Two weeks ago, we went camping as a family for the first time ever.
After I got over the trauma of packing (you guys: packing everything you could possibly need for your shelter and all your activities outside and food cooked over a camp stove, which you also have to bring along…why did I want to do this, again?), plus my fear of the bear wandering around the state park we camped in, I really had a magnificent time!
We went with my best friend and her family, who are expert campers. They did not even mock me as my tiny percolator boiled over repeatedly, or when I admitted I had left some of the ingredients for our joint dinner on my counter at home. They laughed at me when I whined about how the shower only spouted water for 8 seconds at a time (literally). They waited patiently for Jake as he slowly hiked up his first mountain, and they raced around the campsite with my kids, who were loving all the time outside!
The best part of this whole adventure, obviously, was making s’mores.
How do you like your s’mores? Do you like to toast your marshmallow nice and slow or are you a down-and-dirty, set-it-on-fire type? Either way, you should really consider ditching the campfire (I’m thinking of you: it’s too hot outside for fire!) and making these fancy pants s’mores with toasted marshmallow ice cream instead.
This week, Sarah and I were feeling super laid back. We started our lunch planning at noon on the day of. (Just for context, we typically start cooking around 11.)
Our conversation went something like this:
Sarah: I just woke up. (cut to me, crumbling inside with jealousy)
Me: I have a headache. Let’s make something easy.
Me: Same page.
Yet somehow, an hour later, we found ourselves poaching eggs and rubbing sourdough slices with garlic.
Food bloggers be crazy.
This was the most delicious impromptu meal I can think of. We cobbled together ingredients (mostly) from our combined fridges and gardens, and I humbly submit that these open face sandwiches are magic.
When I was in high school, my best friend and I liked to take walks through Carytown. We almost always started our jaunts at Montana Gold Bread Co., where we would snag a free slice of challah and slather it with butter before venturing out to a bench to people-watch and pretend we were cool.
Challah has always been a little amazing to me. It’s stunning, with an intricate braided pattern, as well as soft and chewy and a little sweet: everything that a great bread should be.
Until now, I’ve been a little afraid to try baking it on my own. I worried that braiding the bread would be messy and awkward and, well, hard.
But when I was assigned Oh! You Cook! for the June Secret Recipe Club blog exchange, I knew it was time to go for it.
Dena has devoted her blog to kosher cooking. I have only the barest grasp on what it means to keep kosher, but at its most basic level, it requires avoiding certain types of animal meats (famously, pork products, but also shellfish and a few others) and completely separating meat from dairy (both in what you eat when and in how you prepare foods). Dena has shared many traditional Jewish dishes that look interesting, but since I am a vegetarian and a baker, I knew immediately that I wanted to try her challah recipe.
Taste buds, get ready for a treat! It’s cookies. Cookies with everything good in them: cookies filled with more cookies as well as cream cheese and milk chocolate and malted milk powder.
These are sneaky, late night, guilty pleasure cookies. These cookies are the masters of the school yard, and everyone else might as well just go home.