Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Triple Berry Crisp

Tim requested a crisp for Father's Day dessert. With berries reasonable and plentiful, a crisp seemed like the perfect dessert. You can use any combination of berries, I used blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. I served this with my favorite homemade vanilla ice cream, Alton Brown's Serious Vanilla Ice Cream.

Triple Berry Crisp
Adapted from All Recipes

1 1/2 cups fresh blackberries
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
4 tablespoons white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups butter
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.In a large bowl, gently toss together blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and white sugar; set aside.
3.In a separate large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press half of mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Cover with berries. Sprinkle remaining crumble mixture over the berries.
4.Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden brown.

I am linking this to Tasty Tuesday's, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday's and Tuesday's at the Table.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Gingersnaps - Sweet Melissa Sunday's

Today has been declared a day of prayer by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Let's all take a moment today to pause and reflect in whatever way you feel appropriate for our friends in the gulf.

Do you like your cookies chewy or crispy? I like mine soft and chewy! I think that's why I am not a Gingersnap fan. Since I am going to miss next week's SMS, I decided to bake these despite my feelings about Gingersnaps.

As with most SMS recipes, I cut the recipe in half. These were easy to make and use ingredients most of us have in our kitchens. Having read a few of the comments, I set the timer to pull these out a few minutes early. Not sure what happened but I missed hearing the timer. Don't you just love it when you do that? So my cookies were extra crispy. I tried one and they do have a traditional Gingersnap flavor. Since none of us are big Gingersnap fans, I may freeze these for a possible future cheesecake crust.

How about this? Our SMS recipe this week was chosen by The Ginger Snap Girl. You can find the links to the other SMS gals here.

Does anyone have a recipe for Sour Cream Raisin Pie? It's my brother in law's favorite and I want to suprise him with one when we visit next week.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pink Saturday

Happy Pink Saturday!

Last weekend Tim and I went to the antique show in Walnut, Iowa. It's a street fair of over 300 antique dealers from all over the United States. As we walked the streets in addition to lots of antiques, we saw beautiful gardens. Don't you just love these impatients in the old bathtub?

Couldn't resist sharing this one with you...there is a pair of pink pants on the back of the line :)

I am linking this to Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Throwed Rolls - Foodie Friday

Lambert's is a wonderful restaurant in Southern Missouri. As you travel on Interstate 44, you see signs about Lambert's being the home of Throwed Rolls. Everyone who's traveled Southern Missouri knows about Lambert's Throwed Rolls. The staff at Lambert's does just as the name would describe, throws the rolls.

A few months ago, I ran across a copycat recipe for Throwed Rolls on Dine and Dish. Kristin's recipe says you can make these in a bread machine. Having never mastered the art of kneading bread by hand, I decided to make them in my Kitchen Aid. They turned out great. Although we didn't throw any around, they were a wonderful addition to Sunday dinner.

Just Like Lambert's Throwed Rolls

1 teaspoon sugar
1 (1/4 ounce) package dry active yeast
1/4 cup tepid water (105-110 degrees)
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten (at room temp)
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
Combine sugar and yeast in tepid water.
Let stand 5-10 minutes until yeast begins to foam.
Thoroughly mix milk, butter, sugar, egg and salt in large bowl.
Stir in the yeast mixture and 3 1/2 cups of flour, adding a bit more if necessary to make a soft, pliable dough.
Turn dough out on floured board and let rest while you clean and butter bowl.
Knead dough gently 4-5 minutes, adding flour if necessary, until dough is smooth and silky.
Return to bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in warm place until doubled in size (1 1/2 hours appoximately).
Butter a 12 cup muffin tin.
Punch down dough.
Pinch off pieces that are about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, (enough to fill one-half of muffin cup), and roll into smooth spheres.
Place two such pieces in each prepared muffin cup- it will be a tight fit.
Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap for 45 minutes.
Bake rolls in preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until light brown.
Serve as soon as they are cool enough to throw.

I am linking this to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.

In My Garden

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chicken With Beer

Is there a help group for cookbook addiction? If so, I think I need to join. I haven’t done a cookbook count lately but I know I have over 100. I started blogging so I would use recipes from my library of cookbooks. So what do I do? I just keep buying more cookbooks. I really like my recent cookbook purchase, Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker. I’ve made three recipes from this book and they’ve all been a hit. Beef Stew, which I liked and Tim thought was okay. A wonderful Chicken with Beans which I forgot to photograph. Sometimes we’re so focused on eating, we forget the camera until it’s too late. We forgot to photograph this recipe as well but snapped a quick shot of the one leftover thigh. Not the best picture but you get the idea.

I made a few changes to this recipe. Because it was cooking all day, I wanted to have plenty of liquid. I added a little more beer and some chicken stock. I also added potatoes and would have added carrots but I didn’t have time to peel before work. I found this recipe interesting because it used Herbs de Provence. I wasn’t sure exactly what that was so I did some reading. I found several recipes, some with lavender and some without. I like to cook with lavender but I wasn’t convinced the floral flavor was what I wanted for this chicken. My spice drawer contained everything except the savory, so I made my own version of the herbs. This chicken was delicious. It has a nice hint of beer and a beautiful herb flavor.

Chicken with Beer
Recipe adapted from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook

About 1/2 cup flour
4 boneless chicken breast halves, with skin on
(I used 2 breasts and 4 thighs)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup beer
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspooon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
2 bay leaves, broken in half

Put the flour on shallow plate or a pie plate. One piece at a time, dredge the chicken in the flour, coating both sides and shaking off any excess.

Drizzle the olive oil into a large skillet over medium high heat. When it begins to sizzle, add the chicken, skin side down and cook until deep golden brown on both sides, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to the slow cooker. Add the beer and chicken broth to the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the pan. Pout over the chicken. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper and herbes de Provence. Tuck the bay leaves among the chicken pieces. Cover and cook on HIGH 8 to 9 hours.

Herbes de Provence
3 tablespoons oregano leaves
3 tablespoons thyme leaves
1 teaspoon basil leaves
1 teaspoon sage leaf
3 tablespoons savory
2 tablespoons lavender flowers
1 teaspoon rosemary
Combine and mix well. Store in a cool, dry place.

I am linking this to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday , Tuesday's at the Table and Tasty Tuesday's.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chestnut Honey Madeleines - SMS

One of the few baking pans that isn't in my cupboards is a madeleine pan. In fact, I am not sure I've ever had a madeleine. Curious about the history of madeleines, I looked them up. They're a small sponge cake pastry which originated in the Northeast region of France. Seems there's a couple of stories as to how they began. If you want to read more, you can find the stories here.

Funny, I think I've passed up a madeleine pan several times at Goodwill. At the time, I think I wondered what the pan was used for. Of course, the past few weeks when I wanted to find one, there were none to be found. I decided to use a mini muffin tin and it worked great!!

These are delicious, beautiful bites. They'd be a perfect compliment to afternoon tea. I'm hooked, I will make these again. I'd like to experiment with other flavors of madeleines. Who know's maybe I will even find that pan.

Thanks to Debbie of Cafe Chibita for choosing this wonderful recipe. If you check out the other SMS bakers, I am sure you'll find at least one or two of them owns a madeleine pan.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pink Saturday - Buttermilk Pomegranate Sorbet

I am excited to be one of the Pink Saturday bloggers being featured today! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I have a great summer recipe to share with you.

I received an email from POM Wonderful offering to send me some pomegranate juice. Who could pass up an offer for free juice? Thanks, POM Wonderful. Until a few months ago, I'd never had a pomegranate or pomegranate juice. If you enjoy flavored vodka, you'll like this Pomegranate Infused Vodka. When squash is plentiful in the Fall, give this Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato and Pomegranate Soup a try.

Having tried a cocktail and a main dish with pomegranates, I decided to try a dessert. I love the smooth and creamy texture of this sorbet. Using this recipe as a guide, I made Buttermilk Pomegranate Sorbet. The pomegrantes give it a nice tart flavor with just a hint of sweetness.

Pomegranate Sorbet
Makes approximately 7 cups

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoons lemon zest
2 cups buttermilk

Stir sugar, pomegranate juice and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Add buttermilk, stir until sugar is dissolved. Chill until cold, at least 4 hours. Process mixture in ice cream freezer, approximately 20 minutes. Transfer to contained with lid; freeze. (Can be made 3 days ahead.)

My notes on this recipe: I added about 1/4 cup of vodka to this recipe. I drizzled it into the mixture while it was freezing. You know how homemade ice cream can be hard to scoop? The alcohol keeps it from freezing too hard.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mom's Beef Stew - Foodie Friday

Have you ever purchased any "used" books on Amazon? If you haven't, you should check it out. That's how I've purchased several of my most recent cookbooks. Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook was a real bargain, $2.68, plus $3.99 shipping. You can't even tell these books are used.

I love my crock pot/slow cooker. It's funny how slow cookers seem to come and go. I've always been a slow cooker fan. Anytime I can come home after a long day at work and dinner is waiting is a good day for me.

I thought the flavors in this stew sounded interesting and delicious. I decided to omit the potatoes and serve over noodles. I totally forgot the peas, until after we'd started eating. I guess I am not used to adding anything to the slow cooker at the end of the cooking time. This was a delicious, thick stew, tasting much better than this picture looks. When I asked Tim what he thought he said, "It was okay but I like your other stew better!" Me, I liked this stew as well, if not better than the other stew. The Refrigerator Stew has a much thinner broth, almost like a chunky soup. This stew was thicker and almost had no broth. It's a comforting and easy weeknight meal.

Mom's Beef Stew

Recipe courtesy of Not Your Mom's Slow Cooker

8 to 12 small, flavorful potatoes, such as Yukon Gold
4 large carrots, cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch lengths
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 to 2 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed of any excess fat, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, as needed
1 large onion, cut into a total of 6 or 8 wedges
1 large rib of celery, sliced 1/2 inch thick
6 to 8 medium sized mushrooms, cut in half
2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of ground cloves
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small bay leaf
2 sprigs flat parsley
One 10 ounce package frozen peas, thawed

Place the potatoes in the slow cooker. Top with the carrots.

In a zippered top plastic bag or a bowl, combine the flour, paprika, salt and pepper.
Toss the beef in the mixtures, shaking off any excess, and transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining meat.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium high heat. Add the meat, being careful not to crowd the skillet. Turn to brown on all sides. Once the meat is brown, using a slotted spoon, transfer to slow cooker.

When all of the meat has been browned and placed in the slow cooker, add the onion, celery and mushrooms. Stir gently to distribute, trying not to disturb the potatoes and carrots on the bottom.

In a bowl or 4 cup glass meausre, stir together the broth, tomato paste, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and cloves. Pour into the cooker. If the broth is unseasoned, add salt and pepper to taste. Tuck the bay leaf and parsley sprigs into the stew. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours or HIGH for 4 to 5 hours.

Discard the bayleaf and parsley. Stir in the peas, cover and cook on HIGH until peas are hot, 10 to minutes.

I am linking this to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.

In My Garden

The first of my zinnia's, isn't the color beautiful?

Not everything "In My Garden" is always pretty. We've had so much rain. Whenever we have a lot of rain, we find stink mushrooms in the garden. I thought this one was pretty fun looking. Tim says they really smell...I didn't get close enough to tell.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Red Wine Balsamic Grilled Chicken

I am always looking for new ways to grill chicken. A few weeks ago, I spotted this recipe over at Good Things Catered and bookmarked it for future grilling. Katie's recipe called for chicken breasts. I used skin on chicken thighs. This is a quick and easy recipe to put together. The balsamic vinegar and honey give the chicken a wonderful flavor.

Red Wine Balsamic Grilled Chicken

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 3 lbs
(I used chicken thighs)
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
Juice of 1/2 a sweet lemon (or orange)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dried mined onion
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

-Pound chicken breasts down to uniform thickness throughout (about 1-inch thickness throughout)
-Place in large, deep dish and top with remaining ingredients.
-With tongs, flip chicken and move around to coat evenly.
-Cover and place in fridge for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
-When ready to cook, remove chicken from fridge and place on sideboard to remove chill while starting grill.
-Preheat gas grill on high for 10 full minutes.
-Clear grates, turn heat to medium-low and place chicken on grates n a diagonal.
-Cover and cook untouched until nice grill marks form, about 5 minutes.
-Flip and continue cooking until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
-Flip one more time, on opposite diagonal, 2 minutes before cooking is complete to obtain grill cross-marks, if desired.
-Remove from heat and let meat rest, covered, on cutting board for 3-5 mins before cutting and serving.

I am linking this to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday's, Tasty Tuesday's and Tuesday's at the Table.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Chocolate Orange Macaroons - SMS

I've never made Macaroons. Aren't they one of those cookies you either like or you don't, maybe because of the coconut? I don't love coconut so I am sure that's why I haven't made them before. This worked out well because I needed something to bring to a baby shower at work.

What a fun and easy recipe to make! Anytime you can mix with you hands, it's just so theraputic! The instructions called for a fine chop on the chocolate. That's hard to do. I ended up with a few pieces that were bigger than others but in the end it was fine. I loved the way the orange and coconut looked together. When I first mixed the egg whites into the mixture, it seemed dry. As I continued to mix, the mixture became more moist.

Seems I always cut SMS recipes in half. This week I made the whole recipe and ended up with 21 cookies. Does anyone ever get the exact number the recipe says? I made one sheet on parchment and one sheet on a silpat. They turned out much better when baked on the parchment. They didn't seem to crisp up as much on the silpat. The bottoms still seemed a little wet.

Of course, I had to taste one. I liked them but wish they had less orange and more chocolate flavor. I loved the texture and richness of the cookies. Next time I would like to try the recipe with lemon zest.

This week's recipe was chosen by Ellen of Blue Tree Green Heart. You can find the recipe on her site. Check out the rest of the SMS bakers macaroons here!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pink Saturday

Happy Pink Saturday! We're at Tim's family reuinion this weekend in New Ulm, Minnesota. I will visit everyone's blogs when we return!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rhubarb Pie - Foodie Friday

What do you think of when you think of Rhubarb? Everything I’ve been reading recently describes rhubarb as the pie plant. When I think of pies, I think of custard and chocolate. I can’t make a good pie crust, so I don’t bake many pies. Pie crust is on my list of cooking challenges to conquer.

Our good friend, Lynn gave me a large bag of rhubarb from his garden. The night he gave it to me, we discussed what we thought of when thinking of rhubarb. Lynn’s answer was pie. When I think of rhubarb pie, I think of strawberry/rhubarb pie. I asked Lynn and he said nope just plain rhubarb. I chopped it all up and began contemplating what to make. I made a Rhubarb Betty and had enough to make Lynn his plain rhubarb pie.

I started searching for rhubarb pie recipes and was amazed at how simple they all are. I settled on Martha Stewart’s recipe. I liked that it had a crumble topping instead of a second crust. I wish I could say, I worked on conquering that fear of pie crust with this pie but not so much! When you give someone a pie, you want it to be good, right? To be sure the crust was good; I purchased the ready made kind in the box.

I had leftover rhubarb mixture and crumble, so I made a couple of crumbles. Not being a big rhubarb fan, I wasn’t sure if I would like the crumble. I enjoyed this dessert. It was tart but not too tart and had a nice flavor. Lynn said the pie was awesome and wondered what I was bringing him for dessert next week next week.

I am linking this to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.

In My Garden

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Snickerdoodle Bars

Snickerdoodles are one of my favorite cookies! When I saw this recipe on Crazy Daisy, I couldn't wait to make them. I decided to make them for my step son Michael's soccer banquet. Of course, as I cut them, I had to taste. These bars are so good. The flavor of a snickerdoodle cookie and the texture of a brownie. Thank goodness I made them to take somewhere or I would have eaten way too many. Next time you're searching for a cookie to make, try these you won't be sorry!!!

Snickerdoodle Bars
2 1/3 cups flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cinnamon Filling
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350. Spray or grease the bottom only of a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Beat butter on high speed until creamy. Beat in sugars. Gradually beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat on low speed until combined.

Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with Cinnamon Filling evenly over batter. Dollop teaspoons of remaining batter evenly over Cinnamon Filling. Gaps are okay, they let the filling peek through leaving a fun marbled look.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

In a small bowl, stir glaze ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle over bars.

I am linking this to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday's, Tuesday's at the Table and Tasty Tuesdays.

One Year Ago Roasted Dill Potatoes.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pistachio Linzer Thumprints - SMS

This week's SMS takes me back to my childhood. If you follow my blog, you know my mother died when I was sixteen. One of the cookies I remember my mother making at the holidays were thumbprints. These remind me so much of those cookies.

From making the thumbprint with your thumb or whatever finger you choose, to filling the centers with the preserves, these cookies are fun to make. I cut the recipe in half and ended up with 15 cookies. The recipe called for unsalted pistachios. I had salted on the shelf and used them instead. The contrast of the sweet preserves and the salted pistachios is delicious. I didn't have quite enough apicot preserves, so I filled a few of them with plum preserves. Actually, I like the contrast you get with the dark preserves. These cookies were a thumbs up at my house!

The talented and creative Tracey of Tracey's Culinary Creations is our host this week. You'll find the recipe on her blog. The links to all of the other SMS gals can be found here!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pink Saturday

The roses in my garden are just starting to bloom! Happy Pink Saturday!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Quinoa Salad With Sugar Snap Peas

When you search for recipes for quinoa, you'll find a lot of salad recipes available. I found this recipe for Quinoa Salad With Sugar Snap Peas in my endless stack of recipes torn from magazines.

I come home for lunch almost every day and am always looking for something new to eat. This is a great salad for a summer picnic or family reuinion. It's easy to put together and won't spoil in the heat. The sugar snap peas and the chives add a nice color and crunch to the quinoa. I substituted sunflower seeds for the pumpkin seeds. This salad has lots of possiblities, different nuts or veggies. I think I will try it with asaparagus next time.

I am linking this to Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum.

In My Garden

We had our first real Springtime storm last night. While tornado warnings were sounding in the surrounding counties, we had 50 mile per hour winds, pea size hail and sheets of rain. Have you ever seen rain coming down in sheets? It goes sideways across your lawn. Some of my flowers look a little torn and tattered but all in all everything looks pretty good.

We planted this Japanese Lilac four years ago . This is the first year it has bloomed!

I think my lettuce is almost ready to pick. What do you think?

Last summer my husband planted this yarrow plant. I thought it looked somewhat like a weed. It's much prettier this year.

One of my favorite plants in the garden is lavender. I love the beautiful purple color and amazing fragrance.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Spicy Brussels Sprouts

How do you record your thoughts, ideas and potential recipes to blog about? I have a notebook I carry with me. When I have a thought or hear about a recipe I want to make, I jot it down. Quite some time ago, I made a note to make David Chang's Brussels Sprouts recipe. Last weekend, as I was sorting my stack of recipe clippings, I found the recipe from November 2009's Food & Wine.

I halved the brussels sprouts, coated them in olive oil and kosher salt and roasted them in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. I didn't have any fish sauce, so I substituted chicken broth. To prevent this recipe from being too spicy, I omitted the red chili. I love the idea of rice krispies being the topping for the brussels sprouts. Having your oil just the right temperature is they key to browning and not burning the rice krispies. Mine was a little too hot and we raced to turn off the alarm so the smoke detector didn't set it off. Seems I do that a lot in my kitchen. I also learned to be really cautious when pouring the cayenne pepper into the already smoking oil. That's one way to clean out your sinuses.

I really enjoyed the sweet and salty flavors of this recipe. Tim said he liked them but preferred this recipe.

I am linking this to Tasty Tuesday's at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.