Sunday, May 25, 2014

Apricot Galette with Almonds

I spent my Saturday exploring Biltmore House, downtown Asheville, NC, and driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was an absolutely gorgeous setting and an amazing day to just walk around and enjoy the scenery. I also got to spend this time with an amazing man who has recently come into my life.

Is a 3rd date too early to be ready to marry somebody? He's just that perfect.

It's hard to top a romantic, peaceful day spent with great company, but this Apricot Galette comes close.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Strawberry Lemonade Bars

After a long hot day there is nothing as comforting as sitting down with a tall glass of ice cold lemonade. This is a tradition I remember from my childhood summers spent at my grandparents. Afternoons were always spent on the back porch, sipping lemonade, snacking on a cookie or two, waiting on dinner to cook.

Now as a busy adult living in the 21st century, I rarely get the chance to sit down on the back porch and sip lemonade, but I still have time to grab a quick snack in the afternoons.

Since I cannot always squeeze in time for a relaxing few moments on the porch, I decided to incorporate my childhood memories into this simple to make bar. I also had a few strawberries on hand and decided to add them in too.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Cannoli Stuffed French Toast

Let me tell you about this French toast I made this morning. This is breakfast-in-bed type of food you should be serving your mother for Mother's Day. That is if you're able to cook for your mother. And she's a breakfast-in-bed type of mother. My mother is too far away to cook for. And she is not a breakfast-in-bed type of mom. She's a cold-cereal-at-the-table-and-hot-cup-of-tea-while-watching-the-news type of person. But if she was here and she was, I would totally make this for my mom.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Palmiers...aka Elephant Ear Cookies

It was in 1988 when my mother would frequent a bakery in downtown Winchester, Va. Even though I was only 5, I still remember going into the store and seeing all the delicious pastries and other goodies in the display case. She would always get me an elephant ear. Mostly I think this was to keep me quiet while she did some shopping while my father was getting his hair cut.

Now these elephant ears are not to be confused with the huge piece of fried dough that can be purchased at any carnival or fair. These are light and flaky cookies. They demand to be eaten in the mid-afternoon with a cup of tea or coffee.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Fried Polenta

I woke up before my alarm went off this morning. Maybe it was in anticipation of being able to fry up yesterday's left over Creamy Brown Sugar Vanilla Polenta. It definitely wasn't in anticipation of it being Monday. I like to hide from Mondays, hoping that it won't be able to find me if I just put my pillow over my head and lay in bed for just a little longer.

The thought of being able to make this fried polenta this morning was definitely the motivation I needed to remove the pillow from over my head and crawl out of bed. Take that you evil Monday!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Creamy Brown Sugar Vanilla Polenta

Simple Pleasures. It is something that I have done my entire life but never put a name to it until seeing a Hallmark movie a few years ago called The Wish List.

The lead in the movie reminds me of so many people who are part of my every day life. The lead character is all about organization and focusing strictly on her goals in life. Then she meets this man -a barista- who is the opposite of everything that she is. Fast foward. They fall in love and live happily ever after. Typical Hallmark movie. But there is a scene where she is disgusted as he bite into this sloppy, juicy burger. He explains to her that it is his "simple pleasure" for the day. Every day he allows himself to have one thing that he enjoys and he takes the time to truly enjoy it.

What a great concept right?

I often find myself swept up in the chaotic mess that is American society. Let's face it, we all want perfection in our lives. I, myself am a highly goal oriented person. I however always take a few moments each day to do something that I enjoy and just remove myself from the craziness that typically consumes my world.

Yesterday my simple pleasure was driving off Raleigh with a friend for sushi. This morning it was enjoying this porridge on my front porch watching the sun come up over the trees and warm the earth.