Sunday Dinner: December 19, 2011- Tofu Bless Us, Everyone

John and I took a whirlwind trip to Chicago this weekend (up and back in less than 24 hours!) to see one of our favorite British musician’s (and John’s Doppelganger) Morrissey.

Morrissey is a serious vegetarian, so when we got home on Sunday, I made a tofu dish in his honor. It’s a recipe I use to make with shrimp, but garlic marinated tofu really is just as good ( I know you don’t believe me, but it’s true!)

While the garlic infused tofu was thawing out (I freeze mine to get the texture we like), I let it sit in some zesty Italian salad dressing and do a little extra marinating. When it was ready, I squeezed it a bit, then diced it into chunks. I covered the bottom of my cast iron skillet in olive oil and sautéed it with a heavy sprinkle of oregano and fresh ground pepper.

Next I added a cup of cannelloni beans and 3 cloves of chopped garlic. One of my goals for the new year is to get us eating 3 bean dishes a week. Magical fruit jokes commence.

I have to admit I was avoiding making a salad, why I don’t know, but I just was. So I added 2  1/2 handfuls of spinach and a little extra olive oil to the tofu, white beans, garlic mix. Not only does it add the color green to our plate, it jazzed up the tofu quite a bit! Yes, I just said jazzed.

On the side we had cavatelli pasta in a red sauce made by a company called Middleearth. The pasta sauce is incredible AND it’s also hobbit-y (can’t get much better than that).

...there were bread sticks too.

Right now we’re in serious Christmas TV mode. We own a lot of Holiday TV episodes, specials and movies. I’m not going to lie, the pressure is on to get them watched before the 25th. Dinner on the sofa, anyone?

We watched the Muppet’s Christmas Carol. I’m not going to say which one of us cried and which one of dozed off when during the moving Tiny Tim (aka Robin) death scene…I’m just telling you it happened.


My new baking buddies

Since Halloween I’ve had 2 little baking buddies dropping by on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  A black cat and her identical kitten. Yes, I’ve taken the fateful step of naming them: Kitty Lickins and Cutie Lickins.

My true love, John, is extremely allergic to my new baking buddies so they must stay outside on the deck. This doesn’t keep them from showing up every time I bake something early in the morning…The Lickins family definitely has a sweet tooth!

Sunday Night Dinner: December 12- hmmm, no wonder my tummy just wanted eggs.

So I spent last weekend baking things…

Friday I made fudge topped with candy canes. Not only did it involve 2 jars of Fluff, but also 6 bars of german chocolate.

While the fudge set, I had a piece of Sugar Cookie Pie. This is a  new recipe I’ve created and truly, can’t stop thinking about…or eating it.

Then Saturday  I made mom’s butter cookies. Christmas tastes like two things to me- peppermint ice cream and butter cookies (not together, but separate).

Well, I had to sample those to make sure they were ok…and they were.

While I packaged the cookies up for the neighbors, I was kind of hungry, so I had a piece of sugar cookie pie.

Finally on Sunday I checked on the fudge and DRAT- it didn’t set. A fudge failure. Of course I had to eat a few very soft pieces (4) to see if the fudge really wasn’t quality fudge.

Needless to say, my tummy was a little sugarized by dinner time. John suggested Matzo eggs, toast, and sleepy-time tea– good suggestion honey! Just what the tummy ordered!

The Stephanie and Lynley Thanksgiving Talent Show 2011- The Kingston Trio Better Watch Out!

Three years ago Lynley and I decided our family Thanksgiving needed a little spicing up. The fun had gotten lost somewhere…so we decided to add a pre-dessert talent show to the feast.

The first year– we tap danced (we took around 4 lessons to prepare for our number).

Thanksgiving 2009

The second year– we dueled.

And this year– we ukulele-ed.

Can’t wait until next turkey day!


sunday night dinner: december 5, 2011 — cheeseburger and fries

it takes me 8 hours to make a one way journey from the smoky mountains to the ozark mountains.  i know i’ve been in the car to long when i start applauding to podcasts. and i feel serious pity for the people who encounter my right when i arrive. lets just say 8 hours in the car and listening to 6 hours of npr can make you suddenly want to have endless conversations.  my reward when i hit springfield…..springfield cashew chicken, my reward when i get to knoxville….cheeseburger.

i started contemplating this cheeseburger at about the bootheel of missouri and listening to splendid table podcasts around nashville didn’t help the situation.  hearing about ice cream topped with olive oil and sea salt while in my mind debating waffle fries or seasoned fries really puts a damper on the granola bar you are eating.

le royal with cheese

sunday night dinner: november 27,2011 — loose pizza

kiss the cook

dinner and movie is the best combination.  a farris family classic is “i love you to death”  the debate with the food pairing is always spaghetti or pizza.  see kevin kline in the movie owns a pizza shop but his wife tries to kill him with spaghetti.  we went for pizza but not normal pizza, loose pizza.

loose pizza is a specialty of steph’s.  it is kind of more like a bruschetta than pizza.  the ingredients of tomatos, garlic, oil and mint are all baked together. the pizza dough is baked separate and then you top it all on your plate.

i won’t lie i might have eaten so much of it i had to unbutton my pants!

yummy in my tummy