Getting ready…

You know I’m excited about something when I make lists a week or more in advance! Next Monday, I’m starting my new adventure with the designer India Hicks and her fabulous group of entrepreneurial women! So excited to do something fun!

Today I made some of my favorite flip over gift tags …(they’re for favors!)

And some notepaper. Had to leave the clips on, the binding glue was still wet and drippy!

Five for Friday….

Little views…

A new roll of new pennies…shiny…!
A little geranium, just starting to pop…

My wee cottage with a roof of succulents…

Little rose leaves at night..the view from below…

A row of little schoolroom sinks…aren’t they cunning?

Be a Swedish Chef

Here’s what Muppets Swedish Chef likes….

And here’s what arrived in my Try the World box from Sweden this week. Oh…and there was coffee, but the Hubs already opened it for sampling!

Hot, cha, cha…

I found this simple but yummy recipe on p 39 of this months Cooking Light magazine and gave them a try last nite on the grill. The recipe claims only 20 minutes to cook and I can tell you it’s absolutely true. Simply mix chopped cooked bacon with some goat cheese, light cream cheese, salt, pepper, garlic salt and grated red onion.

Cut fresh jalapeños in half and stuff with the cheese mixture. The Hubs was already grilling, so I popped the peppers on the medium hot side of the grill. They blistered and melted nicely! Top them off with a thinned out and heated sauce made from the hot pepper jelly/jam and about two tablespoons of water. Just the right amount of heat and crunch!

Curd, and (the) way

My love for apricots has been well documented and so I found myself with a flat of apricots from Costco at the end of the week and needed to come up with something. Normally it would be jam, but I wanted something a little different. So I settled on apricot curd, the creamy, eggy cousin of  jam.

It’s simply a plan of cooking down the sliced and pitted apricots, and tossing them with about a cup of sugar. Then, some vanilla when they are on their way to soft. Once boiled down, use the blender to process into purée and push through a fine sieve and then return to the pot.

Whisk eggs and corn starch together and the whisk into the purée while its simmering. Add butter and cook on low until the whole mixture tightens up and goats the back of a spoon. 

From here you can refrigerate, pressure can for later use. I highly recommend on toasted French bread or a croissant!

Just another meatless Monday…

The French Version…

Eggs are always a quick and dependable meat substitute and this week, the Hubs and borrowed from our visit to Reims, France last fall and had a delicious and simple green salad with poached eggs on top. It was topped with a very French dressing of shallots, cornichons, capers and mustard. 

Whisk with some olive oil and champagne vinegar and season to taste. I added some French bread and butter and voila!

Winner, winner, chicken dinner….

I happened to tune in to PBS over the weekend in time to see  Lidia Bastianich make this seared chicken with shiitake mushrooms. Grinchy PBS however does not have the recipe on the website for Lidia’s Kitchen, so I recreated as best as possible. I used chicken tenderloins and seared them in a mad hot skillet with olive oil, a little butter and minced garlic. Because the tenderloins are small and thin, they cook relatively fast. I removed them to a platter and cooked the shiitake mushrooms in the same way except adding 2 tsp of chopped parsley and 1tsp of chopped rosemary. 

When the mushrooms are cooked, return the chicken to the pan and turn the heat down or off. Have a lid ready and add about 2 ounces of brandy. There will be fire, just don’t panic. Usually, the flambé will stop on its own, but if you don’t want to melt your micro hood, just cover the flame with a lid. Reduce the sauce by half. Lidia stopped here, but I added about a half cup of chicken broth and 2 tbsp of cream and whisked it all together. You will definitely need some good bread to mop up all the lovely sauce with this. I served it with a simple salad of baby romaine, blackberries, chopped pears and some ricotta salata cheese. And bread… 

Currently Crushing…

Cute animated GIFs courtesy of Bazaar Magazine. Personally, I’m fond of the self sipping ice coffee and the macaron stack..on the App Store

Haven’t signed up for BookBub yet? Better get on it! My bestie L told me about it…incredibly inexpensive or even free bestsellers, also rans, cookbooks and more. Daily deals delivered to your inbox!

Two new and notables from Trader Joes. Excellent pickled cauliflower, but I have to say the yield is uncharacteristically stingy on the part of TJs. The eggplant is smoky and smooth and perfect as a part of summer suppers with bread and wine, maybe a little dish of olives on the side…


Remember that’s what Mozart’s wife calls him in the movie version of Amadeus? I was reminded of it because the Hubs has been helping out at his favorite theater group with their stage version of same. And the nite before I started 12 days straight working because of an opening, I got a wild hair and decided that I had to make Mozartkugeln. It is the ubiquitous chocolate and pistachio candy found in Vienna and Salzburg and in fact, most of Austria. In Salzburg, there is a storefront selling the little bon bons every 20 feet. Really? It couldn’t wait for another time?

I started melting some dark chocolate and tempering it.

I ground up some pistachios and folded them into the leftover pistachio paste I bought in Vermont a few weeks back. I held back some pistachio crumbs too.

There is a small center of marzipan in each kugle. Yes, I keep marzipan in my baking rack…doesn’t everyone? 

Then you roll the pea sized ball of marzipan in the pistachio mixture and dip in the melted chocolate.

Then I dusted the top with the pistachio crumbs. I could have stopped there…really…

But no, I had to do some thematic packaging… That is make stickers of Mozart’s visage, cut them out, roll and twist the truffles in parchment, and affix the sticker. I need to have my head examined…the Hubs helped too!

 Proclaimed delicious by the cast and crew. 

Amadeus has two more performances this weekend May 13 and 14. Curtain is at 8 p.m.