Month: January 2008

Ooooh, What a Tart!

Ooooh, What a Tart!

My second Daring Baker challenge was Lemon Meringue Pie. Jen from The Canadian Baker was the host this month, and the recipe came from Wanda’s Pie in the Sky by Wanda Beaver. I decided to do individual tartletts, as I much prefer plating desserts with […]

Saucy

Saucy

I don’t usually make sauces as they tend to add excess calories to whatever they are covering. However… today I had an open bottle of red wine and wanted to use it up before it turned on me. Even more, I have brand new appliances […]

This is for You, Grandma

This is for You, Grandma

I generally keep this blog for my recipes and random food related thoughts, but today is a very personal one.
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Last Thursday, January 17th, was the saddest day I’ve experienced in my 33 years. That was the day my grandma Evelyn passed away. I want to share with all of you how amazing and beautiful my grandma was. She loved to laugh and at 82 years old… still got most of my attempts at humor.

My grandma was a voracious reader, and since I am one too, we started to mail each other books after reading them. I would send her murder mysteries, and she would send me books that were, well, geez…. downright naughty. I found myself blushing while reading some of them thinking “OH.MY.GAH… GRANDMA READ THIS.” :) I finally had to tell her she could just hang on to the romance (aka dirty) ones, as they were not my cup of tea! How embarrassing, right? Of course she just laughed it off!
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Grandma was also a wonderful cook of all things Southern. Her cornbread, biscuits, butter beans and turnip greens were specialties that I would always look forward to. My absolute favorite was her cornbread. She had this knack for making amazing cornbread, and her secret was… old buttermilk. She liked it when it was just shy of funky. According to her, the buttermilk needed to be a little (several weeks) past the expiration date to make great cornbread. I also brought home two of her cast iron pans that are the backbone of real southern cornbread. These pans are so beautifully seasoned, I must assume they are older than I am. Unfortunately, I never had her write down the recipe… not that she probably had one anyway. So my next challenge for myself is recreating her cornbread. I already have a container of buttermilk festering away in the back of the fridge, waiting for my challenge!

I ask all of you who still have your grandparents, to give them a call and tell them you love them. They may not be here tomorrow. Also, I must thank my amazing husband, Stephan, for being there for me. You’re my rock, and I have no idea how I would have gotten through the past few days without you.

Grandma, I hope you’re up there eating a big bowl of ice cream and gossiping with Aunt Lizzie. You will always be in my heart and memories.

Ratatouille

Ratatouille

OK… who hasn’t seen this delicious movie? Ratatouille is officially my new favorite animated movie, perhaps even my current favorite movie! Confession: I love animated flicks, and have about 20 assorted Disney VHS Tapes that I can’t seem to part with. Funny thing is that […]

Buttermilk Scones

Buttermilk Scones

I received a wonderful new baking book, The Essential Baker by Carole Bloom, from our friends Ryan and Carolina. This scone recipe comes from my new book. Of course, as usual, I had to tweak it a smidgen to my liking. The original recipe called […]

Ease into Fennel

Ease into Fennel

We are back from Germany, and after all that bread and sausage eating, its time for some low-fat food. This soup is the first thing I’ve cooked in over two weeks, and it is uber low-fat, and very flavorful. I googled carrot and fennel soup and came across quite a few, but decided on this one (with a few minor changes) from Orangette, a fabulous, fabulous food blog.

Most people don’t know what fennel is… I actually had someone stop me in the grocery store, asking me what this strange bulbous veggie in my shopping cart is. It seems people either love or hate fennel. It has a slight licorice flavor, and a wonderful crunch when eaten raw. Its fabulous thinly sliced in a salad. This soup has a combination of carrot and fennel, but the fennel definitely plays a supporting role in this soup, as the sweet carrot flavor really shines. Give fennel a chance!

I will warn you, however, this soup tastes (and is) very healthy. Although I liked the soup, Stephan didn’t care for it, and said it tasted like baby food! Gotta love brutal honesty!
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Schwartzwald

Schwartzwald

We just got back from a little jaunt in the Black Forest, known here as Schwarzwald. We decided to take the scenic route all the way around the mountain to the hotel, instead of the Autobahn. Very good decision. You absolutely must check out Stephan’s […]

Ode to the In-Laws

Ode to the In-Laws

We’ve been eating like crazy for the past week… but we’re on vacation, and that’s what you’re supposed to do, right? I’m so lucky that Stephan’s mother and sister are both fabulous cooks. We haven’t gone out to eat much because they have been cooking […]