Friday, April 4, 2014

Fruitful Friday.... Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Dates

After Craving something sweet and savory, we settled on this yummy snack...
 
 
Ingredients:
1 (8 ounce) package pitted dates
Assorted Cubes of Medium Cheddar, Colby Jack, Ricotta, Crumbled Blue and Cream Cheese
1 pound sliced bacon, quartered

Directions

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Slice open dates, and stuff each with a single type cube of cheese of choice, (do not mix cheeses into cubes, different cheeses are suggested only to add variety to the dish.)
  3. Wrap each date with a quarter of a bacon slice, and secure bacon with toothpicks.
  4. Arrange wrapped dates on a medium baking sheet, and broil 15 minutes in the preheated oven, turning once, until bacon is evenly browned and crispy.  
  5. Drain on paper towel and serve warm. They can be served with or without toothpicks...

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thrifty Thursday ---- Cape Cod Lobster Rolls

Since we are enjoying Breakfast & Brunch this week, we thought we would share our version of the recipe with all of you.... The idea behind why we consider this a Thrifty Meal is because your only expense should be the Lobster and maybe your hot dog buns. You should have everything else either in your pantry or in your garden by now...

CAPE COD STYLE LOBSTER ROLLS

Ingredients

    * 1 pound cooked & chilled lobster meat, cut into large pieces
    * 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
    * 1/16 cup finely chopped tarragon leaves
    * 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    * 1 lemon, juiced
    * 1 green onion, diced
    * 1 stalk celery, diced
    * Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    * 4 hot dog buns
    * 4 leaves flat green lettuce shredded

Directions:

In a large, chilled bowl, mix all ingredients well, making sure not to mash the lobster. Season well with salt and pepper. Grill or caramelize each hot dog bun and line with shredded lettuce and fill evenly with the lobster salad.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Blackberry Lemonade (DYI Sports Drinks)

Yesterday, I started back on the "Couch 2 5K" plan. I have desided to do this for a couple of reasons.

#1... I have plateaued on my weight lose adventures.
#2... I feel soggy and unhealthy.

Today on the C25k Facebook page there was a link to www.active.com, that featured a discussion about sports drinks and how you can make your own. I am not a big fan of sports drinks, but the article got us here at the pantry thinking about fun summer chillers that we could make at home that would still meet the criterial of a sports drink. Which the article stated as being: "The nutritional profile of most commercial sports drinks is approximately 50 calories, 14 grams of carbohydrate and 110 grams of sodium per 8-ounce serving." 

This one is our favorite so far...


Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup country time pink lemonade 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 fresh lime wedges
  • 1/2 cup orange juice 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 cups cold water
Dissolve lemonade mix and salt in water, add orange juice, lemon juice and blackberries. Stir and chill. When ready to serve fill each glass with ice and squeeze 1 lime wedge into each glass (serves 4). Pour lemonade mix over ice and serve. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"Tuesday's with Dorie" - Potato Lefse

Today, we started the morning out with some yummy POTATO LEFSE.

This humble Norwegian flatbread, used traditionally as a holiday treat, is made from mashed potatoes and flour and if rolled out thin, is more like a crêpe than a flour tortilla. Most often it is served with melted butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, and then roll it up. We tried this way and they were very tasty. But we liked them better with homemade strawberry jam and whipped cream. They  make a great after school snack if you spread them with peanut butter and jelly or cream cheese and Nutella. My boys considered the more savory suggestion of layering in a few slices of deli meats and cheeses, then adding a drizzle of ranch dressing. Maybe even using it as a shell for a chicken salad wrap. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"Tuesday's with Dorie" - Mocha Brownie Cake

       I have made this recipe many times in the past and it never ceases to amaze me how dense and rich it comes out every time. It is not one of our favorites here at the pantry, but the ganache topping is excellent and easy to use. 


         We followed the recipe found in the cookbook, Baking with Julia page no. 282-283, by Dorie Greenspan, with the exception of leaving out the coffee and adding some wet walnuts on top. 
         Side note: the key to great presentation with this cake is to use a hot knife when slicing and serving. 


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Friday, March 14, 2014

Salute to PI day...

Lemon Meringue Pie 

INGREDIENTS
11/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
3 lemons, juiced and zested
2 tablespoons melted butter
5 egg yolks, beaten
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
5 egg whites
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter

 DIRECTIONS:
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
 To Make Lemon Filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk together dry: sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a slow boil. Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture. Whisk egg yolk mixture back into remaining sugar mixture. Bring to a boil and continue to cook while stirring constantly until thick. Whisk in melted butter.  Remove from heat. Pour filling into baked pastry shell

To Make Meringue: In a large glass or copper bowl, whip egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tarter and sugar gradually, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.

Key Lime Pie 

Ingredients:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup fresh (preferable) or bottled Key lime juice (about 24 to 30 Key limes)
  • 1 purchased or homemade 9-inch graham cracker crust
  • Sweetened whipped cream for garnish, any variety

    Preparation:

    Preheat oven to 350 F.

    Place egg yolks and lime zest in a nonreactive bowl and beat on high speed about 5 minutes, until the mixture is very glossy. Add sweetened condensed milk in a steady stream and beat until thickened, another 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and add Key lime juice, beating only until combined.

    Pour the lime custard into the prepared graham cracker crust. Bake about 10 minutes until filling has barely set. Remove from oven and let slowly cool until it is room temperature. Refrigerate.

    Place the Key lime pie in the freezer about 15 to 20 minutes before serving time. Slice and serve with a large dollop of whipped cream

  • Almond Shortbread Crust
  • 4 tablespoon room temperature butter 
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 drops of almond extract 
  • 2 drops of lemon extract

Directions

  1. Cut together butter and sugar in a medium bowl, until grainy. Stir in yolk. Add flour and salt, and stir until mixture is dry and crumbly. Press dough into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie dish.
  2. Bake on 350*,  just until crust turns golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool in dish on a wire rack.
  3. Make filling or use pre made fillings.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

SHOYU RAMEN - (totally homemade / totally umami)


  • Japanese Shōyu ("soy sauce") Ramen is typically based on a chicken and vegetable stock with plenty of soy sauce added resulting in a soup that is very pleasing to the palate. It usually has curly noodles rather than straight ones and is often adorned with marinated bamboo shoots, green onions, nori (seaweed), boiled eggs, bean sprouts and chili oil. We, on the other hand, love to add all kinds of fresh vegetables and tofu to ours.
   This is not a soup that can be made on the spur of the moment, unless you already have chicken or vegetable stock in your pantry. To make your stock, place the following ingredients in a large stock pot and cover. Simmer on low for 4 hours, and strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve. Reserve stock, discard leftover bones and vegetables. This can be made up to two days ahead. 
  • 4 quarts water
  • 4 pounds chicken bones 
  • 1 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped leeks, white parts only
  • 1 head garlic, halved horizontally
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, smashed
  • 1 small white onion, quartered
  • ½ cup soy sauce, sake and teriyaki sauce
  • On the Day of...
    COOK EGGS
    Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Carefully add eggs one at a time and boil gently for 7 minutes. Drain eggs and transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking; let cool. Peel; set aside. Egg yolks should be shiny yellow and almost jammy; egg white should be just set.
      
    REHEAT STOCK AND COOK NOODLES
    When ready to serve, bring stock to a simmer; it should be very hot. Add noodles to the stock and according to package directions.
     
    Just before serving
    Divide noodles among 4 deep bowls. Top with sliced chicken, grated carrots, thinly sliced celery, mushrooms, green onions, water chestnuts and a few small cubes of tofu. Peel and slice egg, placing it off to one side. Serve ramen with chili oil, sesame oil, and/or shichimi togarashi.