Tuesday, June 28, 2016

About Me

I've noticed that a lot of bloggers have a spot on their blog that says 'About Me'.  I have a Google+ about me, but just in case you don't feel like wading through all that.

Here's a few facts.
A long time ago I remember reading in the newspaper as I was avidly cutting out recipes, that some people actually liked the whole process of cutting and peeling and making elaborate meals on weekends.  I was shocked and horrified.

I mean, who in their right mind liked to julienne, or dice finely or mince up multiple items to make a meal?  I was all about getting it on the table, and making sure that all the hot food was hot and the cold food was cold.

Well, times change, and luckily we all grow up.

Some of us do that is, and some of us, well, we discover just how much fun it is to make 'mud pies' with real food.

I like to make 'mud pies' using edible stuff.   And I love to serve it to people.  And they seem to like eating it as well.

A few years ago I decided to have fun, and make a blog.  I was sharing pictures that I had taken that I found interesting, and then I decided to start documenting a lot of the recipes I made, some my own, some I found and cooked from, and others I just plain made up and of course some recipes my friends shared with me as well.
Honestly, I thought I was beyond presumptuous.
I mean, gee, who was I to think I could tell people how to cook?

I got over that one. 

I draw on my Danish side and made, and still make a lot of the meals from my childhood.  Some recipes I'll never be able to recreate, but others, well, let me just say that when I take a bite of Biksemad, I can close my eyes and get transported back to the farmhouse and my childhood.

I have a whole section on here with Danish Dishes

I also now live in an area where there isn't a Mexican restaurant on almost every corner, so I had to learn to make the food I grew to love when I lived in another state.    I make a mean Chile Verde, and we probably eat a lot more Mexican themed meals than we used to. Actually, I know we do, cause we never ate out that often before, and we do love our spicy food.
In fact as I type this, I'm thinking of the Chicken Fajitas's we had for dinner last night, and the Taco's I'll probably be making for dinner tonight.  

We probably eat Mexican themed food at least three to four times a week.
But that's OK.

I've entered and won both formal and informal cooking contests.  If I get the chance to enter any contests, I will.  It's just plain fun, win or lose, the creative process is a hoot.  

 We've also hosted a "Tapas Night" once a month for several years now.  And I love coming up with original dishes for it.  And of course tasting and enjoying the food that everyone brings.  We have some incredible cooks around these parts, who luckily for me and others, like to share their creativity and their food.

In the winter months friends of ours host a potluck at the 'Boat Club', and everyone is encouraged to bring and share dishes.  And I have fun with that as well.

I have to say, I'm not all about food.
I do have other interests as well.
I love to paint, do a little gardening, walk on the beach, do some crafting, take lots and lots of pictures, of anything and everything that looks interesting, and I write, and not just this blog either.

I'm currently working on a mystery novel as well as a cookbook.

So that's me, all summed up, sorta.

I'm still a work in progress, and hope to continue that for the rest of my life.

In the meantime, I'm open to creating new recipes, and blogging about them if you happen to have any interesting spice blends or foods that you would like to have me play with and write about.

And since I'm not all about the food, let me share some pictures of places that hold a special place in my heart.

When I see this from the ferry, I know I'm almost home, at least visiting the island I grew up on.   It makes my heart sing.
Bright Angel Park, I spent many hours here, communing with the trees.   And playing in the river and trying to make the suspension bridge swing back and forth. 
Bright Angel Park
I got to attend the 100 year anniversary of my Elementary School a couple of years ago, and it was special.  I saw and talked to my third grade teacher and my fourth grade teacher as well as the former principal.  I have to say that was interesting, the child in me came out for a second and then the adult took over and I realized that those teachers weren't that much older than me, now.  They seemed a lot older back then.  
 The school is no longer a school, but instead has become a community hub.  Which I think is wonderful.  

And last and certainly not least, the driveway from the farm I grew up on.   This picture symbolizes so many possibilities to me.  The times I walked this road, dreaming, day dreaming, collecting interesting flowers, rocks, etc. 

There you have it, a little more about me. 
As I said, I'm still a work in progress, or a recipe that still needs some work, refining all the best bits. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Suncoast Tea Bread and Crisps (Raincoast lookalikes)

 If you've ever had a Raincoast Crisp, you'll know what I mean when I say they are kind of addictive, and expensive. I used to indulge myself in a box or two from time to time, and every time I plunked down the money, I would cringe.

Suncoast Tea Bread and Crisps

Once I started eating them, I had to keep eating until the box was gone, and then, sigh I would have to search for them again, from store to store to store.

And if you think it's easy to find them when you live on the opposite coast from where they're made, you have another think coming.   

I got tired of that and decided to google the recipe.

You wouldn't believe how many recipes are out there.  And I want to acknowledge the blogs I read for inspiration. Most of the following blogs also cited Dinner with Julie
So I looked at Oh So Very Pretty's recipe.  And then I looked at Berry Nourished's recipe  and then there was the Wandering Fig's recipe. 


Guess what, these crisps are almost WOOHOO!!! exactly like I remember them.  
But I did tweak the recipe a teensy little bit.
And along the way I discovered that you can eat these two ways.

Suncoast Crisps (like Raincoast Crisps)

Don't feel like doing the twice bake thing?  You don't have to.  Just slice the little teeny loaves after you've baked them, just like you were making the crisps, and then serve them with a touch of butter or cream cheese and call them a tea cake.
Suncoast Tea Bread
And trust me on this, really, trust me, these are sooo good.

Recipe:  Suncoast Tea Bread and Crisps  Bake at 350 deg.  30-35 minutes
Makes 5 mini loaves and each mini loaf can be cut into about 18 very thin slices.

2 cups All Purpose Flour
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 cups Buttermilk
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Honey
1 cup Dried Cranberries or Golden Raisins
1 cup Walnuts or Pecans (original recipe called for 1/2 cup, but nuts are good for you anyway)
1/4 cup Sesame Seeds
1/4 cup Ground Flax Seeds
1 tablespoon chopped Fresh Rosemary (opt.)

Mix the flour, ground flax seed, sesame seeds, sugar, salt and baking soda together, add the dried fruit, mix, then add the nuts.   Add the honey and buttermilk and mix together lightly, just until moistened.  Kinda like muffins. 
Pour or spoon batter into 5 mini loaf pans, liberally sprayed with non stick spray.    I use my ice cream scoop, as that can portion out the batter easily.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the cakes start pulling away from the sides a little.
Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove from pans and continue to cool.  
Serve thinly sliced with a piece of nice cheese or cream cheese or butter.  These make a lovely addition to the 'Tea Table'.
If making crisps from them, then slice the loaves as thinly as you can.  About 1/4 inch thick or less.  I found that freezing them, then slicing with one of my sharpest serrated knives was the only way to go on this. 
Heat oven to 300 degrees.  Spread the thinly sliced pieces of tea bread out on an un-greased or parchment papered baking sheet, bake for 15 minutes, then turn over and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.  You're aiming for a nice crispy cracker.
Cool and eat, if you can wait that long.  Personally, I can't and have been known to burn my tongue. 
These are super with some lovely cheese on top.  I've had it with some smoked gouda, and cream cheese, and just eaten them plain.
Never mind how many I ate, I'm not telling.
Suncoast Crisps aka Raincoast Crisps

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