30 April 2011

Letting Go ... A Story of A Ham Bone and Some Books

Today is Saturday, a day when most folk have kids home from school, when teachers are taking a day for family time and home errands, when many from the work-a-day world take a break and maybe curl up with a good book. For me, it's a day of letting go. You see, after guarding the kazillion books that were part of my years in classrooms from grades four through eight, I have finally begun the process of letting go of the dream of returning to a classroom... and hence, the books. So many wonderful titles have passed through so many young hands over time. They've been read aloud for pleasure, used for lessons in reading, writing or science and social studies, shared with younger schoolmates in reading clubs, and loved. Since leaving my last classroom, they've sat on the small study shelves, indeed dominated the shelves, in the grey cottage here in New Hampshire.

28 April 2011

Daring Bakers - Maple Mousse In An Edible Container ...

The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com/ !

some assembly required ...

Okay folks, this is my second time through the gate with Daring Bakers. I was really excited about making a maple mousse (required element) and thought about a kazillion ways to present it in some sort of edible vessel ... I played with lots of ideas, but kept returning to the maple flavor/French toast connection. Lots of posts lately have had a bacon and maple thing going on, but sorry, I won't go there with a bacon bits bedecked bit of decadence. I have to admit, though, I did think about trying to do a salty/bacon flavored meringue to complement whatever I came up with ... but, no. Not this time.

26 April 2011

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Hello, Spring! I have some vegetables in the kitchen this morning and they are soon to be a smooth, creamy soup! A cream of asparagus soup ... I can't wait!

On- Line Bake Sale to Benefit American Cancer Society - Five Spice Cookie Cut-Outs!

I follow a lot of food blogs and as I become more involved in the blogging community, it seems that there is always an opportunity popping up to 'give back' a bit. The month of May will be all about cancer research fundraisers, the Relay for Life walks at places all over the US, and different church missions and services dedicated to helping those that struggle with cancer and its various treatment regimes.

Becky, a new blogging friend over at Baking and Cooking- A Tale of Two Loves , will be hosting an on-line bake sale on May 2nd. Her goal is to raise $1000 dollars for the ACS's Relay for Life fundraiser. For me, this is a no-brainer. Cancer has touched my family and I have lost a couple friends to breast cancer ... the least I can do is pony up a nice batch of cookies for bidding at Becky's bake sale!

For this fundraiser, I will be making Five Spice Cookie Cut-Outs with Apple Butter Cream Filling ...

This recipe makes a slightly crisp spiced sugar cookie that is sandwiched with either a light cream cheese and apple butter icing or a zesty lemon icing. Photos in this post show the cookies made with the lemon cream cheese icing. Perfect with a cup of coffee or a warm pot of tea!

Winning bidders will receive two dozen sandwich cookies plus the recipe for said cookies, boxed and shipped to their home within one week of sending in their donation via American Cancer Society's Relay for Life webpage. For this particular event, I will not be shipping international ... regrets to all my international blogging friends!

Please see Becky's link above for information on how you can support her in her Relay for Life! Thanks so much, friends! 

25 April 2011

Leftovers, Killer Rye Bread, and Free Association ...

So ... I made this killer Onion Rye Bread a couple days before the gear up for cooking Easter dinner ... We've been having toast in the mornings and saving a loaf for ... ham sammiches! Ham ... Easter ham. SB jumped right into tearing ham off the bone today and knoshing it with leftover warm potato salad, but that's another story. He had no patience for grilled ham and cheese, but me? No problem ...

24 April 2011

Easter Piragi ... and Eggs!

Silly, but I still get excited when it's egg dyeing time ...

Yesterday, we woke to snow! What, you say? I was just waxing eloquent on how Spring was making its march into the Northeast in my previous post. What a cruel joke! No worries, though! I had an Easter bouquet waiting on the kitchen counter, hard boiled eggs ready for a kaleidoscopic dip, and piragis made for today's church fellowship and our Easter luncheon! To boot, the promise of Easter joy kept all right with my world.

22 April 2011

15 April 2011

Herbed Spiral Bread ... Random Recipe III

This month's Random Recipe came from the very first cook book that I bought for myself ... I got it through The Book-of-the-Month Club right after I got out of college. And the cook book is ... insert drum roll ... Craig Claiborne's  New York Times Cook Book. Let it be said that right after college, I never wanted to read 'required texts' ever again. In fact, I never wanted to read anything over 200 pages ever again. It took a while, but before I knew it, certain books started looking attractive again.

This book got me started on cooking for boyfriends and family. There are classic recipes and great technique tips ... to boot, I only had to read one or two pages at a time to get good results - and I'm NOT talking a grade or a positive comment from some pompous ass of a professor! I'm talking something much more substantial and 'stick-to-your-ribs'! Over the years, I've lost the dust cover, spilled on the pages, split the spine, and marked favorites.

13 April 2011

Brussels Sprouts with Maple Glazed Hazelnuts

The last of the really good Brussels sprouts have hit the market this week and before we say good bye for the spring and summer, I thought I would make up one last bowl to enjoy with a steak and roasted potatoes.

I love how fresh B-sprouts look, so tight and crisp-looking. Of course, nowadays I love how they look and taste, but there was a time in my life when the mere sight would cause me to wretch and writhe around on the kitchen floor, begging Mom not to cook them. The smell, the bitter taste, the smushiness was just too much for my kid palate. What IS it about certain foods' tastes that just don't resonate with children's taste buds? Mom always insisted I take what was on my plate ... that I would 'acquire a taste' for anything that my tastebuds and sour stomach rejected. I still can't stand blackened steak or plain green olives, or prunes, but I've 'acquired a taste' for Brussels sprouts.

12 April 2011

Back in Boston, It's Called Chowdah!

Home again! And Red Sox baseball season has started off with a whimper and then a bang ... we're watching the games on the tube and making all the traditional foods to celebrate them ... and that means we start off with fish chowder! For me, a fish chowder has one fish only ... the mighty cod. Okay, I'll let you sneak by with a big honkin' filet of monkfish, but that's it! Every time I make fish chowder, I think of that old chestnut about Boston ... heard it?

Raise your soup spoon and toast ...

"And here's to good old Boston, the land of the bean and the cod, where the Lowells talk only to Cabots, and the Cabots talk only to God."

10 April 2011

A New Week- A New Batch - Honey Muffins

Orange Glaze Drizzled Honey Muffins

Last weekend, Susan over at From Beyond My Kitchen Window made the most delectable and healthy muffins. I told her that I'd be getting out my mixing bowls and making them my muffin-of-the-week as soon as possible. Well, it's Sunday and it's a new week and I've just come home from being on the road for a week-long junket. Silent Bob and I took a road trip to Cleveland, Ohio. There was yummy (but not very healthy) food consumed on the road - can you say baseball park hotdogs, beers, deep-fried calamari, mango margaritas, cheesy enchiladas, and grilled paninis? Did we take pictures of food? Of course not! We were too busy stuffing our faces to think about photography ... sorry. On the way home, I got to thinking about making the muffins and of course, I started thinking of ways to change them up a bit ...

02 April 2011

Dutch Cocoa ... Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

My friend Lizzy from LizzyGoesDutch sent me a wonderful box of cooking and eating treats from Holland last week. One of her surprises was the prettiest box of Dutch cocoa that I have ever seen! Just look!

She reminds me of  'The Flying Nun'  TV series from the 60's ... oops, just dated myself big time!

In honor of this magnificent box of cocoa, I am making a chocolate peanut butter chip cookie recipe today ... SB has put up with my bread baking and soup making so he deserves to have his cookie jar filled with a few dozen cookies.

01 April 2011

Your Recipe ... My Kitchen - Victoria's Armenian Meatball Soup

thick and smooth tomato/chicken soup, succulent meatballs, chickpeas, and rice with just a hint of lemon and mint topped with a dollop of sour cream

I happened upon a new foodblog the other day while searching for a new soup to make for our weekly soup supper. Victoria over at  Mission : Food was featuring a tomato-based meatball soup that was so delicious looking that  I couldn't resist! Of course, I always have to play with recipes to make them 'my own', but in this case, very little needs to be done! This soup is just so hearty and delish! Compare the recipes and choose the one that suits your taste ... but, by all means, give this soup a try! It's wonderful!