Interesting things I found along the way-you never know.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Holiday Family Craft

My family made ornaments every December using house hold items. This year I wanted to share pasta ornaments. They are so very much fun to make for adults and children of all ages. Then we would place them on the dining room table and used them for centerpieces until we put up the tree. They adorned our tree year after year with memories of each ornament.
          Great ideas below
Pasta train
Pasta tree ornaments

Sunday, November 2, 2014


One Thanksgiving we spent the holiday with family in Hawaii. One of the guests brought baked breadfruit. It was delicious! Here is the easiest version I could find and it comes out well

1 mature whole breadfruit
1 tablespoon of vegetable of coconut oil
Aluminum foil
Salt and Pepper
Jamacian Seasoning (opt)
Butter (opt)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Rub the outside of the breadfruit with oil
Wrap breadfruit completely with foil
Bake for about 1 hour (Use skews to check doneness)
When done use a pot holder to remove from oven and peel off the skin
Cut in half
Cut out the unedible heart (part with seeds)
Cut breadfruit into slices

Top with butter, salt and pepper, and/or seasoning 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Waldorf Salad

October is the perfect month for this recipe. Apples are plentiful and the wonderful crunch of apples and celery remind you of walking through the colorful leaves in Autumn.

Waldorf Salad-Easy
Thanks to
½ cup mayonnaise
2-1/2 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 large apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 large stalk celery, diced
½ cup raisins
½ cup chopped walnuts
Salt and pepper to taste
In a mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and vinegar. Add the apples, celery, raisins and walnuts if desired. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix together well and serve cold.  Serves 2-3

Monday, September 1, 2014

Crepes Suzette-easy recipe

In honor of the Anniversary of my cozy mystery, Crepes Suzette, here is the recipe of an easy recipe. It is simple and very good.

4 eggs, well beaten
1 cup milk
1 cup sifted all purpose flour
1 Tbl brandy
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Melted butter
Suzette Sauce
Mix well, add ingredients except Suzette Sauce. Let stand in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours. When thicker than heavy cream, add a little or milk. Heat a 7 or 8 inch skillet and brush with melted butter. Put in 1 generous tablespoons of batter working quickly, tip and tilt the pan so that the batter flows evenly over the bottom. Cook quickly. As soon as the pancake browns on one side, turn quickly and brown the other side. Proceed until all of the batter is used. Reheat the Suzette Sauce. Makes 32 crepes.

Suzette Sauce
Cream 1 cup unsalted butter until light and fluffy. Add grated rinds of 1 small orange and 1 lemon and ¼ cup of sugar. Melt in top pan of chafing dish over direct heat. Add juice of 1 orange and heat to reduce mixture to half.  Add 2 oz. (1/4 cup) each of brandy and Curacao or Cointreau and 1 oz (2 tablespoons) Kirsch. Ignite with a match. Then add the crepes, one at a time. Bathe each in the sauce, fold in quarters, and put to one side of the pan. When all are ready to serve, sprinkle with a little sugar, pour on about 2 oz of brandy and ignite.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Seven layer salad

This salad I find simple to put together with the least amount of stress and easy to transport  to picnics, boats, beach, or out door concerts. Perfect for a summer outing with friends and family.

Seven Layer Salad
(courtesy of Penzys)
1 small head of lettuce, your favorite
1 cucumber, sliced
2-3 tomatoes, diced
1 small can sliced water chestnuts
12 oz. frozen peas (thawed)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 lb. bacon
Buttermilk or ranch dressing

Remove peas form freezer and place in a bowl to thaw. Fry bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels. When cool, crumb and set aside. Core and chop lettuce in bit size pieces. Layer all ingredients in a clear, staring sided bowl. Start with the lettuce and end with the bacon.  Serve with dressing on the side. Serves 8

For vegetarian version, omit bacon and end with cheese.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Cold Summer Soup

On a hot, hot summer day, there is nothing like sitting in the back yard with a cup of cold soup for dinner. It cools you down and is very satisfying. Add crusted bread and butter or crackers.

Cold Green Bean and Lettuce soup
1/4-1/2cup chopped green onions
2- 14 oz. can chicken broth or water
1-16 oz. package green beans (any cut) thawed
1 head iceberg lettuce (about 4 cps) washed and torn
1 tbsp. snipped fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried oregano crushed
2 oz. mayonnaise or sour cream

In a 4-quart Dutch oven add onions, chicken broth, green beans and oregano. Bring to a boil uncovered, simmer about 5 minutes or until the green beans are tender. Add torn lettuce, cook 1 minute more or until lettuce is wilted. Remove form heat. Cool. When cooled, transfer in batches to a blender and puree. Refrigerate for less than 24 hours. Makes 6 cups

To serve: Spoon cold soup into bowls, add a dollop of mayonnaise or sour cream, serve very cold.

Monday, May 5, 2014

An Irish dessert

When I was in Ireland I stayed in a small Bed and Breakfast just outside of Kerry, dating back to the early 1700. The family has owned the tavern now B&B since 1734. They served this dessert one evening and I ordered it every night until we left.
Irish Blackberry Soup w/ Buttermilk Custard
This is not a quick or fast recipe, but it is so worth the time.
Ingredients for the Buttermilk Custard:
1 package unflavored gelatin
¼ cup cold water
1 cup buttermilk
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions for the Buttermilk Custard:
1. Put the unflavored gelatin in a medium microwave safe bowl, add the cold water and stir to combine. Place bowl in microwave and cook for 20 seconds or until gelatin is completely dissolved and mixture is clear. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat the buttermilk and heavy cream together in another medium microwave safe bowl. Add the sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Cook on high for 2 minutes and stir well.
Add gelatin to the hot buttermilk mixture and stir until completely dissolved. Pour through a fine strainer and fill four to eight small, individual molds. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for several hours until set.
Ingredients for the Blackberry Soup:
1 pound blackberries, about 3 half pint size boxes
1 teaspoon orange zest
½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice, from one large, juicy orange
2 tablespoons lemon juice, from l lemon
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons blackberry (or raspberry) liqueur
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
Instructions for the Blackberry Soup:
1. Put the blackberries, zest, orange and lemon juices in a large pot on the stove. Add the sugar and stir. Simmer very gently for 5 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool. Once the mixture has cooled, transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour through a fine strainer, stir in the liqueur. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
2. When ready to serve, run a thin, sharp knife around edges of custard containers. Place custards, one at a time into a shallow bowl containing about 1 inch of hot water. Allow container to sit in hot water for 10-15 seconds, then invert onto a shallow serving bowl. Holding container firmly in place, give it a vigorous up and down shake to loosen custard. Repeat several times if needed till custard is released onto plate. Spoon the Blackberry Soup all around and garnish with a single blackberry and a mint leave, if desired.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


April Rain
Viney Wilder

The wild sweet rain of April spills
On golden - throated daffodils,
On garden wall and new green bough,
On earth fresh - turned before the plough.
It scrubs the pansy's small  shy face
And shines each blade of grass in place
To leave the springtime world aglow,
And lift my heart to walk tiptoe.

Sare Teasdale

The roofs are shining from the rain
The sparrows twitter as they fly
And with a windy April grace
The little clouds go by.

Yet the backyards are bare and brown
With only one unchanging tree--
I could not be so sure of Spring

Save that it sings in me.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Kite Flying

For my family, flying a kite was  a wonderful traditon for the month of March for my family. We made and flew kites from March until the early part of summer. As long as the wind blew I was out there with a kite running and watching it soar and dance in the sky. Making a kite meant spring was here, a well anticipated break from the freezing cold weather of winter in New York.

I found a web site that gives extensive directions for making three types of kites:

-Diamond kite—the usueal or traditona kites

-Delta kite—well decorated and colorful V shaped kite

-Paper kite—i.e. using brown paper bags to make a kite.

Paper bag kite: Make 4 reinforced puncture holes at the corners of the bag opening.  Loop 2 lengths of string through holes to support all 4 corners then pull down to one string for a handle.  To finish, decorate bag and add streamers.

This makes wonderful family activity. Just click on the link below:

Have fun!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Date Chews-delicious and easy!

Date Chews
Courtesy of Raw Food Recipes
10 Medjool Dates (pitted - the softer the date the better!)
¼  Jar Raw Almond Butter (preferably smooth, but chunky will work too)
¼ Cup Shredded Dried Coconut (for rolling)
Flatten each date with fingers into a coin shape, or leave the date in its natural shape. Cover date in smooth Almond butter and then roll into shredded coconut and place onto a plate lined with baking paper.
Place into the freezer for about one hour to set and then refrigerate for a delicious caramel tasting ‘wholefood’ raw snack, or eat them straight up without freezing.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Fresh Mint Tea

I have a large mint plant in my herb garden that produced beautiful mint year round. It needs to be trimmed regularly, so I cut off several branches at a time and pull off the leaves.  Below is a recipe for fresh mint tea. I has a very different, mellow taste than tea steeped from dried mint. This is great on a cold day.

Fresh mint tea
In boiling water drop 5-7 large or 8-10 leaves to three cups of water. Boil for 1 minute, then let steep for 30 minutes. Add your favorite sweetener.
Note: fresh mint tea is sweeter than from dried mint so you may not need to add sweetener.