Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
One of the best things about Spring is the pencil-thin asparagus readily available. I love asparagus grilled, but it is difficult to do because of its shape--and the very thin stalks make it even harder to keep from falling through the grill or grill pans. Here's a very quick and easy way to cook delicious young asparagus---and clean up is a snap.
Serves 2-3 people that really like asaparagus!
1 pound fresh asparagus- the thinner the better
1/4-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Cut asparagus spears at natural breaking point and discard bottom part of stem.
Place tips in a gallon size zip lock bag. Add olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Using a zip lock is so much easier than trying to do this in a bowl. Zip up bag and as my grandmother used to say, "moosh-el" it all up--coating the asparagus with oil and the spices.
Dump asparagus on to the foil lined cookie sheet--letting oil drip out, too. Arrange in a single layer and put in oven for 12-13 minutes. Sprinkle with grey salt before serving or with lemon zest. This is delicious!
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wudgie knows what the doggie says, the kitty, birdie, cow and baby, too....and what the Mommy says...NO NO NO...complete with vehement head shake. She knows the song has a good beat and you can dance to it, too.
When my brothers and I were little, my mother had a very silly alphabetty-rhyme song she would to sing to us. It went like this:
Baby see the goldfish?
There arent any goldfish!
Yes, there are.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Here's another beautiful mug cozy with pattern offered for sale here.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Now I dont claim to have any special recipe for macaroni and cheese--just a good one. I am making a big pan of it for tomorrow's Easter ham dinner and thought I would share it with you. Along with a few fun facts about one of America's favorite comfort food dishes.
From the Pantry
For about 15 people (Halve for more "normal" servings!)
2 lbs ready-cut macaroni (or ziti)
2 sticks butter, sliced
1 pound block sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz block creamy havarti cheese
1-2 cups half and half
1 cup panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper
Cook macaroni as package directs and drain. Grate cheddar cheese and cube havarti cheese. Pour cooked, hot macaroni in large pan. I always spray my pan with Pam first- even disposable pans as it makes serving easier. Combine grated and cubed cheese with hot macaroni. Add sliced butter- dot butter on top of pasta and cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and flatten/smooth out top. Pour 1/2 and 1/2 (or whole milk) over mixture until you can just see liquid coming to the top of the macaroni mixture. Sprinkle liberally with panko bread crumbs all over top. Bake in 350 degree oven, uncovered, for about 40-45 minutes.
Friday, March 21, 2008
I have discovered a new universe named Bento . And it all comes in a box. To say bento boxes are Japanese lunchboxes is an understatement. The art of bento transforms lunch (or whatever meal) into a clever masterpiece. Complete with special paper dividers to keep sweet from savory, neat little cups to hold portions together and little sauce bottles for salad dressing or soy sauce or balsamic vinegar or whiskey or gin or name your poison. Here's a photo of a bento lunch:
Notice the variety of foods in the trays. They stack on top of each other and make into a neat little portable box. Wouldn't this encourage you to eat a healthier lunch?
I love the incredible selection of bento accessories. I ordered some today from ebay and can't wait to use them! Google "bento accessories" and check out the many sites that offer picks, papers, cups, bottles and other miniature items for packing a bento box. Lots of Hello Kitty bento things (for me- not so much Hello Kitty) and other Japanese inspired favorites like these:
They look like cupcake liner papers but are really little paper holders for handfuls of grapes or cherry tomatoes or anything that takes up a tiny corner of your bento box.
Once my shiny red bento box and cute accessories arrive, I'll post photos of my creations. I know you can't wait.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
About 2 weeks ago, a 17 month old toddler named Elizabeth Barrett appeared on the Today show and amazed the show's hosts and viewers by reading cue cards and other written materials that everyone swears she had not seen before. It was incredible. Apparently her parents, both speech specialists, used sign language with little Elizabeth from the day she was born and they engage her in a lot of other activities to nurture her linguistic development. They did not teach her to read, however. But she does. And has since she was 13 months old. AND she reads cursive, too-- much to Ann Curry's surprise. Experts feel she has some kind of genetic superiority when it comes to visual perception and visual memory. She was born with super powers for reading. And she's adorable.
The Wudgie is also 17 months old. And adorable. She has a genetic predisposition for being a normal toddler that plays with her food and loves the word "blither". Listen for genetically demented grandparents in the background provoking nurturing certain behaviors.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
I spend a lot of time on the Internet. A lot. Way too much. In my Internet travels, I have come across some pretty weird neat things. Many of them probably belong in the category of time-wasters. Like the site this photo is from. The Human Clock boasts a photo for every minute of the day. Your choice of digital or analog.
And here's a list of some other time-wasting incredibly interesting sites:
Who knew you could find out about your past life right here?
Have some virtual pie (calorie free!)--try to eat it all in 15 bites or less
Remember the warning "keep digging that hole and you'll come out in China"? Well, see where you'll really end up here
Another flash-back. Design with Lite-Brite. Make a peace symbol.
A very strange Japanese animation. "I Love You Egg". Great lyrics, just in time for Easter.
Here's the strangest of all. And creepy. A giant chicken that obeys your typed commands. Freaky gets freaky. Was this really a Burger King creation?
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
I love these pickles. They taste like candy.
When I first heard of this recipe, I wondered WHY would anyone want to make pickles out of pickles that were already made. I could not follow the logic. It was illogical that anyone would BUY a jar of perfectly all made pickles and then do some things to them, wait 3 days and then have pickles. But they are wonderful. They make those perfectly all made pickles even more perfectly wonderful. And they are easy. Now that's logic.
From the Pantry
1 Quart (48 ozs) jar of Whole Kosher Dills, undrained
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp pickling spice
2 cups sugar
Cut the whole pickles in 1" chunks. Be careful you don't buy the HOT pickles---I found out the hard way that the Mt. Olive brand Whole Kosher Dills have a very similar label for the HOT pickles...WOW.
Put the chunks, juice from the jar and all other ingredients in a large non-metal bowl with a cover. Don't attempt to be smart and put it all back in the glass pickle jar. It doesn't work. I tried. I use one of those reusable plastic take-along bowls. The ones with the blue lids that scatter all over my cabinet and can never be found when needed without emptying the entire cabinet on to the floor. You know the kind I mean?
Give everything a good stir to help dissolve some of the sugar. Refrigerate and stir at least once a day for 3 days. After 3 days they will be ready to eat. For dessert. Just kidding about that.
These are delicious and would be great on the table with the Easter ham.
Friday, March 14, 2008
There is a whole set of 182 latte art photos posted on Flickr that really show off a lot of very beautiful designs. There is also a great tutorial on Wikihow that gives step by step instructions for creating your own latte art. Sound a little too ambitious? There is a company in the UK that sells coffee stencils. Just pop one of the stencils on top of the foam, sprinkle with cocoa powder, lift the stencil and Voila! One of five designs on your latte!
Here is a gothic-y gruesome one---maybe for Halloween?
And here is one that's out of this world (sorry):
You know I had to try one of my own. Out came my trusty Aeroccino. You can see it in action here. I whipped up some foamy lo-fat and with a lot of skilled wrist action, I carefully poured and placed my foam on top of my steaming espresso and this is what I came up with:
What? Don't tell me you can't see what it is. Clearly, it is an Easter egg with a moustache. A handlebar moustache. OK, a plain white egg on top of a handlebar moustache. Look again. Geez. You people don't know art when you see it.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
This is a watercolor by the late Lester Pancoast from Miami. He was a landscape architect and artist that did a lot of studies of palm trees. I love his use of color and the abstract way he captured the light filtering through the fronds.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I love these little paper boxes from A Little Hut. Download the template at their site for just a few dollars and create these adorable little jelly bean holders for a special Spring treat.
Easter egg crafts with yarn are usually crocheted. These are knitted eggs- very unusual. Using cotton yarns in wonderful color combinations, these knitted little "egg socks" fit over a plastic egg. The pattern is free from a wonderful site called Little Cotton Rabbits based out of the UK.
I love Godiva's new Spring packaging. It's so fresh and inviting. Really convinces me that I want to eat that chocolate. As if.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Check out this fun clock. Amazing writing and erasing of seconds as they tick by.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Saturday, March 8, 2008
From the Pantry
Place wings in large bowl and sprinkle liberally with garlic powder. Turn wings over and sprinkle more garlic powder until wing pieces are all covered. Remember, dont use garlic salt!
Place wings skin side down in baking dish
Pour about 1/2 bottle of soy sauce over wings. This will be about 1 cup or 8 ozs of soy sauce.
Bake for 20 minutes. Baste with soy sauce after 10 minutes. Remove from oven and turn each wing piece over so skin side is up. Bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and pour off all soy sauce carefully. Return to oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until skin is dark brown and crispy.
Glazed Chicken Wings
Friday, March 7, 2008
From left to right: Wild Flower Honey that I use in salad dressings, in tea, and sometimes on peanut butter sandwiches, Block Island cream honey for spreading on english muffins, Honey straws convenient for hot tea (although I like my tea sweet and it takes about 3 or 4 of these for a cuppa).
Look for interesting recipes using honey to be featured in all the foodie magazines this spring and summer. Although not exactly a foodie go-to site, the National Honey Board (honey.com!) has over 1400 recipes using honey as an ingredient. I predict that artisanal honey will be the next big specialty food thing---much like artisanal cheeses, breads and vinegars.
Speaking of honey, has anyone tried the new drink at Starbucks, the Honey Latte?
It really doesnt sound all that appealing but maybe worth a try. Honey has always been a tea partner for me and to think of it paired with coffee---well, I cant get my caffeine brain around it. I'll give it a try this weekend and let you know.