Saturday, March 13, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday ~ Ice On The Pond

Usually the pond at this park is full of Canadian geese, ducks, children, walkers and dogs. On this cold, March morning last week, I was alone except for a man and his dog.
Over the years, Daddy/PopPop has spent many hours here with our daughter, Abbey and grandson, Jared as they baited their little fishing rods with worms they dug up in the back yard. The sunnies would bite almost as soon as the hook hit the water.

John spent most of his time putting worms on the hook and taking fish off the hook!
While building this post I was reminded of the above photo taken on the bank
of this pond when Jared was younger.
Sweet moments!

How to Catch Sunnies
(from eHow)

Sunnies (Sunfish) are small fish (3 to 7 inches in length) that are usually very abundant in freshwater ponds and lakes. Fishing for sunnies is great fun for children and can be a great family activity.

Difficulty: Easy
Instructions

Things You'll Need:

  • rod and reel with fishing line
  • a small hook
  • a float (bobber)
  • bait
  1. Step 1
    Attach a small hook to the end of the fishing line.
  2. Step 2
    Attach a float (bobber) 1' to 4' from the hook.
  3. Step 3
    Put bait on the hook. Sunnies are not picky eaters. Some typical bait used to catch sunnies is dough, bread, worms, and small bait fish. Personally, I prefer dough because it is easy to find and easy to use.
  4. Step 4
    Cast (if need be) the line into the water.
  5. Step 5
    Let it sit. When a fish takes the bait and gets hooked, the float will go under water. Then reel it in.
  6. Step 6
    Sunfish
    Sunfish
    A good method for removing the fish from the hook is to grab the hook with a pliers (a needle nose pliers works best) and twist and shake it so that the fish falls off. Sometimes it is necessary to hold the fish and work the hook out.
Visit Hey Harriet's Shadow Shot Sunday for lots of fun shadow photos!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Caught -Up

These little embroidered inchies work up so fast
I have caught up with the group
I'm Stitching Along.
A pretty vintage button with a leaf pattern.
A tiny pair of feet (size of an unborn baby's feet at 10 weeks after conception) with the first initial of our four daughters
Lazy Daisies with tiny pearl beads
Bullion stitch
French Knot flowers

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Show and Tell Friday ~ Baby Ring

At the time of my birth, my aunt was living with my family. She was a young working girl who hadn't yet married and started a family, so much of her free time and extra funds were lavished on me.
This tiny, pearl baby ring was a gift from her.
Aged and tarnished with time, I still enjoy wearing it
from time to time on a chain around my neck.
Pearls have always been my favorite!
My husband bought me a strand as a wedding gift that I wore on
my wedding day.
Our daughter, Jill wore them on her wedding day.


From Wikipedia:
A pearl is a hard, generally spherical object produced within the soft tissue (specifically the mantle) of a living shelled mollusk. Just like the shell of a mollusk, a pearl is made up of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, which has been deposited in concentric layers. The ideal pearl is perfectly round and smooth, but many other shapes of pearls (baroque pearls) occur. The finest quality natural pearls have been highly valued as gemstones and objects of beauty for many centuries, and because of this, the word pearl has become a metaphor for something very rare, fine, admirable, and valuable
Pop over to Cindy's @My Romantic Home for more Show & Tell Friday!

Friday Photo Flashback ~ Hang On Kids!

A guy who always tries to make as few trips as possible, this is how John would bring the girls down for breakfast!
1981
(gee, maybe that's why I had to wait so long for Abbey.... he didn't have any free arms!)
Joining Alicia @More Than Words for Friday Photo Flashback

Barefoot Bloggers ~ Individual Meat Loaves

Time for cooking with the Barefoot Bloggers!
Now, I have been married for a lot of years and I have made many a meatloaf. Early on I made ones that included apples. I loved it, the kids hated it. I have made recipes that used oatmeal... good too. I have made many that were so-so. But, then I found one that is unanimously a favorite with our whole family. (I will share soon) So, I was less than excited when our Barefoot Contessa recipe was another meatloaf.
As you can see, these are individual sizes ~ a little too large a portion for our family but no big deal.
(I halved the recipe which yields 6 servings)
They baked up nicely and looked cute in the serving dish sitting side by side.
In my opinion, the addition of fresh herbs lifted these meatloaves above average.
Ina's recipe called for fresh thyme.
John loves fresh rosemary, so that's where I went. It imparted a very nice, surprising taste.
Ina's recipe calls for 81% lean ground chuck, I used 85% ground round and I don't think it mattered that much in the flavor/texture.
The loaves were topped with ketchup before baking.
A nice meatloaf recipe that we enjoyed.

Individual Meat Loaves

2005, Ina Garten

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped yellow onions (3 onions)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup canned chicken stock or broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground chuck (81 percent lean)
  • 1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs (recommended: Progresso)
  • 2 extra-large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (recommended: Heinz)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add the onions, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not brown. Off the heat, add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, onion mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs, and mix lightly with a fork. Don't mash or the meatloaf will be dense. Divide the mixture into 6 (10 to 11-ounce) portions and shape each portion into a small loaf on a sheet pan. Spread about a tablespoon of ketchup on the top of each portion. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the internal temperature is 155 to 160 degrees F and the meat loaves are cooked through. Serve hot.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cream Puffs

I pulled out an old recipe to make Cream Puffs for Bible study this evening.
I dirtied lots of dishes and it took several steps but they're not difficult to make!
And... they look special!
Cream Puffs

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 tsp sugar
1 cup flour, sifted
4 large eggs

Glaze
6 oz. semisweet chocolate pieces
1 Tbs. vegetable shortening

Custard:
3/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3 cups milk
4 large eggs
1 Tbs. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream Puffs:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring water, butter and sugar to a full rolling boil in a large saucepan. Add flour all at once. Stir vigorously with wooden spoon about 1 minute or until mixture forms a smooth ball that leaves sides of pan. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Add 4 eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, until paste is shinny and smooth. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls, 3-inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 40 minutes until golden. Cool on wire rack.

Custard:
Combine flour and sugar in saucepan; stir in milk. Bring to boiling, stirring constantly over low heat until bubbly. Cook 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat. Beat eggs lightly in bowl; beat in 1 cup hot milk mixture and return eggs to saucepan. Cook 1-2 minutes more (do not boil). Add butter and vanilla; pour into bowl and cover with plastic wrap touching top for 2 hours.

Glaze:
Melt chocolate and shortening together over low heat (or microwave).

To fill:
Cut tops off cream puffs; fill with custard. Top with melted chocolate or sprinkle with confectioners sugar.

~*~
My sweet friend, Marie @Spun By ME is having a Glittery Giveaway!
Stop by her place to enter!

Sepia Scenes #74

A few shots of the wooden gazebo at the park for Sepia Scenes this week.



Playing along with Mary T and her Sepia Scenes!

I'm stitchingalong...

...with Amy of Inspireco in her 39 Squares project.
I wanted to be sure I could actually find time to do this project before I committed to it. I've always enjoyed embroidery and this sounded like so much fun!
The goal is to make one a day and the group is on day 10.
So, here's my plan.
I am making 35 inchies to represent our 35th wedding anniversary coming up in October.
Some squares will be symbolic of our life together and others will simply highlight a particular embroidery stitch or trinket.
I decided on a neutral pallet and hope to frame it to an 8x10-inch size.
'L', you know who that represents ;)
Gotta go.... I have some catching up to do.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday ~ Rancocas Woods

Nestled among the scrub pine trees is a quaint shopping village of log cabins and other buildings that house unique shoppes. On a brisk morning last week, I dropped Raider off at the groomers and made the short drive to Rancocas Woods. It was early and none of the shops were opened but I was able to snap some pictures of this rustic waterwheel.
William Spencer Lighting (site is currently under construction) is a beautiful shop filled with furniture and amazing lighting fixtures.
This waterwheel sits on the side of the building.
The Corner Pretzel Shoppe serves warm, fresh-baked, soft pretzels and other nibblers. I don't think there were many (any?) times we didn't visit without enjoying the soft, doughy treats with mustard on top!
A view of the back of the building where you exit.

During the warmer months,
this village hosts monthly craft shows as well as flea markets.
Follow link to more Outdoor Wednesday @A Southern Daydreamer!

Monday, March 8, 2010

TWD ~ Thumbprint Cookies

Very tender, very nutty, tiny cookies filled with your choice of jam.
I used raspberry (darker color) and strawberry (lighter)
After combining equal parts ground nuts (I used walnuts) and flour and then adding to beaten butter and sugar, with vanilla and almond extract, the dough is rolled into little balls. I used the back of a basting brush to form an indentation which was filled with heated jam after baking.
I wiggled the end a bit to form a larger opening to make room for plenty of jam.
The sprinkling of confectioners sugar adds sweetness to this shortbread cookie and looks pretty as well.
Even though my husband insists he dislikes walnuts, he (and I) loved these cookies.
~*~
THUMBPRINTS FOR US BIG GUYS
by Dorie Greenspan from “Baking: From My Home To Yours
1 3/4 cups finely ground hazelnuts
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flower
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
About 1 cup raspberry jam (or the jam or marmalade of your choice)
GETTING READY: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Whisk together ground nuts and flour.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the extracts and beat to blend. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the nut-flower mixture, mixing only until it is incorporated into the dough.
Working with a teaspoonful of dough at a time, roll the dough between your palms to form small balls and place the balls 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Steadying each cookie with the thumb and forefinger of one hand, use the pinkie of your other hand (or the end of a wooden spoon) to poke a hole in the center of each cookie. Be careful not to go all the way down to the baking sheet.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The cookies should be only slightly colored–they may even look underdone, which is fine: they should not be overbaked. When the cookies are baked, remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the cookies rest on the sheets for 2 minutes before transferring them to cooling racks with a wide metal spatula and sifting confectioner’s sugar over them.
Repeat with the remaining dough, remembering to cool the baking sheets before baking the next batch.
Bring jam to a boil in a small saucepan over low heat, or bring to a boil in a microwave oven; remove from the heat. Fill the indentations of all the cookies with enough of the hot jam to come level with the tops. Cool to room temperature.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mosaic Monday

Joining Mary @Little Red House for Mosaic Monday!

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