Saturday, May 31, 2008


I'm impressed. I expected my new found skill of bread baking would be a bust today. I expected the bread to be hard as a rock and totally unable to be eaten...Not so. The bread, wrappped in tin foil, stayed perfect. It's as fresh today as it was yesterday. Husband requested a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato and he said it was the best grilled cheese he had ever eaten. Grilling the bread brought out the flavor of the lemon even more then when it was baked yesterday.....I also sent a message to the Sullivan Street Bakery to see if there is any other variations I can try...It's always fun to make something you never thought you would be able to do and actually have it be a success....Next week Giada's homemade ravioli!!!

Friday, May 30, 2008


We love bread....only problem is they just don't know how to make good bread in the South. Me and the husband in the past have tried our hand at baking our own and it just seemed like more work then we were willing to do. We're not into work.....So I was curious when a Williams Sonoma catalog came with a recipe for no-knead bread. It looked wonderful and sounded very easy. While in Jersey I picked up a LeCreuset dutch oven, compliments of the Princeton Merchants Association where I won a $100.00 gift card. The recipe calls for a 2 3/4 qt. size oven and everyone I talked to said this would be too small to successfully bake the bread. Even the wacky store manager at our local W&S agreed that I needed atleast a 5 qt. to get the job done. And she should know because, as you have to hear every single time your in the store, that her husband is not only a lawyer but he's also a "master baker".....I listened to no one....I got the 2 3/4 qt. size and it worked perfectly. I made it this morning and I must say it looks like it came straight from some fancy French Boulangerie......Yesterday about 4:00 I cheated and used the dough hook on my Kitchen Aid to mix the dough. It took all of about 3 minutes from start to finish. Covered in saran wrap and a towel it just sat on the counter until I got up this morning. It seemed to have tripled in size....I was very happy! After forming it into a ball I covered it again and let it sit for 2 additional hours. A half hour before baking I put the dutch oven in a 450 degree oven to pre- heat. After the 2 hours was up in went the bread. Covered for 30 minutes and un-covered for the final 15:00 to 20:00 minutes. All I can say is amazing....The recipe calls for rosemary and lemon and the smell of lemon is intoxicating...But forget the smell..the taste is to die for..crusty on the outside, super soft on the inside. It must be eaten a bit on the warm side slathered in Plugra butter....Tomorrow I'm sure it will work wonders when I make Panini's...I'm very excited and I must thank the Sullivan Street Bakery in NYC who came up with this recipe. I recommend you try this because it cannot be is the recipe...Happy Baking
Rosemary-Lemon no-knead bread
3 cups of all purpose flour (I used bread flour)
1/4 tsp. yeast
1 3/4 tsp. salt (I used Kosher salt)
2 tsp. chopped fresh Rosemary
2 tsp. chopped lemon zest
cornmeal as needed
In large bowl, combine flour, yeast, salt, rosemary and zest.Add 1 5/8 cup of warm tap water. Stir until blended (dough with be sticky) Cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at room temperature, 70f until surface is dotted with bubbles...12-18 hours. place dough on lightly floured surface. Sprinkle dough with flour. Fold dough over onto itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, let rest for 15 minutes.
Using very little flour, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a smooth cotton towel with cornmeal. Put dough, seam side down on the towel. dust with more flour or cornmeal. Cover with another towel, let rise until dough is more then double in size, about 2 hours.
Atleast 30 minutes before dough is ready, put a 2 3/4 qt. cast iron dutch oven in a 450 degree oven. Remove pot after 30 minutes and turn dough over, seam side up, into the pot. It might look messy, that's okay. Cover with the lid and bake 30 minutes. Uncover, bake until the loaf is browned...another 15-30 minutes (my oven took 20 minutes for it to be done) Set pot on wire rack for 10 minutes to cool. Turn pot on side using oven mitts. Bread will release easily...Makes 1 1/2 pound loaf....If using a new unseasoned pan you can put a piece of parchment paper in the bottom right before putting in the dough.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Best Diet Excuse EVER!!!!!!

I enjoy going out to lunch....period. I especially enjoy going with my best food buddy from Ohio. We share the same love of good food, talking about food and everything else connected with food. We love to go to LeMadeleine because you can sit there for hours, long after you have finished eating, and they never ask you to leave. Miss W. always gets excited....yes you do.....when I get a desert and offer her some. Today we finished off a lovely meal with a "mini" chocolate mousse.......Le Madeleine knows that women have to have that something sweet to complete the meal experience, but they also know that we really shouldn't be stuffing our faces with cake.....We also realize that the more you eat the more you gain....Miss W. thought about dieting and then, being very serious, came up with the perfect excuse...she actually said...."I would go on a diet but I'm afraid I will lose my identity." it has something to do with everyone associating her with food. I have to admit that it's the best excuse I've heard in a long time.... Bon Appetit!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

ADVENTURES IN CAT new best friend

Our babysitting duties are coming to a close. The daughter and family are due in from Paris in the morning and I'm happy to say we managed not to burn down the house or lose the damn cat...As I write Miss Kitty is cuddled up along side me on the couch.....I can only assume that she likes me because I feed her......Plus I only said bad things about her when she was in the other room...In her defense she is very cute, although kinda stinky, and she appears to be pretty smart...I know what your thinking....she's falling for the cat. No, not really...she still has claws and I've never heard her hiss but I'm sure if provoked her hissing mechanism would kick in...We've enjoyed our little Jersey vacation....we spent the week looking at historic homes in hopes that we'll live in one some day soon and today husband went over to Hopewell to test drive a Lotus...he insisted I go along when he took it for a test drive and the dealership almost needed a crane to extract me from the front seat....I was turned off by the salesman's pitch as soon as he said the engine was compliments of Toyota...Made in England with Japanese parts. I guess that makes perfect sense to a man as long as it's low to the ground and shiny. I then insulted him when I told him the mascot dog that was wandering the premises looked just like a Dingo. We get to spend the upcoming week spoiling the daughter and grand daughter then next Saturday is Miss B's 1st. birthday party....and yes, there will be a to follow!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I have never minded doing things and going places alone....I'm probably one of the few people that can actually sit in a resturant and eat by when I saw that there was going to be a
"Girls Night Out" event on Palmer Square I signed myself up......We love Princeton and we were thrilled when we heard daughter had bought a house there. In town babysitting the cat....see previous post, I went looking for entertainment for the week we would be here alone...Tonight was shopping fun "ladies style" was involved. Princeton is one classy place, as not only did they have pre-shopping goodies for all the ladies but they had SHRIMP!! Big jumbo shrimp, mini-quiche, pasta salad and lots of cheese, crackers and fruit......I got myself a nice plate of a little bit of everything and then chatted up some of the local women...because everyone knows that I will talk to anyone that looks at me crooked...The best part of the whole night was getting to spend the $100.00 gift card that I won from the merchants association after signing up online. I never win anything so it was a very nice surprise. After wandering all around the square I finally decided on a Le Crueset dutch oven at the local cooking surprise that I would spend the money on something to do with cooking...I have been wanting to try the New York Times no-knead bread recipe that is baked in a dutch oven..I now have to convince the husband to carry this thing back to Georgia on the plane, it must weigh the equivalent of 10 bricks. I do have to admit that I would have had a better time had daughter been with me but it was fun none the less........other news of the day I thought I lost the cat. She was MIA for about an hour. We looked everywhere..under every bed, every chair, every closet. She was no where to be found. I thought for sure she had gotten out the numerous times I went in and out of the back door as we had lunch "Al Fresco" today. After my blood pressure climbed to its boiling point and my head felt like it was going to expode she showed up at the kitchen door and looked at me like "What?"....................another reason not to own a cat.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


But the big question is...."why would you want to?"........Today we drove up to the old homestead. Everytime we come up to Jersey we take atleast one day to go see where we grew up...We usually make our first stop on Sycamore Street, my childhood home and then our home after we married. The house still looks great although I would have kept it yellow.....We then drove downtown.....Yikes is about all I can say. To say it looks like a war zone is giving it credit. When we were growing up I would take the bus from St. Georges Ave. into town on a Saturday afternoon. We always went to the Woolworths and then to Swedes for a tuna sandwich and a coke. Well forget Swedes....all that's there now is a dirt hole in the ground.....Half of Main Street is gone which is actually a good thing considering what the other half looks like. As we drove down Cherry Street, where I held my very first job paying $1.00 an hour at the little book shop, we realized why we get strange looks when people ask us where we are from and we answer them....They look at us like "oh, sorry"...........After all these years we still haven't learned to say "We're from Clark"....,,,We do give credit to the mayor who is trying his best to bring some life back to the place but come on......Who do they expect will be buying all those luxury condo's and more important who do they think will stay at the new hotel??? It's like putting a Tiffany diamond on display inside a pig pen....In October the town will be celebrating it's 150th. Anniversary...They are having a big alumni event where 70 years of high school alumni will be getting together to celebrate......All I have to say is this is going to produce the countrys largest epidemic of "Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome" ever seen.....Let the party begin!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

WHY I HATE CATS...............

We are on day 4 of our cat sitting duties....Now, anyone that knows me knows that I'm not fond of cats. We are dog people....This stems from a childhood trauma between me and a Siamese....story best left untold. But when daughter calls and asks us to cat sit we are on the next plane....Miss Kitty is some fancy French cat that cost more then our first car so care needs to be taken. Oh, she's cute enough and I must say that we don't see her for 90% of the day......ofcourse, that leads to me being on edge all day long that somehow she has gotten out of the house when we weren't looking....I can't count the number of times since Friday that I have said to the husband "Where's the cat?".....this brings me to this morning....She woke me up head butting me to tell me she was hungry. I figured this out after she followed me into the bathroom then back into the bedroom and down the stairs into the kitchen. She loves to jump up on the counter where she again tried to head butt me. I was about to make us breakfast but thought I had better feed her first. After all, without having thumbs, you gotta feel bad that cats and dogs can't make their own food. So she gets fed then I proceed to make us bacon and eggs....I'm frying up the bacon and I have the eggs beaten but sitting on the counter behind me.....Can you tell where this is going??....Next thing I hear is loud slurping. I turn around and there is Miss Kitty with nostrils dipped deep in egg...I guess this wouldn't have bothered me (husband would have gotten those eggs and I would have made new ones for myself) but two minutes prior Miss K was busy licking.....and I'll be polite, her business end...... Needless to say I skipped breakfast and I will never own a cat......Boo may be big and hairy and yes he drools when he sees food but I must say the dog never ever eats food off the table.....and one more dog litter box!

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Yesterday we took the Junior Fam to the airport for their long awaited trip to Paris....Having more nerve then we ever had they took along Miss B...... Flying in business first class they were whisked away from check in to a special security line and Miss B acted like a seasoned traveler. We were 2 very proud grandparents as we stood off to the side and watched as they went through security and out to the gates.....I kidded for some time now that me and the husband would walk back to the car for the ride home and find Miss Baby strapped into her car seat in the back seat......but baby goes where mom and dad go....and after talking to daughter today after their arrival it seems baby did terrific on the flight. In the meantime we are baby sitting Miss Kitty and enjoying being able to eat Jersey food again.....We have already hit up the White Castle, the White Diamond and on the schedule for next week is Stewarts Root Beer and some clam chowder down on LBI......Also on the list is some of the Jersey diners seen on "Diners, Drive Ins and Dives"......and ofcourse we have our daily runs to Wegmans for hard seeded rolls....We should leave here in 3 weeks about 50 pounds heavier......

Monday, May 5, 2008

MIDNIGHT RUN..........

Let me begin this by saying...."this could only happen to us"....We live in the South and on occasion strange and unexpected things happen. Tonight was one of those nights. I went into the bedroom around 10:00 and was swarmed by a gaggle of flies...More flies then I cared to count. Now, this might not seem odd but there was no apparent point of entry. They just showed up, un-announced. I started to swat which kinda pissed them off. The more I killed the more appeared. They hid in the lamp shades, behind the mini blinds and on the ceiling. I sprayed, I swatted and I broomed. Forty five minutes later there were alot of dead flies....I called for backup and the husband helped to clean up the dead carcases....I then had the brain storm to go buy "fly strips"...Well what? I wasn't about to go to sleep in a room that was invaded by killer flies. So in comes the famous "Midnight Run".....this goes way back to our Jersey days when for excitement we would go over to the Shop Rite at 3:00a.m. just to walk the aisles. But like I said we are in the South so the next best thing for an open all night experiance is the 24 hour Walmart up in Woodstock....We even went out in sweats which shows that we have either lost the will to live or in this case we were the best dressed people in the joint. Walmart had a wonderful assortment of bug killing products and we decided on the "Fly Motels".....we bought 2 along with some sticky stuff that sticks to your windows but you can't see them....I guess to fool the flies. We found the one lone cashier in the place, by this time it was almost 1:00a.m. So here we are, two smucks from Jersey in sweat pants after midnight buying Fly Motels from a women that had more tattoos then the "Enigma"......she didn't look at us odd, didn't ask why we were buying fly products at this time of night..infact she didn't even bat an eye......That pretty much describes Woodstock, Georgia......

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Twenty some odd years ago we moved to the Crime Capital of the South....We bought a lovely new home and with that new home came brand new was even green. Three Golden Retrievers, a Great Pyrenees one little black dog and a Sissy later we ended up with.....well....dirt. We can't lay the blame on Sprite, Gunther, Isadore, Boo and Buster....We place all the blame on poor Sissy....she was an overweight, thyroid deficient, mother of 9 pups, lost the will to live when she turned 3, Golden. Sissy (aka Cherry Coke) would see Gunther, father of said puppies, enter the room and she would sit down at record speed. Those puppies really did that dog in. All the other dogs had no trouble climbing the steep flight of stairs from the deck down into their concrete run. Sissy wanted no part of those stairs. So we had to let her out the front door onto the front lawn.....She was such a good dog she never once tried to run away or chase after someone walking by. No, she was in a permanent coma. When she was ready to come in she would stand outside the front window and bark once....just once. There were times when we would totally forget about her and she learned to head butt the front door open. She would then look at us with disgust and in dog language say "what's with you people"
Sissy has been gone many years now but her memory lives on the front porch through the wonderful art work of daughter. We did have a problem for awhile with the Fedex and UPS men who thought the dummy board was real. A few of them actually refused to get out of the truck to make the delivery.....We also thought it was time to get back grass so in honor of Miss Sissy and many thanks to TruGreen and their magic we now have real grass and it's very very green!!