Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bread Pudding....for One.......

I often get hungry for the simple things in life. Bread pudding is one of them. But when you aren't cooking for a big family any more, who wants a big dish of bread pudding hanging around. So this is my answer to a few slices of stale bread. You can add 1 Tbsp of fresh blueberries, dried cranberries, a few banana slices, or as shown here, some broken up chocolate bar. If you use the chocolate bar, add it on top after baking the pudding. I used Baker's Chocolate Orange pieces and it gave it a bit of an orange flavor. But you can use the chocolate of your choice.

Bread Pudding
1 egg
1 slice bread, cubed
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
5 shakes cinnamon
1 tbsp. raisins
Nutmeg, dash
Orange Zest, approx.1/2 tsp or to taste (optional)
Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350F.
Mix milk and egg with sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon in a 2- or 2 1/2-cup bowl . I use a small corning ware baking dish. (It's about 2 small custard cups in size.) Add cubed bread and raisins .Make sure it soaks up all the egg and milk mixture. Bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned on top and set in the middle.Personally, I think baking it in the oven is worth the wait. Microwaving it just never seems to do justice to your ingredients. But if you've a mind to, give it a try and use whatever method you like.
Without the chocolate, it is very good with a lemon sauce poured over it.
Till next time......

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkin Harvest.......

The pumpkins are ready for harvest and the pies are being made. What could be better than roasting your own pumpkin and baking that family favorite pie?
Yum!! Just look at what's for dessert tonight. Don't wait a second longer. Get that apron on and start baking.
For many of you pie may not be on the menu. But most certainly, a pumpkin roll is. Couldn't you just taste a slice of pumpkin roll and a nice hot cup of coffee or tea?  Each season has it's own special times and food. Enjoy this wonderful harvest season.
Till next time.......

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sunrise Beauty..........

Yesterday, I got up and opened the blinds on the door. It looked very much like it would rain. The clouds were very dark and threatening. But before long the sky started to change color.
 Instead of the gray clouds, there was a pink hue that made the clouds very blue.
As the sun came up a little more, more pink was visible and the clouds were even more blue.
Then as quickly as it had started, it was moving on. As you can see in the lower right corner of the last photo, there is clear white sky. But the whole cloud system was rather ominous. All of this took place in a matter of five minutes. This is one of the reasons, I like getting up early. I can't bear to miss the beauty of the sunrises.
Till next time......

Monday, October 28, 2013

Apple Time.......

Don't you just love the fall of the year when apples are at their best? Yes, it's apple time here. Fresh, delicious, crisp apples, apple cider and caramel toffee dip. What sounds better than that? There are so many recipes on the Internet for an apple dip. But this is my favorite. It has everything in it to make that apple taste better, if that's possible! It is also the easiest recipe. Most say to make your own caramel sauce, but why bother, just buy the caramel apple dip by the produce section? Now it doesn't get any easier than that.
Apple Caramel Toffee Dip
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1 16-oz tub caramel apple dip
6-12 oz of toffee candy bar, broken in pieces
Apple slices, use your favorite eating apple.
Put caramel apple dip in a bowl and add softened cream cheese in a bowl and beat until smooth. Fold in the toffee candy  pieces. Serve this with apple slices. So Good!
Till next time....

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Fall Foliage.......

Fall arrived a few weeks ago and the trees are starting to turn color. I only saw this one reddish tree  at the park today. But isn't it a beauty! So I guess it is a bit early for them.
The yellows, however, are quite vibrant now. There were yellow trees all over the park. Just every where you looked, you could see yellow.

The redbud bushes were this brilliant red. The park is so beautiful when the trees change color. One of my favorite months, is October, with it's wide array of different colors.
Till next time.......

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult.......

"Vanishing Acts" by Jodi Picoult is the story of a single father (Andrew) who adores his daughter (Delia) and has made her feel special since she was a little girl. But when the girl is twenty-eight, the police come to their door and arrest her father for kidnapping. He had taken her away from her Mother after a custodial visit and moved East. He had gotten fake names, Driver's license, passports and birth certificates. They were a new family with new names, a whole new identity. But now Delia, doesn't know who she really is; her whole life has been a lie. The father admits to his crime but Delia's boyfriend, (Eric) a lawyer, wants him to plead not guilty. So the story is how to defend Andrew and try to keep him out of jail. Delia meets her Mom and starts to remember bits and pieces of her earliest childhood. She meets a Hopi Indian lady (Ruthann) when she goes to  be with Andrew; as he was extradited to Arizona; where the kidnapping took place.  Ruthann befriends her while she is there. A long time friend and reporter also goes to Arizona to write about it for his newspaper. Will Delia finally find happiness and learn who she is? Will she have a relationship with her Mom and does Andrew go to jail for 10 years? There is a lot going on in this story and it moves rather quickly. There are several twists and turns to keep you interested. Great read!
Till next time......

Friday, October 25, 2013

Change of Heart - Jodi Picoult........

"Change of Heart" by Jodi Picoult is the story of several characters. A little girl who needs a heart transplant, who wasn't born yet when someone killed her older sister and father. A man (their convicted killer) on Death Row who wants to give his heart to the little girl to save her life. But if he is given a lethal injection, his heart will be of no use. The mother doesn't want the heart of a killer and neither does the little girl. It is a story of how the killer hopes to get around the lethal injection and a priest and a lawyer, who try to help him. There is so much to this story; many roads to see if this can be done. Not the least is trying to convince the Mother and girl to accept this heart. Will the little girl get the heart or will she die along with the killer? This is definitely worth reading and will grip at your own heart. You won't be expecting the twist at the end of this story.
Till next time......

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Black and White Sundae........

If you are my age, you will remember a black and white sundae with 3 scoops of ice cream. It's one scoop of vanilla, then hot fudge, one scoop of chocolate, then marshmallow sauce, then one scoop of vanilla, topped with hot fudge and peanuts and a dollop of whip cream. Does that ring a bell or two with you? Well, not long ago, I was at Cherio's in Ashland, NE., and I felt like reliving a high school memory. So I asked the server if she could make one. She was way too young to know what it was. So I explained what it was and she said sure, she could do it. So there I was in "hog heaven" reliving a wonderful time of my past. How many calories?...Well, when you are in "hog heaven" you don't really care. How much did it cost? I have no idea. But can you really put a price on a memory, especially such a yummy one?
Till next time.......

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Acorn Squash Sausage Bake.....

Fall is in the air and winter is not far behind. My thoughts go to pumpkins and squash. Here is a recipe from Musselman's Applesauce that is so good. What could be better than Baked Acorn Squash with a bread type stuffing with sausage and applesauce? Now really....can you think of anything better on a cold night?

Acorn Squash
2 acorn squash
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons butter
1 pound ground pork sausage
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons raisins
1 egg
2 cups MUSSELMAN’S® Apple Sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a shallow baking or casserole dish. Cut each squash in half lengthwise. Remove and discard seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, saute onion and butter in large skillet for 3 minutes. Add sausage and cook until no longer pink. Remove from heat and add other ingredients except brown sugar. Shape mixture into 4 equal balls. Remove squash from oven. Turn squash over. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Place sausage ball in each squash cavity. Cover the baking dish and return to oven. Bake 15 minutes, then uncover and bake 15 minutes more until squash is tender. 
Till next time......