Wet Bottom or Dry Bottom?...

That is the question.  No, Hamlet wasn't Pennsylvania Dutch.  But if he had been, that is the question he would have been asking.

Today's posting is devoted to the two distinct styles of Shoofly Pie.

Mark and I have been enjoying a wonderful weekend hosting friends - really, they are more like family - from San Francisco, Philadelphia and Atlanta.  They are here in Tucson for the Great Pumpkin Race - a 5K run/walk through pumpkin fields and a corn maze (a maize maze???) in the middle of nowhere an hour southwest of the city.  Each year, they choose a "destination" race and use it as an excuse to get together, eat, drink, shop and play.   And yes, they run the race.

Michael, from San Francisco, insisted I make two things while they are here: Shoofly Pie and a Sephardic dish of eggs poached in tomato sauce.  Nan (Michael's mother), Claudia and Joy didn't protest, although there is some skepticism about the eggs and tomatoes...


Double Ginger Gingerbread

The girls came for tea.  It was ever so civilized.

The double ginger gingerbread, from a very old Bon Appetit issue, was spicy and filled with chopped crystallized ginger.  Perfect with a cup of PG Tips.

- Doreen


The Beauty of Bibimbap

One fine Wednesday, a little more than a year ago, I was 'leafing' through the Dining and Wine section of the online New York Times, when I came across a recipe for a vegetarian dish called Bibimbap.  As I am always in search of good (and beautiful) vegetarian main courses, I copied and pasted the recipe into a Word document and saved it to my digital file of over 1600 recipes, many of which I have never made - and may never make! But it feels good to know they are there - like having 1600 friends on Facebook (I don't) without the pressure to write on their "wall" or accept their excess fuel from Farmville.

My computer recipe file is divided much like any cookbook, into sub-files for appetizers, soups, side dishes, main courses, desserts, etc.  And then most categories are divided within; for example, main courses breaks into four groups: meats, poultry, fish/seafood or vegetarian.


Savory Fall Stew

Dear Readers,

My plate is full.

You know the story. . . you say "yes", "no problem", "I'd be happy to" and then find yourself overextended and neck deep in commitments.  While I am energized by and love using my little grey cells to their creative fullness, I am - quite simply - pooped.  I did a speed run through the supermarket yesterday and felt the frozen food aisle calling me . . . TV dinners, microwaveable mac and cheese, ready in four minutes.  It's all looking pretty good right now.

So for the time being, I will forgo the essays and give it to you straight - recipes, a few pics.  The following two recipes appeared together in a Martha Stewart Living magazine some years ago.  The stew works well with a variety of autumn vegetables and you can estimate the quantities.  The risotto is an absolute breeze and comes out beautifully every time.  And the 20 minutes or so not spent at the stove stirring means I can enjoy a little toes-up.

- Doreen