Thursday, February 23, 2017

Blackberry Bars

I had forgotten about this recipe until I stumbled upon it the other day.  I made them for my husband.  That man loves his desserts.
 Crust and Topping

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
Pulse this in the food processor.

 Press all but 1-1/2 C. of it into a sprayed and lined 9X13 pan.  Save the 1-1/2 C. for the topping.  Bake this in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Remove and cool.

Fruit Filling

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • pinch salt
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups of fresh blackberries.
Beat all of the ingredients together except the blackberries.

 Gently stir the blackberries into the batter.

 Pour the mixture over the cooled crust.

 Sprinkle the reserved 1-1/2 C. over the top.  Bake this in the 350 degree oven for about 50 minutes until it no longer jiggles and is turning golden around the edges.  Mine took about an hour.

Let these cool for at least an hour before cutting into bars. Sprinkle lightly with confectioners sugar.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Mirror Chains

Since we are having summer weather in February, I've been doing outside projects. I've been making mirror chains to hang all over the garden.  I started out making these years ago just using mirror tiles.  Then I decided to add beads and medallions.  Why does a witch have a cross?  Catholic roots die hard.  Just teasing!  I'm just sort of fascinated with cross symbols and I thought this heavy glass cross was very cool.  I wrapped it in copper wire which should look great when it weathers.
 I made this one yesterday using a glass mushroom medallion.  These chains hold up really well outside year round as long as all the beads are glass.

 It's hard to photograph these suckers.  This is a simple chain made using crystals from an old chandelier.

 When it is sunny out, these chains come alive.  They reflect the light all over the woods and garden. It looks like fairies flying around.  Quite magical.

I have them hanging on my porches as well.  Different chains come to life at different times of the day depending on the location of the sun.

This one has a sun medallion and skull beads.  It balances out the cross.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Swedish Meatball Massacre

I am so easily influenced.  After days of watching, hearing and reading about the Trump comment concerning the massive problems with immigrants  in Sweden aka The Swedish Meatball Massacre, I decided I needed to make Swedish meatballs.  So, something good can come out of something bad.  Ha!

  • 2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 C. flour
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 C. sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

 In a medium sized bowl combine ground beef, panko, parsley, allspice, nutmeg, onion, garlic powder, pepper, salt and eggs. Mix until combined.  Cook a small piece to taste it and adjust seasoning if needed.

 Roll into  meatballs. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and a bit of oil in a pot.

Add the meatballs and cook turning continuously until brown on each side and cooked throughout.

 Transfer to a plate.

 Add a stick of butter to the pot.

 Add the flour to the pot.

 Whisk until it turns brown.

 Slowly stir in beef broth and heavy cream.

 Add worchestershire sauce and dijon mustard and bring to a simmer until sauce starts to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 Add some chopped parsley and add the meatballs back to the sauce.

 Cook some egg noodles.  I used two bags for this recipe.

Serve the meatballs over the noodles sprinkled with some parsley.

Perfect comfort food for a stressful time.

Monday, February 20, 2017

A New Potting Table

I bought a new potting table.
 Adieu old table, you served me well!  This table has been on my patio for 10 years in all sorts of weather and though it looks a bit rickety, it's actually pretty solid.

 Hello new look like a real work horse.

 The old table is going to the lower garden.  The new one is unusual.  It's from Paris and I am guessing it's an old farm table.  Notice the drawer on the left without a drawer pull?

 The third drawer is actually on the side and has a metal drawer pull.  Interesting?

Has anyone ever seen a table like this?  Any idea what kind of wood this is made of?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Korean Spaghetti

I made this for my daughter and her boyfriend, the chef, yesterday.  This is seriously good spaghetti.  It's so cute that someone who cooks for others all day long every day, loves me to cook for him.

  • 2 pounds of assorted mushrooms
  • 4~ 5 tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound of ground pork
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp of gochujang paste 
  • 4 tsp of flour
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmigiano cheese, plus more to sprinkle
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-1/2 pounds of spaghetti cooked al dente

Saute the mushrooms in the oil until browned on both sides.

They should be very golden.  Make sure you do this because it really makes the mushrooms very flavorful.  Remove them and set them aside.

Brown the pork in the remaining oil.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Add the onion and the garlic. Cook for a couple minutes.

Add the tomato paste and the gochujang.

Stir it in until it evenly coats the meat.

Sprinkle with the flour and cook it a few minutes stirring all the while.
Add the milk.

 Cook until it begins to thicken.

Add the mushrooms.

Then the cheese.

Stir it until the cheese melts and add the spaghetti.  Taste it and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Serve it sprinkled with more Parmesan, sliced green onions and some diced cilantro. 

This is not very spicy.  If you want more spice, add more gochujang.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Easter Wreath

I guess I better start wrapping my head around winter being over.  We are going to be close to 70 degrees this weekend and well into next week.  My crocuses are up as well as my daffodils. No winter this year.  My daughter loves having seasonal wreaths on her front door so I made her an Easter wreath yesterday.

I find ugly old wreath castoffs at thrift stores for 1.00.  I rip off whatever they are covered with and use the base to make a new one.  Easy and very affordable!