Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hasselback Potatoes

I first bookmarked these potatoes at least a year or so ago. I can't believe it took me so long to try them. They're delicious and easy to put together. These are the perfect potato for a party. I love anything that looks this good but takes so little time to prepare.

Hasselback Potatoes

  • 3 Russet potatoes, cleaned, skin on
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 3 tbsp fine bread crumbs
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp rosemary, finely chopped
To each potato, using a sharp chef’s knife, begin making about 1/4 inch slices, working your knife all the way near the bottom of the potato, but not slicing all of the way through. If it help you, can you lay out two chopsticks, placing the potato in between the chopsticks, and using them as your guide. Make your slices on each potato. Think of this as practicing your knife skills. Take your time and get as precise as you can. Do this for each potato.
Melt three tablespoons of butter, then add in the olive oil. Mix well.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Add the potatoes to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and with a spoon, begin drizzling the butter and olive oil mixture into the gaps of every potato. You will want to be sure that every potato gets a generous amount of the melted butter. Shower the potatoes with the salt and pepper.
Add the potatoes in the preheated oven and cook for 45 minutes.
About 40 minutes into the cooking process, add the parsley, minced garlic, rosemary, and breadcrumbs, a pinch of salt and pepper, and give a good stir. Melt the additional three tablespoons of butter, and add the butter to the breadcrumb mixture.
After 45 minutes, remove the potatoes as they should be fork tender and already looking delicious. Spread the breadcrumb mixture on top of each potato.
Preheat your broiler to 425 degrees.
Add the potatoes back into the oven, under the broiler, for about 5 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are a golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve.

I am linking this to On the Menu Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday and Foodie Friday.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sweet Camelina Oil Dressing

I'll admit it, I rarely make my own salad dressing. We have salad several nights a week for dinner and it's so easy to just grab that bottle out of the fridge. A few months ago, I was introduced to Camelina Oil by my friends at the Solar Drive In.  When I spotted this recipe for dressing on their blog, I decided to give it a try.  We found the flavor intensified after the dressing was in the fridge for a day or so.  

Sweet Camelina Dressing
Recipe Courtesy of Solar Drive In

  • 1 cup camelina oil (purchase online, look for it at Minnesota co-ops or buy it at Solar)
  •  1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  •  1Tbsp + 1tsp dijon mustard
  •  3 Tbsp honey
  •  1 tsp ground cloves
  •  1 tsp ground nutmeg
  •  2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Whisk ingredients together and refrigerate until use.

I am linking this to On The Menu Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday and Foodie Friday.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day, Dad

We made a day trip to see my Dad in Kansas City yesterday.  At 93, I can't help but wonder how many more Father's Days we will celebrate.

His legs are failing, his hearing is terrible but for 93 he's still in pretty good shape.  His long term memory hasn't faltered, it's what it was 30 years ago.  He reminds me of the things I said when I was a little girl, like running to the door when he came home saying Deedo, Deedo, Deedo.  Guess I couldn't say Daddy?  He says some of my first words were iee keem (ice cream).  Thanks Dad for creating this sweet tooth I still harbor today!!!

My Dad's a true gentleman, the kind of man every woman hopes her daughter will marry.  He opens doors, pulls out the chair and of course, always orders for the lady!  Although he doesn't speak of it much, he's a Pearl Harbor Survivor, one of only a handful still alive in our country.  Aging is hard for my Dad, he's a proud man who struggles with not being able to do those things he's always been able to do!

We've had our challenges over the years.  As I reflect back on this Father's Day,  I realize just how much he's always loved me and I hope he knows just how much I love him!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cranberry Fool - SRC

It's hard to believe it's June already and summer is in full swing.   Summer certainly isn't the season we think of when we see cranberries.  However, for this months Secret Recipe Club  I am sharing a recipe with you that features the beautiful berries.   My assigned blogger is Claudia of From Arepas to Zwetschgen.   Claudia, like me has lots of cookbooks and began her blog to journal her recipes.  Funny she says her husband mentions, it's hard to like a dish featured on her blog because you never know when you might have it again.  My husband says the same thing.  Claudia says they don't really eat a lot of desserts but this is a favorite because it reminds her husband of Himbeertraum, Raspberry Dream.

My husband said this reminded him of a dish his mom made for Thanksgiving!  I didn't add the chopped merinque.  We felt it was a little more tart than we would have liked.  I would suggest adding the merinque, a little more sugar or even some honey to the cranberry mixture.

Cranberry Fool
Recipe Courtesy of Arepas to Zwtschgen
juice and grated zest of 1 orange
100 g sugar
300 g cranberries, fresh or frozen
250 ml heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp orange liquor (optional)
chopped meringue (optional)

Bring sugar with 150 ml water to a boil. Add orange zest and simmer for 5 minutes. Add cranberries and orange juice, simmer for 5 minutes until all cranberries are burst open. Remove from heat, let cool. (Pass through a sieve if you desire a smoother texture and less bitterness.) Whip cream. Lightly fold cranberries, meringue (if using) and liquor (if using) into cream. Or layer ingredients in a bowl and lightly mix just before serving.

I am linking this to On the Menu Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday and Sweet Tooth Friday.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

From The Good Life - Wine Country

To celebrate our anniversary, Tim and I enjoyed a long weekend in the California wine country.  Taking advantage of a Groupon, we stayed in Lafayette at the Lafayette Park Hotel.  Lafayette is located in the East Bay about 45 minutes south of Napa. 

Three years ago, Tim and I toured the wine country in Sonoma.  Although we loved Sonoma, we wanted to experience another part of wine country.  Everyone knows about Napa Valley, famous for it's celebrity restaurants and well known wineries.  Along with Napa's fame, comes a price.  Tastings range from $15.00 on the inexpensive side to $35.00 on the really expensive side.  Certainly, you get to experience wine you can't purchase in your local wine shop but $35.00 for a tasting is a bit rich for our budget.  I began researching the Livermore Valley where many wine tastings are free and the most we paid was $10.00.  My favorite winery was Big White House where we barrel tasted with the winemaker and purchased a lovely bottle of peach sparkling wine!  We spent two days wine tasting in the Livermore Valley.  If you have an opportunity to go there, do so, it's what Napa was twenty years ago!

Our last day, we did travel to Napa Valley.   We drove up Highway 29 from Napa to Calistoga and back down the Silverado Trail.  We began our morning in Yountville, home of the famous Bouchon Bakery.  The line wasn't too long and we were ready for a pastry.  I had a chocolate filled croissant and Tim tried a cheese danish.  Of course, we couldn't leave without purchasing a couple of their macarons!  The case featured the most amazing  macarons I've ever seen.  Being a chocolate lover, it was a chocolate one for me.  Tim couldn't pass up the beautiful pink strawberry rhubarb ones.

With a little time to kill before our flight, we went to the Golden Gate Bridge.  As with many days in San Francisco, it was too foggy to see much of the bridge.  Regardless it's an amazing site.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Lazy Sunday Casserole

What do you think of when you think about Sunday dinners? For me Sunday dinners take me back to  my son's high school days where sports, the school newspaper, friends and studies often brought him home past dinner time.  Sunday's however were our night to always have a sit down dinner and watch X Files!! I don't remember many of the meals I made but this hearty casserole would have been a perfect dinner! This is real comfort food!! Don't miss a drop of the delicious sauce, serve with a crusty loaf of bread.

Lazy Sunday Casserole Recipe Courtesy of Let's Dish
 5 Italian sausages
1 pound red potatoes, cubed
1/2 pound baby carrots
1 red pepper, cut into large chunks
8 ounces whole fresh mushrooms
1 large onion, cut into large chunks
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chicken broth
 3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine all of the chopped vegetables in a large roasting pan. Whisk together the olive oil, minced garlic, basil, oregano and fennel seeds. Pour over the vegetables and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Pour chicken broth over vegetables. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, or until vegetables are just tender. Meanwhile, brown sausages in a large skillet over medium heat. They do not need to be cooked all the way through, just browned. Remove from skillet and slice into thirds. Remove foil from vegetables and add sausages to pan. Pour in balsamic vinegar and give everything a good stir. Return the pan to the oven, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes, or until everything is browned as the sausages are cooked through.

I am linking this to On the Menu Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday and Foodie Friday.