Archive for July, 2010

An Easy Appetizer

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

This traditional Southern pastry is cheesy and spicy. Yum!

Cheese Straws (from The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock)


1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated

2 tablespoons water


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sift together the flour, salt, dry mustard, and cayenne pepper.

Put the butter and grated cheese in a mixing bowl, and mix for several minutes, until thoroughly blended.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter and cheese, and mix until completely incorporated. Add the water, and mix for one minute longer.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead five or six times. Roll the dough out ¼ inch thick, and cut into strips ¼ inch wide and 4 to 6 inches in length. Place the strips on ungreased cookie sheets ½ inch apart, and bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 16 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.

Cool completely, and store in airtight containers. “Cheese straws improve as the flavors mellow, so make them a day before serving, if possible,” state the cookbook authors.

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010


Hosted by Peggy

For Today…July 6, 2010

Outside my Window…a temperate summer evening, after one of the first warm days of the season. It’s only about 62 degrees outside, but feels balmy compared to the cool, damp weather we’ve been experiencing.

I am thinking…summer school session begins next week already! How quickly these vacation days are flying by.

From the learning rooms…I ordered the book Brain Rules by John Medina, but have not yet started reading it.

I am thankful for…an enjoyable visit recently with our two oldest sons. We belatedly celebrated Mitch’s 24th, since we were in California visiting my husband’s folks on the actual date. Fun times!

From the kitchen…What better way to enjoy warm weather than with a barbeque? My new favorite marinade for steak is this easy recipe from Betty Crocker:

½ cup soy sauce

½ cup apple cider vinegar

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon chopped ginger root

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon sugar

I am wearing…short sleeved floral print top, jeans and flip-flops.

I am reading…Emma by Jane Austen. Emma is not such a likeable girl for much of the book, and I find myself growing quite tired of her matchmaking schemes. Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma is more likeable than the Emma of the book, I think. I’m trying to be patient, though, and give the original Emma a chance to speak for herself.

I am hoping…the blogging friend Rick, Debra and I visited on our way to see Grampa and Gramma will take us up on our offer of hospitality and come to visit.

I am creating…my first blog post in a long time.

I am hearing…owls hooting outside. Love that lonely sound.

Around the house…the vibrant green of Pacific Northwest foliage was almost electric today as SUN was shining through the leaves. Ah, beautiful summer!

One of my favorite things…is being useful and happy right here and now.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…I want to go to the farmers’ market in Bellingham tomorrow when Deb and I go into town for an appointment. I’m after rhubarb and strawberries. You can just imagine what I want them for.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

Daughter Rebecca before her high school graduation ceremony!