Friday, November 30, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007


~ Chrysanthemum (flower of the month)



~ A lingering taste of autumn - soft, crunchy & sweet

(The Northwoods Table)


2 cups sifted flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking powder

2 cups cooked (until bloomed) wild rice ~ 1/2 cup uncooked*

1 cup walnuts

1/2 cup sweet (unsalted) butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

4 organic eggs

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 tsp. maple flavoring

1/2 tsp nutmeg


2 egg yolks

1 cup confectioners sugar

8 Tbsp. bourbon

1 cup whipping cream

1 tsp. vanilla

  • Combine flour with salt and baking powder.
  • Combine cooked wild rice with walnut pieces (for smoother textured cake, process rice & walnuts one or two pulse cycles in food processor with steel blade).
  • Cream butter until softened. Add brown sugar. Beat i eggs, one at a time. Add buttermilk, maple flavoring and nutmeg. Beat until light and fluffy. Sir in flour mixture until thoroughly mixed. Fold in rice and walnut mixture.
  • Pour batter into 8-in. tube or bundt cake pan. Bake in 350-degree oven for about 1 hour.
  • Serve with Bourbon Custard Sauce. (6-8 servings)

Bourbon Custard Sauce

Beat 2 eggs yolks and sugar with wire whisk until mixture is pale yellow. Slowly add bourbon and mix well. Whip cream until stiff. Fold in vanilla and then egg mixture into the whipped cream. Keep refrigerated until serving. (2 cups)

* Note: 1 cup uncooked wild rice yields 4 cups cooked. Rinse rice in fine strainer, place in heavy saucepan, add 4 cups water for each cup of rice. Heat to boiling, cover and simmer over low heat for 40-45 minutes until grains begin to split or rice is tender.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


~ a Chinese philosopher

~ Chrysanthemum 'The Happiness Flower'

The Chrysanthemum, the Flower of Happiness, was so revered that in Japan only the nobles could grow it. It has been grown for over 2,000 years all throughout in the Far East. It has come to mean love and truthfulness. We may see it carved on the throne of the Emperor of Japan and on many Chinese artifacts.



~ Easy version of an old favorite first tasted back in the 60's, prepared and served in an electric frying pan as a thank you gift from our Japanese houseguest.


1 1/2 lbs. very thinly sliced beef (sirloin) or boneless chicken
4 diagonally sliced stalks celery
2 thinly sliced medium onions or medium leeks
1 fat bunch diagonally sliced green onions
12 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 can drained & sliced bamboo shoots
1 can drained & sliced water chestnuts
salad oil

2/3 c. Tamari or soy sauce
1/3 cup sake, white wine or dry sherry
1 tsp. sugar

  • Arrange beef and vegetables on a large platter. Combine soy sauce, sugar and sake.
  • Heat wok or a large skillet. Grease the pan with salad oil. Add about 1/3 of the meat, brown and and moisten with the Sukiyaki Sauce. Add 2/3 of each vegetable, keeping meat and each vegetables separate. Turn ingredients over gently while cooking for 5 to 6 min. Add a bit of oil and another 1/3 of the meat and cook for a further 1 to 2 minutes. Have chopsticks ready and serve immediately with rice and additional sauce.
  • Replenish the pan with remaining ingredients as needed.

Monday, November 26, 2007


~ Alstroemeria (simply lovable face)
~ Although gnocchi is simple to prepare, with the busy season ahead consider this tasty dish from FOOD & WINE (NOV 2006) made even easier with store-bought gnocchi.
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 lbs. (10 cups) stemmed mixed wild mushrooms
2 minced shallots
1/4 cup dry vermouth
3/4 cup organic chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp. chopped thyme
coarse salt & freshly ground pepper
2 lbs. fresh or frozen prepared gnocchi
6 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. white truffle oil (optional)
  • Prepare broiler. In large ovenproof skillet, heat olive oil with butter. Add mushrooms & shallots and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally for 12 minutes or until browned. Add vermouth and cook until evaporated. Add stock, cream and thyme, season with salt & pepper; bring to boil.
  • Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook gnocchi until they float to the surface, about 3 minutes. Drain well. Add gnocchi to mushrooms and simmer, stirring for 1 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan and sprinkle remaining 2 Tbsp. of Parmesan on top.
  • Broil gnocchi 6 inches from heat from 2-3 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Drizzle with truffle oil and serve. (6 servings)
Food & Wine suggestion: Silky, cherry-inflected Valpolicella: 2003 Mazzi Poiega

Sunday, November 25, 2007

MORNING GIFT ~ "Good night moon!"

~ November 'Freezing moon' set
(Gashkadino-giizis ~ Ojibwe)

Friday, November 23, 2007


"The thinnest yellow light of November is more warming and exhilarating than any wine they tell of. The mite which November contributes becomes equal in value to the bounty of July."
~ Henry David Thoreau
~ Out the window (waning colors)


~ Though similar, this rich and colorful dish (adapted from April, 2005 Southern Living) with a slightly different twist is a tasty change from traditional tetrazzini (Archives: November 24, 2006).
1 (12-oz) package 'straw & hay' (green & white) fettuccine or all spinach or regular
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 coarsely chopped sweet yellow onion
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
3 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. white pepper
3 cup milk or half & half
3 cups chopped turkey
1 cup chopped roasted red peppers
1 (14-oz) can drained and chopped artichoke hearts
1 cup white wine
2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
(or 1 cup shredded Parmesan & 1 cup shredded white cheddar)
1 cup sliced almonds or pine nuts
3 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  • Preheat oven to 400-degrees.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.
  • Melt butter in large skillet. Add onion and mushrooms and saute 7-10 minutes over medium-high heat or until tender. Gradually stir in flour, salt and white pepper. With whisk, add milk (half & half), stirring constantly for 5 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in wine. Remove from heat. Fold in turkey, artichoke hearts and roasted peppers.
  • Lightly grease 9 x 13 in. pan. Layer with half of pasta, half of turkey mixture and 1 cup of cheese. Repeat layers with remaining pasta, turkey mixture and cheese. Sprinkle top with almonds and parsley.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. (6-8 servings)

Thursday, November 22, 2007


" God has two dwellings; one in heaven, and the other in a meek and thankful heart."
~ Thanksgiving bouquet

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


"Be thankful if you have a whole sandwich,
you have one-half to share."
~ Anne La Flamme
( mother)
~ Lives intertwined
~ Thanksgiving was never complete without Mom's classic 'luxurious' salad.
3-4 unpeeled & diced Red Delicious apples
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup halved seedless red grapes
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup whipped cream ( only some years)
Sprinkle lemon juice on chopped apples and combine with celery, grapes and walnuts. Combine mayonnaise or Miracle Whip and sugar. (Fold in whipped cream). Pour over fruit mixture and gently fold in. (6 servings)
~ Tweaked throughout the years from an old Bon Appetit recipe.
4 unpeeled and diced Red Delicious apples
2 unpeeled and diced Granny Smith apples
juice and zest of 1 lemon
2/3 cup dried cranberries or cherries
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1 1/3 cup halved red seedless red grapes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp. sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
Candied walnuts or pecans
Sprinkle lemon juice over chopped apples and combine with celery, grapes and dried cranberries or cherries. Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon zest and sugar. Pour over fruit mixture and gently fold in. Arrange on festive colored lettuce leaves and top with candied walnuts or pecans. (6 servings)
Candied walnuts or pecans
3 Tbsp. light corn syrup
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 generous tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups walnuts or pecans (whole or chopped)
  • Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray. combine corn syrup and next 4 ingredients in large bowl. Stir to blend. Add nuts; stir gently to coat. Transfer to baking sheet.
  • Place large piece of foil on work surface. Bake nuts 5 minutes. Using fork, stir nuts to coat with melted spice mixture. Continue baking until nuts are golden and coating bubbles about 10 minutes. Transfer to foil. working quickly, separate nuts with fork. cool. (Can be made ahead and stored at room temperature).

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


"I said my prayers and ate some cranberry tart for breakfast."

~ Thankful

~ From Ramsey Canyon Inn (AZ) comes this delicious seasonal recipe, an ideal brunch before heading downtown for the annual Thanksgiving Day parade or Detroit Lion game.
(Why start the day counting calories!)
1 8-oz. package cream cheese
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
16 slices good quality French bread
8 organic eggs
1 1/2 cups half & half
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. grated nutmeg
melted butter
2 cups cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. maple extract
  • In medium bowl mix together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and nuts. Spread mixture on 8 slices of French bread. Top with remaining 8 slices of bread.
  • In blender mix eggs, half & half, sugar, vanilla and nutmeg. Pour half of egg mixture into buttered 9x13 inch glass dish. Place French bread on top of egg mixture and pour remaining egg mixture on top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • The next morning brush the tops with melted butter. Bake in 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Turn the broiler on to brown the top.
  • While French toast is baking, in heavy saucepan combine cranberries, sugar, maple syrup and maple flavoring. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until cranberries pop, about 20 minutes. Serve French toast topped with cranberry-maple syrup. ( 8 servings)

Monday, November 19, 2007

GOOD GRIEF! (Time out ...)

~ Good Grief!


Carolyn gail ( Sweet home and Garden Chicago ) left an alarming post:

"I love bourbon in everything as well !

You've been tagged to reveal 8 random things about yourself."

Good Grief! Like ... who would wish to read humble ramblings from a 'Ho-Hum Housewife'? Carolyn (though I doubt it) must be extremely bored but, nonetheless, respecting her wishes and cleaver blog ... here are the rules for those fortunate enough to be touched by 'the fickle finger of fate'. If tagged, link to the person who tagged you (that would be me), post the rules (name 8 things you didn't know about meme) and link to 8 other lucky bloggers. Carolyn, you're a 'sweetie' *...
  1. I must admit ~ I get my best sleep after my husband crawls out of bed in the AM to grind Starbucks French Roast for the morning brew and I can sprawl out, hogging the whole bed to myself ...
  2. I confess to ~ hording pocketfuls of peanut M&Ms in my nightshirt pocket and, once warm, nibble sinfully while reading a good novel in bed ...
  3. Music taste runs wild ~ Bob Dylan, Rachmaninoff, Nina Simone, Kronos Quartet, Diana Krall, Debussy, Jane Oliver, Django Reinhardt, Roy Orbison, Chopin, Don Shirley, Gershwin, Michael Nyman, Jimmy Durante ...
  4. Favorite pastime ~ loosing myself 'painting with plants' in the garden, creating memorable meals in the kitchen, hiding behind the lens of my camera, writing into the wee hours of the morning, precious moments shared with 'grandboys' ...
  5. A 'perfect' day ... morning 'prayerful' walks, family visiting the lake, scary go-cart rides through hilly white pine & cedar scented woods, bonfires, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, late-night suppers, sleeping beneath the roof with those I love ...
  6. A 'perfect' evening ... festive dinner parties with family and friends, moonlight nights at the lake (late suppers then sleeping in my creaking hammock on the screened porch , listening to the yodeling loons and watching lazy fishing boats troll by) ...
  7. Though of French decent, identify more with 'smidgens' of my Native American heritage.
  8. Costco addict!
(Now all will see ... why I am indeed a 'Ho-Hum Housewife' )
* Carolyn ... my grandfather was also a 'bootlegger' and spent 6 months in Fort Leavenworth!
"Good Sport' Tag Victims:

Sunday, November 18, 2007


" If the only prayer you said
in your whole life was,
'thank you,'
that would suffice. "

~Meister Eckhart
~ Soul of a maple leaf



~ Simple autumn flavors infused in the soul of the bird. Perfect for a Thanksgiving or holiday buffet. Though 'tweaked' throughout the years through roasting time and the addition of wine, fresh herbs, apple and lemon, this lovely adapted 1998 recipe from Sweet Lorraine's retains the rich essence of Michigan.


12- 15 lb. fresh turkey

coarse salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

1 quartered onion

bunch of fresh sage leaves

1 quartered apple

1 sliced lemon

4 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter

3 Tbsp. fresh thyme

3 Tbsp. fresh sage

coarse salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

1 cup organic chicken stock

1 cup white wine

4 Tbsp. melted butter

1/2 cup maple syrup

  • Preheat oven to 450-degrees. Rinse turkey inside and out. Season cavity & outside with coarse salt & pepper. Place onion, apple, lemon and sage leaves in cavity. Close with skewer and tie legs together.
  • Place breast side up on rack in large roasting pan. Combine butter, herbs, salt & pepper. Brush turkey and place in oven.
  • While turkey is roasting, combine stock and wine. After 15 minutes, open oven and pour broth mixture in bottom of pan. Reduce heat to 350-degrees and continue roasting (about 15 minutes/pound) until meat thermometer registers 180-degrees in leg and 170-degrees in breast (about 3 hours). Baste turkey with pan juices every 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine butter and maple syrup, brushing liberally over bird the last hour of cooking. Cover loosely and allow turkey to rest 30 minutes before carving.

Note: If going to annual parade or LION GAME, prepare bird the night before, let rest, carefully remove breast, legs and thighs. Cover and carve the next day. Please don't throw the carcass (the remains of a great bird) away ... happy to give its all.

Note: 'Turkey Carcass Soup' (Nov 25, 2006 archives).



~ Compliments of Sweet Lorraine's

( )


2 cups bourbon

1/2 cup minced shallot

zest of 1 large orange

1 (12-oz) bags fresh cranberries

2 cups sugar

1 tsp. fresh grated ginger

2 tsp. ground fresh pepper

Combine bourbon, shallots, ginger, and orange zest in non-reactive saucepan. Bring to boil, lower hear & simmer til reduced to syrupy glaze (about 10 minutes) Add cranberries & sugar, raise heat and bring to boil, stirring to combine. Lower heat and cook til cranberries start to burst. Remove from heat & add pepper. Cool and refrigerate til needed. (8-10 servings)



~ Be adventuresome ... try wild rice, actually a 'grass seed' staple for Great Lakes Indians and perfect side with turkey.

1 cup wild rice

3 cups organic chicken stock or water (or 1/2 & 1/2 of each)

1 (7.25 oz) jar pealed whole chestnuts

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped shallots (about 4 large)

1/2 lb. roasted grapes*

(*roast grapes, lightly drizzled grapes with olive oil, in 350-degree oven for 15 minutes or until beginning to wrinkle)

2 cubed tart apples

1 cup chopped celery

3 tsp. dried or fresh thyme

coarse & freshly ground pepper to taste

1 cup organic chicken broth

1 1/2 cup toasted pecans or walnuts

dots of butter

garnish with additional parsley

  • Bring chicken stock (water) to boil. Add rice, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until tender and grains begin to split, about 45 minutes. Drain and fluff.
  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Butter 13x9x2 inch baking dish.
  • Combine cooked rice, chestnuts and parsley.
  • Heat olive oil in pan and saute shallots, apples and celery. Season with thyme, salt & pepper. Add to wild rice mixture. Add grapes and any liquid on pan. Stir in broth. Re-season and transfer to prepared baking dish. Top with toasted nuts, parsley, dot with additional butter, and bake until heated through, about 30-45 minutes. (8 servings) ~Can be made ahead and reheated before serving.

Note: 1 lb. crumbled sweet Italian sausage (casing removed and browned) may be added.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


~ Autumn leaves of red and gold
(Bloomfield Village)



~ Beloved pears, cranberries and ice cream ... the perfect ending to a perfect meal. This treasured recipe is a favorite holiday dessert, clipped from BON APPETIT (Nov 2002).


3 lbs. ripe Anjou pears (about 5) peeled, cored, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup fresh cranberries

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup finely ground walnuts

1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled

Cinnamon Ice Cream*

  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Toss pears, cranberries, and 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl. Let stand 15 minutes. Transfer mixture to 11x7x2 inch glass baking dish.
  • Mix flour, next 3 ingredients, and 1/4 cup sugar in medium bowl. Add butter; using fork, stir until moist clumps form. Sprinkle topping over fruit in dish.
  • Bake crisp 45 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 375-degrees. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly. Serve warm with Cinnamon Ice Cream. ( 8 servings)

*Note: If you live in the metro-Detroit area, visit Ray's Ice Cream ~ the tastiest Cinnamon Ice Cream in the world! ( You can also blend ground cinnamon (to taste) into any premium vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


~ The great pumpkin


~ A break from traditional, loosly adapted from GOURMET (Nov 2006)


1 1/2 cup chilled whipping cream

3/4 cup sugar

1 (8-oz) container mascarpone cheese (Italian cream cheese)

1 (15-oz) can pure pumpkin

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ginger

1/4 tsp. cloves

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cardamom

2 packages good quality ladyfingers

1/4 cup finely ground espresso, divided

1/3-1/2 cup Amaretto or Frangelico liqueur

2-3 oz. crushed gingersnaps or amaretti cookies

  • Beat chilled whipping cream and sugar until peaks form. Set aside.
  • Whip mascarpone cheese. Add pumpkin and spices and combine with whipped cream until smooth.
  • Dip 1/2 of ladyfingers into liqueur and line bottom of 9-inch springform pan with ladyfingers, overlapping and crowding to fit. Sprinkle with 1/3 ground espresso. Spread 1/2 of filling over ladyfingers. Repeat with remaining ladyfingers, dipped in liqueur. Sprinkle with 1/3 espresso. Top with remaining filling. Smooth. Wrap tightly in plastic, then foil. Chill overnight or longer.
  • To unmold, run knife around inside edge of pan. Release sides. Sprinkle with crushed cookies and remaining ground espresso. (8 servings)

Monday, November 12, 2007



"America I loved you in my youth, with all my heart and soul ... And I still believe in what you stand for, now that I have grown grey and old. We live in a republic where freedom of speech, justice, liberty and equality for all, are the mortar, brick, foundation and cornerstone of our great democracy. Precious guidlines and undeniable truths that ourfounding fathers weaved and express so eloquently in the U.S. CONSTITUTION. Principles to strive for and live by not for just the present moment, but for a lifetime. Every second, minute, hour and day of each and every passing year. Our past and present veterans blood was shed and flesh was torn on foreign battle fields in defense of these shining truths and principles so others should remain free. So please keep us vets in your heart felt thoughts and prayers for we are growing old, you see. Liberty and freedom comes at a high cost and is never really free. For without the sacrifice of our brave armed forces there would be no liberty. So, always remember the one's who fell in combat and the aging veterans who still remain ... and when you meet and greet them tell them their heroic efforts in defense of freedom and liberty were not fought in vain."
Copyright JOSEPH P. MARTINO 2005

Saturday, November 10, 2007


"The autumn leaves drift by my window,
The autumn leaves of red and gold ..."

~ Autumn leaves of red and gold
~ After a workout tidying up the garden for the winter, pop this 'make-ahead' rich savory custard (adapted from Bon Appetit-Nov 2006) into the oven. Put on Claude Debussy's 'Prelude on the Afternoon of a Fawn', toss a salad, grab a glass of wine and enjoy the fruits of your labor ...
1 1-pound loaf crusty country-style white bread (like Great Harvest)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (still should be good from the garden)
1 large minced clove garlic
6 Tbsp. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 pound thinly sliced assorted fresh mushrooms
(such as crimini, button, portobello, and stemmed shitake)
1 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery
1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped green or yellow pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream or 1/2 & 1/2
8 large organic eggs
1 tsp. coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Butter 13x9x2 inch glass or ceramic baking dish.
  • Cut bottom crush and short ends off bread. Slice remaining bread with crush into 1-inch cubes (about 10 cups loosely packed).Place cubes n very large bow. Add oil, thyme, and garlic;toss to coat. Spread cubes or on large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake until golden and slightly crunchy, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Return coated bread cubes to same very large bowl.
  • Melt better in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, celery, and peppers. Saute until soft and juices have evaporated, abut 15 minutes. Add sauteed vegetables and parsley to bread cubes.
  • Whisk heavy cream, eggs, salt & pepper in large bowl. Mix custard into bread and vegetables. Transfer stuffing to prepared dish. Sprinkle cheese over. Cover and refrigerated several hours or overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Bake uncovered until set and top is golden, about 1 hour. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. (10-12 SERVINGS)

Note: Vegetarians invited for Thanksgiving? Consider this as a hearty option ...



~ Flavors of the season blended to please the palate.


1 healthy head Boston Bibb
(or a mix of radicchio, frisée, Boston or Bibb and romaine lettuces)

1 tart sliced green apple like Granny Smith

1 sliced Red Delicious apple

4 oz. crumbled Gorgonzola or other blue-veined cheese

1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts


1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 cloves minced garlic

1/2 tsp. white pepper

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

  • Line a salad bowl or platter with a few lettuce leaves. Add the remaining bite-size pieces of lettuce, combined with the apples, cheese and walnuts.
  • Whisk dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Lightly toss and serve immediately. (6 servings)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


"Autumn is the eternal corrective. It is ripeness and color and a time of maturity; but it is also breadth, and depth, and distance. What man can stand with autumn on a hilltop and fail to see the span of his world and the meaning of the rolling hills that reach to the far horizon?"
- Hal Borland

( )

~ Rounding the bend

~ The South Shore

~ Autumn's fading face

(Hubbard Lake)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

EARLY NOVEMBER ~ 'Wa-gi-daa-king' (Hubbard Lake)

"A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake
and was treated to the crunch and rustle of leaves with each step I made.
The acoustics of this season are different and all sounds,
no matter how hushed, are as crisp as autumn air. "
- Eric Sloane

~ Surrounding woods

~ Oak leaf and autumn fern

~ Peaceful lake

~ Autumn clouds and sky

~ Beloved oak leaves

Sunday, November 04, 2007

SUNDAY NIGHT DESSERT (Have you put your garden to bed?) ~ AUTUMN PEAR CRISP

"The snapping of pitch from a burning log,
The faint scent of pine filling the room.
Flames leaping about as if it were a ballet
Performing for its audience.
The soft, comforting glow of candlelight,
Bringing with it serenity and quiet thoughts."

- Linda Christensen ( Autumn's Beauty )

~ Quiet evening by the fire (Hubbard Lake)


~ Daylight savings is always a shock! Sit back and relax by the crackling fire with a lovely glass of port and this delicious autumn dessert.
6 cups (ripe but firm) peeled, cored, and sliced Bartlett, Bosc, or Comice pears
(or similar seasonal apples)
1 cup plump raisins, soaked in port
1/2 -3/4 cup brown sugar (depending on sweetness of fruit)
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon (or 1 tsp. nutmeg)
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
scant salt
1 lightly beaten egg
1 stick melted butter
  • Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
  • Combing pears (apples) plumped raisins, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Toss well. sprinkle with flour and cinnamon (nutmeg). Toss well. Set aside.
  • Combine flour, sugar & salt. Mix well. Cut in egg with pastry blender or fork and combine thoroughly until mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
  • Fluff pear mixture well and transfer to lightly greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Spread into prepared pan and top evenly with flour mixture. Drizzle with melted butter.
  • Pop into oven and bake 35-45 minutes until topping is golden brown and crisp. Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving. Finish dessert with dollop of whipped cream or hearty scoops of good vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.

'DAYLIGHT SAVINGS' (The Remains of the Day) ~ SUNSET (Hubbard Lake)

"So dull and dark are the November days.
The lazy mist high up the evening curled,
And now the morn quite hides in smoke and haze;
The place we occupy seems all the world."
- John Clare (November)

~ Sunset (Hubbard Lake)

Thursday, November 01, 2007


~Albert Camus
(from Pontiac's old Pike Street Restaurant )

1/2 cup Peanut Oil
1/4 cup Honey
1 tsp. Hungarian Paprika
5 Tbsp. Cider vinegar
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
2 1/2 Tbsp. Chopped Garlic
2 tsp. Grated Fresh Ginger Root
Juice of 1 Large Lemon
1 Lb. Fresh Spinach Leaves
2 Ripe Bosch or D'Anjou Pears
2 Bunches Fresh Watercress
Procedure: Wash spinach well, remove all stems. Make dressing. Cut pears in half, core and julienne. Place pears in some of the dressing so they don't brown. Wash watercress, remove long part of stem. Put spinach leaves in bowl, coat leaves with a bit of dressing. Place on plates, garnish with pears and watercress.
Note: Past post from November 4, 2006
~ Sweet coconut smooths and compliments the fiery flavored shrimp
2 lbs. peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp (tails on)
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup hot chili sesame oil (House of Tsang)*
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. ground ginger
1 cup diagonally sliced green onions, divided
bamboo skewers
  • Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, ginger, and 1/2 cup scallions. Add shrimp and toss well to coat. Cover and chill 4-6 hours or overnight.
  • Thread shrimp onto skewers and grill 4 minutes on each side. While shrimp is cooking, boil and reduce marinade.
  • Serve over coconut rice topped with drizzled marinade and remaining chopped scallions. ( 4 servings)
* Note: For a less spicy version, use regular sesame oil, adding red pepper flakes to taste.
Coconut Rice
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
2 cups organic chicken stock
1 cup organic long grain white rice like Jasmati
1 tsp. salt
  • Spread coconut in baking pan. Toast at 350-degrees for 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently until lightly brown.
  • While coconut is toasting, bring chicken stock to boil. Add rice and 1/2 of toasted coconut; reserve remaining for garnish. Bring to boil, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and garnish with remaining coconut.
~ Save room for this delicious dessert adapted from NOTEWORTHY TWO
1 lb. premium semi-sweet chocolate
1 Tbsp. instant coffee
1/2 cup boiling water
16 organic eggs, separated
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
pinch salt
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup confectioners sugar
cocoa for dusting
  • Melt chocolate in double boiler. Dissolve coffee in boiling water. Add to chocolate. Cover and let stand over low heat 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir until smooth. Cool slightly.
  • Beat egg yolks in large bowl at high speed for 5 minutes. Gradually add sugar. Continue beating for 5 minutes. Fold in vanilla and chocolate mixture.
  • Beat egg whites and salt in medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold into chocolate mixture. Remove 8 cups of mixture and refrigerate. Pour remainder into greased 10-inch springform pan. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven 25 minutes. Turn off heat. Leave pan in oven 5 minutes. Remove and cool on rack. When completely cool pour refrigerated mixture into baked shell. Refrigerate several hour or overnight.
  • Combine whipping cream, vanilla and confectioners sugar in chilled bowl. Beat until mixture stands in peaks. Spread over top of mousse. Dust with cocoa. Refrigerate until served.