Saturday, February 28, 2015

Ivy's Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry

A quick, tasty meal, perfect for the middle of the week.

Stir fry is a very forgiving dish with a lot of room for creativity, considering the name refers more to the way it's prepared than what's actually in it. Considering this particular recipe featured my favorite protein (besides cheddar cheese) and my favorite vegetable (no joke, steamed broccoli with nothing on it is absolutely my favorite vegetable side dish to pretty much anything), I knew I had to give this recipe a whirl and see where it took me.

To make it all the more appealing, I'm really trying hard to eat healthier this year, and unlike most things on this blog, eating this for dinner won't set you back for the whole rest of the week diet wise.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Grace's Trip to Hen & Heifer

A taste of France in freezing cold New England.

About two years ago, a very interesting new bakery opened up not too far from where I live. Instead of just being a typical bakery, Hen & Heifer in Guilford, Connecticut prides itself on making the most authentic French treats you can get outside of, well, France! There's no cutting corners or phoning it in, here - the owner will find a way to get his  hands on the most authentic equipment and ingredients he can get to give you a really special treat to snack on, or share with your friends.

Assuming you want to share.

It's a favorite stop of just about everyone in my family, but particularly my grandparents and brothers. Since I've taken an interest in baking and my most recent acquisition to my doll roster happens to have a particular interest in French baking, I decided we needed to take a trip down there and get some tips on how to bring the best French pastries, cakes and cookies to the table, and luckily for us, the owner was happy to let us do a feature!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Mini Saige's Report from Austin

In my last post, I mentioned I was out of town for Mardi Gras, thus my posting about the gumbo a few days late. Not that that was specifically for Mardi Gras, but anyway. You get the point.

So, where did we go?

No, not Washington again...

Friday, February 20, 2015

Cécile's Yumbo Gumbo

Super tasty, but what was it doing in a kid's cook book??

I've been dying to break this book and recipe out for months at this point, if not years. After last year's Mardi Gras post was kind of a disaster (you may remember the King Cake that never rose and then didn't bake through and just turned into a giant, sticky, inedible mess on my dining room table), I was looking for something that was hopefully simpler and wouldn't turn me off the idea of doing any New Orleans style recipes on this blog ever again. And because Cécile is actually only my second favorite awesome fictional lady from Louisiana, I knew just where to turn to.

Of course, this didn't actually get posted on Mardi Gras - I'll explain why later - and there were still quite a few road bumps a long the way because I'm still not very good at cooking dinner under a time table, but overall? I think I'm going to count this one as a win.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Felicity's Colonial Hot Chocolate

A tasty beverage for a cold day and sticking it to the mother country!

A few years ago, my family and I went to Philadelphia for a long weekend and made a discovery. A delicious discovery. One that I now seek out and hoard whenever we go to historic sites, because it is tasty and different and pretty much the best thing ever, which I know I say a lot, but this time, I mean it.

I'm talking about American Heritage Historic Chocolate, the tasty, historically accurate treat that gives us a peek at what it was like to eat, drink and bake with chocolate back before people could just got to the store and buy a Hersey bar. The recipe is the product of a lot of historical research on the part of Mars Chocolate, referencing historic recipes by Hannah Nash, John Nott and several more. Unlike the chocolate we eat today, it's got a really interesting blend of spices in it, leaving it less sweet and more complex in flavor than a modern bar of chocolate. Sometimes, you even get a bit of salt in the bite! It's different, and definitely not for everyone - my brother, for example, can't stand it. But I love it! I can't get enough of it, and as you can see, I might have overindulged when we went to Williamsburg.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Samantha's Port Pork Tenderloin and Baked Brussel Sprouts with Cheddar Cheese

A surprisingly stress free way to experience the food of a stuffier era!

My family was late to the Downton Abbey party, but when they got into it? They got into it. My mom and sister wound up watching the first two seasons the same way Portlandia characters watched Battlestar Galacita, and my mom has been a pretty religious viewer since then. I got sucked in last year, and have been trying to catch up on it ever since. It's addicting, fun to talk about with other people who are watching too, and as it's been a while since I've had a show like that in my life (RIP LOST), I've been enjoying getting indignant about plot choices and theorizing about what's going to happen next with people.

As it happens, the Edwardian era is something I've often struggled to find recipe ideas and suggestions for. Because of that (and my enthusiasm for the show) Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals has been a cookbook that's been tempting me for a long, long time, but I'd never gotten around to actually purchasing a copy for one reason or another. Fortunately, my aunt and uncle corrected this oversight this Christmas, and I've been impatiently waiting to give it a spin!