Sunday, September 20, 2009

for the love of lawn care... or the funniest facebook exchange of the month

 Real status and comments from facebook:

[Chris S]
yea though I walk through the valley of knee high grass and weeds, I shall fear no evil. For my lawn mower and hoe give me courage.

[Sally A and Mark H like this.]

[Heath F]
Do not go easy into those weeds... rage rage against the dying of the mower.

[Yaacov P]
you prepare a lawn before me in the presence of my neighbors. you anoint my mower with oil and my sweat overflows.

[Chris S]
To the last, I grapple with thee; from hell's heart, I whack at thee; for hate's sake, I spray my last roundup at thee.

[Beth R]
for morrow sweet morrow I shall go forth and mowth, for today I look forward to seeing my foes destroyed. O-H! we not thee!

[Chris S]
Weedwhacker oh weedwhacker - why have you forsaken me?


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cincinnati Style Chili

An experiment this week at our house - Cincinnati Chili served 5-ways. I took a bit from a couple different recipes I found online which means I better write down what I did before I forget. It turned out really yummy!


1 quart cold water
2 pounds ground beef
2 cups (16 ounces) tomato sauce
2 yellow onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 ounce Ghirardelli bittersweet baking chocolate
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 whole bay leaf
1 whole clove (the kind you make ground cloves from)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp salt

Extras:
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
about a pound of spaghetti, cooked and drained
shredded cheddar cheese
1 chopped onion
oyster crackers

Add beef and water to a 4-quart pot. Bring to a simmer while stirring until the ground beef is in very small pieces. Simmer for 30 minutes and add all the rest of the ingredients.

Simmer on low, uncovered, for 3 hours. Add water as needed if the chili becomes too thick.

Refrigerate the chili overnight (I put ours in the freezer for an hour), and then remove the layer of fat from the top before reheating and serving.

We added the beans to the chili while reheating it, then served it over spaghetti with cheese and onion on top, and oyster crackers on the side.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Coconut Key Lime Bars

yep another recipe :)
by request for Tara! ... to simplify feel free to use limes instead of key limes; also it's ok to omit the coconut

Title: Coconut Key Lime Bars

Description:
A variation the classic Lemon Bars. 

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (unsalted), softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 Tablespoon grated key lime peel
5 Tablespoons key lime juice

2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup shredded coconut
powdered sugar


Directions:
Preheat Oven to 350.

Blend butter, salt, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 cups flour to make soft dough. Press evenly into ungreased 9x13 pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden. Meanwhile, combine eggs, key lime peel, key lime juice and 1/4 cup flour and blend until smooth. Pour over baked crust. Sprinkle 1 cup coconut over top of filling. Reduce heat to 325 and bake 25 minutes until firm. Cool. Dust with powdered sugar and slice into bars.

Variations
Best Loved Lemon Bars - Substitute lemon juice and peel for key lime juice and peel. Omit coconut.

Orange Bars - Substitute orange juice and peel for key lime juice and peel. Omit coconut. Omit powdered sugar topping. Melt 2 ounces semisweet chocolate with 1/4 cup butter. Spread over bars as a glaze.

Almond Amaretto Bars - Substitute Amaretto liqueur for lemon juice. Omit lemon peel. After pouring filling over crust, sprinkle with 1 cup sliced almonds. Omit coconut.

Cherry Bon Bon Bars - Substitute maraschino cherry juice for lemon juice. Omit peel. Chop about 2 dozen well-drained cherries and add to filling. Omit coconut. Omit powdered sugar topping. Melt 1 ounce semisweet chocolate and 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate with 1/4 cup butter. Spread over bars as a glaze.


Number Of Servings: makes 3 dozen

Preparation Time:1 hour give or take, not counting cooling time

Pumpkin Smoothies

My son and I adapted this recipe from Family Fun to our tastes.

1 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/4 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt (we like Stonyfield)
1/4 cup vanilla soy milk (we like Silk Very Vanilla for Kids)
3 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
8 ice cubes

Put all ingredients in the blender and puree until smooth.
Thanks @jules23 for suggesting soy milk - it made an excellent addition!

Love this old pic of T from his second Halloween:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

seriously how can you resist a NOAA widget?

Learned today via Twitter (thank you @CraigatFEMA) that NOAA has cool widgets you can add to your webpage. http://www.noaawatch.gov/widgets/

Had to try it out!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Pumpkin Roll

An old favorite, back by request. In the 90's we served this at Alpha Chi Omega rush parties by cutting each 3/4 inch thick slice into quarters and placing each portion in a paper cupcake liner. My family still serves it at Thanksgiving; the recipe originally came to me from my cousin Marjorie.

Pumpkin Cake Roll


Cake Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin (or sieved cooked fresh) 
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt.
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp all purpose flour 
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Filling Ingredients:
1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese at room temperature 
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 Tbsp butter or margarine at room temp.



Grease a 17.5" by 11.5" jelly roll pan. Line with waxed paper. Place sugar, pumpkin, and eggs in large mixer bowl and beat for 3 minutes at medium speed. Add baking soda, salt, flour, and cinnamon and mix thoroughly. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan and bake in preheated 375 oven for 13 to 15 minutes or until done (it usually takes mine about 20 minutes).

Flip cake out onto a clean kitchen towel sprinkled liberally with confectioners’ sugar. Remove waxed paper and roll cake from short side in the towel and let cool to room temperature.

Combine all filling ingredients by beating well in mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Unroll cake, spread with filling, and roll up again, removing towel. Wrap in plastic wrap, so roll holds its shape. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Freezes well.
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