Sunday, February 2, 2014

Shakin' it up

Whew, only a dusting of snow over the black ice that formed from rain! I thought the ice was treacherous enough. So here we are, hanging in there with the ice, wind & cold while waiting for more snow on Tuesday. Today we have the excitement of the Super Bowl paired with the riveting 2014 emergence of Punxsutawney Phil, the weather groundhog. Punxsutawney Phil, unfortunately saw his shadow today at 07:25AM and thus forecast 6 more weeks of winter. How this annual tradition started is beyond me but apparently the groundhog seeing his shadow or not, has been 80% accurate from 1887 to 2013. For those unfamiliar with the tradition check out this official website for the whole scoop. If I had to guess I would concur, winter is far from over...

We've all been a bit "cabin fever" struck, meaning inclined to sleep in later and a tad bored with the daily routine. Certainly the ice, cold and lack of sunshine play a part, but today we thought we'd shake out the doldrums with a barbeque. Yep, hauled out the grill, donned a winter coat (cuz it's 21F/-6C) and threw some recently slaughtered cow, in the form of fresh sausage over the coals. We grilled up zucchini, red pepper and purple onions as well, and lets just say, food & mood Fiesta! Everything had zing! we even broke into song periodically as the radio was tuned to an oldies station. For dessert I served an Apple Crisp, which is the New England staple of baked fruit with a crunchy topping. Since this happy food disappears fast, I increased the recipe to fill a 13x9 pyrex dish. Generally, I improvise the filling and the current favorite is as follows:

8 apples (Braeburn) cored & sliced, saute in 1/4 C. butter in a 6qt. covered pot
2-15oz cans of pitted red tart cherries in water, reserve 1/4 C. of juice
1C. walnuts, coarsely chopped
Add cherries & nuts to apples with the reserved cherry juice. Stir well and season with cinnamon to taste. Cover & simmer about 15 minutes while oven preheats to 350' Make topping in medium bowl.
Half gone already!

1C. quick oats
1/2 C. old fashioned oats
1/3 C. melted butter poured over oats
1/2 C. brown sugar, stirred in
Drizzle the honey bear over the topping and add a couple dashes of cinnamon. Mix well.
Spray or butter a 13x9 baking dish then add the warm fruit. Top evenly with oat mixture.
Bake 25 minutes at 350'

Delicious warm or cold. We pour milk or cream over it and add whipped topping for total decadence. Makes a wonderful breakfast meal too. Fiber & fruit, what can be better! Here's to shaking it up a bit this winter.

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