Tag Archives: #smittenkitchen

January, We Hardly Knew Ye

How did January go by so fast? Where does the time go? Where is the Fitbit charging cord (seriously, if anyone knows…).

Not a ton of events hosted during this bleak month. We did have one momentous occasion. Guitar Boy entered the realm of teenager.

Neither Hallmark nor Target carries violent video game cake toppers, you have to make your own. Weird.

January definitely is for comfort food. So it was a big soup month around here. I made Smitten Kitchen’s Ultimate Chicken Soup.

I made Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup from Two Peas and Their Pod.

With Italian Grilled Cheese from Stanley Tucci’s cookbook.

Basically it is fresh mozzarella sliced thin on Italian bread, dipped in a slightly beaten egg and grilled.  I rubbed the bread with a cut garlic clove and added a pinch of salt to the egg mixture. It was gooey and good, but it needed a little somethin’ somethin’. If I did it again, at MBork’s suggestion I would add grated parmesan to the egg dip to give it a frico type of texture.  Or I might make it two cheese with Fontina or another strong but melty cheese. But hey, grilled cheese, no complaining!

Made the easiest Stovetop Mac and Cheese from The Food Lab at Serious Eats.

This was really good. And it heats up well the next day. The only tip I’d offer is don’t add the salt until you taste it. Cheese varies in saltiness. PS, that’s in a clear glass bowl. I don’t just put piles of mac-n-cheese directly on the table. Well, not often.

Drummer Boy advanced to the Battle of the Books semi-finals. They read 7 books in two months. They didn’t win the whole thing but not for lack of preparation. So proud.

Taking a step away from clothespin-on-the-aorta type of recipes, I also made this Detox Salad from Gimme Some Oven.

I didn’t have miso though so I substituted with this Ginger Sesame Dressing from Epicurious. Delicious. Though if you are going to store it in the refrigerator for a day, don’t add the almonds. They get super soggy.

So what food is going to the Superbowly party today? Oh, wait no, it’s Superbowl LI.  My bad.

You know how you are walking through Trader Joe’s and they are handing out samples of food and drink. Fatefully one day I was walking through and they had taken their Pub Cheese and warmed it. Just warmed it. And then put it on pretzel bread. And then handed it to me. And then I ate it. And then my whole family ate it. And now Imma gonna eat it again.

Seriously, all you do is warm it up for 30 seconds or so in the microwave and put it over a warmer and slice the bread. As Ina would say, “how easy is that?”.  Also bringing the always popular and totally low calorie Muffins That Taste Like Donuts from Tasty Kitchen.

And my 90’s classic – Crab Dip.

Old School Crab Dip

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1 TBSP mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced (or use 2 cubes of Trader Joe’s crushed, frozen garlic. I heart you Trader Joe’s!)
Hearty pinches of kosher salt and a grind of black pepper
3 green onions minced or 2 TBSP of finely minced white onion
6 oz crab meat (canned or refrigerated, but fully cooked)

Combine the everything except the onion and crab meat in a bowl. Blend with a hand mixer until smooth. Stir in the crab meat and onion with a rubber spatula until fully combined. Put it into serving bowl, cover and chill at least an hour.

And so we’re off to enjoy the commercials big game. Have a great week everyone!


Dry Rub Dry Run

They say practice makes perfect.  I don’t know about that, but people do seem to enjoy the practice efforts.
20161106_124906_resizedThe Kiddie Cocktails do make it go down a little easier, if ya know what I’m sayin’

First up, the turkey.  I made this Cranberry Dry Rub from Foodie with Family. The only snafu was I could not find freeze dried cranberries anywhere. So I had to oven-dry Craisins as I mentioned in a prior post. Nonetheless, I used Foodie with Family’s Turkey recipe, replacing sweet potatoes with regular and used butter instead of olive oil. Turned out great.

20161106_121008_resizedThe potatoes underneath were just so-so. But not to fear, made Smitten Kitchen’s Sweet Potato Roast. Even people who don’t like sweet potatoes liked these.


Made Pioneer Woman’s Beautiful Brussel Sprouts. Sorry PW, it’s not you, it’s me. Just not a huge sprout fan.


And now this.

20161106_124145_resizedHey, it is practice after all. I might add, this was the only dish completely polished off.

We finished with Smitten Kitchen’s Pear, Cranberry and Gingersnap Crumble with vanilla ice cream. It was delicious.

20161106_140441_resizedI found some gluten free gingersnaps yesterday at Whole Foods. Might try this again for McNamara Christmas. Which is what I’m practicing for today!

That’s right, I have 6 events in 45 days here. So there’s a lot of list-making and practicing coming up.  For now,  I think I’ll practice with some sangria.


And leave you with this, from our event last night at the Museum of Science and Industry. I hope science can fix whatever is wrong with Guitar Boy’s neck.

dsc_0312Have a great week and a safe and warm Thanksgiving everyone.

A Very Tardy End of Summer Post – In Poetic Verse

Editor’s Note: It’s better if you sing it to the tune of Gilligan’s Island.

We went on vacation to Michigan City
With a quick stop in Grand Beach
We drove home for bit, 12 hours to be exact,
Then South Bend we did reach
Then South Bend we did reach.

We came back home and went to camp
Practiced instruments for a singing señora
Because with sBork now joining the band
We rocked out in Aurora
We rocked out in Aurora.

Then me and mBork made a feast
for the post-show rock and roll crowd
With so many families here at once,
The children were really loud,
The children were really loud.

And next thing you know the Second Set
Was turning ten years old,
With Drummer Boy
and Miss M too
the Big C and his smile
A movie star
Baby D and a Nemo hood
Here on Lucky Rhino!


Sweet house we rented:


Sweet kids we took:


Sweet drumsticks I made:


I made these Honey Teriyaki Drumsticks from Skinnytaste.  Doubled the recipe, didn’t use sesame seeds (Drummer Boy has a bad reaction – and you never know when he might actually enjoy the food I cook!). These got thumbs up all around from those who do eat food.  Served with white rice with extra sauce spooned over.  Yum!

Since it was vacation, it begged for dessert. Begged, wouldn’t shut up about it. So if you are going to do dessert, go big, go YUGE, go Pioneer Woman’s Easy Peach Dumplings.  Turn this


Into this:


You feel like a horrible person while making these.  So much butter! Soda! Processed dough! Trust me, you get over it when they are done and topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. FYI – I used one of the tiny cans of Sprite you can buy at Target.  6 oz. maybe, but not a regular size one.

Unfortunately we had to go to South Bend for Kevin’s dad’s memorial service. There are lots of places on the internet to read about how great Bill Guilfoile was, but here is one from Kevin.

Even though the circumstances were sad, the cousins enjoyed getting together.  It’s probably been about 4 years since we’ve all been in one place.  So logically, we played a card game (Mafia) where people had to gang up on each other and accuse each other of crimes.  Natch.

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The Big Show

The boys and sBork did a great show for School of Rock. They represented the Austin City Limits festival with B-52s, Weezer and Billy Idol.


DSC_0804 (1)

DSC_0850So we has a Aprés Rock Show get together for those who came to the show.  With an Asian themed dinner party.  Just like all the hep bands do.

I made this Asian Chopped Salad also from Skinnytaste.  It’s a great salad, colorful and crunchy.


And mBork made these Dragon Noodles which were ah.maze.ing.


She also made Asian Marinated flank steak and I did a basic grilled chicken with an lightly spiced brine.

Grilled Chicken with Asian Brine
Heat 8 cups water with 8 TBSP salt and 4 TBSP sugar, 1/2 tsp ground ginger and 3 splashes of low sodium soy sauce.  Heat only until salt and sugar dissolved. Once cool, place chicken parts (we used boneless breasts) in bag or covered bowl with brine to cover and put back in the refrigerator. Boneless – brine up to 6 hours before, bone-in could probably stay in longer.  Take out, dry off and grill as you normally would. Discard the brine.

The Big 1-0

The Second Set are all turning 10 within sixteen days in August/September so we had the family party.


I made Olympic themed goody boxes with my Avery template that I’m always going on about. Filled them with Cheetos, pretzels, red/white/blue Hershey’s kisses – you know, the snacks of champions.


I was in charge of salads so I made a Zippy Orzo Summer Salad from Pinch of Yum.  Spinach, fresh corn, garlic, cucumbers.  A bowl of summer.  The only thing I did differently was I did not add chicken and I sautéed the baby spinach with the corn and garlic.


Also made this Nancy’s Chopped Salad from Smitten Kitchen. Didn’t use chickpeas because although I like them pureed (hummus) or fried crunchy (Vistro restaurant in Hinsdale, check it out), I don’t like them whole.  Go figure.


And then we had a majority of the Expensive People* over for Pizza Night (*so named because the first time we went out over 16 years ago, it got a leeeeetle out of hand food and drink-wise at the restaurant).


And now it’s back to school.


Back to the daily grind, the piles of homework, soccer practice and certainly cut down on the parties. Well, until the next Pizza Night!

Have a great week everyone!


A Delayed Easter Recap

It’s been a long two weeks. It all started Thursday night (Maundy Thursday – who knew?!) with a work-related ladies poker party. Once we got someone from the Audit Department in there, the rules were official…and then I started to lose. But completely fun nonetheless.


We moved immediately into Good Friday Pizza Night with a visit from Grandma and our Duxbury Guilfoiles.

duxThen onto, of course, The Block’s Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday.

egghuntsignHere they come.


And there they go.

egghunt2Remember that scene in the movie Parenthood where Rick Moranis’ kid knows French and Steve Martin’s kid is all “he likes to hit things with his head” with a bucket on his head?  Yeah, well, welcome to my world.

bucketheadEaster was a lot of the same food as seen in past Easter posts.


Hint: Pasta Blanco is just plain butter noodles but thanks to Uncle Tom I learned how to class the joint up a bit. But there was the addition of this Crunchy Spring Salad from The Kitchn.


Super bright and springy. I added thinly sliced carrots too for color.  Of course, we busted out some new desserts. Well, there were three planned, and two more showed up. As it shall be. I mean really, there are 30 people, you need at least 5 desserts right?


If you need something simple, this Chocolate Toffee Trifle from Or So She Says is super easy as you used boxed cake mix and Heath pieces.

dessertBunny Garden Pudding (bottom right) is just bunny Peeps in Smitten Kitchen’s Best Chocolate Pudding Ever in graham cracker tart shells.  Some of the bunnies fainted from the deliciousness.

And lest we forget a new cocktail!  Grapefruit Daiquiris from How Sweet It Is are delicious, not too sweet and would be fantastic if the weather here ever warms up (to quote my friend Laura T. with respect to this weather – “Mother Nature, I think you are drunk”).


Table favors were teeny, tiny succulents from Mountain Crest Gardens in bunnies.


And my new purple highball (yep, I said highball) glasses from Crate and Barrel.


And then, of course, our own McNamara/Guilfoile/Kuhn Easter Egg Hunt with these fabulous ladies.



mollyEgg won’t fit.


But D don’t care.


And all the cousins in a selfie taking process (which makes for a better picture when they don’t know we’re watching).


I don’t mean to bring the post down, but we ended on a sad note Monday when my step-father Jim passed away.  What can you say about a guy that has five daughters and marries my mom who has four more?

McGovern wed

Only that he was a strong, strong man who loved us all very much.  We will miss you Jim.

And so we don’t end that way, and now this.


And this is picture of me trying to write this blog post tonight with “help”.


We’re going to a trivia contest fundraiser this weekend that involves TV related costumes (which was NOT disclosed to me in advance of me writing the check).  So you have those pictures to look forward to.

Have a great rest of the week.


Well, That Went By Fast

People, I cannot believe it is December 29th. What happened? There was no snow before Christmas (note – hating on the snow now). There was a Wednesday night Pizza Night. There were holidays rendered in cheese.




Ok. I promise, that’s it. No more cheese sculptures. Until it’s time for cheese hearts, cheese shamrocks….  Although I will say that after Cheese Snowman was mangled I made a joke on Instagram about zombies and Darryl Dixon/Norman Reedus’ body double liked my picture. Swoon.

Moving on, I made a lot of different food that wasn’t cheese based. I made these easy Apricot Glazed Chicken Thighs from Shutterbean on one busy weeknight. Super fast and super delicious. Didn’t take a picture because, well, we’ve been over how my brown food photography skills are. So you’ll just have to trust me and make it soon.

This Big Italian Salad from Once Upon a Chef:


The dressing for this salad was really good. I think it would go well with any type of salad you want. And probably fantastic during summer with freshly grown herbs.

For Christmas Eve dinner, I did what I always do, Smitten Kitchen’s Braised Short Ribs with mashed potatoes. The crowd demands it. Plus you can make it the day before.


In the treats category, How Sweet Eats Peppermint Pattie Brownies


Smitten Kitchen’s Easy Roasted Sugar and Spice Candied Nuts.


Smitten Kitchen’s Mom’s Apple Cake – Guitar Boy’s favorite.


Gluten Free Chocolate Pan Cake from King Arthur Flour. With their Easy Chocolate Frosting. It was good. LIght and fluffy. I used milk and not water as we aren’t watching dairy.


For both Neighbors Christmas and Mac Christmas I made everyone sprinkles mix using Avery design website again.

20151217_140308#1 DSC_0184

My favorite one was “Bears on the Glen” mix with green sprinkles on the bottom and orange and blue on the top. Get it? Fun, right? I’ll understand if you want to leave and click back over to Facebook now.

As to presents, we had a very llama/narwhal-heavy Christmas. Want some salt or pepper?  No probllama!


And of course, Star Wars figured prominently. Went to the movie too and it was great.


One of my favorite gifts was this handmade artwork by Fake Sister.


Or from my Nerd collection of gifts, maybe my very-hard-to-photograph Mother of Dragons wine glasses.


Or maybe this?


Ah yes, just like my childhood, when my mom would make 2001: A Space Odyssey pancakes every Sunday.

There were Christmas carols at GG’s.


And we did some Christmas Crackers this year (the English party favor kind, not the snowflake-shaped Ritz kind). Then the kids put on a musical number with bells that were in the crackers, as expertly directed by me. Well, “expertly” might be a bit of a stretch. As is “musical number.” A clanging mess just might be slightly more accurate. At least they all cooperated for the picture.



So I’ll take a one day breather, and then on to New Year’s Eve, Guitar Boy’s New Year’s Day family party brunch and then some classmates coming over to celebrate his birthday with Nerf and Halo–as one does as a tween–on Saturday. There will be some Avery projects and a significant amount of puff pastry goin’ on the next few days. I’ll report back as soon as I dig out.

Have a safe and happy New Year everyone. Peace out 2015.

A Very Late Summary of a Very Long Week

Sorry folks, had plans for an extended Labor Day barbecue post on things to grill. But then I gave notice at work and things got a little busy. Let me explain. No, there is too much, let me sum up (name that movie).

But now, I have 10 days off between gigs.  Just wait until the before and after cleaning pictures. I’m looking at you Utility Room!!


Got a nail polish organizer for my sister.  Was thinking about enrolling it in a Crossfit class, but it turns out it’s a looker.


My SIL and BIL stopped by on their way back from South Bend to say happy birthday to Drummer Boy.  Speaking of Drummer Boy’s birthday, uh oh, now we have actual drums.

To the Block – so sorry!

For SIL and BIL visit, we did what used to be called an “early supper” as they had a 6:00 flight.   Did the Chicken Kabobs with Tzatziki from prior post.  Also the Israeli Salad from Smitten Kitchen that has made many an appearance here.

This Strawberry Peach Rose Sangria, however, from What’s Gaby Cooking was a big hit.  Diminished the amount of basil leaves by about half, but otherwise didn’t change a thing.


To celebrate Labor Day, I made this Apple Pie in a Glass dessert, which will also be the subject of another post on easy desserts from Trader Joe’s ingredients,


But for those who can’t wait

5 Granny Smith apples, pealed and cubed into dice
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 TBSP white sugar
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 jar Trader Joe’s Salted Caramel Sauce
1 container vanilla ice cream
2 cups Trader Joe’s Crunchy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, crumbled

Mix first 5 ingredients into a pot.  Set over medium heat, covered for about 25 minutes until apples are just tender. Cool apples. Layer apples, crumbled cookies, vanilla ice cream and Salted Caramel Sauce in a glass.

Made the easy Bolognese Sauce from Bon Appetit.


This is a good recipe if you have a little left over red wine (yes, I’ve heard that happens to some people!) I don’t use veal in this recipe just beef, because in my weird list of rules is the “no eating baby animals” rule. I know, doesn’t make sense. But it keeps the “no eating animals you can have as a pet” rule company.

When you live on The Block, this goes up over-night to celebrate Fake Sister’s Aunt’s 60th Birthday 50’s style:

final1442146624127And this cake gets made by Jen at Pastries So Tasty to celebrate the birthday girl’s first car

final1442146497355And no self-respecting 50’s style party put up overnight in the driveway would find itself without properly attired wait staff!

final1442146398625So now I’m off to clean every inch of this house while I have time off. I’ve already donated seven bags of clothes and shoes, 2 bags of toys and 3 bags of books – and it’s only Thursday.

A Perfect Summer Sunday

Finally, a perfect summer day.  Hot but not too hot. No rain, no hail, no 50 degrees (hello, it’s July). Just a great day to play outside.  And The Block did just that.

But what to eat on this fine day? I subscribe to the Hatchery Box which sends a monthly box of various ingredients and sauces made by American businesses.  Here was July’s selection:


So tonight I used the 4 Rivers Smokehouse All Purpose Rub on grilled chicken  – delish, but spicy.


And made Cucumber Dill Potato Salad with the cucumber vinegar from Olivelle.


Cucumber Dill Potato Salad

3 lbs. small potatoes (either red or Yukon gold), scrubbed, cut in half or quarters depending on size
2 TBSP cucumber vinegar
1/2 cup mayonaisse
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup thinly sliced, diced red onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 heaping cup of fresh chopped dill
1 tsp kosher salt
ground black pepper

Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water 1 inch above potatoes. Bring potatoes to a boil and boil 9-12 minutes until potatoes can be pierce with a fork. Drain and rinse potatoes.

Whisk the remaining ingredients in bowl in which you intend to serve the salad. Add potatoes and toss gently with rubber spatula to distribute the dressing. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Back outside.  You know what is even better that neighbors that became dear friends who have a huge side yard that they let us use? Neighbors that became dear friends who have a huge side yard that they let us use when they put up a big, jumpy water slide.


And you know what is better than that?  Neighbors that became dear friends who have a huge side yard that they let us use when they put up a big, jumpy water slide and serve Bourbon Slush Punch from Smitten Kitchen.


Here are some of my other favorite things this week:

Pixi Endless Silky Glide on Eye Pen


I was in Target and as I was on my knees, sobbing and cursing almighty Odin that Neutrogena had discontinued my bronzer/powder (I’m fun to shop with!), a beauty consultant suggested the Pixi by Petra line as a similar type product.  She also offered me a free sample of their eye pencil which she said would not come off until I took it off.  Challenge accepted.

Pixi Pencil 1, me 0.  Seriously, put it on at 7:00 a.m. on an 85 degree/90% humidity day.  Power-shopped the Nordstrom anniversary sale, cleaned the kitchen, put together appetizers, went to my step-nephew’s going away to the Navy party, dealt with my mother’s definition of air-conditioning vs my definition of air-conditioning, sat outside in the rain, binge-watched Bloodline until 11 p.m (do it, DO IT!) and consarnit if I didn’t need to get out the make-up remover. Target beauty consultant, I  salute you.

You need to watch this video by Studio C right now. And you need to do so on either a TV or at least a computer (i.e., not your phone).  This has become required viewing at our house. If you walk in, even if only for 5 minutes after dropping your college car off on return from South Bend before you catch the train to the city,


you will be shown this video by one of the boys. It is made by BYU students and is pretty hilarious.  Who knew BYU had such a high production budget? Scott Sterling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great week everyone.  I’m off to NY for meetings for a couple of days, so nothing cookin’ on the horizon.  So you’re on your own.  Unless you want pasta with jarred marinara, in which case, I will ask Kevin to guest post.

Vacation’s All I Ever Wanted

Except now I’m exhausted from all the vacationing. We rented a house on the lake in Indiana and it was lovely.


There was beach time (ahem, strike a pose)


Bowling time (cold, rainy day)


Rollerskating time.


BIG waves (well, for Lake Michigan).


Up to no good at the beach time.


Digging holes.


Spotted an elusive beach gnome in one of the holes.


Just down the street, an American Ninja Warrior-like park. Big M as Kacy Catanzaro!

DSC_0229 DSC_0212


But from this blogger’s perspective, most of all, it had a really fully stocked kitchen which is unusual in a rental.  Silicone basting brush – check. Juicer – check.  Three colanders, one ginormous – check.  I wanted for nothing.

So here are a few things that were on the menu for the week:

Smitten Kitchen’s Tomato Sausage Risotto which is a go-to dish to serve a lot of people. I use turkey Italian sausage to lighten it up a bit. Add 1/2 to every ingredient to serve 4 adults and 2 girls who are good eaters.


Cobb Salad with Pioneer Woman’s Homemade Ranch Dressing


4 cooked boneless chicken breasts. You can cook them any way you want, but this method from thekitchn really works for salads.
16 oz. bacon, cooked crisp
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup fresh peas (hint, Trader Joes has them in the refrigerated section)
3 hard boiled eggs
1 medium red onion, diced.
2 avocados, diced
Cooked corn kernels (good use for left-over corn on the cob)
1 head Romaine lettuce
1 head/clamshell butter lettuce
1 head iceberg lettuce
Blue cheese crumbles (optional)

Arrange all lettuce in bowl or platter. Toss with a little of the ranch dressing.   Arrange all the ingredients in rows on the lettuce and drizzle with a little more dressing.  I serve the blue cheese crumbles on the side as not everyone like blue cheese in this particular vacation house.

From BevCooks, Seared Steak with Chimichurri Sauce.  I didn’t serve it with polenta, instead roasted a bunch of fingerling potatoes, halved, tossed with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast at 400 for about 30 minutes, flipping half way through. Forget to take picture.  To compensate, here are the sauce and marinade that I made ahead before we left.


Also featured in that picture is ginger syrup for the Ginger Beergaritas from How Sweet It Is.  Tasted like a margarita soda. Yum.


We packed up this group of cousins and headed up the road to see the lake-adjacent house of my cousins. Showing up with 6 kids in tow, Tessa had this response:


We had a great time, great meal of turkey burgers, regular burgers, brats and as a side I made The Pioneer Woman’s Pasta Ai Quattro Formaggio, otherwise known as four-cheese, clothespin-on-the-aorta, mac and cheese.


Really a very simple dish when using Trader Joe’s 4 Cheese Italian blend. I make it often as a weeknight side. I also made a peach crumble from The Kitchn’s Make a Crumble from Any Fruit recipe.

It got a little dark to get too many pictures, but as least we got some fire pit action in.


And the song McNamara’s Band MAY have been played. And there MAY have a been a parade with tupperware instruments. However, in the interest that anyone may have in running for Supreme Court justice or other public office someday, we’ll keep that video just between us cousins.

There was card playing for money, natch.



And some pool time.


And this creepy, Scooby-Doo-like abandoned park named Canada Playground. This is Indiana’s way of saying “Hey Canada, maybe if you’d stop giving away health care you could step up your parks and rec maintenance!” Note it also says no dogs allowed. Because you wouldn’t want to mess up the facilities.


All in all, a success at Beachwalk Resort.


Now, one more day until I’m back to the life where there is much less joyful jumping.

But not before I made everyone one of these Birthday Cake Milkshakes. There are lots of different riffs on these out there, but I think using frosting makes for a better texture than the ones I’ve done with cake mix.


1.5 Quarts of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt
8 oz vanilla frosting from a can
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 – 1 cup milk (depending on how thick you would like the shake).
Sprinkles.  Always sprinkles.
Extra frosting for the glasses

Blend first 4 ingredients in blender to desired milkshakiness.  Rub vanilla frosting on the rim of each glass.  Put sprinkles on a plate and turn the cup to coat rim in sprinkles. They can be any color or size, I just had Fourth of July nonpareils on hand.  Pour in milkshake and serve to this happy camper.


I mustache you, was this delicious?



Weather – Please Make up Your Mind I’ve Got Things to Do

And pick up your toys and dirty socks from the family room! Oh, no, wait, that’s the boys, not the weather.


Do you have tomatoes that are not up to par on the summer tomato bliss meter?  No problem, just slow roast them.  Yep, that’s right, I went right from pictures of dirty socks to food.  No time for segues.


And add them to my new favorite Summer Pasta Salad just as Smitten Kitchen predicted it would be.  She never steers me wrong. Do not fear the oregano amount.  She’s right, she’s always right. I used white wine vinegar for a lighter taste and ricotta sallata as I sometimes find feta overwhelming.


Also did Garlic Roasted Potatoes from Ina Garten.  With two luminaries of cookbooks like that, it can’t go wrong.  And since we were straddling between spring and summer over the weekend, we grilled steaks but then sautéed some asparagus.


Asparagus with Pancetta

1 tsp olive oil
1 lb asparagus, sliced on diagonal in 1 inch pieces
1/4 lb pancetta sliced thick and then diced

Heat olive oil in pan.   Add pancetta and stir until crisp.  Remove pancetta to a paper towel lined plate.  Add asparagus to the oil in pan.  Stir about 4 minutes.  Add 1 Tablespoon of water, stir and cover loosely and steam for about 3-5 minutes or until asparagus is bright green and tender.

Remove from pan with slotted spoon and sprinkle crispy pancetta over the asparagus.


What’s up for dessert.  How about giant Pretzel M&M Cookies from Two Peas and Their Pod via What’s Gaby Cooking?  I really flattened them and thought that was better than when they puffed up.  But to each their own.


Now it is June so hopefully we’ll see some solid summer grilling weather. I made some teacher gifts of candle holders with 150 sharpened pencils and tucked in Gerber daisies in their own test tube vials.


Fake Sister had her very last day at grade school.

So after today, she and Drummer Boy will no longer be in school together.  Hang on, this computer keeps getting dust in my eyes. *misty*


Happy Last Day of School everyone!


Because Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String Only Get You So Far


Just a few of my favorite things this week:

Truth from a boy band.

Acca-76 Trombones? Trust me, stick with it until the end.

Three Cheese Pizza Bites – If it wasn’t already Pizza Night, I’d be making these.

Good save Khaleesi.

What if – a classic (p.s. it annoys Skunk when we do this to him)

Who knew a pastry was more litigious than Wall Street?

So here’s a drink for your “Southern state horse race” party.

Let your weekend begin.