Saturday, February 28, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I served the chili over basmati rice with chopped onion and shredded cheese on top, salad from the garden (of course), and buttermilk cornbread. Everyone loved it.
Beef and Three Bean Chili (copied from Pinch My Salt with her notes)
1. In a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat, cook onion and pepper in olive oil until softened, about five minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook, stirring, for another minute, then add ground beef. Cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, just until meat is no longer pink. Drain the fat from the pan then return to heat.
2. Add the two chili powders and cumin, and cook the spices and the meat together, stirring, for half a minute or so. Add the beer, stir, and allow to cook while you open all the cans and drain and rinse the beans. Add all the tomatoes, one can of water (just fill an empty tomato can with water), tomato paste, and beans; stir well. Bring mixture up to a slow boil then turn the heat down to low and simmer, partially covered, for about an hour.
3. As the chili simmers, stir it occasionally, and taste to see if you need/want more chili powder or cumin (don’t add salt until it’s done cooking). Once chili has reached the thickness you like, stir in the frozen corn and cook for a few more minutes, then add salt to taste. Eat immediately or wait for it to cool then refrigerate overnight. The chili tastes even better the next day! It can also be frozen.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Notes: *Feel free to use more or less chili powder depending on your preference. I probably used more than 3 T, but some people prefer a lot less! **optional, or can substitute one tablespoon chopped chipotle chile in adobo. ***they don’t have to be fire-roasted, that’s just what I had on hand. ****You could substitute one large (28oz) can of crushed tomatoes for the two smaller cans of diced/crushed tomatoes. This chili did not seem spicy to me at all, but if you are making it for kids (or really wimpy adults), you can make these changes: remove all the seeds from the jalapeno before chopping (or leave it out altogether), leave out the chipotle chili powder, reduce regular chili powder to 2 tablespoons.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
It is very similar to a recipe I made from the Barefoot Contessa. Instead of putting all of the garlic inside the chicken she roasted the garlic along side the bird (she put a few cloves in the cavity). And instead of olive oil she used butter. I like the olive oil best. I served this with acorn squash and roasted potatoes.
1 whole chicken (around 4 lbs.)
1 bunch fresh thyme, lemon thyme if possible (about 25 sprigs)
10 cloves of garlic
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, quartered
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a roasting rack and place in roasting pan. Chop enough thyme for 1 tbsp (stems removed, but set aside to use later). Mince 3 garlic cloves. Cut each of the remaining garlic halves in half and the lemon in quarters.Season the cavity with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Stuff the cavity with the thyme stems and other leftover thyme sprigs, the garlic halves and the lemon quarters.
In a small bowl, stir together the oil, the remaining salt and pepper, the chopped thyme and minced garlic. Spread the oil mixture evenly over the outside of the chicken. I also tucked the mixture under the skin to spread some directly on the meat. Place the chicken breast side down in the roasting pan.
Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Then turn the chicken breast side up and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue to roast until a thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 170 degrees F, about 1 hour 10 minutes more. When the chicken is done, remove from oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes (this lets the chicken absorb its juices).
After the chicken was finished roasting I didn't think it looked dark enough so I put it under the broiler for 5 minutes. Next time I would broil it for 10 minutes.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
What a surprise this warm weather has been! The poor flowers and trees started budding in January--what happens if we have a freeze later this month?
The Sweet Peas are blossoming--that usually doesn't happen until March. Just a few have showed their little heads. Can't wait for the profusion that is to come.
And, lo and behold, we now have sugar snap beans and broccoli! Yay! The snap beans are so good we just snap them off the vine and eat them right there in the garden.
And broccoli finally appeared almost four months after planting by seed. Too small yet to eat, but they are looking fine.
Friday, February 6, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I pulled out the Nutrimill wheat grinder I bought last fall and stared at it for a while before I turned the knob to begin the grinding. And voila!--ground wheat appeared.
Then I began to make Laurie Colwin's recipe for a whole wheat baguette. The night before I called Leslie and she agreed to be available by phone should I need her--isn't she a pal? But I didn't need to call. This recipe is so easy and doesn't require a strict timeline. It can fit your schedule which was great since I needed to run errands and work in the garden for a bit. When it was all finished I had beautiful crusty-on-the-outside and soft--on-the-inside baguette.
I brought a warm piece to Leslie--she loved it, and stopped by Jennifer's with a slice and she also liked it
More practice is needed to make a prettier baguette--mine wasn't as straight as it should be--but I am not intimidated any longer. Next fear to conquer: pie crust.
Recipe (Copied exactly from Laurie Colwin's book Home Cooking.)
Into a large bowl put 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour, 1 1/2 cups stone-ground whole-wheat flour and 3/4 cup coarse ground whole-wheat flour. Add one heaping teaspoon salt and one tablespoon of wheat or corn germ.
Mix 1/2 scant teaspoon of yeast with 1 1/2 cups liquid--half milk, half water, or more water than milk--whatever you have on hand. If you are going to leave it overnight, use 1/4 teaspoon yeast.
Pour the liquid into the flour and stir it up. The dough should be neither dry nor sticky but should tend more toward the sticky than the dry. If too sticky, knead in a little more flour.
Knead the dough well, roll it in flour, put it in a warm bowl (although I have put it in a regular old bowl right off the shelf). Leave it in a cool, draft-free place and go about your business.
Whenever you happen to get home, punch down the dough, knead it well, roll it in flour and forget about it until convenient.
Some later (with a long first rise, a short second rise is fine, but a long one is fine, too), punch the dough down, give it a final kneading, shape into a baguette, slash the top with four diagonal cuts, brush with water and let proof for a few minutes (and if you haven't the time, it can go straight into the oven).
You can preheat the oven or put it in a cold oven, it matters not a bit. Bake at 450 degree for half an hour. Turn the oven to 425 degrees and bake for another 5-20 minutes.
Kim's notes: I did not add the wheat germ since I didn't have any on hand. And I added 3 tablespoons of soy lecithin. I put the bread in a pre-heated oven, and after it baked for 30 minutes I turned the oven down to 425. The bread was done after 5 minutes more.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
These sure were a hit. And this is from Cooking Light magazine--can you believe it?! I only made two small changes: instead of toasted pecans on top I added toasted walnuts. I think walnuts go better with bananas. And when I made the frosting it was a bit thick so I added vanilla soy milk to thin it out. Delicious.
2 cups sliced ripe banana (about 3 medium)
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
9 ounces cake flour (about 2 1/4 cups)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. To prepare bars, combine banana, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon butter in an 8-inch square baking dish. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes, stirring after 17 minutes. Cool slightly.
3. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°.
4. Weigh or lightly spoon cake flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 9 ounces (about 2 1/4 cups) flour, soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Combine banana mixture, buttermilk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in another medium bowl. Place 1/2 cup butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs to granulated sugar mixture; mix well. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternating with banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
5. Pour batter into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with baking spray. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
6. To prepare frosting, melt 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly. Combine browned butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer until smooth (I added vanilla soy milk to thin). Spread frosting over cooled bars. Sprinkle with pecans (I used toasted walnuts).