Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Grandma Simpson's Apple Dumplings

Large chunks of most of my childhood summers were spent visiting my mom's side of the family throughout Wisconsin.  My Grandma Simpson lived in Wausau, which is where we spent the bulk of our time, however we also drove all over the state visiting assorted family members.  I have memories of stops at a restaurant with goats on the roof, a restaurant with a giant Paul Bunyan statue in the parking lot, dipping my toes in the great lakes, exploring the resort where my parents met, and a general sense of amazement- as the California child that I was- by basements, summer rainstorms, and green trees.

 Also, I remember the Killer Apples.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Transform Your Morning With Fruity Fun

I remember the very first time I ever tried Fruity PEBBLES™.  I was around 5 years old and my mom decided to make marshmallow cereal bars with them.  This was totally out of the ordinary, since I was definitely raised in a house full of boring breakfast cereal.  I was hooked immediately.  Those little colorful morsels were pure magic.

 Now that I have kids of my own  I'm always looking for new ways to make food fun- and what are Fruity PEBBLES™ if not fun?  They're a super easy way to inspire a little playfulness at the start of the day.

Mornings are crazy now that school is back in session and I just don't have time to make a big crazy breakfast most days.  Thankfully I have the perfect easy breakfast for kids right here- and honestly, they can even make it themselves, which frees me up for lunch making, homework signing, and missing shoe finding.

It's so easy- are you ready for this?

Friday, August 26, 2016

Asian Peanut Chicken Fried Rice

I have this set of Asian dishes I've been holding on to for 16 years now.

They're totally impractical- the plates are small, and how often does the average person use Asian soup spoons and cute little dipping sauce bowls?

My guess is almost never.
Yet for 16 years every time I have moved I've dutifully bubble wrapped those babies and found an out of the way kitchen cabinet in which to tuck them for those rare occasions on which they're a practical choice.  They have followed me everywhere.

I always get a little excited when the opportunity to use them presents itself- both because they're fun to use and because I love using them in food photography.  Look back at almost any Asian dish I've written about over the past four years and more often than not you'll see those white dishes with the blue design on them somewhere underneath the food.

They're just fun, you know?

I made this Asian Peanut Chicken Fried Rice the other day, and of course I pulled out my favorite dishes!

Ok, so I have a bit of a story to tell you about this dish.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Southwestern Corn and Crab Fritters with Sriracha Lemon Aioli

Remember how I said I hate to fry things?

So true.

Yet after making the Asian Orange Chicken the other day I still had fresh oil hanging out in my skillet that I didn't want to waste and honestly I'm just not the kind of person that likes to keep up with keeping old oil around for frying.  I don't fry nearly enough for something like that.

So I had this oil on my stove.  I also had a recipe that had been screaming for me to try it from the  Cans Get You Cooking collection on Allrecipes, the same place I found that tasty Beet and White Bean Salad recipe I made earlier this month.

So of course you know what I did- heated that oil up to 265° and got cooking!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

BBQ Beef Cups and Football Season

Drumroll please...today I bring to you THE FIRST FUN RECIPE OF FOOTBALL SEASON!

Woohoo!  Game day food!

Good night, what has happened to me over the past few years?  When I did I actually start to care about and look forward to football rather than simply suffering through it next to my husband?

I don't know exactly how all of this transpired...but it has.
And here I sit- actually eagerly anticipating the Seahawks/Cowboys preseason game this week.

What.  Is.  Wrong with me.

Do you know what I do know?

Football food is fun and you and I?  We have several months more of fun game day foods to go.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Asian Orange Chicken and Organized Freezers

So back when I was settling into the whole stay-at-home-mom gig and I was keeping myself super busy playing Super Homemaker I was really good about keeping a soup file.

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned it a time or two on the blog.  Just about any time I cooked something that lent itself to freezing I would triple or quadruple the batch and freeze the extra.  After cooling I would divide the extra between freezer bags, freeze them flat, and then store them vertically- it's absolutely amazing how much food you can fit into a freezer when you handle your freezer space that way.  It makes both menu planning and last minute good meals amazingly easy when you're a quick defrost away from dinner.  I'd been handling leftovers like this for quite awhile when I read a magazine article with Jamie Lee Curtis coining the phrase "soup file" and I thought it was pretty great so I stole it for myself.  :-)

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Best Hamburger Buns I've Ever Eaten

I've never EVER been as impressed with a roll recipe as I am with this one.  I've made a lot of bread recipes over the years, so it really takes something special to get that kind of a response out of me.
Honestly, I don't make hamburger buns very often, unless I really don't feel like going to the store and I'm running short on time, in which case I have my go-to 40 Minute Hamburger Buns.  It's far more likely that I'll just grab a cheap bag of buns from the grocery store.

I'm not sure what it was about this recipe that caught my eye, maybe I was just in the mood to try out a new bread recipe- it's been awhile since I worked with yeast other than my favorite white bread recipe.  Whatever the reason, I set to work on these yesterday afternoon so I'd have them ready for dinner last night.