Saturday, October 25, 2014

fall Colors & Spicy Dessert!

 Good Saturday afternoon and a very good Saturday it has been. With the sun shinning and the day turning warm I rushed through my chores and flew to my car. I have a project I am working on and today was the perfect day to go on a hunt for my subjects. I found a few as well as some beautiful fall colors. the colors I can share but the project isn't ready yet.
 As hard as I tried to get lost on the road today I just kept finding myself. The colors were so vibrant I had a hard time keeping my eyes on the road. Good thing I was using back roads with little or no traffic. As always a ride like that brings about a calm serenity with in me allowing me to just open up and enjoy. I do some of my best thinking then and always come back home energized ready to face what ever comes my way.
 Today what was coming my way was this post. I spent my drive thinking about what I wanted to write today. A very pleasant way to spend my ride,thinking about chocolate cake and ice cream. 

  As you may recall when I started playing once again in my kitchen I was trying 2 recipes form an old Bisquick cook book. The first was a peach cobbler that was just so so. Not bad really just not great. Well the 2nd recipe was for a chocolate and cinnamon cake. The idea of chocolate and cinnamon used together sounded almost sexy so I gave it try. The cake itself was beyond dry but the flavor was so awesome. spicy and full of flavor. I love the little bit of bite each mouthful gave you. I like the combination so much that I will try this again with a different chocolate cake recipe.

  I am going to share the recipe with you even being what I consider a flop. someone better then me at baking may know how to make the recipe into a moist rich and happy dessert.
Chocolate Cinnamon Dessert
 1 1/3 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa 
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
3 tbsp butter or margarine softened
1 pt Vanilla Ice Cream
Chocolate Cinnamon Sauce
Preheat oven to 350
 Blend all ingredients except ice cream and sauce with a mixer on low for 1/2 then beat 4 minutes more on medium speed.
 Pour into greased & floured square pan 8 inch
Bake 30 to 40 minutes until tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
 Chocolate Cinnamon sauce
 Mix 1 cup chocolate sauce with 1 tsp cinnamon.
 In the end I threw the cake away and used the very tasty chocolate cinnamon syrup on ice cream. Vanilla, chocolate, and cinnamon who knew it would be such a winning combination.

 As I leave you today let me share my favorite fall color combinations. Standing under the tree leaves blowing all around me taking pictures. There are very few moments in life better then this.

 Have a wonderful weekend! Thank you for stopping by.    

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

More From the Kitchen

 Spending the afternoons playing in the kitchen really does have its benefits. Number one being some real good food. Don't get me wrong I have made a few stinkers too. some bland recipes and one recipe that no matter what I did I just couldn't make it work. Mostly however We have been enjoying some really good dishes. like the one I am sharing with you today.
  So far this recipe has to be my favorite.An exotic twist to an old favorite. So much wonderful flavor, the texture is perfect rich and warm, the aroma so inviting. With a good crusty bread this soup makes the best cold day dinner. 

  To make this heaven in a bowl all you need are a few simple ingredients, a crock pot and 6 hours to let it cook. There is very little prep work making this not only the best bean soup it is also the easiest. 
   Curry Lentil Soup
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large sweet potato (about 1 pound), diced into ½ inch cubes
  • 1½ cups dried brown lentils
  • 1 large diced tomato
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ½ tbsp. fresh grated ginger
  • ½ tbsp. Ancho chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice (about 1 lime)
  •   Put everything but the lime juice in a crock pot and cook undisturbed on high for 6 hours. Stir in lime juice and serve warm.
  •   I got this recipe from a blog I found on the site Food Foto Gallery. I tried to follow the recipe exactly as written only I didn't have a few things on hand so I subbed a little here and there. Above is how and what I used to make this recipe and below is a link to the blog and recipe I was following.
  • Curry Lentil Soup


  •  Happy Wednesday! thank you for stopping by. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

8 Years Of Love & Travels

 Saturday was our 8th Anniversary. After the house was cleaned the laundry done and all the hubby's chores were done too we packed our over night bags got someone to stay with Mom and we were off. The lack of a Saturday post was due to an anxious need to get on the road and let the honeymoon begin.
  We headed less then an hour away from home with just 2 things on our minds. A romantic dinner and Wheaton Village. We decided that Sunday would be the day we would visit the village and Saturday evening and night would be reserved for enjoying one of the best indoor pools we have ever had the pleasure of swimming in, dinner, and enjoying each others company all alone. As far as I am concerned it was the perfect plan. I came home Sunday afternoon relaxed and so very happy. I am sure you understand when I say I was too busy being in love Saturday night and never gave the camera a thought. Just imagine two people smiling, laughing, even giggling at times as they enjoyed good food, floating around in warm blue water and falling in love all over again, and you have the picture.
 Now Sunday and Wheaton village and pictures, you don't have to imagine a thing. I have plenty of pictures. When I planned my day this morning I made the decision to wait until I was done my daily chores before I wrote this post. I like to write as much I like to cook and almost as much as I love to take pictures. It takes a little bit of time to write a post,a few hours at best and well some times I feel more pressure then pleasure when I sit down to write and my house is not in order. I figure I would enjoy writing more if there was no pressure, and I really wanted to enjoy yesterday one more time.
 The weather changed on Sunday, the  temperature dropped and the wind kicked up it was down right chilly and good windbreakers were absolutely needed. My first view of the Village was not as impressive as I thought it would be. It took more then a few steps into the village before I even thought about taking out my camera. Once my eye was caught however I quickly became enchanted with my surroundings and settled into enjoying it completely.

Mostly I am going to let the pictures take you on the tour. I have been wordy enough already. 
 Our first stop was the pottery shop where you see pottery in every stage from beginning to end. There was even a few glass displays thrown in for good measure.

 Next we sat in on to a glass making demonstration in the glass studio.

 Weeks before there had been a competition for young children. They drew bugs and the winning pictures were going to be made into glass. We lucked out and got to see one of the winning drawings being made. Pardon the big bubble on the winners face, I forgot to ask permission to use the winners picture. Let me just say the caterpillars smile was made to look like the winners big bright smile.

 Next it was the glass museum. I could have spent hours taking photos, instead I enjoyed looking and only taking pictures of my favorite and what I thought was the most interesting.

 Next came shopping,

I put my camera away and 
fully immersed myself in all the glass trinkets and novelties made just for our pleasure. I love glass of all colors and shape so even the shopping was like being in the museum except now you could touch and get up close and personal.
  After a delightful lunch in a local Irish pub, we headed home happy and content with smiles on our faces.
  Hope you had a cheery Monday! Thank you for stopping by.    

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Yep Still Playing In The Kitchen

 In an effort to stay off the couch and to keep myself happily busy I spend a part of my days playing in the kitchen. The results have been delicious. 
  Some of the recipes have come from the many cook books on the shelves just outside my kitchen door, and some of my inspiration comes from things I see on line. 
  Today's inspiration comes from a favorite site of mine called Foto Food Gallery.
If you like food photos this is a site for you. Nothing but beautiful food photos and I do mean beautiful. You will even find a few of mine there as well. I like the site for many reasons the pictures being number 1 and the recipes and ideas are a close 2nd. 
  Zucchini boats, the picture just literally screamed at me " YOU MUST TRY THIS."

 The picture showed a stuffing that had ground beef in it. I wanted meatless boats so I didn't click on the picture to get the recipe. Instead I created my own boat filling. It was so good that the boats became the main dish and I put the pork chops back in the fridge for another day.
 As usual I didn't write down a single thing so the recipe I write today will be more memory then fact. Like I always say adjust the spicing to your taste and make it your own. 

 Zucchini Rice Boats
1 cup rice cooked as directed
1 15.5 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
3 Tbsp cooking oil, or enough to cover the bottom of your skillet.
1 small onion ruffly chopped
5 cloves of garlic minced ( If each piece is called a clove what is the whole thing called?)
Curry Powder
Ancho Chili powder
1 tomato diced
1 medium zucchini for every 2 people
enchilada sauce
shredded cheddar cheese ( I would use anything you have on hand, almost any cheese type would be good with this.)
  In a large heavy skillet heat the oil, add onion to the hot oil and cook until tender, add the garlic and cook a minute more. Add the cumin, curry powder, and Ancho chili powder to the pan stirring quickly mixing the seasonings  until smooth. (I just can't give exact measurements because using a TBSP I just kind of eye balled it. 2 for cumin, 1 for curry and just a pinch of the ancho.) Add the rice, beans and tomato. Mix well until everything is coated. Remove from the heat and set a side.
 Preparing the zucchini takes a minute but it is easy. Wash the vegetable and cut in half length wise. Using a good sharp paring knife cut along the edge of the seeds about an inch and a half deep. Cut a straight line down the center of the seeds the same depth. Now make cuts crosswise on the seed bed from end to end so you end up with little square cuts on the seed bed.

 Take the knife and run it along the cut you made around the edge of the seeds only aim the point toward the center of the seed bed lifting the little squares out as you go. 

Put a cap full of lemon juice in each boat swishing it around to keep the zucchini from browning as you work.
 Fill each boat with a heaping amount of the rice mixture, top with a generous amount of enchilada sauce. bake in a hot 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes until zucchini is tender. Top with the cheese about 5 minutes before the cooking time is up.
 Serve warm then stand back and enjoy all the praise you are sure to get.

 Happy Wednesday! Thank you for stopping by.