Independence Day Experiments

Happy Fourth of July! I am finally finished with the house painting! Bob sanded the bookcase today so I can work on that and get the front room totally done. Also waiting for the new bed set to come in to finish up the master bedroom. Good news – I love the way everything came out and don’t feel the need to move. Oh – I had some very cute helpers with the painting:

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On the food front I went for a few experiments. I made a braised pork that was ok. Braised in red wine and beef broth, but still only ok. Not much different than my usual apple cider braise and more work. But the side dish … Lemon curried corn cakes.

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I got the basic recipe from the FoodNetwork website but of course didn’t follow it. I made the paste, but wasn’t sure if the lemon was juice and zest or just zest … so I used both and figured that probably was wrong when the paste was more marinade. But I went with it. I had some pretty corn in my veggie basket so I took the kernels from those three ears and used them.

20130704-202732.jpg I also added grated yellow squash (drained) since I had it one hand. And I didn’t have shallots so I improvised with chopped onion and garlic. This, of course, meant I had to add more flour to the mix, which was just fine. I also added a hot pepper mix in place of regular pepper to up the spice. The end result was really really good. They don’t look pretty but they have a ton of flavor and it’s not a profile I use (ever) so it was also a nice change of pace.

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Best part is I have about half the mix left so I can freeze it and make them again without having to make them again.

But the oh-this-is-dangerous part of my day came after Val sent me a link and said “how about these?” How can I resist a new dessert? So … I made the graham crackers

20130704-203353.jpg with my Winnie the Pooh cookie cutters since they are pretty much the only ones I have. Then moved on to the marshmallow fluff. Let me just say this is really, really sticky stuff. I should know that anything that calls for a bottle of corn syrup is going to be sticky, but somehow I always forget.

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Getting everything put together was the tricky part. I did manage to pipe the fluff onto the cookies, but … well … by the time I finished they were already oozing.

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But they did look cute, and after they were a little frozen I was able to push them back together a little and then dip them in the chocolate – which I should have heated a little more and probably added a little corn syrup to as it got thick really fast.

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They are dangerously good. Seriously good. I’m not even sure there will be any left when Val gets in town tomorrow. Possibly new favorite dessert … Although it is hard to beat vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream.

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