Hot time in the summertime…..

I made these today on a very hot summer day. I used a rotisserie chicken and jarred jalapeño peppers. It’s even easier and I think it tastes better! I added these changes to the recipe.The house did not heat up and I have leftovers for lunch!

Knosh and Knit: the world according to Nora

I made these the other day before that summer sun heated up my house. Of course, I forgot to take a picture! Don’t despair, this recipe was lovingly adapted from this Easy Chicken Enchilada recipe. Here’s a picture of them ready to be cooked!

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Chicken Enchiladas

This recipe is super easy. I often cheat and used a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. If I have any leftover chicken, that goes right into the pan! You can make this as spicy or as mild as you’d like. This kind of meal doesn’t require a precise recipe, but some guidelines. I just eyeball the amount of chicken I use. You top the enchiladas with the remaining sauce. If you don’t think you have enough sauce to cover them, just add a splash of water or a little more of the cilantro base. The top is covered with cheese, so you don’t…

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Overnight Oats!!!

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  Grab and Go Breakfast

I’m late to the Overnight Oats rage! Whenever I thought about it, my throat closed and I would start to gag. Soggy, cold oats…oh yum? Really? People like this sludge? Well, I had a lot of time recently. So I researched, and researched and beat the fun right out of this food. I wanted to have something different for breakfast or lunch that was fast and healthy. Fine. I tried it. Nora likes it! This overnight sensation is fantastic. I followed the basic Very Berry Overnight Oats recipe on the Quaker Oats website. You can also Google a bazillion other recipes. I want to try a peanut butter and banana one soon, maybe adding some chocolate chips!

What I like about the concept is you make it the night before and put it in the fridge. I recently brought some to work for a luncheon meeting, hoping I would be asked to leave. I was not asked. But I had a great lunch! It’s very filling.

The recipe includes Chia seeds. Calm down. It’s not a Christmas-time commercial, nor will they grow grass in clay. Chia seeds are a “super food” that have fiber, protein and Omega-3. Can that be wrong? I was hesitant about the Chia seeds, so I just bought a little at Whole Foods, from their bins. They are not that expensive this way.

I made this in some canning jars I had. They hold, maybe, 10-12 ounces and are wide-mouthed. You can use any container. Some people like to make a week’s worth at once. Ewww. I cannot imagine letting them sit in the fridge for several days, so I make a container each night. It takes minutes and it’s easy.

Let’s make some breakfast!

½ cup milk

½ cup Quaker Oats (not 1-minute)

½ cup of Greek yogurt (Vanilla is my favorite flavor, pick your own!)

1 tsp. Chia seeds

1 tbsp. honey

½ cup + of blueberries or any fruit

Add oats to container. Pour in milk. You can use almond milk, soy milk, any milk you prefer. Then I add the Chia seeds, yogurt, honey and then fruit. You want the Chia seeds to absorb the liquid, so add them on top of the milk and oats. I love blueberries so I often use them. I also like to add other fruits with or instead of blueberries. You can even use frozen fruit since it will be in the fridge overnight. I almost fill the jar with fruit, because the oats expand when they absorb the liquid. I don’t even mix this. I just screw on the lid., and put it in the fridge. I like to bring some almonds for lunch too. Who doesn’t love a salty finish to lunch? Just don’t try to each just one almond at a time. Just. Don’t.

If you are taking it to go, don’t forget your spoon. I stir the oats mixture and then happily consume.

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Dark chocolate makes the very best…..broooowwwn-ies!

These are perfect for the Fourth of July cookout you’re having. Rich and delicious. Cut them in small squares.

Knosh and Knit: the world according to Nora

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The Baked Brownie

I somehow stumbled upon this fabulous Brooklyn bakery while cruising along online. I have several of their cookbooks. They are droolish-ish. I have made several things, all chocolate, and am very pleased with their recipes. So, chocolate you say? Well, my favorite chocolate is milk chocolate…..ummmm…semi-sweet chocolate.. errrrrrrr……white chocolate. Well, let’s say I love most chocolate but dark chocolate. Until now! The original brownie recipe calls for all dark chocolate, but I used a blend of dark and semi-sweet chocolate. I was scared of too much dark chocolate. Of all things to be afraid of…..this fear stopped me cold. What if I didn’t like these brownies after using 5 EGGS? I hate when things don’t come out right. I mentally calculate the wasted ingredients and mope. This is the first recipe that I can say, beats out any brownie mixes I’ve used. I’ve…

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It’s not you. It’s me.

 

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I read many newspapers every day online. Nothing brings me more joy than the Wall Street Journal’s Saturday edition. Don’t be confused and think I read articles on politics, I lean towards the personal interest and style stories. Reading these articles bring me to my comfortable spot of self-loathing and mocking of others. It’s complicated.

Today’s newspaper had several articles that were gems. Perhaps I’m just not in their target market. There is an article about how men do not have the same choices in casual wear as women. I cannot agree or disagree. Where I work, there aren’t that many men and we all have our own interpretation of casual. But none of us have the fashion taste of the WSJ readers. They suggest that instead of a jersey sweatshirt, men could wear a jersey fabric jacket. The cost is a mere $1295. And what do you wear under this fashion jewel? You wear a featherweight merino tee. This costs only $68. So reasonable! Buy two! The merino wicks away moisture like magic. I’m not sure what featherweight merino is, but I am SOLD!

The next article that caught my attention was one about ivory toned jeans. Keep in mind there are also crème de la crème colored jeans. Jeans that are not denim colored. I cannot even imagine. What’s the point? Aren’t those just called pants, or perhaps khakis? Not since the Great Menstrual Cycle of 1974 have I worn any light colored pants OR skirts. Here’s a valuable lesson to you younger ladies…. always have a sweater/sweatshirt to wrap around your waist. Just.in.case.

Am I jealous or did I just shake my head too hard when reading these articles?  Where do you wear these clothes? I would be afraid to leave the house. I’m sure the ladies at the grocery store, library and the bank drive-thru would be in awe of my style.

The last article flabbergasted me. Dish towels. I have a lot and hate when they get ratty and smelly. These go right into the rag bag. But the dish towels in the article were made from “fine European linen and remarkable Egyptian cotton” with a starting price of $130. It claims you won’t need many. Really? I won’t need any, thank you. You can make 29 a month instead of 30. I am all set. I would have to frame it as a piece of art.

Maybe I should start reading the New York Post?

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Bored or Boring?

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I am bored, and this is how I know. I spend the day having these exciting conversations with my husband. “Oh, look. The news is on!!!” (It’s on all day.), “Oh, I would love a cup of coffee” (It’s 10:00 and I’m working on my third cup.”, “Look at all the birds flying in and out of the bushes (This activity goes on all day.), “I’m going to the bathroom.” (This is often, please note coffee consumption.), “Is it time for our afternoon snack?” (Most days around 3:30 we have cheese, crackers, olives and pepperoni.), “The paper is here.” (I’ve already read it online.), “The mail is here!!” (Rarely is there anything for me. Please send presents.), “I think the laundry’s done” (Folding the clothes is a fun standing activity for me, really.), “Don’t you love this sock and the color of the yarn?” (I hope my kids like socks. They will have many by winter.), “Fixer-Upper is on honey!” (It’s on all the time and we have seen each episode multiple times).

Conversations that happen less frequently but no less important, “The nurse is here!”, “The physical therapist is here!”, and my favorite ,“Don’t forget it’s trash day.” Pretty boring as conversations go. Two surgeries, in two months, have done me in. I keep myself busy. Being busy doesn’t mean you’re not bored.

Is being bored the worst thing to happen to me? Nope. What I may have figured out is I’m not bored, just boring. That’s a horse of another color. That could be the worst thing…..I’d think about it more, but it’s snack time.

But you can call me NoBro

When did we become a world of acronyms? I remember the world before them. I also remember cursive. Can we bring back cursive and dump the use of acronyms in conversations?

One upon a time acronyms were used mainly in the military to keep things secret. I think my earliest memory of one is, NOW. What can I say. I’m a child of the 60’s. We all were curious about NASA and their adventures in space. I still shake in fear when someone talks about COBOL and BASIC. Politicians throw around the term POTUS. We now have marketing acronyms, SEM. They are popping up everywhere. I spend more time Googling these terms than I’d like to admit. Why do people assume that you know what they mean? If you aren’t completely familiar with the industry, you cannot possibly know what they mean.

Acronyms are as confusing to me as the abbreviations in texting. What happened to complete sentences and grammar? Must I turn to Urban Dictionary to figure out what people are saying? But my favorite frustration is when people speak the acronyms. Because I’ve been living the life of a shut in recently, I’ve been reading many newspapers online. Anyone over a certain age would look at me crossed-eyed if I told them I was reading HUFFPO or PROJO. Where does it end? Who creates them?Well, I must go and finish reading today’s BoGlo and the WaPo. Ok. I made those acronyms up. But I want the credit please. I may go to NoHo to my favorite yarn shop. It’s a real place in western Massachusetts.

Sometime acronyms can be laugh out loud funny. Recently George Mason University received a donation to rename their law school after Antonin Scalia. So, of course, the acronym would have been ASSoL. Ha! Of course they added “of George Mason University” to the end. I wonder how long it took them to notice?

Apple Crisp

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Crumb topping is magical. Someone had to say it. I grew up with a Czech grandmother who always welcomed us with sweet yeast dough pastries that had sweet poppy seed and prune fillings. She made a sweet yeast cake that had fresh plums on top. Covered in crumb topping. I think everything had crumb topping. Maybe that’s just how I remember it.

The words “I love you” didn’t pass through her lips often, but each meal, each pastry, was all that we needed to know that we were loved. She had a white metal table in her kitchen, by the back door, that she used to let the dough rest. It greeted us every visit. Her glass paneled kitchen cabinets were windows into her never spoken about past, with mismatched plates and bowls. It was wonderful. She was an excellent cook, but her baking was accomplished without every measuring anything. “Just feel the dough.”, I would hear her say to my mother, in her thick Czech accent.

Well, I’m out of the sweet dough business since the kids have flown the coop. But I still love crumb topping. I put it on apple pie, instead of a top crust, and on apple crisp. It’s never as good as Grandma’s, but I keep trying.

Let’s make some apple crisp. That’s always in season in my house. It tastes like apple pie, but without the work!

 

Apple Crisp

 

5 cups (about 6) Granny Smith or other baking apples, peeled and sliced

¾ cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. salt

1 stick of cold butter, cut into small pieces.

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 1.5 quart baking dish (or thereabouts) and spread the peeled and sliced apples in it. I like to cut each apple into about 10-12 slices. Granny Smiths are a hard apple and will cook faster if you slice them thinner. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of water over the apples. Pretty easy so far! Now for the crumb topping. Please note there is no oatmeal in this recipe. If I want oatmeal, I will make some for breakfast. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cut in the pieces of cold butter with your fingers, a pastry blender or you could use a food processor. You want it to resemble coarse crumbs with pea-sized chunks of butter. I said butter…sigh. Spread this mixture evenly over the apples. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the topping is browned. I like to stick a sharp knife in a few apples to make sure they are softened. This is best served with vanilla ice cream! Serves six.

 

This recipe is adapted from THE FANNY FARMER COOKBOOK.  I’ve been using this cookbook since I got married. Tried, true and torn with love.