Sunday, March 26, 2006

German Pancake Posted by Picasa

Cade always requests pancakes for breakfast on the weekends. He can eat atleast six. The rest of us get a little tired of this weekend tradition. So today we made a German Pancake. We could honestly tell Cade we were having pancakes. It is tough keeping everyone happy. I used to make a recipe similar to this one that had sliced apples and brown sugar on the bottom ; but I think I like this simple version even better with a little powdered sugar and maple syrup. This pancake is very puffy when it first comes out of the hot oven and then it slowly shrinks down.

German Pancake

Preparation Time: 35 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

· 1 cup all-purpose flour
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 4 large eggs
· 1 cup milk
· 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
· Garnish: confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup, or apple butter
Preheat oven to 450ยบ. In a medium bowl, sift together flour and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and milk in a bowl until just combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, then stir until just blended.
In a heavy 12-inch skillet, melt butter until hot and frothy. Pour batter into skillet and transfer quickly to oven. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and puffed. Do not open oven during baking. Serve immediately, topped with confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup, or apple butter.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

It is so bright and sunny outside. The snow is quickly turning to slush and the birds and squirrels are busy finding food. Here is a photo of a squirrel eating the buds off of an Elm tree in the backyard. Posted by Picasa


OVER the land half freckled with snow half-thawed
The speculating rooks at their nests cawed,
And saw from elm-tops, delicate as a flower of grass,
What we below could not see, Winter pass.

Edward Thomas

A Hungry Squirrel Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Sewing : Wee Bunnies

Fat Wee Bunny Posted by Picasa

bunny side Posted by Picasa

bunny back Posted by Picasa

Wee Wonderful Bunnies Posted by Picasa

We had another snow day yesterday and was I was trying to keep the boys (and myself) entertained. Cade is always wanting to use the sewing machine. So I found this simple project on the internet. It looked easy enough. When we got started it was too small for him to sew. The boys ended up picking out the fabric they wanted for their bunnies and they were able to stuff them with the filling. Other than that I basically made these. Not the best craftsmanship/sewing job, but the boys liked their bunnies. I used scraps of fabric scraps and pieces for felt. I embellished the bunnies with vintage buttons for eyes, ribbons tied on their necks, and cotton balls tied on the back for tails. The white bunny with orange print fabric was made following the pattern exactly and the other three were made by using just one piece of print fabric for the back. I am sure things like this will not interest them for long. I should be thankful for that.

I used the WEE BUNNY PATTERN to make these bunnies.
Check out a wee bunny pattern to download for free!

Go to

Bunny Backsides Posted by Picasa


Banana Wheat Germ Muffins Posted by Picasa

A healthy banana muffin: Recipe from Simple Vegetarian Pleasures

11/2 cups flour
1 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2-3 bananas)
1/2 cup lowfat milk
1/4 cup canola

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter the tops and insides of a regular-size (1/3 cup) muffin pan. ( or use paper liners)

In a med bowl thoroughly combine flour, wheat germ, walnuts, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt

Beat the eggs in a larger bowl. Beat in the mashed banana, being certain to break up any large lumps. Beat in the milk and oil until smooth. Add the dry mixture to this bowl and stir just until it is evenly moistened. Do not overbeat it.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Bake about 17 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out dry. Cool the muffins on a rack a few minutes before serving. They are better warm, not hot.

makes 12 muffins

Another Snow-Day, More Sledding Posted by Picasa

Cardinal in the Snow Posted by Picasa


I make this dish occasionally- It is one of my favorites. Quinn loves it because of the Green Olives. The recipe for the velvet chicken could be used in any stir fry dish.


4 large chicken breasts, cut as desired for the recipe ( for Moroccan Chicken and Olives cut into 3/4 inch chunks)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 tsp cornstarch
1 unbeaten egg white

Place cut-up chicken in a non-reactive bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cornstarch and oil. Mix thoroughly. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes. Mix in unbeaten egg white to coat all pieces. Let stand 20 minutes. Then the chicken is ready to cook but can be refigerated up to four hours, if neccessary. Just be sure to seperate the pieces before cooking.


1 recipe Velvet Chicken, cut into 3/4 inch chuncks
Good Quality Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups very finely minced onions
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp sugar
2 T lemon Juice
1/4 cup finely chopped green olives
1/3 cup minced fresh Parsely

cooked rice or couscous

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and saute 4-5 minutes, stirring and turning pieces frequently, until chicken is opaque throughout and golden in color. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add enough oil to the skillet to equal 1/3 cup. Add onions and saute over med heat until tender(do not brown) Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients (except chicken and rice) and when onions are done, stir them into oil-onion mixture. Then stir in chicken. Heat through on medium heat, stirring constanly, about 1 minute. Serve over rice or couscous.

Monday, March 20, 2006

FIRST DAY OF SPRING Posted by Picasa

 Posted by Picasa


Homemade Marshmellows- a Snow Day Tradition Posted by Picasa

We have the tradition of making home made marshmellows for hot chocolate on No School Snow Days. Well, Today was a snow day and today I made marshmellows. The boys favorite part is licking the bowl and the beater. This time I used a recipe I found in the september 2005 issue of country home.

Powdered sugar
2 1/2T unflavored gelatin
1 cup water, divided
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light-colored corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1 T water
2 tsp vanilla extract

Lightly coat an 8x8x2 inch pan with cooking spray. Heavily dust with powdered sugar; set aside. Stir unflavored gelating and 1/2 cup of the water together in a large bowl of a stand mixer; let stand 25 minutes while preparing syrup mixture( mixture will be set).
Meanwhile, mix remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, syrup, and salt in a heavy 2 quart saucepan. Cook and stir over med-high heat until mixture boils. Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium; continue boiling at a moderate steady rate, stirring frequently until thermometer reaches 244 degrees( about 15 minutes) Slowly pour hot syrup into gelatin mixture with stand mixer on low to med speed. Increace to high speed; beat 15 minutes ( mixture should be thick and about triple in volume) Add 1 Tablespoon water and vanilla extract; beat until combined. Spoon mixture into prepared pan ( it will be sticky). Let stand, uncovered, overnight. Loosen mixture from pan by lifting around edges with a knife. Invert onto a cutting board dusted with powdered sugar. Cut into 1-inch squared with a knife dusted with powdered sugar. Dust marshmellows with additional powdered sugar.
maked about 64 marshmellows.

Note: We cut the marshmellows an hour after making them. Just sprinkle the top with powdered sugar before removing from the pan.

enjoying the Snow Posted by Picasa

Snowball fight Posted by Picasa

Minestone Soup Posted by Picasa

This is the perfect soup to choose when you want something full bodied yet low in fat. This soup makes a big potful. Recipe from Vegetarian Pleasures

1/4 cup olive oil
2 Large onions, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 ounce can tomatoes, finely chopped with their juice
12 cups ( 3 Quarts) vegetable stock
1 carrot, thinly sliced
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 cup diced green beans
1 med potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 16 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 bay leaves
3 T chopped fresh basil, or 1 1/2 tsp dried
1 tsp dried oregano
a few pinches saffron
generous seasoning of freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 T tamari soy sauce
1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/3 cup pasta- ( I used Gnocchi) macaroni or spaghetti broken into 1-inch pieces
grated parmeasan

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over med heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute, stirring often, until tender, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes and their juice and cook 5 minutes. Add all ingredients except zucchini, pasta, and cheese, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a lively simmer and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add zucchini and pasta and cook 5 minutes, or until the pasta is just tender. Pass the Parmeasan Cheese at the table, if desired.

Small oil panting Posted by Picasa

Weekend Thrift Store Treasures

Spring Time Tea Cups Posted by Picasa

Pinewood Derby Check out Car #34 Posted by Picasa

Mediterranean Stuffed Bread

This spiral loaf makes a great light dinner served with a salad. We all loved this bread it stuffed full of delicious ingredients.
I found this recipe at Lesley's Recipe Archive.

1-cup warm water
1-tbsp liquid honey
2-tsp active or quick rising (instant) yeast
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2-tbsp semolina or cornmeal
2-tbsp olive oil
1-1/2 tsp salt

16 dry packed sun-dried tomato halves
3/4-cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2-cup chopped pitted black olives
1/4-cup minced fresh parsley
1/4-cup minced green onions
3-cloves garlic, minced
3-tbsp olive oil
1/2-tsp dried oregano
1/2-tsp dried basil
1/4-tsp salt
1/4-tsp pepper

2-tbsp semolina or cornmeal
1-tbsp chopped fresh parsley

In a large bowl, whisk warm water with honey
Sprinkle in yeast; let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy
With wooden spoon, stir in 2-1/4 cups of the flour, semolina, oil and salt until dough comes away from the bowl
Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface
Knead for 8-10 minutes or until soft and slightly sticky, dusting with remaining flour as needed
Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease all over
Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes

In a small bowl, cover sun-dried tomatoes with boiling water
Let stand for 10 minutes or until softened
Drain and chop to make about 3/4 cup
In a bowl, toss together sun-dried tomatoes, cheese, black olives, parsley, onions, garlic, oil, oregano, basil, salt & pepper
Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface; roll out into 16x9 inch rectangle
Spread with filling
Starting at long side, roll up into cylinder
Pinch along seam to smooth and seal
Flatten slightly & pinch ends to seal

Sprinkle semolina on baking sheet; place loaf on top
Brush with oil; sprinkle with parsley and pat lightly into dough
Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes
Bake on lowest rack in 375* oven for 35 minutes or until well-browned and loaf sounds hollow when tapped from bottom
Remove from pan
Let cool slightly on rack
Serve warm or cold

Makes 1 loaf

Thursday, March 02, 2006

"Hope" is the thing with feathers

"HOPE" is the thing with feathers--
That perches in the soul--
And sings the tune without the words--
And never stops--at all--

And sweetest--in the Gale--is heard--
And sore must be the storm--
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm--

I've heard it in the chillest land--
And on the strangest Sea--
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb--Of Me.

Emily Dickinson (1861)


 Posted by Picasa

Daffodils Coming Up

 Posted by Picasa

Tulips emerging

 Posted by Picasa

70 Completed Birthday Cards for Care Center Residents Posted by Picasa

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