The Blessing of the Easter Basket: Happy Easter 2017

I know it’s been awhile since I posted last and i apologize;  I am reposting this page in memory of  My Father Daniel Komarinski who left this world  on

March 12, 2017, he was 84 years old.  This was his Favorite Holiday and tomorrow he will  be with us in Spirit and in our hearts.

From my Family to yours we wish you a Happy and Blessed Easter!1157739_10200753859950597_353724998_n

Daniel Komarinski

July 25, 1932 –  March 12, 2017

The Easter Basket

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Saturday morning we prepared our basket of food to be blessed for Easter morning breakfast.  We would get up early so we could color the eggs and help my mom wrap the food and prepare the basket.  The family has grown so much that we now have brunch.

IMG_0565  The basket is filled with ham, kielbasa, Easter bread, colored eggs, horseradish, butter, and two kinds of cheese.  The blessed food is handled with much care, any scraps or crumbs are gathered and must be buried or burned.  Also a little bit of each blessed item is kept back for the 2nd sunday of Easter to celebrate Russian Easter ( this at one time included Byzantine Rite which now goes with the Catholic Church Calendar)

As a child Easter Sunday could not come soon enough.  We would go to 8am mass then come home for breakfast…NO candy from our Easter Baskets before breakfast ( as a kid you thought this was a cruel & unusual punishment..LOL)  

IMG_0513 Breakfast started with a blessing.  Then my dad would pass out pieces of blessed egg topped with fresh ground horseradish and vinegar.  The bitter horseradish and cider vinegar represented the death of Christ and the egg represented His life and resurrection.  I don’t know how to spell the Ukrainian phrase that we speak. When my dad would present the egg for us to eat he says in Ukrainian “Christ is Risen” and we will answer him in Ukrainian “Indeed He has”.   When we were little, this would cause giggles to break out as we would stumble over the mouth full of word for we wanted to answer my father perfectly.  My Uncle Mike, my dad’s older brother, and his wife Aunt Eleanor would spend Easter with us.  Uncle Mike would tell us to say “Easter Grass” in response as that is exactly what the phrase sounded like to us kids……We still joke about that to this day.

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Before church we would line up to have our picture taken in our new Easter outfits…Bless my parents for their patience….especially my dad.  It never seemed to fail, he would have the perfect shot and the flash bulb would not flash…We joke about the year the camera did not survive the Easter Picture.. 🙂

Constellation by Jennifer Locklear

★🌟★#NewRelease★🌟★

#Constellation by #JenniferLocklear is now LIVE!! Grab your copy of this #MustRead #ContemporaryRomance today!

Title: Constellation
Author: Jennifer Locklear | @RandomCran
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 20
Add to your TBR: http://bit.ly/2bB7pmC

Buy Links
http://books2read.com/u/mBe26k

Synopsis
She’s intelligent, beautiful, and emotionally numb.
He’s older, sophisticated, and harboring secrets.

Up-and-coming executive, Kathleen Brighton is ready to launch her family’s firm into the next level of success. Polished and professional on the outside, Kathleen’s personal life is a source of constant struggle and letdown. But after one night alone with Jack Evans, her sexy new colleague, her life takes a turn toward erotic intensity.

Torn between her instinct to guard herself and her irresistible desire for Jack, Kathleen has only known heartache. And when she finds herself in the middle of a shattering personal crisis, she must trust fragile and uncertain bonds to survive. Will Kathleen conquer the demons of her past to find a future worth fighting for?

“Constellation” Happy Release Day Congratulations Jennifer Locklear!!!!

ConsEbook  I am very excited to share the release of this amazing Story that was written by my friend Jennifer Locklear.    I was honored to be apart of this process, first with the cover reveal, then I was given an advance copy to read and review, and now letting everyone know how and where you can get your copy of the moving story. I purchased my own ebook on Amazon last night!

……May You Never Stop Reaching For The Stars…..

reviewI strongly recommend you put Constellation on your TBR list and tell all of your friends all about it!   Constellation is an amazing story, you are captivated with Jack and Kathleen when you read the first on the first page; you emotionally vested no turning back. I found myself talking back to Kathleen and Jack, telling them to communicate with one another and at times yelling at Kathleen to stop letting her mind and fear lead her astray. Their connection is strong and you will be rooting for them all the way. This is a romance story like you never read before and it’s author is brilliant, very hot scenes but at the same time is tackling issues we all struggle with daily. If you don’t put Constellation on you TBR list you will be sorry, this just the beginning of great things to come. Thank you Jennifer Locklear for sharing your talent and this beautiful story.  *This review can be found on my Goodreads page and on Amazon under lstnrome.

Title: Constellation

Author: Jennifer Locklear
Genre: Contemporary RomanceRelease Date: October 2
Add to your TBR: http://bit.ly/2bB7pmC

Synopsis
She’s intelligent, beautiful, and emotionally numb.
He’s older, sophisticated, and harboring secrets.

Up-and-coming executive, Kathleen Brighton is ready to launch her family’s firm into the next level of success. Polished and professional on the outside, Kathleen’s personal life is a source of constant struggle and letdown. But after one night alone with Jack Evans, her sexy new colleague, her life takes a turn toward erotic intensity.

Torn between her instinct to guard herself and her irresistible desire for Jack, Kathleen has only known heartache. And when she finds herself in the middle of a shattering personal crisis, she must trust fragile and uncertain bonds to survive. Will Kathleen conquer the demons of her past to find a future worth fighting for?

Buy Links
http://books2read.com/u/mBe26k

Constellation by Jennifer Locklear https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M7RDTRS/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_x_MR9bybWJ3CK1T via @amazonAbout the Author

 

Jennifer

Jennifer Locklear lives in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. She married her high school sweetheart, Morgan, in 1995. She is the mother of two children, a son and daughter.

Jennifer enjoyed creative writing as an adolescent, but set aside her favorite hobby to concentrate on college studies, career and family. In 2010, she rediscovered her passion for writing when her husband recruited her to edit his own stories. They co-authored and published their debut novel, Exposure, in 2014.

Since 2000, Jennifer has been employed in fundraising and development for a non-profit organization. She has been a contributing reviewer for the “Bookish Temptations” book blog and is a founding moderator of “Argyle Empire,” an approved fan site for author Sylvain Reynard.
She also enjoys participating in charitable activities, both locally and online.

Constellation is Jennifer’s first solo novel.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MorganandJenniferLocklear/?fref=ts
Twitter https://twitter.com/RandomCran

 

Constellation Cover Reveal

 

Congratulations Jennifer, may you never stop Reaching for the Stars

I am very Excited and honored to be apart of the Cover Reveal  for the Book Constellation written by my  very  talented and good friend Jennifer Locklear

Constellation Promo

 

Title: Constellation
Author: Jennifer Locklear
Designer: Jada D’Lee Designs
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 20
Add to your TBR: http://bit.ly/2bB7pmC

Synopsis
She’s intelligent, beautiful, and emotionally numb.
He’s older, sophisticated, and harboring secrets.

Up-and-coming executive, Kathleen Brighton is ready to launch her family’s firm into the next level of success. Polished and professional on the outside, Kathleen’s personal life is a source of constant struggle and letdown. But after one night alone with Jack Evans, her sexy new colleague, her life takes a turn toward erotic intensity.

Torn between her instinct to guard herself and her irresistible desire for Jack, Kathleen has only known heartache. And when she finds herself in the middle of a shattering personal crisis, she must trust fragile and uncertain bonds to survive. Will Kathleen conquer the demons of her past to find a future worth fighting for?

 

 

About the Author            Jennifer                    
Jennifer Locklear lives in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. She married her high school sweetheart, Morgan, in 1995. She is the mother of two children, a son and daughter.

Jennifer enjoyed creative writing as an adolescent, but set aside her favorite hobby to concentrate on college studies, career and family. In 2010, she rediscovered her passion for writing when her husband recruited her to edit his own stories. They co-authored and published their debut novel, Exposure, in 2014.

Since 2000, Jennifer has been employed in fundraising and development for a non-profit organization. She has been a contributing reviewer for the “Bookish Temptations” book blog and is a founding moderator of “Argyle Empire,” an approved fan site for author Sylvain Reynard.
She also enjoys participating in charitable activities, both locally and online.

Constellation is Jennifer’s first solo novel.            

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MorganandJenniferLocklear/?fref=ts
Twitter https://twitter.com/RandomCran

Pi it’s all Greek to me?….(Pie)

I dedicate this to my brother-in-law, Dave, who is a mathematician, and got me through college algebra. He and his boys, Ben and Sam, love to work on a problem that can’t be solved because it’s there!

 

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PI day is celebrated by mathematicians and math enthusiast from around the world every year on 3/14.    The Greek symbol used in mathematics represents a constant-the ratio of a circle’s circumference to it diameter which is approximately 3.14159265358979323846…..pi Math teachers have been using  pie as an example to explain Pi to confused high school students for years.  The earliest known official or large scale celebration of Pi Day was organized by  physicist Larry Shaw in 1988 while he worked at the San Francisco Exploratorium.  It is said that Shaw, with staff and public, marched around one of the it’s circular spaces while consuming fruit pies.  The Exploratorium continues to hold Pi Day celebrations.   In the year 2015, Pi Day had a special significance on 3/14/15 at 9:26:53 am and also p.m..  The date in this format along with the the time represented the first 10 digits of Pi.

It did not take long for companies like King Author flour to jump in on the celebration of Pi Day and use it as one of the greatest marketing tools around.  Every year they have sales on everything you need to bake a pie and encourage home bakers to bake and enjoy Pi (pie) Day.  This is a cleaver connection because there is a lot of math involved in baking.   And on Pi Day, restaurants around the country will offer the public a free piece of pie in celebration.

Below I have shared a few of my favorite pie recipes for Pi Day.   How ever you intend to celebrate 3/14/2016…solving a mathematical equation, baking a pie, or both, ENJOY!

Happy Pi (pie) Day!  I hope you enjoyed today’s story along with these yummy recipes.

Thanks for Reading….K. K.

 

Strawberry Pie       From the Kitchen of Mom                 images

9” Baked Pie Shell pre baked
1 quart Strawberries cut in half or in thirds (set aside)
3/4 cup of white sugar
2 Tablespoon of corn starch
2 Tablespoons of small pearl minute tapioca
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup of water

In a sauce pan, combine sugar, corn starch, minute tapioca, lemon juice and water. Stir over low heat until everything is dissolved and thick. Remove from heat and cool. Place the strawberries in the crust and pour the thickened jell over the strawberries and refrigerate until set. Top with whipped cream and serve. Note: I like to toss and coat the strawberries with some of the jell to evenly coat them before placing the strawberries in pie shell and then top with the remaining jell.

Tip: If jell is not thick enough, add 3 tablespoons of strawberry Jello during the cooking process and cook until it is dissolved.

Ingredients for Never Fail Pie Crust: this recipe makes enough dough for 2 double crust pies or 4 single pies.

3 cups Flour ( all-purpose is fine to use but my preference is bread flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 cup of Lard or Butter
1 whole egg (Room Temperature)
1/2 cup of Ice cold milk
1 Tablespoon of Vinegar

Procedure for making of the crust:
I do this by hand but you can use a food processor.  Combine all the dry ingredients together.  Cut in the fat until the mixture looks like corn meal. Whisk your the egg and vinegar together and add to the mixture along with the milk and mix until if it forms a ball. Cut the dough into four equal pieces, form into balls and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to a day.

Note: I make my dough a day ahead.

Baking of the Crust: Preheat Oven to 375 F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 13-14-inch round. Transfer dough to 9-inch, deep glass pie dish. Fold dough edge over and crimp decoratively, securing dough edge to rim of dish. Pierce crust all over with fork. Freeze crust 15 minutes. Place baking beads on the bottom of the crust then bake 30 minutes until golden brown. Once baked put on rack and cool and prepare your filling.

Note: If you do not have baking beads, you can follow one of these following tips. 1. Place Foil on the bottom of the crust and pour a bag of dried beans on top and bake. Carefully remove the foil in the last 5 minutes of baking so the center can get a golden brown color. 2. You can press back any bubbles that occur during the baking process with a fork.

 

Chocolate Cream Pie    From the Kitchen of Karen Komarinski, cc

1 pre-baked 9 inch pie crust.                                              IMG_0102

Ingredients for Filling

1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tablespoon unsweetened Cocoa Powder ( I use a dark cocoa powder )
1/8 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of Espresso Powder ( this is optional, I’ve added this over the years)
4 large Egg Yolks ( Room Temperature) “reserve egg whites for topping”
2 cups of whole Milk ( Room Temperature)
1/2 cup Whipping Cream (Room Temperature)
5 oz. bittersweet (not unsweetened) or Semisweet chocolate Chopped (note Chocolate chips are fine to use)
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Procedure for making the Filling: Whisk Sugar, Cornstarch, Cocoa, and salt in heavy, medium saucepan to blend. Add egg yolks, milk and cream; whisk until smooth. Whisk constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Add Chocolate, butter and vanilla, whisk until melted and smooth. Pour filling into crust. Place plastic wrap over top of filling so a skin does not form. Place on rack and cool.      Top Pie with Whip Cream serve and enjoy.

 

Banana Cream pie gone wild from the Kitchen of Karen Komarinski, cc            Makes 1 Pie

imagesIngredients

1  9 inch pre-baked pie shell

Vanilla Custard

3 cups of whole milk

9 Egg Yolks

2/3 cups of granulated sugar

6 tablespoons of cornstarch

3 tablespoons of butter

1 1/2 teaspoon of pure Vanilla extract.

1 large banana diced

Chocolate Ganache

1/2 cup of hot cream

1 cup of Dark Chocolate chips

1 large banana thinly slice.

Procedure:  First melt the chocolate:  put one cup dark chocolate chips in a glass bowl and pour the hot cream over top. Let sit 5 min then stir until smooth.  Take half the chocolate and pour on the bottom of the pie crust and spread evenly. Cover the chocolate with the sliced bananas. Pour the rest of melted chocolate over the bananas and set aside while you make the custard filling.

Making the Custard:

In a heavy saucepan over medium- low heat, heat milk to barely simmering.  While the milk is heating,  combine your egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a medium size bowl, whisk to blend smoothly and the eggs are a pale gold.  Slowly add the heated milk to the eggs  whisking the whole time.  This is called tempering the egg mixture. Once all milk is incorporated, return mixture to the heavy sauce pan, bring back to a soft boil over medium low heat and whisk continually.  Once the egg mixture starts to bubble, cook for 1 minute.  Remove pan from heat add the butter, vanilla, and diced banana.  Stir until butter is melted. Let cool slightly before pouring into the prepared chocolate/banana crust.  Once the filling is poured into the prepared chocolate/banana crust, cover with plastic wrap so a skin does not form on top and refrigerate.  Chill pie for at least 3 hours before you top it with whipping cream, slice and serve.

Homemade whipped cream:   1 cup heavy whipping cream, 3 tablespoons of sifted confectioner sugar.  Whip the heavy cream ,sifted sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.  Now it is time to top the pie with the whipped cream cut and serve.

Mom’s  Apple Pie    From the Kitchen of Mom

Preheat Oven 400 F or 200 C                                  IMG_0950

Never-Fail pie Crust : recipe found in the strawberry pie recipe

4 large Ganny Smith apples: peeled, cored, and sliced

4 lage Macintosh apples: peeled, cored, and sliced

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Juice of half a lemon

3/4 cup of Sugar in the Raw (you can also use Coconut Sugar)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon of corn starch

2 tablespoons of small instant Tapioca pearls(this helps to prevent a soggy bottom crust)

1 egg for egg wash

5 pats of butter                        IMG_0949

Place the sliced apples in a large mixing bowl and toss with the next 6 ingredients, coat everything well and set aside.  Roll out the pie dough on a lightly floured pastry mat.  The dough circle should be slightly bigger than the 9″ pie pan.  Place the dough into the pie pan, make sure it fits well and has no air bubbles.  Sprinkle the bottom of the pie crust with the tapioca pearls, add the apple filling and top with the pats of butter spreading them out.  Next roll out a top crust, just like the bottom crust.  Place over the filling, crimp together, and cut any excess away.  Take the egg and beat it with a tablespoon of cold water.  With a pastry brush, paint the top of the crust with the beaten egg.  Make four slits into the top crust so steam can escape.  Place the pie into a 400 F or 200 C oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Turn the oven temp down to 350 F or 180 C and continue to bake for 55 -60 minutes.  The crust should be golden brown and the pie should be bubbling through the steam slits. If the crust is browning to quickly tent it with foil.  Cool and enjoy.  To make it extra special, serve with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.

 

 

 

 

 

Book Release:

Today one of my Favorite Author’s ask if I would be apart of a Release Blitz for her upcoming book release.   If you love a good  out of the box romance story, you need to check out S. L. Scott.  I have read and reviewed most of the stories included in this collection and I can assure you won’t be disappointed.  Thank you for supporting my blog and I will be back before the end of the month with more Food Recipes and Stories.

Karen Komarinski

 

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From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, S. L. Scott, comes a Limited Edition collection of romantic interludes taken from eight of her bestselling novels.

 

BONUS – BRAND NEW MATERIAL INCLUDED:

Love Email exchange between The Resistance Characters – Holliday and Dalton.
A Romantic Date with Hazel & Jude from Until I Met You – A California Outtake.

Chapters from:
The Resistance
The Reckoning
From the Inside Out
A Prior Engagement
Naturally, Charlie.

Valentine’s Day Outtakes from:
The Redemption
The Welcome to Paradise Series
Morning Glory

Eight Dates Cover-2

 

http://amzn.to/1UbPvUU

 

 

New Recipes from the Holidays

 

 

 

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I hope this post finds you all well and ready to start a brand new year in a few days.  A lot of changes have happened to me and to the lives of my family during the last part of 2014 and throughout 2015.  Like everyone around us we have dealt  with sadness, happiness, and changes.

For me, I spent most of 2015 recovering from a work related accident.  Because of that accident I not only had to change my career, but it opened my world up to so many new experiences.  The biggest was starting this blog sharing stories and recipes.  I have made lasting friendships from all over the world, and I am grateful for every one of them.

I am also grateful to you, the readers, of my blog for being interested in my thoughts and creations.   I hope you enjoy the following.

In the first recipe, I was trying to come up with something new for Thanksgiving.   I have a cast iron baking dish that has six shapes  representing fall and wanted to make pretty muffins for the holiday.  Well, needless to say, the recipe for the muffins came out better than the shapes.   The best thing about this recipe is it’s just not for Thanksgiving.  They also go great with soup, especially Chili.

Twisted Corn Bread muffins by Karen L Komarinski, cc

Ingredients          Yields 2 dozen medium muffins

1 cup of bread flour (my preference is King Arthur) 

1 cup Yellow Cornmeal

1 tablespoon Sugar

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper(optional you can leave out or add more)

1/4 cup chopped chives

1 1/2 cups of plain greek yogurt(make sure its the real deal, I used Chobani)

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons of melted butter

1/2 cup of smashed sweet potato

3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Mix together the mashed sweet potato, yogurt, eggs and melted butter. Mix together the rest of the ingredients and add the wet to the dry; and stir until everything is mixed together.  Place batter in muffin tins lined with papers, fill papers 3/4 of the way.  Place in preheated oven 425 F or 225 C and bake 20 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean.

Serving suggestion: serve with butter and honey, or with your favorite soup or chili. Also can be used as your base for chicken and biscuits or sausage gravy.

This next recipe I tweaked and made it my own. Remember, be creative and use any flavored Oreo cookie:

Oreo cookie Bon Bons :       Yield   52 1″inch balls

1 packed of Oreo cookies crushed fine,  Note I used a ziplock bag and a rolling pin, you may use a food processor.

8 oz of soften cream cheese

1/8 teaspoon of your favorite flavoring: Vanilla, Rum, whiskey, coffee, or nothing at all

1 pound of good melting chocolate:  You can use Dark, Milk,  White Chocolate (which really is not chocolate..lol), Butterscotch or Peanut Butter chips.  Note: if you are afraid of tempering, you can buy very good melting disks on line or at any baking supply store online. Just make sure it is high quality; just like wine if you would not drink it don’t cook with it.

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, using a 1 inch or larger scoop to form your balls, place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and chill at least 3 hours or overnight before covering in chocolate.

Melt your chocolate over a double boiler,  place your bon bon on a slotted spoon and dip into the chocolate covering the whole cookie, let excess chocolate drip of and either place it in a decorative paper or on the parchment lined cookie sheet.  Once chocolate is set, place in a air tight container and store in a cool dry place.  The also freeze  very well.  These simple tasty treats will dress up any cookie or desert tray, and make a great gift.

 

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What Does National Food Day really mean?

Reposting in celebration of National Chocolate day

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Today May 15th, is National Chocolate Chip Day and Saturday, May 16th, is National Coquilles Saint Jaques Day.  On National Chocolate Chip Day, you can eat and make many things while paying respect to the chocolate chip, such as cookies, ice cream, pancakes, waffles etc. But on Saturday, even though Coquilles means scallop in French, this is a celebrations of a particular French dish that became popular in the United States in the late 1950’s in NY.  This dish was a starter for a gourmet meal.  I even made this dish so much I thought about it in my sleep when I was an apprentice at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont PA.  Coquilles Saint Jacques is a poached scallop in white wine.  The scallop is placed on top of a mushroom puree that is in the scallop shell. The dish is then topped with a cream sauce made from the…

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