Tuesday, April 24, 2012
I've been eating egg salad since I was a kid and love it. On occasion, I would order it at a deli or try some at a reunion spread and was always disappointed. How can you make egg salad without BACON? If you have never (I'm so sorry) had egg salad without bacon, make up some of this right away and have it on toasted wheat bread. You can thank me later!
But first we need to boil some eggs. I have long gone by the 15 minute rule but found a site on Pinterest that had even better hints. I tried it and it worked great:
~ Place eggs in heavy saucepan and cover with cold water.
~ Bring to a roiling boil.
~ Cover, turn off heat and set timer for 15 minutes.
~ Pour off hot water and cover in ice water (I put in sink and cover with ice and add water). If all the ice melts, add more) for 15 minutes.
~ Put eggs back in heavy pan, cover and SHAKE. Keep shaking...side to side and up and down.
~ The eggs should now be cover in lots of tiny cracks and the shells with come right off!
1 dozen boiled eggs, peeled & diced
8 slices of bacon, cooked crisp & crumbled (don't even think of using bacon bits!)
2/3 cup celery, finely diced (about 2 med sticks)
1 Tbls Wickles pickle relish (or sweet relish)
1 cup mayo
1Tbls cider vinegar
1 pkt sweetener (or 2 tsp sugar)
1 tsp mustard
salt & pepper to taste
In a large bowl, mix together the eggs and first three ingredients. Combine the mayo and last ingredients for the dressing and mix in with the salad. Chill for at least four hours (overnight even better) and serve on toasted bread or with crackers on a bed of lettuce.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
You will notice the stains and tears on old envelopes...time to make new ones!
It seems like it is impossible to keep cookbooks from getting stained when used often. Add to that our problem of needing to adapt recipes for 2 to 16 people and you quickly discover a system to help you manage the kitchen chaos.
First, Mike went through and made tables for all the recipes we use often and broke then down into increments. If it could be made individually, it made a table for 2,4,6, etc. If it was a casserole, the table was for 4,8,12,16 (sizes for different combos of baking dishes). This make it SOOO easy when you are cooking breakfast and haven't had all the coffee you really needed!
Next, I laminated them all with our handy-dandy laminating machine (one of the best investments I made for this place.) Or, you could take your cards to a local quick print shop. Most offer laminating service.
At first, this was enough. But, as the piles of cards grew, it became necessary to corral them somehow. After looking around the office for ideas, the 9x12 inch mailing envelopes made themselves known. Perfect size since we had printed recipes on half pages of card stock (4 1/4" X 5 1/2")
Cut off the bottom 6" of the envelope.
Reinforce the top with a strip of clear packing tape. I just wrap the extra around to the back but you could seal both sides if you like.
Cut out a tab across the front, staying inside of the area that is taped.
Label the pockets and file in a handy drawer.
We have separate envelopes for "First Course," "Second Course," "Snacks," "Breads," and "Misc."
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
I love garage and estate sales. About half of the inn was furnished from my finds over a five year period when we were working towards opening this place. The buttons above were mixed in with a big bag of "sewing bits and pieces" I picked up in a beautiful old home close to University Park in Dallas. When I got the bag home and discovered them in the bottom, I was in love. They probably aren't worth much to a collector as there are tears and stains on the cards, but I like the vintage feel of the art work.
The buttons sat around in a box of fun things I might use if I could ever think of a way when a Martha Stewart catalogue (circa 1998) showed up with a product I had used as a child in my butterfly collecting days that I had completely forgotten about - bug specimen boxes. Perfect!
They are cardboard frames wrapped in white paper with a protective glass cover. There are two pins pushed through the sides to hold them together and the glass presses gently against the cotton pad on the inside to hold the specimen in place. In this case, my specimen was a button card. Just center the card on the cotton, close up the box and hang (they come with little metal hooks.)
These boxes would be ideal for any light weight objects that wouldn't slide to the bottom. Also the paper covering could be painted and the cotton inside could be covered with fabric. They are a quick and inexpensive alternative to picture frames.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Twice a year, Mike brings all the house plants to the kitchen for me to fuss over. The plants in pots will be examined and those with long shoots or runners will get pruned and new soil added to the pot. If they have grown quite large, they will be divided into two pots. Some that have been in water will get potted (begonias get rotated every six months). And some in water (ivy and other runners) will get roots trimmed back and fresh water.