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Showing posts from June, 2012

Summer Salad

I’m a summer type of person!I love the warmth, the flowers, the sun and the abundance of fresh vegetables at the farmers markets.
We’ve already hit the hot part of summer ~ 101degrees is predicted for today, and it’s only June!  I’m wondering what July and August will bestow upon us.  It’s that part of the year when it’s too hot to cook and eat a heavy meal, and way to hot to start the oven.  



That means cool crunchy summer salads filled with an assortment of vegetables.They’re not just fresh and cool; they’re healthy and filling on a hot summer day.A salad can be just about anything and is as good as the hands that prepare it…
Summer Salad
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons lemon juice ½ teaspoon sugar ½ teaspoon freeze-dried red jalapeños 5 medium tomatoes, sliced into wedges 1 cucumber, sliced into half-moons 1½ cups corn kernels (about 2 ears) Salt and pepper, to taste
Method:
In a small bowl, toss together the first 5 ingredients. Stir together the tomatoe…

Eggs Pipérade

Pipérade is a quintessential Basque dish, originating in the far-most southwest of France, on the border with Spain, below the Atlantic Pyrenees.It combines the traditional regional ingredients with a little quandary.Is it a side dish, or a meal on its own?




Absolutely, the recipe holds true to the region, using produce that was available at the time ~ bell peppers, tomatoes and onions.  The addition of garlic, eggs, ham, prosciutto, chicken or seafoodmakes it a more substantial dish.  If you want a little bite, add a pinch or two of paprika.

This is one of those dishes we all love; quick and easy to prepare, with each cooks’ version being slightly different from the rest; swap what you want.  This is a simple dish that doesn’t require exactness!  It seems to me, it can even be considered Southwestern fare…

Eggs Pipérade
Ingredients:
1 teaspoon olive oil ¾ cup chopped green bell pepper ¾ cup chopped red bell pepper 2 cloves garlic, minced ½ teaspoon dried chives ¼ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon seasone…

Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Tomatoes

When I was growing up, Mom used to boil shrimp for shrimp cocktail when entertaining.  The aroma drove our cat crazy and made me want to leave the house.  No way was I eating shrimp!

I still don't really care for shrimp cocktail; however, many years later, when Bill and I were in Key West one winter, I liked the looks of the fried shrimp at our favorite beer gardenrestaurant and gave one a try ~ shock, it was excellent!Of course, unlike here in “Chicagoland,” the shrimp was very fresh there, which most likely made a difference!


Since then, shrimp dishes appear on our dinner table here at home, off and on.  This one has more than a generous amount of heat, so adjust the garlic, red pepper and Montreal seasoning according to your taste.  This is a quick, delicious recipe that I hope you’ll try!

Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Tomatoes
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil 8 teaspoons bottled minced garlic ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper ¼ teaspoon sugar 2 teaspoons McCormick Montreal Seasoning 14.5 oun…

Deviled Eggs

She was often called, "the South’s answer to Julia Child."Edna Lewis is her name; and, among other things, she knew how to shake up deviled eggs!



She sliced off a third of the top of each egg and then it had its own little cup.  Then she whipped up her own mayonnaise and combined it with sieved egg yolks, cream, sugar and vinegar.  They are pure deviled eggs with a surprising touch of sweetness.  A great tip of Edna’s:  after the eggs have cooked and as you run cold water over them to stop the cooking, shake the pan as you do so, to crack the eggshells gently all over.
For those of you not familiar with the legendary Edna Lewis, she was a woman who brought a “quiet dignity and elegance” to Southern cooking.She was a “cook’s cook,” and a chef with plenty of experience.She often assumed you are knowledgeable in cooking techniques with an educated palate.
This recipe is from my favorite cookbook of hers ~ The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock.  Peacock lived…

Easy Easy Berry Cobbler

Berry Cobbler does not get much easier than this…



This recipe is incredibly easy and seemed unreal, when I saw it on Pinterest and was led here.  It uses just 3 ingredients:  frozen fruit, cake mix and Sprite Zero soda.  Plus, it is not so high in calories as is the usual cobbler! 
I used a combo of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries because that is what we like ~ you can use strawberries, peaches, cherries, or any combo you favor.There has been a box of lemon cake mix in my kitchen cabinet for ages, so I used it.The recipe calls for a white cake mix and next time, I will try that.


Here’s what I learned:
The recipe calls for not stirring the cake mix and soda together.  I followed that and baked it for 45 minutes.  When pulled out of the oven, I saw some of the cake mix laying on top; very dry.  I poured about ¼ cup more soda over it in the dry spots, and stirred the surface around a little with a fork, then baked it for another 10 minutes ~ 55 minutes, total baking time.  


Some of…

Crispy Creole Onion Rings

From her beguiling "Hey y'all" to her grits, the queen of Southern cuisine captivated me many years ago, when I first saw her cooking on the Food Network ~ and then this happened.  I’m talking about Paula Deen.  I particularly like her now, after making her lightened up version of a delectable dish.



Onion rings are lip-smacking good; but to me, that means deep-fried in a vat of hot oil, until crispy and golden.  When trying to imagine this recipe, with raw onion rings swished through egg whites, then coated with seasoned panko bread crumbs and baked, I was skeptical they would be fit to eat.
It’s a surprising recipe ~ delicious onion rings, without all the fat!  Coated with Creole seasoning, they have great flavor, and they’re crispy too, thanks to crunchy panko!   I have visions of this being repeated many times!
Crispy Creole Onion Rings
Ingredients:
¼ cup flour 2 teaspoon Creole seasoning 2 large egg whites 2 cups panko bread crumbs 2 large sweet onions, sliced and separated i…

Country Club Chicken is a Hit Here!

I seldom cook with canned soup these days, but it definitely has its place in this tasty dish!



This recipe with BACON caught my eye over at Cathy’s great blog, Wives with Knives.  Evidently, the recipe has been making Pinterest and blog rounds lately, and since Kathy said it was delicious ~ it will be making repeat performances at her house; I had to give it a try. 
It’s comfort food all the way.  A creamy sauce of bacon, mushrooms, white wine, cheese, apple and onions, smothering juicy chicken, in a large bowl filled with plenty of spaghetti ~ what’s not to like about this?
I am happy to say, this is absolutely scrummy and more than worthy of the effort to cook it.  I would not hesitate to serve it to company.  Country Club Chicken will be making repeat performances here also!  I hope you try it! 



Country Club Chicken
Ingredients:
1 pound spaghetti
4 chicken breasts
1 large onion, diced
7 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
4 or 5 slices bacon
1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken br…

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops

These pork chops have a crunchy, cheesy coating that makes them scrumptious!



This recipe is so straightforward and simple ~ you won’t believe how delicious the chops are until you try it.  The better your parmesan cheese, the better the chops.  Buy a wedge of the cheese and grate it yourself.  The chops are baked instead of fried, lessening the fat content.  Just be sure not to overcook them; bake until they are fork tender and golden brown. 
The flavors in these moist, savory pork chops would go with about any side dish you favor.  I served them with noodles and a green salad.  I would recommend this dish to any pork lover! 

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil 1 egg 2 teaspoons lemon juice ½ cup panko bread crumbs ¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese ½ teaspoon dried oregano ½ teaspoon dried basil ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon seasoned pepper 4 center-cut loin pork chops, about ¾ to 1-inch thick
Method:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread olive oil over baking sheet. Whis…










“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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