Let's Talk

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between caramel and butterscotch?  Well, I never knew the answer until I did some research.

The difference has to do with the sugar.  Caramel is made using granulated sugar (somtimes it's cooked along with milk and or/cream, butter and sometimes vanilla).  Whereas, butterscotch is made with brown sugar and has more butter than caramel.

And for those you may be wondering where toffee fits in. . . here is your answer.  Toffee is actually butterscotch but it is cooked to the hard crack stage.

- - - - - - - - - -

Here is an invitation I received for my readers to win a free cookbook!  It is called Sweet and is a handbook for all things dessert from the editors of Food Network Magazine.  One of their favorite partners, Read it Forward would love for you to participate in their "sweet" giveaway -- they have five copies up for grabs and anyone can enter to win by simply following this link.

Good Luck Readers!

- - - - - - - - - -

Have any of you ever tried making homemade tortillas?  I've never tried this but somewhere in the near future, I plan on trying it.  I would love to get a tortilla press -- it looks so much easier to use then rolling it out by hand.  Here's a video showing you how. . .

- - - - - - - - - -

Did you ever hear this country song by Joe Diffie?  It's all about "Good Brown Gravy"!  Just click on this link:

"I can't get rich; I can't make a living,
But I sure do something for the neighborhood women.
I wake up every morning with a knocking at my door;
You can't keep 'em waiting when they're beggin' for more."

"Back! Back!" I hollered to my hound,
"You're supposed to keep 'em from coming around."
I used to think they were after me
but they're just after my recipe, for
Good Brown Gravy, Good Brown Gravy, i said Good Brown Gravy, Good Brown Gravy

"you can sop it with a biscuit, you can eat it from a pan,
You can lick it off your fingers when it's running down your hand.
If I could get a backer I could cause a big comotion
I'd put it on the market, call it "Biscuit Lotion."

"Back! Back!" I hollered to my hound,
"You're supposed to keep 'em from coming around."
I used to think they were after me
but they're just after my recipe, for
Good Brown Gravy, Good Brown Gravy, i said Good Brown Gravy, Good Brown Gravy

"Well, granny told my momma 'bout the power that it had;
Good Brown Gravy is the way she got my dad.
They tried to get me in the Army,tried get me in the Navy,
Just to get the secret of my Good Brown Gravy."

"Back! Back!" I hollered to my hound,
"You're supposed to keep 'em from coming around."
I used to think they were after me
but they're just after my recipe, for
Good Brown Gravy, Good Brown Gravy, i said Good Brown Gravy, Good Brown Gravy

- - - - - - - - - -

Speaking of calzones, did you ever watch the Seinfeld episode called "The Calzone"?  Here's a link if you haven't:  http://seinfeld-episodes.com/the-calzone/

- - - - - - - - - -

So, did you have a nice Thanksgiving?  I hope so!  I know I did. . . we had 31 for dinner at my house! We made two turkeys and, believe it or not, we did not have a lot of leftovers.  Although, I did manage to make some open-face turkey sandwiches and my husband made some turkey wraps.  I also cooked the bones (that sounds funny, doesn't it?!) to make some great soup.  I think turkey bones make the best broth!

And how about dessert?  Did you have your favorite pie?  I made the pear apple cranberry crisp along with the no-bake lemon cheese cake pie and some frosted pumpkin cookies.  But we also had pumpkin cheesecake, banana cream pie, berry pie and a chocolate pie.  Needless to say, our sweet tooth was satisfied!

- - - - - - - - - -

12 Reasons to be Thankful you Burnt the Bird!
  1. Salmonella won’t be a concern.
  2. Everyone will think your turkey is Cajun blackened.
  3. Uninvited guests will think twice next year.
  4. Your cheese broccoli lima bean casserole will gain newfound appreciation.
  5. Pets won’t bother to pester you for scraps.
  6. No one will overeat.
  7. The smoke alarm was due for a test.
  8. Carving the bird will provide a good cardiovascular workout.
  9. You’ll get to the desserts even quicker.
  10. After dinner, the guys can take the bird to the yard and play football.
  11. The less turkey Uncle You-Know-Who eats, the less likely he will be to walk around with his pants unbuttoned.
  12. You won’t have to face three weeks of turkey sandwiches.

 From the book by Craig Boldman and Pete Matthews, Every Excuse in the Book: 714 Ways to Say "It's Not My Fault." 

- - - - - - - - - -

Time for a new poll. . . and since we're talking about apples, how about you tell us what your favorite variety is!  Just look to your upper right, click on your answer and then hit vote.  That's all there's to it!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

- - - - - - - - - -

Yesterday I mentioned that my garden is still producing quite a bit.  Plus our pear trees were so loaded this year that branches were breaking with the weight.  You can see what I've done with some of these pears below (there is also some applesauce made with apples from the trees at my mother-in-law's).   Do any of still have fruits and/or vegetables growing?  What have you had an abundance of this year?

- - - - - - - - - -

Speaking of Wrigley's gum, here is an old commercial from the 1960's.  Compare it to a more current one below!  Times have changed, haven't they?!

This one may bring a tear to your eye. . . it did for me!!

- - - - - - - - - -

Did any of you watch "Master Chef" on television?  Did you enjoy it?  Here in our house we liked seeing all the creations that the contestants came up with.  We didn't always like the "meanness" of the judges though!

This Friday, there is a new show called MasterChef Junior and it premieres on FOX TV 8/7 central time. It is a new culinary competition for kids that are between the ages of 8 and 13 who show their cooking talents.  Here is a clip if you are interested.  It looks like those kids can prepare some awesome dishes and are better "chefs" than I am!  The best part is toward the end of the clip -- maybe that judge (Joe Bastianich) gets his "just desserts"!  Be sure to check more video of the show as you scroll down the page.

- - - - - - - - - -

I became curious as to what truly was the difference between regular yogurt and Greek yogurt.  Here is what I found:

When Greek yogurt is being made, it has one extra step than regular yogurt -- it is strained and filtered to remove the whey.  That is why it is thicker and creamier and doesn't have that runny liquid that you can find on top of the regular yogurt.  True Greek yogurt is also made from sheep or goat's  milk rather than milk from a cow which explains the differences in taste.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Greek yogurt does have more protein.  However, regular yogurt has more calcium and less fat and calories unless you consume low milk fat or no fat Greek yogurt.  Another benefit to Greek yogurt is that it has less sugar (that is why it has more of a tart flavor) and carbohydrates than the regular version.

The bottom line is that Greek yogurt may be the better choice for those you who exercise or are trying to cut down on your sugar; regular yogurt may be the one for you if you want to add more calcium to your diet and are concerned about fat and calories.

- - - - - - - - - -

I haven't eaten a bologna sandwich in years but this commercial takes me back to when I was a kid and had them packed in my school lunches.  Do any of you remember it?

Here are some vintage fast food commercials enticing you to buy their sandwiches. . . awww memories!

- - - - - - - - - -

Can you guess what I was doing this weekend. . . let me give you a hint!

Can you tell that my garden is thanking us for all the water and fertilizer we gave it?!  We now have bread and butter pickles, dill pickles, cucumber salad, peach jelly, zucchini bread, broccoli potato soup and in the freezer you will find peaches, squash & more zucchini (to be used in soup), green beans, peas, etc.  It will be especially yummy to taste summer this coming winter!
- - - - - - - - - -

I'm sure most of you have heard the song called "Blueberry Hill" made famous by Fats Domino, but did you ever hear the gang from Happy Days sing it?!  Check it out here.

I found my friendOn Blueberry HillOn Blueberry HillWhen I found you
The moon stood stillOn Blueberry HillAnd lingered untilMy dream came true
The wind in the willow playedLove's sweet melodyBut all of those vows we madeWere never to be Though we're apartYou're part of me stillFor you were my friendOn Blueberry Hill
The wind in the willow playedLove's sweet melodyBut all of those vows we madeWere never to be
Though we're apartYou're part of me stillFor you were my friendOn Blueberry Hill

- - - - - - - - - -

Are you curious how Parmesan cheese is made?  Well you can watch this video that tells you how.  It's amazing how much work goes into making cheese.  Be sure to watch till the end to see one more little tidbit about Parmesan Cheese!

- - - - - - - - - -

I haven't done a poll in a long time, so here's your chance to answer one!  Look over to your upper right and answer the question regarding pizza toppings.

I'll let you know the results soon!

Drum Roll Please. . . 40% of you like fungi, AKA mushrooms, 20% like all things green (green pepper, spinach . . .) and 40% like your pizza deluxe because you want everything!  No one chose cheese (glorious cheese) pepperoni (of course!) or sausage (as in meat lover!) as your favorite pizza toppings.

- - - - - - - - -

I'm sure you've heard the expression. . . You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream.  But, did you know there is an actual song?  It was written by  Billy Moll, Howard Johnson, and Robert King and was a big hit in 1925. Here are the lyrics and here is the audio I think it's hilarious!  Here is yet another audio version recorded in 1927 by Tom Stacks.


by Johnson, Moll, & King

In the land of ice and snow

Up among the Eskimo

There's a college known as Oogie-wawa.

You should hear those college boys

Gee, they make an awful noise

When they sing their Eskimo tra la la.

They've got a leader, big cheer leader, oh what a guy!

He's got a frozen face just like an Eskimo Pie.

When he says, "Come on, let's go!"

Though it's forty-five below

Listen what those Eskimo all holler:

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Rah, rah...Oogie de wawa rah rah rah!

Tuesday, Monday, we all scream for Sundae!

Sis, boom, Aurora borealea, bah!

Boola boola


We've got the chocolate

I'll take vanoola

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Rah, rah, ice cream soda or gingerale pop!

Father mother

Sister brother

When they've had one at lion

They want another

Colleges may come and go

But the world will never know

Any other place like Oogie-wawa

Oxford, Cambridge, Eaton too

Football teams would all turn blue

When they played a game with Oogie-wawa

Those Esquimos looked mighty tough when they took the field

And people said, Ah, they're the team that never will yield

Then with gore and flying fur

Just to show how tough they were

All those Esquimos began to holler

Iceberg, Lindberg, Sol Berg and Ginzberg,

Ice cream Cohen.

I scream, you scream, everybody wants ice cream.

Rah, rah, raaazberry!

- - - - - - - - - -

I just wanted you to know that I appreciate your stopping by to "visit" my blog!  I know how busy you all are and for you to take time out of your day to see what's cooking means a lot to me.

I truly would love to have even more viewers. . . so if I can ask you to do one thing for me, please tell others about my humble blog.  It would be fun to see my list of followers grow or even to see my recipes being pinned onto Pinterest (there's a button to the right!)

As always, thank you!!        ~Denise~

- - - - - - - - - -

Have any of you planned a family reunion?  How did it turn out?  As I mentioned last week, I hosted a big family reunion this past weekend.  It was a lot of work but oh, it was so worth all the effort.  We had such a great time sharing laughter and memories and stories. . .  The weather didn't cooperate so much for our ballgame Friday night but for the picnic on Saturday it was perfect! We played games, had contests and even had a balloon release to send messages of love up to those who are no longer here with us.

We also had a table that held some of the treasures from my grandparent's day.  In the photo below, do you see the wooden utensil?  That was my grandmother's potato masher!

Of course, we had a ton of food.  Pot lucks are so wonderful because you get to sample so many different types of dishes.  Here are just a few of the treats that my relatives brought:

Needless to say, we ate and ate and then ate some more!  We even went to brunch the following morning which included a wonderful, all homemade, European buffet -- goulash, cabbage and noodles, chicken paprikash as well as all the delicious breakfast foods.  All I can say is no one went hungry!!

If you are thinking about having a reunion, I really encourage you to do so.  I believe family is so important.  I even was able to meet some of my third cousins for the first time!

I would love to hear your reunion stories!  Did you have a good time?  Where did you meet?  What did you do?  What foods did you prepare?  You are very welcome to share your memories with us by commenting below!

- - - - - - - - - -

According to the Office of Veterans Affairs Memorial Day Page, Decoration Day (as Memorial Day was first called) was established by the head of a group of Union veterans.  The year was 1868, three years after the Civil War ended.  It was decided that May 30th should be a day when Americans decorated the graves of fallen soldiers with flowers.

In honor of today being Memorial Day, I would like to honor all those soldiers who lost their lives in service to our country.  We have our freedom because of these brave men and women and I thank them for helping make our country a better place to live.  You too can remember them by observing a moment of silence at 3:00 p.m.  It is known as "The National Moment of Remembrance".

- - - - - - - - - -

Speaking of Hellmann's mayonnaise, I thought it might be fun to look up some of their vintage commercials.  You can view them by clicking on the following links:






- - - - - - - - - -

Did you know that there are a few festivals held that are dedicated to the sweet potato?  The Tater Day Festival held each year in Kentucky is one of them.  It is a three day festival that started in 1843.  At that time, farmers would take their sweet potatoes (and other goods) to the town square of Benton and sell or trade their produce.  This eventually became the Tater (another name for potato) Festival which now includes a parade, a carnival, a fiddling contest and baking and canning competitions.  The festivities are held each year on the first Monday in April.

Another interesting fact is that this festival is also the oldest, continuing trade day in America.

- - - - - - - - - -

Did you know that according to one survey, 76% of people bite the ears of a chocolate bunny first?  Five percent eat the feet first and 4% consume the tail first.  So which part do you bite off of a chocolate bunny first?  Answer the poll located to the upper right!

Results:  50% say they eat the ears first, 25% eat the tail first and 25% eat jelly beans instead!

- - - - - - - - - -

At sunset today, Passover begins which is the first of the major Jewish festivals talked about in the Bible.  It celebrates Israel's freedom from bondage in Egypt and serves as a reminder of the importance of continuing to fight for freedom for every generation. Passover is based on the Jewish calendar which is a lunar calendar.  Because as time went on and Jewish people migrated to other parts of the world an extra day was added. This was done so there would not be any confusion when the New Moon appeared.

There are many ways that the Jewish people observe this holiday -- they will eat certain foods and abstain from forbidden foods, they will go to a Seder or go to a synagogue service.  The forbidden foods include anything leavened or anything made with wheat, barley, spelt, rye and oats.  The only exception was Matza (unleavened bread) which is made with matza grain.  The reason is because eating Matza was mandated in the Bible (Exodus 13:7).  Others also eliminate beans, peas and rice.

Tonight for dinner we are going to have a traditional Seder meal which is done on the first night of Passover (some also do this during the second night of Passover as well).  There will be a Seder plate which will have the following foods on it:

maror (bitter herbs - typically horseradish)
karpas (a vegetable like cucumber lettuce, radish, parsley, potato)
chazeret (a second, more bitter vegetable)
charoset (an apple, nut and wine mixture)
zeroa (shankbone)
baytza (a hard-boiled egg)

Each of the foods is symbolic such as Charoset represents the mortar the Children of Israel were forced to make by their Egyptian owners during their enslavement.  The Maror or bitter herbs is used as reminder of the bitter life that the early Israelites led.  And why the shankbone?  Well, it represents the "mighty arm" of God who led Israel to her freedom.

Happy Passover!

- - - - - - - - -

Speaking of lemons, here's a song that I remember hearing when I was a child called "Lemon Tree".  Do you remember it?  Click on this link to see the lyrics and listen to the music:


- - - - - - - - - -

Since we're on the subject of potatoes and the Irish, I found some interesting facts about the great potato famine that occurred in Ireland starting in 1845.  It lasted for six years and over a million people perished because of it.  It also caused another million people to flee Ireland.  The main cause of the famine was due to a plant disease caused late blight.  It destroyed the leaves and the roots (which, of course, was the tuber or edible part of the plant).  Many of the people of Ireland were poor and almost half of them relied solely on potatoes for their diet.  Those that didn't still included potatoes as part of their meals.

Some other reasons that caused such devastation were:

*Only one main type of potato (Irish Lumper) was grown so there wasn't any diversity which would have helped the crop not to be totally decimated.

*In 1845, the weather was cool and moist which allowed the disease to thrive (which by the way arrived accidentally via North America).

*The British government's effort to help was not adequate even though they spent £8 million.

Famine Memorial
Even though the Irish never asked for charity (according to what I read), England did ask. The first noted to make a donation was the Irish living in Calcutta. Their donation of £14,000 had been raised by soldiers serving there and employees of the East India Company.  Pope Pius IX and Queen Victoria also sent money to help.  In 1847, a group of Choctaws (Native Americans) collected funds to send to the the starving people (some say it was $170 and some say it was $710).  They had experienced hunger and starvation during the Trail of the Tears so they knew first hand what the people were facing. Interestingly, 150 years later eight Irish people retraced the Trail of Tears and Ireland's President, Mary Robinson, commemorated the donation.

You can read a thorough history by following this link:  http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/famine/index.html

- - - - - - - - - -

I have a new poll -- look to your upper right!  All you need to do is click on your answer and vote!

I have to admit I do have plans to eat out this weekend. Tomorrow morning I am having breakfast with my family to celebrate my wonderful dad's birthday!  Happy Birthday Dad!

(Poll is now closed)  

It appears that of those that responded 60% had plans to eat out this weekend and 40% did not.  I actually ended up eating out for dinner on Saturday night as well.  I just didn't feel like cooking!  I'm sure none of you have experienced this, right?!

- - - - - - - - - -

Here is a short, fun quiz to take to find out what your Valentine's Day candy personality is:


I'm actually a bag of conversation hearts -- what are you?

- - - - - - - - - -

Speaking of soup, I was wondering what your favorite one is.  So. . . check out the poll to the upper right and let us know.  All you have to do is click on your answer and then click on the word "vote".  I'll let you know the results soon!

The results are in:  33% chose chicken, 11% chose vegetable or minestrone, 22% potato, 11% chose split pea and 22% chose other.

- - - - - - - - - -

I believe that most of us think that the sandwich was invented by the Earl of Sandwich. However, that would not be true.  The first mention of "sandwiches" goes back to early times.  The famous Jewish rabbi Hillel the Elder (first century BCE) supposedly made the first one but, of course, he used unleavened bread (called matzoh) instead of the typical bread that we use today.  During Passover he would put apples, chopped nuts, wine and spices between the matzoh.  This "filling" represented  the suffering that the Jews went through before they were freed from slavery and also symbolized the mortar that the Jewish slaves used when forced to do manual labor. 

Nevertheless, the Earl of Sandwich (John Montague, 1718-1792) is credited with why the sandwich is called a sandwich. The most popular story (per gossip that was mentioned in a travel book by a Mr. Pierre Jean Grosley) is that the earl was a gambler and didn't want to stop to eat so he could continue gambling.  One day he instructed his servant to put salt beef (his favorite meat) between two slices of bread so he would still have one hand free to continue his gaming.  The people liked this idea a lot so they requested the "same as Sandwich".

However, there is no supporting evidence that he choose to eat this concoction while gambling.  It is more likely that he ordered this "meal" while working long hours at his desk.  Regardless of the circumstances, Mr. Montague is credited with making the sandwich popular.

Actually, John Montague (the 4th Earl of Sandwich) has a somewhat interesting history. You can read about his life by clicking on these links:




- - - - - - - - - -

I thought it might be fun to see some of these old Christmas commercials!  Just click on the links to view.  Do you have a favorite?  I think I like the Hershey Kisses commercial best but Coca-Cola and 7-Up have some good ones too!

1950s Coca-Cola  (skip the ad) - this is a long commercial and it's funny to see how they did commercials in the 1950s!  And are they saying "50 million times a day?!"

1950s Tootsie Rolls

1970s (I believe) Hershey Kisses (this is a classic)

Fruity Pebbles

1970s Coca-Cola (another classic)

1980s 7-UP

1980s Oreo Cookie

1990s 7-UP

1996 M&Ms

Another classic Coca-Cola commercial

 - - - - - - - - - -

Check out the new poll (look to your upper right) and let me know if you're panicking yet!  How's that "to do" list coming along?!  Only 12 more days till Christmas!!  

According to the poll, 100% of you are getting there and are almost ready for the holidays!

- - - - - - - - - -

I know this Christmas Season I have many blessings and lots of joy in my life.  However, I am aware that there are people in this world who are struggling just for their basic needs.  I cannot even imagine going to bed hungry every day or watching your children starving.

I recently came across the following site where you can play some trivia games and with each correct answer you can donate grains of rice to help end world hunger.  I just donated 500 grains of rice in less than two minutes.  There are several categories to choose from and it was fun to see how much I knew! 

Isn't the true meaning of Christmas about giving?  So let's have some fun and see how many grains of rice we can donate -- count up the grains and tell us how generous you have been!


 - - - - - - - - - -
I just want to thank all of you for visiting my blog.  I know how busy everyone is so it means a lot to me that you take the time out of your hectic day to stop by.  I hope that you are finding some good, easy recipes to share with your family.

Please tell me if you have ever tried one of my recipes.  I would love to hear what you thought, whether you loved it, liked it, thought it was just okay or you really didn't like it at all.  Also, please consider becoming a follower (just scroll down and look for the "Join this Site" link on the right-hand side -- currently it is located under the photo of the Sugar Cookie Cups) or letting others know about my site.

I am truly humbled that you all consider my blog worthy enough to read.  I get excited every day to share my recipes and to see that there are viewers who might actually be preparing the same foods that I have for my family.  Thank you again!

- - - - - - - - - -

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.  ~W.T. Purkiser  

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving filled with love, joy and a grateful heart. 

- - - - - - - - - -

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away?  What are your plans?  Do you do the cooking?  How many guests will you be serving?  If not cooking, where are you going?  What traditional or favorite foods will you be eating?  There is a poll (in the upper right) but also comment below.  We're interested to know how you'll be spending Turkey Day!

Drumroll please. . . here is what you all said. . . 20% cooked up a storm at home, 80% gobbled up turkey elsewhere and 0% dined out on the town.

- - - - - - - - - -

In light of it being Election Day, I thought it would be fun to see what the presidential candidate's favorite foods are.  This is what I found:

President Barack Obama:

Cheeseburgers with Dijon mustard
Hawaiian-style pizza
Trail mix
Granola bars
Vegetables (especially broccoli and spinach)
Dentyne Ice
Hawaiian Plate Lunch (scoops of rice, macaroni salad, and a meat dish)
Mac 'n cheese
Italian food
Mexican food

Source:  http://www.ivillage.com/president-obamas-favorite-recipes/3-b-319506#ixzz2BS0ZLIzv

 Mitt Romney:

From I read, everything is organic

Kashi cereals
organic applesauce
peanut butter and honey sandwich (his favorite sandwich)

Source:   http://todayonthetrail.today.com/_news/2012/09/24/14015210-mitts-favorite-sandwich-and-more-food-dish-from-romney-air?lite

- - - - - - - - - -

Of course this isn't food related, but with this huge storm(s) - Hurricane Sandy - affecting so many people, I was wondering how you all are faring?  Here in Ohio many, many schools are closed and it hasn't stopped raining since Sunday.  There are even some parts of the state who have had snow.  Many people are without electricity, my sister being one of them.  And, of course, the wind is pretty phenomenal.  I think I'm just going to stay inside today and not venture out.  Maybe I should whip up something really fantastic in the kitchen!  A nice bowl of soup sounds good today!

- - - - - - - - - -

For those who may be interested, I wanted to let you know that both my sons finished running the marathon in Columbus this weekend.  Their goal was to just finish since they didn't have a lot of time to train and they did!  (Of course, I am one proud mom!)  I was told there was going to be 18,000 runners -- now I don't know if there were that many but there were soooo many people there!  It was pretty cool and lots of fun and  the weather was great for the runners.  It was in the 40s when they started and maybe in the low 50s when they were done and sunny -- no rain.  All in all it was a great weekend -- hope yours was fun as well!

- - - - - - - - - -

Well, I'm back from my adventure!  That first night was a little rough though.  I left the house with a migraine, and if you've ever ridden in a motor home, you know that you feel every bounce and hear every rattle -- not good when your head hurts!  After that, however, I had a great time.  It was like a little bit of home away from home.  I had a stovetop and microwave and my husband also brought a grill so we ate well.  We had spaghetti, hotdogs, hamburgers, etc.  I even brought some leftover potato soup and pumpkin pancakes.  We certainly didn't go hungry!

I was surprised but I actually slept well.  I wasn't too crazy about having to take quick showers but at least we had hot water!  All in all, it was fun and fairly comfortable.  I believe I'll be seeing more of this beautiful country now that we have our own "little hotel".  Any suggestions on where to go? 

- - - - - - - - - 

I just wanted you to know that I am going on a little adventure this week.  My husband bought a small, used motor home and this will be the first time I have ever stayed in one.  Anyone have any advice?!  I'm not the real "rough and tough" type -- I like my  creature comforts!  So, this will be interesting.  I will let you know how I fare next week! 

I also wanted you to know why you won't be seeing any new posts this week.  I will not have access to the internet.  However, I will definitely be posting again next week so please don't forget about me!  Maybe in the mean time, you can try a few recipes and tell me what you think!  I truly would love to hear your comments, suggestions, stories, etc.  Have a great week everyone!

- - - - - - - - - -

Poll time. . . what Fall activity do you look most forward to?  You can vote by clicking on your answer and hit submit.  As usual, it is located in the upper right-hand corner.

The results are in. . . 80% chose going to a pumpkin farm, 20% chose sipping hot chocolate in front of the fireplace, and 0% chose picking apples, grabbing a trail mix and going hiking and popping popcorn & watching a movie.
- - - - - - - - - -

I know this doesn't really have anything to do with food, but as I mom I wanted to "brag" about my kids!  Although, I can tie it to the reason that I didn't blog yesterday (that and spending the rest of the day in kitchen) -- LOL!  Anyways, yesterday my husband and I raced from one side of town to another to watch all three of our sons run.  My older boys ran a half marathon for the first time ever and did very well.  They only got interested in running a few months ago so have been training for only a short time.  My 26 year old placed in the top 15% and my 23 year old placed in the top 3% (91st place out of 4,000 runners) and they were competing with many professional runners!  Then we watched my 7th grader run at his cross country meet.  He has beat his personal record at almost every meet and has been consistently 4th on his team.  I'm proud of all of them!  Okay, now I'll get of my "mom soapbox" -- thank you for listening!

- - - - - - - - -

Because today is his birthday, I thought it might be interesting to learn a little bit about this "Apple Seed Man".

John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed was born in Leominster, Massachusetts on September 26, 1774.  His father was one of the Minutemen at Concord and was also a Captain during the Revolutionary War.  There is not much known of his childhood but we do know that his mother died while his father was in service.  His father remarried after the war and moved his family to East Longmeadow.

When John was in his early twenties, he moved to Western Pennsylvania and settled in the frontier village of Warren (near Pittsburgh).   From there he moved west into Ohio.  He never married but he was considered an itinerate missionary and preacher of the Swedenborgian Christian faith and an apple tree nurseryman.  He was a pioneer and planted thousands of apple trees.

John Chapman's idea was to plant apple trees wherever he went so that the settlers might have food other than the wild meat and fish they had available.  He kept ahead of the settlements and each year he planted apple seeds farther west.  He managed to cover most of Ohio and went far into Indiana.  There still remains many orchards bearing apples on trees that were taken from the Appleseed nurseries.

Mr. Chapman became friend to many and the settlers always opened their cabin doors to him.  He would carry news with him which the adults enjoyed and would teach the children many things like how to make sleds and wagons.  But, always he would plant the apple seeds in open places in the forest, along roadways and by streams.  He soon became known as the "apple seed man" and later became known as "Johnny Appleseed".

He was described as a man of medium height, had blue eyes and light brown hair which was long.  He wore little clothing and often went barefoot, even in the winter.  He was a vegetarian believing that it was wrong to take life in order to procure food.  The only living thing that he killed was a rattlesnake and he always regretted it.  To him the undisturbed forest was something to behold and the flowers on the open prairie was "a feast" to him (per his half-sister).  It was rare for him to seek shelter.  He preferred to sleep in the open forest.

The only time that Johnny Appleseed was sick in over 70 years was when he developed pneumonia.  It was in 1845 -- he heard that some cattle had broken down the fences at one of his nurseries near Fort Wayne, Indiana.  He went there on foot to repair the fence.  The weather was cold and it was snowing.  That evening he stopped at a Mr. Worth's home seeking shelter.  In the morning he came down with pneumonia and a few days later he died.  Mr. Worth buried his body in the David Archer graveyard nearby (although this is disputed by other sources).  It is unmarked.

For almost 50 years, Johnny Appleseed traveled the forests and prairies of Ohio and Indiana planting apple seeds, caring for his trees and teaching farmers apple culture.  Today it is a rare thing to find a farm in the area that he traveled that does not have a few apple trees.

Source:  http://www.ohioapples.com/pdf/johnny_appleseed.pdf

- - - - - - - - - -

Happy First Day of Fall everyone!  I don't know about you, but when the days get shorter and the nights get cooler, I tend to reach for comfort foods like macaroni & cheese.  In honor of such an auspicious occasion, I'd like to know what comfort foods you get a craving for.  So. . . do your thing and vote at the poll (located in the upper right corner)!  You can choose more than one answer.

Results:  37.5% chose macaroni & cheese, 12.5% chose soup, 12.5% chose stew, 12.5% chose bread and 25% chose other.

- - - - - - - - - -

As you can see, I've been making a few changes.  I am always trying to make navigating around this blog a little bit easier.  The biggest change I made is that I put the list of categories across the top so you don't have to search for them (they were located on the right-hand side before).  Plus I put all my recipes under one category.  Just click on "Recipes" to find a list of them all.  Then all you need to do is click on the one you're interested in and it will take you right to the recipe.  Happy Cooking!

- - - - - - - - - -

Here are the results to the poll of "What is your favorite Cake Flavor?":  62% chose chocolate, 25% chose white, 12% chose banana and 1% chose other.

- - - - - - - - - -

As I was surfing the internet this morning, I came across this old time radio commercial for Patti Cake Cookies.  I couldn't  find any information on the company so I was curious to see if anyone ever heard of them.  Take a listen and tell me if you have.  Did you ever eat one?  According to the commercial, they made several different kinds including oatmeal, chocolate chip, sugar, etc.


- - - - - - - - - -

Guess what I have been doing this weekend?!

As you can see, my garden is producing quite a bit.  I dried herbs, froze peas and green beans and will finish making my two gallons of marinara sauce today.  Plus I will start on the pizza sauce and salsa!  Now, you know why I didn't post anything yesterday!!
- - - - - - - - - -

Speaking of Julia Child, I am just curious if any of you have seen the movie "Julie & Julia" starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams?  (Please answer the poll in the upper right)  It is based on the true stories of Julia Child's life and how her cookbook inspired fledgling write, Julie Powell to make 524 recipes in 365 days.

I thought it was humorous and I felt that Meryl Streep did a great job portraying Julia Child.  My husband even liked the movie.  Did you like it?  I would love to hear your thoughts so please share them with us!

Poll is closed but 57% of you saw the movie and 43% did not.

- - - - - - - - - -

In honor of the 2012 Olympic games, I thought I would share this fun fact that I learned today:

In 776 B.C.E. the first Olympic champion listed in the records was a cook.   According to http://www.thenibble.com/fun/more/facts/history.asp his name was Coroebus of Elis and he won the sprint race.

- - - - - - - - - -

I've spoken about my garden often enough so I thought I would show you some photos.  If you have never had one, I would love to inspire you to test your green thumb.  There is nothing like tasting fresh, organic produce.  It is so much healthier too.  Even if you just have a pot filled with your favorite vegetable, it is definitely worth having.

I am looking forward to tasting our first tomatoes (we've had a few cherry tomatoes just start to ripen) and green beans.  Those are my favorites.  What garden vegetable(s) do you look the most forward to eating?  Did anyone plant something they have never tried before?  We're trying sweet potatoes for the first time.  I'll let you know if we get any!

Banana peppers
Zucchini, cucumbers, squash, etc.
This is our garden a few weeks ago.
This is the broccoli I picked today!
 - - - - - - - - - -
Speaking of blueberries, how do you like to eat them?  Answer the poll to the right so we can see!  (Just so you know, you can choose multiple answers.)

Poll is now closed.  The results are as follows:  17% like them by themselves, 33% like them all gooey in pie/cobbler, 33% like them mixed up in a muffin and 17% like them snuggled in a smoothie.

- - - - - - - - - -

Survey time again. . . What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?  Mine would have to be key lime pie!  Have you ever tried it?  Oh, it's soooo yummy!

The results are in. . . 16% chocolate, 16% vanilla, 0% strawberry, 0% cookies & cream, 36% mint chocolate chip, 16% butter pecan, 0% rocky road, 0% coffee, 16% other.

- - - - - - - - - -

I just wanted you to know that I updated all the links in the "What's For Dinner" category.  Now, you should be able to click on the highlighted dishes which will take you directly to the recipe.  I hope this makes things easier for all of you!

- - - - - - - - -

Did you know that June is known as National Candy Month?  I don't think I know anyone who doesn't love candy!  Do you?  Let's find out what your favorites are.  Be sure to comment below if your candy is not in the poll to the upper right!  Let's face it, there are way too many for me to list all of them!

Poll is officially closed but here is what you told us:  20% chose Snickers, 20% chose Hershey Bars, 20% chose Kit Kats, 20% chose Butterfingers and 20% chose other.
- - - - - - - - -

I like polls because I get to know you all a little bit better!  Because I just posted a potato recipe, I thought I'd ask your opinion on who has the best french fries.  Be sure to vote (look near the top right)!

Of course, I know fries aren't the healthiest way to prepare potatoes, but my vote would be for McDonald's. We don't eat a lot of fast food, but I do prefer McDonald's fries over the other fast food restaurants.

Poll is closed but this is what you had to say:  50% chose McDonald's fries, 50% chose other, 0% chose Burger King and 0% chose Wendy's.  I say that homemade fries are still the best!
- - - - - - - - -

I thought it might be fun to listen to an old Jell-O commercial. Click on the link below to hear it.  Be sure to check out the 1955 commercial further down on the right.  You can also listen to the commercial on the Jack Benny Show a little bit further down in the center of the page.  Let me know if you were able to listen to it and what you think of the commercials!

- - - - - - - - - -

Since we are on the subject of cookies, I wanted to see which one is your favorite -- just place your vote (located in the upper right).  My vote is for sugar cookies, but macadamia nut is a close second.

 Poll is now closed and the results are in. . . 
 25% chose chocolate chip and 25% chose sugar cookies
12% chose peanut butter, oatmeal and macadamia nut
0% chose snickerdoodle, macaroon, gingersnap or other

- - - - - - - - - -

I think it's time for another poll -- just look to your upper right and vote!  I personally like to bake and cook.  Although, I certainly don't mind being wined and dined upon occasion!!

This poll is closed but the results to the question of whether you like to bake, cook, do both or none at all are as follows:  20% of you like to bake, 40% of you like to cook and 40% of you like to do both. 

- - - - - - - - - -

I'm not sure what your plans are for this holiday weekend, but in-between parties and a cookout, my husband and I are planning on getting our garden started.  Ours is a fairly good size as we plant tomatoes, spinach, cucumbers, peppers, peas, broccoli, zucchini, squash, radishes, carrots, beans, eggplant, beets, etc.

Are you planning on having a garden this summer (or for those of you that are heading into your winter, did you have a  garden)?  Please answer the poll near the top right!  Also, comment below and tell us what you'll be growing!

Results:  This poll is now closed -- half of you have/had a garden and half of you did not!

- - - - - - - - - -

It's time for another poll!  It's located to the right -- just click on your answer and then click on the word "vote".  (Note:  you can vote for more than one if you have more than one favorite)  If your answer is other,  feel free to comment below.   I'd also love to hear if you made the Cherry Dessert recipe -- let's talk about it!!

Note:  this poll is now closed.  The question was "What is your favorite fruit filling" and the results were:  Cherry (35%), Apple (23%), Blueberry (23%), Peach (23%), Other (11%) and Lemon (5%).

(It adds up to more than 100% because you were allowed to vote for more than one!) 

- - - - - - - - - -

I've decided to add a new category!  I feel like I'm doing all the "talking" but I would love to hear from you!!  I thought it would be interesting to see how many of you celebrate Cinco de Mayo (even if it just means you are preparing a Mexican dish) so I added a poll.  It is located in the upper right -- just click either yes or no and then click on vote!

If you do celebrate feel free to let us know how you enjoy this holiday -- just click on comment below and enter your information.  When finished, click on publish.  Ole!
Note:  this poll is now closed.  The results were 50% celebrated Cinco de Mayo and 50% did not.

No comments:

Post a Comment