So my cooking started on a high note. And a very high note at that. I am completely and utterly obsessed with The Pioneer Woman's Blog . I have to read it every day. It is a piece to my past. No, I didn't grow up on a cattle ranch, and no I am not married to a rancher but it reminds me of living in the middle of nowhere. It puts me back into the good memories that I thought I didn't even have of living in po dunk no where. There is something about her that reminds me of my Grandmother. And she is my age so may she not take offense to that statement. Maybe it is her strength. Maybe it is that she cooks an awful lot of food that my Gram used to make. Anyhow, I like her, and it takes a lot for me to like anyone. Remember, I gravitate to bitchy.
I am a Virgo. The Fireman is a Virgo too. If you know anything about Virgos, we are perfectionist, very organized, and almost anal about our schedules. I am not a 'fly by the seat of my pants" type of girl. I plan everything. I sit down and make a menu for two weeks of what I plan to cook, make a grocery list and then proceed to shop. The Fireman is very supportive as he too likes this structure. Or maybe he just likes that there is food in the house...After all, I did marry his stomach!
For lunch today, I tried to new recipe. It was one of The Pioneer Woman's. It's her husband's favorite sandwich. Today I made it almost to the letter of the recipe. I was a little bit apprehensive about the amount of butter in it. In the end, I must bow to the Pioneer Woman queen, more butter would have made it better. I will though, end up making it my own. The Fireman and I were quickly stuffing it in our mouths and saying that it needs a little "Fireman" touch. That will be posted next time I make it. After all, I did plan this out and bought enough to make it twice. But for now, this recipe is good enough to pass along... so here is the link;
Now on to the ugly. The Tortured Teenager and I crave Tangerine Beef from this amazing restaurant, Ming Dynasty. It is to die for. But I have this "thing" about trying to cook at home. So I scoured recipes until I got one I thought was a winner off the Food Network. I love Guy Fieri. I am addicted to his shows. He is a Northern California boy (I'm originally from there too.)The reviews were great. I don't know what happened. Somewhere I screwed it up. It smelled like sorta like it should but it looked more like I should have had broccoli in it and called it Beef and Broccoli. It lacked that sticky sweet syrup that it should have had.
But there's always dessert...and I don't even like dessert. But we ate lunch really late so dessert and a glass of wine will suit me just fine. It is after all Thursday and I don't know how I will fit in all this TV that is on tonight. But that is another story...
In PraiseofLeftovers the other day was talking about some Blondies she made. Now I haven't made Blondies in years. I have a great, easy, fool proof recipe (and I haven't even looked to see if it's the same.) This recipe came from Denise G. who made them for us one Christmas as part of a goodie plate she brought down to us when we were neighbors. I was hooked. It became a staple in my Christmas baking (sadly a couple years ago I stopped doing mass baking and I forget why) but they are to die for. They have pecans in them but I chop them up so fine that even the Tortured Teenager doesn't complain too much.
Denise G's. Blondies
6 TB Butter
1 3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups pecans coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13"x9" pan and line with foil and then grease foil. Trust me, I have neglected to do this and paid the fine in the end.
In a sauce pan melt butter over low heat. Be patient. You do not want to do this over a warmer heat as when you add the eggs, you will have scrambled eggs. Remove from stove and stir in brown sugar and vanilla and then eggs until blended. In another mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. stir sugar mixture into the flour mixture and combine until blended. Add the pecans and spread evenly into the pan. Bake 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean that is inserted into the center of the pan. Blondies will become firmer as they cool. Cool completely before cutting.
Note, these would be wonderful with toffee piece or even chocolate chips.