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Sunday
Feb062011

BBQ Mini Sausages

BBQ Mini Sausages

My family has never never been one to watch sports. We may spot a game on Thanksgiving or when we're visiting the cousins, but that really the extent of it. Despite this, every year my family makes it a point to get together to the watch the biggest game of the year—the Super Bowl. We might flip a coin to determine which team to root for (a mortal sin for you football fans) or get more excited about the commercial breaks than the actual game, but we make sure there is proper football celebration.

But, honestly, I think the reason we all sit around and watch the game is for the food.

BBQ Mini Sausages

My mother always makes a huge pot of chili and stews it in the crock pot all afternoon. She also makes sure to cook up a batch of these BBQ sausages. Though they slow cook all afternoon, I tend to steal a mini sausage or two whenever I find myself in the kitchen much to the dismay of my mother ("Save them for dinner!"). The smell is absolutely phenomenal. I don't think I can be blamed for my actions.

When it comes time for dinner (and the game), there is bread and chips and m&m's up to our ears. We cheer when anyone makes a touchdown. We take our bathroom breaks while the players are on the field. But we enjoy ourselves and each other.

I think that's what really counts.

BBQ Mini Sausages

These BBQ Mini Sausages are great for snacking. The barbecue sauce is made with a combination of grape jelly and chili sauce and, while slightly unusual, is absolutely delicious. The grape jelly brings a sweet quality to the sauce and, depending on the chili sauce you use, you can spice it up as much as you please. The sauce has a deep depth of flavor, with hints of molasses and the acidity of lemon. Because these mini sausages can slowly simmer in the crock pot all day, you can steal the perfect bite-size snack at any time (and as many times as you please).

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Friday
Feb042011

Banana Bread Oatmeal

banana bread oatmeal

It's no secret that I love banana bread. In my house, there always seem to be a few bananas that just don't get eaten in time. While freezing bananas for a later date is always an option, sometimes there are already one too many bananas hiding in there. I don't like to waste food if I can help it so bananas are frequently on the menu.

With my deep love of all baked banana goods, having a quick and easy way to make a dish that tastes like banana bread without the mixing and the baking (and the waiting) was ideal.

banana bread oatmeal

I am a sucker for overripe bananas. I don't start eating them until they are covered in brown spots. As long as it they can still keep their shape, I'm in banana love. My father would disagree. He likes to eat them when they are still a bit green, without a brown spot in sight. I think they lack that vital banana flavor so soon after ripening, but he argues otherwise. We may disagree about the best time to eat bananas, but we've never disagreed over a nice loaf of banana bread. And that's the truth.

How do you like your bananas?

banana bread oatmeal

This banana bread oatmeal tastes just like the real deal. The oatmeal is littered with tiny pieces of banana and spiced with the right amount of cinnamon and nutmeg. This oatmeal is naturally sweetened with the addition of bananas so you will need very little, if any, sugar to sweeten it up. It's healthy, it's delicious, it's banana bread in a bowl. What's not to love?

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Tuesday
Feb012011

Cocoa Almond Meringues

cocoa almond meringues

It's cold outside, not that I need to tell you. With winter upon us, it is getting harder and harder to convince myself to leave the house. Tonight it is supposed to get down to -40 degrees F with windchill out here in North Dakota. Can you really blame me? I have a hard enough time convincing myself to leave the house when its above zero. It's so cold I'm afraid my nose might freeze off and wouldn't that just be a sight.

Did you know that -40 degrees is the same in both Fahrenheit and Celsius? It's the only place on the temperature scale where we can finally find some common ground.

cocoa almond meringues

I have become a happy homebody in my pajama pants and thick sweaters. By day, I watch the flakes fall from the comfort of my warm home, the smell of hot and fresh cookies filling the house. By night, I snuggle up with a heavy blanket next to the fireplace and watch a movie with a bowl of home-cooked popcorn. Remind me why winter is so bad, again?

Today I made a mug of hot cocoa to complement these cookies. The rich, thick cocoa offsets these little pillows perfectly. With a cookie that's lighter than air, you might just find you don't need those marshmallows anymore.

cocoa almond meringues

These cocoa almond meringues are absolutely addictive. They may look like rough, jagged stones but they are lighter than air. The meringues have a rich chocolate flavor with a hint of almond. These cookies are crunchy and chewy, with bits and pieces of chocolate chunks and almond mixed within. These meringues have a deep flavor and texture; it would be a shame not to try these.

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