Tuesday, July 31, 2012
I can't believe that it is a year since I started my blog. Actually it turned a year old while my father-in-law was here, but I didn't have a chance to celebrate the date during that time. It is always amazing to me how fast the time speeds by. It has been a lot of hard work, but it has been so much fun. I have met so many wonderful bloggers this first year and hope to meet more as I continue my blogging journey.
In honor of my blogs first birthday I decided to make some cupcakes; nice refreshing lemon ones. I found these on the Taste of Home website and knew right away that Mike would love these. The cupcakes turned out nice and light, even more they are filled with a lemon curd filling and topped with a lemony frosting. Now I would say that is one lemony cupcake. Needless to say Mike is enjoying the cupcakes.
I would like to thank all of you that come to my blog; I do enjoy reading your comments!!
Lemon Curd Cupcakes (As found on Taste Of Homes)
3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4-1/2 teaspoons butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extra
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1-1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter,
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 to 4 tablespoons milk
1. For lemon curd, in a heavy saucepan, cook and stir the sugar, lemon juice, and butter until smooth. Stir a small amount of hot mixture into egg; return all to pan. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly; cook 2 minutes longer or until thickened. Stir in lemon peel. Cool for 10 minutes. Cover and chill for 1-1/2 hours or until thickened.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add vanilla and lemon peel. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk.
Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert a small round pastry tip. Fill bag with lemon curd. Insert tip1 inch into center of each cupcake; fill with curd just until tops of cupcakes begin to crack.
In a small bowl, combine the butter, vanilla, salt, confectioners' sugar and enough mild to achieve frosting consistency. Frost cupcakes. Store in refrigerator.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
I feel like the party is over. What I mean by that is my father-in-law has left and is probably back in Florida by now as I write this. We had a wonderful visit with him and our house seems so quiet without his presence. Our family loves to play games and while my father-in-law was here there was usually someone at the kitchen table playing some kind of card game. We will miss him, but I am sure that he will be back next summer for his annual visit. Plus this year Mike and I will be going to Florida to visit him in December... I can't wait. So I guess that it is time to get back to more serious blogging again.
While my father-in-law was here I did sneak in making one new recipe. We were having such hot hot weather and I wanted to make a light cool salad with some summer vegetables. While surfing the web I found a summer salad that sounded refreshing and quick to make. It did call for champagne vinegar, which I did not have in the pantry so I decided to try the distilled vinegar that I had. I am sure that it did change the flavor of this recipe, but we enjoyed it just the same. But the vegetables were crisp and light; a nice simple refreshing salad for any meal.
Has anyone heard of champagne vinegar before? When I was at the grocery store after making this salad I decided to look for the champagne vinegar so that the next time I make this salad that I could use that and see the difference that it made. I could not find the champagne vinegar at my local grocery store. So if anyone out there reading this has tried the champagne vinegar please let me know what the difference is between champagne vinegar and distilled vinegar. I hope you try this salad with the distilled vinegar or the champagne vinegar either way it is something that you will enjoy in the heat of the summer.
Summer Salad (Adapted from Mamal Diane-Keeping it Simple)
3 small cucumbers
1 green pepper
2 small onions
1 large tomato
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup vinegar (original recipe called for champagne vinegar)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Dressing: In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, sugar, oregano, salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil. Set in refrigerator to chill while cutting up vegetables for the salad.
Salad: Peel and cut cucumbers into bites size pieces; place in a large bowl. Add green pepper that are cut into bite size pieces. Thinly slice onions and add to the bowl of vegetables. Dice the tomatoes and garlic and add to the other vegetable. Gently mix vegetables; pour the chilled dressing over the vegetables and mix well.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
It is time for another Blue Ribbon Challenge. Anna at Crunchy Creamy Sweet is kind enough to sponsor this challenge again this month. The challenge this month is to make a semifreddo. To be honest with you I had never heard of semifreddo before this. If you are like me and have never heard of a semifreddo before, I found a definition in my Joy Of Cooking cookbook: Semifreddi are frozen mousses usually made with a custard or egg base, lightened with a whipped cream, and molded in a loaf pan or individual goblets. Sounds yummy; doesn't it!
As I just stated this is the first time that I have heard of the term semifreddo, so I set out first of all to find out what I would be making and then second of all to find a recipe. I wanted something simple, because I knew that I would be making it last minute. With my father-in-law here until Sunday, I had decided to put this off until he had left. I wasn't quite sure how long it would take to make and I didn't want to take too much of my time making something for the blog; we were way too busy playing games and cards for that.
I found a nice simple recipe in my Joy Of Cooking cookbook. The recipe was chocolate of course. It didn't involve too many ingredients, but it was time consuming. A lot of beating that is in beating of the eggs, the egg mixture, and then the whipping cream. But by the time it was ready to put into the freezer the mixture was so fluffy and creamy, I couldn't wait until it was frozen so that I could sample it.
The dessert was supposed to freeze at least for 8 hours; the one that I made was in the freezer for almost 24 hours. I was a little worried that it would not be as good with sitting in the freezer for that long, but I was wrong. The semifreddo was creamy, sweet, and delicious. All that beating I mentioned earlier was well worth it. The dessert was a little bit of frozen chocolate heaven on a very hot day.
I hope that you will head over to Anna's at Crunchy Creamy Sweet and see all the wonderful semifreddo recipes that everyone else has posted. I am sure it will a little bit of sweet heaven. Thank you Anna for sponsoring the Blue Ribbon Challenge again this month.
Chocolate Semifreddo (As found in the Joy Of Cooking cookbook)
Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing the excess to hang over the edges. Beat in a bowl with mixer on medium-high speed, 2 to 3 minutes:
4 large eggs
Combine in a small saucepan:
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
Simmer over medium heat until the syrup is clear. With the mixer running on medium-high speed, slowly add the hot sugar syrup to the eggs, pouring it down the side of the bowl. Place the bowl over, not in, a saucepan of simmering water, and heat the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling, to 160 degree F, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and beat on high speed until light and fluffy and cooled to room temperature, 5 to 10 minutes. Gently fold in:
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whip to soft peaks:
1 cup heavy cream
Gently fold the cream into chocolate mixture. Pour into the prepared pan and place plastic wrap directly on the surface. Freeze until firm, at least 8 hours.
Remove the plastic covering and un-mold the semifreddo onto a serving platter. Peel away plastic wrap, slice, and serve immediately. Top with chopped nuts, chocolate, or whatever tickles your fancy.
Note: For a dramatic increase in flavor, substitute brandy or Frangelico for the water.
Friday, July 20, 2012
One of my favorite things about summer is the fruit. There is always an abundant amount and a wonderful variety of fruit to choose from. What is your favorite summer fruit? I would have to say that I have several, but one of my favorites is the blueberry. It seems to be one of the most versatile fruit around. I love to eat the blueberries by themselves, but I also love them in a salad, and they are great to bake or cook with.
One of the local grocery stores had a sale on blueberries a couple of weeks ago and so I had purchased a pint of them. My kids were going to be home for Sunday dinner that week and so I decided to make a dessert with the blueberries that I had purchased. The recipe called for 3 cups of blueberries and I had only the one pint, but I did have some strawberries in the refrigeration also so I decided to use some strawberries to make the 3 cups.
I have to say that this cobbler turned out be delicious. There was not one bite left of this dessert by the end of the meal. We all enjoyed it; I think there were a few of the kids just about licking out their bowls trying to get every bit of the cobbler. Needless to say I have made this one again. The second time I added a couple of more fruits, I had blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and some peach thrown in the cobbler. I have to say that this was just as scrumptious as the first cobbler. So when it comes down to this cobbler I think that just about any fruit would make this a tasty dessert. I hope that you will give it try and let me know what kind of fruit you used in your cobbler.
Berry Cobbler (Adapted from Southern Food.about.com)
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup water
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1 teaspoon melted butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
3 tablespoons melted butter
In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch, stir in water. Bring to a boil; stirring constantly, boil for 1 minute. Add fruit. Pour fruit mixture into a lightly buttered 1 1/2 quart baking dish or a 9 inch pie plate. Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzled with 1 teaspoon melted butter.
Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour milk and 3 tablespoons melted butter into a measuring cup; add to flour mixture all at once. Stir just mixture is moistened and forms a ball. Drop spoonfuls onto the fruit mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
I had mentioned in a previous post that we had gone to a family reunion a while back ago. The family reunion was a few hours away and every family was asked to bring a dish to pass. I wanted to make something that was simple and easy to bring along. Mike loves coleslaw and wanted to bring that along. I went one step further and made a recipe called Claremont salad. It is very similar to coleslaw, but with a couple of additions. It has cucumbers and onions along with the cabbage and the carrots.
I have actually made this for other occasions such as graduations and holidays or just for everyday meals. What I like about this is so simple to make, it is made the day before, and it keeps very well. The cucumbers and the onions stay nice and crisp in the vinaigrette that they marinate in. The vinaigrette is one this is nice and tangy, which make this salad completely yummy!
Claremont Salad (As found on allreipes).com)
1 medium head cabbage, shredded
2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
3 carrots shredded
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons water
3 teaspoon salt
1. Combine the cabbage, cucumber, carrots, and onion in a large bowl.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, oil, water, and salt. Pour over the cabbage mixture, toss to coat and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. Drain excess liquid before serving. Enjoy!
One last thing, Emma at Food, Fork & Good nominated me for the one lovely blog award a couple of weeks ago. I am sorry it has taken me so long to post this. Emma's blog has great recipes and wonderful pictures to go along with her recipes.
Here are the rules for the award:
1. Link back to whoever nominated you.
2. Write 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Nominate 11 bloggers.
11 random facts about myself:
1. I love to eat fish. I could eat everyday of the week.
2. I work as an office manager.
3. I love the country. I love the peacefulness of living in the country.
4. I like to canoe
5. My favorite thing to bake is bread
6. My husband and I share the same birthday, but I am a year older than him.
7. I have a great husband and will be married 31 years this next month.
8. I love watching romantic comedy movies.
9 I love to read.
10. My daughter Krista will be moving to Chicago next month, I am going to be missing her.
11. My son Jon just got engaged to his girl friend Brianna and will be getting married next year in October. I will be getting a great daughter-in-law.
I think that this award should go to all the great blogs out there. There are so many too pick from, it really is too hard to do so. I want to thank Emma from Food, Fork & Good.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
I had bought some puff pastry for a recipe that I had found in a magazine, I had found the recipe while waiting for an appointment. But when it came to making the recipe I wasn't quite sure how the recipe went and I hadn't written anything down. So I had puff pastry sitting in my freezer waiting to be used, but wasn't quite sure what to do with it. Then last week we went to a family reunion on Mike's side and there was some delicious Danish. My problem was solved. I decided on Danish after seeing how delicious the ones looked at the family reunion.
Using puff pastry has to be the simplest way to make Danish. I was surprised to see how nice the Danish turned out. This is the first time that I have used puff pastry so I really had no idea what to expect. As I said the Danish turned out to be delicious; I would say they were as tasty as the ones that were at the family reunion that came from a bakery. I love anything when it comes to lemon and decided to go with that for the filling. I found a simple recipe for lemon curd on the internet (the recipe will follow), but for a simpler way you could use canned pie filling.
I wanted to say if you don't see me around as much as normal it is because we have my father-in-law visiting for a little over a week from Florida. So I really want to spend as much time with him as I can since I don't get to see him too often, but I will be sneaking away once in awhile to visit the blogging world.
Lemon Danish (Adapted from Pepperidge Farm Pastry)
1 package (17.3 ounce) Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed
2 tablespoons butter
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a baking dish.
2. Sprinkle the flour on the working surface. Unfold 1 pastry sheet on the works surface. Brush the pastry sheet with half the butter. Sprinkle generously with the granulated sugar. With the short side facing you, cut the pastry sheet lengthwise into 6 strips. Repeat with the remaining sheets, making 12 in all.
3. Twist 1 pastry strip then coil into a spiral. Place the pastry onto the baking sheet. Brush the end of the spiral with the remaining butter and tuck tightly under the bottom of the pastry. Repeat with the remaining pastry strips. Place 1 teaspoon of lemon curd mixture in the center of each pastry.
4. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Let the pastries cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
6. Drizzle with a vanilla icing.
Lemon Curd (As found on patricafurtado.net)
(I used 1/2 recipe, so if you want a full recipe double what is listed)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
In a metal bowl or on top of a double boiler, mix eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar until blended. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook always whisking to prevent lumping. When it is nice and thick remove from heat and add butter in small pieces. Mix well till butter has melted and lemon curd is smooth.
About a 3/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar, a dab of butter, a dash of salt, dash of vanilla, and hot water. Put the sugar, salt, butter, vanilla into a bowl stir enough hot water into the mixture to desired consistency.
Saturday, July 7, 2012
It is time for the July Crazy Cooking Challenge. I always say that once July 4th is over that half the summer is gone. I really don't know where the time goes; it seems only yesterday we were saying we couldn't wait for some warmer weather. Once again the cooking challenge is sponsored by Tina from Mom's Crazy Kitchen.
We love fried chicken in our house so I was excited to find out that this month's challenge was fried chicken. I thought that this would be an easy recipe to find, but that was not the case for me. I started off looking on Pinterest, but soon found that there wasn't anything that interested me when it came to fried chicken recipes. So I started with looking on the web, but still I found nothing that really tickled my fancy. I have a recipe that I found on Barefeet In The Kitchen that was stuck in my head and so I decided to use that one.
I actually got my smoothie recipe for last month's challenge from Mary's blog Barefeet In The Kitchen also. But like I said I have had the recipe stuck in my head ever since I saw it on her blog and have wanted to try it. So I decided that this challenge was the perfect time to give it a go.
This recipe is so unusual and so simple that it can't help but catch your attention. There are only 3 ingredients for the recipe chicken, salt, and pepper. Now I know what you are thinking, because I thought was thinking the same thing. How can this chicken have any flavor? There are no herbs or seasoning besides the salt and pepper. But this chicken is amazing!!
The chicken turns out to be crispy on the outside and juicy and tender in the inside. And to my surprise it was full of flavor. I know that this will be on the menu for a long time coming. The only drawback on this recipe it is messy to make. The chicken is cooks at a medium high heat so it likes to splatter, so make sure you have your apron on.
Thanks Tina for sponsoring the Crazy Cooking Challenge again this month. Also thanks Mary at Barefeet In The Kitchen for all the wonderful recipes that you put on your blog. I have made several of your recipes and we always enjoy them thoroughly!
Simple Skillet Chicken (Adapted from Barefeet In The Kitchen)
4 bone in chicken thighs and 4 bone in chicken drumsticks
Course sea salt
Course cracked pepper
Heat a Skillet over medium heat. Generously sprinkle salt and pepper in the hot skillet and then place the chicken with the skin side in the skillet. Then season the top of the chicken with salt and pepper, place the cover on the skillet and let cook without touching the chicken for about 10 minutes. At this point check the chicken, the skin should be nicely browned and crisp if not turn up the heat a little and continue to cook for a couple of more minutes.
Turn the chicken over and continue to cook until the juices run clear, about another 5 to 12 minutes. The drumsticks to less time than the thighs and it will depend on the size of the pieces. Remove from skillet and serve immediately. It is so yummy!!
(Note: While frying the chicken, it has a tendency to splatter so keep covered as much as possible. Try to hold lid over as much of the skillet while turning over chicken).
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
When we purchased our first microwave, it came with a cookbook. I haven't used this cookbook all that much, but for a hot fudge sauce recipe that is so yummy. We actually purchased this microwave over 25 years ago and have been making this hot fudge ever since then. This hot fudge recipe is so delicious that I never make any other hot fudge recipes. It is terrific for just a topping on ice cream to brownie sundaes.
The weather has been super hot so I decided it would be a great time to share this recipe. Wouldn't a hot fudge sundae go great just about now? You can't go wrong with this hot fudge, it is really chocolaty, thick, and so creamy. When I make this hot fudge sauce it never last very long, everyone in the family simply loves it. I have used it for a simple hot fudge sundae, but have used it for an ice cream roll that my family loves. So I hope if you are looking to cool off with a delicious hot fudge sundae you will try this recipe. I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I do.
Hot Fudge Sauce (As found in the Microwave Cooking The Amana Way)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water, room temperature
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Mix together dry ingredients in a 1 quart glass measuring cup. Stir in water.
2. Cook in Microwave oven on full power for about 1 1/2 minutes (it may be less time in you have a higher watt microwave).Stir half way the cooking time. Blend in butter and cook on full power for another 30 seconds or until butter is melted. (The longer you cook it the thicker it will become). Stir halfway through cooking time. Blend in vanilla. Stir thoroughly. Enjoy!!
Now on to the award. I was given the Versatile Award from Debra Ann at Granny's Down Home Southern Cooking. I would like to thank her for thinking of me and encourage you to visit her blog.