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Archive for September, 2012

I must confess, I love bread. Any and all kinds of bread. Warm and fresh from the oven, dripping with butter – it is my downfall. Well, right behind chocolate anyway.

The other day I was browsing through recipes and found one for a cheese flatbread that sounded good.

Tweaking the recipe a bit, so Captain Cavedweller would eat it, it turned it pretty tasty.

As in, there weren’t any leftovers (although I did only make a half-batch!).

This recipe comes together really fast and is super easy!

Ingredients

 

Mix Bisquick and hot water. Set aside 10 minutes.

 

Knead 60 times until it makes a nice, smooth ball.

 

Grate cheese.

 

Roll dough out on a piece of foil or parchment then place on baking sheet. This keeps both your counter and pan clean if you’re lazy like me and want to minimize mess and clean up. Drizzle with butter.

 

Sprinkle with cheese, seasonings and salt.

 

Bake until cheese is melted and dough begins to brown, about 10 minutes. Slice, serve warm and try to keep from eating more than your share!

 

Cheese Biscuit Bread

2 cups Bisquick

1/2 cup hot water

3 tbsp. melted butter

1/2 cup shredded colby-jack cheese

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1 tsp. seasoning

1/2 tsp. sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix Bisquick and water until well blended. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Knead dough 60 times (I did this right in the bowl and didn’t want to clean up a mess on the counter. Lay down a piece of foil or parchment on the counter, place dough on top and roll out until about 1/2 thick. Transfer foil onto a baking sheet. Drizzle dough with butter, sprinkle with cheese, seasoning and salt and bake for about 10 minutes, until the bread begins to brown.

Cut and serve warm. To really make it delicious, dip in olive oil or melted butter (but only if you want to simultaneously make your knees wobble and arteries clog).

She Who Should Never Make This Again

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I was thumbing through a magazine the other day and noticed a fun idea for a party – event tickets as invitations.

Reading the fine print, I got online and went to the referred website, Plum Party, to check it out.

You’ve got to take a look at this.
Seriously!

You can order any sort of ticket, completely personalized for your event for everything from baby showers and bachelor parties to weddings and actual sporting events.

Due to the fact I’m married to a die-hard football fall, I couldn’t help but think how fun it would be if a couple went with a football theme for a wedding and used the event tickets for invites. Of course, they would probably name their future children ESPN and Fox, too, but it really does seem like a memorable way to tie the knot.

She Who Wants to Plan an Event Ticket Party

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A few weeks ago I blogged about a distracted teen driver running into Captain Cavedweller and smashing our little red pickup.

The insurance company declared it totalled (no surprise) and the other day the salvage company showed up at our house to haul ol’ Red away.

Yes, the pickup was getting old (1992) and yes, it had a ton of miles on it (196,000), but it ran fine, was paid for, and came in handy to have.

The thing that is really getting to me is the loss of something that was really a big, rolling item of great sentimental value.

Fresh out of college, I’d been employed at my first “real” job for about a month when I scraped together enough money for a down payment on a vehicle. My dad went with me to two dealerships and made me do all the talking. I struck a deal with the salesman for a 1992 bright red Chevy S-10. It had all of 148 miles on it when I drove it off the lot.

I loved that little truck. It zipped all over creation and could take a corner on two wheels like nobody’s business (not that I tried that out, or anything). The job I was working then required me to do a lot of driving and I gladly went wherever was necessary, happily driving ol’ Red.

A few months later, I met Captain Cavedweller.

We often drove Red since I didn’t like riding in CC’s car, which was full of disgusting boy stuff like pop cans, burrito wrappers and unidentifiable objects that appeared to be mutating under the back seats.

Red was full of memories of the year we fell in love, reminders of all the places we went and the things we did. Like the three-hour drive we took to a museum when we were both suffering from hay fever and went through an entire box of Kleenex. There was the trip we took to Jackpot that had both our mothers convinced we were eloping (which we weren’t). And I can’t forget the day CC proposed, because I was leaning against the side of ol’ Red when it happened.

Once we wed, we had a lot of adventures in the pickup. At one point in my career, I did a weekly travel page for the newspaper I was working for at the time. CC and I would drive somewhere on his day off in ol’ Red and I’d write about it, take a ton of photos, and we’d enjoy the day together. We saw everything from petroglyphs to a war plane museum,  ghost towns to bustling downtowns.

Thinking back, there are so many memories wrapped up in that old pickup. Like the time it was pouring torrential sheets of rain and CC and I were getting home late from a date night. We’d only been married a few months at the time and lived a few blocks from CC’s mom and dad. Barely able to see out the windshield, somehow we missed the turn and the pickup ended up high-centered on the post of a stop sign. CC, not wanting to ruin his suit jacket, took it off and ran through the freezing rain to our house to call his dad to come help us and ran all the way back. I thought he and his dad would both rupture something before they got the pickup off the post, but they managed and the pickup was no worse for wear.  Although I can’t say the same about my father-in-law who was so nice to get out of his warm bed to rescue his dumb kids who weren’t smart enough to not strand themselves out in the rain on a cold February night.

It’s not the pickup I’m going to miss nearly as much as all the fun times it represents.  All I had to do was look at it to call up warm, wonderful memories.

I’ve still got the memories, even if ol’ Red is no more.

Rest in peace, my faithful friend.

She Who is Way Too Sentimental

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A while back I was off gallivanting with two of my cousins who have a myriad of food allergies. Even more than me!

I wanted to bring a fun dessert along, but was trying to find something they both could eat.

Settling on a scrumptious-sounding meringue recipe I found on foodnetwork.com, I emailed the ingredient list to the girls and got a green-flag that they both could eat it.

Although the dessert did not transport well (could have been the way some one haphazardly tossed it in the car) it tasted really, really good. So good, I made it for my book club friends the other night, to their rave reviews.

This isn’t hard to make, just takes a little time, but will leave your guests impressed! I promise!

And for those of you who like tidbits of odd information, Pavlova is named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. The dessert is believed to have been created in honor of the dancer either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s.

Ingredients

Start by whipping egg whites until stiff peaks form.

Add sugar, a little at a time and mix until the egg whites look like smooth satin.

Add cocoa powder and vinegar, followed by the chopped chocolate.

Fold in gently with a spatula until well blended.

Spoon onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 300 for about an hour.

The pavlova is done when the top looks dry and crisp, but the inside is still squishy.

Cool completely in the oven, slice and serve with freshly whipped cream and berries.

Chocolate Pavlova

6 large egg whites

2 cups superfine sugar

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

1 teaspoon balsamic or red wine vinegar

2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Trace a 9-inch round circle (use a cake pan) on the parchment then flip over so the pencil mark doesn’t touch the meringue.

Beat the egg whites with a mixer until satiny peaks form. Beat  in the sugar, a spoonful at a time, until the meringue is stiff and shiny.  Sprinkle the cocoa, vinegar and chopped chocolate over the egg whites. Gently fold everything with a rubber spatula until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in.

Mound the meringue onto the parchment within the circle, smoothing the sides and the top with a spatula. Try to get it as even as possible. Place baking sheet in the oven then turn the temp down to 300 degrees and bake for an hour or so. When the pavlova is done, the top should look crisp and dry but the inside should give a little (be a little squishy) if you poke it.

Turn off the oven, crack the door  and let the chocolate meringue disk cool completely in the oven. When you’re ready to serve, invert onto a platter and peel off the parchment. I loaded ours up with whipped cream and fresh raspberries.

That was an excellent choice and our tastebuds rejoiced.

She Who Loves Chocolate and Raspberries

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Last Friday, when we were in Pendleton, we watched the Westward Ho Parade.  It was awesome!

No motorized entries are allowed in this parade, so it is all horses and humans and a variety of animals.

This is the mounted band and they are amazing. Not only are they good riders, but great musicians and so fun to watch and listen to. They also stopped by Hamley’s Saturday morning when I was there signing books.

This team of oxen were getting a little stubborn by the end of the parade, but they really were something to see.

There were too many rodeo queens and courts to count. The Happy Canyon royalty were really impressive. I loved the intricate detail and the beautiful colors of their ensembles. Absolutely gorgeous.

This is my great-nephew Will.  Once he finished eating Twinkies for breakfast, he turned his attention to the parade. Particularly to the rodeo queens and their courts. When they rode by I thought his little arm would fall off from his wild waving. The only other thing that got him as excited as all the pretty girls were the copious amounts of candy thrown his direction. I can see we are going to have a problem with this one when he grows up. Only seven and already trying to charm the girls.

I think my favorite thing about the parade, besides watching Will wave at the rodeo courts, was the mounted flags. There were 102 of them – one for every year of the Round-Up.

It was a fabulous display that made me quite proud to be American.

She Who Loves A Good Parade

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Now that the kids are back in school and life has returned to some semblance of a routine, think about giving yourself and your friends a great gift – a little time together as adults!

Host a “The Kids are Back in School Party” for you and your friends. If you can all attend during the day, when no one needs a babysitter, that’s awesome. Or plan it for an evening or weekend.

It could be a “girls day” in. Ask a representative from Mary Kay or another company to come do a demo. It could be anything from foot massage products to make up, but anything relaxing like that would be appreciated. Serve salads for lunch with some sinfully decadent dessert.

Some other ideas for celebrating “in” could be a tea party, a book reading by a local author, a demo from a someone talented with pastries or with cooking talent. Maybe you offer some fun craft project or you all just sit and gab about what’s happening in your world.

You could also plan a “girls day” out. You could go to a spa together, window shop, take in a museum or art gallery.

If you want to include the guys, maybe you could plan a wine tasting or chocolate tasting party. Something interactive is always a hit.

The main point is to spend some time together and enjoy the company of all adults.

She Who Misses the Smell of New Crayons

 

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