Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Great State of Maine

So we're not technically back yet, and I don't technically have any recipes to post, but here are some pics of the yummy food we had on vacation (I held back and chose not to photograph our meals everynight, that would be way too embarrassing). I did however snap a couple of shots of things I'd like to recreate myself. Oh, and if you ever go to the coast of Maine (Portland, Bar Harbor, Camden, or Ogunquit) ask me for restaurant recommendations, I've got some great ones!

Fresh blueberry pie with shortbread crust and crumble topping, from Poor Boy's Gourmet in Bar Harbor, ME

Popover with strawberry jam at Jordan Pond House in Acadia National Park (Bar Harbor)

Oh and just for kicks, here's Tyler eating "Lenny the Lobster." We couldn't resist naming him before we gobbled him up ;) Turns out neither of us really likes lobster that much, for shame!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Separation anxiety...

Looks we won't be cooking or baking much for the next 3-4 weeks. Unless you count grilling hot dogs on the Foreman grill...yeah. We are leaving for our much belated honeymoon to Maine soon where we will dine on lobster and blueberry pancakes and anything else we feel like indulging in. I had hopes of going to Eminger Berries and trying a cheesecake or tiramisu stuffed strawberry but it appears the store has closed down. The website is gone, her phone is disconnected, and word on the street is she has charged customers but not fulfilled orders for the last month. Very strange indeed.

After our trip we will return to D.C. for a few very short days before we pack up and move back to Kansas City where we can have some great bbq, mmmmmm. The bbq in D.C. is not impressive, but every other type of food is amazing, I will miss it all so much! Hopefully there are greener pastures ahead, even if the Indian food isn't quite as good. Maybe I'll post some pics of our vacation food when we return ;) I'll let you know what I think of lobster, I've never tried it before.

Tried this cookie recipe out at our last game night with some of Tyler's co-workers. They proved to be a hit! I'm pretty sure this recipe originated with Joelen, but I snagged the recipe off of Amber's blog. Sorry for the shadow, maybe I was leaning in to grab one ;)

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies (or "pudding cookies")

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix (or any kind of instant pudding you like)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips.Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.

I got about 3 dozen cookies... and probably ate a couple more in dough alone ;) What can I say? I love cookie dough.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

For my gainfully employed husband...

So in honor of Tyler's new job that he starts in just a few short weeks I made his favorite kind of pie for the first time. I decided to give it a wacky name ala the movie Waitress that we saw a couple of weeks ago (great movie!) We will be moving soon and will be able to afford a dog since we won't have to travel around the holidays anymore. We are getting a pug, and perhaps naming him CHUBBS if I get my way. So that's the backstory, and now I give you:

"No More Patent Examining, Now We Can Get a Pug Blueberry Pie"


Two 9'' pie crusts (do not pre-bake) I used the refrigerated pie crusts you can buy in packs of 2 at the grocery store. You just unroll and go. Really fast and they are good quality pie crusts. Making pie crust from scratch makes me cranky, so I opted not to do that.

4 cups (2 pints) fresh blueberries, all stems removed (frozen blueberries can also be used.)
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. flour
1/4 t. cinnamon
2 t. lemon juice
2 T butter

1 to 2 T. milk
2 t. sugar
dash of cinnamon

Prepare crusts beforehand and place bottom crust in 9'' pie pan. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Toss gently to mix. Spoon into crust, dot with butter. Top with second crust, seal edges and flute. Cut slits in top crust.

Brush crust with milk, sprinkle with 2 t. sugar and dash of cinnamon.

Bake at 425 for 45 to 55 min. or until golden (middle will puff up). Cover edge of crust with strips of foil or a crust guard (pampered chef makes a great one!) after 15-20 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning.

Serve ala mode unless you are crazy and like naked, lonely pie like my husband ;)

Friday, June 8, 2007

The Great American Meal

Mmm fried chicken. Can't say I've had the real thing within the last year, but the oven fried stuff is very tasty, so tasty I *almost* don't miss the real thing :) This is not the healthiest recipe, I think next time I want ranch flavored chicken I can make a "light" version, but this was a great splurge. I served it with mashed potatoes, a dish that I am constantly playing around with (should have made a veggie too but I was in a hurry and Tyler wasn't around to remind me to eat my veggies). There are so many great versions of mashed potatoes, it's hard to make the same kind twice. Experimenting is just so much fun :) I got the chicken recipe from the lovely Joelyn and reduced it from her party-size portion, check out her blog if you haven't already, she makes some great stuff!

Oven Fried Chicken

6 pieces of chicken - thighs & drumsticks (I used boneless skinless chicken breasts since we are trying to eat through our freezer)
1/2 bottle of prepared ranch salad dressing
1/4 small jar mayonnaise
1/4 can evaporated milk

1/4 box of wheat or corn flakes, crushed
1 cup tempura flour (didn't have so I omitted this)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 dry packet ranch dressing

Place chicken in a large container to marinate.
In a separate bowl, combine the ranch dressing, mayo and milk.
Pour marinade over chicken to coat.
Marinate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine coating ingredients in a shallow pan.
Dredge marinated chicken in coating mixture.
Place on lightly greased baking sheet.
Spray tops of chicken with cooking spray to add color.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or when done.
Allow chicken to sit for a few minutes before serving.
Good warm or cold and can be reheated well.

Mashed Red Potatoes (recipe adapted from


2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup milk

1/4 cup sour cream

salt and pepper to taste


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender but still firm, about 10 minutes. Drain, and place in a large bowl.

Combine potatoes with butter, milk, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Mash together until smooth and creamy.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

More cookies...

I played around with this recipe yesterday and today and now I'll share it with you :) I originally got the recipe from but tweaked it a bit.

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries (if using unsweetened dried cranberries increase white sugar to 1/2 cup)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour and baking soda; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in the white chocolate chips and cranberries. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. For best results, take them out while they are still doughy. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Makes 18 cookies if using a medium sized scoop (love my Pampered Chef cookie scoop!)