Thursday, August 18, 2011

Grape Tomatoes and Gouda

I've literally never had a grape tomato until about a week ago (I was all about the cherry tomatoes), when I made the Caprese Baked Egg Cups. Since then, every dinner I've cooked (all two of them) has contained them as a main ingredient. Last night was a baked egg cup repeat.

Tonight? Well, tonight I gained ten pounds.

I made Spicy Pasta Salad with Smoked Gouda, Tomatoes, and Basil from The Pioneer Woman (thank you Katelyn for showing me this website, you have no idea how much time I've spent looking at all the pictures). The  food pictures on this site not only make me drool, but also make me want to shuck out $400+ for a high-quality camera solely for the purpose of taking food pictures. Absurd? Maybe. Nick got a pretty decent camera for me awhile ago (it has an insane zoom, if you were standing a mile away from me, I could probably still see up your nostril with it), so I can't justify spending all that money on a camera when I already have a good one.

Anyway. Back to the pasta salad.

I give you now...the most quintessential picture of food I have taken, probably ever in my life.

Right down to the wooden cutting board. Doesn't that picture just make you think of summer days and relaxation with some wine and give you a warm fuzzy feeling of nostalgia? Well, it does for me. So say yes.

Did you know that gouda cheese isn't in the refrigerated section with the rest of the regular (because gouda is way up on the classy scale for me) cheese at the grocery store? I didn't. I spent ten minutes staring at the Kraft, Sargento, and Dutch Farms packaged cheese, wondering where the hell the gouda was. Honestly, I had no idea what gouda even looked like, aside from being round (right?), and I only know it's round because my friend has a shirt that says something like "It's a gouda day" with a picture of round cheese. Luckily Nick found decently priced gouda as I stared at the incredibly fancy-looking "Vintage Gouda" cheese wheel in the "Aged Cheeses" section that I wandered into, considering spending possibly $50 on half a pound of cheese (I'm making this price up, but it's probably not far from the truth).

And then we had a lot of gouda.

Toss some milk, mayo, etc., you can look at the recipe, mix with the pasta, and you have a thing of beautiful deliciousness.

I was supposed to let it sit in the refrigerator for two hours after everything was mixed, so I decided to make these brown sugar butter bars, which I call Magic Bars (because they're magically delicious, and no, there are no drugs in them), while the salad chilled. I got this recipe from my friend Katherine, who got it from...I have no idea. It it is SO good. So I call them Magic Bars.

Don't be horrified, but this is how much butter is in them.

Well, only one of those halves is in them. So really it's just half a pound of butter. Don't think about it.

I think I just gained another three pounds looking at that picture.

But it's got BROWN sugar, so it's healthy. Duh.

Brown sugar + butter

Oh...did I mention it also has two jumbo-sized Hershey bars?


But they're healthy. Because of the BROWN sugar. It's good for you.

And then you bake for a really long time.


These are so good that I'm sharing this recipe with you.

Go make it. Go eat it. Go cry with happiness.

Magic Bars (or whatever you want to call them)

1/2 pound butter (2 sticks, don't think, just do)
1 box dark brown sugar (HEALTHY)
3 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 jumbo Hershey bars (make sure it's the jumbo size, otherwise it's just a mess)

Preheat oven to 350 deg F.

Melt butter and let it cool. Stir in brown sugar. Add flour slowly. Beat eggs (one at a time) and add to mixture, one at a time. Add vanilla and baking powder. Break chocolate into little squares and add to batter. Pour batter in a buttered baking dish (I used a stoneware dish that was 9.5" x 12.5", I'm sure anything will do) and bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden.

And then gain ten pounds.

I'm pretty sure that Bailey is starting to get really spoiled because I've been a big softy and let her lick my fingers most of the time after I eat. Yesterday when I was eating my cereal on the couch, she stuck almost her entire head into my bowl. So I'm calling it quits on the finger-licking (NICK, YOU SHOULD TOO) and hopefully she'll stop making it a habit of trying to eat our food when she sees us eating.

She was not so happy about this plan.

I will stare at you until I fall asleep or until you give me food.

It's okay. She fell asleep first.

And then she woke up and realized we were done eating, and got annoyed again.

Am ladylike yes.

Apparently that makes her lose all her grace and poise.

And of course, artsy pictures! Clearly the "daily" part of the Daily Artsy isn't really working out, but I'm still calling it that because no other suggestions have been made. So here you go.

Can you tell I commute by train?

I also found out yesterday that I can import previous pictures I've taken on my phone into Vignette and put filters on those!


Spotlight on the star!

Remember when my friend and I played with Hipstagram? There was a picture that was so close in resemblance to an album cover that I had to go ahead and just make it so. Our band name is "Waffle Iron." Just because.

Wouldn't you buy a CD with that cover? I certainly would. It's so awesome.


  1. Hey you mentioned my shirt!! Woo I feel famous. (It says "It's all Gouda".)

    I laughed out loud picturing you looking for gouda in the Kraft Cheez section, and my officemate gave me a look. :-)

  2. It's all Gouda! That's right! I knew "It's a Gouda day" wasn't right but I couldn't remember what it was!

    You can imagine me getting really annoyed and muttering under my breath "Why don't they just put all the stupid cheeses in the same spot," right? Cause that's what happened.