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Monday, August 25, 2014

Maine......

 
What's not to love about the beautiful state of Maine. Lighthouses, beaches, scenic marsh land  and of course lobster. I love everything about Maine. It's easy to see why I think Portland Head Lighthouse is one of the most charming New England destination you can visit.  This is why every summer while visiting my good friend Mary, I make sure we have a visit.  I feel so fortunate to have Mary from Ocean Breezes  and her husband Ron in charge of the sightseeing.  They could have jobs as Maine tour guides.  They know the history of almost every nook and cranny.
An  interesting fact about Portland Head Lighthouse is that it is the most visited, most painted and most photographed of all  lighthouses in New England. Looking at the photo I believe you can see why. I myself take dozen of photos every time I visit.
The very first time I visited the lighthouse it was high tide and the waves were crashing against the rocks.  A heavy fog began rolling in from the open sea and then as though on cue the resonant sound of the fog horn started to blow.  I was in awe.  It is a memory that I remember vividly and treasure still.  Thank you Mary and Ron for another memorable visit to what is now one of my favorite destinations

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Condiment Trio.......


I won the condiment lottery with this trio. All made without chemicals, preservatives, food coloring, pesticides, synthetics or GMO's.  Healthy and natural,  just the way I like it!.

Ketchup recipe from Country living.  Mustard and relish from Better Home and Gardens.
Here are the recipes starting with the ketchup.
  • 1 28 oz. can of organic crushed tomatoes
  • 1 med. onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 orange, juiced 
  • 1/2 grapefruit, juiced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1.2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
Directions:
  1. Puree tomatoes in a blender.  Transfer to a saucepan and set aside.  Saute onion, let cool.
  2. In blender, puree onion and capers.  Add sugar and blend until smooth.  Add the rest of the ingredients, blend.
  3. Transfer onion mix into the saucepan and stir.  Simmer over low heat until thick, about 1 hour.  Using a funnel, pour into bottles.  Refrigerate.
Here's the relish recipe
  • 6 cups pickling cucumbers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 cups finely chopped onions
  • 3 cups red sweet peppers, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pickling salt
  • cold water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp. celery seeds
  • 1/2 ground tumeric
Directions:

Wash cucumbers and peppers. Chop, discarding pepper stems and seeds; seed cucumbers, if desired. Measure 6 cups of cucumber and 3 cups of peppers. Peel and chop onions; measure 3 cups. Combine vegetables in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt; add cold water to cover. Let stand, covered, at room temperature for 2 hours.
Pour vegetable mixture into colander set in sink. Rinse with fresh water and drain well.
In a 4-quart Dutch oven or kettle combine sugar, vinegar, celery seed, mustard seed, and turmeric. Heat to boiling. Add drained vegetables; return to boiling. Cook over medium-high heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until most of the excess liquid has evaporated.
Ladle relish into hot, clean half-pint canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Wipe the jar rims; adjust lids. Process filled jars in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. Remove the jars, cool jars on racks.

Last but not least, the mustard recipe:

1/4 cup each of brown and yellow mustard seeds
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
3 tbsp. honey
2 cloves garlic minced

Directions:
Place seeds, vinegar and spices in a small bowl and let stand 24 hours.
Pour the seeds which have absorbed all the vinegar along with the honey and minced garlic into a food processor
Processor for one to two minutes. Scrape down sides a few times.  The mustard will not be smooth.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Culinary Institute of America.......



How do I begin to describe how thrilling it was to take a cooking class at the esteemed CIA in Hyde Park New York this past spring?  There really are no words.  The class was titled Spring in the Hudson Valley with Chef Martin Matysik. The menu was extensive and varied and cooked by the students. Here is the menu from my dream come true weekend.
  • Watermelon and Feta Salad
  • Spring Salad of Asparagus, Ramps and Peas, with Poached Egg and Lemon Zest Vinaigrette
  • Grilled Trout with Lemon Crust and Wild Garlic Sauce
  • Pan- Fried Wild Striped Bass with Bacon and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
  • Grilled Cornish Hen Breast with Dandelion Greens and Mustard herb Vinaigrette
  • Grilled Duck Breast with Pickled Watermelon
  • Roasted Rack of Lamb Persille, Fresh Spring Pea Puree with Mint and Roasted Garlic
  • Grilled Rib Eye Steak, Asparagus with Wasabi Hollandaise Sauce, Sauteed Foie Gras with Caramelized Pearl Onions
  • Chilled Wild Blueberry Soup with Poached Pears
  • Warm Chocolate Fondant with Rum Marinated Berries
  • Hudson Valley Cheese Platter with Truffle Honey
This is one of the many kitchens inside the CIA.  A classroom to learn, create and master your craft. Thank you Mary and Rick for inviting me to participate in something I derive so much joy from.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Portuguese Style Stuffed Chicken........



Hello out there. It appears that I have been on another vacation from blogging. I have missed posting on a regular schedule but especially missed reading everyone's blogs. I hope to get my blogging mojo back with this post.  This recipe is based on Emeril's mothers stuffed chicken.

Ingredients and directions. 
1 roasting chicken weighing about 7 pounds, with livers and giblets
1 large garlic clove, smashed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup dry white wine

For the Stuffing

2 cups chopped onions
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
Giblets and liver from the chicken
1 link hot chorizo
1/2 pound ground lean pork
4 cups bread crumbs
4 hard cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped green olives
1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/4 cup port wine
1/2 cup chicken broth

Directions
In a bowl combine the garlic, kosher salt, 1 tablespoon of the paprika, and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Beat together until smooth. Rub this mixture all over the chicken, inside and out. Place the chicken in a shallow bowl, cover , and refrigerate overnight. For the stuffing: In a skillet heat olive oil, add onions and garlic and saute for 5 minutes. Then add chorizo, the pork, breaking up the pieces as it cooks. Meanwhile, in a bowl toss together the bread crumbs, eggs, olives, paprika, parsley, mix well. Add the sausage mixture into the bowl. Pour in the port and chicken stock to moisten the stuffing. It should be moist, not soggy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Fill the cavity of the chicken with the stuffing.. Don't pack it in. Rub the outside of the chicken with the olive oil, and place it in a roasting pan. Roast uncovered for 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees, brush the chicken again with the olive oil and the pour the white wine over the chicken. Continue to roast for  2 hours or until juices run clear.


The chicken turned out moist and delicious. The stuffing, savory with just enough spiciness from the chorizo. I will make this again for sure.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Hedgehog Cookies......Gluten Free



You have to make these.  I got the recipe from my sister Mary who makes them for her daughters all the time.  Only five ingredients and your ready to make these little jewels.   I'm embarrassed to say I was a glutton for these gluten free cookies.  Here's the recipe courtesy of my sister and Taste of Home.
  Ingredients
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flaked coconut, divided
  • 1 egg

Directions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the walnuts, dates and brown sugar.  Add 1/2 cup coconut and egg, mix well.  shape into 1 in. balls and roll in remaining coconut. (I used my food processor to chop everything individually and then mixed it all in a bowl.)  
  2. place on greased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 13 minutes or until lightly brown.  Cool on wire racks.  makes about 1 1/2 dozens cookies.   Enjoy!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Simple Pleasures.. Simply Delicious..Let's Share


Another one of my simple pleasures or perhaps I should say treasures.  Moro oranges, gorgeous, delicious, juicy and good for you.

I would enjoy and genuinely appreciate if you would graciously share one of your simple pleasures.  It might not involve simple foods like my simple pleasures do but might include knitting, reading, gardening or hiking. Whatever makes you content, satisfied, pleased, gratified, fulfilled or just plain happy,  I'm interested Please share one with me.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Have Some Honey.......


Stocking up for the winter on my local cranberry bog honey is a must for me. I LOVE IT.   It not only tastes delicious, it's beneficial to your health.  A tasty health gift so to speak.  Local honey has made a substantial difference in my seasonal allergy symptoms.  The health advantages are tremendous.  Besides helping with allergies it reduces cough and throat irritations, has anti-bacterial and anti fungal properties and is a probiotic.



My favorite way of eating honey is with yogurt, fruit and nuts.  This afternoon though, I had it in tea with cinnamon and lemon.
“The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” 
― Henry David Thoreau
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