Then & Now

Saturday, July 23, 2011 - 
Where have I been? Well, I've been around. Cooking, working, entertaining life daily with a busy schedule.

Sometimes, life happens.

Unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of time to write to all of you. I hope you don't hold this against me.

Today I took a test. The Certified Meeting Professional exam. I didn't get to study as much as I would have liked, but enough that it became my life for the month of July. But, I think it went well - thank you to all those who sent well wishes!

So, that is where I've been.

And where am I now? Orlando - yes, again. For a conference followed by play time. So I'll be out of commission blog wise for another week or so. But don't worry (that is, if you are), I'll be back soon.

Be prepared for more Disney love, delicious food and events! We still have a lot planned for this summer!

Pierre - Good One...

Friday, July 8, 2011 - 
Road trips.  Some people love them, others just don't like to drive.  But when you put me in a car with two of my closest friends, I know I'll have a good time.Especially when you listen to this a few times...

And try to name all the state capitals...

Try it.  Pierre may surprise you...

Anyway, from Indy to Eagle River, Wisconsin we drove.  I was happy to spend time in the big W for the holiday weekend once again, but this time with friends in tow.  Once we arrived, there was plenty of lake, beverages, cheese, brats and more cheese to be had (have you ever dipped a Cheese-It into Ron's Cream Cheese?  If not, you are missing the high life my friend.)  Of course, we bought ice cream from the lake ice cream vendor.  Delicious Choco Taco!

I even introduced the non-Wisconsinites to the concept of a Supper Club.  Sipped Capital Brewing for the first time - even included a brew named Supper Club.  And of course, New Glarus brewing company is always top of my list in Wisconsin...

Mom and dad were absolutely fantastic - thank you everything; I loved seeing you and spending time with you!  Here are a few more photos:


Hope everyone enjoyed their Independence Day.  And now, it is just about time for the weekend - enjoy yourself again!

Rhubarb Streusel Pie

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 - 
Did you know corn and rhubarb can have a relationship? 

I didn't either.

But, the corn stand at the Farmer's Market was selling rhubarb as the corn isn't quite ready yet.  You know, have to reserve a spot at the Market to ensure you have it and all.  So, put up the corn sign but sell rhubarb.  Sounds like a plan, so people like me can reminisce about rhubarb.

It reminds me of home.  My mom used to grow it behind the shed in the backyard and would make rhubarb cakes, pies and all the jazz.  When I was younger, I wasn't a huge fan of it, but it has definitely grown on me throughout the years.

Corn = rhubarb = memories.

I grabbed a frozen crust I had in the freezer (leftover from the anticipation onion tart) and got to work by prepping the rhubarb.  I had about 7 stalks I chopped up.  I then added around 3/4 a cup of sugar, about a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a few tablespoons of butter.  I filled the pie dish with the filling and got to work on the streusel topping.

A cup of flour, 1/4 cup of brown sugar and too much cinnamon were thrown together.  Two finely chopped tablespoons of butter and 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts were then added.  I mixed this up until it was crumbly before sprinkling around the edge of the pie.

About 20 minutes later in a 350 degree oven, we had a pie.  And it was delicious.  I may have let it bake just a little too long (when you are making a green tomato blt, you can get distracted) but it made for a great dessert throughout the week.

Fried Green Tomato BLT

Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - 
After a morning at the Carmel Farmer's Market, I always come home with a few veggies for the week.  At the beginning of summer, green tomatoes are abundant and make it into the bag frequently.

I know, a tomato is a fruit.

You say tomato...

It started to ripen awfully fast (you can see this in the photos), but alas, it was almost all green.

Either way, I knew exactly what I wanted when I saw that big fat tomato - a BLT.  And nothing celebrates the beginning of summer like a fried (almost) green tomato.  Hubs began by frying up some bacon while I prepped the tomato.

A quick dredge in some flour (seasoned with black pepper and salt), egg and sriracha mixture, then some corn meal and we were ready to go.  Rather than just frying it up in oil, I had hubs reserve the bacon drippings and crisped them up in that.  Insert your "oh gosh, so unhealthy" lines here, but it was delicious.
While I (unsuccessfully) searched the pantry for mayo, hubs toasted up the french bread we had.  As we discovered no mayo, we opted to use ranch dressing instead.  Best. Decision. Ever.

The sandwiches were filling and perfect for the summer night.  They were even delicious the next day for lunch, assembly required. Sometimes, improvising can be just plain delicious!