Saturday, April 23, 2011

(Best) Carrot Cake (Ever)

I was going to try a new Easter dessert this year after a few years of making carrot cake. But when I did a brief survey of the household I discovered (not surprisingly) that others had no interest in entertaining a new dessert. (We are a very consistent kind of household.) So I decided to take a different approach. If I was going to make carrot cake (again) I'd try a new recipe rather than use the same-old-same-old.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hot Cross Buns

I've never enjoyed cooking with yeast. I find I'm too impatient when it comes to waiting for the yeast to do its thing so I end up rushing the recipe which usually ends in disaster. Last night I found I had some time on my hands. Enough time to wait for yeast to get...yeasty. It's the playoffs and the Habs are still in the hunt so no plans were made to do anything other than sit in front the television. Which was nice. There was popcorn to be had, for one thing. And the boys are old enough now that they ask intelligent questions about the game that David is only too happy to answer. What's a girl to do when all of her boys are otherwise occupied for several hours? Make hot cross buns, of course!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bad Day Bars

Today was just a bad day. Made worse by the fact that I didn't even realize I was having a bad day until dinner when bad went to worse. That's when I burned my hand on a hot cookie sheet and spilled milk all over the kitchen table and half of my dinner. Only then, on reflection, did I realize I had a horrible terrible no-good very bad day. If one were to play back my day it would be like watching a B-grade horror flick. You'd be yelling at the screen 'No! Not the basement/attic/garage/abandoned house! Don't go in there!'. You'd know I was a goner.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pasta Carbonara Florentine (or, Saturday Night Special)

Saturday night is my least favourite time to cook. For years, we tended to go out for dinner Saturday night rather than agonize over what to make for dinner. Then the kids came along and we started ordering pizza, seen to be easier than cooking and/or dragging the kids along to a restaurant. Now that our kids are older we could certainly go out if we wanted. Or order pizza. But we seem to have been blessed with children who (a) dislike leaving the house and (b) don't like pizza. Our kids never ask to go out to eat. Would rather stay home and eat alphabet pasta drenched in V8. Or devour a tray of veggies with hummus. True story! Patrick actually reminded me one night last week that I had forgotten to give him his carrots at dinner. My kids are not perfect eaters, to be sure. (I mean, who doesn't like pizza?) And neither are their parents. Because despite being pretty much fully formed, functioning adults together for going on 18 years (good grief!) we still can't agree on Saturday dinner.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lines, lines, everywhere lines.

A few weeks ago I did something at the grocery store and I can't decide if it was heroic or moronic. Luckily I was alone (i.e. without children) so the only people likely to be judging me were in the immediate vicinity of checkout 12 at Loblaws.

I usually shop for groceries Saturday morning. I like the Saturday morning shop. I get out by 9:30 so I'm home by 11 or so, and while the stores I frequent can be busy they are normally pleasantly so. This Saturday it was a bit busier than usual but I wasn't in any particular hurry. I was unloading my cart onto the conveyor belt when I heard the clerk indicate to the customer two in front of me: "Oh. There's no label on this bread. I'm going to have to get a price check.".

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Carrot Soup

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen on Sundays. Some Sunday nights when I'm drying the last dish or wiping off the counter for the millionth time, and it feels like I've been in the kitchen literally all day, I wonder why I do it. Then, on a random Tuesday night I peek into the fridge looking for something easy for dinner, and there it is: carrot soup.

This carrot soup is a lovely recipe from Cooking Light. I made it a few weeks ago to use up some random carrots in my crisper and it was wonderful. Sweet but a bit spicy, thanks to a pinch of ginger. I only had enough carrots to make a half batch but this past weekend I set out to make enough soup to have on hand through the week. A word about preparing this soup: it doesn't say whether or not you should peel your carrots. I did the first time but did not the second. I prefer the carrots peeled; the second batch was still good but not quite as sweet, with more of an earthy flavour. With some white cheddar and crackers, a very respectable (and quick) weeknight dinner.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Scalloped Potatoes

I have a thing for scalloped potatoes. I'm not sure why I don't make them more often. I tend to only serve them when I serve ham and baked beans. Which is very stingy of me, because scalloped potatoes are not a one-meal wonder.

I put ketchup on my scalloped potatoes. Is that weird? Don't tell me if it is because I don't care. I've always, as long as I can remember, put ketchup on my scalloped potatoes. When I was little my mum always made her scalloped potatoes in a blue and white round Corning ware bowl. They seemed to take forever to cook. We would watch the entire 'Wonderful World of Disney' program on CBC Sunday afternoon while we waited what felt like an eternity for the potatoes to be ready. Many a Sunday I cursed those potatoes.