Saturday, April 3, 2010


source: "Zdjęcia na tablicy" by Małgorzata Kaszowska Em-ka

Friday, April 2, 2010

It’s Easter, I cook, it’s what I do…

I was talking to my friend, Trish, this morning.  She’s a talented lady, but she doesn’t cook a lot and she doesn’t understand why I do what I do.  I’ve always cooked, my mother cooked, my aunts, my grandmothers, it’s totally ingrained into me.  I don’t do as much as I once did, John and Deanna are coming this afternoon, we’ll eat out this evening, and tomorrow, so all I’ll cook is Easter brunch, but I did make dessert.

IMG_2273_crJohn’s favorite is Robert Redford, aka Better Than Sex, aka Lemon Lush.  I’ve made it for years, and he always wants it in the spring.  I asked Deanna what she wanted, and she wanted coconut cake.  So I tried Ina Garten’s recipe.  I love the Barefoot Contessa, and this cake turned out great, so I bet it’s a keeper.

When I was frosting this cake this morning, I pulled out my cake spatula, and had another one of those reality checks.  I’ve frosted cakes with this spatula for forty years IMG_2272_crnow.  Forty years!  And  the Cuisinart that I used, I’ve had since 1978!  Those of you who know me, know that I have every kitchen gadget known to man woman.  Some day my family will have a lot of gadgets to sift through, a lot of memories attached to them, also.  But since I come from a family of cooks, I’m sure the traditions will live on.  It’s a warm fuzzy thought on this gorgeous sunny day.

And Sunday brunch?  It’s going to be an adapted recipe of my friend Linda’s recipe from Eating Well, Living Thin, Crustless Asparagus Quiche, Stuffed Banana French Toast from the Neely’s on FoodTV, fresh fruit, strawberries and pineapple, and for John, Orange Julius’s.  Yep, it’s the same recipe that they’ve served at the mall all of these years.

I was also thinking about the younger women who read this blog, and I will give you a few suggestions.  This old cook has been around the block many times, and I’ve picked up a few good tips.

  • Clean out your dishwasher before you start cooking.  It’s a lot more fun to cook in a clean kitchen, as soon as you use something put it in the dishwasher.  Keeps you sane.
  • Always work in the sink, the counters stay uncluttered and cleanup is a snap.
  • Put things away as soon as you use them.  Don’t leave that flour sitting out, put up that vanilla.  When you’re finished and tired, you won’t have a big mess.
  • Enjoy what you’re doing, put on some great music, take your time, it’s not a race, set the timer when you’re baking, make notes, double check your ingredients before you start.  Have fun with it.
  • Invest in good equipment.  It’s the best advice I could ever give anyone.  If you’re going to cook, it’s worth the money to have nice things to use.  You can pick up great quality pans and bakeware at Marshall’s, TJ Maxx and Tuesday Morning.  I shop these stores regularly, you never know what jewel you will find tucked away and for a lot less money than kitchen stores.

And now about those recipes.  Here they are, enjoy   ~ jan

Ina Garten’s Coconut Cake>>>

Robert Redford Dessert/Better than Sex/Lemon Lush>>>
Note:  I make this in a 8x12 pan, because I like a thicker filling.  I also squeeze half of a lemon into the pudding/milk mixture and grate lemon zest on top.  Add extra pecans, too – you can never have too many nuts!

Crustless Asparagus Quiche>>>
Note:  I changed this just a bit.  I cook my bacon, then saute green onions, mushrooms and red peppers in the drippings, drain really well, blot with paper towel.  I don’t use nutmeg or onion powder or veggie bacon, I use real bacon, and I bake this in a large Au Gratin dish.  Oh, I top this with quite a bit of parmesan cheese, maybe 1/3 cup or so,  before it goes into the oven.   It’s a great recipe!  And so easy!

Stuffed Banana French Toast>>>

Orange Julius

* 6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate, use it right out of the can
* 1 cup milk
* 1 cup water
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 tsp. vanilla extract
* 8-9 ice cubes

1. Combine all ingredients except ice cubes in blender.
2. Blend for about 1-2 minutes, adding ice cubes one at a time.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

This really made me sad…

IMG_2264_crI'm not one to live in the past, I'm pretty upbeat most of the time, and move forward with my life without a lot of hassles.

In the video I posted yesterday, the lady was talking about grieving for what you used to be, and wouldn't you know, something happened just after I watched that video that gave me a total reality check!

I haven't had hair long enough to pull back for years, but it is now, and I was working in the garden and needed a clip to hold it back. I told hubby that I had saved all my hair stuff, it was on the top shelf of my closet. Of course he had to go through every single box, I thought they weren't there, but tucked into the corner were three Victoria Secret boxes stacked on top of each other, I opened them,   and there they were, all the cute hair "thingies" that I used to wear.  Here is one of the boxes, they were all filled with things I had long forgotten.

It was a sudden rush of memories, to those so called glory years that we’ve all had, and will never have again. All the cute hair stuff that I had then, but could never wear now. Well, first of all nobody wears any kind of scrungie anymore, but even if they did, a sixty year old woman would look pretty silly in most of this stuff. Can’t you just see me in a leather barrette or a leopard scrungie?

I think I have a few boxes of my clothes from my past stored away, but you can darn betcha I'm not going to be looking in those boxes any time soon. I could have just sat and cried! Don't know why it hit me like that, I guess it was that woman talking about grieving for the past. I don't care what anybody says, how enriched our lives are now that we're older, how much smarter we are, blah, blah, blah - looking in the mirror and getting older is a real bitch!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What’s cookin’ at Ryan & Lindsay’s house…


Daddy cooked Abby’s first meal today.  Was it a hit?  Ummmmm, not so much.  It will be interesting to see what kind of food he will cook for her. 

Ryan loves to cook, he’s totally passionate about food, so no doubt, when she’s old enough, bebe Abby will be introduced to all kinds of food flavored wih herbs and spices. 

Wonder how that will work out?

I found a recipe for him today, salmon (Lindsay’s favorite, by the way) steamed in the Babycook with new potatoes and asparagus, then pureed.  She’s not old enough for this yet, but it won’t be long…

It will be an adventure, feeding this child.  I’ll keep you posted…

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