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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Grandma Harvey's Fried Corn

Last week I posted a recipe for my 'build your own' version of Mexican Style Grilled Corn. To be fair to my Midwestern roots, I was encouraged to share my family's multi-generational recipe for Fried Corn. (Thanks for keeping me in check, Mom!)

This recipe for Fried Corn comes from my grandmother's grandmother, Grandma Harvey. That's right. Four generations back, making me the fifth generation of women to prepare this delicious treat. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Glass Noodle and Edamame Salad with Thai-Style Peanut Dressing

Glass noodles have always fascinated me. They are opaque prior to cooking, but once hydrated they become translucent (like glass - go figure!). In addition to their fun appearance, they have a super interesting texture that is slightly rubbery and chewy. If I see a dish on a restaurant menu that has glass noodles, it is definitely what I will order. 

I had decided some time ago to embark on a glass noodle expedition, but have not been able to find a recipe that piqued my interest enough to prepare. In speaking with a friend with Cambodian roots, he suggested a fish sauce dressing on the noodles with various toppings and was kind enough to give me the recipe they use at home. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese 'Syrup'

My younger daughter recently turned 10. Double digits. My husband and I are super pumped that diapers, diaper bags, car seats, strollers, temper tantrums and unreasonable negotiations are a distant memory. (It can be argued that unreasonable negotiations are still a part of the mix.)

This is the first year the request was made that the 'Birthday Fairy' not show up for the festivities.

I am amazed that not too many people have heard of the Birthday Fairy. She always made an invisible appearance in the middle of the night (similar to Santa or the Tooth Fairy) on birthdays and would decorate with balloons in the tree of the front yard. Streamers and balloons would magically appear all other the house and a wonderful birthday message written with colorful marker in super fancy handwriting on the bathroom mirror. It was magical to wake up to such fabulous decorations on your birthday.

The Birthday Fairy's departure leaves our family with only a couple simple Birthday Rules.
     1. The birthday person get to choose what is on the menu for the entire day.
     2. The birthday person MUST take the first bite of cake for Good Birthday Luck. 

For breakfast, the request from my daughter was for Red Velvet Pancakes. The mix I had used had been discontinued. That was a bummer, but I'm a  capable person so I developed a recipe of my own.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mexican Style Grilled Corn

Nothing says, 'Summer is here!' like corn on the cob. Growing up in the Midwest, the traditional method for preparing corn on the cob was boiling and serving with butter and salt. Simple and tasty. 

Since moving to California I have learned there is a much better way to prepare corn on the cob: Mexican Style. Delicioso!!! I don't know how I ever lived without it!

Mexican food (more appropriately American food with a Mexican flare) is one of my favorite cuisines. My husband isn't keen on Mexican food, so I have to sneak elements of Mexican food into my cooking at home. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Stuffed Baby White Eggplant: Do not try this at home, kids!

The cutest little white eggplants beckoned to me at the Farmer's Market the weekend before last. They actually looked like eggs in both size and color. Too cute to leave behind, I selected a dozen and took them home. 

They sat on my countertop for nearly a week. I would admire their cuteness while contemplating the best method of preparing them. I finally decided they would be best served with an interesting stuffing. 

Unfortunately, the lovely baby white eggplants did not take me to the land of unicorns, rainbows and glitter where everything is wonderful. It was a complete bust. Bummer! 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Apricot-Almond Bundt Cake #BundtBakers

Time again for Bundt Bakers! Thank you to Shilpi at Simply Veggies for hosting and selecting the theme: Fruit and Nuts. We could use any combination of fruit and nuts, but at least one of each.

I'm the first to admit that I have numerous food related quirks and eccentricities. One of my food oddities revolves around nuts. I LOVE nuts - for snacking; however, I am not keen on nuts in my baked products. I know that I am in the minority as It is common practice to add nuts to muffins, breads and the like. I have never been a fan ever since childhood. Both the texture and flavor bother me. So how did I manage this month's theme with my deep rooted disdain for nuts in a baked product?  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Irish Oat and Whole Wheat Bread #BreadBakers

Time for this month's #BreadBakers post! A big shout out to Rocco from Kids and Chic for hosting and selecting the theme of the month: oatmeal. The guideline: oats of any kind (rolled, flour, steel cut, quick cooking, etc.) had to be utilized in breads, which could be sweet or savory. Thank you, Rocco! What a great theme!

After mulling around what I wanted to prepare for this post, I decided on Irish Oat and Whole Wheat Bread. I love grain inclusions in a hearty loaf of bread . Irish Oats (also known as Steel Cut or Pinhead Oats) have great texture that can be used for sandwiches or toast. 

Oats are a great ingredient because they have many health benefits. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Squash Blossom Quesadillas

My husband and I have made a ritual of going to the Farmer's Market every weekend to purchase amazing produce for the week ahead. We are quite fortunate to live in California where wonderful fruits and veggies are grown. For the past several weeks, I have been seeing squash blossoms and really wanting to take some home for experimentation. 

"What do you plan to do with them?" my husband would ask.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Minion Mania! Marshmallow Creme Fondant Decorated Sugar Cookies

Yeah!! Today is the day many of us have been waiting for since we learned the adorable Minions from Despicable Me will be landing in theaters on their own in a movie adequately named Minions. These creatures have swept the globe with their overly abundant cuteness! Is there a better way to properly celebrate their arrival than with sugar cookies decorated in their honor? I think not!

There were a few decisions that had to be made to successfully complete this project!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Elusive Cherimoya - One of Nature's Best Treats!

On a recent trip to California's Central Coast, we were fortunate enough to be able to attend San Luis Obispo's Farmer's Market. SLO offers an amazing Farmer's Market. It is held on one of the main downtown streets, which has several blocks barricaded from traffic. In addition to traditional fruit and vegetable stands, there are many food vendors. It is a great Thursday night activity!  

The best treat at the SLO Farmer's Market is cherimoya. No contest. 

Cherimoya, also known as custard apple, are quite elusive. If you have not been fortunate enough to give cherimoya a try, you should definitely add it to your bucket list!

We purchased seven of these glorious fruits at a bargain price of $1 each. Cherimoyas are not the most beautiful looking fruit and as a result may be off putting. That being said, delicious doesn't begin to describe how wonderful these fruits taste. They are reminiscent of a pina colada. They have an unbelievable texture.  Creamy and smooth, almost like ice cream, with just the right amount of juiciness. Delectable!

Cherimoyas likely do not transport well. When they are ripe, you better be ready to consume or they will go bad in a hurry. If you are unable to find in your location, it is absolutely worth making a trip to find them!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Oven Roasted Rosemary Potato Fries

Potatoes are on the menu at our house only about once a month, and generally in the form of frozen french fries or tater tots that have been crisped in the oven while hamburgers are grilling. 

As a general rule, I do not capitalize the word 'French' in french fries because I do not consider them worthy of capitalization unless, of course, at the beginning of a sentence. I have consulted with Merriam-Webster and it seems that I am actually correct using lowercase, although it is noted that the first f is often capitalized. The French have given far more than their fair share to the world's cuisine, french fries NOT amongst them. The origin is from Belgium, where they are adequately named pomme frite. Note no capitalization. 

Oven Roasted Rosemary Potato Fries are a wonderful alternative to french fries and worthy of capitalization!

Fresh rosemary yields the best result, but dried rosemary could be substituted. We are fortunate to have next door neighbors with a rosemary bush in their front yard landscape. They mentioned to my husband that we are welcome to help ourselves and on occasion we do! (Note: this is a different neighbor from the foodie neighbor mentioned in a previous post.) We are quite fortunate to have wonderful neighbors on either side of us!