Sunday, July 30, 2006

I'll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours #3

This month, the theme is your tried-and-true recipes.
Cate at Sweetnicks is sponsoring this monthly event.
Check her out for this months roundup. Thanks Cate.

What a mess I have in the recipe keeping system and I am convinced I will continue to have.The mess is organzed to some degree that I am able to locate a recipe……… might not be able to but I can.

I posted a blog a couple weeks ago regarding this very subjuct. How do you organize your recipes and in what format? Well my dear niece, malteses parakeet, aka “little bird”, told me about

{quote} i snagged a cool online cookbook idea from our blogger friend sylvie at soul fusion kitchen. she got the idea from elise at simply recipes. the instructions are here. it's really simple. {quote}

And she was dead on right - it is way simple. But then only as good as long as the site stays up and running. Hey I’m will to take that chance. But I must admit I have printed off many of the recently saved recipes to just as a precautionary measure.

You know you always think that you are the only one in the
world that has a mess such as this. I'm sure I'm not alone.
Hopefully from this event something can help me to be
more organzed. I am quite anxious to see what other folks
have done in the recipe management department.
so..........stay tuna'd

Saturday, July 29, 2006

caramel ice cream

so, this recipe that i found in gourmet magazine is the whole reason i bought the ice cream maker in the first place. the recipe is called grandpa roy's caramel ice cream and it was in the letters section in the july 2006 issue of gourmet. so, here goes:

1 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. whole milk
6 large egg yolks
2 tbsp light corn syrup

cook sugar and salt in a dry 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. continue to cook, stirring occasionaly, until suger is melted into a deep golden caramel, about 10 to 12 minutes.

burnt sugar...yuuum
The caramel and heavy cream mixture. Photo by Avgvstvs.

carefully pour in cream (this will bubble up faster and farther than you think and create loads of steam) and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally until caramel is dissolved. whisk in milk and return to just a boil, then remove from heat.

adding the cream
Adding the milk. Photo by Avgvstvs.

whisk together yolks and corn syrup in a large bowl until smooth, then add half of hot caramel cream in a slow stream, whisking until combined well. then add yolk mixture in a slow stream to remaining caramel cream in the pot. cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture is thickened and about 170-75 degrees (coats back of spoon, about three minutes).

action shot
Stirring the custard. Photo by Avgvstvs.

pour caramel custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl set in a larger bowl of ice, salt and cold water. cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. then cover and refrigerate until cold, at least an hour or two.

finally, freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions, then transfer to an airtight container and freeze to harden, at least four hours.

this recipe makes about 1 1/2 pints. serve the finished product alone sprinkled with sea salt (try it, it's really amazing) or with your favorite dessert. as you can see, i made a free form apple pie...

finished product
Dig in! Photo by Avgvstvs.

A lettuce wrap that husband will eat........

**I adapted a recipe that I found on my local grocery store web site Publix and Lea at Copperpots posted a lettuce wrap recently.

First let me say that husband is a great eater and will eat just about anything I place in front of the dear boy. He just happens to have a couple of limitations. I know I do as well as most of the people in this world. I digress….Knowing that the husband is not fond of the idea of stuffing food in a piece of lettuce and wrapping it up and eating it, go figure, I decided to do lettuce cups. Husband loves salads and pretty much all varieties.

Remembering that Copperpots made a tasty sounding lettuce wrap and Publix had a similar version but in boston lettuce cups. I had that AHA!!! moment.To say he loved it was putting it mildly. I won another round there folks. See this is what makes cooking fun and challenging. It’s not just getting the ingredients right and the preparation, it’s the pleasing factor. We as humans want to please another human soul by preparing a food item and hope to hell they like it.
Oh yeah it’s great for the ego!

So I took Copperpots recipe that follows

1/2 rice your choice I used sushi rice
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 pound ground turkey I used ground chicken
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
a couple of handfuls of cashews, rough chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
salt to taste if necessary
2 heads Boston lettuce, leaves separated
1/2 cup chopped chives I used green onions
1 large carrot, shredded

1. Cook your choice of rice according to package directions.2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and ginger; cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until the chicken is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice, bell pepper, cashews, broth, hoisin sauce, five-spice powder and salt; cook until heated through, about 1 minute.3. To serve, spoon portions of the chicken mixture onto lettuce leaves, top with a few green onions sliced at a diagonal for pretty, shredded carrots and some chow mein noodlesand a splash of tamarin sauce low sodium version.

I served a nice fresh fruit salad for a side dish and voila – happy eaters.
As Copperpots said “Yum!!!”

**adapted = my version of a couple of recipes I have found to be usable then melded them together.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Castro couldn't get better food

Weekly Dish is collecting a list of favorite summer drinks so stagger on over and see how she cools off.

I'm a fan of the sangria at the Cuban restaurant Versailles in Culver City so went looking for a recipe and Little bird came up with this one. It's been so hot and while cleaning out a drawer I found this recipe and doesn't a nice fruity sangria sounded refreshing? YES!

This great Cuban joint is quite the establishment in LA and I read a review that said, Versaille is Jerry's Deli with a twist of lime. You'd have to be a local to get that one. If you live in LA and you've not been to one of their four establishments, what the hell are you waiting for?

Enjoy a bit of Cuba and don't throw out the fruit, it's the best part. I add different fruit depending on the season. I've got some very ripe apricots that will be taking a dip today. I've also been known to add a splash of club soda. This is enough for a party of drinkers or if it's really hot … well, it does keep for a day or two.

3/4 cup simple syrup
2 bottles red wine
3/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup triple sec
3/4 cup orange juice
2 peaches, sliced
2 lemons, sliced

Blend and refridgerate 2 hours or two days. I put a little ice in mine because I like it cold.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Blueberry Nut Bread

Think this is my entry for sweetnicks' a.r.f./5-a-day tuesday. Please check out her site on tuesday for the roundup of everyone's tasty a.r.f. treats!!!

Blueberry nut bread ............. ahhhhhhhh tis the season for those ARF blueberries , wow!!!

Seems they are everywhere. And now they are in my kitchen in the form of this blueberry bread. Annie over at Mixed Salad Annie made some fat friendly muffins that looked quite tasty, but we had just had some muffins. So a bread popped into me teeny little brain. Husband enjoys it toasted under the broiler then spreads it with a walnut cream cheese spread.
The following recipe is from a Bed & Breakfast that husband and I stayed at in Venice, Florida several years ago.

3 cups all- purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
***3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
**1/3 cup orange juice
3 cups blueberries
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts/ pecans)

Combine the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, sugar, and salt. Using a wooden spoon, beat eggs, milk, vanilla, melted butter, orange extract and orange juice.
Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until flour is thoroughly moistened. Add the blueberries and the nuts. Stir thoroughly but gently. Pour into a well buttered mini loaf pans and set aside for fifteen minutes. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until the loaves test done.
Makes 4 mini loaves or one very large loaf. Remember, if you do the large loaf the cooking will be a lot longer (around an hour and a quarter)

**I used cranberry juice because I had some dried cranberries I was also going to add to the mix
*** I remember the woman that made this bread saying I didn't have enough white sugar so I completed the 3/4 cup with brown sugar.

Anyone ever do this?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Support your local tomato

For the past year we've been visiting the Thursday Farmer's Market in the town next door. Only about 20 miles but hey, one does get lazy. In Bakersfield, our Saturday morning visit to the local was less than a mile. So when I heard lil old Simi Valley was getting their own and it is less than a mile from me, I was thrilled.

I was less that thrilled with the vendor turnout but am not giving up hope this being the first day and all. Not the variety I was looking for and it's not organic but it is fresh and close and I can still find my way to the Thursday showing.

I am so willing to pay more for fruits and veggies that have been picked locally. I found some gorgeous beefstake tomatoes and peaches that were firm but not still green.

If you have a local farmer's market, support it, even though it might be a bit puny, give them the encouragement to have more. The crap they push in the big mega-markets these days is a shame. Picked too early to have any flavor and travels enough to have bonus miles. I understand that two heads of lettuce vacationed to Rome on the miles they racked up.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Is there such a thing as fool proof pie crust???

Well we are gonna see, cause I am the perfect person to test this.

There is a pie crust that is written up in the latest issue August/September 2006 of Cook’s Country. On the cover, which is graced by some pretty gorgeous peaches I might add, it states NO-FEAR PIE DOUGH flakiest pat-in-pan crust ever.

Well heck sakes that’s for me, cause I am crummy at pie crust. I am not afraid to admit that, cause I had a mother, a grandmother and a mother in-law that could make excellent pie crust. And sister moon puts out a very good crust as well. So why the heck would I need to try and make crust. I didn’t try, I didn’t even observe their techniques. Well I’m sure y’all know the end of that story. The fine pie dough makers of the family are no longer with us, with the exception of sister moon, y’all know she’s still here. But she lives 3000 miles away.

So when I got this issue of
Cook’s Country I was quite excited to see a no fear pie dough even existed. There are many of us, I am convinced, that just can’t seem to get it together when constructing a precious pie crust. Why the heck do ya spose they invented Pillsbury already made in a package let it come to room temp, pie crust.

By the way Cook’s Country magazine is the little sister to the ever popular Cook’s Illusrated that is related in a big way to
America’s Test Kitchen.

In the meantime who out there is a hesitant pie crust maker. Share your secrets if you care to. And if you want, share your hits and misses.

Well I’m gonna try this Cook’s Country pie dough and I will be happy to pass along to you the yay’s and the nay’s………………….stay tuna’d

Monday, July 24, 2006

If you can't stand the heat; don't cook

In honor of my thermometer exploding (it really didn't but sure feels like it could) I made gazpacho for dinner the other night. I loved it. It was icy cold and spicy (see me additions) and darling husband was nice enough to finish a small bowl but turned it down the next day for lunch. Can't hit it out of the park every night.

I snagged this recipe from a wonderful little Tapas cookbook from dear friend Tia Di. I've tried a few recipes but this is a favorite. Of course I didn't make it exactly like the recipe. I only had two tomatoes so I used 3/4 of can of Muir Glen chopped tomato and fire roasted chilies. This give it a bit more kick. I also did a bit of fancy design on the top with cream. I tell you, it's the heat.

1 garlic clove
a pinch of coarse salt
1 slice white bread, crusts removed
4 ripe juicy tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1 tablespoon grated onion
1/4 small cucumber, peeled and seeded, plus a little extra for garnish
1 tablespoon Spanish sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and ground black pepper

Mash the garlic and salt together.

Put the bread in a saucer with a little water and let soak. Put the garlic, bread, tomatoes, onion, cucumber, and vinegar in a blender and purée until smooth. Keeping the machine running, add the oil in a slow and steady stream. Add salt, pepper to taste, then add the sugar.

Pour the mixture through a strainer into a bowl, adding more salt, pepper, and vinegar if necessary. Chill in the refrigerator overnight and serve in small bowls or glasses with a little chopped cucumber on top. Serves 4

Sunday, July 23, 2006

guess who got an ice cream maker?

...and just in time, because it's freakin' hot! there will be more many more ice cream posts from the little bird to come in the near future, but here's the tasty frozen treat that i made for a summer sunday afternoon: cantaloupe sorbet.

cantaloupe sorbet

we got our bi-weekly installment from the tierra miguel csa on wednesday and there was a lovely cantaloupe in our share. i cracked it open this morning for breakfast and it was the juiciest cantaloupe i have ever seen. and the taste was so amazingly sweet. all that juice gave me the idea to make a sorbet. here's the recipe that i cobbled together (experimenting from the recipe for the margarita granita that i made on saturday):

1 c. simple syrup (equal parts sugar & water, briefly boiled, then cooled)
1/2 c. cantaloupe juice
1/2 c. pureed cantaloupe
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vodka

freeze in an ice cream maker and then remove to the freezer for a few hours.

the final product looks creamy like sherbet, but i assure you it there is no milk (the cantaloupe itself was a very light color). the end result was chilly, melon-y goodness, sweet but balanced by the acid in the lemon juice, and a perfect scorching afternoon treat. the official taste tester tried his obligatory spoonful and promptly demanded several more spoonfuls.

only after i was recovering from the brain freeze did i realize that cantaloupe is an anti-oxidant rich food and that i had a perfect entry for sweetnicks' a.r.f./5-a-day tuesday. do be sure to check out her site on tuesday for the roundup of everyone's yummy and good-for-you a.r.f. treats!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Farmer's Market visit

Was able to get a few things there yesterday. The cantaloupe tastes like little sugar balls they are so sweet. So thinking that would compliment my gorgonzola cantaloupe salad - think I'll resurrect that little gem.

Blueberries are a favorite and these I noticed were Carolina grown as are the peaches. So thank you to the Carolina's for growing some wonderful goodies.

Now should I have blueberries with my
cereal or cereal with my blueberries?

Another thought is that I came across somewhere in my food blogland travels, a recipe for blueberry chipotle BBQ sauce. Thought that might have a possibility. I'll share when I find it.
stay tuna'd....................

If you have a recipe for Blueberry Chipotle BBQ sauce e-mail it to us and we'll post it.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Lebni entertain you

Little bird and I did a little shopping at a few of the local stores and after shoes, clothes and wine purchases I showed her our best kept secret the Valley Produce Market. This wonder store is an ethnic market with so many different cultures recognized it would be hard to list.

What she introduced me to was Kefir cheese, also known as Lebni, which is made from yogurt with the whey removed. It has the consistency of cream cheese with less fat and salt and a slightly tangy flavor. She sprinkled some oregano and smoked paprika over and then drizzled olive oil. We had it on flax flat bread which we also bought at the market.

On the left is some hummus that she also fixed and to that she added some smoked garlic. Both of these snacks were well received by her dad, then we all had a nap. Great Sunday.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Deep-Dish Peach and Berry Pie

Awhile back I posted a photo of some wonderful peaches I had purchased as well as nectarines, as the farmers market. Well those particular peaches didn’t last long with the husband cause he enjoyed most of them on his favorite treat of ice cream. OK I go back to the farmers market get more peaches and come home and make this delicious pie. I did make a nectarine cream sauce that is to die for – I’ll share soon.

Tell me what is your favorite summer pie?

Deep-Dish Peach and Berry Pie
Adapted from Good Housekeeping magazine

Yields: 8 servings

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: About 35 minutes
Crust:1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons cold butter or margarine, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy or whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon I added a tad of fresh nutmeg also

Fruit Filling:

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 pounds ripe peaches (about 5 medium), pitted and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 cups assorted berries (1 cup each blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries) I used frozen assorted but you could use your choice.

This is a standard pie crust - so use your favorite recipe

Prepare Crust: In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and 1/4 cup sugar. With pastry blender or 2 knives used scissors-fashion, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add 1/2 cup cream and stir with fork until dough comes together. Gather dough into a ball and place on lightly floured sheet of waxed paper. With floured rolling pin, roll dough to a 9-inch round. Slide waxed paper onto cookie sheet and refrigerate dough until ready to use. In cup, mix cinnamon and remaining sugar.

Prepare Fruit Filling:

Preheat oven to 400° F. Place cookie sheet lined with foil in oven. In 4-quart saucepan, stir sugar, water, and cornstarch until cornstarch dissolves; stir in peaches. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat to low; simmer 2 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat; gently stir in berries. Pour filling into 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate.3. Immediately, while filling is hot, remove dough round from refrigerator and, using waxed paper, invert dough over fruit mixture. Peel off paper. Cut 4-inch X in center of round; fold back points to make square opening. Brush dough with remaining cream; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.4. Bake pie on foil-lined cookie sheet 35 to 40 minutes or until fruit is bubbly in center. If crust is browning too quickly, loosely cover pie with foil after 25 minutes. Cool pie on wire rack.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Infused Oils

I use a lot of infused oils some of my favorite to use in salads, dippings for bread and cooking in general. Infused oils are wonderful as it can add a lot of flavor to your cooking.
I am a cilantro fan and thought why not try making a cilantro oil.

To use as an accent for many of my Mexican food recipes.
Tthis is so easy to make.

Cilantro Oil
2 cups of fresh cilantro
1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
I use almost all of the cilantro with the exception of the thicker ends of the stems. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend till quite smooth. The mixture will be runny not like a paste. Place the mixture in a fine sieve and place the sieve over a glass container. If plastic it will probably stain your container. Sore in the refrigerator and will keep for about 2 weeks.

The above recipe makes about one third cup or so. But you do not need much because the flavor is quite intense.
Drizzle oil in a spicy tortilla soup, on carnitas for soft tacos, or maybe on a salad. Try making an infused oil yourself – you’ll be glad you did.

But if you don’t like cilantro check this out!!!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Cole Slaw

There are hundreds of events out there in the food blogland. I wish I could participate in each and everyone of them…..highly unlikely. But Kalyn’s Weekend Herb Blogging is one I would like to concentrate on. I visit Kalyn’s regularly and certainly enjoy her many visitors from around the world and the special entries they provide.
So thanks Kalyn and thanks to all who have provided recipes and ideas I have been able to use, I thought it was time to participate.

We are very fond of cole slaw in all it’s many version. But in the summer I seem to enjoy a lighter version. And this slaw can be adapted to many tastes

The version I made today I left out the yellow peppers and added an avocado. I have also added cannellini beans to this slaw.

Asian Style Cole Slaw
6 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (about 1/2 medium head)

2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow or green bell pepper,
diced3 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
4 green onions, sliced crossways
fresh cilantro to your taste
sliced almonds toasted

Prepare the following dressing and add just before serving:
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar2
tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1-2 tablespoons minced garlic

Mix salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
Toss with dressing just prior to serving to retain the crunchiness of the slaw.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Tag, you're it

Jeff at C for Cooking has tagged us for the virus... I mean, the 5 things meme... so here goes from the three of us:

Five things in our freezers
Doodles: chicken, Limoncello, chicken stock, cilantro pesto, frozen lemon yogurt
Mooncrazy: coconut popsicles, lots o chicken, ham bone, ice pack, and Limoncella.
Maltese Parakeet: chopped spinach, chicken breasts, new ice cream maker bowl, ice pack, and half-eaten ben & jerry's pints (apparently, i need to buy some limoncello/a!).

Five things in our closets
Doodles: too many shoes, t-shirts that I have had way too long, jeans, shirts and some skinny clothes I'm hanging on to by a thread.
Mooncrazy: hangers, more hangers, American flag, step stool, and vacuum.
Maltese Parakeet: 8 million pairs of black shoes, enough ucla stuff to start my own bear wear store, holiday decorations (dia de los muertos and christmas), craft supplies and Maltese flag.

Five things in our cars
Doodles: lots of loose change(?), many CD's, toothpicks, water bottle, my large insulated bag for transportating cold stuff during the summer.
Mooncrazy: Old lottery tickets, bottle of water, many cds, Trader Joe's bag, and coupons for the market.
Maltese Parakeet: thomas guide, sunscreen, spare flip flops in case i get a pedicure, mints, and pink our lady of guadelupe shopping bag.

Five things in our purses
Doodles: more of that dreaded loose change, PBEtouffee business cards, phone, several lip gloss, dental floss
Mooncrazy: phone, lip gloss, nail file, lots of change, and business cards
Maltese Parakeet: the crackberry, asthma inhaler, lipstick (clinique tenderheart), [ahem] spare plugs, and valet key for my car (btw, when did we get business cards?!).

Five people we'd like to tag: no pressure!
Laura Rebecca

Coolest hot dog on Weekend Dog Blogging

I'll apologize for anyone who's looked at this photo and fallen from your chair laughing but take no responsibility for any injury.

Buddy loves the Mustang, which is now on loan from Little Bird, and because I was afraid of an eye injury I found him a pair of "Doggles."

Check out the other foodie dogs on Sweetnick's Weekend Dog Blogging.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

cooking with Nutella

This is for the Jeff over at “C for Cooking” blog. He recently expressed a fondness for Nutella so I thought I would share a fcouple recipes I have found. Nutella is a creamy, hazelnut chocolate spread…….now who ever invented this I bow to you – this stuff is dangerous.
It just so happens that Giada DeLaurentis is a big user of Nutella. The girl has a sweet tooth and it annoys me she is just no bigger than a minute. OK back to the task at hand……..Nutella recipes.

Grilled Pineapple with Nutella
This is an adapted version of a recipe that Giada has in her book

1 can pineapple slices…………thoroughly drained and patted dry
2/3 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup Nutella
6 tablespoons whipping cream
Olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped toasted hazelnuts

Prepare the outdoor barbecue to medium-high heat. If you do not have a barbecue, you can use an indoor grill pan set to medium high heat. Lightly oil the grill. Grill the pineapple slices until heated through and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes per side. It's important to leave the pineapples on the grill, untouched so that you can create the grill marks.
While the pineapples are cooking, whisk the mascarpone and vanilla in a small bowl to blend. Set aside.
Combine the chocolate-hazelnut spread and cream in a small bowl and stir to combine. Place in a microwave on high for about 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds to blend well. Alternatively, you can combine the chocolate-hazelnut spread and cream in a small saucepan, set over low heat, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Heat until satiny smooth and easy to pour, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Transfer the pineapple slices to a large platter. Drizzle the warm chocolate-hazelnut sauce over. Dollop the mascarpone mixture atop. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and serve.
I have used pistachio nuts in place of hazelnuts.Now I’m wondering how it would work with firm peaches. Must try that.

When I first saw this I thought a Nutella Sandwich……no way!
But try this when you are feeling a bit decadent……….nice big glass of milk………….hellloooooo!!!
6 slices (1/2-inch-thick) ciabatta bread 1/2 to 3/4 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (such as Nutella)
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the bread until toasted, about 2 minutes per side. Spread the chocolate-hazelnut spread over 1 piece of toast. Top with the second piece of toast.

Now I'll just waddle on over to the Nutella site and see if they have any interesting ideas.
Ya know Nutella would be good drizzled over my peach crepes………………….stay tuna’d

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Retro Recipe Challenge-Pickled Beets with eggs

Taking part in Laura Rebecca's Kitchen's "Retro Recipe Challenge #2" made me think of Picnics in Indiana in the '50s. So I searched the old cook books for something appropriate. This is from my mother-in-law Ann's "Better Homes and Gardens new cook book" printed in 1953.

I couldn't bear to make the Crown roast of Spam with potatoes so I thought I'd do the beets as I remember our mom bringing them to picnics when I was a kid.

I brought them to a 4th of July BBQ and no one really got into them. Oh well, I like them though I had to tweek the recipe a bit, don't I always!

Pickled Beets
About four medium cooked beets, and reserved cooking liquid
1 cup vinegar
1 cup cooking liquid
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon cloves

Heat to boiling and pour over 2 cups sliced cooked beets. Let stand overnight.

I added the eggs but could not find a recipe for them.
Remove beets and add about six hard-cooked eggs. Refrigerate overnight. Serve together.

Now this recipe was not sweet enough for my taste so I added more sugar.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Recipe management software program

Teddy Bear Picnic..........
Well it did not rained here yesterday for six solid hours. As you can see "Willard" isn't looking too happy.

We'll save it for another day

But I have a question for y'all... about recipe management software programs?
Does anyone have one? How do you store your recipes? When you find a recipe do you print it out and save it or do you as many others do have them in folders on your computer. Or some have tons and tons in the favorite file....guilty person raising her hand here.

So what's the secret to good recipe management? I will be sure to post all response or any info that copes our way here at PBE..........stay tuna'd

Monday, July 10, 2006

a little bit of the absurdity and some funny stuff

I know this is a food blog - I haven't a clue as to how I stumbled on this site but today I'm taking my teddy bear on a picnic even if it's in the backyard. I'll take some snaps I promise.

But on July 20th I am celebrating the Moon Landing as I'm sure sister moon will be as well. And on July 12th I am gonna make my very first pecan pie. But that is week two of July and there will be NO nudity while baking my pie!

Lot's a food items on the list, maybe sister moon, little bird and I can come up with something and have a cook-off for a certain date............stay tuna'd!!!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

You say potato and I say, damn good

I've been to two parties in the last seven days that required me to make potato salad and as always it met with rave reviews. Everyone always asks for the recipe and when I tell them they say, what no mustard/pickle relish/fill in your favorite item?

If I give them the recipe they'll put in mustard, pickle relish or their favorite item and then tell me, hey, it wasn't the same as yours. Of course not. The reason you like mine is you don't like all those extras but I'm going to give the recipe anyway. Our mother/Grandmother Lorna made this and I never saw her make anything different.

Potato Salad

boiled russett potatoes
boiled eggs (don't boil them to death, no one likes grey around the yolks)
diced celery
minced onion (just a little onion, more like a suggestion than an ingredient)
Best Foods mayonnaise
salt and pepper (this is last for a reason--don't salt until you taste)

Mix everything together and refrigerate. I can't tell you how much of the above items to use. I just start with the potatoes and add everything to look and taste. Don't use red potatoes or Miracle Whip and then tell me it didn't taste like mine. Just what is Miracle Whip anyway?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

a teaser...........from Georgia

I am thrilled to bits....just bought the first freestone Georgia peaches and nectarines.

So I must come up with a plan for these delectable treats.
First thing that comes to mind for the peaches would be Grandma Pruce's peach pie....oh god it was golden.
But I'm not a terrific crust maker so the jury is still out.
I think I might make nectarine cream for some crepes cause we are doing a brunch thingy tomorrow.
stay tuna'd

Friday, July 07, 2006

the forgotten fruit.............

Last week I purchased a plantain at the farmer’s market. I had not made fried plantains in ages. And probably because they are fried and a tad fattening ….hello two strikes. But I had one and it was beginning to yellow so it was nearly past its prime. Off I go to hunt for my favorite recipe for fried plantains. It happens to be Alton Brown’s

Sometimes prior to frying I sprinkle with chipotle flakes or after frying dust lightly with the smoky paprika that sister moon is takling about.

My snap of the dish shows the carmelization but also shows that they are somewhat burnt, I like them like that then again others may not.

If this recipe does not appeal to you google fried plantains and you may come up with thousands if not a bajillion site. But here is a site that is quite informative on the sweet plantain.

So when you want a tasty morsel that leans toward the a bit high in the calorie count whip up a plate of fried plantains…………..they go great with pork carnitas tacos.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

deep in the heart of texas

so i found myself in san antonio for a conference a few weeks ago. on a friday night, we decided that we needed some barbecue, so we took a $40 one way cab ride to the edge of town to go to the famous rudy's. it was worth the trip. a combination gas station, mini-mart and outdoor restaurant, the menu is simple: pork ribs, baby backs, brisket and a few sides with the unique texas accompaniment...slices of white bread. the meat is cooked in a dry rub and you add as much sauce as you like at the table. they had tubs of cold sodas and shiner bock in ice...if you went to college in texas or know someone who did, you know and love shiner bock.

anyway, here's my meal:

not everything that comes from texas is bad

i had the pork ribs, with pinto beans and a pickle on the side plus peach cobbler for dessert...and, of course, two shiner bocks! as you can see, dinner is served very casually, a soda bottle crate is your tray, and you enjoy your feast outside on picnic tables loaded down with bottles of barbecue and hot sauce and dine to the tune of the latest country hits. it was hot at 9 pm and even hotter because the oak fired barbeque pit was about 10 feet from our table. we left the place about as smoked as the brisket they served.

here's my friends marty & taleen enjoying their ribs:

marty & taleen are carnivores

aren't they cute? needless to say, we all stood out for what we were, liberal lawyers in the middle of texas hill country! true to texas form, everyone was quite friendly even though we obviously didn't fit in. we bought some spice rub and bottled sauce in the mini-mart and i picked up a t-shirt that features a red-white-and-blue ribbon and the slogan "rudy's barbecue, remember our troops, freedom isn't free." que americana.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Pork Rillettes

While poking around some new-to-me food blogs I found the Laughing Gastronome and some different foods I've never heard of. One was Pork Rillettes which was described as a coarser pate and served about the same way. I am intrigued but need to know what one of the ingredients would be here in the states, skinless and boneless fatty pork belly. Anyone have a clue if that is uncured bacon? I don't think it would be salt pork, seems like too much fat.

I did find a conversion chart that might be helpful for bloggers wanting to try some recipes from other countries. Also, take a look at Emma's site, she's got some great pix of her dishes and some entertaining descriptions. She also has a pickled onion recipe that I can't wait to try.

The Laughing Gastronome: pork rillettes

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Prosciutto and Carrot Bundles

I saw Giada DeLaurentis make these and thought how easy and good those would be. But they look kinda odd on my poppy plate.

Not having any balsamic vinegar or basil, I changed the recipe some.
Instead of the dressing she used I used an asian dressing and cilantro instead of basil.

Prosciutto and Carrot Bundles
2 carrots, shredded,about 1/2 cup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
4 slices prosciutto
4 whole fresh basil leaves
In a medium bowl, toss together the carrots, vinegar, olive oil, and pepper.

Lay out the 4 slices of prosciutto. Top each with 1/4 of the carrot mixture. Place a basil leaf on top of each and roll the prosciutto up and around the basil and carrots. Secure the bundles with toothpicks and serve

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Hazardous to your health

Do check out Sweetnicks new site it looks wonderful. She also has some fun foodie news. Now here's our Weekend dog blogging with a tale.

First Buddy would like to wish all his fans a happy 4th of July. Don't forget to wear sun screen and be safe with the fireworks, remember the little doggie ears need protection. This handsome pix of Buddy was taken by his Aunt Doodles.

And now, the tale:

Our Mother/Grandmother Lorna was a great "basic" cook. Most of what she did was without a recipe because she'd cooked them so often. We all had our favorites. What she could throw together at a moments notice was pie and she excelled at that for sure. The one important thing I learned about pies is the bottom crust has to be set before the filling bubbles or you'll have a doughy mess on the bottom. Yuck, done that so crank up that oven for the first 15 minutes for sure.

The following recipe she acquired while standing in line at the market. I always laugh at this but you'd have to know her. This I've used in a number of variations and yesterday it won an award. We attended a early 4th bbq and every one was encouraged to bake an apple pie. I made a rustic apple tart and used momma's dumpling sauce and came away with first place. Not too bad, there were seven other contenders. Thanks, mom.

Lorna's Apple Dumplings

Pie crust for a nine inch pie
2 large Granny Smith apples
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon


1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons Karo syrup
1/2 cup apple sauce
Cook until slightly thickened

Roll crust into 4 circles. Divide apples, brown sugar and cinnamon among pastry circles. Pull up sides of crust and pinch together. Place in 8 inch square baking pan. Bake 350 until done. Cool and spoon hot sauce over dumplings, serve warm.

My Rustic Apple Tart was pastry dough in a 12 inch circle topped with sliced apples I'd sauted in a bit of butter then added sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice with zest, and nutmeg. Dusted this with flour and cooked it all until it thickened a bit.

After mounding the apples on the dough pull up the sides about two inches and brush with egg wash, dust with sugar. Bake pretty hot for about 15 minutes, 425; then 350 until done. This was baked on parchment paper on a cooky sheet.