Thursday, April 30, 2009

Breakfast Smoothie



Breakfast Smoothie
A great way to use fruit that might get too ripe or add fiber plus vitamins to your diet is with a smoothie. Often when a variety of fresh fruits are not available I use frozen fruit. I have learned that frozen peaches or mangoes are processed under-ripe and lack flavor. There is no formula for a smoothie. I have learned that a banana and a container of yogurt, and orange juice are the basic ingredients. Today my smoothie contained the banana, strawberries, mango, and the yogurt with orange juice added.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chili Lime Corn On The Cob

Chili Lime Corn On The Cob
Cooking corn on the cob in its de-silked husk keeps the kernels moist. Feel free to husk it and wrap in foil.
***
Ingredients:
4 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon finely shredded lime zest
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
6 ears sweet corn
***
Directions:
Combine butter, zest, chili powder, salt, pepper, and garlic in a small bowl. Stir well to incorporate flavors. Chill until ready to use.
***
Pull back husk without detaching at base and remove as much silk as possible, and fold husks back over ears and tie in place with kitchen string. Soak ears for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Drain ears, open husks, dry ears with paper towels and spread evenly with butter mixture. Refold husks over ears and tie with kitchen string. Corn can be kept at this point chilled up to 24 hours.
***
Prepare grill for indirect medium heat (350F to 450F, you can hold your hand 5 inches above cooking grate only 5 to 7 seconds). Then turn off one burner and lower the others to medium. Grill corn over cooler spot, grill lid covered, until tender and charred, 20 minutes. Serve with salt for sprinkling.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Jicama Slaw

Jicama Slaw
Jicamas have a brown skin and at first might be confused for a potato. However their shape is more round and skin is smoother. They have the nutritional benefit of vitamin A, iron, and calcium, but very high in vitamin C. They have long been a staple in the Mexican diet. Serves 6 to 8.
***
Ingredients:
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
1 small jicama (about 1 1/4 pounds) peeled and julienned
1 large red bell pepper, cored and very thinly sliced
1/4 head red cabbage, cored and very thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced lengthwise, rinsed, patted dry
6 Tablespoons olive oil
6 Tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon minced cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon each salt, freshly ground pepper, and sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder and chili flakes
***
Directions:
Combine oil, vinegar, lime juice, minced cilantro, salt, pepper, sugar, chili powder, and chili flakes. Place in a container and refrigerate for a couple of hours for flavors to develop.
***
Prepare vegetables and keep chilled. Shake dressing well and pour dressing over vegetables 15 minutes prior to serving, stirring 2 or 3 times.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Gaucho Steak With Four Herb Chimichurri

Gaucho Steak With Four Herb Chimichurri


If you enjoy camping, a backyard bar-b-que, or eating under the stars, I will post recipes this week for a great meal from the recent edition of Sunset Magazine. Guy Fieri, the cooking show celeb who wears the "blond" spike hair style, has featured these recipes.
Skirt steak and flank steak come from the same area of a cow. The skirt steak is actually the diaphragm muscle and tends to be chewy. Marinating tenderizes the cut. Marinate 1 to 24 hours. Serve topped with Four Herb Chimichurri.
***
Marinade:
1 minced garlic clove
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoon Tequila
1 Tablespoon each fresh lemon and lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
***
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak
***
Marinade Directions:
Whirl the first seven ingredients together and place in a plastic bag. Add the meat and marinade one to twenty four hours.
***
Four Herb Chimichurri:
In a food processor, pulse until coarsely chopped:
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup parsley leaves
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
6 large basil leaves
1 Tablespoon oregano leaves
2 Tablespoons minced white onion
2 tablespoons minced red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon ancho chili powder
***
Directions:
When coarsely chopped, pour 2 Tablespoons each olive oil and red wine vinegar: whirl to combine. This is a great topping for the grilled steak.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ramona

The Mariache Band Preformers
The Indians On The Mountain (click to enlarge)
The setting of the Ramona Bowl Amphitheatre Another photo of the setting The Pagentry with beautiful costumes Playing the roles of Ramona and Alessandro
The Ramona Bowl today
Pochea Indian Village Marker
Ramona Marker
video
The song "Ramona" as sung by Alessandro
Ramona
The longest running outdoor drama is held annually in Hemet California. This marks the 86Th year of continuous staging. The story described as the first novel about Southern California is taken from the writing of Helen Hunt Jackson born in 1830 in Amherst Massachusetts. It was written to call attention to the plight of the Mission Indians at the hands of the United States government. Instead of sparking indignation, the novel inspired a myth that has indelibly marked the California landscape.
***
In 1883 Helen was appointed Commissioner of Indian affairs by President Chester Cleveland. In this capacity she was to report formally on the condition of California's Mission Indians. She traveled to Indian Reservations in the Riverside and San Diego back country. All of the traveling, note taking, and conversation became the background of the novel she wrote. Published in 1884, the author died in San Francisco ten months later. The publication is still in print today. It has inspired an opera, three motion pictures, as well as The Ramona Pageant begun in 1923 in the town of Hemet.
***
Ramona is the story of an orphan, the child of a white father and an Indian mother, who is raised by a foster mother but kept ignorant of her fact of parentage. She falls in love with an Indian. Her foster mother hates Alessandro due to her dislike of the Indians. The drama was a wonderful. I hope someday you have the opportunity to see the struggle in the story of the love and life of Alessandro and Ramona projecting the maltreatment by the White Americanas stealing their land.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Chicken Piccata

Chicken Piccata
Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts, cut into cutlets
Salt and pepper
All-purpose flour
Nonstick spray
2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 Tablespoon capers, drained
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Fresh lemon slices
chopped parsley
***
Directions:
Season cutlets with salt and pepper, then dust with flour. Coat a saute pan with nonstick spray, add vegetable oil, and heat over medium-high heat.
***
Saute cutlets 2 to 3 minutes on one side. Flip the cutlets over and saute the other side 1 to 2 minutes with the pan covered. Transfer the cutlets to a warmed platter, pour off the fat from the pan.
***
Deglaze the pan with wine and add minced garlic. Cook until the garlic is slightly brown and liquid is nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes.
***
Add broth, lemon juice, and capers. Return cutlets to the pan and cook on each side for 1 minute. Transfer cutlets to warm plates.
***
Finish sauce with butter and lemons. Once butter melts, pour sauce over cutlets. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve.

Friday, April 24, 2009

B-L-T Pasta

B-L-T Pasta
The sauce is inspired by the Italian dish amatriciana (ah-mah-tree-chee-ah-nah) which is a bacon spiked tomato sauce. It is usually served over a bucatini, a hollow spaghetti. Serves Two
***
Ingredients
For The Garlic Bread Crumbs
1 clove garlic
1 cup French bread crumbs
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt to taste
***
For The Pasta
2 strips thick sliced bacon, diced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup thinly sliced leeks
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 ounces dry bucatini or spaghetti
1 cup fresh spinach
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
(or a pinch of dried thyme)
***
Directions:
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the bucatini or spaghetti.
***
Mince garlic for the bread crumbs in a food processor. Add cubed bread and process until coarse. Heat oil in non-stick akillet over medium; add crumbs and toast until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and set aside.
***
Saute bacon for the pasta sauce in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook, until crisp, then drain pieces on a paper towel-lined plate. Pour off all but 1 Tablespoon drippings.
***
Caramelize tomatoes and sugar in the drippings over medium heat. Cook until tomatoes begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add leeks; saute until wilted, 3-4 minutes.
***
Deglaze the skillet with wine; simmer until liquid is reduced by a third, about 5 minutes.
***
Cook bucatini in boiling water according to directions. Add spinach, thyme, and bacon pieces to sauce. Transfer cooked pasta from cooking water to the skillet using tongs. Toss to coat with sauce. Season with salt, then divide pasta between plates. Sprinkle pasta with reserved bacon pieces and bread crumbs befor serving.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Chocolate Lava Cakes With Strawberries

My recipe results Food And Wine Photography
Chocolate Lava Cakes With Strawberries
Our granddaughter Charlotte wanted a lava cake for her birthday dessert. I saw this recipe in the May 2009 Food And Wine Magazine and offered to make these for the birthday dinner. The magazine photo is shown with ice cream and fruit. My advice is; the cakes are very rich and the ice cream we served helped to cut the richness but suggest to serve also with fruit. I would suggest having a bowl of fruit to pass for those needing more fruit.
*
Ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more for coating
3/4 cup sugar, plus more for coating
3/4 pound semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
6 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Strawberry ice-cream and sliced strawberries for serving
***
Directions: Preheat oven to 425. Butter ten 8 ounce ramekins and lightly coat them with sugar. Set the ramekins on a large rimmed baking sheet.
***
In a large bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the two sticks of butter and semi-sweet chocolate until smooth, stirring a few times. Set the melted chocolate aside and keep warm; keep the saucepan of water simmering.
***
In another large bowl, whisk the eggs with the 3/4 cup sugar. Set the bowl over the simmering water and stir the egg mixture until it is warmed (not cooked). Remove the bowl from the heat. Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture until it is double in volume, about 5 minutes. Sift the flour over the chocolate mixture and gently fold in with a rubber spatula. Working in two batches, fold in the warm egg mixture.
***
Spoon the batter into the ramekins and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cakes are set around the edges and wobbly in the center. Remove the ramekins from the oven and let the chocolate cakes stand for three minutes.
***
Carefully invert the ramekins onto plates to unmold the chocolate cakes. Top each with strawberry ice cream, spoon the sliced strawberries alongside and serve right away.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Onions, Baked



Onions, Baked
Recently I found something in a kitchen store that looked interesting to me. It is designed to bake onions or broccoli in the microwave oven. I knew after reading the directions my husband would enjoy onions prepared this method. It just doesn't get any easier than this. Remove a slice from the top and bottom of the onion. Make a X about 1/2" deep at the top of the onion and remove a small conical shape from the very center . I placed about 1/4 teaspoon chicken bullion granules and about 1/2 teaspoon butter in the conical cavity. In the bottom of the dish I placed about 1 Tablespoon water. Place the lid on the baker and 5 minutes in the microwave oven you have an onion that tastes like it was prepared with a roast.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cinnabon Rolls

Following overnight in the refrigerator covered, the rolls needed time to raise. Fresh from the oven. Iced and ready for the Birthday Breakfast.
What a way to start a Happy Birthday!
Cinnabon Rolls Revised
The posting on the blog of August 27, 2007 was the recipe for cinnabon rolls as it was given to me. I had several inquiries about the texture of the dough. Our granddaughter has a birthday today and she wanted cinnabon rolls for breakfast. I thought this would be a good time to experiment with two possible options for the recipe.
***
The dough is made with a box of vanilla pudding originally calling for 2 cups milk. I used 1 1/2 cups milk and found the dough to have a very nice texture  and much easier to handle. I will reprint the recipe today with the changes.
***
Cinnabon Rolls
Ingredients;
1 package instant vanilla pudding, made with 1 1/2 cups milk.
***
1/2 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 packages yeast
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
6 cups flour
***
Filling;
1/2 cup soft butter
2 cups brown sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon
***
Directions;
In a large bowl prepare pudding with 1 1/2 cup milk. In another bowl combine combine water, yeast, and sugar. Stir until well mixed and set aside. Add butter, salt and, eggs, mix well. Add yeast mixture and blend; combine pudding into mixture Gradually add flour, knead until smooth.
***
Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled. Punch down and let rise again. Roll out on lightly floured surface to a 34" wide x 21" high in size. (I apply a thin film of butter to my rolling pin and dust with flour.)
***
In a bowl mix the cinnamon and brown sugar together. Spread the soft butter over surface, leaving an inch margin top and bottom. Sprinkle surface with brown sugar mixture. Roll up very tightly. Cut at two inch intervals with sharp knife. Place on lightly buttered baking sheets to raise until doubled. (I cut my rolls at approximately 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" intervals).
***
Bake at 350 for approximately 15 minutes or until the top start to turn golden.
***
My suggestion: Since these cinnabons do require some time which is not all active time, making the dough, raising twice, rolling out, and raising again before baking, and they are a breakfast bread, I suggest placing the rolls on your buttered baking sheets, covering them with foil, and refrigerating them overnight. They will require about one hour or so to raise before baking. Bake at 350 degrees until the tops turn slightly golden, about 15 minutes. Cool and spread with icing.
***
Icing:
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon milk
1/2 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar
***
Combine ingredients and beat until smooth and well incorporated. I take the back of a soup spoon to spread the icing on the cinnabon rolls.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin With Baby Carrots

The carrots scrubbed, seasoned, and ready for the oven.
One of the two tenderloins seasoned The tenderloins browned and ready for the oven Sunday Dinner Is Ready.
I posted the recipe for the Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin With Roasted Baby Carrots on Saturday which I found in the current Bon Appetit magazine. My husband has a very versatile palate and enjoys variety with his diet. I always feel safe experimenting with a new recipe. His comment on dinner was the carrots were much better roasted than boiled carrots and the meat was seasoned wonderfully. We both agreed that the meat needed a little more salt for seasoning.
***
For those unfamiliar with cooking a pork tenderloin, be certain to "peel" the silvery broad ligament with the blade of a very sharp knife. That is a very tough skin which is not edible. You wont be unhappy with the results of this recipe.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Amaryllis




Amaryllis
I live in a neighborhood with some very talented people. Several are great gardeners, we have a talented art glass artist who does free form work as well as leaded glass, several ladies are great bridge players, then some play tennis, and one senior is attending college for credits while we also have a couple of bloggers. Everyone is always so eager to share their time and talents in our neighborhood. Today I attended the planning meeting for our Spring get-together on our greenbelt where our neighborhood gathers annually just to socialize. One of the ladies mentioned that a neighbor had the most gorgeous amaryllis growing by her gate. So over I went with my camera. I was just amazed at their beauty. I did not know they could be planted outdoors and would bloom again year after year. Obviously, I am not one of the talented gardeners in the neighborhood. My neighbor said her bulbs are thirty years old and have reproduced bulbs so many times. She asked me to bring over a vase and she would cut one for me. How lucky we are to have such wonderful and sharing neighbors. I thought they were too beautiful to cut as they just enhance her garden and could be shared then with everyone to enjoy.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin With Roasted Baby Carrots


Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin With Roasted Baby Carrots
We have two grandsons who usually request a pork roast and carrots when grandma comes to visit. When I found this recipe in Bon appetit, I knew it fit the bill. Having a blog allows me to have my favorite recipes at my fingertips when I visit. All that is necessary is to turn on a computer in the house, click, and print. Viola and the meal begins. This recipe is for Jacob and Philip.
***
Ingredients:
Carrots
2 pounds baby carrots, or large carrots, peeled, trimmed with 1/2 inch of green top and root attached. If using large carrots trim to finger size. Do not use the washed baby carrots in plastic bags. They are too wet to caramelize.
2 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter, diced
2 garlic cloves
1 small jalapeno, (preferably red) seeded, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
PORK
2 1-to 1 1/4 pound pork tenderloins
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin live oil.
***
Directions:
Carrots: Arrange scrubbed carrots on a large rimed baking sheet. Whisk 2 tablespoons water with the remaining ingredients. Toss to coat. Cover tightly with foil. Can be made two hours ahead . Let stand at room temperature. Toss to coat before proceeding.
***
Pork: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast carrot mixture covered until just tender about 30 minutes.
***
Meanwhile, arrange pork on another rimmed baking sheet. Stir oregano, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and 1 teaspoon coarse salt in small bowl; rub mixture all over tenderloins. Heat oil in non stick heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add pork to skillet and cook to brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Return to rimmed baking sheet. Remove foil from carrots. Nestle pork among carrots on baking sheet, arranging carrots in a single layer around pork. Roast uncovered until instant read thermometer registers 145 F, stirring carrots occasionally if beginning to caramelize, about 18 minutes. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes.
***
Transfer pork to work surface. Cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices. Arrange carrots on platter. Top with pork slices drizzling any pan juices.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Garden Tours

Gatewood Hills Garden Tour Valley Verde Garden Tour
Valencia Dr. Garden Tour
Bernardo Hts. Garden Tour
Escondido Garden Tour
click on photos to enlarge
The showplace of our neighborhood.
***
Once a year The Rancho Bernardo Garden Club showcases five gardens. Our dear neighbor Maxine invites us to support the scholarship program through the tour. Four ladies from my immediate neighborhood enjoyed an outing viewing the gardens and of course lunch.
***
Check out the showplace of the neighborhood. That is Maxine's yard and garden. While Maxine's garden was not on tour today, we are so happy she lives in our neighborhood. She and her husband enjoy working with the flowers and roses and we get to enjoy the reward of their efforts.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Foie Gras BANNED

Foie Gras BANNED
I read in the Food section of our newspaper Wednesday that it will be illegal to sell Foie Gras in the state of California in 2012. The animal activists are at it again. You may have seen the segment about one month ago where Sixty Minutes went to a farm in France where the geese were being raised for their liver. The farmer demonstrated how the geese are force fed. Since our Governor Arnie comes from Austria and Europeans do consume their share of foie gras, I thought it was interesting he caved in to this idea that the geese are being treated cruel.
***
A local restaurateur from France said he was raised on a farm where his mother raised the geese for foie gras. He said each day as she went to feed the geese they always came running to her. He didn't think they were treated cruel. However he did have the activists marching at his restaurant and he removed the foie gras from the menu.
***
The best foie gras I have ever eaten was on a Canadian island in Lake Erie that we visit. I hope the Canadians sell it as long as we visit as I do enjoy that food item.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The California Sandwich

The California Sandwich
Last week while grocery shopping I thought I would check the meat counter for an Easter ham. There was not one in the counter yet. Pork is not the usual offering here. Yes they do sell pork but in very limited cuts.
Beef is very available. The most common meats served and eaten in California are chicken breasts, fresh fish and seafood selections. If you are having a sandwich you will find the upscale restaurants serve turkey breast along with the usual beef selections, or the typical California sandwich which is an avocado, fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, sprouts and maybe romaine lettuce. Californians are very health conscious. I attribute it to the fact the weather is always so beautiful and being outdoors allows one to be physically active. Exercise and diet make a healthy lifestyle.
***
The California Sandwich is a very healthy staple in many restaurants. It requires very few ingredients but is a great source of nutrients.
***
Ingredients:
2 slices multi-grain bread
1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese
1 ripe avocado
mixed sprouts
salt and pepper and red pepper flakes
Directions:
Halve the avocado and spread the avocado pulp onto a slice of the bread. Slice the ball of mozzarella cheese and arrange it over the spread avocado. Season with Salt and pepper. Add red pepper flakes if you wish. Arrange the sprouts in an even layer and top with remaining slice of bread.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Glow Of Sunset

The Glow Of Sunset
The reflection of the sun setting in the west casts a rose colored glow to the hills toward the east behind our home.  Such a blessed gift to praise God and bring the day to an end.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Warm Strawberry Crumb Cake


Warm Strawberry Crumb Cake
This recipe produces a cake with a "jammy" strawberry fruit with a light and airy cake. It is another great recipe from my Food and Wine Magazine.
Ingredients:
Filling
3 pounds strawberries, hulled and halved (8 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 1/2 Tablespoons water.
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
Crumb Topping
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cubes and chilled
CAKE
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
***
Directions:
MAKE THE FILLING.
Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl toss the strawberries with the sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch slurry, and the vanilla seeds. Let stand until the strawberries release some of their juices, about thirty minutes. Pour the fruit filling into a 9 x 13 inch glass or ceramic baking dish set on a sturdy baking sheet.
***
MEANWHILE MAKE THE CRUMB TOPPING:
In a medium bowl, mix all of the ingredients with your fingers until a coarse meal forms; press into small clumps
***
MAKE THE CAKE
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric , beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Beat in the vanilla extract and scrape down the bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the batter in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk.
***
Spoon the batter over the fruit filling, spreading it to the edge. Sprinkle with the crumb topping. Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling, the crumb topping is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes outs with a few moist crumbs attached, Transfer to a rack to cool slightly. Serve the crumb cake warm or at room temperature. serve with vanilla ice cream.
***
NOTE: The fruit filling can be made with a combination of berries, i.e. blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saute of Julienned Garden Vegetables


Saute of Julienned Garden Vegetables
Colorful and garden fresh, these vegetables are sure to please at your holiday table.
Ingredients:
4 carrots
6 celery stalks
3/4 pound green beans
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
***
Directions:
Peel the carrots. Trim away the tough ends and any strings from the celery stalks. Cut the carrots and celery stalks into 2 x 1/4x 1/4inch julienne strips, keeping them separate. Trim off the ends of the green beans and, if they are large and more than 3 inches in length, cut them into julienne strip to match the carrots and celery.
***
Bring a saucepan 3/4 full of water to a boil. Add the carrots and boil for 1 minute. ?Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the carrots, draining well and set aside. Add the celery strips to the same boiling water and boil for 30 seconds, then scoop them out and set aside. Finally add the green beans to the boiling water and boil for 2 minutes, then drain well and set aside
***
In a frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the onion and saute, stirring until soft and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, and green beans to the onions and continue to saute until the vegetables are soft and tender but not too soft, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste, and the parsley and mix well.
***
Transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve immediately. Serves 6
HAPPY EASTER

Friday, April 10, 2009

Starbuck's Streusel-Crumb Coffee Cake


Starbucks Streusel-Crumb Coffee Cake
The cookbook, "Starbuck's Passion For Coffee", with favorite recipes from Starbucks was first printed in 1994. It is on the shelf of our daughters and daughter-in-law, and now mine. The book contains recipes for several "sweets" to serve with, of course, Starbucks coffee. One particular coffee cake is usually served when our family gets together. It is not difficult to make but it is tasty and satisfying.
Ingredients:
For the streusel:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
***
For the cake:
2 cups cake flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
***
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 10 inch tube pan, a 9 inch springform pan or an 8 inch square baking pan.
***
To make the streusel, in a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and melted butter. Blend well and set aside.
***
To make the cake, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter, eggs, vanilla and milk. Beat vigorously until smooth and quite thick, about 1 minute.
***
Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan and sprinkle with half of the streusel mixture. Spoon the remaining batter over the streusel mixture, then top with the remaining streusel. Bake until a wood toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool about 20 minutes, then remove from the pan. Serves 10~12

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bacon Breakfast Tortes

Bacon Breakfast Tortes
This is another egg dish printed in our newspaper's weekly Food section. If you are having a crowd for the Easter holiday, it makes an easy serve yourself dish.
Ingredients:
12 strips bacon
2 Tablespoons butter
4 green onions, white and some of the light green part chopped
2 cups white corn fresh or frozen defrosted
1 16-ounce pkg. frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
2 cups fresh or frozen hash browns
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 shakes Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 cups grated white cheddar cheese
***
Directions:
Cook the bacon until it renders its fat but is still pliable; drain on paper towels.
***
Coat the inside and top of 12 muffin tins with non stick cooking spray and arrange the bacon strips in muffin cups so that they line the cups. Some bacon strips will shrink more than others when cooked. If your bacon is particularly long after rendering the fat, trim it to fit the cup.
***
In a large skillet, heat the butter and saute the onion, corn and spinach until the water in the pan has evaporated. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and allow to cool. Add the hash browns to the bowl.
***
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, Tabasco and mustard. Pour over the vegetables and stir to blend. Fill each muffin cup to the top with the mixture. Sprinkle the top with the cheese.
***
At this point you can cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or up to 2 days.
***
When ready to bake, remove from refrigerator for at least 45 minutes. A cold pan can reduce your oven temp by 25 to 50 degrees.
***
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the tortes uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until puffed and golden.
***
To freeze the baked tortes, bake them for 15 minutes, cool to room temperature, cover and freeze for up to 1 month. When the tortes are firm,they can be transferred from the muffin cups to zipper top plastic bags and stored. Defrost in refrigerator, arrange on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil, and bake at 325 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until warmed through. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lemony Blueberry Bread Pudding

newsprint photo
Lemony Blueberry Bread Pudding
Our daily newspaper publishes a Food section on Wednesday. Egg dishes were the feature of this week. My attention was attracted to a photo of two favorites of mine, blueberries and bread pudding. I thought this would be a great brunch recipe
Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
9 cups torn bread with crusts removed
2 cups blueberries, picked over for stems, or frozen blueberries (do not defrost)
Topping:
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Quick Blueberry Sauce
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Directions:
Coat a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, lemon zest. lemon extract, nutmeg, eggs and heavy cream until blended. Add the bread to the bowl, pushing down into the mixture to absorb the liquid. Add the blueberries and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared dish. (At this point, cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before continuing.
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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the pudding. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve warm with Quick Blueberry Sauce
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Variation:
To make individual bread puddings, prepare the bread pudding, but scoop into muffin tins or ramekins coated with nonstick spray. Refrigerate 12 hours, sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until puffed, golden and cooked through.
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Quick Blueberry Sauce
Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups blueberries
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Directions:
In a 3 quart saucepan over high heat, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, water and lemon juice until blended. Add the blueberries and cook until the mixturebegins to thicken and boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
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At this point the sauce can be refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost in the refrigerator befor serving at room temperature