Are you married? Did you have fun picking out your wedding registry items? We started by enjoying it, but realized quickly that there weren’t many household items we didn’t already have. We both had separate homes before getting married (and mine didn’t sell for almost our entire first year of being married–fun times with a bad housing market!), which meant that we had many duplicate items, too. Not only do we currently have about 6 cookie/baking sheets, but 4 muffin pans (I plan on donating 2 of them), glasses for easily 25-30 people, and 2 KitchenAid mixers. Yep, two! One of the few items we did not already own was a waffle maker. I was holding out because waffles are one of those things you want to make and have with someone. You can certainly cut a recipe down and make just a few, and leftover waffles are great–simply freeze or eat later in the week. Reheating in a toaster oven or microwave (depending on if you are a crispy or soft fan) is easy! But, there is something to be said for making waffles for people. My dad always was the waffle maker in our house. I tend to be the waffle maker now, although K is usually in charge of cooking pancakes. I can do them, but he has better luck flipping them. At least waffles don’t require flipping!
I know, I know, really creative title. Well, it started off as “Chicken with Sage” but I decided to go nuts and add all of my fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, basil, and sage). Sooooo, this turned into chicken with mega herbs. The technique is mostly taken from Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen with a few spins to make it more my style. Part of my style is that I don’t enjoy pounding meat flat. At all. It’s why I used to buy the already flattened stuff at the grocery store where I used to live. It cost just a little more, but it was already in perfect scallopini form. Every time I do it at home I get a major mess, so I have gotten crafty (or just lazy) and started slicing the chicken breasts horizontally so that I can create thin fillets. They do not end up uniform in size, but they are fairly uniform in thickness, which is the main concern. You can pound your meat or slice it. I don’t care, and it certainly ends up the same!
You might remember I mentioned making these muffins when I made the banana bread for my dad. For his birthday month, he received 2 unexpected treats. The very first time I made him a treat for his birthday, I was still in college and baking was challenging, but I liked it. I offered to make him anything he wanted. I even let him look at my (limited) collection of cookbooks for ideas. He asked for carrot cake. Of all the possible chocolate treats he could have asked for, he asked for a carrot cake.
My mom used to make banana bread all of the time, and I never understood it. I love bananas, but cannot stand the smell or taste of them when cooked. Then there is my dad who does not like bananas that much normally, but loves banana bread–go figure! Of course my dad likes it when I make it for him, so I willingly suffer through the smells so that he gets his bread. Unlike other treats I might make him, I am never tempted to taste test this. The first time I ever made it I made a double batch and made muffins with the second batch so that my husband could test them to make sure the recipe was okay. (Hence the loads of bananas in my picture).
You can use walnuts, or other nuts…or no nuts! It really doesn’t matter. My dad is a walnut man, so that is what he got! To toast the walnuts, I prefer using a small pan on medium low heat and I just dry roast them, stirring occasionally for a few minutes until they get lightly browned and smell really good. You can buy them pre-chopped if you like. This most recent time I tried to save a few cents by buying in the bulk aisle, but to be honest…I think it cost about the same! Oh well. Maybe these were really awesome walnuts.
I know, you were getting worried about me. Over a week of non-dessert posts. You were thinking, where is Aly? What happened to Fudging Ahead?? I don’t want you to be worried anymore. Apparently when you make lots of desserts back to back, you have a backlog of desserts you need to eat before making another one. I wanted to make this chocolate cake as soon as I read about it. Mayonnaise in cake!! I can pretend like I’m cooking vintage-style! And really, it’s a recipe from the Bouchon Bakery cookbook. Of course, they don’t just use the mayo cake in a normal way. No, no, they have to turn it into a Palet d’Or, which is French for “fancy cake with a chocolate glaze”, or at least, that’s the loose translation.
So, feel free to make this fancy. I chose to bring it down to a 1950s housewife style, which is what I think of with a mayo cake. Basically, the mayo replaces any oil or butter and it makes it super fudgy. This is one of the best chocolate cakes I have had. So, Joanna, when you asked for a chocolate cake recipe, I can vouch for this one. Supposedly it works as cupcakes, too, so I want to try that sometime.
This recipe appealed to me in my rainy season stupor in Seattle. Of course, by the time I made this recipe we began having sunny weather, but oh well. I wanted it, so we had it. There are a few problems with this dish. Basically, you need to be around for it (unless you’re okay leaving the oven on while you’re gone), and you have to smell it that whole time while being super hungry. Or maybe that’s only if you decide to workout before prepping dinner and then feeling really weak with hunger. Hopefully you will make better choices than I did for this.
On Friday I referenced this recipe. Or, at least, I teased that there would be an awesome recipe to pair with those cheddar buttermilk biscuits. Hopefully lobster bisque was worth waiting for; especially a healthy one! I came across a recipe for Creamy Cauliflower Sauce from Pinch of Yum and it was perfect timing after we had just eaten a soup at a restaurant which was basically this sauce. I told K I could make it for him. He also requested a bisque. He did not care what kind, but said he wanted seafood in it. I did a little research to see what was involved for a bisque. There were lots of recipes that used cooked lobster meat, and I am sure they are fine, but if I am going to make a bisque, I wanted to do it fully. Lobster popped in my mind because of my goals, and I know that lobster is actually good for you.