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Guest Post: Valentine’s Day Dinner 2011

Guest post from Victoria’s husband, Brent:

As documented in the past, I cook Victoria dinner on Valentine’s Day. Recently, she has begun forcing me to blog about it as well.

We recently ate at the Palace Kitchen, and Victoria had a blood orange margarita she really enjoyed, so I made her one as an apéritif. This was just lime juice, fresh-squeezed blood orange juice, agave syrup, and tequila.

The first course was a white salad with apple, fennel, and celery root with a crème fraiche dressing. Apparently this recipe came from a “Mommy Blog.” This wasn’t a genre I was familiar with until Victoria, having seen the tab open on my computer, asked me accusingly: “Are you reading a mommy blog!?” Apparently childless men aren’t the target the target demo.

The second course was a lobster pot pie. I didn’t use Pernod, because it was like $30 a bottle, and I didn’t make my own crust because that is hard. Victoria’s only complaint was that there wasn’t enough lobster. A woman of simple tastes, huh?

Beats an overcrowded, overpriced prix fixe menu. See you next year, blogonauts.

Smoked Salmon Crostini

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Hopefully everyone rang in the new year in a safe and awesome way. Brent and I made some snacks, hung out at home, and went to our roof to watch fireworks from the space needle at midnight.

It was pretty sweet that we had this awesome view and didn’t even have to leave our building! Before all that though, we ate. I wanted to stay in and make something, but I wasn’t feeling up for full-fledged “cooking” because my kitchen isn’t quite set up yet. We headed to the market earlier in the day and picked up some crusty bread and locally smoked salmon — which I am currently obsessed with!

I sliced the bread thinly , drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper, and then grilled in a grill pan until lightly golden and toasty, flipped and did the same for the other side. Next I spread a thin layer of goat cheese on each slice, topped it with a generous dose of the smoked salmon, and sprinkled with diced red onions and capers.

These were pretty fantastic. Like, seriously so good that I made them again tonight. This is the perfect bite of food. I love the tangy-ness of the goat cheese combined with the smoky salmon and the salty bite from the capers. I cannot recommend this combo enough. Plus, it felt so good to make something at home after so much eating out in the past few weeks. I’m really enjoying getting settled in and looking forward to getting into a routine.

To end the post, I’d like to leave you with another gorgeous shot from our balcony – taken tonight around sunset.

Belated Valentine’s Day Post

Hey all. My posting has been so sporadic, sometimes I wonder why I bother, but the blog is (if nothing else) a fun reference for me when I’m meal-planning. On to tonight’s post. If you read last year’s Valentine’s Day dinner, you may remember that Brent always cooks me dinner. This year was no exception.

While he was preparing dinner, Brent presented me with a cocktail ( also tradition), which was Stoli strawberry vodka, lime juice, and some sort of punch. Delicious and pretty. 🙂

Our appetizer was a mixed baby greens salad, topped with balsamic caramelized onions. He just sautéed this until caramelized and added splash of vinegar to deglaze the pan. At least I think that’s what he did. I was on the couch 😉 These onions elevate any salad to spectacular.

For our main course, Brent went with Sole Meuniere and fingerling potatoes. I love these potatoes! Unfortunately, the sauce for the fish was just a bit too sour. I guess I don’t love lemon as much as I thought I did, but it was nice to try something different.

In addition to schoolwork, I’ve been obsessed with the Olympics. Brent thinks my focus on the Olympics is borderline insane. I think he’s just sick of ice dancing. Oh, also I got my cholesterol test done, and it’s super high. 😦 Can’t outrun genetics I guess. I have a follow-up doctor’s appointment in two weeks, and I’ll get a better understanding then, but you may be seeing some dietary changes in the Monroe house.

I have more to post, so hopefully I’ll be back before next week!

Christmas is Nearly Here

This past weekend Brent and I drove to the Chicago area to drop off some pies for my mother and visit my college friends. I spent the few days before we left making a huge mess in the kitchen preparing Christmas gifts. I made the pies for my mother: pumpkin eggnog, caramel apple, and cherry. I made all the pies and then froze and wrapped them for my mom. She’s going to thaw and bake them for the family Christmas party over the weekend.

I also made some candied nuts (I forgot to get a picture and I ate most of the leftovers :)), peppermint bark, and truffles!

The bark was super simple and I thought it would make a nice addition to the gift boxes. I just really like how festive it looks.

The truffles I made were Chocolate Truffles from the Barefoot Contessa and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Truffles.

The truffles were fun for me to make because they were something new, but they turned out to be a lot more difficult than I expected. The truffle mixtures were easy to make: Heat all the ingredients and then cool, but the rolling was difficult. If the mix was too warm, it melted all over and was impossible to shape and if it was too cool, it chipped and broke and wouldn’t get into shape. I got them all done, but it definitely took more time than I originally intended.

I wanted to make a larger variety of truffle flavors, but after my shaping difficulty, I figured two kinds were enough. The gifts were enjoyed by their recipients. My father loved the peppermint bark, my mother loved the candied nuts, and my friends Tessa and Greg enjoyed the truffles.

I have to make another pie today for Christmas with the in-laws tomorrow, but other than that I’ve just been lounging around enjoying my break. I did finally get a haircut. I’m notoriously bad at getting my haircut. I frequently go nearly a year without doing it. Yesterday’s cut was my first since February. Here’s a before & after:

Thanksgiving 2009

I had a wonderful (and much needed!) Thanksgiving break. We hosted my mom, dad, brother, and sister along with Brent’s parents for Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve hosted holidays before, and usually I make all the dinner, but buy the pies from a store. For shame, I know. This year I was determined to make a truly from-scratch dinner, complete with homemade pies.

I had Wednesday off from school so I spent all day baking and doing other prep work for the meal. I’ll share the final products with you at the end of this post. We had to have dinner before dessert. 🙂

My family drove in Thursday morning, so I needed to have something available for them to munch on soon after they arrived because we weren’t scheduled to eat until late afternoon. Along with some chips and crackers, I made a simple appetizer of Cranberry Brie. I scooped about 1/3 cup of homemade cranberry sauce (cranberries, orange juice and sugar boiled together) onto an 8oz wheel of brie and baked at 350 for 10 minutes.

I enjoyed it, although I’m a fan of anything cranberry related. My dad liked it as well. My mom refused to eat it and my younger sister claimed she hates cheese (who is this girl?).

Meanwhile the turkey was in the oven. We had a huge one this year and we had some serious problems getting it all cooked, but it turned out well in the end. Brent found a recipe that he wanted me to use this year: Twin Oaks Roast Turkey with Anchovies. Anchovies! You better believe I had to hide that little secret ingredient from my mother. She’s very suspicious when I do the cooking, and when my brother Matt called to say hello to everyone, I heard her complaining about “all that seasoning” that I put on the turkey. Little did she know, haha. She managed to eat it without any complaints though.

I didn’t get a picture of each dish, but here’s my plate: Clockwise from top – mashed potatoes with sour cream and chives, roast turkey with cranberry sauce, green beans and walnuts with lemon vinaigrette, Caesar salad with homemade dressing, Sausage and Herb Stuffing from the Barefoot Contessa (I added an additional 1/2 cup of fresh sage, rosemary and thyme).

I thought everything turned out wonderful. The stuffing and mashed potatoes seemed to be especially popular. My family didn’t love the green beans because they found them “too crunchy” and not cooked enough, but I enjoyed them.

For dessert I wanted to do the traditional apple and pumpkin pies, but with a slight twist, so I made Crunchy Caramel Apple Pie and Pumpkin Eggnog Pie. I used this all butter flaky pie dough recipe from Smitten Kitchen for the crusts. I don’t have a pastry cutter, so I used my Kitchen Aid mixer (even though Deb says not to) and mine still turned out flaky and perfect. My kitchen was a MESS by Wednesday evening!

I made the apple pie first. I followed the recipe exactly, except for the “caramel ice cream topping.” For that I just made a homemade caramel sauce on the stove top using heavy cream, butter, brown sugar and vanilla extract.

Brent’s comments on the pie: “This is really good, but I wish you made the whole pie out of topping.” There are actually apples under there, I promise. Up next was the pumpkin eggnog pie. This was super simple. Mix the filling and dump it in the pie shell. Bake.

I loved this pumpkin pie! (I also happen to be a huge eggnog fan). I would definitely say the pies were the hit of the meal. My mother (who may be a bit difficult to please) could not stop talking about how much she loved the apple pie and the pumpkin was equally popular. I would recommend either or both if you’re looking for a holiday pie.

I’m feeling a bit exhausted now (my family will do that to you), but come back tomorrow for an exciting giveaway involving my one of my favorite food groups: Cheese!

The View From The Roof

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I hope you all had a fun Fourth of July! Brent and I had a good time just hanging out at home. We made a delicious dinner on the grill. I had wild Sockeye salmon (Brent had a NY Strip steak), grilled herbed corn on the cob and a salad with a delicious Feta dressing.

HPIM3658The dressing was tasty on the salad but even better as a sauce for the salmon! I loved every bite of it and I want to eat it again very soon.  For the corn on the cob I mixed together some Earth Balance, chives, parsley and thyme and then peeled back the husks to apply the butter. I pulled the husks back up and they were grilled for about 15 minutes. The fresh corn is definitely not at it’s peak yet, but the herb butter is a treatment we’ll be repeating. 🙂

After dinner and some XBoxing, we got ready for some fireworks. I climbed out of our bedroom window onto the roof of our house and settled in with blanket while Brent set off some bottle rockets and fountains below on the driveway.

HPIM3683From my tree top view I was able to see a lot of different shows going on, most of which I think were put on by some of our more enthusiastic neighbors. I couldn’t believe how huge some of these were, coming from someone’s backyard!

HPIM3699When the shows really got going, the dogs ran upstairs because they’re terrified of the fireworks. Lucy seemed ready to come onto the roof with me, but luckily Brent was able to calm her down.

HPIM3753Being on the roof did have its perils though. While Brent was out there with me, he forgot where he was for a moment and put his chips and dip down on the angled roof! I watched in horror as my cute bowl from Anthropologie slid down the shingles and shattered on the driveway. 😦

HPIM3743It was a wonderful long weekend, but it’s back to reality tomorrow morning so I’m going to read a bit more of my book and then head to bed.

Valentine’s Day Dinner

Editor’s Note: This post was written in its entirety by Victoria’s husband, Brent, and has been posted in its original format.

So as Victoria mentioned earlier, it’s become something of a tradition for me to make dinner on Valentine’s Day.  This tradition has its roots in necessity, as when we first married, we were fairly broke and Victoria could scarcely work the stove.  Victoria’s cooking has improved slightly since then, but I suspect she likes making me work.

As is apparently standard practice for this whole food blog genre, here’s a picture of the wine we drank (it’s a pinot grigio).


The first course was a pretty tasty salad  This was a pretty big hit.  Victoria loves anything with avocado, and I never pass up an opportunity to throw down with some bacon.  The obligatory photo follows.  I’m always a little surprised at the number of photos Victoria takes of each dish.  She spares no expense bringing you only the most vivid digital representations of her food.


The main course was a pasta.  The only real shortcoming was the amount of lobster.  I grossly underestimated the amount that would come out of the two lobster tails I bought.

This dude is not for the faint of heart.  I halved the recipe, and still used nearly a stick of butter and half a cup of heavy cream.  You could probably make it without the lobster, and it would still be pretty good.  I would definitely recommend keeping the beet, though.  It brings a surprising amount to the party.


Reflections & Resolutions

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Here’s a quick recap of my New Year’s Eve, which was spent in the company of our good friends Tessa & Greg, a Nintendo Wii, and perhaps a little too much wine, champagne and jello shots.




Important things to note about the above series of photographs: Those were the coolest party hats ever, and there was a lot of unpictured champagne, which caused me to feel less than perky almost all day yesterday.


I know I’m a little late, since 2009 is now 2 days old, but here I go anyway. 2008 was definitely a year of transitions for me. I feel like I maybe didn’t accomplish a ton, but I made a lot of difficult decisions that will me to accomplish more in the future. Here are some random thought and reflections on the past year.

  • After the 2007 Holiday season, I started keeping track of my calories and workouts with the help of The Daily Plate. I was able to lose about 20 lbs and got Brent to join a gym and work out regularly with me. The more my obsession love of cooking and baking flourished, I kind of quit tracking because tracking slices of homemade bread seemed kind of ridiculous and way too time-consuming. I have and will continue to recommend the site to my friends and family, or anyone who needs help keeping track of what they’re eating.
  • While I was freezing my butt off in the Indiana winter, I convinced Brent to take a trip to Hawaii at the end of March. We had a lot of trouble with our flights, but our time on the island was amazing. I discovered a new favorite drink: The Lava Flow, Brent had a very macho Sangria, and we hiked 7 miles from our hotel to the top of Diamond Head, which was hot and exhausting but worth it.


I love this drink. Upon arriving back home, I learned how to make them myself, just in time for summer. It’s basically a Pina Colada with strawberry puree drizzled in it. Yum!



  • This summer, we spent the Fourth of July weekend in Gatlinburg, TN for my best friend Tessa’s wedding. This was such a great experience for a lot of reasons: Anytime I get to see all my college friends together, it’s a great time; Seeing Tessa and Greg so happy together made me so happy for her; and we totally spent the reception dancing into the wee hours of the morning to a play list compiled by Tessa, including a memorable dance of all of us jumping up and down flailing to “Shake It” by Metro Station, which I never cared for before, but I now love because it reminds me of that night.


  • I’m sure there are a lot of other moments worth mentioning, but I’m truly awful at remembering them, which is part of why I love this blog. Overall I’m thankful that I am able to see my friends and family as much as I do, and I appreciate how close I am able to stay to my friends, even though we’ve all gone through a lot of changes and moves since college. I’m very grateful for Brent’s support in allowing me to quit my job, and concentrate on furthering my education, and I can’t wait to see what 2009 brings.


I think 2009 is going to bring big things, or maybe not, but I am so excited that (assuming I am accepted) I will finally start my full-time nursing program. I have just started a new part-time job and I’m glad to see that so far, I really like the company. My family is changing a bit too. My brother will graduate from Basic Combat Training and we will soon find out where the Army will be sending him. My mother is focusing on her health and I know she’s going to be able to succeed in her goals. I cant believe my brother is starting his last year or junior high and my sister is going to start her junior year of high school! I hope that I am able to see them just as frequently in the coming year as I did in 2008.

I am a huge resolutions person. I don’t think a person needs an arbitrary January 1st deadline to start making changes to their life, but the end of the year always seems like a good time to reflect on last year’s changes and look forward to improving even more in the coming year. With that said, here are some things I’d like to focus on in 2009.

  • Improve my running. I ran cross country and track in high school, but haven’t run a ton since then, but Brent wants to train with me to run a race in March, so I think it’ll be a lot of fun. Plus my work outs have been getting boring, and I thought having specific goals would help motivate me.
  • Concentrate on school. I have two classes starting in January, and I have an entrance exam I need to take by the end of March. The entrance exam will count for half of my application score to the program so it is extremely important to me. I plan on setting a date for the exam and creating a study plan for myself so I’m not cramming at the last minute.
  • We’ve been in the Fort for 2 years now, and I still don’t know very many people in town. In an effort to meet people and make the most productive use out of my time, I plan on trying to find an ongoing, weekly volunteering opportunity. I am hoping to find a place at the local hospital, and if time allows, I’d like to volunteer as a dog-walker at the shelter we adopted Larry from.
  • In an effort to continue my healthy eating patterns, I like to reduce some of the processed flour, butter and sugar that have crept into my diet over the holidays. This may mean less baking projects, or perhaps I’ll just have to be more creative.
  • Finally, I frequently tell Brent that I think he is too negative and too pessimistic, but I’ve realized I complain a lot myself, mostly about small things, because truly, I have very little to complain about. So, I’m trying to take more time to be appreciative of the people, places and things in my life. I have a wonderful husband, two very entertaining dogs, awesome friends, and a hilarious and supportive extended family. We are all healthy, and I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to continue my education, so I’m going to make mindfulness and appreciation a top priority in the coming year.

“Christmas” Dinner 2008, Part 2: Dinner, Dessert and Games

Preparing a huge amount of food isn’t really difficult, and it is certainly made easier when you plan ahead, but everytime I feel completely calm, it seems like the last half hour before the food is to be served is when the shit really starts to hit the fan. I was flying around the kitchen pot-holders in hand and 4 pots on the stove and another 3 in the oven, while my mom started drinking some wine and remarked, “I’m surprised she doesn’t injure herself more.” My sister Sarah took most of the photographs, since I was otherwise occupied.

Up first, we have the turkey, made using Alton Brown’s Roast Turkey recipe and method. We did this same thing last Thanksgiving, and it received generally good reviews, so we thought it was worth repeating. The turkey was probably far larger than we actually needed, but there was a sale and coupon deal combined, so it cost us less than $9 and Brent can enjoy leftovers all week. Brent would like me to acknowledge his superior turkey carving skills that he has honed over the past few holidays, Even my mother, who loves to critique, praised his slicing skills. Sarah seems to really enjoy the slanted camera angle.


Along with dinner, we had a TON of side dishes: Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto, Creamed Spinach, Noodles, Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Green Beans, and French Bread, made using the Artisan Bread recipe. There was also a little bit of gravy made from the pan juices for Brent. The creamed spinach was the only new recipe I tried out for the side dishes, but I think it’s something I’ll make again. I always struggle with cooked greens, but I know they provide such a boost to my iron levels. I tried to get my mom to eat more of them, and she just said “Vic, I know you’re trying to get me to eat this spinach, but I’m just not into it.” Can’t win ’em all I guess. The green beans are a favorite for Brent and I. I just drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and minced garlic and roast in the oven at 400 for about 18 minutes. So easy and delicious. I think everyone knows how to make mashed potatoes. I just make sure to add a lot of sauteed garlic to mine for Sarah and I. Here is everything all lined up and ready to be devoured, and that is me in the background, covered in something I spilled.


And a shot of the bread before slicing. I am loving this recipe. I really need to go buy myself the book.


Too bad I didn’t get a photo of my whole plate. It was a pretty colorful meal. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, but once again I over-prepared and we have so many leftovers! It doesn’t look like we’ll even need a grocery trip this week.

Once everyone had slightly digested, I made some coffee and took out a bunch of desserts. First up I made some Oatmeal and Apple Butter Bars, which were so easy and delicious, as well as a wonderful way to use up some of my apple butter. This recipe was recommended to me by my friend Tessa, and I would like to recommend it to all of you as well.


In addition to the bars, I used some leftover coconut and took inspiration from the Macaroons that I made in order to make Coconut Almond Pound Cake. I used to love pound cake, but I only ever remember eating the Sarah Lee frozen kind. I thought it might be even better home-made and I was right. It is extremely butter-packed and definitely belongs in the “Very Rare Super-Indulgent Splurge” category, which is unfortunate since it is very addicting and leftovers are sitting in my fridge as I type.



  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2-3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  1. Cream together butter and sugar.
  2. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.
  3. Add in sour cream and extracts, mixing thoroughly.
  4. Add in flour and baking soda and mix until incorporated.
  5. Fold in flaked coconut.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9×5″ loaf pan.
  7. Bake for approximately 75 minutes.
  8. Cool completely and serve.

My mom and I were completely in love with this cake. I cannot say enough good things about it. It’s really easy and a definite crowd-pleaser, assuming your crowd likes coconut. To round out the dessert table (we didn’t need any more, but oh well), my mother in law brought a pumpkin cream cheese roll/loaf thing that was a big hit at Thanksgiving last year, and I put out a plate of leftover Christmas cookies that I had frozen and thawed.

After dessert and some further digestion, and at the insistence of my brother Zack, we played a round of Cranium, which is hilarious. Some captions: the board, my parents scrutinizing a word problem, Brent’s brother Jonathan pretending to “bloom” and Brent’s dad sculpting a giraffe.




After cranium, Brent’s family had to get going, and the rest of us played a round of Trivial Pursuit: Pop Culture Edition, which disgusted my father. He wanted the “real” version. He was unable to answer any questions correctly, save for one question about the soundtrack of Flashdance, which I found so funny. My mother, however, knew that Mickey Rouke is a former boxer and Paul Newman loved race-car driving. She’s always full of surprises. We finally made it to bed late Saturday night, so that my parents could be on the road as soon as possible this morning in order to get home in time to see Da Bears!

I’m not sure what we’re doing for New Year’s, so it looks like the holiday season is pretty much wound-down here at the Monroe household, which is probably good for our sanity and wallet, but I always get a little sad because I really love all the traditions and family-time this time of year. Luckily Brent still has all of this coming week off work, so we’re just bumming around watching a ton of “watch instantly” movies on Netflix.

“Christmas” Dinner 2008, Part 1: Dip & Noodle-making

Yesterday was a long day.  Amidst unusually balmy weather in the afternoon, I prepared a full Christmas feast for my family and in-laws. This may be a monster post. My family left Chicago at 5:15 this morning, so once they arrived they were tired, but also really hungry. I set out a veggie try with some of Alton Brown’s Zesty California Onion Dip. My mom is so hilarious. I think she generally assumes she won’t like things I make, so her response to the onion dip was, “Wow. This is actually not bad. Try it Dave. It’s not too bad.”


Brent and I both love potato chips with french onion dip. You know, the gross partially hydrogenated stuff, so to be able to make it at home with only a few ingredients is great. The dip was really good. I highly recommend it.

While we were all sitting around munching, my mom realized she had forgotten a key component of the feast: our family’s “Country-Ass Noodles.” They had been made on Christmas, and mom was supposed to bring them to my house to enjoy with dinner, but she forgot. My dad gave them the nickname, but I think it fits. My sister demanded that our dad make the noodles while the turkey was cooking, and after a good hour of discussion, my mom and dad ran to the store for the noodle-making supplies. The only two ingredients in the noodles are eggs and Bisquick mix. There is no exact recipe for these noodles, but they depend heavily on good texture and thickness. Normally my grandmother is in charge of the noodling. She has reluctantly passed the torch to my father, but even at the age of 53, he is still only an apprentice and needed to call his mother once or twice to ensure he was doing everything properly. In the process, he was also trying to teach my younger brother and sister as well. My father, brother and sister each grabbed one of my aprons and went to work.


Sarah was in charge of rolling the noodles, a fact which I think padre may have regretted. He kept saying, “Geez Sarah lay off the flour, will ya?” Padre kept trying to guide her, but she felt her work was up to par and she didn’t need any help. Here they are feeling the dough to see if it will be good enough.


After flattening the dough, it is then rolled into a log, and sliced. Zack was put in charge of the slicing, while my dad supervised. The thickness of the slices is, apparently, a source of contention. My grandmother informed my mom that when she made the noodles on Christmas day, my mom cut the noodles too thin. My mom however, thinks that the noodles today were too thick, but no one really listened to her, because as someone who doesn’t eat the noodles, her opinion isn’t considered relevant.


Once sliced, the noodles are then unraveled into long strings. Padre felt that some of the slices were not cut properly and rather than unraveling, they were just turning into a clumpy mess. There is no greater sin than clumpy noodles. Fortunately after a few batches, the kids got the hang of it, and Zack felt he made the “best noodle ever.”


Eventually the noodle unraveling was complete and they entered the drying phase. The noodles are left uncovered for a few hours (or even less) to dry out before they are then soaked in broth.


While padre and the kids were hard at work noodling, my mother was upstairs reading, but she did eventually make in back downstairs to the party to participate in this lovely photo op with Brent. She, who does not even like the noodles, also managed to tell padre and the kids what they were doing wrong, but that’s kind of just her style.


Once the turkey was done cooking, we brought the broth that collected in the bottom of the roasting pan to a slight boil in a large pot, and cooked the noodles in it for about 5 minutes. We used my new cast iron pot, which I love, but my dad thought it took quite a long time to heat up. I think he may have just been impatient for the noodles to be done.


And that dear readers, is how you make “country-ass noodles.” These noodles are probably a “born into it” kind of thing. I’m not sure everyone would love them. Brent did a search on the internet and was shocked to discover that the recipe originated on the back of the Bisquick box from 1959. I was too. I kind of always just assumed that some great grandmother came up with the idea out of necessity. Padre was glad that despite a rocky start, the noodles came out well, and he was able to share them with my in-laws.

We ate A LOT of other food yesterday, but I’ll include the rest of the meal, as well as the post-dinner hilarity in another post. Enjoy your Sunday afternoon!