Monday, March 28, 2016

#BookClubCookbookCC: Crockpot Baked Beans

It's time for another installment of the Book Club Cookbook Cooking Crew!  Once a month, for 1 year, a group of bloggers led by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla are cooking from Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp's Book Club Cookbook.  This month, Emily of Life on Food invited us to Make a Charlotte Russe and read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

I should start by admitting that I didn't read the book.  I planned to, and time got away from me.  I read the notes in the cookbook and Wikipedia's synopsis (as my teacher's soul withered and died), and planned to make a hearty bread to go with the turn of the century story of a family struggling to survive in the slums of Brooklyn.
But then there seemed to be a lot of bread recipes coming from the other club members.
Then I considered the copy of the Boston Cooking School Cookbook that had belonged to my great aunt Anna to make something that was of the right era.  But then I started reading about cooking in medium ovens in buttered baking soda tins with clarified chicken fat, and I was scared off.
Finally, I decided to make something that is economical, makes a ton and can be eaten for days.  I'm always on the lookout for things that I can take in my lunch.  I'm not above eating the same thing for 3 or 4 days in a row.  This fit the bill on cold, damp days to help chase away the chill.
I present to you now from Budget Bytes Crockpot Baked Beans:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

#SixteenCheesecakes: Carrot Cake Cheesecake

In families, there are many traditions.  I've talked in the past about traditions surrounding my family, food and Christmas.  Today, we talk wedding traditions.
Why weddings?  Well, because it's Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla's  wedding anniversary!  And like last year, we're celebrating with a virtual blog party of cheesecake.  Cam had cheesecake at her wedding, so here we are.
I asked on Facebook what kind of wedding traditions my friends families had.  I got a few responses: from honouring departed loved ones to making sure that there are pictures with all of the family, weddings are a time to celebrate with family and friends.
Which brings us back to what I made.  I haven't really mentioned it around here, but my mom remarried last weekend.  We didn't have cheesecake at the dinner afterwards, but I made this for the night before the wedding to share with my mother's family.  J and I also made sure that the tradition of my mother's family lived on.
When I was growing up, we had a blue suitcase.  Every time you used it, a few stray pieces of confetti would come out with your clothes because my grandmother had stuffed my mother's honeymoon bag with confetti.  Confetti and clothing.  Sigh.
Knowing of this, I guarded my own bag when I got married - and almost made it away before giving my car keys to my maid of honour when I went to get changed to leave.  I pulled my nightgown out that night at the hotel and a stream of metallic hearts spewed across the bed at the Best Western.  We still find heart confetti courtesy of my mother from that suitcase.
Not to let her get away this time, J and I got our hands on my mother's bag and...well...let's just say there's now a partial bag of green and gold shamrock confetti sealed up in the back of our car.  Traditions - they're important to keep, even if they're somewhat nefarious.
Now, a cheesecake.  If you can't decide between cake and cheesecake, this is the compromise for you!  Make a small cake and a small cheesecake, and then marble the two to form one delicious dessert with a sour cream and cream cheese topping.  Delicious as the centrepiece dessert for a celebration.
I present to you now Cooking Classy's Carrot Cake Cheesecake:

Monday, March 7, 2016

Secret Recipe Club: Impossible Spinach Pie

Yeah, it's been a while.  But that's okay, because I'm back, and with a scary good recipe.
Welcome to the first Monday of the month, also known as Secret Recipe Club Group A Reveal Day!  Remember the Secret Recipe Club?  It's a group of bloggers who get together, exchange blogs, make something in secret, and all reveal what we made from each other's blogs at the same time.  Very fun!  This month, I was thrilled with my assigned blog, Shockingly Delicious.
On the Facebook page for the Club, Dorothy and her nemesis Sally choose and brag about their assignments every month.  I'm awed by their speed and dedication to the feud.  It was so much fun to go through Dorothy's blog and see the kinds of things she makes and shares.
I considered lots of options - there are so many!  I looked through "Cheap and Easy" for inspiration, and considered more carbs with her breakfast options before finally settling on a retro favourite.
Impossible Pies were a revolution with Bisquick baking mix in the 1970s.  Both savoury and sweet, you put the filling in the pie plate, pour a batter of eggs and Bisquick over and bake; and amazingly, they turn into a quiche-like pie.
Dorothy had a ton of options.  I want to make them all:  Enchilada, Lasagna, and finally what I made for dinner: Spinach.  She even had a recipe to make a small batch of Bisquick-type mix so I wouldn't have to buy a box!  I was sold.
I present to you now from Shockingly Delicious, Impossible Spinach Pie: