April 30, 2013

Classic Buttermilk Pancakes

Today was one of those days. I have no excuse, it just was. Tired, unmotivated... not unhappy! But I wasn't in the mood to cook dinner. When this happens, we turn to one of two quick and easy dinners: popcorn, cheese, and apples, or pancakes. And with the discovery/creation of this recipe, pancakes have been winning the battle! We add blueberries, chocolate chips, spices... considering sliced bananas next time... top them with butter or syrup or nothing... they're a cinch to whip together and you probably already have all the ingredients. If you don't, I advise adding buttermilk to the list of things to always-have-on-hand. It has so many delicious uses! These are The Geologist's new favorite pancakes.

April 28, 2013

Pork Carnitas

I have the most amazing seven-year-old in the world. I don't often go completely gaga over my kids on here (or in public generally, it's just unseemly!) but I just have to share this afternoon with you. With everyone!! After church (where we stayed a bit late so he could help put away chairs) we came home, had lunch, and I sent the boys off for "quiet time", aka, Mom-needs-a-break/nap-time. Stephen was reading on the couch. Just when I was about to doze off... I hear clinking and chinking of plates from the kitchen. Getting all growly and annoyed and frustrated, I stalked out of my room, fully expecting to catch some kid red-handed disobeying some rule or other... I find Stephen unloading the dishwasher. Have I mentioned he's seven?? I ask, still a little fuzzy, "Um... what are you doing?" His face falls.

April 27, 2013

Blueberry Orange Pound Cake

It looks like spring has finally decided to stay for a while. I've had the windows open all day, and it has been glorious! The Geologist and I are now officially First Aid and CPR certified! Last step: homestudy, and all that that implies. Whew. The First Aid course was actually really interesting. I learned SO much!! Although with my ridiculously wimpy wrists... lets just say I hope there aren't any giant guys with tough ribcages collapsing in my vicinity, I may not do them much good.

It was a bit of a relief, actually, all that medical knowledge. I grew up with girls... and a little brother. Needless to say, his activities were highly influenced by us females! Ours wasn't exactly a rough-and-tumble household. Sure, we wrestled, and I have plenty of scars, but most of those were self/bike-inflicted. Then I married The Geologist, the second youngest in a family of seven... six of who were boys. The stories I've heard about their antics... well, any of you raising boys or growing up with boys can probably imagine. The one that haunts me most involves a piece of cardboard, golf clubs, and a head wound... *shudder* Needless to say, I've been a bit concerned about my boys after all those "do you remember"s. I feel much more prepared now. Head wounds, gashes, broken bones... Bring it on!!

No wait, I didn't mean that literally!! Please, DON'T bring it on if you can possibly help it!! But if you do, well, I'm ready.

April 24, 2013

Nutella Brownies

If you've ever searched through recipes on Pinterest, you've probably noticed the same trends I have. Slow-cooker recipes, jello shots, and Nutella or Red Velvet everything. Now, I've never been a huge fan of Red Velvet cake. To me it's a less-assertive chocolate full of food coloring. Maybe I've just never had a good one. We actually had a Red Velvet wedding cake, because at the time, it was The Geologist's favorite. Considering how much he loves dark chocolate, I never really understood that... and most of our cake ended up being given away. Now, Nutella is another matter entirely! The first time I tasted it, I think I was about 8 or 9. We lived in Las Vegas, and one of my Mom's friends was a stewardess for Delta. On one of her trips back from The Netherlands, she brought us Kinder eggs, those fabulous chocolate sprinkles that are actually chocolate, and Nutella. What a wondrous creation!! We used to eat it on toast... or between graham crackers... or with a spoon if Mom wasn't watching... The flavors of chocolate and hazelnut always remind me of those years. I don't like chocolate anymore, but The Geologist is nearly an addict, so when I saw these Nutella brownies, I just had to make them for him!

April 17, 2013

Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast

It's snowing again... has been all day. I whined to my Mom about it (okay, not really whined, observed petulantly?) about our flip-flopped seasons- she told me it was normal. For the West. Lets be honest, is anything really "normal" for the West? Any state with a major mountain range in it (and no, sorry, the Appalachians don't count here) is used to bizarre, quick-changing weather. But I never remember getting one storm all winter, then FOUR in the first two months of spring! One or two, sure. But the majority of this year's snowfall?? Weird. Hey, at least we're getting water. Water is good. But it's delaying the flowers... and I am ready for flowers! 

Who am I kidding. I love it. I love bizarre weather, whatever it is. The more it changes, the happier I am. Any weather for weeks on end gets old. Well, maybe not rain. Rain is my favorite. This latest snowfall has been almost creepy... it snowed nonstop all day, but it wasn't quite cold enough to stick. So it melted as soon as it hit pavements, slowly mounding up on the grass. The eerie part was constantly checking... is it sticking yet? ...knowing that all the time, it's getting wetter and wetter... and any minute the temperature would drop just a hair more, and it would all freeze. That's when things would get treacherous. And according to the commuting Geologist, boy did it ever!! 

So here's a bit of sunshine, for all of us Coloradans who are apparently stuck in the middle of Spring's identity crisis!

April 14, 2013

Almond Biscotti

The forces of nature have conspired against me!! The Geologist came home this weekend with a mild cold/flu-ish bug, which I have been nursing him through (mostly I just try to keep him from doing WAY too much, and making him sleep), I even stayed home from church to take care of him! And how am I rewarded for my tender, loving care? He passed that bug off to me and got better! Such ingratitude. Humph. No worries, it isn't too horrible. Just enough that I can curl up in cozy clothes and whine, just a little bit. And actually, the forces of nature must be apologizing, because the forecast calls for the next few days to be cold, rainy, and snowy! Perfect days to stay inside and recover. And nap. And watch Bollywood movies. I wish I had more of this biscotti left to munch... but I ate it in place of my birthday cake, which failed miserably. As soon as this bug leaves, I'll make another one, just for fun!

April 12, 2013

Spiced Apple Oat Scones

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me... Oh wait, that was yesterday. This week has been so full! And yet not hectic. A good full. My birthday was lovely. Spent the morning making the top half of me as sore as the bottom half (Thanks Julie!! :), went to Five Guys for lunch with Joe...

April 9, 2013

Baked Egg & Asparagus

I'm starting off my birthday menu with a veggie that I still can't convert The Geologist to. Asparagus!! I love asparagus. I even love out-of-season asparagus!! If I could get him to love it, I would cook (and eat) it all the time. I saw this super-simple dish back in February, and have been waiting for an excuse to make it ever since. Enter: Birthday Week!

BTW, thanks for not minding about the page break, it has pretty much eliminated my spam comments! Hooray!

April 7, 2013

Lemon Rosemary Gruyere Artisan Bread

I finally made it!! Only a day late this week :) That's okay, I'll cheat and schedule it for yesterday. I'm tricky like that! Oh, if you'd like step-by-step pictures, check out the link to Simply So Good below. I forgot to take pictures all the way through, and hers are gorgeous. The ones showing how the dough should look were extremely helpful. Not to mention she has tons of great variations of this bread! I'm trying Cranberry Orange Almond next!

April 6, 2013

Cinnamon Chocolate Bundt Cake

I love my life. It's been bumpy, and some times have been rougher than others. I'm sure you've been able to sense that I haven't been quite as happy and bouncy this past month. But I still love my life. I've wanted to be "just" a Mom since I was ten, and now I am, to the two sweetest, smartest, most fun boys on the planet. I married my best friend, truly, and he is still my best friend. They think I'm awesome and gorgeous no matter how I feel about myself. I have the most gorgeous, snuggliest, sweetest dog ever. We live in a gorgeous place that ISN'T TEXAS!! I lived through The Geologist's college years (by the skin of my teeth :) and I get to share my favorite thing, FOOD, with hundreds of people, every day! And make new friends doing it! Who knew, right? Life is good. It remains so. Especially when cake is involved.

April 4, 2013

Sweet & Spicy Cucumbers

I may have mentioned this before, but I didn't truly discover my love of cooking until I got married. I knew how to cook, but I wasn't obsessed yet. I hadn't reached my current state, where the last thing I think of when I go to bed, and the first thing when I wake up, is food. (Maybe not always, but often!) Maybe it was the challenge. When we were first married, The Geologist gave me a pretty extensive list of vegetables he would not eat. I was determined to convert him. And guess what?? I've checked almost every item off that list.

April 3, 2013

Chicken Parmesan Meatball Sandwiches

When I texted my Mom about this concoction, she asked "Is that one meal, or three?" I explained it a bit more and she said "So yeah, three." I promise it's NOT as complicated as it appears. There are a bunch of steps, but they're simple. And worth it. And your mouth will be watering by the time it's ready!

April 2, 2013

Lemon Poppyseed Yogurt Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup

Holidays and vacations call for special breakfasts, don't you think? You can sleep in, get up and make pancakes in your pajamas, lounge around till who knows when... it's perfect. I meant to do this more than twice over spring break, but the best laid plans...! I'm not usually a pancake lover, I prefer waffles. This may have something to do with a family tradition of having a belgian waffle breakfast, where Mom would make homemade berry syrup and we'd drown them in berries and whipped cream... horribly unhealthy, but oh so scrumptious! It was one of the few times we were allowed to be so decadent, and we savored every bite. Since these were a bit labor intensive, only cooking one at a time, you had to be patient, and stick around. Waffles mean holidays to me, because we would all be together in the kitchen, nowhere better to go, be, or rush off to. Just being together, as a family. Somehow in those memories, it's always sunny too.

Turns out I married a pancake lover, who isn't so fond of waffles, so I've had to adapt. Those Buttermilk Whole Wheat Pancakes converted me, and are still my favorite EVER, but I'm all for trying new things!

April 1, 2013

Introducing the Page Break!!

I didn't want to do this, and add an extra step to your reading, so I hope you don't mind too much... But I'm installing Page Breaks in my posts from now on. There will be a little link at the bottom that says "Onward!" and it will take you to the full post. I'm getting a ridiculous amount of spam comments, and I've heard this helps. If anyone has any other ideas on how to block spam comments, I'd love to hear them!

Weekly Menu Apr. 1

Lemon Gruyere Rosemary Artisan Bread
Cinnamon Chocolate Bundt Cake

For today, Dec. 4...