Saturday, December 31, 2005

Weekend Cat Blog #30


Here is Tilly Girl resting up before a nice long day of napping. Glad to hear Kiri is gaining the weight back. Tilly and her people wish everyone a Most Happy New Year!
(Yes, there are legs, paws, and a tail under that fur!)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Vote For Granita!

I'm not a very bold person, but just this once I thought I would ask if anyone thinks the Granita on the previous post deserves a vote in the Adagio Tea recipe contest please post your vote. You can vote at http://www.teachef.com/view_recipe.html?recipe=70

Thank you very much--if the above does not work, you can just Google Adagio Tea and follow the prompts to the contest. I'll let you know.

Hope to be posting a recipe tonight--keeping my fingers crossed on the outcome.

Thanks to all who have visited here and Happy New Year!

Fran

Lemon Meringue Pie


Wanting to make use of the beautiful lemons hanging on the tree just a step off the patio, I decided to make a lemon pie. Perfect weather here in The Valley of the Sun today. Lemon pie has been a favorite in my family. I really enjoyed baking today. Picking the lemons off the tree and smelling that wonderful, fresh scent of lemon. The fragrance filled the house and reminded me that it really won't be that long until the citrus is in bloom again. Nothing can match that smell--if it could only be captured! The recipe I used today is nothing that unusual, but it is a good one. I have a great collection of cookbooks from County Extension groups, churches, and other community organizations. This particular recipe is from the Oklahoma Centennial Cookbook (A century of Logan County Cooking 1889-1989). The book came to me from Mom who received it as a gift from my sister.

Ingredients

1 Baked 9" pastry Shell (See previous post)

Filling:
Sugar (1 cup)
Cornstarch (1/4 cup)
Salt (1/4 tsp)
Water (1 1/2 cup)
Egg Yolks (3)
Butter (2 tbsp)
Lemon Juice (1/3 cup)
Grated Lemon Rind (1 1/2 tsp)

Meringue:
Egg Whites (3)
Sugar (6 tbsp)

Procedure:
Combine 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt in double boiler top, gradually blend in water. Cook over boiling water, stirring constantly until thickened. Cover, cook 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, beat together egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar. Blend a little of the hot mixture into the egg yolk mixture, then stir all into hot mixture in double boiler top. Cook over boiling water 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from boiling water. Add butter, lemon juice and lemon rind. Cool. Pour into cooled, baked pastry shell. Spread meringue on pie filling. Bake 15-20 minutes on 350 degree oven.

Notes--I don't own a double boiler so I just used 2 different sizes of sauce pans. I used a copper saucepan for cooking the actual filling and placed lemon rinds in the water in the larger pot which holds the boiling water and I do double duty--not only cooking the filling but polishing my copper pan at the same time!

Happy Baking,
Fran

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Christmas Eve Granita


Thought we would go a little light on the dessert last night so I came up with something I had wanted to make for a while--Granita. It was sweet but refreshing. Would be nice during hot summer months too.

Ingredients

Spearmint Tea (2 cups brewed with 4 teaspoons of tea)
Sugar (1/2 cup)
Lemoncillo (1 tablespoon)

Procedure

Boil 2 cups water and add the sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves and add tea.
Brew for about 5 minutes. Strain tea into a 9 inch metal cake pan and stir in the Lemoncillo. Place pan in freezer. Check about every 30 minutes until ice begins to form. When mixture begins to freeze scrape with the tines of a fork and replace in freezer. Repeat this process until everything is frozen and about the consistency of snow cone ice. Serve in scoops on a plate or a nice glass.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Worth Waking Up For! WCB #29


So glad to read Clare's wonderful news that Kiri is back! I woke Tilly girl up from a nap just to give her a hug and tell her I was glad she is here when I read the news. People without pets really don't know the joy they miss. We are so fortunate to share our lives with our pets. Believe it or not I didn't stage this photo. Tilly came up with napping on the sofa with the pillow and the quilt. She is a sweetie. We hope that all the pet lovers in the world have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy each other's company--especially Kiri and his people.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Cranberry Scones with Orange Glaze





These scones were delicious this morning. It was cloudy and kind of cool so I was in a baking mood. The recipe is one I adapted from Tyler Florence's recipe from Food Network. I have used this recipe several times using different fruits--blueberries (original recipe) and raspberries (absolutely melt in your mouth) for the scones and have used both lemon and orange for the glaze.

Ingredients

Scones

Flour (2 cups)

Baking Powder (1 tablespoon)

Salt (1/2 teaspoon)

Sugar (2 tablespoons)

Butter (5 tablespoons, cold, cut in chunks)

Heavy Cream (1 cup, plus more for brushing the scones)

Cranberries (1 cup--or other fruit of your choice)

Glaze

Orange Juice (or lemon-1/2 cup, freshly squeezed)

Confectioners Sugar (2 cups)

Orange Zest (zest of one fruit, finely grated)

Butter (1 tablespoon)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Sift together the dry ingredients: the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Using 2 forks or a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream. Fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough. Fold the cranberries into the dough. (If you use blueberries or raspberries, be careful not to mash them since they will color your dough.)

Press dough into a rectangle about 12" x 3" x 1 1/4" on a floured surface. Cut the rectangle in 1/2 then and 1/2 again. Cut the squares in 1/2 on the diagonal. Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with a little cream. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until light brown.

Mix the orange juice and confectioners sugar together in a microwave safe bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves. I microwaved mine in 30 second intervals until it got smooth. Add the zest and butter. Microwave for 30 seconds more. Stir until smooth and drizzle glaze over the top of the scones.

Happy Baking,

Fran

Tilly


This is Tilly. She is the sweetest kitty on the planet. She has ruled our household for seven years now. She is a 6 pound Tortoiseshell Persian. Loves to get into small spaces as you can see. She gets anything she wants--but mostly what she wants is just to be with her people and be petted.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Raisin Bread Pudding

Maybe it is the cooler weather (even in Arizona) that makes me think more about "comfort food". I had been thinking of making bread pudding when I read Fanny's post at Food Beam for her delicious chocolate cupcakes made in the microwave. Our favorite bread pudding is made in the microwave. Not only is it a time saver, but an energy saver too. I wouldn't not use my oven if it sacrificed on the taste but this pudding is as good as any made in the oven. So, Fanny, this is for you and anyone else who likes bread pudding.

Ingredients
Raisin Bread (4 cups cubed)
Raisins (1/4 cup)
Eggs (3)
Brown Sugar (1/2 cup, packed)
Vanilla (1 teaspoon)
Salt (dash)
Milk (2 cups)
Butter (2 tablespoons)
Cinnamon (to taste)
Nutmeg (to taste)

Procedure
-In a lightly greased microwave proof dish (I use a glass bundt pan), mix bread and raisins. --Beat eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt until well blended.
-In a 4 cup glass container heat milk and butter on high (maximum power) for 4 1/2 to 5
minutes or until steaming hot.
-Gradually stir in egg mixture.
-Pour over bread and raisins, sprinkle with cinnamon &/or nutmeg.
-Cover with waxed paper.
-Cook on half power (simmer) 12-14 minutes--ovens vary so the time may vary also.
-When cooked, center may be slightly soft but will set as pudding cools. Serve warm or
chilled.

Hints
-If you like maple syrup--drizzle a little over the top when serving warm pudding.
-If you are not using a bundt type pan you can place a microwaveable glass in the center of
your baking pan to make the same shape and your bread pudding will cook more evenly.
-I have made this with just a good textured bread and added rasins or dried blueberries,
cherries, cranberries or snipped apricots and it is delicious.
-I have had this recipe for a long time and am sure I got it with one of my early microwave
ovens.

Happy Baking,
Fran