Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The whole inspiration of our life as a nation
flows out from the waving folds of this banner.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Scrumptious Mangos


An Indian-inspired mango smoothie
Makes 2 cups
  • 1 mango, cubed (about 4 - 5 ounces)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/3 cup low-fat yogurt
  • Almond extract or vanilla to taste
  • Sugar to taste
  • Cardamom to taste, optional

Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Celebrate Summer - Sun drenched days and starlit nights...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom you have in your heart."
-Thich Nhat Hanh

Monday, June 21, 2010

  • 4th of July BBQ Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 8-ounce jar honey mustard
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onion until tender and translucent. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and use a handheld blender to process it to a smooth paste. Simmer gently for an additional 5 minutes. Separate the sauce into two containers. Use one to marinate and glaze the meat during grilling. Reserve the remainder for use as a sauce at the table.
  • Recipe from Epicurious

Friday, June 18, 2010

"We must overcome the notion that we must be regular. It robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre." -Uta Hagen
Vintage postcards sent in by Brenda Marks

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Whole Grain Sour Cream Blueberry Pancakes

1 1/2 C. whole wheat flour
1/4 C. wheat germ
1/2 C. oat bran
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 T. brown sugar

1 1/2 C. lowfat milk
1/2 C. sour cream
2 eggs
2 T. melted butter
1 C. blueberries

1. In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients.
2. In a separate bowl whisk together, milk, sour cream and eggs.
3. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Stir in melted butter and blueberries.
4. Drop pancake batter by 1/4 cupfuls (I just use a 1/4 dry measuring cup) onto a hot, greased griddle.
5. Pancakes are ready to flip when the edges start to dry out and darken.
6. Enjoy!

Yield: 18 pancakes, 6 servings.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Vintage Image, 1920's beach
2 teaspoons olive oil
5 shallots, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
Coarse salt
Ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 medium thick asparagus bunches, tough ends removed, cut on diagonal into 2-inch lengths (2 pounds total)
1 cup frozen peas
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  1. In a large nonstick skillet with a lid, heat oil over medium. Add shallots and cook until they begin to color, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing occasionally, until mushrooms and shallots are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add lemon zest and tarragon; toss to combine.
  2. In the same skillet, bring 2 inches of water to a boil. Add asparagus, season with salt, cover, and cook until asparagus is bright green and tender, 3 to 4 minutes (timing will vary depending upon thickness of asparagus). Add peas to skillet, and then drain.
  3. Transfer to bowl with the shallots and mushrooms, add lemon juice, and toss to combine.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Book
There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!
Emily Dickinson

Monday, June 7, 2010

Potato, corn and cherry tomato salad with basil dressing

Loaded with fresh basil, tomatoes and fresh corn, this potato salad captures the spirit of summer. It's also very pretty.

2 T. white wine vinegar

½ cup olive oil

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2½ lbs. red potatoes

½ lb. cherry tomatoes, halved

6 ears fresh corn, cooked, kernels removed

Put vinegar, oil, basil, salt and pepper in blender or food processor. Process until emulsified. Place potatoes in a large pot, add enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are pierced easily with tip of a sharp knife, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and let cool until you can handle them but they are still warm. Cut into quarters but do not peel. Put potatoes, cherry tomatoes and corn kernels in large bowl. Pour in the basil dressing and toss gently to combine. Serve immediately.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Serendipity Book Cover

Louise Shaffer brings to life three generations of Italian American women in this stunning novel of surprises, secrets, and serendipity. A child of theatrical royalty, Carrie Manning is having a hard time getting her own act together. Thirty-seven, aimless, and having just buried a famous mother she never understood, she is desperate to uncover her family’s mysterious past in the hopes that it will help her understand herself. Carrie’s search reveals the fascinating life stories of her estranged grandmother Lu, a glamorous Broadway star whose dreams came with a price; her great grandmother Mifalda, who gave up everything to come to America as a sixteen-year-old Italian bride; and her father, Bobby, the charismatic Broadway genius who wrote some of Lu’s greatest musicals and died tragically young. At the heart of Carrie’s discoveries lies the reason for her mother’s complicated life, and a dark secret that has been buried for thirty years.

Lucia Piccolo's Applesauce Cake with Lemon Buttercream Frosting

For the cake:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened (or 1/4 cup canola oil and 1/4 cup unsalted butter)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 1/2 cups applesauce
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup raisins

For the frosting:

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 x 2 - inch pan.

2. To make the cake: Cream butter. Gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, beating well after each addition.

3. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Add flour mixture alternately with applesauce to butter mixture until well mixed. Stir in nuts and raisins.

4. Turn batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until cake springs back to the touch. Let cool slightly in pan. Remove cake to serving plate and let cool completely before frosting.

5. To make the frosting: Beat butter in bowl of electric mixer on medium speed for one minute. Reduce speed to low, and add confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating between each addition, until frosting is smooth. On low speed, add lemon juice. Increase speed to medium, and beat for 3-4 minutes, until fluffy. Frost cake.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

beets, heritage beets, vintage beet label

Beets with creamy horseradish dressing

This summer salad of red or golden beets is cool and creamy. If you use red beets, their juices will stain the horseradish mixture a faint pink color. The salad is a fine match with grilled meats and fish.

1bunch red or golden beets (about 1 1/2 pounds), leaves and stem ends removed
Salt and pepper, to taste
1tablespoon prepared white horseradish
1tablespoon mayonnaise
1teaspoon Dijon mustard
1teaspoons white vinegar
1. In a large saucepan, combine the beets with water to cover and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes or until the beets are tender when pierced with a skewer.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl that will hold all the beets, combine the horseradish, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper.

3. When beets are done, drain them into a colander and run cold tap water on them until they are cool enough to handle. With your fingers, slip off skins.

4. Cut the beets into 1-inch-thick wedges. Add the beets to the dressing. Toss well and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper, if you like. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Serve cool or at room temperature. Catherine Smart

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Homemade Shaving Cream

1/2 teaspoon of sunflower oil
1/4 cup of unscented glycerin soap
Double boiler
A cup or mug for the cream

  1. In your double boiler, melt chunks of the glycerin soap.
  2. Stir in the sunflower oil.
  3. Move the mixture into a mug as soon as all of the glycerin chunks are melted.

This formula will set quickly. When you need to shave, simply work water against the soap until a lather builds and use it the same way you would regular shaving cream.