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.