Friday, July 31, 2009

July Birthdays...and Rocky Road Cake

Most of our family birthdays are in the winter...but we do have two in July:

July 24....ME! Someday I'm going to be in Utah for my birthday... we are having Rocky Road Cake (appropriate for a birthday!) Carson is helping me blow out a match being used in lieu of candles (we won't say how many)...

July 31.... Dave! Who was really supposed to be born on July 10...but came 3 weeks (yes, that's 21 days) LATE and weighed 11 he is one year later.

Dave always managed to celebrate his birthday for at least a week ...maybe even a month...and then in December and Januaray when we had so many other birthdays (Karl, Mike, Mark, Kendra)...we'd usually get David a present too so he wouldn't feel left out!

Rocky Road Cake (from Gma Janiece)

1 purchased angel food cake, torn into pieces into a 9 x 13 glass pan

1 large (12 oz) pkg of chocolate chips

3 eggs, separated

1/3 C sugar

1 pint whipping cream

Melt chocolate chips (I use the microwave...we used to melt them in the top of a double boiler
Whip egg whites until stiff
Whip the cream

The original instructions said, "Stir egg yolks and sugar into the melted chocolate chips; then fold into whipped cream and add whipped egg whites...pour over angel food cake pieces, refrigerate.

But sometimes the eggs cause the chocolate to really harden up and even after adding it to the cream, there are little chunks of chocolate that don't completely disperse.

So Kendra just blended the egg yolks and sugar into the cream and then mixed in the chocolate and egg whites. It seemed to work better...if you're worried about raw egg yolks (and that would be no one who eats raw cookie dough which eliminates everyone in our family)...Kendra says that now you can buy pasturized eggs.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Recently Read

I'm going to try to keep track of the books I'm reading (or more likely, listening to on CDs from the library or from Audible on my IPhone)... it will make it easier to update my LibraryThing catalog...

This week I found a couple of new children's books I really liked...I hope Brady and Carson will like them too....both are by Melanie Watts...

I also read (listened to...then ordered them from Amazon because I really liked them...and you just can't have too many books piled around your house)...two books by Elizabeth Berg...

Home Safe

The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted:And Other Small Acts of Liberation (Short Stories)

And a book Jess recommended: The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer...a futuristic young adult novel....another of Nancy Farmer's books I liked was The Sea of Trolls

Last weeks books included:
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built (Ladies #1 Detective Agency Series)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

....and most of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince just to remember what was going on before seeing the new movie...

And I hate to admit my less literary reading interests, but (perhaps due to my childhood love of Nancy Drew) I read or listen to a lot of detective, mystery, suspense titles....
So I also read the new Michael Connelly mystery, The Scarecrow ... interesting as it deals with what's happening to those involved in print journalism due to the internet...but maybe not his best.

And I just finished These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 by Nancy!... note the 238 5 star ratings on Amazon.

Thanks, Kristi, for the recommendation...I'm looking forward to reading the two sequels.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mark's Super Chicken Caesar Salad

Mark came up with this combo and we make it a lot...I just have to keep 4 items on hand:

Romaine lettuce (heads or preshredded)
Parmesan Cheese
Mesquite chicken breasts (from Sam's Club...but you could use and kind of cooked chicken)
Ken's Steakhouse Lite Creamy Caesar
Croutons (optional)

Do we need instructions? It's pretty obvious.
Cook chicken in oven for 15 minutes; cut into strips
(Mark uses two when he's just cooking for himself...but I use three for a family sized salad)
Cut up lettuce if not using in bowl; toss with cheese, dressing and chicken.
Throw in some croutons if you have them.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nieman News...

The big event in July was the Mt. Whitney hike...

Karl, Christian and Alec met John and Dave and spent a week in the wilderness leading up to reaching the summit of Mt. Whitney...highest mountain in the continental US...14,505 ft.

John has hiked Whitney many times, and all the kids, Karl, Kendra, Mike, Dave, Mark and least once. This time he was glad to have Christian and Alec carry on the Nieman tradition...and help carry Grampa's pack at the end of the day!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Christmas Shortbread in July

One of our patients came in this morning bringing a delicious treat she usually gives us at Christmas...Shortbread Cookies....Isobelle is actually from Scotland originally...

Isobelle's Scottish Shortbread

  • 1 pound butter (room temperature-very soft)

  • 1 Cup sugar

  • 1 Cup rice flour

  • 4 Cups (approximately) white all purpose flour

  • superfine sugar for sprinkling


Whip the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Stir in the rice flour and enough of the regular flour to make a stiff dough. It should be firm, but not dry or crumbly.

Divide in half and pat each into a 9 inch square baking pan, lined with parchment. Prick with a fork.

Bake at 300 for about 55 minutes. Cut into bars and sprinkle with superfine sugar while still hot.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Janie's Yummy Salad

This recipe is from Janie Salvadalena...I usually triple the dressing and "salad nuts" to keep on hand so we can make this easily...(hide the nuts in the freezer since they are hard to resist)

Salad nuts:
Saute for about 10 minutes until caramelized:
  • 1 C coarsely chopped walnuts (almonds or pecans)
  • 1/2 cube butter
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
Pour out on a piece of foil to cool.

  • 1/3 C red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 C oil (olive or corn)
  • 3/4 C sugar (or Splenda)
  • 1 t dijon mustard
  • 3 T dry minced onions
  • poppy seeds...I never add these, but you could
Buy a bag of "European Salad Greens" or any nice mixture of tender lettuces, endive, etc.
Pour in salad bowl and toss with nuts and dressing.
I usually add about 1 basket of frozen could also try strawberries or pear slices and feta or blue cheese. Serve right doesn't store well.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Apple Cream Pie

Aunt Val told me about a great book...The Little Heathens...and one of the best things about it was this recipe!

Get two Marie Callendar's unbaked pie the freezer at Safeway or Lucky's.

(of course you could make your own pie crust...but these are exceptionally satisfactory and just as fattening!)


1 1/2 C sugar

1/2 t salt

1/3 C flour

2 t cinnamon

Pat about 3 T of this mixture into the bottom of each of the uncooked pie shells. Then fill with peeled and sliced apples. I used Granny Smith...about 8 of them (medium sized). Pile the apples high; they sink down when cooked.

Sprinkle the rest of the sugar/flour mix over the apples; sprinkle with a little more cinnamon if you want. Then pour:

1 C heavy cream (whipping cream) over each pie. (1 pint of cream for whipping)

Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes; then lower temp to 350 and bake about another hour. I lay a piece of foil over the top of the pies to keep them from browning too much.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

You can use a bag of meatballs from Costco for this, but homemade meatballs are SO much better! And you can make a ton at once and freeze some for spaghetti or meatball subs or more sweet and sour....So here's a big batch of meatballs:


5-6 lbs. lean hamburger (Costco's is 12% fat)
3 eggs
2 pkg. dry Lipton's Onion Soup mix
3 C oatmeal (quick or old fashioned)
2 C catsup

I dump all this in one of our big stainless steel bowls and squish it with my hands (but I put on gloves from dad's office because I hate to get that raw meat under my fingernails).

Then get out two jelly roll pans (with sides) and line with foil (to save on cleanup). Use your cookie dough scoop (2 oz) to make the meatballs....line them up right next to each other...put another piece of foil over the top and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or so, until they're a little browned. I stick my instant read thermometer in one to see if it's about 165 degrees..

While they are baking... make the sweet and sour sauce and start cooking some rice.

Sweet and Sour Sauce


1 20 oz. can chunk pineapple
1 green pepper, seeded and sliced
1/2 C red wine vinegar
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C soy sauce
1 t ginger (dry)
1 t garlic
6 T cornstarch
2 C water

  • Drain juice off pineapple into large frying pan. Add vinegar, sugar, soy, ginger and garlic.
  • Blend cornstarch into cold water and stir in.
  • Cook until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring.
  • Add meatballs and heat through.
  • Add pineapple and green pepper last; cook briefly so pepper keeps its bright color.
  • Serve over rice.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Welcome to The Hungry Bookworm

Kendra...thanks so much for getting me started in the blogging world. Until now I've just been a"mother of bloggers"...

So, to start, I thought we'd do:

Kendra's Favorite Casserole
(At least it was your favorite at one time...This recipe is from Kristi Skidmore)


1 pkg. (about 10 oz) frozen cut broccoli (thawed)
2 T dried onions 1 can each: cream of mushroom & cream of celery soup
1 soup can milk
1 C grated cheese (cheddar, colby, jack, whatever)
3 C cubed ham
2 C Minute Rice
1 T Worcestershire sauce (optional if you don't have it)

1. In a 2 quart casserole dish mix: broccoli, onions, ham, cheese, and rice.

2. In another bowl mix the soups, milk and Worcestershire sauce.

3. Stir together and bake, covered, at 350 about 45 minutes.

Friday, July 17, 2009