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Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Resurrection of the Weekend Book Review

Remember when I actually posted on this blog? You have a good memory.

Remember when we actually read on this blog called Eat, READ, Move? Then you have a very good memory.

Let's read again! Brew some coffee or tea, whatever floats your boat.  Get a warm brownie, cookie, or slice of cake, curl up on your couch or bed or window seat (I wanted one of those SO BAD when I was little!), put on some music, and read. 
And don't worry, because I have a book already picked out for you! It's called Lost Laysen by Margaret Mitchell. Now, if you're most of the world, you're thinking, "Wait-Margaret Mitchell only wrote one book-Gone with the Wind!" I thought that, too. But at the library the other day, I glimpsed a copy of this short love story Margaret wrote as a teenager. And I was like, "OH MY GOSH!! I HAVE TO READ THIS!", because I'm completely obsessed with Gone with the Wind, and it always made me sad that Margaret Mitchell had no other books. And no, Lost Laysen is not even close to being as good as Gone with the Wind, but I still enjoyed it very much.

Questions: If you were really going to read right now, what would you read? I really want to read Let Darkness Come by Angela Hunt.
What would you eat? A brownie; I baked some yesterday that were SO GOOD!
Would you like coffee, tea, or cocoa? Coffee all the way
And what music would you listen too? I don't really have a favorite song, but some bands/singers that I like are: Third Day, Switchfoot, Sarah Bareilles, David Crowder, Taylor Swift, Francesca Battistelli, and Adele. That's kind of a strange combination.
Don't judge.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Mellie

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes

BOO!

Can you believe it's already time for Halloween? It feels like it should still be sometime last winter. Or early spring, at least. 

What are y'all doing for Halloween? We don't really celebrate it, except for helping out with Trunk or Treat at church. But I just HAD to get sick, so I didn't get to rock my cute 50s outfit. Too bad. :(. Maybe someone will decide to have a party at the last minute.I guess I'm a little old for trick or treating ;).
 
Speaking of treats, let's talk about these cupcakes!

Pumpkin spice frappucinos and  lattes are my absolute favorite part of fall, besides football.  And cupcakes are one of my favorite little things in life. So naturally they had to be married and have a baby. And what a yummy baby it is.  

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes
( Cake adapted from Eat, Live, Run, icing adapted from a church cookbook)

1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c all purpose flour
1/2 15 oz can pumpkin
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tbsp coffee grounds
3/4 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp molasses

Preheat oven to 350. Mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients. Then add to the dry.  Spoon into lined cupcake tins and bake 25-30 min. Let cool completely before icing. 

Pumpkin Spice Frosting:
1 stick butter or margarine, or 4 oz cream cheese, or shortening, or whatever 
2-3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 box powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
milk

Cream butter. Add sugar, vanilla, spices, and 1 tbsp milk, mixing well. Add more milk a little at a time until you reach the desired consistency.

Questions of the day:
What are you going to be for Halloween? And what's your favorite part of fall?

Happy weekend/Halloween!
Mellie

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fig Pizza

Oh hello. Who are you? Why are you looking at me like I should be guilty? Oh, that's right. You're my readers, and  I AM guilty. Of blog neglect. :(
Remember last school year/this summer when I posted 3 or 4 times a week? Yeah. Those days are over forever. Unless I became a pro food blogger when I grew up, but I don't think that will happen, because, uh, have you seen my pinboards? Yeah, I have expensive tastes. So I have to get a better-paying job, and I won't ever be able to post every day, or even every other day.
Anyway! I'm making it up to you with this divine pizza. It's pretty much the closest I've ever gotten to gourmet. I love figs so, so much. When we lived in middle Georgia we had a fig tree in our backyard. How I miss that thing. I'm not even sure you can grow figs well up here. And they're not the cheapest things. Not too expensive, but not something to eat every week, ya know? But they're soo good, especially when paired with fig balsamic vinegar, blue cheese, and other good ingredients.
Oh, by the way, you should bake your pizza on the bottom rack. It makes the crust so crispy and yummy!

Fig Pizza
1/2 batch pizza crust
1 small pkg dried figs, chopped
3 tbsp fig balsamic vinegar
1/2 onion, chopped
1-2 spoonfuls of brown sugar
canola oil (or butter)
1 5 oz carton blue cheese

Preheat oven to 425. Prebake crust for 10 minutes. Heat vinegar in a small saucepan, whisking constantly, till it reduces by about half. Saute oil, sugar, and onions together. Put everything on top of the pizza and bake 10 min. on 425.



Thank you for ignoring my deplorable nighttime photography, and have a good night!
Mellie

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Greek Chicken Salad

I WANT TO GO TO GREECE.
Actually, I want to go to all the Mediterranean countries-Greece, Italy, France, North Africa. 
Really, I want to go everywhere. 
I want to be able to say I've done it. I want to be able to see the sights. I want to experience life to the fullest.
I want it all.
I also want the food. Olives...pita bread...feta cheese...basil, rosemary, and oregano...what more could you possibly want?


Oh, yeah. You might want these. Which aren't Greek in the slightest.


Well, in the meantime, you can savor the flavors of Greece with this!

Greek Chicken Salad
2 c boneless skinless grilled chicken breasts, coarsely chopped
1 small can mushrooms
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 c mayonaisse
lots of feta cheese
1/2 c black olives
lots of basil, oregano, and rosemary

Saute tomato in cooking spray, optional.(But recommended.) Combine everything and chill before serving.

Impossibly simple, quick, but delicious!

Have a good weekend,
Mellie

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blondies

Who wants to eat a fudgy, carmely blondie, filled with chocolate chips?
*Raises hand* "MEE, please!!"

We've been making these blondies for years. They were a simple, but delicious, treat. Then the other day, I decided to try browning the butter. The result is good and carmely. Not so simple anymore!

I don't know what it is about browned butter that makes good things great, but seriously, people, you need to get on the browned butter bandwagon ASAP. No applesauce blondies for me! A little butter never hurt anyone.

Blondies

(slightly adapted from Taste of Home)

1 1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Melt butter in a skillet.  Blend with sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in dry ingredients. Last, beat in chips. Bake in a 9x13 in pan for 18-20 min on 350.


Have a good week!
Mellie

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Seven Things on a Saturday

1. I. HATE. WINTER. And this week has FELT like winter. Most unusual for the first week of September in the south!
2. It finally feels like fall again. I don't really like fall either. I mean, it's OK. Pumpkin, cloves, apples, football, cinnamon, helping out with Trunk-or-treat at church, ginger, Pumpkin Spice Frappucinos, nutmeg, hot cocoa, oh and Thanksgiving. But I am still more of a spring/summer person.

3. Speaking of Pumpkin Spice Frappucinos, I drank one yesterday and now my lactose intolerant stomach is punishing me. But i can't give them up. It's like an abusive relationship.

4. I wore a white shirt yesterday, and I added white shoes to go to the football game. What. A. Rebel.

5. The reason i wore white shoes to the game was that my silver flats broke for the millionth time and I had to reglue them for the millionth time. #ineverlearn.

5. I want a pair of furry boots this winter. And a pair of cowboy boots, if I can find some that look feminine.

6. If you're still reading this, I love you. In a non creepy way. 

7. I woke up this morning and was greeted by this:
Pumpkin Chip Muffins
( slightly adapted from Taste of Home)

2 1/2 c self-rising flour
2 c sugar
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg
3/4 c egg white
1 can (15 oz) solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c canola oil
1 c semisweet chocolate chips

Combine flours, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In another bowl, combine egg, egg white, pumpkin, applesauce, and oil, stir into dry ingredients till just moistened. Stir in chips. Coat muffin cups with cooking spray, fill 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 400 for 18-22 minutes. Yield: 2 doz.

Happy Weekend!
Mellie

Monday, August 29, 2011

Blissful Blogger Award!

This is just a quick post to say hi, sorry for not posting more, school's been busy. 

This post is also to say thank you to Courtney  for giving me the:

I haven't been ignoring you, Courtney! I've just been busy. Thank you so so much. 

Here are 9 things y'all don't know about me:

1. I'm a Christian. I don't talk about it much on here, because this isn't a very personal blog, but it is my life. 

2. I love to sing! I've been in school chorus since 8th grade. I'm no star, but I do love it so much. 

3. I sing alto.

4. I'm SO girly. I used to be the exact opposite. Now I despise all things related to nature (except the beach) and all forms of discomfort. I LOVVE shopping. I'm not a fashion expert, but I try. I rely heavily on my cousin (the real beauty/fashion queen of the family) and on fashion magazines.

5. I love little kids! I wish someone would let me babysit for them. There are a few people who I think might let me but I'm not sure.Plus I can't drive myself, so my parents don't want me to have a job.

6. I'm terribly shy, until I get to know people really well. I have lots to say, I'm just not always comfortable saying it.

7. I. LOVE. FOOTBALL. Whether it's high school or college, I lovvvee it!

8. I love baseball, too, especially pro baseball. GO BRAVES!

9. I used to be in band. I quit because i hated it, I hated marching, I hated my teacher, I hated being on the band bus with certain people, I wasn't very good, and I all I really wanted to do was sing. 

Noww, who to tag? It's hard to pick just 7, and plus some of the people I'd really love to tag have already been tagged. Meh.


1. The Teenage Foodie, even though apparently her blog is private now? But she was one of my forst readers and her comments (as well as her own posts) have certainly brought me bliss.

2. Jenn, another one of my early readers. In fact the very first one. Thank you so much for your encouraging comments, Jenn!

3. You know what, I lied. I'm going to tag kat, even though I think she's already been tagged, because her blog is just awesome. And so is she.

4. lynne, because she posts so many incredible recipes that make me want to lick the computer screen.
5. Chelsey, because her blog is fabulous and her recipes look amazing!

6. Erika, even though she's already been tagged, too, I think. Her blog is wonderful, and my whole family lovved these. 

7. Speaking of family, I'm going to tag my mom, because she's such a good mom and puts up with a lot. It;s probably not easy to have a daughter who's ALWAYS right. :) She also instilled my love of books, cooking, and food; this blog wouldn't exist without her!

Thank you guys so much for bringing me bliss!
Mellie

Sunday, August 21, 2011

June/July Amazing Food Finds

Yes, I know July ended a long time ago, but I got distracted by other posts.

Anyway, welcome to Amazing food finds, where I share the best of the food products i find. I stole the idea from here. I love to try new foods, and you probably do to, so I want to share what I find. Maybe I'll make it a linky party, what would y'all think of that?

Also, NONE of these reviews are paid and ALL the opinions are my own.

Anyway, here's the list:

Cabot's Habenero Cheese: Hot and dang-er-ous! OK, that was dumb, but seriously, this cheese is intense. If you don't like hot stuff STEER CLEAR! If you do like it, I think it would be really good on mexican pizza. 

Tostito's Roasted Garlic and Black Bean Chips: Oh my. So. Good. These are definitely the best tortilla chips I've ever had. I love garlic. 

Kettle Honey Dijon Chips: Now, I've been a long time fan of the Kettle brand chips, but I hadn't had their Honey Dijon chips till last month. Very, very delicious. Sooo much better than a typical cheaper chip.

McDonald's Caramel Frappe: Now, I NEVER go to McDonald's. Blechhh!! I refuse to eat there, but I was convinced to try their caramel frappe...and it was really good. Not as good as Starbuck's, but still pretty close.

QOD: What good things have YOU tried this summer?
Have a good week!
Mellie

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Gelato

I remember the first time i had gelato. It was my first day in Paris, and I was enthralled to be there. And to top it all off, we went to a cute little sandwich shop/gelato shop for lunch, and I had my first taste of the creamy, decadent goodness. Love at first spoonful.


OK, that didn't really happen but didn't it sound nice?

Actually, I've never left the country. I've only been to Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida, and Alabama. Don't judge. It's not my fault it's my parents.

So, for real, I first tried gelato at a rinkydink festival in a rinkydink North Carolina town. I'm not sure what flavor I got, but I remember it was creamy and decadent and sweet and one of the best things I had eaten in my 10 or 11 or maybe it was 12 years on earth. 
But for some reason, I never ate it again, until a couple weeks ago on my birthday.  It was just as amazing as I remembered-just as rich, just as thick and creamy. Yum. :)

Gelato 
(adapted from all recipes)

2 c milk ( I used 2%-it just depends on how rich you want it)
1 c heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1/2 c sugar
vanilla and almond extract, to taste

In a medium saucepan, mix milk and cream. Warm till foam firms around the edges, remove from heat. In large bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar till frothy. Gradually pour milk into egg yolks, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan, cook over medium heat, stir with wooden spoon till mixture gels slightly and coats back of spoon. Stir in flavorings. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions. Makes: 4 big servings.

mmm.

So.. school started yesterday. It's going to be a busy, busy year, much worse than last year. But I will post as much as possible!
Until then, have a great week!
Mellie

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Orange Marmalade Cake

Sorry this post has been so long in coming. Guess what? School starts Friday. (wah wah wah) Yes Friday. Don't even ask, because I really don't know. Nothing in our town makes sense. School starts on a friday. The fair comes this week, when it is waaay to hot to be outside, especially while eating hot funnel cakes. We have 3 clothing stores and 1354 restaurants. Nothing here makes sense. Nothing. 

Well, anyway, let's talk about this cake. It's nothing short of amazing. Three layers of yummy, moist yellow cake with orange zest, soaked in a delicious orange glaze, with orange marmalade in between the layers, and a fluffy sour cream icing to top it all off. The icing balances out the intense sweetness of the cake. And I love that it has a glaze AND an icing-it's like the best of both worlds.

This cake only gets better with age, but it doesn't last that long. But maybe your family is not as obsessed with desserts as mine, so you get to enjoy it for a long time. 

Oh, one more thing. Butter and flour your pans. Don't use cooking spray. I used it, out of habit, and it wasn't pretty. It's cake, people, it's not supposed to be low cal.

Here's the recipe!

Orange Marmalade Cake
(From Jan Karon's Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader)
Cake:
1 c unsalted butter, softened
3 1/4 c cake flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 2/3 c granulated sugar
5 large eggs, at room temp
4 large egg yolks, at room temp
2/3 c canola oil
1 tbsp grated orange zest
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter and flour 3 9in round cake pans. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Sift a second time into another bowl. With an electric mixer, beat butter till light in color, about 4 minutes. add the sugar in a steady stream while mixer is still running. Beat till light and fluffy, about 4 min. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, beat well after each addition. Continue to beat on medium speed for two more minutes. With mixer on low speed, add oil and beat for 1 minute. In a small bowl, combine zest, buttermilk, and vanilla. Using a rubber spatula, fold half the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Scrape down the sides, and half the buttermilk mixture. Repeat. 
Pour batter into remaining pans. Bake 30-35 min, or till toothpick comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans on racks 20 min.

orange syrup:
1 c fresh orange juice
1/4 c sugar

stir till sugar is dissolved. While cakes are still in pans, poke holes and pour the glaze on top.

Filling:
1 12 oz jar orange marmalade

heat in small saucepan over medium heat till just melted. cool 5 min.

Icing:
1 c heavy cream, chilled
4 tbsp granulated sugar
1 c sour cream, chilled

Whip cream and sugar till stiff peaks form. Add sour cream, a little at a time, and whisk till mixture is spreadable.

To assemble: 
Invert 1 cake layer onto a plate, spread 1/3 of the marmalade on top. Repeat till all the layers are stacked. Top with orange marmalade, leaving a 1 1/4 in border around the edges. Frost sides and top border with sour cream icing. Or, frost the whole cake, and garnish with marmalade. Chill for at least 2 hrs before serving. Yield: 12-14 servings


QOD: What's your best birthday cake? This was DEFINITELY my best tasting one. The cutest one was...hmm...when I turned 11, I had cupcakes decorated to look like mini individual cakes. We also had mini burgers and hot dogs with small cheese slices, baby pickles, and grape tomatoes.

Have a good day!
Mellie

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

15!

Yesterday, I turned 15! Wow! These past couple years have been the fastest ever! Oh my.

I don't even want to tell y'all how much I ate yesterday. I was sick on Sunday and barely ate anything, so yesterday I splurged. And if you're on a diet, you may want to leave.

For breakfast, my mom made these. We added jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, mushrooms, and lots of red pepper. They were AMAZING. My dad loved them so much he ate two.

For dinner we went to Bonefish Grille. This is one of my top 5 favorite restaurants. It's not any more expensive than, say, Longhorn's, but it's a little bit nicer and infinitely better. 

We started with bang bang shrimp. This is not optional, people. You MUST eat this shrimp, which is covered in a rich creamy, hot sauce. Once you eat it and the yummy bread, which is served with olive oil and basil pesto, you really don't need anything else. But we decided to restrain ourselves on the shrimp and leave room for entrees.
My mom and I got Baja fish tacos. Tilapia with mango salsa, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and some sort of vinaigrette dressing. Amazing. I must recreate. Mom got a salad, I was bad and got housemade potato chips. These were underbaked in some parts, but for the most part, crispy and delicious. 
Dad got a salmon salad. I didn't try any, but he seemed to like it. 
My sister got a tilapia burger with fries. Don't ask me why she ordered fries when there were so many other options, but she did. Anyway the burger was amazing and I am going to swipe the leftovers. Mwahaha.

Afterwords we were stuffed but we went home and had homemade gelato and orange marmalade cake.

Stay tuned because you don't want to miss those recipes.
Have a good day!
Mellie

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Mixed Berry Delight Pie

Ahhh, summer. The beach, the sundresses, the pool, the freedom from school, the flip-flops, the ice cream, the grilled steaks/burgers, the fruit.

I love summer fruits. I love them by themselves, but I really love them in pies, cobblers, and other desserts. Fruit desserts are way better than chocolate. Don't get me wrong, I love chocolate, but fruit is lighter and fresher and tastier.
This pie contains three fruits-lemon, blueberries, and the ultimate summer berry, the raspberry. It is sweet, though not too sweet. If summer had a flavor, this would be it. 

Mixed Berry Delight 
(adapted from Granny)

For the pie:
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 graham cracker crust

For the topping:
2 c raspberries
2 c blueberries
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp lemon juice

Beat cream cheese until fluffy, beat in sweetened condensed milk. Add lemon juice and vanilla, mix well. Pour into crust and chill 3 hrs or till firm.

For the topping, mix and cook over medium heat till thick. Cool before pouring over pie.

Serve this pie at your next picnic, pool party, or whatever. Once your guests taste it, they will make you the official dessert person, so hopefully you can handle the responsibility. Or maybe once you taste it you won't want to share. I sure wouldn't. :)

Happy evening!
Mellie

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fruit Salsa

Guess what? It's been exactly 1 month since I last posted a recipe. Can you believe that? Summer flies by!
I've been too busy having summer romances with:
1.Agatha Christie novels.
2.Sundresses, especially ones from Kohl's.
3.Actually, I'm in love with all Kohl's dresses.
4.Eggplant, especially the eggplant rice bowl at Doc Chey's.
5.Flourless Torte.
6.And fruit salsa. 

There's really nothing not to love about fruit salsa. It's fresh and flavorful, pretty, and ridiculously simple. And just bursting with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. I feel kind of cheated that in all my years of eating and cooking and enjoying food, I'd never had it.
Uuntil I made this recipe. And it was love at first bite. And my whole family felt it too. Then my mom mom found this one. It was not quite as awesome, but it was awesome. And then I made up another one. Oh no! I forgot the measurements. But I remember what it had in it:

Mango-peach berry salsa:
Mangoes
Peaches
Bell Pepper (<--red would be prettiest)
White Onion
Fresh cilantro (<--one of my current obsessions)
Blueberries
Pita or Tortilla chips, for serving

Then finely chop everything, saute the onion in cooking spray, and mix everything together. Serve with chips.

See? A child could do it. 

I made another one, and this time I remembered the measurements:

Watermelon Salsa
5 c watermelon, coarsely chopped
1 c blueberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped (I used 1/2 orange and 1/2 yellow)
A few springs fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped

Saute the onion in cooking spray, then combine everything. Serve with tortilla or pita chips. 
Yum.

I'm not sure what my next recipe should be. I've been cooking a lot recently! How about you pick? I like to do things my way, though, so don't expect this to become a regular feature. OK, here's the list:

1. low country boil
2. cornbread
3. a muffin or quick bread
4. a fruity dessert
5. pancakes or waffles

wow, I just realized that all those contain an unhealthy form of carbs. Oh well. 

 Good night!
  Love, 
Mellie

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Everything's Better at the Beach

Hi! Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!
So, I should probably write the last Folly Beach post, since I got back like a week ago. I was just busy; we went to Asheville almost immediately afterwards, because it's a Fourth of July tradition.
 
Want.


Every night, we went to a small ice cream shop called Sugartime. This place doesn't look like much; it's really small and doesn't even have tables. But the ice cream is really, really tasty. It's fresh, flavorful, locally made ice cream from a brand called Wholly Cow. Sugartime only has a few flavors, but they change some of them up each night.

I had cookie dough the first night, vanilla the second night, and mint chocolate chip the last night. Mmmmm. The vanilla was really vanilla-y. I think the mint chocolate chip was my favorite though. I thought the cookie dough could have used more cookie dough. Mom got brownie batter the first night and peach the other nights. Both were really good, especially the peach. It was made with real South Carolina peaches. Dad had heath bar. Like the cookie dough, it needed more stuff. I don't remember what my sister got, except she got vanilla the last night. I'm sure whatever she got was good though, because she was very happy.

Folly is a great town. I really recommend it. But if you go, you have to take me with you.
 Love,
Mellie

Monday, June 27, 2011

Ciao from Chucktown

I'm officially in love with Charleston. Right now we're at Folly Beach, but I would have loved to stay in downtown Chucktown. It is the prettiest thing EVER! So many lovely old fashioned homes.

Today we ate lunch at Cosmic Dogs. My family acted like it was the best thing ever, but I thought it was just OK. The hot dogs, the milkshakes, the fries, the slaw-i think you could make just as good or better food at home. I did like the vintagey atmosphere of the place. Overall, it gets a B.
In Charleston we went on a carriage ride. Biggest. Ripoff. Ever. The old homes are beautiful, but we could have looked at them for free and not listened all the boring details. Plus, it was sooo hot. By the end I was too sweaty to go to any shops, but maybe tomorrow.

Overall, I'm pleased with Charleston and Folly. I'll blog more about it later. Bye!
Mellie

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I'm Back!

I'm back from camp! I went to Bigstuf, which is an amazing Christian camp in Panama City Beach, FL. I had such an awesome week and I am NOT ready to be home again. It didn't feel like 5 days.

While I was gone, something great happened in blogland:


Courtney @ semisweet gave me this award! I feel honored. I have to answer the following questions: 

1. Favorite cartoon character: Then, probably VeggieTales characters. Now... it's the same.

 2. Favorite thing to photograph: I like taking pictures of food, because I like making the food look pretty. It tastes better that way!


3. Favorite thing to cook: I like baking better than cooking, because it uses exact measurements. I hate it when my mom tells me to add a drizzle of this or a handful of something! It's hard to pick just one thing, but I really like making yeast breads

4.Favorite way to exercise: I don't like exercise that much, but I do like Pilates.

5. Favorite Movies: I can't pick just one! The Blind Side, The Bucket List, The Princess Bride, Gone with the Wind, and The Last Song.

6. Clothing:  I really like summer dresses.

7. Flower: Pale pink roses, and hydrangeas

8. Breakfast: Hmm that's tough! I do love scones, muffins, and quick breads.

9. Book: Again, I can't pick just one! I love The Mark of the Lions series by Francine Rivers, The Russians  series by Judith Pella, The Last Song and A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks, and Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.
and then I have to add another question for the people I award it to:

 What is your least favorite food? I'm not a picky eater, but I can't stand asparagus! Never have, never will! Blech!

Now I have to pass on the award. I don't want to! This is hard! I like all the blogs I read! And some people who I would like to award have already been awarded. That's what I get for waiting so long, I guess. OK, here goes:

1. Kat @ katshealthcorner,

2. Lynne @ milk n' cookiezzz

3. Erika @ the teenage taste

4. Sami @ a teenage gourmet

Ughhhh that was hard! I feel mean.

In other news, I'm going to Folly Beach and Charleston next week. I'm excited because I love going new places! It's still inside my little 6-state bubble though. One day I will break out! but anyway, I promise to share recipes and restaurants.

Have a good weekend!
Mellie

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ed Boudreaux's Bayou BBQ

Oh how I love Asheville. I grew up in a biggish (that's a word, because...I said so) small town and now live in an even smaller town, but my heart belongs to the city. And Asheville is a great size-large enough to have the  rush and energy of a city, yet small enough to have less traffic.
I absolutely adore downtown. I love, love, love, love it. It's so funky and unique. I love those Bohemian dresses the hippie women wear. I love the art. I really love the boutiques. And of course I love the food. 

Last weekend, I visited my family in Asheville, and on Friday night we went to Ed Boudreaux Bayou Barbecue. We went back in November and I had some amazing barbecue and the best sweet potato fries I've ever eaten. These fries are the perfect doneness, and slightly sweet and salty. And they must be eaten with Alabama White BBQ sauce. This sauce is divine-mild, tangy, not really sweet. I also tried Rajun Cajun BBQ sauce and it was good but it paled in comparison. 
This time, i decided to get a portabello melt, because I'd never had portabellos before. It was delicious- it had portabellos, avocados, lots of swiss cheese, red onions, tomatoes, balsamic ailoli, and sprouts. It was absolutely amazing. I only ate half but it was really satisfying. (I managed to eat all my fries though-they are that amazing!) They also have other vegetarian options like black bean burgers, avocado melts, and a couple of sandwiches with tempeh.

Afterwords we went to the drum circle. That's just what it sounds like- a place where all the hippies dance and play drums. People come from all over to participate. They look really ridiculous and a little creepy-but it's really cool.

I love Asheville. But I guess you probably figured that out. 

Have a good night,
Mellie

Monday, June 13, 2011

Southern Charm

The other day, I wanted to bake, but I didn't go to the internet, or to our endless supply of old Taste of Homes.   Instead, I went an even better direction, one I don't go nearly enough.
 This is my grandmother's recipe box. All the recipes are written in her lovely old-fashioned handwriting, and all of them are 100 times better than anything modern. Last week, I made her pound cake. This is the best pound cake I've ever eaten, hands down.

There's something nice and old-fashioned about pound cake, isn't there? It seems like something Scarlett O'Hara would nibble on, sitting under a magnolia tree, surrounded by young men.


(Don't be hatin' on Gone with the Wind just because it's 75 years old and over 700 pages long. It's my favorite book, and I don't care how old it is.)

I had high hopes for this cake. It's only the 3rd scratch cake I've ever baked all by myself. And it fell. I cried when I opened the oven and saw.  And I'm not ashamed.
Here are some reasons it could have fallen:1. i didn't use a really good pan, 2. I had to chill the batter before baking, and 3. I forgot to flour the pan.

Here's the recipe. It is the richest, most delicious cake you'll EVER eat!!
Pound Cake
3/4 lb butter, at room temp.
6 eggs, at room temp.
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
3 c sifted flour
3 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Cream butter and cream cheese. Add sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and flour. Bake in a greased, floured bundt pan at 325 for 1-1 1/2 hrs. Makes: one large cake.


oh my my my. :)

Have a good night,
Mellie

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Banana Bread #2

Banana bread is so cliche, but how could you get tired of its moist, not-too-sweet, amazing goodness?
 There are soo many variations- blueberries, chocolate chips, nuts, and coconut are just a few things people add to make a delicious bread even better.
It's so easy to make! It was one of the first things I ever baked by myself. Of course, I messed up a few times-once I used all purpose flour, and another time I left out the bananas. Don't judge.
I know I already have a banana bread recipe on this blog, but I decided to share this yummy version I made last week. It is the best recipe I've ever had, period. The hint of lemon sets it apart from other banana breads, without being overpowering.
Don't be bored by banana bread! Make this!

Banana bread
from Jan Karon's Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader

3/4 c sugar
1/3 c butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 c sour cream
2 tsp lemon juice
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
2 c self rising flour
1 c walnuts, opt

Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy, about 8 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beat well after each addition. Add sour cream, lemon juice, zest, and bananas and beat well.  Stir in flour until just blended. Add walnuts, if desired, and mix till just incorporated. 
Pour into a greased 9x13 in loaf pan, bake at 350 for 55 min.

Trust me, you want to make this. You really do!

Have a good night!
Mellie

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mexican Pizza

Too many recipes!!

I'm not kidding. Even if I cooked five new recipes every day for the rest of my life, I would never get to try every good thing that I saw. If I posted five times a day every day, I would never get to share every recipe that you should make. There are too many!

That's why I'm posting today, even though I posted yesterday. It's time for me to grow up and get a life. I can't help it. I don't like it. But it's just how it is.

Anyway, aren't you glad that I don't have more of a life? If I had more of a life, I wouldn't have time to share this Mexican pizza recipe with you. I made it up by myself! I feel accomplished. Not to brag, though. I don't have much culinary imagination. I'm not going to wow you with an out-of-this-world creative, gourmet recipe. It's simple, but it's delicious!

I made my pizza extremely spicy. You may want to go easy on the spices, or use mild salsa. But that would be boring. 

Here's the recipe!

1/2 batch ERM pizza crust  <--(I use half whole wheat flour now)
several sprigs fresh cilantro
several sprigs fresh oregano
cumin
chili powder
cayenne pepper
medium salsa
1/2 can black beans, drained
1 (4 oz) can green chiles, drained
freshly grated pepper jack cheese
mozzarella cheese

Mix some of the fresh herbs in with the dough. Roll out on a greased baking sheet to desired thickness. Bake at 425 for 10 min. Add salsa and other toppings. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly. Makes: one thin pizza

Who wants Dominoes or frozen pizza when you can have homemade pizza in less than an hour? 
 
Questions of the day: what are your favorite pizza toppings?

Have a good night!
Mellie

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

R and M Sandwich Shop

Today I ate one of the best lunches-no, meals period, that I've EVER eaten. And that's saying a lot.
A while back, my mom and sister went to Canton, GA and came back raving about the downtown, especially this amazing sandwich shop. Then, today we went shopping and Mom and my sister insisted we go here for lunch. And I fell in love.
I was thinking it would be one of those girly places where you get a light little sandwich and soup. Was I ever wrong. The sandwiches are every bit as filling as big thick burgers. And the atmosphere isn't like a girly sandwich place. It's very vintage-y ; they have old Coca-cola decorations and stuff like that. I just love those types of places. 
But you don't care, you want to know about the food! OK. First off are the french fries. They were really tasty; They tasted like Arby's fries. They weren't too soggy or too crisp.
My mom and sister split the donna special, which is grilled roast beef on rye with Swiss and mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, onions, jalapenos, mustard, mayonnaise and tomatoes. O my goodness. To die for!
I had grilled salami and swiss on rye. It was soo good, but ugh, it was so greasy! I used like four paper napkins and didn't get even a tenth of the grease off. But it wasn't one of those greasy foods where grease is the only flavor- it was like there was a treasure buried underneath. The salami was good quality.I didn't eat nearly all of it but I was soo stuffed!
You should go to R and M!  It's quite amazing. And downtown Canton is actually pretty. I'm more interested in the city part though. :)

What could be better than a day with good food, good books, and shopping?

Questions of the day: What are your favorite independent/local restaurants?

Have a good night!
Mellie

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Weekend Book Review

Hey! Hope everyone's first week of June was better than mine. Well it wasn't all bad, I guess. It was the first week out of school, after all.  But, let's just say it better not be an indication of how the rest of the summer is going to go.
Anyhow! This week's book review is for a very exciting, suspenseful, thrilling book called And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. Wow. It was so good! It gave me shivers! It is about ten people who go to an  island, and there's no way off, and each person is murdered, one by one. Squeamish people shouldn't read it, not because it has gory details about the bodies, but because of the sickness of their minds. Not just the killers mind, but all the victims, as they go crazy, thinking: "I could be next." "Who can I trust" "Oh my gosh i'm going to die!"
I wish authors today would write more suspenseful stories instead of gruesome ones. And Then There Were None is a page turner in a way that today's stories about vampires and that stuff just can't top.

Question of the day: Do you like suspenseful murder mysteries or gruesome ones? Or do you read sappy love stories? I must admit, I love those too, but we need excitement in our lives. I get bored reading the same things.
Have a good week!
Mellie

Friday, June 3, 2011

Staying Active

One of my goals for the summer is to exercise more. I always either don't have time or don't feel like it. Unlike alot of bloggers, I don't really like exercising- I just do it because I know I should and so I can justify eating ice cream. However, I've made it my goal to increase my exercising from 3 or 4 times a week to 5 or 6 times a week. So far, I've exercised 3 times this week, so if I do it today and tomorrow, I will have achieved my goal! :) Yay! 
If I had to pick a favorite way to exercise (I really don't like any of it that much) I would say Pilates. I really like this DVD.  But the other day I tried the 10 Minute Solutions Slim and Sculpt Pilates  DVD. It includes five 10 minute workouts:Upper body Pilates, lower body Pilates, Pilates for abs, total body Pilates, and Pilates for flexibility. I did total body Pilates and it was a pretty good workout. I like the instructor (Suzanne Bowen) because she is smiling and encouraging you, without being annoyingly cheerful. And this DVD would be really convenient if you didn't have a lot of time to exercise. The only thing I didn't like is that it doesn't have a warm-up/cool down. That's the only thing- but it's a big thing, because warming up and cooling down is so important. Overall, I would give it an A-. 

Questions of the day: Do you like to exercise? What are your favorite ways to exercise?

Have a good weekend!
Mellie

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Hello, Summer!

I love summer! I love the beach, the pool, the freedom from school, the warm weather, the beach, the flip-flops, the flowers, the fireflies, and most definitely the beach.



I also love the food.  Fresh produce from our garden or the farmers market...lime and lemonade...ice-cold sweet tea...grilled chicken, hotdogs and burgers...oh, and ice cream. DEFINITELY ice cream.

Ice cream. It's cold and creamy (obviously), sweet and refreshing. I don't have a problem with store-bought ice cream (as long as it's a good brand) but there's just something about homemade ice cream, you know? Something about it that sets it apart from all other ice cream.

This recipe is amazing. It's supposed to be very creamy, almost like a Wendy's Frosty. I wouldn't recommend it for ice cream sandwiches or pies. And it's extremely rich and satisfying.

 I personally don't see why plain old vanilla gets such a bad rap. I guess people are used to bad brands that taste like nothingness. But if you get a good, super vanilla-y vanilla ice cream like this one, you will become a vanilla lover, I promise!

Ice cream
(from Southern Living's Summertime Magazine, 1996)

 2 14 oz cans sweetened condensed milk
1 qt half and half
 4 tsp vanilla extract

 combine alll ingredients, mixing well. Pour into container of a 1 gallon ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer's directions. Makes: 2 1/2 quarts.

You can add any flavor you want. I don't have a favorite flavor, really, but I love coffee, cookie dough, lemon, and raspberry, to name a few.

And Nutella on top of raspberry ice cream is absolutely divine. In fact, I can't think of an ice cream nutella wouldn;t be divine on- well it wouldnt be good on lemon or lime, but nutella and all other flavors are a match made in heaven.

 Make this today! And kiss your bikinis good-bye. No one likes them anyway. :) lol.

 Questions of the day: Whats your favorite ice cream?
What's your favorite part of summer?

Love,
Mellie.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Weekend Book Review

Yay! It's summer! And guess what? I made a 91 on the math EOCT!! I was sure I had made no more than a high C but I didn't! And now I finally have an A in the class! :)
 
 And now for the real post:
There are three kinds of good books-the ones that are really good and you enjoy them and when you're done you go on with your life. And the ones that have "that thing" which sets them apart from all other books, and you're really sad to finish them,, and you can't stop thinking about them no matter what you do, and they make all other books seem really, really bland. And then there are the books in-between. 

The last book I reviewed, Innocent Traitor, was in the in-between category.It wasn't my all-time favorite book, but I was still sad to see it end.
But, I'm sorry to say, the next book I read, The Choice by Nicholas Sparks, wasn't as good.  It was  good...sad, sweet, and well-written, just like all his books. If you are a fan of him, or romances in general, you should read it. However, it didn't have "that thing" that makes good books great or great books amazing. I did enjoy reading it because it was an interesting story, and the characters were very alive and seemed so real. It just wasn't amazing. It was sweet and good, but kind of stale- like a day-old cupcake.

Right now I'm reading Nights in Rodanthe, which is also by Nicholas Sparks. I'll let you know how it is!

Have a great afternoon everyone! Happy Memorial Day! 
Mellie

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Taco Rice

Woohoo! Only half a day left of school! And all my hard exams are done! I'm soo ready to be done with school, I know some of y'all have a month left, but I have NEVER been to school this late before! It's like all my body, mind, and soul just shuts down on May 19 or 20 and refuses to do school things, and it's taking all of my physical and mental energy just to get up in the morning. (Oh, wait. That's how it's always been.) Snow is stupid!

On to more positive things. Like cooking. Cooking, I think, is good for your mind. You have to concentrate on several things at once and you don't have time to worry. I don't eat for comfort, but I think cooking and baking are kind of comforting.
And today, that comfort comes in the form of taco rice!
I love Mexican food! There are a few Mexican restaurants in my town, but the two I've been to are absolutely disgusting. But it's OK, because I think my mom makes just as good Mexican food as a restaurant. And this dish is one of the best we make.
I also like to think it is somewhat healthy, because it contains three vegetables and brown rice. Some of you are thinking, "How dare you call anything with red meat healthy!" But, the beef I used was pretty lean to begin with, and I drained it thoroughly. But if that's still not healthy enough for you, then chicken or no meat would be good too.
Some people are thinking, "I would never eat brown rice! Ugh!" But, although I'm not much of a health freak, I've never seen what was so great about white rice and pasta. It's not only unhealthy, it has absolutely NO flavor. I don't think people really like it, they just use it because it's cheaper, or maybe because they're scared of healthy food. But whole grains aren't scary, I promise! they are worth the money!
And now, I will (finally) shut up and post the recipe.

Taco Rice
 (serves about 5)

1 lb lean ground beef
half an onion, chopped
handful of mushrooms
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles
2-3 tsps cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1-2 tsps dried oregano
a few sprigs fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
2 1/2 c rice
Lettuce

In large skillet, brown the beef, onions, and mushrooms. Remove from heat, add tomatoes and spices. Cook rice according to package directions. Stir into meat mixture. Top with lettuce and salsa or cheese or sour cream.

Unfortunately, I can't take credit for this lovely photo-it's my mom's.


Have a good afternoon!
Mellie

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hummus

Until yesterday, I had never had hummus. I know. You're probably thinking, how can i call myself a foodie? But on Friday, I found a can of chickpeas, and so I knew what my weekend cooking project would be. 

Now, up until this point, I'd never had ANY middle eastern food before. Is all middle eastern food as yummy as hummus? If so I should make it!

The hummus recipe adapted from about.com. The original recipe call for tahini, which I didn't have. And I added the pepper and fresh herbs. And, you're supposed to make it in a blender, which I don't have, so I mashed the chickpeas with a potato masher and then finished with a mixer. The end result was chunky, is it supposed to be that way or should it be creamy? But anyway it was delicious! And so much lower in fat than cream-based spreads or nut butters.

Here's the recipe:
16 oz can chickpeas
1/4 c liquid from the chickpeas
3 tbsp lemon juice.
1 1/2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil

Then blend till it reaches the right consistency.

I can't wait to experiment with other flavors! I'm thinking a Mexican-flavored hummus would be really good. Or maybe a Greek one with cooked spinach, feta cheese, and fresh basil? The possibilities are endless!

I just have four more days of school! And I only have to go in the mornings. I feel like we should be done...and we would be if it wasn't for the snow. :( But I can't complain to much because some people have a month left. Still, I'm really ready for summer! 

Questions of the day: Have you ever had middle eastern food?
What's you're favorite type of ethnic food?

Have a good week?
Mellie

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Weekend Book Review

Hello! I really hope your week was better than mine. I wouldn't wish a week like this on my worst enemy. I had a terrible migraine last week, and this week I still did not feel quite right. And i have a sinus infection. I want to sleep all weekend long. 
Wait! I'm 14. I spend weekends partying. Not BAD partying, just partying. I would NEVER make pizza, read a good book, or read food blogs on a Friday night. I don't even know why I'm doing this right now, I mean, I need to go in the other room where the party is! So I'll make this quick.

I love reading. You may have noticed. Recently, I finished Innocent Traitor, by Alison Weir. It is about Lady Jane Grey. I loved it! But I'm a nerd and I like long, historical fiction books. With deep thoughts. Well, sometimes. I love sad, romantic girl books, too. But if you like reading about the old kings and queens, then I really recommend Innocent Traitor. It was very well written; sometimes history is boring but Alison Weir's characters are just so...alive. And believable. And unlike a school history textbook. 

Questions of the day: What are your favorite books to read? Which historical eras/people do you think are interesting?

And now, I really must get back to my cave. PARTY! Because all teenagers party.

Have a good weekend!
Mellie

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Summer Sandwiches

Hello!

It was a lovely day today. And-you guessed it- I have no pictures! Ugh! Have I mentioned that I really, really hate this computer? I mean really. Ugh!

But you know what I DO love? A good sandwich. Not a pbj or a fake ham and american cheese on regular bread. A GOOD sandwich. I love to experiment with different cheeses, meats, toppings, and breads. 

For lunch today, I broiled half a multi-grain ciabatta roll with pepper jack cheese, and added a piece of bacon and homegrown lettuce. It was amazing! I love the contrasting textures...the crispy bread, the gooey melted cheese, the chewy bacon. And I think broiled sandwiches are way better than grilled. But I do like grilled sandwiches! And so for supper, we had this amazing meal that my mom created last summer:

Chicken Panini
4 chicken breast halves, grilled
4 slices extra-sharp cheddar cheese (I used cabot's)
Cream cheese ( I used Laughing Cow lite creamy swiss)
4 leaves of cabbage
fresh basil to taste

Grill till cheese is melted and bread is browned.

I love most anything in the ice cream/frozen yogurt family, (I eat a lot of it even when it's snowing outside.) So, for dessert, I had a Jamba Coconut Pineapple yogurt and sorbet bar. It was very good! I had never tried that brand before. And it has only 90 calories per bar.  These are now one of my favorite frozen treats.

 I'm really ready for summer! Just 2 more weeks of school, and the last week I only have to go in the mornings. It seems sooo long. But my cousin has like a month left, so it could be worse. It still seems long.

Questions of the day: What are your favorite summer foods? What's your favorite part of summer?

Have a good night!
Love,
Mellie

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I love my mom!

She's awesome!

Except I fight with her like all the time. :(

But I still love her...even when I don't.

For Mother's Day, I baked her a chocolate meringue pie. I am NOT posting a recipe. I don't LIKE meringue pies, they taste like pudding, and I see no point in posting a recipe I wouldn't eat.

What I AM going to do is give a huge shout out to all moms, grandmas, godmothers, etc. out there for being amazing!

Go hug your mom, or bake her a pie, or buy her a card, or all three. 

Because you should love your mom.

Even when you don't.

Mellie

Friday, May 6, 2011

Meditations

read a list of "Things I know to be true" and it got me thinking. What are some of the most important things-both serious and not- that I've learned in almost 15 years?
It's hard to name just a few. I mean, I've learned a lot just since I came to high school nine months ago. But I'm going to put down a few significant ones.
Things I've Learned So Far:
1. Friendships do not last forever.  They may last a long time and they may be really fun while they last, but your chances of finding a true "forever friend" are literally one in a million.
2. Healthy food often tastes just as good or better as full fat/full carb food.
3. Balance adventurousness with caution.
4. Before you say anything, ask yourself: 1. Is this mean? 2. is this stupid?
5. Don't let people see you cry, especially when you're mad at them. Be strong and don't let them see they hurt you.
6. Pilates are the best way to exercise.
7. Don't join activities on impulse. Because your parents might make you do it for 3 years. And you might be soo miserable by the beginning of the second year that you lie awake at night thinking of ways to get out.
8. Even if a class is full of scary people you might find a normal, sweet person to hang out with.
9. Things never go the way you planned.
10. Cooking mishaps sometimes have happy endings.
11. If you enjoy something don't let anything stand in your way of doing it.
12. People (and things) are never what they seem.
13. People in authority hardly ever deserve power. (That includes pretty much every teacher/administrator at my school)
14. Always have your stuff for school or church ready the night before.
15. A little kissing up and a few family connections go a long way...
16. but eventually, the kissups will suffer somehow and the honest people will be rewarded. At least, that's what I keep telling myself, for the sake of my sanity.
17. Whoever said "every cloud has a sliver lining" didn't have too many clouds. Cause the silver lining doesn't take the cloud away or make it easier.
18. Reading is the best way to relieve stress.
19. Don't buy a cheap bookbag just because it's cute and affordable. Because then it might break, and you might have to carry a hideous one that screams "I AM TRAILER TRASH!"
20. Don't use tanning lotion if you are a generally unlucky person. Because then, no matter how carefully you put it on,you might have to go to school with a terrible streaky tan.
 
What are some things YOU have learned so far?

Happy Weekend,
Love,
Mellie

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Today

Hello! It's been awhile since I posted, I have many things to share!

First, this morning I made chocolate sauce from a Teenage Gourmet.  I put it in my coffee and added skim milk and a bit of extra sugar for a delicious mocha!

I enjoyed it with a really good book  on the porch, basking in the sunshine. I don't know about y'all, but I'm having more and more visions of myself, looking tan and lovely, lying on the beach in my new sunglasses, sipping lemonade or sweet tea or maybe some sparkling grape juice. I don't know, I haven't given it that much (cough) thought. 

Except I'll never be tan and lovely, just pale and freckly. Whatever.
Lunch was a salad:
Swiss Chard and Romaine Lettuce, chopped
3 strawberries, sliced
1 tbsp walnuts
1 tbsp almonds
1/2 tbsp feta 
1/2 tbsp parmesan
1 tbsp dried cranberries
freshly ground black pepper (I just recently discovered how good it is on salads!)
balsamic vinegar (I'm normally not a dressing girl but this was good)

 Jenna @ eat live run posted something similar the other day. I'm not a spinach lover, though.


Then I made some banana bread from Jan Karon's Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader:


1/3 c vegetable oil
1 1/4 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten 
3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 c self-rising flour (the original recipe calls for 1 1/2 c all purpose flour, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1/4 tsp salt)
1/3 c buttermilk
3/4 c chocolate chips (My own addition)

Preheat oven to 350. Cream oil & sugar till light and creamy.  Beat in eggs. Add bananas, mix well. Add 1 c flour and mix well, then add half the buttermilk and mix well. Add remaining flour, then add remaining buttermilk till just blended.  Pour batter into greased 9x5 in loaf pan, bake 45 min.

To spread on the bread, I made peanut butter cream cheese from teenage taste. Sooo creamy and delicious!

Oh, I also did a Pilates workout today. Who do you think I am?

Overall, it's been a delicious day. Thank you to Jenna, Erika, Sami, and Jan Karon for the recipes!

Have a good rest of the weekend!
Love,
Mellie
PS I know colored words are a poor substitute for pictures; it's not my fault the computer won't read the memory card!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

What did YOU do today? My family went to church (well we do that every Sunday but the service was special today) and when we got home we had a delicious easter dinner:
-Ham (the real thing not lunch meat-of course! who wants that crap on a holiday?)
-cooked broccoli and bell pepper with terriyaki sauce (yes I eat vegetables, lots of them! I just haven't posted any recipes)
-potato salad (recipe below)

Confession! Confession! Confession! Even with all this good, real, homemade food, I still LOVED the malted milk eggs in my Easter basket!
I'm the enemy of all foodies, especially hip and cool healthy eaters. well maybe not cool healthy vegans. I don't think malted MILK balls are vegan but I'm learning that all kinds of things that shouldn't be vegan are, like butter flavoring, pillsbury frosting, and oreos. But I digress. You would too if you were sleep deprived.

Here's the potato salad recipe! Classic spring/summer food. Like something you would bring on a picnic-why would anyone go on a picnic? 

Potato Salad
(Adapted from Jan Karon's Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader)

7 medium russet potatoes
1 tbsp+1 1/4 tsp salt
4 medium hard-cooked eggs, mashed
1/2 c thinly sliced celery
1 3/4 c light mayonnaise (or if you, like me, hate mayonaisse, use just enough to make everything stick together)
2 tsp yellow mustard
2 tbsp sour cream
2 1/2 apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
parsley flakes and paprika, for garnish

Peel and cube potatoes. Place them in a large saucepan, add water to cover and 1 tbsp salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer till just tender. Drain potatoes in a colander. Let them cool completely. 
In a large bowl, combine potatoes, eggs, and celery. Stir in mayonnaise, mustard, sour cream, and vinegar. Add 1 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Just before serving, adjust salt and pepper. Garnish with bacon, parsley, and paprika. Makes:6 generous servings.

Don't you love Easter? I do. 
Have a happy Easter night!
 Mellie

Monday, April 11, 2011

Last Weekend...

...I went to Asheville, which is THE ONLY thing even REMOTELY worth seeing in Appalachia. 

Of course, there are rednecks there, and hiking trails, and gift shops with cheesy deer head-black bear-rustic cabin decor, but there are fun things, too. Like... funky hippies. And good food. And shops. And a mall. Yes, there are malls everywhere, except my town. We go to an endless variety of stores: Cato, Bealle's Outlet, and Wal-Mart. I hate it. But I digress.

Friday night we went downtown to Dok Chey's thai restaurant. We got a shrimp roll appetizer and it was amazing!! We also got green beans with soy sauce. To die for! I ordered spicy thai basil pasta with chicken. So good! It was VERY spicy, and very flavorful. The noodles were cooked to perfection. To drink I got housemade ginger ale. Uhh.. good, but EXTREMELY hot. Like chewing a ginger root. I think I would've liked it better if my meal hadn;t also been spicy.
Other Doc Chey's picks:schezwan (sp?) stir fry, pad thai noodles (my favorite), thai fried rice.

For dessert we went to French Broad Chocolate Lounge! It's also downtown. I got a piece of  Quintessential Chocolate Cake. Three layers of incredibly moist chocolate cake, sandwiched with delicious chocolate frosting, topped with bitter, rich ganache and chocolate shavings. Amazing, and I don't even like things that chocolatey. 
I've also had the chocoalte chip cookies which are great, and chocolate creme brulee, which is my favorite. I hate pudding but I love the contrast of the creamy, rich chocolate bottom and crunchy top. 

Saturday the adults went to the Fresh Market and got Toffee chip and peanut butter chocolate cookies. They were amazing; i usually prefer homemade but these were great.

Last but not least, at TJMaxx my aunt bought fig balsamic vinegar. Oh, my. So good. Much better than plain balsamic vinegar. We mixed it with olive oil and dipped french bread in it, I could live off of it.

I love it. I love Asheville. Even if you're not a foodie, you'd love it. There's so much to do, and believe me, Downtown Asheville is the closest you can get to heaven- in the mountains, of course.

Sorry for the long post!
Love,
Mellie