Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Peach Cobbler Bread

Our Lake neighbor Barb is such a great cook. I would dub her "Queen Of Comfort Food". I have encouraged her to blog as she loves to cook. Friday night after our neighborhood pot-luck dinner, Barb gifted each of us with a neatly wrapped loaf of the Peach Cobbler Bread. We toasted our bread and enjoyed it at breakfast the next following days. Try this recipe and you will agree, it is a treat! Thanks Barb for sharing the recipe!
Peach Cobbler Bread
Ingredients:
1/3 cup butter(softened)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup water (I used syrup from peaches)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. almond extract
1 cup diced peaches
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped pecans
TOPPING:
2 Tablespoons chopped pecans
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
***
Directions: In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in water and extracts. Stir in peaches. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder:gradually add to the cream mixture. Stir in pecans. Pour into a greased 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan. I used 3 small ones. Combine topping ingredients: sprinkle over batter. Bake 350 for 50-55 min. About 40 min. in small pans.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Perfect Paella

Our oldest daughter makes the best Paella. Today I received an email from Mary with an article that appeared in The Wall Street Journal Online with a recipe for the dish.
TIP: To keep the paella pan from rusting between uses, dribble vegetable oil onto a folded paper towel and wipe it over the surface of the pan. Before using again, wash thoroughly with soap and water.

***
THE RECIPE

Serves 6

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 large, ripe tomatoes
1 teaspoon sweet pimentón de la Vera (Spanish smoked paprika)
¼ teaspoon saffron threads
1½ pounds chicken thighs, preferably boneless and skinless, chopped into 
     bite sized pieces
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

½ pound mixed mushrooms, such as shiitake, portobello, cremini and oyster, 
    cut into large dice.
4½ cups chicken stock
½ cup dry sherry
2 cups Calrose rice
10 blanched almonds

1 clove garlic
½ bunch of Italian parsley
½ cup frozen peas

***
Directions:
1. Slice tomatoes in half, and grate each on a box grater over a bowl. Discard skins; set pulp aside.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over high heat. Lightly season chicken pieces with salt and pepper, and brown on both sides until deep golden. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.


3. Fry mushrooms until browned in oil and chicken fat. Set aside.

4. Set 18-inch paella pan over two burners at high heat on the stove top, and heat 1/3 cup olive oil. Add tomato pulp and cook until darkened, about 5 minutes. Add paprika and saffron, and cook for about 1 minute. Add chicken pieces and mushrooms; add sherry and cook until evaporated. Add chicken stock; bring to a boil.

5. In a food processor or mortar, puree parsley, garlic and almonds, with a tablespoon or two of water until smooth and stir into pan.

6. Sprinkle rice across the pan and stir until the grains are submerged, then don't stir again. Cook on high heat for 10 minutes, rotating the pan on the two burners to distribute heat. Using a small spoon, test rice and stock and add salt as needed. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking for 6 minutes. Test rice again. If it is still hard, continue cooking for 2-4 more minutes.

7. In the final 2 minutes, sprinkle frozen peas over the top and return heat to medium-high, listening for a crackling sound to ensure the bottom is toasting but not burning. Remove from heat, cover with paper towels and let sit for 5 minutes.

8. Use a metal spoon to scrape toasted rice from bottom of pan and serve.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Grilled Sea Scallops On Tortilla Chips With Avocado Puree And Jalapeno Pesto

Grilled Sea Scallops On Tortilla Chips With Avocado Puree And Jalapeno Pesto
***
Friday evening the neighborhood gathered on our patio for an evening to remember. We had a potluck dinner with everyone contributing. This neighborhood is filled with very talented cooks and our meal was de-lish!
Mary brought a platter of appetizers which were just "over the top". The recipe is from Bobby Flay of Food Network. Say no more. I hope you enjoy the dish as much as we did. Thank you Mary.
***
Ingredients:
20 large sea scallops
Olive Oil
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
10 blue corn tortilla chips
10 yellow corn tortillo chips
Avocado Puree, recipe follows
Jalapeno Pesto, recipe follows
Cilantro leaves for garnish
***
Directions:
Heat grill to high. Brush scallops on both sides with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the scallops until golden brown and slightly charred and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
***
Spread about a tablespoon of avocado puree over each chip. Top the puree with a scallop and top each scallop with a dollop of the jalapeno pesto. Garnish with cilantro leaves.
***
Avocado Puree
1 ripe Hass avocado, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
2 Tablespoon chopped red onion
2 limes, juiced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
***
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until combined, but still chunky. Puree until smooth if desired.
***
Jalapeno Pesto
1 1/2 cups cilantro leaves
4 jalapenos, grilled and chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons pine nuts
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
***
Combine cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, pine nuts, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the oil and process until emulsified. Scrape into a bowl.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Monroeville High School Class of 1953

click on photo to enlarge
Monroeville High School
Class of 1953
The Class of 1953 met this week for another annual reunion. My husband's class has maintained a close friendship over the years. Such a nice group to spend an evening with!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Path To Freedom Park














One of the more atrocities marked in the history of The United States is slavery and the unfair treatment of people because of their race. Sandusky Ohio was marked as The Path To Freedom. Slaves boarded ships and were taken to Canada where they lived in exile.
***

Several years ago I was given the topic of The Underground Railroad to research a program for my Literary Club and I also included the newly built museum in Cincinnati Ohio. We have all read Uncle Tom's Cabin and the escape route of the slaves seeking freedom. The Ohio River was crossed at Cincinnati by the slaves in their path to freedom which made a very appropriate site for the museum.
***
Sandusky Ohio has a park recognizing the historic role the city played in "The Underground Railroad". Named The Path To Freedom Park, I found the artist's concept very unique and interesting. The park is located on the site of the first fire station built in 1834 and later dedicated as Facer Park. What makes the park so unique is the sculpture. A resident's face, arm and hand, and knee was molded for the figures and a local industry, Union Chain supplied the materials for the unique sculpture. I view the chain symbolizing the bondage of slavery

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Peach Blueberry Pie

Peach Blueberry Pie
Yesterday I posted a recipe from my friend Beverly. Last evening I had dinner guests. Following an episode with car problems and being stranded waiting for my AA provider to get me back home, I was short on time. I was so sure I had plenty of peaches until I sliced them for the pie. How often is necessity the mother of invention? This wasn't necessarily invention but more just need. The recipe called for 3 cups of sliced peaches. I made up the difference with blueberries. This is a great but easy recipe and I recommend everyone try it. Thank you again Beverly.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Peach Pie

Last week I blogged a recipe for Pumpkin Bars provided by Julia and her blog Kingdom Jewels. I also made the statement that she comes from a long line of great cooks. Today the recipe is from Beverly who is mother of Julia. I will add to my statement that I challenge anyone to make a pie crust that is more flaky and tender than what Beverly bakes. She is well known and envied for her baking skills.
FRESH PEACH PIE
1 - 9 inch baked pie crust

3 cups sliced, peeled peaches

1 - 3 oz. pkg. peach Jello

1 1/2 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

2 tbsp. cornstarch

Cook Jello, water, sugar and cornstarch over medium heat until ingredients are dissolved and mixture is thick and clear. Cool, pour over sliced peaches and pour into pie crust. Refrigerate several hours before serving. Keep refrigerated.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

20 Secret Household Cleaners

20 Secret Household Cleaners

Copied from YAHOO.
These 20 money-saving cleaning tips can help solve almost any household cleaning problem. Just shop your pantry for these secret cleaners to disinfect, polish and shine.

***
Eliminate Odors with Coffee Grounds Eliminate Odors Try coffee grounds to keep your refrigerator smelling nice and fresh, just as you do with an open box of baking soda. Place them, new or used, in a bowl and remember to replace them every month or two.

***
Clean your Garbage Disposal with Ice Chill Out Use ice to cleanse the blades in your garbage disposal and break up the grease that collects on the rotors. Every few weeks, toss in a handful of cubes, turn on the disposal and run cold water. Add some orange, lemon or lime peels to ward off odors.

***
Soften Grease with a Dryer Sheet Soften up Grease Get baked-on foods off pots and pans with a dryer sheet. Just place one in a pot, fill with water and let sit overnight, then sponge off the next morning. The antistatic agent weakens the bond between the stuck-on food and the surface of the pan, while the fabric softener works its loosening magic.

***
Absorb Grime with a Newspaper Absorb Grime Cover the bottom of your trash can with old newspapers. It's an easy way to keep clean and soaks up leaks and odors.
***

Gather Shards of Glass with Play-Doh Gather Shards of Glass Pick up tiny slivers of broken glass—the ones you don’t notice until you’ve stepped on them—by gently pressing a slice of bread or a piece of Play-Doh on the area. Be sure to wrap the glass up carefully before throwing it away—you don’t want an animal to eat it or a child to play with it.

***
Zap Bacteria in your Microwave Zap Bacteria To keep bacteria from taking up permanent residence in your kitchen sponges, rinse them with water at the end of each day, squeeze, then put in the microwave for three minutes. Let cool before touching. Do the same with your cutting boards, if they are microwaveable.

***
Clean your Microwave with Lemons Use Lemons to Clean your MicrowaveHarness the power of citrus to clean your microwave: Cut a lemon in half, squeeze juice into a small bowl of water, add both lemon halves and place in the microwave for five minutes. The fresh scent eliminates cooking odors, and condensation from the steam loosens random splatters that have hardened. Wipe with a damp cloth.
***

Use Mouthwash as a Floor Cleaner Use a Substitute Floor CleanerTry Listerine mouthwash if you’re out of floor cleaner. Add a capful to a gallon of water and mop vinyl or tile—but not wood—floors with the mixture. The same product that kills bad-breath germs also zaps the gunk beneath your feet.

***
Use Disinfecting Wipes Grab a few disinfecting wipes to give faucets, sinks, tubs, toilet seats—you name it—an easy daily touch-up.
***

Pretreat your Tub Pretreat your Bathtub After going over your bathtub, sink or shower with disinfectant, wipe the area with baby oil or lemon oil. Do this once or twice a month, and it will help dirty water bead and roll down the drain faster, buying you more time before the next cleaning.
***
Clean your Toilet with Effervescent Tablets Scrubbing Bubbles Freshen the toilet bowl with effervescent tablets (denture or antacid) in between scourings. Drop two in the water, let soak for at least 20 minutes, then brush and flush. A can of cola dumped in for one hour also does the trick. The phosphoric acid in the beverage removes rust rings and other mineral deposits.
***
Dust with a Dry Paintbrush Dust Tough-to-Clean Items with a Paintbrush A dry paintbrush (with bristles at least 3 inches long) is great for both the surface and grooves of your collectibles. Dust framed photos with a pastry brush, which is softer than a paintbrush and easier to dip into corners and places that are difficult to reach.

***
Revive Canvases with White Bread Revive Canvases with White Bread Cut the crust off a piece of white bread, squish the bread into a doughy ball and use it to gently dab the surface of paintings (but not valuable or antique works). Once the ball is covered with dirt and grime, start again with a new slice. Use a pastry brush (or another soft-bristled brush) to clear off any crumbs.
***
Dust with a Pair of White Gloves De-grime Shades Take a hands-on approach to your mini blinds and venetians. Just slip on a pair of white cotton gloves, dip fingers into a solution of equal parts white vinegar and warm tap water, then run your fingers across both sides of each slat. Rinse gloves as necessary in a bowl of clean water.
***
Clean mud with a potato Remove Mud with a Spud Slice a potato in half and gently rub the cut end on a muddy slipcover or comforter. Soak the fabric in cool water, then throw it in your next load of laundry.

***

Keep Air Pure with Houseplants Go Green with Houseplants Keep air pure with houseplants. Research from NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America suggests that palms, English ivy, ferns, mums and similar plants remove up to 87 percent of indoor pollutants. Use a lint brush to dust plants Freshen Foliage Use a lint brush with disposable sheets to dust lamp shades and plant leaves. Use Dry Rice and Water to Clean Vases Shake it up To wash a narrow vase, pour in 2 tablespoons of dry rice and ½ cup warm water, cover with the palm of your hand, shake vigorously, then rinse.
***

Shine up Brass with Ketchup Raid the Fridge to Polish Brass Shine brass using a dab of Worcestershire sauce or ketchup. Squeeze the condiment onto a cloth, rub the item, then rinse with water and dry with a towel.

***
Wipe up Scuffs with a Tennis Ball Scour Scuffs with a Tennis Ball Use a new tennis ball to wipe scuff marks off tile, vinyl, woodwork—even painted walls. It won’t harm the surface.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pumpkin Bars

My recipe today comes from another blogger Julia,(http://jewels.esmilde.com) who lived in the community where we lived forty years and was a great friend of our daughter Anne. Julia comes from a long line of great cooks. I hope you will take time to try her recipe and also check her blog. Julia has an interesting family which she photographs and blogs along with such beautiful shots of nature and her daily life. In this photo she is photographed on the left with her daughter, (they are not sisters). That was added to eliminate confusion as Julia has maintained her youthful appearance. Thanks Julia for sharing your recipe.
Pumpkin Bars
Beat together:
2 C winter squash or pumpkin (cooked, puree’d, or in my case canned),
1 1/2 C sugar,
3/4 C oil,
4 eggs,
1 tsp vanilla,
1/2 tsp salt.
Then, mix in 1 C flour,
1 C whole wheat flour,
2 tsp baking powder,
1 tsp cinnamon.
Pour into a greased 11×17 inch jelly pan. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes.
NOTE: Julia said she used only all purpose flour and the results were great.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More On The Monarch Butterfly

Several years ago we were docked at one of the Canadian Islands in Lake Erie during the butterfly migration. I became very intrigued with the many different species on flight. I captured many beautiful zebra monarch butterflies on milkweed pods with my camera. It was after researching the tiny creature that I learned of the natural defense they absorb from this plant. (explained in my previous blogging of Wednesday)
***
This article was taken from the area newspaper of Wednesday. I thought it was of such interest that I am choosing to add it to my posts to further explain the activity in our area of people interested in the beautiful creature of God's creation.
***
Back to the Wild's Mona Rutger showed off caterpillars and chrysalides during a presentation for Hocking College students on Tuesday, as well as educating them on tagging monarch butterflies. Curious about tagging butterflies? Well, put away the tranquilizer gun and trade in that itchy trigger finger for a gentler touch. Researchers have been studying the monarchs’ migration patterns for years, and groups like Monarch Watch have spearheaded citizen-scientist efforts to track the butterfly’s flight patterns from the U.S. to Mexico. Scientists devised a way to “tag” butterflies at the point of capture, with others recording the tag numbers when the butterfly is found in Mexico or elsewhere. Each fall, nearly 100,000 people participate on Monarch Watch’s tagging activities to promote conservation of the butterflies. The data provides insight on the migration path, survival rate and more. The butterflies are caught by net late in the evening or early in the morning, when feeding on flowers or roosting on foliage. Researchers grab the bug’s wings with one hand — using a gentle grip — and then place a sticky tag with a waterproof number on the underside of the butterfly’s hind wing. Each individual tag is recorded in a database at the point of capture and discovery. Want to learn more? Visit monarchwatch.org, where you also search a database of tagged butterfly data. *copied from the Sandusky Register of September 15, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monarch Migration

Monarch Migration
I posted yesterday about the butterfly migration on Kelleys Island. Today I found an article in the area newspaper reporting the monarch butterflies were resting in mainland Sandusky which is on the Lake Erie shoreline. This photo is taken from the Sandusky Register newspaper. Each year the monarch butterflies rest until conducive winds prevail before their continued migration south to Mexico.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Flora and Fauna

click on photos to enlarge Double click for largest photos
Flora and Fauna
We are taught that animal has the lower form of intelligence. Are we discounting their intelligence? Butterflies in their migration south, gather at Canada's Pelee National Park in Bass trees at the most southern point of the park and the inhabitated mainland. When a northerly wind blows, they begin their southerly flight across the 34 miles of Lake Erie to the shore of the United States. Have you ever wondered why birds do not eat butterflies? It is due to the "milk" of the milkweed pod they ingest which makes a butterfly very bitter.
***
As you can tell a northerly wind blew very strong over the weekend and butterflies were everywhere on Kelleys Island. A weekend festival celebrating the monarch was held the past weekend!
***
If you enlarge the photo of the bumble bee, it is interesting how it has used it legs and pendages to attach to the flower.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Island Holiday


Kelleys Island
One week ago today we boarded the ferry for Kelleys Island to spend time with our friends Paul and Beverly. We cycled the island on Ohio State Route 525 with a speed limit of 25 mph. We didn't break the speed limit on our bicycles but we did enjoy many beautiful and great views of nature and Lake Erie. The winds of Fall were with us and the crispness of the early morning air told us seasons are changing! What a great place to spend time enjoying the ambiance of an island and the art of The Master!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Skyline Chili

Skyline Chili
This dish is another regional recipe with an origin in Cincinnati. It can be found on the menus of many restaurants and also fast food restaurants which are chain operations specializing in Skyline Chili. It can be ordered several different ways. The sauce in cans without meat can be purchased in grocery stores in the area as well as packets with the blend of spices.
***
Ingredients:
1 quart water
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 1/2 teaspoon red pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 to 4 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 pounds ground beef
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 whole bay leaf
5 whole cloves
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
***
Directions:
In a 4-quart pot, add the ground beef and bring to a slow boil over medium heat for 30 minutes. While cooking, stir beef occasionally and separate into a fine crumbled texture.
Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for three hours or so. You can cover the pot for the last hour of cooking if the chili has reached the desired consistency.
Serve over cooked spaghetti.
How to serve Skyline Chili: 3-way: includes spaghetti, chili sauce and finely grated Cheddar cheese
4-way: includes spaghetti, chili sauce, Cheddar cheese and onions
5-way: includes spaghetti, kidney beans, chili sauce, Cheddar cheese, and onions.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Goetta

Goetta
Last evening we returned from a trip to Belterre, Indiana which is on the Ohio River, near the Ohio and Kentucky border. I noticed a dish at the breakfast buffet that I had never heard of prior. I am always eager to try something new. I asked the person next to me what Goetta was. As soon as he spoke, I recognized from his accent that he was native to the area. (they speak with a drawl.) I decided to check the internet this morning to find a recipe for the dish.
***
I learned some interesting facts in my search of a recipe. In the late 1800's there was an influx of German immigrants to the Cincinnati area and with them came many of the dishes native to their homeland. Goetta was one of them. Today Cincinnati has a Goettafest to celebrate the German heiritage. There is one meat packing company in Cincinnati that commercially makes the Goetta. This is a very common breakfast dish in the Cincinnati and northern Kentucky area. It was very tasty and probably something I will make when I am having company to eliminate having to eat it for weeks. I am sure I will make half of the recipe amounts when I do make it.
***
One other dish that is native to the area is Skyline Chili. This is a chili spiced with cinnamon and a slight amount of cocoa served over spaghetti pasta. I will feature this recipe on another day.
***
Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground sausage
8 cups water
2 1/2 cups steelcut oats
1 large onion
1 to 4 bay leaves (optional)
3 teaspoons salt
pinch pepper
***
Directions:
1. In a large pot bring to boil the oats, salt and pepper and the water. turn down , cover and simmer for 2 hours.
2. Add the meat , onions and spices , cover and cook for another hour, stirring ever so often.
3. Pour the mixture in a pan and let it cool. Refrigerate until ready to use.
4. Now turn loaves out , make slices and fry until browned in a small amount of butter or oil.
***
1. Crock Pot Method: Heat the water first in the Slow Cooker with the salt and Pepper.
2. Add the oats and cook on high for 1 and 1/2 hours
3. Add the meat, onions and spices and cook covered for 3 hours more on low. If thick enough then uncover and cook a bit more until thickened.
4. Follow instructions 4 of the regular method.

Breakfast Dish Goetta

Ingredients: 1 lb. ground beef 
1 lb ground pork or sausage 
8 cups water 
2 1/2 cups pinhead or Steel cut oats. Also known as Irish oats 
1 large onion, diced 
1 to 4 bay leaves (optional)
3 teaspoons salt pinch of pepper
***
Directions: 1. In a large pot bring to boil the oats, salt and pepper and the water. turn down , cover and simmer for 2 hours. Editor's Note: I frequently use steel cut oats. I have learned that if I soak the oats in the water overnight, I can reduce the 30 minutes required to cook the oats to a simple 5 minute breakfast dish.
2. Add the meat , onions and spices , cover and cook for another hour, stirring ever so often.
3. Pour the mixture in a pan and let it cool. When cool refrigerate until ready to use.
4. Now turn loaves out , make slices and fry until browned in a bit of butter or oil.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Trivia Of The Day

Trivia of the Day
Why do people clink their glasses before drinking a toast? It used to be common for someone to try to kill an enemy by offering him a poisoned drink. To prove to a guest that a drink was safe, it became customary for a guest to pour a small amount of his drink into the glass of the host. Both men would drink it simultaneously. When a guest trusted his host, he would then just touch or clink the host's glass with his own.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hof Brauhaus

Hof Brauhaus, Munich Germany
Among my box of gifts that I received yesterday were two menus from the world famous Hof Brauhaus in Munich, Germany. The menus were not just a routine menu but the 200th Anniversary Menus. They were printed in German and the second menu was printed in English which I am sure delighted our Italian granddaughters since both are very fluent in German and English. Many of the items, I could figure some of the German words and maybe enough to know some of what the dish that was listed. I know kartoffel is potatoe, bier is beer, and schweinsbraten is pork sausage. Do I need to know anymore?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Le Cordon Bleu Paris

Le Cordon Bleu Paris
I have two granddaughters living in Italy who vacationed this summer as a family touring several European countries. While they spent time in Paris, the two girls took a cooking class at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. As I understand eleven year old Anna has become very proficient at making risotto. Today a parcel arrived with several gifts from their travels. Thank you Mary, Silvano, Laura and Anna!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Horseradish Crusted Salmon

Horseradish Crusted Salmon
A group of friends gathered for dinner at Avery's Restaurant in July. Several of our friends were served an entree of Horseradish Crusted Salmon. Everyone remarked of its wonderful flavor. The restaurant owner generously shared her recipe which I will share with you.
***
Ingredients:
Dijon mustard
Horseradish
Bread crumbs
Butter
Heavy Whipping Cream
Dill weed
***
Directions:
Mix Dijon mustard and horseradish: spread on salmon with a thin coating. Top with bread crumbs. This will creat the crust. Bake 15 minutes at 350.
***
Meanwhile heat equal parts of butter and heavy whipping cream until slightly thickened, about the consistency of a gravy. Remove from heat and add dill weed. Spoon a small amount over the baked salmon.