Monday, November 28, 2011

Special Morning Coffee Cake recipe from the Gorgeous Gourmet

My assigned blog for this month's Secret Recipe Club was the Gorgeous Gourmet.  Candice lives in Cape Town, South Africa.  I've been enjoying perusing her blog, looking at some great ideas for breakfast along with some pretty yummy main dishes that are a bit different from mine - gammon, for example. I had to look up what it was, and my initial guess of some kind of fowl was totally off the mark. Gammon is ham. And I've put Candice's recipe for Gammon with Plum Sauce on my "must do" list.

But for today, I made a breakfast treat. I've been house-sitting for a friend who's off exploring the Galapagos Islands. She has a few dogs and a horse who need regular feeding, so I've been spending my evenings and nights at her house. Tomorrow I'll be coming home right after I feed the horse, and decided that this afternoon (I'm at my house) I'd make a coffee cake that can be reheated by my neglected husband in the morning. We just might sample this one tonight - as a matter of fact, Candice has a photo on her blog of this coffee cake with some ice cream.

Special Morning Coffee Cake
from The Gorgeous Gourmet
This is Candice's photo - it's too dark and dreary to take a decent photo here!

For the topping
1/4 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the base:
1 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla


Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line and grease a cake tin, or square baking tin (about 20cm) .

In a small bowl, with a fork, mash together the softened butter, 1/4 cup flour, brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon. Don’t worry about making fine crumbs, clumps are good here –they will be put on top of the cake, and sink in while baking.

In a small bowl combine the 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl beat the egg and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the melted butter, milk, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture all at once and stir together just until incorporated.

Pour into prepared pan and dot the surface with the brown sugar mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until moist crumbs cling to a toothpick inserted in the middle.

The verdict:  Great!  We enjoyed our sample after dinner for dessert, and then reheated the rest of it for breakfast the next morning.  This is similar to my mother's coffee cake but has more yummy cinnamon-sugar mixture. I'm now going to be torn as to which one I make!

Friday, November 04, 2011

First snowfall of the year means...comfort food!

I live in the mountains of southern California - at 6,000'.  So when a cold rainstorm moved into the area today, we got snow. When I left for water aerobics at 9 this morning, it was just drizzling. By the time I got to Loma Linda, where the pool is, it was pouring. I always get there early so I can do some laps, and I was one of only 3 people in the pool.  (There were 3 others in the hot tub!)  They cancelled the aeronibics class, but I didn't know that since they didn't put the sign up front until after I'd come in.  No problem. I swam for 35 minutes - in the rain - then showered and went to JoAnn's for some needles and thread.

Driving home, I got to the ranger station at the bottom of the canyon, and noticed that the cars coming down were covered with snow. At the lowest part of Forest Falls, snow was sticking. Up at our house, we already had about 3 inches.  It's been snowing steadily since, and is supposed to continue through the night.

The first thing I did after lunch was put a pecan pie in the oven. I used my grandmother's recipe - it seems to be the best - but I've always altered it by using half granulated and half brown sugar.  I don't have any pictures, since there's no nice lighting for photography.

Nanna's Pecan Pie
Alma Morlan, my grandmother

1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon flour mixed in
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white or brown Karo syrup (I used white, since I use the brown sugar)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 400˚. Mix all the ingredients except pecans with a wire whisk or spoon. Stir in pecans. Pour all into an unbaked 9" pie crust.  Cover edges with a pie crust shield or foil.  Bake 10 minutes at 400˚, then lower temperature to 325˚. Bake an additional 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Dinner was also comfort food of a sort - a nice Rachael Ray recipe. I saw her make this several years ago, and for about 5 years it was our Christmas Eve dinner. I had a craving for it NOW, so that's what I made.

Smoked Pork Chops with Apples and Onions
Rachael Ray

1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 slices bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, quartered then thinly sliced
1 green apple, cored and thinly sliced
6 thin boneless smoked pork chops (I used 2 large thick ones)
1 cup dark German beer

Heat a skillet over medium high. Add oil, give 1 turn of the pan and add chopped bacon. When the bacon renders its fat, add onions and sauté 3 to 5 minutes, then add sliced apples and sauté mixture another 2 or 3 minutes. Add smoked chops to the pan and caramelize meat on both sides, 2 or 3 minutes. Pour the beer into the pan and reduce heat to a simmer. Beer will reduce into a great-tasting sauce. Serve chops topped with onion, apple, and sauce.

We eat this with boiled new potatoes, to which I add butter and dill.  Totally a comfort food meal!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Secret Recipe Club - Reveal Day!

When I was assigned Dorothy's blog Shockingly Delicious for this month's Secret Recipe Club, I thought, as most of us do when assigned a blog, that it belonged to a stranger. But I already "knew" Dorothy! (She just didn't know it.)

My local newspaper is the San Bernardino Sun. Back in December of 2007, Dorothy was an editor for one of the papers in the Sun's group of papers, the San Gabriel Valley Group. She had a recipe for Baked P'Sketti Squares printed in the paper, and I made it and blogged about it back in January of 2008. You can see that post here. I also submitted it to Ruth's Presto Pasta Night roundup. Dorothy's recipe was a delicious and healthy take on baked pasta that incorporated shredded zucchini.

In The Secret Recipe Club, we are assigned another member's blog. We peruse the blog for something we'd like to make, and make it.  We then blog about it, and we all post on the same day. We don't know who has our blog until after the "reveal."  As I was going through Dorothy's blog, I kept in mind the ingredients I knew I already had on hand. When I saw her recipe for Quick Fresh Berry Streusel, I knew that was the one.  I had to make a couple of changes, though. I like to keep lots of frozen berries on hand, and in my freezer was a giant bag from Costco.  So frozen berries it was. Dorothy also used ground flax in hers - I omitted that, and added some oats to give the streusel a little heft.  It came out a little like a berry crisp.

My daughter was visiting for the day, and since she has decided she needs to cook for herself more, offered to help make this dish. Here she's adding the streusel to the pan full of berries. When we were mixing up the streusel and got to the step where you add the almond extract, she nearly swooned over the the scent.  (Yes, it smells like Jergen's lotion).  We decided that it really made a wonderful addition to a streusel topping.

Right out of the oven, this looked soooooooo yummy!

We topped ours with vanilla ice cream.

Theresa wanted to pass on to everyone that she really liked this.  We all did.  This is now my go-to recipe for berries of any kind.  Thanks, Dorothy, for another hit!

Check out the links below for more Secret Recipe Club posts!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A simple, quick, delicious "candy"

I guess you call this candy - it's not cookies or cake or pie.  And it definitely tastes like candy.  It has only 4 ingredients, too. I don't know where I got the recipe - I've been making these since my college days. (So that's at least 35 years ago!)

Chinese Chewies 

1 6-oz. can chow mein noodles
2 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 16-oz. bag butterscotch chips
3/4 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)

Place chow mein noodles and marshmallows in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, melt the butterscotch chips and peanut butter over low heat until runny.  Pour over noodles and marshmallows; stir to combine. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto wax paper. Chill until hard.

See?  Simple. Quick.  My daughter's favorite treat - so I have to be sure to save her some for when she comes up on Saturday.

Update on that "heck of a week" post:
- My hip quit hurting. I still go to water aerobics and have had no problems other than just getting plain old tired.
- My daughter does NOT have Crohn's Disease. She has some dietary issues, and nothing more than that. Hooray!
- Don's truck is fine.
- Theresa's truck is finer than fine, now that it has a brand new transmission.

I will survive the mini-crises along with major ones. Life is still good. : )

Saturday, October 01, 2011

A heck of a week

I'm so glad this week is over.
1. Sunday night I was awakened by severe pain in my lower right abdomen. It hurt any time I moved. By Tuesday it had migrated to my hip. I was pain free while lying or sitting down, in excruciating pain when I stood up, and then after walking 10-15 steps, the pain would go away. I went to the doctor on Wednesday, had my hip X-rayed, and got a tentative guess that it could be a bone spur. I was told to continue my water aerobics, so I did.
2. I took my daughter to a check-up at UC Irvine, where she learned some scary news. She had to go back the next day to see a different physician, and is now scheduled for two procedures next week, one of which will be under general anesthesia. The fear is that her initial diagnosis (6 years ago) of ulcerative colitis was incorrect and she actually has Crohn's Disease.
3. Don ran over a giant log in Lee Vining 2 weeks ago and ruined the spoiler underneath the front of his truck. He got that replaced this week, and it wasn't cheap.
4. Our daughter's truck needed to have its transmission replaced. We dropped it off on Wednesday, and picked it up Friday afternoon. $3K. Ouch.

I DID have a wonderful quilt guild meeting on Friday, and this afternoon my hip quit hurting. Texas Tech defeated Kansas this morning. So the week has ended with a couple of nice things.

I spent today at the sewing machine, except for a quick trip over to Oak Glen to see a small quilt show. That will be a separate post on Just One More Stitch. Dinner was Pioneer Woman's Cajun Chicken Pasta--and it was wonderful.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Retirement Rocks!

It sure does.  While I officially retired on June 3, it didn't really seem to be retirement until school started in mid-August.  I've always had a summer vacation, so our trip to Alaska was just another summer vacation (as far as feeling retirement goes).  Once my friends and colleagues returned to work, and I started seeing Facebook posts about it, I started feeling retired. 

I've settled into a little bit of a routine now.  My friend Betty, who also retired in June, invited me to join the Drayson Center at Loma Linda University and take some classes.  (The Drayson Center is a state-of-the art recreation complex, complete with gymnasium, weight rooms, handball/racquetball courts, studios for classes such as yoga and aerobics, and two - TWO - swimming pools). Since I'm officially a senior at the ripe old age of 55, it only costs $18 a month, and I can come as often as I like and take any classes I want.  Betty takes aerobics, water aerobics, and sometimes yoga.  I'm just taking the water aerobics, and I go on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  Class is an hour, and we get worked.  It is strenuous but feels so good, especially since we're in the water.  After class I can run errands - groceries, Costco, JoAnns, library, post office, etc.  If I don't have errands I'm home by 12:30, leaving me the rest of the afternoon to sew. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays I rarely go down the mountain, and again can spend all day sewing and cooking.

Now that I have more time for cooking, we're eating a little better, and I even can take time to try new things.  I joined the Secret Recipe Club, where once a month I'm assigned someone elses's blog, try a recipe from her blog, and blog about it.  That'll be happening for the first time in October.

Right now I've got two new recipes.  Last night I made soup - Don likes soup, and we both like the Pasta E Fagioli that you get at Olive Garden.  I found a few copycat recipes for it on the net, and adapted them for myself. This one was easy and tasted really good.

Pasta E Fagioli

(sorry for the blurry photo!)
3/4 lb. ground beef
1 med. onion, chopped
3 med. carrots, diced
4-5 celery stalks, sliced thinly
2 14-15-oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 14.5-oz. can red kidney beans, drained
1 14.5-oz. can white kidney beans (cannelini) or Northern white beans, drained
6 cups water
2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules or 2 cubes
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 26-28-oz. can or jar spaghetti sauce (I used Hunts from a can, but you can use Prego, Ragu, Newman's Own, etc.)
1 1/2 cups macaroni (or any other small pasta)

Sauté the beef with the onion in a heavy stock pot until beef is browned. Add carrots, celery, and tomatoes, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until celery and carrots are tender, about 45 minutes. (Note: watch the bottom of the pan so it doesn't stick and burn.)

This morning we got up and went down the mountain to the Applebee's in Redlands.  One of my former colleagues, Lisa, has a son who is playing Junior All-American football. Their team was having a "Dining to Donate" fundraiser - all you can eat pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, coffee, and orange juice for only $10.  We like things like that!  I then spent the rest of the day sewing, and decided on something quick for dinner.  I always like this meal - it takes only 15 minutes to make.  Seriously! 

Quick and Easy Fish Tacos

10 fish sticks
5 small corn tortillas (4 1/2" - 5")
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (I use Penzey's)
1/2 - 3/4 cup grated cheddar
salsa or pico de gallo
shredded cabbage - about 1 1/2 cups

Cook the fish sticks in the over per package directions. While they are cooking, make the sauce: stir together the sour cream, mayonnaise, and chipotle chile powder.  Grate the cheese, if necessary, and shred the cabbage.

To assemble:  Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.  Place corn tortilla on the griddle, and top with a little grated cheese. Next, add about a teaspoon (I use three little dollops, pushed off the spoon with my finger) of the sauce.  When cheese is melted and tortillas are soft, remove them to a plate. Add two fish sticks to each one, and top with salsa and cabbage.  Enjoy!  Makes 5. [Don eats 3 and I eat 2].  We serve these with pinto beans.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cocoa Krispies Treats

I've been making these for years, and have no idea where I got the recipe. It may have come off the back of a Cocoa Krispies box.  But we like these better than regular Rice Krispies Treats. The addition of peanut butter makes them a little better, in my opinion.

Cocoa Krispies Treats

1 small box Cocoa Krispies (store brands work fine, too)
1 small bag miniature marshmallows
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/3 cup peanut butter

Pour the Cocoa Krispies into a large bowl. Lightly butter a 13" x 9" pan. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt together the marshmallows, butter, and peanut butter.  When all the marshmallows have melted, pour the mixture over the Cocoa Krispies. Stir quickly to combine; pour out into buttered pan. Get your hands damp with water, and press the mixture down into the pan to even it all out.  Let cool and then cut into bars.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Apple Turnovers

I guess you could call these semi-homemade. I had a package of puff pastry in my freezer, and needed to do something with it.  I have a great application on my ipad called "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bitman.  It is probably the best cooking application I have, and I have 9 of them. I searched for any recipe with "puff pastry," and one of the ones that came up was apple turnovers.

Bitman's recipe uses homemade puff pastry - "1/2 recipe" of it - and would make twelve 6" squares once it was rolled out.  I used one half of the box - one piece - and it made six 6" squares after I rolled it out.  Therefore I used half of the apples and other ingredients.

Once the pastry was rolled out on the counter, I cut six 6" squares that fit nicely on the lightly greased cookie sheet.
I used two Granny Smith apples, and added some raisins since I like raisins in my apple turnovers.

The recipe said to bake these for 40 minutes, but they were well-done at 35. If I'd waited until 40 they would have been burned. What DID happen, which isn't mentioned in the original recipe, is that a lot of juice came out of the turnovers and burned on the bottom of the cookie sheet. Luckily it didn't cause the turnovers to burn.

Apple Turnovers
adapted from Mark Bitman's How to Cook Everything

2 tart apples, peeled and cored
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon minced or grated lemon zest, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or more to taste
1/4 cup sugar, or more to taste, plus more for the work surface and for sprinkling
1/2 of a package of puff pastry (1 sheet), thawed

Grate the apples in a food processor or on the coarse side of a box grater. Immediately toss them with the lemon juice. Add the cornstarch, lemon zest, cinnamon, and sugar. Taste and add more lemon zest or cinnamon if you like.

Use sugar to coat a work surface. Roll out the pastry sheet, sprinkling with sugar as you work, until the dough is less than 1/4" thick and measures approximately 15" x 10". Cut 5" squares of pastry. Sprinkle lightly with sugar. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Divide the filling evenly among the six squares; fold over the edges to form a triangle.  Juices will be escaping - use them to help seal the edges. I had to even blot up a lot of juice with paper towels. Slash the top of the turnover with a sharp knife once or twice so steam can escape.  Chill while you heat the oven or for up to several hours

Heat the oven to 350˚. Brush the tops of the turnovers with a little water and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until the turnovers are golden brown, about 33 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 6.

Monday, August 08, 2011

It's been awhile!

It's been a long time since I've posted, and it's been 28 years since I was given the recipe below. All these years, and I've never made it. Until now.

Back in 1983, we were stationed at Norton Air Force Base, and Don played soccer with a bunch of guys who were mostly military. One of them, Chris Poeppel, worked at the clinic.  His wife Debbie brought this dessert to one of our parties, and it was so good I begged her for the recipe. I can't believe I've never made it.  Since then, the government has gotten very concerned about using raw eggs in recipes, but I guess I'll just take that risk. 

Pineapple Surprise Dessert

1 box vanilla wafers, crushed
½ cup butter
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
½ cup walnuts , chopped
1 ½ cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Butter 8x8" pan and sprinkle with half the crumbled wafers. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs. Pour mixture over crumbs and sprinkle with 1/2 of the remaining crumbs. Mix pineapple and whipped cream. Spread in pan, then add the rest of the crumbs and walnuts. Chill at least 12 hours.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A great idea for leftover roast beef

Thursday June 16

Last night I made some quesadillas using some leftover roast beef. These weren't Mexican, but I still call them quesadillas because they had the basic filling-inside-a-tortilla.

Here's what I did:

First, I thinly sliced an onion, and slowly sautéed it in a small amount of butter. I think I used about a tablespoon. I would have added a small splash of balsamic vinegar, but since I didn't have any, I used soy sauce.

I took the leftover roast beef and shredded it.

I then used the caramelized onion, some roast beef, and some cheddar cheese as fillings for a flour tortilla quesadilla, and browned it on both sides until the cheese was melted.

You could try other kinds of cheeses--Swiss or Provolone come to mind. I made our quesadillas two ways: since Don was more hungry than I was, I made a sandwich with two tortillas and the filling inside. Once the cheese melts, it's easy to flip it over. I then cut it like a pizza with my kitchen scissors. For me, I just used one tortilla, put the filling on one half of it, and folded it over for grilling.

We ate this with a salad--making this a wonderful meal with leftover meat.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, June 04, 2011

French Quarter Potatoes

Last night we were in the mood for something filling,since lunch had been snacks while driving. I had some Polska Kielbasa in the fridge, and some Yukon Gold potatoes that needed using up, so I borrowed a recipe from a blog called "What Did You Eat?" in Sher's recipe, she used Andouille sausage, but I thought the Kielbasa would work. Another change I made from Sher's recipe was using brown & spicy mustard instead of Creole mustard. But the garlic and cayenne made this spicy enough, so the changes still made for a tasty meal.

French Quarter Potatoes

1 T Creole mustard (I used brown & spicy)
2 t Worcestershire sauce
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 small red or white potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
freshly ground black pepper
1 heaping teaspoon chopped garlic
½ cups chopped red onions
3/4 cups chopped green bell pepper
2 andouille sausage links, quartered lengthwise and then cut crosswise into 1/2 inch chunks (I used 8 oz. Polka Kielbasa)

In a small bowl, combine the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne. Set aside
Heat olive oil in a heavy nonstick skillet and cook the potatoes and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Cover the pan as they cook. When potatoes are tender, add the garlic, onions, and bell pepper and raise the heat to high and cook for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add the sausage and stir until heated through. Stir in the mustard mixture, then serve. Serves 2.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, May 27, 2011

Trifle for Book Club

My book club has started a fun thing - we try to eat food related somehow to the book we read.  Last month, we read The Book Thief, which takes place during the Holocaust. There was mention of the soup being thinned  over and over, so we had soup. Sharon made split pea, and someone else brought minestrone.

This month, our book was Major Pettigrew's Last Stand.  Two cultures, the British and the Indian/Pakistani, are significant in this book, so we enjoyed takeout curry from a new restaurant in Redlands, Curry in a Hurry.  I volunteered to bring dessert, so I brought a trifle. This was simple to make, especially since I used Sara Lee pound cake.  I layered cubes of pound cake, sugar-free vanilla pudding, and strawberries, and topped it all with whipped cream. It was a hit - there were no leftovers!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Kim's Roasted Potato Salad

I haven't made this yet. But the recipe sounds divine, so I'm going to write it down and make it this weekend. My Facebook friend Kim made this for Mother's Day and shared the recipe.

Kim's Roasted Potato Salad

2 lbs. red potatoes
1/2 c minced onion
6 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled
8 hard-boiled eggs
3/4 - 1 cup mayonnaise
cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste

Cut the potatoes into 1" chunks and toss with a little oil. Roast on a baking sheet for about 35 minutes at 400˚. Let cool completely.  Mix with remaining ingredients. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Using up the Eggos - Overnight French Toast

As we get closer to our big trip to Canada and Alaska, I'm trying to use up the things in the big freezer so we can turn it off for the summer. We had a big box of Eggos from Costco. Don has been eating them, but got tired of them and was going to throw them away. I decided to make a breakfast treat from them and looked through my recipes for overnight French toast.  Here's what I came up with:

Overnight French Toast from Eggos

12-14 Eggo waffles, thawed
8 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup half & half
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 - 3/4 cups chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Layer the eggos in a greased 13' x 9' baking dish. Whisk together the eggs, milk, half & half, maple syrup and cinnamon and pour over eggos.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, turn oven on the 350˚.  Melt together the butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Sprinkle the Eggos with the nuts, then pour the brown sugar mixture evenly over all. Bake 40 minutes.  Enjoy while it's hot.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Today's Organic Produce Share

It has been so long since I picked up a produce share that I had to renew my annual membership and sign a new liability form.  I'll try to get a few more before we leave for the summer in June.

Here's what was in this one:  Tatsoi stir fry greens, Russet potatoes, snow peas, carrots, green onions, strawberries, Valencia oranges, Blood oranges, Bartlett pears, avocados, Heirloom tomato, bok choy, Chinese lettuce, and red leaf salad greens.

I thought the Tatsoi stir fry greens were some kind of spinach, so they didn't get used in the stir-fry I made for dinner. The bok choy and the snow peas went in the pan along with the rest of an onion, and were stir-fried until they were lightly browned. I marinated one chicken breast, cut up in small pieces, for about 15 minutes in some soy sauce, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, ginger, and garlic. I removed the vegetables from the pan and added the chicken; when it was cooked I put the veggies back in and added a little more soy sauce and water shaken with some corn starch.  The whole thing cooked in less than 10 minutes. We ate it over this neat couscous mixture I got at Costco: it has Israeli couscous (larger size), red quinoa, two colors of orzo, and some Dal peas. 

The pears and apples went into a wonderful pie - I peeled and cut them in small pieces, and tossed them with 1/3 cup of brown sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of corn starch.  Oh, and I added 1/2 cup of raisins.  That mixture went into an uncooked pie shell.  I then made a streusel - I used 3/4 cup Bisquick, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 3 tablespoons of cold butter, which I mixed until it was crumbly. I sprinkled that on the fruit, and baked the pie in two stages: 40 minutes at 350˚ and then 40 minutes at 275˚ (I didn't want the streusel to burn). 

Now I need to plan what to do with the rest of today's haul!  Feel free to make recommendations. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

New recipes

I decided to bring my crockpot along on this trip--I thought it would be nice to have a few things cooking all day instead of doing everything at dinner time. On St. Patrick's Day we had the usual corned beef, potatoes and cabbage, and yesterday I tried out a recipe for pork chops. I used pork sirloin, however--occasionally I can get them on sale at Costco, and since it's sirloin, it's much more tender than loin chops. I also tried a new way to eat cucumbers--I had some at an Austrian restaurant (Johannes) in Palm Springs and figured out how to duplicate them. (At least I like them just as much, whether I duplicated them or not!).

Slow Cooker Maple Pork Chops

4 boneless pork chops
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Place chops in bottom of slow cooker; add onion. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over chops. Cook on low 6-7 hours. Serve over rice with pan juices.

Dilled Cucumbers

3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 medium cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced (if you're using an English cucumber, you don't have to peel it)

Whisk cream and sugar until frothy (but not whipped); add vinegar, salt, and dill weed. Stir; add cucumber. Let sit 15-20 minutes before serving.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, January 03, 2011

Potato-Corn Chowder, and a recipe from Pioneer Woman for dessert

I have only one more night after tonight to cook for Kenny, before he heads to New Mexico. So tonight I wanted to make something I knew he'd like, and started with some easy soup.  Half of this soup comes from cans - one can of creamed corn and one can of regular.  Kenny likes to add a little curry powder to his, so this is an option you can try.

Potato-Corn Chowder

2-3 tablespoons diced onion
2 tablespoons butter
1 large potato, cut in small cubes (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 cups water
1 15-oz. can cream-style corn
1 15-oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
3 cups milk
1 chicken or vegetable bouillon cube
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: bacon bits, curry powder

In a large saucepan, sauté the onion in the butter until tender. Add potato and water; bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until liquid is nearly evaporated (potato should hold its shape but mash easily). Add remaining ingredients (except bacon bits and curry powder).  Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve with bacon bits and/or curry powder, if desired.  Serves 4 hungry people.

After dinner, Kenny said he wanted something for dessert other than cookies. I remembered seeing a recipe for "chocolate cobbler" on Pioneer Woman, and knew that I had one - though my mother called it Chocolate Pudding Cake. I couldn't easily locate her recipe, so I used the one from Pioneer Woman.

Chocolate Cobbler
(also known as Chocolate Pudding Cake)
from The Pioneer Woman

1 cup All-purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
¼ teaspoons Salt
7 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder, Divided
1- ¼ cup Sugar, Divided
½ cups Milk
⅓ cups Melted Butter
1- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
½ cups Light Brown Sugar, Packed
1- ½ cup Hot Tap Water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. First stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, 3 tablespoons of the cocoa, and 3/4 cup of the white sugar. Reserve the remaining cocoa and sugar. Stir in the milk, melted butter, and vanilla to the flour mixture. Mix until smooth. Pour the mixture into an ungreased 8-inch baking dish. I prefer my small oval Corning Ware glass dish.*  In a separate small bowl, mix the remaining white sugar (it should be 1/2 cup), the brown sugar, and remaining 4 tablespoons of cocoa. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter. Pour the hot tap water over all. DO NOT STIR! Bake for about 40 minutes or until the center is set. Let stand for a few minutes if you can hold yourself back. Serve with homemade ice cream using the gooey sauce to spoon over all.

* Err on the side of caution - I used an 8" stoneware dish - it all fit in it prior to cooking - but it has exploded all over the sides and is dripping on the bottom of the stove.  Ah, the smell of burnt sugar!  Use a larger dish.