Thursday, March 29, 2012

MACY'S FLOWER SHOW - BRAZIL: Gardens in Paradise

This week is the Macy's Flower Show in downtown Minneapolis.  It is spectacular!  I only wish the flowers were blooming like this when we were in Brazil in December.  WOW!  In case you aren't able to attend the show, here are some photos for your enjoyment.

Monday, March 19, 2012


I hope you all had a delightful St. Pat's Day!   We were going to a friend's party that evening and I was asked to bring an appetizer.  I decided to make Irish Soda Bread, which is a quick bread made with baking soda instead of yeast.

One food site that I use is  It is a site of recipe postings by readers; and the numerous ratings and critiques of the recipes are very informative.  This recipe is very easy, very quick, moist and delicious.

Grandma McAndrew's Irish Soda Bread
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1-1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup corn oil
1 cup raisins (optional)
Preheat oven to 350ยบ.  Grease a baking sheet or line a sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients:  flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  In another bowl whisk together the wet ingredients:  eggs, buttermilk and corn oil.  Make a well in the center of the dry mixture, and pour in the wet mixture.  If using raisins, add them and stir a few times, just until the ingredients come together into a soft dough.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and with floured hands shape dough into a ball.  Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet, and cut a large cross in the top with a sharp knife.  Place the bread on a middle rack of the preheated oven, and bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes.  

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Over the years I've tried so many ways to peel garlic.  My usual method is to simply take a clove and wack it with my hand.  That loosens the skin enough for me to peel it off.  Well, I now have another way to peel garlic!  Watch this: