Saturday, May 31, 2008

saturday afternoon bread baking

This posting and the previous one that I just entered go together. I am just getting this blog thing down and I accidently separated the pictures from the posting. I am sure I will catch on real soon, but until then, thank you for your patience with me. Judy
What does one do on a rainy Saturday afternoon when your visiting grandchildren ,are taking a nap? Well, I decided to bake some bread to put in the freezer for us to eat later, for hostess gifts and some for my dear friend who just had surgery on Thursday. I picked up my trusty "Taste of Home's Fast Fixes with Mixes" book and found one of my favorites from Jean Switzer of Pauline, South Carolina. It is her "pecan poppy seed loaves" recipe. Thank you Jean. It is delicious! Although, today I used the instant lemon pudding and chopped macadamia nuts instead of pecans. And then as I so often do, I used my empty tomato paste cans to bake the bread in. When the bread is finished baking and has cooled off, I hot glue a ribbon around each can, cover tightly with plastic wrap and put in the freezer, all ready to grab if I need a quick gift.
When it is thawed, I set it in a clear cellophane bag, tie with a ribbon, add a premade card, and I am ready to go. If I am serving it in my home, I slice it and serve it with "Duncan Hines Whipped Cream Cheese" frosting. It is a fresh and moist bread to serve anytime...especially with a hot cup of coffee.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Recipe for "Spring Mix Strawberry Salad"

By the way, I thought you too, might enjoy having a copy of the salad we were treated too. Hope that you enjoy it as much as I did, and I hope the sun is shining when you eat it, aSpring Mix Strawberry Salad

1# strawberries (hulled & sliced)
(again...can use more if you like)
8 cups of Spring Mix
Feta cheese or mozzarella cheese
(recipe calls for 1 1/3c feta...but I usually serve on side along with mozzarella)
1/2 cup Pecans toasted

1/2 cup olive oil
3 T Balsamic vinegar
1 T sugar
poppy seeds
1/3 c. crushed strawberries
(mix together in blender)
(I usually make a double batch of the dressing)
Crush berries in blender & add the other ingredients & purree together

Toasted Pecans
Put in fry pan with sugar & cook till sugar disolves (watch closely as it can happen fast)
I do a big batch & keep in pantry to use as I need

Good food, special friends and spring breezes...

After many months of studying the Bible together, we met for our last study before summer, and then we had the joy of having lunch on my sister's beautiful porch. The day was a perfect one, with blue skies, white clouds and warm sunshine. The roses that graced her table created a look like one from the "Better Homes and Gardens" magazine, making all of us feel so thankful that we were invited. We laughed, shared and basically just enjoyed being together. It was one of those treasured moments of peace and relaxation in the middle of our ordinarly hectic days. Thank you Lou, for opening up your heart and home to each of us. And, thank you Sara, for sharing your absolutely delicious "Spring Mix Strawberry Salad" with us. It truly was one of the best salads that I ever had! Soon the summer season will be here once again, and hopefully all that we learned will stay with us as we journey through the hot , sunny days.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Berry Special Treat

It has arrived...the season of my very favorite fruit, strawberries. I spent many a summer at my grandma's farm, picking strawberries in the field with her, putting them in boxes, then selling them at the roadside stand at the end of her driveway. I clearly remember her giving me a nickel for each box picked.
I have included some important facts about strawberries that might help you serve them as much as possible during the season;

A Word About Berries.

Berries of all kinds comprise some of the healthiest foods known. The amount of vitamin C found in one cup of strawberries is comparable to the amount found in orange juice, but with one big plus, strawberries contain fewer calories. Raspberries contain vitamin C and potassium. Blueberries and other berries are low in calories, but pack a healthy punch.

Five minutes from my house, is an amazing produce stand owed and operated by our dear Amish friends. Their berries are huge as you can see, and they taste so sweet.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to serve these beautiful berries. These parfaits are layered with small pieces of angel food cake, a combination of "Dannon Light and Fit" vanilla yogurt, Light Cool Whip and a sprinkling of dry Strawberry jello mixed together, then sliced fresh strawberries and a repeat of all layers. Refrigerated until ready to serve, even if not until the next day.

I make lots of pink lemonade ice cubes with pieces of strawberries and blueberries in each one. I make these ahead of time and keep them in a large plastic container in my freezer. When guests stop in, I whip up some lemonade and several of these ice cubes. It looks good and tastes great, eliminating watered down lemonade.

Another one of my favorite ways to serve strawberries is to use chunks of pound cake and strawberries alternately on wooden skewers. For the dip, I use strawberry cream cheese dip mixed with light cool whip. It is a delicious combination.

No matter how you serve this popular fruit, it will taste like summer and maybe you too, will reminded of cherished memories in the strawberry patch. Judy

Friday, May 23, 2008

Long Lost & Distracted Grandma

I know that by now you have probably all given up on me and my newly posted blog. You have most likely stopped even checking on whether or not the lady has entered anything new. Did she fall off the face of the earth? Or has she embarked on a three month trip around the world? Well, you will be glad to know that it was not for any of the above reasons, that I did not post more blogs. You see, my instructor sat down with me for a mere 30 minutes to help me create my very first blog, and then she left for her ever busy life in Shillington. Because of my limited computer skills, I did not feel qualified to continue on by myself. Today she has returned to further instruct me...never mind the long amount of time between our classes.

I am quite a busy lady myself, although my role of being a grandma certainly has created many times of joy and laughter for me. Babysitting, or just visiting with Curt, Jeane' and family has become one of my favorite pasttimes. Each visit I discovered new progress in the little lives of my grandchildren. Their ready smiles and heart-felt hugs are special blessings that make my role so rewarding.

As for one of the other enjoyable roles in my life, I would have to say it would be having friends into my home. Last evening was one of those rewarding evenings.

A group of ladies from my church meet for prayer and fellowship, once every two months and last evening was my turn. My day was a rather hectic one, as so many of them are. I did not have time to bake anything, even though we have decided to keep our treats on the simple side. I did what I do many times when friends stop in, I stocked up ahead of time at Walmart. I buy boxes of "Poppies - Belgium Mini Cream Puffs" and "Belgium Chocolate Covered Mini Cream Puffs", in the freezer section.

They then go into my freezer until the morning before I serve them. At that time, I arrange them on a lace-covered pedestal cake stand, cover with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator until time to serve. At that time, I sprinkle them with powdered sugar and add a few edible flowers to complete the look.

Quite honestly, they are so delicious, so easy, and I always get asked how to make them. So there, you have one of my quick, easy, and inexpensive ways to treat my dear friends. Oh yes, the hot decaf coffee and tea went perfectly with it as we sat around the kitchen table together.

It is truly a gorgeous day outside today and I have work to do. Hopefully, my next blog will not take as long for me to create.

Happy Memorial Day! Judy


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