I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Hi guys! It's been a beautiful sunny Sunday here at the beach.

So---what the heck is THIS?!:

''Blizzard warnings have been posted from coastal New Jersey to Maine, including New York City.... If the storm comes as forecast, it would be enough to temporarily cripple the region. Expect gusts to 50 mph in the city, with brief gusts up to hurricane force on Eastern Long Island. Wow.'' [they said Wow, not me!]
''Coastal storm surge could reach four feet —that’s on top of 10- to 15-foot waves, which would be big enough to damage coastal properties. If you live on the waterfront, it’s probably best to treat this storm more like a close brush with a tropical storm or hurricane."

Uh oh. Well. Yikes. We don't like to hear the word ''hurricane'', do we.

I'm well stocked and friends are nearby for added support if needed. The Jeep could use a fill up but if it's really bad I won't be driving it anyway. It has 3/4 of a tank.

When I finish this post, I am going to make a shepherds pie, which could be eaten cold if need be and  earlier I baked oatmeal bars.

Usually when it snows I make oatmeal cookies, but I had this weird jar of chunks of dates leftover from Christmas. I have no clue what I thought I'd use these for, maybe to feed Mr Mockingbird, I don't remember. They were expensive so I decided to make oatmeal date bars instead of cookies. I can freeze them in individual portions to send with the kids for next weekend's skiing. Like power bars from Mom? Or of course we can eat them if we're snowed in and starving,lol.

Turns out date bars are kinda complicated. Sift the flour? I don't thinks so, I only sift flour for a fancy cake. And one recipe online that got 5 stars called for THREE sticks of butter plus 1/4 Cup of ''shortening'', whatever that means.I got out my old worn c. 1959 Fanny Farmer cookbook.

When I left home, to live alone at college [dorms seemed creepy], my mom gave me three cookbooks, plus a handwritten small book of cooking hints and favorite recipes. The three cookbooks were the Fanny Farmer [traditional stuff, like pickles, peach pie], James Beard [roasts, stews, excellent, easy goulash!] and Julia Child [the fancy stuff]. Of course I still have all these books and FF seemed the way to go. My mom found my copy in a used book stack at a flea, I'm sure. It's dated 1959!

But then apple pie and sugar cookies haven't changed much in the past 50 years, so it's fine.

I actually used an online recipe , because that cup of sugar stopped me cold. So I guess things have changed, at least a little?
You know me---wrong kind of oats, oh well. No brown sugar, Splenda instead.

I love oats and oatmeal, so I used lots!

Here's the butter crumbled in, like making pie dough. Huh.

I got this all put together and thought, What's gonna hold these bars together? Surely not that ONE Tablespoon of icewater?  Seems to me I made some power bars a few years ago, ended up with a mess of "granola" instead.

Took a loooong time to brown up. But looks pretty good?

Time for tea!

Yes, the ''crust'' crumbled a lot, but they are toasty and oat-y and pretty good. If the power stays on tomorrow, I think I'll make real oatmeal cookies. And I have all the makings for pumpkin-brown rice doggy treats [lol, poor Mo.Yuck.].
 I'll let you know how things go?
Snow day project? Start a doggy quilt for Mo?

Back home in the Midwest, we always had our snow day specials: grilled cheese and tomato soup! Hot chocolate and maybe popcorn?  Daytime TV!

How about you? Any snow day favorites or traditions?  And what about this blizzard? How are things by you? Stay safe and warm....



gone to the beach!

Update: so far---light snow.

The shepherds pie...not really, I guess? More of a pot pie. The Pillsbury rolled up fridge crusts are sooooo yummy.

False Shepherds Pie---recipe is simple: sautee ground meat [beef tastes best if you must eat this cold due to power failure, keeps more safely] with a minced large onion and some garlic Cubed parboiled/ micro'ed potatoes. Mixed veg to taste. Lots of pepper and seasoning.  1/2 jar of gravy and a little wine. Put in 2 crust pie shell, egg wash top. Bake 375* for 35-40 minutes.

This is comfort, emergency day food. It's filling but not elegant or I suppose ''healthy'', though you can make with more root veg and no meat if desired.


  1. i wanted your recipe for shepherd's pie! darn it! i make mine with gr chicken, and have never eaten it cold, shudders, don't think i wanna. keep us posted on your weather, please.
    missed ya!

  2. I added a brief recipe for the Shepherds Pie, at the end of the post. It came out pretty good!


  3. I don't know where to start. What a fun post.

    In no particular order.

    Yum. I want some of your Shepherds Pie. Now. Wish we had a big, long pneumatic tube.

    Mo looks so cute in his hat and sweater.

    I can hardly wait to see Mo's doggy quilt.

    No snow day favorites or traditions here. (And when I grew up in California, we had to drive a couple of hours to get to Yosemite...my only snow experience.) That's why it was so much fun when I traveled back east on business. You should have seen me trying to get to O'Hare airport during the first storm of the season. I still don't know how I got the rental car stopped at the airport. LOL.

    Take care and I'll keep you in my thoughts and in my heart during the storm.


  4. ahhhh, my shepherds pie has the mashed potato covering, i use the pie crust for pot pies...
    now i'm hungry. how's the weather?

    1. Yes I call it Shepherds Pie but really it s a pot pie. Also makes nice ''pasties''. Cut pie dough in circles, use a saucer to cut around. Fill and fold in half, seal with fork tines, egg wash and bake. No blizzard but snowy....

  5. I keep checking your weather! Thank you for providing an update, and I hope everything turns out alright.

    I'm shocked that Mo didn't fall over and feign paralysis when you put that hat on him. That's what a cat would do anyway :)

    How thoughtful and lovely of your Mom to have sent you off with not only the three cookbooks, but with one that she put together herself. What a treasure.

    The Shepherd's Pie looks soooo good. I must make that soon.

    Same snow day traditions as you...grilled cheese, tomato soup (canned) and hot chocolate. The icky kind in the packet with the tiny marshmallows. I didn't think it was icky then. I had some recently and didn't much care for it. My brother sent me an espresso/hot chocolate mix from a place in Maine and I think I am ruined for the other stuff now :)

    A couple of hot days here over the weekend and we're expecting a little rain tonight, yay! It's very overcast and grey and perfect for sitting on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate and a book. That's my plan and I'm sticking to it.

    Be safe and warm, keep us posted if you can.

    P.S. you made me laugh when you talked about the date bar recipe..."sift the flour, I don't think so"! Hahaha

    1. You have HOT weather!? I am on my way to visit both you and Hunter, get the guest room ready for me and Mo.
      Mo likes his hat! Actually pugs will do anything for a treat tidbit.

      Yes of course *canned* tomato soup and Swiss Miss with little hard marshmallows,lol. Actually I think my mom made homemade
      ''cocoa''with a special dutch cocoa, I can see the tin in my mind. Here we have Swiss Miss, diet and sugar free, sigh.

      The cookbooks are lovely and I cherish the hand written book from my mom, but really---college? What was she thinking? She was a party girl sorority type herself, but I guess she had me pegged even then as a Hattie the Housewife person. Too bad. I never did learn to drink beer...

    2. Haha, yeah, maybe sending you off to college with the cookbooks might have seemed odd. Like you said though, she knew her daughter :)

      You and Mo are welcome to the guest room anytime :)


  6. loved the whole blog, go Mo go!!


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