Romeo And Juliet’s Better Than A Bag Potato Chips

chips

A fried potato by any other name would still taste as good.

What do you call these fried potatoes?  I always just called them homemade potato chips.  I’ve recently discovered they’re also called raw fries, wing chips and sometimes even cottage fries.  But I’ve now decided to call them BETTER THAN ANYTHING IN A BAG.

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Barefoot Bloggers Meringues Chantilly

meringues chatilly 3

I can’t remember my mother or grandmothers ever making any kind of meringue when I was growing up.  They didn’t put meringue on top of their banana pudding, or make divinity.  In my foggy memory I think I might have made some kind of meringue dessert since I have been married, but it doesn’t stand out in my mind.

That should have been a hint…

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Muscle Building Homemade Mayo And Cashew Curry Chicken Salad

cashew chicken salad

I was inspired to make my own mayonnaise this weekend.  Let me tell you, it was TOUGH ON THE FOREARM.  You have to whisk, whisk, whisk, the whole time you are S-L-O-W-L-Y adding the oil.  A cup and a half of oil didn’t seem like a lot to whisk at first, but I think it multiplied while I was working!  The kitchen got a little shower of oil when I found out I’m not quite as coordinated with my left hand.  It makes me wonder whether you could make it work in the ol’ Kitchenaid.  I’m trying that next time.

We don’t really use much mayonnaise in my house, actually, I’m the only one who eats it and not that often.  The husband has sworn it off, along with Chinese fast food and pretty much lunch altogether (it’s a lot like this).  I don’t tell him it’s in the pimento cheese.

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Coffee Love Yogurt Cake

yogurt-cake

I first started drinking coffee in college to help me stay awake at night so I could study longer.  I discovered, however, that it only helped me to sleep on the couch with a book in my lap longer.  I do love it still, especially the smell of freshly ground beans – I probably could just snort it right out of the coffee grinder!  (Maybe that would have worked better in college.)

I have heard all the health benefits that come from tea drinking, and I like hot tea, but it just can’t replace a fresh, hot cup of coffee in the morning.  I figure I’ll just get my ‘tea vitamins’ from ice tea.

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Low Maintenance Oven Roasted Butternut Squash

butternut squash

Say hello to my newest favorite fall/winter vegetable, the butternut squash.  No offense to the sweet potato, which still carries me through the fall and winter with its sunny and warm disposition.  But now I can add another just as sunny and warm vegetable to my weekly grocery list.  It has all the things you could want – it’s healthy, tasty enough the kids will eat it, and easy to prepare.  Trust me, I’m not a fan of high maintenance vegetables.  Roasting it in the oven (my newest favorite way to cook vegetables) really takes it over the top.  If you haven’t already discovered the beauty of the  butternut squash, don’t put it off any longer!

Here are some great tips for preparing this jewel:

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Super Saturday Light And Crispy Waffles

stawberrry waffles

Some Saturdays you just want to sleep in, then get up and have a big cup of coffee and lounge around reading, watching the food channel, doing some online shopping – mainly just being lazy.  These waffles are not for those Saturdays.

These waffles are for the Saturdays when you’ve had a good night’s sleep, and you wake up rested and ready to treat yourself (and the rest of your household) to some light, crispy, ready for the butter and syrup waffles.

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Chicken Of The Sea Herb Butter Scottish Salmon

herb butter salmon

Until just recently, my children knew of only two types of animal protein:  “chicken” and “meat”.  The chicken category included not only chicken, but also fish, pork and turkey.  And the meat category included beef, venison, and sometimes ham.  They were told to “eat your chicken” or “eat your meat”, no matter what it was.  This was mainly to avoid the whole “eeewww, I don’t like fish/pork/turkey” reply for as long as possible.

Apparently, Jessica Simpson’s mother never got past this point with Jessica, but we have now started to call things by their real name, and the kids have become curious as to where all their food comes from, so we have to tell them that, too.  And since they have eaten these things before and like them, they can’t really argue about eating it just because it has a strange name.

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Valentine’s Day Don’t Be Late Pink Velvet Cupcakes

pink velvet cupcakes

When you live in a small town, often that means one road from your house to where ever you’re going.  And that often means you’re most likely to end up driving behind someone going at least five miles under the speed limit when you are running late for something, be it work, school, doctors’ appointments, karate lessons, whatever.  So it doesn’t help to be someone who is always ten minutes late for everything.

Unfortunately, that is the situation I find myself in quite often, therefore resulting in a lot of cussing (silently, so the children can’t hear) at those who left in plenty of time to get to where they’re going.  I have dreams of becoming one of those people, and I haven’t given up.

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Barefoot Bloggers Real Meatballs And Spaghetti

meatballs and spaghetti

When I was a new bride, I already had a few dishes in my cooking repertoire, but I wanted to learn to make some of my husband’s favorite dishes, too.  So I asked his mother to teach me to make these recipes, and one of them was spaghetti.

Here’s what she puts in:  onion, ground beef, tomato sauce (sounds pretty ordinary so far, right?), ketchup, tomato soup, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and 1/3 cup of sugar.  Not that it tastes bad or anything, I mean I had eaten it a few times before and it tasted fine, but not only is it way different than what I learned to make from my mother, but it’s almost like sacrilege to even call it spaghetti sauce, what with all the crazy things it contains.  My brain just can’t seem to accept it as spaghetti sauce.

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My Grandmother Was Green Peanut Noodle Salad

peanut noodle salad

My Grandmother was green.

Not the Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba Thropp kind of green, but the eco-friendly, earth-preserving kind of green.  She kept her thermostat turned way down in the winter and way up in the summer (if on at all).  She never let the water run while washing the dishes.  She hung her clothes on a clothes line.  She re-used plastic wrap and aluminum foil.  She had a garden that grew a lot of her food.  She used her coffee grounds and egg shells in her flower garden.  And she never threw away food.

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Snow Days Breakfast Casserole

breakfast-casserole

When I was growing up, my family lived beside my grandparents.  I had an aunt and uncle that lived about two hours away in the country.  I remember that whenever there was a big snow, though, they were always at our Grandma’s.  I really didn’t think about it much at the time, my cousins and I were having too much fun playing and sledding and being out of school.  But when I got older I realized that they must have heard the forecast and started frantically packing everyone in the car to head to Grandma’s house so they wouldn’t be stuck out in the middle of nowhere with no power, no neighbors, and worse yet, no one to play with in the snow.

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World Tour Day Six Cranberry Pecan Scones

cranberry scones

World Tour Day Six:  Great Britain.

The first time I had scones with real clotted cream and jam was in London at the hotel where we were staying.  I was very excited to sit for a proper afternoon tea and enjoy the formality of the tradition.  Even though I had eaten a nice lunch not long before, I was determined to have a pot of tea and scones while I was there, hungry or not!

I like a little tradition and I like a little formality now and then, too.  I have to say, I get a little frustrated with how casual and informal things have become.  I swear I was sitting beside a woman at the movies last night who was wearing her pajamas and bedroom slippers!  It just makes me a little uncomfortable.  I mean, if you want to watch a movie in your pj’s, get something from the movie store and stay home!  I’m really not interested in what you wear to bed.

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World Tour Day Five Almond Whiskey Sour Cocktail

almond whiskey sour

World Tour Day Five:  Italy.

I am in search of a signature cocktail.  Something that I can order at any bar, or have someone make for me at their house, or that I can throw together at cocktail hour.  Something that is simple to make, includes a few fairly common ingredients, and that will please me when I’m not in the mood for a special drink.  And most of all, something that says “KAREN”.

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World Tour Day Four Salsa

salsa

World Tour Day Four:  Mexico.

When I was pregnant with my first child, this was what I craved.  A big bowl of salsa and some chips and I was good to go.  At the time, I was working three days a week and on those days I would suggest/coerce/force the girls in the office to go with me to the Mexican restaurant for lunch.  We would go to one of the many in the area, all named after some Jose – San Jose, Juan Jose, Don Jose – it didn’t matter which to me, as long as they kept the salsa bowl filled.  I know the girls were glad when my due date finally came.

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World Tour Day Two Hummus Dip

hummus

Day Two of the World Tour:  The Middle East.  Or at least I think so.  It seems that hummus has been around so long, since pre-history even, that its origins aren’t exactly clear.  It is most widely credited to the Middle East, though, so that’s what I’m going with. If you’re interested in a brief history lesson on the subject, check out this site – The Straight Dope: Fighting Ignorance Since 1973 (its taken longer than we thought).

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World Tour Day One Tattie Scones

tattie scones 2

I’ve been on a little bit of a cooking world tour lately.  Kind of like my rockin’ Rock Band 2 band, Crash Warning, with whom I’ve been traveling around the world on tour this weekend (I’m just a little bit addicted to this game, okay maybe a lot).  Probably it just has to do with the fact that I enjoy experimenting with different flavors from different cultures.  So this week I am going to write about some of the recipes from around the world that have made it onto my table recently.

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