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November Comes and November Goes...

"November comes and November goes with the last red berries and the first white snows." .....................................

Saturday, October 31, 2015

What's Your Halloween Story?

Do you howl at a witch beside a bubbling cauldron?  Or dance with a scarecrow in an enchanted castle at midnight?


Halloween is the time for all of these things...  but find your special Halloween craziness based on your own birthday here:


I don't know where this came from, but it says the artwork is from www.nikkiburnette.com .


For some reason, I've always liked this, and I pull it out every Halloween.


Maybe it's because I get to dance with a wizard in a pumpkin patch... 'til dawn.  And that sounds like fun!

Daylight Savings Time Ends November 1st, 2015!

Remember to set your clocks BACK!
FALL Back!


Daylight Savings Time Ends November 1, 2015 at 2 a.m.


You and the little ones will have an extra hour to recuperate from all of the Halloween festivities.

Have fun Saturday.  And sleep in Sunday morning!




Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Autumn Tomorrow!

Updated for Fall 2016 HERE!



In 2015, Fall Finally Arrives Wednesday, September 23rd!


When we wake up tomorrow, September 23rd, it will be Autumn in most of the world.

Autumn greets us (or we greet Autumn) on Wednesday, September 23 at 4:20 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, this year, 2015.  That's 3:20 a.m. Central Daylight Time and 1:20 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.  

Just in case you can't quite remember the science of the Autumnal Equinox, which is the time when the sun appears to cross the equator and the days and night are of equal length, here's a primer from Wikipedia:

The September equinox (or Southward equinox) is the moment when the sun appears to cross the celestial equator, heading southward. Due to differences between the calendar year and the tropical year, the September equinox can occur at any time from the 21st to the 24th day of September. 
At the equinox, the sun rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west. Before the Southward equinox, the sun rises and sets more and more to the north, and afterwards, it rises and sets more and more to the south. In the Northern Hemisphere the September equinox is known as the autumnal equinox. In the Southern Hemisphere it is known as the vernal or spring equinox.

And just in case you forgot that the tilt of the Earth is responsible for the seasons, HERE's a good link that explains that whole thing.

September

To me, autumn has always meant the start of school (even though so many kids start school in summer now), tomatoes and zinnias in early September, the last barbecues of summer, many, many birthdays in our family, then, by the end of the month, cooler nights, leaves starting to change colors, chrysanthemums and asters (Michaelmas daisies), and a few more family birthdays.  And overflowing Farmer's Markets.  And football.

October

October is full of beauty, golden and red colors, gourds, squashes, especially pumpkins, haystacks and hayrides, and the last apples straight from the orchards. Then witches, ghosts, goblins and Halloween.

November

November brings Thanksgiving in the United States and the start of the Christmas holiday season.  As a kid, November always seemed just cold and grey, but now that I'm older, I really appreciate the peaceful quality of November.  The gardening is done; the craziness of the Christmas season hasn't yet started, and those empty branches against the deep blue of an early sunset are always stunning.

Apple Cobbler, Soups, Stews, and Meatloaf

I absolutely refuse to turn on the oven when the air conditioning is running, so Autumn means baking, casseroles, breads, soups and stews.  I always promise myself that I will try more new recipes than I actually do, but I'm definitely going to make that wonderful apple cobbler with home-whipped whipped cream that I made almost every year when my son was little.. if I can find the recipe.  And there will definitely be meatloaves and lasagna.  Definitely! 


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Autumn is Coming! 38 Days until the Equinox!

Updated for Fall 2017 HERE!


38 More Days Until Autumn!

Sorry, no credit available.  This came across my Facebook timeline.     
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Autumn is really not that far away...  38 more days! Autumn greets us (or we greet Autumn) on September 23 at 4:20 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, this year, 2015.  That's 3:20 a.m. Central Daylight Time and 1:20 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.  

On these 90+ degree days in August, Autumn, with beautiful bright days and cool nights, is a very welcome thought.  

Just in case you can't quite remember the science of the Autumnal Equinox, which is the time when the sun appears to cross the equator and the days and night are of equal length, here's a primer from Wikipedia:


The September equinox (or Southward equinox) is the moment when the sun appears to cross the celestial equator, heading southward. Due to differences between the calendar year and the tropical year, the September equinox can occur at any time from the 21st to the 24th day of September. 
At the equinox, the sun rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west. Before the Southward equinox, the sun rises and sets more and more to the north, and afterwards, it rises and sets more and more to the south. In the Northern Hemisphere the September equinox is known as the autumnal equinox. In the Southern Hemisphere it is known as the vernal or spring equinox.

And just in case you forgot that the tilt of the Earth is responsible for the seasons, here's a good link that explains that whole thing.

September


To me, autumn has always meant the start of school (even though so many kids start school in summer now), tomatoes and zinnias in early September, the last barbecues of summer, many, many birthdays in our family, then, by the end of the month, cooler nights, leaves starting to change colors, chrysanthemums and asters (Michaelmas daisies), and a few more family birthdays.  And overflowing Farmer's Markets.  And football.

October

October is full of beauty, golden and red colors, gourds, squashes, especially pumpkins, haystacks and hayrides, and the last apples straight from the orchards.  Then witches, ghosts, goblins and Halloween.

November

November brings Thanksgiving in the United States and the start of the Christmas holiday season.  As a kid, November always seemed just cold and grey, but now that I'm older, I really appreciate the peaceful quality of November.  The gardening is done; the craziness of the Christmas season hasn't yet started, and those empty branches against the deep blue of an early sunset are always stunning.

Apple Cobbler, Soups, Stews, and Meatloaf

I absolutely refuse to turn on the oven when the air conditioning is running, so Autumn means baking, casseroles, breads, soups and stews.  I always promise myself that I will try more new recipes than I actually do, but I'm definitely going to make that wonderful apple cobbler with home-whipped whipped cream that I made almost every year when my son was little.. if I can find the recipe.  And there will definitely be meatloaves and lasagna.  Definitely! 

The Countdown Starts!

So let's start counting down those days until Autumn....  and then, tonight, when the sun is a little lower in the sky and the temperature dips below 90, I'll go out and water everything.  That will be enough of the outside for now...  I'm sure I can find a few hours of good shows on Netflix. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Pigout Food of the Day: Chocolate Pound Cake with Chocolate Glaze


Introducing today's pigout food of the day-- Chocolate pound cake with chocolate glaze!Just in case you haven't yet planned a dessert or late night treat for your loved ones... Or a cake for a potluck or a weekend feast.


Found Chow. Recipe by Christine Gallary


Found here at Chow by Christine Gallary:


This chocolate cake recipe is delicious. We love a buttery and dense pound cake, but we thought a chocolate version would be even better so we folded lots of dark cocoa into the batter to give it a deep chocolate flavor. After the cake is baked and cooled, it’s drizzled with a chocolate glaze made from semisweet chocolate, cream, and a bit of corn syrup to keep the glaze gooey and shiny. This moist, rich, yet lightly textured cake makes a great hostess gift or is right at home on a holiday dessert table.  


Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins, plus 1 hr cooling time

Makes 1 (9-inch) loaf


Ingredients:

For the cake:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for coating the pan
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature


For the glaze:
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped




Step by Step Instructions:

  • 1.  Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with butter; set aside.
  • 2.  Place the flour and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine and aerate; set aside. 
  • 3.  Place the cocoa in a medium heatproof bowl. While whisking constantly, slowly pour in the boiling water and whisk until smooth and combined; set aside.
  • 4.  Place the measured butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until lightened in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
  • 5.  Add the vanilla and reserved cocoa mixture and beat on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. 
  • 6.  Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
  • 7.  Turn the mixer to low speed, slowly add the reserved flour mixture, and mix until the flour is just incorporated. Stop the mixer, remove the bowl, and stir in any remaining flour streaks by hand, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl.
  • 8.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it into an even layer. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Meanwhile, set a wire rack over a baking sheet and set it aside.
  • 9.  Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan on the wire rack for 15 minutes. 
  • 10. Remove the cake from the pan and let it cool completely on the wire rack before making the glaze, about 45 minutes.


For the glaze:
  • 1.  Place the cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat and, stirring occasionally, bring to a simmer. 
  • 2. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate until smooth and combined. 
  • 3.  Pour over the cooled cake.
Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate!  I can't imagine...

(Copied to Cheese, Chocolate, and Other Delights April 2017.)




Monday, March 30, 2015

The Pure Decadence of Pizza Fries

Pizza Fries?

All you ever wanted to know about the pure, greasy decadence of Pizza Fries.  

I found the original of this pizza fries picture here, but no recipe.







I
I never would have thought of such a thing myself, but the photo above came floating across my husband's Facebook newsfeed a couple of days back, and I found myself somewhat.... amazed.

Could you really make pizza fries?  Would anyone actually EAT pizza fries?  Cheese and grease and potatoes and sausage all in one?  Well, Google knows all, and I shouldn't have been surprised when I found literally DOZENS of recipes for Pizza Fries.  But the dozens of recipes came down to about 3-4 basic kinds of Pizza Fries.   I'll save the best for last.  Let's start with the simple:

Simple pizza fries (with some minor modifications):

Simple Pizza Fries from Recipe.com (link above)



Ingredients:
  • 1 2-pound bag frozen french fries
  • 1 cup Italian spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce, your choosing.  (Feel free to add onions, basil, oregano, or anything else you usually add to your pizza or spaghetti sauce.)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (about 6 ounces)
  • Diced pepperoni, optional

Step-by-step:
  • 1. Prepare the fries according to the directions and remove them from the oven.  Leave the oven on after removing the fries. 
  • 2.  Pour the sauce over the fries.
  • 3.  Top with the cheese and pepperoni (if desired).
  • 4.  Bake for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Pizza Fries from the Daily Meal.. Just a Few Minor Differences:


Pizza Fries from the Daily Meal (link below).  Credit "Jane Bruce"  




H
Here's another similar pizza fry recipe from the Daily Meal:  The fry chef is urged to fry (or bake) the fries and mix them with pepperoni first; then tomato sauce, then cheese, then a minute or two under the broiler.  It's very similar to the recipe above, with the difference of mixing the fries (either fried or baked) with the pepperoni and then broiling the whole thing for a minute vs. putting it in the oven for five or so minutes.


Fry-shaped pizza slices?

   



I
I found a recipe that just makes a kind of pizza and cuts it into fry-shaped pieces.  However, I don't really think that's the same thing as "Pizza Fries" even though they call them "Pizza Fries".

If you are interested, just follow the link.
  


Big Bear's Wife takes on Pizza Fries



I
I would expect that someone called "Big Bear" would be a Pizza Fry kind of man, wouldn't you?  His wife makes them up like a casserole.  The ingredients are about the same as the simple version above, though double. (After all, he's a big bear!)

She layers the baked fries, then adds the pizza topping, then more fries and a final layer of pizza topping, cheese, and pepperonis.  Kind of like a pizza fry lasagna.  Recipe above the picture at the link.

There's a 
similar recipe here.. You fry the fries before you put them in the pizza.

I'm not going to include all of the directions for these variations of pizza fries; I've included pictures and links.  Just follow the links if you are interested!    





This is Why You Are Fat! The Most Decadent of Pizza Fries

The best for last--  You not only top the pizza fries, you actually peel and fry the potatoes (or you get someone to peel and fry those potatoes.). 


Homemade fried Pizza fries from Kirbiecravings 

Now, the other recipes are easier, but this one is probably the one that will most resemble the original picture at the top of the page.  It really is much greasier and much more inspiring for those who love the pure decadence of the idea of Pizza Fries.  From the post at kirbiecravings:
I made my own fries, then topped them with mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, more cheese and some mini pepperonis. I melted it in the oven for a few minutes before serving. Yum.
Yep... Get peeling those potatoes!  Or at least FRY (vs. bake) the ones you buy in the frozen food section.  Here's the recipe for the most decadent of decadent:

Homemade Fried Pizza Fries as pictured right above:

Ingredients:

For the fries:
  • 2 medium sized potatoes
  • Oil for frying
For the pizza topping:
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup marinara or pizza sauce of your choosing
  • 10 mini pepperoni

Directions:
  • 1.  Peel skin off potatoes. Slice into fries, about 1/4 inch thick. Use a paper towel and dry potatoes as much as possible. 
  • 2.  Pour oil into frying pan, about 2 inches in height. Drop in potatoes. Turn on stove to medium high heat. When oil heats up the potatoes will begin to bubble. 
  • 3.  Continue to let the potatoes fry and bubble until they turn brown and crispy on all sides. You may need to use a spatula to separate potatoes so they don't stick together. 
  • 4.  Remove potatoes when done, soaking excess grease on paper towels.  Scoop finished, drained fries onto an oven-proof serving plate.   
  • 5.  Add half the cheese, sprinkling over plate of fries. 
  • 6.  Scoop marinara sauce on top of cheese. 
  • 7.  Add remaining cheese and top with pepperoni. 
  • 8.  Heat in oven at 350F for 5-8 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Immediately.
 Don't mess around with these; get the gang or the kids or the men or the women eating these RIGHT AWAY.  Or they will be gone.

Variations?

I would think that sausage would work as well if the sausage is crumbled into fairly small bits.  Or (as one of my friends suggested) bacon!  Can you imagine?  Bacon pizza fries!  Yikes!  (I bet someone has tried that somewhere.. I'm not going to look, though.)



Monday, March 16, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Green Jello Cake

Wearing O' Green Cake Recipe:  (updated for 2018)


This cake uses lime Jello to become a perfect Saint Patrick's Day cake.  It's been floating around Facebook for years.  My notes say that it was originally from Taste of Home, though people have mentioned that they have been baking Jello cakes for decades!

I have some lime Jello in the cabinet.  Maybe today?


Wearing o' the Green Jello Cake for Saint Patrick's Day


Wearing O' Green Cake Recipe (Original apparently at Taste of Home): 

Ingredients:

Cake-
  • 1 package white cake mix (regular size) 
  • 2 packages (3 ounces each) lime gelatin 
  • 1 cup boiling water 
  • 1/2 cup cold water 
Topping-
  • 1 cup cold milk 
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, or 8 ounces of whipped cream, either whipped yourself or store-bought whipped cream.  
  • Green sprinkles 


Directions: 



  • Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. 
  • In a small bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water; stir in cold water and set aside. 
  • With a meat fork or wooden skewer, poke holes about 2 in. apart into cooled cake. 
  • Slowly pour gelatin over cake. Cover and refrigerate. 
  • In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes (mixture will be thick). 
  • Fold in whipped topping. 
  • Spread over cake. Decorate with sprinkles. 
  • Cover and refrigerate until serving. (Recipe from Taste of Home.)



Just thinking.... This basic holiday cake recipe can be used with various combinations of Jello and/or food coloring and toppings for just about EVERY holiday.

If you bake this cake, please drop a comment and tell us how it turned out!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Daylight Savings Time Starts This Sunday, March 8, 2015!

This article has been updated for Daylight Savings Time 2018 HERE.


Finally!  This long, miserable winter may....just may.. be over.


And Daylight Savings Time in 2015 starts Sunday, March 8th!  One less hour of sleep that night, but one more hour of sunlight Sunday evening. Enjoy!




T
Turn your clocks FORWARD Saturday night, March 7th, before you go to bed.  Spring ahead!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mini German Pancakes With Fillings

Mini German Pancake muffins with fillings...

I guess this cold weather, the coldest February that many of us can remember, is going to stick around for another week or so.  So perhaps it is time to get that oven going?  Time to try some pancake, muffin, or waffle recipes that you may have saved but never made.. but that look good!

Mini German filled pancakes from realmomkitchen.com .


Mini German pancakes in muffin tins with fillings.. Don't these look delicious?  And the recipe is easy as well! From realmomkitchen.com, adapted by Bling.

Mini German filled pancake muffins

  • Depending on the size of your muffin tin, this recipe yields 12-18 muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup (all-purpose) flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted.  (Must use butter, not margarine)


Step by step:

Monday, February 23, 2015

Daydreaming on the Old Porch Swing (Updated for Spring 2018)

Dreaming of Swinging on an Old Porch Swing... Counting the Days until Spring (or Summer)... 


From Hayneedle.com

Actually this is a new porch swing from Hayneedle.com.  (I hadn't seen this site before, but they have many porch swings in many styles and colors to choose from.. and this one is still available, in Spring 2018!)  But I can't help but think that "Spring really is coming!" when I see a porch swing, old or new.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Inside Out Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I love cheese.  I really do.


Here's a grilled cheese sandwich that is "Cheesier than Karaoke Night on the Jersey Shore."

I don't eat that many grilled cheese sandwiches, but 
this grilled cheese hack-- an Inside-Out Grilled Cheese Sandwich sounds SO good!  I think the better description is "decadent".  I may try one! We have a lot of cheese hanging about right now; this may be a way to use some of it.


This Inside-out Grilled Cheese sandwich can be found at the video blog of "Chef John" at Foodwishes.blogspot.com , a cooking site with a cooking guru that apparently everybody knows except for me...   until now.

Let's Get Down to Cooking:  

The cheese is cooked on the inside in a fairly traditional way, but then the cheese is cooked on the outside.   SHREDDED cheese.  Watch the video to see the whole thing.  




Chef John insists on REAL butter (I get that) in the pain..
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