Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Caesar Salad Dressing

I remembered something while eating a Caesar salad the other day... I HATE anchovies! I really wanted to like the salad but the taste of those stinky little fishes just gives me the willies. Here's my favorite Caesar salad dressing minus those detestable anchovies.

What you need:
  • 1/4 cup parmesean cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonaise
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper

What you do:
Mix all ingredients together.
Yep, it's that easy!
And guess what?! The original Caesar salad didn't even have anchovies!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Blueberry Coffee Cake

Every summer, during blueberry season, I visit family in Pennsylvania. We pick and eat blueberries by the bushel. This summer my great aunt Bernice made a blueberry coffee cake that swept me off my feet. It had a crunchy streusel topping and the cake was fluffy and tasted of vanilla and blueberries. This recipe is my attempt at recreating her delicious blueberry cake.
What you need:
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1  1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1  1/2 cups blueberries
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened

What you do:
Combine milk and vinegar, set aside.

Sift together 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Cream together 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup sugar until fluffy.

Beat in the egg, then stir in the vanilla.

Stir in the flour mixture alternately with the milk. Do not over mix!

Fold in the blueberries.

Pour batter into a greased and floured 8-inch square pan.

In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup flour and 1/3 cup sugar. Using a fork cut in 3 tablespoons butter until the mixture resembles crumbs.

Sprinkle over batter.

Bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.
 Usually I like cinnamon and nutmeg in coffee cakes but I'm leaving them out on this one because that's what aunt Bernice did. Feel free to add a bit to the batter or topping if you feel so inclined.
 Trouble thinks it's absolutely perfect.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Leaf Collection

One summer a long long time ago my dad, the science teacher, assigned me to make a leaf collection. Because both of my parents were school teachers we spent very little time at home over the summer. We traveled all over the US in a camper which meant I was able to collect leaves from all over. I still remember many of the tree names and have favorites like the beautiful ginkgo that grew down the hill at the end of my grandparents street in Philadelphia.

I thought it was about time Trouble start his own leaf collection this summer. I talked up how fun it was for me to collect leaves as a little girl and he was game. My dad, Papa, was nice enough to give Trouble a mini-lesson on the parts of a leaf, arrangement and types.

I found a field guide to tree identification at a second hand book store and got an inexpensive 'cling' album to house the leaves.

When Trouble collects a leaf we look it up in the guide. He writes the tree's common name, scientific name, collection date and location on an index card. The index card and leaf go in the album.
 Trouble already has a favorite tree, the Sassafras. He loves the fragrant leaves and the story of his great great grandfather making root beer out of the root.