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Category Archives: Yum

Summer Berries

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So I know that I am SUPER late for the 4th of July – blame it on camp season – but I’m posting about our dessert anyway. We had a really low-key Independence Day weekend, spending most of it cleaning (you’re jealous, I know), but we did stop working long enough for a mini cook-out. I thought we should have something festive, so I threw together these berry “parfaits”. Parfaits is probably a generous way to describe them, because they consisted only of layers of strawberries, blueberries, and Cool Whip. Maybe I’ll call it a Lazy Girl Parfait. Anyway, I thought they were pretty, so I took photos!

How to Make a Chocolate Chip-Oreo Love Child

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I can’t take credit for this idea – I saw it on Pinterest a while back and even as a non-chocolate-lover I stopped to take notice. I can, however take credit for the brilliant idea (because I’m sure I’m the first person in the history of the planet to have this idea) of using 100% store-bought ingredients. I executed this diabolical plan around 2 am the night before/day of Randy’s birthday and I just happened to have my trusty new iPhone with me to document the process:


Step 1: Get a husband or friend who likes chocolate to have a birthday. Or I suppose you could make them for yourself if you yourself like chocolate for some reason.

Step 2: Buy a package of Double Stuff Oreos and some chocolate chip cookie dough. For maximum laziness purposes, I suggest the type of dough that is already pre-formed into perfect cookie portions. Also, if you happen to have some Hershey Bars lying around the house leftover from your husband’s last go around with s’mores (since you don’t like s’mores, even if it makes you a bad Girl Scout), go ahead and throw those into the mix, for garnish.


Step 3: Get the chocolate chip cookie dough ball ready for its big date by slimming down a bit (flatten it with the palm of your hand). Then, gingerly introduce the Oreo, ensuring that you provide them plenty of time for small talk and to get to know each other.


Step 4: This next part could get a bit awkward, as you are going to introduce a third party to the romance. Place another flattened chocolate chip cookie dough ball on top of the Oreo. Don’t worry – they’ll grow to love each other in time.


Step 5: Much like at a middle school dance, you will need to encourage mingling. Smoosh the sides of the cookies together, completely encasing the Oreo in a chocolate chip cookie bear-hug. Repeat Steps 3 – 5 until you run out of chocolate chip cookie dough. Then eat a couple of the leftover Oreos and remember how much you like them, despite their chocolatey nature.


Step 6: Place your Hershey Bar garnishes on top and put your Frankenstein cookie creations into the oven that you preheated even though I didn’t tell you to, because you are proactive.  While you wait, eat a couple more Oreos and perform the “experiment” wherein you make a quadruple stuff Oreo out of two Double Stuff Oreos.

<quadruple stuff Oreo not pictured due to extreme distraction caused by eating quadruple stuff Oreo>


Step 7: Check on your little darlings after about five minutes. Most likely, they have become unruly and started spreading all over the place, trying to morph into unattractive blobs (similar to how I’m starting to look after eating the quadruple stuff Oreos). Crack the whip – that is to say – the spatula! Get those cookies back in line and mold them into round, respectable fellows.


Step 8: Leave your cookies in the oven a little longer than the package recommends, since you have more than doubled their size. Keep checking on them and when they look golden delicious, snatch them up (use a potholder). Once they’ve cooled, place them on a cute red plate and admire.


Step 9: Try to resist the urge to cut a cookie in half to see it in all its glory. Resistance is futile – cave in and cut away.


Step 10: (Even though the process is essentially complete, you have to have a Step 10 because the ever expanding Mr. Monk part of your brain absolutely WILL NOT tolerate having only 9 steps.) Be glad that you went ahead and cut a cookie open once you see how scrumptious it looks in the photo. Be seduced by the scrumtiousness and take a bite only to discover that its just too much chocolate for you. Decide to leave the rest for your husband or chocolate-loving friend and stick to the safe confines of Oreos. Delight in watching their head nearly explode when they see the awesomeness you have created for them.


Its Gotten Completely Out of Hand

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Q: Since you work for Girl Scouts, do you get free cookies???

A: NO. And there is no secret stash in the office supply closet, either.


Q: Do YOU sell Girl Scout cookies? Can I order a box????

A: NO. Adults do not sell Girl Scout cookies (at least they’re not supposed to!). But I have been around a LOT of girls this year who do. And I have been a good customer. A little too good for my waistline.

Bad Betty

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Confession time: I’ve finally come to terms with it. I don’t like to cook. There I said it. I’m not sure why I was in denial for so long – maybe because my mom and grandma are such good cooks and I feel like I should follow suit, maybe because I engage in a lot of other Martha Stewarty pastimes so it seems like it would be natural. But Betty Crocker I’m not. I can follow a recipe and the food I cook usually tastes fine. But I don’t enjoy it at all and I have been finding more and more ways to cheat – frozen food from Trader Joe’s, Grilled Cheese once a week, and when I’m really scraping the bottom of the motivation barrel, Cereal Night. It got so bad that I would rather just not eat dinner some nights than cook when I get home from work. So Randy stepped in and has become the Head Chef at Chez Marksberry. An actual conversation from the other night:

Randy: (after making that night’s dinner and putting together a casserole for the next night) “I really enjoyed cooking tonight!”

Me: “Oh good – because I really enjoyed NOT cooking tonight.”

So this new set-up is really working for me. Because I like to eat real food – and if it were up to me we’d eat out at a nice-ish restaurant every night. But Randy has sensibly pointed out on more than one occasion that we don’t actually have unlimited restaurant money and we need to eat at home most nights. So I guess this is the next best thing. However my schedule this winter has me working at home on Spotted Elephant business every Tuesday and I have vowed to make Tuesday my real-no-cheat cooking day. I think I can stomach it once a week.

Tonight was meatloaf night featuring green bean casserole and mashed potatoes (okay, Bob Evan’s made the mashed potatoes but give me a break – I made my own mashed potatoes once and they turned out gluey and not nearly worth the time) with baked cinnamon sugar sweet potatoes for dessert. When I have a whole day to work with and the recipe is not too involved, cooking is not total drudgery. But I don’t want to make a habit of it.

Melt With You

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Scenes from a cozy winter lunch at Melt in Northside.

Cone Zone: Photo #351

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My reason for getting out of bed and going to a particularly hectic school every Thursday 🙂

Blackened Rings: Photo #343

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The waitress tried to convince me that the onion rings were not burned – the batter had just gotten wet so they only looked burned, but tasted fine. I didn’t believe it but also didn’t have the energy to argue so I waited until she left and took this picture – another in a long list of irate pictures I collect with the intention of sending them to the customer service divisions of whatever establishment happens to be sucking at the time. But lo and behold, the waitress was right. They tasted completely fine. So let the record show, that Frisches did not serve me burned onion rings.