Check out the new picture

check out the picture at Education of Em… proof that one of us is the artist


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… thats what we had for dinner. As you may remember (and honestly how could you forget), Wednesday is crockpot day. I should have been warned when the day got off to a rocky start.

Rock number 1: I wake up and judging by the amount of early morning light streaming through my window I assume I have just beaten my alarm. I always feel this as a sense of accomplishment. Aha! Take that alarm no startling this girl awake from her pleasant and peaceful dreams! Any how rather than the distinct feeling of accomplishment I was smacked with panic. My alarm had been going off for 24 minutes! Some how it had gotten set to “silent alarm” (honestly why anyone would ever want/need/use a silent alarm intentionally is beyond me). So I jumped out of bed and in an effort to safe my morning routine rushed around the kitchen getting things into the crockpot.

Rock number 2: I had looked up the recipe for BBQ pork on Sunday before going grocery shopping, and now I just could not find it. Flipping madly through my Fix It and Forget It cookbook I looked under everything I could think of from BBQ to pork to onions… heck I even looked under ham just to be safe. I finally gave up as I was running out of prep time and went to my trusty recipe cupboard for plan B. As I reached for a different book there sitting still in the cupboard was the Fix It and Forget It book I thought I had been searching through this whole time. I looked back at the table where a different cookbook altogether still sat open on the table.

Rock 3: I didn’t quite have all the ingredients. However this was mostly by choice.

Rock 4: The pork did not go easily… thats all I have to say on that one.

Well despite the efforts of the morning, the pork turned out great! I was going to serve it in a bowl (think KFC bbq bowl) over whipped cauliflower. A while back I had made whipped cauliflower and mixed it with mashed potatoes. It was so creamy and delicious I thought this time I would just make it plain. I had a friend who used to do this on a regular basis and called them caulitatoes.

So I cooked my cauliflower and got out the electric mixer (something I love but rarely use) and started whipping. The cauliflower, however, refused to be whipped and ended up in small little chunks. So needless to say there were no caulitatoes. We at the cauliflower bits and shredded BBQ pork seperatly and topped it with a left over garlic roll.

I put the remaining bowl of cauli-bits back into the fridge and now my goal is to salvage them one way or another. Ah well… goals are fun, and you can’t beat a good challenge.

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Make it up as you go…

… this is my mantra about half the time I am in the kitchen. Oh don’t get me wrong I always have this fabulous idea of what I am going to make and how good it is going to be, the execution is somewhat less detail oriented.

For example it seems to me that most people (sane people really) see a recipe and think “oh that sounds good I think I will give that one a try” or perhaps “that cake they made on that show looks good I should google that recipe.” I on the other hand see a cheesy local car dealer commercial where someone gets a pie in the face and I think to myself “self… how can I make a cake that would be better than that pie?” So rather than google a recipe for a red velvet, I dig out 8 or so cookbooks and find one with a great cake recipe (that i of course tweak a little bit) one with a good frosting and one with a picture that I hope mine looks like when I am done. The other 5 cookbooks get placed back on the shelf sans post-it note and earmarked corners, and I set off on a journey toward the perfect cake. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but the trip sure is fun.

Today was one of those make it up as you go things. Tomorrow I am going to a sort of summer conclusion dinner with a group of gals I have been doing a Bible study with for the past 12 or so weeks. Since I needed to make some pizza dough for my freezer anyhow I thought “well dinner rolls are always a hit.” But of course I couldn’t just make plain dinner rolls… oh no, these were to be monkey bread garlic/basil/oregano dinner rolls. I am not sure why it is called monkey bread, but it is fun to have the flavor in between each section you pull apart. I figure you can’t go too wrong when fresh basil is involved, and they look pretty good.

Garlic/Basil/Oregano Rolls

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Flash Back

This is a preview for the Education of Em:

Some of us love to cook*…

Some of us know how to cook….

Some of us don’t…

And now for the explanation

My sister is talented in many areas: singing, drawing, painting, pretty much any other type of art you can think of and she can crack a joke at any moment.  Cooking is not one of those talents.

So last week my sister decided to surprise me with a birthday cake.  Yes that is the cake.  In her defense: 1) The cake tasted great

2) She used my favorite kind of frosting

3)  It is the thought that counts

When I turned 6 I had a barbie cake that was Belle from Beauty and the Beast.  My sister tried to re-create my favorite childhood birthday cake, rumor has it that this was actually cake number 2.  As she envisioned frosting swooping to resemble golden toule, she purchased chocolate and german chocolate frosting.  How she expected these to turn into a puffy yellow dress I am still not sure.   Instead of a yellow dress with frosting pears, I had Belle in a dark chocolate dress (an acceptable second to yellow) with a nice cream cheese frosting trim surrounded by 23 twisty candles (which we did not light for fear of catching barbie’s hair on fire).  Her original intention was to bring it to the office and drop it off, but she said she was too embarrassed to bring it in.

I should also mention that barbie had no legs.  Instead to make her fit in the cake, my sister removed the legs and placed them in her freezer to freak out her roommates.

Like I said, it’s the thought that counts, and what a wonderful thought it was.

*cook, bake, grill, any of the above

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Back on the Blogging Band Wagon

As summer comes to its conclusion, I can’t help but be a little excited for fall.  I am already missing the day light that stretches late into the evening and the hot summer sun, but I have to tell you I am ready for fall.

Fall brings with it a crispness that sucks you in and draws you to a hot cup of coffee.  Its fabulous colors just beg you to crunch the leaves beneath your feet.  Most of all I can’t wait for those fall flavors.  Pumpkin bread is just so-so in July, but in October nothing can compare.

After a long summer absence from blogging I feel that the fall (although it isn’t here yet) has brought me back to a routine and a schedule where every other weekend isn’t filled with a barbeque here and a picnic over there.  Don’t get me wrong I love a good barbeque more than anything, but its going to be nice to turn on my oven again with out worrying about the inside temperature causing a heat stroke.

So welcome fall, and welcome back to blogging little A.

P.S.  Notice the new page up at the top??? Lets just say em is learning to cook like it or not, and this should be an adventure.

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You want to know what I think?

Well this morning I tried the vanilla chai version of the boathouse farms protein drink I mentioned here. It was good, but actually a bit too sweet for my preferences. The bottle describes it as having a hint of vanilla, but to me it tasted more like vanilla with a hint of chai. All in all I would give it three out of five coffee cups ( yes I did just use coffee cups as a measure of goodness). I may buy it again, but only once I have tried some of the other options or when the mocha flavor isn’t available.

On the upside I got to use my cool new cup 🙂


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A better picture as promised

This is one of my all time favorite “summer” photos. I say “summer” because if I remember correctly I actually took it during a pre-season game in February, but I still say baseball screams summer. America's Past Time

Although today is Wednesday and Wednesday is crock pot day, we are abandoning the crock pot (don’t worry it’s just for one week) and embarking on an international culinary adventure. Well, it probably isn’t international at all since I am making it from a box mix and it is in all reality the very American version, and it really isn’t an adventure since I have made it dozens of times before. However, it is delicious and it has been a long time since I have made it;  so tonight we take on Pad Thai. One day I hope to discontinue my relationship with the box and make this delightful dish on my own, but for now we work with what we can.

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