Friday, June 24, 2011

Homemade White Chocolate Peanut Butter.....

Yes, you did read that right. When I signed up last month for taste and create, little did I know what I would be exposed to. And now my friends, here it is....White Chocolate Peanut Butter.


For those not in the know, and that included me, until last month, taste and create is an opportunity to get to know another blogger by cooking from their blog. You submit a request to be a part of the next months happenings, and you are paired up. I was paired up with I will not eat oysters , which I think is a lot of fun, because I won't eat oysters either!

When I went exploring to find the recipe I would make, I ran across the White Chocolate Peanut Butter and thought straight away, that is it! But then I did the mature thing and decided I did not need a kazillion calories at my fingertips. And since I have been a bit busy at work and with other assorted life tasks, my second thought is that I should make something for Honey. That is when I noticed her Nanner Bread, thinking yes, make a loaf of bread and save yourself a kazillion calories, well for now anyway.

But yesterday was very tiring. I had a tenant luncheon at work for my tenants, and then there is laundry, life and love to fit in there too, and the Nanner bread just seemed like too much for this tired lady. So I am going for the kazillion calories. Oh and one more thing, it is called White Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter, but I am going to eat it with pretzels, so there won't be any in there.....I'm just sayin.


White Chocolate Peanut Butter
adapted from: I Will Not Eat Oysters

1 4oz bar premium white chocolate
1 c lightly salted* or unsalted peanuts
1 T mild oil - if needed

*If you do not want an assertive salted flavor to your peanut butter, pour the salted peanuts into a mesh sieve and shake out excess salt.

Place peanuts and chocolate into the bowl of a food processor. Process until crumbly, scrape down sides of bowl, continue to process until smooth. You may need to add the oil to achieve a smooth finished product.




Take care to not lick the processor blade and cut your tongue. Enjoy with pretzels or from your finger, it is that good!

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello.
I appreciate your time and of course your wonderful comments!

This post is shared with:
foodie friday @ designs by Gollum
sweets for a saturday @ sweet as sugar cookies
weekend round up @ the life and times of the 21 century housewife

key words:  taste and create, white chocolate, peanut butter

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Homemade Mustard, Recipe rewind, because some things are too good to miss!

Recipe rewind, because in the beginning there is a blogger who has no readers. She still posts great food in hopes that the readers will come..........you can also view it here in the archives, Saturday September 26, 2009. But it is better here.....


That little jar looks innocent, doesn't it? Well it is innocent, it has done nothing wrong, but it also happens to be a quart. Yep, you read it right a QUART. Who makes a quart of homemade mustard? Only someone like me, that has no idea when they first begin, actually how to do it.

So here is the confession, I love mustard. I like to do things myself. So the next step was homemade mustard.

After Honey installed the spice racks, I had lots of mustard seed.

When I put the spice racks together with filled jars of the herbs and spices that I use, that resulted in sandwich bags of herbs that were in the jars from the manufacturer. Most of it went into the garbage. But I did save the mustard seeds. In a moment of frugal glory, I thought, make homemade mustard.

There was about 1 1/2 c of mustard seed. No big deal I thought at the time. I poured them into a plastic container and poured the last of the Marker's Mark whiskey (left from several Christmas' ago) over the top, put the lid on and left them alone. I would shake it up every now and again. When they had taken up the liquid, it was mustard making time. During the resting time, I researched mustard making on the internet. What I learned right away, is that it does not take a lot of mustard seed to make a small jar of mustard. My brain began thinking about that 2 cup container of drunk seeds...........

This morning I dumped the whole mess into the food processor. It sure looks like a lot! Then I began to grind and process. Let me tell you this right now, mustard seeds are hard little things, even when they have partied for a couple of weeks.

Another thing I learned is that the ratio is about 3:1. Three parts liquid to one part mustard. I like my mustard on the sturdy side, thick enough that when I dip a knife into the jar, the mustard will mound a bit onto the knife and not run off like a sauce.

Ultimately here is what is in the quart jar,

1 1/2 c mustard seeds
1/2 c Maker's Mark
2/3 c water
2/3 c cider vinegar
2 t salt
2 T French Thyme
3/4 c honey

Grind, age, enjoy.

From here on out, I will follow a recipe. Well for mustard anyway!

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop and visit.
I appreciate your time and of course your comments!

This post is shared with:
full plate thursday @ Miz Helen's country cottage

key words:  mustard, homemade, frugal

Monday, June 20, 2011

Take along Pork Chops

Ahhh, the crockpot and I, we are not the best of friends. We usually don't agree, and then one of us falls down on our responsibility. It might be me, letting things cook too long, or it might be the crock and things get too dry. But this recipe turned out very well, and the flavor is quite good.

Thanks to my son, for taking this photo, left my camera at home, what was I thinking!!?

I made these for the Father's day potluck we attended at my sisters house. They were well received with my sister's family as well. While cleaning up we packaged up food for sharing. Honey and I have pork chops and fried chicken to see us through the next couple of days.

This recipe can make a simple family meal, or add more chops to serve a crowd. You can also make the large batch, and freeze some for those nights where cooking is not possible, but you still need to eat a real dinner instead of a bowl of ice cream. Note: when cooking more chops, do not increase the liquid or seasonings.

Take along chops
adapted from: mels kitchen cafe

3 slices bacon, diced
6-12 loin pork chops, bone-in, 3/4 inch thick
salt and pepper
2 large onions, quartered and sliced
2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 T brown sugar
2 t thyme, crumbled
2 bay leaves
2 c chicken broth
2 T soy sauce

1 T lemon juice or cider vinegar
3 T cornstarch

Fry bacon until golden, remove and set aside, reserving fat. Remove excess fat from pan, set aside to use if needed, leaving 1 T fat in the pan. Over medium high heat, brown chops until golden, seasoning each side with salt and pepper. Turn, repeat. When brown, layer in the crockpot. Continue browning, and seasoning each chop until all have been browned, use additional fat as needed.


In the same pan, add the onions, garlic and addition fat if needed. Sprinkle with 1 T brown sugar and saute onions until fragrant and golden brown. Add remaining ingredients through soy sauce. Simmer, scrapping up any brown bits. Pour over chops. Cover and cook on low 8 hours, or on high 4 hours.


Carefully remove chops, to platter. Remove and discard bay leaves. Skim excess fat from pan juices. If you want a smooth sauce, drain the onions in a sieve, then puree in a food processor. Pour juices into a 2 qt sauce pan, add the lemon juice, bring to a boil. Stir cornstarch into 1/4 c cold water, stir into the boiling pan juices and cook until thickened.


Ladle some gravy over the chops, sprinkle with reserved bacon and serve. Serve additional gravy with the standard accompaniments, potatoes, rice or noodles.

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

This will be my post for the Hearth n Soul blog hop, right here at Mom's Sunday Cafe.

This post is shared with:
These Chicks Cooked Link Party @ this chick cooks

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop for a visit.
I appreciate your time and of course your comments!

key words:  pork chops, crockpot, potlucks, shared meals

Monday, June 13, 2011

Garden Harvest Swiss Chard

There is a garden where I work. It is an "experimental" garden in the eyes of the gardeners. But it is lovely. I have the pleasure of going each day and taking a peek. There might be a change in what is now sprouted up or what is being harvested.

Here are some highlights,


This strawberry tower made from a plastic
garbage can.











The center core of rocks keeps air moving
 and allows easy watering.










Raised bed of peas and swiss chard.









 I will be cooking some of this!

There are lots of lovely flowers, with roses being a favorite. Not surprising as this is Portland, the city of roses and the rose festival. 




We have had a lot of rain in our area, but they are out there when ever possible. One of the gardeners use to have her own small gardening service, you may remember her.

Let's make some dinner,


Garden Harvest Swiss Chard
by the seat of my pants!

1 bunch of Swiss Chard
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
4 green onions, sliced or 1 thick slice of regular onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
olive oil
sea salt and fresh pepper


De-rib the chard. Cut ribs in thin slices, and green leaves in 1' squares (I prefer square pieces to shreds)


Saute the ribs, red pepper, onions and garlic in olive oil. When fragrant, add the green leaves and 1 T water. Cover and let steam 2-3 minutes.


Remove cover, turn up the burner to cook off any excess liquid and serve immediately with salt and pepper.

Yum!

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always, thank for taking a moment to stop and say hello.
I appreciate your time and your comments.

This post is shared with:
hearth n soul @ Moms Sunday Cafe
garden variety wednesday #7 @ Ms. enPlace

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Brown Sugar Loaf Cake

Last week was busy with projects too numerous to mention! Along with some out of the ordinary stuff as well, like receiving a summons for jury duty. I have called for this weeks assignment and I was not one of the chosen for Monday. I will do as instructed and call each evening after work to verify if I have been chosen. Has anyone else served on a jury? I have not and thought it might be interesting. And wouldn't you know it I left my readers at home, so on Friday, once I arrived at work, it was back into the car and a trip to the nearest drug store for another pair.

Yet it would be wrong of me to simply let today pass by and not say a big Thank you, to everyone that participated in June's Cookbook Sunday. There are some great links for everyone to enjoy. I appreciate the friendship offered, and meeting such nice folks when you link up! Just a little reminder, the link is open through today! Tell your friends, heck, tell everyone!

To celebrate the last day of June's Cookbook Sunday, lets make cake!


Brown Sugar Loaf Cake
adapted from:  cakes from scratch in half the time
by:  Linda West Eckhardt
400 degree oven - a cooks wisdom:  375 degrees at most!


the intro:  Luscious and sweet, this dark, caramel-colored sugar cake is crumbly, spicy and everything nice.

2 large eggs - room temperature or see warming tip below
1/4 c butter
1 c brown sugar
1 1/4 c flour - divided
1/2 c chopped pecans
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/8 t cloves (original recipe called for 1/2 t, but cloves and I don't get along!)
1/2 c milk
1 t vanilla

Before we begin:  I do not own or use aluminum pans, it is a personal choice. This cake will be baked in my steel loaf pan. There is theory and practice for shiny pans and it is thought to affect the end product for crust and appearance, and while this may be true, my guess is, this cake will not suffer for being baked in a pan different than prescribed by the author.

Prepare to bake:  Arrange the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 400 degrees. Spritz a 9X5 inch shiny aluminum loaf pan and the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil large enough to cover the top of the pan with pan spray. Place the unbroken eggs into a bowl of (comfortable) hot water.


Make the batter:  Cream the butter until light, then add the brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Separate the eggs. Add 2 of the yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add the egg whites and beat well.  Toss 1/4 cup of the flour with the nuts. Mix the remaining 1 cup flour with the baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Add to the butter mixture in thirds, alternately with the milk and vanilla. Fold in the nuts.







Bake the cake:  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, lay the foil, shiny side down, loosely over the top, and bake for 25 minutes.


Quickly remove the foil and continue baking until a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 20 more minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes, then turn out onto the rack to cool completely.
When cool, place on a serving platter, add a knife and let everyone serve themselves. Store any leftovers in plastic wrap to keep it moist.


As always, thanks so much for stopping by!
I appreciate your time and your comments.

This post will be shared with:
Cookbook Sunday @ Mom's Sunday Cafe

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chocolate Prune Cardamom Cake, Recipe rewind, because some things are too good to miss!

Recipe rewind, because in the beginning there is a blogger who has no readers. She still posts great food in hopes that the readers will come..........you can also view it here in the archives, Saturday August 21, 2010. But it is better here!




Last week's oats and prune bread, was delicious. I enjoyed thick slices for breakfast toasted and spread with butter. I would think that most folks place prunes in the quick breads category. Yet prunes are elegant too, now wait, yes they are. Look at what we are making today.......

Chocolate Prune Cardamom Cake
adapted from: Kitchenography
350 degree oven

Steeping step:
3/4 c water
1/4 c sherry
3/4 c prunes

Heat water and sherry to almost boiling, add prunes, cover with a lid, turn off heat.


Leave on stove burner to steep, until lukewarm. When steeping is complete, drain well. (Reserve liquid for another use if desired*) and chop prunes into 1/2 inch dice. Reserve.


Cake:
1 c flour
2 T dry baking cocoa - plus additional cocoa to dust the baking pan
1/2 t cardamom
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder









1/2 c oil
1 t vanilla
1 egg
3/4 c sugar


1 T lemon juice and enough milk to make 1/2 cup total liquid - let sit while assembling ingredients


In a medium size bowl, combine the dry ingredients and whisk together to combine. In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients, whisk to beat well, the mixture will fall in a ribbon from the whisk. Add the dry ingredients to the egg and sugar mixture, along with 1/2 of the soured milk. Combine well, add remaining milk, whisking to combine. Beat will for 1 - 2 minutes. Batter will look glossy and fall in a ribbon from whisk. Fold in the steeped prunes.

Prepare an 8 inch spring form pan, and dust with additional cocoa.

Tap out an excess cocoa powder. Pour in the cake batter.

Bake 30 minutes or until tests done in your oven. Let cool in the pan 15 minutes. Run a spatula or thin knife around edge of cake to make sure it is free from the pan. Leave in spring form pan to cool completely.


Carefully run a spatula around the edge of the cooled cake, this will help when you are ready to remove the ring, after glazing.


Glaze:
2 T butter
2T milk
1/2 c chopped semi sweet chocolate (real chocolate chips work great)
1/2 c powder sugar

Heat butter, milk and chocolate until hot and chocolate begins to melt. Whisk until smooth, whisk in powder sugar, whisking until smooth. Return to burner on low and whisk until shiny. Pour over cake, and carefully rotate cake to "spread" to edges of the pan. Let cool.


 Run a thin knife around the edge of the glaze to separate from the pan. Set spring form pan on serving plate, carefully remove ring from around cake.

Serves 8 - 10, serve with a whipped cream crown or vanilla ice cream.

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello.
I appreciate your time and your comments.

This post will be shared with:
full plate thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage

key words:  cake, prunes, chocolate, cardamom

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dark Molasses Gingerbread, Recipe rewind, because some things are too good to miss!

Recipe rewind, because in the beginning there is a blogger who has no readers. She still posts great food in hopes that the readers will come..........you can also view it here in the archives, Sunday August 1, 2010. But it is better here..........


I really like Gingerbread. I spent some time this morning looking around at the largest Gingerbread recipe collection out there, Google! It is fun to search and find, but you will find so many. And then, which do you finally choose to make? I have about 6 bookmarked right now. I found many different styles of recipes, and then kept on looking until I found this one, that I wanted to make.

This one from Miss Edna Lewis, as featured on The Wednesday Chef. Maybe it was the gently stewed rhubarb on the side that caught my eye, but still, it is the gingerbread that I desire. I spotted it months ago, and have thought about it often since then. I did a bit of research on Miss Lewis, she was a very interesting lady. Brave and feisty and also a  great cook. Just possibly her personality is what influenced me to want to bake this gingerbread. You see, I do like feisty!

It would be great if on a Sunday morning I get to walk into the kitchen and simply start in, and complete the whole recipe from start to finish, taking good photos along the way. But alas no, this is a real kitchen where sometimes I run low on a needed ingredient. Today is exactly a day like that. I do not have enough molasses to complete the recipe until a trip to the store has been completed.

However I am unable to get to the store right now, you see Honey worked the late shift last night and parked in a spot that renders my car prisoner until he is up for the day. And I just don't have the heart to wake a tired man while he sleeps.

While I wait for his waking, I have kept busy and completed a couple other tasks. I picked the raspberries and the white currents. Oh and I took some rhubarb out of the freezer to thaw, maybe some gently stewed rhubarb will be served with our gingerbread.


Dark Molasses Gingerbread
from:  Miss Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock
350 degree oven
1 stick butter, plus more to butter baking pan
2 c cake flour *
1/4 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t cloves
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
e eggs
1 1/2 c molasses

Bring 1 c water to a boil, add stick of butter, set aside to let butter melt.


Whisk together flour and all dry ingredients. Whisk water into flour mixture.


Beat eggs and molasses, whisk until eggs are beaten. Whisk into flour water mixture, continue to whisk until smooth.




Pour into buttered 8 inch cake pan. Bake 40 - 45 minutes or until cake tests done.

A skewer inserted into the center will come out with no unbaked batter sticking to it, the interior of the cake will be moist.
Let cool, serves 8.


Mascarpone and yogurt  with vanilla
Serves 8
1 container 8 oz Mascarpone cheese
1/3 c powder sugar
1/2 c Greek style yogurt
1 t vanilla

Beat cheese, beat in remaining ingredients, beat until fluffy. Serve with Gingerbread and stewed fruit.

PS
* I do not keep cake flour, but here is a homemade version.


For each cup of cake flour needed:

Spoon flour lightly into cup, level off. Remove 2 T flour and place back into your flour canister. Pour measured flour into bowl, add 2 T corn starch, whisk until completely incorporated into the flour. Then sift together again.

As always, thanks so much
for stopping to say hello.
If you will excuse me now, I have dishes to wash!

This post is shared with:
full plate thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
these chicks cooked @ this chick cooks

Key words:  Edna Lewis, gingerbread, rhubarb