Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Auld Lang Syne

Robert Burns

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

We twa hae run aboot the braes
And pou'd the gowans fine;
we've wander'd mony a weary foot
Sin' auld lang syne

We two hae paidled i' the burn,
Frae mornin' sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne

And here's a hand, my trusty friend,
And gie's a hand o' thine;
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

  • Pomegranate Champagne Punch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 750-ml bottles chilled brut Champagne
  • 1 1/2 cups white rum
  • 1 1/4 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 large lemon, thinly sliced
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • 1 ice block

  • Bring 1/2 cup water and sugar to boil in small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves.

    Simmer 5 minutes. Cool syrup completely.

    Combine Champagne, rum, and pomegranate juice in punch bowl. Add enough syrup to sweeten to taste.

    Mix in lemon slices, pomegranate seeds, and mint leaves.

    Add ice block to bowl.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

green mango chutney by chotda.
Ye Olde Tavern's Cheese
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1 (12 oz.) chutney
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Place cheese on a serving plate. Top with ingredients in the order listed. Serve with crackers.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Painting a day LEMON
Lemon Ricotta Hot Cakes
6eggs, separated
1 1/2cups ricotta cheese
1/2cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/2cup flour
4teaspoons sugar
1/2teaspoon salt
Grated rind of 2 lemons
1. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, ricotta cheese, and butter.

2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon rind. Stir the flour mixture into the ricotta mixture just until blended; the batter will be thick.

3. In an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold the whites into the batter. (It's better to leave some white streaks rather than overmix the batter.)

4. Heat a stove-top griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Ladle the batter onto the hot pan to form 4-inch rounds. Cook until the bottoms are golden. Turn and cook again until the bottoms are golden.

Adapted from the Four Seasons Hotel Boston

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Saturday Afternoon Pasta

Serves 4

4 sprigs fresh basil, leaves and stalks separated

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for sprinkling

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 fresh red chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cans (16 ounces each) imported plum tomatoes

2 cans (7- to 8-ounces each) tuna in olive oil, drained and flaked

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 pound rigatoni or penne

Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon, or more to taste

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1. Chop the basil stalks. Tear the leaves roughly.

2. In a large skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook the onion, chili pepper, cinnamon, and basil stalks on medium-low heat, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the onion softens.

3. Turn up the heat, add the tomatoes, tuna, and salt. Break the tomatoes with the back of a spoon, Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

4. In a large pot of salted water, cook the rigatoni or penne according to package directions. Dip a heatproof measuring cup into the water and remove 1/2 cup. When the pasta is tender but still has some bite, drain the pasta into a colander.

5. Tip the pasta into the tomato mixture. Add the basil leaves, a sprinkle of oil, the lemon rind and juice, and 2 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water. Toss gently. Add more water, salt, pepper, or lemon juice, if you like. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Adapted from "Cook with Jamie"

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tradition: sit with husband in a room lit only by tree lights and remember that our blessings outnumber the lights. Happy Christmas to all.
Victorian Christmas Tree by Andrionni Ribo :-).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hot White Chocolate: A soothing drink that's a bit sweeter than the basic hot chocolate. To make, replace the bittersweet chocolate with 2 oz. white chocolate, such as Callebaut. Serve with chocolate whipped cream.

Irish Coffee Hot Chocolate: This one is great served with whipped cream. Use only 2 cups milk and add 1/2 cup strong coffee. Put 2 Tbs. whiskey (more or less to taste) in the blender with the chocolate.

Hot Chocolate with Ginger & Cinnamon: Ginger gives this drink a nice bite. To make, add 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. ground ginger to the milk before heating.

Mint Hot Chocolate: Fresh mint gives a clean, fresh taste. Add 6 to 8 mint leaves to the heated milk and let steep for 10 min. Reheat the milk and strain out the mint. Blend with 3-1/2 oz. chopped chocolate. Garnish each cup with a mint leaf.

Hot Chocolate with Cardamom: Add 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom to the milk before heating.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Salad
8 cups spinach leaves, cleaned and dried
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
4 T. cranberry juice concentrate
4 T. rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 t. Dijon mustard
1/4 t. freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil

Stem spinach, tear into bite-sized pieces and place in a large salad bowl. Place avocado and onion over spinach.
For dressing: combine cranberry juice concentrate, vinegar, mustard, pepper and oil in a jar with tight-fitting lid. Shake until well blended. Drizzle over salad.
Sprinkle pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries over salad, toss gently and serve.
I like to serve this salad on individual plates. Toss spinach with dressing, place on plates, arrange few slices of avocado and onion on top. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries.
Recipe from Simply Classics, The Junior League of Seattle

Oh the weather outside is frightful,
But the fire is so delightful,
And since we've no place to go,
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

Friday, December 18, 2009

May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love.
Mocha Almond Latte
for each drink
1/2 cup freshly brewed coffee
1/2 cup whole milk, warmed
3/4 ounce amaretto
3/4 ounce dark creme de cacao
whipped cream
shaved chocolate
sliced almonds
Combine the coffee, milk, amaretto and creme de cacao in a latte cup and stir. Top with a dollop of whipped cream, sprinkle with chocolate and almonds.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Royalty Free Photo Still Life of an Antique Book Pile
Book Club Arroz con Queso
1 1/2 cups raw long-grain converted rice
1 can (16 oz.) whole tomatoes, mashed
1 can (16 oz.) Mexican-style beans
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup cottage cheese
1 can (4 oz.) green chili peppers, drained, seeded and chopped
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

Mix thoroughly all ingredients except 1 cup of the grated cheese. Pour mixture into well-greased crock pot. Cover and cook on low setting for 6-9 hours. Just before serving, top with reserved grated cheese.
6 to 8 servings (about 2 1/2 quarts)

Friday, December 11, 2009

"Baby, It's Cold Outside" is a pop standard with words and music by Frank Loesser. Loesser wrote the duet in 1944 and premiered the song with his wife at their Navarro Hotel housewarming party. The female voice in the song is called "The Mouse" and the male "The Wolf." The lyrics consist of his attempts to convince her to stay with him at the end of a date; her indecisive protests reveal that although she feels obligated to go home, she is tempted to stay, partially because, as the title suggests, "it's cold outside." In 1948, after years of informally performing the song at various parties, Loesser sold its rights to MGM, which inserted the song into its 1949 motion picture, Neptune's Daughter. The film featured two performances of the song: one by Ricardo Montalbán and Esther Williams and the other by Red Skelton and Betty Garrett. These performances earned Loesser an Academy Award for Best Original Song. My favorite version was recorded by Liza Minnelli and Alan Cumming.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


1/2 cup Kahlua
1/2 cup Baileys
1/2 cup vodka
1 1/3 cup whole milk
Combine the Kahlua, Baileys, vodka and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until steaming but not simmering. Pour into 4 coffee glasses. Garnish with whipped cream and unsweetened cocoa powder.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I never met a chocolate I didn't like.
Verdun Fine Chocolate
421 NW 10th AVE
Portland, OR 97209
Phone: 503.525.9400
Fax: 503-525.9402

Moonstruck Chocolates
6600 N. Baltimore Ave.
Portland, OR 97203
Phone: 503.247.3448
Toll Free: 800.557.MOON (6666)

Fran's Chocolates
1300 East Pike Street
Seattle, WA 98122
(800) 422-3726

Bridgewater Chocolate
559 Federal Road - Brookfield, CT 06804
Telephone: 1-800-888-8742 - FAX: 1-203-775-9369

Monday, December 7, 2009

Coal Pot Restaurant

Vigie Marina, Castries, St. Lucia
A romantic meal, with my romantic husband, on a romantic island...
Raspberry rum boat drink.
Michelle Elliot - the Artist
Contact Wild Orchid Designs at (758) 452-5422 for more information.
We had just been in town and purchased coffee mugs with this same design.
A coincidence that we unwittingly came here for lunch without even knowing Michelle and her husband own this restaurant...I think not.
The menu is brought to each table and changes daily.
Escargot, St. Lucia style.
The catch of the day,
dorado with a coconut green curry sauce.
Heaven on a plate, Coquille St. Jacques.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Back from holiday, back to reality...

Nevis West Indies

Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.


Catching full rapture
of breeze on mainsail
I inhale ... a freedom akin
Magic of waves
gently rock me awry
as I bend from the sail
against wind

Releasing my cares
I then think to dare
close my eyes
and venture out to sea
To let life begin
as I’m sailing the wind
absolved of custody from worries - - I’m free!

Salty waves make wake a cool misty spray
The creaky old mast, bends and moans
Sedated in peace
under my breath I release
hushed lilts
from old mariner’s songs

Not picture nor narration depict how I feel
as I awaken
from my wishful dreams of old
This sailor within me
keeps hold yearnings to be free
So - - I won’t quit sailing dreams...till life lets go!

Our catamaran captain made the BEST rum punch, here is his recipe:

Yum Yum I Love Rum
In a large pitcher, combine:
1 bottle of Dark Rum
1/2 bottle White Rum
3/4 bottle of grenadine
2 cups fresh pineapple juice
Fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice
Water & Ice to taste

Pirates and sailors, who were no stranger to the Caribbean, are said to have created this unique melding of East Indian and West Indian culture. The word "punch" is said to originate with the Hindi word "panch", which means "five". An easy way to remember the proper proportions for a rum punch is this poem: One of sour / Two of sweet / Three of strong / and Four of weak.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Vintage Thanksgiving Postcard by Suzee Que.
I’m Thankful for You

Thanksgiving is the appointed time
for focusing on the good in our lives.
In each of our days,
we can find small blessings,
but too often we overlook them,
choosing instead to spend our time
paying attention to problems.
We give our energy
to those who cause us trouble
instead of those who bring peace.
Starting now,
let’s be on the lookout
for the bits of pleasure in each hour,
and appreciate the people who
bring love and light to everyone
who is blessed to know them.
You are one of those people.
On Thanksgiving,
I’m thankful for you.
Happy Thanksgiving!

By Joanna Fuchs

Sunday, November 22, 2009

To live content with small seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, never a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious...grow up through the common...this is to be my symphony.

William Henry Channing

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ray Stannard Baker
Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life... a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seedtime and harvest, the ripe product of the year - and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Simple French Omelette
3 eggs
1 tablespoon cream
pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon curry, optional
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs until light. Gently whisk in the cream and seasonings. Heat a medium sized heavy skillet with rounded bottom and sloping sides. Swirl a tablespoon of butter over surface of pan. When the butter stops foaming, pour egg mixture into the skillet. Cook over medium high heat until the bottom is set. Using a spatula, move the cooked mixture to the center, allowing the uncooked mixture to flow to the bottom of the skillet. When the omelet is lightly browned on the bottom, and soft and moist in the center, spoon filling down center (such as sauteed scallops, smoked salmon, sour cream with strawberries and grated orange peel). With a heated serve plate in one hand, and the skillet in the other hand, tilt the skillet so that the omelet rolls over onto the plate. très bien
"I saw the lovely arch
Of rainbow span the sky,
The gold sun burning
As the rain swept by."
- Elizabeth Coatsworth, November

The image after blurring the rainbow.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Balsamic Cabbage
2 cloves garlic -- minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound red cabbage -- thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

In a large skillet, saute the garlic in the oil for a few seconds. Stir in the remaining ingredients; cook until cabbage is soft, about 7-10 minutes. Serve warm.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hotel Blue
a simple palette of unpretentious luxury

110 Anglers Rd # 107
Lewes, DE 19958-1192
(302) 645-4880

Hotel Blue

Welcome to Hotel Blue.

Hotel Blue is redefining luxury in historic Lewes. "Blue" is an inspired fusion of coastal Victorian, contemporary design and first class amenities. Sixteen suites and rooms offering lush surroundings with a modern twist. With original art by local artists, ice buckets that change colors, sinks that glow and mirrors that come alive, whimsy and surprise abound in Delaware’s first 'Boutique' Hotel.

Buffet Breakfast Casserole

serves 20

1 large loaf day old French bread, torn into pieces
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 pound chopped ham
3/4 pound shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 pound shredded Monterey Jack cheese
16 eggs
3 cups milk
3/4 cup dry white wine
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons spicy mustard
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3/4 cup Parmesan

Grease two 13x9x2 casserole dishes. Spread bread pieces in each pan and drizzle with butter. Sprinkle with ham, Swiss and Monterey Jack cheeses. Mix eggs, milk, wine, green onions, mustard and pepper, and beat until foamy. Pour half over each casserole and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 325, cover and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven, spread with sour cream and sprinkle tops with Parmesan. Bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Green Tea and Framboise Cocktail

6 ounces green tea
2 ounces framboise liqueur
Fresh mint to taste
6 ounces blush-colored champagne
Brew tea to desired strength. Chill until ice cold. Chill glasses. Fill with crushed ice. Add 1 ounce framboise to each glass, top with mint. Pour tea over ice, top with champagne. This recipe makes 2 servings.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Poetic Praline Martinis
(serves 4)
Brown Sugar Rim
Equal parts Frangelico and amaretto, combined
brown sugar

1 cup Frangelico
1 cup Amaretto
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter

Dip edges of 4 glasses in the liqueurs and rim them with brown sugar.
Combine the Frangelico, Amaretto, brown sugar and butter in saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the butter has belted and the sugar has dissolved. Continue heating until the mixture is warm but not hot. Remove from heat, pour into rimmed martini glasses.

JoAnn Balingit is Delaware's 16th Poet Laureate, appointed by Governor Ruth Ann Minner in May 2008. A resident of Delaware since 1990, JoAnn was born in Columbus, Ohio and grew up in Lakeland, Florida. She has travelled widely, living abroad for several years in Morocco and Portugal. She holds masters degrees in American Literature and Library and Information Science. In summer 2008, she earned a Doctorate of Education at the University of Delaware.

JoAnn has taught poetry for many organizations and in a variety of settings. At the Wellness Community of Delaware, she initiated an ongoing weekly poetry workshop for cancer patients and their families. JoAnn sees poetry as a facilitator of conversation and community, a way for individuals to navigate the wonders and challenges of being alive. With attention to craft, she believes, poetic language creates new understandings. JoAnn encourages educators, parents, and poets to collaborate in the development of "Poetry in the Schools" programming, a program in which guest poets teach the art of poetry to young people.

JoAnn's poems have recently appeared in the journals Smartish Pace and Salt Hill, and in the anthologies DIAGRAM.2 (Del Sol Press, 2006) and Best New Poets 2007 (Meridian/Samovar). She was a recipient of a Delaware Division of the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship in 1995 and was nominated for a 2004 Pushcart Prize for her poem "Your Heart and How it Works." Her essay, "Some Boy Somewhere," was awarded the 2008 Dr. Norman H. Runge Award.

excerpt from

Never-Never Land
by JoAnn Balingit

after Malay proverbs

where cats have horns
where turtles climb trees
where green fish snap at
sleeping birds on the banks

where east lies west of tidal pools
where midnight crawls out of your hand
where rocks roll down
but pebbles roll up

in other words,
where the rich fall down
and the poor rise up
like dough in earthenware

and spread, like butter on satin…
where crumbs brush away
and the smell of fine clothing
graces an open fire

"Never-Never Land" was originally published in Can We Have Our Ball Back?