Monthly Archives: May 2012

Raspberry Trifle with Toasted Coconut and Slivered Almonds


Raspberries and Cream TrifleRaspberry_Cream_Trifle


Had an office luncheon today with Indian food.  

Thought the berries and cream would work well well to cleanse the palate.

Here's a summary of the steps…


Lightly Toasted Coconut


Toast sweetened flaked coconut on a baking sheet at 350 degrees until lightly toasted, about 4 minutes.

Set aside to cool.

Raspberries_Lemon Zest_Sherry


Placed thawed raspberries in a bowl with sherry and lemon zest.  Set aside.

Store Bought Pound Cake


Cut store-bought pound cake or angel food cake in 3/4" slices.

Toasted Coconut_Almonds


Coarsely chop slivered almonds.

You can serve immediately but it will take on more of a tiramisu texture if it sits, covered, overnight in the fridge.

Don't put the coconut and almond topping on until ready to serve.


Raspberry Trifle
Compliments of JennaDish

adapted from Martha

1/3-1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 packages frozen raspberries (12 ounces each), thawed
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 store-bought pound cake (12 ounces), cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
1/3 cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350o. Spread coconut on a baking sheet; toast until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Set aside. In a bowl, combine sherry, berries, and lemon zest; set aside. In another bowl, with a whisk or an electric mixer, beat cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

Line the bottom of a 4-quart glass serving bowl with a layer of cake slices, packing them tightly. Spreading evenly, top with half the raspberry mixture, then half the cream.

Add a second layer of cake slices, raspberry mixture, and cream; sprinkle with coconut and almonds if serving immediately.  However, for best texture, refrigerate, covered, overnight without toppings.  Add toppings just before serving.


Mother’s Day 2012

 Happy Mother's Day!

It rained cats and dogs today.
No Appalachian Festival for us.
Sorry, Mom.

Mother's Day Riding to Grandma's

Dear Gracie

Relax.  We're not going to the vet.  We're going to Grandma and Grandpa's in Indiana.

410 Water Street

Yes, we're going to Grandma's house, but this is not Grandma's house.  Not anymore.

This is a 2012 photo of a house I lived in when I was in the 3rd grade.  In 1970.

I wrote a short story about it and read it at a public reading on May 2, 2012 at Women Writing for a Change.  The story was aptly called "The House on Water Street."  Alyssa and Jill attended which made it special.  Gracie, you should have been there.  Lots of talented ladies.

Back then, this house looked nothing like it does now.  Picture old paint, no landscaping, and a small, old outbuilding that we used as a clubhouse. We lived in the top floor.  My brothers, Rusty and Mike, and I all slept in the living room.  Both of them have passed away since, the former from an accident and the latter from health problems related to Down Syndrome.

You would have loved both of them, Gracie.  Mike was so sweet and friendly, and Rusty was very energetic and mischevious.

Interesting factoids about the house: 
    There were 5 kids and 2 parents and no bathtub or shower.  We washed up at the kitchen sink. 

    The house was built in 1870, which made it exactly 100 years old the year I moved in.  I had no idea     at the time.

This is an edited version of the photo above, made to look old.

410 Water Street
And it's Grandpa's birthday tomorrow.  He'll be Eighty-One.  Yowza!

Dad's 81st Birthday
So we celebrated today of course.

Here are some photos from around their house today.

Dad's Chess Set


Creamy Crunchy Southwest Style Hash Brown Casserole

Creamy Crunchy Southwestern Hash Brown Casserole
It's Nurse's Week.

And since their gift to the Admins during Administrative Professional's Week was Godiva Chocolates…

We're getting them back with a full breakfast, including a cheesy hash brown casserole.  



Creamy Crunchy Southwestern Hash Brown Casserole
Compliments of JennaDish

MAKES about 16-20 SERVINGS (4 – 4.5 quart baking dish)

This dish can be put together in the baking dish and refrigerated overnight for a quick bake the next morning.  While oven is heating, set the pan out of refrigerator to take the chill off.

1 package Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns
1 package Simply Potatoes Southwest Style Hash Browns
2 cans cream of [celery, mushroom, or chicken] soup (10 3/4 oz), or any combination of 2
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup chopped onion (about 1 small onion or 1/2 large)
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 cups corn flakes, lightly crushed
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350o.  Spray 4 to 4.5 quart baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine both packages of potatoes and lightly toss to combine evenly.  Combine remaining ingredients with hash browns.  Make sure cream cheese is soft enough to blend.  Spread into prepared baking dish.

In a small bowl, toss together topping ingredients.  Spread evenly over potatoes now.  It's also ok to wait and put corn flake topping over the potatoes halfway through.  

Bake 45 minutes or until hash browns are tender and starting to bubble. 


Crispy Potato Skins

Crispy Potato Skins
At 6am today, it was 90% humidity.  At 6pm when I took a walk through Mt. Adams, it was 45% humidity and I had to cut my walk in half with Allen and Gracie.

So today I decide to post a recipe that requires cranking the oven up to 450 degrees to crisp the potato shells.

Hmmm.  Well, it doesn't matter.  When we search for this on a cool day, it will be right here.  On May 7th.

Potato Skins with Cheddar and Bacon
The Flying Pig Marathon was yesterday.  30,000 people walked or ran by our high-rise over a few hours on a Sunday morning.  As for people-watching, it doesn't get any better. 

Our building is on a bend coming out of Eden Park, along the running path.  Therefore, someone years ago decided it would be a great idea to place a DJ in front of our building each year.  Sounds fun, right? It starts at 6:15am.  

So before we are anywhere near ready to wake up on a Sunday morning, three floors below our window, party songs like Thriller, Don't Stop Believin', and Born This Way play while we cringe and groan.  

There's no getting away from it.  Plus there are about 10 people out there jumping around to the songs and banging their clappers or, like last year, hula hooping.  


May 10,2010 …

Flying Pig May 12 2010

April 30, 2011 …


 May 6, 2012 …


Anyway, back to potatoes.  

Potato Skins with Onion Sour Cream
I made Onion Sour Cream as a topping. So tasty.

Potato Skins with Mashed Potato Sour Cream Topping
After baking the potatoes and scooping them out, you can save the innards for making mashed potatoes and topping the skins with it, to make it more of a meal.  Add Cheese and Bacon to your liking.


Crispy Baked Potatoes
Compliments of JennaDish

You can bake the potatoes ahead of time up to a day ahead and refrigerate until ready to use.


4 baking potatoes, scrubbed (about 1/2 pound each)
canola oil
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4-6 strips bacon
Onion Sour Cream, optional (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pierce potatoes several times with a knife or fork.  Bake about an hour or until a knife slides through potato easily.

Meanwhile fry your bacon and allow to drain and cool on a paper towel.  You can make the Onion Sour Cream now if using.

Remove potatoes from oven and allow to cool a few minutes.  Turn oven up to 450 degrees.  Cut potatoes in half. Scoop out the potato leaving about 1/4"-1/2" potato on the skin.  Lay skins on a rack over a broiler pan. Don't use a cookie sheet or it will get too hot and warp.

Brush skins on both sides with canola oil and sprinkle with salt.  Bake on middle rack for 10 minutes each side.  

Onion Sour Cream

1 cup sour cream (low fat is fine)
1 medium to large onion, chopped fine
olive oil or canola oil for frying pan
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a medium, non-stick skillet on medium low heat.  Saute onion for about 5-6 minutes until softened.  Remove onions from pan and allow to cool to room temperature before stirring it into the sour cream.