We Revel in Food Part Deux!

Will we did it, my trusty sidekick Kyla and I pulled off the dinner of the season, the 5 courses of wonderfulness.

As I mentioned before, I was catering the Spencertown Revels at the house I care for in Spencertown.

The food was marvelous…despite a couple of stressful hitches in my get along….we pull in and start to unload the trunk and Kyla let’s out with one of her trademark “”oooohhhh  nnnnooo!” ‘s… I walk over and look and the flourless chocolate cake I had taken out of the oven just 15 minutes earlier had slid over and was sitting at a 45 degree angle smooshed against the bag it was in…oh no indeed..always good at improvising or punting as I call it , I set down the bags I was carrying..jiggled the cake back into a shape and took it into the house and placed it into the freezer…take that damned cake!  Somehow the rest the supplies got into the house… if you do not have a second right hand…you need one.. they are wonderful!

I walk in the house, the hostess , my darling Donna, is still wandering around writing notes, curlers in hair, and I look at her and say… didn’t the cocktail hour start at 5:30??? She looks at me blankly and says did it?? I thought it was at 6:30? And we will be back here at 7 for dinner.  7 ???? WTF…you told me dinner was at 8-8:30..I was in panic mode… it  was already 5:45..oooohhhhh  nnnnooooo!!!!!! I would have been here an hour or so ago.  She goes in to get dressed, now I’m in full blown panic mode… off they go…she calls me from the party and says we will be back at 7:30 but one of the couples will be late they are the organizers and they have to close up…bottom line they never sat down for dinner until almost 9 pm…phew  Thank goodness I prepared courses at time of service and not some overcooked dry meal due to timing issues….YES this girl can punt!

I wish I had taken photos but I gave my memory card from my camera to Emily to play with her camera, and my i-phone was dead…so you just have to imagine all of the delightful food…and the dessert…that cake not only survived but was a monumental success…I can still taste it!

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Handmade Christmas

This year I looked at Christmas a bit differently.  MB had told me about Groupon a few weeks earlier, so I decided to give my children experiences for the holiday. Each child and their partner got a weekend away, and for those with children, it included babysitting. One was at an Adirondack Lodge, one at a luxury resort, and the other was a seaside inn.  I think this idea is a keeper, and can’t wait to find new fun for next year.

The grandchildren, of course got festively wrapped packages.  But all of the other people in my life got handmade Christmas.  There were cookies and granola, lasagna meat or veggie, stuffed peppers, and vanilla extract.  I think the recipients loved it.. I know I enjoyed making it for sure.

I made 16 pints of home made vanilla extract, I only have one left…and I am keeping it!

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Vanilla Extract

 

1 pint (2 cups) of brandy, vodka, or bourbon,  ( I used vodka)

3-4 vanilla beans

Split the beans and place them in a pint jar, add the alcohol and seal the jar,

Shake the jar once a day or so, it should be ready to use in about 4-6 weeks.

The mixture will darken over time.  If you use some, pour in more alcohol and you have a never ending supply of Vanilla.  You can add more beans over time but that’s it, and it will last indefinitely.

 

 

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It’a a Crunchy Granola kind of day!

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I was supposed to head into NYC today to work the Toy Fair at the Javits Center, but the weather over the last few days has created travel issues, my boss headed down yesterday and waited hours for delayed trains.  I decided to stay home…so rather than snuggle under the blankets watching Lifetime movies, I decided to make granola…this one is loaded with almonds, dried red bananas, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, apricots and apples.  This glorious mixture is soon to be shipped, to my brother and my friends as a test run… my wish is to eventually sell my granola and cookies from this site. Let’s see how it travels.

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We “Revel” in food!

Yesterday was a busy day, i spent the day shopping and preparing for a tasting dinner last night at Donna and Ralph’s. They are hosting Spencertown Revels next Saturday night, a fun evening to raise money for a wonderful local arts venue.  And I’m doing the cooking…

We are preparing a 5 course meal:

1. Tomato Soup with home made Parmesan crackers, served in demitasse cups  

2.  Ricotta Ravioli in a sage/fontina butter sauce  

3. Veal Scallops with Ham and Swiss, with a creamy , white wine mushroom sauce, this is a Red Lion Inn recipe, so delicious, Donna was licking the pan, served with roasted asparagus 

4. Salad of mixed greens with goat cheese, praline pecans and a warn honey mustard dressing  

5.  Raspberry Mousse with a dark chocolate lace cookie, raspberry sauce and fresh raspberries.  

If the meal next Saturday night comes out half as well as last nights did…it will be sublime.  Everything was delicious.

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I forgot to take photos of the salad and the dessert but will get them next week.

The first recipe to share from this fabulous meal, 

Parmesan Thyme Crackers….inspired by The Barefoot Contessa…with a kick of my own

In the bowl of the mixer combine:  

1 stick butter

1 cup shredded Parmesan

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

¼ tsp cayenne

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 ½ cups flour

The mixture will be crumbly, with the mixer running, drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of cold water, one at a time. once the mixture starts to pull together is is ready, it will still be crumbly-ish.

Dump the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap and roll in into a log about 19 inches long, chill for about an hour.  When you are ready to make the crackers, slice them about 1/4 inch thick, place on parchment bake at 375 degrees for 20 – 22 minutes.

Serve dipped in hot tomato soup! Yum!

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Another Snowy Day

As sometimes happens, I rolled over early this morning and Handsome Hubby, HH, was not in bed, while I do not hear him get out most times, I definitely notice he’s gone and wake up and wonder.  I waited a few moments, listened for house sounds, and down he came, grumbling…”the furnace is blowing cold air”…oh dear!  “I’m going to scrape together some wood and start a fire, and see what’s going on with furnace”  I tried to turn over, but my heart got the best of me, so in my nightgown over jeans, wearing his new big boots (!!!) downstairs I trekked, out the back door and over to the very small, still a little green but let’s use it anyway woodpile, and wheeled/half dragged the wheelbarrow back to the house and into the basement , by now HH has a nice fire going and things are warming up.

HH recently had ankle surgery, I do not want him trekking to the woodpile…

We recently filled the fuel tank, to the brim, and cut the “cord” on burning wood.  Burning wood has been slowly trying to kill my sweet HH, he has destroyed his ankle, suffered through 2 serious bouts of Erlichiosis, a severe form of Lyme disease.  Compiled with a career in Masonry, he has had 3 back surgeries and has newly discovered a bulging disc in his back below the fusion and severe arthritis in the upper back… cutting wood is so hard on your body, and it’s not like it loads itself in and out of the back of the truck, it’s never lying close to the side of the road waiting, it never splits itself or stacks itself to dry and then hauls itself over to the house to be burned…damn stuff!

But I sure miss those nice warm floors, my feet have been cold for 2 weeks.  If we are still in this house for the winter next year…we talked about getting a trailer load of log lengths delivered, buy a splitter, sell half to pay for wood and splitter, and keep half to burn.

I just got home after working at the office for a few hours and the house is toasty warm, furnace working fine, but a fire still burning…these warm floors, oh how i’ve missed you…

Dinner tonight, I think i’ll do meatballs in the crock pot and spaghetti. But the recipe for today is …..

Applesauce cake

2 cups applesauce, homemade is best

1/2 cup shortening, like crisco

3 eggs

In a large bowl, cream together the applesauce, shortening and eggs, until light and fluffy-ish, don’t worry if you see some small pieces or shortening that looks unblended, it won’t make a difference.

Then in a separate bowl combine,

2 1/2 cups flour

1 3/4 cups sugar

1/4 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp nutmeg

You can just whisk these ingredients together, turn your mixer on low and slowly pour these in, once they are completely combined, the batter is ready for the pan.  This cake doesn’t need frosting, I usually grease and flour a bundt pan, but this will also work well in a 9 x 13 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or so, until toothpick comes out clean, less time for the 9 x 13.

When cooled, dust with confectioner’s sugar!  Moist, delicious, or as my Grandson says “yumyumyum”

The other day I made 2, 8″ layers and frosted them with light cream cheese frosting, a recipe I got from my good friend Sue, it was quite divine.

It’s a snow day, get baking!

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Hey Grandma, What’s for Dinner?

While my daughter and her husband head out for a Valentine’s dinner date tonight…tomorrow the weather is going to be crappy and I have catering plans on Friday… (I like to use a series of …’s to break up thoughts etc, you might as well get used to it) I need to think about dinner. My Cooker Kids…used to be cooker girls but now the little man likes to hang in the kitchen with Grandma while we cook dinner and sing the latest hits on the CD player… this week it is Shrek the Halls.  I know, I know but this is a Christmas every day house.  Anyway,  back to dinner, Emily will eat just about anything, but Finley is a challenge, she is going through that “I am almost 4 and I will eat nothing but pasta and mashed potatoes” ( with fresh cracked pepper) stage.  For you Charlie and Lola fans…Ocean Nibblers were mentioned the other day, do I cop out and make Fish Sticks, French Fries, and “Beans” Edamame..or do I come up with something.. I’m thinking Fish Sticks, we have some sugar cookie dough to use up to complete our Valentine’s Day Cookies, we could work on those while the other things heat in the oven…so there we have it.

But because I want to share recipes with each post I leave you with this one for the day.

Crock Pot Apple Sauce for Working Moms

Fill your crock pot with apple chucks, I just chunk off around the apple stem, leaving on the skins on,

Pour in 1/2 cup water or apple juice

Sprinkle a liberal amount of cinnamon over the top. (optional)

Sprinkle a liberal amount of white or brown sugar over the top. (optional)

Put on the lid, set the dial to low and head off to work. You could also do this over night, but the smell may have you dreaming of singing the Johnny Appleseed song as you skip across a beautiful green field.

When the apples look like all soft and deflated, it’s done. To turn this into applesauce you can either use an hand held immersion blender, ( in Cafe speak..the “Twitterbater”), or a food processor or blender and include the skins and all, this will give the sauce a nice texture and color and beefing up the fiber content at the same time, you may also use a food mill to remove the skins leaving you the sweet yummy pulp.

If you do not have any of the before mentioned tools handy, peel your apples before placing them in the crock pot, and mash to a desired consistency when done cooking.  Enjoy!

Tomorrow I will share an Applesauce Cake recipe 25 years in the making that is a family favorite of ours!

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Welcome!

I am Suzanne, a Wife, Mother, Daughter, Grandmother, Sister, Friend. I am funny, and caring, I meet people easily but find myself strangely stiff at getting started here.  I want to share my observations, be they funny, sad, scary or just plain out there. My passions, quilting and cooking. Life experiences as I see them, rantings if necessary.  A place to look back and remember … I think in reality… I want to leave my mark somewhere when I am gone…

 

 

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