Not because Strudel and I thought it would be fun to blog about (although we do) but because according to the internet it really is, and of course we all know if the world wide web says it is then it must be true.
So through the power of suggestion, we are going to blog about sandwiches this month. Sandwiches are not something I think about very often as a food choice so I am excited to experiment with them this month.
I was recently reminded of how much I love King’s Hawaiian Bread when I attended a Luau Party and had a burger grilled with a pineapple slice and cheddar cheese and topped with mango salsa. To make it even tastier it was sandwiched between King’s Hawaiian burger buns! It was a sweet and savory delight. When Strudel and I decided to have a sandwich theme this month, I knew I wanted to make something with King’s Hawaiian Bread.
Streusel and I agree that we’re both having a great summer, but we’ve also had a lot going on. Most of it’s been exciting things – she’s selling her house, Brandon and I have been doing a lot of work on ours – but my co-blogger and I have also been extra busy at our respective jobs, and combining the busy days with busy evenings and weekends has felt a bit exhausting. I think we’re both a little caught up in our to-do lists and sometimes need to remind ourselves to take a deep breath, and enjoy the summer.
One of the ways I’m reminding myself to do that it to spend some time actually enjoying – and not fretting – over the home improvements that Brandon and I have been working on this summer. Last year, we built a deck, but it wasn’t done until after the rainy season began, so we didn’t have much time to enjoy it. Just last month, we finally got some deck furniture (including some orange Adirondack chairs that are my new favorite thing), and Brandon and I have been working hard at fixing up the garden (he builds planter boxes, and I plant things in the planter boxes). Things are finally coming together, and it looks GREAT out there.
Last week, we had our friends over to show off our work. Brandon whipped up these happy hour cocktails that were a perfect summer drink – light, fruity and zesty (it’s true!) they’re not entirely dissimilar to the nectarine lime jam, but much less sweet. They’re also quick to make – a great post-work drink for yourself, or easily doubled/tripled/quadrupled to mix together when your friends stop by.
I thought this might go nicely with my expensive addiction each summer… Rainier Cherries!
I squeal with delight when I start to see these cherries in the grocery store. Other cherries pale in comparison and I will gladly pay good money for them.
I heard a radio commercial for Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer and then I walked into the grocery store and bought a giant bag of rainier cherries and thought Ginger Beer could be made better with these cherries.
Forgive me for its simplicity but it’s too delightful not to share.
When we were in Puerto Vallarta a few weeks ago, a highlight of our visit was a food tour of the area. We had a great time wandering through downtown sampling all sorts of local foods – chocolate, salsas, ceviche, mole – and the tour took us to local spots we never would’ve gone to otherwise. I love Mexico, but I admittedly remain vigilant about eating raw foods rinsed in purified water and keep a critical eye any drinks served with ice (ice with holes is okay – that means it was made with purified water; no holes, and I’m asking questions).
It was HOT in PV while we were there – which we know is a thing that happens in June in Mexico – but for a couple of pastey Pacific NWers like ourselves, it’s possible the sun felt a little more searing on our fragile skin that it may have for others; for sure, you could recognize us as the people that left Mexico as pale as we were when we arrived. For obvious reasons, we spent the week under a thick coating of 50 SPF sunscreen. My 10 year old niece – who admittedly started life with significantly more pigment that I’ve ever had – looked like a native at the end of the trip. Not me, though – I still glow bright white.
ANYWAY – digressions of all digressions – when we were on our food tour, it was about a billion degrees out, and one of our stops was at a ceviche restaurant. It was monumental; not only did they serve the best ceviche I’ve ever eaten, but I had the single most refreshing drink known to woman – Jamaica iced tea. Which (maybe you knew this but I didn’t know this!) is just hibiscus tea – dried flowers soaked in water, with flavors added, as you like it. Jamaica is refreshing and tangy, and a brilliant summer drink. Seattle’s has had 80 and 90 degree weather for the past two weeks, and you can bet that I “brewed” up a batch of the tea just a soon as things began to heat up.
Although most people I know don’t ever think of cake as something easy to make, I think you’ll agree that as far as cakes go this is pretty darn easy AND tasty! I love Kashi cereal and I especially love the Kashi Go Lean Crunch but for those of you who eat it too you might agree that eating a bowl of it is a workout for your jaw! It’s got great flavor but it’s a little too crunchy for me some days. So as the box sat there staring at me in the morning I asked myself how can I convert this great cereal into something else without completely destroying its redeeming qualities of being high in protein and whole grains?
A cake of course!
A few weeks ago, a colleague brought in the most amazing bread – not sweet, but crunchy, buttery, and extremely addictive. I’m also going to go ahead and speak some truth here, using the “m” word – the bread was also moist (I know how everyone hates that word, but I can’t help it – it’s a really good adjective, plus the word itself sounds like it’s own meaning).
Anyway – about the bread – I asked my co-worker for the recipe, and turns out that it’s not only super adaptable, it’s crazy easy and I could make it my own by baking it with ingredients that I always have in my kitchen. Since I love citrus flavors, I decided that a lemon bread would be perfect for us. But any flavor (orange, grapefruit, etc.) will work.
I was sitting on my couch reading a book at way too early of an hour yesterday morning and got hungry. I opened the refrigerator and stared into it like most and thought about how there was nothing in there I wanted to eat.
For breakfast, I am usually a protein junky. I love my fresh duck eggs or a nice turkey sausage to go along with my hot coffee.
However, yesterday morning I wanted a cookie, not a chocolate chip cookie but some kind of granola-y type cookie. I also wanted it to be simple and quick. Within 30 minutes I was eating this cookie and back to reading my book…
“What She Left Behind” by Ellen Marie Wiseman (if you were wondering).
This cookie is only slightly sweet and has a bit of a muffin texture. Very hearty and sustaining for my morning tasks of trimming shrubs and cleaning out the garage. It would be great to take along on a hike as well for a quick carb boost!
It’s “quick and easy” month here at S&S – not just because we’re lazy (though admittedly sometimes this Strudel can be the wee-ist bit unwilling to stand up and instead harasses her partner to bring the cookies to the sofa) – but also because things just feel hectic right now. Streusel is short-staffed at work, and putting in 55-60 hour weeks, and I’m going on vacation so will be gone for a week… absolutely nothing to complain about (hola Mexico!) but I’m also trying to pack in some extra work before I head out of town too.
So our recipes this month are to prove that there’s still time for baking, and blogging, amidst all the other business needing attention. The coffee cake perfectly fills the “quick and easy” description – via a secret ingredient, it’s ready for the oven in about 5 minutes, and is perfect to throw together for a meeting/event at work, or take to brunch or even dinner with a group of friends (just remove the word “coffee”, call it a “sour cream cake” and voila! dessert!) It’s also super tasty – the cake is rich and moist, and cinnamon-sugar swirl adds a sweet/spicy bite.
About that secret ingredient… it’s a box cake mix. I KNOW! Still totally worth it, and best part is – you can’t really tell. And if you can tell, you don’t care because it’s so darn tasty.
I got this recipe from my dad, and apparently he got it from a friend in January of 1991… so it’s been floating around my family for a minute. While I don’t make the cake a ton, I’ve kept the recipe because I love having it for when I’m just not in the mood to bake (or don’t have the time/energy). It’s a good recipe to have at the ready!
We have a new Ice Cream Shop in Denver called Twisted Cream and they inspired me to create this ice cream. Alcohol in ice cream? More please!
You may remember when I traveled to Italy a few years ago that I fell in love with Limoncello and the home of Limoncello, Sorrento. As I started to think of all the liqueurs I could turn into ice cream, limoncello immediately popped into my head.
I have never made ice cream with alcohol and let’s just say I didn’t go about it the right way. In my mind, the more alcohol the better, right? Duh, alcohol doesn’t freeze real well due to its… alcohol! I had to add way more milk than I would have liked to get it the right consistency and probably should have added even more but let me just say this is frozen and perfectly potent. The true essence of my favorite liqueur!
While there are many very wonderful places for dessert in Seattle, two of my favorites are Molly Moon Ice Cream and Top Pot Doughnuts (I know that doughnuts are considered a breakfast, but since they’re truthfully fried cake with frosting, I tend to consider them a dessert). A few weeks back, we went to dinner with our friends, and rather than eat dessert at the restaurant, we decided to head to Molly Moon for our treat. As we walked out, my friend Aimee commented that, in her neighborhood, Molly Moon and Top Pot happened to be right next door to one another. And why, Aimee mused, had they not joined forces? Why had no one created a doughnut ice cream?
I’ve always known that Aimee was smart, but this (obviously) took my understanding of her brilliance to a new level. I know how to infuse flavors into ice creams, why should doughnuts be any different?!