Sunday, August 9, 2009

Jersey Peaches in a basket

These are what summer memories are made of. When it's cold and rainy, I think back on when my DH and I were at Hillview Farms in Gillette, NJ picking peaches. Peaches so ripe that when you bite into their fuzzy flesh, the peach juice runs down your arm. You can taste the sunshine...

Here's a picture of some peaches that are destined for a summer peach pie.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

June Garden

I thought it was way past time to post a photo or 2 about how the garden has grown. Fennel on the right, alyssum and lettuce on the left. Borage in the back.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Gorgeous butterfly on a beautiful lilac... Taken in Madison, NJ last month.
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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wolves of New Jersey

Today I visited the Turtle Back Zoo with my niece Molly. We saw some great exhibits but especially enjoyed the Wolf Exhibit. There were two white wolves who came right up to the window.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


This is my first year growing the herb Borage. An interesting fact is that because of the presence of nitrate and potash, Borage will emit tiny sparks with a slight explosive sound when burned. It also has some medicinal uses and attracts bees. Sounds all to the good!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Until I can get to the shore, I will have to settle for making my own Cinnamon Sticky Buns. Thank goodness they're not that hard to make - but oh so delish! I've made many different recipes and like the one in Williams Sonoma Breakfast book.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Checkerboard Cake

Is it a chocolate cake with vanilla squares or a vanilla cake with chocolate squares? You be the judge.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Winning entry!

I'm pleased to announce that my entry into the Martha Stewart Easter Decoration Contest has been selected as one of 10 winners! I am quite honored and thrilled! There were many wonderful entries and I hope that you will take a look over at

Here's a link to my entry:

Community Garden

Community Gardens are great for those who live in apartments/condos or single family homeowners who don't want to dig up their backyards. I belong to one in Morristown, NJ. We were able to start April 6th and I've been planting seeds since then. I have in peas, spinach, beets, spinach, carrots, marigolds, sugar snap peas, sunfowers, sweet alyssum, borage, peppers and banana peppers. I will put in swiss chard and finocchio this weekend. So far, nothing has started but we have been having warm days (70 degrees) and hope that this will start some stirring. I will post pictures as the season progresses.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Take a bite out of your taxes...

Tax time is always stressful. If Uncle Sam is going to take his share, I thought I'd take a bite out of doing my taxes. I used a recipe for a petit beurre cookie and with my Brigitte cookie cutter, pressed out the word "TAXES". Then when I started to do my taxes, I had some "Tax"cookies to help get through the process. Especially enjoyable with tea.
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Whey 2 go Bread!

Whenever I make ricotta I have a lot of leftover whey. The first time I threw it out and then I read about substituting leftover whey for water in bread recipes. I had my doubts but tried it. Wow! What a delicious use of an extra ingredient. Try it yourself in your bread recipes. I understand that it makes bread last longer but bread is never around my house long enough to find out. My DH loves carbs!

Ricotta making

What a delicious recipe! Make your own ricotta. It's easy, inexpensive and far better than the stuff you buy in the store. Take 1 gallon whole milk, heat it slowly in a heavy botttomed pot on medium low heat until right below boiling, 180 -185 degrees F. Remove from heat and add 1/3rd cup of vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Give a gentle stir once or twice (you don't want to stir too much or the ricotta will be grainy. Let stand until cool or and pour slowly into a cheesecloth lined bowl. (I use a teatowel.) Tie the cloth and hang over a bowl. Save the liquid whey for making bread. After two hours, remove the drained ricotta cheese and put into a container. Put into the refrigerator and use within three days.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Here's a new spin on eating more veggies! These cakelets were made in the Garden Patch Mold that I purchased from Williams Sonoma. I used a pound cake recipe from the back of the Swan's Down Cake Flour box that I tweaked a little.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter (softened)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sifted Swan's Down Cake Flour
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 carrot pureed in food processor


1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Green, red and yellow food coloring

Do not preheat oven. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. When well mixed, add flour and cream alternately, ending with the flour. Fold in carrot puree and vanilla. Pour into cakelete molds and bake at 300 degrees F for 30-40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from molds and cool completely.

For the glaze, bring ingredients to a simmer, remove from heat and let cool slightly. Pour off a little into separate bowls and add food coloring to make the orange carrots with green tops, red radish with green tops, green peapods and light green cabbages. Add colored sugar to tops to decorate.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Whole Wheat Hamburger Rolls

Here is my entry into homemade hamburger rolls. They are wonderful, so easy to make and nutritious to boot. I grind my own flour and add it to regular all purpose flour in my recipes. The freshly ground flour adds so much goodness and the rolls stand up to a juicy burger. No more squishy burger rolls!

Here's the recipe:

Whole Wheat Hamburger Rolls Recipe
1-3/4 cups potato water*
1 pkg (1tbsp) active dry yeast
1 tbsps + 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsps honey
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder
2-1/2 tsps salt
3 tbsps melted butter
4-1/2 cups all-purpose or bread flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 large egg beaten with 2 tsps water, for glazing
1/2 cup sesame or poppy seeds (optional)

In a small bowl pour in 1/2 cup of the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast and 1/2 tsp of sugar into the warm water. Stir to dissolve and let stand at room temp until foamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl combine the remaining 1-1/4 cups water, whole wheat flour, yeast mix, powdered milk, the remaining sugar salt and butter. Add 2 cups of the flour, beat hard until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a soft, shaggy dough is formed.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 4 minutes, dusting with flour only 1 tbsp at a time as needed to make a soft smooth dough.

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the bowl, add dough and turn to coat the top and cover with a tea towel. Let rise at room temp until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Gently deflate dough and turn it onto a lightly floured work surface. Grease a baking sheet. Divide dough into 12 equal portions. Shape each into a round ball and place each ball seam side down and at least 2" apart on baking sheet. Flatten each ball with your palm. Cover loosely and let rise until puffy, about 20 minutes. Brush each roll with the egg glaze and sprinkle tops with sesame or poppy seeds if desired. Bake 20-25 minutes or until slightly browned and firm to the touch. Transfer immediately to a cooling rack, and let cool completely before splitting.

*If you don’t have potato water left over from boiled potatoes you can easily make some by peeling and cubing a potato. Place it in a microwave safe bowl with 1 ¾ cups of water, cover and microwave for 3-4 minutes or until the potato is easily pierced with a fork. If not done, re-cover and microwave for another minute or until done. Let water cool to room temperature.