June 20, 2010

My Music

Such a beautiful love song.
"I'd Rather Be With You" by Joshua Radin.

June 18, 2010

Adventures in Cooking-Brie Quesadillas with Mango Guacamole

In the vein of trying new things I was in search of a delicious new recipe. I found this one at bettycrocker.com. I've never had Brie cheese before, nor have I ever considered putting mango in my guacamole. Hmmmm, sounds different. Let's give it a go!

Begin with the guac. Using a fork, moosh together an avocado, finely chopped jalapeno, garlic and cilantro, some lime juice and a little salt, or a generous helping of salt if you're me. Top that with small chunks of mango and stir gently. I thought the guac tasted a little bland before adding the mango; then I tasted it with. OMGosh!! The mango made the guacamole. Seriously! There is a burst of sweetness that compliments the guaciness to perfection. Absolutely fantastic!
Here's a teaser shot to show the mouthwatering details. Oops! Wipe your chin.

Now it's time to make the quesadillas. Everyone knows how easy quesadillas are to make. Butter one side of a flour tortilla and drop it butter side down on a heated frying pan. Now add torn slices of your favorite deli ham (mine is honey ham) and smallish strips of brie cheese. It should look like this:
Top that with another buttered tortilla. After heating for a minute or so it should look like this:
Flip it very carefully so both sides of the quesadilla are browned equally. When it's done, cut it into triangles using a pizza cutter. My dinner guest and I slathered the guac onto the dillas and spent the next 20 minutes moaning in mango delight. It was so good that we made it again the following day for a barbecue, adding a bit more lime, salt and cilantro and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes to the guacamole. Yum-mm-mm-mm!

May 24, 2010

Adventures in Cooking-Key Lime Cupcakes

The goal: find a cupcake recipe reminiscent of a key lime pie.
The obstacle: I've never tasted a key lime pie.
The verdict: I don't know if it is anything like a key lime pie(still haven't tasted one) but it was quite limey. And quite tasty. Success!

Have I mentioned how much I love Google before? Google and I are tight. Almost as tight as Dictionary.com and I. When I need a recipe, Google does the leg work until I have something that looks doable. I found this recipe at BettyCrocker.com. It was VERY easy and VERY VERY flavorful. We're talking pucker-faced sourness that lingers in its tangy limeyness. You know it's good when I have to make up words to best describe it.

The lemon cake mix combined with lime jello gives the cake its tartness but the real punch comes from the 30 little key limes that I juiced to make just over 1/3 cup of fresh key lime juice. Add the juice to the cake batter, then add it to the powdered sugar glaze that's dribbled over the cupcake. But don't stop there. Spoon just a touch more into the homemade cream cheese frosting. I topped mine with thin slices of key limes and a sprinkling of graham cracker crumbs. They are perfect for the citrus lover in your life.

May 04, 2010

Trying Something New

My new philosophy for life is "I'll try it!" The ! is the most important part of the philosophy. It is the anchor that guarantees no chickening out at the last moment. Sometimes I rely very heavily on that !. Even when I don't care for the end result I have always been glad that I gave it a try. Here are a few of my new endevers from the dinner table:

Grilled Oysters-my first taste of oysters. I liked them.

Jumbo Shrimp-I didn't like the texture. It felt like biting into a finger. Yuck.

Clam Spaghetti-Very good.

Buffalo Burgers-Wow, these were seriously great!

Fried Avacados-add a cream cheese filling and drizzle with honey. I'm all over that.
*note - I wish I could take credit for the awesome photos but I only took the last one. Thank you to google images for the rest of them.

April 17, 2010

Fun with Music

This just cracks me up. Uber-nerd is bringing Sexy Back. He plays a keytar and a stylophone. I think that says it all. :)

Check out his versions of Beat It and I Kissed a Girl.

April 16, 2010

Adventures in Cooking-Crepes

My heart stopped beating for a second as my mind caught up. For a couple of months I had been searching in vain for an affordable crepe pan. Then, out of the blue, I saw it. Not just any crepe pan either. It was electric and about half the price of a standard crepe pan. And that's not all. It was clearance priced!

My inauguration of the most awesomest crepe pan ever occurred at the house of a family friend. Because I am without my Mastering the Art of French Cooking I settled for the generic recipe in the instruction manual. It was quite simple. The crepe pan works like a waffle iron. Coat the pan with the batter. When the little light turns off, the crepe is ready to be removed. The crepes came out perfect ever single time. Fill with sugared strawberries, top with whipped cream, and call it dessert.

While they were absolutely delicious, I will try the Julia Child dessert crepe recipe just as soon as I get custody of my cookbook. Then I will try the dinner crepe recipe with chicken salad. Oh, I can't wait!

April 15, 2010

The Book Group

She walked into the book group late, as usual, and unsure of herself, also as usual. After complaining for two months about her boredom, and crying herself to sleep each night from her lack of basic human contact other than her long suffering and supportive mother, she had decided it was time. Time to fill her time with something other than her own fluctuating thoughts about her worthiness and likability. Time to actively seek friends instead of waiting for them to show up at her doorstep and invite her to be a part of their lives. It took her two months to step out on her own two feet and timidly, mousily announce, "I am single and I am here."

She had not finished reading the book. In fact, she had only just begun. She hadn't even gotten 100 pages in; hardly far enough to form an opinion. She decided that she would contribute as little as possible to the discussion. This first meeting was more to find out who the other members were and how the meetings ran. This was a test drive.

The first thing she noticed was that she was the youngest one there by at least 10 years and in some cases 40 years. There were 10 members not counting herself. They obviously were a group that knew each other because they all chatted easily, interrupting and agreeing or disagreeing like family. There was the lady who thought the 11 year old character had too mature a voice; the woman who was disappointed in the actual book as compared to the potential it had; the gal who thought the author killed off the most interesting male too soon and the one who thought he should have been killed off much sooner. There were the two old ladies from the nursing home who kept comparing it to other books and movies; and there was the token man of the group who thought that, though it was chick lit and not a book he cared for, that it did have a story to tell and might make a good chick flick starring Dakota Fanning.

But our protagonist sat silently nodding her head or smiling when appropriate to do so. As the meeting closed, the gentleman next to her told her about some of the other book groups that he was involved in. One of the women asked her if she had read A Reliable Wife. "Yes, I loved it!" She found out that there was a writer in the group who was this close to being published. As she had dappled in writing herself she paid close attention. Okay, so this group did little to offer peer groups for her to hang out with but it would certainly work for human connection and intellectual stimulation.

She left feeling a little less lonely.