Cracker Jack Ice Cream Cake

Cracker Jack Ice Cream CakeTake Me Out To The Ball Game
I recently came across a photo of a Cracker Jack Ice Cream Cake when I was looking through a magazine about great American cakes. And, it blew my mind. It combines a number of things that I love all in one: cake, ice cream, and baseball.

If you have been reading this blog with any regularity you will know of my love for baseball—and nothing says baseball more than Cracker Jacks…well, maybe hot dogs and beer. But, you get the idea.

Full disclosure, I am a fan of peanuts in my ice cream as well as caramel but I have never even considered putting cracker jacks on my ice cream. Mind blown.

This Cracker Jack Ice Cream Cake is fairly easy to make, especially if you use a springform pan, But, it does require freeze time. So, be sure to plan ahead if you are making this for a special occasion…but who really needs a special occasion?

Cracker Jack Ice Cream Cake
Yields 8-10 servings Read more…

Cherry Clafoutis

Cherry ClafoutisCherries Jubilee
Over the Memorial Day weekend, we found ourselves driving through Brentwood on the way to a tournament in Stockton. And, it was all I could do not to blow off baseball and spend time in the cherry orchards. The signs were everywhere announcing that the orchards were open for picking. It was killing me not to stop.

The good news is that the boys played well. The bad news is we came home too late to do some pickin’. Some of our friends from other teams got to stop…and I am so jealous. And, they now are the proud owners of buckets of cherries that they can use to make tasty treats like this Cherry Clafoutis that is relatively simple to make.

Alas, our schedule is booked yet again for this coming weekend. Otherwise, I’d be heading out there, bucket in hand. So, if you find yourselves with nothing to do this weekend, consider enjoying some fantastic weather and a little taste of heaven from the trees.

And, you can get directions and other information here to help you find your perfect Brentwood cherry picking spot…

Cherry Clafoutis
Adapted from Julia Child
Yields: 6 to 8 servings for dessert, or 4 for breakfast.
We like to make our Cherry Clafoutis in a blender—it is incredibly easy!

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Gam’s Sunday Dinner Spoonbread

Gam's Sunday Dinner SpoonbreadThe Kitchen Table
Years ago when we remodeled our house, I remember having conversations with the architect about features in my kitchen that I wanted to have a certain way. And, I remember him saying things like If you do that your kids will always leave their backpacks there. or You need to make sure there is space here because this is where everyone will be hanging out.

He was right of course. Everyone is always in the kitchen. Whether it is Thursday night or we’re having a dinner party—everyone always ends up in the kitchen.

It makes sense really. Many of the important events (and even the not so important things) that have happened in my life have happened or have been discussed while we were seated, usually but not always, having a meal around the kitchen table.

Growing up, we had dinner together every night around the kitchen table. We would talk about what happened during our day. If we were exceptionally lucky and the conversation was lively, some of us were covertly able to slip the dog whatever offensive veggie happened to be on the plate that night. No matter what, the kitchen table was where we met after a day of going our separate ways.

Later in life, it was where engagements and babies were announced or lost lives were celebrated. But, always the kitchen table was where we came together.

It’s no different in my home. We eat together at the table in the kitchen every night (that we don’t have a sporting event). My kitchen table is where our friends come to hang out and eat and play the occasional NSFW card game. It is where the homework gets done and the epic Monopoly beat-downs occur.

Without out a doubt, it is the center of our home.

When we decided to change the name of our weekly recipe blog, The Kitchen Table was pretty much the first idea to pop into my head. And nothing else we came up with seemed to make as much sense. For the most part, I try to make this blog not just about a bunch of recipes and food, but also about good stories and interesting experiences. I would love to think that most people can relate to them, or at the very least be entertained. (I do have my quirks…)

So, without further ado, I am happy to announce that going forward What’s For Dinner Wednesday shall now be known as The Kitchen Table. And, I hope that you get as much enjoyment and food for the soul out of this Kitchen Table as I have had from mine.

When thinking about family gatherings around the table my tastes gravitate towards the comforts of Southern style cooking. So, with that in mind, Gam’s Sunday Dinner Spoonbread is a favorite southern-inspired family recipe that has been enjoyed many times around our kitchen table.

Gam’s Sunday Dinner Spoonbread
This is one of those down-home recipes that always reminds me of our dinners at my grandmother’s house. So good served warm with melted butter, and a perfect accompaniment to any BBQ.
Yields 6 servings
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Iced Cinnamon Rolls

Iced Cinnamon RollsHow We Roll…
So, I would like to apologize. Apparently, I tempted fate, irritated the gods, and spoke too soon last week when I said it looked like the rain was finally over. Sigh.

This week is Spring Break and I had plans. Big ones. I couldn’t take the whole week off—but I did take Thursday and Friday off thinking it would give me four days to plant my summer garden. Yeah, not so much. The “weather” is supposed to come in on Thursday, unleash its fury on Friday, with a little leftover for Saturday. Great. It’s hard to plant in mud!

Now I find myself with a couple of free days and a whole lotta free time on my hands. So, I have decided that I am going to do some baking and make the things that I haven’t had the time to do in months.

I will be making bread and I am sure there will be some sort of cookie. I might even get nutty and pull out the ice cream maker and do cookie ice cream sandwiches. My daughter will probably want to make some fresh pasta, which is cool. The one think I know I will be making is iced cinnamon rolls.

I love cinnamon rolls. I like ‘em with nuts and without. I like ‘em hot and I like ‘em cold. I like ‘em big and I like ‘em bite size. And, of course, I like ‘em with lots of icing! You can’t go wrong with a cinnamon roll. The one problem is that you can’t just whip up a batch. It takes a little planning and some time, which I have had in short supply lately. (Hard to make cinnamon rolls when you have to be at the field by 9 AM.)

The good news is that you can make these and freeze them to pull out on a future lazy morning.

Iced Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls 101
Yields 8 servings

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Hamantaschen for Purim

Hamantaschen for PurimEven if you are not participating in a Spiel, you can still make your own Hamantaschen for Purim. And, you can always observe the tradition of sharing sweets with your friends and neighbors.

Hint: they also make a great treat year-round. Read more…