Quite a Spread

It’s supposed to rain again today which is not helping my week-long quest (to be fair, it’s not just the weather; there was one day I spent looking for a new work bag because the shoulder strap on my old one was ready to blow) to get over to a small market near my office for more toast toppings. They are absolutely the only way to east whole grain toast and English muffins, which have become a staple of my experience on one of America’s leading weight loss programs.
Anywho, apple butter. I love it. And the ratio of fiber to calories to fat in a reasonable serving is so low you an practically trowel it on your toast. If you’re feeling fancy, take a suggestion from Food Network and toast it with brie and prosciutto (or turkey).
My preference is to buy apple butter from a local farmer’s market during the summer, but when they’re not open yet, my favorite is American Spoon because it is flavorful, it doesn’t mold quickly and it has a nice texture. It’s not easy to find, but it’s totally worth the hunt.
So, when I found it in a local liquor store , I eagerly grabbed a jar for the ginger pear butter and was thrilled with the result. I prefer it on English muffin, but toast is ok, too. It has the same guiltless qualities as the apple butter, so I’m a happy camper.
I just hope the rain will hold off until after lunch so I can be a dry camper, as well.

UPDATE: The rain held off and I got to the market before the downpour, but they were out of apple butter (GASP!). A weekend trip to the liquor store remedied my problem, AND netted me a hunk of Spanish sheep’s milk cheese to enjoy with chianti jelly.

Welcome to my world!

My name is Joanna, and this is my blog.

I like to cook. I like to think that I’m a pretty good cook, in an amateur-forever-beholden-to-other-people’s-great-recipes sort of way. Maybe the problem is that I like to eat so much that I’m driven to find great recipes for the things I like, and then I concentrate really hard on making them exactly as the recipes says to. Maybe this dogged determination is what has twice landed me in one of America’s leading weight loss programs.

On the nights I don’t like to cook, I like to shop for things that make it easier to seem like I’ve cooked: “bottled food enhancers,” frozen foods that reheat well, and gadgets that make it more difficult for me to draw blood while cooking. In fact, now that I’m looking for a new house, my biggest concern is a kitchen big enough to hold all my food-related stuff.

I have a full-time job that is not food-related, but it allows me lots of time to read about food. There are some great sites for amateurs (like me), dieters (like me), and readers (like me). They are what inspired me to start this silly blog anyway.

Most recently, I hosted Easter dinner in my home. This is fun because I get to pick the menu AND I get to enjoy all the leftovers in the comfort of my pajamas for the next several days. The real challenge is finding uses for all the leftover ingredients after everyone has gone home. I made a nice creamed spinach dish this year, but was left with half a container of half-and-half in my refrigerator. I prefer milk in my coffee, so I turned to the folks at Every Day Food for this late-night treat:

Chocolate soda
¼ c. half and half
2 T. chocolate syrup
5 oz. seltzer water (I used club soda and that worked well, too)
Mix the chocolate syrup and half and half in a tall glass. Still stirring, mix in the settler water until the top gets foamy. Serve with a long spoon so that you can get all the chocolate off the bottom at the end!