Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Writer's Block and a Goal

Goal - 50 followers. I have a little story though... Bear with me.

I like to read. In fact, I love wandering around book stores, finding treasures. New books - mystery, cooking, traveling, drama... Old books - the smell, the mystery, the feel. It's, like, an obsession. (bust into song, now? Okay "I will collect you and capture you/ You're an obsession, you're my obsession"). I have a ton of books - we have two bookcases that are overflowing, and more books in our storage unit. And, yet, I now have a Kindle, which I LOVE. Tremendously. So - I never even read BOOKS anymore - just my Kindle. But last time I was in Borders, I found a book that made me laugh and cry more than Art of Racing in the Rain, which I found in the store, but then bought on my Kindle. So - it's not surprise, with people like me, that Borders is closing. The days of wandering around, smelling the books (creepy?), are coming to a close. 

Lucky for me (and you!) that means that perfectly good books are now on sale. So I bought myself a new cookbook that I'm not even through the appetizers yet and I'm in love with it. It's by Williams-Sonoma, which is like DisneyLand for rich chefs. And I bought a little something for my readers (not sponsored by anyone but me, so there). This has been my favorite cookbook for the past two years. The food stains on the pages from using it while I'm cooking are evidence of that. It has beautiful pictures, easy-to-follow directions, a great mix of easy and complex recipes, and great tips to change it up. It is Bride & Groom: First and Forever Cookbook by sisters Mary Corpening Barber and Sara Corpening Whiteford. And I love it.
I got it before my wedding, and with my sister-in-law, two besties, and new friend (that's right, 4 weddings) all within the next year, or so, wedding is kind of on my mind. I love this book!! And, I will give it away when I reach 50 followers! So, share the love, tell your friends, follow me here or "Like" me on Facebook, and when I get to 50, I'll post a contest page!! 

Oh, and I promise I'll try harder about postings. Deal? Deal!!
Kitteh wants to know what you're waiting for? For cereals - free stuff!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Strawberry Surprise!

I love strawberries. And by "love", this is not an exaggeration. There are stories floating around about me stealing and hoarding strawberries... Okay, don't make that face. My parents brought my brother and me with them to a dinner party, where dessert was to be fresh berries, devonshire cream, and probably some cake of some-sort. The story goes that as the adults were busy chatting it up, my brother and I hatched a plan to steal the sweets - he took the cream, and I took the berries. At least I would gorge myself on fruit, right? Well, we were found out and forced to share. Blast. Anyways - I love strawberries. Fresh strawberries. 
Magical, no?
Nothing says summer to me like the arrival of strawberries. In fact, I wrote a poem about them. Ready?
Ode to Strawberries
You are red.
You are tasty.
Om nom nom.

What's with the look? You don't like the poem? Poetry doesn't have to rhyme; plus, art is subjective. Fine, fine. I'm not a poet. I took a poetry class once... Even went to slam poetry sessions... Tried the emo-teenage-artist thing... wasn't very good at it. Let's rephrase. I was REALLY bad at it. Just terrible. Turns out, you can't logic your way into a poem. Art doesn't work like that. Whatever. I've typed myself into a corner now. And here's what I'm gonna do for you - I am NOT going to delete that. One really bad poem, on the internet, for everyone to see. Self-admitteded-non-artist. Posting poetry. Now, that's going to get me readers.

Before my tagent... I like strawberries!! As my last dish for my husband before I skipped town, I made a little strawberry surprise. What's the surprise? They're marinated in vodka. Surprise!! It's like grown-up strawberry sauce, except without the mushy texture and, like, actual flavor. Dessert and after-dinner-cocktail, all in one!
1 pint fresh berries (I used strawberries, but you could substitute your favorite berry obsession)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp light brown sugar (more or less to taste)
1.5 Tbsp Citron Vodka
Your favorite sponge cake, pound cake, or angel food cake to serve

Cut up the strawberries into large slices (if using other berries, you probably don't need to cut up). Place in a bowl, and add lemon juice (usually about one half lemon).
Toss berries in lemon. Taste the berries... Add the brown sugar, depending on the sweetness of the berries and how sweet you like your desserts. I like berries with brown sugar - I've heard it's a mid-west thing... I think it adds a deeper flavor than just white sugar.
I needed a rounded tablespoon. Now... top the whole thing off with the surprise...
Add a little over a tablespoon of the good stuff... Of course you can use rum or gran marnier, or your favorite spirit... but I like the citrus flavor of the vodka (PS: in Germany, it is literally "wodka". I saw signs). And of course, this is going to be a little strong right away. So, after you give everything a good toss together, let it marinate for a while. At least an hour, preferably overnight (or over the work day) and up to 24 hours. If you prefer a texture more like traditional sauces, mash up the berries with a fork a little bit about half way through marinating (obviously, don't get up in the middle of the night).

Serve over cake (or not) and with whipped cream (or not). And enjoy!