Blog Archives

A Bittersweet Ending

They say all good things must come to an end, and that is true of most things in life. This blog was home to a variety of women who, at one point or another, came together to share their views on life, love, and a myriad of other topics that struck their fancy.

Every woman who posted articles here–Dianne Venetta, Tracy Solheim, Shelia Seabrook, Andrea Wenger, Janna Donn, Kimberly S. Belle, Patricia Yager Delagrange, Sharla Lovelace, Kim Boykin, and yours truly–left a mark on the blog and in the hearts and minds of readers.

Dianne instructed on the finer points of gardening. Tracy catalogued her journey to publication. Sheila brought Canada’s frozen countryside to life. Andrea dove deep into complex issues. Janna shared her emotions with breathtaking honesty. Kimberly gave insight into the wonders of living abroad. Patty showed what it was like to live with a menagerie of animals. Sharla rolled out the welcome mat to the great state of Texas. And Kim brought her roses to life.

Although we part ways and forge new paths, the bond that was created here cannot be broken. It’s been a true blessing to work beside the ladies of Women Unplugged. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for each of you. I’ll be cheering from my little corner of the south.

As for me, I’m around in the usual haunts. Facebook, Twitter, my website, and my shiny new personal blog. I’d be honored if some of you who’ve spent time with WU these past few years visit me on any of the venues above. Until then…

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Authors in Bloom!

Very busy this week hosting the 3rd Annual Authors in Bloom Blog Hop that begins TODAY. 🙂

Authors_in_Bloom_blog_hopFor the next 10 days, visitors will learn a ton of new gardening tips and recipes, PLUS the chance to win a number of great prizes! This year we have almost 80 authors and bloggers hosting giveaways which makes for AWESOME odds, not to mention the grand prize ereader and gift card. That’s right–you have the chance to win an ereader of your choice (kindle or nook, $200 value) and coinciding $25 gift card. This year we’ve added a second prize of $25 gift card redeemable with the bookseller of your choice.

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What do you have to do to win? Simply leave a comment on each participating author/blogger website. That’s it. Be sure to include your contact email info so we can inform you of your winnings. 🙂 Check event page for complete rules/details.

I do hope you’ll stop by! Already we’re learning fun, facts & trivia, like how to save and store that fresh lettuce in your garden! For DAYS…

The fun begins here…Authors in Bloom

Sweet Spring Onions

My sweet onions are ready for harvest!  Is there a better sign that spring is in the air?

Okay, so spring isn’t in the air everywhere at the moment and I should know–the family and I just flew home from Denver, CO where Old Man Winter is blowing hard and furious.  But the cold will make this recipe all the sweeter. 🙂  It’s sweet and savory and the aroma alone will delight your senses.

If you like French Onion Soup, you’re going to LOVE this dish.  While a sure-fire hit in the fall, this delicacy is welcome in my home any time of the year.   Taken from the magazine, Cuisine at Home, it’s simple and easy to make, much like homemade French Onion Soup.   And worth every minute.   Sliced onions cooked until they caramelize are a guaranteed winner in any household and when you add cheese, the whole world turns sweeter.   Especially when we’re talking Gruyère cheese.   (Is your mouth watering yet?)

Baked Sweet Onions

Onions au Gratin

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

8 cups sliced sweet onions

1/2 cup dry sherry or chicken broth (I used sherry)

2 bay leaves

1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved (I skipped these)

Preheat oven to 400°F

Melt butter in a large cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet over medium heat.  Add onions, stirring until slightly softened to make room in the pan (I don’t know what this means—I just sautéed the correct amount of onions); cover and cook until completely softened, 10 minutes.

Add sherry, thyme, and bay leaves; increase heat to medium-high.  Sauté, uncovered, until the liquid evaporates and onions are browning, stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes (mine may have been 20 minutes, but caramelizing onions is a fairly forgiving process).

Combine cheeses, then stir 1/2 cup of cheese mixture into onion mixture.  Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake until cheese is bubbly and browned, about 20 minutes.

Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaves, then sprinkle with olives.  Let stand to cool slightly before serving.

Makes 4 servings.   Total time: approx. 50 minutes.

Cuisine at Home is a great publication.  Not only does it offer phenomenal recipes, but it includes color photographs of the cooking process.  Indispensable for novices like myself!

Enjoy!

 

Banana Nut Bread

My guys love bananas. I however do not. I have a vivid memory of eating a banana as a young girl but near as I can figure, I had sunstroke and the end result wasn’t pretty – or discussion for a food post. To this day, I can’t stand the smell of bananas. Whenever any of my guys eat them, they’re not allowed near me with their banana breath.

This recipe started out as a labor of love but turned into a healthy favorite family snack.

In our house, we have bananas around for breakfast or lunches. However as soon as the bananas get spots, my guys won’t eat them. Needless to say, there’s always several bananas left on the counter that either get thrown away or turned into my version of Banana Nut Bread.

This recipe makes a single loaf with 1 to 2 bananas, doubled with 3 bananas or quadrupled with 6 bananas. You can also play fast and easy with the amount of white or whole wheat flour you use. My preference is half and half, originally because I didn’t want to scare my guys off with an all whole wheat flour concoction. In the end, it’s what suits our taste buds, so that’s the mixture I’ve stuck with.

Because I can easily make 4 loaves at once, I’ve always got a few loaves frozen for lunches or to pull out to take to my mom or my parents-in-law’s house, saving them the trouble of baking for themselves or guests.

Banana Nut Bread (makes a single loaf)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 9 X 5 X 3 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, sift together:

1 cup white flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

Put the following ingredients into a blender:

3/4 cup skim milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

1 to 2 ripe bananas (when doubling recipe, use 3 bananas)

Blend until smooth, then add a handful of walnut halves and blend using the chop or grind function. (This saves on the time consuming task of chop-chop-chopping!)

Pour liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix well.

Turn into the prepared pan and bake for 65 to 70 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 to 20 minutes, then turn out of the pan to let cool on the counter.

Eat the loaf while it’s warm or freeze it for later use. And even if you’re like me and can’t stand bananas, give it a try because once it’s cooked, the banana smell and taste are totally gone, replaced by something far more delicious.

Enjoy!

So what’s your least favorite food and is there a reason why you can’t stant to eat it?

Fall Favorites

So I’m a Miami girl with a hankering for fall.  From the colors to the foliage, apple cider to pumpkin pie–I LOVE this season.  Not sure how or why, but I do! 

And in our house, fall means the beginning of comfort food season.  Last night we went with an old Italian favorite, chicken Marsala and mashed potatoes.  Tonight it will be butternut squash and broccoli rabe lasagna.  Hmmm…  Sounds good, doesn’t it?  I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out. 🙂

I’m hungry already!!  So today I’ve decided to share the recipe with you all.  It’s not the healthiest item on the menu, but it is savory and oh-so-delicious, not to mention one of my husband’s favorites!  Check our recipe section for details.  Now fess up: what’s YOUR favorite fall recipe?

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