Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Musings, Blogger Frustration

Hello! Happy Monday? I am not sure what happened to my post...Blogger has been giving me a lot of problems lately, like posts with nothing in them, posting on the wrong day, not saving my updates and continually telling me that I have logged out from another location.

Oh well, it is always something. I am going to try to reassemble my post.


Have a great day!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Happy Birthday to Di from Yonks and Anita from Castles Crowns and Cottages

The greatest gift of life is friendship.
Hubert Horatio Humphrey


 Happy Sunday!

I could not let the weekend pass without wishing my two dear friends, Di from Yonks and Anita from Castles, Crowns and Cottages a wonderful and  Happy Birthday!

A toast to your friendship and to you! I wish you many more wonderful birthdays and I hope that someday we can celebrate together.

 





Ladies I hope that you have/had a wonderful celebration of your beautiful life! I hope that you were surrounded by the love of family and friends! And of course I hope that you had a yummy piece of cake! If I lived closer to you I would have baked you one myself!


Enjoy your day!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pinterest Inspiration for National Grilled Cheese Month

Happy Friday! I am so glad it is Friday,  I have so many things I want to do this weekend and I need the time to do them all, not just squeeze them in after work. I am gathering sources for a bathroom renovation, trying some new recipes,  a few DIY projects that I saw on other blogs, and reading two good books. It is going to be a great weekend!

Thank you to all of my new followers and to all of the people who left such kind comments and sent me lovely emails about my Cinnamon Roll Pancakes and my Slutty Brownies. I am humbled by your compliments.

Grilled goat cheese and Nutella from Very Culinary

One of the recipes that I want to try this weekend is grilled cheese. I wrote the other day that it is National Grilled Cheese Month, and being from Wisconsin it is only right that I do my part to celebrate cheese!


Grilled ham, cheese and onions from Cookinginsens


You did know that April is National Grilled Cheese month didn't you( I did not until the other day)? Although I have several cookbooks devoted solely to grilled cheese sandwiches I thought I would go to Pinterst and look for some pin-spiration!


Bacamole Grilled Cheese

I have discovered so many new and interesting combinations that I do not think I can make them all, I would have to have one sandwich for all three meals, starting today.


Mozzarella Grilled Cheese with Basil Pesto Sauce

Rosemary Apple grille cheese from Professional Palate

French Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich from The Kitchen of a Navy Wife

Grown Up Grilled Cheese from the Barefoot Countess via Pink Parsley

What do you think? Is there anything here that you already make or that you might try?


Pear and rosemary honey with Havarti cheese from Foodie Crush

I hope you find some Pin-spiration here! And I hope that you enjoy a fabulous weekend. I will let you know how my grilled cheese experiments go. In addition to all of the savory choices you know that I am going to be making something sweet, that is yet to be decided.

ENJOY!

NOTE: I had a few problems with Pinterest, there are two images here that I could not reach the original source thru Pinterest, the link went to spam. I am so sorry if these are your yummy sandwiches and ideas. I will try again.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thursday Thought




Fa la la Loveley

Sometimes one needs a little perspective on their life. I know I do.

I have a busy day today so I have to run but I wish you a wonderful day!  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New York One Million Images

I love New York! The city, the sights and the sounds, what is not to love? I am also a lover of photography and was incredibly excited to hear that almost a million images of the city are now available online.

Image from DPW


Yesterday, the NY Department of Records announced the opening of the  New York City Municipal Archives Online Gallery. The Online Gallery provides access to over 870,000 items digitized from the Municipal Archives’ collections, including photographs, and maps, among other items.


The project was four years in the making and the available images were culled from over 2.2 million images that date as far back as the 1880's. Everything you can imagine, from bridges, to neighborhoods, to crime photos, to bread lines, to images of out of work people sleeping in parks are here offering an unprecedented look at the stunning and sometimes not so stunning city of New York.

Image from DPW


Most of the images were taken by anonymous city employees, including photographers from the Department of Bridges and Plants and NYPD detectives. The project is ongoing and images will continue to be uploaded but according to reports financial and technological constraints might hinder the access to some of the images.

Currently the demand for access to the site is overwhelming, I tried for three hours and never actually accessed the images. Apparently the server was overloaded. No matter, there is always another day.

Enjoy perusing the images,  if you get online do come back and tell me about your favorite finds.


I hope you are having a great week!



Friday, April 20, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes for the Weekend

Cinnamon Roll pancakes, all images taken by me.
Hello! Happy Day it is Friday! I like many of you had  busy week and have a very busy day ahead. Thankfully it is supposed to rain this weekend so I can stay inside and do the things I like most.

Last weekend while I was experimenting with a few recipes I cut from magazines or had seen on Pinterest this recipe caught my eye again. I love cinnamon and cinnamon rolls so this seemed the perfect recipe to try.


I found the recipe at Recipe Girl and while I found the idea enticing, I was a bit skeptical that the pancakes would  turn out to taste like a cinnamon roll.

I am more than happy to tell you that I was wrong. These pancakes are moist, full of the spicy taste of cinnamon and the sweet, creamy goodness of the cream cheese frosting, and they taste exactly like a cinnamon roll.



Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
recipe from RECIPE GIRL

CINNAMON FILLING:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, just melted (not boiling)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

CREAM CHEESE GLAZE:
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2-ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

PANCAKES:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

Directions:

Prepare the cinnamon filling: In a medium bowl, stir together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Scoop the filling into a quart-sized heavy zip baggie or a pastry bag and set it aside.

Prepare the glaze: In a small pan, heat the butter over low heat until melted. Turn off the heat and whisk in the cream cheese until it is almost smooth. Sift the powdered sugar into the pan, stir and add in vanilla extract. Set the pan aside while you make the pancakes.

Prepare the pancake batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk in the milk, egg and oil, just until the batter is moistened. Or prepare a pancake mix. Set aside.

Cook the pancakes: Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-heat and spray with nonstick spray. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to add the batter to the pan. Use the bottom of the scoop or cup to spread the batter into a circle. Reduce the heat to medium low. Snip the corner of your baggie of cinnamon filling and squeeze the filling into the open corner. When your pancake begins to form bubbles, add the filling. Starting at the center of the pancake, squeeze the filling on top of the pancake batter in a swirl (just as you see in a regular cinnamon roll). Cook the pancake 2 to 3 minutes, or until the bubbles begin popping on top of the pancake and it's golden brown on the bottom. Slide a thin, wide metal spatula underneath the pancake and gently but quickly flip it over. Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the other side is golden as well. When you flip the pancake onto a plate, you will see that the cinnamon filling has created a crater-swirl of cinnamon. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, and repeat with the remaining pancake batter and cinnamon filling. Re-warm the glaze briefly, if needed. Serve pancakes topped with a drizzle of glaze.





Changes and notes:
I was cooking for one so I only made a half a batch. And I cannot tell a lie, I took the easy way out and used Bisquick to make the pancake batter; I was feeling lazy on a Sunday morning. In the end the 3 pancakes you see here are the only three that I made.


This would not be, in my opinion, a recipe to prepare for a crowd, as it is a little time consuming, and you cannot really make too many pancakes at the same time. Also, because it was my first time making them, I had a few problems. The frosting/glaze stayed very thick, I should have added a bit of milk to thin it out. Second, the cinnamon mixture got VERY thick and I had a hard time squeezing it out of my pastry bag and had to continue to warm it up.

I had no problems with the actual pancake making though, I simply waited for the bubbles, squeezed the filling into a spiral and then  flipped the pancake over. I did lift the corners to see if the pancake was golden then flipped onto a plate and did my best to drizzle with the glaze.


As with many of the recipes here, if you like a sugary breakfast or want to make a special treat for your family, than you are going to love this. If you are making a full size pancake than you probably only want to eat one. I made 3 pancakes the size of a coffee saucer, they are pretty small,  and I could only eat one and a half.



I hope you have a wonderful weekend! If you have any questions about the recipe, follow the link to Recipe Girl,  she has a more descriptive narrative and photos of each process. I only took a million photos of the finished product, I have hard time taking photos while cooking at the stove.

Please come back and let me know if you try this recipe, I would love to know if you are successful or make any changes.

Enjoy your weekend! I hope you enjoy it and have lots of great plans.

All images take by me, Elizabeth at Pine Cones and Acorns.


Linking to:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Good Things I Wish You by A. Manette Ansay

I recently sat to begin the book, Good Things I Wish You by A. Manette Ansay, several hours later and many cups of tea I was finished.




The book tells two stories, one modern, of a recently divorced woman withing a book about the friendship and some speculate romance between Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms. The other historical, of the life of Clara, Robert and Johannes. The book moves back and forth in time between the two stories and includes photographs, and letters of Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann.



I loved the book but if I was honest, the modern romance was not my favorite part of the book, I actually found it a little annoying. Not enough though to over shadow the life of Clara the celebrated pianist who married composer, Robert Schumann and their special friendship with composer and pianist Brahms. I loved reading the excerpts from the letters, and seeing and learning more about everyday life of three celebrated classical musicians.


If you are a fan of classical music, Brahms, and Schumann I think you would enjoy this book. I do not know if it shed any more light on the relationship between Clara and Johannes and whether or not they were just good friends or perhaps had a relationship that was something more. I personally was never interested in that, I simply love the music and the musicians. Good Things I Wish You is well written and very well researched, two of my favorite things in a novel.

So, on this Thursday morning, I say to you...




and have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Say it isn't so... Downton Abbey Update

Please tell me that the rumors are not true? Maggie Smith is not leaving after Season 3 of Downton Abbey?


To say that I am a huge fan of this show is an understatement! I like it for the quality programming, the fabulous castle, the story and of course the acting; and frankly Violet, the Dowager Dutchess makes the show.

 Yes, Yes, I know it is an ensemble cast but what would this show be without Violet's witty quips, her withering stare and her enormous presence?

I will try to have a "stiff upper lip"
 and perhaps make myself a cup of tea to get my nerves under control.




After all they say it makes everything seem better.

Please Maggie Smith reconsider if you were leaving!

I hope you are having a great week. The weekend is in sight!

Thanks to my new followers. I hope you find something here to amuse you, to bake and eat, or perhaps just to visit while traveling.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Goat Cheese Pasta and "Slutty Brownies" from The Londoner Blog


I love to cook and bake, mostly bake but I will cook anything that includes my favorite savory ingredient, cheese. After all I did spend the majority of my life in Wisconsin where award winning cheese is being produced daily.

Wisconsin Cheese Board from The Wisconsin Dairy Council

This weekend, after my friend Marcia went home I cooked and baked up a storm, it helps me relax and to think. One of the first things I made was this fabulous Goat Cheese Pasta. I have been searching for this recipe ever since I had a similar dish at a restaurant in Fernandina Beach, FL at P.L.A.E ( People laughing and eating).



Michael Symon's Macaroni and Goat Cheese from The Chew

Ingredients:

2 cups of shredded cooked chicken
1 tablespoon of kosher salt
1 quart of heavy cream
2 tablespoons of rosemary
2 pounds of rigatoni
8 ounces of goat cheese

Directions:

 In large saucepan pour cream, add salt and Rosemary, cook over high heat to just a simmer, than reduce heat to medium and reduce by half. In the meantime boil water for pasta and add a bit of salt. Add the chicken to the sauce mixture and cook for about 30 minutes or until mixture coats the back of a spoon. Cook pasta for 12 minute or until done. Add goat cheese to pot of sauce and then add drained pasta. Toss mixture and add to plates.

NOTE: I do not eat chicken so I omitted that from my recipe.


The pasta is delicious, the tang of the goat cheese and the infusion of rosemary makes a perfect match. I think this may be my favorite new pasta dish. I do hope that you try it!
And for dessert, go to my other blog, Once Upon A Chocolate Life and try these yummy brownies ( the name is not mine).



I hope you try these easy recipes, let me know if you do. I would love to know what you think!

Have a fabulous day!

Linking to
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style

Monday, April 16, 2012

Welcome Monday! Living in The Present by Spencer Johnson



Hello! Did you have a nice weekend? Are you ready to start the week?



 I had a friend in town last week and it was fabulous! I did not do anything at all except spend time with her.That is rare for me because usually I try to squeeze a little work into my day, even if someone is visiting. I know it is weird but that is how I am. This time though I decided that I would just be PRESENT and it was wonderful.



That reminds me, do you know the book, by Spencer Johnson, M.D called The Present? It is an excellent book that I read a few years ago and it came to mind as I wrote that sentence.

"The Present is an engaging story of a young man's journey to adulthood, and his tireless search for The Present, a mysterious and elusive gift he first hears about from a wise old man. This Present, according to the old man, is the most valuable gift a person can receive. Why? Because it is the one thing that doesn’t change in changing times.

As the young boy becomes a man, he grows disillusioned with his work and his life. So he returns to ask the old man to help him find The Present. The old man responds, “Only you have the power to find The Present for yourself.” Heeding the old man’s advice, the young man embarks on a worldwide search for this magical gift that remains unchanging in a changing world, and holds the secret to personal happiness and lifelong success.

It is only after the young man has searched high and low and all but given up his relentless pursuit that he discovers The Present and all of the promises it offers.

Like the young man, you may find that it is the best gift you can ever give to yourself and to those you care about"

 ( This summary is from the Spence Johnson Web page, I think he sums it up better than I can)


My friend Marcia and I had a wonderful time. We walked on the beach, walked in my neighborhood, went shopping to some antique stores ( I will show you later what I found), we ate delicious meals and of course treats.


 Most importantly we talked and enjoyed one anther's company. We were up until 1:30 several nights because we always have so much to talk about, from our travel adventures, to her art and classes in New York and Florence, as well as plein air in Wisconsin, not to mention our families, friends, and anything else that comes to mind.

It is rare to find a friend late in your life that you connect to like that, although we only see one another now about 5 times a year we just pick up right where we left off. I am very blessed to have have her in my life.

Yesterday I worked and experimented with some new recipes. I just wish that I had someone here to share them with, a girl can only handle so much sugar and pasta.

I hope that you have a fabulous week! If you have not read The Present, it is excellent and a bit of a reminder on how to life, sometimes we all need one of those.

 I hope that you are safe from all of the horrible weather, I have a lot of family in the path of those storms and I have been praying for their safety as well as for the safety of so many others.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday! Friends, Flowers, Food and Fun

Hello! I hope you had a great week! I have been having the best week, my friend is visiting and we are having a girls week. We have been walking the beaches, visiting historical houses, talking ( we keep asking ourselves how it can be 1:00 am before we go to bed) and of course eating lots of yummy desserts!

Here is a snapshot our week.


Enjoying the new plantings while visiting with one another in the morning over a cup of tea.






Enjoying a scrumptious dessert after a wonderful dinner.

I love Banoffee! Whipped cream, bananas and caramel! Yummy.
Who doesn't love a cocoa before bed on a chilly April night?


And of course company before dinner while enjoying the afternoon sun.


Enjoy your weekend! I am going to a flea market and a book sale. Neither of which I need any more treasures from.

Speaking of which, THANK YOU to Billie for letting me know what my mold is. I will tell you more on another day after I try to find a few more examples and information.



And thank you to the talented ladies At the Picket Fence for featuring my Fabulous Carrot Cake today.  If you are a carrot cake lover than you must try this recipe. I am a connoisseur of carrot cake and hands down this is the best recipe.

Take care and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Blue and White TransferWare Finds



Hello! How is your week? Are you sick of eating Easter candy yet? I boxed all of mine up and gave it away, it really was for the best, otherwise I would have eaten too many Peeps and Reese's peanut butter eggs. OK I would have eaten them all, it is like they call out from the pantry for me and truth be told, I am weak and I answer the siren song. Now they only left is the Quaker Oat Squares.




I think I mentioned before that I really like Transferware, and that I managed to find a huge set of it last July while I was in Milwaukee. I brought it home in February  and we are happily eating off of it everyday. 



The only down side, is that it is blue and white, not that I do not like it, I do. But I really wanted a black and white set or a full set of brown.



Since my original purchase, I have purchased all of this and more. I think I have Transferware-itis. I simply cannot get enough, I see it everywhere and I love all of the great pattens.



Are you a fan? If so, do check out Nancy's Daily Dish, she has the largest selection I  have ever seen and she sets a beautiful table with all of her various sets an lots of colors.


Do you have a collection of Transferware? Or are you a collector of another kind of dishes?



If you would like more information on transferware as well as some beautiful images of it used in decorating the home , visit The Transferware Blog or visit Martha Stewart.

Thank you also for the suggestions about my carved mold which I posted on yesterday. I still do not know what it is but I will keep looking.

Have a great day! I know I will, as I have  a friend visitiog this week, lots of shopping, eating, baking and talking.


Linking to:

A Stroll Thru Life

Between Naps on the Porch
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