Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Summer girl (tequila lime chicken)

I'm known as a few things: Momma Nora, a Ravenclaw, a techie, loud and what's most relevant to this week, a summer girl. And no, people do not know these things just through my telling them whenever I meet anyone...why do you ask?

I'm not  a summer girl as in someone who prefers hot weather to cold; but someone who would spend every day at the beach (even if it's by myself) if I could (and wouldn't get fired), who gets up in the mornings and throws open the porch door just to get that early morning breeze. I drink iced coffee all year round. I wear season-inappropriate shoes (and more often than not - flip flops) because I would much rather be barefoot but then my local bar might take issue with that, and so would my job for that matter. And I love being outside.

Especially if I'm with good friends and have something on the grill and another (cold) something in my hand. That's where this chicken comes in:

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The reason we need smell-o-internet (Spicy beef)

Oh the slow cooker. 
This amazing kitchen tool is my favorite. It even beats out my stand mixer, which I would probably marry if Congress would let me (baby steps).  In the winter I can set it before I go to work and come home to warm soup, but my favorite time to use it is in the summer. No need to heat up the oven or stand over the stove; just toss in a protein and some kind of liquid, sleep for eight  hours and wake up in the morning to that day's lunch (and possibly dinner). 

It's magic.

Friday, May 20, 2016

You could make maple syrup with all of this sap (Oreo balls)

Surprise! It's a not-Tuesday post.

You know those people you meet in life and you just instantly click with? There's no friendship version of the dating game, no rules of having to wait two days before you can text them without coming off as a stalker, you spend so much time together you've instantly got inside jokes and "you had to be there" references. People think you've known each other for ages. Almost eight years ago I was lucky enough to find an entire office full of them. And we lived not only in each others' pockets but we also lived in one building of the school. Well practically at least, (but not enough to get any of us in trouble), naps have been taken there.

That just happens to be one of the buildings that my college has decided to sell. And today some of those same people are having a "Done with Donahue" send off party. Confession: I was this close to buying plane tickets last week.

Spoiler: I didn't. Although it did get very dusty in my office all of a sudden.

What I did instead was make something that is affectionately known as "crack!". (And yes, the "!" is necessary).  The simple 8th wonder of the world that is the Oreo ball.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Peanut butter bacon time (Peanut butter bacon cookies)

Let's talk bacon.

I am not from a bacon household, we always had sausage growing up and when there was bacon it was always fried to a crisp which never appealed to me. I've come to realize it's because I want something that has two textures to it as opposed to being just soft (or crispy!) all the way through. Go ahead and tell me that the crunch of a pretzel covered in soft chocolate isn't the best of both worlds.

In that binary world where people think you can only be one thing or another, say liking salty or sweet things, I have always been the anomaly. I like that contrast of something sweet balanced out by a healthy pinch of salt. It's why I always include salt in my recipes, it enhances the other flavors and can add another dimension to your baked good.

I also happen to know way too many people who have stopped eating gluten, whether by allergy or by life choice. I know, in 2016, shocker.  So in my refusal to stop baking just because people have stopped eating gluten, I found a recipe that makes everyone happy (except for vegetarians, and people with peanut allergies. Whoops). Peanut butter bacon cookies.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

But for you I will (Tomato sauce)

People say we live in a binary world, an either/or world, where people fall into two categories. You’re either this or that. People either like their cereal crispy or soggy; they prefer sweet or savory; they’re either morning people or night owls. Let’s say I agree with this (I don’t but that’s a story for another time), and since we’re all about food here this must also be a world where people either follow recipes or they don’t. Are you with me? Great.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Joys of Stress Baking (Chocolate chip cookies)

Stress, the nasty bug that creeps up on us when we’re not looking (probably because we’re too busy). We all have our ways of coping with it, whether it’s eating everything in sight, not eating at all, cleaning, sleeping, or as one of my favorite work-friend puts it: drinking and chain smoking. 

Personally, my brain never seems to let me go to sleep when I’m really stressed. Which is super helpful the night before a test let me tell you. Luckily for me, my family had a wet bar put into the basement when I was growing up, stove/oven included; so whenever I couldn’t stand being in bed without a chance of sleeping, I baked. I know, shocker; the girl with the food blog stress bakes.

And we're live

There's a book by Jennifer Crusie called Bet Me. If we've been friends longer than a hot minute I've undoubtedly either referenced it or just given it to you to read. It's my comfort read, the book I read when I'm looking for something familiar. Reading Bet Me is very much like coming home. There's one (well let's face it there are a million quotes but one in particular) that I've always identified with. The two main characters (Cal and Min) are talking about Min's friend, Bonnie, who is thinking of dating Cal's friend, Roger. Min is trying to explain Bonnie in a nutshell and this is what she comes up with:
"Bonnie ... spent a year and a half looking at couches... Then one night we were on the way to the movies and she stopped in front of a furniture store window and said, 'Wait a minute,' and went in and bought this horribly expensive couch in about five minutes."
And it's one of those quotes that I read and this clarity comes over me and I think to myself that's me.