Saturday, February 28, 2009

This is becoming a habit

Another catch-up post!! I’ll spare you the excuses and just say that I am really going to try to get back on track next week.

I have made so many things for both TWD and CEIMB since I last posted.

Nutty Granola:

Teriyaki Chicken

Caramel Crunch Bars:

And Shrimp and Feta Bake

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ode to Cathy

This week one of my favorite people ever, Cathy of the Tortefesor, chose the CEIMB recipe. Cathy is wildly famous in the food blog world. For example, her post about Naomi's Revenge received SIXTY-FOUR comments.

Even though Cathy is super popular in the food blogging world, as hard as it is to believe, she is even more popular in person. Everyone I know who also knows Cathy agrees that she is the funniest person we have ever met. Also, she is one of the most thoughtful people- for example, I'd bet that she based this recipe selection on careful consideration that everyone else would love taking this to Superbowl parties.

Cathy is really the kind of person that everyone wants as a coworker. Cathy constantly keeps everyone laughing. She and I have shared a couple of very late work nights and one all-nighter, and she is ALWAYS pleasant to be around- even at 2:30 a.m. Also, she is absolutely brillant and always willing to help. She is one of the top go-to people for hard problems and assignments.

I know that it is hard to believe that Cathy is even wittier in person than she is in her blog, but it's true. As for the dip, it was fabulous. :-)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

TWD- Floating Islands

This week's TWD recipe was floating islands chosen my one of my favorite food bloggers- Shari of Whisk. I have never heard of this dessert. Apparently, it is a common dessert in France. I had several funny conversations about the islands, but the funniest was tonight with my husband.

Me (reading the recipe about making the meringues): "I just don't see how this is going to work."

Brandon (very very seriously): "It's not going to work!! It's not going to work!!"

I did not know that Brandon was watching news about the stimulus package while I was in my baking world in the kitchen, but his unusually serious tone pulled me back into his world.... He thought I was chiming in to tell him that I didn't understand how the stimulus package was going to work. It was really funny.

The islands were good. Not as good as The Island on LOST, but pretty good.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Catch up post

I'm sorry about the late post. TWD this week was World Peace Cookies. I have made these cookies many, many times. I often tell people that they have changed my life. I am a better person because I ate some. I feel peaceful just thinking about them.... They are really my favorite cookies ever.

This week's CEIMB was Sage Rubbed Pork Chops with Warm Apple Slaw, chosen by Jennifer of Jen B's Cooking Carveout. We really liked this recipe. I thought the pork chops rubbed with the sage, garlic and salt mixture were fabulous.
Also, I have already made the spinach dip, too, but I am still working on my post for it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

TWD- Fresh Ginger and Chocolate Ginerbread Cake

This week's TWD recipe was Chocolate Gingerbread Cake. I made the cake and took it to one of my friends who recently had a baby. I also made one cupcake so Brandon and I could try it. I really liked this recipe. I LOVE ginger, but this was my first time to use fresh ginger.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

CEIMB- Chicken Cacciatore

Peggy of Pantry Revisited chose Chicken Cacciatore for this week's CEIMB recipe. Peggy and I work together and are also fellow TWDers. I have gotten to know her through these clubs and I can tell you that she is really special person. She is a wife, loyal mother, ballroom dancer, pianist, nature lover and Yogie. Also, she loves to entertain, so I knew that she would pick a great recipe.

Brandon and I REALLY loved this recipe. I noticed a couple of comments by other CEIMBers that the sauce needed to be amped up a little, so I doubled the recipe's wine, garlic and red pepper and it was FABULOUS!!!!! This was one of my favorite recipes so far.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

CEIMB- Beef with Rosemary and Chocolate and Late TWD

I chose this week's CEIMB recipe - Beef with Rosemary and chocolate.  I have been in TWD for about 6 months and in CEIMB for a month.  This was by far the biggest disaster I've had in the kitchen.  First, I could not find a 2 lb tenderloin.   I went to three grocery stores close to my house and the smallest tenderloin I found was 5 lbs ($56).  So, I bought two nine oz filets ($16).

Second, I planned to make this Sunday night so I could take my time.  However, I ended up having to work on Sunday until around 7.  We usually eat at 6.  So, I was very rushed.  I have never made beef if the oven and I was not surprised to learn that this is not my favorite way to cook meat.  I way overcooked my steak- it had no pink at all.  Brandon's was medium, but since it ended up taking TWO AND A HALF hours for the sauce to reduce, he ate his steak without the sauce.  So, my pitiful picture is of one bite of my very well done filet with sauce.  The sauce was really really good, but it took an incredibly long amount of time.  

TWD was savory corn muffins.  I really liked them and will definitely make them again.  I'm having trouble with the pictures and will try again later.  

Thursday, January 8, 2009

CEIMB- Fried Rice

This week Jennifer of Running With Food chose Fried Rice.  Brandon and I LOVED this recipe.  It was so fast and easy and I thought it tasted great.  I used chicken instead of tofu, but I may use shrimp next time.  I added broccoli and peas.  Yum!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

TWD- French Pear Tart

DORIE GREENSPAN chose the TWD recipe this week.  DORIE GREENSPAN- the author of the cookbook TWD it currently baking its way through.  I was so pumped about this recipe because Dorie has made all the recipes in the book many times, and I knew she had something special to share with us through this recipe.  I am dying to know whether this would have been her pick out of all the things that have already been chosen, too.    

I was also pumped because I got to use two of my new Christmas presents.  
I asked my in-laws for a food processor.  Instead of buying me a new smaller regular ol' food processor, they bought me the 11 cup Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus.  After I watched the 30 minute instructional DVD, I realized that this thing is AMAZING and I do not know how I've ever cooked or baked anything without it.  Besides processing, it also chops and sliced whole fruits and vegetables.  Amazing.  The feed thing on the top is so huge that three whole potatoes will fit in it and the machine will slice all three in about 10 seconds.  It also has a DOUGH feature and special dough blade, which is the reason my mother-in-law selected this one.  How exciting!!

The second gift I got to use was my shiny new 10 inch tart pan with removable bottom, which my friend, Pam, gave me.  When I started this club back in June, Pam bought me mini tart pans for my birthday.  Since I haven't bought any others, all my tarts so far have been minis.  So, this is my first time to make a full size tart.

I started with the Sweet Tart dough with nuts.  It was super easy with my new food processor.  I can't image that Dorie herself used a better tool to make her dough.  This dough is so tasty and baked beautifully.  

After the tart dough came the almond creme, which was amazing.  I really just wanted to eat the entire batch and make more for the tart.

This tart was really really really fabulous.  I have made several tarts since TWD baked La Paulette's Strawberry tart and I haven't been as proud of any as I was of that very first tart.  However, this pear tart was the tastiest one I've made so far.