Thursday, February 28, 2008

Comfort in a 7 x 9 dish

The was just a bit of culinary medicine for me. My darling ate it but I prepared it for me. When one of my aunts told me she had no "comfort food", I was quite surprised. Yikes! Momma's had to include something with baked apples; mine, Chicken and Noodles or Pork and Sauerkraut. The later dish was something I could do with the broken wrist.

No recipe; comfort food is one of those dishes you've made so many times a recipe would be an afterthought. So here's my method with some pix thrown in.
  • Sauté sliced onions, lightly. We are not looking to caramelize here. Layer in your baking dish.
  • Now, in the same skillet brown the seasoned pork. I used the leaner loin steaks. Once they have color layer them over the onions.
  • Next a layer of thick cut potatoes.
  • For the sauerkraut I use one from the deli section in a plastic bag, Krrispkraut. No cans, that is just not crunchy enough. I drain and splash some water, not really washing it. This is the top layer, but wait, there's more.
  • Fine chop about 1/3 cup of peeled apple and "poke" into the top layer of 'kraut. This will tame the sour. That tip was from my Mother-in-law, Ann. She would also throw in a spoon of caraway seeds.
  • Remember that skillet? Deglaze the pan with about 3/4 cup of water, then pour that over the casserole.
  • Cover with foil and bake about an hour 325 or until the potatoes are done.
I really should have taken a plated photo but it smelled too good to wait.

What's your comfort food? Is it something you alone make? Your momma? Something you eat at the local diner. Just let us know we are not alone.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I am a lucky person...

no I didn't win the lottery - but - I did win the lottery with my sister. If any of you come here often you know that sister Moon is quite talented in the kitchen, with her skills of cooking and baking.
Well I am far from being a baker with the exception of a cookie or three once in awhile. I had the craving for a pnut butter cookie today so I made up a small batch and froze most of the dough and left just a bit to make a few cookies for snacking. Had some in my little toaster oven and
was on the phone with sister Moon. I mentioned I had to go my cookies were in the oven. "Oh", she says, "you making the butterscotch cookies I gave you". Holy shoot no I forgot about those, they are in the freezer.
Well ya know what I did immediately after getting the pnut butter ones out of the oven. Got in the freezer, found the Butterscotch cookie dough, sliced off a few, popped those sweet gems in the oven. This happens to be a very old family recipe.
Go see the post
Moon wrote - oh and take your kleenex, it's very sweet

Ya see when we were just visiting sister and her handsome husband recently, sister gave me a log of her prized butterscotch cookies she had in the freezer. Now that is a caring sister. Not only that she fried chicken for us WOO HOO!!!
See why I'm so lucky !!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Second Annual FUN!!!

Only 30 more days to enter your favorite egg dish in our Second Annual Pullet Surprise. Don't miss out of the fun...check out the rules here

Friday, February 22, 2008

Mushroom Barley Stew

Lucullian Delights and Joanna's Food has paired up with another wonderful blogger Accidental Scientist to handle this months Heart of the Matter The deadline for submitting is February 23rd. Even if you don't enter, we all know we should be eating healthier so go take a look and see what you might enjoy preparing for your family or even just yourself. The turn out entries are abundant and the recipes are phenomenally good.

This is really a soup recipe that I turned into a stew by making the vegetables chunky and adding leftover roast beef I had chopped.


1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
2 cups mushrooms (can be cremini, Portobello, or even button)
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley (toast the barley for a nuttier flavor)
4 3/4 cups beef broth low sodium
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

a splash of Sherry adds another good flavor

Adding the beef is optional and is not in the nutritional guide.


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and mushrooms; sauté approx. 7 minutes or until golden brown. Stir in barley, and sauté 2 minutes. The sauteing of the barley gives the stew a nice nutty flavor. Add stock, celery, and salt, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20-30 minutes. Add thyme, and cook 5 minute

4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

Nutritional Guide...CALORIES 217(19% from fat); FAT 4.7g (sat 1g,mono 2.1g,poly 1g); PROTEIN 13.9g; CHOLESTEROL 20mg; CALCIUM 42mg; SODIUM 624mg; FIBER 6.8g; IRON 2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 31.1g

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Jalapeno cheddar cornbread

In one of Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, cookbooks is a wonderful recipe for cornbread. Since I'm only typing with one hand--the other is in a cast, I'll only direct you to her site. You might find it on Food TV.

What I will take the time to say is she has a different method for this hefty quick bread. After you lightly mix all the ingredients you let it rest for 20 minutes. This takes the cornbread to a whole new level; a wonderful light, almost custard-like texture considering it is weighed down with lots of eggs, butter and cheese.

Cheese and green onions are the main flavor here but if you like your food spicy you'll need to increase the jalapenos. Most of my guests thought it was enough, just a hint, I on the other hand (which is throbbing right now) like the chili to meet me before I take a bite. You be the judge on the amount.

Editor's note: If you'd like to know who stupid Moon is, check the post on the broken wrist.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

banana nut bread

Banana Nut Bread
Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used vanilla paste)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for preparing the pan or use the non aerosol cooking oil spray
1 cup sugar
3 very ripe bananas, peeled, and mashed with a fork (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces or toasted pecans

Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl, set aside. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a liquid measuring cup with a spout, set aside. Lightly brush a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan with butter. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with an electric hand-held mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually pour the egg mixture into the butter while mixing until incorporated. Add the bananas (the mixture will appear to be curdled, so don't worry), and remove the bowl from the mixer.

With a rubber spatula, mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the nuts and transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Turn the bread out of the pan and let cool completely on the rack. Wrap in plastic wrap. This banana bread is good also if served the next day.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

writing about christmas tamales in february!

a mexican tradition adopted by my un-mexican family is christmas eve tamales. this year, i decided i was going to make my own. look, you can tell i did this during christmas because you can see the christmas wrap in the background on my table!

tamale prep

the day before, i cooked the beef and made the red sauce. all recipes were adopted/adapted from this post on laist.

beef tamale filling
5 lb boneless beef roast
1 tablespoon salt
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, sliced
3 c. beer

season meat with salt and garlic, place in roasting pan and cover with sliced onions. pour in beer and roast covered at 250 degrees for about 5 hours. reserve stock and shred meat. add a little of the red sauce. you could add some more ingredients to make it more interesting, if you want. i've had beef with olives, beef with green chile strips. and of course, you could do chicken, pork, chile and cheese instead.

red sauce
5 ounces dried california chiles
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 medium onion
1/4 cup oil
2 tablespoons flour

remove stems and seeds from chile pods. rinse and then soak in 3 cups hot water for 1 hour. drain, reserving water. put chiles, spices and onion in a blender or food processor. blend, adding mixture of stock from the beef and the reserved soaking water until the sauce is the consistency of gravy. in a saucepan, make a roux with the oil and flour. add red sauce and cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

10 lb prepared masa (get from mexican deli)

the original recipe called for 5 pounds, but i had to go out and get another 5 pounds of masa because i only used about half the meat with the original 5 pounds of masa.

whip the masa up in your mixer adding a little of the stock and red sauce for flavoring and to get the right consistency. kind of like spreadable frosting.

to wrap a tamale, lay out your corn husk (soaked and drained), spread some masa along the top half of the husk leaving some space on both sides. add some of the meat filling, fold the two sides in and then fold the top up. you will see the masa sticking out of the top. some people add another layer of corn husk and then tie the whole thing in a bundle with the a thin strip of corn husk. too much work if you ask me, because you've got enough fixin's to make 71 more tamales, and it's christmas eve, and you should've done this yesterday and you've still got presents to wrap, and wait...that's probably just me.

to cook them, shove them all in your steamer insert (folded side down) in a big stock pot and steam for about 2 hours.

tamales ready to steam

careful not to let your steamer boil dry! mooncrazy puts a penny in the water in the pan. when you stop hearing the penny, the water is too low for it to rattle around - time to add more water! i add boiling water from my kettle so that it doesn't take the temperature down too much.

serve with some red sauce and enjoy! put the rest in dozen tamale portions in your ziplock bags and give to friends or freeze.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Second Annual Pullet Surprise

Last years recipient of the Peanut Butter ´Etouffee Pullet Surprise was none other than Soul Fusion Kitchen. Syliva treated us to her version of Doro Wat a spicy Ethiopian chicken dish. It was no secret we did not receive many entries but we are not daunted, we will try this again.

Here we go, lets have a drum roll, please...

This years category, keeping with the poultry theme, is Eggs. Now the only restriction is the dish must have eggs as it's main attraction but we'll leave the finer points of argument to you. If you think it qualifies then send the entry.

Here are the rules:
  • Make a recipe with the main ingredient being eggs
  • Post recipe on your blog. Photos are a plus.
  • Have this link back to PBE in your post.
  • Send us your permalink E-mail
  • Do all of this by midnight PST March 26, 2008
Don't have a blog? Just e-mail all your info and we'll post it here.

Editor's Note: Pullet Surprise is a play on words. You will not be getting the real Pulitzer.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

ONE World ONE Heart - Winner!

We have a winner! Margo, from Margo's Memories & Musings. We will be sending out the handmade felt lapel pin to her, post haste.

Thanks to all our visitors who posted comments. This was a fun event and we'll be sure to participate next year.

ONE World ONE Heart-picking a winner

Thanks to all the 86 bloggers that chose to comment. We will announce a winner later today.

ONE World ONE Heart

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sending our love

She liked Valentine's Day almost as much as Christmas. When lil bird was old enough to stand on a kitchen chair mom would have her over to make cookies for that special day. I know when she went off to college lil bird got a package of hearts from her beloved grandma.

So in honor of our mother/grandmother I made some sugar hearts. When I looked for the meringue powder to make Royal Icing I remembered I'd run out around the holidays. Yikes. I recalled a recipe in an old cooky cookbook and what did I have to lose. It turned out fine so on Wednesday I'm off to deliver these hearts to a special person. I did save some for the Gypsy Caravan* that is arriving tomorrow afternoon.

Here is the recipe. Using the meringue is much easier but this works in a pinch.

Royal Icing

2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla ( or other flavoring)
food coloring

Using a stand mixer, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff. Gradually beat in 1 cup of sugar. Beat five minutes. Beat in secon cup of sugar; beat 10 minutes. During last few minutes of beating, add vanilla and food color for the desired color.

I made one mistake on this. I thinned some of the icing to flow on easier and it didn't dry as well. I have no idea how to thin this recipe. It turns out the unthinned iced cookies looked just as good.

*Editor's note: For those new to this blog. Sister doodles and her beloved are the Gypsy Caravan. They've sold everything, packed up their trailer, and are off on an extended adventure. You can read about them at her blog, Tombstone Tumbleweed.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pets for February

At long last here is Food Bloggy Pets for February.

This group of furry friends comes to us from Someone's in the Kitchen. That blog has some pretty sophisticated taste testers. Jesse James, Savory, and Brown Dog. Check out these handsome chef's helpers.

We know that Food Bloggy Pets of the Month has not been popular with our foodie friends but we are hoping it will catch on. Check this post for all the info and let's try for March. Rules for posting pets.

Please send us your kitchen pets and we'll post them for March.

Friday, February 08, 2008

ONE World ONE Heart

No more entries please, we will announce a winner today

ONE World ONE Heart

We are participating in a great event, One World ONE Heart. To encourage a community of bloggers and make some friends all over the blog-o-sphere this event was created. To make it more fun all blogs participating will have a giveaway and there are over 280 participants. Check out the website for the complete list.

All you have to do is comment on this post and on Valentine's Day the PBE women will randomly choose a winner from the list of comments. Nope, that's all you need to do, just comment.

Now, for the give-away. We are offering a lapel pin. Our handmade pin is about 1 inch by an inch and a half and is green felt embellished with beads and copper.

All you have to do is comment on this site then check out the OWOH blog, find other participants, an comment on their posts. This is too easy and will be so much fun to see who wins our giveaway. Hey, we might just win something, too.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Kitchen of Love

Skinny Gourmet and Kaylyn
Please accept my apologies for not including the link for WHB...chalk it off to
senility, I think in all actuality I had too much on my plate.

Coriander (Cilantro seed)
The book of The Arabian nigh
ts tells a tale of a merchant who had been childless for 40 years and but was cured by a concoction that included coriander. That book is over 1000 years old so the history of coriander as an aphrodisiac dates back far into history. Cilantro was also know to be used as an "appetite" stimulant.

Now did you know that???

.Pop on over to Mel Cotte who is holding a fun Valentine event.

My entry is this super easy and tasty salad, serve with a good grilled steak, some nice italian crunchy bread and a full bodied red wine and you are good to go.

Garbanzo, Tomato, and Cilantro Salad

with Lime and Chile Dressing

1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed well

4-5 tomatoes, diced in 1/2 inch pieces I use Roma's
1/2 cup green onion, sliced
1 cup (1 large bunch) cilantro, washed, dried, and chopped coarsely

2 T fresh lime juice
2 T extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp. ground Chipotle chile powder (you could substitute hot sauce if you don't have ground Chipotle)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
zest from one lime
salt, fresh ground pepper to taste

Drain beans into colander and rinse until no foaming remains. Let drain well. Mix dressing ingredients, then put beans and dressing into a plastic container with a snap-on lid and shake a few times. Let beans marinate in dressing one hour or longer.

Dice tomatoes, place in colander with a small amount of salt and let tomatoes drain 10 minutes while you dice onions and chop cilantro. Combine marinated beans with dressing, tomatoes, green onion, and cilantro and stir gently until well combined. Season
with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

***I must give credit to Kayln's Kitchen for this adapted version of her salad.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

welcome, pull up a fork

pbe cooking
the ladies of peanut butter etouffee

welcome! we understand that we've been tagged as one of blogger's blogs of note. we're blushing, really, you just can't see because we have our backs turned to the camera. we noticed a few more people dropping by the site, so we thought we'd take a minute to introduce ourselves and give you a little taste of peanut butter etouffee (pun definitely intended). so, welcome, pull up a fork and dig in! we've provided a few links below so you can hit the highlights, but we hope you'll explore a bit on your own, too, and find something you like...and share your comments! we hope to see you back at our table soon!

by way of introduction, this blog is written by three women, three crazy women. we're all related: mooncrazy and doodles are sisters and maltese parakeet (aka lil bird) is mooncrazy's daughter and, hence, doodles' niece. food is the axis on which our family turns. it makes up our family's shared memories and experiences. we are the type of family that makes up a fabulous meal for a special family occasion and then, as we sit there eating, discuss other fabulous meals we've enjoyed, and restaurants we've been to and meals we'd like to make...need i go on? it's all about the food. as mooncrazy once said, "our common thread is kitchen twine." it all started almost two years and 350 posts ago when doodles emailed lil bird some links for food blogs and said she'd sure love to do something like that. the name came from mooncrazy, who had been saving it for a while to use on something good (her punk band having never got off the ground).

so, here's a quick hit on some of the highlights of pbe so far:

our first post (and lil bird's, as well)

mooncrazy's first post

doodles' first post

the first time we realized we could add pictures to our posts (and we really haven't looked back)

our first time participating in a challenge, this one the stale bread challenge for is my blog burning, and all three of us got in on the act

the roundup for pbe's first challenge, grill of my dreams

the roundup for our first annual anniversary contest - the pullet surprise

our own monthly round-up of food bloggers' pets

lil bird's favorite post

doodles' favorite post

mooncrazy's favorite post

we've really enjoyed doing this over the past two years and look forward to keeping up with it. we've also enjoyed having the opportunity to meet bloggers from all over the world, and we hope that you'll also check out our foodie friends over there on the left.

we are so honored

to be on named on Blog Spot's Blogs of Note!!!

To all our new visitors WELCOME!!!

Now the timing is perfect because we were about to put out a new challenge our not so famous Pullet Surprise.

So check back in a few days for all the information.

Now I gotta go check the chickens.....get your thinking caps on and we'll see ya soon.

As always stay tuna'd..............

Doodles, Sister Moon and lil bird