Monday, June 29, 2009

Class of 1958

Sixteen Classmates Gather For A Photo Session
Everyone Was So Happy To Be Reunited A Beautiful Appointed Table The Table In The Dining Room
It Was Hard To Say Good-bye Until Next Year!
Click on photos to enlarge
Sixteen members of my High School Graduating Class met for Brunch at "The Victorian Lady" Bed and Breakfast today, June 29 in my hometown. It was so great to remember the good times of our school days, and of course no one has changed .... ever!

Double-Chocolate Bread Pudding

Double-Chocolate Bread Pudding
This is a chocolate lovers dream! served with a dallop of whipped cream, mm good!

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1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
5 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark rum
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract]1/8 teaspoon salt
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
6 cups firmly packed 1/2 " diced challah or white bread (crusts removed befor dicing)
Chocolate sauce:
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chopped
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter 1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 Tablespoon brandy
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, skinned and chopped
Lightly whipped heavy cream for serving
Combine the milk, cream, and milk chocolate in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until the chocolate is completely melted. Remove from the heat. Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk for about 5 minutes, or until pale yellow and a slowly dissolving ribbon forms on the surface when the whisk is lifted. Gradually whisk the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks. Stir in the rum, vanilla, and salt. Set the custard aside to cool.
Melt the semisweet chocolate in a large stainless-steel bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Remove from the heat and evenly fold in the bread. Pour the custard over the bread and let soak for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350. Butter 6 (6 ounce) ramekins or a 9 x 13 gratin dish. Pour the mixture into the dishes, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until set. uncover and bake for another 5 minutes.
While the bread pudding bakes, make the chocolate sauce. Combine the semisweet chocolate, butter, corn syrup, and brandy in a double-boiler over barely simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cream. Keep the chocolate sauce in a double boiler off the heat to keep wam.
Serve the bread pudding hot topped with a spoonful of warm chocolate sauce, a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts, and a dallop of whipped cream. Serves 6

Monday, June 22, 2009

Easy Calzone Pizza

Here's a kid-pleasing favorite that's not too hard on the budget. Even with less meat than a traditional Calzone, there's still plenty of flavor. Easy Calzone Rolls Hands-On Time: 10 minutes. Ready In: 30 minutes Serves: 6 to 8 people.
2 loaves frozen bread dough-thawed
1/2 pound sliced ham
1/2 pound sliced hard salami
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup jarred marinara sauce
Directions: Roll each loaf of dough into a rectangle about 8 inches by 12 inches. Layer ham and salami down the center of each rolled loaf lengthwise. Top meats with 1 cup shredded mozzarella for each roll. Fold short ends of each loaf in about 1/2 inch and seal. Roll from the long sides and pinch well to seal the entire loaf. You should have 2 long rolls. Bake, seam side down on a greased baking sheet in a 375 degree F oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cut each roll into 8 slices and serve with marinara for dipping. Note: I have made this with ham, Swiss cheese, and steamed broccoli. Steaming first will help to reduce excess moisture from the broccoli.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Masala pronounced mah-sah-lah is a sauce usually associated with Indian cuisine. I was first introduced to masala served with lamb at the restaurant Metro Kathmandu in San Francisco.
Masala can refer to a simple combination of two or three spices or a complex blend of 10 or more spices. The principal spice blend in India is Garam Masala. The variations are countless and depend on the cook and the dish being seasoned.
This is my favorite version of Masala.
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onions
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup plain yogurt
Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onions; saute until deep golden, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and all spices; stir 1 minute. Cool to lukewarm. Puree tomatoes with juices and yogurt in processor until almost smooth. Add onion mixture; puree until almost smooth. Season masala to taste with salt and pepper.
Masala can be made 1 day ahead. Prepare to the point of adding the tomatoes, cover and refrigerate. Reheat and add yogurt and serve. Makes 8 servings

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Addictive Morel Mushroom

The Addictive Morel Mushroom
I couldn't resist photographing the morel mushrooms I was lucky enough to find in a boutique market at The Stanford Mall while visiting in the Bay Area. At $29.99 a pound, most people would pass them up for a cheaper mushroom. This skillet full was $7.50. The flavor can be compared to no other as the sweet deilcate flavor stands alone.

As a child I tramped the woods for hours in search of this delicacy. Some years the harvest was plentiful while other years they were very scarce. My husband had never tasted a morel until we were married. Now he is the mushroom hunter. So when do you hunt the morel? My late mother always said the morel mushrooms come and go with the apple blossoms. In Ohio that was usually the first two weeks of May.

How did I prepare these morels? Saute in butter until the mushroom "flattens" its shape. Once the rounded shape is gone, finish with your recipe; don't overcook. I added some cream for a sauce and topped a grilled steak. Now that is eating like royalty!

Monday, June 1, 2009

8th Grade Graduation

Jacob and parents march to Pomp And Circumstance Jacob with brother Phil Proud Granddad with Dad and Jacob Jacob with Father William The Family with Father William The 8th Grade Class Jacob with John Angelo
Saturday's Celebration
Each of the 22 classmates pictured on the cake. The family-hosted class party
Not only classmates were great friends, the parents also were bonded.
Sunday's Celebration
Friends, Family, and Co-workers
More Friends, And Family
The Boys Found A Great Way To Celebrate! 8th Grade Graduation
Friday May 29th was graduation for grandson Jacob. The event was marked with three days of celebration for eight years of hard and I mean HARD work! We are very proud of Jacob.

Monday Memo

Monday Memo
Blogging requires time and thought. I have decided after two years of blogging, which I have thoroughly enjoyed, I am reducing the amount of time I will dedicate to my blog. I will try to blog on Monday with a recipe or journalism that I have found to be very special. After all, the lazy, hazy days of summer are upon us! Donna