Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Heart-y Surprise

Look what I found when I cut into a loaf of bread I had made...

a perfect little heart.

Guess who got to eat it for his breakfast?
Just couldn't wait until Valentine's day

These little grandchildren treats can't wait either 'cause the ones heading to NY have to get packaged up and taken to the post office. Better hide the others for safe keeping!

Shadow Shot Sunday #90 ~

I am sorry for the boring Shadow pics ~ I am finding them harder to capture than I thought. I see lots of shadows but either they are not interesting or I'm just not shooting them very well.
Any tips?
For some really beautiful (and interesting) Shadow Shots visit Hey Harriet

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Snowy Weekend and Hamburger Barley Vegetable Soup

The snow has started and we are ready!
Here is a recipe from one of my old Pillsbury cook booklets. It is a great everyday soup. I love the barley in this recipe but today I wanted to substitute pasta.
HAMBURGER BARLEY VEGETABLE SOUP 

1 1/2 lb. ground beef (I only had 1/2 lb)
6 c. water (I used 1 can of beef stock and added enough water to make 6 cups)
3 beef bouillon cubes
2 c. sliced carrots
1 1/2 c. coarsely chopped onions
1 1/2 c. coarsely chopped celery
1/2 c. coarsely chopped green pepper (I substituted 1/2 of a small cabbage, chopped)
1/3 c. barley (substituted cooked pasta)
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
28 oz. can whole tomatoes, undrained
8 oz. tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
1/4 c. ketchup

In 5 quart Dutch oven, brown ground beef and drain. Add all other ingredients, bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaves.

Recipe states it yields 10 (1 1/2-cup) servings and it is even better the next day.

Plenty to share or freeze.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Show and Tell Friday ~ Scotty

Many of you know about our cute little schnauzer over in my sidebar. But this post is about one of the sweetest, friendliest pups that ever lived.

Scotty
He was a mixed breed (we were told part lab - part terrier, but who knows) who came from the Animal Orphanage~just a round ball of fur.

And he grew...

(This is the picture that convinced us he needed a groomer)

into a 90 plus pound lap dog...
that everyone loved. He was frequently found lying in the front yard to greet each person that walked by. Even strangers had a "Hello, Scotty!" as they passed by. Some even chose the route just so they could visit with him.

After a bout with Lyme's Disease, he suffered from joint pain especially in his front paws. Daily aspirin regiment helped for a long time but then it was on to Rimadyl. Later we covered all bare floors with rugs so he wouldn't slip. Time and again we were confronted with the decision about the pain he was having and his quality of life. We talked with the vet. We waited. One day we woke up and his front paws were so swollen. We knew.
Here is Scotty with us on the day of our daughters' wedding in June 2002, just four days before he died. He kind of moseyed over to be in the photo. What a great 13 and a half years we enjoyed with him!

My BIL said it best. "Scotty is the kind of dog you get once in a lifetime!"

For more Show & Tell Friday, visit Cindy @My Romantic Home.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Baked Chicken and Good Fellowship

Our weekly community group shares not only a love for Jesus and each other but is a close knit group that enjoys fun times and food! Oft times during our Bible study or sharing time something will be said that makes someone laugh and before you know it the whole group has lost it. The guys, of course are known for their good-natured teasing. It so reminds me of

Proverbs 17:22
"A cheerful heart is good medicine".
We have dessert each week along with coffee and tea but occasionally we have a dinner. Everyone brings a dish and it is a precious time of fellowship and good eats! Here is a delicious entree we recently enjoyed. Very comforting, easy to prepare with ingredients you probably have on hand and it travels well. This would be a great dish to take to someone who could use a boost of a prepared meal.
Baked Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 Whole Chicken Breasts (I butterflied these)
  • 4 Swiss Cheese (or American) slices, 4"x4" (I have used Port Wine cheese left over from Christmas that was so good!)
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken Soup, 10 oz
  • 1 c herb seasoned stuffing mix (even more if desired)
  • Garlic powder (opt.)
  • 2 tb Parmesan cheese (opt.)
  • 1/4 c Melted butter
  • 1/4 c Dry white wine (I used orange Juice)

Preparation

Arrange split, skinned and boned chicken breasts in a lightly greased 13x9 inch baking dish. Top with cheese slices. Combine soup and wine; stir well. Spoon sauce evenly over chicken and sprinkle with crushed stuffing mix. Drizzle butter over stuffing. If desired, sprinkle with garlic powder and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 45 to 55 minutes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

OW and Sepia Scenes ~ Tomlinson Mansion

More hometown photos for Outdoor Wednesday and Sepia Scenes this week.
This interesting building is the Tomlinson Mansion that is presently owned by the Marlton United Methodist Church. It was an overcast day when I took these pictures and as you can see, I played around a bit to try for an aged effect.
Above photo is the original.
Aged effect.
(Well, the water tower on the right with all of the microwave posts sticking up negates the aged appearance)

I did a little searching and found that the architecture is of the Italianate style, and includes a cubical shape, a shallow pitched roof with deep overhanging eaves and cupolas.
Above shot in un-aged sepia

If you click on this collage, you will be able to see closer the Doric Columns and intricate corbels.
This steeple sits atop the church that is attached to the Tomlinson Mansion.
Click the above buttons for more Outdoor Wednesday and Sepia Scenes!

Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cake

Cute as they are, and full of rich chocolaty flavor, my little bundts were on the dry side. A scoop of ice-cream or dollop of whipped cream would have been a nice addition to moisten these baby cakes.

Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cake
Ingredients


For the Swirl
 
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp sugar

For the Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk
7 ounces milk chocolate, melted and cooled

For the Glaze
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tsp light corn syrup

Preparation
Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 350F. Generously butter a 6-mold mini Bundt pan.

To make the swirl: Toss the nuts, cocoa and sugar together in a small bowl.

To Make the Cake: Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitter with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the egg and beat for 1 minute more, then beat in the vanilla. Don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled–it will smooth out soon. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half the flour mixture, mixing only until it is incorporated. Add the milk, and when it is blended into the batter, add the remaining flour mixture, again mixing just to incorporate. Finally, add the melted chocolate and mix to blend.
Fill each of the mini Bundt molds with a little batter, then divide the swirl ingredients evenly among the molds and top off the Bundts with the remaining batter.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the centers of the cakes come out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow the cakes to rest for 5 minutes, then invert them onto the rack and let them cool to room temperature.

To make the glaze: Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of water. Stir in the corn syrup. Using a small offset metal spatula or a table knife, spread the shiny glaze over the tops of the Bundts, then scatter the nuts, if you’re using them, over the glaze. Let glaze set at room temperature; it will take about 15 minutes.

Makes 6 mini Bundt cakes (1 cup) or 12 really tiny Bundt cakes (1/2 cup).

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake

For a very long time I have been looking for the BEST cinnamon coffee cake recipe. This one is very good. It was intended to be baked in a loaf but I baked mine in an 8x8-inch dish.
I'll continue looking but for now this is the one I'll turn to.
Cinnamon-Swirl Coffee Cake
Ingredients

1-1/3 cups sugar 
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup cooking oil

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup of the sugar, the nuts, and cinnamon; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup sugar, the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, beat egg with a fork; stir in milk and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy).
    2. Pour half of the batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle with half of the cinnamon mixture. Repeat with remaining batter and cinnamon mixture. Draw a wide rubber scraper down through batter and up in a circular motion to marble. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
    3. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Wrap and store bread overnight before slicing.
    4. Makes 1 loaf (14 servings)

    Calories 217 (not including a simple 10x sugar glaze)

    Sunday, January 31, 2010

    Mosaic Monday ~ Birthday Dinner

    My sweethearts birthday!
    His cake.
    His family
    Erin & Dad
    Erin and Mom
    Dinner

    Baby Cambrie enjoying lots of kisses from her sister and brother.
    Me & Him
    For more Mosaic Monday, visit Mary @ Little Red House

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