Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I wanted to go away for my 25th birthday to somewhere tropical and Mexico seemed like the most practical for a 3 night getaway. I'll be gorging in delicious resort food, lounging on the beach (as long as the rain holds off), and spending quiet, relaxing time with my loving beau. I can hardly wait! I'll tell you all about it next week.
And I'm making it my goal to take more time to cook this fall so I have some good, hearty recipes posted in the near future.
But for now, this is all that's on my mind...
Photo from cancunvisit.com
Monday, September 28, 2009
The boys had the Confit de Lapin.
Wine, bread and a moustache.
Here is a delicious little chocolate molten cake with a scoop of ice cream and a candle.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I wrote a post for the Savvy Grouse about the book. Check it out here.
I made the mushrooms for our Labor Day party but it was the only thing we didn't get a picture of! Oh well.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
This was a big pan of the potatoes my mom made for the Labor Day Party.
Monday, September 21, 2009
After deciding we'll make pork chops, I began browsing the Food Network website for an easy and hearty preparation. I came across Tyler Florence's smothered pork chop recipe and thought it sounded very good for a Sunday dinner. After reading the reviews, I decided to add mushrooms, which isn't in Tyler's recipe. And, of course, I had to cook my chops longer than the time in the recipe. That possibly had to do with me not having a large enough fry pan and/or high enough heat. Either way, the pork was good - not too tough. I was sure to make enough extra gravy to eat with the brown rice I prepared. If I would have had more time, I think mashed potatoes would have been good with this gravy and pork too!
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons onion powder (didn't have any so omitted)
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne (I only used 1/2 teaspoon this time but will use closer to the entire teaspoon next time)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 pork chops, 3/4-inch thick, bone-in
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup buttermilk
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (didn't use)
Heat a large saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is nice and hot, lay the pork chops in the pan in a single layer and fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
Smothered Pork Chops with brown rice and steamed broccoli and asparagus
I didn't really measure how much seasoned flour I used but I used a generous amount, as well as more stock and buttermilk than called for, just so I had more gravy.
Friday, September 18, 2009
At almost all of our summer parties we fill our big blue fish bowl with fresh fruit
Me and my handsome boyfriend, Adam :)
Old, sweet Chester was enjoying everyone's company
Here my little cousin Chance was enjoying piece after piece of chocolate
The newest member of the family, Katherine the Great!
Me with my best friend and the photographer, Rebecca
The precious, yet mischievous smile of Katherine & Chance's big brother, Chandler
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
We grilled up some sliced sausages, green peppers (from our garden!) and onions on skewers. We used some spicy kielbasa and chicken sausages. My mom spotted the recipe in a Paula Deen magazine. Once the kabobs came off the grill and were placed in the chafing dish, we poured a sauce over it:
Whisk together 3 tablespoons steak sauce, 3 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce and 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard.
As recommended by Paula, you can de-skewer the cooked sausage, onions and peppers, put them in a long roll and top with the sauce.
I whipped up a big batch of sangria - a staple for summer parties at our house. A good friend Esther, who was a Spanish teaching assistant at Hollins, gave me this authentic recipe:
This is for a very large crowd. You can always divide it down to make less.
2 1.5 liter bottles red wine
64 oz. orange juice
98 oz. lemonade
2 cups white rum
3 cinnamon sticks
3 oranges cut into bite sized pieces
3 apples cut into bite sized pieces
½ cup sugar (more if desired)
Mix together and let sit for 2 hours. Do not let sit overnight because the taste changes drastically. Drink all in the same day (not difficult!).
We added shrimp to the menu at the last minute. Since we had a large supply of skewers and lemons, we sliced up the lemons and added a wedge with the shrimp on each kabob. Due to short notice, we simply added Lawry's Herb and Garlic marinade, olive oil and dried cilantro to the kabobs and let them marinade for a few hours before they were grilled for 2-3 minutes on each side. Easy and wonderful!
Tomorrow I will finish up with a potato dish and the desserts!
Monday, September 14, 2009
Next, Mary recommended these yummy nuts for a snack. Sweet and spicy, these are a special treat.
Spiced Mixed Nuts (from Cooks Illustrated - from a chopped salad recipe)
Makes about 2 cups
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
2 cups pecan halves
1 tablespoon sugar *I used a bit more than this*
Melt butter in 12 inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice, then stir in pecans. Toast nuts in skillet, stirring often, until color of nuts deepens slightly, 6 to 8 mins. Transfer to bowl, toss with sugar, then spread out on a plate to cool.
Remember, watch the nuts VERY closely because as you can see in the photo, they can get brown very quickly.
While shopping for the picnic, my mom picked up the new Barefoot Contessa Family Style Cookbook. This iced tea recipe is in there - it's so sweet with the apple juice it needs no further sweetner.
Makes 8 cups
4 Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger tea bags
4 Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger tea bags
4 cups pure apple juice
Steep the 8 tea bags in 4 cups of boiling water for about 10 minutes. Discard the tea bags. Combine the tea with the apple juice and refrigerate until cold. Serve over ice.
This is the iced tea dispenser I bought at the Amish Auction earlier in the summer. A classic vintage glass container I snatched up for $6!
MORE TO COME....
Friday, September 11, 2009
At our house we get so many food magazines, filled with recipes that look absolutely delicious. There are way too many for us to make! I went back through the Paula Deen magazines and found this delicious recipe from a few months ago. I planned on 1/4 lb of beef per person - so that was a 6 lb loin - fortune for our party and fellowship but unfortunate for the amount of meat - more people came than I prepared for so those 6 pounds went very quickly!
This recipe serves 12
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 (4 1/2 lb) trimmed beef tenderloin
12-15 onion rolls, split, buttered, and toasted (We used regular, poppy seed and sesame seed rolls and we didn't toast them - if I were to make 5 instead of 24, I would butter and toast them!)
Bacon Horseradish Sauce (see below)
In a large resealable plastic bag, combine soy sauce, oil, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic, and pepper. Add tenderloin, seal bag, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. ** We used a big plastic container (instead of a bag) that we could keep flipping throughout the marinading processes. We let it marinade overnight and through to our afternoon cooking time.**
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a broiler pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place rack on pan; spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Drain tenderloin, discarding marinade. Place tenderloin on prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion reads 145. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. ** Of course my mom and I argued over when it was done. I enjoy this type of beef cut medium rare, otherwise it gets tough. You will have to adjust the cooking time depending on how big your loin is but this is a very appropriate cooking temp and time.**
Spread desired amount of Bacon Horseradish Sauce (See recipe below) over botttoms of buns. Top with desired amount of arugula. Top with sliced tenderloin. cover with bun tops. Serve immediately.
Bacon Horseradish Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (I used like 9 slices! - my rule of thumb: ALWAYS use more bacon than called for!)
4 teaspoons prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons green onions, minced
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, bacon horseradish,green onion, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Cover and chill.
** Sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance.
The assembled sandwich.
Another creation was Carolina Coleslaw - a very colorful combination with a vinegar-based dressing.
1 head cabbage (red, green or mix) shredded
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, grated (bought a bag of the carrot matchsticks)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp celery seed
1 cup cider vinegar
2/3 cup Vegetable oil
In a large bowl, toss vegetables together
In a small sauce pan, mix together sugar, salt, mustard, and celery seed. Add vinegar and oil. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
Pour hot dressing over salad; toss well
Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days before serving.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Playing with my macro function. Oh this looks so good!
You can, of course, fry your own shrimp but I have yet to master frying anything. Grilled shrimp would also be good and be healthier.
You can play around with adding other vegetables like squash - or goat cheese instead of bleu would give it a softer texture and less intense cheese taste.
Even if you don't want to make the entire salad, the dressing is especially good and simple to make together!
Friday, September 4, 2009
Of course after the tour, we got to choose a sample - Adam had the Porter and me the Black & Tan.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The salad with oil and vinegar tasted just like the salad my host mom in Paris would make!
As pictured here, I tried the moules francaise - mussels in a white wine, garlic, dijion and saffron sauce.
And the fries were to die for!
For dessert, we shared some French press coffee and a slice of fresh and warm peach and mixed berry tart with a scoop of ice cream.
In addition to the regular menu chock full of traditional French dishes, there were several other specials at Confit that night including a variety of fresh fish.