Where the hell have I been since July 2008? In typical bullet point format, in no particular order let me hash some things.

-After 14 years of living in shitty, overcrowded, and cramped apartment buildings, Q and I picked up and moved to a house. It’s three times the size, in a quieter neighborhood, has a garage, a washer/dryer in the basement, a good sized kitchen with loads of counterspace, an open pantry, a huge closet, etc. etc. etc. We’ve lived there for over a year and the gleen still hasn’t worn off.

– We adopted 2 gorgeous orange cats. Be warned now that 75% of this blog will now be devoted to their antics.

-I started running and have completed 2 5K’s to date. On deck for 2011 are more 5K’s this winter, a 10K in June, and a half marathon in November.

-Finally bought a decent camera so no more dark and blurry pics.

………..more to come, stay tuned!

Last Sunday, Sherry Cermak passed away very suddenly. I’ve been a huge fan of Sher and her wonderful blog What Did You Eat? for her sense of humor, Upsie, the other critters she habilitated, and of course the recipes.

Even if I never met her, her death has hit me hard on a personal level and I will always be very fond of her. She was someone who could make you smile, someone who could make you laugh out loud and chuckle, someone who was so encouraging, and someone who’s love of life inspires. What Did You Eat was more than just a food blog, it is a real picture of one’s love of life through food, family, and friendships. Just read any of the comments on any of the posts.

She was always very supportive here through her comments and even lead me to a few challenges. We got into a silly triple dog dare which resulted in a Cheeto topped pie for her and a Dagwood Goliath for me. Of all the blogs out there, I’d say hers is the one I have cooked the most from. To date, I’ve made most of her meatballs though I was too shy to post them all here in fear of being a nuisance for copy catting everything she made.

Her good friend Glenna has written a beautiful tribute and helps give a picture to those who did not know her in real time.

In loving memory of Sher people have been asked to make one of her recipes and post about it. Though this isn’t a recipe, I chose a tomato sandwich because it’s the very first post of hers that grabbed me. A summer tomato sandwich is unbeatable because of its simplicity while still being filling, delicious, honest, and light hearted. A fitting tribute in my opinion considering how much she loved them.

Thank you Sher. Thank you for What Did You Eat and for being such a wonderful influence. You are sorely missed and will always be remembered here.

I cannot frost a cake neatly to save my life. But no matter, the cake was delicious.

This month’s challenge is hosted by Morven over at Food Art and Random Thoughts. Thank you so much for picking this challenge! It’s definitely a keeper. The neat thing with this recipe is that there was plenty of room for creativity. The basic cake itself is lemon flavored with layers of jam and a lemony buttercream icing. The rest was up to us.

I used fresh strawberries and strawberry jam. Since I made this for Easter, I thought a pastel spring-like color theme was in order.
In the end this was dubbed my “Horton Hears a Who” cake because of the colors.

I’ve never read any of Dorie Greenspan’s cookbooks but I’m buying the first copy I can get my hands on. She gives the best advice and little hints and tips throughout the recipe. I’ve made egg white based buttercreams exactly 4 times and none of those recipes have ever warned the baker to expect the icing to curdle and separate.

Even after 10 minutes of mixing, this is what mine looked like but all of a sudden it tightened up and turned into a miraculous frosting.

See? That Dorie doesn’t lie, it comes together just fine in the end.

Can’t wait to see what the other DB’ers have made.
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When I first saw this recipe, I thought it was an odd spice and herb combination for a pasta dish. But it has the same flavors of a good chili if you think about it.

I wasn’t aiming for any sort of fusion dish by using the Soba noodles. It was the only box of pasta I could find in the cupboard. Worked like a charm.

Noodles with Greens, Tomatoes, and Cumin (and a few other things tossed in)

olive oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 c. diced shallots
2 cloves garlic
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 lb. swiss chard (or other leafy greens)
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro
1 lb. Soba noodles

Saute the shallots in a bit of olive oil with the pepper flakes for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and let it cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with the cumin and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the swiss chard, cover the pan, and let the greens wilt down for a few more minutes. Add the cooked pasta and cilantro, mixing well.

Feel Better Soup


To all my buddies out there who are sick, this is the soup I’ve been talking about and emailing you over the years. That cold you have may be strangling your taste buds but trust me, this soup has just the right texture. The cloudy bits of roasted garlic floating in the thick broth is heavenly. The garlic and spinach will get you back on the right path, it’ll feel nice going down your sore scratchy throat, and it’s easy to make.

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Just a quick Helloooooo!

I’m sorry to be so absent as of late, but there just aren’t enough hours in the morning, afternoon, or night to get things done. Plus the BB&Q household is down to one functioning computer so my Internet time is sparse.

I feel bad for missing this month’s Daring Bakers challenge. But if you want to see some wonderful crusty French bread, cruise the DB blogroll. This month there are two lovely hosts, Mary of The Sour Dough and Lisa of I Like to Cook.

I’ll be back to posting in the near future.


When I saw this tart listed for this month’s DB challenge I started laughing remembering the first time that I had made it. It was eons ago when I was first learning to really bake. It was moving season and there was one realtor bringing prospective renters in and out of the apartment that evening.

There are three part to this recipe: the tart crust, the lemon curd filling, and the meringue topping. All three have subtle little pitfalls that can trip up any baker so I certainly appreciate why this particular recipe was chosen for this month’s challenge.
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