This is a very old image by Valentine of the Pavilion at Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire), County Dublin, Ireland. The wooden pavilion has been replaced by several successive structures, and today it is a large, white stucco structure housing restaurants and shops.
This is another gluten free recipe from BBC Good Food magazine, which is published each month in the U.K. This frittata is like a quiche without the added calories of a crust. It’s a good thing to take on a picnic, but be sure to cook the peppers first to achieve a more intense flavor. Sweet peppers cooked like this, without the egg, can also be served as a side dish.
FRITTATA DI PEPERONI (Sweet Pepper Omelette)
6 tablespoons olive oil
900 grams red and yellow peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Heat 5 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep, large deep frying pan. Fry the pepper strips, stirring from time to time, about 10 minutes, or until the edges are beginning to caramalise. Add the garlic and fry gently for 1 to 2 minutes more, taking care not to let it burn. Add the vinegar and cook until evaporated. Remove from the heat, leaving the peppers in the pan.
Beat the eggs in a bowl and season to taste. Return the frying pan to the heat (medium low), add the remaining olive oil and pour in the egg mixture. Cook, stirring with a spatula until there is a crust on the underside and most of the egg has set. This should take about five minutes. Carefully invert the frittata onto a large plate, then slide it, crust-side up, into the frying pan. Cook for a further five minutes or until the second side has browned a little. Cut into wedges and serve hot (or cold with a salad).
Westport in County Mayo is in the northwest part of Ireland. The town was designed by James Wyatt in 1780 and was laid out in an urban style that was started by the Normans in the 13th Century. It’s a lovely little town, with the river running right through the center along what is called the Mall. This photo is by Conor McKeown.
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a gluten free recipe. As I’ve explained before, I became familiar with gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease in 1993 when the oldest child of friends in Ireland was diagnosed with it. The incidence of Celiac Disease is high in Ireland, perhaps the highest in the world, but it often goes undiagnosed both there and in the United States. In the early days, it was a struggle to make baking flour from rice, bean and other flours. Today there are several really good gluten free flours and baking mixes on the market which simplify the process greatly, and of course, stores like Whole Foods and even Trader Joe’s carry many gluten free products. I think this is more in demand to the gluten free diet fad that ran rampant through the US about two years ago, but it certainly makes life easier for the Celiacs.
The recipe that follows is Italian and came from the British cooking magazine, BBC GOOD FOOD, submitted by Chef Gennaro Contaldo. As usual with these British recipes, you will have to convert the measurements.
TORTA de Riso al Profumo d’Arancio (Orange Rice Cake)
1.7 litres milk
1 vanilla pod
the pared rind of half a lemon (in one or two pieces)
200 grams caster sugar (very fine sugar)
300 grams Arborio rice
5 large eggs, separated
50 ml orange liqueur
40 grams raisins
finely grated zest of one large orange
Put the milk, vanilla pod, lemon rind and sugar in a large pan. Bring to a boil. Add the rice and simmer on medium low heat for about 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the rice is al dente and has absorbed the milk but still has a cream consistency. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Discard the lemon rind.
Heat oven to 180 degrees C (about 325 degrees F). Grease and line a 24 cm loose bottomed cake tin with baking parchment. Whisk the egg yolks and orange liqueur in a bowl until creamy. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Add the egg yolk mixture to the cooled rice, then fold in the egg whites, raisins and nearly all the orange zest. Pour into the cake tin and bake for one hour. Serve warm or cold, sprinkled with icing (powdered) sugar and orange zest.
NOTE: Best served when slightly warm with a spoon of mascarpone or whipped cream, and even a splash of Cointreau. And Cointreau does not contain gluten.
I would like to thank Norman Van Treeck at AstronomyandLaw.com for nominating me for the Epically Awesome Award of Epic Awesomeness. Norman and I work together, and we started blogging about the same time last year. He is much more technically advanced than I am, and he has been a great help to me in figuring out this whole blogging thing!
So the Epically Awesome Award means that I have to write ten “awesome” facts about myself and then nominate ten other bloggers I think are awesome in their own right and who deserve this award, then inform them of my nominations. Here goes!
1. I have completed two novels and am now working on the ideas for a third. I sent my first manuscript to Catherine Coulter and she had her senior reader take a look at it. He didn’t like the story, but he said I have writing talent, so I continue to persevere.
2. I wrote a newspaper piece in 1997 that ended up on the front page of the Lebanon Daily Record in Lebanon, Missouri. I nearly fainted when I opened my copy of the paper, sent by one of their editors. My story was the headline article, above the AP articles!
3. I spent St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2008, at the White House for the annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Everyone was there…from Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley to then Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern (Cecilia’s father), President and Mrs. Bush, and many, many members of Congress and the judiciary. That evening, I went to dinner at the house of (now retired) Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullens, and his wife Deborah. Really an awesome day!
4. Thanks to my father and his interest in American history, I have toured most of the 48 states and been to many, many national parks, Civil War battlefields, historical monuments, and historic houses. MANY, MANY!
5. I have a varied and eclectic interest and background in music. One day it’s Italian opera, and the next day it’s heavy metal or Irish sean-nos songs.
6. I once caused a bus crossing the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland to be stopped because I did not see the sign about not taking photographs of the check point! The British soldiers got on the bus with their guns and I could only plead being a stupid American tourist! It’s a long story, but there were indications throughout the remainder of my stay in Ireland and return trip to Los Angeles that I was being “watched”. I will tell the full details on the blog when I come across the photos.
7. I write a lot about my Great Aunt Anna L. Faulkner/Tweddell because my mother ended up with so many of her personal belongings. My mother was named for her, and I got Anne as a middle name in her honor as well. Apparently Aunt Annie always intended for my mother to inherit her things, and that was the way it worked out even though she had children and grand children of her own.
8. I really like traveling with my grandson, Conor. He is nearly 15 now, and it’s beginning to be not so cool to travel and hang with an ancient person like me, but it’s so much fun to go do things without the parents telling us what we can and cannot do!
9. My current job is really awesome! Never been happier to go to work each day! Really lucky to have found this diverse, interesting (sometimes frustrating) group of people at this age and stage of my career.
10. I am a fairly good cook and a very good baker. Learned most of what I know about baking from my mother, though my pie crust is better than hers ever was, and I learned the secret of never having lumps in my gravy which she never overcame. Loved everything she made all the same!
Now for the ten bloggers I am nominating for the Epically Awesome Award of Epic Awesomeness:
3. Conor Cullen
There are so many AWESOME blogs, it’s hard to name just ten, but the ones above are worth a look, always posting something of interest.
Again, thank you Norman for this award!
This is a photo by Conor McKeown, taken in Westport, County Mayo, Ireland, at the foot of Croagh Patrick. It is the National Famine Memorial designed by well known Irish artist, John Behan. The three-masted ship is covered with ghostly skeletons paying tribute to those who lost their lives in Ireland in the Great Famine (1845-1850).
By 1921, my great aunt, Anna L. Faulkner, had divorced her husband and moved to Chehalis, Washington, where she took at job at the State Training School. The school was part reform school and part orphanage, and she was a cook and also taught domestic sciences to the boys. See my post of _____ for a photo of her taken in her teaching uniform with kitchen tools. It is priceless and I have it hanging in my kitchen. I hope to one day put together a family cookbook and plan to put the photo on the cover.
Aunt Annie’s son, Oscar, who was a soldier during WWI, must have come to visit her in Chehalis and they decided to have photos taken at the local photography studio. The Price Studio, Chehalis, WN is imprinted on the paper frame in the lower right. She was 53 when this photo was taken, Oscar about 31. She left the school after a little more than a year and made her way to San Francisco, where daughter Ednah (now divorced for the second time) was living with grand daughter Ruthanna. In 1923 she met Walter Tweddell through a correspondence club and they were married a few months later.
I saw Paula Deen and a guest cook make tomato pie a week or two ago. It was on her regular cooking show, and it seemed interesting. Tomato Pie is an old Southern favorite, and it started with a pie crust, baked and cooled, and then spread with a thin layer of Dijon mustard. They then put in a layer of tomatoes which had been blanched and peeled and thinly sliced. On top of the tomatoes went cheese and salt and pepper. Then another layer of tomatoes, more cheese and salt and pepper. The whole thing was topped with a mixture of mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper before baking until golden. When I tried this (I had gotten field ripened tomatoes the day before), it was good, but just a little too rich for my taste (surprise! surprise!). Tomatoes are such a unique flavor, it seemed like the mayonnaise and cheese was covering up the taste. I went online to find another tomato pie recipe and found a comment about Paula Deen that said, “Her recipe has way too much cheese and pastry. This is my recipe. I’ve won two contests using this recipe. It can be put in a pastry shell but we like it better without it.” The recipe below is gluten free.
TOMATO PIE – GLUTEN FREE
7 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 yellow onion, sliced
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 grated Parmesan cheese
ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons fresh basil, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice onion and place in bottom of pie plate. Slice tomatoes and arrange over onions. Pepper to taste. Sprinkle with half the basil and oregano. Repeat with second layer of tomatoes.
In a medium bowl combine cheeses and mayonnaise. Spread this mixture over the tomatoes and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
This photo was taken on the Forkner Farm in the front yard. Seated from left are Mary Shook, Edna Forkner, Roxie Shook, and Ethel Forkner. The Forkner girls were sisters, as were the Shook girls. The slate in the foreground says, “Mary, Edna, Roxie and Ethel, August 23, 1906, Conway, Missouri.” The reverse side of the photo says it was taken at the Forkner home “by the Lillie bed and lilacs.” Click on the photo for a larger view and note there are many items on the ground around them. They are sitting on a blue and white blanket that was hand woven by the Forkner girls’ grandmother, Rebecca Frances Smith McMenus, and given to their mother on the occasion of her wedding in 1886. There are also family photos and books, and a sun bonnet or two. The girls had gone to school together at the Conway School, and in a few short weeks, the Forkner girls moved with their parents and brother to Stevensville, Montana, where they changed the family name to Faulkner (which was probably what it was when the original ancestor landed in America from England), and Ethel started spelling her name ETHYL. Not to be outdone, Edna became EDNAH. Roxie Shook married my grandmother’s brother, John Ferrier, and their daughter, June, married my father’s cousin on the Marlin side of the family, Glen Newman.
Sometimes I like Paula Deen’s recipes, and sometimes I don’t. This is one that I REALLY like!
PAULA DEEN’s LEMON BARS
For the Crust:
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces and at room temperature, plus more for the dish
2 cups flour
1 cup powdered sugar plus more for dusting
pinch of salt
For the Filling:
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons flour
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with aluminum foil and butter the foil. Make the crust by whisking the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with your fingers to make a crumbly dough; press into the prepared baking dish. Bake 20 minutes, then transfer to a rack and let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, make the filling by mixing the eggs, sugar and flour in a bowl with a fork. Mix in the lemon juice. Pour the filling over the crust and bake 25 more minutes; transfer to a rack and let cool completely. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Lift out of the pan and cut into pieces.
On the beach in County Waterford, Ireland, May, 2005. Which image do you like best? The color shot above or the black and white below? The couple on the beach to the left were having an intense conversation, though I could not hear what they were saying….
5-18-2013: I am reposting this photo because it is one of my favorites. Tomorrow will return to posting new stuff in the family history section along with more on Ireland and the recipes, of course!
This is Phil when he was about 10 months old. He is registered with the AKC as PHIL D. PUPPER. Grandson Conor picked out his name. His sister is Snort (registered name PUGLET Q. SNORT–another Conor pick). When they were small, we called them The Puppers.
I love potatoes…any kind of potato, cooked or baked just about any way you can imagine. I often eat just a potato or two for lunch or dinner. When I first read the recipe below, I thought…ugh! too much salt! But I tried this with just a couple of potatoes, and the result was interesting. It certainly makes for a change when baking potatoes.
SALT-BAKED NEW POTATOES
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In an 8 x 12 roasting pan, spread two cups kosher salt in a single layer. Arrange 2 pounds small new potatoes atop salt in a single layer. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons coriander seeds and one tablespoon fennel seeds; cover with another two cups kosher salt. Baker until tender, about 40 minutes. Remove potatoes from pan with tongs, and brush away excess salt. Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with two tablespoons olive oil, and garnish with chopped chives. Serve with grainy mustard on the side.
UPDATE 5-15-13: My scanner is up and running again, the weather has cooled down dramatically, and there have been no further power outages here in Hastings Ranch, Pasadena, California. I am reposting this blog from last year as the geese have returned to the high school once again. Actually, we had two pair arriving in late February, then they were gone about three weeks later. I wondered if we would have any more until a few days ago when I spotted another two pair at the high school. They arrived very early and very late this year.
Every spring for the past eight or nine years, Canada Geese have stopped on their travels north at a very unlikely spot here in Pasadena–the high school! In 2004, one pair built a nest on the roof of the main building and took turns sitting on the eggs. One of the French teachers provided the birds with food and water until the goslings hatched and mom and dad were able to take them off to teach them what they needed to know for the journey north.
I drive by the high school on my way to and from work, and last spring (my first in Pasadena), I was surprised to see first two, then only one of these large birds hanging out on the grassy parkway that runs down the middle of Sierra Madre Blvd. Not knowing this was an annual return for the geese, my bleeding heart immediately started to worry. Since I wasn’t familiar with the nesting habits of the birds, I worried even more when I saw only one bird on the grassy median. I didn’t know they take turns sitting on the eggs. What I did know is that they mate for life, and I immediately assumed something tragic had happened to one of them. I thought the lone bird was pining his or her loss right there in front of the high school where the Rose Parade floats park on New Year’s Day.
This went on for about a week, and I got more and more upset with the idea that the beautiful bird was alone and mourning. I talked about it with friends…I talked about it at work…it preyed on my mind. Then one morning when the goose was standing on only one leg, I thought somehow the lone survivor had been injured. A conversation with a friend whose parents had raised geese on a farm in South Dakota assured me that standing on one leg is a typical behavior, but that night on the way home, the goose was laying down on the grass. I thought it was dying. I wanted to call the SPCA, the police, the fire department, the local nature center, anyone who could come to the rescue. Instead, I called friends in Ohio who are retired newspaper people. One of their hobbies is birdwatching. While Mike was telling me which editor to call at the local paper to draw attention to the bird’s plight, Nancy was searching the internet to see if there was anything about geese in Pasadena, California. That’s what newspaper people do. Then Nancy pulled up some articles from the Pasadena Star News.
I sighed in relief. Not only were the locals aware of the geese, I learned that the high school had adopted them and were caring for four fledgling families. Apparently 2011 was a bumper year for geese in Pasadena!
The geese pretty much always turned up in April I’ve since read, so I was a little surprised when I spotted a pair in front of the high school this year in late March. In mid-April there were two more. Since the weather has been erratic and atypical this year, I guess goose instinct brought them north at various times depending on the weather in the south. I thought Canada Geese season was over here in Pasadena as May arrived, but this afternoon as I was driving home along Sierra Madre Boulevard, there they were again–two more beauties resting on the grass where the high school caregivers had set out food and water.
I made two illegal U-turns and parked my car in a NO STOPPING zone. I ran across three lanes of traffic, camera in hand, to get to the median and take a few photos.
Since the geese have to cross Sierra Madre Boulevard to get to the median, they encounter a lot of cars. The area is quite open, and in general, motorists slow and allow the birds to waddle across the road. Last year, I thought about donating Goose Crossing signs to the high school (yes, there really are such things, see photo below), but I never got around to ordering them. Someone else beat me to it this year. On both sides of the street, someone had put up the yellow caution signs showing the mother goose leading the goslings along behind her.
Some people are not enamoured with geese. When they land in great numbers in some locales, they can cause a big disturbance and a big mess. When I lived in Woodland Hills, great flocks of them often landed in one of the agriculture fields at Pierce College on their way south in November. The college Agriculture Department didn’t mind the extra fertilizer. Here in Pasadena, our few pairs in the spring are something to look forward to–just one of the many little enjoyments I have found since moving from the San Fernando Valley to Pasadena.
More on Pasadena wildlife in future–and there is a lot of it! Thus far, I’ve encountered mud daubber wasps, moles, raccoons, rabid baby bats and the list is still growing. As they say, Stay Tuned!
Some people make really great pie crust from scratch, others struggle with it. My grandmother, Dulcie Marlin, made the lightest pie crusts in the world. She seemed to have some secret which she never imparted to any of us. My mother, on the other hand, made thousands of pies in her lifetime, and her crusts were generally a little tough for some reason. Both ladies used Crisco instead of butter back in the 50′s. My mother did switch to butter in later decades, but her crusts were still not flakey and light. I think it had to do with over processing the dough, and I don’t think she used ice water either. Also, they learned to make pies long before we had food processors. Don’t get me wrong…my mother made WONDERFUL pies, but the crust was never as good as those made by my grandmother, who interestingly enough never made great fillings for her pies as my mother did! We always said if we could get Mom’s fillings into Granny’s crusts, we’d have the perfect pies, but they did not collaborate in that way. They each liked to make their own. The following is the key to making a really great pie crust.
PERFECT PIE CRUST
There are two keys to a flaky crust: In Step 2, be sure you can see pieces of butter, which will release steam and create air pockets during baking. After adding the water in Step 3, do not overprocess the dough, otherwise it will be tough.
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
6 tablespoons ice water
1. Pulse the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor, then add cold butter.
2. Pulse until some large pea-size pieces of butter remain.
3. Add ice water, then pulse until moist clumps form. Squeeze a handful of dough, it should just hold together.
4. Turn out dough onto a clean surface and gently gather into two balls. Flatten each into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap, and chill one hour or overnight or freeze for up to a month.
Roll out on lightly floured surface when you are ready to make your pies.
I was standing on the rocks at Sandycove, County Dublin, Ireland when I took this photo looking south toward the shore of Dalkey. Bulloch Harbour is hidden behind the rocks on the right. On wild and windy days like this when there is also a cloud cover, it’s hard to get good color, so I have removed it all together and posted the black and white version below. I think I like it better. What do you think?
The Irish Sea was crashing against the rocks at Sandycove, County Dublin, Ireland on this day. I took this photo very near the James Joyce Museum in the Martello Tower. Note the intrepid walker in the right foreground.
Thanks to Deborah Sweeney at GenealogyLady.net for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award! Deborah has a very interesting site where she posts about the research she has done on her own family tree, and Deborah is also a professional genealogist. Take a look at her blog when you get a moment.
This award, like others, is a pay-it-forward award. You start by thanking the person who nominated you and linking back to their site. Then you share seven things about yourself that people may not already know. Finally, you nominate fifteen bloggers you would like to have the award, link back to their site, and then notify them of the nomination.
Here are my seven things:
1. I have a double degree in Music and History and a teaching credential, which I have never used. I was working part-time in a law firm when I was in school, and things progressed from there.
2. I come from a family of twins on my father’s side of the family; they were prevalent in my father’s generation, his father’s generation, and also in his grandfather’s generation that we know of…however, none in my family.
3. My great grandmother, Carrie Lunda (Lundy) Hall Marlin was part Cherokee Indian.
4. My ancestors on both the Marlin and McManus sides of the family came out of Northern Ireland in the 1600′s and 1700′s. The Marlins were most likely transplanted from England or Scotland to Northern Ireland around 1600 when Queen Elizabeth I decided to transplant less hostile subjects into Ireland. I have done a little research into this period and it’s interesting to note that the native Irish in the north were much more hostile about English rule than their counterparts in the south, thus Elizabeth’s need to transplant loyal subjects into the area. Anyway, the first Marlin sailed from Derry and landed in Virginia about 1651. There are found in records in Derry, Curran and Magherafelt. On the McManus side, they came from Fermanagh and were native to Ireland. Lawrence McManus was born in 1733 in Fermanagh and ended up in North Carolina where he had a very large family. We think our link to Lawrence is through his son Eli, who appeared to have two different families, the first in Tennessee (our link) and the second in Ohio. I am going to have a DNA test one of these days to verify the link back to Lawrence. But since there was no other McManus family in the area at the time, it’s fairly safe to make our assumptions back to Fermanagh.
5. I studied piano from the time I was six until my second year in college. I became proficient but am not a natural talent. I still have the first piano bought for me; it sits here in the office. My father had to go to his work’s credit union and borrow $600 to pay for the thing. It was even more expensive than necessary because my mother wanted the cherry wood finish on the spinet so it would match the rest of her furniture! It was years before the piano was paid for!
6. I have a new camera! Its a LUMIX by Panasonic with a Leica zoom lens. I still have not figured out all the bells and whistles, but after years of using an old Cyber-Shot, I am excited about the prospect of taking better photos!
7. I also have a new food processor! I have had a small one for years and made do with it and the Kitchen Aid mixer with various attachments. However, I finally decided to bite the bullet and bought a top of the line Cuisinart 9 cup processor. It’s lovely! I just have not figured out where to store it yet!
For my fifteen nominees, they are all blogs which I follow for various reasons such as photography, cooking, baking, family history and Ireland.
I will be notifying these folks in the next day or so of their nomination!
Returning to the 1887 cook book that belonged to my great grandmother, here is a recipe for ”Mottled Cake.” Mottled means spotted or splotchy, and this cake lives up to its title. As I’ve noted before, Dr. Price calls egg yolks “yelks” and the measures can be a little frustrating. The egg whites get added before the flour, and fruit coloring means red.
Stir to a cream one pound of white sugar and half a pound of butter; beat the whites of twelve eggs to a stiff froth, and add to the sugar and butter three cups of flour and one heaping teaspoonful cream baking powder, mix all together; then take one teacupful of the batter and stir into it one teaspoonful of fruit coloring. Fill a bake pan one inch deep with the white batter, and drop a teaspoonful of the red batter here and there in the white; next pour in an inch depth of white, then the red as before; alternate in the same way until the batter is all in.
In May, 2005, I had time to wander around some of the Irish countryside I had not explored before. I started out in Cork City and went northeast into the western part of County Waterford. The area around the town of Ring is quite spectacular because one moment you have wonderful ocean views, then in a short time you are wandering backroads in an area which is farm land. These three photos were taken on that drive.
I tried this recipe the other day when I wanted to make a chicken pie. I don’t like parsley very much, so I cut back to a smaller portion there, added some chopped chives, and then added about half a cup of shredded carrots. Turned out great!
PIE IN A PAN
2 shallots, finely chopped
6 slices smoked streaky bacon, chopped
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into large pieces
150 ml chicken stock
100 g crème fraiche (I used the reduced fat variety)
a handful of parsley, chopped
One sheet croissant or puff pastry dough
Cook the shallots and bacon with a tablespoon of butter in an ovenproof pan until the shallots are softened and the bacon has crisped up a bit. Add the chicken and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the stock and simmer for two minutes. Take off the heat and stir in the crème fraiche and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and leave to cool. Unroll the pastry dough and cut into strips. Cover the surface of the pie with the dough. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees F until puffed and golden.
My scanner died yesterday. Not sure what happened to it, no power though it is plugged in etc. Anyway, I am reposting this photo of my mother and brother circa late 1937 since I am not able to scan anything new until the scanner problem is resolved, hopefully this week. I had already scanned photos of Ireland for many days, so there should not be too much break in the continuity of the blog. I just may have to repost some of the earlier photos. And, of course, I have digitals that I still have not had time to post.
Happy Mother’s Day everyone! My festivities were quiet and took place last week and this morning. I am now sitting in the house with all the doors, windows and blinds shut as it’s over 100 degrees outside, and we are having power surges in the neighborhood. No power loss completely, just enough of a surge to shut down the computer and the landline phones. But then they power back on again. Too many people running the A/C and other appliances most likely. So far I’ve been able to get by with the overhead fans. It’s supposed to be even warmer tomorrow, but I will be at work!
I have a new gadget and I LOVE IT! It’s the YONANAS soft dessert maker. I saw one of these in a catalog (very pricey) and took a look for it online at Bed Bath & Beyond. They carry them in the store and the price was $10 less than in the catalog. On top of it, I used the 20% off coupon and got the Yonanas machine for only $39.95.
I was a little skeptical about the machine until I read all the reviews. For people who want mostly fruit in their smoothies and soft desserts or want to control the amount of sugar or sweetener used, this little machine gets high marks. You basically keep frozen fruit in the freezer (over ripe bananas, berries, mango, pineapple, peaches, whatever you like) and in a couple of minutes, you have a healthy, fruity soft serve dessert, or in my case, breakfast. I love using this for breakfast.
I have made smoothies with ice cubes in a blender, and I even bought a magic bullet type thing to make smoothies but found it didn’t want to chop up the ice very well. So the YONANAS machine is the answer to my need to make quick, healthy desserts and smoothies without having to fiddle with ice cubes and such. Adding a little frozen yogurt will sweeten the mix as well. It came with a recipe book, and you can add everything from peanut butter to chocolate powder or chocolate shavings to pumpkin or chardonnay ice cubes! I also bought a couple other things while I was at Bed Bath & Beyond but will report on those later.