Saturday, July 25, 2009

Catching Up

I'm behind on If It's Tuesday . . . reports. Two weeks ago we tried Nancy's White Chicken Chili. I also made corn bread to go with the meal. We loved it! It's definitely made the "We Will Have It Again" list. Nancy, please send me your snail mail address and I will send out your prize.

This past week we didn't have a If It's Tuesday . . . meal as my DIL was sick. We already have this coming week's meal picked out so stay tuned. I promise photos before we eat it.

We've also started making gelato. When we were on vacation we had awesome cherry gelato at the Opera Bistro in Saint John, NB. DS received an ice cream maker for a wedding gift and they hadn't used it. They brought it over and now we have gelato on Tuesdays with chicken. The first week we had strawberry gelato. Last week we had banana gelato. This week I made peach and blueberry gelato. We haven't tried it yet. Probably tonight for dessert.

I have to share my vacation vintage find. We aren't big antique shoppers, but we found a cool antique mall in Bangor and took a stroll through it. I saw this white candy dish and knew I had to have it. My grandma had a candy dish just like this one and since I didn't get hers, I got this one.
The best part of the purchase was I thought it was on sale for 20% off it's price. However, it was 50% off! Sweet!

I hope you're having a great weekend! I'm babysitting my 3-month-old grandson this weekend so mommy and daddy can celebrate their anniversary. We are having a good time.

Sweet P

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

If It's Tuesday . . . Is Thursday This Week

I have a change in my work schedule this week and will have Mr. E on Thursday instead of today. Watch for this week's winner then.


Sweet P

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thanksgiving On Tuesday

This week's chicken recipe was submitted by Bobbie Bentneedle. She sent a recipe for Thanksgiving Dinner in One Pan.

We enjoyed it. It was easy to make and filled the house with a wonderful aroma. Next time I make it I will season the chicken with salt and pepper and perhaps skip the cheese. We didn't even taste the cheese. I also mixed the stuffing mix with melted butter before putting it on top of the chicken. That helped keep the stuffing moist while it was baking.
Our beverage for this evening was Strawberry Lemonade.
It was super yummy and refreshing.
Too bad our weather hasn't been summer-like so we could enjoy it on a hot day.
Bonnie, send me your snail mail address and I'll send your goodie on it's way.

Next week I'm taking a break from Chicken on Tuesday as we will be on vacation. The contest will resume on July 14th. Keep sending in your chicken recipes.

Sweet P

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The First Tuesday Winner

Here it is Thursday and I haven't written about our first If It's Tuesday meal. We chose Slow Cooker Coq au Vin from aletheia_vox. It was easy to make. We all liked it. Although I think when I make it again I will add the potatoes to the slow cooker rather than make them separately. Aletheia send me your mailing address and I'll send you a goodie.
I recently came across a recipe for Strawberry Shortcake Cookies on Carol's blog. When she made them they weren't a hit in her house. My family loved them and ate nearly all of them Tuesday night. There were a few left over for lunches yesterday.
Speaking of strawberries, they have become one of my new favorite breakfasts. A couple of sliced strawberries, a handful of blueberries and a splash of french vanilla cream. Yummy!
Keep sending in those chicken recipes! My DIL and I love reading them!

Sweet P

Thursday, June 18, 2009

If It's Tuesday . . .

I babysit my adorable grandson, Mr. E, on Tuesdays. I make dinner for my DS and DIL that evening. My DIL prefers chicken to any other meat so Tuesdays have become chicken dinner night at Coffee Time.

This past Tuesday I made Rachel Ray's Mexican Lasagna for dinner.
It was an easy recipe and was super yummy.
I had never cooked with ground chicken before. The texture is different than ground beef. I have to cook with it a few more times before I can totally decide if I like it.

Now, here's where you can help me. I'm going to hold contest over the next several weeks to find a variety of chicken recipes.

Send me your favorite chicken recipe, or recipes. My DIL and I will choose one recipe each week to try and then review it here. If we choose your recipe, you will receive a goodie package from Coffee Time at Home. The contest will start today and run through the end of August. There will be one week off while I am on vacation (July 7th). You can as often as you like. So come on, start sending in those recipes.

Sweet P

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Spaghetti Day

Yesterday I made Glenna's All Day Spaghetti Sauce. It filled my house with wonderful smells all day. Five pounds of meat sounds like a lot of meat, but I will be able to freeze enough sauce for at least two, maybe three more meals.

I also made the cinnamon bread. It turned out better this time. Except I used an 8 x 4 inch pan instead of a 9 x 5 inch pan and the bread cooked over the edge. But it still tasted yummy! Here is the recipe I use. I'm thinking the next time I make it I'm going make a streusel topping instead of using the cinnamon/brown sugar mixture on top.

Cinnamon Bread
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 c. butter (room temperature)
1 c. white sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. orange juice, fresh if you have it
1/2 tsp. orange peel zest
1 c. buttermilk (I use 1 tbsp. white vinegar, plus enough milk to make 1 cup)
1 c. brown sugar
2 heaping tablespoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Cream the butter and sugar in another bowl. Beat in the eggs, orange juice and orange zest.

Mix 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix 1/2 of the buttermilk into the wet ingredients. Mix 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix the remaining buttermilk into the wet ingredients. Mix 1/3 the remaining dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.

Pour 1/3 of the batter into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. Pour 1/3 of the cinnamon mixture on top. Pour 1/3 of the batter on top. Pour 1/3 of the cinnamon mixture on top. Pour the remaining batter on top. Pour the remaining cinnamon mixture on top. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until a toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean, about an hour.

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Today we are off to Portland to have lunch with some friends. Tomorrow I have to work. Tuesday is my first day babysitting Mr. E.

Happy homemaking!

Sweet P

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How Not To Make Cinnamon Bread

Yesterday morning I was wide awake at 6 am. No reason why. I was up until 11 the night before so I thought I would be able to sleep. Maybe I was excited for Jammie Day with Mr. E.

Since I was awake and the morning sun was splashing through the kitchen windows I decided to make Cinnamon Bread. I found the recipe on Closet Cooking recently. I made it while my mom was visiting and loved it. I do make one change to the recipe. Instead of vanilla extract and lemon peel I use orange peel and fresh orange juice. Here are the three bowls of ingredients and the buttermilk ready to get mixed together.
Here's the bread after it came out of the oven. If you look very, very close you see the edges and the top are burnt. Yup, burnt! How did I manage that? I set the oven temp to 425 instead of 350! I guess baking at 6 am is not my strongest talent.
I plan on making the bread again this Saturday and will be sure to set the oven to 350!

Happy cooking and home making! Thanks for stopping by!

Sweet P

Monday, May 18, 2009

Long Time No Post

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted on Coffee Time At Home. Since Mr. E's birth we have been on a whirlwind of family visits. Great Grandma Helen from Minnesota was here for 12 days. Uncle Brandon and Ellen were here this past weekend. Now the visitors are gone until the baptism next month.

This is how Coffee Time At Home looks like these days. Mr. E spends time on the pack and play mattress with his quilt and boppy pillow.
The corner of the living room has become Baby Central. We purchased this wonderful bassinet a few weeks ago. It glides and plays music. The bottom is a huge basket where diapers, clothes and toys reside. Next to the bassinet is Mr. E's bouncy chair.
Brandon, DS #2, likes to cook. On Saturday night he made three awesome homemade pizzas: one pepperoni, one cheese and this one with prosciutto. He makes the tomato sauce from scratch. I asked him to write down the recipe before he left, but he forgot.
Sunday morning I made breakfast for everyone.
My DIL decided to take this action photo of me cooking.
I didn't work too hard to make the food.
I bought a quiche the day before and popped it in the oven.
I also cooked sausages, bacon and pancakes.
A large pot of coffee and orange juice rounded out the meal.
I had to leave for work while they were eating. I asked them to clean up the kitchen before they left. They did and I came home from work to a clean kitchen. Thanks guys and girls!

I plan to get back to blogging here more often. Stay tuned!

Sweet P

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter At Coffee Time

Happy Easter to Everyone. DH and I had a quiet dinner for two today: grilled ham and pineapple spears, roasted sweet potato slices and biscuits and whoopie pies for dessert.
Besides the wonderful food we have a sports-filled afternoon.
Tiger at the Masters on the big screen.
Red Sox playing the Angels in California on the smaller screen.
You'll notice we've given Wally a primo front seat for the baseball.

Now, this Wally has a primo seat next to the newest addition to Coffee Time: Mr. E, our grandson. For more photos of him and details of his arrival read here.
Spring is arriving slowly in New Hampshire. The huge snow drifts are finally melted and the grass is beginning to green up. I'm thinking of growing a container garden this summer. Does anyone have any good tips for container gardens? I would probably grow it on our deck that gets all of the morning light and shade the rest of the day. I'd be happy with an herbal garden, but have no clue where to start.

Sweet P (AKA the newest Dema on the block)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Springtime at Coffee Time

Deb at Creative Soul issued a spring challenge recently. She asked us to create something that reminds us of spring. There is one item in the world that says spring to me more than anything else - tulips! I adore tulips - purple ones, yellow ones, pink ones - if it's a tulip, I love it. I harbor a secret desire to live in a place where I can plant a tulip garden. My grandmother's sister had a tulip garden with many different kinds of tulips. I loved walking through that garden.

Every spring I wait impatiently for tulips to appear in the grocery stores. Last Friday my DH came home with my first bunch of purple tulips. Some of them were put into this vase and reside on my dinner table.
A few more were placed in a small vase and landed on my nightstand. They are sitting atop a small wood chest I bought a few years ago. Even the chest has tulips painted on it.
How does spring appear in your house?

Sweet P

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mmmmmm . . . Chocolate Cream Pie

Last Sunday I decided to make Chocolate Cream Pie using this recipe as the base. I eliminated the bananas and used chocolate pudding instead of banana pudding. I made the banana cream pie in January for DS's birthday and we loved it.

The chocolate cream pie was just as yummy as the banana cream pie. All of us loved it. I think I ate most of it!
Next time I'll try a different pudding flavor. I'm even thinking of making it in individual pie crusts or even serving it as a mousse. But first, I need a reason to make it. Anyone have a suggestion?

Sweet P

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Everyone Makes Mistakes

Everyone makes a cooking mistake now and then. The one I made on Sunday was a doozy. I wanted to make a Chocolate Stout cake for DH. For some unexplainable reason I decided to use an 8" square pan instead of a larger one.

This is what happens to the oven when there is too much batter in the pan.
Trust me it looks better in the photo than it did in person.
This is what the cake looked like. There was a 2 inch dip in the middle of the cake. To top it off when we did cut it open it wasn't completely cooked. So it went into the trash.
I'm hoping the dessert, whatever I decide it will be, will turn out this weekend.

What cooking mistakes have you made?
Sweet P

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sports Fleece and Breakfast for Dinner

Not much has been happening around Coffee Time at Home. I've been spending time getting ready for the baby shower for DIL next week. That means a lot of cleaning and organizing and some painting.

In the first few months I was working at Jo-Ann I purchased three pieces of sports fleece: Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics. Until last Friday they were just floating around our bedroom. That's when I decided to sew them together. The final piece is longer than our comforter, but not quite as wide. It just fits across the top of the bed. It adds a nice touch of our sports life in the room.

Do you eat breakfast food at dinner? I like to eat quiche. My grocery store sells a half-sized quiche and when DH is traveling it's one of my favorite meals. Another breakfast meal I like is Jimmy Deans breakfast bowls. Tonight I'm thinking of making pancakes and bacon. What's your favorite breakfast food to eat for dinner?

Sweet P

Saturday, February 14, 2009

And the Winner Is . . .

I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day. I did. I worked an early shift. Got home early enough to take a nap and then DH and I made this wonderful dinner for ourselves: grilled porterhouse steak, loaded smashed potatoes and green beans. For dessert I made triple chocolate cupcakes. What a yummy dinner!
After I ate I went to and set it to choose a number between 1 and 7. Thanks to everyone who signed up for the drawing. I enjoyed reading your answers. The generator chose #3. That means Karen at Quilting with Grace is the winner. She loves her kitchen. I love my kitchen too. I love my whole condo. I would find it hard to choose my favorite room. I'm glad I didn't have to answer my own question. If I was really pressed to answer I think it would be my kitchen. I love to cook and our kitchen is the perfect size for DH and I to cook together.

Until next time, Happy Cooking!
Sweet P

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Do You Fondue and a Give Away

DH and I had beef fondue for dinner tonight. You'll have to ignore the miscellaneous items on the table as we are in the middle of a home improvement project and have stuff everywhere. Anyway, we had Beef Fondue, crispy Cole Slaw and Squash with Gorgonzola and Maple Syrup, another wonderful recipe from Closet Cooking. The meal was wonderful and well deserved.
Here was the focus of our home improvement project this week - our living room. We hated the color it was. We called it something you would find in a baby's diaper. The gray swatch was one color we thought of using on it. The gray is going to be used on another accent wall and the stairwell going up the stairs.
This is the color of the room now - Warm Sienna #1203 from Benjamin Moore. My DH has a great eye for picking out paint colors. When this paint is wet is looks very girly dark rose and dries to this wonderful deep rusty red. This is the fourth and last room we have to paint, other than the stair well. The only other remaining painting is all the white trim and wainscotting in the house. We decided we wouldn't do any of that painting until all of the rooms were done.
And now, on to the Give Away. It will be one-year next Saturday, Valentine's Day, that we bought and moved into our condo. In honor of the big day, I'm having a Give Away. Leave me a comment about your most favorite room of your house is and why you like it. If your name is drawn I will put together a goodie package to help you enjoy that room even more. If you'd like an extra entry in the drawing, please link to this post. I will take names until Valentine's Day and announce the winner on Sunday morning.

I'm also doing a similar give away on my Coffee Time Stitches blog. You can feel free to enter in that drawing too.

Happy Cooking and Home Owning!
Sweet P

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thursday Night Pot Roast

I remember having pot roast nearly every Sunday after church. When my children were young they didn't like pot roast so I stopped cooking it.

Now with the children moved out I often crave pot roast. I've been searching for the perfect recipe for years. I've finally found it at Closet Cooking. The recipe is easy and the smell of the roast baking in the oven for 3 - 4 hours is enough to drive one insane! The roast was so tender I could scoop a serving out of the pan with a spoon. I also made his Peas and Pancetta and Shallots. I substituted bacon for the pancetta since I forgot to buy it at the store this past weekend.

Doesn't my plate look scrumptious? You can even see the steam rising from this wonderful meal. It was the perfect meal for a day when the temps didn't get above 20 degrees F.
Tomorrow I'll be trying his Roasted Squash with Gorgonzola and Maple Syrup as our side dish. Three of my favorite foods in one dish!

By the way, the Banana Cream Pie I made for DS #2 on Sunday was fantastic! The photo doesn't do it justice. It was even better the next day, but it didn't last any longer than that. I'm thinking of making a chocolate version of this pie for Valentine's Day. Should be yummy!
Happy cooking and eating!

Sweet P

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday

What's Super Bowl Sunday without food? And in my house, it also means we celebrate DS #2's birthday.

Later I will be making his requested meal: teriyaki steak and chicken, Velveeta Shells and Cheese and green beans. However, the dessert is going to be the star of the meal.

His choice of dessert allowed me to use my new mixer I got for Christmas.
Here it is whipping the heavy cream:
With the addition of vanilla and banana pudding mix, a pie crust and bananas the heavy cream became this:
Doesn't the pie look yummy? I can't wait to have some! Happy Birthday DS #2!

Go Cardinals!
Sweet P

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Food Coma Sunday

Some days DH and I have "food coma" days. These are days when we eat so much food that we can't eat anymore (think Thanksgiving) and by early evening we are struggling to get off the couch.

Today was a food coma Sunday. This morning when I got home from grocery shopping I made blueberry pancakes, sausage and bacon for breakfast. This afternoon I made Short Ribs with Chocolate and Rosemary. I found the recipe on Megan's Cookin blog. I've never cooked with chocolate and beef together and couldn't wait to taste these ribs.

The ribs look yummy. The sauce smells yummy. But I can't say I was totally impressed with the meal. Everything was cooked, but the taste wasn't there. It was a blah meal. I'm not sure what I missed or what I didn't do correctly. My only thought is that I used a food processor to chop the vegetables and I think I grated them too finely instead of chopping them. I'll try the recipe again sometime just to make sure.
We got another 12 inches of snow today. The plow guy is running out of room to put the snow. I'll have to get a photo of the pile outside our condo. Soon they'll be plowing my car in instead of plowing it out!

Sweet P

Friday, January 16, 2009

My Least Favorite Household Task

Ivy at Home Ec 101 has asked the question: What are the household chores you hate? I enjoy household chores. I enjoy making our home clean and comfortable. Granted, I don't have pets and my sons are adults and there is only DH and I in the house so I don't have a lot of messes and laundry like many people. Nevertheless there is one household chore I hate: cleaning the refrigerator.

I hadn't cleaned the fridge since Thanksgiving and it looked and smelled like it! Can you see the following items: three yogurt containers (one unopened and old, one almost gone and one with leftover Chicken Marsala from Thanksgiving weekend); carrot ginger soup (in the white bag), several bags of grated cheese in the meat and cheese drawer, all the beer? The lunch bag had a few items leftover from a meat and cheese gift pack from my mom. There was also a container of leftovers from New Year's Eve dinner.
I didn't take a before photo of the door, but here it is all clean. I didn't have to throw out too many bottles but I did organize it. By the way how many bottles of mustard and/or salad dressing do you have in your fridge? I have four types of mustard and three bottles of salad dressing.
Here is the fridge all cleaned out. The beer is still there. The old leftovers are gone and it doesn't smell anymore.
What's your least favorite household task?
Sweet P

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What I Like About Hotels

Who doesn't enjoy staying in a hotel? I'm fortunate my DH travels extensively for work and earns many free hotel points that he likes to use one weekends away for us. There are some pieces of a hotel stay that always interest me.

First, the bed. I love a king-sized bag with fluffy pillows, a pillow top. crisp and warm linens. Our bed had all of these features. I just wish I had taken a photo of it made up. Oh well, you can assume it was perfectly made.
The more unique the furniture in the room is, the better I like it. We had room service breakfast on Sunday morning. Now you see the table . . .
Now you don't . . .
The table slides under the desk when not in use. Isn't that cool? I would love a set up like this in my sewing room. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with all the furniture in my sewing room and I wish I could put some of it away.
Hotel art is something else I love. Have you ever really looked at hotel art? It can be very beautiful. This piece was in the hotel lobby. A collage of photos of Providence, mixed with two dimension blocks of glass. Wouldn't this idea work wonderful with family photos? I may have to try and recreate my own version of this. Of course, I would probably use fabric instead of glass, but it would still be a fun project.
Some of the other items I enjoy in a hotel is a jacuzzi tub in the room (we didn't have one this time). Breakfast is a big meal for me, especially if there is a hot buffet included. The breakfast in the hotel was only a B this time. Free internet is great. However, when you stay at high-end hotels paying for internet is assumed. I guess I shouldn't complain since we didn't pay for the rest of the weekend.

What do you enjoy in a hotel room?
Sweet P

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Cooking Ahead

One of my favorite cookbooks is Light Cooking For Two by Anne Chappell. I like it because it has recipes for everything from breakfast to breads to make-ahead meals for two. I took advantage of my day off today and made two recipes that make several portions so I could have a few meals ready for days when I work late.

First up is Hearty Meat Sauce. Ground beef, onions, celery, garlic, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth and a bay leaf simmering in the pan. I dressed up the recipe and added a splash of red wine and pancetta. This will make enough sauce for three meals for us. Can someone tell me why a recipe would call for canned whole tomatoes that you have to chop to use? Couldn't you just use canned chopped tomatoes? What am I missing?
The second pot is Brunswick Stew. Poached chicken with potatoes, onion, celery, lima beans and corn. I used frozen peas instead of drained canned tomatoes and added a splash of Marsala wine. We are having this for dinner tonight with hot biscuits. The remainder will be packaged for another two meals.
What kind of make-ahead cooking do you make, if any?

Sweet P

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year News Update

When DH and I were discussing what we wanted for Christmas, we decided we would finish the renovation on our bedroom. Last August I made this quilt and we decided to turn it into our headboard. It will be turned horizontally rather than the way it appears in the photo. I have the foam and plywood to finish the headboard. I have a bolt of teal microsuede fabric to recover a chair and ottoman.

DH chose the paint color. He painted the room yesterday. He has a few more touch up spots and then we can start putting the room back together. This is what it currently looks like:
Do you remember the Need This? Challenge I started last July? It sort of died because I didn't keep up on the posts. But I can tell you the box of kitchen tools I put away in July has not been touched so it will be donated later this month. I have added a few more items to the drawer, but I do use them. My spice drawer hasn't grown any. The pantry is fuller now and needs some sorting out. Overall I'm still happy with the results of my organizing last summer. How did you do?

I'm hosting a Homestyle Pay It Forward. What's Pay It Forward, you ask? Well, if you are one of the first 3 people who comment on this post and ask to join I will send you a Pay It Forward package of goodies for your home. The package will contain items I will select especially for you and will contain at least one handmade item. In return, you agree to post the Pay It Forward Challenge on your blog and agree to send a package to three people.

I've been a little lax on posting the last couple months. I've been juggling my new job, plus consulting hours, plus keeping up on the house and there hasn't been enough time for blogging. I'm happy to say that I have been offered a promotion at my new job and when it is finalized DH has told me I will no longer do the consulting hours. He doesn't want me working more than 40 hours a week for health reasons. By the end of this month I should be down to one job and I go back to enjoying my home as I was doing last summer. I can't wait!

Happy Homemaking!
Sweet P