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Showing posts from March, 2016

Spaghetti Pie

I saw this recipe  and decided I needed to give it a try. I thought it would make an ideal brunch candidate, since you can make it ahead and reheat it. I pretty much held to the recipe. I used Fontina and Gruyere. I was a little concerned that it wasn't going to come out of the pan, but it came out fine. It really was delicious, almost like mac and cheese but in pie form.

Mini Crab Cakes

I wanted to make crab cakes but I always find frying them to be a bit of a pain. I was looking for a baked version and stumbled upon this recipe. I then decided to make them mini - this was for a brunch after all.

Mini Crab Cakes (Adapted from Joy the Baker)

1lb crab meat
1/3 c mayonnaise (homemade of course!)
2t dijon mustard
2 t Old Bay seasoning
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 egg
1/2 c panko
1/3 c parsley, chopped (which I forgot!)
3 T butter, melted

Lay out the crab meat on paper towels to drain. Remove any shells. In a bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, dijon, Old Bay, lemon juice, and egg. Add salt/pepper. Gently fold in crab meat, parsley and panko. Scoop out cakes using a mini scoop onto a silpat lined baking sheet (or parchment). Gently flatten top. Cover and chill (you can let them chill overnight). Drizzle with butter and bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Put under broiler for 5 minutes to brown. Serve with lemon or additional mayonnaise.


You know by now I do the brunch thing for Easter each year, and if not, well that's what I do.

This year we have some of the usual suspects:

Sauerkraut and Kielbasa, French ToastOatmeal Clafoutis.

I also included the Giant Potato Pancake this year (How would Easter be complete without Kugel?)

There were some new entries too:
Mini Crab Cakes
Wild Rice Duck Salad
Spaghetti Pie
Strawberry Oatmeal Muffins
Lemon Curd Pie (might have to work on a different name for that one - the word curd never sounds appealing)
Banana Cake

Stay tuned for the recipes...

Beef & Pasta Casserole

This was billed as a one dish meal - which often I'm a big fan. However, this ended up being a two dish meal for me, three if you count the food processor.  I didn't have a big enough skillet that could go in the oven. The one that would fit all the ingredients, the handle isn't oven worthy, and Griselda is not quite large enough. But all in all, this was so worth it. There's also a lot of tweaking that you can probably do.

Beef & Pasta Casserole (Adapted from Cooking Light)

1 large onion, quartered
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3" pieces
1T olive oil
4 clove garlic, minced
1 t dried basil
1/2 t oregano
1lb ground beef (or turkey)
3 c chicken stock
2T tomato paste
1T balsamic vinegar
1lb pasta (rigatoni, ziti, penne)
28 oz can whole tomatoes
4 oz Fontina cheese (or mozzarella), sliced 1/8" thick
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, grated

Place onion and carrots in food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Saute in olive oil in a large oven-safe skill…

Broccoli Planks

I had a little overflow of broccoli going on. I was wondering what to do with it, when I happened upon this little recipe. She calls them steaks; I call them planks. Either way they were very good. I cut back a little on the chili powder (since I'm a big baby). The vinegar dipping sauce neither added nor took away anything in my mind - it was just there. Enjoy!

Another Take on Not Dry Irish Soda Bread

I made Not Dry Irish Soda Bread about two years ago. Well I revisited it today because - you know, it's sort of THE DAY.

Same recipe except I used Greek yogurt instead of the sour cream and dried cranberries instead of the currants because I didn't have those ingredients in the house. It came out great - substitute away! Instead of the Dutch Oven, I used Griselda. Slightly less baking time because Griselda is a little wide (don't tell her I said that).

I also made the corned beef in the pressure cooker - 45 minutes - while the bread was cooking. Pretty good huh?

Rum Horchata

What happens when you take this recipe and add this recipe and add some rum? You get a darn good drink.
Horchata is rice and almonds soaked overnight, blenderized, and then chilled. Why not add a little rum - what could possibly go wrong? They did it in this  month's issue of Cooking Light. I can definitely see this as a cocktails on the veranda sort of drink come summer.

I did add the cinnamon stick to the soaking session. I'm not sure that it was needed since I added the burnt cinnamon simple syrup.

Rum Horchata (Adapted from Martha Stewart)

6T long grain rice, buzzed in a blender
1 1/4 c blanched almonds
1 cinnamon stick
4 1/2 cup water, divided
3/4 c sugar (or to taste)
1/4 c burnt cinnamon simple syrup

In a bowl mix rice, almonds, cinnamon stick and 2 1/2 c of warm water. Let sit overnight.

Discard cinnamon stick and add mixture to the blender.  Blend until smooth and no longer gritty. Mix in 3/4 c sugar into 2 c warm water. You might want to microwave it for a few second…

Coconut Oil Brownies

I'm always on a quest for the perfect brownies (even though I think I have a pretty darn good one here and you can even leave out the peppermint patties and have a really great brownie). Anyway, I am always tempted to try yet another one and still another one. I saw this recipe for coconut oil and couldn't resist. And I actually didn't change the recipe at all - can you believe that?? They have a slight coconut flavor but not overly strong.

I highly recommend refrigerating them. Since they have coconut oil in them, they remain a little soft and gooey at room temperature. Refrigerating them also aided in cutting them. I also suggest lining the pan with aluminum foil rather than parchment. The foil made getting them out of the pan a breeze. These are pretty dense.

For some reason, mine seemed to puff up an awful lot and then sink down in the middle. However, I didn't mind that a bit. They tasted delicious. I followed the recipe and added the 1/2 t of baking soda but mig…

Homemade Vegetable Bouillon

I thought I've mentioned this before, but couldn't find a posting (I know that search tool really is not great on this website - what kind of crap blog is this??). This is such a versatile recipe. I can't tell you how many times I use it and in how many different ways.  But I'll try - I use it if I haven't made chicken stock or let's face it - when I'm just too lazy to defrost the chicken stock. I use it when I want to make a dish totally vegetarian. I use it if the dish just needs a little more flavor. I add it to water when I cook rice. I've mixed it with cream cheese to make a nice spread for a bagel. You get the idea...
Homemade Vegetable Bouillon (Adapted from 101Cookbooks)

1 leek
1 small fennel bulb
2 carrots
3 celery stalks
1 small (or half) celery root (celeriac), peeled
2 oz sun-dried tomatoes
1 shallot, peeled
4 green onions
3 cloves garlic
1 small bunch of parsley
1 small bunch of cilantro
Kosher salt

Cut all ingredients into chunks. I find i…

Meatball Stew with Barley

This is another one of those rib-sticking cold weather day meals. The Sous Chef first made this a long time ago using ground turkey. I never would have picked it because the original recipe calls for ground lamb. I'm not a huge fan of lamb and I usually don't have ground lamb just hanging around. I've adapted the flavoring since the original used mint, which goes well with lamb but not so much with turkey.

Meatball Stew with Barley (adapted from 365 Easy One Dish Meals)

3 1/4 c chicken broth
15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
28 oz can of diced tomatoes (or whole)
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 c pearl barley
1lb ground turkey
1/2 c bread crumbs
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 t dried oregano
1t  dried basil
1t garlic powder
1 egg

In a Dutch oven, combine, kidney beans, tomatoes, carrot, celery, garlic, and barley. Stir to mix. Heat until boiling.
Meanwhile prepare the meatballs. Mix turkey, cheese,…

Cranberry Sourdough Rye with Walnuts and Pecans

I saw this recipe before we left on vacation and was really itching to make it. I had to change things up a bit but otherwise, you can follow the original directions. Mine did not come out as airy. It was a bit denser, but it had a really nice flavor.

Cranberry Sourdough Rye with Walnuts and Pecans (adapted from Bread Experience)

272g (about 9.5 oz) rye flour
219g (about 7.7 oz) water
14g (about 2t) sourdough starter (original used rye starter I only have regular flour starter)

Final dough

113g (4oz) dried cranberries
590g (about 20 oz) bread flour
45g (about 1.5 oz)rye flour
400g (about 14 oz)  water (including reserved water from soaking cranberries)
17g (about 2 1/4t) salt
1 1/2 t yeast
sourdough from above
58g (2oz) walnuts, toasted, then chopped in large pieces
58g (2oz) pecans, toasted, then chopped in large pieces

I did the math for you with the conversions. I think I would include a little more nuts and cranberries. The first step (leaving the starter for 14-16 hours), I did n…

A Quick Hop

A quick hop across the pond for a long weekend (or as they say weekEND) to shop for a wedding dress for the eldest and had a nice foodie weekend. We had a nice sausage and mash at a pub in walking distance from her flat.
What would a Sunday be without "Sunday Roast." I couldn't decide which I wanted the chicken or the vegetarian. Well they were out of the chicken so it was decided. It was really flavorful. It was grated parsnips, cranberries, walnuts, peanuts, and some seasoning. The roasted potatoes and carrots were really good and the kale was nice and tender. The Yorkshire pudding was OK - I think I've had better. I think I've made better?
Heading home I made a quick stop at Paddington Station for the Heathrow Express and a Cornish Pasty. Alas it was not as good as they used to be. Mostly pastry, hardly any filling.

Lastly what would a trip be without bringing back chocolate? I used a compression bag for my dirty laundry so I had plenty of room for chocolate …