Archive for the ‘General Blog’ Category

Holiday Decorating-have some fun!

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Once you have found the “perfect” tree for your home, then the real fun begins, decorating! I switch between white lights and multi-colored lights.  It’s either all white or multi-colored for me!  If it’s multi year, then everything is multi including the window candles each having a different colored light. Then in white light years,  I usually go for a more traditional look with deep red or burgundy bows.  The tree also has the same theme.  So I have white crystal garland, jewel toned garland and garland that looks like rock candy.  We used to string popcorn and cranberries until the dog ate all the garland and almost knocked over the tree!  Our ornaments are a collection of over 25 years with quirky glass, paper and wood. The girls kindergarten homemade ones have the prominent spot in the front.  Shelby was always planning a craft day around the holidays, I think we kept Michaels in business. Whether you make your own or shop for decorations at Target, take care when packing your ornaments and lights so you can use them year after year.  Save the ornament boxes, tissue paper and wrap the lights and secure with twisty ties so they don’t tangle.  Set time aside to decorate with your friends or family and make it a party, have some fun with your decorating!

Talking Turkey Part 2

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

So you have followed the instructions on cooking a turkey.  Now what? Where do you put the knife in for white meat, how do you get the drumsticks and wings off this bird? Sharpen your knives and let Jamie Oliver show us the way to carve a roasted turkey.  Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Talking Turkey Part 1

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

Thanksgiving is almost here and for some, cooking a turkey is a daunting task.  But in fact, it’s really one of the easiest holiday meal entrees. First, take a look at your oven and make sure it’s big enough for a whole turkey.  If it’s a small oven , you might consider cooking a whole turkey breast instead of the whole turkey.  If your oven is regular size, choose the turkey size according to the number of guest eating. The basic rule of thumb is 1-1 1/2 pounds per person. I usually go a little more since I like to have leftovers.  Survey the roasting pans for the correct size.  Now all you need is the turkey, small herbs and veggies.  Here’s a video from Chef John at Food Wishes that makes cooking a turkey pretty simple.

So, let’s get cooking.  Check out WWMS recipes for more holiday ideas and tips.

Fall Vegetable Saute

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Here’s a super simple and delicious recipe that can be used as an entree or side.  This dish is full of good fiberous vegetables and can be served with lentils or brown rice to make it a super food!

1 small head of cauliflower cut into small pieces

1 small head of broccoli cur into small pieces

8 brussel sprouts halved

1 leek, cleaned split and rinsed throughly (get out all the sand)

2 cloves of garlic chopped

1  1/2 cups of vegetable broth

2 tablespoons butter

Place the first three veggies in a heavy bottomed fry pan, pour the stock over and boil until the veggies are slightly soft.  When the broth cooks down add leeks, garlic and butter and saute until the veggies are golden brown.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Visit the WWMS Cookbook for more vegetarian recipes.

Potty-mouthed Princesses and Wisdom from a Witch

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

A friend, a young woman I truly respect, shared this video on her FB page.  After seeing it, I posted it myself with a warning.  I knew that some people would find it offensive, in fact, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it myself.  But after some thought, I decided it would be interesting to get other opinions. There was some discussion, both for and against.  I don’t think foul language is an effective way to get a point across, but it is an effective way to get attention, a well placed F word to express anger for an appropriate reason: women’s unequal status in society. It needs to be followed by a well thought out argument for change.  Many of you have probably seen Emma Watson’s speech to the UN General Assembly, if not, here it is.  It’s worth a listen.

We should teach our daughters to be strong and proud and we should also encourage them to be angry in the face of financial inequality, rape statistics, violence against women and sexism.  In fact, we should be sending the same message to our sons.

What’s your opinion?

Dear all… we paused

Saturday, October 11th, 2014

Life has that funny way of, getting in the way.  I guess that’s what happened to WWMS over the past two years. Cindy is testing the waters with a new career, budding romance and new grandmother status times two. Joanna, our starring new entrepreneur,  is cultivating the entire West Coast for the perfect four leaf clover, brewing delicious aromatic concoctions for health and happiness while jetting coast to coast in search of the perfect dance party. Michele was busy in the kitchen last winter, learning the ins and outs of vegetarian cooking,  becoming the East Coast expert on special needs education while reading everything in the Northshire Bookstore and traveling back and forth on the Mass Pike.  As for me with a couple wonderful trips, house selling, music festivals, graduating children, new careers and waiting for grandchild number 2.

It’s been a crazy couple of years of dramatic events between disease, terrorists, crazy weather and a host of many other current events. Now you might wonder why I decided to blog today after our long hiatis?  It’s because of the events in the first paragraph…life.  You know, the good stuff. Like weddings,love, food,  babies, good jobs and a good bottle of wine.  So all you Moms, sons and daughters of moms, husbands and boyfriends of moms, moms-to-be and friends of moms, we are un-pausing (is that a word?)  Back to advice, love, family, gardening, books, travel and cooking. All and more things that we love best coming from our little special village of friends.

xoxo THE Moms

The best lobster bisque … it’s that time again!

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Thinking about making something different for New Year’s Eve? Lobster Bisque is a festive, filling soup that let’s your friends know you care enough about them to make something special. I’m not going to tell you that this is one of our super simple dishes but it is worth the time.

lobster bisque

I can’t take credit for this dish, I’ve taken it from the New Basics Cookbook (the original Silver Pallet writers)  changed a few ingredients.  The complete recipe is in our cookbook but I included a few step by step pictures here to help.

chop tails into 2 inch pieces and find a good fish stock

watch Cindy making roux on you tube

If the lobster is too expensive for your budget try switching out the lobster with crab and shrimp.  This time a year many markets put their frozen shrimp and crabmeat on sale.

after the "meat" is cooked, marinate in Madera or Marsala wine

almost finished, remove the shells, strain and use your emulsion blender before adding the meat back into the soup.

If you do go this route, find a good fish stock to “beef” up the broth. I serve the bisque in a small bread bowl.

Bread Bowls

Hollow the bowls out, reserving the inside bread and warm the “bowls” in the oven.  Scoop a ladle full of bisque into the bowls and place the top and insides on the edge for dipping.  If you get into trouble, shoot us an email. Good luck and have a fun, festive and happy New Years Eve!

Carmel Sauce

Friday, November 30th, 2012

My grandmother, Sadie A. Shafer made the best carmel sauce for us when we were growing up. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t get her recipe before she passed away. But fortunately for me, she taught me to love cooking and to experiment with foods. So I think I have come up with a sauce pretty close to hers.

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Combined the first 4 ingredients in a sauce pan and cook over a medium heat until the butter is melted.  Bring to a slow boil while constantly stirring for 2 minutes, lower the heat and add cream and vanilla.  Cook for another minute over med heat.  Remove and when cool enough pour into a glass container.

I love to cut up crisp apples and drip into the carmel sauce or try your hand at Cindy’s vanilla ice cream with carmel. Simple and delicious!

Cleanse for Thanksgiving Day food hangovers!

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

We all love it, do it and regret it! Ahh, Thanksgiving dinner, it is simply the best holiday.  You know the drill, preparing all day for your families favorite dishes, setting the table and blasting through the first plate so you can have room for seconds before your stomach has even digested the first.So now that we’re on the other side of Thanksgiving, it’s cleanse time. This is a little recipe I first had in Botswana and adapted for home.  Give it a try, it’s tasty and healthy.

Ginger Lemonade Cleanse

1 ginger root

1 8 quart pot of water

2 whole lemons

1/4 cup of honey

Peal and cut the ginger into small pieces.  Place in pot of water and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Pour through a mesh strainer, add the juice of 2 lemons and honey.  Pour into a pitcher, add ice and refrigerate. Besides the cleansing aspect of this concoction, there are real health benefits to ginger, honey and lemon.  These three ingredients help with digestion, nausea, infections and poor moods.

Roasting the Thanksgiving Bird

Friday, November 16th, 2012

THANKSGIVING, It’s all about the…food, family, football, friends? How would you finish the statement? In my family, it’s all about turkey,stuffing,mashed potatoes, gravy, pumpkin pie; except for Jay, for some reason he thinks it’s all about the ham. Ham Jay?  We’ve never had ham for Thanksgiving. You don’t even eat ham! But anyway, it’s time to stock the shelves for the holidays.

Fresh is more expensive and should be bought one or two days before you cook it. Frozen can be bought in advance, but must be defrosted. This could be a problem in a crowded fridge. Make room.
Figure on about a pound to a pound and a half per guest, depending on whether or not you want left-overs. Defrost in the refrigerator, 1 day for every 5 pounds, In other words, a 20 pound bird will take 4 days to defrost.
If you must, and only if you must, thaw the turkey in cold water in your sink, keeping it completely submerged for safety reasons. Weigh it down,use cans or plates, change the water every 30 minutes and defrost for 30 minutes per pound. A 20 pound turkey will take 10 hours to defrost.

Roasting The Bird:

Approximate Roasting Times for Stuffed Turkey
Turkey Weight Time
6 to 8 pounds – 3 to 3-1/2 hours
8 to 12 pounds – 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours
12 to 16 pounds – 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 hours
16 to 20 pounds – 5-1/2 to 6 hours
20 to 24 pounds – 6 to 6-1/2 hour

Whole Foods Market Golden Roasted Turkey

Approximate Roasting Times for Unstuffed Turkey
Turkey Weight – Hours
6 to 8 pounds – 2-1/2 to 3 hours
8 to 12 pounds – 3 to 4 hours
12 to 16 pounds- 4 to 5 hours
16 to 20 pounds- 5 to 5-1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds- 5-1/2 to 6 hours

Invest in a meat thermometer! When The thickest part of the thigh reaches 180 degrees, you’re cooked. Let the bird sit for 20 minutes before carving.

If this all seems too much for you, get a canned ham, serve it with Mac and Chese, and invite Jay.