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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Leftover Maraschino Cherries

Disclaimer:  Let me just say, S & I are not huge drinkers...we have a few drinks, occasionally on weekends...sometimes on weekends, we have none...we drink responsibly, never while driving, and we are never under the influence while operating heavy machinery.  So, please drink responsibly, as well....

Technically, this post should be titled:  Drunken Cherries, Cherry Infused Bourbon, Man-ly Shirley Temples, Cherry Cola, & Twizzler Straws.  But that was a bit run-on-ish, even for me.  I have a lot to cover, here...so bear with me, I am hopped up on bourbon & sugar right now!  Don't judge me...please  refer to the disclaimer provided above.


Let's be honest, shall we?  Cone Of Safety:  Most of you probably have a jar of maraschino cherries your fridge.  Sure, they are loaded with artificial colors, preservatives, and may contain the occasional pit (which has also been preserved and colored artificially), but they do and a certain level of festivity, or je ne sais qua when atop a dessert or beverage - especially the long-stemmed variety.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bucatini, Bacon & Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is one of my go-to meals that I can make without a recipe. Growing up, my family owned an Italian-style Deli.  My Mom & Dad have probably rolled thousands of meatballs...."Time to roll the meatballs" my Mom would say as she rolled her eyes....and I don't know how she did it, every little meatball was the same size!  I was raised on these homemade meatballs, so I've learned a thing or two over the years.


Flipping through the TV channels one day, S found a show on the Food Network, featuring Bucatini with Bacon & Meatballs.  "What's Bucatini?" he asked with that inquisitive tone, "Why have I/we never had Bucatini before?"  I knew it was a pasta, but I had to keep watching to determine which shape it was.  Come to find out, they are little, tiny straws - hollowed out spaghetti.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Gingersnap Tea

I never would have thought, not in a million years, S would choose tea over coffee. Never.  Ever.  Ever.  So imagine my surprise when he actually started doing so.  If you know him, then you know he is a coffee junkie...he runs on Dunkin (sadly missed in Canada) and The Starbucks.



However, since the man-flu (contracted in December 2012), he has been drinking tea. Tea and only tea; preferably Chai flavored.  I love a good cup of Chai, don't get me wrong, but I'm getting kind of bored with it.

I started playing around with different spices trying to create a gingersnap cookie taste.  Yes, it would be easier to just go buy a box of gingersnap flavored tea bags, but I've been burned before on flavored teas; they either have a fake, chemically enhanced taste, or taste nothing like as described on the package.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Coffee-Cola Brined Chicken

So, if you read my last post, you know how I acquired 3 kg of chicken drums...3 kg of freakishly large chicken drums.  Yup, not my favorite choice if we are singling out chicken parts.  Sure, I like 1 or 2 mixed into my cluck bucket o' chicken, but this many?  (yikes)



I was hoping a brine would tenderize them, and I was looking for one with a lot of pizazz and flavor.  I found a recipe on MyRecipes.com & I ended up adding a small "sleek" can of cola to this.  Look at that cute little 100 calorie can!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Food Shopping

My food shopping routine is much different now that we've moved.  When we lived in Maine, I had my own vehicle, I could go whenever I wanted...we also had a larger freezer to fill, and a quick, easy unloading zone ~ from driveway to side door.  Oh, and I use to go all by myself...not a good thing, or a bad thing...just how it was.

Now we live in downtown Edmonton, Alberta (a city the size of Rhode Island, in the middle of the prairie) in a condo on the 5th floor; not an easy unloading zone ~through the parking garage, into the lobby via 2 ill planned doors that open in opposite - awkward directions, up the elevator, around the courtyard balcony, and into home plate.  We have 1 vehicle (in which S utilizes for work), so if I need a big grocery haul, I need to work it around his schedule.  Sure, there are a few places a couple blocks in either direction I can walk to, and I do this often...I have it down to a science:  I shop with one of the larger hand baskets (the ones on wheels that you can drag behind you), no matter how I fill this it will fit into my backpack & 2 reusable shopping bags (that's about all I can comfortably carry at once).  But again, If I don't want to go to the food stores every few days (because I think we spend more this way), I need the truck.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Did I skip Valentine's Day?

I have to be honest...Valentine's Day isn't a huge, epic event in our house.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-V-Day, but I do think there is an enormous amount of pressure to buy your loved ones quadruple priced flowers, chocolates, gifts, etc.  I do love it when S spontaneously comes home with flowers, or little nifty gift-thingies when he's  traveling...who wouldn't?  But on V-Day, I'd much rather stay in, have dinner, and retire to the couch to watch our favorite shows.....which is what we did this year, and most years.


Could I have baked for V-Day?  Absolutely; last week I made salted caramels & salted caramel brownies; the week before that I made winterberry shortcakes.  I was taking a break from sweets, it just so happened to coincide with V-Day...we still haven't recovered from the Christmas/New Years bake-a-thon.  I'm probably the only person who didn't write a dessert post for V-Day.  Honestly, I felt that the other 175 Billion (made up statistic) food bloggers said pretty much all there is to say on pink & red dipped Rice Krispie treat bars/pops.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

(Chipotle Wannabe) Carnitas Salad Bowls

There is no Chipotle Mexican Grill in Canada.  Sure, there are other burrito Tex/Mex places, but they are not the same. Not. The. Same. **correction:  Chipotle is in Canada, but not in my area (Alberta) **
Killer cravings have hit, so I am on a mission.  

I found the post CopyCat Recipe:  Chipotle's Burrito Bowls and it was spot-on (I've made this several times), but this was for chicken...I am craving carnitas.  


It seems all roads lead back to Homesick Texan;  Smitten Kitchen & Buns In My Oven have both adapted or tried this recipe, and have raved about it.  What the heck?...Why not?   Go Texas!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Quick Carrot Salad

I had a dream that I ran out of carrots.....I don't know why?  I was in my kitchen (in my dream) except it wasn't my kitchen, but it was.  Dreams are weird like that.  It must have left an impression on me, for two days later I was drawn to the carrot section while grocery shopping......must....need....carrots.  Strange?  Yes.


Who the fu heck dreams about carrots?  I just Googled "dreamt of carrots" and was shocked that there were several other explanations as to what this means.  Actually, there were 1,680,000 results to my online search.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Savory (Cornbread, Chorizo, Cheddar & Scallion) Waffles

So, waffle irons aren't just for waffles anymore, according to Pinterest.  You can use them as a panini press, use them to make:  cookies, refrigerated cinnamon buns, hash browns.   Even burgers can be waffle-ized.  Check out this website for 30 answers to the question....Will It Waffle?  Leftover macaroni & cheese waffles? Yes, please.


I didn't get that adventurous today.  I made savory cornbread, chorizo, cheddar & scallion waffles.  Notch was very interested in this.  Very.  Interested.  If you don't have a waffle iron, you can easily make these into griddle cakes, or bake in a cornbread pan.  

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Salted Caramel Brownies (& caramels to spare)

The moment I read this recipe (this morning), from Smitten Kitchen, I knew what I was making today.  I am not an organized blogger; I don't have a compiled 'drafts' list waiting for me to publish.  As I make things I take notes & pictures, then I write it up.  So again, when I saw this recipe I just had to try it.

I did only make half of the brownie recipe, I didn't think S & I needed a full batch of brownies (although he would beg to differ), but I did make the full caramel recipe.  My thought was I would use half of the caramels for the brownies, and chocolate cover the rest for a treat later on....say for, perhaps, Valentine's Day?  I don't know if they'll make it to then...but that's the plan.



Sounds good on paper, right?  Well, I had few issues.  According to the website, once the caramel was prepared, it was to be chilled for 20 minutes (if you have a decent freezer) and up to 40 minutes (if you have a terrible freezer).  My caramel didn't set up as well as it should have.  As quick as I was to blame my appliance, I had to come to the conclusion that I did not cook it long enough once I added the butter, cream, and salt.  It did darken in color, but I should have let it go another minute.  Lesson learned. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How To Milk An Oat?

(Wait a minute.  Did she say oat?  She must have meant goat, right?)

WRONG!  I said oat, O-A-T, oat.

Although I have had goats in the past, I never got to milk them.

Boots & Daisy, Nubian Goats

S & I use to live in the woods of Northern Maine (like a couple of hippies); we originally acquired B&D to graze on the puckerbrush we lived in.  Over time, they became more interested in their organic grain mix than eating their way through our property.  We had intentions of breeding them, but it never came to fruition.  

Back to the oats...I came across this on Pinterest and thought, what the heck?  I never got to make goat's milk, but I am going to make oat's milk.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Winterberry Shortcake (For Two)

I am cold.  This week it was -40, factoring in the windchill, which is the same in both Fahrenheit and Celsius:  C.O.L.D.  We have 6 large windows the equivalent of sliding glass doors, plus we have one of those too.  Needless to say, they let much light in but are not terribly efficient.


At least it's sunny out.
At least my prayer flag is blowing in said windchill.
At least there's Winterberry Shortcake.
(I'm very serious today...must be the cold)

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