Scenic Sunday

He can walk on water!

Scenic Sunday!

Everyone’s out

and about.

training wheels

Just a hint of warmer weather brought everyone out of doors on this lovely Sunday to stroll or ride a bike in the park.  This little girl perhaps got her bike for Christmas ; she has the training wheels on just

learning to ride her bicycle.

Today , it is mid 40 degrees, and the lake is still frozen!

the barren tree overlooks the lake

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Recipe- Banana Bread Cobbler and Banana Crumb Muffins

This Banana Bread Cobbler this was one of Southern Living’s Best Recipes of 2010.

Written on January 24, 2011

Banana Bread Cobbler

1  cup  self-rising flour
1  cup  sugar
1  cup  milk
1/2  cup  butter, melted (I used ¼ cup.)
4  medium-size ripe bananas, sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat an 11×7-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Whisk together flour and next 2 ingredients just until blended; whisk in melted butter. Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Top with banana slices, and sprinkle with streusel topping – recipe below.
Place dish in oven and bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Serve with ice cream.

Streusel Topping

3/4  cup  firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2  cup  self-rising flour
1/2  cup  butter, softened
1  cup  uncooked regular oats
1/2  cup  chopped pecans

Stir together brown sugar, flour, and butter until crumbly, using a fork. Stir in oats and pecans.

This Banana Bread Cobbler recipe has been posted Mommy’s Kitchen.

This Banana Bread Cobbler recipe has been posted on Momnivore’s Dilemma Creative Juice Thursday.

Notes:

Substitute for Self-Rising Flour:

Add 1 1/4 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt to a cup of all-purpose flour.

Banana Crumb Muffins:

Sift together one and a half cups of flour,with a teaspoon each of baking soda and baking powder and a half teaspoon of salt. In another bowl I beat together three very ripe bananas, three quarters of a cup of sugar, a lightly beaten egg, and a third of cup of melted butter. I stirred that banana mixture into the flour mixture until it was just moistened. I spooned the batter into ten muffin cups lined with paper muffin cups.

In a small bowl I mixed together a third of a cup of brown sugar, two tablespoons of flour, an eighth of a teaspoon of cinnamon, and a tablespoon of butter. I sprinkled the topping over the muffins.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Baking – Fondant and Frostings

Want to learn more about fondant!

Answers to the fondant question was found on Betty Crocker’s Message Boards,  Kitchen Conversations .

There are several different types of fondant.  One is the soft center of some candies.  Poured fondant is poured over petits fours.  Sculpting fondant is thick enough to shape into decorations.  Rolled fondant is rolled out and draped over a cake for a smooth surface.

A super easy fondant can be made with marshmallow crème…1 cup marshmallow crème and 3 cups powdered sugar…Mix marshmallow crème and 2 cups powdered sugar. Knead in remaining 1 cup powdered sugar.

Random thoughts about fondant—
 
Fondant is a playdough-like consistency that can be rolled and draped over cakes, it provides a satiny, smooth surface.  
 
Fondant is new to the US market, but it has been very popular in the European countries for decades.  Prepare fondant availability has increased over the past ten years in the US.  It is available at all location where cake decorating supplies are sold.

On the Betty Crocker website as well is reader’s comment for home-made frosting.

Cooked frosting


1 cup milk
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 sticks butter, room temp ( I think … may have been two… can’t remember which I used for sure.)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Cook milk and flour. (Mine was cooked until pretty thick)
  • Cool.
  • Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and mix until combined.
  • Add cooled cooked mixture to creamed mixture and beat until combined.

Enjoy on some green or red velvet cupcakes.

http://www.bakerella.com

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups confectioners’ sugar

  • Sift sugar and set aside.
  • Beat cream cheese and butter on high until creamy. Add vanilla.
  • Then, add the sugar in batches. Scrape down the sides in between each addition.
  • And frost away.
A frosting Recipe for Red Velvet Cake from a reader:
Shannon Bush said…

I LOVE Red Velvet Cake and we have made this in our family since I was little. The recipe is the same as yours but you have got to try our frosting:) You will LOVE it!!!!


Frosting:


Cook together –
1 c. Milk
5 Tbl. Flour
Cream 2 cubes Butter and 1 c. Sugar.
Add 1 tsp. Vanilla to cooked mixture and than add to sugar mixture. Beat till smooth and creamy – this takes quite a long time to fluff up.
I used this recipe the first time I tried your cake pops cause it’s so hard to find RV cake in the box in my area and they are so so good with the real deal!;) Thanks for your blog I love it and get lots of my baking inspiration from ya!!

February 23, 2010 12:14 AM

  • Frost the sides.

This Yellow  Cake Recipe is from Bakerella’s friend’s mom.

” She used to own a bakery and made the yummiest cakes. So, I thought I would ask the pro for help. And, I’m so glad I did. It was yellow and moist, but mostly delicious. Thanks for the recipe, Shirley!”

Moist Yellow Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) of butter (room temperature)
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs (room temperature)
3 cups of sifted self-rising flour (White Lily)
1 cup of whole milk (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (McCormicks)
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour (3) 8 inch cake pans.
  • Using a mixer, cream butter until fluffy.
  • Add sugar and continue to cream for about 7 minutes.
  • Add eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg is added.
  • Add flour and milk (alternating to creamed mixture), beginning and ending with flour.
  • Add vanilla and butter flavoring to mix; until just mixed.
  • Divide batter equally into three cake pans.
  • Hold each layer about 3 inches above your counter and carefully drop the pans flat onto counter several times to ensure release of any air bubbles. This will help you have a more level cake.
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes (depending on your oven) until done.
  • Cool in pans for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Remove and immediately wrap each layer in plastic wrap to seal in moisture. Cool completely on wire racks.
  • Once cooled, you are ready to assemble your cake.

Here’s a little trick to add moisture into your layers:

  • Combine 1 cup of sugar and 2 cups of water.
  • Bring to boil and boil for approximately 3 minutes. Let cool.
  • Pour liquid into a spray bottle or pouring bottle.

Cake assembly:

  • Unwrap first layer and using a serrated knife, level off the top of your cake.

  • Place layer onto your dish. Take a straw and poke holes into the layer. Using your spray bottle, spray top of layer several times; enough to give it a little moisture. Be careful – don’t add too much.
  • Add a layer of frosting to your bottom layer. Repeat on second and third layers.
  • Frost the sides.

Easy Buttercream Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) butter (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1b. 10X powdered sugar
1-3 teaspoons milk, half and half or cream

  • Using a mixer, cream softened butter and vanilla until smooth.
  • Add sugar gradually, allowing butter and sugar to cream together before adding more.
  • If you want your frosting a little creamier, add a teaspoon of milk at a time and beat on high until you get the right texture.
  • Then, just use icing colorsto tint the frosting the color of your choice.

This is usually just enough for a 2-layer cake, so I would recommend doubling this for a three-layer. But, I like a lot of frosting.

P.S. Bakerella has  been using aluminum cake pansinstead of the dark coated kinds you find in the grocery store. They also come in manydifferent sizes

George Washington’s birthday in Virginia

If you’ve got a three-day week-end off, then Virginia is the place to visit.  You’ll find a list of events in celebration of George Washington’s birthday.

If you can’t make the trip to Virginia,  why don’t you  cook up some Hoe cakes  in your own kitchen , on an iron griddle for the best taste.

Recipes for “Hoe cakes” are at the bottom of this post.

 

General George will be greeting guest to his 297th birthday party this weekend at
the Mount Vernon Estate.

ALEXANDRIA, VA. – George Washington’s hometown has never been short on celebrations honoring the birthday of its first president.

Hoecakes swimming in butter at Mount Vernon? Check.

A Massive parade in Old Town? Check.

The nation’s first president will be honored on the 279th anniversary of his birth with a parade in his hometown of Alexandria on Monday, February 21 from 1 to 3 p.m. in Old Town.

Photo by John Arundel <br />Historic Mount Vernon presents a Surprise Birthday Party for General Washington daily through the weekend<br />
Photo by John Arundel
Historic Mount Vernon presents a Surprise Birthday
Party for General Washington daily through
the weekend

The George Washington Birthday Parade, the largest and oldest in the country celebrating this Founding Father, will wind its way through the historic streets of Old Town where Washington lived, worshiped and conducted business.

Annually the parade includes thousands of participants including historical, community and youth groups, bands, horses and canines. Spectators line the brick sidewalks along the one-mile parade route.

Events throughout the weekend in Alexandria will celebrate Washington’s legacy with an historic reenactment at Fort Ward Park, the Birthnight Banquet & Ball at Gadsby’s Tavern, a 10-K race, the first ever one-mile race just before the parade, plus free admission to historic sites on parade day.

Historic Mount Vernon presents a Surprise Birthday Party for General Washington daily through the weekend.
Saturday and Sunday, February 19 and 20
Breakfast with George Washington at Historic Mount Vernon
9 a.m. to noon, while supplies last

George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy.
Included in regular admission

Celebrate George Washington’s birthday by joining the General for breakfast as he enjoys his favorite morning meal, “hoecakes swimming in butter and honey,” cooked over an open fire (while supplies last).

Pull up a hay bale and chat with the Father of Our Country about politics, farming, the Revolutionary War, and life in the 18th century.

Following the breakfast sampling, families can participate in a “Surprise Birthday Party” for General Washington that includes rousing birthday cheers and a serenade, patriotic music and more.

February 6 – 12
Third Annual Cherry Challenge
Throughout Alexandria
Alexandria restaurants are creating unique menu items featuring cherries in celebration of one of the most cherished legends surrounding George Washington. Each restaurant will develop its own cherry cocktail, appetizer, entrée, or dessert. Try them all and vote for your favorite. Winners are given special recognition at the George Washington Birthday Parade. Participating restaurants include Dishes of India, Fontaine Caffe and Creperie, Food Matters, Hank’s Oyster Bar, King Street Blues Old Town, Murphy’s Irish Pub, Pizzaiolo Café, Ramparts, Seagar’s Restaurant (Hilton Old Town), Shooter McGee’s, St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub, Tempo and The Light Horse.

Recipe:   Hoe Cakes

Hoe cakes are similar to pancakes but prepared with cornmeal instead.

  • 2 cups corn meal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • oil for frying

Put the tea kettle on to boil. In a large bowl combine the corn meal and salt. When the water boils, measure it in a metal or tempered-glass measuring cup. Pour the boiling water over the cornmeal and stir it up. The cornmeal will swell up, absorbing the water, and making a very thick mash.

Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. You can use as little as two tablespoon of oil per panful, but it is a little easier to use 4 or 5 tablespoons of oil for each panful. Use your waistline and frying skill as the final judge. Now scoop up a little of the cornmeal mush (about 1/4-cup) and shape it into a patty. It will still be warm from the boiling water, so be careful not to burn yourself. You can let it cool down some more first if you like. Plop the patty into the hot fat, and get it to frying. Make some more, until you have a whole pan full. I usually cook about 4 or 5 at a time. When the underside is crispy brown, turn them and cook the other side. When both sides are crispy and brown, transfer them to a plate to keep warm, and start another batch. This recipe makes about 12 hoe cakes.

Originally, Native Americans cooked these on hot rocks in an open fire. They were commonly referred to as Ash Cakes. Later on, settlers from Europe adopted the recipe, cooking the cakes on the blades of their hoes in the fireplace. This is where they get the name, “Hoe Cakes”. Of all the recipes in my collection, this one is the oldest, the cheapest, and just about the tastiest of all. Serve Hoe Cakes with as a bread, or by themselves for breakfast with maple syrup or molasses. They also make a nice accompaniment to main meals, especially when fried in margarine. In the summertime, when you want a hot bread, but don’t want to heat up the oven, this is the best choice. They cook right on top of the stove, without heating up the entire house. Good for camping and back packing too.

Another favorite southern bread recipe are biscuits. My biscuit mix made from white flour makes it easy to bake up a batch of them for breakfast or dinner.

http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/hoecakes.htm

Paula Deen’s recipe for Hoe Cakes

HoecakesRecipe Courtesy of Paula Deen

These hoecakes have always been one of my signature dishes.

Servings: 16 hoecakes (give or take)
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients Add to grocery list

Oil, butter, or clarified margarine, for frying
1/4 cup vegetable oil or bacon grease
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup buttermilk
2   eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup self-rising cornmeal, or from a mix (recommended: Aunt Jemima’s)
1 cup self-rising flour

Directions

Mix all ingredients together, except for the frying oil, in a bowl until well combined. Heat the frying oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Drop the batter into the hot skillet. Use about 2 tablespoons of batter per hoecake (pancake).  Fry each hoecake until brown and crisp; turn each hoecake with a spatula, and then brown the other side. With a slotted spoon, remove each hoecake to drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

Chef’s Note: Leftover batter will keep in refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/hoecakes.htm


Recipe-Grilled Lemon Chicken

Grilled Lemon Chicken

Delicious, moist, oh so flavorful marinated grilled lemon chicken recipe. Adapted from family circle magazine.

Ingredients

Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoonn white vinegar
2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
¼ cup olive oil
pounds boneless skinless
chicken breasts, pounded slightly
1 lemon, thinly sliced
cup Sliced black olives or
Kalamata
** I also make another batch of dressing , halved.. my adaptation to the recipe.

Directions

In a medium sized bowl, whisk lemon juice, vinegar, dill, basil, honey, dijon mustard, ¾ teaspoon salt, and pepper till well blended. In a slow stream, whisk in the olive oil until blended. ** My adaptation would be to make another ½ batch of this dressing and set aside for drizzling later.**

Place your chicken in a Ziploc. Add all your dressing to the ziploc, close and marinate.. I did for 5 hours. Turn a few times during marination.

Heat your gas grill to medium high or your charcoal grill with medium hot coals. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Grill chicken 5 to 6 minutes per side, turning once, until JUST done, you want it juicy, baby. Grill some slices alongside for presentation.

Place chicken on platter. Top with grilled lemon slices, some sliced black olives, the extra dressing, teeny bit of salt, and serve.

Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday

There’s  a restaurant that we dine at on occasion, it’s the perfect little spot to show off some red and a heart shape design that I admire every time we visit.  I just love the intricate black metal designs  of the window and beyond is the brick  wall in the cocktail lounge.

Hearts , a fitting Ruby Tuesday image!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday morning break fast of  Strawberry pancakes, fresh strawberries and bananas and strawberry tea is fitting for Ruby Tuesday.

 

Strawberry pancakes on a red polka -dot plate

I see a shadow!

Shadows in the backyard today; the beautiful snow is still here.

So what do you talk about while you’re getting a  diagnostic mammogram done?

Since I was the first early am appointment , my mind was fresh with the mornings news.  While  in the first examination room, we talked about the news of Congressman Christopher Lee and what he had done to transpire the quick resignation. I added that I asked my husband, “so what do you think of that?; his answer as he’s preparing a bowl of breakfast cereal, ” you’re safe with me.” I smiled and giggled. The radiology technician had said,  “You can bring that magazine in with you.” So , in between images and waiting for the development and retaking more positions of first the right side and then the left, I continued reading the page on the “Mermaid” that had caught my eye. So, I shared with the technician, since we’re both waiting. The mermaid is a young woman from New Zealand wearing a prosthesis, who lost one leg at the age of seven , a congenital disease, and the other at age 16.  When she was coming out of the water one day, a little boy approached her and asked her if she was a mermaid.  That gave her an idea, and she contacted a scientist , who constructed a prosthesis like a mermaid’s tail with digitally enhanced shiny scales.  She swims in the waters of New Zealand for recreational exercise.

What do you think about while you’re waiting for the technician to perform her duties for the next procedure, an Ultrasound. I say, ” It’s been such a cold winter.”  ‘Do you remember how many days of heat we had in the summer?” She said” Yes”.  I said , we decided to vacation in Maine where we hoped it would be a few degrees cooler and there would be a breeze at Old Orchard Beach.  “Do you know that so many  French Canadians vacation there  that there are signs in some of the store fronts and restaurants that say “we speak French”.  Also, the amusement rides have signs in french , for example , for the “Funhouse”, in neon colors of purple. There is a dessert that we have here in the Middle Atlantic states, called Pizzelle eaten generally during summer carnivals.  In Old Orchard Beach, there is on the menu for fruit fillings such as  apple, cherry, blueberry, as well as the favored tomato sauce or powdered sugar.  “I  haven’t heard of the fruit type before.” I said, they also have something with a brown gravy with fries.  She said, “That’s a New Jersey thing, I’m from Staten Island”. ” Oh really, I’ve never eaten it and I’ m from New Jersey, as I laugh.  She relayed, It’s seen mostly at diners,  french fries with melted mozzarella cheese on top and brown gravy as a dipping sauce on the side.  ” Have you ever prepared this at home?” ; No, I don’t know what kind of gravy it is.  Hmm, I’ll have to look this up, a home-made recipe in the making. The radiologist comes in with the Ultrasound technician to see the actual views.  Let’s look at 1:00, and 12:00, these are positions on the lefts side; these are cysts. Let’s look at 8:00, there is a dark area, ( a shadow ),  is called a nodule.  You will need to call your Dr. and schedule a needle biopsy and get a follow-up mammo  in six months for the left side.  Next , I ask ” how do they do the needle biopsy?  “THe radiologist puts Lidocaine, the same thing that the dentist uses for your teeth to numb the area.  Okay, I say.  Life is a long road full of twists and turns , but I believe, you must stop along the way to appreciate every moment you have.  That’ why I love these new age digital cameras, and I am always taking pictures of every day moments.

Shortly after I returned home from the Radiology office, I received a call from my Gyn Dr’s office, refrerring to my results today as a class 4.   She gave the names of 3 Breast Specialists to call to make an appointment with , asked me “what did the radiologist say?”  She said, that she sees a dark spot, I refer to the title of this post as ” I see a Shadow”. It was time to leave for work, and to be left wonder what consists of class 4.  Class 4 is a suspicious abnormality with , requires a biopsy and this category can be malignant in 25-50 % of the cases.  I’ll have to read up more about this.

I found out this year from my mother that we have a family history of breast cancer, my maternal grandmother’s sister had it.

http://www.imaginis.com/breast-health/mammogram-interpretation-categories-and-the-acr-bi-rads

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