Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Good Day for Some Cincinnati Chili

Well this is one meal Vanilla Bean better not touch.  Too many spices for her, but if you have a cupboard full of spices you haven't used in a while this one's for you.

A favorite of mine and the youth loved it after a fun afternoon of hunting and cutting down a Christmas tree and decorating it for me.

Ready to dig in.
An old recipe of my mom's from a magazine clipping:

1 lb ground round
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
1 cup bbq sauce
1 cup water
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate, grated
1/2 tsp each of ground cumin, turmeric, allspice, cinnamon
1/4 tsp each of ground cloves, ground coriander, ground cardamom
1 tsp salt
tomato juice, as needed
9 ox. spaghetti, cooked
16 oz can of small red beans
2 onions, chopped
1 lb. cheddar cheese, shredded

Brown hamburger with onion and garlic.  Drain fat, add bbq sauce and water.  Bring to a boil and add spices.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Serve over spaghetti, topped with onions, red beans, and cheese for  five way Cincinnati chili.  

Friday, November 15, 2013

My NaNoWriMo Rebellion....or rather November musings...: Remnants of Biscotti

So I did some baking tonight.  Brownie Biscotti.  Yummy, yummy.  However, my short blog on it is at my November Nano Rebel site, so you will have to go there to check it out.

My NaNoWriMo Rebellion....or rather November musings...: Remnants of Biscotti: Disclaimer: Today you got two posts, because yesterday I fell asleep on the couch.  As Lydia would say, I put myself on punishment, no couc...

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Little Pre-Thanksgiving Survey

A little Thanksgiving survey since 'tis the season (soon)!
I am trying out some survey software through a program called REDCap for a "class" assignment over at It should only take about 2 minutes to complete. All answers are completely anonymous, but look for the combined results to be coming to a  blog post near you in the not too distant future...

Thanksgiving Survey Here      (link no longer available)

Addendum 1/12/14 Oops. Didn't post these result yet. Will post results in the next week or two!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Grandma's Shortcake...not much better...

Mmmm....strawberry season is upon us.  Yesterday, my mother and I took an excursion to visit Schnormeier Gardens - a private gardens that they open to the public one week a year.  On the way there we stopped at a produce stand and I spent an exorbitant amount($4.50) on strawberries compared to my mother who got some at MCC($2.50) earlier in the week, but they were enjoyable on our trip.  Today, when I stopped by mom's she whipped up a pan of shortcake and cleaned strawberries, while I went on a run (and walk) at the Wilderness Center with Colonel Mustard.  When we returned home, we feasted on Strawberry Shortcake, there is just something about mom's strawberry shortcake that I just love.  Mmmm...Mmmm...good.

Grandma's recipe for shortcake.
Fresh Strawberries, the first tastes of summer.
A delicious bowl of strawberry shortcake.
 Verna Weaver's Shortcake Recipe
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
3/4 c. milk
1/3 c. butter, melted
Combine dry ingredients.  In another bowl mix egg, milk, and butter together and then stir in to dry ingredients.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Serve with strawberries and milk.
A few shots from strolling through the meadow gardens yesterday.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Heartbroken Delight

This morning I mixed up a pan of cherry delight, but in my mind I was mixing up a batch of old fashioned sour cream cut out cookies for a room full of junior youth to decorate for Christmas.  I had gotten mini M&M’s, pull apart licorice, and mini buckeyes to decorate them with and when they were baked and frosted I enjoyed watching their creativity in decorating them.  I remember thinking that evening, just 2 1/2 months ago that Marica had a very creative side to her, this was her first year in junior youth and I was so looking forward to getting to know her better.  However, today is different, I am not mixing up cookies for the junior youth, I am mixing up cherry delight for funeral dinner.  Some things are just to hard to understand, but then maybe they are meant to be understood.  

Usually I look forward to the weekend, but not so much this weekend, part of me dreads it, I am glad I was able to be a part of a life so sweet and that am able to celebrate it and mourn its loss with others, but when the weekend is over, it’s so finite, there will be no denying it, and I have to move forward and over time memories seem to fade and I don’t want to forget this sweet young girl that was just beginning to grow up and I was look so forward to getting to know and watch blossom into a wonderful young lady.  Some memories seem to stick with you though, I know that from when I was young and lost a friend from my high school youth group, I still remember bus rides from when he was statistician for our girl’s basketball team and it is funning I can still remember sitting and chatting with him at a picnic table once at a school function for our younger siblings and when he stood up his light colored jeans were covered with red paint dust that had rubbed off.  It is strange the things that stick with you.  I don't know if I will every forget asking her sister if she was there last Sunday so I could give her her junior youth schedule and figuring I would make sure she got it later when I found out she was home sick, not knowing as no one knew that in 48 hours she would be resting in Jesus arms.  I pray that these memories of Marica stick with me, decorating cookies, laughing on my living room floor as we played Dixit, and inquisitively concentrating as we sat in the church hallway playing “Crossed or Uncrossed” earlier this fall.  I remember laughing so hard as the youth tried to figure out what was crossed and uncrossed as they unknowingly repositioned making it more confusing and difficult for them to figure out.  I also pray that as we mourn Marica together it will draw us closer and perhaps in the future as I make cherry delight, I will remember this weekend and Marica’s life.

Marica and some of the other junior youth decorating cookies .

A tea party I had a number of years ago for a number of the girls from church
as well as a few other friends.

Marica and her sister Jocelyn, with a friend from church and my neighbor girl
all decked out for the tea party.

Cherry Delight
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp sugar
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 envelope Dream Whip mix
1/2 cup milk
1 -21 oz can cherry pie filling or 2 1/2 cups of your own filling

Combine 2 tbsp sugar, cracker crumbs, and melted butter together and press in bottom of 9x13 pan.  Cream the cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar together until smooth.
Whip envelope of Dream Whip with milk.  Then blend together with cream cheese mixture.  Spread over crumbs and chill until set.  Top with cherry pie filling.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Mangos, Mangos, Mangos

Note: I just published a post from December 15, if anyone is interested, it had been posted previously and removed almost simultaneously due to technical difficulties in which the bulk of the text had disappeared, most likely because of user error.

I was at the grocery earlier this week and found them on sale for 4 for $5 and couldn't resist, so I came home with 4 mangoes and have enjoyed them all week so much that I bought a couple more today.  I ate some plane for breakfast, made a mango chicken stir fry one day, and today made mango salsa, as well as a mango salsa chicken crockpot dish, that I served over rice.

Wonderful Mangoes.
Chicken Mango Stir Fry
Crockpot Mango Salsa Chicken - made this for some friends, it would have
fed a couple more, sorry I didn't invite you.

Just plain Mango.

Crockpot Mango Salsa Chicken
1 can black beans
1 pkg frozen corn
7 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 cups mango salsa (mangoes, jalapeño, onion, lime juice, cilantro)

Cooked on low for 8 hours and served over rice.  With some guacamole and chips, as well as some leftover mango salsa.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Dreams and Unexpected Visitors

The Colonel called me up today and wanted to spend some time in the kitchen and it just happened I had gotten my Penzy's catalog and was interested in trying a recipe that was in the latest issue, so I readily agreed.  We got a later start though because I wanted to get a bike ride in today since it 60 degrees, spoiling me for the cold weather that will all to quickly return - but oh so grateful for the nice weather to have come on a weekend.  

The Colonel is a big fan of cheese and for Christmas I had found a cookbook that basically had his name written on it - "Cheese Glorious Cheese."  He had set his sights on making something called Lemon Blueberry Dream - for me most anything with blueberries in it is a dream, my beloved blueberries, so of course it took no convincing words with this chose of recipes.

 Lemon Blueberry Dream

1 jar lemon curd
8 oz mascarpone
1/2 cup heaving cream, whipped

Mix together curd and mascarpone.
Fold in whipped cream.  Chill 1 hour.

1-2 pint blueberries
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp orange flavoring

Dissolve sugar in water, add flavoring.
Macerate blueberries in solution 1 hour.

Layer curd and then blueberries with
liquid in dishes as a parfait.

Whipping the cream.  Love that KitchenAid.
Are you "Dreaming" yet?

 I had a few different options for an accompaniment to the dreams, but as soon as the Colonel saw the Pineapple Rasam recipe in the Penzy's catalog there was no was no more discussion, that was what we were making.  I had showed the recipe to a couple of other people and they thought a little too interesting, but the Colonel came through, and we were delighted by the outcome, even my dad asked if there was some left for dinner tomorrow.

Pineapple Rasam

1/4 tsp mustard seed (+) (it was Colonel Mustard adding that so of course he was very generous, but he actually use a special mustard with whole mustard seeds that he got for Christmas from Vanilla Bean)
2 tsp butter
2 tsp cumin seed
2 tsp peppercorns
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 tsp turmeric
2 dried chilies (we use thai hot)
20 oz can pineapple in 100% juice
2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp brown sugar
Cilantro, chopped

Heat peppercorns 1 minute in microwave (also 1 tsp cumin seed with this but we used ground) and then grind.  Puree pineapple in blender.  Set aside.  Heat butter in skillet, add mustard seed when hot.  Cook till crackling and popping, add rest of spices, including whole chilies and sauté for 1 minute.  Add pineapple and water, stir over medium heat then add salt and brown sugar.  Increase heat and cook 3 minutes.  Serve with chopped cilantro.

Peppercorns and our "cumin seed"
Heating the Colonel's special mustard seeds.
Sautéing the spices.
the final 3 minutes....
Sorry Vanilla Bean - cilantro, chilies, cumin, turmeric, mustard.
I wouldn't recommend this for you, but it was very tasty.

And what Indian inspired dish is complete without some naan bread.  Added extra prep time to our meal but oh so worth it.

We had on unsuspected visitor to our evening and much to my mother's dismay that was sort of true bug.  It seems they overwinter as adults and the warm weather this weekend had them active, unsure how they got in the house, but we found three of them this evening, two are dead and one is in a jar as Tinbugs tries to identify it.  So far the most likely candidate is the tarnished plant bug.

The "x" you can see on its bag is indicative of true bugs.