Well. It’s snowing. I realize I live in Western New York, and this is not entirely unexpected, but I’m done with my snow love affair after Valentine’s Day, so this is just frosting my rear. Literally.
I told you last week we were going to hit the Maple Tree Inn for the first time and I’d report back. My report is this: if you live within reasonable driving distance get yourself there before it closes for the season on April 15th! If not, put it on the calendar for next year. Oh my goodness Their buckwheat pancakes were easily the best pancakes I have ever eaten, bar none. Their syrup was also divine, and I consider myself a maple syrup connoiseiur and snob.
As for the boys, I think I might best describe their reaction by telling you how many pancakes they each ate. The 20 year old ate the least with 7. That’s right. The least. He tied me. My husband ate 8. The 12 year old ate 9. The 14 year old ate 10. The 16 and 18 year olds ate 16.5 each. I am not kidding. And these pancakes were plate sized. I was flabbergasted.
I’ll be taking my dad this morning for a Daddy/Daughter date. I don’t expect my dad will come close to those numbers, but I’m taking extra batteries for his insulin pump anyway.
I have a real adventure coming up this next week. I’m flying to Phoenix to do something new for me: I’ll be in front of the camera -video camera!- cooking while a videography team records me making several of my most popular recipes. Stay tuned, because I’ll share the videos when they send them to me. Thankfully, this will be at my friend Mary’s house and she’s also going to be on camera. We’ll provide moral support and comic relief for each other. Aren’t friends the best?
Speaking of Mary, she has an excellent new cookbook out now. Check my “What’s on My Nightstand” section for a link to her book. You want this book. Trust me.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE BLOG THIS WEEK:
- Dill Pickle Egg Salad. Guys. If you’re a pickle fan or an egg salad fan, you’re going to need to try this one on for size. It is SO good. Bursting with chopped dill pickles, it gets an extra pickle boost from fresh dill weed AND quick pickled eggs. The pickling of the eggs isn’t strictly required, but if you love pickles, you owe it to yourself to try this!
THINGS I LOVE:These sheets of laundry detergent for camping and backpacking. Please allow me to breathe into a paper bag here for a moment… Okay. My 18 year old and my god son are getting ready to do a 6 week backpacking and hiking trip across Europe next month. I’m going to need some serious hugs and herbal tea because I’m currently living in a weird kind of denial where I buy all sorts of useful things for them to pack (including a global GPS tracker. I haven’t mentioned that yet. Shhhh.) that are lightweight and compact. Among them are these amazing laundry detergent sheets. They aren’t liquid, so they’re TSA friendly and that means that the carry-on plan they have will still work even with these in their rucksacks.
Even cooler, these things are basically sheets of paper impregnated with laundry detergent. They dissolve well whether washing by hands or in a machine. My husband and I will take these on our upcoming Princess Cruise (because nobody wants to go home with a giant suitcase full of nasty laundry AND nobody wants to pack more clothing than they have to anyway. Except me. I am a chronic overpacker, but maybe these will cure me?)
This weird and wonderful waterproof mascara. I’ve been using this for YEARS and just realized I haven’t recommended this to you yet, but oh I do so recommend it. I can’t do regular mascara because it runs because I am a cryer. Ugh. I don’t like it, but I am. This girl cries with happiness, sadness, empathy, sympathy, and McDonald’s commercials. Anyway, I also don’t like regular waterproof mascara because I hate having to use special stuff to remove my mascara. Considering that most days, my make-up “routine” consists of mascara, spf, and lip balm, I want good mascara. Enter THIS stuff. You apply it, it makes your lashes look crazy long and separated, it stays all day no matter how many times you cry, and when you’re ready to remove it for the night, you simply wet your eyes generously and rub them. This is the holy grail of mascara for me. And you can also get this primer from the same company, for a more “night on the town” look. I have both. The primer lasts me a year. The mascara lasts me 4 months, usually.
BOOKS ON MY NIGHTSTAND:
My Name is Mahtob: The Global Phenomenon That Started With Not Without My Daughter Continues by Mahtob Mahmoody. Remember the book “Not Without My Daughter”? THIS book is the story from Betty Mahmoody’s daughter’s perspective. Holy moly, is this a powerful read. Mahtob talks about what it was like to see her dad turn into a monster and pinpoints when it happens. She discusses what Iran was like from a child’s perspective and how she had to watch her mother constantly because of her fear that her father would kill her. It is a story of healing and redemption as well and is well worth the read!
The Weekday Lunches and Breakfasts by Mary Younkin. If you like breakfast for dinner, breakfast for breakfast, or lunches that tide you over until dinner (or just plain like all of those things at the dinner hour) you need this book. Honestly? I say get this book anyway. Mary has put together a collection of recipes that are -in my opinion- well suited to any meal of the day. They’re categorized as lunches and breakfasts, but they’re filling and fast and fabulous. She made a lumpia skillet, friends. Have you ever had Lumpia? It’s one of my “last meal” foods. It is a Filipino egg roll, but Mary’s version takes all of the ingredients and cooks them in a skillet for the sake of ease and speed, delivering all of the flavour with none of the hassle. She also made a kielbasa, potato, and corn skillet that had my dad going gaga over it. I ordered a copy of the cookbook for him because he just kept lingering over pages and saying, “Oooh. That sounds good. And it sounds easy!”
QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK:
1) Are you a real maple syrup or a pancake syrup kind of person?
2) Are you an efficient packer or are you -like me- a Mary Poppins packer (everything for every possible contingency)?