This and that

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party January 3/12

It's is our first linky party of the New Year!
I hope you all had a good holiday season.
My Christmas and New Years were good ~ because I didn't have to work them :)
My goal with these parties is to feature one of the recipes from the last party again as Host Favorite .
I hope that I will also be able to make the recipe.
If you would like to be featured please link back your recipe to either FFF or my blog.
Without some kind of link back, I will be unable to feature you.

Foodie Friends Friday Linky 

This week we have a great party for you
and a great giveaway for you bloggers...
with a Blog Makeover.

4 Bloggers will get a Makeover from some great sponsors:
Thaleia from Something 2 offer will give a esty/facebook banner and guest post on her blog
Brooke from Get Outta My Head Please will give a custom blog header
Leslie from From A Daughter  will give blog button, custom about me side bar image and header image
Lauren from Tutus and Tea Party will give basic social media button and sidebar menu tab (images only)

Remember to fill out the Rafflecopter 
For your chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Please stop by and give each host some Foodie Love
Tracy at Busy Vegetarian Mom
Marlys at This and That
Lois at  Walking on Sunshine
Michelle at  From Calculus to Cupcakes
Cynthia at Feeding Big
R Dawn at Spatulas on Parade
Angie at A lil Country Sugar
Cindy at Cindy's Recipes and Writings: : 
Joanne at Winelady Cooks:
Marlene at Nosh My Way:
Jutta at Hungry Little Girl:
Erika at Chef Picky Kid:


I also would love if you would leave me a message if you linked up with my blog
so that I can personally give you a Thanks.
I do try to get to every link each with week. 

Last  Week's Party Winners:

Top 3 Voted
A'lil Country Sugar - Cookie Butter Buckeyes
Crumbs in my Mustachio - Bundt Gingerbread
Spatulas on Parade - Orange Crinkle Cookies
Most Clicked
Cindy's Writing and Recipes - Cheesy Chicken Bites
Cooking from a SAHM - Cheese and Ham Pockets
Milwaukee Kitchen - Savory Slow Cooker Swiss Steak
Sponsored Giveaway

Host Favorite
This week I am featuring  Earl Grey Tea from All Things Yummy
I love tea and haven't had any Earl Grey for a long time,
I am going to have buy some on my next shopping trip and make this soon.
Foodie Friends Friday
Please grab our button
and place on your recipe or wall

All Things Yummy
Have you stopped by the Daily Dish lately?
There are articles for everyone... 
Daily Dish with Foodie Friends Friday
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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Years and Black-eyed Peas

Happy New Years!

Did you see the New Years in? 
I had a very hard time as I have been working nights 
and yesterday was my body's day to sleep.
So does sleeping on the couch until the strike of midnight comes,
opening ones eyes and saying Happy New Years to your loved one 
and promptly falling back to sleep count as seeing the New Year in?
Because that is what I did..

Did you know that Black-eyed Peas are eaten on New Years?

Black-eyed peas probably first started in West Africa but also grows in many countries in Asia.  It was first introduced to the United States in the 1700.  The Southerners feel that black-eyed peas show good luck and prosperity. During the Civil War it was considered a lucky dish.  Union Soldiers burnt all the crops except the peas as they thought they were only used for cattle feed near Vicksburg, VA. The people of Vicksburg, found the peas and adapted to diet to include them.

In our household we eat black-eyed peas often.  We use them when we make rice and beans  and I also make a vegetable dish with them and eat this dish with plantains and gari.  I think I will make this tonight with our New Years meal, although I don't have any plantains to go with it.

Vegetable Black-eyed Peas
I don't have any measurements for this recipes as I just throw things in.

cooked black-eyed peas - a cup or so
corn -either fresh or frozen - maybe about 1/2 cup
green beans - either fresh or frozen- also about 1/2 cup
onions to taste
2 tbsp on oil

In frying pan, add oil and then add cooked black-eyed peas, corn, beans and onions.  Cook until warm~ about 5 -8 minutes.  Serve with gari and plantains if you have. It also can be eaten as cooked, drizzled with a little oil.

* Gari is made from cassava tubers

So will you be eating Black-eyed Peas this year
 for good fortune and prosperity throughout the next year.

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Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Best Recipes.

Today is the last day of 2012
Tomorrow we bring in the New Year!
This year has been a wonderful year for me....
I never envisioned that I would be able to keep anyone interested in what I blog about.
I want to thank you all for following me, commenting and giving me support.
It means a lot to me.
My hopes and wishes for the New Year is that 
I will be able to continue to bring you recipes that are tried and true.
As we leave 2012, I would like to let you know
the 12 recipes that have had the most views on my blog...
That means the ones that you have checked out the most
and for that I thank you!

Best Recipes of 2012

Nine months ago, I started this blog.. and I think I have come a long way.  I hope that you agree with me.  Along with this blog I have a second one that I dedicate just to photography.  That blog is called This and That Photography.
Shortly after I started this blog, I was invited to join a wonderful group called Foodie Friends Friday.  Each week we hold a Linky Party and have had a great turn out.  With each party we have sponsored giveaways.  This group is great and I have learnt so much from each and everyone of them.  I want to take this opportunity to say thank you and that I count each one of you as a special friend.  Within this group, eleven us under the direction of Tracy from Busy Vegetarian Mom  started Foodie Friends Friday Daily Dish.  Tracy has done a lot of work getting this e-magazine up and running and everyone in the group has participated and worked together to bring many different aspect of cooking to all of us.
When I started blogging, I had first thought of just doing it for myself.  To put on my recipes in one place and keep track of what I am making.  I never in a million years thought I would have followers and ones so dedicated as you all are.  I love hearing your comments, communicating with you.  I have learnt lots from all of you too.  Thank you for being here with me.  I also never envisioned that one of my recipes, Salted Caramel Mocha Latte  would be featured on Foodista Drink Blog of the Day.  It may only be a few words and my picture of my drink, but too me it is a big accomplishment.
My hopes, dreams and goals for 2013 is to learn more about blogging.  I am hoping that I will have time to figure out my blog so that it may be easier for you to navigate around and find what you need.  I also want to learn more about taking food pictures as I know for me that is what captures my attention... the pictures tempting me... making me want to taste the food.  I  hope that you will want to continue this journey with me.
Wishing you all a 
Wonderful and Blessed New Year
May 2013 be a Year of Happiness and Prosperity!
Thank you for being here with me

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Rice porridge and prune soup.

Every once in awhile I get a craving for rice porridge 
or as it is called in Finland Riisipuuro.
Growing up we would make riisipuuro when we had extra rice leftover, 
so that is always how I make it... I don't really have a recipe,
I just add to my  rice.

In Finland they will also add an almond in the riisipuuro
One almond and the one that gets the almond will 
receive good fortune.

Riisipuuro is also good with Marja Soppa (berry soup) made with prunes and raisins.
It is also called Luumukiiseli 

Rice porridge with prune soup in my Iltila 

2 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups milk
1 egg

Add sugar to rice.  Whisk egg and milk together well and add it to the rice mixture.  Cook over medium heat until most of the liquid has evaporated. 
You can also eat this with more milk and cinnamon.  I will also add raisins when I am cooking the rice porridge.  Or eat it with Prune soup.

Prune Soup ( Marja Soppa)

2 cups prunes
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried apricots (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups water
1-2 sticks of cinnamon
1/2 cup cornstarch with small amount of water

In medium pot, add prunes, raisins, apricots, sugar, water and cinnamon stick.  Boil on medium heat for 1 hour.  If soup is very liquid, add cornstarch and water and boil for another 5 minutes.  
Enjoy alone or with rice porridge.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Boxing Day

Today, December 26th in many commonwealth  countries including Canada
Boxing Day is observed.
It is a federal holiday in Canada.

What is Boxing Day you may ask?

Growing up it was just another day... a day to play and eat leftovers...
as I got older and moved away from home, it was a day to get some good bargains 
and when I was of double pay.

But what is the origins of Boxing Day

The origins of this day are unclear, but likely it was started in England
One story is that employers would give their servants gifts the day after Christmas in boxes,
another story is that employees were allowed to take home the leftover of Christmas meals in box.
This tradition is carried on when employers give baskets to employees during the holiday season.
Lastly, it may be because of the boxes in the churches where people can leave money for the poor
where opened on the day after Christmas.
We still do some of this when we give money and gifts to those that do services for us,
mail carries, tradesmen, doormen and any others that have helped us.
Although we may not wait until Boxing Day to do this.

 December 26th is also the day that the Feast of St. Stephen take place
St. Stephen was one of the deacons, 
who was ordained by the apostles to take care of the poor and the widows.

I am planning on making what I would think is a traditional United Kingdom meal in the middle ages
Roast Beef dinner with potatoes and carrots.

picture courtesy of Bron Marshall
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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

From our house to yours.
Merry Christmas!
May your Christmas be merry and bright..
and Santa fill your stockings with joy!
As you open your presents and enjoy your day,
Take a moment to pause and
Remember that today we celebrate
the birth of
Jesus, Our Lord and Savoir.

May you have a Blessed Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Candy Cane Meringue Kisses

I have never made meringue before... 
But I saw these somewhere on Facebook with candy cane kisses
 and thought they looked wonderful, I am not sure where I found them
so if you posted it let me know so that I can give you credit.

The first batch I made I used the candy cane kisses and tinted the meringue with red food colouring.
The second batch, I used chocolate kisses and mixed in candy cane crumbs in the meringue.
Both smell heavenly.

Candy Cane Meringue Kisses

2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tarter
dash of salt
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
Hershey kisses - I used candy cane kisses and chocolate kisses
1-2 drops of red food colouring
crushed peppermints
red coloured sugar or sprinkles

Preheat oven 200 degrees F
In large bowl, mix egg whites, cream of tarter, and salt.  Beat until egg mixture until it forms peaks, add sugar slowly and continue to beat until stiff and glossy.  Add food colouring if you like.

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and place a candy cane kiss on the paper about 2 inches apart.  Using pastry bag and star tip, pipe meringue around candy cane kiss.  Bake in 200 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Turn off oven.  You can now add coloured sugar or sprinkles at this time.  Return the meringue back to oven and leave in until completely cooled - at least 3 or more hours or even over night.   I was able to make 21 -24 meringue kisses.

For the meringues that I made with the chocolate kisses, I crushed about 1/8 cup of candy cane and mixed into the meringue before piping it around the kisses.  I did not put food colouring in the meringue or use sprinkles with these.  Some of the pieces of candy canes were bigger then the others.

Meringue with 2 drops of red food colouring,
ready to be piped around kisses

meringue piped around candy cane kisses

meringue piped around chocolate kisses

Both types of meringue kisses, to show how they are piped
around the  Hershey kisses


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