Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Expiration Dates Are Suggestions. Right?

What has inspired me to make a cheesecake today... I'll never know.

My tummy's still a bit rocky from last night's dinner, as I spent a pretty good portion of the evening, "taking some alone time with my book," if you know what I mean.

Apparently, stuffed sole fillets that have been in the freezer for 8 months don't translate well, to the plate. So I boldly ignored the italicized wording on the side of the package that stated, "if frozen, consume within three months of purchase date." I figured that's a "guesstimate." But as it turns out... I figured wrong.
So a little soothing cheesecake couldn't hurt, right?!


Here's what you'll need:

To make the crust
1 Cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 Cup sugar
1 Tablespoon butter, melted

And for the filling
2 eggs
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup peach jam, plus 1 cup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium size bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs with the sugar and butter. Mix well and place in the bottom and sides of your lined cupcake pan. Make sure to press down with the back of a spoon or juice glass. Set crust aside.

Prepare the filling by beating the eggs and cream cheese together. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until well blended. Add 1/4 cup peach jam and mix until incorporated. Pour mixture into prepared crust and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

Remove cake from oven and top with remaining 1 cup peach jam. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight. Or until you can't stand it anymore.

These were mediocre, at best. C+ sort of average. Too sweet, too soft, and too gookey. Paula Deen sort of let me down. But at least they hadn't expired, and neither of us are worse off for having eaten them.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Eating Our Way Through the Iowa State Fair

A few weekends back, the hubs and I drove up to the fine state of Iowa. Throughout our eight years of marriage, I have heard how great the Iowa State Fair is...

...how it's better than any other fair in the good ol' USA...
...how no fair can compare...
...how much bigger, prettier, and tastier the corn, the cows, the chickens, and the pigs are at the Iowa state fair...
...and how the only time my husband attended "the best fair in the whole world," he spent the majority of the 103* day, with his 11 year old head hung over a public toilet, praying that the "best toilet in the world" would suck him away and end his misery.

So when I mentioned to Brett that a little day trip across the border might be in order, I was excited to see how things would turn out!!!

To up the ante, we decided to eat our way through the Iowa State Fair... one deep fried treat at a time.

First things first... you can't go to a fair without gnawing on a footlong. Drenched in mustard. There is NO other way to eat a corndog, by the way... all the ketchup eaters out there, are just plain nuts.

Of course, we needed a side dish, right? So there you go: deepfried mac and cheese. Ohhhhh pitter patter. Be still my heart. Seriously. Be still. This deep fried goodness was a heart attack, in a little paper cup.

Midway through the day, we decided to offset the coronary disease we'd eaten for lunch, and try something healthy. We opted for the Applizza, drenched in caramel. The whole "apple a day" thing, is surely applicable here.

A boiled egg on a stick. Salmonella scare aside, it was tasty, free, and a very "Iowa" thing to do.

And... the deep fried Snickers.

Need I say more? I mean seriously. They took a Snickers bar, dipped that sucker in corndog batter, and DEEP FRIED IT!!!! Sigh.

Not pictured here, is the GInormous ice cream cone we shared, the multiple Domino's samples, jam samples, jerky samples, honey samples, beef samples, cracker sampl........

Oh yeah, and we saw the in-laws and a cousin too...

So, how did the fair, fare? Well... I suppose the "best little fair in the world" was all right! The cows did seem to stand a little taller and the sheep, "maaaah" a little louder. And goodness knows, the food was fried a little longer! But at the end of the day, I was just glad that Brett didn't take me down memory lane, to visit the "best little toilet in the world!" Some things, are left to the imagination.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

With My Bare Hands

I did that.

Yep... that tortilla chip of goodness was all from my own making. Planted, grown, harvested, chopped and eaten. All by me. With my bare hands.

I'm thinking that kind of attitude might have been one of the things that got Adam and Eve in trouble.

Eve was all like, "See that tree over there, that I watered all winter long... you know, the one with the wonderfully red fruit... I did that!"

And Adam's all like, "Oh yeah, well see that freshly baked pie with the homemade crust and intricate lattice work, sitting on the hut-sill? I, did that."

There was bickering and eye-rolling and Adam spent two nights sleeping on a rock...

And then God stepped in, saw that it was good... or at the very least, entertaining... and decided to make that, our plight in life.

Yes. I am aware that sometimes, I shouldn't write out what my mind is thinking.

What you'll need:
3-5 Tomatoes
3-4 Jalapenos
1 Small white onion
1 Hearty handful of cilantro
1 Dash of olive oil
2 Tablespoons of lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

I use a variety of 'maters: some small and beefy like Danny DiVito (otherwise known as the Roma tomato). Others that are beautiful and all pink and white like Dakota Fanning before she went all vampire-ish (otherwise known as Pink Lady's). And I'll throw in at least one good and plump one like... well, me (again, also known as Better Boy). Chop them all up and mix them together. Then mince the jalapeno and onion. Tear off a hearty handful of cilantro and chop that up too (stems and all). Add a dash of olive oil (and I really mean, just a dash), the lime juice, seasonings, and mix the whole mess together. Let it sit in the fridge for up to four hours.

Sweat, love, and dirty fingernails managed to produce a "pico" hot enough to make you reconsider your love for dairy products. And for your significant other. Especially when he does all of the weed eating in the garden.

Again... you don't have to say a word.

We both give it a solid A-.