Sunday, August 30, 2009

August Happenings

Well August has been pretty uneventful around here, which is good :) Eric came home on the 6th after being gone 5 weeks, so that was great! We have just been enjoying summer, spending time with friends and family, going to movies and most important....his Fantasy Football leagues have begun! He is in five this year...yes, five.

This past weekend we celebrated my step-dad Jerry's 71st birthday. I can't believe he is in his 70s, its just crazy! He still seems about 50 to us :) We had dinner & dessert at our house, Eric grilled steaks which turned out great and I also made a sweet potato dish from Pioneer Woman that was delish!!!

We were thinking today about how busy we were this time last year with the wedding planning. I do miss it! The planning was so fun, for me anyway :) Wish I could do it all over again!

Here are a few pics from the month and happy almost Fall!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My new baking addiction

I came across this blog of food perfection on Pioneer Woman's site. Tartelette. What a perfect name. Its by a woman named Helen who is from France but is living in South Carolina. She is a French pastry chef and has this delightful website with all kinds of recipes from tarts to petit fours to custard. Hello lover. She has actual recipes that make sense on how to make my all time favorite thing I ate in Paris.... Macaron's.

"Dating back to the 18th century, the macaron is a traditional French pastry,
made of egg whites, almond powder, icing sugar and sugar. This sweet pastry came out of the French courts' baker's oven as round meringue-like domes with a flat base."

I will learn to make these little works of art, although I have a feeling it will take much practice to get that cookie just right.....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Martha Stewart's Cupcakes Baking Experience

I read this blog today, Eat My Cupcake, and this girl is starting a online blog club to bake recipes out of the new Martha Stewart Cupcake book that came out recently. Unfortunately, she is no longer accepting memberships. So, I'm just going to follow along with her schedule & participate anyway & write my own review! I thought it was a fun idea to practice cupcake making skills :)

Eric will sample the initial product and then I will take the rest to work because we definitely do not need to be eating a dozen or more cupcakes a month ourselves! As tempting as it may be.....

Tracey from Tracey's Culinary Adventures selected Zucchini-Spice Cupcakes on pages 44-45 for September 15th's posting.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Daily Prayer Challenge

I subscribe to these emails on Facebook, they are sent daily & are really a nice start to the day. A lot of the time its just what I needed to hear. She does 2 sets, for women & prayer for our husbands. They focus on the same verse, but have slightly different messages. She set up a blog because she got too many followers on Facebook and they kept suspending her account. The author, Sara Grivas, has come out with her first book of Daily Prayers for Women. I am excited she finished, I think it would be a great thing to have!

"Daily Prayers of LOVE for Women is a 30 day journey through Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 13. Taking one verse at a time, this book gives a prayer and life application challenge on how God defines LOVE to be within these chapters. Through the power of prayer, women will experience true transformation one step at a time."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tasty Tuesday!

Here are 3 things I plan on making this week. Eric gets home Thursday, so I can finally use up some of my yummy items I got in Porter a couple weeks ago. I couldn't decide between the 2 peach recipes, and I know they are similar, so I'm making both at different times, and probably end up taking most of it to work since we definitely shouldn't be eating all of these ourselves!

Happy cooking!

#1 Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce
via Pioneer Woman

5 to 6 cups sliced fresh peaches (not overly ripe or soft)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick of regular butter
1/2 lemon zest
2(peaches) + 5(sauce) tablespoons maple syrup
1.5 cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons light corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350

Combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl.
Mix together with a fork

Take butter and cut it into bits. This actually works much better if the butter is straight out of the fridge. Add to mix.

With a fork (or pastry cutter, whatever makes your skirt fly up), begin mixing the butter with the flour mixture

Gradually mash together until butter is mixed in

Slice & peel peaches into a bowl

Add lemon zest & squeeze out the lemon juice onto peaches

Stir 2 tablespoons maple syrup into peaches

Take small baking pan (8 or 9 inches long) and pour peaches in

Sprinkle crumb topping on top, even out with a fork

Cover with foil & put in oven for 15 minutes

After fifteen minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until top is crisp (get it?) and brown. Sometimes I let it bake for 25 minutes or so, then crank on the broiler for a couple of minutes just to get the top nice and bubbly and crisp (get it?) If you do this, though, DO NOT walk away from the oven to answer the doorbell or change laundry loads. You’ll never forgive yourself.

While the peach crisp is baking, it’s time to make the maple cream sauce. (You can also make this earlier in the day, because it needs to be served chilled. I’ll tell you about my shortcut later, though.)

Pour whipping cream into saucepan, add 5 tablespoons of maple syrup, add corn syrup

Stir together and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and reduced by about 1/3. This should take about 15 minutes

You can chill it in the fridge until it’s cold and thick. OR, you can take this shortcut: set the saucepan into a small bowl of ice. The ice will melt a little and turn to ice water, and as you stir the sauce, it will cool and thicken. Within about fifteen minutes, it’s cold!

Pour over a slice of the warm peach crisp, enjoy!

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup milk
4 cups fresh peach slices
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)

Preheat oven to 375

Melt butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (do not stir).

Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or cool.

#3 Parmesan Okra
via Southern Living

1 pound fresh okra, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons Greek seasoning
1/4 cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese

Sauté okra in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 to 6 minutes or until crisp-tender.
Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and seasoning, and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and serve immediately.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Savannah, GA

Savannah would be better for you. You'll just get in trouble in Atlanta.
-- Gone with the Wind, Mammy to Scarlett O'Hara

Not long ago, when I introduced Savannah to an acquaintance who had spent some years living in France, she insisted that the city was as lovely as Paris. Le Monde, France's world-famous newspaper, is not so bold, merely calling it "the most beautiful city in North America."

--Henry Chase, American Visions, August-Sept, 1994

One of the most enchanting destinations in the United States, Savannah is adorned with extraordinary architecture, lush botanicals and charming city squares.
--Historic Tours of America

We just booked a trip to Savannah, GA for our 1st Anniversary. We are so excited! Neither of us have been to this area before and I thought it sounded like a great place for this occasion. Fun things to do, fabulous architecture, good food, lots of history, but relaxing as well. It is just a weekend trip, not too long, just the right amount of time I think.

Here is the B&B we just decided on, I love all things about it & booked the Provence Room. We get our breakfast in the room, we have our own patio/garden area, lots of snacks & baked goods included & waiting in your room, and its right in the historic district. We can walk everywhere & didn't need to rent a car. Now we just need to plan out some tours we want to do, restaurants, and a couple of shows we are thinking of going to. Can't wait!!!

The Zeigler House