Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CEiMB - Almond French Toast Bake

Hostess this week was Heide of http://chezzero.blogspot.com/

I have to let you all in on a secret this week.  I had to cheat a bit on this one.  Just a bit.  I did not let it sit overnight in the refrigerator as Ellie says to.  Wasn't sure if it would work to just beat it up and toss it in the oven, but that's what I did.  Drat those time constraints!  But please keep this to yourself.   Don't you just love a good secret?

My grocery store did not have fresh blueberries this week.  Not sure what was up with that because we eat them every morning with our cereal.  So I grabbed a bag of frozen blueberries.  Believe me when I say they may be fine for cooking with them, but even thawed they did nothing for our cereal.  Too mushy for me!  But the size of the blueberries was amazing.  Made me wonder where are these giant blueberries when you buy fresh ones?  The ones I buy are tiny like little peas.  These were mammoth.

I sort of halved this recipe so I was not sure how long to cook it.  Ellie said 50-60 minutes and that seemed like a long time to me.  I think mine cooked for 40 minutes and I called it done.  Chandler loved it and said it reminded him of bread pudding.

Here's a little funny.  At least it was funny to me.  I was home today because.  . well anyway. . .I was watching one of the "famous" chefs on television and when she took her dish out of the oven I noticed her stovetop was, shall we say less than clean?  I'm talking some major grease baked on there.  Surely these tv people have someone to clean up after them?  Just evidence I guess that she is truly a dedicated cook and is actually using that stove!!  I loved it and I think I love her all the more for it.

If you click on Heide's link above, I'm sure you will find the recipe for this luscious breakfast treat.  Or you can find it in Ellie's So Easy cookbook.  Or,  you can google it and get it that way.  Great pick Heide!

MKMW - Morocco Bound! Moroccan Kefta Meatballs in Butter Sauce

This month in My Kitchen My World, we traveled to Morocco!!  Chandler and I love middle eastern food so this was a hit with us.  I went through many moroccan recipes before finally deciding on one.  I chose Moroccan Kefta Meatballs in Butter Sauce and I was so glad I did.

For those of you, like me, that do not know the true meaning of "kefta," it generally refers to ground meat.  You could make these from ground beef, ground turkey, ground lamb, or do a combination of meats.  For convenience, I had ground beef already so that is what I used.   The meat is well seasoned with plenty of fresh herbs and spices, and then shaped into balls and sauteed in butter.  I was a bit surprised the recipe did not call for an egg to hold the shape, but these did fine without.

The recipe said to take Moroccan bread and dip into the sauce, but unfortunately, I had no sauce.  Not sure what went wrong there, but the meatballs were delicious.  It was suggested on the recipe that you serve with homemade mashed potatoes, green beans and garlic toast, so that is what I did, sans the garlic toast.

Go over to My Kitchen My World and see what the other travelers created this month!  I can't wait to go there and see what creative ideas the other group members shared.

And do try these meatballs.  They were fabulous.

Serves Four.

1 lb. ground beef, lamb or turkey
2 T. very finely chopped onion
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. black pepper or cayenne pepper (I used black)
For the sauce,
4 T. butter
1 T. chopped parsley and/or cilantro (I used both)
1 tsp. lemon juice, or more to taste
2 or 3 saffron threads, crumbled (optional)

Mix the meat with the onion, parsley, cilantro and spices.  Knead well and shape the kefta into small meatballs.  These can be tiny or 3/4 inch in diameter.  Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat and add the meatballs.  Cook until brown on all sides stirring frequently.
Add the lemon juice, parsley and saffron to the pan and continue cooking for a few minutes longer.  Serve immediately.

Monday, September 27, 2010

TWD - Tarte Fine

Hostess this week:  Leslie of Lethally Delicious

One of my favorite blogging friends, Leslie of Lethally Delicious, chose this Tarte Fine for this week's Tuesday with Dorie challenge.

I decided to make mine round by cutting my pastry around a bowl as a pattern because I saw Gordon Ramsey do it on a video.  Of course he also torched his end result and it all looked so easy.  All I can say is something happened to mine.  It was abducted by aliens and this is how it came out.  My puff pastry did not rise up around it.  It is lacking an apple because I messed up the first apple I sliced into.  And it needed that apple.  It pains me to look at it.  And the saddest part of this was that this is not a difficult recipe.  It was easy or. . .. . was it?

This was not my favorite recipe.  But go over to Leslie's blog and see how hers turned out and you can get the recipe there! 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

CEiMB - Whole Wheat Pancakes with Strawberry Syrup

Hostess this Week:  Melissa of http://itsmelissaskitchen.blogspot.com/

I have been under the weather this week with a touch of strep throat.  I'll be fine soon.. . I hope?  Got a cortisone shot yesterday which kept me wide awake all night last night, but it did give me a tiny bit of relief.  So this will be a quick post! 

For those of you who are movie buffs like me, I saw a cute movie last weekend that I got from Netflix.  Killers starring Kutcher and Heigl.   If you liked Brad and Angie in Mr. and Mrs. Smith, you will like this one as well.

I am not a huge fan of whole wheat pancakes, so I mixed half and half flour, regular and whole wheat.  The strawberry syrup was very easy to mix up.  I wish the strawberries had a richer color in these photos. Click here to go see what the other members of CEiMB came up with.  http://cravingellieinmybelly.blogspot.com/
I love this syrup.  Target brand.
While these were good pancakes, and the strawberry syrup was delicious, I think I like just plain syrup on mine the best! 

Monday, September 13, 2010

TWD - Cranberry Upside Downer, but there is nothing down about it!

Hostess for this week:  Sabrina of http://www.superfluouslysabro.blogspot.com/

I was so excited when Sabrina (one of my favorite bloggers) chose this Cranberry Upside-Downer.  I have been eyeing this recipe for two years now and I do not know why I have not made it before now.  I now have it in my head for a Thanksgiving treat when my children are here from out of town. 

It was very easy to mix up.  I had all the ingredients on hand which is always a plus!  Actually had cranberries and pecans in the freezer.  Going to the grocery store is not my favorite thing.  You can go to Sabrina's blog by clicking on the link above and get the recipe for this if you do not have a copy of Dorie's book.

While this was baking, I accomplished another chore that I have been putting off.  Cleaning out my linen closet!  All the sheets, towels, etc. were crumpled up and thrown in there one on top of the other.  Now they are all nice and neatly stacked.  I am a positively crazy when it comes to sheet folding.  Love them flat and neat.  What a difference it makes now to open the door to that closet!!   Okay, I get excited by the small things in life.  My friend at work says the easiest way to fold sheets is to take them off the bed, wash them, and then put them right back on.  I have to agree that is an intelligent solution!

Definitely will be serving this at Thanksgiving!  I have to say I think it is best eaten the same day however!  Have a great week!

Monday, September 6, 2010

TWD - Peanut Butter Criss Crosses to the Rescue!


Host for the week:  Jasmine of Jasmine Cuisine

It was just one of those weekends.  The kind where nothing really goes the way you expect.  We left Friday night to go to the lake for the long holiday weekend hoping for some much needed rest after our return from Dallas.  We arrived, turned on the air conditioning and in about 30 minutes realized, there was no air conditioning.  It was about 95 degrees that day, but weatherman assured on the television it was going to get cooler through the night, so we decided to tough it out and call a repairman the next morning.

With a fan in the window, a ceiling fan, and a small bedside fan all running at full speed, we went to bed.  Gosh the noise those fans made.

Midnight - still hot.  Two in the morning - still hot.  Stay on your side of the bed I whispered!  Don't touch me he said!  Finally about five in the morning we both found sleep.  Got up early and called an air conditioner repair guy and he came about noon and fixed it.  Nice and cool again.  Went for a long boat ride.  Sweet.

About four o'clock that same afternoon I decided to help Chan mow the grass.  I walked across the grass in the front yard to start the mower and all of a sudden I heard a hissing sound under my feet!  I jumped, then looked all around thinking there was a snake somewhere close.  As I quickly backed up, the ground beneath me began to move.  Literally.  My first thought was there was some dirt monster under the grass, then I thought quicksand??  I called to my DH and told him to hurry or he might never see me again after the earth swallowed me up.  The ground was so soggy in the area that it really did move under our feet.  Thinking it was a septic tank problem at first, we later found out it was a leaky pipe.  We turned off the water and within minutes the ground went back to normal.  It was so weird.  

Then the digging began.  I know now why they invented backhoes.  To save your back.  Chandler said the pipe would be about a foot underground.  So he dug. And dug.  Poor guy.  Not knowing exactly where the leak was, it was quite a lot of digging until finally we saw white pipe located about three or four feet underground.  It was an "elbow."  By now it is dark.  Chan found a piece of pipe in the basement that we could use, but needed the couplings. Luckily, as we were about to go to Home Depot to buy the fixtures needed, a neighbor stopped us and said he had a basket full of fittings that we could use.

So Saturday night we had cool air, but no water.  The next morning I felt like a pioneer woman carrying buckets of water from next door to service our needs.  We used bottled water to wash our hands and make coffee.   Early in the day, Chandler fixed the pipe and covered the hole back up.  I told him not to cover the hole yet, but. . . you know men.  He assured me the leak was fixed but the glue would have to set for two hours before we could have water again.  We were expecting guests in three hours so I was happy that I would at least get a shower before they came. 

After two hours, we turned on the water and heard another gushing noise.  Assuming the leak was not fixed, because surely the odds of having two leaks were next to none, right - we proceeded to dig the hole out - AGAIN.  Turned on the water and gushing noise again.  Seeing nothing amiss with the new elbow, we discovered this time it was beneath the cabin.  It looked like the pipe had just been broken off the top and was missing. This time I insisted we call a plumber, but Chan wanted to fix it himself.  So he crawled on his stomach in the dirt while I held the flashlight for him and fixed the second pipe.  Then he confessed that he was the reason for the second broken pipe!  Remember above I told you he had found a piece of pipe under the basement to use? Well apparently it was a pipe that was already "in use" and he thought it was an extra!!!!  After another two hours, we had water again.  Sunday night, we had water AND cool air.  That was nice.  My husband is a rock star in my book.  And he was bone tired and never complained.  As for me, I can tell you honestly I probably would survive being a pioneer woman, but I would be one cranky pioneer woman!

Today, I made peanut butter cookies thanks to Jasmine's excellent choice.  Chandler's favorite cookie in the world are peanut butter cookies.  So this was my treat for all his hard work this weekend.

I love using eggs that have tattoos on them.  It makes them seem clean and safe to me.  It's all in my head I know.  Just like the voices that whisper to me on occasion.

The cookies were easy to make.  Mine turned out a little large I think.  Even though I halved Dorie's recipe, it still made quite a few. 

I apologize for the long post, but the story was too good not to share.  Hope you all had a nice and safe Labor Day weekend!