Monthly Archives: March 2009

Eggs

Eggs It’s spring in the country – finally!

The south wind is blowing, the laundry is on the clothesline, the birds are singing outside my window, and my refrigerator is full of eggs!

Our chickens go into a molt during the cold dark winter months.  They loose their feathers and stop laying.

And I have to  <gulp>  buy eggs. Colorless, tasteless, store bought eggs.

Then as the days grow warmer and the daylight increases, the chickens slowly start laying again.

The first fresh egg of spring is an Occasion with a capital O! The bright yellow yolk just smiles at you from the skillet!

But as the daylight continues to increase, so does the egg production. One dozen a day, then 2 dozen.

We have eggs for breakfast, lunch and supper.

We pull out all the egg recipes: angel food cake, pudding, egg casseroles, egg-chiladas.

My refrigerator is now full of eggs. We can’t keep up. It’s time to start selling.

We’re not the only ones, all over the countryside you see the hand-printed “Eggs for Sale” signs at the end of the farm lane.

It’s a sign of spring in the countryside and for a little while, we country folks feel very rich!

Truffle Lover’s Cupcakes

Truffle Lover's Cupcakes I will confess that the it was the name of these cupcakes that caught my attention. (We all know I have a truffle addiction!)

But it was the simple instructions that sold me on these little gems!

After a very busy day, we were able to whip these up in a few minutes.

The ganache frosting was fast and easy and made for delicious licking! (and yes I shared – a little bit!)

Truffle Lover’s Cupcakes

Cupcakes

1 package chocolate cake mix with pudding
1 1/3 cup water
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
1/3 cup toasted almonds
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla

In large bowl beat together cake mix, water, oil, and eggs. Stir in the almond and vanilla extracts.

Fold in the chocolate chips and almonds.

Pour into 24 regular sized muffin cups. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely.

Ganache

1/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup chocolate chips

In a heavy saucepan heat whipping cream over medium high heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips until melted and smooth.

Let this sit for about 5 minutes. Then dip the tops of the cupcakes into the ganache and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips or slivered almonds for garnish.

Store loosely covered in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

Recipe Addict

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I did it again.

I researched a cook book for eBay, even took a picture of it, and was starting to list it when I made the mistake of opening it.

Half an hour later the book was in my cupboard with post-it notes stuck on several pages to mark recipes I wanted to try.

I am a recipe addict.

Actually, my addiction is light compared to some of my friends. D’s family claims that she has never fixed the same recipe twice. B has so many cookbooks she needs to keep some boxed up and periodically exchanges the ones in her cupboard for a new box.

When we moved I tried to purge several cook books from my collection, but it was like losing old friends and I couldn’t bear to part with them.

My addiction began innocently when as a child I would watch both of my parents clip recipes from newspapers and magazines. As a teenager I started clipping recipes myself. My own recipe file soon filled up.

My addiction took a turn deeper when as a newlywed with the responsibility of keeping my new husband fed, I turned to cookbooks.

As the children started coming, the pressure to keep everybody fed economically but creatively led me to cooking magazines and cooking shows, finally to the Food Network.

I am addicted to recipes.

I wonder if there’s a 12 step program for this addiction. Couldn’t you just hear me introduce myself, “Hello, my name is Melinda, I have a recipe addiction….What to come for dinner?!”

Chocolate Raspberry Brownies

Chocolate Raspberry BrowniesAn unexpected visit by my in-laws provided just the excuse I needed to try these brownies. My father-in-law loves chocolate and my mother-in-law loves raspberries – a perfect combination!

These brownies were fast to make and came out super moist and yummy! I added ice cream and raspberry sauce to dress them up for “company”.

Raspberry Brownies

1 cup four
3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine (2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
2 teaspoons vanilla

Sift together  flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.

Melt butter over medium heat. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Stir in jam and vanilla, whisking until well mixed.

Stir in the flour mixture until just blended. Spread batter into a greased 9″ by 13″ pan.

Bake 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cool and serve with a scoop of ice cream and raspberry sauce.

Raspberry Sauce

2 cups crushed raspberries (red or black, strawberries work as well, can use frozen fruit)
1 1/2 cup sugar (I used only 1 cup)
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon butter or margarine

Dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water.  Mix into the berries and sugar. Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Stir in butter. Cool and serve over cheesecake, ice cream, brownies, or eat it with a spoon! 🙂

Enjoy!

Bring a Meal and Be a Blessing

I remember well what a blessing it was after each of my babies to have meals delivered to our door every evening by dear friends from church.

But I also remember the huge pile of casserole dishes and plastic containers that I needed to return the following Sunday.

Thankfully, there were always a few who thought ahead and brought us a meal in a dish that didn’t need to be returned!

What an incredible blessing!

  • Homemade soup (chili, chicken noodle, or even vegetable) in an ice cream bucket with some fresh, homemade dinner rolls.
  • A casserole (lasagne, or chicken, or tator tot)  in an aluminum foil pan with cookies and a bag of salad.
  • Or my kids’ favorite  –  Individual meal packets: a hamburger patty or pork chop with a sliced potatoes, and carrots wrapped up in an aluminum foil packet, one for each member of the family.

I remember their creativity and kindness to this day!

That’s why I keep aluminum foil pans and ziploc bags on hand so that I can be the incredible blessing in someone else’s life.

People like the mother in our home school group taking chemo for cancer, the friend recovering from surgery, or the neighbor who just lost a loved one.

Romans 12: 13 “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.