Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Tastes so GOOD.
Seriously, the food was amazing. Beyond amazing. For example, spinning doughnuts:
I didn’t take pictures of all the food, because I was lazy, and it would probably disgust you to see how much we ate. Haha! The minute we arrived there we went to Pok Pok, what Micah says is the most authentic Thai food he’s had in America. Then we headed to our hotel, where we had an amazing view of the river:
Pippa like to hide in the TV cabinet..
The next day we headed to the Oregon coast to the Tillamook cheese factory. Few people understand the importance of this pilgrimage. I have eaten Tillamook cheese all my life. I owe my life to their cheese. I even learned something cool while I was there. They weigh all the blocks of medium cheddar before packaging to make sure they are the correct weight – but if a block is underweight they will add a “patch” to make it the right weight. I have always wondered why, sometimes, there is a loose piece of cheese at the top of the block. WELL NOW I KNOW!!!
Pippa the farmer.
Micah was brave and took a picture out by Haystack rock. The weather was crazy windy and I just stayed in the car.
We actually didn’t have ice-cream at the Tillamook factory (I know, I know) BUT Micah found a place that had his favorite ice-cream flavor: Black licorice! Too bad it’s like the hardest flavor to find! But boy was he happy! I think it is disgusting.
Pippa eats everything.
We thought she would be thrilled by a Merry-go-round. She hated it.
She did like hanging out on the balcony of our hotel.
The night we came back from the coast, the hotel valet pointed us to the trees where he said there was a bald eagle. Well it seemed that we would be visible from our room, so we went up and I took like a million pictures:
IT WAS SO COOL!!!!!
Another cool thing we saw: the Grotto. It was beautiful, despite the cold and rain.
The sun came back as we headed to Seattle.
WE APPROVE OF YOU, PORTLAND!! Not that you need our approval…..
Sunday, February 17, 2013
So of course, I have another recipe for you all, because that is just my thing. I acquired some amazing cheese from Trader Joe’s for Valentines day…
And I decided I wanted to make a cheese fondue. Turns out almost every recipe calls for like 1-2 cups of white wine. BUT I found a recipe that used a basic white sauce as the base and it turned out wonderfully.
We dipped a baguette and green apples, but you can dip about anything in it! Broccoli sounds like a great idea to me right now. Ooo, and sausage! …Anyways, before I get carried away, here’s the recipe:
Non Alcoholic Cheese Fondue
1 pound Swiss or Gruyere* cheese
2 cloves of Garlic
3 T. All-Purpose Flour
2 T. Butter
1 1/2 cups Milk
½ T. Lemon Juice
1/8 tsp. ground Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste
*You can mix Swiss and Gruyere. Some people prefer Cheddar. The cheddar Gruyere combo was GREAT.
Peel garlic and slice the cloves in half the long way so the most inner surface is showing. Rub a heavy saucepan with two halves of the garlic for flavoring. Rub the fondue pot with the other two garlic halves.
Grate the cheese and mix with 1 T. of the flour.
Melt the butter in saucepan over medium-low heat. Add rest of flour. Stir well till smooth. Add about ½ cup of milk and stir till smooth. Slowly add the rest of the milk, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens to about the consistency of light cream. TURN OFF THE HEAT. Add a handful of cheese and keep stirring. Let the cheese melt and then add another handful and stir until it melts. Repeat the process until all the cheese is melted.
Once all the cheese has been added and the mixture is smooth, you can stir in the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Finally, add the lemon juice. Stir well till the mixture is smooth once again.
Light the sterno and add cheese mixture to the fondue pot. Eat immediately! Spear bread and dunk in fondue and enjoy. Scrape the bottom of the pot with whatever you’re dipping from time to time to keep it from burning. (I actually don’t have a fondue pot, I just kept it in the saucepan on the lowest heat setting, until we were done eating)
Hope you all had a great V-day! We send you our love from Seattle!
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
So I turned 27 a few weeks ago. It was really one of the best Birthdays ever. Everything worked out just the way I wanted it to, right down to the cake.
This is another recipe I stole, as I am quite the pirate. My friend Liz made this once and it changed the way I thought about cakes forever. She was very obliging to give me the recipe, so this post is dedicated to her. ALL HAIL!
I mean, just look at the thing. It was perfection.
Happy me!! (And my mom, and some cooly friends~)
HERE YOU GO WORLD!!
White Chocolate Raspberry Cake
For the Cake:
6 oz. (or squares) White chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 package (2 layer size) White Cake mix
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
For the Frosting:
6 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
1 Tablespoon Jello instant vanilla pudding mix
You will also need:
Seedless Raspberry Jam
1 cup Fresh Raspberries
TO MAKE THE CAKES:
Heat oven to 350°F.
Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) round pans; set aside. Microwave chocolate and butter in medium microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted; cool slightly.
Beat cake mix, milk, eggs, vanilla and chocolate mixture in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Pour into prepared pans.
Bake 25 to 28 min. or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 10 min.; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool cakes completely.
TO MAKE THE FROSTING:
To make the white chocolate whipped cream, place the chopped white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Melt, stirring occasionally. When the chocolate is almost melted, bring 1/2 cup of the cream to a boil. Once the chocolate is fully melted, transfer the bowl to a counter, pour in the hot cream and let it sit for one minute. (Another way to do this is to just pulverize the chocolate in a chopper or blender, then simply add it to the hot cream, which will instantly melt it.) Then stir gently with a spatula until the chocolate is smooth. Let the chocolate sit until it reaches room temperature – the chocolate can’t be the least bit warm when it is added to the whipped cream.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the remaining 1 cup cream only until it holds the softest peaks.
WARNING! Do not over-whip the cream before adding the chocolate, or you will make white chocolate butter! Also, make sure the chocolate is not warm at all. We learned the hard way :-/
With the mixer on high speed, add the white chocolate and pudding mix all at once and continue to beat just until the mixture holds firm peaks. Transfer the cream to a bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap gently against the surface and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Cut each cake in half to create 4 layers. Spread Jam in between each layer, with some frosting in the very center. Use the rest of the frosting to cover the entire cake, then add fresh raspberries to the top.
I apologize to anyone who has asked for this recipe, and I keep meaning to do it, but NOW HERE I AM!
I use the below picture for my desktop wallpaper sometimes. It’s pretty much the best picture I’ve ever taken.
This salsa……is the best Salsa ever. I mean it. I have to give FULL credit though, to my old roomate Gretchen, who magically concocted this recipe. I use a lot of her recipes, which I think everyone deserves to know.
But without further ado I shall impart this recipe to you, my dear readers, as it is an absolute STAPLE in our house. The more I think about it the more shocked I haven’t posted it already.. how selfish of me.
Here’s what you need:
2 jalapeño peppers
1 Anaheim pepper
2 green bell peppers
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
2 Serrano peppers
1 yellow banana pepper
1 large onion
6-8 Roma tomatoes
1 bunch fresh cilantro
”Chop all veggies into small pieces and mix together. Add salt and vinegar to taste. I like a lot of vinegar, so I usually add quite a bit, but you don't have to. If there are some peppers you cant find, or some you would like but it's not in the recipe, that's okay. When the red and orange peppers are really expensive we usually just get one and the rest are green peppers. If you prefer a hotter salsa, you can use less tomatoes. But if you want it milder, use more tomatoes, and use less jalapeño, Serrano, and Anaheim peppers.”
I happen to agree with Gretchen that the vinegar really makes this stuff addicting. I imagine it also helps the salsa last longer, which is good because this recipe makes quite a bit. But if you are like me, and become a ravenous beast when you start eating it, it will be gone soon enough.