Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Do Over, Please!

I missed it!  I missed Thanksgiving and my Mother's birthday.  How can that be you ask?  Well, it started on November 16th with pain in my neck, my back, shoulder, down my arm, and numbness in my left hand.  After 3 days of pain that escalated to unbearable my dear husband took me to the doctor.  The doctor immediately put me in the hospital via ambulance ride.  After x-ray's , CT scans, and an MRI the diagnosis was a herniated disc in my neck that is rubbing against my spinal chord and an enlarged left kidney. I was released from the hospital on Thanksgiving evening with a bag full of medications and instructions to do follow-up appointments

So, there you have it I missed it all.  I did get to my parents the next day for a visit and to deliver my Mother's gift.  But, I had promised her marble squares for her birthday and was unable to deliver that request - which I will fulfill at a later date.

Even though I could not make them for my Mom I can share the recipe here and now.  So, if you want a melt in your mouth, to die for (not quite sure if you can call it cake and not quite sure if you can call it a brownie).  Alas, you can call it wonderful!  The recipe comes from a cookbook that I ordered my first year of marriage - The Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese Cookbook

Marble Squares
1 8 oz. pkg. Philadelphia brand cream cheese
2 1/3 cups sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 1-oz. squares unsweetened chocolate
2 cups flour
1/2 cup diary sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 6 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate pieces


1. Combine softened cream cheese and 1/3 cup sugar, mixing until well blended. Blend in 1 egg. 
Set this aside.

2. In a saucepan, combine water, butter, and chocolate; bring to a boil. Remove from heat.  Set aside.

3. Combine the remaining 2 cups of sugar and flour in a bowl.   Mix together.  Add the mixture from the saucepan to the dry ingredients. Mix well.

4. Blend in the remaining 2 eggs , sour cream, baking soda and salt.

5. Pour batter into a greased and floured jelly roll pan.

6.  Spoon cream cheese mixture over the chocolate batter.  Cut through the batter with a knife several times for a marble effect;  sprinkle with chocolate pieces.

7. Bake at 375 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool; cut into squares.  





Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I know Halloween is over but I wanted to share my favorite recipe of 'Roasted Pumpkin Seeds'.  This was a 'Martha Stewart Recipe' from October, 2002.  It is sweet and spicy at the same time and it's very hard to stop eating them once you start.

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
makes 1 cup

  1 cup pumpkin seeds from 1 medium pumpkin (about 5 to 7 pounds)

5 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil 

1. Heat oven to 250 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a sil pad.  Cut pumpkin open , removing the seeds.  Separate the flesh from the seeds and discard.  Spread seeds on the parchment or sil pad in an even layer.  Bake until dry, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.  Let cool.
     2. In a medium bowl combine 3 tablespoons of sugar, salt, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne. (Set aside)  Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat.  Add pumpkin seeds and the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Cook until sugar melts and the pumpkin seeds begin to caramelize, about 45 to 60 seconds.  Transfer the seeds to the bowl with the spices and stir well to coat.  Let cool.  These may be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.  (Although I have kept them for maybe 3 weeks and they have been fine.  But, they probably won't last that long.)
  
 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Book Review and Recipe (Sort Of)

It is hard to believe that we are into November with Thanksgiving and Christmas just a hop, skip, and a jump away.  I have had so many wonderful things happen in the past 4 weeks I don't know where to begin.  But, for this post I am going to be short and sweet.  It is a book review and a recipe (well, sort of).

I have just finished reading this wonder full book about a freelance food writer and blogger.  Her qualifications are many and she is a wonderful writer.  (Oh, and she is also a new Mom.)  This wonderful person is 'Molly Wizenberg'.  Her book is "A Homemade Life".  If is a culmination of stories and recipes from her life.  



Because I want you to go out and get this book and I don't want to spoil any of the reading I am not going to write any excerpts.  But, I will tell you that her love life before she was married was extremely comical.  There are two chapters that really stand-out for me - one was called 'The Hardball Stage'.  At the end of the chapter there was a recipe for 'Fresh Ginger Cake with Caramelized Pears'.  Her words had my mouth watering for this cake.  Well, I just had to make it.  It was so delicious - and you must eat it with the sauce warm.  (I am going to follow with photos of this cake, but not the recipe (I really want you to go out and get this book.)
My other favorite chapter was 'High Points'. It had me laughing till I cried.  

So, that is my blog for today.  Go out and get this book and try all the wonderful recipes.  Oh, and if you want to read more of Molly; her blog is orangette.blogspot.com.  I promise you won't be disappointed.  
 
  

Thursday, November 1, 2012






Happy Halloween!



It was a great Halloween! I had 111 Trick-or-Treaters

While I was handing out candy I made sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds (Martha Stewart recipe):

Ingredients:
1 cup pumpkin seeds from 1 medium pumpkin
5 Tablespoons of sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 Tablespoons peanut oil

1. Heat oven to 250 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Cut pumpkin open and remove seeds.  Separate flesh from seeds and discard flesh.  Spread seeds on parchment in an even layer.  Bake until dry, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.  Let cool.       

2. In a medium bowl combine 3 tablespoons sugar, salt, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne.  heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat.  Add pumpkin seeds and 2 tablespoons sugar.  Cook until sugar melts and the pumpkin seeds begin to caramelize, about 45 to 60 seconds.  Transfer to bowl with the spices and stir well to coat.  Let cool.  These may be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


Hope you had a wonderful Halloween!