Category Archives: Leigh AAR

Cold Weather Foods

LinnieGayl’s  comfort food blog and the recent colder weather started to remind me of dishes I typically eat during the winter.  One of the first dishes I turn to is beans.  With my parent’s southern roots, even living in the west, I grew up on a lot of pots of beans.  Pinto beans, and great northern beans with a ham bone were big favorites of my mother and I don’t really remember those dishes being seasonal.  However when it turned cold my mother turned to a big pot of chili or stew.

I don’t do the stew but always turn to chili.  In fact, I am probably going to make chili today.  I don’t have any special recipe and to be honest sometimes my dish is good and sometime it is average.  So I thought maybe I need a more definite recipe instead of a little bit of this and that.

The Today Show had a chili cook-off and I am just not sure about the three top contenders? Here are the ingredients: Continue reading

Brain Cookies with Blood Glaze

emsp31_brain_cookies_lgre you ready for Halloween? I haven’t done anything except buy the cake mixes. I plan to go to craft store today for food coloring.  I promised you the recipe for Brain Cookies.  You can go to

Brain Cookies with Blood Glaze
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2002
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Ingredients
Brain Cookies:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup very finely chopped walnuts, or pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
About 5 drops red food coloring
About 9 drops blue food coloring
Blood Glaze:
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
35 to 40 drops red food coloring
2 to 4 tablespoons milk, as needed for thinning glaze
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Into a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Alternating with the eggs, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating well after the addition of each. Fold in the nuts, vanilla, and red and blue food coloring, being careful not to overmix the dough. (The food coloring will make the dough a grayish color, resembling the color of brains.)
Place the dough in batches in a potato ricer and push the dough out onto the prepared baking sheets in long tubes of dough. With your fingers, loosely pat and arrange the dough strands into clumps resembling brains, pushing to form 2 hemispheres and shaping into a walnut-like shape. Bake until golden brown on the bottom, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To make the “blood glaze,” in a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar with the food coloring to make a thick glaze, whisking together. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the glaze is a good consistency for drizzling. Drizzle the “blood” onto the cookies and serve either warm or at room temperature.
Brain Cookies
How are your doing on your Halloween cooking? I have only purchased the cake mixes but do plan on going to the craft store for food coloring. I promised you the recipe for Brain Cookies so here it is from the Food Network and Emeril.

Brain Cookies with Blood Glaze

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2002 .

Ingredients

Brain Cookies:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup very finely chopped walnuts, or pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • About 5 drops red food coloring
  • About 9 drops blue food coloring

Blood Glaze:

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 35 to 40 drops red food coloring
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons milk, as needed for thinning glaze

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Into a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Alternating with the eggs, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating well after the addition of each. Fold in the nuts, vanilla, and red and blue food coloring, being careful not to overmix the dough. (The food coloring will make the dough a grayish color, resembling the color of brains.)

Place the dough in batches in a potato ricer and push the dough out onto the prepared baking sheets in long tubes of dough. With your fingers, loosely pat and arrange the dough strands into clumps resembling brains, pushing to form 2 hemispheres and shaping into a walnut-like shape. Bake until golden brown on the bottom, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To make the “blood glaze,” in a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar with the food coloring to make a thick glaze, whisking together. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the glaze is a good consistency for drizzling. Drizzle the “blood” onto the cookies and serve either warm or at room temperature.

- – Leigh AAR

And Another Happy Ending!

Sometimes we think we are having a really bad day. Check out this video. I don’t know who has it worst – the people trying to get the baby elephant out of the well, the baby elephant, or the mama elephant.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdkVgxabCc4[/youtube]

- – Leigh AAR

Sometimes We Just Need Good News

Found this heartwarming story on the web yesterday.  Sometimes it is just nice to start the day out with feel good news.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQvzKk9Tn0s[/youtube]

And of course you know I am a sucker for dog stories.

G’ day

(Fantasizing of an Australian vacation)

– Leigh AAR

Halloween – Coming Soon

You know I haven’t baked anything for a Halloween party in what seems like forever. Looking for recipes I was amazed at some of the creations.  This is tame by comparison to many (brain cookies will be coming later if I can figure out how to show the picture).

There are different videos available for severed finger cookies on YouTube but I picked this one because I liked the instructor’s voice plus it seems pretty easy.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YklvqVyrZuA[/youtube]

Speaking of easy, this one looks extremely simple and colorful.  Just don’t hold the instructor against me.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DYQl2O8hTk[/youtube]

Do you have some great decorative desserts for Halloween? If so I would love to hear about them.

- – Leigh AAR

Rules for Life

Every once in a while I start researching a topic and then it leads to something completely different.  This week I was all set to talk about the strength it takes to make changes in our lives.  But honestly, we all know how difficult it is do things like ending relationships, or changing jobs. Instead I got sidetracked to www.oprah.com and Rules-for-Life-After-35 by Leigh Newman and was charmed by some of  her sayings.

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Politics

Every four years, I really dislike this time of year. Oh, the weather is still wonderful as it is finally cooling down. I enjoy the Fall colors too. It is the constant bombardment of politics that drives me crazy. Don’t get me wrong. I am extremely grateful that I have the privilege of voting. And I do believe in free speech.

The comments that bother me are not from the candidates, or on television or the newspaper. I can control that. It is from people that I know. And political comments pop up anywhere. I am following several people on Twitter and all of a sudden I am getting Tweets about politicians. It is the same on Facebook too. I have no problem with people stating that they really like so and so stand on women’s rights. But instead they phrase it as “any woman who votes for X is an idiot.” Or when talking about the economy they state “I can’t believe anyone would vote for that ___hole.” Comments like that take me back, especially if they are from people I know.

Four years ago I worked with one co-worker who sent commentaries using the company’s e-mail about the ruin of life as we know it, if one individual was elected. She finally ended up sending it to the wrong person and is no longer working there.

Did you know that talking politics at work can get you fired?  Check out this article on AOL or this older one on Bloomberg Businessweek.

And while you think you’re following all the rules by not talking about it in the workplace, it is a good bet that you are friends with your co-workers, even your boss on Facebook or that they follow you on Twitter. If you phrase your comments wrong, you just might be insulting a friend.

What are your feelings about this?

- Leigh

A Reason To Smile!

Pets are wonderful and they definitely add joy to our lives. Hope these videos make you smile!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsQWRfN9x-A[/youtube]

I don’t care what they say.  It is more than puppy love!
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhEPYnU5dCE[/youtube]

Who put that ball in the pool?  Don’t they know I just got my hair and nails done?

Continue reading