Valentine's Day comes at a perfect time....I never bought into the idea that it's just a commercial gimmick. It's really not about the roses but I'll never say "no" to a flower. I didn't say "no" to the gooey candy, either. But look through the window behind the bouquet to all the bare limbs and gloomy weather. News of the war in Afghanistan and the bad economy probably won't be much better when it stops raining and snowing. Life goes on with the bad and the good. A little hole pokes through the clouds when we stop to tell each other that we care about them and hand them a love present. Valentine's Day makes winter seem one day shorter and that's okay with me.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I love to bake. I especially love to bake bread - almost as much as I love to eat it. I cheated and bought pre-made bread dough to make calzones. They tasted great (rated perfect the resident teen) but the dough was a headache to work with. It had a mind of it's own and snapped back every time I tried to stretch it out. Normally, recipes will instruct the baker to let the dough "rest" so it's easier to pull out or pat out thinly enough for pizza or calzones. This pre-made dough had rested plenty so that wasn't the problem.
Superbowl Sunday I made foccaccia with sausage, rosemary and sundried tomatoes. It could have used more of all three but the dough was a dream to work with. It rose obediently, filling the mixing bowl by doubling it's size. Rather than punching it down, I pushed the air out of it as I enfolded the sausage and rosemary mixture several times, then pushed it to the size of the jelly roll pan. It didn't fight me or try to snap back to it's original shape - the dough simply relaxed and complied. The recipe is in the "Pure Comfort" Weight Watchers cookbook. If you can stop at one portion, it's 4 points.
Monday, February 8, 2010
I found a Random Valentine Heart Generator and couldn't stop playing with it. These candies were such a tradition in my house when I was a kid and then I always bought them for my kids. They were fun to play with but tasted like spicy chalk.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Mediterranean Chicken Casserole
I really never thought this luscious dish would actually go over in my house. I have a couple of meat and potato eaters that I'm trying to please. I tried making this recipe previously but didn't allow enough time for the chicken to marinate before I roasted it. When the flavors of the garlic and the raisins have time to blend with the capers and dates, the true exotic and tantalizing savory and sweet have time to slow dance with the artichoke hearts. The recipe is from Weight Watcher's "Pure Comfort" cookbook. I could have roasted a dozen rather than eight boneless chicken thighs and still ended up without enough left-overs for the amount of lovely sauce the dish produced.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
My daughter-in-law wanted to decorate her aisle chairs for her wedding last summer. I used some silk grape vine, vanilla ranunculas, purple mums and white tulle. It didn't take long to make six of them. The challenge was attaching them to the white Samsonite folding chairs. I scoured the net looking for something white and removable. I ended up using removable white medical tape. The nosegays held tight even in a little breeze.