Showing posts from January, 2015

Up in the Air So Blue

When I was a kid I had a favorite poem, The Swing, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

How do you like to go up in a swing, Up in the air so blue? Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing Ever a child can do!
Up in the air and over the wall, Till I can see so wide, Rivers and trees and cattle and all Over the countryside--
Till I look down on the garden green, Down on the roof so brown-- Up in the air I go flying again, Up in the air and down!
Back then I could often be found in the backyard giving the swingset a workout, usually while singing my favorite church songs at the top of my lungs. Childhood joys are so simple, aren't they? Now, decades later, some things haven't changed. I still love to go up in the air so blue, but now I drive a car to the top of the Smokies where I can see over the rock walls to the streams and green valleys below. My feet may be firmly planted on the mountaintop, but my spirit is flying -- up in the air and down! And yes, I'm still singing my favorite church song…

Microwave Mac n Cheese

Way back in the stone age when microwaves were the latest technology, My Mom got a  cookbook filled with recipes intended to help microwave owners use their appliance for something more than making popcorn, boiling water, or reheating leftovers. Yes, you really can cook in the microwave. Of the many recipes she tried, Mom used this one the most. The other night I decided to pull the now falling-apart cookbook out and give Microwave Mac n Cheese a try. I cook the pasta on the stove in traditional fashion, but the cheese sauce and casserole are done in the microwave. Since today's microwaves are more powerful than their predecessors, some adjustments have been made. Here's what I did:

Pasta: The recipe calls for 1-7oz pkg of macaroni but I prefer a heartier pasta for this sauce. I cooked 4 cups of dried penne pasta in boiling, salted water for 10 minutes. You aren't cooking the pasta all the way, just until it is a little more dente than al dente. Drain and transfer to a mic…

Lemon Sour Cream Pound Cake

I love pound cake. Good pound cake. Moist, dense, did-not-come-from-a-box pound cake. And I've been using the same recipe for over 20 years, because classics don't change. Oh, I've tweaked the Southern Living original recipe just a little bit for this variation, but it's the same southern favorite that would have been proudly served on a dinner table in Steel Magnolias or Driving Miss Daisy.

1 c. unsalted butter, softened (no substitutions!)
3 c. granulated sugar
6 lg. eggs (at room temperature)
3 c. all-purpose flour (I use White Lily, of course!)
1/4 tsp. baking soda
8 oz. dairy sour cream (the real thing, not reduced or low-fat)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon extract
2 tsp. finely grated lemon peel

Fresh-squeezed juice from one lg. lemon
2 c. powdered sugar

Remove butter, eggs, and sour cream from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Don't skip this step! Thoroughly butter and flour a ten-inch tube pan, tap out excess flour…