Excellent Blog
2007 Inspiring Blog
Rockin' Girl Blogger

reading this week…

July 30th, 2012

Friday Recipe Club: One-Pan Rice & Beans with Collard Greens; Fresh Tomato-Corn Casserole; Chocolate Brownie Pie and… Banana Bread

July 27th, 2012

Now, dammit, Steve is going to get all excited thinking I’m fixing all this for dinner. Gah. I don’t think so, buddy. But I might send out for Chinese for us. #peoplewhowritecookbooksdontalwayscook



From my bro-in-law:

One-Pan Rice & Beans With Collard Greens
1 8-ounce bunch collard greens
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup long-grain rice, uncooked
2 cups canned vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 15-ounce can red beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons hot sauce

Wash the greens and shake off excess water. Remove the tough center ribs of each leaf. Roll the leaves up in a tight cylinder and thinly slice them crosswise. Roughly chop the greens and set them aside. (You should have about 4 cups chopped leaves.)

Heat the oil over medium heat in a 3-quart sauté pan with lid. When the oil is hot add the onion, bell pepper and celery, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 45 seconds. Add the greens and stir with tongs until they’re wilted, about 5 minutes.

Add the Cajun seasoning, salt and rice to the pan and stir to coat the rice with the oil. Add the broth and bay leaf and stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Sprinkle the beans over the top of the rice mixture in an even layer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook without stirring until the rice is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Gently fold the hot sauce into the rice mixture and serve.

Fresh Tomato-Corn Casserole (from my Late, Dear Granny)
Makes 6-8 servings
6 cups corn cut from cob (10-12 ears; or substitute 3 10-ounce packages frozen corn)
6 medium tomatoes, sliced 1/4” thick
1 cup flour
Salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons sugar
6 tablespoons oil
1 ½ cups toasted breadcrumbs

If using frozen corn, set aside to thaw. If using fresh, slice off the kernels, then scrape any remaining milk into the bowl with the kernels.

Dredge the tomato slices in a mixture of the flour, salt, pepper and sugar. Heat the oil to hot in a large skillet and fry the tomatoes until just golden in color.

Butter an overproof 2-quart casserole and sprinkle the bottom with some of the breadcrumbs. Layer tomatoes, corn and breadcrumbs, ending with tomatoes and crumbs. Season with salt and pepper as layers are formed. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve hot or cold.

Chocolate Brownie Pie (from Granny)
4 eggs
¼ cup margarine (melted)
1 bar (4 ounces) sweet chocolate (melted)
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup Bisquick
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup chopped nuts

Grease pie plate. Beat eggs, margarine and chocolate until smooth. Add brown sugar, Bisquick and sugar.

Press into pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Sprinkle with nuts.

Updated on Sunday to say: I honestly was going to make all this for dinner when I posted on Friday. I was teasing about sending out for delivery. I have these fits of domesticity, as you may or may not know. Only we were out of collards. And corn (fresh or frozen) and, uh, yeah. No chocolate, either. So we had scrambled eggs or spaghetti or something, I have no idea. But today… oh, let me tell you about today… We had gone shopping, I had everything I needed (except chocolate, which is fine, cuz I wanted to make Banana Bread, anyway.) I made the corn casserole and the greens and beans dish, and they both turned out great. Steve added a layer of fresh basil leaves to the corn casserole and oh my gosh. Yum.

So go for it, enjoy, and tell me what you think. Also, if you make the Brownie Pie recipe… hmmmm. Do you think my Dear Granny mixed up the Bisquick, like from the recipe on the box?, then made a crust and then poured the brownie mixture in? I have no idea. I do remember an awesome Chocolate Pie she used to make, but it was her go-to pie crust, not Bisquick.

If you experiment with that recipe, please advise.




July 26th, 2012

We went to the beach one week, and the mountains the next. I think sometimes I take Oregon for granted. Here’s a gorgeous pic of Mt. Jefferson for you, to start out your day.

Mt. Jefferson

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

obligatory vacation pictures

July 25th, 2012

Black Butte Ranch in Central Oregon is about fun. We had a great time with the in-laws, and now I’m back to daydreaming about our next trip. I’ll write more later, but for now, pictures! (Steve posted a full set.) The house we rented was built in 1984 by someone who was thoroughly trained up in the ’60s and ’70s. It felt exactly — right down to the art, the fake flowers and the carpet — like my grandparents’ house. Either set. They even had the same sampler on the wall my Dad’s Mom had in her guest room:

“Friends, you are welcome here
be at your ease
get up when you’re ready
go to sleep when you please
we’re happy to share with you such as we’ve got
the leaks in the roof and the soup in the pot
you don’t have to thank us or laugh at our jokes,
sit deep and come often
you’re one of the folks”

Thanks. I appreciate that.

Mom and twins

deer leap

Broken Top, South Sister, North Sister

Meadow sunset

(Photos by Steve Rawley)

an oldie but goodie… Saturday Recipe Club: Fruit Buckle

July 14th, 2012

This originally ran 9/13/06. Tonight we made it with fresh blueberries from our garden, and sliced, fresh, almost over-ripe peaches. Will serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Have a great weekend, everyone!

— wm

Speaking of u-licious, here’s a recipe for you. It calls for canned peaches, but who needs canned when you have fresh, juicy, organic nectarines and plums? (That’s how I made it last night — so good.) One of my girlfriends makes it with canned cherries and it is so rich and yummy. Fresh peaches (or canned) would be great, too. Some people call it a cobbler, but I prefer buckle, because that’s what it does — the cake batter rises and buckles around all the fruit. It’s great by itself, warm or cold, or with ice cream or whipped cream. Enjoy!


1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
4 cups fruit

Melt butter in 350-degree stove in 9 x 13 baking dish. Mix flour, sugar and baking powder; add milk. It will be the consistency of thick pancake batter. Chop up fruit. When the butter has melted, pull pan out of stove and pour batter over butter. Use a wooden spoon and mix it in a little bit. Layer fruit on top.

Bake for 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

photo of the day + 33 Ways to Stay Creative

July 7th, 2012

Watermelon boat

33 Ways to Stay Creative

Also, I planted Himalayan Honeysuckle, banana plants and lilies-of-the-valley in my yard this weekend. Also chicks-and-hens. And two melon plants. I think that’s all. Oh! And we transplanted more daisies that walked on over here from the neighbor’s yard. #iheartvolunteerplants

There was also a lot of pickin’ going on — raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, peas… I’m sunburnt, tired and happy now.

I keep thinking I’m going to get organized and start a gardening file, so we don’t have to keep saying, What is that plant, anyway? Is it annual? Perennial? The one that starts one year and blossoms the next and then croaks? (Bi-… bi-… bi-something plants.) (Biennial. Duh.)

Yeah, turns out I am not that organized, so I’ll put it all here, instead. Lists, lists, lists. Enjoy your weekend, wherever you are.

— wm

Movies that Delight Me and/or Are Making Me Weep

July 4th, 2012

“Could she be gaslighting you?”
“What’s gaslighting?”

— “Darjeeling Limited,” Wes Anderson

I’m sure you would like it if I would write tidy little reviews of all of these movies, but you know what? I’m not going to. Because then I’ll start sobbing again and I’m all out of tissues.

Off to enjoy some more of summer now! Happy Independence Day to those of you who celebrate it. Have a great week to those of you who don’t.


Wacky Mommy

we’ve become birders

July 3rd, 2012

Bird on a fence

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Monday morning, RIP Nora Ephron and Ruthie’s Bread and Butter Pudding

July 2nd, 2012

Nora Ephron is gone and I am so sad I don’t even want to write.

Here is her friend’s recipe, from “I Remember Nothing”:

Ruthie’s Bread and Butter Pudding

5 large eggs
4 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 quart whole milk
1 cup heavy cream, plus 1 cup for serving
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Twelve 1/2 inch slices brioche, crusts removed, buttered generously on one side
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

“Preheat oven to 375. Butter a shallow two-quart baking dish. Gently beat the eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar, and salt until blended. Scald the milk and cream in a saucepan over high heat; do not boil. When you tip the pan and the mixture spits or makes a sizzling noise, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. STIR GENTLY, don’t beat, into the egg mixture until blended.

Overlap the bread, butter side up, in the prepared baking dish and pour the egg mixture over the bread. Set in a large pan with enough hot water to come halfway up the side of the dish. Bake for about 45 minutes, or the bread is golden brown and a sharp knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. The bread should be golden and the pudding puffed up. This can be done early in the day. Do not chill.

Before serving, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and place under the broiler. Don’t walk away. This takes only a minute or two. Or you can use one of the crème brûlée gadgets to brown the sugar.

Serve with a pitcher of heavy cream.”