i don’t know i might have gone overboard on this one

apple-peanut butter pie.  the concept one of my favorite snacks, apples and peanut butter put into a pie.  its good, in fact its damn good but honestly it is so rich i haven’t been able to finish a single piece yet.  that makes me very sad but then i wonder…….have i made the greatest pie i have ever baked yet?

springfield style cashew chicken…….LIKE

from lucy's

about four years ago i was wasting time on facebook and decided if i was going to like something by god it was going to be cashew chicken.  i was shocked to discover that low and behold there was no facebook fan page for springfield style cashew chicken.  this had to be created and created a fan page i did.  i uploaded an image of the stuff sent a few requests out to fellow springfield cashew chicken fans and that was the extent of my devotion to the fan page.  now four years 7,722 fans later, and i haven’t done a damn thing on it since,  i have decided maybe i need to be a bit more proactive on my fan site.  facebook will send little updates on it, i’ll just say i was shocked at how much activity was going on the site…..uploading of photos, recipe discussions, the whole shabang.

so be prepared springfield style facebook fans photo albums of take out i get every time i go home, my quest to find springfield style in other cities, pics of the iconic cashew chicken resturants, and of course tired and true recipes.

Sunday Night Dinner: October 2nd- Dinner of the Pie Fiend

After making 7 pies on Saturday (I’m testing out recipes for a pop-up holiday pie store – be on the look-out!)

Making something easy on Sunday night sounded like a really good idea. This also involved a pre-cooking glass of wine. Cooking and drinking don’t usually work out well for me…I tend to get a little reckless.

BUT this dinner was practically going to cook itself.Our friend Emily was coming over, so I opted for the crowd pleaser – lasagna. I’m obsessed with cherry and grape tomatoes lately (if you hadn’t noticed).

So I decided to sprinkle them on top of our traditional cheese and spinach lasagna, along with a few portobello mushrooms.

I was hoping they would oven roast (which just tells me I need to make oven-roasted tomatoes again soon), and they sort of roasted.

I, of course, used my cooking God Paul Newman’s sauce (the Cabernet, one of my favorites). Emily brought a lovely cesare salad (one of John’s favorites)…

…and I bought pretzel bread at the store. I don’t know how to make pretzel bread, so I felt ok buying it. Yeah, that bread was really good. It’s on the bread learning plan.

We were going to see silent film shorts at the Glenwood Movie Theater after dinner, but that didn’t stop us from having some pre-movie dessert. John requested that we sample the Oreo Chocolate Pudding Dirt (or Pumpkin Patch) pie that I made. Do I even have to tell you my honey gets whatever sweets he wants (expect the British Montazuma Chocolates, sorry, but them’s the rules).

Emily with her pie!

The first movie we saw at the silent film screening was The Dream of the Rarebit Fiend. John and I got so excited because, 1) That’s the title of some comics he loves and 2) John had rarebit in England, so it’s something we talk about quite a bit. They, in fact, showed 2 silent films all about rarebit eating.

John's rarebit at Betty's in York

Did the rarebit (which is essentially melted cheese and bread) give John fiendish dreams like the movie we saw? You’ll just have to ask him yourself!

Sunday Night Dinner: September 25th- Celebrating the Harvest

After a trip to the Plaza Art Show and a failed attempt to have our pictures taken with the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival’s “Good Will” Mascot, we started this Sunday night dinner off with a happy hour of Champ Ice Cream Cones (or Drumsticks).

Next we moved on to dinner. I’m a big solstice celebrator. During my 6 month sabbatical I learned, at least for me, that it’s so important to acknowledge the changing of the seasons– and off course, I like to celebrate it through food. That Friday night was the Autumn Solstice so we had a special meal with our friend Suzanne.

I baked a European rustic loaf of whole grain bread. It always turns out huge, fit for a giant really.

We ate sweet potato pasta with butternut squash and maple sugar pecans.

To truly celebrate the solstice, I  cooked up some of our own harvest-

home-grown lima beans.

and mixed them into a cumin roasted corn salad.

So to continue the fall vibe we had Harvest Rice on Sunday night. This is kind of like a fall stir fry with honey crisp apples, green onion, carrots, raisins, and pecans. I tossed in some red kidney beans for protein and color.

We had leftover rustic bread with apple butter, green beans and corn on the cob.

For dessert we had a caramel apple pie experiment that I baked up. Please note the difference between John’s piece…

and mine…

Who’s stocking up for those winter months I ask you?

sunday night dinner: oct 2, 2011 — fancy ramen

on my quest to like mushrooms i have come to fancy them in stir fry.  sunday night dinner then was fancy ramen, aka what my friend alaina calls ramen that has lots of veggies in it or as steph did a while back some veggie nuggets as well.  to set the mood i put on my most recent album purchase, “Dance the night Away” a 4, yes 4 album compilation of discos greatest hits that i got for only $0.95.  i was really excited because it had my favorite elton john song, the duet with kiki dede, “don’t go breakin my heart.” the tune was perfect for fancy ramen night.

my stir fry consisted of broccoli, mushrooms, and carrots in a sauce of oil, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, and of course the seasoning packet from the ramen.   and now looking at that least i realize i should have added some sort of nuts to that mix, damn!  is it just me or does stir fry just always look pretty?




meatless monday: veggie omelette

at work i have probably seen at least a thousand omelets go out of the kitchen, yet i am not really a big fan of them.  however i decided to attempt an omelette at home for my meatless monday meal.  3 eggs beaten to a pulp were put into a hot skillet.  although i really wanted to attempt a classic julia child move of flipping the omelette in the pan i knew it would turn into a very big disaster.

yeah my omelette not so much like her’s.  inside my omelette i put cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes, and avocado.  i wished i would have topped it with some salsa but it was still oh so good, especially  with the homemade whole wheat cornbread muffin.

sunday night dinner: september 25, 2011—plantains with black bean-shrimp rice

a couple of years ago taggart and i tried a late night experiment with plantains.  it was a disaster that involved a wide variety of condiments to try and make them taste better.  i believe everything from salsa to chocolate syrup was busted out of the fridge.  i described this experience to her co-worker Robinson who at the time was at our house making us a venezuelan meal of tamales, melon juice, and chicken.  he just laughed and told me how to make “real” plantains.

the most nerve racking part for me is letting the plantains go black.  i was convinced that i had actually let them go bad this time, but for the first time ever they were perfect.

blacken and beautiful

i was inspired to make plantains for dinner because a couple of weeks ago when i came back from the grocery store i discovered 2 containers of queso in my bags that i didn’t pick out or pay for.  my guess is the customer before pulled them from their food and the next bagger didn’t know they weren’t mine so vola i end of with 2 big containers of queso.  the solution to using it all up….plantains.

my free queso

if you have ever had plantains they were probably fried, which is excellent.  i however, via Robinson’s advice, bake my plantains with queso, butter, and salsa.  to go along with the meal i made a spanish rice that had black beans and shrimp in it.  and of course you got to have homemade guacamole.


since i was making plantains i knew i had to invite my friend justin over because it is his favorite food.  when he dug in he actually did a little happy dance in is chair.

alaina and justin ready to dig in

the meal was finished off with sherbert, rainbow of course and some ukulele playing, now that’s a meal.