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Jalapeno Cornbread September 18, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
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18 comments

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Yes . . . we are continuing to carb load.

Man cannot live by bagels alone!

Jalapeno Cornbread

Heat over to 425 degrees.

Grease baking dish with butter or oil and place in oven to pre-heat. I use a round pottery baking dish but a 8-9″ square baking dish would work.

1 1/4 c. stoneground cornmeal
1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder (or 1 tsp. and 1 egg)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2-4 tsp. sugar (or brown sugar)

Sift together dry ingredients in large bowl.

1 1/2 c. almond milk
2 T. butter (or 1 T. oil)
5-6 roasted jalapenos (or 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes)

Whisk wet ingredients. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Pour into heated baking pan. Bake 25 minutes at 425.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Bagels September 16, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Home & Garden, Vegetarian Recipes.
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28 comments

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1 cup warm water
1 1/2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 tsp. oil

Mix and knead the dough (or let your bread maker do it for you).  Let it rise for 20 minutes.  Turn out onto a floured surface.

Divide the dough in 8-12 pieces.  [I made 12 the first time.  Too small.]

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Roll each piece into a rope and form into a circle, pressing ends together.

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Place on well-greased baking sheet, cover with a warm/damp towel and let rise for 15-20 minutes.

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Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Admire your Pillsbury Dough Boys . . .

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In a large non-aluminum pan, boil 3-4 inches of water.  Lower 3-4 bagels at a time into simmering water.  Cook 15-30 seconds each side.

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Remove bagels, drain excess water.

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Place bagels on a well-greased cookie sheet (or pre-heated pizza stone).

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Bake 8 minutes.  [For larger bagels, turn bagels over and bake another 4-6 minutes until lightly browned on both sides.]

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Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.  Cool.

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Yield: 12 small bagels (or 8 large bagels).

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Yes.  One of the dozen is M.I.A. ~ wherever did it go?

Aah . . . that’s better!

Festivals of India September 9, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Music & Dance.
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39 comments

On Saturday, we enjoyed Indian Dancing, Music, Costumes and Food in air-conditioned comfort at India Fest 2014.

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The theme of the festival focused on eight major festivals in India:

Uttarayan ~ kite flying and rooftop picnics to celebrate winter’s end
Baisakhi ~ celebrated in different ways by Sikhs, Hindus, and Buddhists
Pongal ~ celebrants greet milk boiling over with shouts of “Pongalo Pongal”
Holi ~ marking the first full moon in Spring with clouds of colored powder
Ganesh Chaturthi ~ celebrating the birth day of Lord Ganesha
Onam ~ festival of rain, flowers, and rice harvest
Navratri ~ celebrated over nine nights around harvest time in October
Diwali ~ festival of lights illuminating the country with brilliance

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After a brief history of each festival, lithe and limber dancers in elaborate and elegant costumes performed traditional dances to traditional music.

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Each dance ended amid appreciative applause.

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After the dancing and music, all performers returned to the stage for the singing of India’s national anthem.

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A bejeweled Lord Ganesh watched over the festival.

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POLICE watched over Lord Ganesh and his jewels.

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After the music and dancing, attendees wandered the food stalls and the bazaar, stopping to gape at colorful plumage.

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We  sampled Spring Rolls, Samosas, and Bhel Puri (a favorite street food in Mumbai featuring puffed rice, peanuts, tomatoes, tamarind sauce, potatoes, mint, cilantro chutney, onions, cumin, chili powder, lemon juice, chaat masala, sel, papdis, etc.).

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Before leaving we stopped for a photo op with that gorgeous peacock we spied earlier ~> his plumage matched my skirt!

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Picking A Prickly Pineapple August 25, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Home & Garden, Humor.
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51 comments

In May, we noticed a pineapple growing in our courtyard:

By mid-July, it had quite a regal crown:

And then it stopped growing and started ripening.  So I picked it:

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To give you a bit of perspective, here’s my best Carmen Miranda imitation:

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Growing pineapples is NOT a get-rich-quick scheme!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Taste of Pine Avenue ~ Garden Project July 23, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Home & Garden, Sustainable Living.
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14 comments

For a different type of community garden, check out the Taste of Pine Avenue Garden Project, featuring nutritious food grown in raised bed gardens outside shops in Anna Maria’s quaint business district:

In the garden:  Okinawa Spinach, Edible Hibiscus, Katuk, Moringa, Ethiopian Kale, Roselle, Chinese Spinach, and Seminole Pumpkin.

Aah . . . that’s better!

For Recipes, like Peanut Butter & Jelly and Katuk or Moringa Muffins:

Perfect Island ~ Growing Edibles

For more information:

ECHOnet.org * Echo’s Guide to Summertime Garden Vegetables

Related posts: The Historic Green Village

It’s Curtains for Coffee July 18, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Humor, Special Events.
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32 comments

Last month, the South Florida Museum partnered up to present a play in the planetarium, preceded by dessert and coffee in the atrium, PLUS a sneak peak at its exhibit on Coffee.

I don’t have any photos from the play because they asked us to “Please Refrain from Photography.”

I don’t have any photos of the Blonde Banana Brownie because I ate it.

I do have a few snaps to share from the Coffee exhibit . . .

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Harvesting coffee is labor intensive because the beans are hand-picked . . .

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Beans must be processed the day of harvest to remove the hull . . .

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Goats get buzzed off coffee beans (no roasting required) . . .

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Coffee beans are shipped in burlap bags with unique artwork . . .

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Through the ages, we’ve developed many coffee accoutrements . . .

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Because we “heart” coffee . . .

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This sack seems to say “Rise and Shine” . . .

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But this one says it all . . .

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Aah . . . that’s better!

One of the Best Things I’ve Eaten This Year July 17, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Special Events, Vegetarian Recipes.
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62 comments

On our 30th Anniversary, we went out for lunch and ordered one of the best things I’ve eaten all year:

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Tempura Battered Asparagus with shaved Parmigiana Reggiano

On my umpteenth Birthday, we went out for Happy Hour and ordered another winner of an indulgence:

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Caramel Macademia Nut Cheesecake

Here’s the Birthday Girl before sharing 2 appetizers and a decadent dessert:

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And here’s the Birthday Girl after:

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Yup.  Still smiling.  Without a trace of guilt.

Aah . . . that’s better!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten this year?

Hey, That Prickles! July 16, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Home & Garden, Vegetarian Recipes.
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26 comments

In April, I shared Our Budding Pineapple Plantation with you . . .

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Since then, our lone pineapple has continued to grow . . .

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With a rather majestic looking crown . . .

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Care to share any good pineapple recipes?

Related post:  Pineapple Chutney

1 + 1 = 1 July 15, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Amazing Animals, Animal Welfare, Food & Drink, Nature.
Tags: , , , ,
48 comments

When one hawk . . .

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Invites one snake . . .

To breakfast.

As breakfast.

Tree-Frog-PerchedWe note that, math be damned, 1 + 1 =1 :

1 + 1 = 1 less snake

1 + 1 = 1 happy hawk

The other morning, we looked out on the back deck and noticed a hawk having breakfast.

Grasped in its talons was a poor wee snake.

When the busboy cleared the table, the sole trace of the snake was its spinal cord . . . draped over the deck piling like a discarded napkin.

Aah . . . that’s the way of the world.

Related posts:  It’s a Snake Eat Frog World * Heron Does Not Live By Fish Alone

10 Ways to Enjoy the 4th of July! July 4, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Fun & Games, Gratitude, Special Events.
Tags: , , , ,
37 comments

In the U.S., Independence Day claims center stage on the Summer Fun Trifecta, sandwiched mid-way between Memorial Day’s kick off to summer and Labor Day’s return to reality.

Instead of shopping in crowded malls, decorating the house from top to bottom, or wrapping countless gifts, families and friends gather for picnics, cookouts, and backyard barbeques with the focus on food, fun and good old-fashioned togetherness.

Here are 10 ways to have a blast this 4th of July as you celebrate the freedoms we so often take for granted:

1.  Enjoy marching bands, patriotic anthems, and crowds waving the Stars and Stripes in time with the music at an Independence Day Parade.

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Or encourage the wee ones to put on a parade of their own, with pots and pans for drums!

2.  Pack a picnic and head to the beach, pool, park, or playground.  Or enjoy a fun old-fashioned gathering in your own backyard.

Invite a crowd!

3.  Organize a Scavenger Hunt.  Get everyone involved by playing on teams ~ pairing adults with children, or older kids with younger ones.

4.  Play backyard games ~ Croquet, Bocce Ball, Volleyball, Badminton, Horseshoes, Dodge Ball, Corn Hole,  Softball, Soccer, Frisbee, or Catch.

5.   Hold a mini-Olympics with a Relay Race, a Wheelbarrow Race, a Three-Legged Race, an Egg Toss, and the Long Jump.

Leave High Jumping and Sabre Tossing to the pros!

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6.  Cool off with a Water Balloon Fight or Dueling Water Pistols during the hottest part of the day.  Or run through the sprinkler with your kids.

7.  Have a Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest ~ judge contestants on distance, speed, accuracy, and enthusiasm.

8.  Catch fireflies or lightning bugs at dusk.  Release them before dawn.

9.  Before calling it a night, light up a few sparklers to wave around while singing the Star Spangled Banner or other patriotic tunes.

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10.  Attend a local community fireworks display to watch the  “bombs bursting in air” in glorious shades of Red, White, and Blue!

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Aah . . . that’s better!

“It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.” ~ Anonymous

“Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

“We are free not because we claim freedom but because we practice it.” ~ William Faulkner

“Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free.” ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw
Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.” ~ Erma Bombeck

Related posts:  Ten FREE Activities To Enjoy With Kids * Ten Almost FREE Activities For Kids * Top Ten BETs * Ten More Fun Activities For Kids * Outdoor Fun For The Whole FamilyExplore the Great Outdoors

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