Tuesday, June 29, 2021

FOR ALL THOSE WHO ARE UNSUNG HEROES

Every day courage has few witnesses,

but yours is no less noble because

no drum beats for you and

no crowds shout your name.


~Robert Louis Stevenson~





(I beat my drum for you my friends.)





Monday, June 28, 2021

MONDAY RECIPE POST - BUTTER PECAN COOKIES

Today's recipe came from Baker by Nature, hosted by Ashley.  Thank you Ashley for this very yummy cookie.  I have just found that Ashley’s site is undergoing maintenance, according to what it says when I tried this link.  I will try again later to see if it is working.   
Butter Pecan Cookies - makes 16 


Preparation time:  20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Inactive time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Author: Ashley Manila

Ingredients

For the Buttered Pecans:

1 and 1/2 cups pecan halves, finely chopped
1 and 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the Butter Pecan Cookies:

2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 and 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted until browned
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
16 pecan halves, for decoration, optional


Instructions

For the Buttered Pecans:

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add in chopped pecans and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Set aside until needed.


For the Butter Pecan Cookies:

In a large bowl combine flour, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda; whisk well to combine and set aside until needed.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. 

Remove pan from heat and pour butter into a large, heatproof mixing bowl. 

Add in both sugars and whisk well to combine. 

Add in vanilla. 

Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating until eggs are just combined.

Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour, stirring until just combined. 

Fold in the buttered pecans.

Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, and up to 2 days. 

If you refrigerate for more than 4 hours, you'll need to let the dough sit at room temperature until it's scoopable.


To Bake:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Scoop 3 tablespoon sized rounds of dough onto the prepared sheet, leaving 2 inches in between each cookie for spreading. Firmly press a pecan half on top of each ball of cookie dough, if desired, then bake in preheated oven for 9 minutes, or until edges are set and the center is still a little jiggly. Sprinkle warm cookies with a little granulated sugar, if desired. Allow cookies to cool on the pan for 15 minutes, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.


Notes

Cookies will stay "fresh" for 3 days when stored in an airtight container.

Cookie dough will keep in the fridge for 48 hours. 

You can make smaller sized cookies, but you'll need to decrease the bake time by a minute or two.

For decoration, you can sprinkle granulated sugar on the cookies right when they come out of the oven.
It is not too often that I make cookies, but it is very nice to enjoy a freshly baked one.  I like to have a cup of tea an hour or so after dinner, along with a cookie if we have any.  Hubby also enjoys a sweet treat every now and again.  He likes them fairly crispy so I keep them in the oven a minute or so longer than suggested.

They can be frozen before baking.  I use a large narrow cutting board covered with parchment paper, scoop the suggested amount and put them on the board, flatten slightly and put into the freezer on a flat surface area to flash freeze.  Once frozen I put the cookies into freezer bags in a single layer, with a piece of parchment paper between the layers which have been cut to almost the size of the freezer bag.  I keep layering until the bag is full.  The frozen cookie dough can be kept up to 2 months.  You just need to add a couple of minutes to the cooking time when cooking from frozen.








Friday, June 25, 2021

MONONGAHELA NATIONAL FOREST IN WEST VIRGINIA

These photos come from my son and daughter-in-law.  This past weekend they were invited on a 17-mile hike by her brother, with overnight camping.  I thoroughly enjoyed their photos and they said I could share, with my heartfelt thanks.

Here you can see them looking at Seneca Rocks.  

There won't be a lot of narrative in my post today but I hope you will enjoy their photos as much as I did.

In the Seneca Creek Backcountry, there are nearly 60 miles of trails winding through stands of red spruce, open meadows and along fast-flowing mountain streams.




Great Guide here to hiking in this area.






One of those magical moments when a mother came to get her baby.  The little one jumped out of its hiding spot. 
Seneca Falls




From yesterday's post.
My daughter-in-law's brother is a seasoned hiker and camper, and was able to give a lot of great advice.
They set their tents up next to a stream.

Bunchberry dogwood.  It goes by several names.  Creeping dogwood, Pudding berry being a couple.

Mountain laurel, also known as Spoonwood, Calico bush, Ivy bush.

They had a wonderful time and will be doing this all over again in the not too distant future.  And I will be getting more great photos to share.






Thursday, June 24, 2021

A PHOTO SHARED FROM THE MONONGAHELA NATIONAL FOREST IN WEST VIRGINIA

 


“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.”  

~Henry David Thoreau~




(I am thankful for my Daughter-in-Law who took this photo and let me share it here.  More photos soon from the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia, with thanks to my Son and Daughter-in-Law who went on a camping trip recently.)



Wednesday, June 23, 2021

COME WITH ME...

The Sunflowers 
by 
Mary Oliver
Come with me
into the field of sunflowers.
Their faces are burnished disks,
their dry spines
creak like ship masts,
their green leaves,
so heavy and many,
fill all day with the sticky
sugars of the sun.
Come with me
to visit the sunflowers,
they are shy
but want to be friends;
they have wonderful stories
of when they were young -
the important weather,
the wandering crows.
Don't be afraid
to ask them questions!
Their bright faces,
which follow the sun,
will listen, and all
those rows of seeds -
each one a new life!
hope for a deeper acquaintance;
each of them, though it stands
in a crowd of many,
like a separate universe,
is lonely, the long work
of turning their lives
into a celebration
is not easy. 
Come and let us talk with 
those modest faces,
the simple garments of leaves,
the coarse roots in the earth
so uprightly burning.



Thanks for looking and have a great day!







Tuesday, June 22, 2021

WE ARE EACH GIFTED…


“We are each gifted in a unique and important way.  It is our privilege to discover our own special light.”

~Mary Dunbar~



Evelyn Mary Dunbar (18th December, 1906 - 12th May, 1960) was a British artist, illustrator and teacher.


Monday, June 21, 2021

MONDAY RECIPE POST - SPICY SHRIMP RAMEN BOWLS - SERVES 4

My recipe today came from Butter Your Biscuits hosted by Wendie.  You can see her original recipe here.  I would like to thank Wendie for this delicious recipe.   There are a lot of great recipes on her blog.


Spicy Shrimp Ramen Bowls

Servings: 4 

Calories per serving: approximately 555 

3 packages ramen noodles (throw out the seasoning packet)

1-1/2 pounds medium-large shrimp peeled and deveined

6 cups chicken, vegetable or seafood stock

2 tablespoons olive oil

1-2 tablespoons Sriracha, depending on your heat level

3 tablespoons soy sauce, or tamari if gluten sensitive

3 cloves garlic minced

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1-1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 cups shredded green cabbage

3/4 cup carrots thinly sliced

3/4 cup sweet peppers thinly sliced

1/2 cup onion thinly sliced

Juice of 1 lime

Cilantro


In a skillet on medium heat add 1 tablespoon olive oil. 

Add shrimp, season with salt and pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side or until firm and pink. 

Set aside

In a large pot on medium-high heat add 1 tablespoon olive oil. 

Add carrots, onions, cabbage and peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes add garlic and ginger cook another minute.

Add stock, soy sauce (or tamari if using), brown sugar, lime juice, and sriracha mix until combined. 

Bring to a rapid boil then reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 8 minutes.

Add the dry ramen noodles to the broth and cook for another 2-3 minutes. 

Remove from heat and serve into bowls, add in shrimp and garnish with cilantro.


Wendie's notes: 

She says if you don't plan on eating this right away, make the ramen noodles separately, then add them to the pot before serving. The noodles soak up the broth and become more soggy if they sit for a long time.


The one change I made was using beef and vegetable broth, because I didn't have enough of each when I checked in the pantry.  The broth was very tasty.

This would be easy to make into a vegan meal by leaving out the shrimp and the beef broth, and using the vegetable.  I would like to do this and add tofu next time.

I added several dashes of Sriracha  to my bowl at the table.  

Also we thought sliced green onions would be nice.

We will look forward to making this again.


Thanks for looking and have a great week.