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Monday, October 27, 2008

All's Fair

What is October without a trip to the State Fair? I took my annual pilgrimmage this year with Wendi. We braved a fierce drizzle and not all that chilly weather so that we could get our fix of fried food, fast pigs, and candy apples (okay, the apples was just me). Join me now on a wee highlight tour of "Kathy and Wendi Go To The Fair" (2008).

If Veruca Salt had seen this, she would have wanted a party in a pita too (who wouldn't?).

I think they serve fried food at the Fair, but we had a hard time finding it.

Finally decided on something healthy, so we went by the vegetable trolley for some deep fried green tomatoes (made fresh and on the spot). DEE-Lish! (p.s. Wendi doesn't always look this insane, but we were REALLY hungry at this point)

Cake display was mind-blowing, this was my fav! Wendi was making drooly eyes at the little Duff, it's a good thing there was glass between us and the cake (I'm a Geoff gal myself).

So many much fondant. It's like Play-Doh for grown-ups...and they encourage you to eat it!
Mmmm, deep fried Oreos, a k2 Fair staple. The secret is lots of powdered sugar. Though I would recommend looking away as they scrape excess sugar off the counter to sprinkle on your treats, it's a bit disturbing.

This was my Waterloo. I threw in the white napkin of surrender after one bite -- deep fried Reese's Cup. Three words, oh...good...god.

I know Wendi has more photos to share. We did actually see other things like crafts, and cows, and big honking pumpkins, and scary people (and we're not just talking carnies here). All in all, an enthusiastic two thumbs up for a rollicking good time.

Hey, you gonna put that in your mouth?

Howdy and hello! I have come up for a momentary breath of air. The other job (you know, the one they pay me to be at) has been keeping me hopping. Successfully surivived feeding 450 people on Saturday for Parents Weekend and am getting ready to pull together the loose strings of a two-day conference next week for 200. That's the biz though.

So, seeing as the most wonderful holiday of the year is almost upon us, I thought I'd share my new favorite cookies with you -- Zombie Fingers! For those who have noshed in the past on Witches Fingers, it's the same thing only with broken "nails" and a ghastly green tinge.

My first foray into finger cookies went a bit awry. I cheated...yes, it's been know to happen...and decided to use pre-made sugar cookie dough. "But k2," you ask, "isn't it true that sugar cookie dough, no matter how carefully and time-consumingly you form it into gross green digits, will not hold it's shape when baking?" And I would say to you, "yes that's true" (unless your unintentional intention was to create a variation of Zombie Fingers, say those belonging to a bloated and then steam-rolled zombie carcass).

Attempt #2 went much more smoothly. The key is flavored shortbread cookie dough. And when you do it right, here is the pre-baked result.

Wendi will have to supply the baked result because I forgot to take a photo. Served with a side of raspberry jam for that "fresh from the blood bath" look, they were actually quite delicious...if you can get past the feeling you're sticking a green finger in your mouth.
Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 24, 2008

A recipe is born

So, the other day, as I was riding the bus, without anything to read, I started plotting. In the amount of time it took my chatty bus driver to get me from my car, to the bus stop, I had come up with two ideas for parties. One being a dill pickle dip. Now, this, my friends, will not be a dip made with dill pickles, but will be fashioned along the lines of the new dill pickle flavored chips that have recently hit the grocery stores. I haven't figured out exactly how to do this, but I'll keep you posted.

The other idea however, took hold, and was quickly formulated... This idea... ready for it??? "cake batter dip" ... to be served along side cookies of some sort (or fruits, if you're into that sort of thing). Well, last night, I got myself to the grocery store, and bought the ingredients that I felt would be necessary for this dip. I put it together, and have already decided on some modifications.

I am very fortunate that my fellow co-workers are good tasters... although, I have my doubts about some of them, and their ability to give constructive criticism. I let some of these co-workers do their tasting, and it seemed to go over quite well. I served it with graham crackers, and one taster said that chocolate graham crackers would be tasty... so I'm definitely putting that at the back of my mind too.

So, the posts may have slowed down for awhile, but be assured, our dear readers, the creativity does not!! :)


p.s. We do have fair food pictures... both K2 and I have been a little slammed, so we haven't gotten them up... I'll try this weekend, and K may have some breathing time next week that she might be able to do some blogging.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Where have they gone?

For those of you who are beginning to wonder why you bother reading this blog if we aren't going to do more diligence in providing interesting (or self-serving) tidbits on a regular basis, I promise you (former girl scouts honor) that more food fun is on it's way.

We have mouth-watering marvels and gross goodies to share (with photos!)...just been a tidge busy. This is what happens when you mix two social butterflies with 40-hour work schedules together with a needs-to-be-blogged blog.

More to come...and soon! Now, I'm just thinking aloud here, but as we've both obtained the nod from the paycheck powers-that-be to skootch off early tomorrow for a Friday jaunt to the NC State Fair, perhaps a tribute to the wonderful world of deep-fried goodness will be in the asking.

So SERIOUSLY, stay tuned, and until then, keep your bellies full and your minds open!


Friday, October 10, 2008

Bean vs. Legume: The Title Throw-down

Okay, John, to answer your question about the "difference between a legume and a bean"? Well, really, there is no difference. “Bean” is a common name for large plant seeds of several genera of the family Fabaceae (formerly Leguminosae – thus “legume”), so basically, beans are a subset of legumes.

Legumes are plants that bear pods that split when mature and the pods or seeds are used for food. According to Wikipedia (which I love to use for learning new stuff), although "beans" usually means the seeds of bean plants, it can also mean (especially in the US) the whole young pods of bean plants, which if picked before the pods ripen and dry, can be tender enough to eat whole, whether it’s cooked or raw. So the term "green bean" literally means green in the sense of unripe, as the beans inside the green bean pods are really too teeny to be considered a significant part of the cooked fruit.

Bean are considered to be among the most versatile and nutritious foods available. Typically low in fat, contain no cholesterol, and are high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. And to boot, depending on the type of bean you use, they can be a great source of protein -- a very healthy alternative for meat (which has way more fat and icky cholesterol).

Protein-enriched legumes come either dried or canned, and some of the more common types are azuki (asuki) beans, black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), edamame (new personal favorite), fava beans (I hear they go well with chianti), lentils, lima beans (aka butter beans), red kidney beans (mmm, chili), and soy nuts (yuck).

So there you go. And thanks for the question! I can hardly wait to break out my new bean small talk at the next cocktail party.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

And so it begins....

Wow, awesome, we actually got some questions. So just to drag this out and fill in space, we will address your questions one day at a time, in the order in which they are received, of course, just to play fair. Oh, and to be able to give each of your questions the time and consideration they deserve. :)

Question #1 comes to us from Sprocket the Dog (side note: totally frickin' cool name) -- "How would you make the world's most perfect ice cream sammitch?"

Well, Sprocket, while I tend to enjoy the classics -- squiggy chocolate cake-like coverings with genuine faux "vanilla" ice cream substance melting out the sides -- Wendi and I both agree that the "perfect" ice cream sammitch, broken down to the most basic elements, consists of two homemade cookies with a plentiful helping of creamy, more-natural-than-not ice cream tucked in-between. If you have purist tendencies, then the cookies would be slightly chewy chocolate chip with a natural vanilla bean ice cream center.

But you know, there are SO many options out there, and so many opportunities to personalize your dreammitch of choice. Me, in the winter, I can see cozying up by the fire with a gingersnap and peppermint ice cream sammitch or spice cookies with pumpkin ice cream (drool). Or for all you Reese's fans out there, what about peanut butter cookies with chocolate ice cream? Hmmm, tasty.

So Sprocket, it comes down to this: Whatever palate-pleasing elements you use to build your dreammitch, well, it's always going to be perfect if it makes you happy.

Q&A Smarty-pants

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Q & A

Since K2 and I are between gigs (we are getting ready for a small Halloween/zombie gathering, and also have a really quiet fall meal in the works) we have little to post in terms of food or pictures or witty comments. Although, we can be witty, snarky, sarcastic, or whatever else you may request... it's just easier to do if there is food involved.

So, this is what we decided... ready for it?? Q & A. If anybody has culinary type questions, that you might want to ask, we want to be able to answer (using all of the above mentioned writing techniques). If you know of anybody who may have questions, who does NOT read the blog, you can pass it along to them (note: that was a fairly shameless plug, it's true).

There are two ways you can ask. Feel free to send an email to us at or you can post as a comment.

We look forward to questions!! We might even succumb to begging!!! :)


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fall Menu Preview

I have two inspirations when it comes to "creating food":

1. Bouncing ideas around with K2 (which, of course, produces the best results), and
2. Being insanely bored and distracting myself with a game of WWFE (What Would Foodies Eat?).

Door #2 is actually what helped me come up with a potential meal for the fall menu coming up in a few weeks. K2 and I haven't had a real chance to sit down and discuss so the menu is not finalized (good thing the clients are friends). In fact, I believe I've only mentioned the food in passing to her, so we haven't been able to really dive in and come up with the ideal menu, but I really wanted to post something today, so below is the beginning of a menu.

Appetizer -- Tempura root vegetables (with some sort of dip)

Salad -- Baby spinach with granny smith apples, dried cranberries, and shaved Parmesan cheese with a warm maple, bacon vinaigrette.

Main course -- Inside out Paella (and this is the one I remember running by K2... I know we need a new name, I know) which is basically a chicken breast stuffed with paella goodness!

I'm having trouble with side dishes, I thought of roasted cauliflower, and crunchy cheese twists. Unfortunately, putting all that on a plate actually creates a bit of a problem... no sauce (it's always good to have a sauce on the plate).

Dessert -- Gingerbread pudding with a side of homemade pumpkin ice cream.

The other reason I decided to post is, I think it's important to show a developing menu. Like, here's the Before, and wait until after the After (the After will even come with pictures!!). You never know, could be a completely different menu come meal time!!

This is where I hope K2 chimes in (you know, to show the bouncing ideas aspect!! Some day, this process will be videotaped).


Videotaped? Ah, that's right, Wendi's plan for us is (1) overnight business success, (2) our own cooking shows (you know, one for each of us), and then (3) take over the world! Oh wait, #3 is really mine, but Wendi's always game for new things.

So here is where I chime in now with a what we can do with the base menu (do you feel like you're at Oz yet, peeking behind the curtain, can we interest you in a heart or perhaps a dash of courage?).

Menu, Part Deux --

Tempura Root Veggies with various squashes would be good and maybe a beet-infused vinaigrette for dipping. Something light since tempura is not a heavy fried coating, tangy with a nice vinegar base, and "beet"ed to keep with the root veggie theme, plus would add a nice touch of color to the course.

The salad is everything wonderful, but for some extra crunch I would suggest tossing in some toasted walnuts. Walnuts are very fallish and would add a savory crunch to offset an already sweet-heavy salad.

Chicken stuffed with about calling it Pollo Paella? We can use a menu to describe the inside-outyness of the dish, but at least the title will give people a pretty good sense of what the basics are. And I'd like to do it with a chunky tomato sauce...not tomato sauce like "where's the pizza crust," but a rich thick sauce with heavy diced tomatoes, some fresh oregano, and some burgundy wine (oooh, here comes the drool).

As far as sides go, I'd only have one since your starch will actually be tucked inside the chicken and you've already fed them root veggies as an appetizer. Now I wouldn't eat it, but what about steamed asparagus (bleck!) on the side, a tidy little stack, done simply with no sauce? Then you've got green to go with the brown/yellow of the bird/paella and red of the sauce -- very fall-like colors.

And for the dessert, how about drizzling the whole thing with a pecan syrup or caramel sauce (secret is not in the sauce, it IS the sauce).

And this is how it begins -- Ta-Dahhhhh! (insert bow here)