Sunday, April 21, 2013

Good Old Fashioned Corn Bread.......

There are certain food combinations that just naturally go together.   Calamari and hot peppers, steamed lobster with drawn butter and pancakes dripping with maple syrup to name a few.  At our house cornbread and chili are always paired together,  now after my impromptu breakfast, I'm also adding cornbread and honey to the list.  Enter the cranberry bog honey (purchased still warm from the beekeepers) drizzled generously over a  crumbly leftover piece of cornbread.  It was a delicious old fashioned breakfast treat.
Here is the cornbread recipe adapted from allrecipes.com
  •  1/2 cup butter, melted
  •  1/2 cup sugar
  •  2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease an 8 inch square pan.
  2. Stir melted butter and sugar together.. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and just a few lumps remain. Pour batter into the greased pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Crab Cake Eggs Benedict.....

National Eggs Benedict day is today.   I'm sure these would have been over the top with home made crab cakes but I had these store bought crab cakes in the freezer so why not use them.   Once again I used Ina's recipe for Hollandaise Sauce.  Easily assembled toasted English muffin, cooked crab cake, poached egg and Hollandaise sauce.   It was delicious and so easy.   Here is Ina's recipe.

Hollandaise Sauce
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in the jar of a blender and process on low for 15 seconds. Melt the butter in a small saucepan until it is sizzling hot. Remove the small clear insert in the top of the blender. With the blender on low, slowly add the hot butter to the egg and lemon mixture and blend for 30 seconds, until the sauce is very thick. Use immediately.

Please keep the bombing victims and Boston Massachusetts in your prayers. These cowardice  attacks of terror always seemed to be so far away from us here in Massachusetts.  Now it feels as though it is in our front yards.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

All Natural Vinegar and Orange Cleaner.....

I'm loving the effectiveness of this all natural vinegar and orange cleaner.   Not only does it clean the counters and make the kitchen smell great, but if I wanted to I could  mix it with olive oil, salt and pepper and pour it over salad greens.  Imagine that!  The directions are simple.  Take a couple of glass jars, place the peels of three or four oranges into each jar and cover with white vinegar.  Let it sit for two weeks then strain into a clean spray bottle. No toxic ingredients or fumes.  It works like a charm.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Cooking with Cast Iron......

I'm sure many of you have read numerous articles extolling the virtues of cooking with cast iron.  The most compelling reason being the lack of PFC's (perfluorocarbons).   I don't know anyone who wants to fill their home and bodies with the toxins found in non-stick pans.  The appealing benefits of cast iron are many.
Health wise the benefit comes during the cooking process when trace amounts of good for your blood iron are leached from the pan into your food. Isn't that a cool fact.  Now lets talk money.  Economically you can't beat the price.   On average a twelve inch skillet runs somewhere in the vicinity of $25.00 to $30.00 dollars.  Then there is the longevity factor.  When properly taken care of a cast iron pan can last generations.
If you need evidence on how foods crisp and brown just look at my lemon cutlets above. Seasoned correctly cast iron becomes non-stick and a cinch to clean.   A little hot water and a stiff brush takes care of anything that might stick.  I hope if you don't already cook with cast iron you will give it a try.  I know you will be pleased you did.  
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