jason and i have very different weekday lunch habits. he goes out to lunch with the guys almost every day and refuses to eat the same lunch two days in a row. i am the complete opposite. i bring my lunch almost every day and regularly eat the same thing five days in a row (i've been known to eat the same lunch for weeks at a time). and because i tend to eat the same thing for at least five days in a row, i like lunches that are either quick and simple to assemble every day or something i can make once and eat all week.
if you hadn't realized, i was on vacation last week. we ate some really great food and some really horrible food - more on that later - and while i had great intentions of lining up posts before i left, vacation planning and preparing to be away from work for a week took over, leaving me with little time to post. which also means i have a week's worth of cooking and eating ready to share!
i'm a sucker for a good cookie. aren't you? peanut butter, chocolate chip, oatmeal. i'll take them all. and lucky for me, this cookie has all three rolled into one!
i made a batch of these the day before i left on a four hour drive with a carload of women. 55, 50, 29, and 19 year old women to be exact. surprisingly, no one ate a cookie until midafternoon. when it was pouring rain and we stopped at a gas station. three of us waited in the car while one ran in. it was that exact moment when my mother said "hmm, ok, i'll take one of those cookies now." perfect timing. the three of us devoured eight in the next two minutes.
these are not my mother's orange slices.
my mother loves orange slices. those sickeningly sweet, coated in sugar, chewy candies that look like cartoon orange slices. not every time, but most times, we went to the grocery store, my mom would buy a small bag of these. and she always opened them as soon as she got in the car, passing the bag around to my sister and i until our teeth couldn't take it. then they would end up closed with a clothes pin, stashed in the candy cupboard at home. i don't know what it was about those things, but mom loved them.
this cake combines two of my absolute favorites: blackberries and peaches. blackberries make an appearance pretty frequently around here, so it's no surprise they're one of my favorites, but i have yet to profess my love of peaches.
the first pie i made by myself - no help from mom or grandma - was almost exactly ten years ago. it was my second year of college and my friends and i had moved from the dorms into our on campus apartment. we, as i'm sure most college kids do, became our own mini family unit. we grocery shopped together. ate dinners together. bet quarters playing cards all night together and then went out for breakfast in the morning. and that year, before we went home to our own families, we had our own thanksgiving.
this month, when selecting my secret recipe club recipe, i used the same method i always do - i start by going back as far as i can in the history. and then i look through the posts in the same month i am cooking from them. that way, i get the best of both worlds - reinvent an old recipe and cook something that fits in with the time of year. this month, i adapted katrina's banana caramel cake from baking and boys!
when i try a recipe and like it, it usually takes a good six months - if not longer - for me to make it again. even some of my favorites - chocolate chip cookies, soft pretzels, white layer cake with blackberry buttercream - i have yet to make again since the day they first appeared here. so it's really rare for me to make the same cake twice. but this cake? i made it twice in three days, a different way each time.
i almost always have egg whites left over when i make ice cream. and since i'm not a fan of meringue and a girl can only eat so many scrambled egg whites, i've been on a mission this summer to find uses for whites. and these amaretti are perfect light clouds of almond goodness. yes, i was slightly afraid they would be more like meringues, but good news (for me, anyway) is that the almonds add just enough texture. and the crackly tops are the best part. be sure to eat a few right after they come out of the oven, when the bottom is perfectly chewy and hasn't had a time to cool and get crunchy. perfect.
below is the
third fourth installment from jason, my taste tester, who has decided
cooking isn't really too hard. he has occasional food projects, just
like me, that he wants to share too. (check out his stovetop mac & cheese and egg sandwich experiment too.) this time it's today's lunch - a quick pasta sauce full of fresh vegetables.
Summer is great for food because you can always find fresh ingredients at the local farmers' market or your own garden. Sometimes you bought (or harvested) a lot of great vegtables and don't know what to do with them. With no meal planned on a lazy Saturday afternoon, we were getting very hungry and needed something fast. I made a fresh pasta sauce from the tons of fresh vegtables in the house.
one food jason and i don't agree on are eggs. his are always cooked to death - not even a hint that the yolk might run or be the slight bit soft - mine are cooked just enough so the whites are set. which could be a pain in the you-know-what, forcing us to retire eggs from the dinner and breakfast rotation. luckily it hasn't happened yet.
this time eggs are paired perfectly with fresh garlicky tomatoes, melty mozzarella, a gooey poached egg (for me and a hard poached egg for jason) and fresh pesto. topped above a piece of italian bread, it's the perfect bite. and even though these made a weeknight dinner appearance for us, this would be an amazing weekend breakfast or lunch.