Archive for April, 2012

In case I have failed to mention it before, Captain Cavedweller is a really awesome guy.

He went above and beyond this weekend, humoring me with a project that started out small and soon snowballed into two days of work, drudgery and chaos.

I’ll post more about all that fun later, when I’ve recovered and am able to fully move both arms and legs again.

For today, since the weather is positively summer-like here, is my favorite list of condiment does and don’ts. Whip out that barbecue and enjoy!

1. Do not fear the family-sized bottle of ketchup. Unless you are serving dignitaries, your guests will be happy with the big bottle.

2. You can please most of the people all the time if you have a good assortment of mustards.

3.  Plan to have mayonnaise handy at all times. Yes, it’s salty, and yes, it is bad for you, but everyone likes a dab now and then.  And don’t substitute salad dressing! I’ll hunt you down and slap your hand!

4. Find your own special sauce and serve it proudly. This could be something you make from scratch or a blend of pre-made favorites. Create a great sauce with plain yogurt, finely chopped cucumber, garlic and lemon juice.

5. Nothing tops a hot dog better than relish.  Have an assortment of  sweet relish, yellow relish and onion relish on hand.

6. Pickles are important and not everyone likes the same kind. Have an assortment of dill and sweet and make sure you identify them!

7. Have plenty of salsa – it goes fast!

8. Grill the onions for your guests’ burgers. The grill is already hot and it just takes a minute.

9. Explore several barbecue sauce recipes, find your favorite, and make it your signature.

10. Don’t be afraid to serve coleslaw. It’s not just a side dish. Try it on your hot dog.

Here is a handy-dandy download: 10 rules of condiments

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Captain Cavedweller brought home some delicious strawberries the other day. They were big, plump, juicy and ripe. They actually tasted like strawberries  – not like the somewhat bland picked-green variety we usually find in the stores this time of year.

Since I can’t leave well enough alone, I decided to stuff a few berries for fun. That was a tasty decision.

This is a fast and easy way to make your berries look super fancy and divine.

You'll need berries, whipped cream cheese, powdered sugar and chocolate for dipping. Chocolate is optional. Unless you're me. Then it is mandatory and necessary.

Cut the tops off the berries and hull. Mix together cream cheese and powdered sugar and then use a teaspoon to stuff filling into berries. I got involved with the stuffing and forgot to take pictures. Sorry!

You can melt some chocolate and dip the ends of your berries in it. You can also melt chocolate and make some fancy little swirlies to top the berries. All that is completely optional.

Or you can eat them plain and enjoy!

She Who Loves Fresh Berries

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A few weeks ago I was lamenting the fact that I wish I had purchased more new clothes hangers to Captain Cavedweller.

(Aren’t you jealous of the intense, completely stimulating conversations that take place at my house?)

Anyway, having a strong dislike for my closet full of plastic hangers that have seen better days, I bought a package of the new slim flocked hangers I’ve seen everywhere.

I love them. As in LOVE THEM!

If you haven’t tried them yet, they are, like, totally awesome, dude!

They have this great flocked coating which means your clothes cling to the hanger instead of slithering off as they tend to do with the plastic hangers. They are also super slim which means I can get about three of them in the space of one plastic hanger.

Not sure that I would like these hangers, I bought one package to give them a whirl. They whirled quite wonderfully and I wish I had purchased several packages.

I was completely surprised the other day when Captain Cavedweller came home from a trip to the city packing an entire case of these hangers.

“What’s this?” I asked, wondering why he bought the hangers.

“You said you wished you had more of them,” he said with a shrug and went back out to finish unloading the car.

When I finally scooped my melted self up off the floor, I quickly changed out all the hangers in our closet, realizing that not only do I have one of the best husbands ever, I now have a lot more room in my closet for more clothes. I see a shopping trip in my near future…

She Who Loves CC

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When I was a kid, on random and rare occasions my sister-in-law Debbie would treat us to homemade banana ice cream. It was smooth, creamy bliss in a bowl on a hot summer day.  A bit of a banana fan, I absolutely loved this ice cream and eagerly looked forward to the times she made it. (Which wasn’t nearly often enough).

My mom tried to make it a few times, but it never tasted the same because she refused to use the raw eggs required by the recipe. So if you don’t consume raw eggs, please skip today’s post and come back next week when I don’t have to issue any food warnings.

Consider this your warning – consuming raw eggs may increase your chance of food borne illness. Use fresh eggs that aren’t cracked, please, if you plan to make this ice cream.

Which, if you like ice cream and like bananas, you will want to do as quickly as possible.

It has been years (decades) since I’ve had this ice cream and it was just as yummy as I remember. I finally begged Debbie to share her recipe and I am forever grateful that she did.

Captain Cavedweller had never enjoyed the experience of banana ice cream before and I thought I was going to have to find a stick to beat him off  just so I could get a bowl of it.

Yeah, it was that good.

It is really easy to make and this recipe will fill a four-quart ice cream freezer easily. If you have one of the one and a half quart freezers, I’d cut this down to a one-third recipe.



Beat eggs until foamy.

Add sugar and beat until dissolved.

Add cream, salt, flavorings and milk to get this foamy, beautiful bowl of goodness.

Mash bananas and add to mix.

Pour into your ice cream freezer and freeze according to machine directions.

A whimsically fun bowl may slightly enhance the flavor, unless you are Captain Cavedweller.

Serve with a garnish of banana slices dipped in chocolate and mint, if you so desire. CC desired a shortbread cookie with his.

Banana Ice Cream

5 eggs
2 1/2 cups sugar
4cups whipping cream
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. banana flavoring
4 cups milk
4 ripe bananas, mashed
* Warning! Consuming raw eggs may increase your risk of food borne illness.   If you do decide to make this and use the raw eggs, please choose eggs that are fresh with no cracks in the shell.
Start by beating the eggs until they are foamy and light. I let mine go about six minutes. Add in sugar and continue mixing. Slow the speed on the mixer and add in the cream followed by the salt, vanilla and banana flavoring. Continue mixing and add in the milk, blending in the bananas last. Pour into your ice cream freezer and freeze according to machine directions.

Serve and enjoy! I dipped a few banana slices in chocolate and added a garnish of mint, just for fun. Captain Cavedweller preferred his plain, of course.

She Who LOVES Banana Ice Cream

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