Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Happy 10th Birthday Duke



Looks who is wrapped up in an afghan and who turned 10 on March 29th!  We find it hard to believe that this sweet, intelligent, cuddling little guy has been with us for a decade!  It seems like yesterday when I held him in the palm of my hand - he was so tiny!  Now, he's 20 pounds of joy and terror!

Watch out intruders!  Grrrrrrrrr!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Lump Crabmeat Omelet



We drove up to our cottage in Maine after I got out of work yesterday.  I wanted to celebrate this glorious sunny spring morning with a special breakfast for my husband and me!  I didn't want pancakes or an egg sandwich.  So as I was hanging on the refrigerator door it came to me as I was doing a visual inventory of it's contents - lump crabmeat, farm fresh eggs, block of cheddar, milk, strawberries . . . ding, ding, ding, we have a winner!  Lump crabmeat omelet's!


Ingredients
2 fresh large eggs
1/3 cup of milk
1/3 cup lump crabmeat
1/3 cup fresh grated cheddar cheese
olive oil

Directions
Beat the eggs & milk, add oil then egg mixture to a hot skillet.  When the egg starts to cook loosen around the edges, and continue to loosen the egg, little by little.  Add the crab, put the cheese on top of that, fold over the other side of the egg.  Sprinkle some looks cheese on top and enjoy!

Serve with a cup of hot tea, an English muffin and a small piece of fruit and enjoy!

The only way I can think of improving this delicious meal is to add fresh asparagus to the omelet!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Grasshopper Pie for St. Patrick's Day!


Sláinte! 

I was looking for a green pie to make for St. Patrick's Day. As you all know, to quote Kermit, "it's not easy being green." I searched the Internet for grasshopper pie, I came across this recipe from the Brown Eyed Baker, and it is delicious.  She adapted this recipe from Cooks Country, a favorite website of mine.  

I have been baking pies steadily for about three years now.  As some of you know it was because I was trying to win a pie contest - who's kidding who - I was consumed!  Last year I received a second place red ribbon for my Lime Blueberry Pie, and I was thrilled.  Occasionally, when I'm talking to my sisters about pies, I have to, from time to time, remind them that I am an award winning pie baker!  LOL!!!  They are NOT impressed!  Maybe it's because I wear the ribbon . . . hey, I'm channelling my inner Julia Child!

Then this past Thanksgiving I made two pies to raffle off at work (I teach at a school), and I donated the proceeds to the end of year activities for our 8th grade students.  The pies raised a lot of money!  I was so impressed that I thought I'd have a raffle every Friday until Christmas.  Then January rolled around and I didn't want to stop, but I didn't want to bake one every week, so I picked the Friday before our long weekend, next February vacation and after that, St. Patrick's Day.  To date I've raised $670 for our students end of year activities, and I'm having a blast!  There will be a pie for Easter and one for the Kentucky Derby!  On the last day of school I plan to bring in a pie to give away as a thank you to my generous co-workers for supporting our students.


This pie is so easy to make it's unbelievable! You can decorate it with whipped cream (flavored with mint extract) or chocolate curls! I used Wilton editable shamrocks.

Yield: 8 servings Prep time: 7 hours Cook time: 15 minutes Total time: 8 hours

INGREDIENTS:

For the Crust:
24 Cool Mint Oreo cookies, crushed into crumbs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the Filling:
3 egg yolks
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
½ cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, divided
Pinch of salt
¼ cup green crème de menthe
¼ cup white crème de cacao

DIRECTIONS:

1. Make the Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the Oreo cookie crumbs and the melted butter in a medium bowl and toss with a fork until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Transfer the crumbs to a 9-inch pie plate. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, forming a crust. Refrigerate the lined pie plate for 20 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes, until the crust is fragrant and set. Cool completely on a wire rack.

2. Make the Filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until foamy, about 30 seconds. Stir together the gelatin, sugar, ½ cup of the heavy cream and the salt in a medium saucepan and let sit until the gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Cook over medium heat until the gelatin dissolves and the mixture is very hot but not boiling, about 2 minutes. Whisking continuously, slowly drizzle the gelatin mixture into egg yolks. Return mixture to saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the crème de menthe and crème de cacao. Pour into a large bowl and refrigerate, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until it thickens to a wobbly consistency, about 20 minutes.

3. Beat the remaining 1½ cups heavy cream on medium-high speed until it holds stiff peaks. Gently whisk 1 cup of the whipped cream into the gelatin mixture until completely incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, fold the remaining whipped cream into the gelatin mixture until no streaks of white remain. Scrape the mixture into the cooled pie shell, smooth the top, and refrigerate until firm, at least 6 hours or preferably overnight. Serve with whipped cream and topped with chocolate curls, if desired.

Notes:
  • The pie will keep in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.
  • The alcohol in this pie has no way of cooking off, so keep that in mind if serving to children or anyone who can't have alcohol.
  • If you can't find Cool Mint Oreos, you can use regular Oreos and add a little mint extract to give the crust that extra zing!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wishful Wednesday


This is where I wish I was, in Maine, on the beach!  Instead, I'm in Massachusetts waiting for another 6 - 15 inches of snow to arrive.  Thankfully I love my job, it takes the edge off, but I'm so done with winter!!!  If you are in this storm's winter path, keep safe!

How about you?  Where do you wish you were today?

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If you haven't been to the blog Cafe Chatelaine you must go.  Elaine did a beautiful Valentine Tea post at one of her friends homes!  Enjoy



Friday, February 7, 2014

Winter Beauty



We have had a miserable winter, but finding this beauty on a winter's walk made me smile!


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Maine Seaside Winter Moments

I'm hooking up to Vee's notecard party!

It was a balmy 35 degrees in Maine this Saturday!  It was like a heat wave!  In case you haven't heard, our temps have been in the single and negative digits, factor in the wind chill and we were running as low as -18!

This afternoon my husband and I ran a few errands and our our way back to the cottage we stopped at a few of our favorite spots.  I hope you enjoy these beautiful Maine winter moments.

The Pier at Old Orchard Beach, Old Orchard Beach, ME
The pier, the main attraction of the beach would be bulging with people on a summers day, today it is shuttered closed and void of people as the waves kiss it.  The beach, is usually filled with people and the smell of sun tan lotion, relaxing on blankets.  Today, the beach had a soft white blanket of snow on top of the sand.  It was refreshing and restorative to stand on the beach and breathe it all in!
The amusement park at Old Orchard Beach, Old Orchard Beach, ME - it will be busier in July





























In the summer you can hear screams of excitement, laughter, bells, whistles and sirens from children, adults, amusements and games - today it was the sound of large waves crashing on the surf.

The Saco River, Saco, Maine
In the spring this hillside will have thousands of daffodils, and lots of foot traffic, but today it was snow laden and only us - we loved it.
The breakwater at Camp Ellis, Saco, Maine
 I have to tell you, when I saw the ice on the breakwater it took my breath away, it was so beautiful - I was also very careful stepping out on to it!  What was even more amazing - not a whisper of wind, anywhere today!

It's amazing how much beauty we found in these winter moments.  .  I hope you enjoyed our brief escape!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Stunning Red & White Quilt

Hello dear friends!  Where does the time seem to go lately?  It seems like we were just celebrating Christmas & New Years, and now it's Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend and almost the end of January.  Soon February will be around the corner.


There has been lots going on!  I'm very busy at work.  As many of you know, I'm a teacher.  I'm also involved in an after school activity and a fund raiser.  In addition to that I also have another small side job that I've taken on at work.  Toss all that on to a new teacher evaluation system . . .

my contribution
There has also been some personal sadness.  My dear friend Susan at From Beyond My Kitchen Window lost her mom just before Thanksgiving.  I've known Mrs. D since I was a teen and I will miss her dearly.  My heart breaks for my friend's loss and sadness.

I've also had a dear friend from Maine who was diagnosed with uterine cancer.  Her surgery is this Thursday.  She will have to go through radiation and chemo - but her outlook is good.  My husband and another neighbor "Doc" are talking about shaving their heads when "A's" hair falls out.  She is a single woman with not much family or family near by, but she has a huge network of friends, both personal and professional who are lining up to help her get through this!  We will be doing everything we can when we are in Maine on weekends.  Please keep "A" in your prayers.  She's like a sister to me.

The quilt was made by my husband's cousin Merrie, isn't she talented.  For some reason, showing you the quilt and talking about everything that's been going on seems to fit - somehow.  It's comforting.

The back of the quilt with signature block
Merrie also included a hanger in the event that I want to hang the quilt on the wall.  I also love how the back came out, and the signature square she included.  Believe it or not, I did one of the lighthouses, as did my husband's cousin Clare!  It was a true family effort, although Merrie did 99% of it!  I hope to undertake a quilt on my own soon!


I told Merrie that I wanted a red & white quilt with Maine light houses.  I also suggested lobsters and crabs in the corners and sides.  I showed Merrie an inspiration quilt and she came up with the design.  Once I approved it, she began working on it!  The hand embroidered lobster & crab are part of the sides and corners, along with a sea shell!


I feel blessed, to have an abundance of family, good friends, good health, a great job and to know that I'm loved.

I'll try to be more diligent with my posts . . . despite everything friends, I wish you a blessed and very Happy New Year!

xo

P.S. I'm not happy about my beloved N.E. Patriots losing tonight, but Denver did a good job.  Good luck Denver and Seattle in the Super Bowl!!!