December 31, 2014
December 18, 2014
So ~ December’s Improv Cooking Challenge, hosted by Lesa, simply called for RED & GREEN ingredients. Because of the busy-ness of this season, I was sorely tempted to make some crisped rice squares topped with red & green candies/sprinkles! However, I decided to “upgrade” and share the recipe for my fellas’ favorite condiment.
The lovely thing about tapenades is their versatility & adaptability to ingredients on hand. In dark, desperate days my pantry has been raided for a can of black olives, a little granulated garlic, olive oil and a handful of green olives sent through the chopper.
Today, however, we’re going to plan ahead and be a little more selective with the components of our dish. Here are the basic ingredients:
- 1/4 lb. each of kalamata, stuffed green & plain ol’ black olives - rough chopped
- scant 1/2 cup capers
- 1 fresh red pepper (smoking optional, of course & jarred are easier to use)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh lemon thyme
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
There were a few remaining red peppers hanging about my fall-depleted garden. We sliced then tossed one of those on the smoker for a bit, along with a large garlic clove. And, I found some basil and lemon thyme in my patio pots. The remaining ingredients we gleaned from Sprouts!And since
you can’t consume tapenade usually is not consumed straight out of the jar, I made some crostini from gluten free baguettes I baked off of this bread recipe.
Need more RED & GREEN recipe ideas? Check out my friends’ creations at these links:
December 16, 2014
This year, I found “NOEL” and decided to study up on it. And I’m glad I did, because Monday when our exterminator stopped by he asked what that word meant.Some researchers claim the word Noel simply means a Christmas song and that it dates from the early 19th century. A few state that it originated centuries before the French used it. Some say that Noel means “good news”. My favorite explanation (and the one I shared with my bug guy) asserts that “NO-” comes from the Latin natalis which means “birth,” and “-EL” of course, is Hebrew for God. Thus, to me, Noel celebrates the birth of God.
Like last year, we visited our friends’ church to hear their Christmas concert.
And again, as I was leaving the church, God brought me “my word” as He did last December.
May you be blessed this season as we celebrate His birth.
December 11, 2014
Struck with a “stroke of genius” I rescued the heart insert from an old spring-form pan and rusted it.
Attached with wire, and in the right light, Mrs. B looks like an angel.
She tried to fit in with the other angels atop the old telephone table; but the space was a bit cramped...
She thought she might try the angel tree in the front room; but realized without a light of her own, she was outshone by some of the others.
…but she looks marvelous living in my kitchen.
(I believe I will show Mrs. B off over at NewlyWoodwards for Dare to Deck the Halls linky party.)
November 20, 2014
Yeah -- like my son knows how to make an apfel kuchen to take to his post-marching-band-season party!
For some reason my boys are fascinated with German folk traditions & food. For an international dinner years ago in his 5th grade class, “we” made this kuchen:I don’t recall the reason for these “we” baked a few years back, maybe for an Easter brunch:Here’s the one “we” baked for last week’s party:The recipe I came up with for the sweet dough is incredible! (It rises like you would not believe, too…) Here you go:
for the dough:
- 4 c. flour
- 2 t. salt
- 1/4 t. baking soda
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 T. yeast
- 2 eggs
- 1 c. Greek yogurt
- 1/2 c. warm water
While that was going in the machine, I used my apple peeler/slicer/corer on 3 beautiful Honeycrisp apples and splashed them with a little lemon juice to keep from browning. I also tossed together the streusel ingredients:
- 1/2 c. flour
- 1/4 c. brown sugar
- 4 T. butter, softened
- 1/2 t. cinnamon
I know he’ll be unhappy with me, but here’s what my oldest returned with from their band party. I’ve included my pics of him in uniform so you can see what the certificate is referring to:
At the Improv Challenge hosted by Lesa, this month it was all about apples & cinnamon. I made the decision to create gluten free churros and an apple caramel dip. Initially I planned to juice 3 varieties of apples and make caramel from that.As “fun” as that process was, the resultant caramel came out a little lumpy & too sweet, for my taste.I’d been seeing caramel recipes made from hard cider, so decided to give that a try.
I began by making the cinnamon sugar finishing “bath”.Next I prepared my eggs so they’d be ready to add to the hot pâte à choux without any
for the caramel:
- 1 bottle (12 oz.) Angry Orchard® hard cider
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons half & half (you could use cream )
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
for the churros:
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 cup gluten-free flour blend (I used Pamela’s®)
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
So, I loved the incredible apple-flavored caramel sauce and I loved the cinnamon churros ~ however, together they were much too sweet for my taste… But, try the recipes for yourself before you make that call! You should also check out the other apple & cinnamon creations from my friends via the following links.
If you don’t mind, I would like to leave you with one last picture & ask you to pray for a sweet boy from our church. Nick is battling a nasty, terrible, ugly monster named Osteosarcoma. You can attribute this churro to my poor piping skills, but as I was emptying the last of the dough from the tip, this came out. I was touched in my heart, because I had spent the morning praying for Nick & his family.
Last month our mobile contract was up & 3 of our phones were eligible for free upgrade. So, now 3 of us have the exact same phone. Well, except mine is white.Which is great, except the OtterBox® cases are all three black.Well not anymore! Thanks to masking tape, white spray paint & a good coat of Mod Podge® mine stands out a little.In fact, the guys make sure they’re not caught dead with my phone…But here’s the best part: