Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Friendship Inn, Hawley, PA.

This quaint building is Friendship Inn Bed and Breakfast, in Hawley, PA. I had driven all day to get there as it is in the north end of the Pocono Mts., past Lake Wallenpawpack. So I was tired and hungry. But it is a small town and there was a funeral for one of the locals and most every business was shut down. I found one small cafe open, so that was my choice for supper. I had an Italian entree. If I had known the business' would be closed I could have made arrangements to eat at the B&B. But they want advance reservations.
It was an interesting stay and I enjoyed seeing this little town.
Till next time......

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ice Cream Sundae........

Are words really necessary?
Till next time......

Friday, January 27, 2012

French Toast with Pecans


Every one knows how to make French Toast. But this recipe is a little different and you bake it. So everyone can eat at the same time. It is also a great recipe for a group brunch.
French Toast w/Pecans
3 eggs
1 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
3 cups corn flakes cereal, crushed to 1 cup
8 (3/4-inch-thick) diagonally cut slices French bread
Fresh fruit: Bananas or Strawberries
Grease 15x10x1-inch baking pan. In shallow bowl, combine eggs, half and half, sugar, vanilla and salt; beat well. Place chopped pecans and crushed corn flakes in another shallow bowl. Dip each bread slice in egg mixture, making sure all egg mixture is absorbed. Coat each slice with crumb mixture. Place in greased pan; cover. Freeze 1 to 2 hours or until firm. Heat oven to 425°F. Bake bread slices 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Serve with butter, syrup and bananas or strawberries. If desired, garnish with whipped cream.
Till next time.......

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Manipulating Colors in a Photo....

I love playing around with photography so manipulating the colors was a given. So fun to take a regular photo and manipulate it to make an abstract picture. No matter how hard you try, you can never make the same picture twice.The original photo was of several lit candles. So it was interesting to take this simple photo and make it into an abstract piece of art.


 This one was a sunset. Amazing what you can do with just a little manipulation of the colors.
Till next time.......


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lemon Pudding Cake......


 One of my favorite cakes is the pudding cake. After you bake it, you have the pudding on the bottom. No need to make any topping what so ever, unless you want a bit of whip cream. How much easier can it be?
Lemon Pudding Cake
4 eggs, separated
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
Beat together egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon rind, and butter or margarine until thick and lemon colored. Combine sugar, flour, and salt; add alternately with milk to the yolk mixture, beating well after each addition. Beat egg whites until stiff. Blend egg whites to batter on low speed of electric mixer. Pour into 8 inch square baking dish.
Place a pan of hot water in the oven, and set the baking dish into the pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes. 
Till next time.......

Monday, January 23, 2012

Shells and Chains.........

This is my very favorite afghan pattern. I have used it for adult afghans and baby afghans. It has this lacy appearance and makes it look like you must have worked very hard on it. But in reality, it is one of the simplest patterns I have ever made. It works up very quickly. If you are a crocheter and want to try a new but easy pattern; give this one a try. It was originally printed in The Workbasket magazine in the March 1987 Volume 52 - Issue #5.
If you want the pattern click on the link below.
You do remember The Workbasket magazine, right? Well, maybe not, it was first published in October 1935,  stopped being published in March 1996. More about The Workbasket magazine at a later date.I'm sure you will enjoy working with this pattern.
Till next time......

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Spinach Artichoke Dip......

When the weather turns cold and you are having friends over for cards or board games, it's nice to serve something hot. So, here is a hot spinach artichoke dip that is perfect served with crackers or toast points.











Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach
11/2 cups thawed, chopped frozen artichoke hearts
6 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Boil spinach and artichokes in 1 cup of water until tender and drain. Discard liquid. Heat cream cheese in microwave for 1 minute or until hot and soft. Stir in rest of ingredients and serve hot. What could be easier than that? You can also top with Parmesan cheese and stick it under the broiler to melt the cheese and brown it a bit; as I did in the photo.
Till next time......

Friday, January 20, 2012

Afghans for Project Linus.....

Attention all you crocheters, knitters, and quilters! If you have spare time on your hands; think about joining a Project Linus group in your area. You can find one in your area by going to the following link.
They need so many blankets, quilts, afghans for seriously ill, neglected and abused children from birth to 18 years of age. A simple thing like a blanket of their own can give so much comfort to a child.  You don't have to attend meetings and you don't have to commit to a specific number of blankets. I attend only one meeting a year to drop off my blankets. Why are the blankets handmade; because that tells the child, you cared enough to make it. Won't you please help? 
Till next time......

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Afghans.....

 This is another one of my hobbies; I love to crochet in the winter when I can't get outdoors. I just finished this red/white/blue one for Project Linus. Making afghans for them keeps me busy and is an outlet for all the afghans I like to crochet.
This is the new afghan I started. I have about 10-12 rows done on it and would like to work on it all day long. Unfortunately, I do have others things to do.
Till next time.....

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Maid for the Billionaire...

If you are looking for a way to pass an afternoon or day this winter; check out your local library or Barnes and Noble.
Maid for the Billionaire
This is a romance novel and not my usual read. The story is reasonably fast paced and did not take long to read. The man in this story is rich, pushy and is used to having "his way" with women; in my humble opinion. You pretty much know the man and woman will end up together (that's a given in most romance novels). But the author does throw in a different twist to the story. You will have to read the book to find out the twist.
I think I will go back to my legal thrillers, much more interesting for me.
Till next time.....

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Journal.......

This is just one of the projects that has graced my dining room table for several months. My project for the New Year is to clean off the dining room table. This may sound like a simple thing to do to most of you. But it seems my dining room table is my art project table. It wasn't meant to be, it just turned out that way.
Anyway, this is a journal I have been working on and it will have a Coptic binding when it is done. Hopefully, this week will finish it. I am sewing an armchair caddy this morning and I will finish that little project in a few minutes. I love starting new projects, hence they pile up on my table. Finishing these two projects will totally clear off my dining room table. Think I will enjoy a nice dinner with a glass of red wine at my dining room table to celebrate such an accomplishment. It's the little things in life that we need to celebrate.
Till next time.....

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ice......

  Ice along the lake's edge.
Till next time......

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pineapple Cranberry Salsa......

This is a little something different to add to your supper table. You can slice your chicken, pork or fish and top with this salsa and people will think you have really gone out of your way to make this meal special.
                                                         
                                                        
Pineapple Cranberry Salsa
1 cup Craisins (sweetened dried cranberries)
1 20 oz can pineapple tidbits, drained
(reserve 1/4 cup juice)
2 Tbsp red onion, diced
1 Tbsp jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/4 cup red pepper, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (or fresh parsley)
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp lime peel, freshly grated
Combine ingredients including the 1/4 cup of pineapple juice; in bowl and mix. Refrigerate in covered bowl for 2 hours or more. Flavors will blend in this time. This is good with fish, pork and chicken. If you are not a fan of cilantro, substitute fresh parsley. This makes 3 cups of salsa.
I think you will like this blend of flavors.
Till next time......

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Chocolate Swirl Coffee Cake........

Any moist coffee cake can be made into a Chocolate Swirl coffee cake by adding Chocolate Swirl in layers and topping with a Crumb Topping. I use a sour cream coffee cake for this as I like the moistness of that kind of cake.

Chocolate Swirl
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp unsweetened dark chocolate powder
3/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips
1 tsp cinnamon
Whisk together and set aside.


  
Crumb Topping
1/3 cup mini dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
6 Tbsp cold butter, cut in to 1/2-1 inch cubes
Put top four ingredients in a food processors and pulse just a couple seconds to mix. Then add chocolate chips and pecans and pulse just to mix. Add butter last and pulse to make small pieces of butter in the mix and to incorporate it in the topping. Pour half of your batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle with the Chocolate Swirl and 1/3 of the Crumb Topping, add the rest of the batter and top with the rest of the Crumb Topping. So good!
Till next time.....

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Early Morning Sunrise.........

If you don't get up early, this is one of the things you are missing. Sunrises only come once a day so why miss them? That deep red against a dark early morning sky is indescribable and real treat to get your day started right.
Till next time......

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Very Old Recipe.....Prune Whip

In the days of old, when people physically worked hard and calories weren't an issue, this dessert was popular. It was popular for several reasons, it looked pretty in stemware, it could be made ahead of time and lastly, it was just plain good. Served in stemware, topped with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry and your friends were impressed. It was perfect for a Bridge night  foursome,  a ladies afternoon card party or a sewing bee. It was perfect for any time you needed a light refreshment. This is my Gram's recipe and with any luck at all, I plan to make it this week. Will share a photo after I make it.

Prune Whip
2 cups cooked prunes, cooled and drained
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp almond extract. Whip the cream stiff, add the extract and the prune pulp.
(put the prunes through a food mill or pulse in food processor to get the pulp)
I like to leave some small pieces of prune in the pulp. Mound it in sherbet glasses, top with a dollop of whipped cream and a cherry on top. Serve cold.
Note: You can also substitute apricots for the prunes. Then use vanilla extract instead of almond extract. You may have to sweeten the apricots when cooking.

As you can see, cooks of olden times, kept things simply. My kind of cooks.
Till next time......

More Photos.......

Monday, January 9, 2012

Lake Water Photos....

I was out taking photos this afternoon and I had the most amazing afternoon. Here are a couple photos of the new ice forming. It seemed everywhere I looked; I found awesome design. It was just my day! I was only out for about an hour and I came home with a huge amount of photos!!



I was over by the lake and ice was forming on the top and around the edges of the lake.
Till next time......

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pepper Slaw.......

This recipe came to me via Holly Ridge, North Carolina. I was visiting a friend and she had this delicious cabbage slaw with dinner. Naturally, I had to ask for the recipe.
Grate your cabbage (I like new cabbage in the spring the best), dice a little bit of red pepper for color and set it  all aside. Then you make the syrup for it. I always make double because if I have too much, I can always pickle a few thinly sliced onions. They are great for hamburgers and hot dogs. But that's another story!
Pepper Slaw
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp mustard seed
2 cups sugar
1 tsp celery seed
Boil these ingredients till the sugar is dissolved. Let cool. Mix well with cabbage mixture. Put into containers and put in freezer. Will keep in the refrigerator for several months and in the freezer for two years. How do I know this..... I had a container that was 2 years old (I had covered it up) and when I thawed it out, it was perfect. This is a sweet/sour side dish. If you find it is too much vinegar for your taste, you can cut back on it. My family likes it the way it is.
Till next time...... 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Jan Hagel Cookies....

A Jan Hagel cookie is a crispy cinnamon cookie with sliced almonds. You can substitute English walnuts, but I prefer the sliced almonds, which is the way I first tasted these delicious cookies. They are a Dutch cookie and not often found in the stores. But nothing beats a homemade Jan Hagel and a cup of coffee or tea.
Jan Hagel
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup butter
2 cups all purpose flour
1 egg yolk
1 egg white
1/2 cup finely sliced almonds
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the yolk and beat thoroughly. (your batter should be very creamy at this point) Add the flour and cinnamon and mix well. Spread thinly on 1 1/2 cookie sheets. Press down mixture with fingers. The batter should be very thin on the cookie sheets. Brush with egg white mixed with a bit of water. Sprinkle with sugar and the sliced almonds over the top. Bake 1/2 hour at 300F degrees (150C degrees). Remove from oven and cut into squares. When the cookies have cooled remove from sheets. Yield is 2 dozen. They can be cut into small rectangles if serving for a party or for afternoon tea. (approx. 120 calories per cookie)

Grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy these spicy morsels from the Dutch.
Till next time...... 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

National Bird Day - January 5th

Today is National Bird Day. How many of you watch the birds or feed our feathered friends? You don't have to be a certain age, or qualify on a test to watch birds. You just have to hang up a few wild bird feeders and then sit back and watch the birds come. As an added bonus, they will sing for you. I feed a variety of birds each year and it seems they come back each year expecting me to feed them some more. It is always fun to see what birds stick around for the winter.

Till next time.....

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Potato Pancakes.....

The weather has definitely turned colder and our thoughts turn to more substantial foods. Whether you call them Taty-fish, Latkes, Potato Cakes, Boxty or whatever. They make a fine accompaniment to any winter meal. They are generally served with applesauce, sour cream or a goulash of sorts. But  fried and browned they are good all by themselves.



 



Potato Cakes
4 med. baking potatoes, peeled and grated
1 egg, beaten
1 small onion, finely diced
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp black pepper and
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup oil, for frying
After grating the potatoes, drain and squeeze them well to get out as much moisture as you can (this is an important step). Put potatoes in a bowl and add the egg, mix well. Then add the dry ingredients to egg and potatoes and mix well again. Heat the oil in heavy skillet and drop 1/2 cup of potato mixture for each potato cake into the hot oil. Do not crowd the pan. Fry just a few at a time. Fry each potato cake about 5-6 minutes per side. Longer if you want them crispier and brown. 

I like mine browned like the photo and eaten with sour cream and chopped scallions on top. But everyone has their own preference. There are as many ways to eat them as there are names for them. Whatever you call them.... just enjoy them.
Till next time.....

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Color My World....

Here we are, three days into the New Year. What are your plans for it? I am coloring my world bright and cheery. As you can see, I have already started. Life in this old world is what you make it. So choosing to be cheerful and bright will enhance my life and hopefully, those around me.
I have many projects sitting around and have decided this is the year that they all get finished. Whew! Hope I can get them all done. After all, one must still have a social life.

Just to brighten up your day, here is a recipe for Chutney that you basically can make from things in your pantry. You do have a pantry, right!


Kitchen Chutney
1/2 red onion, diced
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 can drained mandarin oranges
1 can apricot halves 
1 can crushed pineapple or small pineapple chunks
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
In a medium sized pan, cook the onion in the oil for about 5 minutes. Add the fruit and stir in the sugar and vinegar, garlic salt and red peppers flakes. Simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes. Separate it with a spoon. You can add a handful of raisins or dried cranberries to this before simmering and it can be spiced up with some cinnamon or nutmeg, whatever your taste happens to be.  It is so good with pork or chicken.It adds that little bit of tart that you need with food.
Till next time.....

Monday, January 2, 2012

Capitol Bowl Game-Huskers

The Capitol Bowl Game is today! Make life easy for yourself. You know you will be watching the Huskers game today. So give Papa Murphy a call and get your favorite Take and Bake pizza. Call ahead and then go pick it up. They are super good and you pick the toppings you want and then pop it in the oven. What could be easier. It's the day after New Year's Day, who wants to fuss in the kitchen making tidbits to eat? Go ahead and give Papa Murphy's a call. Yes,they do have vegetarian pizzas.
Till next time......

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Day.....

Happy New Year, Everyone!
Till next time.....