Category Archives: Fun with Food

Public Service Announcement: Exploding Brownies

DO NOT USE ANCHOR BAKING PANS.

This is a public service announcement. Otherwise, your oven will end up looking like this…

Need a recipe for exploding brownies?!

And you’ll have no brownies for your dad’s birthday. If you have sisters, you may be able to talk them into making another dessert, but that doesn’t mean that your stove will be clean.

Seriously.

I can’t believe that pan just exploded. If you look at the reviews online on Target’s website, every single one is like, “Explodes! Explodes! Explodes!” It’s ridiculous. How have they not done a recall on these products? I put it in the oven after it had been at room temperature. It had never been used before and I really did just remove it from the package, then rinsed it out, dried it and put it in the stove. Another pan of brownies was in there at the same time and IT didn’t explode. It was also made by a different brand.

But, still. Can you believe it?! Has this ever happened to you?

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Breakfast of Champions

Eggs are an important part of a healthy breakfast, right? 🙂   Although perhaps this one wasn’t very balanced…but it was an irresistible temptation.

Reasonably Priced?

What is overpriced?

I say this because last night, we went out to dinner (which is a rarity for us) with some old friends from Ducks’ work — actually, the friend and his fiancee.

I just kind of wonder what overpriced is – and if the definition will change as we get older/out of law school. Some people I know who are around the same age as we are go out all. the. time and they get the full meal from appetizer to dessert, along with accompanying drinks and such.

That is so not us.

Last night, I thought the meal was fairly priced. Each of our entrees were in the $15-20 range, then the other couple bought the first bottle of wine and we bought the second. (We also got a free dessert because the waitress got part of the order wrong) That’s definitely more than we would usually spend, especially since law school started, but I didn’t think it was an out-of-control spending amount, since it’s probably the first time we’ve been out to dinner in 2011 (okay, we did go out to celebrate my promotion….I forgot about that). However, my husband thought that it was too much, and this morning, his statement was, “If I’m going to spend that much money, it should be on something I liked more than what I had last night” (he had trout).

So, the question is, what’s reasonable? I think, as a girl who grew up in a town where Dairy Queen was pretty much the only restaurant and the steak finger basket was $2.99, I probably will never get used to spending a ton of money on food when there are so many other things in the world that money could be better used for. However, when we are done with law school and **  knock on wood ** have more money, will I think $16 is nothing to pay for a meal and just order a $16 martini with a haughty, snooty-woman laugh?

Doubt it, but who knows?

Thinking about it after the fact, I do agree that we paid too much money for dinner last night, but you know why I think that? Relativity. When I’m at the grocery store trying to calculate buying a week’s worth of food for $40, it doesn’t make sense to spend that much on one meal, right?

Maybe it also depends on your hobbies. Our big hobby is going to sporting events, it seems. So discretionary money goes to that. I don’t get pedicures anymore. I don’t go shopping a lot. Maybe if you’re a true epicurean, then eating out and sampling delicious meals (which last night’s was…for me, at least) is your hobby and that’s where you spend your discretionary income.

Even if the bonus of catching up with some long-lost friends is included, it would have been a lot cheaper to make a similar meal at home and buy a couple of bottles of wine at Spec’s to go with it. Or, is the atmosphere and the not-cooking thing worth it?

Thoughts?

(Oh, as a final note, I feel the need to express how much I LOVE the couple we hung out with last night. We had a wonderful time – I LOVE the fiancee. She and I have really truly clicked, which is amazing. The first time that we met, we sat down on the couch at their house and literally talked non-stop, almost without taking a breath for three hours. THREE HOURS. So, the hanging out time was definitely worthwhile.)

Thanksgiving Dilemma Solved

The choice has been made. And it’s a crucial one.

We have decided what we will eat for Thanksgiving dinner.

For a while, I was furrowed-browedly debating on this. Should we go for turkey and all the trimmings, or should we go with something unique? After all, it’s just the two of us and I only have one day off. Do I really want to spend the entire day in the kitchen?

I thought about doing an homage to Thanksgiving of some sort – maybe turkey enchiladas or something that involved cranberries and alcohol. And, I asked Ducks several times, obviously to no avail. So, since I’m not a law student and don’t have school things of my own to think about, I decided instead to spend many extra minutes of my daily drive, when “Fly Like a G-6” or Taylor Swift wasn’t playing to thinking about this food quandary.

Today’s shopping trip decided it. We are having a turkey breast and some of the traditional sides, although we will not be having either cranberry sauce or dressing. Which, just to interject here, holy cow, turkeys have giant breasts. I’m sorry to make the obviously joke here, but the turkey whose breast we purchased could totally have given Anna Nicole Smith a run for her money.

Anyway, we will be having mashed potatoes, green bean bundles and crescent rolls to go with our turkey breast. And for dessert: no pumpkin (gasp!). Instead, we’re going to have peach cobbler. With, of course, Blue Bell homemade vanilla, the world’s most delicious ice cream (question to northern friends: do you have Blue Bell up there?).

I remember the first year we were married – Christmas was mid-week and I had no vacation time left because of wedding planning, the wedding and the honeymoon. We made pesto chicken pasta on Christmas Eve and ate it on our wedding china in our tiny little apartment and it was a special memory. And, I know the Pilgrims didn’t probably have pesto (or Santa’s elves either, for that matter), but they were definitely missing out.

So, the meal obviously doesn’t matter. It’s the memories that count. This will be our first major holiday in our new house and I want to get out our wedding china for the first time in our new kitchen and drink from our fancy crystal goblets that we never use and set a beautiful Thanksgiving table. And, apparently, while I’m doing this, I’ll also be eating turkey.

What are your Thanksgiving plans?

Pic of the Day

Today’s photo of the day is brought to you, courtesy of my sister, Beth.

She is definitely the funniest of the four of us, although, if I do say so myself, we’ve all been noted for our comedic timing. But, I digress. Here we have a still-life of her masterpiece, Elvis Banana.

I promise to write a little lengthier and more information-filled post tonight, but for now, you get Elvis Banana. You’re welcome, you’re welcome very much. 😉

A Fiesta and a Fiasco

I have to share this quick story* from the weekend (sorry, tonight is the first time I’ve had computer access in a whole. I predict you all will be hearing increasingly less from me as final near since Ducks is never home and thus the path of blogging is obscured for me!).

I had a jewelry party this weekend to help out my friend Christi who is just starting her jewelry sales business. I’m posting some pictures here to show you the food that I made. I was proud of myself for trying new things instead of just chips and dips (side note: do you northerners eat queso? Someone told me the other day that people — well, basically people not from Texas — don’t eat queso. If you don’t, I feel very sorry for you that you don’t have nearly enough processed cheese blocking your arteries)

So, of course, we had queso, which I didn’t take a picture of for you, because prior to the aforementioned conversation, I thought everyone knew what it was. I also made:

Hummus bites

Mini-bruschetta

And fondue (actual fondue not pictured – just the dippers)! I made the fondue with a mix of white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate – after the guests left, I had to restrain myself from sitting down with the fondue pot and a spoon and disgracing myself. I would also like to point out that, since receiving it as a wedding gift, I have now used my fondue pot precisely two times. Actually three if you count my ill-fated attempt to use it to melt chocolate to make oreo truffles. But, the less said about that, the better.

Anyway, the point of this post. Christi was supposed to arrive at my house at noon to set up the jewelry and L was coming at 1 to help me get things ready and put on the final touches for the party at 2.

Around 11:45:

Sent Christi a text and said, “I’m going upstairs to get ready. Door’s unlocked. Come in when you get here.” Went upstairs, got ready, came back downstairs, fidgeted for a while, then checked the time again.

Almost 1. Almost time for L to arrive. Watched some TV, worked on my story I’m writing for NaNoWriMo. Fidgeted some more.

1:30.

Looked up the recipe for fondue that I’d misplaced. Got out ingredients and simmered them in fondue pot. Still no friends.

1:45

Assembled bruschetta. Still no friends. Began to feel very sorry for self. Resisted urge to text L and tell her to hurry.

1:50

Put bruschetta in oven to warm.

1:55

Took out all nice and crispy. Started getting mad at friends for betraying me.

1:57

Get a text from L. “Will be there around 1:30. On way. Running late.”

1:58

Text her back -“It’s already 2!!!”

1:59

L: “No….it’s 1. Daylight Saving Time.”

Sigh.

So, turns out my friends are good friends after all. And, that my iPhone is a tricky little jerk. In the morning before Ducks left for the library, both our phones were showing the same time – the fall back time. I swear they were. At some point between his departure and 1:59 p.m., they switched back.

Sigh. But the party was fun and I ended up with some free jewelry for all that. So, all’s well that ends well, especially if it ends with chocolate fondue, my friends.

*PS Sorry – in spell checking, I realized that I lied about it being a short story – I guess to lure you in to staying around! 😉

Ten Days: Day Four

Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.

My apologies for skipping the weekend. I just figure that you guys have a lot more interesting things to do on beautiful fall Saturdays and Sundays than sit at home and read this little blog. With no further delays, here’s day four.

1)      How will I advance my career? I love my job, but I worry a lot about whether there’s room for growth or if I’ll have to find something new. I’m the only PR person, so I’m currently doing it all. Not a lot of room to advance. So, that’s always in the back of my mind.

2)      When will I write a novel? Will I have time? How will I finish the one I’m working on now? Will anyone like it?

3)      Will I be a good mother? I’ve already talked a little about this. I want to have a great relationship with my kids and to bring them to adulthood with minimal need of therapy. So, I think about that.

4)      What will I cook for dinner? I’ve been trying, since I’ve been married, to make good meals at night. It’s not always easy because I don’t have a lot of cooking experience or a lot of time to research recipes (because I’m blogging, of course). But I still want to make good food and impress my husband. 😉  By the way, I just made GlamLifeHouseWife’s tamale pie last night. SO good.

5)      Will we be poor? How much money do we have? I am the world’s biggest money worrier. I’m not necessarily a great budgeter. I just try not to eat out, to find good deals at the grocery store and not to be tempted to buy very many cute things. But I’m very afraid of being poor, so I stress about it.

6)      Will my sister EVER start dating Lee? They are the world’s cutest couple, but she (Jo) says she’ll never go out with him because “he’s a ginger.” Which is a ridiculous reason, since he’s a tall, handsome collegiate letterman with a great personality and good values. And I actually really like redheads. But, what can you do?

7)  How often do other girls hit on my husband? I see them do it right in front of me, so I assume it must be very common. In fact, at the first law school reception, Ducks was talking to some guys and mentioned “my wife.” I wasn’t standing with him but I was near enough to hear the conversation. Immediately, there was a flurry of whispers from the law school girls gathered around. “What?” “He’s married?” “Did he just say he was married?” Good thing he’s so sweet and so in love with me or I’d have to put a secret surveillance camera in his backpack!