Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins

The Phantom of the Opera by The Original London Cast of "Phantom of the Opera"
This post is taking me back to mornings in my home as a fully-nested mother.  These delicious and quick muffins were a big hit with my Fab 5.  But why the Phantom reference?  Because this was also part of the era where this Broadway musical was very popular.  My kids were interested in it because they found out that their beloved Condorman (Michael Crawford) was, in fact, The Phantom.  Although our allegiances still stayed with "Les Miserables" as the family favorite, the Phantom music provided for great breakfast comedy performances.  You see, my kids thought it hilarious that, when this song came on, I'd stop what I was doing on my inner side of the kitchen counter, and start to play the "counter" organ along with the music.  Of course I was theatrical about it.  Of COURSE, I sang along, in my finest operatic voice (tee hee)!  And, of course, it was an almost daily request - at least by my youngest, who hadn't quite perfected the art of rolling their eyes - yet.  I can hardly eat these muffins without remembering those mornings and the joy at getting them to laugh to start their day.

Facebook sure has a way of getting things passed around.
The enlightening, the gross, the spiritual, the tearful,
the helpful, the happy, the informing,
and the infuriating.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Creamy Carrot Soup

Sunshine Of Your Love by Cream
It couldn't have been easier.  The song choice.  And the soup, for that matter.  Or more perfect.  A soup that is as bright and cheery as the sunshine and creamy as creamy can be.  Sigh.  And Eric Clapton singing to you about wanting to be with you - always.  Always, he says.  In the sunshine of your love.  Just think about that for a moment. You know, while you're enjoying a lovely warm bowl of soup. 

Sometimes you just need a bowl
of sunshine in the winter.
Something to remind you that green grass
and budding flowers are coming.
Sooner for some than others -
but they're coming still the same.

This soup has a healthy dose of
citrus, courtesy of an obliging orange.
And an orange is just as happily
colored as a carrot!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cheese-Stuffed Manicotti

Stuck In the Middle With You by Stealers Wheel
This is the song that started playing around in my mind as I crammed these manicotti shells full of delicious cheeses.  Perhaps it was the cheeses singing!  Although Rafferty and Egan's song doesn't seem any too happy about being stuck in the middle of where they were, for the most part, I find fillings to be a source of joy!  Especially when they involve ooey gooey cheeses . . . and fresh parsley.  Parm to the left of me, Ricotta to the right, here I am, stuffing the middle with you!

This recipe has been in my 
recipe box so long I can't even remember
where it came from and when!
I do remember, however, initially being completely
intimidated by the idea of trying to shove
any kind of filling inside a tube of pasta.
Then someone told me I could cut
the tube open and just lay the filling down the
middle and then roll it back up
and place the seam side down.
Which is how I did it for a couple decades.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Clementine Cake

Dirty Paws by Of Monsters and Men
Two things about this past week - 1.) I was introduced to a new cake and 2.) I found out about a new band.  And both things happened within the same 2 hour frame of time, simultaneously, while I was being carried away by a movie like I haven't been for a very long time.  And the resonating feelings haven't left me and dwindled away.  They've grown stronger and stronger until I feel like I MUST see it again.  For the scenery, for the story, for the characters, and for the ever-so-perfect music.  I bought the whole soundtrack but I'm sharing this selection by Of Monsters and Men as a nod to their achingly beautiful homeland - Iceland.  Of Monsters and Men call themselves "folkie pop" which is a very suitable description of their sound.  If you haven't already, you should give this song a listen!  It's bright and energizing - just like this cake!

So we went to see
"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"
starring Ben Stiller last week.
I want to see it again.
And again.
And again.

To be honest, I wasn't so sure at first.
I have this problem when I go to the movies.
I'm forever taking $9 naps.
I can't explain it.
I haven't always been like this.
But get me sitting still, in a big dark theater,
and, chances are, if the movie doesn't grab me
right up front, I'm doing the bob and weave.
I've even done a snorting snore once.
Luckily it was a kiddie matinee and hardly
anybody was there.
I woke myself up with the loudness of the snort.
Only to see my daughter's look of disbelief -
and embarrassment - on her shaking head.
Nope.  Can't take me anywhere!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Beef Stew

Baby, It's Cold Outside by James Taylor & Natalie Cole
Why has this song been designated as a Christmas song?  There's not one word about the holidays in it.  It's simply a romantic winter time song.  And, going on the level of my love of this particular recording, I think it should be heard all winter long!  Because it IS cold outside and this song warms the heart.  It's a perfectly nice song!

When it's looking like this outside:
hopefully you have some of this bubbling on the stove!
Good old-fashioned Beef Stew!