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 photo 21-Crispy-Potato-Tacos.jpg

Crispy Potato Tacos
Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 30 mins Yield: 4-6
Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian


2 large russet potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Corn tortillas
Optional toppings: lettuce, tomato, avocado, salsa, onion, jalapeno, cilantro


*Add chopped potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring potatoes to a boil and cook until fork tender, 15-20 minutes. When done, drain potatoes well.
*Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil, potatoes and all the spices. Stir until all the spices are evenly incorporated and then arrange in a single layer. Let potatoes cook for 3-5 minutes, until crispy, and then flip and repeat.
*Fill corn tortillas with desired amount of potatoes and top with favorite toppings.
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 photo 22-jackie-gleason.jpg

The Jackie Gleason Show

The Jackie Gleason Show is the name of a series of American network television shows that starred Jackie Gleason, which ran from 1952 to 1970, in various forms.
Gleason's first variety series was aired on the DuMont Television Network under the title Cavalcade of Stars which first aired June 4, 1949. The show's first host was Jack Carter, who was followed by Jerry Lester. After Lester quit in June 1950 (soon to become the star of NBC's first late-night series, Broadway Open House), Gleason—who had made his mark on the first television incarnation of The Life of Riley sitcom—stepped into Cavalcade on July 15, 1950, and became an immediate sensation.




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 photo glorious-tree.jpg

Garlic Crostini

1 French baguette
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 plum tomatoes chopped
One half cup black olives, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Slices of mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil for garnish

Slice baguette into one quarter inch slices. Brush slices with olive oil and sprinkle with oregano. Combine garlic, tomatoes, black olives and salt and pepper together and mix well. Place a slice of cheese on each slice of baguette and top with tomato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Serve warm.
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 photo FloodedTreesOnByway.jpg

Funeral Potatoes

1 small-medium onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 Tbsp. butter
1 28-oz. bag shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
2 c. sour cream
1 10-oz. can cream of chicken (or cream of mushroom) soup
2 1/4 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
OPTIONAL: Crushed cornflakes, seasoned bread crumbs, crushed potato chips, or crushed Ritz or saltine crackers

Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant. Remove from heat. Add the thawed hash browns, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, cheese, salt, and pepper and combine well. Add additional salt and pepper if necessary.

Spread the mixture into a 9×13″ (or similar) dish and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the casserole is hot in the center and the cheese is bubbly throughout. Serve as a main dish with a salad and fruit or alongside roasted ham, turkey, chicken, or beef. Makes 6-8 main dish or 10-12 side dish servings.
nverland: (Monthly-October)
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 photo fall-trees.jpg


Here are flavoring ideas for embellishing freshly made popcorn. These recipes make enough to flavor a 10-cup batch (from about 1/2 cup kernels). If you air-pop or use fat-free microwave popcorn, you might like to drizzle 2 tablespoons or so of melted Earth Balance or coconut oil into the popcorn just before adding the seasonings.

Add salt to these mixes, or not, as preferred, and increase or decrease the amount of seasonings suggested here to your taste.

CHILI-SPICED POPCORN: Combine 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin. Sprinkle over hot popcorn and toss well.

PIZZA-FLAVORED POPCORN: Combine 1 teaspoon dried oregano or Italian seasoning, 2 teaspoons tomato powder, and 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes.

HERB-AND-SPICE POPCORN: Simply sprinkle hot popcorn with a teaspoon or two of your favorite seasoning blend, like Mrs. Dash or Spike.

PUMPKIN PIE POPCORN: Melt 2 tablespoons Earth Balance or organic virgin coconut oil in a small saucepan. Stir in 1 to 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice and 3 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup. Drizzle evenly over hot popcorn.

CARAMEL OR PEANUT-CARAMEL POPCORN: For a Cracker Jack-type mix, melt 2 to 3 tablespoons Earth Balance or organic virgin coconut oil in a small saucepan. Stir in 3 tablespoons natural granulated sugar and stir until melted. Stir 1 cup peanuts into the popcorn. Drizzle the mixture from the saucepan over the popcorn and peanuts and toss well. Let cool completely before serving.

ALMOND-MAPLE POPCORN: Melt 2 tablespoons Earth Balance or organic virgin coconut oil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons maple syrup. Stir 1 cup toasted almonds into the popcorn. Drizzle the mixture from the saucepan over the popcorn and almonds and toss well. Let cool completely before serving.

Combine your freshly popped corn with nuts, dried fruits, tiny pretzels, and whatever seasonings you fancy at the moment, and don’t shy away from combining sweet and salty flavors!
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We haven't had photos for a bit, so a few from the last couple days. As always, click for bigger

Pets )

Trees )

In other news, Doc called just after I got back from taking Jeannie to work today. He forgot that I wasn't working, "Habits", and we talked for about 20 minutes while he drove to Boise.
And it's cold today, we bottomed at 31 this morning.
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 photo dogwoods.jpg

4 servings

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the ramekins
2 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
2/3 cup nonfat milk
1 tablespoon superfine sugar, plus more for sprinkling
10 slices stale challah or raisin bread, 1/2 inch thick (about 12 ounces), crusts removed
Confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease four 5.4-ounce ramekins with butter.

Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the apples, vanilla extract, lemon juice, brown sugar and cinnamon, and mix well. Cook on medium-low heat until the apples are tender and any liquid has evaporated; this should take 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the variety of apples you are using. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. The mixture should thicken and turn a medium caramel color.

Combine the eggs, milk and 1 tablespoon of superfine sugar in a shallow dish. Mix until fully combined.

Use a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out four circles from the bread; these will serve as the base of each portion. Alternatively, use a clean ramekin and a sharp knife to trace and cut your circles. Cut the remaining bread into rectangles about 1 inch wide. Cube, dry and store any excess bread scraps in an airtight container for another use.

Quickly dip each bread circle in the egg mixture and place one in the bottom of each ramekin. Then dip the rectangles, standing them upright around the inside edge of each cup, extending above the rim so you can fold them over later to make a lid. Each ramekin will use 6 or 7 strips.

Fill each ramekin with the apple mixture. Add a piece or two of bread to the top and fold over the rectangular pieces of bread so the package is sealed completely. It should look like a little crown. Sprinkle each top with a little superfine sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. Allow to cool slightly, then run a knife around the edges and turn them out onto individual plates.

Use a fine-mesh sieve to dust each portion with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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A selection from "Three Songs at the End of Summer"
by Jane Kenyon

A white, indifferent morning sky,
and a crow, hectoring from its nest
high in the hemlock, a nest as big
as a laundry basket....
In my childhood
I stood under a dripping oak,
while autumnal fog eddied around my feet,
waiting for the school bus
with a dread that took my breath away.

The damp dirt road gave off
this same complex organic scent.

I had my new books—words, numbers
and operations with numbers I did not
comprehend—and crayons unspoiled
by use, in a blue canvas satchel
with red leather straps.

Spruce, inadequate, and alien,
I stood at the side of the road.
It was the only life I had.
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 photo December_2009_Blizzard_Streetlight_through_snow_and_trees.jpg

Drunken Cheesy Bread
Serves 4-6

Butter for the pan
1/2 baguette, cut into 2-inch slices
1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/8 pound thinly sliced cooked ham
3/4 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated Gruyere

Heat oven to 400° F. Place the bread in a buttered ovenproof skillet, a 9-inch square baking dish, or a casserole. Scatter the onion and ham over the bread. Pour the wine over the onion and ham and sprinkle with the pepper and Gruyere.
Bake until the cheese has melted and begun to brown at the edges, about 20 minutes. Spoon onto individual plates.
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Jeff Bridges, Juliet Binoche, Maggie Smith, Mandy Patinkin
Read more... )
nverland: (Monthly-October)
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 photo birchtrees_blackandwhite.jpg

Chocolate Blackout Cake

1 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
2 1/4 cups cake flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (See Note)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

3 cups water
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups unsweetened natural cocoa powder (See Note)
2/3 cup cornstarch
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

MAKE THE CAKE Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and coat lightly with flour. Line the bottoms with parchment paper. In a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the 1 stick of butter with the shortening until creamy. Add the sugar and beat at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Add the vanilla. At very low speed, beat in the cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the 2 1/4 cups of cake flour and the milk in 3 separate alternating batches, scraping down the side and bottom of the bowl occasionally.
Divide the cake batter between the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let the cakes cool for 15 minutes, then invert them onto a rack and let cool completely.

MEANWHILE, MAKE THE FILLING In a large saucepan, combine 2 1/2 cups of the water with the sugar, corn syrup and cocoa powder and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. In a bowl, whisk the cornstarch with the remaining 1/2 cup of water until smooth; whisk into the cocoa mixture. Cook over moderately high heat, whisking constantly, until very thick, 3 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the butter, vanilla and salt. Scrape the filling into a bowl and press a sheet of plastic wrap onto the surface of the filling. Let cool, then refrigerate until firm, 45 minutes.
Using a serrated knife, halve each cake layer horizontally. Break up the less attractive top cake layer and transfer to a food processor; pulse into crumbs. Reserve the two cake bottoms and one smoother top.
Set one of the cake bottoms on a cake plate and spread with 1 1/2 cups of the filling. Top with the second bottom layer and another 1 1/2 cups of filling. Cover with the cake top and spread the remaining filling all over the top and side. Pat the crumbs all over the cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
The chocolate cake can be refrigerated overnight.
Natural cocoa powder is one of two types of unsweetened cocoa. It’s bitter and adds intense chocolate flavor to the cake. Don’t use Dutch-process or other alkalized cocoa; when combined with baking soda, it can make a cake taste soapy.

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