Friday, November 11, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Many years ago, when I lived in Texas, my mom and I would treat ourselves once or twice a year to lunch at the lovely dining room at Neiman Marcus in Fort Worth, Texas. They would serve these delightfully delicious, GIGANTIC popovers to those dining with them. . . as an "appetizer"! It was such a nice treat! My mom discoverd this great recipe in her Culinay Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook, complete with oldschool orange, hardboard cover (original publication was 1948!). She was able to find an updated copy of this cookbook in paperback several years ago for me. . .and I swear by it for this recipe for popovers, as well Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pineapple Upsidedown Cake, and several others. Popovers are requested in my household for special occasions and when guests stay with us or join us for breakfast! This time around I made them for my son's 15th birthday weekend Sunday breakfast! I swear they are EASY to make and they will most certainly be a hit in your houshold!
1 1/2 c. sifted all purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 cup milk (I use skim)
Sift flour and salt. Beat eggs, add milk, and stir gradually into the flour and salt mixture to make a smooth batter. Beat thoroughly with egg beater/mixer. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake in very hot over at 450 degreses F for 15 minutes, and then reduce the oven's temperature to moderate at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Makes 12. **Serve with Strawberry butter (mix equal amounts of softened butter with your favorite strawberry jam) . . .or any other "butter" is yummy with this as well. Can also be served with honey.**
*I double this recipe for two muffin tins full. . .lots of hungry tummies to feed!*
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
So . . .here's the last of our homegrown, organic veggies from our garden: spaghetti squash, green peppers, cucumbers, a miniscule zucchini (I think these really finished producing last week or slightly before that), jalepenos, thai chilis, green beans, a few cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, yellow heirloom tomatoes. . .MMMMMMMMMMMM. My son gathered them before the frost that is supposedly here this evening. . .not pictured are ALOT of green tomatoes that we'll ripen in paper bags. SIGH. . .I will surely miss all of these yummy, fresh veggies. . .but I'm glad it's feeling like fall outside! :)
Monday, August 29, 2011
I will be so sad when we don't have garden fresh veggies any more. . .it won't be too much longer. We have had an abundance of yummy, organic veggies from our garden this year: green beans, peas, zucchini, cucumbers, some okra, green peppers, jalepenos, thai chili, hungarian peppers, eggplant, spaghetti squash, tomatoes, herbs (Basil, oregano, chives, mint). I especially love garden fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil and will be super sad when these are finished.
On tonight's menu: chicken or lamb gyros with toppings and this salad!
End of Summer Salad
(1) can Northern beans, drained (can also use chickpeas/garbanzo beans)
(1) large jar pimentos, drained
(2) roma tomatoes, chopped
(1) medium-sized pickling cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 small green pepper, chopped
(1) small zucchini, chopped (skin-on)
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
(1) small red onion, chopped
salt/pepper/dried oregano to taste
3-4 T olive oil
juice of (1) lemon
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, toss. Serve chilled, either as a side dish or as a meal on chopped greens. Yummy with pita crisps, too! **As a side note, you can also add some crumbled feta to this salad!**
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Combine all ingredients. You can serve this with Jasmine rice, even though it's room temperature, which is our favorite way to eat it . . .or . . .you can serve on lettuce greens with 1/4 c chopped or sliced cucumbers and 2 roma tomatoes (chopped or wedges), just toss beef salad with these ingredients and sauce and enjoy!
Friday, July 22, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Apricot Wine Spritzer
Your favorite wine glass
Your favorite white wine (I used Riesling. . .I think Pinot Grigio would also be nice!)
Plain mineral water (Perrier, Mendota Springs, Apolinaris, etc)
Take your wine glass, fill halfway with ice, and then apricot nectar so it fills half of the glass. Add your wine (1/4 of the rest of the glass) and mineral water (1/4 of the rest of the glass). OILA! That's it - SO SIMPLE it's ridiculous! ENJOY!! STAY COOL!!!!
Monday, July 18, 2011
Please note: I make my basil pesto "dry" so I can freeze it or put it in the fridge (it will last almost one week-the basil might discolor but this will happen when it is frozen as well. . .this does not take away from the taste or the appeal whatsoever!). I add the olive oil as I use the basil pesto "paste"- do not freeze the pesto with the olive oil already mixed in!
I think this is a great way to have a "sauce" ready for a quick mid-week meal and it stores well in the freezer!
Jen's Basil Pesto
Bunches o' Basil, triple-washed, stems and all! (I have found that if you don't grow your own basil, Asian stores sell bulk basil and some of the Asian growers/stands at the Madison Farmer's Market - Downtown also sell basil by large bags full) - enough to fill the bowl of a large food processor - DO NOT pack the basil in the bowl, though!
2-2/12 cups raw pignoli nuts (pine nuts) - you can also use raw walnuts, which I love as well
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled
8 oz grated Parmesan cheese - deli grated Parmesan is a good choice, or you can use already grated cheese found in the pasta sauce section of your grocer store, no worries!
*I do not add any salt as the Parmesan cheese has enough of a salty taste
Place all of these items in your food processor and chop until well incorporated and mixed together. The mixture will resemble bread crumbs when it is the right consistency - crumbly, somewhat dry. If you want to add more basil at this point, you sure can. I know some people like a really green pesto . . .so . . .feel free to add more after the first batch of ingredients has been combined!
This makes a large batch of basil pesto! I spoon this dry mixture into approx (7) small round Gladware containers and place in my freezer until ready to use (the individual serving size, like what you would put an individual serving of salad dressing in). You can unthaw the night before in your refrigerator. Add olive oil to reach the consistency that you enjoy to make a lovely sauce for pasta - just toss with your al dente noodles in bowl and it's ready to eat . . .top with more Parmesan. I also use pesto as a bruschetta topping, topped with freshly grated Parmesan and chopped tomatoes. Bueno appetito!
Monday, July 11, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
This is such an easy, foolproof recipe! I hope you'll give it a try!
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Ok, yes, it's actually Wednesday instead of Tuesday. . .but here's a fun way to change up Taco Tuesday . . .with a
. . .PASTA!
I am posting the recipe according to how I made it. . .with my tweaks included. A few other suggestions are at the end of the recipe!
(I did 1.5x the recipe as I have a hungry family sometimes!)
1 lb ground beef/ground turkey/ground chicken
8 oz dry pasta noodles
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
(1) 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can chili beans (or black beans or pinto beans), drained, but reserve 1/2 of the liquid for the sauce (I don't like to discard if I don't have to - seasoning is in the sauce if you're using chili beans!)
4 T taco seasoning
3 oz. cream cheese, cubed (can use "light" cream cheese, aka Neuchatel cheese)
1/2 c. sour cream (can use "light" sour cream)
salt and pepper to taste
Garnish options: 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, two chopped scallions, a few T. fresh, chopped cilantro, 1-2 T. of fresh, chopped jalenpenos (depending on how spicy you'd like it!)
Bring to boil a large pot of water for the noodles. Cook pasta according to package directions. When al dente, drain. . .reserve 1/2 c. of the pasta water. Set both aside.
In the meantime, in a large skillet, cook the ground meat over medium high heat until it is no longer pink. A few minutes before the meat is cooked through, add the chopped onion and garlic (here you can add chopped green or red peppers - amount in options below). Cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add in diced tomatoes (drained), beans (drained) and taco seasoning (and another other additions, like in options list below) and let simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in cream cheese cubes, sour cream, reserved liquid from can of beans, and reserved pasta water, allowing cream cheese and sour cream to melt and incorporate into a sauce. Once this happens, add in the cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste, lightly "tossing" ingredients together, simmering over medium low heat 3-5minutes to reduce the sauce a bit. Sprinkle with garnishes. . .serve! MMMMMMM Enjoy!
Options: You can totally make this a vegetarian option by omitting the meat and adding more veggies. . .frozen kernel corn for example. . .chopped red or green peppers (1/4 cup approx, add when you add onions and garlic) . . .The options could be endless! :)
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Did you know that the earliest known recipes date back to 13th century Egypt? Hummus was a cold puree of chickpeas with vinegar and pickled lemons, nuts, herbs, spice, and oil - no tahini. It was rolled out and left out overnight, which would probably lend itself to a different texture than how we know it today. Tahini wasn't added to the recipe until much later. The earliest documentation of hummus iteself comes from 18th century Damascus and it appears it was unknown elsewhere at this time.
Here is my tweaked recipe for hummus, as we enjoy it in my household:
Monday, June 27, 2011
Click on the link to read this great story (thank you to an art friend, Kim, who shared it on facebook)