Tuesday, July 29, 2008

TWD: Summer Fruit Galette

This week's TWD recipe was selected by Michelle in Colorado Springs.

I must admit, when I saw that this week's recipe was yet another fruit dessert, I wasn't very excited. I'm more of a cookie, cake, chocolate chocolate chocolate kind of girl. But then I remembered how amazing the Double Crusted Blueberry Pie was, and how delicious Dorie's pie crust is, and my mouth started watering a bit.

For this dessert, I ended up using peaches, apricots and plums as part of Dorie's recipe called for; I skipped the nectarines and rhubarb. My original idea for this recipe was to make it tropical and use pineapple, mango, papaya and kiwi. I wasn't sure how kiwi would bake though and my husband said he doesn't like tropical fruits, so that plan got tossed out the window. I might try it sometime though because it sounds really good in theory, so if you've ever baked with kiwi before and it worked out well, please leave me a comment and let me know.

I used peach preserves on the bottom of the crust before adding the fruit. Dorie suggests ginger preserves, but I already had peach on hand and just used that. I also completely forgot to add the graham cracker crumbs on the bottom, which I think definitely would have helped since my fruit did seem particularly juicy. Dorie says that adding graham cracker crumbs helps to soak up some of the juice, and that's a tip that I am going to try to remember next time.

But I was so happy with how the Galette turned out, it was lip-smacking good with a dollop of whipped cream on top. We had dinner with some friends on Saturday night and I took this over for dessert and everyone raved about it. I will definitely make this recipe again.

My husband continually called my beautiful Galette a "Fruit Pizza" so I had to pinch him a few times and correct his error. Then he decided to call it a "gillette" as in the razor blades. Men!

Columbus Jazz & Rib Fest

Each year at the end of July, Columbus holds it's annual Jazz & Rib Fest along the downtown riverfront. My husband, Patrick, and I always enjoy going down to the Fest and eating lots of ribs, chicken and funnel cakes. Listening to the cool Jazz music is fun as well, and the hearing the musicians refer to each other as "cats" always makes me smile with glee. A smile that is usually covered in BBQ sauce, but whatever, everyone else there is covered in sauce as well so no one judges!

This year we not only skipped away from work on Friday to have lunch at the Fest, but headed downtown on Saturday for lunch again. You can never have too much BBQ Rib Fest food!
Patrick had a Pulled Pork sandwich from Famous Dave's which he covered in "Devil's Spit" sauce, and ribs from a local place, Lawshea's Southern Fish and Ribs.
I had a BBQ chicken sandwich from Famous Dave's with Sweet and Zesty sauce and double the Wilbur Beans. I love baked beans and these were absolutely delicious.
And we split a big ole plate full of fresh cut chips, half with cheese sauce and bacon bits. I was fasinated watching the people make these chips because they had a stand slicer on one end, then stuck the potato onto what looked like some sort of metal rod, and had a cordless power drill on the other end of the metal rod which spun the potato around and sliced it into this almost one entire piece, perfectly thin, spiral chip! It was amazing and I watched in excitement thinking...hummm...I wonder I could fashion one of these contraptions at home?!
A few pics from the Fest. Look at all that smoke! It smelled fantastic out there.
A couple of pics looking across the river at part of downtown Columbus.
We love going to the Jazz and Rib Fest each year. It has gotten better and better over the last few years as well, so I hope next year is just as fun and finger licking good.

Cheddar Studded Tex-Mex Meatloaf Patties

I'm not afraid to admit that I love Rachel Ray. I know a lot of people find her annoying, there are even several "I hate Rachel Ray" websites out there, but I have always enjoyed watching her shows and her cookbooks and magazine have some great and flavorful recipes. Can I get a YUMMO!?!?

This recipe for Cheddar Studded Tex-Mex Meatloaf Patties is my absolute favorite from Rachel's cookbook 365: No Repeats A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners. These are simply the best burgers I have ever eaten. My husband and I make these for dinner at least once every couple of weeks. With Rachel’s Smashed Potatoes, this is an excellent and quick week night meal after a long day at work.

The Smashed Potatoes are super simple and I don’t even look at the recipe anymore, I just throw them together with the add ins we have come to like best.

As you can see, this is my favorite RR cookbook and it has taken quite a beating. The binding of the book actually broke right on this recipe because I use it that often. I told you these are good burgers!

Cheddar Studded Tex-Mex Meatloaf Patties (Rachel Ray 362: No Repeats)


1 lb ground sirloin
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1/8 cup milk
1 egg
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon tomato paste (or ketchup)
1/2 green pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


Mix all ingredients together (I like to season the meat first with the S&P and Worcestershire sauce and then throw everything else in). Form into 4-5 burger patties and cook on medium heat in a skillet or on the grill to desired “doneness”. Is “doneness” a word?? Yeah, I didn’t think so, but you know what I mean! ;)

Smashed Potatoes (modified from Rachel Ray 362: No Repeats)


4-5 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons butter
S&P to taste
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Handful of bacon bits


Boil the potatoes until soft, drain and put back in the pot. Add remaining ingredients and use a potato masher to mash and mix. If you like the potatoes smoother, use a hand mixer to mash and mix together. If you don’t mind the potatoes lumpy, then just use the masher and stir.

I like to serve these like burgers, on a toasted bun with some extra cheese (like the first pic). My husband likes his more like meatloaf with brown gravy and no bun. Either way they are DELISH!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

NFR: Not Food Related

Giving my waistline a break for one post (yeah right!), I've been tagged by my friend and fellow Vegas bride, Annitra. I have to answer the following questions with just one word. Are you kidding me? That is going to be near impossible...I'm wordy! I'll give it a try though.

One Word MeMe

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse

2. Your significant other? Funny

3. Your hair? Messy

4. Your mother? Hero

5. Your father? Loud

6. Your favorite thing? Shopping

7. Your dream last night? None

8. Your favorite drink? Dew

9. Your dream/goal? Baby

10. The room you’re in? Office

11. Your hobby? Cooking

12. Your fear? Death

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Chicago

14. What you’re not? Quiet

15. Muffins? Blueberry

16. One of your wish list items? Louis (as in Louis Vuitton)

17. Where you grew up? Michigan

18. The last thing you did? Lunch

19. What are you wearing? Cothes

20. Favorite gadget? KitchenAid

21. Your pets? None

22. Your computer? Slow

23. Your mood? Blah

24. Missing someone? Yes

25. Your car? Grey

26. Something you’re not wearing? Socks

27. Favorite store? Target

28. Like someone? Yes

29. Your favorite color? Pink

30. When is the last time you laughed? Today

31. Last time you cried? Yesterday

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

TWD: Cherry Rhubarb Cobbler

This week's TWD recipe was selected by Amanda from Like Spinkles on a Cupcake. You can find the recipe here on her blog.

I'm not going to lie...I hate rhubarb. My grandmother always used to make strawberry rhubarb pies and when we were kids she would tell us it was just strawberry pie. Then you'd bite into a big chunk of rhubarb and...blech!! Thanks Grannie!

So there I stood in the grocery store with rhubarb in hand ready to face my fears and just make this cobbler, rhubarb and all. I had secretly hoped that the grocery store wouldn't even have rhubarb in stock because it's close to being out of season in this area...but darn them, there it was! So step by step through the produce section I kept saying to myself...you can do it, you can do it...but that little girl inside who always spit out the rhubarb chunks from Grannie's "Strawberry Pie" said...hold up! There's no way I'm eating rhubarb!

So I put the rhubarb back and grabbed some granny smith apples. And the little girl inside smiled and said...suck it, rhubarb! :)

This cobbler recipe was very good. I thought the addition of the ground ginger gave it a very fresh taste and the topping was very tender and soft inside and crumbly and crunchy on the outside. My husband even enjoyed it quite a bit, and he's not much of a fruit fan. With a couple scoops of vanilla bean ice cream, this was a perfect hot summer evening dessert.

TWD: Chocolate Pudding

This post is a week late for personal reasons, but I LOVE chocolate pudding so there was no way I was letting this recipe pass me by. Chocolate pudding with whipped cream is my absolute favorite dessert...I'm just a simple girl! ;)

This TWD recipe was selected by Melissa from Its Melissas Kitchen for last week, July 15th. You can find the recipe here on Melissa's blog.

The pudding came together quickly, however, I think perhaps I needed to cook it just a bit longer for it to thicken up a little more, I found that it was just slightly thin after being in the fridge for 4 hours or so. Despite this one small problem, the pudding was absolutely DELICIOUS! It was the best chocolate pudding I have ever tasted and will certainly become a staple recipe in my kitchen.

Instead of using the chocolate bar I purchased at the grocery store for this recipe, I decided to use these chocolate granules that some friends gave to my husband and I. Our friends went on a trip to Paris several months ago and brought us back some treats. These chocolate granules (they look like sprinkles or ice cream jimmies) are used to make hot chocolate, so I just melted them down (with a little bit of the milk from the recipe) and the flavor was fantastic. The sad thing is, I used all of the granules I had left for this recipe, so I think my husband and I will have to take a little trip to Paris to buy some more! Yeah, I don't think he is going to fall for that either.

Aside from the Perfect Party Cake which is just in a league of its own, I think this is my favorite Dorie recipe so far. Yes, it's THAT good!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

TWD: Double Crusted Blueberry Pie

This week's TWD recipe was chosen by Amy of South in Your Mouth. You can find the full recipe on Amy's blog here.

One word for this Double Crusted Blueberry Pie.....YUM! It is absolutely delicious. I was a little worried because other than the occasional blueberry muffin, I'm not much of a blueberry fan, so making and eating a pie made entirely of blueberries had me a little scared. But the filling for this pie had just the right amount of sweetness and tartness. The crust came together easily, despite the fact that I apparently do not own a rolling pin, pastry cutter or food processor large enough to accomodate this much dough. I improvised and used a large whisk to cut the butter and shortening into the flour, and a drinking glass to roll out the dough. Even these kitchen conundrums couldn't keep me from making this pie.

The crust was very flaky on top and soft throughout. I will definite use this crust recipe for other pies, however, I did think it was just a tad salty, so I will cut the amount of salt a little next time. I'm already thinking of other fruits I could use to make another pie, but blueberry was a nice treat.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

TWD: Apple Cheddar Scones

Two days late, two dollars short! Sorry this post is so late. Typically TWD posts are done on Tuesdays (hence the T part of TWD), but it's been a busy week of traveling, cleaning and getting ready for house guests this weekend. Anyway, here are the Apple Cheddar Scones, which were chosen by Karina of The Floured Apron. You can find the rull recipe on Karina's blog here.

I thought these scones were very good. I used fresh apples instead of dried and didn't have a problem at all with the scones being too moist or mushy because of the fresh apples. The flavor was very mild in my opinion and if I were to make them again, I would maybe add a little more cheese, or some extra salt to bring out the flavors. I actually think these would be really great with a little garlic salt thrown in so you have a sweet and savory combination (and because garlic makes everything better in my world).

The only problem I had with this recipe is that when Dorie says it's a sticky dough, she means it's a STICKY dough. I ended up adding a little extra flour when trying to shape the dough in order to cut it into equal pieces and it was still so sticky I just grabbed a spoon and plopped it by the spoonful onto the baking sheet. I also sprinkled a little extra cheese on top of the scones just before baking.

I served these with a little apple jelly and my husband gobbled them up. This is a great base recipe however, and I think I will experiment with some different flavor combinations and add ins to create some more yummy scones.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The scones are coming, the scones are coming!

As soon as I can find the damn camera cord so I can download my pics, I will post my TWD recipe for yesterday, Apple Cheddar Scones. I swear, I think that stupid cord has sprouted legs and runs away from me everytime I need it!

Stay tuned for scones. They were delish!