Food Stories Award & other stuff

So the other day I woke up to a comment from Mary over at Lights on Bright No Brakes telling me that she had nominated me for this Food Stories Award. What a nice way to wake up! Thank you so much Mary! I love reading Mary’s blog because I always learn something really cool, whether it be how to correctly pronounce all these French words for French Fridays with Dorie or a really cool place I’d like to visit some day. Being relatively new to the blogging world, I had never heard of this award or the Versatile Blogger award I was nominated for earlier this year. I’m pretty sure that being nominated for the Versatile Blogger one is the same as receiving it but for this award a bunch of people get nominated and only one person receives it a month. Am I getting this right? So here are the rules, courtesy of the founding blog Food Stories:

1. The nominee should visit the award site ( and leave a comment indicating that they have been nominated and by whom. (This step is so important because it’s the only way our judges will know who is being considered for the monthly award).
2. The Nominee should thank the person that nominated them by posting on their own blog & including a link to their blog.
3. The Nominee should include a courtesy link back to the official award site in their blog post.
4. Share one random thing about yourself in your blog post.
5. Select at least five other bloggers that you enjoy reading their stories and nominate them for the award. Include these nominees in your blog post.
6. Notify your  nominees by leaving a comment on their blog, including a link to the award site (

Food Stories has put together a phenomenal team of judges to review all nominees and to select a Food Stories Award Winner for each month.

Honestly I feel like everything I share about myself is pretty random but I’ll pull another one out for you : I wouldn’t say that I have a photographic memory but whatever you would call a version of that where I can hear something only one time and remember it forever. Honestly I’m trying to think of a cool name for it and I can’t. Basically it just means I am that annoying person who is constantly quoting movies and TV shows all the time. Songs too. I did not inherit the wonderful musicality of the Hanson side of my family but that sure doesn’t stop me from singing.  When we first got together my husband told me it was cute and he didn’t mind if I did it while we watched movies….fast-forward 10 years and this is REALLY no longer true. You should see the death looks I get when I sing along to Glee. But seriously, that is the point of the show right? To be able to know all the songs and sing along? Don’t even get me started on how annoyed I get when they sing something totally off the wall that I have never heard (hello! What was with all that Burt Bacharach stuff in the early days?!) When my husband told me he didn’t mind I was truly shocked because no one had ever said that to me before and I sort of didn’t believe him anyways so it doesn’t hurt my feelings that he joined the rest of the world in finding my habit annoying. But man, get me on a trivia contest and and I will beat the pants off of anyone! As long as the trivia is solely about movies, TV, and pop culture from 1980-the present. Yeah, there is that one small caveat…

So these are my 5 picks:

Susan from The Little French Bakery  – the new site is amazing and beautiful and I love it!

Heather from Heather’s French Press

Mike from Made by Mike

Katrina from Warm Vanilla Sugar

Andrea from Thursdays with Granny

One more quick thing, I baked from Dorie’s Baking from My Home to Yours for the first time last week and OH.MY.GOD it was amazing! So amazing that I didn’t take any pictures. That part kinda sucks. But I just wanted to share that I made the Quick Classic Berry Tart and the All-American, All-Delicious Apple Pie and they were both so beautiful and tasty! I made them for the Memorial Day cook-out that we went to on Saturday night and everyone loved them! I really liked the idea of sprinkling crushed graham crackers over the bottom crust before adding the filling to help the crust not get soggy. I thought it added an interesting flavor and texture and the crust definitely held its own. Yum! I actually used Cinnamon Teddy Grahams because that’s what I had on hand but I don’t think a little more cinnamon ever hurt anybody.


French Fridays with Dorie – Lyonnaise Garlic & Herb Cheese Spread (aka Boursin’s Mama)

This post is kinda late due to two things:

1. Power outages in our area

2. A slight new obsession with Friday Night Lights (read: a somewhat all-consuming obsession)

I had full intentions of making this last night for Tristan and I to munch in the late evening but we had leftovers for dinner and immediately starting watching Friday Night Lights, which I feel compelled to mention is now available on Netflix Watch Instantly, and boom! it was like 11:30 PM and I hadn’t done anything yet. I feel pretty confused by how much I like this show since I have made it clear I’m not a sports nut but it is good stuff. And there’s five seasons of this good stuff. I am going to be pretty unavailable in the evenings for the next few weeks I think…

Back to the cheese spread though, I changed up a few of the herbs just because of availability. I got my herb garden all sorted last week and I now have lavender, mint, Italian parsley, chives, cilantro, sage, thyme, oregano, rosemary, and basil planted. Assuming the little f*@#king tree rats (squirrels) that have been digging in my potted plants don’t kill any of them, I think I have a pretty comprehensive spread happening. One thing missing though: tarragon. I bought some last year and never ended up using it so I left it off my list this year. I don’t really regret it since this might have been the only recipe it got used for so I subbed in some sage and rosemary to fill in for it. When we tore ourselves away from the tube to go to bed last night I realized I still had some work to do so I chopped all my herbs and shallot and garlic and mixed everything together to chill overnight. But this morning when I was in the shower the power went out and stayed out and I didn’t want to open up the fridge and let all the cold air out to grab the spread so it just kept chilling all day. I had planned to bring it to work and share with co-workers and stuff but this is almost better because I can bring what’s left to a potluck grill-out tomorrow night. We had it with bagel chips tonight but I bought a baguette to slice up for tomorrow to bring with. I really really really like this. Like pretty much eating that whole little mini pie dish in the pic by myself like it. Yum!

I never realized that so many people had an issue with ricotta until we did the Pizza Rustica in Baking with Julia and I still don’t get it. What’s not to like?? I did find that the ricotta I bought was pretty darn thick to begin with and didn’t really need to drain for the few hours that Dorie mentioned. It was draining from 6-11:30 last night and there was maybe half a teaspoon of liquid in the bowl. Weird. I would definitely make this again and plan to for any other summer potlucks I get invited to. Hope everyone else liked it as much as me!

Creamy, Cheesy, Garlicky Rice with Spinach and Magic Chicken

I was pretty late to the party joining French Fridays with Dorie and there are some completed recipes that I am really sorry I missed! This is one of the ones I thought looked especially good. You’d think I’d be tired of this magic chicken already but guess what, I’m not!

Tristan is not big on rice and he said he thought this was really good which is high praise from him. I’m thinking about looking up some recipes for fried or baked risotto balls or something to use up the leftovers – adding butter and breadcrumbs is pretty much always a good idea. Yum!