Monday, March 31, 2008

Vodka + Cream = Luscious

It's not penne...

...but it certainly is alla vodka!
Heaven! Do you see the angels...? I do.

A beautiful thing...

Hello Gorgeous!

I want more, but our little split-sized bottle is's a sad day.

Big and fleshy, jammy, full bodied, dry and yet, oddly light. Slightly astringent and the most beautiful shade of reddish purple I've seen in a natural product. J-lo tastes blackberries.


Speaking of blackberries...look what's going to grow in our garden? Just waiting for a little warmer weather.

Front to back: Raspberries, Blackberries and Blueberries! Yeah!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Vintage Recipe!

I'm getting caught up on some delayed recipes that I need to wasn't that prolific of a weekend.

Making Banana Bread;
or Making Your Home Smell Like Grandma's Kitchen

Get your batter into a well buttered pan.

Bake until beautiful and fragrant. A toothpick inserted in the center should come up just barely moist, with a few crumbs on the side. Not wet.

A profile shot!

Give yourself some thicker slices, they need to hold up to some beautiful butter and jam.

Banana Tea Bread

from The New York Times Cookbook; Craig Claiborne, 1961

1 3/4 cups sifted flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I added this)
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup mashed ripe bananas

Preheat oven to 350.

Sift together flour, baking powder and soda, and salt.

Cream the butter, add teh sugar gradually and continue working until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the flour mixture alternately with the bananas, a small amount at a time, beating after each addition until smooth.

Pour batter into a buttered bread pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 3) and bak about one hour and ten minutes.

Variations: add 1 cup raisins, 1/2 cup nuts or 1 cup chopped dates.

Cinnamon Chips!

Making Cookies!

I can't find these in any of my local grocery stores. Ms. Terri in WI sent me a few bags...had to use them up! I have found them online, so if any of the stores never carry them and I have an urge, I can order online.

Brown Sugar is a beautiful thing.

I ran out of my $20 bottle of vanilla extract, (a sad day for sure!) so this is the next best bottle I could get at the grocery. My next batch will come from Penzeys.

Once you mix up your batter, it's best to use a scoop of some sort to get the dough placed out in equal size pieces so they cook evenly.

Warm cookies! Let them cool for a minute on the pan before you take them off the pan, if they are too soft, they might fall apart.

Let them cool and rest before placing in your cookie jar.

One more gratuitous shot.

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip Cookies
from Hersey's
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon (My addition)
2 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1 10 oz pack of Cinnamon Chips
3/4 cup raisins (optional)

1. Heat oven to 350.

2. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a bowl until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Combine flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in oats, chips and raisins. The batter will be stiff.

3. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Satisfying Dinner and Great for Lunch

Harvarti and Sausage Quiche with our most awesome favorite salad.

Mixed field greens with pears, cashews, dried cherries and dressed with a basil balsamic vinaigrette.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Here Kitty Kitty Kitty?

I'm posting these photos as a way to see if anyone in my neighborhood has lost a cat.

I think it's a she, and very friendly...mostly. There was one growl during the day. Ms. Kitty hung out in the backyyard and later hung out on the front porch. She didn't want to come into the house and I offered a little bite of cheese and there was no nibble. I left the house for awhile tonight and when I returned, she was right there, rubbing against our legs.

I'm in cheverly maryland. If this is your kitty, leave your email in the comments.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The eyes have it

I know I don't need to tell anyone this, but....

...make sure to wash your vegetables, clean your utensils and wash your hands when you're in the ktichen...and especially don't stick your fingers in your eyes to rub, wipe or anything else...never know what can happen.
...because I'm not sitting here with a 10 day supply of antibiotic pills and eye drops for the infection I transferred from my dinner prep to my eye at one random point the other night. It's really uncomfortable and very annoying. I wear contact lenses and am often rubbing my eyes...especially when making's been a long day and my eyes are getting tired at that point. Lesson learned!

Stay Clean!

Monday, March 24, 2008


I have a giant collection of magazines that I collect relating to food and drink. The primary collection is Fine Cooking, which I highly recommend. Those I save! Some magazines though, aren't worth saving. So why take up all that space. Especially when you need to pack and move! Those magazines get tossed...but not before I cut out the recipes and drop them in the wish box. Recipes that someday I'll get to and hopefully enjoy. I was transferring the contents of the wish box from an envelope box from the office to a nice letter box I picked up a few bucks at Ikea. It certainly looks much nicer. Anyway, while transferring, I came across a recipe I clipped from Real Simple. The recipe was for Dolly Parton's Dump Cake. Dump Cake is a highly sweet, fruit based, cobbler-like dessert that gets its name from the fact that you literally dump the contents into a pan and baking it! Delicious and easy. But I have never made the Dump Cake and I haven't had it for ages. So might has well get started.

Assemble the ingredients and butter you baking dish.

Cake mix.

Crushed pineapple.

Pie fillings-Blueberry and Cherry.

Slice a stick of butter and bake.

A little ice cream and enjoy.

The Dolly Parton* Dump Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
1 can crushed pineapple
1 can cherry pie filling
1 can blueberry pie filling
1 stick butter

Grease and flour a 9 x 13 cake pan. Put the yellow cake mix at the bottom. Pour the can of crushed pineapple over the mix, with the juice. Next dollop the pie fillings. Thinly slice the butter and place over the top. Bake the cake at 325 for 30 minutes.

NOTES: That's how the recipe was in the article and that's what I did...sort of. I had to bake for one hour and 15 minutes. Ugh. Don't know what happened or why it took so long...

WELL...turns out the recipe is sort of wrong. You need to start with the fruit on the bottom, then the cake mix sprinkled on the fruit...then the butter. Then bake. What you will get at the end is a very nice cobbler type dessert. Not the sloppy mess that we had. It was tasty though. Just not a proper dump cake.

*The author of the Real Simple article/recipe said she first made the dump cake when she was working for Dolly Parton and loved it so much, she called it Dolly Parton's Dump's not Dolly Parton's recipes. BTW...I Love Dolly and really love her new album, Backwoods Barbie, check it out. There are some great songs and even a little ditty she did a video for featuring Amy Sedaris.

Easter Weekend

It's been a busy weekend...I have several posts in the hopper...just need to finish add photos or finalizing the recipes. The big event of the weekend...? I started Friday night by assembling a giant lasagna for a very special Saturday Event of Ultimate Geekdom...Joyous joined J-lo and I for a full day marathon of Season 3 of Battlestar Galactica!!! We managed to sustain ourselves for 11 hours before admitting defeat...7 more episodes to go...but we will do it...Season 4 starts on April 4.

The lasagna was pretty dang good. There's 3/4th's of a pan left...guess what we're eating for lunches this week.

Yesterday, Easter, we did some stuff around the house. Worked in the gardens, raked leaves, set up the new cheap-o patio's nothing special, but it's a starter set that will get a few; 2-3 years of wear out of. Then we headed to a lovely Easter celebration with Lord, Lady & Princess B. I brought the Pear and Vanilla Brown Butter Crisp. Divine! What fun. I used three types of pears and added a light pinch of Cardamom to the topping. Very very subtle, but very very nice.

Friday, March 21, 2008


M.B.K. from me email address is (should be) in the header of the blog...happy to hear from you in the comments section, would like to catch up some.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

This Shit Is Bananas B-A-N-A-N-A-S

I had a FAIL in the kitchen tonight. I made this soup, Chicken Coconut Soup. The last time I made it, it was great. Wonderful. But tonight...BIT-TER! I couldn't do it...the pot went down the drain...Sad. I know why...I think...I couldn't get kafir lime leaves, so I used lime peel...and it was overcooked...extracting every ounce of bitterness from the pith. Dang! DONE. OVER. Moving on. Grilled Cheese for dinner.

On Tuesday night, I baked...Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip! Chewy, filling and delicious. I'll get the recipe up in a few days.

Then tonight when I was putting my produce away, the pears slipped out of my hand and flew into the bananas, which in turn flew to the other side of the house, splitting out of their I had three opened, over-ripe bananas that needed something done to Banana Tea Bread. Warm and wonderful. This recipe will come through in a few days as well.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Triplette avec ail

Friday night's dinner included...
A Threeway of Garlic!
And roasted.

Pasta with Garlic and Olive Oil

Start by slicing, thinly, a few cloves of garlic...fry until just crispy in olive careful not to burn them.

Let the crispy bits drain, then in olive oil, toss in some chopped garlic and red pepper flakes.

Add wine and one whole head of roasted garlic.

Let the wine reduce and the roasted garlic melt into the liquid.

Some parsley, pasta and toss.

Serve with wine and freshly grated parmesan.

Note to self...make sure you eat this on a weekend, or a night you're not going to work...there's enough garlic to make you smell for a whole day! Whew!!!

The Culprit

Last night's troubles...
Fat, Chewy, Jammy, Plum, Dried Fruit, Oak...I liked it! But not with didn't mix well with the meal...but afterwards, it was great. My favorite Sauvignon Blancs comes from the same region of New Zealand.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A bottle of wine

I've had nearly an entire bottle of wine by stay tuned for more...but the boys of DC Food Blog came over for the meantime, here's a very luscious photo of part of what we had for this point, the green beans and tomatoes had been tossed in olive oil...I wanna lick the screen.

Kiss Me

St. Patrick's

I miss Ireland...I can't believe it's been over 5 years since we were there...time flies!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Still Life

Not bad, but I need to turn the kitchen light off next time, so I don't have the bright reflection in the glass bowl...that's a pretty good riesling BTW.

Top O' The Mornin', Part 2

We've seen the Carrots in the we'll see them working.

Guinness Shepherd's Pie

Ground beef, drain the fat. Add carrots...

...onions and garlic. Some herbs and spices...

Then Guinness, red wine and beef broth. Simmer and thicken.

Top with Champ...Mashed Potatoes with Green onions, chives or kale and white cheddar cheese.

Toss under the broiler until bubbly and golden brown and OMG So Delicious!


Top O' The Mornin'

On Saturday, the Ides of March, we celebrated St. Patty's Day...early...

There was Irish Brown Bread with Kerrygold Butter.

Yeast, Molasses and warm water.

Whole Wheat flour and the yeast mixture. Mix by hand...sticky.

Form in a buttered bread pan. Rise for 15-30 minutes.

Bake for awhile.

Warm Bread.

Slice thin; the bread is really dense and hearty. Thick slices will fill you up!