Oscar Blog Party and My Salute to “Room” With a Victoria Sandwich Cake

2016 Oscar Blog Party

Photos from this year’s participants. To see their posts, please scroll down to the bottom of the page for links to their sites.

Last year Haley with Cheap Recipe Blog asked if I’d like to join her and a group of other bloggers for a fun little event centering around the best picture nominees for the Academy Awards. We were assigned a nominated picture and asked to see the movie, write about it and cook a recipe that was associated with it. Even though I thought it was a lackluster year for movies I was happy to join in because I love movies.

I was assigned the movie Whiplash, a movie I probably never would have seen had it not been for Haley’s event. I did enjoy the super intense movie, albeit not a much as my preferred genre of period romance, but sadly, there wasn’t one available that year. To flashback to last year’s post and my recipe for golden potato, bacon and rosemary pizza, please click here.

When she asked if I’d like to join in again this year, I was happy to say yes. Since I thought that the movies this year were a bit better than last, I knew I had a good chance of writing about a movie that I really enjoyed. This year I was assigned the movie “Room“.

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Goodbye to Downton Abbey: Cheese and Chive Gougeres

Cheese And Chive Gougeres

Well after more episodes than I can count, Downton Abbey is coming to an end tomorrow night. No more tears, cliffhangers, weddings, formal dinners, period costumes, and one line zingers courtesy of the Dowager Contess. Just like when Oprah signed off, I will have to somehow fill the void that the Crawley’s absence will certainly leave.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I felt the writing in the past couple of years was less than what I believe it could have been. Julian Fellows was just never able to measure up to the first couple of seasons in my opinion. I mean when you open a series with a handsome man dying in the “virginal” Lady Mary’s bed, well, that’s just hard to follow up, especially when you sprinkle in a love affair between the Irish chauffeur and the youngest daughter.

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Anatomy of a Celebration Cake: Simple Tips to Make Your Next Cake Beautiful

Anatomy Of A Celebration Cake

My darling, adorable and beautiful niece got married a couple of weeks ago in Texas. Luckily she married a young man that we all really like. Not only is he handsome, but he has a quick smile, an easy-going personality, and an even temperament which I find essential in a good husband. I should know because I married well too.

Several months ago, when she announced her engagement, my darling, adorable and beautiful niece asked if I’d like to make their wedding cake. Since handcrafting anything for someone is an expression of love, in my opinion, I readily agreed because, as you might be able to tell, I love that girl.

As weddings often go, theirs grew from a casual little bohemian-style event to a more formal and much larger do. As it grew, so did my anxiety over whether or not I was qualified to make a cake for the groom’s family and friends who might not have a sense of humor when it comes to amateurs baking for this special day. I was confident that my side of the family would kindly overlook any uneven frosting or even a lopsided tier or two, I just wasn’t so sure about everyone else . . .  but a promise is a promise.

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Last of the Cool Weather Cravings: Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs

I’m still trying to come down from our recent trip to Texas. The weather was beautiful and the wildflowers were everywhere. Austin is a great city and having my little family together really meant the world to me. All of these things together have me suffering from a serious bout of homesickness.

My malady has been made more serious by Colorado’s unpredictable spring weather. Just about the time I think I can make it through, BAM! Here we go again. Wind, snow, rain, despair. OK, OK, I’ll quite my complaining and make some lemonade out of lemons.

On days like these, there’s really nothing I like better than cooking a casserole or a low and slow dish of some sort.  So when the dark clouds started rolling in, and the cold wind began to blow, I got hungry for something with gravy . . . and meatballs . . . and noodles. Swedish meatballs that is, and I’m not talking Ikea meatballs.

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Proceed With Caution: Mississippi-ish Pot Roast

Mississippi-Ish Pot Roast

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about a pot roast recipe that has “taken the internet by storm”. You’ve probably heard about it too, and maybe like me you haven’t tried it because, well, because it just doesn’t sound like something that would take the internet by storm in these enlightened times.

The ingredients are something that you find in one of those community cookbooks. Lots of sodium and a bunch of dried stuff, with the stars of the show being a pretty cheap cut of beef and a handful of super vinegary salad bar peppers. Doesn’t sound like something that you would find outside of your grandparents’ 1970s dinner table does it?

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Del Real Foods Blogger Recipe Challenge: Tamale and Chorizo Brunch Skillet and Campfire Carnitas Tacos

Tamale And Chorizo Brunch Skillet And Campfire Carnitas Tacos

A couple of weeks ago my friend Nancy from Tag Sale Tastes gave me heads up about a blogger recipe contest from Del Real Foods. The brief for this contest was to choose five products from their large variety of Mexican main dishes and sides and craft a recipe (or recipes) using any or all of them that fit into one of their three contest categories, Best Kid- Friendly, Best Outdoor or Top Voted Recipe. All recipe creations must be made in 30 minutes or less.

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Saucy Mama Blogger Contest: Craft Beer Battered Fish Tacos with Jezebel Slaw and Stacked Steak and Potato Salad

Craft Beer Battered Fish Tacos With Jezebel Slaw And Stacked Steak And Potato Salad

A couple of years ago I had the great fortune to be chosen as the winner of Saucy Mama/Barhyte Foods blogger recipe contest. Besides the obvious bragging rights, I also earned an all expenses paid trip to Las Vegas, a golden ticket to compete in the World Food Championships, and the opportunity to meet and hang out with the company’s owner, Suzie Barhyte and her right hand woman, Colette.

Since my winning recipe was for a wafflewich, I participated in the sandwich category at the WFC. When it all shook out, I came in 13th overall, and since I was not in the top 10, I did not advance to the finals.  Still, I am pretty proud and feel like it was a decent showing seeing that I was competing against 49 other incredibly talented sandwich artists.

Always up for a great opportunity, I decided to throw some recipes in the pot again this year in hopes of representing the Saucy Mama brand at the WFC once again. Out of Saucy Mama’s long list of products, I chose my all-time favorite Pacific Rim Ginger Marinade, Poblano Ranch Dressing, Apricot Ginger Mustard, Creamy Horseradish, Lime Chipotle Marinade and Zesty Cocktail Sauce, and started creating.

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Take Out Flavor at Home: Steamed Pork Buns

Steamed Pork Buns

I always hesitate to post recipes for ethnic foods that I am new to cooking. I’m afraid that someone will read this who is an expert and be appalled at my amateurish attempt. How embarrassing. So, OK, I’m going out on a limb here, but I recently tasted a recipe that I have to share, and I hope that it will get the stamp of approval from most of you, expert or not.

Steamed pork buns are delicious little pastries filled with a sweet shredded pork filling. Steamed or baked, these buns are a favorite of dim sum lovers of which I count myself as one. I’ve eaten lots of pork buns in my day and think these are pretty darned good even if my assembly technique still needs a bit of work.

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Make This Now: Coconut Lime Sorbet

Coconut Lime Sorbet

I have become the refrigerator shrew at work lately. Tired of things falling on my feet when I was on the hunt for something, I dove into our icy abyss, made some tough decisions and reworked it into an organized thing of beauty. In an effort to keep it that way I have vowed to myself and all my co-workers to organize it every time I work.

I has been about three weeks now and so far so good. We now live by the rule to eat it, throw it away, or have a really good excuse as to why it needs to be saved (for a maximum of a couple of days).

Sometimes my co-workers’ habit of hoarding works out well for me. After being gone from work for a week or so, I hit the fridge for a quick re-work finding that the place looked pretty darned good with the exception of some misplaced yogurt and butter.

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Happy Anniversary to Us From Uncommon Goods: Great Gifts, A Giveaway, and a Delicious Apple Crostata

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway. Vickie Keller Hemphill who entered on Savoury Table’s Facebook page is my winner. Congratulations Vickie!

A Delicious Apple Crostata

Mr. H and I have just celebrated a big anniversary. It is hard to believe that the young, handsome man that I married and agreed to grow old with is still just as good looking as the day I met him.  Good thing for him that I have stayed that fresh young girl that he met all those years ago too (well, almost). Yeah sure, we both that a few scuffs on us but who wouldn’t after all these years?

For our last milestone anniversary we took a weekend trip to Austin to see family and just hang out. We had planned to have a fancy schmancy dinner date but landed up sitting under the neon sign of Torchy’s tacos with my son, niece, and nephew drinking margaritas and eating tacos. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. One of our best anniversaries ever.

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