Category Archives: Dessert

Thanks for Franks in Blanks

This morning Jillian and I walked down Tryon, and chatted with this horse.

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And looked at these barns.

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Then, with some simple mental math, we decided we canceled out 1/45th of today’s energy intake, and made our way home to prep our tum tums for some fantastic noshing.

In our family, we value education.  Enter: our Thanksgiving history lesson.

     

Education shmeducation.  My aunt just covers our seats with pilgrims and turkeys.  Close enough, right?

Auntie Sharon does it up right.  Look at all that business on the chandelier.

 

Buffalo chicken dip is dope.  Dunk, dip, slather, eat with a spoon.  Nothing is better than buff chick dip.

 

Weenies, weenies, weenies.  Chocolate before dinner.

And welcome to the 7th grade dance.

oOoOo… the boy’s room…

… and the giiiiirl’s room.

Delumptuous (this is a word)…

 

Get in my belly.

 

Turkey, turkey, turkey, TURKEY, turkey, turkey, turk.  (Sorry to everyone present for singing one word jingles far too many times)

STOP IT.

 

Dad decided to cut half the bird like Bobby Flay does — big ole hunks to keep the juice in.  Bobby taught Dad this morning when he was on Rachael Ray’s show.

While Dad carved, we popped open some chocolate wine.  Grandma deduced that she’d rather enjoy the two as separate entities.

awwww yeah

       

A few Aussie throw backs:

My aunt used a koala clip to seal up the cupcakes, and I spotted the aboriginal painted coasters in the dining room.

And the main event.  Jillian made pumpkin pie (it was outrageously delicious), and Uncle Dicky Van Gogh-ed it.

 

A simple Keurig lesson and Gram’s apple crumb.  Doesn’t get better.

Why hello, cupcake tree.  How might you be on this fine November evening?

Do some giving, do some thanking.  Make your body horizontal.


Gram Loves Hugh Jackman

Yesterday’s Breakfast: Egg sandwich with tomato sauce and feta, and a banana with plain greek yogurt and some blueberry jam.

For dinner last night, I met my cousin Trevor (a freshman at Springfield college who drove home yesterday for break) to have dinner at our Gram’s house.

I brought down a salad I threw together and Mom’s chicken parm.

We used the rooster plates that my sister found a few years ago.  She was scouring the attic for apartment furnishings and brought down the rooster set that my grandparents got for their wedding.  Gram decided they were “in” 5 decades later, and now uses them as her everyday dishes.

Gram supplied rolls and cookies.

Then Trev and I taught her how to play words with friends… she wasn’t having it.

And then we talked about Hugh Jackman.  And his children, and his wife, and his accent, and his Oprah appearances, and his hair, and his kindness, and how we should invite him over for dinner sometime.  Then we cozied up for some stories about Gramps (and his movie star crush, Doris Day.. who coincidentally was in the movie he took Gram to watch on their first date) and the two hour finale of Dancing with the Stars. Trev LOVED IT.

Before I left for Gram’s, I threw a bunch of stuff in a crock pot: chicken stock, fire roasted tomatoes, lots of chili powder, bay leaves, pepper, red pepper, onion, zucchini, button mushrooms, carrots, eggplant, and a 15-bean mix.  Then I let it cook away for about 7 hours.

Mom’s one request for my week off  was to make soup.  Good thing she didn’t request something intricate. (Hey, and that’s Sam Adams pumpkin hiding in the fridge.  Dad knows me too well).

Time to watch some more Food Network’s “Thanksgiving Live” and get going on the cornbread for the stuffing.


Wine & Winnie

Tonight we family dined.  Mom prepped the chicken yesterday and tonight I baked it with a mustard and berry compote (frozen raspberries, blueberries & blackberries, dijon, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and pepper… boiled and reduced) then greens with feta and roasted acorn squash, apple, carrot and onion.

And since Dad never disappointments  in the ice cream department, I had greek yogurt with cocoa topped with peppermint stick ice cream.  Peppermint ice cream = winter.

Tonight I had some wine with Winnie the Pooh and some friends (real ones, not stuffed animals).

Post Screening Deductions & Queries:

-Pooh, at times, sounds like Julia Child

-I still want to get a basset hound and name it Eeyore

-All of the characters did not pursue higher education (they’re so dumb it hurts)

-Christopher Robin wears a hat that looks like a yarmulke

-Did Christopher Robin have a british accent when we were children?

-Rabbit sucks.  He’s a self serving arsehole.

-Gopher was no where to be found.  I loved Gopher.  Where was Gopher?

-Kanga is the only female.  Where is her main man? Does she have to hustle the 100 acre woods to support her family of two?

That is all.


Just Dandy

Woops, I slept through my alarm this morning.

After a slightly longer than expected sleep, I had toast with jam and pumpkin seeds then apple slices with almond butter sandwiched in between and a mug of earl grey.

For dinner, I used Pellicano’s Dandelion pasta sauce.  I’m not lying when I say I bought it because the label is pretty.

The ingredients list is slim… also a bonus: Tomato puree, dandelion greens, olive oil, salt, sugar, garlic, onion, citric acide, black pepper, basil, parsley.

The label has a cute little write up too: “When I was a kid, my grandmother used to pick dandelion and use it in her cooking.  Legend has said that it helps indigestion and keeps the plumbing running smooth, if you know what I mean.”  I’ll uhhh… let you know how it goes.

I cooked up some lentils and whole wheat shells.  Then mixed diced red pepper in a bowl with tuna.  Then I layered the two, threw some cheese on top and heated it up under the broiler.  It looks ugly.  Sorry.

And for dessert I made cookie dough dip (that beany dessert that’s blowing up the internet).

yummmmm.

It consists of beans, baking powder, oats, milk, chocolate, sweetener of choice, nut butter of choice (I used almond), salt and vanilla extract.

Weird that it’s a bean base but its super versatile.  There are a bunch of pumpkin versions online too.

Meanwhile, Miss Susie Homemaker (Liz) is whipping up some peanut butter thumbprint cookies.


Processing

After my recent scone misfortune, I luckily had some kitchen success today…starting with this morning’s omelet.

I figured out a better omelet making plan, because normally mine suck.  They taste just fine but they look horrendous (broken, gooey messes).  This morning I sauteed diced onion in some olive oil for a minute or two, then added some orange pepper for another minute, then finally added diced tomato and some mixed greens.  Then in a bigger pan I poured an egg and two whites (whisked with some milk and a grind of salt) and threw a cover on it until it looked crepe like.  This could be an extremely wrong way of omelet making, but it worked for me.  I will say that it wasn’t big and fluffy, and really did turn out a bit crepe like since there wasn’t a whole lot of scrambling.  I also melted some cheddar in there too.

Thank goodness this turned out well, because before breakfast, I spent five minutes scraping chewed gum out of a machine at the gym  to realize the tv on it didn’t work.  Lesson learned: bring an ipod.  Speaking of ipods…  there was a girl at the gym today that blasted her music (awful song choices to boot) from her phone so the entire gym had to listen to it.  Why. no. headphones.?

I hadn’t used the food processor in a while, so I went crazy with it today.

For lunch I made an entirely processed meal.  We’ll call it preparation for when I get my tonsils out next month.

I topped some greens with a couple of lemon wedges, some edamame hummus, carrots, celery and a red bean hummusy dressing (really technical lingo here) that consisted of red beans, greek yogurt, dijon, parsley, salt, pepper and lemon juice.  No real dressing needed.

Later I had an artichoke.  Artichokes are super bizarre.  I don’t care what anyone says.

When we were little, Dad used to cook us up artichokes with lemon butter … there was something so fun about the process of eating them.  Now it seems like a pain in the arse.

THEN… more processing.

My mom’s cousin Rhonda dropped off 3 sugar pumpkins the other night, and I decided to bake them up and make my own puree.  It proved to be a lot easier than I thought it would.  I chopped the pumpkins in half and put them in a 400 degree oven for about an hour in an inch of water (face down).

Make sure to scrape out the goo! Then process away.

Maybe I’ll put it under Anna’s pillow.

While Anna was at work doing real people things, Liz and I did tandem laundry and baking.

Liz made her classic chocolate chip cookies.

And I made pumpkin oat bars… with chocolate!

Wooo. Wooo. Success!  It even got the coveted Liz seal of approval.

Thankfully, I got this baking endeavor right.

Here’s the rough (seriously estimating) recipe:

-2 Tsp. vanilla

-1 egg

-1 cup sugar

-3/4 cup pumpkin puree (fresh!)

-1/4 promise

-1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

-3/4 cup steel cut oats (any oats would do)

-2 Tsp. baking powder

-1 Tsp. cinnamon

-1 Tsp. Pumpkin pie spice

-1/8 Tsp. salt

Topped with processed almonds (probably 1/2 cup?) and dark chocolate kisses (12 of them?)

Baked for who even knows how long at about 350.  Sorry I don’t do precise.

Cakey, sweet, remotely healthy.  I would definitely make this one again.

 

So excited for all of our visitors this weekend!

 

Here’s the latest signature: Siena’s Chicken Riggies

Tomorrow morning: interview at a fish market.  This should be interesting.


Royally Blown Scones

When my parents stay in hotels up here, they like to smuggle out individual tea bags, bananas, oatmeal packets and individual peanut butters for me.  So with my insane amount of massive hotel bananas (for some reason they look more like plantains), yesterday morning I had an almond butter and banana sandwich for breakfast.  On the side I had one of the smuggled yogurts with more banana and chia seeds.

Before dinner I did an interview about a death by chocolate cake at a “dessert and wine bar” downtown called Bittersweet.  It’s starting to become a little comical asking an extensive amount of questions about a singular food item like it’s a celebrity and I’m speaking with their PR person, but I don’t hate it.

I’d love to go back to Bittersweet after dinner downtown sometime… If we’re really feeling classy.

Check out their menu: Bittersweet Eats

Since the interview ran pretty short, I met up with a friend for tea at Recess.  They were out of my go-to lemon ginger, but I had some sort of fruity-something that was still great.  Plus we were there for coffee bean roasting time (which oddly smelled a little bit like popcorn).

Before I left to go downtown, I marinated some salmon in a mango-coconut sauce that I just bought.  Sooooo goooood.   On the side a salad topped with pepper, apple and carrot.

Post dinner I had some Greek yogurt with pumpkin puree, pumpkin butter, cinnamon and graham bumpers (and some chocolate too, duh).  Speaking of the Greek stuff, last night I interviewed Michael Sansolo, a retail food industry consultant, about Greek yogurt.  He essentially solidified the fact that Greek yogurt isn’t just a fad, and that even though it’s pricier than standard yogurt, consumers buy it for it’s more “vibrant taste” and health attributes.  Interesting.

And later last night, in true senioritis style, I chose to bake instead of do work.  My kind of productivity.

Here’s the lovely mess I created.

So I had some problems.  Here’s where I admit to my sister that I do in fact screw up when I don’t use recipes.

Let me tell you about my scone woes.

The first speed bump I hit was my “fresh” cranberries.  Admittedly, I don’t even remember when I bought them.  When I took them out of the bag, they didn’t feel, smell or taste right.  I think they fermented.  Gross.

So much for pumpkin cranberry scones.  Fine.  Instead I chopped up an apple.

May I also inform you that I have never made scones.

Second speed bump, okay so it’s no secret that I try to “healthitize” recipes.  Sometimes this works beautifully, other times it fails miserably.

Here’s a rough estimate of what went in that giant glass mixing bowl:

-a scant amount of almond milk

-an egg white

-1/2 cup pumpkin puree

-1 diced apple

-dash of salt

teaspoon of baking powder

-teaspoon pumpkin butter

-1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

-2 teaspoons coconut oil

-some greek yogurt (see I don’t even know how much)

-cinnamon

-some lemon zest and juice

-pumpkin pie spice

Sidenote: This ingredients list also shows my haphazard kitchen approach in that normal recipes list ingredients with dry first and then wet.  I just threw things together.  It failed.

My pumpkin apple “scones” baked into bland pumpkin apple bread.  Ooops.  I had a triangle last night, trying to convince myself with each bite that the taste was growing on me.  Nope.

This morning I saw the dopey circle sadly residing on the stove top and attempted to reinvent a section.  One last attempt.

Faux Scone French Toast:

Better, but dammit… still pretty sucky.  I ate it anyway so it wouldn’t feel bad.

Next time: Sugar! Real sugar! more salt and real butter.


My Parents Make Friends at Bars.

Mom and Dad busted in for the weekend, and while I worked on Friday, they went to Skaneateles and did fun things (without me).  I made them go to Patisserie just to take a whiff of the outrageously good smell inside the little bakery.  My Dad grabbed a muffin and allegedly loved it.  Then, with the suggestion of my editor at the P-S, we went to Riley’s for dinner.  What a fun little restaurant.

It’s situated in the middle of a residential area and looks like a blown up version of a store front in a Christmas Village with Christmas lights strung around the windows’ perimeters and dark wood lining the walls and ceilings.  We sat at the bar for a good forty minutes until we were seated, but it’s okay because my Mom obviously made friends with a local couple and picked their brains for other new restaurants to try.  And at the same time my Dad asked a white-haired man (who looked like he just got off the boat from Ireland) where he purchased his cable-knit wool sweater because, “my daughter wants it.”

Saturday morning we decided to pop by Freedom of Espresso in Fayetteville before we drove to Cazenovia for the day.

Chai Latte

Dad said, I’ll have what you’re having.  So I ordered us up some chai lattes.  I asked for mine with skim, and since Phil thinks skim is just yellow water, I kept his as is.  When the barista called out a skinny chai and a chai latte, he inquired if his was a chubby chai.  I have a feeling that wouldn’t be all that marketable.

In Cazenovia we went to the farmers market and checked out the overpriced boutiques.  Then we stopped at Dave’s Diner for lunch which really isn’t much of a diner but good nonetheless.

On the way back we walked around the lake.

And took some horrendous self-timer photos.

           

 

hehehe.

And after taking a few wrong turns, we found this!

For dinner we went to Pascal’s (a suggestion from Mom’s new friends at the bar) to celebrate my roommates’ birthdays.

It. Was. So. Good.

Salmon B-day

I had the maple-soy glazed salmon and here’s one of the birthday treats — flourless chocolate cake.

Glad my parents could get away from the snow and I could spend some time with them (and avoid going to the grocery store).


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