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.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Drink Your Dinner!

Grandma had the surprise of her life yesterday!  She went down to check the mail, right in the middle of the day, and found that the mailman had left so many big envelopes and packages that she could barely carry them up the stairs!  The Advanced Reader Copy books had shown up a day early (more about one of them later), Grandma got a new gadget and somebody sent Grandma a birthday present that had her squealing "Oh-my-god" for a good ten minutes. (More about that later too.) Just about the time Grandma stopped squealing, there was a knock on the door.  Wondering if perhaps she had made so much noise the neighbors had thought something was wrong or the police had come to call, Grandma opened the door to find her youngest daughter, who got out of work early and decided to drop by to spend the afternoon.  This is the post Grandma intended to write yesterday, but first a glimpse of that gorgeous antique rosebush the size of a Volkswagen Grandma posted a picture of a few weeks back.

Still blooming!  Grandma hopes there will be rose hips . . . 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Last night, not long after dark, we had one of the worst thunderstorms I've heard in years.  It went on and on and on . . . .  and then I realized that some nearby community was shooting off their Fourth of July fireworks on the third!

We had been hoping for a day at the lake today (Grandma is not up for what passes for a parade here - the politicians come out in droves to stand on the steps of the state capitol and speechify) but the day has dawned gray and overcast, sure to turn to rain sooner or later.  Grandma's youngest and her hubby are painting their kitchen instead and we'll perhaps find some fireworks later today.

Grandma had planned to make a special Dutch Apple Pancake for brunch (and the blog) this morning, but bright and early one of her friends posted this picture on Facebook and asked if Grandma knows how to do this:

Rainbow Cake

Why, yes, I do just happen to know how to make this cake, so follow along and Grandma will Bake It Easy.

Monday, July 2, 2012


It's still hot here in Vermont, though not quite as hot as it has been, and Grandma is busy cleaning up and getting ready for the Fourth of July.  Well, after sleeping in until nearly noon that is.  Fourth of July is, of course,  the big summer holiday here in the USA, a time for parades, picnics and trips to the beach.  In two short days it will all come together, but right this minute it feels a bit more like this:

Don't you just love the chef?!

Before Grandma tells you what she's doing today to get ready, though, here is a peek at a few things that have crossed her desk you might like.