Sunday, December 30, 2012

Spicy Shrimp Pasta

Just a quick post w/ a recipe for something different after Christmas... when you are Chicken, Turkey and Beefed to the max.... get into a little Seafood or Pasta for a change. I hand make my Pasta Noodles and keep them in the freezer...see my prior Pasta Post here ..  So, for this Recipe, I used my own Spinach Linguini noodles. If you don't want to hand make your Pasta... you can buy the pretty green Spinach Linguini noodles at your local Grocer.
Spinach Linguini Noodles
 Cooked Shrimp, I peel & rough dice about 2 dozen.
2 small Zucchini Squash, diced
1/2 medium Onion, diced
1/4 cup Sundried Tomato
2-3 tblsp. Olive Oil
1/8-1/4  tsp. Red Pepper Flakes (to your taste)
Shredded Asiago Cheese
In a 3-4 quart sauce pan, sauté Diced Zucchini Squash and Onion in Olive Oil until tender. Add in Sundried Tomato, Shrimp. Heat through.
Concurrently, cook Spinach Linguini Pasta to desired tenderness. I like mine slightly Al Dente.
Drain Pasta and plate.
Spoon the Vegetable/ Shrimp combo over the Linguini.
Season w/ Red Pepper flakes to your taste. Slightly toss.
Shred Asiago Cheese over the Pasta Dish.
Enjoy :) 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Jane Dough's Spoon River Filled Cookies

Hey y'all .. I surely hope everyone is having fun with Holiday preps. I'm doing a little bit of baking this year... My Spoon River Filled Cookies are a favorite of mine.... I fill them with Apricot Jam, Raspberry Jam and Honey Walnut filling. So great on a Winter's day with a cup of Tea. I hope you will give them a try.... a caveat though... this is a dough that can be a challenge to work with... but if you don't yet know your way around rolled cookie dough,  you can't learn unless you try... :) And believe me, these are well worth the effort and learning...

Spoon River Filled Cookies

 I first have on hand a jar of Apricot Jam and a jar of Seedless Raspberry Jam ( be certain to use Jam, and not Jelly, as it is more substantive and makes better filling) . I also make a little batch of Honey Walnut filling as follows:

Food process or grind 4 to 5 Cups of shelled (not chopped) Black Walnuts  ( I process to crumbs the size of Couscous ) 
To the ground Walnuts I add in 1/4 cup Sugar, and just enough scalded Milk to make a paste. Then I drizzle Honey into the paste to add sweetness and to create a less crumbly paste. Your Walnut paste should look like this:

For the dough:

1/2 Cup Vegetable Shortening
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 Cup Sour Cream
4 Cups All Purpose Flour

I first combine all of the ingredients, except for the Flour. I mix them either by hand, or with my KitchenAid (with the dough hook) until smooth consistency and well blended.  Then I add in the Flour until a smooth dough forms. I cover the dough with plastic wrap. and refrigerate from 3 hrs to overnight.
I then return the dough to room temperature and I add in just enough flour to make the dough roll-able,  and not sticky in my hands. It will be very much like Pie dough. Your dough is roll-able when it looks like this: Note that I am generous with the amount of flour I use to keep the dough non-sticky. I flour my counter , my rolling pin and I flour the outer surface of the dough when rolling.

I roll the dough out like I would a pie crust as follows:

I then use a glass to cut circles of dough. I use a Martini glass... It cuts circles  that are optimal for filling.
I place a generous tablespoon of filling into the middle of each circle :

I then fold the dough in half, forming a crescent, pinching the ends of the dough together to seal the Jam inside.
I further seal the cookies by taking the floured tines of a fork and pressing the edge of the cookie. Take care to NOT pierce the filled part of the cookie.  I place the cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bakes at 350' until the dough puffs and the very edges become golden.
Your finished cookies will look as such... I have drizzled on a little festive glaze for Christmas, ( very simply: Powdered sugar, Vanilla extract, 1 drop of Food coloring and just enough Water to make the glaze 'run' off your spoon. Let the glaze thoroughly dry before you store the cookies) or you could just dust with powdered sugar... whatever your preference. I hope you will have fun at playing with these cookies some time... and even more fun gnoshing them... :D

Friday, December 14, 2012

Fighting for Each Other ?

The next time you find yourself fighting with another person, both of you....
and ask yourselves: What are we ultimately fighting for?
If the answer is 'Each Other' ... neither of you have anything more important to lose.
 If the answer is not 'Each Other' , then it is time to move on.
With every rain that falls we are nourished and encouraged to grow.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Forest's Edge/ Celebrate and Share the Light

It can be a long journey through a forest of Mistruths. Just keep moving past it...........

                                    Past those who leave the branches of Humanity............

                                                  Past those who have fallen on Spiritually barren ground.........

Eventually you will reach the Forest's edge, and it is there that the light of day will be found.

Leave behind those who would darken or obstruct your view...........

                                     Embrace those who celebrate and share the light that is within and around you.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Jane Dough's Spicey Apple Cake

I LOVE Apples year round, but particularly in Autumn ... I think it's because they conjure up memories of my Grandparent's big 'ol Apple tree. I remember watching and sometimes helping my Gram bake Apple Pies, make Apple Jelly and Apple Butter from the abundance of apples that would fall from the tree every year. And fondly, that apple tree was a huge part of playing outdoors and served as our shade and played a role in our childhood games. My Grandpa and I would sit on a swing in the evening underneath that tree, and he would tell me 'old-timer stories'. I cherish those memories to this day. This is a recipe I came up with recently ... it's spicey and chock full of juicy chunks of apple. It's an Apple Cake that just happens to have cake around the Apples... it's THAT Apple-y :D BTW, If you have a big family, this recipe can be easily doubled for a bigger cake. I make mine small, to save me from myself... yeah right... :P Haa..... Enjoy!

Spicey Apple Cake

3 cups chopped peeled Apples (3 medium) ( I like to use Fuji for baking. This go around, I had Fuji & Granny Smith, so I chopped up both)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground Nutmeg               
1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves
1 cups packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Vegetable oil
1 Egg
1/2 cup Milk ( You don't HAVE to , but I always use 1%)
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

Combine all ingredients, except the apples. Hand mix until your batter is smooth. Fold in the Apples.
Drop into either a greased Springform pan or you can use a greased Bundt pan. Bake at 350' until cake rises golden and a toothpick comes out of the cake clean. ( you know the old toothpick test? :) stick the pick into the cake... if it comes out clean...the cake is baked)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tethered and Torn No More

Tethered and Torn No More

Tethered and torn at her bodice of lace
Love weaves into the fiber of her being
Gripping her heart, holding her face
To the inner fire of her emotional seeing.
Tethered and torn at her misguided roots
Love hopes and plants an enlightened seed
Renewing her spirit for growing pursuits
That will flourish in her knowing lead.  

Tethered and torn at her arm’s length
Love flows as a persistent breeze
Lifting her soul, supporting her strength
She goes down a prolix path with ease.  

Through healing shards of broken spirit,
What was tethered and torn, she’ll restore. 

She passes with insight through a sunlit garden,
Where ropes of darkness can bind her no more.


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