Archive for July 18th, 2009

DSC_0040The description on the package of the shortbread mix says…”Light and delicate, this Gluten Free Shortbread Cookie Mix is the go-to cookie mix for bakers looking to make the perfect shortbread cookie”.

It continues…”Sweet, but not overly rich, these cookies are delightful on their own, but can be spruced up with a few minor adaptations.”

I baked these with my parents in mind since they love a good shortbread biscuit with tea.  Since this was a Gluten Free mix, I was really interested in getting their feedback.


 The description on the package was right on. Delicate, light, just enough sweetness, a perfect snack time cookie.

Very easy to make:

  • 1 pkg. (1 1/2 lb) of Bob’s Red Mill GF Shortbread Cookie Mix
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 TBS water

Beat the butter for 30 seconds. Add the egg yolk. Add the water. Add the mix in 3 stages.  The dough is super crumbly but it rolls out very easily between two sheets of wax paper. Easy cleanup.  Make your cut outs and bake 15 minutes at 375 F.  

If you know someone or if a member of your family must stay away from wheat gluten, look for this mix.  Delicious!


Now I want to know what your favorite Gluten Free recipe is. I’ve seen so many out in the blogsphere and they all look fantastic.  So if you have a GF recipe for cookies, cakes, etc. that is easy and it’s one of your favorites, let me know.  I’d love to try it.


What’s MORE?….

It’s that GIANT COOKIE I promised. Here is the Graduation Cookie Tray with the Giant Cookie in the middle.


A giant pizza cookie, cream cheese cut outs, sugar cookies, star brownies, brownie balls, chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, carrot cake whoopie pies. Good Luck, Katelyn!




What about “Creamed Spinach”.  Here is my version. Serves 4

  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 1 2/ bags of baby spinach
  • 3.5 oz Goat cheese
  • salt aDSC_0051nd pepper and garlic powder

Directions:  Put about 1 TBS olive oil in a pan. Heat on medium high and saute the pepper for 4 minutes. Add the spinach and let it cook down, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add goat cheese and let simmer 10 minutes letting the cheese melt. Add salt and pepper, garlic to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve.

A review of Saturday. 

Shane and I ran 6.6 miles through the Switchbacks at Valley View golf course. That was exciting because we met 2 dogs, off leash.  Shane was very friendly as were they and all went well.  I thought the Switchbacks would be teaming with horseflies because it was warmer and muggier this morning. It wasn’t that bad. A good run. 

As for the rest of the day, Dad and Ted played golf, Mum and I decorated the cookies, etc. for the graduation tray…

My Cookie Tray Helper.

My Cookie Tray Helper.


We played with the dogs, Mocha and Shane. Shopped…it was a very nice Saturday spent with Mum.

Looking forward to a more relaxed Sunday.


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As we were getting ready to go to dinner last night, I looked down to make sure the shoes looked ok with the dress and look what I found:   I DID bathe but it won’t come off! 

Click on the pic to enter for some goodies from Old Bay

Click on the pic to enter for some goodies from Old Bay

Click on the picture to enter for some goodies from Old Bay.

I have offered a review of Valley View restaurant before because it is conveniently located from our house, the staff are so friendly, the food is good -reasonably priced gourmet cuisine, it is clean, a fun place to eat and we love it.   Last night’s dinner deserves a standing ovation. Chef Mario outdid himself.  There wasn’t one negative remark from our table – well, there was a “greens” mishap.

Valley View Restaurant is located on the Parkway in Utica. It is the upstairs facility at Valley View Golf Course.  They offer “Blues with a View” on Wednesday evenings on the deck where a Raw Bar is made available to patrons.  There is live music and people have a great time.  Out door dining is offered on weekends as well if a party hasn’t reserved the deck and if the weather is nice.  We sat inside last evening because the temperatures had dropped and my parents were with us.  They tend to prefer indoor seating. 

We arrived at  Valley View at 6:45pm and Happy Hour Two For One was in full swing.  I asked for Chardonnay and my mother requested Canei, her favorite.  They didn’t serve Canei but had Sutterhome White Zinfandel.  Since my mother can’t drink two glasses of wine, we asked for only one but the bartender insisted he had to pour two.  Ted and each shared a Chard. plus made it through my mother’s extra glass of wine.  wine

The bread is always served with tiny pizza/tomato pie squares – enough for everyone at the table.  Both the bread and the squares are too good to resist.  pizza

We ordered meatless greens as an appetizer.  I actually found ONE piece of proscuitto in them!  Ted was quick to grab it and utter..”what meat?!!!”  However, dissection was mandatory with every fork full.  They were delicious, and weren’t too hot.  I picked out all the wonderful cherry peppers to enjoy myself but even those didn’t have much heat. Personally I like my greens spicy hot. Ted and my parents prefer little or no heat. 


A crisp, green salad followed the greens..salad




Now it’s time for entrees.

Ted had Veal Marsala

Ted had Veal Marsala

My father had this succulant looking pork chop in gravy with mushrooms

My father had this succulent looking pork chop in gravy with mushrooms

My mother indulged in this HUGE piece of fish offered in the Fish Fry

My mother indulged in this HUGE piece of fish offered in the Fish Fry

My dinner deserves special attention.  I had one of the specials: Blackened Sea Bass served in a Fruit and Fennel salad.  Honestly I cannot remember ever having Sea Bass so good.  The fruit salad…it was so light, not sugared or too saucy, comprised of grapefruit, orange, strawberry slices, fresh raspberries and blueberries.  The fennel (or anise) was crisp and almost unseasoned. The fruit-fennel ensamble paired SO well with the very light spiciness of the blackend fish.  In regards to the blackened fish, it was moist and so delicate in taste, the seasoning was almost undetectable, but JUST enough.  It was pricey, $26.95, but if you pay that much for a dish, it should be as good as this Sea Bass was.  Fantastic!
Look at this fish! The fresh fruit! Wow!

Look at this fish! The fresh fruit! Wow!

Ted and I had the vegetable side..
Guess who had dessert?  Ted of course.  He had the fresh fruit with marscapone cream and chocolate mousse on the bottom.
If you have never been to Valley View, please give it a try.  They will accomodate family and special dietary needs (just double check your meatless greens!).
Tune in later for more on The Giant Cookie and a graduation cookie tray.
Have a good Saturday!
By the way – I have no idea what happened to the top part of this post. WordPress just decided to put all text in one photo and when I fixed it, it deleted all my pics. I had to recopy and then they returned as micro-photos.  😡
Such is life!

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