D is for Donuts

When I was about six or seven years old, we lived about a mile away from our town’s best (and possibly only) donut shop.  On Saturday mornings, if my brother and I were well-behaved, we managed to convince one of our parents to walk us to the store for a tasty breakfast.  They served a vast array of donuts, from classics and bars to old-fashioneds and bear claws.  We were allowed to pick out a chocolate- or vanilla-frosted donut with festive sprinkles, and the owners were so kind—they handed us the exact donut we pointed to, even if there were five other donuts with the same kind of sprinkles.  As I grew up, we moved across town, too far to walk on a Saturday morning, and I realized that donuts probably weren’t the breakfast of champions.  But every once in a while, I still want one of those delicious donuts with their golden skin and dense cakey insides.   Continue reading for recipe.


October 23, 2010. Tags: , , , . Alphabet Adventure. 1 comment.

C is for Chili and Cornbread

I need to practice my poker face, find a casino, and play some Texas Hold ‘Em because I’ve got a sweet lucky streak going on.  Is it possible to make four tantalizing dishes I’ve never attempted before three weeks straight?  Going by my taste buds, it certainly is.

Now that it’s beginning to feel like fall, chili seemed like the perfect “C” meal to try, and even though I’ve made cornbread previously, it perfectly complements this hearty dish.  (Chili was the main C, so I decided it’d be okay to bend the rules a little and just try a new cornbread recipe.)  On cold winter days, the kinds with a fire crackling away in the fireplace and a football game on TV, Mom used to put some cornbread in the oven, heat up a can of chili, and we’d have an easy and tasty meal.   Continue reading this post.

October 19, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Alphabet Adventure. 4 comments.

B is for Buttermilk Biscuits

“Buttermilk biscuits” popped into my head the moment I moved on to the second letter of the alphabet.  Growing up, the only biscuits we ever ate were made by the Pillsbury dough boy, although that never mattered when my brother and I came in from freezing our fingers off for three hours at our marching band rehearsals on the football field.  My marching band days are long gone, but I still crave the delicious smell of biscuits in the oven – and the even better melt-in-your-mouth reward once they come out.

I’d never actually cooked with buttermilk, or even tasted it, before I attempted making these biscuits.  Its thick consistency and buttery smell surprised me, although the latter of the two I probably should have deduced from its name…  After some quick mixing, shaping, and rolling of the drop biscuits, I popped them into the oven and waited while the delicious smell wafted out of the kitchen.  Believe it or not, the biscuits tasted even better than they smelled, all rich and buttery and so much more comforting than the Pillsbury dough boy!

October 18, 2010. Tags: , , , . Alphabet Adventure, Baked Bliss. Leave a comment.

A is for Applesauce

I tried a multitude of internet searches for some inspiration for an interesting dish to start off the alphabet.  The top three results?  Apple pie, apricot bars, and avocado guacamole.  All three seemed too ordinary and common, and besides, I’d already made the first two.  But then, there it was—applesauce.  It took me a minute, but I realized that in all of my life, I have never eaten homemade applesauce.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved Mott’s cinnamon sugar applesauce growing up as a kid, but maybe it really wasn’t all that much harder to make it from scratch instead of just peeling back the foil on a plastic cup.

After smelling cinnamon mixed with apples cooking in a Dutch oven for half an hour, I was itching to try the applesauce.  I impatiently mashed the apples with a fork, making a mental note to either buy a potato masher for the next time or befriend somebody who wouldn’t miss theirs when I permanently borrowed it.  When it was finally the right consistency and I could take a proper taste, I licked the bowl clean and said good-bye to Mott’s forever.

October 18, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Alphabet Adventure, Satisfying Sides. 2 comments.

Alphabet Adventure

A few weeks ago, I had the brilliant idea to cook my way through the alphabet.  The inspiration stemmed from a novel called Alphabet Weekends, the movie “Julie & Julia”, and my own weekend boredom.  Although I basically have no spare time whatsoever, I was getting tired of eating the same meals, and I needed motivation to get out of my food rut and try cooking new dishes.

There are only three rules.

(1)  One letter per week.

(2)  I have to make something I’ve never made before   –OR–

(3)   If it’s something I have made before, I have to make up my own recipe.

I immediately knew what I’d make for some of the letters.  There are multiple ideas I’ve had on the back burner for some time now, but I just haven’t gotten around to attempting them yet.  Other letters are going to be slightly harder (X anyone?), and I’ll be racking my brain trying to come up with a dish.  Any which way you slice it, my kitchen will be full of pots and pans, appealing aromas, and fantastic food for the next six months.

October 18, 2010. Tags: . Alphabet Adventure. 6 comments.