Friday, January 29, 2016

Banana Cream Pie

I admit it, I get a big kick out of making a recipe from food I've grown.  Which in my case usually means herbs.

I have a collection of herbs that I grow and harvest and use pretty much year round.   I grow them in containers in my very spacious backyard, all seven feet wide of it.

However there is one herb I don't grow in pots, this herb grows in the ground and when I get to harvest its' fruit I get really excited.

I'm talking bananas.
 
They are an herb, technically.  Although most people think they're a fruit.  And we're both right.
Bananas

I've gotten bananas off of my plants in the past, but nothing like this year, well, actually last year.
I got so excited when I saw this bunch on the plant.  I went and visited them almost daily, took lots and lots and lots of pictures.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

3 Ingredient Valentine's Recipe Ideas

 For those of you who get into the spirit of Valentine's Day, I thought I'd go through the blog and pick out a few ideas for you. 

I'm not planning anything for that date, other than attending a party a friend is throwing, but if you're so inclined and want to make something for your special someone's, here are a couple of ideas.

I made these Coconut Covered Marshmallows a couple of years ago, and had fun making them, as well as eating them.

Just three basic ingredients.  Large marshmallows, cream and coconut. 
You can get really wild with these, tint the coconut pink for Valentine's Day? or green for St. Patty's Day or maybe even tint the coconut the colors of your favourite football team and bring them with you on Game Day.  Just sayin...  I just toasted the coconut for this batch. 

The nuts are optional, but necessary, I think. 

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

January Tapas

I was feeling a little multicultural last night, so I indulged myself and made food from various parts of the world.  I channeled my Danish roots, got some Mexican, Italian and Japanese flavors going.

Having a variety of dishes is a good thing when it comes to Tapas Night.   And as usual,there was  lots of great food and conversations and general good times.

To start with, how about a couple of overviews of the table.
 And this view...

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Moist Roast Chicken with Crispy Skin

You would think something like a simple Roast Chicken doesn't deserve a separate post.

But as someone who has made more than her share of rubbery skinned, pale chickens, I wanted to share this with you.

I made not only a beautiful golden chicken for dinner the other day, but one with crispy skin, which I promptly ate.

Just kidding, I only ate a little of it, the skin that is.

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Dutch Baby or Popover Pancake

A couple of weeks ago I made a Prime Rib for dinner and of course had to make some Yorkies to go with it. 
Yorkies are Yorkshire Puddings, BTW, not the little four legged doggies.

At any rate...

I had some leftover batter and stuck it into the fridge overnight, and decided that there was enough batter to make a Dutch Baby Pancake.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Boat Club for January

So...
It was another great night of food, fellowship and fun last night.    Yup, it was our monthly Boat Club potluck.  Boat Club is hosted by friends of ours who are members of our local Boat Club and they are gracious and generous enough to invite us and many others to meet once a month, partake of great food and visit.   Which is a good thing.
Maybe not for the waistline, but that's OK.

And last night was no exception.   Lots and lots of food but we did seem to have a theme.   It was a Wings kinda night.

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Jalapeno Popper Bacon Wrapped Chicken

I'm still dreaming about the dinner I made the other day.   It was inspired by a couple of different things.

First off, during our round-up of readers faves on our blogs, I 'd run into this dish, Jalapeno Grilled Chicken on Sarah's blog.   And I made a mental note and thought, gee, that sounds good, I wonder...

And then on Sunday we had dinner at a local restaurant, and I ordered the special, which was very similar to Sarah's recipe. Basically it was a grilled chicken with chopped Jalapeno's on top with some melted cheddar cheese.    And while it was good, and I ate pretty much every bite, it was lacking, something.
So...
I went back and looked at Sarah's recipe again, just to refresh my memory, but honestly I didn't pay as much attention to the how to's as I should have.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken
I got it into my head that I had to wrap the bacon around the chicken, not just place it on top.  Not the instructions at all.  
sigh.


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Saturday, January 9, 2016

Deep Fried Turkey

Just after Thanksgiving I was talking with a friend about turkeys, and he mentioned that at Thanksgiving he, and another couple of guys were manning a couple of pots of oil and deep frying turkeys.  I think he said they actually cooked 12-14 turkeys that day.

My mouth started watering.  It usually does that at the mention of deep fried turkeys.   I'd only had the occasion to try one once before, and as memory served, it was moist and tender and delicious.

Norm mentioned that he would be frying turkeys again on Christmas day and if we wanted to, we could bring a bird or a turkey breast over and he would fry it for us.

We wanted to.

I had a turkey breast in the freezer and I made sure I had room for it in the fridge so it could defrost in plenty of time.

So Christmas morning we brought it over to him, and waited while another turkey fried.  And when he pulled it out of the fryer, it was golden brown and looked so totally luscious. 
I had to wipe the drool off my chin.
Just kidding.  I knew my turkey was next.
So here are the pictures of the adventure.  Since I've never actually fried one myself, I let the master season and prep it. 
And fry it as well.
You need to make sure that the oil is the right temperature.  I believe it was at 350 degrees.
Then comes the prep.  Seasoning is key.  I'd brought a wimpy little container of poultry seasoning, but was told that Lemon Pepper was the way to go.
Making sure that every bit of the surface is seasoned, next up, placing the breast on a holder.
Ready for the oil bath.
Next step, lowering it into the oil, slowly.
After that we wait, and visit for a little while.   This 7 pound breast took just 33 minutes to cook. 
As Norm pulled it out, my heart stopped for just a second. 
And then my mouth took over and started watering.   It would have been rude to grab the breast and run at this point, but I was tempted.  However we waited and visited a little more as Norm fried another turkey breast.
Then we grabbed ours and left.
You may have noticed that my breast was a little dark, but that's because it was seasoned differently from the next breast that was cooked.
And when we got home, I promptly sliced into the breast and loaded up our plates with some of the moistest, tenderest, flavorful turkey I've ever had.  EVER!!! 
That turkey breast is now a dim, savoury memory, but one I can bring out and think about any time I want.

And Norm, we'll be back...

Any time you want to get the fryer going, we'll be there.























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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Brunede Kartofler

I did a traditional, for us at least, New Years meal this year. 
Actually, I made it New Years Day, but I think Mom used to cook this for New Year's Eve back when I was young.

Which was just a couple of years ago.

At any rate, I was in the store a few days ago and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a large bag of Kale, fresh washed, trimmed Kale.  It sat upon the shelf in solitary, lonely splendour until I grabbed it and threw it in the cart. 
It didn't know what hit it.
Well, gee, that did it. 
I had to buy a ham, and then some canned small potatoes.  
I had my New Years Menu set. 
I was going to have Skinke med Grønlangkål and some Brunede Kartofler. 
My mouth was watering in anticipation and delight. 

I then ended up asking a couple of friends if they wanted to come to dinner at the last minute, cause when I looked at the size of the ham, and how big the bag of kale was, it was really too much for two people. 

I've told you before how to make the Gronlangkol or Kale, and I'm sure you know how to roast a ham, but I bet you don't know how to make Brunede Kartofler.  So, I'll tell you.  I do kinda cheat a little here and use canned new potatoes.


2-3 cans small whole New Potatoes, drained and rinsed
1 cup sugar
2-4 Tablespoons butter

Pour the sugar into an ungreased pan, heat on medium-low heat until the sugar starts to melt around the edges,
and turn a lovely golden color.   Stir it a little, just to mix it up and even out the sugar.  Add the butter and stand back.  It will bubble up and smell wonderful.  Add the drained potatoes and don't touch it for a couple or 5 minutes. 
The potatoes need to cook in the sugar sauce for just a few minutes.  Shake the pan a little to loosen the potatoes a little, let cook then turn them over so that they brown evenly.  Keep cooking for another few minutes until they're evenly browned all over.  When done, pour the whole pan full into a serving dish and place on the table along with the ham and green kale. 
When I was a kid, the sauce was my favorite part.  But now that I'm all grown up, well, gee, it's still my favorite but I like the potatoes as well. 
And I have to say, canned potatoes are the way to go for this dish.   I've cooked and peeled my fair share and then some of new potatoes, burning fingers along the way, I like doing them like this now.
 The colors, the tastes, sigh, the memories of times past and loved ones who left way too early.
But I can at least honor my heritage and culture with tastes from my past.  




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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Apple Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

 It was Tapas Time again last month and we did a Grinch Christmas gift exchange, and it was fun.
But I was stymied when it came to what I wanted to make.  And since this month it wasn't held in our house, I had to make and transport my dish (es).
I cannot stop at one thing, sigh.
I did a twist on Spring Rolls, I added some shrimp to each roll, and they were good. 

And then there was the Pork Tenderloin I had in the freezer...
I wanted to stuff it, and then slice it, and I looked up a Danish recipe, but I didn't have any prunes, sigh.  Then I thought, hmmm, apples and pork go so well together, and I did have a couple of Pink Lady apples left from my last organic veggie share, so I did what any self respecting cook would do, I looked it up on the internet and found this recipe.
But I didn't follow it all the way.
I'm the cook and I don't have to.
This is what I did do.


Recipe:  Stuffed Pork Tenderloin
1/2 cup Chicken or Turkey prepared stuffing mix
1/2-1 cup Diced Artisan bread
1/2- 3/4 cup chicken stock (more if needed)
1 unpeeled apple, diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon melted butter or olive oil
Opt.  Chopped fresh Rosemary

 I used a half cup of prepared stuffing mix, added a half cup of diced artisan bread,  hydrated it with some chicken stock and set it aside.  Cut up an unpeeled Pink Lady apple, and added it to the pan, then I dumped in a half cup of dried cranberries, and some chicken stock, stirred it around and let it cook just a tad,

and then put it on a baking sheet and crisped it up in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.
Took it out and let it cool while I prepared the tenderloin. Turned the oven up to 450 degrees to preheat while the tenderloin was being prepared.
There was a little silverskin left on it, so I took that off using a sharp paring knife.  You always want to remove the silverskin, it's tough and does not add anything to the tenderloin, 
I sliced the tenderloin in half,

  then cut each piece in half lengthwise but did not cut it all the way through, then I put a piece of plastic wrap over it, and used the bottom of a pot to flatten it so that it was equally thick.
I dumped placed half the stuffing on each half of the tenderloin.   I also added a little chopped fresh Rosemary to one of the tenderloins, just for fun.
Folded them over and tied them up with some baking twine.
Put the tenderloins on some parchment paper, drizzled them with a little olive oil, and salted and peppered them,
and then put them in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
I pulled them out and checked the internal temp,
I wanted them to be just at about 140 degrees and they were, as they sat and rested from their strenuous time in the oven, the temperature rose to 145 degrees and I put them into an insulated container and took them with me to Tapas.   When we got there, I sliced them up, put them on a plate and counted myself lucky that I got a taste.  They were awesome.


I do love pork, what can I say?   I grew up on a farm, we raised pigs, the occasional beef, chickens and sheep.  Well, the sheep were a 4H project and, I only did it once.

Time to go and finish my post on Deep Fried Turkey, which will be coming up soon.  And then there's my Secret Recipe Club recipe to blog about soon, and I'm sure I'll have lots more coming up.








I was also featured on Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage.



Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

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Friday, January 1, 2016

My personal Favorite (s) for 2015

Today is the last day of the countdown and it also happens to be the first day of 2016.

                                  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Today's title is supposed to be a Wild Card, now, I'm taking that to mean that I can post a recipe or recipes that either I made a lot, or liked especially or that took off and surprised me with their popularity.

I do want to feature a couple of few recipes.   First up is this one, Seeded Crackers.

I found this recipe via one of my Secret Recipe Club assignments.  I made the Jordanian Matabaqa for my reveal but I also explored Sawsan's blog a little more and found this recipe for Homemade Crackers. She got them from Alton Brown.   I made them up once, then again, and again, and quite frankly I've lost count as to how many times I've made them to date.   As I type this the remains of my latest batch are in a sealed container in my kitchen.  I did change up the recipe a tad, I added Chia Seeds along with the Flax and Sesame Seeds.   All I know is that they are light, crispy, tasty all by themselves, but add a little cheese and they are phenomenal.

And...
Since I can't leave well enough alone, I wanted to tell you about some of my other favourite recipes from this past year.
First up, a disclaimer, of sorts.   I love Mushrooms, I don't think I've met a mushroom yet that I didn't like, and in fact, as I type this there is a pound of Crimini mushrooms in my fridge waiting to be transformed into a Turkey Pot Pie later on this week.
So maybe you can understand why I would make a lot of mushroomy type dishes this past year.   And these are just the ones I posted about.   
Baked Baby Bella Mushrooms


Mushroom Hummus with Pine Nuts

Baby Bella and Brie Bites

Mushroom Duxelle  


As for this year, I have no idea what I'll be making.  Sometimes it's dictated by what's in the pantry, or a recipe will catch my eye, or I'll taste a new dish that I want to learn how to make, or... I'll just get in the kitchen and start messing around. 
Since it's the first day of the year, I'm making a Ham and some Kale aka Skinke med Grønlangkål. 
I'm also going to make some Brunede Kartofler but that'll be a post for another day.

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