Links delicious

Could go for some Pineapple Limeade Cooler right about now…

Scones…love them.  I find that recipes {and the results} for scones can vary widely, so when I find a good one, I stick with it.  Thinking I should add this one to the rotation.

Oh, she had me at “breadcrumb-like crouton rubble coating each cut side of tomato.” And then slayed me with “crouton fairy dust.”  I now must make this tomato salad with crushed croutons.

{As an aside, in that very same post, Deb mentions a tomato and corn omlette and links to this picture.  Sheesh, now I want to make that, too.}

Pina Colada Cupcakes — yes, please!  {are we picking up on a pineapple theme here?…}

Links delish

Sorry, folks.  This week’s {Looks} Links delicious is a bit sparse.  Guess I’ve been caught up in photographing and documenting for A Week in the Life and I haven’t been drooling over food photos and words quite as much.  Forgive?

I tend to be a bit iffy about sangria, but I’m willing to give this one a whirl.

This recipe for Key Lime Pie Ice Cream has been open in my feed reader for months.  Perhaps it will finally make it to my kitchen come August.

Dear friends who are well-acquainted with my sweet tooth sent me *cupcakes* for my birthday this week.  Little did they know, but the master baker behind this delicious little business is a former colleague of my husband’s, so I’ve known Christina for several years.  The cakes were incredible, and I’m so thrilled for Creme Cupcakes’ success {and for any opportunity to taste these lovelies!}!

Links delicious

I recently discovered a blog written by a local couple.  I’m loving their ideas, like these tortellini caprese kebabs.

IGE was full of tasty-lookin’ meals this week.  This latest dinner might make it on my weekend menu.

Can’t wait to find some arugula at the farmers market.  When I do, I’ll be making grilled pizza with prosciutto, parmesan, and arugula.  And then I’ll make this.

I love the look of this dish.  In fact, I loved it so much that I made it the other night and served it alongside baked orange chicken and our favorite harvest grain pilaf from TJs.  I’d never had cold asparagus in a salad, so it took a few bites to come around to the different texture and flavor but I really liked it.  (Can’t say the same for my husband, who prefers his asparagus roasted or grilled and decked out with S&P and roasted garlic.  Admittedly, I could it like that every day.)  The asparagus with the chopped egg, fresh vinaigrette, and wee bit of onion tasted just like spring to me.

Cookie for breakfast

When the kids came back from their week at Grandma and Grandpa’s, I had a new breakfast idea up my sleeve.  Some weeks back, I discovered Iowa Girl Eats, a great blog by, get this, a local!  It’s full of enthusiasm and great ideas, is practical and not pretentious, and features some lovely pictures.  

Kristin at IGE posts often about this “breakfast cookie.” From first mention, I was intrigued.  Initially, I thought a breakfast cookie would essentially be a granola bar, just a different shape. 

Not so.  While not as portable as a granola bar, it most definitely tastes better.  The oats are tender and creamy after spending the night hours softening in the yogurt and banana mixture, the creamy spread of yogurt is like frosting, and the fruit on top gives it a wake-you-up pop of deliciousness!  

 

The first time I made one, I was hooked.  (Though I will admit I was a bit skeptical when I prepped it the night before…Don’t fret if you try it and feel the same.  It’s totally worth any “is this really going to be any good?” doubts you might have.) 

Given my general lack of time every. single. morning, the breakfast cookie is ideal for me us because 

  1. It requires very little prep. 
  2. There’s no need to turn on the oven. 
  3. It requires just a few basic staples and only the teeniest bit of forethought.
  4. It’s packed with protein and filling enough to keep you going all morning.

 

Now, I tried this out on my kids and was surprised by their reactions.  Birdgirl loves oatmeal.  We’re talking loooooves it, even more so if there’s a dollop of yogurt on top. So, naturally, I thought she’d love the breakfast cookie.  The Boy, on the other hand, is not a fan of oatmeal, or new things in general, so I didn’t have high hopes for his review. 

All this is to say she didn’t like it and he did like it. Go figure. 

Anyway, I thought it was fantastic.  It’s even better with this: 

Best. yogurt. EVER.

 

I imagine you could mix this up any number of ways: 

– Use plain yogurt as a base and play off virtually any fruit (from fresh berries or peaches in the summer, to cooked apples in the fall); use vanilla yogurt (it’s like frosting); or pair a fruit combo–like bananas in the oats, strawberry yogurt for the topping. 

– Add some peanut butter and maybe some honey to the oat mixture (I tried this and loved it; kids…weren’t so crazy about it) 

– Include some dried fruit or, better yet, chocolate chips in the oat mix or on top! 

  

Here’s your starting point: 

Breakfast Cookie 

from Iowa Girl Eats 

1/4 c. oats 

1/2 mashed banana 

yogurt 

1 T. slivered or sliced almonds 

Mix the oats, mashed banana, and a few spoonfuls of yogurt and spread onto a small plate.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, top your cookie with a spread of yogurt and your favorite fruit.

Notebook*: I need an excuse to make these

 I’ve been hanging on to this as a “Draft” for way too long.  Follow ups coming soon!
 

Oatmeal raspberry scones.  Oh yes.

MYOTO (acronym courtesy of Rachael Ray, “make your own takeout”):

Shrimp Brown Fried Rice

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice.  Pair this with some grilled chicken.

 

Because my husband would eat pork every day of his life if that were an option, I should give this Island Spice Pork Tenderloin a try.

Must try cardamom:

Banana Apple Cardamom Cake with Cardamom Icing from FoodBlogga

3/10/10 — finally bought cardamom at World Market.  No more excuses.

 

The mystery that is polenta:

Perhaps doable, a la Molly at Orangette?

Also, Mark Bittman because I appreciate his take.

 

Totally cute entertaining touch:  how to make paper food baskets.

Eggplant:  This Eggplant Parmesan Casserole looks tasty. 

 

OMG, mushrooms.  If only I could get away with this for dinner. 

* Credit to Amy at The Motherload for this fantastic “Notebook” idea!

Valentine’s dinner

Welcome to my brainstorm.

I’m regularly updating this work in progress…Stay tuned!

Beef tenderloin?  Maybe.

Stuffed mushrooms?  Oh, how I love thee…  But if stuffed mushrooms are a starter, can I still make mushroom risotto??

Cocoa pancakes.  Yeah.

Red velvet cupcakes.  Oh…  Though a friend suggested this one.

Or molten lava cakes.  Because, well…obviously.

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The final analysis:  I should have listened to my brother.

The mushroom-stuffed tenderloin would have been divine.  Instead, I did a collection of pepper-crusted tenderloin medallions.  They were okay, though just this side of overdone, and the pepper was much stronger than the last time I made them (um…three years ago).

I did make squash risotto, which was fantastic, and I soooo wish it was lunch time because I want to eat the rest right! now! 

My roasted green beans were far from ideal and plainly illustrated the case for using fresh, beautiful-looking produce.  The beans I used looked a little sad from the get-go; they were pale, with very little body.  Hence, they shriveled up during roasting and the texture was odd.

The cake?  Was okay, but the frosting was a massive fail.  Unless, of course, you’re the type who likes a cottage-cheese-y textured frosting that tastes like pure butter.  But I seriously doubt any of you exist.  I’m less bummed about the frosting fail than I am about losing half a pound of butter in the process.  (Damn! Do you know what I could make with that much butter?!  Cookies, roux, brownies, more mushrooms…aaahhh!!)

So, here’s what went right:  Tenderloin, after all, is tenderloin, so the meat was actually delicious.  I sauteed some sliced mushrooms in oil in the pan I used for the meat, and then deglazed the pan with some Zin.  Oh! those were fabulous.  They were a fantastic bridge for the steak and risotto. 

The big winner:  The Brie-stuffed mushrooms.  The easiest, most delicious stuffed mushrooms I have every made or tasted.  Go forth and make them.  Now!

Milkshakes

I recently discovered Spilled Milk and am pretty amused by their podcasts.  Didn’t think I’d enjoy listening to kitchen gadget noises while erudite (and hilarious) foodies talk about and prepare food that I didn’t get to see, let alone taste.  But I do!  It’s like eavesdropping on friends in the kitchen, only it’s edited so you don’t have to hear the arguments or transition silences.

Anyway, loved the latest podcast about milkshakes.

Matthew prepares a fantastic-sounding lemon sorbet-buttermilk-sesame concoction that I would love to try on a summer night.

Oh, and chocolate malts–or more aptly, hot fudge malts–are a major weakness for me.  I think I’m going to have to use up that (Carnation!) malt powder in the cupboard…like, tonight.

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eta:

Saturday afternoon, The Boy and I enjoyed some DEEE-lish hot fudge malts.  There was no Hershey’s syrup in the house (once a cardinal sin, but the kids seem to have grown out of that) but I did find a jar of Hershey’s hot fudge that had resurfaced in The Great Refrigerator Purge of a few weeks back.  So…a generous tablespoon (or two…) of hot fudge, a couple scoops of unnaturally-shaped-rectangular-tub (as Matthew aptly notes in the podcast) vanilla ice cream, a splash of milk, and a generous quarter cup of malt powder later, we were happily slurping on some deliciousness usually reserved for warm summer nights or lazy lunches in 50s-style diners.

While nothing can top the hot fudge malts of my youth–or, more accurately, the sips I’d steal from my mom’s standard hot fudge malt from Goodrich Dairy–this was pretty damn good.  I got my fix. And now I’m good until Snookie’s opens for the season and my kids beg for sips from their mom’s malt.