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Showing posts from September, 2011

Smoky Beef and Hominy Stew

I remember Mom serving hominy occasionally in a stew when I was young.   I haven’t eaten or thought about it since then, until I saw it included in a recipe in Family Circle magazine.  

I showed Bill the recipe and asked if he liked hominy ~ he didn’t really know anything about it but said he was willing to try it if I cooked it.




If you’re not familiar with hominy either, it’s dried corn kernels with the hull and germ removed.  

This is done through a process called nixtamalization, which is a procedure of treating corn kernels with an alkaline solution to remove the hull and the germ. It is said that this process makes hominy more flavorful and aromatic with superior nutrition.
Supposedly, hominy has been used by the Native Americans for a very long time. In fact, the history of hominy has been traced back to 1200 BC. 

It is said that the process of nixtamalization originated during that period, in some parts of Mexico and Guatemala. Today, hominy is popular throughout the United States, …

A Tasty Tate’s Bake Shop Giveaway Just for You!

Cookie lovers rejoice, I have a scrumptious cookie to tell you about!





You may recall that the first Tate’s Bake Shop giveaway on my blog was lastDecember and now I’m honored to say that Denielle from Tate’s Bake Shop just offered me another of their super giveaways for all of you wonderful readers out there!  




Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better - Kathleen King, owner and founder of Tate’s Bake Shop, located in Southampton, NY, created her Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie.  In fact, it is so delicious that it won ~ GOLD ~ in the Cookie category in the 2011 sofi™ Awards, presented at the Fancy Food Show (known as the Oscars® of the specialty food industry) in Washington, DC. 





So, I was thrilled when the 3 bags of Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies arrived on my doorstep!  Sophisticated and delicious fits them perfectly!  The cookies are like the original Tate’s Chocolate Chip variety ~ thin and crispy ~ but incorporate whole wheat flour and sinfully rich, dark chocol…

Coq au Vin Stew the Slow Way

So when you were a kid and first heard of coq au vin, did you picture a “cocoa van” too?  And then you were told it was just chicken with wine…
Actually, coq au vin translates “rooster in wine.”  The recipe for this dish was first documented in the early 20th century but was created at least 400 years ago to tenderize tough old birds for poor households and in these tough times today ~ this recipe I’m giving you still fills the bill!
Prior until the 20th century, most rural families housed chickens for eggs and meat plus a rooster.  The rooster remained around until he was too old to perform his duties ~ then he would be killed and eaten.  The problem, by this time, was that the meat was barely edible; being tough and stringy.  Thus, this was “poor people’s food” since the well-off could afford better cuts of meat which did not require wine and slow cooking for a tender dish.
Nowadays, chicken is the cut of meat and it’s still stewed in wine.  It’s cooked and served “country-style” with …

Roasted Veggies with Orzo and Feta

Orzo is a new-comer in my kitchen cabinet and I’m hooked on it; whether it’s in a cold salad or a hot dish.  Orzo is small and rice-shaped ~ it looks like rice but it’s really pasta.  It’s perfect for casseroles like this one!
With fall arriving on the 23rd, our farmer’s markets’ supply of fresh veggies is starting to dwindle and I wanted to squeeze in one more veggie dish using the market’s tender veggies.  We all know that local food tastes better and purchasing from farmer’s markets supports our farmers in the area and contributes to the community.  It’s just sad to me in that the season is so very short here!
Most of us like roasted veggies for the bold deep flavors the roasting brings out.  This mixture consists of asparagus, bell peppers, onions, zucchini, mushrooms and grape tomatoes roasted with orzo, feta cheese and pine nuts.   Browning the orzo and pine nuts first, gives them a nutty toasted flavor that’s a great match with the veggies.  I hope you give this a try!



Roasted Veg…

Garlic Dill Pickles

Grandma used to can and Mom did also, to a lesser degree ~ they were stocking their farm cellars for winter.  

Grandma’s cellar was filled with shelf after shelf of beautifully colored Mason jars filled with all sorts of fruits and veggies.  

Mom even canned beef from our own cattle after they were slaughtered, which to me was excellent; especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas when she made Mincemeat Pie. 
I just never got into canning and it’s still a mystery to me.  I always figured I would poison people if I tried it so I have no interest in canning anything.   

Then, when I came across recipes for pickles that require no canning, I knew they were meant for me.  There are countless recipes for refrigerator pickles with some heating the brine, some with more salt, more sugar, more garlic and more dill weed than this recipe contains.  So you can customize this recipe to your liking. 
These 2 jars won’t get us through the winter, but they’re perfect to enjoy right now.  They’re cris…

Panko Breaded Cod

If you’ve never breaded any fish with Japanese panko bread crumbs, you must try it!
Panko bread crumbs are perfect in low-fat recipes as it gives food the crunch that comes from breading and frying fish in deep fat.  The panko crumbs have a light, flaky texture that’s a change from the traditional heavier bread crumbs. 
Cod is high in protein, calcium, potassium and vitamin B6, yet low in sodium, fat, and carbohydrates making it a great healthy food.  

Deep frying that cod filet turns it into a greasy piece of fish that is about as good for us as smoking.  There is nothing you can do to make fried foods healthy and that's why it's good to consider using panko bread crumbs.
In this recipe, swiping the cod through a mixture of garlic and onion powders, paprika, ground red pepper and lemon juice adds flavoring for the cod.  Then coating the filets with panko bread crumbs and baking the fish delivers a crispy texture.  

Covering the baking sheet with cooking spray eliminates the need …

Zucchini and Sautéing 101

Do you know sautéing means “jumping” in French?   It’s kind of like frying, only different.  It requires a heavy bottomed skillet, food that is cut the same small size and oil that likes really high heat.  Frying means quite a lot of oil, larger food items such as chicken parts and lower heat allowing the food to cook longer for doneness. 
The question I have with sautéing is:  do I heat the pan first and then add the oil or do I add the oil to a cold skillet and heat them both at the same time?  Usually I add the oil to a hot skillet but I’m not sure if this is the correct procedure to ensure that very little fat is absorbed by the food.  What do you think ~ how do you do it?
No matter which method, I really like sautéed veggies and since summer is about over for this year, I had to squeeze in one more dish that’s filled with fresh zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach.
By the way, zucchini, a member of the plant species, cucurbita pepo, was introduced into American c…

Not Your Usual Tomato and Mozzarella Sauce with Pasta

Do you want a different side dish or even a main dish?  This is definitely not your mama’s pasta with tomato sauce!
This recipe came from a 1990 Hometown Collection of America’s Best Recipes Cookbook and was submitted by The Women’s Art Guild, Laguna Gloria Art Museum in Austin, Texas.  I have no recollection of where I picked up this cookbook but it is filled with some tasty recipes. 
If you adore ripe tomatoes and pasta, you will enjoy this for a meal.  It is a simple recipe that is easy to toss together.  

The finished dish has a strong tomato taste and the texture of the cheese becomes softer.  I like it warm so I serve it immediately.  I’m guessing it would be fine if it were served with the pasta at room temperature.  

It is definitely different!


Tomato and Mozzarella Sauce with Pasta
Ingredients:
6 to 8 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese ¼ cup fresh basil, minced ¼ cup olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon fresh parsle…

A New Laptop, A Healthier Me and Cornmeal Cake with Macerated Berries for You!

What a week last week was!
I bought a new laptop last Wednesday ~ turned it over to Bubba that evening ~ he had it up and running and returned to me by Friday morning on his way to work.  

In the meantime, I developed a very nasty little cough which seemed to clear up a little when Bill came down with pneumonia out of the blue.  That left me with a good case of bronchitis.  

So, even though I had the laptop working great, cooking and blogging were the last things on my mind.  But, I’m happy to say Bill is doing fine now and I’m just about cured!



Thanks to Bubba for setting the new one up, it’s great ~ I love it!
A week ago before the old laptop died, I was going to give you a mouthwatering dessert recipe in time for Labor Day weekend.  This recipe was in our local newspaper a while back and made me curious:
I like texture in food ~ you know, the feeling food has in your mouth.  I’m not much for mashed or creamed food with that soft mushy, slushy feeling; except for ice cream and even that I…










“He toasted his bacon on a fork and caught the drops of fat on his bread; then he put the rasher on his thick slice of bread, and cut off chunks with a knife, poured his tea into his saucer, and was happy.”


~ D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers







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