Thursday Link Rodeo

Forget a roundup – this here is a link rodeo! It’s a collection of cool/exciting/delicious food news, recipes, and more that we’ve encountered recently. Yeehaw. Or something. 

This week’s rodeo has been brought to you by Easter Sunday and Spring Fertility Celebrations. And such. 😉

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40 Cloves of Garlic Crockpot Chicken, from me.
Pepper-Roasted Asparagus, from Brie.
Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes, also from Brie.
Hearty Fig Bread, from me.
Classic French Meringues a la Brandie.

A Very Meatbox* Valentine

We had a delightfully meat-filled Valentine’s Day in the Qwerty household. Brie spotted a Groupon for a box full of amazing, meaty deals – a variety of filet mignons, pigs in a blanket, lobster tails, chicken fried steaks, twice baked potatoes, cheese cake, and more. There were three different options, and between all of us, we managed to get one of each box.

Here’s Adam unboxing one of them:

Video Transcript

Welcome to WTF Came in the Mail! (Grunts) It’s a big box. This is my cheat sheet of what’s in here,  let’s see if we can figure it out just by looking. Oooh, that’s CHILI! (Reads) “Goodbye dinner time stress, hello fresh?” I already have a veggie box, so I don’t need that. (Reads) “It’s cooler to recycle.” Thank you. That’s just more advertisements. There we go! STEAK SEASONING. These are gourmet franks, I think? $40 gift card for Hello Fresh, but I have one of those. More advertisements. What are these? WHAT ARE THESE? Stuffed sole fillet. Stuffed with… stuffed with scallops and crab meat. An unconditional guarantee that my steaks are steaks I guess? And not… rabbits. Oh. We got beef top sirloin steaks. We can get through these quicker. Maybe not. This one is sealed differently than the others. Beef tenderloin steaks with more guarantees. Ground beef burgers. No guarantees! There are NO guarantees these are ground beef burgers. Hmm? Pork loin chops, boneless. Boneless pork loin chops? What are these? Oh, caramel apple tartlets! No guarantee. And finally, I think, Omaha Steakhouse fries. With a different kind of packaging that makes me open it a different way. OK. And nutritional facts. For all the stuff in the box. And all the stuff not in my box? And an empty ice box. Now I gotta find somewhere to put all of this food. (Sighs). Well, that has been WTF Came in the Mail: frozen meat edition. See ya next time!

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Here’s a terrible photo of my plate – with lobster tail, asparagus, twice-baked potatoes, pigs in a blanket, chicken fried steak, what’s left of my steak, and steak fries.

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And here’s a video of all of it (including a homemade fondue bar for dessert). Glimmering and glorious.

Video Transcript

Adam: This is a lot of food. Baked potatoes, asparagus, chicken fried steak, steak steak, lobster, cheese cake, little piggies in their blankets, steak fries. Now it’s gonna provide it’s own light. Marshmallows, apples and bananers, cookie dough balls, CHOCOLATE, cheese cake, rice krispy treats, marble pound cake, nutter butters, and that is
Cat: – And happy people.
Adam: And happy people.
(Video game voice over plays in the background)

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Full tummies and full hearts on Valentine’s day. Definitely could have been worse.

If you’re ever at a loss for what to do for an intimate group dinner, make sure to keep an eye out for coupons. We had a wonderful time, way too much food, and had a similar experience to a restaurant like the Melting Pot for less than half of what it cost to actually leave the house and order someplace. Plus, it was socially acceptable to wear stretchy pants.

All hail the stretchy pants.

What did you do this past Valentine’s Day?

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*Under no circumstances should you look up the slang meaning of “meatboxing.”

From All of Us

Wishing you peace, love, and yumminess this holiday season, and a delicious new year!

HAPPILYHOLIDAYSQWERTYCAFE2014

From left to right
Top Row: Comet, Buffy, Cheeto, Stardust
Bottom Row: Josh the Cat, Aries, Stilton, Bronson
Not Pictured: Butter (actually a pet, not just a joke)

Candied Ginger and Egg Nog Scones

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Another cool winter day, another cup of hot tea – and a craving for flaky, wonderful scones. These feature chopped, candied ginger and a whisper of egg nog.

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You CAN use cream instead of egg nog, but the nog is a nice way to round out the subtle flavors of this scone.

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If you hadn’t noticed, I’ve temporarily relocated my home office to the kitchen table. And yes, that is an excel spreadsheet in the background. Nerds unite! 😉 Luckily, it’s a reasonably large room, so coexisting in the shared cooking space has worked out pretty well.

Anyhoo, if you’re craving scones, these are a lovely option – great holiday flavors and delicious texture. Goes great with butter and a cup of tea.

Candied Ginger Scones
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 16 scones
Ingredients
  • 1 cup finely chopped candied/crystalized ginger
  • 1 stick frozen, unsalted butter
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup egg nog, plus a little extra for brushing over the scones. (Can use heavy cream instead!)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder. and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Grate in 5 Tablespoons of frozen butter, and stir until combined (it should resemble course crumbs).
  4. Mix in ginger.
  5. Fold in egg nog (being careful not to overwork the dough).
  6. Lightly flour your work surface and press your dough out into the shape of a rectangle (about 12" x 3" x 1½").
  7. Cut in half lengthwise, then into squares, and then cut the squares in half to form triangles.
  8. Place on baking sheet and brush tops lightly with egg nog (or cream).
  9. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until lightly golden.

 

Quick Egg Nog Pie

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In what’s becoming an annual tradition, Brie and I hosted a Holiday Movie Night at our house this past Saturday. It’s serves as excellent motivation to finish putting up our weird and eclectic collection of Christmas decorations and really helps lock in the feeling that Santa is due in town really, really soon (don’t forget to finish up your holiday shopping!).

We started with a nice selection of goodies and several holiday shorts/cartoons (about 40 minutes worth). Then came the feature holiday movie: Die Hard! (Don’t tell anyone, but it was my first time seeing it…)

We kind of went all out last year, but I wanted something a little lower key this time around. And yes, I’m saying there are tasty things even easier than the Easy-Peasy-Rum Cake. And this egg nog pie is definitely easy.

The worst part, really, is letting it sit long enough in the fridge to set. Make sure you wait to put the pretty whipped topping on until it’s nearly ready to serve. Otherwise this happens:

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Give it a spin, why don’t ya?

Quick Egg Nog Pie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups egg nog
  • 1 cup heavy cream for a really rich texture or regular milk for something lighter
  • 1 box cook & serve vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 pre-baked pie shell
  • 1 can aerosol whipped topping
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the egg nog, cream, and vanilla pudding mix in a medium pot over medium heat (you can add a Tablespoon of rum if you want to kick it up a notch!).
  2. Continue whisking until thickened and bubbly.
  3. Pour into pre-baked pie shell.
  4. Refrigerate until firm (about 3 hours).
  5. Decorate with whipped topping and nutmeg.

 

 

Halloween – It’s all about the candy.

Halloween is upon us as of Friday…

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And that means weirdly sexualized costumes (NSFW warning on those links) and heaps of sugar high inducing candy.

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I haven’t had to deal with Trick or Treaters in a long time…

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But that doesn’t mean I don’t use Halloween as an excuse to buy as much candy as I can rationalize to myself.

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I love it all, the gummies, the lollipops, the hard candies, the chocolates, the sours, and of course the seasonal delight:

Candy Corn.

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I always immediately tear into it with gusto.

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But then I face the insta regret.

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So sugar, much belly ache, wow.

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It doesn’t stop me from doing it again next Halloween though.

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What’s your favorite Halloween candy?