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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Oh My.....

Here's to home made Peanut Butter Pie

I bought a gigantic jar of Smucker's Natural Creamy Peanut Butter mainly because I love it! And.......because Kahleesi likes to snack on it.

Peanut Butter Pie

For the crust:
1 1/2 c. graham crackers, crushed
1/3 c. sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients together. With the back of a large spoon press the mixture into a 9 inch pie dish all around the bottom and edges of the dish evenly. Bake in a pre-heated oven of 375 degrees. Leave on a cooling rack while preparing filling. 

For the Filling:
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
one 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1 c. powdered sugar
1 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. of vanilla extract
Your 9-inch graham cracker pie crust
1/4 c. peanuts, roughly chopped

Heat the milk in a small pot over low heat until warm. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool, this mixture will be used to pour over the top at the end.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer on high beat together the cream cheese, peanut butter, and powered sugar. In a separate bowl beat together, beat together the heavy cream with the vanilla until doubled in volume and soft peaks form.

Stir one-third of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining whipped cream until combined.

Spread mixture into prepared graham cracker crust smoothing the top. Pour the melted chocolate over the top of the pie then sprinkle with the peanuts. Place the pie in the freezer to set, about 1 hour. Then Enjoy!!

Recipe courtesy: Sandra Lee






Friday, August 24, 2012

Cultivate For Pleasure


The blackberries seemed to sneak up on me this year. I'm pretty sure Kahleesi sniffed them out before I could even get my hands on them. We are lucky to have such a wide range of trails surrounding our house where we can take our leisurely walks in the sun and pick berries. The wild spread of blackberries is just a few gallops just outside our front door. I make my way through the shrubbery to get to the good ones while Kahleesi runs and plays. I do my best to avoid the blasted thorns that if you are not careful, they will getchew' every time. I do believe it is well worth the trouble though once you pop that first juicy, berry into your mouth. Sometimes you will get a mouth puckering, sour burst of juice in your mouth while others will taste a bit more sweet with ripeness. 
 Sometimes, we all need a little reminder that with hard work, there will surely be great pleasure to follow. Whether you are a successful business man, a hard working doctor saving lives, or a student trying to find your way through life, there is always a bit or a great deal of work involved which makes it all that much more worth the time spent. All the scritches and scratches you are left with in the end will serve as little reminders of how hard you worked toward your goals and accomplishments; besides life would be boring if it were too easy.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pizza on the grill


Say what?!...yes you should all know by now that you can make pizza on the grill. In fact there aren't (aren't, is that a word?) too many things that you can't make on the grill these days: grilled clams, grilled lettuce, grilled fish.. and don't forget grilled fruit for all those yummy desserts out there that you serve with ice cream, hmmm....thats another post; but Pizza, I have to admit I was a little intimidated by the idea. I've seen it done before by some of those crazy, talented chefs on the cooking channels but I was a little worried about my capability. But fear not..my first try was a success, and I know yours will be too.
Of course you can always buy your pizza dough from the supermarket or you can simply make your own its not too difficult, and while you're waiting for it to rise you can prep your other ingredients.

For the dough you'll need:
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
2 1/4 tsp. or 1 envelope of yeast
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
2 1/2 cups flour, plus extra for kneading
1 tsp salt
2 T. olive oil
1-2 tsp butter, room temp for greasing

Directions
1. Put warm water in a liquid measuring cup, sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir in the sugar; let stand for 10 minutes or until it begins to bubble.
2. Grease a large bowl with the butter and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour and salt, make a well in the middle and pour in the olive oil and yeast mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until stiff dough is formed. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Add extra flour if needed.
3. Place dough in buttered bowl, turning to coat all sides, cover with a clean tea towel, and set in a warm spot to rise for 30 minutes until doubled in size. While waiting begin to prep the other ingredients for your pizza toppings. You will need:


For the toppings:
6 oz of fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
4 plum tomatoes, sliced
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1/4 teaspoon(s) coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup(s) sliced fresh basil leaves
1 Tablespoon(s) olive oil

Directions
1. Prepare outdoor grill for covered, direct grilling on medium-low.
2. If making your own dough punch down dough or use store bought and cut into 4 equal pieces. On one end of oiled cookie sheet, with fingertips, spread and flatten 1 piece of dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. (Edge does not need to be even.) On same cookie sheet, repeat with another piece of dough. Repeat with a second oiled cookie sheet and remaining dough.
3. Place all 4 pieces of dough, oiled side down, on hot grill grate. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until grill marks appear on underside (dough will stiffen and puff).
4. With tongs, turn crusts over. Working quickly, arrange one-fourth of mozzarella, one-fourth of tomatoes, salt, and pepper on each crust. Cover grill and cook pizzas 3 to 4 minutes longer or until undersides are evenly browned and cooked through. 
5. Transfer to cutting board; sprinkle tops of pizzas with basil, and drizzle with olive oil. Cut into wedges and serve.







Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cherry Clafoutis with ice cream



Cherry Clafoutis, a baked French dessert with black cherries which is prepared in the traditional version with the pits left in the cherries.The pits are meant to give the dessert a hint of almond flavor. I prepared mine with half pitted and half not to give it a bit of that tradition effect. 

Cherry Clafoutis

Ingredients:
2 cups of fresh sweet cherries, ½ pitted and ½ not
3 eggs
1 cup of sugar (I used a little less)
1 tablespoon of Muscovado or brown sugar
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, sifted
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of milk
 3/4 teaspoon of almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Powdered sugar for dusting

Directions:
1 Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and lightly flour a 10X7 baking dish. Toss in the cherries.
2 Whisk the eggs, sugars, salt, and flour together until smooth.
3 Add the milk, almond and vanilla extracts. Whisk until smooth. Pour into the baking dish.
4. Bake for 40-50 minutes until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place on wire rack to cool. Clafoutis will have puffed up and deflated when cooled. Dust with sugar and serve with french vanilla ice cream. Enjoy.

Monday, June 18, 2012

For All you breakfast skippers


This post is for All you Non-Breakfast Eaters out there in hopes of inspiring you to indulge in the most important meal of the day. Those of you with excuses like I don't have time, I feel sick in the morning if I eat, or I don't know what to eat. I've always been a breakfast eater, it doesn't matter what time I have to be to work 6:30 a.m. or 8 a.m. I will be sure and grab my cup of coffee and something good to eat before I head out for the day. It probably explains the reason why most days I am late to work despite what time I have to be there because I have to have my sit down in the morning.
I want to share with you, the most versatile creation ever made; Homemade English Muffins, you can make a delicious egg sandwich with cheese, bacon, and a slice of avocado, top em' off with some good cream cheese and your favorite jelly or jam, or whip up some eggs benedict if you really want to get fancy.
They give you a sense of accomplishment when you are making them and you can incorporate them into almost any breakfast indulgence out there.
I think I have finally perfected the recipe; you can go ahead and make them ahead of time the night before so you can enjoy them for the week.


Take advantage of our natural resources and leave the batter to rest in the warm sunshine for 30 minutes.


Grill a couple tablespoonfuls for 5-6 minutes on each side. Be sure to cover them with a sheet pan so they cook through well.








Toast them, add a little cream cheese, a little jam and enjoy.


Somebody thinks I should share.




Homemade English Muffins


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup non-fat instant dry milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 1/4 tsp rapid rise yeast
  • 1/8 teaspoon honey
  • 1/3 cup warm water 110 degrees fahrenheit
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • Non-stick vegetable spray
  • Special equipment: electric griddle or good size frying pan, 3-inch metal or biscuit rings, see Cook's Note*

Directions

In a bowl combine the dry milk, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, coconut oil, and hot water, stir until the honey and salt are dissolved. Let cool. In a separate bowl combine the yeast and 1/8 teaspoon of honey in 1/3 cup of warm water and rest until yeast has dissolved. Add this to the dry milk mixture. Add the sifted flour and beat thoroughly with wooden spoon. Cover the bowl and let it rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
Preheat the griddle to 300 degrees F or frying pan.
Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt to mixture and beat thoroughly. Place metal rings onto the griddle and coat lightly with vegetable spray. Using a large spoon, place 2 scoops into each ring and cover with a pot lid or cookie sheet and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the lid and flip rings using tongs. Cover with the lid and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown. Place on a cooling rack, remove rings and cool. Split with fork and serve.
*Cook's Note: Small tuna cans with tops and bottoms removed work well for metal rings.
*Adapted from Alton Brown's recipe.


So give yourself a little extra time in the morning and make yourself something good to eat and I apologize that this post doesn't explain the reasons why I am late to evening events. That's another story.
Enjoy your day! 












Monday, June 11, 2012

YMCA Fit Fest

This past Saturday I set a goal for myself to run my second 5k race of the season under 30 minutes. My goal was a success, I came in at exactly 295th place out of 514 runners while my main concern for a PR was 29 minutes, 45 seconds, that is 9:40 a mile. My next goal will 9 minute miles for a goal of 27 minutes while shooting for an 8 minutes my first mile to give me that extra time until the finish.

A New Addition To the Family.



Kahleese Bear, when we first brought her home the second week in April. She was about 8 weeks old.



She is the cutest thing ever with her soft, down-like, cuddly fur; I could scoop her up in an instant and give her a hundred kisses.
These are pictures of her today. She is exactly 4 months old June 11th.


More photos from Mothers Day







Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Almond Flour Pancakes



A very proud moment for me this morning. I have made the switch; I am slowly moving away from the Auto settings on my camera (Canon EOS Rebel T2i) to the Manual mode and I have never been more pleased with the results. This morning was overcast and rainy; in the past while taking photos using the Auto settings the automatic flash would pop up because there was not enough light causing the camera to shake while I was taking the pic which resulted in more blur.I have purchased a few photography books and have been familiarizing myself with the available settings on my camera: ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. I am learning. I love to work with the natural light, now that I know how to do it. With these photos, I increased the ISO to the top setting of 6400 allowing the most light to hit my camera's sensor. I used the lowest aperture setting on my camera to create a shallow depth of field and I used 1/400 sec for the shutter speed to give me what I thought was a good exposure. 





Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I ♥ to Run


I signed myself up for a 10k August 5, 2012. The
This is going to be my first time running 6.2 miles and I have never been more excited about training than I am right now. I have run a few 5 Ks in the past and I am ready to step up my training. I found a beginners training program here for a 7 week or 10 week training plan depending on your fitness level, I will be following the 10 week plan and incorporating cross training into my routine. This is the plan:

Week 1: 5/28-6/3
Monday - Run/Walk 15 minutes, Tuesday - Run/Walk 2 miles, Wednesday - Off, Thursday - Run/Walk 15 minutes, Friday - Off, Saturday - Run/Walk 30 minutes, Sunday - Off
Week 2: 6/4-6/10
Monday - Run/Walk 20 minutes, Tuesday - Run/Walk 2 miles, Wednesday - Off, Thursday - Run/Walk 20 minutes, Friday - Off, Saturday - Run/Walk 35 minutes, Sunday - Off
Week 3: 6/11-6/17
Monday - Run/Walk 25 minutes, Tuesday - Run/Walk 2 miles, Wednesday - Off, Thursday - Run/Walk 25 minutes, Friday - Off, Saturday - Run 30 minutes, Sunday - Off
Week 4: 6/18-6/24
Monday - Run 25 minutes, Tuesday - Run 2 miles, Wednesday - Off, Thursday - Run 30 minutes, Friday - Off, Saturday - Run 3 miles, Sunday - Off
Week 5: 6/25-7/1
Monday - Run 30 minutes, Tuesday - Run 2 miles, Wednesday - Off, Thursday - Run 35 minutes, Friday - Off, Saturday - Run 45 minutes, Sunday - Off
Week 6: 7/2-7/8
Monday - Run 40 minutes, Tuesday - Run 3 miles, Wednesday - Off, Thursday - Run 40 minutes, Friday - Off, Saturday - Run 4 miles, Sunday - Off
Week 7: 7/9-7/15
Monday - Run 30 minutes, Tuesday - Run 2 miles, Wednesday - Off, Thursday - Run 35 minutes, Friday - Off, Saturday - Run 60 minutes, Sunday - Off
Week 8: 7/16-7/22
Monday - Run 3 miles, Tuesday - Run 50 minutes, Wednesday - Off, Thursday - Run 35 minutes, Friday - Off, Saturday - Run 70 minutes, Sunday - Off
Week 9: 7/23-7/29
Monday - Run 20 minutes, Tuesday - Run 3 miles, Wednesday - Off, Thursday - Run 20 minutes, Friday - Off, Saturday - Run 75 minutes, Sunday - Off
Week 10: 7/30-7/5
Monday - Run 20 minutes, Tuesday - Run 2 miles, Wednesday - Off, Thursday - Light 20 minute jog, Friday - Light 20 minute job, Saturday-off , Sunday - Race Day!

I tend to run more on the weekends especially Sundays so I will most likely switch my Mondays and Sundays. Time to get moving!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Almond Yogurt Waffles

Almond yogurt waffles with an orange honey syrup. Look for this recipe here at Roost.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

While He's Away.


I created a good place on his bathroom wall to hang his favorite hats while he is away on the road.

His sunglasses are kept safely where he left them.

He leaves Little treasures all around the house to remind me I'm coming back.

And His shoes await him by his bedside until he returns.

Anonymous

  A part of you has grown in me.
                                                          And so you see, it's you and me
                                                          Together forever and never apart,
                                                          Maybe in distance, but never in heart.