Posts made in March, 2013

Cooking with Bunheads

Posted by on Mar 18, 2013 in New | 0 comments

Cooking with Bunheads

"Silly coco".  That is the term of endearment Ty and Britton use when I make a grandmotherly blunder --in love.

Last year when I heard there was going to be a dramedy called Bunheads on ABC Family channel I recorded it.  My thought was the girls and I could watch a program about ballerinas'.




The show portrays Michelle, a Las Vegas showgirl-turned-dance school teacher, who marries a man on a whim and moves to his sleepy coastal town where she winds up working alongside her new mother-in-law at her dance school.  That happens after her husband is killed off in the first episode.


I was drying my hair when the girls sat down to watch episode one... and I watched from afar wondering if this screwball story was going to be inappropriate.

Sure enough!

ABC Family?

We turned if off.

However, it was a zany twisted yarn which I justified watching the entire 1st season because I saved it for my ironing day.

Last week when the girls were here for a sleepover I suddenly remembered the series finale when Michelle unfortunately pepper sprayed her entire troupe at a recital!

I am not sure if there was a second season.

Sweet Dreams Beloved Bunheads.



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Railway Cake?

Posted by on Mar 15, 2013 in Holiday | 0 comments

Railway Cake?

Nenagh  Irish Traditional Soda Bread

The Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread clearly states its roots reference 1836 Ireland.

The rules say:

“If your soda bread contains raisins, it’s not soda bread.  It is called Spotted Dog or Railway Cake.  If it contains raisins, eggs, baking powder, sugar or shortening it is a cake!”

“The basic soda bread is made with flour, baking soda, salt, and soured milk (buttermilk).  That is it!”

Markets and bakeries stock "Irish Soda Bread" for us to enjoy during the upcoming holiday when we all become Irish for a day.

For me it is too sweet and more like dessert.  In its place I wanted something that had heft to serve alongside the long simmered corned beef, root vegetables, and big dollops of horseradish cream sauce.

So here it is-- and I am running out after this post to buy some real Irish butter!










The hardware and software.








Buttermilk, egg, molasses combined with melted butter.








Add the oats and let stand for about 5 minutes or so








while you stir together the dry ingredients.








I use fennel seeds lightly pounded with a pestle--of course caraway is more traditional. I use that term lightly now that I know about those folks from the "Society".








Make a well in the center and








pour in the wet ingredients.








Mix the two together until it forms a stiff batter and turn in the raisins and seeds.

I decided to bake the bread (cake) in a well oiled cast iron skillet.









Wet your hands and lift the batter into the skillet.

Add a little flour to the top which helps you slash the X on top.















--not too sweet, not too many raisins, uncommonly perfumed--and deeply textured with an unpretentious weight.

Irish Oat and Raisin Bread


  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins or currents (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon caraway or fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a cast iron skillet.
  2. Combine buttermilk, egg, molasses, and melted butter in a medium bowl; add oats and let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients. Pour buttermilk mixture into well. Gradually mix until completely incorporated. Dough will be stiff. Add raisins or currants, and seeds. Using wet hands pick up the dough and shape into a roundish loaf and place in skillet. Dust the top with a little flour. Using a sharp knife, make an X on top. Bake 35-40 minutes or until center tests done.
  4. © Copyright 2013 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  5. All Rights Reserved


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A Measure of Grace

Posted by on Mar 13, 2013 in Salad | 2 comments

A Measure of Grace


A few miles from our home on the west side of town stands Heritage House. The young women who reside in eight little homes that rest in two rows are living at this residence because they are either pregnant, have small children or often both.  The other common bond they share is a past.  The women are receiving treatment often for substance abuse and restoration for bruised hearts and lives.



I roll up there on a given Tuesday afternoon with a car-ful of groceries, mad skills, and stories.

The girls are divided into two groups—half are directed to the kitchen to spend an hour with me and my cooking friend, Linda.  The remaining girls watch over the children in another residence.











Linda and I share a passion for food, and the loving-kindness of revealing it.

The girls of Heritage House often missed out on the childhood respite of sitting on a counter top watching Mom prepare dinner.  I have noticed if they have memories—they are of grandmothers.  Part of the therapy seems to be learning or relearning the ability to take care of themselves and their precious children.

As the girls gather to participate in the hour of cooking/demonstration it is not for me to speculate how or why.

While we chop, stir, braise, and sauté we talk. We answer questions; pass around fresh picked herbs and bottles of spices.

We sometimes laugh.

We speak life.

We all calm down.

I wish I could photograph faces being changed…young women being fed.

As we stand in a circle to pray the prayer of serenity and pack up our various knives, boards, and bowls, the girls sit down to their dinner without chatter.

They receive a cup of cold water—all of us receive a measure of unmerited grace.

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner.








Layered Green Salad with Basil Cream Dressing

--served on a platter







Irish Soda Bread and Butter








Beef , Barley and Vegetable Stew--adapted from Cooking Light








Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

Layered Green Salad with Basil Cream Dressing is perfect for St. Patick's Day Dinner!

What are your traditions?

Layered Green Salad with Basil Cream Dressing


  • 1 (5 ounce) bag of mixed baby lettuces
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 English style cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 large avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 cups frozen peas (enough to cover salad)
  • Lemon juice
  • Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
  • Salt to taste


  1. Place 1/3 of the lettuce in the bottom of a glass serving bowl. (I use my trifle bowl). Begin layers in order given placing the 2nd third of the lettuce after the cucumber and the 3rd over the zucchini. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the apple and avocado layer. Refrigerate. Pour the dressing over the peas and take to the table. Toss with the dressing just before serving.
  2. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Combine until thoroughly mixed. Adjust seasoning. Remove to a covered container and chill until serving time.
  3. © Copyright 2013 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  4. All Rights Reserved



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Sable Cookie

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Desserts | 0 comments

Sable Cookie

Rolled sugar cookies cut into amusing and sweet shapes are always appealing to children.


I find them time consuming, messy and rather plain.

A zillion years ago I discovered a recipe that bakes up into a light buttery cookie with a delicate crumble.

Sable is French for "sand," which describes this cookie.



Even better.

The unused dough freezes well and carries me from Valentines’ Day to Saint Patrick’s Day.

I am still a messy crafter--but these are tasty!

May there always be work for your hands to do.  May your purse always hold a coin or two.  May the sun always shine warm on your windowpane. May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain. May the hand of a friend always be near you.  And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

--Irish blessing

Sable Cookies


  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ½ cups unbleached flour
  • ¾ teaspoons baking powder


  1. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a mixer, cream the butter, sugar and salt. Add the eggs and blend well. In a large bowl, sift together the flour and the baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Turn the dough out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Divide the dough into two flat disks. Wrap disks in plastic wrap and chill thoroughly.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and roll dough to desired thickness. Cut cookies into shapes. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets. Bake 12-14 minutes. Cool on sheets.
  3. Makes 2-2 ½ dozen cookies.



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Conscientious Neurotic

Posted by on Mar 8, 2013 in New | 5 comments

Conscientious Neurotic



14 months ago I posted my first blog entry.  My thought was to contribute inspiration and preparation for the Daniel Fast foods eaten during 21 days each January.  A seemingly simple pallete of healthful food choices for me-- appeared daunting for others.








Over time the way of eating, shopping seasonally, and the stories in photography, became a lifestyle.









Sharing the pinnacles of daily delights, life, loves, and amusing antics of my granddaughters became a scrapbook of sorts.

My choice is to separate out the tragedies' and hardships.  Those fall between the lines.  They are given to God for safekeeping.


MP carries the load outside the hedge we call home and arrives each night always ready to embrace some of my wackier creations.  He is my truest fan.  The fixer of my days.





Here I am writing my 200th blog tale.

Why do people blog?   I asked the answer person in my computer.

Blogging is an American pastime.  8 million people express personal content by writing a blog. 57 million apparently read them.

I relate to a few of the character traits of a blogger.

The sense of relative anonymity, reduced importance of physical appearance, attenuation of physical distance, and greater control over the pace of interaction is appealing and allows me (at least) space to focus.

On this page the absence of nonverbal cues, reader perception and time restraints influence my thoughts and feelings.









According to the answer person in my computer-- I am a Conscientious Neurotic.


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