Monday, January 31, 2011

The Basques, Chicken B'stilla and Oil Tanks

Alsatians come from that part of France that was once occupied by Germany, on the German border.

The Basques are a mystery, and come from the region of France next to Spain, nestled in the Pyrenees
Mountains.   They are hard living, hard drinking people, mostly fishermen and farmers (tending sheep) They were inhabitants of Europe before most of the peoples there, and are known for their physical strength, AND Love of great food. 

My first experience cooking anything to do with the Basque culture, came from one of the Time Life Foods of the World series back in the early 70's.  It is often hardy food, and interestingly has Moroccan overtones to it (Morocco also being influenced by France).  And depending on what their trade was, they eat a lot of fish, or local domestic and wild meats, both often grilled over open fires in the field.  Another type of food they ate were one pot meals.  They also incorporated many flavors and foods, spices from other cultures. Everyone is involved in cooking, including those men in the Mountains tending sheep, and even in the field it is a communal meal.  Of course today's foods are lighter and maybe not so rugged as they once were.

Last night I made Dorie Greenspan's Chicken B'stilla.  It is a chicken pie baked in filo dough layers.  It is spiced with what we here normally think of as "sweet spices" - Cinnamon, coriander, ginger and saffron.  The chicken, once marinated, cooked and shredded, and mixed with an eggy creamy sauce is sprinkled with layers of sliced almonds (I LOVE chicken with almonds!).  It is also sprinkled with cinnamon sugar before baking.  It all might sound odd to pair with chicken but it was suprisingly good.

I don't know about you, but I Love to try food from other cultures...and learn about why they use certain ingredients, and spices in their dishes....and we all liked this recipe.  It was different, and even my plain eating meat and potatoes son liked it.  He said he "wished" it was creamier, but last night was unusual in that we were running in and outside digging WIDE paths (so they can get a crew and hand truck and new oil tank in today) and taking shifts emptying oil pans from under the now leaking (sprung yesterday!) leaky oil tank in the basement...ALL night....every was like having a sick baby! We are so tired!  and my oldest one had to work today...

So the pie was made in shifts.  I "could" have done the chicken and made the pie another night, and gotten us something simple, but it probably would have been junky to eat, but making this recipe kind of took my mind off the leaky tank....for a while anyway. 

And needless to say we ate it in the way it was cooked, in shifts, and there was little time for taking the many pictures I need to take with the camera to get even one good food shot...that will have to come in time...

But we liked was different..  I am waiting for a crew to come with drums to empty the "just last week filled oil tank" in the basement and put a new one in...I have to do any hot water chores fast before they start!

Will talk later,

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Menu of the Week

Hi folks,

It was a busy week, and today and tomorrow will like wise be busy getting ready for the next onslaught of winter weather.  Seems like every time we dig out we get more..this week they are talking about snow, rain, freezing rain and more who knows what it will end up like out there...

PLUS we have the Super Bowl to get ready for next Sunday..we will be going to my sisters, so I am hoping to have the time to make something to bring.

This weeks Tuesdays With Dorie is Great Grains Muffins on page 8 and 9 of Dorie Greenspan's Baking-From my Home to Yours

And FFWD is a Basque Potato Torte page 142 (which I might make as a appetizer for Super Bowl Sunday)

And from Baked Exporations is; Double Chocolate Loaf with Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread, pg. 50 (Baked Sunday Mornings is every 2 weeks so you always have time to space things out)

I have a menu planned out for the week.

Hamburgers, French Fries, homemade cole slaw

Leftover day..finish up the Cod./Corn chowder

Heros and cole slaw

Stuffed shells, and green salad, and Italian bread

Chicken Tortellini soup (didn't make it last week)  Italian bread

Finish the Chicken B'stilla which is a chicken pie in filo crust from last week's FFWD (which I didn't make until Sunday)

I might mix things up a bit so we aren't having chicken too many times in a row!


Off to plan! (and dig more..this afternoon when I came in the house smelled like oil.  Our tank in in the basement but at the present moment we have no paths dug to it (no inside access--outside only) So with the weather coming this week, I need to check it and be ready in case I need to make a service call!!  It was just filled this week so it might just be a few fumes left...)

and here is another early morning picture...hhmmm..they are starting to all look alike..haha!  It melted down a little...

Bye for now,


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Good Morning! Here it is again!

Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.  -- Anonymous

Another long shovel out to the corral this morning...

Me and number 2 son, shoveled the front walk and back deck and to the corral, about 2 times last night, to keep up so I wouldn't be so bad this am. I still woke up to at least a foot on the shoveled path..took me almost 40 minutes to get hay and oats out to the front part of the corral!

Can you find the cars?

My sister crashed here on her way home from work, because she couldn't see the road (she gets off at 11pm.) One good thing?  There's 3 cars in the driveway...not much to shovel!

  But it IS beautiful  I spent all my shoveling breaks to the corral by taking pictures!  So Pretty..

Winter is one third over!!  Thank you el nina!

The first storm yesterday morning was a surprise..they said it would come through fast..leave and inch and then change to rain then sleet then snow again..instead it left about 4 or 5 inches of snow, and never really changed to sleet expect a "light coating"....just makes it all lovely!  And it never got that warm so it just kept snowing...Then the second one came along and they knew that would be significant snow.....Don't ya love weather?!
But since me and number 2 would go out and shovel it as it came down so even the path to the edge of the corral was a little easier..(only 12" instead of the 12 on top of the first 4 or 5!)

Those piles of snow on the sides are getting harder and harder to reach, so it doesn't fall back on the path you just shoveled!!

So again, the chickens have to wait because they really can take care of themselves as long as they are set up the night before, and it is mainly Lass I want to get to in the morning so I do that myself....Number 2 and maybe number 1 will help later on with the rest....number 1 if he can.  He has the flu or something ( #2 is getting over it and I think I am fighting it and actually this time doing a pretty good job of it) but #1 took yesterday off from work..something he never does, and today too, so not sure how much he can do..

My sister has to work today, but has the weekend off...

See you later...

I am in a baking frenzy!!  Made sour dough bread with Rosemary and Garlic yesterday, and a Bundt cake!  (Dorie Greenspan Baking-From My Home to Yours)  Must be cabin fever!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Menus For the Week

Some times menus get tossed, or items are put aside...this past week we had a lot of unexpected things come up so some things on this week's menus are repeats...(Pizza is always repeated!)







Friday, January 21, 2011

Ok Then...Where Were We...?

Yesterday (actually Wednesday) I learned I might be having unexpected company on Thursday and so spent most of Wed getting ready... Pre-planning animal foods and things like that..doing some extra chores to make it easier on the boys if I am out at feeding times, etc.

Then Thursday I went out with an old friend...we had fun..just fun...although there isn't much you can really do in this weather..I mean you can visit one of the beaches or parks, but it is more of a "jump out of the car take a quick's all white..and get back in the car"...(that sounds kind of "blah" doesn't it?  The beach is actually pretty interesting in the winter...I think it is just getting tired of snow..and it's only January!  Dern that El Nina!)
But it was more of a "ride to the destination get out, go in, then back in the car, and go home" kind of thing...but it was a much needed day off.  I don't have any pictures because..duh..I didn't bring my camera, but we took a little ride and just had some fun together, talked about the Jets.. (although technically I am a Giants fan..they are still "home team" right?)  Not much to see anyway...dirty snow piles on the side of the road and everything else is just a white blur beyond the side of the road....

So no pictures.

This morning I woke up to a soft layer of snow on all our melted paths...again.  About 6" of the white fluffy stuff.  I didn't shovel anything this am except the deck I step out onto in the morning..I will shovel later..not because it's hard to get through, but because I don't want the foot prints to eventually freeze into a lumpy ice skating rink, which I am sure they will eventually do, if I don't shovel.  Poor Lass has about had it with snow, I think. although she was outside waiting for me this morning for breakfast.  Yesterday was about the first day all week she ventured out on the icy corral for more then a drink of water, and now we start all over again.

See ya later,

I will probably be cooking today so maybe I will get some pictures of whatever it is I make.  I think I am getting "cabin fever"..I am itchy for some projects...I am tired of being "in" except to feed the animals...I might even be looking forward to shoveling the new snow with one of my son's...Oh yeah...Car-less!!  That doesn't help!  My oldest son got his car back on Wednesday.  But MINE is now leaking transmission fluid.  So we traded cars..picked up his and left mine...that doesn't help the "stuck inside" feeling...


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


This is the title of a book by BJ Gallagher.

It is basically about taking care of yourself.  You might think that you do, but how many of us KNOW we should exercise, or eat healthier, even if it means just adding a few more vegetables to the diet, or losing a few pounds, sleeping more, less TV or computer..the list goes on.  Or maybe your issue is a bigger one.  We all know that women notoriously put others before themselves, especially our children, and often neglect our own self care.

The idea behind this book, is taking small steps to improve the big picture. 

WOW!  This book is tough!  It digs right is not meant to make you depressed.  It is supposed to help you "figure it all out" and eventually take better care of yourself.  And in doing that you take better care of others.   But it hits all the right spots...

I have just started the second week.  The first week was about "observing yourself"...Not doing anything....just you react to others, how they react to you, during different situations and conversations.   You carry a small pad with you and jot down your observations.

The second week, (that I have just started) is about "self talk"... Again, writing down your notes.  How do you talk to yourself?  In general?  Is it encouraging or discouraging?  Is it positive self talk or negative.  What happens when you mess up?  What happens when you do good?   This week, the author advises you to bring your friends into it, so if you talk negatively about yourself out loud, they can point it out so you can write it down.  This is about the voices you might have heard growing up.  Not to put any blame on parents, but we all grow up thinking of ourselves, in the way we were taught to think about ourselves....intentional or all those in our young lives.  Besides,  parents there are teachers, other relatives, and friends, and even strangers, that make up our young early lives, and tell us who we are.  Or maybe it is who "they" think we are.

You are to do nothing but observe..change nothing.  But I am finding that in observing, you do make some changes..or at least mental notes of what to change.

More on this as I progress in it.  All in the process of finding my "True North".

See you later,


Monday, January 17, 2011

The Week Ahead Menu Planner...

When I sit down to make my menu planner for the week, I first do a quick look in the pantry.  I keep a running list of what's in the freeze (we have 2- a deep chest outside in the garage, and the one in the refigerator inside.)

For a time, my husband was being paid once a month.  So I "pretended" we lived way out in the country and made a once a month trip to do bulk shopping.  (at the time I did not have a car during the shopping took place on the weekends (ugh)) 
And when he started getting paid every 2 weeks, and it was quite an surprised me how hard it was to readjust to shorter shopping trips, and some part of me missed the once a month shopping.  It somehow made it SO much easier.

I hung on to several "once a month" shopping ideas, as well as OAMC ...and today, even though we are down to the 3 of us (me and my grown sons), and we are not always home together in the evenings, I still use some of them. 

When I plan for the week, lately, I check what is being cooked in the different groups.  FFWD is Fridays, give or take, so I plan that in.  And I am trying out Nigella's new book starting next week, so I will add a recipe from her each week.  And then there are 2 or 3 baking groups...(MORE actually, but I am baking myself into a corner!  I Love to bake!) I plan for 5-7 meals, give or take, (depending on the week), and as far as "emergency" meals, I keep the pantry stocked....   One or two of them might be using left overs, either from the same week or the week before.  And the "emergency" meals are from the pantry and freezer.

This is what I came up with today for the week ahead (I do not plan set days...things change very quickly around here.)

A steak Soba noodle salad (using left over London Broil ..I gave the meat and potato guys a break last week, and had some left over...which I put in the freezer.) on mesclun salad and vegetables.

Barbequed shredded Pork (also from the freezer-a slow cooked pork shoulder last week) sandwiches with homemade cole slaw.

Stuffed shells, with salad and sour dough It bread.

Cod and Corn chowder, with crusty bread

FFDW this week, is Chicken B'stilla (which is more or less a chicken pie in a filo crust). Not sure how French it is, but I will serve it with a spinach salad with pink grapefruit and chopped toasted pecans and vinaigrette.

The rest of this week will be using what is left from the week before. (that counts as an "emergency" meal, and there's always tuna sandwiches, pancakes, French Toast or Waffles, or Omeletts, or even fried rice since we eat a lot of brown rice, and I always have pasta, Mozzarella, fresh Parmesan and Romano, (and other cheeses) olives, and the fixin's for fast sauces, whether tomato or Puttanesca, or even lemon and garlic and oil, for pasta or even pizza, in the pantry.  And of course, there's ALWAYS fresh eggs.)
Vegetables I buy fresh each week.

I saw (and I am sorry that I do not remember where to give anyone credit) a tip using a calendar.  They list whatever is leftover from dinner that night, on a kitchen calendar.  As they use it they cross it off.  I have been putting an "F" next to any left overs I freeze.  And a "P" next to leftovers that I am planning on using later in the week.  This is working out very nicely.  My son's know what is in the refrigerator to eat, and we have no more mystery green surprises!  I have a nice calendar from Farmer's Almanac with recipes on it, and that's the one I use.

That's what I have for this week.  Another day I will write what my currently out of work son and I have for lunches.  (which is way different then dinner because we have no limits!!  haha!  Some times our lunches are actually our dinner since the oldest works where they have a very good and healthy cafeteria.)

See ya later,

Enjoy your day,

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Friends of the Family....

There is just one left we need a picture of...

This is Spice

And this is his sister Sugar

Sugar and Spice were adopted.  A friend had taken care of the sick mother feral cat for the local pound.  She was nursed through her illness, and then had her litter.  Our friend grew so attached to them she asked the pound if she could find homes for them (with people she knew) and they said yes.   We went to pick up a "Tiger striped cat",  that I had wanted.  While we were there visiting, this little gray kitty with white eyeliner on, came out from under a couch and right over to us...we had to take them both...
We are so glad we did...they are about 8 or 9 years old now.

And this is our newest friend (my oldest brought him home from work).  His boss had rescued him, from an alley by the garage they work in, and kept him in the company garage until some of the mechanics were worried he might end up ground into an engine.  So we took him in.  

This is Alley.. 
Even though he is eating the same food as the others he is really fat..that worries me...he will be 2 in the early summer. 

Woody is the only one I don't have a picture of..well, we do have some of him when he was young, but not on the computer.  So once the camera has more room, we will take a picture of him.  Woody was also "rescued". 

A friend of ours was moving and we were helping her pack.  A young friend of ours was in the back (actually he was buying the house) and snatched up this tiny gray kitten playing on the wood pile in back, and gave it to her.  Right before our friend moved (to SC) I opened the front door one morning and there was a box on the front stoop, and a note on it...saying, "Hello!  My Name is Woody.  My new mommy can't take me with her, can you keep me?" We couldn't refuse...

Our vet said he was probably only about a month old, and maybe it was even the first time his momma let them out or the "nest".  I had to feed him with a tiny bottle.  And a good thing he was snatched.  He would never have survived being feral.  He needed eye surgery before he was a year old, because this inner eye lid was growing closed.  And he also suffered, just after he was about one year, from severe bladder troubles.  The vet said that was also unusual, because he was so young.   He has strange fur that mats and tangles...(he also has thyroid trouble) I can not imagine what would have happened to him.  He is a character.  We always called him Woody but we renamed him "Woodrow Kramer"..because he would run into a room, and then slide into a turn to go into the next Kramer on Seinfeld...
He also likes to "help" make the bed.  He runs into the room, as soon as he knows you are changing sheets, and slides under the sheet as it settles on the bed.  He's the only one we have (the only one we have ever had) that does that.

Woody is 16 1/2 years old..and still eats better then the younger ones, and still runs into a room..he sleeps on the back of the couch, and has already dozed off like an old man and fallen off...he looks around like, "Who did that!?" His eye isn't always as clear as it has been over the years, now, and sometimes gets infections in it.  He's a good boy...

I'll get a picture on as soon as I can.

See you later,


They Were Good!

I made my ...

gnocchi a la parisienne.

...for French Fridays With Dorie (or FFWD) from the Around My French Table.  I am so glad I did.  Now I have 3 different ways to make gnocchi.

These were very different.  They are really a choux pastry dough.  If you ever made a cream puff you can make these.  The sauce is  a bechamel.  That's hard to ruin, too. 

I heard someone say they "ruined their bechamel", and they had to start over.  You don't really have to start over unless you have burned it.  If it looks like it might get lumpy, I grab a whisk and beat while it is cooking.. Chances are you will end up with a smooth bechamel.  If there are any lumps left you can always strain it.  But in this recipe, I do not think a few tiny bumps will matter.  If it is too thick, thin it with some of the pasta water.  After the gnocchi are boiled and drained, and put in the prepared dish, it is topped with the bechamel sauce and grated cheese.  I used a combination gruyere and parmesan.  Then it is put in the over until bubbly and golden. They puff in the oven.  It went well with a simple green salad and a nice glass of red wine.

It is very rich, and I think if I make it again (which I probably will at some point) it will be as a starter, in individual dishes. 

I am SO sorry but I do not have pictures.  I took them, but the camera was too full. (Too many snow pictures left on for my son to see)  I didn't realize that until AFTER we ate and there was none left to photograph!  Lesson learned!  Make sure there's enough room in the camera!!

See ya later,

Tomorrow's a brand new day...(going be cold, but it's still a new day!)




Friday, January 14, 2011

Hello Day! We WILL get this done!

When the world says, "Give up,"
Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."
~Author Unknown

Still without a car (my oldest is using mine) The tow truck got stuck at the end of the driveway yesterday, (3 times), spinning his wheels and making ice... and then the driver told me to "clear the end of the driveway and then call back..." was the towns trucks (and then him) that turned it into packed ice in the first place...they always turn around in our driveway.  The joys of living on a dead end.  There's only so much a shovel can do with that!..I have no salt..because I have no car to get it with...I DO have sand, so once we get the ice down a bit I will use that.  I don't like to buy salt because it kills plants, and I generally only use sand up by the house on the walk, and to safely walk down the driveway.  The driveway is lined with Hostas, and the salt kills them when it runs off. 

We never had a problem with the apron, and getting in and out before, in the 25 years here. ......oh well.    He wasn't in a good mood when he showed up in the first place.  It appears the person on the phone that sent the call in, told him it was a simple jump. 

Not what I told him.  I told him it was a new battery and the car would probably would need a tow...

Water under the bridge....
So today I chop with my other son (who is not working right now). We will finish digging around the other side of the corral (sure would be easier if we had a snow blower.  I am running out of room to put manure bags in the back, and need to go around the other way for access to my "spot").
And then we will work at chopping ice in the driveway...

I will have to do all my running around over the weekend so I hope it doesn't snow..or if it does that it isn't much...we are running out of cat food...

Here's one picture from yesterday - looking down our driveway (towards a neighbor's house across the way)  Doesn't seem to look that oldest goes in and out all the time! (I haven't had a car to try it yet but I do not think it would be a problem..never is usually!  I mean we lived here 25 years!)  After this picture, my youngest and I cleared about 3' on each side of the driveway so a truck could get in...and he still couldn't.

Today's FFWD is gnocchi a la parisienne (page 374). 

I generally don't make this type of gnocchi, having an Italian background.  The recipe is with a bechamel sauce, with grated Parmesan.  (and I have had them in a great restaurant Upstate many years ago, with a goat cheese sauce.  That was really good!) 
My grandmother always made potato gnocchi, and that's what I make.  Although my grandfather did prefer to eat them plain with butter, and Romano or Parmesan or a mix, a little plainer then the sauce Dorie's have.  So I will try these and see how it goes...

See ya later...thanks for stopping by and listening to my rant!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Well..that's over!

                   This is the way it looked a couple of days ago....

 and this is what it looked like this around 7 AM.

Hey!  What happened to my paths?!!  You can't even see the bottom step...

OHH!  There they are!  Well, one of them anyway!

It took me 45 minutes alone just to dig one path to the fence, so I could trudge through the corral to the stall for breakfast...we still have to get to the chickens, and do the front walk and in front of the mailbox.  One of my son's has the flu, so I am not sure how much digging he can (or should) do, and the other had to work. 
You couldn't even see the water bucket on the fence..the snow was up to the bottom of the bucket, and of course piled on it so high there was only a tiny spot of red showing.  Lass waited patiently by the fence as I dug to her, got tired at one point and started playing in the snow with her nose, and then a good roll..then retreated into the stall to wait..breakfast in bed today!

As of 8AM this morning, it was still snowing lightly and we had almost 16".

Now we do (have 16")  (of course there have been winters where we had more..we all have short memories though!  haha! ) And that is on top of what was there, which is now kind of icy and hard.  Ahh, winter....

See you later, hopefully with more pictures,


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

French Fridays with Dorie...

Last Friday the recipe choice was:

Paris mushroom soup (page 72) (Around My French Table-Dorie Greenspan)

This is so good, and so much better then canned.  It is thinner then canned, but I am sure if anyone wanted to make it thicker they could add some flour at the beginning cooking stage.  I also added a dollop of cream to each bowl.  (Dorie suggested Creme Fraiche, but I was fresh out)

The recipe also called for dry white wine, which I didn't have.  I had intended to pick some up, but couldn't get out, so I used Dry Sherry, which I always have on hand for Asian cooking and preserving ginger.  
It turned out to be an excellent combination with the rosemary.  I will have to use it in more dishes then Asian cooking from now on!  Thank you Dorie...

I Don't Like To....

I don't like to talk political, but just this one time...

It seems there are but a very few politicians in government today in any branch (large or small) that appear to be honest and know what they are there for.  (It appears Giffords was one..and Carolyn McCarthy seems to be another)

Today it seems that most of them (men and women) are in the game for prestige, money, and whatever agenda THEY have...  They talk tough....even most of the women....who act like they have to be tough "like a man", to show them "they can do it too..".  (whatever they think "it" is, whether it is going nose to nose in a debate, or talking dirty, or slinging a gun or threats.) Or maybe they do have to be "tough like a man", in this man's club, to be heard...
And if they (both men and women) aren't talking tough they think it is fine to "dip into the til", because after all .."it's for the people, THEY deserve it"...

Well, news flash!  THEY work for US...regardless of what party they are affiliated with...not the other way around....the government doesn't PAY them WE do..and we pay them plenty...THEY work for us!  Enough games....

Ok 'nuff said...back to work,

See ya later,


Monday, January 10, 2011

The Best Laid Schemes O' Mice and Men....

Robert Burns' poem To a Mouse, 1786

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane [you aren't alone]
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft a-gley, [often go awry]
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promised joy.

Well, we are in for another storm.  They aren't even talking totals..that's scary..

This is one of our many very tall Oaks. The last snow we had was a very gentle 2" that coated everything.                                        

                                                                   Fairy Land

I was going to do some food shopping today.  Because of this storm my younger sister, who works out here by us, and gets off at 11PM, might have to stay over night here Tuesday I wanted to have enough pet food, and snacks for us (good soup ingredients).

But my oldest son went to leave for work this morning, and his car wouldn't start.  He JUST got it back from the station!  He said, "oh well, I have good tires and brakes now, anyway...".

So I am carless.  I hope he can get it started by tomorrow, but I really had wanted to go shopping today before the stores got crazy...if I have to wait until tomorrow I might just wait until the end of the week!  (but I do like to be never know what's ahead..especially in the winter!  We (the humans) will be ok, and probably could be for a while, but it is the animals I am always mostly concerned with) It really sounded like the battery, so maybe it just needs to be charged...I hope...

So since plans changed, I will reverse everything and get ready for my sister today, and then do whatever I have to do tomorrow.  It is a good day for tea and scones...(saw that on another site) so after this hectic day, I will make the boys some scones tonight...

See you later,


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Go Jets! And Lass...

What a GOOD game last night!  A real nail biter...although I do not think I was rooting for anyone special (because of course, the Jets are home team, but I always liked the Colts and Peyton Manning)

But it was just a really good game of football, and now everyone can see how good Mark Sanchez is (and will be) ...he went toe to toe with

And now for a Lass break..this is Lass eating lunch off the snow...I Love the can put the hay right on it and it stays clean.  She looks like a round bear in her winter coat.  She is a Lippitt Morgan.  The old style Morgan, the one "Justin Morgan Had a Horse" is patterned after...(actually, horses in, or close to her blood lines, were in the movie) I should say her lines are the "original Morgan".

See you later,


Good Morning...

We had a light dusting of snow last night...pretty..and the sky is what I call a "Painter's Sky" beautiful...pinks and grays and blues, and the black and gray branches, and the white snow with it's many beautiful winter is...and the best part is is all the more "colorful" because the sun is out...a silvery yellow gold making everything look bright, and hopeful.

I put together my Almond Joy Tart, from Baked Explorations, last night..but sorry to camera bites (if I can say that) ..not it's really not that bad it is just an older model ...NOT good for taking indoor (or anything really close)....A good camera is on my NEED TO GET NOW! list...but it is still going to have to wait...

This tart is so good.  The center is a white chocolate ganche whipped and then coconut is folded in to it.  The topping is a combination of milk chocolate and very dark chocolate.  It is supposed to be in individual tart pans.  I didn't have small tart fact my tart pan is packed someplace.  So I made it in a pie dish...The crust is a almond sweet pastry crust.
The next time I make it I am doing the toppings separate, and will either swirl them on top or maybe place them separate...yummy..very good...

I have a busy busy day I am off to get started...

Thanks for stopping by, see you later,


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Jets, Almond Joy Tarts, and Snow...

The Jets battle Peyton tonight...

I am technically a Giants fan, but since they aren't around I guess I still root for the "home team".  BUT I DO Love the Manning brothers, they are so smart..and really understand the game (now if the rest of the teams can just follow them..although the Colts are looking good..) I am just going to watch what I hope is a good game...

My son's laugh at me, because I cook all sorts of things on about 1 1/2' sq room of counter (NO storage!) I am constantly moving things from one place to another..."ahh..some day"... I will post separate pictures of the Almond Joy Tart after it sets up.  This one can be done in one day but technically it is better to do over 2 days.

Tiny little snow..not the 6+" they said..but they say more tonight and maybe even another storm Tuesday..ahh..winter.

See you later,

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Oh well. Blame it on me...

Sorry about no pictures of cookies, but that's because I didn't make them!!  (and I spent too much time reading food blogs yesterday morning....naughty naughty me...) And I have been running around trying to get ready for the next snow.

Path ways were just melting, but I was thinking that the corral is now nearly a sheet of ice.  And was thinking that a coating of snow would help our Lass walk easier.  So blame it on me, now because we just happen to be in the "swath" that will come down through Upstate NY and CT, and across the middle of are saying we will get 6 or more inches.

This is what the corral looked like this morning and around dawn.  Lets see how it changes by this weekend.  I am also supposed to get more ultra sound therapy on my back we'll see how that goes!

This is at dawn, and Lass waiting for breakfast.

Below is a couple of hours later..waiting for more water...she probably wants warm water!  If I had a barn with electric and water to it I would fix it so she would always have her warm water in the winter... the plants on the right are the potted plants that I generally keep on the patio.  I potted favorite plants, in the event that we should move, and it is winter time...they would be easier to dig up.  The pots include trees!

I didn't know this about the snow, until last night.  I thought they were saying about an inch or two.  I was wondering why the inside of the grocery store, seemed more crowded then the roads!!  Isle traffic jams, pallets of food all over the place, and stacks so high that people were knocking them down trying to reach things!

I have to brave the traffic and crowds (it is worse, I think, then traveling around the past holidays!) and pick up some kitty litter, and odds and ends (wondering if it is worth it), so once that is done I will finally have time to do the dishes, and make some thing good for us to snack on...I have my eye on a Almond Joy Tart from Baked Explorations..this weeks "assignment"...and Dorie's Midnight Crackles...

So blame it on me!!

See you later,


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ouch, Yum and other things....

Today is Tuesdays With Dorie.  (Baking From My House to Yours-Dorie Greenspan)

It is closed now, and I started doing it too late, but I still bake along, because it just so happened I already had the book.  Today, Laurie picked Midnight Crackles, which are DEEP deep darkest chocolate....and since I am still in a baking mood, I will make them later ....I also have a sour dough loaf rising...

And this past Sunday, Baked Sunday Mornings, with the Baked Explorations book, by Matt Lews and Renado Poliafito, the choice was the Almond Joy Tart.

I like this group.  The rules are very relaxed..if you can bake it you do it, all they ask is for comments and links...and the choices are every other week.   Almond Joy, and Mounds just happen to be some of my favorite candies as a kid, so I look forward to this might come later in the week...

Technically, I do not consider this a cooking blog, but I Love to cook, and collect cook books, so I thought I might bake along with some of them...

It's been a quiet weekend, and I ended up with back spasms from shoveling snow last week...some one had to shovel out to the corral at dawn!  It is easier to shovel then trudge through snow carrying hay bags and buckets!  So Wednesday the chiropractor did ultra sound on my back spasms, and I got through the weekend...but I need it again, as they started again last night.  I have another appointment for next Saturday, and they are saying we just might get more snow Friday night into Sat.  
But, so they say, not a might be worse for New England.  So we'll see what happens, hopefully I will still get to my appointment.   Anyway, I spend most of the weekend, with a heating pad...not conducive to writing blogs...

So, today starts my New Year...haha!  Better late then never!  A new year of getting organized, and tackling my many lists of projects, that I hope to complete this year.  Technically, I do not believe in doing the resolutions thing, and I make my plans at any time of the year I see something needs to be done, or changed, or started fresh.

I have a bit of running around to do today, food shopping and other errands, and I still have to get fresh water out to the animals (it was frozen this morning so I am waiting for the heated hose to do its job, and thaw enough to get water out of it.) but if I can (and if I can get a good picture out of my camera) maybe I will post a cookie picture...I can't wait to eat them....they were on my list of things to bake even before they were picked...

So I am off...See you later,


Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Rose Bowl Parade...

 I have to say this is my most favorite Parade of any season...My grandmother LOVED LOVED this parade because it was all made of the beginning it was all roses (my grandmothers favorite flower), but now it is made of any natural plant...including beans and lentils, and grasses. 

MY favorite part is this parade has the most horses in I am off to continue watching it..
I would add more history, but the links aren't working right now, so maybe later after it is finished...

Tomorrow it is sink or swim for the Giants...Go, Giants!

See you later, have a safe restful day!