Something about cooler weather makes me want to get in the kitchen and bake! Which is great news for Andrew the H since we have been eating way too much takeout since G was born almost SEVEN months ago! The bad news for Andrew is that the first thing I crave in the fall is pumpkin bread. He says every year that he does not like pumpkin, and every year, I try to convince him that yes, yes he does like it. It’s like groundhog day. I bake loaf after loaf of pumpkin bread. I say “Andrew, try this one. I think you will like it.” I add chocolate chips. “Really. You will definitely like it this time. It has chocolate!!” I pack snack bags of pumpkin bread for him to take to work only to find it months later in the backseat of his car. I mean…
We love pancakes over here at Plum Pie. In fact, they are a staple on our weekend brunch rotation. And since bikini season snuck up on me yet again, I decided to pull out my trusty, no-fail, grain goddess cookbook by none other than the Kim Boyce. (I love her as you can see here and here) You can totally justify dousing your ‘cakes with butter and syrup when you have added whole grains and oats to your batter. Or at least that is what I am going with.
Just call me Master Cheesemaker. On second thought, don’t. But I would like to inform you that I have officially made homemade ricotta. Twice. Yep, you read that right. I am officially crossing “make your own cheese” off the bucket list. And guess what? You can, too! After several years of carting my plastic wrapped, brand new cheesecloth from apartment to apartment, I finally busted it open and took it for a test run. Watch out Cowgirl Creamery, here I come. No, I joke. I could never do anything that required molding or resting, aging or brining. But what I can do is this. Add milk, cream, and buttermilk to a pot. Heat for 15 minutes. Let sit for 30. Drain in cheesecloth. Eat. As my Food Network leading lady, Ina Garten, would say, “how easy is that??” It is ridiculously easy indeed, Ina.
Happy Cinco de Mayo! It’s already Thursday, can you believe it? I must have been in a Royal Wedding daze or something. Where did this week go? What an eventful one it has been already! And I’m not talking about the news, people; This is not that kind of blog.
So on Monday, I had the bright idea to try to be a part-time vegan (no weekends, those are always eat out days). I decided going vegan was a good idea—even though the texture of tofu, the essential protein of veggies and vegans, sort of weirds me out. The idea sounds nice though doesn’t it? So that was Monday. I bought almond milk and tofu (I know!) and Earth Balance butter. Baby steps!
So, I don’t know about you, but I am pret-ty excited about this royal wedding. After watching every single special on television this week (and taping a few others), I feel incredibly knowledgeable about the big day. While most of you out there are completely over all of the hub-bub, I simply can’t wait. I get it. Who are these people? The idea of a monarchy is sooooo 1540. How terribly borrr-ing. Blah, blah, blah. I’ve heard it all. My husband likes to mock me constantly over my endless fascination, and now, I think he simply is starting to feel sorry for me. For the past week, he has insulted Prince William’s looks (okay, okay he used to have a better hairline but he absolutely does not look like a horse!) but in my opinion, there is nothing wrong with him that a little whitening gel and Invisalign from Tom Cruise’s dentist couldn’t fix. This has been a nightly
argument discussion this week.
Apparently, it’s good to be a tax lawyer in Charlottesville after tax day! Andrew the H has two days off this week…Surprise!! So, even though the weather report is threatening a few thunderstorms (which I will no longer take lightly, see last week’s events), we are going out to enjoy the cloud-covered sun. After weeks of seeing very little of Andrew on the weekends, I am excited to finally have some husband-wife time. Even if that means that I have to endure hours of the History Channel (seriously, how many Civil War shows can you possibly have? No disrespect, but geeeeeeze).
Happy Friday! So to end a very long, rainy week, I am happy to report that the sun finally decided to show its face again, AND spring is right around the corner (can you believe March is only a few short days away?). Daylight savings time? Is that you? Your late nights are so close, I can feel it.
Continuing with the brunch theme on this President’s Day, I bring you a ridiculously good huevos rancheros recipe. See, I have this problem. I absolutely love eggs, especially fried eggs, on top of just about anything. On top of pasta? Sure, why not. Oh, an egg comes on that pizza? Well, don’t mind if I do. Smothered on this grilled cheese sandwich? Yes, please! (The lucky ones in NYC can enjoy croque madame deliciousness here).
I know some people get creeped out by runny eggs, so for those of you with this issue, you may want to skip this recipe. But the salsa is still yummy and so are the “refried” black beans, a healthier take on the traditional lard-infused Mexican refried beans. And while this recipe may look a bit labor intensive for a morning meal, let me assure you that it is worth all of the effort. The salsa can be made ahead of time, and the beans come together in a snap. You can also try mashing them to make it even easier (though I personally prefer the creamy texture of the pureed). This is perfect for a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning when you don’t mind eating breakfast for lunch. Or do something even better and have it for dinner (because who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner?).