Three Pictures from the Weekend

Babies, babies everywhere. I think we probably know about 25 people who are set to give birth this year, and this weekend produced two babies within our circles. This one I get to post because we’re related, whether he likes it or not. He belongs to my cousin and his beautiful wife- I can’t wait to meet him and whisper in his ear that he’s got it really good and to enjoy life while he can. That’s my favorite thing to do with babies. Welcome to the world, little Logan David. Being alive is hard sometimes, but we’re cheering for you.

This weekend, I sewed a dress. It had pockets and sleeves and it almost has a zipper, which makes me so giddy I can hardly stand up straight. I’m on the last page of instructions, and while the pieces don’t match up the way they should, I will not be deterred. I had only two goals in mind when starting this project: 1) Don’t spill anything on it and 2) finish. So far, so good.

Last night we had a smorgasbord of raw and roasted veggies for dinner including our favorite summer snack: salsa. It’s a very secret recipe that’s only secret because it changes every time we make it. Last night we used tomatoes, carrots, bell pepper, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper. Chop, chop, chop. I see this in our future every day until all the vegetables dry up for the winter.

What’s a moment from the weekend you wish you would have captured in film?

Sushi Night

One of our favorite new meals to have is sushi at home. I was rather intimidated initially, but it’s one of the fastest and easiest meals we make. The most difficult challenge is finding everything in your local market, but once you get that down you can grab the ingredients and go.

Ingredients:
Sushi rice (short grain Japanese rice)
Rice vinegar
Nori (Dry seaweed)
Fillings of your choice

Boil your rice according to package instructions. Some people prefer to add a little rice vinegar and sugar, but this step is optional. Once rice is cooked, spread rice onto a sheet of the nori. Yes, it’s sort of like a weird green paper that smells like tobacco, but just go with it. Make sure to leave about one inch of nori without rice in order to seal the roll.

Once your rice is spread, lay ingredients on top of your rice. Our favorites are rather simple- imitation crab meat, cucumber, avocado, or cream cheese. Feel free to try actual raw fish, just be careful to prepare it correctly!

Most recipes call for a bamboo mat to roll your finished product, but we just roll with our hands. It works great, plus there’s one less thing to wash. Definite bonus.

Slice with a serrated knife and enjoy!

We love to serve it with soy sauce and Wasabi, lighter on the Wasabi. Get a little too much and your nose will understand. Cheers for sushi at home and money saved by eating in.

Happy Monday! What are you guys making for dinner this week?

(Special thanks to my friend Shari for the recipe and encouragement to make these!)

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Make Your Own Butter

Because we’re always looking for ways to save money or make things into something new, I wanted to share this little tutorial I found on making your own butter. My only issue is that I never really find extra cream laying around the house… I can usually dream up something to bake or find some berries to drizzle it on. So I don’t know how much you’d save if you bought the cream specifically for this purpose. Here’s to someday having leftover cream in the fridge.

How to Make Your Own Butter
(via Prudent Baby)

Check out the tutorial on their website. Have any of you ever made your own butter?

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Porter Pizzeria

We’ve recently compiled a list of ingredients to take your homemade pizza to the next level. The secret is in the crust, though you don’t have to tell anyone where you got the recipe. We don’t care if you steal our ideas and turn yourselves Italian from the inside out. The world will be better for it.

Crust ingredients

1pkg dry yeast
1 c. warm water
1tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2.5 c all-purpose flour
Dry or freshly chopped basil or italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 425. Dissolve yeast in water. Add all ingredients and stir. Let rest for 5 minutes. We don’t really have a scientific measurement for the basil. Really, I just sprinkle and stir until it looks like we’re in basil heaven and call it quits.

From here, grease a cookie sheet with oil and sprinkle with corn meal. Pick up the dough and start pulling it apart. If you’re really brave like us, you can toss it into the air and yell fun things like, “Mama mia!” or “Ti amo!” or if you drop it on the floor, “Non fa caso!” (it doesn’t matter). Then spread your dough onto the cookie sheet. Remember: It’s an art, and art is never perfect. Throw it in the oven for 7 minutes.

While your crust is setting up, chop your ingredients. We love mushrooms and tomatoes, though you could make layers of pepperoni, jalapenos, whatever you like.

Once the crust is finished, take the pan out of the oven and spread your pizza sauce. We use the kind out of the jar, but if anyone has an amazing homemade sauce recipe, we’d be willing to try it- just post it in the comments below. Add your ingredients on top.

Top with mozzarella (we don’t like to skimp on the cheese), tomatoes, and sprinkle with more basil. Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes.

Yummo. Ciao!

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Corn Chowder with a Twist

I declare today Recipe Friday, simply because we have a recipe we can’t help but share. It’s soup season, my friends. Get. Ready.

My family started a tradition about five years ago that became so popular amongst the women that no one dared stop it. Rather than cook a Christmas turkey or massive dinner, we have our own version: the sandwich and soup. We have options for the sandwiches, everyone makes their own, and we usually have three soupies: Grandma’s homemade chicken noodles, some sort of chili, and Mom’s corn chowder. The corn chowder was always a close second (because what beats Grandma’s chicken noodles?) but last week, we topped it. Corn chowder with chilies, via @thepioneerwoman blog. A little spicy, a lot of lovely. Her suggestion? Make it soon. Your happiness depends on it. We were definitely sad when it was over.

Corn Chowder with Chilies
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 20 Minutes Servings 8 Difficulty Easy

Ingredients
2 slices Bacon, Cut Into 1/2-inch Pieces (or Smaller)
2 Tablespoons Butter
1-½ whole Yellow Onion, Diced
5 ears Corn, Shucked (about 4 Cups)
2 whole Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce, Finely Diced
1 whole 4-ounce Can Diced Green Chilies
32 ounces, fluid Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1-½ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
½ teaspoons Kosher Salt (more To Taste)
3 Tablespoons Corn Meal OR Masa
¼ cups Water
Preparation Instructions
(Carefully) slice the corn kernels off the cob. Set aside.
Add bacon pieces to a pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Cook for a couple of minutes. Throw in diced onion and stir, cooking the onion for 3 to 4 minutes. Add butter and melt. Add corn. Stir and cook for one minute. Add both kinds of chilies and stir.
Pour in chicken broth and cream. Add salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low.
Combine cornmeal (or masa) with water. Stir to combine, then pour into the chowder. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over low heat. If chowder needs more thickening, add another tablespoon of cornmeal mixed with water. Cook for another ten minutes.
Serve with crusty sourdough bread or in a bread bowl. Absolutely yummy!

Happy Friday!

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Party Mushrooms

This post is a lot less psychedelic that it sounds, though still fun. To continue the excitement of the commencement of the 2010 season, we bring you our favorite tailgate food. Hello, stuffed mushrooms.

Ingredients:

About 30-40 mushrooms

1 brick of cream cheese (Get the real stuff, not fat free. It puts the party in the mushrooms.)

4-5 green onions, chopped

1 cup cheddar cheese

Salt & Pepper to taste (We use a little salt & a lot of pepper)

Optional ingredients: Bacon, American cheese

Directions:

Wash mushrooms and de-stem. I don’t know the technical name for de-stemming, but they should look like this:

Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil (for easy cleanup) and preheat oven to 350.

Mix cream cheese, green onions, cheddar cheese, salt & pepper, & bacon if you wish (tip: a little bacon goes a long way).

Spoon mixture into mushroom tops. Top with little slices of American cheese if you want, sprinkle with cheddar, or forego the cheese altogether.

Bake for 20 minutes.

We’ve never left a party with any mushrooms. They’re simply smashing.

Photo Attribution: Pshycadelica | Shrooms 1 | Shrooms 2

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A Pioneer Woman, A Church Lady, and a Blackberry Cobbler

My mom taught me one very important thing growing up. Okay she taught me more than one, but here’s one of them: Church potlucks are great places to take a new dish. If it disappears, you know it’s good and you can make it again with confidence. If nobody likes it and the church ladies start whispering about who brought it, you can always pretend it wasn’t yours, join in on the whispering, and sneak your pan from the kitchen later in the week. Small parties make it more difficult to pull off, but we risked it with two brand new recipes this weekend, both from the Pioneer Woman Cookbook. Luckily, they were a hit. So we share. The recipes, not the food. It’s all gone.

Katie’s Roasted Corn Salad
This is a wonderful summer salsa and can be eaten on top of grilled chicken or with tortilla chips.

8 fresh corn ears
Olive oil
1 red onion, quartered
2 yellow squash, halved lengthwise
1 red bell pepper
2 medium tomatoes


Drizzle all veggies with olive oil and grill. Since we don’t have a grill, we used our oven at 450 for about 15 minutes.


Let the veggies cool out of the oven and then roughly chop with a sharp knife. Scrape kernels from ears of corn.


After chopping, mix all veggies together and drizzle with dressing you’ll make with the instructions below.

Dressing
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
12 basil leaves (we just used dried basil from our spice collection. We’re cheaters.)
1 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, chipped

Whisk olive oil and vinegar together. Then add everything else and whisk again. Pour over veggie mix and stir. Done!

Patsy’s Blackberry Cobbler
1/4 lb butter (1 stick)
1&1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup milk
2 cups fresh fruit (We used blackberries, but you could also use peaches, blueberries, raspberries, etc.)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 3 qt baking dish with butter. (I improvised with two square pyrex dishes, a 3c & 6c)
In your microwave, melt a stick of butter.
In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup of the sugar with flour & milk. Whisk in butter.


Rinse blackberries and pat dry.


Pour the batter into the baking dish. Sprinkle blackberries evenly into batter. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over the blackberries. Bake for 1 hour.


With ten minutes left in baking, sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over the top. Serve with ice cream. Mm.

The results are good, but the aftermath is better:

Enjoy!

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The O’BB Muffs

As we promised this weekend via Twitter, here’s one of our new favorite recipes: Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins. We stole this from Kyle’s mom over the 4th, and made them for the two of us when we got home. They were gone within 15 hours which makes me feel really guilty and really excited to share all at the same time. We’re not sure how healthy they actually are, but they taste healthy, which is a bonus. They have more texture and less goo than normal bb muffs. Plus if you take out the vegetable oil, the sugar, and everything else that makes them taste so good, they’re actually not that bad for you.

My very technical notes:

I had quite a bit  of the liquid leftover, so don’t feel like you have to use it all.

Also, I think “fold in blueberries” just means you should make sure not to smash them.

For extra deliciousness, top warm muffin with a little butter and sugar sprinkles.

And voila. Healthy tasting, still-not-sure-how-healthy-they-are blueberry muffins. Have you tried any great recipes lately? Post one of your favorites below and we can all steal ideas and look like great cooks.

Oh, and click on the recipe if you want to see the awesome website that helped us create our post today!
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