Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gram's Knives......a Reflection

When I was little, I noticed my Gram's knives would get painted every so often. She would  do it to match her kitchen, sometimes green, other times, a shade of blue. I thought it a bit funny at the time. I mean, who paints the handles of knives!!
Well, today, I understand my Gram and her knives. You see, I painted the handles of 3 knives and 2 forks. And yes, I painted them to match my kitchen, why not. Why did I do that, very simply to preserve the handles. I put my knives in the dishwasher which has managed to take off the varnish over the fifty-three years of cooking and the handles were going to deteriorate if I didn't do something. So I painted them and put on some polyurethane to further protect the handles. NOW, I finally understand why my Gram painted the handles. "Too soon old and too late smart"  as the saying goes. I'm sure as knives sat in her dishwater over the many years, the same thing happened to her knives. So today, I became my Gram.
Till next time.......

Monday, November 28, 2011

Empty Nest........

When the temperature drops and the leaves fall; beauty seems to come in unsuspecting places. Here is an empty nest waiting for spring and some new tenants. Every season is amazing!
Till next time......

Friday, November 25, 2011

Turkey Carcass.....Turn It Into Soup!

If you think this turkey carcass belongs in the trash, think again. You can get another meal out of this turkey for your family. If you have never made "carcass" soup, you are missing out on a delicious meal. Allrecipes.com (a recipe website) has this recipe for turkey carcass rice soup that I am sure you will find most delicious. The following link will take you to the recipe. It makes 10 servings and is ready in 1 hour and 45 minutes. Homemade biscuits go great with any homemade soup.
In today's economy, where everyone is looking to save a few pennies; this is perfect. Don't waste this special part of the turkey. It takes a little extra time and effort, but it is so worth it.
Till next time.......

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Greed on Thanksgiving Day - Appalling!


Here it is the day before Thanksgiving and I got a circular in the daily newspaper that several of the stores will be open on Thanksgiving Day!!!! Can you imagine that!! Money has gotten so important to the greedy corporate mongers that they cannot close for even a day to let their employees thank God for their many blessings. I am appalled that companies somehow think this is okay. You all know what stores they are. I, for one, don't plan on shopping at them in the future. Maybe a boycott is in order. We read about the protesters for other things, maybe we should stage a boycott of these stores, since they are so greedy. In the future, are you sure you want to shop at these insensitive stores? Maybe boycott them on Monday and give them a red Monday instead of a black Friday or Thanksgiving.
Till next time.......

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Preparations......

One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is that delicious bread stuffing. I love that you can make part of it ahead of time and get it out of the way.
 I make a sausage stuffing each year. It is a very popular stuffing in my family. Whether we have a lot of people or just a couple; I make a large pan of it. The leftovers are fantastic!
I freeze the bread as it makes cutting it a little easier and doesn't crumble up as much. Less mess, and I am all for that! Then I add a nice bag of Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix to all the homemade parts and add some hot chicken broth. That makes it just perfection.
Hope all your Thanksgiving plans are starting to gel as well as mine are and that you have a great holiday with family and friends.
Till next time.......

Monday, November 21, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup.....

 Butternut Squash Soup
6 cups chicken stock
1 small Vidalia onion, diced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 nice butternut squash
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper
Heat oil in pan, add onion, carrot, celery and sweat in pan 2 - 3 minutes over low heat. Peel squash, cut in half and remove seeds and stringy stuff. Add the seeds and stringy stuff to the veggie mixture. Cut the squash into 1/2 - 1 inch chunks and add to rest of veggies. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes then increase the heat and add the chicken broth and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover pot and simmer for about 20-30 minutes. When the squash is fork tender, transfer half the soup to a blender and puree. Then puree the second half of the soup. (Hint: Put a towel over the blender cap and hold the cap down to prevent hot soup from going all over.) Always taste for salt and pepper. Before serving you can add just a tablespoon of heavy cream and a very light sprinkle of nutmeg to each serving. (just a small pinch, do not overdo the nutmeg.). Or you can leave the cream and nutmeg off; it will be just as good. Reduce down for desired thickness, if necessary. Serve hot with your favorite biscuit .

You can also wash some of the seeds and roast them to garnish the soup.

Till next time.......

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bread Pudding?........I don't think so.

This was served to me as bread pudding. Now I don't know about you, but where I was raised, this is NOT bread pudding. This is a heavy, solid mass of bread with little or no flavor. I'm not sure what that white stuff is, but they could have saved money and not put it on it.
This is another view of the same piece, solid as a rock. I'm sure it would make a good foundation for something. Bread pudding should be light, airy and have a custard flavor. Unless you come from the Pennsylvania Dutch area. They seem to like this solid, heavy whatever. I would tell you where I got it, but I have emailed the Manager and would like to give him a chance to correct this error in quality control.
Till next time......

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Soft Pretzels........

If you have ever lived near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, you have sampled these soft pretzels with a squeeze of yellow mustard on them. According to legend the Italian monks as far back as 610AD used the pretiolas, or "little rewards" to encourage the children to do well in their prayer studies. They soon became popular in Austria and Germany and were known as "bretzels". It was not until ten-plus centuries later they made their way to the United States in the hands of the immigrants who became known as the Pennsylvania Dutch. If you have ever eaten them, you will never forget them. I spent much of my adult life in the East Coast area and I am almost ashamed to say it, ate my share of them. They are not readily available in the stores here except by frozen boxes. I have found that most of the frozen ones are not worth eating! However, I have found one brand that is as good as any vendor in Philadelphia. Sorry Philly, but it's the truth. Not too surprising, it is made in Pennsauken, NJ, right next door to Philly.
This brand is great! All you do is preheat the oven to 400°, run the pretzel under water and shake the pretzel salt on them that comes  in the package. Bake for 4 minutes and serve with yellow mustard. Yum! How simple is that to enjoy this fabulous treat? And if you want something really good, skip the salt and then after the 4 minutes in the oven; dip them in melted butter and then a cinnamon and sugar mixture. It's almost like eating a cinnamon roll straight from the oven.
Till next time.......

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Woodpeckers........

I've been having a fight with my local squirrel. I don't mind him eating the food I put out for the woodpeckers, but he is destroying my log feeder trying to get the last of the food. So now I have a wire feeder filled with peanuts and the squirrel tried his best to get them. He tried every way possible and could not get the job done. 
Now the woodpecker can eat his meals in peace! So for now; the score is: MollyBee -1 Squirrel - 0
Till next time.....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fall Beauty.....

Here it is November 15th and the leaves are still hanging on! It is hard to believe the beauty of the trees this year. This lovely tree is just outside my patio and is gorgeous. The sun was shining on it yesterday and I just had to share it with all of you. You all know I love Fall and this year is exceptionally pretty. I am really enjoying all of the delicious reds, oranges, yellows and rusts of the leaves. Notice the red and yellow both on this one tree. I hope the Fall season is as pretty where you live.
Till next time.....

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pet Peeves..........

Everyone has "pet peeves" about one thing or another. Mine happens to be companies who send out coupons for a certain amount of money if you buy 3 or more of their product. Now unless I have use for 36 crescent dinner rolls, this coupon is pretty useless. Why not give send around a coupon for 15-20 cents on one of their product. Or you get a soup coupon for 50 cents off if you buy 5-6  cans of soup. Now come on, there is a limit to your pantry space and your refrigerator, especially this time of year. And just maybe, you don't want 6 cans of one kind of soup. Okay, now that I have vented, I feel a wee smidge better but it is still a pet  peeve. 
Till next time......

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Toys for Tots & Coats for the Needy

The Christmas season is not fast approaching; it is here!!!
The stores are fully decorated and are stocked with gifts of all kinds. Toys for Tots is in full swing and different places are asking for coats for those less fortunate.
Not only are those campaigns going on; but you might want to go through your own closets and see if there is something you can donate to the Goodwill. The weather has turned chilly and people will be needing winter coats before long. Do whatever you can to help out this year. There is a need!
Till next time......

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Milk Pod & Seed Pod Textures.......

I love the contrast in textures with the seed pods. This one is rough on the outside but then when it opens up; the seeds are attached to this fluffy white stuff. It's truly amazing what Mother Nature does in the Fall.
Here is something totally different. The seed pod is spiny, prickly and when the time comes for the seeds to fall; they are still spiny and prickly. There are so many more pods and seeds around if one takes the time to look for them.
Till next time......

Friday, November 11, 2011

Flavored Butters.......

The holidays are fast approaching as we all are aware of. Here are a few ideas for that something special on your holiday table or for gifts. This is a Strawberry Butter and is so good and so simple to make. Make sure the butter is at room temperature before you start any of these recipes. It goes without saying that the better quality the ingredients, the better the end results.
Strawberry Butter
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup strawberry preserves
Beat well, chill. Before serving bring to room temperature for easy spreading.
 
This is a Lemon Parsley Butter with black pepper.
The recipe for this is also very easy.
Lemon Parsley Butter
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp black pepper
Beat well and form into a log with plastic wrap and chill. You can use more black pepper if you like, but I find 1/4 tsp works for me. Cut off a slice and serve on a steak or on your veggies. It gives veggies that little "pick up" and on steak, it is just plain good!

This one is Orange Marmalade Butter and made just like the Strawberry Butter only using orange marmalade. So there is no need to repeat the recipe. Serve at room temperature and this is so good on biscuits, scones, raisin toast, popovers, muffins or  toast.
These flavored butters are also nice to use at Christmas for that little "Thinking of you" gift for your neighbor or for someone who may need someone to think of them during the holiday season.
Till next time......

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Fish Story...........

The little fish that didn't get away. I'm afraid this one won't make much of a fish story or dinner.
It's hardly a taste, let alone a meal. I think it should have been thrown back in the lake to grow up. Just my personal opinion.
Till next time......

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Night Time Lanterns......

Too Cool! I love the night time look of this photo.
Till next time......

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Too Comfy To Throw Out.......

Until today, I never understood why a man can't get rid of that worn out flannel shirt or the pair of jeans that is full of holes. It just never made any sense to me. I mean REALLY!, if it is wore out, get rid of it right? 
Well, today I washed one of my sweatshirts that is 12 years old! No, it is not one that I wear once in a while, it is in the wash every single week! It is worn out and I have mended it several times. But it is comfy, has the 1/4 zipper that I like, goes with everything and I LOVE it! As you can see, it is folded and ready to wear one last time. Sad to say, but after one final wearing, it is on the way to the rag bag.
But I totally understand now, how a man feels about that old flannel shirt and that worn out pair of jeans. It has suddenly become crystal clear to me how he feels. So guys, at least one woman now understands; but I'm sorry guys, those comfy clothes still have to go!
Till next time......

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lake Foam......

I was at the lake the other day and this foam was along the edge of the water. I had never seen it there before so of course, I had to take a photo of it. A few hours later, all the foam and bubbles were gone. Sometimes, it is just being in the right place at the right time to get a cool photo.
There are so many great things to take photos of at the lake. Even saw a few die-hard fishermen. The water had many ripples from the wind and then the sun was dancing on the water as well. Very pretty!
Till next time......

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Autumn Scenery

You may be tired of seeing Fall photos but I so love this season. It is one of the prettiest times of the year and I fully intend to enjoy each day of it. So if I seem overly exuberant, that's why.
Have you ever seen such beauty!!!





Days like this make me want to just stay outside with my camera all day. Everywhere I look, there is something amazing to see.
Till next time......

Friday, November 4, 2011

More Fall Leaves.....

 More of our beautiful fall leaves. This year they are exceptionally colorful.
Till next time......

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Red Autumn Leaves

These leaves say it all. Aren't they gorgeous!
Till next time......

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lanterns......

I went for a walk yesterday and it seems there is beauty all over, if you take the time to look. I was walking along one of the paths and lo and behold; here was this patch of seed pods. They look like "lanterns" but it was hard to tell as the leaves are so shriveled up. The pods definitely look like the "lanterns".
The closer I looked I was convinced that is what they were. Nature has such a way with showing us the beauty in the world. Each season has it's own beauty. Sometimes, you are just in the right place at the right time to see it.
Till next time.....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Braised Short Ribs

A few days ago, I mentioned I was getting hungry for the heartier meals of Fall and Winter. So yesterday I jumped in and made a recipe of Braised Short Ribs. As you can see, there are all the ingredients on my counter top.
 This is the final product and my supper for last night. I put the short ribs over buttered noodles. It really hit the spot and the best part is......there is enough for tonight's supper as well. There is not a lot of meat on those ribs but it was fork tender and so flavorful after braising for three hours. There are so many recipes on the Internet for this; that I did not feel the need to put the recipe here. The one I used was Anne Burrell's recipe from Secrets of a Restaurant Chef.
Till next time.......