52 recipes, books and creative somethings (my pseudo resolution for 2011) is going well at the end of this third week of January. We did a lot of things around the house this weekend, between celebratory dinners out and Kansas City Restaurant Week support, I think we both got a lot done. Yesterday Joe ran a passel of errands while I cleaned house, worked out and tackled another round of work on my scrapbook project. I've finally gotten all of the photos and mementos laid out and affixed to the pages and now Joe and I just need to sit down and fill in all the little anecdotes and memories that we want for each trip or event. I've left a goodly amount of space for some writing and that's always been my favorite part of other scrapbooks I've done. Just the casual, normal handwritten notes and stories jotted down next to some beautiful photos. Guess who kept me company while I cleaned house, scrap booked and worked out this weekend? Some wild British teenagers!
I think I watched roughly the first entire season of Skins on Saturday. It's the perfect background show. I've already seen it so I don't have to watch every single scene closely. It's compelling, funny, racy and amusing enough to keep me interested when I look up from whichever project I'm ensconced in. And though I haven't watched it, and don't plan too, I'm dead certain it's 1,000 times better than the controversial Americanized version airing on MTV now. Please don't watch that one. The first three seasons of Skins are on Netflix instant watch, so just go there. But be prepared to give up a huge chunk of your evening.
So back to my 52 goal. Today I got up early and ran to the grocery store, cleaned our disgusting refridgerator and reorganized our pantry, all in an effort to fill the house with healthy, tasty lunch, dinner and snack options. I whipped up a big batch of Taco Soup, an old Weight Watchers recipe that is spicy, filling and healthy, chock full of tomatoes, sweet corn, three kinds of beans and some jalapenos. I made a quick olive and feta tapenade with two jars of olives hiding in the back of the fridge and some feta that was about to turn past good smelly cheese into scary smelly cheese territory. It's another rich and delicious snack and much cheaper to make at home than to buy at the store. And then my new recipe for the week! Phyllis Cannon's Caramel Apple Cake.
My stepmother's mom, Phyllis, is a great cook. Last time they were in town she was talking about this recipe and was kind enough to mail it to me a few weeks after their visit, along with a recipe for jambalaya that I have yet to make. And since one of my coworker's birthdays is this week, and it's my turn to provide the dessert, what better time to make a little Bundt cake?
This was a pretty easy cake to make, lots of ingredients but nothing complicated. After peeling and dicing four apples, I used two Braeburn and two Jonagold, all the ingredients mixed up fast and smelled spicy and delicious, but it was a very thick batter, way too thick, like hard to stir thick. I hadn't even added the apples or walnuts yet and it was more like cookie dough than cake batter. Something was a bit off. I'm guessing there was supposed to be milk or another liquid included in the recipe, but it didn't call for it, so I went ahead and added a little over 1/2 cup of milk to thin it out and that seemed to solve the problem. Then the caramel frosting, which is just a quick melted brown sugar, butter, cream saucepan full of yumminess, drizzled not so delicately over the cake. It's not my prettiest cake, but I think it will be moist and flavorful. We'll have to wait until tomorrow to see how it tastes. I'll let you know what my co-workers have to say! If you want the recipe just let me know in the comments and I'll email it to you.
Then on to the 52 books, I finished Boomsday, the third book of my year, and I love it. But I'm not in the mood to review it today. Much like a cranky third grader, I don't want to do my homework, I just want to go play. So that book report will have to wait until later this week. I'm reading Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeannette Winterson now. It's strange and fascinating and I love her work, but it's a little harder to read than I expected, partly because of the subject matter and partly because of her writing style. But it's worth it.
So that's my 52 update. The recipes are going gang busters, the scrapbook might have to count for 10 items, and the books, I'm getting there. How are your New Year's resolutions going? Still hanging in there? Or have you moved on and let go?