March 30, 2009

Vegetable Samosa Tarts

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I still don't have much of an appetite, but certain things I feel like I can eat....and this is one! I hope I keep this loss of appetite up enough to lose another 10 pounds! lol

Now, don't worry, I am not doing too much. I'm not doing a whole lot at all. Actually, besides taking a few photos from HS and snapping pics of them to load up on facebook, this was all I did today....besides rest. A girl does have to eat you know!

For Taste & Create I was paired up with Arundathi of My Food Blog. She has so many recipes I want to try! She has made so many breads and it inspires me to want to make my own as soon as I can! I did make her Dutch Babies, but did so under the influence of pain meds and forgot to add the milk. Needless to say, that was a flop. Other recipes of hers that have caught my eye are her Jalapeno Pretzels, Nutella Brownies and Pesto and Garlic Bread!

I call these Vegetable Samosa Tarts. The recipe can be found on Arundathi's post. She had made samosas but also made tarts with what was left of her dough. I had to do a little improvising because I didn't have the mango powder (used garam masala, curry, cumin, ginger to my taste) and I only could find frozen peas & carrots in the fridge. I served these with the Tomato Chutney one of our Indian students made for me (and I totally love!!!). I went with the tarts to save myself too much arm work in rolling dough. It was easier to take a ball of dough, drop it in the tart pan and use my little pampered chef tart shaper to make a tart. Little effort at all!

Thanks again to Nicole of Taste & Create for hosting this awesome event. It is one I hope to always participate in!

March 29, 2009

Skillet Potatoes with Bacon and Cheese

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Here I am and right this minute, I'm feeling pretty darn good! LOL. Thanks to my friends the muscle relaxer and pain pills. ;o) Actually, I am feeling better. I know I have a few more weeks to go before I am going to be considered "ok" to go back to work, but right now, I'm pretty happy and optimistic!

Thank you to everyone for your prayers, thoughts, and well wishes. Emotionally and physically I have been drained. I felt like I was bearing a burden I didn't know how to continue to bear. We are still waiting for answers to Grumpy's health issues, but with me starting to feel better and more myself, I will be able to deal with his issues with him better than if I were in so much pain still.

I was so touched by so many messages I received and they all were greatly appreciated. Just yesterday afternoon, Grumpy came in the house and said to me, "Who do you know in the Netherlands?" LOL. I immediately knew I must have received a card from Marthe of Culinary Delights. Marthe is one awesome woman. She is so thoughtful and kind and someday will make some young man a very lucky man. Not only did Marthe send me a get well card, but she sends me one with the most adorable little kitten on it. This young girl, who lives so far away, seems to know what I like so well without even meeting me in person! Thank you Marthe!

I especially want to thank my son Justin for coming on here with his adorable post (and must I say it made me smile so big to see him say what he did!) to let you all know I made it through my surgery. I'm sure if I asked him or Kristina (or even Christopher for that matter!) to post something for me, they would have done it! Even if Justin would have had to post something "box made." lol

I haven't had much of an appetite. The surgery was done through my throat. I had to have a tube down my throat, and they also had to move my esophagus aside to get to my spine. It really is a scary procedure when you think about where they go through to get to what they need to do. BUT, I was in the most capable hands in Northern New York and he did an awesome job. I was actually only in the hospital one night. The hardest part has been the nausea from the anesthesia and the drugs. I'm not complaining about the weight I have lost from it! I do think that he should have considered a "chin lift" while he was at it though. hehe.

Right before I went into the hospital I received the Kraft Food & Family magazine. I had seen a recipe for skillet potatoes with cheese and bacon. I knew I would be making that dish as soon as I was up to it....and last night was the night. This is a very simple dish and of course, it is has bacon! and cheese! How could it not be yummy? If your not a meat eater, you could substitute the Morning Star Farms Bacon Strips (which I think are just as yummy and better for you than the real thing).

Skillet Potatoes with Bacon & Cheese
adapted from Kraft Food & Family

5 medium sized red skinned potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
5 slices thick sliced bacon
1 medium onion
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste

Fry bacon until crisp, remove from pan and set aside. Remove all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat from pan. Add chopped onion and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add layers of sliced potato. Season to taste, cover, and cook until potatoes are tender. Approximately 20 minutes. Stir 2-3 times during cooking time. When done, turn off heat, sprinkle cheese over potatoes, then sprinkle bacon. Let sit for about 5 minutes then serve!

March 25, 2009

HoneyB Lives! Also it's my debut post!

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Greetings fellow followers of HoneyB and her amazing cooking blog. I am making my debut post today on behalf of my wonderful mom (I am the older son) to tell you all of the good news! HoneyB survived her surgery and is recovering quite well! Not that we were lead to believe the case could end up otherwise.

I was speaking with her on the phone not even an hour ago and she was telling me that she was headed home from the hospital and was already feeling better than she was when she went in. Which is great news to hear considering her state before it happened. She has asked me to post this update for all of you readers and so here I am. Sadly I have very few cooking skills myself so I will have to keep the post short today.

Also due to her surgery blogging may slow down for a bit possibly, or even speed up since she is going to be home for so long from work. Depending on doctor's orders and how well she is feeling I am sure will have a lot to do with it.

Anywho that is all news I have for today! Lets hope the recovery goes smoothly, and lets hope that I don't have to fill in to help with the cooking posts. Box made foods are definitely not as appetizing as the stuff you see here daily. ;)


March 24, 2009

Tuesdays and cake and Dorie Greenspan

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It's Monday and as I write this post I am not sure what things will be like for me after today with my blogging. I'm not sure how I will feel or how soon I will get back into the swing of things after Tuesday - which is the day of my surgery. This could be my last Tuesday with Dorie post for a few weeks. A lot will depend on my recovery.

The pick this week was made by Sihan of Befuddlement and the pick was Blueberry Crumb Cake on pages 192-193 of Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From my home to yours cookbook. You can view the recipe by checking out Sihan's blog.

What to say about this recipe? Well, first of all, I didn't use blueberries. I decided on Raspberries since I had recently made a blueberry coffeecake. My thoughts about this was that it turned out beautiful, had great crumb, was moist....but I just didn't care for the flavor. Neither did everyone at work benefited - and the consensus there was that it was great. Guess it was just Grumpy and myself who didn't care fo it. We liked the last coffeecake I made better.

If your interested on the rest of the TWD takes on this coffee cake, please check out our blogroll!

March 21, 2009

Magically Delicious!

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Nope. I'm not talking about Lucky Charms! ;o) I'm talking about Magic Pudding Dessert. I'm not sure if that is what it is called or not, but its what I'm calling it! I know this originates as a Weight Watcher Recipe from Aimee's Adventure but I don't have points or calorie listing. Also, I don't see where that website is up and running anymore, but I don't think it would be too hard to figure out!

The kids were coming to see me yesterday to visit with me before I take off to have my surgery (which is tomorrow morning). I wanted to have something here we could eat without going to a lot of work. My energy level is really low! Everyone likes this dish, but Grumpy really likes this dish! I guess it is because it is mostly convenience food. lol

Magic Pudding Dessert

1 (1.4 oz) package sugar free chocolate instant pudding
2 cups skim milk
32 fat free saltine crackers
1 (8 oz) container fat free cool whip

Mix instant pudding and milk together. Place 16 crackers in bottom of 8x8 pan. Pour half the pudding mixture on top of crackers, spreading evenly. Place the other 16 crackers on top of pudding, and then pour the other half of the pudding mixture on top of the last set of crackers. Top with the whole container of cool whip. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. The "magic" part - after the dessert sits long enough, the crackers taste exactly like a thin layer of either phyllo or pie crust! Serves 6.

The show, blogging buddies, and food!

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In my last post I said I was going to watch my cousin in his show "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee". What an AWESOME show it was! I could watch him perform over and over again. The boy can act and that boy CAN sing! Someday that boy is going to be well known!

My friend Theresa and I headed down to Utica, NY on Tuesday afternoon for the event. When we arrived there I gave Ryan a call to let him know we were there. He said he was walking back to the hotel so after we checked in, to give him another call and let us know what our room number was and he would come to see us. We had just checked in and were walking to the elevator when he walked into the hotel! Ryan took our room number and said he would be up in about 5 minutes. We spent some time talking about the show and different places he had been on tour. He was so attentative to us (for a young one! lol). Not long after we arrived his mom, my Aunt Ann arrived. We talked a bit more, then Ryan took us on up for a walk to the theater. By this time, his brother Greg arrived with more friends and family members! It was nice to spend time with family that I don't see often and I was looking forward to more than just the show that evening!

Aunt Ann (Ryan's mom), HoneyB, Ryan

We had dinner with my aunt and her friend at the hotel, then right after dinner I went to the lobby to wait for Linda who writes Weekend Cook. Linda and her mom were going to see the show also! We met in the lobby, had a chance to visit a little, then we all headed up to the theater to get our seats from Ryan. After the show, Ryan agreed to a photo with Linda, her mom, myself and his mom!

Linda's mom, Linda (Weekend Cook), Ryan, HoneyB, Aunt Ann

The show was great. They involved members of the audience in the show and did some ad-libbing of their lines - and the show had us all laughing for almost the entire show! Ryan, as Leaf Coneybear did a great job, as did all his fellow cast mates in their roles!

Group pic after the show at the party

Although this is a tough time to be away from home right now, I am glad I went and wouldn't have missed it for anything. I've already been on the phone with some people telling them when the show gets to Syracuse, NY they need to GO! If any of my readers are interested, the remainder of the schedule can still be seen by clicking here and then clicking the "on tour" button on the bottom right hand corner of the page. If you do go, give me a shout out and let me know!

Now, onto the food!
I haven't been cooking a whole lot as of late, and it looks like it will be this way for a few weeks as my neck surgery has been scheduled for next Tuesday. I know, that was fast. I won't go into the details it took to get there that fast but I am grateful that I have relief in site much sooner than I thought. My son Justin has access to blog here and I will have him come in to let you know how things went so you don't sit there wondering (as if you have nothing better to do!) about me for days. ;o)

Although yesterday I didn't have a lot of energy (which has been the case as of late), I decided I needed to get off my duff and make Grumpy a "real meal". He loves spaghetti, so I decided that since we both need to eat healthier, I would make a recipe for turkey meatballs I found on The Food Network. I knew I was taking a chance here because it wasn't "beef". In any case, I didn't tell Grumpy that it was turkey, just served it up and let him eat. After dinner I asked him if he liked it and his response was yes, it was good! LOL. That was when I said the meatballs were turkey and I wasn't sure what he was going to think. Chalk one up for HoneyB! Now to just get him to eat mom's vegetarian meatball recipe and love it! The day will come.....I hope!

For the meatball recipe, you can click here. I opted to use Prego spaghetti sauce instead of making Giada's recipe (this time anyway!). I didn't make any changes to the meatball recipe itself, it is great as is!

March 16, 2009

Today is TWD and the Spelling Bee!

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Today's Tuesday with Dorie was chosen by Liliana of My Cookbook Addiction- her choice was French Yogurt Cake with Marmalade Glaze on pages 224-225. I didn't have the marmalade, but I had some POM Wonderful that had been sent to me to try out and I had been dying to figure out how to use it (other than a pork chop recipe that I will be posting very soon!). The cake was only ok to me, but Grumpy seemed to really like it (meaning he has been helping himself to the cake! lol)

Other than the glaze, the only ingredient I used different was pecan meal instead of almonds (because that is what I had). Although it wasn't my favorite cake, it wasn't terrible. The cake alone was pretty sweet to me and so my addition of a thick sweet frosting wasn't my cup of tea - but the frosting would certainly go great on perhaps a chocolate bundt cake! To check out other TWD participants this week, be sure to go to our blogroll!

The recipe for the glaze (for those interested!)

POM Wonderful Cake Glaze

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup POM Wonderful juice
Approximately 2 cups of confectioner's sugar

Stir together butter and POM juice. Add confectioner's sugar and mix well. Add more sugar or POM to obtain consistency desired.

Its that easy!

In my title I mentioned the Spelling Bee! I have had my cousin Ryan's blog on the sidebar since his tour began and today is the day I get to see him in his show! I'm really excited because not only am I going to get to see Ryan perform, but I am also going to get to meet Linda, of the Weekend Cook who is also going to the show! Hopefully I'll have some great photos to show you all after the show!

March 15, 2009

Crab Rangoon

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Crab RangoonOne of our favorite treats at the Chinese place always has been Crab Rangoon. BUT we never eat out there anymore. I decided to make my own last summer for the first time - but went "healthy" with it and baked them - they just didn't turn out that good. So, the next time I made them I decided I would fry them. Oh yeah. That was much better!

I'm pretty proud of myself. I've accomplished a few Chinese meals that have turned out pretty well as of late and our favorite so far is the Walnut Shrimp. Yummy! Yeah, that dish is Grumpy's favorite also.

I have seen recipes all over the place for the Crab Rangoon, but I decided to make it my own way. The first place I ever had Crab Rangoon was at the Hyvee grocery in Cedar Rapids. I loved those - they were the best I have ever had....and there was a bit of sweetness to the filling. So, I tried to replicate them (just smaller).

Other wonton recipes you may enjoy!
Cantonese Wonton Noodle Soup and Scallion pancakes - What's on the list
Wonton Jalapeno Poppers - CopyKat Recipes

HoneyB's Crab Rangoon

4 ounces Crab Leg (imitation) cut into small pieces
6 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese
3-4 shakes Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 green onions (white parts only) diced
couple shakes of garlic powder
wonton wrappers

Mix crab meat, cream cheese, worcestershire sauce, sugar, green onion and garlic powder til well combined.

Lay wonton wrapper on counter, place approximately 1 tablespoon filling. Seal wontons according to package directions. Keep covered with damp paper towel (the filled wontons and the unfilled ones) to prevent from drying out during prep.

Fry in hot oil until browned.

March 14, 2009

I finally did it!!

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Over my Christmas break I saw posts by Jessie of The Hungry Mouse and Cory of Zesty Cook on making biscuits. I always looked at Baking Powder Biscuits made by others with true envy. I cannot tell you how many times I have tried and tried to make biscuits from scratch and never had them turn out.....and it certainly wasn't because I didn't know what I was doing! I had read everything possible I could find on why I couldn't get nice, fluffy, big ole biscuits like my mom makes.

Now, don't laugh when I tell you this. (well, ok, you can laugh, but don't let me hear ya! haha). I used to work at McDonalds as a swing manager years ago. Back when their biscuits first came out - and I was a pro at making those! It was easy, it was just a mix. One thing I learned there was you do not overwork the dough. Those were some good biscuits. Buttery, salty, crisp edges, yummy and fattening!

I also always loved my biscuit with bacon and no egg! Yeah, I'm just not an egg person. Not as in eating an egg, or anything too eggy. Kind of makes my tummy not too happy. BUT, I'm not against making an egg for someone else to eat! Or adding cheese! :o)

My recipe varies from Jessie's and Cory's - so I will leave you with how I made my biscuits this morning. Feel free to check their recipes out also though! Their biscuits are what inspired me to want to get off my duff and finally make my own!

HoneyB's Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
5 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425F. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Cut shortening into the flour mixture with a pastry blender until the mixture forms coarse crumbs.
Add buttermilk, tossing with a fork, until dough holds together.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and form into a disk. Knead lightly just a few times until smooth.
Pat dough to a 3/4-inch thickness. Using a biscuit cutter or glass dipped in flour, cut out biscuits. Place biscuits about 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Gather the trimmings and repeat forming and cutting.
Bake about 12 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. This made me about 7 good sized biscuits.

March 13, 2009

NY works

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Before I talk about my recipe today I have something else I want to talk about. A few of my close friends are aware that I have been in a lot of pain as of late and finally I have a diagnosis and a solution (I hope). I have a herniated disc (and a bulging one just above that) in my cervical spine. I am going to be having surgery in just a couple of weeks that will hopefully make me 100% better. My blogging has slowed a bit but I don't intend to stop until I have to. Three things I want to say.

  1. Blogging does not take that much time. It is my hobby. Some people watch tv at night. I blog. Nothing wrong with that.
  2. Just because I have a health issue that involves my spine does not mean I STOP LIVING and STOP EATING. As a matter of fact, baking a cake is easier for me than sitting in the same position at my desk all day, filing in files that I have to bend (and go numb) to put away, answer the phone (which is easier now that my headset is FINALLY fixed), and sit in a chair using the computer 7 hours in the day, every day, 5 days a week. Believe me, THAT is what causes my muscles to tighten and hurt me worse!
  3. Just because you cannot see my pain does not mean I am not in pain.
I apologize for getting on that soap box, but I wanted to have my say. You know the saying, older/bolder...and I am just that. LOL I'm going to stick up for myself. If I don't, who will? Well, I know my co-worker Sue will. The poor woman sees and hears me everyday. God bless her soul, she is a SAINT.

In any case, I will be probably not so visual out here as I try to rest and heal. Know I haven't forgotten any of my reader/commenters. I will be here when I can and support you as you support me!

Now on to the PoRk!

Grumpy's meat of choice is always beef or pork. Of course, I'm always challenged by this because I just never really cooked either of them much before him. Pork was non existent in my home growing up. Beef was just never my favorite. I always liked Chicken when I did eat meat. You can call me weird if you want, but my favorite protein source is tofu.

I grabbed some chops on my way home yesterday and when I got home I did a quick search on recipes and came up with a recipe from Simply Recipes. I am always attracted to maple syrup sauces when it comes to pork. I just think pork goes well with sweet sauces. Well, the title of the recipe is Vermont Maple Syrup Pork chops. I don't have Vermont syrup....but I do have NY made syrup (made by my cousin's family!) and it is awesome! Hence my title....NY Works.

This was a great recipe - slightly sweet, with a little heat....just enough to make your lips tingle.
For the recipe, you can check out the blog post by clicking HERE. I followed her recipe with no changes. Just NY made syrup. ;o)

March 11, 2009

Classic Two-Cheese Macaroni

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I love macaroni and cheese. Of the homemade variety. Like this one I made last December. Yes, it really has been since the beginning of December since I've made Macaroni and Cheese. Grumpy just doesn't like my all sharp cheddar mac & cheese dish - but I totally love it (so do my kids and everyone else I know!). Grumpy grew up on the boxed stuff. I just cannot eat it.

When he wants me to buy mac and cheese in a box for him, he want's the Velveeta Shells & Cheese Original. I just have one question. What on earth is wrong with my Grumpy when it comes to Mac & Cheese!!?! Sigh.

So, because I wanted mac & cheese, and because while browsing through my Best of Cooking Light cookbook I saw a recipe that actually called for Velveeta, I decided to try this recipe. It didn't call for the bread crumbs (or crushed cracker topping like mom always did) and I was a little worried I wouldn't be happy with it. But, it turned out great even without my breaded topping.

Classic Two-Cheese Macaroni
The Best of Cooking Light, page 123

1/4 cup flour
2-1/2 cups 1% milk
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided
6 ounces light processed cheese (such as Velveeta Light), cubed
6 cups hot cooked elbow macaroni (about 3 cups uncooked)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry m easuring cup, level with a knife. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat; add flour. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook until thick (about 8 minutes), stirring frequently. Stir in 2/3 cup cheddar cheese and processed cheese, and cook 3 minutes or until cheese melt, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, stir in macaroni and salt.

Spoon into a 2 quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheddar cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Yield: 9 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup)

Calories: 260
Fat: 7.5 grams
Fiber: 1.3 grams
WW Points: 6

March 10, 2009

Swag Bars

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Make sure you read to the end of my post for a special offer from Zesty Cook!
There is no TWD for me today. Although I love lemons, my tummy doesn't settle well with anything real eggy. To see the recipe for today's choice (which was Lemon Custard Cups), visit Bridget of The Way the Cookie Crumbles. To view other TWD participants, you can check out our blogroll. I'll be back next week however with the French Yogurt Cake with Marmalade glaze!

In the Jan/Feb 09 Cooking Light magazine I found this recipe for "Swag Bars". I've eyed the recipe for a while now and finally decided to just go ahead and make it. Didn't take much to make - a very quick an easy recipe, full of protein, lower calorie, and something Grumpy or I could grab last weekend when needing an energy boost.

As the plate above indicates....we did enjoy this bar! It is a nice treat to have around in place of a store bought granola bar in the morning or for a snack in the afternoon to kill the munchies before dinner! Grumpy certainly liked them. He's ate quite a few throughout the day on Sunday!

Swag Bars
Cooking Light

1 3/4 cups creamy peanut butter (I used reduced-fat peanut butter)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup light-colored corn syrup
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) chopped lightly salted, dry-roasted peanuts
3 1/2 cups (4 ounces) whole-grain flaked cereal (such as Total), finely crushed (I used cornflakes, so it wasn't whole-grain cereal, but it was what I had!)
Cooking spray
1/3 cup (2 ounces) chopped dark chocolate chips

Combine first 3 ingredients in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook 4 minutes or just until mixture begins to boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in peanuts and cereal. Spread mixture evenly into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray.

Place the dark chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until chocolate melts, stirring every 20 seconds. Drizzle chocolate evenly over peanut mixture. Score into 36 bars while warm. (I cute mine into a little bit bigger bars).

My friend Cory of has a great offer for you! He has a free E-Book offer for those who wish to subscribe to his blog via email or RSS and you can get this book that has been compiled by Zesty and many of his other blogging friends! Check his site out by clicking here!

March 09, 2009

Kristina's Cake

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This cake was specially made for my DIL Kristina's birthday. Kristina had mentioned to me quite some time ago that she wanted a coconut cake. So, in my search for coconut cakes I found this one from Cooking Light.

The frosting is a fluffy meringue flavored with vanilla and coconut extracts (like my Nanny would make for my mayonnaise cake ~without the coconut extract!). The cake is topped with coconut between layers and on the top of the cake.

The butterfly cake dome? That was a gift to Grumpy and I when we were married - from Kristina! We also got a beautiful butterfly salad bowl to match. I love how springy the cake looks in the bright light with colorful butterflies and the white frosting!

Yeah, I did get a little photo happy. I didn't get photos of the inside of the cake because I sent it home with Justin and Kristina. If they happened to get a photo, I'll drop back by this post later and add the sliced pic.

Double Coconut Cake
Cooking Light, December 2001

Cooking spray
1 tablespoon cake flour
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour * (see note)
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Fluffy Coconut Frosting * (see below)
2/3 cup coconut

Preheat oven to 350°.

Coat 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour.

Combine 2 1/4 cups flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (for about 5 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in vanilla.

Pour batter into prepared pans. Sharply tap the pans once on countertop to remove air bubbles. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes on wire racks, and remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.

Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1 cup Fluffy Coconut Frosting. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup coconut. Top with remaining cake layer; spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle 1/3 cup coconut over top of cake. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.

(Totals include Fluffy Coconut Frosting.)

*NOTE: If you do not have cake flour you can substitute all purpose flour. For every cup of all purpose flour you use, remove 2 tablespoons.

Yield: 14 Servings

WW Points: 7

*Fluffy Coconut Frosting

4 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Dash of salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract (I did not have coconut extract on hand so I went with all vanilla)

Place egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 238°. Pour hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over egg whites, beating at high speed. Stir in extracts.

March 08, 2009

Oven Roasted Red Potatoes and Asparagus

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One of my friends mentioned this recipe from and I immediately knew I was going to try it. I love potatoes and I love asparagus and I love them both roasting them together was definitely going to be delicious - not to mention the color was going to be great!

To Grumpy this was "ok" but to me it was awesome! I think his reaction was because of the herbs that were mixed in the dish. I did cut them down quite a bit knowing he might not care for the "herbiness" of the recipe. However, I just couldn't get enough. As a matter of fact, I had leftovers for two days all to mysel! :o)

What really made this dish special to me was one of the Grad students brought in some tomato chutney for me that he had made (Thanks Rajiv!) and I topped the leftovers off with the chutney - delish! I don't have the chutney recipe, but I will get Rajiv to do this for me one day (I hope!) so I can blog about it.

Oven Roasted Red Potatoes and Asparagus
Modified from

1-1/2 pounds red potatoes, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoons dried thyme
1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
sea salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

In a large baking dish, toss the red potatoes with 1/2 the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and 1/2 the kosher salt. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven. Mix in the asparagus, remaining olive oil, and remaining salt. Cover, and continue cooking 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Remove foil, and continue cooking 5 to 10 minutes. Season with pepper to serve.

March 07, 2009

To Wren with Love

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My heart is heavy this morning for someone I never met in person.

This morning I read on Megan's Munchies that crminks from StumbleUpon has passed. In a short time I came to know this lady quite well as we had a few things in common. I enjoyed the sweet stumbles she would send me as she knew some of my trials and tribulations also. I am so very saddened by her loss. I dedicate today's post to Wren.

Her last message to me in which I knew I may not hear from her again:

crminks Ever so patient, you. (kiss!) I am of delay in posting of friends, and of talents worthy. Such being you, both. But, ever so paitent you. Soon, I am of a nasty, so, just in case, let me of this: My love, it's been a sincere pleasure, indeed. Cheeres, ~Wren.

She then sent me another message in reference to the Blood Orange Tart I had posted:

crminks ...Oh, and, could there be a more sensual recipe? I think not!

She had an awesome sense of humor as in this post to me:

crminks Honey! Just because you weren't satisfied with your bolognese sauce doesn't mean you have to throw it to the dogs! No, wait... Hey, they really like it! CALL PURINA!!

She was very caring and thoughtful as she sent me this post when I told her it was Grumpy's birthday the next day - and was feeling some physical pain of my own she sent me this message with a the beautiful photo at the beginning of my post:

crminks Really, tomorrow? Tell him he has near twin. My birthday is today. Marvelous, us, we Aquarians! Eh? Please plant a cheek smashing kiss upon his cheek, from fellow birthday celebrator. ...Just, don't tell him this is from anyone but you! ...And, tell that arm to behave! Wren orders this to be so! Hah!

She made me laugh hysterically when she sent me this message in reference to Grumpy's Birthday post:

crminks Brava, you! Congrats to the OLD geezer! ...bwahahahaha!

My heart is so sad. I only hope she knows the joy and smiles she would bring me on a regular basis and she will be missed immensely. God speed my friend and it was a pleasure to know you. Hugs and Kisses (as she would many times end her messages to me).

edit: crminks discovered my blog and is the one who put me on StumbleUpon. I will be forever grateful for this.

March 06, 2009

Clam Chowder

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The weather here can be so touchy. It can be almost 40 degrees one day, and then zero (or even below) the next! When it's cold I want something to warm me up like soup! Grumpy has been fighting off a sore throat and since I hadn't made clam chowder in a long time, I figured it was time to make it!

I used regular half an half in my recipe this time, but fat free half and half works just as well. Grumpy loved this soup - the flavor was great and I contribute that to the fact that I sprinkle some Old Bay seasoning in the soup for flavor!


Clam Chowder
HoneyB's Way

4 slices bacon, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalks celery, chopped
Old Bay Seasoning (1 tsp. or to taste)
2 cups diced potatoes
1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cans (approximately 7 ounces each) minced clams
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup skim milk

Cook bacon until crisp in a Dutch oven or large, heavy saucepan. Remove bacon to paper towels; drain. Remove most of the bacon grease from pan. Add onion and celery to bacon drippings; saute until softened. Add Old Bay Seasoning and cook and stir another minute. Add potatoes and clam juice, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat. Add minced clams with their liquid. Whisk flour into milk; add to chowder with half-and-half. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until clam chowder thickens and bubbles, or about 3 minutes.

March 05, 2009

It's her birthday....

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The most special a girl can be in my life. The girl who has earned a special place in my heart and in my family.

The girl with a happy face that will put up with my son's silly actions. ;) The girl that has it all together.

The girl who fell in love with my son and married him last summer. Happy Birthday Kristina! I hope you have a wonderful day and know you are in my thoughts! I love you and I will see you soon!!
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