Saturday, April 30, 2011

Belleau Kitchen Challenge....

This was another fun challenge from my  friend Dom over at Belleau Kitchen.  
The challenge involved going back to your very first cookbook.  I think I got this one right and hopefully if my memory serves me correctly the first cookbook I ever owned is titled Doin The Charleston.  It's a little paperback book that showcases all the the grandest restaurants in Charleston South Carolina. Here is the recipe I chose.
Hot Spinach Salad
  • 1 lb. raw spinach
  • 5 strips of cooked bacon
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/3 cup tarragon vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. dry English mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup hard cooked egg chopped
  • 1 cup blue cheese
After washing the spinach put it in a wooden bowl and place in a warm oven, along with the serving plates.  Cook the bacon until crispy, then pour off most of the bacon grease.  Add the olive oil and heat.  Add the Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, tarragon vinegar, dry mustard, sugar and lemon juice stirring until thoroughly heated.  Remove from heat. Add chopped egg and blue cheese and mix.  Pour hot mixture over warm spinach and toss.  Crumble the bacon and sprinkle over the salad.  Serve immediately.  This salad was very good, but I also knew my husband would want something a little more substantial so I added grilled shrimp and grape tomatoes.  Thanks Dom this was a lot of fun.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Wedding Fun.....

What kind of person dresses their best friend up as a princess?  Why would someone want to embarrass  their most devoted and trusted confidant? Well, because there is love in the airwaves and we are going to celebrate the Royal Wedding in style. Everyone deserves to be a princess/prince today so let's have some fun.

What is your Royal Wedding name?  It's really very easy.   You first begin with either Lord or Lady.  Next you take the first name of one of your grandparents.   Followed by your surname which is the name of your first pet, doubled barreled with the name of the street you grew up on.  Let's do it, it will be lots of  fun.   Please comment back and post your Royal Wedding name.
Respectfully Royal,
Lady Sarah Rowdy Suttle

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bacon Maple Cupcakes....

The beginning of April wasn't one of the most appealing  months this year. To me it had that November feeling.  Naked trees and dull gray skies.  The knolls, fields and lawns still had that worn down pressed hay look. 
To make up for the gray ugliness of early April, Mother Nature has blessed us with maple syrup.  Delicious Grade A Amber Maple Syrup.

This mouth watering delicious recipe uses two of my most favorite ingredients.  Enjoy!!
Bacon Maple Cupcakes
* 4 1/2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
* 1/2 tablespoon bacon drippings (left in the fridge to become solid)
* 1 egg
* 5 tablespoons brown sugar
* 4 tablespoons maple syrup
* 1 1/4 cups self rising flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* pinch kosher salt
* 1/4 cup milk
* 1/4 cup of minced bacon, cooked and drained
What you’ll do–
* 1) Cook some bacon in a fry pan (about 6 thick strips). Reserve the drippings and place in the fridge to solidify. Mince 1/4  of a  cup of the bacon.
* 2) Beat the  the butter and solidified bacon fat until light and creamy. Add the brown sugar and maple syrup and beat  until combined.
* 3) Add the egg and beat until incorporated.
* 4) Sift the flour, salt, baking soda and powder together.
* 5) Add some of the flour and mix, then some of the milk, then continue to alternate the dry and wet ingredients, ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in the bacon. Taste and add more maple syrup, flour, or milk if needed for desired taste. Keep in mind the maple frosting is very sweet, and to add in very small increments for alterations as maple syrup in large amounts can break a cake batter.
* 6) Scoop into cupcake papers and bake at 350 F for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Rotate the pan after the first 15 minutes for even baking.
Maple Syrup Frosting
* 4 tablespoons of butter.
* 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.
* 1 cup of powdered sugar.
* turbinado sugar (optional, but recommended)
* coarse grain sea salt (optional, but recommended).
What You’ll Do –
* Combine the syrup and butter until combined. Add the sugar, a bit at a time, and whip at high speeds until combined. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes. Sprinkle on sea salt and turbinado sugar for decoration and added flavor.
*Top with crumbled bacon.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter....

My niece Katie and I made these sweet bunny and chick Easter cookies the other day.   We think  they are quite  lovely if we do say so ourselves.   It was the first time we had decorated with Royal Icing and let me just say it is not as easy as it  appears to be on  the You Tube tutorials.  We used my sugar cookie recipe that I posted on in December (remember my frosting fiasco) and as for the Royal Icing recipe we went to the Sweetopia website.  
We had so much fun decorating these adorable confections that our next project will be nautical inspired cookies for the Fourth of July cookout hosted by Katie's mother who just happens to be my sister.  Katie lives seconds from the ocean so lobsters and sailboats  along with some patriotic flags seem to fit into the theme of Fourth of July and the ocean at the end of their street.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

There's No Crying In Baseball......

Guess what friends!  There is crying in baseball. There's lots of crying in baseball.  Especially when you're a Red Sox fan and your team has had the worse start in the clubs storied history. Things are looking up though, well sort of and I try to remain hopeful.  I have stopped switching channels during the games and have put a plug on the bad language I seemed to mutter through my clinched teeth.  Still there are times I just can't bear to watch.  During these stressful times I will pop in one of my favorite baseball movies.  Here's my list....swing batter batter swing!
  1. Fever Pitch (2005) Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon. A very familiar story for obsessed  Red Sox fans.
  2. Field of Dreams (1989)Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones.  If you build it he will come.
  3. A League of Their Own (1992) Geena Davis, Tom Hanks and Madonna. Women's Baseball League during WWII.  There's no crying in baseball.  I love that line.
  4. The Natural (1984)  Robert Redford, Glenn Close. A baseball player who has unnatural baseball talents.
  5. Bull Durham (1988) Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon.  Will he make it to the "SHOW."
  6. For the Love of the Game (1999) Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston. An aging pitcher gives up much to play the game. 
  7. The Rookie (2002) Dennis Quaid. A high school baseball coach makes it to the major leagues after his team wins the championship.
  8. Angels In the Outfield (1994) Danny Glover, Tony Danza and Christopher Lloyd.  A young fan prays for a miracle.
  9. Sandlot (1993) James Earl Jones.  Just about being a kid and loving baseball.
  10. Major League ( 1989) Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen and Rene Russo. Raunchy and very funny. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Please, Why Not, How Come, It's Not Fair.....

What's wrong with me.  Haven't I learned anything these past twenty five years.  I should be absolutely brilliant at begging and pleading.  I could be the CEO of all begdom.  After all, I've had years of experience listening to my kids beg and plead for one thing or another.  The tool shed is out friends.   Sadly, the tool shed will not become my sweet little hen house.

"Come on" I was told. " Where would we put the lawn fertilizer, beach chairs, umbrellas and flower pots"?  Oh,  I know where to put them alright.  Believe me when I tell you I know exactly where they could go, but because I like to keep things civilized and polite I will keep that location to myself. 

So I will proceed to plan two .  A lovely little coop I fell in love with on this wonderful blog The Bok Flock.  The coop is really quite charming and size wise just perfect for my small yard.  Until the time that I have my own charming little coop complete with hens,  I will continue to  purchase my eggs from local backyard chicken keepers.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Honey Bee Good Muffins....

I like to use local honey in as many recipes as I can.  This  muffin recipe uses half a  cup.   Mmmm yummy.  I did make a few changes though.  First I added 2 teaspoons of grated orange zest to the batter and then additional walnuts and  raw sugar to the top of the muffins before I baked them.  

Here is the recipe.  Bee careful you don't eat to many.

Honey Muffins
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup raisins ( I used golden raisins )
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. grated orange peel
  • 1 cup shredded carrots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tin with paper liners.  In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder,cinnamon, salt, nuts and raisins.  In small bowl, mix eggs, orange juice, oil, honey, vanilla, and orange peel.  Stir the liquid ingredients into dry ingredients,  Stir in carrots.  Spoon batter into muffin-pan cups..  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.  Makes between 15 and 18 muffins.
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