Monday, August 30, 2010

Eggplant and Mozzarella di Buffalo Pie


Eggplant And Mozzarella
di Buffalo Pie
This recipe comes from Osteria di Castello (Osteria Castle) in Chianti in the Tuscany region of Italy. Our first born daughter soon celebrates the birthday which defies youth and prefers the number is whispered. Mary recently traveled with her daughters to visit friends. She was a celebrated guest at a birthday celebration during her visit and was kind to send on the dinner recipes provided by the restaurant.
***
Ingredients:
2-3 large eggplants
8 oz. buffalo mozzarella
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 beaten egg
cracker crumb
***
Directions:
Beat egg in a bowl large enough to dip eggplant slices. Place cracker crumb in another bowl. Bread eggplant slices and fry in olive oil until golden. Place on paper towel to absorb excess oil. Grease ceramic dish and alternate with layers of eggplant, mozzarella and oregano finishing with eggplant last. Bake in a 360 degree oven for 6 minutes.
Cut cherry tomatoes in half and saute them with olive oil, salt and fresh oregano. Serve a slice of the eggplant and mozzarella pie over the sauteed tomatoes.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Double Chicken Club With Saffron Aioli

DOUBLE CHICKEN CLUB
WITH SAFFRON AIOLI
Ingredients:
Pinch of saffron threads, crumbled (4 to 5 threads)
2 teaspoons warm water
1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Ground black pepper, to taste
6 ounces chicken or turkey bacon
8 slices whole-grain sandwich bread
8 ounces sliced cooked chicken breast
2 cups arugula or leaf lettuce
1 large tomato, sliced
1/2 small avocado, sliced (optional)
***
Directions: In small bowl, combine saffron and warm water. Let stand for 5 minutes.

In blender or mini food processor, combine saffron mixture, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard and garlic, then blend until smooth. Season with pepper to taste. Set aside. The aioli can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator, for up to 1 week.

Cook chicken (or turkey) bacon according to package instructions. Toast the bread.

To assemble sandwiches, spread some saffron aioli on each piece of toast. Divide the bacon, sliced chicken breast, arugula (or lettuce), tomato and avocado (if using) among 4 slices of toast; top with remaining toast. Serves 4.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Black And Green Olive Tapenade

This recipe is from chef Wolfgang Puck. The tapenade can be served as an hors d'oeuvre, in a small bowl, surrounded with tiny toasted bread slices or crackers. Spread goat cheese onto lightly toasted croutons, top them with the tapenade, and serve them with a Caesar Salad. I am on a roll with tapenade recipes. This is a favorite of my husband.
***
Ingredients:
1 cup Ni├žoise olives, pitted
1 cup small green French olives (Picholine), pitted
1/4 cup Oven-Dried Tomatoes , drained
1 tablespoon capers
1 garlic clove
1 anchovy fillet
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
***
Directions: In a food processor, combine all the ingredients except the olive oil. Using the pulse button, process until coarsely chopped and well blended. Continue to process, slowly adding the olive oil. Refrigerate in a covered container. Use as needed.
To prepare ahead:Tapenade will keep up to 1 week, refrigerated, in a covered container. Yield 1 cup.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cranberry Almond Tapenade With Pita Crisps


Cranberry Almond Tapenade
With Pita Chips

We invited friends for a fish fry Tuesday evening. Our friend Karen offered to bring some appetizers. She had two great tapenades. I then saw an olive tapenade made on a cooking show on Wednesday. They are great make ahead recipes with no last minute fuss when entertaining. I thought this recipe sounded like a great combination and blend of flavors. Cranberries will soon be in the markets.
***

Cranberry Almond Tapenade with Pita Crisps By: Marilyn Bentz-Crowley
Cranberries add fruitiness to rich olive tapenade while the toasted almonds provide crunch. These pita crisps have a nice bowl shape that cups the filling for no-spill nibbling. If making crisps for another less-salty food such as cheese, top with a sprinkle of Maldon salt before baking. And beware of mechanically pitted olives sold in brine, as they are extremely salty. Instead, pit your own.
***

Pita Crisps
1 bag mini pitas
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
Tapenade


1 cup fresh cranberries
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 cups mixture of black Kalamata and green olives, pitted
2 tsp capers, well drained
6 to 8 large fresh basil leaves,shredded
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
¼ cup toasted slivered almonds
***

Directions:
1. For crisps, preheat oven to 325°F.

2. Open each pita around perimeter into 2 rounds. Stir olive oil with garlic. Lightly brush each round; place on a baking sheet in a single layer. Lightly sprinkle parsley over top.

3. Bake pitas for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly golden about the edges and crisp. Cool, then store airtight. (Pitas keep well for a week or more; warm for a few minutes in moderate oven to restore crispness, if needed.)
4. For tapenade, toss cranberries with sugar. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a small to medium frying pan over medium heat until very hot. Add cranberries, including all sugar. Cook, shaking the pan often for 8 to 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is gone and cranberries seem glazed. (Stirring breaks up berries.) Turn onto a plate coated with nonstick spray; separate with a fork. Cool.

5. Pulse olives with capers in food processor until finely chopped (or chop with a large chef’s knife). Turn into mixing bowl; stir in remaining 2 tbsp oil, basil and zest.

6. Coarsely chop almonds; set aside half for garnish. Stir remaining almonds and cranberries into tapenade. (Tapenade can be covered and refrigerated for up to a day; bring to room temperature before serving.)
7. To serve, turn tapenade into a wide bowl, preferably earthenware. Scatter remaining almonds overtop. Add a small spoon to heap tapenade onto pita crisps. Makes 6 to 8 servings

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Peach Cobbler

I plan to go to the country to pick peaches in an orchard.. Nothing beats a tree ripened peach. I checked Paula Deen's website thinking if anyone would have a finger-licking butter rich dessert, it would be Paula. I can hear her now, uhm-uhm, boy this is just day-lish-ehus!!!
Peach Cobbler
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:

4 cups peeled, sliced peaches

2 cups sugar, divided

1/2 cup water

8 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour

1 1/2 cups milk

Ground cinnamon, optional

***

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the peaches, 1 cup sugar, and water in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Put the butter in a 3-quart baking dish and place in oven to melt. Mix remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, and milk slowly to prevent clumping.

Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir. Spoon fruit on top, gently pouring in syrup. Sprinkle top with ground cinnamon, if using. Batter will rise to top during baking. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes. To serve, scoop onto a plate and serve with your choice of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Grilled Salmon with Citrus Salsa Verde

Grilled Salmon with Citrus Salsa Verde

***
Ingredients
Salsa:

2 large oranges
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 scallions, finely sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Salmon:
Vegetable or canola oil, for oiling the grill
4 (4 to 5-ounce) center cut salmon fillets, skinned, each about 3-inches
square
2 tablespoons amber agave nectar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
***

Directions For the salsa: Peel and trim the ends from each orange. Using a paring knife, cut along the membrane on both sides of each segment. Free the segments and add them to a medium bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, scallions, mint, capers, orange zest, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. Toss lightly and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

***
For the salmon:
Put a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Brush the grilling rack with vegetable oil to keep the salmon from sticking. Brush the salmon on both sides with the agave nectar and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill until the fish flakes easily and is cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the salmon to a platter and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Spoon the salsa verde on top of the salmon or serve on the side as an accompaniment.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sauce For Salmon

Sauce For Salmon
This recipe has no given amounts as the amount depends on the size of the salmon or number of servings.
Heavy whipping cream
Butter
Dill weed
Dijon mustard
***
Rinse a pan with water. (This prevents the cream from sticking to the pan). Heat the cream over low flame until it coats the back of a spoon. At this point the cream is thickening quickly. Remove from the heat. Add a small amount of butter, dill weed and dijon mustard. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve over the salmon.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Parmesan-Roasted Green Beans

Parmesan-Roasted Green Beans
Ingredients:
1 pound thin green beans
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
***
Directions:
Heat oven to 400. Trim end from beans and arrange on cookie sheet with sides. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle cheese evenly over top and bake until cheese melts and forms a crisp shell over the beans, about 10 minutes. Let the beans set a few minutes for the cheese to cool slightly. Lift the beans out onto a platter and serve.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

White Bean And Roasted Eggplant Hummus

Hummus is a favorite vegetable dip of my family. This is a recipe Giada DeLaurentiis provided on her Food Network program.
White Bean And
Roasted Eggplant Hummus
Ingredients:
1 (1 1/2 pound) eggplant or 3 Japanese eggplants. trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
Olive oil for drizzling plus 1/3 cup
Kosher salt for seasoning, plus 1/2 teaspoon
Freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1 (15 ounce) can canellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh flat leaf parsley
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
1 clove garlic
1 hothouse cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices.

***

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and place an oven rack in the middle. Place the eggplant on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cooled eggplant, beans, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add 1/3 cup of olive oil until the mixture is creamy. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place the hummus in a dipping bowl and serve with the cucumber slices. Alternatively, spoon the hummus over the cucumber slices and arrange on a serving platter.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Trenette With Eggplant and Basil Pesto

Trenette with Eggplant and Basil Pesto
Recipe by Giada DeLaurentes from the Food Network.
***
Ingredients:
Pesto:
2 packed cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (see Cook's Note)
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus extra for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated Parmesan
Pasta:
1 pound trenette or other short-cut pasta
1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated Parmesan, plus 1/2 cup
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 (1 1/2 pounds) medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

***

Directions
For the pesto:
In a blender or food processor, pulse the basil, pine nuts, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until finely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add the oil until the mixture is smooth and thick. Add the cheese and pulse until just incorporated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
For the pasta:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Put the pasta into a large serving bowl and add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan. Toss until coated. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, until the eggplant turns golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and cool slightly. Add the pesto and toss until the eggplant is coated. Add the eggplant mixture to the serving bowl with the pasta and toss until all of the ingredients are coated. Thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve.
Cook's Note:
To toast the pine nuts, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven until lightly toasted, about 5 to 6 minutes. Cool completely before using. English Walnuts can also be substituted but be sure to toast and remove the skins.
Serves 4 to 6

Monday, August 16, 2010

Elvis Presley

August 16, 1977
Today marks the thirty-third anniversary of the death of Elvis Aaron Presley. It was the day we lost the idol and icon of my generation. We called him The King! Thanks for the music and memories. R.I.P.
My friend Pat grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi the hometown of Elvis. Pat recalls Elvis returning to Tupelo to visit home and stopping by her high school to sing at her prom. Pat said Elvis never forgot his humble beginnings and was always so proud of his hometown and its people.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Day In Shiloh Ohio

Name The Type Of FLour You Want Stocking Shelves
Candy, Soft, Hard, And Sanded Bulk Spices And Soup Mix Jams, Jellies, etc. and Maple Syrup The Meat And Cheese Counter Kutztown Flavored Beer The Refrigerated Produce Farmers And Citizens Bank Amish Mother With Children Returning From The Auction. Photo taken With Permission
Blooming Grove Auction
Barb And Lois With New Chapeaus
A Day In Shiloh Ohio
On Friday I invited three friends to visit the Amish area of Shiloh, Ohio. We started our day at the Planktown Market which has expanded into a regular supermarket. The meat and cheese counter is probably 60 ft. in length with fourteen clerks (and all are busy) to assist the customers. Counters with six shelves are 30 ft in length. Refrigerated coolers hold fresh vegetables and most are locally grown. One has no idea there are as many types of flours available as those sold in the store. It is a real education. Surprising to me was the fact that there is a bank in the store. I did not ask details but I did see a lady doing her banking. Name a household item and it is for sale here.
***
Our next stop was the Blooming Grove Auction House. This allows the locals to bring the produce from their gardens to be sold. I saw elderberries, blackberries, peaches, along with every garden vegetable one could grow in the area. Two auctioneers kept auctions going at both ends of the building.
***
Our third and final stop was Country Fabrics. Once a livestock barn, the sons of the owner dismantled the barn. With the structural timbers, the new barn was erected. I was a customer of the owner when she had a fabric shop in a small room in her home. It was renovated with additions several times and now it is a new very huge barn designed retail store complete with a classroom. I am sure Rachael has room to grow for many years until changes will have to be made again.
***
What the area lacks is an Amish Restaurant. That would be a very nice addition for the many who come to the area as tourists or consumers. We stopped by the Shiloh Diner for our lunch. We realized the locals knew some new people were in town when we entered. Everyone stopped talking and turned to look who had walked in the door. As we sat at our table, we enjoyed listening to the "catching up" on the local folk!
A trip to this area is a good reminder of how women lived before homes had electricity and conveniences! What is that saying? Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Buttermilk Farro Salad Recipe


Farro is a very tasty grain and so rich in niacin. On my last trip to Italy, I bought Farro for several of my friends as a little something from my travel. One neighbor especially enjoyed the grain and sought it to buy in CA. It is a favorite of my family. This recipe is from Heidi who blogs, 101 Cookbooks
Buttermilk Farro Salad Recipe
I used semi-pearled farro here, but you can certainly substitute whole farro, wheat berries, barley, or other plump grains. I say to serve this at room temperature, but actually, I like this salad warm, room temperature, and chilled. It's good the day after, and for a couple days after that. Just revive with a splash of the leftover dressing.
***
Ingredients:
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 cup / 240 ml buttermilk

1/2 cup / 120 ml good-quality white wine vinegar
1/2 cup / 120 ml extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped dill

1/2 cup chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
7 small radishes, sliced paper thin
3 small zucchini, sliced paper thin
1 medium head of fennel, trimmed
4 cups cooked farro, cooled to room temp
chopped chives for garnish
***
Directions:
Combine the garlic and salt on a cutting board. Mash into a paste using the flat side of your knife. Place in a medium bowl or jar, then add the buttermilk and vinegar. Whisk together and let sit for 5 minutes or so. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, then the herbs. In a large bowl gently toss the radishes, zucchini, and fennel with the farro grains. Add 1 cup / 240 ml of the dressing and toss again. Let set for ten minutes, taste, and adjust with more dressing, if needed, and salt to taste. Serve sprinkled with chives. Serves 8.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friends, Family, Love And Support

Nancy With Husband Chris And Family The Excitement As Friends Gather A Table Of Food Is Always The Main Gathering Place Can You Feel The Love? ***
Friends, Family, Love And Support
Our dear cousin Nancy is our miracle and blessing. Four years ago she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was given the prognosis of every other patient. Determined with four children and two still in college, she told God she needed a little more time to live. Nancy learned about the Pancreatic Cancer Research Program at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore MD. She applied and was qualified to be a study. Periodically she receives a scan and if no cancer cells are present Nancy receives a vaccine. Nancy has been blessed in many ways. She is one of the fifteen remaining studies in her group of the original sixty now having survived four years. Most importantly she is the living example of the power of prayer and the support of love of family and friends. We pray that God will continue to keep her in his love and care and watch over her.
Last evening we gathered for a prayer service asking God to embrace her with His protection for a safe trip to Baltimore and with a scan producing the results that will allow Nancy more time with her family and all who love her so. We would love to have the cousin that is written in the medical journals who made medical history.
When you awaken Monday, will you look to the Heavens and offer a prayer for Nancy? I know God is on duty and waiting to hear from us!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Russian Duo

Oleg With A Balalaika Oleg Demonstrzating A Treschotki Russian Duo
The Tuesday Night "Concert In The Park" in the town where we resided for forty years allows us to return not only to enjoy a great performance but to reconnect with friends. Last evening the Russian Duo provided the most enjoyable concert of the season filled with classical ethnic music and sound. It was amazing the wonderful sounds produced by these artists with just two instruments.
Oleg Kruglyakov, balalaika virtuoso, and Terry Boyarsky, masterful pianist, have teamed up for exuberant performances of soulful, passionate music. Their collaboration highlights the mysterious sounds of the balalaika underscored by the vast expressive range of the piano. Featuring vocals and Russian percussion, their extensive repertoire draws from Russian folk music, romances, dances, classical music, gypsy melodies and Russian songs. Terry and Oleg are available for full length concerts, school performances, lecture/demonstrations, benefits.Read more: http://www.myspace.com/russianduo#ixzz0wJVnj9GX

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hunt's Corners

Click on photos to enlarge!
The Former Hunt's Corners United Church of Christ Thought To Be The Home Of A Heyman Settler Or Perhaps The Hunt Family. The Heyman House B&B
***
Hunt's Corners
Typical of many rural intersections of the more heavily traveled roads or populated areas, names of the families who resided in that area were used to identify locations. This was probably where a Hunt family resided at one time.
When I researched my genealogy, I learned that when my great-great grandparents and family arrived from England, they resided near this area. My great-great grandfather who had arrived from Germany with his family too had settled in the area. Shortly after my great grandparents marriage, my great grandmother Sarah died at the age of 42 and left my great-grandfather who only spoke German with six children. My grandfather was age fourteen at that time.
Being German immigrants working to establish themselves as farmers and purchasing land, my grandfather was hired as a field hand by a Heyman family. Now I thought I was ready to zero in on some very important information crucial to piecing my grandfather's life together. I learned that the farm land on this state highway for an approximate seven miles from town was all owned by one of the Heyman families. My remaining aunt who shared this fact was not quite sure which Heyman farm my grandfather worked. It could have been any of the many Heyman farms in that seven mile stretch.
The Heyman Family has researched their genealogy and made many trips back to Germany to their ancestral roots. The Heyman reunion is probably the largest gathering of families of any reunion held in Ohio. The cousins come from Germany and alternately the Heymans living in the United States have made the trips to Germany.
The area has been very well preserved by the families and is a fine credit to them.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Drive In The Country

A Drive In The Country
Today we attended church in my home town where I was a member in my young years and also where we were married. Along the route I asked my husband to stop for a photo opportunity. I so miss the tree lined roads and streets when we are in California.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Classic Guy Celebrates

click on photo to enlarge!
A Classic Guy Celebrates
My husband celebrates his July birthday and our friend Paul marks his the following day. Last year Paul's wife Beverly surprised (sorta) Paul with a classic Mercedes to mark another year and decade. Happy Belated Birthday Paul. Thank you to his daughter Julia for sharing the youthful photo from her blog "Kingdom Jewels".

Friday, August 6, 2010

My Hometown

My Hometown
The city where I lived until my married years is the county seat. This photo is the tower of the county courthouse. Much has changed since those days of my youth. Most difficult for me to have ever predicted is the difference between the days where we could enter freely as opposed to the security one must pass today. The front lawn has been replaced as well as the iron benches where what we called the "Courthouse Cowboys" would sit and people watch or car count. We never knew their reason but they were there sitting and visiting everyday.

A few years ago the clock stopped working. The bells had peeled for years and many lives were "clock work". I grew up at least one mile from the heart of town. It was the chiming bells or factory whistles that sent us into the house at meal time or late evening when the neighborhood kids were playing.

One resident was determined to repair the clock that had gone into a state of disrepair. The county administrators had a bid for repairs but said with the present economy the funds were not a available. The resident received a lower bid and began to put the wheels in motion with a committee to raise $30,000.00. In a short time the funds were raised and now the bells will chime once again and life can return to "clockwork". A big dedication ceremony is being planned for August 10. The difference one person can make!

Thanks to my hometown newspaper for this photo of the clocktower.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue Sauce
Ina Gerten shared this recipe for a barbecue sauce. It was used on chicken on her show but I thought it certainly would compliment any beef or pork. Ina also marinaded her chicken with this tip: place cold marinade on cold chicken in a large bowl and "smush" to coat the chicken and place covered in refrigerator until ready to grill!
***

1 1/2 cup onions, chopped

1 Tablespoon garlic

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup tomato paste

1 cup cider vinegar

1 cup honey

1 cup Dijon mustard

1 cup hoison sauce

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup soy sauce

2 Tablespoons chili powder

1 Tablespoon cumin

1/2 T pepper flakes

***
Saute chopped onion in oil for about 15 minutes until translucent but not browned. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and cook for about 1/2 hour on low heat, stirring often. Cool and and store in refrigerator in a jar or use immediately. Chicken can be marinated overnight or for a few hours.