Limes Are Better Than Lemons

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If you ever get the chance to make Cardamom Vanilla Ice Cream (smoky and delectable), serve it over cinnamon rolls or apple pie. A decadent forkful worth daydreaming about later. The black cardamom pods enhance and amplify the vanilla. And then with a cinnamon-laced dessert? Over-the-moon-spiced-wonderment.

Feed me sesame buckwheat soup and let’s call it a day. View high resolution

Feed me sesame buckwheat soup and let’s call it a day.

If you’re going to have to get up at 6am on a Saturday, a big fat cinnamon roll doesn’t hurt. Don’t mind if I do. View high resolution

If you’re going to have to get up at 6am on a Saturday, a big fat cinnamon roll doesn’t hurt. Don’t mind if I do.

Sandlot and S’mores

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The nephew, though he’s lived on this planet 8 whole years, had yet to see “The Sandlot” or eaten a s’more. (Although he said, and I quote, “I’ve had something like a s’more.” That doesn’t count, kid.) Those two things needed to be rectified. So I told him to wear his pajamas and come over after dinner for movie night. It was a blast. He loved the movie (natch) and we also rectified the fact that Husband has only seen The Sandlot once. Years ago. A little after we were married I realized that Matt didn’t get what I was referencing  when I spoke the word “forever” like Squints (FORE-ev-VUR. FORE-ev-VUUR. FORE-ev-VHUURR.) so I made him watch it. Funnily enough we hadn’t seen it since. It was nice to be back in the world of the ‘50’s, with baseball, the Bambino, the Beast, and summertime and friendship.

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Being the sort of food-obsessed aunt that I am, I knew s’mores had to be involved. Homemade s’mores, more specifically. Having made graham crackers and marshmallows before, I knew it was doable. Graham crackers are actually pretty easy. The nephew even lent a hand. I whipped up this recipe in the food processor, and we rolled it out and cut out the shapes together with cookie cutters. Making homemade grahams is a lot like making pie dough, but significantly less fussy. He’s a great helper in the kitchen. He may not be a foodie—at least not yet—but he has the makings of a great cook. I’m a proud auntie.

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Grahams baked, marshmallow whipped into a fluff, we were ready to rock and roll. Right in time for the “CAMP OUT!” scene. Matt and I took turns using the the kitchen creme brulee torch to the big spoonfuls of mallow resting atop the grahams for some toasty, indoor campfire-esque goodness. Boy did this excite the nephew. And for good reason, blow torching is fun! (Don’t tell my parole officer I said that. haha) So finding a safe and secret place for my wonderfully destructive kitchen toy is something I now have to do.

These s’mores rocked my bobby socks. Matt’s lederhosen, too. The nephew was less impressed. Turns out, he doesn’t like marshmallows. Ah well. He loved the graham crackers, though. Ate a bunch, even scraps of the dough before they were baked. And had a square of milk chocolate. So he was a happy camper. Happy camp-out-er.

My only complaint of the night was that since I had DVR’ed the movie, they played a version where the cut out the s’mores scene! Thanks a lot ABC Family! But we held a flashlight under our chins and hyped up the Beast, played by our own little Beast of a Beagle, Sparky, and told of his atrocities: swallowing berries whole. Not the same as eating a kid, but I works with whats I gots.

Epic movie night, for sure. And look at these s’mores. Ooey gooey awesome.

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Go ahead and say it. I know you want to. My name is Smalls and I’m killing you with that photo right now, right?

Not all swirled rolls have to be sweet or contain cinnamon. The may contain, for example, fresh chopped herbs, almonds, and Parmesan. And then be made into grilled cheeses. And then drizzled with sage oil. And it’s totally legal. View high resolution

Not all swirled rolls have to be sweet or contain cinnamon. The may contain, for example, fresh chopped herbs, almonds, and Parmesan. And then be made into grilled cheeses. And then drizzled with sage oil. And it’s totally legal.

I’m not going to say that I have too many tomatoes, but I will say that if I wait a couple days to pick any, I need a bin, an honest to goodness bin, to harvest all the ripe ones.

Would I say I have a plethora of tomatoes? Indeed. Especially since it’s fun to say plethora.

Tomato surplus means marinara to me. I like that I was able to also use the garlic and basil from the garden to make it. The rest of the ingredients—olive oil, salt, pepper, and an onion—did not come from our hard working little plot out there. It’s a nice, light, fresh marinara that goes wonderfully with grilled cheese. I never thought growing tomatoes would help me squeeze more grilled cheeses into my diet, but that’s what’s happening, and I’m not complaining. In the least.

Two things I love about summer: planning dinner around what’s ready for harvest in our little garden and the impressively impressive thunderstorms.

Fig 1: Collard greens, stacked, rolled, and sliced.

Fig 2: Fresh organic veggies. I feel so proud.

Fig 3: A scrumptious dinner consisting of chicken, potato, and turnip hash with sauteed turnip greens and a garden salad, all drizzled with sage infused extra virgin olive oil. With poached egg on top, natch. That yolk, oh my.

Fig 4: Lightning strike over a farm (no filter).

If you’ve been wondering if Sriracha Sea Salt and Chocolate Chip Cookies go together, the answer is a resounding “Yes.”

Chocolate Sourdough Bread

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I had something amazing for breakfast.

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And then I had it again for breakfast. And then Husband and I ate it as dessert. And I had it yet again for breakfast. And then we made it into grilled cheeses.

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And then the ridiculously great chocolate sourdough loaf was gone.

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And then I baked another. And I’m still enamored by this cocoa’d bread studded with hunks of dark chocolate. It’s not a very sweet bread. But egads is it chocolatey.

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I just had THE BEST SANDWICH of my life! It was all like… It was so very… There are no words. Just awesome. Complete and total awesome. Ya’ll are going to think I’m pregnant. But I’m not. I just had some kind of hunger-induced food vision where I knew what I wanted, and somehow it turned out even better than I thought possible. It’s a pulled pork grilled cheese with homemade refrigerator pickles on chocolate sourdough bread. The chocolate sourdough is key to the awesome. It’s just amazing bread that you can eat hundreds of different ways any time of day and you just have to try it. If you ever needed an excuse to make your own sourdough starter, this bread is reason enough. Stay tuned for the recipe this week. View high resolution

I just had THE BEST SANDWICH of my life! It was all like… It was so very… There are no words. Just awesome. Complete and total awesome. Ya’ll are going to think I’m pregnant. But I’m not. I just had some kind of hunger-induced food vision where I knew what I wanted, and somehow it turned out even better than I thought possible. It’s a pulled pork grilled cheese with homemade refrigerator pickles on chocolate sourdough bread. The chocolate sourdough is key to the awesome. It’s just amazing bread that you can eat hundreds of different ways any time of day and you just have to try it. If you ever needed an excuse to make your own sourdough starter, this bread is reason enough. Stay tuned for the recipe this week.

Summer scenes, cows grazing, flowers in bloom, lightning bugs, sunsets and silos.

What is it about 1am that makes me want to start food projects? Like making garlic pickles, for instance.

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