Monday, May 31, 2010

Thank You

Today is Memorial Day in the United States. It is a day that we honor and give thanks to those who have served in the military. I would love to honor my father who was a Drill Sargent in the Marines. If you knew my father, you could see it. He served in the Korean war. My father-in-law was in the Navy during the Korean war and was one of the youngest salvage deep sea bell divers and at the time was the youngest Lieutenant Commanders in the service. Now my nephew is in the Army and although I worry about him-I know that he comes from strong stock and will come back even more of a cuss than when he left.

To honor our men and women who so dutifully served and gave their lives for freedom, I have decided to pick a few of my favorite war time or military movies and none of them have John Wayne in them!

Mash came out in 1970 and addressed the Korean war through the eyes of a wacky medical unit. This black comedy chronicles the daily lives of civilians drafted into military service. It's a serving of nurses, doctors and their patients with  a side of hot lips and martinis. Robert Altman's classic allows us to laugh at a tragedy of war and know that being human is okay.
Robert Duvall as Major Frank Burns is a sight not to be missed.

You KNOW I love a good 1940's musical. I can NOT resist them! Betty Grable in Pin Up Girl is just too much for me to handle. She is absolutely adorable in this musical comedy romp. Her imagination is much more vivid than her real life but it does lead her to a true love who happens to be a naval hero. Will she get the guy and the USO? You have to watch to find out.

One thing I love about military movies in the 1940's is that they were supportive and knew of the sacrifices that everyone was making. At the end of most movies during the 40's, they reminded us to buy war bonds at the concession stand, and they told us that, "we know you're suffering for freedom, but let us entertain you". One movie that celebrates (in it's own way) the women of the war is Rosie the Riveter. During the war, Rosie and her friend Vera have to share the last room with a slightly dysfunctional family. Although the movie doesn't spend a lot of time on the importance of Rosie and her fellow workers' role in the war, it does allow us to see the history of what women went through. Jane Frazee is wonderful and the musical numbers are catchy. Plus, how can you be upset at a movie that has a Conga line in it.

Again, I want to thank the men and women who have given their life for their country. Their sacrifice of the one thing so precious should be honored.  We should learn from our history and hope that there is more peace than war, more laughter than heartache and more love than hate.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sweet Saturday

Memorial day kicks off the summer season and keeping with tradition there will be tons of BBQ to celebrate the holiday.I have the perfect way to impress your friends and cool down than with this absolutely easy yet beyond belief delicious frozen lemon cream cupcake. 

Lemon Cream
1 cup sugar
Juice and finely grated rind of one lemon
2 cups whipping cream

1/4 cup salted butter (you can use unsalted but the salt in the butter gives a little savory to the tart and sweet of the cream)
1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
1/2 cup crushed corn flakes
2 tablespoons sugar

Fruit, mint or candied lemon for garnish

To make the lemon cream:
Combine sugar, lemon juice and rind into a large bowl. Gradually beat in the cream. You do not want the cream to be stiff, just enough to mix everything and to have a heavy texture but not a full stuff whipped cream texture.

To make the crust:
Melt butter in a pan over low heat and stir in crushed graham crackers, corn flakes and sugar. Take off of the heat and mix together.

Line cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners and spoon crust mixture into the bottom to make a crust. Next scoop in the lemon cream-have it reach just about to the top

Place cupcake pan in the freezer for at least 3 hours for small bite size cupcakes and over 4 for jumbo size. Take out and garnish with fruit, lemon candy or mint.

I took the cream out of the wrapper so you could see what it looks like but serving at a BBQ or party, I could leave them in the wrapper. You can eat them in a single bite or with a spoon and just like ice cream they will melt in the heat so take them out at the last minute.

I can't believe how easy something this decadent is! The combo of the graham cracker with the lemon cream is to die for! Make these for your next get together and you will be the life of the party! People will bow at your feet. I promise!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Crazy Lazy Daises

Whenever I come across patterns that say "Yours" and "Mine", I instantly think of someone looking at their partner and saying, " Ummmm, honey, that's mine, THAT'S yours" and then mumbling how much of a butthead they are under their breath. LOL! These patterns are too sweet to think ill thoughts of your sweetie, but they will bring a tear to your eye having to do all those lazy daises and french knots.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wild Card Wednesday Give Away!

It's Wednesday and Anything goes! Why? Cause I say so! Summer is almost here for most of us, that is, unless you live in Portland Oregon right now-which it hasn't stopped raining. So, to kick off Memorial day weekend I thought I would give you-my happy reader-a chance to win embroidery from me-the happy writer. What do you win-well, I'll show ya! You get a chance to win this adorable hand stitched apron and because I'm feeling extra generous, I might throw in a few more goodies into the box. Cause, I'm nice like that.
How do you enter? You have to leave a comment-that's it, nothing more, nothing less. If you Facebook about the give away, you get another entry and if someone else decides to follow my blog and says you sent them here, it's another entry.See, easy peasy! The drawing will be next Wednesday so get going on those entries! Good luck!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tie One On Tuesday!

I know, I know, I missed last week. I had a good excuse. I was enjoying dinner and some of the best syrups from one of the best bartenders in the Pacific Northwest and his lovely wife. I was going to continue my history lesson but I have to put that on the back burner for a week to introduce to you the best cocktail I have ever had in my entire life.

Here's a little back story about the best cocktail in the world. OMP and I were invited over to see our friend, Miles, new house (remember Muntiki-well, that's him). While we were admiring probably one of the coolest mid-century houses I have ever seen, Miles mixed us up a great cocktail in the coolest mugs. I took one sip, then another and pretty soon I was sucking it down. I wanted more! I needed to stay somewhat sober so I could be respectable(STOP LAUGHING!) around his parents. So, I drank my fluid from the gods and when we left, I looked at OMP and demanded that I get the recipe and that he has one of these waiting for me everyday when I got home from work. Well, I got the recipe but alas, no OMP waiting for me in a towel and a smile with my cocktail.

SOOOOOOO...without further ado, I give you the best cocktail known to man. It is brought to you by Beachbum Berry's Grog Log. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you....
 Photo courtesy of Craig Lee
The Sidewinder's Fang
1 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice
1 1/2 ounces orange juice
1 1/2 ounces passion fruit syrup (you can get this from my friend Trader Tiki-ORDER IT NOW!)
3 ounces club soda
1 ounce Jamaican Rum
1 ounce Demerara Rum

Blend with 1/2 cup crushed ice for 10 seconds. Pour into a large snifter filled with ice cubes. Garnish with length of spiral-cut orange peel (Miles garnished with pineapple and mint)

I know usually I give you three drinks but this one stands alone. Maybe it was the person making it, maybe it the passion fruit syrup-I'm not sure but what I do know is that this drink makes me very happy and it's can be made into a great non alcoholic version for  those who prefer it that way. Now go out, spread the word about this drink and Trader Tiki's syrups! Preach the gospel!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive

I absolutely love old musicals. The glamor, the costumes, the over the top productions just make me so giddy! One of my favorite composers not only in movieland but also on Broadway is Johnny Mercer. He could write a song that could melt a prison matron's heart.

Probably one of my favorite Mercer songs is in the film, The Harvey Girls. Not only is a great musical but it has one of my favorite actresses-Judy Garland. I had no idea that The Harvey Girls were real women who worked as waitresses in the Famous Harvey Houses. Judy plays a mail order bride who goes out west Once she sees her future husband, she decides to become a Harvey Girl. The opening scene has Garland singing On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe ( I get happy just thinking about this song). This song sets the tone of the movie and thus begins a great singing ride in the wild west. Mercer won the Oscar for that song, and it justly deserved.

Another movie that is a timeless classic is Breakfast At Tiffany's. I had no idea that Johnny Mercer wrote the lyrics to Moon River. I always credited Henry Macini for the song but he wrote the music while Mercer wrote the lyrics. AMAZING! I like to think  that he wrote that song about his hometown of Savannah Georgia and how he missed that rich southern culture. Now, if you haven't seen Breakfast At Tiffany's then stop reading this blog and go out right now, rent it, study it, enjoy it. It is THE Audrey Hepburn movie. Ms. Hepburn plays Holly Golightly( LOVE that name!) an outgoing socialite who is fascinated by her neighbor. One minute she is an outgoing bubbly flirt but the next she is as vulnerable as a child. Moon River won Mercer another Oscar.

One of the greatest torch songs every written is One For My Baby. Although Frank Sinatra sang it later and made it popular it was first introduced in the movie The Sky's the Limit staring Fred Astaire.  Playing as a Fying Tiger, Astaire decides to sneak away from his squadron and goes AWOL for a few days. During that time, he meets and falls for a photographer who thinks that he is a drifter. Mercer was nominated for an Oscar but did not win. The song, however, has stood the test of time.

This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as Mercer tunes are concerned. Some of my favorites are I'm an Old Cowhand, Glow worm, Fools Rush In, Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive (one of my theme songs), and That Old Black Magic.His songs shaped the world we live in. I truly believe that his down home charm mixed with his ability to know the exact feeling at that perfect time made him a master of words.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Scrappy Dog Sunday!

Last week our household lost a dear little man. Sparky was a silly little pup that definitely had my heart. He was my father in law's dog and when he passed away Sparky went to live with my dad.

Sparky had a gentle heart, a loud bark and a love for Lola (who doesn't).

I hope that he is frolicking in the big dog park in the sky-playing with Kato, eating lots of treats and biting the mailman's butt. I love you little man.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sweet Saturday or The World's Easiest Cobbler

God bless my mother, she was the best cook ever. She could whip up a meal with just a few scraps laying around the house. Don't even get me started on her baking! Oh man! Every Christmas we would have a Hawaiian cobbler that make my mouth water just thinking about it. This is the easiest cobbler you will ever make and has such few ingredients that you probably have them in your cupboard right now.

Hawaiian Cobbler
1 box white cake mix
1 can cherry pie filling
1 can crushed pineapple
1/2 cup melted salted butter
1 cup coconut (optional)
1 cup pecans (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a 8x13 (roughly) glass dish, spoon the cherry pie filling in to cover the whole bottom of the dish.
  • Drain off the pineapple juice and add the pineapple on top of the cherry filling, swirl them together.
  • If you are adding coconut, sprinkle on top of the cherry pineapple filling
  • Spinkle the dry cake mix on top of the cherry/pineapple. DO NOT MIX THE CAKE! You should have 2 layers-the cherry pineapple pie filling and then the dry cake mix on top-this is the cobbler part.
  • Spread the melted butter over the top of the dry cake mix. Make sure that it covers the whole cake. This will provide a nice crust. The salted butter adds a bit of a  savory flavor.  If you want to add pecans, place them on top of the butter. 
  • Place in oven for roughly 20-25 minutes or until the crust is a nice golden brown
  • Take out and let sit for a few minutes. It is equally good warm or cold. 

This isn't the prettiest dessert but it is the yummiest! The salt from the butter along with the tart from the cherries and sweetness from the pineapple sends your taste buds into orbit! You can definitely use this for other fruits, especially ones that are in season. I would recommend having some sort of tartness to take the edge off the sweetness. Strawberry and Rubarb would be excellent!

Now, excuse me-I think I need another helping.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Feel Good Friday!

I like Friday! I like my hair! I like my pups! I like my husband! The weekend is here and it's time to shake your bootie like no one is watching, or maybe you want to shake it like people are watching-if that's your thing-DO IT!

I can't decide which is cuter-the bunny or the mice. Everything Bustle & Sew stitches up is just too adorable.

Did you know my 40th birthday is coming up soon? Yep, the big 4-0! Did you also know that I love everything made by Woodland Belle? Yep, birthdays and Woodland Belle...two of my favorite things....

I am always on the search for fun blogs. When I came across How about Orange, I was not disappointed. Free downloads, tutorials, and stuff just to do for fun are all wrapped up in this nice little package with a cute orange bow. I'm so in love with the spoon garden markers.

I absolutely LOVE the comic strip Mutts. I swear that Earl is a combo of Lola, Jujube and Pete. Patrick McDonnell is a champion for all animals and his strip not only is thought provoking but will leave you all warm and fuzzy.

There ya go! Lots of fun stuff to explore. So, get out there and enjoy the flowers, the rain, the sunshine, the adventure.  Make today a cuddling, smiling, cupcake kind of day!

Find out who you are and do it on purpose.
-Dolly Parton

Thursday, May 20, 2010

It's a Kitty World

I was going through my vintage patterns and noticed a theme.The majority of my patterns center around the following:  kitties, puppies, pin up girls and food with faces. Hmmm...I bet a Freud would have a field day with that. Anyhoo..whether it include biking, baking, walking in the rain or swinging-these kittens are just too adorable. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wild Card Wednesday-A Leap of Faith Part Two!

I was overwhelmed by how many of you took leaps of faith by going to school, getting your GED or just putting yourself out there for a new love. Everyone is so inspiring! My friend Melissa has a wonderful story about her leap of faith.

When I went to college, I was a pre-education major. I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, though, and romantic and other interests sort of distracted me from school. After my 2nd semester, I quit school with the intention of it being temporary and went to work at a preschool, which was my most likely candidate for an age group.

I loved my work and I was good at it, but I was pretty young (19) and I wasn't really mature enough to detach in a healthy way. I fell in love with my kids, and cried at night over things that happened to them. After about 2 years, I realized I couldn't do it. Not then, anyway. I was too close and wasn't sure I was capable of distance. I was giving away little pieces of myself, and felt tattered.

I had no idea what I was going to do. I put in my 2-weeks notice and cried all night because I wouldn't get to see my kids anymore. And the whole emotional mess destroyed for years any ideas I ever had of being a teacher. That had been the only thing I seriously considered majoring in. Wishy-washying back and forth between biology and theater and a dozen other fascinating subjects wasn't helpful, and teaching was a good way to get a little of everything plus a feeling of having done something worthy, and without that goal, I was floundering.

While I was in high school, I had taken a silversmithing class. The class wasn't a school thing, but was run by an ex-boyfriend's mother. I loved it. So here I was, soon to be jobless, recently robbed, by my own emotional immaturity, of the only goal I'd ever been able to finally light upon. And all I could think of was silversmithing. And also how ridiculous it was to think of that as a career possibility.

But, one afternoon I opened up the phone book. I turned to jewelers in the yellow pages, and I started down the list. "Hello, I'm a semi-trained silversmith and would like an opportunity to learn the trade. Do you do your repairs in house?" Most of the jewelers in Lincoln do NOT work in house. Those that do are owned by their smiths and don't hire much in the way of outside help.

But somehow, I got two interviews, with the request that I bring a portfolio. And then came the man who said, "Oh, are you calling about the ad in the paper?" What? There was an ad in the paper? A month earlier he had run an ad looking for a full-time apprentice. I never saw it, and it hadn't been run for over two weeks. Today, I was calling every jeweler in the phone book, just on the chance that someone might want an apprentice, and there he was.

I went to my interviews. I took a portfolio made of things I created for my family over the years I took the silversmithing class. I took a letter of recommendation from my instructors. He met me at his shop in the morning, looked at my things, told me I was lazy about under-side finishing work but that my things were lovely, especially considering the tools I had to work with. And then he said, "Come back on Saturday afternoon. I won't be here, but Sue will. She'll point you to the silver stock, and give you 2 hours to make something. If I like what you come up with, you're hired."

And that's what happened. I made a pair of textured hoop earrings that Saturday afternoon, and I started work on Monday. I worked as an apprentice goldsmith for just over 2 years, and I was very, very good at what I did. An unfortunate mis-match of personalities led to my eventually quitting that job, but it is the one job I have ever had where I felt my skills were really showcased, and if I had to pick one thing that I was good at and do it the rest of my life, it would be smithing. And all because I opened up a phone book.

What an amazing story. I have a piece of Melissa's jewelry and it is beautiful. One glimpse in the phone book changed everything for her-what a great leap!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Beyond Clouseau

BIRDIE NUM NUMS! If you've heard this saying than you know I am talking about a great actor. If you haven't heard this saying than you are in for a great treat. Peter Sellers was an enigma wrapped in a paradox. He was a genius with his voice, mannerisms and most importantly his acting.

The Party is one of the funniest movies you will ever see. There is hardly any dialogue but Sellers is brillant as a movie extra who gets to go to a Hollywood party (strictly by accident). This is also one of Blake Edwards' greatest movies. There are sexual innuendos and yet no raunchy humor, slapstick and my favorite exchange between Sellers and an intercom -BIRDIE NUM NUMS! It is a classic that shouldn't be missed.

Speaking of a classic-Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb shows Peter's versatility as an actor playing 3 different roles. His  exchange over the phone with the Russian president is hysterical. I am constantly quoting that dialogue and luckily I have a wonderful husband who understands. There are several stories going on here but all centering around an insane commander's attack on Russia. George C. Scott and Slim Pickens are flavorful characters that just help drive the vehicle on  this bizarre ride. 

The last movie really shows Seller's diversity as an actor. Being There is a sad story of a gardener who has never left the estate he has worked on. Once his employer dies, he is thrust unto the real world. By acts of fate, he becomes a celebrity, much to his chagrin. This is one of his last roles and certainly one of his most poignant.

Just as diverse as Peter Sellers was himself, so were movies. He was so much more than Inspector Clouseau. Many times he would go out into public and people did not recognize him. It is very interesting that someone who brought so much laughter and entertainment was filled with so much sadness.I think his quote, "If you ask me to play myself, I will not know what to do. I do not know who or what I am." pretty much sums him up. Check out these amazing movies, you will laugh, cry and be slightly confused-I'm sure he would have wanted it that way.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Scrappy Dog Sunday!

Hi all! Today's gonna be a short Scrappy Dog Sunday. I'm taking care of a little hurt boy. Poor little Pete sprained his neck. First off, I had no idea that dogs could sprain their necks and second of all, I really don't appreciate getting laughed out of the doctor's office asking if they making tiny neck braces. So, while I'm treating Pete's neck with kisses, enjoy this super cute video of Lola and Jujube chasing water.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sweet Saturday

Have I ever told you I have a sweet tooth? Oh, I have? I love sweets so much, that yesterday I was in the grocery store and saw the most decadent dessert on the cover of a national family magazine. So, thinking to myself-"I could so make that!" I bought the magazine and went back for the ingredients. When I got home, OMP looked at me, the magazine and the ingredients and walked away slowly. I made a few changes to the original recipe cause I'm kind of lazy, but I'm sure my version is just as good.

Cheesecake Brownie Bars
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 cup sugar
3 packages (8 ounces each) 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whisk cornstarch and sugar until blended.
Add cream cheese and beat until smooth
Beat in eggs, sour cream and milk
Stir in vanilla and set aside

At this time, the recipe tells you how to make brownies from scratch-whatever! I had some in a box down in the pantry and I whipped those babies up. Make up the brownies according to the box - the cake like brownies, not the fudgy ones and  DO NOT BAKE YET!

Heat oven to 350 degrees, line a 13x9x2 baking pan with foil. Coat foil with nonstick cooking spray.
Spoon in brownie mix and then the the cheesecake over that.

Bake for 30 minutes-check to see if center is set, if not, check every 5 minutes. Trust me, you do not want this to turn brown or get a crust on it-that means you burnt it.

Cool on wire rack for 2 hours then transfer to refrigerator for another two hours

I made homemade whip cream by taking heavy whipping cream, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Whipped it up and spooned it on the cheesecake brownie. Cut up some strawberries and spoon those on, drizzle with chocolate sauce. One thing I think I would do differently is I would make a nice strawberry sauce with confectioner sugar and strawberries and drizzle on.

My conclusion? Don't go baking this one if you've got to be down at the church or school bake sale in an hour. This thing is time consuming but it's worth the wait. See ya later you sweet things!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Feel Good Friday!

Oh my! Am I late with Feel Good Friday! Sorry! I've been out all day running around, taking care of a hurt puppy and having yummy cocktails with friends. Whew! I'm ready for bed! Don't worry my faithful followers, I have a few things up my sleeve before I head into to la la land.

It was beautiful in the rose city today so the shorts were on, the flipflops were flopping and I was looking for a yummy tiki drink to wet my whistle. Well, I found the tiki drink but you can not have a fruity cocktail without a stylin' mug. Munktiki is your place for the most amazing tiki mugs known. A lot of these are collector's items but once you are finished with your drinky drink, you can display and the ladies and gents will think you are the coolest.

I just love this sassy girl. lagidgettet's work looks like it was taken straight from a teen girl magazine. Just too adorable.

I came across Scoutie Girl one day and was instantly in love. I can not believe how amazing this blog is.  The crafts range from sweet to edgy, the writing is so personable that you feel like your best friend is giving you the inside scoop. There is a ton of information on this site so sit back, fix yourself a glass of iced tea and enjoy great inspirations

BABY DUCKS! I would be the one with the 'tude in front. 

Okay, I am going to get off this computer for the night and kick back with OMP and the pups. I think Pete needs more kisses to make him feel  better. 

Don't ask yourself what the world needs;
ask yourself what makes you come alive.
And then go and do that.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
-Harold Whitman

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wild Card Wednesday-A Leap of Faith

Lately I have been struggling with what to write about on Wednesdays so instead of sticking to one thing-I'm going to have a Wild Card Wednesday. Basically, anything I want to write about-I will. The next couple of weeks I will be focusing on Leaps of Faith-both with myself and all the wonderful peeps out there. So....sit back and enjoy the ride. I guarantee your stomach will drop and you will feel a little woozy but you will beg for more.

I'm not sure if many of you know, but I worked for a crisis line for almost 8 years. I have seen and heard just about everything. I saw the worst in people-literally. Recently I decided to leave. I didn't leave because I was burned out. I love helping people but decided that I wanted to do something different in my life. Now, here's where the crazy part comes in. For the first time in my life, I didn't have a solid back up plan. No solid job to go to, not a huge year amount of savings. Just an idea to venture out to a new life and an awesome husband supporting me. It is the first time that I didn't have a plan "B". I know it seems scary and sometimes it is to me but it has also renewed my faith in myself, my family and friends. Because I don't have a lot of extra cash (really, who does these days) it makes me appreciate what I have more and is allowing me to rediscover what and who are important to me. I am taking time to spend with my husband, my dogs and myself. It is a beautiful feeling.

So, when I said I didn't have a plan "B", I wasn't completely honest. I do sorta. Actually, I have lofty ideas. I want to go back to school and get my degree in Spanish/Rural studies. I want to work with family farms and farm workers. What I really want to do is to show the connection between rural and urban communities and how we can work together. I also want to preserve the history of the family farm/rural community.

Am I scared of what's around the corner? You bet, but I'm even more excited! Will I stay this positive and level headed? I hope so. I know there will be rough days and I'm this is a huge thing for me to jump into. Sometimes you just need to take that first leap and see how you land.

Do you have a leap of faith story? Something you just dived into? Let me know! I want you to inspires us.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tie One On Tuesday!

One thing that I am so passionate about is the history of the cocktail. If you look at  what people were drinking at certain times, you can tell the climate of the world. 1900 brought the death of Queen Victoria, the Wright Brothers flew their plane in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and San Francisco had a horrible earthquake followed by a 3 day fire. So many amazing changes came during the first ten years of century. So many wonderful cocktails chronicled the times.

The Original Negroni was named after an Italian gentleman who ordered the same drink every day. Nowadays the cocktail is considered a Aperitif  to stimulate the the appetite for dinner. Although the drink originated in Europe, it rose to popularity in the US during the early 1900's.

The Original Negroni
1 oz. Campari (in the family of bitters)
1 oz Gin
3/4 oz Sweet Vermouth
Combine all ingredients in an ice filled shaker. Shake until well chilled and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

The Old Fashioned is considered the very first cocktail. Although the drink was around  before 1900 it hit it's height of popularity during 1900-1910.The drink was served at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky and to some it is the perfect concoction of what a cocktail should be. A little hooch, a sweet and a bitter.

Old Fashioned
1 sugar cube
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
2 orange slices
3 oz bourbon
Cherry for garnish
Place the sugar cube at the bottom of an old fashioned glass
Saturate the cube with bitters
Add one orange slice and muddle
Fill the glass with ice 
Add the Bourbon
Garnish with a cherry and the other orange slice. 

Another drink that came about a few years before 1900 but rose up through the ranks is a Tom Collins. First off, there was never a man named Tom Collins. There was a Jerry Thomas( he is considered the father of American mixology). So, the Tom part comes from the type of gin used and the Collins was named after the type of glass used. The lore around Tom Collins continues, but I will tell you that regardless of who or what Tom Collins is-I love this drink. 

Tom Collins
2 oz gin
1 oz lemon juice
1 tsp superfine sugar 
3oz club soda
1 cherry for garnish
1 orange slice
In a shaker half-filled with ice cubes, combine the gin, lemon juice, and sugar. Shake well. Strain into a Collins glass almost filled with ice cubes. Add the club soda. Stir and garnish with the cherry and the orange slice.

So, what do our cocktails tell us about our history during the early 1900's? Like our world history our cocktails are full of flavor, have a dash of mystery and  wet our appetite for bigger and better things. Until next week! Bottoms up!

Monday, May 10, 2010

That's What Mama Likes

Yesterday was Mother's Day. I hope all the moms out there had a wonderful day. Even though my mother passed away 9 years ago, I still miss her. I miss her laugh. She didn't laugh, she cackled. When I was a kid, I was so embarrassed of that laugh. Now I realize that it was the best belly laugh on the planet. It meant that she was having a good time, throwing her head back and wanted everyone to know that the world shouldn't be taken so seriously. Now what does my mother have to do with movies-a lot! She loved a comedy and to honor her, I am sharing with you a few of her favorites. I'm not claiming these to be the best, but they brought a smile to her face.

When my mom was going through a rough time, we watched Blind Date over and over again. She didn't really like Bruce Willis (does anyone?) she loved John Larroquette. Every time he went a little crazy, that loud cackle came bellowing out. I have to admit, the movie was pretty funny. Bruce goes out with Kim Basinger and she has an allergy to alcohol. Well, of course you know what happens-she drinks and craziness ensue. John plays her ex boyfriend that wants her back. It is a definite winner to lift your spirit.

My mother LOVED Nick Nolte. I'm glad that she passed away before he went crazy homeless guy on us. She would have been disappointed. I'm sure in her best southern voice she would say, "Bless his heart, he can't help it. He's a drunk homeless mess." and all would be forgiven. 48 hours was Nick Nolte at his finest. The comedy was raunchy, the voice was hoarse and that's just the way my mom liked it. Nick Nolte plays a cop who works with con Eddie Murphy to solve a crime.Eddie may have stolen the movie but Nick stole my mom's heart.  The movie was so popular that they made a second one.

 Good old mom loved a man's man. She loved the bad boys. I remember asking her why she married my dad and her reply was, " He looked good in his uniform, not to mention, he had a tattoo." and my dad's reply-"She could stop traffic-36-24-36" Ain't love grand? Another thing my mother loved was a mustache. She again thought they were for bad boys, which is probably why she loved Burt Reynold in the role he was meant to play as the Bandit in Smokey and The Bandit. We even had a Trans Am-don't judge! It was the 70's and we were cool! Jackie Gleason as Sheriff Buford T. Justice is prize winning. The banter between him and his mind numbing son is hysterical. I am not ashamed to admit that I own this movie. How can you not love a movie about bringing Coors beer across the Tex-arcana border? Really? Coors? Maybe that's what made my mom laugh so hard.

Those are just three little gems that made my mom smile. To this day, I will pop in one of these great films and can hear her cackle, oh wait, that's me. Love you mom-thanks for passing on your passion for a good laugh and the loudness to let everyone know.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Scrappy Dog Sunday!

I'm turning over Scrappy Dog Sunday to Jujube. This is her Mother's Day card to Lola. 

Happy Mother's Day Mom! Sometimes I feel alone.

But then I realize that you are right there beside me. 

You keep me snuggled and warm. 

You can be silly with me...

But most of all you love me. Thanks for always barking at me and making me do the right thing. You're my best friend.
Love, your super cute and very talented daughter-Jujube

Happy Mother's day to all the moms of fuzzy babies out there. Thanks for bringing sunshine, joy and treats into little lives. You make a big difference in the world.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sweet Saturday

Maybe it's because I have always secretly loved Alice in Wonderland or just because having a tea party is so much fun. Dressing up, having cakes and tea. It brings out the little girl in me.  I don't think there is any prettier way to add color to your average sugar cube than with these adorable royal icing flowers. They are so easy to make. I got these flowers at our local cake decorating shop but you could make your own. All you need is a little bit of royal icing to "glue" the flowers to the sugar cubes. Let them sit over night and then when you have your tea, drop one in and watch the flower float to the top as sugar cube melts. It will brighten your morning or put a smile on your guest's face at your next brunch.

Now I hear you-sweet just isn't your thing.How about a little bit of spice to take the edge out of that sweetness. These Hot Mexican Chocolate cookies will definitely wet your appetite.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room tempature
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in the upper and lower thirds. 
  • In a medium bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
  • In a large bowl, blend  11/2 cup sugar and butter, use an electric mixer on medium (if you have a kitchen maid, use that-trust me-it won't be as messy or hard to mix). Mix until sugar and butter are fluffy (around 2 minutes)
  • Add eggs and beat to combine
  • Gradually add flour mixture and beat until combined.
  • In a small bowl, combine 1/4 sugar and cinnamon and chili powder (if using). 
  • Using a heaping tablespoon, form balls of dough and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. 
  • Place a few inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets.
  • Bake until cookies are set in center and they begin to crack-about 10 minutes, Rotate on rack half way through. 5 minutes on top, 5 minutes on bottom. Transfer cookies to cooling rack. If stored in air tight container, they will last a week. 

Let me tell you-OMP can not keep his hands out of the cookie jar with these little babies! They are going to be in definite rotation.

A little sweet and a little spice for next special occasion or just to treat yourself. Come to think of it,  isn't that what everyone needs in life? A special sweet occasion with a dash of spice. Enjoy!