Shannon O'Donnell: Rainy Day Cafe

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Rainy Day Cafe with Shannon O'Donnell

I first saw this recipe taped up on my Mother-In-Law's refrigerator many years ago...I think she'd printed it out in hopes of trying it out with future grandchildren one day.  A decade (and then some) later, and that time has come...my kids (6 and 4) are the perfect age for enjoying this food 'experiment', and we gave it a whirl during a trip to her house in Spokane last week.  They had just as much fun MAKING it as they did EATING it, and it's a wonderful cure for boredom on a hot summer day. 

1, 2, 3....What Am I?  Recipe

 
Step 1
 
Carefully fill a small (sandwich size) ziplock bag with the following ingredients:
 
1 cup 2% or whole milk
1 T vanilla flavoring
2 T sugar
2 T evaporated milk
 
WHOA!  SEAL BAG T-I-G-H-T-L-Y !
 
Step 2
 
Into a large (gallon size) ziplock bag, add the following:
 
3 BIG handfuls of rock salt
2-3 cups crushed ice
The small, sealed ziplock bag you just filled
 
Step 3
 
Shake the bag.  What's happening??
 
Shake the bag some more.  What's happening now???
 
When the ingredients in the small bag are thick and creamy,
GUESS WHAT YOU'VE MADE...
 
Use a spoon to eat your treat from the bag!

Do you ever get included on those 'recipe exchange' email chains...the ones requesting that you jot down your favorite recipe and email it off to ten people?  Several years ago I received this recipe in just that way, courtesy of my old friend Mari Stevens.  I still pull it out once a year--I always bake it per the recipe, but I'll bet it would be great on the grill, too!

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This was another 'test recipe' that I tried out on my girlfriends Jen and Keli the other night.  This was a savory galette (essentially a rustic, folded pie) recipe featured in Sunset Magazine earlier this spring.  Other than pre-cooking the potatoes just a bit, I think the recipe was perfect as is...a 'fancy' but simple appetizer or light dinner to serve any time of year. And I love that it calls for store-bought pie crust…easy as pie!

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I met Jen & Keli during my first week at the UW, and we've been friends for a couple of decades now...often when we have a girls' night IN at my place, they let me try out some of my new recipes on them.  After 20 years of friendship, they don't mind being my guineau pigs for new dishes! I tore this recipe for Shrimp Ceviche out of Coastal Living magazine some time back.  We all agreed that it was pretty decent as is, but I feel like it needs a kick of something...perhaps some avocado next time?  Or a titch of cayenne to kick up the heat?  Regardless, it's super easy, and very refreshing on a warm summer's eve.

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With all of the July vacations in our Weather group this month, I've been at the station so much that my cooking has gone by the way-side!  So I'm re-posting a blog from last year...with the sunny & warm weather on Sunday, this is a quick and COOL salad to throw together.  If you don't have strawberries, various fruits will work in their place.  Maybe even some summer watermelon!
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During my time in San Francisco, I fell in love with a wonderful little deli and bakery called Specialty's.  They had the most delicious sandwiches and creative salads, plus decadent quarter-pound cookies in flavors ranging from 'black and white' to 'wheat germ chocolate chip' (my personal fave).  There was a Specialty's at the base of the Transamerica Pyramid, and I would offer to go pick my husband up from work there just so I could dart into Specialty's for something yummy!

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This is a great 'cheater' way to make Paella...the real deal takes much longer.  This is the only recipe I've ever used, and it's wonderful!

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My Grandma O'Donnell (now affectionately known as 'GiGi' to my children, standing for Great-Grandmother) started the Home Economics Department at Western Tech University in LaCrosse, Wisconsin many decades ago.  At 93-years-old, she still keeps an immaculate home, tends to a beautiful garden, and whips up wonderful multi-course meals to entertain friends and family.  During my recent June visit to see her, she served a very lady-like, old-fashioned Shrimp and Artichoke Salad.  It appears that she'd clipped it from Southern Living magazine many years ago.  It was delicious!  And perfect for a hot summer's day when it's just too toasty to cook.

 
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During her recent visit here to the Northwest, my step-Mom Annie made this herb-stuffed chicken breast course to go along with the pleated potatos (featured in the last blog).  They were divine!

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I love anything with pleats (skirts, jackets, cool seasonal slipcovers for my living room furniture...), so this recipe for Pleated Potatoes is right up my alley.  My step-Mom Annie made them at our house during a visit last week.  Delicious AND beautiful at the same time.

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While attending the University of Washington, I lived in a house with about one hundred other girls. Our poor ‘house cook’ had to prepare three meals a day for that many people, and I’m sure it wasn’t an easy task! Every spring she made this salad for one of our celebrations, and it’s still one of my favorites. Whether you’re cooking for two or two hundred and two, you can’t go wrong with this colorful side dish.

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I think I clipped this recipe out of Real Simple magazine about 10 years ago...still a super easy, fast and colorful side dish when you're going for Hispanic flair.

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Shannon O'Donnell: Rainy Day Cafe

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About Shannon

Shannon

When she's not forecasting, Shannon O'Donnell enjoys putting together tasty, season-appropriate meals and goodies for her friends and family.

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