January 31, 2013

Cathy, our regular vegetarian guest, likened the Roasted Mushroom and Blue Cheese Hummus to her vegetarian pate that she makes. Creamy, thick and scrumptious, this hummus recipe is just too good not to share! Unfortunately, I can’t give credit to the source. I ripped it out of one of my magazines, so it’s possible that the recipe is from Eating Well, or from one I was given. I can only apologize for this oversight; there’s just not enough page left to figure it out. But the recipe is from Portebello’s in Kennett Square, (PA??) from Chef Brett Hulbert. It is served with fresh vegetables and crostini there. Since I had some homemade wheat bread in the fridge, that’s what I made my crostini from – just swished it around in some olive oil, s & p, fried it just a bit, then popped it into the oven for a nice crisp browning – just a larger version of yesterday’s homemade croutons**. Enjoy! Vegetarian or not, this is wonderful!

Roasted Mushroom and Blue Cheese Hummus

2 lbs button mushrooms
1/2 c olive oil
S & P
20 – 30 garlic cloves, sliced (I used minced garlic in a jar. It’s just fine.)
1 15.5 oz can garbanzo beans
1 1/2 lbs blue cheese, crumbled
1 bunch scallions, chopped (I used a Vidalia onion, grated, b/c I never have scallions.)
3 T fresh thyme
2 T fresh tarragon

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Coat mushrooms with half of the olive oil and season with S & P. Roast until mushrooms are reduced in size by about a third, approximately 25 min’s. Cool.

Over high heat saute garlic in remaining olive oil till edges just start to brown. Cool.

Puree all ingredients in food processor or a blender.

10 – 12 servings (I quartered the recipe; it yielded about a cup of yumminess.)

** If you’re frying something wonderful in a skillet and there are some drippings left – (today I had just fried the Farmhouse Veggie Burgers) – just use this pan to swish the bread around in for the croutons or crostini. You might need to add some more olive oil, but it gives some added flavor. Hmmm…I wouldn’t use a fried chicken skillet, though… 🙂

Sugar Cookies

January 15, 2013

After David’s mom died, when I was going through things in her 209 Mt. Vernon house, sorting, saving and discarding, I really did try to be very careful, believing that a tender treatment of her treasures would somehow be a tribute to her. It was a lengthy job, but was one which I relished, and I stuck to my rule about not bringing anything across the street to our 208 address unless it was going to live there forever. At the end of each clean-up day, I tried to leave my work site organized, and after a day in her kitchen, sifting through recipes, I had the most special ones tucked away safely in a plastic grocery bag, along with some other things which I intended to keep. I brought my bag across the street. But after a day of cleaning at her house, my will wavered when I got home. I thought I was being careful, and left the bag next to my own kitchen counter. David, naturally, did not see my “safe spot” in the same way that I had, since the location of my sack of stuff was also next to the trash can. And it did happen to be trash day. So being the efficient guy that he is, he scooped this bag up with the others – and since there had already been about a million bags that looked just like the one I had set aside, why should this one be any different?? The recipes were gone before I could “shake a stick,” as my own mother used to say. I can’t remember what the other items were in the bag, (which proves that I didn’t really need them), but I grieved the loss of some of her cookie recipes. Her cookies contained stories, plus I liked the way they tasted! BUT oftentimes, when we’re sure the sun will never come out on a given situation, it eventually does. The other day, when I received some new cookie cutters in the mail – I’d needed some music-themed ones – there was a “Decorated Sugar Cookie Recipe” ( which I determined to try asap. I made them the other day. And guess what? They tasted like Grandma’s, David’s mom’s!! I believe cookies have to be just right, and it’s the texture that made me an instant believer in these, just as my first chomp at Christmastime at Grandma’s house had done with her’s. Enjoy!

Decorated Sugar Cookie Recipe (The Cookie Cutter Company)

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 medium eggs
5 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar; add eggs and extract. Stir in remaining ingredients. Chill dough for 2 hours. Roll out 1/4″ thick. 400 degrees – 5-7 minutes.


January 6, 2013

The man looked angry. At the very least, he was passionate about what he was doing. I couldn’t have missed him, since he was almost in the southbound roadway by Big Woods Road, staring me down. His car was parked perpendicular to the road I was on, and to underscore his motions, a woman was standing closeby, in the cold, seemingly one with him on his mission. It was his huge, exaggerated motions, as he was waving both arms and hands downward, indicating that I should SLOW DOWN, that stopped me. It never occurred to me not to. I hadn’t been speeding. I was going the speed limit, 55 mph, heading north on Rt 213, on my way to church 45 minutes away. It was 8:10 A.M. I was on time, not in a hurry, had the radio cranked up, and I was cruising. But I was primed for his message, since just prior to seeing the man and woman by the side of the road, a driver had just passed me, heading south, who had flashed his lights at me. Usually that is the universal signal for “Trooper ahead,” (which sometimes even annoys me, since I inwardly and self-righteously pride myself on usually going the speed limit.) But – ahem – ironically, I always check my speedometer when that happens, anyway. 🙂 I was going 58, so I re-set the crusie to 55. It had been seconds later that I’d received the message to go slower, which was when I had immediately responded to the man’s motions. As I’d been braking, I’d noticed that the brakes had seemed weird, like something minor, but there’d been sort of crunching almost which didn’t register as anything at all, but I had slowed almost to a stop. I wondered if I would be able to stop, but the brakes did respond. As I put my window down, the man shouted, “THERE’S ICE! SLOW DOWN OR YOU’LL HAVE A WRECK, TOO!” at which time it all clicked: the flashing lights, the man and woman, and the crunching. And sure enough, just out of my sight at first, but just a second or two later, there was a truck off the road, leaning at about a 45 degree angle. The driver, a man, was holding his cell phone and punching numbers into it. He seemed absolutely fine. YAY. Well, yet another YAY, since our daughter and grandson had just been in a car accident this past Thursday during rush hour outside of Philadelphia, where a wonderful troooer had gone out of his way to comfort, guide and protect them after they’d been crashed into. But they were fine, too. As I also was – on January 29, 1978, pregnant with that same daughter, when I’d totalled my car on the way to teach kindergarten at Millington Elementary School. That’s a lot of yays of both kinds, hurrays and non-nays. Messages are not created equal, but we get them. “My eyes will watch over them for their good….” (Jeremiah 24:6). Got it, Lord. Flashing lights, “mean”-looking man, kind trooper, crunching, car by the side of the road. Yep, I heard You. Thanks. (Again.)

Location, Location, Location.

You might notice the WAC Administration Building cupola out of the corner of your eye as you walk onto Simply Bed & Bread's brick path, since our house is just a stone's throw away from the college. Or it might be the ...
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