Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Basil-Corn Pudding

Basil-Corn Pudding A delicate and savory egg pudding showcases two of my favorite summer flavors: sweet corn and fragrant basil. This versatile dish makes a delightful accompaniment for supper or can take center stage as an entrée for a light meal or a Sunday brunch gathering.

Basil-Corn Pudding
Tori Ritchie

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons butter, plus more for dish
3 green onions, sliced
2 cups corn kernels (see note)
Salt
Handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
4 large eggs
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Pinch cayenne, optional

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 375° F and butter the insides of a 1½ quart souffle dish or other baking dish.

2. In a sauté pan or frying pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat and add the green onions. Cook, stirring for a minute or two to soften, then add the corn and a good pinch of salt. Cook for 4 minutes, then stir in the basil and remove pan from the heat.

3. Let cool for a few minutes until the corn is just warm to the touch.

4. In a bowl, beat the eggs well with a whisk, then whisk in the half-and-half and the cheese. Scrape the cooled corn mixture from the pan into the bowl and stir well. Stir in the cayenne if using.

5. Pour the mixture into the buttered baking dish and bake until puffed and golden, about 45 minutes (if using a baking dish that’s flatter than a souffle dish, start checking after 35 minutes). Serve warm.

Cook’s Note: you’ll need 2 to 3 ears of corn to get 2 cups kernels, depending on the size of the ears. You can use white or yellow corn. You can also used thawed frozen corn.

Serves 4

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. This dish needs to cool a bit before serving so that it can set.

2. Because this is a pudding and not a soufflé, the batter is thin. The corn kernels will sink down to the bottom.

3. I added a generous pinch of cayenne pepper. Next time, I will add more.

4. It did not rise as much as I anticipated it would, even with an appropriate-sized baking dish. I’m going to try baking this recipe in individual ramekins next time; individual basil-corn puddings would be so perfect to serve for brunch.

Enjoy!

Reflections on Then and Now Then and now. One moment a baby and now soon to be a father. Where do the days go? Have you noticed how precious moments string together to create days that bundle into months that lump into years that stretch into decades. That’s where the days go. They grow and they flow and they circle ’round and ’round. Quick! Grab this moment and hang onto it for as long as you can. It will be gone soon. Sure, there are more moments headed your way, but how many of these will you appreciate and cherish? All of them, I hope.

#1 – Baby Clothes
Mementos From Baby Clothes Because I’m the sentimental type, I saved some of my children’s baby clothes. Not all of them, only the special pieces that were either made or embellished for them or that bring back special memories. I gave my son some of his baby clothes as a gift at a baby shower and it will be fun to see his children wearing them. If you have baby clothes that are sentimental to you, but not in good enough condition to be passed down, you may want to read 10 Ways To Make a Memento Out of Old Baby Clothing.

#2 – A Moment to Remember
Watching 15-month-old Kayden experience the feel of rain and listening to her say “Wow!” is a cute reminder of how there can be joy in simple things and how to truly savor a moment.

#3 – 100 Happy Days
!00 Happy Days The 100 Happy Days Foundation challenges you to identify, photograph, and share something that makes you happy each day for 100 days in a row. Whether you choose to participate in the program or do it on your own, it is a great way to train yourself to look for happiness.

#4 – Catching the Wave
PWave Photography by Clark Little Surfer and photographer Clark Little photographs waves, shorebreaks, and backwashes. His work is spectacular and his philosophy, “I just went out and did what I did; did what I loved and it just kind of happened,” is what more of us should strive to do. Watch how he got started in this creative endeavour:

#5 – Moments
“The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.”
Ashley Montagu

“The way a book smells when you thumb through it. The way quiet winter air makes you feel like no one else exists. The smell of the woods after a thunderstorm. That split second before your chair tips back. The feeling right before you cry. The euphoria before the heartbreak. That moment when you wonder if they think of you the way you think of them. These things, I live for.”
— Katie Humphreys

“Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.”
William Feather

Go now and spread joy!

The Elvis Cookie Elvis? Elvis Presley? Make no mistake. These cookies must be named after “the King,” because while you watch them bake, you’ll feel your temperature rising, and after one bite, you’ll scream, Just a hunk, a hunk of burning love! These cookies boast the most interesting juxtapositions: salty bacon and sweet chocolate; crunchy nuts and chewy bacon; fruity banana and peanut butter. What’s not to like? Make these cookies and if you are not sighing, I can’t help falling in love with you . . .  as you savor every bite, you should get your taste buds checked.

The Elvis: Peanut Butter, Banana and Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
Claudia Sidoti for Cooking Channel

INGREDIENTS
10 slices bacon
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts
1/2 cup sweet dried banana chips, roughly chopped

DIRECTIONS
1. Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp, then drain on paper towels. Once the bacon is cool, roughly chop it (you should have about 1/2 cup).

2. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

3. In a large bowl, beat the butter, mayonnaise and sugars with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Add the peanut butter and vanilla and beat until combined.

4. At low speed, add the flour mixture in batches, beating until just combined. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate chunks, bacon, peanuts and banana chips. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

5. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners.

6. Fill the muffin tins about halfway full with the batter (a 2-inch, 2-ounce ice cream scoop gives you just about the perfect amount, and helps prevent spilling).

7. Bake until the tops are slightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. (Keep in mind that the cookies won’t rise and form a dome like a cupcake.) Let cool in the muffin tins on wire racks for about 10 minutes, then unmold the cookie cups and transfer them to the racks to cool completely.

Cook’s Note: The mayonnaise in this recipe makes these cookies especially tender.

Yield: About 24 cookie cups

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of the suggested chocolate chunks. They were the perfect size for distribution throughout the dough and thus provided enough chocolate “hits” as one ate a cookie.

2. I used silicone cake cups instead of paper liners. Because of the thick sticky dough, I gently tapped the dough to the edges of each container with a finger moistened with water. After the cookies were baked and cooled, they popped out easily. I did try baking a few cookies in paper liners and they worked fine. They were not as pretty when the paper was removed and they resembled cupcakes more than cookies.

3. In my oven these were golden brown in about 20 to 24 minutes. Since oven temperatures vary, keep an eye on the cookies when they reach the 20-minute mark.

Enjoy!

Flower with Bee During the time it took my camera lens to focus on a vermilion-colored blossom, a bee landed on it, dove into the center headfirst, and then flew off. Hurriedly, I pressed the shutter button. “Did I get the shot or not,” I wondered. On playback, I was pretty happy about getting a decent photo of the flower, but capturing the image of the bee made me even happier. Happiness comes into our lives in different degrees. Grab and appreciate every bit you can get.

#1 – The Science of Happiness
Called “An Experiment in Gratitude,” this video of a project from SoulPancake depicts the relationship between expressing gratitude and feeling happy.

#2 – Genius Ideas
Genius Decorating Ideas Discovering clever new ideas, especially those that involve upcycling, makes me happy. Check out these “31 Genius Ideas For Reimagining Home Decor.” It may be too late for me to build a Lego wall for my kids, but there’s still time to do so for my grandkids!

#3 – Just Peachy
Crab Salad With Peaches and AvocadosMaking homemade peach ice cream is a fun summertime tradition for my family. But after drooling over 62 Fresh Summer Peach Recipes, I’m going to make my family even happier. I’m shaking up my peach recipe repertoire. How does a Crab Salad with Peaches and Avocados sound to you?

#4 – Quiet, Please!
10 Most Beautiful Places to Read Books If you love to find quiet places to read, you’ll appreciate the Top 10 Most Beautiful Places to Read Books. They include both quaint and impressive libraries from around the world.

#5 – Your Choice
“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Go now and spread joy!

Insalata di Farfalle, Zucchine E Pinoli The geometry of pasta involves pairing up the perfect shape with the perfect sauce. According to Caz Hildebrand, co-author of the Geometry of Pasta, doing so, ” . . . makes the difference between pasta dishes that are merely ordinary and truly sublime.” In this recipe, the simple lemon and olive oil dressing lightly coats the farfalle pasta, also known outside of Italy as bow-tie pasta. The fragrance and flavors of briefly sautéed slices of zucchini, shreds of fresh basil and Italian parsley, and toasted pine nuts combine to make this recipe “truly sublime.” As a matter of fact, I give it a four “S” rating for Super Special Summer Salad.

Insalata di Farfalle, Zucchine e Pinoli
The Geometry of Pasta

INGREDIENTS
1/2 pound farfalle
3 smallish, firm zucchini (2/3 pound), thinly sliced in 2-4-millimeter rounds
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2/3 cup pine nuts
Oil for frying the pine nuts
A small handful each of basil and flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely shredded
Grated Parmesan, to serve, (optional)

DIRECTIONS
1. Boil the farfalle until cooked as you would like them, then drain and cool under cold running water.

2. Heat a frying pan until very, very hot over a high flame. Add the zucchini, then 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil, and a little salt. Sauté for a minute or so. When half-cooked, a few nicely browned, add the garlic and cook for a minute more. When still just underdone, turn off the heat, and leave in the pan to finish cooking. The zucchini should be partly coloured, fully cooked but still slightly crunchy, and nicely dry.

3. Make a dressing of the lemon zest, juice, and remaining 4½ tablespoons of olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. To toast the pine nuts cover them with oil in a small pan and fry over a medium heat until pale amber.

5. When the zucchini and pine nuts have cooled to room temperature, toss with the pasta, herbs, and dressing.

6. Best left to stand for 20 minutes before eating plain or with a light grating of Parmesan.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Try to slice the zucchini so that the slices are uniformly thick. This helps to ensure that they are cooked evenly.

2. I drained the toasted pine nuts on a paper towel-lined plate. The next time I make this, I will use less oil to fry the pine nuts.

3. Before serving, I topped the dish with some freshly-grated Parmesan cheese and I also served some in a small bowl on the side for those who wanted more.

Enjoy!

Acorn Woodpecker “Splish, splash, I was takin’ a bath . . .” sings an Acorn Woodpecker as he splashes around in the top tier of my backyard fountain. Goldfinches stop short of landing on the rim once they eye the big fellow dominating the cool water. Oblivious to other approaching birds, the woodpecker takes a leisurely bath, shaking and lifting his wings periodically. During the drought, my little fountain has become a center of much activity. Small and large birds, butterflies and other insects all make use of the fountain. For their sake, I continue to run it during these times of water conservation. Little water is wasted, as it uses a recirculating pump and is set on a timer. More importantly, my husband adds only bird-safe algaecide to the water. I am ever cognizant that the plants in my garden are not the only living things struggling to survive during the drought.

#1 – Through His Eyes
Photos by Trey Ratcliff Whether it’s your people-watching fix, your travel-itch, your appreciation of nature, or your love of photography, you’re bound to find a photograph in this portfolio that mesmerizes you. Take your time as you scroll through the textural and color-rich photographs taken from around the world by photographer, artist, writer and adventurer Trey Ratcliff.

#2 – Unflabby People
The 10 Habits of Highly Unflabby People GQ Magazine’s article on The 10 Habits of Highly Unflabby People is a good reminder about how the “little things” add up. If you follow the author’s tips, you could potentially save 10,142 calories a week!

#3 – Nailed It!
Baking Projects From Pinterest That Went Hilariously Wrong We all do it. We all see something on the Internet or in a magazine and say, “That doesn’t look too hard to make.” I’m not going to lie, looking through the photos of Baking Projects From Pinterest That Went Hilariously Wrong made me chuckle. As a tester of recipes for this blog, I’ve had my fair share of creative disasters.

#4 – Tips, Tricks, and Hacks
Life Hacks Imagine 466 pages of life hacks for you to investigate. Some of them are very intriguing as well as clever. LifeTricks is an online community that allows people to post “tricks, tips and life hacks for absolutely everything!”

#5 – Do More
“Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.”
― William Arthur Ward

Go now and spread joy!

Watermelon Mint Coconut Lime Popsicles What could top off a lovely summer evening of swimming under the stars? What about lazily counting shooting stars while eating delicious homemade popsicles? With the exotic flavors of watermelon, coconut, lime, and mint, these icy treats are as sophisticated as they are refreshing.

Waikiki Kickers
Nugget Markets, The Field Guide, Issue No. 16

INGREDIENTS
4 cups watermelon (cubed)
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 teaspoon lime zest
Juice of one lime
1 teaspoon chopped mint

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine all ingredients in blender and puree.

2. Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.

Serves 6

LINNELL’S NOTES

1. Because the watermelon I purchased wasn’t as sweet as it could be, I added 1 teaspoon of organic light agave nectar to the mixture before freezing.

2. Coconut cream is not the same thing as coconut milk. Coconut cream is thicker and richer than coconut milk.

3. The ingredients separated while the popsicles were freezing. I think the coconut fat rose to the top. The popsicles still tasted great and they looked like I had intentionally layered them.

4. This recipe made six popsicles, plus a full ice cube tray. I need to go out and purchase more popsicle molds!

Enjoy!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 109 other followers

%d bloggers like this: