Scotch…Scotch…Scotcheroos!

I don’t know if I would call it a “perk”…but if there is one thing that accompanies pregnancy it is this ever-changing rollercoaster of cravings.  A mere glimpse of a pizza commerical…a quick whiff of coffee as I stroll through the hospital…a passing comment on cupcakes…or a suggestion to make pasta for dinner and suddenly a raging craving sets in.  Fortunately or unfortunately for me, I am not satisfied until I answer the rumbling in my stomach.  And somehow…I convince myself that surely this must be what Baby Boudreau is requesting.  Already…this baby knows what he/she wants and Mama better cave!  Well, this week (and last) is no different.  As I stood in the OR of Methodist Hospital last week…stomach rumbling, sugars dropping, and patience for lunch quickly wearing thin, suddenly a vision of scotcheroos flashed before me.  I don’t know where it came from…but I knew immediately I had to find some (or make some)…fast.  Luckily for me, I was in Des Moines and vaguely remembered that Palmer’s Deli had scoterchoos and cookies near their cash register to tempt hungry customers as they paid for soup and salad.  In the past…I could easily pass up a cookie…even a scotcheroo…sweets just weren’t my thing.  And certainly, I would have NEVER thought about driving across town to buy one!  But…there I was….speeding down I235 to get to Palmer’s as quickly as I could.  As satisfied as I could have been devouring a scotcheroo…and only a scotcheroo…I had a talk with the munchkin inside of me and reminded him/her that treats were only allowed after all the fruits and veggies were gone.  And with that, I ordered up a spinach salad…topped it with oranges, onions, nuts, feta, and light raspberry vinaigrette.  I won’t kid you…I ate that salad as fast as I could…all the while my scotcheroo was sitting on the table in front of me….taunting me.  And finally, after all the spinach was gone…it was time.  That first bite was AMAZING.  Oh gosh it was good. 

With a satisfied tummy (and I assume very happy baby), I bought another scotcheroo and jumped in the car.  No No No…I didn’t get another one for myself.  See…my partner Mike and I had such a successful morning and early afternoon in the hospital that I wanted to leave a little “thank-you” for him on his windshield.  After all…not only is he a great partner but he was kind enough to let me sneak out for lunch (by 2pm I’m pretty sure ‘FEED ME!’ was written across my forehead.)…and I was certain that he too would be starving by the time he got to his car.  With that, I tucked a Palmer’s bag and scotcheroo under his wiper and took off for Iowa City….enjoying bite after bite after bite of my scotcheroo!

Later that weekend, I pulled out Kellogg’s recipe and made a batch for home.  Sure…I indulged in a few but later wrapped them individually in saran wrap and shared with friends.  After all…cravings are GREAT…in moderation.  🙂

 SCOTCHEROOS

Recipe courtesy of KELLOGG’S RICE KRISPIES

24 servings

  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 6 cups RICE KRISPIES® cereal (I use just 5 cups to make sure the ‘roos are a little more moist!)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips (I used a full 11oz bag…because I love butterscotch!)

Place corn syrup and sugar into 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter. Mix well. Add KELLOGG’S® RICE KRISPIES® cereal. Stir until well coated. Press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Set aside.

Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together in 1-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Spread evenly over cereal mixture. Let stand until firm.

Cut into 2 x 1-inch bars when cool.

 

Satisfy your craving.  Life is short.  🙂

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

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15 Weeks After 14 Years

Good Morning!  I hope you all enjoyed your day…and night for Valentine’s. Whether you believe in the holiday or argue that it was created by Hallmark…there is no doubt that having another reason to show the ones you love that you love them is something that should be welcomed.  I hope you seize that opportunity on Valentine’s Day…and every day! 

With that, I have some exciting new to share with you today.  As corny as it may sound, today Ryan and I celebrate 14 years together.  On Feb 15th, 1997…we started our journey at just 15 & 16yrs old.  Sometimes that is so hard to believe.  There certainly have been ups and downs…but more ups than downs…I guess that is the key.  🙂  From Iowa to Canada…across the miles today…”Happy Anniversary Buddy!”

Not only do we celebrate 14years today…but we also celebrate a new weekly milestone at our house.  With Baby Boudreau on the way…this week we celebrate 15 weeks!  Even harder than believing we have been together 14 years…is believing that are are finally taking the plunge into parenthood.  We made the decision last fall…and concieved this little munchkin in Tahiti.  We are so excited to be parents and can’t wait to meet our first little girl/boy.

For those of you who may be wondering, “YES!’…we will definitely find out who is growing inside of me.  In fact, we’ve already tried.  My good friend Abbey, who does Ultra Sounds, so kindly offered to give us our first peek inside.  At just 15 weeks, we had a good, long look!  Amazing.  I am still in awe.  🙂  With a bouncy baby inside…jumping and launching off of my uterus…getting a good look at the genitals was a bit of a chore.  But….we think we have a pretty solid prediction!  I will fill you all in after our next ultra sound on March 10th.  But for today…we look forward with anticipation and are so thankful to be blessed to have a child growing within me. 

Here he/she is!

Baby Boudreau…expected arrival:  August 5th

After all of the jumpin…movin’ and shakin…baby finally cozied up.  Rubbing his/her eyes!  So tired…just like Mama.  🙂

And before we left…a quick wave!  “Hi Mom! Hi Dad!” 

♥ “Hi Munchkin…we love you already! ” ♥

And so there you have it…after 14 years…we are celebrating 15 weeks.  We had our “Pre-Parenthood Bucket List”…which mostly consisted of multiple travel destinations…and with all of those bullets checked off, we look forward to our new beginning…just the 4 of us.  (Ruby included!)

“I begin to love this creature, and to anticipate her birth as a fresh twist to a knot,

which I do not wish to untie.”  ~Unknown

Thank you all of your support and encouragement along the way.

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

Tyler Florence’s Wayfare Tavern

Happy Valentine’s Day!  As you all start your day and week, some of you reflect on a Valentine’s Day celebration enjoyed this past weekend and some of you look forward to an evening celebration yet this week.  Regardless, the majority of you are probably planning to recognize Valentine’s Day with a dinner out.  I can’t blame you…sometimes it is just nice to be served!  With that in mind, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite experiences dining out.  As I mentioned in a post months back, my trip to San Francisco last fall included a great lunch at Tyler Florence’s Wayfare Tavern.  I was so excited to finally dine in one of Tyler’s restaurants and it did not disappoint!  🙂

I wasn’t lucky enough to run into Tyler while I was there (he was still in NYC for the Food & Wine Festival) but I did take the time to indulge in a few of Wayfare’s favorites.

 

Between a friend and myself, we ordered up Organic Fried Chicken, a Wedge Salad, Baked Mac n Cheese, Sausage n Potatoes, and Roasted Bone Marrow!  I know…it was a lot of food…and plenty was left on the table…but we just wanted to try a little bit of as much as we could!  

 

I have to say, the highlight of the meal was the Roasted Bone Marrow.  Having read up on the restaurant before visiting, I knew that the Bone Marrow was one of Tyler’s signature dishes and a favorite at Wayfare.  I’m not going to kid you, I was a little nervous…after all, what sounds more disgusting than eating bone marrow?!  (Don’t answer that.)   All I can say now is…I am so glad I tried it!  Delicious!  When the waiter brought it to our table, I told him how nervous I was  and he said, “You will love it.  People around here say it tastes like God’s Butter.”  With a description like that…I knew I was in for a treat!  YUM!

  

And last but not least, served with every meal are Tyler’s popular POPOVERS!  Oh my gosh…they are so good!  And good news is…you can make them at home.  After returning from SF, I added Tyler’s Newest Cookbook (Family Meal) to my Christmas list and lucky for me, Santa delivered!  Santa actually delivered 2…and rather than returning one, I shared the extra copy with one of my best friends, travel buddy, and Tyler Florence Fan, Mandy! 

TYLER FLORENCE POPOVERS

At Wayfare Tavern, popovers are king. They’re crisp on the outside and soft and easy to pull apart on the inside. The buttery, golden rolls have even inspired four cooks on staff to get inked with popovers. Now that’s love. 

Makes 12 

6 large eggs, at room temperature

3 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

4 cups bread flour

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1. In a blender, combine the eggs, milk, and melted butter. Blend on high until smooth, about 10 seconds. In a large bowl, sift together the bread flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry mixture to the wet and blend, scraping down the sides as necessary, until just combined, 10 to 15 seconds. Place the top on the blender and let the batter sit, at room temperature, for 1 hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place an oven rack in the middle position and place an empty popover pan (or improvise with a muffin tin) on the rack. Once the pan is hot, remove it and coat evenly with nonstick spray. Working quickly, fill the molds almost to the top with batter. Immediately place back in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375°F and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until the popovers are a deep golden brown color. It is very important to not open the door as the popovers bake, as it could cause them to collapse. Once they are golden brown, remove from the baking pan and let cool on a wire rack. With a skewer, carefully pierce the sides of the popovers to allow the steam to escape. This will keep the popovers crispier for longer. 

Used with permission from Tyler Florence Family Meal: Bringing People Together Never Tasted Better (Rodale Books).

 

All in all…a great ending to my trip to SF.  I hope your Valentine’s Day dinner out brings you just as much excitement.

Wishing you another year filled with love.

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food. 

Cheese…Beer…Weiners…& a WIN!

Congratulations Green Bay!  What a game!  It hasn’t been an easy season but it has been a fun one.  The same can be said for the Super Bowl.  It was a nail biter down to the end, but somehow, the Packers pulled through. 

Aaron, you deserve the trophy…and the belt! 

Some of you will agree with me…and some of you will shake your heads…but I hope that Brett Favre is proud of his team (yes, I still consider GB his team) and proud of the man who followed in his footsteps.  They have both been a joy to watch and during their time in GB, both led with excitement and determination, and now both have won Super Bowls with the Packers.  I can’t wait to see so much more from Aaron!  I can’t wait for another Super Bowl…and another afternoon celebrating with Cheese, Beer and Bratwurst!

Many of you probably enjoyed this game with a group of friends or family.  Some of you probably hosted a party.  Some of you were lucky enough to GO to the game.  And some of you were like me…at home on the couch…watching the game…PLAY.BY.PLAY.  I put on my usual show…clapping, shouting, cheering, and screaming some pretty ridiculous comments at the TV.  My husband sat next to me and endured my enthusiasm…occasionally jumping in with his two cents.  At one point (early in the 2nd half), Ryan looked at me and said, “I sure hope the Steelers can make this a game.  I don’t want a blowout.  This will never be a memorable Super Bowl if it is a blowout.  It will be forgotten and reported that the Steelers just weren’t a worthy opponent.”  I, of course, told him that I thought that was ridiculous.  I Said I would be perfectly happy with a blowout.  If nothing else, it would save my finger nails from being bitten to their nubs.  And then…as the game progressed into the late 3rd and 4th quarters, I reminded Ryan that he ASKED for this stress…this MATCH…this nail-biting game and that I, again, would have been fine with a run away game.  He laughed at me…obviously.

But when we weren’t going back and forth on the game…we indulged in some good ol’ fashioned WI grub!  I recently read an article on food in WI.  All I can say is, “Spot.On.”

“Green Bay is a meat and potatoes town.  Make that meat and potatoes and cheese.  And if the meat is in the form of a bratwurst, all the better.  This is not a problem in Green Bay, or in any other place in Wisconsin for that matter.  They love bratwurst, beer, and cheese and are proud of it.  On Friday nights, the folks in Wisconsin go out for fish frys.  Almost everyone I know in Wisconsin participates in this, and when I’m there, so do I.  Then on Sunday, you grill up some brats and drink a few beers and life is good.”  ~Unknown

With that….what better way to celebrate a GB trip to the Super Bowl than with the appropriate food.  CHEESE.  BRATS.  BEER. 

First up…fried cheese curds!  Let it be known…cheese curds (the real deep-fried kind) are one of my FAVORITE treats.  There are few things in this world that top cheese curds in my book.  Thank heaven I was born and raised in WI!  While I had contemplated learning how to bread and fry my own cheese curds, I opted to try this boxed version for the game…and instead of frying, I threw them in the toaster oven.  DELICIOUS.  If you want to treat yourself to a WI classic…give these a try!

 

Along with our beer-battered cheese curds…there were brats!  Real…Wisconsin-style…beer-brats.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with prepping brats the WI way…be sure to buy fresh beer-brats, poke them a few times with a fork to open the casing, boil them in beer, and then throw them on the grill!  And NO…it is NEVER too cold to grill.

 

Last, but certainly not least, there was beer!  Not too much for these 2 home-bodies, but we each had a beer or two!  Ice-cold WI brew.  I have no doubt that Vince Lombardi was smiling down on the Green Bay Packers last Sunday. 

      

Cheers to an exciting and successful season!  With the Lombardi trophy safely home in WI, may you now remember….

“After all the cheers have died down and the stadium is empty, after the headlines have been written, and after you are back in the quiet of your room and the championship ring has been placed on the dresser and after all the pomp and fanfare have faded, the enduring thing that is left is the dedication to doing with our lives the very best we can to make the world a better place in which to live.”  ~Vince Lombardi

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

Jalapeno Beef Sammies

The Packers left Titletown yesterday and headed to Dallas!  That’s right…in a few short days they will be working to bring the Lombardi trophy back to Green Bay where it belongs!  As Lombardi would say, “I firmly believe that any man’s finest hours – his greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear – is that moment when he has worked his heart out in good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”  What a joyous day it would be, not only for the fans, but more importantly for the players wearing Green and Gold, to leave Texas…Victorious.  From my couch in Iowa City, Iowa…I will be wishing them just that.  Lord knows I will be proudly sporting my Rodgers jersey, clapping, cheering, and shouting at the TV in my attempt to encourage them along.  Go Pack!

Speaking of Lombardi, how many of you have read his book, “What It Takes To Be Number One?”  For those of you who haven’t, I highly recommend it.  Vince Lombardi’s story and legacy has encouraged me, guided me, and reassured me.  There are days, weeks, quarters, and years in which we see the results we work so hard for every day.  There are times we are called into the final game or onto the big stage and applauded for all we accomplished.  But there are also the days we feel knocked down, in last place, with nothing to show for all the work we’ve put in in the the days, weeks, and months leading up to that point.   It is in those moments that I hear Lombardi say, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”  And with that, I turn my computer back on, re-pack my bag, fill my planner, and head back to work!  No matter what you do..these words apply to you too.  So whether you are winning right now…or struggling to keep your head above water..Press On!

And in your free-time, get ready to celebrate and enjoy a big game!  If you are anything like me, you are already planning the menu.  🙂  So today, I thought I would offer up a suggestion.  One of our favorite game-day meals comes from the kitchen of Mom & Dad Boudreau.  For the last several years, Mom & Dad have been making these delicious sandwiches for a late night snack on Christmas Eve.  After all the gifts have been opened, the Wii has been good and warmed up, board games are back in closet, and Christmas Story is into it’s 3rd viewing…the Jalapeno Beef Sandwiches are served.  Slightly Spicy…Mighty Tasty!

My first attempt at making this recipe came on New Years’s Eve.  The way they were devoured by our friends and family joining us that night, I’d say they were almost as good as Mom & Dads!  Next time, I’ll add a little more jalapeno.  We all agreed…we needed just a little more KICK!  From the look on our faces in the picture below…we were plenty happy tho!  Give these sammies a try for the Big Game…bring a smile to the faces of YOUR friends and family.

JALAPENO BEEF SAMMIES

6 – 8 Servings

  • 3lb Sirloin Tip or Chuck Roast (cut in half)
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1 Can (4 oz) Diced Jalapenos (hot)
  • 1 Envelope Italian Seasoning/Dressing Mix (Good Seasons)
  • Slider Buns
  • Arby’s Sauce & Arby’s Horsey Sauce (Some locations will let you purchase the sauces.  At others…grab a handful of packets.  I did!)

Combine water, jalapenos, and italian seasoning mix.

Place beef in crockpot.  Pour mixture over beef.  Cover and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.  Shred.

Top buns with beef and your favorite Arby’s sauces!  Serve with chips and a pickle!

Whether it be a Super Bowl party this weekend or your next friendly gathering, give these sammies a try!

“I would say that the quality of each man’s life is the full measure of that man’s commitment to excellence and victory – whether it be football, whether it be business, whether it be politics or government or what have you.” 

~Vince Lombardi

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.