Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie, Creme Burlee



I'm going to go out on a limb here and make an "assumption"...and that is, that most of the TWD bakers are younger than I am.
In fact, most food bloggers are younger than I am. Not that I am "old" by any means, but I can just tell (usually) by the tone of the blog post and references to lifestyle, children, social activities, that I am on the older side of the food blogging world.
This is okay...BECAUSE.... this morning I have read two TWD blogs and both of you had trouble putting the butane in the torch. So want to know my solution to that problem? I handed it to my husband and said, "would you do this for me?"
To go back a bit further, I even handed him the box before going to the store and asked him to "figure out" what I needed, and then had him buy it.
Some independent, forward thinking woman, I am. Or perhaps, very clever. That's it! (lazy would be another description )

Now, let me get to the creme brulee!
My friend Barb, gave me this creme` brulee set two years ago for Christmas. I was so excited to be able to use it. And then after finding out how simple creme brulee is to make....I'll be using it all the time. (thanks Barb--did I ever even write a thank you note? Well....look here! for all the world to see too!! THANKS)




I love creme brulee, but always just assumed that it was a lot harder than it was: cooking, straining, whisking, baking....
but it was amazingly simple, and tastes "oh so good".

As always, I never vary the recipe, only because I'm usually making it at the last possible minute and it's safer to stay with the known recipe and not the variations.
I made it last night after we had dinner, put it in the fridge and caramelized the top this morning. I only had one little mishap... I spilled the vanilla in it. I have no idea how much vanilla went in. It's very vanilla-ee. And a little less firm that it should have been. But it was very good.

And now this morning...in 30 minutes (yes, it is 5:30 a.m. right now) my other Tuesday commitment will be showing up on my doorstep...to visit and have a cup of coffee. My friend Debbie. We've done Tuesdays for a few years now...at 6:00 a.m., in jammies, robes, coffee cup in hand. Today, I will be giving her a creme brulee treat to try!!
My Tuesdays are complete....with Debbie and Dorie. (it is only under threat of death that I post no picture of Debbie in jammies, robe and coffee cup in hand)
But let me tell ya....creme brulee after dinner is good, but in the morning with a hot cup of "good" coffee, shared with a friend. Yum! (a bit rich, really, but what was I gonna do? I had pictures to take. We shared)


I was a bit unsure of the ramekin size. I didn't have the correct one. The ones included in the "creme brulee" gift box, were so small, they could fit in the palm of my hand. The others the size of cereal bowls. As you can tell.....(picture cereal sized bowl on the left), the small ones, were...much too small. So we used the larger ones and I just put the 2/3 cup of creme in them.
Thanks to Mari at Mevrouw Cupcake http://www.mevrouwcupcake.com/ for her choice this week. One of my favorites so far!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Comfort food

A GOOD MISTAKE

It was a late Saturday afternoon. The fall sun was casting an orange glow thru the trees in the backyard. College football was on the TV. We missed our kids. We needed comfort food.

Now you understand why I would have never made it as novelist.... LOL

But we really did want something good to fill our tummies, so I thought of "Southern Plate's" steak and gravy. ( http://www.southernplate.com/2008/09/southern-steak-and-milk-gravy.html ) (you'll find the recipe at the bottom of this post )
 And...mmmmm..."Adventure of Kitchen Girl's" oven roasted brussel sprouts ( http://kitchengirljo.blogspot.com/2008/09/oven-roasted-brussles-sprouts.html ).
So I decided to make them.
Now... I must confess, that I put the brussel sprouts in the oven, started the steak and then got a phone call. It was the brussel sprouts who suffered. You might look at these and say "poor little cremated sprouts", but before you do...let me tell you, they were really good. crispy and a bit crunch and...well, really good. I must also confess that I didn't prepare as many as the recipe said...just my husband and I, so I was downsizing, but didn't downsize the cooking time.
My husband pulled off the outer layer and proclaimed them "really good" also.
But I didn't get a picture of those.
For a REALLY GOOD idea of what they look like please visit Jo's blog.
She is the Brussel Sprout master.

I'm thinking of having the same exact meal on Sunday!

The Steak....oh the steak and gravy. mmmmm.....good. So easy, so tasty, so....comforting. We really liked it. And I made enough so that we had leftover the very next night. (hard to cook for just two without leftovers, you know)
Christy, over at "Southern Plate" made this a couple of weeks ago, and I had to try it.... I have to tell ya...it was a HUGE HIT at my house.
Check our her blog w/recipes at... http://www.southernplate.com/

I'm not going to put the recipes here in my post, I'll let you check out the originals on the original blogs. But I do have to say that I love those two blogs, and if you ever need a good meal idea...seek them out.

and again...forgive the charred brussel sprouts, but they were actually good. Or, I'm weird. Could be. But check out Jo's, as they were great! :~) http://kitchengirljo.blogspot.com/

Looking good before going into the oven....and then for some reason I hid all the gravy "under" the steak.





Southern Steak and Milk Gravy
Ingredients
  • 4 Pieces Cubed Steak
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Milk
Instructions
  1. Place enough oil in a pan to just coat the bottom, put that on medium heat while you prepare your steak. In a bowl, place 1 C flour and add 1/4 tsp salt and 1/ 4 tsp pepper (more if you prefer). Stir that up. Dip each piece of steak into flour on both sides to get it coated well. Place each piece of steak in pan and cook until good and browned on both sides. Remove steak to a plate while you make your gravy.
  2. Place about 1/4 C flour into skillet with meat drippings. Add a little more salt and pepper and stir this over medium heat until the flour is slightly browned (just a few minutes). Slowly pour in 1 1/2 Cups of milk, stirring constantly. Continue stirring, with a wire whisk to help with lumps, over low heat until thickened and there are no lumps. This will happen rather quickly. Add a little more milk if you prefer thinner gravy. Return steak to the pan and turn to coat with gravy on both sides.
  3. Serve steak and gravy together in a bowl or serve gravy on the side to go with Mashed potatoes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorrie



Tuesdays with Dorrie....Dimply Plum Cake.


Not a big fan.


It was a simple cake to make, and it was "good"... better than I thought but at the same time, not so great. Go figure.


I, of course, didn't have cardamom, so I left out a spice. I was going to use cinnamon, but I forgot it. My plums were too big, I used lemon zest instead of orange zest.
It was good, I just wouldn't have ever made it. I guess that's what's good about the challenge.... expanding my horizons.


And...once again, I made it in under the gun.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fast, Fall food.


Pepper Special Sandwiches and Loaded Potato Soup
Soup and Sandwiches.
Easy Meals.
Football food.
Well, I call this sandwich a "football" food, because you can make them ahead, wrap them in foil, and the guys can heat them up as they want. I had a house full of "guys" for a long, long time. One husband, 1 step-son, 3 sons. And every September, I would make a pot of chili or soup, these sandwiches and they could have their fun and eat too. :~)

The sandwich is called " Pepper special". I have no idea why.
When I lived in California, my friend Sandy and I went to learn out to make biscotti, from an older Italian lady/friend, Alma. We spent a fun afternoon making biscotti and then we had tea, and she told us that she used to own a diner in town, and in the course of the conversation, she gave us this recipe for "Pepper Special" Sandwiches.

Soup.
My daughter in law loves potato soup. She loves easy meals. This is about as easy as it can get....
"Loaded Potato Soup". (Sadie actually makes a good potato-cheese soup that is great, but maybe she'll like this one too)

The weather is turning cooler...and this is just a good "autumn, football combo"

First.....Pepper Special Sandwiches. (then to find the soup recipe, you have to check out the
Ahh Some Soup Blog at .... http://ahhhsomesoups.blogspot.com/

PEPPER SPECIAL

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. mild cheddar cheese
2 Tbs. grated onion
1 small can chopped olives
1 1/2 cans 8oz tomato sauce
2 Tbs. chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
12-15 French rolls
foil

Brown meat and cool. Grate cheese. In a large bowl, mix all of the above ingredients well. Cut a roll 3/4 of the way thru and fill it with the meat filling. Wrap in foil and freeze. (or you can cook in a 350 oven for 10 minutes right now).
After frozen, anyone at anytime can grab one and throw it in a pre-heated 350 oven for 15 or so minutes. Just until the cheese has melted and the sandwiches are warm thru-out.

THE INGREDIENTS




BROWNING THE BURGER (burger alone is a strange word)




PUTTING THE BURGER IN THE BOWL SO IT CAN COOL




WHILE IT COOLS, GO CHECK OUT YOUR GRAPE TOMATO PLANTS






WELL, THERE GOES THE CULPRIT...THE ONE WHO MAKES THE BROWN SPOTS IN THE GRASS!


COME BACK IN AND ADD EVERYTHING TOGETHER....DON'T FORGET THE CHEESE!




OOPS... I FORGOT TO GRATE THE ONION IN.....


RAW GRATED ONION



SLICE THE ROLLS


ADD THE FILLING



WRAP IN FOIL



THEY LOOK LIKE BAKED POTATOES!



NOW ALL WARM AND MELTED!



GOES GOOD WITH SOUP!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Do you remember

I am always in awe of and, I do have to say, envious of.... jealous of the great pictures my fellow food bloggers take.
I just get out my little Kodak, in my little dimly lit kitchen and snap away. (usually pushing stuff aside so it doesn't get in the photo too). But I get by. I think my photos turn out "okay".
Until today when I went to download/upload pictures for this post.

Now, let me backtrack just a bit... does anybody remember that Jerry Seinfeld routine where he is talking about hair? How we love hair, when it is on someone's head... we love to run our hands thru silky, shiny hair. Men dream of it, girls long for it, silky shiny manageable hair.
That is, until it's not on a head, but on your plate...and then we get all grossed out.

Yes, um, why is that?
My kitchen, my hair, my pictures. gross.
ha ha ha.
One of my hairs was on the egg plate (no fear, I didn't upload that one) It RUINED everything.
On my head, my glorious brown hair (bear with me, while I exaggerate just a bit), it looks good, it smells good, it's thick, it's shiny, I love when my husband tugs on it...I could actually say "don't hate me because I have beautiful hair", but there, sitting on the plate beside the egg dish (and believe me, egg dishes sometimes don't look that great photographed), my lone brown hair looks sadly and grotesquely out of place.

It was the best picture too. (sigh)

So...here's a few pictures and a blog post. Try not to think about the hair.

I was on my way to a church function.....a ladies brunch. What could I take? What did I have in my fridge and pantry? Eggs! Cheese! Chili's and corn!
I'm done.
That's it.
Seriously tho...it's a really easy, really good dish for a brunch. We like it. You'll like it.

Eggs for a Gang
courtesy of my friend Theda.

12 eggs
4 cups cheese
2 cans creamed corn
2 cans diced green chilies --drain the juice
2 tbls. Worcestershire sauce
salt
pepper
salsa if you want it--to spoon over the top

Mix all ingredients together.
Place in a 9x13 baking dish
Bake at 325 for one hour and 15 minutes

What you need




That's a log of eggs



And a lot of cheese





Really....uncooked eggs, don't look that appetizing



but right out of the oven? with a crispy little crust on top? mmmmm.....mmmmm


and then .....dish it up.

the perfect "easy" brunch for a crowd dish.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

TWD and awards

I am a loser! IF...I get my TWD posted today, it will be at 11:55 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. I'm still shooting for that, but..... chances are (oooh--a Johnny Mathis song) that it will be tomorrow sometime.


And then......then I'm going to take a few days off and invite Jo from "the Adventures of Kitchen Girl" over for coffee and cookies.


She said I was a "gem". And interestingly enough, I live in Nevada, the "silver" state....and silver is a gem, so this is ironic, isn't it?...and I could go on, but enough... LOL

If she can make it to the west coast, I will make a great pot of coffee (Dunkin' Donuts---even tho some might like Starbucks, or Seattle's Best, or Pete's--all good coffees) and have a plate of cookies and we'll talk recipes and kids and regional culinary delights, and have cookies and time will get away from us, because we'll have such a good time.


If she can't make it to the west coast, I'll just have to make one of her recipes this weekend!

You should check out her blog.....



She gave me an award!

Thanks so much Jo!
I really think we'd have a fun visit...if we could.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We need cookies!

How many chocolate chip cookie recipes are out there? 100's or 1000's!!

This is a Pumpkin Cookie recipe, that just happens to have chocolate chips in it. I guess you could add nuts if you wanted to. I guess you could do raisins too if you wanted, but please don't. Raisins have their place....just not in these cookies.

It's good and moist and "pumpkiny", so you have to like pumpkin in order to like these cookies.
They are a cake like cookie.

There really isn't much more to say about them. Except my book club gobbled them up by the handfuls.




Pumpkin Cookies

1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 can pumpkin (small can--enough for 1 pie)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 pkg. chocolate chip cookies


Cream together oil, sugar and egg. Sift flour and add all dry ingredients. Add flour mixture, alternatley with pumpkin to creamed mixture. Add chocoalte chips. Drop by teaspoons onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mom's Korean Chicken

My mom's Korean Chicken. Yum.

It's only a marinade really, but when I was young it was always the "dish", the "dinner" (or supper, depending on where you're from) and we all came running when my mom was making it.... just smelling it cooking now brings back all kinds of great memories.
And it's the simplist thing in the world.
For some reason, we never had the marinade on any other type of meat. Chicken was it. It was "Korean Chicken", never chicken with the Korean (which I'm sure it isn't) marinade.
To be honest, I haven't made this in years, but I plan on making every recipe in the "Friday Friend" cookbook, and my mom sent this one in and when I saw it, it brought me back to my childhood... which was oh so long ago.
This dish is pretty much a 'comfort food' for me. We always had it with steaming hot white rice and fresh peas, which is what you see me doing here.
It's been a really hectic couple of weeks, so it felt really good tonight to come home to a clean kitchen, meat marinating and everything practically ready to go. I just stuck it in the oven and joined my husband outside on the patio, with Monroe the Basset Hound, to enjoy one of the last nice evenings--they're slipping by fast!



I love fall, but I really start to miss my kids in the fall. I wonder if my mom, after all these years, misses me more ( I know she always misses me) at a certain time of year? So, I'm cooking one of her dishes to make me feel closer to her.

I envy everyone who has family close by.
Fall brings with it good "comfort food", the hectic "back to school" time, football, the holidays are looming, not to mention such pretty colors and the fact that our sweatshirts will be needed any moment now. Wow.
I love fall.... I just wish everyone lived closer to me, so I could cook for them. Those boys....they love my cooking. :~), don't you? boys? Boys?
Sheesh, they've never left me a comment.

okay....here is what you do.

get a chicken. Cut it up.
Wait a minute! How many people cut up their own chickens anymore? I don't, but I could. If I had too. When I was growing up, tho, my mom always cut up her own chicken. It used to be more economical that way.


So...either cut up your chicken, or buy boneless, skinless breasts like I did here.
Take all of your marinating ingredients and mix them in a mixing bowl.


Pour over the chicken (I use a Ziploc bag)


let marinate at least 4 hours or even overnight


place on a baking sheet. (it's better to grease this, or spray with a non-stick cooking spray so you don't have to scrape the baking sheet all night long) (and notice that I used a foil lined baking sheet this time...less clean up)





Bake at 325 degrees for 90 minutes (depending on size of your pieces)


wow...I should have invited friends over for supper. There is enough to feed a crowd!
Isn't it "ironic" that my pot holders have a "chicken" on them? I thought so too!

Serve with steaming hot, white fluffy rice and fresh peas (or frozen peas, but never, NEVER canned for this recipe)


Then, you can have some pumpkin cookies for dessert!!
(next post)


Korean Chicken
4 lbs chicken cut up into pieces
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup sugar
2 T. oil
1/4 t. pepper
1 t. hot sauce (like Tabasco)
Dash--garlic salt, onion salt and accent

Combine all the marinade ingredients and add the chicken. Marinate for at least 4 hours, or even overnight. Bake, uncovered at 325 for 1 1/2 hours

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

no TWD

work, Work, WORK, no TWD this week!
I could post a picture of my hotdog party this past weekend! (but I cannot even do that until I go home tonight---yes, I am at work right now)
Instead of baking, I had a "good bye to summer" hot dog party.
We had every kind of weener imaginable.

Anyway, no Tuesdays Baking with Dorie for me this week.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Eating out--Chinese Food--or two things I can do with one hand!

Let me set the record straight.... I can eat a whole meal with chopsticks (one hand) and I can crack an egg (one hand).
wow...I am so proud of myself. Of course, my 6 year old grand son, when he saw me crack and egg with one hand told me "grandma, you're doing that wrong". He cared not for my skill. He keeps me grounded. He's not that impressed. LOL


Our trip, continued: (because I can)
One either loves Chinese Food or one hates it. I don't think there is a happy medium here.

When we arrived at my parents house after an 8 hour drive, we went out to dinner. I love my mother's cooking, but we were there for such a short time and we arrived later, it was just easier to go out.
I got to choose.
So, I chose "the Chinese Gardens" because I like Chinese food AND this is the Chinese food restaurant of my youth. AND, it is the only thing in the whole world that doesn't disappoint me--it's just like it was in my memories, it hasn't changed since the 1960's and 70's. LOL ---FLAMING DRAGONS, velvet booths, flowing water..... ahhhhh....
I didn't get any pics of the food---too busy eating--- but a couple of the restaurant.
(I promise I will cook again. I have to make my mom's Korean chicken soon)
and let me explain that... the Chinese restaurant is the only thing that doesn't disappoint my memory. Like when you go back to your elementary school, thinking the halls were so long and the school was so big, and it really wasn't? That's what I meant. This restaurant hasn't changed at all.
and I really will cook again, but for now....

Does anyone REALLY go to a Chinese restaurant for "American" Food?







See?! The lovely Velvet booths. LOL With high backs and soft cushions.... no vinyl here. No sticky legs to pull of the sticky vinyl as you are getting out. Well, wait, the bench's might be vinyl. I was just so happy to be in a nice Chinese restaurant, I didn't notice.