Sunday, 18 September 2011

School Is Most Certainly in Session

Greetings, dear Reader! As you may have recognised, the start of the academic year has arrived and gone, bringing out the anxiety and excitement of a new year of possibilities, as well as the expected lack of time to take a break and cook. In the midst of these seemingly long time away from the blogosphere, it's surprising to realise that my last post was only three weeks ago (though I assure you I feel like I haven't sat down to write in at least a month). As can also be expected, the new year also brought about many food gatherings which resulted in me not necessarily needing to cook. To bring you all up to speed--because I have an even more exciting post in the works--I wanted to share some photos and short stories that have been filed away on my computer for far too long. ps/ The above photo is the salted caramel bacon brownie variation of the salted caramel brownie I made in late August.

To begin, I'd like to redirect your attention to the lead photo of this post. These bacon caramel bite-size brownies are the resulting product of the second half of the brownie batter I made three Sundays ago. Onward and upward, two weekends ago, I walked through my first tailgate when I went to Notre Dame to visit Lauren. Amidst the sea of Notre Dame supporters, we both recognised an entire sector of Americana culture present throughout the parking lots and campus that I at least was not entirely familiar with. From what I could see, the range of tailgaters was quite impressive: from the simple set up with lawn chairs and chips from the supermarket to the apparently serious and gourmet-type chefs with their barbecues and tablecloths. Alongside the general sentiment of summertime American football was an even greater sense of a Notre Dame-supportive identity, marked most visibly by a sea of blue shirts (this year's shirt color) and even nostalgically as generations of football fans congregated together. One thing I was familiar with, however, was the elephant ear which could also be seen as an overgrown funnel cake, but which was marked quite similarly to New Orleans beignets: fried dough. Two words never sounded so good together.

One of my favourite restaurants in the Notre Dame vicinity is The Mark Dine & Tap which I blogged about after my previous visit. After our visit to the tailgates, we were later joined by Kathryn, and had a late lunch/early dinner at The Mark. In my opinion, any restaurant with cidre or brie (or preferably both) will most often be in my favour. In the photo above, I had a Bari's Gobbler which includes turkey, green apple and brie-- a combination I am familiar with and which, coupled with cidre, transports me to the comforts of French cuisine. Add in lemon aioli, a croissant, and chips, and this is a meal worth eating.

This year, among my many goals I've placed upon myself, is to help gather our multi-cultural student group leaders and advisors together at least once a month. Food, or rather snackage as I prefer to call it, is provided and for our first meeting, I baked my chocolate chip pudding brownies, the recipe of which can be found here.

Over the last two weeks, our Vice President for Student Development has graciously hosted each class of Posse students at her home here in Granville, her home of which she also extends as the students' home. In any case, I bring this up because there was quite a bit of leftover food that it seemed like such a waste if no one would eat it. This being said, I had remembered needing to buy breadcrumbs to have in hand (why not?) and decided instead to make them out of the cornbread. After drying the cornbread in the oven, I pulverised and sifted it until I had consistent bread crumbs (yield of about 2/2.5 cups). While a bag of cornbread still sits in my kitchen waiting to be crumbled, I used half of this first batch for a baked chicken pasta I made for our student employee meeting. For recipe photos, click here.

And finally, I'd like to share this pair of photos from last weekend of frozen cheese-stuffed moon-shapped ravioli that had been sitting in my freezer forever. Topped with a four cheese sauce enhanced with garlic powder and thyme, crisped bacon, and slices of Swiss, this restaurant-sized portion was just what I needed for a Saturday lunch. Whew, and now caught up, expect to see quite a few posts within the week. I'm definitely now back in cooking and blogging mode! To see these, and related, photos from this post, click here.

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