Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday night brights

Time to take the fall garland down and add a more festive one for the upcoming season. I think it is a bit plain however, even for me. I will have to see what I have around here and add to it.

I love these! I have watered it faithfully each day since I received it on Sunday Cafe from Son and DIL. Imagine a staircase with one on each step, that would be so pretty.

Out this weekend Christmas shopping and I spotted these, I could not leave them at the store! I will be sad when the napkins have been used up.

On Saturday I stocked the freezer with leftovers for future meals. Stock, diced meat that is soup ready, dark meat for casseroles and separately the breast meat.

Tomorrow starts the Holiday season. So many things to do, see and cook! As always, thanks for taking the time to stop and say hello.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Cafe, updated with photos

Today's Sunday Cafe will be very ecelectic, to say the least. We will be using some of the leftovers in creative ways, and simply eating up the others.

Kentucky Hot Browns. I have wanted to try this for years, and today seems like the right time. I looked to find a recipe that was not all cream and full of fat. We will give this one a try. I even have a few leftover dinner rolls to slice and use as the bread base.

Hot Dog Dish, this definitely looks fun! Roll hot dogs in tortillas, cover with chili and then cheese, bake until bubbly. I cannot remember where I spotted this, otherwise I would give credit.Granddaughter was a great help, fun and easy to make with kids.


Cranberry relish and jelled sauce

Orange cream salad

Blue Cheese and walnut spread, served with wheat thins (This would be so good on celery)

Sliced Turkey, Stuffing and Mashed potatoes along with turkey gravy

Tossed salad (lets get a few veggies in there)

Green bean casserole

Sweet potatoes

Banana Bread, Honey's style

Leftover pie

Applesauce chocolate chip cake, this is such a keeper, the longer it sits the better it gets!

Coffee, milk, wine, and sparkling cider

As always thanks so much for taking a moment to stop and say hello.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Banana Bread, with pan roasted banans

This could also be called Pan Roasted Bananas-Banana Bread.

When I asked Honey what he thought about the last banana bread I had baked, he actually told me. What he said was, "I like banana bread with lots of flavor, you know lots of bananas. And I also like walnuts in there, lots of walnuts." But what he did not say was, I don't like whole wheat flour in banana bread. Actually Honey does not like whole wheat anything! He is a soft white bread, kind of guy. So when I sat out to bake a loaf of bread that matched what he described, I varied from my preferred ingredients and made it truly Honey's style, with no whole wheat flour.

Banana Bread, with pan roasted bananas
by the seat of my pants
350 degree oven

6 large very ripe bananas
1/4 c butter
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c oil
1/4 c milk
2 eggs
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 c walnuts, chopped small (I think that helps keep the slices intact)

Combine 4 bananas and the butter in a skillet. Saute over medium heat until golden. Turn as needed. When soft cut into smaller chunks, continue turning to brown all surfaces. When all sides are golden brown, remove skillet from heat source and allow to cool.

Combine the remaining 2 bananas in a large bowl along with the sugars. Use a fork to mash the bananas and sugars together. Add eggs, milk and oil. Stir to combine all ingredients making sure the eggs are well incorporated into the mixture.

Combine the flour, salt and soda in a medium bowl. Whisk to distribute soda and salt throughout the flour.

Gently mash the cooked bananas with a fork Stir the cooked bananas (along with the browned butter) into the banana milk mixture. Stir well. Add the flour mixture to the bananas. Stir well to combine. Stir in the chopped walnuts.

Pour into a prepared loaf pan.  Bake 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes until tests done, in your oven. Let cool in the pan 10 minutes, turn out onto a rack or towel and allow to cool completely. This bread is delicious, a good keeper and by golly it is his favorite.

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello.

This post is proudly shared with:
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage

This post is a part of One Food Club @ Cocina diary,
and Potluck Sunday @ Mommy's kitchen. 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

(some of) Our Thanksgiving Dinner

Dinner rolls

Roast Turkey

Slow cooked green beans with ham hock, thyme, onion and dried tomato.

Oyster dressing.

Pies, pumpkin, sweet potato and chocolate cream.

Making sure there is room for everyone and the food too!

We also had green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, regular dressing and gravy. Along with 3 kinds of cranberries and the orange cream salad.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving menu

Each family has a celebration that reflects likes and dislikes. We are no different. I make some of these dishes only at Thanksgiving. As the years roll by, everyone can look forward to a meal that had each of them in mind.

Roast turkey, I am a turkey fan. I love the whole process and making soup after the big meal. I would serve turkey more often, but Honey is not the fan I am.

In the bird dressing, I would be willing to roast a turkey just for the baked in the bird stuffing! There is never enough of this delicious treat.

Oyster dressing, this is a family tradition started by my Mother. She was an oyster fan. I am not, but I make this each year. The family says it tastes great, I would not know. This year I am trying something new, I will throw it in a slow cooker.

Gravy. This also is usually in short supply item. This year I made up a quart of rich stock by roasting 4 turkey wings until golden (about 2 hours at 350) then cover in water and simmering for an hour on top of the stove. We won't run out of gravy this year!

Mashed potatoes, creamy and just waiting for the gravy to wash over them.

Simply candied sweet potatoes, roasted in the skins until a lightly caramelized. Cooled, peeled and candied very lightly in a skillet for just a moment. 

Green bean casserole, yes that green bean casserole.

Slow cooked green beans with ham hock and dried tomato bits. I love slow cooked green beans, so this year two green bean offerings.

Assorted pickles and vegetable relish tray.

Creamy orange bowl, not health food in any way! I think granddaughter will love this.

Cranberry Trio - fresh relish, spicy chutney, chilled jelly style. Never too much cranberries.

Fresh dinner rolls, I forgot these last year and I missed them. I love fresh rolls at Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Pie, baking two of these. Pumpkin is Honey's favorite pie.

Sweet potato pie, something a bit different. I am looking forward to a piece of this covered in whipped cream.

Applesauce Chocolate chip cake, for the non pie eater in the group.

Wine, milk and coffee

Hey kids, did I forget anything? If I did, bring me up to speed. Quickly before the stores are closed!


Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday night brights

Yes I have put his picture here before, but this is the saga of "crawl space kitty". Agate is a curious cat. He is also very much like a dog in that he will follow you where ever you go. But he is a cat and does not always realize he should not be where he finds himself to be!

This is an exposed part of the floor. It has 2 layers of vinyl flooring, the original 70's yellow pattern that was tiled over some time in the late 90's, I would imagine. But in the center of this shot is a bored out hole where Romex wire was laced down into the crawl space. A half wall was here to divide the dining room from the living room. That half wall was removed to simplify the living room space and create a flowing path that is  easy to move through. This wiring had to be moved in order to close up the floor and make plans to replace the flooring. Honey put it off as long as he could, but I finally won out!

Here is the shot of the wire worked up through the wall (where it belongs) and finished with a housing. Now the wall and the floor can be finished. Which will mean (sorry Honey) a little sheet rock work, a little painting work and a lot of reflooring work.

While all of the wire was being fished and redirected the crawl space was open. When Honey went down into the crawl space, guess who followed? Yes the cat. Later that evening when I returned home from work, Honey remarked "I don't know where the little guy is, I think he went out when the back door was open." Honey went on to say that He had been in and out of the crawl space as well as in and out of the back door for tools etc. I went to the back door and called out for Agate, he was not there. I immediately told Honey, he is in the crawl space. Sure enough we opened up the hatch and there he was, with dust and cobwebs on his whiskers! He got extra treats that night, and each night since then.

Honey loves his music, he is making a catalog of his albums on his laptop.

Finally ripe enough for that next loaf of bread in the ongoing quest for banana bread, Honey's style.

We have food stashed everywhere. The root vegetables are in the garage, the turkey is thawing, and I have 3 bags of cranberries to play with. I am going to make a raw cranberry relish this year. My Mother loved it and it will be in her memory. I want to make the cranberry cordial from this site, and the cooked cranberry sauce from this site.

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Supper Mom!

There she is now!

After a long day at work, she still comes in the door ready to go, she is :
Supper Mom!

Faster than the blink of an eye.
Tastier than a take out meal.
Healthier than the latest Casserole in a box. 

Yes, Supper Mom can do it all, with love for her family!

Today I was going through my craft and sewing supplies, and what a joy to find my Supper Mom! She was created for me by my son. I had long hair at the time, so in that way we sorta looked alike. Well OK we didn't look alike, but I did have long hair. The glass had gotten broke when I moved. I wrapped it up carefully and put it away. I now have a replacement piece of glass, and  Supper Mom! can once again grace my kitchen.

It is fun to find things that are packed away and you are so happy to come across again. I hope you have a lovely weekend, and as always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Just a quick note,

This week I have been a part of the annual review and survey of the Skilled Nursing Facility where I am employed. This is standard procedure and completed annually.

This morning we had the exit interview and explanation of items found. The building and the Team that works there were pleased to be informed that we were only receiving 1 citation/tag.

This is such a good day, do you know how hard it is to receive only 1 finding?

So back to "normal" and more cooking!

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Monday night brights

I found this dry wipe board for the kitchen. We have a very busy refrigerator, but there is always room for one more fun thing on the door.

 Granddaughter loves the media carousel I made for her.  We got to try it out on Saturday, when she had a sleep over.

Pear butter (finally!). I made one small change this year, I buzzed it with my stick blender. Too smooth for me, but it tastes great.

I could not resit this fun and staged shot. Daughter in Law had a gathering on Saturday evening. Her book club came over for discussion and refreshments. I had asked for empty wine bottles, this is one that came my way. 

Yes more banana bread. When I asked Honey what he thought of the last loaf, well I'll be darned if he didn't tell me! This is just a shot of caramelizing the bananas.


Looks so good, and it is. But a little more work, is needed. I have decided to add a new label, "Honey's way". The finished banana bread recipe will be the first one with that label. 

I have been busy at work, we are officially in "survey". I am glad I got some things cooked up this weekend. I have been learning to use the new editing program I chose with blogger. I like it, there is learning curve.

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Flor de Mayo Beans, prepared simply

I had been walking in the bulk section of the local market. They have a nice variety of dried beans. I buy most beans in large packages, it is easier and usually that is the best buy. It is also fun to "window shop" the bulk section, and that is when I noticed the Flor de Mayo bean canister, and proceeded to pour out about 1 pound, to take home.
Flor de Mayo is a pinkish bean, similar to a pinto. But longer and thinner. They are said to have a creamy texture. Today they are in the crockpot. I am cooking them simply, four ham hocks, a couple of celery ribs, half of an onion and a bit of tomato. I have yet to pick up a copy of Heirloom Beans , so I do not have a tried and true recipe to share. I have come to learn, that beans together with a bit of aromatic vegetables and water is all you need. From there the pleasures are just beginning.You can make refried beans, bean soup, beans with red wine vinegar and bacon, white beans with pesto, bean burritos, well I think you get the idea.

Beans are great.

I prefer chopping or dicing the vegetables to be about the same size as
the beans they will be cooked with.

 I started with soaked beans, celery onion, hocks and the can of tomatoes. I simply cooked for 8 hours on high in the crockpot.
Then I remove the hocks, and refrigerate the beans.

The hocks will be skinned and the meat diced and then refrigerated. Tomorrow I will remove the solid fat, taste to see if salt is needed and stir in the reserved meat and dinner is done.

And since beans freeze well, dinner is done for a few meals!

You know I learn more and more what my family likes to eat, and guess what? We love a pot of beans along with a pan of our favorite cornbread. Some of like a bit on honey for that second piece of cornbread, but me, I like maple syrup on my cornbread.

As always, thanks for taking a minute to stop and say hello. We appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Edit Edit and know how to Edit

I knew that I could make up the content of a post and then post it on the day I wanted it to display, but did not know that it is all about the edit options available on your blog settings. I did this with my Monday Night Brights post for 11.09.09. But I had created it on Sunday before I wrote the post for the Rhubarb Compote. You guessed it, when I did publish, it is posted in time with when I wrote it. Which is before the Rhubarb post.

Since that error, I went in to my settings and learned I have been using the old edit feature, and with the magic push of a button switched over to the new and updated version. Whew, so much to learn!

Monday Night Brights can be found here.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Rhubarb and Strawberry compote, a process

I started making this one day, many years ago. It is delicious, especially if you love tart. Or rhubarb, and I love both. Tart, sharp and bitter are my favorite flavors.

Rhubarb and strawberry compote

(all amounts are approximate)

4 c sliced rhubarb, I prefer red because it is so pretty cooked up
1 - 1 1/2 c orange juice
2 - 3 t cinnamon
1/4 c minute tapioca
dash (or 2) salt

1 c sugar
3-4 c whole small strawberries

Sprinkle the tapioca in the bottom of a large pan, next add the rhubarb, then salt and cinnamon. Pour over the orange juice. Bring to a boil, cover and cook on low about 20 - 30 minutes. Until rhubarb is soft and the tapioca is transparent.

Stir in the sugar and the berries. Cover turn off heat and let finish "cooking" about 10-15 minutes.

Pour into a bowl, let cool until warm. Cover and refrigerate.

This is delicious over yogurt or just in a bowl by itself.

Makes 1 large bowl.

This one is for the lovely Jess, who is also fond of this particular concoction. As always thanks for taking a moment from your day to stop and take a look, I do appreciate it!


Monday night brights

I finally emptied a bottle of wine! Funny when I don't need a bottle, there seems to be plenty.

The line up, Blueberry Cinnamon, Chive and Garlic, Peppers and Onion, Orange Mint. I have apple in the works now.

I salvaged this from the waste basket at work. Remember these? Old phone message carousel. With email this was just collecting dust. What did I do with it.....

Filled it with crayolas, retractable (clicker) pens, blunt end scissors, note paper and I will add "easy out" markers and colored pencils. A handy (and fun) media center/holder for quiet times.

It is time to restock the out side pantry. I think I feed more squirrels than birds, but all is good.

A great price on Bartlet pears. I was thrilled, I will get to make a batch of pear butter.

Roasted peppers ready to package and freeze.

They are placed into sandwich bags, and sealed.

Then all the bags go into a freezer bag for long term storage. I do not skin and remove the seeds until I go to use it. These will taste very good this winter. Last year I spent money on peppers and froze them (raw) but I did not use them, a total waste. Never again, this is the way to go. It is easy, and they can be used in so many ways.

Shhh, the lookout.

Thanks for taking a moment in your day to stop and say hello.