Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer. Show all posts

09 August 2016

Denny Lyon Gifts: New Design: Too Happy Octopus

Too Happy Octupus Shower Curtain

Too Happy Octopus Shower Curtain

Check out this happy octopus, a sci-fy thinker!

Denny Lyon Gifts: New Design: Too Happy Octopus:  From Denny:  It's summer and time to hit the beach!  Maybe if you are lucky enough to live in a place like Florida where the beach is year round, maybe not.  You can always bring the beach and the denizens of the ocean indoors with this fun design. 

This octopus is a real scify thinker and a happy guy sure to make you smile.  The design is on all manner of products at Cafe Press/DennyLyonGifts, from handbags and totes to t-shirts and bedding, posters too.  Take a look and enjoy browsing my Denny Lyon Gifts site.  All my profits go to two charities I really love:  St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital and the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank here in Louisiana (where they feed almost half of the state!)

Thanks for stopping by for a look and please be sure to pass the word on to your friends and relatives to help fund these charities!  Thank you!

Denny Lyon Gifts: New Design: Too Happy Octopus:  for more fun posts giving a shout out to newest designs!

Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @  -  see what's new!  

Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @  -  see what's new!  

* Check out Dennys News Politics Comedy Science Arts & Food - a place where all my other many blogs link so you can choose from among the latest posts all in one place.  A free to read online newspaper from independent journalist blogger Denny Lyon. * 

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25 August 2015

Summer Food: Raspberry Almond Cheesecake Tartlets

Photo by Helana Brigman  --  Instead of cheesecake, try Raspberry Almond Cream Tartlets.
       Photo by Helana Brigman

From Denny:  Do you enjoy cheesecake but want an easier way to make it?  Then this recipe is for you.  I like cheesecake too but find it too large for just two of us to eat and too time consuming to make unless I plan on entertaining a hungry crowd.  

A springform pan is an absolute must to make a proper cheesecake - and the patience of a saint to leave the oven door cracked open as it slowly cools down for hours so you can hopefully avoid it cracking straight down the middle like an ugly scar.  Usually, I've been pretty lucky over the years.  Of course, when I wasn't lucky it was evident that a wonderful fruit topping like blueberry or strawberry could hide a multitude of sins just like gravy on a screwed up dinner. :)

Well, this recipe from food writer Helana Brigman is for the cheesecake challenged and the impatient.  You make this cheesecake in mini tartlets pans that are individual portions in just bite sized pieces rather than a huge honking slice of 6,000 calories like you get served at the Cheesecake Bistro.

What's involved in this recipe is to first make a simple graham cracker crust you crush up in your food processor or blender.  If you don't have that available then resort to the manual method of crushing graham crackers between two pieces of waxed paper using a pastry rolling pin.  

If you are really desperate just use a heavy jar of applesauce or canned "something" to roll over the waxed paper.  Yes, I have been wildly creative over the years, especially when the weather was too yucky to run out and get an ingredient that was missing or the electricity went out.  During hurricanes it's easy to get bored so you start working on what you can for a meal until the electricity comes back on to finish it.

The cheese filling could not be simpler:  cream cheese, vanilla, sugar and lemon zest.

The fruit glaze is made with fresh ripe strawberries, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice that you heat up in a nonstick pan.  If you don't like nonstick pans like I don't then use a double boiler.  Just place medium high heated water in bottom pot that is turned down to a slow simmer and place a smaller pot or even a pasta bowl on top to heat your ingredients.  Just be careful as you remove the cooked fruit glaze from the bottom pot because the steam can burn you.

Assemble by lightly spraying your tartlet pans with oil or rub with a little soft butter.  Press the crushed graham cracker crumb mixture until you line the sides well.  Bake the crust.  Make your cheese filling and spread over the cooled crusts.  Make your fruit glaze, cool it, and then spread onto the tartlets.  There will be leftover fruit glaze you can enjoy on your pancakes or ice cream.  Rinse your raspberries and arrange in the center of the tartlets with sprinkles of sliced almonds all along the outside edges in a ring.

Now contain yourself and any sticky fingers in the house!  Chill the assembled tartlets for three hours before serving.  If you plan to keep them overnight - or if they survive that long at your house - then be sure to cover with plastic wrap to prevent them from losing moisture or absorbing any possible refrigerator odors.

Yes, you can enjoy making cheesecake at home with this easy recipe!  Try it with different fruits like blueberry or peaches...

Keep Calm, Really? Potholder

Unleash your funny inner emotional diva!
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Keep Calm Really? Queen Duvet

Keep Calm Really? Queen Duvet

Unleash your funny inner emotional diva!  Design also available in twin and king sizes with pillow cases, pillows, t-shirts and more products.
Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @  -  see what's new! 

21 August 2015

Summer Food: Blueberry Yum Yum Cake Says It All

From Denny:  This sheet pan cake of creamy goodness only requires two cups of fresh blueberries.  First you make a simple syrup of water and sugar, add cornstarch to thicken, then add the blueberries.  Set the blueberry topping aside to cool while you create the crust.

The crust is a yummy combination of finely chopped pecans, butter and flour that you pat into the sheet pan and bake for about 10 to 20 minutes to make your tasty crust.  Set aside to cool.

To make your filling you combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar together and when that is well combined you add in the whipped topping, pouring it into the cooled crust.

After the blueberry topping has cooled then pour over the cream cheese-powdered sugar-whipping topping mixture.  Now set the sheet pan of blueberry goodness into the fridge to chill well.  Serve to screams of total delight!

Cooper Name Mug

Shooting star Cooper says, "I'm the man!" What confidence! Who doesn't want to drink coffee every morning with him?  More products available in this name design for your pet or your man! 
Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @  -  see what's new!  

13 August 2015

Summer Food: Blueberry Lemonade To Beat The Heat

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Grandma's Blueberry Lemonade
2TheAdvocate photo: HEATHER MCCLELLAND

From Denny:  Blue food.  It's pretty to look at and cooling in this summer heat.  Blueberries are the very essence of summer.  Did you know the silvery bloom on blueberries is a naturally protective waxy coating?  

Most people don't wash them until just when ready to eat.  Well, that doesn't work in our house so I pour a large bowl of water, add about 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar and let the entire plastic box and blueberries soak for about 5 minutes to kill bacteria.  Drain the entire box well, dry off a bit with a towel and throw back into the fridge.  Usually, a reputable grocery store - and even from the farm - they give the berries a quick vinegar wash to brush off leaves and bugs.

We all like to dine on blueberries by the handfuls as snacks, toss them on to the breakfast cereal or yogurt and make breakfast muffins. Here's a new twist: how about blueberries in your homemade lemonade?

This interesting recipe (from our local newspaper food writer) combines two fruit syrups:  a blueberry syrup and a lemon syrup.  You only use the blueberry syrup to color the lemonade to your preference.  The remaining blueberry syrup can be used on pancakes, waffles, toast or even in salad dressings.  OK, you got me, this lemonade is so doggone pretty!  Great idea for summer entertaining...

Lucy Name Mug

Is your fav person, dog or cat named Lucy? Check out fun products for her! "Lucy is in the house!"  Loads of other names available so check back often as new ones added.
Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @  -  see what's new!  

Lucy Name Canvas Lunch Tote

Lucy - whether human or beloved pet - deserves her own special tote for her yummy treats!
Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @  -  see what's new!  

05 August 2015

BBQ Grilling: Red Onions, Shishito Peppers with Peanut Sauce

Grilled Red Onions and Shishito Peppers With Peanut Sauce is a simple and fast dish that plays up the smoke and char.
AP photo:  Red Onions, Shishito Peppers with Peanut Sauce

From Denny:  When it comes to summer entertaining we all like to fire up the grill.  Well, here's a finger friendly recipe for those chili pepper nibblers and snackers who want to try the latest Shishito pepper sensation in the food world.

The peanut sauce is a medley of awesome flavors: smooth natural peanut butter, red wine vinegar, fresh garlic, fresh ginger, soy sauce and your favorite hot sauce.  All that's left to do is add some other good recipes to your party menu like this grilled chicken dunked in that famous Alabama White Sauce!

BBQ Grilling: Butterflied Barbecue Chicken with Alabama White Sauce

Just Chill Pales Mug

Whether it's cooling off from the sweltering summer heat or a heated situation it's definitely time to "Just Chill!"
Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @  -  see what's new!  

24 July 2014

Summer Recipe: Cool Fake Watermelon Cheesecake

Photo provided by Family Features --  Serve up a hot Fourth of July with fun treats, clockwise, from left, Cool Watermelon Cheesecake; Red, White and Blue Treat Pops and Sweet Sliders.
Photo: Family Features 

From Denny:  This is such a fun colorful cheesecake to make that is sure to impress for any special holiday or occasion!  While it looks like watermelon it's really a strawberry flavored cheesecake supported by a delicious coconut and pistachio crumble crust that imitates the watermelon rind.  How clever is that?  And you know it sure tastes better than the rind. :) To imitate the look of the watermelon seeds you garnish the cheesecake with mini chocolate chips.  

The beauty of this cheesecake is that you don't have to bake it.  Everything is done on the stove top and then chilled.  Well, I'm sold; ready to start cooking?  

With some extra effort - on a slow lazy weekend when you have some time - this might be fun to make in small mini cheesecakes.  It could be one of those special treats you can pull out at the last minute when unexpected company shows up for a visit and you don't have the time to stop and shop. 

You could probably freeze this cheesecake (the large or the mini versions) before garnishing with the mini chocolate chips, especially if you are only cooking for two and just can't eat an entire cheesecake.  I wouldn't freeze it with the chocolate chips as chocolate tends to get an unattractive bloom on it when frozen and then thawed.  It's your call.  I often freeze cheesecakes I make as we like smaller portions at our house  to control the calories and because we find cheesecake so rich a dessert.  Sometimes I freeze cheesecake in well wrapped slices or take the time to make the smaller tart size.

Kid Friendly Recipe:  This recipe would be fun to do with older children to help teach them more about cooking.  They could easily help make the crust and help mix the cream cheese mixture.  You would have to supervise the stove top cooking of the frozen strawberries and dealing with the red food coloring as that could get quite messy. :)  But kids could help sprinkle the gelatin over the pan of cooked strawberries and help you stir until dissolved.  You might want to be the one to add the red food coloring and let them stir it into the mixture.  Kids are definitely up to helping decorate with the mini chocolate chips - though you may find quite a few missing before they land on the cheesecake!

Retro Sunburst 17" Laptop Sleeve
Check out this happy design and a blast from the retro past - Available in other sizes, also in bedding and much more!
From Louisiana artist Denny Lyon
Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @  -  see what's new! 

06 July 2013

Easy Summer Lemon Icebox Pie

From Denny:  Want to learn how to make a simple Southern summer favorite that is a comfort food classic?  This simple pie is a breeze and is always best with freshly squeezed lemon juice.  Summer is the time when lemons are plentiful and affordable so buy a whole bag and make several pies!  

Just LOVE Clutch Bag

* * *  Support Warriors Pearl Foundation - contributing to fund efforts to help homeless female military veterans come home.  Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @  -  see what's new!  

04 July 2012

Dennys: News Politics Comedy Science Arts & Food: 15 Funny Tasty July Fourth Posts

Cover of "Happy Birthday, America"

Dennys: News Politics Comedy Science Arts & Food: 15 Funny Tasty July Fourth Posts: From Denny:  Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday time off.  It certainly is hotter than ever this summer.  And we have global warming to enjoy for years to come.  So laugh a lot while you are figuring out how to adapt to this new extreme weather sport:  scorching summers.

Meanwhile, I have some great photography to give you a smile and some amusing poems to read while you try some new recipes.  Be sure to check out the July Fourth quotes both funny and serious that will certainly make you think.  Happy July Fourth!

America Mug

America: Does it get any better?

* * *  Support Warriors Pearl Foundation - helping homeless female military veterans come home.  Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @  - see what's new! 

03 July 2012

Poems From A Spiritual Heart: Sweltering Summer Heat

Poems From A Spiritual Heart: Sweltering Summer Heat: Ever wonder "just how hot is it?" this summer...

Panting hot dog photo by jimf0390 @ flickr

I Love America iPad Sleeve
Show your love for America!

* * *  Support Warriors Pearl Foundation - helping homeless female military veterans come home.  Visit Denny Lyon Gifts  @  -   - see what's new! 

01 February 2009

Recipe: Sweet and Sour Salmon with Horseradish Sauce

Sweet and Sour Salmon with Horseradish Sauce

This salmon would also be an easy dish to do ahead during a hot summer and good for entertaining and special occasions like Passover. Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. The horseradish sauce can be prepared up to one week ahead.

Yield: 12 servings.

From: Susan Baum for Passover meal

Ingredients for Horseradish Sauce:

1 (8 to 10 oz.) horseradish root, trimmed, peeled, chopped (about 1 ¾ cups)

½ cup water

3 Tablespoons white vinegar

1 Tablespoon sugar

Ingredients for Salmon:

4 cups water

2 cups dry white wine

½ cup fresh lemon juice

½ cup sugar

20 black peppercorns

12 large fresh dill sprigs

2 bay leaves

4 teaspoons salt

12 (3 to 4 oz.) salmon fillets with skin

3 tomatoes, sliced into ½ -inch-thick rounds

1 cucumber, thinly sliced

Directions for Horseradish Sauce: Blend all ingredients in processor until almost smooth. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Directions for Salmon: Combine 2 cups water, 1 cup wine, ¼ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup sugar, 10 peppercorns, 6 dill sprigs, 1 bay leaf and 2 teaspoons salt in each of 2 large skillets over medium-high heat.

Bring to boil, stirring occasionally until sugar and salt dissolve. Reduce heat to medium-low.

Add 6 salmon fillets to each skillet; cover and simmer 3 minutes. Turn salmon over. Cover and simmer until just opaque in center, about 3 minutes. Cool 5 minutes.

Divide salmon and marinade into two 13x9x2-inch glass baking dishes. Refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; keep refrigerated.) Using large spatula, lift salmon from marinade; transfer to plates. Remove skin, if desired. Garnish with tomatoes and cucumber slices. Serve with horseradish sauce.

Note: For other recipes visit my other fun blog -
Romancing The Chocolate
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