Sunday, October 31, 2010

happy halloween

- by Sandra Liatsos

There's a goblin at my window,
A monster by my door.
The pumpkin at my table
Keeps on smiling more and more.
There's a ghost who haunts my bedroom,
A witch whose face is green.
They used to be my family,
Till they dressed for Halloween. 

have a safe, fun and happy halloween.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

have a cuppa and a wee berry tart

well good afternoon one and all. here i sit (trying to stay alert and awake) after a morning and early afternoon of baking. that and chasing the wack-a-doodles

in one of jaunts around the internet one day i ran across this recipe:

2-2-2 Pastry Recipe

Recipe from Mrs. Jessie-Mae

This recipe makes the wrap and you can add any of your favorite fillings in the wrap. 

Example: strawberries, apricots, pears, apples, meat, etc.

2- 4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)

2 sticks margarine (room temperature)

2 cups all purpose flour

Mix up and roll out into 2 1/2 inch squares. Before putting in filling, place in refrig. and chill for an hour or two. Then when ready to put in filling, put 1-2 teaspoons. Filling and then bring each corner up to meet and mash together. Bake at 350 degrees.and it didn't have for how long on the recipe.
( i baked them for about 16 minutes at the 350 degrees)

(i found it on this website . )

when i saw it i wrote it down in my cooking journal, as i do when i run across an interesting sounding recipe. and yes i do have a cooking journal. it's nothing fancy it's just a blank journal that i quickly jot down recipes in. the wee wack-a-doodles got a hold of it one day and were flipping through the pages and landed on that recipe.  it sparked my creative juices and i remembered that i had some wild blueberries in the freezer. hmmm maybe some wee berry tarts are in order, my creative juices were saying.

i was a wee bit hesitant to try a new recipe, because the new recipes that i had tried as of late had not been real winners. i felt safe in trying a halved version. so i made a 1-1-1 pastry dough. i mixed up a quick blueberry filling with some frozen wild blueberries and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. 

this dough mixes up quickly and  after it chills it's very easy to work with. i rolled it out on a floured surface. even with the slight addition of more flour and my rough handling of the dough, it did not get stiff or hard. it actually became a little more stretchy.  the flavor of the dough after baking is slightly buttery. so it would complement wither sweet or savory fillings. i followed the directions in the recipe and made squares and smooshed the ends together. but while baking the ends sort of separated and some of the filling  tried to make an escape ( i guess you have to watch those wild blueberries, otherwise they are apt to run amok).  i figured the next time i made this recipe i would use my mini muffin pan and make tarts instead of bundles.

so yesterday i was daring and made a full sized batch of the dough and chilled it in the fridge over night. for i had decided that today would be a good day to make tarts with various fillings.

i then created three different fillings. (i wasn't too exact in measurements for these fillings)
mushroom filling 
chopped some mushrooms - about 4 or 5 button or regular
chopped a green onion - i used 1
sauté them in butter - about 2 tablespoons
add a little bit of bread stuffing - about 1/3 of a cup
a few dashes of tabasco sauce
after filling the cups i sprinkled the tops with some grated parmesan cheese.
at the time i took the photo i didn't have any of the mushrooms tarts left. they were a big hit and plus i hadn't made that many of them. the wee wack-a-doodles even liked them.

berry filling
blueberries- i used 1 cup of frozen wild blueberries which are smaller than regular blueberries 
blackberries - about 1/2 cup 
granulated sugar - about 1/2 cup or sweeten to your own tastes
lemon juice - 1/2 -1 teaspoon
cornstarch/flour - i used a table spoon (not a measuring tablespoon, a spoon for eating with) i added one at a time until i had the consistency i liked. which was actually fairly thick.

i also used some wickedly wonderful strawberry jam that i was given.

now to ease your tart making path by learning from my errors, i would strongly suggest that you use a strip of parchment in each muffin cup. place a strip of parchment in the cup, with the ends of the strip sticking above the rim of the cup, before lining with your pastry dough. it makes it far easier and less messy to lift these somewhat dainty tarts out of the pan. of course i didn't remember this clever baking tip until the last five i baked. (durh! who's a dork? im a dork!)


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

my crazy wack-a-doodles but i'm better now

as i have mentioned before, on several occasions, i am the vintaged mum of three boys.

our first born, unbeknown to me at the time, was a wonderful and amazing wee child. i should say i knew at the time that he was a fun and loving little boy. but what i was unaware of, when he was small, was that we would be surprised with two other little boys later in life. and these two....these two make me question why we don't eat our young. these two give me a run for my money EVERY single day. not one day goes by that i am not having to literally chase one of them through the house, or threaten to throw one, or both of them in the garbage, (at which point they usually just giggle and say yeah momma throw me in da' garbage) i wish i could say i'm one of those amazing mum's that have all the patience in the universe and is able to work with her children with grace, style and complete presence of mind. but reality is reality. and our wee boys are wack-a-doodles. they cause me to say such crafty and profound things like, "if you don't behave yourselves i'm gonna beat you." (which i haven't done but the threat and loudness of my voice seems to get my intent across)

so this morning after coming home from work and the market, i came home to the boys being their normal demanding selves. i want, momma i don't want to watch, momma can you put on this movie, momma i don't want anymore breakfast.....etc etc etc. so out of frustration and a mild attempt to do something with my hair after sneaking in a shower, i decided since they couldn't agree on which movie to watch that i would turn off the movie they were watching, lilo and stitch, and do some school work. out comes the worksheets and the colored pencils.

the middle wack-a-doodle decided the best tactic to use was to pout and look pitiful. i ignored his valiant attempts. i asked him to pick a pencil color he would like to use. whether he was being cagey or not was hard to tell, he chose a white pencil for the white paper. ummmm yeah not such a good choice. i suggested he pick another color. while i'm helping him the youngest wack-a-doodle is anxiously (read bouncing in his chair) waiting for his turn for help. after the middle one finally decides on a different color he informs me that "o.k. momma, i'm done" it was a nice try, but i forged on and showed him what he was to do.  i then turn my attention to the youngest wack-a doodle and told him to pick a pencil color. he chooses....white, and then looks at me with a wee glint in his eye and then smiles at me. yeah, don't tell me there isn't some master plan these two have to drive me nuts. i sighed and suggested that he chose another color. we made it through the worksheets. a whole three before they both decided that was enough of that for the time being. we went back to lilo and sitch and then on to the movie we're back. i figured this might be a good time to put my feet up and try to relocate a recipe i had seen online. the youngest wack-a-doodle would come and give my feet and legs a hug every few minutes. i didn't think much of it, until he came up, bent over my legs and licked my ankle. at first i wasn't really sure if he had licked me or just breathed hot air. but then he wiped my leg looked at me and announced, "there you're better momma" . oh good. up until that point i hadn't been aware i was unwell, or that i needed to be licked. but i guess i'm better now. thank goodness, it had me worried there for a minute, i guess.


Monday, October 4, 2010

And here is what it looks like....

i thought you might want to see how my decorating for ol' hallow's eve turned out. so here are some gratuitous photos.

taken with the light off

and obviously taken with the light on 
i hope every one is getting in the "spirit" of the month. i'm off to start on my christmas bunting. it's going to involve some cross stitch, something i haven't done in a fairy's age. i would have said "coon's age" but raccoon's can freak me out sometimes. i think it's the whole little hands and mask thing. plus the fact that if they get miffed they can become quite unpleasant and unruly.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

soft in the head about halloween

i'm not sure why but halloween is my favorite holiday. nope not christmas, nor easter, thanksgiving is so-so. i'm not sure if it's the implied possibility of magic happening, or the concept of being able to fly around on a broom. maybe it's the true beginning of fall for me. the corn mazes. the apple picking. the ability to start baking yummy things because the weather has cooled. i don't like the gruesome, ugly, commercialized concept of slasher movies and horror flicks bit of halloween. i'll pass on that stuff.

i mentioned in the last post that i saw these lovely and amazing beauties on flickr. they inspired me to create my own felt skullies bunting to display with my other halloweeny things. i finished the last one tonight. i thought i would show you the collective group before i sew them onto the vintage black ric rac i found recently.

the color is a little wonky in the photo because the skull on the bottom here, that sort of looks gray is actually a lovely pistachio color. i used glow in the dark embroidery thread on it. i'm not sure if it will really glow that much since i only used two strands. i'll have to let you know. i'm rather partial to the red, black and white ones. they seemed the easier to do. isn't that odd?

i am going to be sewing these to the ric rac after i complete this post. i'll watch one of my "fall" movies, bell, book and candle, one of my favorite movies (i seem to have several). kim novak, jimmy stewart, elsa lanchester, hermione gingold, ernie kovaks and jack lemmon. kim wears a beautiful red velvet dress that at first glance looks black. it's simple in shape and form, but the color simply captivates me every time i see this movie.

off i go to start stitching.