Saturday, April 24, 2010

Favorite Photo Friday ~ A new Photo Meme

A brand new photography meme with the purpose of learning and growing
from one another is the goal of

Valerie @Composition-Life and Intelligent Expressions
loves photography and shares her beautiful work on these blogs.
She is hosting this new weekly meme where you submit your favorite shot taken that week and receive comments with feedback and/or suggestions to make the shot better.

Newbies and professional photographers are encouraged as we learn together.

Visit Favorite Photo Friday for complete instructions and be sure to stop by her other blogs and enjoy her beautiful and inspirational posts!

Get your cameras ready for the first week post on April 30th!
See you there!

Shadow Shot Sunday ~ Me and My Shadow

Sitting at my desk I hear footsteps coming

down the steps as the first little one awakes.
'Round the corner she comes to see me as she rubs her
eyes in the early morning light.
Both her and her sweet little shadow are ready for a brand new day.

My Shadow
Robert Louis Stevenson
From Child's Garden of Verses

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow--
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes goes so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close behind me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.
Joining Hey Harriet for Shadow Shot Sunday

Friday, April 23, 2010

Country Sausage Gravy on Biscuits

This northern girl has never made sausage gravy before.
and... (cover your eyes, Dear Southern friends)
I have never tasted sausage gravy before.
After reading a few fellow TWD bakers had served their biscuits with sausage gravy, I knew I wanted to make this for my husband.

I searched online for a recipe and found one that has a little kick from red pepper flakes.
Now I know why this is a favorite ~ it is delicious!

Country Sausage Gravy
Allreciped.com
Ingredients
  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I used about 1/4 tsp)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 2 cups milk, divided
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

Directions

  1. In a skillet on medium heat cook pork, onion, green pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic until pork is crumbly. Drain off excess fat, but leave a small amount.
  2. Combine butter, salt, and pepper with the meat mixture and stir until butter melts. Slowly sift flour over the top. Mix gently and allow mixture to cook for 5 minutes. It will burn, so do not let it sit unguarded. Don't forget to scrape the bottom of the pan. Add the sage and thyme.
  3. Slowly stir in milk, about a half a cup at a time, and incorporate it well. When the mixture thickens, add more milk. Do not let it boil vigorously, or it will burn. Add chicken bullion and let cook for five minutes. Again, if it thickens too much, add more milk. Adjust taste with more salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Just before serving, add the parsley, and about a 1/4 cup more milk; the gravy will thicken quickly as it cools.

Sweet Cream Biscuits

by Dorie Greenspan
Baking From My Home to Yours


Makes about 12 biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup cake flour)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 to 1 and 1/4 cups heavy cream

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Get out a sharp 2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter (I used a glass, and it was fine), and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Whisk the flour(s), baking powder, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Pour about 1 cup of the cream over the dry ingredients, grab a fork and start tossing the ingredients together. If necessary, add more cream, a spoonful at a time, until you’ve got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick, gentle kneading – 3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour and pat the dough out with your hands or roll it with a pin until it is about 1/2 inch high. Don’t worry if the dough isn’t completely even – a quick, light touch is more important than accuracy.

Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of this first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working them as little as possible, pat out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits can be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting – just add a couple more minutes to the oven time.)

Bake the biscuits for 14 to 18 minutes, or until they are tall, puffed and golden brown. Transfer them to a serving basket.

Serving: Ideally these biscuits should go from oven to table and be served with cold sweet butter.

Storing: You can keep the biscuits in a plastic bag overnight and give them a quick warm-up in the oven the next day, but you won't recapture their freshly made flakiness.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Show and Tell ~ Playing with Mom-Mom's Barbie's

Our daughter and family from New York are leaving
Friday morning after a week long visit.
We had such a great time together.
Sharing my favorite childhood Barbie dolls with my
granddaughters, Brenna & Shaela was such fun!
Brenna and Buffy
(with Mrs. Beasley at bottom right corner of photo)
Shaela's little hands dressing a doll
Playing with Barbie, Francie, Casey, Skipper, Tutti and friends.
This is my dear mom in a photo taken this Easter.
Remember I told you what a perfectionist she was at sewing?
Well, take a look at some of her knitted work.
I am amazed at the tiny detail in each dress and accessory.
I don't think she even used a pattern.
This incredible suitcase and shoulder bag both open
and the suitcase has compartments.
Outfits for my Tammy and Pepper dolls.

All dolled up!
(ha! My feeble attempt at a pun)
Beautiful dolls and handmade dresses made by my mom
played with by me as a child
and
my daughters
and
now my granddaughters.

Joining Cindy @My Romantic home for Show & Tell Friday!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Jam Thumbprint Cookies
Recipe courtesy Ina Garten,
Barefoot Contessa Family Style, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2002

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
  • 7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
  • Raspberry and/or apricot jam

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until they are just combined and then add the vanilla. Separately, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. (If you have a scale they should each weigh 1 ounce.) Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll it in coconut. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the coconut is a golden brown. Cool and serve.
I recently posted another, slightly different Thumbprint Cookie made from Dorie Greenspan's cook book Baking From My Home to Yours. Click HERE to view.
I'll be linking with Foodie Friday @Designs by Gollum!

Sepia Scenes ~ Jared

book bag flung over his back while engrossed in his hand-held game
...concentration and dexterity
Joining Mary T for Sepia Scenes!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Outdoor Wednesday ~ a Little Work and a lot of Play

Our tiny little pond is just the right size.
Year after year, the grandchildren love to feed the goldfish, listen to the water from the fountain, watch the birds bathe or rest on the edge and just enjoy the tranquil spot under the tree branches.
A trip to the pet store for a two dollar bag of fish and by the end of the season these little 2-inch fellows will head to the lake at 6-7 inches long.
The afternoon includes some catching practice, sidewalk chalking,
puppy playing and family lovin'.
Then dinner and more playtime with cousins.
Ryan, Silas, Noah, Cambrie, Keri, Caleb, Jared, Brenna & Shaela
Joining Susan @A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday!

Monday, April 19, 2010

TWD ~ Sweet Cream Biscuits

Melissa of Love At First Bite chose
Sweet Cream Biscuits
from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook
Baking From My Home to Yours
Though I wish they rose just a teeny bit higher, they are delicious.
I served with sweetened apricot butter made by whipping together 1/4 cup butter, 2 Tbs. apricot preserves, 1/4 tsp. almond extract and 1 Tbs. confectioners sugar.
Sweet Cream Biscuits
(from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours, page 23)
Makes about 12 biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour (or 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/3 cup cake flour)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 to 1 and 1/4 cups heavy cream

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Get out a sharp 2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter (I used a glass, and it was fine), and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Whisk the flour(s), baking powder, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Pour about 1 cup of the cream over the dry ingredients, grab a fork and start tossing the ingredients together. If necessary, add more cream, a spoonful at a time, until you’ve got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick, gentle kneading – 3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour and pat the dough out with your hands or roll it with a pin until it is about 1/2 inch high. Don’t worry if the dough isn’t completely even – a quick, light touch is more important than accuracy.

Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of this first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working them as little as possible, pat out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits can be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting – just add a couple more minutes to the oven time.)

Bake the biscuits for 14 to 18 minutes, or until they are tall, puffed and golden brown. Transfer them to a serving basket.

Serving: Ideally these biscuits should go from oven to table and be served with cold sweet butter.

Storing: You can keep the biscuits in a plastic bag overnight and give them a quick warm-up in the oven the next day, but you won't recapture their freshly made flakiness.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mosaic Monday ~ Sweet Lilac Blossoms



Joining Mary @Little Red House for Mosaic Monday!

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