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Saturday, January 28, 2012

(Gluten-Free) Loaded Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've been experimenting with gluten-free recipes.  

Not having much luck, I admit, with anything that should be light and fluffy--like bread, muffins, cakes, etc.

Cookies, however, are a different story.  
Erin made these.  Gluten-free sugar cookies, with a strawberry buttercream frosting that is out of this world.

I baked a gluten-free version of Loaded Chocolate Chip Cookies.  "Loaded," because they are just overflowing with good stuff, and are as perfect a combo of crunchy-on-the-outside-and-chewy-on-the-inside as any non-gluten variety.

If you do not have gluten intolerance and wish to bake a "regular" version of these cookies, just follow the italicized notations!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Breakfast Potatoes

This is the third fourth fifth night in a row that I sat down to write this post.  And finally, I'm actually writing.

What was my problem?  I  just sat there, with my fingers poised upon the keyboard, as gazillions of thoughts ran through my brain.  None of which had anything to do with the post I wanted to write.

Okay, I just crossed through the word "third" because it's my fourth night.  You can see by the five sentences above that last night wasn't very productive.

On Tuesday night, I was missing Caitie.  I think everyone here would agree, it was awesome to have her home for a month.  From making her favorite foods, to hitting the after-Christmas sales (again and again), taking a road trip to the Wegman's that opened up this fall, picking up Erin after a half day of school and hitting Johnny Rocket's for old-times sake, it was a fun-filled month.
Speaking of Johnny Rocket's--we sat in our favorite booth, the one with Steven Tyler's autograph.  When the kids were younger, they used to take turns sitting next to the autograph.  If they started to argue because they couldn't remember whose turn it was, the only way to solve the dilemma was for me to sit next to the autograph.

Now that the kids are older, they don't argue.  They just allow me to sit there.

Speaking of Steven Tyler.....
......this is why I didn't get much written on Wednesday night.  Oh, I had my laptop with me while I watched.  I even wrote the title "Breakfast Potatoes."  But that's all I wrote.  Erin and I got so involved watching the show and critiquing the singers that I didn't write anything beyond those two words.

And last night?  Ditto.  And then we watched Modern Family, which we had Tivo'd.  I guess the solution is not to try to blog while watching TV.  

So tonight, I've got myself set up at the kitchen table, no distractions.

When she was home, one of Caitie's dinner requests was breakfast.  That's right, breakfast for dinner.  Breakfast food is so good, but who has time to put together a full-on, multi-course breakfast in the wee hours of the morning? 

I wanted to make potatoes, but I didn't want to overdo the grease.  There was enough fat content to the bacon and eggs, and I suppose the coffeecake wasn't exactly low-calorie, either.  

So what was sacrificed in crispiness was made up for in flavor, via the addition of grated onions.  You could  also add chopped herbs like rosemary or thyme for additional flavor.

I'm not saying these potatoes are low-calorie.  Just that I tried to minimize the oil and butter.

Okay, now it's my fifth attempt to finish writing this post.  Erin was skiing last night and I left to pick her up and just didn't feel like finishing when I got home.  Sigh.  I would cross out that whole embarrassing first sentence way up there, but then that would require me to re-edit this entire post, which would lead to--you guessed it--at least another day until I finish this blasted post.

I hope these potatoes are worth it!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cinnamon/Sugar Doughnut Mini-Muffins

Do you remember the mini cinnamon/sugar doughnuts made by the Morton frozen food company?  You took them out of the freezer, popped them into the oven, and soon you had a tray of warm, fluffy-on-the-inside, crisp-on-the-outside little pieces of yumminess.

I can still see the little brown bag they were packaged in, with the orange and yellow lettering on it.  Or maybe I'm just imagining that's what the bag looked like.  Those were the colors of the seventies, weren't they?  Everything was brown, orange and gold. The Brady Bunch's kitchen.  My parents' basement...and kitchen...and bathroom.   I even had a pair of shoes that were brown, orange and gold.  As usual, I digress.  Back to the doughnuts....

This mini-muffin recipe reminds me of the Morton doughnuts; these muffins are good when they are fresh out of the oven, but they turn into something entirely other (a good kind of other) if you freeze the leftovers.  Pretend that the frozen leftovers are Morton mini-donuts as you reheat them.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Now and then I enjoy looking at the stats for my blog.  

I have always loved numbers, always loved math.  My favorite subject, by far.  Numbers are quantifiable, concrete methods of measuring, evaluating, determining.  (And the math geek in me is screaming to clarify that I am talking about real numbers and not imaginary ones.)  Nothing ambiguous about them.  Nothing left open to interpretation.  Two plus two will always be four.  The cubed root of 125 will always be 5.    

Corresponding parts of congruent triangles will always be congruent.  Just had to throw my favorite theorem at you, even though it's not a number.

Looking at my stats, I can see which posts get the most traffic.  I can see how many hits I get by country, by search keywords, by referring sites.  I'm fascinated.

I started this blog as a vehicle of organizing my recipes for my friends.  I was spending way too much time emailing recipes.  Sheila was the one who finally said, "Have you ever thought of putting this on a blog?"  Who knew that such a simple question would open up this wonderful can of worms?  I'm grateful.

I could not have foreseen that by the end of the year, my blog would have over 10,000 page views.  I'm astounded.

World. Wide. Web.  Users from over 30 countries have viewed my blog!  I'm humbled.

Most Page Views

Pasta With Broccoli And Chicken, For Sheila

It's only right that the post that started it all is the one that gets the most page views.  And looking at this God-awful blurry picture from my first post makes me realize that maybe my photography has improved........because my most recent pictures are merely awful.  What do you think?


Not surprisingly, the majority of  page views are from the U.S.
I do find it surprising, however.....
that the second-greatest amount of page views come from Russia!

My Personal Favorite Keyword Search

Not surprisingly, the most popular keyword search phrase was "whatsfordinnerfran."  The list includes every phrase used by anyone who stumbled onto this blog through a keyword search.  Some are pretty basic, like "glazed pecans" or "what to cook on a hot summer night."

And then there's "8 month old puppy loves mozzarella sticks."  Huh?  I have no idea what that person was looking for, but they must have been surprised when my post forProsciutto/Mozzarella Asparagus Wraps popped up.  "8 month old puppy loves mozzarella sticks" gets my vote for the best keyword search.  {And yes, I couldn't help myself, I just had to google "8 month old puppy loves mozzarella sticks" for myself.  I was hoping that maybe it would lead me to a fabulous viral video,  It just leads to this li'l ol' blog, and to everyone who stumbles upon this blog, I'm thankful.  :)}

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Broiled Marinated Flank Steak

I've been busy!

All the Christmas decorations have been taken down and packed away 'til next year.
 Gus has ditched his jingle bells for a spiffy new scarf.  Gus is happy.  Seriously.  He loves new clothes.
Here he is when I was ironing the fabric that I used for the lining of his scarf.  I iron all the time.  (Boy, do I iron all the time.)  He never gets excited about it.  
I iron some fabric to make him a scarf, he gets all excited with anticipation.

How does he know the difference between boring ironing and ironing that is for him?  He just knows.
While I was sewing his scarf in the land of a thousand unfinished projects (also known as my sewing room), I decided to finish one more project.

Two pillowcases, sewn.  And trimmed with a nice scalloped crochet edge.

I have so many projects and recipes that I haven't posted.  The photo files are piling up and I'm imagining them all saying, "pick me! pick me!"  And tonight's winner is.........broiled marinated flank steak--prep it in advance, minimal ingredients, let the marinade work its flavorful magic while you do more important things!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Roasted Herbed Pork Tenderloin With Vegetables

This recipe came about because I wasn't organized.  Another resolution--get organized--.........broken.

Pork tenderloins were on sale.  I thought I would make crock pot pork tenderloin .  All I had to do was throw everything in the crock pot and let it cook for the afternoon.

Maybe if it were one of those crock pot recipes that took eight or nine hours I would have felt pressured to get myself to the store early.  A crock pot recipe that only takes 4 1/2 hours gave me too much time to relax.  

Instead, I puttered around all morning, thinking to myself, "I have plenty of time, as long as I get it into the crock pot by 1 o'clock."  Can you see where I'm going with this?

That's right, the morning came and went, and then I found myself at the supermarket, buying pork tenderloin, knowing that I would not have time to cook it in the crock pot.......and this recipe is what I ended up with.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Happy New Year!!

I can't believe tomorrow is the last day of Sean and Erin's Christmas break.....this was the quickest two weeks ever.

Caitie leaves in two weeks, her stay is already half-over.

The credit for the inspiration for today's recipe belongs to Caitie.  We were at the supermarket, and pints of blueberries were buy-one-get-one-free and I wondered aloud what I could do with that many blueberries....and she promptly responded, "you could make that blueberry know, the one with the crunchy topping that Sean likes to pick off (it's true, when he was younger he would gradually pick off all the crunchy topping, leaving a bald coffeecake on my counter.  Erin even came up with a name for it: chiseling) and the glaze over the whole thing."

So I used one pint of blueberries to make the coffeecake........and now I have to figure out what to do with the other pint.  Any good blueberry recipes, anyone?