Quatre Quarts translates into “four fourths” and is a traditional French pound cake. In the past I have posted a basic Quatre Quarts recipe that was a big hit, and I even received an email telling me that a reader's daughter won a ribbon with it in a baking contest! This cake has the addition of vanilla and dried cherries and I am positive it will be just as adored as the basic recipe. Sometimes I like to top my breads with a basic glaze so I will include the recipe should you want to do the same. Try this with dried blueberries as well. It's wonderful!
Ingredients: 3 large eggs, separated 3/4 cup granulated sugar 3/4 cup salted butter 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup dried cherries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch round cake pan and set aside. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, cream together the egg yolks, sugar, butter, and vanilla. Stir in the vanilla, flour, and dried cherries, and then fold in the egg whites. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45 – 50 minutes, until it tests done. Cool for 10 minutes in pan, and then transfer to a wire rack for complete cooling.
I am doing this post for my son and grandsons who love to fish. Not that they need any tips or tricks, they are quite the fishermen, but every now and then, everyone needs a few extra tricks up their sleeves!
Did you know you that you can use Alka-Seltzer to help you reel in the big one on your next fishing excursion? Well, that's no promise, but it just might help!
If you use a plastic tube jig on your fishing line, try breaking off a piece of Alka-Seltzer and putting it inside the tube. The jig will then produce an enticing stream of bubbles as it sinks, making it irresistible to nearby fish.
None of your fancy fishing lures working? Make one in a jiffy that just might do the trick. Wrap some aluminum foil around a fishhook. Fringe the foil so that it covers the hook and wiggles invitingly when you reel in the line.
Salmon fishermen in the Pacific Northwest spray their lures with WD-40 because it attracts fish and disguises the human odor that can scare them off and keep them from biting. You can increase the catch on your next fishing trip by bringing a can of WD-40 along with you and spraying it on your lures or live bait before you cast. First you should check local regulations to make sure the use of chemical-laced lures and bait is legal in your state.
If you are in need of some weights don't bother buying any. Like most people, you probably have old, unused keys laying around. Use them to make great weights for your fishing line! Since they already have a hole in them, attaching them to the line is a cinch. Whenever you come across an unidentified key, toss it into your tackle box.
If you love the flavor of saffron and anise, this tea cake is sure to please! It freezes well too, so if you wish to bake it ahead, it will be at the ready when you need it.
It makes approx. 25 2-in. by 2-in. pieces 1 tsp. plain dry breadcrumbs 1/2 tsp. anise seed 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature 1 cup honey 1/2 cup sour cream 4 eggs, yolks and whites separated 2 cups sifted pastry flour 1/2 tsp. saffron, ground to powder in a mortar 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1 Tbsp. cream of tartar 2 to 3 tsp. poppy seeds
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease (or use a cooking spray) a 2 in. x 10 in. cake pan and scatter the breadcrumbs over the bottom. You can also use cupcake pans. Shake the pan gently so the crumbs adhere evenly to the bottom and sides. Pour off any excess crumbs. Scatter the anise evenly over the bottom and set aside.
Cream the butter and honey until smooth, then add the sour cream. Beat well. Whisk the egg yolks until frothy, and combine with the honey mixture.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, saffron, soda, and cream of tartar three times to ensure even distribution of the leavening. Sift this into the batter, folding gently to avoid over-activating the soda.
Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then fold them into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and spread it evenly with a spatula. Scatter the poppy seeds over the top and bake for 30 min. or until done in the center. Cool on a rack.
Make yourself some massage oil! Olive oil contains oleocanthal which has anti-inflammatory properties and works in the same manner as ibuprofen. Similar to classical NSAIDs, it is a non-selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase (COX) and it has been suggested that the long-term consumption of small quantities of oleocanthal from olive oil may be responsible in part for the low incidence of heart disease associated with a Mediterranean diet.
For an extra boost, add olive oil to your diet and use soap with olive oil to massage your muscles while bathing.
Massage Oil: 1 ounce olive oil with 8 drops of one or a combination of these Essential Oils:
Lavender, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage.
For Relaxation: This blend is for relaxation and stress relief. It will induce a deep relaxation of the tissues, muscles and joints, and re-establish a good energy balance.
Blend the following essential oils into one ounce of olive oil and massage as desired. It may also be used as a bath oil.
Homemade Gel Fragrance! You can make your own gel air fresheners with a few simple ingredients. No more purchasing expensive ones to scent your cottage. Here is all you need:
1 cup water (divided) 1 envelope Knox gelatin 1/8 tsp rubbing alcohol or vodka 1/2 tsp essential oil or fragrance oil
Boil 1/2 cup water, then dissolve the Knox gel in it. Add the other half of the water (cold) and stir until blended. Add the alcohol and essential oil and stir until well blended. Pour into jars of your choice and set out to fragrance your rooms! Don't place these on a very warm spot like the top of the TV or it will liquify. If this happens, you can restore it by popping it into the refrigerator for a short time.
Use your favorite herbs or spices this spring to flavor oils for salad dressings and cooking. Plan ahead to let oil steep for at least 2 weeks. You can purchase lovely glass decanters almost everywhere these days, so stock up to make gifts for friends you know who love to use oils in their cooking.
Preparation: Wash and dry your choice of herb branches and lightly bruise them to release flavor. Place them in a clean decorative glass container, cover with oil, and seal tightly. Leave in a cool, dark place to infuse for about two weeks. Taste. If not strong enough, add more fresh herbs and let stand another week. You can either strain the oil or leave the herbs in. If you do not strain the herbs out, the flavor will become stronger as it stands, so keep that in mind.
Less strongly-flavored oils like sunflower oil and safflower oil work best to give a more prominent herb flavor. However, extra-virgin olive oil is also a good choice.
Note: If you begin with a monounsatured oil such as olive oil or peanut oil, the infused oils should be refrigerated. These are highly perishable and can turn rancid quickly.
You can also add garlic, but remove the garlic cloves after a couple of days so as to not overpower the flavor of the herbs. If you choose to leave the garlic cloves in the oil, be sure to refrigerate the oil to avoid the threat of botulism. An easy way to remove the garlic is to put the garlic on bamboo skewers before inserting in to the oil. It can easily be removed when you desire.
Also, use the oils within two months. You can use them in salad dressings and marinades to enjoy full flavor.
Herb Suggestions: rosemary, thyme, basil, tarragon, summer savory, oregano, cilantro, marjoram, chervil, chives, dill, mint, parsley, bay leaf.
Smoothing Skin Lotion! Mix 1 teaspoon honey with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and 1/4 teaspoon lemon. Rub into your hands, elbows, heels and anywhere that feels dry. Leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse off with water and you'll feel as smooth as silk.
The aroma of fresh baked Blueberry Yogurt Muffins! I recently purchased a large amount of fresh blueberries and have been looking for healthy ways to use them. This muffin recipe will be the next thing I bake!
Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup sugar 1 egg, lightly beaten 1/4 cup unsweetened orange juice 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 carton (8 ounce) vanilla low-fat yogurt 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed Vegetable cooking spray 1 tablespoon sugar
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine egg and next 4 ingredients; add to dry ingredients. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Gently fold in blueberries. Spoon batter evenly into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray; sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar evenly over batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 mins or until golden. Remove pans immediately; cool on a wire rack.
Whether you find yourself with a bad cold or just stressed out and needing to find relief in some aromatherapy, this post is for you.
A homemade inhaler, that is very easy to have in your pocket or purse, is made by simply saving an empty chap stick or lipstick tube. Wash out the tube with hot soap and water to remove all traces of previous ingredients. Let it air dry. Next put a piece of cotton in the inhaler and measure the drops of essential oils for your blend directly on the cotton! That is all there is to it! The possibilities are endless. When your inhaler aroma becomes weakened it's easy to change the cotton ball and refresh with new oils.
Some of the best essential oils for stress relief include: Lemon Lavender Chamomile Rose Sandalwood Cedarwood Frankincense Vetiver Blue tansy
Please exercise caution in using any aromatherapy products or oils to treat stress. There is a huge variety in the quality of essential oils and certain oils can worsen stress and cause allergic reactions.
The best oils to use for cold and stuffy head relief include: Cedarwood Cinnamon Eucalyptus Geranium Ginger Lavender Lemon Marjoram Peppermint Rosemary Tea tree
Try this blend of 1 drop each of eucalyptus, lemon, peppermint and rosemary essential oils. These inhalers are especially helpful for cold relief right now since a lot of cold medicines have been pulled from market shelves for recall.
Dear Friends, I wanted to take a moment to update you on my blog spam issues. Since I turned on the word verification feature I have not received even a single spam mail to my blog! That is an incredible outcome as far as I'm concerned. I went from 11+ spam mails a day to my blog to ZERO, and I owe it all to word verification. I will be leaving it on a week or so more and then will turn it off and see if it put a halt to it by not being accessible. If the spam returns I will be forced to put the word verification feature on much longer. It is my hopes that my wonderful friends and readers will continue to leave comments no matter if the feature is on or off. I know it is an annoyance but I love hearing from you and reading your comments. To those of you who read my blog and have not yet felt comfortable enough to leave comments, please do! I love hearing from you and new friends make my day.
Without wearing any mask we are conscious of, we have a special face for each friend. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Journals, 1843
You need a village, if only for the pleasure of leaving it. A village means that you are not alone, knowing that in the people, the trees, the earth, there is something that belongs to you, waiting for you when you are not there. ~Casare Pavese
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