Saturday, July 31, 2010

Myers Reunion 2010

Click on photo to enlarge
The Celebratory Cake The Cake Cut By The Youngest And Most Senior Family Member The Myers Cousins With The Remaining Two Aunts And Uncle The Myers Family Members And Spouses
***
Biannually the Myers Family holds a reunion in the area where the great-grandparents settled when they arrived from Germany. The family is close knit and enjoy a reuniting when members come from near and far. One cousin drove from California which she does each year of the reunion. The tradition of the cake cutting is allowing the senior family member with the youngest making the first cut. Dinner is served by the ladies of the church which allows everyone time to socialize. Thanks to cousins Mark and Cathy who work to make this time a special time for everyone and create a great memory for all.


Friday, July 30, 2010

A Week of Celebrating

The Birthday Boy State Fair State Fair Cast Findlay High School "Pantasia Band"
A Week of Celebrating
This was a week of celebrating for my husband and me. We were celebrating not the turn of another calander year but to his good health. When a birthday marks another year and you have no chronic issues, and your family is healthy, you realize how you have been blessed. Calls came from California, New York and Paris to wish a happy birthday. How blessed is that to have children in travels and vacationing calling to remember dad's special day.
We attended the play of Rodgers and Hammerstein, "State Fair" at the Huron Playhouse on Tuesday. Kudos to the cast for a splendid performance. Not to be outdone was the Steel Drum Band from Findlay High School with their concert in Washington Park in Sandusky, Ohio on Thursday. What a marvelously gifted group. We felt we had been transported to the Caribbean with their music. Great job kids. We hope you return next year. We know we will!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Curried Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango

Posted by JulieVR in The Wall Street Journal. If you haven’t yet tried cooking with quinoa, you should – it’s wonderful stuff, versatile, easy to cook and so good for you. High in protein, quinoa contains all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It’s mild flavoured and light – an edible seed, actually – the plant is related to kale, and not technically a grain at all.
The thing to remember about quinoa is that it must be rinsed first to get rid of the naturally occurring bitter saponins coating each seed. I like to fluff mine up by putting freshly cooked quinoa back into the pot and covering it as it cools. Most often when I cook quinoa I cool it down to put into a salad. Quinoa makes a fab salad, especially with black beans or chickpeas, and any number of fresh veg. I like mango, and cumin in the dressing. This salad travels well (great for barbecues, potlucks and lunch at work) and could not be healthier. Or more delicious!
Curried Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango

1 cup quinoa


1-2 ripe mangoes, peeled and chopped


1/2 red or yellow pepper, chopped


1/4 English cucumber, chopped


2-3 green onions or a chunk of purple onion, chopped


2 cups (packed) baby spinach, torn or sliced (optional)


half a 19 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained


handful of torn cilantro (optional)

***
Dressing:
1/4 cup canola oil

2-4 Tbsp. white wine or white balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp. mango chutney, chopped if chunky
(optional)
1 tsp. honey

1 tsp. curry powder or mild paste

1/4 tsp. cumin
***
Rinse quinoa well under cool water in a fine sieve, then cook in a pot of boiling salted water over medium heat until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. (Just like you’d cook pasta.) Drain well, return to the pot, put the lid back on and let it steam – this will produce fluffy quinoa – until cooled. Combine the oil, vinegar, chutney, honey, curry and cumin in a jar or small bowl and shake or whisk to blend. If you like, season the dressing with salt and pepper. Put the quinoa, mango, vegetables and beans in a large bowl, drizzle with dressing and toss until well coated. Serves 4-6.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Macaroni Grill's" Shrimp Portofino

"Macaroni Grill's"
Shrimp Portofino:
Macaroni Grill is a favorite restaurant of ours. I found what is called a duplicate recipe of a dish we enjoy. I think the word duplicate might be what a person analyzed as the ingredients. I am anxious to try this recipe.
***
Ingredients:
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup melted butter
16 large shrimp, cleaned and de-veined
16 medium mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed, peeled, and minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (fresh is better for the taste)
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts (drain before using)
4 slices lemon
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (don't use dried parsley)
Pasta of your choice.
***
Directions:
Saute the mushrooms and garlic in butter until just about tender. Add the shrimp and saute until shrimp is cooked (not translucent - but don't overcook), about 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients (except the lemon and fresh parsley) and heat thoroughly. Serve over pasta of your choice. Garnish with lemon slices and fresh parsley.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sunset ~ Moon rise

click on photo to enlarge
Sunset ~ Moon-Rise
Sunsets over Lake Erie are most dramatic and each evening presenting a new artistic effect. Equally as beautiful is the rising moon. As the sun sets into the waterline, the moon rises from the horizon at the water line. The setting sun colors the sky with such vibrant colors outlining any clouds. The moon's reflection on the lake creates such a beautiful shimmering effect. It is a new spectacular every evening.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Yoplait Whips! Treat

Yoplait Whips! Treat
Last week one of my husband's fishing friends and former neighbor told me about a great new evening treat they enjoy. When I go grocery shopping, I usually have a list of needs and do not deviate. I was not aware of the new Yoplait product. Bill said he and his wife Jean freeze the "Whips!" and enjoy it in the evening. He said it tastes just like a creamy sherbet.
Saturday I stopped by a grocery store to pick up a few items and included the Yoplait Whips. I placed them in the freezer and gave this idea a try. I was amazed at the great taste. I checked the box of ice cream my husband had in the freezer. Whips! has 20 calories from fat and the same amount of ice cream has 80 from fat. The best part of eating Whips! is you are not sacrificing flavor!
One more tip, go online to Yoplait whips coupon. Print out a coupon and enjoy a savings along with a healthy treat.
Thanks Bill and Jean for this tip. Now I need to convince Don to give up Toft's Butter Pecan ice cream!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Asian Sling

Asian Sling
Kumquats which originated in China, resemble a small orange. The whole fruit can be eaten without peeling.
***
Ingredients: 3 to 4 poached kumquats with 1/2 teaspoon kumquat syrup. (recipe follows) Crushed ice, 1 1/2 ounce gin, 1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice, 1/2 ounce lime juice, 1/2 ounce Chambord liqueur, Soda water, Garnish: Kumquat Skewer
***

Directions:
1. In a tall chilled glass, add poached kumquats and syrup; muddle. Add crushed ice to fill glass. Pour in gin, orange juice, lime juice and Chambord and stir gently. Top with soda and add a fresh kumquat skewer for garnish. Makes 1 drink
Poached kumquats Store any remaining poached kumquats in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
10 kumquats
¼ cup sugar
½ cup water
Directions:
1. Put all ingredients into a small saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes until fruit softens.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Curried Lamb Burgers With Mango Chutney


Curried Lamb Burgers With Mango Chutney
Recently I made Curried Chicken Burgers with a Mango Chutney which were delicious! The only problem was that it took two nights of inviting neighbors to dinner to eat all of the recipe. Lamb is my most favorite meat. A grocery store is advertising that Australian lamb will be available each weekend. I am searching recipes to try.

Cilantro makes a fresh alternative to lettuce as the garnish on this burger and is a great accompaniment to both the lamb and chutney. If possible, try to make patties 2 hours in advance so the flavors in the burgers have time to develop.

Ingredients:
2 lb (1 kg) ground lamb
¼ cup (50 mL) fresh mint, finely chopped
2 tbsp (25 mL) curry powder
½ tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
½ tsp (2 mL) chili powder
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
6 onion buns, halved crosswise
Mango Chutney
Ingredients:
2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil
¾ cup (175 mL) onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ cup (125 mL) red pepper, finely diced
¼ tsp (1 mL) chili powder
½ tsp (2 mL) ground coriander
¼ cup (50 mL) cider vinegar
¾ cup (175 mL) brown sugar
2 large ripe mangos, peeled, pitted and finely chopped
¼ cup (50 mL) water
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
¼ cup (50 mL) golden raisins
2 tbsp (25 mL) fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Garnish ½ cup (125 mL) fresh cilantro

Directions:
1. In a large bowl mix lamb, mint, curry powder, cumin, chili powder and salt. Form the mixture into 6 equal-sized patties of 1-inch (2.5-cm) thickness. Make sure not to compress the patties too tightly as this allows them to remain tender.

2. In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat, add onions and ginger and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic, red pepper, chili powder and dried coriander and cook for a minute longer.

3. Add cider vinegar, brown sugar, mangos, water and salt. Bring to the boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until thickened and mangos are very soft. You may need to add more water if the mixture becomes too dry before mango is fully cooked, add 2 tbsp (25 mL) water at a time.

4. Remove from heat, stir in raisins and cool. Once cooled stir in fresh cilantro.

5. Heat the barbecue on high. Place patties on the grill and cook for 4 to 6 minutes on each side or until cooked to desired doneness. Do not overcook or they will be dry.

6. While burgers are finishing warm onion buns on cooler part of the grill.

7. Serve burgers on buns topped with fresh cilantro and Mango Chutney. 
Makes 6 Burgers

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Braised Lamb Shanks with Middle Eastern Spices
Lamb Shanks are very trendy because they are full of great flavour and end up with a tempting, melting texture when they are cooked slowly. The sauce for this dish is rich and thick. Serve with mashed potatoes, couscous or noodles.
Ingredients:
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
2 tsp (10 mL) ground ginger
2 tsp (10 mL) ground coniander
2 tsp (10 mL) paprika
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cayenne
6 lamb shanks
3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper1 onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped carrots
1/2 cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped celery
1 bottle (341 mL) beer, preferably ale
2 cups (500 mL) beef stock, homemade or canned low-salt
1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme1 bay leaf
8 whole garlic cloves, peeled
Vegetable Garnish:
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
3 zucchini, cut in 3/4-inch (2-cm) dice
1 red pepper, cut in 3/4-inch (2-cm) dice
1 yellow pepper, cut in 3/4-inch (2-cm) dice
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Combine cumin, ginger, coriander, paprika, cinnamon and cayenne. Toss lamb shanks with 2 tsp (10 mL) spice mixture, reserve remainder.
2. Heat 2 tbsp (25 mL) oil in skillet or Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Brown lamb shanks in batches on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve. Wipe out pan and add remaining oil.
3. Add onion, carrot and celery. Sauté until onion is browned slightly, about 5 minutes. Add reserved spice mixture and sauté for 3 seconds. Add beer, stock, thyme and bay leaf and bring to boil. Return meat to pan.
4. Bake for 1 hour, add garlic, cloves and bake one hour longer or until meat is tender and nearly falling off the bone.
5. Remove meat. Skim fat, then remove vegetables with a slotted spoon. Discard bay leaf. Purée vegetables in a food processor or blender. Stir back into stock and reduce until sauce lightly coats a spoon, about 10 minutes.
6. To make vegetable garnish, add oil into skillet on medium-high heat. Add vegetables and sauté until vegetables are crisp tender, about 5-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.7. Stir vegetable garnish and lamb back into sauce. Simmer together for 15 minutes or until lamb and vegetables are reheated. Serve with potatoes, couscous, or noodles. Serves 6

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Grilled Eggplant Salad

Grilled Eggplant Salad

3 Japanese eggplants

1 large sweet onion, peeled

4 plum tomatoes

1 green chili, jalapeno or Serrano

1/4 cup (40 mL) vegetable oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped ginger

1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped garlic

1 tbsp (15 mL) ground cumin seeds

1 tbsp (15 ML) ground coriander seeds

1 tsp (15 mL) garam masala

3 tbsp (45 mL) chopped coriander

***

1. Cut eggplant into rounds about 1/2-inch (1-cm) thick. Slice 1/2-inch (1-cm) thick rounds and cut tomatoes in half and remove seeds. Brush everything with 2 tbsp (25mL) oil and season with salt and pepper.

2. Grill eggplant and onions about 4 minutes per side turning vegetables once. Tomatoes grill for 1 minute per side. Chop into chunks. Grill chili about 2 minutes per side, or until beginning to char and peel around the edges.

3. Heat remaining oil in skillet on grill over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic and saute for one minute. Add cumin and coriander and saute for another minute. Stir in all the vegetables, season with salt, cover and saute gently for 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to break down. Stir in garam masala. Reheat when needed.

4. Season to taste. Garnish with coriander just before serving. Serves 8

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Slow Roasted Lamb and Rosemary Glazed Onions

Slow-Roasted Lamb with Herbs

The lamb cooks itself in the oven and is served falling-off-the-bone tender. Cut the lamb into thick chunks instead of carving and serve with the sauce. Ask your butcher to remove the blade bone to make serving easier.

Ingredients:

1 bone-in shoulder of lamb, about 5 lb (2.2 kg), with the blade bone removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot chopped
2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
2 large garlic cloves
One (400 mL) can tomatoes
One 750 mL bottle dry white wine
2 large branches of rosemary
1 tbsp (15 mL) dried Greek oregano
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme leaves
½ tsp (2 mL) black peppercorns
***

Ditrctions:

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
2. Pat the lamb dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large heavy flame-proof casserole or roasting pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and brown on the fat side. (There will be patches that won't brown don't worry.) Turn the lamb and brown as well as possible on the bone side. Transfer the lamb to a platter.
3. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic to the pan. Stir and cook until they begin to soften. Add the tomatoes, wine, rosemary, oregano, thyme and peppercorns and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Return the lamb with any juices and cover with a piece of damp parchment paper and the lid or foil, then cook for 3 hours.
4. After 3 hours, the lamb will be shrinking from the bone. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C).5. Uncover the lamb, and remove the parchment paper. Cook the lamb uncovered, for another 30 to 45 minutes, or until the skin is dark golden brown and it is tender.6. Transfer the lamb to platter, cover with foil and keep warm. Strain the sauce into a saucepan. Let sit for 10 minutes then skim off the fat. Bring the sauce to a boil and boil for 15 minutes or until thickened and reduced to about 1 cup (250 mL). Check the seasoning. Meanwhile, cut the lamb into thick chunks and serve with the sauce. Serves 6

Rosemary Glazed Onions
This dish makes the perfect accompaniment for the lamb and can be cooked with it.

Ingredients:

6 shallots
18 cipollini onions
3 red onions
¼ cup (50 mL) olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup (50 mL) sugar
2 large rosemary branches
***

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the cipollini onions; simmer for 2 minutes. and return to a boil. Add the cipollini onions; simmer for 2 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Peel the cipollini onions and shallots, leaving the root intact so the onions stay whole. Place them in a large bowl.
3. Peel the red onions and, leaving the root intact, cut each onion into six wedges. Add them to the onions in the bowl. Pour over the olive oil, season well with salt and pepper and toss.
4. Place all the onions in a single layer in a roasting pan. Mix the sugar with ½ cup (125 mL) hot water and pour over the onions. Add the rosemary branches; cover with foil and cook for 1 hour.
5. Increase oven temperature to 400°F (200°C).
6. Uncover onions and continue to cook them until they are glazed and very soft and the liquid is reduced to a few spoonfuls, 30 to 40 minutes.
Serves 6

Monday, July 19, 2010

Salt Crust Baked Fish

Salt Crust Roasting
Baking fish in salt is not difficult. You may have seen it presented dramatically in a restaurant by a waiter working table-side. The salt crust is cracked and removed with flourish. Inside the white salt dome lies perfectly cooked, moist and fragrant fish. Baking fish (or vegetables, even other meats) in a salt crust creates a sort of oven within an oven. The salt seals in moisture essentially steaming the fish inside. Because the salt absorbs the moisture, the texture of the fish ultimately is more like roasted than steamed fish.

The fish: Begin with the freshest fish you can find. Ask the fishmonger to clean the fish but leave on the head and tail. Good choices include: Tilapia, Striped Bass or Trout. Salmon or Arctic Char would also work.


The salt: Use Kosher salt. For one whole fish (1.5 – 2 lbs pounds) you will need several cups of salt up to 2 lbs, depending on how thick you mound the salt.
Other additions: You can add herbs and lemon in the cavity of the fish. Herbs can also be mixed into the salt. Try herbes de provence in the cavity and some lavender in the salt.
Steps: Place a layer of salt in the bottom of a roasting pan, jelly roll pan or half sheet. It should be sturdy. You may add water or egg white to the salt to make a moister salt crust, but it isn't really necessary. Place bay leaves on the layer of salt in the pan, place your fish on top. Add whatever herbs you're using to the cavity of the fish. Mound the remaining salt over the fish covering completely but leaving the head and tail exposed. You may also cover the entire fish, but leaving the head and tail uncovered may help you removing the crust and creates a more interesting presentation.

To roast: For about 2 lbs of fish, plan on roasting in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes. An instant read thermometer can be inserted through the crust to check temperature if you are uncertain but you will risk breaking your crust.
En Papillote, Cooking in Parchment Cooking in parchment paper, en papillote in French or al Cartoccio in Italian, adds dramatic flair to dinner. It's a perfect technique for delicate fish fillets.


To serve: When the fish is done, remove it from the oven. Using a fish knife and fork, or two spoons, break the top crust and remove the skin. Brush or gently roll the skin it will be easy to remove. Your top fillet will now be exposed and you can lift it right off the bone, to a platter. Next, you should be able to lift the tail of the fish pulling toward the head. Now, you can remove the bottom fillet to the platter. A pastry brush can be used to gently brush away any salt that remains.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Roasted Miso Salmon with Lemon and Cilantro and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

If you watch the Food Network and are familiar with Giada De Laurentiis and her great recipe ideas, I am choosing to blog one which I will try with some salmon I have on hand.
Roasted Miso Salmon With Lemon and Cilantro and
Rosemary Roasted Yukons

Ingredients:

Cooking spray

6 salmon fillets (about 5 ounces each)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon rice wine

1 tablespoon miso paste

4 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves

1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves

***
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a large roasting pan with cooking spray. Season salmon with salt and black pepper and place in roasting pan. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, rice wine and miso paste. Brush mixture all over salmon in pan.
***
In a large bowl, combine potatoes, oil, garlic, rosemary, and salt and black pepper to taste. Toss to coat potatoes. Arrange potatoes alongside salmon (or on a separate baking sheet if there's not enough room). Roast salmon and potatoes 20 to 25 minutes, until fish and potatoes are fork-tender.
***
Serve 4 of the salmon fillets with the cilantro sprinkled over top and all of the potatoes on the side. Reserve remaining salmon for salad.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Blueberry Cobbler French Toast

Blueberry Cobbler French Toast
This is a recipe which was emailed from the editor of Cooks Illustrated Magazine with the weekly email. Since measured ingredients were not listed, one has to gauge by appearance. Sliced bread was used rather than buying a loaf of unsliced bread and slicing a thick slice to create a pocket (which I prefer). According to the email, the batter is much like a tempura batter which is thin. It cooks or fries to a crisp exterior which is a nice contrast to the filling.
Batter:
Ingredients:
egg
milk
vanilla
flour
***
Directions:
Lightly beat the egg and blend the liquid ingredients together. Beat with fork while adding flour. Add just enough to make a thin batter.
***
Filling:
Use a blueberry jam and room temperature cream cheese blended for the filling. Cream cheese is thinned very easy with a very small amount of jam. My suggestion is 1 teaspoon to 2 ounces of cream cheese. If needed you can always add more. Spread on bread or in pocket of bread.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lake Erie Lotus In Bloom



click to enlarge
The Lotus In Bloom
The lotus are in bloom and what a beautiful seascape. Or is it lakescape? I drove over to the housing development "Harbor's End" to photograph this beautiful sight. As I was positioning myself I heard a hiss. I looked up and noticed two swans with their seven cygnets in a protective mode. Knowing how mean they become when feeling threatened, I knew it was time for me to scatter into the disappearing mode.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Classic Herb Dressing
This is a version of a classic herb dressing. It is an excellent way to use fresh herbs out of your garden. If you can't find fresh herbs, then dried herbs will work too. I used a clean glass jar with a lid to mix this dressing. But if you don't have any, you can use a small bowl to mix the dressing.
***
Ingredients:

1/2 c oil (olive or canola)

1/2 -1 tsp lemon juice (to taste)

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1-2 tsp each: parsley, chopped chives, basil, oregano, to taste (dried or fresh )

***
Directions:
In a small bowl or a clean glass jar combine ingredients. Mix well by shaking the jar or by using a fork. Keep refrigerated until ready to use allowing flavors to develop.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fruit Of The Vine

The First Tomatoes Of The Season
Nothing can make a person salivate easier than the thought of the first tomato of the season picked fresh from the vine. For several months the store bought tomatoes have satisfied the palate but that is where the flavor is described. I have watched blossoms turn to little green nubs. These nubs have now developed into large green tomatoes. It was a vigil waiting to see which would be the first to begin its ripening process. Over the weekend I noticed two beginning the cycle. Perhaps today will be the day to enjoy!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Trout On The Grill

Trout On The Grill
Our friend Dan gifted us with some of his trout catch. We include fish in our diet frequently. Tonight I prepared the trout by first seasoning the cavity with salt and stuffed it with fresh rosemary. I then added approximately 1 teaspoon or so of butter and double wrapped the fish in foil. I placed it on the grill with a med-low flame for 10 minutes on each side. This kept the fish moist and done just perfectly. The flesh separated from the bones with ease. It made for a delicious dinner and we certainly want to say thank you Dan for sharing your bounty!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sights of Kelleys Island

Kellys Island on Lake Erie
We spent an afternoon on Kellys Island with friends Karen, Emily, and Dan. I always marvel at the lake front homes especially the old victorians. My favorite is the most modest of the four which actually would be the least upkeep and maintenance. As I mature I am always looking for ease in my life.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Blueberry-Peach Custard Pie

Cream and custard pies, which often are made with full-fat dairy thickened with egg yolks, usually can be made lighter with low-fat milk using cornstarch or tapioca as a thickener. This single crust blueberry-peach custard pie uses several of these techniques to produce a more virtuous slice. Several cups of fresh fruit are baked into a light custard made with only two whole eggs, skim milk and nonfat Greek-style yogurt, which adds body and a hint of tanginess that balances the natural sweetness of the peaches and blueberries.
BLUEBERRY-PEACH CUSTARD PIE
Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup skim milk
3/4 cup (6 ounces) nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch of salt
1 store-bought, refrigerated pie crust
1 cup blueberries
1 cup peeled, sliced peaches
***

Directions: Position a rack in lower third of the oven. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray.

To make filling, in a medium bowl, combine sugar, milk, yogurt, eggs, flour, cornstarch, almond extract and salt. Whisk until smooth. Set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll a sheet of pie crust into a 12-inch circle. Place crust in pie pan and trim so it overhangs evenly by about 1 inch. Fold edges under and crimp or flute edge with your fingers or a fork. Place pie pan on a baking sheet.

Arrange peaches in bottom of crust and top with blueberries in an even layer. Pour filling on top (the fruit will float, but this won't affect the final results). Bake for 25 minutes.

After the pie has baked for 25 minutes and the filling is beginning to set, remove from oven and cover the edges of the crust with foil to help prevent over browning. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; return pie to oven. Bake until a knife inserted at center of pie comes out clean, another 20 to 25 minutes (pie may puff up quite a bit but will settle during cooling). Let cool for 1 1/2 hours. Serve warm, or refrigerate until cold and serve chilled. Serves 10.

Friday, July 9, 2010

What To Drink With Barbeque Food

What to Drink With: Barbecue Food
When planning wines for grilling, the key is simplicity. Published on Jun 28, 2010 By Dick Rosano of Wine Enthusiast Magazine
As the sun sets later and the evenings grow warmer, everyone gathers out on the patio or deck, basking in the aromas of barbecued specialties of the house. With spice rubs and a profusion of sauces to fill the air, it’s no wonder we’re drawn to the barbecue like bees to honey.
But the grill serves up such a wide range of treasures that pairing them with wine can be seen either as a challenge or an overture to your imagination. Driven by flavor accents from sauce and spice, each grilled meat could wax from one side of the wine continuum to the other. Luckily, the spirit of outdoor dining—including the tendency to serve lighter, less cerebral, beverages—simplifies the choice.
***
Sparkling wines beat the heat and play well with almost any grilled food. Stick to the quaffable wines like Prosecco or Cava, or maybe a light-bodied California bubbly, and leave the vintage Champagne in the cellar.
***
White wines are clearly suited to grilled fish and chicken, and some pork recipes, even those that call for blackened preparations or spice rubs. The high acidity in Sauvignon Blanc—or a cool Sancerre (made from the same grape)—pairs perfectly in this role.
***
Choose a white Burgundy or another Chardonnay for the fattier fish, like tuna, trout, or rockfish. Chardonnay’s also the best pick for veggie burgers, and sometimes regular hamburgers that have a mushroom sauce.
There’s no question that rosés add lift and ‘spirit’ to casual outdoor gatherings. Served brisk and cool, these wines have a bit more acidity than white wines to battle the grilled flavors of the food. Among the easy favorites in this category are Bandol from Provence, Tavel from the Rhône Valley, and some interesting rosé experiments in California made from the Sangiovese grape.
***
When pork or salmon is on the menu, Pinot Noir—from Oregon, the Russian River Valley or Burgundy—is best. The richer flavors rely on the Pinot Noir for weight and texture though they would get blotted out by heavier wines like Cabernet, Petit Sirah, or Barolo. Smoked meats—especially those with a bacon accent—are also best served with Pinot Noir, playing off the smoky, tea-leaf flavors of the wine.
If you’re serving hamburgers, steak, barbecued ribs, or beef tenderloin, only the big red wines will do. Bordeaux, California Cabernet, and Barolo are perfect matches, but if the spice turns the dish hot, zero in on Zinfandel or a similarly spicy Australian Shiraz or Argentine Malbec. The key to successful wine-food pairing for outdoor dining is simplicity. Don’t choose a wine that requires too much thought because the setting doesn’t call for that. The wines should fit the food, but they should also fit the casual mood of the gathering.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Buttermilk Squash Soup Recipe

For my California friends who are telling me the weather has been useasonably cool, I am sending a recipe to warm your soul. However, here in Ohio we are looking in the other direction from oppressive heat and humidity. I will save this recipe to use for a cool and rainy day. This recipe comes from Heidi Swanson and her blog http://www.101cookbooks/. She states you can use any summer squash, yellow or zucchini. She also does a nice version with peas - also good with cumin butter. Heidi says it is nice to have the cumin butter on hand. She even suggests making a double or triple batch of it.
Buttermilk Squash Soup Recipe
Ingredients:
Cumin Butter
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 cup unsalted butter
fine grain sea salt
***
Directions:
In a skillet, over medium heat, toast the cumin seeds until they are fragrant. Just a minute or two. Use a mortar and pestle to pound the seeds into a fine powder. Alternately, you can use an electric spice grinder. Set aside. In the same skillet, melt the butter and cook until it is brown and gives off a delicious nutty aroma. Remove from heat, stir the cumin into the butter along with the generous couple pinches of salt, then set aside in a warm place. You want the butter to stay liquid until you are ready to use it.
***
Soup Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves
1 pound potatoes cut into 1/4 inch cubes
2 1/2 pounds yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2 inch slices
4 cups good tasting vegetable stock
1 cup buttermilk
1 bunch chives chopped
***
Directions:
To make the soup, heat the butter in your largest pot or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and a bit of salt. Saute for a few minutes, or until the onions start to get translucent. Stir in the potatoes and squash and cook for another 7 to 10 minutes, or until the squash starts to soften. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of the stock (most of it) - the stock should just barely cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, roughly another 25 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat, puree completely with a hand blender, then stir in the buttermilk. If you need to thin the soup with a bit more stock, you can do so. Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve each bowl topped with plenty of the cumin butter, and a sprinkling of chives. Serves 10.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Super-Easy Berry Cobler

Super-Easy Berry Cobbler

Ingredients:

For the batter:

2 tablespoons butter or shortening, plus more for greasing the pan.

¼ to ½ cup sugar

1 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ cup milk

For the topping:

1½ cups berries or other sliced fresh fruit

½ to 1 cup sugar, depending on the sweetness of your berries

1 cup boiling water

Directions:

Cook's notes: You'll need a 9-inch square baking pan.

Preliminaries: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat the baking pan with butter or shortening.

Make the batter: Mix sugar and butter or shortening, blending well. Add flour, baking powder and milk until combined. Spread batter on bottom of prepared pan. It will be sticky.

Make the topping: Spread berries on top and sprinkle with sugar. Pour boiling water on top, but do not stir.

Bake the cobbler: Place pan in preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes.

Presentation: Let cool slightly, then serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: Adapted from Joe Kovach, Ohio State University educator, Wooster.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Homemade Nutella


Homemade Nutella
Eighteen years ago I made my first trip to Italy. Our daughter Mary introduced me to Nutella, the chocolate hazelnut spread. Hazelnut anything quickly becomes a favorite of mine! I remember toting home several jars to give to friends. I really thought I found something unique and certainly something they would never find in an area grocery store. A few years later I learned it was very available in area stores.
***
Ingredients:
1 cup hazelnuts
1/4 cup cocoa powder
5 Tablespoons agave nectar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon Hazelnut oil
pinch salt
***
Directions:
Roast hazelnuts in a 350 degree oven 8 to 10 minutes until nuts smell fragrant and skins appear cracked. Place hazelnuts in a towel and cover to rest and cool. Rub nuts with towel to remove skins from the nuts.
Place nuts in food processor and process until a smooth paste forms, about 5 minutes, scraping sides as needed.
Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Place in a jar with tight fitting lid and place in refrigerator. Allow to warm to room temp. prior to serving. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

MG Classic Cars






MG Classic Cars
Thursday evening after a concert in the Park in Sandusky, my husband and I went to the Jackson Street Pier to watch the sunset over Lake Erie. This is always such a beautiful sight to watch that huge red star sink into the horizon. We were attracted to the display of classic MG cars. We learned that a group of one hundred-forty owners were meeting at a nearby resort for a reunion or convention. It did not designate there was an organized club. We saw cars bearing license plates from many Midwest states as well as southern states. We noticed a car from 1934 through the 1970's and all in well kept condition. We could see those were the days of no plastic bumpers or trim.