Chocolate No Bake Cookies

I don’t have very many food hangups but the ones I have are well established.  I will not eat pickled beets, pickled herring, liver and onions, tacos, sushi, or fudge.  It’s a very random list and there really is no connection between the items other than I will go out of my way to avoid eating them.  Donuts used to be on that list after working at a donut shop in high school.  I would leave after a shift and the smell of donut grease was on every strand of hair, every fiber of my clothing, and even my shoes and socks.  After a very long estrangement, donuts and I are finally back on friendly terms.  In that example, the food hangup was the result of being exposed to the food for prolonged periods.  However, sometimes the food hangup predated any long term exposure to the target food so that the eventual exposure was made all the more painful.  Fudge falls squarely into that category.  Continue reading “Chocolate No Bake Cookies”

Food Memories – D’s Buttermilk Pancakes

I have the Interwebz and this here blog to thank for bringing me together, in real life as well as in a virtual sense, with some fascinating, talented, incredible people.  And when they aren’t scared off by my requests for their Food Memories, I know they are good people.  Take Katie of You Are What You Eat…Or Reheat.  Known to many as an upstanding member of Corporate America.  Known to me as the Queen of White Trash Wednesday and who I want to be when I grow up.  She is witty and clever and is the keeper of a kick ass pancake recipe.  But because she’s good people, she’s letting me tell y’all about it here.

When I emailed her to be part of the Food Memories project, she gave me a little backstory about the recipe.  She said, I love the whole idea of relating food to memories.  It’s just so sweet, isn’t it?  As for a recipe, this one’s great and easy. And it’s something my mom made for my sister and me growing up. Every morning before our junior tennis tournaments.  And it was torturous.  For years I couldn’t eat pancakes because they reminded me of years and years of hot summer tennis.  But now, I love them. After all, my granddad, D, created this recipe.”  How can you not love a woman who keeps the memory of her granddad alive through his pancakes? Continue reading “Food Memories – D’s Buttermilk Pancakes”

Flashback Friday – I Am

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 7/14/08 at Exit 51.

I Am

My own worst enemy.  There I’ve said it.

In anticipation of a crazy week, and because the line at the deli had twenty people ahead of me, I tried to cram several cooking projects into one short Sunday.  By the time the lower fat, vegan friendly, deep chocolate cake came out of the oven, I was well into pasta sauce for baked pasta, and had yet to begin the chicken or mushroom cream sauce for a casserole (think chicken and cream of mushroom soup bake with rice…only WAY better).  Somewhere between assembling the baked pasta and furiously trying to reduce the creamy mushroon sauce, I lost all enthusiasm and most of my patience.  And the cake had yet to be dressed. Continue reading “Flashback Friday – I Am”

Perfect One Dish Dinners

I may, or may not, have a cookbook obsession.  It’s been a few months since I last put a new cookbook on the shelf.  It’s also been a few months since I picked up any of the cookbooks that were already on that shelf.  Maybe I’m more a cookbook collector than a user?  But don’t tell The Mistah that otherwise I’ll have to resort to sneaking new cookbooks into the house under the cover of darkness.  Some women buy new clothes or shoes they don’t want their husbands to know about.  My guilty purchases tend to lean more towards purses, camera gear, and cookbooks.  Don’t judge.  I know you come here for these peeks into the crazy. My point is that I have a weakness for cookbooks. Continue reading “Perfect One Dish Dinners”

IFBC 2010 – Seattle

This year I have been asking myself one question over and over – why do I blog.  I know why I started the blog but what keeps me doing it three years later?  What is my ultimate goal for this and how do I define my success as a blogger?  Ok, so maybe not just one question.  But all the same, I’ve been looking for answers.  I went to Big Summer Potluck looking for answers, and instead found a community.  And when I went to IFBC, not knowing what to expect, I found ways to define myself by what I am not.

I am not looking for a book deal.  I am not interested in playing the SEO game.  I am not a recipe developer.  I am not educated on the needs of specialized diets.  I am not interested in paying to attend a conference and sitting through infomercials for websites or cooking encyclopedias.  Ultimately, the message I took away from the Big Summer Potluck was indirectly reinforced at IFBC – blog for myself, be authentic, and define my own success.

There were good moments at IFBC.  There were bad moments.  There were events I was excited about which provided huge disappointments.  And there were unexpected moments of powerful validation.  So instead of focusing on the parts of IFBC that made me question whether it was the best use of my time and money, the message I have decided to hold onto is that I decide my legitimacy as a blogger.

So, what did I learn at IFBC 2010?  I learned that I really don’t need to spend $$$ to attend a blogging conference.  Many of the best moments, the ones that really resonated with me, mostly occurred outside of the conference.  To me, the journey is where I get my inspiration and excitement.  The opportunity to meet new people and expand my food world can happen anytime, anywhere.  Next year, instead of sitting in a venue for 8 to 12 hours a day over the course of a weekend, I can pack up the car and see where the road takes me.  Someone else can have my seat at IFBC 2011.

Abby Dodge’s S’mores Bars

So remember how I gushed about the people I met at the Big Summer Potluck, how warm and welcoming they were, how genuine and down to earth everyone was? None of that has changed.  They are all lovely people.  What I didn’t realize going into the event was exactly WHO some of these folks were.  At the risk of having BAH shut down by the food blog police for gross ignorance, I am oblivious to the vast majority of the food world. Continue reading “Abby Dodge’s S’mores Bars”

Grilled Peach Salad

I have bad luck with peaches.  The ones I get at the store are never ripe.  So I put them in a paper bag to ripen only to have them go bad in three or four days.  Is there anything quite as disappointing as cutting into a peach only to find that the stone has split, the sugars have started to breakdown, and the inside is all fuzy with mold?  I might as well have just thrown $3.99 a pound right into the garbage.  And the ones that don’t go bad, well they just don’t taste like anything.

In that idealized, perfect world of mine, I would be able to go to the market each and every day for the freshest, most perfect produce.  I know, I know, I could make a point of getting my produce at the farmers market instead of the grocery store.  Going to the source for in season product takes one of the variables out of the equation. However, it leaves the biggest variable….me.  I would have to remember to use it right away.  No lingering or forgetting or procrastinating for days on end.  Maybe for idealized, perfect me that wouldn’t be a problem.  For real me, it’s a struggle.

So while my multiple personalities duke it out over who is running this show, I’m going to suggest that you try Pat and Gina Neely’s Grilled Peach Salad.  Because both ideal me and real me agree that grilled peaches, bacon, and balsamic vinegar are a phenomenal combination that makes even boring store bought peaches delightful and impressive.

Grilled Peach Salad with Balsamic Bacon Vinaigrette

Adapted from The Neelys

BAH Note:  The grilled peaches caramelize and provide a sweet balance to the bacon balsamic dressing.  You don’t have to have a grill, or a grill pan, to grill the peaches.  I used a 10 inch nonstick frying pan.

  • 1/4 pound thick sliced bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 ripe peaches, pitted and quartered
  • olive oil
  • 1 bag baby spinach or lettuce mix

Lightly coat the peach quarters with olive oil and cook in a skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until char marks form.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon from the skillet to a plate.  Add the shallot to the skillet and cook in the bacon grease until tender, approximately 3 to 5 minutes.  Stir in the mustard, vinegar, and sugar and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place the baby spinach or lettuce mix in a large bowl.  Add the grilled peaches and vinaigrette.  Top with the bacon, toss, and serve.