Monday, February 14, 2011

"Lovin' from the Oven"

It starts with this: an easy box mix with about 1/2 cup of added unsweetened cocoa. Mmmmmmm...looks (and smells) good!

These mini cake molds are so cute. Some are from my Mom's collection, some are what I've found looking around estate sales and thrift shops.

Add a bit of icing and some Hershey's syrup, and you have this. Beautiful desserts that shout "I love you!"
Mmmmmmmm...looks good.
And finally, "lovin' from the oven", sealed with a kiss.

Happy Valentine's day. And remember, if you don't have a honey, or honey bunch kids to snuggle with, the most important person to love is staring at you in the mirror! Have a happy day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

(For the Love of)... Chicken Soup

I love chicken soup. It's always there at times of need, or need of comfort. My hubby was sick yesterday. Often, he complains about how sick he feels, buy yesterday, he was sick. So, he deserved some extra attention, and some feeling of comfort, so I made him soup. Funny how soup is always the answer when someone needs a quick pick me up. Happy soup. Here's how I make mine:

I grab some veggies. I always have celery, onion, and carrots on hand about a cup of each. They are the base for all of my soup broths, but I add these after I boil the chicken to start the broth. The celery leaves in the bowl, I'll add towards the end to give a nice 'parsley' effect. Now, I buy a couple of fryer or roaster chickens and cut them myself to save some extra cash ($0.88/lb, compared to $2 or $3/lb). I save the backs and sometimes the top of the breast portion and cook them first in a large pot of water, and I simmer them for about an hour.

This might look kind of gross, but the end result is quite the payoff. Boiling the chicken and bones gives great flavor to the broth, and the chicken is so tender! Remove it to a bowl, to let cool, and remove the meat from the bones. Strain the broth and you are ready to make soup!

This is what I got after removing the bones~ a full plate of very tender chicken. I cook the veggies first in the broth until they 'sink' into the pot, and add 2 boullion cubes, the chicken pieces and some more coarsely chopped carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, corn~whatever I have on hand. I add some herbs: basil, parsley, oregeno, thyme, and garlic. Add enough to suit your taste. That's the beauty of soup~ using what you already have.
I also add rice, about one cup to the mix, or noodles. For this soup, it was the rice, a wild and brown rice mix. It's beautiful to look at, and healthier than the white version. It gives a slighty more 'nutty' taste. And it's so pretty! Simmer the soup until the rice is cooked, and it's ready to go.
Now, whether it's coincidence or not, the hubby felt better today...ahhhh the love of soup!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Story of the Terrible Towel...

Once upon a time, there was a tiny little man with a squeaky voice who somehow landed a job in radio. His name was Myron Cope. He had the looks for radio, but certainly not the voice, but he loved sports, he loved the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he knew the game, which earned him respect in a town that demanded a good work ethic. Somehow, even with his radio looks, he landed the TV broadcast post for the WTAE broadcast games too. In this town, he is a legend. Everyone knows who Myron was. He did alot outside of the broadcast booth too. He loved this town, and did alot of charity work, especially with Autism research. Now, a little about the Terrible Towel, as I remember it.

It started out in the mid 1970's during a playoff year for the Steelers, when Myron was asked to try to involve the fans a bit more with the broadcast. He came up with a crazy idea to wave a yellow or black towel to encourage the team, and fire up the fans. He asked people to bring a towel to the game. It worked. Eventually the towels were marketed as Myron Cope's Original Terrible Towels. Now back in the day when they first came about, they were just towels. I remember my Mom buying some yellow and white kitchen towels, and we drew our own Steeler emblems and wrote "Terrible Towel" on them with marker...long live the simple days! We'd run around the house waving our own version of the towel. My homemade version, I'm sure soon became dusting cloths for my Mom, but my hubby has managed to save two towels: one black, one gold, which are tucked away safely in his sports box. Now once playoff season starts, the towels can't be touched until the season is over. No exceptions! (My kitty, Emma, came dangerously close to touching the towels in this post, lucky for the cute kitty, she kept her paws off! We can't have a cat jinxing the team now, can we?) We didn't get them out by playoff season this year, so they can't be touched until next year. Steeler fans are pretty superstitious, and we can't afford to be the ones to jinx the team, that would be bad.

Now, all superstitions aside, it's only good sportsmanship to wish for a good competitive game on Sunday against the Packers. It should be a good game. Two old school, tough nosed teams duking it out for all the marbles. Now only if I could watch the entire game. My husband thinks I'm a jinx! Wishing a good, tough, safe game on Sunday. I'm happy for Green Bay to be at the Superbowl, but I'll be chanting "GO STEELERS!!!"