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Welcome to the Rotation

 I love to try new recipes. I love finding things that I have not tried before and branching out to taste new flavors. I would say that on an average week, I make a given 5 new recipes...sometimes more, rarely less. The internet recipe sites, all of the published cookbooks and magazines out there and all of the amazing food blogs tempt me on a daily basis to try something new. With that being said, I also have my good old standbys. The recipes that are tried and true and that I keep in rotation on a monthly basis. These are the recipes that I grew up on or that I have made so often I can practically create it in my sleep.  One of my favorite things is when I find a recipe that is new and it is so good it creeps into the monthly rotation. Without any history with me at all, it is a recipe that I know instantly I will be making again, and again, and again. As luck would have it, I found a new keeper yesterday.  The recipe is as simple as they come, but the variations are endless. The recipe? A very basic foccacia bread recipe that I found on Recipezaar. I make bread all the time but for some reason I have always stayed clear of foccacia. It is not because I don't like it. It is simply because I thought I could buy a better version at a bakery than I could make at home. I found out yesterday that my thoughts were wrong. The bread I made was simple, yet as delicious, than the versions I could find at a bakery around here. In fact, I am going to venture to say it … [Continue reading]

Anticipating Summer

 Spring is in full force here in the Midwest. I love the thunderstorms that come with the spring weather but I hate the tornados that this part of the country is known for. I have lived in Kansas all but one year of my life and would you believe I can count on only one hand the number of times I have actually had to take shelter from a tornado? Take that handful of times and subtract the times I have actually been in a place where a tornado has hit and you will get zero. I have never been in or near an actual tornado. That all being said, tornados still scare the heck out of me, which is one reason I always look forward to spring bidding farewell and summer coming into my life. I tend to get myself in summer mode way before summer comes around. One of my favorite ways to pretend like it is summer when it is actually really still spring is to have lots and lots of strawberries around. Fresh strawberries are not in season here until June or July, but the stores start stocking their shelves with tons of strawberries at fairly decent prices during the spring. The store bought strawberries are not even close to the fresh from the vine goodness we get in the summer, but it is a good substitute. Good enough for me anyway and a good enough way to get me ready for those warmer, non-tornadic months.This weekend we had an impromptu Cinco de Mayo party. We had had a day that was jam packed full of craziness and we needed something to help us all unwind and celebrate. Our friends and … [Continue reading]

Some Like it Hot… Some Like it Really Hot

A couple of posts ago, I wrote about my introduction to a tasty and addicting product from a company by the name of Nando's. This stuff is amazing!When Nando's sent me some of their products to try, I dove right in anxious to taste what they had to offer. When I took a look at their Chickenland Peri-Peri Marinade I admit that I was a little nervous. You see... I love spicy food but I love spicy food that you can taste. Not spicy food that makes your eyes and nose water and forces you to down an enormous glass of the nearest beverage. I do not get a lot of pleasure our of making myself sweat while I eat. The Chickenland Peri-Peri Marinade was rated "Hot" on Nando's scale which I had convinced myself meant 10 alarm fire hot. I wanted to try it, but I kept putting it off and putting it off.Last week I was browsing Nando's onlne store trying to narrow my order of wants down to something a little more realistic than one case of everything. While I was there, I took a quick trip over to their blog and noticed a review of the Chickenland Peri-Peri Marinade written by the folks at The Hot Zone blog. You can read their review by going here, but basically reading it convinced me that I think I could handle the "hot" factor. Well, Nando's has done it again. This "hot" marinade is hot, but it is not "call 911" hot. It has the perfect blend of spices and herbs and the heat is just right. My husband and I both raved about the chicken and my kids … [Continue reading]

The Wrong Door

 Things have been a little bit crazy around here lately. This seems typical for this time of the year, doesn't it? School events, sports events, work events, etc. Everyone schedules everything in the same month.Last night between errands and soccer practice we needed to eat dinner. I had some of my KFC gift certificates with me so we decided to eat there for dinner.  Our KFC is combined with a Taco Bell. The entrance is a double door. One door has the KFC logo on it and the other door has the Taco Bell logo on it. We all walked in the KFC door and as soon as we stepped foot inside Jacob started crying. He was terribly upset and kept saying he wanted to go back outside. Finally, after calming him down, he told me the reason he was upset. He had walked through the KFC door instead of the Taco Bell door and he really wanted to eat a chicken Quesidilla from Taco Bell but since he went through the door wtih the KFC logo on it, he thought he had to eat KFC.Isn't it funny how their little minds work?   … [Continue reading]

Geniune Italian – Giada De Laurentiis

 My good friend Kathy and I, along with our husbands, went to a Giada De Laurentiis book signing a couple of weeks ago. We were 4 of about 1,000 eager fans who were lucky enough to get tickets to the sold out event. We were all anxious to find out if Giada is the "real deal". Could she possibly be as genuine and adorable in real life as she comes across on TV? The answer? Simply, yes. Giada de Laurentiis seems to be the real deal. Genuine, full of life, friendly and beautiful (how else do you think we got our hubby's to go along with us?) Giada arrived at the book signing/speaking engagement after several weeks on the road promoting her newest cookbook Everyday Pasta. Kansas City was near the end of the tour for her. She was about 15 minutes late, but when she walked into the room you felt like she had all the time in the world and that you were her one and only focus. Some of the questions and answers that I found interesting are below. Please note, these are not exact quotes but mere summaries of the dialog.Do you plan on ever opening a restaurant? Opening a restaurant is on the back burner right now because she is just too busy with her shows (Everyday Italian & Giada's Weekend Getaways) and creating recipes for her cookbooks. It is a dream of hers that she hopes to someday make a reality.How many hours does it take to make one episode of Everyday Italian? Giada spends 3 months creating and testing recipes. The actual taping of one 22 minute show takes … [Continue reading]