Travel Eats

Out of the Kitchen: Army Baylor's Healthcare/Business Administration Closing Ceremony

After a year of hard work and personal sacrifice, Ian is halfway done with his MHA/MBA degree.  The internship will be a much needed break from book work, but will involve a year away from family.  We are so proud of his accomplishments, and it was great to see him recognized for all his efforts.

For Sophie, it was worth it for the cupcakes alone....

Thanks to Cupcake Couture for the great cupcakes!

Go Bears! 


It Won't Prevent Malaria

But this gin-based cocktail will cool you off and make you think of the savannah.  I tend to avoid pre-made mixers--tonic included--due to the crazy amount of sugar they contain.  You can doctor this one up to your personal sweetness.  Speaking of personal sweetness, guess who's home from summer camp?

The first words out of her mouth when I picked her up were, "Can I come back next year?"  She got her money's worth out of her week at Camp Flaming Arrow, falling asleep in the car on the drive home.  She was happy to see her stuff and quickly set up a safari on the tea table.

How inspirational I found this bucolic scene and pictured myself on the veranda ala "Out of Africa" with a gin cocktail....we'll call it the Fever Dream...

1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced into thick rounds, blend with 2 cups water

Lavender simple syrup: mix one cup sugar/one cup water in saucepan and heat until sugar dissolves, add 3 TBS dried lavender flowers and steep at least one hour, strain flowers out prior to use

Blend and strain cucumber juice through fine seive, it makes about 2 cups.  To this add 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice and 1/2 to one cup lavender simple syrup depending on your taste.  Stir well and mix in a 3:1 ratio with gin in a cocktail shaker. Pour over ice and top with sparkling water.



A Little Corny

Happy Father's Day a day late!  For all those corny jokes your dad told you, mortifying you in front of your friends, I give you this fresh corn salad.  The hardest part is getting the corn off the cob, but remember that little trick I taught you?  And you will need a food processor or a blender to make the pesto.

Fresh Corn Salad with Cilantro/Pepita Pesto

Kernels from 6 ears corn

1 medium carrot, cut in a 1/8" dice


1/2 cup cilantro pepita pesto

Mix, season to taste.


Cilantro Pepita Pesto

1 bunch cilantro, rinsed and spun dry

1/2 cup pepitas toasted in a skillet,  shaking frequently, until lightly browned

Grapeseed oil

Place cilantro and pepitas in food processor and puree.  Add grapeseed oil in a thin stream until desired consistency.

I served this salad with leftover BBQ chicken and melon for an easy summer dinner.  It also is great as a salsa on quesadillas.  Maddy asked me recently, "where can I buy pepitos."  Pepito is the little boy in the Madeleine books, pepitas are shelled pumpkin seeds--usually available in bulk section of a good grocery store or Latin market.  If you buy them roasted and salted adjust seasoning accordingly and skip the toasting step.



Welcome Home Cookies

It's no secret that I love to eat.  I cannot understand people that "forget to eat" or "don't care what I eat as long as I don't have to cook it."  I have instilled this love of good food in my children, and I am sure Sophie will be expecting a good snack when she gets home from camp tomorrow.  I found the perfect recipe on the Union Street Kitchen's blog.  Relatively healthy, but not recognizably so for a preteen.  I modified the recipe slightly because I wanted to use my sunflower seed oil--it has a very assertive flavor and was responsible for a caesar dressing fail.  However, sunflower seeds and jam pair nicely.

Union Street Kitchen's Jam Thumprint Cookies

  • 1 cup of sliced almonds whirled in food processor til finely ground
  • 1 cup of oatmeal whirled in food processor til finely ground
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Combine these dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

In another bowl mix 1/2 cup sunflower seed oil with 1/2 cup brown sugar.  Then add two eggs and 2 tsp. vanilla and whisk until combined.  Mix into the dry ingredients with a sturdy spoon.  It will make a stiff dough.

If your kitchen is warm you can chill the dough briefly, it will be easier to form into 1" balls.  I formed all my balls first (heehee), then washed my hands and made the thumbprints in the center of each, wiping my thumb with a wet towel between cookies--that way they didn't stick to my thumb and the wells were more defined.  BTW you should have your oven preheated to 350F at this point....sorry for not mentioning sooner.  Fill the wells with jam of your choice; I used blackberry.

 Bake for 12-15 minutes or until firm and lightly browned.  They do not spread too much.  I made just shy of 2 dozen.




Just Peachy

Those Italians, lulling me into a false sense of security with this little gem on the lid of the mascarpone tub, "Spread on bread instead of butter; it has half the calories."  Not if you use twice as much.  Mascarpone is the cheese equivalent of Nutella, which as everyone knows, I would eat on a cat turd.  Toast + mascarpone+fresh fruit of your choice=happy.