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Sep. 1st, 2011

Susi - current


Different take on Avocado

Not sure about this but interested enough to want to try it:


Makes: 3/4 cup

1 ripe avocado, medium dice
6 teaspoons minced fresh chives
4 teaspoons minced fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Pinch kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Place the avocado in a medium, nonreactive bowl and mash with a fork until evenly broken up.
Add the chives and parsley (or your other favorite herbs), vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste.
Fold together until well combined.

I wonder what this would taste like with basil in it?

This is from Chow.com; they suggest, "...tastes great on a BLT, grilled or roasted chicken, roasted vegetables, or a seared piece of halibut."

Of course, the halibut is out for me for obvious reasons but that does sound good, theoretically.

On another note, I bought 3 peaches of the non-fuzzy variety. They were labeled as peaches but they're very disappointing. The texture is crisp, almost like an apple, and that is very off-putting to me. I tried slicing one, adding a little sugar and water to see if it would become more "peach-like" over night but it didn't. It got brown-looking and sorta mushy but still was more apple-like than peachy. I had to throw it away because the taste, while mildly peachy, just wasn't very good. That's saying a lot for me to throw it away; my food budget is so tight I'll eat what I have on hand unless it's gone bad or is really nasty.

Any ideas what I can do with the other two peaces so they'll be edible?

Aug. 18th, 2011

Susi - current


Easier than it sounds....

When featherynscale posted her chili recipe the other day, I gave a quick reply to her "how do you do yours" but today I ran across my recipe.

It's really not as complex as the recipe looks. And yes, it is more of a process but I turned it into an actual recipe after being ambushed on another LJ cooking group for how I wrote up my recipes and for, dare I say it, calling a recipe "from scratch" that had canned good in it. I really don't measure out the spices, I just put "some" in and taste it until it's right.

So here we go:

Rowan’s Best Chili

½ lb black beans, dried
½ lb kidney beans, dried
3-5 bottles of Guinness
1 lb hamburger or stew meat
½ lb thick-cut bacon
½ lb ground pork sausage
¼-½ cup canola oil (or bacon grease)
1 large onion
3-4 garlic cloves
1 green pepper
1-2 poblano pepper, seeded
1 tbsp Penzey’s Pork Chop seasoning
2 tbsp Penzey’s Cumin
4 tbsp Penzey’s medium Chili powder
1 tbsp Penzey’s Coriander
1 tsp Penzey’s Cayenne
2 tbsp Penzey's unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp Penzey's Cinnamon blend
1-28 oz.can crushed tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
½ cup brown sugar
Dollop, molasses
Dollop, honey

Sort and rinse dried beans; put in stock pot, cover with waters and simmer for an hour.
Drain and rinse, then add 2-3 bottles of Guinness (enough to cover beans), cover and simmer for an hour, ‘til beans are just tender.
Heat up large cast pan and fry bacon ‘til crispy, put on paper towel and let cool, then crumble and set aside.
Chop all veggies and set aside.
Add oil to cast iron pot, on low temp.
When oil starts to sizzle, add beef and pork sausage and season.
Stir ‘til browning starts then add veggies and stir until meat is browned and veggies are clear. Blot up any excess oil.
Move meat and veggies to crock pot.
Drain but do not rinse beans, add to crock pot.
Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste; if chili is too dry, add a bottle of Guinness.
Stir in sugar, molasses and honey.
Cook in crock pot on low for at least 3 hours until ready to serve.

Jul. 22nd, 2011

Susi - current


How much basil is too much?

We'll see...

I was out on my patio watering my purple petunias and refilling the bird feeder and their water (since birds need water, too, when it's hot!) and decided to pick some of the basil that is getting so huge on the plant out there.

I'd thawed the package of chicken breasts from my freezer so I put them into the crock pot, added a can of low sodium cream of chicken soup and the whole handful of basil leaves with just a bit of water.

This will make a whole bunch of shredded chicken that I can then use in all sorts of ways.

But we'll see if the basil is too much; somehow, I doubt it.

Not so much a recipe as a process....which is how I cook.

Jun. 9th, 2011

Susi - current


Strawberry *and* Cardamom? Must try!

from Chow.com

Strawberry-Filled Cardamom Cupcakes
By Amy Wisniewski

As a chocolate advocate, my idea of a sweet treat is far from anything fruity or pink. But after devouring more than a few of these light cakes filled with fresh strawberry sauce and topped with a tangy strawberry–cream cheese frosting, I can say this dainty dessert is fit for little girls and boys, grown women, and burly dudes alike.

Game plan: You will need to use paper cupcake liners, or the jam will stick to the inside of the muffin wells no matter how thoroughly you butter them!

If your oven is too small to fit 2 (12-well) muffin pans side by side, you can arrange the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Bake as directed, rotating the pans between the racks halfway through the cooking time. You also may need to bake the cupcakes 1 or 2 minutes longer.

Total Time: 45 mins
Makes: 24 cupcakes


2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup Chunky Strawberry Sauce
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting


Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.

Line 2 (12-well) muffin pans with paper cupcake liners; set aside.

Place the flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until light in color, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light in color and airy, about 3 minutes.

Stop the mixer and scrape down the paddle and the sides of the bowl.
On medium speed, add the egg whites 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Next add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
On low speed, slowly add the milk and vanilla and mix until combined (the mixture will look curdled).
Add the reserved flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 15 seconds.

Fill each muffin well about three-quarters full.
Using a spoon, create a small indentation in the batter by slightly spreading it from the middle out toward the edges.
Measure 1 heaping teaspoon of the strawberry sauce and place the back of the teaspoon inside the indentation.
Rotate the spoon, letting the sauce slide into the indentation. Repeat in each well.

Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes.
Set the pans on wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes.
Remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely on the wire racks before frosting.

Jun. 7th, 2011

self, 1


(no subject)

Best oatmeal cookies ever. Actually, best cookies ever, period. These are the cookies of my childhood. Just about anything can be added to them: nuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips, combinations thereof, etc.

3/4 cup margarine or shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups oats
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix the sugars and shortening until creamy. Stir in egg, water, and vanilla. Stir dry ingredients together separately and then mix all ingredients. Add chocolate chips, fruit, nuts, coconut flakes, etc...whatever floats your boat. Mix thoroughly and form balls with your hands or a spoon. The cookies don't spread much, so the size you make is about the size you're gonna get.

Bake on a greased sheet @ 350 F, for 12-15 minutes.

May. 27th, 2011

Susi - current


Baked French Toast


10 slices French Bread (cut 1-1/2" thick)
6 large eggs
1-1/2 cup milk
1-1/2 cup half and half
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
dollop maple syrup
2 tbsp dark corn syrup or molasses
1 cup chopped pecans

Grease 9" x 13" baking dish. Fill with bread slices (they can be crowded in.)
Combine eggs, milk and half & half and spices; stir well.
Pour evenly over bread slices.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Next morning, remove baking dish from refrigerator and allow to return to room temp, at least a 1/3 hour.
(NOTE: if there is any remaining milk/egg mixture sitting in the bottom of the baking dish that was unabsorbed by the bread, use a baster to remove or it will take forever to bake.)
Preheat oven to 350°.
Make topping by melting butter, adding remaining ingredients and stir.

Pour evenly over soaked bread, top with pecans.
Bake until puffed and golden (30-50 minutes.)

This recipe is easily halved from the original, taken from a Bed and Breakfast Recipe book I purchased years ago in Eureka Springs, AR. It never failed to get rave reviews from my brunch guests. I usually served it with Sausage Cookies, bacon and broiled grapefruit.


12 slices French bread (6 of them cubed)
2 - 8oz packages Cream cheese
2 cups fresh blueberries
12 eggs
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 cups milk
1 tbsp cinnamon
healthy dash nutmeg

1 cup granulated sugr
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup water
1 cup blueberrries
1 tbsp butter

Place 6 slices of bread in greased 9" x 13" baking dish. Cube cream cheese, place over bread.
Sprinkle blueberries over top of cream cheese.
Place cubed bread over top.
In large bowl, mix eggs, syrup, milk and spices.
Pour mixture evenly over bread.
Cover and refrigerate overnight

Next morning, acclimate baking dish to room temp for at least half hour.
Preheat oven to 350°
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until puffed and golden.
Mix up sauce, stir over high heat until thickened, then add blueberries, simmer for 10 minutes or until blueberries burst. Pour over french toast. Serve immediately.

May. 10th, 2011

Susi - current


Gonna hafta try this...

Slow-Cooked Carne Adovada (ganked from the Chowhound email I get daily.)

Adapted from "Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys" by David Tanis

Chez Panisse Co-Chef David Tanis calls this pork recipe, from his book Heart of the Artichoke, “the pork of your dreams.” We concur. Dried red chiles are rehydrated and puréed into a thick, spicy paste that is slathered on pork shoulder; the pork is then slow-roasted in the oven until it’s supertender. Tanis suggests serving it with cooked hominy. We also like it with rice, beans, in tacos, or in a sweet bun.

Game plan: This dish can be made a day or many hours ahead and reheated.

Total Time: 1 hr 45 mins, plus 2 hrs baking time
Makes: 4 to 6 servings

1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
6 ounces dried New Mexico red chiles
2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, small dice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder


Place the coriander and cumin seeds in a large frying or cast iron pan over medium heat and toast until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool. Using a spice grinder, grind the seeds into a fine powder; set aside.

Rinse the chiles in water and pat them dry with paper towels. Place half of the chiles in the large frying or cast iron pan and toast over medium heat until slightly puffed and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and repeat with the remaining chiles. When they’re cool enough to handle, cut the chiles in half lengthwise, then remove and discard the stems and seeds.

Place the chile halves in a medium saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and let the chiles cool slightly in the cooking liquid, about 30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chiles to a blender. Add 1 cup of the cooking liquid and blend until smooth; set aside.

Heat the lard or oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, reserved coriander-cumin powder, bay leaf, and reserved chile purée, season with salt, and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the flavors start to meld, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the lower third.

Rinse the pork and pat dry. Generously season all over with salt and pepper and place in a roasting pan or Dutch oven. (The roast can be cut into large pieces if it doesn’t fit easily in the pan.) Pour the cooled chile sauce over the pork and spread it all over to coat the meat. Cover the pan tightly with foil or a lid. Roast until the pork is tender and easily pulls apart with two forks, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Apr. 11th, 2011

Celtic Heart


Hmmm, pancakes!


* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 12-ounce package frozen pitted light or dark sweet cherries
* 1/2 cup cherry jam or cherry preserves
* 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
* 1-1/2 cups packaged regular or buttermilk pancake mix (not complete pancake mix)
* 3/4 cup milk
* 2 tablespoons cooking oil
* 2 eggs, lightly beaten
* 1/2 cup purchased apple butter (or ya know, ROWAN's apple butter)


1. For flavored butter, in a small mixing bowl, use a small whisk to combine butter, honey, and cinnamon. Whisk until well combined; set aside.

2. For cherry sauce, in a medium saucepan, combine frozen cherries, cherry jam, and orange peel. Bring to boiling over medium heat, stirring frequently; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly. Cover and set aside; keep warm.

3. In a medium bowl, stir together pancake mix, milk, oil, eggs, and apple butter. Stir just until moistened (batter should still be lumpy). For mini-size hot cakes, spread about 1 tablespoon batter into a 1-1/2-inch circle onto a hot lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet. (For standard-size hot cakes, spread about 1/4 cup batter into a 4-inch circle.) Cook over medium heat about 2 minutes on each side or until hot cakes are golden brown, turning to second sides when hot cakes have bubbly surfaces and edges are slightly dry. Serve warm with flavored butter and cherry sauce.

4. Makes 32 to 40 mini-size or 8 to 10 standard-size hot cakes

Found on BHG website


A Finnish meat pie recipe

I know at least some of my friend would appreciate this...
Read more...Collapse )

Apr. 8th, 2011



Chicken Kiev as one of my new favorite restaurants does it

This restaurant. They are so kind to post their recipe on Web, but here's it for your viewing pleasure.


4 chicken breasts
ground white pepper

Parsley butter:
100g butter
half bunch parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice

3-4 tablespoons wheat flour
2 eggs
2-3 dl breadcrumbs

cooking oil


First make the parsley butter: stir the butter, adding crushed parsley, lemon juice and a pinch of white pepper.

Cut the breast pieces and remove bones. Do not remove the skin. Leave the wing bones and clean them well.

Make butterfly cuts of the breasts: cut lengthwise starting at the thin end and open like a book. Place the chicken pieces between sheets of plastic and tenderise carefully.

Put an egg-shaped, fingertip-sized pat of parsley butter on each piece.

Roll the chicken pieces into cigar-shaped rolls with the butter securely inside and the cleaned bone horizontal. Wrap the skin on top.

Season with salt and white pepper.

For breading, use three dishes: flour in the first, well-beaten egg in the second, breadcrumbs in the third.

Roll the chicken pieces first in the flour, then in the egg and finally in the breadcrumbs. Make them oval. (If they do not seam tight enough, dip them again in the egg and roll in the breadcrumbs.

Heat the oil to about 150 degrees Celsius and fry each cutlet for about 9 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serve with, for example, white rice, baby peas and lemon slices.

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