I can not begin to tell you how difficult I find it to even think about decorating this house for fall. It is still in the high 90’s during the day. Even attempting to place a real pumpkin outside would be asking for disaster.
At least the mornings and late evenings are finally cooling off to the low 70’s. That helps a little.
Plus, one of my favorite areas to decorate for the season is the front entry.
Today, it looks like this.
Hmm, at least the “caution” cones are a bright pumpkin orange. That might be all the entry decorating we get this year.
No matter ~ I vow to dig out the fall and Halloween decorations today and then do something with them.
The morning and evening cooler temps did instill in me the urge to make a double batch of yummy fresh corn chowder. A double batch because I wanted to share with my very generous neighbor, Cheryl.
A few days ago, Cheryl anonymously dropped off culinary treasures at my front door (yes, she tromped through the dirt to get there). I don’t know for sure if she meant for the gift to be anonymous, but I wasn’t home and she left it with Connor.
Not surprisingly, Connor had no idea who Cheryl was, all he said when I ask who dropped it off was, “I don’t know, she was thin and pretty.”
Oh, thanks Connor, that describes all my neighbors!
After a little detective work on my part, Cheryl fessed up.
This is Cheryl at the Christmas Crafts Class back in December 2012. On that note – watch for info tomorrow about my upcoming Fall Crafts & Decor Class …
So what was the culinary treasure that Cheryl gifted me with?
There were three of them!
Connor was home … so coincidentally there were three of us.
I ate one, and immediately hid the other two – eventually eating all three.
Connor did not know what was wrapped in the towel he had accepted.
Dave never knew they even existed.
They were mine. All mine. And they were delicious!
Thank you, Cheryl!
September 30, 2013 6 Comments
One of the things you’ll usually find in my refrigerator is caramelized onions, sometimes called onion jam.
The process of cooking the onions is slow, but crucial to achieve that soft, tender, sweet caramelized taste. On the plus side, they can be made days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or even frozen.
Considered the crown jewel of dates, Medjool are prized for their large size, extraordinary sweetness and chewy texture. They were once reserved for Moroccan royalty and their guests.
Put the sweet onions together with the sweet dates, wrap them in bacon, and you have perfection! Serve these to your family and guests and thank me later.
May 7, 2013 2 Comments
“Here’s a story of a lovely lady, who was …”
No, stop there! Not “bringing up three very lovely girls. All of them had hair of gold, like their mother, the youngest one in curls.”
Let’s try again..
“Here’s a story of a lovely lady, who is all about getting what she wants. She uses trickery and scams plus plans and schemes, and drives her youngest child insane.”
That could be the theme song for my own sitcom or reality show. Honestly, I drive poor Connor crazy with all my ideas. He desperately tries to resist, but somehow he can’t escape when I pull him into these plans, completely against his will and better judgement.
I’m going to give you the recipe today first, and then if you feel like hearing the story behind it, feel free to read all about it, after the recipe.
This is a fun way to make grilled cheese.
Use whatever cheese or cheeses you like.
Top the cheese with your favorite additional fillings, or no fillings at all.
April 21, 2013 8 Comments
One word about today’s gift from the kitchen. Bacon!
Almond, Chocolate, and Bacon Toffee to be exact. Yes, BACON in toffee!
It’s not something new. I didn’t dream it up. In fact, I’ve spoken of it before. I even made bacon peanut brittle just over a year ago. This year, I’ve decided to give the toffee a go at it.
You and your very lucky, and soon to be grateful, gift recipients will love it! Just be certain to chop your crispy cooked bacon fine … into little bitty pieces. I left mine a bit to big and although I still love that batch of toffee, it is better chopped more fine, as I discovered on my second batch.
On the tenth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me:
Tins of Bacon Toffee
Rum Glazed Eggnog Bread
Fennel Cured Salmon
Spicy Guinness Mustard
Two Jars of Mustard
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Homemade Kahlua Liqueur
Lemon-Sugar Hand Scrub
Cranberry Citrus Vodka
and a bottle of Tomato Dust
Silvered almonds are used in the recipe. You can find untoasted silvered almond and toasted slivered almonds at Trader Joe’s. You will need toasted almonds.
To toast the untoasted almonds; place nuts on a dry baking sheet and into a 350 degree oven for about 12 to 15 minutes, stirring a couple of times until nicely browned. That’s it, now you have toasted slivered almonds and you are ready to make your delicious toffee.
December 9, 2012 1 Comment
Today, it’s another of the recipes from Saturday’s Christmas Craft Party, stuffed mushrooms. What’s not to like? Bacon. Cheese. Mushrooms. Pepper Jelly. It’s all good! This would be perfect to bring to a holiday party.
But, before I get to it, I have to share with you just how clever my friend, Sheila is and how she “constructed” a second long table for our crowd in her craft room.
See this table? It’s really drywall set atop two sawhorses. Next, she cut up two twin bed-skirts and used them as the table skirt. Finally, Sheila used her Kitchen Papers Flourish Paper Table Wrap to cover the top. So resourceful and so darn pretty!
OK, on to the recipe!
Bacon Wrapped Cheesy Mushrooms
15 to 18 slices bacon, cut in half
12-ounces (1 1/2 packages) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup diced green onions
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup pepper jelly
30 to 36 fresh medium to large crimini or white mushrooms, stems removed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with foil. Place a rack atop one of the baking sheets.
Place the bacon pieces, in a single layer, on the prepared baking sheet without the rack. Partially cook the bacon in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool while you prepare the mushrooms.
In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, green onions, cheddar cheese, and jelly.
Use a small spoon to stuff the mushroom caps with the cheese mixture, really pack it in there.
December 7, 2012 1 Comment
These bacon and olive based appetizers aren’t the prettiest plate on the table but with their hint of curry, they are sure to be the most popular!
Many thanks to Barbara Fenzl, who demonstrated this recipe in her classes last month at Les Gourmettes. She agreed to let me to share them with you.
Bonus – They are so Easy-Breezy!
November 7, 2012 1 Comment
Not only did Sheila and I enjoy our Vootbeer Cocktails on Friday night, we also scarfed down some salty spicy-sweet little snacks … ummm … as our dinner. Hey, we’re on a vacation shopping trip – do not judge!
Additionally, this is a “do as I say, not as I do” sort of recipe. We didn’t have any foil, or a rack, so the photos don’t exactly match the instructions. I had to make do with what was available in Sheila’s adorable drool-worthy cottage kitchen.
The kitchen is actually very well equipped, as Sheila is a fabulous cook, but things are sometimes just a bit smaller than I am used to. If you have foil and a rack, which I’m sure you do, then follow the directions and you will be set!
October 15, 2012 1 Comment
More than 2 1/2 years ago I made a bold confession to you – I love Campbell’s Tomato Soup more than homemade tomato soup. Just image my joy and excitement when I saw on Facebook that, for a very limited time, Target was carrying Andy Warhol inspired Campbell’s Tomato Soup cans.
I LOVE those cans, the original art which you can check out HERE and the cans sold at Target. I drove from store to store to store to find all four colors of the cans. Below you can see what I was able to round up.
Warhol created his first Campbell’s art in 1962. It consisted of 32 separate canvases of 32 different Campbell’s soup varieties.
The “extreme” colored cans didn’t come around until 1965. Warhol claimed to have eaten Campbell’s soup for lunch, nearly daily, for 20 years.
No, I’m not going to give you the “recipe” for making Campbell’s Tomato Soup, you’ll find that on the back of the can (I use milk – not water) … how about a grilled cheese sandwich to accompany your soup?
September 20, 2012 5 Comments
Back in early June, I told you how I was going to join a CSA. Well, I did, and I was able to pick up a box of fresh Crooked Sky Farm produce every Thursday morning for the past eight weeks. What fun it was to be surprised by the bounty I received.
For the last four weeks of the eight, there was fresh corn. Corn is one vegetable we never get tired of. This is one of the many “easy-breezy” dishes I created to use up all that corn. Of course, many a night, it was plain old corn on the cob, always a wonderful summer-time treat!
August 12, 2012 3 Comments
This is the final entry of my quick and easy party food ideas for the week… and it may be the easiest of them all. Only four ingredients that take only minutes to assemble and bake.
Get the kids to help and put them together, assembly-line style, and you’ll be chowing down on these puppies in less than 20 minutes.
Tip: I always keep cooked bacon pieces in my freezer. Anytime a recipe calls for bacon that is chopped and cooked crisp, I will cook up a full pound, use what I need, and place the rest in a freezer-ziplock bag. Then when you need a small amount, such as for these poppers, you just pull out what is needed. Perfect for a quick omelet any morning of the week too.
July 18, 2012 2 Comments