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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.

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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.

 

 

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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.

S’mores

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Graham Cracker Whoopie + Chocolate Ganache + Classic Marshmallow.

Last year for my one-year anniversary at the best court reporting firm in Atlanta I made classic whoopie pies and started a trend.  This year, again in celebration of me, I took these to the office.  This is the time of year for s’mores.

The recipe from Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell in Whoopie Pies called for graham flour.  My first thought was that it was made from graham crackers.  I can chuckle to myself about that now.  Turns out that the graham cracker and the flour are both named after Reverend Sylvester Graham, an early advocate for dietary reform.  Who says this blog doesn’t educate?

In other news:  We went to Bistro VG for dinner last night.  That place is beautiful.  I really want to just live in the bar area.  I had a martini and a couple of glasses of wine.  Of course I started with the beet salad and ordered the salmon.  By the time the meal came I couldn’t remember what the menu said came with the salmon. I ate it, but I wasn’t sure what it was.  Turns out it was fava beans.  I swear the menu didn’t mention anything about a cheesy-lemony ravioli-type thing either, but there it was and I ate it.    If you’re around, you should go.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

 

Almond Joyous

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I have had a hankerin for whoopie pies since my return from Maine last week.  And without further ado:

A fabulous combination of the Classic Chocolate Whoopie and Coconut Cream filling from Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell.  Don’t forget to roll the edges in sliced almonds.  Actually, the almonds were a lot of work, so I stopped after the first six.

I did learn a little whoopie lesson tonight:  make sure you spray the pan.  I forgot on the first round and they were a little tougher to remove.  Nothing detrimental, but I don’t like leaving any crumbs around.

Eat Well and Savor.

Sausage and Potato Lasagna

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I am home, sweet home, back in Georgia.  I actually was home last night, after three nights in Presque Isle, Maine.

Before I left I had to make something for Jake that would last a few days.  I knew that the 9×13: The Pan that Can book was the place to go.  It’s a compilation from Better Homes and Gardens, and it hasn’t disappointed me yet.  There’s a chapter for just lasagnas.  And if that weren’t enough, there’s a separate chapter for cakes, bars, and brownies.

This isn’t a traditional lasagna.  Instead of noodles it uses potatoes.

But there’s spinach and ricotta in there.   And the sausage/mushroom layer has a nice little bechamel.

And let’s not forget the cheese.  This kept Jake going for a few days while I was gone.

And this is how I spent my morning in the Old Port.

I stopped by the Two Fat Cats Bakery.  I have to admit, I had a hard time deciding and finally had to go with the classic.

After a few hours of shopping in the rain I headed up to Freeport for some more, shopping in the rain, that is.  Actually, I think the rain had stopped.

I decided to Listen to Rachael Ray just one more time.  I should have let her end on a high note, though.   I went looking for Harrakeeset Lunch and Lobster.  My GPS told me it was on Main Street, which was true; it was just on Main Street in South Freeport.  I went a little bit out of the way, and I guess it was worth it.  It certainly wasn’t the best lobster roll ever, but it wasn’t bad.  And the ambience was exactly matched to the old ice cream place I used to work at in high school.

A few notes about my Maine adventure:  on the walkway from the plane they have a little welcome home sign with a lobster.  I thought that was a nice touch.

On top of that, before you even get to baggage claim there’s a sign advertising wicked-good whoopie pies.

Also, the whole 5-hour drive to Presque Isle, and during the extra hour that my niece chauffeured me up to Fort Kent, is littered with moose crossing signs.  Now, let’s not forget that I used to live in Maine, so I should not be so enamored with the touristic moose.  (I was convinced I made up that word, touristic, but spellcheck says no.  I just hope I used it correctly.)  Those little warning signs may as well have been billboards.  I felt that someone was promising me a moose.  Well, it never happened.  I did, however, see two deer, a couple of turkeys, and what I swear was an eagle’s nest on top of a light pole.

Well, I guess you could count this guy that I saw at the airport.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

 

After Dinner Mint Whoopie Pies

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aka St. Patty’s day dessert.  Well, I have finally learned how to not eat half of the pies while I make them:  drink wine while baking.  I may have gone a little overboard on the green food coloring, but it is St. Patrick’s day.

The only problem with the wine scenario is that when it comes time for putting the filling into the piping bag and topping the pies, it might get a little messy, especially when said green food coloring is involved.

I always say that presentation is half the battle, but it doesn’t affect the taste.

I used a different book this time.  It’s called Whoopie Pies, but for the life of me I can’t find the name of an author.  I guess that’s what I get for skulking around the bargain section at Barnes and Nobles.

The filling is simply butter and cream cheese with confectioner’s sugar.  It’s a little on the soft side, but I suspect it will harden in the fridge.

This is how my husband decided to celebrate today.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

 

 

 

My Bloody Valentine

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I know, red velvet is way too predictable when it comes to Valentine’s Day, but the combination of a Red Velvet Whoopie, Classic Cream Cheese filling, and Cherry Pie filling was not to be resisted, especially with a name like My Bloody Valentine.   As usual, I owe the credit to someone else.  This time it’s Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell and their book Whoopie Pies.

So even though I don’t feel it’s my place to reprint recipes; I am an officer of the court after all.  I do still love the transformative process and I like to get my money’s worth out of my Nikon.

Just your everyday batter:

After half an ounce of red food coloring:

After the cocoa, before the oven:

After the heatwave:

I am here to tell you:  don’t bother trying to put this cream cheese filling into a pastry bag.

I was very popular at the office when I dropped these babies off.

Eat Well and Savor.