Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Losing my Marbles

Really the title of this piece has nothing to do with anything including the recipe at hand, except for the fact that the word “marble” is a part of it.

And well, perhaps I do feel a bit crazy these days. Or at least that’s the overall aura of my world come Wednesday.

Yes, by the week’s Hump Day I do long for a respite. You see, dear patient readers, the Jersey Girl loves beyond a doubt being a baby momma and a wifey and a piano teacher and a home owner, but sometimes the hecticness of it all makes me feel a bit insane.

Always the multitasker, I seriously never have a spare moment nowadays what with teaching and mothering and wifing it up. And cleaning. Damn, that cleaning.

A personal assistant would be a plus. I mean, those Real Housewife broads have a staff, and do they really do anything besides lunch and shop?

Ahhhh. Lunching and shopping…. A girl can dream.

Listen, I have time to watch mindless entertainment because I’m a breastfeeding momma, and well, that’s pretty much eating up 90 percent of my day. Literally. Not to say I don’t enjoy getting snuggly with Baby Evan. I mean it rocks my world. He’s getting so big and gorgeous right before my very eyes.

When I’m not nursing or playing with the babe or teaching music or scrubbing a floor or folding laundry of some sort or hanging with The Husband in a sleep-deprived haze, I have been getting my cooking on.

In fact, these here Marble Squares were baked up for The Husband’s journalisto bff, Joel. Our boy recently got a new gig at one of my former stomping grounds, The Press of Atlantic City. And in celebration of breaking free from his old job shackles, I made him some Marble Square goodness because at some point during our years of knowing each other Joel declared to The Husband that Marble Squares were the greatest foodstuffs he has ever had ever.

I guess Joel doesn’t get out much.


Actually, Joel is a frequent reader of my pathetic excuse of a blog. He especially enjoys my jibs and jabs at that love of my life, The Husband. But today, Joel gets to be the subject of my witty observations.

Joel is a lova of texting The Husband, sending him messages at all hours of the day, particularly during the height of the Phillies’ season during any and every Phillies game. No matter the hour. Such as din din time, which is why The Jersey Girl has implemented a No Texting While Eating Rule in our house. Because having a conversation with The Husband sans beeping and pressing phone buttons is important to moi. And I kind of dig it when he’s looking into my eyes rather than down at a shiny black piece of gadgetry every 30 seconds.

You know I love you, Joel. Hope the new gig is going swell. And here’s the recipe for Marble Squares - which are a cakelike brownie topped with swirly cream cheese and chocolate chips (yum yum) - in case you ever get bit by the baking bug and want to make them yourself. If not, you know where I live.

Most children will agree with our pal Joel - Marble Squares rock. If you don’t dig these, something is wrong with you. Seriously.

Marbles Squares
From the “Great American Favorite Brand Name Cookbook” - 1993 edition

½ cup margarine
¾ cup water
1 and ½ 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs beaten
½ cup sour cream

1 8-ounce pack cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 6-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine margarine, water and chocolate in saucepan. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in combined flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add eggs and sour cream. Mix well.

Pour into a greased and floured 15 by 10 by 1 jelly roll pan

To make topping, combine cream cheese and sugar, mixing until well blended. Blend in egg. Spoon over chocolate batter. Cut through batter with knife several times for marble effect. Sprinkle with chocolate pieces. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Makes 2 dozen.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Baby Spinach Salad with Thyme Dressing

I totally should be taking a nap right now.

But peeps, I so miss my blog. So, I’m skipping on nanni time – that’s our lingo for some shuteye in casa di Jersey Girl.

This past month has been a bit cray cray. In addition to planning Baby Evan’s Baptismal Throwdown, we also had our first foray into dealing with a sick bambino. Fortunately, Evan came down with your everyday common cold, but being the OCD kinda gal that I am, I perhaps wigged out at first. Then, The Husband got the cold. Then, the Jersey Girl got the cold. Awesome.

Truth be told, our Baby Evan is an angel. His normal personality is that of Mr. Smiles or Mr. Cuddles or Mr. Giggilies (That’s a guy who laughs a lot). Sometimes Mr. Crankypants comes to town, but I think our baby is absolutely perfecto. Not that I’m biased or anything.

Evan understands that din din time is one of Mommy’s most fave moments of the day. He often is Kool and the Gang when I’m getting my cook on. I just need to work into my schedule some time to actually write about my recipes so that I can share them all with you.

Here is one of my fabu spinach salads. This can be made in five minutes flat. And if you don’t eat veggies, I just don’t know what to say. I don’t understand peeps who refuse to eat entire food groups. So those who are vegetarians baffle me. And those who hate the wonders of earth and vine equally baffle me. Likewise, life is too short to NEVER eat dessert. And seafood is pretty freakin awesome. So, yeah. Hope you get to give my baby spinach salad a whirl.

Baby Spinach Salad with Thyme Dressing
4 ounces baby spinach
½ small red onion, sliced real thin
1 red pepper, chopped

Combine spinach, onion and red pepper in a salad bowl.

For the dressing:
Juice of 1 lemon
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp. dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk together. Pour over salad.


Makes 4 servings.