Thursday, May 29, 2008

Rollin' Roses

Roll-up Pink Fondant Roses, originally uploaded by razzieswirl.

I took a picture of the cake carcass, or remains, of Ashleys 24th birthday cake. We had a lovely, not so little, backyard dinner for her complete with fried chicken, wilted lettuce salad, mashed tatoes and of course this loverly cake. The theme was pink and green, thus the pink and green cake.

I'll post a few more party decor pictures after my homework is done this week!

To make fondant roses, simply whip up a batch of MMF (marshmallow fondant), dye it various shades of pink, roll thin strips out and roll up going left to right (or vice versa), it's very simple, but takes a little practice!


Friday, May 09, 2008

Caught and Consumed

The Skagit Farmland has copious amounts of farm fresh produce, artisan cheeses, local wines, and yes, a ton of amazing fresh seafood. Many fishermen come through La Conner on their boats delivering the most beautiful seafood caught that day, including these gorgeous little gems. We don't get these shrimp up in Bellingham, unfortunately. They're so sweet, almost like lobster, but naturally salty because of the seawater they scuttle about in.

These shrimp also take me back. When I was a little girl I spent some time at my mothers friends cabin on Camano Island which was situated right on the beach. We'd all sit out in warmth of the sun and this little blue boat would float by, often we'd buy these shrimp right off the boat, they'd just throw a bag to shore and we'd all sit in a line popping the heads off and eating the sweet meat inside. I'm so lucky I got to spend parts of my childhood roaming the beach, eating the freshest seafood possible and sleeping under the stars listening to the waves roll. I have many fond memories of my time spent there and these shrimp are one of my favorites.

If you can locate these sweet tasty shrimp eat them as they come, they don't need anything at all, they just need to come out of their shell!

Introducing "XOX"

The "XOX" , originally uploaded by razzieswirl.

Quite possibly the best at home martini ever!
Making martinis at home makes more sense than even the best happy hour. What I love about happy hour out is that other people make great food for me and they clean it up!

This martini may persuade me to stay in more often though.
It's simple, inexpensive and oh-so satisfying. Introducing the "XOX".
Icy cold citrus vodka, shaken with raspberry lemonade and topped off with a splash of chilly grapefruit soda. Mmmm, mmm. If you like your martinis a little sweeter you could add a little sugar to the rim. I call it the XOX because to keep it extra cold I threw in a few ice cubs out of our IKEA ice cube trays, accidentally I had two X's and one O, and it hit me, the XOX martini, genius!

Recipe: XOX Martini
Serves 2


4-6 large ice cubes
4 oz. cold citrus vodka (I chose Skyy)
8 oz. raspberry lemonade (I adore Santa Cruz)
1 oz. grapefruit soda (try Izze)


1. Place first three ingredients into a martini shaker and shake vigorously until hands are frozen, a minute or so.
2. Pour into a martini glass and top with grapefruit soda
3. To keep extra cold add a few pretty ice cubes, perhaps some x's and some o's??

Find yourself something to munch, grab some dominoes (the game) and enjoy!


Miso Delicious

Grilled Miso Pork Chops with a Simple Arugula Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette: Check back on Mothers Day!

Gyro Revisited

My Version of a Gyro, originally uploaded by razzieswirl.

It's currently very late, okay, maybe it just feels really late. I've had a full day of homework and cake class and I'm currently supposed to be writing a very long discussion about how family and marriage forms vary in different types of cultural systems (bands, tribes, etc.). If there are any patterns in the size of family groups, the purpose of marriage rules, the elaborateness of kinship organization. And, how might features of subsistence and economics in a society influence the practices and beliefs pertaining to family and marriage?. . . Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by all of the information and reading. I'm one of those students who would rather do A LOT than do a little, and it generally reflects in good grades/scores on things, but sometimes when it's late, my eyes start to cross and my breathing gets a little too shallow. That's when I know it's time for a break. I've been pushing myself to finish the last hour, but I realized just now, that I cannot manage it. It will have to wait until tomorrow, as much as I hate the idea of that.

So how about a delicious, easy Gyro recipe? I don't know if I would consider it a true blue gyro recipe, it's basically my favorite souvlaki recipe with some rosemary and thyme thrown in. So if you want souvlaki instead of gyros just don't add those two ingredients, and you will have a mind-blowing, healthy, way-too-easy-for-it's-own-good recipe (my suggestion, pair it with a greek salad, preferably with veggies found at your local farmers market). This recipe is perfect for easing into longer, warmer days, it oozes summer appeal, and pairs well with a tall cold something, whether it be a beer or a glass of freshly brewed iced tea. Enjoy!

Recipe: Souvlaki Dressed as a Gyro

3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon rosemary
1 Tablespoon thyme
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into (1/2-inch-thick) slices
 Cooking spray
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and shredded
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced

1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; whisk to combine.
2. Add chicken to bowl; coat.
3. Marinate chicken in refrigerator for 30 minutes, turning once.
4. Remove chicken from bowl.
5. Thread the chicken and zucchini, alternately onto each of 4 (8-inch) skewers.
5. Heat a grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.
6. Add skewers; cook 8 minutes or until chicken is done, turning once.

To prepare tzatziki sauce, combine cucumber, yogurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 garlic clove, stirring well.

Warm up some pita breads (I actually use Naan, it seems to be softer). Lay out some of your grilled gyro meat, tzatziki, fresh tomato and a sprinkle of crumbled feta. Fold and and savor the flavor!

Now if only the sun were shining, and I didn't have to get back to Anthropology homework!