Sunday, October 31, 2010

Savory Bread

Savory Cheese and Chive Bread
Today we are visiting with our children in the Bay area. Our daughter Barbara always has something ready that she has freshly made. Today our sampling was from her newest cookbook, "Around My French Table" written by: Dorie Greenspan. What an interesting book and such great photography. Barbara has found a newly opened business called "Omnivore Books". It is "heaven" to every person with an interest or need of a cookbook. Tomorrow I will blog about that store. This is a great bread or even toasted or baked as a muffin for brunch. The recipe is common in the Champagne area of France. Ingredients:
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt (depending on the salt and add ins)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (or more to taste or even a pinch of cayenne)
3 large eggs at room temperature
1/3 cup milk at room temperature
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 generous cup coarsely grated Gruyere, Comte, Emmenthal, or Cheddar
2 ounces Gruyere, Comte,
1/3 cup freshly minced chives or other herbs

1/3 cup toasted walnuts, (optional)
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 8 x 4 1/2 x 2 3/4" loaf pan.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and white pepper together in a large bowl. Put the eggs in a medium bowl and whisk for about 1 minute, until they are foamy and blended. Whisk in milk and olive oil.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and using a sturdy rubber spatula or wooden spoon, gently mix until the dough comes together. Stir in the cheese and herbs and the walnuts. The dough will be thick. Turn the dough in too the buttered pan and smooth the top with the back of the spatula or spoon.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the bread is golden and a slender knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and wait for about 3 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the pan and turn the loaf over onto a rack, invert and cool right side up. Makes 1 loaf

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Red Hills Of Sedona

The Red Hills Of Sedona
A trip to Arizona can be filled with sights which are as diverse and beautiful as the mind can hold. We extended our trip a few days with a visit to Sedona. It is a visual treat remembering the Zane Grey novels which were written in the settings of the Red Hills and also for western movies. This is a sight seeing trip every person should witness in their lifetime.

Along with the sights are those who feel a Vortex with health benefits, energizing the mind and spirit.  Crystals can be purchased to assist with spiritual or physical needs.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Meet Pvt. Fugina

Meet Pvt. Fugina
Meet Pvt. Fugina, the emcee of the 2010 Military Reunion. Casey always embellishes every story with humor and drama. This year he set the scene with a shirt that belonged to another buddy who has been unable to attend recent reunions. This was his friend's shirt and hat of his army issue. Pvt. Hoffman was unable to pack it in his duffel bag and his friend Casey obliged. The shirt was used as a fishing shirt for 50 years by Casey. Also pointed out were the holes left following Pvt. Hoffman being "destriped" for missing bed check prior to his discharge. The plan is to gift wrap the shirt and next year one of the men will stop by Pvt. Hoffman's home to deliver his long lost shirt and hat!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


click on photo to enlarge!
This is a copy of a greeting card. Yes, what would Julia do? I think make reservations!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The San Diego Waterfront

Nature Lite Uprooted Above Sea Level Balancing Act Redfern
Time Passages
Time Passages
Entrapment The San Diego Waterfront
One of the attractions of the San Diego Waterfront are the sculptures that are displayed for a year along the Bay. Annually a charity ball is sponsored. During the evening the sculptures are auctioned and funds are donated to charities. I am always intrigued by the clever designs and the themes. Very, very interesting.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


While touring the Amalfi Coast of Italy, we saw bottles of Lemoncello for sale everywhere. Lemon trees were growing in yards, landscaping, literally any space avalable where the soil could support a tree. The sights were beautiful. Since the airlines has a ban on liquids, I restrained myself from making a purchase. Yesterday I saw Giada make this recipe on her show. Since we have such an abundance of oranges in California, this may replace the traditionally served mimosa by my family. I am guessing the Lemoncello is made with the same process replacing the orange peel with lemon peel.

7 medium oranges, preferably organic
1 bottle vodka
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar

Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the oranges in long strips (reserve the oranges for another use). Using a small sharp knife, trim away the white pith from the orange peels; discard the pith. Put the orange peels in a 2-quart pitcher or large glass bowl. Pour the vodka over the peels and cover with plastic wrap. Steep the orange peels in the vodka for 4 days at room temperature.

In a medium saucepan, combine the water and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool, about 20 minutes. Pour the syrup over the vodka mixture. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. Strain the orangecello through a mesh strainer. Discard the peels. Transfer the orangecello to bottles. Seal the bottles and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours and up to 1 month.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cranberry, Ginger and Orange Chutney

Cranberry, Ginger and Orange Chutney
It seems when the weather cools I begin to think of holiday gatherings and recipes for the meals. Since one family member is a vegetarian I always try to think of accommodating her with adequate but complete choices. I found this recipe for chutney which my favorite store Trader Joe's can never keep in stock. I hope you too will enjoy this with your Thanksgiving meal and turkey.
2 large naval oranges
2 pounds fresh cranberries
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Using a sharp knife; peel the oranges, removing all of the bitter white pith. Working over a bowl, cut between the membranes to release the sections. Squeeze Re juice from the membranes into the bowl. Cut the orange sections into 1" pieces.
In A large saucepan, combine the cranberries and water with 1/4 cup of orange juice from the bowl and bring to a simmer over a moderate heat. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have popped, about 10 minutes. Add the vinegar, both sugars, the ginger, and the orange juice from the bowl and bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until thick, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly, then season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Best Apples For Eating And Baking

The Best Apples
For Eating And Baking
All apples are not created equal—at least when it comes to cooking vs. eating them fresh. But regardless of variety, they’re all good for you. A medium apple (3-inch diameter) contains 4 grams of fiber; a large apple (3 1/4-inch diameter) has 5 grams of fiber. Apples also offer a bit of vitamin C and potassium. So what apples are best for your lunchbox and what apples are best suited for your apple pie? Well, that depends.

The Best In the Eating: Well Test Kitchen, we’re partial to McIntosh and Granny Smith for baking. When the softer McIntosh mixes with the more toothsome Granny Smith, presto! You’ve got yourself the perfect apple pie.

McIntosh: The tender white flesh is crisp when freshly harvested, but soon adopts a softer consistency, making it perfect for cooking into pies or sauce. Macs are sweet and juicy with a pleasant tanginess.

Granny Smith: This apple is sharp and tart and its flavor holds up well in recipes with spicy notes; the flesh is firm enough to retain its shape when cooked.

The Worst Red Delicious: These apples are sweet, crisp and grainy. They lack a tart element and a rich apple flavor, which is what makes apple pie so great. You’re better off leaving them out of your pie.

The Best: So, what is the best apple to pack away for that perfect snack? That depends on personal preference, but I like Honeycrisp.

Honeycrisp: This apple has exceptionally crisp, juicy, sweet-as-honey flesh with just a hint of tartness that makes it a tasty treat any time of the day. (You can also use it for baking, but with its sweet juicy flesh, I find I eat them so fast there’s never any left for my pie.)

The Worst Red Delicious: Some people (like myself) actually like their texture—when eaten fresh, not cooked. Most apple connoisseurs may turn their noses up at this plain Jane variety for either application, but I stand by the Red Delicious as a decent snack.

Have fun experimenting with apples to find the one you like best.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Giada's Mushroom Salad

Giada's Mushroom Salad
Two chefs who are televised on The Food Channel get my nod for being cooks who use healthy preparation methods with fresh and nutritious ingredients. Giadi DeLaurentis and Ina Gerten have programs that I will take the time to view occasionally as they prepare foods that I would serve my family. Today I watched Giada prepare this salad and thought it looked so tasty that I would prepare it.
1 pound large button mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned and thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-ounce piece Parmesan

Serving suggestion: assorted French cheeses and Poilane Bakery-style breads
Directions: In a medium salad bowl, mix together the mushrooms and parsley. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and lemon juice until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the oil mixture to the salad bowl and toss until all the ingredients are coated. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan on top and serve.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Sentinels Of South Bass Island

The South Bass Sentinels
The shoreline of South Bass Island is dotted with several homes listed on The National Historic Register. The beautiful homes are so well maintained. Two of the historic homes which everyone views when arriving at The City Docks appear as Sentinels of South Bass Island.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Meet Cody

click on photo to enlarge
Meet Cody
Meet a dog movies should be made to tell their story. This beautiful Golden Retriever sits in the back seat of the car waiting for an admirer. He extends his paw and insists a handshake. He patiently awaits his master. We visited South Bass Island and found this delightful canine at The Hineman Winery.