Tuesday, October 28, 2008

{TWD} Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes

I'm sorry everyone. I'm going to skip this week. Just too many work obligations and I'm tired. I'll post next week with the Rugelach.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Family time

I just wanted to share some pictures of my two youngest darling daughters and my boxer boys. We went out to Lagoon Valley yesterday to walk and play with the dogs. It was really beautiful out there. We were going to take the dogs to the dog park, but there were too many dogs already there and Frankie isn't to sure he likes little dogs.

I was also able to get a shot of the boys as they waited patiently for their breakfast this morning and sitting on Megan's lap.

Flourchild's Pumpkin Bread

I have to thank Flourchild for her pumpkin bread recipe. It is a real keeper. My family loved it. Here's a couple of pictures.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

{TWD} Pumpkin Muffins

This recipe was brought to you by Kelly of Sounding My Barbaric Gulp.

I didn't think this recipe would go over very well at my house either. Darling Hubby hates anything pumpkin but he did try one when I requested that he take a bite. He ate half a muffin. I gave about half of them to my youngest two daughters, who will eat anything now that they are out on their own and starving! I found out that I really liked these. I added the mini chocolate chips and walnuts. I was going to add golden raisins but when I made my grocery list I didn't buy any because I had a box in my cupboard. When I got them out to use, I was astonished that the golden raisins had turned black. I'm embarrassed to admit that the last time I used golden raisins was 2005. Yuck...they went in the trash.

I also turned the heat down on these to 350 and used my silicone muffin pans for the first time. I baked them about 25 minutes and they came out of those pans without any trouble. No grease needed.
Here they are:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Tickled Pink

This past Friday night, after the visit to Kaiser, I went to Tickled Pink. It was an overnight at the Hampton Inn to make a quilt to raise money for the Relay for Life. It was sponsored by our local quilt shop, A Quilted Heart, and the Sunrise Rotary Club. We had 45 women in their pajamas with sewing machines all making a quilt square for the quilt to be auctioned off. Outback catered our dinner and we had stuff to eat all night long provided by various people. We played bingo at midnight and I won a round. I won a quilt book with some great patterns for different quilts made for Quilt Pink. It was a great night and I actually made it until 4:15 am before I went and took a nap for an hour.

Thanks to the Quilted Heart and the Sunrise Rotary Club for providing such a great time to come together and do something for Cancer Research.
By the way, if you haven't had your mammogram, what are you waiting for!

Bad Medicine

This past week has been challenging to say the least. When I went to my doctor last week, it was to complain about my feet going numb. It started with my toes and the front part of my foot a while ago but about 4 weeks ago it started feeling like I have a tight sock around my right ankle and I can feel the numbness creeping up my right leg. My doctor decided to try me on Gabapenten which is the generic for Nerontin. He told me that it's a seizure med that doesn't work for seizures but can work for neropathy. Before anyone asks, no I don't have diabetes. He's carefully checked me for that every time I visit him. Anyway, I had a reaction to the Gabapenten. I only took one pill but I woke up in the middle of the night with my face swollen and I looked like I had the mumps. Luckily it wasn't painful and it didn't cause my throat to swell, I just looked awful. That was a week ago last Wednesday and it seems to have set off a chain reaction of allergies. I ended back up at the minor injury clinic Friday night because I broke out in hives all over my body and my hands and feet were itching unbearably. I've been taking the generic for Claritin and Benadryl since that visit. That doctor seems to think that this is still a reaction from that one pill so I guess this is a cautionary tale about be careful what you ingest as medicine because it might be worse than the condition you're treating.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

{TWD} Lenox Biscotti

This recipe was picked by Gretchen of Canela and Comina. Just like everyone else, I had to bake this longer than the recipe called for. Mine also spread a lot. I think if I had refrigerated them for an hour or two it would have come out better. I'm going to try that next time. I added about 4 ozs. of Ghreiridelli's bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped. My darling hubby loved these and when I got home from work they were all gone.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

What I did on my fall vacation!

Monday: I got sick and went to the doctor.

Tuesday: I went and had blood work done.

Wednesday: I was recovering from a reaction to a new medication.

Thursday: I took my darling daughter to have her wisdom teeth removed. Luckily we found out she only had three to remove. Here's a picture:

I have a dentist appointment this afternoon.

Hopefully, the rest of the week will be spent doing enjoyable things like sewing, cooking and cleaning. (Cleaning not so much.)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

{TWD} Chocolate Peanut Caramel Cake 2

I felt better this afternoon so I went ahead and made the cake. Here's what it looks like.

I waited until it was completely cool before I put on the caramel and nuts and then waited until it was completely cool before cutting it, so I didn't get that pool of caramel. It was really good. How does everyone continue to bake each week and not gain lots of weight? I may have to quit because I don't know if I can keep doing this and not gain a ton of weight.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

{TWD} Chocolate Peanut Caramel Cake

Sorry folks. I'm sick!I didn't make this because I either have a really bad cold or the flu. I'm aching all over and I just couldn't make myself get on the floor to haul my spring form pan out of the bottom cupboard. Now who put that down there?

If I feel better tomorrow I'll get with it and make it. Right now I can't even think about eating it. The nastiest thing about this is I'm on a week's vacation from my job and all the things I had planned to do aren't getting done. Grrrr!!!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Fettuccine Bolognese and Apple-Pie Cake

Today was the perfect day to cook the Italian way. Slow.... I decided to make a Bolognese sauce that I had made before and I knew it would take most of the day. This recipe is from the Williams Sonoma Italian Essentials and I bought it when we came back from Italy last year. It's written by an Italian and the recipes are very authentic to what we experienced in Italy.

To start this recipe you make a soffrito. It's a combination of onion, celery, and carrot or as the Italians call it, the Trinity. You chop the vegetables and melt some unsalted butter in a heavy skillet and cook until they get a nice shade of brown. It also has pancetta in it. It's the base for the sauce. Here's what it looks like at the start.

Here's what the soffrito looks like after about 45 minutes of cooking.

Then I added ground pork, ground chuck, tomato paste, San Marino tomatoes, and beef broth. It had to cook down another three hours.

The finished product with a little salad.

I also made the Apple-Pie Cake from Dorie Greenspan's book.

The family loved the Fettuccine Bolognese but we all found the cake a little dry. It still was a great way to spend the day and I was smart enough to double the recipe for the Bolognese sauce. I can freeze it or make a Lasagna at the end of the week.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Fall Memories and Tributes

It's been trying to rain here all day. The sky has been filled with those ominous black clouds and then suddenly sunshine. We finally had the breeze and it cooled down to around 68 degrees. When I was a little girl growing up in Michigan, fall was my favorite season. Raking leaves in the front yard into a big pile, jumping in them and then having to rake them again. We burned the leaves back in the day, and I can still recall that pungent scent. Isn't it funny how a scent, or a song on the radio, or even a word can take you back in time with your memories.

The kids on my bus were discussing favorite teachers today. We all agreed that the most memorable teachers are the good ones. I still remember Miss Phister. She was my 3rd grade teacher and she was a little old lady with white hair. She loved her students and we loved her. I got in trouble in her class one day when she called on me to answer a question. I couldn't answer her because I had a copy of Laura Ingalls Wilder's' book, "Farmer Boy" in my desk and was reading instead of paying attention. The boy sitting next to me, ratted me out and she made me bring the book up to her desk. I was mortified. At recess she called me to her and told me how much she liked the fact that I loved to read but I really had to pay attention in class. I didn't feel so bad after that.

Another teacher I remember is my sixth grade math teacher, Mr. Tremper. I remember him coming into class late one day, with tears in his eyes and he announced that school would be over for the day because President John F. Kennedy had just been assassinated. What a horrible day.

I remember Mr. Lynch that taught my high school biology class and made me want to study science. I remember a very dramatic, funny man named Mr. Plourd, that taught my 12th grade English class and made me love Shakespeare. I had a lot of great teachers and I'm glad we have a lot of caring, loving teachers in this country that seek to inspire and create a wonderful learning environment for their students.

We lost a great teacher and coach this past week. Mr. Zunino or Coach Z as he was so lovingly known passed away last Friday. His funeral is tomorrow. He will be missed and remembered by this community with love and respect.