Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Well, much to my surprise, I have just today been nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.  The lovely award was sent by a new blogging friend Terry1954 who can be found here:  http://terry1954.wordpress.com/

Thank you Terry!

As with all awards they come with rules of course…

and the rules are,

  • Give credit to the one who nominated you
  • Tell seven secrets about yourself
  • Nominate seven others

Seven secrets?  Hm, I don’t think I have any more since I started blogging here on WordPress! 😉  But, here goes…

  1. If I could, I would live on five acres and get a pair of Alpacas because I love their little humming noises
  2. I am allergic to carrots and I love them, but not the stomach ache I get when I eat them.
  3. My eyes are Hazel Green. <— (click here to guess the secret.) 😉
  4. I am a perfectionist and have to do it perfect or I can’t  won’t do it at all.
  5. I am going to be completely tearing out my vegetable garden and revamping it between now and next spring… it is going to be redone in raised beds with a goose proof fence all around.
  6. If I had enough money and time I have several friends around the world that I would love to travel and visit with!
  7. I am hopelessly old-fashioned in my ways.

My Nominees, should they choose to accept, are:

  1. Lori at Day by Day the Farmgirl Way  because we have so much in common.
  2. Julie at Wings and Things because we both love geese, and because I know she won’t accept this award (and I secretly covet one of her “Hot Potato” awards that she hands out to people who give her awards.  😉  )
  3. Linda at The Task at Hand  because she is a masterful writer and always surprises me with her stories she weaves.
  4. Jayme at Tales From the Coop Keeper who I know won’t accept it, but I’m sending it anyway.  A funny chicken keeper and gardener who recently lost 100 pounds!  Yup, she get’s it.
  5. The Kitchen Gardener over on the Farmy who has more energy and verve for life than anyone else I know.  She accomplishes so many things in her day.
  6. Cindy of On and Over the Hills who is a school librarian five days a week, and finds the time to capture captivating photographs and writes so beautifully about her subjects.
  7. And finally, April at Gluten Free Zen because she makes Gluten Free easy and delicious!  Those who can do what she does are few and far between!

That was harder than it looked, because it was so hard to choose!  I hope you will go and have a visit with each of the nominees.  They are only a few among the many unique, talented, and lovely women I know.

Again, thank you Terry!

Kitchen Sink Tomato Sandwich: gluten free style

Cover of "White Trash Cooking (Jargon)"

Cover of White Trash Cooking (Jargon)

It’s time for The Ritual of the First Tomato of the Season.   However, let me say right up front that this is not mine!  Oh no!  I comes from a little gem of a cookbook called White Trash Cooking by Ernest M. Mickler  (the recipe is to be found on page 74).

If you haven’t read White Trash Cooking, well then I know you haven’t discovered the delights of deep south white trash cookin’!

The recipe is simple enough, but I will tell you the authors version is more authentic and infinitely more entertaining!

Kitchen Sink Tomato Sandwich:  (my version)

Ingredients:

~ 1 very ripe, fresh picked, still warm from the vine tomato sliced THICK (book says refrigerated, but I like mine warm)

~ 2 Slices of Udi’s whole grain Gluten Free Bread (or your favorite)

~ Enough Mayonnaise to slather onto both pieces of your bread

~ Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Put the mayo onto your bread, add the tomato, salt and pepper, put the other slice on and press it down real good.  Grab it with both hands and eat it over the sink.

Why over the sink you ask?  Well, you don’t want to be wearing all that juice on your clothes do you?  I’m sure that the book references something about “…rolling up your sleeves and letting the juice run down your elbows into the sink.”

This is so simple.   If you haven’t had one, well, then I’m certain you will not believe how really good it tastes!

ENJOY!

NOTE:  Other versions online use Wonder bread and Miracle Whip, but I leave those details to your personal taste.  😉  Oh, and do follow the link for Miracle Whip… I had no idea about its history.  An interesting read!

***  This is NOT a paid endorsement, though I wish it were, I just happen to love this cook book! *** 

Kitchen *Kitbash: Betty Crocker GF Brownie Mix

There are many things that come in packages and are Gluten Free (GF) these days, but not all are necessarily delicious right out of the box.  Such is the case with Betty Crocker‘s GF Brownie Mix.  Overly sweet, and very gooey they are simply not the best brownies out there.

Now I won’t buy these for myself, but I have twice been gifted these same brownies and honestly appreciate the kindness of both friends to go out of their way and do this for me!  That said, I desired to see if I could make them a bit more palatable by doctoring them up.

Here’s what I did…

Ingredients:

1 box Betty Crocker GF Brownie Mix

1 extra egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup chopped *almonds (mine happened to be smoke house style)

I added the above to the mix in addition to the called for ingredients.  Mixed and baked per the instructions on the box, and I believe they came out to be superior to the just as directed version.

They were not gooey and a bit lighter in crumb.  I asked Bob what he thought of the changes and he said:  “Oh, I don’t know.  I think I will have to eat another one to be sure.”

That is a very good sign!

Should you try this at home I would be interested in knowing what you think of the changes I made.

*kitbash:  “The practice of modifying a model…  [no longer limited to model railroad or] toy action figures, to achieve [a] result other than that intended by the manufacturer.”  Paraphrased from the Urban Dictionary and term applied loosely to the process of modifying a box baking mix.   🙂

**I used almonds because that is what was on hand, but I am sure that walnuts or pecans would be equally good!

Aaaah… Valentines Day

Early 20th century Valentine's Day card, showi...

Image via Wikipedia

OK, we all know Valentines Day is Monday and  I have decided to actually DO something about it.  I’m making plans, I’m throwing caution to the wind, I’m…

Well OK,  let me explain…

Around here we have become very lazy about the celebrating and gift giving.  We, and I do mean me too, never remember with the exception of Christmas, to get cards for each other or little gifts.  Dinner out is saved for Birthdays and our Anniversary, but we still don’t get around to actually going shopping for at minimum a card.

I have decided that this has got to stop!

So starting this year I will be making an effort to remember.  Starting with Valentines Day and all through the year I will be making plans and getting it done.  Ha-ha-ha, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it so it might as well be me.  😉

So far I have accomplished ordering his favorite chocolates from See’s Candy (milk chocolate Bordeaux, which I happen to like too of course).  I found a card and put it away so he wouldn’t find it (OK, now where was that hiding place…?) why I even got him a new coffee mug from Starbucks!  OK, the card and gifts are covered, so now on to the dinner plans.

Although our favorite place for delicious food that we both can safely eat is the Bonefish Grill in Huntsville, we have two problems…

Valentines Day falls on a weeknight and that is too much driving, well OK, it’s not that far, but it is too much hassle, AND we can’t afford it!

So, I am planning for romantic dinner at home.  I even plan to set the table with the good china and candles!  Can you see me doing this?  Aww, me neither, but I am going to give it my best.  Have to start sometime if I am going to make this a new habit.  Right?   The two main features will be the salmon and dessert, and both came to me from friends on the internet.

THE MENU:

Main course will be Crusty Baked Salmon Fillet from “In Danny’s Kitchen.” The recipe will be modified to use Udi’s Gluten Free bread for the crusty bits but if you follow the link above to the recipe you can make it as he intended.

Dessert will be a cheat on Red Velvet Cake from the Betty Crocker website.(Thanks to Pam and Pee Wee for helping me discover this!)  This too will be modified in the following way:

GF Red Velvet Cake (follow the link above for original recipe)

Cake

1  box Betty Crocker GF Chocolate Cake mix

1 and 1/4  Cup buttermilk (I will start with 1 c. and check consistency, adding more if necessary)

1/2  Cup butter

3  Eggs (from my hens)

1  Bottle red food coloring  (is there a natural, non chemical brand out there?)

1  Tablespoon unsweetened baking cocoa

1  Teaspoon apple cider vinegar (added to first cup of buttermilk when ready to mix)

Frosting

2 Ounces cream cheese

2 Teaspoons milk

1 and 1/2 Cups whipping cream

1/2 Cup powdered sugar

METHOD:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Grease bottom and sides of 13×9-inch pan or two 9-inch round cake pans and lightly flour, or spray with baking spray with flour.
  2. In large bowl, beat all cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan(s).
  3. Bake as directed on box for 13×9-inch pan or 9-inch rounds. Cool completely.
  4. In chilled large bowl, mix cream cheese and milk until smooth. Beat in whipping cream and powered sugar with electric mixer on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until soft peaks form. Frost top of 13×9-inch cake or fill and frost cake layers. Store in refrigerator.

Recommended tip for frosting the cake:  If making a layer cake then chill the layers in the refrigerator for 4 hours, or overnight to firm them up!  (GF cakes lack the gluten found in the wheat flour to hold them together, so i will be making mine in a 9X9 cake pan!)

(*For all you die-hard do it from scratch purists I have included a link for you  to be magically transported to a traditional recipe and a vintage recipe which uses red beets to color that cake: click the photo below)

(this is my dream picture of a GF Red Velvet Cake!)

So what have you planed for Valentines Day?

Oh yes, and because this is a ground breaking new adventure,  I will of course let you know how it all turned out!

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® German chocolate cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 bottle (1 oz) red food color
1 tablespoon unsweetened baking cocoa
2 oz cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons milk
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar

//

    Serve with…
    Confetti Corned Beef Hash Confetti Corned Beef Hash
    Total Time: 25 Min
    MORE OPTIONS: 2 3
  1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Grease bottom and sides of 13×9-inch pan or two 9-inch round cake pans and lightly flour, or spray with baking spray with flour.
  2. In large bowl, beat all cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan(s).
  3. Bake as directed on box for 13×9-inch pan or 9-inch rounds. Cool completely.
  4. In chilled large bowl, mix cream cheese and milk until smooth. Beat in whipping cream and powered sugar with electric mixer on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until soft peaks form. Frost top of 13×9-inch cake or fill and frost cake layers. Store in refrigerator.
  5. 2 oz cream cheese, softened
    2 teaspoons milk
    1 1/2 cups whipping cream
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
  6. 2 oz cream cheese, softened
    2 teaspoons milk
    1 1/2 cups whipping cream
    1/2 cup powdered sugar