This may sound silly to some of you, but homemade Alfredo sauce seemed like some mysterious creation to me when I first started cooking. My mom never made it, so the only time I had it was when I ate out, which was a rare thing. Thankfully, back when the boys were just little peanuts, I met a nice young woman from Japan one day at the park when the kids were playing together, and she had an American husband who loved Italian food. We were over for supper one night and she made this sauce. I got the recipe, and haven’t purchased the bottled stuff since. To people who cook real, authentic Italian food, please don’t be offended! I know that “authentic Alfredo” is just cheese and butter, or cheese and butter and cream, depending on who you ask. We just like this uber-creamy variation. We also regularly pair our Alfredo sauce with spaghetti noodles instead of fettuccine, because I buy Tinkyada gluten free spaghetti in bulk.
Cookies for breakfast? You bet! I’m not talking about a certain boxed cereal with fluffy little bits that leave you hungry an hour later, I’m talking about chewy, crunchy go anywhere granola cookies with all the stuff you want and none of the stuff you don’t. These easy granola cookies can be gluten free if you use certified gluten free oats (oats do not naturally contain gluten, but can be cross contaminated). They are also casein free (when the oats are soaked with vinegar) and soy free.
There was a bumper harvest of apples this year at my favorite local orchard, and fresh cranberries are shining like rubies in the produce section. Wisconsin is the top cranberry producing states in the U.S., and produces half the world’s supply of cranberries. I also have a nice stash of local maple syrup, so I figured I’d take a shot at combining all three into a tasty cranberry-apple pie. It turned out quite pretty and pairs nicely with some ice cream or whipping cream.
I love my country neighbors! Last week my son’s piano teacher, Betty, stopped by with extra cucumbers from her garden and fresh baked cookies. She stayed to practice duets with my son on his new keyboard. Afterward she and the boys played a board game together. Betty and her husband, who just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, have a nice garden and many edible plantings. They cook pretty much everything from scratch. In the past I’ve shared her No Canning Required Dill Pickle recipe, and how I preserved some excess asparagus that she shared from their patch and making pear wine with some of their excess pears.
My friend, Julie, was visiting this past weekend and brought some gigantic lemons with her, so we decided to experiment with some lemon recipes, including honey-sweetened lemonade, and some honey-lemon ice cubes that are great for iced tea or lemonade. (It’s a funny thing. Julie likes to watch cooking shows, but she only does more “experimental” cooking when she visits me. Maybe it’s because I have teenage boys to help eat the results in case it doesn’t go well?)