"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

Monday, May 31, 2010

J is for Jicama and Q is for the latest Baby Quilt

Here's a photo of the latest baby quilt. I just finished it a few days
ago and it is on it's way to Berlin Germany.
Our neighbor up the street is flying there today to meet her
first grandchild-a darling little girl.
and here is the latest recipe for the ABC series:

Mexican Fruit "Gazpacho Salad"
6 servings

1 1/2 # papaya
3/4 # jicama
1 large mango
1 cucumber
1 orange
3 Tablespoons lime juice ( 1 squeezed lime should work)
1 teaspoon New Mexican chili powder or other medium hot chile
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
Peel and dice (and seed if necessary) the papaya, jicama, mango, cucumber and orange
Combine all the fruit in a serving dish. Mix the lime juice, chili and salt in a small bowl.
Pour over the fruit, add the cilantro and toss gently but well. Serve. YUM.

Refrigerate if not serving immediately.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Those Perfect Shoes

Magpie #16
Looking in the closet
Searching in the dark
Where are those perfect shoes
For dancing in the park?

When did I wear them last
With my slinky black dress
Oh yes, we were at that spring wedding
That you attended under duress

You admitted it was perfect
Seeing two people so much in love
Sharing their star studded evening
With the moon shining brightly above

And so we danced that evening
Remembering our own special night
When we had a star studded evening
And everything was just right.
Please check out Magpie Tales for more stories and poems
You can find Willow's link in the column to the right.
I have had great fun participating in this writers blog.
Thanks Willow!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Linguine Carbonara with Asparagus

Photo of our dinner last night-
Linguine Carbonara with Asparagus and
Steamed Garlic Scapes
Nope-this isn't one of the ABC Recipes...
merely a recipe I found while working at the library
(my twice a week volunteering-one great way to find good books!)

The book is Blue Eggs and Orange Tomatoes by Jeanne Kelley.
It's a beautiful cookbook; gorgeous photos and (so far)
delicious and easy recipes.

The original recipe called for some ingredients that I didn't use
as I substituted for what I had or preferred to use.
Here's the original recipe with noted changes I made- bon appetit!

Linguine Carbonara with Zucchini
4 servings

4 ounces applewood-smoked bacon
(I used Capacolla-similar to Pancetta but spicy)

1/2 onion thinly sliced

3 medium Zucchini sliced into 1/4" rounds
(I used about 1/2# asparagus diagonally sliced in 1" pieces)

1/2# linguine or more depending on appetites
(for 2 people I use 1/3 a pound)

2 eggs at room temperature

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese-plus more for serving

Salt and pepper
( I only used salt in the pasta water)

2 Tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley-optional

Cut the bacon into 1/2" pieces and fry in a heavy ,large skillet over
medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon remove bacon to drain on paper towel.
Remove all but 2 Tablespoons of bacon fat-save for another use. Add onion to pan and saute til golden brown, about 6 minutes add the zucchini (or what ever vegetable you choose) and saute til just tender about 4 more minutes. Meanwhile cook the pasta in large pot of boiling salted water til tender but still firm about 9-10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of hot pasta water. Whisk the eggs together with the 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper-gradually whisk in half of the reserved pasta water. Add the hot pasta to the pan with the vegetables and heat briefly.

Remove pan from heat, and slowly pour in eggmixture stirring constantly-until the pasta is creamy-not wet nor dry-about 2 minutes-add some more of the pasta water if it isn't creamy enough. Stir in bacon and parsley and serve immediately!

Serve in pasta bowls -passing the additonal Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Burnt Orange Ice Cream

Wow...this ice cream is unbelievably delicious! YUM.

The recipe is annoyingly tedious-BUT worth the effort:

Bill Gross's Burnt Orange Ice Cream
(thanks to www.epicurious.com)


2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large navel oranges (each about 6 ounces)

3 cups heavy (whipping) cream
2/3 cup half-and-half
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean (see Note, below), or 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks

1. One day ahead, prepare the oranges: Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 450°F.

2. Place 1/2 cup of the sugar on a plate. Rub the butter over the oranges, then roll them in the sugar.

3. Pour the unused sugar from the plate into an 8-inch square baking pan, and shake it around to cover the bottom of the pan. Place the oranges in the pan and bake, moving them around once to break up any unmelted sugar, until they start to color and some of the sugar in the pan starts to melt, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Remove the pan from the oven (leaving the oven on), and using tongs and a sharp knife, carefully quarter the oranges. Place the quarters, skin side up, in the baking pan and bake until the peel is dark brown, about 35 minutes. Let the orange quarters cool slightly.

5. Remove the peel from 4 of the browned quarters, discarding the pulp. Leave the other 4 quarters intact.

6. Combine the orange peel, the 4 intact quarters, the sugar from the pan, and the remaining 2 cups sugar in a food processor, and puree. Strain the puree into a container, cover it, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. This is the part that annoyed me as I asked my self
"STRAIN THE PUREE? The puree was a thick sticky mass/mess, but I dutifully put it in a small strainer,spooning it slowly while pressing out the juices with a wooden spoon. I ended up after all that having about a cup of puree. The rest I put into a small bowl to use for making cookies later this week. No way am I wasting that!

7. The next day, prepare the ice cream mixture: Place the orange puree in a saucepan over medium-low heat, and bring it to a simmer.

8. While the orange puree is heating, whisk the cream, half-and-half, vanilla seeds, and egg yolks together in a large bowl. Then, whisking constantly, slowly add the hot orange puree. Let the mixture cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate it until it is cold, 3 to 4 hours.

9. Freeze the mixture in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. I used my Donvier Ice Cream Maker-so old it was Made in Japan!

10. Transfer the ice cream to a container, cover, and store in the freezer until ready to serve.
• Don’t throw away those scraped-out vanilla beans! Place them in a large jar, add 4 to 6 cups granulated sugar, cover the jar, and let it sit for 3 weeks to create vanilla sugar. As you use the sugar, keep adding more to the jar. The beans will keep indefinitely.         

Thursday, May 20, 2010

ABC Recipe coming soon! I is for Ice Cream!

This photo is just a teaser....one of our delicious desserts
while in NYC- I am researching for the "perfect" ice cream recipe....stay tuned!
***May 23rd Update....ice cream recipe found and in last stages of preparation
and oh by the way...even tho I said I was coooking new VEGETABLE recipes
hah! I changed my mind with at least this entry...seeing how as I have
never made ice cream before.

Magpie Tales #15

My keys, my keys-oh hell where did I leave them now?
Muttering "a place for everything and everything in it's place"
Shaking my purse for the sound of jingling fish
Hearing only the thud of my wallet and the beat of my heart
Grumbling "oh when will I learn" while looking for my plaice
My Keys my keys - oh holy mackrel where did I leave them now?

This is my fourth submission to Magpie Tales.
You can go to her site by clicking on the link to the right.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Back home from New York, Maine and New Hampshire

I took this photo as we were landing in Seattle at 830pm last night....
I love to travel, but I love my Northwest!

Had a great fun time visiting everyone and seeing the sights-
but as we all know.. and Dorothy said it best:
There's no place like home!
You can see all my photos on my flickr site.
And here's some current Spring pics from our garden this morning....

Friday, May 14, 2010

Blue Willow Meals

Blue Willow dishes stacked so high
vested with crumbs of yesterdays pie
who would think that it was the last time
that all would change
that you would die
Now the dishes are silently stacked
into the boxes sadly packed
who would think that it was the last time
that all would change
that you would die

This is a submission to Willow's wonderful theme site
Magpie Tales, #14 about a treasured plate. The link to this
site can be found on the right.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Eye Spy Haiku

Here's my second haiku for Magpie Tales-
Toe tappin'
Keeping an eye out for you
My delight!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

ABC recipe: H is for Hominy

I must be totally honest with this posting....

I have not made this recipe.....yet!

But-I have eaten this many times at Bill and Ewana's home and in Mexico.

And so, since we are off to faraway places I am posting this now....enjoy!

It is delicious!

Pork and Hominy Stew
(Pozole Rojo)

Who said you can only enjoy a good rich stew in the depths of winter? Born in the hot climate of Mexico, this melt-in-your-mouth pork and red-chile dish also makes a satisfying but not-too-filling end to a warm summer day.

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings
Active Time: 1 1/2 hr
Total Time: 2 1/2 hr

For pozole:
1 large head garlic
4 lb country-style pork ribs (not lean)
12 cups cold water
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (32 fl oz)
1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican), crumbled
6 dried New Mexico or guajillo red chiles* (2 oz)
1 1/2 cups boiling-hot water
1 cup coarsely chopped white onion (1 large)
1 tablespoon salt
4 (15-oz) cans white hominy (also called pozole), drained and rinsed

Accompaniments: fried tortilla strips (see cooks' note, below); 1/2-inch cubes of California avocado; thinly sliced cabbage or lettuce; chopped white onion; chopped radishes; lime wedges; crumbled dried oregano (preferably Mexican); dried hot red pepper flakes


Peel garlic and reserve 2 whole cloves, then slice remaining cloves. Combine sliced garlic, pork, water, and broth in a 7- to 8-quart heavy pot and bring to a boil, skimming froth. Add oregano, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, skimming occasionally, until pork is very tender, about 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, discard stems from chiles (do not seed), then soak in boiling-hot water (1 1/2 cups) in a bowl, turning occasionally, until softened, about 30 minutes (do not drain). Purée chiles with soaking water, onion, 2 teaspoons salt, and reserved garlic cloves in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute.

Transfer pork with tongs to a large bowl, reserving broth in pot. Shred pork, using 2 forks (discard bones). Return pork to broth, then add hominy, chile purée, and remaining teaspoon salt and simmer, uncovered, skimming froth and stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Season with salt. 3Serve pozole in shallow bowls with accompaniments.

*Available at Latino markets and kitchenmarket.com.

Cooks' notes:
· Pozole can be made 3 days ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Reheat over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until stew comes to a boil. · To make fried tortilla strips, halve 8 (6-inch) soft corn tortillas and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Fry in 3 batches in 1/2 inch of hot oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally with a slotted spoon, until golden, 2 to 4 minutes per batch. Transfer with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Tortilla strips can be made 1 day ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Haiku for Goldfish

I just started participating on a blog site called Magpie Tales.
You can find the link on the right side of this blog.
It basically has a new image every week and we have
a certain amount of time to post our story, poem or haiku
to go with the image of the week. As the author of the blog says:
"This blog is dedicated to the enjoyment of writers,
for the purpose of honing their craft,
sharing it with like minded bloggers,
and keeping their muses alive and well."
So here's my first attempt -I'll give it whirl!
Eye on you
Swimming in airless water
Endangered fish