Wednesday, February 29, 2012

German Red Cabbage.....

Since I took a small side trip on my blog to Bavaria, Germany.  I thought I would introduce you to German Red Cabbage. It has a unique sweet sour taste and is a perfect accompaniment for poultry, fish or just about anything. It is something just a little different from your ordinary side dishes. This is not a new dish, but may be new to some of you.

German Red Cabbage
2 tbsp. butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 2lb. red cabbage, shredded
1 tart apple, sliced
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp. water
½ cup brown sugar
2 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. cloves
Heat butter in a large pot, sauté onion until soft. Add cabbage, apples, and sugar; pour vinegar and water over mixture. Season with salt pepper and cloves. Mix it well to distribute all the spice, sugar, etc. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until cabbage is tender. 4-6 servings
Till next time......

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Neuschwanstein Castle.....

Here are a couple of photos from the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, near the town of Fussen. It was built in the beautiful Alps by King Ludwig II of Bavaria in the 19th century. Construction was started in 1869 but because the King wanted everything perfect, it was not yet finished in 1886; when the King Ludwig died.
I walked up the long and winding hill to the castle with the tour; but when it came to climbing the stairs in the castle, I could not make it. So a friend of mine and I waited by this door for the rest of the tour to exit the castle. It has the appearance of a fairytale castle and has often been called "The Fairytale Castle".

As we waited by this door, I found the door most interesting. The door knocker was intriguing as well. What I found a bit odd was the fact that the horseshoe above the door was turned upside down. According to folklore in my home country, that would let the luck and good fortune drop out. But then King Ludwig did have a few different ideas to say the least. Also perhaps, that is not the folklore of that country.
Till next time.....

Sunday, February 26, 2012

German Pancakes......

German Pancakes 
4 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup flour, sifted
2/3 cup milk
2 1/2 tablespoons soft butter

Heat oven to 400°F. Butter two 9-inch cake pans well. Put eggs in blender container, cover and process at stir until light yellow in color. Push mix button, remove cover and add remaining ingredients; process until smooth. Pour into prepared pans and bake 20 minutes; then reduce heat to 350°F and bake 10 minutes. Serve on warm plates, top with powdered sugar and butter. Also good with flavored or maple syrup and butter. It reminds me of a cross between a Crepe , Yorkshire Pudding and a Pancake. Different, but good. Yield: 2 9-inch pancakes. This does not work well in a food processor, a blender is better.
Till next time.....


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Creamy Cajun Parmesan Sauce ........

Been a bit under the weather the last few days, but I am back now. It's hard to cough and post at the same time, so I finally gave up the posting. I found this recipe on the Internet. Many websites have it, so  I don't know where it originated. But it is yummy; so I decided to share it with you. During Lent, many of us are looking for a fish or seafood recipe that adds a bit of "pizazz" to our meal. With the Cajun seasoning and the hot sauce, this does have a "kick" to it. If you aren't sure what a Cajun is, check out this link.
What is a Cajun?

Creamy Cajun Parmesan Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
5 green onions with 2 to 3 inches green, thinly sliced
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk (2% is fine)
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning blend
dash freshly ground black pepper
2 plum tomatoes, seeds and ends removed, diced
1/2 cup fresh grated natural Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 to 3 drops Tabasco sauce, optional
Heat butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the green onions and garlic; cook, stirring, for 1 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the mixture; stir until well blended and bubbly, about 30 to 60 seconds. Stir in milk, Cajun seasoning, and black pepper. Cook the sauce, whisking, until thickened and bubbly. Stir in diced tomatoes and Parmesan cheese, along with salt, to taste; heat, stirring, until cheese is melted. If desired, add a few drops of Tabasco sauce. Serve with hot cooked pasta, or as a sauce for shrimp,chicken or fish.
Till next time......

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Garlic Parmesan Herb Butter......

It won't take long to turn some of this bread into Garlic Parmesan Herb bread for supper tonight. Just cut the slices in half, spread with the butter below and broil for a little bit. YUM!
Garlic Parmesan Herb Butter
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp. oregano or Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp. to 1/2 tsp. Tone's granulated garlic
Blend all ingredients together and store in refrigerator. Start with 1/4 tsp. garlic granules and then add more if you want a more garlic flavor.

Play with the recipe and if you want cheddar cheese or Mexican blend cheese instead of the Parmesan cheese; go for it. Tone's Granulated Garlic can be bought at Sam's Club in the USA.
Till next time.....

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Palindromes.......

Palindromes are words or groups of words that can be spelled the same forwards or backwards. I have found 70 of them. How many can you think of? If you don't use your brain cells, you will lose them, or so "they" say. We all know "they" are authorities and "they" are always right! So today, to exercise your brain cells, see how many you can come up with. Don't use the Internet either. That's like watching someone walk on a treadmill and say you are exercising. It just doesn't do you any good. Don't feel bad if you only come up with 50 words, for most people, that's very good. Have fun!!
Till next time.......

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

It's A Beautiful Morning....

How can you stay in bed and miss our glorious morning sunrises. They are almost as pretty as our sunsets. Don't waste the beauty of the early morn.
The beautiful yellows, oranges and pinks of our sunrises are indescribable. I look every morning to see what kind of a sunrise we are having. My camera is always near by.
Till next time.....

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cloth Diapers......

With the economy so tight and budgets not quite reaching the end of the month, I am a bit puzzled. Why do so many parents buy disposable diapers? They are expensive and really use up the family finances. Cloth diapers are so much more economical. You buy them once and use them over and over again. For all of you who are saying "Yuk", think of all the money you could save. They are a little more work. but isn't it worth it; to put a soft cotton diaper next to your baby's tender skin. No matter how much you pay for them or what brand you buy; disposable diapers  are never going to be as soft as cotton. A cotton diaper can be used on your shoulder as a burp cloth, a hand towel, a changing pad, a bib, a light blanket in the summer, a sun shield or a wash cloth. Now.....can you say that about a disposable diaper?
Till next time.....

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Homemade White Bread.....

How many of you have a bread machine that you thought was such a great idea when you bought it. Well, I've had one for several years and yes, I  do use it a lot. But I never really had a nice white bread recipe; that is until now. The recipe I am sharing with you is delicious, light and foolproof! Now for me to say it is "foolproof" it has to be good. I made a loaf yesterday for the first time and today I am making one for the freezer. It is THAT GOOD. Having the right temperature for the water is key. Too cold and the yeast won't work, too hot and you  "kill" the yeast. So use your thermometer and get it right. I hope you enjoy this recipe.
Bread Machine White Bread - best recipe
(Airy bread and flaky crust)
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 (.25 ounce) package bread machine yeast (2 ½ tsp.)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt

Place the water, sugar and yeast in the pan of the bread machine. Let the yeast dissolve and foam for 10 minutes. Add the oil, flour and salt to the yeast. Select Basic or White Bread setting and large loaf. I always select medium crust, but that is a personal choice. Choose the crust setting you like. Then press "Start".

As with any recipe; make sure you have all your ingredients ready to go before starting. You will notice mixing the yeast, sugar and water differs from most bread machine books. But hey, this way works!! I always warm my pan with hot water, so the cold pan does not cool the temperature of the warm water for the yeast.
Till next time.....

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Kraut and Kielbasa Sandwiches.....

In the winter, we often think of heartier sandwiches, or at least I do. One of my all time favorites is kraut and kielbasa.
Kraut and Kielbasa Sandwiches
2 lg. red onion
2 lbs. Kielbasa
1 12oz can of beer
2 lbs. Sauerkraut, drain and rinse the Sauerkraut.
1/2 cup spicy mustard
1 Tbsp. caraway seeds.
8 Sub rolls/Hot dog rolls
Brown onions in a bit of oil, about 1 Tbsp, for about 4-5 minutes, till tender. Stir several times. Put in a bowl and set aside. Add Kielbasa to skillet, 1 Tbsp oil and lightly brown. Drain the Kielbasa. Stir in Sauerkraut, beer, onions, mustard and caraway seeds. Cook over low heat 10 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir once in awhile. Serve in buns and enjoy. Serves 8. I
f you are not a fan of spicy mustard, of course, leave it out and add your favorite seasoning when you put the sandwich together. After all, it is only a seasoning and like any recipe, if you don't like it, don't use it!
Till next time.....

Friday, February 17, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

White Chocolate Cherry Dream Pie......

Besides, Oooooh! Do I need to say more?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

More of Heloise's Tips......


At one time or another, most of us have read "Hints from Heloise". I first got her book at my wedding shower, many years ago. She has always been a champion of using cleaners from things you have around the house. Here are two of the older and most used cleaners. They work great. Before you "scoff and say the store bought is better", give these a try.
Heloise's Multipurpose Cleaner
1 teaspoon mild liquid dish soap
1 quart water
Heloise's Window Cleaner
1 cup non-sudsy ammonia
1 cup rubbing alcohol
1 cup water
Pour into a spray bottle and shake well. Clearly mark the bottle! I use it full strength, but you can dilute it with a little more water.
To Freshen Your Drains
To freshen drains (not unclog them) and help keep them free-flowing, mix 1/2 cup baking soda with 1/4 cup table salt. Pour the mixture down the drain, followed by 1 cup heated vinegar. It will foam and bubble. Let it stand for 15 minutes — longer does not work any better. Follow by running hot tap water for at least 15 to 30 seconds. This is especially good for seldom-used drains, like in a guest bathroom.
Till next time.....

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Cardinals...

These bird photos were taken through a sliding glass door so not as clear as they might be.
Till next time.....

Monday, February 13, 2012

Birds.... Juncos


The Juncos were looking for food this morning after our snow last night. So threw some seed on top of my planter boxes for them. They are such a cute little bird, but I only see them when there is snow on the ground. For the longest time, I called them my snow birds.
Till next time.....

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Heloise Hint....

When a good hint comes along, you really do have to give credit where credit is due. This time it is Heloise. How many times have you been working in the yard and you have to rinse your hands off at the outdoor faucet or run inside and wash them before moving on to another task? We've all been in that position, at least once, in our lives.
Heloise Tip #1:
Drop your left over soap pieces in the leg of an old pantyhose and hang by the water hose for outside washing. This is also a great tip if you are camping. Such a simple idea and so practical.
Heloise Tip #2:
When you are in a hurry and want to wipe off the faucet to make it sparkling clean; take a clean dry tissue and rub the faucet. Presto, nice and clean and shiny. This really works, I just tried it.
Till next time......

Friday, February 10, 2012

Peanut Butter Buttercream Icing.........

My favorite combination is chocolate cake and peanut butter icing. So Good!! Nothing in this world is better than that. Couldn't you just dive into that cupcake!
Peanut Butter Icing
1/2  cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cups 10x sugar (Confectioner's)
1/3 cup heavy cream
Mix the peanut butter and butter till well blended. Add the confectioner's sugar. Then add the heavy cream till you get the right consistency for icing. Don't beat it anymore than necessary. The more you beat it, the softer the icing will get. Beating it will also make it light and fluffy. This makes 3 cups of icing.
So-ooo good! Try it, you'll like it.
Till next time.....

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Kindness and Thoughtfulness......

Kindness and Thoughtfulness are like getting a warm hug. It makes you feel good. The other night I helped celebrate a friend's birthday and the restaurant did not "do" birthdays. (as in a special dessert for the birthday person) But when the time came, our server brought out a dish of after dinner mints with a lit candle stuck in one of them. He didn't have to do that, but realized we wanted to honor the birthday person. This photo is what it looked like. Obviously we ate the mints so this was recreated for my blog. How thoughtful was that! He truly went the extra mile in giving us good service. It couldn't have meant more if it had been a cake. It really was the thought ,that counted.
Till next time.....

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Calamari....

Last year I was exploring new things and new foods. I wanted to reach beyond my comfort zone. So I tried Sushi, which I posted in a previous post. I didn't care much for it. Time ran out at the end of the year, so before this year went any further, I wanted to try Calamari. You see for me, Calamari (squid) has always been fish bait and something I put on a fish hook to catch Sea Trout or Shark. So to get past the "fish bait" thinking, was not easy for me. I could not even imagine eating "fish bait"; no matter what you call it. But I bit the bullet the other night with some friends and ordered a Sampler Platter with Calamari on it. Thank goodness for the Marinara sauce that came with it. I did taste two pieces without the sauce and found it to be rather bland, as in no taste. The third piece I had with Marinara sauce. So I have accomplished what I set out to do, I did taste it. As far as I am concerned, "Been there, done that, will definitely not do it again." For all of you who like Calamari, all I can say is, "Welcome to it."
Till next time......

Icicles.....



Till next time.....

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Abandoned Bird's Nest.....

One of the many interesting nests you can find in the bare trees of winter.
Till next time.....

Monday, February 6, 2012

Snow and Hoarfrost...

I woke up this morning to a winter wonderland. Hoarfrost was all over the trees.
 It was an amazing sight to behold. So I grabbed my camera and immediately took off for the lake. I knew I could get my fill of great photos over there.
Just one of the many clumps of snow that have fallen from the tree branches. I ended up with 54 great photos! !
Till next time.....

More Snow Photos.....

 This was taken in the evening as the fog was rolling in. It got so thick, it was hard to see the house across the street.
 This is a hedge that was almost completely covered. Depending on where you lived, we got 9 - 12 inches of snow.
Till next time.....

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Our First Real Snow Storm of 2012

Just a few snapshots of our snow. It is still snowing hard and we have 4-5 inches on the ground now.

Here is a recipe for Snow Cream, but never use yellow snow.

Snow Cream
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup white sugar
1 gallon fresh white snow
In a large bowl, combine evaporated milk, eggs, vanilla and sugar until smooth. Gradually stir in snow until mixture reaches desired consistency. Eat at once.


Till next time......
 It is sticking to the trees and is starting to look like a snowy winter wonderland outside.
This is my woodpecker feeder and it looks like it has been under a snowy siege. But the woodpeckers are still coming to it quite often.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Just a day in the country taking photos. Going from one place to another just clicking away.
I was fascinated by this one pine tree. It also got my allergies going. But getting some great photos made it all worthwhile.
Till next time.....

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Groundhog's Day.....

Today is Groundhog's Day and according to folk lore, if he sees his shadow today, we will have 6 more weeks of winter. This I always find humorous. You see where I live, we are guaranteed at least 8 more weeks of winter, no matter what the groundhog sees. 
But it is folk lore and a fun tradition. It also creates a very fun day for Punxsutawney Phil. (or maybe not) Who likes to be awakened just to see if people can see your shadow. But on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, PA, that's what happened. Groundhog handler Ron Ploucha knocked on the tree door of Phil and woke him up. Since Phil saw his shadow, he was put back in his home to take a nap and as per folk lore, we will have 6 more weeks of winter.
Till next time......