Tuesday, November 15, 2011

let them eat cake she said

my dear friend snow white married her prince charming a few weeks back and she asked if i could provide the cake. the green was really bright and had a hard time showing up in the pictures. i was also using my phone, so the quality isn't the best.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

she's the apple of my eye

yeah, i know I've been gone too long. trust me lots of cooking has happened, but life has been busy. in honor of my friend buttercup a blog on what we had for breakfast this morning. the kids always request pancakes for breakfast. while on a recent shopping trip i purchased a cookbook called 1 Batter, 100 Pancakes & Waffles by christine france. i whipped it out this morning looking for a new take on a standard breakfast. we decided the kids would probably prefer something tame, so i made our standard pancakes. instead of leaving well enough alone, i made the caramel apple topping from the above mentioned book to place on top of the pancakes.

my standard pancake recipe from The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins

1 c unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c half-and-half
6 Tbsp milk
3 Tbsp (packed) light brown sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
3/4 c fresh blueberries

1. in a medium size bowl, toss together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

2. in another bowl, stir the 1/2 & 1/2, milk, brown sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, and lemon zest until smooth.

3. stir the liquid into the dry ingredients until almost smooth, there may be some lumps. fold in the blueberries, and let the batter stand loosely covered for 20 minutes.

4. heat a griddle over medium-high hear, then butter it lightly. gently drop the batter by heaping Tbsps (1/8 c), and cook until the bottoms are golden and bubbles are popping on the surface, about 1 minute. turn, and cook 1 minute on the other side. repeat, using up all batter.

makes 18 3-inch pancakes

ok, that is the recipe i "follow" when making pancakes. this morning i didn't have 1/2 & 1/2, so i used the coffee creamer that i had in the fridge, sweet Italian cream. i also omitted the blueberries.

we've made these with eggnog instead of 1/2 & 1/2 and they were to die for.

while i waited for the batter to rest i began the caramel apple topping.

caramelized apple topping

5 Tbsp butter
3 crisp apples
1/4 c superfine sugar
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1. melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then add the apples. sprinkle with sugar and fry, stirring, for 6-8 minutes, or until softened and golden brown. stir in the nutmeg.

2. spoon apples and juices over the pancakes and serve.

yeah it really is that simple. i hope you guys enjoy the return of some recipes. i hope to post more in the future, but i wouldn't hold your breath

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

i remember when rock was young

i don't really, but her heiness loves that song on Lego rock band. i often talk about angelfood ministry on my regular blog and how much we enjoy it. one of the boxes they offer is a fresh fruit and veggie box. the only problem we run into is that often the fruit is just a pit ripe or bruised, not always and not all. this past month we got 4 peaches that were a little bruised for my just munch on in a few days preference. what do you do with 4 peaches that won't make it a week? you dig through your pantry until you find a box of jiffy raspberry muffin mix. then you sprinkle those peaches that have been sliced with a bit of nutmeg and sugar. you mix the muffin mix with an egg, some milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. i did spray the pan first. then i dotted the peaches with some real butter, poured the muffin mix on them, put them in the oven and.......

a peach melba cobbler.

it was delicious and all the kids chowed down heartily. so what do you do with fruit that is past its eat by date but not yet to its toss date?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

another one bites the dust

another day of cooking new and delicious foods has come to an end. after dinner was finished we went over to a friend's house and we picked apples. LOTS of apples, and there were at least 3 times as many as we picked still on the tree. all total we cut, cored and bagged 16 gallons of apples. we put them in the freezer until we will have time to make something yummy with them.
yes that is what 16 gallons of bagged apples look like. impressive huh.

for supper we had dolmades and cucumber salad. they were both so good.
Dolmathakia me Kima
i found our recipe here. i only used ground beef, and after rolling for an hour we decided to bake the rest of the filling. it was similar to meat loaf, but better somehow. we used grape leaves off of our grapevine in the yard, that was pretty awesome.

the recipe for the yummy olive salad can be found here. take some time to check out her blog, it is one of my faves.

leave me a comment if you are following Greek week. I'm curious to see if anyone is actually reading this. thanks

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

friends are friends forever

i love getting to spend time with my bestie. especially if good food is going to be involved. below is a picture of my lil man, and if you look in the corner you can catch a sneak peek of my bestie and her adorable girls. i got to hang this afternoon with her and we decided to share dinner with her and her family. on the menu tonight was souvlakia and tzatziki.

i just realized the picture doesn't look very appetizing, but looks can be deceiving. this dip was delicious and the hubby and i were discussing all kinds of uses for it in the future.

preparation time: 15 minutes + 2 hours refrigeration time
total cooking time: 20 minutes
serves 6
3 small cucumbers coarsely grated
16 oz thick natural yogurt
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill
1 Tablespoon olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. line a fine strainer with cheesecloth. spoon cucumber into strainer, cover with cloth to enclose. press and squeeze firmly to remove the moisture from the cucumber. place cucumber in mixing bowl.
2. add yogurt, garlic, dill and oil; mic well to combine season to taste. cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

the next part of dinner was souvlakia.
preparation time: 20 minutes + overnight refrigeration
total cooking time: 10 minutes
serves 4
2 pound leg of lamb, boned
1 green pepper cut into 3/4 inch squares
1 red pepper, cut into 3/4 inch squares
1/3 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 bay leaves, crumbled
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. trim the lamb of excess fat and tendons. cut lamb evenly into 1 1/4 inch cubes.
2. thread the meat and the peppers alternately onto oiled skewers; place in a shallow non-metal dish
3. combine the lemon juice, olive oil, white wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, bay leaves, salt and pepper. pour the marinade over the meat on skewers. cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, turning occasionally. drain skewers and reserve the marinade.
4. place the skewers on a lightly greased grill. cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the lamb is tender, brushing with reserved marinade several times during cooking. serve with warm pita bread and Greek salad or tzatziki.

i will admit to cheating. lamb is expensive so we used our angel food steaks in place of the lamb. we also broiled ours in pans in the oven. they turned out fantastic. we all thoroughly enjoyed the dinner.
check back here tomorrow for another yummy recipe.

Monday, July 26, 2010

discovering you and discovering me

we started our Greek discovery week with some tasty oikos Greek yogurt with honey. as you can see the kids thought it was yummy.

q was sucking his out of the container. he ate almost the whole container.
her heiness felt the need to pose for her picture. she too inhaled hers.

monkey ate hers slowly, she really seemed to enjoy it.

we had some shopping left to do today in the big city, so we didn't get to study anything cool today other than how to not make your parents completely crazy. our meal for supper was moussaka. i had never had it before this evening, but how can you go wrong with eggplant, meat sauce, and cheese sauce. i found my recipe in the recipe encyclopedia. it is an awesome cookbook my sister bought me several years ago for my birthday.
preparation time: 20 minutes + 1 hour standing
total cooking time: 1 hour + 45 minutes
serves 6
3 medium eggplants
1 Tablespoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef
2 Tablespoons dry white wine
13 1/2 ounce can of tomato puree
1 Tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 teaspoons finely chopped mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup grated Romano cheese
1. cut unpeeled eggplant into 1/2 inch slices. sprinkle both sides with salt; stand in a colander for 1 hour. rinse in cold water, drain well. squeeze out excess moisture wit paper towels.
2. TO MAKE MEAT SAUCE: heat the oil in a pan. add the onion and ground beef. stir over high heat 10 minutes or until well browned and all the liquid has evaporated. add the wine, tomato puree, herbs, cinnamon and pepper; bring to a boil. reduce heat, simmer, covered, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. remove lid and simmer 10 minutes.
3. TO MAKE CHEESE SAUCE: heat butter in small pan; add flour. stir over low heat for 2 minutes. add milk gradually to pan, stirring until smooth. stir over medium heat for 5 minutes or until mixture boils and thickens. cook for 1 minute; remove pan from heat. add eggs and cheese, beat until smooth.
4. preheat oven to 350 degrees. heat the oil in a heavy-bottom pan. cook the eggplant a few slices t a time until golden;; remove from pan, drain on paper towels. divide the eggplant into three. arrange one portion over the base of a shallow oven proof dish. spread with half the meat sauce, add a second layer of eggplant, then the remaining meat sauce and eggplant. spread cheese sauce over the top layer of eggplant. bake for 45 minutes or until golden. leave in dish for 5 minutes before serving.
that's what it looked like before i scarfed it down. i recommend beginning the sauces immediately after you put the eggplant to drain. it took me nearly the entire hour for the making of the sauces. i found the recipe for the baklava here. it was delicious. as i was making the syrup to pour over the baklava, i noticed that it smelled like roses. who knew? i hope you enjoy our first day in this adventure.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

i know what i know if you know what i mean

tune in next week for some tasty Greek goodness. things to be included are mostly traditional Greek, but a few foods that we adore that are not. we will be trying our hand at baklava, tatziki, souvlakia, cheese triangles, dolmades, hummus, tabbouleh, and Greek pizza. i found most of the recipes here, but a few came from cookbooks i have collected over the years. i also found a recipe for a delicious cucumber salad here. i can hardly wait to take pics and share the experience, so be sure to check in.