Archive for August, 2009

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The winds of change are ablowin’

There is much going on and I am trying to consolidate things in order to actually complete some things!  I am sure you all know what I mean, even though it makes little sense reading it back.   I am trying my best to finish my Pies book.  Trying SO hard.  And it is coming together.  It ‘s just taking longer than I can ever plan for it to.  Plus we mostly do pie photos on the weekends now.  My “girl friday” has left me to take a paying job.  I am so happy for her.  She is now employed at our local newspaper  in charge of Advertising & Layout Production with her own office and everything.  Not too shabby for a 17 year old homeschool girl huh?   It just dropped in her lap and she really was thrilled to have to opportunity to exersize her creativeness while earning a pay check.  But it means she is working 8-5+ and then has schoolwork when she gets home, starting the first week of September so, photo shoots will just have to take a back seat.  But its cool because I have been the one holding things up!  And of course, not even being finished with this book I have about 12 more swimming around in my brain.  But I have promised myself to finish this one first…get it out there and then on to the next project.  I am thinking I might have to learn to use the camera some too!  Which will be fun.  And something I have been wanting to do.

AND Husband comes home this Thursday so I am off to the grocery store this afternoon to stock up.

Don’t forget about the Friday Baking challenges. I am not getting much response so if you would like to leave me some ideas about how to make it more appealing, feel free.  Those who participate – THANK YOU!  It ‘seems like a great idea.  Just may be too hard to participate.  I will give it another few weeks and if it doesn’t pick up, then I might reevaluate it.

Well the middle of the week is almost here and I haven’t accomplished nearly as much as I need to.  So, I will leave you with a photo:



Friday Baking with NotQuiteJuneCleaver Recipes for August 14-21

This will be a short and sweet post this morning. Hannah & Rachel are leaving for Houston in  few minutes for another Jonas Brothers Concert. And I have things to do today not the least of which is getting my driver’s license renewed.  After all it IS my birthday!  Yep, the big 5-0!  So Ben and I are going to spend the rest of the day doing what we do best…chillin’! I had a lovely birthday-eve dinner with my friend Connie and her daughter last night – I made enchiladas and she brought and AMAZING cake and a present for moi.  I want to get that recipe typed up for all of you.

So lets get to today’s Friday Baking recipes:

Your sweet recipe:

Martha Stewart’s Surprise Cookies

Rachel has made these and they are just wonderful!


Makes about 2 dozen

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 12 large marshmallows, cut in half horizontally
  • Chocolate Frosting for Surprise Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg, milk, and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add reserved flour mixture; mix on low speed until combined.
  3. Using a tablespoon or 1 3/4-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto ungreased baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies begin to spread and become firm, 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Remove baking sheets from oven, and place a marshmallow, cut-side down, in the center of each cookie, pressing down slightly. Return to oven, and continue baking until marshmallows begins to melt, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  5. Spread about 1 tablespoon of frosting over each marshmallow, starting in the center and continuing outward until marshmallow is covered.


  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Place confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk in butter and cocoa powder. Add milk and vanilla, and whisk until well combined.

Your savory recipe:

Savory Monkey Bread – I found this here and thought it looked soooo delicious!  I will be making it this week and post my pictures later.

2 Tbsp warm water
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
1/3 tsp salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1 egg
1 Tbsp plus 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted (keep them separate)
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
3 Tbsp spring onion, chopped
2 cups grated gruyere cheese

1. mix yeast, sugar, and warm water in a small mixing bowl. set aside for ten minutes to allow yeast to proof (bubbles will form at the surface).

2. mix flour and salt in large mixing bowl. set bowl on mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment (or use a spoon and some elbow grease). with the mixer set on medium speed, slowly add the proofed yeast mixture to the dry ingredients, followed by the milk, egg, and 1 Tbsp melted butter. add 1 Tbsp of the parsley, 1 Tbsp of the onion and 1 cup of the cheese.

3. mix on medium speed just until the dough releases from the side of the bowl, about 6-to-8 minutes. knead dough together lightly with your hands. transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm place. allow dough to rise for 25-30 minutes.

4. after 30 minutes, punch dough down and roll into balls, about 1 inch in diameter. mix 4 Tbsp of the melted butter with the remaining parsley, spring onion and gruyere, roll balls in the mixture, and arrange in a lightly greased loaf pans. allow loaves to rise once more in a warm spot for 30 minutes.

5. Brush loaves again with melted butter. Bake in a 375F oven for 35 minutes, brushing twice throughout the baking with any remaining melted butter. serve monkey bread hot out of the oven.

Happy Baking!


Small Town Living

Three posts in one day?  WHAT!?  Yep, I feel compelled to share a little something with you. It might not be very interesting but I just have to say it.

For 20 or more years I have begged my husband to move me from this place.  Not this place as in my house – I love my little Rose Cottage with its oddly appealing green siding, on a dead end dirt road in a state that lacks much of what I find valuable.  I have begged him to move to New England. Weatherwise, it is fine here except for the 6 1/2 months of Summer heat.  And the lack of any real semblance of Autumn.   But my home state falls short on many “statistics” charts…as in health, welfare of citizens, crime, education, taxes out the wazoo, roads are terrible, corruption in politics…I could go on and on.  It is always on the wrong end of things.  Sadly. But, it is still home.

This morning I am looking on facebook and I am a fan of Chelsea Green publishing and there it was another wonderful accolade to Vermont. My heart did a little flip flop at the thought of  my big plans of not living here on my 50th birthday…to have moved on to bigger and better places.  But it was not meant to be.  All of that is to say just last night I was reminded again why I live here, why I have not left, and why I probably never will.

My oldest son called me pretty frantic about 6:30 p.m.  As he pulled into his parking place at home, one of his front tires said “PFLUNK”.  Not good.  So I say “Okay, calm yourself, I will make a couple of calls and call you back.”  I got my phone book, while silently ( or not quite silently) lamenting the fact that nothing and I mean NOTHING ever breaks unless my husband is 6000 miles from home.  I look up the wrecker guy’s home phone, call him get his wife who says “He’s gone to Leesville but when he gets back we will go over and pick it up.” I didnt mention my oldest lives 30 miles east of here.  Thanks I say and then call the mechanic we use, to say we were bringing him the car.  No answer.  Okay.  I call his son in law who says ” He’s at a Knights of Columbus meeting, but we are going coonhunting later and I will tell him you are dropping it off.”  Thanks again.  Then this morning I call the mechanic and ask him how he likes finding a car he might not have known would be there.  He assured me it was fine and he was on it.  He would likely have it fixed tomorrow or the next day.  So today I am taking my oldest one of our vehicles for him to use until his is fixed.  When his car is fixed the mechanic will call me, I will pick it up knowing we got the best deal and the best service, like we always have.

Now how this would have played out elsewhere is beyond me.   Maybe everywhere people are just this helpful.  Just this available.  But you know what.  At my age, I don’t think I want to take the chance.

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