Friday, July 29, 2011

Summer salad of Crumbed Tomato Slices

This is really not a recipe, and I want to make that perfectly clear, because I don't want to offend anyone with what might appear to be misleading information! A few days ago, I needed a side dish to complete our meal. I prefer at those times to try and come up with a vegetable or at least having a vegetable as part of the ingredient list. And this is what I made.......

Crumbed Tomato Slices
serves 2-3

2 large tomatoes
2 T vinaigrette
1 T mayonnaise
1/3-1/2 c croutons

Remove stem and blossom ends of the tomatoes, slice into 4 slices each, arrange on serving plate.

Combine the vinaigrette and the mayonnaise, blending until smooth. Drizzle over tomato slices.

Crush the croutons.

Sprinkle over the tomato slices, add a sprig of herb for garnish, serve!

I enjoy "recipes" like this one, they are simple, adaptable, and use what you already have on hand. For a larger crowd, just double or triple the ingredients. Enjoy!

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop by.
I appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

PS, my next post will be number 800, hope to see you there.

this post is shared with:
foodie friday @ designs by gollum
feed me, tweet, follow me home friday @ a moderate life

key words:  tomato salad, simple salads, use what you have

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Homemade Bay Leaf Seasoning, 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 March 7, 2009.

Homemade Bay Leaf Seasoning



I went to my spice drawer this morning and pulled out the empty Bay Leaf Seasoning jar. I was glad I kept it after my adventure to Penzy's brought me back home void of a new jar of the beloved seasoning blend, because the empty jar held the secret list of ingredients.

I had picked up bay leaves, hoping I could re-create the blend. Using the ingredients list I set about putting together my best guess of what should be in this herb blend. When finished I decided to take the full jar as an omen that the homemade mix will be good.

Come on now, how many times have you made something at home and it was a perfectly fit? The label lists the ingredients in order of weight, and I calculated them to be as follows:


1/2 oz bag of fresh bay leaves
2 T thyme leaves
2 T rosemary leaves
1 T basil leaves
1 T dried onion
1 T oregano
1/2 t ground pepper
2 T garlic salt
1 T plain salt

Place the bay leaves in the grinder and process until ground. Add remaining and process until powdery. It looks like the real thing, smells like the real thing, so I am hoping it will taste like the real thing. I guess it is now time to cook something with it...............................

Here are some ways you will enjoy using this herb blend,

Season potatoes when you make fried potatoes.

Mix into butter to create a compound butter for vegetables.

Use the compound butter to spread on the cut side of a loaf of french bread, sprinkle with cheese and broil.

Add to flour, when dredging meat before pan browning.
 
Vegetable Beef Soup, found here.

I am sure you will come up with your own favorites!

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop by,
I appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

this post is shared with:
full plate thursday @ miz helen's country cottage

key words:  Penzy's Bay Leaf Seasoning, homemade herb blends

Monday, July 25, 2011

Motor Oil Chicken

We have been busy here, getting the garage re-organized to bring in an upright freezer. I am happier about this than you might imagine. No more lost food. I know it seems silly, but someone in this household can only place new food on top of old food. And then the food is lost, not like lost in space, but lost to ruin. The small chest freezer can now be used to store large purchased items like, rice, flour etc until it is opened and put into the pantry.

Tonight for dinner, we had marinated chicken thighs. With a funny name, they sure tasted good though! This comes from The Friday Friends, and we will make this again. I also think this would be great for ribs too.
You can make the sauce up and "mop" your meat with it and serve some on the side. Or reduce the vinegar and marinade your meat of choice until dinner time and then get grilling!


Motor Oil Chicken
adapted from: The Friday Friends

1/2 cup white vinegar - I used cider vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
4 cloves garlic--crushed
3 Tbsp packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp hot sauce -  I will increase this in future batches
1/2 tsp ground mustard seed
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1-2 lbs chicken

Combine all marinade ingredients, add chicken (or ribs!) and marinade until  dinner time, about 4-6 hours. You may let the meat marinade longer, however the longer it is in the marinade the stronger the vinegar taste will be. 


Remove meat from marinade, broil or gill until done. 

 (it is not pretty, but this is where the flavor is!)

Serves 4-6

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop by.
I appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

this post will be shared with:
hearth n soul @ Moms Sunday Cafe

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Nova Scotia Cream Cake






Blueberry goodness and rich sour cream in every bite!

When I first spotted this dessert, I knew right away I wanted to make it! Right now we are using up last years  blueberries, getting ready to put away this year's crop. Although the recipe calls for fresh, I thought I would simply use what I had and adapt.

When I visited Concetta's Cafe I felt right at home, but then she specializes in comfort. Comfort in the meal served, the visit and with making you feel special. Thanks for the visit, and now lets move on to the kitchen, shall we?

Nova Scotia Cream Cake
adapted from: Concetta's cafe
375 degrees

Crust ingredients:
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 cube (1/2 c) butter, sliced

1 t vanilla
1 egg

Combine sugar, flour, baking powder and butter in food processor, process until "crumbly". In a medium large bowl, beat egg and vanilla, stir in the crumb mixture. Mix lightly until larger crumbs form. Place mixture into prepared 9 inch spring form pan.  Press gently.


4 c fresh blueberries (I used IQF blueberries)

Spread blueberries evenly over the top of the crumb mixture.


Topping: 

2 c sour cream
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1/2 c sugar

Beat egg, vanilla and sugar until smooth. Stir in the sour cream. Pour mixture over blueberries.



Spread to cover evenly. Bake 45 minutes, check to make sure top is not over browning. Bake additional 15 - 20 minutes. If using frozen berries, at 45 minutes, reduce heat to 350 and make up to 45 minutes more. Top will be firm and the edges will be golden brown.


Enjoy, and stop by for a nice visit with Concetta, she will make you feel right at home. Now the hard part is waiting for this co cool, so we can have a slice!

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop by.
I appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

key words:  blueberries, sour cream, cake, dessert

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Potato Water Yeast Bread, 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 December 28, 2008.


Never Throw out your potato water!

Because it makes the best bread. I just pulled these two from the oven, they look great and smell even better.


We will be having soup, salad and bread for supper.


What I have is a process, there is no hard rules recipe.

When you boil potatoes for mashed potatoes, and drain off
the water, drain it into a small bowl or large glass measure cup;
I usually have approximately 2 cups of potato water (you can add a bit of
water if needed for a full measure).

To the water (after it has cooled) add:

1 T sugar
2 t yeast
1 c flour
Stir and cover with a cloth, let the mixture sit/sour on your counter 24-48 hours. The fermentation process will add wonderful flavor to your finished bread. When you are ready to make bread, empty the potato water mixture into the bread machine pan. Next add

3 c flour
1 1/2 t salt
2 T honey
2 T oil
1 t yeast (You might not need additional yeast, I prefer to bake my finished dough in a standard oven and usually store the dough in the fridge overnight before baking.)

Start the machine using the dough cycle, make sure the mixture has enough flour, if you have made a few loaves before, it is fairly easy to tell that the dough is holding on to itself and kneading properly.

Let the machine run it's full cycle. Punch down and place in the fridge for overnight aging. The next morning (or later) punch down again and shape. You can now let it rise on the counter or return to the fridge and bake it the next day or later that day when you get home from work.

Yum!

This particular batch is flavored with minced dried tomatoes in olive oil (and oil from the jar was used for the needed oil for the bread) diced cheddar cheese (the cheese was kneaded into the dough) and roasted garlic chips (from the spice section at Costco).

You can flavor anyway you want, or leave plain.

If you leave plain, you could also increase the sweetness of the dough by adding 2 T of sugar along with the honey and when your dough is done, roll is out and turn the dough into cinnamon rolls.

This is the fun part about baking, it is different each time, and yet it is the same technique.

Bring on the potatoes!

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop by.
I appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

key words:  potato water bread, dough cycle, flavored yeast breads

Monday, July 18, 2011

Whoopie Pies!

I have wanted to make Whoopie Pies for a long time. But I did not want to use a recipe that listed "shortening" as that usually indicates a hydrogenated product. I avoid hydrogenated anything, and have come to wonder why lard is hydrogenated. But back to the Whoopie Pies, these do not contain hydrogenated anything, so let make whoopie, shall we?


Whoopie Pies
adapted from:  The Marshmallow Fluff Cookbook
350 degree oven
makes 15 (small) pies - I got 8 large pies

1 large egg
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 c sugar
2 c flour
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/4 c milk
1 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare/grease 2 large baking sheets, set aside.

In a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed, beat the egg and vegetable oil until combined. Gradually beat in the sugar and continue beating until pale yellow in color.

In another bowl, combing the flour, cocoa, soda and salt, whisk to combine. In a measuring cup combine the milk and vanilla.

Add the flour and milk mixtures alternately to the egg mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

Drop by tablespoons onto the baking sheets. These will spread a lot, so make 6 cakes per sheet, at a time.

Bake for about 5 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly touched with a finger. Let cool on pans for a minute or 2 to prevent the delicate cookie from crumbling. Remove to wire racks for complete cooling.Continue baking until all dough has been baked.



 When cool completely, sandwich the filling between 2 cakes to form the Whoopie Pies.

I stocked up, there are some fun recipes in this book!
Filling:
1/2 c (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 c confectioners sugar
1 c Marshmallow Fluff
1 t vanilla

In a medium size bowl, beat butter and sugar together. Add Marshmallow Fluff and vanilla. Beat until fluffy.
(this stuff is delicious, but then again butter, sugar and marshmallow creme would never taste bad.....)

Enjoy, whether you get 8 large or 15 small!

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

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

this post is shared with:

A Gallery of Favorites December 2011 @ premeditated leftovers
what's cooking wednesday @ the kings court iv
full plate thursday @ miz helen's country cottage
weekend round up @ life and times of the 21 century housewife
feed me tweet me follow me home friday @ a moderate life

key words:  Whoopie Pies, marshmallow creme, chocolate

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fig and Orange Marmalade, Recipe rewind, because some things are too good to miss!

Orange and Fig Marmalade

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 September 20, 2009


Fig and Orange Marmalade (2 day process)

2 organic oranges
1 c sugar
Chop oranges in a food processor until even and about 1/4 inch, empty out into a bowl, stir in the sugar. Cover and let set over night.

Next day:

31/2-4 c whole figs, washed, drained well, cut in half.

 
Chop figs, again about 1/4 inch.
Combine figs and orange mixture, add 2 c sugar, 1/4 c brown sugar and 1/2 t nutmeg, along with the juice of 1 lemon. Bring to a boil, stir, lower heat to simmer and cook covered for 10 minutes. Remove lid, stir well. Continue to cook on low stirring as needed until mixture thickens and begins to hold it's shape. 45-60 minutes. Prepare jars lids and boiling water bath kettle.

Ladle the marmalade into 6 1/2 pt jars, cap and process for 10 minutes.

This is delicious as marmalade on toast. But shines as a starter served with Gorgonzola cheese on crackers or baguette slices.

this post is shared with:
full plate thursday @ miz helen's country cottage
garden variety wednesday @ ms enplace

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

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sweet and Sour Cucumber Pickles, cold process

I have been cooking most of my life, and now writing about it here for about 3 years. I have learned a lot in this short time. Things like, how to title your recipes so folks can find them during a search (some changes needed  there), how to take a fairly good photo with a point and shoot camera, and that taking part in as many hops/themes/events is how to show respect as well as increase your own readers/followers. That seems simple, but it took me a long time to realize the benefits.


But the thing I have come to appreciate the most is the friendships that spring up and carry across not only our country but other countries as well. I have noticed these friendship in many ways, like when one blogger has a need for help, other bloggers offer it, by way of a guest post. You also notice the friendships when a blogger sends a little (or sometimes not so little) gift! Reading about these acts of kindness enrich me as a blogger and help me to not only enjoy this community but be proud of it as well.

We have had a tough couple of weeks here as well. I have been blessed with kind words and offers of help and assistance shown my way. And for this I say THANK YOU! And then I got to thinking, there must be a way to continue with all of this "good" and came up with a simple yet fun idea.

I have about 100 different bloggers in my reader list on google. Right now I am a bit behind in reading everything and of course with things not being read, there have been no visits or comments. During this past couple of weeks with work and worry about family, I have miss my time visiting all of you. And then it hit me, cook with your friends on Saturday. Solely based upon what is in the refrigerator or pantry, I shall cook a recipe from a friend's blog. Saturday is a low inspiration day for me, maybe because it is my first day from work and I am not focused on anything but not being at work! But if I don't cook, we don't eat well. And I think this is going to be fun, and easy, because you have already done the thinking for me!

Today I have cucumbers to use up, lets make


Sweet and Sour Cucumber Pickles 

1 long European cucumber
salt
1/3 c rice wine vinegar
1 t dark sesame seed oil
pinch of red pepper flakes

Wash and slice cucumber thin, toss in a colander with 1/4 t salt. Let drain 15-30 minutes. Rinse and drain well on toweling.



Combine cucumber slices, vinegar, oil and pepper flakes. Refrigerate 15 minutes before serving. Pickles keep for several days.








Thanks Judi, these are going to be good with our supper tonight!

Recipe rating:  Hmmmm (thought these would be better)

Oh and another shameless request, tomorrow is Cookbook Sunday, I sure hope to see you there!

As always, thanks for taking a moment to stop by.
I appreciate your time and your wonderful comments!

this post is shared with:
feed me, tweet me, follow me @ a moderate life
lady bloggers social tea party @ the lady bloggers society
weekend round-up @ the life and times of the 21 century housewife

key words:  quick pickles, friends, Cookbook Sunday