"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." ~George Bernard Shaw

"Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time." ~Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ewana's delectable dessert

I guess I could have entitled this blog entry "dessert and a movie",
but I didn't
Instead, it's all about this delicious dessert and it's recipe....
p.s. Do go see Blind Side-it's great! Now here's the recipe:

2 C Chocolate Graham Cracker crumbs
3 pkg (8oz each) cream cheese
6 T butter melted
3/4 C sugar
1 T vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 C milk
1 bag (14oz) Kraft caramels
2 squares Semi-sweet Baking Chocolate
1/2 C Pecan pieces

MIX: crumbs and butter-press onto bottom and 2 inches up side of 9" springform pan. Place caramels and milk in small microwavable bowl.
Microwave on HIGH 3 minutes or until caramels are completely melted, stirring after each minute. Pour 1/2 of the caramel mixture into crust.
Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Set aside remaining caramel mixture for later use.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until
well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over caramel mixture in crust.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes or until center is almost set if using a silver spring form pan. (Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour 5-10 minutes or until almost set if using dark non-stick spring form pan) Run knife or metal spatula around side of pan to loosen cake-cool before removing side of pan.

Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Top with remaining caramel mixture and pecans just before serving. Melt chocolate as directed on package and drizzle over cake.

Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator. Makes 16 servings.

Yummy interior of cake...

OOOOOOOOOOOh is that for me??? YUM!
This cake and recipe is from our good friend
Ewana. She and her husband live in Weed, California.
We met them originally in Sayulita, Mexico, and
since then we have worn a path back and forth
between our homes visitng and having great times!
As you can see Ewana is a fabulous cook!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Roasted Brussell Sprouts with Pears-2nd recipe for 2010

Above are the raw ingredients.... I tried this recipe
during Christmas- and everyone liked it.......but this
time Russell wasn't crazy about it and I think it had to
do with the freshness of the sprouts.....not quite as tasty...

Roasted Brussell Sprouts With Pears

2 pounds fresh brussell sprouts trimmed and halved
2 firm red Bartlett pears cored and cut into 1/2 " wedges
6 shallots quartered
10 fresh thyme sprigs
3 T olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 T fresh lemon juice


Preheat oven to 425

On two large rimmed baking sheets toss brussell sprouts, pears,shallots,

thyme and oil-season with salt and pepper.

Roast until brussell sprouts are just tender and lightly browned-about

25-30 minutes-rotate pans halfway thru. Toss with lemon juice and serve warm. Yum

Brussell sprouts just out of the oven.....

Complete dinner...Meat loaf, mashed potatoes
and the beleagured Brussell sprouts.......
can't win 'em all!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

First recipe for 2010-Asparagus Ravioli !

Asparagus Raviolis
So- this is the recipe I decided on - from http://www.epicurious.com/

Pasta dough -or buy ready made pasta sheets -I did!
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
5 cups rich chicken stock
1 (3-inch) rind from a wedge of Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup mascarpone-I had ricotta in the fridege-so used it
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Optional Equipment: a pasta machine ...oh hahah right...
Make broth and filling while dough stands:Cut off asparagus tips, then halve each tip lengthwise and reserve.
Bring stock, cheese rind, and bay leaf to a simmer in a medium saucepan, then add asparagus stems and cook, uncovered, until stems are just tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer stems to paper towels and cool slightly. Reserve broth.
Purée asparagus stems in a food processor with grated parmesan, mascarpone, bread crumbs, zest, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
Make Ravioli:
Cut dough into 4 equal pieces. Cover 3 pieces with plastic wrap, then pat out remaining piece into a flat rectangle and generously dust with flour.
Set rollers of pasta machine on widest setting. Feed rectangle, a short side first, through rollers. Fold rectangle in thirds, like a letter, and feed it, a short side first, through rollers. Repeat 6 or 7 more times, folding dough in thirds and feeding it through rollers, a short side first each time, dusting with flour to prevent sticking.
Turn dial to next (narrower) setting and feed dough through rollers without folding, a short side first. Continue to feed dough through without folding, making space between rollers narrower each time, until the second- or third-narrowest setting is used. (Do not roll too thin or pasta will tear when filled.)
Start here if you buy pre-made pasta sheets:
Put pasta sheet on a lightly floured kitchen towel (not terry cloth) with a long side nearest you. Drop 6 rounded teaspoon-size mounds of filling 10 inches apart in a row down center of right half of sheet. Brush pasta around mounds of filling lightly with water, then lift left half of sheet and drape over mounds.
Press down firmly but gently around each mound, forcing out air. (Air pockets increase the chance that ravioli will break during cooking.) Cut pasta (between mounds) with a sharp knife into roughly 2-inch squares. Line a large shallow baking pan with a lightly floured kitchen towel (not terry cloth), then arrange ravioli in 1 layer in it. Make more ravioli with remaining pieces of dough and remaining filling, transferring to lined pan.

Cooking ravioli and Asparagus tips:
Bring a pasta pot of salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 6 quarts water) to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to a gentle boil.
Bring reserved broth to a simmer, then simmer asparagus tips, uncovered, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Season broth with salt, then divide broth and asparagus tips among 6 preheated shallow bowls, discarding cheese rind and bay leaf.
Add half of ravioli to gently boiling water, carefully stirring to separate, and cook, adjusting heat to keep at a gentle boil, until pasta is just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Lift cooked ravioli with a slotted spoon, draining well over pot, then transfer to bowls with broth. Repeat with remaining ravioli. Enjoy!

We both really liked this and really couldn't find anything we would change about it-especially not making our own pasta! Let me know what you think!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy New Year and Welcome Clara Jane....

Welcome Clara Jane---born December 15th at 505pm...
she's a keeper! Darling sweet little girl...
Meanwhile big sister Evy is keeping herself busy!

Russell holds Clara for the first time and
entertains her by making a face....
look at those teensy feet!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

A Different New Years Resolution

I have been pondering for a few days on
what I could do differently on my blog.
Then this morning I figured it out....
every other week I will choose a recipe I haven't
made before- cook it -take a picture of it and
post it all on my blog. That adds up to 26 recipes.
So, of course then I thought "Hmmm 26 weeks...
26 letters in the alphabet...hmmmm....
this could get interesting"
After a good cup of coffee and a nice tasty breakfast
I decided I would attempt 26 recipes focused on
different vegetables...sometimes ones I have never cooked before.
and based on the alphabet. Some letters will be quite
challenging and I do reserve the right to be slightly
creative in choosing something that begins with a Y or Q.
Just like trying out different flowers in our garden
I will try different vegetables in our kitchen and
maybe in our Luscher Farm veggie garden....
In addition, you all know how we both like to eat and cook!
Here is what I think I'll be doing-
I do reserve the right to change my mind...hahahah
The Alphabet Recipes
B-brussel sprouts
(see I already am breaking the rules)
(isn't hops a vegetable?)
(sauce not rodent)
N-nuts or napa cabbage
W-wild rice
X-total surprise
Y-yams,yukon golds

So- pull up a chair, have a seat and enjoy our year of ...
Discovering new vegetables (sometimes) and new recipes.....

It's all about what tastes good-
besides what is good for us! Bon appetit!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

New Years Eve...Hello 2010...

The day before we were to leave for Weed ...snow showed up...
Sheer boredom in a traffic jam will lead to photos like this....Where did all these people come from????????
We gave up and went to Fulton Pub for a few hours
rather than sit in traffic.....
The next day we were able to get out of town
and drive 5 hours south to Weed CA to spend
New Years with our good friends Bill and Ewana
We are always happy to see Mt Shasta!
This photo was taken at the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden
in Weed. We had never been here before and were very
impressed by the sensitive and strong sculptures.
You can find out more by going to http://www.weedlmsg.org/

Hot LZ Memorial Wall

This piece is entitled The Greatest Generation

After going through the sculpture garden we stopped by
Leonard's Taxidermy to meet Leonard and to check on Russell's Bear rug.
Leonard's taxidermy is more than just a stuffed animal...
he studies the animals in the wild. When I asked him how
he learned to do taxidermy his reply was-
"I went to the library". Really an interesting person!
Whe he hunts he only uses a bow and arrow.
Yow..........step away from the bear.

New Years Eve finds us first at Mt Shasta Brewing...
Russell is rolling his eyes as I tickle him...

Bill and Ewana at the pub...

Then we went to listen to Leonard and friends play music
at a local watering hole.....we stayed until 1130pm...
even got a few dances in! Then back to the house to play
a few wicked games of Trionimoes before 2010 rolled in...
New Years Day we went to another home where they
have an inordinate amount of "stuff".
Such as old tractors....
Here's Lily one of their 4 dogs....

Annie thought I was the best thing since sliced bread or dog chewies...

One of the out buldings had a lot of old cars and parts...

and an Africa room....Safari style....yikes
Back at Bill and Ewana's home...
Russell and Ewana made delicious pizza...

and Tuffy snoozed....we had a great New Years!