Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Homemade, Home-grown Lavender Gelato

I've been craving lavender gelato lately, and I finally got a few blooms on my lavender plants after a long rainy summer, so I made Domestic Daddy's lavender gelato recipe this week, adding a little purple food coloring to pretty it up.  Wasn't sure if my tiny amount of homegrown French lavender would work, because it called for dried culinary lavender, but holy cow---if the lavender taste was any stronger it would knock you over! I will let my nine-year-old, Ian, (who amazingly enough loved it) give you the final verdict:

1.  Lavender gelato: sounds disgusting but it's not
2.  Respect it: it's awesome!
3. Respect the maker because it's homemade.

So there you have it folks: respect me, respect my gelato!   ;-)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Simple homemade granola yogurt topping

This was today's little experiment.  I wanted some plain granola, simple granola topping for my yogurt---no raisins, no nuts, just sweet toasted oatmeal goodness.  Couldn't seem to find it at the grocery store, so I bought some oats and decided to make it myself.  This makes just enough for a week's worth of breakfast toppings, but I assume you could double it if you wanted.

1 cup rolled oats (not instant, the real kind)
1 T flour
1/8 cup brown sugar
4 T apple juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cooking oil 
cooking spray (to grease cookie sheet)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Mix all the dry ingredients together with a fork until well-blended.  Then add all the other ingredients and mix well.  Spread in a single layer on a greased cookie sheet and cook for about 30 minutes or until just slightly browned.  Allow to cool and dry for 30 minutes, then store in sealed container.

Yummy yogurt goodness!   :-)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Way Back Machine

A few days ago I was going through a box of old statistics teaching materials---of all things!---when I came across a copy of my high school literary magazine, dedicated to my mom and with the following letter in it (click to enlarge if the edge is getting truncated on your computer):

  1. Wow, was I a self-absorbed, obnoxious, snarky little punk-rock-obsessed teenage twit!
  2. Even so, I was a pretty good writer and storyteller (more so in this letter, actually, than in the works published in the literary magazine I found it tucked into---I guess there is something to the value of writing in your own voice).
  3. Is it kind of sad that I signed off by telling my mother, "Call me if you're in town"?
  4. I wrote this on a typewriter.  Yes, I am that old----a fossil whose adolescence predates the digital age.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Half-and-half pizza

The little man's half---his usual pepperoni smiley face:

Mom's half---pear, turkey, and gorgonzola:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pear Tart Recipe

Back in summer 2000 I spent 2 weeks in England.  There was a little bistro within walking distance of our B&B in Bloomsbury that was open late, and our study abroad group used to go there frequently in the evenings to have dessert and coffee after playing hard at being tourists all day.  They had the most wonderful pear tart, and I have since tried a number of times to recreate it but it just wasn't the same.  Then recently two things happened:
a) I found a recipe for French sweet pastry
b) I was talking to a friend who said he hated amaretto, and then the subject turned somehow to my pear tart recipe search.  The next day I realized, amaretto!  That's what would give the pear tart that almondy tang without resorting to almond paste, which I am not crazy about.
So, after 13 years of hit-and-miss (ok, it wasn't the only thing I was doing all that time), here is my long-awaited heavenly pear tart recipe!
2 ½ cups flour
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter
1 egg yolk
4 Tbsp water
Dash of salt

Pear filling 
6 pears, cored, peeled and sliced thinly
1 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla
2 tsp amaretto
1 Tbsp butter
2 tsp flour
2 tsp corn starch

Heat butter in microwave for 15 seconds to soften.  Mix all pastry ingredients and roll into ungreased tart pan.  Brush with an egg yolk mixed with 2 Tbsp. water, prick bottom with fork tines, and cook in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until crust is dry and firm.

Simmer the pear mixture in a small saucepan on medium low heat until it begins to thicken and the pears start to soften, then pour into prepared tart crust.  Cook in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until pie crust slightly browned, pears are tender, and filling reaches desired thickness.

Fine by itself or dress it up by serving with vanilla bean ice cream, gorgonzola cheese, or fresh whipped cream.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Pimiento cheese recipe

Didn't take a picture of this, unfortunately, since I was just experimenting and didn't know if this would turn out ok.  This version of the old favorite is definitely tangy rather than sweet.

3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 4-oz jar pimientos
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup cream cheese
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
dash of pepper

Drain the liquid from the jar of pimientos and discard it and then chop the pimientos finely. Mix pimientos with cheese.  Mix in mayo, cream cheese, and Worcestershire sauce, then the dry ingredients.  Mix until all dry ingredients are dissolved, then chill for 1 hour or overnight.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Key lime swirl cheesecake!  'Cause, hey---cheesecake.  And key lime pie.  C'mon, it's March, and any dessert is Irish if you use green food coloring.  Right?

(I hope this doesn't show up on CakeWrecks.)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Valentine's Weekend Brunch

Blogger apparently now has web analytics.  I was checking to see where my pagehits were being referred from, and looks like someone recenlty got referred here looking for porn.  I guess "Kathy's Magic Window" could sound suggestive, although I certainly never thought of it that way!  :-o

We had one of Ian's friends and his mom over for brunch and the boys were still excited about Valentine's Day, so we went with that theme.

Anyway, you could say Ian was excited about it that morning!

Here is the table all set with sides, desserts, and party favors.

And finally, last but not least here is the main course, created by pizza chef extraordinaire, Clint.  Cuteness!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Goodies

First of all, I made these a short while back for the folks at work to test out my new cake pops pan.

Wish this was a better picture---they were really cute!  Then yesterday I made some cupcakes for Ian to take to school today.

Apparently these were a big hit with his classamtes.  That cookie cutter used to be my great-grandmother's.

But the best Valentine's goody was:  after having my house flood the week before Christmas and spending almost almost two months with no kitchen or diing room floors, I have new tile!