Monday, November 30, 2009
Did you know baked goods containing honey have a longer shelf life? This is due to honey's natural preserving qualities? (Honey does not require refrigeration.) Here's a recipe you can try using honey:
German Honey Bars Lebkuchen (makes about 6 dozen bars) Ingredients: 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/3 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 cup honey 1/2 cup dark molasses 3/4 cup packed brown sugar 4 tablespoons butter (not margarine) sweet unsalted, melted 1 large egg 1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds (optional) Optional Glaze (recipe below) Preparation: 1.Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 15X10-inch jelly-roll pan; set aside. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom and ginger in medium bowl. Combine honey and molasses in medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes. Stir in brown sugar, butter and egg. 2.Place brown sugar mixture in large bowl. Gradually add flour mixture. Beat at low speed with electric mixer until dough forms. Stir in almonds with spoon, if desired. (Dough will be slightly sticky.) Spread dough evenly into prepared pan. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown and set. Remove pan to wire rack; cool completely. 3.Prepare Glaze. Spread over cooled bar cookies. Let stand until set, about 30 minutes. Cut into 2X1-inch bars. Store tightly covered at room temperature or freeze up to 3 months. Glaze Recipe 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (organic or very well washed) 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Preparation: 1.Place all ingredients in medium bowl; stir with spoon until smooth. (Find more recipes on How Stuff Works)
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I wasn't going to blog today, but I took some photos while I was out with Gizzy for our Thanksgiving walk that I want to post in case my family or friends want to know what I did today. I love blogging because all my famly is far away. I have one child, a daughter, who lives in California (where I lived all my American Life) and my entire other family is in Germany, but thanks to the Internet and this blog, we can somehow keep closer. My mom and dad don't "do computer" but I call them frequently and my sister and cousin (who use the Internet) keep them informed as well. I could not have asked for a more perfect day. The sun was shining, the air was cool, but not too cold and we had a nice breeze blowing the leaves off the trees and keeping everything fresh and moving.
As I was walking down the street towards Lake Irma, I was looking at Gizzy and saw that he was having a good day too. I began to give thanks for everything I have, be it ever so humble and for being able to walk with my dog on a gorgeous day like today. While walking, I ponder on the beauty of just about every season, except maybe summer. Since living here, I have really come to dislike summer. But, I suppose one has to suffer through it in order to get to the other seasons, so I will just have to learn to deal with it...or make other living arrangements.
I am thankful to have this pretty, little lake to walk to with my dog, plus Bank's Lake National Wildlife Refuge (which I must visit again soon) and Roquemore Memorial Park in close vicinity, the third of our three regular stomping grounds. Where are the two ducks? Can you spot them? We lingered and think we were gone for a good 90 minutes today, maybe even longer.
We sat beneath our usual tree and watched Gizzy TV. I like to close my eyes and absorb the smells, sounds and feel of the outdoors. Every time I do that, I promise to remember to bring a lounge chair the next time and a book, because now is the time for me to be outside without getting chewed up by mosquitoes. A few still find me here and there, but not like in the summer time. Gizzy ejoying the view.In the shade, I see some little wildflowers blooming, stretching their neck towards the sunshine. The water sparkles in the breeze like someone sprinkled it with little daimonds or as if tiny tinkerbell fairies were dancing on top of the water.
Upon arriving back home at my apartment, I caught up with a neighbor who was raking the leaves. She allowed me to photograph those pretty bell shaped blossoms on a bush in front of her bedroom. I remember seeing those all over in Laguna Beach, California. I wanted to eat late, so I am baking my small chicken with vegetables now and it is starting to smell very good in here. Gizzy's snoozing (and snoring) and Middi's restless, either from the smell of the chicken or she wants out. Wishing you all a splendid Thanksgiving Day!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
p.s. Update on Boots as of 2/13/10: No, sadly I've not found him a home, but since it's been so cold outside, I've been allowing him in for a few minutes each day to eat his meal in peace and have a warm bowl of milk.Middi doesn't seem to mind. She just watches him. I do this early in the morning when the "dragon" (my Gizzy) is still fast asleep in his bed and isn't the wiser. If I could, I'd take him, but we're only allowed 2 pets. If I ever move into a bigger place, he's coming with! (God knows my heart, so maybe He'll work it out somehow!)
Bootsie was found dead this morning, Wednesday, February 17th (Ash Wednesday)...apparently he found his home another way ... ! I will miss you, my sweet feline friend.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Yesterday, I took Gizzy for a qick late afternoon walk in the park. I have been crocheting and knitting a lot, so Gizzy sleeps. He's getting on in years and my hope is that as long as he's sleeping, he's preserving his life and maybe will live a little longer - at least that's my hope! The sun was starting to set and I think I got some interesting shots that I'd like to share with you this morning. I'll start off with a big ole bumble bee that was collecting nectar and pollen from the Lantana bush out back. I already showed you the butterfly photos yesterday, one of which had his wings all torn, poor fella. I always think about all the other places where it's cold and snowing and here I am, watching butterflies and bees and seeing flowers... At the park, I am seeing traces of fall in the foliage and plants around me. As you can see, the weeping willow is bare. Traces of falling leaves are on the ground indicating the changing season. You can see the little gazebo in back where people pose for prom pictures and such. There are several of these pink Camellia bushes/plants all in a row, all blooming a lovely pale pink, almost making it look like spring. There are a few white ones, but mostly they are pink. I think they look just lovely blooming all at once together. A few white Hydrangeas are also blooming, getting the last of the warm sunshine.
Some salmon colored Azeleas are also getting in on the bloom fest.
...and we're walking over to the rose bush. The sun's starting to set leaving streaks of sunrays on the ground. Over to the left is the monument surrounded with roses. As we were sitting there at a picnic table, I took this close up of Gizzy that says: "I am not amused!" but then, what do I know? Overhead I can see a flock of birds circling in the sky. I was told by a fellow blogger friend that they look like Turkey Vultures. Sorry, guys, but I really need a zoomier lens.
Hope you enjoyed our little walk in the park. Be blessed! Guess what I'm preparing to do next?