Tuesday Mornings: Scones and Biscotti Always Better with Friends

Everything tastes better with friends. Cooking or baking for friends makes it less of a chore or a duty, it becomes a joy to share. Tuesday Mornings is a time for friends and we get together and drink coffee, tea, water, whatever, eat some good foods and work on projects individually. It is a time to share experiences, joy and pleasures and sometimes pain and sorrow. My Tuesday Mornings is a life saver from ennui and stress.

Biscotti and Scones

Today’s offering from Tuesday Mornings:

Pre-heat oven to 425F
Makes 12

2 cup flour
¼ cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tsp lemon or orange zest or peel diced
6 Tbsp butter
½ cup currants or cranberries or craisins
¾ cup sour cream

In a food processor:
1- Place flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, orange zest or peel and butter.
2- Pulse 7-8 times until mixed well.
3- Add dried fruit and sour cream.
4- Pulse a few more seconds until mixed.
5- Remove and divide in half.
6- Place in plastic wrap and roll into circle.
7- Peel off plastic and cut into 6 wedges.
8- Place on parchment paper covered cookie sheet.
9- Bake 15-18 minutes.

Important note: Even if they do not look “done” after 18 minutes do not be tempted to bake them further. They will be perfect.

On another note, I have a tendency to keep useful things for future use. Near future. In my refrigerator is a bag of orange peels. When I need an orange sauce or syrup, when I need some orange zest or taste, I use those peels.

Below is what I used for the scones for today:

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Carefully remove pulp from the orange skin if you wish.

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Look for black spots or damaged skin and remove then slice thin.

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Turn sliced peels and dice to bits.

Romance Never Dies Away

Movie Review – The Holiday

When you think, at least when I think of Jack Black, I do not think romantic, adorable or cute. I think gross, silly and funny but lovable. But in this movie Jack Black is not only debonaire but charming and wonderful in a most romantic aspect I have ever seen him in since he started doing movies. The man is talented beyond belief, he can sing and he can play the piano and now I know that he can be handsome and romantic. Will wonders never cease.

It does not hurt that the woman who shares the screen with him is none other than the lovely Kate Winslet whose charm and beauty covers all ill. She is love struck and in romance pain when she finds a place to exchange for vacation and comes to LA. The woman she exchanges homes with is the successful advertiser Cameron Diaz who is also having her own romantic meltdown.

Enter Jude Law and there is the complete cast of the wonderful romantic holiday movie to see every year.
This is the movie for women to get a glass of wine, pull up your chairs and eat some sushi while you wallow with some tissues in a few tears and some fun movie watching. Yes, older movie but one to watch every year or more. Adorable and lovely.

Making You Happy Today

Happy-Day.jpgNo one can make anyone happy.

Probably for the short term never long term. No one can truly make anyone happy all the time.

If you want to be with a happy person, start with a happy one. You cannot change a rhubarb into a strawberry but you can mix them and get a great pie.

Here are some things that should help make someone happy, try all or some: [Read more...]

Pig To Eat or Not to Eat…

Pigs.jpgThe question of whether Pig Day is a time to honor pigs by “giving them a break” or to appreciate their offerings (spare ribs, bacon and ham) is an open one.

I would imagine that this holiday was contrived for the winter doldrums and cabin fever when in the middle of the snow covered stretches of lands in our vast country, there was little to celebrate and enjoy. [Read more...]

For Pete’s Sake Bread to Bake

We have become very familiar with the brotherly St. Peter since he was the one who denied Jesus three times anyway, it is easy to take his name in vain.

Or when irritated that someone had done something really stupid and you cry out, “For Pete’s sake! What did you do that for?”

You get the jist of this. A way to swear without actually swearing in front of the children. Well, swearing is in the meaning not in the actual words, or is that not so?

So, here is a recipe for this day for you to make and for Pete’s Sake do not grouse, just try it.

bake-bread.jpgHere is a tired and true great recipe for Beer Bread. Easy and fast, this will make you seem like you baked all day in the kitchen and the results are tasty and different. [Read more...]

True Friends Are Not Blind

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
— Elbert Hubbard

Every one of us tries to keep a measure of their real self private. Honesty is the best policy and all. Yet, is it possible to be so candid about yourself that you keep nothing back? Maybe, but not likely.

Experience has shown me that opening up, creates a serious mistrust. As a teenager, I was painfully open about myself and my wayward ways. In response I got shunned and banned from many activities with friends. They would not dream of behaving the same way. “Friends” passed judgment, and quickly.

It created a level of mistrust, causing hurdles, I could not overcome. If I was so free with damaging information about myself, then probably, would not be able to keep a secret, about them. Thus, in being so open, caused the opposite effect, creating skepticism and distancing from the very person, I cared for.

A story was retold in prayer group, where they, “prayed for my soul” in sordid details. Appalling as it may seem, in the end, I learned, that if I did not want something broadcast, then keep it to myself.

No need to hold other people to a standard, that I did not hold for myself. If it was that shocking, then keep it to myself. Spreading rumors, even if true is an evil pastime, often done with no malice.

But, then it happens, that one person will be there for you, all the time, no matter what they’ve seen you do. They are with you when you mess up badly and are in need of someone before you fall; and they are the pillar that does, hold you up. You have a friend.

When it happens, that we meet that one person, who never shirks us, never closes the door on us when they find out who we truly are, it is a miracle. Most of the time it is the partner we live with, since they know us best.

We can be many things for a while, but ourselves all the time, long term. It is impossible to act all through a lifetime relationship, like marriage, when the chips are down, and the masquerade of attraction is over.

And when that person who knows you that well, knows all your faults and your ickiness, still looks at you with love, you know that you have reached that wonderful state, we call friendship.

Do you prefer to talk or text?

It is difficult to stop, a prattler. Telephones, give people the opportunity, to talk longer. They are in the comfort of their space, wherever they called from, at that time. And, it feels rude to stop, the blatherer.

When I hear the telephone ring, I cringe, rarely picking it up. Whatever the person on the other end has to say, they can tell me, in text. I cannot stand the phone, against my ear.

There is so much to be said. Callers mostly, chatter along, non stop. My thought was always that a telephone was made for messages and important information. The rest can be written in e-mail or text or even a letter as a last resort. Yes, letters, remember? The paper placed in an envelope with postage stamp and all, yep.

Text is limited. It is concise and compressed. Most everyone, tends to write in short hand, when on text. I happen to like that. You say what you have to say without dissertations. Yammering on and on, needing to hear your own voice does not make for conversation.

Besides, phone lines are jammed as it is, with people chattering across the copper thinking that what they say is most important. My father told me, as a teenager that it is important to respect the phone lines and the press of people on it. Telephones were an invention for business and contact, not yapping and blathering. So, when years later, I am on the phone with him and try to end the conversation, he gets bent out of shape. I suggested that he taught me that trait. He denied it, sigh.

I gather by now you got the message? I prefer text for sure. I can “get away”, if I need to. I can “hang up” without insult. I can “escape” when need be.

What is Your Compliment for Me?

Dear Baba Rumcake,

January 24th, is Compliment Day. When it rolls around, what is your compliment for me, Baba Rumcake?

Frankie in Florida

Dear Fishing … ummm, Frankie,

Compliment; an expression of esteem, respect, affection, or admiration; especially : an admiring remark

Antonym: criticism.

Today is Compliment Day. So, if you are expecting a compliment, read another posting. If you want a compliment, then you have not understood, the idea of this day nor, do you deserve a good word, now, or ever.

Most people, who wait, until they are fed, from the cesspool, of compliments, to accomplish anything, amount to nothing. No one here will pat you on the back, nor will tell you how great you are, no one.

Waiting for compliments, usually comes from those, worthless people who want the hot spot, want the lime light. With a good word, they can progress, produce but usually, with minimal results. Attaining comes from the inside, so get off your attention whoring self and work out a plan.

This day is about others. You, giving a compliment, to another. Do not do it, then wait around for them, to reciprocate, that defeats the purpose. Walk away, go to another, and, give them a compliment. Even if you do not mean it, say it. It will help your selfish, self centered ass, back into a more appealing person.

If you follow this simple rule, of coming out, and actually giving someone a compliment, you will notice beautiful things about others, you have missed while busy admiring yourself.

So, if you find this criticism, fault finding, knock, slam, put down too hard a pill to swallow, get over it.

Blessings, on this Compliment Day. Let me know how it works out for you.

Disgruntled in Dallas

Dear Baba Rumcake,

I know a friend who is newly married and turning into a pretentious asshat who is losing contact with all his friends. I want to say that when stuff like this happens, the relationship is the one that will usually end–and likey badly. But for now he is I guess going strong with her–spending all his time with her or just home. I really cant believe the person he’s become.

what do you think?

Disgruntled in Dallas

Dear Disgruntled,

Isn’t this when you’re supposed to pull out the “bros before hoes” card? Not that I support the slandering of women and blah dee blah, but the phrase represents the common phenomenon that you are now experiencing with your friend. In the early stages of many relationships, the couple gets so wrapped up in each other that they forget that there are other people involved in their lives. Most couples with this problem get over it, but unfortunately, sometimes by that point their friends are no longer waiting for their return from heaven. This issue is one of the concerns you voiced.

If you are worried this much, it is probably time for you to give your friend an intervention. Sit him down and let him know how you feel. Tell him that if he doesn’t stop acting like an infatuated puppy, he will lose his friendship with you and others. Ask him if he is willing to risk all of his well-established friendships on this new girl of his. Is that really worth it to him? At that point, the decision is his. If he snaps out of his funk and gives a little TLC to your friendship, great. If not, maybe he isn’t worth your time after all.

Blessing and Best of Luck with that Intervention,

Baba Rumcake