Jan 2 2012

Christmas Dinner: Roasted Rack of Venison with Red Currant and Cranberry Sauce

Natalie

Welcome the New Year!  For Christmas dinner with guests, Roger made Martha Stewart’s recipe:  Roast Rack of Venison with Red Currant and Cranberry Sauce.  He added garlic mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts.  It was out of this world delicious, but before you start cooking, it required the elusive Juniper berry in the rub and red current in the sauce, both of which are not easily found in a local grocery store.  Maida and Roger (both planning to cook the same recipe) spent some time in frantic consultation.  He spent three or four days crafting the recipe in his mind, one day on the sauce, and another on the actual assembly.  Total Prep time: 4 days go to.  If we count that he had to shoot the deer first, Total Prep time:  well, it’s a labor of love.

Otherwise, all is well in our humble abode.  We have arrived at 2012 with healthy children, a dynamite grandson, and 16 (and counting) months of happy marriage.  Peso and Blue are thriving, despite Blue’s regular mysterious vomiting.  The only thing lacking is a little (2 – 4” or more, please) snow.

Happy New Year to you and yours!


Aug 3 2011

Canning salsa

Natalie

Last year’s salsa recipe came straight from the Ball Canning book, a classic.  It was great, but this year, I found myself searching online for more unique salsa recipes and stumbled onto a blog, Seasonal Ontario Food, with a step-by-step recipe for salsa.  So what?  Well, the author, “Ferdzy” wrote, “. . . in my opinion, if there is vinegar in a salsa, it isn’t salsa anymore, it’s something else.  This recipe calls for lime juice instead, which is a traditional ingredient for salsa.”

That was enough of a challenge for me to decide this would be the salsa recipe for this year.  If the purists use lime juice, then why would I have thought vinegar was adequate?

We have some Anaheim peppers in the garden, so I thought they would do the trick.  I mixed in some Habaneros, too.  I didn’t learn until long after the 13 jars were complete that Anaheim peppers are fairly low on the Scoville Scale (I didn’t learn about the Scoville Scale, actually, until tonight zithromax buy online usa.)  The salsa is much milder than I would have hoped, but the taste is still terrific.  I like that it has a freshness missing in last year’s salsa.

It helps to read the recipe thoroughly, though.  This is one of my special challenges—I skim everything.  The notation:  “8 to 12 hours—2.5 to 3 hours working” was very accurate.  It took me most of 24 hours to get it done.  Didn’t estimate the right amount of lime juice, so I had to make a second trip to the store, and I had a horrible allergic reaction to cutting up the onions and peppers even though I wore gloves!  I did!  Had to abandon the task, shower, and rest until my nose recovered.

For all of these complaints, if you are up for canning salsa, and you have a FULL day, try this recipe.  Next year, I will use the same recipe with slightly more spicy peppers.


Jul 14 2011

Kale Chips?

Natalie

I am determined to eat what we are growing, even if it means kale, kale, and more kale.  I have given bags of the green gems to every visitor, but it continues to proliferate.  We prefer the curly leaf variety, but Roger planted plenty of the flat leaf version.  What we have here is great green elephant ears of kale and few recipes that meet our approval.

Our standard kale preparation is with garlic, olive oil and pan-fried walnuts.  Tonight’s kale recipe was unusual but terrific—Baked Kale Chips.  The recipe was submitted by Lucy DelRey on allrecipes.com. Her comment  about the chips being a good conversation topic is true. They are weird-looking, but delicious http://www.olders.ca/items/generic-viagra-from-canada.html!

One of the feedback comments suggested adding a splash of soy sauce.  Knowing that C.J. would drink soy sauce if it were a beverage, I added that flavoring to entice him.  It worked!

I persuaded C.J. to help with dinner tonight, and he washed and cut the leaves with kitchen scissors.  I can imagine the novelty of kale chips and the ease of preparation would make this a fun cooking project for children. The salty taste and strange “chip” feel guarantees that children will eat their greens.


Jul 13 2011

Baked Zucchini Parmesan Fries

Natalie

How fast does zucchini grow?  I checked out MK’s blog, My Food Revolution where the author tracked her zucchini growth each day.  In the ripening stages, the “alpha” zucchini (who knew there was a dominant fruit on each plant) grew 2” in a 24-hour period.  I think I’ve got her beat, but I admit I am not out there with a measuring tape.

So we have several zucchinis in the refrigerator, and more are on the vine.  Yesterday, I tried a Moosewood Restaurant recipe with a lemon cilantro sauce that got only modest approval from Roger (who would eat zucchini in ANY form) and C.J. (who reserves the right to refuse anything that is green, except broccoli or iceberg lettuce) cialis 20 mg buy online uk.

Tonight we tried Baked Zucchini Fries (total preparation time from garden to table—30 minutes), and C.J. traded his main dish for my share of zucchini fries, so I’d say that was a success.

I found the recipe on Aggie’s Kitchen blog. She provides the recipe and photo step-by-step instructions.  If you are swamped with zucchini, try this recipe!  Big plus—you have all of the ingredients in your kitchen already.


Nov 7 2009

Apple Fritters

Natalie

Apple fritter

Ever since our trip to Syracuse, Roger and I have been craving apple fritters.  I found a terrific recipe on line:

Peel, core and slice four apples.  (Roger chooses tart apples.)

Batter:  2 cups flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Stir dry ingredients together in a bowl.  In another bowl mix 2 eggs, 1 cup milk, a smidgen of vanilla.  Combine wet and dry ingredients.

I’ve been coating the apple slices and cooking them in canola oil and then dipping them in cinnamon sugar.

Be careful.  You might need to eat five or six at a sitting!

iPhone photo by Natalie


Aug 8 2009

Outrageous Oatmeal Cookies

Natalie

Nicole and I have made this recipe 4 times since it was published in the Washington Post in early July.  Everyone raves.  Even though the last time we used partially melted butter, and the cookies looked very much like an alien landscape, they were still delicious.  The dried cranraisins make the difference.  The recipe says it makes 30 cookies.  We’ve never made more than 24 cookies–but Roger eats a lot of dough in the process.

Outrageous Oatmeal Cookies

 

(Makes about 30 3-inch cookies)

These cookies are adapted from a Starbucks recipe. 

 

INGREDIENTS

1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats (do not use quick-cooking or instant)

½ cup flour

½ cup dark raisins

½ cup golden raisins

¼ cup dried cranberries (I use Cranraisins—they’re usually in the produce aisle.)

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

(If you use salted butter, omit the additional salt in recipe.)

½ cup packed dark brown sugar

1 large egg

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

DIRECTIONS

 

·         Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. (Using parchment paper does make a significant difference.

 

·         Combine the oats, flour, ¼ cup of the dark raisins and ¼ cup of the golden raisins, the dried cranberries, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.

 

·         Combine the remaining ¼ cup dark raisins and ¼ cup golden raisins (for topping) in a separate bowl.

 

·         Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held mixer; beat on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Add the egg, cinnamon and vanilla extract; beat on medium speed until well incorporated.

 

·         Reduce the speed t low; gradually add the oats mixture, mixing until just combined.

 

·         Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart.  Place one mounded teaspoon of raisins on top of each portion of dough (flatten the dough slightly to keep the raisins from rolling off).  Bake for 12 to 16 minutes, until the cookies are light golden brown yet still soft.  Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

NUTRITION/per cookie:

 

97 calories, 2 g. protein, 16 g. carbohydrates, 3 g. fat, 2 g. saturated fat, 13 mg. cholesterol, 56 mg. sodium, 1 g. dietary fiber, 8 g. sugar.


Aug 5 2009

Outstanding Turkey Burgers

Natalie

Tonight, Luke and C.J. made turkey burgers using a recipe sent by Gini, our good friend.  They were, by far, the best burgers I’ve tasted.  It’s a good thing they made so many.  Lunch tomorrow will be delicious!

Turkey Burgers

1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
3 Granny Smith apples , peeled and diced
1/8 cup canola oil
4 pounds ground turkey breast
2 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. black pepper
2 tsp. Tabasco® chipotle pepper sauce
1 lemon , juiced and grated zest
1/2 bunch parsley , finely chopped
1/4 cup Major Grey’s Chutney, pureed
Sauté the scallions, celery and apples in the canola oil until tender. Let cool.

Place the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Add sautéed items and the remaining ingredients. Shape into eight 8-ounce burgers. Refrigerate for 2 hours. (We didn’t have two hours because we were hungry–still tasted amazing.)

Season the turkey burgers with salt and pepper. Place on a preheated, lightly oiled grill. Grill each side for 7 minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked. Let sit for 5 minutes.


Aug 3 2009

Plenty (of Local Foods)

Natalie

Roger and I have started reading Plenty, a book about a couple who attempt to eat locally (within 100 miles) for one year.

plenty_book

Although I am not prepared to give up sugar and coffee, I was inspired to use the vegetables from our garden to create dinner.  We had brown sugar carrots, rosemary baked beets and zuchinni pancakes topped with cheddar cheese.  Surprisingly, the zuchinni pancakes got rave reviews from C.J., who has a severe case of vegetaphobia.    The recipe was simple:  grated zuchinni (well-drained), chopped red onion, egg, and bread crumbs, salt and pepper fried in a little olive oil and topped with cheese.  I think next time I will add some garlic powder and spices to give it even more flavor.


Jul 26 2009

Too Much Zucchini? Never!

Natalie

At this time of year, the zucchini in our garden are mass-producing under their elephant-sized leaves.  Shirley gave us a recipe that requires a mandolin, a new kitchen accessory to me.  Roger and I found ourselves at the outlet mall comparing five or six different kinds of mandolins so that we can make the perfect julienned zucchini.

Even our picky young adults had extra servings of the recipe.  Mariel Hemingway describes it as a family favorite in the latest issue of AARP.

Zucchini Linguini with Chicken

(featured in AARP July & August 2009)

Serves 4

 

2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch pieces

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 garlic clove, minced

¼ cup fat-free chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water

3 green zucchini, julienned

3 yellow zucchini, julienned

¼ cup julienne fresh basil

2 ½ ounces goat cheese, crumbled

 

1.      Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sauté until cooked, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.  Drain all but 1 tablespoon of oil from pan.

 

2.      Add the butter and shallot to the pan and sauté until soft, then add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.  Add the chicken broth and zucchini and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes more, or just until soft.  Remove from heat.

 

3.      Return the chicken to the pan, add the basil, and stir to combine.  Divide among four plates and top with goat cheese.  Serve immediately.

 

Nutrients preserving:  261 calories, 25g protein, 7g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 15g fat (7g saturated fat), 74mg cholesterol, 440mg sodium


Jul 25 2009

Go Fish!

Natalie

Even though they’ve been open for eight years, I’ve avoided Go Fish! the British Fish and Chips shop in downtown Rehoboth.  After three days of “maybe,” I gave in to Roger’s persuasion and a wonderful meal that ended with English Sticky Toffee Pudding.  Here’s a link to the Food Network recipe.  It’s first on my list of recipes to try when I get home.  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cooking-live/english-sticky-toffee-pudding-recipe/index.html.

If you’re in Rehoboth, the traditional fish and chips meal is outstanding.  We split an order because I couldn’t bring myself to eat all that fried food; however, when the meal was finished (all too soon), we debated ordering again. . .

storefront-to-go-fish