Cobb Salad

A Cobb salad is a great choice for a summer dinner. I’m working on a more heart healthy diet and would like to have this at least once a week for dinner. You can add all these ingredients or leave out the items you don’t enjoy.

Cobb Salad for two:

2 hearts of romaine chopped, washed and spin dried.
2 hard boiled eggs, sliced.
1 Avocado skinned and chopped.
4 slices of Canadian Bacon, chopped.
1 cup cooked and chopped chicken breast.
1 tomato, chopped.
Crumbled bleu cheese or Gorgonzola, optional
Red onion thinly sliced.

Layer your choice of ingredients and enjoy.

The choice of dressing is up to you. My husband enjoys a Bleu cheese dressing with his Cobb. I prefer to just use salt and fresh squeezed lemon. A Red Wine Vinaigrette is also a good choice.

Mocha Toffee Dessert

I got this recipe from my mother over 45 years ago and have no idea where she got it from.

serves 4

Ingredients:
  • 1- 3 or 3 1/4 ounce package regular vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 Tablespoon instant coffee powder
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 2/3 cup of evaporated milk
  • 2 chocolate covered English toffee bars (5/8 ounces each) coarsely crushed
  • whipped cream
Method:

1. In medium saucepan, combine pudding mix and coffee powder.
Gradually stir in 1 3/4 cups milk till mixture is blended.
2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil.
3. Remove from heat and cover surface of pudding with waxed paper or plastic wrap, cool and chill.
4. In small saucepan combine chocolate pieces and evaporated milk. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture boils and chocolate is melted. Cool and chill.
4. Remove paper from pudding mixture.
5. Spoon the pudding mixture equally into 4 parfait glasses.
6. Sprinkle crushed candy onto top of layer.
7. Top with a good portion of chocolate sauce and top with more crushed candy.
8. Finish off with whipped cream and a sprinkle of crushed candy.

If you use taller and narrower glasses you can make more layers before you top it off with whipped cream.

I found the smaller containers to work better as this is a very rich dessert.
Instead of crushing two candy bars I found these packaged toffee bits that worked real well.

Sunday Night in Cali

On Sunday afternoon/evening my sister and I were invited for dinner at our friends beautiful home in the city of Orange. We sat in their patio and enjoyed appetizers, lots of conversations and then dinner. It’s hard to tell from the photo above but that is an infinity pool in the background.

Our wonderful host and hostess, Ken and Heidi. Heidi was my best buddy in my college years and beyond. She was living with Dear and me when she met Ken, dated him, got engaged and then married. I was her matron of honor. She is truly the hostess with the mostess.

Ta-da and toodle-pip!

Toodle pip is a very British and informal way to bid farewell.

Thank you for a beautiful evening, great food and good conversation. Till next time…

Driving home from Ken and Heidi’s I took a photo of the gas prices at this station.

While I was in Cali the local kids dropped by on Sunday to pick up a package that was delivered to us for them.

JJ and Gramps also went next door to pick up one of my packages that was mistakenly delivered to our neighbor. Addy conquered the gravel mountain in front of the shop.

Back to Colville and the Country and away from the big city lights. Tonight we are having our local kids and grands over for dinner. This will be the first time since April 29th. For much of May and into June they were in another state for a Workation.  It will be fun to have some extended time with Addy and JJ and see what new skills or vocabulary they have developed.

For those in the U.S. and Canada a Happy Father’s Day weekend to you!

Starting the Day…

Enjoy a cuppa of whatever you wish as we start our long Memorial Day Weekend here in the States.

Tea or Coffee?

What State or Country do you hail from?

What’s your favorite kind of muffin with your cuppa?

Maybe a scone is more desired. Plain or fruity?

Relax on a sofa or overstuffed chair inside or in a quiet spot with a relaxing view out of doors?

Thank you for dropping in. Have a good day and weekend.

Memories Hodgepodge

 

borsch-snoqualmie-001

It’s Wednesday and that means Jo From This Side of the Pond is asking questions for us to answer. Thank you Joyce!

1. What’s something that makes you feel stressed? How do you cope? 

Confrontation makes me stressed. If I can I walk away, I do. One of my coping mechanisms is to avoid it altogether. That’s okay unless I’m the cause for the need of the confrontation. Asking for forgiveness is a good solution. There are other situations where being a peacemaker is the solution.

2. What’s a food you eat that evokes a memory? Explain. 

Borsch (Borscht) evokes lots of memories of growing up. I hated it when I was little. The cabbage was not a pleasant texture to my palate. Having to sit at the table until I finished my bowl is not a good memory. I sat there for what seems hours after everyone else left the table. My solution was rebellious and I suffered for it by the reprimanding from my mom. While I was alone in the kitchen I decided the solution to my problem was to pour my bowl back in the pot. This would have worked except for the fact that I had soaked lots of bread in the bowl of soup. It was clear to my mom that I dumped my bowl of soup back in the pot. Oye, was I in trouble!

I love borsch now! Here’s our mom’s recipe.

3. This week’s Hodgepodge lands on National Visit Your Relatives Day. Will you celebrate by visiting a relative? If so is travel involved? Geographically, who is your nearest relative (not counting those living in your own house)?

No, I will not be visiting a relative. Our nearest relatives live 8 miles away from us. They are enjoying sunshine elsewhere right now. I will travel to their property to water the garden and maybe check the chicken coop for eggs. Our other relatives (children, siblings, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins) live in Western Washington, California, Colorado, Texas, North Carolina, New York, Illinois, Florida and Israel. Dear and my parents, grandparents, uncles and all but one aunt are deceased.

I will see some of our California relatives and friends when I travel to Southern California for a Memorial Service in June.

4. What’s your most frequently used emoji?

Probably a heart or smiley face.

Do you make more phone calls, send more emails, or mainly text to communicate with friends and family? 

It used to be phone calls and emails but now it’s mainly text. Phone calls are few and far between because our country connections are dismal.

5. Tell us the story behind a favorite piece of furniture. 

We have an eclectic collection of furniture with lots of stories behind them but one of our newer purchases of an old piece is my current favorite. I wrote about it here.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

It’s Ice Cream weather for these two! Love seeing their faces via texts!

Tasty Breakfast Casserole

This a tasty breakfast casserole that will feed about 8 people.

Ingredients:

30 oz. package of frozen hash brown potatoes
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (10-oz.) can cream of chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
1/2 cup scallions/green onions
1/2 cup cilantro (optional)
1 or 2 jalapeno peppers seeded and chopped (optional) You can add a small can of diced green chiles
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated
7 oz. (approx.)  Canadian Bacon chopped into bite size pieces. (you could substitute farmers sausage or other breakfast meat)
8 eggs beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 11 x 14 baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Mix all the ingredients together adding the hash browns last, place in prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through. Your baking time could take up to 70 minutes depending on the type of pan you use. Check the casserole initially at 45 minutes and continue cooking till cooked through if needed.

Note: I put this in a pan that was too small and it was filled to the brim and took 90 minutes to bake. I suggest you put it in a larger pan and watch it after 45 minutes.

Polenta with Mushroom Sauce

First you’ll want to cook the mushroom sauce and then you will saute the Polenta cakes assemble and serve.

Mushroom Sauce:

Mushroom Sauce:

  • 2 shallots sliced thinly
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 Cup dry white wine
  • 6 ounces cream
  • 1/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese (optional)
  • 2 fresh sprigs of thyme to yield 1-2 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • Polenta
  • Olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley to garnish.

Mushroom Sauce:

  1. Melt the butter over a medium low heat in a medium sized saucepan.
  2. Add the sliced shallots and saute for 3 – 4 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add the sliced mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Stir all of the ingredients together and cook until the mushrooms have softened and darkened in colour.
  6. Turn the heat up on the stove and pour in the white wine.
  7. Stir the ingredients and cook until the wine has reduced by two-thirds.
  8. Turn the heat down and stir in the cream and heat through. If you are using the Gorgonzola cheese stir it in now and heat through.
  9. Stir in the thyme.

Polenta:

Cut the Polenta into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Heat pan with Olive oil and saute Polenta over medium heat for approx. 4 minutes per side or until golden brown and crisp on the surface.

To serve pour a little mushroom sauce on a serving plate. Arrange 2 slices of Polenta on the sauce and then pour more sauce over and sprinkle fresh chopped parsley to garnish.

Other ways to serve Polenta: With a zesty spaghetti sauce of your choice. I’ve also seen it served fried in small cubes and used in place of croutons on a salad.

Polenta is available in grocery stores in the states. I purchased this chub of Polenta at Trader Joe’s. In reading up about Polenta you can make your own using cornmeal. If you are interested in doing that just google “How to Make Polenta”. I just bought the chub that has been prepared already.

Later this week I’ll share about our Easter Weekend that includes JJ’s 3rd birthday party.

Beef and Chorizo Chili

 This is a thick chili with 3 kinds of beans and jalapeno that is sure to warm you up!
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 12 oz. ground chorizo
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can diced petite tomatoes (14-16 oz.)
  • 1 can drained and rinsed black beans (14-16 oz.)
  • 1 can drained and rinsed kidney beans (14-16 oz.)
  • 1 can drained pinto beans (14-16 oz.)
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, chopped or 1/2  of a 4oz. can of chopped jalapeno
  • 1 can corn (approx. 15 oz.)
  • Fresh  diced tomatoes and grated cheese for serving
  1. Heat oil in large heavy bottomed pot.
  2. Add onion and saute for 2 minutes.
  3. Add bell pepper and saute for 2 minutes.
  4. Add beef and chorizo and season well.
  5. Cook till meat is no longer pink.
  6. Add the tomatoes, 3 kinds of beans, jalapeno, and corn.
  7. Bring to a boil and simmer for up to an hour. If you like thinner chili you can add some broth to the pot.
  8. Serve topped with fresh tomatoes, grated cheese, sour cream, avocado or your favorite toppings. We always love to have corn bread with our chili.

This recipe will probably serve 8-10 people.

It is still that time of year where a nice warm bowl of soup or chili hits the spot! Chili is such a simple meal and we enjoy it in many forms. Many times it’s a matter of just mixing together what we have in the fridge and cupboard.

Speaking of Yellow Hodgepodge

Sisters wknd 076

My sisters in a field of daffodils in Mount Vernon, Washington State. We enjoyed a sister weekend back in March of 2016. I think it’s high time we had another sister weekend!!

It’s Wednesday and that means it’s time for Wednesday Hodgepodge! Thank you Jo for the questions and the link-up!

1. It’s National Popcorn Day-my favorite! Are you a fan?

Yes

Sweet or salty?

Both. Give me some good Garrett Chicago Blend, cheddar and caramel!

A good or great movie you’ve seen recently (at home or in a theater, either one)? 

We haven’t watched many movies recently. I can’t remember the last time I was in a theater. We did watch ‘The Blind Side’ recently and it was good.

Some ‘great’ movies we’ve watched in the past: Fiddler on the Roof, Sound of Music, Lord of the Rings.

2. What’s something you didn’t realize was going to take so much of your time as an adult? 

Preparing all the things for the Tax man! We are now at a stage of life that this is not daunting anymore.

3. Your favorite yellow something? 

Daffodils, the flower that makes me smile because it heralds Spring!

4. Why do you write? 

I write to bring clarity to my jumbled thoughts. Things become clearer to me as I write. My thoughts can be so unorganized but when I write them out they make better sense. Writing out prayers is a good exercise for me.

5. Share a favorite memory associated with snow.

Christmas 2020 we had snow that was just right for building a snowman. Our whole family enjoyed creating Ami the Amish Snowman!

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Happy Birthday to our firstborn son! He is God’s unique creation. He’s a great son, husband, brother, uncle, friend and boss. A great encourager who is giving, kind, dependable and hardworking.  We are so thankful to God that He gave you to us and that He saved you and continues to lead and guide you. We love you Joshie!

Yorkshire Pudding

I finally combined a couple recipes for Yorkshire Pudding that I like the results of. I’m posting the recipe here so I can access it next Christmas and any other time we are in the mood for Yorkshire Pudding.

Yorkshire Pudding 2021

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 8 ounces whole milk
  • Sunflower Oil

Method:

  1. Mix flour and salt in a bowl and make a well.
  2. Add one egg at a time with a little of the milk and beat well repeating until all the eggs and all the milk are incorporated and mixed well and smooth.
  3. Pour the mixture into a jug, any vessel with a pouring lip like a small pitcher or larger measuring cup.
  4. Let this mixture sit for several hours before you are ready to cook them.
  5. Forty Five minutes before you are ready to serve them preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  6. Put a teaspoon of sunflower oil in each well of your popover pan.
  7. Put the pan in the preheated oven for 15 minutes to get the oil smoking hot.
  8. Pull the pan out carefully and add the batter evenly into each well being careful not to spill the mix anywhere but into the wells, use a spoon to catch any drips as you go from well to well.
  9. Put tray back into oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and puffed up nicely.
  10. Serve immediately with your Prime Rib adding some au jus to the table to soak them with if you so wish.

Recipe yields 12 Yorkshire Puddings.

Tips: You might need to strain the mixed up batter through a sieve if you have too many flour lumps after mixing. Be patient in the baking process letting them puff up and get to the done stage.

Sunflower oil is recommended because it does well at high heat.

If you don’t have a popover pan like the one pictured you can also use a 12 well muffin pan.

I put my popover pan on a sheet pan so I could handle it safely and make it easier to put in and out of the oven.