Monday, February 28, 2011

Marshmallows & Cocoa

Here it is the end of February and it's colder than ever... time for a big mug of hot cocoa with homemade marshmallows! I've never made marshmallows before but it looks like a lot of fun (and the homemade ones I've tasted are so much better than the store bought). I'm game if you are! Here's a list of links to some yummy hot chocolate and marshmallow delights... go snuggle up to one of them tonight and keep the bitter winter chill far far away.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Turkey Soup with Noodles

This soup marks the end of Tom Turkey–well, almost, I still have some of that great turkey gravy in the freezer. There are biscuits and gravy in our future for sure, but tonight, it's Turkey Soup with homemade noodles. After defrosting the turkey stock and the bag of leftover cooked turkey, I just added some herbs, carrots, celery and noodles. In virtually no time at all, it was a soup. A simple, good tasting, nourishing soup.

Play dough for grown-ups
Initially I was going to just make my regular pappardelle noodles and cut them into short pieces, but wouldn't some other shape be more fun? And wouldn't a different shape of pasta just taste so much better too? Without an extruder however, options are somewhat limited. Without years of experience hand-shaping pasta at an Italian grandmother's side, my options dwindled even further. So, after making up a batch of my favorite go-to pasta recipe, I sort of followed the instructions found here for hand-shaping pasta. I say "sort of followed" because I off-roaded just a bit. Okay... I played. A lot. Try it yourself and see if you don't too.

Monday, February 14, 2011

J'adore... Le Chocolat

Who doesn't love chocolate?
Let's get right to the heart of the matter, the soft (or chewy) center of things, if you will. Sure, the fancy heart-shaped box of chocolates is nice, but homemade chocolates (or other candy) have the added advantage of forethought and time investment going for them. The store-bought says, "I stood in line and used my credit card for you", while the homemade says, "I looked up recipes, bought ingredients, and spent the afternoon creating this with my own two hands just for you (not to mention the huge mess in the kitchen)".  And if it doesn't turn out so great, it's still awfully sweet...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Quoting... Mark Bittman

"It's a sorry sign that many people consider cooking 'from scratch' an unusual and even rare talent. In fact, it is a simple and rewarding craft, one that anyone can learn
and even succeed at from the get-go."
– Mark Bittman in How to Cook Everything (1998)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Popcorn Makes It A Party

Let's play "association"... I say a word and you say the first thing that pops* into your head. Ready? Here we go... POPCORN!

I don't know about anyone else but my first thoughts run something like this: Butter... Movies... Caramel... Ballpark... Butter... Circus... Kettle... Zoo... Butter... (you get the idea).

Popped corn, though a fairly humble snack, seems to make everything a bit of a special event, even if it's just watching DVDs from the sofa in your jammies. Taking its specialness up a notch or two (or five or twenty) are these popcorn-based snacks that may just divert all your attention from whatever movie (or ballgame) you're watching...
*Pun intended.
Special Note: In the olden days, if you dialed POP-CORN on your phone you would get a recording of a nice lady telling you the exact time. It doesn't work anymore though.

Friday, February 4, 2011

An Abundance Of Appetizing Appetizers

In theory, an appetizer, by its very name, is supposed to fan the flame of your hunger before the big meal... In reality, we usually end up stuffing ourselves on the apps and "ruin our appetite" for dinner. Geez, don't you hate it when mom is right?

Since we're adults now, I say heed what mom said, but stuff yourself with the appetizers anyway.... and then skip dinner! There've got to be some perks to growing old up, right?

Still cleaning out the cobwebs in my bookmarks folder... here are a bunch of appetizers that sound, well, really appetizing (many of which would make a fine meal)...