Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Apples, Apples and More Apples

Hello everyone and thank you so much for entering my giveaway. I decided to do this on a spur of the moment (which is me!!) when I was buying me some honey. I like to have extra for winter months when there is no markets so I buy extra. I'm already sad...4 more Saturdays!! Then what will I do? I have decided to add another Colorado goodie to the giveaway but I'm keeping it for a surprise!!
This week is the last Paris Flea Market too!! Jan told me to be sure and bring my camera and laundry baskets to this one. I can hardly wait to see what she has to show us.
Now for the Apple scones. I got the recipe here and it is the best scone recipe I've tried. It was on the 9/21 post so you have to scroll down a bit. Eileen has lots of wonderful recipes so be prepared to print out more than this one.

I received my new Cottage Living magazine and found this recipe for Caramel Apple Upside Down Olive Oil Cake and had to try it. I was very pleased. It says to serve it warm and it is best then. Leftovers are OK but it's much better the same day.

Picture is from the magazine....much prettier than mine.
I think mine looks yummy too!!
It calls for a 10" cast iron skillet and mine is 10 5/8". I think next time I will had an extra apple. The cake rose up really high so if you use a 10" you might want to put something under it.
A nice dollop if whipped cream and dig in!! I tried to find the recipe on their website but couldn't so I hope they don't get mad. And if so....too bad. I'm sharing.
Caramel Apple Upside Down Olive Oil Cake
1/2 c unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar divided
3 granny smith apples, peeled and quartered (I used tart apples from the market)
5 large eggs separated
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 c cake flour
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
Heat oven 350. Melt butter over low heat in a 10 inch 2 inch deep cast iron skillet. Stir in 3/4 c sugar, combining well. Arrange apple quarters in skillet and increase heat to medium and cook without stirring 15-20 minutes until sugar turns golden.
Beat egg yolks and 1/2 c sugar in a large bowl of an electric mixer at high speed for 3 minutes until thick and pale. Reduce speed to medium and slowly add olive oil and vanilla until well combined. Remove from mixer and stir in flour just to combine.
Place egg whites and 1/2 tsp sea salt in a separate large bowl of electric mixer and beat at medium speed until frothy. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until soft peaks form.
Fold one-third of the egg whites gently into the yolk mixture. Fold in remaining whites, being careful not to over mix. Pour batter into skillet with apples. Bake 350 for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool cake about 5 minutes then run knife around edges to loosen. Invert onto a large platter and if desired sprinkle with 1/4 tsp sea salt over the apples and caramel. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Colorado Honey Giveaway

When I was at the market this morning, I decided to share my Colorado Honey with all of you. So anyone leaving a comment on this post will be entered. I will draw a name next weekend. Well lets pick a day..how about Saturday October 4th. The lucky winner will get a jar of honey, some honey sticks and a jar of strawberry creamed honey. I use the honey sticks for my tea and I bought my 2 favorite flavors for you, Orange Blossom and Lemon. The lemon is nice in the winter when you have the sniffles.

Being MIA for a week is very bad I've decided. I've received 2 awards and didn't know until last night....very very bad me!! This lovely award is from Bebe at Peaches and Cream. Thank you so very much.

Rules for this award are:
1. There are only five people allowed.
2. Four have to be dedicated followers of your blog.
3. One has to be a new follower of your blog, or live in another part of the world.
4. You must link back to the one that gave you this award.

OK here goes.
2. Connie at Casa Maria
3. Diane at Crafty Passions
4. Nola at Alamo North
5. My new favorite Mama Lalla
Mama Lalla is The Linen Cupboards "MA" who just started her blog so hop on over and say hello. She lives in Africa and promises pictures. Can you imagine?
The wonderful award is from my lovely friend Debbie at Debbie's English Treasures. Thank you and I'm so glad you are back.

I have to choose 7 Loyal commenter's to my blog:
1. Deb at Garage Sale Gal
2. Crystal at Fairbees
3. Brenda at Brenda Blog
4. Lynn at The Vintage Nest
5. Penny at Sew and Take
6. Cheryl at Cher Decor
7. Lydia at Lydia's Organic Gardening

There are so many of my favorites and loyal visitors it is hard to pick just a few. I try to choose different ones for each award. You are all my favorites and I love you all.

It's Nola's Birthday!!

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday Dear Nola!!
Happy Birthday to you!
Today is Nola's at Alamo North birthday so hop on over and wish her a happy day!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

New Gadgets and Potato Recipe

Good grief I didn't realize I've been MIA until I signed on tonight and realized I haven't posted all week. Truth be told I haven't visited many blogs and went two days without even turning on the computer. I guess I'll be busy this weekend catching up or at least trying.
I was shopping for a new mattress and having it delivered. I had to clean my room and vacuum really well. Didn't want the delivery men to think I was a slob!! I don't sleep well because of my back and hopefully this new wonderful mattress is going to help. It has extra support for my lumbar which is wonderful. I slept until 3:30 last night. I'm usually up by 1:00 or 2:00 and then toss and turn all night.
I've been playing with my new gadgets this week too. This potato recipe is from the Two Fat Ladies. Does anyone remember them? They used to have a show on the Food Network. I didn't watch them very often but they were so funny and always made me laugh. I think one of them died several years ago and I'm not sure if the other one is living or not. I think I'll try to find out now.
The recipe is so easy and it was very good. I put ribs in the crock pot and made these to go with. The ribs were a no brainer...brown ribs, put in crock pot pour barbecue sauce over and cook all day. I didn't even make my sauce, just poured it from a bottle. Like I said EASY!!!

Potatoes a la Two Fat Ladies
2-3 medium potatoes
2 T each chopped fresh parsley
basil, rosemary, thyme and chives
5 cloves garlic (it is really garlicky so if you aren't a garlic fan I'd cut it)
2-3 T olive oil
1/4 cup chicken broth
Peel and thinly slice potatoes. Finely chop garlic and herbs. Layer potatoes, sprinkle with herbs, a bit of garlic, salt/pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil. Repeat layers. Pour stock over all, cover with foil and bake at 400 for 30 minutes, uncover and bake another 30 minutes until brown and crisp.

This is one of my new gadgets. It was the Williams Sonoma gadget of the month. It works really well and it's fun too. You put the food in the bowl and pull that green ring on top several times. Below is the garlic that took a few seconds to mince.
These are the herbs that took no time at all. See my cute little spatula? It's tiny so it's nice for small bowls or jars. It even has a little snowflake.
This is my dough whisk. I've only used it a couple of times but I was sold the first time I used it. I use the dough hook on my Kitchen Aide for bread but for a small batch this works really well. I used it for other batters and it works well too. I ordered it from King Arthur Flour after reading about it at Chocolate and Zucchini.
Isn't it adorable? I love gadgets.
And now for the finale. I had leftovers for dinner and made a lovely salad. I used leaf lettuce, pears, toasted walnut and a little sliced shallot. I made a dressing using sherry vinegar, Dijon and olive oil. Everything was yummy and now I'm going to watch the presidential debate. Are you watching? And then I'm going to see if I can talk Bailey into letting me lay on my new mattress. He thinks I bought it for him. If he disappears I can find him sprawled out in the middle of my bed. Anna on the other hand doesn't like it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Seared Salmon w/Balsamic Glaze

If you love Salmon you need to try this. I ate the whole thing all by myself. My daughter doesn't like Salmon so I try to make it when she isn't home. I've been wanting to try this recipe for awhile but keep forgetting. I went to the Sunflower Market after work last night and picked up the Salmon. It was early yet so I decided to go through my recipes and do something different. And am I glad I did. I'm having this again very soon. I cut this because I was cooking for one. I didn't want you to think I ate 4 servings!! But I probably could have it was so good.
Seared Salmon with Balsamic Glaze

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T plus 1 tsp packed light brown sugar
4 6-oz center cut pieces of salmon fillet with skin
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 t olive oil
Stir together the vinegar, water, lemon juice and brown sugar in a small bowl.
Pat salmon dry and season with salt/pepper. Heat oil in nonstick skillet over moderately high heat. Add salmon skin side up and sear until browned about 4 minutes. Turn over and sear until cooked another 3 minutes or so.
Remove salmon from skillet and add vinegar mixture to skillet. It will bubble a lot. Simmer for a couple minutes, stirring until thickened and reduced. Pour glaze over salmon and enjoy!!
With it I roasted some fingerlings cut into wedges. Added a couple of smashed garlic cloves and a few leaves of Thai Basil. I roasted same all the veggies I do 400 30 minutes or so. Oh and put olive oil over all and mix with hands. Salt/pepper too. I use Kosher Salt and freshly ground pepper for everything. I was going to make rice but I needed to use the potatoes and they were very good with the salmon. I also had some sliced tomatoes that needed eaten. Today was market day and I wanted to get rid of everything.
For tonight I made Corn Chowder and a chocolate zucchini cake. I'm vegging now until dinner time. All I have to do is heat up the chowder and enjoy!!
Thank you all for you lovely comments and for visiting. You make my day!!

Friday, September 19, 2008


This isn't the post I was going to do tonight but I stopped by Debbie at Debbie's English Treasures today and she is taking a break from blogging. Our friend Mandy at The Vintage Kitten was being "stalked" and so she is not accepting comments on her blog. Debbie commented on blogs to support Mandy and she is now getting not so friendly emails. I guess I don't understand why anyone would do that. I read lots of blogs and made lots of friends before I started blogging and in the few months I've been blogging my list has grown. I love all of you and think you are great. I look forward to reading and commenting and even worrying about you when things are tough and life isn't being fair. We have ups and downs in our lives and having the support and friendship of our fellow bloggers means so much to me as I'm sure it means to all of you.
I think that whoever is doing this is so unhappy and miserable that they have to try to make every one's lives unhappy and miserable. Well as far as I'm concerned they can't!!! I hope Mandy and Debbie come back to us. They are wonderful bloggers and friends who make me smile and laugh. Isn't that why we are here?

Blogging to me is somewhere I can be me. I can express myself, complain or tell you something awesome that is happening in my life. I have made some wonderful friends who I may never meet but feel so close too. I love you all and think it is so sad when our friends aren't allowed to express themselves without harrassment.

The picture of Anna and Bailey was taken when they were a lot younger but they look so serene and relaxed I thought it would be a nice picture for this post. I love you Mandy and Debbie and hope you come back to us.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Stationery and Book

I found a wonderful new book with lots of fast and easy projects in it. The patterns are in a pocket in the front of the book. I love these napkins and they are so easy. You get the directions to make the napkins and patterns for the embroidered dandelions. This is only one sample of what is inside.
Aren't they just the cutest?
Now for the stationery. Can you imagine getting a letter written on such beautiful paper? I don't write many letters with email and telephone these days but once in awhile I do. And I'll save it for special friends. This is the box that it came in.
And the page inside that tells you all about the paper. I tried to take a close up so you could read it. Below that is a picture of the whole page showing the different stationery.

Isn't this beautiful. Wouldn't you love getting a letter on such pretty paper?
Below is a close up of each page.

Now for the hard part, who should I write to first?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

And a funner Sunday

Is funner a word? Well it is now and just because I like it. I got up early as usual (oh how I wish I could sleep in) and went to get a few things I needed at the grocery store. We had scrambled eggs with cheese and chives, sliced peaches and bacon for breakfast. I am dreading not having herbs on my patio to clip whenever I want. I haven't started freezing and drying yet but I really need to start. It is going to be 80's this week so I will probably do some next weekend. When the weather is warm and beautiful it makes me put off what I know needs to be done. Friday was cool and rainy and snow over 10,000 feet. When I came home from the market driving West, I could see the snow capped mountains and it was so beautiful...and where was your camera you ask? At home....where else would it be. Geez sometimes I think I should carry it at all times.

Well back to my funner Sunday. I went to Williams Sonoma to get a couple of things and walked in on a cooking seminar. I knew they offered free ones but had never attended one. Well I'm hooked now. I had such fun!! She made an apple pancake which I'll post sometime because I will make one. She also made some sauteed chicken breast, one with a pumpkin curry sauce and the other with a fig sauce. I'm sure the recipes are on their website. All were delicious because we got to sample. YUM!! When she was peeling the apples she said if she had had more than two she would have used the apple peeler and asked if anyone had one. Do you? And if so can you use the stupid thing?

I said I had one and had tried to use it once and gave up. She said I should try it again. Maybe I will. I bought it a couple of years ago when I was making apple butter. All that peeling, slicing, coring would have been so much easier....or so I thought. I got so frustrated I put it away and haven't looked at it until today. I drug it out so I could take a picture of the damn thing. (can you believe I found it? Neither can I.) So if anyone out there has some hints, please let me know. She (not knowing her name I keep saying she) said she loved it, but then I found out her husband used it so maybe it's a guy thing.

I came home and made Brigette's Apple Strudel and did I use it? Hell no!! I'm not posting the recipe because Brigette was kind enough to send it to me. She posted one day about making Strudel and I happened to mention that it sounded really good and I needed to get my recipe out and make some. Brigette kindly offered to send me hers if I would like...well of course!! I must say it is fantastic. The only thing I did differently was make one big one instead of individual ones. I put a nice big scoop of vanilla ice cream on it too!!

I pushed the top crust to the side so you could see how luscious it looked. I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend and found some time to relax.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Fun Saturday

What a fun day this has been. As usual I got up early and went to the Market for my weekly fruits and veggies. I bought pears this week but haven't eaten any yet. I know they are going to be wonderful. I want to make a Pear Galette but I think I'll save that until next week and just eat them the way they are. I'm making an apple strudel tomorrow anyway.
I had lunch with some friends and we went into a jewelry store and browsed afterwards....and dreamed!! It is nice to talk and laugh with friends. We had a wonderful time.
My new Bon Appetit was in the mail yesterday and I fell in love with the cover recipe. It looks so good. It is Texas Beef Brisket Chili with Autumn Squash. My daughter got up this morning and said it looked really good and I should make it. I laughed and said read the ingredients. She does not like squash!!! So when she read the squash part she said Yuck, why can't you substitute potatoes!!! It really sounds good so I may try a different version or let her pick out the squash!!
Doesn't that look divine? Squash and all. But I love squash so it sounds good to me. I just took a pan of 5 layer bars out of the oven. so they are hot and bubbly. They are very easy to make. It is one of Paula Deen's recipes. She drives me crazy to watch but once in awhile I come across one of her recipes that is fairly good. A lady that I used to work with gave me this recipe a couple of years ago.
5-Layer Bars
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 stick melted butter
Mix together and press in 13x9 pan.
Sprinkle with in any order you wish
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sweetened coconut
Pour 1 can sweetened condensed milk over top
Bake 350 for 30 minutes until they get brown and bubbly

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Oatmeal Cookies

I decided to make some Oatmeal Cookies and wanted to try Anna's recipe....so I printed it out and read through all the ingredients and decided I had everything so to the kitchen I went. Well it went downhill from there. I had to put 2 T of dark brown sugar because I didn't have enough light brown sugar, then I didn't have enough cinnamon so added some freshly grated nutmeg. Then...I got to the raisin part and not one raisin could I find. So I added chocolate chips and chopped pecans. I also made normal size cookies instead of the giant ones!! I think it 's not so bad if I eat 4 small cookies, but eating one giant cookie seems like I'm overdoing it. So I kind of made Anna's cookies but added and changed a few things beyond my control. Next time I'll try to do better.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kosher Salt

OK I know that isn't Kosher salt but I'll get to that in a minute. I couldn't resist taking the picture this morning. Anna and Bailey were looking through the patio door really wanting out to play. A squirrel was eating their oat grass that I grow for them. He was really enjoying it too. I was getting ready to go to work when I saw them watching something and when I realized what it was I put everything down and grabbed my camera.
OK now for the Salt. Mandy from The Vintage Kitten wanted to know what Kosher Salt is so I'm showing her what the box looks like we get here. Mandy if you can't find it there, let me know and I'd be happy to send you some. Like I said in my email all the stores carry it here in the baking area with the table salt, etc. I hope this helps.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Potato Au Gratin

This is the Potato recipe I promised and had a few requests for. Thank you all so much for being so nice. This is really an easy recipe. I've seen lots of variations but most of them you have to precook the potatoes or simmer them for awhile. Just make sure you slice these really thin. I use my hand held mandolin. I've also have a big one that is probably safer or at least I haven't sliced a piece of my thumb into the potatoes. (Yet) I actually did with the hand held one. It was not a pretty site. So if using a mandolin, please be careful. This recipe is so easy to adjust. I halved it last weekend but have doubled it for a large crowd.

1 garlic clove
4 large baking potatoes (I've used Yukon Golds too)
freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups whipping cream

Butter a 13X9 pan
Smash a garlic clove and scatter in the bottom of baking dish
Peel potatoes and slice 1/8" thick
Layer in pan sprinkling with salt/pepper and a little freshly grated nutmeg
Pour cream over potatoes and tamper down
Bake 375 for 45 minutes. Tamper the potatoes down a couple of times while baking. Bake until golden brown and potatoes are tender.
If the potatoes are too thick they will take longer and of course they will get really brown without getting tender. The secret is in the thin slices.
I hope you all enjoy and have a wonderful rest of the week.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Flea Market Finds

Do you know what this is? It is an English tea strainer!!! And I love it. I bought it yesterday at the Paris Market I go to once a month. I think it is adorable. I also found a couple of aprons that were a steal so I couldn't pass those us.

This is my favorite. I love the blue and white. I also found this fall looking tablecloth and couldn't resist. Plus the price was right too!! The lady I buy my linens from only comes to a few of the markets so you have to buy when she does. Everything is freshly laundered and ironed. I can't imagine ironing those stacks and stacks of linens. I ironed it this morning and put it on my table. It looks so pretty.

That's all for this month. I told you I was being good!!! Today I am making a big pot of red beans and rice for dinner. All I have to do later is make cornbread and dinner will be ready. With these cool days it's fun to make comfort food. Last night we had meatloaf and au gratin potatoes. I'll have to post the recipe for the potatoes later in the week. They are so easy and delich!!! I also made some oatmeal cookies and I need to go clean up my mess. Martha would not like seeing my kitchen!!
Have a great Sunday!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Happy Fall

I hope everyone had a good week and are finding time to relax over the weekend. I just got home from my favorite flea market that I go to every month. I'll post pictures of my new treasures tomorrow. I must admit I was a good girl and didn't buy half of what I wanted to. There are a couple of big ones coming up and I want to save some money for those. Sooo I had to be good. I did get a couple of lovelies though. I finally got my wreath out last night before I went for my massage....oh was it nice too!! 1 1/2 hours of just laying there being pampered. I always look forward to them. Do you get massages? If not you should really try it, there is nothing better.
I decided to decorate my cake dome this year. I turned it upside down and put cranberries in the middle stand and leaves and acorns around it. I think it looks very pretty. I have a small chest freezer and I think it looks lovely there.
Last weekend when I was making my carrot cake and had leftover pineapple and of course I grated a little too much carrot I decided to do something I don't usually do.
My Grandmother has been on my mind a lot lately. When we were kids she used to make a lot of jello salads and one of my favorites was with pineapple and carrots so I made one in memory of her. She has been gone many many years and I still miss her. Remember the one with red jello and fruit cocktail?
When I was growing up I always wanted to be as good a cook as my Grandma!! No one in my family really cooks so I guess I got some of her genes. The last time I made a meal for her I asked her if I was as good as she was yet and she laughed her silly little laugh and said I was getting pretty good but I needed to practice a little more. She passed away a few months after her Great Great Grandson was born. Jonathan is now 24 and I always wish they could have met. When I told her she was a Great Great Grandmother, she looked at me for a minute and said "Who did that to me" and laughed her silly little laugh. I miss you Grandma!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Carrot Cake and Fall Decorations

Happy Labor Day everyone!! I hope you day is happy and safe. Especially our friends in Gustav's way. I received a message from my friend who lives in New Orleans and she is safe in Dallas. I will call her later today.
I was visiting Penny the other day and she posted about the "best carrot cake you will ever eat" so of course I had to try it and now you do to. It is really really good. Penny made a layer cake but since I had to transport it, I used my 13X9 pan.
Now where is my fork?
I decided to get out my fall flowers for my patio and put the spring/summer ones away. I am sooo ready for fall. I love this time of year with the cooler days and nights. Our leaves aren't changing yet, in fact last weekend when we went on our drive the Aspen were still green. I will take another drive soon so you can see the beautiful Aspen. They are breathtaking. Of course all this means snow is coming too and I'm not quite ready for that. But we have time before I start complaining about that. I actually like the snow because it leaves everything so white and clean and fresh looking.
When I went to Joanne's yesterday I picked up some new flowers to add to my water can. I decided my old ones needed some sprucing up.
I had a summer garland in the hanging plant holder and enjoyed it so I decided to put in some autumn leaves. Looks pretty don't you think? It is in a corner of my patio so live plants don't do too well with no sun.
One of my blogging friends was posting about candy corn a couple of weeks ago and I finally found some. I'll be making something later to show you.
I love my rubber spatulas!! I have spring, fall and winter designs that I get from Sur La Table. I put my spring spatulas away and got out my fall and Halloween designs. I'll have to show you my Halloween designs later. Too cute!!
A couple of blogs were posting about these cute pumpkins from Dollar Tree and when I was driving by one the other day I had to run in and see if they had some waiting for me. ....and guess what? They did. I think they are so cute. I have them sitting on my bookcase now until I decide how I'm going to decorate the house for fall. I have a fall wreath that I put on my fireplace I need to go find. Maybe later this week.
I am making bread this morning that I'll post about later in the week. We are having grilled shrimp and Panzanella salad later today. Some of the bread is for the croutons. A new recipe so I hope it turns out OK. If not, well you'll never hear about my bread!! And then again, you just might. A new recipe for the Panzanella too!!