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Two Posts, One Day

I’m sitting in my office marveling at how I was planning to honeymoon at my favorite campsite an hour ago but now I’m trying to find another honeymoon since there will be a crazy-huge Halloween party going on there the weekend of my wedding.

I was pondering, and I started thinking about dinner.

I started to think about dinner tonight. Dinner on my own for the third day in a row.

I started thinking about the veggies in my refrigerator. And the creamy goat cheese.

I started to think about thick slices of high fiber bread. And tomato soup.

And, just like that, I convinced myself that tonight I will have a grilled goat cheese and veggie sandwich with tomato soup for dinner.

I can’t wait.

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Chard

Red Chard

I’m going to reveal my inner 13-year-old boy and tell you that when I see the word “chard” I automatically read it as “chode” which is not the same thing at all. I also giggle. I’m totally inappropriate, all the time.

Despite this fact, I have developed a crush on chard. It’s only two days old, my crush, but it’s been heady enough to mean I’ve eaten my way through a bunch of red chard on my own since Monday. I finished it last night. By myself. In some pasta.

I’m sometimes freaked out by the way that the flavor creeps its way up the back of my throat to attack my nose, but aside from that, I don’t have any complaints. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the red chard sautéed with some garlic, salt and pepper and tossed with a fettucine or spaghetti. Last night, I partnered it up with some roasted red pepper, mushrooms, and zucchini before tossing it on top of a spicy Italian chicken sausage. I have to tell you, everyone played nicely together. It was a delightful dinner I was able to throw together in about fifteen minutes.

So, chard made my week better. I just wanted to share that.

Despite the fact that I know I have no spare time in which to cook tasty things, I’m still eyeballing recipes on a fairly consistent basis. Probably too consistent, actually. If I were to actually make a list of recipes I should make once I get through this period of constant planning and working, I’d have a list as long as I am tall written in very tiny print. Very, very tiny.

In case you have more time than I, and I hope that you do, I’m going to link to some of the recipes that have caught my eye recently. I’ll be envious of your time in the kitchen, believe me.

PW posted her recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Sweet Rolls, and I kind of want to cry because I can’t make them. Not cry, sob. I want to sob.

The Tasty Kitchen featured Pecan Pie Muffins the other day, and my heart nearly stopped.

I’m dreaming of Joy’s Fried Apple Cakes. Dreaming. And hoping. And wishing.

The fact that I drool when simply looking at A Good Appetite’s Sweet Corn, Bacon and Tomato Tart is proof that I (you) need to make it immediately.

Did you see Smitten Kitchen’s Linguine with Tomato-Almond Pesto? Yes? No? Go there. You need to see it. I need to taste it.

I also need to taste the Avocado Wasabi Salad at VeganYumYum. How can you say no to wasabi? Really, how?

I could keep posting links. I could post and post and post them until you were so sick of links that you couldn’t stand it any longer. And you know what? I don’t think it could cover the number of recipes I’ve fallen in love with in the last few weeks, but have been unable to cook.

Sigh.

Although, I will admit this to you. Our “camping trip” honeymoon in October is going to be filled to the brim with home cooked meals. My parents’ place has a kitchen with a nice little stove and warm little oven. I’m going to make good use of both.

Saucy

I’ll admit that this post has nothing to do with food.

I’d say that I’m sorry, but I’m really not. I am going to revel in the fact that I’m sharing a wee glimpse into two pieces of my wedding attire.

Wedding is the key word. I am not wearing this stuff to my reception. Reception = jeans and a flannel. Keep that in mind.

This saucy piece is an almost identical match to the red crinoline slip I will be wearing under my tea-length wedding dress.

And these are the Chuck Taylors I am wearing with that slip and that dress.

For part of the day. Not all of it. I have heels, too. They’re not as much fun as the Chucks, though.

A Wedding Menu: Part I

Mom & Dad with the baby sister, T

Shannon and I are in full wedding reception planning mode. We have a little under two months until our reception (less than one month until our wedding!), and we both know the time is going to fly.

Did I mention that between now and the reception, I’m in charge of a week-long series of programming, out-of-town for a conference where I’m presenting three times, and we have a smattering of other obligations both personal and professional? If not, I’ve now  mentioned it. It’s going to be a wild, crazy two months.

Luckily, we both have very supportive families that are working to help us in any way that they can. I have to admit that their willingness to lend a hand has been invaluable.

We spent the three-day weekend at my parents’ lake property enjoying some light camping – I say “light” because we have a bathroom with a shower – and the fresh air. It was a brilliant weekend to be outdoors. Mid-to-upper 70s, sunny and breezy. In the midst of all that outdoorsy enjoyment, somewhere between the S’mores and the wine and the BBQ pork tenderloin, we talked a bit about the menu for our reception. It seemed to make perfect sense at the time.

Shannon and I are committed to the backyard BBQ theme that we’ve established for ourselves. We want our food to be exactly what you’d find in any picnic-type environment. Simple. Fresh. Awesomely yummy. So what does that mean?

It means my dad has offered to slow smoke beef brisket and make his famous baked beans. It means my mom is going to help us inject a few turkeys with some tasty brines before we deep fry them golden brown. It means that my parents offered to pull out all the stops and make their unbelievably sinful homemade potato chips in mass quantities to help us feed the 200-ish people we’re inviting to attend our backyard festivities.

I. Am. So. Excited.

My parents make the best homemade potato chips. Really. They sold them at my sister’s softball tournament for something like $4.50 a basket, and people came back for a second basket. Even a third. So good. The fact that my parents offered up their chip-making prowess just about made my weekend.

While the rest of the menu hasn’t been officially designated – we still need to talk salads and cupcakes among other things – we have a really fantastic base from which to build.

It’s going to be delicious.

A Good Read

As I’ve stated numerous times before, I love to read about food. My obsession with cookbooks is a clear indication of how much I enjoy reading about food. I can (and will) spend hours in the cooking section of any bookstore leafing through pages of various cookbooks.

I find it comforting. It’s like comfort food for your intellectual side.

Apparently, I also like reading about regrettable foods. Shannon picked up some cooking-related books for me during his most recent trip to the public library, and I nearly laughed out loud when I saw this one.

I might have been a bit hopeful that the recipes would be published with the photos of tabletop carnage. Alas, I was ultimately disappointed. It’s a good thing the clever captions made up for the lack of recipes, then. I found the whole book just delightful from cover to cover.

There’s something joyous in reliving the cooking nightmares of years past while simultaneously thanking your lucky stars that your mom never attempted to serve salmon pate. Although, my mom did often make “Beef Biscuit Roll.”

Ask me about how that turned out sometime…

The Precious

I didn’t let myself down this weekend. I cooked. I really did. Not nearly as much as I would have liked, but I definitely cooked.

I was only sidelined briefly by the allure of pepperoni and mushroom pizza. I made up for it by making a fantastic red wine and rosemary mushroom sauce. I may have put it on a piece of medium steak. 

I’ll share the pictures and the recipes this week. For sure. Now, though, I’m going to share a simply picture I ripped off the interwebs. 

“Why?” you ask. 

“Because,” I respond before pressing ‘upload.’

The Precious

I post this because this little lovely recently made its way onto our wedding registry. I didn’t tell anyone because, well, no one was around for me to tell. But now I’m telling you. I did it. I put it on our registry. The one gift I have been saying will be on our registry is now on our registry. It was a moment, I’m telling you. A real moment. 

It feels almost as if I have the slim chance of being reunited with my long-lost twin sister. If we receive nothing else but this mixer, life will still be glorious and wonderful and beautiful. 

It really is my version of the One Ring. Scary, isn’t it?