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Archive for the ‘A Little of This’ Category

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Jan
22
2008

Que Sera, Sera. Pie anyone?

You folks have no idea how long and hard I have tried to motivate myself to finish even ONE of the 12 cookbooks I have outlined.  NO IDEA!  I think maybe nearly 1o years now.  Good grief.  Anyway apparently it might be another 10 before I am finished.  I get really angry with myself because I really, really want to finish them and I can’t seem to get to the end.  And then of course move onto another set.  I have gone thru titles and themes and back again.  No I have not been diagnosed with any sort of disorder.  Not that I don’t have one, or five, but I have not been diagnosed.  It isnt that I expect to ever be rich and famous or have my own cooking show or a real publisher.  But I would like at least one of those things.  A publisher.  But, frankly, I am not even to the point that I could send in an inquiry.  I would however, like to finish them for posterity’s sake.  I have so many, many recipes that I know when I am gone, my children will want.  Wish for.  Need.  I know there are so many things I would love to make if I had taken the time or had the foresight to ask for the recipe.  My mom,  aunts and grannies and great aunts and great grannies took so much knowledge to their graves.  I don’t want to do that.  This whole weekend I spent reflecting and grieving and thinking, made me even more anxious to “get ‘er done.”

As you may or may not remember we call our little house Rose Cottage.  Shouldnt you name your house?  I thought so too.  Anyway,  I have so much of A Year at Rose Cottage written, only to get side tracked and start a series I hope to complete one day…eventually.  I have much of  NotQuiteJuneCleaver Bakes a Pie! written.  Yeah…I have changed the name a half dozen times, but this has a ring to it don’t you think? I know what I want it to look like.  I have all the recipes together.  I just have to keep testing them, retesting them, proofing them, reproofing them.  And then what?  I don’t know.  Print out a hard copy and send it in.  Send it in where?  I don’t know.  Or just make a copy for each of my kids and call it a day.  Or a decade as the case may be.  Then maybe go on to NotQuiteJuneCleaver Makes a CakeNotQuiteJuneCleaver Bakes Cookies! NotQuiteJuneCleaver Bakes Bread! Sit Down to Supper with NotQuiteJuneCleaver! NotQuiteJuneCleaver Celebrates!

I guess I feel I can share these dreams and ideas with you and you not think I am any crazier than you did before you read this post.  So I will keep plugging along…que sera, sera.

Oh…and in honor of Pie Day tomorrow (come on bake a pie people! – it’s National Pie Day!), here’s a little something you might like:

 Freezing Pies and Pie Crusts Timetable

Baked and unbaked pie shells…………3 months
Fruit Pie Fillings……………..……….6 months
Savory Pot Pie Mixtures……………..6 months
Unbaked Pies……………………….. .4 months
Baked Fruit Pies……………….……6-8 months
Baked chiffon pies and lemon meringue pies without meringue topping can be frozen for up to a month.
Also Note: Don’t cut steam vents in top crusts before ready to bake.
Brush top crusts with egg glaze just before baking rather than before freezing.

Jan
22
2008

A BIG Thank You and Recipe of the Day: Paris Puffins

 Thank you all for you kind words and for sharing your own grief with all of us.  I do feel much much better today.  I know now I will have waves of this feeling many, many times over and I just have to roll with it when it comes.  I hope the feelings never completely go away, I realized over this last weekend, that in my grieving I remembered lots of wonderful things I might not have.  So the process, albeit never over, should be welcome rather than dreaded.  From now on, I will have my cry, take my time and move forward as I feel like it.  

Yesterday was a VERY productive day.  I finished not two but THREE aprons!  Good for me!  As soon as the recipient is in possession of said aprons, I will proudly post pictures!  I am so excited! I think they turned out adorable.  Today I will get more aprons cut out and started.  And then start back to my cleaning project that I must confess has gone rather badly.  But now that my chin is up again, I can get back with it.  When I told Husband I would have it finished by the time he returned on Valentine’s Day I didnt know how close I might have to cut that deadline!  I think he was so excited at the prospect, I cannot disappoint him now!   

And if you didn’t see the post, the winner of the Pie Giveaway has been chosen! Congrats! I will be posting pictures a bit later.

My dear, dear (sometimes neglected, I am ashamed to say) friend Kim sent me this recipe. I can tell you they are amazingly good. Read the email from her containing the recipe, got right up and made them! And yes, use the mini muffin tins, they are just bite size! And I will be posting this on my other blogs as well!

Paris Puffins

1/3 c. soft Shortening
½ c. Sugar
1 egg
1 ½ c. Flour
1 ½ t. baking powder
½ t. salt
¼ t. nutmeg
½ c. Milk
1/3 c. butter, melted
½ c. Sugar
1 t. cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12 muffins cups (these are best to me, baked in mini muffin tins.) Mix shortening, sugar, and egg. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl and add to sugar mixture alternately with milk. Bake 25 minutes. Combine cinnamon and sugar. When cool enough to handle, roll muffins in melted butter and cinnamon sugar mixture.
These little mini muffins are not too sweet and taste divine with a good hot tea sweetened, and a bit of cream!

Jan
19
2008

Baby, it's cold outside! Plus a recipe.

 winter.jpg

And apparently, there is snow just an our East of here.  How unfair does that seem?? My kiddos would love a little dusting of white just every now and again.  I really dont know how cold it was at the lowest this morning but it is just above freezing at this moment.  And according to weather.com it will be a chilly 25 tonight.  YIKES!  So happy tomorrow is Sunday and no one has to go to work early. 

Don’t forget the giveaway is Monday!! 

I think maybe finally I might be beginning to grieve a little from the loss of my mom.  I know I initially grieved as anyone does but I am “feeling” it a little more these days. When she died I told myself I a) was not sad because no one should have to live like she was living b)I had nearly 6 months to prepare myself for her passing and c) I really never saw anyone grieve before so I didn’t really know what to expect from myself. My family tended to ignore the grieving process and jump right back into things.  Good or bad, that’s just how it has always been.  And with Husband’s family as well.  Add up the lull after the holidays, the dreariness of winter time – dark and damp and dull, my husband being 6000 miles away, really feeling like I need a new focus business-wise and not knowing which way I want to turn.  I am afraid my worst days are ahead where the feeling of loss is concerned. Everything I do, make, cook, plan…I think of her. Oddly, I don’t think I thought of her this much when she was alive and just across the road. It makes me want to live my life to the fullest with no regrets yet, in the past few days I have felt it very hard to be motivated. Mom never allowed herself the pleasure of a vacation and she never considered herself good at things like sewing and crafting. She lived vicariously though me in those areas. Everything I have made since her passing, I have wished to be able to show her because she got so much pleasure from things I made. Our upcoming vacation to Europe is one she longed for but would never take the time or spend the money. I saw as she was dying that she wished for so many things. She told me over and over and over…do the things you long to do, life is too short. I think the feeling of loss and separation has taken a hold of me just a bit.  But three months in seems a little late to crawl in the bed and cry for days doesn’t it?  I have often believed that I have SAD (seasonal affective disorder) but you have no idea how I hate labels.  I think these next couple of weeks might firm up that diagnosis.  I suppose if you came here for a chippy, happy post today you stopped off a the wrong blog.  I will try to do better but at this moment I just can’t.  But what I can do to make this a little less depressed is leave you with a recipe.  Then I have to go accomplish something.  The cleaning is going very very slowly.  And I have GOT to get these aprons finished and out the door!  Shame on me for dragging my feet.  Dragging my feet only makes me feel worse.  Vicious little circle isnt it?  Talk to you all soon. 

This is a recipe I have had for a long time but haven’t made.  I am going to give it a try tonight.  Don’t know how I feel about the mashed potatoes and may end up slicing them instead and layering with the leeks (or onions if I cant get leeks). It just seems like a fitting, comfort food. 

Cottage Pie 

Filling
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or stew meat cubed
2 onions, peeled and diced
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced or cooked carrot, diced
1  ounce butter
1 cup cooked English peas (optional – Husband can’t abide and English pea, I think I will serve ours on the side)
1 teaspoon dried herbs of your choice but we like thyme, chives and basil
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
8 ounces beef stock  or a couple of beef bouillion cubes in a cup of boiling water

salt  and pepper to taste

Cottage Pie Topping
2 pounds  potatoes, peeled and cut into small even sized pieces
2  large leeks, cleaned sliced into rings or sweet onions if you cant get leeks
2 ounces butter
2-4 tablespoons milk
4 ounces mature farmhouse cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

To make the pie filling:.
Fry the onions and carrots if using, in the butter until they are becoming soft.
Add the beef and cook for about 10 to 20 minutes or until the onion and carrot have browned and the beef has taken on some color and is firm.  Season well with salt and pepper, then add the mixed herbs. Stir in the flour, and mix well. Mix the tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce with the beef stock and add it to the meat mixture, bringing it all to simmering point. Simmer until the stock has reduced by about a third, add the peas if using and take off the heat. Set aside while  you make the topping.

To make the topping:
Boil the potatoes in slightly salted water then mash them well, adding half of the butter and all of the milk gradually. Season to taste. If using fresh leeks, fry the leeks gently in the remaining butter, until soft and slightly colored.  Stir the cooked leeks into the mashed potato mixture and mix well.

Assemble:.
Put the meat mixture into a large and deep well greased baking dish and spread the potato mixture on top; then sprinkle with the grated cheese. You can also use 4 – 6 smaller pie dishes if you wish.   Put into a pre-heated oven 400F for about 25 to 30 minutes until the topping is crusty, golden and bubbling.

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