Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Unless you ate a lot of naan back in the 60s. Then it is.

On my quest to get Marge & Ben on the farmer's market veggie love list, I threw together a cheezy treat - that ironically didn't fall flat.
Eggplant Flatbread Pizza
1 small eggplant, sliced thin and quartered
1 small onion, caramelized
1 red pepper, roasted
6 garlic cloves,quartered and roasted
1/4 cup bleu cheese
1/2 cup parmesan
2 'loaves' naan [heck, you can pick it up at Target]

After caramelizing onions, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Saute eggplant. Remove from heat and top naan with all ingredients. Bake in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Cool. Cut. Consume. Praise kids for veggie ingestion.

Next up: butternut and sweet dumpling veggie varietals that I hope they don't squash...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tipsy Tuesday: Hot Cuppa

[I scored this mug at Sparks for 50cents. Some days, I'll admit, I need the reminder!]

Here's a cocktail for a crisp, cool, fall nightcap. And it may just keep you up after hours...

Coffee Royal
1 1/2oz brandy
1 cup hot black coffee

Add brandy to coffee. At this point, you may add sugar to sweeten the taste. This may be garnished with a lemon peel. [Or, you could do whatever the hell you want.] Share one with your favorite Joe.

Monday, September 27, 2010

To Market, To Market

The kids & I swung through the farmer's market this weekend. And I decided to see if I could get them to really dig squash. This week I'm going to forgo their retro canned-green-beans veggie funk by putting eggplant [I know that's not a squash, humor me], butternut & sweet dumpling on the menu.Keep in mind I WANT them to eat their veggies, so I've got to be up front about something: it's highly likely that I will NOT consult my vintage books. I've paged through and have yet to find something that the under 7 crowd would go for. Are you okay with that?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Psycho/Psychadelllic Squirrel

I forgot to tell you. I made another pilgrimage to the Sparks flea market with a few of my favorite, thriftiest friends. As usual, I grabbed, haggled for and schlepped all I could for $20. This was my favorite find. For one dollar. Because Marge is, and forever will be, my squirrel... every adorably psychotic way.

Friday, September 24, 2010

WPF?!? Pfriday

I think we know WTF this is. But isn't it a little, well, phallic?Who would have thought a vegetable would make them blush?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Loafing Around the Kitchen with Calumet

A cool evening and a little Calumet this week made for a bread pudding that was the bee's knees.
Calumet Bread Pudding (c)'20s
2 cups bread crumbs [I cubed them, didn't want the pudding to turn out crummy]
2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg, well beaten
1/4 level teaspoon salt
1 level teaspoon Calumet Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons butter

Scald milk, pour over crumbs [cubes!]. Let stand until cool. Beat egg thoroughly; add sugar, salt and baking powder well mixed. Combine this mixture with the milk and crumbs [cubes!]; add butter and vanilla. Bake in a buttered baking dish one hour in a slow oven [aka at about 350 degrees]. Serve with Caramel Custard Sauce [I didn't have the patience - as usual I needed instant gratification in the form of Cool Whip]. Raisins may be added to the pudding, if desired.

Caramel Custard Sauce
[aka what I shoulda made]
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3 level teaspoons flour
2 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter

Mix sugar and flour thoroughly. Then add well beaten egg and milk. Place over double boiler and when hot, add butter. Cook until thick and creamy. Serve over the pudding, either hot or cold, if desired.

Thanks for the comfort, Calumet.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tipsy Tuesday: Sherry Baby

You might impress someone [especially yourself] if you can toss back this cocktail. It may make you more nauseous than tipsy.

Sherry Flip
1 1/2 oz Sherry Wine
1 Whole Egg
1 Teaspoon Sugar

In a blender 1/2 filled with ice, add sherry, egg and sugar. Blend well and strain into a large wine or cocktail glass. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Gag.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Melamine on a Monday

With my mom's help, I've been amassing quite the melamine collection. Last week we got a taste of fall in the Midwest, so I pulled out the cups, dessert plates and bowls and heaped in peaches, cornbread & chili. Here's the view from where I sat:My collection is about 99% Watertown LifetimeWare. Some days we'll spot it at the Bargain Barn for under a buck. Some days it's well over a dollar at an antique mall. To me it's priceless. And colorful, in a magnificently muted sort of way.

Do you have a stack of melamine on your shelf?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hospital Fare: Get Well Soon

My mom has spent the better part of this week in the hospital having & recovering from a knee replacement. Good news: she's getting well soon. Bad news: as soon as the nausea wore off, they started carting in funky fare tray by tray. Per mom, nearly every breakfast, lunch and dinner display from the cafeteria kitchen includes an item served up in kitschy luxe: on a bed of lettuce.

See for yourself. And guess what's snuggled in the gelatin...

Friday, September 17, 2010

WTF?l? Friday: Bite-sized

WTF are these?!? And would you put one in YOUR mouth?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Busy Lady Bake-Off Brownies

I don't know about you, but I'm one busy lady. So busy, that when I have a craving for something chocolate, gooey and high in every single carbohydrate I can think of, I don't have the time to consider driving through Starbucks for a brownie. Hell no. I've got too much going on. Why, I have to run to the grocery for semi-sweet chocolate pieces, butter, flour, frosting mix, coconut, milk, eggs and salt! I mean, who has the time to pick up a brownie on the run?

Thank goodness that Pillsbury included some of their speedy sweets in The Pillsbury Busy Lady Bake-Off Recipes cookbook (c)'66! What was a gal to do? Rachael Ray and her 30-minute ways wasn't even born yet. Boy did the ladies struggle in the 60s. Talk about women's suffrage! And all this talk is making me hungry for:Coco-Nutty Brownies
{thanks to Mrs. Gerald Prochnow, Milwaukee, Wisconsin - hey, please tell me I'm not the only person who gets a kick out of spelling Milwaukee}

1 cup (6-ounce package) semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup Land O'Lakes Butter [I always wonder, does this name offend my Native American friends?]
1 cup [wait for it...] Pillsbury's Best Flour (Regular, Instant Blending* or Self-Rising)
1 package [surprise again!] Pillsbury Two Layer Size Coconut-Almond Frosting Mix**
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt

Melt chocolate pieces and butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat. Add flour, packet of frosting mix, milk, egg and salt; beat until well blended. Stir in packet of coconut and almonds. Spread in greased 11x17 or 9x9-inch pan. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into squares. Cool.

In all honesty, the flavor is much better than any Starbucks brownie that's passed through my lips [and to my hips]. Even though I had no Pillsbury Two Layer Size Coconut-Almond Frosting Mix [see **] on hand, and I subbed marshmallows, and chemical-laden Bob Greene Best Life "butter," these were a pretty sweet snack. I'd go on and on with adjectives to describe these almost-award winners, but I'm simply too damn busy to bother.

*What in the hell is this?
**WTF is this?

How's Tricks?

How've you been? I hope you'll humor that no news has been good news from me. I squeezed every bit of sun and fun out of summer, and now it has come to a close. School is now in session. Life has a new kind of hectic pace, but one that allows for time to clutter up the kitchen.
Am I back?You bet your sweet Bake-Off I am! Look for a little something later this week...