Monday, October 25, 2010

Macaroons: Take 2

Remember the macaroon fiasco in Recipe #48? (I certainly do!) Well, I gave it another shot, and they turned out MUCH better! (Note to self, use less egg whites next time to thicken them up a bit.) This batch did taste pretty marvelous (and looked a wee bit prettier than the last attempt), so we included 'em in a lil care-package to Travis' mom. (Well actually, before sending we had to do some re-baking on account of us sneaking bites of the scrumptious cookies!) Also gave some to my parents who immensely enjoyed them!
These treats were baked amidst an extreee-mely productive day of Travis & I running errands, deep-cleaning the house (Is there anything more appealing than a man scrubbing the bathroom??), & dining at Ciao Mambo. Love that restaurant. Such an urban feel with all the funky Leanne Laine artwork on display. Her theme? Woman & wine. (See photo.)
And in keeping with the "mom theme," here I am pictured with the macaroons (and other cookies too), wearing a surprise from Ma; a Halloween shirt in consolation for my recent frenzied schedules. Aren't moms amazing?? Oh yes. Yes they are.
~Rating of Macaroons: 6 stars (out of 10)
~Quote of the day: "Mother Love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible." -Marion C. Garretty, quoted in A Little Spoonful of Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul.
~Music while cooking: Rock Star's Night at the Mayan Theatre

Monday, October 18, 2010

Recipe #71: Road Trip!

(23 recipes to go.)
We've both had some pretty crazy agendas lately, so a trip outa town was a much-needed getaway! Beforehand, I made Chico's granola, and turned it into a trail mix for our 14-hour drive to & from Laramie, WY. Also brought along the cookbook's picnic basket suggestions for some extra snacking in the ol' Honda...
Its been forever since I've been to Laramie, and it was a blast for Travis to show me around his old stomping grounds. I saw his basement apartment, a couple houses he built when working construction, where he graduated at Wyotech, & the pawn shop he traded a gun 12 years ago for gas money to Billings. (We checked, but it wasn't still there.) Ate at The Library & Sushi Boat, went to a flea market where I got a brilliant apron, shopped for some UW merchandise, and cheered on the Cowboys at their tailgating party & homecoming football game. They lost. But it was still a fantastic retreat! And Travis was especially excited to be on the INSIDE of the stadium (the whole purpose of our trip), being as when he lived there (well over a decade ago-- funny how fast time zips by) he was always on the OUTSIDE flipping burgers for McDonalds' trailer. (We made sure to eat there too before leaving.)
On the way home I was able to catch some Viking scores via radio (while rockin' my Jared Allen T), as Travis caught some Zzz's. They beat Dallas, and are now back in the thick of things with their 2-3 record! Awesome.
~Rating of Granola: 7 stars (out of 10)
~Quote of the day: "Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us." -Oscar Wilde in "The Importance of Being Earnest"
~Music while cooking: None, just some early morning, before-work quietness.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Recipes #69 & #70: fall fondue

(24 recipes to go.)
Amidst our SUPER BUSY work-week, we made the cookbook's Heirloom Bread & Crostini. (Delish.) Dipped them in a cheese fondue, tuned in to some football, & continued our awe of WR Randy Moss' blockbuster trade back to Minnesota.
GO VIKINGS GO!!
~Rating of Heirloom Bread: 7 stars (out of 10)
~Rating of Crostini: 7 stars (out of 10)
~Quote of the day: "Straight cash, homey." -Randy Moss
~Music while cooking: football

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Recipe #68: Farmers Market

(26 recipes to go.)
Of course, I just had to catch the very last Farmer's Market of 2010! So sad it has come to an end... Among several treats of Khantaly's Eggrolls & the Hutterites' produce, I loaded up on herbs & veggies to make Chico's Gazpacho. A cold soup? Really? This recipe would have been completely overlooked if it weren't for my quest to cook the entire book. It just didn't sound appealing to me at all. But, figured I better get this potential thirst quencher out of the way before winter sets in. After all, a COLD soup with COLD temperatures seems even more ridiculous.
As the recipe's tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, & peppers marinated that afternoon, I headed up the mountain to check out Red Lodge's fall colors; my sixth trip there this year, what a great escape. After the week's hectic schedule & the previous night's entertainment at a rowdy Skyview homecoming football game (oh the memories that sparked!), a lil out-of-town peace & quiet was exactly what the doctor ordered. Hello Autumn!! Thanks for the beautiful scenery, Mother Nature. Its like I stumbled across a paint-by-number painting. And have I mentioned the weather is simply GORGEOUS? I mean, we're talking 80 degrees in October! Must. Savor. This. Sunshine. While watching a lil football this afternoon (NFL is like a soap opera or reality show-- ya just can't miss a thing!) I finished off the remaining steps of this sweet & spicy Gazpacho. And here's the kicker; I LOVE this soup!!! Love, love, loooove it! Its, surprisingly, quite refreshing with the veggie/tomato juice combo. There's still a huge pot leftover to welcome Travis from a hunting trip with his coworker Chris. My bachelorette weekend is about to come to a close... As are these beautiful sunshiny conditions, I just know it. But how great to discover a recipe I will most definately make again!
~Rating of Gazpacho: 8.5 stars (out of 10)
~Quote of the day: "To sit in the shade on a fine day & look upon the verdant green hills is the most perfect refreshment." -Jane Austin
~Music while cooking: In the mood for a lil jazz, I cranked up Erin McDougald's Meeting Place --during the football commercials...