Bread! and pans and bacon jam! and chili!

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This is the bread pan I got for Christmas.  It is spring lock and makes

bread that looks like this-

 

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This is free form with sesame seeds.

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Rye with caraway seeds ( and the pot holder Willow made me).

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This is the bacon jam my niece made for Christmas gifts.

Great in peanut butter sandwiches!  :)

And Chili!

I made a big pot for supper.

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I started with a 2 1/2 lb beef roast-slightly frozen- cut it into chunks and processed

it until it was medium fine, browned it with a chopped onion.

IMG_3226 and then added 3 TBS chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

1 scant tsp sea salt

1 tsp red pepper

1 small can diced tomatoes

Add above to browned meat and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Tomatoes will start

to break down.  Stir often to keep from scorching.

Add below ingredients- tomato products first, stirring well.  Add about 2 1/2 cups water

after paste.  Cook for another 30 minutes, then add beans.

1 can tomato sauce

1 small can tomato paste

1 can light red kidney beans

1 can dark red kidney beans

Cook another 3o to 45 minutes, stirring often and then taste.  Add extra ( hot sauce) heat at this point.

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Add salad and bread and enjoy!

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Cookies for the New Year

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I made a lot of cookies in the month of December.

Tomorrow is the last day of this month and I took an inventory of what I have left.

NOT MUCH!

We have been eating around the edges of what I didn’t give away.

I gave most of them away in cookie sampler bags.

All in all- around 25 bags of some yummy good samples- at least 2 dozen cookies in each bag-

That is a lot of cookies!

I have some left- about 6 dozen.

But I don’t have any of the Finnish Ribbon Cookies left.

I know because these are one of MY favorite cookies-

and they are all gone.

So I’m going to make some more in January.  And keep them in a tin.

Here’s the recipe if you’d like some, too!

(I don’t KNOW for certain if these are genuinely Finnish- I got the

recipe from a copy of Southern Living Magazine many years ago.)

Finnish Ribbon Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup butter or margarine

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp lemon peel

2 1/2 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

6 TBS preserves ( raspberry, apricot, fig- whatever you choose.)

Method:

Cream butter (room temperature) with sugar, add yolk and vanilla and mix until

light and fluffy.  Add salt and lemon peel to flour and mix into  butter mixture

cup at a time.

Divide dough into four portions and roll out onto parchment paper into long rolls.

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Using pencil or wooden spoon handle or chop stick- make furrows down

each roll and bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 375 F. .

  Allow to cool on pan, then spoon your favorite fillings into the

grooves and cut on a diagonal.

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Decorate with thin glaze drizzled on top and deal gently with them

when taking off baking sheet.  They are prone to break. :)

And then you can eat them without guilt.

Broken cookies don’t have any calories, do they?

Babies

IMG_3171                                                                                                                                           I’m thinking over the last week of celebration –

the food, the gifts, the family time.

I loved spending time with my family.

With the large extended family as well as our own little branch.

But looking at the pictures- the one that I want to share-

the moment I love remembering is this one- with the babies.

Eating good at Sailor’s Rest

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I love to cook down here in Virginia!

First of all- the fish is delish and fresh!

Second, Meredith is a foodie like me- AND- she buys the most wonderful balsamic

vinegars and  oils.  The slaw in the upper left is dressed with a marvelous white  balsamic with

pear vinegar and a little mustard and olive oil.  It was so very yum!

And then there were potato jackets stuffed with creamed chicken and bacon and Virginia gingerbread!

Fresh baked flounder with pecan and parmesan bread crumbs on top- Me,tasting batter-linguini in white garlic

sauce.  And, chicken pot pie with crispy homemade waffles as the crust-red velvet cupcakes (with pureed 

beets instead of food coloring)- a plate served up with the fish and linguini and homemade garlic bread!

We are going home tomorrow.

But we got a visit tonight from a very important person!

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There were red lights coming down our street- and a siren blaring

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Can you see who is sitting on top of the fire engine?

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Yes!  It is Santa Claus and his fire elf chucking candy canes onto the porches where people are

waving!  Merry Christmas from Chincoteague!!!

Ponies and birds and waves and soup!

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Driving out to the Assateague Island Wildlife Refuge, you have to go very slow.  Mainly because the speed limit is 25mph- but also because there is so much to see and look for along the way.

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Like these egrets.

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And the ducks.

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And, of course, the ponies!

Those are ponies- they are just a very long distance away- out in the estuary.

The ponies are shaggy in their winter coats-

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we got a little closer to this group of ponies on the wildlife loop.

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Actually – A LOT closer!!!

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Meredith jumped out of the car and walked over to an observation area and got some great pictures!

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Although he kept his head hidden in the tall grasses- so we never got a good look at his face.

And then we went on to the beach.

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Come with me- the beach is just over this small crest.

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And here it is- the Atlantic Ocean – at just a mild roar!

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And it is COLD and WINDY!  Brrr!

We fed the seagulls some stale bread-

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this guy wanted seconds.

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But it was bone chilling cold and all I could think about at this time-

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was the Chick a Leekie soup I had made to warm us up!

And it was so good at the end of a cold time at the beach.

I forgot to give Meredith credit for the wonderful pictures!  She took all of these on her

Nikon D90!

Tea time in Annapolis and Chincoteague

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This is the Reynold’s Tavern- excellent food- great ambiance- and friendly service!

I give it a high grade in the tea service arena!

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We interrupted our trip on the way to Meredith’s house to stop for a cup of tea and some yummies!

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These are the yummies!

Spicy Pumpkin- soup of the day!

And the Christmas Pudding- flaming with brandy sauce!

I came home determined to make that soup.

I didn’t.

It is difficult to make foods when you have only limited spices and ingredients.

I think I needed cardamom.

I couldn’t find any at a do-able price.  It was ridiculous. 

So I came up with my own version.

And like it better!

 

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I baked a butternut squash and mashed it.

Then I carmelised half of a large chopped onion.

I added 1 tsp. of cumin and 2 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper and 12 oz. of beef broth and stirred over a low fire.  Then I added about 2 1/2 cups of a brewed tea ( Winter Solstice) mainly fruits and hops,cloves,rosemary- it is a tisane from serendipiTEA.  Then I added about 2 tsps of a very good quality Balsamic vinegar.

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Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top and an extra dollop of balsamic vinegar when serving- and look at the happy faces around the table!

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And yet another cookie and recipe-

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Panellets!

I blame it on Arthur.And his blog, michaelangelo in the kitchen.

He came to visit and commented on my St. Nicholas cookies.

So I followed him back and “OH MY GOODNESS” – he IS  Michaelangelo in the kitchen.  NO KIDDING.  Go take a look at his artistry- he is amazing.

I usually just go to be awed and don’t really even try to make his stuff.  I’m a rank amateur in his world.  But these cookies (little breads) looked doable and delicious and involved some of my favorite ingredients.

So I decided to adapt them to my larder and capabilities.

Mix together the following ingredients:

2 cups almond meal (I put my almonds in the food processor for a very long time.)

1 cup mashed white sweet potato ( I had orange>)

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 of the white of a small egg.

When mixed thoroughly, shape into chestnut sized balls and roll into pine nuts or chopped Macadamian nuts or coconut or even crushed graham craackers.

I liked the macadamian nuts the best.

Then place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, paint on a light egg wash and bake at 350 degrees F  for about 12-15 minutes.  Keep an eye on them= they burn quickly. 

These are so good- and kind of good for you and gluten-free!

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Try them- I’m pretty sure you are going to love, love , love them, too!

Lemon Coconut Dainties-recipe

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These were my mother’s FAVORITE cookie.  I made them 4 or 5 times a year while she was living.  Now I don’t – I love them- but they are kind of nostalgic for me to make – so I need a good reason. Like Christmas!

They are a shortbread style of cookie- yet very light- although the cream cheese and butter icing bring them back down to earth.  If I was celebrating Christmas in warmer climes- I would definitely make this cookie- they go very well in summer!

Lemon Coconut Dainties.

ingredients:

3/4 cup soft butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp lemon extract

2 cups flour

1/2 cup chopped coconut

method:

Cream together the butter and sugar, add egg yolk and mix until they are light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and lemon extract and mix well, once again.

Add flour- one cup at a time, incorporating it into the wet ingredients, then add coconut.  Your dough will be on the dry side, kind of like a pastry dough.

Make into balls(walnut-sized) and flatten with two fingers.  You can place them close on a tray- they won’t get much bigger.

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When working with short doughs it is a good idea to use parchment paper to keep the bottoms from getting too brown.

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes.  Check often to make sure they don’t get too brown.

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I got almost 3 dozen cookies.You want them to look pretty pale.

Cream Cheese frosting:

1/2 stick butter

3 oz. cream cheese

1 cup 10x (confectioner’s sugar)

1-2 TBS milk

Soften butter and cheese, using mixer beat them together and add sugar- a little at a time- until mixture is stiff.  Add milk until it becomes spreadable. 

Ice cookies and add a little sprinkle of red, green and white.

Lemon coconut dainties- dressed for the holidays!

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And-

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Anise and citrus pizzeles, Christmas cake pops, ginger cut outs, ribbon cookies and brownie bites!