Sunday, December 30, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Achoo! Achoo!  That was definitely a signal to me that an "inside" day was on my agenda, today.  This past week  has been filled with fam & friends and FuN, so now it's time to chill and remember the orange juice is in the fridge!  :) 

This afternoon snowflakes started to cover the ground.  I always enjoy the view from our window - during each of the four seasons here in New England.  The appearance changes, but that also allows time to plan for the next seasons.

Right now, our snow blower is ready, so we are good to go!


Friday, December 21, 2012

~Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes~

I like to try to plan ahead.  I like to try make things easy, whenever possible, if possible.  With all of the FuN activities going on this weekend and early next week, the dilemma of a great Christmas morning breakfast needed an answer.  A food that we all enjoy and is also hearty.  A food that also can be prepped easily on a very busy morning.

Well... I only needed to check out my own blog to find the answer quickly.  In the top right hand corner of my header is a plate containing a large amount of Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes.  I remember the day I snapped the pic before I packaged and placed the delicious light pancakes in the freezer. 

If I took a vote in my fam, this would be their fave breakfast.  These pancakes freeze very well and also taste so yummy after reheating in the microwave.  A package of Blueberries was defrosted in the fridge overnight.  A fresh quart of low fat Buttermilk was purchased yesterday.  King Arthur White Bread Flour is now my flour of choice when making these.  1 Egg + Egg Whites, Olive Oil for sauteing & baking + 1% Milk.  Add in a little Cinnamon and a little Nutmeg!  This is definitely my kind of recipe, because I've lowered the cholesterol content!  2 Egg Whites = 1 Whole Egg when cooking. 

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
(File Photo)
Needless to say, after I prepped a batch this morning my DH & I enjoyed them.  After the remaining Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes cooled slightly, each pancake was placed in a sandwich bag.  Little stacks were then placed in Ziploc Freezer Bags, labelled and then found their place in our freezer.

These Blueberry Pancakes with Buttermilk are so good! 

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
- adapted from BURYGOLD on


3 Cups White Bread Flour (can be all purpose Flour)
3 Tablespoons Sugar
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
3/4 teaspoon Salt (I use a little less.)
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg

1 Whole Egg + 4 Egg Whites
3 Cups Fat Free Buttermilk
1/2 Cup 1% Milk
1/3 Cup Olive Oil for Sauteing & Baking

2 Cups Blueberries (can be fresh or defrosted & drained)

  1. Heat griddle over medium heat.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Lightly beat Egg + 4 Egg Whites in another bowl.
  4. Add Buttermilk, Milk and Olive Oil. Beat.
  5. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture in large bowl.
  6. Stir just until blended. Make sure all dry ingredients are mixed in, but do not over stir.
  7. Allow about 1/3 Cup of batter for each pancake and place on griddle.
  8. Add 8-9 Blueberries to each pancake.
  9. When brown on one side flip over.
  10. Brown other side.
This will be a great surprise for my fam this weekend!  Do you use Olive Oil for sauteing & baking?  Do you cook using Egg Whites?


Monday, December 17, 2012

Spinach Salad with Pears

We totally enjoy Mandarin Orange Spinach Salad, so fresh Spinach is on my weekly grocery list.  It's a great change from tossed salads during the colder months - when our grocery stores in the northeast do not always offer tantalizing fresh produce.

Mandarin Orange Spinach Salad
needs a drizzle of Balsamic Vinaigrette
(File Photo)
The other day no containers of Mandarin Oranges were to be found in my pantry.  That was a surprise!  However, a Del Monte 4 pack of Diced Pears in Light Syrup was waiting in the wings!  Why not try it?  Try it we did!  An individual serving of fragrant Diced Pears was opened to prep the two dinner salads.  Pears over Baby Spinach Leaves with a bit of Feta Cheese and a drizzle of  Balsamic Vinaigrette.  YuM!  This is another delicious salad!  Did I mention easy?

What can be easier than snapping off the long stems from the fresh Spinach leaves and placing them in a salad bowl? Add a few Diced Pears and top with a bit of Feta Cheese.  Drizzle on the desired amount of Balsamic Vinaigrette.  That's what I call easy!

*Yes, I do snap off the long Spinach stems.  Sometimes even with Baby Spinach Leaves, the stems can be a bit tough to chew.  Not good.

My local grocery store, Big Y, is offering a special on these individual serving 4-packs of Del Monte Diced Pears.  I'll be sure to check that out, again!

Chunks of fresh, ripened Pears would also be delicious in this salad!


Saturday, December 15, 2012


 The families
 and their friends
 and the residents
 of Newtown
 are in our hearts.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sour Cream Sugar Cookies, Yummy!

Reindeer Cookies...Yummy!
Biting into a homemade soft sugar cookie that has just a hint of nutmeg is my choice for a sugar cookieSour Cream Sugar Cookies are hands down...the winner.  Rolled out and cut into festive shapes, then decorated with colored sugars,  they are perfect for the holidays...any holiday.  This past week I started my Christmas baking!  There are always unexpected happenings and also sewing projects to complete, but I always have time to bake these delicious cookies containing sour cream.    

It is a two step process.  On Day 1 the dough is made, wrapped and then stored in the fridge overnight.  On Day 2 my cookie cutters, decorated sugars, rolling pin & rolling mat are used.

Rolling out the dough that has been refrigerated, overnight.
For years I've been baking this soft cut-out cookie and it has become a tradition for my fam to enjoy them at Christmas. 

An added + is that after they are baked and cooled, these cookies can be packaged and stored in the freezer until the holiday arrives.  Now, a double batch of these scrumptious family faves, are ready and waiting in our freezer. 

***Unsalted Butter works best in this recipe!  The stiff dough is easier to work with.

 Sour Cream Sugar Cookies   printable recipe card

Oven: 375°F
Yield: About 5 dozen, depending on size


4 Cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Cup unsalted Butter, softened
1 and 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Sour Cream (can be Fat Free)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Colored Sugars for Decorating


Day 1-
  1. In large bowl with electric mixer beat Butter and Sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add Egg, beat.
  3. Add in Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt and Nutmeg.
  4. While beating on Low, slowly add Flour, 1 Cup at a time.
  5. Add in Vanilla and Sour Cream. Beat on Medium until well combined. Dough will be stiff.
  6. Remove dough from bowl and place on plastic wrap, wrap dough.
  7. Place wrapped dough on aluminum foil and wrap well.
  8. Refrigerate overnight.
Day 2-
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Unwrap dough and cut into four parts.
  3. On well floured surface, roll dough to 1/4" thickness. Use cookie cutters.
  4. Place cookies on pan/sheet 1" apart. (Maybe 12 cookies to a sheet.)
  5. Sprinkle with colored sugars.
  6. Bake 10 - 11 Minutes. Bottom of cookies will be a light golden brown.
  7. Remove with spatula to wire cooling racks.
  8. When cool store in airtight containers.
**These cookies also freeze very well.

If you want to treat your family and friends to a sugar cookie that is light and contains a hint of Nutmeg, take out your cookie pans/sheets and the cooling racks!  These Sour Cream Sugar Cookies are just the best!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Another Look...

The elevated perennial garden in our backyard changes in appearance every season. This afternoon was so comfortable with temps in the 50°'s.  We were heading out shopping and I took a quick glance outside from our Family Room.  Then, another longer look.  A fox was basking in the sun under our large tree looking very relaxed.  That was a surprise!
The fox was comfortable enough to give me time to get my camera for a photo op.  Definitely, I took the pic from inside!  :)  I'm accustomed to deer, squirrels, skunks, chipmunks, rabbits and even a fisher cat once, moving through our yard.  Today brought a surprise.  A fox getting the rays!

That fox sure was enjoying the sun!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Grilled Cheese & Avocado

Grilled Cheese & Avocado
Grilled Cheese...yum!  The sandwich containing oozing warm melted cheese has been a fave of mine for years.  Usually, lunch for me is Yogurt over a sliced Banana along with a glass of Orange Juice.  Bananas are not a fave with me, so I hide them in other foods, whenever possible, to eat the fruit daily.  

Yesterday, as my DH & I were delivering "Meals on Wheels" to senior residents in town, the vision of the ripened Avocado sitting on my kitchen counter kept popping into my thoughts.  Suddenly, I knew how the green fruit would be enjoyed!  A Grilled Cheese & Avocado Sandwich!  I envisioned cheese topped with slices of green Avocado surrounded by Oatmeal Bread.

Driving up our driveway, we were famished!  It did not take long to defrost 4 slices of Oatmeal Bread and locate my griddle.  Good ole' plain Grilled Cheese, Grilled Cheese & Tomato, Grilled Cheese & Ham and Grilled Cheese & Tuna all taste great.  This change up using slices of Avocado is also yummy!

There was an extra large slice of Avocado remaining.  Cut into chunks it made for a very tasty garnish!