Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ghosts of Halloween Past

My "babies" are all grown up! This Halloween won't be spent costuming or trick-or-treating, but we still intend to celebrate.  We are having a few friends over to make pizzas, drink Bloody Mary's and pass out candy to the neighborhood ghosts and goblins.  I was feeling a little nostalgic and had my dad dig up some old pics of the kids in their Halloween costumes.  Those days seem like yesterday and like a million years ago all at the same time.  
Hallie was only 11 days old so she stayed home while we took Drew to HalloZOOween.
Our little Sandra Dee
Nerd boy

Tim McGraw...LOL
Witchy Woman
Enjoy your "little pumpkins"!  They grow up way too fast.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A "Pinterest-ing" Plate

I tried 2 new recipes, both from Pinterest, for dinner last night.  I love, love, love brussels sprouts, and this shredded version from Eat Live Run did not disappoint.  I left out the sugar, but added a splash of balsamic vinegar at the end.  So good! This was also my first go around with flank steak. Marinated Flank Steak with Horseradish Cream caught my eye because I love horseradish, and if you mix anything with cream it's even better, right?  I made the marinade the night before because flank steak needs all the help it can get.  This stuff is tough, but if marinated long enough (overnight at the minimum) it ends up really tender.  My ex MIL used to make the best flank steak, it was done in a soy based marinade with some green onions in it.  Man, that was some good stuff.  I say she used to make it, I would assume she still does, I just haven't had the pleasure of her cooking in quite some time. If you follow me on Pinterest then you know I pin lots of recipes and I have every intention of trying all of them.  On the other hand, I also pin lots of crafts and DIY items, most of which I will probably never try.  What do you lean towards on Pinterest? If you aren't on Pinterest, what are you waiting for? Christmas?  Well, don't, 'cause Christmas is just around the corner and there are tons of recipes and crafts you need to try before it gets here.  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Can You Keep a Secret

I thought I'd share the secret to a pretty fabulous homemade ice cream cake.  This cake is a big hit around here, it was even my daughter's request for her 17th birthday cake this week.  I actually made this recipe for the first time on a whim, I needed a quick dessert I could throw together and forget about.  I was hosting a luncheon for some teacher friends and my oven was occupied baking the yummy quiche.  The dessert was such a hit and all the girls were raving about it. I didn't tell them right away what my secret was, but I finally spilled the beans.  The secret to an easy,  yet impressive ice cream cake is...
ice cream sandwiches. 
Building this cake is like playing with bricks and mortar in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.  You just layer the ice cream sandwiches with the fudge filling, then cover the whole thing in Cool Whip.
That fudge "mortar" is to die for.
I build the cake on 2 pieces of foil that I overlap. Wrap that foil loosely up around the sides and stick it in the freezer.
Doesn't look like anything special, huh?  Just trust me.  When you slice into it the layers are so pretty.    The only change to the original recipe that I made is I buy a larger container of Cool Whip, I like the thicker "frosting" on the outside.  I'm not even a huge Cool Whip fan, but I do like it on this dessert.  You could fancy it up a bit with sprinkles or even some crushed oreos.  You'll have plenty of those because the recipe only calls for a few.
You don't have to spill the beans to your guests.  Let them think you meticulously layered all of that chocolaty, creamy goodness. 
Just don't forget to take out the trash!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives

Do you watch "Triple D" as Guy himself calls it?  I watch at it, but it's not a must see for me.  My son however, loves it.  I was recently in Indiana and had some time (like all day) to kill before my flight home.  Drew texted me the name of a place he had seen on DDD.  As luck would have it, Steer-In wasn't too far off the beaten path from where I was.  So I put the address into my trusty Garmin and off we went; and by "we" I mean me and the Garmin.  The Garmin and I have become buds recently, I will never travel without her again.  I say "her" because I prefer the female voice over the male voice selection.  Drew also told me the owner of the Steer-In makes the meatballs fresh everyday and that I should get the meatball sandwich.  That typically wouldn't be my first choice, but I took his advice and  was definitely glad I did.  The meatballs were outstanding, and those onion rings...TO. DIE. FOR.  These rings were some of the best I've ever eaten.  I sat at the counter in the middle of the restaurant, allowing me to visit with some locals who are regulars, as well as the friendly wait staff.  I got to talking and told them how I ended up there and they insisted I try the coconut cream pie.  I was stuffed after my lunch but I'm not one to turn down a piece of pie.  Especially a pie that put the place on the map...literally.  Let's just say I left there overly stuffed. 
No, I didn't eat the whole thing.  I ate the meatballs and just a couple of those onion rings.
Yes, I ate the whole thing.
Guy left his mark on the place...
and so did I! 
The owner gave me a little white pin to mark my hometown, all of this business has come to them thanks to being on the show.  I'm so glad I had the time to explore this little gem.  I'm glad all of that TV watching my boy does has paid off.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Down on the Farm

We were recently extended an invitation to attend a "farm to table" dinner. We met at our friend's country club then hopped on a motor coach that took us to a farm just a few miles outside of town. The setting was gorgeous, intricately carved pumpkins and hay bales lined the walkway into the farm and I knew we were in for a treat. We toured the farm, which is sustainable and all organic. After the tour we were seated at a beautifully set table right smack dab in the middle of the farm. Here are a few pics I was able to snap with my phone. 
This bar greeted us as we came up the pumpkin lined path.

 The menu: the pumpkin soup and the pork belly were the highlights of the meal.

This soup was amazing, never mind the presentation, I'd eat this stuff out of a trough.

Enjoying a glass of wine before the tour.
He doesn't drink wine.  He's not a photographer.  How did this happen?
I wish I had gotten more pics, but hopefully some of those that the hubs snapped with our friend's camera will capture the evening better than I did.  We had such a great time, it was definitely a treat!