Sunday, May 31, 2009

Grilled Fig And Mache Salad

Grilled Fig And Mache Salad
This dish is also delicious with grilled seasonal stone fruits.
Ingredients:
Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
6 allspice berries
1 star anise pod
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup hazelnut oil
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
***
Salad:
2 teaspoons olive oilAlign Center
8 figs, stemmed and halved
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 ounces Brie
8 ounces mache or other greens
1/8 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and chopped
***
Directions:
For the vinaigrette: Combine the vinegar and spices in a small stainless-steel pan and simmer over low heat until steam rises. Remove from the heat, stir in the brown sugar, and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain into a small bowl and discard the spices. Gradually whisk in the hazelnut oil and olive oils. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
***
Salad: Prepare a medium fire in a charcoal grill, preheat a gas grill to 375F, or heat a grill pan over medium heat. Rub 1 teaspoon of oil on the grill or pan. Season the figs with 1 teaspoon of oil, salt and pepper. Grill the figs, skin side down, until the centers of the figs begin to bubble, 3 to 5 minutes. Repeat the other side. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
***
Cut the cheese into thin wedges and place 2 wedges on each of 4 salad plates. Place 4 fig halves next to the cheese. Combine the mache, onion, fennel, and hazelnuts in a large bowl. Lightly dress the salad tossing just to coat the leaves. Mound in the center of the salad plates. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette around the salad plate and serve. Serves 4 as a first course.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Heirloom Tomato Flat Bread

Heirloom Tomato Flat Bread Dough:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup warm water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Basil Oil:
1/2 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Fried Garlic:
1/2 cup canola oil 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

3 heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup shaved pecorino romano cheese

Minced fresh basil for garnish

***
Directions:
For the dough: Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk to blend. Combine the water and oil in a cup and stir into the dry ingredients. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Divide the dough into half, cover with a damp towel, and let the dough rest for thirty minutes.
***
For the basil oil: Blanch the basil in boiling water for 10 seconds, then drain and plunge into ice water to cool. Squeeze dry and place in a blender with the extra-virgin olive oil. Blend for 20 seconds and pass through a fine meshed sieve; discard the solids.
***
For the fried garlic; Heat the canola oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat to 325. Fry the garlic slices until just golden brown, 2 to 3 seconds. Drain in a fine meshed sieve, then transfer the garlic to a paper towel to soak up the excess oil.
***
Preheat oven to 400F. with a pizza stone inside, if you have one. Flatten each dough ball into a disk and roll into an 8 inch round. Place the rounds directly on the pizza stone. If not using a pizza stone, place the rounds on a baking sheet. Prick the dough all over with a fork and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until just golden. Remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 425F.
Sprinkle half of the Parmesan and mozzarella on each baked bread. Place the breads in the oven on the pizza stone or baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until the cheese melts and just starts to turn brown. Remove from the oven and layer each with the tomato slices in a single layer, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle evenly with the basil oil. Top each with half of the pecorino cheese shavings and return to the oven for about 5 minutes until the pecorino turns slightly golden. Remove from the oven and garnish with basil and fried garlic. Use a pizza wheel to cut each bread into 6 slices and serve right away.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Crab Deviled Eggs

Crab Deviled Eggs
Ingredients:
6 large eggs
2 cups packed spinach leaves, well rinsed
4 ounces lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
1/4 cup good-quality mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
***
Directions:
Put the eggs in a saucepan and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain and peel the eggs, let cool.
***
Place the wet spinach in a small saute pan and saute over medium heat until wilted. Put the spinach in a tea towel and wring out all the water. Finely chop the spinach.
***
Cut the eggs in half lengthwise and remove all of the yolks, reserving the whites. Mash the yolks in a medium bowl with a fork. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon egg yolk mixture into each egg white half. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with small pieces of crabmeat. Makes 12 deviled eggs

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blue Cheese Dressing

Iceberg Lettuce With Blue Cheese Dressing
Ingredients:
1/2 cup creme fraiche
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 small head of iceberg lettuce, cored
1 Tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 ounces bacon, diced and fried crisp
***
Directions:
Whisk the creme fraiche, vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne pepper together in a large bowl. Whisk in the blue cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate.
***
Cut the head of lettuce into quarters and place the wedges side down on four plates. Spoon the blue cheese dressing across each wedge and garnish with the crisp bacon and parsley.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gnocchi With Morels And Peas


Gnocchi with Morels And Peas
The bounty of Spring gives many gifts but none as wonderful as the morel mushroom. If you are a hunter you know also how elusive this tasty morsel can be. Nothing else compares.
Gnocchi
2 pounds russet potatoes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose potatoes
1 tablespoon salt
1 large egg
Sauce
1 1/2 pounds morels, soaked in salt eater to remove dirt and patted dry.
Chanterelles may be substituted.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces green peas
! Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 Tablespoon truffle oil for garnish
***
Gnocchi
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 and bake the potatoes for about 1 hour, or until tender when pierced with a knife. While the potatoes are still hot, use a large spoon to scoop out the flesh and press it through a ricer into a large bowl. Add the flour and salt to the potatoes, using a pastry cutter to mix the ingredients together. Stir the egg into the potato mixture until blended. Add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time if needed to make a non sticky dough. The less flour you use, the lighter the gnocchi will be.
***
Divide the dough into 8 pieces. On a lightly floured work surface, roll each piece into a rope about 1/2 inch thick. Add more flour if needed to keep the dough from sticking. Gently press the bask of a fork into the dough at 1 inch intervals. Using a knife, cut the gnocchi into 1 inch diagonal sections. Repeat with remaining dough.
Sauce
Directions:
Cut the mores into 2 inch pieces. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over high heat and add the mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mushrooms release their juices.
Decrease the heat to medium-low and stir in the cream and peas. Simmer about two minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Add the lemon juice, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Set aside to keep warm.
Cook half of the gnocchi in a large pot of salted boiling water for about two minutes, or until they rise to the top. Using a slotted spoon, gently transfer the gnocchi to 2 or 3 shallow bowls. Place the bowls in a low oven. Repeat with remaining gnocchi and drizzle each serving with truffle oil. Serve immediately.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Kuchen

Kuchen
Pronounced kooken, it is the German word for cake. At my childhood home kuchen meant a sweet cream coffee cake. My mother made a sweet yeast dough. It had a slightly higher content of sugar than regular bread dough. It was the topping that made it so special. Mother would put her dough into large loaf cake pans or several pie plates after it had risen once. It was patted down to a layer of maybe 1/2 inch as it rises again. She made sure the dough came up the sides of the pan or plate to form a nice edging. The dough would rise one more time after she rubbed the dough with a soft or warmed butter. For the final step she would poke with her finger to make indentions into the risen dough. Next came the topping:
1 cup whipping cream
1 Tablespoon flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
Mix thoroughly so no lumps remain. Pour over dough making sure to not run over the side walls of dough.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes and reduce oven to 350 for approximately 15 more minutes or until golden. I can taste the memory!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Corn Salsa

Corn Salsa
If you believe salsa is for chips only, try this at your next bar-b-que on chicken or fish or as a side dish. Of course on chips would be fine too. Not only is this dish so versatile, it is quick and easy. Just let the flavors marinate and serve. It will become a favorite of yours. No more of that "ketchupy, what flavor is this" salsa for you!
Ingredients:
3 ears of sweetcorn, shucked
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 lemon
2 Tablespoon fresh coriander
***
Directions:
Remove corn kernels from cob, press to remove any milky juice and add to corn kernels.
***
Add olive oil to skillet and saute chopped onion 3 minutes or until onion slightly softens.Add corn and continue to cook until corn is tender but still has a little crunch. Remove pan from heat, stir in tomato. Transfer to a bowl. Add chili powder and a squeeze of lemon. Stir and mix to cool.
***
Refrigerate 4 hours and allow flavors to develop.
***
Bring salsa to room temperature before serving. Check the seasonings and stir in the chopped coriander.
***
Serve spooned onto corn chips or topping for grilled chicken or fish or as a vegetable side dish. Makes 3 cups.
***
Note: I sometimes add drained and rinsed black beans to the salsa.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Roasted Veal Chops With King Mushroom Sauce

Roasted Veal Chops With King Mushroom Sauce
I have found a website located in Ontario Canada which features recipes which I have found to be absolutely delicious and maybe with a gourmet twist, yet easy to prepare. My only comment is one needs to know a great butcher not the typical supermarket meat counter. I am sharing the recipe that sounds absolutely like my next meal when I entertain.
Ingredients:
4 frenched veal rib chops (12 ounces each)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 Tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces king mushrooms quartered
***
Sauce
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup beef or chicken stock
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons chopped chervil
***
Directions:
Preheat oven to 450F. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper.
***
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add veal chops to skillet and sear on each side about 2 minutes until golden. Remove veal from skillet and reserve skillet and veal separately.
***
Turn heat to medium and add the mushrooms to skillet adding a little more oil if needed. Saute until mushrooms are softened, about 3 minutes. (King mushrooms can be trumpet, oyster, or porcine.)
***
Sprinkle mushrooms with remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary and place veal chops on top. Place in oven until chops are pink in center. Remove chops and mushrooms, which should be nicely browned and tender.
***
Place skillet on medium-high heat and add wine and basalmic vinegar. Bring to a boil scraping up bits on bottom of skillet. Add stock to skillet and tomato paste and boil until mixture becomes slightly syrupy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and beat in butter. Stir in mushrooms and chervil. Place veal on serving plate and top with mushrooms. Drizzle any remaining sauce around the sides. Serves 4

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Best 5-Minute Dressings

Best 5-Minute Dressings
Day 6
Sherry-Shallot Vinaigrette
This is the sixth and final dressing recipe I have printed from the June 2009 Food &Wine magazine. I have never had a disappointment with any recipe from this magazine. I have come to rely on the recipes as dishes that would please every palate.
Ingredients:
1 large shallot thinly sliced
1 1/2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
Kosher and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
***
Directions:
Place ingredients in a cruet, shake well and allow to set for flavors to develop.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Best 5-Minute Dressings

Best 5-Minute Dressings
Day 5
Ginger Vinaigrette
Ingredients:
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon finely grated ginger
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
***
Directions:
In a small bowl, mix the rice vinegar with the sugar and grated ginger until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the vegetable oil and season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Makes 2/3 cup.
Great with: cabbage slaw, Chinese chicken salad, mixed green salad, grilled eggplant, or tuna, summer rolls.
Note: The best way to peel fresh ginger is with the edge of a spoon and then microplane the ginger.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Best 5-Minute Dressings

Best 5-Minute Dressings
Day #4
Basil Vinaigrette
Ingredients:
1 small garlic clove
1 cup packed basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tablespoon Champagne vinegar
Pinch crushed red pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper
***
Directions:
In a food processor, pulse the garlic until chopped. Add the basil and pulse until finely chopped. Add the oil, vinegar, and crushed red pepper and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Great with: Heirloom tomato salad, pasta salad, and grilled fish, lamb or chicken. Makes 1/3 cup

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Best 5-Minute Dressings

Best 5-Minute Dressings
Day #3
Honey-Lemon Dressing
Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 Tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
***
Directions:
In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the lemon zest, honey and thyme. Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Great with carrot salad, fennel salad, mixed green salad and citrus salad. Makes 1/2 cup

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Best 5-Minute Dressings

Best 5-Minute Dressings
Recipe #2
This is another recipe from the June 2009 edition of Food & Wine magazine. Making your own salad dressing can be simple, quick, but nutritious.
***
Creamy Feta Vinaigrette
Ingredients:
3 ounces Feta cheese, preferably French, crumbled (3/4 cup)
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
***
Directions:
In a food processor, pulse the crumbled feta with the red wine vinegar, water, oregano, and olive oil until the vinaigrette is smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Great with: Grilled vegetables, shrimp, cucumber salad, spinach salad, tomato salad, and potato salad. Makes 3/4 cup.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Best 5-Minute Dressings

Best 5-Minute Dressings
Recipe #1
The June 2009 edition of Food & Wine magazine contains so many wonderful recipes and among them particularly is a group of dressings. I prefer to make my salad dressings fresh mainly because I know what the ingredients are and the freshness of them. I was especially intrigued by this recipe as it did not contain eggs.
Caesar-Style Dressing
Ingredients:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 oil packed anchovies, drained
1 small garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoon capers, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon water
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
***
Directions:
In a food processor, combine the mayonnaise, anchovies, garlic, capers, lemon juice, water, and mustard: process until smooth. Add the cheese and pulse to blend. Season with salt and pepper.
Great with: Romaine salad, crudites, potato salad, steamed broccoli, grilled chicken, salmon, and tuna. Makes 3/4 cup

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tranquil Hills

click to enlarge
Tranquil Hills
The hills of Northern California have such a tranquil existence. When I see sights such as this I wonder if the barn remains just for visual pleasure or if indeed it still has other purposes. Then I think and wonder of the original owner and builder and the pride he felt upon its completion. I think about the years this barn has weathered. Obviously the building has been kept maintained as the boards are all intact and the roof is complete although needing a little maintenance. Could this now be the sentry of the hills?

Going Green

Going Green
Going Green might be best said as Gone Green. These photos were taken over the weekend in northern California. The state has several areas where the turbines populate hills with constant wind currents. These photos also were a test for a new camera I purchased recently. These photos were taken from a car moving sixty-five miles per hour.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bobby Flay at Balboa Park

The crew that preps the one-man show. The work space for the filming. Introducing ....... Bobby Flay video
A video with the introduction of Bobby Flay.
Balboa Park is the crown jewel of San Diego. We were enjoying lunch outdoors at the Prado Restaurant. When the mariache music started to welcome the show star we noticed a group under a canopy. It was Bobby Flay of the Food Network TV Show. The filming was on behalf of Mama Teste's Tacqueria in Hillcrest. Bobby Flay appeared to film a future TV segment preparing food from their menu. Fish Tacos were prepared and served to the crowd under the tent for the first portion of the episode that was filmed while we enjoyed lunch.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Peck & Peck

The world famous gourmet food store Peck and Peck in Milano Italy does not allow photos. I kindly asked the gentleman behind the counter each time and was allowed one photo. Click to enlarge. The top photo is the world famous Parma hams known as Prosciutto. The middle photo is the artisan cheese selections. The bottom photo is their idea of "Fast Food".

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day To All Mothers

Festa Della Mamma
A beautiful window display for the Italian Mothers Day celebration. Happy Mothers Day wherever you are!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie

Peanut Butter Cream Pie
The May 2009 edition of Bon Appetit magazine contained the following recipe. I thought with Mothers Day celebrated this weekend, many families gather with pot-luck dinners. This would make a nice addition to any dinner and enjoyed by all age groups.
Ingredients:
Vanilla Wafer Crust:
6 ounces vanilla wafer cookies
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed into 1/2" cubes
2 Tablespoons sugar
***
Vanilla Pudding Filling:
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup whole milk
2 large egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
4 firm but ripe bananas
3 Tablespoons orange juice, divided.
***
Peanut Butter Layer
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (do not use old-fashioned or freshly ground)
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
Purchased peanut brittle coarsely chopped (optional)
***
Directions:
Vanilla Wafer Crust/
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all ingredients in food processor; blend until mixture resembles moist crumbs, about 2 minute. Transfer to a 9" glass pie plate and press mixture into the bottom and up sides (not rim) of dish. Bake crust until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven; press crust with back of spoon if puffed. Cool crust completely.
Vanilla Pudding Filling/
Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a heavy medium saucepan until no lumps remain. Gradually whisk in cream, then milk. Add yolks and scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; whisk to blend. Cook over medium whisking constantly, until pudding thickens and boils, about 5 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted. Spread warm pudding in cooled crust. Chill until filling is cool, about 1 hour.
Thinly sliced 3 bananas on the diagonal. Combine the banana slices and 2 Tablespoons orange juice in medium bowl; toss to coat. Transfer banana slices to a paper towels and pat dry Arrange enough banana slices in single layer over vanilla custard filling to cover completely.
Peanut Butter Layer
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar in medium bowl until smooth. Beat heavy whipping cream in another bowl until firm peaks form. Fold large spoonsful into peanut mixture to loosen, then fold in remaining cream in 2 additions. Spread peanut butter layer evenly over bananas. Do ahead Can be made 8 hours ahead. Keep chilled.
Thinly slice remaining banana on diagonal. Toss with remaining 1 Tablespoon orange juice and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange banana slices around the top edge of pie. Sprinkle with crushed peanut brittle, if desired, and serve.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Strawberry Cream Pie

Strawberry Cream Pie
The Food section of The San Diego Tribune in today's issue was dedicated to Grandmothers and the recipes they were remembered by their families. The article tried to cover many different ethnics. The recipe I offer today is from the memory of Lillian Lemke's granddaughter.
Ingredients:
1 baked and cooled 9 inch pie crust
3/4 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups half-and-half
2 large eggs, well beaten
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sliced strawberries, plus more for garnish
Sweetened whipped cream
***
Directions:
In the top half of a double boiler, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Combine the half and half with the beaten eggs and add to the sugar mixture. Cook over low heat in the double boiler until thick, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk. When thick stir in the butter and vanilla. Remove from heat and cover top of pudding with waxed paper to prevent a skin from forming. Cool the pudding on a wire rack for 30 minutes before placing in the refrigerator to cool completely.
***
Layer 1 cup of strawberry slices in bottom of pie crust. Spoon in pudding and smooth top. Layer remaining sliced strawberries over pudding. Top the whole pie with whipped cream. Garnish with more sliced strawberries., if desired.
***
Variations:
For Coconut Cream Pie: follow recipe exactly, omitting the strawberries and stirring in 1 1/3 cup toasted sweetened flake coconut into the pudding after it comes off the heat. Garnish with toasted coconut.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Melon-and-Peach Salad With Proscuitto and Mozzarella

Melon-And-Peach Salad With Prosciutto And Mozzarella
A favorite food combination enjoyed from my travels to Italy to visit our oldest daughter is melon and prosciutto. Our son-in-law introduced this to me on my very first trip and I still look forward to having that enjoyment anytime I visit. I found this great recipe in my latest edition of Food & Wine. This magazine is a wonderful source of nutritious recipes.
***
1 1/2 pounds honeydew melon, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 peach peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped basil
2 tablespoons chopped marjoram
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, chopped
8 thin slices prosciutto
***
Directions:
In a bowl, toss the melon and peach with the oil and balsamic vinegar with salt and pepper. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in in the herbs and cheese. Transfer the salad to a platter and top with prosciutto and serve.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Uses For The Coffee Filter

The Coffee Filter
I have received this email which I think warrants being passed on. Here are fourteen good uses for that package of one hundred coffee filters you get at the Dollar Store.
***
1.) Cover bowls and dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make wonderful covers.
2.) Clean windows and mirrors. Coffee filters are lint free so they'll leave windows sparkling.
3.) Protect china. Separate your good dishes by putting a coffee filter between each dish.
4.) Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.
5.) Protect a cast iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.
6.) Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint free coffee filter.
7.) Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.
8.) Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.
9.) Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.
10.) Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.
11.) Prevent a popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.
12.) Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters.
13.) Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, french fries, chicken fingers, etc. on them. Soaks out all the grease.
14.) Keep in the bathroom. They make great razor nick fixers.
15. They are great to use in you coffee makers!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Peeling A Potato

I have received this emailed to me several times. I think it deserves being passed on as a time saving chore of peeling potatoes. It is a YOU TUBE. Do a search for Dawn Wells potato peeling a potato video. If you were a Gilligan's Island fan of the 70's you may recognize Dawn Wells. She will make peeling potatoes for potato salad so easy.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

It is the Annual Neighborhood Get-Together

The Neighborhood Get-Together
Today was the annual neighborhood get-together for the residents of our street. It is an opportunity for us to say hi to everyone at one time.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Creme Brulee

Vanilla Creme Brulee
I recently receive a complimentary copy of the magazine "Cuisine At Home". I was quite intrigued with the variety of recipes it contained with the photos and directions. Creme Brulee is a wonderful dessert that I have enjoyed previously but it is one of those desserts that "a little dab will do you".
Ingredients:
1/2 vanilla bean, chopped into 1/4" pieces
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half and half
3 egg yolks
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
FOR TOPPING
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
***
Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 F. Pulverize the vanilla bean and 2 Tablespoons sugar in a coffee grinder. Warm the cream, half-and-half in a saucepan over medium heat just until steam rises. Whisk egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Slowly whisk the hot cream mixture into the eggs to temper.
***
Strain egg mixture (to eliminate any vanilla bean pieces) into a measuring cup with a spout and divide among six 4-oz. ovenproof ramekins. Arrange dishes in a baking pan, then carefully transfer pan to the oven. Add hot water to the pan and bake custards 35 to 45 minutes, or until just set; don't overcook.
***
Remove ramekins from water bath, cool, then cover loosely with plastic wrap. Chill until completely cold, preferably overnight. Caramelize each custard before serving by burning sugar on top.
***
Creme Brulee Sugars;
Combine both sugars then spread the mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet. After baking the brulees, turn off the oven. Place the pan containing the sugar mixture inside the oven for an hour to dry the sugar. Transfer the sugar to a food processor and pulverize until fine. Store in an airtight container until ready to caramelize.
***
Blot the tops of the custards dry with a paper towel, if needed. Sprinkle 1 to 2 Tablespoons sugar over each custard cup; tap out any excess sugar. Using a kitchen propane torch, melt the sugar by waving the torch 4 to 8 inches away from the surface of the custards. Burn until the surface of custards is caramelized and no dry sugar is visible. Let custards stand 3 to 5 minutes before serving.