Category Archives: Recipes/Food

The Final Poppy and a Wonderful Rhubarb Scone Recipe

The weather has been almost dreamy for the last couple of weeks.  Well, except for the other night when there was a torando watch.  Just a little FYI, we don’t get tornados around here.  I went online and saw the radar of “something” approaching our area, and some horrific pictures on the weather channel of roofs getting ripped off in Nebraska and hail the size of elephants pummeling commercial buildings.  I was scared.  I am afraid of storms, hurricanes, tropical storms, and blizzards.  I was even more concerned when I went to my favorite weather site, Ray’s Weather, and he wasn’t saying anything, just those red colored warnings and watches that make me nervous.

Well, nothing happened and the next morning I woke up to yet another dreamy morning, did my chores to get my body moving, and took the final poppy picture.  So long beloved poppies until next spring!

The Last Poppy
The Last Poppy

I’ve been making a lot with rhubarb since it is the season.  I always make this wonderful swiss pound cake with rhubarb and the classic and always delicious swiss rhubarb custard tart, and that’s usually enough for us.  So when I saw this recipe for “Naughty Rhubarb Scones” on one of my favorite food blogs, Food52, I thought I would take a look and make it.  I didn’t use the heavy cream, but used the kefir I make, and it was so delicious.  And that means a lot since I really don’t like rhubarb – it was so delicious, you should make it before the rhubarb season is over.   Click here to see the original recipe.

I hope you are enjoying this beautiful life, in whatever way you choose.  And since I no longer worry about things since they might not happen, life is becoming a wonderful dream.

All content and photos are copyright protected:2009-2014 

Incredibly Delicious Rhubarb Scones
Incredibly Delicious Rhubarb Scones


The Swiss Way to Make a Good Soup


There’s nothing like a blizzard in Spring to make me want soup for dinner.  My favorite weatherman Ray said we would get snow flurries with high winds all day and night, but being the type of guy he is, he didn’t come out and say, “OMG. This rare and deadly combination is coming straight for us, and there’s no where to run!!!”.  Thank you Ray for just reporting the weather.  And Thank You Dear Jesus for making the sun shine all day today, with the bluest sky, and melting all the snow.  Amen.

I learned how to cook while living in Switzerland.  I love just about everything Swiss, including the food.  Quite possible my favorite sweet treat is a nice Linzertorte…and the easy recipe for that is right here.

Those Swiss are so practical about everything!  There are packets already made up with the five vegetables needed to make a delicious soup in every grocery store.  They even put a bay leaf or two in!  Just these 5 vegetables give such a  flavorful and satisfying soup that there is really no reason to vary it, it’s the best soup base – period.  Try it and I know you will agree.

I chop up the onions, and put them in the bottom of my pressure cooker pot with a few turkey necks, or chicken wings or legs (to get that full flavor of the bone marrow) while I’m cleaning the leek, the carrots, chopping the celery root up, and the cabbage.  It’s all getting nicely carmamelized, while I add some salt, some pepper, a couple of bay leaves, and water.  I always add a spoon of vinegar too, to help bring out the marrow (you don’t  taste it in the end, by the way).

After about 20 minutes or so, the soup is ready to eat, and so are we!  A few large pieces of bread, a glass of wine, and it’s a very nourishing meal.

I hope you are enjoying the thoughts of the spring, and the longer days and light, because they are…I can feel it!

Swiss Soup Vegetables
Swiss Soup Vegetables



Get It While It’s Hot!


I’m going to sign up for Obamacare soon…I just have to send out my Christmas cards and get my real estate calendars in the mail first.

I’ve been feeling like it’s midnight at five o’clock lately, which has not helped to keep my energy level going strong.

But hey, through the darkest time of the year, I have managed not to gain 20 pounds despite the fact that I’ve baked a half dozen poppy seed and nut rolls, a double batch of my all-time favorite chocolate chip cookies with red and green Holiday M&M’s (see recipe below*), a double batch of my yummy Swiss Butter Cookies with Lemon frosting,  a few batches of “Basler Brunsli”, and to make 9 jars of “Marroni Creme” with the extremely tasty chestnuts that we’ve been blessed with this year.

Tomorrow is the Solstice, the start of Winter, the day with the least amount of light, and we all know what the day after signifies don’t we?

That’s right, daylight hours starts to get longer, and before you know it, ta da!  Spring will be here.

If you want to feel something, and maybe even get up off your booty and move it, click on the clip below.

Oh, and Happy Holidays!


* My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies*
(from “The Great Book of Chocolate” by David Lebovitz)

I like to soak the nuts for a few hours.  Then I toast them in the oven.

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (120 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) (115 grams) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch (1cm) pieces
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt or 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt (Deb option)
1 1/2 cups (200 grams) semisweet chocolate chips, or, Holiday M&M’s
1 cup (130 grams) walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped

Adjust the oven rack to the top third of the oven and preheat to 300F (150C). Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat the sugars and butters together until smooth. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and baking soda.

Stir together the flour and salt, then mix them into the batter. Mix in the chocolate chips and nuts.

Scoop the cookie dough into 2-tablespoon (5cm) balls and place 8 balls, spaced 4 inches (10cm) apart, on each of the baking sheets.

Bake for 18 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Pack them quickly and send off to loved ones asap 🙂


A Little Carbon Monoxide to Enhance your Sushi?



A few weeks ago, after the long awaited grand opening of our new Harris Teeter supermarket, I decided to drop by after Terra’s obedience class.  It was past dinner time, I was hungry, and parking was at a premium.

Harris Teeter

Very nice, I thought, as I strolled the aisles.  Yep, everything is here:  gorgeous looking produce, 20,000 cereal boxes, and a very attractive deli counter.  Perfect, I thought, I’ll just grab some sushi, buy a few apples, and go home to eat.

sushi counter

The sushi looked divine.  I picked up the first package and noticed an oversized label.  WTF – “carbon monoxide added to retain flavor?” (Question mark, mine).  I re-read the label 3 times – “carbon monoxide added to retain flavor,” not to mention all the other chemicals on the label.  I picked up a few other varieties, and there in bold print – “carbon monoxide added to retain flavor.”

I politely (as least I thought I was) spoke to the help behind the counter:  “Excuse me, am I reading this right?  You put carbon monoxide in the sushi?” One would have thought I had the plague, the way everyone stepped back about three feet.  They looked at me, looked at each other, and kind of shrugged their shoulders.  No one said a word.  “Really?” I asked.  “Carbon Monoxide?”  At that point, others around the deli counter seemed to be gathering and waiting for an answer.  I started to feel a little embarrassed for the counter help.  Surely they were excited to have a new job at the new Harris Teeter.  I was not trying to create a scene, but the sushi a la carbon monoxide really got the better of me.  At last, someone spoke up:  “Yes, it’s to retain color, and it’s approved by the FDA.”


Oh yeah, that made me feel better.  Japan, Canada and the countries of the European Union have banned the practice because of fears that it could be used to mask spoiled fish.

I moved on to buy some organic apples, and despite the fact that our region is the 3rd or 4th largest apple producer in the country- no local organic apples.  I will admit, I don’t always eat organic, but I do like my apples to be just that.

Once home, I just had to Google the use of carbon monoxide in fish, and I learned that not only are fish brokers, supermarkets and restaurants using carbon monoxide for fish, but it’s being used on beef, too, to keep that raw red color. 

For all you sushi eaters out there, Whole Foods and our local Earth Fare stores do not use carbon monoxide to retain color.  

Here are some useful links:

10 Reasons to Cook at Home


I wrote a post about Clara Cannucciari a few years ago.  She had these wonderful little videos on how to cook simple, good food that she learned from her mother during the Great Depression (not to be confused with the Great Disaster that we are in now).

As you all know I love to cook and hate to go out to eat, since it’s usually expensive for what you get and I can just about always cook something better.  Like Clara.  I wanted to see what was new so I searched and found that her last clip is the one below.

She turned 98 this past August, so she has the right to stop doing anything she wants to, but just the idea that she won’t be around forever and there is an end to everything is a general concept that’s always been hard for me to “get”  Sakshi just told me that we DO go on forever, and that what I just wrote is false.  Hmmmm….

It’s Indian Summer where I live, with the most amazing sunny and blue sky days, with cool nights and foggy mornings.  We’re eating soup for dinner just about every night though, and that is a sure sign of Fall.  Working out in my garden today, I heard the sound of leaves falling from the old Dogwood trees.  It was like music from a wind instrument…  Winter is coming, but not quite yet!

The fear factor for this coming winter is high.  With people saying things like, “It’s gonna be a bad one!”, or, “It’ll be the toughest and coldest one we’ve seen!”.

After finding three Wooly Worms in the garden, with each one having a different number and thickness of stripes (one had no stripes, one had a few, and another had it’s whole body striped) I am going to go the Zen way and just take it like it comes.

So here’s my top 10 Reasons to Cook at Home:

1. You don’t have to worry about parking.

2. You can get seconds without feeling foolish.

3. You can drink better wine with your meal.

4. You don’t have to dress up, or even wear a bra.

5. You don’t have to worry about slimy lettuce.

6. You don’t have to be tempted to have dessert, since if you are like us, we don’t have dessert made for each evening meal, just special occasions.

7. You don’t have to worry about being heard over the din of the restaurant.

8. If you are hungry, you don’t have to wait to eat.

9. When you are finished, you don’t have to wait for the check, and then drive home because you are already home.

And lastly,

10. You don’t have to worry about having overpaid for a meal that you didn’t like.