Photography ~ Cooking ~ Life

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Fabulous salad....

We wanted something light for dinner the other night, so I thew together some red leaf lettuce, arugula, spinach, chickpeas (cece beans), dried cherries, mandarins, and walnuts, drizzled w/ orange olive oil and orange vinegar (Oregon Olive Mill is what I use).

You could also add chicken, bacon bits, a different kind of bean, or just about anything else you'd like.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Time flies....

And here we are, well past the Christmas holidays and zooming through February of 2015.

Life has been a bit of a whirlwind since the beginning of the year. We started January off by taking part in the Apartment Therapy January Cure for the second year in a row. Slightly revised from the previous year, and since we had done it once already before, it didn't seem quite as tiring or overwhelming. Although admittedly, I still have a few 'chores' to complete. If you've never done it and really want to whip your house into shape over the course of a month or two, I highly recommend it. ;-)

During this past month I have found myself without a means of transportation. My nearly 17 year old Nissan Sentra currently sits in the driveway as we make a major decision about whether to drop in a new engine, or finally bite the bullet and buy a newer car. Sigh. Major decisions never seem to end lately. One thing after another, but it keeps life interesting right?

As much of the other side of the country sits in depths of snow, here in the NW we've had drier than normal conditions. Oregon is extremely low on snow pack. Temperatures are hovering close to what would generally be considered spring for us. And the sunsets, well, this is what we got tonight.


It will be interesting to see what the rest of 'winter' holds, and if spring is indeed upon us several months too soon.

How have you all been doing?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

This years batch of Stollen.......

We (I say 'we' when it's actually hubby doing most of the work) make this bread nearly every holiday season and give it to family as gifts. It's become somewhat expected. Hubby uses fresh fruit in lieu of candied fruit, which is preferable to us and to those we give to.

The entire process takes several hours, what with prep work, mixing, kneading, two rises, and baking.


The finished product....three of the six loaves.


The original recipes is from Martha Stewart. We make all sorts of variations, including using white wine in place of cognac.

Martha Stewart Stollen

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

Here's wishing you all a wonderful Christmas eve and Christmas Day. Whether you're celebrating with a large crowd of people, or quietly at home with only a loved one or two, may this be a peaceful and happy holiday season.

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Cookies

Some cookies are justifiably Christmas.

I just made a half batch of Sandies from my mothers recipe.

It's a tradition for me. Digging out her handwritten recipe and mixing the dough makes me feel like she's close by, watching over me. It also reminds me of times spent in the kitchen with her during the holidays when I was a kid.

Other people might know this cookie as snowballs, Mexican or Italian wedding cookies, or something else entirely. I've never met a cookie with so many variations in name. lol


Sandies

1 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp water
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour (I use a combo of unbleached white and white wheat)
1 cup walnuts or pecans (I've even used chopped almonds)

Cream butter and sugar; add water and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour and nuts. Shape into 1" balls. Bake in a 325 oven on an ungreased cookie sheet (or parchment) for 20 minutes.

Cool slightly, then roll in powdered sugar.

*If using the white wheat, you may need to add an extra teaspoon of water.
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