Monday, August 31, 2009

Black and Whites...the quest for perfection...

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This past week my Grandson and I made my all time FAVORITE cookie Black & Whites. Growing up in NY I was exposed to these cookies on every corner and in every bakery. I am always on a quest for the perfect black and white cookies. Black and whites are like little cakes. The cake texture should be between a cake and a light pound cake. They have to be fresh and the icing has to be perfect. My favorite place to buy them is in Grand Central Station because these babies are baked fresh every day and fly off the shelves in the bakery in a New York minute.

Most New Yorkers have a ritual for how they eat them. I prefer the vanilla side the best so I first eat the chocolate side and save the best for last. I like to savor every single bite.

There are many Black and White cookie debates. One thing New Yorkers will agree upon is that they are best eaten along with a big glass of milk and shared with someone you love.

Half Moon Cookies aka Black and Whites

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening (I use non salt butter)
2 eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375*.

Cream sugar and butter.

Beat in eggs one at a time.

In another bowl mix the dry ingredients and then add to the sugar and butter.

Add the vanilla.

Add the milk.

Batter will be fluffy in appearance since these are like little cakes.

Drop by tablespoons ( I used 1/4 cup) on a greased cookie sheet. I use silpat mats so I did not grease. Use your spoon to mold into round shapes. I made my cookies the size of a small saucer.

Bake until brown but not dark. The recipe did not say for how long to bake but I baked them for approximately 13-15 minutes until they were a light golden color.

Cool and frost.


Frost half the cookies with vanilla and half with chocolate.

2 cups confectionery sugar and a few teaspoons of water to reach desired thick consistency.
I will add some vanilla the next time as I found they lacked flavor.

The frosting must dry before adding the other frosting.

2 cups confectionery sugar and 3 tablespoons unsweetened coco powder and a few tablespoons of water to reach desired consistency.

I found the cookies to be a little dry in texture so I am still on my quest for the perfect NY black and white cookies.

Do you have a favorite black and white cookie recipe?
Inquiring minds want to know.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Summer Stock Sunday...What lurks above and below?

Thank you Robin for hosting another fun Summer Sunday.

I found it ironic that someone was flying this shark kite next to the life guard this summer.

Remember when the movie Jaws came out in your movie theater back in the summer of 1975?

My sister-in-law was expecting her second child and was long over due so we went to see Jaws. We were hoping that by viewing the movie it would perhaps scare her into labor. No such luck! At one point in the movie we both jumped out of our seats and screamed at the top of our lungs. We always laugh at this memory.

I am sure that this flying shark kite scared the heck out of some little kids on the beach this summer. No matter what age you are, do you ever wonder what lurks beneath the surface of the water?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rooster party...Roosters for sale...

Roosters for sale was on the sign in the antique shop window on the square in Maritta, Georgia. I went into Dupres antique shop to have a look around. Since I do not own any Rooster plates or tablecloths etc. I thought I would snap some photos to share with all my blog friends in honor of the Rooster party hosted by Barb. For more Rooster items please go HERE.

A very green Rooster with beady white eyes greeted me upon entering the store. He was certainly ruffling my feathers with that price tag of $50.

A pair of Roosters to use as bookends to hold your antique Readers Digest condensed novels.
Does anyone remember reading those back in the hay days?

A Metal Rooster to sit on your kitchen counter.

An elegant white and gold french Chanticleer.

This lamp and cute toile lampshade would be a great addition to one's country french style of decorating.

A pretty pink hand sewn pillow made by a fellow Rooster lover.

For those of you who follow my blog you know that if I had a Rooster I would display him on a large white platter. He would be stuffed and trussed and be roasted to perfection.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Mosaic Monday...U of GA Marine & Aquarium...

click on photo to view

These photos were taken with my little digital camera at the University of Georgia Marine Education Center and Aquarium at Skidaway Georgia. If you are traveling to Savannah with little ones this is a good place for a quick stop. It was just enough to keep our little grandson occupied with their educational displays.

Please join our hostess Mary at the little red house for more mosaics.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Viking Cooking School & *Benihana Wanna Be...

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Friday was Fresh Farm to Table class at the Viking School in Atlanta. This class was shared with some fun area bloggers. Our class was guided by an easy going chef Donna who hopefully will be the next food network star. In our groups eyes Donna is already a shining star as a teacher, chef, and a genuinely nice person. Honestly, Donna is so worth standing in line for a cookbook signing in the future.

Our lesson included using fresh locally grown produce to help with the carbon footprint on our environment. We were taught the proper way to hold and sharpen a knife. When asked what knives I own I had no idea. I just remembered that they had a little man on them. A Henkles knife man to be exact.

While we were all cutting the fruits and veggies I was making the teacher a bit nervous by waving that big knife around in my hand while talking to Sue of Rue-Mouffetard.bogspot. Sue was talking and waving her knife right back at me. New York & New Jersey Italian gals are just raised to talk with their hands. Good thing we agreed on how to make our puff pastry tart!

Rustic Vegetable Tart with heirloom tomatoes, basil and goat cheese.

The best part of the class was to sample all the delicious flavors of the food our group made. For more photos of foods and participants please head on over and visit Sue HERE. I guarantee that you will enjoy Sue's blog and make sure you scroll back to her Lamb post. Sue has some incredible stories and a great sense of humor.

Thank you Sue for the adorable apron and also for the delicious box of cookies.

*Since my knife skills are not the best I guess my dream of working at Benihana is not going to happen any time soon. I guess I should not quit my day job as the the knife thrower at the Big Apple Circus!


For more Foodie Friday posts please visit

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Colorful & Tangy Coleslaw...

I found this coleslaw recipe on All Recipes a few years ago and make this once a week in the summer. It can be made well ahead of company coming and the flavors only get better sitting in the cold fridge. It makes a ton of coleslaw and is so economical to make. I once made this recipe for one of the side dishes for a homeless shelter in San Francisco. We were feeding 60 men. I decided to quadruple the recipe. Now that is a whole lot of coleslaw! Everyone loved it. The men kept asking the director of the shelter when the coleslaw lady was returning. My family can't get enough of this recipe either. So I think it is safe to say that Angie's Dad's Best Cabbage Coleslaw is a winner. The recipe can be found HERE

The only thing I do differently is to add the sugar to the pot with desssing ingredients and let it all boil together. Depending upon how large my cabbage is I often cut the dressing ingredients in half & there is still enough dressing.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

I remember Woodstock ...40th Anniversary

It seems like yesterday that I was up early putting on my bell bottom pants, sandals, love beads, tee shirt, vest, leather wrap band around my head, peace necklace and heading out the door for Woodstock New York with my Dad.

My Dad was hired to do some security up at the festival. One of his responsibilities was to hire people to take the tickets at entrances. Lucky me, I was able to call my friends to work for my Dad. So bright and early we all piled into my Dads car and up the NY Thruway we went. The plan was to work our shift, return home, and go back again for the next 2 days. We could hear the music and get paid. It sounded perfect. Little did we all know what was to lie ahead.

My Dad was a character and super conservative. I use to date this guy with long hair and my Dad use to yell at him to cut his Hippie hair. If you wore bell bottoms my Dad would rant on and on about the Hippies. He thought that his daughter was out of control by the way I dressed and my Hippie friends. One can only imagine how ironic it was for my Dad to be headed to Woodstock with a bunch of Hippie girls in his car. I remember my Mom going with the flow. The musical HAIR was on Broadway that summer. My Mom loved that album. Mom was singing the songs from HAIR and dancing around the breakfast table with the stereo blasting that morning. She wished she could come to Woodstock to hear all the wonderful music.

After driving a certain distance the cars began to crawl up the NY Thruway. People started to jump onto our car for a ride and my Dad was yelling for the Hippies to get off of his car. Stop and go traffic caused my Dads car and many other cars to overheat. It was obvious that we were only getting up to Woodstock by hitching a ride with a working car or walking. My Dad asked this car full of Hippie guys to take us the rest of the way to Woodstock as he stayed with his car. They said sure old man to which my Dad went berserk.

Let me back up here a moment. My Dad had a conversation with several truckers who were on their way back from Woodstock. They told my Dad that all the roads were blocked ahead. These trucks contained lighting and fencing posts needed for the concert. My Dad knew that this was going to be a major issue but at this point I am not sure he knew the magnitude of all the other problems.

So, the Hippies in the car stopped at one point and told us to get off the trunk of their car because they needed to get into the trunk. The trunk was loaded with drugs. Of all the cars my Dad picked for us to finish the journey this made me and my friends laugh. Eventually traffic stopped and people just abandoned their cars and everyone walked into Woodstock and the rest is history.

My Dad went back home and we stayed until Sunday morning. Miracle of miracle that the next day we were able to meet up with the rest of our friends. The rain and the mud made for lots of mosquito bites and sucked up my sandals. The lack of food did not help but the music made up for these minor inconveniences. I stepped on a soda can pop top and was given a # of 900 at the medical tent to come back for a tetanus shot when the helicopter made the next drug drop off. Drug drop? That was a joke as you could find drugs readily all around you. Flying in some food would have been a good idea.

Talking about food... Mom was home dancing to the music and looking for my face on TV. She could not believe my Dad left us alone up there. She had everyone saying a rosary for my safety. My Italian Aunts were running to and from church lighting candles for me. Italians like a crisis and this was indeed a crisis since I was sort of missing. The house was packed every day with family bringing food over to comfort my Mom. Your typical Italian vigil for the return of the prodigal son but in this case the Hippie daughter.

How did we get home? We walked out on Sunday morning and into the town where generous people handed us jelly sandwiches and gave us water to drink from hoses. We jumped on cars and rode down the Thruway until we found a friends car and drove home. My parents were so happy to see me. I was so filthy with all this dried mud on my body that my Mom hung two sheets over her clothes line and I stripped outside. My clothing went into the garbage. I was given a towel and ran into the house to take a long hot bath. Oh, and of course the Aunts were all there to welcome me back with meatballs and pasta!

The media then consisted of about 3 major stations on TV and the clips they were showing did not come close to the amount of people attending Woodstock. I like to tell people it was like going to a concert at a mega football stadium . No matter which direction you turned the ENTIRE crowd moved with you. Would I go again? You betcha. My Dad came to the realization that Hippies were not all drug crazed kids and my Mom and I were forever dancing to the wonderful music of Woodstock.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

High Museum ...Outdoor Wednesday...

I love to hear the word "FREE" so when Bank of America and Fulton County have FREE weekends to the museums in Atlanta I am right there to take advantage of the fun. Two weeks ago we viewed the Monet exhibit at the High Museum of Art on Peachtree.

Unfortunately, inside photos were not allowed in most areas. I had to sign a wavier that those that were allowed would not be used for publication. Photos of Monet's works were allowed only with a cell phone camera.

To view more Outdoor Wednesday photos please visit our hostess Susan HERE

Friday, August 7, 2009

Giada's Capanota...Foodie Friday

Giada's Capanota is one of my daughters favorite recipes any time of the year. We love to bring this to the beach on a big crusty piece of fresh Italian bread. Today I am serving this without the cheese on crackers as an appetizer. I enjoy putting this onto a piece of broiled chicken. I did not have any red peppers in my fridge today so I used green. It still tastes wonderful. The good thing is that if I have guests coming for a visit I can prepare this a few days in advance and store it in the fridge. This recipe makes a nice amount and makes a delicious hostess or Christmas gift. I personally make several other versions of this recipe but Giada's Capanota ranks high on my list of favorites.

You can find Giada's Capanota recipe HERE.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Summer Stock Sunday...

If you would like to participate or see more fun photos please go to the above blogspot that is hosted by Robin.

While walking on the beach on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina I came upon a crab who had attached itself onto a jelly fish or perhaps it was the other way around? I took this photo with my little pocket camera and wish I had the big camera but hey isn't that always the way?

(click on the photo to see more detail)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lean Meaballs and the Congressman...

I like to be prepared should any member of congress drop in to discuss the stimulus bill that does not seem to be stimulating the economy in many areas of our great country. So what should a person serve during these lean and thrifty times especially to such an important person as a congressman? I have the perfect recipe. Lean and delicious turkey meatballs. I need to stimulate my congressman's taste buds to keep him around my table just long enough to hear my 2 cents. Honestly, I am lucky to still have 2 cents left in my wallet these days after my trips to the grocery store. Don't you agree? I discuss how beneficial it is to serve turkey meatballs to the American public instead of meatballs that are laden with pork. I point out how turkey will not clog arteries resulting in a much smoother run system.

When my congressman tastes my turkey meatballs he will agree that they are much more stimulating then pork meatballs and a healthier alternative. As soon as he returns to DC, he promises to tell his constituents in Congress that the American people do not need to eat any more pork laden meatballs. He will suggest that lean turkey is the perfect solution to help all Americans.

Ah, if only it was as simple as changing government one meatball at a time!

(low fat comfort food)

1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
2/3 cups fine dry bread crumbs (I use Italian flavor bread crumbs)
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg or egg white or egg beater
Assorted herbs (oregano, basil, Italian parsley)
Salt & pepper (do not over salt as turkey will not need much salt)

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until combined.
Form into 2 inch balls, and place in a lightly oiled baking pan.
Cook 350 for 20 minutes.
Serve hot with sauce.
Makes 10 meatballs.

*I took a cooking class at the Kroger cooking school in Georgia many years ago and this recipe was included in our class. Since turkey has less fat then beef be careful with herbs and salt as it will not wash out. So less is more. The recipe never did come with the exact herb measurements.