Walking on Broken Glass

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I've come to learn that just when you think your day is as bad as it's going to get...it gets worse.

After a particularly crappy day at work, I went to the store in pursuit of the ingredients needed to make my Recipe Rut Solution tonight. I was able to find all of the ingredients I needed and then stood in line for about 20 minutes while some old lady used a coupon for all 150 items in her cart (seriously...you're retired, why can't you shop for groceries at 10:00 AM?!?!).

I arrived home, took the dog out, unpacked the groceries, changed and was preparing to relax for an hour or so when I happened to notice the huge sliding glass door that leads onto our patio. The entire thing was cracked and splintered, precariously still standing and threatening to tumble into the dining area.




It's always something, isn't it?

Recipe Rut Solution #2

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

This weekend, Adam and I are going to Rehoboth Beach. Every time we go, I try to bring something for breakfast (banana bread, muffins, etc.) because I love to bake and everyone usually eats breakfast together.

For this week's recipe rut solution, I made peach muffins with a pecan crumb topping. I figured they would be summery and semi-light for the beach!

Here's the recipe:

  • 2 cups finely chopped fresh or frozen peaches
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ground pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly Grease 24 (2 3/4-inch by 1 3/8-inch) muffin cups.

2. Place the peaches in a bowl and cover with 1/2 cup of the sugar. Mix thoroughly. Allow the peaches to sit for 1 hour.

3. Cream the butter and remaining 3/4 cup of sugar.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until fluffy.

5. In a mixing bowl, combine 3 1/2 cups of the flour, baking powder, and salt.

6. Alternately fold in the milk and flour mixture.

7. Fold in the peaches.DSC_0663

8. Spoon 1/4 cup of the filling into each prepared muffin cup.

9. In a small bowl, combine the remaining flour, brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon. Mix well. Add the butter.

10. Using your hands, mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumb like mixture.

11. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the crumb mixture over each muffin cup.DSC_0664

12. Place in the oven and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with butter.

These turned out to be quite tasty (Adam tried one after they came out of the oven). One trick I learned while watching TV last night is to use an old ice cream scooper to put the batter in the muffin tin. It worked really well and puts just the right amount in. Also, after the peaches marinate in the sugar, it makes a ultra sweet peach syrup that would be great in some iced tea.

Total Cost: $25 (I had most of the ingredients, but pecans and peaches were kind of expensive)

Adam's Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Next Day Breakfastability: These muffins could be frozen and thawed anytime you want, they are also supposed to last for a few days in an air-tight container.

Recipe Rut Solution #1

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Last night was the start of my new adventure! I found a recipe for spinach and artichoke calzones and decided to try it.

I had every intention of making my own pizza dough, until I found out that they didn't have any yeast at Trader Joes. Bummer! I did discover that they already have pre-mixed pizza dough that you can roll out yourself, so I got garlic and herb dough for $1.00 and it was perfect. I also decided to divide the dough into 1/4ths and make "mini-calzones" the only problem was they still weren't so mini!

Here's the recipe:

  • 1 cups part skim ricotta
  • 1/2 cup (a couple of handfuls) grated Parmigiano, plus extra, for sprinkling
  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 (10-ounce) tubes refrigerated pizza dough
  • 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl (except for the pizza dough).

2. Roll the pizza dough out into 4 mini circles.

3. Spread even amounts of the cheese mixture onto 1/2 of each circle of dough.

4. Work on just half of the surface of each circle of dough, then fold dough over top of filling and pinch edges firmly to seal.

5. Repeat the process, spacing the calzones evenly on baking sheet.

6. Bake the calzones for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown all over.

Total Meal Cost: $15.00

Adam's Rating: 11 out of 10

Next Day Lunchability: We took the leftovers for lunch today, and they were a bit soggy after being microwaved.

Recipe Rut

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lately I’ve noticed that the blog is getting a bit boring, I mean, who really cares about what I do from day-to-day? I can only post so many tear-jerker veteran stories and horrifying metro escapades.

Last night, I was thinking about a way to spice up my blog, and then I had a great idea that will not only make this place a bit more interesting, but it will be helpful to me (and to Adam)!

Have you ever gotten into a recipe rut, where you have the same eight or nine things for dinner over and over again? WE DO! Most of the dinners we make (tacos, chicken, spaghetti) are easy and require little preparation.

So I’ve decided that in order to get out of this rut, I need to expand my horizons and try new things, this is why I am going to try a new recipe once a week. One night, I will find a new recipe and make it, and then post the recipe and pictures right here. I will show the good, the bad, the ugly and the terrible tasting, all in an effort to improve my cooking capabilities. The recipe doesn’t have to be a main course, it could be a side dish, a salad or even a dessert.

Tonight, I am going to try my first new recipe, so wish me luck!

Vacation Hangover

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Vacation last week was amazing! Adam and I did nothing the whole time, and enjoyed it immensely. Everyday, I would get up, have breakfast, take the dog for a walk and read until the pool opened. Then, we would read at the pool for a few hours before returning for nap time. We would read or play games until dinner time and then we would go walk on the boardwalk. I couldn't have asked for a better trip and I definitely got to use my new Nook!

I didn't take too many pictures because we were pretty boring while we were there.

One of the highlights of the trip was going to Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, DE. Adam loved it and you got free samples at the end:



My favorite part was visiting Lewes, DE on Saturday night for dinner. The town was adorable, and I loved all of the colonial style houses. I'm not an expert night photographer, but I thought this little church was beautiful:


Overall, a fantastic trip.