Saturday, April 30, 2011

What to wear

The trip- two weeks in Rome and Paris, the carry on bag- 22 x 17 x 9 small enough to fit in the overhead bin. I never check my bags anymore. So, what to pack for a trip to very fashionable cites? What to wear to a city that irons clothes and dresses up to take out the trash?
I had to go through the closet and pick out clothes for both cities. So what do you pack?  I finally narrowed it down to a black color scheme. So, everything needs to go with the basics. I decided on 2 pairs of pants, 3 skirts, 2 shirts, 4 tee shirts, 2 day dresses and  2 evening dresses and one sweater and 2 pairs of shoes one which I will wear on the plane.
Everything is laid out 

The packing starts

Clothes hang over the edge of the pack

Let the folding over begin

LOVE jersey material-no wrinkles

Almost done

That's about it
My technique of packing I learned from the TV on a Oprah show. I lay out each piece of clothing and let it hang over the edge of the bag. Then when everything is is the bag I start folding each piece over each other. Unpacking is even easier it comes out in a cube. It also helps that you can do laundry on your trip if is a long trip. One great thing about my packing method is no wrinkles.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday Dinner

When I was growing up we celebrated Easter. We did not go to church but we got all dressed up, dyed eggs,  and always received an Easter basket full of candy. I loved to bite the ears off the chocolate bunny first and my other favorite was Robin's eggs. Oh, and black jelly beans.  My mom always put together a great holiday dinner and for Easter we always had a leg of lamb with of course the unusualy green colored mint jelly. To this day, the hubby and I have lamb, little red potatoes and another spring vegetable and like all traditions, the green mint jelly is always present.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day

Butter, brown sugar, and pineapple

Pecans instead of cherries

The finished cake right side up

PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
Adapted from COOKS.COM

1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. cake flour
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 can pineapple slices in syrup
maraschino cherries (as many as pineapple slices used)

Use an 8" square or round pan. Drain can of pineapple, saving the syrup.Place butter in 8" pan, melt in the oven while preheating to 375°F.
Sprinkle brown sugar over melted butter. Arrange whole pineapple slices and cherries (with cherries in centers of pineapple slices) over the brown sugar in pan. Cut some of the remaining pineapple slices into half circles, then line the sides of the pan with them (standing up).
In a bowl, combine cake flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, softened butter, milk, egg, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of the pineapple syrup.
Pour batter into the pan being careful not to disturb the pineapples and cherries.
Bake at 375°F for 30 to 35 minutes or until cake is golden and has pulled away from the edges slightly.
Remove from oven and allow to stand for a few minutes to set and then turn it upside down onto a serving dish. Serve while still warm.

NOTE: I used a tablespoon of dark rum as well as the pineapple syrup. I also substituted pecans for the cherries.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Animal Crackers Day

Remembering back to childhood and getting animal crackers in the circus box was a thrill. It was full of bears, seals, elephants and many other animals.  The box had cotton rope handle so you could carry it around. Crack open a box line up the animals like a circus parade and bring back those childhood memories.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

National Eggs Benedict Day

 It doesn't really matter what story of who created this dish. I'm glad somebody put Canadian Bacon on an English muffin topped with a poached egg with creamy lemony Hollandaise sauce. Those ingredients have become a staple and most brunch menus. They should be enjoyed anytime not just for brunch.
The Hollandaise sauce recipe is from Tyler Florence at www.foodnetwork.com


Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
  • Pinch cayenne
  • Pinch salt

Directions

Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler,) the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use for the eggs benedict. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.

















    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    National Pecan Day

    Pecans Were Popular From the Start

    The history of pecans can be traced back to the 16th century. The only major tree nut that grows naturally in North America, the pecan is considered one of the most valuable North American nut species. The name "pecan" is a Native American word of Algonquin origin that was used to describe "all nuts requiring a stone to crack.” 
    Originating in central and eastern North America and the river valleys of Mexico, pecans were widely used by pre-colonial residents. Pecans were favored because they were accessible to waterways, easier to shell than other North American nut species and of course, for their great taste.
    Because wild pecans were readily available, many Native American tribes in the U.S. and Mexico used the wild pecan as a major food source during autumn. It is speculated that pecans were used to produce a fermented intoxicating drink called "Powcohicora" (where the word "hickory" comes from).  It also is said that Native Americans first cultivated the pecan tree.

    Presidents Washington and Jefferson Loved Pecans, Too!

    One of the first known cultivated pecan tree plantings, by Spanish colonists and Franciscans in northern Mexico, appears to have taken place in the late 1600’s or early 1700’s. These plantings are documented to around 1711—about 60 years before the first recorded planting by U.S. colonists.
    The first U.S. pecan planting took place in Long Island, NY in 1772. By the late 1700’s, pecans from the northern range reached the English portion of the Atlantic Seaboard and were planted in the gardens of easterners such as George Washington (1775) and Thomas Jefferson (1779). Settlers were also planting pecans in community gardens along the Gulf Coast at this time.
    In the late 1770’s, the economic potential of pecans was realized by French and Spanish colonists settling along the Gulf of Mexico. By 1802, the French were exporting pecans to the West Indies—although it is speculated that pecans were exported to the West Indies and Spain earlier by Spanish colonists in northern Mexico. By 1805, advertisements in London said that the pecan was "...a tree meriting attention as a cultivated crop." www.ilovepecans.org

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Grilled Cheese day

    Buttered grilled bread+hot melty cheese=The Grilled Cheese sandwich. Use what ever cheese you like Cheddar, Colby, or the all American sliced cheese. This sandwich is something that we usually have with tomato soup after playing in the snow. I guess any day is a good day for a grilled cheese sandwich.

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    National Fondue Day

    Today is National Fondue Day. It seems that fondue is making a comeback. There are fondue restaurants popping up everywhere. Cooking stores are still selling fondue pots them so, let's celebrate. The recipe is not that hard to make. We tradionally have fondue at during the holidays. We grill bratwurst, cut up pears and of course cut up French bread. DIP AWAY!

    Fondue is a Swiss and French dish of melted cheese served in a communal pot (caquelon) over a small burner (rechaud), and eaten by dipping long-stemmed forks with bread into the cheese. It was promoted as a Swiss national dish by the Swiss Cheese Union in the 1930s and became popular in North America in the 1960s. 




    It's the classic fondue you grew up with - warm, creamy, savory cheese, perfect for dipping with a loaf of soft French bread.

    Ingredients:

    8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
    8 ounces shredded emmental cheese
    1 clove garlic
    1 (12-ounce) can beer
    2 tablespoons flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    Pinch pepper
    French bread, cubed, for serving

    Directions:

    1) Combine all ingredients except bread in a fondue pot; heat until melted, stirring occasionally.

    2) Serve warm with French bread.




    Saturday, April 2, 2011

    Smooth or Crunchy- It's Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

    Smooth peanut butter, strawberry jam

    The classic Peanut Butter and Jelly
    Smooth or crunchy, grape, strawberry or any other flavor is all good, because it's National Peanut and Jelly Sandwich Day! I like crunchy and with grape jelly on whole wheat it's hardly changed in all these years except as a childhood staple it was Wonder Bread.  The hubby likes smooth with strawberry, raspberry or any good jelly or jam on whole wheat potato bread. What ever your preference make a sandwich relive some of your childhood and ENJOY!  (I don't think that I need to post a recipe for this).