Kind of a big deal.

Josh’s family has this marinade recipe that Josh has always referred to as “Uncle Bob’s chicken”.  They even have a booth at the NY State fair that Josh spent some time helping out at once upon a time.

A few days ago, while looking for a new marinade recipe to try, I came across a recipe for “Cornell Chicken” which looked vaguely familiar.  Curious, I Googled “Cornell Chicken”… only to find that “Uncle Bob” is “Robert Baker”, who invented this awesome marinade.  I texted Josh to tell him that his great-uncle’s recipe was “a legit thing”… turns out, homeboy has his own Wikipedia page, a very famous (at least in most of NY state) recipe, and… get this… is credited with inventing chicken nuggets.  He was even featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered” after his death — which Josh decided was almost the coolest thing ever, short of being on NPR’s “Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me” show.

Having discovered that Josh’s Uncle was “kind of a big deal”, I decided that I needed to make his chicken, along with the side dish commonly paired with it, “Syracuse salt potatoes”.

The recipe for the marinade was super easy — you can find it in many places; just google “Cornell Chicken”.  The chicken tasted more vinegar-y than I remember (Josh agrees) so I’m not sure what happened there, but it was still pretty yummy.  I think that using the marinade on something other than boneless, skinless chicken breast would yield a better end product.

I grilled.

Josh did baby duty - Liam was having a very rough day.

The salt potatoes were my favorite part of the meal.  They were delicious, and kind of pretty, too!  Here’s a recipe:  Syracuse Salt Potatoes .  We used some baby red potatoes we picked up at the farmer’s market — so good!

Boiling them made a huge mess

Salt-crusted outsides = yum.

I liked the potatoes so much that I’ll probably make them like this for next St. Patrick’s day, instead of boiling them in with the cabbage — if I remember this come next March!

The Intruder

Anyone who knows me knows… I hate bugs.  Spiders top the list, but I have an irrational fear of just about all bugs.  This extends to the point that I have some very… *creative* methods of bug extermination.  I can’t just squish bugs — oh Lord no, what if they jumped on me?  Ants and mosquitoes are about the only bugs I’ll squish without thinking twice.

A favorite tactic of mine is the hairspray method.  Moth flying around my bathroom?  Spider crawling around?  Hairspray that sucker until it can’t move.  What happens after that depends on what I have on hand.  One moth found itself at the receiving end of Josh’s Army boot — thrown from a safe distance, as it was still fluttering around on the ground.  I have also been known to cover the incapacitated bug in mousse, soap, conditioner… anything gooey enough to trap and/or “drown” it.  From this stage I generally feel safe enough to use a HUGE wad of toilet paper to scoop up the offender and flush it away.

I’ve heard of other people hair-spraying their bugs to death, but I think my other commonly employed device is a pretty unique one.

Behold:

The Cup.

Usually I only employ the cup with bugs I’m fairly certain aren’t able to jump.  However, desperate times call for desperate measures.  I’d come home one night to find this little guy on my counter.  As I don’t generally keep hairspray in my kitchen, I had to carefully (but quickly, lest he escape!) capture him under the cup.  Standard protocol is then to wait for Josh to come home and deal with the bug.  Occasionally I just wait for the captive to die, and then dispose of the corpse.  This guy was resilient — Josh didn’t get to him for at least a day, but I’m told he was released into the wild (our backyard) to go about his life.  Maybe he’ll think twice before trying to chill in my kitchen again.

Other (more deserving) cup captives have included wasps (1 a.m. in my aunt’s house… really, what else could I have done?) and the infamous “clear and orange bug” — which really deserves its own post, but as all photographic evidence has been lost, let’s just say a camel spider or 4 came home with Josh from his first tour in Iraq.  I discovered this in the middle of the night when I walked into my living room and flipped on the light to see a bug scurrying for the dark regions under the couch.

 

Not what you want to find in your living room in the middle of the night.

Bugs be warned — stay out of my house or I will CUT YOU (a la “Bon Qui Qui“) — or at the very least catch you under a cup until my big, brave hubby can rescue me.

Lemon Raspberry Tarts

For the barbecue we went to on the 4th, I was tasked with bringing a dessert. (Which is fortunate, as dessert is my favorite thing to make, and I was itching to try some kind of new recipe!) After much deliberation I decided to do some kind of lemony mini-tart-ish thing.  (Thank you Josh for the inspiration!)   The final product was a mini tart shell (baked in a mini-muffin pan) filled with lemon curd, topped with a raspberry.

I was basically pleased with the end result, but next time I would try a different crust, and probably go a more traditional route with tartlet pans.  The crust puffed up a lot, so the shells weren’t as cup-like as I’d hoped they would be.  They were also fairly labor intensive, as I had to use my hands to press super-thin rounds of dough out and then place them in the pan.

The lemon curd was super tasty, but turned out a little runny.  I think I may not have cooked it long enough.  I’d actually never had lemon curd before, so I bought some at the store, both as a taste reference, and as a backup in case mine totally bombed.  Taste-wise, I ended up preferring what I made.

I used this recipe for the crust, and this Lemon Curd.

Little Man’s 1st Independence Day

We had a great day on Monday!  It was such a nice long weekend with Josh (he had Friday off too) and Monday was a wonderful way to end it.

Hanging out with daddy

We had a lazy morning, and Josh did most of the baby care while I made the dessert we were bringing to the barbecue we were going to in the afternoon.

I felt like making something different, after my long hiatus from baking (14 weeks of bed rest aren’t conducive to kitchen creativity!) So after some browsing of the internet, my “recipes to try” bookmark folder, and input from Josh, I settled on Lemon-Raspberry Tartlets.  They’ll probably get their own post later, but they took me the better part of the day to make.  I probably should have tackled something a bit easier on such a hot day, but the end result was pretty tasty.

On Sunday I’d realized that I had no “4th of July” outfit for Liam — bad mommy!!  Thankfully I realized it early enough to stop by Old Navy while doing some other errands.  They were pretty picked over, but we did find him something:

He does this "pose" all the time - it cracks me up!

After the barbecue we came home for a little while, and then drove over to Compassion to watch the Air Force Academy’s fireworks show.  Lots of other people had the same idea, but we got a pretty decent spot, as Heather and Andy got there earlier than us and scoped out a good place.  We did manage to make the old-ish ladies next to us angry with our apparently loud talking during the fireworks… holy dirty looks!  They were not nice.  The fireworks show was pretty great – I would love to have seen it “up close”… but not badly enough to deal with the thousands of people and all the traffic at the Academy!!

It ended up being a pretty late night for little Liam — and ended in a 45 minute meltdown because he was so tired when we got home.  Thank goodness for Joshua, he handled the whole thing — I was curled up in bed trying not to throw up (gotta love migraines).  It was a lame end to the day, but overall a pretty great one!  (And Josh and I figured out that it was the first “real” 4th of July we’ve had together in our whole 4 years of marriage — for all the rest he was in Iraq or working.)

Note to self:  never take Liam out past 8 without bringing a swaddler.  It’s bad news.