Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Words for Wednesdays - Holiday Thoughts

My son writes beautiful poetry.  Because of him, I became interested in the flow of words and decided to try and see if I could write a verse or two.  If you have been following my blog, you have seen on Wednesdays my attempts at poetry.  Not sure if I like this one, but the substance and feeling is there.

Holidays

Thanksgiving.
With great speed it comes,
then leaves with a haste
after a quick taste
only to be followed by a rush
of St. Nickolas.

Christmas.
Long wait and anticipation
long lines and frustration
decorations abound while
Cards and boxes are found,
Santa arrives, it's here they shout!
only to find the fire has already gone out.

New Year's Eve.
One night out of the year
streamers flying, horns blowing,
breath freezing in the air
can you make it til midnight
for one kiss - do you dare?
A new year begins.

Holidays come and holidays go,
but the warmth and love live on.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving!

I have no food posts this week to share, but I will be back next week.  I want to wish all of you out in bloggerdom a very happy, healthy, and blessed Thanksgiving.  I hope you have good friends and/or family to share with, good food, and a fun day!

As for us, we will be enjoying a quiet Thanksgiving with friends this year.  And a quiet birthday the next day for me!! 

God's blessings be upon all of you during the holiday!  See you next week!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thirty Minute Thursdays with Guiliano Hazan

This is only my second time making something from Thirty Minute Pastas and I chose Penne with Asparagus and Proscuitto.   I do not have my usual Fusion +Friends post this week, hopefully will be back with a new one for next Thursday!

This took very little time to prepare and was truly one of the best pasta dishes I have made in a while.  When I went to the grocery store, for some reason I had pancetta on my brain instead of proscuitto so there was a tiny substitution made.

This was fabulous and I cannot wait until tonight to eat the leftovers!  May have to nibble a bit during the day on them.  It will definitely be on my rewind list to make again and again.  If you want the recipe, please email me.

My twitter friends, Kayte and Margaret, also cook from this book on Thursdays so you should see what they have cooked up this week.  Join us!  There is no scheduled recipe each week and no rules other than just to post on Thursdays.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Words for Wednesdays - Smiles

A Smile

It costs nothing
yet brings warmth to coldness,
hope to despair, and light to darkness.

An effortless expression
that releases its power
to the universe and becomes infectious.

Pass the message of love
without words to a stranger
then pass one back to yourself.
  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

TWD - Alsatian Apple Tart

Hostess:  Jessica of Cookbook Habit  Check out her blog and get the recipe!

Our Tuesdays with Dorie group is finishing up Baking With Dorie after almost four years.  It is hard to believe there are only a few recipes left.  I have learned so much from this group in the three years I have been a member and I hate to see it end.  I'm still not a great baker by any stretch.  I still make so many mistakes in the kitchen.  But I have learned a great deal and made a lot of baking friends.  It makes me a wee bit sad of course, but I hope we all stay in touch with our other groups.  I do want to go back and make some of the great recipes that were made before I joined.  When I first joined in July 2008, I figured I would last maybe six months.  Because of all the encouragement, I'm still here three years later.  Thank you all.  It is a great group of bakers!
This week we had two choices, Bittersweet Brownes or Alsatian Apple Tart, in our TWD group.  I wanted to make both, but I chose the apple tart.

Nothing went right for me that day.  First off, my tart pan was eleven inches instead of the required nine inches.  So I decided in the interest of time, I would just use a nine inch cake pan with removeable bottom.  So that is what I did and I tried to make it look like a tart.  I hope you got a little chuckle from that statement.  As you can see, it does not look like it was cooked in a tart pan.  I think I am making it my priority today to go find a nine inch tart pan!!  Most recipes call for that rather than the eleven inch that I have.

Then, do you see something missing?  It's apples!  I apparently was short an apple or two to make the required pound so I used what I had.  I used Golden Delicious as Dorie suggested.

I baked the piecrust for only about 15 minutes and then froze it.  However, when it was finished, the outside edges were a bit hard so I'm wondering if I overcooked it.

The tart was easily whipped up. It reminded me of another dish I prepare called Peach Kugen.  I have made that for years and it is always a hit.  Sort of custard around the apples.  We really enjoyed this tart.  We served with a little whipped cream on top for our nightly snack for a few nights.  Wish you could join me for a slice. .. . or two!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Spankin Spinach Roll and Sausage, Zucchini Pasta

This will be a double post.  First, my twitter friends, Kayte and Margaret, post the most delicious pastas on Thursdays.  Margaret and I also enjoy a game or two of Words with Friends occasionally.  She usually beats me. 

I was intrigued with the pastas so I ordered the book from Amazon.  Guiliano Hazan's Thirty Minute Pastas.  This is my first attempt at a recipe from the book and I will say it was easy to prepare, quick, very good directions in the book, and the result - fantastic.  We really enjoyed this pasta!  It is basically fusilli with fresh tomatoes, zucchini, and sausage.  If you want the recipe, just grab the book off Amazon.com or email me and I'll send to you!  My photo does not do this pasta justice. 


Next, my friend Joanne of Applecrumbles and I are working our way through Carla Vavala's Fusion Food + Friends (FFF) cookbook.  This week we made the Spankin Spinach Roll!  It is basically a pizza rolled up in a roll, and then sliced.  It would be fantastic for an appetizer for a football game or just a dinner.  It is filled with fresh mushrooms, fresh spinach, and cheese.  Easy to make, easy to slice, easy to serve.  We loved it.  Come join us as we make our way through this book!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Words for Wednesdays - Respect

Respect

Is respect something the modern
world has obliterated and its people
no longer cherish?
Dare we hope it may
resurface and not with
contempt but pride.

Shall we not confuse it with
tolerance and its negativity
but rather embrace it with
dignity and deference.

Define it with positive
feelings for traditions and
people of authority,
remember it as showing honor where honor
is due.

Respect, worthy of a second chance?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Virtual Thanksgiving Party!

Our Twitter friend, Phyl, decided to organize a Thanksgiving roundup and I was lucky enough to be included.  Phyl is making the turkey while the rest of us are preparing the side dishes and dessert.  I had an idea that I wanted to do green beans with a twist.  I decided on Gingered Green Beans.  These were very easy to put together and we found them to be delicious.  This is a good trial run for a few Thanksgiving recipes and I am pretty sure already that I will be including these at my Thanksgiving table this year.

Phyl will be doing a roundup later this week so check out his webpage to see how the virtual "dinner" turned out.  Thank you Phyl for organizing and to all the other cooks who participated.  I cannot wait to get some new ideas and see what they made.

Here is my recipe for the beans:

One pack frozen whole green beans

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 small sweet onion, diced
1/2 tsp. garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. seasoned pepper
1/4 cup toasted pecans
Three slices cooked bacon crumbled

Preparation
Cook green beans as package directs. 

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and ginger; sauté 2 minutes. Add beans, salt, and pepper; sauté 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Transfer to a serving dish, and sprinkle with crumbled bacon and pecans.

Happy Thanksgiving early to everyone!  Thanks for stopping by. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Words for Wednesday - A Ghostly Tale!

A Halloween Tale

Louisa and Jacob lived in a small town where everyone knew everyone. They lived in a large house in the city, white with a picket fence surrounding it. They thought they had everlasting love, but their love ended too quickly and tragically.

One Halloween night, Louisa awoke to a noise and found Jacob missing from their bed.  She jumped up, lit a candle, and tiptoed to the parlor.  A tiny flicker of fire gave the room a hazy glow.  Her eyes caught a glimpse of a shadow in the corner, and as she looked around she realized with horror that it was her beloved Jacob slumped on the floor, a pool of blood surrounding him. Louisa ran to him and removed the large knife that was embedded in his chest, but death had already taken her love. Suddenly, she was startled by a noise in the front yard.  Quickly making her way to the front door, she found it standing open.  In the dark distance, she saw shadows of two riders galloping away on horses.

Louise never found out who murdered Jacob or why.  She grieved herself to death just months later, but her spirit never left that house.  Every Halloween, people report seeing
a lady in a white nightgown coming down the stairs and moving toward the parlor with
a flickering candle to the spot where Jacob was brutally slain.  Her ghostly body would appear to fall to its knees and begin to scrub the floor with an urgency, then it would drift away not to be seen again until the following year. 

Although the house had many owners, none stayed very long.  No one could remove the blood stains from the floor.  The flooring was replaced several times and covered with carpet, but each time the blood stain returned on Halloween.  To this day, in the wee morning hours of all hallow's eve, neighbors are awakened by a blood curdling scream coming from within the house and the front door is always standing open.  Louise will find no rest until her soul reunites with Jacob.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

TWD - Far Breton

This week we had two selections for TWD.  I had every intention of making the scones yesterday, but the festivities of Halloween only allowed time for one so I made the Far Breton.  I had to google to see what Far Breton meant.  This dessert comes from Brittany, France area and Far means Flour.  It is like a flan of custard with fruit.  The recipe called for prunes and raisens, but I only used raisens.

My Far Breton had a mishap.  It rose beautifully but when I took it out of the pan, it fell.  I also noticed some of the pudding had run under the parchment in my cake pan.  So I have what I am renaming as Flat Far Breton.  The taste was like a rich cakey egg custard.  Chandler loved it, I was okay with it. 

Check out Tuesdays with Dorie to see how the other bakers did with this recipe and also check out Nicole (who chose this) of Cookies On Friday and to get the recipe if you are interested in trying it.