A quite exceptional pizza

February 21, 2015

Roasted cherry tomatoes, onions, bacon, cheese. Yum.

Roasted cherry tomatoes, onions, bacon, cheese. Yum.

It’s been a foul week, weather-wise, although I’ve done a good bit of cooking, including this most exceptional pizza last night.

It was slumber party and binge TV watching last night at Chez Brockwell, as Child C and AGC2 came down to spend the weekend, being that their heater is out at home. So I asked what the thundering herd wanted for dinner, andi the answer was pizza.

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A snowy Fat Tuesday

February 17, 2015

The cure for what ails a snow day.

The cure for what ails a snow day.

Early predictions were that this would be the Mother of All Winters, with wave after wave of snow crashing down upon us, with polar vortices that would make normal Minnesota winters look tropical.

The average temperature in January was 47.  This did not abate the hysteria that reigned in advance of the first frozen precipitation of the year, which fell on northeastern Arkansas on the evening of Feb. 15.

The winter scare was just delayed, they told us. We were going to get ALL this saved-up winter weather at One Time. We were going to get from 6 to 12 inches of snow, and maybe some ice, too, for good measure. It was going to be frigid for at least a decade, and the ice in the streets would never, never melt. Dinosaurs would return. Civilization as we know it would vanish. Quick, go buy all the milk, bread and eggs you can, because the only way to stave off the frozen holocaust is French toast!

Yeah, right.

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Laissez les bon temps roulez!

February 13, 2015

king cakeDespite a gimpy stomach (ultrasound Monday to try to figure out what’s wrong), I have managed to prepare for some bon temps roulez-ing between now and Ash Wednesday.

Above would be my very first attempt at a King cake.

I don’t know yet how it tastes. But isn’t it PRETTY? I was kinda proud.

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Pad pao. Or maybe Kung Thai.

February 10, 2015

Yeah,no finished pic. But isn't that a PRETTY mise en place?

Yeah,no finished pic. But isn’t that a PRETTY mise en place?

First off. I don’t have a photo of the finished product of this. Because I am not only an idiot, I was obviously a hungry idiot, and failed to take one.

Do not let this influence your decision to procure the makings and make this. First, it’s about the easiest 30-minute dinner you can make.  Second, it’s healthy. Third, it’s good (albeit it might have been a tad better had I been somewhat more circumspect with the sriracha). Fourth, it’s cheap.

I had a bag of frozen shrimp residing in the freezer that were really needing to be used. I had rice noodles. I had a variety of Asian condiments.  I had dry roasted peanuts. Bingo!

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A slice of comfort

February 9, 2015

Do NOT do this without the pickles.

Do NOT do this without the pickles.

One of the great culinary comfort experiences is the meat loaf sandwich. The humble assemblage of leftovers is the stuff of hangover cures, quick lunches, and something to chase the winter chill.

And I have made the best meatloaf sandwich there is to be had. This very day.

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February 4, 2015

Mickey's always good for culinary adventures.

Mickey’s always good for culinary adventures.

I have been neither in the cooking nor the writing mode, except for making three dozen Mickey Mouse waffles for Amazing Grandchild 3’s second birthday party this past weekend. That was pretty cool.

Child B has become smarter, or more realistic, since the blowout second birthday party for AGC 1, almost two years ago now, when we made all sorts of themed food, cut cheese slices out with Mickey cookie cutters, and made Mickey-shaped sugar cookies to ice and decorate. This one, billed as “Breakfast with Mickey,” featured waffles and fruit, blueberry muffins, and cupcakes in take-home boxes as party favors.

Feed those kids some carbs!

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Damn a stomach bug!

January 27, 2015

That’s about how it works. You get plans made for the weekend that include cooking meatloaf and mashed potatoes for the kids, because you have been in the notion for meatloaf and mashed potatoes, and the stomach bug lays you low and cancels out your hot Saturday night date with your 2 1/2 year old grandson as well as your meat loaf dinner.

That bites.

My online friend Shelby (aka Melissa) had posted about meatloaf on a food forum we both follow. When I saw it, I fixated on meat loaf. I don’t like a lot of meat loaf, but I like mine. And I don’t want it all that often, but when I do, I WANT it.

And the kids like it. And they like mashed potatoes and purple hulled peas, and I’d seen a recipe for a beer cheese bread (more on that shortly) that I really wanted to try, and that sounded like a fair to middlin’ Sunday dinner. And I had ice cream, so I’d even make a chocolate cobbler to go with it.


Got up Saturday morning, hungry. Fixed a bowl of rice, because that sounded good. Two hours later, it didn’t sound so good. Two hours after that, I texted Child C and cancelled my Saturday night date. And then I felt sorry for myself for the next 36 hours.

By Monday, there were indications I would live. I got up, did some work, took a shower (THAT helped!) made it to a couple of appointments, and figured I’d have that meatloaf, a day late. So I betook myself home, made up a meatloaf, put some peas on to cook, and decided to bake up a loaf of beer cheese bread.

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