donut go-round

Yesterday I woke up and all I wanted was a donut. So Matt and I went on a quest to find not just any donut, but the best one in town. The Chicago Reader told us that there were two really good ones on the far south side. We drove down there, through fallen power lines and ghetto-looking neighborhoods, only to find out neither was open on Sundays.

What kind of donut shop isn't open on Sunday?! I thought church and donuts went together like peanut butter and jelly. So anyway, after a couple hours driving around we ended up just buying a dozen donuts at the Dunkin' Donuts right by my house. And then ate them all within 24 hours.

banana bread

On Saturday morning I made banana bread. It was/is really yummy. Then I spent the rest of the day being violently ill from what I can only guess is the mayo I'd made and ate the day before. So I'm going to go ahead and call both mayo attempts a good solid fail. I got to be honest, I don't think I'm going to make a third attempt. I think I'm going to go cralwing back to Hellman's in hopes that it'll forgive me.


homemade mayo

first attempt at making homemade mayo: fail

second attempt: kinda fail.
Right consistency this time, but it just tastes like i'm eating olive oil. What gives? I followed Martha Stewart's recipe. Any ideas? Please? I chopped up a bunch of leftover chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and stirred them in there. Let's hope that works, because I've got a whole jar of this stuff.


burrito- the food of the soul

Cooking is great and all, but damn if some days a microwave burrito doesn't hit the spot. It's only about 1/4 the size of a regular one and I'm still hungry when I'm done, but it's oh so good. Maybe it's the high salt content.

desert island survival picks

If I were going to be trapped on a desert island here are a couple of supplies I'd like to bring to make my tropical mornings more enjoyable: french press, toast, coffee grounds, almond butter, and a water jar. I figure they'll probably already have bananas.

cherry + almond butter

This is my new favorite snack creation. I got a HUGE bag of dried cherries from Costco the other day and am finding it hard to not eat a handful every few minutes.


rewarding my imPULSEs (get it? get it?)

As you may have guessed I am horrible with self-control. What with my post of foods I've eaten until I became ill and then with my last one about the excessive amounts of cheese in my fridge, I'm pretty sure you've caught on to this fact. In case you hadn't, let me tell you about my new purchase!! It's a food processor AND blender. Yes, you read that right. I've had my eye on it for months (MONTHS!) now at Costco and yesterday I finally got it. Not because I've suddenly come across a large sum of money, oh no! Just 'cause I wanted it real bad.

But seriously it's awesome!! I made some hummus for Todd & Andrea's party last night and it was so smooth. It even got comments on how smooth it was. I love you new food processor. Welcome to my long list of somewhat destructive, totally irresponsible relationships. You're in good company.


bread & cheese

I have a cheese problem. Right now in my fridge I have the following cheeses: goat, blue (seen above), leek and morel jack, asiago, and parmesan. No, there is absolutely no reason to have that many. I live and eat by myself for the most part. I blame it on my high school job of working at the Hy-Vee Cheese Island. It hooked me and gave me expensive taste.

Today for lunch I had some curried pumpkin soup (thanks mom!) with toasted french bread and goat cheese. Then later for a snack I had some blue cheese on crusty bread. Seriously. I have a problem.

The weather is so nice lately. The sun makes me want to close my eyes and listen, not sit down and type. Sorry that these posts have been a little boring. Look at my bread and cheese and be soothed.

balsamic vinegar

oh dear, dear balsamic vinegar. where have you been all my adult grocery-shopping life? how did it take me until last night to find you? let's never part again, shall we?


penne with asparagus, arugula, walnuts, and blue cheese

I just keep going back to this recipe. This weekend I made it with whole wheat pasta and it didn't turn out as wondrous as I'd hoped. Still, I ain't mad at it. The recipe says to put shaved apple on the top, but I apparently forgot to transcribe that into my cook book, because I had no idea until posting it here. I'm finding out more and more that I'd make an awful secretary. I leave chunks out of recipes all the time. Some from when I was younger are even unusable. They have like three ingredients and then just trail off like I got distracted. Huh. Anyway, if you try the apple thing let me know.

penne with asparagus, arugula, walnuts, and blue cheese
(from Cook's Illustrated)

1 tablespoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 pound cavatappi (or penne)
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound asparagus , bottom 1 inch trimmed and discarded, spears halved lengthwise if larger than 1/2 inch in diameter and cut into 1-inch lengths
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup walnuts , chopped
4 cups arugula (lightly packed), washed and dried thoroughly (about 1 bunch)
6 ounces blue cheese , preferably Roquefort, crumbled
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1Granny Smith apple , peeled, for grating over pasta

1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in stockpot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta, stir to separate, and cook until al dente. Drain and return to pot.

2. While pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until beginning to smoke. Add asparagus, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, without stirring, until asparagus begins to brown, about 1 minute. Add walnuts and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until asparagus is tender-crisp and nuts are toasted, about 4 minutes; toss in arugula until wilted. Add asparagus mixture, cheese, vinegar, and remaining 3 tablespoons oil to pasta in stockpot; toss to combine. Serve immediately, grating apple over individual servings.


peach ginger tea

Some day I'm going to have this tea and it'll be glorious. It's been a long time in the making. I'll keep you posted.

In other news- I took a ton of pictures of my cat today. Yep, I'm that lady now.
update- I did have that tea and my tastebuds still sing its glory. Also, if you send me doll clothes I'll put them on my cat.


falling off the mayo wagon

Well I did it. I broke down and bought my ultimate comfort food combo-- tots and mayo. I found myself in the (thankfully) uncommon situation of having a crappy week and a free ride to Target. Standing in that freezer aisle I just went for it. I closed my eyes, opened the heavy, foggy door and grabbed some gd Market Pantry tater tots. I'm not even sorry.

gee, thanks mom

What is it about food cooked by other people that makes it taste so much better? I went to Des Moines this weekend and got to take home some genuine Mom-made soup. Delicious!


parmesan-herb biscuits

I've had this page from February's Bon Appetit dog-eared since I got it. Yesterday I couldn't put it off any longer. I finally made the parmesan-herb biscuits, and they were... ok. I think next time I'd try using at least one fresh herb? Maybe use the nonfat milk powder they say? That being said, I still have eaten them for supper last night, as the bread in an egg sandwich this morning, and dipped another one (ok, two) in my soup for lunch. So maybe I was just disappointed because I'd built them up and really they're actually pretty good.

Parmesan-Herb Biscuits
from Bon Appetit

2 c all purpose flour
6 T nonfat dry milk powder (I used buttermilk powder, because it sounded yummier)
1/4 c finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 t dried thyme
1 t dried parsley
1 t dried tarragon
1 t dried basil
1/2 c (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 cup (or more) ice water

Preheat oven to 400. Whisk first 9 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add butter and cut in with fingertips until very coarse meal forms. Gradually add 3/4 c ice water, tossing until moist clumps form and adding 1 or 2 T more water if needed to form slightly sticky dough.
Gather dough into ball. Sprinkle work surface with flour. Using floured hands, press dough into 6-inch square. Cut dough into nine 2-inch square biscuits. Arrange biscuits with sides touching on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake biscuits until golden brown, about 30 min. Separate biscuits slightly and cool 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temp.