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The Misadventures of Mrs. B: 2010-04-18

Cook. Writer. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Klutz.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pesto Gorgonzola Pasta Salad - Taste and Create

For this month's Taste & Create, I was paired with Marthe from Culinary Delights.  Marthe is a blogger living in the Netherlands and let me tell you, she has a ton of recipes on her site! I definitely had my work cut out for me when it came time to choose one to try for myself.

This recipe includes so many ingredients which are near and dear to my heart - pasta (naturally), gorgonzola, tomatoes, pesto...mmmmm....It was almost a no-brainer once I found it!

For the record, I made the following changes: I used a whole wheat pasta, and for some reason I couldn't find shallots when I was at the grocery story so I had to do without.  I'm sure that the shallots add a nice zing to the recipe and I definitely missed them in the finished product (recipe calls for 1 finely-diced shallot).

The supporting characters: 10 grape tomatoes, gorgonzola, cucumber, olive oil and pesto.

Mmmm...hello there, you creamy dreamy thing...

Tomatoes were quartered, cheese was diced and crumbled (1/4 cup was used), and 1/2 of the cucumber was diced.

2 dry cups of pasta was cooked, rinsed in cold water and drained well.

Pasta, veggies and cheese were mixed together.  Then I added 1 tbs of pesto...

...and a tbs of lovely, fragrant, wonderful olive oil.

Salt and pepper to taste, and here's the finished product!


This is really delicious - the contrast between the crunchy, fresh cucumber and creamy, pungent cheese? Unreal.

Now that I'm thinking about it, when I make this in the future (and I will...oh, I will), I might add a bit of lemon juice to it or maybe even a bit more pesto and finely chopped walnuts.

The possibilities are endless!


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Friday, April 23, 2010

Reine de Saba Cake - A Preview

This past weekend, I braved a new recipe: Reine de Saba, or Queen of Sheba, cake from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

If you've been following along for a while now, you'll know that the only other Julia recipe I've attempted (and mastered, if I do say so) is Boeuf Bourguignon.  Yum.  So I figured it was around time to try my hand at a new one!

Check out my post on Monday at Our Krazy Kitchen to see the full recipe and walk-through.  But there aren't a whole lot of pictures because the recipe is already so long.  So here's some of those pictures which I so painstakingly took!

One major ingredient is pulverized almonds, which you need to add sugar to while pulverizing in order to keep the oils in the nuts from making everything sticky and clumpy.

 Melted chocolate is added to egg yolks, butter, sugar and almonds to make the base of the batter.

 Then stiffly-whipped eggs whites and a bit of flour are carefully folded in.

Once the cake is baked and cooled, it's time to make that frosting.  It consists of...wait for it...butter and chocolate.  I cringe even as a swoon.  It's a difficult duality.

Sliced almonds and chocolate shavings were used to decorate.

 Just...mmmm...the texture was incredible - light yet rich and moist.  So amazing!

It's a time-consuming effort but so well worth it!

Join us at OKK on Monday to get the full scoop!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Revolution

As I reported yesterday, I was lucky enough earlier this week to become the lucky recipient of Jamie's Food Revolution.

I have to say that although I'd seen commercials and heard nothing but great things about Jamie's show, not to mention all of the tweets regarding his petition...I didn't take a huge interest in the phenomenon which is the Food Revolution.  I mean, I saw and valued its importance but kinda missed the boat.  Or so I thought.

Now that I've gone through this really remarkable cookbook, I understand what all the fuss is about.

I guess, as a person who loves (lives?) to cook, it never occurred to me that there are so many people who rarely if ever turn on the stove.  To me, it just makes sense to cook my own food - not only is it a far better choice economically, but I enjoy cooking and the resulting knowledge of what I'm putting in my body.  Still, there are many millions of people who do not share this view.

And that's who this book is geared towards: People who need to learn how to cook good, simple and well-rounded meals for themselves and their families.

Is it a diet cookbook? No, no, no.  It merely strives to teach the reader how to prepare a number of basic recipes in order that they many, in turn, pass these recipes on to others, and so on and so on.  That's the Revolution part of the deal: Learning recipes and passing them on.

So that is what I plan to do here.  I plan to try as many of these recipes as I can feasibly pass off on my co-inhabitants.  So curry, to which an entire chapter is devoted? Prooooobably not gonna happen.  But that's pretty much the only hindrance I can forsee.  What's more, I want to experiment with cooking ahead as much as possible.  See, we have a set number of things that I make every week because, well, we can get RD to eat them and most of the time I can make them ahead.  But it's getting...kinda...completelyboringasanything.  So I'm hoping to rectify this and experiment a little.

That's only step one.  The next step is that I will be passing these recipes on to you, via this blog.

You're probably thinking Duh! right about now.

I know that many of you are home cooks, and probably quite good at it.  But if I can help just one person and spread the Revolution just that much farther, all the better.

I'm super looking forward to this and plan to get started this weekend!

In other cooking news...

I will be posting in the next couple of days my project for this month's Taste and Create.  The purpose of this little party is to be introduced to another blogger's recipes and to try one out for yourself.  This is my first time participating, and I was lucky enough to be paired up with Marthe from Culinary Delights.

Which of her delights will I be trying my hand at? I'll give you a hint: It's cold, it's got cheese and veggies in it, and it centers around my very most favorite food.

And I don't mean butter.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Lucky Day!

This past Monday was probably the luckiest Monday I've ever had in my whole life.

Here's a little backstory for you: I didn't use the word "Misadventures" in the title of this blog for nothing.  I'm not the luckiest person in the world.  Oh, sure, don't get me wrong! I'm lucky to have a great, healthy family and wonderful husband and a job and a roof over my head.  I know it.

But when it comes to luck in terms of, like, the little things? Not so much.

So for instance, if I'm the girl who just switched desks with someone else and left a paper bag of work shoes under that new desk prior to getting settled in, you'd better believe the cleaning guy is going to throw them away.

And I've never won anything.  Ever.  Oh, wait.  Except for a backpack.  And that doesn't even count because my college roommate put my name in the drawing along with hers, so it was really most likely her luck rubbing off on me.

But Monday, oh Monday...

Last week I participated in Spring Fling.  Did you? It was actually really fun, following along with all of the giveaways on the four fabulous blogs which were sweet enough to host the event.  I figured, what the heck? Even though I never win anything, it's worth a shot.

And you know, I almost didn't check to see who the winners were because, let me repeat lest you forget: I am not a lucky person by nature.

Still, I was visiting SITS just like I do every day, and I saw that they had posted the winners.  So I took a look, just in case.  I scrolled down, down, down...looking at the names of all the winners...and then I saw this:

And the winner of the Spring Fling Grand Prize for SITS is….

The Misadventures of Mrs. B

You took me a second.  It really did.  I read it.  And I reread it.  And then I read it again.

And then I put my hand over my mouth and very nearly screamed! I had won!!!! The Grand Prize!!!

Then I checked once more to make sure I hadn't hallucinated.

I was at work so, ya know, I couldn't react or anything.  But inside I was ebullient! I called my husband AND my mom.  I was just thrilled to have won something, and SUCH a something!

Then I tweeted about it because, let's face it, to me this was news that just needed to be shared.  Soon after, I got a message from Paula over at bell'alimento (God I love her blog and I'm sure she knows it because she probably feels me drooling over her posts through the computer) saying that it was my lucky day...because I'd won a giveaway on HER blog, too! In this case it was a copy of Jamie Oliver's new cookbook, Jamie's Food Revolution!

My jaw? On the floor at this point.  Then I texted Rob and called my mom...again.  We marveled at the fact that I was so lucky that day, and decided that I should play the lottery.  But I didn't.  Because I don't want to use up all the good luck in my Good Luck Bank at once.  I might need it further down the line!

So now here I am, a happy girl.  I'll be posting about my experiences thusfar with my new cookbook and my plans for what to do with it...because oh yes...there are plans.  And you'll all be in on it.



Monday, April 19, 2010

Friend Makin Monday: My Best Date Ever

Hooray for the return of Friend Makin' Monday!

Amber's question today revolves around The Perfect Date.

Oh, I can tell you what my perfect date is.  See, it already happened.  But I would not be averse to it happening again!

Picture it: Orlando.  2009.  A young couple on their first anniversary returns to the scene of the crime, as it were.  The place where they had the greatest and most memorable meal of their entire honeymoon.  The restaurant in question? The California Grill, atop The Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World.

Just saying the name sets my heart a-flutter!

Let me show you pictures of what made that 2-hour meal spectacular...

It's little touches, like the confetti on our table to celebrate our anniversary, that make WDW so dear to me.

Grilled chicken and heirloom tomato flatbread.  Oh, the goodness.

Spicy Kazan Roll.  Our favorite roll of all time.  In the middle there, underneath all the tempura yumminess, are little baby scallops in spicy sauce.  Amazing.  I might cry.

Rob enjoyed seared scallops with homemade gnocchi in a pear and bacon infusion...

...while I enjoyed some of the best sushi EVER.

Another cute little touch...

We sipped our after-dinner drinks...

 ...and enjoyed the view.

Once dinner was through, we went back to our room and sat on the balcony....

...And watched the fireworks over the Magic Kingdom while eating slices of wedding cake which we had so carefully packed away.  After all that dinner, I think I managed a bite or two.  But it was important to at least give it a shot after lugging it all the way there!  You can read about all of that nonsense here.

That was my best date ever.  And I wish I could go back to it! But here's to more awesome dates in the years to come.

Thanks, Amber, for hosting another FMM and for giving me an excuse to drool over these pictures again and become lost in the memories...

So let me ask you, sweet readers: What is YOUR idea of The Perfect Date?


Sunday, April 18, 2010

I'd Like To Thank The Academy...

This award was so sweetly given to me by Melissa of Me: Daily.  Melissa is a mommy with two little ones in NYC (one of my very favorite places) and her refreshing honesty and humor have me slavishly following her blog.

So now I have to come up with 10 things that make me happy.  Okay, here goes nothing:

1. Singing, although I do far too little of it lately and am afraid my voice is gone!

2. Pretty flowers

3. Cooking for lots of people, or only one other person - it's a way to spread the love!

4. Watching old movies

5. Shopping, even for neccessities

6. Getting pedicures (it's been frighteningly too long since the last one!)

7. Date Nights, regardless of where they are or what we're doing

8. A nice, clean house

9. Watching my honey barbecue while enjoying a beer - I just love seeing him relax and enjoy himself

10. Seeing what great young people my baby sibs have become - just great, great kids!

And now, who to pass the award on to? Let me see...Many of my favorite bloggers don't do awards, but I've never heard one of my favorite ones say she doesn't:

Kelly @ The Startup Wife - I always love reading her posts because they always speak to me in some way.  And she's really funny! I love reading about her journey through young married life, and about the work she's doing on her book.  I should be so disciplined!

Thanks, Melissa, for the award - and thanks to all you readers who give me a reason to blog!