Food Talk Friday: Mini German Pancakes with Apple-Caramel Sauce

So, a family member recommended we watch Brunch at Bobby’s with Bobby Flay on the Cooking Channel. We DVR’d some episodes and have been watching them.

Mini-German pancakes
Mini-German pancakes

Last night we watched Brunch for a crowd. Bobby made a strata, which we often make when we have breakfast for a crowd. It can be assembled the night before, it has bread and eggs and cheese and who doesn’t like those ingredients?

Anyway, when Bobby demonstrated the Mini-German pancakes with Apple-Calvados Caramel sauce, Stud Muffin had to try it.

The results: amazing! They reminded me a lot of aebelskivers, the Dutch treat, except these sank in the middle after a minute of cooling. Which made the perfect little pocket for the apple caramel sauce.

We didn’t have Calvados for the sauce so SM substituted Grand Marnier. I thought it was delicious. He was frustrated at first because his sauce wasn’t thickening like Bobby’s did in about two minutes, so I suggested he add a teaspoon of cornstarch and he did. I thought the consistency of the sauce was perfect. It likely would have simmered down and been fine without the cornstarch but it would have taken quite a bit longer and we were hungry. OH, and we didn’t have any heavy cream so he used milk, and that may have affected the consistency too, but like I said it was nothing a tiny bit of cornstarch couldn’t take care of. The recipe also suggested two kinds of apples, which we used because we had them, but I think all Granny Smith would be just as delicious.

Anyway, here’s the link to Bobby’s recipe.

You’re welcome!

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Woe! It’s Wednesday: Friends

I’ve blogged before about how special my friends are. I think I have the best group of friends in the world.

I know many others think their friends are the best, but they’re wrong.

Glen Ivy https://www.flickr.com/photos/miheco/4719605398/
Glen Ivy https://www.flickr.com/photos/miheco/4719605398/

I’m so excited to be spending a few days visiting these friends and we’re even sneaking in a spa day.

We started having a girl’s getaway when each of us turn 60 but we’re in a bit of a lull right now. It’s been a couple of years since the last 60th and we have another year or so until the next so we’re having an interim spa trip.

48 hours from now I’ll be laughing, getting a massage, and loving life.

I’m a little concerned about one thing. I’ve got a funky kind of skin sensitivity issue and I’ve been having a flareup for a few weeks. Okay a couple of months. I can’t get rid of it. The last time it was bad, a doctor said to avoid mineral products and use plant-based products. That seemed to help immensely and I’ve had minimal problems ever since then. But our spa has all kinds of mineral baths and treatments and I’m debating on the wisdom of partaking.

Oh, who am I kidding? Of course, I’m going to enjoy every minute and not think about the consequences. Truthfully, this is an irritation only, not nearly as severe as other people with allergic rashes. So I can handle a couple days of discomfort in return for a spa day with my BFFs.

Book Talk Tuesday: Thrill Me

I can’t believe summer is half over, but it must be. I got my third Fool’s Gold book last week. That’s the signal that summer and 100+ degree days are on the way out. I’m happy to see the end of summer heat but not so happy to see the end of Fool’s Gold until Christmas time.

THRILL ME by Susan Mallery
THRILL ME by Susan Mallery

THRILL ME is Maya’s story. We met Maya in last month’s offering, KISS ME. Maya returned to Fool’s Gold with her friend Phoebe who fell in love with Maya’s stepbrother Zane in KISS ME. Now Maya’s been offered a job in Fool’s Gold, the only town that’s ever felt like home. She’s tired of life in LA and ready to come home. She never expected Del would be coming home too.

Del Mitchell and Maya were in love when they were just out of high school. In love and engaged. Until Maya panicked, dumped Del, and left town for college. Del packed up and left too. He’s back in town for his dad’s upcoming birthday party and to decide his next project. He doesn’t expect to strike up a friendship with Maya again, not after she broke up with him.

I loved this one! (No shock, I know.)

Maya and Del are older, smarter, and more experienced now. They’re both surprised that those youthful feelings of love can be so easily rekindled. But Maya just got back to town and Del will leaving at the end of summer. She’d love to travel to some of the places he’s planning to see, but it doesn’t make sense to leave a good job and the only home she’s ever felt she belonged in. Del wants to ask Maya to come with him. They make a great team behind the camera. He’s got a vision for a video project and Maya would be a perfect partner. Except can he trust her? She ran off once, she could do it again.

As usual, I really enjoyed this one and recommend it. The sex is still pushing my boundaries, but it’s later in the book and more subdued than earlier Fool’s Gold installments, which I like.

Go. Buy. Escape. Enjoy. Trust me.

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√ I received a free copy of THRILL ME in return for an honest review.

Media Monday: Social Media Part 2

We’ve had an … interesting year or two in our family.

And I’ve been thinking about social media some more since my post about it a couple of weeks ago. I’m okay with being authentic and honest and telling people I’m struggling with something. At least in person. The problem comes when what I’m dealing with isn’t my personal hardship. fb

2014 was a year of legal wrangling. We walked a journey from arrest to sentencing, with stops in bail, pre-trial hearings, plea bargains, and victim statements. Even though we were on the roller coaster, it wasn’t our amusement park. (Yes, I know I’m mixing my metaphors and dropping similes all over the place, but work with me here.) So I didn’t feel I could talk on social media about the experience.

2015 has been a year of health issues. We have a loved one in a fight for her life against a nasty cancer. Stud Muffin has been treated for a-fib cardiac issues and an intestinal abscess. Other family members have had eye/vision problems, cardiac issues, back injuries, broken bones. twitter

The tension I feel is how can I post a chipper update about my excitement over a new flavor of lip balm when my heart is breaking because we just heard chemo didn’t work again and we’re on to another more dangerous treatment.

Those who know me personally and know the truth may think me shallow to be talking about mango vs. marshmallow flavored chapstick. While those who don’t me may think I have nothing serious going on and I can’t relate to the stresses a crisis brings.

It’s a 21st century problem for sure.

Every social media post I make, on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram is given some consideration before I click “Post.” I strive for a mix of humor and honesty, mundane and momentous, personal and promotion.

It’s a tricky balance and I’m not at all confident that I’m not constantly on the verge of falling flat on my face.

How honest do you think others are on social media? I’ve had friends leave Facebook because they got tired of seeing everyone else’s bright and shiny lives. I’ve unfollowed a few people who’s posts were continually full of either self-promotion

Picture from wikipedia.com
Picture from wikipedia.com

or a cleaned up version of life that can’t possibly be true. And a few who moan ceaselessly about how hard life is for them. They’ve all obviously missed the balance and have toppled over to one side or the other.

I remember a few months ago the Kardashians took some heat for tweeting about something inane (a new fragrance?) right after a tragic event overseas (an earthquake? – the details are fuzzy). People were outraged over the callousness. But the tweets were pre-scheduled to be broadcast at a certain time. No one deliberately picked that moment. This story is often told to urge against pre-scheduling social media and it’s why I rarely schedule tweets anymore. Blog posts are another story. 😉

But it’s a real risk, appearing uncaring or even stupid because of a post or tweet.

What do you think? How honest should we be on social media? How transparent? Where’s the boundary when what we share involves others?

Food Talk Friday: Coleslaw

I’m not normally a coleslaw fan. Ever since I was a kid, it’s never been a favorite. I don’t know if I didn’t like the sweetness of some slaws or the tanginess. Whatever, if it was on the table, I may take a dollop out of politeness, but not with any gusto.

Until about five or six years ago when I had this amazing blue cheese cole slaw. The tang of the cheese isn’t a vinegary tang, it’s smooth and marries perfectly with the crunch of the cabbage. I make this all summer long and love it. I’ve even made the dressing on occasion by itself and used it on green salads. Yummmm!!!

I’ve named it for the friend who gave me the recipe. She even won an award for this one!

No picture (what was I thinking, not taking a picture of this stuff??) But I’ll be having some this weekend. I’ll snap one and add it later.

Abbie’s Blue Cheese Coleslaw

1 med green cabbage (about 2 lbs) thinly shredded (about 12 cups)

1 small red onion, slivered

1/4 C chopped parsley

1 T sugar

1 t salt

1/4 C tarragon wine vinegar

1/2 C each sour cream and may

1 C crumbled blue cheese

In a large bowl, lightly mix cabbage, onion, and parsley.

In a medium blow, mix sugar and salt, add vinegar and stir until sugar dissolves. Mix in sour cream and mayo, then fold in cheese.

Pour dressing over cabbage mixture. Mix lightly to coat with dressing. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 3 hours to blend flavors.

Woe! It’s Wednesday: Family Connections

I’ve blogged before that my family of origin is a blended family. But I’ve never been treated as a step- or a half- or as anything other than a welcomed and loved family member.

Family Trees
Family Trees

We just got back from a quick trip to visit a cousin in Nevada. We talked, we laughed, we even cried a bit. We did some fun tourist things, we relaxed, we enjoyed each other’s company.

I love that I have cousins around the country. I’ve popped in on one in San Francisco while he was at work. I have a cousin in New England who’s invited us to visit and we hope to take him up on that. A cousin in Portland taught how to make homemade pasta. One cousin just gave me a ton of grandchild toys that my girls are having a ball with.

I love that I have amazing people in my life and I’m so grateful for each of them, no matter how we ended up as family.

Book Talk Tuesday: QUAKER SUMMER

This is an older book that has been on Mt. TBR for a couple of years. I’m so glad I picked it up and read it finally.

QUAKER SUMMER by Lisa Samson
QUAKER SUMMER by Lisa Samson

Heather Curridge is frustrated with her life but afraid to show her discontent. She has a beautiful home. A surgeon husband. An amazing son. She buys and remodels and volunteers in an effort to prove to herself, and to God, that she is a good person and deserves her blessings.

But she knows better. She knows that her son being bullied at his private Christian school is God paying her back. And her inability to find contentment is rooted in her need to lose twenty forty pounds. Heather and her family stopped going to church a year or so ago and they just can’t find a new one to fit their needs.

A chance encounter in a rough part of town introduces Heather to Sister Jerusha, a nun making a difference. Then Heather has an accident on one of her evening drives and is rescued by two elderly sisters with a vibrant faith.

Heather begins to see that her faith is not about her. After spending time with the sisters and the Sister, Heather sets out on a journey to set her crooked world back on its firm foundation.

I really loved this book. I think it speaks to many women who know they are blessed, know they are called to something more than running car pool and delivering cupcakes, but don’t know where to start or where to go.

The answer is quite simple: Start where you are.