Monday, August 31, 2009

A perfect weather day...

No heat, no humidity, about 72 degrees. Even the A/C at work was way too cold for me. The cold at work got me thinking of soups and casseroles and stews.

So even though it is a bit early for a comfort food kind of meal. Tonight I made up an easy chicken and bisquit casserole that is a long standing family favorite. Oh, it may not be fall yet but this meal did my heart good. Don't get me wrong, I love all of the wonderful light summer dishes I make but I think I am reaching my limit and needed an old fashioned meal to warm the tummies of my family. Surely they must have been a bit chilly today too.

Chicken and Biscuit Dumpling Casserole
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt pepper to taste
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups cooked chicken, bite size pcs
Saute onion and celery in butter until tender. Stir in flour, salt, pepper until smooth. Add broth, bring to a boil, cook and stir one minute. Add chicken, pour into greased 13x9 casserole.
Biscuit Dumplings:

2 cups bisquick
2 tsp parsley
2/3 cup milk
1 large egg, beaten
Combine all, stir with fork until moistened. Drop by spoonfulls onto casserole (9-12 dumplings) Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes. Cover and bake 15 minutes more until biscuits are done. 6-8 servings.

From the weekend...

Well, it was a relaxing weekend, did a bit of this and that, not much to write about.

Finally got around to getting my hair cut and colored. Played on the computer and finished the weekend by watching the second to the last episode of the second season of "True Blood".

One of the things I made on Saturday was a pot of marinara sauce from my "Carmine's Family Cookbook". Spent the money on San Marzano tomatoes and it sure was worth it. Just a plain spaghetti dish for a rainy Saturday. Here's a picture and the recipe.


"We use this versatile sauce in so many of our recipes that we always have it ready and waiting. You will want to, too."

3 cans (26 to 28 ounces each) Italian plum tomatoes (we use San Marzano)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup coarsely chopped garlic (from about 12 cloves garlic)

2 fresh basil leaves, sliced

2 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Drain the tomatoes in a colander set in a large bowl for 5 minutes. Reserve the tomato liquid.In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook it, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until it is golden brown. If the garlic starts to cook too quickly, reduce the heat.Add the basil, parsley, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook the mixture for 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes, increase the heat to high, and cook them for about 5 minutes, using a wooden spoon or long-handled fork to break them up, or until the tomatoes boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes break down.

Add the reserved tomato liquid. Increase the heat to high and bring the sauce to a boil. Boil it for about 12 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Stir it occasionally and scrape the bottom of the pan to prevent the sauce from burning.

Transfer the sauce to a bowl and set it aside for about 1 hour or until it cools to room temperature. Transfer it to a tightly covered storage container and refrigerate it for up to 1 week or freeze it for up to 1 month.Makes about 5 cups

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thoughts on a rainy day...

Starting a new blog - I have had one before and deleted it. I had a personal web site for over ten plus years and AOL deleted that - sigh :(
I've met many interesting people along this wonderful online journey of mine over the last fifteen or so years. My web site Candleberry Cottage was all about those travels, and learnings, both magickal and mundane. I loved sharing my cooking creations season by season, my crafts and homemade gifts and goodies. Photos of my life, my small herb garden and all my magikal treasures I discovered.
As life changes and as I grow older some things no longer interest me and other things have come to replace them. So here I am at age 55 thinking it is time to start a new chapter. The season will be changing very soon here in NY. Seems as the summer winds down I feel my creativity increases and reawakens and it also becomes a time of self awarenss for me.
So this blog will be my new Candlberry Cottage, where I will continue to share bits of me, who I am and what I love to do. It won't be the same as the old website but like I said, times change, people change and sometimes you can't recreate the same magick some things once had. I will add some of the old and a sprinkle of new whenever I can.