I only love him for his dutch oven!

I have been a very absent blogger and I am disappointed with myself since I simply wanted to record the adventures in my life for my own reflection.

The biggest change in my life recently was becoming a member of Pinterest with which I have become sightly obsessed.  Wonderful Guy and the kids are great.  Paddling hasn’t been an option for months now and I cannot wait to get back to it this spring but we have done some minor hikes.  One was at a friend of WG’s property near Stanton, another was at a local park with a crazy network of fairly random trails through the woods created by people playing disc golf and last weekend we took The Coyote and her friend Squeakers, The Big Brown Possum with us to Red River Gorge where the steps so exhausted my legs/knees that we wound up hiking back to the car not quite in the dark which was definitely adventurous! Both children are forever picking up sticks and rocks they want to carry home with them so I made them each an Altoid Tin container for treasures found on the hike.  I couldn’t get the cardboard to fit in correctly to create the blocks so the rule was they could only keep things which would fit into the tin.  Except for the kindergartner dropping his tin near the steps of despair, which his father fortunately found although did not reveal until we were back in the car, we had a pretty great time.

WG once again indulged my obsession with Heidi Swanson’s Split Pea Potstickers and I even have a batch of them in his freezer to cook up when a new craving for them hits!  As far as new foods we have played with we’ve done a fair amount of cooking with grains like quinoa and barley but last night WG took over the kitchen and made an absolute feast!

Yesterday, Adam over on Amateur Gourmet posted a recipe for chopped liver which I love so I quickly sent the link to WG who made a fantastic batch of it for me last night but apparently he already had a dinner idea going.  Ever since I read Smitten Kitchen’s description of carnitas I have been dying to try them.  Last week we took the kids to see The Muppets and got a bite to eat afterwards at a local Mexican place which had carnitas on the menu.  Imagine my delight only to be served huge globs of roasted pork fat with no tortillas.  I was most unimpressed and WG was then nervous about making them for me despite my saying that I was positive I would love his.  He went out on that limb last night and without a doubt, cooked the best thing I have ever put in my mouth!  That includes Reese’s Minis 😉


Adventures in Cooking

Wonderful Guy, the rugrats and I did nothing but cook…and eat…all weekend I think.

We had an adults only Friday night with steak, baked potatoes and these amazing stuffed peppers.  We went 50/50 on the wonderful banana peppers he gets straight from his parents’ garden and jalapenos from the boring old grocery store.  They were incredibly yummy but stuffing and wrapping food before you can even cook it, much less eat it is a bit on the fussy side to me.  Kind of like the idea that life is too short to stuff mushrooms which Yahoo attributes to Rochelle Moore, I had heard attributed to Julia Child although I just found her very own stuffed mushroom recipe and google found a mention of it as a Joan Collins quote so who knows who actually said it.  So the stufffed mushooms to me are generally a why bother and without WG to do the bulk of the work I doubt I would mess with the stuffed peppers but I certainly did enjoy the fruits of his labor!

After dinner, WG helped me with a batch of the NYT 3 day chocolate chip cookies which I made him clear room for in his freezer to speed the process of the butter absorbing into the flour.

First thing Saturday morning, I whipped up a double batch of dough for Saturday’s dinner of grilled pizza which is always a hit with both kids and adults which gave us most of the day Saturday to hang out, let the kids ride their bikes at the park – first time for the kindergartener with no training wheels! – while WG and I threw frisbees for The Circus Dog and her friend The Big Brown Possum.

Sunday was the culinary achievement of the weekend though!  Last week I read about Bacon Jam and immediately had to learn how we could make some of this ambrosia for ourselves!  That ex-con with a talk/cooking/craft show had a recipe but it required a slow cooker.  Fortunately, another blogger had already detailed a way to make this substance with just a dutch oven!

My intent was to be at WG’s house around 9am on Sunday to begin the jam making but I am always running late and the rugrats had him up at 7 so I arrived after the cooked bacon had been added to the cooked onions (which I had chopped on Saturday so I DID do something to assist!) While the jam was reducing, we got the kids started with Gnome Bowling as I had printed out the gnomes for them to color and simply taped the paper to the 10 two liter bottles WG had saved for this purpose.

I don’t think they really loved the lawn bowling game but since by 1pm we were noshing on home made biscuits slathered in bacon jam I don’t think anyone really cares 🙂

Note about the jam: It is at least twice as good as you think it will be but it is VERY concentrated bacon so a very little goes a long way!