Friday, May 29, 2015

Food for the Weekend

It has been a pretty crazy month or so.  Races.  Runs.  Prom.  Big year-end projects.  Finals.  Two graduations (the last of which is tonight.)  Grad parties.  Hosting out-of-towners.  Another round of Dr. appointments for hubby.  Messing with meds.  We've had a bit going on.  And looking at that, combined with regular household/family stuff, I guess it's no wonder I'm lagging a bit in the blogging and creative areas.

While summer break has started for three of my four, and things should settle down a bit, we still have college orientation, both for the student and the parents.  We have one last round of cheering for the half-marathoner up in Steamboat coming up.  Then it's just the usual wrangling to keep screen time to a minimum while keeping my house from slipping into pit-dom, while trying to get back into my swing - which includes creative time.

The only constant has been eating - because, well, we have to.  Believe me, there were nights when it was the last thing I wanted to do, but luckily I had my menu set up.  And Pinterest provided the meals a few times.

I first made this Herby Ham Salad with some leftover ham from Easter.  I made it again for the high school graduate's party.  I don't typically like pickle relish in  my salads, but for some reason it works; it provides a dip of sweet.  Amazingly simple, quite tasty and equally good on a croissant, slider roll or butter crackers.

I have tried several French Dip Sandwich recipes as I search for my go-to; my daughter and I love a good French Dip sandwich.  I usually struggle most with the cut of beef to use - too many different names for a cut a beef and if I can't find the cut, I'm not versed enough for a suitable substitute.  Anyway, while this recipe was okay, a solid version.  I do have a recipe (though I can't figure out where it is) that I like better.  I deleted this Pin, but the link will take you to the blog.

We've hit the time of year where I love anything lemon.  If it turns out to be a dessert, bonus points!  This Lemon Coconut Bread caught my eye as a good dessert for In-Law Dinner night.  I was kind of expecting a bit of coconut flavor - and actual coconut - but it wasn't really detectable and there was no flaked coconut in the recipe, though it might be good sprinkled on top of the glaze, or in the glaze.  I'm not sure if the coconut milk was to provide flavor or just moistness - either way it was a good, light and lemony bread.  I did use a coconut milk substitute (found in my latest cookbook acquisition "Food Substitutions Bible") as the coconut milk I had on hand I tossed for looking a bit curdled.  So I'm not sure if it would have been anymore coconutty had I used the actual milk.  Next time around, I'll find out.

Every now and then I need a good morning muffin on hand.  These Strawberry Poppy Seed Sour Cream Crumb Muffins filled the bill on the morning I needed such a pastry.  My only issue, the middles fell.  Because I'm at altitude I have several things to look at:  did I put too much batter in the cups, did I needed a higher cooking temp or maybe I needed a touch more flour in the recipe.  I have some strawberries on hand now and if they appear to be turning before we can finish them off, I'll make them again and apply a fix.

These Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars were just what the title implies.  Chewy.  Oatmealy.  Chocolate-y, given the two cups of chocolate chips in them.  And they were gone in no time in this never-say-no-to-a-chocolate-chip house I live in.

If it's not lemony, chances are it'll have cherries in it.  It is after all cherry season and I can seldom get enough before they disappear.  So when I needed three desserts for my daughter's grad party, it seemed as good a time as any to roll out the Cherry Cobbler Bars.  They have a sugar-cookie-like bottom, sweet and chewy, and then the pops of sweet and tart cherries.  I could eat the whole pan!

I have never made baked beans from scratch, meaning starting with dried beans.  But having these Slow Cooker Bourbon Baked Beans going freed up my oven for the above mentioned grad party.  And the cup of bourbon in them didn't hurt either.  Not ever having done the dried beans to recipe thing, I'm not sure if their al dente-ness was just the nature of soaking your own beans or what.  But after soaking overnight and then cooking for more than 16 hours, they were still a bit undone in the middle.  They were still amazing and I'll look for a way to deal with less than soft beans - longer soak?  Pressure cooker?  Or just go canned and pair them with the sauce.  Either way, they'll be made again.

I've got to head out and find a pair of dress shoes for my next graduate.  I did say yesterday I was just dealing with the next most urgent thing on my list.  I couldn't get any more urgent - his ceremony is in four hours.

Happy Friday,

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