Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


May 17, 2010



Spring Cleaning

March 20, 2010

I have spent considerable amount of time outdoors these past few days, as the weather here has been exceptional. It’s such a nice little treat to throw open the windows, let the sun shine in, and enjoy the beauty of the day. I have also spent a considerable amount of time doing some spring cleaning. The above picture are a few of the items I purged from my closet. Sometimes, you just have to say goodbye. The rest of the weekend I will focus on my living area, and then will do a final dusting/vacuum/mopping. This way, I will truly be ready to embrace the Spring and won’t feel all stuffy in my apartment! Plus, it will give me so much more energy for cooking- because when things are neat everything is easier.

Oh I love spring!! It makes everything seem possible, as the earth comes to life again. I am really looking forward to growing a vegetable garden, just waiting for the threat of frost to pass so I can get started!

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend enjoying this weather as well. (Unless you’re my one friend who lives in Oklahoma, in which case, you got snow. Sorry about that)

A Giveaway!

March 11, 2010

Okay, so {Dishin’ With Edna} is not quite popular enough yet to have earned a giveaway yet. (I know this is shocking to many of you, but I’m sure Grammie is just smirking up there in heaven, still trying to figure out what a blog is!)

But a blog (and real life, too) friend of mine is hosting a giveaway on her blog for the most awesome stationary ever. I wish I could justify buying a pack of her uber cute notecards for every season and holiday! (On a side note, Ashley Brooke designs if you happen to read this, I would love to win a free blog header design….)

So hop on over to Britain’s blog Simply Southern, to check out this giveaway!

My Apologies

February 15, 2010

I have been so delinquent in my postings. The good news is I HAVE been cooking. I just haven’t had the time to then sit down and blog about it. My “real world” life has been getting in the way. Although I know the quickest way to kill a blog is to stop posting frequently….so don’t worry I’ll be getting some posts together over the next few days.

I hope my friends in the Southeast have been enjoying their weeklong snow holiday and that my friends in the Northeast are excited for Presidents Day and February vacation! I will be having my own February vacation as the family I babysit for will be gone for the next 10 days. Wowser!

Next up is Red Sauce V2!

From Scratch Brownies

January 26, 2010

This was the first recipe I typed up because it was literally crumbling in my fingers. I feared for the fate of the recipe  if I so much as breathed too heavy on the piece of paper. So I typed it up, figuring things as best I could as I was typing. The good news is that I must have figured right, because these brownies are DIVINE. I mean WOW, melt in your mouth, best batter I’ve ever tasted, perfectly plump brownies.

First, enlist two eager helpers

Then, gather your ingredients (plus butter and chocolate, mine was already melting)

Melt the butter and chocolate.

A note on the chocolate: Her recipe called for Nestle’s sweet chocolate. We didn’t have that, and I didn’t much feel like running to the store. So we used Hershey’s chocolate bars which worked just fine. If you want it a bit more chocolatey, use a bit more chocolate. Of course I can’t imagine wanting a LESS intense chocolate flavor but by all means you can reduce it as well.

Batter mixture minus the melted butter & chocolate.

All mixed together! YUM

Now, let me tell you one of the best parts of this recipe. The directions call for lining the pan with greased wax paper. So I first greased the pan (like I would for a Pumpkin roll cake) then I laid down the wax paper (the butter helped the wax paper to stick to the sides) then I buttered the wax paper. The result? A brownie that was an absolute breeze to remove from the pan.

Wow! That was easy!

Like I mentioned before, this recipe came together very easily. And it just tastes SO MUCH better than any box mix. One other thing I’m going to mention before it comes up in the comments is that this recipe (as far as I can tell) was in Grammie’s handwriting. I realize that once mixes became available Grammie (and housewives across the country) starting replacing their from scratch recipes to the mixes because it was easier and cheaper. But I assure you, this recipe is worth the extra effort & pennies.

From Scratch Brownies

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7 oz. Nestle Sweet Chocolate (I believe you would be fine with semi-sweet)
1/3 C. Butter
2 Eggs Beaten
1/2 C. Sugar
1/2 C. Sifted Flour
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 C. Walnuts (Optional)


Melt butter and chocolate in bowl over simmering water. Beat sugar and eggs until lemon colored. Add flour, baking powder, and salt (which have been sifted together) to sugar mixture. Add chocolate, vanilla, and if desired, walnuts. Fold in. Pour into greased wax paper lined 8×8 pan and cook on 350*F.

(Editors Note: The recipe did NOT have pan dimensions or oven temperature anywhere on the card. Based on the amount of batter, I used an 8×8 pan. A 9 x 13 pan would result in very thin, very crispy brownies. They cooked perfectly at 350*F, and cooked up quite quickly.)

And about those two eager helpers…. They might have had ulterior motives

Sunday Supper

January 25, 2010

It’s another birthday themed Sunday Supper post, and a little late because I was off skiing with {Evan} yesterday and then when I got home to post this little delight, WordPress wasn’t cooperating.

Gram and I celebrating a birthday. Who’s digging that sexy ice skating outfit I’m wearing?

(And Grammie is definitely telling the cameraman something)

According to {Evan} I am now officially an adult. Yup, when I turned 21 he told me I wouldn’t really be an adult until I was 25. At the time it seemed like eons away, to both me, and him I’m sure. But here I am in the quarter century club. And for this birthday, I’m going to take advice from the card {Dad} sent me:

“Daughter, If I were your age again, I’d spend a lot less time examining what’s wrong about me, and a lot more time enjoying what’s right about me. Because you know what? You’re already perfect enough. So, live life on your own terms. Be who you are and love what you love. Reserve the right to be wrong. If things take an occasional turn you hadn’t planned on, don’t be tempted to call it a mistake. Just call it life, and tuck the experience in your back pocket for safe-keeping. Pretty soon you can take it out, share it with someone else, and call it wisdom. I’m not kidding. That’s how it works. So, hey-enjoy the life you’re in. Be as happy as you can be. And feel how deeply and completely you are loved. Always loved.”

And that, my friends, was just about the most perfect message I could have received. Because the truth is, if you had asked me 7 years ago, or even  2 years ago where I would be at age 25 my current path is not where I would have predicted to find myself. But, I’m enjoying where I’m at. And not worrying about where I’m going so much as enjoying the path that gets me there.

Thanks for being part of that journey with me.

Internet Circa 1995

January 22, 2010

I can’t remember the internet before 1996. That probably sounds ridiculous, but that was when we got our first computer and AOL dial up service. (Which {Dad} loved so much he held on to until 2009…..And still won’t let go of his aol email address) But I digress. {Grammie} passed away in the fall of 1995. And my knowledge of computers started here…

And ended here:

(That’s Oregon Trail for you non-80’s kids)

It shouldn’t be a surprise then, that I have no earthly idea what Grammie thought of computers or would think of the internet as we know it today. Or how this little project is even feasible without a good old fashioned type writer and postage stamp. (Gram, that’s “snail mail” these days..) It also shouldn’t be a surprise that while I consider myself decently computer literate (I was keyboarding student of the year in 7th Grade..) I know zero about building a website, hosting, or CSS. (And I totally wish I did. Darn you Algonkian for not being more computer savvy when I was there and offering more than just Oregon Trail and Number Crunchers.) But thankfully, with sites like you don’t need an abundance of knowledge, as long as you can follow along with their guides (which is much like cooking and following a recipe)

And while I love anything for free (like this current blog) sometimes you have to upgrade. And in order to do any personalization to WordPress, you have to self host. So for $15 I can edit away and have access to 1,000’s of free wordpress themes and my own .com. So I spent 3 hours last night setting up the site. It’s no where near being done, and until it is done I will keep posting here. But I just didn’t want you thinking I was sitting around ignoring this project- I just haven’t been in the kitchen working on it! But I’m going to make something tomorrow- I’m thinking cream cheese brownies)


January 18, 2010

Apparently, the shallot is a produce item unknown to many of the Swinimer clan. As evidenced in the frequent misspelling as “challot” And the numerous nervous chuckles claiming ignorance serious inquiries as to what a shallot is.

So behold, the shallot:

“Shallots belong to the lily family. There are more than 500 different types. In addition to shallots, onions, garlic and leeks also belong to the Allium genus. Generally, shallots produce a reddish brown bulb that adds flavour to many dishes. Sautéed or cooked shallots have a sweeter taste than onions. There are many shallot-based products such as shallot pulp, frozen shallots (or chopped shallots) and peeled shallots.” via

Interestingly, in my research I found that they last for up to six months! Many claim that they are expensive. Having mostly used them in New England, the prices I’ve paid have been extremely reasonable (About $2 for 6-7 bulbs) but while home for Christmas I purchased some for the stuffed mushrooms and I paid $3 for 2 bulbs. While in NYC the other day, in Chinatown they had an entire bag of shallots (12 or so bulbs) for a $1!! I wish I had known about their crazy shelf life then, because I would have bought two bags. So next time you’re in NYC stopover to Chinatown and pick up your bi-annual supply of shallots.