Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I'll Have a Carrot On a Stick For Something On a Stick Day?

Today has been proclaimed Something On A Stick Day! As a matter of fact, I can even prove it:) You see this book cover down here? If you click it, you will be taken to Favor Affairs a Party Favor site that is offering a free download of recipes and ideas on how to celebrate Something On a Stick Day.

Not only that, the ebook of 17 pages, also offers their theory as to why Something On A Stick Day should be celebrated by one and all. While not being a YouTube type gal, if it weren't for the book, I would not have found this Minnesota State Fair On A Stick video. Who knew???

Two Carrots and a Metaphor

Take a look at this. It's a Carrot and A Stick.

source wikipedia

Stay with me here and take a look at this. It's a Carrot on a Stick.

source wikipedia

Both these shots define an idiom. Or as Mr. Jacobson suggests, the words you may one day have to eat.

An idiom is a phrase where the words together have a meaning that is different from the dictionary definitions of the individual words. Often an idiom, such as "under the weather," does not seem to make sense if taken literally. Someone unfamiliar with English idioms would probably not understand that to be "under the weather" is to be sick.

There are lots of Food Idioms. Do you have a favorite? I sure do. I've just made it up. Its name is Interest with a P and it's my carrot stick idiom!

Carrot and Stick: Originally a device designed to impel horses and mules forward by fastening a stick to the animal's neck and dangling a carrot from it, just beyond grasping distance of the mouth. Figuratively, any reward promised but withheld for unreasonable periods of time or withdrawn altogether, a tantalization. The term has undergone a change of interpretation over the years and now is widely understood to express the alternatives of reward (the carrot) or punishment (the stick).

You, however, may, or may not know it as Follow Me on Pinterest

"Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.

Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests."(About Pinterest)

This is my Pinterest "board" for Something On A Stick Day. Click it if you dare for you too may become the rabbit chasing the proverbial carrot on a stick.

Hoppin' around Pinterest has become one of my favorite past times. Oh, okay, I'll admit it, but only to you, I'm obsessed! During my moments of chasing the carrot, I've learned a thing or two about the virtual bulletin board. Time to Let the Cat Out of the Bag.

1. Pinterest is not without its own issues. I call it the copyright stick. Others might say "The Jury is Still Out" or undecided. It is certainly something to consider before getting enticed. The thing is, I was captured by Pinterest viewers long before I had a clue. And, as I said the other day, you may be too. I certainly understand and respect the copyright issues especially for those who need to learn how to Protect Copyrighted Works on Pinterest.

2. If you should decide to "Dip Your Toes in the Water," you might want to review this Guide to Proper Pintiquette. One of the issues with those questioning the copyright stick is pinning or repinning without the proper link back to the source. I relate it to my resource section where I try to include the sources of information that I blog about. And, it sometimes gets frustrating to track down the original source if the pin winds up in never never land somewhere. It may take a few extra moments, but dig right down to the original link. Most times, you just need to click on the title of the post or article and pin it at the place where it is written. For instance, if you were to Pin the post I did for Black Forest Cake Day, you would link to the complete post URL which is http://monthsofediblecelebrations.blogspot.com/2010/03/black-forest-cake-day-mix-up.html and NOT to http://monthsofediblecelebrations.blogspot.com. Dollars for Doughnuts it won't get the would-be Repinner to Black Forest Cake Day, which by the way happens to be today:)

3. There is a line for a description when you Pin or Repin. Use it wisely. I can't tell you how many times I've seen words like Gotta Try This "Yum" or "This Sounds Good" as the depiction. What, what, what??? I've gotten into the habit of highlighting the words I want to include in the description on the site of where the Pin is coming from. Or, I write the title of the post or site article. Admittedly, I do sometimes get so overwhelmed by the excitement of finding the perfect Pin and forget but, I usually go back to my boards to make sure things are in Apple Pie Order:)

4. Information for Bloggers and People Who Use Pinterest is an excellent article by Amy of Living Locurto, "a top craft and party blog with great resource for moms." She has good advice posted and since she also has over 12,000 followers on Pinterest, she may know a thing or two:)

5. Pigs Get Fat, Hogs Get Slaughtered:) P-Tailing: Pinterest Tips for eTailers

6. 10 Things Pinterest Should Do Right Now

7. Seven New Ways To Use Pinterest is another excellent article that I found quite helpful. If you have a Facebook account, which I don't, you really should give The Hyper House a visit.

If you do decide to "Jump On the Bandwagon," please be sure and visit me on Pinterest. Louise:)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

It's Lobster Newburg Day!

If I hadn't stumbled upon a Lobster Newburg Day post at Della's 365 Foods, chances are we'd be celebrating Triticale, (trit-i-KA-lee) Pecans, or Waffles today. Here's why:

1. Nobel Peace Prize winner and American agronomist Norman Ernest Borlaug was born today in 1914. Why is that of note you ask? He was one of the fore-fathers who laid the ground work of the Green Revolution, the agricultural technological advance that promised to alleviate world hunger. He help developed the wheat/rye hybrid grain called triticale which has a higher yield and protein content.

Dr. Borlaug won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his success in developing high-yielding wheat varieties and reversing severe food shortages that daunted India and Pakistan in the 1960's.  Credited with saving millions of lives, his work virtually eliminated recurring famines in South Asia and helped global food production outpace population growth. In 1987, Dr. Borlaug created the World Food Prize, the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving food security in the world.  Dr. Borlaug received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007, the highest civilian award, for his lifetime contributions to improving international agriculture and global food security. (United States Department of Agriculture)

I apologize, I just can't bring myself to discuss triticale today. Perhaps some time in August when the Whole Grain Council celebrates Rye and Triticale as Grains of the Month. As for Pecan Day and International Waffle Day (both also today:) been there done that here and here:) I did, however, leave you a free links below if you would like to explore more about Tritcale with some recipe links of course:)

I'd much rather discuss Lobster Newburg and it's "shady" history. After all, aren't many of you gearing up for the Mad Men House Party tonight?

Mad Men’s Vodka Gimlet Moment: The Gimlet is Betty Draper's drink of choice. After a Season 1 dinner with her husband's boss Roger Sterling and his wife, when she’s queasy in the car, Betty notes: “Lobster Newburg and Gimlets should get a divorce. They're not getting along well." (Drinking with Don Draper)

I've never seen the show Mad Men before. If by chance I should happen upon it while flipping through the channels, I just keep going. As you might remember, I'm not much of a television person. However, I find it rather sad, not seeing the episode and all, to learn that Betty Draper had a bad experience with Lobster Newburg. Lobster Newburg is a classic. As a matter of fact, it was conceived much earlier than the 1960s. Here's what Maria Parola, one of the most popular cookbook authors of the 1880s, had to say about Lobster Newburg in 1885!

Lobster Newburg: If provision is to be made fo six or eight persons, use the meat of a lobster weighing about four pounds, or that of two small lobsters; four tablespoonfuls of butter, two of brandy, two of sherry, two teaspoonfuls of salt, one-fourth of a teaspoonful of pepper, half a pint of cream, the yolks of four eggs and a slight grating of nutmeg.

Cut the meat of the lobster into small, delicate slices. Put the butter on the stove in a frying pan, and when it becomes hot, put in the lobster. Cook slowly for five minutes; then add the salt, pepper, sherry, brandy and nutmeg, and simmer five minutes longer. Meanwhile beat the yolks of the eggs well, and add the cream to them. Pour the liquid over the cooking mixture and stir constantly for one minute and a half. Take from the fire immediately at the end of that time, and serve in a warm dish.

Lobster Newburg may be served as a fish course in a dinner or luncheon. A garnish of triangular bits of puff paste may be added or the lobster be served on toast. No mode of cooking lobster gives a more delicate or elegant dish. Special care must be taken to stir the mixture constantly after the cream and beaten eggs are poured over the lobster until the frying pan is taken from the fire. (source)

Lobster Newburg a la Bookbinder's
The Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes from Famous Eating Places

So when it comes to Lobster Newburg, the question is not when, it's more like who, what, why? By most accounts, the Signature Dish originated at the infamous Delmonico's Restaurant in New York City one day in 1876.

Lobster Newberg:...originally named after Ben Wenberg, a wealthy sea captain engaged in the fruit trade between Cuba and New York. When on shore, he customarily ate at Delmonico's Restaurant. One day in 1876, home from a cruise, he entered the cafe and announced that he had brought back a new way to cook lobster (where he originally got the idea for this new dish has never been discovered). Calling for a chafing dish, he demonstrated his discovery by cooking the dish at the table and invited Charles Delmonico to taste it. Delmonico said, "Delicious" and forthwith entered the dish on the restaurant menu, naming it in honor of its creator Lobster a la Wenberg. The dish quickly became popular and much in demand, especially by the after-theatre clientele.

Many months after Ben Wenberg and Charles Delmonico fought or argued over an as-yet-undiscovered and probably trivial matter.  The upshot was that Charles banished Wenberg from Delmonico's and ordered Lobster a la Wenberg struck from the menu. That did not stop patrons from asking for the dish. By typographical slight-of-hand, Delmonico changed the spelling from "Wenberg" to "Newberg," and Lobster Newberg was born. This dish has also been called Lobster Delmonico.

Delmonico's famous chef, Chef Charles Ranhofer altered the original recipe to add his own touch.

In his book, The Epicurean, published in 1894, Charles Ranhofer gives the following recipe for Lobster a la Newberg:

Cook six lobsters each weighing about two pounds in boiling salted water for twenty-five minutes.  Twelve pounds of live lobster when cooked yields from two to two and a half pounds of meat with three to four ounces of coral.  When cold detach the bodies from the tails and cut the latter into slices, put them into a sautoir, each piece lying flat, and add hot clarified butter;   season with salt and fry lightly on both sides without coloring; moisten to their height with good raw cream;  reduce quickly to half;  and then add two or three spoonfuls of Madeira wine;  boil the liquid once more only, then remove and thicken with a thickening of egg yolks and raw cream.  Cook without boiling, incorporating a little cayenne and butter; then arrange the pieces in a vegetable dish and pour the sauce over." 

There are those who beg to differ. Although Chef Jean Conil doesn't make mention of the origins of Lobster a la Newburg in his book For Epicure's Only, He does discuss its origins in the June 1957 edition of The Epicurean Monthly.

In spite of the "a la" connotation this is not a French dish. It is strictly of American origin. The story goes that around the turn of the century when Delmonico's was one of the few top restaurants in New York City where gourmets, connoisseurs of fine food, made their headquarters, this dish saw the light of day.

One of the discriminating patrons was a physician whose wealthy clients enabled him to dine there regularly. The menus in Delmonico's were in French as was customary in metropolitan cities all over the civilized world in that era. The good doctor was very fond of lobster and instructed his waiter one day how he would like his favourite crustacean prepared and served, previously cooked, lobster tail cut in slices, sauteed in butter and served in a sauce similar to Terrapin Maryland Sauce.

This request was duly passed on to the chef who instructed the fish cook accordingly. The order was made with meticulous care and the lobster tail chunks were served in a rich sauce consisting of sweet cream, thickened with egg yolks and finished with a dash of dry sherry.

The chef promptly added the new concotion on the menu as "Homard a la Neuberg" because that was the doctor's name. However, Doctor Neuberg strenuously objected to having his name identified on the menu in connection with a dish. Therefore it was changed to Newburg. There is a town by the name of Newburgh in New York state so no objections could be made. Now we find Lobster Newburg, which should be served in a chafing dish all over the country. Of course some unavoidable changes have been made, the cut up lobster claws are also used and cream sauce is used to prevent curdling, particularly when made in advance as a du jour dish, or for parties. A sprinkling of paprika is used to effect a pinkish colour and hot toast is always served with this dish. We also find Shrimps a la Newburg and other seafood served Newburg style.

While we're discussing "Newburg style", I should probably mention that you mark your calendars, Crab Newburg Day is in September:)

I can only describe Lobster Newburg as delicately delectable and delicious! Yes, I adore it. Although, it is a dish reserved for exclusive occasions, say my birthday, for instance, it also makes a gorgeous presentation at holiday brunches. I'm thinking of preparing these Lobster Newburg Crepes I uncovered at The World of Crepes for Marion and I on Easter morning. What do you think?

I'm not in the habit of "snatching" images without asking but I plum ran out of time. This one was harvested from Pinterest. I must say, The World of Crepes was a delicious stop. I will go back and let them know:)

I'm delighted to report I finally figured out the reply to comments code on blogger. It was giving me one heck of a time but I finally got a reasonable answer after posting a help question on the google help forum. If you too are having a problem getting it to work, may I suggest you visit the google help forum. I thought I saved the link to the site but apparently I lost it in my saved emails. (I probably inadvertently deleted it:) Anyway, what this means is I'm very Happy I can reply to your comments more quickly. As for the Pinterest post I spoke of, it's a comin'...

1. Lobster Newburg Day @ Della's 365 Foods
2. Triticale and Bourbon Salad
3. Triticale Bread
4. Triticale Honey Bread
5. Triticale Berries with Peanuts and Asian Seasonings (Dean & DeLuca)
6. Triticale Sprouts
7. What to Serve at Your Madmen Watching Party
8. How to Drink Like the Characters of Mad Men

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Marion's Gift

Happy Spring Everyone! Guess what? We're celebrating something else at our house today; Marion's Birthday!!! You remember Marion:) I wanted to take a more recent picture of her but it seems she has become internet shy. These pictures are 2 years old but I can guarantee you, she hasn't withered not one bit!!!

Don't laugh, oh go ahead if you like. I have a "secret" to tell. Marion, who is celebrating her 93rd birthday today, has become quite computer savvy. Yep! You heard me. One of the reasons why I had to buy a new Mac notebook was because I see me losing desk time at the computer real soon. Her favorite thing to do online is, are you ready for this, Pinterest!!!

For those of you who may not know about Pinterest and "pinning", here's how the folks at Pinterest view it:

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and share their favorite recipes.

Marion is a browser. Although she hasn't created any virtual bulletin boards; yet, she can spend hours looking at what others are pinning. Hours I tell ya!!! I know everyone claims how addicting it can be but I just never expected Marion to need intervention at 93!!! And, perhaps the most ironic part about the whole thing, she isn't really enticed by my endeavors as a new Pinterest participant. I don't know, I think it looks rather good, don't you? (for a beginner that is:)

Click the picture to see it "live." (I think:)

Oh, I know what you're say, believe me I do. You're saying "I don't have time for yet another social enterprise." Fact is, neither do I! However, when I discovered that "clips" from my blog posts had already been pinned, unbeknownst to me mind you, I just had to check it out. Anything look familiar? It appears we weren't the only ones who enjoyed Watermelon Month, lol...

Click the picture to see it "live." (I think:)

Marion truly enjoys browsing the bulletin boards and if that makes here happy, that's just fine by me. It's also helping me lose my winter weight because she has this habit of calling me to "come see" all the time!!! I'm planning a Pinterest post later this week but, I did want to let you know what you can do to see if you too have been anonymously pinned.

It's pretty simple really. What you need to do is copy this URL into your web browser after the http. (no need to add the www) and substitute your blog name where you see mine in bold.


I did a bit of checking myself and I know for sure Marjie hostess of Modern Day Ozzie & Harriet has be pinned. (notice the URL while you are there) Yummy Chunklet has been pinned also. T.W from Culinary Types has been pinned, lots!!! Mind you, none of these people are active Pinterest users as far as I can tell.

Enough of this, let's get to Marion's gifts.

So sweet:) And what a delightful surprise too!!! Have you ever met Jady? If you look at that note in the picture you'll notice it is signed by her. Jady is the gracious hostess of Cucina Panzano. Like many of you, Jady is an amazing person!!! Through the years we have become rather close and when I mentioned to her in passing that Marion was celebrating her 93rd birthday this year, she sent her home made jellies and Rosemary soap as a gift for Marion's birthday! Now wasn't that awfully sweet of her??? (Knowing how much I adore Rosemary, Marion was kind enough to let me smell the soap:) The jellies are off limits!!! But let me tell you, when I prepare Marion's English muffins or toast in the morning, she insists on being smothered in jellies, on the bread that is:) However, I get to do all the smelling and finger licking, lol...yummy!!! Thank you again Jady:) Not only does Jady, who lives in Maine, make her own jellies and soaps, she is a frequent attendee at the local farmers' market too. And, she has a few other blogs also. I try to visit her blog Thyme Goes By as often as I can. Last visit she was talking "wooling" It seems it was lambing season in her neck of the woods and I just loved reading Ewe Don't Say.

Marion is a sugarplum too. Just look at this adorable poncho, hat and blanket she crocheted for one girls at the diner. When she found out her daughter was having a baby girls after years of trying, I told Marion and she whipped this up in no time flat! I'm so bad at pictures but let me tell you, it is just precious! The soon to be Lily (that's what the baby's name will be:) should "wear it in good health" as Marion says:)

I've been wanting to remind you that the Rose is still the Herb of the Year for 2012. Perhaps, this recipe for a delicate Rose Dessert from The Miniature Book of Flowers as Food will inspire you to think Spring!!! (and Summer too: click to enlarge)

Spring is shining on the mound this year. Here's a whiff! (everyday is a new surprise:)

Chorus of Violets:)


Marion bought me this Rose last year. It's the only Rose in the garden:)

FYI: The first tweets were published on March 21, 2006, I guess Twitter is celebrating a "birthday" tomorrow.

1. 20 Ways Libraries Are Using Pinterest Right Now
2. Candied Edible Flowers

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday, Girl Scouts! Let's Have Some Cookies!

That's right "kiddies" today we're celebrating yet another Centennial celebration! 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting in the United States. On March 12, 1912, a century ago, Juliette Gordon Low (Daisy to her friends:) founded the Girl Scouts of America in Savannah, Georgia.

Juliette "Daisy‟ Gordon Low assembled 18 girls from Savannah, Georgia on March 12, 1912, for a local Girl Scout meeting. She believed that all girls should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually. With the goal of bringing girls out of isolated home environments and into community service and the open air, Girl Scouts hiked, played basketball, went on camping trips, learned how to tell time by the stars and studied first aid." (Girl Scouts of the USA website)

By all accounts, Juliette Gordon Low was a remarkable women (that's her in the middle) and as much as I would love to share her contributions to Savannah’s rich history, we have cookies to talk about. Girl Scout Cookies that is:) Perhaps I will return to Juliette Low's life on her birthday in October. In the meantime, let's talk cookies.

The History of Girl Scout Cookies begins in Oklahoma.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma is proud to have a special place in Girl Scout history.  Girl Scout Cookies® had their earliest beginnings in the kitchens and ovens of our girl members, with mothers volunteering as technical advisers. The sale of cookies as a way to finance troop activities began as early as 1917... The earliest mention of a cookie sale found to date was that of the Mistletoe Troop in Muskogee, Oklahoma, which baked cookies and sold them in its high school cafeteria as a service project in December 1917. By the 1920s, Girl Scouts in different parts of the country were baking their own simple sugar cookies with their mothers. These cookies were packaged in wax paper bags, sealed with a sticker, and sold door to door for 25 to 35 cents per dozen. (source)

An Early Girl Scout Cookie® Recipe
Girl Scout Council
1 cup butter

1 cup sugar plus additional amount for topping (optional)

2 eggs

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder
Cream butter and the cup of sugar; add well-beaten eggs, then milk, vanilla, flour, salt, and baking powder. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Roll dough, cut into trefoil shapes, and sprinkle sugar on top, if desired. Bake in a quick oven (375°) for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Makes 6 to 7 dozen cookies.

In 1922, a Cookie recipe was provided by Girl Scout council leader Florence E. Neil in The American Girl Magazine. The cookies she suggested, could be sold for 30 cents per dozen. You can find an adaptation of the original recipe, with tips, at Serious Eats. Or, you can view the magazine recipe yourself here.

By the 1930s, Girl Scout Cookie production went commercial!

In 1933, Girl Scouts of Greater Philadelphia Council baked cookies and sold them in the city's gas and electric company windows. Just 23 cents per box of 44 cookies, or six boxes for $1.24 helped girls develop their marketing and business potential and raise funds for their local Girl Scout council program. In 1934, Greater Philadelphia became the first council to sell commercially baked cookies. A little over a year later, another large troop, the Girl Scout Federation of Greater New York raised money by selling commercial cookies and it was them who, buying their own trefoil shaped die, had the words "Girl Scout Cookies" printed on the package. (source)

Let's jump ahead to the sixties (late sixties that is:) and the time when I was a Girl Scout:) I'm not sure whether this booklet published by the Campbell's Soup Foundation is from the 60s or later but I just had to share it with you. To be perfectly honest, I'm not really how long I've had it:)

From the introduction:
Cooking With A Purpose
The food you prepare does more than satisfy hunger. It shows how you feel about your family, your troop, your friends, younger or older people. Your effort is reflected in the attractive way you serve your prepared food. Cooking skill can help you put into practice your motto "Be Prepared" and parts of the promise and laws. Of course you recognize these as among the purposes of scouting. Here are many food ways to practice your purpose, contributing to badge earning and your own satisfaction as a Scout.

Here are ideas to help you do the things that individual badges stand for, and to do them often enough, thoroughly enough, and well enough to be prepared to give Girl Scout service.

Today, the three layers of the World Trefoil Pin symbolize the sisterhood that millions of girls around the world share.

For girls earning their Outdoor Cooking Badge, these recipes were recommended.

"Set up and use four different types of cooking fires, including charcoal. Explain the advantages of each, and when to use it. Know how to put out cooking fires safely and demonstrate this when you have finished using each fire you built. Find out regulations in your community for building cooking fires in backyards, in parks, or on public properties.” (Outdoor Cook Badge – Girl Scout Badges and Signs – 1981)

Did you notice there are no S'mores included in the above recipes? S'more's are as much a part of Girl Scout history as The Girl Scout Handbook of 1927, where the first recorded version of the recipe was found. Thankfully, Janet @ Dying for Chocolate had more to say about their history on National S'more Day. (Last year we celebrated National S'more Day stuffing our faces:)

Now for the really good stuff; The Cookies! What's your favorite? And, what does it say about you?

What does your favorite Girl Scout Cookie say about YOU?

See that sunny yellow box of cookies in the middle? Those are this year's 100th anniversary introduction; Savannah Smiles. Some say they remind them of another Girl Scout cookie they miss called Lemon Coolers. Little Brownie Bakers, one of the companies that makes the Girl Scout cookies, (the other is ABC/Interbake Foods) explains the newest creation was named for founder Juliette Gordon Low's hometown: Savannah, Georgia. The company describes the cookie as "cool and crisp, with just the right number of lemon chips to deliver tiny bursts of flavor."

Since I have never tried either, I'm not much help. (Marion & I will be nibbling on a few tonight:) I can, however, tell you there have already been recipes developed using this latest addition.

I found the following recipe for Savannah Smiles Mousse at the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana website where you can download the entire 2012 Desserts First Louisville recipes for free. Many of the recipes were created with help from local restaurant chefs.

Savannah Smiles Mousse
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
¾ cup of sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup of ground Savannah Smiles cookies
7 large egg yolks
4 oz./1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup heavy cream
In a large heatproof bowl, combine the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and ground Savannah Smiles cookies with the egg yolks. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until melted and incorporated. Strain the lemon curd into a bowl and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface. Refrigerate the curd until chilled, about 2 hours. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the cream until firm. Fold the whipped cream into the lemon curd.

The fundraiser is a dessert contest in which Girl Scouts team up with area chefs to make a dessert using Girl Scout cookies. Here's what the Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland came up with.

I've also found a few more recipe links for you to explore that either use Girl Scout cookies as an ingredient, just in case you should find yourself with leftovers, or if you're feeling really creative you can attempt making your very own. I didn't want to impose again on other bloggers so rather than "grab" their pictures and links, I'll just provide the links.

Savannah Smiles Lemon Berry Trifle
Homemade Tagalong Girl Scout Cookies
Homemade Girl Scout Cookies: Samoas
Homemade Do-si-dos

Girl Scout Cookie Thin Mint Chocolate Pie
Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookie Cheesecake Cups

Girl Scout Thin Mint Chocolate Cupcakes
Samoas Bark

If you think leftover Girl Scout Cookies are only worthy of decadent desserts, check out this recipe for Girl Scout Samoa Curry Arancini, one of the many winners of the Girl Scouts of Western Washington Food Blogger Recipe Contest.

I would like to thank the two adorable Brownies who provided me with these delicate delights and their wonderful mom's who were more than intrigued when I mentioned I found a recipe which included Savannah Smiles as an ingredient. (they were also delighted to know we celebrated the Oreo Birthday a few days ago:) Unfortunately because of all the chatter we shared I forgot to get their names:) Thanks girls!

The picture of Juliette Low's birthplace at the top of the page was scanned from a wonderful cookbook in my collection titled the Savannah Sampler Cookbook by Margaret Wayt DeBolt copyright 1978. It is darned with Savannah folklore, wood cuts and tempting southern recipes. It also happens to include a recipe for Girl Scout Brownies provided by the Girl Scout Council of Savannah.

If for some reason you crave that Girl Scout Cookie goodness from your favorite variety but are perhaps watching the pounds and the ingredients, you might be surprised to learn Lip Smacker launched Girl Scout Cookie lip gloss in many of your favorite flavors. You might be able to find them at Walmart too!

There are lots of celebrations coinciding with the Girl Scout Centennial Celebration. Not only in Georgia but all over the country, and some parts of the world. If you visit any of the links I've provided above, I'm sure you will be well on your way to local celebrations in your area. I happened upon an intriguing ad in a travel guide (PDF file) while online the other day. I can't remember where it came from but I simply had to include it for all you Paula Deen fans out there especially since she too is a native of Georgia.

"Once I showed up at my sister's with a baby rabbit I had bought from some children because its ears were cold. I put the rabbit on a hot water bottle and massaged its ears for quite a while. After all, I knew that all healthy animals had warm ears." ~Juliette Gordon Low~

1. Most Popular Girl Scout Cookies (be sure and check out the "Hamburger" Cookies made with Thin Mints and other "goodies.")
2. Almost Like Girl Scout Cookies

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bring Some Milk, it's an Oreo Cookie Centennial Celebration!

Have a cookie. Not any old cookie mind you, A Deep Fried Oreo Cookie! That's right folks, today we are celebrating the Oreo Cookie's Birthday!!! For it was on March 6, 1912 that the Oreo Cookie made its debut. One hundred years young as the folks at Nabisco like to say. As for us, we'll be celebrating with some tasty Oreo Cookie recipes that have been so generously served up by Oreo Cookie lovers' themselves; YOU! Enjoy!

I had today's Oreo Birthday post all planned when it occurred to me that there are a batch of bakers out there who enjoy concocting all kinds of things with Oreo cookies. (Yes, they like to dunk them in milk too, seriously, who doesn't:)

Take this video for example. I for one would never imagine making Caviar with Oreos & Hot Sauce. Would you???

So, I tossed my original post for today and made a rather impromptu request for Oreo Cookie recipes late Sunday night via Twitter. I must admit, Twitter was indispensable in gathering links and permission from these contributors. Thank YOU everyone!!! (I've arranged it so you can click the images or the link to be taken to the recipes)

Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookies Heather @girlichef
Chocolate Peanut Butter Oreo Cupcakes Molly @CAKEfyi
Cookies and Cream Cookies Pattie @pattietierney
Cookies and Cream Chocolate Chip Muffins Angela hostess of Soap Mom's Kitchen
Oreo Tempura Janet @janetrudolph
Golden Oreo Cupcakes Anna @Cookie_Madness
Chocolate Mint Oreo Cupcakes Molly @CAKEfyi
Orenilla Fluff Pie
Pam @gonetapott

Gloria, hostess of the delicious Canela Kitchen, didn't have an Oreo Cookie recipe on hand so she took a quick trip over to the Kraft Kitchens and found us this recipe for Philly Oreo Cheesecake. Thank you sweet Gloria:) (And yes Gloria we will be playing the Picnic Game once again this year; I can't wait:)

Philly Oreo Cheesecake

Here are two more from the folks at Kraft:

Spring Oreo Cookie Balls
Oreo Cookie Ball Pops

I did a quick search in my Hospitality Search Engine and found a few more recipe links for you to explore. Just think, this is the one and only time in our lives that we will be able to celebrate 100 years of Oreo Cookies. It seems to me, we should make the best of it. Don't you agree???

Oreo Cookies Made from Scratch Stef @cupcakeproject

Itty Bitty Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies Jenny @PickyPalate

Cookies n’ Cream Scones Nicole @bakingbites

Oreo Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Truffles Kerstin @CakeBatterBowl

Oreo Cookies & Cream Cheesecakes Grace @GracesSweetLife

Chocolate Oreo Cookie Trifle

I call this my Oreo Vase. I'm thrilled to share it today!

Thank you again to everyone. Just in case you're curious about Oreo Cookie History, like where the name Oreo came from, this link will take you to a previous post I did for Oreo's Birthday a while back. Also, if you know of an Oreo Cookie recipe link we may have missed, feel free to include it in the comment section below. Enjoy! Louise

Sunday, March 4, 2012

It's Pound Cake Day

Rose Geranium Pound Cake (recipe below)
Raise your hand if your heart begins to thump at the thought of Pound Cake. One, two, three, I see three hands...there goes four, five and six...just as I thought...As you might suspect, pound cake usually weighs one pound, WRONG! 

Pound cake is so named because the ingredients to construct it were once measured by the pound; a pound of flour (4 cups) , a pound of sugar (2-1/4 cups), a pound of butter (2 cups), and a pound of eggs (2 cups or about 8 eggs depending on size). If left to my own devices, I would have assumed the name Pound Cake referred to the amount of time and beating it took to get that buttery goodness ready for the oven.

According to Andrew Smith, in The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink, the Pound Cake arrived from England in the eighteenth century, which he states "was basically a small plum cake without fruit.
...At the fancy evening parties of the early nineteenth century, cake was a principal attraction. The long party cake table covered with a white cloth typically bore a row of different "fruit cakes" down the center. Initially these cakes were plum cake, pound-cake and sponge cakes. But, by the 1830s, suppler tables also included uniquely American cakes spun out of Pound Cake and Sponge Cake. The two new Pound Cake offshoots were to be particularly important to American cake baking. They were the stunningly white Lady Cake made with egg whites rather than whole eggs and flavored with bitter almonds, and the deep yellow Golden Cake made with egg yolks and flavored with orange or lemon. The fashion was to bake both cakes to highlight the contrast in color...
Nineteenth century America also saw the introduction of Pearl Ash, an alkaline leavening similar to today's baking soda. Pearl ash allowed women to make cake with less butter and fewer eggs than Pound Cake required. Pearl ash also took away some of the drudgery of beating the cake batter for so long.
...One of the new cake families comprised various cakes with spice, raisins, and currants. These were often named for American patriots (Washington, Madison, Harrison, Jefferson) or American cities (Boston, Rutland, Dover) The other new cake was "cup cake", which proved to be one of the most important cakes in American cake baking history. The cake was so named because its ingredients were measured by the cup (which was more convenient than weighing) and because, at least initially, it was baked in small cups, which facilitated the rising of inexpensive quickly made batters. Soon enough, cup cake came to be baked in large sizes as well...
One of the reasons I don't consider myself a "true" baker is because I lack precision. Baking depends on proper technique and precise ratios. Blame it on my lack of mathematical skills:) It isn't often that I get to share some of more conventional vintage cookbooks with you. In the days when Pound Cake recipes first appeared, it would take at least an hour or more of continuous beating by hand to get it too the right consistency. Thank goodness electric mixers were eventually introduced!  In this first edition of The National Cookbook published in 1896 and authored by Marion Harland and Christine Terhune Herrick, the authors reinforce the virtues of the proper assembly of Pound Cake.

In cake, as in bread making practical knowledge of a few cardinal rules will enable the cook to bring forth an almost infinite variety of sweets in this line of culinary adventure. She who can make, once and again, good cup cake is equal to whatever the layer-cake species may offer for experiment. The filling gives character and individuality to each of the family. Become proficient in the manufacture of pound cake, and, to parody Mr. Wegg, "all cake is open to you." Recipes many and diverse are only suggestions to her whose sponge cake always turns out well, whose pound cake is never streaky, or her jelly cake too stiff or too friable.
By 1871, in Commonsense in the Household, Ms. Harland cements the importance of the "proper" ingredients in cake baking.
Pound Cake may very well be a British creation, however, through the years, the Plain Jane of Pound Cakes has been modified by varying the amounts of ingredients and even adding chemical leavenings. Some have chosen to eliminate the butter entirely while replacing it with more "heart friendly" ingredients such as Olive Oil.

Here are a few more hints for capturing the essence of that goodness you remember from Pound Cake of days gone past without relinquishing the flavor; entirely:)

1. Use egg whites or egg substitutes instead of whole eggs. (You may have to add an extra white)
2. Replace butter with reduced calorie margarine
3. Use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour (It makes a lower fat cake more tender)
4. Substitute non-fat buttermilk for cream; you'll get a rich flavor without the fat. (When you use buttermilk make sure that baking soda is one of the leavening ingredients.) 

The tips and this recipe for Rose Geranium Pound Cake (pictured above) were harvested from the Low-Fat, High Flavor Cookbook published by Oxmoor House.
Rose Geranium Pound Cake
6 large rose geranium leaves
Vegetable cooking spray
3/4 cup reduced-calorie margarien, softened
3 cups sugar
8 egg whites
1-1/2 cups nonfat buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4-1/2 cups sifted cake flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1. Coat geranium leaves with cooking spray; arrange leaves, dull side up, in bottom of a 10-inch tube pan lined with wax paper and coated with cooking spray and flour. Set aside.
2. Beat margarine at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add egg whites; beat well.
3. Combine buttermilk and vanilla, stirring well. Combine cake flour and remaining ingredients; add to margarine mixture alternating with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix after each addition. Spoon batter into tube pan. Bake at 325°  for 1 hour and 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Yield: 16 servings.


1. Sugar measuring equivalents (Joy of Baking)
2. Convert measures of ingredients for cooking & more
3. "Quatre Quarts" Pound Cake (French Pound Cake)
4. Pound Cake Tips
5. Experimenting with Size: Miniature Pound Cake
6. Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake (Fine Cooking)   

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Daffodil Cake for St. David's Day

March is here, and neither the roaring
of the lion nor too early appearance of the
"March Lamb" can dim our joy, for
March is the first month of spring and all
nature is waking from its winter sleep.

"The Modern Gladiolus Grower" 1914

Since the weather has been so cooperative in my neck of the woods this year, I thought it the perfect time to share a Daffodil Cake recipe for St. David's Day! St. David is the Patron Saint of Wales. In times past, and in some regions today, men wear a leek in their hat in tribute to St. David and women wear daffodils the national flower of Wales.

I first re-encountered Daffodil Cake over at Marjie's a while back and since, I've been waiting for just the right day to introduce it to you! We all know I'm not much of a baker, heck lately I'm not much of a cook either but that's a story for another day, lol:) Marjie was so sweet to let me share her cake with you and for that I thank her! Thank you Marjie. You can get Marjie's recipe which she harvested from the "new" Fannie Farmer cookbook (I'm guessing the revised edition by Marion Cunningham ) over at The Modern Day Ozzie and Harriet blog:) Don't you just want to devour it? As Marjie says, "The cake had a wonderful citrus flavor."
Daffodil Cake
I remember skimming through a few of the early editions of Ms. Farmer's cookbooks and couldn't find a recipe for Daffodil Cake. As far as I can tell, the original Daffodil Cake recipe surfaced sometime in the 1930s. What "cracks" me up about the recipe is the amount of eggs it uses. To have such an egg laden cake so popular during the 1930s seems rather odd but, it seems, the purveyors of Swan's Down Cake Flour may have introduced it in the late 1920s or early 1930s. I did find a copy of the Van Nuys Newspaper online published in July of 1932 where three cakes were provided for contestants to bake in a cooking contest. One was a Daffodil Cake. It's extremely difficult to read but if you want to give it a try, and maybe your eyes are stronger than mine, here's the link. (the online magnifying glass is easy to manipulate once you get the hang of it:) BTW, the other two choices were Chocolate Angel Food Cake and Burnt Sugar Cake. (you really should follow those links one is at Anna's Cookie Madness and the other is for Old Fashioned Burnt Sugar Cake which looks phenomenal!)

What is a Daffodil Cake? I guess you could say it is a marbleized yellow sponge/angel food cake baked in either a Tube pan or an Angel Food cake pan. Unlike Chiffon Cakes, it contains no butter, shortening or oil. It can be served unfrosted, or for special occasions such as birthdays, it can be glazed or frosted with butter cream. When prepared correctly, the colors are reminiscent of a cheerful daffodil!

The secret to any these types of Foam Cakes is all in the beating and the incorporation of air. Here's what I found at The Joy of Baking.

Sponge: A light and airy cake that contains three basic ingredients: room temperature eggs, sugar, and flour and is leavened solely by the air beaten into the eggs.  A basic sponge cake is made by beating the egg yolks and sugar until thick and lemon colored (when beaters are raised the mixture will form a ribbon as it falls back into the bowl) and then stiffly beaten egg whites (with a little sugar) are folded in.  Contains no fat.  A very versatile cake that can be flavored with extracts, nuts, citrus zests, liqueurs and can be baked in round cake pans or else a sheet pan.  Can be eaten plain or filled with whipped cream, buttercream, jam or preserves, fruit, fruit purees, nuts, chocolate, etc.
Angel Food Cake: Sometimes referred to as Angel Cake and because of its airy lightness is said to be the "food of the angels".  This cake has no egg yolks, fat, or artificial leavener so it relies totally on stiffly beaten egg whites for leavening.  Its sole ingredients are egg whites, cream of tartar, sugar, flour, salt and flavoring (such as extracts).  Angel Food Cake has the highest sugar content of all the sponge cakes and this added sugar is needed to support and stabilize the whipped egg whites. Because the egg whites give the cake its volume and structure care must be taken when adding them to the dry ingredients so they do not deflate.

Daffodil Cake was quite popular well into the 1970s. Here's a recipe from Betty Crocker.

As I was searching for Daffodil Cake variations, I stumbled upon Pig Lickin' Cake. Well, since today is also National Pig Day, I just had to include it too! Apparently, Pig Lickin' Cake, a Mandarin Orange Cake, is very popular in the south and often confused with Daffodil Cake. Like Daffodil Cake, it too can be prepared with a cake mix:)

Today is also Peanut Butter Lovers' Day for all you Peanut Butter Lovers out there. While I'm at it, and since I won't be back until Sunday, don't forget Banana Creme Pie Day tomorrow and National Mulled Wine Day on Saturday.

revised Feb. 2014

1. Fannie Farmer Cookbook (1896 @ Feeding America)
2. Candy Daffodils (From Good Housekeeping made from Laffy Taffy and fondant)
3. Pretty Daffodil Cake (The daffodils are made with gum paste. The stems are marshmallow fondant.)
4. Recipe Bridge (a newly discovered recipe search engine) hey you talented "foodtographers" submit your gorgeous pictures!
5. No-Bake Daffodil Cake (Sandra Lee)
6. Daffodil Cake Custard
7. Retro Daffodil Recipe (1952)
8. Daffodil Cake Pops (so cute)
9. Welcome March (last year's monthly list and days)