Busy Day on the Farm

I’m trying my darndest to stay within the confines of one upright freezer, but let me tell you it is so difficult. Yesterday, I used the last of my frozen roasted poblanos – my roasted red bell peppers I ran out of a number of days ago. So today –

I got busy and HAPPINESS IS – 3 trays of goodies in the freezer.
May 20 Roasted Poblanos
May 20 Roasted Red Peppers

And since I was going to be in the kitchen most of the morning anyway, I made bread from a recipe I recently found as I continue my ongoing project of downsizing the amount of recipes I have which I’m going to ‘MAKE ONE DAY.’ This recipe is from an old Fleischmann’s Yeast advertisement and I first made it Apr. 4, 1981 and again in 1995. It’s been buried since then. I remember loving it and especially toasted.
May 20 English Muffin Bread
It’s not the prettiest bread I’ve ever made, but oh so tasty! And one of the easiest to put together.
English Muffin Loaf

2 pkgs. Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast (4 1/2 tsps.)
6 cups all purpose flour
1 T. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 cups milk
1/2 cup water

Combine 3 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt and soda. Heat liquids until very warm (120°-130°F.) Add to dry mixture; beat well. Stir in rest of flour to make a stiff batter. Spoon into two 8 1/2 X 4 1/2-inch pans that have been greased and sprinkled with cornmeal. Sprinkle tops with cornmeal. Cover, let rise in warm place for 45 minutes. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool.

How easy can a bread recipe be?? You’ll notice the ‘oops’ in the picture of one of the loaves. It overran its pan, but this turned out to be a very good ooops – I cut off the long piece (seen in picture) and we had it as a ‘cracker’ with soup later. I love it when screw-ups turn out well.

Time to put the feet up on the deck railing and take advantage of the spurt of sunshine we’re having, with a glass of wine. I raise my glass to you all and happy cooking.


It’s Been A While…..

We’ve been off the road and in our little farmhouse a year now and what a year it has been. Lots of repairs and redoing and it is slowly become our little piece of heaven in the country with beautiful view of the Olympic mountains. We’re finding we don’t even miss our once favorite view of the water (the Straits of Juan de Fuca) – the ever changing view of the mountains is outstanding.

In between the remodeling, which Roy is doing 90% of, I’ve been having fun learning to cook and operate in the smallest kitchen I’ve ever had! Challenging, but I’m beating it! And, it’s time to get back to recording some of the dishes we’ve enjoyed.

Today, I’ll start with 3 recipes which we will be repeating quite often.

Asian Pork Tenderloin and Pea & Corn Coleslaw
a Chef’s Journey recipe, Dec. 5, 2012
May 19 Asian Pork Tenderloin, Potato, Zucc Patties

1 pork tenderloin (1 1/2 lb.)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T. packed dark brown sugar
2 T. purchased barbecue sauce
1 T. sesame oil
1 T. minced fresh ginger
1 T. mirin
1/2 T. chili garlic sauce

Trim the tenderloin of any silver skin, but leave any fat for flavor; there won’t be much. Cut the tenderloin in half a put in a sturdy (if using Sous Vide) plastic bag.

Whisk together the marinade ingredients and pour over the pork. Seal baggie and refrigerate for 1 to 1 1/2 hours turning them after 1/2 hour.

When ready to cook the tenderloin:
Option 1: Heat grill over medium heat and lay the pieces of tenderloin on the grill. Grill and turn every 4 to 5 minutes until pork reaches 140°F internal temperature.
Option 2: Sous Vide the pork – Put one of the pieces in a 2nd baggie. Sous Vide at a temperature of 140° for 2 hours. 15 min.

After 2 hours, heat a grill and when hot, drain the marinade from the pork, reserving the marinade. Grill the pork pieces over a hot grill just to give color.

After pork is done, allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. In a small saucepan, heat the marinade to a boil, then let simmer for 2 minutes. Serve with the pork.
Suggested wine: dry White Riesling
Leftovers: Make a sandwich on a toasted roll, drizzled with some of the sauce and top with the Corn & Pea Slaw (recipe follows)

Slaw dressing:
1 T. lime juice
1 T. mirin
1 T. oil
1/2 tsp. soy sauce
Salt & pepper to taste

Whisk together the slaw dressing ingredients and refrigerate until ready to use.

In a medium size bowl toss together:
Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
2 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To finish dinner: While the tenderloin is grilling, toss the slaw with the dressing and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Slice the pork and serve.

I had Potato & Zucchini cakes in the freezer and added a couple to our dinner – turned out to be a great combination with the pork and slaw and the marinade drizzled over all. These are a handy side dish to have at the ready in your freezer.

Potato & Zucchini Cakes
Inspired by a Cuisine @ Home recipe, Issue #59, page 21
Makes 12 cakes

3 cups zucchini, grated
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 cups grated potatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs. – russet or new potatoes)
1/2 cup grated onion
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne

Combine zucchini and 1/2 tsp. salt in a colander. Let drain 5 minutes, then wring dry in a kitchen towel. Transfer to a bowl and add remaining ingredients together, except the oil.
Heat oven to 375° F. Pour 2 T. oil onto a sheet pan.
Drop potato mixture onto the oiled baking sheet by 1/4-cup measures and flatten to 1/2 “ thick. Oven-fry the cakes for 10-15 minutes; turn over and continue baking until nicely browned.
May 19 Pork, Potato pattie, slaw plated

Hope you’ll enjoy these dishes as much as we did. Next will be playing with the leftovers, but they just may be the Hoagie I mentioned above.



Best Salmon Patty – So Far!

We’ve been kept busy remodeling/updating our new (to us)  little farmhouse. It is little, but painting the outside makes it seem very large! So, haven’t been doing too much in-depth cooking. But, it’s been a bit rainy around here lately, so I’ve been able to play a little.

I hope you’ll stay with me on this creation – it is so worth it. It took two dinners to end up with the flavors. First dinner was the sheet pan chicken & potatoes –

BBQ Roasted Chicken with Parmesan Potatoes *****
Essentially, you toss chunked potatoes with Italian dressing which has a little chili powder added on a sheet pan and roast for about 20 minutes at 400°. Remove from oven and push to sides of sheet pan.

Place chicken in single layer in center of pan (I used thighs); sprinkle with chili powder. Drizzle chicken with barbecue sauce. Bake 20 min. or until chicken is done and potatoes are tender. Transfer chicken to platter. Stir potatoes to evenly coat with pan drippings. Spoon around chicken on platter; top with Parmesan.

My potatoes were crispy done earlier than the chicken, so I removed them from the oven until the chicken was done. Remove chicken to a plate and add the potatoes back to the sheet pan and toss them in all that chicken/BBQ goodness, then add to the plate with the chicken.
Sept 15 BBQ Chix, potatoes

Second dish – Dijon Maple Glazed Salmon*****
1.5 lbs Fresh Salmon Filet
¼ cup stone ground Dijon mustard
¼ cup maple syrup
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375.
Pat salmon dry using a paper towel.Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil.Place salmon on covered baking sheet.
In a small bowl mix mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Whisk until smooth.
Brush the mustard maple mixture on salmon, reserved a small amount for glazing later. Bake salmon for 9 minutes.Remove from oven, brush remaining mixture on salmon. Bake for an additional 3-5 minutes until salmon flakes with a fork.

Remove and serve!
Recipe Source: http://www.joyfulhealthyeats.com/dijon-maple-glazed-salmon/

So now I had all I needed to make the best salmon patties – I had 2 portions of salmon and 8-10 chunks (~1 1/2″ size) of potatoes leftover.

Smash the potatoes and scrape all the ‘goop’ from the chicken pan plus any of the mustard/maple glaze into the potatoes.
1 egg
Chopped onion
Salt & pepper
And gently add flaked leftover salmon.
Add panko to make a consistency to form patties.

I cooked on a cast iron griddle one side until browned, then turn patties over and topped with 4 or 5 candied jalapeno slices and optionally (which I did), split one slice of American cheese and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Loosely cover with a piece of foil and continue cooking until the cheese melts.
Sept 17 Salmon Patty Sandwich
I didn’t add anything to the toasted English muffin except a slight smear of deli mustard. I can’t tell you how much we enjoyed this sandwich!

Now, back to the painting!!




Wine recommendation(s): We happened to have 3 bottles of wine opened to try with the sandwiches and each one was a great match –

Beringer Pinot Grigio

Apothic Red

Harbinger’s Zin



A Hodgepodge of Summer Eating

With everyone’s gardens in full production this month, I’m constantly on the lookout for new and different dressings to add to the bounty of vegetables I’m harvesting. Here are a couple we’re enjoying this summer.

Mustard Dressing
Jul 2 Mustard Dress O.T.R. book
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Fresh lemon juice to taste

In a bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, paprika, mustard, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Note: No sour cream? No problem – just up the amount of mayonnaise by 2 T.

Out of necessity often comes success – it happened yesterday when gathering what was ripe from the garden for a salad to go with a pasta dish I had planned. Once a week I try to pick 2 or 3 items in my pantry and use them up rather than hoarding forever as I have been known to do; and this week’s picking was a can of clams and a jar of caviar. Hmmmm, what kind of salad dressing to add to this seafood mix? Not one dressing came to mind. As I began collecting ingredients my mind went to the flavors used in a seafood boil or broth. And, this dressing/dip is the happy, happy result.

Seafood Salad Dressing.
I’m so pleased with the flavors and how well everything went together – the tangy citrusy flavor of the caper brine and lime juice combined with the briny flavor of the clam juice cut through the richness of the shrimp. The dressing can be used for salad or as a dip for seafood.
Aug 2 Seafood Salad Dressing
1/2 avocado, rough chopped
1/3 cup clam juice (from a small can of chopped clams)*
1 T. lime juice
1 T. caper brine
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 T. Mayonnaise
Salt & pepper to taste

Add the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add salt & pepper.

*add the clams to the salad along with other seafood.
Wine suggestion: a Colombard/Sauvignon Blanc blend was a great match.

Sitting here contemplating the dishes I’ve made recently and which should be on my list to share, my mind is going a many directions – jumping from salad dressings to dessert! My sweet tooth was calling out to me one morning and this Lemon Tea Bread satisfied my craving completely. The recipe is from Irene Klaeger’s, “Fix-It and Enjoy-It: All-Purpose, Welcome-Home Recipes”. It takes you just to the edge of lemony overload but brings you back with just the right amount of sweetness in the glaze. It didn’t last long in the freezer, we kept going back for just one more slice.

Lemon Tea Bread
July 12 Lemon Tea Bread
3 Tbs butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided
2 Tbs lemon zest, grated, divided
1/2 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

Pour butter into mixing bowl and stir in sugar. When well blended, beat in eggs. In separate mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.

Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix well. Add ½ cup lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. lemon zest. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9 x 5 loaf pan. Bake at 350 ° for 50 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.

While bread is baking, mix confectioners sugar with remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. lemon zest in a small bowl. Cool bread for 10 minutes in pan. Remove from pan, place on a serving dish, and pour glaze over top. Makes 6 servings

One of our favorite things to order when we are eating out is a Charcuterie Platter – these offerings can be as simple as 2 or 3 cheeses and cured meats accompanied by crackers or rustic bread or an elaborate platter filled with salumis, cheese, olives, cornichons, mustards and/or relishes. Now, here’s the fun part – hold back on devouring the entire offering and take a little of everything home and top a homemade pizza or add to a Twice-baked potato It’s expensive to buy small amounts of these deli specialties, but taking advantage of restaurant leftovers, you can “have your cake and eat it, too”

Charcuterie Pizza
Jul 13 Salumi Pizza
8 oz. pizza dough
Pizza or marinara sauce
4 to 6 oz. Cheese (from restaurant or a combination of Provolone, Jack &
2 to 3 oz. Meats/sausage from restaurant
Optional: Slivered red onions, crushed red pepper flakes, freshly ground black pepper
Drizzle with olive oil and bake.

Charcuterie Twice-Baked Potato
Jul 13 Stuffed Baked Potato

Bake 2 potatoes in a 375°F. oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour until tender when pierced with a sharp knife. When cool enough to handle, cut slice from the top and scoop out the ‘meat’ of the potato into a bowl and coarsely mash with a fork. Roughly chop leftovers (cheese, meat and condiments) from Charcuterie platter and combine with the potato. Spoon back into the potato skin and return to oven until heated through.

Well, today’s ideas are all over the food board!! With the abundance of everything fresh right now, I guess it is understandable. Next up will probably be grilling – weather is perfect and I’ve neglected the grill for a week or so.


Summer Eating and Reading

My good friend and wonderful author, Marilee Brothers, has kindly posted some of my summer cooking ideas on her Blog – BookBlatherBlog. If you’ve not seen her blog, you are missing great recommendations for reading plus all of her books!


These pictures will give  you a hint of the dishes I’m sharing with you all and I hope you’ll find a few to try –
Apr Hawaiian Beef Cubes  Hawaiian Beef Cubes
Jun 27 Chicken Sqlad w Honey Lime Dressisng Honey-Lime Salad Dressing
Jul 19 Pasta w P.nut sauce Pasta with Peanut sauce – serve hot or cold.
those are just a few of the dishes Marilee has added to her blog –

Please check them and her books out!!

Between Marilee’s book ideas and mine for summer cooking, I think we have your days covered!! Enjoy!

Completely O.T. – After the War: Mud, Floods, and Modernization

I have been so busy moving in to our new place, I have badly neglected keeping up with new recipes! And, my cooking/eating is showing it. Will be getting back to normal (or what passes for it 🙂 ) in a few days. But, since this being the weekend it is, I want to share a part of my state’s history with everyone.

I read this article in a waiting room the other day and I was just fascinated with it and thought I’d share it with everyone – especially this weekend when we’re celebrating our great county. It’s about returning G.I.s and their families in Pullman, WA

After the War: Mud, Floods, and Modernization, by Larry Clark

It starts out….. “After World War II, Bill Fitch left the Army, packed his duffel in Seattle and, with the U.S. government’s guarantee of free college tuition, headed to Pullman. When he and Al Smith, a fellow veteran and high school classmate, arrived at Washington State College, they found themselves on a campus crowded with thousands of GIs.”

It’s a fascinating account of this little slice of history in our state and was probably experienced around the country in other college towns.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading this little piece of history and stick around for some fun hot-weather, easy-when-moving-in recipes!!

More Leftovers and Still Searching…

Last blog entry I shared the recipe using our gift of fresh peas – Saffron Couscous with Fresh Peas and Chives, which is an excellent recipe. What I didn’t pay attention to was the amount of couscous called for…..1 1/4 cups. This I know is way too much for just a couple of servings for the two of us.

Too late, so I had the unexpected treat of leftover couscous. My first leftover dish was Couscous patties and what a treat these are and for once a recipe with the correct ratio of dry to wet ingredients so the patties hold together while cooking!! (doesn’t happen too often)
Here’s a reminder of our bounty –
Jun 18 Fresh Peas

Couscous Cakes
Adapted from a recipe from Giada DeLaurentis from Food Network.
Jun 19 Couscous Cakes
2 cups cooked couscous, prepared according to package instructions and cooled
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 lemon, zested
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tsps. minced candied jalapenos (or regular jalapenos)
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup mild mango chutney

In a medium bowl, mix together the couscous, cilantro, egg, egg yolk, coriander, lemon zest, salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the flour over the mixture. Mix until combined.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
Form 1/4 cupfuls of the mixture into 8 patties.

Add 4 of the patties to the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes each side until golden. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining couscous mixture.  Serve with chutney or just about any sauce you like.
After 1 dinner and a batch of cakes, I still had 4 cups of couscous leftover. 2 cups are now saved in the freezer. Now comes the dish of the week!

A little background which will bring us up to today’s Seafood Couscous with Coconut Curry ‘gravy’. Yesterday we went to a friend’s house for a paella dinner. My friend, Gary, makes a mean Paella and he has a new paella pan which, of course, he had to show off! I must say I’d almost kill for one of these pans – it is humungous and absolutely beautiful -check the size of the wine glass to the size of the pan to see why I’m so envious….
Jun 19 Seafood Paela
And, because of the size of pan, the amount of paella was humungous, also. LEFTOVERS for the guests!!

Now, for the 2nd backup story (I hope you’re still with me) – a week or so ago we went to our favorite local Asian restaurant, SoHo Asian Bistro and had the best Seafood with Coconut Curry I’ve ever had! Naturally I wanted to recreate the dish if possible and with the leftover bounty of seafood and couscous, everything just fell into place.

Thai Peanut Gravy
This recipe is from Thai Kitchen website and while it is very good, it was not a duplicate of the dish I wanted….so the hunt is still on. But, I will make this one again, it’s delicious so I will share it.
Jun 20 Thai P.Nut Gravy with seafood, couscous
1 can Thai Kitchen® Coconut Milk
2 Thai Kitchen® Red Curry Paste
1/3 cup chicken stock
2 1/2 Tbs Fish Sauce
3/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, crushed
3 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 kaffir lime leaves (I had to sub Myer Lemon zest plus a little lime juice)
1/4 tsp cornstarch dissolved with 1 teaspoon water
1/2 cup basil leaves, whole or chopped (optional)
1 fresh red chile, thinly sliced (optional)

MIX coconut milk and red curry paste in small saucepan. Bring to simmer on low heat, stirring constantly.
STIR in chicken stock, fish sauce, peanuts, sugar, salt, kaffir lime leaves and cornstarch mixture. Bring to simmer. Stirring constantly, simmer until mixture begins to thicken slightly. Remove from heat.
STIR in basil and chiles, if desired.

Today is Saturday June 20th and tomorrow is Father’s day – I’m sure we all have the menus worked out for our favorite guys……don’t we?

I’ll keep mine under wraps until tomorrow after we’ve judged them. But, I will say I do have a loaf of 18 hour bread working on the counter….one of Roy’s favorite things in the world!
Jun 20  18 hr bread for Dad's day

More tomorrow and I want to wish all our fathers the happiest of days – to the Dad’s still with us and those who are not that we will never forget!!

Here are two of my favorite Dads – and we lost both of them too darn young….more about them tomorrow.
May 27 Dad In Cuba WWII(  Jimmy and his Daddy







Moving In Update and Fresh Peas!

Moving at our age is certainly not for sissies!! Been a lot of years since we have worked this hard, but along with sore muscles we now have so many projects accomplished to make our little country ‘shambles’ our perfect little farmhouse. Roy has worked everyday building projects which pop  into my head to make the tiny kitchen much more work-friendly. Pictures will follow later….

My small kitchen garden that will see us through this first summer is planted and growing wonderfully well – I’m already able to cut a few leaves of various lettuce  and herbs to add to salads and I can almost see the zucchinis, tomato and pepper plants growing every day! Won’t be too long.

Yesterday was a food-filled day! Finally had all my smoking equipment unpacked and some chicken  thighs dry-rubbed overnight ready for the smoker. Also, adding to the feast,  friends (thank you Gary & Guimi Prater) had given me a bag of fresh peas from their garden which were delicious sweet to munch on as is. But, I did get them hidden from me in the fridge to be used in a dish of some sort.
Jun 18 Fresh Peas
Jun 18 Bowl of Couscous, peas, chives
Couscous with Peas and Chives was the perfect choice to allow the peas to shine. And, a reviewer of the recipe’s method was just the right way to prepare the dish. (Add couscous to a 4-cup measure, top with the shelled peas; after bringing chicken stock, pinch of saffron, and butter to a boil, pouring it over the couscous. Let sit 5 min. covered and the dish is ready. I have to say this turned out to be the best way to cook (using the term loosely J ) peas I’ve ever done – the peas were still their vibrant bright green and texture was a crisp-cooked result tasting like they had just come from the garden.

The smoked chicken thighs were very tasty also, but since I’m not a fan of overly smoked food, next time I will pull them after two hours of smoking and finish off in the oven if necessary. But the flavors of the rub and baste were spot on heat-wise and still very tender and moist.
Jun 18 Couscous with smoked chix thighs
And, to top the day off, our friend the Pie Lady, Kate McDermott, stopped by with a Rhubarb Custard pie to taste test! Loved her version, especially with the addition of sugared pecans scattered over the top – I wanted more of the crunch! So very good. It’s very hard not to eat well with the friends and neighbors we are lucky enough to have here in Port Angeles.

Here’s the recipe for the Couscous dish – adapted from an Epicurious recipe

Saffron Couscous with Fresh Peas and Chives
Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 1/4 cups couscous
1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas or frozen peas
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can low-salt chicken broth
2 Tbs (1/4 stick) butter
pinch of saffron threads
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Pour the couscous into a 4-cup measure and top with the peas.
Bring the brother, butter and saffron threads to a boil and pour over the couscous/pea mixture to cover completely. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove cover, transfer to a serving dish fluffing the couscous and gently adding the chives to the mixture along with salt and pepper.  Taste for seasoning.

This dish is so versatile, I’m anxious to try switching up the herbs and using basil, rosemary, maybe even a few leaves of mint and/or cilantro.

The mama-to-be doe we have been watching evolved into an entire herd this morning – Thank heavens my tender little beginning garden was well protected.
Jun 18 Herd of deer
Happy cooking and enjoying the fruits of your labor everyone! I’d love to hear from you with any additional ideas for this dish – it just calls for playing with.

May 23, 2015 Settling in Time at the ‘Farm’

Settling in time at the ‘farm’ – we certainly have lots of work to do to make our little farm really “ours” but slowly we will make it just as we want. First big project was to create a  parking space for our travel trailer which would have the feel of being part of the family yard for visitors. And, as our new little farmhouse has only one bedroom, we need guest facilities. The new driveway is turning out exactly as we had visualized and we’re almost ready to bring the trailer to its new home.
Apr 26 Monroe Rd 9  May 21 Gravel work 4
Back in the kitchen, it’s been an adventure learning to work in the much smaller kitchen than our old house, but thankfully after spending 10 months on the road in the smallest of small kitchens, this new one is looking kind of large right now!

All the boxes are still not unpacked as yet, so it’s a challenge to work around what I don’t have accessible! For this next treat what I miss the most is my half pie tin which allows us to enjoy pies, but not have a whole one in the house to over-tempt us. If your house has only 2 people, this might be an idea for all of us who love pie!
Apr 29 Apricot  pie 2
But, since it was still packed, sigh…I had over-ripe bananas which needed to be used and HAD to make a large banana pie and boy, did we eat it all with no problem at all, except a  little guilt thrown in. It’s been years since I’ve made this pie and my old recipe stands up well and is delicious.

Banana Cream Pie
May 17 Banana Cream PIe
1 baked pie crust, cooled
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups milk
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 Tbs butter or margarine
2 tsp vanilla
2 to 3 medium bananas, sliced

In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in milk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens; boil and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir about 1/4 cup hot mixture into egg yolks. Gradually stir yolk mixture into hot mixture.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until mixture begins to bubble and is thickened. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Cool until lukewarm, about 20 minutes.

Arrange banana slices in cooled baked shell. Pour cooled pudding over bananas.
Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours. Store in refrigerator.
Yield: 8 servings

Here is a recipe for roasted veggies which can take you through a complete day of enjoying healthy meals, well at least 2 of your meals while busy going through boxes. I made just 1/2 the original recipe, but now I wish I had made an entire amount, it’s that good. I found myself picking at the peppers until I just had to hide them in the refrigerator to stay out of them. The original recipe came from o old Weight Watchers magazine.

I started the day roasting the peppers and trying to stay out of them until I could serve them with our grilled chicken wings and Brussels sprouts.

Roasted Pepper Salad
May 21 Roasted REd Bell Salad  May 21 wings, b.sprouts, bell pepper salad
2 large plum tomatoes, seeded & coarsely chopped
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
1 Tbs capers, rinsed and chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed thru a press
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 tsp olive oil
4 different-color bell peppers cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tbs red-wine vinegar (I’ll probably use white balsamic)
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbs coarsely chopped fresh basil or parsley

Preheat oven 350° F. Spray a large rimmed b. sheet with nonstick spray.

Mix the tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, red pepper flakes, and 1 tsp. oil in a bowl. Spread the bell peppers, skin side down, on the baking sheet. Spoon the tomato mixture over them.

Cover loosely with foil and roast 30 minutes. Uncover and roast until the peppers are tender, about 15 minutes. (NOTE: When I removed from oven to uncover, my peppers were just al dente – to me perfect, so didn’t do the additional 15 min.) Let the pepper mixture cool. Transfer to an airtight container & refrigerate up to 2 days.

To serve:
Transfer the salad to a bowl and let come to room temp., about 1 hour. Whisk the remaining 2 tsp. oil, the vinegar, and salt in a small bow. Drizzle over the salad and sprinkle with the basil.

And for our later snack/supper, I tossed the other half (really a quarter of the original recipe) the roasted peppers with 1/3 cup marinara sauce I had in the freezer and tossed with hot pasta. Delicious. Such an easy day of healthy eating.
May 21 Rstd Pepper Pasta

So, I’ll continue in my small kitchen working with whatever utensils/pans are unpacked while Farmer Roy is out playing with his new toy……
May 16 - ride on mower

P.S. And, look what Farmer Roy just brought home to me…..my smoker!! What a happy cook I will be now that I can pick up a pork belly and get busy smoking some bacon for the family. Yum!
May 22 Smoker HOme

And, with Memorial Day coming up, I can smoke some ribs!! Have a wonderful holiday, everyone and let’s all remember those who gave so much for us in the Armed Forces – God Bless them all.





































May 7, 2015 – Summer Eating and Grilling (Part 1) Plus Mother’s Day Ideas

For a hot weather no-cook salad, this is such a vibrant and scrumptious side dish or, it could be a complete light dinner, also. Adapted from a Whole Foods recipe. You don’t have to ‘shave’ the zucchini into noodles, you can roughly chop and add to the salad, but the noodles give the salad a uniqueness that is pretty and interesting.
Apr 5 Zucc 'Noodle' Cannellini Salat
Zucchini “Noodle” & Cannellini Bean Salad

Basic Salad:
1 medium-size (about 1 lb.) zucchini and/or yellow summer squash
3/4 cups corn (frozen, canned or fresh off the cob)
1/2 cup minced red onion
1 jalapeno, minced (seeded and membranes removed, if desired)
15 1/2 oz can Cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup crumbled feta chees
Additional options:
1/2 cup chopped pea pods or frozen peas
1-2 hard-cooked eggs, roughly chopped
Other veggies that need to be used found in your fridge
Basic Dressing:
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
3 tsp Dijon mustard
3 tsp Extra-virgin olive oil

Using a vegetable peeler or mandolin, cut squash lengthwise into long thin ‘noodles’ rotating the squash as you peel. Discard seedy core. In a large bowl, combine the ‘noodles’ and rest of the salad ingredients adding whatever options you choose. Salt and pepper to taste.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour about half the dressing over the salad and gently combine. Add more dressing as desired, but you don’t want it soupy. Keep any remaining dressing to add to a green salad.

a Chef’s Journey Tip: Wne: 2-Vine Shiraz, Pinot Grigio and 14 Hands Hot to Trot have all been very good with this salad.
Lots of fast and easy cooking and eating for the next few months while we remodel our new (to us) little farmhouse. Today was a combination of an old recipe used in a different way. I’ve had MasterCook program on my computer for years and years and Thai Pork Burritos is a recipe I’ve made many times. I made a large batch a few days ago to package up in small, fast and easy to use sizes and while they are wonderful used in burritos, today I mixed with cooked rice and cheddar cheese to fill bell peppers. Topped with a little hot sauce, we were happy and contented eaters.
Feb. 1 Thai Pork  Burritos Burritos – wonderful
May 7 Thai Pork Stuffed PeppersStuffed Bell Peppers, also wonderful
Thai Pork Burritos

1 lb lean ground pork
2 Tbs grated fresh ginger root
1 garlic clove — peeled and crushed
2 cups cole slaw mix with carrots
1 tsp sesame oil
3 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs lime juice
1 Tbs honey
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
4 large (10-inch) flour tortillas — warmed
Fresh cilantro — chopped (garnish)

Heat large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add pork, cook, crumble and stir until pork is no longer pink, about 3-4 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, onion and cole slaw mix and stir-fry with pork for 2 minutes, until vegetables are wilted.

Combine all remaining ingredients except tortillas and cilantro in small bowl and add to skillet. Stir constantly to blend all ingredients well, about one minute. Spoon equal portions of mixture onto warm flour tortillas, garnish with cilantro, roll up to encase filling and serve.

Source: From MasterCook – “National Pork Producers Council”    http://www.nppc.org
Mother’s Day is Sunday  and here is my favorite brunch drink ever! Ramos Fizzes is a luscious, frothy drink my old friend Susan Mitchell Ayers brought into my life in the 70s and I have loved since. You’ll want to plan a light brunch because these drinks are very filling. In fact, these are the only drinks I’ve ever planned food around – except wine, of course.
Ramos Fizzes

6 oz gin
2 oz white crème de cocoa
2 oz triple sec
4 oz sweet & sour
2 egg whites
6 oz half & half

Add all ingredients in a blender; add ice to the thickness you prefer – Swirl them up good!.

Here’s the brunch I love with the Fizzes – not to mention making me a very happy mother indeed.
Open face crab sandwich
Open Faced Crab Melts

BECHAMEL SAUCE (Makes about 2 cups)
2 cup hot milk
4 T.(1/4 cup) butter
6 T. flour
White pepper
For the Crab melt:
8 oz. crab meat, pick out and discard any cartilage  or shell
2 English muffins
Cheddar cheese for garnish

In a heavy 2- to 3-quart saucepan, melt butter over moderate heat, and stir in the flour. Cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Do not let this roux brown. This step will cook out the floury taste.

Remove the pan from the heat and blend in the hot milk; return to high heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce comes to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer, still stirring, for 2 or 3 minutes, or until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon heavily. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

Add the crab, breaking it up and combine. Over low heat cook just until the crab is heated through.

Toast muffins halves and put one or two on each plate; spoon the crab mixture over the muffins and top with cheddar cheese. Put under the broiler to just melt the cheese and enjoy immediately after refilling your glass with another Fizz!!

Happy Mother’s Day to us all!