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You Can MAKE That?

Posted by on Jan 8, 2013 in Store-bought Remix | 2 comments

This is a funny I came across from one of my favorite local bloggers…The Perfect Bite. She posted a cheesecake recipe with this quip at the end:

Also, I’m dedicating this post to my sister Brenda… who two days before Christmas was madly searching stores for a cheesecake without toppings. When I said, “It’s too bad you don’t live closer, I’m making cheesecakes tomorrow.”  She replied, “Wait. You can make a cheesecake?”

Sometimes it’s hard to believe we come from the same womb.


Keep on the Sunny Side

Posted by on Jan 6, 2013 in On the Basics | 0 comments

As I mentioned, I’m into sunny-side up eggs these days. I really only ever liked scrambled (usually with cheese), since that’s what I was used to. However, I’ve recently come around to poached and sunny-side up eggs, and I love to pretend I’m Gordon or Graham on Master Chef when I cut into the yolk. I watch for that perfect ooze, just like the pros! I’m really into the creamy, buttery yolk since I can’t eat cream or butter these days (my nursling is allergic).

Here’s a great how-to from Pioneer Woman (she knows her stuff!) and a shot of one of my recent breakfasts:

It’s definitely not perfect, but I’m getting the hang of it. Seen here on wheat toast with spinach.

Maybe one of these days I’ll get the guts to try poaching! I really like Eggs Benedict. I recently had it on crab cakes…yum!


Holiday Recap

Posted by on Jan 5, 2013 in Kitchen Tools | 0 comments

I know you’ve been wondering…this was the Christmas morning breakfast scene at my parents’ house:

The menu included a MEAT TRAY (bacon, country ham, and pigs-in-a-blanket…we almost made sausage, too, but decided to reel it in a little), buttery grits, scrambled eggs, and various juices (grape for the boys and tomato for me). I also made biscuits. I even referenced the blog on my phone for the recipe. Of course, Mr. J enjoyed pie with his parents on Christmas morning, too!

How’d you fare with kitchen equipment this year under the tree? I racked up…and I LOVE it all. I got TWO Smitten Kitchen cookbooks, and I’m really enjoying it so far. I love Deb’s writing, and her photography is to die for, as always. I’m looking forward to a few recipes in there, too! I also got TWO hand mixers, and I think I’m going to keep them both. You need 3 mixers, right? (I also have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer.)

All of the stuff from my wish list made it into my stocking: a Silpat, baking sheets, a zester, and a red wine aerator (a very nifty contraption).

I also got a mini egg skillet for making my newest obsession: sunny-side up eggs. Another neato item I got from Mr. J was an OXO cookbook holder. I like to pull up recipes on our tablet, and this holder keeps it up off the counter and protected from flying powdered sugar and drips. Very handy!

I’m sure I’m forgetting something…if so, that just means there’ll be another blog post…hooray!

Our little Chicken had a big Christmas, too. Here he is in his jolly, red suit:

Mmmm…Christmas Breakfast

Posted by on Dec 21, 2012 in Come Together | 0 comments

Christmas breakfast is ever the controversy at my house. Mr. J grew up eating pie for breakfast, and I grew up eating a smorgasbord of all the best of breakfast.

You might say, “Pie for breakfast…that sounds amazing!” Or you might be like me, and say, “Give me my awesome breakfast.” Story of the pie tradition goes…two young boys didn’t want to wait for breakfast on Christmas morning because there were presents to be unwrapped and Santa stuff to go through…duh. So, “Mom, can we please, please, please have something faster…how about pie?!” Ok, so I’m probably butchering the story, but I think that’s close. I’ve been around a long time (12 years), but not quite that long.

My mom puts out the red table cloth, a centerpiece, and the fancy Christmas china, and we dig in. These aren’t efforts to really be fancy-pants; it’s more about making the morning special. The menu isn’t necessarily set in stone from year to year, but it’s always delicious. One of my favorite dishes that usually makes an appearance is garlic cheese grits. We all know grits need a little dressing up. They’re kind of like the tofu of the South. We were inspired by some delicious grits eaten at Union Station hotel on an after-Christmas trip to Nashville when I was a kid (a tradition we used to have). Some minced garlic, shredded Cheddar cheese, and heavy cream are oh so delicious. Or you can take a short cut and get a little log (packaged like bulk sausage) in the refrigerated section at the grocery store…both are good!

So who will win this breakfast battle? Who knows? We’ll probably each do what we grew up and enjoy doing…or maybe we’ll start something new.

If you’re still planning your Christmas morning menu, here are a few links to recipe round-ups that have caught my eye.
Christmas Morning Breakfast Dishes from Farm Flavor
Christmas Breakfast and Brunch Ideas from Ezra Pound Cake
Easy Christmas Morning Breakfast Ideas from Plain Chicken

{12 Faves} New Traditions

Posted by on Dec 20, 2012 in Around Chez Ary | 2 comments

{12 Faves | 12 of 12} There are so many things around my house that make me smile this time of year. I want to share a few with you…

I can’t wait to see what traditions we’ll form now that we have a new addition to our family. Here are a couple that have started already (Elf on the Shelf and making a new ornament to commemorate each year).