We have a tradition in my house.  A market day tradition.  Not the farmer’s market mind you, but the specialty market.  It’s a pricier, fancier grocery store that in addition to Campbell’s Soup also sells hard to find cheeses, local organic meats and, when seasonally appropriate, local produce.  They make the best desserts too.  I kinda love the place.  While you might go broke buying the Campbell’s Soup, it’s well worth a visit for perishable goods.  My staple purchases include organic milk and butter rolls, yogurt, cheese, cheese spreads, my favorite gluten free breads and baked goods, sweet rice flour, The Husband’s favorite peanut butter and chocolate cereal, organic chicken, ham at the holidays, salad greens, mushrooms, peaches, chocolate bars, pretzel bread, ten dollar a pint ice cream (and worth every penny), cornbread, Naples-Style freshly made pizza, fruits and veggies and of course pretty much anything from the bakery.

The kids and I hit the market up almost once a week.  It’s the only place I will buy salad greens anymore so I try to make it often enough to keep the fridge stocked for lunch.

I started a tradition there this summer allowing Sweetey Petey to pick one item from the bakery each visit.  His top pick so far has been a black and white cookie the size of my hand, but he has branched out into brownies and cupcakes and more. Size has been irrelevant since he knows he has to share.  That’s my lead-in to no, I did NOT allow my almost three year old to eat that ENTIRE cookie.

Here’s this week’s pick.  The chocolate chip crazy cookie.

DSC_0327 RW

Thick frosting sandwiched between two homemade chocolate chip cookies, rolled in sprinkles, edible sugar glitter, and miniature chocolate chips, and drizzled with both white and dark chocolate.

DSC_0328 RW

We shared it after dinner and The Husband asked me if I had bought two.  Bwahahahaha.  Ummmm no.  That cookie was huge.  He did suggest we divvy it up based on body weight though.  This actually made sense to me (Sweetey Petey by no means needed to eat a third of that cookie) and proved to be the only time in the past four months I almost regretted the 20 pounds I’ve lost since I was cleared for exercise after Baby Charwee was born.

DSC_0335 RW

Sweetey Petey chose wisely this week.

DSC_0338 RW

Have a Wacky Wednesday all!

– Joanna

Question of the Day:   Would you pick a cookie, a brownie or a cupcake from the bakery?  Or a cream horn.  I’m always crossing my fingers for the cream horn!

PATRICK himself RW Title

A few months back (sniff sniff) our friends Patrick and Amanda and their little girl Emily moved back to Texas. Permanently. As in never coming back to the Midwest. Well, they agreed to visit once a year but that remains to be seen. Not only have we lost good friends, but poor Petey’s hopes of someday taking baby Emily to prom have been dashed. DASHED I say!

Sigh.

Patrick and Amanda were kind enough, however, to leave us with a parting gift.  Lots of parting gifts actually – a box of glass vases and an even bigger box of food! There was also a box of booze but The Husband commandeered that already. Liquids and perishables aren’t allowed in the moving van and there’s only so much you can fit in a Rav4.

To honor their memory (you know, in case they never make it back like they promised) I’ve decided to make the most of their gifts and document what I did with them.  I’m calling it The Patrick Project.  Sorry Amanda, but The Amanda Project doesn’t have that whole alliteration thing going for it.  

Here’s the official list of what I received:

2 clear square glass vases

1 clear round glass vase

2 red round glass vases

bag of shallots

bag of garlic

red cooking wine

7 individual oatmeal packets

peanut oil

Stubbs BBQ sauce

couscous

salsa chipotle hot sauce

real maple syrup

fake maple syrup

local honey

basmati rice

apple cider vinegar

Morton salt

kosher salt

balsamic vinegar

sherry cooking wine

worcestershire sauce

Tobasco sauce

Tikka Masala simmer sauce

Kansas City BBQ sauce

arborio rice

dried chipotle chiles

dried mild new mexico chiles

A Shelf of Food RW

I’ve used quite a few things since the above picture was taken five minutes ago.  I took nicer pictures when I first received the box but for the life of me I can’t find them anywhere! So this crappy IPhone camera photo will have to do.  It’s actually a nice introduction to this project anyway since most of the photos I’ve taken of the recipes I’ve made thus far have been with my crappy IPhone camera.  I’m getting lazy in my blogging old age it seems.  Remember the days when I used to pride myself on a well taken picture?  Yeah, me neither.

Patrick has offered advice on how he uses some of these foods and I will mostly likely take him up on that offer.  The dried chiles?  I have no clue.

Not all of these posts will be recipes either.  So far I have two posts that involve projects for Sweetey Petey using the peanut oil and kosher salt.

I have at least nine post drafts in this project already and I still have a whole shelf full of food to eat (and a box of vases) so you’ll be seeing Patrick around for awhile.  Stay tuned . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

– Joanna

P.S.  Yes, the first picture in this post is of Patrick himself!

P.P.S.  The font I used on the picture above is called “Hobo” – this is funny because I’m always checking to make sure the trunk of my SUV is locked so no “hobos” decide to live there.  The Husband should find this immensely funny.  Ha!

P.P.P.S.  Has anybody noticed that I changed my blog header to peeling paint awhile ago?  Cause it’s been so boring around these parts it’s like watching paint dry peel.

Question of the Day:  Have you missed me?  There’s only one answer to this question by the way so don’t mistake it as multiple choice. 

Because I haven’t posted anything in awhile and I’m getting complaints (ok just one.)

Can you spot the bunny?

Bunny RW

Hoping to be back next week with the introduction to The Patrick Project.  Also the Father-in-Law has a guest post coming up.  It’s about the cool table at the senior center.  No, I’m not kidding.

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  How much sleep do you need per night?

Just the other day I convinced you all (except Mavis) that chocolate covered pretzels were the perfect potluck food.  This summer we attended a ham radio field day (yes, The Husband is a ham geek but a damn sexy one if you ask me) and I brought my new go-to potluck food. Here’s what was left of them after the first pass.

Plate pretzels RW

Yes, the first pass.  They fared well.  Quite well I think – aside from one guy complaining (joking? it’s hard to tell with ham geek humor sometimes) about mustard pretzels being on the dessert table that is, although I’d like it noted he still took one.  The Husband went back to field day after the kids went to bed for the night and he watched a guy snatch the very last pretzel.  So I guess I was totally right about them being the perfect food to sit out for extended periods of time.

Here’s Sweetey Petey enjoying one in case you need more photographic evidence they were popular.

Plate Pete RW

If you recall I also promised to share the rest of the potluck food. I focused solely on the dessert table for the post.  Yes, yes I did risk looking like a crazy fool in front of a bunch of people who have no idea I have a blog just to snap pictures of half eaten trays of food for you.  Because I love you all.  Or at least like.  I at least like you all.  Or at least most of you.

Anyway, here’s a breakdown of the dessert table.

The generic brownie.  Somebody always brings brownies.  They did okay. Not great, but solidly in the middle.

Plate Brownies RW

Store bought cake.  These did not fare well at all.  Nobody goes to a potluck for store bought cake people, so stay away from bringing these.  They sure were pretty though weren’t they? 

Plate store bought RW

I have no idea what these were.  Some sort of pastry?  It appears to have been pretty popular despite being purchased.

Plate Pastry RW

Apple pie.  Let’s face it, apple pie is always a winner no matter where you go or who you are with. So if you have the time, feel free to make one of these (message me your address if you need a taste tester mmmm K cause I love pie.)

Plate Pie RW

This was some sort of dump cake I think.  It was popular . . .

Plate dump cake RW

. . . so was the chocolate cake with caramel frosting.  Nothing beats a good homemade caramel frosting if you ask me (and apparently all the other folks who devoured this.)

Plate caramel cake RW

Fruit.  I’m tossing this into the dessert category here because it was with the desserts.  I devoured the cherries because cherries are expensive.  Must.  Get.  Money’s.  Worth.  From.  Free.  Potluck.

Plate cherries RW

For the record, the pre-sliced cherries made me look less like I’d been gutting chickens.  I had some blood red fingers after pulling pits out for Sweetey Petey.

Plate fruit salad RW

Watermelon is a classic and somebody always brings it.  It also always gets eaten.

Plate watermelon RW

This used to be cheesecake.  Clearly it was popular.  I bet Paula Deen’s mini cheesecake recipe would be a great option.  You all know that one right?  Quick, easy and already portioned.  I’ll have to keep that in mind . . .

Plate Empty RW

There were chocolate chip cookies too.  I forgot to snap a picture but I tried one.  Despite their claim of being “famous chocolate chip cookies” they were meh if you ask me.

So there you have it.  The potluck dessert table.

– Joanna

P.S.   My mom called me out on my lackluster blogging schedule the other day (over the phone of course since she has no clue how to leave comments.)  So, for the official record here are the reasons I’ve been a bad blogger lately:

1)  I’ve been painting the half finished wall in the Don Draper room (that’s what we call our family/play/TV/bar room.)

2)  I’ve been stripping painted over wallpaper again.  This is actually going faster than the last time I attempted this.  Possibly due to lack of blogging.

3)  I bought a carpet cleaner and have been cleaning the carpets (the Mother-in-Law will be happy about this because she noted the state of my carpets last time they visited.  Yeah, they are bad.  I have two kids and two dogs so they are bad.  Less bad now though thanks to my new Hoover baby.)

4)  I’ve been working on Sweetey Petey’s birthday party.  I am having Chipotle cater it so a lot of the food stress is gone, but I picked a pretty random theme (Giraffe’s Digging) and have not only created my only image for invites, but am also attempting one of those giant plywood cut-outs you stick your face through.  It’ll be of Giraffe’s.  Driving a construction digger.  And it’s gonna be awesome.

5)  I’m 95% sure that 90% of my readers these days are friends or relatives that I’m friends with on Facebook so they know the haps already.

I do still have lots to say and a ton of drafts started and some fun house projects to share eventually.  Very soon I’ll be starting a new series called The Patrick Project as well.  I’ll leave you to ponder on what that might be . . .

Question of the Day:  What do you think The Patrick Project is??