Sunday, August 22, 2010

Puff the Magic Pastry

I'm in love. With puff pastry. But not just any ordinary puff pastry, I'm in love with Dufour Pastry Kitchen's All-Butter Puff Pastry Dough. Once you go Dufour, you never go back. I haven't made a ton of things out of puff pastry, just enough to know that while widely available Pepperidge Farms' puff pastry sheets will do the job, they won't deliver the flavor that Dufour will. This is one of those cases where the higher priced product, in this case much higher, is worth its weight in gold.

Last week I made these Blueberry & Cream Tarts from Sprouted Kitchen, a gorgeous website filled with food prepared locally and organically whenever possible. The tarts, while a little putzy to make, were certainly not difficult and I feel they were worth the effort. Then today I caught an episode of What Would Brian Boitano Make? on Food Network (yes, ice skater Brian Boitano has a cooking show, and it's really funny! Who knew?) and he made Bourbon Bacon Apple Tarts using Dufour puff pastry dough, and my mouth watered as he cooked the diced apple in the bourbon and bacon and spooned it into the prepared puff pastry shells and garnished them with bourbon whipped cream and a small piece of bacon. Is there anything that puff pastry can't do? I doubt it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

His Name in Lights

When I just checked my last post here on this blog and saw the date was Thursday, August 5, I breathed a sigh of relief. I'm not as far behind in posting as I believed, I thought to myself. Thursday was only a few days ago, after all. And then I thought a little bit more about it and remembered that since we celebrated my dad's 70th birthday on Friday, and his birthday is on August 13, it's actually been more than a week since I posted last. Dang. What's up with that?

Well, while we're on the topic, let me assure you that we celebrated my dad's big decade marker in style, with a cocktail at Sapor with his family and old friends from high school and then with a Twins game at the gorgeous new Target Field in downtown Minneapolis. It was hot and humid when we started out, just like it has been for the last two weeks, but within a short time of the game starting, the sun went down and everything cooled off to a perfect temperature. It couldn't have been a more perfect evening to enjoy the Twins beating the Oakland A's while shoveling Kramarczuk's Polish sausages and nachos down our gullets.

While we happily noshed on our stadium grub, we anticipated the coming of the fifth inning when our "Twins O-Gram" birthday message for my dad would appear on the jumbotron for everyone to read. And then we kept anticipating, kept anticipating, and anticipated some more as messages of all sorts were flashed up on the big screen for seemingly every person in the stadium. Finally we saw ours, excitedly pointing it out to Gordo while I took a photo of his name in lights. It was pretty neat, and the celebration continued with a fireworks show after the game for a delighted crowd. Not that the fireworks were actually meant for my dad, but he likes to think so. Happy birthday, Dad!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Happy Birthday to My Best Furry Buddy!

Fourteen years ago the world welcomed the friendliest, furriest, fattest feline ever, and his name is Hakeem Wallace Ellis. Tomorrow is his birthday and while he's old now, and slow and sleepy most of the time, he's still the furry love of my life and makes me laugh all of the time. He's with me every moment that I'm home, and I think about him constantly when I'm not. I'm very lucky that he came into my life so many years ago, despite all of the fur on the couch, the occasional pile of puke, and the never ending job of cleaning his litter box. He's worth every tape roller I've purchased, every ounce of prescription cat food I've bought, and I don't even care that he's the world's worst mouser. He's an amazing kitty, and I wish him the happiest fourteenth birthday ever!