Five of my favorite things from the past week:
- My Dyson. Truth to tell I have a love/hate (well not really hate, but strong dislike) relationship with Dyson. It frustrates me that my parents spent a tremendous amount of money buying me an incredible gift and it doesn't work exactly as it should (I have the Animal D41 and beware, it will not go seamlessly from bare floors to area rugs, the suction on the vacuum is so incredibly strong it was impossible to push on our area rugs until we removed a gasket from around the vacuum head. Suction problem solved, but obviously we've lost important suction as well. That being said, if you have a house with all wall-to-wall, you will love this vacuum); it delights me that even not working exactly as it should it still works amazingly well. It's amazing how I can empty my Dyson (the first bagless vacuum I've ever liked, it truly does not make a mess when you empty it), vacuum my living room and dining room and have an amazing amount of yucky stuff to empty. I love, love, love seeing all that dirt and dust come out of my house and go away.
- My Nook Color. Jason and Lori got me one for Christmas one year and I absolutely love it. Lately it seems as though the library is increasing their collection of e-books and I've had a lot more luck finding books I want to read. So much fun! I love having books literally at my fingertips, if I finish one, on to the next. If I wake up in the middle of the night I can read without disturbing Mark too much, thanks to the great built-in and fully adjustable light. I seriously heart my Nook.
- Successful new recipes. We had a cookout on Memorial Day and I made the buns for the hamburgers. So exciting! They were absolutely delicious and very, very easy. I did a plain hamburger bun from King Arthur Flour, and cheddar buns and cheddar buns with jalapenos from Confections of a Foodie Bride (pictured below). Honestly, I wasn't so sure how much we would like the jalapeno cheddar buns and they were wonderful. Both recipes resulted in buns that were soft and very flavorful. Bonus, I was able to make them a day ahead and bake them the morning I wanted to use them and they were wonderful one and two days later when we had them for leftovers. I'm not a huge fan of store bought buns and it appeals to my creative side to make my own.
|Image: Southern Living|
There were a few other new recipes this week too, what can I say, I'm on a roll? I made Sweet & Spicy Bacon Chicken. I used a recipe I found on Pinterest as my inspiration, then veered off on my own. I took the rub from my Southwestern Chicken Salads and rubbed it on chicken tenderloins. Then, don't judge, you'd have to taste it to believe how delicious it is, you wrap it in a piece of bacon, liberally sprinkle brown sugar all over and grill. While it's grilling, over very low heat, so the bacon has time to crisp, brush it with BBQ sauce. Delicious! We're already drooling over different variations...next time I'm thinking terriyaki with pineapple, yum!
I also experimented with a new BBQ rib recipe, from Sweet Paul Magazine, beer battered onion rings from Martha Stewart, and cole slaw from Liete's Culinaria. We loved the ribs, so tender and perfectly cooked, with nice bits of crispy char. Jacob, Mark and Julianna were actually fighting over the most carmelized bits of juicy pork. It's a different technique than I've used before, but I know I'll be using it again. The onion rings were delicious, they're from her new cookbook, Martha's American Food: A Celebration of Our Nation's Most Treasured Dishes, from Coast to Coast. I got it out of the library to preview it and I've already ordered it from my cookbook club. So many things were calling our name to be tried! The cole slaw was very different from what we're used to, but very good and I'll be making that one again too. All in all, it was a very successful dinner of brand new recipes.
The final new recipe from last week was from Food Network Magazine (pictured below). As soon as the April (?) issue came with a picture of gorgeous egg tarts on the cover Jacob started asking me to make them. I dragged my feet a bit, it involved puff pastry, which was slightly intimidating to me, as well as havarti cheese which I had never tried. Finally, I knew I couldn't put him off any longer and we tried them. So, so good! Much easier than I had feared and we all loved them. For Julianna's I scrambled her eggs, next time I'll delay putting her tart in the oven until ours have been in 5 minutes or so. Seriously, try these, the puff pastry was delicious, Julianna likened it to eating a croissant stuffed with cheese and eggs, not a bad description.
4. New recipe binder. I'm always trying new recipes, therefore I always need a new recipe notebook. I found myself tending to print them off the internet or make copies of cookbook pages. Then, I started thinking about how much it means to me to have things handwritten from the past, from people I have loved. Not to be morbid, but I started thinking about how much it might mean to my kids to have that same thing one day, so I've started a scrapbook style recipe notebook. A bonus I didn't expect is that I'm finding it really rewarding creatively. It combines two interests of mine, cooking and scrapbooking and I think it's enormously fun.
5. Well, look at me, I'm at number 5 already and I'm having a hard time deciding what to put here because there are so many choices! What a difference a week can make in terms of perception. I've decided I have to go with gratuitous kid picture. Jacob marched in the Memorial Day parade with his boy scout troop. I was so proud of him! It was hot, screaming hot, and he still marched. For some
Okay, I apologize, I know this post is long already, but I have to add this one in. Check out this video, it's a bit long, but still under 5 minutes, and I promise it is worth your time. Stick with it until the very end and I predict you'll be in tears. You hear so much about bullying and how poorly kids treat each other. What a wonderful testament that good things happen to, and at a school in our district, I feel so proud and so hopeful for the future. You will too, just watch it.
Hope you feel inspired too. Have a great week.
|Living to Tell the Story|