Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Just because we worked so hard and it turned out so well, I wanted to share a picture of it. It was tons of work, but soooo worth it.
Sushi (made by Akiko and Joji's mom)
Baked Artichoke Dip
Smoked Salmon (smoked by my dad)
Goat Cheese on Spiced Mango
Veggies and Dip
Cheese and Fruit Platter
Turkey Cranberry Sandwiches
Caprese on a Stick
Melon Wrapped Prosciutto
Chocolate Fountain with Poundcake, Fruit, Marshmallows, Pretzels & Rice Crispy Treats
Monday, November 15, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
My dad was supposed to go to Viet Nam, but he didn't. I'm glad because so many never came back. Shrapnel in the Heart is a collection of letters and essays left at the Viet Nam War Memorial. You will definitely need a box of Kleenex or two, but it is an amazing, heartbreaking reminder of the true cost of war and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
So it is already October.
Geesh, where has the time gone?
Both kids are back into the swing of school. Me not so much. I did a lot of testing last month which was nice in the fact that it got me up and out, but there are just some days I feel like hunkering down and staying at home. Today was a GORGEOUS day in the PNW. We are in the midst of a fabulous Indian Summer and it just felt like a baking kind of day. I decided to try the pumpkin cupcakes I saw at Cozy.Cottage.Cute. Pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I'm not a big pumpkin lover, but I am a sucker for cream cheese frosting. I whipped up a batch and they were given the thumbs up from my official tasting crew.
Since the kitchenaid was already out and I had left over frosting and brown bananas I decided to make some banana cupcakes as well. I searched the web and found this recipe at Vintage Victuals. I followed the recipe exactly, but when I tasted the batter it seemed to be missing something. I decided to make half that batch as is and the other half adding a t of vanilla. The cupcakes with the vanilla won our taste test, but the "unvanilla" ones had more of a banana flavor. I guess it just depends on what you are looking for.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Yeah, it sounded AWFUL. I tried to polite and not gag at the thought of a savory cobbler, but he told me to try it and I did. By the time it was done, it was past my bedtime, so I set it to cool and went to bed. This morning there was some left and Joj told me to try some. Yeah, no thanks. He said it tasted just like apples. Taking a small bit that was mostly crumb topping I tried it. He was right. It was actually good. You would NEVER know it wasn't apples.
The recipe originally came from Taste of Home.
This is my Surprise Dessert! No one ever guesses that the "secret ingredient" is zucchini. Everyone says it tastes like apples. This cobbler is a great dessert to make for a potluck supper or to serve a crowd. It's been requested time and again in my house, and I'm always happy to make it. -Joanne Fazio, Carbondale, Pennsylvania.
16 - 20 Servings Prep: 35 min. Bake: 35
8 cups chopped seeded peeled zucchini (about 3 pounds)
2/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups cold butter, cubed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, cook and stir zucchini and lemon juice for 15-20 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Add the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; simmer 1 minute longer. Remove from the heat; set aside.
For crust, combine the flour and sugar in a bowl; cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumb. Stir 1.2 cup into zucchini mixture. Press half of remaining crust mixture into a greased 15-in. x 10 in. baking pan. Spread zucchini over top; crumble remaining crust mixture over zucchini. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Yield: 16-20 servings.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
It is from Cynthia's Cottage Design and I just LOVE it. (Speaking of love, her blog makes me wish I could just crawl through my computer and live in her house, especially her kitchen) She has so much talent for pulling the cutest stuff together and I like that she is also a fan of the color blue. Anyway, I zipped her an email asking her what color she used on the island and she wrote me back saying it was Yarmouth Blue. I'm hitting the Home Depot tomorrow to pick up a little test pot and I can't wait to see how it looks. Isn't blogland great? So many talented women who are willing to help a girl out.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Well, it is official. It is summer and we had better weather in January. So that means not a lot of outside time and that means more baking.
My friend Jim (aka Big Daddy) had a birthday on Saturday and I whipped up this tart for him. I have made him a couple of pies, but the last one didn't set up so I was a little nervous. After doing a little digging I found a new recipe on Martha's site and decided to give it a try. I tweaked it a little bit and it turned out great.
Instead of using a graham cracker or regular pie crust I had some left over dough from a tart I made a couple of weeks ago. Being lazy I used that and was pleasantly surprised how nicely it baked up and tasted. Overall a pretty easy dish to whip up.
Banana Cream Tart
For the crust ~ this makes enough for two 10" tarts
- 1/4 C heavy cream
- 1 large egg, plus one yolk
- 1/2 vanilla
- 2 1/3 C flour
- 1/2 C sugar
- 1/2 t baking powder
- 3/4 C butter chilled and cut up
In a food processor pulse flour, sugar, b. powder and butter until it looks coarse meal
Slowly add the cream mixture until the dough comes together
Divide dough into 2 disks and chill (or freeze up to 3 months)
Using one of the disks, press into a 10" tart pan and bake for 10-15 min. at 400 degrees
Cool completely before filling
For the filling ~ you will have about a C left over, no worries, it makes a nice snack
- 5 large yolks
- 1/2 C sugar
- 3 T cornstarch
- 1/4 t salt
- 2 1/2 C whole milk
- 2 t banana extract
- 1/2 t vanilla
- 4 T butter cut up
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1/2 C lemon line type soda (use to keep the bananas from browning)
Whisk together yolks, sugar, salt and cornstarch. set aside
Bring milt to milk to just boiling. Temper eggs and add to milk
Mix over medium heat until thickened.
Remove from heat and add butter one T at a time and vanilla and banana extracts.
Slice bananas and line tart crust. Pour filling over bananas and chill for at least 2 hours.
Garnish with whipped cream and banana slices
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
The other day Rue posted a recipe for "the best apple pie ever". I figured I would give it a try and I have to say it is pretty good.
My first attempt at this pie proved to be a bit challenging. My crust wasn't co-operating and I forgot a couple of ingreds in the filling, but at that point I put it in the oven anyway. Despite the forgotten ingreds it was pretty good. I decided to try again and this time I made sure I followed the recipe exactly.
I sent with Joj to DND and the boys devoured it. You know they liked it when I woke up to an email from one of the wives asking for the recipe because her husband "won't shut up about it".
So if you too are on the lookout for a home run of an apple pie, look no further.
Best Ever Apple Pie (from Country Living w/ a couple of tweaks by me)
1 recipe for a double crust pie
6-8 granny smith apples peeled and sliced
3/4 C sugar
1/4 C dk brown sugar
2 T flour
1/4 t salt
1/2 t nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
2 T butter cubed
1/4 C whipping cream
1 T raw sugar
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Friday, April 30, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
I like to cook.
I also believe that there are some things you should know how to make. One of those things is fried chicken. Its seems like this is just one of those "basics" that no one makes any more.
I'm always a little intimidated by fried foods. I'm not a fan of the huge mess it makes and let's face it, there are healthier methods of cooking. However, I like to cook homey food and this seems to fit the bill. My dad and I did a google search for those "11 herbs and spices" and while we found them, I was out of a few of them. Oh well. I'm super happy with how it turned out. I just need to get a good thermometer to keep an eye on my oil temp, but I'm looking forward to trying this again.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Anyway, the "bumped out" part of the room faces east and gets the best light. Unfortunately, the original bedroom space is now windowless and stays pretty dark.
Last June I was at a Funky Junk Sisters' show and found a pair of salvaged windows. I know immediately where I wanted to put them.
With the promise of some baked goods, Joj and Jim installed the windows on each side of the opening. I LOVE them. They let in light and really connect the two spaces.
I'm linking up to A Soft Place to Land's DYI Day
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Yesterday was Sammie's 7th birthday. Hard to believe. She is growing up so fast. Last night after all the presents were opened my brother made the comment on how "grown up" her presents were. No stuffed animals this year. Instead she got a CD player, a new sleeping bag, a bikini, lip gloss and a little cash. She was thrilled and capped off the night with tons of butter cream frosting.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
I'm linking this to the Nester. So bop on over and check out some other great ideas.
Thanks for stopping by
Friday, February 12, 2010
I have horrible crafting ADD. I can probably count on one hand the number of projects I have actually completed. The upside, however, is a stash of fabric and supplies on hand and ready to go when some hair brain idea hits. It was after midnight when I pulled out my sewing machine and some of my favorite fabric. I didn't have any "stuffing" so I wadded up paper napkins (no one will know right?) The project just took a few minutes and while it wasn't perfect ~ I liked it.
Inspired, I went to Joann's the next day to pick up some more fabric (I didn't have any good reds in my stash) and while I was there I stumbled across the burlap isle. Chris over at Just a Girl is a big fan of burlap. She uses it all over her house. I'll admit I was skeptical, but when I saw a bolt and picked it up, inspiration struck. It was soft and just had that nice neutral quality. Finally I "got it". So I picked some up along with a couple of other fun fabrics. I have the house to myself tonight and I plan on doing a little Valentine sewing. Nothing fancy, but it will be fun.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
What you don't see are the dishes I used at Christmas which are still in the dining room. Part of the storage challenge is that everything fits if you stack it just right. While Jenga is a fun game, playing it with my dishes, not so much.
When we redid my pantry, I kept the white shelves. They had been hanging out in the garage slowly collecting items on their unused shelves. Not wanting to play Jenga with my Thanksgiving dishes I just put them out in the garage on one of the shelves. That is when I got and idea. Since the pates fit so nicely, why not re-use them in the tomb. So that is what I did. They are shallow enough to clear the trap door, but the numerous shelves make it so that everything has a home. I've always wanted a butler's pantry and now I have one :0)
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
I recently had a friend help Joj hang my new headboard and install some old windows (pics coming as soon as I finish painting them) and as a thank you I whipped up some banana bread. I have paid him in the past with Banana Cream Pie, but I didn't have everything on hand, so he got banana bread instead. Now I am NOT a fan of banana bread. I will politely eat a piece if offered, but it is not my fave, so finding a good recipe relies on the feedback of others. I recently found a recipe at http://www.allrecipes.com/ and tweaked it a bit and I think I have come up with a winner. The folks who have tasted it, give it very high marks and I must say the batter is pretty tasty. I have made 3 loaves in the past 2 days. It bakes up nice and fluffy and I hear it goes great with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Today I made Peanut Butter Thumbprints (They are also sometimes called Peanut Butter Blossoms) Sooo easy. Sooo yummy. The best part is it only has 4 ingredients and these are about as "beginner" as they come, perfect for cooking with the kiddos.
1 14oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 C Bisquick
3/4 C Peanut Butter (I've used both chunky and smooth)
36 chocolate "melties"
Mix the first 3 ingredients until well blended.
Use a T scoop and roll ball in white sugar (this is optional)
Place on a cookie sheet and bake 10 min @ 350 degrees.
As soon as you have taken them out of the oven, press the meltie into the cookie. It will flatten the cookie, it is supposed to do that.
Let them cool and enjoy them with a nice glass of cold milk.
If you don't have chocolate melties, you can use Hershey kisses or even melted chocolate chips (just use the back of a spoon to flatten the cookie) Enjoy!!
Monday, January 18, 2010
When I was teaching, one of my favorite units to teach was on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Even though most of it went over the heads of my Kinders (the thought of kids going to different schools based on what color there skin was simply didn't compute to them ~ a testiment to the work he did) it never failed to amaze me at how much he changed our country. There was a poll a few years ago about who the greatest American was. Dr. Marthin Luther King Jr. would have gotten my vote. In a time of termoil and conflict, we could all use a little refresher course in his teachings. As most of us enjoy the day off, take a little time to reflect on the great man being honored today.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I have been without a washer for the past two weeks. It has been awful, although it could have been worse (at least it broke AFTER I had done my washing for the week) Thankfully my mom lives around the corner so I could take loads over there to do, but still it was a kind of a drag. However, now all is right with the world and my washer is up and running. As I type I am listening to the sweet sound of wishy, washy, wishy washy. Joj has taken the kids to his mom's for dinner and now I'm left to catch up on all the laundry, but I have to say I'm kind of looking forward to the house smelling like Downy again.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
When we were in HS, Joj wrote me a "love letter". He basically printed (on his dot matrix printer) the lyrics to the Rush tune Entre Nous. Oh, so very Joj.
So bop on over to the Nesting Place and have fun creating your own sign.
Monday, January 11, 2010
I LOVE it.
It was definitely 20 bucks well spent.
I'm linking this up to A Soft Place to Land's DIY Day