Monday, June 30, 2008

What I Made for Dinner - 06/29/2008

Since I get accolades from my "Burgers I've Eaten" series from one of my friends, I decided to expand the idea into a new column I'm calling "What I Made for Dinner". In these ever so interesting posts, I will let my lovely readers know what I made for dinner. I enjoy cooking and baking, but I'm definitely a recipe gal. I'll let you know where these recipes came from, but you'll have to look them up for yourselves. I'm not into getting in trouble for copyright things.

I'm implementing a rating system of "good" or "not the best". I inherited some cookbooks from my Grandmother, and she has many handwritten notes in the margins of the recipes. Some of them say "not the best", and I thought that was a nice way of saying she wouldn't make something again. So, in honor of her, I'm going to use her rating system.

And so, I present to you, the first installment of "What I Made for Dinner".

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Majorican Vegetable Pizza
Cooking Light, April 2008, page 158

This pizza contained several elements. First, a homemade crust for the pizza. It didn't have any salt in the dough, which surprised me, but didn't really make a difference in the final taste. Second, I made Samafina, also in this issue, for the topping. It consisted of sauteed onions, garlic, eggplant, red pepper, and zucchini with smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. This was placed on the pizza dough with part skim ricotta cheese (I also added a little 2% 4 cheese Italian), and placed in the oven. I added some sea salt to the pizza before serving.

Here's some pictures:

Veggies are chopped!

Dough and toppings are prepared!

Pizza is ready for the oven!

Slice of the pie!

Good? or Not the Best?

I was surprised at how well this pizza tasted. I was prepared for the eggplant to overwhelm the flavor of the pizza. My husband says he doesn't like eggplant, but he still managed to consume a fair amount of this pizza. It goes in the good column.

Strawberry Shortcake

No, not the rad toy from the 1980's (please don't get me started on the pitiful remakes), the dessert!

This weekend, I made strawberry shortcake, from the America's Best New Recipes cookbook. They came out even better than I hoped they would. Here's a little photo montage...

Hulled Berries ready for mashing and slicing (it made me a little sad to mash them)

Shortcake is on the parchment paper!

For some reason, I like taking pictures of the tools I used to make things, even if they are messy

Shortcake is out of the oven!

Whipped Cream is made and the Strawberry Shortcake is ready to eat!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


These might be the coolest snowglobes ever. They are created by a couple, Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz. Here's an article written about them in January in the New York Times.

As a snowglobe collector, I really wish I could have one of these. Unfortunetly, they are a bit more expensive than my usual five dollar budget.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


No, I am not talking about snocones, the snowball's evil nemesis. I am talking about good, old fashioned, Baltimore snowballs. I think these only exist in Baltimore. They consist of shaved ice with sugary syrup and a healthy topping of marshmallow.

I have fond memories of walking down the street to the snowball stand to get everyone's order, and gingerly carrying them back to Josie's porch. I remember basic flavors growing up: cherry, skylite, spearmint, egg custard. Maybe that's because those are the flavors we always had on the 4th of July. My Aunt B would sit on the porch and hand shave ice with this tiny little ice scraper. It was the highlight of the day.

When I was little, I usually ate Cherry. Now, my favorite flavor is egg custard. Egg Custard is such a hard flavor to describe - slightly orangey, but not quite, vanilla-like, but not quite. Skylite is also difficult to describe, as most people will tell you it tastes like blue.

The highlight of my snowball eating years came when my friend opened her own snowball stand. I would bike over to her grandfather's house every day and get a free snowball. It was one of my favorite summers.

I moved outside of Baltimore proper, so my favorite snowball stand now is aptly named, "The Snowball Stand". It's a short drive from my house, and they make excellent snowballs.

I hope you all get to enjoy a snowball sometime soon!

Monday, June 23, 2008


For years, I've been looking for Red Rice Ale made by Hitachino Nest. I had had one at Monk's years ago, and could never find it in Maryland. Stores always had every other kind of Hitachino Nest, but not that one.

I found it at the Perfect Pour in Columbia. It quickly became my favorite beer store. It was just as awesomely oddly flavored as I remembered. Also, their lables are super cute.

The Perfect Pour

My husband and I decided to check out the new beer store in Columbia, expecting to find the same old sad selection of beer.

Luckily, we were mistaken. This place is the mecca of beer. Their selection is far and above The Wine Source in Hampden or Wells in Baltimore. They have pretty much everything, including a beer I'd been looking for for years.

If you're in the area, check it out. You will not be disappointed.


The Perfect Pour
Ste E
6630 Marie Curie Dr, Elkridge, MD 21075
(443) 285-0702‎

Adventures in Grilling - Part One

Where two suburban dwellers attempt to master the art of grilling with charcoal. Today's episode, the first foray...

We decided to grill something simple for our first attempt, and settled on turkey burgers and grilled corn. I used the "Quick Turkey Burger" recipe from America's Best New Recipes. It called for mixing the turkey meat with ricotta cheese, and spices.

I tried doing the Bobby Flay method of grilled corn preparation, where you pull back the husks, clean out the silks, and then place the husks back on the corn, but my husks didn't want to go onto the corn, and I was reminded again why Bobby Flay gets on my nerves.

So, I stuck with the old standby method of grilling the corn wrapped in aluminum foil with butter, salt, and pepper.


Grilling Implements of Destruction:

After the food was prepped, it was time to light the grill. We used the cowboy hardwood charcoal from Trader Joe's and a chimney. I think we were a little impatient/too excited to grill because we didn't wait until they were hot enough before we poured them into the grill. So, we ended up adding some of the easy light/less awesome charcoal we had gotten with the grills to help kick up the heat after an hour of waiting for the grill to be hot.

First attempt at lighting the charcoal:

Food ready for the grill:

Cooking the food was no problem at all, and soon we were ready to feast on the burgers and corn we'd prepared as our first meal from the grill! I decided I wanted to try the corn mexican style, and used this recipefrom Tyler Florence for the corn toppings.

Toppings for corn:

It took a little longer than expected, but we were soon ready to try our first meal from the grill!

First Grilled Meal (I realize this food is not very appealing in photographs, but it was definitely yummy )

Stay tuned this summer as we attempt to prepare more food on the grill in our Adventures in Grilling!


I bought a bag of Trader Joe's Kettle Corn on a whim yesterday and now I can't stop eating it. It's perfect.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Tasha Tudor

When I was a little girl, these were two of my favorite books. I just read that Tasha Tudor passed away this week. She was a terrific illustrator, and she will be missed!

Summer=Cedar Point

The first few days of summer make me want to go to Cedar Point. My family has been going since I was little, and I can remember the year I was finally tall enough to ride the roller coasters. We make it an event now, with 2.5 days of consecutive roller coaster riding.

Cedar Point has the tallest, fastest, craziest roller coasters in the world. No other park can compare to the fabulousness of Cedar Point.

Head over to their website and watch the videos for my favorites, Millenium Force and Top Thrill Dragster if you don't believe me.

Do Not Respect!

Last night was Nick Markakis bobblehead night at Camden Yards. I do not respect those who went to pick up the bobbleheads and didn't stay for the game. I think it is in poor taste and sad.

Especially since the Orioles need fan support! They have been fun to watch so far this year, and they're scrappy.

Congratulations to the Orioles for sweeping the Astros last night! And thanks to the fans who stayed to cheer. You have my respect.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

How Did I Not Know About This Awesome Stuff?

First, they are making a movie of one of my favorite books from childhood, Where the Wild Things Are. Spike Jones and Dave Eggers wrote the script, and Spike Jones is directing it. They've been having some problems b/c of the stupid Speed Racer movie, but hopefully, it will be out sometime this year.

Here's an article, if you're interested.

Also, Tori Amos' song lyrics have been illustrated and are coming out in a huge comic book called, "Comic Book Tattoo". It releases at the end of July. Pre-order it now on amazon.

Concert Report

Last week, the husband and I went to see R.E.M. at Merriweather. Added bonuses were sets from The National and Modest Mouse.

While Modest Mouse didn't play "Paper Thin Walls", they did sound awesome, and totally made up for completely sucking at the Black Cat all those years ago.

R.E.M. were kick ass, as usual. They played a great set, and are still my favorite band.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Wedding Cupcakes!

This weekend, I made a bunch of wedding cupcakes for my Mom's Friend's wedding. My little sister's helped me decorate them. All in all, 144 cupcakes took about 8 hours to bake and decorate, but it was worth it. Here's some pics...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Mr. Sullivan Said It Best

Well, it was a great night for Barack Obama last night, as he clinched the Democratic Nomination for President. However, SOMEONE is a sore loser, and didn't concede last night. I really hope he isn't forced into having her for the Vice President spot. That would be a sad day. Here's a quote from The Daily Dish by Andrew Sullivan today. It really sums up my feelings on the whole mess.

From - The Daily Dish:

The speech tonight was a remarkable one for a candidate who has lost the nomination, though not remarkable for a Clinton. It was an assertion that she had won the nomination and a refusal to concede anything to her opponent. Classless, graceless, shameless, relentless. Pure Clinton.

Her narcissism requires that she deprive her opponent of a night, or a second, of gratification or attention. And she has now won, in her Bush-like version of reality, 18 million votes. Her invitation for her supporters to email their suggestions to her website is pure theater, a way of keeping herself in the spotlight and maneuvering her delegates to demand a second spot on the ticket. The way she is now doing this - by an implicit threat, backed by McCain, to claim that Obama is an illegitimate nominee if she does not get her way - is designed to humiliate the nominee sufficiently to wound him enough to lose the election.

Either way, she is clearly intent on getting Obama defeated this fall if she is not offered the vice-presidency. And if she gets the veep nod, the way she has gotten it will allow her to argue that a November loss was not her loss. It was his. And she will run again in 2012.

She will not go away. The Clintons will never go away. And they will do all they can to cripple any Democrat who tries to replace them. In the tent or out of it, it is always about them. And they are no longer rivals to Obama; they are threats.

Monday, June 02, 2008


Well, I saw Sex and the City on Friday night (ok, I went to see it twice on Friday) and loved it.

Although I will suggest to those of you who haven't seen it yet not to open Carrie's Macbook on the movie's website. The pictures and little chats completely give away all of the plot.

The trailer also gives away the entire plot and hints at the ending to some of the story lines. I found this suprising since they were so secretive about everything.

I Have Decided

That I'm going to stop trying random cupcakes in various places. They are usually lackluster. This weekend, I went to the Flying Monkey in Philadelphia. The cake was super dry and the icing was so, so, and was probably iced by a 3rd grader.

From now on, it's Magnolia or Sugar Sweet Sunshine, or cupcakes I bake myself.

That is all.