a convergence of tea time thoughts for ladies

from my kitchen

Cucumber sandwiches

I needed something different, something light… cucumber sandwiches.

Cucumber sandwiches

Cucumber sandwiches

They really hit the spot!  I was at the grocery store and picked up the cucumber for 1.00, the soft white bread for 1.00, and I had the Philly whipped cream cheese.  The whipped kind works best for the light  weight white bread.  Here’s how I made em:

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The celery seed and salt makes these delicious.

The celery seed and salt makes these delicious.

Blot dry the cukes after you slice them in a food processor, especially if they’ve been in the fridge a few hours.  It’ll help so the sandwich doesn’t get soggy.  I know some people put dill on them, thats good too, but I like the celery seed with salt.

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Rye bread

Great rye bread

I finally made a great loaf of Rye bread! Finally! Yes, it looks small, and condensed.  It’s a heavy bread with 2 cups of rye flour.  Here’s where I found the recipe: http://veronicascornucopia.com/2013/08/07/bread-machine-rye-bread/

It’s the cocoa and strong brewed coffee that give it the dark appearance.  Really, this was a great recipe.  From what I know, it’s a  pumpernickel bread.   I used the bread machine (you can see the whole in the middle).   Wow, this bread is very good with just butter, for a sandwich, or with cream cheese.

Neat bread knife I have, isn’t it?  Got it a long time ago from a thrift shop.  The handle was red at one time.  That is Basil on the cutting board, from my garden.   This is very, very good bread.  You should have seen me looking for rye flour in town!  Couldn’t find any.  I go 30 minutes  away to the other Safeway and Walmart in search of rye flour-  no one had any!  I come back to town and got a 5 lb. bag of Hodgsmill Rye flour at the health store.

 


deviled eggs

100_2388  My summertime deviled eggs have smoked paprika on top and basil leaf, some have a sage leaf.  I always dice up garlic in the mixture.  Do you?   in the $40 Walmart black and decker food processor- egg yolks, mayo,little squirt of mustard, little bit of lemon juice (not too much), garlic, salt, and I cut up some sage in little tiny pieces for the mixture.


Lime Water

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It’s in the fridge now.  Saw a big jar of this downtown today, so I though I needed one too!  Next time I’ll add  a cut up orange and lemon.  I added some lavender buds.  In the 90’s this week.

 

 

 


Special coffee

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It smells like spiced cherries when you smell the bag in the store, and it tastes Rich.  Sometimes you need a luxary, like SPECIAL coffee when you study for Finals.

Don’t forget to add whip cream to your cup!  It’s called Tribute blend from Starbucks, made with Arabic beans, although I usually drink Columbian coffee, this one is delicious.  Trubute Blend is rich, and the real whip cream goes good with it, since it is strong coffee to begin with.


another licorice attempt

 

This little cup full of licorice caramels will go by my computer  for when I am doing homework for this quarter’s classes.

licorice carmels for my co mputer nov 2013

 

licorice carmel w nuts close up nov 2013

I used a different recipe this time Here’s the recipe I used  It was a great recipe, better than the last one, but  my caramels could have been a tad firmer.  The sauce pan I used was burning on the bottom as the candy thermometer was trying to reach the  245 degree mark, so I had to take it off the stove to soon.

I should have just transferred it to another saucepan…didn’t think of it at the time.  Below- I added nuts to it.

licorice attempt  before cutting nov 2013

licorice  carmels wrapped in green bowl nov 2013

I added the licorice root  powder, anise, and black strap molasses to Emma’s recipe to make licorice caramels, instead of plain caramels.


Buttermilk Chocolate Cake

oct 31 2013 best cake photo

With 1,753 reviews,  it must be edible!  Ina Garten had it on her page at Food Network.  I like chocolate cake made with buttermilk.  It’s a good ingredient for cake.  here’s the recipe  I wasn’t sure of the raw egg in the frosting… wouldn’t put it in if it was summertime, and I refrigerated the cake because of the egg yolk in frosting.  

I like the idea of the  vegetable oil in the cake, and  2 sticks of butter in the frosting.  Oil in cake instead of butter makes the cake moister (I read that somewhere, and it’s true).   It’s a good moist cake.  It’s luxurious to eat cake like this. I recommend this recipe and most of the 1753 reviewers do too!


Licorice

licorice carmel october 2013

I have been obsessed with licorice lately.  I have a piece of licorice caramel after a healthy meal.  Can’t wait to make it again because I’ll use a different recipe.  This one I used had way too much butter in it, and 236 degrees on the candy thermometer didn’t get it hard enough.  where I got the recipe  I skipped the black food coloring it called for, and I added licorice root powder that you see in photo below.  I put in Black molasses- did the recipe call for it? Can’t remember.

licorice ingredients october 2013

See the frontier licorice root with the DSL in it?  DSG?  Whatever it is.   Licorice root is like a branch; it’s ground up in the bag.  I put some in the vita mix to make it into a powder, then I added it to the bubbly brew caramel.  See the small spice bottle on the left above?  I put in some fennel seed with the licorice root when I pulverized it.  Fennel taste like licorice.

Had a problem:

licorice broken cup october 2013

Here’s what happened, I transferred some of the caramel to another pan and used a small custard cup that broke in two because  the caramel was 236 degrees!  What was I thinking?  Ha ha on me.  That whole pan went in the trash.

After I finish the few caramels left (wrapped in wax paper),  I’ll make another batch and find a different recipe that doesn’t overload on the butter.   I’m just crazy about real licorice.


Macaroons

Today I made macaroon cookies because I had all the ingredients and it’s just the thing to make after preparing homemade noodles  which use up 6 egg yolks.

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Let me show you how I made these! 

double boiler choc and sugar macaroons 001

First I made a double boiler for sugar and unsweetened baking chocolate.   Then I whipped up the egg whites and powdered sugar, dash of  salt; and added vanilla.  Next,  I mixed the flaked coconut with a spoon.  I had “sweetened” coconut on hand.  Next photo is my pastry bag (quart size freezer bag).

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Ready for the oven! (below)

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 I made noodles in the morning using 6 egg yolks, and made macaroons in the afternoon using 6 egg whites.  Next time I want to drizzle the chocolate on with a metal tip thing to make pretty swirls.   I didn’t use any condensed milk like most recipes call for.   Here’s the ingredients:

  • Egg whites
  • powdered sugar
  • vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • sweetened coconut

Wanted to make the pretty French macaroons, but I didn’t have any almonds or almond flour.   I hope these freeze ok.  I can’t eat them all!


Strawberries

kodak pics from camera 150

It was a good season for strawberries and here’s the best way to rinse them.  These are the ones we picked at Sandy Hills in Mae Valley.  The strawberry patch has nice clean rows, but they are very sandy and have to be washed off twice to get all the sand off.  The hose in the backyard and the pasta colander worked great.