October 19, 2013

Pumpkin Roll

 Fall has arrived. I know this because there are leaves on the ground and I watch children walk to school all bundled up in coats and hats. I know it's Fall because the stores are full of pumpkins and gourds and Halloween costumes and cinnamon scented candles. 

June 28, 2013

Tuscan Spinach-Basil Pesto Salad

My daughter flew to San Diego a few weeks back to attend her cousin's baby shower (yay!). She rented a car at the airport and on the way, decided she was hungry. She pulled into a Safeway and made for their deli. I happened to call her while she was in Safeway and she told me that she got a Tuscan Pesto Salad that looked really good. She wanted to tell me what was in it to see if I could recreate it. She called after she ate it and said it was really good, so I told her I'd go ahead and give it a try.

May 25, 2013

Tomato, Basil, & Garlic Filled Pane Bianco

This bread was the winning recipe in the 2009 National Festival of Breads, which is sponsored by the Kansas Wheat Commission. I first saw the bread on the King Arthur Flour site. I loved the flavors... garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and shredded cheese and knew I just had to make this loaf!

The dough was easy to work with and the baked bread has a soft center and a crunchy top. It is just wonderful!

I adapted the recipe to make one loaf. If you'd like to make two loaves, follow the link above to the King Arthur Flour site.

May 16, 2013

Japanese Dumpling Soup

A friend ventured into San Francisco the other day and posted a picture on her Facebook page of a bowl of Wonton Soup that she ate while there. It looked so good, I knew I needed to make something like it... and soon!

I googled several different recipes and they were pretty basic... broth, noodles, green onions, soy sauce, etc. I thought some sliced mushrooms and bok choy would be nice in it. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted that soup. I took a mental inventory of what I had in the house and decided I could accomplish something similar without having to go to the store (always a plus). I made the soup for dinner the same day I saw the Wonton Soup on Facebook!

Although my gardener hesitates to call a meal a meal unless there's meat involved, this turned out to be a light and delicious soup. One that I'll make again - maybe with some bok choy next time.

May 13, 2013

Sweet Egg Braid

This is a slightly sweet bread that makes delicious toast. The dough can be put into a couple of loaf pans, or braided as shown here.

It's so much fun to make bread - I just love it. I've heard people say that they find it so satisfying to knead bread dough by hand while waiting for the moment it turns from being a fitful glob of flour and water into a smooth, puffy piece of dough. I can't speak to that as my Kitchen Aid does all the work, but it is satisfying nonetheless to take a gorgeous and delicious loaf of bread out of the oven and slather some butter on it. Mmm!
The original recipe called for bread flour, but I used all-purpose flour and added one tablespoon wheat gluten per cup of flour. The wheat gluten adds protein to the dough which helps with the rise.
The loaf seemed to be dry after only a day or two, so we ate most of it toasted. I still have some in the fridge and will make bread pudding with the rest of it.

April 27, 2013

Roasted Leg of Goat

Several months ago, our local meat market advertised a new product... leg of goat. I bought one and put it in the freezer. Some months later I was in the store and asked if they were still offering goat meat and the woman said they weren't because they'd only sold one leg. Well, I'm glad I got it when I did!

March 24, 2013

Tortellini and Green Pea Salad

My love of cooking began when I started watching Jeff Smith on a PBS show called The Frugal Gourmet. Every Saturday morning from 1983-1997, "The Frug" would have themed shows that would later be compiled into a cookbook. Usually the first part of the show was taken up with the history of the food he was going to prepare on the show and he cooked during the second half of the show. Like Julia Child, Emeril Lagasse, Lidia Bastianich and others, you could watch and learn something from The Frug's show. Not like most of the current cooking shows that air.

March 11, 2013

Baked Oatmeal

Bake this breakfast dish one day and pop some in the microwave during the rest of the week for a healthy, nutritious breakfast. Couldn't be easier, or more delicious on a wintry day.

March 3, 2013

King's Hawaiian Rolls - Copycat Recipe

King's Hawaiian dinner rolls are my daughter's favorite rolls. I wanted to give this copycat recipe a try, and I'm glad I did. These rolls bake up fluffy and light and there's a secret ingredient... pineapple juice!

January 18, 2013

Peas and Carrots Soup

Remember the part in the movie where Forrest Gump met Jenny for the first time?

As it turns out, Forrest was onto something. Just as he and Jenny were inseparable, so should peas and carrots be, because they're a perfect match, too! 

January 12, 2013

Olive and Sun-Dried Tomato Fougasse

Fougasse (foo-gahss) is a traditional Provencal herbed bread, that is formed and slashed before baking to resemble a leaf- or tree-shape.

I used sun-dried tomatoes and Kalamata olives for this recipe, along with rosemary. It makes wonderful, savory bread that's great to serve with soup, or as I've discovered, as a snack after slicing a piece in half and filling it with a few slices of cheese. 

January 8, 2013

Chile Rellenos with Salsa

A chile relleno (CHEE-leh rrehYEH-noh) is simply a stuffed chili. Although Anaheim and Poblano chilies are used most commonly for this dish, you can choose your chili (Bell, Banana,  Cherry, Peperonicini), depending on the heat you like.  Anaheims are pretty mild, although I'll admit to biting into a few over the years that had some heat. Poblanos are a little hotter than Anaheims.

December 26, 2012

Scalloped Potatoes


If you're looking for cheesy scalloped potatoes, go here, but if you're looking for potatoes that are creamy and buttery with no cheese in sight, you're in the right place.

December 19, 2012

Homemade Granola

 This granola would be the perfect thing to put into a cute container to give to people you'd like to recognize this time of year. Your hairdresser, neighbors, teachers, or co-workers. This recipe makes a lot - about 16 cups.

November 30, 2012

Pumpkin Scones with Spiced Glaze (like Starbucks)

 Pumpkin. This time of the year, especially, we just can't seem to get enough of it. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger spice these scones up deliciously. Then, to put them over the top, a plain sugar glaze drizzled with a spiced sugar glaze.

September 12, 2012

Zucchini Tart

It's been a short summer, but as usual, we've been long on zucchini. Next year, we're going to sacrifice one zucchini and just let it go to see how big it gets. You can bet there will be pictures!

We've enjoyed most of the zucchini straight from the grill... just cooked enough so it's still has some crunch. I've been busy canning, too... making zucchini salsa, and all things tomato. I saw a recipe for a zucchini tart and thought it would be a nice change.

Make your favorite pastry recipe (or buy one pre-made). Mix some ricotta and shredded cheese and spread onto the pastry. 

June 28, 2012

Chilaquiles with Red Sauce

I spatchcocked and roasted a chicken the other night. I like to roast a whole chicken mostly for the leftovers to make chicken pasta salad, chicken sandwiches, chicken burritos, chicken tacos, chicken and rice... it's just so handy to have the cooked chicken on hand!

June 11, 2012

General Tso's Chicken

Today is Group B's reveal for The Secret Recipe Club. My assignment blog is Debbi Does Dinner. Debbi's approach to cooking is preparing healthy and satisfying meals that are generally under 500 calories.

Her recipe for General Tso's Chicken jumped out at me, so I knew right away that's what I'd be making.
I used some leftover broccoli from dinner one night and added a sliced sweet cherry pepper for some color. The chicken was tender and delicious and the sauce is amazing - one I'd like to try with shrimp.

Thanks, Debbi, for a great recipe! Take a look at the blog hop to see lots of other delicious recipes!
Secret Recipe Club

May 18, 2012

Lemon-Zuccchini Bread

My gardener's been gardening and of course we put in some zucchini. I knew I still had some left from last summer, so thought I better use it up. I grated the zucchini last summer and froze it in 4 cup portions to use in breads.
I've made Zucchini-Nutella Bread and my standby regular Zucchini Bread, so when I found this lovely lemon loaf at Lea Ann's blog, Cooking on the Ranch, and after he great review of the recipe, decided to make it, too.
This recipe uses oil, so it produces a very moist cake. The lemon flavor is perfect and I got to use up some zucchini!
I love the glaze on this bread. It gives a little sweetness to each slice and is just the right consistency to set up nicely. Very nice recipe for zucchini bread!

Lemon-Zucchini Bread - adapted from here

c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 c vegetable oil
2/3 c sugar
1/2 c milk
2 T lemon juice
3 c grated zucchini

In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 2 eggs well. Add oil and sugar and blend well. Add milk, lemon juice and blend. Fold in zucchini and stir until evenly distributed in mixture. Add the flour mixture and mix just until it comes together. Pour batter into a 9x5 loaf pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. When loaf is cool, top with glaze.

Lemon Glaze
1 c powdered sugar
2 T lemon juice
In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar with lemon juice until smooth. Spoon glaze over bread and let set.

Corn Soup with Chicken and Poblano

We enjoy soup often during the winter. Yes, I'm one of those people who would rather have soup on a cold day than in the middle of summer. 

Summer in north central Montana has arrived. The grass is green, the garden is growing, the lilacs are blooming, and I'm wearing flip-flops. It's beautiful.

Having said that, today's high was only 56. Still beautiful... the sun is shining and there's a slight breeze and it's not too hot for a bowl of soup!

May 14, 2012

Beer Bread

Secret Recipe Club
This is reveal day for The Secret Recipe Club's Group B!

My assignment this month was Melissa's blog, Smells Like Brownies

Before I visited Melissa's blog, I thought I was in for a lot of sweet treats. Well, I can attest that Melissa's kitchen smells like more than brownies. It also smells like Garlic-Chili-Lime Acorn Sqaush, Boozy Mushroom Ragu, Pan-Seared Citrus Salmon, and, (okay, I have to show you some brownies) Coffee Brownies

May 12, 2012

Coffee Flan with Cajeta

I chose Rick Bayless's Flan de Cafe with Cajeta for this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs.

Can you say time consuming? This was. I used whole milk in place of goat's milk for the cajeta and stood for a little over an hour at the stove, stirring. The cajeta is delicious. The recipe asks you to strain the cajeta after cooking and I just don't see how that would be possible. Maybe I made mine too thick? I don't think so, but there's no way I could have gotten that flan through a strainer!

May 2, 2012

Queso Fundido

It's Cinco de Mayo with Rick Bayless, our chef this go-round at I Heart Cooking Clubs
I wanted to make something a little over the top this week, and couldn't find anything better than Rick's Melted Mozzarella Casserole with Mushrooms and Smoky Chipotle Chile (Queso Fundido)

April 30, 2012

Frijoles Borracho (Drunken Beans)

This recipe didn't start out with my yen for a bowl of beans. Oh, no. It started with a hunger for my newly discovered favorite thing. Amish Butter. A 2# hand-rolled log of this butter - not made by the Amish - but made in Amish Country, will set you back about $8, but it is so totally worth it. If you can find it in your area, you must give it a try!

April 28, 2012

Chicken with Capers

I Heart Cooking Clubs theme this week is from the earth and our Chef is Rick Bayless. I don't own any of Rick's cookbooks, so I went to our local library to check them out. Ahem. Our local library doesn't even have one of his books. So, I've been finding recipes on the internet and this one from Season 5, Mexico-One Plate at a Time sounded good. I thought about ordering one of his books, but really, the last thing I want to do is start collecting more of anything

April 26, 2012

Cilantro-Lime Dressing

I saw a recipe for this at Debbie's The Friday Friends. She made it for the I Heart Cooking Clubs Rick Bayless recipe of the week. She put her dressing over some sliced cucumbers and her beautiful picture looked so refreshing. 

April 25, 2012

Horchata de Arroz (Rice Horchata)

Horchata (or-CHA-tah) is a sweet rice beverage, often seen in big jars beside other agua frescas like tamarindo, melon, strawberry, cucumber, etc. Agua Fresca translates to fresh water in Spanish and makes for a refreshing drink on warm summer days.

April 19, 2012

Grilled Garlic and Pineapple Guacamole

Garlic. Is there anybody who doesn't like it? It's good for you and has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Eat it fresh and it has a distinct fiery taste... roast it and it becomes buttery and mellow. I use garlic in a lot of the meals that I cook.

April 18, 2012

Parmesan Cream Crackers

Buttery. Salty. Flaky. Cheesy. Addictive. 

I could end this post right here because that's all you really need to know about these crackers. Oh, you want the recipe? Okay, then.

This is Mark Bittman's recipe, but I first saw them at Diane's blog, Stylish Cuisine. I had everything in the house that is needed to make them, so I got up and did just that. 

These come together quickly and easily using a food processor. The recipe suggests rolling the dough out to 1/2-inch, but I rolled mine much thinner and was glad I did because they tend to puff up a little during cooking. I rolled the dough out right on the parchment, then just transferred the paper to the baking sheet.
You can watch Bittman make these crackers on this video. Don't miss the very end!

I'm linking this to
BYOB Badge

PARMESAN CREAM CRACKERS from Mark Bittman in the NY Times
1 cup all-purpose flour, more as needed
½ tsp salt
½ cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
4 T unsalted butter
¼ cup cream or half-and-half, more as needed
Coarse salt, pepper, sesame or poppy seeds, minced garlic, or whatever you like for sprinkling (optional).

   Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lighly dust with flour. Put flour, salt, cheese and butter in bowl of a food processor. Pulse until flour and butter are combined. Add about ¼ cup cream or half-and-half and let machine run for a bit; continue to add liquid a teaspoon at a time, until mixture holds together but is not sticky.     Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until ½-inch thick or even thinner, adding flour as needed. Transfer sheet of dough to prepared baking sheet (drape it over rolling pin to make it easier). Score lightly with a sharp knife, pizza cutter or a pastry wheel if you want to break crackers into squares or rectangles later on. Sprinkle with salt or other topping if you like.Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack; serve warm or at room temperature or store in a tin for a few days. Yield: About 4 servings.

April 16, 2012

Pork Short Ribs with Mustard Sauce

Secret Recipe Club

It's Secret Recipe Reveal Day for Group B. I was assigned to Meagan from A Zesty Bite in Houston, TX. Meagan has an official taste-tester and a professional dishwasher! You'll have to go to her blog to see who it is. 

April 13, 2012

Grilled Cornmeal Pound Cake

Rick Bayless @IHCC button rounded

When I worked in an office, once a month we'd get a bakery-made cake and celebrate everyone who had birthdays that month. You know the cakes... the ones with tons of too-sweet frosting and big gloppy roses on the corners. There was always somebody who wanted the corners so they could have more frosting. Then there were the people who wanted a middle piece without too much frosting, and even then, they'd end up scraping it off. 

April 12, 2012

Hot Dog Buns

I bought some Brats the other day at the store. The next logical step would be to make some rolls, right?! I've used this recipe in the past, but thought I'd try one that I found on Tasty Kitchen. 

April 10, 2012

Mexican Chorizo-Jalapeno Pizza

If you like spicy, you're going to love the combination of flavors in this pizza. Chorizo, fresh jalapenos, fire roasted tomatoes, onions, and a blend of cheeses made for one tasty pizza!

April 7, 2012

Garlicky Black Pepper Tortilla Chips

Rick Bayless @IHCC button rounded

Are you familiar with the I Heart Cooking Clubs? Twice a year, a celebrity chef is featured and entrants cook something each week from the chef's recipe collection. The chef this time is Rick Bayless. I love Mexican food, so I had to join this time.

March 30, 2012

"Royal Lunch" Milk Crackers

My Portuguese grandfather was a farmer. Not on a grand scale. He grew sweet corn on some land across the street from their house that he sold from a roadside stand. He was a big man... tall, about 6-2 and he wore bib overalls when he worked. He had a big walrus mustache that would tickle our cheeks when he kissed us.

When he wasn't out working or selling corn, he'd sit in a straight chair in the kitchen, in front of a window that looked out onto the street. He'd sit there quietly watching the traffic go by, slowly twiddling his thumbs. 

If we came into the kitchen, he'd say "What do you want?" "Do you want a cookie?" And then, motioning to where the cookies were kept, he'd say "Go get a cookie."
I remember him eating Nabisco Royal Lunch Milk Crackers. My grandmother would put some in a bowl, pour milk onto them, and my grandfather would eat them with a spoon, wiping the milk from his big mustache with his handkerchief.
Today, in memory of the man I called Voo-Voo, I made some milk crackers.
I think he would have liked them.

"Royal Lunch" Milk Crackers - PRINT RECIPE
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment and set aside. In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Using a pastry cutter, or your fingers, work butter in until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add cream and egg, then mix to form a dough. Knead 25-30 times. Shape into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll dough out to 1/8-inch thick. Cut dough using a 3" round cookie cutter and place on prepared cookie sheet. Price each dough round with a fork. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


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