Friday, August 3, 2012


Blame it on the weather!  Grandma has just been in a mood to do nothing but procrastinate the last couple of weeks.   Hide behind the video game controller, whittle away the hours on Facebook, whatever.  Sure, she entirely finished unpacking the house and scrubbed, scoured, dusted and mopped every single inch in preparation for a very important visit that ended up not happening.  She's cooked a few things despite the heat.  Read a couple of books. Mostly though, Grandma has just been hiding.  We're all entitled to do that now and then.

Since this is the beginning of the month,  Grandma has lots of things to talk about and a few recipes to pass along, like this  favorite summer sandwich:

Smoked Salmon Wraps

These Smoked Salmon Wraps are fantastic picnic food.  You'll need a large flour tortilla or wrap for each sandwich you intend to make.  Spread some softened goat cheese (Grandma likes to use the kind that comes with herbs on the outside) abou 2 inches in from one edge of the wrap.  Top with a handful of well washed and dried mesclun or mixed baby lettuces, some red or vidalia onion sliced paper thin, a few half-slices of tomato and some smoked salmon.  Grandma prefers the Alaskan style smoked salmon that has a texture much like canned tuna fish, but lox-style smoked salmon is good too.  Grandma happened to have a perfectly ripe avocado the day she made this wrap, so there is a bit of that in there too.  When you're done adding filling, fold the two outer  edges over the ends of the filling, then roll up the sandwich just as you would an egg roll.  Cut in half to serve.

Friday, July 20, 2012

I Forgot!

Every cook needs a recipe or two that costs almost nothing to make, takes almost no time, doesn't heat up the kitchen and still looks impressive as all get out.   Remember those four egg whites left over from the Key Lime Pie Grandma told you to save the other day?  Well, here is what Grandma turned them into:

4 eggs whites, 1 cup of sugar = 3 different desserts!

Very few things are as versatile as meringue.  Angel Cake, French Macarons, Floating Island, Marshmallows, Boiled Icing, Baked Alaska, Coconut and Almond Macaroons, Pavlova, Angel Pies & Tarts and the meringue that tops your favorite pie all start with nothing but egg whites and a bit of sugar!  

The best bit about these particular meringue desserts?  You put them in the oven, turn the oven off and walk away, forgetting all about them!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons . . .

Do you remember the commercial several years ago that showed an executive bragging about earning  his company an extra million dollars just by putting one less olive in each jar of olives they produced?  Lately every time Grandma sets foot in the grocery store she notices something else that used to contain a whole lot more than it does now, while costing a whole lot less!

A can of cream of mushroom soup used to be nearly 25% bigger and serve four.  A can of tuna once weighed 7 or 7.5 ounces.  You now need 3 cans where you used to need two.   A couple of years ago Grandma grabbed her usual package of angel hair pasta, got it home to cook dinner for a crowd and discovered that the package, even though it had exactly the same dimensions as the 1-pound package in the cupboard, contained only 12 ounces!  Unfortunately, she discovered the shortage when she came up one serving short at dinner!

In January just one of these lemons cost $0.79.
 Grandma paid $3 for a whole bag full a couple of days ago!

Sometimes, prices just seem flipped on their heads.   Steak can be had most of the time lately for less than ground beef and boneless chicken breast is only pennies more than whole frying chickens!  Lemons (and limes) are still great bargains at this time of year, so Grandma has been buying them by the sackful - big 3-pound bags of lemons and limes!

When Life Gives You Lemons . . . . 

Friday, July 13, 2012

To Bake or Not To Bake?

Grandma had an interesting letter the other day and thought that many of you might also have the same question.  And since eggs, lemons and limes are all pretty cheap at this time of the year, Grandma's answer might be both helpful and tasty!   Here's the question:

I was looking at a recipe for a refrigerated lemon pie (you know made with condensed milk).  Some of the recipes call for 2 and I've seen some that call for 4 egg yolks.  This pie isn't cooked.  Is that OK? I didn't think you were ever supposed to eat raw eggs.  

Remember, newbie cooker.

Jo Ann
Lemon Cream Pie from Eaglebrand

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

. . . Baking It Easy

It is a glorious day here in Vermont - bright and sunny but not too hot, just the kind of day Grandma used to love to climb on a motorcycle and go!  These days, one of Grandma's dreams is to have one of those "tricycle" sorts of motorcycles, one that looks a bit like this

One Very Happy Dog!
Grandma went out to the grocery store on Sunday and what did she see getting out of the car but this great, bright yellow rig with a custom trailer for the family pooch!

Isn't this just the luckiest dog alive?  Grandma has never known a dog that didn't love to go riding, but few of them get their very own motorcycle ride!  That red band around his belly is his very own seat belt.  His favorite teddy bear is along for the ride and his little trailer is lined with a comfy rug and has a wind screen to keep stuff from blowing in his eyes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

If You Go Out In The Woods . . . .

I was going to write about my mother over the weekend, since her birthday would have been Sunday, but one thing and another interfered and I didn't get the post written.  Then, as I sat down to the keyboard this morning I realized that today is

Teddy Bear Picnic Day!

I don't think I'll ever see those words without thinking of my Dad, bouncing his grandchildren and then his first granddaughter on his knee, singing all the while

Teddy Bear Picnic Day is a great excuse to throw a little party for the child in your life, nothing elaborate required ------ 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hot or Not . . . .

Grandma was wandering through Amazon the other day looking at this, peeking at that, getting a glimpse of what's new, when she happened to notice a whole treasure trove of books that should have been on the $3.99 or Less list, but somehow never made the page.  Some of those books are even from Guru of the Grill, Steven Raichlen.  If you've never seen Steven in action, here's an easy dish you won't even need the recipe for:

Here's the recipe for that Chipotle Sauce Steven serves up with this Cheesesteak -

Chipotle Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise (preferably Hellmanns) 
1 to 2 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced 
1 to 2 tablespoons of canned adobo sauce 

To make the sauce, combine the mayonaise, chile and adobe in a small bowl and stir to mix.  Keep refrigerated until serving time.