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Not As Good As Pork Cracklins

misadventures in cooking

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Strawberry Pie


Friday, May 28, 2010

Oatmeal Cookies

Off season. Earned it. Milking it for all that it is worth. If I want to run, I run. If I don't, I don't. If I want to bake, I do. Who are we kidding? I always want to bake. Now I have oodles of time and energy.

Half recipe of Saucer-Size Oatmeal Cookies, using dried Michigan cherries instead of craisins. With chocolate chips and toasted pecans in them too, these are some hefty cookies, so I didn't make them saucer-sized. Sorry.

Update: I like these better.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


For Mike because it's his birthday.

(Don't worry, honey, I set a couple aside for you :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Vanilla Dreams

Since the name of today's cookies is Vanilla Dreams, I'll share a snippet of lyrics that shuffled up on my iPod as I ran this morning:
I can't believe that we would lie in our graves, wondering if we had spent our living days well. I can't believe that we would lie in our graves, dreaming of things that we might have been.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Summer Rolls & Dumplings

To celebrate the end of Jess's semester (straight A's!!), we planned another fun cooking day. I told her that she needed to come up with the idea, because she's a better picker than I am. The only kindasorta rule I have is that it should be a project that neither of us has undertaken before.

Summer Rolls and Steamed Chinese Dumplings won. A few thoughts:

The recipe for Vegetable Summer Rolls is a winner, but only makes four. Ummm... neither Jess nor I think it would be worthwhile to make four of these. We made them until we ran out of ingredients, which I think was 15. We didn't assemble them exactly as directed, because I'd researched summer rolls in Fine Cooking and gotten ideas for how to make the outside look pretty. We tried various combinations -- green herbs on white noodles, green herbs on orange carrot and a few others.

They are delicious. The flavors are fresh, light and perfectly balanced with cilantro, mint & basil. The peanut sauce (not pictured) is good enough to eat with a spoon (we didn't) or to lick with your finger (we did).

just prior to our first taste-test:

The recipe for Shrimp & Spinach Dumplings with Asian Dipping Sauce is also a winner. We would change two things, though. The instructions say to cut the wonton wrappers into circles. Ha! Jess said there was no way she was doing that (waste! tedium! no way!). I said we'd do at least a few and then if she wasn't having fun, we leave the rest in squares. Plus, we know that you can buy round wonton wrappers, and why the recipe doesn't specify that to begin with, we don't understand. We would next time. We also think you could double or triple or quadruple the amount of spinach.

steaming dumplings:

Too. Much. Fun!!! We had a great time, as we always seem to. The food turned out great, as it always seems to. Next up, we're either having a Paella Party or we're doing a huge Indian spread. Stay tuned!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Banana Cupcakes

Banana Refrigerator Cake with Dreamy Creamy White Chocolate Frosting
, Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pickled Beets

My post Boston Marathon tradition is to walk to B&G Oysters for wine, oysters on the half-shell, and a lobster roll. I love their bread & butter pickles, too. Last year, I had a long conversation about them with the bartender, and I wasn't surprised to learn that they're made in-house. This year, I gave Susan a few off my plate. She asked if I'd ever made pickles, which I hadn't, but mostly because I don't have my own personal cucumber supplier, as she does.

Lately however, I have had a bounty of beets. Which made me remember. When I was a little girl, we often had a huge container of pickled beets in the refrigerator, but I had no appreciation for them whatsoever. Since then, I've learned to enjoy a lot of foods that I wasn't crazy about as a child. And because pretty much everything is better when you make it yourself with farm-fresh ingredients, I decided to give it a try.

I'm quite pleased with myself. They're very, very good. Now, what to do with all this kohlrabi?