Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What I Was Able to Learn Last Weekend…(or what I learnt or learned last weekend) and a recipe!

As most of you know last weekend I participated in a hunger challenge. Trust me when I say that I don't go in for stuff like this lightly. I like food. I like food a whole awful lot. I guess that is one of the reasons I am a food blogger? So when I was approached to do a weekend long fast for NoFood4You, to raise awareness for childhood hunger, I was apprehensive to say the least. But because it was going to be in the company with some incredible people and for a cause that I wholeheartedly, 100% believe in I got on board. I can tell you now that I am honored and feel so privileged to have been able to do this challenge.

Last Friday at lunch time I went to a local school (of 800 children at the school 750 of them are on the free or reduced lunch program) to have lunch. I was in good company. There were several different local news agencies and local business owners and kids. Lots and lots of kids. Anyway we all ate our lunch of fish sticks, potato has browns, carrot sticks, and milk and that was it until Monday morning!!! The idea behind all of this is that there are children who go to school and eat at school on the lunch programs but once they leave school for the weekend they have no access to food until school starts back up Monday morning and they are offered breakfast by the school.

And I did it! I lasted the whole way through. Thanks to a bit of Gatorade, a ton of support from my family and friends, and knowing that the reason behind doing this was to help raise awareness for childhood hunger! Was it easy? No way. Would I ever do this again? I really don’t think so unless ‘you know who you are’ really, really needed me too!!! This is right up there with some of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. I am not even really sure that if I was invited to do this challenge again that I would want to do it again. The ending result has been incredible. We were able to raise awareness and money (I think it was $12K) so in the end it was incredibly awarding.

I learned a lot over the weekend and that’s what this post is about. What I, personally, walked away with from this challenge and I can tell you it certainly wasn’t a full tummy!

  1. I have never really, in all of my 40+ years, never been hungry. Oh yah, I have missed a meal here or there or really wanted a snack but have never really been hungry like I was past weekend. This was one of the most amazing things to realize. We all say that we are starving and that we can’t wait to eat but do any of us really know what that means? I now have a greater understanding of this. Was I starving. No way. I guess that takes weeks to happen but I sure was hungrier than I have ever been before.
  2. I have more compassion than I give myself credit for. If I didn’t care about childhood hunger there is no way I could have completed this challenge. I always consider myself to be pretty selfish and make sure that I look out for myself and my family first but this showed me that there is a bit more to that.
  3. I have an inner strength that I rarely use. I used it this weekend and there were times that it caught me by surprise. I wanted food and at times there seemed like no logical reason for me not to have it. Some of the arguments I had with myself were – no one would know, just a little taste, I’ve gone this far so that is good enough etc. But I resisted each and every time.
  4. The final thing that I walk away with from this weekend is the knowledge that NO CHILD SHOULD EVER HAVE TO BE HUNGRY. It makes no difference why the child is hungry. Maybe the food stamps didn’t go as far as they could or should have, maybe the family can’t qualify for food stamps or public assistance, maybe the money just wasn’t there this month, maybe someone in the family is ill, maybe …and it can go on and on but in the end it really doesn’t matter. No child should feel how I felt last weekend. Remember it is not the child's fault and they are lacking the choice. I was hungry but that was the least of it. I was tired, so very, very tired and had no energy. I was cranky and short tempered. I was unable to focus or concentrate on even the simplest of tasks (I had to get my daughter to start figuring for me how long it had been since I had eaten. Simple math was a challenge). A child who is hungry is gong to have disciplinary and academic problems. If someone had told me that Monday morning I was going to get up and have PE that day or have to write a math test I would not have been very happy about it and would not have excelled at all. But I think that biggest thing was that I was my thoughts were all consumed with food. When I was going to get some next, what it was going to be, where I was going to eat it, what food I was missing the most, how happy I was going to be when I had it. I’m telling you not eating food makes you think about food all the time!!!

What can we do to make a difference and change this so that no child ever has to go hungry? Well that was one of the reasons that I did this hunger challenge. CCMI has a solution. They are running a backpack program where children who qualify by being on the free and reduced lunch program are given a backpack with enough food to get them through the weekend. Awesome huh? Sad thing is that out of 100 schools in our district they only have the funding right now to help 3. I bet if you looked there is a similar program in your community. Donate to the program. If your area doesn't have one and you would still like to help a child who is hungry you can donate to CCMI through here.

I will leave you with a recipe for strawberry ice cream! Over the weekend my family got me my belated birthday present…an ice cream maker!!! How lucky are they, oops I meant me, really I did!!! First recipe I made was for chocolate ice cream. I made that Sunday and I couldn’t even taste it until Monday morning!!! But boy was it ever good!!! Youngest daughter though loves strawberry so I made her some yesterday. Delicious.

Strawberry Ice Cream

1 pint ripe strawberries (hulled and sliced)
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

  • In a small bowl mix the strawberries with the lemon and the 1/3 cup of sugar. Allow to sit at room temperature and macerate for about 2 hrs.
  • In a medium bowl mix whisk the 2/3 cup of sugar with whole milk until the sugar is dissolved (about 1-2 min). Stir in the heavy cream as well as some of the juice from the berries and the vanilla.
  • Follow the directions for your ice cream maker.
  • Add the strawberries in the remaining 5 minutes and then freeze until ready to use or enjoy!

I am really loving this ice cream maker so look for some more exciting recipes to come…

As Always…

Happy Entertaining!!!


Monday, April 27, 2009

The Daring Baker’s Do Cheesecake!!!

This is probably going to be one of the worst posts that I have EVER written but there is a very good reason behind it. At the point that I am writing this I have gone without food for about 51 hrs. And yes, this was by choice.

I am participating in a hunger challenge called NoFood4You to help raise awareness for childhood hunger. You can learn more from my post here.

Db challenge Limoncello Cheesecake 005

Anyway on to the Daring Baker challenge…

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

Thanks Jenny for a great Challenge!!!

We were allowed huge creative license with this basic cheesecake recipe. I was going to make a margarita cheesecake. Had great plans for this but was not meant to be. T. had used up all the limes!!! But I had lemons!!! I ended up making an incredibly delicious Limoncello Cheesecake with lemon sauce. My modifications are in bold in the recipe.

Everyone loved this cheesecake! It has full of the typical cheesecake flavor. I had some trouble with the crust as I ran out of foil so it was slightly sogged. Otherwise it was great to work with and may make margarita cheesecake for a Cinco de Mayo potluck coming up…

Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:

2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
1 tsp.vanilla extract (I used Lemon Extract)

3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 210 g sugar (squeezed together with zest of one lemon)
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean) (I used lemon extract)
1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake (1 Tbsp Limoncello)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too - baker's choice. Set crust aside.

3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.

5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.

Pan note: The creator of this recipe used to use a springform pan, but no matter how well she wrapped the thing in tin foil, water would always seep in and make the crust soggy. Now she uses one of those 1-use foil "casserole" shaped pans from the grocery store. They're 8 or 9 inches wide and really deep, and best of all, water-tight. When it comes time to serve, just cut the foil away.

Prep notes: While the actual making of this cheesecake is a minimal time commitment, it does need to bake for almost an hour, cool in the oven for an hour, and chill overnight before it is served. Please plan accordingly!

Lemon Sauce Southern Food by Diane Rattray

This lemon sauce is made with lemon juice, cornstarch, sugar, and butter.

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter

In a saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add boiling water. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and clear. Stir in lemon peel, lemon juice, and butter. Serve warm over dessert or bread pudding.

As Always…

Happy Entertaining!!!


Friday, April 24, 2009

My Birthday and lots of crab…

Last weekend was my birthday and one of our great traditions is that the birthday person gets to choose what they want for a meal on the night of their birthday. I’m pretty lucky. T. is an incredible cook. Way better than I am so my birthday is always pretty exciting. This year I wanted something pretty decadent and that I would never order if we went to a restaurant but I also wanted something that the girls would eat too.

My choice this year was Shrimp and Crab Alfred. This was so delicious. Sadly though because I didn't make it I have no idea as to the recipe. Here is the picture though!

crab and shrimp alfredo 001

After this though we had some leftover crab that I did not want to go to waste. I decided that a quiche would be a great way to use it up. Add in some zucchini that was in my fridge and you have a great looking and easy meal. I was able to make this during the day and T. heated it up as I was at the kick off for the NoFood4You campaign!

crab and zucchini quiche 005

Crab and Zucchini Quiche
  • 1 pastry shell (9 inch), partially baked
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons onions, minced
  • 1 zucchini grated and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup crabmeat
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Swiss cheese, shredded/divided and tossed with 1 T flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dash white pepper or hot pepper sauce
  • dash nutmeg

flickr crab quiche


  • Have a 9-inch pastry shell partially baked.
  • Sauté onions and zucchini until tender, about 4 minutes; mix with crabmeat and flour; set aside.
  • Sprinkle 3/4 cup the cheese in the pie shell, then spread with crab mixture.
  • Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup of cheese.
  • Beat eggs, cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and parsley until mixed. Pour into shell. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until set and knife comes out clean at 350 degrees.

As Always…

Happy Entertaining!!!


Monday, April 20, 2009

English Muffin Bread

English Muffin Bread 001
See the great little nooks and crannies made specifically to hold all the butter and jelly (homemade by my FIL- Mulberry Jam)!!!

I love English Muffins! Something about the way the little nooks and crannies hold more butter then any other type of bread may be why or is it because of the wonderful slight sweetens that seems to came out when the muffin is toasted? With my love of these little muffins how is it that I have gone my entire life without hearing about English Muffin Bread????

When we were in PA over the girl’s spring break, T’s Mom made this for us and I was instantly hooked. Funny thing was, the day I was going to make it I tweeted (follow me on Twitter) about it and Andrea of Andrea's Recipes sent back a tweet about making it too. I guess other people had heard about this bread!!!

I had my MIL’s recipe but on it there was no rising time so I took a look at Andrea’s here and I was able to come up with a hybrid recipe that turned out great!!! I really need to try the recipe that Andrea was working on for Honey Wheat English Muffin Bread!!!

English Muffin Bread (makes 2 loaves) Adapted from Andrea’s Recipes and MIL’s recipe!


4 tsp instant yeast or 2 pkgs. dry yeast
1Tbsp sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
1/2 cup water
3-4 cups flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda


  • Heat the first 5 ingredients in a small sauce pan to 105-115°.
  • In a large bowl mix 3 cups of the flour and the baking soda.
  • Add the warm yeast mix to the flour and stir. Add more flour if needed to make a stiff batter.
  • Pour into greased and corn mealed bread pans. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap sprayed with cooking oil and allow to rise in a warm draft free place for about 1 hour. After 45 minutes preheat oven to 375°.
  • Bake for 25 minutes until nicely brown and pulled away from the sides.
  • Remove from pans and cool on a wire rack.
  • This can be served right away or toasted.

This has become a favorite and since we have been home I have been making this at least once a week!!!

As Always…

Happy Entertaining!!!


Saturday, April 18, 2009

NoFood4You Childhood Hunger Awareness Event!

We all eat. We all like to eat or you wouldn’t be here on my food blog. Did you know though that there are children right here in my county (about 10,000 of them to be exact) that go hungry every single weekend? Don’t kid yourself…they are in your counties too!

These are the children in the Lee County school system that are on our county’s Free & Reduced Lunch Program. It’s a great program that provides breakfast and lunch to these children during the week at school, but, what happens to some of these children come the weekend? Unfortunately they are going without food.

CCMI (Community Cooperative Ministries Inc.) is trying to solve this problem. They have implemented a Backpack Program in which a child is given a backpack full of food to feed him or her over the weekend. 700 children take home enough food for the weekend each week!


They want to do more though and this is where you guys come in! CCMI and local businesses and community participants are committing to the NoFood4You weekend on April 24 – 26, 2009. Now this is not just a local event. This can be done anywhere to help build awareness of Childhood Hunger nationwide.

This is what it entails: At lunchtime on Friday, April 24, designated participants will join children at Orange River Elementary and Sunshine Elementary for lunch. The participants including The News-Press reporter Francesca Donlan, ABC-7 anchor Len Jennings, Sarah Owen and others (ME!!!), will eat a typical school lunch that is served in the cafeterias. The participants will then attempt to go without anything else to eat until they gather together again on Monday morning for school breakfast.

You DO NOT have to be here to participate in this event. You can join us virtually,by signing up through Facebook or CCMI website and following us on Twitter. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see how much of an impact we can make if we all do this together?

Some participants are going so far as to donate the money that they would have spent on food over the weekend to CCMI. You too could do this event and donate the money to YOUR LOCAL food bank or soup kitchen!

To participate sign up at either our Facebook Event page or to the CCMI website sign up page. The more people we have involved the more exposure and interest we will be able to get!

This is an organization that is very near and dear to my heart and I hope you will all join me in the NoFood4You weekend. I’m just asking you to try. Put yourself in these children’s shoes for one weekend and experience what they are facing year-round.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cinnamon Chocolate Brownies

cinnamon brownies 005

The other day I was in a cinnamony mood. I think it’s because first thing in the morning I walked past one of those kiosks that sell the cinnamon pretzels. Poor me it was all I could think about for the rest of the day!!! I was going to make snicker doodles but Lori of The Recipe Girl’s favorite recipe has shortening in it and I was sadly out of shortening! I decided that I would try my hand at Cinnamon Chocolate Brownies and am I ever glad that I did!

I used my favorite brownie recipe and added 1 Tbsp of cinnamon to the batter. This was a really great treat and although it didn’t fully satisfy my craving (really need to get shortening) it was close!

Cinnamon Chocolate Brownies (Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies.)

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter an 8″square baking pan. Line pan with parchment paper, leaving 2 inches hanging over the sides. Butter parchment paper.

In a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, stir together butter, chocolate, and cocoa powder. Set aside to cool slightly.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Combine sugar, eggs, and vanilla using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture and mix until combined. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Spread evenly with spatula. Bake about 35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet. Let cool in pan about 15 minutes.

Lift brownies out of pan. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

As Always…

Happy Entertaining!!!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Road Trip and Pepperoni Rolls!!!

As most of you know we spent last week, the girls spring break, in the Pittsburgh area of Pennsylvania. T’s Dad has colorectal cancer, and has been in treatment for about a year now. Please go and get checked. It’s really a simple procedure and could save your life! A colonoscopy is recommended (by the American Cancer Society) for men and women after the age of 50 unless there is a history in your family. I simple screening could have saved this tragedy! BTW...T's Dad is only 60! Anyway off my soap box…

We went up to help lighten the load a little bit and just spend a bit of time with the family. It was a great trip. We got to see and pet some cows, build a bonfire and roast marshmallows, eat at Primanti Bros. (not once but twice!!!), play outside on a beautiful spring day, watch a blizzard come through and then build snowmen and have a snow ball fight, go for a walk through the woods that T. grew up hunting in looking for morel mushrooms (finding nothing but ticks, egad!), and sharing a bunch of wonderful meals with family that we very rarely get to see. How can that not be good?

PA trip 003
Fudge the Cow. Last year the girls bottle fed him. This year he followed us through the field like a puppy!

PA trip 011

Grandma and the Grandkids watching the bonfire. This was a beautiful day. The next day it snowed!!!

PA trip 017
Roasting Marshmallows!!!

Snow 012
Snow Angels for Peter of Kalofagas

Snow 019

PA trip 021
Snowman, this was the small one. The big one was the next day after it had snowed a lot more!

PA trip 032
A man and his girl…These are the same woods that T. grew up hunting in. It was a real joy for him to show them to the girls!

PA trip 033
And the dogs came along!!!

pepperoni rolls and primanti bros. 001
Lunch from Primanti Bros. The perfect meal of efficiency! A pastrami sandwich with French Fries and coleslaw on white bread! Why mess with sides when you can have it all together!

So this is really what this post is about…Pepperoni Rolls. One of the things that we always do when we are faced with a long drive is to plan food for the trip. We do not eat fast food so it makes us feel really bad when we have nothing to eat on a road trip but burgers and fries. We always pack sandwiches but this time T. wanted to try something different and was it ever good! I had never really heard of these before and I guess they are a regional thing from West Virginia and Pennsylvania are. He made them with a great dough recipe using the bread machine and then stuffed them with mozzarella cheese and ground up pepperoni. These are shelf stable and left us full and satisfied during a very, very long drive to PA!!!

pepperoni rolls and primanti bros. 005
Pepperoni Rolls

1 recipe for your favorite baguettes or the recipe we used for the bread machine follows!

From The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook

1 1/2 cups water
3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp gluten with vitamin C
1 3/4 tsp salt

2 1/2 tsp SAF yeast or 1 Tbsp bread machine yeast


  • Place all the ingredients in the pan according to the manufacturer’s instructions (mine has the liquid first, then all dry with yeast last in a well)
  • Program for the dough cycle and press start.
  • The dough ball will be sticky. Do not add more flour at this point.

Pepperoni Rolls

Dough – see above
mozzarella cheese, grated
pepperoni, shredded using a food processor or sliced

  • When the dough is done it’s cycle, remove from pan and separate into 8 individual dough balls.
  • Punch down the dough and shape into 8 rectangles.
  • Fill the dough with cheese and pepperoni
  • Roll up the dough rectangles tucking in the ends as you go.
  • Place seem side down on a greased baking sheet and bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned.
Serve immediately or these can seriously be left a room temperature and eaten as is. They are also great served with a plate of spaghetti and sauce!!!

I am submitting this to BYOB (Bake Your Own Bread) hosted by Sandy of At the Baker's Bench. This is a great challenge to get you baking more of your own baked goods. Better for you and cheaper in the process!

As Always…

Happy Entertaining!!!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

We are still in Pennsylvania visiting T's family until tomorrow. As we were sitting around the huge pan of lasagna last night our conversation once again turned to food. We started throwing out ideas for breakfast and someone mentioned sausage gravy and biscuits. My FIL's eyes went real big! This would be a huge hit in the morning. Funny thing is this is such a simple meal to make. Who knows why we don't have this more often!

flickr biscuit 2

Simple Biscuits (no idea where I got this from. I have been using it forever!)


  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 cup milk


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually stir in milk until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
  3. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead 15 to 20 times. Pat or roll dough out to 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with a large cutter or juice glass dipped in flour. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush off the excess flour, and place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges begin to brown.

Now onto the sausage gravy. This is T’s deal. For some reason he has always been the cooker of the gravy!

Sausage Gravy (T’s recipe)


  • 1-1.5# loose breakfast sausage
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Fresh Sage


  1. Fry sausage on medium high until cooked through. Add flour (estimate same amount of flour to grease produced by sausage) reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Start adding milk a cup at a time stirring until thickened then add another cup of milk until after 10 minutes of cooking gravy is not getting thicker.
  3. Season with salt, pepper and fresh sage.

Serve the sausage gravy over the fresh baked biscuits and enjoy. This is one of our favorite breakfast and is always requested by guests!

As Always…

Happy Entertaining!!!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pumpkin Bread with Dried Cranberries

Not sure if all of you know this but we are out of town all this week. We did a marathon “Road Trip” and drove from Southwest Florida straight through to the Pittsburgh area of Pennsylvania. My Father-in-Law’s cancer has returned and he has been going through a rough time with the treatment and all so we decided that this Spring Break would be best spent hanging out with the family in PA.

Dakota making snow angels for us! LOL!

So far this has been a great trip. We have been able to lend a hand, a bit of moral support, and help feed the masses! Seems there is always an extra mouth for dinner. How fun is that?

Today I made chili for dinner but also wanted to make sure there was a snack ready for whoever walked in or came to eat dinner with us. There was a half used can of Pumpkin puree in the fridge so it was going to be pumpkin bread and based on all of the other ingredients I found this was the best recipe I could come up with. Turned out really good too, definitely a keeper! Loved the dried cranberries in this!

Pumpkin Bread with Dried Cranberries (adapted from

  • 2 1/4 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups pumpkin pureé (15 oz can)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • Combine flour, spice, baking powder, and salt in bowl; stir to blend the dry ingredients well.
  • Combine eggs, sugar, pumpkin, and oil in a mixing bowl, beating until smooth.
  • Stir in flour mixture, then stir in cranberries. Spoon into a greased and floured 9x5x2-inch loaf pan.
  • Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

As Always…

Happy Entertaining!!!


Friday, April 3, 2009

Finest Foodies Friday – April 3, 2009

Jenn, The Leftover Queen has asked me to step in and help her out for a couple of weeks by posting the FFF so without further ado…


As always here is what the FFF is all about. Finest Foodies Friday! FFF is a weekly Friday post featuring favorites from The Foodie Blogroll! We do this so we can share in the rich diversity of what The Foodie Blogroll has to offer by featuring some of our favorites and yours!

What is the Foodie Blogroll? It is the first and fastest growing free membership blogroll for food bloggers and has become a wonderful community to share ideas about all things food related. With a membership of over 3000 food blogs, I am sure you can find much inspiration and new friends! :)

The only requirement to be featured here on FFF is to be a member of The Foodie Blogroll and be displaying The Foodie Blogroll widget on your blog. If you are not yet a member, but you have a food blog and would like to join us, please click here!

If you have a favorite foodblog on The Foodie Blogroll, that you would like to be featured here on FFF, please join us over on The Leftover Queen/Foodie Blogroll Forum, and post your favorite Foodie Blogroll foodblogs here.

This week I have chosen to feature bloggers who are very active in the Leftover Queen Forum.  I love going on to the forum to just see what everyone has going on.  This is my thanks to some of the posters!

Essentially Healthy Food
Suzie Banks is a freelance food writer based in Nottinghamshire, UK.  She has posted several Royal Foodie Joust entries and her dishes are just beautiful!  I especially loved the Pan forte dipped in Chocolate!!!

Domestic Muse
Karen describes her blog as “Random thoughts on the art and science of cooking, cleaning, and homemaking.”  To me it just looks plain yummy!  You need to check out her April’s Fool joke cake!  Pretty funny!

Sam’s Recipes
Samahita is a food blogger out of India who cooks to satisfy her creative urge and the stomachs of dear ones around her!  Her post about her visit to a tea factory was most interesting!

Mirch Masala or AKA Superchef (on the Forum)
Great food blog.  Superchef is very active on the Leftover Queen Forum.  Nice blog and I love the Roasted Potatoes Herbs De Provence!

Gourmet Traveller 88 or AKA jswching (on the Forum)
Beautiful blog with some great recipes and pictures.  I loved looking around it and think the bobsledding looks like soooo much fun.  I can’t wait to try the effortless grilled chicken Wings with Asian spices!

That’s it for this week! I hope you enjoyed this week’s FFF. Remember, if you would like to see a blog featured here, who is part of the FBR please visit the forum and nominate them.

Also we all love to know how people came to find our blogs, so please visit all of our featured bloggers today and don’t forget to tell them that you found them via Finest Foodies Friday!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Asian Inspired Chicken Salad

You know those meals or snacks that you make all the time but never really even think about writing about because to you they seem so normal? This recipe is one of them.

The other day I checked in with my tweeps on Twitter (follow me here) and mentioned that I had just had an Asian Chicken Wrap for lunch, thinking nothing at all of it other than it was really good and I used up the leftover chicken, when I got about 5 replies asking me to post it. I thought about it and still had some left so I was able to get some pictures of it.

Now this is not really a recipe but a list of ingredients because it really all depends on how much chicken you have on hand or if you decide to cook chicken special to make this.

Chicken (cooked, remember-leftover dish), diced
onion, diced fine
water chestnuts, drained and diced
sesame oil
Coleman’s Dry Mustard
Salt and Pepper
White Pepper
Granulated Garlic

Mix the dry mustard with the sesame oil and then mix into the mayo. Makes for a much smoother mix.

We serve this in sandwiches or just as a salad, sometimes we use wraps or pitas. This time all I had was a tortilla shell and it worked great!!!

Hope you like it!!!

As Always…

Happy Entertaining!!!