Saturday, May 29, 2010


I happened to look out the window & spotted this beautiful butterfly...made a mad dash for the camera...ran outside...and the beauty was still there...made my day!

Long after I went back in the house, the butterfly was still feasting on the sweet (apparently) nectar of the flowers in my garden!!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's Chicken Again!!!

We have been eating a lot of chicken lately and this particular Peanut Crusted Chicken is tasty! We'll certainly put this recipe in the make again section!
It is simple which is a bonus this time of the year, especially when the temperature has been around ninety with a fair amount of humidity.

Chicken Breasts With A Peanut Crust:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup dry roasted peanuts (lightly salted)
3 slices of Pepperidge white bread, torn in small pieces
Pepper to taste
2 large eggs
2 chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Line a baking sheet with foil & lightly oil
Place the bread & peanuts in food processor and pulse until coursely ground
Place in bowl & stir in the olive oil & season with pepper

Beat eggs & season with a little salt & pepper
Add chicken and coat on both sides. Now dredge in breading, coating both sides and place on prepared baking sheet.

Bake approximately 15 minutes

The chicken is moist & crunchy
Fresh local asparagus is abundant & so good!

I just placed the asparagus in a tiny amount of water and steamed just until tender & then drained and placed back in pan with about a tablespoon of butter and a couple tablespoons of lemon zest & stirred over medium heat briefly. The lemon sure brings out a fresh taste!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Perfect Salad Mix

The Elberta Farmer's Market opened for the season on Thursday, May 20, 2010 and Mom surprised me with a bag of my favorite salad mix...the taste is so heavenly and the nasturtiums just provide a colorful masterpiece on your plate.

The picture is taken while the salad mix is still in the bag, isn't it just gorgeous?

Many thanks Mom for your kindness, it is appreciated!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Baked Chicken Parmesan

I received this recipe from Coco and she found it on Gina's recipe site. I adapted the recipe just a bit and we will surely have this is quick & easy to prepare!

2 chicken breast halves
3/4 cup seasoned croutons, crushed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup marinara
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Line a glass baking dish with foil & spray with non-stick cooking spray
Combine crouton crumbs and parmesan cheese in a bowl. Melt the butter in another bowl. Dip the chicken breasts in the butter, then dip into the crumb mixture. Bake in oven for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over and bake another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and spoon marinara sauce over breasts and top with shredded mozzarella. Bake another 5 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Fresh asparagus was a tasty side!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Rhubarb Is Ready

The Rhubarb is beautiful this year and I wonder if all the rain has something to do with that...whatever the reason, it is a bumper crop and will be enjoyed!

I scoured the blogs for rhubarb recipes and also consulted my Little Rhubarb Cookbook and decided to make a crisp this afternoon!

The recipe comes together quickly and bakes for 45 minutes and smells so good...a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream just makes for a Sunday afternoon treat!

Rhubarb Crisp:

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup flour
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups sliced rhubarb
3/4 - 1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine the brown sugar with flour, oats & cinnamon in a bowl and stir to thoroughly combine all dry ingredients. Slowly add the melted butter, stirring to combine until crumbly.

In a small saucepan combine the water, granulated sugar, cornstarch & vanilla. Cook & stir over medium heat until the mixture runs clear and thickens.

In a 8" x 8" pan that has been greased lightly with butter, press about 1/2 of the crumb mixture . Top with the sliced rhubarb evenly.

Pour the thickened mixture over the rhubarb and finally sprinkle the remainder of the oat mixture on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes

Serve with vanilla ice cream and a bit of mint for garnish.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

And Now The Cherry Blossom Cookies

This is my first attempt at decorating cookies with modified royal icing...It was a lot of fun to create the little cherry blossom branch but I have much more practicing to do!

The cookies are simply delicious with bits of dried cherries and cherry extract (or oil)!

The recipe was on Good Things Catered blog.

Cherry Blossom Cookie Recipe:

1 1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon cherry extract (or you can use LorAnn Oil)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup finely chopped dried, tart cherries
Powdered sugar for rolling

Cream butter & sugars in a mixer for 5 minutes
Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly
Add extracts
Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt a little at a time and then add cherries.
Do not over-mix, this process should take about one minute.
Chill dough for up to a week in the fridge, or roll out and cut right away.
Bake at 400 degrees for 7-8 minutes on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

I packaged the cookies in bags and tied with pink ribbon then sent the finished products off to work with Ben so that Graceland Fruit could sample Cherry Blossom Cookies...part of their business is drying cherries.

The modified royal recipe can be found on the Wilton site.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

It's Cherry Blossom Time

Yes, it is Cherry Blossom Time in Michigan and the orchards are in full bloom! These particular blossoms are on the south side of our residence and how beautiful to gaze out the window and take in the splendor of nature.

The orchard that exists at present time is but a few very old trees that were part of the original cherry orchard belonging to Uncle Alfred. During my growing up years Uncle Alfred cared for the orchard and then my Dad took over when Uncle Alfred somewhat retired. My parents, along with my brother & myself picked cherries (sweets & tarts) every summer. I saved my money for school clothes & placed the remainder in the bank for a college fund.

One of so many memories at the orchard was walking down to the creek at lunch time and getting a nice cup of the best tasting water cold (partly because the tin cup we used was kept right in the water).

I am so grateful for the memories but I did do some grumbling getting up early during summer vacation only to have the sweat bee's sting the back of your knees & have cherry juice running down your arms...but the money was good & we did have plenty of family stories to tell during the long days.