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Sunday Summary

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Monday:  I love a Monday with no job.  Unfortunately I could not get motivated to leave the house.  I guess we could consider that a good thing since I had time to make Challah bread.

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This was my first time making Challah.  I got the recipe from Williams-Sonoma’s Bread.  The shape didn’t turn out quite right, but the taste is spot on.

Tuesday:  The bumpies reared their ugly head on my Phoebe’s noggin this morning.  Soon we’ll be taking a trip to the doggie dermatologist.

My job went until 1:00 today and it was torture.  The witness pretty much had a clown car full of things he claims were stolen.  I guess it’s a good thing I’m not the claims adjuster.

I made this yummy Ham Salad with Artichoke Hearts.  I saw the recipe in the Whole Foods flyer, which I now realize is called The Whole Deal.  How cute is that?

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I needed something to go on my Challah bread.  And there are pickles in there too.

Wednesday:  I love an afternoon job.  There’s nothing like being able to sleep in without the alarm on a weekday.  Then I had plenty of time to make Coconut Patty Cake Pops.

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I guess technically they’re cake balls since I didn’t use a stick.  I’m sure Hungry Girl wouldn’t object.

Thursday:  Well, I had to get up early, but we were done by noon, so I guess I can’t complain . . . this time.

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I made Cast-Iron Burgers for dinner.  Who needs a grill?  Especially when you have Cooking Light’s Crave!  Caramelized onions and bacon?  Yes, please.

Friday:  Get this, guys, I was forced to go to the mall today.  Can you believe the bad luck?   Jake took the MARTA up from the airport and I met him there, since I was already going to be in Buckhead for my hair appointment.

I managed to score this pie plate from Anthropologie.  I guess I am obligated to make some pie in the near future.  Stay tuned.

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I also snagged some gladioli from Whole Foods.  They were 2 for $6 and there were a lot of stems in each bunch.

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These are definitely up there in my top five favorite flowers.  When I was a kid my brother worked at a florist and they had gladioli fields; so he used to bring them home a lot.

My friend Lily came over for an impromptu happy hour.  I should say several happy hours; she stayed until 11:00 p.m.  I made the Drink of the Week:  Summer Fruit Sangria.

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Just soak two cut-up peaches and one cup of sliced strawberries with 1/2 cup of brandy and 1/4 cup of sugar in the fridge for an hour.   Then add a bottle of Merlot and chill for two more hours.  I found the recipe in The Fresh Market’s Cooking in Season.  I know that sangria is traditionally served in a wine glass, but I found these little glasses on sale at Williams-Sonoma, so I had to use them.   btw – if your colorist who seems to know everything tries to tell you that you need to chill it overnight don’t listen to him.

Saturday:  Jake and I went to dinner with Marnie and her husband.   We met at the Union restaurant in Alpharetta.   If you’re near there you should check it out.  The Web site doesn’t do it justice because the place is adorable.  I had the tomato bisque (highly recommended) and the scallops (I brought home leftovers) and unfortunately there is no photographic evidence because I didn’t stop talking/feeding my face long enough to take any.  Sorry about that.

Sunday:  I made Peach French Toast Sandwiches for brunch today.

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Lucky for me I had some Challah bread left.  This recipe is from Kelly Alexander’s Peaches.  It’s simply two peaches simmered with butter, brown sugar, and a touch of sour cream.  I actually used Greek yogurt because I had it on hand.  The filling was great, but next time I will just use it as a topping.  I would rather have both sides of my French Toast crispy.  Call me crazy.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Eat Well and Savor.

Pina Colada

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

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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?

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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.

Rice Pudding with Drunken Raisins

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Anything with drunken in the title gets my vote.

Especially since the alcohol in question was the Calvados that I brought back from France.  Which is appropriate since this recipe comes from Elizabeth Bard and Lunch in Paris.

All of that creamy goodness of course comes from vanilla-infused milk.  But there’s also a little bit of creme fraiche blended in at the end.  I know.  Pretty sneaky, sis.  After it’s sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon and then caramalized under the broiler.

If you have the fortitude to stand at the stove top and stir the Arborio rice for 45 minutes then I highly recommend this version of rice pudding.   btw – it tastes even better if you’re lucky enough to serve it alongside the rose your husband brought home for you for no reason at all.

Eat well and savor.

Savarins

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I guess the whipped cream is a bit of a giveaway when it comes to figuring out that this is a dessert, but I think I’m a little tipsy from the rum. 

 

This is from Laduree Sucre.  I think this book is going to be the death of me.  First, I had to find mini savarin molds.  Then I had to find rhum agricole.  After some research I discovered that it’s rum from sugar cane instead of molasses.  Who knew?  So the rum wasn’t that much of a problem once I figured out what it was.  The real challenge was the fresh yeast.  I definitely didn’t know about that one.  I thought for sure Whole Foods would have it, or surely the Fresh Market.  No such luck.  After some serious Googling (actually I’m a Yahoo girl, but you get the idea)  I discovered they have it at Star Provisions!  Woohoo.  

Okay.  So I finally have everything I need, except some precise directions.  I guess I managed to muddle through, but I usually like more specifics.  You know, like the speed of the mixer, and do they cool in the pan.  I don’t think that’s asking a lot.  This line threw me:  fill the molds and then allow it to double and rise to the edge.  Well, if you fill them to begin with?  You see where I’m going.   I guess the moral is have confidence, because they were wonderful, light, and not too sweet.

 

This is the fresh yeast.  They only sell it in a 1-pound block and of course I only need 1/2 an ounce. 

Part of my confusion was from the fact that I knew I was making a cake, but because of the yeast, I was expecting a more breadlike consistency.  I left the dough to rise and crossed my fingers.  I figured if it had to go into a pastry bag then I couldn’t be too far off.

I obviously figured out the fill level.

This kept me busy while I waited for them to rise.   It’s the juice and rind of an orange and a lemon, vanilla bean, sugar, and water.  You can’t go wrong.  The orange and vanilla scent lingered all night.  And later you get to add some rum.

After 20 minutes in the oven they are beautiful and golden.

All that’s left is just soaking it in the rum juice.  The recipe suggested topping it with seasonal fruit, and in the picture they used a raspberry.  I went with the orange because it’s all I had.  Besides, the Barefoot Contessa says to garnish with what’s inside.

I wanted to take a bite, so I could show you the inside.  Sorry.  I was almost halfway through before I remembered to take the picture.

In addition to the rum mixed with the fruit, you top it with a little more rum before serving.    I think I am going to have to have  a second one.

Eat Well and Savor.

Sparkling Limoncello

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Nothing beats a drink at the end of a very long day.  In fact, I wish I was part of the generation that did all their drinking in the office during the day. 

Since, after last week, I have a surplus of Limoncello, this was perfect. 

Another gem from my little box of champagne recipes with all the cute little cards.

I actually used Moscato instead.  Hey, I had some in the fridge.

Easy.

And I just love the artwork.

Eat Well and Savor.