I talk about food a lot. And other stuff.

But mostly food.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Six Years of Motherhood

My daughter turned 6 on Sunday.  Saturday we had six little girls over to our house for a party.  It was very loud and very cute, and it only lasted two hours in the morning, which was great.

I was dubious about how the Jessie The Yodeling Cowgirl Hat Cake was going to turn out when I started...

But it ended up really cute!

We broke two plastic golf clubs on this bad boy.  My husband had to deal the final blows with the broom handle.

Sunday found us at my parents' house for the Family Party.  My Mom made the traditional Bunny Cake.

Yesterday I spent much of the day getting over-packaged things out of their plastic.  My daughter's first Barbie Doll was eventually liberated, even though her head was literally  attached to her box.  Is this really necessary?

I keep re-living her birth over in my head, and I feel so lucky and grateful that I get to raise her and watch her become whatever adult is inside this smart, funny, clever, moody, passionate, talented six year old.

Me, six years and four days ago:

I'm still that happy about my baby girl!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dinner Tonight

Shrimp Scampi and grits with steamed broccoli.

Shrimp recipe here:

This is the best scampi recipe I've found. Lots of lemon!

Sorry no link, I'm writing from my iPhone.

What a difference 12 hours makes

Remember this morning when I posted about seeing the hippo? I wrote
that last night. This morning I woke up to thi out my front door. I
knew it was going to snow a little, but come on, now.

Catch Up Part 2: Eating Well for a few days, Planning a Birthday Party

Still catching up.  This ought to do it.

To lighten things up a little on last Friday after St. Patrick's Day we had Eating Well's Tuna Sesame Salad.  Super Awesome Use of canned tuna.

This Monday I made Eating Well's Chickpea, Spinach & Squash Gnocchi.  Here's another post about it with process pictures.  We drizzle each portion with balsamic.  Two tablespoons seems like a lot, even for this balsamic lover.  Sans the balsamic, my kids loved this.  Three year old boy identified gnocchi as a chef was making it on Chopped the other day.  I love my foodie kids.

In other news, the hippo has been sighted - a sure sign that spring is, in fact, coming.  Even though it's supposed to snow tomorrow.

 I was in my jammies at 6:43pm Monday night.

Saturday is my daughter's 6th birthday party. She's way into Toy Story.  If you know a girl who's into Toy Story, you will also know that Disney has apparently decided they're not interested in making money from female characters unless they have miniscule waistlines and live in castles waiting for Prince Charming.  Nothing. Has. Just. Jessie. On. It.  Apparently, Toy Story is a Boy Movie, even though it's got a kick-ass girl character.  After looking through cake catalogues and online for ideas, I decided I'm making a cake that looks like Jessie's cowgirl hat (inspired by these cookies) for my daughter.  Though getting this one at my local grocery store was tempting...

 Trees, hunter and hunted are 3-D figurines.  Keepsakes!

I'll post about the success or Cake Wrecks potential of my Jessie hat cake .  I'll also show you the sure-to-be-yet-again-brilliant Bunny Cake my mom will be makes for my daughter's actual birthday every year.  This year it's on Sunday - just like the year she was born.  But in 2005, that Sunday was Easter Sunday - hence the Bunny Cake.  

PS -  Why yes, I will be having chocolate cake with buttercream frosting for days and days on end.  Perhaps I should make some more ice cream to go with it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Catch Up Part 1: Corner Table, St. Patrick's Day

I've been away for a while.  I'm catching up in these next couple of posts.  Enjoy!

Last Wednesday I went to Corner Table with  about 40 other food bloggers.  We not only ate amazing food, we also got to cook it!  Big thanks to Chef Scott, Dan for turning over the kitchen to a bunch of foodies and to Gordon the bartender who kept me in Cava all night.

On St. Patrick's Day, I cooked up some of the sausage I got at Corner Table.  Inspired by Kate,  who did this in the Corner Table kitchen, I also cooked up some cabbage, apples and onions.  I served this with a half a baked potato for dinner.  For dessert we had Sister Mary's Irish Soda Bread - on top of which I sprinkled turbinado sugar  before baking.  I served it with the Chocolate Ice Cream my son insisted we also make.  He's three. What am I gonna say, no?  We used Thomas Keller's recipe and will never use another.  SO GOOD.  (Seriously, buy that book.)  

I drank Snakebites.  Guinness and Woodchuck Granny Smith Cider.  Yum.

This year's pour was much better than last year's.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Brunch at Cafe Maude

If you live near or visit Minneapolis soon, do yourself a favor and go to Cafe Maude.  Dinner is wonderful.  Drinks are great.  Music is often live.  Brunch looks like this:

Your check comes in an old library book jacket.  And sometimes people don't write their names inside, they tape an old picture!  Cool.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Pi Day

Today is 3/14. It's Pi Day! (3.14). Here's what we had for dinner:

Chicken Pot Pi(e)

Baker's Square's Country Apple Pi(e) with HomeMade Cream Cheese
Frosting (I know that first picture's upside down, but I'm doing this
via email again).

PS: Baker's Square has a DRIVE THRU WINDOW!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

About Last Night

Email photo update while I wait for my kids to wear themselves out at
tge Community Indoor Play Structure (these are things we need in
Minnesota to keep us sane).

Last night I made prosciutto-wrapped chicken breasts and wilted
spinach with golden raisins (and crispy prosciutto) served with Trader
Joe's frozen brown rice. It was delicious!

While I was at the grocery store yesterday I picked up some "razz-
cherries" in the bulk section. I only bought a handful. They were
really expensive and I'll choose something else next time, but they
looked so yummy I had to try them. When I got home I started soaking
them in Brandy.

Then I asked Twitter (@rootsandzest if you're not already following)
what I should make to go with them. The resounding answer was a
Manhattan (#duh). I only had dry Vermouth, so I did 2oz Jameson, .5
oz dry Vermouth, .5 Brandy the cherries were soaking in, and extra
bitters. And a cherry. It was delicious. I had two.

Now I'm planning tomorrow's meal for Pie Day (3-14). I think Chicken
Pot for dinner.
What's your favorite dessert pie? I'm thinking cherry or lemon. Or
apple. Or chocolate....

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Table for Ten

My husband and I invited four couples over for dinner last Saturday evening for a dinner party.  It was great fun and I'm so excited to be entertaining again.  After almost six years of being parents, I think we're finally ready to start being fun adults who actually talk to and are friends with other adults. 

Here's what we did on Saturday.

Our "formal" dining room table seats eight when the leaf is inserted to make it square.  I added our kitchen table to seat ten.  Luckily, the runner I have fits this arrangement well.

I have settings for eight (because that's how many my table seats).  Borrowed white plates and colored bowls from my mom and put together mix and match place settings.  Her bowls happened to match my multi colored placemats and napkins perfectly!  Thanks, Anthropologie and Bed Bath & Beyond!

  I adapted Antonia's Winning Dish from last week's Top Chef.  
I did the rissoto the same way, but substituted edamame for the fava beans.  
Note: *OMG, lemon zest in risotto!*
I also substituted Tom Colicchio's Short Ribs for her braised veal.  I used her flavors, his technique. 
Note: *Always go back for fatty seconds.*

I think the Top Chef All Stars title will go to Antonia or Blais.
Salad by Martha.  Only I forgot the blue cheese crumbles and the pecans.  Dressing was a little tart.

I cant really call these after dinner drinks, because there were three or four more hours of drinking later.
One couple brought chocolate shot cups, a bottle of Jameson and alcohol infused whipped cream.  Then topped it with cinnamon.
Another couple brought Chocolate Red Dessert Wine (also delicious when consumed from and with the chocolate cups).
We had another offering from a couple who brought a bottle of vodka and some awesome mixes from Golden Fig - Basil Limeade and something that was pink (possibly Hibiscus Roseade, Sour Cherry with cardamom or something with pomegranate that I'm not finding on the site.) That was consumed before dinner, though.

I made Thomas Keller's Chocolate Chip Cookies from his Ad Hoc Cookbook (which you should own) and Creme Brulee Ice Cream.  
It got eaten very quickly.  
There are no pictures.  
Enjoy instead this oragami napkin I made while hearing my guests tell Bear Stories.




Why is there olive oil on the table?  To drizzle on the ice cream (with a sprinkle of Kosher salt), of course.

Why yes, these did all start out full, why do you ask?  Not pictured: Tanqueray, beer, wine, and the aforementioned vodka.


Well, one of them, anyway.  That's our friend Joseph with the beard.  Watch for the gummy bears they trained the bear with! (Especially the one in Joseph's mouth at the end....)