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Anything is good, in moderation. I cook because I love to and because I can share with those around me. I crochet for the same reason.

Do what you want to do, enjoy what you do and use it to touch those around you.

Jul 28, 2010

Dark Salt Caramels

14 1/2 ounces sugar  
1/2 cup water  
1/2 cup light corn syrup  
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar  
1 cup heavy cream, room temperature  
1 teaspoon soy sauce  
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature  
1 ½  teaspoon coarse sea salt

Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
Combine the sugar, water, corn syrup, and cream of tartar in a heavy 4-quart saucepan and put over high heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Cover and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the heavy cream and soy sauce in a liquid measuring cup. Have this and the butter standing by.
Remove the lid from the sugar mixture, and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. When the sugar mixture reaches 230 degrees F, reduce the heat to medium and cook, without stirring, until the syrup is a golden color and is approaching 300 degrees F, about 6 to 7 minutes. At this point, there is less likelihood of any crystallization, so gently swirl the pan to break up any hot pockets.
When the color turns amber, 320 - 350 degrees F, remove the pan from the heat, and gently swirl again to break up all of the hot pockets. Cool for 2 minutes.
Carefully incorporate the cream and soy mixture and the butter into the pan. Stir to combine. Return the caramel to medium heat, stir until the butter is completely melted, and continue cooking until it reaches 255 degrees F. Remove from the heat and pour into the parchment-lined pan, tap gently to release air bubbles.
Cool on a cooling rack for 30 minutes, and then sprinkle evenly with the salt. Continue cooling on the rack for an additional 3 1/2 hours. Cut into 1-inch pieces and wrap individually in parchment. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Jul 19, 2010

Horseback Riding at Gettysburg Battlefield

Yesterday I experienced the Gettysburg Battlefield in a unique way - a two hour guided horseback tour.  Artillery Ridge offers a one hour ride or a two hour ride with historical narration.  The ride was wonderful, well narrated and the wranglers took the time to pause if we were ahead of the narration.  The horses are well trained and gentle.  The website recommends three to four weeks notice, but call anyhow.  We found an open tour yesterday by calling on Saturday.

To learn more about Artillery Ridge, click the title of this post.  I highly recommend this tour and will be returning myself to ride in the fall.

Jul 15, 2010

"Born To Run" by Christopher McDougall

It doesn't matter if you are a runner, walker or just like a fantastic story, this is a great book.  Starting with the question of 'why does my foot hurt', the story delves into ultrarunning, science, hunting, shoes, no shoes, hidden tribes and lasting friendship.  Pick up a copy at your local bookstore, library or online (  The link in the title of this post takes you to the official fan site.

And my husband says I shouldn't go barefoot......

Jul 14, 2010

Crochet Carry-All

The pattern, which can be found by clicking the title above, is more than just a carryall.  While great for carrying produce at a farmers market or grocery store, carrying toys to the beach and carrying a variety of items at your local store, it is also a great tool for storing your kids stuffed animals or larger toys.  It expands to at least twice its size and is very easy to make.

Jul 13, 2010

Tuna Salad

10 ounce Can Tuna, Drained                         1/2 Cup Carrot, Shredded
  5 Tbl Plain Low-Fat Yogurt                           1/2 Cup Granny Smith Apple, Diced

Mix all ingredients and enjoy.

Blueberry Pancakes

  1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour,             3/4 Cup Fat-Free Ricotta
  -May Use All Purpose Wheat Flour                1 Large Egg
  6 Tbl All Purpose Flour                                 1 Large Egg White
  1 Tsp Sugar                                                   1/2 Cup 1% Milk, (see Tip)
  1 Tsp Baking Powder                                     3/4 Cup fresh or frozen (not
  1/4 Tsp Baking Soda                                     -thawed) blueberries
  1/4 Tsp Cinnamon                                       
  1/4 Tsp Nutmeg                                           

1. Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg in a small bowl. Whisk ricotta, egg, egg white, buttermilk, lemon zest and juice in a large bowl until smooth. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until  just combined.   Stir in blueberries.
2.  Spray a large nonstick skillet oil and place over medium heat until hot. Using a generous 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake, pour the batter into the pan and cook until the edges are dry and bubbles begin to form, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes more. Repeat, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning.

Jul 6, 2010

Homemade Yogurt

What you Need:
A double boiler OR a set of pots that fit inside each other - the smaller pot should have a lid.
A thermometer
A large spoon
1 half gallon milk (whole, 2%, 1% or skim)
3 Tbl Plain Yogurt (to use as a starter - going forward, you can use the yogurt you make)
A Heating Pad
A Cutting Board

If making Greek Yogurt:
Bowl that the colander fits in
Cheesecloth OR Muslin

* Fill your larger pot with water and put your smaller pot into the larger pot and bring water to a boil. 
* Carefully pour your milk into the smaller pot.
* Check to make sure that the water on the outside of the smaller pot is at about the same point on you pot as the milk in the small pot and add water as necessary.
*  Heat the Milk to 185 degrees, stirring frequently.
*  While the milk is heating, put ice water in your kitchen sink.  You will be sitting your small pot in this water, so you only need enough to cover the small pot about half way up the side.
*  Once your milk is 185 degrees, carefully place the pot of milk in the cold water bath and stir occasionally until the milk reaches 110 degrees (do not allow the milk to go below 100 or your yogurt culture will remain dormant)
*  While the milk is cooling, put a cutting board on a counter and put the heating pad on top, set to medium
*  Stir in 2 - 3 Tablespoons of plain yogurt (if this is your first batch, you will purchase yogurt.  If it is not, use yogurt from your last batch)
*  Once mixed well, cover with lid and put the pot of milk on the heating pad.  Cover with a dish towel.
*  Wait eight to 12 hours.  The yogurt gets more pungent and tangy the longer it sits, so I recommend starting with eight hours and adjusting each batch after that to your liking.

Finishing - Two Options:
Option 1:  Regular Yogurt - Stir well - Place in container(s) and refrigerate.

Option 2:  Greek Yogurt - Do NOT Stir - Line a colander with two layers of Cheesecloth OR one layer of Muslin (I prefer muslin as it is washable).  Set colander in a bowl and  pour yogurt into colander.  Place in refrigerator and allow to drain for at least an hour.  Once drained, pour into a large container and stir.


Jul 5, 2010

Cole Slaw with Apples

  3 Cups chopped cabbage                                 1/2 Cup Red Bell Peppers, Chopped
  1 unpeeled red apple, Cored And chopped   1/3 Cup mayonnaise
  1 unpeeled Granny Smith, Cored And          1/3 Cup brown sugar
  -Chopped                                                       1 Tbl lemon juice, Or To Taste
  1 carrot, grated                                            

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, red apple, green apple, carrot,  and red bell pepper. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, brown sugar, and lemon
 juice. Pour dressing over salad.  Let stand a few hours before serving.

Jul 3, 2010

Blueberry Lime Jam

4 ½ Cup Blueberries 1 Pkt Powdered pectin
1 Large Lime 4 Cups Sugar
Lime Juice

Using a microplane grater, remove zest from the lime and put in a large saucepot. Juice the lime and measure, adding enough juice to make 2 tablespoons and add the juice to the saucepot. Crush berries one layer at a time. Combine crushed blueberries and pectin in a large saucepot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

Jul 2, 2010

German Pork Sandwiches

14.5 Ounce Sauerkraut, Drained And                            2 Tablespoon Mayonnaise -Rinsed                                                                           2 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard, Or
1 Tablespoon Caraway Seed                                          -Mister Mustard
2.5 Lb Pork Roast, Boneless                                          1 Cups Beer
Salt, To Taste                                                                  16 Slice Rye Bread
Black pepper, To Taste                                                   8 Slice Swiss Cheese

Place sauerkraut in a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle caraway seeds over sauerkraut.  Trim fat from meat. If necessary, cut meat to fit into the slow cooker.  Lightly sprinkle meat with salt and pepper. Mix Mayonnaise and Mustard and spread over the Pork.  Place meat on top of sauerkraut in cooker. Pour beer over the meat.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.

Transfer meat to a cutting board; cool slightly and shred with two forks, discarding any fat. Drain the sauerkraut and mix with the shredded pork. 
Spread outside of bread with butter, put Swiss cheese and pork Mixture on rye bread and cook in a panini press until well toasted and the cheese is melted  OR
Put Meat mixture on a piece of bread, top with cheese and broil until cheese is melted.  Top with another piece of bread

Per Serving: 458 Cal (35% from Fat, 34% from Protein, 31% from Carb); 38 g Protein; 18 g Tot Fat; 6 g Sat Fat; 7 g Mono Fat; 35 g Carb; 5 g Fiber; 1 g Sugar; 192 mg  Calcium; 5 mg Iron; 969 mg Sodium; 106 mg Cholesterol