Tim came by right on the heals (like the day after) we had our big scrapbook retreat at the Dairy Barn. I did most of the cooking for that, plus ran a couple classes. I was a little crazed at the end. And then I made 6 dozen filled cupcakes in 3 different flavors, chocolate chip cookies, gingersnaps, chicken vegetable soup and foccacia. Maybe manic might be a better description than crazed, lol. Unfortunately that meant I had to delegate something, in this case, typing recipes so this lovely man could take them back to his paper fell into my grandmother's lap (bless her heart for helping). But you know every cook changes something as they go... yep, so my margin notes didn't make it into the final copy.
The recipes are good as they are, but I like the way I do it :-) So here you go if you want to be awesome and faaaamous in your state.
1) I was born in Iowa, and grew up on the Kansas-Oklahoma border. On the Kansas side. I went to college in Oklahoma. I like cowboys, okra, and ranch dressing and picked up a little accent that I've kept, 'cuz it's fun. I point this out so nobody in Kansas thinks I'm putting on airs. This postcard is about 2 blocks and a hundred years from where I lived. Hmmm, hasn't changed much.
2) Like I said, I was a bit manic and making food. I took a shower, but didn't have time to do my hair or makeup before caught in action making focaccia. Sorry about that photo. Most days I look like this:
3) I did not make Irish Car Bombs for Tim. He just thought they sounded good. Which they are. I did make Tuxedos (devils food filled with raspberries and frosted with white chocolate) and Daisies (sour cream yellow cake filled with from scratch lemon curd and frosted with lemon white chocolate) plus the Pumpkin Spice (which need cute name suggestions). We weren't done chatting 'til lunch so we had my favorite chicken vegetable soup, focaccia, all those cupcakes, plus my BLUE RIBBON!!! winning Gingersnaps. I'm just a little in love with those gingersnaps. Alfie (the dog) likes them a lot too.
4) The Irish Car Bomb and Pumpkin Spice Cupcake recipes are actually perfect. I had them on file because I made them up and I have a rotten memory for measurements. Bake them. You won't be sorry. Unless you are in AA. In which case, leave out the booze, you will still be happy.
Now Margin Notes from the Delegated Recipes
5) Chicken Vegetable Soup: Corrections
- Feel free to substitute canned vegetables for fresh. It's winter. You aren't getting fresh corn on the cob and if you do you are going to hell for not being a locavore and your punishment will be having corn that tastes like cardboard. Just sayin'. ;-) But realistically time and effort is an issue for everyone. I try to use home canned tomatoes, but when time and pantry don't allow, I reach for the Rotel. See that part about growing up on the Kansas-Oklahoma border. Only ingredient better in the whole wide world than ranch, is rotel.
- I sometimes throw in pesto instead of fresh basil, because my basil plant is usually naked stems because I made pesto. It's an addiction, but I don't smoke so it must be okay.
- I use leftover chicken in my soup. And sometimes canned. Shhhh, don't tell.
- Pickapeppa sauce = Tabasco sauce. I like a bit of spice. You can leave it out.
- I don't blanch my zucchini. I just peel it and cut it up and toss it in the pot with the corn. This is an excellent soup to use up the giant zucchini that got away from you in the garden. Most people eat it and think it's celery.
- I don't ever thicken it with cornstarch. That is what crackers are for.
6) Focaccia: Corrections
I think this is my dear grandmama's recipe. It isn't mine or at least not one I've made in the past decade. Pesto is involved so it's got to be good. I'll put a link to my current fave (the one I'm chopping rosemary for in that oh so lovely photo) here just as soon as I retype it, sounds like a goal for tomorrow morning.