Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Truthful Tuesday

I'm about to share with you something I learned about myself this weekend.  Make sure you're sitting down for this one. 

Regular Oreos no longer entice me.

Pick yourself up off the floor (hey, I warned you to sit down) and let me clarify.  I've only eaten Double Stuf Oreos for so long that the measly amount of cream filling in a regular Oreo no longer satisfies me.

I mean, look at this.  There is no comparison!  Regular Oreos:

Versus Double Stuf Oreos:

There's simply no comparison!  The cream filling in the Double Stuf Oreo is what I crave.  A regular Oreo has too much cookie to the small amount of filling.

I hope I'm not alone in my Oreo snobbery.  Maybe the recipe has changed over the last decade or two, or maybe the Oreo suffered a fate similar to the Cadbury egg, but I seem to remember regular Oreos having much more filling than they currently do.

It's also possible that this is a case of "was better when I was younger" syndrome.  That recently happened when I visited Idlewild Park over the 4th of July.  I raved about how great the park was and how much fun we had there during school picnics, only to find the current park fell short of my hype.

Have you had this happen recently with a certain snack or favorite place?  Seriously, make me feel better and like I'm not just an ornery (28 year) old Oreo crusader. :)

One year ago: Greek lamb burgers
Two years ago: Blueberry boy bait

Monday, July 30, 2012

Blueberry muffin oatmeal

Sometimes I don't know what to write about.

I think back to what I've cooked recently and none of it seems to qualify as "blog-worthy."  In fact, most things I cook are downright uneventful.  I expect the food to be good, the food is good, and I eat it.  Meal's done and the case is closed.

So, I wrack my brain for something I can show you that will totally blow your mind.  Something that will have you wondering how you ever lived without it in your daily menu.  Something that has never been done before... ever... and must be introduced with a dozen trumpets' fanfare.

Because, gosh, you don't want to hear about normal things I eat day in and day out, right?

Or maybe you do.  And maybe I want to tell you about them.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fig & prosciutto grilled cheese

Whenever the cat's away, the mice will play.  Ever heard that saying?  Well,  I've got a better one for you.

Whenever the husband is away, the wife will eat whatever she wants.

That's right.  Matt is gone for the week visiting his folks, and I've been celebrating what I've deemed "Katy's birthday week of fun."  Massages, shopping, running early in the morning, and redeeming loads (and loads) of freebie birthday coupons have occupied my days and nights.  But the real treat has been eating whatever I want, whenever I want without minding another person's culinary needs and preferences.

Matt is the least picky eater I know, but there are still foods that he's not crazy about.  Though I know he'd eat them without a single complaint, I try to avoid serving them or plan an alternative for him if I'm really craving something.  Steamed broccoli for her, always raw broccoli for him.

However, this week has been all about my taste buds!  For example, on Tuesday, my breakfast (inspired by Iowa Girl Eats) consisted of half of a cantaloupe, cottage cheese in the edible bowl, all topped with a heaping pile of blueberries and almonds.  Husband-friendly it is not, but delicious and satisfying it definitely was.

Sunday's dinner was quite possibly my favorite salad of all time: arugula with goat cheese, watermelon and balsamic reduction.  Sweet summer goodness, you've gotta try this if you haven't already.

And last night's dinner was certainly the highlight of my kitchen creations so far this week.  I intentionally delayed it as long as possible because I knew it would be epic.  Mind-blowing.  Life-changing.  It was all of those things and more.  I give you the grilled fig, prosciutto, and mozzarella sandwich:

Holy heavenly sandwich!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

28 things to do before I turn 29

It's B-day!  That phrase has two meanings today.  First, it's Batman aka The Dark Knight Rises day/night.  And, possibly more important to at least me, it's the 28th anniversary of my introduction to this very world.  Weeee! :)

I can't believe I'm 28.  What a year it's been!  New jobs, new trips, new recipes, new friends, and new challenges.  I've watched some of my best friends get married and married my very best friend only a few months ago.  I'm so thankful for every single blessing in my life, big and small, and can't help but get excited for what's to come in the next 365 days.  Though I can't possibly imagine what's in store, there are some things that I'd like to make happen on my own.

I give you my birthday bucket list!

1. Attend the Vintage Grand Prix race
2. Go to Sandcastle water park before I become too old for it
3. Buy lunch (or ice cream) for a stranger
4. Sit for an old photo booth picture strip
5. Run another half marathon
6. Sleep in until noon at least once
7. Visit a winery for a tour
8. Make croissants from scratch
9. Go on a Just Ducky Tour
10. Ride a horse
11. Have a roof party
12. Volunteer at the library
13. Watch a sunrise
14. Learn how to make royal icing
15. Read The Great Gatsby... finally
16. Attend a German conversation club meeting and speak
17. Go a full 24 hours without a computer or cell phone
18. Watch "My Cousin Vinny"
19. Ride in a hot air balloon
20. Roll down a hill in a park
21. Take a European vacation with my husband
22. Learn to swing dance
23. Read an entire book in one day
24. Make pasta from scratch
25. Volunteer at a soup kitchen
26. Go to a midnight breakfast buffet
27. Make French macarons
28. Convert to a smart phone, finally (maybe)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sausage-stuffed zucchini boats

Who out there is trying to jump on the eat-what's-in-season bandwagon?  I once said I'd buy, cook, and eat whatever I wanted without letting the season or harvest dictate my choices.  I pointed fingers at people I'd  (sometimes) unfairly labeled "hippies" and mocked their trendy, farmer's market-frequenting ways.

And then, last summer, I went to a local farmer's market where I, too, was sucked into the (glorious) world of seasonal and local eats.

The colors were so bright.  The offerings were so great.  And the people!  The people were so nice and proud of their ability to provide for not only their families but the surrounding community.  In just a few minutes of visiting the tables, I felt an equal sense of pride and wanted to buy from my new local farming friends.  Sure, there was a little bit of guilt involved since I'd talked with at least one fellow for almost five minutes about bacon, but a little guilt won't hurt anyone (except maybe a pig).

Oh, and there may have been doughnuts.  Homemade doughnuts made by sweet little Amish girls.  Damn those unassuming shy girls with their wide smiles and free doughnut hole samples.  I may have purchased a doughnut to balance out the bacon and vegetables.  Life is all about achieving balance, right?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fast Friday Hall of Fame

TGIF!  I should add an "A" in there for already because it seems like this week has flown by, much to my surprise.  Usually the first week back after vacation moves slower than molasses, don't you agree?  But, thankfully, not this week.

I haven't had any new dinner recipes to share with you because it's been a week of revisiting old favorites in our kitchen this week.  If I had one complaint (I use the word loosely) about being so passionate about food, it's that I'm constantly looking to what I can make next and  to the backburner.  That being said, it was really nice delicious to revisit old favorites, which gave me the idea to share some of them with you again.

Since its inception, the Fast Friday feature has turned out to be a popular one for this blog.  I went through the site's stats and hand-picked the five most popular recipes according to you and your mouse clicks.  Here goes!

5. Easiest fruit dip - I swear I could eat this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

4. Grilled balsamic chicken - with all the tastes of pasta dishes and pizza but without the weight!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The all-American breakfast sandwich

Remember when I teased almost a week ago about the ultimate breakfast sandwich?  At last, here it is, ladies and gentlemen.  I'm going to skip the lengthy introduction and get right to it since I know anything I say will be read as "blah blah blah."  Don't worry, I'm not offended because I don't want to hear what I have to say either :)

At last, here it is, folks: the doughnut breakfast sandwich!

What you see was the product of vacation brain, food television, and great love of America.

I bet if there were a Behind the Scenes of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, we'd see this line tossed around: "Give me liberty and give me doughnuts and bacon!"  Or something like that, anyway.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Make your own ice cream sandwiches

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month?  It's no accident that July is also my birth month... just sayin'.  Now that you're hungry and craving the stuff, here are a few sweet treats to keep the heat at bay:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Just wanted to wish you and yours a very happy, festive, safe and delicious Fourth of July!

Check back this week for the most epic breakfast sandwich this side of the equator.  As Matt said, it's the most American sandwich ever created.  How's that for a teaser?  Care to take a guess at any of the ingredients? :)

P.S. If you're looking for any last minute picnic recipes, check out a few of my favorites here.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Butterfinger caramel bars

They say when it rains, it pours.  That seems to be the case around here lately because I can't get my mind off candy bars.  Can't and won't, to be clear.  And now, my obsession has turned to Butterfingers.

It's no secret that I love candy.  Ask any one of my coworkers about the kind of damage I do when it comes to the office candy bowl.  But it seems like I've been craving the stuff more frequently lately.   After dinner, rather than a cookie or piece of cake, I'm just as happy with a small piece (or four) of candy.  Anything to avoid turning on the oven and feeling uncomfortably full, right?

As much as I love turning out fantastic cakes, pies, and cookies, I shy away from the oven come summer.  Even with A/C, it's still a chore to keep our apartment cool when the outside temps hover above 95 for a week straight.  Just to be clear, I'm not complaining because it's been muuuuuuch worse in parts of the midwest and south.  Not complaining, just saying.

But, hot is still hot, folks.  Last Friday, Matt and I went to dinner with friends, and let's just say that restaurant's cooling system was seriously struggling, too.  The food (crab cakes!), the drinks (Sam Adams Summer Ale!), and the company were fabulous, but there's something about sticking to your seat despite wearing your cutest summer dress that keeps you from wanting to linger late into the night.