Sunday, August 31, 2008

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

These cookies are quite good. I only ate a couple while I was baking them. Why are cookies right from the oven so good and so yummy with the chocolate kind of melty and warm and OK I think I ate four. But they were really good.
The recipe is one of Martha's and if you click here you can make some too!!
I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. We aren't doing much around here just catching up with housework and errands and most important relaxing.
I called my friend who lives outside of New Orleans but all I got was her voice mail. I called her at home and on her cell so hopefully when she has time she will call me. She stayed home during Katrina and her house is NOT anywhere near repaired yet. She spent time with her daughter because she lives on higher ground. I hope they don't stay for Gustav.
I'm going to go to Joanne's Fabrics and browse. I'm going to make some napkins and I need linen. Have a great Sunday!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Two New Places to Visit

Thank you so very much for all the lovely comments. You all have made me feel very welcome and loved in the few months I've been blogging. I've made so many friends and love hearing from all of you. I'll be answering some this afternoon but I had to clean my kitchen because it was totally disgusting. I thought I would take a short break and do a post and then off to make something yummy in my clean kitchen. Anna and Bailey are taking their naps so I can get something done.
My friend Jan whom I have talked about numerous times has just opened a website to sell her jewelry made from broken china. I've seen most of it and it is breathtaking. I own a few pieces and I get lots of complements when I wear them. I hope you pay her a visit soon. And tell her I sent you. She is such a delight and always smiling and laughing. I look forward to seeing her next weekend. To visit her shop click here.

These are just a few pictures of her beautiful jewelry. There are lots more on her website. I hope you enjoy.
Also there is a new kid on the block so we need to make her feel welcome. I know how wonderful it is when you are just starting out to receive a comment. Of course that never changes does it.
Sara's new blog is called Sara's Sweet Surprises!! Isn't that a lovely name? I hope you jump over and say hello!!
OK everyone, I'm off to make peanut butter chocolate chip cookies so please stop over later and we'll have tea. And cookies. But don't be late or I might eat them all.
Hugs to everyone!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Friendship Award

My wonderful friend Melissa has given me this award. She is so sweet and I just love visiting her blog.

She mentioned how many new friends she has made blogging and I agree. I love my new friends and look forward to their posts. We laugh together and cry together and wish each other the best of everything. It is hard to decide who to pass the award to so if anyone wants to share in the Friendship Award, please do. But I would like to name a couple who are very special to me.

Debbie at Debbie's English Treasures

Cheryl at CherDecor

Barb at French Elements

Amy at Four Sisters In A Cottage

Crystal at Fairiebees

I hope you all had a wonderful week.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Beautiful Giveaway!!

Isn't the bag beautiful? Want a chance to win it? Click here and visit Anna and leave a comment and it might be yours.

Plum Crisp

Aren't the plums pretty? I used a mixture of red and yellow plums for my crisp which is so easy. I also made some ice cream to eat with it. You can't have crisp with ice cream right? This was really good Sunday after our drive. We came home and had the Tomato Basil Soup with ham and cheese panini's. It was an easy dinner all made ahead of time. For the panini's I added a "cube" of pesto that I made and put in the freezer with some mayo for the sandwiches. Everything was excellent or maybe we were just hungry after our long drive.
Pictures of before and after baking. It came out of the oven all bubbly and brown.
Hey Debbie this is for you!! I hope you enjoy it. The crisp is nice and warm with the cold ice cream. Yummy!!!
Plum Crisp
1/2 cup plus 1 T flour
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 T old fashioned oats (not quick cooking)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into small pieces
2 1/2 lbs plums cut into 1" pieces
Preheat oven to 375. Mix together 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup brown sugar, oats and salt in a bowl and cut butter until coarse crumbs form. I put it in the food processor and pulse. It is so much easier this way and a lot faster.
In a shallow 2-qt baking dish, toss plums with 2 T brown sugar and 1 T flour; sprinkle with crumb topping.
Bake until topping is golden brown 40-45 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes and enjoy!! Bon Appetit
I use the food processor whenever I cut butter into flour for biscuits or scones. It is so much easier and faster than using a pastry blender. I made a scone recipe a couple of years ago that used this method and I've been doing it ever since for everything.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tomatoes and More Tomatoes

No that's not a tomato. That is my cute little Bailey. Whenever I take out the trash he jumps in the wastebasket until I dump him out so I can put in a new bag and put it away. He loves to be in anything and everything.

The melons are coming in from Rocky Ford and they are very good this year. I cut the watermelon and cantaloupe and put in containers. I've been taking a container with me to work every day. This is such a great time of year for produce. It all makes me happy!!!

I froze some more corn and this is how I do it....just cut the corn off the cobs, put it in the freezer bags and pour out as I need it. Easy easy easy and so fresh tasting in the winter.

Now for the tomatoes. I always buy them from Jose that lives in Brighton. He has the best veggies and usually picks them the night before. Out of the box I had one that was bruised. I thought that was pretty good.

As you can see I had lots and lots of help!! We had a really good time too.
Whoops what happened to all the tomatoes?
Tomatoes ready for the freezer. All I do is wash, core and put in the bags. Lydia freezes tomatoes too and when I commented on her blog that I froze them also she was amazed. She said she didn't think anyone did except her family. Maybe that is why when I say I freeze tomatoes I get these blank stares or looks of astonishment...and comments like You freeze them?? Well it is easier than canning although I do that sometimes. I also throw some in the processor and put that in bags to use in place of tomato sauce. See the big cup of diced tomatoes? Well keep reading to see what I do with them.
When I was in Dallas I used to go to La Madeleine's for lunch quite often. I always got the tomato basil soup and a salad. When I moved back home I even brought some with me. Of course there are no La Madeleine's in Denver so I suffered and pined for my long lost Tomato Basil Soup for years. Then one day browsing the Internet I lo and behold came across their recipe. I started jumping up and down and ran to the store to buy tomatoes and basil. It so easy to make and sooo yummy!!
Tomato Basil Soup
from La Madeleine Restaurant
4 cups tomatoes (8 - 10 peeled, cored and chopped) or 4 cups whole canned tomatoes crushed. I always use fresh tomatoes.
4 cups unsalted tomato juice
12 - 14 fresh basil leaves
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
salt and pepper to taste
Combine tomatoes and juice in saucepan. Simmer for 30 minutes over low heat. Cool slightly, then place in blender. You'll have to do this in batches. Add basil and puree until smooth.
Return mixture to saucepan and add butter and cream.
Stir over low heat until butter and cream are incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Freshly ground of course.
I tried several recipes but none held a candle to this one.

If I make a big batch I put some in the freezer after I blend it and before adding the butter and cream.
Bon Appetit.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sunday Drive

Happy Monday Everyone!! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Mine was a little too busy but I did stop and relax yesterday afternoon. I have lots to post this week so come back often.
Before I take you on our little excursion that we had yesterday I want to thank The Linen Cupboard for posting my question. In case you haven't visited she is fantastic with all kinds of helpful hints and ways to do things around the house. In one of her posts she asked if anyone had anything they needed help with so I mentioned papers that pile up around the house. She did a lovely and very helpful post just for me!! It was a big help and I realized I'm not as unorganized as I thought I was. With a few simple changes and additions to my filing and sorting system it will be better. I went tonight after work and got some additional storage containers to help with the process. I'm anxious to get started but first our little drive. I hope you enjoy it. We had a fun time.

We stopped for Elk Jerky. It is funny because you would think he made it locally but the package said Oregon on it. We enjoyed it where ever it came from.

My daughter took the pictures because I was driving. It was sunny and rainy and you can see that in the pictures. I loved the clouds, they looked like big marshmallows in the sky.

This is South Park. It is really amazing because before you get here you are driving through mountain passes on narrow roads and really can't see to much except of course mountains, trees, rocks and streams which are beautiful. After climbing Kenosha Pass everything opens up and there is this vast range.

We ended up in Fairplay and drove around and found this cute little church so we stopped and took a picture. After we left and started home it started raining really hard until we got back over Kenosha Pass. You can see how dark the clouds are in this picture.

It's not a cow, but a rock painted to look like one. It is a landmark and when I was in high school, my friends and I used to love driving up and looking for the "Rock Cow". Yes it amazes me that I can remember that far back too!!! Isn't he cute?

The Coney Island was in Conifer for years and years but a couple of years ago they sold and the new owners moved it. There was a reason for the move but I can't remember why. Anyway it is now in Bailey and painted and spruced up. They have a porch and seating in the back patio. It used to be just a walk up window hot dog stand so it has really gotten to be an uptown place now. They have the best hot dogs around.

We saw a garage sale sign but we were going too fast to stop so we decided it would be fun to go to some sales. We saw an estate sale, but we were too late. A couple of shops in Fairplay were closed so we didn't get to explore any fun places.
I hope you enjoyed our drive and I'm glad you came along.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My New Home

Welcome to my new home, isn't it beautiful? I love it and hope you do too. My new friend Debbie and her wonderful husband decorated for me. I have a busy day in my kitchen with a box of tomatoes so I don't have much time to play today, but I wanted to show you all my lovely new home. It is sunny, warm and happy. I hope you visit often.

Thank you Debbie and Alan you are the best.
Hugs to you both.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Pear Tassel

Don't you just love my new Pear Tassel? It will go in my kitchen but I wanted to take pictures right away to post so I hung it on my birdcage....that I still have decorated. I do have two birds sitting on their perch. All I need now are some vines and flowers I think. But back to my tassel. I got it here. Susie makes the tassels and has lots of different ones. They are quite reasonable too. I have my eye on a bird tassel next!! I am into pears and birds right now for some reason. Isn't it funny how one day you like something and a week later it is something else?

If you look real close you can see my two little birds on their perch in the background. They look so cute and happy sitting there. And they make me happy too!!!
These beautiful tags were included in my package. They have so much detail and I love them. Thank you so much Sara.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Cake Dome

Anna and Brigette have this thing going about Patisserie Domes so I thought I would show off mine. Poor Anna broke hers so now they are both looking for one. If you haven't visited their blogs yet, they are so funny and I'm sure you would enjoy them. Brigette made some fabulous looking strudel and she offered to share her recipe with me. I can hardly wait to make some.
I like my dome because it has other uses other than a patisserie cover.
Turn it upside down and it can be used for a crudite and dip tray. Just put the dip in the middle and it looks pretty fancy with all the veggies surrounding it.
And if you put the top on upside down, it becomes a punch bowl. I've never used it this way but it would be fun to entertain and put sangria in it.
And my leftover brownies look so pretty.
Have a lovely evening. Hope things are cooling off for everyone. We are enjoying the 80 degree weather this week. I think the hottest weather is behind us now. I hope all my Florida friends are keeping safe and dry.
I received a lovely package today and will be posting about it tomorrow!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Pot Roast, Brownies and Sinful Peach Pie

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and are ready for the new week and everything it brings. It has been cloudy, rainy and more rain for a couple of days which has been wonderful. Our temperature is in the 60's today. After breaking records for over 90 degree days in a row this summer it has been wonderful. I've enjoyed it and since it's been cool I've been spending a lot of time in the kitchen. I know what a surprise!! LOL!! I got up this morning and cleaned the oven and before you think Oh Wow!! It's self cleaning so I'm not that wonderful. I then made a scrumptious peach crumble pie, brownies from a forbidden recipe and pot roast.
I'm not posting the pot roast recipe because it is pretty simple and I think everyone has one or two favorites. I do cook it all afternoon on a very very low simmer. I season the roast and brown it. Then add onions and garlic around and under it, throw in a few thyme stems and when it's about done, put in carrots and potatoes. I make gravy from the drippings. Since the onions have cooked all afternoon I leave those in the pot when I make the gravy. I use a Staub Cocette. Can you see the little bumps in the lid? It makes the juices drip down on the roast better or so they say and I believe them.

I love my Staub. I also have LeCreuset dutch ovens in a couple of sizes and they are wonderful too!!
And now for this wonderful Peach Crumble Pie. I found it here and followed her recipe. Carolyn has a wonderful site so I hope you will pay her a visit.
It is very easy and so good I hope you try it. I cheated by using a ready made crust but I think Carolyn did too!!! OK now for the forbidden brownies. They are sinfully good and the best brownie I have ever made.
Chocolate Glaze
8 oz bittersweet chocolate
8 T unsalted butter
4 T light corn syrup
Melt chocolate, butter and corn syrup stirring until smooth. Set aside.
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
6 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 3/4 sugar
4 large eggs
1 T vanilla
1 cup nuts
Spray pan with non-stick spray (I used the baking spray with flour). Whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.
Melt butter and chocolate and stir until smooth. I did mine in a large bowl in the microwave. Gradually whisk in sugar and add eggs one at a time and whisk until incorporated. Add vanilla. Add flour mixture gradually. The batter gets pretty stiff so I switched to a wooden spoon. Add nuts.
Put batter in pan and spread evenly. Pour half of the glaze on top and spread around kind of swirling in the batter. Don't put in all the way in but make sure you don't leave any puddles of glaze on top.
Bake 325 for 35 minutes. After it is completely cool reheat the rest of the glaze and pour on top. Spread it evenly on top of brownies. Cut and enjoy.
These are so totally sinful, there are no words to describe them. I hope you try them!!
Bon Appetit!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Young Friends Going Away Cake

I work in a Physical Therapy Clinic and we have young school kids (I should say adults) work as Physical Therapy Aides. Ben goes to school in Ohio but works here during the summers. This is my first summer working with him since I just started my job in May and I thoroughly enjoyed working with him. He is a wonderful young man whom I shall miss very much. I asked him if I pouted or cried if he would stay but it didn't do any good. The picture is what was left after everyone enjoyed it. I had to bring home some for my daughter or ELSE!!

The recipe was one of Paula Deens but there are lots of versions of the Better Than Sex cake around on All Recipes and other sites. She also has a chocolate version in one of her cookbooks. I'm not a real Paula fan but some of her recipes are ok if you can get past all the butter!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Vintage Aprons and Dishes

I found the aprons at a flea market and added them to my collection. I'll have to get out the rest of them some day and take pictures. I have a couple that my Grandmother wore.
I love the dancing lady. She must be having fun cooking!!

The pockets of these two are so unusual I couldn't resist.
The back three are not a set but they could go together. The tallest is a salt shaker, I'd sure love to have the pepper shaker. Wonder where it went. I also bought a new teacup but put it away before I took a picture. I need to put all my teacups out and show you my teacup collection someday. I love drinking my tea from a pretty cup. It makes it seem kind of special. The plate was an unusual shape. It would be easy to hang. I hope you like my latest finds. I was planning on going to Longmont this weekend to an antique show but I think it's not going to happen so I'm disappointed.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Little Entertainment

I just received this link from a friend and it is too good not to share. So just a very short post to share and wish you all a wonderful evening.