Important birthday cake research is happening here at Helm’s Deep.

Important birthday cake research is happening here at Helm’s Deep.

This is going to come across pretentious, but I’ve never been a fan of boxed Macaroni & Cheese, even the Kraft stuff. So, ever since the girls have been old enough, I have been trying to master a homemade version that surpasses anything you can get off a grocery store shelf.
Since it’s such an important part of the recipe, if not the most important part, I use Tillamook Black Label Sharp Cheddar Cheese. The cream mixture is made with whole milk, eggs, dry mustard, unsalted butter, salt, and pepper. I’m not quite to the point of making my own homemade noodles, but I’d love to get there at some point.
The result is a super creamy and rich mac & cheese that’s filled with great flavor. And honestly, it takes maybe 2-3 minutes longer to prep than the box stuff, but those 2-3 minutes are completely worth it.

This is going to come across pretentious, but I’ve never been a fan of boxed Macaroni & Cheese, even the Kraft stuff. So, ever since the girls have been old enough, I have been trying to master a homemade version that surpasses anything you can get off a grocery store shelf.

Since it’s such an important part of the recipe, if not the most important part, I use Tillamook Black Label Sharp Cheddar Cheese. The cream mixture is made with whole milk, eggs, dry mustard, unsalted butter, salt, and pepper. I’m not quite to the point of making my own homemade noodles, but I’d love to get there at some point.

The result is a super creamy and rich mac & cheese that’s filled with great flavor. And honestly, it takes maybe 2-3 minutes longer to prep than the box stuff, but those 2-3 minutes are completely worth it.

Busy morning here in the kitchen at Helm’s Deep. I’ve now got four balls of dough rising for bread. Trying to stock up some food for our sitter to make meals easier while we have a little getaway down in the city.
Happy Hump Day, everyone!

Busy morning here in the kitchen at Helm’s Deep. I’ve now got four balls of dough rising for bread. Trying to stock up some food for our sitter to make meals easier while we have a little getaway down in the city.

Happy Hump Day, everyone!

This morning I made up some Blueberry Cream Muffins, a recipe out of Stacie’s family cookbook. This is one of the best muffin batters I’ve ever tasted. It’s a favorite here at Helm’s Deep.

We got to try a new place tonight with some of Stacie’s fellow House Supervisors at the hospital she works at. They’re all about small plates and sharing. We decided to go with the Tavernas, which included Lamb Chops, Pork Mignon, Rosemary Potatoes, Beef Skewers, Vegetables, Calamari, Croquetas, and House Salad. We finished dinner with the Dark Chocolate Brownie a la mode and the Pot of Chocolate.

Great food, great company, and great wine as well.

Embracing the Fungus: How Pizza Night at Helm’s Deep Learned to Love the Mushroom
- The gripping follow-up to the #1 Bestselling memoir Friday Nights at Helm’s Deep are My Favorite

Embracing the Fungus: How Pizza Night at Helm’s Deep Learned to Love the Mushroom

- The gripping follow-up to the #1 Bestselling memoir Friday Nights at Helm’s Deep are My Favorite

Friday Nights @ Helm’s Deep are My Favorite: A Memoir Written in Sauce & Cheese

Friday Nights @ Helm’s Deep are My Favorite: A Memoir Written in Sauce & Cheese

Helm’s Deep Birthday Cinnamon Rolls! Glazed!

Since tomorrow morning will be filled with Epic Party Prep of Preparedness, we moved our Helm’s Deep Family Tradition of a Birthday Morning Cinnamon Roll Breakfast to this morning. Because when there is a birthday at Helm’s Deep, everyone wins.

Since tomorrow morning will be filled with Epic Party Prep of Preparedness, we moved our Helm’s Deep Family Tradition of a Birthday Morning Cinnamon Roll Breakfast to this morning. Because when there is a birthday at Helm’s Deep, everyone wins.

This is the first year I’ve been responsible for Stacie’s family’s traditional side dish, Rainbow Layered Jello. Despite running out of room in the pan for the final 5 layers, rendering it only half a rainbow, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. 

Now I’m just waiting for the brine to cool down enough to put the turkey in it, then it’ll be time to make the dinner rolls, the pie crusts, and the cinnamon rolls for Arwen’s birthday breakfast on Saturday morning (her birthday is actually on Sunday, but we will be in serious birthday party prep that morning). 

Hope everyone has had a lovely Thanksgiving thus far.

This is the first year I’ve been responsible for Stacie’s family’s traditional side dish, Rainbow Layered Jello. Despite running out of room in the pan for the final 5 layers, rendering it only half a rainbow, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

Now I’m just waiting for the brine to cool down enough to put the turkey in it, then it’ll be time to make the dinner rolls, the pie crusts, and the cinnamon rolls for Arwen’s birthday breakfast on Saturday morning (her birthday is actually on Sunday, but we will be in serious birthday party prep that morning).

Hope everyone has had a lovely Thanksgiving thus far.

The Helm’s Deep 2013 Thanksgiving Feast is in full prep mode starting today. We’ll be celebrating on Friday since Stacie works today and tomorrow, so it’s up to me to get some of the pre-production done over the next couple of days.

Above, Skillet Cornbread, which will be the base for our stuffing.

Below, the easiest and tastiest 3-ingredient Cranberry Sauce you’ll ever have. It’s basically fresh cranberries, rinsed and strained; orange zest + the juice of the oranges; and pure maple syrup.

Bread is already in the oven and the bird is thawing.

Still to do: pie crusts today, and Layered Jello tomorrow.

Hope your Turkey Days are shaping up to be belt busters and stretch pants worthy.

I wanted to say real quickly how thankful I am for all of you in this rag-tag Tumblr community. I am truly blessed to genuinely call many of you friends, and that is something that I cherish. You folks are good people.

I made Braised Lamb Shoulder Chops in Tomatoes and Red Wine.

It’s pretty flipping tasty.

vneckandacardigan:

This is the epic Bacon Royale Burger. Commence your drooling. (at Royale)

I’ll…I’ll be in my bunk.

vneckandacardigan:

This is the epic Bacon Royale Burger. Commence your drooling. (at Royale)

I’ll…I’ll be in my bunk.

Oh, hello Eggplant Parmesan. 

Methinks dinner will be quite good tonight. Very happy with how this turned out. The eggplant isn’t at all soggy.

Oh, hello Eggplant Parmesan.

Methinks dinner will be quite good tonight. Very happy with how this turned out. The eggplant isn’t at all soggy.

Paging Jennifer: The Waffle Party is at Helm’s Deep tonight!

Paging Jennifer: The Waffle Party is at Helm’s Deep tonight!