Tuesday, July 29, 2008

New take on an old dish... and a new do.

New take on an old dish...

Monday the 14th, was Bastille Day, and I mentioned earlier that I would be trying a second recipe using cherries as I usually do for that day, and that I would post the recipe if I liked it as much as the Cherry Cake I made right before, Bastille Day . I did not make that cake, in fact I skipped dessert entirely that day. I did make a dish that is an interesting and delicious twist on an old French favorite. Ratatouille, is a French dish that is in it's simplest form, stewed vegetables. It is very common in the summer as it uses plenty of fresh summer produce. It is associated with country or Provencal cuisine rather than Parisian. There are a number of recipes available that convert this country fare into city dining, simply by adjusting the herbs, perhaps adding mushrooms, and the way it is assembled and presented. But, it is all yummy & healthy, Ratatouille.

Most recipes saute and then stew the vegetables together. I prefer to gently saute the eggplant and then the zucchini in olive oil and freshly chopped garlic. The remainder of vegetables, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and all of the seasoning of which I use plenty of Herbes de Provence and more garlic, I simmer into a sauce. I then layer the sauteed eggplant, zucchini and sauce just as you would lasagna. On occasion, I do saute and then lay the eggplant and zucchini out in a swirl, in a quiche dish and then pour the sauce over and bake. But this year I tried something new. Quiche is French, and Jon, likes quiche. He certainly likes quiche better than a plate full of stewed vegetables, so I decided to tweak the Ratatouille experience this year.

Quiche: a non~sweet pastry crust shell with a savory custard filling made from heavy cream, eggs, cheese, seasonings and any vegetable or meat~seafood of your choice. My personal definition.

Ratatouille Quiche

Your favorite non~sweet pastry crust, enough for a 9~ inch dish
3/4 pound Italian sausage ( I use turkey Italian sausage links and remove from casing)
2 cups peeled and diced eggplant
1 cup sliced zucchini
1 cup peeled and diced tomato
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup red bell pepper strips
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence or...
equal parts, 1/2 teaspoon each of Rosemary, Thyme, Basil and Tarragon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream or milk

Preheat oven to 325°.
Line a 9~inch quiche dish or pie plate with pastry. Using a fork make just a few holes on the bottom and sides of your pastry shell.
Bake shell for 3~4 minutes at 400 degrees F.
Remove shell from oven and prick a few more times on both bottom and side.
Bake 6~7 minutes longer.

Brown and cook sausage until done and crumbled. Drain well.
Combine and mix well the sausage with eggplant, zucchini, tomato, onion, bell pepper, garlic, cheeses and seasonings.
Pour into pastry shell.
Whip eggs and cream together. I use my blender.
Pour over sausage and vegetable mixture.
Bake at 325°
325° for 55~65 minutes or until set.
Let stand 10~15 minutes before cutting.

Due to the high water content of the vegetables, you must bake the pastry shell first. Normally, you bake quiche pastry with the filling and only once. You will have an ooey gooey crust if you skip this step.

Serve with an heated crusty bread loaf.

Bon Apetite!

Kim, over at NannyKim's Recipes tried this and said it was the best quiche she had ever tasted. Wow! Thanks for the compliment, Kim. She did go crust~less for hers. Here is her post on the quiche.

and a new do.

I also mentioned that I would be trying a new hair stylist on this particular Monday, Bastille Day. I was in desperate need of a trim... no, I was in desperate need of an hair cut. Finding someone in a new town can be tricky and somewhat scary. So, I did what I figured was the safest thing to do. Selecting women that consistently had smart hair, I inquired at church regarding who I might want to make an appointment with.

These pictures reflect my choice of stylist and the work he did. I love this cut. It is so versatile. I can go casual, very dressy, semi~up, and is so incredibly easy to maintain. Even sloppy it looks good. This gentleman was highly recommended, and I will be one of those recommending him in the future.

We had never met he and I, but he knew I had been referred by ladies at church. So after we discussed hair styles, we began to talk about church, how it was I had moved here, his experiences with family leaving the area, and how he got started in the hair business. He told me he was an accountant, and this was suppose to only be part time. He got into the hair business as a hobby really because he just enjoyed it. He told me how he has had to cut back his accounting hours because the stylist work was growing so quickly. Just about the time he took a significant chunk off of my hair, in a highly visible and crucial spot, he dropped the how much he enjoyed "BARBER SCHOOL" bomb. I am not sure just how much Barbering School has changed since I went to Cosmotology School in the late 1970's, but at that moment I was very interested in finding that out. As it turned out, Barbering has come a long way. Without getting on some state/gov web site, I see very little difference, and this guy was good with all types of scissors, chose my style for me, and I am very happy and impressed with how fast he cut and styled a wonderful new do. It is so versatile! Oh, I already said that didn't I?

Monday, July 28, 2008

A pale attempt at showing how very much I care.

You may remember on May 23rd, I posted "Take a Walk With Me Around My Little Town". In that, I mentioned a woman, Mary Ann Wenzel. She is a retired high school nurse, my school nurse, now working at the library in the town I lived in. In December, her husband passed away. I was so saddened by that. Not long ago, her daughter Jean Therese Wenzel, only 47 years young, passed away. This was unexpected and naturally I was quite saddened. I have not made a card in some time, but I just could not bring my self to buy a ready made card for Mary Ann. So, I thought I might give you all a look at my first card in quite some time... that I really wish I had had no reason, or at least a different reason to make. I really care about, Mary Ann. She is one of those special people in my life that I count a blessing. I have not missed being in, Chesterton. I would like to be able to see her, drop off some cookies, scones, banana bread, something... and just tell her how much I care, and that I am there. But, the card has to do. I'm not there am I? I like where I am and don't miss Indiana, but this one is tough.

A typical moment in our life with, Baxter.

I have been noticing there are a number of things that happen in our everyday lives that are so rote we don't give them a thought. I honestly think most sit~com's get their subject matter from just such daily occurrences. I should probably mention here that I have not actually seen a sit~com episode for probably seven or eight years (maybe longer), so I am not honestly sure what the exact subject matter is, but I'd be willing to guess it the shows are still a reflection of current everyday life. I just rarely watch T.V. but I am thinking of those I did watch i.e., The Dick van Dyke Show, Hazel, Benson, Rhoda, Happy Days, A Fine Romance, Fawlty Towers, The Cosby Show, All in the Family, and my all time favorite, I Love Lucy.

So, I thought I might do a small post on a typical, rote daily moment that we have with, Baxter. It crossed my mind a few days ago when he did this, I should grab a few photos and post them. We think nothing of it anymore, but it really is quite funny.

When done eating, Baxter will use his paw and jaw to flip his food dish over if he thinks the portion was not what he perhaps should have had meted out for dinner.

Excuse me, perhaps you did not hear the clanking of stainless steel against cast iron when I flipped that empty bowl over.

Here, I'll make it easy for you to scoop up a little more. I'll just lay this dish down for you.

Perhaps you need a moment. I will just show you my patient, soft and gentle side here.

At some point, usually 2~3 minutes later, Baxter lays down and though he watches me closely for the next little period of time, he stretches out and gives up. No barking. Just a sigh and some stretching and quiet resignation. Tomorrow is another day, another meal.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturdays: At Calvary

A couple of days ago, I added a new link to my sidebar. The really pretty blue one with cute musical notes on it that says Then Sings My Soul Saturdays, is the one I am referring to. I discovered this blogging opportunity just this week, and have been eager since for Saturday, to get here. And, here we are!! This will be a regular part of my blogging. Every Saturday, a new song.

Music is the art of sound and can evoke emotions. For instance, I can listen to instrumental pieces of Beethoven’s performed that I do not associate with words of worship, praise or adoration toward God, or any other tangible thought or memory, and yet it can stir my heart so that I cry. What a powerful tool music is. It can reach the parts of the heart~soul, like nothing else. I am so grateful for music. Enter words. There is power of life and death in the tongue, our words. So combine the stirring power of music with the creative power of words, and you have endless possibilities for the level of worship you can reach.

The song I have chosen this Saturday, is At Calvary. Calvary, is where it begins for all of us that have received Christ, as our Savior. And for me, this song was very instrumental in my receiving Jesus, as my personal Savior. So since this is my first time posting on Then Sings My Soul Saturday, I thought I would start at the beginning.

Having been in Bible teaching churches all of my life, by the time I was eleven I had a good understanding of who Jesus, is and that there is an afterlife for each of us that will be spent in either Heaven, or Hell. I guess I just figured that was all sown up for me because I was a church kid and knew that stuff. No biggie, I'm in for the Heaven, destination.

Normally for Sunday evening service, I would sit with the rest of the kids my age. At eleven years old one was not a part of the "Youth Group", but we were all tolerated by them and they "allowed" us to sit in "their" pews for that service. The Youth Group leaders had that pack of energy seated fairly close to the front. Smart that team. But this particular hot summer evening, in July, I chose to sit in nearly the back row, on the inside by the isle, and by myself. All afternoon that Sunday, I wanted to get back to church. Something was stirring in my heart. Later I would understand that was the, Holy Spirit. I was a Tom~Boy growing up. Since I could get away with sandals and a casual skirt and top for Sunday evenings, and leave those dress shoes, tights and dressy dresses at home, I did. But this stirring in me made me want to dress up. So I chose my favorite dressy dress. It had an empire waist with a Daffodil yellow skirt and bolero jacket. The bodice was white and so were the Daisy appliques on the skirt. Donned in my best dress, I walked in the church, headed for the sanctuary and chose my isolated seat near the back. I am sure my mother thought something was wrong, my friends thought I had lost it, and I could not have explained myself but to say something was pulling on me like I had never been pulled before. God, was calling my name that day, and I heard Him, and followed His leading.

As Pastor Warford preached, it felt as though he, the pull on my heart and I, were the only ones in the room. He spoke of how God, loved us each personally. He spoke of how great that love was in that He gave His only Son, just to get us back from the course of destruction we were on. And, he spoke of how God, would have done that for anyone of us, and just one of us. And, that He in fact did it for all of us. He spoke of how each of us must choose God's Son Jesus, for ourselves. He spoke of how God doesn't have grand kids. He spoke to me.

At the end of the service, that song I knew by heart and had sung countless and boring times began, At Calvary. I had walked around vainly just assuming all was well because I was a church kid and knew some, Bible. Until that evening, I figured I was as good as the next kid and my sins were no worse than others. In fact, I was a pretty neat kid. Such vanity... oh my. As you read the verses in the song below, just know they really pulled me out of my blind condition. My first spiritual light bulb went on that night, and it revealed my need for a Savior, for Jesus. But the refrain. After every verse was the refrain. The verses convicted me... but the refrain delivered me.

Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty
At Calvary.

Read those lines again, please.

There was mercy for me... those convictions I was trying to suppress did not need suppressed, they needed forgiven. And, all I had to do was accept the forgiveness. The grace was free for the taking. I wanted Jesus, as my Savior. I wanted Him as my friend. And there, I found liberty... At Calvary.

That was the best night of my life. My closest friendship, the safest place for me to go, the anchor of my life, all began that night. Thirty eight years later, this hot July afternoon, I am blessed to have a place here to share that.

The fruit of this song in my life is truly a tribute to the power of words. For me, the composition of the music in this song is nothing amazing that would normally stir me on it’s own merit. Because of the role this song played in my life, here and now, and forever, it brings an enormous amount of emotion up in me. Start playing that and my heart swells, my eyes water and my hand goes up. It really does not matter where I am, because this is the song that gave my soul a reason to sing!

Thank you, Mr. Newell and Mr. Towner for this wonderful hymn. Praise You Jesus, for Your gift of grace and salvation. May this song always bring glory to You, Abba Father for the gift of Your Son!

At Calvary

1. Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died
On Calvary.
2. By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned
To Calvary.
3. Now I’ve giv’n to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing
Of Calvary!
4. Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span
At Calvary!
*Refrain: Mercy there was great, and grace was free; Pardon there was multiplied to me; There my burdened soul found liberty At Calvary.

Author ~ William R. Newell, 1868~1956
Composer ~ Daniel B. Towner, 1850~1919

Be blessed!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Blogger Award Nomination

I am really touched. Mary, has nominated me for this Blog Award. I am also pretty excited as this is my first award. Thank you, Mary. I will be passing this award on to seven others, and Mary would have been on that list had she not been the one to nominate me.

I like these awards that blogger's give and receive, because they bless the giver and bless and encourage the receiver. When I was younger, can't remember exactly... 6th~7th grader maybe, I discovered this Bible verse.

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in the power of your hand to do so. Proverbs 3:27

As I would revisit that verse through the years, I gleaned more from it and realized that what I originally learned from it was just the beginning. This verse has to do with treating others fairly and helping those in need as well. This verse is tucked in a passage of scripture that is full of just good wisdom to live by. What is relevant here though, is what God laid on my heart the first time I read it. For me the verse very simply meant not to keep anything good that I had to give, from someone that could use it. In my family, immediate and extended, being verbally encouraging, giving affirmation, or anything else that hinted of positive emotion was just not done. It wasn't that I did not have those feelings of wanting to express a kind word or display gratitude, it just was not the way it was done. Laughter was seldom, forget hugs, and appearances were important. This verse did not "change" me, it simply gave me the courage to be who I was in this area. I saw things in such a positive manner (I was often called The Dreamer, and things like "Will she ever get her head out of the clouds?" were spoken about me), and I always had it in me to want to show gratitude and tell people when I liked things they said or did. So... since I had given God's Word power in my life by that time, I began to put feet on my feelings, and step out in faith over this one little verse. I found it incredibly freeing and fun to encourage people and tell them when I saw something I thought was good, or nice, or just interesting that they did. I began sending cards and notes to people that were in the church bulletin. You know, hope you are feeling better~ congratulations on your baptism~graduation~engagement~marriage~baby, sorry for your loss~just thinking of you, just simple cards with notes. Encouragement. As a young adult some years later, someone at church suggested I start a ministry revolving around being an encouragement. We do need to encourage on another. David was so distressed and isolated from goodness, and had no one around to encourage him that he had to encourage himself in the, Lord. We can do that, God is a personal and One on one God, He seeks out a personal relationship with us, but how sad that we would never have the encouragement from others. People can be such an encouragement to each other, with just a little act of kindness. That is what these Awards are. Little acts of kindness, and I love seeing others get them, I am blessed and encouraged to now have received one... and I am excited to pass it on.

Having said all of that, I want to be sure to say right here, if I can find a Great Servant award anywhere, I am going to get it to Pam, immediately. She has been such a help to me since I moved to, Oklahoma. Thank you, Pam!

Once an award is received, the rules are as follows:
1. Put the logo on your blog
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you
3. Nominate at least seven other blogs
4. Add links to those blogs
5. Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

Before I list them, I will say that I realize some of you have received this Award. I just wanted to give it to you as well.

My nominees, in alphabetic order because they are equally lovely, are:
  • Beehive Cottage~Mary Jane: Retro and Pink!!!
  • Coffee and Chocolate~Deborah: For her devotion to her Savior, Jesus.
  • For the Love of Cottage~LeAnn: Creativity, beauty and cottage style. Her love for God, and the Grace He has given her.
  • Friendship Tea~Linda: Family, friends, tea and Britain.
  • In the Garden with Miss Jean~Jean: Family, Pink, the antics and life of her adorable Maggie, Scottish Terriers, and I have to nominate a friend that loves Calendar Girls and Fried Green Tomatoes.
  • Ramblings From an English Garden~Barbara: For sharing her beautiful country, England with the world, and more because of her faith in, her love and passion for, and worship of God, her Father, Jesus, her Savior and the Holy Spirit, her teacher and guide.
  • Shropshire Girl~Sandra: The simplicity and beauty of living a good life.

I could have passed this on to so many more, but there is my list. I hope you will visit each one. I think you will like the time you spend on each little corner of the web world that these ladies call their own.

Be abundantly blessed!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Chocolate Pepsi Cake with Chocolate Pepsi Frosting

I have received requests for the Chocolate Pepsi Cake with Chocolate Pepsi Frosting that yielded $45.00, at the Dessert Auction, at church.

When I was taking Home Economics in high school, one of the cakes we made was a Coca Cola Cocoa Cake. I began cooking when I was seven, was preparing family meals by ten, and putting together my own little concoctions and recipes by then as well. When my Home Ec teacher passed out the recipes to choose from for that week's project, I influenced my group of four students to give the Coca Cola Cocoa Cake a whirl. I just knew the marshmallows in the batter were too much and it would be more of a Coca Cola Cocoa Mess... or a batch of really gooey brownies, at best. I persuaded the group to do this one by reminding them we could all bring in Coca Cola and drink it, without repercussion. So, Coca Cola Cocoa Cake it was!

I will spare you the details, suffice it to say that cake was delicious. Moist, but no batch of brownies... and no messy goo. Amazing and memorable.

For years I looked for a recipe that resembled this cake. This was before access to the internet. I even asked Maggie, my Home Economics (retired by this time) teacher if she remembered the cake and had the recipe. She remembered the incident (she smiled, I sighed), but did not have the recipe. Some time ago, I found a recipe that I believe is very close if not exactly like the one from Home Ec. With some playing around and tweaking, this is the recipe I used for the Dessert Auction at church, and made a second for my daughter's family. This cake truly is better the next, and the next~next day. The next time I make this, I am going to use Coca Cola. I've been using Pepsi Cola, since that is what the recipe calls for. When I start using Coca Cola, I will call it... Coca Cola Cocoa Cake. :~)
UPDATE:   I did make this again with Coca Cola and you can read about that here.

This the recipe as I have tweaked it.

Chocolate Pepsi Cake with Chocolate Pepsi Frosting

In large bowl sift together:

2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour

Mix in saucepan:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Canola oil
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup Pepsi Cola (warm)

Bring to boil, pour over dry mixture and stir some.

Then add:

1/2 cup buttermilk
1~1/2 teaspoons soda
2 eggs ( I use Extra Large)
1~1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1~3/4 cup miniature marshmallows

Mix all together well, marshmallows should melt, then pour into well greased pan 13x9x2. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes.

Mix in saucepan and bring to boil:

1/2 cup butter
4 tablespoons cocoa
6~7 tablespoons Pepsi Cola

Remove from stove and add:

1 pound powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecans (chopped)

Mix and spread over hot cake.

I use a hand mixer for both cake and frosting, but you can get away with just mixing well with a spoon.
You may not get $45. from friends or family by serving this cake, but the love and accolades should flow!


Monday, July 14, 2008

World's oldest blogger dies at 108 years old.

I won't say much here other than to say how amazing... this 108 year old woman had blogging friends from all over the world, and being moved to a nursing home did not stop her from blogging. Her last post was just shortly before she passed away. Her name was, Olive Riley. You can take a look here, and here, to read about her and her blog. Her blog shared her observations of life in the twentieth century.

Wonder if those of us that love blogging will still be at it at, 108.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Green tomatoes are good eats!

I promised Kim, I would give her the Fried Green Tomatoes recipe I like. It tastes just like my father's used to. Oh YUM!!!! Um.. Um.. UMMMMM!

The recipe I found that tastes so yummylicious and so much like those from my childhood were published in this book.

The Green Tomato Cookbook,
Recipes from Juliette, GA
Home of the Movie "Fried Green Tomatoes"

Click the above cookbook link if you are interested in the wonderful little $3.99, Green Tomato Cookbook. There are really good recipes in that book like, English Green Tomato Chutney, Green Tomato & Apple Chutney,1940's Green Tomato Pie, Green Tomato Omelet With Basil, Green Tomato Jelly and more.

I bought my copy while in Juliette, Georgia last year. You can click here to see my post on that. Oh my goodness.....!!!!!!! In looking at that post, I have already posted the infamous Fried Green Tomato, recipe. Please if you would, just go to the "post" link and see. That is the one I would have put here.

For those of you experiencing that wonderful abundance problem with your tomato garden, I highly recommend the, Fried Green Tomatoes. And if you are ever anywhere near Juliette, Georgia, be sure to go to the Whistle Stop Cafe, and order a plate.

You know, in writing all of this and drooling some, it occurs to me that Kim, is working really hard on, and doing a great job with finding and altering recipes to help lower blood pressure. Okay, the bacon grease is not going to aid in that gallant effort. There is a baked, Fried Green Tomato recipe in that book. I will end this by putting that recipe on here for anyone wanting to be health conscious.

'Fried' Green Tomatoes

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Dash Cayenne pepper (optional)

4 large green tomatoes cut into 1/2" slices
1 egg white beaten with 2 tbsp water
Parmesan Cheese

Vegetable cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a shallow dish, combine cornmeal, bread crumbs, paprika, salt, pepper and Cayenne, if desired; set aside.

Lightly coat a baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray; set aside. Dip each tomato slice in egg white mixture, then dredge in cornmeal~bread crumb mixture to coat. Place slices in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Spray tops of slices with vegetable cooking spray.

Bake 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese during last 5 minutes of baking if desired. Serve immediately.

I have never made these, but if you are looking to healthy up the original recipe, this is probably pretty good eats. Rosie Daley, calls this technique "Unfried" in her book, In the Kitchen with Rosie: Oprah's Favorite Recipes. By the way, this is a good book for just plain ol' overall health.

Here's hoping you'll love the Fried Green Tomatoes!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Clafouris aux Cerises

or ahem.. Cherry Cake.

You may remember that last year just around this time I posted a Basque Cake recipe. Cherries are so good in July, and the French use them especially at this time of year. So typically, I look for some French cake or pastry recipe to whip up. You know, Strawberry Shortcake in June, Peach Cobbler in August, and Cherry Something French in, July. This year when I took my trek through French cookbooks, I spotted one that looked simple (though that really was not a criteria for recipe selection), moist and delicious. Delicious was a criteria :-). This cake turned out to be even more moist than I anticipated. The scrumptious little piece of gateau was dense like a pudding. Oh yum!! Being more of a pie person than a cake person, I was delighted! Also, if you think you may like to try this, though it is delicieux while warm, I liked it even better after it had been refrigerated over night and served cold, so you may want to bake it the day before, or morning of wanting to serve it. I do have another cherry yummy I will be trying on Jour de Bastille Juilllet de 14, Bastille Day. I will get that recipe up if I like it as much as I did this one. So with no further ado, la recette:

Cherry Cake

  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh cherries, or 2 1/2 ~ 3 cups canned or frozen Bing or dark sweet cherries
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup reserved liquid from the fresh or canned cherries
  • 2 tablespoons cherry or raspberry preserves
  • 1/4 cup cold water

On your mark...
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Butter and flour a 5~6 cup baking dish or cake pan.
  • Wash, pit and remove the stems of cherries if fresh. Pit and remove stems over a bowl to catch any juice.
  • If cherries are canned, drain and reserve the liquid.
  • If using frozen cherries there is no need to thaw, just add 10 minutes to baking time.
  • Dry cherries by rolling them about in paper toweling.
  • Measure 2 1/2 ~ 3 cups cherries and put them in clean bowl.

Get set...
  • Add the batter ingredients to the jar of a blender in the order in which they are listed. Place the lid on securely. Blend at high speed for 1 minute.
  • To do this by hand, place the ingredients in a large bowl and blend well with a spoon or whisk. (Personally, I would not do this after seeing the consistency of the finished cake.)

  • Spread the cherries evenly across the bottom of the baking dish.
  • Gently pour the batter over the cherries.
  • Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 50 ~ 60 minutes, or until the top turns golden brown and the center of the cake is firm. Let the cake rest while you prepare the sauce.
  • Pour the reserved liquid from the canned cherries or any juices that accumulated from the fresh cherries into a small saucepan.
  • Add the cherry or raspberry preserves and the water and mix well.
  • Bring to a boil on medium~high heat. Reduce to simmer and cook for 3~4 minutes. (I ended up simmering for more like 8~10 minutes.)

This cake can be served with he sauce warm or cold. Topped with real whipped cream is really wonderful... again warm or cold. (My personal note.)

This recipe is from The Cooking of France, and is authored by, Matthew Locricchio. This book is geared toward the younger aspiring chef, and so I did cut corners on the directions, but basically this is how the recipe appears in Mr. Locricchio's book.

Bon appetit!

A little granddaughter time.

Shortly after arriving in Oklahoma, my daughter that lives in Texas, and her three children came to visit. I will be sharing that with you in a separate post. Although, I did get to spend time with my two local granddaughters during that time, one of them really just wanted a little personal Nana time when her cousins went back to, Texas. So, one afternoon, just she and I went to the pool and had a blast (we will be doing that again next week)! We came home put together a little fresh fruit salad with yogurt to get us by until a dinner of French toast and sausage was ready. Jon loved that, cause it just don't happen like that around here. We watched Loch Ness. I offered The Waterhorse, but she wanted to see Loch Ness this time, saving The Waterhorse for next time. Then quite past her bedtime, we headed off for some needed rest for the next morning.

Six~thirty and we were back up and in the kitchen. My granddaughter wanted to make a Lemon Meringue Pie. She had been at that dessert auction with me at church and thought that pie would be just the thing. She was hoping I was only taking the cookies and cake that to the auction that evening, and that the pie would be for family. Well, I got that the wrong way around I suppose. I made two Chocolate Pepsi Cake's and left one of them at her house for everyone, not the Lemon Meringue Pie. Oh well, it's six~thirty in the morning and time for a little redemption for the, Nana. On a recent tag post where you had to tell six things about yourself that you had never mentioned on your blog, I mentioned that I had won first in "Show" and "Taste" for my Lemon Meringue Pie. I asked my granddaughter if she wanted to make it the way I make it now after tweaking my original recipe, or if she preferred to start where I did. She wanted the original recipe and she would go from there. Loch Ness, original recipe... she might get that "first things first" mentality from her, Nana. Remember I start book series and everything else in the beginning? Perhaps it's the anal thing she might have picked up. Perhaps those are one and the same. Not sure, but we started with my original recipe.

Shell baked and cooling, eggs separated, lemons zested, all ingredient's measured and utensils out... time to get squeezing. I love the smell of lemon's gettin' the squeeze!

The first lemon was left a little pulpy and wet. So... time to put some muscle in it. I am proud to say she re~squeezed the first lemon and squeezed the rest of them dry! A perfectionist... who knew? :-)

Done! And very satisfied with her work... as she should have been. With the exception of using the zester, she did this all by herself. I gotta tell ya, I love this brand of baking. Soooo much easier!

Her first pie. This is the same granddaughter that learned to make shortcakes last summer.

And now we are off to that Mall I discovered while her Aunt from Texas, was here. My daughter, the shopping diva. I manage to not even think of going to a mall until she gets here. Fret not! She helped me with that. I have to admit, I am not a mall kinda girl, but the Mall we went to when she was here was really nice. And now, to take one of the younger shopping diva's. We ended up spending about four and a half hours there. Yikes! But, good times!! Who knew? A quick stop on the way home for some produce and......

we stop by my house for a quick cup of tea. This Bengal Spice Tea is actually not tea at all. It is an herbal melange of the most flavorful kind, and it became one of my favorites the moment I took my first sip!! Thanks, Sarah. My granddaughter got a whiff of mine the night before and wanted to try it. No caffeine, no problem. Even her daddy won't mind. Tea sipped and a cookie eaten, grab the pie, and it's off to take her home in time for dinner ~ and she is bringing dessert! Life is good!

Oh, the pie was wonderful!

Be blessed!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

So simple, so true.

Yesterday, I said I would give you an overview on what has been happening here since we arrived. I don't know how many times today I have headed in this direction and something else took precedence. I apologize. I am certain tomorrow I will get an "all caught up" post up.

In the meantime, I stumbled on a quote, in a blog I have visited in the past. I used to visit One Woman's Cottage Life, when we were beginning our redoing of the Chesterton, house. I found her blog very informational and fun. This quote can be appreciated by all, but for those downsizing, spring/fall cleaning, remodeling, or relocating... it is precious and I just had to touch base with all of you today, so I thought I would offer this quote to you. It struck me as so true.

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. ~William Morris

And of course, beauty means different things to everyone.

Have a beautiful day,

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tagged and getting back to my blog!

I have kept up on reading the blogs I visit, though I have commented very little, but I have not blogged myself, and have honestly missed it. Moving is such an huge project, especially when you move over 800 miles and opt to do it yourself rather than hire movers. I am still glad we did it that way, but what job! Anyway I am hoping, and I do think I can now maintain this blog like I would like to as all of the events surrounding this move are behind me and the dust has settled. Okay, a few more boxes of things to make final decisions about are still staring at me from the far side of the garage, and I am looking about for someplace I would like to work. I need to find a vet, make four curtains, and find someone to cut my hair (I may have found a stylist. Let you know next Monday, afternoon). Other than those little matters, I am settled. Praise God!! and thanks to a few very special people.

So lets start with some getting back to sort of things. I need to get back to Kim. On June 22, ugh... Kim tagged me. The guideline for this tag is, "...to name my top 5 musicians and my top 5 favorite compositions done by them." Here goes, Kim.

1. Chicago
Colour My World
Stay the Night (Be still my heart!)
You're the Inspiration
Hard Habit to Break
What Kind of Man Would I Be?
oh my gosh... how do you narrow Chicago down to five fave's?

2. Beatle's
The Long and Winding Road
All My Loving
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Come Together
again... how do you narrow classics down to five fave's?

3. Temptations (Yeppers! I was a HUGE Motown fan... still love the stuff.)
Just My Imagination
I Can't Get Next to You
Ball of Confusion
Get Ready
I Wish it Would Rain

4. Diana Ross and the Supremes (And what Motown lovin' girl did not listen to these?)
I'm Gonna Make You Love Me
You Can't Hurry Love
Love Child
Reach Out and Touch
I Hear a Symphony
...wow, a lot of singing about love and no substance to it.

5. Simon & Garfunkel
The Sound of Silence
Scarborough Fair
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Mrs. Robinson

What a stroll down Memory Lane that was. With the exception of a few songs like Love Child, and Ball of Confusion, I still would listen to these and more like them if I still owned them. Actually, I have considered buying some Chicago stuff, hummmm maybe I will. While I did listen to music, I never was a person that had the radio, 8 track or cassette player on everywhere I went, not even as a teenager or young adult. Now, I listen to jazz, classical, big band and worship music like hymns and praise choruses. For the most part though, I love quiet. I just use music maybe to accompany me in the car if I am taking a trip that takes more than an hour, and on rare occasion around the house. And then, I tend to listen to non music recordings. Boring? Yeah, some think so. But that's me and I like that part of me. Thanks for thinking of me, Kim!

Okay, my next item to get back to Kim, with is about an auction they held at church. I would just love to be a part of a really great House Church, but at least for now that is not the case. However, I am finally in a church that I can walk in agreement with, and worship freely. I believe your church is more important than where you live or work. Church is where you form friends to fellowship with and where you are being fed whatever spiritual food they serve. I am very choosy about both. The church we are attending is such a blessing and an answer to so many of things I have prayed about over the last few years. I am sure as I blog, you will hear more about the happenings from church. Alright, about the auction. This auction was hosted by the youth. It is an annual event at this church. It is a Dessert Auction, and was held to help raise funds for future outreach events that youth would be doing. These youth performed beautifully some amazing music and drama, and some gave moving testimonies about how they received Jesus, as their Savior, and what he means to them now. Very edifying and encouraging!!! Immediately following was the Dessert Auction. The room was full of people and four long tables were covered with scrumptious homemade desserts. There was and auctioneer and and an auction that I could hardly believe, and I was sitting there. Kim, I did bake and take your Raisin Oatmeal Classics. I called them Craisin Raisin Oatmeal Walnut Cookies. Original huh? Well, I wanted prospective buyers to know what was in them. I did go with all-purpose flour instead of soft whole wheat pastry flour since they were for the general public, but I love them with the pastry flour. So, here is the list of what I took and what each item got as a final bid.

1. Craisin Raisin Oatmeal Walnut Cookies (one plate of 2 dozen) $40.00
2. Chocolate Pepsi Cake with Chocolate Pepsi Frosting (13 X 9) $45.00
3. Lemon Meringue Pie (9 inch) $135.00

It is true. These people support missions, their youth and the work God has laid before them, and they are serious about it. There is a real showing of being a cheerful giver in this church. They understand the seed principle. The overall giving that night amounted to $4,331.00. A great start for this next years outreach projects the youth will host.


Westward Ho!

I thought I might post a few photos of our recent move. Since the profile photo of me at the lap top was taken in our home in Indiana, and we have moved, I have changed the photo to one taken in our home in, Oklahoma. Sorry, Kim. Tomorrow, I will post a little about what has been going on here at our house since the move.

Everything was packed up and filled up,

everyone was tucked up... and it off we went.

We left Chesterton, so much later than we anticipated. Originally, we wanted be rolling out by 12:00 noon. There were some unexpected snags and by the time we got a bite to eat at local fast food place, it was 7:30p.m. Had we left on time, our goal was to get to Springfield, Missouri, and stay the night. Doing so we would have easily arrived at our destination by 2:00p.m. the following day, and we could have unloaded and set up the necessities such as bed, linens, couch, and a few needed kitchen items by bedtime. The next day being Sunday, we could have finished unloading and returned the U-Haul trucks that evening. The best laid plans and all that. By the time we had been on the road four hours, and only somewhat down the highway in Illinois, I got a the full impact of the previous three weeks. I became so overwhelmed with sleepiness I had to stop. There was a rest area within a few miles of that wave of drowsiness, and we stopped. I have seen truckers and RV's park and rest for the night at rest areas many times when we have traveled. I just never figured I would be one. But there we were, Baxter and I in one truck, and Jon, in the other, and about 25 of our closest trucker and RV friends we had just never met... snoozing until morning. Up, teeth brushed, clothes changed, a little walk... and we are back at the rambling road and on our way.

320 miles later give or take, we are passing through St. Louis.

300 more miles and we are in Oklahoma and on the Will Rogers Turnpike.

50 miles into Oklahoma, we stop for one last ..... Tornado! Okay, BritGal warned me about this but... yikes. Oh, and Sarah, YES!! feel free to hook me up with your tornado survival expert, Pam??. There was no doubt for those of us at this stop that there was a tornado somewhere in the area. People were getting off of the turnpike because of the high winds. We ventured back out once the wind settled down some and it was still hard to keep those heavy U-Haul trucks on the road. Here is an article, complete with photos I later found about this tornado.

What a trooper! Baxter, did not seem to even mind. These photo's do not do this event justice.

However, he really was having trouble staying on the ground. If memory serves me right, Jon ended up carrying him most of the way back to my truck.

65 miles of driving in really high winds, coupled with being tired and way past our hoped time of arrival, we did not stop in, Tulsa. This photo is from a previous trip and I just thought I would insert it. Normally, we would have stopped here and then had lunch at Rib Crib. Yumm!!!!! a serious perk to living in, Oklahoma!

Another 110 miles and Home Sweet Rent House. :-)

These are two of my granddaughter's that live nearby. Shortly after we moved in, they hand painted (okay, maybe hand permanent marked) a lovely terra cotta pot and filled it with with impatiens. The sentiment on it simply says, "I love you, Nana" and it is trimmed with plum purple ribbon and embellished with carnation pink beading. Thanks, girls!
The people here in Oklahoma, are not in a hurry about anything. I love that. Stress and discouragement are just not a part of everyday life here. I love that. And!! they are all so friendly. I mean it. Everyone has been amazingly friendly. What a lovely place Oklahoma, is. For everyone that has said to me, "Welcome to, Oklahoma", let me just say, I do feel very welcomed here and I am glad to be here.

More tomorrow on a few wonderful things that have happened in the last three weeks.

Blessings wherever you are!