Memories of Food, or, Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

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It’s said that food is more about the memories created while eating the food than about the food itself. When I think back to some of the killer meals I’ve eaten in my life, the food, amazing in and of itself, may not have been as amazing had I eaten alone. A chef friend of mine told me that he would always shave truffles table side because at the moment that the truffles hit the heat of the food, the aroma become a memory that would never be forgotten – you would always remember that moment in time.

And so, it wasn’t entirely surprising that I picked up a box of the Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit mix when I saw it on my local grocery store shelf. Maybe snatched is the better word. OK. So Red Lobster isn’t about the best seafood experience you will ever have, but, for me at least, about the memories created while eating there.

As a college student on tight budget, my friends and I could always be found at the Red Lobster closest to campus, usually during their all you can eat shrimp specials. Katie and I would eat so much shrimp it is a wonder we didn’t turn pink and contract mercury poisoning! Sometimes we would just drop in to pick up some Cheddar Bay Biscuits, devouring them before we could ever make it back to the dorms.

On other occasions I went with my friend Kevin. We became close friends through an ex-boyfriend. Since he worked he would always treat me; we didn’t date, but truly enjoyed each other’s company and often talked through relationship issues. It seemed that every time we went we were served by the same waitress Betty, or as we named her, Bitch-slapping Betty. It seemed she was always in a foul mood, made even more foul by the number of times we asked her to refill our biscuit basket, imagining the violence that might, at a moment’s notice, bubble up from her just-below-the-surface roil. And we laughed about the ridiculousness of it all, rolling with laughter the whole way back to campus, always going back for another dose.

And here we are. I haven’t been back to Red Lobster in almost as many years as it has been since I graduated from college. The home biscuit mix is good. The ingredients are just as I remember them, minus one – new memories – which keeps them from tasting just as I remember them.

PS – they don’t reheat well. If you are in limited company just go ahead and gorge on them.

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The Life of Theodore Alouicious

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It is with heavy heart that I announce the passing of our Theodore Alouicious, Pomeranian extraordinaire, the last of the “OP” (Original Pack), at home, early Wednesday morning. He was known also as Teddy, Theo, Bear, and Bearykins.

Teddy joined us as an adult dog, by way of the Utah Humane Society. His family had surrendered him because another dog had attacked him, leaving him with only one semi-working eye, which never stopped him from being the happiest dog I have ever known. Hilariously we would throw the ball that he would run after but could never find. Instead he would jump around and be excited just to join in with the others. He always loved his treats, but most especially Pupperoni. He wasn’t a lap dog, but he loved to be picked up and snuggled with.

He will be sorely missed, but we know he is made whole again across the rainbow bridge, playing with his “OP”, who are glad to have their brother with them again.

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WIP Wednesday

I was right when I said that I would have quite a bit of time to stitch between caring for my husband, post surgery. I will have an update for you about that at the end of the week, I think. In the meanwhile, here is this week’s progress. Sorry for the washed out picture!

I completed the entire CloudsFactory Zodiac Sampler SAL May installment. This took most of the weekend because I didn’t have much continuity. Up and down like a jack in the box since DH was on full bed rest for the first few days!

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And here is a picture of the entire piece so far: (again, washed out – sorry!) I still have to finish some of the interior star and planet things, but with the position of the snaps, on occasion it was impossible to do. I also ran out of Marlitt, so there is a smidge missing from the frame of the May installment. ETA: I am really excited to see that a big sparkly swirl is making its way to be at the center of the entire piece!

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And then it was back to Tradewinds! Not a ton on this, but as you can see, I have the over 1 telescope nearly completed. Maybe I am a glutton for punishment, but I have always enjoyed working Teresa Wentzler’s over 1 sections on whatever I have stitched.

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Tuesdays With Dorie – Nutella and Biscoff Buttons

Nutella and Biscoff Buttons

This week’s Tuesdays With Dorie challenge was the Nutella Buttons from “Baking Chez Moi”. These are SO. GOOD. And perfectly timed, too, since with my husband’s surgery and some other life stressers, I really wanted to pound the baked goods. :-) Mini cupcakes? Sign me up!

I actually made half the batch with Nutella and the other half with Biscoff spread. The recipe called for about 1/2 tsp of the spread for the inside of the cake, but in reading some of the P&Qs prior, everyone wished that they had used a little more, so I used more like 3/4 to 1 tsp per cake. I mean, who doesn’t like more filling? Not me!

Also, while the recipe didn’t necessarily call for the ganache topping, I can’t ever leave well enough alone and added some too. It yielded enough for two batches, and then some, leaving me thinking up how I am going to use the rest. No good ganache should be wasted! In the P&Qs, some bakers had stated that they felt that the ganache overwhelmed the filling, but I found that since I used more than the recommended amount of filling, it balanced out well and I did not lose the flavor of the filling (especially since Biscoff can be easily overpowered). So my recommendation is to use more filling and you won’t be sorry you added the ganache too!

In general I found these to be very easy to make. I made one batch on Thursday night to gift to my mother in law who came down for hubby’s surgery, and decided to wait a few days before making some for us. I’m glad that I did, since they don’t really keep well – they are light and flavorful, but they get hard rather quickly. Not that you should have a hard time finishing these off, but eat them quickly — they are better that way. I think they would be best served at a tea party, or a larger party where you want to serve finger desserts. Not that you should ever need an excuse to make these.

Would I make these again? Absolutely. And I am sure that you can do so many different things with the filling. If you wanted to do a fruit curd filling you could with a white chocolate ganache, maybe, although you would want to add the curd through the bottom post baking. Or maybe you do a hot pepper chocolate filling with a sriracha chocolate ganache (if you really want to get crazy). Incredibly flexible little cakes!

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WIP Wednesday and an Update On Life

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Hello! I know I don’t have much to share this week, but I thought I would check in anyway. Late last week my husband had a surgery consultation for his sinuses and septum, and it’s so bad at this point that the date for his surgery was scheduled for THIS Friday! That has lead to a number of things needing to be cared for rather quickly which lead to not a lot of stitching time. On Monday night we were given all of the electronic forms to fill out which questions had everything and anything to answer as possible. Doing it together took about 2.5 hours! Then, although our insurance is luckily covering 90% of the surgery, we needed to figure out how we wanted to pay off the remaining 10% which they will give us no more than 6 months to do (stressful!). So last night I did get some stitching in on the border, but also spent a lot of time cuddling with my doggies. 😇 Oh! And excitingly I have made a few very positive steps toward achieving one of my carry over goals from last year to complete my DAR application, so I am totally stoked about that! Undoubtedly there will be quite a bit of time available to stitch over the weekend since I will be home caring for DH during his immediate surgery recovery.

I do have a few posts up my sleeve though. And my husband is encouraging me to video him as he comes out of surgery to see the funny things he says. You don’t have to ask ME twice! That will probably make its way on here soon since he was a hoot after his hernia surgery. So… We have a Tuesdays with Dorie baking challenge (Nutella Buttons!) coming up, a post on food and memories, and hopefully there will be a video worth posting of my husband post surgery.

Hope you are all doing well out in blogland!

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Mint Juleps, and the Kentucky Derby

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We are about 5 Minutes from post time at the Kentucky Derby by, and as I usually watch the Triple Crown every year, I often find myself reminiscing about horse racing in my family. My cousin George was a jockey, and my great grandfather was a horse breeder. I grew up quite close to Belmont, and there were many times that my mom would take me and my brother to watch the horses practice in the mornings. Mom would pack those little travel boxes of cereal, and we just had a blast!

I’m rooting for American Pharoah today. I have always had a thing for Egyptology, so it seems fitting. Since the race is about to run, I’ll leave you with a brief recipe for the infamous mint julep which is synonymous with the Kentucky Derby! Riders Up!

Per serving:

5 large mint leaves

1 tablespoon of water

1 teaspoon of caster sugar

1 2/3 oz Bourbon (I have used High WestCampfire Whiskey here, which is a blend of Straight Rye Whiskey, Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and Blended Malt Scotch Whiskey)

In a double old fashioned glass, add your mint leaves, sugar, water, and muddle until the sugar is dissolved. Add your bourbon, fill the glass with crushed ice, and give a solid stir, garnishing with more mint leaves if desired.

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WIP Wednesday

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Here is the most recent progress picture of Clouds Factory’s Zodiac Sampler. When I first started it I thought it would make a lovely counterbalance for working so consistently on Trade Winds because it is so simplistic, but now I am struggling to want to work on this at all. BUT! I am determined to continue seeing this through. I will not put it away and let it become a UFO because if I do I know I won’t pick it up again any time soon. I do not need another one of “those” projects.

I started this month’s section later in the month because a) I was sick early in the month and b) I have been enjoying Trade Winds so much that I just didn’t want to put it down. Now here we are almost at the beginning of May, and I am thinking that, since it is already on the snaps I ought to just follow on to the May installment when it is released on the 1st. It has been a slog, and you know it is bad when tending to cleaning the kitchen supercedes stitching! I think I must motivate myself to work through this quickly so I can get back to Trade Winds. 😇

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