Tuesday, September 30, 2008

God Has Good Taste

I mentioned a while back that I would like to take my blog in a little different direction. I will still be sharing the recipes, but I want to add a little more spiritual element in. So here goes.

1. To distinguish the flavor of by taking into the mouth.
2. To eat or drink a small quantity of.
3. To partake of, especially for the first time; experience.
4. To perceive as if by the sense of taste.

1. To distinguish flavors in the mouth.
2. To have a distinct flavor: The stew tastes salty.
3. To eat or drink a small amount.
4. To have experience or enjoyment; partake
a. The sense that distinguishes the sweet, sour, salty, and bitter qualities of dissolved substances in contact with the taste buds on the tongue.
b. This sense in combination with the senses of smell and touch, which together receive a sensation of a substance in the mouth.
a. The sensation of sweet, sour, salty, or bitter qualities produced by or as if by a substance placed in the mouth.
b. The unified sensation produced by any of these qualities plus a distinct smell and texture; flavor.
c. A distinctive perception as if by the sense of taste: an experience that left a bad taste in my mouth.
3. The act of tasting.
4. A small quantity eaten or tasted.
5. A limited or first experience; a sample:
6. A personal preference or liking: a taste for adventure.
a. The faculty of discerning what is aesthetically excellent or appropriate.
b. A manner indicative of the quality of such discernment: a room furnished with superb taste.
a. The sense of what is proper, seemly, or least likely to give offense in a given social situation.
b. A manner indicative of the quality of this sense.
9. Obsolete The act of testing; trial.

tasta·ble adj.
Synonyms: taste, flavor, relish, savor, tang1
These nouns denote a quality that can be perceived by the taste buds on the tongue: the salty taste of anchovies; the pungent flavor of garlic; the zesty relish of the salsa; the savor of rich chocolate; the fresh tang of lemonade

1. the sense by which the flavour of a substance is distinguished by the taste buds
2. the sensation experienced by means of the taste buds
3. a small amount eaten, sipped, or tried on the tongue
4. a brief experience of something: a taste of the planter's life
5. a liking for something: a taste for puns
6. the ability to appreciate what is beautiful and excellent: she's got very good taste in clothes
7. a person's typical preferences as displayed by what they choose to buy, enjoy, etc.: the film was good but a bit violent for my taste
8. the quality of not being offensive or bad-mannered: that remark was in rather poor taste
[tasting, tasted]
1. to distinguish the taste of (a substance) by means of the taste buds: I've got a stinking cold and can't taste anything
2. to take a small amount of (a food or liquid) into the mouth, esp. in order to test the flavour
3. to have a flavour or taste as specified: the pizza tastes delicious
4. to have a brief experience of (something): they have tasted democracy and they won't let go [Old French taster]

All of the above pertain to taste. One word - many different meanings. There are many verses that talk about taste in the Bible.

Jonathan, Saul's son, was almost killed for a taste of honey. Hmmmm . . . wonder what just a "taste" of sin will do for us?

Psalms 34:8
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

To me this says it all!

Psalms 119:103
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Don't know about you, but I like honey!

Exodus Chapter 16
"12": I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.

"13": And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host.

"14": And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.

"15": And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.

"31": And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

Just think - no baking, nothing except to gather it like the Lord said. It is interesting to contrast this passage with the next one. In the first it was wafers made with honey. Then it goes to the taste of fresh oil. Don't know about you, but I would rather taste honey than oil. No murmuring, no complaining - eat your manna!Do you really want to go back to being a slave - just to have things that may "taste" good? Not me. I would rather have my freedom and eat manna every day than to have the things that may look good now, but have to be a slave - to not even own yourself? No contest for me!

Numbers chapter 11
4": And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?

"5": We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:

"6": But our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.

"7": And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium.

"8": And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.

Not only that, but they were not satisfied with just eating manna. They ground it up, beat it up, baked it, seethed it - are we changing in anyway the gospel of God? Do you search for justification of your lifestyle in the scriptures? We should not add to OR take away from the word of God.

Song of Solomon Chapter 2
3": As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

Is your sweetheart sweet to your taste? Or does everything he does irritate you, make you cranky, crabby. Maybe we should try being a little sweeter to his taste!

I Peter Chapter 2
"1": Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,

"2": As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

"3": If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

"4": To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,

"5": Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ

Our Lord is indeed gracious - always, constantly forgiving us.

I pray that everyone who reads this will desire a fresh taste of the Lord!

Now - for my taste - I totally apologize for no pics, but this was snarfed up as soon as I set it out!

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

9 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 can chicken broth (I used low-sodium)
4 oz. butter
5 fat cloves of garlic
splash of half and half
1/2 cup sour cream

Put potatoes in a pot and pour chicken broth over them. Boil them until good and tender. DO NOT DRAIN! While your potatoes are cooking, melt butter in a small skillet. Mince garlic and add to butter, let brown slightly. Pour half and half, garlic butter and sour cream into potatoes. Mash up, but leave slightly chunky. You can either serve immediately or pop in crock pot to keep warm for a few hours. (I made these before church and this worked fab) Salt and pepper to taste.

When serving, top with chopped chives. This is a rough recipe, use more or less of ingredients to taste.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

Here, once again, is the meme that Peggy at The Simple Woman puts together every Monday. Come share your thoughts!

FOR TODAY September 29, 2008...

Outside My Window... There is weak sunshine filtering through the clouds that are covering the sky. A cold front is supposed to be moving in today. There are dead, crunchy leaves on the ground.

I am thinking... of how grateful I am for God's blessings in my life.

I am thankful for... Cheese! I was able to get to the cheese store again this weekend! Only got some provolone and smoked swiss, but they also had peach Nehi!

From the kitchen... Making candied rose petals and green tomato mincemeat later this evening. For supper, baked fish fillets, sweet potato and steamed broccoli.

I am wearing... black skirt, 9-11 tee, blue sweater and pink housieslippers.

I am creating... my bridal bouquet! Bridal favors. My bridal veil.

I am going... to be very busy this week - we should close on the house either tomorrow or wednesday and then we need to shampoo carpets before moving any furniture in.

I am reading... not a lot at the mo'.

I am hoping... that God will comfort my honey. His Dad passed away this weekend. He had been in a nursing home and had Alzheimer's, but 2 months ago they put him in Hospice, so we knew it was only a matter of time.

I am hearing... nothing, it is remarkably quiet.

Around the house... loads to do - laundry mostly and I still have not conquered the filing cabinet!

One of my favorite things...wedding cakes.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Finish filing cabinet. Probably shampoo carpets at new house and move a bunch of things. Get green tomato mincemeat made and candy rose petals. Finish shopping for wedding.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Thursday, September 25, 2008


We had a great Bible Study last night. My honey gave it and he is so good abour bringing things out!

Ephesians, chapter 6 KJV

"11": Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

"12": For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

"13": Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

"14": Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

"15": And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

"16": Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

"17": And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

"18": Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

II Corinthians Chapter 6 KJV

7": By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left

Romans Chapter 13,KJV

11": And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

"12": The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

"13": Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

From reading these verses, it appears to me that if we put that armour on, we are to walk forwards. I don't think we better turn around, turn our back on God. Because it doesn't say anything about our backside being covered. You can defend with a sword and a shield - from the front and to either side, even overhead. But not behind you. So if you turn tail and run from the enemy, he can smote you from behind. God has given us that armour - so put it on! Walk forwards, be courageous.

I would like to encourage each and everyone who reads this blog. No matter what your task is, what your issue is, God can handle it. We are talking about the author and creator here, who hung the stars in the heavens, measured the waters of the earth in the hollow of his hand - and you think he can't help you? Don't tell God how big your storm is - he already knows - tell that storm how big your God is and watch it run!

May God richly bless everyone today!

AND THE WINNER IS . . . . . . . .

Country Lady! Come on down, You are the winner!

I had DS pick a number between 1-24 and he picked 16. You Win!!!

E-mail me your address and I will pop your package in the mail tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone who commented, I wish I had enough to send you all something!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A fall Giveaway!

Pat is having a giveaway over at Pat's Place.

She is a super sweet gal and I really enjoy her blog. Hop on over and check it out, I am sure that you will love her as much as I do.

Little Green Peas

In autumn, there is nothing more comforting than soup. On a cool day, with a breeze nipping at your nose, how good it is to come in to a warm house and smell a pot of soup bubbling! Add to that some homemade bread slathered with fresh butter and a tall glass of iced tea or milk?

I promised lots of soup recipes this fall and winter! There is something just wholesome about soup. You don't have to worry about cutting it. It will stay warm and not lose its texture. It reheats wonderfully and is often better the next day. You can incorporate left-overs into soup and often no-one will notice. It is nourishing for your body. It is good for those on a diet - fills you up sooner. The varieties are nearly endless - you can mix and match to suit your tastes. Substitutions are so easy to live with!

When my son was little, his favorite vegetable was peas. He would pick them up, one by one, smoosh them and then eat them. Occasionally he would offer someone else one - no thanks! While I am not overly fond of peas (especially smooshed) I do like split pea soup.

I made this the other day and we had it hot with bread and butter - MMMMMM.

Split Pea Soup

Approximatley 3 quarts of water - can use low-sodium chicken broth
Ham bone or package of ham hocks
bay leaf
coarse ground pepper
14 oz. split peas (green or yellow, I prefer green)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
olive oil
2 medium onions chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 fat cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

Place ham bone or hocks in soup pot. Add water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1-2 hours. (I added some ham bullion, too)

Remove bone from pot and let cool. If there is any meat on it, dice and reserve. Discard bone - or if you have a dog, give it to them. Add split peas and thyme to pot. Simmer for 30 minutes. Uncover pot and simmer 15 minutes more. Add potatoes to pot. Simmer another 15 minutes or so.

Saute vegs in olive oil (I used a combo of oil and butter) until they are good and caramelized. Add garlic at the end to avoid burning it. Add vegetables and ham to soup pot and simmer 10-15 minutes.

You can also puree this soup before adding the ham, add 1 cup of whipping cream, serve with a dollop of sour cream and you have potage St. Germain. I really like it that way! Leeks are a great addition to split pea soup, they have such a depth of flavor. Also a bit of diced turnip, or some diced tomatoes, drained. I like to add some shredded cabbage in with my other vegs to saute.

Tomorrow - Giveaway time!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sweet, oh, Sweet

We are having a pretty good week here. The weather has been just gorgeous - cool at night and warm during the day, but not hot. The leaves are starting to turn!

We went for a walk the other night on the Katy Trail and saw 2 snakes. Scared me silly! I hate snakes anyway and one I was sure was a baby copperhead. I looked on the internet tho and I think it was a corn snake. The other one was just a king snake I think.

We had a nice walk anyhow, crunching through the fallen leaves. I love autumn, when things seem to go into suspended animation some days, like they could stretch on forever and ever, like cosmic taffy.

The figs are finally starting to ripen. Although, we only have 2 on the tree. Last year we had loads! Oh, well.

After our walk, we came back and had a little sweet treat. I found this fab recipe for scones in my new Cooking for 2 magazine by TOH. Of course, I could not leave it alone, so it has my twist on it! I had baked them before we left and frosted them when we got back.

Caramel Apple Scones

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons cold butter
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons half-and-half
1 egg yolk
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup shredded peeled apple

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix first 5 ingredients in bowl. Cut in butter. Mix egg yolk with half-and-half and vanilla in measuring cup. Toss apple with flour mixture. Stir in egg mixture. Turn on floured surface, knead 10 times (my dough was really sticky). Pat out and cut as you like - wedges, bars, etc. Bake 15-20 minutes. Cool. Frost with caramel frosting.

Original recipe called for drizzling with caramel ice-cream topping, but I like this frosting better.

Caramel frosting

1 tablespoon butter
1-1/2 Tablespoons half-and-half
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter, half-and-half and brown sugar in pan. Boil vigorously 1 minute. Remove from heat and beat in 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar. Cool slightly and beat in remaining sugar and vanilla. (I had to add just a bit more sugar) Frost scones.

Don't forget . . . only 2 more days until the giveaway!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

This is a fun meme that Peggy puts together every week over at The Simple Woman. Take a peek at what everyone else is up to!

FOR TODAY September 22, 2008...

Outside My Window...Bright sunshine, cool breeze.

I am thinking... of simplifying my life. Get a little more basic, it has gotten a little cluttered with things.

I am thankful for...the vast deepness of God. There are so many depths to be explored.

From the kitchen... For lunch - left over spagetti and garlic bread or split pea and ham soup. For supper, broiled pork steak, green chili polenta, steamed broccoli, strawberry cupcakes. I will be making some caramel apple scones later.

I am wearing... Navy skirt, red t-shirt and my housieslippers.

I am creating...my bridal bouquet and veil. I found the perfect suit (on sale!), in a burnt orange color (yes, I will look like a big pumpkin!) I am going to have fall mums and leaves in my bouquet and I found the perfect gauzy material for my veil! God is great!

I am going... not much of anywhere this week, need to go grocery shopping!

I am reading... The book of Ruth. No matter how many times I read it, I always love it!

I am hoping...that we can close on our house this week - they said maybe Friday!

I am hearing... Mom and brother discussing in the kitchen, neighbor mowing his lawn.

Around the house... vacuuming, sweep and mop, clean the shower.

One of my favorite things...fall leaves - I love all the brilliant colors!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Call about cake. Go see auntie and pick up the rose bushes she is giving us. Confirm number of wedding guests so we can call caterer and give her a number. Finish going through file cabinet.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

This is an old threshing machine that sits high up on a hill on my uncle's farm. We all went up to see it when we were on vacation this summer. We all signed our names, as on the inside we found where my grandpa had signed his name as a young man.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Wonderful Life

My life has not always been wonderful. But, that was my own doings. Thankfully, I have learned from my mistakes and right now I feel my life is pretty wonderful. No, it may not always be this way, but for now it is pretty good.

I have peace and contentment. While I may not have everything I want, I have everything I need and that is okay with me.

These are the halcyon days to bask in, to fling wide open the doors to your soul and drink in the vastness of beauty that is God. There is a freshness in my heart. A yearning for simplicity.

I have never been one to much care what anyone else thought of me, or of what I wore or of what I did. Who cares what anyone else thinks, they are not living my life, they are not in my same circumstances.

I know that this post is pretty random, just trying to get a few things out of my head!

As much as I love Chinese take-out, it is expensive. Last night we had family over for dinner. I made some sweet and sour pork (blushing here - from a mix), fried rice and this easy-peasy dish below.

Empress Beef
Serves 4-6

1/2 pound boneless sirloin steak (I think I used closer to a pound)
1/4 pound fresh snow pea pods, trimmed (I used broccoli)
3 celery stalks, julieened
Fresh mushrooms, sliced - probably about half of an 8 ounce container - we like 'shrooms!
1 large onion, sliced
1/2 can water chestnuts
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
Hot cooked rice to serve

Slice steak in 1/4 inch strips. Pour oil in wok or heavy skillet. Heat. Add steak, stirfry for 5 minutes. Take steak out. Add veggies, stirfry until moderately tender, about 3-5 minutes. Combine water, soy sauce, cornstarch and sugar. Mix well. Remove veggies from pan. Pour cornstarch mixture into pan and whisk to deglaze the pan. Cook to thicken. Add beef and vegs back to pan, stir to coat with sauce.

I added some carrot, julieened and 1/2 can of bamboo shoots, julieened. I also added in 2 fat cloves of garlic, minced fine when I added the vegs.

My SIL could not believe how easy this was! It is even easier if you don't burn yourself like I did! I had the bowl with the beef and vegs behind my burner when making the sauce. Duh - it was getting hot! I grabbed it and ow, ow, ow, burned my thumb pretty good.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Friday Musings

Happy Friday!

God has been so good this week! I have had such fun visiting all the new readers to my blog! So glad to visit you all! Stick around, you never know what might happen around here.

Plans for the wedding are going well, I think we will close on the house next Friday! Exciting times, then we have to shampoo carpets and do fall cleaning before moving everything in. Mom and Dad have taken over plans for the reception and I have found the perfect suit. No white dress for me, I want something autumny, so I can wear it again! Not only did I find just what I wanted, it is on sale and 40% off of the sale price! God is awesome.

Other than that, just working going on here.

I want to share with you a wonderful recipe I made last night. Sorry no pics, camera is being a pain.

Actually I took some and here is what I got:

So we will have to use our imagination today. This chowder is very good, if not very calorie-conscious.

Easy Clam Chowder
Makes about 2 quarts

2 slices thick-cut bacon, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 large spanish onion,cut into medium dice
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cans minced clams, clams and juice separated
2 bottles (8 ounces each) clam juice
3 medium potatoes, preferably red, cut into medium dice
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup heavy cream
minced fresh parsley
Ground black pepper

Fry bacon over medium heat in large soup kettle, about 5 minutes. Add onion and saute until softened. Add flour, stir until lightly colored, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in clam juices and 1 cup water. Add potatoes, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook until potatoes are tender. Add clams, cream, parsley, salt and pepper. Heat thru and serve.

Ruth in PA: I live about 90 miles or so north of Springfield, about halfway in between Springfield and Kansas City. I would LOVE to correspond with you!

Maryellen: So glad to hear from anyone else who has wooley-worms! :o)

If anyone needs to get in touch with me or would just like to e-mail me: moodiesmum at yahoo dot com. Just sub in the @ and the .!

100th Post Giveaway

Ok, this is not post number 100. More like 110. I have been busy with this getting married thing!

I have really, really enjoyed doing this blog and look forward to doing it for a good, long while. I have so enjoyed reading everyone's comments and reading all of your blogs, so I would like to give something back!

I will be adding to this post after I get back from the store later, doing some shopping! I know that I have a cookbook . . . a very nice chocolate cookbook . . . some Dove chocolate . . . and we will see what else I pick up at the store today! Perhaps some scrapbooking stickers? Maybe some lace or a nice fat quarter for the quilters out there? Some tea? Hmmm . . . you never know what I might turn up with!

OK, I ended up with: The chocolate cookbook, 2 dove bars (dark), 2 packages of stickers - 1 leaves and 1 fall borders, some Wilton mini cookie cutters, a package of hot cocoa mix, and a yard of fall-themed material! Just waiting for the lucky winner!

Anyway, to put your name in the hat, just leave me a comment on this post. I will be drawing the winner a week from today. Good Luck!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

British 100

Ok, I know that I am not British. But I like British food. And I am an Anglophile. So I think that qualifies me - doesn't it?

In response to the Omnivores One Hundred, Helen at Food Stories: http://helengraves.co.uk/ has created The British One Hundred.

Here are the rules if you would like to play along:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating. I am doing italics here.
4) Link back to Food Stories, if you would be so kind.

1. Grey squirrel.

2 Steak and kidney pie

3. Bubble and squeak

4. Spotted dick

5. Hot Cross Buns (A traditional Easter favorite)

6. Laver bread

7. Toad in the hole

8. Shepherds pie AND Cottage pie

9. Scotch egg

10. Parkin

11. Welsh rarebit

12. Jellied eels

13. Stilton

14. Marmite

15. Ploughman’s lunch

16. Cucumber sandwiches

17. Coronation chicken

18. Gloucester old spot.

19. Cornish pasty

20. Samphire

21. Mince Pies

22. Winkles

23. Salad cream

24. Malt loaf

25. Haggis

26. Beans on toast

27. Cornish clotted cream tea

28. Pickled egg

29. Pork scratchings

30. Pork pie

31. Black pudding

32. Patum Peperium or Gentleman’s relish

33. Earl Grey tea

34. Elvers

35. HP Sauce

36. Potted shrimps

37. Stinking bishop

38. Elderflower cordial

39. Pea and ham soup

40. Aberdeen Angus Beef

41.Lemon Posset

42. Guinness

43. Cumberland sausage

44. Native oysters

45. A ‘full English’ breakfast

46. Cockles

47. Faggots

48. Eccles cake

49. Potted Cromer crab

50. Trifle

51. Stargazy pie

52. English mustard

53. Christmas pudding

54. Cullen skink

55. Liver and bacon with onions

56. Wood pigeon

57. Branston pickle

58. Oxtail soup

59. Piccalilli

60. Sorrel

62. Chicken tikka masala

63. Deep fried Mars Bar - actually a milky way

64. Fish, chips and mushy peas

65. Pie and mash with liquor

66. Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding

67. Pickled onions

68. Cock-a-leekie soup - this is our traditional remedy for colds

69. Rabbit and Hare

70. Bread sauce

71. Cauliflower cheese

72. Crumpets

73. Rice pudding

74. Bread and Butter Pudding

75. Bakewell tart

76. Kendall mint cake

77. Summer pudding

78. Lancashire hot pot

79. Beef Wellington

80. Eton mess

81. Neeps and tatties

82. Pimms

83. Scampi

84. Mint sauce

85. English strawberries and cream

86. Isle of Wight garlic

87. Mutton

88. Deep fried whitebait with tartare sauce

89. Angels on horseback

90. Omelette Arnold Bennett

91. Devilled kidneys

92. Partridge and pheasant

93. Stew and Dumplings

94. Arbroath smokies

95. Oyster loaves

96. Sloe gin

97. Damson jam

98. Soda bread

99. Quince jelly

100. Afternoon tea at the Ritz

I think I would add Bangers and Mash, Kippers, Victoria Sponge, Jam Roly Poly, and Lancashire cheese. (My friend Jan added these, and I totally agree!) I would add Battenburg cake, Cadbury flake and Jaffa cakes!

Taco-Tator Casserole

Sometimes we get too busy. Too busy to appreciate the blessing of family.

I know I do at times. Working a 40-hour a week job, working in the house, cooking and cleaning, giving time to my son and my fiance. Sometimes I feel there is no time for me.

But then I think - how lonely would I be if it were just me? No family around?

My middle brother has been working here in town doing some yardwork to make some extra money. He comes over in the afternoons after working his regular job and brings his wife and her 8 year old granddaughter. Sometimes, it drives me crazy, as I have to work some evenings. Today, I just decided to let it go. And I thanked God for the blessing of having family close.

I made this casserole with a fresh salad for supper. Turned out great. Nice and restful. God knows what we need!

Taco Tator Casserole
Serves a bunch!

2 pounds ground beef
1/4 to 1/2 cup onion, chopped
2/3 cup water
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 can nacho cheese soup, undiluted
1 can corn, drained
grated cheddar cheese
1 bag tator tots

Brown ground beef in skillet with onion. Drain fat off. (I usually put it in a colander and run hot, hot water over it.) Add water and taco seasoning and simmer for a bit. Add corn and soup, mix well. Pour into a 9 x 13 greased pan. Top with grated cheddar cheese if desired (this was my addition, not in original recipe). Top that with tator tots and bake 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with a fresh salad. I think this would be good with some black olives sliced into the soup mixture, and some extra peppers.

It is always good to toss your tots with a little olive oil - makes them crispier!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Simple Woman's Day Book

For instructions on how to do this oh-so-fun meme, or just to read what the others have said, go to The Simple Woman and follow the directions on the sidebar!

FOR TODAY September 15, 2008...

Outside My Window... A clear blue sky and brilliant sunshine, cool breeze snaking its way around my ankles! We have had 7-1/2 inches of rain in the past week - I am so ready for this sunshine today!

I am thinking... of what a fantastic, awesome God I serve! He is always there, always on time and never, ever fails! There is not a person or thing one in this world that the same can be said of!

I am thankful for...my quiet time with the Lord. I love to bask in his love, meditate upon him.

From the kitchen... 15 bean soup, corn bread and some guacamole and chips.

I am wearing... blue jean skirt, tweety T-shirt, and brand-spanking-new silky pink houseslippers!

I am creating... lists, lots of lists - things for moving, things for the wedding . . .

I am going... nowhere today. Working and then we have company coming for supper.

I am reading... Little Women by Louisa May Alcott!

I am hoping...That our loan paperwork will finally be done this week!

I am hearing... DS tapping away on his laptop, a few crickets and birdies, but it is pretty quiet right now!

Around the house... vacuum and straighten family room, clean the tub/shower.

One of my favorite things... is cooking for those I love. There is such a fulfillment of serving healthy food to your loved ones!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Call about wedding cake. Clean desk. get together goodies for my 100th post give-away!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

A wooly-worm, the first one we saw this year. Supposedly, if they are more orange than black, it means a mild winter. This one is all orange. But he is young and doesn't know any better! TeeHee

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tomato Preserves

Back in my Grandma's day, nothing went to waste. They made do with what they had. I remember Grandma making these with the little yellow pear tomatoes. She could not tolerate a lot of acid, so the yellow tomatoes were her favorite. This is pretty made with yellow tomatoes, but I did not have enough of the yellow ones. I used some what are called "pineapple tomatoes". They are yellow and red striped, I think an heirloom variety. To have enough tomatoes, I did add some regular red ones, so mine turned out orangey in color.

This is so good. Tomatoes are technically a fruit! A lot of people are disbelieving when you tell them what it is, tho! This can also be made with green tomatoes.

Just imagine - hot, crusty, fluffy buttermilk biscuits fresh from the oven on a snowy day. Slather on some butter and then a smear of tomato preserves - suddenly you are transported back to summer, hot, hazy with the drone of insects in your ear.

Tomato Preserves
6 half-pints

1-1/2 quarts peeled, small yellow, green or red tomatoes (about 2 lb)
1 Tablespoon mixed pickling spices
1 (1/2 inch piece) gingerroot
4 cups sugar
1 cup thinly sliced lemon (about 2 medium)
3/4 cup water

Wash and drain tomatoes. Tie spices and gingerroot in a spice bag - we have a big teaball with a flat bottom, so that is what I used. Combine spice bag, sugar, lemon and water in large sauce pot. Simmer 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, cook gently until tomatoes become transparent, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 12-18 hours in a cool place. Remove spice bag. Remove tomatoes and lemon from syrup. Boil syrup 2-3 minutes or longer to thicken. Return tomatoes and lemon to syrup, boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot preserves into hot, clean jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust caps. Process 20 minutes in a boiling-water bath.

This recipe from the Ball Blue Book.

Zucchini Supreme

I am one of those strange people who actually like zucchini. When it is of an edible size. It is so versatile, you can make so many different things with it. I like it raw in a vinagrette pasta salad. I like it in cake or bread. I like it in a stir-fry.

But probably my favorite way to eat it is as described below.

Zucchini Supreme

1 small zucchini, sliced
1/4 of an onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 of a green pepper, diced small
knob of butter
1 cup crushed tomatoes
Italian seasoning, salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in sauce pan. I use about 1-2 Tablespoons for 1 zucchini. You can also use a bit of olive oil. Toss in zucchini, onion, pepper and garlic. Saute until zucchini begins to brown a bit. Add tomatoes and seasoning - We have pizza seasoning with salt and that is what I used. Let cook until the tomatoes thicken up a bit. Top with cheese.

This is a quick, easy side dish that can be made year 'round. It goes great with a steak or chicken.

Some folks asked about locusts earlier when I posted a picture of the shell - here is a real one! I think this one had just come out of a shell and was drying his wings off. They are kind of a pretty color, but such a nuisance.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Freedom is Never Free

Freedom is never free. In fact, freedom is the most expensive thing a person can have. For the price of freedom is not measured in monetary terms, but in human lives. In blood, sweat and tears. In bravery and courage. It is measured in sorrow. Separation of families and friends. It is measured in the Daddy's heartache that is not there to see his baby born. It is measured in the family's grief that receives that fatal telegram or phone call or visit from the CO. We should, therefore, treasure freedom before nothing else on this earth.

We in America especially should treasure our freedoms - freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to bear arms. We are truly blessed to live in a land where we are free from religious oppression. We do not have the bombs like so many other countries have, the police do not come in and arrest us for having Bibles in our homes. We can speak against our leaders or other people without having to worry if our door will be broken down in the middle of the night and we will be taken off and never seen again.

We should especially treasure these freedoms now, for we may not have them in the future. And we should really treasure them today of all days. Patriot Day. 9/11.

I remember the original 9/11. Not having television myself, I had not heard about the first plane. When Vicki, the secretary, got to work, she told everyone what was going on. We all trooped over to the doctor's lounge across the hall to watch the news. I remember tears coming into my eyes as we watched the video replay the first plane and then we watched live as the second plane hit the other tower. They were saying on the news that it was an error on the part of the air traffic controllers and the other gals were discussing this. I spoke up (I always have an opinion to voice) and said, "No, this is not air traffic controller problems. Mark my words, this is a terrorist act and when all is said and done, Osama bin Laden will be the mastermind." I am not into psychics at all, it just came to me. I just . . . knew. For one thing, I lived at a small town airport in the past and used to call the planes down once in a while. One mistake like that - maybe, but about a 100,000 to one. Two, in rapid succession - not a chance.

I remember the numbness, the feeling of invasion, of violation, of innocence lost, of devastation. We stayed in the lounge off and on all day, watching the coverage of the Pentagon and the crash in Pennsylvania. Each successive report just deepened the shock.

I remember driving home and how the world felt different. Felt angry. It felt dangerous. Felt heavy, oppressed. I remember the panic that everyone felt, filling up with gas.

All the feelings I have described are what terrorists are all about. They are bringers of terror, of fear, of oppression. While I may not totally agree with the war, I agree that something needs to be done about terrorism. In so many places. There are many countries who live with terror on a daily basis. While I may not totally agree with the war, I am proud of the men and women who are serving their country to make it a better place.

Thank you for reading my Patriot post today!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Soup of the evening, beautiful soup

Let's face it - I like soup. In fact, I would say that there are not many soups I don't like. Soup is easy, soup is comforting, soup reheats well . . . I could go on and on. We eat a lot of soup in the fall and winter, but I like it year round.

When I was expecting my DS, I craved cream of tomato soup. Weird, becuase I never liked it before then and I don't exceptionally care for it now.

French onion - who can live without French onion soup? Bean soup. Mulligatawny soup. Chicken noodle soup. Minestrone. Clam chowder. and on and on and on!

One of the greatest reasons I like soup is that it is versatile. If you don't have something, use something else. Or you can throw other things in, if you have them, sort of a bonus!

This soup I am giving you the recipe for is very versatile.

Smokey Veggie Soup

1 pound smoked sausage, sliced in rounds (I used the lower fat turkey)
1 pound frozen mixed vegetables
1 carton (32 oz) beef broth
1 can stewed tomatoes
2 cups frozen O'Brien potatoes (I subbed 2 medium-large potatoes, diced and some onion and green pepper)
Pepper for seasoning

Put all above ingredients in slow cooker, season with pepper and cook for about 5-6 hours on low. Or, cook on top of stove. I added in some fresh zucchini for about the last 1/2 hour of cooking. I also added in 4 nice, fat cloves of garlic, minced up fine. This recipe is easily halved or doubled, depending on your needs. It smells wonderful in the house on a cold, rainy day. Serve with hot, crusty bread for sopping up the juices. Cold milk or iced tea - or hot cider! Very versatile, you can use fresh veggies if you have them, or canned even. Just be sure to get a good mix - corn, carrots, green beans, peas.

Also, as promised . . . a picture

Monday, September 8, 2008

Simple Woman's Day Book

Peggy hosts this meme every monday at The Simple Woman. Hop on over and check out what everyone else is up to this week!

FOR TODAY September 08, 2008...

Outside My Window... There is pale sunshine just above the trees. Nice cool air is flowing in through the screen door.

I am thinking... of all I need to be doing to get into my house next month!

I am thankful for... Family who have the same faith that I do. Not all of them have that. It is very nice to be able to fellowship with the ones who have that same faith though!

From the kitchen... Dijon chicken, wild and long-grain rice mix and california blend vegs.

I am wearing... navy skirt, gray T-shirt, hair in scrunchie, ladybug socks and my ratty old houseslippers that just need to be thrown away. Oops! Almost forgot to add - my engagement ring! I'll try to post a picture later!

I am creating...Not much at the moment, I will be moving next month, so I am waiting until then!

I am going... to be calling for house insurance quotes today.

I am reading... The book of Judges, the low-carb cookbook by Fran McCullough

I am hoping...That my oldest brother will get a job soon, so he will have something else to do besides hang around and bug us!

I am hearing... Not much, pretty quiet here.

Around the house... Hmmmm. . .vacuum family room, sweep and mop kitchen and utility room

One of my favorite things... is stickers - I love pretty stickers!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Can some pizza sauce, look for concord grapes in the store, Really not a lot else, gardens are just about done, leaves are not ready to be raked yet. Might sort thru a few things in my shed.

Here is picture thought I am sharing . . .

Our two boy kitties - Tuxedo mister in the back is Moodie and stripey is Finnegan. This is a rare quiet moment for them.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Comfort food

Autumn is that time of year that most people lean towards more comforting foods. Gone are the salads and light dinners. In are stick to your ribs soups and stews. We have had rain here - finally - and it has been rather cool. Autumn is surely here!

I like soups and stews of all sorts and I will be posting many of them as time goes by. I like a good beef stew, but DS does not care for beef. He will eat hamburger occasionally, but no steak or roast or sadly, beef stew. So, in order to fulfill my stew craving and still get him to eat it, I make chicken stew quite a bit.

Served over top of big, fluffy buttermilk biscuits, it is comfort food at its finest. Add a cold glass of milk and some sliced ripe tomatoes - now you're eatin'!

Chicken Stew
Serves 6

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or you can use breasts)
Seasoned flour, for dredging
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced (I leave mine in big pieces so DS can fish them out)
3-4 large cloves garlic
chicken broth
carrots, cut in chunks, about 2 medium-large
potatoes, cut in chunks, about 3 medium
1 cup frozen peas
1 can mushrooms, drained

flour and water, for thickening

Seasonings to your taste, thyme is good, black pepper a given

Chop your chicken thighs into pieces, not too small. Dredge them in well-seasoned flour and brown in the olive oil - set aside. Cook them in 2 batches, 1 tablespoon oil per batch. Add onion and garlic (cut in slivers) to pan and saute lightly. now pour about 3/4 cup of broth in your pan and deglaze it. In a large pan, combine chicken, onion, garlic, carrots and potatoes. Add Broth. How much broth you use is up to you, I covered my ingredients with it. Simmer for about an hour on low heat. Then add the peas and mushrooms. Take some of the broth off and stir in some flour - I don't measure this, just eyeball it. I used about a heaping 1/4 cup. Stir that together and then stir it back into the stew. Let it get good and bubbly to thicken it. Season well to your taste with salt, pepper, etc.

This is also good made with frozen mixed vegs. The left-overs can be used for chicken pot pie. Or you can put biscuit dough (refrigerated or homemade) on top and stick it in the oven. Or you can use pie dough and put it inside and make pasties.

It is best made the day before and reheated.

When I was working out of the home, I would throw my frozen chicken in the crockpot, along with frozen peas and carrots and frozen diced hashbrowns and some broth. I would let it cook all day. Then when I came home, out came the chicken to be diced up, in went the peas and mushrooms and thickening while the biscuits went in the oven. Worked a charm. Or you can use just plain water and drain it off and then throw in a can or jar of chicken gravy.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Skald the Dawg

Sorry for being absent yesterday, things have been a little discombobulated around here. We have bought a house! Whoo Hoo! A very nice, 3 bedroom raised ranch in a nice part of town, right at the edge of town in fact. Our back yard abuts the town soccer field. There is corps of engineer land across the road, so it is all undeveloped and pretty. Very quiet, just my style. The house was a bank repo, so a very good price, we got it for about $20,000 less than normal. The basement is unfinished, but that is ok, we can do what we want to with it! It has room for a nice large utility room down there as well as room for another bedroom or family room. I think we are going to put in another bedroom so DS can have his own privacy as it were. It has a nice big back deck, not a lot of yard (yay, less mowing).

Here are a couple of pics, one from the front and one from the back:

Anyway . . .

Relish. Most people like relish. Some people do not. Until just a few years ago, I was in the latter category. Could not stomach the stuff. Now that I have made it a few times, I have changed my mind about that. This recipe that I am going to give you is a mix-n-match recipe. I was making some bread and butter jalapenos and I had about a gallon bag of sliced jalapenos and onions left over. Hmmmm . . . . Dad was wanting some sort of picallili, so Mom and I got our heads together, looked to see what we had to work with (besides the jalapenos and onions) and this is what we came up with. It is sweet, spicey and has just a bit of a kick to it. We love it on hot dogs or in potato salad. Or on a sandwich.

Skald The Dawg Relish
Amounts given here are approximate!

1-1/2 quarts sliced jalapeno peppers
3 medium onions, sliced
6 medium green tomatoes, chopped
1 small-to-medium head of cabbage, chopped
1/4-1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper (for color)
1/4 cup salt
5-1/2 cups sugar
4 cups vinegar
4 tablespoons whole mixed pickling spices

Grind jalapenos, onions, green tomatoes, cabbage and red peppers in food processor.
Place in bowl, sprinkle with salt and cover with cold water. Let sit 12 hours.
Drain well. Push down on veggies to get excess water out.

In large pot, mix sugar, vinegar and spices (in cheesecloth or spice ball). Bring to boil and simmer 15 minutes. Add veggies. Simmer for 10 minutes. Take pickling spices out. Pack in hot jars and hot-water bath for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fare thee Well

I had a bit of a shock Monday. My ex-husband died. He was considerably older than I was and had not been in real good health for a number of years, but it was still a shock.

He and I definitely had our differences, but in the end, we had decided to just agree to disagree and go on. We talked occasionally.

I will miss him in a strange way.

So, in honor of him, I am posting one of his recipes.

Wayne's Pico de Gallo

Cucumbers, seeded and diced
Black olives, sliced
Tomatoes, diced
Garlic, minced
Onions, diced small
Green peppers, diced small
Jalapenos (fresh) minced
Garlic salt
Fresh cilantro, chopped fine

Can add juice of 1-2 limes, depending on how big of batch you make.

Mix as much as you want (preferrably large quantities) in a big bowl and refrigerate. Eat with tortilla chips. Makes loads. This was done totally by taste, use more or less of any ingredient until you have the taste you want.

This is great to make and take to a picnic in the hot summer time. Can add some diced avacado.

We used to make this in the summer when his grandkids would come and visit, they loved it. We got everyone in on chopping things up. Then we would sit around and eat this and tell stories.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Simple snackies

I like simple snackies. Something you can throw together in a flash and nibble on.

So this is not as much of a recipe as a guideline as it were:

A slice of cheddar cheese and half an apple

Pepper jack cheese and plain saltines

Fresh pear slices and a bit of Gorgonzola

Fresh cherries and custard

Hershey's bar and peanut butter

French bread slices with left-over steak

Sliced turkey breast with Dijon Mustard - this is my fave for after Thanksgiving

One of my favorite little snackies is one that my dear Mother made for us when we were kids. It is best eaten in the fall! Just take a bag or container of candy corn and a can of cocktail peanuts (without skins). Mix the two together and much away. Horrible for you, but oh, so good! I like to mix in a bag of plain M&Ms and some raisins, too! This is good at Halloween in little bags, too. Something about the sweet and salty together - MMMMMMMmmmmmmm.

I am absolved of all blame if anyone becomes addicted to the above mixture!

Simple Woman Day Book

FOR TODAY September 01, 2008...

Outside My Window...There is a lazy sunshine filtering down through the tree leaves, making beautiful patterns on the patio.

I am thinking... of making some potato salad at lunchtime.

I am thankful for...my blogging friends! You all keep me going!

From the kitchen... Salmon on the grill, potato salad, fried squash and apple pie.

I am wearing...Navy skirt, gray T-shirt, slippers.

I am creating...a paper journal. Today is my first day! I am so excited, I have some pretty stickers to use, some dried flowers and stacks of old magazines.

I am going... to view a house tomorrow!!!!!! It is very nice, raised ranch in a nice, quiet neighborhood that is right at the edge of town. In fact, Corps of Engineer land is right across the road.

I am reading...A fondue book and The Perfect Table - giving me some good ideas for decorating!

I am hoping... that we can get this house we are viewing - it is perfect for us and a very good price!

I am hearing... The hum of the neighbor's lawn mower and Mom mixing up pie crust in the kitchen.

Around the house... Loads of laundry but not a lot else. We had a work day Saturday and got quite a bit done!

One of my favorite things... is chocolate ice cream. We went to DQ last night and it is soooooo good!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Tomorrow: View house, sort through stack of papers, etc. in bedroom. Wednesday: Not much. Thursday: Sort thru a couple of totes. Friday: Not much.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...


Autumn Clematis on the fence


I could not decide which one to use, so I used all 3! Can you tell I am ready for fall?

This is such a fun meme to do. To join, just go to The Simple Woman and follow the directions on the sidebar! Peggy hosts this every week and it is such fun!