Saturday, May 19, 2018

Retro Recipe to Remember Mom

Today is my mom's birthday and to celebrate, I think I'll bake a batch of these rolls that were her specialty. 

She started baking these sweet rolls when they appeared in a Pillsbury bake-off cookbook as a 1955 Grand Prize Winner. Pillsbury has updated the recipe, and the link for that is here. However, I'm going to share the original with you below.



Ingredients

  • 2 packets active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup hot scalded milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 unbeaten eggs
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • nut filling (below)
Instructions
  1. Soften yeast in warm water; set aside.
  2. Combine butter and scalded milk in large mixing bowl. Cool to lukewarm.
  3. Add sugar, salt and eggs.
  4. Stir in flour to form a stiff dough. Cover and let rest 30 minutes.
  5. Prepare nut filling
  6. Roll out dough on floured surface to a 22x12-inch rectangle. Spread half of dough along long side with filling. Fold uncovered dough over filling.
  7. Cut crosswise into 1-inch strips. Twist each strip 4 or 5 times. Then hold one end down on greased baking sheet for center of roll. Curl remaining strip around center on baking sheet as for a pinwheel, tucking other end under. Cover.
  8. Let rise in warm place until light and doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. 
Nut filling - Cream 1/3 cup butter. Blend in 1 cup sifted confectioners sugar. Add 1 cup walnuts, ground or chopped very fine.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Other Side of Mother's Day


I created an entry on this blog for Mother's Day, a message of love and happiness. I was ready to publish it this weekend, and then I saw a post from a dear friend on Facebook. She has suffered miscarriage after miscarriage; late last year there was an ectopic pregnancy. Mother's Day is a day of loss for her--grief, anger, overwhelming sadness and feelings of failure mark this day for she and countless others

Here are the words from that Facebook posting:


To the mother with an aching heart on Mothers’ Day.

Some days it feels like your pain is invisible.

It feels like this is too heavy to bear. 
It feels like the grief wants to swallow you whole. 
We see you.

Maybe you only knew their heartbeat. 
Maybe you held them in your arms. 
Maybe it happened yesterday or 30 years ago. 
We know you don’t forget. 
We want you to know that neither do we.

We see your pain, and we see your tremendous, unbreakable, never-ending love . 
A love that is stronger than pain, 
stronger than disappointment, 
even stronger than death.

Even though you might not feel like it 
Mothers’ Day belongs to you too. 
Today especially, we want you to know; 
you are seen.

You matter.

You are still their mom.

You are never alone.

From one mother to another, you are loved.  

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Mothers Day Gifts the Kids Can Make



In the United States, May 13, 2018 is Mothers' Day. Let's look at some fun (and easy) things that the little ones can do to help celebrate Mom on her special day.


CARDS


Here's a card you can make from Grandma's button box.





Handprints make the flowers for this sweet card.




This one is so easy, you don't even need a link to "how to". 





All you need for this one is card stock, paint, and some curly macaroni.


CRAFTS

This is a bouquet that will last forever.




Those sweet little digits don't stay small forever. Record the memory of those sweet fingerprints with this sweet idea.


FOR OLD KIDS TO MAKE
A collection of 33 ideas that the older kids can help with, or do on their own.


AND HERE ARE SOME BRUNCH IDEAS
from my other blog where I write as (my alter-ego) Carb Diva. 
(Cooking is my super-power)

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Mushroom Risotto - Yes you can make risotto at home!

It's not dessert, but risotto's a piece of cake

Are you familiar with "risotto"? If you peek at Wikipedia, they will tell you that "Risotto is a class of Italian dishes of rice cooked in broth to a creamy consistency. It is one of the most common ways of cooking rice in Italy."

Yes, it is cooked rice, and it is a bit more complicated than Minute Rice from a box, but it's also far more satisfying.
Risotto is not difficult, but the rice that you choose is very important. Don't run to your cupboard and grab a box of Uncle Ben's or a sack of generic long-grain rice. It won't work. You need a short-grain arborio rice. Arborio rice has a higher starch content and remains firm (al dente) when cooked—that is exactly what you want and need for a proper risotto.
Risotto is creamy, but not mushy. The grains remain gently "toothy" but are enveloped in a creamy cloak which results from the mixing of the starch with the liquids in which the rice simmers.

This risotto marries cheesy-creamy rice with the earthy flavor of mushrooms and the herbal note of thyme.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3-4 cups chicken, vegetable, or mushroom broth, heated to a simmer
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • 1/4 cup marscapone cheese

Instructions

  1. In large frying pan melt 1 tablespoon butter with olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and cook until lightly browned (3 to 4 minutes). Stir in thyme.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of the wine and cook until wine is absorbed. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
  3. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add rice, pepper, and remaining 1/2 cup white wine. Stir to insure that rice does not clump together and cook until wine is absorbed. Add 1 cup broth, reduce heat to low, and stir until broth is almost absorbed. Continue to add broth, 1/2 cup at a time and stirring until rice is creamy and tender but still firm in center. This should take about 15 to 18 minutes.
  4. Stir in mushrooms. Remove from heat and stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano and mascarpone cheese.

What makes this recipe work?

Arborio rice is an Italian short-grain rice named after the town in the Po Valley in which it is grown.
Varieties of rice are roughly grouped into three distinct categories--long grain, medium grain, or short grain. Long-grain rice is about four times as long as wide, medium grain is twice as long, and short-grain is almost round. However, the shape is not what makes this rice perform differently when cooked. What matters is the amounts of amylose and amylopectin starch.
Amylose starch does not break down when heated, but amylopectin does. Rice high in amylose stays fluffy, with distinct individual grains (unless you overcook it). On the other hand, rice high in amylopectin (which is gelatinous) becomes starchy or "sticky" when cooked. It is the stickiness of those grains which gives risotto its creamy texture.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Quotes from Barbara Bush


This isn't a discussion of politics, left, right, liberal, conservative, independent.

It's just a glimpse of some of the quotations from a beautiful, sassy, confident Christian lady who died earlier this past week at the age of 92.


Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people - your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.


And who knows? Somewhere out there in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the president's spouse. I wish him well!


Where will our country find leaders with integrity, courage, strength-all the family values-in ten, twenty, or thirty years? The answer is that you are teaching them, loving them, and raising them right now.


Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others.



At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Finally, a Recipe! Turkey Curry Salad

It's been quite some time since I've posted any recipes. It's Springtime (FINALLY!) and I love making main dish salads when the weather is warm, the sun is shining, and . . . well, you get it.

Here's a recipe I cobbled together a few years ago for a Government retirees reunion (sounds awesome, doesn't it?). Anyhow here's the story, the recipe I made and a quick explanation of how to prep a mango, just in case you're a newbie.

**********

Today my husband and I attended a gathering of retirees from the office where we worked years (and years) ago. This loyal group gets together once a month for brunch, at this annual occasion for a potluck picnic, and many times in-between. But for my husband and I it was a first time reuniting with the "moldy oldies". What a shock! The faces were still recognizable, but there were a few more wrinkles, a bit more gray hair, or less hair entirely! (How odd, because we haven't aged a bit).
However, once we got past the initial awkwardness of "...and you are...?" we easily fell into a comfortable warmness of exchanging stories about kids and grand-kids, fondly remembering those who have passed away, and recounting old stories (which are improved upon with each telling).
And we ate.
What an amazing display--salads, casseroles, roast chicken, and desserts (crunchy, creamy, gooey--all of them wonderful) of all shapes and sizes. I decided to experiment on this group so surfed the internet for ideas on how to make a chicken salad with curry. I used a bit of this and borrowed a bit of that. And came up with this recipe.
There were no leftovers.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon *curry powder
  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • 3 cups diced roast turkey or smoked turkey
  • 2 medium mangoes, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup salted cashews, chopped

Directions
  1. Place the curry powder in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat. Toast for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Watch carefully so that it doesn't burn. Remove pan from heat and immediately scrape toasted curry powder into small mixing bowl. When cool, stir in mayonnaise, yogurt, and lime juice. Set aside.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients except cashews in a large mixing bowl. Add curry-mayonnaise dressing and stir gently to combine. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Add salted cashews just before serving.
  4. *I used McCormick--a blend of coriander, fenugreek, turmeric, cumin, black pepper, bay leaves, celery seed, nutmeg, cloves, onion, red pepper flakes, and ginger

How to prepare a mango

The mango is a stone fruit--it contains a large hard pit (seed) in the middle. Other stone fruits that you might be familiar with are peaches, apricots and plums. But unlike those, the pit of the mango is not small and round. The mango pit is quite large and flat. Knowing that will help you to understand how to prepare the mango.
  1. First, wash your mango. Although you will not be eating the skin, any surface dirt will contaminate the inner flesh when you slice with your knife.
  2. Place the mango on a cutting board, stem end down.
  3. Place your knife about 1/4-inch from the center of the mango and cut down. Turn the mango around and repeat on the other side. You now have 3 pieces of mango--two rounded "cheeks" and the center which contains the flat pit. Don't throw the pit away.
  4. Use a large spoon to scoop the flesh out of the skin.
  5. Using your knife carefully strip away the skin from the mango pit. You can now cut a bit more of the mango flesh from the pit.