Archive for May, 2010


Drunken Potatoes

May 30, 2010

Memorial Day is the official kick off of the grilling season.  We’ve been using the grill for months already.  Once the temperature gets about 50 we start up the grill on a regular basis.  Prior to that we just grill on occasion because the grill is kept in the garage during the winter months.

We’ve been making these potatoes on the grill for years.  We also make them when we go camping.  I’ve never attempted them in the house.  I guess I just associate them with the grill.  They are the moistest potatoes.  They are also one of those dishes that you can just put on the grill and walk away from.  Since I’ve been baking today making my prototype piano cake for Meeshie’s birthday, I thought I would share this wonderful recipe. 

Drunken Potatoes

  • 4 whole Potatoes, Scrubbed And Diced
  • 1 whole Onion, Diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 can Beer, 12 Ounce Can
  • ¾ cups Cheddar Cheese, Shredded

Place the potatoes, onions, garlic, salt and pepper, and butter in a foil pan. Add as much of the beer to the pan that space will allow. Place on a preheated medium heat grill. Cook, uncovered, until all of the beer has been cooked out, tossing occasionally. If your pan did not allow for the entire can of beer, add the remaining beer to the pan. Once the full 12 ounces of the beer is cooked out, then sprinkle potatoes with the cheese and cover the pan to allow the cheese to melt.


Chocolate Clouds

May 29, 2010

In the month of May, Meeshie’s school celebrates summer birthdays. So, this past Monday we brought in her birthday treat.

Do you know what you want me to make?

I’m not sure but I’m kinda cake popped out.

Great. I was actually prepared to make some tie-died cake pops, too.

So between the two of us, she decided on some chocolate cookies with marshmallow in the center. These cookies taste like brownie bites and are totally worth the little extra work. The marshmallow must be kept in the freezer so it won’t get tacky while you assemble the cookie. As a matter of fact, while I was waiting for the oven, I stuck the assembled cookie in the freezer for good measure. Most of the marshmallow melts inside of the cookie and gives it that brownie consistency.

Chocolate Clouds
  • 3 C Flour
  • 2/3 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 t Baking Soda
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 C Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 C Butter, softened
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 t Vanilla
  • 2 C (12 oz) Miniature Semisweet Chocolate Chips
  • 8 oz Miniature Marshmallows, frozen

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Keep the marshmallows in the freezer until you are ready to assemble.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa and baking soda.  Set aside.  Combine the sugars in a large bowl.  Add the butter to the sugars and blend.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.

Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture.  Add the chocolate chips  blending until combined.  The dough will be very stiff.  Gather 4-5 frozen marshmallows  in the palm of your hand and cover them with heaping spoonful of dough.  Wrap the dough around the marshmallows, completely encasing them and form in a 2 inch diameter dough ball.  I actually take the dough and flatten it in my palm, place the marshmallow inside and then close the dough. 

Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Cool on the pan for at least 2 minutes before transferring to a cooking rack.

And yes I know that it is unusual that Meeshie’s school still allows homemade treats.  Not many do.  I’m actually not sure about the policy at her school myself.  I just always bring in treats for the office too and they’ve never said no.  She has only one more year at this school and I’m really going to miss the office staff.  Those ladies are so sweet.


I Know Where a Garden Grows

May 27, 2010

I planted my vegetable garden last weekend. This is the earliest I’ve done it in a long while. I planted it one year on Mother’s day weekend and then a frost came and I had to replant. This year I’m not only optimistic but prepared if a frost should come. And it probably will. Memorial Day weekend is usually when I plant, but I’m more anxious this year, I guess.

I planted my stand by of tomatoes, jalapeños, banana peppers, green peppers and zucchini. I added cucumbers, garlic, and celery this year. Yes celery. My neighbor gave me some celery which I have never seen at the nursery to plant before. I still need to get basil and oregano but I have planted cilantro.

Last year I planted the herbs in an area near the house and they did very well. This year I’m not sure how well they will work out. The rabbits are so brutal and they just eat whatever strikes their fancy. Which means I never know what they will eat from year to year or week to week.

I’ll be adding my irrigation system to the garden one day this week. It helps me keep down the weeds if I put down enough cones.

I also bought tomato ladders this year. If they work out, I’ll be getting a few more next year when we expand the garden.

Now I just need to be patient.  That’s the hardest part of gardening.  That at weeding.


Heavenly Pecan Crescents Cookies

May 25, 2010

When I wrote about the sweet table last week, I promised that I would post this crescent recipe. I have been making this recipe forever. It has always been a family favorite and it is definitely on my Christmas cookie list. Meeshie loves making the ropes that are formed into a crescent shape. Double this recipe, you won’t regret it!


  • 1 cup Butter, Softened
  • ⅓ cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Water
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 cup Pecans, Chopped
  • Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the water and vanilla. Mix well. Add the flour and pecans, form into a ball and chill for three to four hours.

    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Pinch off about a golf-ball-sized ball and roll it into a snake. Shape into a crescent. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool slightly and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

    These cookies are very fragile so are best stored in a large flat container.



    May 23, 2010

    This is blooming in my front yard.  I planted this iris at least three years ago in another part of the yard and moved it this spring.  This is the first time it has every bloomed.  I didn’t even know what color it was.  I’m not sure why I picked the color when I bought it.  I’m so glad that I did, though.

    Here it is again.  I’m not sure if you can tell how dark the purple is in these pictures.  It is almost black, it’s that dark.  It even has a beautiful scent.

     I think I may have to frame this and put it up on one of my very empty walls!


    Very Berry Scones with Homemade Clotted Cream

    May 20, 2010

    I think it was last week when I posted about my shortbread cookies that one of my good friends asked me if I had a scone recipe. She had just spent the weekend in Michigan and told me that she had some wonderful scones. I didn’t have a scone recipe at the time, and to be honest I’ve had some really bad ones in the past so have never had any real desire to make them.


    But the more I thought about her request the more I started to think about some wonderful clotted cream that Angel and I had at a cute little tea room. She and I had never had clotted cream before and didn’t actually know that was on the plate when we were served a wonderful little finger sandwich sampler with a scone of the day. The scone was heavenly and so was the cream. We were both debating how we could lick the plate that we had shared without being gross or it getting weird.

    So I when on a quest. I asked a few friends if they had a scone recipe. Then I looked on the internet. Finally I just combined a few things I liked and made these.

    From start to finish they took 25 minutes. I made them Wednesday morning while my husband was in the shower.

    The clotted cream was a little more complex. Not the recipe, but finding the cream and the process itself. You need whipping cream that is not ultra pasteurized. That was very difficult to do. Then once you have the right cream, the process takes a very long time. My recipe stated 8 hours and ended up cooking my cream for about 11 hours. I made the cream on Tuesday while at work. Thankfully I have an oven that I can program to cook while I’m not home.

    It was heavenly. Warm scone + clotted cream = bliss. Meeshie loved them. My husband loved them. Of course I brought some to my girlfriend that inspired me. She also loved them.

    Here are the recipes.

    Very Berry Scones

    • 2 1/2 C unbleached all purpose flour
    • 2 t baking powder
    • 2 T sugar
    • 1 t cinnamon
    • 1/2 t nutmeg
    • 1/2 t salt
    • 6 T butter
    • 3/4 C milk (actually a little more than 3/4, so would you call that just a generous 3/4 C?)
    • 1/3 C dried strawberries
    • 1/3 C dried cherries
    • 1/3 C dried blueberries

    Sift and measure the flour.  Re-sift the flour with the dry ingredients.  Work the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers.  Add the fruit and mix thoroughly.  Add the milk to the mixture.  This is where I added a little more milk because it was not incorporating properly and I did not want to over work the batter.  Divide into two equal parts.  On an ungreased cookie sheet, pat into a round about the thickness of a biscuit, about 3/4 to 1 inch thick.  Cut into wedge shaped pieces, like a pie and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees.

    I was able to get the clotted cream for this great website called the cupcake project.

    Clotted Cream

    • NOT ultra-pasteurized whipping cream

    The first key to making the clotted cream is finding whipping cream that is not ultra-pasteurized whipping cream.  Having whipping cream that is not pasteurized at all is ideal, but I’m not close enough to a dairy for that.  I used 2 pints.  The second key is the slow bake in the oven. 

    Pour the cream in a pot that is oven safe and that has a lid.  Make sure that the cream covers about 3 inches from the bottom of the pot.  Cover the pot and stick in a 180 degree oven.  Cook the cream for 8-12 hours.  Mine took 11 hours.  To find out if it is done, check for a yellowish skin above the cream.  This is the clotted cream.  Once the skin separates out, place the pot on the counter to cool down.  Then place it in the fridge for 8 hours more.  Remove from the fridge and remove the clotted cream from the top of the pot.  You can use the remaining cream for baking.

    I took the warm scone and slathered it in the cream.  So good!

    Note: I’ve slightly tweaked this clotted cream recipe and made it even better!  Here it is.


    The Sweet Table

    May 18, 2010

    Now that I can finally sit back and think about the communion party I want to talk about the sweet table.

    I decided that since I was going to use a caterer for the party I wasn’t going to bother with too many appetizers and instead concentrate on a sweet table. Besides the invitations stated that luncheon would be served at 2:30 p.m. and I figured that if you didn’t go to the church you would show up in time for the luncheon. Plus I love a sweet table.

    I of course had a cake and then I had various goodies.

    Cake pops

    Limoncino cookies. These were so fantastic. It was a light lemon cookie with a glaze made with lemoncello. I was fortunate enough to have gotten some homemade lemoncello. Homemade from Italy. I’m waiting to get the recipe and can’t wait to make it myself. But that’s another post.

    Shortbread cookies


    Kolaczky. I made these that morning. You have to have kolaczky when they are fresh. I think there is some kind of rule somewhere about that. I made 8 dozen of these puppies. I had less than a dozen left once all the smoke cleared. And I wasn’t able to make any raspberry ones because they didn’t have that flavor at the store. I made cherry ones instead. They went. They were good. But I prefer the raspberry.


    It was heavenly.  I love a good sweet table with wonderful bakery, especially cookies.  I’ll be posting soon about the crescent recipe!  But I may post about some scones a good friend suggested I make first.


    The Pasta Salad

    May 16, 2010

    I have this recipe for pasta salad that my girlfriend gave me a few years ago.  To say that this is The Pasta Salad is somewhat of an understatement.  I say that because I don’t like pasta salad.  For that matter, I don’t like potato salad, macaroni salad, three bean salad or coleslaw.  There is something about those cold salads of my youth that brings painful memories of picnics with neighbors.  Probably because my mother would make one of those salads and we would be forced to eat them. 

    This pasta salad has the right amount of spices and peppers and so easy to make.  I truly love it.  Plus you could easily add some ham or chicken to it if that’s what you like.

    Pasta Salad

    • 1 lb pasta, I like the tri-color rotini
    • 1 can black olive, sliced
    • 1/2-1 C purple onion, diced
    • 1/2-1 C red pepper, diced
    • 1/2-1 C green, yellow or orang pepper, diced ( I like a little of all three)
    • 1/4-1/2 C GFS brand salad seasoning with cheese (or their Trade East brand)
    • Italian salad dressing

    Prepare the pasta.  Add the black olives, onion and peppers.  Use as much of each to your taste.  Toss in the salad seasoning, again add as much of that to your taste.   Let it sit for at least an hour.   Before you serve the salad toss with your favorite Italian salad dressing.



    The Ceremony

    May 13, 2010

    The communion ceremony was beautiful.  Each child was more gorgeous than the next.  During the procession into the church, each child’s name was announced.

    Although there were 60 children that morning for the ceremony, the mass wasn’t too long.  Each family went up to the altar with the communicant and took communion with them.  At first I wasn’t keen on that.  As a child we knelt before the altar with all the other children and I wanted to have Meeshie experience that.  But I did like the way the mass went with us there with her.  As it was explained, we go to church as a family and stand in line for communion as one, so it only makes sense that we would share in her first communion as a family.  We sat together in the pew and once the mass began, no pictures were taken.

    Here is Meeshie with her godmother.

    Meeshie and grandma.

    Meeshie with grandpa.

    Meeshie with her uncle, aunt and cousins.

    Meeshie on her wedding day.  Actually her she is with one of her good friends.  I love this boy and his sister.  They always make me smile.


    In the Name of the Father

    May 11, 2010


    Saturday was Meeshie’s first holy communion.  To say that I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long while is an understatement.  This is such major milestone in her life.  I still remember how excited and nervous I was for my big day, although to be totally honest I’m sure it had a lot to do with the party afterword.

    Because I didn’t know how the day was going to be, and because I’m me, I decided to take pictures of Meeshie in all of her finery the week before.  I am so glad that I did.  For one, the weather was horrible for taking any pictures outside on Saturday.  It was cold.  It was windy.  It looked like rain.  Also, I ran out of time which I was afraid was going to happen.  We had to be at the church early because mass was at 11:00 a.m. 

    So I took pictures of Meeshie outside in the yard and she complained the entire time. 

    Oh and she sat in the swing right away.  I had visions of a permanent dirt smudge on her dupa.  Luckily that did not happen.

    I love this picture.

    And this one.

    What about this one?

    I think I have a picture like this on my wedding day.  Darn those veils.

    Isn’t she serene? 

    How about this one?

    I’ll be sharing more about her special day later.  Like the ceremony and the food.  Thanks to everyone that shared in her day and to those who could not but wished her well.

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