Tags: blueberries, Blueberry Lemon Cake, Coconut Oil, Greek Yogurt, Lemon, Wallaby's Yogurt, Yogurt
I forgot to add the baking powder. This is why the loaf cake you see, which I made about a month ago, is flat on top. It was still delicious and moist, but not something I wanted to put up here. If you recall, I mentioned ‘so-so potential posts’ in my last post. This is one of them, but it’s such a delicious cake (or quick bread, since the method is similar), I didn’t want to hold it back based on aesthetics and making it again just for aesthetics (the last thing I need is more cake lying around – no willpower here.) would have been ridiculous. We all make mistakes in the kitchen, and this is one of mine.
I annihilated my left wrist last week. I’m okay outside of pain, a feeling of uselessness, and typing with one hand (poke typing). If I hadn’t annihilated my wrist, you would be looking at and drooling over (one can hope, right?) a gorgeous, multi-layered cake loaded with texture and cool flavors – and topped with a candle, to celebrate 5 years of blogging. Well, 5 years plus two or so weeks of blogging. I can’t even be on time for my blogiversary.
Apparently, it was not to be, and now it’s my 5 year and three or so week blogiversary, so just one yipee. Celebration over. I’m sorry, but I’m in pain and I’m pissed. I’m constantly injuring myself in such stupid ways and not being able to cook or bake is always a bummer.
Tags: eggs, En Croute, Ham, Julia Child, Michel Richard, Peppers, Puff Pastry, Spinach, Torte Milanese, Tourte Milanese
Remember when I told you about the computer crash of 2011 where I lost almost everything? It was mainly tons of photos of some of the best goodies I’ve ever made, most of them pretty labor intensive. You see, I was on this roll from September 2010 to January 2011 – a fancy shmancy crazy roll. Once or twice a week I was creating showstopping sweet and savory dishes like they were going out of style, and as luck would have it, getting some good clicks of them.
It was an amazing food blog run, and I had about 7 posts lined up. The posts weren’t written, but the photos were ready – tucked in and snug as a bug in a rug in my photo program waiting until I was ready to write and post. Then..the crash.
Tags: almond butter, matzo, matzo brei, Passover, Peanut Butter, strawberries
I wanted to make Egg Foo Yung.
It was cooking class in 6th grade, mid-Passover. The teacher said those of us who observed Passover would be making Matzo Brei and everyone else would be making Egg Foo Yung.
“Can I have a show of hands of those who observe Passover, please?” she asked with an evil glint in her eye.
Streusel Overkill is Good – Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Streusel Crumb Cake with or without RaspberriesFebruary 4, 2013 at 11:59 am | Posted in Breakfast, Cakes, Dessert, Fruit, Giveaway, SRC | 78 Comments
Tags: baking, Brown Butter, chocolate chips, Pecans, raspberries, Recipe, streusel, Streusel Cake
I love warm rainy days in the spring and summer. I love the scent of lilacs. I love the smell of Fall. I love when someone brushes my hair. Are you gagging yet? Well you won’t be when I tell you what I love next.
I love streusel..lots and lots of streusel. Who doesn’t? I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who doesn’t love streusel. However, I know plenty of people who hate the scent of lilacs, abhor rainy days, despise Fall because it’s the official end of summer, and can’t stand someone else brushing, much less touching, their hair.
Peanut Butter Brown Sugar and/or Double Chocolate Overnight Oatmeal, plus the KA Mixer Winner, and Part 13AJune 9, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Posted in Breakfast, Fruit, Giveaway, Healthy, Jams/Jellies, Lunch | 51 Comments
Tags: brown sugar, First Love, fruit, Greek Yogurt, Heavy Cream, Jam, Jelly, Milk, Overnight Oatmeal, Overnight Oats, Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter Oatmeal, Preserves, vanilla
I don’t usually go for fads, trends or follow rules when it comes to food. In fact, I don’t abide by any rules when it comes to food. I’ve been known to bake pumpkin pies in June, and I know some people may argue this, but there is NO discernible difference between using fresh roasted pumpkin puree and canned. I’ve tested it many times over the years..and no one..I mean NO ONE, could tell the difference between the pumpkin pie using canned pumpkin and the pumpkin pie using fresh pumpkin. As long as the canned pumpkin is pure, with no additives, it’s fine.
There..I said it, and I didn’t want to wait until Fall to say it.
By the way, did you know most canned pumpkin puree is actually Butternut or Hubbard squash. or a variety of squash, not named pumpkin? Yes, this includes the one that starts with L.
Back to trends and fads in the food blogosphere. I have seen overnight oats all over the place for months now. Normally, I’d steer clear, because, again, I’m not a trendy person. However, I need quick breakfasts because I don’t eat breakfast anywhere near as much as I should, and I’m sick of cheerios, toast or smoothies, when I do.
After seeing Barbara’s (of Barbara Bakes) overnight oatmeal with berries, I decided I really needed to give this a shot. I also decided to blog it because I didn’t bake or cook anything for the KA Stand Mixer winner announcement, and Part 13…ummm…13A. I don’t like putting up posts without something tasty and visual in them.
This is a food blog..well, food/story journal, you know.
That said, no pretty jars for these overnight oats, because you will be using up the peanut butter at the bottom and around the sides of an almost empty peanut butter jar so everything goes into the almost empty peanut butter jar. If you want to make it look nice for serving to someone(s), spoon it into pretty glasses or bowls..like I did for photos. BUT, off of my blog, it’s getting eaten straight from the jar, then bye-bye jar – into the recycle bin.
This is not a completely healthy version, but if you want to add protein powder, flax, chia seed. hemp, swamp goo, motor oil..or whatever, go ahead – no rules. You can also cut down the calories and make it healthier by choosing the Greek yogurt option and skim milk
Well, there is one rule, but it’s a general rule to get the right consistency..and that rule is 1 part oats to 2 parts liquid, plus extras of your choice. If you want it thicker, add more oats.
Here’s my version.
Overnight Refrigerator Peanut Butter – Brown Sugar Oatmeal with Jelly or Chocolate
About 2 servings
1 almost empty jar of peanut butter (about 1/4 cup peanut butter left in jar)
1/2 cup old-fashioned or quick cooking oats (I tried both and preferred the quick oats, but if you like more ‘chew’, choose the old-fashioned oats)
2 to 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk or any milk you prefer (skim, soy, rice, almond etc)
1/2 cup vanilla bean Greek yogurt or 1/2 cup heavy cream steeped with vanilla bean scrapings and pod (pod removed after steeping, of course)
fruit or jam/jelly/preserves of your choice and/or chocolate chips, chunks (optional). I even added chocolate ganache to the bottom of one glass. No rules! You can go healthy or decadent, or both!
1. Dump the oats in the almost empty peanut butter jar. Sprinkle the dark brown sugar evenly on top of the oats. Stir together the milk and yogurt or steeped cream, then pour on top of the oats and dark brown sugar. If you’re adding chocolate chips or chunks, add now. Put the cover back on the peanut butter jar, tightly, and shake it vigorously. You’ll be stirring it come morning, so this is just a preliminary ‘shake’ to get the oats soaked and dissolve the brown sugar.
2. Put the covered jar in the fridge overnight, The next morning, open up the jar and stir it all together, digging the peanut butter up from the bottom and around the sides. Stir in fruit if you like – raspberries would be great, or swirl your favorite jam, jelly or preserves into it. If you prefer your oatmeal warm, give it a nuke in the microwave for a minute or two. Grab a spoon and dig in! Throw out the jar when you’re done..my favorite part next to eating it.
Note - I stirred extra peanut butter into the oats after they soaked overnight, only because I’m a peanut butter freak. It doesn’t need extra, but it doesn’t hurt if you’re a freak too. Also, I topped it off with some fresh, whipped cream and chocolate. If you want it topped, but healthier, use Greek yogurt.
Double Chocolate Overnight Oatmeal
1/2 cup old-fashioned or quick cooking oats (I tried both and preferred the quick oats, but if you like more ‘chew’, choose the old-fashioned oats)
1 to 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar (taste)
1 cup whole milk or any milk you prefer (skim, soy, rice, almond etc)
1 tablespoon dark cocoa
1/4 cup chopped chocolate
1. Stir together milk and cocoa powder until uniform.
2.In an empty jar..like a mason jar, dump in oats, dark brown sugar, chocolate milk and chopped chocolate. Shake the jar vigorously and set in fridge overnight.
3. Eat right out of jar. I like to microwave it for a few seconds to melt some of the chopped chocolate. Enjoy!
Now to Part 13A (Yes, 13A, I’m determined to get this memoir finished in 14 parts, so I’m cheating) of Bad Boy First Love. If you’re just tuning in, Part One is HERE, Part Two is HERE , Part Three is HERE, Part Four is HERE, Part Five is HERE, Part Six is HERE, Part Seven is HERE, Part 8 is HERE, Part 9 is HERE, Part Ten is HERE, Part 11 is HERE, and Part 12 is HERE.
The month I had left with him before the two-week separation was so much fun, things about it still brings on chuckles to this day. For one, I finally saw him drunk. It was 4th of July and a bunch of his friends got together in an empty parking lot to party and shoot off fireworks. I brought one of my friends, who was now completely ensconced in a full-fledged friendship with J and one of his brothers, the grunge guy, the one I call P.
Empty parking lots were a big thing in his town, no matter how small or large the gathering. They even had different nicknames for each one.
For instance, “Meet me at The Barber Pole” meant the parking lot across the street from a barber shop with a spinning pole in front. I was soon accustomed to each lot, via the nickname for it, perfectly.
I’d already gotten to know his friends and family well. One of my friends and I spent most of that summer hanging out with J and one of his brothers, whether or not Dreamboat was around.
I can’t believe I put tis photo up. Yeah, I know what it looks like. In fact, artificial light is most definitely not kind to oatmeal in photography.
He had two younger brothers, one a year older than me, one a year younger than me, and they looked nothing like him. Dreamboat was the golden boy – his light brown hair and piercing blue eyes inherited from his Mother, who was of German descent. His father was a soft-spoken, sweet, Italian man and his brothers looked just like him, with drak brown hair and brooding, deep-set, dark chocolate eyes.
His two brothers also looked nothing like each other. The one who was older than me was about the same height as Dreamboat, but that height came with a slouch and a generous helping of grunge movement chic. His hair almost reached his shoulders, and he had a faint ‘stache of softer hair above his upper lip because he wasn’t old enough or hairy enough to grow a full one yet. The brother younger than me was shorter than the both of them, with short, thicker, slightly curly hair and he was terminally metrosexual..with nary a hair out-of-place and always dressed to the nines, the scent of Giorgio Armani permanently rooted in his pores.
They looked up to Dreamboat in a way that was kind of rare in sibling dynamics, at least in my world. They adored and respected him, but at the same time – feared him as you would a parent if you did something wrong.
They called me ‘sistah-in-law’. It was cute.
SO, that night, Dreamboat got drunk – super drunk. thoroughly shnockered.
His disposition was naturally cool, calm and collected. and he was never out of control in any way, shape or form – BUT, on this 4th of July, once blitzed, he was all over the place, and it was a hoot to witness. I couldn’t help but enjoy my pickled Dreamboat.
I always loved that he was affectionate publicly (PDA!), and didn’t care what people thought, but because he was drunk, he was almost slobbering me, hanging and wrapping himself around me like an embryonic twin. In fact, I could barely converse with anyone without having to shoo, or peel, rather, him off of me. I was laughing, but relieved when he pulled me away from the crowd to talk in a wooded area off to the side, because my body was starting to ache from his almost dead weight. He pushed me up against a tree..kissed me for a few minutes, then leaned back a bit, just looking at me. A very serious look came over his face, and although he was 10 sheets to the wind, he sounded completely sober when he said this..
“I don’t want you to leave me, please don’t go.”
I reassured him instantly..”It’s only two weeks, baby..we’ll have the last three weeks of August togeth…” He interrupted me..
“No, I don’t want you to go to Boston. I mean, I want you to go to college..but locally.”
I didn’t know how to respond because I had thought about that myself. It was too late, though.. I’d already changed colleges to be closer to him, and everything was paid for and set.
Double Chocolate Oatmeal with melting chocolate shards
He nestled his face in between my shoulder and neck, and mumbled into my collarbone..
“I can’t stand the thought of not seeing you for months at a time.”
I’d never seen him like this before. He was like a child – so vulnerable, and dare I say scared? His eyes were wide and almost pleading. I wanted to hold him forever, keep him safe…soothe his heart.
I stroked his hair (god, I loved his hair) and whispered, “But you can come visit me anytime you want, and..”
He cut me off again…
“No, you’ll meet other guys..rich college guys, you won’t want me anymore.”
Was he kidding? That would NEVER happen..I loved him with every inch of my heart and soul. I could NEVER be with anyone else. I told him this, but not in those exact words..heart and soul is too poetic – I don’t talk like that..
“I don’t want anyone else, baby..I can’t even imagine it.” I said as I continued to run my fingers through his killer hair. What I wouldn’t have given for a head of hair like his, I thought.
He hugged me tight, but I could tell he still didn’t feel good about it.
We remained that way for a while, his face buried in my neck, squeezing me to him so tight, that at some points I couldn’t breathe. After about 15 minutes, the bark of the tree was starting to scrape my back. I tried to wiggle into another position, but then felt pain. The damn bark had scratched me since I was wearing a white sun dress with just straps in the back. I could feel the blood starting to ooze.
He was too wasted to tend to my latest injury, so I let him know what happened and suggested we go back to the parking lot. He tried to tend to it, feeling awful, but instead we went back to his house with J, his brother, and my friend. His parents had left for the shore with his other brother earlier that day, so after my friend patched me up, she took my car home, and I spent the night because he wanted me to. He was out like a light in minutes.
While I watched him sleep…I tried to think of a way to tell my father I was going to change schools again..maybe apply to NYU. I didn’t think I could bear us being apart for months at a time either.
Well..just as I assumed, it didn’t work.
“NO, you’re going to school in Boston, and that’s it! ” my father shouted angrily when I tried to reason with him, “But, Dad, you went to NYU! I could be a legacy!”
He left the room.
OKAY..no Plan B here, this was sticking like super glue and no amount of arguing or begging was going to unstick it.
Dreamboat remembered what he said by the tree, so it wasn’t 100% alcohol related, but in the light of day, minus the alcohol, he knew that was something he couldn’t ask of me. He apologized, but his eyes said “Stay.”.
A little over 2 weeks of more wonderful with him, later, he left for the shore, and I left for Florida with my friends and family. The night before, I cried, but we would see each other in 2 weeks, so this wasn’t the end – yet.
I have to admit, I had a blast in Florida. We hung out a lot with some guys (just friends) that my raven-haired friend and I had met during X-Mas break of my junior year, who lived in a condo owned by one of their parents, year round. Lots of partying, lots of cruising, lots of beach, and lots of climbing the fence and swimming in the condo pool at 3 or 4 am. But, I still couldn’t wait to get home and start packing for the shore and my last 3 weeks with Dreamboat. We spoke on the phone a few times, but we were always interrupted by my friend wanting to talk to his brother, P.
When we finally got home, packed up, and left for the shore the next day, around early evening, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I drove so fast, my friends finally convinced me to let one of them drive the rest of the way. They were right, I was too keyed up and anxious to see him. As soon as we got there, around 8 pm, I fixed myself up and practically ran to the pier. My blonde friend, who accompanied me, could barely keep up, and bitched about it plenty.
I was in a zone, and that zone was him..and only him. I had to see him, smell him, touch him, kiss him – PRONTO. He was my oxygen, my drug, the love of my life.
With Cocoa Nibs
That summer he was working on the most popular ride on the pier, second to the roller coaster, called The Enterprise. This was a ride that started spinning horizontally, then rose slowly until it was spinning round and round and you were upside down, a non-stop loop. Dreamboat took me on it the summer before, and I hated because I do not like being upside-down, unless my head is hanging off the edge of a bed, where it’s safe. Any upside-down ride pretty much scared the crap out of me, so I was always ‘the bummer’ at most amusement parks when it came time to do the upside-down loop coaster. Even with Dreamboat, I felt like I was going to fall out, regardless of the closed car and how tight he held me from behind.
Naturally, there was not only a huge line for this the ride, but a throng of girls trying to get his attention, as usual. As I approached the platform, he was running from car to car closing them shut. He looked incredible. His hair was lightened and streaked by the sun, his lightly tanned skin accentuating his beautiful, blue eyes. New ‘summer muscles’ popped when he closed and locked each car door, making sure it was safe.
All at once, I felt like I did the summer before, insecure, scared and nervous..suddenly worried he wouldn’t want me anymore. We had been inseparable all year-long in our own little world back in North Jersey, but now he was the ‘rock star’ again, and on a much bigger and more popular stage than the previous summers.
I tentatively stepped up on the first step of the platform, away from the line. He saw me and came jogging over, grabbing my hand and pulling me the rest of the way up..hugging me, lifting me in his arms, and then kissing me. I heard a collective groan and a few curses from the girls as we put on our little show.
When we broke for a moment, he took my hand and walked me over to the booth so he could start the ride, and then we embraced outside the booth and kissed more, little sweet nothings and ‘I love yous’ perfectly peppering the moment. He was just as happy and excited as I was, so all of my worries dissipated..just as fast as they had suddenly reappeared. I was bursting with joy, inside and out..I loved him so much it hurt.
He took both of my hands in his and stood back..looking at me..his dazzling smile melting me to goo as usual.
“Wow, look at that tan, my beautiful girl.” He said, and it was obvious he had still not had his eyes checked, I thought, forever insecure…my inner fat girl always lurking.
As usual, I morphed back into that shy, nervous 15-year old, again. My voice was weird..
“You look awesome too, baby.” I whispered because I was positive I might squeak.
He kissed both of my hands in his. This was getting even better.
“Baby, there’s something I need to take care of tonight in Brick (a town about a half hour from his shore house). I promised Andy (his friend from Part 4, with the nice girlfriend), I can’t get out of it.” He said, momentarily looking over my shoulder, which bothered me.
A slight chill came over me…all the warmth and happiness draining as I tried to register what he had just said. We hadn’t seen each other in a little over two weeks! What the…?
He saw the look in my eyes and pulled me to him..kissing my cheek and squeezing me tight. He pressed his lips against my ear and explained that there were some people giving Andy’s brother trouble and they needed to take care of it. He didn’t want to bring me, it could be dangerous.
I couldn’t help it, the disappointment was so fierce, and the fear of him getting hurt, so scary, that my eyes started to well up.
Remember how I told you nothing ever rattled him? Well..there was a negative side to that. When I became emotional or feisty, he treated it like it was no big deal and there was no reason for me to get so agitated, almost amused by my reactions. It had happened a few times during my senior year of high school, but now it was more painful than ever.
For some reason, I couldn’t help thinking that all the girls watching him hug and kiss me were thinking how lucky I was and probably wished they were in my place, but little did they know..he was blowing me off..or at least that’s how I felt.
I started to pull away from him but he kept pulling me back. The people on the ride were getting a bonus round of upside-down.
He took my face in his hands..looked deep into my eyes, trying to be serious since he knew his nonchalant reactions to my emotional states bugged me to end.
“If I get back early enough, I’ll come by and get you, okay ? It’s no big deal, baby..we have lots of nights together after tonight.” He said in almost fatherly way, which bugged me even more.
He kissed me a dozen more times, but I didn’t feel any one of them. How could he blow me off for some tough guy shit when we hadn’t seen each other in weeks? Maybe there was a girl there he liked?
On top of soft chocolate ganache
For the first time in our relationship, I opened the vault to my anger, and let it fly..
“Why can’t you stop being such a tough guy? Why do you always have to be a f%^%ing hero? Why do you always have to put your life in danger??” I shouted, a little too loudly.
I pulled away from him and walked away fast. I knew the girls watching us were probably happy now that it didn’t look good between us.
When I reached my friend, I grabbed her and pulled her with me. Suddenly I heard a girl in the swarm of Dreamboat lust say to her friend..”Go over and talk to him, I think I saw him look at you!”
I stopped dead in my tracks and turned to see two really attractive girls plotting their move on him. The anger came on fast and I saw nothing but hot, blazing red. I took a step toward them..
“Don’t even think about it!” I shouted, icily.
They both looked at me with surprise, as did my friend…totally shocked at what came out of my mouth. One of the girls decided to pour fuel into my already raging fire;
“I don’t see a ring on your finger.” she said, brazenly.
That was it..I was in NO MOOD..
“No, but you will see one around your eye if you even try to get with him!” I blurted out, feeling the steam rise from my guts, then out my mouth.
OMG, what had come over me? I was going completely Jersey on these girls. This was a first. I think some of Dreamboat’s friend’s girlfriends had rubbed off on me.
My friend yanked me away as the girls continued to yell “Bitch!” and other obscenities. She had to pull pretty hard to get me to move..I was ready to rumble. I was hurting and seething at the same time.
Once we got off the pier and onto the boardwalk..I started to cry…well, sob uncontrollably. She consoled me as we walked back to the apartment, reminding me that I was PMSing, so I was probably overreacting. Plus, he was not afraid of anything and strong, she reasoned, so if anything, the other party would be hurting.
It didn’t matter, I told her..strong and not afraid do not trump a knife or gun.
J, and his brother, P, were waiting out in front when we got back to the complex, since our other friend’s boyfriend had driven up an hour after we did, and they didn’t want to disturb them.
My friend told them what happened as I rubbed my puffy eyes. His brother hugged me…
“Awww, Sis, (short for sistah-in law), he’s crazy about you, trust me…there is something he needs to do.” P said, trying to temper the situation.
Yeah..like his brother, who adored and feared him, would tell me the truth if he was in fact lying to me. But it wasn’t just that..it was the worry I now had to endure. What if he got hurt? What if he was killed?? What if he hooked up with another girl??? Yeah, the latter seemed to worry me the most. Jealousy was eating me alive.
His brother then announced that their Mom had made her killer lasagna, so why not go back to his house and have some, so we could leave our other friend and her boyfriend alone for a while? Of course my friend, who loved to eat and never gained weight, jumped at the offer. I felt sick, but went anyway. Great, I’ll be at his shore house…without him.
When we got there, his Mom was only too happy to feed us..well, them, since I couldn’t eat, I was too upset. She also tried to soothe my worries…telling me she doubted there was anyone else he wanted more than me because she’d never seen him like this with a girl.
Don’t they all say that?
Her blue eyes, Dreamboat’s eyes, sparkled as she sipped some wine and enjoyed having a daughter to talk to – she stroked my hair as if I was her own daughter, which was really nice, then said….
“I’m tellin’ ya…I’ve seen dozens of girls come and go, yaw the first one he’s evah fell hard faw,” she said, as she gave me a half hug, then tried to force feed me lasagna.
It helped, but I still couldn’t shake that icky feeling. I couldn’t tell her about his ‘taking care of Andy’s brother’ deal, which was scaring me more and more as the clock ticked away. There was no need to make her worry too.
Swirled with raspberry jam
She suggested we stay the night. Since his father only came up for long weekends, due to work, she insisted my friend and I sleep in their bed and she would sleep on the couch. She was in a good mood.. excited because they were going to Atlantic City that coming weekend.
After hanging out for a while, watching movies and playing some board games (as I desperately hoped he would suddenly walk through the door, the later it got), we finally went to bed around 2 am.
Surprisingly, sleep came fast. In what seemed like minutes, although the clock showed hours, I was jolted awake from my deep slumber. I heard the backdoor creak open. He was just getting home..it was almost 5 am.
Part 13B coming soon.
Now to the winner of the KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer! I really wish I could give everyone who entered one of these mixers. I promise, there will be more great giveaways coming soon! Thank you all for entering!
The Random Number Generator decided that Candace, who’s comment is #224, is the winner!
Congratulations, Candace! I will be sending you an email so you can choose a color and give me your mailing info. As soon as I get it, it will be sent out to you ASAP. If there is no response from you within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.
One more thing – I’d like to thank Bonnie, of Bonnie Banters, for nominating me for a Food Stories Award! Again, I’m incredibly flattered! Since I was nominated late last month, and have already passed on 5 nominations…I’ll throw in another random fact about me.
When I was a child..having had the luxury of seeing several Broadway shows, and listening to my father’s collection of Broadway soundtracks..I decided I wanted to be a Broadway singer. I used to stand on my front door step and belt out tunes like Tomorrow, Memory, One etc. There was one small problem, I couldn’t sing. My poor neighbors.