Saturday, October 29, 2011

Warm Apple Crisp

Goodness gracious, y'all.  I've been cookin' up a storm today in preparation for the game against Tennessee.  We've got cookies, fancy peanuts, feta cheese squares, pumpkin dip, and more to come.  Last night I made this fancy goat cheese spread and ate it while I watched Bridesmaids.  Um, can we talk about that movie for a sec?  I laughed.  I almost cried (what?!).  I wholly admire Kristen Wiig for committing to a role.  Because the scene where she goes berserk at the bridal shower and tackles the giant cookie, rolling around on the ground with it...I have no words.  And kudos to Melissa McCarthy for being a total scene stealer.  I know I'm like a year behind in finally watching this movie.  And Kristen Wiig's character is a baker in the movie.  So ta-da.

Speaking of baking, you have to make this apple crisp.  Martha Stewart never fails me.  I make her food, and it turns out how it's supposed to.  Buh-bam.  This crisp so simple to put together.  Some butter, oats, spices, and apples come together to make a warm bowl of happiness.  Apples are kind of my favorite fruit too.  Especially honeycrisps.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are super Americana right?  Do other countries eat Sloppy Joes?  Perhaps by another name?  Truth be told, they're not my favorite dinner.  I like them well enough, but I'm never like "Man, I could really go for some Sloppy Joes."  Nevertheless, they're a genius way to get in vegetables, especially if you have kids who aren't wild about them.  They're also pretty easy to put together if you have a food processor.  I highly recommend a food processor for this.  I mean, you could open a can of Manwich if you want it to be super easy, but this has got to taste way better than meat from a can.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Creole Kale Chips

I'm back from my too-brief visit to Columbia.  It was hard to leave that sweet little baby behind, but I have things to take care of from my home base.  I think Puddin was happy to have me back this morning since it gave him a bed to sleep in after my mom went to work.  He's also super stoked to have access to my brown blanket again.

So I promised you kale chips and kale chips you will get.  You should give these a shot even if you're not a big fan of greens.  I've been trying for years to like collards without success, and I wolfed down these kale chips in two days.  Something about making them super crispy and paper thin takes away any reluctance I have to eat greens.  Note: Greens, not green food.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sweet Things

What's as sweet as milk and cookies?

My sweet little nephew, James Grady Donaldson.  He came in 8 pounds 14 ounces and 21 inches long.  As you can see, he's got a lot of hair that's oddly my color.
Little baby foot!  Actually, it's not that little for a baby foot.  He's got big hands and feet and a kung fu grip to match.
Look at his little coming home outfit!
He has two very proud parents.  And a proud auntie.
I mean, look at that face.  How could you help but love him?

I'll be back to my regular blogging soon, but I thought I'd show y'all what I've been busy with!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Super Awesome Chocolate Chip Cookies. Make Them Now.

I want a corn dog.  It's State Fair time, which means fried foods of all kinds.  And delicious corn dogs.  At no other time in my life do I say "A corn dog is the only thing that will cure my hunger!" than at State Fair time.  I don't know if I'll get to go this year, but I do plan on going to the Peanut Festival in Dothan.  Oh, you didn't know Dothan, Alabama is the peanut capital?  Well it is, and they have a festival to celebrate the glorious creation that is the peanut.  And apparently the Corn Dog Man there makes the best corn dogs.  So there you go.  Or maybe I'll make my own?  That sounds like a project for another day.

Dessert Alert:  I made the best chocolate chips cookies of my life.  The edges were lightly crispy, the middle was chewy, and the chocolate was perfectly melty.  I died.  And then I came back to life and ate another one.  I wouldn't let Will hear the end of it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Classic Cornbread

Things that make my life better:

  • Puddin' and Daisy

  • Soft blankets.  Don't underestimate the power of a nice blanket.  Will's mom gave me my favorite blanket ever for Christmas two years ago.  Now Puddin' likes it too.
  • A glass of wine.  I don't think I need to explain this really.  It's a nice way to relax in the evening.
  • Football.  Win or lose, it makes my heart pound and my pulse race.  Winning is better obvi.
  • Cornbread from scratch.  C'mon, one of these had to be about food.
So cornbread from scratch pretty much makes my world go 'round.  I have a few rules about cornbread.  The biggest is that it should not be sweet.  Sweet cornbread really chaps my behind.  I know that Jiffy mix is tempting, and I have used it before.  But it makes something closer to spoonbread I think.  Maybe I'm talkin' out of my chapped behind, but I'm just particular about most of the cornbread I eat.  This is not to say it doesn't have sugar it.  The sugar just isn't noticeable.  A couple of months ago we got a loaf of cornbread from a higher-end grocer who shall remain nameless.  The fact that it was in a loaf probably should've been the first tip-off, but one bite of the bread and you could tell it was more like pound cake made with corn meal.  Kind of gross.  And completely disappointing.  

The second rule is that cornbread is best when made in a cast iron skillet.  It adds a nice touch, and I like the crust it makes better.  The third rule is that under no circumstances should cornbread be dry.  That's just sad.  Dry cornbread is like a featherless penguin.  It gets rejected, and no body wants to mess with it.  Luckily the penguin was able to grow its feathers after some love and care by aquarium workers.  The cornbread isn't so lucky.

Y'know good cornbread isn't hard to make.  A little of this, a little of that.  A pat of butter.  

Monday, October 10, 2011

Beyond Grilled Cheese

Check it:
This is the picture of comfort.  You can't get more comfortable than this dog.  He's fluffed the comforter and the blanket to just so, and he is a happy camper.  I know this because he snores.  Sometimes he sticks his face in the blanket to block out light.  Diva.  He might be mostly blind and deaf, but he's developed a sixth sense to know when I even think about moving.  Because he doesn't want to be on the bed by himself.

Sometimes (read: most times) he's interested in our dinner.  He'll stand right next to your chair and bark with a wild look in his eyes.  And when we have chicken?  There's no stopping him.  If his bark wasn't so funny, I'd probably get tired of it.  I can't sufficiently describe it, but he sounds like an old man complaining.  One day I'll record it for you.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Don't Mind Me. It's the Benadryl Talking.

I've been in a Benadryl haze for two days now.  It knocks me out, makes me have crazy dreams, and makes me feel like a crazy person.  Cray-cray.  This always happens with the change in seasons.  My allergies go nutso and I have a few days of sore throats and congestion.  It doesn't surprise me, but it does throw me for a loop.

The only thing making me feel like a real person right now is this pumpkin bread:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


It's secret time.  I know secrets don't make friends, but friends definitely make secrets.  And we're all friends here, right?  Okay, I'll go first.

  • I prefer red wine to white.  Not that I don't have a fondness in my heart for the white stuff, I just like picking out a good red more often.
  • My caffeine addiction is getting a little...unsettling.
  • I can't poach an egg...yet. 
  • Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.  
  • I get a warm, glowy feeling when someone loves something I made.  
  • I will always give a funny birthday card before a shmoopy one.  I am not a shmoopy person.
  • The one place that a massive crowd does not make me break out in hives is Williams-Brice Stadium. Otherwise, I should probably have a Xanax.  Or a cocktail.  
I secretly used to be really suspicious of red velvet cake.  Um, there's no logical explanation for this.  But if someone had just told me it was chocolate with red food coloring, I probably would've been much more receptive.  I know, I'm a weirdo.  And I wonder where my dog gets it from.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Holy moly, y'all, it's October!  That means in the next week or week and a half, I should have a wee little nephew...!

We had a little cool spell here in SC, and it's been glorious.  It's going to be warmer this week but not as warm as it has been.  And the nights are getting chilly too, so I can make warm comfort food for dinner.

Confession:  I'd never had butternut squash before I made this soup.  I've eyed it in the grocery store and seen dozens of recipes for various raviolis, soups, etc.  You see, I used to be quite the picky eater when I was little.  And it's been in the past few years that I've really branched out and tried things that I previously would've avoided.  So.  Butternut squash soup.