Sunday, March 5, 2017

Year 2, Week 11, 3-5-2017

Thoughts and QuotesI still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.
                                                                                                John Burroughs

And he left off all the recipes I want to make, all the trips I want to take, all the thread I want to crochet, all the thrift stores I want to visit, all the subjects I want to study, all the TV shows I have recorded, and on and on and on. I'm always amazed when someone talks about being bored. Doesn't apply to me or my friends (contact and blog) or my relatives. We don't have enough time in the day. We agree with John Burroughs.

John Burroughs was a naturalist, a writer, a teacher, a farmer, and a bank examiner. Hmmmm. Interesting collection of jobs. He wrote about nature, and I must say that some of his titles are rather intriguing. You can see them if you scroll down after clicking HERE.

Tasting: I neglected to finish telling you about Bev's cake at our VECC lunch. She baked it in a pan like this and I forgot to give you the recipes for the four fillings: chocolate, almond, peanut butter, and cherry.


Frangelico Hot Fudge Sauce (Chocolate)
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup Frangelico
1/8 tsp salt
6 oz chocolate chips
3 Tbs light corn syrup

Heat cream, Frangelico and salt to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips. Stir until melted and then stir in corn syrup.

Almond Pastry Cream (Almond)
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar (divided)
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
5 Tbs cornstarch
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp almond extract

Heat milk with 1/4 cup sugar in a heavy medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Increase the heat and bring to a simmer.

Whisk remaining 1/4 cup sugar, eggs, and egg yolks in medium bowl until lemon colored.

Add cornstarch and whisk until dissolved.

Whisk 1/4 cup hot milk mixture into egg mixture and then pour all into saucepan.

Increase heat and boil until it thickens, whisking constantly until smooth.

Strain into a bowl and whisk in butter and almond extract.

Creamy Peanut Butter Filling (Peanut Butter) 
1 cup peanut butter
3 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbs butter

Mix together thoroughly.

Cherry
Use cherry pie filling right from the can.

And I left off the easy recipe for the peanut butter fudge we got as party favors.

Tai Chi Tracy's Peanut Butter Fudge

24 oz almond bark (white or chocolate)
2 cups peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
Butter for buttering the pan
Topping (optional) - chopped nuts, peanuts, peanut butter cups, sprinkles, etc.

Melt the bark and stir in the peanut butter. Pour into a buttered pan and refrigerate until firm. Use the size pan which you prefer, depending on how thick you want the fudge.

Muffin Tin Monday: I cut rounds of puff pastry and lined the muffin cups and baked it. The pastry puffed up, I cut off the tops (leaving a rim), and pulled out the middles. I used them for the February Tea to hold Chicken Waldorf Salad.


Tidy Up Tuesday turned into Tea for Two Tuesday when I staged my February Tea. (Below)

Where To Wednesday: We had lunch at Fork and Spoon and were well pleased. Robert and Martha had a Chicken and Potatoes Skillet.


Joey and Katie had an Oriental Salad


Bill had a Spicy Cajun Shrimp Skillet


My Gyro was the least exciting


The food is unique and beautifully presented. Take a look at some of the photos HERE.

Try Something Thursday: I followed Joey's instructions for peeling boiled eggs. You gently tap the eggs on the countertop until the shells are completely cracked all over. Then when you start peeling, break the membrane which surrounds the egg and it will peel right off, taking the shell with it. IT WORKS!

Friends Over Friday: I was the friend over when I attended a gathering after the Celebration of Life for the son of a friend who made his transition on February 27. 

I was asked for the ingredients in the Macaroni Salad I took to the gathering. Too many to remember, so I said that I'd post it instead.

MACARONI SALAD
Janice Lesperance

Macaroni, shells or elbows, cooked
Celery
Green onions
Green olives, stuffed
Ripe olives
Green pepper
Hardboiled eggs
Shredded cheese
Mayonnaise
Dijon mustard
Salad Supreme (in a jar in the spice section)
Dill weed (dried or fresh). My daughter uses dill seed or you could use chopped dill pickles.


Sayonara Saturday: I gathered the papers to do my income taxes, and then clear out the files.

Things That Grow: My daffodils made a full recovery after the storm. Good, because I need them to dress up my ugly fence.


Teas: The February tea is finished.




Savories: Bacon-Cheese Finger Sandwiches, Chicken Waldorf Salad in Puff Pastry Cups


Scones: Cherry Scones with Butter and Cherry Jelly


Sweets: Snowball Cookies, Cake Squares


The bacon-cheese sandwich filling is actually Jiffy Bacon Dip, and I made a Waldorf salad and added chopped chicken to fill the puff pastry cups.

JIFFY BACON DIP (OR SPREAD)

5 green onions, chopped
8 oz (about 3 cups) finely shredded sharp cheddar
1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Put all ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.

Cover and chill at least two hours.

Spread it on crackers or celery, dip Frito chips. I even use it to make finger sandwiches.

As this is a February tea, I decided to do a play on George Washington's chopping down the cherry tree story (not true), I decided to make cherry scones with butter and purchased cherry jelly. No fresh cherries in the markets around here, but I had a jar of cherries. They were really dark, almost burgundy colored. So I decided to just try a basic scone and add chopped maraschino cherries and a glaze on top. They're really good.

CHERRY SCONES

3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2-1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick cold butter (1/2 cup), cut into small cubes
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup chopped maraschino cherries

Heat oven to 400°.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.

Cut butter into dry ingredients to fully incorporate.

Stir in buttermilk just until all is moistened.

Gently stir in cherries.

Drop mounds onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

Bake 30-35 minutes, turning sheets and moving to higher or lower oven shelves to brown evenly.

Make a runny glaze of powdered, a little lemon juice and milk to drizzle over cooled scones.

Makes 16 scones and recipe can be halved with good results.


The snowball cookies must be loved around the world because they're also known as Mexican Wedding Cakes and Russian Tea Cookies.

SNOWBALLS
(aka Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cookies)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup chopped walnuts (or nuts of choice)
Powdered sugar for coating

Heat oven to 350°.

With electric mixer, beat butter until light.

Add vanilla; then add sugar, a little at a time.

Beat until light and fluffy.

Add flour and combine well.

Stir in nuts.

Form into 1” balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet an inch apart.

Bake 12-15 minutes to pale golden.

Cool on sheets for 5 minutes and then roll in powdered sugar to completely coat.

I planned to make Mocha Cookies, but I was making a white cake for Joey's birthday, and the phone rang. I picked up where I left off and put three eggs in the batter instead of just the whites. I went ahead and baked the cake and put it in the refrigerator. When I was doing the tea the next day, I just cut it in squares, put canned chocolate frosting on top, added a dollop of Cool Whip and a fresh raspberry. Turned out to be a tasty combination. 

Theme Dining: I did the Miss Scarlett's Favorites dinner again. Martha (she's from Alabama) told me that in no way would Miss Scarlett have been served grilled pineapple rings with her ham, so I left them off this time.

The Invitations


The Table





The Party Favors

When Brother Bill and I were shopping in a cluttered thrift store, he got down to dig under some tables and pulled out a box of Mark Twains. Friend Barbara told me that they were part of a collection of Famous Americans. I thought they looked like southern gentlemen, so I used them as party favors.


The Menu


The Food




We had whipped cream on our pie, though I'm not sure that Miss Scarlett would have had Reddi-Wip hanging around.

She probably would have homemade pickled beets, and I have a good recipe if you're interested (email me), but you probably take yours from a jar, as I do.

She would probably have had cornbread or (beaten) biscuits instead of Sister Shubert rolls. They're not made by a nun; Sister is a name they use a lot in the south. I think it's usually a nickname, not an actual given name. Anyway, since Sister is a southern thing, I took the liberty of pulling them out of the bag in the freezer and baking for five minutes.

GRITS CASSEROLE
Barbara Woods Chilcutt

1 cup quick grits
3-1/2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
Minced garlic, sliced green onions, paprika (optional), See Note

Heat oven to 350°.

Cook grits according to package directions.

When thick, stir in butter and cheese.

Cool, and add eggs and milk.

Pour into greased 13 X 9 baking dish.

Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until firm.

Note: When you add the butter and cheese, you can also add some minced garlic or sliced green onions. You can also sprinkle the top with paprika if desired.

COLLARD GREENS, SOUTHERN STYLE
This recipe is from Southern Living Magazine – I think

8 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb ham, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 32-oz containers chicken broth
2 1-lb packages collard greens, washed, stems removed, and chopped into small pieces
2-1/4 oz cider vinegar
2 tsps sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Cook bacon in a large stockpot over medium heat 10-12 minutes or until almost crisp.

Add onion, and sauté 8 minutes.

Add ham and garlic and sauté 1 minute.

Stir in broth and remaining ingredients.

Cook 2 hours or to desired degree of tenderness.



SWEET POTATO PIE
Cut from a newspaper - submitted by Rose Watson

2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (From a 29 oz can or cook your own)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
2 eggs, separated
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 unbaked pie shell

Heat oven to 400°.

Combine sweet potatoes, butter, egg yolks, brown sugar, and spices.

Stir in milk – mix well.

Beat egg whites one minute, and then add sugar gradually until stiff peaks form.

Fold whites gently into sweet potato mixture and spoon into pie shell.

Bake at 400° for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 350° and bake 45 minutes more.

Note: Use a deep dish or 10” pie plate.

It will puff up, but then settle in as it cools.


Whew! One more tablescape to go and February will be finished. March will be easier, as all the Tablescapes are finished, and I don't have to redo the Theme Dining tables. I just have to redo the menus and make the food for photos. The March Tea is finished also. Hooray! Maybe I'll get some cleaning and yardwork in this month. I might even finish my taxes. Wow!

MAKE A WISH ON THE FULL WORM MOON NEXT SUNDAY

TURN YOUR CLOCKS AHEAD NEXT SATURDAY BEFORE YOU GO TO BED

EAT YOUR APPLES

AND YOUR GREENS

CALL YOUR MOM, GRANDMOTHER, AUNTIE - SHE MISSES YOU

PLAN YOUR BEACH VACATION

THANK YOU FOR SHARING MY LIFE








6 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness Patsy! So many goodies again! It's a good thing it's almost lunch time for me. ;)

    I'm with you in that there's never enough time in the day to do all I want to do!! Wouldn't it be cool if we didn't need sleep? I can't even imagine how much more I'd accomplish. Or if I didn't ever watch tv. It's such a waste, really, yet there are so many shows I like and things I learn from some shows. Lol

    I love all of your tables and menus this time. I'm going to try that puff pastry trick. What fun way to serve chicken salad! And I that table for 2 by the fireplace is so cozy looking.

    And I love the Miss Scarlet table - so pretty! Such pretty soft colors and the cute decorations. Your menu fit that theme perfectly!

    But one of my very favorites was seeing your daffs. Anything flowers speaks so my soul right now as I patiently wait for Spring in my Northwoods. Could be a while before we see it too. ::sigh:: Patience is a virtue, right?

    Blessings on your week Lovie! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An easier way to serve chicken salad is in the already prepared cups in the frozen foods section at a good supermarket. I don't think they have them at Walmart, but a large market probably would.

      On a visit to Atlanta, we visited the Swan House, which belongs to the historical society. They have a lady lunch restaurant in the coach house, and that's the first time I saw this method. We had two of them on a plate with a frozen fruit salad and cheese straws (big in the South) and I can't remember what else. It was years ago and I was impressed.

      I just Googled it, and guess what?! They're still serving it, but now instead of puff pastry cups, they're using a crust shaped like a heart. Maybe it was just for Valentine month. Anyway, to check it out and then click on Dining and Events for some pretty photos. http://www.swancoachhouse.com/

      Hang in there - spring is on the way. Love to you, hubby,and the kiddos.

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  2. Oh! Scone! That crunchy taste is my favorite! What a gorgeous table set on the elegant lace table cover. The menu paper is pretty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you'll like the tablescape I just finished. It will be posted on Monday.

      Delete
  3. I have a lot of plans and intentions too, but then I am too lazy, lol ! that's my problem, but I am not bored. I used to love cooking now I hate it, strange isn't it ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with you on cooking. I don't like to just "cook". I like to try new recipes or find recipes which fit a theme dinner.

      However, the most fun is just reading cookbooks and thinking about all the recipes I want to try.

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