Sunday, August 29, 2010

Still More Jam! ........

Today I was busy making still more jam! This time it was Blueberry Jam (8 half pints) and Blackberry Jam (4 pints). I now have peach, tomato, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and blackberry jams for this winter. It is so worth the effort. It will be yummy good on toast, English muffins, etc., this winter. I have sampled each one and I guarantee they are very tasty. I still have some orange marmalade from last year that I like to use as a glaze on roasted chicken. My A/C has been running all afternoon but that's okay.
Till next time......
.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Jam And More Jam!

Today I was pretty busy making jam. Two different kinds as a matter of fact. I made one kind of jam and then decided to make a different kind as well. So by the time I got the kitchen cleaned up, I was ready to relax. The seven jars on the left are the strawberry jam, the other nine are raspberry. I still have blueberry and blackberry to make. It is so nice to be able to make our favorite jams and have them all winter. I also have peach jam and tomato jam made for this fall. This is one of the projects that keeps me busy in the summer. I had to wait till now to do it ; as I won't make jam when the heat index is 115°F. That's too hot to heat up the kitchen.
Till next time.......

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Linus!

Next month our local Project Linus celebrates it's 7th birthday. So I am hoping to finish this afghan in time to take it to the birthday party. I have been privileged to be a part of Linus from the beginning seven years ago. It is one of those heartwarming, makes you feel good groups. They give new donated afghans, blankets and quilts to seriously ill or abused children from birth to 18 years of age. In the past 7 years they have donated over 29,000 blankets to local children. When I attend the party, there will be lots more blankets, sitting on tables to be given away.
Till next time........ 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Sinner

This is an interesting read to be sure. It is about the lives of Detective Rizzoli and Medical Examiner Isles and the cases they live through. Then their personal lives get in the way and somehow mingle with the cases they are trying to solve. As always in these legal thrillers, there is a twist that unravels the main case and things become crystal clear to the Medical Examiner and she in turns passed the information to her friend Detective Rizzoli. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a wonderful way to spend my time. I do recommend this book by all means. Read it and enjoy!
Till next time........

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dead Ringer

With the hot weather and humidity, it seemed a good time to read a book and stay in the A/C. Lisa Scottoline is now on my short list of must read authors. This is a legal thriller with many twists and turns; right up to the end of the story, the murderer could be one of several people. It concerns case law, theft, murder and conspiracy all in one book. It turns out to be someone you would least expect. The author keeps your interest right up to the end of it. I highly recommend this book as a must read. Enjoy!
Till next time.......

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Dreaded Mosquito!

The three things necessary for a mosquito to propagate are moisture, heat and sunlight. Since all of them need water to complete their life cycle, rid your yard of any water standing around in buckets, flowerpot saucers, etc. Only females bite and they feed on blood from animals and humans. The males feed on nectar from flowers. There are different species of mosquitoes and some bite during the daylight and others bite at dusk and during the night. Some species carry the Nile Virus and others may carry Encephalitis. Both of these illnesses can be fatal, so take precautions against getting bit by these summer pests.
Do you get the feeling you can't win against these dreaded little pests? Well , my answer to them is Cutter Insect Repellent. It works great anytime for me. Goodbye, you pesky little buggers!
Till next time.......

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Erma Bombeck

I just finished reading this book. I chuckled all the way through it. If you have ever traveled; you will relate to her stories. Of course, they are a bit exaggerated, which is what makes them funny. As I read through Erma Bombeck's book; I found so many things to be true and could well imagine that the other things might be true as well. Although not nearly as well traveled as Erma Bombeck, I did leave the country on vacation. Traveling abroad is a whole new experience. You find new customs, foods, money, language and also transportation. So it is like leaving your world and transporting yourself into a new world. I found people changed from country to country as well; from very friendly to almost cold. It was an educational trip for me in many ways. Erma Bombeck takes you on many journeys through several countries. It's a most interesting journey and a very funny book. It is light reading and you can put it down and pick it back up with no trouble at all. I highly recommend reading it.
Till next time.......

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Crepes......

It has been unbearably hot and humid in my area; for some time now. I have not been able to go out and get new interesting photos for you. So I have had to "dig deep" to find things that might be of interest. My cooking has not been all that exciting due to the heat. However, I did make some delicious recipes that don't take a lot of time. One of them was Crepes. I know! How yummy is that! But as "French" as that may sound, they are so easy to make. These are Raspberry Crepes and truly not as fattening as you may think if you (perish the thought!!) use a non-dairy whipped topping with your filling. The great thing about Crepes is that you can make them savory as well and have one or two for supper; making a vegetable filling with herb flavored crepes, topped with a cheese sauce. I take a lot of liberty with recipes and try many new things. The French would probably scold me for doing what I do to their recipes. Ha-ha! Below is my Crepe recipe and nothing could be simpler. Did I mention you can freeze Crepes? Well, you can.
Till next time.........
Crepes
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
Butter for coating muffin tins.
In a blender, combine all ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours. Heat a small nonstick skillet. Add butter to coat the bottom. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds, flip and cook for another 10 seconds. Remove to cutting board or rack so they can cool. Continue till batter is gone. Will keep in refrigerator for several days or in freezer for up to two months. Fill with your favorite filling, dust with powdered sugar, garnish with fresh berries. Enjoy!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Recyling Veggies.....

You can see the roots forming on the red onion end, held just at the surface of the water. I planted it in the planter box and on the far left, you can see where it has three sprouts about 3 to 4 inches tall. Hopefully, it will turn into several red onions by fall. The white onion I did the same thing to and it is ready to be pulled. In economical times like these, I figure free veggies are a good thing.
Till next time.......

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Warm Popovers for Breakfast.....

About once a year I get a huge urge to have warm popovers for breakfast. The good thing is, my recipe only makes six. That's plenty for me. When it is hot outside and I'm feeling a bit wilted with all of the humidity; a warm popover with homemade jam is a sure "pick me up". Who could ask for anything better than that? Hope your day started out as well as mine.
Till next time......

Monday, August 9, 2010

It's A Small World...........

I have visitors to my blog from countries all over the world. I would love to read comments from you and find out what you find of interest on my blog. The world seems a very small place with the use of technology.
This is a World Sculpture by Peter Griffin. Photo was taken from the link below. They have a wonderful selection of free photos. Although I prefer to use my own photos, there are times when that is impossible. All they ask is that you link to their website. That's seems fair enough.
Till next time......
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"Mom, I'm Bored".......

"Mom, I'm bored." Boy, how many times have we heard that from our children? Summer is winding down and maybe your children are running out of things to do. Now is the perfect time to dig out those cookbooks that have easy recipes and get them started on a new hobby. These are two of the first cookbooks my children learned to cook with. It wasn't long before they were making food from my recipe box and experimenting with their own recipes. The next request was for their own recipe boxes. The rule was, "you have to make the recipe, before you can put it in your own recipe box." It worked. They became very interested in cooking. Give it a try. Give your children a start in the kitchen with easy recipes, make them an apron if that will help. You can't start too early getting them involved with healthy eating. If they cook it, they are more apt to want to eat it. Here's a recipe for the children. Remember, you have to eat the veggies to get to the dessert.
Till next time.......
Impossible Coconut Pie
4 eggs
2 cups milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flaked or shredded coconut
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Bisquick
Put all ingredients in a blender and beat till well blended, just a few minutes. Pour in a buttered 9 inch pie pan. Bake in preheated 350° oven for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. It will make it's own crust

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Garbage or Re-Cycling?........

Is it garbage or re-cycling; that is the question for today? I got to the end of an onion and just had the root part of it left. It had started to sprout roots, so....I planted it in my planter box. As you can see, I will have a nice onion by fall. Since that seems to have worked, I did the same thing with a red onion I was using. I stuck the root end in just a little water with toothpicks holding it up and it sprouted roots in just two days. So it is now in my planter box just to the left of this white onion. I will keep you posted as to how my "re-cycling" progresses. Is it garbarge or is it re-cycling? Either way, I just got some free onions.
Till next time.......

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gifts of the Season......

This morning I got up feeling a bit lazy and tired to be truthful. But then I got on the treadmill and did my morning mile. After that I was ready to face the day. The tomatoes are in abundance now; so I made some tomato preserves this morning. This recipe made four and a half, half pints of the yummy goodness. I never make a lot of this particular jam, but always keep a few jars on hand. You either really like the preserve or you don't. There doesn't seem to be a middle ground for people. I tried a new recipe and I think it may end up being a little thick compared to my old recipes. But the taste is really good!
Till next time........

Monday, August 2, 2010

Because I Can & It's Fun....

Did you ever do something just because you could or because it was fun. Playing with photographs is something I really enjoy doing. Changing a color photo to black and white and then highlighting just one item to make it "pop" is such a fun thing to do. It is great for greeting cards or to enlarge for a wall picture. I once saw a greeting card in black and white of two children, a boy and a girl. The rose in the little boy's hand was the only thing in color and really stood out. I thought, "how cool is that". Now I know how to do it and it really is cool. I look forward to many more hours of enjoyment creating cards for my friends.
Till next time.......

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Reuben or a Rachel That Is The Question

Did you ever stop to wonder....how the Reuben sandwich got it's name and how it was made? Well, it's a really simple but delicious sandwich. It is made on grilled rye bread, with corned beef, melted Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing. It is rumored that it was first invented by a grocer named Reuben Kulakofsky, during a poker game at the Blackstone Hotel. Who knew? There are rumors of other inventors but this one seems to hold the most credibility; in my humble opinion. The Reuben made by Reuben Arnold in New York was made with baked ham, sliced turkey and Swiss cheese. So officially, it was not actually the Reuben, as we know it today. If you have never had a Reuben Sandwich; next time you see it on the Menu, give it a try. You won't be disappointed. Although this is a very tasty sandwich; I prefer a Rachel. What's that you ask? Well, a Rachel is a Reuben made with pastrami instead of corned beef. Now there's a sandwich!
Till next time.......

Up Close and Personal.......

This is a close up of a cactus that I got a few years ago. Three years, to be exact. It started out at ten inches and it is now fifty inches (counting the few inches I had to put into the ground when I potted it.). It grows over a foot a summer; which makes it an interesting cactus to have. It was a lone "stick" when I planted it but has now branched out with several new sprouts. It is reported that they will grow to eight feet. Time will tell. Once the "branches" mature, they are very woody and hard to cut. Getting a new cactus started is easy. You cut a piece of the cactus and let the end dry for three weeks and then stick it in the ground and watch it grow. It is a Euphorbia Trigona and takes very little water. The milky substance inside is poisonous and can irritate your skin.
Till next time.......