Now that the weather here in Florida is finally getting colder, it makes me want to go to my kitchen, grab a mug, and brew myself up something piping hot. My first choice is always tea–my tea selection rivals that of Teavana–coffee falls in as number two, and a close third is hot chocolate. I just love a steamy cup of hot chocolate with mounds of whipped cream or a dollop of marshmallow fluff floating on top. I grew up adding Ovaltine to my milk–to this day, it is still a staple in my pantry. When I want something extra special, I make myself a cup of drinking chocolate.
Tag: my veg table
Today, my son says, “I don’t like corn anymore”. To which I respond, “Everett, you just had corn the other day”. His facial expression tells me that that is irrelevant. Lately, we seem to be in an aversion cycle that changes almost daily: yesterday tomatoes and today corn—who knows what will be on the list tomorrow! Today’s Tidbit is all about the loophole I have discovered to get around his newfound dislike of corn–Hominy! As my husband always jokes, “How many?”
Let me just start out by saying that I don’t like banana things; by things, I mean “things” made from bananas. I like bananas straight from the peel or in smoothies, but that’s about it. When I eat banana things, there is almost always an artificial banana-y quality about it that my palate immediately rejects. My husband, Ed, doesn’t understand it. In addition to eating a banana every day–yes, EVERY DAY–he loves all things banana. This brings me to my story of the infamous banana bread and the recipe that made me a convert.
Smoothies are pretty popular in my house. Sometimes, it is much easier to drink your nutrition than to eat it. Take kale smoothies, for instance: kale on its own can be bitter and overpowering. On the other hand, mixed up in a blender with some fruits and coconut water, it is downright delicious–and nutritious. When my son, Everett, was young, we purchased our Vitamix blender so that we could maximize his veggie intake: green smoothies were served up daily. Now that my kiddo is in school all day, we have dialed it back to about three times per week.
As I sit here in the middle of the night, I look at the Christmas decorations still adorning my living room–my tree would still be lit if the clock didn’t read 1:00am. Although it is now the fifth day of the new year, I am still reveling a bit in the holiday season and reflecting on the year that has so swiftly passed us by.
Traveling is my second favorite thing to do–eating is my first. My husband, son and I travel quite a bit and one of our favorite places to visit is Saint Augustine, Florida. Saint Augustine is one of those cities that not only is rich in American and European history, but also full of history for my husband and I as a couple. It was one of our first trips together when we were dating, it was the place that he proposed, it was the city where we spent our first anniversary, and now it is one of my son’s favorite places to visit. As you walk down the streets of this “ancient” town–ancient by American standards–you can palpate the history. Despite the seemingly endless list of things to see, we have found ourselves on multiple visits without agenda and meandering through the brick streets while taking it all in. Even if you had an agenda, it’s hard to do it all: the Castillo de San Marcos Fort, the art museums, the history museums, the lighthouse and beach, the shops, and wait…did I mention the food?
A box arrived via UPS today and I figured it was just another Christmas present that my husband ordered from Amazon; except that the sender was Big Sur Bakery. Our friends live in Napa, CA and were just married in Big Sur, CA in August. Their reception was held at Big Sur Bakery and Café. The wedding was lovely, the scenery was amazing and the food was fantastic. So, we ripped open the box to find a loaf of sorts in a cloth bag tied with string. It was a stollen: the topic of today’s Tidbit. Stollen is a German sweet bread that contains nuts, fruit, and/or raisins. The label read that it was brushed in butter and coated in sugar–and I do mean coated. I had envisioned a cloyingly sweet “fruitcake-like” bread. After cutting into it, I was pleasantly surprised. It was more bread than cake, and despite the copious amount of sugar on the outside, there was a subtle sweetness. The rum soaked raisins lent just a hint of rum and the candied citrus gave a “pop” to nearly every bite. There were no nuts in this version.
In my first post, I told you about my favorite go-to dish: lemon spaghetti. What better to go along with my pasta–or anything else for that matter–but a piece of homemade garlic bread. So, for today’s Tidbit, we are talking from-scratch garlic bread that you can easily make yourself. In fact, after you have prepped all of your ingredients, you can have it ready in 10 minutes or less–including toasting time! Don’t bother with the frozen stuff; in the time it would take you to bake a piece of frozen bread, you could already be eating your own fresh homemade version!
Tra-di-tion….TRADITION! When pondering the concept of tradition, the first thing that pops into my head is the opening number from Fiddler on the Roof…and now it’s stuck in my head for the rest of the day. But, on a more serious note, tradition is a big part of most families and family gatherings. Ask around and almost everyone will have a story to share about a noteworthy meal made by a special family member that evokes some kind of emotion and/or warm memories.
Many months ago, when I was first hatching the idea of starting a food blog, I sat with my friend in her kitchen. While our boys played together, we chatted and baked chocolate chip cookies for the kids. When I told her about my plan, we started talking at length about food. Typically, I could talk about food all day, but then she asked me a question that made me pause: “What is your go-to meal?”