Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What Do You Eat When You Are Starving To Death?

Ok, ok, please no comments or e-mails about the children starving in Africa...I know- and I really do care. However, I am in the middle of my mid-Tuesday crisis. You see, every year (about this time) I get a little panicky. Why you ask? Well, unlike most women who go through this little panic state in the spring due to the fact they have a swimsuit to slip on in a few weeks......I worry about my ski boots! Yes, I said ski boots, and especially pants. I hate to wear those bulky bibs, and they make such cute pants...but the cute pants are not made for a fatty little rump. So, really, I live for the snow...I know something could really be wrong with me...but I do. But as I age (of course I do not age at the same rate as the rest of you (ha, ha), I notice that skiing becomes a little more difficult if I am not in prime condition. And man ski boots feels so much better when you are in shape. Thus, the reason I am hungry (took me a little long to get to the point) back to the sensible diet and daily exercise routine......but I am soooo hungry.
Just the mere talk of chocolate cake with a decadent frosting sends me into a tailspin. And I swear, when I am watching what I eat...it seems that all I can do is watch what others eat! One of the worst things about being adept at cooking for me is that I always crave a multi ingredient snack (that means I get bored with apples, celery, and carrots). That is were I get into trouble. So I am reaching out to you, my silent friends of the cyber world...what do you sensibly snack on?

Cupcake Street Credential Part II

Old Mac Donald had a farmm E-I-E-I-O and on this farm he had some




HORSES! E-I-E-I-OOOOOO


These were a pain in the hind end. But were a big hit with my five year old cowgirl.




Don't you just love cupcakes!


Cupcake Street Credential Part II

Old Mac Donald had a farmm E-I-E-I-O and on this farm he had some

Thursday, October 23, 2008

In A Nut Shell

This is an actual conversation conducted this morning at 6:45 a.m.

Son: "I have a question" (yawn)
Me: "What?"
Son: "If I had a shell right here in my hand (holding his palm out) and I put a nut in the shell....what would happen if lightning struck the shell in my hand?"
Me: (blank stare) "What?"
Son: "If I had a shell right here in my hand (holding his palm out) and I put a nut in the shell....what would happen if lightning struck the shell in my hand?"
Me: (blank stare) "Why?" (I know, you should never answer a question with a question)
Son: "I just need to know."
Me: "I think you would die"
Son: (blank stare)
Me: ".......because you got hit by lightening......"
Son: "oh yea right....but would the shell crack?"
Me: "I think you watch too much Sponge Bob Square Pants."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dancing With The Stars Try Outs

I soooo wanted to be on Dancing With The Stars...so I worked out this great routine and sent it in. I don't understand why they didn't cast me...so I kept calling the producers and they just didn't return my calls?!! I don't know I guess they jsut aren't interested in MY kind of talent...I guess I'll just stick to cooking.....


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Italian Shortbreads with Peaches and Raspberry Coulis

Well, this may be my last "summer" recipe....yes, I know that I am holding on way too hard to summer , but I am just not ready for winter yet. This recipe is great. It is super easy and very impressive. Right now peaches are ideal to fill the shortbreads with, but if you can find any great berries, they would be good too.



ITALIAN SHORTBREAD

¾ cups sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups pastry flour
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups corn meal
2 ½ Tablespoons baking powder
3 cups cream
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar

In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients by hand. Add in cream and mix in well. Shape into balls just smaller than a baseball. Roll in melted butter and then in sugar. Chill for at least 30minutes on parchment paper.
Bake on parchment lined cookie sheets for 20-25 minutes at 350.
4 balls to a tray- staggered. Shortbread are finished when they are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.



RASPBERRY COULIS

1 (10-oz) package frozen raspberries in syrup
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Purée raspberries with syrup, sugar, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids.




Now, to serve this, you will need some good vanilla bean ice cream, fresh fruit (preferably), and some fresh whipped cream (don't even think that you can top this with Cool Whip!). Cut the fresh fruit up and toss with half of the coulis. Slice the shortbread and fill with icecream, whipped cream, and fuit. Drizzle with coulis. Enjoy...while you pull your winter sweaters out of storage.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Summer Sendoff

Goodbye dear summer, goodbye warm breezes and bumblebees. Farewell fragrant blooms and sweet vine ripe tomatoes. Hello jack frost, frozen garden and endless leaves. Greetings snow boots and wool hats, flu shots and crock pots....Alas summer is gone. Now you know why I cook, I am not much of a poet!
I grew up on this tasty dish. My mom would make it whenever she has a zucchini about to take over the garden. It bears the taste of spaghetti but has so much more to offer nutritionally. I prefer to make it in my electric skillet, but it can be made in a skillet on the stove top. It is fantastic with just ground beef, or can be made vegetarian or with half sausage. You can also layer both eggplant and zucchini if you wish. I love a bow tie pasta with it, but any pasta will do.

FARM STAND PASTA

2 lbs. ground beef or 1 lb. ground beef and 1 lb. pork sausage
1 medium onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced
4 large tomatoes, chopped
3 ears of corn, kernels removed
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced (or small zucchini and small eggplant}
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
fresh basil, and oregano
2 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons stone ground mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/3 cup Parmesan, shredded
In a skillet, fry the onion, garlic, bell pepper, ground beef, and sausage until browned.

Toss in the tomatoes, sauce, mushrooms, and corn. Add the mustard and Worcestershire sauce and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about ten minutes.


Top off with slices of zucchini (and eggplant).

Cover and let cook on low-medium for 30 minutes.


Sprinkle with fresh herbs and cheeses.

Cover again until cheese melts.



Serve over your choice of pasta.


ENJOY! Serve with a great green salad and fresh bread. Let me know how it turned out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cupcake Street Credentials



People always ask me what my favorite thing to do is. The answer: frost cakes,cupcakes, and cookies. I don't know why, but it's totally my thing. I have always admired my mother's and older brother's extensive artistic skills and wished I could draw something other than fabulous stick figures. I was pleasantly pleased to find that although I am not especially artistic or crafty (NO,I DO NOT SCRAPBOOK)that I am surprisingly good at decorating sugary items. So, occasionally I will post some of my creations. Occasionally, because I am slightly obsessive when it comes to my confectionery creations and it takes me long after the creation to admit they turned out well (I know, I am ridiculous. Anyway here is the first instalment:
The dogs featured in this pic are actually charactictures of my family's dogs.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Recent Graduate From Man School

Remember when I posted (Hurry And Sign Your Men Up Now! *labled Funny stuff)the weekend classes that men could take to improve themselves? (I consider spreading the word my civic duty) Well, this fellow is a recent graduate...recently matriculated back into the population to carry on a relationship with a woman. He was so moved by his experience in these classes that he himself became a teacher...and has chosen his mode for teaching would be through music....
Another example of the fact MEN DO KNOW WHAT THEY SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT SAY! Sometimes I think they just play stupid. (except for you honey...if you're reading this :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pork Chops and Apple Sauce

I love comfort food. And Peter Brady would love this one! It has been raining here for two days...I love the rain, I love the way the smoke smells wafting from the chimneys on a crisp morning, and I love the look of the shiny colorful leaves soaked and pressed to the sidewalk. This time of the year screams comfort food. So, needless to say, this will be the first of many installments of my favorite comfort foods. I love a good pulled pork sandwich, however, I get bored with barbecue sauce on everything. So I took the old idea of "Pork Chops and Applesauce" and slow roasted it and served it on soft potato rolls. See what you think. This works great in a crock pot-but I do like to brown that meat a bit, it makes the flavor so much better.
What is comfort food to you? I'd love to know.

APPLE ROASTED PULLED PORK

4 lb. pork shoulder
3 large apples
2 cups apple cider
1 cup apple sauce
1 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. cinnamon

Combine the brown sugar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and Dijon in a bowl. Add just enough apple cider that it makes a paste. Rub onto the pork and place in a un- greased baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until a crust forms. Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees and pour the apple cider in the dish with the meat. ( be careful adding liquid to a hot dish-you don't want it to shatter.) Also slice the apples thinly and place in the dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 3 hours. Add the apple sauce and serve.