Skillet Skillz


This week I made Katie’s Roasted Corn Salad, recipe via  The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl.

It was tasty! However, it was supposed to be roasted, a.k.a. grilled. The art of grilling does not bode so well with the rain that has been occurring this week, so I made it on the stove in my cast iron skillet.

(You can find the recipe at Chat & Chew). I did everything the recipes called for, I just made it on the skillet instead of the grill. And I boiled my corn and cut off the kernels and threw them in the skillet at the end.

Oh, and I used yellow bell pepper instead of red and I used butternut squash instead of yellow squash. My inability to follow a recipe exactly drives Moose bonkers.

I love to cook with our cast iron skillet. It weighs about 100 pounds, but it’s perfect for all the Mexican food we like to make.

One thing led to another, and I woke up the next morning to our cast iron skillet sitting in a little puddle in our sink. This is a big-fat-skillet NO NO. Alas, the bottom was starting to rust.

You aren’t supposed to wash a skillet with soap and are definitely not supposed to let it sit wet. It should be rinsed, dried and oiled.

So, like any other person looking for a solution, I Googled it. I found two great tutorials on The Kitchn on skillet care:

How To Clean a Cast Iron Skillet

How To Season a Cast Iron Skillet

Cast iron skillets can last decades if they are taken care of properly. Otherwise, they are a very effective tool for flattening papers or building up shoulder muscles.

And since I’m on the topic… here’s a throwback young from the good ole days.

How’s that for variations on a theme? : )

Top 9: Farewell Party to Summer

I am protesting the end of summer.

While grocery shopping this week the stockboys were putting out Halloween candy. HALLOWEEN candy.

Then, I get home and start going through my (shamelessly overstocked) Google Reader. Bloggers are already blogging about fall projects.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s been far too long since I’ve done a Top 9. Today my Top 9 is based on a theme for a Goodbye Summer party. 😦 Wahh.

The theme is sunset-based, because summer should be an eternal sunset. (So poetic. I know.) Why? Well, I only get to see sunsets during the summer. Otherwise I leave work when it’s dark. Sunsets happen at the end of the day, this party it happening at the end of summer. And if you want to get real scientific, the days are starting to get short again, thus a sunset theme.

I’m nothing if not well thought-out. Either that, or I am a champion of meager excuses for a party…

1. First you’d need awesome, summery invitations like these to invite your favorite peeps over.

2. I think it would be fun to decorate my deck with some of these lovely sunset-colored mobiles from LilSproutCreation. With the goldenrod, coral and tangerine hues of this beauty, I think you could even sneak this into your fall decor.

3. I would serve this refreshingly tasty looking Creamsicle trifile by Amy Atlas. The colors are beautiful! Is there anything more classically summer than a creamsicle popsicle?

4. This beautiful necklace by Alyssa’s Gems and Jewels would adorn my neck and add instant “summer celebration” to any outfit. (How is it that I’ve never heard of Maple Turquoise before? It’s lovely.)

5. Ahhh, the quintessential summer activity. Friendship bracelets. I’d love to sit around a campfire and make some chevron bracelets like these babies by LARaised. (I think it’s hilarious that these are a “style trend” right now. I think people just want to dress like they are 12 again and call it a “trend”. Not that I am opposed. I still have one.)

6. A kitschy patchwork tablecloth with hues of goldenrod and pink, like this one from CakeforBreakfast, would help set the tone.

7. I would also serve this Taste-a-Rainbow cupcakes from Family Fun magazine.

8. A pretty orange dress, like one this from AmandaArcher, would help soften the wardrobe blow in the transition from summer to fall.

9. Lastly, I’d thank my friends for coming with these “Cheerio” cards from TheDesignConspiracy. I love the yellow printing and custom screenprinted type.

Around this time of year I am grateful to live in New England. The leaves start turning and we can still go to the beach for at least another six weeks. (Yes! I have swam in the ocean in October before!)

Three cheers for an Indian Summer!

Summer Tuna Salad

1. Drain one can of tuna.

2. Mix in 1 tablespoon of poppyseed salad dressing.

3. Throw in one handful of (freshly picked!) blueberries.

4. Serve on cucumber slices.

Delicious and refreshing!

(Although my husband gave me the side-eye. Me thinks this is not a man-friendly meal.)

I think it would be a nice appetizer at a luncheon or a shower.

First, You Take the Mallow…

This is smores stuff. First you take the kabob. You stick the malow with the kabob. Then, you dunk the mallow. When the mallows swimming, you stick on the sprinkles and cover it with them. Then, you scarf.

– Ham Porter, (edited for my purposes)

Who can name that quote from one of the best movies of all time? (Here’s a hint: I want Wendy Peffercorn’s sexy lifeguard sunglasses)

This post is all about the “mallows”.

One of my favorite ways to add a little bit of sugary fun to a party is to make marshmallow pops. They are quick, easy and inexpensive. What else could you ask for? (*If you said healthy, you are disqualified.)

First you take the “mallow”. Spear it with a kabob stick. A toothpick would also do the job, or clean fingers for the brave-at-heart. If you are an over-achiever, unlike myself, you’ll make your own marshmallows.

Next, dip the mallow into a melted chocolate-y mixture (which you will have conveniently already melted down in your double boiler). I chose white chocolate for today, though I can attest dark chocolate is just as tasty.

Let the extra chocolate drip off in the pot. Next, roll your chocolate-y goodness covered mallow in a plate of sprinkles (or chocolate chips, coconut flakes, cinnamon imperials… whatever you fancy).

Place it on wax paper to harden and you’re done! If the chocolate shell isn’t firm, stick it in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Then, you scarf.

You don’t like marshmallows you say? You’re killin’ me Smalls!

Psssssttt…. I have a secret ingredient.

Yup! Coffee syrups! I put it in my melted chocolate for a hint-o-caramel. (I’ve also used it in cake batter, icings and brownies to my taste bud’s delight.)

Oh, and are you wondering what those delicious looking chocolate dipped cookies are in the background?

Bridal shower favors for my friend Eva. More on that later this week. : )

How do you feel about the “mallows”?