Thursday, December 1, 2016

WHAT NOT TO BRING TO THANKSGIVING POTLUCK.

Does this say "Thanksgiving" to you?

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It's pizza casserole.  With all of the great traditional foods, it's hard for me to imagine someone having extra room in their stomach to handle this spicy, cheesy dish but, as you can see, much of it was eaten.  Fortunately, this did not show up at our house.  It was brought to the home of my dentist's administrative assistant (correct title?).  She and I got a bit of a laugh out of this dish that her sister brought to the family Thanksgiving meal!

For those of you who think this sounds good, if you do a Google search for "pizza casserole" you will get just under 1.8 million hits.  Good luck to you!

As for me, I think I'll stick with turkey, dressing, gravy, cranberries, pumpkin pie....



Wednesday, November 23, 2016

CRANBERRY SAUCE.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I am looking forward to a big turkey dinner!  One of the things I most love is cranberry sauce - piled atop my turkey, or mixed into the dressing.  Yep... you can tell I love it!  When Thanksgiving is over, there are always the turkey, mayo sandwiches... with cranberry sauce.  Then a week or so later there are scones... with cranberry sauce.  Or roasted pork... with cranberry sauce.  Cranberry sauce never goes to waste here.

This is the recipe I've been making for years.  I typically have everything on hand except for one navel orange.  Because I love cranberries, I always have a bag in the freezer.  Remind me later, and I'll share my recipes for cranberry cake, bars and torte.  All delicious!

WHOLE CRANBERRY SAUCE.  Makes about 2 cups, or double recipe for 4 cups!!
*  1/2 pound fresh cranberries (okay to make from frozen, as is)
*  1/4 cup port
*  Juice from 1/2 navel orange (about 1/4 cup)
*  Peel from 1/2 navel orange
*  1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
*  1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
*  1/3 cup granulated sugar
*  1/3 cup toasted pecan halves, lightly chopped
Put all ingredients except the pecans in a saucepan.  Stir and cook over medium heat.  Stir occasionally and continue to cook about 15 to 20 minutes until the cranberries have split and the sauce has thickened.  Remove from the heat, allow to cool in a covered pan.  Stir back into the sauce the water that has accumulated on the cover of the pan, along with the pecans.  Cover and store in the refrigerator for several weeks.  Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Add all ingredients except the pecans to the saucepan.

Cook until cranberries burst and sauce thickens.



Tuesday, November 22, 2016

SPICED NUTS.

Last night I was asked for my recipe(s) for spiced nuts.  Below you will find recipes for "Spicy Orange Pecans," "Roasted Almonds with Herbes de Provence," and "Tamarind Spiced Cashews."  The last is a recipe I got from my friend, Jeanne.  

These are great recipes for this time of year since they make great hostess gifts or gifts for those "hard to buy for" friends and family on our holiday gift giving list.  The other benefit of these is that they hold up very well in airtight tins or jars.  I don't have pics to share with you, but I can assure you that I have made these - many times!   Eat them as a snack, or add them to a salad.  They are delicious!

SPICY ORANGE PECANS.  Makes about 4 cups.
*  4 cups pecan halves (unsalted)
*  2 tablespoons orange juice (fresh from an orange)
*  1 large egg white
*  2 tablespoons orange zest (fresh from an orange)
*  1/2 cup sugar
*  1-1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
*  1-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
*  1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
*  pinch freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 250º.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the pecans, orange juice and egg white and toss to coat.  In a small bowl, combine the orange zest, sugar, salt and spices.  Add to the nuts an mix to coat evenly.  Spread evenly on the baking sheet and bake at 250º, stirring every 15 minutes until the pecans appear dry, about 45 minutes.  Cool completely and store in an airtight container.  

ROASTED ALMONDS WITH HERBES DE PROVENCE.  Makes about 2-1/2 cups.
*  1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
*  1 teaspoon salt, divided
*  1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
*  1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
*  1 egg white
*  2-1/2 cups whole blanched almonds
Preheat oven to 300º.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder, combine herbes de Provence, 1/2 teaspoon salt, red pepper, and garlic powder; process until finely ground.  In a medium bowl, beat egg white with a whisk until foamy, about 1 minute.  Add herb mixture and almonds, stir well.  Spread almond mixture in a single layer on prepared pan.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Bake until egg white is dry and almonds are lightly toasted. about 20 to 25 minutes.  Do not stir.  Cool completely on baking sheet.  Break apart to separate almonds.

TAMARIND SPICED CASHEWS.  Makes about 4 cups.
*  4 tablespoons unsalted butter
*  3 tablespoons honey
*  2 tablespoons light brown sugar
*  1 teaspoon tomato paste
*  1-1/2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate or paste
*  1 lb. roasted unsalted cashews
*  1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
*  Large pinch cayenne pepper
*  1 tablespoon ground garam masala
*  1-1/4 teaspoons salt
Preheat oven to 300º.  In medium saucepan melt butter, honey, brown sugar, tomato paste and tamarind.  Add nuts, coconut, cayenne, garam masala and salt, and mix.  Spread evenly on baking sheet.  Bake for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is toasted and sugar caramelized.  Sprinkle lightly with salt.  Cool.



Wednesday, September 7, 2016

FOODIE COMICS

I didn't read the comics until Kevin came into my life.  He is very much into humor and kept pointing out funny comics to me.  In no time I started reading the comics as well.  They are a wonderful way to start each and every day.  Of course, the comics that appeal to me the most are those that pertain to food.  Here are a few to make sure your day has a bright spot.  Enjoy!!!






TO READ COMICS THAT WERE POSTED PREVIOUSLY, CLICK ON THE "CARTOONS" TAB IN THE COLUMN ON THE RIGHT.

Monday, August 29, 2016

SUMMER HARVEST SALAD

Trips to the farmers' market have been wonderful this summer, after a good growing season.  The veggies are coming in fast and furious!  Tonight for dinner I made a salad out of some of the veggies.
Half eaten....

The beauty of this salad is that any number of veggies or ingredients can be added or substituted.  Throw in what you have on hand, and what you love, and you will love the end result.  The uniting ingredient is the salad dressing which I found on Lynne Rossetto Kasper's "Splendid Table" blog.

SUMMER HARVEST SALAD.  Serves 8 - 10.
The Dressing.
*  4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
*  2 tablespoons cider vinegar
*  2 teaspoons sugar
*  1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
*  10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*  Salt to taste
In a bowl, mix the lemon juice, vinegar, sugar and ground coriander.  Gradually whisk in the olive oil until well-blended.  Season to taste with salt.

The Salad.
*  2-3 large handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved and seeded
*  1 large cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded using a spoon, and sliced
*  5 scallions/green onions, chopped
*  a small bunch of cilantro leaves, chopped
*  grilled corn from 1 large cob
*  1 cup cooked orzo (small Greek pasta)
*  Top with crumbled Feta cheese, just before serving
Put all salad ingredients in a large serving bowl, mix with salad dressing to taste (the recipe makes more than you will use for this salad).  Just before serving, crumble feta cheese on top.

ENJOY THIS HEALTHY AND DELICIOUS SALAD!!!




Friday, August 26, 2016

CAFE LATTE TURTLE CAKE... Sooooo Goooood!

Most everyone in this area has been to Cafe Latte on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul.  Without exception, their food is delicious, especially their desserts!  Many years ago their recipe for Turtle Cake was posted in the newspaper, and I immediately tore it out.  I've made the recipe a few times over the years, always to great reviews, so I recently made it for a potluck picnic.  Here is the recipe for your future enjoyment!



CAFE LATTE TURTLE CAKE - Makes 12 (big) servings.
*  1 egg
*  2/3 c. vegetable oil
*  1 c. buttermilk
*  2 c. flour
*  1-3/4 c. sugar
*  1/2 c. cocoa
*  1 tsp. salt
*  1 tbsp. baking soda
*  1 c. hot coffee
Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease a 9"x12" pan.
Combine egg, oil and buttermilk.  In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking soda.  Combine the egg mixture and the flour mixture, mixing well.  Slowly mix in hot coffee.  Turn into prepared pan and bake 40 to 45 minutes.  Frost when cooled.

Frosting
*  1 c. sugar
*  1/2 c. milk
*  5 tbsp. butter
*  1-1/2 c. chocolate chips
*  1/2 c. caramel topping [I used Hershey's brand this time, but I don't recommend it.]
*  1 c. toasted pecans
Mix sugar and milk in a saucepan, add butter and bring to a boil.  Put chocolate chips in a bowl, pour hot mixture over them and mix until smooth.  Spread over cooled cake.  Drizzle caramel topping over the frosting, and crunch toasted pecans over caramel with your hand.

Coffee adds a nice boost to chocolate cake.

Always use the best ingredients for the best result.

Making this cake requires no electric mixer; just mix with a spoon or whisk.
The result is more dense - a good thing in a chocolate cake!

The cake is quite rich; so cut smaller portions.  Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

ENGLISH COUNTRY GARDEN - IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR!

Awhile ago I posted a different version of this video but it's time to get excited about Spring and the coming of our beautiful flowers.

Enjoy!


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