Monday, January 31, 2011

Potato and Mushroom Gratin

Nigella is a domestic goddess.

And you should make this now.

Crispy. Rich. Oozing with self-made gravy. I added some Parmesan cheese on top in the last twenty minutes of baking and drizzled a bit of truffle oil over the finished product.

Divine. Utterly divine.

You can find the recipe here- at the website of one of my favorite food podcasts- The Splendid Table with Lynn Rosetto Kasper. She's also a domestic goddess.

Served this Saturday night, alongside a sampling of Babycakes cupcakes. There aren't any pictures of those- the massacre came too quickly. Mexican hot chocolate, pumpkin spice, Boston creme pie, chocolate caramel, red velvet, and carrot cake.

Did I mention we were only 3 for dinner?

Ah, gluttony.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Winter Camping

There are certain things in the world that are not meant for everyone.

Winter camping is one of those things.

Back in late November, I had a beer or two at the Cambridge Brewing Company and said something silly. I said I wanted to say goodbye to camping for the year. We camped a good amount last summer, including a stint in Yellowstone, but we missed our anniversary camping trip due to illness. I should mention our anniversary is in early October- a still perfectly respectable time for camping.

So, in order to say goodbye to camping, we planned a trip to Lincoln, NH to camp on the Kancamagus Highway.

This was a bad idea.

We left early one Saturday morning in December. I promptly fell asleep in the car- it's a Pavlovian response for me. When I woke up, it was snowing.

I desperately tried to dig deep and find my inner badass mountain woman. We bought coffee and decided to go for a hike.

Gilligan got so excited by the idea of hiking in the snow, he jumped over the the center console from the back seat and stuck his foot into my coffee, splashing it all over my pants.

Did I mention I only brought one pair of pants?

After our hike, we went to our camp site to set up shop.

We stayed here. NOT.

Nope, we actually stayed here. Desolate, snow-covered home sweet home. We were not the only people at the camp- these other people had giant Cabella's compounds complete with wood stoves. We did not.

We had this- our trusty trailer. Great for summer camping. Bad for winter camping.

I'll spare you the details of the rest of the day and cut to the part where it's 11 o'clock and I'm crying hysterically, rapidly losing all the street cred I'd built over the course of the day.

We/me survived the trip- Nick actually had a good time. I swore off winter camping FOREVER.

I did, however, say I would go backpacking this summer. Will I ever learn?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quickie Pies

I'm clearly in denial.

I refuse to acknowledge the cold, the endless snow, the jackets, the scarves, the runny noses, the sand-filled house, the shovel.

La la la la! I'm not looking!

I want the dog days of summer back. (Gilligan sleeps on a cot when we camp- the rocks hurt his sensitive skin.)

Ok, so maybe I have acknowledged all of those things. Heck, I've even been thankful for a few items on that list- runny nose excluded.

But as I sit in my kitchen, watching yet another Nor'easter brew outside my window, I want to forget it all and travel back in time to last summer.

Specifically the 4th of July. We spent it at Elmore State Park, outside of Stowe, Vermont. It's one of our very favorite camping spots and we go at least once a year. Celebrating the 4th at Stowe totally rocked- they had a wicked fireworks display, easily rivalling the Esplanade and Kaboom Town. They had a field full of food trucks- we ate pulled pork from the hood of a VW Bug (Car B Que- get it!?).

We ate hearth fired pizza.

We sampled samosas.

It was a great weekend.

The highlight, of course, was dessert. Friends, meet Quickie Pie. Quickie Pie, meet my internet friends.

Campfire Quickie Pies

4 slices bread
~1 cup pie filling
Cooking spray
Pie iron
Camp fire- hot

Grease your pie iron well.

Open your bread and pie filling.

Line the pie iron with bread. This is a double iron- pie for two!

Fill one side with pie filling. Don't overfill, but don't be stingy, either.

Close the iron securely.

Place into the fire into the flames. Stay with the iron the entire time- it burns quickly.

See? Toasty. Crispy and golden.

Quickie pies make everyone happy! Eat and enjoy.

Alive and kickin'

Betty was on hiatus, but she's back now. Come back soon for good eats and silly ramblings.