Monday, May 27, 2013

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

It's funny the things you miss when you are living far away from home.  Of course you miss family and friends.  You miss weddings and birthdays and even funerals.  You miss the sights and sounds of your hometown.  I never knew how much I would miss mountains until I lived in a flat place. 

But inevitably, when talking about home and what you miss, the conversation always comes around to food.  People miss their favorite Mexican place, or the way dad grills burgers, or mom's pie on Thanksgiving.  I miss seafood.  Good, fresh seafood.  Perfectly fried clams from Seattle's iconic Ivar's restaurant.  But that's for another post.

Root beer is another thing that people just really miss.  And by people, I mean Americans that like root beer in the first place.  Root beer is pretty much an exclusively North American thing and you just can't find it easily anywhere else in the world. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Welsh Cakes

Every summer starting when I was 10, I went to summer camp for a week.  It was one of the highlights of my year.  My time at camp impacted me tremendously and is part of the reason I am in camping ministry today. 

Mostly when I think of camp, I remember the songs, the games, the rope swing, and the constant smell of campfire smoke and pine needles. 

I also remember the welsh cakes.  We had these for breakfast at least once every year I was there.  They are not quite a biscuit, not quite a scone.  A little sweeter and denser than either one, dotted with

Irish Coffee Tortoni

The first time I enjoyed the taste of coffee was sometime in the 1980's.  A recipe called "Coffee Tortoni" made it's way around our family.  I remember both my grandmother and my mother making it. My mom always made it in fancy foil cupcake liners when she made it for company.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Chicken Roasted Orange Salad

I have three kids.  The oldest is four years old.  A lot of my culinary experience the last few years is related to hot dogs, apple wedges (peeled with no speck of brown), and mac and cheese. 

Usually, my lunch consists of the dregs of the mac and cheese pot.  Pathetic but true.

Today I wasn't feeling it.  I wanted something grown-up for lunch.  Like a nice salad.  Interesting flavor combinations.  Different textures.  At least a little bit sophisticated.  Something usingingredients currently in my kitchen.

Here's what I came up with.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Homemade Hamburger Buns

So what do you do when cheeseburgers are in the list of your top five favorite foods, and you can get ground beef, pickles, ketchup, and mustard. BUT you cannot get hamburger buns?

You make 'em.   From scratch.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Roasted Sesame Broccoli

Many of my favorite recipes have some history behind them.  A traditional family recipe, something I had at a friend's house, or a recipe I collected while traveling.

But then, there are some recipes I love just because they are awesome.  Like this one.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Cheese-Herb Biscuit Cups

I love freshly baked breads.  It just feels homey and peaceful to me.  I never imagine bread-baking happening in a stressful environment.  I always feel like when someone walks into my house and they are met with the smell of baking bread wafting from the kitchen, it is like a subliminal message that says: "exhale.  relax.  it's safe and warm here.  good things are coming."

Sunday, May 5, 2013

S'mores Mini Pies

So this last winter was the first winter we had a wood-stove.  Man, it was awesome.  On chilly mornings I would fire that thing up and sit in my chair right next to it, getting all toasty warm with a quilt and a cup of coffee.

Another bonus: since we had a fire going constantly, and we had some marshmallows leftover from last camp season, I got into the habit of making myself a toasty, tasty, one-serving treat for a dessert every now and then -- yes, a s'more, right in my house.  That campfire taste instantly took me right back to 4th of July gatherings at my grandparents' house when I was a kid.  That toasty, roasty tastewas a time machine straight to childhood nostalgia, and that sweet, crunchy, chocolately, melty bite was a perfect mouthful of a treat.

I highly recommend getting a wood stove, just for this purpose.