Thursday, April 29, 2010

Flashback Friday ~Another Day, Another Time

I'm flashing back this week to last fall when we were traveling through northern Washington on our way back from British Columbia.

It may have been last October, but it could have been 100 years ago. I love old barns!

This malva zebrina was blooming in my yard around the same time. It has a sweet old fashioned look too!

And would could be more old fashioned than a juicy red homegrown apple?

This is a quick flashback, but I hope you enjoyed it! Please add your link below if you have a flashback of any kind you'd like to can be a memory, an old recipe, a post you'd like to revisit..anything!

I'm also adding this as my contribution to Foodie Friday at Designs by apple counts doesn't it? :-) Check out the other links HERE which I'm sure you will find some fine recipes!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mosaic Monday ~Violas Plus Brownie & Bun Fun

Saturday I went to a Plant Swap and had a lot of fun. It's just what it sounds like...people bring their extra and divided plants and a big trade ensues. Sometimes people want nothing in exchange and sometimes people have nothing to share, but in the end it all works out and typically there is a potluck to top it all off. It did rain during much of the swap so I didn't take the camera out but I thought I'd share the goodie that I brought. I call them Heavenly Hash Brownies...but you could call them Mississippi Mud cake or Marshmallow brownies

I got the recipe via my good friend Barb at Foley's Follies who was inspired by southern celeb cook Paula Deen. I took a cue from Barb and used my favorite boxed brownie mix...

Heavenly Hash Brownies

Cook brownies as directed in a 13x9 pan then sprinkle top with a bag of miniature marshmallows. Cover with the following chocolate topping - which in my opinion is TO DIE FOR.

1 stick butter
3 Tablespoons cocoa
6 Tablespoons milk

Once it boils and is well mixed remove from heat and add:
1 lb of powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 cup)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)

Stir to mix well and then pour and spread over marshmallows. If needed add a little bit more milk to make easier to spread. Cool before serving to give the chocolate a chance to set up.

Here are some of the plants I've gotten at previous trades that are now happy in my garden

On my way home from the trade I stopped at a nearby nursery that one of the ladies who hosted the trade works at. Not necessarily a good idea when your trunk is already loaded lol, but there were some beautiful plants that I couldn't resist. Here is a little mosaic of some violas I got.

And this cute little lewisia

There was more...lots more, but I'll save that for a later post.

Today I planted a bunch of those purchases and plant trade acquisitions, but still had time for making dinner. These buns at Thibault's Table had me inspired to try homemade buns again (my previous attempts have been less than stellar), so I washed up my hands from planting and kneaded some dough and turned out some pretty cute little buns if I do say so myself.

Homemade buns begat homemade burgers

And we were some happy campers. The buns were substantial but not heavy. Just right to hold up to a burger and all the fixings. Here is the recipe.

Homemade Hot Dog or Hamburger Buns
Original Source: All That Splatters via Thibault's Table
1 cup milk

1/2 cup water
1 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 egg, room temperature
4 1/2 cups flour
(unbleached, whole wheat, or a mix)
1 package instant yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Heat the milk, water, honey and butter until
butter is melted.
Check temperature. Depending on the temperature, let cool to 120F. Carefully beat in egg.

Mix 2 cups of the flour, yeast, and salt.
Mix into the milk mixture. Stir in the rest of the flour,
1/2 cup at a time. Beat well after each addition.

When the dough pulls together, (it will form a soft ball) turn it out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. This should take about 5 minutes.

Divide dough into 12 -16 equal pieces. This will depend on the size you want for the finished bun. Shape into smooth balls, flatten slightly, and place on a silpat (or Parchment) covered baking sheet.

Let rise for 30 to 35 minutes. When buns have almost doubled bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

If you are making hot dog buns I find it easiest to roll the dough out into a large rectangle and cut into smaller rectangles. Let rise with sides touching.

You can brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, coarse sea salt, or whatever you like. You can add dry onion soup mix for onion rolls. These are very versatile!

Hope everyone has a beautiful week! Go check out the other mosaics at Little Red House!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Flashback and Foodie Friday ~ The Full Monte"

Today I'm flashing back two years ago to this clone of one of my favorite restaurant sandwiches of all time....Bennigan's Monte Cristo. It is definitely something I think I will reserve for eating out..deep fried and hard to handle, but I had to give it a try! (After today's grease fire which permanently blackened my above the range microwave I KNOW I won't be frying anything any time soon). Sprinkled with powdered sugar and dipped in raspberry jam this sandwich is savory and sweet treat. Weird combo but TRUST ME when I say its awesome.

Bennigan's Monte Cristo Sandwich

9 Slices Wheat Bread
3 Slices Cooked Turkey
3 Slices Cooked Ham
3 Slices American Cheese
3 Slices Swiss Cheese

1 Egg
1 – 1 1/4 C. Water
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Sugar
1 1/2 C. Flour
1 Tbs. Baking Powder
Vegetable Oil (for deep frying)
Place turkey and Swiss cheese on one slice of bread and ham and American cheese on another slice of bread. Place third slice in-between and secure the triple decker sandwich in the corners with tooth picks.
Place egg in mixing bowl, add water and beat together. Add salt, sugar, flour, and baking powder. Beat batter until smooth.
Dip sandwich in batter and carefully cover all the sides and surface. Carefully place in hot oil and fry until golden. When sandwich has turned a warm gold color remove from hot oil and place on paper towel. Let cool for a few minutes before removing the tooth picks. Before serving slice into fourths and sprinkle with powder sugar.

Serve with raspberry preserves, pickle garnish and your favorite side order of French fried potatoes.

In the garden this gorgeous anemone was blooming when I was eating my Monte Cristo

If you've got a flashback you'd like to share please add your link!

I'm also joining in with Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum. Go check it out HERE!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Yayyy Earth! ~Outdoor Wednesday~

Since Thursday is Earth Day I couldn't resist joining in for this week's Outdoor Wednesday festivities. I spent much of this past weekend in my yard and enjoyed every minute of it. The dirt and the sun and the smell of the cottonwood trees all made me feel very appreciative of our beautiful planet. The spring blooms didn't hurt either!

Seeing this clematis blooming at my front door is a pure joy.

But I'm just as thrilled with the humble little violets

I love the unexpected blooms like these little anemones..I look and look for them in early spring, then suddenly when I least expect there they are.

Or this startling Darmera peltata bloom...that comes up from the ground like a little alien leaves just flower!

Then there are the little tiny blooms that make their presence known in a big way. Forget me nots couldn't be forgotten even if you tried!

Signs of new life are everywhere you turn

Spring bulbs are still surprising me - I forget this ones name

But Spanish Bluebells I remember

Spring really is the season of love in the garden

And I love love love this bleeding heart to pieces

The rhody season is getting underway and this mini is the first to bloom in my yard.

But one of its azalea cousins is blooming too

I've just added this cutie to my garden. It's called lithodora "Star"

One of my favorite yellow flowers, trollius, is starting to bloom right now. It has such perfect little teacup shaped flowers. It reminds me of the one that Willy Wonka took a bite of :-)

Spring is a time when it reminds us of what the earth has to offer in the way of food. Apples on the way

Yummy green onions

And tomatoes hiding in their water beds

I'm always so excited to see this Mountain Bluet bloom! Saturday was the day this year

Even though I have plenty blooming in my yard at the moment I couldn't resist going to buy more....the fever has hit!

How could I not buy this pretty little fuchsia?

Or this otherworldly looking african daisy?

Hope all of you enjoy a wonderful Earth Day this year. I just looked at the weather forecast and a little sunshine is promised, so hopefully I can get out and enjoy some of what mother nature has to offer. Go check out all of the other posts at Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer's place. I know there will be some pretty stuff!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Flashback and Foodie Friday ~Sopapillas

We had taco salad tonight..always a happy time in our household. Which got me thinking about an old favorite recipe for a Mexican treat, Sopapillas. I am almost (but not quite) embarrassed to say that my first sopapillas were eaten at the smorgasbord all you can eat make yourself sick buffet style Baton Rouge restaurant called Pancho's.

Now Panchos was a starving (or just plain poor) college students dream. For a very modest flat fee you could make your way down a cafeteria style food line picking as much of any dish that caught your fancy. If that didn't fill you up you raised a little Mexican flag at your table and the waitress came along to take your additional fat filled orders. One thing that I ALWAYS raised my flag for were the sopapillas that were available for dessert. With honey and butter...yummmmmm and Ole!

At some point I found a recipe to make these little pieces of dough heaven at home. Not sure where it comes from but its simple and good. I had forgotten about the secret ingredient!


2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 egg beaten
3 Tbsp salad oil
1/2 cup beer

Mix dry ingredients. Beat the liquid ingredients together with a fork and add to the dry ingredients stirring with the fork to form a dough. Knead the dough well (It might be sticky) Cover and let sit for 20 mins. Roll thinly on floured board. Cut into 3-4 inch squares or triangles.

Fry in deep very hot oil. Oil must be hot or they won't puff. I actually used only a couple of inches of oil which is enough to cook them, but it burns quickly too. They start small...

And stack up quick! These are best right after you make them so eat up.

Serve with butter and honey. First you rip their little heads off...

Slather with butter and pour honey in the hole.

Thank you for allowing me to take this little stroll down memory food lane. If you have a flashback to share...anything from your past even a favorite up here and give me a little shout out in your blog.

I am also joining in with Foodie Friday today over at Designs by Gollum. Check it out HERE!
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