Homemade Noodles and Porcupines

Everyone in my family has their own birthday meal. And for as long as I remember, come my mom’s birthday, spaghetti and noodles are on the table. She could eat only pasta for the rest of her life and never complain. My love for the dish isn’t quite that deep, but I can appreciate a delicious noodle, smothered in tomato sauce.Noodles & PorcupinesThis, admittedly, is not my mom’s birthday meal. It’s a little more involved than she gets with her dinner. But I had time to waste and was craving some pasta. And, surprise surprise, my brothers actually liked it. We’ll have to remember that for future meals. Continue reading


Cinnamon Rolls

Summer is the time when old friends begin to find each other again. We drive over in our old cars with high school bumper stickers and meet on the front porch, swatting at mosquitoes and snacking. Except if it’s at my house, it isn’t exactly snacking. It is a much more involved affair. And there has always been an old standby, whether we were meeting at our house for an elementary school project or a college teammate and I had finished our run at my place: Cinnamon rolls. Icing on top, obviously.



This recipe uses the sweet dough recipe that I’ve used before, but it makes something much more decadent than your standard turtle bread. Maybe not as cute but definitely just as appreciated. When these things come out of the oven, icing is added and suddenly the pan is empty. Scientists have yet to discover what causes this immediate disappearance, but I’m fairly sure it has something do to with the smell wafting through the house. Or maybe it’s my mom’s notion that these rolls are best the day they are made. Obviously they all need to be eaten right away, or you might miss some of the magic. Continue reading

Apple Pie Crumble

Yes, I know the time for apple pie has come and gone. The crunchy snow seems to discourage the fruit from growing. Either way, the other day I rustled up the ingredients for the fall dessert and set the oven to bake. I wasn’t actually the one craving this treat. Far from it. Cookies are all I need to make it through the winter. However, my dad does not feel the same.IMG_7994I don’t know how it started-I probably asked a favor or borrowed some money and needed a way to pay back my dad-but about a year ago I became the designated pie-maker in the family. And since my parents occasionally do me favors, I am constantly in their debt. For this reason, my dad reserves the right to look at me from across the room and just say “pie.” Meaning that I should go make pie. It really doesn’t matter what type; I’m sure cherry or pecan would be just as good as apple. We just happened to have apples. Continue reading

Brownies II

As a current student, I can tell you that right around now is when things start to snowball. The free time that was so shamelessly wasted at the beginning of the semester has floated away, leaving trails of books and first-drafts of papers. People deal with this stress differently. I know that my dad lost 10 pounds his first semester in medical school, because he wouldn’t find the time to eat. I do not share this problem. Food becomes a rare comfort in weeks like this, and, as my previous roommates can attest to, the dessert to person ratio during this time period explodes.Allow me to introduce you to the best fix for a 1:00 AM chocolate craving. These brownies, opposed to the previous recipe, are rich. Really rich. You end up eating them in tiny pieces. However, you also end up eating about 20 of little pieces before dessert-time has ended. Continue reading

Tuna Patties

I must be honest, in my family, this is not a tuna patty recipe. It is salmon. There are two reasons for this discrepancy. First of all, I had tuna in the pantry. Second, salmon patties and I have a long, sordid history together.When I was young, probably 5 or 6, my mother made salmon patties for dinner. Thus far in my life, I had rarely eaten sea food (this happens when you live in the MidWest), and thus didn’t know what to do with the salmon patty. It tasted too… fishy. It pretended to look like a hamburger, but you couldn’t just smother it in ketchup to mask the taste. So I sat at the table, looking at it. And then my window for action arrived. Mom stepped away from the table for a moment; I sprang up, plate in hand, and headed straight for the garbage can. Depositing my food, I carried my plate back to the table and sat down before Mom came back. I was not as sneaky as I thought I was. When my mother returned, it only took moments to see a too quickly emptied plate and an untouched patty on top of the trash. So she proceeded to tell me a story about a little girl who threw away her salmon patty, which was perfectly good, and the terrible guilt this girl had, and how sorry she felt when she saw other people going hungry. I’m not sure that’s how the story actually ended, I just remember freezing once I realized I had been caught. Since then, me and salmon patties haven’t mixed. I gave them another try, just a few months ago, but their taste, as delicious as it might be, has been ruined.
So tuna it is. Continue reading