Monthly Archives: January 2012

New Cookbook, And The Fruits Of My Labor!

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I found this cookbook at the counter in Dillard’s while doing some Christmas shopping. It was only $10.00 and all proceeds when to the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Little side note: the Ronald McDonald House was actually my college sorority Alpha Delta Pie’s philanthropy. This cookbook is AMAZING! has over 400 recipes, decorating ideas, and lots of pictures! I am a sucker for a cookbook with lots of pictures! Anyway, I have made a few things out of this cookbook, and so far so good!

Saturday me and some of my Auburn besties had a girls night. I was asked to bring a desert and I picked a chocolate tart out of this cook book. I have never cooked a tart and didn’t have an actual tart pan, so I used a pie pan that resembles a tart pan. I then proceeded to misread the directions on how to fold the dough, and didn’t realize it until after the crust came out of the oven. Oh well, because it still came out freaking delicious! Also, who knew a tart would take a total of about 5 hours to complete. Not this girl who spent her whole saturday waiting on it to refrigerate, roll out, freeze, bake, cool, warm, and cool again! All complaining aside; I can not wait to make another one of these. Next time I’ll have to time the recipe out better, make it prettier, take much better pictures,perfect the recipe and post it with helpful tips! Here it is anyway! A Candied Orange Dark Chocolate Tart.

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Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

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I know my mom is going to read this and think, “Eww I HATE goat cheese!” and maybe you do too, but I love goat cheese! We have a local goat farm and they make the BEST goat cheese I have ever had, and I’m always trying to find great ways to use it. So if you are one of those people who hates goat cheese I would just recommend still making this recipe and just leave off the goat cheese! It’s so good and only 70 calories a serving (less if you leave off the goat cheese!) Here is what you do….

Shopping List

  • 1 bunch of asparagus (about a pound)
  • 1 container of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 head of garlic (only need two cloves)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Goat cheese

Step 1. Prep all ingredients: Cut ends off of asparagus, cut cherry tomatoes in half, and mince 2 cloves of garlic (about 2 teaspoons)

Step 2. Steam or boil asparagus untill “Crisp tender”.

Step 3. In a large skillet heat 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and cook for another 3 minutes.

Step 4. Place asparagus on plate or platter, pour balsamic tomato mixture over, and crumble about 20 grams of goat cheese on top (or don’t).

And there you have it: about 10 minutes of work, 6 ingredients or less, and under 100 calories!

♥ Tyler!

Scuola del Cuoio

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I haven’t talked about it with a lot of people, but my grandmother passed away in early November. I truly could never fully express how much she meant to me. I’ve thought about posting the eulogy I wrote for her funeral, and I will when the time is right, but for now I’ll just give you a little insight into my slightly more humorous response to her death.

First let me make something clear: I am not a nic nac person; I do not collect things; I do not enjoy clutter. My grandmother however over the years accumulated a lot of cool “crap”. She was an artist, world traveler, and loved to order stuff out of catalogs. When she passed away most of her stuff was donated or given to family and friends, but not before I had the heart breaking (yet entertaining) task of combing through her many things. That experience was full of many tears and laughter. I don’t handle loss the greatest, and I tend to hold a lot of emotions to myself. However this time, my denial for the lost of my grandmother presented itself in a weird sentimental “hording” of sorts. If asked whether I wanted something of hers I pretty much just said, “YES!!”. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was saying yes to a lot of stuff I didn’t really want. Now that my head has cleared I have found new homes for some of the things I collected, and its very entertaining to make fun of some of the things I actually took from her house. Anyway I did manage to inherited a lot of cool jewelry. One of the things I was given was this neat little leather bracelet. It had an in graving in the inside, Scuola del Cuoio, Firenze.

The city of Auburn, AL is under a tornado warning today. It’s raining cats and dogs outside, so I decided to look up the engraving of this bracelet to see if I could find any in site into where it might be from. Heres what I found out. One, its made of python! Two, it’s from a really cool place called Scuola del Cuoio. So here is a little history lesson for you…

Scuola del Cuoio was created after World War II through the collaborative efforts of the Franciscan friars of the Monastery of Santa Croce and the Gori and Casini families, Florentine leather artisans since the 1930’s. Their mission was to give orphans of the war a means to learn a practical trade with which to earn a living. The Basilica of Santa Croce is the burial-place of some of the most illustrious Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile and Rossini, thus it is known also as the Temple of the Italian Glories.

There you have it ladies and gentlemen. I inherited a 13$ Python bracelet from Florence, Italy! I can just imagine my grandmother, in Florence, selecting the little souvenir that I now wear on my wrist. Thank god for rainy day fun, and sentimental hording!

♥ Tyler!