This week we have talked about chocolate, eggs, butter, and cheese. Each of these things is wonderful and tasty by itself. But put them all together and you get ……Chocolate Cheese Cake of course! It is hard to imagine a tastier result of this happy combination of yummy ingredients! Read more
It is odd to think of life without a good piece of chocolate! Although the peoples of the United States were introduced to drinking chocolate in the mid-1700’s, it was not until the mid-1800’s that they were able to enjoy chocolates, as we know them today, and not until later on in the 1800’s that milk chocolate was being made.
When my youngest daughter, Amanda was little she couldn’t remember the word Halloween one year, so she just kept saying to everyone she saw “Happy Pumpkin Day!” She wasn’t entirely wrong. This is the day that all across this country we most associate with pumpkins. So besides the use of pumpkins for decorating, we wanted to give you one of our favorite pumpkin recipes…Pumpkin Bread. Read more
Some years ago there was a wonderful restaurant spot off the beaten track, in Los Angeles, that was opened by the Lawry’s company called Lawry’s California Center. In addition to the restaurant, one could buy all the Lawry’s products there and see the history of this well known food empire. There was a lovely patio for dining and some very satisfying food that I enjoyed with my family from time to time. In particular there was a most delicious salad that was served with a cilantro dressing. Read more
In our home, as I think may be true in the homes of other Texans, pinto beans were a mainstay. I can hardly remember a day that there was not a big pot of beans simmering amongst other delights on the kitchen stove either in my grandparent’s kitchen or in my mother’s. Read more
Oh golly, it is always so great to receive Savvy Secrets from all of you! Our dear Chum, Nancie, sent these to us so, with joy, we are sharing them with you.
Please, if you know of any Savvy Secrets that you think other people would be able to use, let us know. We will be glad to share them. After all, what are Chums for?
This being corn season, we thought we would give you an extra Savvy Secret this morning…..how to husk your corn!
Enjoy and may this add to the abundance in your lives!
As the weather begins to cool down we all seem to look forward to certain signals that remind us it is Fall. Putting on our favorite sweaters, watching the leaves change color, seeing pumpkins appear on doorsteps and porches and the comfort of warming ourselves with soup.
No matter what restaurant you go to in the South, you are bound to find Biscuits and Gravy on the menu. It is a favorite breakfast among Southerners. Who can resist a hot flaky biscuit fresh from the oven. Now add some creamy sausage gravy and it becomes even harder to turn down! Read more
It’s coming…or should I say “They’re coming”…Halloween is around the corner and all those neighborhood children adorned in their costume finery will come knocking on the door. Whether you still have little ones of your own at home or now its grandbabies that make your cheeks hurt from all the smiling, who can resist a precious little one in a costume so excited to be going door to door and collecting all that sugar…aka candy. I love it! And my husband Randy loves it even more! Each year he hands out the biggest candy bars he can buy in the hopes that in years to come, adults who used to be the children trick or treating in our neighborhood, will drive their children past our home, point out of the window of their cars at our house and exclaim with great fondness, “The people in that house always gave the best candy every year!” Read more
One of the easiest and tastiest ways to prepare any food is roasting it. But too often people are afraid of this method of cooking. It may well be because we have all attended dinners or banquets where we were served the proverbial “rubber chicken”…a dry tasteless, tough, piece of meat. If you are suffering from a fear of roast chicken, your Two Chums are here to help with that 🙂 Read more
About 25+ years ago, my husband Randy and I, were at dinner with some great friends at an Asian restaurant in Beverly Hills. We hadn’t seen each other in several months, so as often happens, we were much more intent on catching up with each other than on reviewing the menu and selecting our dinner choices.
Today I want to share with you one of my family’s favorite meals…..Chicken Stroganoff, a lighter version of the more well known beef stroganoff. It is simple to prepare, can be made several days ahead of the time you plan to serve it, (it just gets better as it sits), and is one of those meals that after tasting it, people always request to have the recipe. The way I happened to make it came about in one of those happy mishaps life sometimes gives us 🙂
About 25 years ago a little book entitled All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten hit book store shelves and landed on coffee tables all across the country. It was an almost instant success because it addresses the basic lessons we learn early on in life that can shape us.
Did you know that other than June, the most popular month to get married is October? Maybe you or someone you know is getting married this Fall or having an engagement party or celebrating an anniversary. If so, we have some fun ideas for treats to serve your guests.
As you all know, we love to share Savvy Secrets and invite you, always, to share yours with us to pass along. Recently, we were given these Savvy Secrets using things from one’s pantry from our chum Hilary. Although we have not tried them, we feel sure they will be helpful to one and all! Read more
Napkins have been around longer than you may think. The ancient Romans are known to have used cloth napkins to protect from food spill and to wipe the mouth. The guests at a dinner brought their own napkins and carried away left-over food in them. With the fall of Roman Empire, napkins disappeared from the dining table.
Everyone likes to feel wanted. That is why Jackie and I feel so strongly about using place cards when we invite anyone to a gathering where we will be sitting down to a meal. They tell the person whose name is on the card “we’re glad you are here and we planned on you coming.” Besides that, place cards can be just plain fun to design and make!
We started this week with Labor Day and a time to remember those who serve in the work force, which hopefully is, or has been, most of us. So this week on Two Chums, our posts are about things somehow related to “Labor”. Yesterday we offered some info on some products that can make work at home easier.
But today I want to share with you the joy and benefits of another kind of labor…that of caring for our children and grandchildren.
It started as a parade in honor of the working class by the Knights of Labor in 1882 in New York. The parade was held on the first Monday in September and was designated by them as Labor Day as it has continued to be known.
All over this country today, people will be having cookouts and celebrate the holiday with hot dogs. Where you are living in this great country of ours will dictate just what kind of dogs you will enjoy 🙂
Summer is almost over, a new season is starting, and school is back in session! As you know, your Two Chums firmly believe in celebrating the good and so what better time to do just that? We are celebrating the wonderful time we have had all summer and all that the months ahead have in store. Read more
We all need to stop and rest from time to time. This comes easier and more naturally to some of us than to others. Until a few weeks ago I was one of those who resided in the “I’ll rest when I die” camp. Oh, I would claim that I could rest, or would rest, as soon as________(you fill in the blank), but those closest to me weren’t fooled by my announcements of having rested or of my plans to do so soon.
There are two kinds of English….the original, the one spoken in England, and the one we speak here in America. Your Two Chums have fun comparing words used that are completely different but mean exactly the same thing.
Jackie grew up in England and Robin here in Southern California. We thought it would be a fun exercise to show you, through two letters saying exactly the same thing, how two completely different words can mean exactly the same thing. The first letter will be the British English version and the second, the American English version. Here’s your chance to see how good of an English translator you really are. Read more
Over the last two weeks we have been linking our posts here at Two Chums, to topics that are in some way related to the Olympics. So, you might be asking yourself what coconut has to do with the Olympics or The Sweet Smell Of Success….a good question, so allow me to explain.
Ready, set, go. London is ready and the world is waiting to see the Opening Ceremonies of the XXX Olympic Games tonight. Televisions are tuned, DVR’s are set to record, sofa cushions are fluffed and eyes agog! Everything is ready. All we need now is a Gold Medal snack.
1908, 1948 and now 2012! These are the years that London has played genteel host to the Olympics and yes, by Jove, London is ready! There has been much question about whether she would be ready but, of course, in total British fashion, she IS ready to greet her guests and we have no doubt that it will be a wonderful few weeks.
When the dog days of summer kick in and you can’t seem to escape the heat, having something that is both cool and refreshing and is simple and easy to prepare is a treat for everyone to enjoy. One of those special treats is what the Mexicans call agua fresca….fresh water.
This week we are looking at things that can be transformed with paint….walls, furniture, bathtubs….wait…bathtubs? Well the bathtubs aren’t exactly painted in the traditional sense, but they can be transformed with a technique that looks like painting and gives the appearance of a whole new tub!
If you are growing herbs in your garden or in a terra cotta pot kitchen garden, you may not need to store them as you can cut just as much as you need for any given meal. But if you are buying herbs at the local farmer’s market or the grocery store or Trader Joe’s, you will want to store whatever unused portion is left to have for another day. Below are some tips for how to best store a few common herbs and keep them fresh as long as possible. Though you can wrap and store them in the refrigerator, I have found that keeping them in a cool place in one inch of water in a small glass keeps them fresh long enough for you to use them. If you think they are about to start wilting, use them up with some of the suggestions listed below.
If you have some ideas or experience with herbs you are willing to tell us about please write to us by clicking on the little envelope icon at the right side of the website or leave a comment in the comment section. We want to share your good ideas with all our chums for more joy, more love and much more abundant leaving for all. 🙂
Basil and Mint
Storing it: Keep at room temperature in a glass of water for up to a week
How to use it up: Mince and combine with sugar for an aromatic fruit topping.
Storing it: In a sealed plastic bag in the crisper for 1 to 2 weeks.
How to use it up: Chop and combine with softened unsalted butter; drop chunks on top of just-cooked steaks, pork chops, or fish.
Cilantro or Parsley
Storing it: In the refrigerator wrapped in plastic for up to 5 days.
How to use it up: Puree 1 cup leaves with 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 clove garlic to make a pesto; use on pasta or as a dip for bread.
Storing it: In the refrigerator in a sealed plastic bag for up to 5 days.
How to use it up: Whole branches make a perfect bed for roasted vegetables, or tuck them into the cavity of a chicken or other bird before roasting.
Storing it: In an unsealed plastic bag in the crisper for 3 to 5 days.
Use it up: Saute in butter until the butter browns and then store in refrigerator as a sauce for pork or chicken.
Storing it: In an unsealed plastic bag in the crisper for up to 1 week.
How to use it up: Add chopped leaves to a skillet of sausage or bacon.
This week all of our posts will be about herbs in one way or another. Today we want to talk about how to grow herbs. Growing herbs is not hard at all, in fact a child can do it. My 8 year old grandson, Jeremy, actually planted the parsley plant pictured here on my kitchen window sill. He started the plant from seeds in a little dixie cup and as they sprouted and began to grow, we transfered them to this terra cotta pot. In he walked, one day after school, and beaming he announced, “Lolli (my grandma name) this is for you. I planted some parsley and I wanted you to have it because you love to cook and I thought you would really like to have it in your kitchen.” He was so excited and I was so proud of him. There is something very satisfying, no matter what your age, about putting some seeds in the dirt, adding some water and in a few days watching the little sprouts pop their heads up out of the soil looking for some rays of sunlight. I love Jeremy and I love having this special reminder of him in my kitchen greeting me every morning.