Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday Snipets: Almost

Turns out I don't really have snipets today, just snipet - singular. And that is this:

I was planning on sharing that I had decided to get to work on my Charles Dickens collection by reading A Tale of Two Cities. You would have been so proud. Alas, I am in about 4 1/2 chapters and I pysically cannot stand to read another word. I was going to move through it like a trooper, because I felt a tremendous amount of guilt. But no more. I'm telling myself I'll come back to it someday. And those great classic novels are still sneering at me from my bookshelf. But life is too short for reading boring, British books. Sorry Charles, it's nothing personal.

Go ahead...judge me, it's worth it :)

Ode to Bacon

So, I have a confession. I have this little thing going on the side...with bacon. It's like a foodie love affair. I know you probably think I sound nuts, but that would be fairly hypocritical of you. I mean, really, ask yourself, is there anything more divine than bacon? Is there anything with bacon on it that is not delicious? In the movie "Julie and Julia," Julie blogs that when you eat something and you wonder what makes it so amazing, the answer is always going to be butter. Well, that is how I feel about bacon. Dare I say it...bacon is better than butter. Can you eat butter by itself? Well, yes I suppose, but that would be gross.

At this point I am sure you are wondering what in the name of Rachael Ray got me going on this bacon thing...well, I will tell you. And lucky for you it's a recipe.

For those of you who know me, or have been following this blog for awhile, you know that when I try to take culinary matters into my own hands, it tends to be a messy affair. I fin my best bet is to slightly alter recipes I trust already. So the other night, I looked in my fridge and noticed two poor, lonely slices of bacon, and I couldn't possibly let them go to waste. So I put them to good use, and it was fantastic! I apologize for not having a picture. I didn't realize I was creating a little piece of comfort food heaven. So you'll just have to make it to see what it looks like. Like I often say, you'll thank me later.

Amazing, Nameless, Chicken, Bacon, Cheesy Pasta

6 oz. short pasta (macaroni, penne, etc.)
2 chicken breasts, cubed
Pinch Salt
3/4 cup shredded cheese
Garlic salt
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 or 3 slices of bacon, diced

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Fry bacon in large skillet until almost crispy. Remove bacon from skillet to plate with paper towel to catch grease. Brown Chicken in remaining bacon grease.

2. When chicken is cooked through, add soup and garlic salt to skillet and mix well. Add cooked pasta and bacon and stir until flavors are incorporated. Pour into baking dish and top with cheese.

3. Bake for 15-20 minutes and, most importantly, eat!

A Couple Notes:

a) This recipe was just for BamaMan and me, so be sure to increase the ingredients for more than two people.

b) I never pretended to be offering you recipes that will trim your waste line - I just told you to put all the ingredients in bacon grease to pick up every little shred of fat - but this I do promise: it will be worth the calories.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

June's Fab Five

Welcome to our new segment (which will be featured completely randomly - as often as my fancies change) detailing the things I simply ADORE at the moment!

1. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Yes, the novel. I have heard some fans of Miss Austen's work are less than in love with this particular book, but I disagree. It's charming, clever, and romantic! Austen's subtle humor made giggly inside while reading. I had seen two different film adaptations of the book but, as much respect as I have for Emma Thompson and as much as I adore the new BBC version, neither really do justice to the complex characters and intricate story lines of the book. I absolutely recommend it as a summer read....on a cloudy day...with some tea and scones perhaps? And then go watch the movies if you haven't already.......Alan Rickman makes a wonderful Colonel Brandon....

2. Long Cardigans!
I lucked out and found a couple on sale at Old Navy, and have been living in them ever since (I'm actually wearing my black one right this second!) They're cozy, stylish, sophisticated, and just light enough for the air conditioned spaces of summer. Do I really need to convince you further?

3. Vitamin Water

I got hooked on these a couple months ago after my bout with food poisoning. These babies contain water, a ton of vitamins and nutrients your body needs with an emphasis on some key element, plus electrolytes, all for about half the calories of typical sports drinks. LOVE IT! My favorite at the moment is "Power-C" but they're all fantastic. Feeling droopy or in need of refreshment? Grab an "Energy"'ll thank me later

4. Mrs. Meyers Cleaning Supplies

It's aromatherapy cleaning supplies. AROMATHERAPY CLEANING SUPPLIES! I'm really not sure why someone didn't think of his sooner, but it's deserving of a noble prize of some sort. I don't know about you, but just with Bama Man and myself in the house I spend about 85% of my day washing dishes. And all it takes is a little lavender dish soap for all my worries to wash right down the drain with all that icky stuff that was left on the dished last night. Can you say Domestic Diva?
You can order from the website (and pay a hefty shipping price) or strike it lucky at a local store (like Fresh Market!)

I'm not sure we've discussed this before, but I have this thing for doughnuts. Just thinking
about it make me feel like there's a hole in my mouth, just waiting for some airy, sugary thing to fill it. So I thought I'd try my hand at making some myself. I used Giada's recipe for Zeppoles (Italian Doughnuts) and they turned out really nicely. Now I'm going to pass it onto you. A couple things to know: There's not yeast so they're not as light as a traditional doughnut, that being said they are best fresh. I recommend tossing them in powdered sugar but granulated sugar and/or cinnamon would probably be fantastic as well. Enjoy!
Zeopploe (Italian Doughnuts)
1 stick of unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
vegetable oil for frying
*Vanilla or almond extract would probably be Delicious add-ins*

1. In medium saucepan mix butter, water, sugar, and salt over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for ten seconds.

2. Remove from heat and add flour. Use a wooden spoon to quickly stir the mixture until flour is fully incorporated. The dough will be thick. Return the pan over heat for two minutes, stirring constantly.

3. Place mixture in a bowl (or kitchen aid if you've got it) and add eggs and yolk, one at a time until mixed well. Beat the mixture or 4 to 5 minutes (with wooden spoon or paddle attachment if using a mixer). Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

4. In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, pour enough oil to fill almost a third of the way up. Heat over medium. (An easy way to test when it's ready is that a cube of bread will brown in about a minute) Use two spoons to carefully drop dough into the oil, about a tablespoon at a time. Turn when one side gets golden brown and starts to puff. It should be fairly obvious when they are finished.

5. Drop carefully in a paper lunch sack, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and shake!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Snipets: All About June Edition

In light of the recent negligence, here's a mid-week snipet, full of little known facts about me! I know, I can hear the excitement from here.....

1. I arrange my groceries a very certain order on the conveyor belt at the cash register so that they are bagged in a particular way. You know, like snacks, etc. Here's the thing - they NEVER ring it up in the order I put it in! I know.....I'm a little bit of a control freak.

2. I constantly find myself in what I call the "fridge catch-22" it goes something like this: I have this serious phobia of spoiled food, coupled with an out of control gag relax which results in a problem when cleaning out old food from the fridge. The catch comes when I delay the process for fear of spoiled smells, and then I let it sit there until it becomes a self-fulfilled prophecy of disgust! I currently have a tupperware of old spaghetti and a pyrex of tomato soup in my fridge, and - don't judge me - I don't remember when I put them in there. I just can't bring myself to open them!

3. I've never read a single Charles Dickens book. I'm sure this doesn't sound like a huge deal to most of you, but, until recently, I was a pompous English major. Plus, I own like five. They're just sitting there on the shelf, staring at me, judging me.

Well, I'm sure you're just dying for more, but I have to go to work. Have good rest of the week, and I promise to be back to report on my recent national travels!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pardon Me

Sorry I have been under the radar lately. My laptop hates me again and, even though Bama Man is very generous with his, it's still difficult to be consistant. Also, in case you couldn't tell, there's some construction going on around here. You know me, the perfectionist. Don't judge it until it's done, haha! So excuse the transitions, and I promise to be back soon!