Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category


My Grandmother was Irish.  When she passed my mom cooked for my Grandfather daily.  He was German.  I’ve eaten my lifetime supply of cabbage and potato dishes, so I’ll opt for my favorite Irish Soda Bread recipe in celebration of the date.  This, however, doesn’t mean I won’t eat my weight tonight in cabbage soaked in white vinegar at my host’s house.

The recipe is from Saveur Magazine’s March 2001 issue.  I’ve always baked it in a butter cast iron with a little more flour mixed in.  I like Golden Raisins in it, but forgot to put them in this loaf.

My first memory of baking it was before a road trip down to Tucson from Flagstaff.  Not sure why I chose Soda Bread.  It certainly doesn’t invoke thoughts of the desert, maybe it was St. Patrick’s Day and I just have no recollection.

Other Greens I’m Loving:

*Here’s my new favorite easy easy easy Green Pasta recipe from Dishing Up.

*Here’s my new favorite Green Quilt.

I also thought it a fine day to photograph the green fabric in my stash, since, of course it would be at the end of my rainbow.

Fat Quarters:



And the yardage:


What’s at the end of your rainbow today?


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Roan and I made the rounds this weekend.  Two birthdays and a baby shower.  Luckily, one said no presents (huh?).  They didn’t know they could have a lovely pillow for their child rather than a piece of plastic.  Cousin Sam is a space boy.  I probably would have been pushing it to do two Saturday morning anyway.

By the time we finished with party number two at the gym…I was done.  So glad I had said I would make some easy goodies for the Baby Shower to follow the next morning.  Did these Easy Peanut Butter Cups.  I had to go old-fashioned, but if you have a microwave they will take you no time at all.  I used left over Valentine muffin papers and sprinkles as toppers instead of chopped peanuts.  Perfect for a girl baby shower.

I had purchased this fabric on sale at Joann’s.  I loved the retro birds, but was so reminded of my own room as a girl with the little rosebuds.

My sister-in-law and I spent some time together making some receiving blankets.  They are large enough for swaddling and so useful.  When I was pregnant I thought my mom had gone crazy with all the receiving blankets she kept making me.  I was clueless about spit up and blow outs.  So they just seem the easy, soft thing to make.  It also satisfies the urge to buy that cute reasonably priced flannel that Joann’s has sprinkled in here and there.

Everyone loved the fabrics and wanted one for themselves.  I was pretty pleased.

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I was somewhat in a panic over finding the recipe for these cookies.  Valentines Day is approaching, and I like it as an excuse to bake these.  Once I found it, I thought I’d toss it on here to share.  Now I know the recipe will never be lost.  Oh, pardon me, last batch needs to come out.

I’m not much of a cookie person.  I do enjoy a chocolate crinkle, but I’m more into mixing something up and putting it in the oven.  However, parenthood and cookies go hand-in-hand for me.  If I feel the need for a baking project that involves Roan, we’ll whip these up or some muffins.

Roan helps with the kiss unwrapping and takes it very seriously.  If you help, they must be put in the bowl properly.  He’s very symmetrical about it.

I believe this came from Better Homes and Gardens, but I think I ripped this off from my doctor’s office and didn’t get the full page.  My apologies.

I may credit Cynthia Lustig, nice job girl!



*1/2 cup butter, softened

*1/2 cup almond butter

*1/2 cup granulated sugar

*1/2 cup packed brown sugar

*3/4 tsp. baking soda

*1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

*1/4 tsp. salt

*1 egg

*2 Tbsp. milk

*1/2 tsp. vanilla

*1 cup whole wheat flour

*1 cup all-purpose flour


For Rolling:

*2 Tbsp. finely ground almonds

*3 Tbsp. granulated sugar

*48 to 60 kisses


-350 oven

-mix butter and almond butter with an electric mixer on medium to high for 30 seconds.

-Add sugar through salt.  Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally.

-Beat egg, milk and vanilla.

-Beat in whole wheat flour, then APF until your mixer says it gives up and hand stir in the rest.

– Shape 1 inch balls, roll in almond/sugar mix and place two inches apart on cookie sheet.

-Bake 8-10 minutes, or until edges are firm and edges are cracked.

-immediately press kiss into center and cool on rack.

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It’s hard not to be in the moment right now.  We’ve been an endless sick ward.  Thinking about putting together anything beyond the cheese, beer and olives that I am currently having for dinner requires too much thought.  So on that note, I guess I am thankful that my family could care less about turkey.  I said last year I was never doing it again anyway.

I did manage to bake my favorite cake/quickbread, cranapple-walnut cake.  This cake is sweetened with honey and uses oil, not butter for its moist flavor.  Don’t try to substitute butter or you will be calling it Crapple.  Trust me on this one, I’ve tried it.  This recipe is from the original Moosewood  Cookbook.  I’ve made it religiously every Fall since college.


Cranberry-Walnut Cake


-1 cup honey, plus 2 Tbsp. orange juice concentrate

-1/2 cup vegetable oil

-2 cups flour (you can use 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour)

-1 tsp. baking soda

-1 tsp. cinnamon

-1/2 tsp. nutmeg

-1 tsp. salt

-2 eggs

-1 tsp. vanilla

-2 cups chopped baking apples

-1/2 cup walnut pieces

-1/2 # fresh, whole raw cranberries


*Whip the honey at high speed for 10 minutes or until white and opaque.

*Add the o.j and mix.

*Add eggs and vanilla, beat well.

*Sift flour and other dry ingredients and thoroughly mix with honey mixture.

*Stir in cranberries, apples and nuts.


Bake in a well-greased or non-stick pan, 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees.


I also finally framed some of my Nikki McClure posters.  Some are going to be gifts, and of course a few for the house.  This one is going up in the kitchen.  It is appropriate for the day, as I am thankful most for the wonderful people that surround me.  Happy Thanksgiving.

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When concord grapes start appearing at the market I buy them. I’m immediately transported to the alley across from the house I rented in college. To the high chain link fence where they draped abundantly, and picking them. It was in that house, from the memory of watching my mother, I taught myself to make pies.

Pies take some time though, so I’ve condensed things a bit and tried my hand at galettes.

You can used a store bought crust, I use Julia Child’s galette dough recipe. You may use the same filling recipe to make a traditional pie as well. You will need a food mill to remove the seeds from the pulp.

For the filling:

*7 cups concord grapes
*2/3 cups maple syrup
*4 Tbsp. arrowroot or cornstarch
*egg white, beaten
*3 tsp. sugar
-Separate skins from pulp.
-Cook pulps over high for 5 minutes.
-Sieve pulps though a food mill to remove seeds.
-Combine pulps and skins. Cook over medium until tender.
-Combine maple syrup and arrowroot, blend until smooth.
-Add to fruit.
-Roll crust to 1/8th inch thick, 10 to 12 inch disc.
-Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
-Place filling in middle and fold over leaving an opening.
-Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.


Bake on bottom shelf at 425 for 35-45 minutes for galette. Pie should bake at 425 for 10 minutes and then reduce temp to 350 for about 50 minutes.

ENJOY! Great with whip cream or vanilla ice cream.

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::Easy, Yummy, Freezable::

My neighbor Ellen has a few recipes that have become staples at our house. She’s allowing me to share this chili that is the easiest to make and you will have enough to freeze. You need to chop a few things, but nothing else beyond putting it in the pot and turning on the heat required.


1 roasted chicken from your favorite store, shredded
1 jar Mrs. Renfro’s green salsa (Safeway or Fred Myer carries it here) or Jalapeno salsa substitute.
1 28-oz can chopped tomatoes
1 quart chicken broth
1 deli style fresh salsa (you know the chunky uncooked kind), or use some cooked.
2 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 can chopped green chilis
2 or more carrots, sliced in moons
2 or more stalks celery, chopped
1 or more colorful peppers, chopped
1 small onion, chopped (this can be omitted if salsa has lots of onions)

*Put it all in a pot and cook on medium until carrots are tender.
*Serve with chips, sour cream, avocado, chopped cilantro, or cheese…of course in my house you also have a refreshing beer.

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I’ve moved this post up from it’s original placement in the Spring. My tomato plants that are on steroids have been abundantly giving us their bounty and now is the time to dig up the favorite recipes. You will not be disappointed with this recipe.

June 3, 2008-

We had to postpone building a small raised bed for the tomatoes today. Our continually warm weather has been slow to come this year, and there’s a steady rain this morning. In anticipation of fine homegrown tomatoes, I’ll offer this recipe from last Summer’s Fine Cooking magazine. It’s one of my favorites. Unless you want the most perfect teething biscuit, make sure the grilled bread has cooled before storing.

Grilled Bruschetta with White Bean Dip and Heirloom Tomatoes

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