Friday, March 28, 2014

Strawberry Club Sandwiches - Caity


My Auntie Ellyn and Uncle Todd are fantastic cooks. They live in Aurora, IL and I always look forward to visiting them; not just because I have a great time spending time with them and my cousins and grandparents, but also because I know I will be enjoying wonderful home cooked food. They are the one and the same Auntie Ellyn and Uncle Todd of "Auntie Ellyn and Uncle Todd's Chopped Salad" and "Barley Greek Salad". 

My parents and I visited last September and enjoyed several days of good food and great company. Auntie Ellyn and Uncle Todd have a really cool house and backyard with a pool, a big vegetable garden, and a chicken coop for their sizeable flock. I liked checking the hen house for eggs and feeding the chickens. Since it was late in the seasons, some of the tomatoes in the garden were rotting and you could throw them to the chickens and they would attack. Or you could toss them leftover bread and you'd think they had never eaten before by the way they jumped on the food. We spent the rest of the days doing all the things there are to do in Aurora like going to White Castle, feeling sick for several hours after eating White Castle, admiring the endless fields of corn and visiting the biggest cheese isle in a grocery store you will ever see at Woodman's grocery store (it was HUGE!!!!).

The best part of the trip were the evenings when everyone was home from work/school and the neighbors came over (my grandparents) and we chatted and drank Midwestern beer while Auntie Ellyn and Uncle Todd made dinner. They made great food every night and my favorite thing were these Strawberry Club Sandwiches. They are a great twist on a classic sandwich and especially tasty during the spring-time. The recipe comes from Rachel Ray and originally makes triple decker sandwiches but Auntie Ellyn and Uncle Todd made regular-decker sandwiches and I like them best that way. (And to respect Hank's wishes, none of the leftover chicken was fed to the chickens or else they would unknowingly become chicken cannibals.) 

Three years ago: Paprika Shrimp Pasta

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mini Guinness - Keegan



Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!  The story of the Mini Guinness all started at a small bed and breakfast in Southern Ireland (from what I recall). The Irish side of the family went on an excursion to see the country and better understand our family roots.  On our way throughout the region we stopped for the night at this place to catch some Zzz along with a bite to eat and something to drink.  There so happened to be a bachelorette's party going on at the same time.  The ladies were feeling festive and decided a communal shot was in order, a mini guinness.  Not sure exactly how it came to pass, but I ended up being asked to participate in festivities--could a 19 year old single guy ask for anything better?  To my surprise it not only bore a striking resemblance to the treasured pint, but it went down smoothly to boot.

Whew now that the back story is done let's get down to making this thing.  Fortunately the ingredients are simple and the prep time is short--perfect recipe for a shot eh?


Irish Coffees - Caity


The Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco is famous for their Irish Coffees. It is close to Fisherman's Wharf and worth a stop if you're in the neighborhood, especially if you're over 21. 

I remember going there with my family as a kid and having Sunrise Shirley Temples while my parents enjoyed Irish Coffees, which is the ONLY time my dad ever drinks coffee. I got to go back as a legal 21+ year old a couple years ago with Brendan. We sat at the bar and watched the barman make rows and rows of Irish Coffees, barely able to keep up with the demand. He would stand 10 feet away from a row of glasses and throw sugar cubes into each glass, never missing one! Brendan and I thought he would make an exceptional beer pong player. He was amazing! 

This is the recipe for Irish Coffees from the Buena Vista Cafe and has been enjoyed by our family for years, especially on St. Patrick's Day. They are easy to make and easier to enjoy. I'm having one right now while my Beef and Guinness Stew simmers on the stove! And in case you haven't already seen it, make sure you check out our page with recipes sorted by holiday here. Happy St. Paddy's Day!!!!