Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Na Na Na Na...Na Na Na Na...Hey Hey Hey... Good Bye.

For me, the beginning of my 2nd year of teaching has been about trying to find balance.  I knew that the first year would be really hectic, and that school would pretty much dominate my life.  I was okay with that.  But I was convinced that the reason that my house was always a mess, the reason that my personal relationships suffered, was because I wasn't good enough.  I just needed to work a little harder, get up a little earlier, find more energy from somewhere deep inside me.  But now that I'm trying to reclaim my life, I am starting to realize that I cannot do everything. 

I know, what a shock! 

I tried to do too much last year.  I know that now.  So I've been trying to find things that I can cut from my life.  And, unfortunately, this blog is one of them.  I started this blog because I felt like I had something to share.  I loved cooking, and I loved trying new things and sharing them.  I still love trying new things in the kitchen, but I no longer have the time to be in the kitchen AND write about it.  I have a hard enough time making it into the kitchen!  So I've decided to put this blog to rest for now.  I'll leave it up for reference and posterity, but future food-related posts will be featured on my regular blog.  I absolutely loved creating foods that were innovative and sharing them with others.  I especially loved when other people would compliment my blog and tell me that they tried my recipe.  I found that very fulfilling, and I hope to one day have the time to do it again!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Grilled Tuna, Plank-Style

I love cedar plank grilling! Although the plank is traditionally soaked prior to grilling, we chose to grill on a dry plank for two reasons: the coals were set very low in the Big Green Egg, and I didn't set the tuna directly on the plank. Instead, I layered the fish atop fresh ingredients:

The first layer was thin-sliced lime. The lime was the impetus for the whole recipe, because I really needed to use it!

On top of the lime went some fresh rosemary, straight from the garden.

The tuna was a shashimi cut from The Fresh Market, prepared with olive oil, fresh cracked pepper, and Chardonnay Oak Smoked Sea Salt from the Spice and Tea Exchange.

Just before going on the grill, I sprinkled the fish with Sweet Onion Sugar, which was perfect for grilling because of the carmelizing action!

The finished product: seasoned rice, green salad, and herb rolls from the Fresh Market. I didn't realize how boring my color palate was until I took the picture - I'm glad I threw the salad in there for some color!

Time for a Shameless Plug: both the Chardonnay Salt and Sweet Onion Sugar came from the Spice & Tea Exchange, a growing company with a brand-spankin' new location in Winter Park, Florida which I visited today with my dear mother and Dee. I must say that Jeffrey and Bryan are most gracious hosts and have a lovely store. I walked away with Baker's Secret, Grilled Fish Blend, Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt, and more of the Sweet Onion Salt. I'm sure you'll be seeing those in future posts! I have yet to find anything from that company I didn't like.

One final thought: if you decide to try your hand at plank grilling, do NOT go to an outdoor store and pay five bucks for a single plank. Go to a Home Improvement store and buy a piece of UNTREATED cedar. Ask them to cut it into 12-inch pieces for you, and you will have enough to sustain you for years and share with the neighbors.

That's it. Grill. Spice. Plank. GO!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Math Equation Fer Ya:

What do you get when you take an oatmeal cookie:

With pair it with a luscious, creamy filling?

Answer: You get what Little Debbie only WISHES she could be!

I made these Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies to take to a friend's house for dinner.

This is a Taste of Home recipe, and the website says that they would be great for bake sales - I agree! When I was putting them out at my friend's house, her husband, Bob, stopped mid-sentence and said "Are those.....homemade Little Debbies?" Needless to say, he was intrigued! And they were very tasty. The filling is light and not overpowering, complimenting nicely with the cookies. Bob (and Jennifer, too, I'm sure!) was happy to keep the leftovers I brought!

Oh and by the way, when I searched for this recipe on the Taste of Home website, I also came across a recipe for Chocolate Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies........hmmmmm......

Monday, May 18, 2009

Fish and (kind of) Chips

I was able to get my hands on some Icelandic cod, so we decided to try Alton Brown's Fish and Chips recipe for dinner. Mike handled the frying, as usual. He's the fryer in the family!!

We didn't notice that we were out of potatoes until we had already decided to make the recipe, so we made some tater tots instead. Everything was so good, we kept sneaking bites before we sat down!

Wow what a great meal! Better than anything I've had in any restaurant! The tater tots were good, but next time we'll definitely be trying the chips! Plus the salad balanced out all the fried foods, right........right!?!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Things I Love....

Mike had a great idea the other night: Coke slushies!!

All we did was pour some Coke into our ice cream maker and let it churn for about 10 minutes. Genius!!

Mmmmmmm......the perfect treat for our rapidly-getting-hot-as-blazes Florida weather!!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Bad Dog!!!

Mollie is such a michevious little dog! I am not used to having to put food out of reach of the animals, because Sophie would have never dreamed of snatching even the most tempting foods off the table or counter. Not so with Miss Mollie! I turned my back for two seconds and she managed to wolf down two of my homemade chocolate chip cookies.

"It was totally worth it!!"
I can't believe I've never posted about these cookies! They are an all-time family favorite and my go-to cookie recipe. They have instant pudding mix added to the batter, which makes them the ultimate soft cookie. It's also not a very fussy recipe - none of this mixing the dry and wet ingredients seperately! I should have known to double this recipe in order to feed both boys!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Grilled Shrimp Kebobs

Nils made these grilled shrimp kebobs for Sunday dinner - he did a great job! He used wooden skewers and paired the shrimp with zucchini. He also threw on some red potatoes. Everything was delicious!!

Have you ever had grilled pineapple? It is one of the best desserts out there! We just brushed on a sauce of bourbon and brown sugar and let them cook while we ate dinner.
We enjoyed them plain this time, but it's also delicious with vanilla ice cream!

Monday, March 23, 2009

This Website is Hilarious.


Funny thing is, I actually ate something very similar to "The Meatlog" this weekend at the Florida Eggfest. And it was....interesting.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

I Still Love My Food Processor...

Nothing beats fresh salsa....except maybe fresh salsa with homemade tortilla chips!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Valentine's Day Dinner

We kicked Nils out of the house for the night and took a special trip to the Fresh Market for some free-range beef, salad greens, and herbed yeast rolls. We've been so busy lately that it was nice just to go shopping and make dinner together.

The final product: steaks cooked on the Big Green Egg, mashed potatoes, salad, and those yummy yeast rolls!

For dessert I made Homemade Chocolate Pudding, a Taste of Home recipe that I've been meaning to try for a loooong time. It was good with the strawberries and whipped cream on top, but since it was a lower-fat recipe it wasn't very good the next day.

It made for a pretty picture, though! And we enjoyed the time spent together. Hope you had a nice Valentine's Day!

Friday, January 23, 2009

New Year's Eve Sushi

I have tried and tried to post these pictures, and for some reason Blogger has NOT been cooperating with these particular pics. But, 24 days later, it looks like it has decided to not make them all wonky, so now I can finally share my beautiful pictures with you! I had so much fun playing with my new camera, and Nils was a good sport about me sticking my camera in his personal space while he was making the sushi.

We got our hands on some sashimi-grade sushi, thanks to our new Fresh Market!!

Sophie became very interested in what Nils was doing once she caught a whiff of the fish...

One thing I never realized about sushi is what beautiful pictures it makes! It was almost like art, what with the vibrant colors and contrasts!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Nils vs. Wasabi

A little red-faced, but otherwise no worse for the wear!