Sandi is blogging from the WhistleStop Cafe kitchen. It's all about good home cooking; food, family and fun. Thousands of posts . . .

~In the south and around the world.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Blue Waters

This monday I am thinking blue gulf waters and pretty white sand.
We are heading to the beach with friends for a quick get away...and maybe a little 'scouting' for our upcoming wedding.

Lots of bloggers join SmilingSally, for a little monday fun.

Don't be blue y'all~

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Photohunt ~Framed

This week's photohunt is 'framed - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
A little fun framing with ImageChef.
Happy Hunting y'all~

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday's Favorites ~Linky Party~

It's Friday!
I love showing off my Favorites.This week is my favorite new clasp that I brought back from L'Artigianella in Bologna. and my favorite new necklace!

What is your favorite this friday?

Y'all join in the party~


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Another figgy recipe

These figs have just been beautiful. To beautiful to hide in a jar of jelly. This is a easy peasy coffee cake. It is good enough to eat without any icing or topping... although a smear of figgy jam would be wonderful.

Fig Coffee Cake
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup yogurt
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
Zest of one orange
12-15 figs
preheat the oven to 350○
Combine butter and sugar until smooth. Whisk in eggs and yogurt. Stir in dry ingredients until well blended. Pour into a 9"round cake pan (sprayed with pam of course) Slice the figs into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange lightly on the top of the coffee cake.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Y'all enjoy~

Monday, August 23, 2010

Blue Mondays

I have decided to join in some friends who are posting 'Blue Mondays'. What a better way to turn a Monday into a brilliantly blue day?
Like the memory of a baby blue vespa in Bologna.
Smiling Sally has been hosting this for a couple of years now. That sounds like a party I can join in.

Don't be blue y'all~

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Figs, Figs, Figs

Here in Alabama, it is definitely the end of fig season. I was lucky enough to have a friend share some figs with me!
I found this recipe for fig bars that were easy to make... and a hit at work. The original recipe called for dried figs, so I adapted this to use up my fresh figs. Orange Fig Bars
6 Tbs butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups figs
1 Tbs orange zest
2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs honey
1 Tbs orange juice
Make the dough by mixing the butter and sugar until smooth. Add honey, vanilla and egg to make a wet mix. Combine the dry ingredients. Incorporate the dry to the wet, stirring until smooth. Divide the dough in half, cover each with plastic wrap and chill for several hours.
To make the filling, mince the figs and combine all ingredients. Preheat oven to 375°
Roll one piece of dough and press into a 9x9 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread the filling evenly over the dough. Roll out the second piece of dough into a square to apply to the top of the filling. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes until golden. Cool completely before slicing into bars.
Y'all enjoy!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Photohunt ~Numerical

This week's photohunt is 'Numerical'Not exactly my idea of fun... but it is numerical.
Happy Hunting y'all~

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday's Favorites

I♥ Friday!
It is time to show off our Favorites.One of my favorite things to do it watch these hummingbirds.They can keep me amused for hoursCan you think of a better way to spend a Friday?

Y'all join in on the Linky Party~

Anything goes!

~MrLinky doesn't appear to be wanting to work this friday morning... I'll get it up when I can!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pomodori e Vino ~ Frittata

Here in Alabama, we might be in the middle of the hot and sticky dog days of summer... but the tomatoes and basil are perfect. This is just the time for a Frittata with Tomatoes, Onion and Basil; the challenge for Pomodori e Vino this week. If y'all have ever made a frittata... it is really simple. It is an open-faced Italian omelet. It is a base of eggs and whatever~ cooked slowly in a skillet, then finished under a broiler until it is firm.
This is a Frittata that is packed full of flavor. In this recipe, 3 cups of onion are cooked until caramelized, and combined with tomatoes. Just before serving combine 5 eggs with tomato mixture, basil and cheese.

The result is a beautiful skilletfull of tomato and basil. It is best served warm out of the oven, and sliced into wedges. With some cantelope this makes a perfect brunch.

Ciao y'all,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tempted by a Fitness Magazine?

This is a yummy cookie recipe I found in fitness magazine.

~can you believe it? Even in fitness magazines we are tempted.

I changed it up a bit by adding cranberries rather than raisins... either, or both would work well.

Orange Cookies

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 sticks butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 Tbs orange zest

2 cups grated carrots

1/2 cup oats

Cover cranberries in hot water for 5-10 minutes. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and orange zest, fold in carrot and drained cranberries. Add flour mixture until combined. Stir in dried oatmeal. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Scoop spoonfulls onto a baking sheet. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350° for 10-12 minutes.

They make a great breakfast cookie, or a snack on the way to the gym.

Y'all enjoy,


Monday, August 16, 2010

Beading Basics

I have a tackle box full of beads, clasps and string. My treasure chest of jewelry. When the mood strikes, I get out the whole kit-n-kaboodle and make a new bauble or two. I have been playing with beads for years

My sister has some majahn tiles she wants to make into jewelry... I decided this blog post will be easier than trying to explain it over the phone.

First the supplies for making a bracelet or necklace.
1. wire for stringing the beads and scissors
2. crimping beads and needle nose plyers
3. beads ~lots of beads!
4. clasps or whatever you plan to use on the endsOh... and those glasses you will be needing to see.

These supplies are are easy to find at any craft store. I'm all for supporting a small time beading shop... (unless they give you the runaround and insist you take a beading class... then go to the big guy)

Cut the strand of wire the length you want to make, plus a couple of inches on each end. Begin by crimping one end. To do this you put the crimping bead on, run the wire back through and then crimp closed. Ta-Daa! That is the hardest part.
String the beads like you'd like. Anytime you aren't happy, just remove them and try again. Once you are happy... ok... thrilled with the results, you are ready to finish your piece.

After the final bead, add another crimping bead and the clasp. Run the wire back through the crimping bead and the next few beads. Pull tight, and crimp closed. Make sure your crimps are tight to hold the piece secure.
This is absolutely the basics... once you get the hang of it, it is easy to build just about anything you want. Necklaces, bracelets, earrings...
~and now that local bead shop will wish they'd taken 10 minutes to show you the basics, because you would be back again and again and again for more beads!

Y'all enjoy~

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Photohunt ~ Orange

This week's photohunt is 'Orange'
We enjoyed a high British Tea at the 'Orangery at Kensington Palace'
Now that is Brilliant!
Happy Hunting y'all~

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Friday's Favorites ~it's a Linky Party

I♥ Friday!
It is time to show off our favorites. This week my favorite is the fountain at Forsythe Park in Savannah.
The sprays of water can cool down the afternoon.Don't you feel cooler just looking at it? I think I'll just join Bill on that bench and sit a spell.

Now, Y'all share your ♥'s for friday,


Happy Birthday Julia!

I have been concentrating so much on our Pomodori e Vino cooking challenge, where we are cooking our way through Marcella Hazan's 'Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking', that I almost forgot that Julia Childs birthday is August 15th. For the past several years we have honored her on her birthday... this year Lisa at Champaign Taste is hosting again.
In many ways Marcella can be compared to Julia, both have taken techniques in classic cooking and brought them to the forefront of American kitchens. One of course Italian, the other French.
I decided to compare the two recipes for gnocchi. Here I posted our experience with Marcella's light and fluffy gnocchi, made simply with equal parts potatoes and flour.
In Julia Child's 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking', there is also a recipe for gnocchi. This recipe calls for a Pate a Choux, or a puff pastry paste made of flour, butter and eggs. Typically, a little more fluff~ the eggs puff a little when cooking and form a gnocchi that is more like a dumpling.
Gnocchi de Pommes
Julia Child's Potato Gnocchi
1 pound baking potatoes
1 cup warm pate a choux
1/3 cup grated swiss cheese
Peel and quarter the potatoes, boil in salted water until tender. Press through a ricer.
Beat the warm pate a choux (a mixture of 1 cup water, 4 Tbs butter, 3/4 cup flour; cooked to a thick paste. Then beat in 4 eggs until smooth) into the potatoes. Add grated cheese.
Roll the dough in your hands to make small ovals.
Slip the gnocchi into simmering water and cook until the double in size.
Serve with warmed butter or cheese sauce.
My hard drive crashed like a fallen souffle... so you get the same photo again. Sorry!!!
2 Queens of the Kitchen... both extraordinary!
Y'all enjoy,

Monday, August 09, 2010

PalmaBella's Italy

I am lucky to have so many wonderful friends... Wonderful friends who love to cook, love to eat, love to have fun, and love Italy!
Another of my good friends is hosting a trip to Bologna in 2011.
PalmaBella's Italy is a small group tour hosted by Palma and Brad.

I spent a week hanging out with Palma in Bologna this past June... and I can promise~ this trip will be fabulous!
Palma knows all the best places to eat and to sit back and experience the Italian lifestyle.
What a better way to spend a vacation?
Here are Palma, Jerry and I with happy smiles in Bologna.
Ciao y'all~

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Photohunt ~colorful

This week's photohunt is 'colorful'This is actually a photo my son took years ago in Venice. The reflection in the water is always colorful.

Happy Hunting y'all~

Friday, August 06, 2010

Friday's Favorites Linky Party ~and a recipe!

I♥ Friday!
It is time to show off our Favorites.

This is the perfect favorite for a summer time linky party.
Guinness Ice Cream
Guinness (16 ounces)
2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise
1 tablespoon dark molasses
2 cups heavy cream
Bring Guinness to a boil in a small saucepan, then simmer until it reduces to 1/2 cup. Allow to cool. In a double boiler, combine whole milk, sugar. Heat to 165 then slowly incorporate the egg yolks and whisk together. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean halves and add both the seeds and the empty beans to the pan along with the molasses. Stir constantly until mixture thickens, then strain the bits of egg yold. Add cream and Guinness to the mixture and refrigerate until chilled. Process in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s directions, then transfer to a covered container and freeze solid.You will be amazed at the flavor.
With each refreshing bite, you taste chocolate... not beer!

Now, put your spoons down~
y'all join in the linky party and share your ♥'s


Thursday, August 05, 2010

Pomodori e Vino ~Gnocchi

I knew I needed help for my challenge with Pomodori e Vino this week. We are making Gnocchi! ~So I called my chef-to-be son in for support.

We are starting into a new chapter with several kinds of gnocchi... who knew there was more than one kind? The only gnocchi I have ever had were thick and heavy. Marcella says clearly that the essential characteristic of well-made gnocchi is that they be fluffy and light.

I was about to try some well-made gnocchi (hopefully!) I have never made gnocchi before... another adventure!

Basically Gnocchi is a little lump of potato and flour. The potato needed for good gnocchi is a 'boiling' type. The potatoes are boiled and peeled, passed through a food mill, and blended with flour until smooth.
The potato dough is then rolled into 1 inch rolls, then these are cut into 3/4 inch pieces.
Now the tricky part~ the pieces of dough are lightly pressed against the prongs of a fork to form indentions. These indentions are important when the gnocchi is covered with sauce~ I used a flavorful gorgonzola sauce. Potatoes and gorgonzola...
(and my son spending the day with me in the kitchen) I'm in heaven!

Ciao y'all,

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Virtual Supper Club ~ China Town

This month for our Virtual Supper Club... We are taking a trip to China Town! We all had to go to to find our recipes.

I found just the thing... Asian Turkey Cabbage Cups.

These are Asian inspired and could either be a main dish or an appetizer. Ground turkey and ginger in a spicy sauce of oil, lime, mint and cilantro. They are served in a wrap of crispy cabbage and topped with nuts. A photo would be nice... but those are all stuck in my laptop. ~that is another story!

I am telling you these wraps are Awesome! They are light and oh so yummy. Bill has said that he could eat these once a week~ and they are a cinch to make. I'll be making my own chinese from now on.

Now let's see what everyone else has brought for our trip to China Town!
Shelby is bringing Baked Egg Rolls and Stir Fried Shrimp
Jamie has fixed an Udon-Beef Noodle Bowl
Val is bringing Salt Baked Chicken
Patsy is bringing some Pork with Stir Fried Vegies
Don't forget, that y'all ar welcome to join in our virtual supper!

Chop Sticks provided.

Y'all enjoy~
Related Posts with Thumbnails