Category Archives: eat

dessert buffet.

 

i am almost always in charge of dessert for family functions, and this year was by far the easiest as i included decorated sugar cookies and fudge (popular with the kiddos), cuties (popular with anyone after a huge and heavy meal), and a gifted fruit tart.  one thing i’ve learned is to not overdo it when it comes to holidays. too much pressure=less fun and less time to spend with loved ones, no?

 

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some pictures from the last of 2009.

 

{a day of much-needed rain}

{cookies for santa}

{a visit from santa, of course. apparently he vacations next door. who knew?}

{a huge christmas eve meal with andrew, j, and his kids.}

{and an even bigger meal for christmas.}

{santa brought j a ludwig set. needless to say, he was a very happy boy.}

{santa brought me a few cool gifts, too. needless to say, i was a very happy girl.}

christmas was filled with love, togetherness, and relaxation. and it was beautiful and warm enough to wear flip-flops. we played with all our toys, then spent the day after christmas not fighting the crowds at the mall, but using up our annual passes at the aquarium.

all in all a fabulous christmas. tonight will be very low-key. have a safe and wonderful new year’s eve!

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pumpkin cheesecake.

must. try. this. recipe.

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{cooking club}: cream of broccoli soup.

broccoli_cheddar_soup

{via 101 cookbooks}

we’ve been in a big-time soup mood lately. since j loves broccoli (we call them little trees), i thought i’d try out cream of broccoli soup this week. this recipe is from how to cook everything by mark bittman, and it was simple and delish.

cream of broccoli soup

  • 1 lb. of broccoli florets
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/4 to 1 cup half-and-half , cream, or milk
  • a grating of nutmeg
  • salt and *white* pepper

Add the broccoli, potatoes, broth and bring to a boil. Don’t worry if broth doesn’t completely cover broccoli. Turn heat to low, cover, and simmer until the broccoli and potatoes tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Cool lightly and blend the entire mixture off heat until a smooth puree is achieved.  Return to low heat and warm through but do not boil. Add the cream. Add nutmeg and adjust salt and pepper.

next time i’m trying this recipe from 101 cookbooks.

happy eating! thanks to joslyn from raising foodies for hosting this cooking club. it’s been fun!

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chocolate chip cookies.

cookies

i sometimes get the occasional craving for a homemade chocolate chip cookie, but who wants to bake a big batch and eat them all by oneself? andrew’s been watching his sweets intake, j doesn’t even like cookies (interesting child, huh?), and everyone at work is dieting. i’d share with my students, but as of late they aren’t worthy since all they do is complain about how hard school is (we are ALL ready for thanksgiving break). so what i do is make a big batch, bake a few, and freeze the rest. they lie in wait in the freezer for when i’ve had one of THOSE days.

chocolate chip cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

preheat oven to 375F.

combine flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside. beat butter, sugar, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl until creamy. add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. gradually beat in flour mixture. drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets.

bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. cook on baking sheets for 2 minutes.

tip: use an ice cream scoop to portion out the dough on cookie sheets. pop in the freezer. when they are fully frozen put cookies into a freezer bag.

cookiedough

cookiedoughinbag

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{cooking club}: pumpkin ginger waffles.

batter

pumpkinwaffles

yum. enough said. everyone liked them. as far as i know this was the little one’s first foray into the something made with pumpkin. he’s a fan so far. these waffles are like a soft pumpkin pie pancake bread. a lame description, i know, but yum. did i already say that???

pumpkin ginger waffles (from country living magazine)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinamon

1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

2 large eggs

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. remove 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture and toss with crystallized ginger in a small bowl. set aside. whisk eggs, buttermilk, pumpkin, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl. combine with flour mixture. stir in butter and fold in reserved crystallized ginger mixture. do not overmix. heat a waffle iron and make waffles, using about 1/2 cup batter for each one. keep warm in 200F oven, if desired.

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surrender.

you know you’re a mother when you feel some sort of guilt, right? i’ve been grappling with this lately, as work comes piling in and i struggle to keep our house together and our family fed literally and metaphorically. since school has started i’ve tried my best to put good, wholesome meals on the table as i did all summer, and feeling guilty when i fell short. food is important to me anyway, but since getting j, it’s become more so, as he came to us undernourished over a year ago.

i can attest to the amazing attributes that good food has for a growing child, especially one that has come from a less-than-desirable background. i’ve had to surrender, however. the pressure is too great. i know the importance of local, sustainable, organic, etc., etc. but something’s gotta give right now. i’m seeking help from pre-made meals, and that’s that. trader joe’s and costco, i love you. we’re still eating healthily, just not everything from scratch as we did in the summer.

food isn’t the only thing i’ve had to lighten up on. i am a perfectionist, and it’s more often than not a fault, rather than a good thing. i made my own birthday cake.

yes, you heard it. i love to bake, no one else around here does, and i hate store-bought cakes, so there you have it. it wasn’t a problem for me, so i don’t see the problem other people had with it when i told them this. anyway, j wanted to help me frost the cake, and if you know the typical work of a 2-year-old in baking, you can imagine it wasn’t the prettiest thing you’ve seen. i let it happen though, despite my wincing faces behind his back, because i know it’s important to have j help. he had fun doing it, and it was precious to see his pride in making his mom a cake. in my head i planned to just whip up another one, perfect in every way, but something happened. i looked at the finished product and decided that it was simply the most beautiful cake i had ever seen. and there you have it. a perfectionist not quite reformed, but getting there, realizing that i am human, and that i could be proud, too, because i saw a beautiful mess.

cake

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