Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy NYE

We're leaving town now to seek out good pizza, beer, and a final New Year's Eve spot to have our champagne tonight. Happy New Year everyone.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Eve morning rolls

Delicious gooey cinnamon rolls for breakfast on our Christmas Eve morning last week.

Friday, December 23, 2011

busy season

It's Christmas Eve tomorrow already! We all know the holidays are busy, but that doesn't mean my wife has been too busy to be perfect through it all. Maybe I'll quickly backtrack through a few of our recent days using the Advent House Calendar (because I watched my favorite holiday movie, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, just a few days ago.)

Dec 9th - I'm working at the computer, and my wife brings me a dish of gingersnap pumpkin homemade ice cream. Divine. I know it's hard to imagine a creamy, gingery, pumpkiny flavor, but just believe me when I say it's divine.

Dec 11th - Apparently with no time to lose, I find my wife making a calzone while still wearing her designer boots after being out Christmas shopping for the day. This dinner definitely wasn't made in haste however, as it was delicious. We gobbled it up in full by the both of us (mostly me).

Dec 18th - She makes orange scones for a Sunday breakfast. AMAZING. Soft, moist and very flavorful. She has become very good at making them, no doubt.

Dec 20th - My wife made cookies for a few of her coworkers. In addition to being soft and tasty, they are of course wrapped cutely with little jingle bells. She has also made both almond and peppermint brittle this season, but it's completely gone and not able to participate in this blog.

Dec 23rd - This morning a homemade loaf of delectable oatmeal banana cranberry bread is served for breakfast. A light dusting of snow is finally falling, just in time for Christmas. The tree lights are shining, presents are wrapped, and life is good.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

peppermint ice cream

My wife almost bought peppermint ice cream from the store a couple of days ago (it was even in the cart, but put back). She thought to herself that she could make a better-tasting version herself. When I had told her that I didn't really like peppermint ice cream, she set out to prove me wrong.

She did just that. Of course that meant I had to make a run to the store to buy cream, milk, and candy canes in order for her to do so. We each had a bowl of it tonight, and it is creamy and delicious. I think I've never liked it before because the peppermint was always too strong of a flavor, but in my wife's version the peppermint was just a subtle flavor added to the frozen milk/cream/sugar combo.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


My wife saw these cute little things being sold at Anthropologie for a pretty penny a couple of weeks ago, and so decided to try and make her own. (she didn't buy any, these are hers)

After setting up quite the messy workshop, she cranked a few out in no time. And then some more. And more yet. Then her mother came over to make even more. There are now little trees and tree-ariums (is what I'm calling them) all over our apartment.

What she did was buy those little green trees you put into little displays, bleached them (like she did last year for her Christmas Villiage), and then die them with different colors. Then a bunch of other messy stuff happens, and wallah! Tree-ariums!

Friday, November 25, 2011

I surrender

(Look at me and my fancy backdrop!)

After stuffing myself with food yesterday, the day where it is a requirement to do so, I found myself being required to do so yet again today. How can you not when this is the cake that is presented for the mother-in-law birthday celebration. I told myself I'd just have one, but I'm weak. And now I can barely move.

The momofuku cake she was working on a couple of nights ago was a success and a hit. Better than last year's cake? Hard to say.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

momofuku cake

While we were in NYC, my wife and I were sitting on the Brooklyn Bridge at some late hour, maybe 11pm or so? Later? I don't recall. I do recall that my wife wanted to get a treat at momofuku milk bar in the East Village, and it was very close to closing time. It was my first time in the big city, it was late, I'd never been to the East Village, but I was getting pretty savvy with the subways, so I said what the heck, why not?!?!

So we went, made it to the little bakery before it closed, purchased and sampled our treats. I don't even remember what we bought. To be honest, I remember that we both thought that it was something to be desired. But in fairness baked goods typically aren't at their best late at night after probably sitting out for so long. What do I know.

Anyway... My wife just bought the momofuku milk bar Milk cookbook, and has been eying up a confetti cake recipe inside all week. It's her mother's birthday the day after Thanksgiving, so not only is she making a pecan pie tonight for turkey day tomorrow, but she's also getting started on this amazing cake for the day after.

The funniest thing about this whole ordeal is that apparently many of the ingredients in this cake are 'fake.' Imitation vanilla, some weird glucose stuff in a tub, etc. My wife says that the author of this cookbook likes to try and re-create store bought stuff, and uses ingredients that make it taste more like store-bought cake. ONLY MY WIFE (and the momofuku lady) would make a store-bought-tasting cake the long and difficult way. I'll post a picture of how it turns out later.

It's Thanksgiving Eve, and I'm having a glass of brandy, and this is why my post is so long tonight. (not the first time)

Monday, November 21, 2011

pot pie and cookies

I was getting very excited when I took this photo, as the fresh and hot family style pot pie had just come out of the oven. Also, a batch of chocolate chip cookies was sitting right there next to it, still in its infancy, just waiting its turn to be placed into the oven. I don't know if I ended up eating more pot pie or cookies this night. 'Tis the season.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

dark dark dark

So, I'm already getting frustrated by the darkness. Daylight savings has kicked in and it now is dark outside at 5pm which kills the lighting I need to take a decent picture of the perfect things my wife creates. This will be my excuse as to why my posts have been less frequent lately.

She made amazing pull-apart bread tonight, similar to a previous loaf she made awhile back. I knew a picture of it just wouldn't do justice without natural light, so I didn't even attempt it.

I need to figure out a plan to battle the darkness.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

more little pumpkins

Remember the pumpkin my wife received from her mother? Well, she decided to try it herself, times 5. This colorful dish of pumpkins sits at the center of our dinner table, and makes me smile at every meal.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

her style

This week's addition of 'her style.' She has her ultra-fashionable 'embarrassed' pose working for her in this snapshot, before she leaves to run a few errands.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

sweet frosting cookies

No idea why she made these this week. She just made them. And when there's no reason for why she makes something, it only means that I end up eating all of them. Yep, pretty much the whole batch save a small few for herself. They're similar to the kind you often can buy in the grocery store baked goods area, but way better of course, IMO.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I'll take it

My wife made an oh-so-moist and sweet cake with light and fluffy frosting and homemade caramel drizzled on top for a Friday work party. She took the time to make me a special single-sized version using the 'tops' of her cake layers and remaining frosting and caramel. Let's just say I had my very own little Friday work party, bringing this with me to my office for a late-morning and early-afternoon treat.

Monday, October 17, 2011

sweet honey pumpkin

Sweet Honey Pumpkin, that's what my wife called the pumpkin bread she made last week, with some honey added and a few other ingredients she tried out in her own concoction. Phenomenal with some warm butter smeared on of course. It was a special treat to go along side the croque monsieurs she made us for dinner.

This fancy ham and cheese sandwich straight up melted in my mouth, and I couldn't stop making groaning noises while I ate it, it was so good. Yep, still in my top 5.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

fall getaway

We just got back from a much needed relaxing vacation. We spent a long weekend on Madeline Island, and saw the beautiful fall colors that peak this time of year. Little did we know that we happened to be there during Bayfield's Apple Festival! This small town fills up with people for this yearly event, which added some extra excitement to our quiet, peaceful trip. I'd recommend it! Here are a few vacation photos I'll share, not too many to bore you with though.

The road between our little studio cabin and Lake Superior.

Sun rays shining onto the lake surface.

One of many apple orchards around the area.

My wife's giant bag of apples. Moments before, this bag opened up in her arms while walking down the path, and apples were rolling everywhere down the hill, with passersby trying to grab apples as they sped past! Thanks to the kind folks for recovering most of them. She's so crazy.

Monday, October 3, 2011

simple white cake

My wife made this little no frills chocolate cake with white frosting just for fun, and brought it to her parent's house. Her dad loved it because it tasted like a Ho Ho.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

french french toast

So, I've never given much thought as to why French Toast is 'French.' Is it not really French, like a french fry? Or is it actually French? Heck I don't even know if I'm supposed to capitalize the word French in either case!! (I'm going to just randomly capitalize it here)

Well today it didn't matter, because my wife made french toast using a baguette which is totally French (unless I'm wrong about that too). Now, I'm not a big fan of french toast. The soggy bread usually turns me off. This version was different however. The small baguette slices eliminated the super-soggy bread aspect, and instead provided a fantastically-textured dinner for two.

I've now found the only way I can really enjoy F/french toast.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

tomato cobbler

To my surprise, my wife didn't make a tart, gallete, or quiche after all, but instead a tomato cobbler! -she will think I'm crazy for uploading this gobble-de-gook plate of cobbler, but I don't care. :)

It was definitely full of flavor. We both agreed that perhaps the tomatoes could be halved or quartered next time, as the little balls were sure packed full of juice in our mouths!

Friday, September 23, 2011

just some brownies

This week we had dinner with some new friends of ours over at their place. We enjoy their company because we have many of the same interests, one of which is now apparently my wife's baking!

Our friends made dinner, I brought the beer, and my wife brought the treats. Covered in tinfoil, when asked what she had brought with her, she responded "oh, just some brownies."

I knew better. I had sampled one (or three) before we left. These were going to knock their socks off.

Sure enough, after dinner I brought out her brownies, and they didn't disappoint. Words like "wow, amazing, fantastic" were all that was said while each brownie was slowly devoured. The brownie plate was passed back around a second time because one wasn't possibly enough.

"Just" simple cocoa brownies with peanut butter frosting and salt sprinkled on top. They wanted the recipe immediately, plugging it into their smartphones, and my wife was quick to share it of course, and as always modestly only responded with "oh, anyone can do it."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

black and whites

In preparation for hanging out with her mom and friend from college for the day, my wife baked black and white cookies to share with them, as they were a favorite of the many treats they discovered during their trip to NYC last year.

Of course, I had tons of these during the course of two days. I'd guess 8 to be a close estimate. "They're a little dry," my wife said. The hell they are, they are delicious.

The light flavor of the lemon zest in the cookie is extremely addicting. It's not enough that my wife halves all of the recipes she makes, there are always still a ton for me to eat. Someone needs to figure out how to make 'fourths' of recipes, even when it calls for just one egg in the full recipe.

Monday, September 19, 2011

little balls of color

My wife spent THREE HOURS at the farmer's market yesterday with her mom and a friend. They had tons of fun. (this is the same trio that took NYC by storm last year to see Oprah)

I've never seen someone so excited about vegetables before, but my wife is in love with this little pile of tomatoes she found at the market. She plans to make a tomato tart with them, which she has made a couple of times before, but not in a long time. I can't wait, this is easily one of my favorite foods. In fact, when she asks me questions about my favorite foods, I always respond with something that has to do with a tart, gallette or quiche. Love that stuff.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

prosciutto and fig pizza

Brand new taste in my mouth today. So good. My wife made fig-prosciutto pizza today from Pioneer Woman's recipe. This new taste sensation overwhelmed my taste buds, and I would have loved a glass of wine to go with it, but milk sufficed.

A twist to this recipe however was that my wife accidentally used raspberry preserves instead of fig spread! (the jars were almost identical) It tasted amazing, so now I'm hoping we get to try it with a fig flavor soon!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

never gets sick

My wife seems to think she never gets sick, however it's only the first week of cool temperatures and she already has the sniffles! She put together a crock of Pioneer Woman's version of chicken noodle soup right quick, which is mighty tasty. And now we both have soup leftovers for lunch all week!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

her style

I don't write about how well my wife dresses as much as I should. She threw this cute little number on only to run errands around town with me this weekend. So cute. Looking at this picture, it was probably one of the last warm days this year. The high temp was only 58 degrees today!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

pre-party cookie sample

My wife and I have an "end of the summer party" party to attend this afternoon, and my wife made these coconut and chocolate chip cookies to bring. To keep our 3rd-floor apartment cool in the summertime she has refrained from turning the oven on (thus why we've had so much ice cream) but now that cooler air has arrived it's cookie season!! I could not be more excited. It's my favorite season.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

bbq chicken pizza

Fresh from the oven! This bbq chicken pizza my wife made was fantastic. We don't use bbq sauce very often (if every) in our meals, so we were disappointed to learn that you cannot buy bbq sauce without high fructose corn syrup in it unless you go to the organic section of the grocery store, which is what we did.

I might try to make this myself sometime- stay tuned. (although making the dough correctly sounds challenging)

Monday, September 5, 2011

labor day doughnuts

I was getting some work out of the way on my laptop this morning (even though Labor Day is supposed to be a day for resting) when my wife called out from the kitchen to say that I should make sure and have some coffee made for myself. (she doesn't drink the stuff)

I go into the kitchen to find her frying up some homemade doughnuts. It's a crisp sunny morning, and all of our windows are open, so this sounds perfect- coffee and doughnuts. She tells me that doughnuts are starting to takeover cupcakes as a popular baked good right now. Who knew?

Her two varieties included powdered and cinnamon, and I had one of each! She tells me they're called "Buttermilk Farmstand Doughnuts" from her baked book.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

simple dinner

My wife said, "you probably wish there was meat in this lasagna." I said, "I can't imagine this tasting any better, so, not really." She just smiled.

Friday, September 2, 2011

september already?!?

So, apparently summer is already over with. Dang. I do love the crisp autumn air that has started settling in on our evenings though.

With September comes college students (who live all around us near campus). My new favorite story I like to repeat only to my wife, and which completely embarrasses her, is about how she and I were on a walk through campus on move-in day, and a few young men sitting on a couch in their front lawn yelled out to me across the street "your girlfriend is hot buddy, good work!" I smiled as my wife just walked faster, trying to get away from the embarrassment.

Thank you college boys!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

sweet cream corn

I know what you're thinking- Cream corn? Guess what. AMAZING. "You'll like this more than like, anything," my wife warns me.

We purchased a few ears of sweet corn from a local stand this weekend, and my wife used them to make cream corn from a recipe on shutterbean. The lime in this recipe definitely sets it apart from anything I've experienced. So delicious. It reminded me of eating lime-flavored tortilla chips with corn salsa, which I love.

Combined with apricot/peach jam and balsamic vinegar as a glaze over the chicken, it was a perfect summertime dinner. (with a fun summertime drink to go with it)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

dreamy creamy

This morning my wife and I drove out to our land to have breakfast at our picnic table. It had just rained last night however, so it was pretty wet and buggy out there. Dang it! So, instead we found a park in town to sit on a picnic table at. It was a beautiful morning, sunny and 65 degrees. I stopped to grab a gas station coffee, while my wife was satisfied with just water. We ate strawberry scones that she had made the night before, and put in the oven this morning. They were moist and superb. "dreamy creamy," I said. She said, "What? Did you know that is what these are called?!" I gave in. "Yes," I said, "I saw the recipe on smitten kitchen up on your computer this morning."

Saturday, August 20, 2011

quiet side

The last couple of weeks have been SO NICE OUT! This evening we took a bowl full farro my wife cooked up (we were first-time farro eaters, and it was delicious with roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli and fetta) and a bottle full of wine to the flower gardens along the river near our apartment and enjoyed the amazing weather. This weekend is move-in weekend at the university here in town, and you could hear the faint sounds of hootin' and hollerin' across the river from the campus. Ah, to be young again. We'll just stick to the quiet side of the river this evening.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

apple crisp time

I picked apples from my wife's parents' apple tree this weekend, and created my very first apple crisp from a recipe Joy the Baker used. I must say it was fantastic, but I'm pretty partial to apple crisp. I can't get enough of the stuff. Paired with homemade vanilla ice cream my wife made, I thought I was going melt along with the ice cream.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

heirloom tomato tray

My wife and I drove down to the farmer's market in the city last weekend to find some good veggies, and it didn't disappoint. Such bright colors everywhere from the tomatoes, carrots, peppers, radishes, etc. Fun! My wife was particularly interested in the tomatoes available, and scooped up a few different varieties, including some heirloom tomatoes.

Today we sliced them up to try them out on some baguette slices and yet another batch of homemade ricotta. These tomatoes definitely had their own distinct flavors, and they were all good.

It's amazing how much bread you can eat when they're sliced up in small pieces, especially with wine.

Monday, August 8, 2011

blueberry frozen yoghurt

It's been exceptionally hot and humid here in the Midwest for as long as I can remember it seems, at least all of July and August so far anyway. All the ice cream helps, but frozen yoghurt almost feels even just a little bit more refreshing.

My wife made blueberry frozen yoghurt this week, and I saw a whole quart of yoghurt disappear from the fridge, so it's no joke. There were A LOT of blueberries mixed in, and we both agreed that it could've used about half as many. Delicious all the same though.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

creamier hummus

I learned today why my wife's hummus is so much creamier than hummus from the store. She called me into the kitchen to give her a hand removing the outside of the chick peas. I didn't know chick peas had an 'outside.' While it looks incredibly tedious, they separate quite easily and help make the hummus very creamy. This particular red pepper and sun-dried tomato hummus was no exception. So, if you ever try to make your own, make sure and take a few extra minutes to make it much more delicious!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

a new invention

So, I think I invented something new! My wife made s'mores ice cream this week. She also had made graham crackers as part of a gift for her friend recently. Instead of the usual sugar cone, I had the great idea to sandwich the s'mores ice cream inside the homemade graham crackers. It's more than an ice cream sandwich, it's like a s'more within a s'more! Yep, I'm pretty smart.