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Category Archives: Recipes
I’ve been experimenting with flavored vinegars. Infused with delights that will complement summer cooking.
The bottles are small only holding about a cup of vinegar.
& Great for hostess gifts!
Rosemary, lemongrass, shallots and thyme (oh my)
Gently steeped, not boiled. Then poured into sterilized bottles and corked.
& So good!
There really are no recipes as long as you remember the sliding scale of vinegar. The ‘lightest’ base would be rice wine, the heaviest a cider. Don’t start with already flavored versions but use a variety of white, cider, rice wine, etc. Choose your favorite herbs, shallots are nice with almost everything. Mustard seeds, peppercorns, celery seeds, etc. are great to round out the flavors.
- Rice wine with shallots, lemongrass and thyme
- Cider with shallots, rosemary and mustard seed
- White vinegar with rosemary, thyme, shallots, mustard seed and a pinch of hot peppers or flakes
Great in salad dressings, marinades, sauces….. whatever!
Do as I say and not as I do and finish with a wrap of twine and a cute label.
I really need to knit…..
One of my favorite recipes is for English Muffin Bread. It’s an old recipe from Fleishmann’s yeast, still in my files on the original torn out magazine page. So easy, so delicious. I’ve been making this recipe for 15 years or so and this batch, I IMPROVED IT!!!
Not just with the topping either, although that was beyond magnificent. Ten Minute Georgia Blueberry Jam. OMG.
English Muffin Bread
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup buttermilk *My tweak. You can make it with 2 cups of milk if you like* The buttermilk gives a higher rise and softer texture.
Combine the liquids and heat to about 120-130 degrees on your handy dandy thermometer
2 packages Fleischmann’s Fast Rising Active Dry Yeast
2 teaspoons salt
rounded 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 cups all-purpose flour
cornmeal for dusting the pans and the top before baking
combine the dry ingredients well and add the warm liquids. Stir vigorously until mixed well.
Divide the dough into two greased and cornmeal dusted loaf pans and cover with a towel. Let rise 45 minutes and then bake in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes or so. Remove to a wire rack after ten minutes of cooling. ALLOW TO COOL BEFORE SLICING. Slice into delicious English Muffiny goodness…. not too thick not too thin, and toast. So good good good.
Ten Minute Georgia Blueberry Jam (with tiny tweak)
2 Cups Georgia Blueberries washed and picked through
3 Tbsp sugar is called for, I (no surprise) added more
1/2 Cup water + 1 tsp. lemon juice
3 tbs. cornstarch
Pour blueberries, water, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring fruit to a boil. Taste for sweetness. If you prefer it sweeter, add more sugar.
Let the blueberries boil for a few minutes, 5 or so. The juice will be deep bluish purple and the berries will have popped and have begun to soften. You can mush up the blueberries further or leave them like they are. (I left them).
Mix the cornstarch with 3 Tbsp water and mix until smooth. Pour this mixture into the blueberries and stir while the jam thickens.
Pour into jelly jars and pop the lid on. Let it cool a bit to serve immediately or let it cool and refrigerate. If you like a really ‘loose’ jam, use half the cornstarch.
I go through phases on Planet Carbohydrate. Sourdough, popping in a frozen roll for dinner on the quick…. maybe even a good ole’ biscuit. What’s not to love with a biscuit? Really. But a muffin. A great muffin recipe that goes together fast, can become a million different delicious bready goodness items…. can’t beat it. I’ve been on a muffin kick lately. I love the basic muffin recipe with a big handful of cheddar and green chili’s tossed in, or cheese and garlic or even a spoonful of yummy jelly buried in the soft warm center. But plain, yes plain— they came unadorned to my table and I was smitten by their simple goodness. A pat of butter and a sigh.
Everytime I bake a muffin I hear my high school Home Ec teachers admonition to stir gently so it almost looks unmixed. Otherwise you get a pointy cone-head muffin with tunnels. Can’t have that!
Go on, make some. You know you want to!
Basic Muffin Goodness
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour ( I love White Lily flour)
- 1 tablespoon of baking powder, rounded (that is a nice generous spoon)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (or milk you’ve ‘soured’ with vinegar)
- 2 large eggs at room temperature, beaten
- 1/4 butter, melted
In whatever method suits you, sift the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Mix up the milk and eggs with the melted butter, give it a nice stir because it won’t get a huge mix up later. Now add the dry ingredients at one time. Using a folding motion, mix the wet and dry ingredients. DO NOT OVERMIX.There are lumps and bumps galore, ignore them. Grease muffin tins or give a light spray to pretty muffin papers. Fill the muffin batter about 2/3 full and bake in a preheated 425 oven for about 22-25 minutes. They should be a soft golden brown. Serve warm. Makes 12 (ish).
Find other goodies to add and make yummy muffin lovely combinations.
I’m not a vegetarian although I was many years ago. I have no doubt that I would have been a better vegetarian if the fantastic foods that are available now were also available then. Not so much. Regardless, I do try to go meatless several times a week and having a big pot of vegetable soup is a favorite standby. Recently I found a recipe from Lisa Lillien for a root vegetable soup and it was pretty good. I couldn’t leave well enough alone and had to mess with it a little bit and add curry, a much loved flavor profile.
Give it a try, you’ll love it!
Curried Root Vegetable Soup
- 4 cups of butternut squash soup, organic/natural
- 1 cup water
- 1 large onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbs. curry powder (or to taste)
- salt & pepper
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- 1 cup of carrots chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 can of black beans, rinsed
- 1 cup of cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 cup of turnip, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 tbs. olive oil
Heat the olive oil in a pan and tumble in the onion. Cook on medium, giving a stir to get the onion into the oil. Let it cook away for ten minutes or so until it begins to get nice and caramelized and stir often. Add the carrots and cook another 5 minutes then add the cauliflower and the turnip and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes, they will just begin to soften up.
Add the butternut squash soup, the water, the beans, curry powder, cayenne and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer together about 15-20 minutes until everything is tender and mellow. Taste and adjust the curry and heat to your taste.
Delicious! It reheats beautifully and is actually even more yummy the second day.
When I was in Minneapolis-St. Paul last Sunday my dear friend Mickey picked me up and we went out for brunch. The best thing was catching up and laughing but a close second was Jensen’s. What a great day to remember my love of many things Swedish (I was in Minnesota after all)— and especially Swedish Pancakes. Jensen’s serves ‘em up by the gazillion and they come with a side of their syrup which is a mapley buttery sugary confection of supreme delight. I knew that it was imperative to polish up my Swedish pancake skills.
Right now I’m sick to bits of Swedish pancakes, now called Swedish Contessacakes because I can. I made them and made them and made them and think that I can safely pass along a recipe to die for. Really.
To replicate my recipe you will need:
- a large cast iron skillet, well seasoned
- paper towel and oil to gently wipe the skillet
- and 24 hours to make the batter.
Swedish Contessacake Batter:
Beat 4 eggs oh so gently in a medium bowl with a whisk. Add 4 cups of milk (I used 2%) and whisk together. In a separate bowl sift together 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour 1/2 cup of sugar as well as 1/4 tsp. of salt and add that into your wet ingredients whisking all the time until you’ve made a smooth batter. Melt 1 stick of butter and whisk that in at the end. Cover this and refrigerate 24 hours (overnight is fine). The batter can last 2 days refrigerated— it makes quite a bit!
When you’re ready to make these super thin pancakes (after they’ve rested) ADD 3 tablespoons of flour to the batter. Sounds weird but trust me it makes a difference. Whisk that “fresh flour” into the batter.
Heat your cast iron pan SCREAMIN’ hot. Wipe the skillet with a little bit of canola oil. Add 1/4 cup of the batter to the center and “swirl” a bit (you may need hot pads for your hands) to make a thin pancake. Thin is the deal for this recipe. You might want to make a few 6 inch (or so) diameter pancakes until you’re sure that the pan is ready to go and you’ve got the method down. I don’t know why it is but the first few just aren’t quite perfect. You want to flip the pancakes when the underneath is beginning to brown and the edges are dry and beginning to crisp. Flipping them is an art form but you’ll get it. Get the spatula into the center of the pancake and flip carefully, I use my fingers to get it going. When you get it down, you may want to make skillet sized pancakes, it takes about 1/2 cup of the batter and you swirl the pan to get a thin pancake that is spread evenly over the surface. A larger or smaller skillet will require different amounts of batter.
Serve them immediately or keep in a low oven to wait for you to cook more. Traditionally they’re served with lingonberries and sour cream, I like them that way but prefer my take on Jensens syrup.
Like Jensen’s Maple Butter Syrup
in a saucepan combine
- 3/4 cups of loosely packed dark brown sugar
- 3/4 cups maple syrup
- 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Get it all loosey goosey in the pan, bring it to a gentle bubble but don’t boil it hard. When it has combined and the sugar has dissolved nicely you can take it off the heat and keep warm until serving.
It’s common for those that fancy these pancakes to have lingonberries and syrup, I call that gilding the lily!
Give these super delicious pancakes a try, if you’re made to feel particularly Minnesotan you might just say Uff Da!
When I wished fellow knitter Silvana a happy birthday on Wednesday via email as I was unable to knit with the group, she mentioned that she was laying in some things that made her happy. (All birthday peeps should do this of course!!!) One of the things she mentioned that she was unable to find was Beet Pickled Eggs. Really I thought, beet picked eggs. The more I thought about it, the more I thought that a. I must make her some and b. these damn things must be pretty good! To be included on a must have to properly celebrate my birthday list—- well that is beyond high praise.
So I made some. Easy enough with ingredients on hand. *Yes, I do keep a jar of beets on hand*. The color of the eggs is GORGEOUS, even if you didn’t eat them they’d be a happy inclusion to any table. But the taste? Well, they are pretty outrageously good if I do say so and I’m happy to have “found” them. They’re so good and so pretty, I will be putting some out beside the traditional deviled eggs this Easter Sunday!!! I’ve given the recipe below should you be so inclined (and you should be!)
Beet pickled eggs
• 8 eggs
• 1 (15 ounce) can sliced beets with liquid– not the kind that say “pickled”
• 1/2 cup white vinegar
• 1/2 cup superfine sugar
• 1/2 cup water
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional) (I used a bare pinch)
Hard Boil the eggs using your preferred method. The argument about how to cook a hard boiled egg rages on. I don’t mean to get involved but I place eggs in a pan with enough water to cover. Bring ‘em to a boil and reduce to simmer, cover the pan. After 12 minutes, pour off the boiling water and run cold water over for a fair bit. Then peel the eggs and put them in a glass or plastic container.
Then, in a smallish saucepan, combine the beets and all of the liquid in the jar (or can), the vinegar, superfine sugar (which dissolves faster. If you have regular, so be it) the water and cinnamon if you’re using it.Boil it up and give it a go until the sugar dissolves, which really doesn’t take very long. Pour over the eggs and roll ‘em around a little bit so the color is more even. When not crazy hot, place in the fridge. They need at least four hours but I think overnight is fabulous. Slice and serve—
This whole beet pickled egg thing caused me to wonder if they might be a nice addition to my version of “the best salad I’ve ever had in my entire life”, which I make often. The short answer is yes. HEAVEN.
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good, and PRETTY too! Lettuce, dried cranberries, golden raisins, a little bit of cheese, blue cheese dressing, croutons (home made is best but I resorted to bagged today), and sliced beet pickled eggs. Top that with a nice handful of some brown sugared (with a pinch of cayenne) pecans and it is about as good as it gets. I love to add chopped dates too but upon inspection mine had become mummified blobs and I had to soldier on without them!
So—- it wasn’t even my birthday and I got the present of discovery. Beet Pickled Eggs—- you’re mine forever!
Since my knitting seems to be, well– a bit “off” these days, maybe I’ll cook. I’ve been cooking a lot lately, I do work out a lot of stuff in the kitchen. One of the things that seems to have really peaked is my pie crust, good news/bad news. Good news in that I finally GOT it, bad news in that I’m afraid there will be more pies coming out of the kitchen. Last night this pie made its debut along with a giant wok full of fried rice with bok choy, tofu and radishes. The radishes sound like an odd addition but they were pretty darned good.
I FINALLY made knitting with the group last night—- which was lovely. And since all knitting is made of frustrating stuff what else to do but start a new project which is frought with frustrating elements of its own. The Magnified Lace Scarf from Lion Brand, a free pattern. I saw this simple piece styled with a pair of jeggings, a white shirt and wide belt and it looked fabulous. I immediately thought of my oldest daughter and what a great gift it would make. Mind you, while I played with gauge and resulting fabric from the heavily acrylic yarn (my daughter doesn’t care well for garments), those at knit group reminded me that the fabulous Emily just completed a gorgeous shawl knit from high quality spiderweb and teensy needles in a complex lace pattern. In a foreign language. Ahem. This is a simple lace, knit on needles so large they’re like broomsticks (which do have their own inherent problems) and tripled bulky yarn. We shall see. Two repeats in I’m not sure, just not sure. My yarn is a rich jewel toned teal.
Well it is a long weekend coming up, right? What better way to enjoy a long weekend with something from the kitchen that shouts to the world what a great catch you are! Pie! Pie? Not just any pie mind you but a rich yet fluffy slice of chocolate heaven. Pair it with takeout pizza or bbq if you must but let there be the labor of pie. Personally I believe that if you make something fabulous they’ll leave you alone to be creative for a bit……. I could be wrong.
Chocolate Heaven Fluff Pie
1 baked pie shell (from scratch is lovely, I mean don’t be lazy!)
¾ cup sugar + 2 Tbs.
¼ cup cornstarch
½ cup heavy cream
2 cups milk (you can use any kind but you’ve gone this far, use whole)
¼ cup dark cocoa
2 Tbs. butter
4 egg yolks, beaten gently
2 Tsp. good quality vanilla
1 cup mini marshmallows
With the pie shell cooling (because you did make it from scratch, right?) prepare the filling. Tumble together all of the dry ingredients and whisk up. Slowly add the cream and stir, add the milk and heat over a medium heat. You can use a double boiler if you like but whatever you do stir constantly. When the liquid begins to steam, add a bit slowly to the beaten yolks and stir up, then remove them back to the mixture on the stove. Continue stirring, add the butter. The filling will go to a stage where it looks kind of lumpy or grainy, keep stirring. When the mixture reaches a bubble, turn off the heat, add the vanilla and the marshmallows and stir off the heat. When the filling has incorporated all of the marshmallows, take a taste. (You know you want to!)
Place the chocolate fluff filling into a totally cooled pie shell and place a sheet of plastic cling over the top to keep a skin from forming.
In the “old days” I’d make a nice meringue for the top but the state of chickens and raw eggy-ness has made me either leave things plain, or add a whipped cream topping if necessary. Luckily this pie is creamy and dreamy enough to need neither unless you just want to take it entirely over the top. It is of course up to you!
Cool the pie at least 4 hours.
I love to cook, really and truly. Right now life is beyond madness with a move in a couple of weeks and a business to run. (And chickens to knit). I can get by on fast food, ordered in food, or always the oh so delightful food from the yummy case at W*hole F*oods but for just so long. When I need real food, home cookin’, and a little on the plate love I turn to my slow cooker. That and my pressure cooker are my go to’s when it comes to great food fast.
So………….. I was in the mood for comfort food, short ribs were going to fill the bill.
Slow Cooker Short Ribs
- “Long” short ribs, boneless (I get mine at C*ostco where they are gorgeous, almost looking like strip steaks) I used 3 big ones to serve 2 (twice). The leftovers are awesome.
- 2 large sweet onions, sliced thinly
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 bottle of beer (I happened to have Fat Tire)
- 1 cup white wine (I had an open bottle of a nice Pinot Grigio)
- 1 tbs.
- 1 tbs. Maille Mustard (or any coarse grainy mustard)
- 2 tbs. Worcestershire
- 1 tbs. dark brown sugar
Dredge in seasoned flour (flour, salt, pepper, a bit of garlic powder) and brown all sides for a couple of minutes.
Lay the sliced onions on the bottom of the crock pot and place the browned ribs on top.
Deglaze the pan with the wine, add beer, mustard and brown sugar
Pour over the short ribs.
Cover and slow cook for 8-10 hours on low. (low on some crock pots is somehow different than low on others. Do not ask me why this is, I just know it is true!) It seems as a rule of thumb if you have a large crock pot where the short ribs can be in a single layer that less time is required. Also, the more ribs you have the longer it takes.
Knitly, the chicken is progressing happily. The base is done and an inch or so is traveling up her little chicken sides. The cabled cardi is not. ’nuff said.
No, I most assuredly did not place Cable Luxe into the waffle iron—— although its’ recent state of languish needs a shake up of some sort.
All promises of a sunny morning flew right out the window at first light—– more rain today and it won’t wait for the afternoon. Walking shoes will have to wait, I’m disappointed so what to do????? I know—— Waffles! I haven’t made belgian waffles in forever!
Check out that rather nasty waffle iron. My ex, Mr. Snarky withheld or destroyed a LOT, but apparently deemed this waffle iron fit to come live with me. She isn’t very pretty but can turn out a nice product. It looks especially appealing overflowing with batter. Ack. A new recipe uses buttermilk (which I did not have and had to substitute vinegar soured milk) and baking soda along with baking powder to leaven the waffles. I guess I’m not only out of waffle practice but didn’t count on the new recipe to have quite as much lift as it did………………… like molten lava over the edge it was!
1 3/4 cups buttermilk (If you are like me and don’t keep buttermilk, use 2 tbs. vinegar in your milk and let it sit a couple of minutes)
2 extra large eggs
1/3 cup cooking oil (I know, it does sound awful but just take the plunge)
1 tsp. good quality vanilla
1 ‘full’ tbs. sugar and a big squeeze of honey (another tbs. give or take)
1/4 tsp. baking soda
just shy of 1 tbs. baking powder
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
pinch of salt
Mix the wet ingredients well and add the dry ingredients that have been stirred together. Mix just until combined.
Let the batter rest for about 5 minutes, preheat the waffle iron.
Use cooking spray to spritz a hot waffle iron and add batter per your irons requirements. *This batter has a lot of oooomph to it because of the double leaveners.
Cook in the waffle iron until nicely browned. Serve with berries or syrup. Yum!
Now………. speaking of Cable Luxe, I have actually taken it OUT of hibernation!!!!! I’m pretty tickled to tell the truth! The first sleeve is an inch from being done, a mere inch. I’ve promised myself no new ‘big’ projects until I finish Cable Luxe and Twilight.
It had been awhile since Cable Luxe has seen the light of day! She’s been napping in the fabulous Japanese print bag, too long if the truth be told. It took a few minutes last night to get back into the zone with this sweater, a couple shakes to remember that I’m not using the double row counters any more but just Ms. Blue (my oldest little counter). My first thought was that I had cannabalized the red counter for another project and would never be able to sync them back up together. But no…………. while a younger brain would have no doubt been able to remember this sooner I moved on. Woo Hoo———- let Cable Luxe get back on track please!!!!! Basically one sleeve to go, that should provide adequate motivation! (Not that it did before, but we will just ignore that and happily sail onward).
I’ll be casting on a mindless project later on today just for wedding knitting this weekend. I’m hopeful that the mailman will drop off a package at the studio today or plans will have to change a bit. Plans are for something simple because I don’t want to fluff anything else during a weekend of distracted knitting! Lots of travel time this weekend as the wedding tomorrow is out of town an hour and a half and Sunday has us at Mizzou for engagement sessions. I’ll be missing knit group for work again, ack.
Hope your weekend is completely fabulous!
I have to tell you———- I’m exhausted by the sadness of what has become known as the “Kirkwood Massacre”. There is, to be sure, much sorrow for the families, the friends, the community of the shootings—- and more than that there is such pain that somehow it has become okay, to justify it when life feels unfair you shoot people who you feel have wronged you. It is just so sad.
Still no MOJO—– thanks to all who left comments or wrote such sweet emails! I know full well that we all go through spots that just seem a bit, well……. dry. As do I. The nice part, at least if using past history as an example is that when the MOJO comes back it seems much more creative, with great power and energy. That’s what I’m hoping for anyway!
Apply chocolate, when the world closes in a bit, that is my credo. Love and chocolate, both of which only help any situation. Of course, love does not come front loaded with calories—-and my pants are getting tight (Lolly helllllllllllpppppppppppppp!!!!!!!!!!!) but chocolate it is.
It’s almost Valentines Day as well, five days away— I feel less than romantic somehow. But I do know that a few handmade candies are always well received and put a smile on the face of amour, friend or family!
Homemade Toasted Coconut Haystacks! YUM! And the best part is that they are easy peasy. There is nothing like making a delicious little treat with your own hands for your Valentine, friends and family. I have to say, they are not QUITE as good as the ones from that shishi store in town —- but they are pretty close!
Toasted Coconut Haystacks
- 1 bag Angel Flake Coconut
- 1 bag good quality chocolate chips— I used semi sweet but substitute your fantasy
- Gulf Wax (available near the canning section)
- parchment paper
On a large, flat baking dish lined with aluminum foil, sprinkle the coconut in a thin layer. Broil about 8 inches away from the element and WATCH CLOSELY. Toss the coconut as soon as it begins to brown. This takes a bit of time to keep moving the coconut so it does not burn, and all of it gets nice and lightly brown and crisp. You want it to crisp up but not get completely brown through, it should have crunch but still have a nice coconutty taste. Let cool.
In a double-boiler, place the chocolate chips and just slightly less than 1/4 of a sheet of the paraffin. Let it melt together over the simmering water. Remove the chocolate from the hot water and let it sit for just a few minutes until it just begins to thicken a bit. Add in the coconut and stir carefully, incorporating all of the chocolate.
Using two spoons or a tiny ice cream scoop (sprayed with cooking spray) drop the candy onto parchment paper.