See what's on our table for Scarborough Fare

See what's on our table for Scarborough Fare

12/10/2010

A little us time and a little me time...

Last weekend when my hubby came home, while I was making dinner (a nice big pot of Navy Bean and Ham soup) I spotted my espresso pot... sitting so quietly on the stove-top. Hmmm. Haven't had espresso in a while. So, just before the hubs was due in the door I put on a pot.


My largest espresso pot. A great deal at Homegoods. Had to have it. It holds about 8-10 espresso size cups.


I found a bag of espresso ground coffee from a very well-known gift shop around my hometown. I freeze my coffee that doesn't get used for a while. The flavor is Snickerdoodle.


Don't you wish you could smell this?


Espresso anyone?

And earlier this week... a little me time.

Well, maybe some "we" time. Morning coffee and a little time with Betty Crocker Triple Berry Muffin (tops). Yeah, they're out of a bag mix, but sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Hugs, Penny Sue

12/08/2010

OK, just shoot me now...

Well, Thanksgiving visits came and went and I never once reached for my camera. I guess I'll stick to smaller projects. My husband and I had Thanksgiving Dinner here at our house along with my Dad, our son and daughter-in-law (and grand daughter) and a friend of our son's, who was not able to go home from college to have Thanksgiving celebrations with his own family. We had such a good time. The only thing was we didn't sit down to eat until an hour later than we had hoped. But hey, this is only my second Thanksgiving dinner... and this time I told myself NO stress. Sometimes I get so caught up in sticking to such a tight schedule that I lose perspective and get tense and stressed out and then I know my family can sense that. So, I tried a NO stress approach. My husband saw a slip here and there, but for the most part, I think I did pretty good.

Apologies all around... and hugs too... Penny Sue

11/21/2010

Let's get the party started...

I am looking forward to having my family here for Thanksgiving dinner. This will be our first year to have it at our house. The family is getting too big for my sister to be able to accommodate everyone. So, my son, Chuck, daughter-in-law Colleen, and grand-daughter are coming. Also, a friend of my son, Tom, who is not able to go home from college for his Thanksgiving. We invited my brother-in-law Thomas, but he's not coming. It should be a good time with those who are going to be here. I'm looking forward to new traditions. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures. (I hope I remember this time!) :)

Hugs all around,
Penny Sue

10/15/2010

Barren Table...

My sincere apologies for not posting anything fun here, but my fun seems to be buried underneath all sorts of other "stuff". I'm working at digging it out. I've come across a few good recipes that I will share along the way, and hoping for some dinner guests... or even just family to visit soon. It's been a long, sad, and lonely summer. Not much to share in the way of gatherings. Usually our house is bustling with visitors, friends and family alike. This year, not so much. I'll have to work on that. Maybe I'll just take to inviting random friends over for dinner, or families from church. That would be fun. I love trying to do a theme night. Like Mexican with music to match, jazz with laid-back food, classical with comfort food or something like that. Of course, our church family is so full of wonderful cooks, I'll probably be intimidated. :)

Oh... I'll get there. My passion for cooking is still with me... I just haven't had anyone to cook for. My husband isn't home 5 days a week. When he does come home, I cook for an army and send it back with him to his brother's home where he lives during the work week. Whatever I don't send, I freeze.

A portion of my Bible Study on Hospitality (to share with you):

Hospitality: The Gift of Welcome.
Hospitality is the practice of welcoming, sheltering, and feeding - with no thought of personal gain-those who come to your door. Much more than elegant menus, elaborate table settings, or lavish entertainment-hospitality is sharing what we have and who we are with whomever God sends. Hospitality includes setting aside time for fellowship and being flexible in order to accommodate impromptu gatherings.

You can share your heart and life with others, even if the meal is simple and the setting is humble. The most important gift of welcome simply says I care,, I love you, and I have prepared a place for you.

Hospitality must begin at home. Christians are "through love to serve one another without grumbling, maintaining calmness and self-control".

My take on this whole hospitality thing is that although we expend physical energy and sacrifice to prepare a table to share... we are rewarded with meeting new people, making new friends, growing better friendships, and sharing each others thoughts from our hearts and souls.

Leaving you with these quotes -

"Laughter is brightest where food is best." Irish Proverb

"The company makes the feast." English Proverb



Chicken Marsala - One of my son's favorites.

Hugs all around,
Penny Sue

9/21/2010

A portion of dinner.. of sorts.. we were too full when it came time for dinner






The above three photos are reminiscent of my successful attempt to zucchini "fritters". Similar to being made in the fashion of potato latkes. The zucchini makes them so much lighter tasting. I will follow up with my version of the recipe. I took a drastic twist away from the seasoning that was being recommended.

If you're interested, let me know.

k? Penny Sue

9/10/2010

Yes, Hospitality has been obviously missing...

Hey ya'll...

I haven't been able to post in a long time. Tomorrow I'm going to be cooking up a storm... and hopefully getting out into the shop and getting it ready to OPEN!

I'll take pics... and hope for the best.

Upcoming on the menu...

Halushki
Chicken Noodle Soup (Low sodium)
Roasted Beef for sandwich meat for low sodium
Shredded zucchini...with a recipe for zucchini fritters (not mine, but amazing!)
Brats with beer, onions and kraut
and whatever else I find to cook! Woo-hoo!

Come join our table..
Penny Sue

PS-I'm gonna be a grandma in 2 weeks and 1 day... just FYI. I cannot wait to hold this newborn babe!

3/27/2010

Spring has sprung...

(If you follow "Penny For Your Thoughts", this is a duplicate... simply because my posts happen to focus on friends and food. So... pull up a chair and enjoy the company, in duo.) :) It's a good thing to smile!

I love spring! I love the smell of spring rain, I love the feel of spring wind, and I love how everything starts to turn green. It's amazing how I take for granted the color of green until the doldrums of winter have taken their toll... and everything you see is black, gray and white.

I've been gone for a long time, mostly due to the fact I have no computer of my own. My husband has been kind enough to leave his laptop at home with me when he goes to work for 5 days. For the past two weeks, I've had some contact with the outside world. Not much, as I'm sick with a nasty head/chest cold. I sound worse than I feel. I'm just exhausted from all the coughing and the heaviness in my upper chest area. I believe I might have some form of bronchitis, which, as I've researched, unless you contract a secondary bacterial infection, the bronchitis should go away after it's worked its way through your system. Hopefully, I won't need any extra meds. The over the counter stuff is bad enough.

Enough of my medical woes. Basically I contracted a computer virus through my facebook account. My account was hacked and it got to most everything... except, strangely, my computer files. Mostly it was internet stuff. But, my computer re-installation software is missing, tried one from the home computer, and cleared out my hard drive, but I cannot figure out how to get my laptop to communicate with my wireless. As I've said before, I'm computer challenged to say the least... and this is beyond my abilities. So, for now, I'm going to use the hub's laptop, and in moments of desperation, I can use the desktop computer (which is also on its last legs... it's very slow!)

Things that have been missed. Our house guest Phillip, a friend of my husband, who came to visit in January. He taught me how to make "Bot Boy" while he was here. It is a multi-generation recipe that has been prepared in his family from farmers to miners.

The beginning... preparing the chicken and stock... letting it simmer.

Phil is very generous with his sharing of such a traditional recipe. Anyone who wants to learn how to make bot boy only needs to ask. Here's Phil, The Bot Boy Master! Armed and ready to go.

One of my contributions to this meal. Pumpernickel bread bowl with dried chipped beef dilly dip... you can eat the entire thing... bowl and all.

Next came the "Bot Boy" part, the noodles, which are homemade and cut into pretty good sized squares. Phil worked up a good sweat hand mixing the dough. Then you drop the dough squares in a few at a time, stir and add a few more.... and stir, so they don't stick together.

The happy Bot Boy Student! (That's me!) As I reflect over this blog, I recognize the difference in height difference between Phil and I. He is so much taller than my stove... and I actually have to stand on tippy-toes to see what's going on in the pot. It struck me as funny. Phil is a big guy, but he's a teddy bear. No jokes!

The Bot Boy Observer... it smells so good, he can't leave the kitchen!

Table set and ready to go... all that's missin' is the "Pot O' Bot"!

And finally... the reward and fruits of our labor... chow time!

With smiling faces like that, you know it's got to be good... and it sure was! Thanks Phil... you were great!

Hope to be back soon... because up next, well, it's the husband's turn! Too cute!

Hugs,
Penny Sue

2/02/2010

M.I.A.

I'm sorry if anyone has missed me (not that anyone is reading this), but a girl can dream, eh? My laptop computer contracted a serious virus through a facebook disaster and I pretty much need to erase the hard drive and start over. I'm so not looking forward to doing this. The irony of all of this is the fact that my husband had just renewed our McAfee on his laptop, but hadn't gotten to the point of updating my computer. McAfee had this deal that the purchase would cover three computers. So, we ordered that last year, and the renewal came up. I was so close... but so far away. I'll be back soon.

Hugs, Penny

1/21/2010

Company's coming...

Is my house in perfect order? Nope. Can I even see the surface of my dining room table? Nope. Have I vacuumed the floor yet? Nope. Have I even opened the door to my guest bedroom? Nope. But... do I have a grand menu planned? You bet 'cha! My morning tomorrow will be a bit busy. I have to go to work tomorrow at 4 pm... and I've got quite a bit to do just to have the house look comfy and inviting before I leave for work. Well, it already looks inviting and comfy... just not quite so tidy.

So... I'm looking forward to meeting my house guest for this weekend. He is going to teach me how to make a generation tested chicken dish from his family's heritage. It should be a lot of fun. This will happen on Saturday, I believe. On Sunday, my husband wants a piece of the action. We will be recreating a Paul Prudhomme recipe of Basque Chicken and Shrimp in Wine. Whatever order we do these two meals, we'll be clucking by the end of the weekend with all this chicken. The boys will be eating a wonderful batch of homemade Pasta Fagioli I made the day before yesterday. This will be their dinner tomorrow evening. It's had enough time to blend all of its simple but brilliantly combined ingredients perfectly. It tastes amazing. I don't know why I don't make this simple comfort food more often. I hope it's a good titillating tongue-awakener for my guys for what's ahead over Saturday and Sunday. I'm excited. Now... all I really need to do is remember to take pictures. Between my husband and I, we should be able to cover most of the events of the weekend.

Promise... photos of good lookin' food comin'. Really! I wouldn't lie. Oh yes, and maybe a picture or two of people as well! The food is fun, but what makes it so special, is the company we are allowed to share it with. Whether I am eating alone, or with my dear sweet husband... or with a room full of people... the thing that makes me so very happy is the smile that the first bite of the meal brings to anyone's face, including my own. Is there anything sweeter?

Hugs,
Penny Sue

1/11/2010

I need to get serious about this ... eh?

I made the Beef Lentil soup that I saw on Giada DeLaurentis's Everyday Italian program at foodtv.com. I looked it up on the website and printed it out. It was so easy, and oh, so full of good wholesome flavor. That's what I love about her recipes... simple, comforting ingredients that go together with ease. Gotta love Giada! My husband called it a "keeper". That is short language for "make this again, ok?" I am new to this blog thing about food, and I'm thinking that I need to keep my camera in the kitchen, and then, if I should "happen" to see it, I'll take a pic here and there of the foods and memories I'm making.

This is a pic of some navy bean and ham soup I made a short while back. My maternal grandma, Grandma Wood, used to make this soup every once in a while. It used to be a joke with us kids that whoever found the piece of ham in their bowl was the winner. It wasn't necessarily a "full of meat" kind of soup back then as Grandma Wood raised three children during the worst of the depression era. One of whom was my Mom. But I gave this recipe a "non-depression-era" twist... especially with the extra veggies too along with extra amounts of ham. It still had the wonderful flavor I remembered. It was so comforting. I just felt like a kid again.

I made the next soup, Classic Chicken Noodle Soup, the very same day. I'm one of those that figures that doing things in mass quantities seems easier when many of the main ingredients are the same. So... I made chicken noodle soup too. It was fun. I never boil my chicken for anything. I oven roast it, or use left over roasted or grilled chicken. There is so much more flavor in the pieces of chicken. Plus, I can use all white meat if I just buy breast meat. I absolutely abhor boiled chicken. Only for stock, if I'm desperate. But... anyone out there can use whatever you like. It won't hurt my feelings.

I have company coming the second to the last weekend of January. He is the friend of my husband and is going to cook in my kitchen with me. He's going to teach me how to make something he calls "bot boy". I look forward to hearing his story about his "bot boy". It's one of those recipes that has come down through the family for years and years. I'm honored that he's going to share it with me. I'll share what I'm allowed on my blog. Being that it's a family recipe, I might have to leave certain information out of the mix. :) Just kidding. I don't think it's gonna be a problem. His name is Phil, and he loves to cook. I have had the great opportunity to taste a couple of his fixin's. He sent home some "bot boy" with my husband a while back, and a week or so ago, he sent some beef chili. Both were amazing. I think my husband has some reservations about someone coming in and using my kitchen. I think I'm going to surprise him. I think it's very cool to have someone come in and share with me their story through food. I'm thrilled. I told my husband the only reason I get un-nerved when he cooks in my kitchen is because he's like a tornado. Stuff flying everywhere. But, that's ok too. I told him not too long ago that it would be fun if we could do something together for this blog. We'll see. :)

The very last weekend of the month of January is my son's birthday (the 30th) and on Monday (Feb. 1st) my husband is turning 49. I will be making "favorites" or "special requests for their individual birthday dinners, as tradition demands. If I were to guess, my son will ask for Chicken Marsala... my husband???? I have NO idea!

Oh, did I ever tell you that my son told me.... "Mom, you should have opened a restaurant." What a kid! Gotta love the wisdom that comes from the mouth of babes. Instead, I opened a gift shop... but some day I truly hope to be able to sell my own food. I love to make a few certain candies, I love to make sauces - like spaghetti, bbq, and many others. I love to make homemade pie fillings from our home grown fruit. We've had our own peach trees, cherry tree, plums, apples, and pears for years. Fresh fruit in season makes some awesome tasting baked goodies... whatever your favorite might be. Pie, cobbler, crisp, turn-over, or jelly.... I've done that too.

I apologize again for not having very many pics to share... but I will get serious about taking pics of everything I make. I do understand that with a food based blog it would be a good idea for pics of food.

Have a blessed day,
The Happy Home Cook,
Penny Sue

1/01/2010

Happy January 1st, 2010... (Woo-hoo!)

Hey there, I realize that I have started this blogspot page with a certain intent, and I hope to accomplish this intent in the near future. However, there are a couple of things I need to share. I am on my own 5 out of 7 days. My husband works out of the area, which causes him to live elsewhere during those 5 days. A 3 hour commute is just not an option. So... he's home 2 of the days of the week... however his schedule ends up working out. However, the amount of pics I have on hand are very limited, because before now, I didn't have the motivation or inspiration to take pics of our dinners or dining table. So, I'm hoping to grow in this area of development. :)

I would like to share our table with you from tonight... and from last year. I don't have any pics from tonight... which is kind of silly. I had to work until 9 pm, and we were both so tired, there wasn't anything fancy done for dinner tonight. I have to work tomorrow as well... but that's ok. Life goes on. I do have a pic or two from last year... (or was that the year before?) The table is really here, but, you just can't see it... but who cares? We were celebrating another year together! Whether there is food on our table or not, it was nice to be at our table together, as husband and wife, and close out one year and look forward hopefully and positively towards the next.


This has absolutely nothing to do with our "table" except it's just outside the view of our bay window, and it something very beautiful to look at from our dining room table. This is a pic from a January 1st...!


Tomorrow, I'm cooking a recipe from the foodtv.com network. It's a beef lentil soup by Giada DeLaurentis. It looked amazing. I prepped all the ingredients today, and will make the soup tomorrow.

God bless you all, and may you have a very blessed new year!
Hugs,
Penny Sue