Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gourmet Coffee


I enjoy many of the different flavored coffees on the market today. My favorite is probably Butter Pecan. It was sold in a Hardware/Gift Shop and is no longer available to me. I am also fond of a locally roasted coffee called Swiss Chocolate Almond. Double Dutch Chocolate and Spice Butter Rum are amazing flavors as well. These are all very smooth tasting coffees and something I like to relax with in the evening. For a "wake up coffee" in the morning, try Guatemalan coffee. It is a robust flavored coffee without being bitter. It's just the thing to wake up my day and get me going. When new flavors come out, I check to see if there is something that peaks my interest. The coffee just seems to taste better when I grind the coffee beans myself. If you don't have a coffee grinder and don't want to buy one, the stores have a grinder there for you. So that's not a problem. If you haven't tried the flavored coffees and have even a spark of adventure left in you; give them a try. You just might like them. Keeping the coffee beans or ground coffee in the freezer will help keep it fresh for a longer time. Keep the coffee brewing. Till next time..........

Monday, August 17, 2009

Coptic Binding

I like learning new things when the opportunity presents itself. This is a Coptic Binding book and is something I recently learned to do. The binding is hand sewn and all the pages will lay flat when it is opened. Not only was this a very fun book to make; it is a versatile little book. The cover is also handmade and can be made in a particular theme for a special person or occasion.

I hope to make more eventually in different sizes and style. Till next time.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cinnamon Mornings & Chocolate Dreams - Pamela Lanier

Cinnamon Mornings and Chocolate Dreams
by Pamela Lanier

Wow! Doesn't that name just beg you to read and browse through it? It is a cookbook and review of some of the Bed & Breakfasts she has visited. I subscribe to her newsletter and in it, she reviews several B&Bs and gives you some fabulous recipes from the different Inns. They are so yummy and yes, probably full of calories. But we all know butter is better; although maybe not better for us. At a B&B you get a sound and comfy night's sleep, you are served a wonderful breakfast and a delightful afternoon tea. You get the feeling of being pampered. You ladies know what I mean, no cooking or cleaning, and then being served tea on top of it. Some Inns will provide supper for a bit extra but if they don't, you can always enjoy the local cuisine. That's always fun. If you can't get away for a weekend or vacation; sign up for her newsletter and you can still enjoy reading about different B&Bs all over the world and enjoy making some wonderful recipes. I have her website listed here. http://www.lanierbb.com
Till next time...........

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bounty

This is the time of year that fresh tomatoes are in abundance. So you have to be creative about how you can save these wonderful treasures of summertime. We have frozen some, we have canned some and now we are going to try drying some. They will be stored in a sealed canning jar after they are dried and then re-hydrated when we are ready to use them. Dried tomatoes will keep a year in a pantry or 18 months in a freezer. Have I done this before? No, but I am always ready to try something new; especially, if it can save me some money on the grocery bill and not waste the bounty of summer. It sounds simple enough.
Till next time................

Friday, August 14, 2009

Compound Butters

Did you ever want a little something extra to make you feel special? I got these from a friend and have used them ever since.
Cinnamon Honey Butter
1/2 cup softened salted butter
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Combine all ingredients and whip with mixer until light and fluffy. Put it in a decorative dish and serve at room temperature.This is good on a fruit loaf, English muffins, warm biscuits or just plain toast if that's what you want.
Lemon Pepper Butter
1/2 cup softened salted butter
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients and place on plastic wrap. Form into a roll and twist the ends of the plastic wrap to close it. Refrigerate. Cut in 1/4 inch slices and top a hot grilled steak, just before serving.

These compound butters make a nice gift and remember, the Holidays are just around the corner and what better way to say Happy Holidays to your neighbor or friend?
Till next time..........

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Economy

We all know the economy could be better. What I am going to do is tell you a few things to help out on your grocery bill. Start using generic brands, use coupons, eat before you shop and watch the sale papers for the bargains of the week and lastly, shop twice a month instead of weekly. But you already know that, right?
So here's what I really want you to know. In the day of your Great-Grandmother or your Grandmother, they fixed a lot of potato soup, bean soup, peas and dumpling soup. Then there were the fried potatoes with a bit of onion and an egg dropped on top of them for lunch. Ever wonder why; because it was nourishing and inexpensive. Maybe we should try to go back to those days and start cooking inexpensive meals. We don't need meat every night for supper. There are simple and inexpensive soup recipes on the Internet. Add a grilled cheese sandwich and you have supper. Don't forget all those great casseroles, either. There's a reason our Great-Grandparents and our Grandparents got through the depression years. They economized. Next summer, plant a "Victory Garden", you'll be surprised at how much it will save on your grocery bill.
Till next time.........

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Greatest Generation - Tom Brokaw

I have just started a new book called "The Greatest Generation" by Tom Brokaw. It is about the Depression in the 30's, WWII, the Recovery and the people who lived this time of our history. My parents were of this generation so I thought it would be interesting to read.



See my review in the comments.





Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortenson


I have just finished reading this most amazing book; "Three Cups of Tea".
It is a biography of Greg Mortenson as told to a third party. It tells of one man's struggle to climb the K2, failing, getting lost and coming to a village where he was befriended by the people there. Seeing the children on the ground studying without a teacher and only the dirt to write in; he decided to see that the children had a proper school. He thought that by building schools and educating the children, there could some day be peace. He is spending his life building schools, over coming many obstacles. The title of the book comes about by the custom of the village. One cup of tea, you are a stranger, second cup of tea, you are a friend and the third cup of tea, you are considered part of their family. As it says, in the book, once you are family, they will die for you if necessary. You learn so much about the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan and the people there. It is such an enlightening book. Part way through the book, I thought, too bad this isn't required reading. At the end of the book I saw where it was now required reading in Freshman, Honors and campus wide reading in over 80 universities and hundreds of schools. It is also required reading for senior U.S. military commanders, Pentagon officers in counter-insurgency training and Special Forces deploying to Afghanistan. In 2009, Greg Mortenson was awarded the Star of Pakistan, it is their government's highest civilian award.

He has a new book coming out that picks up where this book leaves off. It will be out December 1, 2009. I can't wait to read it! !

Wondering

It seems I am always wondering. If I really have anything to say. Is anyone interested in what I have to say? Will I sound silly? Well, my friends have said, "Go for it". So here I am, I hope someone finds it interesting, if not move on to another blog.