Monday, January 30, 2012

Duke's Chocolate Cake

 Do you want the chocolate-iest chocolate cake you've ever had?  Then forget about the fact that this has mayonnaise if you're one of those unfortunate people who doesn't like mayo.  I've never suffered from this problem, but I hear it can be a doozy for those who do.
What the mayonnaise does is make this incredibly moist and rich, replacing the eggs and oil normally found in chocolate cake.  Of course, you know my mayonnaise preference.  Duke's all the way!  Actually, that's how I came to find this recipe.  Someone found my humble little blog by searching for "Duke's mayonnaise cake."  Naturally this piqued my curiosity.  A cake made with mayo?  Duke's no less?  I mean, I haven't heard of a Hellman's cake for sure.  God bless America, I had to try it.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Blood Orange & Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Do you know what the bottom of a box of cornflakes tastes like?  Salt.  Therefore, when you get to the bottom of a box of cornflakes, you should make muffins.  Similarly, when you don't have enough milk for a bowl of cereal but you do have an excess of buttermilk (Why?), you should make muffins.  You might miss Zumba (oops!).  The dog might act crazy (Admit it, he's always been kind of an oddball).  But muffins made with zingy winter citrus fruits will make your weekend.
The base of the muffin is the same but with two different glazes, Meyer lemon and blood orange.  I'm in love with the pretty pink color the juice from the blood orange makes.  Of course, you could do all in lemon or orange, and you can totes use regular oranges or lemons if you feel so inclined.  I just happen to love blood oranges.  Now that I've found them I don't want to let them go.  I think these would be absolutely lovely for a Valentine's breakfast for your sweetie (Who I presume you also don't want to let go)!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Meyer Lemon Tea Bread

I had a dream last night that Will and I had a package of sausage biscuits.  The conversation that followed went something like this:
     Will: How many do we have?
     Me: There's seven in the package.
     Will: Six?
     Me: No, seven.
     Will: So there's six.
     Me: No, seven!
I woke up and had to laugh because it sounded like a conversation we'd actually have.  We're forever not hearing the other quite right, so we have lots of mixups in our conversations.  Plus, we both really like sausage biscuits, so this would be a legit concern.
Quite clearly, this is not a sausage biscuit.  Not even close.  It is, however, a wonderful representation of the winter citrus that is now lining the produce shelves at your grocery store.  This tea bread makes use of fragrant Meyer lemons, which are a little less tart than your usual lemon.  I've been eating it with my afternoon tea (btw afternoon tea is a totally new thing for me, I just wanted to sound like I've been doing it for years).  It's also a lovely breakfast bread.

Monday, January 23, 2012

30-Minute Meal: Chicken & Avocado Quinoa Salad

It's Monday.  Bleh.  The weekend's over, and it's time to dive into the week.  Today the sky is kind of overcast I think to match the mood of the general population.

Let's not get bogged down by dreary weather and wet shoes.  Eating a good meal with bright punches of citrus should cheer anybody up right?  Plus, this is pretty good for you.  Even more reason to feel better!
Don't want to cook a huge meal today?  Don't!  This comes together in about 30 minutes.  20 of those minutes are waiting for the quinoa to cook.  While it cooks, prep the rest of the ingredients and toss it together.  I recommend waiting the other 10 minutes for the flavors to meld together.  In the meantime, fix yourself a drink!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mediterranean Flatbread

Last night, I woke up in a panic not knowing where I was.  Maybe that's a result of not having been in my own bed for over 2 weeks.  I've never been a good sleeper though.  Well after I woke up, I got up to get water or what have you and upon trying to walk back in my room ran straight into the vacuum cleaner.  Y'all, I think my heart stopped.  Note to self: Don't leave the vacuum in front of your door.  It will give you palpitations.  Then I ended up knocking over my water glass.  I was just a mess.

Anyhow, I've found my new favorite food.  Flatbread.  It's like pizza that doesn't get soggy.  You can top it any which way you like, and it's a cinch to make.
On the reals, this stuff reheats waaaay better than pizza, even in the microwave.  Let's get it started, yo.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sweet Potato Biscuits

So I don't know if you know this, but there's legislation in Congress that aims to stop piracy on the interwebs called SOPA.  It's kind of a big deal because it can have much bigger repercussions than I think the legislators realize.  Some are calling it an attempt to censor the Internet.  At any rate, Wikipedia has gone dark in an effort to protest this legislation.  And, y'all, it is causing the biggest freakout among young people since the last time Facebook changed its layout.  Twitter is just abuzz with "How am I gonna do my homework, OMG?!" tweets.  Um, maybe the old-fashioned way.  Like with a book.

I used a book to create these little delights.
Sweet potato biscuits.  Little orange pillows sweetened slightly with maple syrup.  Add a little maple butter?  Heaven.  A little bacon in the middle?  Sinful.  You can eat these at dinner or for breakfast.  I had one as a snack yesterday afternoon because, um, they had to be tested, right?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Home Again, Home Again

I'm finally home, y'all.  After two weeks in Alabama, a quick stop in Columbia, and a much-needed beach weekend with some wonderful ladies, I've got my Puddie scratching the bed in the morning.
 The doggies got haircuts, and Daisy was so cold she needed a sweater.  Puddin' has a nice layer of fat for insulation, so he's okay.
We took a walk on the beach.  The beach in winter is one of my favorite places ever.  It's quiet and calm.  This was a gorgeous day.
If you ever get up to the Shallotte area of North Carolina, Holden Beach is a pretty place to spend some time.
We went to the canal and sat and talked for a while.  I love that in this picture you can see all five of our shadows.
Lunch consisted of ham and turkey sandwiches with cheese, tomatoes, and avocado.  A word of warning about the avocado: While delicious, it will slide out of your sandwich and try to make a mess.
This was my winning Apples to Apples hand.
Here's baby Grady!
He likes to smile at me!
And we're back to the beach trip.  I had a double-yolked egg!  I'd never actually seen one.
A Greek burger at the Purple Onion in Shallotte.  Again, if you get a chance to get up that way, I recommend this place.  The food is homey and just plain good.  We all got dessert on our way out, and I'm still finishing the cream cheese brownie I got.  Usually we have dinner at Provision Company, but they've been closed for renovations.  They have the best shrimp burger.
Kaitlin, whose family's beach house provided shelter for us, gave me this cute mug with this honey roasted coffee from Savannah Bee Company.  The coffee is a smooth medium-bodied roast with a distinct honey flavor running through it (duh).  I love honey, so I love this coffee.

I loved my time with my friends, family, and of course Will, but I'm ready to get back in the kitchen and start creating things for y'all!

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Wee Update

I'm coming clean, y'all.  I had a nice post lined up, but I scrapped it because it wasn't perfect yet.  But do know that sometime in the near future you'll be getting a history lesson on rice and a favorite Lowcountry dish.

I also had grand plans of making this awesome squash with walnuts toasted in butter and maple syrup.  That was a fail of grand proportions.  It's not that it didn't taste good.  The flavor was nice. looked like gross baby food.  The texture was a little off and so was the color.  So.  I'm not subjecting anyone to that.
I made this my lunch yesterday.  Will and I went to see Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows.  It was fun, and I love the banter and chemistry between Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law.  Um, I might have a slight thing for RDJ.  Y'know, now that he's not crazy and on drugs.  Alas, he's married, and I'm not a homewrecker.  Overshare much?

In other news, you should totally check out my sister's blog- Wonder WoMom!  She's a working mom, and if you've been reading this you've seen how awesome her baby is.  So check it out!

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's Supper

Well I certainly hope y'all are having a wonderful start to the new year.  I know I am with a Carolina win today and our first 11-win season.  It was a great game...for us.  I could say some not-so-nice things about Nebraska, but in the interest of keeping things positive I'll keep my mouth pleasantly closed.

I celebrated in Alabama, where I'm still staying.  The new year also marks my 4-year anniversary with Will.  I intentionally made our anniversary a memorable date since he's famously bad with months and dates and such business.
In Mobile, they drop a big ol' Moon Pie.  It's the best product placement I've ever seen.  I can only imagine the crowd celebrates with an RC Cola instead of champagne.  Because no other beverage complements a Moon Pie like an RC Cola.
We had a pretty traditional Southern New Year's supper.  Black eyed peas cooked with some bacon over rice represents good luck in the coming year.  Many Southerners eat the peas as Hoppin' John, a lovely dish of black eyed peas with onion over rice...cooked with pork of course.  Even our vegetables aren't really vegetarian.

I cooked up some collards, and for the first time ever actually enjoyed them.  Y'all, I've been trying to like collards for years now.  I think my taste buds finally changed because I thoroughly enjoyed these silky greens cooked down with a ham hock, fatback, a little vinegar, and some sugar.  At the top of the picture you can see the bottle of hot pepper vinegar.  Hot pepper vinegar is a must for greens of all kinds.  Cornbread is a must for greens as well.  Collards represent prosperity in the new year, so it's best to eat a whole mess of 'em.

The most ironic portion of the plate is the fatback.  Not everyone in the South eats fatback as part of the New Year's meal, but my family most definitely does.  It's supposed to represent good health in the new year.  How eating a bunch of salty pork fat makes you healthy, I'll never know.  But I eat it because it's tasty.  You can also render the fat and use it in your cornbread.  Truth.
I filled up a cookie jar and have slowly been working on its contents.  I've had a little help :)  I'm hoping to get a real post up while I'm here in Bama, so keep a look out this week!