Peaches & Cream

September 5th, 2016

PeachesAndIceCream.jpg

Thanks Shelley and Lance for the beautiful fruit! We’re enjoying peaches on ice cream tonight for dessert. I saw a Pioneer Woman cooking show episode last week where she did a peach syrup with basil on ice cream - we didn’t have basil, but it was yummy with just the nice ripe peaches. There’s extra syrup (just the liquid) left so we’ll enjoy that in iced tea to add some sweet peachy goodness.

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/vanilla-ice-cream-with-basil-peach-topping/

Black Wednesday Fare…

August 30th, 2016

BlackWednesday2016.jpg

Salami, 2 kinds of cheese (brebis rousse - sheep - triple cream, and affinois - cow, double cream), tomatoes w/mayo, stuffed olives (blue cheese garlic), bell peppers, boiled eggs, and fancy-schmancy olive oil crackers

Chili Cookoff

August 9th, 2016

Laura’s work group held a chili contest and she decided to enter our friend Carol’s recipe for Veggie Chili. We’ve made this chili for years now, and it’s easy and always comes out great. Apparently the judges like it too, because it got 2nd place in the contest. There were 8 chilis entered and all of them were super tasty. Laura is now busy running around collecting all the recipes from her co-workers.

Chili Cookoff

Chili Cookoff

Here’s the recipe for her EdgyVeggieHeartyChiliGoodness:

1 T vegetable oil
4 celery stalks, chopped
2 large onion, chopped
½ C ketchup
2 one-pound cans crushed tomatoes
2 cans red kidney beans
1 can white beans (any variety)
2 tsp dry mustard powder
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp black pepper
2 T chili powder

Saute the onion and celery in the oil in a large pot. Add all the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 20-25 min. Do not overcook – the celery should retain some crispness.

Serve unadorned or garnished with any of the following: chopped onion (green, red, white), chopped jalapeño, sour cream, cheese, corn chips, etc…

Laura’s notes: Adjust the seasonings to your liking – I usually use less salt, and sometimes add garlic and/or cumin/coriander. If you want more heat (the basic recipe is not spicy), you can add jalapeño or red pepper flake in the simmering. Add any additional chopped vegetables that you like – zucchini and red/green bell peppers are especially nice.

National Root Beer Float Day!

August 6th, 2016

Root Beer Float Day is just one of those holidays that must be celebrated!

Root Beer Float

LA Quilt Show 2016

July 30th, 2016

After years of saying “Someday, Someday…” Laura has finally decided to enter one of her many quilts into the LA Quilt show……

“I was fortunate to attend three Mary Ellen Hopkins quilting seminars, where I made many quilting friends and learned many MEH concepts and techniques. This quilt is a celebration of those good times, and utilizes many MEH techniques including: Connectors (they’re just about everywhere!), PPM (Personal Private Measurement), muddy backgrounds, and various motifs from the seminars. It also includes signature blocks from the seminar participants (including MEH herself) of the seminar in 2000. I learned so much in the seminars and while piecing and quilting this quilt, and it makes me smile as it always brings back fond memories of those times. Pieced and quilted on a small home machine – cotton batting.”

Quilt Front

Quilt Show Flyer

LAQuiltShow (http://www.laquiltshow.com/)

Quilt on Lawn

Wish her luck!

Buck Moon

July 19th, 2016

Tonight’s Buck Moon from our front yard……

Buck Moon

It’s called the buck moon because bucks begin to grow new antlers at this time of year, according to the Old Farmers Almanac.

The Planets

July 16th, 2016

Planets

Laura Played Tuba with the El Segundo Concert Band.
Great Concert!

Ava’s 3 Year Anniversary

June 8th, 2016

Ava 3 Year

Crochet Edged Blankets

June 8th, 2016

Blankets

Taught a fun class in how to make a Crochet Edged Fleece Blanket in June. There were about a dozen people in the class and everyone caught on really quickly – there was even one person that had never crocheted. I did all the prep work on the blankets (cutting, hemming, poking stitching holes) prior to the class, so we were all set to start crocheting at the class. The completed blankets will be donated to an organization (Casa de Los Angeles - Kaiser Permanente - www.casadelosangelitos.org) that helps mothers/babies.

For instructions on how to make these blankets, click here

Bridgeport Fishing Trip

June 3rd, 2016

Trout Campfire
http://keetna.com/blog/tn_2016TroutFilets.jpg
tn_TroutBones.jpg

Jam….

June 1st, 2016

Jam

Apricot jam is the lighter, nectarine the darker with some visible fruit chunks.

On a recent trip to visit Mom, the summer fruit was ripe. Picked up apricots, strawberries, and nectarines. We share some of the fruit with friends and snacked on a bunch too. Even with all of that, there were enough apricots and nectarines to make home-made jam. Yum.
Here is Grandma’s tried and true peach jam recipe, which also works well for apricot and peach. The nectarine jam is made as written. For the apricot jam it can be made as written, or add about 1/2 C of crushed pineapple.

Peach Jam (makes ~6-7 pints)

Ingredients:
4 C chopped, slightly crushed peaches (or nectarines, or apricots)
3 T frozen orange juice concentrate
4 C sugar - divided
(if apricot jam, optionally add 1/2 C crushed pineapple)

Place chopped/crushed fruit, orange juice concentrate, and 1 C sugar in a large pot (optionally also add pineapple if making apricot jam). Place pot over medium heat and bring to full rolling boil while stirring with a wooden spoon (metal can get too hot). For a full rolling boil, the bubbles should not stop when the jam is stirred.
Boil 3 minutes.

Add 1 C sugar, boil 3 minutes
Add 1 C sugar, boil 3 minutes
Add 1 C sugar, boil 10 minutes

Ladle the hot jam into sterilized jars and top with lids, screw lids on finger tight. Allow jars to cool on counter. Jar lids should self-seal as the jars cool - you’ll hear them popping as they get sucked down onto the jars. After jars are cool, your jam is ready to enjoy! Store sealed jars in cool dark cupboard. If any jar lids don’t seal, place those jars in fridge to use first. (Seal test - press down on the jar lid. If you can press it down, your jar isn’t sealed)

El Segundo Hometown Fair

May 7th, 2016

Made two entries for the 2016 El Segundo Hometown Fair Bake-Off.

CD

Raspberry Cheese Danish Braid was a mashup of two recipes from
the Sally’s Baking Addiction website - used the raspberry filling
and pastry from her Raspberry Danish, and the cream cheese filling
from her Blueberries and Cream Danish. The dough wasn’t difficult, but
it was a multi-day effort as it’s yeasted, egg-enriched, and then
butter-laminated. The braiding makes it look fancy, but it’s really
easy to do - she has a photo tutorial on her site.

Hummingbird Cake

Paul saw a Hummingbird Cake recipe and thought it looked good - and he was right!
Used a recipe from Saveur - can’t go wrong with Saveur recipes.
Bananas, pineapple, coconut, and pecans make for a rich and moist cake.
It’s also flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg. Cream cheese icing tops
it off. For the fair entry I did a two-layer cake. The recipe makes
three layers, but I didn’t want to push my luck by adding that third
layer - I had enough trouble with trying to get two layers lined up
and iced.

Prizes

Both recipes were a success! The Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish Braid won first place in the Breads/Pastries category, and the Hummingbird Cake won the Sweepstakes!
In addition to the coveted ribbons, the prizes included gift cards and a fun assortment of baking themed goodies

http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/10/30/raspberry-danish-braid/

http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/homemade-danish-pastry-dough/

http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/02/16/blueberries-n-cream-danish-braid/

http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Hummingbird-Cake

Happy Hallowe’en!

October 31st, 2015

Spider eggs for a Hallowe’en potluck…

SpiderEggs2015

National Candy Corn Day!

October 30th, 2015

We celebrated National Candy Corn Day with Candy Corn Cupcakes…

CandyCornDay2015_1

Colored the batter with candy corn colors, and used the Pioneer Woman’s Chocolate Ganache recipe for the cupcake frosting…

CandyCornDay2015_2

- here’s the recipe for the ganache:

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/life-by-chocolate/

Blue Moon Spider

July 31st, 2015

Blue Moon Spider

Laura took this late night shot of a spider feasting during the 2015 Blue Moon….

Flower Basket 2015

July 11th, 2015

flower Basket

Did a crochet pattern test recently.
The pattern (”Sweet Little Old Fashioned Flower Basket”) will be available on Ravelry (www.ravelry.com) soon. It was fun to crochet, and the finished basket is only about 3 inches across.

El Segundo Slipt Stitchers

June 29th, 2015

ESSS

Ice Cream Soda Day 2015

June 20th, 2015

ICSD

We celebrated Ice Cream Soda Day on Saturday. How did all this time go by with neither of us ever enjoying this fabulous concoction before??? They seem to be a cousin of the ice cream float, and I can assure you we’ll be making these again.
Ice Cream Sodas are super simple to make - we did chocolate this time, but the possibilities are endless. You only need 4 ingredients and you’re set to make any day an Ice Cream Soda day!

Milk
Syrup or flavoring of your choice
Club Soda
Ice Cream

Fill a glass about 1/4 full of milk. Add your flavoring - we used chocolate syrup to make chocolate milk. Fill the glass to about 3/4 full with the club soda. Add ice cream - we went with chocolate.
That’s it! Add a straw and a long spoon, sip, and enjoy

Suit the flavors to your liking: Change out the chocolate syrup for other flavors - vanilla syrup or extract, caramel or butterscotch syrup, pureed fruit, strong brewed coffee. Add malt if you’d like. Make an adults only version by adding Irish Cream, Grand Marnier, or other liqueur. Use whatever flavor ice cream you’d like. Yum!

Eat Your Vegetables Day 2015

June 17th, 2015

EYVD

Wednesday was Eat Your Vegetables Day, and we celebrated with a dinner featuring 7 great veggies. Sugar snap peas, carrots, cabbage (cole slaw), beets, corn-off-the-cob, asparagus, and tomato. Yes, I know tomatoes are botanically a fruit, but often culinarily - and more importantly today - they’re a veggie. Did you eat your vegetables today?

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

June 15th, 2015

LBC1
LBC2

We tried out a new recipe - Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake bars. It was easy to do, and the bars are nicely tangy sweet. I like how the berries give a burst of blueberry goodness when you bite into them. Only had an 8″x8″ pan (recipe calls for 9″x9″) but it still worked just fine - total baking time was about 40min.

And of course I can’t just leave a perfectly good recipe alone. After reading a few other blog posts about this recipe, I doubled the cinnamon in the crust to 1/2 tsp, and also increased the butter in the crust to 3/4 stick (6T). Also, since the recipe has some rather vague instructions (juice of two lemons - just how much is that?), here are some of the actual measurements I used: 1 and 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 C lemon juice, about 1T lemon zest.

Try them out - I think you’ll like them! Here’s the recipe link:

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars