Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes

I’m taking the cheaters way out today- lots to do. I came across this recipe on Tastespotting today- it sounds like a different take on a pasta salad:

Pesto Macaroni Salad with Tomatoes, Corn and Fresh Mozzarella

1 lb salad macaroni (small, short cut, uncooked)
3 ears of fresh corn, cooked and cut off the cob
1 pint grape tomatoes (the smaller, the better)
3 stalks of celery, small dice
2 shallots, minced
6 oz basil pesto
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
8 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2″ cubes
salt and pepper to taste

Cook and cool the salad macaroni. Toss it with a tablespoon of olive oil to keep it from sticking together while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Boil the corn for about 5 minutes and then shock in ice water to halt the cooking. When cold, cut the corn kernels off the cob. Dice the celery and mince the shallots.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked macaroni, fresh corn, tomatoes, diced celery, and shallots. Fold in the pesto, mayonnaise and red wine vinegar. Fold in the diced mozzarella and season with salt and pepper to taste.


I’ll be trying this for the weekend and I’ll let you know how it comes out! BYE!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday Night Stitching…

I was able to work a couple of hours on Quaker Halloween this week, plus Thursday night. I finished the hat motif, and the acorn motif:

 CS Quaker Halloween15

CS Quaker Halloween15A

I also was swayed by the evil temptress, E’Bay, and won 3 linen cuts, for not a lot of money: 

    ebay linens

36 ct. Edinborough  “Dirty” Linen, 27 ct. R&R “Over the Hill Purple”,  and 28 ct. “Nordic Blue” unspecified brand. I’m going to use the blue for a “Swirly Snow” freebie chart I found online, probably as my July ornament. That should hopefully cool me off some! %^P

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes

Something savory this week, and you may have some hints for me. These patties were a bit TOO loose- I needed a spatula to move them around. I didn’t want to add too much dry breadcrumbs and make them too dry. Does anyone have suggestions on what I can do to firm these up, without drying them out? Maybe fresh breadcrumbs? Less mayo? They tasted great, either on a plate with a salad or served on a burger bun with just a touch of tartar sauce.

Salmon Cakes

Serves 2

  • 6-7 oz skinless, boneless salmon- either foil pouch or canned
  •  salmon cakes1
  • ¼ cup finely diced green pepper
  • ¼ cup finely diced onion
  • 1 egg- beaten lightly
  • ½ to ¾ tsp Essence  (scroll to bottom of stew recipe)
  • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup (scant) mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup dried bread crumbs (approx.)
  • 1 cup Panko or additional bread crumbs (for dredging)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 TBSP oil for fry pan
  1. Preheat large sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. Flake salmon in a medium mixing bowl. Add pepper & onion and egg. Then mix in seasonings, mustard & mayo.  salmon cakes3
  3. Fold in the 1/3 cup breadcrumbs. If mixture is too loose, add up to ¼ cup more.
  4. Spread Panko crumbs on a sheet of wax paper. Divide mixture into fourths, and form into balls  salmon cakes4   , drop on Panko, and flatten into patties about ½” thick. If patties are too fragile to turn over to coat other side with crumbs, dust tops with additional Panko, and lightly press to adhere coating.  salmon cakes5
  5. When oil is hot, place the patties in sauté pan, and fry until first side is golden brown. Carefully flip patties over, and brown second side until golden- about 8-10 minutes total cooking time.

salmon cakes6

As you can see, I had a “breakage” problem. But they still tasted good. Maybe I should just make them smaller?

Feel free to substitute green onions and/ or celery for the regular onions and/or green pepper.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Weekend stuff….

When Em graduated from BU last month, her cousin was also graduating from Army boot camp in Oklahoma the same day. Em’s grandfather and aunts went out to OK to see that event. Em didn’t take any offense, nor did I, seeing as I wasn’t planning on any festivities anyways. Then I got a call about 10 days ago, from my ex-sister-in-law, to invite me to a party they were having Father’s Day, for Em’s grandfather and to celebrate Em’s graduation. I accepted, made  a platter of taquitos, and was completely reminded of the fact that I totally LOVE my ex-in-laws! Or outlaws, as I like to call them. Don’t care too much for the ex-husband (who didn’t attend), but I’ve been divorced for 13 years now, longer than the length of my marriage, and it was like we hadn’t seen each other since last week. Of course, all of Em’s cousins’ children were now in elementary school, as opposed to being babies, but they are all bubbly and vivacious and fun to watch. And they remind everyone of when Em was that age (she was the youngest grandchild of her generation). Em’s 2 oldest aunts are now retired, in their mid-60’s. They are almost 20 years older than her father, so their kids (Em’s cousins) are about 12-15 years older than her. The out-laws love to have family get-togethers for EVERY occasion, which I found tiresome when I was married, but since I haven’t been to one in years, it wasn’t really all that bad. I’m glad I went, and grateful that they made me feel so welcome.

On a less bright note, I found out Saturday afternoon, driving Bob home, that my air conditioner in my car no longer works. SURPRISE! I don’t personally care, but I know there will be times that Bob will need it this summer. Plus I’m guessing my de-fogger capabilities (the only time I use my AC by default) won’t be too good. I’m wondering if the broken AC is related to my computer issue I had in March? Needless to say, i don’t have an extra $300 lying around to have it fixed.


These are really weeds- Milk pods, but kind of like alliums, just not as pretty colored: Allium_Globemaster .

allium3 My weeds.

My lavender:


These aren’t weeds. I clipped a couple of bunches to hang in my bathrooms. I LOVE the aroma!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cranky Pants….

I’ve not had a good night sleep in literally a year. I waken somewhere between 1 am and 3, then either stay awake until 4 or so, and/or fall back into disturbingly detailed (yes I remember them!) dreams until my alarm goes off at 5:15 am. Last night was no exception- I checked the clock at 2:23 am. I was hearing an annoying mechanical drone coming from off in the distance, that continued on the WHOLE FREEEKIN’ NIGHT. Sometimes I can hear the MBTA trains warming up at the train yard, but this wasn’t quite the same noise, plus, around 4 am, I DID hear the trains moving about from the train yard to the station, including the crossing bells, in addition to the drone. I seriously was SO close to getting in my car at 3:30 to drive around until I found the source of the noise, and then batter the culprit to death with my aluminum baseball bat. The noise was like a huge vacuum hum.  I have no idea how far away it actually was; the train yard is about 2 miles away, the train station about 3/4 of a mile.

ARRG!!!!I’m getting totally annoyed just remembering it! I was extremely cranky at work today. (And tired). My boss has been omnipresent in the office for 2 weeks straight. He’s had a head cold (poor snookums) and hasn’t gotten back to his gym schedule. We’ve gotten in a bunch of new jobs (YAY! Economy is doing something!), so I’ve been busy, but he keeps back-seat  drafting and today I was ready to whack him upside the head with a drafting scale. Gawd- I needed some chocolate!

The guacamoles presented me with this last night:

IMG_0257 A new stitching bag! Just because! Monogrammed! And custom embroidered with a horse! It has a pocket on the opposite side for holding my chocolate or orts.

I worked on these last night at Jeanne’s:

CS Quaker Halloween14


PS Hedgehog2

I made Salmon Cakes for my supper (and Diabetic boy). Here are 2 mooches:


Delilah (Shhh! Don’t tell her she’s getting fixed next week!)


And Chicken (with Delilah’s tail in front)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes…

Anna of Cookie Madness highlighted this recipe a few weeks back, which immediately evoked my childhood. My mom used to bake these pudding cakes, usually on Saturday nights it seemed. We’d come home from Saturday night Mass with my dad, and my mom would have supper ready, on the table. She’d vary between a chocolate one, a lemon one, and I think it was an improvisation due to lack of lemon-age- an orange one. There were 6 of us in our family, so chances were, there weren’t ANY leftovers. This came out JUST like I remembered!

Louise’s Lemon Pudding Cake

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar (divided use)
Grated zest of three lemons
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 2 TBSP all purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup lemon juice (from the 3 lemons you zested)
4 large eggs, separated
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1-1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 7 ½ x10 ½ inch baking dish. (8 x 12?) Have ready a roasting pan or pan large enough to hold the baking pan. You will be using it as a water bath.
  2. Set aside 1/2 cup of the sugar and put 1 cup in a mixing bowl. Add the lemon zest and mash it around with the back of a spoon until you have a fragrant, lemony sugar. lemon pud cake1
  3. Add the the salt and the flour and stir until well combined. Add melted butter, lemon juice, and egg yolks. Mix until well blended. Stir in cream and milk. Set aside. lemon pud cake2
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until fluffy. Gradually add the reserved 1/2 cup sugar and beat until stiff but still moist. lemon pud cake3
  5. Fold egg white mixture into lemon mixture. Pour batter into the buttered baking dish. lemon pud cake4                             Place the baking dish in the larger pan and fill the larger pan with water so that it comes about halfway up the sides (water bath). 
  6. Bake on center rack for 40-45 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Serve hot or cold. (I like it better cold)           Serves 6-8.

            lemon pud cake5

My baking dish wasn’t a 9”x13”, so instead of doubling the original recipe, I “one-and-half-ed” it. I was still afraid I had too much batter for my baking dish, so I removed about a cup or so to a smaller bowl. As it turned out, I wouldn’t have had a problem if I left all the batter in the baking dish. If you have a 9” x 13” pan, it’s a pretty safe bet that doubling the original recipe will work.

lemon pud cake6A

Friday, June 11, 2010

Stitch & Witch….

I wish I could sit & work on this all day until it was done:

CS Quaker Halloween13

But bosses have a way of returning to the office way too soon on a Friday afternoon!

Close up of the witch hat:

CS Quaker Halloween13A

I can see I’ll have to do something with the tails on the back- they’re showing though this linen something  fierce!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Taste test…

lemon pud cake6A

Lemon Pudding Cake- preview of next week’s WWW!

Wonderful Wednesday Wrecipes…

From Tastespotting, I came across another biscuit recipe. It came out excellent- different than biscuits made with butter (these, for instance), but yummy none the less.

Sweet Cream Biscuits
(from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours, page 23)

Makes about 9 biscuits

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 2 tsp. Sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 to 1-1/4 cups heavy cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Pour about 1 cup of the cream over the dry ingredients, with a fork start tossing the ingredients together. If necessary, add more cream, a spoonful at a time, until you’ve got a nice soft dough. With your hands, give the dough a quick, gentle kneading- about 4 or 5 turns to bring everything into a cohesive ball.
  3. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour and pat the dough out with your hands (or roll it with a pin) about 3/4 inch high. Don’t worry if the dough isn’t completely even – a quick, light touch is more important than accuracy.
  4. Use a sharp biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of this first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working them as little as possible, pat out to a 3/4-inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits can be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting – just add a couple more minutes to the oven time.)
  5. Bake the biscuits for 14 to 18 minutes, or until they are tall, puffed and golden brown.
  6. Serve warm with butter, jam or honey.

cream biscuits1

Look how tall:

cream biscuits2

The one behind to the left is from the second cut, so it’s not as high.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Some Quaker Halloween stitching:

CS Quaker Halloween12

Love, love this project!

Started my June ornament:

PS Hedgehog1

It’s the tiny Prairie Schooler Hedgehog pin cushion; I’m going to put “Merry Christmas” or something in the grass that’s supposed to be at the bottom.

It’s my turn to make snacks for stitching Thursday- I’m going to bake a Lemon Pudding Cake.

I now have a Windows 7 computer at work- meh. It’s TOO cartoony for me, and very difficult to find where to customize things. Plus, we had to reload my drafting software, and most of my custom settings for that disappeared as well. I’m gradually getting them back, but most of the original setup was done almost 10 years ago, and I can’t remember where to find the customization buttons for various tasks. And it’s no longer supported, so we’re pretty much on our own with it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wicked Wednesday Warning!

Friday is National Donut day! Dunkin Donuts is giving away one free donut with the purchase of a beverage (which in my mind isn’t “free”). Krispy Kreme is truly giving away a donut per person, no purchase necessary.


I grabbed this picture off Google image search; I have NEVER seen this varied of a selection at my local Double D’s. And I’m in DD’s home state!

Back to stitching in the Better Late Than Never category:

trail creek farm winter

My May ornament is:

Trail Creek Farm “Winter” on 32 ct. “Lambswool” with GAST floss- my color substitutions.

I’m going to do the Prairie Schooler Hedgehog for June. I’ve already lost my green somewhere between taking it from my floss box this morning, and pulling everything out at lunch. I have to go thru my tote……..

Don’t forget the donuts!