Tasty Tuesday–A Day Inspired by Final Fantasy XIV

Ladybug has been wanting to prepare a meal (or two!) using recipes from The Ultimate Final Fantasy XIV Online Cookbook, and we decided that spring break was the perfect opportunity. So last Wednesday, we had a day of Final Fantasy XIV-themed foods, starting with a “Sandwich Basket” for lunch. It included egg salad, roast beef with horseradish sauce, and lettuce, tomato, and avocado varieties:

For dinner, she choose “Deep-Fried Okeanis,” which was pretty much a schnitzel that would also work well for pork katsu sandwiches. It was served with some herb roasted potatoes that were really good.

Every good themed meal needs a special drink, so we made “The Black Shroud Lemonade,” which had a simple syrup made of honey and sugar…that gave it a unique flavor that I really enjoyed!

And for dessert, we made a “Rolanberry Cheesecake,” which had a combination of cherries, strawberries, and raspberries in the sauce. It was really delicious, and it didn’t crack at all!

I’m not really familiar with the game itself, but it certainly did provide us with a lot of good food!

St. Patrick’s Day 2023

Happy St. Paddy’s Day! We started the day as we always do, by setting out our leprechaun trap:

And, as always, we found evidence that Lucky had visited, but no leprechaun himself…he did leave some nice candy, though!

We had our traditional St. Patrick’s Day breakfast of Lucky Charms:

And our standard dinner of corned beef and cabbage, roast potatoes and carrots, and soda bread with Irish butter. Oh, and a local favorite, Ski soda, just because the bottle is green!

Dessert was a little different…Bunny took our recipe for Guinness cake and made mini bundt cakes. Just as delicious, but so much more adorable!

It was a fun day, but only a warm-up to an even bigger day tomorrow…stay tuned!

Tasty Tuesday–Food for MAR10 Day

You may have noticed that I like to take a theme and run with it, whether the celebration is big or small. MAR10 Day is no exception, and I had a fun time coming up with something special for our dinner on Friday. Last year, MAR10 Day fell during our “Markel Family Tour di Pizza,” but in previous years, I’ve chosen something Italian for dinner. I decided to do that again this year, but I wanted to make something new, so I found a recipe for beef ragu with pappardelle. It was excellent, and I will definitely make it again. I also found clementine Italian soda to serve with it.

For dessert, Ladybug and I made an Italian lemon cream cake, which was amazing:

I love finding fun reasons to prepare special meals!

Tasty Tuesday–Another Disney Dinner

Last year, I cooked a whole series of “Disney Dinners,” using Delicious Disney: Walt Disney World as one of my primary inspirations for Disney-themed meals and desserts. Well, Delicious Disney has a new offering this year…The Official Disney Parks Cookbook, so I’m back at it. Here’s a look at one of the first recipes I made from the book: Shrimp boil tacos with andouille sausage and corn from the On the Cob Marketplace stand at Disney California Adventure’s Food & Wine Festival:

No Disney Dinner is complete without a Disney Dessert, so Ladybug and I also made a Honey Crunch Cake from the California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort:

Both of these recipes were amazing, and I’m looking forward to trying more recipes from the cookbook in the future!

Bobunk on Kirby Day

Last year, we celebrated Bobunk on Twosday, this year, we’re celebrating it on Kirby Day, because Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe was released on the Nintendo Switch today!

Ladybug made Kirby-inspired hot chocolate bombs, and today was the perfect chilly day to enjoy them!

I made the Kirby mocktail I invented last year…it looked really nice in our pink glasses!

For dinner, we did something new for Bobunk and got Super Gyros, which was delicious and made our house smell like Chicago:

For our Kirby Day dessert, I turned to the new Official Disney Parks Cookbook and made the Grand Californian’s Storytellers Cafe recipe for mini strawberry cheesecakes.

It was nice to have something fun to look forward to in the endless abyss that is February!

Mardi Gras 2023

As hard as it is to believe (since it seems like we just celebrated Christmas), Lent is upon us already. But first, let’s take a look at Mardi Gras 2023 in the Markel house!

As I did last year, I made plum Berliner instead of pączki. I’m not saving myself any work by doing so, but I like the Berliner a little more.

I don’t understand why the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Festivale event is on Monday and not either the weekend or Tuesday, but I had a fun time hanging out with Pavé!

For dinner, I turned back to two of our favorite recipes from the Entertaining with Disney cookbook…Tiana’s Famous Gumbo and Bayou Queen Punch:

For dessert I made a King cake. I couldn’t find quite the shade of green sugar I wanted, but it was still pretty and tasted great!

Now that the celebration is over, I guess it’s time to really buckle down for Lent.

Tasty Tuesday–Pineapple Bars

Everybody knows and loves lemon bars, but I started wondering, what other flavors would work. I came up with this recipe for pineapple bars (with a hint of coconut), and they taste just like summer!

Shortbread Crust

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. coconut extract

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a 9×13 pan with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray. Blend flour, softened butter, sugar, and coconut extract in a medium bowl until well combined; press into the bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden.

Pineapple Filling

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

While crust is baking, whisk together eggs and pineapple juice. Whisk in sugar and flour until smooth. Pour over hot crust, then return to oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until set. Cool completely before cutting into squares and dusting with powdered sugar.

Tasty Tuesday–Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today started with Conversation Hearts and flowers:

I made bolognese sauce to go with my new favorite bucatini noodles for dinner:

And Ladybug and I tried a new brownie recipe that used avocado oil for dessert:

I don’t know which was the most delicious part of the day!