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For as long as I’ve had the faculty of memory, and for as long as he was alive, my Grandad ate butterscotch or caramel sundaes for dessert. Sometimes it was a variation on the theme; bananas sautéed with butter and brown sugar (add some rum, stick a match to them and you could call it bananas Foster) were the biggest request when my Grandma was gone and my mom went to stay with him. It’s difficult to imagine anything simpler or more of a comfort than bananas sautéed in butter and sugar and spooned over ice cream or warm pancakes or wrapped in a crepe. On regular weeknights he had vanilla ice cream with butterscotch marble, or a dish of plain vanilla with butterscotch or caramel syrup drizzled over top. During one visit my Dad attempted to impose his own healthy eating habits on him; since Grandad never dished out his own ice cream – my Grandma would go serve it up while he stayedContinue reading

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I know better than to separate a whack of eggs at once without using a little dish as a buffer, in case I should nick one of the yolks and taint a half dozen whites. But I always get a little smug when I need to separate a lot of eggs into whites – it’s like my own private version of bungee jumping – and as if it’s a big deal to add one teeny more dish to the overflowing sinkful, I always just go ahead and live on the edge. And so the other day as I was making a hundred teeny pavlovas for my little cooking show at Stampede, I broke a yolk five eggs in. I tried to scoop out the offending yellow with a piece of cracked shell and thought I got it all, but those whites refused to reach their full potential and I was left with a bowl of flaccid meringue and nothing to do with it. So IContinue reading

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I lie in bed at night and think about food. (It’s a shock, really, that I have any kids at all, between that habit and this blog. You’d think I’d have developed a George Costanza-esque association with food by now.) Every day some idea sneaks into my head, or I get a craving that I can’t shake, or read about something I want to try, or I remember something I haven’t made in a really, really long time, like these Whoopie Pies, which are as close to homemade Jos Louis cakes as you can get. (Except for the dipped in chocolate part – it would require a helluva lot of chocolate.) Something or other triggered a memory of these, which then rattled around my brainpan for a week or so before I gave in and baked the cookies last night with the intention of bringing them along to a barbecue that I knew would have a dozen or so kids in attendance. As is myContinue reading

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I realize this is neither wintry nor particularly healthy.. but when I went to buy some eggs for my Seven-Minute Frosting yesterday, carrying nothing but a box of eggs home with me I couldn’t stop thinking about egg salad sandwiches. And so this morning I boiled some eggs – you know, just in case – and at dinnertime I couldn’t summon up the gumption to make anything but. However. I didn’t have any celery or green onion, and my chives are currently lying dormant under snow and frozen-solid Lou poo. Rooting through my fridge I did come up with some fresh (sort of – revived in a glass of water like a teeny bouquet) basil, and… drumroll please… bacon. Bacon and egg salad sandwiches! How have I never thought of this before? So I chopped a few strips, cooked them and crumbled the chunky bits into my chopped hard-boiled eggs along with some low fat mayo, torn basil and lots of pepper. I’m pretty sureContinue reading

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Dinner tonight: pita pizzas again I’m afraid, made this time with a Spolumbos Italian sausage (from the freezer) cooked up with a thinly sliced onion, some mushrooms I found in the back of the fridge (frozen on the inside, wrinkly on the outside) and some frozen spinach. These babies were load-ed. I’m sorry it isn’t very inspiring, but I am sticking to my no-shop agenda. I even managed to bake chocolate cupcakes for book club tomorrow using what I have in the cupboard. (I may, however, need to duck into the corner store for some eggs to make Seven Minute Frosting to go on top.) But before I go – I want to introduce you to someone. His name is Dr. Walter Willett. He’s a world-renowned Harvard-based researcher and chairman of the Harvard School of Public Health’s department of nutrition, and he has been working since the 70’s on the optimum diet. (By diet I mean way of eating in general, not a weight lossContinue reading

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This photo was taken at five to 4 am. That’s how late we managed to stay at the New Year’s eve party we went to. I can’t recall the last time I was out until 4 am, (if you don’t count the night we shot to episodes of It’s Just Food between 10pm and noon the next day). It would have been at least a decade BW (before Willem), and tonight he was actually out with us – he had a 3 hour nap in preparation for the party, but I still can’t believe he stayed (more or less) upright all night, driven by the thrill of playing with bigger boys (aged 7-10) and their big-boy Christmas toys – Rock Band wii and such. 4:42 am – that’s what time it is now. It’s fitting, actually, that rather than spend the day composing my final (but not really) blog post of the year, I’m propping myself up in bed to hammer it out when inContinue reading

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You know it’s Christmas when you have leftover dip, hambone pickings and Clodhoppers for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We had an amazing afternoon with Tagyn and Diego at A Christmas Carol – Diego, whom I drove crazy asking to say “dulce de leche” and “Feliz Navidad” about 50 times (he’s 7 and speaks Spanish) brought me a batch of homemade shoe soles – like small, oval, sweet pancakes native to Mexico, with a ketchup-shaped bottle of – something I’ve forgotten the name of and just realized the bottle is on the back seat of the car, and I’m in my PJs and it’s a hundred below outside – it’s like dulce de leche, only darker and better, with a cooler name. We dipped into the stash when the lights went down and squirted caramel on our shoe soles and tried to eat them without getting busted. Up to that point, you understand I had eaten exactly this: leftover biscuits toasted with butter and mandarin jam,Continue reading

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This blog has begun to trigger a Pavlovian response in me; every time I sit down to type my eyes nearly go crossed with drowsiness, probably because it has become the last thing I do every night before bed, and because I never, ever seem to make it to bed before midnight. (If this thing has a time stamp, it’s about an hour off, and I can’t figure out how to fix it.)Lately the process has become even more time consuming as my computers start to slowly deconstruct… I’m sure they are choked with photos and files and things W has clicked on while playing Art Machine or Peep – my laptop is sticky with candy cane fingers and peanut butter; my screen about 4 times the size it was (as if I was ultra hard of seeing) and I am sporadically unable to highlight text and add links and really do anything but type. The H and L are so sticky I have to hammerContinue reading

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