Monday, March 31, 2008

'ADIEU' MARCH



“If I can put one touch of rosy sunset

into the life of any man or woman,

I shall feel that I have worked with God."


~ G. K. Chesterton

_______





~ Another Night in Paradise


(Hubbard Lake)

SURE SIGN of SPRING ~ OPENING DAY


"The true harbinger of spring is not crocuses
or swallows returning to Capistrano,
but the sound of the bat on the ball."

- Bill Veeck

GO TIGERS!

'NORTHWOODS NEWS' ~ SPRING THAW

“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring."
~ George Santayana
_________________
"Spring is when you feel like whistling
even with a shoe full of slush."
~ Doug Larson

~ Early Spring


~ Before the thaw

(Hubbard Lake)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

'SWEET DREAMS OF YOU' ~ MY GARDEN

"By a garden is meant mystically a place of spiritual repose, stillness, peace, refreshment, delight."
~ John Henry Cardinal Newman
For the garden is not only a place in which to make things grow
and to display the beautiful flowers of the earth,
but a place that should accord
with the various moods of its admirers.
It should be a place in which to hold light banter,
a place in which to laugh, and, besides,
should have a hidden corner
in which to weep.

~ Alice Lounsberry


~ Exbury azalia, Oriential poppy, tulip,

bleeding heart, trillium, Centaurea Montana,

Bearded iris, Scarlet O'hara peony, Rembrandt tulip

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

SPRING IS 'MEYER LEMON' TIME ~ THE SIDECAR / LEMONY SPRING SALAD with ROASTED CHICKPEAS

" It is probable that the lemon is the most valuable of all fruit for preserving health. "

~ Maud Grieve
( A Modern Herbal - 1931)

~ Meyer lemon
______________________
Gardening and cooking note: The Meyer lemon (Citrus × meyeri) is a citrus fruit, native to China, thought to be a cross between a true lemon and a mandarin orange or sweet orange. The Meyer lemon was introduced to the United States in 1908 as S.P.I. #23028, by the agricultural explorer Frank Meyer, an employee of the United States Department of Agriculture who collected a sample of the plant on a trip to China. It is commonly grown in China potted as an ornamental plant. It became popular as a food item in the United States after being rediscovered by chefs, such as Alice Waters at Chez Panisse, during the California Cuisine revolution. The Meyer lemon is also known as the Valley lemon in southern Texas due to its popularity in the Rio Grande Valley region. (Wikipedia)
Incorporate this treat whenever lemons are called for ... craving the distinct flavor from season to season.
______________
THE SIDECAR
Delightfully tasty and refreshing cocktail to 'herald' the advent of spring (compliments of MeyerLemons.info )

Juice from 1/2 of a Meyer Lemon
2 1/2 oz of Cointreau
3 1/2 oz of Brandy
Combine all ingredients in a shaker over ice. Shake and pour into 2 Martini glasses. If too sweet, add more brandy or use 1/4 of more lemon.


LEMONY SPRING SALAD with ROASTED CHICKPEAS
~ With or without seasonal Meyer lemons, a family favorite all year long (simply substitute regular lemons)
___________
4-6 cups cleaned, torn and chilled Romaine lettuce
4 healthy handfuls of Spring greens
1 (16-19 oz.) can chick peas
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
coarse salt & cracked pepper
6 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped black olives
2 large cans, drained and halved, artichoke hearts
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Dressing:
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
juice and zest of 2 Meyer lemons
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Rinse, drain, and pat dry chick peas. Toss with olive oil, salt & pepper. Spread in single layer on baking sheet and roast in oven for 50 minutes or until crisp and browned, turning several times while cooking.
  • Meanwhile, combine all dressing ingredients in blender and process until will blended.
  • Combine romaine and spring greens in large salad bowl with feta and black olives. Toss gently with dressing (use as needed to lightly dress).
  • Place dressed salad greens on chilled plates. Arrange artichoke hearts over top. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and roasted chickpeas. (8 healthy salads)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

WILL THIS SNOW EVER END? ... FRENCH PEA SOUP

" The snow doesn't give a soft white damn whom it touches. "

~ e.e. cummings

~ Lily in the snow

_____________

FRENCH SPLIT PEA SOUP

~ Perfect finale for the Easter ham bone and another 'bone-chilling' night

______________

1 juicy ham bone

(or 8-12 slices chopped sauteed bacon, browned and crisp)

1 large chopped Vadalia or Spanish onion

1 bunch chopped leek (white and pale green parts)

2-4 large peeled and chopped carrots

4 minced garlic cloves

4 (32-ounce) cans or boxes organic chicken broth

2 cups dry white wine

2 pounds rinsed green split peas

4 whole bay leaves

2-4 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves (1-2 Tbsp. dried)

1 Tbsp. Herbes de Provence

freshly ground cracked pepper to taste

coarse salt to taste

  • In large stockpot, saute onion and leeks in reserved 2 tablespoons bacon grease (or add 2 tablespoons olive oil if using ham bone) until limp.
  • Add garlic and chopped carrots, cooking additional few minutes. Carefully add stock, scraping brown bits from bottom of pot.
  • Add ham bone, peas, white wine, bay leaves, rosemary, pepper and salt. Bring to boil and reduce heat, simmering until peas are tender, stirring occasionally about 1 hour. Taste and adjust seasonings. (12 servings for light eaters)
  • Note: For a unique flavor, add a dollop of fresh horseradish, plenty of cracked pepper and top with seasoned croutons.


Monday, March 24, 2008

" SPRING WILL BE A LITTLE LATE THIS YEAR ... "

~ Pansy in the snow
______________
Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year (1943)
Spring will be a little late this year
A little late arriving, in my lonely world over here
For you have left me and where is our April love old
Yes you have left me and winter continues cold
As if to say that spring will be a little slow to start
A little slow reviving that music it made in my heart
Cause time heals all things,
so I needn't cling to this fear
It's merely that spring will be a little late this year
Yes time heals all things so I needn't cling to this fear
It's merely that spring will be a little late this year

SPRINGTIME BLUES ~ BLACK FOREST HAM, PROVOLONE & ROASTED PEPPER PANINI

" And the spring comes slowly up this way. "
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

~ Lone blue iris

_________

BLACK FOREST HAM, PROVOLONE & ROASTED RED PEPPER PANINI

~ Perfect solution for leftover ham. Panini refers to a pressed sandwich so if you don't own a panini grill, simply grill in a skillet with a weight on top (2 iron skillets work well)

_____________

2 Tbsp. mayonnaise

4 tsp. basil pesto

8 slices good rye or sourdough bread

8 oz. thinly sliced Black Forest, deli or leftover ham

6-8 oz. thinly sliced provolone cheese

1/2 cup roasted red pepper strips

1/2 cup fresh basil or baby spinach leaves

  • Combine mayonnaise and pesto. Spread evenly on each of 4 bread slices. Arrange ham, cheese, roasted red pepper strips, and basil or spinach leaves evenly over bread.
  • Preheat grill pan or large skillet coated with cooking spray. Add sandwiches to pan and cook until bread is golden brown and cheese has melted. (4 servings)


Sunday, March 23, 2008

'SNOW WHITE' LILY EASTER

" On Easter Day the veil between time and eternity thins to gossamer. "

~Douglas Horton

~ 'Snow white' Easter lily

~ Easter lily and iris












Saturday, March 22, 2008

PURE BLUE EASTER IRIS ~ ( HOLY SATURDAY BRUNCH ) ASPARAGUS and GOAT CHEESE QUICHE /CARROT PECAN COFFEE CAKE with PRALINE STREUSEL / AMBROSIA

"Easter spells out beauty,
the rare beauty of new life."
~S.D. Gordon
ASPARAGUS and GOAT CHEESE QUICHE
~ retro is back and real men 'do eat quiche'
___________
1 Pillsbury crescent roll package
1 lb. trimmed asparagus
3-4 chopped shallots
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup half & half
4 large organic eggs
scant pinch coarse salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. Hungarian paprika
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme (1 tsp. dried)
2 cup crumbled goat cheese
additional thyme for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Press crescent roll slices to fit deep dish quiche pan. Flute edges, brush bottom with Dijon mustard and set aside.
  • Slice asparagus diagonally, 1/2 inch pieces. Reserve tips. Plunge in boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
  • Saute shallots in butter until wilted. Add asparagus and cook gently about 3 minutes. Cool slightly and spread over bottom of crust. Sprinkle with 1 cup of goat cheese.
  • Whisk eggs, half & half, thyme and salt & pepper. Pour over asparagus and cheese. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and fan asparagus spears decoratively over top. Sprinkle with thyme. Bake for 40 minutes or until set. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

CARROT PECAN COFFEE CAKE with PRALINE STREUSEL
~ this perennial favorite returns each spring
___________
Praline Streusel:
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 Tbsp. chilled unsalted butter
1/3 cup chopped pecans

Coffee Cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. mace
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup softened unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
4 large organic eggs
2 cup shredded carrots
1 cup chopped pecans

  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Generously grease a 9-inch springform pan.
  • Make the streusel: In a large bowl, combine flour & sugar. Cut in butter until size of small peas. Add pecans and toss to mix.
  • Make the cake: In a large bowl, sift together the fours, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, mace & nutmeg. In another bowl cream butter & sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in carrots. Add dry ingredients and stir until well blended. Fold in pecans. Turn batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with streusel. Bake for about 50 minutes or until it tests done with toothpick. Cool 10 minutes before removing sides. Serve warm or at room temperature. (12-14 servings)

~ Spring snow and blue iris

_______________

AMBROSIA
~ holiday favorite
_____
1 large chilled can drained pineapple chunks
1 (11-oz.) chilled can drained mandarin oranges
1 cup sour cream
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup coconut

Mix together and chill before serving. When serving, refresh with additional fresh coconut.
* Holy Saturday Menu repost

Friday, March 21, 2008

MOONSHINE RULES ~ 'MOON PLANTING'

"Don't plant seed too soon,
Consult the moon."
~ Nicholas Culpepper
(English herbalist)

Snow Crust Moon

Bebookwaadaagame-giizis(oog)
~ Ojibwe
___________

"If you with flowers would stick the pregnant earth
Mark well the moon proportions to their birth,
For earth the silent midnight green obeys
And waits her course, who clad in silver rays
The eternal round of time and seasons guides."

(The English Gardener)
The Moon ~ Myth, Magic and Fact

GOOD FRIDAY ~ 'LEGEND of the DOGWOOD'

LEGEND of the DOGWOOD

An old and beautiful legend has it that, at the time of the crucifixion, the dogwood was comparable in size to the oak tree and other monarchs of the forest. Because of its firmness and strength it was selected as the timber for the cross, but to be put to such a cruel use greatly distressed the tree. Sensing this, the crucified Jesus in his gentle pity for the sorrow and suffering of all said to it:

"Because of your sorrow and pity for My sufferings, never again will the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross.


Henceforth it will be slender, bent and twisted and its blossoms will be in the form of a cross ~ two long and two short petals. In the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints ~ brown with rust and stained with red ~ and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see this will remember."


~ Author Unknown


Thursday, March 20, 2008

THE 'RITE of SPRING' ~ 'VERNAL EQUINOX'





~ 'The Right of Spring'
( Vernal equinox ~ Hubbard Lake, Michigan)

" FOR LO, THE WINTER IS PAST ... "

~ Sunrise at Black Star Farms
(Suttons Bay, Michigan)
_____________________

For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;

The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come

and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

The fig tree puts forth its figs, and the vines are in blossom;

they give forth fragrance.

Arise my love, my fair one,

and come away.

~ The Song of Solomon, 2:11-13

______________________________


~ Mackinac Island Memories

(Michigan)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

EASTER BOUQUET ~ TOASTED COCONUT BREAD

Bread feeds the body indeed, but the flowers feed also the soul.
~ The Koran

~ Easter bouquet

_______________

TOASTED COCONUT BREAD

~ Favorite Easter recipe clipped from Bon Appetit/May 1981

2 3/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups shredded toasted (cooled) coconut

1 1/2 cup milk
1 lightly beaten egg
2 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. coconut or vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees
  • Lightly coat 9x5 inch loaf pan with vegetable spray. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder & salt into medium bowl. Add coconut and blend well.
  • Combing milk, egg, oil, and extract in another bowl. Mix well. Add to dry ingredients all at once, stirring briefly until just blended; do not overmix.
  • Turn batter into prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in pan 8-10 minutes. Invert onto wire rack and let cool to room temperature before slicing. Delicious toasted the next day!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

MORE 'GREEN' to CHASE AWAY 'WINTER BLUES' ~ LINGUINE CARBONARA with GREEN PEAS


~ Green garden dreams
_____________
LINGUINI CARBONARA with GREEN PEAS
~ Peas & pasta ... a perfect pair
_________
1 1/2 lb. linguine (or spaghetti)
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
12 oz. pancetta (or lean bacon)
3 crushed cloves garlic
1 cup heavy cream
3 large oragnic egg yolks
1/2 -2/3 cup greshly grated Parmesan cheese
(additional for serving)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
coarse salt
1 1/2 cup fresh or thawed frozen baby peas
freshly ground black pepper
  • Bring large pot of water to boil.
  • Meanwhile, in large deep skillet, saute garlic in olive oil until golden. Add pancetta and cook until golden and crisp. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Pour off all but 4 tablespoons of fat from skillet. Add cream and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from bottom. Pour into bowl. Whisk eggs yolks with warm cream and Parmesan cheese.
  • Add salt to boiling water. Cook peas briefly, about 1 minute. Drain and reserve.
  • Add linguini to pot and cook until al dente. Drain. Return pasta to pot and add cream mixture, pancetta, parsley and peas. Season with cracked pepper and toss lightly until sauce coats pasta.
  • Transfer to bowls. Pass additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

'SPIRITED' CELEBRATION ~ IRISH COFFEE / BAILEYS CHOCOLATE CREAM CAKE / IRISH COFFEE ICE CREAM


~ Alex Levin

MURPHY'S IRISH COFFEE

~ a healthy jigger of Brandy

(Brian's claim to smoothness instead of Irish whiskey)

___


freshly brewed rich black coffee

1 healthy tsp. brown sugar

1 healthy jigger Brandy (or Irish whiskey)

fresh whipping cream
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
freshly grated nutmeg, chocolate or cinnamon

  • In chilled bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar & vanilla. Continue whipping until medium-firm peaks forms.
  • Warm Irish coffee glass in hot water. Wipe dry. Pour brandy (or Irish whiskey) & brown sugar into the glass and stir. Slowly pour fresh coffee filling the glass to within half an inch or so from top of glass. Carefully top with whipped cream. Garnish with grated fresh nutmeg, chocolate shavings or cinnamon. Toast loved ones and enjoy sipping through the rich cream. (Thanks Brian!)

______________

BAILEYS CHOCOLATE CREAM CAKE

~ Feisty combination of chocolate, whipped cream and Baileys Irish Cream from tattered Bon Appetit (March 1984)

_____

1 12-oz. package semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup unsalted butter

6 separated room temperature eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

1 Tbsp. Baileys Irish Cream

1/2 tsp. vanilla

pinch of cream of tartar

2 cups whipping cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 Tbsp. Baileys Irish Cream

2 oz. chocolate curls

  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
  • Grease and flour 10-inch springform pan. Melt chocolate chips and butter in top of double boiler over hot (not boiling) water. Beat yolks in large bowl until very thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in 1/2 cup sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Stir in melted chocolate, pecans, liqueur and vanilla.
  • Beat whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Gently fold 1/4 of whites into chocolate mixture, then fold chocolate mixture back into remaining whites. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 275-degrees and continue baking 30 minutes. Turn off oven; let cake stand i oven for 30 minutes with door ajar.
  • Remove cake from oven. Dampen paper towel and place on top of cake for 5 minutes; remove towel (top of cake will crack and fall). Cool cake in pan.
  • Remove springform. Transfer cake to platter. Beat whipping cream in large bowl until soft peaks form. Beat in powdered sugar and liqueur. Soon whipped cream onto top of cake and smooth evenly. Sprinkle with chocolate curls. Refrigerate 6 hours. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving. (12 servings)
  • Note: Delicious served with Irish Coffee Ice Cream (minus the whipped cream)

___________________

IRISH COFFEE ICE CREAM

~ Rather then traditional 'hot' Irish coffee, try this easy spirited 'cold' novelty ... or you could choose both!

_____

1 quart coffee ice cream

6 Tbsp. instant espresso coffee

6 Tbsp. Irish whiskey

1 cup whipped cream

chocolate curls

Dissolve coffee in Irish whiskey and stir into soften coffee ice cream. Refreeze. Serve in glass parfaits topped with whipped cream and chocolate curls.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

MYSTICAL ROOTS ~ The History of the Shamrock

~ My 'mystical' shamrocks
_____________


Shamrocks have been symbolic of many things over the years. According to legend, the shamrock was a sacred plant to the Druids of Ireland because its leaves formed a triad, and three was a mystical number in the Celtic religion, as in many others. St. Patrick used the shamrock in the 5th century to illustrate the doctrine of the Holy Trinity as he introduced Christianity to Ireland."

The shamrock became symbolic in other ways as time went on. In the 19th century it became a symbol of rebellion, and anyone wearing it risked death by hanging. It was this period that spawned the phrase "the wearin' o' the green". Today, the shamrock is the most recognized symbol of the Irish, especially on St. Patrick's Day, when all over the world, everyone is Irish for a day!The original Irish shamrock (traditionally spelled seamróg, which means "summer plant") is said by many authorities to be none other than white clover (Trifolium repens), a common lawn weed originally native to Ireland. It is a vigorous, rhizomatous, stem-rooting perennial with trifoliate leaves. Occasionally, a fourth leaflet will appear, making a "four-leaf clover," said to bring good luck to the person who discovers it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

IRISH 'LENTEN' SEAFOOD FEAST ~ STEAMED CLAMS & 'GREEN' LINGUINE / BROWN BUTTER SODA BREAD

"If you're enough lucky to be Irish, you're lucky enough!"
~Irish Saying
~ Crystal shamrock and shamrock flowers
_______

STEAMED CLAMS & 'GREEN' LINGUINE
~ Ireland's pure shores reap some of the finest seafood in Europe ... either steamed clams or mussels make this recipe a fine holiday feast.
__
1 lb. linguine (use spinach linguine for an 'all green' treat)
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
6 pounds scrubbed littleneck or other small clams or mussels
1/2 cup chopped green onions
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 stick unsalted butter
2-3 cups dry white wine
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
sea salt & coarsely ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain and toss with olive oil.
  • While pasta is cooking melt butter in a large pot. Saute chopped scallions and garlic cloves until scallions are tender but not browned. Add 2 cups dry white wine and salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a rapid boil and add the clams and parsley. Cover the kettle and cook the clams, shaking the pan frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the shells are opened. Discard any clams that do not open.
  • Divide pasta among bowls and top with seafood mixture and juices. Top with chopped fresh basil and Brown Butter Soda Bread. (6 servings)

_____________

BROWN BUTTER SODA BREAD

~ Rosemary and black pepper give this delicious bread a different twist (from Bon Appetit - Feb.'06)

1/4 cup unsalted butter

3 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. ground black pepper plus additional for topping

1 3/4 cups buttermilk

1 beaten to blend egg white

  • Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Position rack in center.
  • Stir butter in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until melted and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Stir flour, oats, sugar, rosemary, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper in large bowl to blend. Pour buttermilk and melted browned butter over flour mixture; stir with fork until flour mixture is moistened.
  • Turn dough onto floured work surface. Knead gently until dough comes together, about 7 turns. Divide i half. Shape each half into ball; flatten each into 6-inch round.
  • Place rounds on ungreased baking sheet, spacing 5 inches apart. Brush tops with beaten egg white. Sprinkle lightly with ground black pepper. Using small sharp knife, cut 1/2-inch deep 'X' in top of each round.
  • Bake breads until deep golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool on rack at least 30 minutes. Serve wedges warm or at room temperature with plenty of butter.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

THE 'NAKED' TRUTH

~ Bare and beautiful
_____________

“Have you ever noticed a tree standing naked against the sky,
how beautiful it is?
All its branches are outlined,
and in its nakedness there is a poem,
Every leaf is gone and it is waiting for the spring.
When the spring comes it again fills the tree
with the music of many leaves,
which in due season fall and are blown away.
And that is the way of life.”

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

WEARIN' O' THE GREEN ~ MINT BUTTERFLIED LEMON LEG of LAMB


" You'll never plow a field by turning it over in your mind "

~ Irish Saying

MINT BUTTERFLIED LEMON LEG of LAMB

~ 'Spring lamb' ... perfect for the season

____

1 5-6 lb. boned, trimmed & butterflied leg of lamb (fat removed)

2 lemons & zest

3 minced garlic cloves

4 Tbsp. chopped mint

4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

MINT SAUCE:

1/2 cup good mint jelly

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

zest from above lemons

1 Tbsp. butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. Coleman's dry mustard

  • Flatten lamb to 2-inch thickness. Score skin side of lamb crisscross fashion. Wipe with damp cloth. With tip of knife make about 10 large deep cuts in flesh. Sprinkle with salt & cracked pepper.
  • Grate the rind and squeeze the juice of 2 lemons. Finely chop the garlic. Combine lemon rind, juice, garlic, mint, oil, salt & pepper in small bowl. Pour over lamb and marinate several hours or overnight.
  • Make mint sauce: Combine mint jelly and remaining ingredients in saucepan. Stir over low heat until jelly melts. Bring to boil, remove from heat and let cool.
  • Remove meat from refrigerator. Pour cooled mint sauce over lamb, turning occasionally, allowing lamb to come to room temperature before grilling.
  • Remove from sauce and grill over medium hot coals 30-45 minutes (depending on thickness), basting several times with sauce and turning occasionally. (Do not overcook ~ should be pink on inside) While lamb is cooking, bring marinade to boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let rest before carving. Serve with remaining sauce, boiled buttery new potatoes, crisp green salad and crusty peasant bread.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"MAY YOUR THOUGHTS BE AS GLAD AS THE SHAMROCKS ..." ~ BAILEYS IRISH CREAM CHEESECAKE


"May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks, may your heart be as light as a song, may each day bring you bright, happy hours that stay with you all the year long."

~ Irish Blessing

~ Shamrock

( Oxalis regnellii)

___________________

BAILEYS IRISH CREAM CHEESECAKE

~ Favorite St. Patrick's Day treat adapted from tattered Bon Appetit (1989)

__

Crust:

2 cups crushed

Oreo cookies

1/4 cup sugar

6 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter

Filling:

2 1/4 lbs. room temperature cream cheese

1 2/3 cup sugar

5 room temperature organic eggs

1 cup Baileys Original Irish Cream

1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Coffee Cream:

1 cup chilled whipping cream

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. instant coffee powder

Chocolate curls

  • For crust: Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Coat 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray. Combine crumbs and sugar. Stir in melted butter. Press mixture into bottom and 1-inch up sides of pan. Bake until light brown, about 7 minutes.
  • For filling: Beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually mix in sugar. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Blend in Baileys and vanilla. Sprinkle half of chocolate chips over crust. Spoon in filling. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips. Bake cheesecake until puffed, springy in center and golden brown, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool cake completely.
  • For cream: Beat cream, sugar and coffee powder until still peaks form. Spread mixture over cooled cake.
  • Garnish cheesecake with chocolate curls. Cut into thin slices to serve. (8 servings)


Monday, March 10, 2008

ENJOY THE GIFT!

" The beauty of daylight-saving time is that it just makes everyone feel sunnier."


~ Edward Markey




"Time is God's way of keeping everything from happening at once"
~ Anon

"Tempus fugit"
(time flies)
~ Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso) Fasti



"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted."
~ John Lennon


"Lost time is never found again"

~ Benjamin Franklin



THANKS for the gift BEN!