Friday, 28 September 2012

Honey-Roasted Onion Tart


I came across this recipe while flipping through the February issue of Bonappetit magazine. I know...I know, I'm a little behind on my magazines. It literally takes me a week or so to get through one magazine. I will read a few pages and then something distracts me and I walk away from it. I'm terrible! This past week my husband was on a business trip so instead of watching television before bed as we usually do, I decided I would catch up on my reading. 

This tart looked so good, and easy that I felt I needed to make it and share with you all! The recipe in Bonappetit says it makes 6 appetizer servings, but I think they are very generous servings. You could get away with slicing smaller pieces and they would still be pretty sizable. I made a few revisions to the recipe which I have noted below.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Monday, 24 September 2012

An old favorite! Beef Stroganoff!







Perfect for Fall! Quick and easy to make!

According to the Wikipedia, Beef Stroganoff was invented by a chef working for a Russian general, Count Pavel Stroganov, in the 1890s. It became popular in the U.S. in the 1950s from servicemen returning from Europe and China after WWII. Beef Stroganoff is basically tender strips of beef and mushrooms cooked in a sour cream sauce and served over noodles, rice, or even French fries. You will want to make this with a tender cut of beef, such as tenderloin or top sirloin. For a quick version you can use ground beef instead of beef strips. You can also easily substitute yogurt for sour cream and leave out the mushrooms entirely. 

Wee Bear and I share a lot of meals when we go out..... yes, we decided we could do this now, as we are older!! We tip more, so the waiter still gets compensated for giving us good service, but, we share! The other night we had Chateaubriand for two, way too much food for us. We were served six slices of tenderloin and we each ate one!! Wee Bear says, "Aren't you going to eat anymore than that?" I said, " No, I can't eat any more! But, I know what to do, we will take it home!" I got an eye roll on that one!! But, here is what I did! Actually, I have made this many, many times over the years, because this is the simplest recipe I have in the stroganoff category.....and I think you will love it! Perfect for a mid week meal!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Welcome Fall and fill your home with the fragrance of it with these spiced pumpkin muffins, they are moist and flavorful!



Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Ice Cream Bombe!


I thought since we are getting to the last days of Summer, lets get this one last Summer recipe in! Fall is almost here and in Seattle we have an "Indian Summer" which will give us a dry September and October...... most of the time! The phrase "Indian Summer" -- most common along the eastern U.S. -- has come to mean a period of very warm and dry weather that occurs after the first frost of the autumn season.
Everyone should have a great recipe for Vanilla Ice Cream in their repertoire. I had the opportunity to take a class from David Lebovitz a few years ago. If you are not familiar with him, I have a bit about him at the end of this blog. Here’s my favorite recipe for Vanilla ice cream, which you can serve with anything, from a freshly-baked fruit pie, a warm berry crisp, or simply smothered with dark chocolate sauce or caramel sauce and toasted nuts. Today, I have made the ice cream and combined with my favorite Fudge Sauce, then put into my Bombe mold. This is one of my favorite desserts to make during Summer months, an ice cream bombe. They are so easy and make a great presentation for all your Summer parties. Plus, there is NO baking involved, so you don’t have to worry about a hot kitchen! So, heh, let's make this!!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Huckleberry Sauce! Mmmmm so good!



I love huckleberries, and get a kick out of people who may be golfing or hiking with me and say, " You're not going to eat that are you?" As if I'm about to commit suicide! I grew up in the country, riding horses and picking the huckleberries, as we rode through the woods. When I am on the golf course, I have all my favorite bushes and head right for them! They make a nice treat mid round!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Garlic Chive Sea Shells with Sauteed Mushrooms

My husband (TT) and I visited a local farmer's market over the weekend and picked up some flavor infused pasta from a local vendor. They had so many cool varieties that made your mouth water! We bought a few different kinds of fettuccine such as, garlic parsley, lemon pepper and spicy Thai. We also bought garlic chive sea shells which I made last night for dinner with sauteed mushrooms. It was fantastic! They sell such a wide assortment of pasta, sauces, fresh-frozen pastas and oils -it's amazing and a bit overwhelming because you want to buy them all! They sell their pasta creations online and can ship to you, they can be found at http://www.pappardellesonline.com/servlet/StoreFront.

When we picked up our pasta from them at the farmer's market, they include a recipe with each one. We thought that was a nice touch as the recipe highlights that specific pasta. I changed this recipe a bit for the garlic chive sea shells by incorporating sauteed chicken for added protein. It made it a more heartier meal. TT was out tractoring in the late afternoon so he was hungry and looking forward to this meal, which only takes about 30 minutes to make, ideal for a weeknight.


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

JJ's Gooey delicious Mud pie!


Sweet One decided to have another dinner party a week or so ago, and we were bantering back and forth on what to serve. Wee Bear and TT unanimously said, "MUD PIE" for dessert!! I thought that's easy, I'll do that!!  

This Mud Pie recipe has all the sinfully delicious favorites in one pie. Chocolate, coffee, almonds and cream together create a tantalizing frozen confection. This pie is quick and is so so delicious! This is the type of dessert I'd bring to a friend's house for a dinner party. It's fancy enough for a special occasion, but its little imperfections give it a casual, homemade vibe. It's subtle enough that even non-coffee lovers will enjoy it.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Stuffed Bell Peppers! Quinoa Update!



I remember eating stuffed green bell peppers when I was young. Mom was an amazing cook and would use what ever was in the vegetable drawer for filling, but always there was ground beef, rice and corn. Love childhood memories!

Update to 2012! take a moment to consider these Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers an updated version of that classic recipe, that so many of us love. Swap out the rice for nutrient rich quinoa and add some extra vegetables you may have in your garden or refrigerator for color, flavor and texture. These peppers have so much flavor and color. I just love them!! With fresh vegetables, protein and a little heat from the jalapeno and seeds! Also, it can be vegetarian, just leave out the meat and add more quinoa, you will prove meatless doesn't have to be boring!


Friday, 7 September 2012

Easy Breezy Antipasto Kabobs + Mini Kabobs!

As summer comes to an end, we are all trying to squeeze in the last couple get-togethers and BBQ's. Today I am offering a couple of really easy appetizers for your next gathering! Everything to create these little bites can be bought at your local grocery store. I just love these things! The ingredients and assembly are simple and it's also nutritious. I made these twice in the past couple weeks and each time they were gobbled up. My husband and I went to a neighbors for a BBQ and we all ended up talking about ways in which you could make these different by adding other unique ingredients. Love food that is not only yummy but also a great conversation piece, haha. 

FIRST UP....Antipasto Kabobs!


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Mushroom lovers! Wild Mushroom Strudel!



Mushroom lovers, this dish was made for you (us)! There is nothing like a medley of well flavored mushrooms to delight the palate and nourish the body. If you are gluten intolerant, you can substitute pan-fried polenta for the Fillo, and just top the polenta with the mushroom mixture. However you end up, this is a delicious, easy, and impressive way to begin a meal or as a side dish. 
Oh boy! The shitake's are finally down to the price where, well..... we can at least buy enough to make a topping!! I ran down to the Seattle Pike Place market for the dinner for 9, we were having over the Labor Day weekend. I had an idea, but, always leave myself flexible, as you never know what you may see,  what is fresh, or priced at season low. My plan was to have a filet roast on the rotisserie and saute some Parmesan crusted halibut cheeks, sort of a "Surf and Turf". Well, my plan was derailed, when I found the Pike Place Fish markets were closed on Labor Day! But, when I spotted the price on the Shitake mushrooms, my plan changed course and I was back on track!! My family famous "Mushroom Strudel" would accompany the filet and make it a memorable Holiday meal!


Just look at these beauties! $7.99 a pound!! Down from $24.99 a pound!!
It is time to stock up! I bought 1 pound of shitakes, 1/2 pound crimini, and 1/2 pound of button mushrooms. I could hardly wait to get home and start cooking!

I have been making this dish for 25 years, it is a family favorite. I make the crackly, caramelized crust here with buttered layers of phyllo instead of ultra-labor-intensive strudel dough.

2 lb mixed mushrooms
3 garlic cloves minced
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp.salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 ounce cream cheese
Fillo dough

Saute mushrooms with garlic in butter.


Add lemon juice and finish with thyme, freshly grated nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste.


 Mix in the cream cheese.


Put your fillo between two sheets of plastic or parchment paper with a towel over the top. This is too keep the Fillo cool.

Love this towel! Made for me by my friend Fawn! She can embroider anything, check it out! www.fawnharmon.com

 Use 6-8 sheets of Fillo, buttering in between each sheet.

 Wrap up like a rectangular package. Carefully move to a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet.


 Bake 350 for 30-35 minutes, until brown on top.


Just look at this flaky, pastry. Look at the mix of beautiful wild mushrooms..........ahhhhh, this is the picture you see when you open the dictionary and look up.... "Fall"! My dinner was a success and everyone lingered until long after dark on the veranda, next to the fireplace, enjoying each other and the last holiday of the Summer. Mmmmmm 



* Oh, and yes, this is a great side dish for Thanksgiving!

*If you love Shitake mushrooms as much as I do, you can buy up a few pounds of them now, while the price is low, saute them in butter or olive oil and freeze them in portions in Ziplock bags. This Winter when you are making a meatloaf, stroganoff or just a topping for a chicken breast or steak, pull out a bag and add in!

 
Enjoying the last bits of Summer weather..... take a moment to breathe in the fresh air, rejuvenate your soul and quiet your mind. All too soon we will be in the middle of the Holiday season and Winter, struggling to remember the warmth of Summer. I am so grateful for the beauty that surrounds me........



Cheers!
JJ