Sunday, July 31, 2011

Island Fun and Food~San Juan Island,WA

Freshly caught Dungeness crab~right from the trap!

Two crabs were more than we could eat!

Dinner on the deck!

Our search for the Orcas was worth the effort and wait!

Prawns for dinner the next night, available for sale on the dock!

Miss Ariel, Portuguese Water Dog, faithful and devoted.

Typical Ferry getting us around the islands. A trip to the islands is worth every minute~lots of sights and wonderful food!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Almond Biscotti~tozzetti

This recipe makes about forty cookies. I did cut some in half.

Traditionally dipped  into a class of vin santo.

However, these are very light and great for eating alone.

There is just a subtle anise flavor from the flavored liquor that was added.

Almond Biscotti

1 cup of sugar
1 whole egg
3 yolks of eggs
1/3 cup of Anise flavored liquor
3 cups of sifted four
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 cup of blanched almonds
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces at room temperature
grated zest from 1/2 of a lemon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, combine the butter and sugar. With a mixer, beat in the whole egg and then add the other yolks one at a time. Beat until light and creamy. Stir in the anise and lemon zest. In another bowl, mix the flour and the baking powder together. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until blended and a dough consistency forms. By hand, mix in the almonds.

Shapes the dough into two loaves, 3 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for thirty minutes. Remove the sheet from the oven. Cool just for a few minutes and cut the loaves with a serrated knife into slices about 3/4 inch long. Turn the cut slices on the baking sheet, cut side down.

Return the slices on the sheet bake into the oven for an additional 25 minutes at a reduced heat of 275 degrees. Bake until they are dry and lightly colored. Remove from oven and transfer to a rack to cool.
The biscotti will keep up to 2 months in an airtight container. But, good luck with that~they won't last that long!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Next All Girls Trip to Italy Full!

I organize two trips a year to Italy for my friends and their friends. Anyone can join!

We do fun things that gals like to do, meaning our trips are for women only!

We visit many famous places in Italy, some you may not have visited yet.

We eat at wonderful restaurants and visit my friends on their farms and in their shops!

We take the time to meet the local people and enjoy their company.

We get out of the city and visit the countryside for most of the trip.

We take the time to stroll through the gorgeous villages and towns.

Yes, we take time to smell the flowers along the way. Get more information from: 

Thursday, July 07, 2011

From Drying To Drinking-a fresh coffee experience

Red beans are ready to be picked from a Tanzania Coffee Planation

These beans have been sun-dried and sorted

Ladies from Arusha Coffee Plantation sorting the unwanted beans 

Ladies quickly moving the beans in netting for bagging

Bags ready and waiting

Bagged and ready for destinations around the world

Un-roasted coffee beans filled to the rim

 Ready to sample some local coffee

Good to the very last drop

Always fresh flowers from dinner to coffee

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Summer Bridal Shower ~Al Fresco

Glasses were ready to be filled for the celebration!

The colorful handmade table top.
The herb pots were given out as prizes which were donated by a dear friend.

I made a special bouquet with the  wedding colors.

The bride-to-be wanted cheesecake for dessert, so guess what I prepared!

I found the little bottle topper dress at Michael's and added the small purple flowers.

The bride-to-be had her special seat!
Many of my friends, including myself, all have grown children who are now at the ripe age of thirty and are beginning to"think" about marriage or they are planning to wed soon. This is frightening! (not really)
 One will be married at her home this July, outside of Seattle. Another follows in August.......a summer has never been as beautiful and filled with excitement! The extensive preparations have been made and come rain or shine, the weddings will go on.
 The photos above are from a bridal shower held at one of the bridesmaids home. The grounds of the home are the perfect setting for any celebration. The owners are devoted to their gardening and love sharing it with friends. When the weather turns, all entertaining goes outdoors to the wide lawn. The evergreens and ferns were in full bloom, the sun was low and the shadows were soft. The table, made by the owners, was placed outside to add that "al fresco"touch to the event!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Cherries for the 4th!

Cherry Clafoutis-serves six

Cherry Clafoutis can also be made with other varieties of soft fruits.
Ingredients-for six servings

3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/4 cup of milk
1/3 cup of sugar
1 tsp. of vanilla
3/4 cup of flour and two more tbsps.
1 1/2 pounds of sweet pitted cherries
1 tbsp. of unsalted butter to butter baking dish
Confectioner's sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the baking dish. (Use a shallow ovenproof dish.)
Spread all the cherries in the dish and set aside.
Mix the flour and sugar together in large bowl and add the three well beaten eggs.Whisk altogether. Add the vanilla.Whisk to combine.Whisk until well blended.
Slowly pour the mixture over the cherries.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the batter is golden and firm to the touch.
Before serving, sift powdered sugar on top and serve warm.