Friday, August 31, 2012

Coconut Curried Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

We don't cook a lot of Middle Eastern or Asian inspired food, except for stir frys and hummus, which we love, but that is about to change. When we went to Minnesota last weekend, Scott's son had made this flavorful Coconut Curried Chicken with Sweet Potatoes on our arrival.  Yes, his son is the cook in the house.  My husband gave him the love of cooking. ( The apple doesn't fall far from the tree:)  Not sure if this is a Thai recipe, Indian recipe or Fusion, whatever recipe it is, it's very good.  The recipe came from my DIL hair dresser.  I  couldn't wait to make this recipe earlier this week.

The curry combined with the coconut milk and red pepper flakes make for a very flavorful sauce with layers of flavor. You can use any type of curry you have.  I used red curry, but you can also use green curry.  Then, add browned chicken breast chunks and sweet potatoes, and you have a   dish that smells and tastes amazing, simmering away on the stove.  If you love sweet potatoes, you'll love this dish.  This is a one pot meal that comes together quickly, and is a comforting dish,  Garnish your plate with chopped cilantro, peanuts, green onions, and lime wedges, (which I forgot in the photo). Serve curry over brown  rice, sticky rice, or noodles, and this is what's for dinner tonight!  Well, If not tonight, next week for sure. Enjoy!  Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

Coconut Curried Chicken and Sweet Potatoes  Adapted from Milena
 Prep time: 20 min.
Cook time: 30 min.
Serves four

2T olive oil, divided
1 lb, of chicken breasts, tenders, or thighs, diced, skin removed
2 large shallots, finely sliced (I didn’t use)
1/2 c coarsely chopped red onion (I used yellow onion)
2 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes to taste
1 large sweet potato, peeled & diced in 1/2 “pieces
1 can 14 oz coconut milk. I used lite coconut milk

2 green onions chopped
2 T cilantro, chopped
2T peanuts, chopped
 Lime wedges


Heat 1 T of olive oil in large Dutch oven over med-high heat. Season chicken with salt & pepper; Sauté 5-7 min, or until center is no longer pink. Remove chicken and cover.

Add remaining oil to Dutch oven. Sauté shallots and onions for 3-5 min.  Sprinkle in spices.  Add potatoes and coconut milk; bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 10 min.

Add chicken to curry, simmer 5 min.more, or until potatoes are tender.
Top with garnishes- Serve over your favorite rice or noodles

I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #33
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Turkey Meatballs with Panko Bread Crumbs in Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce

Last weekend we went to Minnesota to see Scott's son and his family.  While we were in Minnesota, we went to the Minnesota State Fair, which is a yearly ritual for Scott's family.  We went to the fair, on Saturday, which seemed like it would be  the best day, weather wise.  It was cloudy, and did start raining as we were leaving.  I thought that I would have gorgeous pictures of all the food we ate, but unfortunately, it wasn't a good day for pics with my camera. You will just have to imagine the first stop for hot, mini sugar covered doughnuts washed down with full cups of cool, creamy milk. Or Maple Bacon Ice Cream or fried cheese curds, which are definitely guilty pleasures. There was also a craft beer tasting and Guiness for the guys. You can find any type of food on a stick; pizza on a stick, chocolate covered jalapenos, deep fried Snickers, Gyros, and many more. I had grilled shrimp on a stick, which was very good. with a Caribbean Lemonade. a lemonade with Caribbean flavors, but not rum. Then right before we left, we had to get Aunt Martha's, hot out of the oven, Chocolate Chip cookies, which came in a big plastic bucket. These cookies are amazing, munching on a full bucket of hot cookies, as you go home.   Oh, yes, there were also animals, too. A good time was had by all, and we left with full tummies and open umbrellas.  What is your favorite fair or festival  food?

Is Fall approaching where you live?  We have falling leaves and walnuts, as I type.  Bailey the Wonder Dog, thinks that the falling walnuts hitting the roof are thunder, and is trying to get under my desk. Poor Baby! Our temps are more manageable and we even got rain, while we were gone. I love Fall and everything that it brings; chunky sweaters, apples, pumpkins, and even Football!   I'll soon be posting some delicious Fall recipes.

I did promise the Turkey Meat ball Recipe that Scott used in his Marinara Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes. He used Panko Bread crumb and herbs, in the meatballs,  We made some whole grain Rotini for some of the leftovers. Pasta sauce and meatballs taste even better the next day after it is made, because the flavors have time to to "marry", and become more intense.  The meatballs were wonderful in the sauce. Enjoy!

 Scott’s Turkey Meatballs w/ Panko Bread Crumbs

1lb ground turkey
1 cup bread crumbs- We used Panko Bread Crumbs
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 c olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and mix well. Form into 1 1/2 “Balls. Lightly brown meatballs in hot olive oil, not cooked through.  Salt and pepper to taste. Add to sauce. Meatballs will be cooked completely in the sauce.

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #33
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Scott's New Marinara Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes

Finally, my neighbor Pauli's garden tomatoes were ready.  She has 2 garden plots this year, with 26 tomato plants, Roma and Celebrity tomatoes.  Her tomatoes are so good.

 She gave us a about a 7 lb bag of Roma tomatoes, just gorgeous, and huge!

Of course Scott wanted to make Marinara sauce with these tomatoes. We couldn't let these beauties go to waste.  He started with SP Cookie Queen's Marinara Sauce, and went from there. It seemed like he was adding" everything but the kitchen sink".  He ended up with a thick, chunky sauce with carrots, green pepper, onions, celery,  mushrooms, and herbs, topped with Turkey Meatballs and cheese, (recipe to come laterfor the meatballs.)  There is nothing more wonderful, than to smell a pot of fresh Marinara Sauce, bubbling away on the stove, except then to eat the sauce with pasta.

We gave Our neighbor Pauli, a quart jar of sauce, and got 2 more quart freezer bags of sauce from the recipe.  I forsee lots of sauce and Pasta dinners in my future

Scott’s New Marinara Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes – Inspired by SP Cookie Queen


1/3 c olive oil

1 ½ cup chopped onion

1 cup finely chopped celery

1/2c finely chopped carrots

1/2 c finely chopped bell pepper

5 cloves garlic crushed

1/3 c Flat Leaf Parsley

1/2 lb Cremini Mushrooms, sliced

1/4 c fresh /basil, minced,

7 lbs. fresh tomatoes, Romas peeled** and chopped

1 15 oz can tomato sauce

1 6 oz can tomato paste

Sugar to taste

1/4 c Red Wine vinegar

1/2 tsp Red Pepper flakes, or to taste

1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning

2 bay leaves

1/2 cup dry red wine


In a large stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, green pepper, and garlic. Using a spice or coffee grinder, grind all dry spices.

Add spices and all other ingredients into the pot and simmer several hours, stirring occasionally until the sauce is the desired thickness.

**To easily peel or skin large quantities of tomatoes, wash and cut all the tomatoes in half, lengthwise, if using Romas, and lay them cut side down, single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil. Bake in a 425 degree F oven for 10 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes or so, or place in an ice bath to speed up coo.ling.

Here is Pauli in her garden.  Thank you for the wonderful tomatoes. The sauce turned out so well.

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #33
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Key Lime Pie with Toasted Coconut

I made this Key Lime Pie with Toasted Coconut for my Bunco Group. According to my hubby, they get all of the good stuff.  Don't worry, he got a piece of this delicious pie, too. All summer long my favorite drink has been Mojitos with Coconut Rum.  Instead of "Putting the lime in the coconut,"  I put the toasted coconut in the Key Lime Pie. I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner.  I mixed coconut with graham cracker crumbs in the crust, and also garnished the pie with toasted coconut.  The coconut gave the pie an extra crunch and flavor. If you don't like coconut, you can omit it.

Key Lime pie is very easy to make,  a graham cracker crust, and three ingredients, egg yolks, Key lime Juice, either fresh or Nellie and Joe's Key West Lime Juice, and sweetened condensed milk. Four ingrdients are needed if you add the coconut.  Mix all of the ingredients together, except for the coconut, and pour into a baked or ready made graham cracker crust.  Bake for 15 minutes, and cool for 10 minutes, and then refrigerate. Before serving,  you can decorate with fresh whipped cream, or whipped topping, and garnish with the toasted coconut and lime slices. Enjoy!

Fresh out of the oven!
Key Lime Pie with Toasted Coconut Adapted from Nellie and Joe's Key West Lime Juice 

Graham Cracker Crust- 9"
1/3  cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
 1/4  cups finely crushed graham crackers (about 18)  Can crush crackers in a plastic bag with a rolling pin, or swirl in a Food Processor until fine Crumbs
1/2 cup flaked coconut, optional


Melt butter; stir in sugar. Add crushed crackers and coconut; toss to mix well. Spread evenly into a 9-inch pie plate. Press onto bottom and sides to form a firm, even crust. Chill about 1 hour or until firm. (Or, bake in a 375 degree F oven for 4 to 5 minutes or until edge is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack before filling.)

Key Lime Pie Filling Pre-heat oven 350 degrees

1 9" prepared or ready made graham cracker crust

3egg yolks
1/2 cup Key Lime Juice
1 14 oz can sweetened condensed  milk
1/2 cup, toasted coconut*
1 cup whipping cream, whipped or whipped topping.

Combine above ingredients, except for toasted coconut and whipping cream. in bowl and mix well.

Pour filling into graham cracker crust, and bake in 350degreee oven for 15 min.  remove to rack and cool for 10 minutes, before refrigerating.

Before serving garnish with whipped cream toasted coconut, and lime slices
 Toasted Coconut  350 degree oven

Place coconut on a foil covered cookie sheet in 350degree oven for 7-10 minutes, until lightly browned.  Watch carefully, because coconut burns easily.  Cool on a plate, and garnish, right before serving.

I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #32!
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pork Chops Braised in Fresh Tomato Sauce for Julia Child's Birthday Month

Of course I wanted to make one of Julia's recipes for her Birthday Month, when she would have been 100 years old, because the movie "Julie, and Julia' was such an integral part of beginning of this blog. It was after that movie, that I decided to start a blog, even though it took several months.  I didn't do it it for the money, but for the the love of food. What would I make? Would I bake or cook one of her recipe?. My husband  had previously made Julia's Coq Au Vin and Boeuf  Bourguignon. from Julia's,  Mastering the Art Of French Cooking.  I decided to make Julia's (Côtes de Porc Robert)  Pork Chops Braised in Fresh Tomato Sauce.

These pork chops were first marinated in a Marinade Simple a.k.a. Lemon juice and  Herb Marinade for several hours. Because the recipe was for just the two of us, I only made two. rather large pork chops though thinner,  even though the recipe is for six. After the chops are marinated, they are browned either on the stove top, or in the oven.  The chops are the removed from the pan, while onions, are browned and a roux is made.  Then fresh peeled , chopped, and seeded tomatoes and herbs are added. After the tomatoes have cooked in the roux, white wine and bouillon are stirred into the pan. At this point, you arrange the chops in the pan, and baste with the sauce. Then you can either cook the chops on the stove top or in the oven, depending how many chops you are making. Once the chops are done, garnish with fresh basil and parsley.

These chops are so tender and  flavorful with the fresh fom the garden, chopped tomato sauce with the herbs, wine and beef stock. This just isn't a bland tomato sauce, but a sauce that has layers of flavor, which paired well with the pork.  This recipe came together pretty quickly, and could be finished in the oven. We will definitely be making this again, and will be perfect for those cool fall days coming.

 I just came across this quote from Julia, "I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate. ~Julia Child ~ Julia Child and her recipes will live in the hearts of many for years to come. Bon Appétit

It all starts with a simple marinade. It's even titled "Marinade Simple" a.k.a. Lemon Juice and Herb Marinade.

Per pound of pork:

1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3 TB lemon juice
3 TB olive oil
3 parsley sprigs
1/4 tsp thyme or sage (I used thyme)
1 bay leaf
1 clove mashed garlic

Rube salt and pepper into meat. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and add chops, and baste. I just poured the marinade in plastic bag. added the pork, and refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours, 6-12 hours is best., turning bag several times.

Pork Chops Braised in Fresh Tomato Sauce (Côtes de Porc Robert)
From “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” Serves 6.

6 pork chops, cut 1 inch thick
3 tablespoons cooking oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup minced yellow onions
1 tablespoon flour
1 pound ripe tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried sage or thyme
1 large clove mashed garlic
1 cup dry white wine or 2/3 cup dry vermouth
1/2 cup beef stock
1 to 2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Dry the pork chops on paper towels. Heat the fat or oil in a heavy,
10-12 inch oven-proof casserole until it is almost smoking, then
brown the chops, 2 or 3 at a time, on each side for 3 to 4 minutes.
As they are browned, transfer them to a side dish.

Pour out the browning fat, add the butter and onions, cover and
cook slowly for 10 minutes. Mix in the flour and stir over low heat
for 2 minutes more. Stir in the tomatoes and other flavorings.
Cover and cook slowly for 5 minutes.

Stir in the wine and stock or bouillon and simmer for 10 minutes.
Correct seasoning and stir in enough tomato paste to deepen the
flavor and color of the sauce.

Season chops with salt and pepper. Arrange them, slightly
overlapping, in the casserole and baste them with the tomato sauce.
Cover the casserole and bring to simmer on top of the stove, then
set it in the lower third of the preheated oven. Regulate oven
temperature so casserole simmers slowly and regularly for 25 to 30
minutes or until the chops are done.

Arrange the chops on a serving platter. Degrease the sauce and if
necessary boil it down rapidly until it is lightly thickened.
Correct seasoning and pour it over the chops. Sprinkle with herbs
and serve.

I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #32
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Broccoli Apple Slaw

I have made this salad twice for two different parties, and it was a big hit.  This healthy salad combines shredded broccoli and carrots, apples, walnuts, and green onions in one bowl for a slightly sweet, tangy salad.  Topped with a combination of Greek Yogurt, and a little Miracle Whip and splash of Vinegar, this salad delivers big taste with fewer calories. Besides, you are getting all of the antioxidants from the broccoli, apples, and walnuts, as well as the vitamins and minerals from the carrots.  Throw in a few dried cranberries, and you have a gorgeous party in a bowl, with all of the different textures, colors. and flavors.

This salad comes together in a jiffy, thanks to a bag of shredded broccoli and carrot mix from Trader Joe's. Add the sliced green onions, chopped apples, I used Gala, some chopped walnuts, and the dried cranberries. Top with the Greek Yogurt dressing, and there you have it, a healthy, flavorful salad.  I was eating leftovers for lunch for several days. Enjoy! This could be your lunch tomorrow!

Broccoli Apple Slaw

1 12-16 oz bag of broccoli slaw mix
2 green onions sliced thin
2 small apples chopped
1/2 c chopped walnuts
1/2 c dried cranberries
1/4 c plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 mayo or Miracle Whip
2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk together Greek yogurt, Miracle Whip and vinegar in a small bowl.  Pour over salad ingredients, and chill until serving time.

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #32
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Crock Pot BBQ Beer Chicken

I needed a recipe for a crowd, when I had The Relay for Life Thank You cookout at the end of the July. I found this recipe for the Crock Pot Beer chicken on Pinterest via Awkaward Kitchenette and How Sweet it Is. I wanted a good recipe that made a lot, with little fuss, that way my hubby wouldn't have to stand outside grilling in the high 90's temps, that were having. This was the perfect recipe for my party, and it was a big hit.

All you have to do is put about 6-7 chicken breasts or chicken parts in your crock pot.  (Mine is 6 quarts) Season with spices. Then, add one bottle of beer and 24 oz  of your favorite  BBQ sauce.  I cooked mine on high for 1 hour, and then on low for 3-4 hours, until chicken breasts are done. You don't want to overcook the chicken, or it will turn to moosh, when you go to shred it. You want to use a thinner type of sauce, so the sauce isn't too thick and burns around the edges.  If you use a thicker sauce, then be sure to add more liquid, like beer, chicken broth, or water. When chicken breasts are done, remove from crock pot and shred or pull with two forks.  Return the shredded meat to the crock pot, add the remaining BBQ sauce( 12 oz). and carefully toss with the chicken. Let shredded chicken absorb all the sauce for about 10-15 minutes, or keep  warm on low, until serving time.

Serve with additional sauce on the side with your favorite buns.  Garnish as desired. We just used lettuce and fresh tomatoes, which were optional.  Garnished or not this Crock Pot  BBQ Beer chicken is the best, and we got rave reviews at the party. this recipe makes a lot, so leftovers are wonderful to freeze.  Enjoy

We would definitely make this again, and we did, using a Rotisserie chicken. So, if you are really in a pinch, you can use a Rotisserie chicken, and  shred the  meat in medium sized pieces in place of the chicken breasts, or in addition to them.  If you use the rotisserie chicken, add the beer and all of the BBQ sauuce and cook on high for and hour or two, just to warm it through.  Keep warm on Low.  Serve with favorite buns.

Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken  Adapted by How Sweet It Is

Serves about 8-10
3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 large)
1 tablespoon onion powder( I didn't use)
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces of beer (I used 12 oz of Sam Adams Boston Lager)
32 ounces of barbecue sauce

1. Season chicken with onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper.

2. Add chicken to crock pot, then add beer and 24 ounces of barbecue sauce. Cook on low for 4-6 hours, or until chicken is done, tossing once or twice if desired . Once chicken is done , shred chicken with two forks.  Return the shredded meat to the crock pot, add the remaining BBQ sauce( 12 oz). and carefully toss with the chicken. Let shredded chicken absorb all the sauce for about 10-15 minutes, or keep  warm on low, until serving time. Serve with additional sauce on the side with your favorite buns.  Garnish as desired

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #31
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Triple- Lemon Layer Cake for Birthdays!

I made this Triple- Lemon Layer Cake  honor of  birthdays this week.  Yesterday would have been my Mom's 89th birthday.  She passed away five years ago and she loved lemon cake. She also gave me my love of baking, and baking with Love.  I'm sure that she would have loved this cake, because it has a light  lemon flavor in the cake, home made lemon curd filling, and lemon frosting.  A dear blogging friend, Gina@SP Cookie Queen, shares the same birthday date as my Mom. When I asked Gina what her favorite cake was, she said Lemon, so I had to make this cake. It was like Gina and I were destined to be friends. Happy Belated Birthday, Gina!  I could have made a round layer cake, but I thought that the heart shape would be appropriate for the people dear to me.  I wanted to post this cake yesterday, but things just don't go as planned, sometimes.

As it turns out, today would have been Julia Child's 100th Birthday today!  Happy Birthday, Julia!  This is a Birthday Cake after all.  I know that this isn't one of her recipes, but I will be making one soon. You see, Julia Child is a very important person to this blog.  If it wasn't for the movie, Julie and Julia, there may have never been a blog. I was inspired to write a blog, when I saw Julie writing one in the movie. I thought that if she could do it, I could do it too. Little did I know, the realities of writing a blog:)  Sure, a blog is a lot of work, cooking or baking, taking photos, editing them, posting them, keeping up with others' blogs, and on and on. However, I have "met" and made wonderful friends, and actually met face to face with a few.  It is these friendships and the caring people that keep me going.

There is another lemon lover in my life, that will be the direct recipient of this lovely cake, Scott, my Husband.  His Birthday is in one month, but he will get to eat this cake now. This cake has so much lemon flavor in the cake, in the lemon curd, and in the frosting, but isn't overpowering.  This cake is definitely for Lemon Lovers and it is a Labor of Love to make, but well worth it. It took the better part of yesterday to make this amazing cake,  If I had the time, I would have made the lemon curd the day before, I made the cake. You won't be disappointed, if you make the wonderful cake. Just be sure to have a lot of lemons.  I had over 2 lbs, and still could have used more. Enjoy!

Triple-Lemon Layer Cake Adapted from Fine Cooking

9 1/4 oz cake flour (2 1/3 cups)
2 3/4 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tbsps lemon zest (lightly packed and finely grated)
6 oz unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 cup whole milk (room temperature)  I used 2%
5 large egg whites (room temperature)

1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/4 cups lemon curd ****
4 oz unsalted butter (room temperature 1 cup) 
4 oz cream cheese
2 tbsps lemon zest (lightly packed and finely grated)
3 12 cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
3 tbsps fresh lemon juice
2 lemons zested
Preheat oven to 350F; position rack in middle of oven.
Grease and flour two 8x2-inch round cake pans., I used one heart pan , so I only had two layers, not four.
Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
Pulse 1/4 cup of the sugar with the zest in a food processor until well combined.
Beat the butter and lemon sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy-1 to 2 minutes.
Add remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and beat until smooth.
Beat in 1/4 of the milk until just blended.
On low speed, add flour mixture alternating with remaining milk in 3 batches, scraping as needed.
Beat until just blended.
In a clean bowl, whip egg whites on medium speed until foamy, add cream of tartar, increase speed to high, beat until whites just hold stiff peaks.
Add 1/4 of the whites to batter and fold in with a whisk or spatula.
Fold in remaining white 1/4 at a time.
Divide batter evenly between cake pans and smooth tops.
Bake until tester in center comes out clean- about 35-40 minutes.
Let cool for 10 minutes, remove from pans and cool completely on rack.
Cut each cake in half horizontally using a long serrated knife.
Place one layer on a serving plate, cut side up.
Spread with 1/3 cup of chilled lemon curd.
Lay another cake layer on top, spread with lemon curd and repeat with 3rd layer.
Top with fourth cake layer.
Up to a few hours before serving, spread a thin layer of frosting on cake, filling gaps as you go.
Chill to firm crumb coat for about 30 minutes.
Spread remaining frosting decoratively over sides and top of cake.
Scatter top with lemon zest as garnish.( I ran out of lemon zest for this step.)
TO MAKE FROSTING: In an electric mixer, beat butter, cream cheese and lemon zest until light and fluffy.
Add confectioners sugar in batches and beat until light and fluffy.
Add lemon juice and beat for 1 minute.

*** Lemon Curd

4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tbs. lightly packed finely grated lemon zest
Pinch salt
6 large egg yolks 

Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. 

Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sugar, lemon juice, zest, and salt. Whisk in the yolks until smooth

. Return the pan to medium-low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, 5 to 6 minutes. To check if the curd is thick enough, dip a wooden spoon into it and draw a your finger across the back of the spoon; your finger should leave a path. Don't let the mixture boil.
Immediately force the curd through a fine sieve into a bowl, using a rubber spatula. Let cool at room temperature, whisking occasionally. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.

I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #31

Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Nectarine Clafoutis

Today I am guest posting over at Oh Cake for Jessica, who just bought her first home,  is packing and moving.  She kindly did a  guest post for me, when my father was ill, and I am gladly returning the favor. Jessica and I first met through the lovebloghop, and then through Food Bloggers Network, which Jessica formed, earlier this year, and is a group where food bloggers can focus on professional development and networking.  Besides being a talented writer, Jessica can bake and cook, with many wonderful savory and sweet recipes like Marscapone Meatballs and Farmer's Market Pasta or Triple Berry Oatmeal Pie. Should I bake or cook something for the guest post.?

Because I can't seem to get enough of the summer fruits, I decided to bake a Nectarine Clafoutis. If you haven't discovered Clafoutis or Clafouti yet, A  Clafoutis, is a French dessert with fruit arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan or pancake- like batter, and traditionally made with Black Cherries. You can make with Clafoutis with any fruit of your choice. I made mine with sweet, juicy nectarines.. It may be dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm or room Temperature. Now head on over to Oh Cake, and get this wonderful, easy to make recipe.

linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #31
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Peach Walnut Loaf

I know, I. made another peach recipe, but I can't help myself, the fresh peaches are so good. This bread is bursting with  wonderful peaches, walnuts, and cinnamon. It is very moist with the addition of fresh peaches and Greek yogurt.  I also subbed out the butter for coconut oil., so it is even healthier. I even brushed the inside of the pan with the coconut oil, and then sprinkled a cinnamon sugar on the bottom and edges of the pan, to give the edges of the bread a crunchy, caramelized flavor. There is a faint hint of coconut, but it isn't overpowering. This bread is soo good, especially with a cup of coffee. By the way I'm eating a piece right now, and of course I'm drinking coffee.

I wanted to make a summer fruit bread, when I saw Elisabeth's Blueberry-Peach Bread for "Twelve Loaves"@Food and Thrift,  "Twelve Loaves" is a baking challenge started by Lora @Cake Duchess and the theme this month is Summer Fruit Bread. Twelve Loaves was created to inspire you to bake more from scratch at home, in your kitchen. Every month will be a different theme.  Maybe, I will actually make yeast bread, if you want to join in the fun, check out Twelve Loves@Cake Duchess.

Peach Walnut Loaf  Adapted from Leah Eskin's Standoffish Cinnamon Loaf

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

2 teaspoons butter, melted I used coconut oil
1 cup sugar
11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened I used 1/2 c coconut oil
2 eggs
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
13/4 cups flour
1 cup pitted and chopped peaches  I used about 3
1 teaspoon baking soda

1. Mix: Brush a large loaf pan with the melted butter or oil.  Stir together 1/2 cup of the sugar, the cinnamon.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cinnamon mixture along the bottom and sides of the pan. Mix the rest with the walnuts and set aside.

2. Fold: Cream softened butter, or add coconut oil and remaining 1/2 cup sugar with an electric mixer. Crack in eggs; fluff. Measure in Greek yogurt and vanilla; fluff. Whisk together flour, and soda.. Sprinkle flour mixture over yogurt mixture fold gently.fold in sliced peaches Mix in half the nut mixture; fold once or twice, aiming for a marbled effect.

3. Bake: Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan. Top with remaining nut mixture. Slide into a 325-degree oven and bake until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean, 50 -60 minutes. Cool a bit, turn out on rack.  Enjoy!

In this recipe the initial step is brush the inside of the loaf pan with melted butter or oil, and sprinkle with a cinnamon sugar mixture.  Do not skip this step.  The edges get a wonderful caramelized sugar, cinnamon coating.  Soo good!

 I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #30
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!

I also linked this recipe to Lora's Twelve Loaves@ Cake Duchess

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes with Grilled Peaches

I had never made Grilled Peaches until over the weekend. When we grilled them last Saturday, we grilled a few extra, and put them in the fridge They were so good, that we did a few extra, to eat for breakfast. Breakfast!  Have you ever had Grilled Peaches for Breakfast?  Even as we were eating them Saturday night,  we decided that they would be so good on Pancakes, especially the Buttermilk Oatmeal Pancakes,  that we had made before. This time when we made the Oatmeal pancakes, we added a little more cinnamon. Peaches and cinnamon just go together, I think.  The next morning all we had to do was make these yummy pancakes, reheat the Grilled Peaches, slice the peaches, and top the pancakes.

These pancakes were so good before with the rolled oats, but when we added the extra cinnamon, and topped them with Grilled Peaches, They were over the moon good, a great start to a great day.

Sunday was a great day because it was in the low eighties, and very little humidity.  A front had gone through on Saturday, and broke our oppressive heat wave.  We decided we were going to do something outside for sure. We went sightseeing in our "backyard, backyard in our local area.  There is a beautiful  and historic Japanese  Tea Garden  in the Fabyan Forest Preserve in Batavia IL, about 8 miles from our house. Col. George Fabyan had the gardens designed for his wife, Nellie in 1909, and they have been preserved, beautifully. They also have a museum with lots of local history. We had ridden past the gardens on the bike path, but never went to visit them, until Sunday, a perfect day! Make some of these pancakes, and then go exploring in your "backyard'. Enjoy! 

 These gardens are so calm and serene in the middle of the bustling suburbs.

Oatmeal Pancakes adapted from Allrecipes

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt I didn’t use
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup buttermilk  I made sour milk with Almond Milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tbsp vegetable oil  I subbed  coconut oil
1 egg

Place flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, buttermilk, vanilla, oil and egg in a food processor and puree until smooth. if you want more texture, don’t puree as long. We used our immersion blender, which worked very well.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot, with your favorite toppings.
 I linked this recipe to the Love Bloghop #peachlove

 I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #30
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

#Peachlove Grilled Peaches and Shrimp on Mixed Greens with Champagne Vinaigrette

I wanted to post his recipe yesterday, but Mother Nature had other ideas.  Just when I wanted to start making this dish, we had a rain and thunderstorm.  We need rain badly, but not just when I wanted to grill outside, bad timing Mother Nature.  So I am posting this recipe today.  At least now our grass is a little greener:)

August is #peachlove month!  Please join in on the #peachlove fun linking up ant peach recipe from the month of august 2012. Don't forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #peachlove event.  the twitter hashtag is#peachlove:)

Oh Yes, ripe juicy peaches are the best. I had never made grilled peaches before last night, but they are amazing, sweet, juicy and caramelized, WOW!!!   We were going to grill shrimp and peach halves before the storm came, but that didn't work out, so we had to grill after the storm.  We ended up with Grilled Peaches, and Shrimp on Mixed Greens with Champagne Vinaigrette. We decided on a cool salad, because the temp before storm was 98F.  Also I had part of a bottle of Sparkling Wine and some Champagne Vinegar, which was perfect for the dressing.

This salad turned out so well. Besides the grilled peaches and  shrimp, which were brushed with Balsamic Vinegar, and  mixed greens, we added sliced green onions, and toasted almonds.  The smoky sweet peaches combined with the grilled shrimp, and crunchy almonds, on the greens, made for a wonderful late dinner. This recipe would just as well with pork or chicken, mmm.  I could eat these grilled peaches all day long, and even for breakfast, which I'll talk about later.

Grilled Peaches and Shrimp Salad on Mixed Greens with Champagne Vinaigrette

 1lb of raw shrimp, any size   We had 16-20, skewered
4   firm, ripe peaches, washed, halved, and pitted
1-2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1/4 c toasted almonds
3 green onions chopped
6 cups of mixed greens   We had Spring greens

1. Brush peach halves and skewered shrimp with Balsamic Vinegar
2. Grill peach halves cut side down over med heat for about 4 min. turn over and grill for about 2 min. longer
3. Grill shrimp skewers over med heat 5 min per side, or until curled.
4. Place grilled peaches over greens. Sprinkle green onions and almonds over       shrimp and peaches.
2. Drizzle with Champagne Vinaigrette Enjoy! 

Champagne Vinaigrette
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 cup mild olive oil
1/4 c champagne vinegar
1/2 c champagne or sparkling wine.  I used Villa Ana Moscato
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of sugar (optional)


Whisk the first three ingredients together in bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add sugar, if needed.  Whisk until dissolved.

Leftovers need to be refrigerated, and keep for about a week. 

I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #30
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Red Skinned Potato Salad, Not My Mom's Potato Salad

I made this potato salad over the weekend. I'll share a secret with you , I hate to make potato salad, and I don't like to peel potatoes, even with a peeler.  My Mom made the best potato salad, so when I needed potato salad for a party, I  would call my Mom, and she would make some for me.  Now that she has passed away, I have to make my own, ugh!  However now,  times have changed, and potato skins are in vogue, loaded potato skins,  and mashed potatoes with the skins left on them, and also Red Skinned Potato Salad, which is what I made.  See the red skins on the potatoes in the picture?   I used the baby red potatoes, which makes cutting the potatoes much easier.

There are so many versions of potato salad, red or white potatoes? Mayo vs. Miracle Whip?, Oil and vinegar? Mustard or no mustard?  Skins on or off?  hot or cold?  Every family has their own recipe, maybe even passed down for generations.  What type of potato salad do you make? Do you have trouble cooking the potatoes to the perfect firmness? Are they too soft, or too hard?  These potatoes turned out perfectly, according to my Hubby.

Besides the baby red potatoes with the skins left on, my potato salad had Miracle Whip dressing with a little yellow mustard and vinegar, celery, hard boiled eggs, green onions, celery seeds,  and fresh parsley from our herb garden, which has huge leaves now.  I don't like mayo, so it's Miracle Whip for me. This is basically the dressing my Mom used, minus the fresh parsley. Thank you Mom:)   Anyway, this potato salad is so good, and even tastes better the next day, if you have any left over. Also, it's much easier to leave the skins on, and then you don't have to peel the potatoes.  Here is what we had left over.

Red Skinned Potato Salad  Inspired by my Mom, Helen

3 pounds clean, new red
potatoes I used size B
6 eggs
3 green onions  finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 cups Miracle Whip or  mayonnaise
1-2  Tbsp yellow mustard
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
1 Tbsp celery seed
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 10 minutes. Watch carefully so that they don’t cook too long.  Drain and set in the refrigerator to cool.
Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water and put in cold water, peel and chop.
Chop the cooled potatoes, leaving skin on. Add to a large bowl, along with the eggs, onion and celery. Add Miracle Whip or mayonnaise, mustard, celery seed, chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Chill for an hour or longer before serving.

My Red skinned Potato Salad featured on Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #30 Yay!!!

 I linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #29
Stop by and say Hi to Brandie!

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