Friday, February 15, 2019

Community Potluck for February

I've been delayed posting this, but I think I'm still a little full from the potluck the other day.   Thanks to the generosity of the St. James Bay Golf Course we have a lovely room to gather in and visit and eat and enjoy once a month. 
It is very much appreciated.
And so is the generosity of all the people who participate and bring their great food.
I, along with others, end up eating way too much, but also have fun making and bringing our dishes.  I can't resist making some of the Danish food I love, and sharing that.   And people don't mind eating it either.  

I wanted to show you some of the food, and I do mean some.  It never fails, someone comes in a little later or I get busy talking and forget to take a picture of their offering.  And I'm sorry for that. 

We had some Mac n'Cheese - I had to have some.
 I made some Frikadeller with pork and turkey
 There was this, Swiss Steak
 We had some lovely Shrimp -
Shameless plug here- check out my newest cookbook  - Simple Shrimp Recipes - I tell you how to make not only Peel n' Eats but also have a recipe for a really great cocktail sauce in there.
 If you live in the south, you've had 'greens' and sometimes, if you're lucky they're made as well as this one, cooked with lots of pork. (I would have gone back for seconds, but I was full)
 Paired with a really 'hot' and spicy corn bread, the perfect accompaniment.
 We also had this Egglant Parmigiana - love this stuff.
and these ribs
There was this dish, which was a lovely sauce on top of rice
Marinated Chicken
Twice Baked Potatoes
A nice and spicy Pasta Salad
Lasagna


and then there were the desserts
This cake with Lemon pudding and whipped topping
 Some luscious slices of Chocolate Cake
A Cherry Crumble
Lemon Meringue Pie
Turtle Pie
And these rather more'ish morsels - Candied Almonds.

One of the items I didn't get a picture of was the Pineapple.  So here's a picture of it from a past potluck.  I have no idea how Kathleen always finds such great pineapples, but so glad she does.

One of the things I love about these Community Potlucks is that they are truly Community Potlucks.  We have different hosts each month and they ensure that everything is set up and put away after the potluck.  
I want to thank Jennifer and Paula for hosting, their efforts were appreciated. 

Now to put on the thinking cap to figure out what to make for next month.  I'm sure I'll come up with something.

I also have to add, that if you go home hungry from one of these gatherings, that's your problem.  We always have a variety of delicious food, and some really fantastic cooks in our area.

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Monday, February 11, 2019

Mini Toad in the Hole for #BakingBloggers

I'm feeling a little stuffed at the moment.  I made my offering for the Baking Bloggers theme this month, and ate the whole thing. 
Except for one sausage, I gave that one to the dog.

Our challenge this month was to make something British.   It could be either sweet or savory, but had to be baked.  I'm a member of a group called Baking Bloggers and every month we have a theme or challenge.  This month it was British Baking  Sweet or Savory.

My mind went to a few British favorites, but it got stuck on this.

I love Toad in a Hole.  But I've never blogged about it.
Hello!!!!
This is such an easy meal to make, tastes great and is fun to boot. 
However, I did change it up a smidge.

Traditionally this is made with English Banger Sausages, and I had every intention of buying some the next time I was in the 'big city' but still haven't make it up there. This is traditionally served with onion gravy for dinner.
A friend told me that this was also served for 'tea' to the children, and that way they got a hearty meal and didn't bug the grownups, who would eat much later.

At one time it was also a way to use up 'leftover meats', but evolved over time to just use sausages as the meat.  Ideally it should be made with those lovely fat sausages that split as they bake, aka bangers.

However, I made this for breakfast/brunch. 

Won't be the last time either. 
I had some 'gasp' turkey, low fat breakfast sausages and decided to use them.   And I'm not in the least bit sorry, either.

I've been having a power struggle with my oven lately, and it won this round, but I had an ace up my sleeve or rather a toaster oven on the counter.

My first one failed, miserably, sigh.
I browned my sausages, preheated the oven
 Poured in half the batter, while the pan was nice and hot
 Baked them and nothing, nada, not one little teeny rise. sigh  To over use an expression, flat as a pancake.
Since I'd only used half the batter, I had also cooked a Dutch Baby in the toaster oven and it worked, beautifully.
So I whipped up some more batter, and VOILA!!! 
A big beautiful, delicious Toad in the Hole.
Nirvana
And then I desecrated it a little.  I poured some maple syrup on the plate, and well, all I can say is, my scale may never forgive me, cause, this may make a regular appearance on my breakfast/lunch/dinner table.
 Life is good

I have to share another picture, cause this worked out so well, I had to try to recreate it.
Toad in a Hole
Since I had a little batter left, I put it into this custard cup and baked it as well.


I used my basic, (usually)Yorkshire Pudding never fail recipe for the batter.  I also used some turkey sausage with maple flavoring instead of English Banger Sausages.
Do you know why they call them 'bangers'? Because if you don't prick the casing as they're cooking, they 'bang' open and split from the hot fat cooking inside. And split a lot of the time even if you prick the casing.   
They are so good.





Yield: 2 servings

Toad in a Hole

prep time: 30 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 50 mins
This is a quick and easy breakfast, lunch or dinner idea. Kids usually love it, as do adults.

ingredients:

  • 2 eggs (I've been using Jumbo eggs lately cause they've been so inexpensive) cracked into a measuring cup.
  • I get a half cup of eggs from the two Jumbo eggs.
  • 1/2 cup milk (equal amount of milk to egg)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour (equal amount of flour to egg)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2-4 English Banger Sausages
  • or
  • 6 small breakfast sausages ( 3 per person or serving)

instructions:

  1. Whisk the eggs and milk together, really well, or use a hand beater. Let this sit for about 20 minutes and then sift the flour into the egg/milk batter, beating very well, until it resembles a thick cream. If you happen to get any lumps in there, just sieve them out. Set the batter aside for a minimum of 30 minutes or several hours if you can. 
  2. While it's resting, you can either precook the sausages, as I did, or in an oven safe pan, grease the pan, place the bangers in the pan, and bake for 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  Turn the sausages over, and bake an additional 10 minutes, boosting the oven temperature up to 425-450 degrees.  The sausages will have released some fat.  Pour the batter over the sausages, and bake for an additional 20 minutes.  The batter will rise up and fold around the sausages.
  3. If you're just making Yorkshire Puddings or Yorkies as I call them,  here's a couple of hints.  One of the main tricks of making sure that Yorkshire Pudding's rise is not letting the pan with the hot fat in it cool down. So, you keep the pan in the oven, and hope you don't let out too much heat as you're pouring the batter in. Then you hurry up and shut the door, and cross your fingers you're not going to pull out hockey pucks. Here's my hint on how to not make hockey pucks.
  4. Turn on a large element on top of the stove, doesn't have to be on a high temp, then place your pan on top of that as you're pouring the batter into the cups/pan. No loss of heat.
  5. Place the pan back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, just til they are all puffed up and golden.
  6. If using a toaster oven, preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and place an oven safe pan inside to heat.  Let heat for 5 minutes or so, with the browned sausages in the pan, remove the pan, closing the oven door, and pour the batter over the sausages. Place back in the oven, and bake for 20-25 minutes. 
  7. Serve immediately.
You can also divide the basic recipe in half, which is what I do.  It still works very well. 
Created using The Recipes Generator

Baking Bloggers

British Baking

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Thursday, February 7, 2019

PB&J Cake

Do you ever get an idea for a cake and think 'Whoa' what a great idea, and google to find out that your great idea was just one of many? And that it wasn't an original idea?

Yup...
That was me last week.

And here I thought a PB&J cake was a novel idea.

It wasn't but, I made one anyway. 
This wasn't a random cake either, I made it for the Legion Cake Raffle, I make a cake every other week for them to raffle off. 
PB&J Cake

I used my basic yellow cake recipe which I got out of a very old baking leaflet, and then played with the basic recipe.
I've been learning a lot as I've been baking cakes the past couple of years and have gotten brave with experimenting. 


And you know, this was actually darn tasty.  

It looked good too.

Pipe a dam around the outside of the first cake layer and then add half the jam, smooth out the jam a little.
PB&J Cake
 Just had to do a closeup
PB&J Cake
Then place the second layer on top, and press down just a little.  This ensures that there are no gaps in between the two layers.
I forgot to take pictures of the next bit.  
Smooth some frosting over the top and sides of the cake and finally pipe a round 'dam' around the rim of the cake.  Add the second half of the strawberry frosting, and spread it out to the frosting 'dam'.

PB&J Cake
Decorate the sides and the top and place into the fridge to firm up before serving.
PB&J Cake
 I'm still not too good at making smooth sides, so I played with making a scalloped effect on the sides.  Won't be the last time either.   I liked the effect.
PB&J Cake



Yield: 12 Servings

PB&J Cake

prep time: 10 minscook time: 35 minstotal time: 45 mins
This is a modification of my basic yellow cake recipe using self rising flour.

ingredients:

  • 2  cups Self Rising flour
  • 1/4 cup Corn Starch or Potato Starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup milk 
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Peanut Butter Frostin
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese- room temperature
  • 3/4 cups Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6-8 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2+ tablespoons milk or cream (more if needed)
  • Smuckers Squeezable Strawberry Jam - 20 oz. size

instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 inch cake pans. Set aside.  Cream the butter, and peanut butter together and then add the sugar and mix until light.  
  2. Add the two eggs, vanilla, and half the flour, then add the milk, finish with the remainder of the flour and mix until smooth. 
  3. Pour equal amounts of the batter into two well greased and floured  9 inch cake pans.
  4. Bake for  30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  5. Cream the peanut butter, butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add 2 cups of confectioner sugar and mix well,  add the vanilla extract, and continue to add the sugar in 2 cup increments until it is all incorporated.  If the frosting is too stiff, add milk or cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it is a piping consistency. 
  1. Cool the cakes, and smooth a layer of peanut butter frosting on the bottom of one cake.  Pipe a row of frosting around the rim of the cake to make a dam.   Add half the strawberry jam and smooth out.    Place the second cake on top, and pipe frosting around the side, and on top.  Pipe a 'dam' around the top, and spoon in the rest of the strawberry jam, smoothing it out a little.  Decorate as you wish. 
Created using The Recipes Generator

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Monday, February 4, 2019

First Monday Favorites - February 2019 - 27



It's that time of the month, the First Monday, and I want to know what your favorite recipe was from last month.

Not just the one with the most views but your own personal favorite.   You know, the one that you know you're either going to make a lot or the one that you've already made multiple times.
Yup, that one.

I started this link party a couple of years ago because I missed the Monday reveals from the Secret Recipe Club which I was a member of for several years.  We'd sign up, get assigned a blog from someone else and then be tasked with finding and making a recipe from their blog. 
I always had fun with it, and found several recipes which I still make to this day.  And it was always a kick to see what other bloggers made from my blog.  And the unique twists they would put on the recipes.






 And again, I had to flip a coin.  I made this awesome Chocolate Cake with Caramel Sauce
Which got rave reviews at the Legion, and gosh, it sure tasted good as well.
Chocolate Cake with Caramel Sauce
But a little part of me wished that the coin toss had picked my Home Made Egg Noodle post which I'd used in a dish called Rakott Teszta which is very similar to a Noodle Kugel.

Can't wait to see what everyone else brings to the party. 
Link Party 
Inlinkz Link Party

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