Archive | August, 2014

Brown Sugar Asparagus

25 Aug

My run of Les Mis started this past weekend. Opening night had a few bumps, naturally, but it was still a fantastic show. That meant that performance number two could only get better, right? Well, let’s start the morning off with trying to saw through a bagel…and my pinkie. Awesome. Five stitches and a tetanus shot later, my finger was wrapped in so much gauze and tape, I looked like I had sprouted another limb. I asked the doctor if I could take it off for the show (we actors are more than a little vain I suppose – I just could not fathom wearing that monstrosity on stage). He was hesitant, but said it would probably be fine if I just wore a regular bandaid. Hooray! Victory…ish. I took off the bandage just before curtain (I was being good and waited as long as I could), and nearly passed out from the process. I’m a boob. But the stitches got stuck on the gauze, it was all swollen and bruised…and I couldn’t even get the dumb bandaid to stay on right. In short, I ended up rewrapping the darn thing. I did cut the size down by about half, so it wasn’t so in-your-face-I-almost-amputated-my-finger kind of bandage. My mom could tell I had it on (she was looking for it because she told me I was crazy for only wanting to wear a bandaid – mom’s are always right), but my neighbor came and said she couldn’t see it from the audience. I’ll take it! Because I have to wear it for the entire run of the show. šŸ˜¦ The good news? The show was awesome – none of the glitches from opening night – I figure I absorbed all of the bad luck…and then bled it out all over my kitchen. I’m all about taking one for the team!

Asparagus…you don’t have to use a knife to remove the woody ends (I’m a little wary of knives these days) – just give them a good bend, and they snap off themselves. Don’t skip this step in attempts to avoid wasting a perfectly good spear of asparagus (I have never done this…ever). It tastes bad and it’s impossible to chew, so you’ll end up throwing it away anyways. This is my favorite way to prepare the good ends though! A perfect combination of sweet and salty, and oh-so-tasty!

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Ingredients:

1 lbĀ asparagus spears

2 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar

3/4 cup chicken broth

Snap off woody ends of asparagus and discard. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Stir in brown sugar. Cook, stirring continually until sugar dissolves. Add asparagus to brown sugar mixture, turning to coat. Saute for 2 min. Add the chicken broth to the skillet. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, until asparagus are crisp-tender.

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Samoan Pancakes

18 Aug

There are so many fun versions of pancakes! I love me a good ol’ fashioned flap jack, but breakfast is so much more exciting when you try something a little different. This recipe is another from my grandma’s stash. They lived in Tonga and Hawaii for most of my mom’s life, so I trust Grandma’s islander recipes! And my kids love that they can eat these pancakes with their fingers. šŸ™‚

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Ingredients:

3 cups flour

3 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 1/4 cups milk

Drop by teaspoons into hot oil. Deep fry until golden brown and cooked through. Served buttered with syrup, or coat in sugar.

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Lemon-Lover’s Cupcakes

10 Aug

School starts in 2 weeks. I am in denial. I’ll have two of my kiddos going this year – excited, but sad too! We are squeezing every last drop out of our summer Ā break and trying to cram in all the last bits of fun and freedom – including doing a little cupcake decorating. Does it count as decorating if you eat most of the toppings before they make it to the actual cupcake? If you love lemon (hence the name) you will love, love these babies.Ā photo 1

 

Ingredients:

1 medium sized lemon

1 pkg plain yellow or vanilla cake mix

1 (3.4 oz) pkg lemon instant pudding

1 (6 oz, 3/4 cup) container lemon yogurt

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 large eggs

Grease and dust two 9″ round cake pans, or line cupcake cups with paper liners.

Rinse lemon and pat dry. Grate enough zest to measure 2 tsp. Set 1 tsp of zest aside for frosting. Cut lemon in half and squeeze out the juice – you will need 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp. Set 2 tsp of lemon juice aside for frosting.

Place cake mix, pudding mix, yogurt, water, oil, eggs, 1 tsp lemon zest, and 1 Tbsp lemon juice in a large mixing bowl and beat until well blended. Divide the batter between cake pan, or fill cupcake liners with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350^F for 25-30 minutes for cakes or 20-25 minutes for cupcakes. Bake until golden brown and the top springs back when lightly pressed with a finger. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

8 Tbsp butter, at room temperature

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 tsp lemon zest

2 tsp lemon juice

Place the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl and beat until creamy. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1 tsp lemon zest, and 2 tsp lemon juice. Beat until will combined. Add 1 1/2 cups of the remaining powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Continue to add powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.

 

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