill was $8.91.


I also made some Peach Iced Tea.  In case you’re wondering, the peach has currently replaced cherries in my house.  I got the recipe from Kelly Alexander’s book, Peaches.  Honestly, the tea flavor wasn’t very strong and neither was the peach flavor.

Tuesday:  I was home from work by 1:00 today.  I didn’t really accomplish too much, unless you count this ice cream.


Peach Cobbler Ice Cream from Cooking Light:  Cool Whip, sweetened condensed milk, and peach schnapps?  Count me in.  Don’t forget the Bourbon-Caramel Sauce.

Wednesday:  I had to do some top-secret transcription this morning and then I was lucky enough to drive home in the pouring rain.  I did manage to snag this awesome tray at Williams-Sonoma, though.   On sale and another 20% off.


And I made these Butter-Roasted Carrots from Cooking Light’s Pick Fresh Cookbook.


Just roast in the oven for 15 minutes at 425.

Thursday:  Happy Independence Day!  Jake wanted me to make sure to pass along that the 4th of July is just the date.  And he recommends that you read the Declaration of Independence.

I recommend that you make your own Barbecue Potato Chips.


I followed the recipe in Edible DIY by Lucy Baker.  I’ve made baked chips before and been unimpressed.   These were deep-fried, amazing, and worth every minute of prep, but it’s something I won’t repeat on a regular basis; frying in batches is time-consuming.  Still, two potatoes made a lot.  And I had some of the barbecue mixture leftover, so I coated a strip steak with it for Jake’s dinner.  I think the little bit of brown sugar in it made a nice caramelization resulting in a crust that Jake was over the moon about.

Friday:  Look what came today.


That’s right.  I got a dehydrator with the Amazon card I won from Pioneer Woman.  Thanks again, PW.  I haven’t used it yet.  Honestly, I’m a little intimidated.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Cooking Light’s Crave! is quickly becoming a Friday night fave.  Hmm, I feel like I’ve made this rhyme before.

Anyway, Apricot and Prosciutto Thin-Crust Pizza was a hit with my non-fruit-loving husband.  I suppose the prosciutto had a little something to do with it.


Saturday:  Jake and I were going to go to the movies today.  He was unmotivated by my choice of the Lone Ranger and I was unmotivated by the extremely rainy weather.   We went to Costco instead.  I can’t help but think that the movie would have been cheaper.

Here’s the Drink of the Week:


Cherry Pucker:  2 ounces cherry brandy, 1 ounce vodka, 1 ounce amaretto, and 2 ounces of cranberry juice.  I’m so happy I found something tasty to use up those little jars of cherry brandy leftover from my Brandied Cherries.

Sunday:  I made whoopie pies today.  What’s the occasion you ask.  Well, me, of course.  I love to celebrate me.  Today is my three-year anniversary at my job and I’m going to take treats to the office tomorrow.  I made the Classic Chocolate Whoopie and the Coconut Cream filling from Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell.


They’re not so pretty once they’re wrapped up, but it is necessary to keep the obscene amount of filling that I put in there from oozing out.

Eat Well and Savor.




Watermelon Margarita

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I told you Brian Boitano would be back around these parts soon.


No secret ingredients here.  Puree and sieve four cups of watermelon mixed with 2 tablespoons of sugar.   Add it to a pitcher and mix with the juice of two limes, 8 ounces of tequila, and 4 ounces of triple sec.  Done and done.


Don’t forget to dip the rim into a mix of  salt and chili powder.   Three tablespoons of salt and one teaspoon of chili powder and you’ll have plenty left.  As much as I’m not a fan of spice, this was the perfect touch.

Of course I really didn’t have to tell you any of that, because here’s the recipe.

What I should tell you is that I’ve been keeping a secret.  Hard to believe, I know.  It’s not that juicy, but here it is:  we’ve been having a drink of the week around here for a few months now.  It’s become a big deal and one of us (that would be my husband, in case there’s any doubt) has been known to prance around the house singing “drink of the week” to the tune of that song about the 1st of the month.  Maybe prance is a harsh word.  Clearly I’m not hip to the music scene since I don’t know the name of that song or who sings it.

btw – I should tell you that four cups of watermelon is about half of your average-sized seedless, and confess that I promptly ate the other half during prep.


Eat Well and Savor.

Double-O-Cinnamon Swappuccino

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Who needs Starbucks when you can make this for 76 calories at home?


I do.  That’s who.

This starts out as a great idea from Hungry Girl to the Max.


Powdered vanilla creamer, instant coffee, and two Splenda.


Add a little hot water and stir.  Then just blend with soymilk and ice and a touch of cinnamon.

I know.  It all sounds good, in theory.  In fact, it smelled amazing too.  Coffee and cinnamon, what’s not to like?

I guess I’m just not into the idea of a Frappuccino; my husband orders them all the time.   And although they have great sounding names, like Java Chip — his favorite — inevitably they are way too sweet for me.

I usually order a grande iced coffee, black/unsweetened.  I like to tell the barista that I’m sweet enough already.  But the truth is that I’m just too controlling and I like to add my one Splenda and just the right amount of milk.  I’m looking for coffee with cream, not coffee-flavored milk, if you know what I mean.

Anyway,  this was good, but next time I will use one Splenda instead of two.

Eat Well and Savor.


The Perfect Cup of Hot Chocolate

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Doesn’t come from a package; it’s compliments of Joy the Baker.


I made this for dessert on March 31st and then I sang a little song to Jack Frost and begged him to get the hell out of town.  I think it worked, because today it was 85 degrees out today and I’ve had the top off the Jeep all week.

Yet another recipe that fits into my mantra of this was so easy.  Melt some white and semisweet chocolate chips.


I used the double-boiler method, but I’m sure the microwave would serve the same purpose.  Then add them to some warm milk and top it off with some espresso powder and a pinch of salt.


Marshmallows are optional, but totally recommended.

Seriously, People, if you’ve never had homemade hot chocolate you should try it at least once in your life.  Sometimes the effort can make something more worthwhile.

Eat Well and Savor.

Pina Colada

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Because nothing says Happy St. Patrick’s Day like an island drink.


This version came from Classic 1000 Cocktails by Robert Cross.   Frankly, the measurements were a little too much math for me.  2 2/3 msr of pineapple juice?  2 msr is 1.8 ounces.  Have I said enough?


Hey now.  It’s a little more festive.  The second batch I actually put in the blender with some ice and followed the recipe on the back of the cream of coconut bottle.

2 ounces cream of coconut

2 ounces pineapple juice

1 1/4 ounce rum

1 cup crushed ice.

But if you really mean business you can multiply that all by four and throw it in the blender.  Don’t forget the green food coloring.

Eat Well and Savor.

I’m Cooking for Two

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Calm down.  I said I’m cooking for two, not eating for two.  My husband has finally returned from his deployment.  Insert applause for our military here.  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  How could she possibly cook anymore than she already does?  Well, the answer is it probably won’t be more, just different and most likely not as healthy.  

We’re going to start off simple enough with some tea for two.   If you haven’t read Lunch in Paris, A Love Story with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard, then you need to run out and get it.  I literally read this book in 24 hours.  I started it during my pedicure one afternoon and finished it on the plane to Vegas the next.  And now I’m going to read it again and make the recipes too. 

The first one is for Fresh Mint Tea.  Just to entice you to read the book, this section is called Recipes for Seduction. 

This time last week I would have said what the heck is that floating in my teacup.  In fact, this week, even though I know they are pine nuts, I’m still not sure why they’re there.  Maybe it’s a French thing I’m unaware of. 

Gunpowder green tea, fresh mint, and a couple of sugar cubes.

A couple drops of orange flower water and it’s a soothing way to start your day. 

Eat Well and Savor.