Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Eats & Smiles

By way of introduction... I have been wracking my brain to come up with something special to celebrate my 100th post. Many bloggers enjoy "Wordless Wednesdays" and share photo posts with few or no words accompanying them. As I am a woman of typically MANY words, I will likely opt for the "few" as opposed to the "no" but thought this might be a great new wannafoodie feature that will help me to share with each of you and alleviate the pressure of coming up with a new recipe in order to blog. Let's face it... there are some weeks where I eat pizza or taco salad nearly every day (albeit homemade but that wasn't necessarily blog-worthy).

So, thank you for reading... and being part of my wannafoodie world. Time for me to be silent(ish) and just share the things that make us smile... in food and in life.

A day not too long ago...

Charlie, our 11 month old black lab

Doug and the retrieving puppy.

Me, trying to be an outside person.

A day more recent...

Butternut squash soup with goat cheese, balsamic caramelized beets and vino.

Hot chocolate with homemade peppermint marshmallows.

Eats and Smiles.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chocolate Stout Marshmallows

Last year, a great night with my girlfriend Caitlin parlayed into a guest post and some very pretty festive treats over the holiday break... Pretty, swirly red, vanilla kissed marshmallows made their way into the hands of fortunate friends and many a mug of steaming hot chocolate.

This is one of two times during the year that I am interested in marshmallows... generally, I'm not a fan. BUT during those cool, dark nights around a campfire in the summer OR the frigid winter while curled up on the couch under blanket and cuddling a mug, I could eat marshmallows until the sugar coma hits.

Winter has only recently hit and already I am in marshmallow mania. While grabbing supplies at the grocery, I did nab that tiny bottle of peppermint extract (which I will probably not find again in a few short weeks when everyone is Christmas baking up a storm) for some future marshmallow making... otherwise, it was the regular suspects before grabbing a bag of pretzels then heading across the street for our new star - beer!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Brunch with Friends: Menu Two

Well, I think it is safe to say that Brunch with Friends is going to become a regular feature here on wannafoodie. I spend hours dreaming up these menus and thinking about how to build levels of flavours into such warm, comforting, start-your-day food. How will each component connect with the other once it is on the plate? How do I make each component stand out while complimenting the others? How do I elevate the more simple components into something truly memorable? It has really been an energizing and inspiring experience... and hopefully one that you will get on board with.

This time, we were hosting Doug's sister Kate, her husband Alan and their daughter Emma (for shame! I didn't nab a photo of the family... next time!). Oh, and I can't possibly forget Boo, their pup, who came for a play-date with Charlie, our eleven month old black Lab. It was such a nice excuse to catch-up with Kate and Alan but also to see the ever-changing Emma, who two short weeks ago was barely walking and now is charging around without a care in the world. (How fast they grow!) 

The flavours that I played with today are ones that warm me as the weather cools... cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin and citrus. They have been woven throughout all...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Autumnal Sugar Cookies

Pinterest has been the most ridiculously addictive website for me... it's like an ever-changing, ever-accessible inspiration board of ideas, wishes, plans and such. I dream of a completely customized home with an expansive porch complete with swing, his and her sinks in the master bathroom off the master retreat (which, of course, has an awe-inspiring walk-in closet), an open central stairway filled floor-to-ceiling with art and photos and memories, a cupboard to a secret room a la Narnia, and a rolling ladder reaching to the upper echelons of a private library... and so on and so on. Oh, to have all of the money in the world.

Anyway, this really did start as a food blog post! (I did say that Pinterest got my imagination soaring...) So, I have been enthralled with photo after photo of beautiful handmade gifts, and wrapping and packaging that are as beautiful as the gifts within. I bookmark or repin and plan to make something like these. Today was that day.

After zipping to Michael's, I returned with a sale score of $0.80 cookie cutters in the shape of a ghost and a pumpkin! Sugar cookies were on the brain... and now they were going to be Halloween themed.

I'm not a fan of the sickly sweet, overly iced sugar cookies. Maybe they aren't sophisticated enough in terms of their flavour or I'm just a snob (maybe a bit of both)... I wanted to make a more "grown up" sugar cookie (mostly anyway!). A bit less sugar and a bit more spice.

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