Cooking & Eating

Blackberry-White Chocolate Tart and Other Happy Accidents

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It’s blackberry season here in Seattle (and elsewhere) which means that the nuisance thorn bushes that grow on our hills and encroach on our yards–that spread their sprouts far, wide, and deep–have transformed into beautiful berry bushes, brimming with fat, fresh, tart, sweet, juicy berry goodness.

Wow, that was a lot of adjectives.

I wait all year for blackberry season. It’s one of the few things I like about summer, along with fresh corn and tomatoes.

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It’s been especially fun this year because we’ve gotten to share the experience of blackberry picking with our kids. They don’t really pick much fruit and when they do they often go for unripe red berries, but they love to trundle out toward the bushes with their Halloween trick-or-treat buckets and let Mommy and Daddy fill them with fruit. If I can pick them faster than Violet eats them, we bring them home to freeze for future projects or to make delicious desserts. For example: blackberry tarts. Continue reading “Blackberry-White Chocolate Tart and Other Happy Accidents”

Cooking & Eating

Baking, Sewing, and the Constant Need to Create

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For a while now, I’ve been baking like a maniac. It started because I was auditioning to be a contestant on a competitive baking show. I’m still not supposed to tell you which one or any details (reality TV is über secretive) but I will tell you that while I made it through several levels of casting, I was not selected. Continue reading “Baking, Sewing, and the Constant Need to Create”

Cooking & Eating

Peach Cobbler Blondies

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In my dining room, I have a chalkboard in a pretty frame. It’s the one chalkboard in the house (we have several) that the kids are not allowed to draw on; it’s just for me. Sometimes I draw pictures (a Thanksgiving turkey, a Christmas tree, the Easter bunny), but most of the time it’s the specials board for my imaginary bakery. Every so often, usually as the seasons change, I dream up a new list of goodies, draw little flowers and coffee cups and swirls, and pretend I’m actually going to bake these things and sell them in a quaint bakery/coffee shop, situated in an old mansion in some sweet-but-accessible neighborhood, where I also rent the upstairs rooms and host poetry readings and live music in the others. Also there’s a huge play room for the kids and a patio with fairy lights.

Yeah, I’m a grown-up, but I still play make-believe. Continue reading “Peach Cobbler Blondies”

Cooking & Eating

Muttereeickle

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I love it so much, I make crazy faces.

When I was a kid, I had a trademark sandwich. I called it the muttereese because its filling was comprised of:

  1. Mustard
  2. Butter
  3. Cheese

As I got older and my palate got more sophisticated, I added pickles. Thus it became the muttereeickle.

The other day I was poking around my kitchen looking for lunch and it hit me: a huge craving for muttereeickle. Except, instead of store-bought bread (usually buttermilk white or potato), I cut a couple slices from my loaf of homemade sourdough. Instead of Velveeta or Kraft processed cheese food, I used medium cheddar. Instead of dill pickles, I used bread and butter. (Funny, since I forgot about the actual butter, which really wasn’t necessary anyway). I thought about classing up the mustard, too, but in the end I went for good old French’s yellow.

Oh. my. god. Oh my god, you guys! (Ten points if you get that reference.) It was so good. To use a vocab word I hadn’t learned when I created the original, it was sublime. And maybe it sounds weird to you. And maybe you think I’m hormonal. Maybe it sounds like a pregnancy craving (hallelujah, it is not–one kid on each arm is enough for me, thanks.) But if you like sharp, tangy flavors like I do (hail the glory of the salt and vinegar potato chip!) you will love it. Because I love it. If I hadn’t just had lunch, I’d go make one right now.

Cooking & Eating

Mommy Makes a Cooking Show

Last week, we filmed Sam’s cooking show. It was so much fun that I decided to film my own.

This video is pretty long–almost a half an hour. It took me about two hours total to make the dish, which is a version of shepherd’s pie aimed at rescuing some freezer burned vegetables I found in my freezer and a few other things I found lying around. It was totally spur of the moment but it was a lot of fun and it certainly made making dinner a little more exciting. Still new to this food video thing–note the abrupt transitions and lack of planning (I totally forgot to show you the final product and the shot of us eating it never filmed because my camera ran out of battery)–but I’m learning!

This meal went over really well with my family–especially Sam. He ate almost a whole serving without complaint, which is rare for him, especially when it contains so many vegetables. Violet didn’t touch it, but I suspect that’s because I made the mistake of serving it with bread. So she only wanted bread. But the gravy on sourdough–yummy stuff.

Here’s the “recipe” promised on the video (I did this all off the cuff–forgive the approximations): Continue reading “Mommy Makes a Cooking Show”