Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sorry again, no TWD this week!

Taking a break until September on TWD. Do check back in on Thursday for some great turkey burgers!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

BAREFOOT BLOGGERS - Peach and Blueberry Crumbles (or if you don't have blueberries, substitute blackberries)

Aggie of Aggie's Kitchen chose this week's Barefoot Bloggers recipe for us -Peach and Blueberry Crumbles. Thanks for a great pick Aggie! I really enjoy cooking and baking with Aggie!

I started to buy blueberries, but then I remembered I had frozen some blueberries a month ago and decided to use those. However, when I got home and began preparing to make the recipe, I remembered I had fresh blackberries that were just about to go to waste so I decided to use those instead. It is a woman's perogative to change her mind, twice right?

Speaking of berries, is it just me, or does everyone find that fresh berries only last like a day after you get them home? I bought raspberries and one day later they had mold all over them. I have tried keeping them in the refrigerator and they get wet and mushy. So this time I left them on the counter and they got mold on them. I guess the only solution is to freeze them? Any thoughts on this subject? We love our fresh berries on our cereal in the morning.

This was very easy to assemble. You just peel and cut up your fresh peaches, add your berries, some sugar and flour, cinnamon, etc., then make a crumble to put on top. My crumble was more like a pie crust because my butter got too soft before I mixed. I put the mixture in four ramekins and baked. They were so delicious. Great for summer. Like a good fruit cobbler, only better! Of course I had to tear myself away from Farmtown (which I am totally addicted to) to get them out of the oven. I ate my crumble while it was still warm and I harvested my crops on facebook! Sweet!!!

Try the recipe. It's so easy.

This recipe is not available on the FoodNetwork website:
For the fruit
2 lbs firm, ripe peaches (6-8 peaches)
2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup fresh blueberries (1/2 pint)
For the Crumble
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 lb (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until their skins peel off easily. Place them immediately in cold water. Peel the peaches, slice them into thick wedges, and place them in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, granulated sugar, and flour. Toss well. Gently mix in the blueberries. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Spoon the mixture into ramekins or custard cups.
For the topping, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Rub the mixture with your fingertips until it’s in big crumbles, then sprinkle evenly over the fruit. Place the ramekins on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and back for 40 to 45 minutes, until the tops are browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature. If you want to make these early, store the unbaked crumbles int he refrigerator and bake before dinner. Serves 5 to 6.

CEiMB - Oven Baked Onion Rings

One of my very favorite bloggers, Mary Ann of Meet Me in the Kitchen chose Ellie Kreiger's Oven Bake Onion Rings as this week's choice for our group to try.

Now the yankee hates onions. I'm not even sure the word hate is strong enough. He will occasionally tolerate cooked ones. So I knew if I made these it would be up to me to eat the entire batch. I did feel I was up to the challenge that night.

Stopped by the store and got what I thought were all the ingredients I needed, only to get home and realize I forgot the buttermilk. So I improvised and used whipping cream with a little sour cream added to it. Other than that, I followed Ellie's recipe. I used Baked Lays potato chips. The milk mixture was probably not quite as sticky as the buttermilk would have been, but it seemed to work overall pretty well.

Meanwhile, I had Chandler out back grilling us some hamburgers to go with. While the onion rings were baking I went outside and had a Bud Light with Lime along beside him. We usually like darker beer, but we have both really enjoyed the lime flavored bud light this summer.

To be nice, he said he would try "one" onion ring for me, emphasis on one. I was raving over them and after he ate the one, he decided he would like some more. We thought they were fabulous. So crunchy and tasty. I used vidalia onions so they were not strong tasting. Loved the spiceness the cayenne pepper added to them. We ate the entire batch between the two of us. Yes, okay, we are such gluttons. I admit it.

I would never have tried these on my own and I am so glad Mary Ann picked them. Thanks for a great pick and all of you out there have to try these sometime. Click on Mary Ann's blog to get the recipe. Trust me when I say, they taste a lot better than they look in this photo!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

CEiMB - Aromatic Noodles with Lime Peanut Sauce

This week's recipe for our Craving Ellie group was chosen by MrsBethORama at Supplicious and it sounded really good so I was excited to make it. Be sure to check out her blog and see how hers turned out.
I went swimsuit shopping on my way home from work. Is there anyone alive to who loves to swimsuit shop? They were almost sold out so I came home suitless. Not naked, but suitless. That means more shopping on Saturday!

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel that it is just really difficult to find a good breast anymore? Chicken of course. They are either so big that you need a wheelbarrow to get them in from your car to the kitchen, or they are dry and tasteless. The yankee and I grilled a few breasts the other evening so I thought I would chop one up and add it tonight in this wonderful asian inspired dish.
I put the whole wheat noodles on to boil. I slightly roasted the peanuts. I cooked the broccoli and snow peas. I made the sauce minus the onion. Now, I'm not sure, but I'm thinking my sauce did not turn out just right. When you make a peanut sauce, is it supposed to stick to the roof of your mouth? Precisely. That was my first clue that something was amiss. Then, I look around, raise one eyebrow, and there is the dry... ish chicken that I have chopped up right before my eyes. I decide right then and there to try the peanut sauce as a dip. That dry chick just loved it. I got so into dipping the chicken pieces into the dip that I almost forgot to save some for the noodles!

All joking aside, I was alone for dinner tonight as the yankee is at his camera class. Not a photography class, a camera class. I loved this dish, would definitely make it again, and I can't wait for Chandler to try it when he gets home. It will be his supper (we pronounce that suppah here in the south, for those of you who prefer to call yours dinner).

Great pick this week!!
Aromatic Noodles with Lime Peanut Sauce
3/4 pound spinach linguine or whole-wheat spaghetti
2 cups (about 9 ounces) broccoli florets
2 cups (about 6 ounces) snow peas, trimmed
2 cups (about 6 ounces) sugar snap peas, trimmed
1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 scallion, cut into pieces
3/4 inch fresh ginger, finely grated
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup shelled unsalted peanuts
Cook the pasta in a large pot of water according to the directions on the package. Drain and rinse with cold water. While the pasta is cooking put the broccoli in a steamer basket over a large pot of boiling water and steam it for 3 minutes. Add the snow peas and sugar snap peas and steam for 2 minutes more.
Toast the peanuts in a dry pan over a medium heat until they become fragrant, about 3 minutes. Set them aside to cool. Make the sauce by pureeing the peanut butter, soy sauce, water, vinegar, lime juice, scallion, ginger, sugar and red pepper flakes in a food processor or blender until smooth.
Right before serving, toss the pasta with 3/4 cup of the peanut sauce. Divide into 6 serving bowls and top each serving with the vegetables. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the vegetables. Coarsely chop the peanuts, sprinkle them on top and serve.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

TWD - Plum Brioche Tart

Thank God I took today off. I was planning to make the brioche last night until I read the recipe and realized it was one of those two day recipes.

First you mix up the dough. ...

The Dorie says to put the dough into a clean bowl .. ..
Then you let the dough rise . . . (never my favorite part I'm so impatient) . . .

Then you refrigerate. So I made the dough last night and let it refrigerate overnight. Then you cut up the fruit, add some jam on the bottom of the crust and some walnuts with sugar on top and voila - bake in the oven! The only problem I had was the dough was a bit sticky after it warmed up to my hands.
Cathy had warned me that hers did not cook in the middle and to make sure I cooked it long enough for the juices to be bubbling. I hope I did, but it looks a bit runny in the center. Also, Dorie says it will sound hollow when you tap it. Where the heck are you supposed to tap it when there is fruit all over the top of it. Maybe I used too much fruit.
I just finished baking the tart just now and it looks divine. I just this minute cut a piece and it is cooked through and through. Maybe even a little too much. It cut perfect and it tastes delicious. Maybe just a little hard on the outside crust.

Thanks to Denise of Chez Us for choosing this week's adventure. I cannot wait to try it!! You can check out her blog to get the full recipe. Have a great week! I'm off to a pool party. . . . .

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

BAREFOOT BLOGGERS - Sundried Tomato Pasta

Cat of Delta Whiskey has chosen Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes from Ina Garten's collection. Check out Cat's blog to get the recipe.

Nothing holds me back from making a good pasta dish so I couldn't wait to try this one of Ina's. So on the way home from work I stopped at my favorite local grocer's, trusty ingredient list in hand, and as I approached the store there were four police cars lined up in front. I hesitated just for a moment as to whether or not I should go in, but pasta was calling me so in I went. Nothing seemed awry in the store so I went about my shopping. At the checkout, I asked the clerk why the cops were out there hovering. She whispered and said the lady had left her children in the car to pop into the pharmacy and the kids started screaming so the police came. I told her I had been known to do that myself when my kids were little and sick. She rolled her eyes as if to say she had done the same thing. When I left, all I could think was here were four cop cars lined up and we have real criminals out there they could be going after instead of coming after this poor mom. I mean one policeman okay, but FOUR? Geez.

The pasta dish was quite easy to prepare and we loved it. It was very flavorful. I thought I had plenty of fresh parmesan, but low and behold I was lacking in that area because the yankee did not tell me we were almost out. He eats that stuff like I eat chocolate.

Great recipe, but try it for yourself!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

TWD - Tribute to Katherine Hepburn Brownies

Lisa of Surviving Oz chose Tribute to Katherine Hepburn Brownies.

First, check out photo. Here's a tip for all of you although I am quite sure you know this already. Never try to cut brownies while they are still warm. I was in a hurry tonight and that is exactly what i did. And I know better!

I usually love all brownies. While I also love Katherine Hepburn, I have decided after making these brownies, I think her talents were better on the big screen. These seemed too rich in butter and for some reason, came out heavy. I left out the coffee powder because I did not have any. I must have done something wrong. They were just too gooey inside. As much as I love brownies, I was a complete failure on baking these. Sorry Ms. Hepburn!

I am anxious to see what all the other TWDrs thought of these brownies and how theirs turned out. Check out Lisa's blog listed above for the recipe if you want to try them yourself.

I leave you with one of my favorite Hepburn quotes:

"Life can be wildly tragic at times, and I've had my share. But whatever happens to you, you have to keep a slightly comic attitude. In the final analysis, you have got to not forget to laugh. "

Thursday, July 2, 2009

CEiMB - Breakfast Cookies

One of my favorite bloggers, Natalie of Whats for Supper chose this week's Ellie Kreiger challenge - Breakfast Cookies. When I told the yankee what I was preparing in the kitchen, his words were "what ARE breakfast cookies and who comes up with these crazy names for recipes?" I laughed to myself when I had earlier asked him to pick up strained carrots from the baby food section and he never even asked what they were for.

That comment from him reminded me of a joke. No offense to blondes out there, but blond jokes really can be funny.

One day a blond walked into a cookie shop to see a small tray full of cookies. The sign said 'free sample' so she took one. The next day the blond was sick and could barely move. She swore revenge upon the cookie shop. She marched back to the cookie shop and burst into the cookie shop and slammed her foot. "Your cookies made me sick!" she screamed, pointing to the 'free sample' tray. "Oh, what are we going to do about that?" said the store clerk, as he bit his lip. "I want my money back!" screamed the blond.

ok. . that was lame.

Well these cookies will NOT make you sick. They are fabulous. I am not sure they will last until breakfast because we are eating them tonight!

I did make some major substitutions to Ellie's recipe. They weren't intentional substitutions, however. I just did not have some of the ingredients on hand so I used what I had. I did not have any brown sugar so I just used white. They are probably even better with brown sugar, but the yankee said he didn't think they could BE any better. I didn't have any rolled oats, so I used instant oatmeal, which had a little brown sugar in it! Yea. I didn't have any walnuts so I used pecans. I didn't have any bran flakes so I used vanilla granola. Even with all these substitutions, they were great. I can't wait to eat more of them tomorrow! I'm trying to pace myself you see.

Thanks Natalie for a great pick this week!

3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup (1 small jar) strained carrot baby food
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup bran cereal flakes
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup walnut pieces, lightly toasted in a dry skillet for 2 minutes, until fragrant and chopped
Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Whisk together flours, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Combine butter, oil and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on high speed, scraping down sides if necessary, until sugars have dissolved and mixture is light in color, about 1 minute. Add egg, carrot puree and vanilla and beat an additional 30 seconds. Add flour mixture and beat an additional 30 seconds. Add oats, flakes, raisins and walnuts and mix over low speed just until incorporated. Dough will be slightly sticky and less cohesive than traditional cookie dough. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using between 3 to 4 tablespoons of batter, form a ball and place on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining batter, leaving about 3 inches between cookies. Wet hands and use palm of hand to flatten cookies until about 1/4-inch thick. Bake for 12 minutes, until cookies are fragrant but still soft. Let cookies cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.