September calendar : : free printable

Wow, it’s hard to believe that it’s time to post next month’s calendar; this busy summer has flown past and it’s already nearly September!

september copy  Click here to download.

This calendar is free for personal use. I hope you enjoy it!

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Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

Unlike the magical mushroom Alice found, these mushrooms will not make you grow or shrink. Well, at least we don’t think so. The ladies ate the whole mushroom so quickly they didn’t have a chance to let it do it’s work.

The ladies wondered which side makes them fat or skinny. Unfortunately we didn’t discover the answer to that question, either.

Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients

14 oz (1 package) fresh mushrooms, stems separated
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
4 cups fresh baby spinach
4 slices bacon
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
3 oz. cream cheese
2 tbsp shredded cheddar cheese
cooking spray

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a foil lined baking pan or baking dish with cooking spray.

Remove stems from mushrooms and mince fine.

Heat a medium sized skillet. Rinse spinach and add to the skillet; cook until it wilts, about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan, squeeze excess liquid and chop fine. Set aside.

Dry skillet, add bacon to the skillet and cook on low heat until bacon is cooked through. Set aside on a paper towel. Coarsely chop.

Clean skillet and add olive oil to the pan. Add garlic and saute until golden, about 2 minutes. Add minced mushroom stems and saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and combine mushroom stems with sauteed spinach, bacon, bread crumbs, cream cheese and cheddar cheese.

Season mushroom caps with salt. Fill mushrooms with spinach mixture, rounding tops off. Place on an oven safe dish and lightly spray the tops with oil.  

Bake 20 minutes or until golden. Eat warm.

Makes about 11 medium sized mushrooms.

They’re so good you’ll want to make a meal out of them! 🙂

Mock Turtle Soup & French Baguette Recipes

The Queen of Hearts asks Alice if she’s met the Mock Turtle. Alice replies that she doesn’t even know what a Mock Turtle is. It’s the thing Mock Turtle soup is made of, of course, says the Queen.

Mock Turtle Soup is an 18th century English soup made by cooking the head and feet of a calf to substitute more expensive green turtle meat. If you look at a picture of the Mock Turtle in Alice in Wonderland, you’ll see that the turtle has a calf’s head and feet.

Since we seemed to be out of calves’ heads or feet, I was forced to use a dark lean roast instead. The soup is very seasoned, so I added toast baguette, sour cream, and green onions for a garnish.

The bread is simple to make. Eat it while it’s still warm–the outside is crusty and the inside is soft. Slather a piece with butter and then eat half of the loaf. 🙂 And enjoy the satisfaction of making bread that looks like the fancy store-bough loaves–and tastes way better.

Mock Turtle Soup

from Louisiana Kitchen and Culture

Serves 10-12

Ingredients

1/3 cup canola oil
2 lbs boneless veal shoulder, finely chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 – 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup all purpose four
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups tomato purée
6 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
1/2 lemon
4 eggs, hardboiled
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, minced
1/2 cup green onion tops, chopped
1/2 cup dry sherry

Directions

In a heavy soup pot over medium-high heat warm the oil. Add the veal pieces and cook while stirring frequently until brown on all sides, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Add the yellow onion, celery, bay leaves, thyme, paprika and cayenne to taste. Cook while stirring frequently until the vegetables are tender and lightly brown, about 9 minutes. Add the flour and cook another 5 minutes stir constantly to incorporate.
Now add the garlic, tomato purée stock and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Return the soup to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer for an hour to allow flavors to blend.

While soup is simmering remove the seeds from a half a lemon, then chop coarsely. In a small food processor, finely grind the lemon. Peel and finely chop the hard boiled eggs.

After your soup has simmered for 1 hour, add the lemon, egg, parsley and green onions. Stir mixture well and let simmer another 30 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves, stir in dry sherry, taste and adjust seasonings.

Ladle into warm bowls and serve at once.

French Baguette

from the Cooking Channel

Serves 8

Ingredients

2 envelopes dry active yeast (1 1/2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons honey
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons salt
Canola oil, for greasing bowl
Cornmeal, for dusting pan
3 to 4 ice cubes

Directions

Combine the honey, yeast and 1/2 cup warm water. Stir to combine and let the mixture stand until the yeast is activated and begins to foam, 5 minutes. 

Mix the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl with a dough hook and slowly add in the yeast mixture. Gradually add 1 cup warm water and mix until the dough comes together into a ball that is not too wet (you may not need all of the water). If the dough is sticky, add a little bit more flour. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, 2 to 6 minutes. You can do the thumbprint test: press in the dough with your thumb and it should bounce back when it’s ready. 

Form the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly-oiled bowl and cover with a dishcloth, so it doesn’t dry out. Let rest in a warm environment until doubled in size, 25 to 30 minutes. 

Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Shape into 2 baguettes by making a flat rectangle out of your dough, then folding the top and bottom towards the middle, like an envelope, and sealing the seam with your fingers. Keep repeating the folding and sealing, stretching the rectangle lengthwise as you go, until it’s about 12 to 14 inches long and 2 inches wide. Fold and seal either end to round. Flip seam-side down and place on a sheet pan or baguette pan that has been dusted with cornmeal. Score the tops of the loaves, making deep diagonal slits 1/2-inch deep, cover with a dishcloth and let rise in a warm environment until they have doubled in size, 25 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and position your oven racks with one on the bottom and the other in the middle. Place an oven-safe (non-glass) bowl or pan on the bottom rack. 

When your bread has doubled for the second time, remove the towel and quickly and simultaneously, slide the sheet tray with the baguettes onto the middle rack while carefully throwing the ice cubes into the bowl on the bottom rack. The ice will create a burst of steam that will give you a nice crispy crust. Quickly shut the oven door so no steam escapes. Bake the baguettes until golden brown, 15 minutes.

August calendar : : free printable

Well, I’m several days late, but I’m here with the August calendar…and finally with a real download link! I’ve been trying to figure this out for awhile and had no clue it was this easy until Hannah showed me tonight. It’s nice when that happens. 🙂

This photo was a very quick shot and it’s one of my all time favorites. I hope you enjoy it too! 🙂

Click here to download. Personal use only please.

{Lavender Lemonade} free label and recipe

Lavender lemonade. . . the tang of lemonade with the surprising mellow flavor of lavender. It actually pairs well. I avoided lavender before; I’ve smelled too many cheap flowery lotions. But after I saw the beautiful bush growing in our garden, I decided to put first impressions behind me and try again. Lavender is such a unique combination–a sturdy, yet graceful bush. Beautiful in simplicity, but with a scent strong enough to keep it from being ignored.

These labels fit around a 9.5 oz. Starbucks frappuccino bottle. To protect it from condensation, I painted a layer of Mod Podge on the back of the label and let it dry completely before I glued it on with more Mod Podge.

Lavender Lemonade
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 1/2 cups water
1 cup Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup dried lavender, crushed with a meat tenderizer

Directions
Bring sugar and 1 1/2 cups water to boil. Add crushed lavender and remove pot from heat. Let mixture cool and refrigerate for at least an hour. Strain the mixture into a pitcher. Add the lemon juice and the rest of the water (5 cups). Serve over ice.

Click the link below to download the labels. If you follow the recipe exactly, add ice, and divide one recipe between seven bottles, the nutritional facts will be valid. 🙂

Free Printable Lavender Lemonade Label