Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Commencement... here we go!

Monday was graduation night at my daughter's little school. While other mommies were talking about how sad they are that their babies are growing up, I am just so proud of my little girl... no sadness here. She has learned to carry herself with such grace and confidence!

She's happy, poised, prayerful, good-hearted, and so smart! She is a good friend. She's at that age where you try new things even if they look a little scary, believe that you can do anything, and that you can be anything when you grow up. I love this age!

No commencement has ever been more true to its definition... a beginning!

Monday, May 4, 2009

It Finally Feels Like Spring to Me!

Thank goodness for breaks from the bleak financial news & pandemic updates! The Kentucky Derby was this weekend and I was thrilled to hear about something light, happy, trivial, in fact! The weather, although a bit cool, has been really beautiful. Sunny, rainy, sunny, rainy. It makes for bright green grass and vivid blooms on everything. Even the crepe myrtles have leaves! Spring has finally landed in Kentucky and it even feels like it is here.

Mint, basil, and thyme have taken over the herb garden. The tomatoes that I started from seed in my kitchen have been transplanted to the yard. I have started my experimental self-watering containers and the broccoli has been planted. The cosmos that my daughter insisted on as we were picking out seed packets in the March and were started early in my kitchen window, have been placed in a little cutting garden area just for her.

In an effort to put aside the big topics, and to fully take advantage of the idea of light-heartedness and freedom that I always feel this time of year, I thought I would share some of my new favorite recipes. Enjoy!

from Piper's Cookbook...

2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup butter-flavor shortening
¾ cup milk
1 egg
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups fresh blueberries (or frozen, but let thaw and drain well without squishing!)
Heat oven 375°. Grease springform pan.
Mix all ingredients except for berries. Fold in berries. Spread in pan. Bake 35 minutes.
While baking, make crumb topping (these quantities are in addition to the list above!): ½ cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ cup butter cut in.
Put topping on hot cake. Bake 15 minutes more.
Cool 10 minutes. Drizzle with glaze: ½ cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons hot water, ¼ teaspoon vanilla.
Serve warm or room temperature.

from the Veggie Venture blog...LEMON MINT CUCUMBER WATER

1/4 cucumber, sliced thin

a lemon, sliced thin
sprigs of mint
2 quarts water Add cucumber, lemon and mint in a pitcher. Fill with water.

from the Farmgirl Fare blog...Lemon Coconut Quick Bread

2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
¾ cup milk
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups granulated sugar
2 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut
½ cup (1 stick or ¼ pound) butter, melted

Heat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour an 8x4-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt using a rubber spatula, then stir in the sugar and coconut.
In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture, stirring just until combined. Add the melted butter and stir just until smooth. Be careful not to overmix.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the loaf comes out clean. Ovens vary, so start checking for doneness after about 60 minutes.

Let the bread cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes and then carefully remove it from the pan. Try not to slice into the loaf until it's completely cool, but that probably won't be possible. Store in an airtight container for 3 days or wrap in plastic and/or aluminum foil, pop in a plastic zipper bag, and freeze.
2 quarts water
1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (8oz) package sugar snap peas
2 cups frozen green peas
½ cup thinly sliced radishes (about 5 radishes)
1/3 cup extra-light olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh minced dill
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
In a large saucepan, bring water to boil over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and sugar snap peas; boil for 2 minutes. Add green peas. Boil 1 minute. Drain mixture immediately and rinse with cold water until vegetables are room temperature. Add radishes; cover, and chill for 2 hours.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, dill, salt, and pepper. Add olive oil mixture to vegetable mixture, tossing gently to coat. Cover, and chill for up to 4 hours. Don’t combine vegetables and dressing until 4 hours before serving.
Something for your glittering eyes:
The year's at the spring
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven -
All's right with the world!
~Robert Browning

But wait! There's more! Click 'older posts' above!

But wait!  There's more!  Click 'older posts' above!