Monday, December 31, 2012

O..M..G!!! You won't believe it.

Hello, dear readers!

I must be on a rampage for delicious confections, and whatever strikes my fancy.  
So, while I was searching for  Great English Tea confection ingredients, I came upon "How to make perfect McDonald's french fries" and it's now 8:30 pm here and I had russet potatoes, no peanut oil, just a regular oil and sea salt, he preferred a French salt, BUT I made them anyway!
I actually fixed this as a snack, it really went fast and they were gone in a flash!!!

They were out of this world!  And FRESH!  OMG





If you're curious about the recipe  (I changed a few things - did not let them sit for 2 hours, I needed them NOW!) you can find this on "shine.yahoo.com/how-to-make-perfect-McDonald's-style-french-fries-at-home.html"

Zowwie, for sure!

Delicious, fresh made, unbelievable.....move over McDonald's!  I was very impressed.  Why not make fresh French fries ?  Who needs to go and buy them when you can have them FRESH?  Now, I ask you. It doesn't make any sense.  Fresh is much better and what a taste!

Well, happy New Year to everyone....
Don't drink and drive.....
Be safe.
Love to all and happy New Year!

The Aroma Will Make Your Speechless

Hello, dear readers :)

Well, I took the plunge.  However, due to the weather today, I opted to stay home, it's really nasty outside.  No wok, no popover pan, oh well, soon, maybe.  So with that in mind, I started to play with the chicken.  No, I didn't slap them around, because they were fresh,  and no, I really didn't follow a recipe.



This is a package of skinless chicken breasts which I have dipped in a sauce.  (Okay, I'm a butter freak, now you know.  A throwback from Julia Child, you can't have too much butter!)  The sauce consists of real live basil leaves, chopped.  I just love the smell and taste of basil. Add about a tablespoon of Parmesan Cheese, to enhance the taste.  One stick of butter, cracked pepper and salt, with a smidgen of garlic salt.  Put some of the sauce in the pan and heat, dip your chicken in the sauce and add to the pan.  It smells divine.

Since I've never tasted Shiitake mushrooms, I put about 6 or 7 of these mushrooms in a bowl with the remaining butter and they are now really enjoying their time spent in butter along with the spices, they are now mates.  
The combination of fresh basil and butter is out of this world.  OMG!  I can't emphasise this enough.  YUM



So, now the chicken is lavishing in it's butter sauce and the 'rooms are ready to jump in and join the party.  I'm going to have a simple mango relish to accompany the meal.  Add a cup of sushi rice to  the mix and, that's as good as it gets.
YUM

Until later....
Have a happy and safe New Year.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Resolutions: An Asian/Thai Wokin' good English Tea

Hello, dear readers :)

Today, DH and I went to one of our local grocers.  It was interesting to see what they do and don't have there in the line of Asian/Thai food.  
It will take another trip to one, local "Asian" market that I've never been to, to get the rest of my ingredients.  
So, I'm trying to  "collect" as I go along.
Will have to go at my own pace and try a dish to see if DH and I like it and go from there.

I bought mangoes, chicken breasts,  shiitake mushrooms (which I have never tried), fresh, fragrant and "live"  basil, coconut for cooking, rice sticks and some skewers.  

Originally, I thought I would use the wooden sticks for skewers that would need to be soaked.  But, then to be much more practical I thought about using stainless steel skewers.  These appear not to be of a stainless steel quality, however, but I'm going to try them out anyway. 
I can probably find the real deal at Bed Bath and Beyond tomorrow.


Besides my popover pan that I'm going to buy, I have been investigating woks.  I never knew there were so many to select from, what to look for, and their price range.  Some are 200$ plus!
WOW.  
What an eyeopener!

So what I have learned is that I should get a stainless steel wok with a lid, preferably already seasoned, along with a heavy bottom.  Hmmmm
I already have a bamboo, 3 tiered cooking basket, which I love to cook rice and a few veggies all at once,  and the food turns out really well.
However.......
Trying to learn to use this bamboo apparatus the hard way was really quite disappointing in the beginning.  I had some really nice fish fillets that I wanted to steam.  I put the fish in and submerged the bamboo into the bottom of the pan.  My first mistake and wasn't thinking.
Of course, the water started to boil, the water covered the fish, and the fish was reduced to mush.    The fish totally disappeared.
Duh
Stupid, old woman.  We had pizza that night.

Since I also just adore fresh herbs, I'm going to start growing them in my window, so I have them year round.  I have a couple of aerogrow contraptions, a fad at the time, but they also did well, but now I think that my southern window will do the trick. Instead of buying nutrients, seeds, and lights and such and having the lights on most of the time and a most annoying "hum" with the machine,
 just some pots, dirt, herbs and tender loving care, will do fine.   

So, for the New Year, I'm going to concentrate on cooking Thai, growing herbs, and playing with my wok. AND try to perfect my popovers.  LOL

Today, I'll be cooking a roast beef with Yorkshire pudding for dinner in a little bit.  Will let you know how it turns out.

Then, switching gears to learning how to make a proper English tea with sandwiches/confections for every afternoon.  Something I always wanted to do.

Now on the hunt for the perfect tea pot and rest of the dishware for cream and sugar containers and small dishes and recipes for scones, cherries in pinot nori wine, cranberry tarts, individual vanilla cheesecakes with lemon curd, water cress, etc., etc., are you drooling yet?
I sure am.

Until later....
Happy Crafting

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Move Over Chef Ramsay

Hello, dear readers :)

Chef Ramsay just about did me in.  
I had to watch all of his "Thai" food videos.  
So today found me looking all over the net for Thai food and the recipes.  
I got inspired and it's one area of "food" that we haven't tried yet.  
I'm still making out a grocery list of items I want to try.  
Another adventure.

Our grocery store(s) here are run by the "Brookshire Brothers", there are several located at strategic places all over the city  and they carry everything that you can imagine.  
We travel around a loop and all the stores that you can imagine are basically on the loop.  
Pretty cool.

So, after going pc shopping, looking at circulars and such, I came upon homemade, stuffed crabs.  I had purchased a  packaged of frozen, stuffed crab a while ago, but it didn't appeal to me then.  
So tonight was a real treat.  DH and I were very surprised!

Amazing :)  Don't they look wonderful?


I pre-basted them with real butter and cooked them at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.  
The thermometer was to reach 165 degrees.  
They were cooked perfectly and the stuffing was out of this world.  
I can see this dish as an appetizer when company comes.  
They were that good.

So the moral of the story is somewhat funky.  
Blame it on Chef Ramsay, looking for Thai food brought me to stuffed crabs and 
what am I going to try next?

Future recipe to try will be Thai green mango salad.  I'll have fun shopping for this next week.  
I've never tried it, but it sure sounds yummy.

However, I didn't get my popover pan yet, maybe tomorrow.  
And yes, these popovers are about the equivalent of  a Yorkshire pudding.  
So tomorrow I'm going to cook a roast of beef and make Yorkshire pudding on top of the juices.  
Thank you "CarpeDyem."  
Can't you just smell the aroma?

I'm having a foodie attack.  LOL

Hope all is well with everyone.
Until later......
Happy Crafting

Thursday, December 27, 2012

On the Hunt

Hello, dear readers :)

A very happy holiday to everyone.  I've  recently been on the hunt for the perfect popover.  

When you see the mess I created, tonight,  the taste was there, but the height was not.  (Again)
Chef Gordon Ramsay would be very upset with me.  I like what he does, and think he's a brilliant chef, but he could do without the bad mouthing.  But that's him.
Sooooooooooooooooooooooo
I perused Bed Bath and Beyond for popover pans. I've never known that there were special pans before.  I am using a regular large, muffin pan.  Maybe the design of the pans has a reason?  Maybe the cup size is smaller and higher and you can get them to raise much better?

Anyway, another batch, tonight,  but not with the height.  But they were wonderful, anyway.


So, tomorrow I'll be making a trip to the cooking store. Bed, Bath and Beyond is a store where I can do some serious damage.

The recipe for this confection can be used with a stuffing like crab meat, lobster,  or whatever your heart desires as a filling or when cooled and scooped out, as a dessert,  for vanilla pudding and chocolate sauce or  perhaps a French vanilla ice cream, too.  Yummy.  It's up to your imagination.
As an appetizer or as a dessert.

So for the recipe, it is as follows:

Ingredients:  2 eggs, 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 cup milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees, grease and flour six ounce custard cups. 
(OR a popover pan, or muffin pan)

In a medium bowl beat eggs slightly.  Beat in flour, milk and salt until just smooth, being careful not to over beat.  (Maybe I over beat this batch?)  Fill custard cups 1/2 full.  Preheat the oven first at 450 degrees.

Bake 450 degrees for 20 minutes and decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 20 minutes more.  Immediately remove from cups and serve.

It was helpful to pull up a chair and look at the "oven screen" to see how they managed to raise.  It was fun, actually.  I was cheering the popovers to get with it.  LOL

We have found that "lemon curd" is a wonderful spread for the popovers.  Use your imagination.

After I get my new pan, I'll see if they will make a decent sized popover.  
They are really mmmm, mmmmm, good.

So bring in the New Year and on with the perfect popover! (Forget the calories for this one.)
Until later.....
Happy Crafting

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Happy Holidays

Hello, readers!

We are wishing everyone a wonderful upcoming holiday.

It's time to take a break to do some baking and gifting.


Max wishes you a very special holiday.


Happy Tatting

Monday, December 17, 2012

Doing the Happy Dance

Hello, dear readers :)

Remember the tablecloth I was working on?  I've been adding some rows here and there, but as I've been cleaning out stuff, I came upon Lizbeth threads  size 20, color 680 and 132.  
For some strange reason I'm very attracted to the combination.  (It makes me happy.)
So I decided that I would use this same tablecloth pattern but I also wanted to make the flower color stand out.  So I changed the pattern a little.  (I'm getting braver.)





I made one mistake with one of the "flowers" and didn't have enough petals for one of the rings.  
I forgave myself. LOL
I must say, it looks better in person.  

The chains are the original, 4ds, p, 2ds, p, 2ds, p, 4ds.  I converted the rings from 3ds, p, 3ds + 3ds, p, 3ds, to 1ds, p, 1ds, p, 1ds, p, 1ds, p, 1ds, p, 1ds, p, 1ds, p, 1ds 
I think that it gives the "flowers" a little boost.

I'm also trying to get all my picots even.
So now I'm going to have two tablecloths, one for winter and one for spring.  Not too shabby.

Have a wonderful day today :)
Until next time....
Happy Tatting

Friday, December 14, 2012

So Very Sad

Hello, dear readers.

I have no pictures today.  Only sadness.

I'm sure you've been watching the news from Connecticut.
It makes me and DH so sad.
I can't believe the world today, nor the outrageous and senseless killing of innocent children and teachers, is appalling.
Words cannot express this whole tragedy.
We are saying prayers to those involved and those innocent little children who have gone.
This has been such a terrible year for senseless  happenings.
Say a prayer and hug your kids.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Jingle, Jingle, Jingle

Hello, dear readers :)

I have nothing to show today because we went shopping, trying to get things accomplished and we did!  WOW

I must say the last crunch is done.  DH and  I had a wonderful day.
First, we went to Olive Garden for a Christmas lunch.

I always order a salad and mussels and for the first time I had a mussel that had an ice crystal attached to it and it was rather cold.  This never happened before and I hardly ever complain. 
(I've been watching too many "Gordon Ramsay" shows. LOL)

But this time, unfortunately, I called the waitress over and explained. (I'll never do that again.) 
 I felt bad. 
 I just told her that this one mussel was kinda cold/with ice.  
She took it away and then the manager, of all things, came over to apologize.  
He wanted to know what he could do to make it right.

I said, nothing, just wanted to let you know.  
After this little incident, I became very embarrassed -I hate a scene.  Don't get me wrong, the mussels were delicious, as always.  One that was frozen and three that had not opened.  The manager wanted to send back the rest of the mussels and give me a new plate, but there was no way I could eat more.  (It would have been a waste.) 
Okay, no problem.
I'll know next time NOT to complain.

In the end, the manager took the price of my meal off the ticket and gave me a $10.00 certificate towards a return visit.  I really didn't want anything to happen.
I'm still embarrassed.

So, lesson learned today.
I will keep my mouth shut for sure.  
It was really nice of the manager, though, I must say.

Anyway, with our Christmas lunch over with we went to Bed Bath and Beyond and we had a ball.
We had a limit of money to spend for one gift and I bought so many weird things. 
(I would have actually liked myself) 
I'm going to create a basket of goodies for my stepson.  
So tomorrow will be all the wrapping and getting to the Post Office/UPS - whatever.

So, we're almost done as we speak.  I'll be glad when it's over.

Happy Holidays to all.

Until later........ (Maybe I'll have something to show!)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Let the Count Down Begin

Hello, readers!
Christmas is almost upon us.  Can you believe it?

It's going to take me this whole week to finish off a bunch of socks and a tam, wrapped and mailed off.  
It's going to be busy, for sure.

I"m going to show you another sweater I found while going through my saved  projects.



This is another Patricia Roberts' sweater, "Alice" and made in cotton.  I was lucky finding all the cotton together.  To start with, there were 37 rows of ribbing, eeeek.

After looking at this piece, I think I may go down to a size 1 needle.  It feels too loose, not crisp.  But in any case, it will be the next knitting project after "Sugar Plum."  
I'd better get busy.

Hope your day will be a wonderful one.
Until later...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sugar Plum

Hello, readers!

I hope today finds you with great weather outside.

I've been working slowly, but steadily on this sweater.  It rather surprised me that after you do a front, the directions tell you to go on to work the back, then finish the other front. Normally, patterns I have found tell you to work the fronts first.  But, no matter.  So, I'm almost done with the back as you can see.

I think when I finish the back, I'm going to complete  the pockets to get rid of the stitch holders.  I have tried to weave in the ends  after so many rows, too .  I don't think I'd want to wait until all the stitching is done to finish this task.  Plus the threads don't get in my way.

When I start on the sleeves, I'll do them both at the same time.  BUT I'm not sure if I want the fruit on the sleeves or just plain knitting.

And you know what tomorrow brings......FOOTBALL!!!!!
Have a great weekend.
See ya Monday.....

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Bobbins, bobbins, bobbins

Good morning, readers!

The weather outside has been relatively warm and overcast.  
We had a little rain this am, but we really need more.

I've slowly been working on a few projects, one being the "Sugar Plum" sweater.  I didn't realize that I would use so many bobbins. LOL




I've got one more pair of socks to do, but I'm not going to push myself.  If I can't get them done in time, they'll be mailed later.
I think I"m going to try to get one side done today.  Will see how it goes.
Hope your day is going well.
Until later...