ONE DISH MEALS – VEGETABLE BARLEY SOUP

OKAY!  Last month I said that I never make New Year’s Resolutions, because I don’t keep them.  And here is the reason why:      I made myself a promise that I will pay more attention to this blog and try to write something, if not daily then at least twice weekly.  And guess what?  It has been more than a month since I wrote the last one.  That is hardly once a week, let alone twice a week.  Let’s see if I can redeem myself and start keeping that promise now.  ‘One Dish Meals’ was my theme last month and I am going to continue it this month.  And maybe I can get myself to do something every day.  If it becomes a habit then it will work.

Since it is still Winter in most parts of the Western Hemisphere (not So. Calif. though) hearty soups are great to make and eat.  You can make a big pot for a family or a small one for just two people.  I used to make those great big ones since I had 5 boys to feed, but now that it is just my husband and I (except when the kids drop in) I usually try to make a smaller one.  Quite honestly, even though my children have been grown for several decades now, I still find it difficult to cook in small batches;  therefore, whenever someone comes over, there is almost certainly something (leftover or otherwise) in the refrigerator for them to eat.

All that aside, here is the process for the Vegetable Barley Soup.  Bear in mind that you can use any kind of vegetable that you may have on hand.  This is a wonderful way to clean out the refrigerator and make way for future shopping trips.  Since we live in Southern California, the Farmer’s Markets operate all year round and the nearby farmer’s stands are open also.  In addition, our Super Markets do carry locally grown produce.

MAKING THE SOUP:

Start with the Barley by cooking it either in Chicken, Beef or Vegetable Stock or even Water.  Follow the cooking directions and time on the package the Barley comes in.  Be sure and cook it until it becomes tender enough to eat – this will probably take about an hour or more.

 

Cooking the Barley

Cooking the Barley

 

While the Barley is cooking, search the Vegetable Bin in your refrigerator and/or your freezer for Bags of Frozen Vegetables.  This is a good way to use up those open bags that have been partially used.  Wash, peel (if necessary) and dice or slice your Vegetables.  The method of cutting will depend on the Vegetables you are using and also your personal preferences.  Be sure and use an Onion which will give tremendous flavor to your soup.

Heat your Soup Pot over low heat while the Vegetables are being prepared.  Once all the Vegetables are ready, you can start by sautéing the diced Onion in a small amount of Olive Oil or Butter, if you prefer.  Olive Oil is the healthy way to go and has great flavor.  Sauté the Onion until it begins to brown – the longer it browns the more flavor that will be imparted.  Just don’t cook to the point where it starts burning or the flavor will be ‘burn’.  Onions have a lot of natural sugar so that when you sauté them, the Sugar helps to caramelize the Onion – a light color will give a light flavor and a darker color will give a heavier flavor.  In the photo below left, Onions and Mushrooms are being sautéed.  In this case, I used only Mushrooms Stems as I had used the caps for another dish.

 

Mushrooms and Onions

Mushrooms and Onions

Celery and Onions

Celery and Onions

Other Vegetables that are good to sauté before adding the liquid is Celery, Mushrooms, Leeks and Garlic if you want Garlic in your soup.  Just go easy with it so that it doesn’t overpower everything else.

 

Carrots and Cabbage Added

Carrots and Cabbage Added

 

In the photo above, Carrots and shredded cabbage was added along with peas and frozen corn.  If using frozen vegetables along with the fresh, add the frozen Vegetables at the end of the cooking period – do not let them cook more than 5 minutes.  Again, use whatever you have on hand.  Once the Vegetables are sautéed and the Barley is fully cooked combine the two mixtures.  For seasoning Basil, Bay Leaves Salt and Pepper may be added.  Add the Bay Leaves to the Barley while it is cooking and if you use fresh Basil, add it at the end, just before serving.  If using dried Basil, then it may be added once you add the Cooked Barley and Broth to the Vegetables.  Season according to your own tastes.  In the soup pictured, Vegetable Juice was added for more flavor.  Tomato Juice may also be used.

This is a good hearty winter soup that if served with fresh bread can actually be your complete meal.  If meat is desired, sliced Chicken Breast or any leftover meat may be used.  If desired, ground Beef may be sautéed along with the Vegetables.  If you are a Vegan or Vegetarian, cook the Barley in Vegetable Broth or Tomato Juice or just plain Water.  If desired, tiny Pasty may also be added.

 

Try this dish tonight!  It is easy to make, delicious to eat and nourishing!

 

Finished Soup

Finished Soup

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2014/02/20 at 10:55 PM

Categories: Cooking for Everyone, Culinary Arts, Dinner Ideas, Leftovers, Main, One Dish Meals   Tags:

ONE DISH MEALS

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!  New Years seems to be a time for Resolutions, but quite honestly, I never make them.  Unfortunately, most New Year’s Resolutions are never implemented.  The trick is to just add new self-improvement items on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.  One at a time would be much easier to do.  All that being said, I am making myself a promise that I will pay more attention to this blog and try to write something, if not daily then at least twice weekly.  And starting off will be a new series of ‘One Dish Meals’ or almost ‘One Dish Meals’.  The first one is my Pork Tenderloin Stir Fry that we had for dinner last night.  So, here goes!

Cut the Tenderloin in half lengthwise and rub with 2 Tbsps. of Granulated Sugar.  Let it sit for 15 minutes and then Slice the Pork Tenderloin into thin crosswise slices, being sure to cut against the grain.  Completely cover the Tenderloin pieces with the Marinade Mixture.  (see recipe) pork-tenderloin-stir-fry/ Cover and refrigerate for several hours or even overnight.

 

Marinating the Tenderloin Halves

Marinating the Tenderloin Halves

 

When ready to cook prep your Vegetables.  The Vegetables you use are a matter of personal choice.  Personally I usually like to use up what I have in the refrigerator.  If I don’t have enough of those certain Vegetables that I like in Stir-Fry then I will purchase more.  The Vegetables that I used this time were:

Shitake Mushrooms (any variety will do)

Onions

Garlic

Carrot

Snow Peas

Bean Sprouts

Scallions

Red Bell Pepper (The colored ones are sweeter than the Green)

 

Stir-Fry Vegetables

Stir-Fry Vegetables

 

Clean the Mushrooms by wiping with a damp paper towel.  Remove the stems (Shitake stems are too woody to eat) and then cut into quarters.  If they are very large, then just slice crosswise.

 

Peel the Onion and then slice into petals – quarter the Onion and then slice each quarter into ¼” pieces lengthwise.

 

Wash and dry the Scallions and cut crosswise into thin slices – both the White and Green Parts.

 

Peel the Carrots and then slice diagonally into 3/8” slices.

 

Remove the string from the Snow Peas and the stem end.  Rinse with cold water and drain.  Cut each in half lengthwise.

 

Remove the stem and seeds from the Bell Pepper; wash and dry and then slice into julienne pieces.  If these are too large for you, then slice again into halves or quarters.

 

Just before serving time heat a small amount of Peanut Oil (or Vegetable) in a wok or sauté pan.  Just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.  When the Oil is hot add the Mushrooms and Onions.  Sauté until the Mushrooms are soft and the Onion is translucent.  Add the Carrot slices and sauté just until the Carrots are almost fork tender.  Transfer the Vegetables to a covered dish and then add the Pork.  Sauté the Pork for about 2-3 minutes and then add the Sauce Ingredients (See recipe)  along with the Snow Peas.  Cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Return the Vegetables to the wok along with the Bean Sprouts, Scallions and Red Bell Pepper.  Cook for another minute or so or until everything is hot.

 

One Dish Pork Tenderloin Stir Fry

One Dish Pork Tenderloin Stir Fry

 

Serve with Rice or Rice Noodles.  Voila!  Dinner is ready.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2014/01/12 at 3:08 PM

Categories: Culinary Arts, Dinner Ideas   Tags: , , , , ,

NATIONAL FRUIT CAKE MONTH

December is National Fruit Cake Month and I am going to start if off by soaking my fruit for our Annual Fruitcake, something my husband loves.  All the years of my Childhood and into Adulthood, my Mother made Fruitcakes every single year.  She made enough so that my Father could take some to his Co-Workers and we still had more than enough for our consumption.  I have actually never been a great fan of Fruitcake, but like Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving, I still make Fruitcake and I still do eat it.  So here goes.  My Fruit Cake Making Saga!

 

Day One - Sunday December 1st – gather together all the Fruit that I am going to use and cut up what needs cutting – place them all together in a large bowl and pour some Wine over them.  Brandy is the usual Liqueur to use but I have Marsala Wine and think I will use that.  Strike that – went to the Beverage Store and purchased Gran Marnier – Brandy but Orange flavored and not too strong.   For Non-Alcoholic Fruit Cake, try using Orange Juice or Sparkling Apple Cider.  Both work quite well!  I added just enough Gran Marnier to moisten the Fruit and then covered the Bowl and let it sit overnight.

Day 2I prepared the Batter and baked the Cakes.

 

Make sure the Fruit is in a LARGE BOWL so that you have enough room to incorporate the Batter into the Fruit.  Before preparing the Batter, prepare the pans.  Cut parchment paper or waxed paper to fit the bottoms of the pans.  Spray the bottoms of the pans with a Vegetable Spray and then insert the prepared paper. 

 

Lined-Pans

Lined-Pans

 

Next prepare the Batter and add it to the Fruit.

 

Fruit-Mixture-for-Fruit-Cake

Fruit-Mixture and Batter

 

Once all the Batter is evenly mixed with the Fruit and the Fruit is evenly distributed throughout the Batter fill the pans about 3/4 full.  As you can see from the Photo I used loaf pans.  One 10″ TUBE PAN can be used instead.

 

Fruit-Cake-ready-for-Baking

Fruit-Cake-ready-for-Baking

 

 

Bake in a slow oven for approximately 1 1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool on wire racks;  be sure the cakes are completely cool before removing from the pan.  Turn the pans over and the cakes should come right out.  If the don’t, gently loosen with a straight-edged spatula and then try again.

 

 

Cooling the Cakes

Cooling the Cakes

 

Wrap the Cakes tightly in plastic wrap and allow to age for several days or weeks before serving.  If liquer on the cakes is desired, place the each cake on a large piece of cheesecloth placed on plastic wrap. Lightly douse with Gran Marnier, Brandy or Rum.  Wrap tightly with the Cheesecloth and then the plastic wrap.  Finally wrap the whole thing in Aluminum Foil.

 

Foil Wrapped Fruit Cake

Foil Wrapped Fruit Cake

 

If desired, more Liquer can occasionally  be added through the Cheesecloth.  JUST REMEMBER, THE MORE YOU ADD, THE STRONGER TASTING THE CAKES WILL BE.  HOWEVER, THE LIQUER DOES KEEP THE CAKE MOIST AND ALLOW IT TO LAST AND TASTE GOOD THROUGH THE HOLIDAYS.

 

For the complete recipe go to  /holiday-fruit-cake/

 

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2013/12/11 at 11:33 AM

Categories: Baking, Culinary Arts, Dessert Ideas, Food as Gifts, Holiday Ideas, Main   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

THANKSGIVING FAVORITES

Thanksgiving in the United States is a family holiday that is usually celebrated with a huge Turkey Dinner.  Although Thanksgiving Celebrations occurred sporadically since the Pilgrims first Thanksgiving, it wasn’t until President Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November to be the official National Holiday. 

In 1939 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared the fourth Thursday in November to be the official Thanksgiving Holiday.  Before 1939, it was on the last Thursday in November and it was suggested to him, that if it was officially on the fourth Thursday there would be more time for Holiday Shopping and thus help to improve the economy which at that time was not very good due to the Great Depression.

The history of Thanksgiving in the United States goes back to the Mayflower Pilgrims, but the actual tradition goes back to ancient times to the Druids in Ireland.  Societies all over the world and back into prehistoric times have always given thanks for a good harvest.  In Jewish tradition, Sukkoth is celebrated shortly after the Jewish New Year.

Our tradition of Turkey dinner goes back to the first dinner that the Pilgrims celebrated with the Indians.  Wild turkeys were plentiful at that time and that was one of the many protein foods that were eaten during the first Thanksgiving.  Most of us have our family traditions which include not only Turkey but Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin and Cranberries.   Even though most of us will probably have the traditional turkey and dressing some of you may like to make it a little different this year.

This year, for the first time in 125 years (the last event like this was in 1888) the first day of Chanukah falls on Thanksgiving.  Because of this dual event, many families will be celebrating both holidays with food that may be somewhat untraditional for both holidays.

In our family, Sweet Potato Latkes (pancakes) are going to replace our usual Sweet Potato Casserole which is really very good.  What I am going to do is take the flavors from our usual casserole and incorporate them into the Latkes.  Other families will probably make the traditional Potato Latkes, but we do like our Mashed Potatoes and Gravy on Thanksgiving.  Pictured below are Apple Latkes;  the shape and texture are the same as Sweet Potato but the color is different.  The method of making is the same.

Apple Latkes

Most of the recipes featured here are traditional, but with a slightly different twist from the original.   The traditional Roast Turkey is on the menu but with a not so traditional Curried Fruit Dressing.    Instead of candied yams try a Golden Squash Jubilee made with banana squash and dried apricots; for color contrast make fresh Creamed Spinach in minutes with the aid of your Food Processor and Microwave Oven.  For the bread make Pumpkin Yeast Biscuits and instead of Pumpkin Pie, try a French Apple Tart made in a Pecan Crust.

You have all the traditional items in this menu, but made just a little differently for a surprising taste twist.  The turkey is present with a traditional bread stuffing made not so traditional by the addition of dried fruit and curry powder.  The orange vegetable in the form of squash (yams or pumpkin may be substituted) are present and so is the traditional pumpkin, but in the form of biscuits.  The Thanksgiving pie is also present but made with apples, a fruit favored by more people than pumpkin.  Add your own choice of appetizer and condiments and you will have a Thanksgiving feast that your family and guests will not only remember for years, but will request repeats of, over and over again.

RECIPES:

 

Golden Squash Jubilee

Pumpkin Yeast Biscuits

Creamed Spinach

Curried Fruit Stuffing

 

Vegetables for Stuffing

Vegetables for Stuffing

French Apple Tart

Cinnamon/Vanilla Cranberry Sauce

 

Cranberries and Cinnamon Stick in the Pot ready to cook for Cranberry Sauce

Cranberries and Cinnamon Stick in the Pot ready to cook for Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2013/11/23 at 4:46 PM

Categories: Apples, Baking, Bread, Condiments, Cooking for Everyone, Culinary Arts, Dinner Ideas, Fruit, Holiday Ideas, Holiday Meals, Main   Tags: , , , , , ,

‘NATIONAL HOMEMADE BREAD DAY’

Baked Asparagus Bread (4)Today is ‘National Homemade Bread Day’ and what better way to spend a cool Sunday than to make a loaf of bread or two.  I love homemade Bread and contrary to what most people think, it is simple and easy to do.  Especially if you have a Food Processor or Standing Mixer, but even by hand it is easy to do.  Bread Making is especially therapeutic if you have had a hard and stressful day or week.  Bread Making is a great way to get rid of pent up energy, frustration or irritation.

 

 

 

 

To make Homemade Bread you don’t even need a recipe.  For a basic loaf you only need 5 ingredients:

  • Flour    -    provides the structure of the bread – gluten, the protein in wheat     provides the strength needed for the bread’s walls.
  • Yeast   -   is a live Organism which consumes the Sugar and gives off Carbon Dioxide, the same gas we breath out – the Carbon Dioxide makes the Dough expand and raise up.
  • Sugar    -   Provides food for the Yeast
  • Salt       -   Adds flavor and also keeps the Yeast from growing too much – too much growth will make the bread collapse (just like a balloon)
  • Water    -   Holds everything together.

You do need to combine the above ingredients in correct proportions to yield a soft, but not sticky, Dough.  If you use too much flour and the Dough is hard and stiff, the Bread will be tough and dry.  Too much water and the Dough will be sticky and hard to knead and shape.

 

For a simple loaf bread that you are making by hand follow the proportions and directions below:

4 cups Flour

1   cup Liquid  (If using Milk, you must scald it first or your Dough won’t rise – the enzymes in Milk, unless inactivated will prevent the Yeast from rising)

1 Tbsp. Yeast

1 Tbsp. Sugar

1 1/2 tsps. Salt

 

Place the Warm Liquid in a bowl along with the Yeast and Sugar;  allow to stand about 5 minutes or until the Yeast starts to bubble.  This is called proofing and will ensure that the Yeast is alive.

 

Proofed Yeast

Proofed Yeast

Stir in the Flour 1 cup at a time.  After the second cup of Flour, add the Salt.  After you have added about 3 cups Flour and  the Dough holds together turn it out onto a floured surface and knead it for about 10 minutes, adding additional flour as needed.  REMEMBER!  YOU WANT A SOFT DOUGH, NOT A STIFF ONE!!

Once the Dough has been kneaded, place in a greased bowl, cover with a clean dish towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to raise.  The Dough should raise to double its original size.

Once the Dough has risen, punch it down and shape it into a loaf.  Place the loaf on a greased pan that has been sprinkled with Corn Meal and cover and let raise again.  The bread in the photo below has been placed on a Pizza Peel that has been sprinkled with Cornmeal – this Bread was baked on a Baking Stone that was preheated in the oven to 500 degrees for one hour.  The heat was turned down to 375 when the Bread was Baked.  The Baking Stone ensures that the bottom of the Bread will have a nice crunchy crust.

 

Shaped Loaf on Pizza Peel

Shaped Loaf on Pizza Peel

Once the Bread has risen, het your oven to 375 degrees;  brush the loaf with a beaten egg and bake until golden brown;  the bottom should be somewhat darker than the top and should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

If you don’t trust your judgement use a meat thermometer to test the temperature – the inside of the loaf should register 140 degrees on the thermometer.

Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool;  when cool enough to handle, loosen the sides with a straight-edged spatula, turn the pan oven and allow the Bread to drop down onto the rack.

 

Baked Bread

Baked Bread

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2013/11/17 at 2:15 PM

Categories: Baking, Bread, Main, National Food Days   Tags: , ,

CULINARY MAKEOVERS – #16 – SPINACH/MUSHROOM LASAGNA

Last Night’s Dinner was Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin with sautéed Spinach with Mushrooms and Onions.  I had been busy most of the afternoon baking Gingerbread House Parts so my husband Ev, went to the store for me to pick up the Pork Tenderloin and a Vegetable.  I had asked him to get whatever Leafy Vegetable he preferred and it could be fresh or frozen.  He picked out frozen chopped Spinach.  Now, I love Spinach, but chopped is another story.  Anyways, I sautéed it with diced Onions and sliced Mushrooms.  It came out pretty good, but the whole leaf would have been better.  Anyways, I always cook too much for two people and there was a good size portion of the Spinach leftover.  When we discussed what we would like to have for Dinner tonight, Ev wanted Pasta.  I said okay but didn’t tell him what kind of Pasta we were going to have.  Here is where the Makeover comes in.  Listed below are the leftovers that  I incorporated into the meal along with the additional ingredients that I had to purchase:

 

ON HAND                                                                                                    PURCHASED

Lasagna Noodles                                                                                        Ricotta Cheese

Mushroom/Spinach Sauté                                                                         Canned Diced Tomatoes

Egg & Cream                                                                                              Ground Veal (optional)

Shredded Mozzarella                                          

Parmesan Cheese

Fresh Basil & Garlic

Dried Oregano & Bay Leaves

Olive Oil

Tomato Paste

Salt & Pepper

 

Lasagna Noodles

Lasagna Noodles

 

Shredded Mozzarella

Shredded Mozzarella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mushroom/Spinach  Sauté

Mushroom/Spinach Sauté

Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Shredded Parmesan Cheese

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was probably one of the easiest meals I have prepared in a long time.  Below is the order in which I prepared this dish:

 

I – Making the Tomato Sauce

  • Sautéing the Veal in a small amount of Olive Oil
  • Crushing the Garlic and adding it to the Veal
  • Add the Crushed Tomatoes along with the Dried Oregano & Bay Leaf
  • Add half can (3 oz.) Tomato Paste along with Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Allow to simmer until the Sauce is of the desired consistency
  • At the end, add about 1/4 cup minced Basil
Add the Basil at the end of the cooking period.

Add the Basil at the end of the cooking period.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

II – Spinach/Ricotta Mixture

  • In small bowl I mixed 1 cup of Ricotta with 1 beaten Egg and then added about 1/4 cup of Cream.
  • Stir in the Mushroom/Spinach Mixture

III – Assembly

  •  Place a very small amount of Olive Oil at the bottom of the baking dish and spread it with a paper towel to cover the entire bottom surface.
Oil the Bottom of the Baking Dish

Oil the Bottom of the Baking Dish

  • Arrange a layer of Noodles on the bottom
Lasagna Noodles - First Layer

Lasagna Noodles – First Layer

  • Add a layer of the Spinach/Ricotta mixture
Mushroom/Spinach Ricotta next

Mushroom/Spinach Ricotta next

  • Add a layer of shredded Mozzarella

 

Shredded Mozzarella

Shredded Mozzarella

  • Add another layer of Pasta and top with another layer of the Spinach/Ricotta mixture
  • Sprinkle some Parmesan Cheese on this layer
  • Add another layer of Pasta and top with another layer of the Spinach/Ricotta mixture
  • Add Mozzarella Cheese
  • Half hour before serving bake at 350 degrees until the Cheese is melted and slightly browned and the dish is hot all the way through – (about half hour)

IV – Serving

  • Let the Lasagna rest for about 5 minutes before cutting and serving it.
  • Serve with the Veal/Tomato Sauce and additional Parmesan Cheese as desired

 

Spinach/Mushroom Lasagna with Veal/Tomato Sauce

Spinach/Mushroom Lasagna with Veal/Tomato Sauce

 

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2013/11/13 at 10:25 AM

Categories: Cooking for Everyone, Dinner Ideas, Italian, Leftovers, Main, Pasta   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

TURKEY MONTH

Funny that November is recognized as the following Food Month -

Honoring many types of food, but not of all things the Turkey.  Why not?  November is Thanksgiving and Turkey is the main highlight of most families dinners on Thanksgiving.  So like October which I have declared ‘The Month of the Pumpkin’ I am now declaring November as Turkey Month.  Everywhere you go, there are turkeys for sale,  Frozen Turkeys, Fresh Turkeys, Heritage Turkeys, already prepared Turkey Dinners, etc.

Before we go any further does anyone know why the Turkey is called the Turkey?  What did the Indians call the Wild Turkey that was prevalent when the first Pilgrims came over?  Does anyone know?  And why did the Europeans call Turkeys, Turkeys?  Well it seems that the Europeans thought the Turkeys were related to Guinea Fowl which were transported to Europe via Turkey.  Therefore, they called the Wild Bird they found in the New World, Turkeys.  That name has stuck to this day.

Benjamin Franklin thought that the Turkey should be the National Bird but the Bald Eagle has and probably always will be the Bird Symbol for the United States.  However, three States including Massachusetts have adopted the Turkey as their State Bird.

Most of us will be making or Eating Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner.  There are many ways to cook Turkey;  Smoking, Frying, Barbecuing but the traditional and most ways to cook Turkey is still to roast it fully packed with Stuffing.  But preparing Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner is not the problem.  It’s what to do with the leftovers that presents challenges.  The best and probably favorite way is the ‘Turkey Sandwich’.  My preference is with Mayonnaise, Pickles and Lettuce.  Some like to put Stuffing and Cranberries on their Sandwiches, but whichever way you make it, I would venture to say that the Sandwich is the favorite way to use Turkey Leftovers.

Another use, though probably not usually thought by most people is a Turkey Frittata turkey-frittata/.  The Frittata can be made for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner and is a good way to use up those little pieces of Turkey that fall off the bone or crumble from the slices.  The Frittata is an omelet with  Meat, (Turkey) Vegetables and usually some kind of Cheese.  The Frittata is very tasty and a great use for leftover anything, including Turkey.

 

Another good use for Turkey leftovers are Turkey Croquettes.  /turkey-croquettes/   Great for  Brunch, Lunch or Dinner the Croquette can be varied to suit your individual taste palette.  Either good old American, Italian, Mexican or even Asian.  With just one or two additional ingredients the flavors can be easily varied.

One more use for leftover Turkey is the Turkey Pot Pie.   turkey-pot-pie/  Delicious and warming in the cooler weather of Fall!

The above are just a few of the things that can be done with Turkey Leftovers.  You can probably come up with more ideas on your own.

And don’t forget!  November is ‘Turkey Month’!!

 

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2013/11/05 at 4:21 PM

Categories: Asian, Breakfast Ideas, Cooking for Everyone, Cooking for Kids, Dinner Ideas, Holiday Ideas, Holiday Meals, Holiday Tidbits, Italian, Leftovers, Lunch Ideas, Main, Mexican, National Food Days   Tags: , , , , , , ,

BUCKEYE CANDY BALLS

Buckeye Candy Balls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is ‘National Candy Day’.  Howa about trying this tasty treat called ‘Buckeye Candy’.  This recipe was developed to resemble the fruit of the Buckeye tree which is indigenous to the State of Ohio.  I was just there recently but forgot to look for the Buckeye tree.  The recipe below is a tasty treat and is related to ‘Rice Krispy Squares’ – there are just more tasty ingredients in them.

 

Buckeye Balls are great to eat and make nice gifts too.  Try them for an extra treat for Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS:                                            EQUIPMENT:

1/4 cup unsalted Butter                                 Large Saucepan

5 cups Marshmallows                                    Wooden Spoon

1cup Peanut Butter Chips                              Waxed Paper

1 cup Mini-Chocolate Chips                            Candy Bags or Plate

4 cups Rice Krispies®

Liquid Margarine or Soft Butter

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

  1. Melt the Butter in the Saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add the Marshmallows and stir constantly with the wooden spoon until the Marshmallows are completely melted; stir in the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the Rice Krispies®; mix until the Krispies are   completely coated with the melted Marshmallow mixture.
  4. Spread the Liquid Margarine or Soft Butter on your hands and then shape the  Candy into Balls about the size of Ping Pong Balls.
  5. Place the shaped Candy onto a sheet of waxed paper or a glass plate. When cooled, place in a plastic bag or covered plate for storage or just serve and eat right away!!

 

                Yield:  About 20 Pieces

 

 

             

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Posted by sylveee - 2013/11/04 at 4:53 PM

Categories: Culinary Arts, Dessert Ideas, Food as Gifts, Holiday Ideas, National Food Days   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

MORE GREEN – WHAT TO DO WITH ASPARAGUS STEMS

Cream of Asparagus Soup

Cream of Asparagus Soup

 

Almost everyone loves Asparagus – at least I think so!  But the tip and upper half of the stalk is the most tender and flavorful parts, so we tend to cut off the bottoms.  What a shame if those bottoms are thrown out.  There is still flavor and nutrition in the lower half of the Asparagus even though it may be a little tougher on the bottom.  There are things you can do with those tough bottoms that will render them palatable and quite delicious!  Here Goes!!!

 

  • Cut off 1 inch from the bottoms of each stem (stalk)
  • Wash the remaining stems and then cut into 1inch pieces.
  • Place in a saucepan or pot that will allow you to cover the pieces with at least 2 inches of liquid.
  • Add a chopped Onion or Shallots.
  • Add Chicken Stock, Vegetable Bouillon or Water to cover.  (In the photo below, there are Carrots and Green Onions along with the Asparagus.  The Chicken Stock is frozen and will defrost as the heat melts it. – you can add whatever other Vegetables you may have on hand)

 

Asparagus, Carrots and Onions with Chicken Stock

Asparagus, Carrots and Onions with Chicken Stock

 

  • Bring to a boil and then simmer until the pieces are fork tender.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Place the Asparagus pieces along with some of the liquid into your food processor or blender and run until smooth.  This may also be done with an immersion blender.

 

In the Food Processor

In the Food Processor

 

 

  • For a perfectly smooth puree pass the mixture through a strainer;  for a little texture leave as is.

 

The resulting puree above may be used for Soup, Pasta or Pasta Sauce.  To make Cream of Asparagus Soup follow the instructions below.

 

2 cups Vegetable Puree                               1 cup Heavy Cream or Milk

3 Shallots or 1 small Onion, chopped

4 oz. Mushrooms (optional)

¼ cup unsalted Butter

4 Tbsps. Flour

1   tsp. Salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground Pepper

 

  1. Melt 4 Tbsps. of  Butter; add half cup of chopped  Onion or Shallots and sauté until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the 4 Tbsps. Flour until it is well combined with the Butter and Onions.
  3. Add the Asparagus Puree and stir well.  Add enough Cream or Milk to make the desired consistency.
  4. Add 1 tsp. Salt and 1/4 tsp. White Pepper;  taste and adjust seasonings.

Yield:  Approx. 4 Servings

 

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2013/10/31 at 3:37 PM

Categories: Cooking for Everyone, Dinner Ideas, Leftovers, Main, National Food Days   Tags: , , , , , , ,

GOING GREEN WITH CAULIFLOWER

 

Green Cauliflower, etc 016

 

October is ‘Vegetarian Awareness Month’ and I figured I better take advantage of it before the month is over in 2 days.  Green is the thing – businesses are going green to save energy – but Green Food in the form of Vegetables is great too.  So here are a few ways to use Cauliflower – not the common white variety but, yes Green Cauliflower.

 

 

Not only does Cauliflower appear in Green Form but there is also a Golden/Orange Variety and a Purple.  While Purple is not too appetizing a color to eat, the Golden/Orange Variety is beautiful.  As to taste, all the Cauliflowers taste the same, but if visual appeal influences your taste buds then the Green and the Gold are certainly more appetizing than the plain old white or the purple.

I am going to present two appetizing ways to use the Green Cauliflower, but quite honestly this preparation will apply to either color.  One nice thing about these recipes is that if you have trouble getting your family to eat their greens or Cauliflower in particular, these preparations will be more enticing to them.  For instance, my husband eats very small portions of Vegetables when I prepare them, but he couldn’t get enough of these Cauliflower preparations.  He even ate the leftovers for lunch, and eating Vegetable Leftovers is something he very seldom does!  So here we go – Green Cauliflower prepared 2 ways!

 

RECIPE I:

First of all you are going to start with the full head of Cauliflower.  Wash it well and then place it in shallow dish such as a glass or ceramic pie plate.  Next prepare your Cheese Sauce.  There are two ways to do this.  One is the easy way and especially good if you are fond of Mayonnaise and aren’t afraid of the Calories!  The second way is to prepare a cooked Cheese Sauce which is also very good for other things such as Macaroni and Cheese, etc.

Mayo Cheese Sauce – 1 cup of Mayonnaise mixed with 1 cup of shredded Cheddar Cheese

 

Cooked Cheese Sauce:

 

2 Tbsps. Flour

1 Tbsp. Butter

1 cup Half and Half or Milk

4 oz. shredded Cheddar

1½ tsps. Worcestershire Sauce

½ tsp. Salt

¼ tsp. ground White Pepper

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a 2 Qt. Saucepan, melt the Butter and Stir in the Flour and cook until a paste forms.
  2. Slowly stir in the Half and Half and cook, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.
  3. Add the shredded Cheddar Cheese and stir constantly until the Cheese melts and the Sauce is smooth.
  4. Add the Worcestershire, Salt and Pepper; taste and adjust the seasoning.

 

COOKING THE CAULIFLOWER:

Right before dinner, place the Cauliflower in the Microwave, uncovered.  If you have a Vegetable setting cook it on that but you will have to do at least two times.  Without the Vegetable setting try cooking the Cauliflower for 5 minutes.  When done it should be fork tender.  If not, put it back in for another minutes or so.

Next spread the Cheese Sauce on top and return to the Microwave for another minute or until the Cheese is thoroughly hot – in the case of the May/Cheese Sauce, you want the Cheese to be almost melted.

Bring to the table and serve by cutting the Broccoli into several sections.

RECIPE II: – Cauliflower Casserole

 

If you are only two people as we are or if you have Cauliflower leftover from your meal here is another method for preparing it and serving it.  If before cooking it the first time you know you are going to have leftovers, double the Cheese Sauce (cooked one) and only use half of it.

  • Roughly chop the leftover Cauliflower, completely removing the florets from the stalk.  Discard the stalk.

 

Chopped Cauliflower

Chopped Cauliflower

  •  Place the chopped Cauliflower in a buttered Casserole dish;  add additional Cheese Sauce as      needed and mix gently to completely cover the Cauliflower.
Green Cauliflower Cheese Casserole

Green Cauliflower Cheese Casserole

 

  • If desired, top with Buttered Bread Crumbs and then bake in a 350 degree oven until hot.  (About 15-20 minutes)  Or cook again in the Microwave.
  • Voila.  You have another Cauliflower dish similar to the first one but completely different looking.

 

This is an excellent way to get the kids to eat their Green!  Try it also with Broccoli.

 

 

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2013/10/29 at 4:56 PM

Categories: Cooking for Everyone, Cooking for Kids, Dinner Ideas, Leftovers, Main   Tags: , , , , ,

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