Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cinnamon Butter Scones

2 cups flour
1/4 cup brown sugar + 2 T
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 T butter, cold
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 T milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Set oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a cup, combine egg and sour cream.
Remove 1 1/2 T butter and set aside. Take remaining 6.5 T butter and cut into powder mixture. Once the mixture looks like wet sand, stir in sour cream and egg mixture until batter forms a dough.
Press into a flat disk, using additional flour if needed on counter. Cut out shapes (either hearts, circles, or squares) Place half of the shapes on a parchment lined baking sheet. Reserve the remaining shapes.
Melt the 1.5 T butter and then combine with remaining 2 T brown sugar. Spoon a bit of sugar mixture into the center of each shape that is on the baking sheet.
Top the shapes with a shape that is reserved. Press to seal edges.
Place in oven and bake 15 minutes until the scones are golden brown,
Mix milk, powdered sugar and vanilla until a thick icing forms.
Drizzle on browned scones and serve.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Women Over Forty According to Andy Rooney


Andy Rooney's thoughts on women over forty, Do you agree with him?: 

As I grow in age, I value women who are over forty most of all. Here are just a few reasons why: A woman over forty will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, “What are you thinking?” She doesn’t care what you think.


If a woman over forty doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it’s usually something more interesting.


A woman over forty knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of forty give a hoot what you might think about her or what she’s doing.


Women over forty are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.


Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it’s like to be unappreciated.


A woman over forty has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn’t trust the guy with other women. Women over forty couldn’t care less if you’re attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won’t betray her.


Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over forty. They always know.


A woman over forty looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over forty is far sexier than her younger counterpart.


Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk, if you are acting like one! You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her.


Yes, we praise women over forty for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of forty-plus, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some twenty-two-year-old waitress.


Ladies, I apologize.


For all those men who say, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,” here’s an update for you. Now 80 percent of women are against marriage, why? Because women realize it’s not worth buying an entire pig, just to get a little sausage.


As I grow in age, I value women who are over forty most of all. Here are just a few reasons why: A woman over forty will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, “What are you thinking?” She doesn’t care what you think.

If a woman over forty doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it’s usually something more interesting.

A woman over forty knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of forty give a hoot what you might think about her or what she’s doing.

Women over forty are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.

Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it’s like to be unappreciated.

A woman over forty has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn’t trust the guy with other women. Women over forty couldn’t care less if you’re attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won’t betray her.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over forty. They always know.

A woman over forty looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over forty is far sexier than her younger counterpart.

Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk, if you are acting like one! You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

Yes, we praise women over forty for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of forty-plus, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some twenty-two-year-old waitress.

Ladies, I apologize.

For all those men who say, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,” here’s an update for you. Now 80 percent of women are against marriage, why? Because women realize it’s not worth buying an entire pig, just to get a little sausage.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Blessings

It's been a fantastic summer so far and another great week. I am so grateful for my family and friends who make every day a blessing.
I played tennis with friends and had a great time. They are good natured and good sports. Who could ask for anything more?
I went running outside and felt so strong and alive. 
I've been super busy working and it's rewarding to see progress.
Ashley has been cooking dinner a couple of times a week while I work. She is a fantastic cook and her help has been invaluable with me being able to reach my deadlines.
Allie has one more week before her summer class is over. She's finishing up her last assignments. 

Ashley made ice cream in a bag. It was delicious. She shook a milk, vanilla and sugar filled bag in a larger bag filled ice. It was tasty. I bought her an ice cream maker so she can experiment with other recipes. Can't wait for her to do her research.
 Jon and the girls put ads for my books in local papers. They surprised me by leaving the paper on the counter for me to "discover". It didn't go as planned because I overlooked the ad for 3 days! But, with enough prodding from Allie, I finally saw it and shrieked in delight!
 And I gave a book to our neighborhood coffee shop and they posted it on their Facebook page. It was such an unexpected thrill to see it online!
Jon and I watched as a school of stingrays jumped out of the water and played in the ocean. They were so graceful and strong. I had never seen stingrays surface and jump. It was unreal and beautiful.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

24th Wedding Anniversary

 
24 years ago Jon married me!
24 years... that's 8742 days of marriage

Friday, July 18, 2014

Recipe: Miniature Over-The-Top Chocolate, Peanut Butter Brownies

I served these brownies as a dessert for a healthy meal. I know, there is nothing low fat, healthy or otherwise good about them. Except for the taste. These are UTTERLY delicious. I served them in tiny portions so the guilt was minimal... but these were so good that guilt doesn't even enter the picture.

Over-The-Top Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Brownie Mixture
1 cup melted butter
1 scant cup brown sugar
1 scant cup white sugar
3 eggs at room temperature
1 cup cocoa
1 T vanilla
1 T Kahlua
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz bag, Reeces Miniature Peanut Butter Cups

Frosting and Topping

8 oz brick of cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
7 oz peanut butter (half a jar)
1 tsp salt
6 oz chocolate chips
12 oz bag, Reeces Miniature Peanut Butter Cups

Preheat oven to 350.
Line a 9x13 pan with tin foil and then with parchment paper. Set aside.
For brownies, mix melted butter with sugars until combined. Stir in eggs until combined. Add cocoa, extract and Kahlua. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt.
Pour into prepared pan.
Slice 15 miniature peanut butter cups into fourths. Press into the batter in pan. They will be partly exposed. Bake in oven for 25 - 30 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean when poked into the batter.
Cool thoroughly to room temperature.

Frosting:
Whip butter and cream cheese until combined. Add powdered sugar, peanut butter and salt. When mixture is smooth, spread across cooled brownies.
Using remaining Reeces from the Brownie Mixture bag as well as the second bag, chop all in quarters. Sprinkle on top of frosted brownies and gently press down.
Melt chocolate chips and drizzle over the peanut butter cup topped brownies.
Refrigerate two hours until firm. Remove from fridge and slice into teeny tiny pieces. These are rich! Put back in the fridge until ready to serve.
Enjoy a tiny piece without any guilt.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Recipe: Arugula, Beet, Grapefruit, Jicama and Radish Salad

Here's a recipe that uses delicious ingredients to create a light, tangy salad. I topped it with a citrus balsamic dressing to play off the flavors of the roasted beets and grapefruit.
Summer Salad

2 red grapefruit, peeled, sliced and quartered
3 beets, roasted, peeled and sliced
1 cup green beans, steamed and chopped
8 radish, peeled, sliced and cut into sticks
6 cups arugula, washed and dried
1/2 large jicama, peeled and julienned

Prepare all vegetables and arrange on top of the arugula in a salad bowl. This can be made ahead of time and dressed just before serving. Toss with tongs and serve in salad bowls. The beets bleed into the radish and jicama and creates a beautiful pink hue.

Dressing:
2/3 cup balsamic dressing
1/3 cup olive oil
juice from 1 orange
4 sprigs parsley
6 basil leaves
salt and peper
1 chopped shallot.

Pulse all ingredients in a blender. Refrigerate until ready to use

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Recipe: Prosciutto, Watermelon and Kiwi Salad

 Here's another salad based on the classic Melon and Prosciutto Salad. Instead of the classic cantaloupe, I used watermelon. The dish works because of the contrast between the refreshing fruit against the salty meat.
Ashley cut the watermelon into heart shaped pieces, playing on the red of the watermelon. The kiwi added a tart bite against the salty prosciutto.

Prosciutto, Watermelon & Kiwi Salad

10 slices Prosciutto, rolled into pencils
Watermelon slices, cut with a cookie cutter
2 kiwi, peeled and sliced

Arrange all ingredients on a platter. Chill until serving.