Monthly Archives: December 2012
Since I grew up in a college basketball-oriented household, I’ll be calling 2012 a “building year”….. some nice efforts, a few great opportunities, and mostly a lot of learning. It was definitely a year for developing, building, and laying the path for future jobs. I don’t get a lot of jobs, but the jobs I do get are very cool, and I think I like it that way.
Many of the below photos were just personal photos taken when I went out to eat at a restaurant (MUCH too infrequently this year) but, as always, I love the impromptu natural, unstaged look to shots of food just as they arrive to your table. I always judge a year by how many trips I took, how often I got out, restaurants I went to…. these are the important things to me. I don’t think 2012 will be one for the record books, but as you can see below, there were some great things to celebrate!
Restaurants featured in this post are: Putnam’s Waterview Restaurant, Eden Restaurant (now closed), The Copper Door, Firefly, Chen’s Garden, 900 Degrees, Lucky’s Lounge, Fratello’s, Republic, Queen Anne’s Revenge, The Black Forest Cafe, The Bedford Village Inn, Planet Marshmallow (now closed), El Rincon, The Patio Hilton Garden Inn, and Planet Marshmallow.
Here’s a really nice muffin recipe that is a delicious way to cram lots of bananas, carrots, and squash into one muffin, perfect for those of us with little kids. My 3-year old, who is not all that picky, loves these, and my 5-year old, although not a toddler, is very picky and very smart. He is very wary of these, and I think he senses a trap. They taste like banana bread to me, which what I tell the kids they are: “oh they’re banana muffins!” Wonderfully moist and flavorful, I enjoy these for breakfast, or to pop for a snack.
makes 24-30 mini muffins or 12 regular muffins
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large bananas, mashed
1 (4.5 ounce) jar baby food squash
2 carrots, grated
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oat bran
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 24 mini muffin cups or 12 standard muffin cups.
- In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in the mashed bananas, squash, carrots, and eggs. Stir in the flour, oat bran, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until just combined. Spoon the batter equally into the prepared muffin cups.
- Bake about 18 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, run a knife around the edges to loosen them up, before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. Enjoy immediately, or they freeze beautifully!
I followed the recipe exactly in this batch, but I definitely see some opportunities to make it in your own way; you could swap the squash for baby food sweet potatoes, or apple sauce, maybe do zucchini instead of carrots, use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose, or even just use regular oatmeal instead of oatbran. This could be a lot of fun to play around with!
Tonight I have a real treat for you: a super SIMPLE recipe that requires only four ingredients for an amazing meal: Green Chile Quesadillas. This is one of my favorite things that I make at home, because I’m not a great cook, and yet this is one thing that even I can do well. I will warn you: I’m not an exact cook. I’m one of those “a little of this, a little of that, whatever you like, whatever you feel like” kind of cooks.
Serves: 4ish (this can easily be adapted to as many or as few as you’re feeding–just add more of everything!)
- 1 4.5 oz can chopped green chiles
- 2 chicken breasts
- 8-12 oz shredded cheese (the more the better, in my opinion)
- 1 bag of flour tortillas, 8 or 9 inch, doesn’t matter. Depends on how big you want them. 🙂
I start by poaching my chicken breasts for 20ish minutes or until cooked through, and I dump into the water whatever looks good: Adobo, garlic powder, sometimes onion powder, chili powder, cumin, and always a shake of cinnamon. When they’re done, remove from the water and let them cool on a plate until cool enough to handle. Then, shred shred shred them up with a large fork and place in a large bowl.
To the bowl, add the cheese and chiles (not drained). Mix well.
I cook these babies on a large electric griddle so I can bang out 4 at a time. I crank it all the way up as high as it goes (400) and melt a little butter on it. Pile your chicken mixture on one half of the tortillas, careful not to overstuff, though tempting, and fold in half and place on griddle and cook on each side until melty and golden crispy. Serve with sour cream, salsa, guacamole, etc. Endless possibilities!
I love shooting the wedding details like bouquets, jewelry, and decor, and the bridal shoes are quickly becoming another favorite. I picked up these beauties at somewhere surprising–Goodwill! It’s definitely a lucky day when you find something you like in your size and a price you can’t pass up–$6.50! I kid you not. I’m keeping these on hand as an option for my upcoming boudoir shoot next year, and like my pink ones, I thought they would look equally beautiful as wedding shoes.
My mother was in town visiting us from North Carolina so on her last night here we wanted to go out to eat. I had taken her to Republic and Queen City Cupcakes for lunch earlier in the week, so I wanted to go to another local place (as I generally always try to avoid chain restaurants unless it’s for quick takeout). I realized I had never been to the Molly Stark Tavern in New Boston, in its current incarnation as Molly’s Tavern and Restaurant. Very festive in their holiday decorations and lights!
The menu was very casual and I found lots of things I wanted to try, but I settled on the fish tacos and my mom got the meatloaf (hello! bacon-wrapped!!). It was all very enjoyable, except probably for the iced tea, which was weak instant Nestea. Believe me, if you give instant tea to two women from North Carolina we will notice it in exactly the very first sip. But I can easily overlook that since that is definitely not the first time I’ve run into that in New Hampshire.This is a place that brings out a dessert tray! Exciting! They get their desserts from Just Like Mom’s Pastries in Weare which I am already very familiar with since she has done my kids’ past birthday cakes for several years. I got the Tiramisu cake, Mom got the chocolate, and I loved the way they dressed up the desserts with a little plate art. Very cool.