Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monster Harvest

I hurt my back the other night cutting zucchini off the vine. It was almost dark, we had just come back from a week's vacation in Western NY, and I was working quickly. Stupidly, I bent at the waist instead of at the knees and CRACK! It's not as bad as the job I did last September, but I spent the rest of the night on the couch with an ice pack.

Tomatoes are turning nice and red, and I should probably check on the carrots soon. The zucchinis that I got are monsters! One of them is over a foot long! I know that they don't taste very good when they get that big, but that's what happens when you go away for a week and it's been so rainy!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Food Memory

How do you know when you've eaten something realllllllly good?? Not just run-of-the-mill delicious? When you are still raving about it two years (or longer) later!

I was talking to someone today about vacationing in southern Maine. She was considering York, and our family had gone to Wells a couple of years ago. We were talking about Ogunquit and the Marginal Way. And I said, "Oh if you go there....I know the best breakfast place. It's called "The Egg and I." I had the most fantastic eggs benedict there....only instead of canadian bacon, it had a pile of shredded Maine lobster. I'd go back just for that!"

Yep......that's how you know you've had something incredible, when you remember just how it tasted like it was yesterday!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

World Peace by Cake

Heat be damned....I just waited until evening when it was cooled down a little to make this Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake. It's still cooling and won't be cooled down enough to cut into tonight. Or I should say, I'm exercising serious willpower not to cut into it tonight!!

I love a good coffee cake. In my mind, the smell and taste of a coffee cake, along with a cup of joe, can solve most problems. Cinnamon, pecans.....they just smell so friendly and happy. I don't bake them often but when I do they're really special. And if this honey of a cake tastes as good tomorrow as it has made my house smell tonight, then the three of us are in for a real treat!!
UPDATE: Oh, so good!!!! I forgot to mention that I followed two of the suggestions at the bottom of the recipe. I cut the sugar from 2 cups to 1 1/2 cups and it's still sweet. (I figured with the butter and the sugar that I could cut back a little bit and it would still be good.) I also took the suggestion of coating the blueberries in flour first, so it wouldn't turn the cake purple. Worked like a charm. :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Misplaced Goals in the Kitchen

The weather is finally clearing up and it's going to be in the 80's in Central MA today. So why the heck do I have a hankering to bake????

I've got my eye on a Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake, every night I mean to make it right after dinner but I get so tired I lose interest. I also have two overripe bananas that I hate to waste, and there's a recipe in Rachael Ray magazine this month for "Crunchy Coconut Cookies." They look kind of like the macaroons that I make at Christmastime only I imagine that they are crisp throughout.

Well, now that summer appears to be showing up late to the party, I'm certainly NOT going to wish it was cooler to bake!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Coffee Shop Treats

Today I'm 12 weeks pregnant, and I've made a pivotal turn. The morning sickness has subsided, and I appear to be all about the food!

I had a three hour diabetes test today, and I had to fast from midnight on. Basically, the lab takes your blood when you arrive, and you drink this nasty, thick, sugary orange beverage. Then they take your blood every hour for the next three. You are not allowed to leave the doctor's office during this time, so be sure to bring a book or other entertainment. By the time I left it was lunchtime and I was ravenous! Before heading to work, I treated myself to a Panera lunch. I hadn't been there in a while and it certainly didn't disappoint.

I got the "Pick-Two" special, with summer corn chowder and a smoked turkey sandwich on cheese focciacia. Wow! I've wanted some corn chowder for a while now and this one was delicious. The corn was roasted and there were peppers in the chowder, so it had a Southwestern flavor. But you could still taste the buttery goodness that is essential in corn chowder. And focciacia rocks just by itself; add some smoked turkey, greens and chipotle mayo and it's out of here! I had that happy, warm feeling that you get when you've eaten something really pleasing. I haven't felt that way in a very long time, it made my afternoon before heading to work.

I have always had an aspiration for owning a coffee shop. I worked for a small specialty coffee shop duirng my college days at Salve, and I loved making coffee drinks and fancy sandwiches, baking cinnamon buns and huge chocolate chip cookies and cutting slices of scrumptious baked goods for customers. I also enjoyed the atmosphere with our regulars and tourist customers, experiencing their pleasure over our specials and new bakery items. Yeah, I'm probably viewing it through nostalgia-tinted lenses, but these are the parts that I remember. Maybe someday when Brian and I retire we can make that dream come true. Sitting in Panera today and being so pleased made me revisit those fond days.