Friday, April 30, 2010

Cooking with Sara: My Go-To Fish, and then a Cake

Helloooooooooo, my lovelies!  Today is my day to cook for the food blog, From Blah to Ta-Daa!  I decided to whip up my go-to method for fish, because it's just so darn easy.  And, it doesn't hurt that we love it, it's healthy, and it's really quick to make. 

Here's how it turns out:

The cobbler thing, on the other hand, was a new recipe for me.  It's truly a "pudding cake" - the last step involves pouring boiling water over the pan, and when it bakes up, a puddingy layer magically appears on the bottom.  Which is all fine.  Great, even.  But putting it together was weird!  It was unlike any other cake recipe I've ever made.  You need go look at my step-by-step photos to see. 

Here's a lovely shot after the last step:
Go on, and click-zoom to see that baby in all its odd bubbly glory.

But, don't you fear my dears...this is how it turned out!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cooking with Sara: A Waste of Time

So, today's recipe was Meh City. 

The reason that photo looks so pretty is that under and around the flank steak is the scrumptious salad we eat at least once a week.  So, you can go ahead and click on over to

for the recipe.  But, here, I'm going to list what we throw on our salad to make it so yum - with or without the meat.

Spring Mix lettuce and/or Butter Mix lettuce*
Mushrooms (this time, we grilled Portabellas)
Bell Peppers
Cranberries or Dried Currants
Brown Sugared Pecans
Fruit:  Pear slices, apple slices, or strawberry slices
Pecorino Romano, grated (for Bo, not me)
Either homemade Raspberry vinaigrette dressing or This Amazing Stuff

* Go easy on the lettuce to make room for all the other toppings.  I actually prefer my salads fairly low on lettuce and heavy on all the other stuff.  Healthier and yummier that way!!

Want my Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing recipe?  Oh!  Well here you go:

Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

½ c. vegetable oil
½ c. raspberry wine vinegar
¼ c. white sugar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. ground black pepper

In a jar with a tight fitting lid (or in a rinsed-out salad dressing bottle), combine the oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard, oregano, and pepper. Shake well.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

In Which She Continues to Bore Us with Pet Photos

Kid Raccoon and I just love belly scratches. 
Too bad Mom is "too busy" in that smelly food room over there to give me any.

Back in the day, I'd get scratches even after I chewed up pillows,
shoes, and the occasional tastey remote control.

Just.  A.  Littletotheleft.   Aaahhhhh.....

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Collecting Dust.

I've been feeling very antisocial for the past few weeks.  Not because I don't love people, but because I feel as if I don't have a speck of energy available for it.  And because I feel all gray-swirly inside.  (Grayswirlwhat?)  My insides feel discontent and negative and the opposite of calm.  I'm pretty sure that we can blame the fact that my OCD and anxiety are having a field day right now with me and my enormous to-do lists that I don't have the time to tackle.  See, I'm a fairly take-charge kind of person.  I decide I want/need/should do something, and I do it.  And I love me some lists.  I really love me some daily lists.  But these days, my lists have items on them that I don't have the time to tackle.  So that's left me feeling antsy and anxious and, generally just all out of sorts.  I know that once I get those biggies tackled, I'll calm down and once again return to my flitty, yet charming, ways. 

It'd be oversimplifying things to say, "Oh, Sasra - just take some things off your list.  They're not important in the grand scheme of things.  Just calm the heck down."  Sure, we could say that.  But the truth of the matter is that I've already let some things fall off my list.  Really, for really, I have.  Two biggies still on my list right now are to get the upstairs spare bedroom and office into working order.  My deadline, so to speak, is the second week of May when my parents, my brother, and Bo's Mom come to stay with us.  So, I can't just ix-nay them from my list.  Otherwise, people will be camping out on the floor with blankets we do not own.  And using towels we seem to have lost in the move.  Gah, it's just one big spiral-y circle, and listing out the full extent of if makes me feel like a crabapple, and nobody truly enjoys reading someone complain complain complain. 

Anyway, all this to explain why my blog has been gathering dust.  And why I may not have answered any of your emails or texts or calls.  I'm sorry.  I'll be silly again soon, I promise.

(I'm not one to write out a list of Blessings or Positives or Things to Be Thankful For, because to me, they just feel so contrived. But today, I figured I'd list them as proof that I'm not 100% hag. Maybe only 94%.)

The Hag-Nots:

  • On the plus side, I do have great hair today, and that miracle is nothing to shake a stick at.

  • And, oh!  I'm wearing this necklace today too.  I love that it looks innocently cute, but if you get up close and squint your eyes in deep focus, you can read what it says:

  • Another plus - I'm baking cookies tonight (and yes, Chocolate Chip are part of the action) for an order.  Yes, you read that right.  Someone ordered my signature baked good.  After all the Pops and whatnot, I'm finally baking my most favorite thing to bake, and it's for an order. 

  • Also!  I picked up my ticket last night to see Imogen Heap!!  This will be my third time seeing her in concert, and I'm going with some really fun girls, and maybe we'll load up on some yummy champagne beforehand, because I super love champagne, and it never gets me sick, and having a girls' night out sounds really fun right about now.

* Necklace purchased from the fabulous  I dare you to go there and escape without spending a dime.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cooking with Sara: Crockpot Chicken Tacos

It was a day to remember.  The day of the Great Taco Massacre.


Blink, and they'll vanish in a puff of smoke.  Or drool.  Whichever.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Conversations with Sidenote

SidenoteCal:   omg i thought there was a dog under my desk

skeddy:   what!
               what situation would cause you to think that??
SidenoteCal:    the bag on my trash can moved
                        in a doggish way
skeddy:    oh ha
                in a doggish way

SidenoteCal:    it DID
                        like a little white yorkie
                        that's what i thought it was:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Potpourri No. 5 (Excitement.)


  • Last night.... I saw lightning bugs for the very first time!! I'd heard all the grand stories - kids catching them in Mason jars and using them as lanterns for summertime camping trips.  Oh yes, I'd heard all that and appropriately "hmmm"d as I was told the tales.  But then, last night, Bo dragged me outside just as I was headed upstairs to the land of cozy beds and fluffy down comforters.  He was shocked that I'd never seen lightning bugs before, but really - not allll of us are from The South; they don't have those in the Pacific Northwest.  Sasquatch, yes.  Lightning bugs, no.  I have zero knowledge of the little blinky guys, but I'm hoping that as it gets warmer, they'll venture out from the depths of the mini-forest behind our house.  Not so that I can catch them, but so that I can stare at them blinking and twinkling from my upstairs windows.

  • I made up a batch of Cupcake Pops last night (what's new?), and for whatever reason, they went together fabulously.  Since I moved to Atlanta, making Pops has been more a struggle, and I can't put my finger on it.  Is my oven somehow making the cakes moister?  Are the eggs larger here?  But last night's batch was cute and fun and easy, and gave me hope that my Pops Mojo may have returned!!  Ahhhhhhhhh....relief!

  • I just signed up for a photography class, and I'm ridiculously excited about it!!  All this time, I've been hacking my way through using my Fancy Camera (aka a dslr), and while I've been able to capture some great photos, I still don't know what the heck I'm doing.  User manual?  What's that?  I'm supposed to read the dang thing?  Nope, ain't gonna happen.  So I signed up for a class using today's Groupon deal, and the instructor seems super cool.  Hopefully, I'll get the make time to attend in the next month.  I cannot wait!!   

Friday, April 9, 2010

Cooking with Sara: Sweet Potato Blondies

Soooo, I made these little puppies. 

In summary, they are deeeeeeeeeeeelicious.  But greasy?  It was weird.  I wanted to eat the whole pan, but they left a butter slick on the plate to rival any good slice of pepperoni pizza.  Strange, right? 

My Solution = Lazyness + Bartering.  I'm too tired to experiment with this recipe, so I offered up to trade recipes with anyone who fixed this one for me.  Go read my pathetic plea over on the recipe page:

Gives "Butter Fingers" a whole new, literal meaning:

Sunday, April 4, 2010

We Have a Winner!

We have a winner for the Curious Chef giveaway!  I was giving away this nifty set of Silicone Pinch Bowls on my blog, and the winner is......

crystal said...

following curious chef

Congratulations, Crystal!!  I'll be contacting you via email today!

Winner was drawn using and will be contacted through e-mail. She will have 48 hours to get back to me or a new winner will be drawn.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Cooking with Sara: Sugarcane's Apple Cake

Mellisa and I are subbing for one of the Blah Blog authors, and we decided to make a semi-healthy dessert to coordinate with our Food Revolution theme week.  This apple cake is from scratch, and there are more apples than any other ingredient!  The complete recipes and instructions are over on the blog...

The super duper fabulous thing is that it was Mellisa's first time making a cake from scratch - I love it!  I've seriously been jumping up and down about it from four states away, impatient to hear how it went.  And she kicked major apple cake butt.  She wrote about it all on her own blog; you should definitely go read it, because it's really inspiring!!

But here are some photos that Bo snapped of me in the kitchen.  I almost didn't post them, but I decided I'd let you into my messy disaster of a kitchen :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Cooking with Sara: Hummus

Remember my rant on Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution?  How much I luvvvved it?   Well, I talked the other Blah to Ta-Daa ladies into doing a whole theme week with it in mind.  So we kicked of this week with recipes that tie in to our individual goals.  I wrote more about our theme week and my goals over at the Blah to Ta-Daa Sunday entry.

My challenge is finding non-sandwich foods that are healthy and the opposite of a snooze fest.  I'm still struggling, but I was happy to remember that way back, my friend Marnie taught me how to make hummus.  Hummus is great on pitas and wraps and crackers or just as a dip for veggies (or corn chips, but you didn't hear that from me).  And it's ridiculously easy and cheap to make!!

My recipe, notes, and photos for Hummus are up on today's Blah post!

Please tell me that I'm not the only one who stops with her fork in mid-air everytime those Sad Face/Happy Face American Express commercials come on?