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I wasn’t exactly planning on knitting another shawl/scarf/kerchief at the moment but then I needed something for a long car ride. Something that wouldn’t require lots of thought, something that I could easily memorize and something that’s not fiddly.

So Age of Brass and Steam it is.
TechnicolorSteamWIP-1

A wee bit more colorful then the first one huh?
Steam Kerchief

I’ll be honest the yarn I chose freaked me out a bit when I started it but as I kept knitting (encouraged by my enabler aka: husband), I came to really like how the colors are working out.
TechnicolorSteamWIP-2

But I have something else on my plate too. Something that requires actual gauge as in it must fit a real human and I don’t mean flung over the shoulders but that’s another post. 😉

Oh, and I completed my Brickless it just needs blocking. LOVE! I’ll post pix soon.

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Okay so it’s half over and your point?

We had a wee bit of snow.

I finished a few knits…

then “froggie came a courtin'”. 😦

Now I’m thinking about a major blog overhaul.

Stay tuned.

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Rosh Hashanah falls really early this year beginning the evening of September 4th, right after Labor Day, yikes!

So we’re doing a kind of weird celebration, combining our numerous August birthdays with Rosh Hashanah. This was the only way we could get everyone together in one place anywhere near the holiday. As a result we are having a pre-Rosh Hashanah celebration this coming weekend at my in-laws and then a much smaller gathering on the second night of the holiday at my home.

I think I’ve pretty much got my menu worked out, finally, but in case you’re clamoring for some ideas, here are a few I’ve cooked up (pun intended) over the past years.

Chopped Liver 
ChoppedLiver
Tzimmes  
FruitCooking

Whole Wheat Challah
and
Apple Stuffed Challah Rolls

Maple Challah
Roasted Butternut Squash &
Apple Soup

Butternut Squash Apple Soup
My AWESOME
Not Too Sweet
Honey Cake

Honey Cake

L’shanah tova!

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Funny how things work out, isn’t it? We had no intention of bringing a new basset hound into our lives so soon after losing Dassi. We were content with smothering Irene with lots of love. Yet here we are with a sweet new member of the family: meet 21-month old Kyra!

Kyra Looking Up

A simple call to the breeder to let him know what happened to Dassi and to ask him to put us on a waiting list for a slightly older puppy (8-10 months or so) turned into a rescue/adoption of sorts.

As you can see Kyra has a weight issue. The breeder had originally chosen her, the pick of the litter, to keep for breeding. She however had other ideas: Not. Gonna. Happen…twice. She just wasn’t interested, go figure. So he had her spayed and was going to put her up on his site but then he had a medical emergency of his own which put him out of commission for quite some time. Thankfully he’s doing well. Whether it’s an overeating or thyroid issue is yet to be determined but upon his return Kyra was overweight.

Kyra Hound

I was, at first, a bit annoyed that I was being shown pictures of a dog so soon but then I took one look at her face and it was all over. I cried.

Kyra Girl

Call it fate, say it was meant to be, whatever you want. There was no way we could turn her down. Maybe it was the idea that she needed to be saved, I don’t know but I think my husband and I need this as much as Kyra does. Besides, she’s a red and white like Dassi, her features and body shape (so far as we can tell) are much like Irene’s and her birthday is the same as the first Basset Hound we had, Betsy.

A trifecta!

Sleepy Kyra

I woke up at 3am last Saturday (April 6th); desperate attempts to get two more hours of sleep were miserably thwarted. I lie awake thinking. In truth, this was both a happy day and a sad moment for me. I tried to quell the tears, getting out of bed to hide them from my husband. When I returned he pulled me close, held me tight and said “I miss her too”. More waterworks.

We drove from Long Island out to Centre Hall, PA, checked into the same dog friendly motel we’ve used on each trip, then went up to the breeder a few miles away to pick up Kyra. She’s even more beautiful in person.

Kyra Girl

Although our intent was to spend the night and leave the following day, we realized Kyra’s restlessness would not allow us to get a good night’s sleep. We packed up the van, strapped the dogs into their seats and off we went, caffeine and bad food in tow; we got back home around 11pm that night.

We are on a mission to get Kyra healthy. She’s much too heavy to carry up the stairs and she can’t manage them herself, so for now she and Irene are sleeping downstairs, bonding.

Couch Potatoes

Bonding

I am going to chronicle Kyra’s weight loss progress on my blog approximately once a month, or when we can get her to the vet for a “weigh-in”. With that said, her starting weight is 83.7 pounds, yikes! We figure she should be around the same weight as Irene (or maybe a wee bit bigger) about 55 pounds.

Update: After one week of finicky eating, she’s lost 2.7 pounds!

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I begin this post with a heavy heart. One of the founders of #BundtaMonth has suffered a personal loss. My heart goes out to her and her family. I know there is nothing I can say or do that will ease her pain, only time will help to temper that sting. All I can offer is support, peace and healing thoughts from afar. Be strong my friend.

As far as I’m concerned grapefruit is an underused fruit when it comes to baking. Truly, it is a rare thing when I happen upon a cake or pastry that uses grapefruit as the citrus element rather than say lemon or orange. And I happen to really like grapefruit…so does my husband for that matter.

So I decided for my January #BundtaMonth posting I would use grapefruit as my citrus element. While we’re on flavors I favor, poppy seeds are a crunchy little favorite of mine too, so move over lemon poppy seed cake and say hello to Grapefruit Poppy Seed Bundt Cake! Mwah!

I started out with the aforementioned lemon version and tweaked the recipe just a tad, replacing the lemon with ruby red grapefruit and the crème fraiche with a sour cream/ half and half combo (you could use heavy cream, I just didn’t have any on hand). I also modified the leavener a bit. I was hoping the ruby reds would give the cake a pinkish glow, no such luck.

Poking Holes
I decided to give the cake a flavor boost by brushing a soaking liquid onto the just-out-of-the-oven-stabbed-with-a-skewer-cake and the topped it off with a wee bit of glaze. I had fun.

I picked up a new pan for this one, it’s the blossom Bundt and while I like the shape I’m not sold on this gold tone pan. My cake came out a bit darker than I like but not over cooked. I’ll give it another chance before I relegate it to the back of my closet.

Slice of Cake

Interested in joining the citrusy fun? Here’s how you can be a part of Bundt-a-Month:

  • Simple rule: Use mandarin, orange, lime, yuzu, lemons, Key lime or ANYTHING citrus – and bake us a Bundt for Tangy January
  • Post it before January 31, 2013.
  • Use the #BundtAMonth hashtag in your title. (For ex: title should read #BundtAMonth: Chocolate Cinnamon Bundt)
  • Add your entry to the Linky Tool below
  • Link back to our announcement posts
  • Follow Bundt-a-Month on Facebook where we feature all our gorgeous bundt cakes. Or head over to our Pinterest board for inspiration and choose from over 350 Bundt cake recipes!

Grapefruit Poppy Seed Cake
Adapted from Cake Simple by Christie Matheson”

Ingredients – Cake
3 cups AP flour
1/4 cup Poppy Seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar in the raw
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated grapefruit zest
1/3 cup sour cream mixed with 1/4 cup half and half (you can use heavy cream if you have that on hand)

Ingredients – Soaking Liquid
1 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
2/3 cup granulated sugar

Ingredients – Glaze
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2-3 teaspoons grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon half & half (or heavy cream, or milk)
Pinch of salt

Instructions – Cake
1. Grease and flour your Bundt pan, set aside
2. Preheat the oven to 325°F
3. Whisk the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.
4. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the eggs one at a time mixing between additions.
6. Add the vanilla, grapefruit juice, grapefruit zest and combine.
7. Turn your mixer down to low. In three installments each, alternate adding the flour and sour cream/half & half mixture to the butter mixture (Begin and end with the flour).
8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake for 50-60 minutes, checking at the 50 minute mark for doneness by inserting s skewer into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done.
9. While the cake is baking, make the soaking liquid.
10. As soon as you take the cake out of the oven, take your skewer and poke holes into it without going all the way to the bottom. Immediately brush the glaze all over the cake. I used about half of it.
11. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
12. Invert onto a plate.
13. Drizzle Glaze over cake and serve.

Instructions – Soaking Liquid
1. Add the sugar and grapefruit juice to a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring gently to dissolve.
2. Lower to a simmer, stirring occasionally until it has reduced to about half. This should take approximately 10 minutes.

Instructions – Glaze
1. Whisk 2 teaspoons grapefruit juice and 1 teaspoon half and half into confectioners’ sugar. Add additional juice if needed to get a thick but flowing consistency.

Almond Clementine Bundt Cake by Carrie from Poet In The Pantry
Citrus Bundt Cake with Sparkling Wine and Fiori di Sicilia by Laura from The Spiced Life
Citrus Cocktail Mini Bundt Cakes by Renee from Magnolia Days
Citrus Lust Mini Bundt Cakes with Lemon Curd by Stacy from Food Lust People Love
Dried Tomato Cherry and Yuzu Cake by Ann from Anncoo Journal
Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake by Alice from Hip Foodie Mom
Grapefruit PoppySeed Bundt Cake by Deb from Knitstamatic
Grapefruit Yogurt Bundt Cake by Kate from Food Babbles
Lemon Bundt with Lemon Curd by Holly from A Baker’s House
Mini Orange Bundts with a Grand Marnier Glaze by Tara from Noshing With The Nolands
Orange Chocolate Marble Bundt by Paula fromVintage Kitchen
Orange Olive Oil Cake by Katerina from Diet Hood
Orange Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Bundt Cake by Anuradha from Baker Street
Soaked and Glazed Lemon Cake by Dorothy from Shockingly Delicious
Zesty Lemon Bundt Cake by Anita from Hungry Couple NYC

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Some additional photos from our Christmas Day lunch spot. Sandy did quite a bit of erosion damage…

Erosion

…and took out the steps down to the beach, such that it is.
Missing Steps - Old Dock

A view across the Nissequogue River at Short Beach:
View of Short Beach

And a view from Short Beach at Old Dock:
Across the Way

It’s still a beautiful, peaceful spot.

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There’s no Christmas tree in this house, no wreaths or mistletoe, nor are there twinkling lights adorning our humble home. There is a menorah in the window.

Every year since my husband and I have been together, we skip or have a light breakfast then drive to one of the only places open on Christmas Day for some lunch: the Kosher Deli.

My husband is a creature of habit. Every year he orders the same sandwich, white meat turkey and chopped liver with Russian dressing on a club roll. That is, until today. He shocked me this morning when he said he was going to have pastrami on club with mustard. Husband's Christmas Day Lunch Apparently he had met his annual chopped liver quota over Rosh Hashanah, since I made the dish for first the first time in many years.

I on the other hand will flit back and forth between pastrami and corned beef. Sometimes I will even do a combo but I generally prefer one or the other. This year corned beef won. My Christmas Day Lunch

Throw in a few sour pickles (not pictured), a couple of knishes and Dr. Brown’s cream soda and you’ve got yourself a nice traditional Jewish deli feast.

Dr. Brown's Cream Soda

We take our bounty down to a riverfront area not too far from our home and sit in the car watching the waves rush by and the sea gulls catch the wind. Sometimes we’ll even go for a little walk if it’s not bitterly cold. Most importantly, we enjoy our yummy meal and each other’s company.
Inside Car

It is our Christmas Day tradition.

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