Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sweet Tart

One thing that I know for sure is that Keith will not make a cranberry bog for me in our backyard. It is good to know some things for sure. Creates some stability.

However, I really like things with cranberries in them. Thankfully, cranberry bogs are plentiful in our state, and therefore so are cranberries at this time of year. Yesterday I made a Cranberry bread that turned out just right, so I thought I'd share the recipe with you here. The aroma as it bakes will have you dancing around your kitchen AND the best part is that it makes two loaves - one for you, and one for everyone else! ;)

Cranberry Bread

4 oz. butter, softened
2 extra large eggs
1 T. orange zest
1 1/2 c. fresh orange juice
4 c. flour
2 c. white sugar, plus more to dust on top of each loaf before baking
3 tspn. baking powder
1 tspn. baking soda
2 tspn. salt
12 oz. of fresh cranberries (about 4-5 cups)
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 2 8" loaf pans and set aside. In bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Beat together butter, eggs, and zest. Add the juice and and stir well (will look a little curdled - ignore that). Add flour mixture and beat til just incorporated. Fold in cranberries and walnuts and then divide batter between two pans. Dust the tops with sugar ( I actually made up some cinnamon sugar and put that on top) - about 2 tspns per loaf ( I like a thick, sweet crust on top). Bake for about 50 minutes depending on your oven and loaf pans. Let cool 10 minutes and remove to a rack to cool completely.

Moist, sweet, tart, delicious. Just in time to take to Mom's for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Back Up Plan

Should you find yourself on the evening of your husband's birthday with say, a coconut custard pie that never set and you're just a few short minutes from gift giving and Happy Birthday singing, I've discovered an impromptu back up plan....

Five Minute Chocolate Mug Cake:
(thanks to my friend that forwarded this recipe to me in an email! :)

4 T flour
4 T sugar
2 T cocoa
1 egg
3 T milk
3 T oil (don't accidentally add OLIVE oil... not as tasty in cake... wasn't a good day all around..)
3 T chocolate chips
splash vanilla extract (yes, that IS a measurement in my kitchen)

1 Large Coffee Mug - microwavable

Mix dry ingredients in mug, add egg and mix thoroughly. Add milk and oil, mix, add vanilla extract and chips, mix again. Pop it in the microwave for 3 minutes at 1000 watts ( I just did it on my microwave's normal setting and assumed it was that) (If you know how to determine the watts on your microwave, more power to ya -get it, power, ....hello? Right. Back to the recipe.)

Don't be alarmed when the cake looks as if it is going to rise up out of the mug and take off like the gingerbread man. Instead, grab the kids and stand around laughing like crazy at it. Takes your mind off the time spent on the coconut custard pie that never set.

Allow to cool a little and tip out onto a plate if you want. Or just let your loved one eat it right out of the mug. Top with the real whipped cream that you can't use on your coconut custard pie that never set. It's really good! Even if you do accidentally use olive oil....

The birthday boy was thoroughly impressed. But he also reminded me that I still owe him a coconut custard pie.... hmmm.... I think Sara Lee's are on sale this week at the market...if so, I'm all SET! Sorry, I couldn't help it. Please stop by again sometime. I'll try not to be so corny.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Cause Not Wanted to be Found

Six months ago, a friend of our family, who has also been Emily's baseball coach for 3 years, pulled Keith aside after a baseball practice to tell Keith that ---he was dying.

Keith walked away from that tear-filled conversation in disbelief. Our friend, Jeff, a 38 year old husband and father of 3 young children, athletic, outgoing, funny as all get out, extremely active in our community in Little League and as a member of the school board, was diagnosed with ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Have you known anyone with ALS? I hadn't until then. I don't think any of us were prepared for how quickly the disease would invade Jeff's life. And his family's. It is a horrible, horrible, horrible disease. With no cure. Yet. Last weekend we participated in an ALS walk at Citizen's Bank Park as part of the "Bases for Brown" team.

Jeff's team raised more money then any other team there. And there was a second team there in his honor, too. He works for Campbell Soup, and they had a team named "Red and White for Brown". It was amazing to see the support there for him. But then, I wasn't surprised, really. He is a great friend to a lot of people.

There were many, many other people there, too. And many of them walked for loved ones already gone.

What I saw was a lot of people needing praying for, but also a lot of prayers of thanks for the love and support that surrounded them that day. Pray for Jeff. Pray for his wife, Janet and their 3 beautiful children. Thanks.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Field Trip

No school for 3 days this week due to Teacher's Convention normally means getting out of Dodge City for the week, but this year we opted to just do a day trip. Keith took the day off, and we headed West - to Pennsylvania. Not wanting to veer far from his element, Keith decided we should do a "How's That Made" tour.

First stop... Herrs Food, Inc. - producer of salty snacks I really shouldn't eat, but do.

Of course, going to production sights where sights, sounds and smells are proprietary is not the best situation for someone who wants to blog the experience. So... I don't have many pictures. We really did go inside and take the tour.

Luvin' Emmy's outfit.... ??

We were even given free snacks... new flavors... not our first choices, but not too bad...

Then we made our way back to into Philadelphia, and headed to another How's That Made desination - in which I was not allowed to bring a camera, lest I be assaulted by a Homeland Security Guard or something...So, here it is...

Wait... Here it is....

The Philadelphia Mint. We did go inside and took the self-guided tour, but I left my camera in the car since I knew I wouldn't be allowed to take pics. I didn't want to have to fight a security guard for my camera, so I played it safe... It was very interesting, although they weren't making any money. I won't even make any political jokes about that.

After all the touring, it was time to get down to business. Let's EAT! Keith has been wanting to go to a place called Chickie & Pete's for... forever, so we thought this would be a good time as it is in Philly, and we were in Philly. Like it was meant to be or something.

It's a sports bar, right next to the huge sports complex that houses the Phillies (baseball)Stadium, Eagles (Football) Stadium and Flyer's (Hockey) Stadium. The "kids" had fun wandering around trying to figure out which pictures of sports figures they recognized. Me, I was starving and sat at the table eating the menu. Forgive me, but there are no food pictures as I was too busy eating. And, um.. it was very good.

Of course, we wouldn't be Turner's if we ended our eating there. After a full meal, we walked next door for dessert.

Termini's Bakery. A Philadelphia Icon.

What to have, what to have...

One of everything, please?

Easy choice for Keith and I. Cannolis - filled with creamy goodness - while you wait! And, I can even take pictures. My kinda place!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Scary Times

These are scary times for our country. Make sure your voice is heard. Get out today and VOTE!!