It's a Keeper: Turbo Classics Menu

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When I have friends over for dinner for the first time, I just take all the thinking out of it and make Rachael Ray's Pesto Torta and her Turbo Classics menu: Garlic Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon, Pesto Mashed Potatoes and Sweet and Bitter Greens Salad with Gorgonzola Blue Cheese Dressing. You can find all these recipes in Cooking 'Round the Clock.

It's a Keeper: Turbo Classics MenuWe started with the Pesto Torta. This really couldn't be any easier and I've never met a guest that didn't like it. Next time I make it, I think I will cut the recipe in half, since I think it would look prettier that way with the dish I use to make it. I just serve it with Triscuits and sometimes a sliced baguette. Rachael's recipe is here, but you can see my tweaks over at the Sacramento Food Group, since this is what I brought to the Sacramento Food Bloggers Potluck.

It's a Keeper: Turbo Classics MenuNext on the menu is the Roasted Garlic Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary. I like serving this when I have friends over because you just throw the darn thing in the oven. This cuts down on the necessity of multi-tasking while cooking, chatting and drinking a glass of wine all at the same time. Plus, everyone seems to like the flavors here: garlic, rosemary, lemon and white wine. The only scary part is making sure that the chicken is fully cooked. That's my husband's job. He says he can just feel how firm it is in order to tell it's cooked through. Sounds like magic to me.

It's a Keeper: Turbo Classics MenuAlso on the menu was Sweet and Bitter Greens Salad with Gorgonzola Blue Cheese Dressing. I tweak the salad a bit, since (a) I don't like romaine and (b) they never have watercress in my grocery store. I still use the endive, but with organic mixed greens instead. If you make sure that your guests like blue cheese, then you can be pretty sure they'll like gorgonzola. The combination of walnuts, pears and gorgonzola is just divine. Plus, it really makes you look like a fancy chef when you bring it to the table.

If I could have taken a good picture of the Pesto Smashed Potatoes, I would have. They ended up more brown than green, which simply didn't look appetizing when photographed. But the flavor was familiar enough to be comfortable, but with a bit of flair to make it interesting. If I make this menu just for us, I omit the mashed potatoes, due to our strict adherence to Phase 4 of the South Beach Diet. Tee hee.

Give this menu a try next time you have a dinner party!

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Title: Firewind - Brother's Keeper

This is Brother's Keeper, by Firewind, off their 2nd album, Burning Earth.

There is an answer to it all
We must embrace or we will destroy all we are

I was reeling from the news today
Crying out was a world in pain
Here and now it seems somehow we broke the vow
To be our Brother's keeper

This world can be a lonely, lonely place
It doesn't have to be your only fate

Same old story for another day
Nothing changing and there's hell to pay
Here and now it seems somehow we broke the vow
To be our Brother's keeper

This world can be a lonely, lonely place
It doesn't have to be your only fate
Open up to reveal your spirit face
Forgive forget and live for love's embrace

I am not alone, in feeling we've been wrong
Wasting the gifts of our lives
Say that you'll agree, it's up to you and me
We hold the key to survive

This world can be a lonely, lonely place
It doesn't have to be your only fate
Open up to reveal your spirit face
Forgive forget and live for love's embrace

Firewind, Burning Earth-era, were
- Stephen Fredrick - Vocals
- Gus G. - Guitars & Keys
- Petros Christo - Bass
- Stian L. Kristoffersen - Drums

Title: Elephant Talks - Scientists Seek Answers

An elephant at a South Korean zoo has attracted the attention of an international research team amid reports that the animal can talk. According to zoo officials, 20-year old "Kosik" can vocalize at least seven words in Korean and the scientists are eager to learn how.

Twenty-year-old Kosik may be living proof that an elephant never forgets.

According to his keepers at the Everland theme park in Yong-in, Kosik has remembered and can vocalize at least seven words in Korean, words such as "hi" and "lie down" or "good."

Scientists like Dr. Daniel Mietchen from the University of Jena in Germany want to know more and they've come to the zoo to see what makes Kosik tick... or talk.

[Dr. Daniel Mietchen, Biological Scientist, University of Jena]:
"As far as we know Kosik is the only living elephant capable of this, but there are other elephants imitated other sounds like sounds of truck or other elephants."

The scientists say that through Kosik they might be able to prove that elephants are capable of learning language, although they say it's unlikely he understands the meaning of the words he expresses.

According to his keeper, Kim Jong-kap, Kosik's pronunciation has improved a great deal since 2006, when Kim first heard him.

[Kim Jong-kap, Kosik's Trainer]:
"At first, he had made a simple sound, not some specific word. However, as time went by, he was vocalizing some words accurately."

For zoo visitors, Kosik is a huge attraction in more ways than one. And for the scientists, the work ahead could break new ground... just as long as they can keep Kosik talking.

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September Foodstuff - Orange and Oatmeal Breakfast Breads

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It's funny, I always made sure that the kids ate breakfast every morning but never made sure I did, shame on me! What makes it even worse, I so enjoy breakfast breads. One would think I should follow my own rule and at least have a slice of bread with my morning coffee right? Last week I decided to try out some new breakfast bread recipes hoping that I would maybe start my day with a cup and a slice...

Country Oatmeal Bread
Taken from Betty Crocker's Breads ©1974 (a gift from mom) adapted for a bread machine

1 cup hot water
1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats or quick rolled oats
1/4 cup molasses
2 tsp salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg
2 3/4 cups bread flour
2 tsp active dry yeast

Add hot water, stir in oats. Add remaining ingredients in the order given. Set machine to basic.

The bread turned out to be a wonderful texture and color. As for the oatmeal flavor, it was just a hint; not what I expected. Next time I will increase the oatmeal by at least 1/4 cup. Even though it didn't have the oatmeal flavor I expected, all was not lost. Turns out this bread is awesome for making french toast. I sliced it rather thick, more than 1/2", and allowed it to soak in the egg mixture for a minute or so. Makes great french toast sticks too.

This week I made cinnamon orange bread. After doing some searching online and conferring with my bread machine recipe book and two other bread books, I came up with my own recipe. Red named this one...

Cinnamon Sunshine Bread

* 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice( 5-6 medium oranges)
* 1/2 cup water
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 4 tablespoons honey
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 egg, beaten well
* zest 1 medium size orange
* 4 cups bread flour
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Add ingredients to bread pan in the order given for your bread machine. I selected the rapid bread setting and set the crust to light. What a savory bread; slightly sweet, perfectly moist, with a rich orange flavor. I warmed and buttered a few slices for Red and I this afternoon. It was at that moment Red came up with the name!

September Foodstuff ? BREAD


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