Sunday, February 19, 2017

Year 2, Week 9, 2-19-2017

Thoughts and Quotes:  Burp!       Me

Another week centered around food. This has to stop, but it's so much fun.

Monday night was my date night with Steg (Sally's husband) and the restaurants were jammed. I think everyone figured that Valentine's Day on Tuesday would be busy, so they went out Monday. We ended up eating burgers at Red Robin.

I made the food so I could take photos for my Theme Dining book. And I redid the menu, so Winter Wonderland is finished.

Baked Alaska is easy and makes a nice presentation. After experimenting, I found that this method works best:

Need to start the day before serving

1 cake (scratch or box) baked in a 10 x 15 jelly roll pan
 1 rectangular box of ice cream
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Cut cake into squares or circles, or any desired shape.

Cut a 1” slab of ice cream horizontally; cut circles with the same cutter used for the cake, or squares same size, from slab.

Spread thin layer of jelly over cake.

Top with ice cream and put in freezer.

Beat egg whites until frothy.  Add cream of tartar and continue beating until foamy.

Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.   Beat in vanilla.

Frost “Alaskas” and return to freezer overnight.

Heat oven to 500 degrees.

Just before serving, bake “Alaskas” 2 or 3 minutes or until browned.

Serve surrounded by fruit puree or chopped fruit.

Note:  Recipe is for individual “Alaskas”.   Make a multi-serving round or square “Alaska” (using only one layer of cake) by the same method.  Height of cake or ice cream is your choice in either method.

To make the strawberry puree, I just chop up fresh strawberries, mash them a little, and add sugar. No need to get out the blender.

And since I had all that food, Steg, Sally, and Martha joined me for dinner.

Lunch out on Wednesday, Dinner out on Wednesday, lunch out on Friday and I grabbed a sandwich at Subway on Thursday. Saturday I made Mexican food (my version - Mexicans wouldn't recognize it): Chicken enchiladas, hearty Spanish rice (made with hamburger and topped with sour cream), chile relleno casserole, bean salad, and tortilla chips. 

When I was a teenager, my friend Linda would make this Spanish rice (the recipe was on the Minute Rice box), and we'd have it with a can of green beans and bread and butter. Life used to be so much simpler.

From Minute Rice box

1 lb hamburger, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 green pepper, chopped
2 small onions, cut in half and thinly slice
2 cups Minute Rice, uncooked
3 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
2 8 oz. cans water
Sour cream, optional

Brown hamburger in a large skillet.

Add rice.

Add green pepper and onions, mix.

Add tomato sauce and water.

Cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until right amount of liquid has been absorbed.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

And that's not all. 

Muffin Tin Monday: I had one banana which was really ripe, so I made half a recipe of banana muffins.

The three V's: Very Quick, Very Easy, and Very Good. Here's the recipe.

Bellevue Women’s Ministry-Joy Garcia

1-3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/4 tsps cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 bananas, mashed
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup oil

Heat oven to 400°.

Grease muffin tins (makes 18).

Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a well in the center.

In another bowl, mix wet ingredients and pour into well.

Mix just until moistened.

Bake 15-18 minutes.

Note: Use spoon to mix wet and dry ingredients. Whisking makes them tough.

Tidy Up Tuesday became Friends Over Friday.

Where to Wednesday was back to Beth's Bake Shoppe. No, it's not in New Mexico; it's in Springfield, Missouri.

The eating area is surrounded by cake replicas.

So Robert decided to just have a cup of broccoli-cheese soup

So he could eat cheesecake

Joey had quiche, soup, and slaw

I had a chicken and cucumber wrap

And Martha had chicken salad on a croissant.

Try Something Thursday found me back in the kitchen. I made Carrie's Boston Cream Pie Poke Cake. You can find the recipe on her blog HERE and scroll down.

Friends Over Friday happened on Tuesday, and on Friday it was back to Beth's where Mim and I took Bev for her birthday.

She had the half chicken salad sandwich on a croissant with slaw.

Mim had the chicken salad on raisin bread

with half a lovely spinach salad (yes, this is a half salad).

I had bacon and cheese quiche with half a pear salad. They also added slaw. I brought a quiche sample home to Pepper. He loved it.

Then they brought Bev a complimentary cupcake in a Happy Birthday container.

There was a sweet little yellow flower on the side.

Then we got mints with our check

Lots of Tasting this week, so now you see why my quote is "Burp"!

Tales: I just finished Lawrence Sanders book called McNally's Luck. He's written several books where McNally is the main character and each one is pure delight. Sanders has written some other books which are a little strange for my taste, but the McNally books are priceless. I wish he had written a hundred of them.

Time for Others: Some of my friends took time to make me a Valentine, and aren't they lovely?




I received some pretty store cards also, but I know cardmakers like to see what others are creating, so they can get ideas,

My January book goals are now complete, but here it is February 19, and I have lots to do for February.

I'm going to use the table from the Quack, Quack lunch for one of my tablescapes (plus the red and black snowman table I showed you last week).

That means that I still have all of this to do for February:

Two Tablescapes: Yearning for Spring; Lavender and Lace

Two Theme dinners: 

Buon Appetito: I can use the table photos, but must make the food and photograph it. Redo the menu and photograph. Photograph the invitation. Input recipes for lasagna, breadsticks, tiramisu, and/or panna cotta.

Miss Scarlett's Favorites: I have to redo the table, make the food, make a menu, and photograph all the above plus the invitation. Input recipe for Cheesy Grits Casserole.

Cardinal Tea: Do it all from start to finish.

Nine days left in February - I don't think so. And we're going to Joplin on Where To Wednesday so we'll be gone most of the day. However, March will be easier, so maybe I can play catch up then.








Sunday, February 12, 2017

Year 2, Week 8, 2-12-2017

Thoughts and Quotes: February 9 marked one year since my brother, Sonny, died from injuries sustained in an auto accident. I sent my nephews (his sons) an email saying that I was trying to stay busy and not think about it, but just wanted them to know my thoughts were with them. I've chosen nephew Ron's response as my quote this week.

"A year already (sigh). I miss him, but I don’t think about February 9th as the day dad died. I think about it as the day he started his new journey and I can only imagine what wonders he must be seeing J."

And that night I felt as if I'd received a message from Sonny that he's doing well - take a look at this sunset.

Time for Others: I spent the better part of this week making Valentines -

and Valentines

and Valentines

plus a few I didn't photograph.

Tablescapes: Martha has Bunco again this week. They only use dishes in December - the other months they use paper. But - take a look at the decorating she does for winter and Valentine's Day.

My photo doesn't do the tree justice - it's covered with cardinals.

And she made her front door wreath

Thank You: To my Lil' Bro' Jim and his wife, my Lil' Sis' Becky who bought me two packages of lobster tails (two in each). Why have a lobster tail for dinner if you can have two, right? And yes, I ate both of those potatoes, too.

The Pepper Report: He got a bath on Friday, but I still feel some scabbing on his back near where his tail starts. Seems it's something left over from when he was feral and had fleas and started some sort of sores. I'm treating him with emu oil now to see if I can soften them up.

Making a mess by knocking everything off the shelves just wears him out.

Muffin Tin Monday: I cut some circles from ready-made pie crusts and fitted them into my muffin tin. I baked them for 12 minutes at 375 degrees. When cool, I made vanilla pudding from instant pudding mix and added 1/2 tsp rum flavoring. I cut some banana slices and dipped them in lemon juice and blotted them for the top. I'd use banana pudding next time.

Tidy-Up Tuesday: Took a back seat once more.

Where To Wednesday: Salvatore's in Ozark.

Jim had a sausage and pepper sandwich and a Caesar salad

Bill had  penne with chicken and spicy rosy sauce and a Caesar salad.

I had chicken parmesan.

Joey had Chicken Florentine

The bread and pasta are made on the premises. Oh, yum!

Try It Thursday: I bought a personal drink mixer this week at Aldi for $15. I'm really trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, honest. 

I made a smoothie with a small banana, six strawberries, a 6 oz can of pineapple juice, a little Splenda, and a 1/3 cup low-fat milk. It was pretty good and I whipped it up in minutes.

Friends Over Friday: On hold again. I took Pepper in at 8:00 a.m. for his bath and didn't get the call to pick him up until 12:30.

Theme Dining: Remember the Winter Wonderland table?

I decided to change it slightly. Just finished today.

After I do the food and photograph it, January will be finished. I decided to use the table and food on Tuesday. I can do a traditional Valentine's Day table next year. No sense wasting this when it's all finished, and I have to cook anyway. Then on to February and it needs lots of work.