Thursday, June 25, 2009

Former Foodie Fridays & A Tip From Chef Trey


Today is Dr. Gollum's birthday. Bandwith and I are staying up late, working out details for the menu.

So, for this week's FF, I'm sharing a mosaic of former Foodie Fridays.

With deadlines looming, I rely on easy meals (for lunch, I'm happy with a bowl of low-carb ice cream and strawberries...actually, truth be told, I'm happy with a lot of things, like, Slim Jims, but I digress).
If I'm feeling slightly energetic, I'll put together whipped cream bites (the shells can be bought at Publix, and they're low cal, low carb). If I have even more time, I will "pimp" storebought food. Bakery cookies are specially fun. Here, I've gussied them up with chocolate.

And some FF posts were just plain fun (and edible).
I am so looking forward to having more time to cook, blog, and play.

Chef Trey offers a tip. When you are chopping tomatoes for salsa or bruschetta (as he was doing here), use a bread knife. The juice will somehow, mostly, stay in the tomato--keeping all that great taste in your recipe. Try it! It really works.

Love this tip, Trey!

No juice! Amazing!

For all of the great cooks who will be joining Foodie Friday, type in your name and permalink to your Foodie Friday post. Thanks to everyone for your generosity, tireless energy, and great recipes!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tablescape Thursday: A Mosaic


It's time for another fun-filled Tablescape Thursday over at Between Naps on the Porch. I've put together a mosaic of past TTs.

Top row: Lenox.

Second row, Bethany Lowe bird plates.

Center: "Bubble & Squeak" plate (a British term for leftovers--wink to my pal Kathy) is made by Emma Bridgewater. The collection is called "Black Toast & Marmalade."

Third row: On the left side, the white plates with the "starfish" endive salad are Baroque (Ivory) by American Atelier at Home. The brown salad plate is called "Sorrento," made by Debby Segura Designs for Signature Housewares Inc.

Third row, right: Wedgwood, "Hunting Dogs."
Bottom, from left: Daffodil bowls and plates, Horchow; Singapore Bird by Adams; blue stemmed glassware by iittala; square dishes by Tabletops Unlimited, "Tangier."


Below, I've mixed Baroque with Villeroy & Boch's "Allegretto." Floral napkins by Danica. The tureen is Baroque and came from Replacements, Ltd.

To peruse more tablescapes at Susan's blog, click here: http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fifi Flowers Rocks!


Talk about awesomeness! I am thrilled out of my farm boots to see my solitary breakfast for one turned into fabulous art by the talented Fifi. You can see this photo's transformation along with many others at Fifi's delightful blog by clicking here http://www.fififlowers.com/

Let There Be White!

Kathleen is hosting an "all white" tablescape party at her blog

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Foodie Friday: Two Tarts

Welcome to Foodie Friday!


This week, I made two easy tarts.
Apricot-blueberry with lemon curd...
and strawberry-apricot with lemon curd

As always in Gollum's kitchen, the recipes are a snap.
What You Need:
Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 jar lemon curd
canned apricots (reserve liquid)
blueberries
1 jar strawberry ice cream topping
For the apricot-lemon curd tart, I thinned the lemon curd with apricot juice and spread it onto the pastry. After arranging the apricots (I added the blueberries *after* cooking), I popped the pan into a preheated 400 degree oven and cooked 20 minutes.
For the apricot-strawberry tart, I mixed lemon curd with the strawberry topping.
Same proceedure, minus the berries.
Simple.
These tarts will be "wiggly" when you pull them from the oven. After cooling, they will collect themselves and solidify.
Enjoy!


Sign up for Mr. Linky, and share your recipe on Foodie Friday.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tablescape Thursday: Breakfast for One


I rarely eat alone. Usually I've got a plate balanced on my knees while I'm watching a movie with Dr. Gollum and Bandwith. We go all out for these meals--paper plates and paper napkins, bought in bulk, and put to good use.

One morning I awoke early and invited Dr. G and Bandy to eat breakfast on the porch. But they weren't in the mood. I decided that I wasn't, either. Then I thought, Oh, yes, you are.

I set the table with Ironstone, twig flatware, a cloth napkin, whimsical napkin ring, and flowers.
Menu

Special K with blueberries (and Splenda)

2% milk

blueberry muffin

coffee

The background music was birdsong, crowing roosters, and bleating goats--an odd combination that was oddly soothing.

Dr. Gollum always says not to worry about trivial matters, and he's right...but sometimes little things DO matter.
When the well is dry, a little self-pampering goes a long way.
It's important to feed the spirit as well as the body.
A balanced diet should include flowers and beautiful dishes.
"What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be."

--Ellen Burstyn, American actress
The Ironstone pattern is "Singapore Bird."
I forgot to take close-up pictures, but I found some from Mother's Day.
Same dishes, flatware, and napkins. Different setting.

Other tablescapes await you at Susan's beautiful and inspiring blog http://betweennapsontheporch.blogspot.com/.

Tablescaping Notes:

Dishes -- "Singapore Bird" by Adams


Twig flatware
Napkins by www.danicaimports.com
Napkin rings (bought many years ago in Orange Beach, Ala)
Aqua tablecloth -- Big Lots, $2.99

Outdoor Wednesday: Barefoot on the Lawn

Please join us for an afternoon picnic. Come as you are. No shoes allowed. Laughter is most welcome. Bug spray optional.


"Barefootedness" isn't a word. . . it's a state of mind.


What's on the menu? Easy stuff.
First up, the picnicker's bestest friend: Apple-walnut salad in a jar.
Ham and cheese croissants.
SunChips, watermelon, and low-cal sports drink.
Raspberry vinaigrette.
My mother always says that trays and caddies are workhorse accessories. The black plates were a Big Lots find. The sunflower napkins called out to me while I was Krogering.
I bought this jar at my father's dime store in 1978.
Let's sit down and have a nice, long talk--southern style.
One click will return you to Susan's beautiful blog, A Southern Daydreamer: http://asoutherndaydreamer.blogspot.com/

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Foodie Friday: 5 Minute Raspberry Cream Cake

One tiny raspberry is beautiful. But if you put a whole bunch of them together, something magical happens: a divine dessert.
When time is short and company is coming, I rely on a few sure-fire recipes, and Five Minute Raspberry Cream Cake is one of my favorites.
Five Minute Raspberry Cream Cake
What You Need:
  • 1 sugar free angel food cake
  • 2 boxes raspberries
  • 2 cans Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Reduced Sugar Vanilla icing
  • Whipped cream (sweeten with Splenda to taste)
  • Ice sides and top of cake. Whip cream and spoon into a pastry bag with a star tip (or use a plastic bag) and decorate top and bottom of cake. Pile raspberries in the cake's center hole. Garnish top and bottom of cake with raspberries.

(A word about the reduced sugar icing. It has 50% less sugar than, say Betty Crocker's Whipped Cream icing, but it has 20 more calories per two tablespoons. It also has 17 carbs per serving, as opposed to the BC's 15. We're trying to use less sugar, not eliminate it. The reduced sugar icing is good--even Dr. Gollum liked it--but I sure wish it had 50% less calories.)

If you're looking for a quick dessert that's refreshing, indulgent, and not horribly unhealthy, you might want to try it.
I'll meet you on the porch in 2 minutes for a sample.

If you'd like to link up to Foodie Friday, cut and paste your blog entry's permalink (not your blog address).