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31 Jul

Smitten Zucchini Bread

What do you do when a neighbor kindly gifts you a 3 pound zucchini?  You make zucchini bread.  Lots of zucchini bread.  And if you’re me, where is the first place you look for a zucchini bread recipe?  Smitten Kitchen, of course. Continue reading

Tastes Like That Good Old Fashioned Lemonade

17 Jul

Lemon

In my childhood, a container of Country Time mix was the closest we ever got to homemade lemonade.  You remember Country Time, don’t you?  It “tastes like that good old fashioned lemonade”, or so they say.  I say it tastes like: Sugar, Fructose, Citric Acid (Provides Tartness), Natural Flavor, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Maltodextrin, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Citrate (Controls Acidity), Magnesium Oxide (Prevents Caking), Calcium Fumarate, Soy Lecithin, Artificial Color, Yellow 5 Lake, Tocopherol (Preserves Freshness).  How’s that good old fashioned lemonade? Call me silly but I thought lemonade was lemon juice, water, and sugar. Continue reading

Got Ribs?

14 Jan

beef_cutssvg

Short ribs.  Braised short ribs.  Lovely bits of meaty goodness bathed in a flavorful broth.  Beef that falls apart as soon as you look at it.

My initial foray into the world of short ribs was courtesy of the Washington Post.  They raved about Mahogany Short Ribs.  So I gave them a shot.  And they were awesome.  But I can only fit so many pieces into a crockpot.  So that recipe got filed away to be tinkered with.  Only the tinkering never got off the ground. Continue reading

Sugar and Spice Part Deux

12 Jan

The holiday season finds many of us making the same things.  And I’m always interested to see a different approach to a recipe that I’ve coaxed out of my kitchen.  Like those Spiced Nuts I made before Christmas.

They had all been packaged and shipped and I’d already moved on to the next recipe on my list when I saw Deb at Smitten Kitchen had blogged about them as well.  Her take on Candied Nuts employs egg whites and the oven while mine are constructed entirely on top of the stove.

But you know what?  Her’s looked more like I wanted mine to look.  All sandy and nubby with the spices.  Not shiny.

And I like that hers is straightforward in the sweet/salty/spicy mix and only uses three flavors.  The more complicated the flavor palette, the more chance for things to go wrong.

So although it’s absurdly early to say this is definitely what I’m going to make next holiday go round, it is at the top of my list.  Hope it finds a spot on yours as well.  I’m not going to post her recipe here because reading her post and drooling over her photos is half the fun!

Blogs That Rock – Smitten Kitchen

7 Jan

Graphic courtesy of smittenkitchen.com

Graphic courtesy of smittenkitchen.com

Deb, of Smitten Kitchen, is the kitchen goddess I aspire to be.  Her blog has the power to unleash the Seven Deadly Sins from her home kitchen.

Lust is usually thought of as excessive thoughts or desires.  Take one look at her photos and you will be consumed with the desire for a taste of whatever she’s making.  Doesn’t matter if you like the particular ingredients, you will be mesmerized by the pictures.  Yes, this is food porn at its finest.

Gluttony is the over-indulgence and over consumption of anything.  Seriously, would one taste of the Peanut Butter Crispy Bars be enough for anyone?

Greed is a sin of excess. Greedy behavior, including hoarding of materials or objects, is one possible side effect of making her recipes.  Would YOU really share the Peanut Butter Crispy Bars?  Be honest.  It’s ok, I wouldn’t either.

Sloth is a sin of laziness or indifference.  Like after you’ve eaten the entire batch of Crispy Bars, you will be completely indifferent to whether or not you shared them with anyone.

Wrath is a tricky one.  It may be described as feelings of hatred and anger and is not necessarily associated with selfishness or self-interest, although one can be wrathful for selfish reasons, such as jealousy.  As in you did choose to share some of those Crispy Bars and the jealousy you experience over knowing you won’t be able to enjoy ALL of those tasty treats is overwhelming.

Envy, like greed, may be characterized by an insatiable desire.  On a daily basis, I am envious of what Deb is able to accomplish in 80 square feet of kitchen space AND her ability to capture such stunning pictures of it all.

Pride is identified as a desire to be more important or attractive than others or excessive love of self.  I can  attest that when I was able to get an edible loaf from her Bread Without A Timetable recipe, I was feeling all kinds of important and prideful.  Not pretty, I know, but it’s the truth.

You’ve been warned, Smitten Kitchen is some powerful juju.  But in moderation, and with deliberate thoughtfulness, its powers can be harnessed for good, instead of evil.