Sunday, March 31, 2013

Resurrection of Christ.....

May you all enjoy a very Blessed Easter today.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Chocolate Covered Strawberries.......

I love the Easter Bunny! Isn't she wonderful! I have always loved Chocolate Covered Strawberries, but at $3.00 each, it is not something I indulge in. But I sneaked a peek into the Easter Bunny's candy factory and this is what I saw!!! I immediately put in an order for a few!! So hopefully she will stop by with a few by morning.

Happy and Blessed Easter, Everyone!

Till next time......

Friday, March 29, 2013

Mango Chutney Cheese Ball......

It's always nice to take a culinary tour. Major Grey's Chutney will take us to India for flavor. But in true American style, we've made it into cheese balls. It is full of good fruits and flavors; like raisins, mangos, vinegar, lime, onion, spices and sweetening.This recipe will not disappoint you in any way. Give it a try and see if you don't enjoy it as well. As you can see, it will make enough for a party. You may want to cut it in half for just a smaller gathering of people.

Mango Chutney Cheese Balls
16 oz of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup Major Grey's Chutney
1/4 cup scallions, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed fine
1 cup Colby Cheese, shredded
1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
Optional: 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
Mix all ingredients together, form balls and refrigerate. I prefer it without the nuts. But if you like nuts in your cheese balls, go for it!
Till next time.....

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Italian Chicken.....

Chicken is always a favorite in my family. It doesn't matter if it is baked, grilled, stewed or braised. We love chicken. Here is a recipe with Italian flavor. If you are not into Italian, use regular bread crumbs or Panko bread crumbs. But sometimes it is nice to visit a different culture via food.

Italian Chicken
1 1/2 lb. chicken, cut into serving pieces
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cups Italian bread crumbs, or more as needed.
With fork tines, pierce chicken on all sides. Place chicken in a plastic freezer bag. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, onion powder, salt, garlic powder and black pepper; mix well.  Pour mixture over chicken, turning to coat well. Squeeze out as much air as possible so chicken is covered with the marinade. Refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours, turning the bag occasionally. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour bread crumbs in a plastic bag, add chicken and coat well with crumbs. Place the chicken in an oiled shallow baking pan. I like to add a dollop of butter to each piece of chicken before baking. Bake until crisp tender, about 45 minutes. Serve hot or cold. Makes 4 large servings.
Till next time.......

Friday, March 22, 2013

National Goof Off Day.....

Today is National Goof Off Day and I totally plan to celebrate it. I am going out to a nice restaurant for lunch and then out to the last Fish Fry of Lent. In between times I will be trying out new recipes. Spumoni comes to mind. I haven't had it in ages and today seems like a good day to make some, if time allows. Enjoy today and goof off!!
Till next time.....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sweet and Sour Sauce......

I am on a journey to find that perfect recipe for the sweet and sour sauce you get at the Chinese restaurant. It must be the best kept secret a going. I have found MANY different recipes on the Internet for it. I have made several but not the right taste. This morning I made one using honey, still not the right taste. It only takes four ingredients for the most part. But it is getting the right yin and yang to it. I have a recipe using pineapple juice and rice vinegar. That will be the next one I make. Wish me luck and when I get the right recipe, I will share it and it will no longer be a secret!
Till next time.....

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hoecakes From Our Southern Neighbors

I can hear you all now asking, what's a Hoecake? If you  are asking that question; you are truly a Northerner. Any self respecting Southerner will tell you a hoecake is in the pancake family with so much flavor; you will never cook a normal pancake again.

1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup self-rising cornmeal
2 eggs
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup cider or water plus 1 tablespoon
1/4 cup sour cream or veggie oil
Oil or butter to fry the hoecakes
Mix well all ingredients, except for the frying oil. Heat the frying oil or butter in a medium or large skillet over medium heat. Drop the batter into the hot skillet. Use about 2 tablespoons of batter per hoecake. Fry each hoecake until brown and crisp; turn each hoecake with a spatula, and then brown the other side. Remove each hoecake and drain on a paper towel; then put in warm oven till all the cakes are done. Batter that you have left over, (if any) will keep in refrigerator for up to 2 days. Makes 8 – 12 hoecakes depending on size. Warm up some maple syrup and you are good to go. can make the Blackberry Rum Sauce below. It pays to have relatives in the South!

Blackberry Rum Sauce
2 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon dark rum
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid reduces and a sauce is left. Remove from heat immediately and serve with your hoecakes! 
The Blackberry Rum Sauce recipe came from: 
Till next time.....

Monday, March 18, 2013

Morning After Corned Beef.....

What do you do with the leftover corned beef from St. Patrick's Day? Well, one idea is to add some onion and an egg to it and have it for breakfast. You can always dice up a potato with a bit of onion and saute till they are done. Then add some corned beef and warm till the corned beef is warmed thorough. Top with an egg if you want or just eat the hash plain.
Till next time.....

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day.........

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Till next time......

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Irish Coffee.....

Irish Coffee
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 jigger Irish whiskey (1 1/2 ounces or 3 tablespoons)
1/4 cup heavy cream, slightly whipped
Fill footed mug or a mug with hot water to preheat it, then empty. Pour piping hot coffee into warmed glass until it is about 3/4 full. Add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Top with whipped cream and sip the coffee through the cream for the ultimate enjoyment.
Till next time.......

Friday, March 15, 2013

Corned Beef and Cabbage - in a slow cooker.....

This is my first attempt at cooking Corned Beef and Cabbage. Doing it in the slow cooker is right up my alley. Put it all in the slow cooker and forget it. Nine hours later, a delightful dinner. Don't forget to get your Corned Beef early. Don't wait till all the pieces are picked over and you can't get the one you want. St. Patrick's Day is not far off and you want to be ready.

Corned Beef and Cabbage – Slow Cooker Style
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces
10 baby red potatoes, quartered
1 onion, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 (4 pound) corned beef brisket with spice packet
1 or 2 - 12 ounce bottles of beer (stout is good don't use a light beer)
1/2 head cabbage, coarsely chopped Place the carrots, potatoes, and onion into the bottom of a slow cooker and place the brisket on top of the vegetables. Pour the beer over the brisket. Sprinkle on the spices from the packet, cover, and set the cooker on High. Cook the brisket for about 8 hours. An hour before serving, stir in the cabbage and cook for 1 more hour or till cabbage is done. I like a nice slice of French bread served with it. Feel free to drink any beer you don't need for the brisket.
Serves 8
Till next time.....

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It's Still Winter.........

I drove over to the lake yesterday and it still has some ice on it and snow all around it as well. So spring may be coming but it sure hasn't arrived yet! I love going over to the lake and I see something new each time I go. It is such an amazing place.

 This little creek was frozen over, so winter is still here. I am looking forward to spring as I saw my first robin a few days ago. So spring can't be too far away.
Till next time.....

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring is coming....

Spring is around the corner, the trees are starting to bud....well almost. It pleases me to look at this photo from last year and know that in a few weeks, the trees will be budding out and the snow will be gone. I mean, how long can the snow stay if the temperatures get into the fifties! I say this, as I look at a two foot drift of snow by the side of my patio. Well, let's just say I am a total optimist. Besides that, I have it on good authority that spring really IS coming soon.

For those of you who were following my other blog, I have started blogging on it again. Go check it out, I have posted a few photos of the winter lake.
Till next time.....

Monday, March 11, 2013

Apple Popcorn Brittle....

Here's just the thing for an after school snack.
Apple Popcorn Brittle
1 quart popped popcorn
2 cups apple and cinnamon flavored cereal
1 cup cocktail peanuts
3/4 cup apple juice
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a bowl, toss together popped popcorn, cereal and peanuts. Set aside.
Butter sides of a heavy 2 quart saucepan. In saucepan, combine apple juice, sugar, corn syrup, vinegar and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil. Cook to hard ball stage, 250°F (120°C) on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat. Pour syrup over popcorn-cereal-peanut mixture; toss to coat. Spread in a buttered 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1-inch baking pan. Cool until hardened. Break into pieces. Makes about 1 1/2 quarts.
Till next time......

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Soap Slivers......

Soap Slivers
One of the easiest ways to reuse soap pieces requires nothing more than a washcloth and a needle and thread. Make the cloth into a draw string bag that can be opened and closed at will. Place several pieces of soap into the bag and seal it with the string. The washcloth bag can be used to lather up when showering. During the course of the shower, the small pieces are used up. After the shower, simply empty the bag and allow it to dry as you would any washcloth. The bag is easy to use and allows you to get the last bit of use from those leftovers.
OR…you can let one of the slivers of soap soak in hot water until it gets a bit gooey and then press it onto another sliver. You can keep doing this till you get a nice bar. Let it air dry and it is ready to use. Wal-la, a new bar of soap. In years gone by, everyone saved the slivers of soap. Waste not, want not was the slogan.
Till next time......

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Art of Darning Socks.....

Remember what a darning egg looks like? No, of course you don't. Not in this age of throw away! But "back in the day", we used to darn our socks when they got holes in them. It was an art, that was passed on from one generation to the other. I could not have been more than 6 years old when my Gram  taught me this art of darning socks. You wove the darning thread closely around the hole to start and then you started at one end and carefully wove the thread closely back and forth over the hole. When you got to the other end, you wove the thread back in the opposite direction to the other side of the hole. When you were finished and the hole was covered, you didn't tie a knot; as that would hurt when you walked. You simply wove the thread down one side of the woven area. When times were tough and money was not plentiful, people did what they could to save money and prolong the life of things. This is my Gram's darning egg and I am so pleased to have it. Many people used a light bulb for this purpose. How many of you, have a darning egg or remember them being used in your family?
Till next time......

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Kluski Dill Noodles....

During Lent we are eating a lot of fish or seafood, in different ways, but what about the side dishes. There is always mac and cheese or stewed tomatoes. But what about some Kluski Dill Noodles. I love dill with seafood (as you can see from previous posts) and these noodles just seem to be the perfect pairing with fish or seafood. Kluski noodles are a thicker and heartier noodle found next to the egg noodles in the grocery store.
Kluski Dill Noodles
4 oz dry Kluski noodles
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/8 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/2 tsp paprika
Cook the noodles in boiling salted water according to pkg directions. Drain and put noodles back into the pot. Add the butter, dill and paprika. Taste and salt if necessary. This recipe will serve 2 people. It's nice for someone living alone who doesn't want a lot of leftover noodles.
Till next time.....

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tartar Sauce with Dill and Capers.....

You've made this delicious fish cake or salmon filet and all you have is this store bought sweet tartar sauce. Do you really want to put sweet on fish? I prefer a more savory sauce. Tartar sauce is so easy to make; I have never figured out why people buy it ready made.

Tartar Dill Caper Sauce
1 Tbsp capers, drained & chopped
1/2 tsp caper brine from jar
2 Tbsp dill pickles, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh dill, roughly chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
Mix all ingredients and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

For a more traditional sauce you can give this one a try.

Tartar Sauce 1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
1 tablespoon onion, chopped fine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon dry dill (adjust for your tastes)
In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, relish and minced onion.
Stir in lemon juice and dill.
If desired, season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Till next time......

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Fish Cakes....

How many times have you said, these fish cakes are so bland? It's time to try a new recipe and I think you will like this one. Many recipes use potatoes. If I wanted a potato cake; that would be fine. But what I'm after is a nice tasting fish cake. Adding a touch of Old Bay Seasoing is what sets this recipe apart from the others. I use an ice cream scoop to portion out the cakes and gently coat them in Ritz cracker crumbs or Panko crumbs. Sweet red pepper makes a nice addition to these cakes as well, if you like sweet peppers.

Fish Cakes
1 lb fish
1/4 cup bread crumbs
3/4 tsp Old Bay Seasoning (or to your taste)
1 Tbsp mayo
1 egg
1 small onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp chopped, fresh parsley
salt and pepper
Pulse the fish in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Mix everything together, form 1/2 cup scoops into cakes, gently coat with the cracker crumbs and fry over medium/medium-high heat for about five minutes a side. Each side should be nicely browned. Serve hot.

These will freeze well. Just thaw completely before frying.
Till next time.....

Monday, March 4, 2013

Cream Cheese Whipped Cream.....

I've always filled my strawberries with a sweetened cream cheese. But here is a recipe to "up the ante" on flavor. This recipe also will pipe nicely using a pastry bag. A dollop of this whipped cream is delicious on carrot cake, pineapple upside down cake or fresh fruit as well. If you want to fancy up your strawberries after filling them, you can dip them in melted chocolate. YUM!

Cream Cheese Whipped Cream
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Beat the softened cream cheese with a mixer until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the heavy cream to desired consistency. Stir in the confectioner's sugar and vanilla extract.
This makes 16 servings (dollops).
Till next time......

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Cajun Seasoning.......

During this season of Lent, many of us are eating more fish. So why not step up the flavor beyond just fried or baked fish? Get out that Cajun Seasoning and fix yourself some blackened fish. Why is it blackened you asked? When you season your fish and put it in the hot oil in the skillet, it will start to smoke a little. That's the spices blackening, it is not burning your fish. Take care with the fish though, you don't want to burn it or overcook it. Nothing worse than overcooked fish!!
Cajun Seasoning
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an air-tight jar or container. 
Start with a little cayenne pepper and adjust to your own taste.
Till next time.....