Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Basmati Rice "Stuffing"

My original thought was to do this with Wild Rice, but I was ill-prepared for Christmas dinner this year, and forgot to buy some. Luckily there was Basmati in the fridge to save the day.
As is frequent in my cooking, I did not measure during this recipe so some tweeking may be required on your part.


Large Pan
Wooden Spoon/Spatula

3Tbl. Unsalted Butter
3 Cloves garlic, minced
4-5C Day old rice
Handful of dried cranberries
1/2-3/4C Rough chopped Pecans
3Tbl Fresh chopped Parsley
1Tbl Fresh chopped Thyme
1-2tsp. Dried Savory
Salt to taste

Melt butter in pan over medium heat, add garlic and sweat for 1 minute. Add in rice and stir for another minute or so. Add in cranberries and nuts, cook for a few minutes until cranberries have softened slightly. Add in herbs and salt when you are almost ready to serve as you do not want to over cook the herbs.

Serve warm.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rum Balls

Rum Balls have been a holiday staple in my house for a while now. They are very easy to make and instantly make people think of the holidays.
You can add more rum then in this recipe, but be careful not to add too much or you won't have a solid ball, it will remain soft.

Lrg. Mixing Bowl
Sm Saucepan
Measuring Spoons
Measuring Cups
Hand Mixer (by all means use a stand mixer if you have it)
Baking Sheet (12 x 17)

1 1/2 Sticks unsalted butter, cut in pieces
6 oz. Semisweet chocolate, finally chopped
3 Eggs
1/2 C. Packed brown sugar
1tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2tsp. Coarse salt
3/4C. All-purpose flour
1/4C. Plus 3Tbl Dark rum (I used Captain Morgans Spiced Rum this time)
Decorating sugar (regular sugar is fine if you don't have decorating sugar)

Preheat oven to 350, and coat baking sheet with non-stick spray (unless your pan already is non-stick). Melt butter and chocolate in small saucepan over medium heat, you could do it in a bowl in the microwave also if you're in a hurry or just don't want to dirty another pan.

In large mixing bowl whisk together eggs, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Mix in melted chocolate and butter. Whisk in flour, and mix well.

Pour batter onto greased cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

When cooled, move "brownie" to large mixing bowl, add the rum and mix all together. Roll into approximately 1 inch balls. Roll rum balls in decorating (or sanding sugar). As you make the balls set them on a baking sheet and refrigerate uncovered for about 2 hours.

These can be served cold or at room temperature, for them to last a few days keep them refrigerated when you aren't munching on them.

*NOTE The alcohol is NOT cooked out of these. It's just like dipping a brownie in a glass of rum!


Friday, December 14, 2012

Chocolate Peppermint Muffins

This is a super easy holiday recipe, I suggest not using muffin papers for them though. The candy cane pieces in them tend to stick to the paper as they melt.

Small saucepan or microwave safe bowl
Mdm. Mixing bowl
Lrg. Mixing bowl
Measuring Cups
Measuring Spoons
Muffin tin

6Tbl. Butter
1/2C Chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 3/4C Flour
3/4C Sugar
1/2C Cocoa powder
1tsp. Baking powder
1/2tsp. Salt
1/4tsp. Baking soda
1C. Milk
1 Egg
1tsp. Vanilla
1/4C (or so) peppermint candies, crushed

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease your muffin tin.

In medium mixing bowl, mix flour through baking soda.
In microwave safe bowl (or saucepan) melt butter and chocolate together.
In large mixing bowl whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla. Add in flour mixture, when incorporated add chocolate and butter.

In a bag smash your peppermint candies, then fold into chocolate batter.

Fill pre-greased muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes.


Thursday, December 6, 2012


I know it's been a while since I last posted something tasty. I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. November ended as a busy month. Thanksgiving didn't go the way I had hoped, so I don't have any amazing Thanksgiving day dishes to talk about. I was ill and was just a helper this year, it was a bummer not to do the full menu planning like usual. A couple days after Thanksgiving a friend and I went to Vegas for a couple days, so nothing got cooked there. There will be something soon I promise. Tonight I'm cooking one of my all time favorite recipes to ever come from Bon Appetit Magazine...Roasted Chili Citrus Chicken Thighs with Mixed Olives and Potatoes. Perhaps there will be pictures and a recipe for everyone tomorrow. Monday I'm going to attempt Curried Chicken and Dumplings and a lemongrass/coconut ride pudding. It may end up just as Coconut rice pudding if I can't find some good lemongrass...mine is currently dormant and of no use for cooking.
I am on my way to being back on track.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Childhood Food Memories

I grew up as a vegetarian all the way till about age 12 or so. Being a vegetarian used to be difficult, to find dishes when you went out that didn't have some sort of meat we ate at home most of the time. I remember lots of good foods coming out of our kitchen, but there are a few that really stuck with me and a rice casserole dish is one of them. It's not the greatest looking for food pictures but it tastes SO good...and that's all that really matters right? I've changed this recipe a tad from when my mama made it. She used cauliflower, but I had broccoflower in my fridge and I believe she used cheddar cheese where I used smoked gouda.

Pot with lid
Saute Pan
Cutting board
Casserole (or baking dish)


Rice (I like Basmati)
Olive Oil
Unsalted Butter
Head of Broccoflower, broken down and chopped
Medium Onion, chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, rough chop
lb (or so) of Mushrooms (Cremini or Button are best), sliced
Fresh Lemon Juice
Salt and Pepper
Gouda Cheese
Dried Oregano

Cook your rice according to the directions. *Make sure you rinse the rice first, it will remove some of the starch and prevent sticky rice. Since you aren't making sushi, sticky rice is not wanted here.

In medium saute pan melt butter and olive oil together. Add sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt, when mushrooms are halfway cooked add your garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice. Remove mixture to a bowl and set aside.

In the same pan you cooked the mushrooms in, add some butter and toss in your broccoflower with some salt, pepper and dried oregano. You can add a little chile powder if you want a little kick to the dish as well. Cook until just about tender. Remove to bowl with mushrooms.

Mix the rice, veggies and cheese together and spread in a casserole or baking dish. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or so, until the cheese is melted and everything is warmed through and the flavors are mingling.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Chantarelles Are Here!

A friend of mine who goes mushroom picking, dropped by my work the other day and delivered a little bundle of gold...freshly picked Chanterelle Mushrooms! This is going to be one of those recipes that I didn't measure a thing and just tossed things together until it smelled to my liking. I will try my best to lay out some sort of measurement guidelines to follow though.

Pan with a lid
Cutting board

Chicken Thighs (6 boneless skinless)
Olive Oil
Butter (unsalted is best) about 1.5Tbl.
Shallot, roughly chopped
White Wine 3/4-1C
Chicken Broth 1.5C
Flour 2Tbl
Salt and Pepper

Clean off any excess fat on your chicken, pat dry, salt and pepper and set aside.

Heat oil and butter together over medium heat in your pan. Add the chicken and cook about 2-3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle shallots on chicken and poor wine around the chicken. Cover and cook (undisturbed) for 20 minutes.

When chicken is cooked remove from pan and tent with foil to keep it warm.

Whisk flour into chicken broth before you add it to the pan (it will help prevent lumps). Whisk your broth/flour mixture into the wine/butter that's already in the pan. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then lower the heat, add your chopped mushrooms and cook (covered) just until mushrooms are done...overcooked mushrooms are like chewing on rubber. Return your chicken thighs to the pan just to ensure that they are warm all the way through.

Serve Chicken thighs with your sauce poured over top.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Caramel Apple Butter

I'm not real big on pancakes, but when I do eat them I love them slathered in homemade apple butter. I recently got a new cook book called "Edible DIY" and was thrilled to see a recipe for Caramel Apple Butter. This recipe is started in a stock pot, but finished off in a crock pot. To have this wonderful treat stashed in your pantry for up to a year, I suggest following the canning process.

Stock Pot
Immersion Blender

6lbs Apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1" thick chunks
2/3 C. Apple cider, juice or water.
2 C. Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Cinnamon

In a large stop pot cook your apples and water/juice until boiling, turn down heat and simmer for 35-45 minutes (until apples can be mushed with a spoon. Use the immersion blender to blend everything into a smooth consistency.

Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon into the apple pure' and transfer to your crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hours, until the mixture has thickened up.

Transfer canning jars (size is your choice) and boil for 10 minutes, with canning equipment. Remove jars and let cool completely before storing.

This will last (canned) in a cool, dark place for a year. Open in the fridge for about 2 months.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Creamy Leek and Potato Soup

Yesterday was the start of some nasty weather for us here on the coast, side ways rain, wind...the usual, if not a bit earlier this year. Regardless to say it is soup and other (wondrous comfort food) weather. Nothing (well that may not be totally true) could be easier than this tasty recipe.

Large Pot
Immersion Blender
Large Bowl
Liquid Measuring Cup
Wooden Spoon/Spatula

3 Lrg. (or 4 mdm) Leeks (green tops removed, and stalk shopped into rings)
3 Mdm. Yukon potatoes, peeled and diced
4 Tbl. Unsalted butter
Good size pinch of Kosher salt
4C. Vegetable or Chicken Stock
1C. Heavy Cream
1C. Buttermilk
Pepper to taste

Rinse leeks in large bowl (after chopping) to get the dirt out from between the layers.

In large pot, over medium heat melt butter and sweat leeks with kosher salt for about 5 minutes. Lower heat and cook (stirring every once in a while) leeks about 25 minutes. Add potatoes and stock, and cook for 35-45 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through.
Use your immersion blender (a regular blender will work just be careful about the heat of the soup) to blend everything together. Once there are no chunks, mix in your buttermilk, cream and pepper.

Serve hot with fresh dill or chives, and little parmesan toasts on the side.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Party Balls

My roommate and I recently threw a Keg & Diaper part for a friend of ours, who is going to be a first time father. It was an early evening (but after dinner time) event so we needed some good snacks that were easy to eat. So...the BBQ Wing Balls, and the Buffalo Wing Balls were born. These are made with ground turkey, but you could easily substitute any other type of ground meat of your choosing.

Sauce pan
Baking dish
Mixing bowl
Mixing utensil (fork, wooden spoon ect...)
Oil for greasing baking dish

Buffalo Wing Balls
1/2 Stick Unsalted butter
1/3C Franks Red Hot
1lb Ground Turkey
1 Egg
3/4 Celery stalk, finely minced
3/4C Bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 450

In a medium sauce pan melt the butter and sauce together. Remove from heat when melted together and let cool.

While butter mixture is cooling, mix together your ground turkey, egg, celery and bread crumbs. When butter mix is just about room temperature, add it to the meat mixture and mix everything together.

Roll balls to desired size, and place in greased baking dish.

Cook for about 20 minutes.

Serve with Blue Cheese Dip, or Ranch if preferred.

BBQ Balls

1 lb Ground Turkey
BBQ Sauce of choice
1 egg
3/4C. Bread crumbs

Mix all ingredients together, adding as much (or little) BBQ sauce as you would like for desired flavor. As with Buffalo Balls, roll into desired size and bake in greased dish for 20 minutes at 450.


Buffalo Chicken Mac n Cheese

I absolutely love hot wings, and mac n why not combine them?! I used chicken breasts for this recipe, but you could easily use already cooked rotisserie chicken from the store if you wanted to cut your time down.
*I would suggest making a little extra sauce in case you want to add more when reheating your leftovers.

1/2 - 1lb Pasta
4Tbl Unsalted Butter
4 Chicken Breasts (cut in strips)
Minced onion and or garlic
1C Franks Red Hot
3Tbl. Flour
2tsp. Dry Mustard
1 1/2C Cheddar Cheese (grated)
1/2C Pepperjack Cheese (grated)
1C Milk (more if needed)
1/4C Heavy Cream
1/3C Sour Cream or Plain Nonfat Yogurt
Sour Cream
Blue Cheese Crumbles


2 sauce pots (one medium and one large)
1 saute pan
Cheese Grater

In large Sauce pot boil water with a pinch of salt to cook pasta.

While pasta is cooking melt a tablespoon of butter with a splash of olive oil in a saute pan and add chicken (seasoned with salt and pepper) to pan with minced onion (or garlic)when onion has just softened add Franks Red Hot to cover chicken and let it simmer. Flip the chicken every once in a while so it cooks evenly.

While chicken is cooking you can start your sauce. In a medium size sauce pot melt 3Tbl. butter, whisk in flour and dry mustard. When the this is crumble begin to whisk in the milk and heavy cream. Stir in Cheddar and Pepperjack cheese, when cheese is about melted stir in your sour cream. If sauce is too think you can add a little more milk. Add in Salt, Pepper and Franks to taste.

Drain your pasta and return to pan off of heat. Chop up cooked chicken and add to pasta. When sauce is to your liking pour over pasta and serve with blue cheese crumbles on top.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pumpkin Alfredo

While flipping through one of my numerous cooking magazines, I cam across a "kids meal" that just sounded so wonderfully tasty I had to give it a whirl. Since it was suppose to be a kids meal, with very light flavors I decided to punch it up a little bit with some garlic, a tad more cheese and a pinch of chile.
This will server roughly 5 hungry women.

Medium saute pan (you can use a pot, I just find the saute pan easier for whisking)
Cutting Board


1 1/2 Tbl. Unsalted butter
1 Shallot, minced
1/2 C. Pumpkin (Libby's is my favorite)
Pinch of Nutmeg and Chile Powder
1 1/2 C Parmesan, grated
1 1/4 C. Heavy Cream
1 tsp. Garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Melt butter on medium heat, add shallot and cook 1-2 minutes (until just soft). Add pumpkin, nutmeg and chile powder, stir until just incorporated. Slowly whisk in cream (so as not to splash everywhere), when cream has all been mixed in add the cheese a bit at a time until it's all melted. When cheese has all melted in with the cream and pumpkin and your garlic powder, and your salt and pepper to your taste. Server warm over alfredo noodles or cheese tortellini.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mustard Chops w/Cider "gravy" & Brussels Sprouts

This is one of those dishes that thankfully turns out fantastic, even though when you started you had no idea what you were making. A friend was to join me for dinner, and I had done no shopping...thankfully I tend to have things laying around.
Once again, these measurements are all a complete guess, because I was just tossing things in a pan and hoping for the best.


2C. Brussels Sprouts, sliced
2-3 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1/4C Onion (yellow, white or sweet) chopped
1tsp. Vinegar (apple cider or coconut is best)
1/3C. Rough-chop Parmesan cheese (Romano would be fine as well)
1-2tsp. Maple syrup
Pinch of salt (more to taste if needed)

Make sure to pull off the couple outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts, as well as any extra unsightly looking leaves.
Cut (or shred) your Brussels sprouts, and lightly handle them to loosen them up.
In a large saute' pan cook the bacon on medium heat, until just cooked. At this stage add your onion and pinch of salt, cook until onion soften, add Brussels sprouts, and vinegar. Cook for 3-5 minutes, then add in cheese. When Brussels sprouts are just about cooked all the way through, add the maple syrup and lower the heat to medium-low, cook for a minute or two more...just to incorporate the syrup and get a nice bit of browning on the sprouts. Serve warm.

2 Boneless Pork Chops
Dijon Mustard
Butter (unsalted)
Apple Cider (juice is fine if you don't have cider)

Salt and pepper your chops on both sides.
Heat a medium saute pan (that you can cover) on medium heat with a Tbl of butter and a splash of oil (grapeseed is best). Brush one side of the chops with mustard and place face down in the pan, brush the other side while the chop is in the's easier. Cook chops 3-5 minutes on each side, so you get a nice "crust" on both sides. Poor enough cider to just cover the bottom of the pan about a 1/4" deep.* Cover pan with lid and cook till chops are just about cooked through. Remove the lid, and allow the chops to finish off on both side so they have a nice caramelized covering. Remove the chops and keep warm while the cider continues to cook down into a gravy, add a bit more butter if it looks like the cider is just going to cook down to a gooey mess.

*While the chops are cooking away with the cider. Peel and slice about half an apple. In a small pan melt a bit of butter and cook your apples until they are soft, but not soggy. Stir them occasionally while they cook, so you do not burn them.

Serve your chops with the sauteed apples on top, and the cider gravy drizzled atop the apples. Serve the Brussels sprouts along side.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Saving an Overcooked Roast

Forget about your roast, and it is now a little on the tough side? No problem, it will now become super delicious shredded beef enchiladas. This recipe will make enough for three large enchiladas in medium sized flour tortillas.

1.5lb Overcooked Roast
1.4C Chopped Yellow Onion
16oz Beef Stock
3Tbl Butter
3Tbl Flour
3-Tbl Chili Powder*
1.5Tbl Garlic (powder or fresh depending on what you have)
Salt to taste
Tortillas (corn or flour)

Sauce Pan
Saute Pan
Baking Dish

*Make sure your chili is fresh, if you have old chili your sauce will be incredibly bland.

I start my sauce in medium non-stick saute pan as it is easier to whisk, and the transfer it to the sauce pan to simmer.

Bring your saute pan to medium heat and melt the butter, (if you using fresh minced garlic add now) whisk in the chili powder and flour, creating dry crumbly consistency. Slowly whisk in broth (adding water if needed) working out lumps and creating a smooth sauce. Whisk in garlic (if using powder)and salt to taste. Transfer sauce to medium sauce pan on lo heat, let lightly simmer while you work on the meat.

Return the saute pan (no need to rinse it) to the burner on medium-low eat. Add shredded roast meat and chopped onion to the pan, ladle a few spoonfuls of sauce to the meat and allow to simmer for about 3-5 minutes while you get your tortillas and cheese ready.

Preheat oven to 350

*If using corn tortillas, make sure to warm them up a little or they will break as you are trying to roll them.

VERY lightly oil your baking dish so the cheese does not stick and make a big mess.
Add meat filling and cheese to center of tortillas and roll up, place in baking dish ("open" side down), repeat until you have run out of filling. Cover enchiladas with sauce and place desired amount of cheese on top.
Cook enchiladas for about 5-10 minutes, just until cheese is melted and everything is warmed through. Make sure you check on them so they do not dry out.

Serve with sour cream, avocado or any other desired topping.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Feelings of Fall

I woke up this morning to a slightly overcast, cool morning. The smell of the first rain after a dry spell and a small breeze, have me thinking of fall and all the wonderful things it brings. There are so many things I would like to do and enjoy this fall. In no uncertain order...

1. Pumpkin patch/orchard
2. Carve pumpkins
3. Enjoy spiced apple cider on my front porch
4. Bake wonderous goodies
5. Plant mums
6. Have a chili and football night
7. Plant Spring bulbs
8. Start a new craft project
9. Can tomatoes
10. Walk in the woods and collect leaves
11. Decorate the house for fall
12. Have a Fall feast with friends
13. Plan Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, and Christmas dinners
14. Make applesauce
15. Have a fire with friends
16. Take an online class of some sort
17. Make Limoncello

I'm sure there are many more things that will crop up as the days come closer and closer to fall.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lift Off

I'm thinking of starting my own small catering/party company.

I have been awarded the privilege of catering an author champagne "dinner" for her new book release.
A 50 person bridge club wine and app event.
A Keg and Diaper party and a 7 year anniversary celebration for a book store.

With my usual Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving and Christmas as well.

With all these things on the books, I'm beginning to wonder if i should start my own catering/party company. A small one of coarse, not a huge company that can do large parties, but mostly apps and small bites.

I'm getting excited!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Clean Fridge Thai Meatballs

Okay, so it's in between those pesky paydays and the fridge needs a cleaning. SO, what else does one do but start tossing things together. I have a small garden (with an interesting combination of produce) that happens to have lemongrass and mint in it. Now, I LOVE the flavors of lemongrass but have honestly never cooked with it. I have some organic ground beef in my freezer, so i started mixing things together and seeing what happened and came up with some tasty meatballs. I didn't measure anything so I'm guessing at the measurements. Feel free to make this recipe work for you and tweek as needed.

1 lb. Ground beef
1 sprig mint (chopped)
Small Squeeze of ginger paste
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp. ground chili powder
1/2 tsp. Garlic powder

Mix everything together, and make sure not to over mix or you will have dry chewy meatballs.

5 "Sprigs" of lemongrass coarsley chopped.
1/2 C. Milk
2 Tbl. Heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. Curry paste
1 Tbl. ginger paste
1 1/2 tsp. Tahini
1 Clove minced garlic

In a medium saucepan heat the milk, cream and lemongrass together on low until the lemongrass has infused the milk. Strain the lemongrass out of the milk and return to burner. Turn heat up to medium and add remaining ingredients. Cook in medium for 2-3 minutes, until flavors have had the chance to mingle.

Roll your meatballs into desired size and place in pot with sauce. Cook on medium heat, making sure to roll around meatballs so they cook evenly on all sides.

Enjoy over rice, Lettuce or all on it's own.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Egg Rolls

When you make egg rolls for non-cabbage eaters, improvisation is key. I had planned to follow a recipe for this, but after the second ingredient I tossed the recipe and just did what I thought was best.

Egg Roll Wrappers
1Lb. ground beef (or pork, turkey...)
2tsp. ginger paste
2 tps. garlic powder
1 clove minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
2 medium carrots, shredded
6 mini multi-colored bell peppers cut in strips
1/4C. chopped onion (your choice)
1 Tbl. minced fresh jalapeno

1Tbl. Flour
1Tbl. Water
Mix together in a small bowl, and use (just a touch) to seal the corners of your egg rolls, so they don't pop open in the pan.

You will also need a shallow frying pan and enough veg (or other high burn point oil)oil so you have about an inch deep in your pan.

Mix beef through salt and pepper. WARNING! Do NOT over mix or your meat or it will be tough. Cook in a skillet over medium heat until just cooked. Set aside in a bowl to cool.
Meanwhile in a separate bowl mix carrots through jalapeno together. Add vegetable mix to your meat and toss together.

To assemble you lay a wrapper flat in front of you and spoon a portion of your mix just off center.

Fold the sides over the mix, then the corner closest to you. Roll it up and just when you get to the other corner...rub some "glue" on the corner and secure to the top.

Cook them on both sides until a nice golden brown on each side. when cooked remove to a small mesh rack to drain excess oil. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Summer Fruit Galette

When it's nearing the end of August, and there's so much wonderful fruit around one simply must make a lovely fruit dessert.
I was forced to add a little more sugar to the fruit than I would have liked (we haven't been getting the best stone fruit around here) but hopefully you have wonderfully juicy peaches and plums and can revel in their glorious juices.

CRUST: (makes 2)
2C. All-purpose flour
1/4 C. granulate sugar
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, diced
6 Tbl. Ice water

Put flour, sugar and salt in food processor with a steal blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add butter and toss (carefully) with fingers quickly to coat. Pulse about 15 times, or until butter is pea sized. With the motor going, add ice water all at once, pulse to combine..stop just when dough is beginning to come together. Turn dough onto well floured surface, and roll into a ball, cut in half, and form into 2 flat discs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour (dough can be frozen for future use as well).

FILLING: (for 1)
1Lb. Firm, ripe peaches, peeled
1/2 Lb. Black plums
1/2 pint fresh blueberries
1 TBl.all-purpose flour
1 Tbl. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. grated orange zest
2 Tbl. freshly squeezed orange juice

Cut the peaches and plums into wedges, and place in a bowl with the blueberries. Toss them with 1 Tbl. flour and sugar, orange juice and orange zest.

Preheat oven to 450

Roll pastry into 11 inch-thick round on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place mixed fruit on dough round, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold dough edges up and pinch to create border.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. With two large spatulas transfer pastry to cooling rack. CAREFULLY!
Serve's good cold the next morning with a cup of coffee too.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fresh Start

I am determined to be more consistent in my blog postings. At LEAST once a week is my desired goal. I have recently come to a decision (while looking at the the price of bread and jam) about how certain foods arrive in my pantry. After the mild stroke i suffered in the bread isle when seeing a $6 loaf of bread, I decided then and there that I will no longer buy bread products. For the price of one loaf at the store I can make three.
From here on out I will be making my own breads, jams/jellies, dressings and well...pretty much everything. There is no need to purchasing things I know I can make and feel comfortable and confident about where they came from and what they were made with.
Here's to a fresh start to food and commitment.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Desperate for Salsa

I peeked into my cupboard on the quest for chips and salsa, only to find that there was NO salsa, but there were those damned tortilla chips taunting me with their salty goodness. What else is a girl to do in this situation but whip up some salsa?!
Lucky for me, everything needed was within arms driving to the store on such a sunny day!
This is a roasted salsa (you could grill the veggies as well)as I think that added flavor is so worth it.
You will need....
3 whole tomatoes
2 whole jalapenos (or habanero if you really want to kick up the spice)
1 whole (peeled) onion, i used a walla walla
2-3 garlic cloves

Preheat your oven to 350. On a foil-lined (or a silpat is even better if you have it) baking sheet place your tomatoes, peppers and onions. Roast for 30 minutes, or until they take a nice sweet smell and look charred (and sweet smelling brown juices begin to ooze out). Let them all cool until they can be held in your hand (without burning yourself). Peel the skin off your peppers, and remove the seeds, it's completely fine if you leave some seeds behind it will just add more spice to your salsa. Toss all your ingredients, (along with the fresh peeled garlic cloves and cilantro)into the blender, blend until smooth. Add salt to taste, not too much! Remember, you can always add salt but you can't remove it. Poor it into jar to store it...or just eat it straight out of the blender leaning against your counter with a self satisfied smirk, knowing that you have just made something that tastes WAY better than that $4 bottle from the store.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Alfredo in A Pinch

If you thought you couldn't make Alfredo sauce (and have therefor resorted to buying it in a jar) I am here to tell can. It's not as difficult as it may seem. The main hangup is not paying attention, if the heat is too high or you wander off too long, you may very well end up with cottage cheese. So...relax, turn on some Franky, poor yourself a glass of wine and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Alfredo sauce for 3:
1/4 C butter
4 oz. cream cheese
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
roughly 1 1/2 Tbl. minced shallot
3/4 C. half and half (more if needed)
2/3 C. parm

Turn pan on medium-low heat and add butter, when butter is melted add onion and garlic. Sweet until just tender, add cream cheese, (turn temperature down if sauce is bubbling)and stir slowly till just melted. Add half and half and cheese, stirring slowly until all is incorporated. Turn heat to low and allow all the cheese to melt and mingle with all the flavors of the garlic and shallot. Remove from heat and serve right away.

For easy add-ins I like roasted chicken, and sauteed zucchini. Sauteed bell peppers and broccoli are also a nice addition.