Monday, December 29, 2008

Just a Note from your Hostess....

Next year I promise to be more organized and give holiday tips, decorating ideas and recipes. This holiday season has been very different for Master and I as we have some family obligations that took a lot of our time and energy. I hope to enjoy the holiday season much more next year.

I do have some posts coming for the New Year though so please look out for those!

And please feel free to write or comment on ideas and things you would like to see here also!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Slow Cooker Pork Stew

1-1/2 lb. pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
16 oz. kielbasa or Polish sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 15-oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
6 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1-inch chunks
1 14-oz. can chicken broth or 1-3/4 cups water
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup coarsely chopped tomato or halved cherry tomatoes
Crumb Topper (recipe below)

In a 6- to 7-quart slow cooker combine pork shoulder, kielbasa, onions, garlic, beans, carrots, chicken broth, tomato paste, thyme, and pepper. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Stir in tomatoes. Cover and cook 10 minutes more. Spoon serving into a bowl and top with crumb topping.

Crumb Topper: Crumb Topper: In a food processor or bowl combine 1-1/2 cups coarse French bread crumbs, 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Mix until blended. Spread the crumbs out on a baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden and dry, 20 to 30 minutes.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Maple Fudge

While making chocolate fudge last year during the holidays, I was taking out the vanilla extract from the cupboard and next to it was the maple extract. I had bought it because Master enjoys all things maple flavored. I had tried some maple cookies but they didn't turn out quite right here with the altitude we live in. So it had sat there waiting for me to try it out on something else. But since I was making chocolate fudge I thought why not maple fudge? I looked on the internet and really didn't find any that worked for me. Most recipes used pure maple syrup which I am sure would be great but I had maple extract sitting in my cupboard unused at that time (now I have a few recipes I use it in).

So I looked at my chocolate fudge recipe that I adore and found a recipe on Eagle Brand for a fudge recipe that I might be able to play with and make into a maple fudge recipe. So I rolled up my sleeves and just went for took 2 batches to perfect it. And now it is Master's favorite! I make it for him several times a year just as a special treat for him.


1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups butterscotch chips
2 sticks butter
2 tsp maple extract

Place all ingredients except the extract into a 2-quart microwave safe mixing bowl and microwave on high for a total of 10 minutes but stirring every 2 minutes. Let cool slightly (usually about 5 to 8 minutes). Beat with a mixer for 3 minutes. Add maple extract and mix for another 2 minutes. Spread mixture into a buttered or parchment paper lined 8 x 8-inch (or 9 x 9) square pan. Chill to set and cut into squares.

These are my notes throughout creating this recipe.

Do beat that full 5 minutes (the 3 plus the 2 after the extract). It really does need the full 5 minutes to get it to the right consistency. When I didn't do this it wouldn't cut nice and smooth like fudge - but broke and crumbled.

This mixture bubbles up quite a bit so a 2 quart mixing bowl is needed or it will boil over/bubble over. Also the bowl and the mixture are VERY HOT so when you stir every 2 minutes be very careful.

The look of it when stirring every 2 minutes:
First stir after 2 minutes in the microwave it will look very greasy because the butter is melting. And very few chips are melted.

After the 4 and 6 minutes it almost look separated - the chips are melting and the butter is fully melted but they don't look like they are going to come together.

After 8 minutes it is coming together the chips are fully melted but the edges looked greasy.

And at the 10 minute mark it almost looks sticky like caramel. But beating it will create a smooth fudge consistency.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Good Wife's Guide

This Good Wife article has been circulating on some of the submissive lists/groups I am on lately - again. So I thought I would post it here too. Click on the picture to get a bigger view but also I am copying the text below.

  • Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have be thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they get home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed.
  • Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
  • Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
  • Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Run a dustcloth over the tables.
  • During the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
  • Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.
  • Be happy to see him.
  • Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
  • Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
  • Don't greet him with complaints and problems.
  • Don't complain if he's late for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through at work.
  • Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or lie him down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
  • Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
  • Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
  • A good wife always knows her place

Now take it with a grain of salt. Can some of it be a good guide to help service? Can some of it just be good domestic practices? Of course some of the items can be positive. But of course take what works and throw the rest out. Bend it and shape it to fit your life in service or laugh at if you think it is just funny.

(BTW this has been on snopes as not being a "real" article)


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