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Posts Tagged ‘food’

The other day Thomas sent me an e-mail. It simply said, “Bacon milkshake is trending on Yahoo.”

Huh?

My first reaction was: “Don’t say things like that to me.”

The second one was: “Does it taste good?”

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I was cleaning out some cabinets in the kitchen the other day and found this recipe that my high school friend Erin sent to me years ago.

I’ve known Erin since we were both 14. I first noticed her in the freshman hallway because she was leaning against my locker flirting with the boy I had a crush on. Later, we ran track together (the boy was eventually forgotten), and many years later I was the maid of honor in her wedding.

Erin remains a talented and dedicated runner and now she is the mom of two boys and just this fall returned to teaching full time. Through it all, she has always paid close attention to what she eats. In high school, she regaled us with unbelievable stories about such things as seaweed soup and carob “chocolate.” These were rare and exotic ideas to me at the time. Erin’s mom, Aubrey, also introduced me to tofu, cooking with maple syrup instead of sugar, and cheese nachos melted in the toaster oven.

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There is a lot to do before Sunday, Feb. 5 6:30 p.m. ET when the rematch of Super Bowl XLII kicks offs. Remember, in 2008 the Giants ended New England’s bid for a perfect season with a 17-14 upset victory. Here in Boston we didn’t appreciate that very much.

To prepare for Super Bowl XLVI, there are hundreds of details fans will need to pay attention to: trivia questions to brush up on, decisions on where to watch the game, what to serve if you are hosting a party.

If you have somehow won the party bid and you’ve got people coming over to your house to watch the Patriots win I recommend some no-fuss appetizers that will keep you out of the kitchen and parked in front of the TV with everyone else.

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January 27 is National Chocolate Cake Day in the United States. To be honest, I thought every day was chocolate cake day. This warm (and flourless) chocolate lava cake is delicious enough to declare a national celebration. But to help keep us all focused, there are several national food day lists floating around like this one to make sure all kinds of decadent delights get their day.

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In the middle of the rush to get ready for the holidays, Rebecca stopped by armed with two shopping bags full of ingredients. As I wrapped presents she worked on these Cherry Winks for her colleagues at the private school on Beacon Hill where she teaches.

Cherry Winks aren’t a part of my Christmas memory index, but they do bring to mind Christmases of times past when our family Christmas tree was festooned with wildly blinking colored lights. (I’m partial to the calmer, classic white lights now.) The unnaturally bright red and green of the maraschino cherry toppers fit right in with all that sparkles and glows this season.

A reader of Stir It Up! shared an interesting history of Cherry Winks with me: “That recipe has a long history. Ruth Derousseau of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, entered it into the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest of 1950 as Cherry Winks and won the Junior First Prize. I think pecans and dates were actually part of the original recipe.”

When I finally stretched out in a chair Cricket climbed into my lap and started purring loudly as if to say, “Stay here for awhile.”

Faster than a wink of an eye, Rebecca handed me a mug of peppermint tea and a plate of warm cherry blinks. She changed things up a bit from the traditional recipe, using pecans and dried dates. Crunchy and sweet with their festive cherries, these would make a delicious addition to any Christmas cookie platter.

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Things are definitely looking cheery and sparkly and sugary these days. Thanksgiving may be all about gratitude and huge, heaping platefuls of food, but food traditions around Christmas tend to have more ethereal qualities like imagination and hope and wonder.

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For some reason Brussels sprouts is a vegetable capable of releasing passion. Like this:

I love Brussels sprouts!

or

I hate Brussels sprouts!

Very rarely do you hear, “Brussels sprouts? Meh. I could take them or leave them.”

It’s sad really, because in the much-loved, much-hated division we are all overlooking an important point: Brussels sprouts are cute.

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From last year’s archives,  I thought I’d dig it out this annual favorite for Thanksgiving 2012!

Every Thanksgiving I brace myself for the inevitable: green bean casserole.

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