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Friday, September 30, 2011

Strawberries and Cream Mini Muffins

It has been much too long since my last post!

I wish I could say that I've studied the art of photography and the photos that I post will no longer look like they were taken in the dark.  Maybe someday.

It's not that I haven't been cooking dinner.  I just haven't cooked anything new that hasn't already been included in this blog!

This week I've made Chicken Pot Pie , Chicken Piccata , and Lemon-Marinated Chicken Sandwiches (the latter of which I'm happy to say has finally been edited to include pictures)!

I'll get my act together soon, I promise.

Erin's been baking.

Lemon cupcakes with strawberry frosting.

There were plenty of strawberries left over, so I put them to good use and made muffins.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Artichoke Dip

Today's recipe, Artichoke Dip, is easy to make and totally yummy. 

The playlist is really short.  It only takes about 5 minutes total from the time you gather your ingredients until you're putting the dip in the oven!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

French Onion Soup

I'm not a fan of the cool temperatures we've been experiencing for the last week or so.  I'm not ready to give up my flip-flops and sleeveless tops just yet.

One of things this weather is perfect for, however, is making soup.  Nothing makes my house smell better than a pot of soup simmering on the stove, and nothing chases away the chill in my bones better than a hot bowl of soup.

I haven't made soup since the spring, when the warm weather arrived.  Today, I made up for it.

French onion is my husband's favorite, chicken noodle is my son's favorite, broccoli cheddar is my daughter's favorite.  I don't play favorites.

I blogged about the Broccoli Cheddar Soup earlier this year.  Today, I'll give you the recipe for my French onion soup. 

No playlist today.  Sean and Erin were both close by, doing homework, and I didn't want to disturb them and lose the pleasure of their company!

Okay, okay, I admit it..... in my head I was silently singing Rosemary Clooney's "Come On-A My House" over and over as I cooked.  I'm still silently singing it.  Can't get it out of my mind.

The following recipe will give you four 10-ounce servings of  soup. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Whoopie Pies.......and a Giveaway!

Whenever I check my blog dashboard, I'm always amazed to see all the traffic this little ol' blog receives.  Who does it come from?  How do people in all the different countries (Canada, United Kingdom and Poland this week) find me?

I remember how awed I was when I received 500 pageviews in the first month.  And now, thousands of pageviews later, I'm still awed.  I'm thinking it's time for another giveaway.
On a recent trip to the Williams Sonoma outlet, I spied this whoopie pie pan on the clearance rack.
I like the premise of Whoopie pies, what's not to like about frosting sandwiched between two cake-like cookies? The problem I have is that I've never actually tasted a whoopie pie that I liked enough to want to take a second bite.  I think the best one I ever tasted reminded me of a stale Devil Dog and there were others that reminded me of sugary hockey pucks.

As I was examining this cake pan I was modestly thinking that maybe if I made the whoopie pies myself, I would like the way they taste.  And then when I realized that there was a recipe included on the back of the packaging, I decided to buy two of the pans.  Two pans because the recipe on the package instructs you to wash and dry the pan after the first batch of cakes are baked, and I thought that I would rather just bake everything all at once.  That was my plan.

Then, as I was taking the packaging off of the first pan, I thought to myself, "how can I blog about making these if my friends don't have the right type of pan?"  And I told myself that a regular cupcake tin could probably be used instead, so that's what I would suggest.  And then I thought, "how do I know that a cupcake tin would really work?"  So that's when I decided that I myself would use one whoopie pie pan and a cupcake tin, for quality control purposes.  To see if using a cupcake tin would work just as well.

And it did.

And then I thought, "well, I've been wanting to do another giveaway, and this second whoopie pie pan would be perfect."  And that, my friends, was the thought process that led us to this giveaway.

To be entered to win the whoopie pie pan, all you have to do is either become a follower of this blog or leave me a comment.  Your comment can be anything at all, from "I love whoopie pies" to "Let's Go Red Sox!"  If you are already a follower, you are automatically entered.  If you would really like to win this pan and want to increase your chances, you could become a follower and leave a comment, and then you will be entered twice.  I will randomly draw the winner on Wednesday afternoon.

And I should add a disclaimer that I came up with this giveaway on my own and that I am in no way connected to or affiliated with Williams Sonoma or Chicago Metallic, the manufacturer of this lovely cake pan.  Williams Sonoma and Chicago Metallic have no idea that I even exist.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Buttermilk Coffeecake

This recipe is for a friend of mine. 

 I like to call her Superwoman.  My husband and kids do not disagree that "Superwoman" aptly describes her.  There's nothing she can't do!  Fact: she is always totally prepared for whatever comes her way! 

 I know this is a fact because when our kids were younger, we were all out together and the grubby hands of one of the little darlings left a stain of some sort on my white pants.  She quickly whipped a package of Shout Wipes out of her bag of tricks and promptly blotted the stain away.  I've yet to see her unprepared for any circumstance that happens to come her way.

We met 16 years ago when our daughters were in the same preschool class.  And then they played T-Ball together.  And were in Kindergarten together.  And first grade.  And softball.  And basketball.  And soccer.  And dance class.  With a few street hockey games thrown in for fun.  I think that's it.  Did I forget anything?  If I did, Superwoman will remember it for me. 

We quickly evolved from thinking of each other as "my daughter's friend's mother" to "my friend."  (And then she evolved into Superwoman.  But I digress.)  We get together to go to the movies, go to lunch, go to dinner with our husbands, have nifty little backyard soirees/Christmas parties/pick-up ball games with our families.

We were talking last week, and she told me that she was looking through my blog for recipes for tailgating (she has season tickets to her Alma mater's football games).  She made Sweet 'N Salties for the last one and they were devoured.  As an afterthought she added, "It's hard to come up with ideas when you're feeding about twenty-five people."

Of course.  Only Superwoman could prepare enough food, carefully pack it up and feed twenty-five people out of the trunk of a car.  Superwoman's tailgating parties must be legendary.  I imagine that for some of the revelers, it could be more of an event than the actual game (which is division I by the way, not Small-time University vs. Unheard-of School).

She was lamenting that she was having trouble thinking of breakfast items that traveled well (when there's an early game, there should be some breakfast items on the menu for the college kids that just rolled out of bed).

This yummy Buttermilk Coffeecake is just what Superwoman ordered.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chicken Piccata

My neighbors returned from a vacation on the cape with a couple of Cape-themed treats for Gus.
How cute is this lighthouse??!!  They also brought him a lobster-shaped treat, so cute and eagerly devoured.  I'm inspired now.  I want to make and decorate adorable doggy cookies.  One more thing to add to my never-ending to-do list.

In the meantime, I'll continue cooking family favorites, like the Chicken Piccata in this blogpost.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Broccoli and Chicken Stir Fry with Noodles

I can't believe I've been blogging for six months now and I haven't posted any stir fry recipes!

Here's a yummy one.......very basic chicken and broccoli over noodles.

I switched up the much as I love my Italian music, it just doesn't set a good stir-fry cooking mood.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Kettle Corn!

I'm thinking that since I am blogging my recipes, I no longer need to hold onto the pieces of paper that the recipes are written on. 

I did throw some of them away.  These posts are forever, aren't they?  So why do I need a written recipe?

This is my recipe for Chicken Pot Pie .  I've already blogged about it, so I happily tossed this grungy piece of paper, which is probably about 20 years old.

I love this one.  It's the roast tenderloin I make on Christmas Eve.  It took a few years to get it right.  You can see my notes--by year--on the right side of the paper.

On the flip side, we have the recipe for the mushroom gravy to accompany the tenderloin roast.  I double-starred it because I like the way it came out and that's my own personal code for "no more tweaking."  I love the way I ran out of room on the bottom of the paper so I just continued it up the right side.

The care-package-to-Caitie I mentioned in a previous post was shipped, received, and she loved it.

And then she texted me yesterday, to say that "I SUCCESSFULLY MADE BRUSCHETTA!!! so good!"

So she's putting the blog to use.

And then I thought of my friend, Danielle, who told me earlier last month that her son (21, a college senior) made the Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas With Spinach while at school.

So that started me to thinking, what would be another good recipe for a college kid?

That is the thought process which brought me to today's recipe for Kettle Corn.