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Tag Archives: summer

dog days of summer…

dog days

— pl n
1.     the hot period of the summer reckoned in ancient times from the heliacal rising of Sirius (the Dog Star)
2.     a period marked by inactivity

Today was HOT! And inactivity seemed to be the theme of the day. Other than splashing around in the pool (Second day in a row) we did not do a whole heck of a lot.

The in-laws have a new addition to their home.

Fred. The Basset Hound.

He is adorable. If we did not have two dogs already, I would seriously consider dog-napping.

I could not do a post about Fred and not include our Izzy, since I did not include her in yesterday’s post. (She even swam today, but was not very thrilled about it.)

Puppy Love

I did not bake anything today, nor did I cook. I did however, want to post a recipe, and thought a homemade dog biscuit one would be perfect.  Our dogs love these. (well, they will eat anything really, but these are good for them, and they smell good)

Even if you don’t have a dog, these make great gifts for family or friends who do.

Peanut Butter and Banana Treats

Ingredients

1 egg
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 egg white, lightly beaten, for brushing

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line with parchment paper.

    Stir together the peanut butter, banana,honey and egg in a medium bowl; blend thoroughly. Stir in the flour and wheat germ; mix well.

Turn dough out onto a floured board and roll to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters, place on prepared baking sheet, and brush tops with egg white.

    Bake biscuits in preheated oven until dried and golden brown, about 30 minutes, depending on size. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

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5 Comments

Posted by on pmpSun, 26 Jun 2011 21:19:06 +000019Sunday 4 , 2011 in Recipes, Uncategorized

 

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hanging pool-side

At last…the pool is crystal clear. It took two months to get the in-laws pool swim-able. It seemed the day would not come when we could actually swim in it, but after a new pump and filter system, Houston we have a go! So that is where we spent this hot sunny Saturday.

Last summer Isaac discovered that the pool jets doubled as massagers. This is what he had to say about them today:

“Mommy, remember last summer when I thought those bubbles felt good on my privates? Well that is what I am doing right now”. He then gave me the thumbs-up.  Lovely. Thankfully we supplied him with fun new pool toys, so he did not spend ALL day with his bubble “friends”.

Does summer get any better than this?

Lucy even swam – (we left the other one Izzy at home, she does not like the pool)

Another day down – only three more days until we head east! Maybe I will bake something tomorrow, or maybe we will just spend all day swimming.

 
11 Comments

Posted by on pmpSat, 25 Jun 2011 19:25:54 +000025Saturday 4 , 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Popsicles

My mother used to make these for my sister and I when we were little. They are the BEST popsicles ever, and so simple to make. You can make them in any flavor.

Ingredients – makes about 18

1  package unsweetened Kool-Aid drink mix

1 (3 ounce) boxJello gelatin

3/4 cupgranulated sugar

2 cups boiling water

2 cupscold water

Directions

 Combine the Kool-Aid, Jello and sugar. (I use a pitcher to make pouring into molds easier)
 Add hot water and stir until completely dissolved.
Stir in cold water.
Pour into popsicle molds and freeze. ( You can also use small paper cups or similar, and place popsicle sticks into them when they are partially frozen.)

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on pmpMon, 06 Jun 2011 20:23:11 +000023Monday 4 , 2011 in Recipes

 

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burgers, cookies, and a sunny day snapshot…

I was talking about hamburgers with a friend recently, and when she said how can anybody mess up making a burger, it got me thinking. There are many ways to ruin a perfectly good burger. When I had my restaurant, our burgers were one of our best sellers. People would ask how I got them so juicy, and big. We used locally grown, organic black Angus beef that was delivered every other day, and I think that while this added to the flavor, one can achieve a fantastic burger with regular store bought ground beef. Here are several “rules”  I follow, and my results are the same every time. Thick and juicy. I thought I would share them, since we are now officially in the grilling season.

Rule #1  – Always use a good lean- to – fat ratio. 80 / 20 is perfect. The fat provides optimal flavor.

Rule #2  – Do not over handle your meat. People tend to try to get the perfectly round patty, and do not realize that all they are creating is a tough, juice-less burger instead. All you need to do is grab a good sized handful, (about the size of a baseball) and press lightly into the palm of your hand, gently shaping into a disc about 3/4 inch thick. That’s it. It does not need to be a perfect circle.

Rule #3 – Salt. And a good amount of it. Salt both sides of the burger, about 1/2 tsp per side, and then more before serving. The salt allows the meat to get a good crust while cooking, either in a pan or on the grill.

Rule #4 – Never, ever press down on the burgers while they are cooking. You may think this will help it cook faster, but it does not and all your really doing is pressing all those beautiful juices and flavors right out of the burger. The only time they need to be touched is when you are flipping them. And this only needs to be done once. I cook my burgers 5 minutes per side. Do not overcook. 4-5 minutes per side at 375 – 400 degrees is plenty of time to insure your burger is cooked to perfection. (medium)

and last but not least….

Rule #5 – Let the burgers rest a few minutes before taking that first bite. This allows all of the juices to remain in the meat, and not all over your bun.

Follow these tips, and you will be the burger king or queen! (pun intended)

Now on to the cookie recipe for today.( I found the recipe here )

I missed last week of the cookie project so this week I am going to try and double up. Here is the second attempt at figuring out the secret cookie. Still not it, but darn good! We made some this afternoon in between our Slip and Slide adventures outside.

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips (I used half semisweet and half milk chocolate)

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
Beat the butter and brown sugar until thoroughly blended. Add eggs, and vanilla and mix to combine. Add dry ingredients and mix just to blend. Gently fold in chips.
Place dough onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheet using a scooper.
Bake 10-12 minutes (depending on the size of your cookies and your oven) or until cookies are pale brown.
Cool cookies on cookie sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack until cooled completely.

My partner in cookie crime

 
8 Comments

Posted by on pmpWed, 01 Jun 2011 16:07:00 +000007Wednesday 4 , 2011 in Recipes, The Cookie Project

 

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liquid lovelies….

Here are my top 5 picks for beverages to accompany America’s favorite summer pastime: The Cookout.

Magic Hat # 9

A fruity beer with notes of apricot, this beer pairs well with…well just about anything. It also, conveniently now comes in cans, so you can enjoy just about anywhere. The caps on all of Magic Hat beers come with witty sayings, comments and advice.  This brewing company is based in Vermont, and you can’t find their products everywhere, but they do ship!

Classic, good old fashioned Lemonade

And no, I am not talking about store bought. I am talking fresh squeezed, made with your own two hands Lemonade.  Its easy, and well worth the time spent.

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups white sugar

8 cups water

1 1/2 cups lemon juice

Directions

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.

Remove seeds from lemon juice, but leave pulp. In pitcher, stir together chilled syrup, lemon juice and remaining 7 cups water.

Serve over ice.

Long Island Tea

LIT packs a big punch, so a little goes a long way, depending on the company your in that is. This is my go to drink when I get the chance to have drinks with friends, and is super refreshing on a hot summer day. Check out this recipe from Food Network

Sun Tea

Sun tea has much deeper flavors than traditionally brewed tea. I think this is due to its long “brew” process. It so very easy to make, and can be made in every tea flavor imaginable. Just pick your favorite and follow these easy instructions:

Fill a glass pitcher, or container of choice, with water. I use a gallon pitcher and use 8 tea bags. Adjust tea bags according to size of container used. Tightly cover container. (I use plastic wrap). Set pitcher outside in the morning. The tea needs to be in full sun for at least 6 hours to get full flavor, but this also depends on how strong you like your tea. (Test after a few hours if you prefer your tea mild). Once brewed to liking, remove tea bags, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve over ice.

Mint Julep

Similar to a Mojito, this southern classic is a lovely, refreshing treat to the senses. Again, Food Network has a fantastic recipe.

So there it is, my top picks for summer thirst quenchers. I would love to hear some of your favorites.

Have a safe and wonderful holiday weekend!

 
10 Comments

Posted by on pmpFri, 27 May 2011 17:24:17 +000024Friday 4 , 2011 in Recipes

 

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