Thursday, January 31, 2013

February Foodways

I have some really, really exciting news to share.....lookee:

My shot is on the cover of the February's Country Living magazine!!!!!!!

February is the special Ohio Foodways issue.  I thought it would be fun to put some of the showcased foods on/around an Ohio-state shaped cutting board.  I am really pleased with the final shot (I took many).  The cutting board is really neat, and I think it makes the shot.  It's from AHeirloom, a husband & wife team out of Brooklyn.

I also have two foodie shots in the Food Scene feature - brownies and tiramisu.  Here's the link to the magazine (it's part of the Ohio Rural Electric Cooperative, by the way) & check out page 13 for those shots.

I'm thrilled to have had the chance to do this month's cover, but (according to the Bachsters) the best part was getting to eat all the yummy cheese and buckeyes and brownies and tiramisu when it was all done.  That was a nice perk, indeed.


Monday, January 28, 2013

Book Nook - {on break}

Book Nook is still on break, but will be back next week!

In the meantime.....

Have you read any good books lately?

(The above shot is from Boy by Roald Dahl, which I just finished a few days was so good!)


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ice Cream Sundays - {toasted almond & candied cherry}

I've got a question for you: if you were planning a vacation right now, and you had to pick between a trip to the beach or a trip to a big city, which would you choose?  Because your answer may very well determine whether you'd like toasted almond and candied cherry ice cream or not.

If you chose city, you'd love it.

The recipe comes from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop - love, love, love that book!  There are a few extra components here than in your standard ice cream recipe, like perfectly toasted almonds and sweet candied cherries (I made this late last summer when cherries were abundant in our grocery store).  The ice cream is full of flavor, thanks to the almonds and almond extract and the cherries.  But those are the things that make this a very busy ice cream, and you've got to do a lot of work just chewing each bite.  And just to make the taste profile even more complex, I decided to pair them with the almond butterscotch cookie cups, which were delicious but made the ice cream even crazier, busier and in-a-taxi-at-rush-hour-ier.

I loved the ice cream, but I started daydreaming about just making an almond-only version, and skipping the cherries and cookie cups.  In fact, I would skip the toasted almonds too, and just flavor it with the almond extract and almond-infused milk.  It would be smooth and creamy but have that wonderful almond flavor.......

Perhaps I'm a beach girl.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Return to knitting

For some reason, I have not picked up any knitting needles since I finished Little Dude's birthday ninja.....that was in July!  Why have I been ditching my comfy chair and books-on-CD and hours of fun knitting and woolly creations to keep me and my family warm?  Especially the past few months, prime knitting season?  Why, I ask myself?  The answer is simple: dirty dishes!

Yes, it comes down to that.  Because sometime last Summer, probably around the time I finished the ninja, our dishwasher crashed & died.  And me, being the silly person that I am, thought we didn't need to replace it, I would just wash all the dishes by hand.  Dishes, might I add, for 5 people (one of whom relishes cooking everything homemade) and one spoiled dog who gets a gourmet meal cooked for him almost every night by DH.......but I digress.

So, I've spent much thought on my lack-of-knitting and it dawned on me, as I washed plate after plate, what the problem was.  Too much time cleaning, not enough time knitting!  To remedy this, I have made a point to leave any dirty dishes sit around until morning after the Bachsters go to bed.  That's my time, and I'm going to reclaim it back from the sink!  So, take that dirty dishes, and if you don't back down soon, there will be a trip to Lowe's in my near future!

Anyway, the project is a cowl.  I don't have any cowls, but I do have a handknit scarf made with single-ply yarn that looks like something the gourmet-food-loving-dog of ours dragged through the backyard.  So, I thought a nice cowl would be in order, and to make things more interesting, I'm creating the design myself.  So far, I have three rows done and they look nothing like I intended, so I'm wondering if maybe perhaps I might have made a wee little error somewhere, in which I can either just ignore it and see what it becomes, or "frog" it and start over....which would be the time consuming option, but hey, I'd rather do that than more dishes!

I promise to show you the cowl when it's all done!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Book Nook - {on break}

Book Nook is currently on a little break & will be back in February.  In the meantime......

Let's hear it for our favorite libraries!  Ours are The Columbus Metropolitan Library and The Pickerington Public Library.  What is your favorite library?


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ice Cream Sundays - {eggnog}

I made eggnog ice cream around the holidays, and promptly got busy with other things and left it sitting in our freezer for much longer than ice cream is accustomed to sitting and waiting around here.  So, this morning, discouraged by a photoshoot gone awry, I decided it was eggnog ice cream's time, and enjoyed it for breakfast (ahem).

The recipe is, of course, from The Perfect Scoop, which is the perfect ice cream book.  The flavor is  almost buttery and the first thing you taste is the fresh nutmeg.  Surprisingly, it's not "boozy" tasting at all.  Perhaps next time I need to ad lib on the amounts of alcohol that the recipe calls for.

Actually, now that I think about it, we had family over for a fun game night a couple of weeks ago and someone wanted some of our hard alcohol, but needed something to mellow it out.  We pulled out the eggnog ice cream, scooped a few scoops into a glass, and let him pour his own booze.  I imagine that was a very tasty, 21-and-over-only milkshake.

Next time I make it, I must try it with the recommended whiskey caramel sauce - perfect for game night (.....or breakfast).


Monday, January 14, 2013

Book Nook - {on break}

Book Nook is on a little break, but will be back in February - promise!

In the meantime.......

This week's question: I recently read an entire book - Bridge to Terabithia - in one day (since I'm a pokey reader, this doesn't happen very often).  Have you ever read a book in a day & if so, what was the book?  Was it good?



Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ice Cream Sundays - {raspberry-champagne sorbet}

I rarely buy champagne, but lately we've had the good fortune to have a bottle in the fridge from time to time for one reason or another.  And I started thinking that I could use some of that champagne to make one of the champagne sorbet recipes in The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz.  Ice cream on the brain, always.

I chose the raspberry sorbet recipe because it sounded so easy and delicious.  I used frozen raspberries - my grocery store didn't have any good fresh organic raspberries at the time.  I'm definitely trying this recipe again at the height of raspberry season.  I bet it would be unbelievable with just-picked berries.  But it was pretty close to unbelievable with the frozen kind!

The champagne I used was a sweet, pink champagne.  The resulting sorbet had a bit of a bite at the beginning, then mellowed into a sweet berry flavor.  DH & I both loved it and gobbled it up.  And to the Bachsters' dismay, they couldn't have any!  I can't blame them for wanting to try it though - it was a gorgeous color, and sitting in our fine crystal, it was almost too pretty to eat.  Almost.


Friday, January 11, 2013

White Chili in January

I have great news to share - I have a picture in this month's Country Living magazine (no, not the national one - this one is a regional magazine in Ohio & parts of West Virginia that serves the area's electric cooperative).  I can't tell you how excited I am about it!!!!

Here's my shot of white chili with Mexican rice:

Want to read the whole article?  Here's the link.  You can find it on pages 12-13.

Does the shot make you want to sit down to a big bowl of chili?  I hope so!


Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Nook - a little break

Book Nook is going to take a little break in January.  I absolutely love sharing the books that I'm reading, or that the Bachsters and I are reading together.  However, I have found myself really swamped lately with a big pile of books just waiting patiently for me.  So, I'm going to take January as a time to catch up - I hope you understand!  Book Nook will be back in February & hopefully, I'll have lots of great books to chat about!

In the meantime, please stop by on Mondays.  Even though there won't be a Book Nook, I'll post a book related pic, and ask a fun book-related question.  This week's: 

If you could invite any author out to lunch, who would it be?

(My answer: Roald Dahl, but I'd want him to invite me over for lunch so that I could get a peek at his writing cottage)


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ice Cream Sundays - {cinnamon}

Our town has a Graeter's Ice Cream shop, which is a regional company in the midwest.  They make very yummy ice cream, and are super-popular.  And for good reason - their ice creams (last time I checked) are all natural, high quality & really delicious.  Anyway, Graeter's makes a tasty cinnamon ice cream (which, interestingly, is a "seasonal" flavor for them) in the Fall, and I usually get it when I'm there & they have it.  It's wonderful, as most of their ice creams are, and full of cinnamon-y flavor.

So, when I made cinnamon ice cream from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop, I'll admit that I was expecting something like Graeter's cinnamon.  While Graeter's is a very yummy benchmark, this recipe tops it.

The first thing I noticed about the ice cream is the color - it's not brown!  I was expecting a brownish hue and maybe even little specks of cinnamon.  But this cinnamon ice cream is disguised as vanilla.  Looks can be deceiving, so here, you really need to taste.  Since we're talking about ice cream, that shouldn't be a problem!

The other noticeable difference is the cinnamon flavor.  The recipe from The Perfect Scoop made an ice cream with a subtle flavor, achieved by letting cinnamon sticks sit in the warm mixture for an hour.  It's not an in-your-face cinnamon, but rather a quiet, yet complex cinnamon.  I loved it & so did the Bachsters.  Poor DH never got a shot at it.  Not a problem, because I foresee this one being requested again.

I love going out for ice cream every now & then - it's a fun treat & nice to let someone else do all the work for a change!  But, this recipe just reminds me that if I want to best ice cream possible, I need to look no further than my own ice cream maker.


Friday, January 4, 2013


We have a new addition to the Bach family, as of Christmas morning.  I'm pleased to introduce you to Tiger, DD's leopard gecko:

All Christmas season, our 7-year-old kept repeating one very special request when asked what she wanted: a pet lizard.  And on a trip to the pet store during holiday break, we stopped by and looked at their selection and this is the one she picked out.  What a great guy Santa is for getting her Tiger! 

And I must say, she is taking her new role as Mama very seriously (I've been referred to as Grandma a few times already.  Oh, my).  She changes his water, feeds him crickets and mealworms, changes his day & night lights and cleans out his "auditorium" (as she calls it)  - all without being asked!  She also made a little sign for the side of his habitat with his name and a picture of a tiger (not a lizard!).

Our DD is completely smitten - she peeks in and tends to Tiger throughout the day.  And since returning back to school a few days ago, she loads him up on the care in the morning since she's going to be away for several hours.

I'm such a proud Mama (er, Grandma)!

Welcome to our family, Tiger!