To Honor Julia, Just Add Butter

Today would be Julia Child’s 100th birthday.

This will be me tonight, Mastering the Art of Roasting a Chicken

I love this woman. Mastering the Art of French Cooking sits on my kitchen counter, not only as a beautiful decoration, but also as a quick go-to reference whenever a question pops up. I’ve watched Julie and Julia countless times, marveling at Meryl Streep’s command of Julia’s eccentric personality. And I love butter.

Butter may just be one of my favorite foods, if butter can be considered a food unto itself. No? Well, perhaps I can lump it in with dairy. Cream, Butter, Cheese, Milk – I love them all. Good quality butter cannot be beat, especially if it’s raw!

So tonight I’ll be honoring Julia by cooking her Roast Chicken, complete with copious amount of melted butter. Of course, I’ll have to put my own spin on it slightly by adding potatoes to the carrots that will marinate in pan drippings, but other than that it will smell like a French Bistro in my house this evening. Maybe I’ll even throw on some classical french music and grab a glass of Bordeaux.

I just love theme nights, especially when they coincide with something I really care about. Julia, here’s to you!

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The Lion King Rises

This parody of The Lion King/The Dark Knight Rises is incredible!

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A Magical Olympic Opening Ceremony

As Simon Schama said in his review of the opening ceremony:

No one does the darkness of childhood, its realm of startled pathos, its deep hauntings, like the Brits, from Alice and Peter Pan to Harry P.

Even though London has taken a few beatings over the theatrical nature of their opening ceremony, I personally think they knocked it out of the park. It wasn’t just about the current affairs of their nation, or what it took to arrive at where they are today; it was a culmination of everything Britain was – and still is.

Having Voldemort battle Mary Poppins, Captain Hook pop up alongside Cruella Deville, and JK Rowling read aloud from JM Barrie’s classic children’s story was exactly what the London Olympics should have been about. It’s about dreaming, imagining, and allowing children to grow up believing in magic.

Many Olympic athletes present that night were familiar with these stories. Most spectators knew the tales, as well. Britain was merely proving that when they do something, they do it right. They certainly led the way in children’s literature, and I’m certain they will continue being a highly imaginary country many years from now.

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Fairy Tale Food by Lucie Cash – Bringing a Little Magic to Your Cooking

The book arrived at my doorstep on Cinnamon-scented wind. It came cradled in a basket like a baby brought by stork. Although no one rang the doorbell to announce its arrival, I knew something lay just beyond the threshold by the smell of chocolate and faint whirls of steam I could see rising over the panes in the door’s glass.

Actually, none of this happened. The book came wrapped in an Amazon plastic bag and crammed into my mailbox. But once the wrapping was off, I was enchanted.

Fairytale Food: Enchanting Recipes to Bring a Little Magic to Your Cooking. The name itself made me happy as I opened up the cover. Once the binding was creased, the pages within held even more wonders.

Every page has a drawing of some sort – a character, a magical food, a depiction of a fairytale. The illustrations, by Yelena Bryksenkova, are intricate, inviting the reader to do more than just glance at the recipe they are trying to recreate. They showcase each story and the food associated – for instance, Snow White has a section that includes Evil Stepmother’s Stew and Blood Red Velvet Cake. A little story accompanies each recipe, explaining its reason for being included.

This is another way that Fairytale Food departs from your typical cookbook. Food is not arranged according to courses (appetizers, soups, entrees), but by Fairytale. Each story generally has an entree, side dish, and dessert. Take Belle and her Beau – this section includes Beauty and the Beast Burgers, Pretty Sweet Potatoes, and True Love’s Hearts.

Other sections may include fewer courses, but are no less involved than others. Fairy Folk is filled with sweets – Enchanted Forest Gateau, Fairy Chocolate Cups, and Goblin Granitas.

Although I haven’t attempted any of the recipes yet, there are plenty of tips that will allow me to begin in the correct manner. A list that includes common sense information such as “Ensure that your cauldron is sparkling clean” comes just before lesser-known wisdom like “When stirring, always stir widdershins (counter-clockwise)…” Who knew cooking magically could be so easy? Keep in mind that the book was published in the UK, meaning that measurements will have to be converted for anyone more familiar with US measurements.

This will be such a fun cookbook to use in the future with children. I can just imagine creating tea-time treats as we dress up according to the menu of the day!

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Summertime Peach Cobbler

I’ve been on the hunt for a grain free peach cobbler for months – long before peaches were actually in season. Now that they’re overflowing the Franklin Farmer’s Market, I knew it was high-time to commit and actually make some cobbler!

This is a spinoff of an Elana’s Pantry recipe. Her Peach Crisp looked tempting, but I think I’m more of a cobbler girl!

Summertime Peach Cobbler

  • 6 Peaches, Sliced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Almond Meal
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Tbsp. Arrowroot Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Cup Oil (I used a combo of Coconut and Butter)
  • Scant 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1/8 tsp. Stevia Powder

Preheat oven to 350. Place peaches in a large bowl and toss with Vanilla and Arrowroot Powder until evenly coated. Place in a coated baking dish that has a cover. In a smaller bowl, combine Almond Meal, Salt, Baking Soda, Oil and Honey. Crumble this mixture over peaches. Cover and bake for 1 hour, or until the juices begin to bubble on top of dish. Remove cover and bake until golden brown.

Serve with lots of Vanilla Ice Cream!

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Some Big News – Baby White is On the Way!

I’ve put off the news for long enough – I’m pregnant!

This is the first day or so that I’ve actually started to show, so you’re seeing the bump for the very first time…and I’m attempting not to freak out about it!

Finding out about the pregnancy was certainly a surprise for Jeremy and I, not because we were trying NOT to, but because we simply weren’t sure I had the ability. When I found out, I was already 7.5 weeks along – halfway through the first trimester with absolutely no symptoms!

As of today I’m 18 weeks along. No cravings, no sickness, just a slowly growing baby inside. We’ll find out the gender in 2 weeks and I cannot wait. In the meantime we’re acquiring what we can that’s gender-neutral – the crib arrived yesterday and its already set up, sitting in a big empty room just waiting for others to join.

I won’t be discussing the pregnancy here at Taste of Wonderland, but you can follow this new, exciting, and scary adventure into motherhood over at Writing In White!

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