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Taken in the dark and with not an ounce of styling...so sue me!!!!

Feb.6, 2010 was an anniversary (you don’t need to know which!) of my 29th birthday (I will never turn 30…EVER!!) and also the day most of the east coast got blanketed in a very thick layer of snow.  As the clock struck midnight and the day rolled in, I had just set the sleep timer on the TV and was settling in for the night.  About 35 mins later I awoke with a start to no television, hmmmm, I know I set it for 90 minutes….what’s up now???  I made my way into the hallway and tried the light switch….nothing.  I then made my way to the spare bedroom and looked out the window, not a light on on the street!!  I looked further down and saw a few neighbors out shoveling their walk, defeated, I figured I might as well join them, best to get a jump on the snow!!! I was back in bed by 2am.

Fast forward 16 hours…the snow had stopped but not before dumping 22″ (official count but my backyard says 28″), we had shoveled for hours, the sun was again setting and dinner was calling.  The only thing was the electric had still not come back on..the house temp was reading about 54 (it bottomed out at 43 before the power returned) so I had 2 stockpots of water boiling to get some steam heat going.  What to do about dinner though?  I had some sweet italian sausage thawing in the fridge, which wasn’t going to make it to its intended use, so I figured sausage, home fries and eggs.  I threw a couple potatoes in one of the stockpots to par cook and got out the sausage, well the truth be told, I had no desire to pull out different pans to bring this meal together so it was improvise….Frittata!!!!  As some of you may know, Ray is a VERY picky eater and when I say “frittata” he says “eww”, however I was cold, tired, sore and truthfully not in the mood to please his pickiness…my anthem became “frittata or starve”.  I sliced the sausage and by the time it was done the potatoes were perfectly done to fry as homefries.  Now I can’t imagine I am saying this but it was such a welcome task to peel those right out of the pot potatoes barehanded……HEAT and lots of it!!!  I pulled the sausage from the pan and gave the potatoes a rough dice and threw them in till they were nicely browned and crispy, back in went the sausage.   I whipped up 6 eggs with a bit of water and salt and threw that in as well.  Damn!!!!!  I have an electronic igniter which can not be bypassed to light the broiler…ok then, a flipped frittata.   Oh Hell no!!!  I was too tired, sore and shaky from the cold to attempt a manual flip by candle light…now what?  I grabbed a lid and partially covered the pan, turned the flame down low and prayed for a done and non burnt frittata.  After some time dinner was served and quite edible.  We finished the night off with a few rounds of Yahtzee by candle light, then shivered the night away under many, many blankets.

8am this morn we awake, again, no power!!!!  Grand!  Immediately I dressed to go check on the elderly couple next door, I knock and Rose opens the door, in she beckons me…”you are gonna let out the heat” she says.  I walk in and the house is quite toasty….yea they were doing the big no no that so many old school folk do….they had the gas burners lit the night through!!!  After scolding them a bit and knowing that I wasn’t going to change their ways, I exited, Rose followed me out onto the porch and we continued to chat, 5 minutes later Nino pops his head out the door and told us the power had returned!  Hot damn!!!  Anyone that had been outside immediately went back in to enjoy the chance to join the 21st century again!!  After a bit of time, it became apparent that no plow was in sight, so one by one the neighborhood came together and we dug our way out.  By 3 in the afternoon we were again cold, tired and hungry.  In we went for a late lunch…we had power and we had leftover frittata so in the microwave it went.  We sat down to share the last bit of this cooked in the dark meal and finally Ray looks at me and says, ” ya know, this is pretty good”.  It was in that moment  I learned that after living life like the folks in “Little House on the Prairie” for over 36 hours….Ray ain’t so picky afterall!!!!!

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Stephanie of “The Happy Sorceress” has hosted a Blog Party for 3 years now and I just got lucky enough to get to know her through the Daring Bakers and a chat/baking group a few of us have gotten together. I am now pleased to say that I will be on hand for her 3rd anniversary Blog Party.

I first came across it awhile back when she hosted a Buffy the Vampire themed party…I really wanted to attend as I am a huge Vamp fan but truly I have never watched Buffy a day in my life!!! So I thought I would wait …the only requirement for attendance is that you must bring an appetizer/finger food and a bev!!!! That’s pretty easy and from what I hear well worth it for the fun to be had!

For her 3rd anniversary party she is allowing our contributions to be our choice, usually these shindigs are themed but sweetie that she is we are allowed our hearts content on this one.

I decided on a twist on a simple italian Bruschetta for my app. I have seen quite alot of cool things being done with watermelon as of late….grilled, in savory salads…all kinds of different takes on this summer classic!!! Easy as all get out and and mighty tasty.

Simple and basic recipe is to replace watermelon for tomato in your favorite bruschetta topper.

My bruschetta is a baguette cut on the diagonal and grilled, rub with a clove of garlic, top with a shaving of dried mozzarella then a mix of watermelon dice, balsamic/olive oil blend, red onions (sm dice) and torn basil. ( I found regular basil to be a bit overpowering with the watermelon on my first go round, so I have since used a cinnamon-basil I got from the local farmer’s market). Top all that with a generous sprinkle of grated ParmigianoReggiano.

As for my beverage/cocktail….yes, I am definitely bringing a cocktail, it’s been a hectic week!! I had made candied orange peel and had quite a lot of leftover syrup from it and thought that it might be a nice sweetener for iced tea. Ok, so let’s keep the Italian thing going on here, what to do…..

In keeping with the simple thing as well, I basically made a strong brewed tea, sweetened it with a bit of the leftover syrup, gave a few hefty glugs of limoncello and then garnished with orange and lemon slices. Now I am no bartender but I would think a more proper recipe would be…

  • Fill an 8 oz rocks glass with ice
  • Add 1.5 oz limoncello
  • Top off with sweetened tea
  • Garnish

Can’t wait to arrive and get a sampling of everyones fare. Looking forward to meeting some new folks as well. I think the invite is still open, so if you have the time and have the desire drop Stephanie a line and I hope to see ya there!!!

The key to great entertaining is to razzle dazzle your guests. The key to sane entertaining is to produce that razzle dazzle with minimal FRAZZLE!!!! Impossible you say, well not with this 3 ingredient Wow’em cake!!!! Technically it is more a dessert but with it’s presentation one can easily call it a cake and get away with it.

Years back, I made the mistake of toting this with me to a friend’s Mardi Gras Party. These folks have 2 events a year, Mardi Gras and July 4th and to this day I am not allowed admittance without this cake by my side. Now I am not a stupid boy, these folks put on a great spread so I am most definitely gonna make sure I have at least 2 of these ready to go! I must confess, this is to be my first time sharing this recipe and I am laden with guilt; again these folks are no strangers to the kitchen yet for whatever reason they think this cake to be a marvel of science and engineering…this is for you guys!!!!

Chocolate Mousse Cake

  • 1 cup Chocolate chips (semi, milk, white or any combo)
  • 3 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups oreo cookie crumbs
  • Dash salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Process cookie crumbs, drizzle in a few drops of cream just till moist, press into bottom of a 9″ springform pan. Place 1 cup chocolate chips and 1/4 cup cream in a microwave safe bowl, heat on high for 2 mins, stirring after 30 second intervals till smooth and incorporated. Whip remaining 3 cups heavy cream with salt and vanilla till stiff (careful as homemade butter is a few seconds past stiff!!). Add about 1/4 of the whipped cream to the chocolate and fold till uniform. Add this mix to remaining whipped cream and gently fold together. “Pour” this into springform pan and smooth top level. Refrigerate 2 hours.

Yep, that’s it kids, 3 ingredients (the salt and vanilla don’t really count), less than 20 mins kitchen time and still way under 10 bucks!!!!!

Now that’s one Helluva Cake!!!!!!!

Keeping the Flour Flying!!!


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