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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Spaghetti with Braised Beef and Sweet Sausage


This is a combo recipe.  I took parts from a couple of recipes.  The braised beef is from Cooks Country Italian  pot roast, part of the sauce is from my original recipe found here
 The night I cooked this we had a family dinner and my sister in law came too.  When she first tasted the sauce and meat she said "oh this taste a lot like the sauce my Italian neighbor used to make."  To me that's a real compliment.   Growing up I had some friends that were Italian and every Sunday Linda and Delores's Mom used to make an Italian feast, well to me it was.  The pasta, sauce and meat she always had was just out of this world delicious. 
3-4 lbs blade chuck roast, cut into large pieces
3-4 link of Italian sausage (I used sweet and hot)
2 TBL olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 TBL tomato paste
2 tsp flour
1/2-3/4 red wine
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 fresh thyme springs
2 TBL fresh basil chopped.

In a dutch oven put about 2 TBL olive oil, add your meat and brown on all sides.  Remove the meat the add 1 chopped onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 2 stalks of celery chopped, 1 carrot chopped.  Cook until onions caramelize, then add 2 TBL tomato paste, stir until well combined.  Add salt and pepper to taste.   Add 2 tsp flour, stir well.  Then add about 1/2 - 3/4 cup red wine (the kind you would drink)  Add about 14.5oz can of tomatoes, add water if needed. Toss in 2 fresh thyme springs and 2 TBL fresh chopped basil. Place meat back into sauce cover and put in pre heated 300degree oven and cook for about 2 1/2 hours.  At this point you can add some of the other sauce, heat all the way through.  Cook pasta, plate and serve.

Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful day and Remember to Find the Time to Do ALL the things You love.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Chocolate Ice Cream - YUM!

Here's a great summer, well really all year is you ask me, treat.  When we bought our Kitchen Aide we received a free gift of an ice cream maker attachment.  We've had the mixer for two years now and this is the first time I've used it.  Well, I take that back used it once before but not the right way.  I did the man thing and didn't read the directions and put the mixture in the ice cream bowl and left it in there.  Dumb I know and needless to say it was like concrete and I will admit not very good.  BUT this time I did it right and oh WOW ....YUM!  Since this try I have also made strawberry, which needs tweaking...not enough strawberry flavor, and Maple Walnut, which in my opinion goes perfect with chocolate. 

The picture above is just after it was done in the maker and ready to go into the freezer.  Hard to keep the spoon out of it.  :)

From the Joy of Baking
2 cups (480 ml) half-and-half

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons (50 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 ounces (55 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped

4 large (80 grams) egg yolks

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar

    In a small saucepan gradually whisk together the half and half and the cocoa powder until it is a smooth paste.  Place over medium-high heat and bring the half-and-half cocoa mixture and the vanilla bean (if using) to the scalding point (the milk begins to foam up).  Remove from heat, take out the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds from the bean with the back of a knife, and mix the seeds back into the half-and-half. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate has completely melted and is smooth.

Meanwhile in a stainless steel bowl beat the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy (about two minutes).  You can do this with a wire whisk or I like to use a hand mixer.   Gradually pour the scalding half-and-half mixture into the whipped egg yolk mixture, making sure you keep whisking constantly so the eggs don't curdle.  If any lumps do form, strain the mixture first before heating.

Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook until the custard thickens enough that it coats the back of a spoon (170 degrees F) (77 degrees C). (The term 'coat a spoon' is a technique used mainly as a way to test when an egg-based custard or sauce is done.  A spoon, usually wooden, is placed in the custard and, when the spoon is raised, the film of custard on the back of the spoon will stay in place even when you draw a line with your finger through the middle of the custard.)

Immediately remove the custard from the heat and continue to stir the custard for a few minutes so it does not overcook.  At this point stir in the vanilla extract, if using.  Cover and let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate the custard until it is completely cold (several hours but preferably overnight).

Transfer the cold custard to the container of your ice cream machine and process according to the manufacturer's instructions.  Once made, transfer the ice cream to a chilled container and store in the freezer.  If the ice cream becomes too hard place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving so it can soften

See the wonderful looking ice cream cone,  and I didn't even have to leave the house.  
Thanks for stopping by.  Have a wonderful day and Remember to Find the time to do all the things YOU love.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cider Braised Chicken

This recipe is from Cook's Country.  Just love that show.  Hope you try this one, it's quick and oh so yummy.  This would be a wonderful comfort food for those cold winter days.  The chicken is very tender but yet the top has a nice crunch.  You could have potatoes or rice as a nice side dish.  Oh don't forget some nice yummy, flaky biscuits.
1 whole chicken cut up (also cut breast in half)
1 whole onion diced
2 tsp oil
2 tsp. fresh thyme minced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp flour
1 Cup Apple Cider
3 TBL apple brandy
1 golden delicious apple ,  peeled, cored and cut into chunks

at end add
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 TBL apple Brandy

In 12 inch skillet, add oil and heat... pat dry the chicken and then salt and pepper add chicken pieces skin side down and brown to a good crisp skin *(about 10 minutes) turn over and brown on other side.   Set aside.  To the pan juices (if you have more than a TBL remove some of the liquid) add onions and saute then add thyme, garlic and flour.   Stir about 30 seconds until aromatic.  Add the cider and the brandy, stir, then add the apple and bring to low boil, add chicken skin side up (the liquid  SHOULD NOT COVER THE CHICKEN) put in hot oven 450 degree for about 10 minutes.  Internal temperature should read 160 degrees.
Remove chicken then add the 1 tsp of cider vinegar and 1 TBL of Brandy, slightly boil serve.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a wonderful week and Always Remember to Find the time to Do all the Things You love.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sweet Corn Muffins

These are not only "Delicious" but super quick and easy.  Only a few ingredients and you have great muffins.  These can also be made in a round cake pan or cast iron skillet, it's up to you.  I did mine in the muffin tins.  I will warn you though, these are sweet but that's the way I like them so these were perfect.

1 cup AP flour
1 cup yellow corn meal
2/3 cup sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Combine dry ingredient, mix well.  Add egg, milk and vegetable oil stir well until really incorporated.  Pour into 12 regular muffin lined tins, fill 2/3 and cook 400 degrees for about 15-17 minutes until golden brown.

 Thanks for stopping by, have a great day and Remember to Always Find the time to do All the things You love.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Potato Chip Cookies

This is from the June/July 2012 issue of Cook's Country Magazine.  My daughter was sending cookies to my grandson, he's a Marine, and we are SOOOOOO proud of him.  Anyway, I wanted to send some cookies too so I decided to make these.  Killing two birds with one stone you could say, cookies for my grandson and trying a new recipe too.  I must say these are really good.  They are sort of like a Pecan Sandie only BETTER.  This is a keeper recipe and I will make it often.  Oh did I mention it's easy too.

3/4 cup AP flour
1/2 cup finely crushed reduced fat Cape Cod potato chips, they say you have to use these...they can be found everywhere, taste good too.  :)
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
8 TBL unsalted butter, cut into 8 pcs soft but still cool
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Adjust oven rack to middle, preheat oven to 350.  Line to rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.  In bowl combine flour, potato chips, pecan and salt.
 In stand mixer (you could use a hand held mixer too) beat butter and sugars together until fluffy and pale. (about 3 minutes)  Add egg yolk and vanilla, beat until combined.  Add flour mixture in 3 stages until all incorporated.  Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet 3 inches apart.  With drinking glass dipped in flour using the bottom flatten cookies to about 1/4 inch.  Bake for 11-13 minutes turning pan 1/2 way through.  Cook until lightly golden around edges and bottom is brown.  Let cool completely on pan for at least 15 minutes.


Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful day and Remember to Find the Time to Do All the things YOU love.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Peach Bourbon Pastry Pies

These are wonderful, so flaky.  I made these two different days and two different shapes.  The dough did well in the fridge for 3 1/2 days.  You can fill these with any type of filling you like.  Oh just had an idea, which I'll share with you when I make these again.  Now on to the recipe.

I adapted this recipe from here
For the pastry:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks, 8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup ice water

For the filling:
2 pounds of peaches or 1 large can of sliced peaches *drain juice*
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
1 teaspoon bourbon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
One egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons water (for egg wash)
Coarse sugar, for decoration

To make the pastry, in a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Place the butter in another bowl. Place both bowls in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove the bowls from the freezer and make a well in the center of the flour. This is a crucial step. Pie dough has to be kept super cold so that it stays flaky. So don't skip this!

Add the butter to the well and, using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make another well in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add half of this mixture to the well. With your fingertips, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Remove the large lumps and repeat with the remaining liquid and flour-butter mixture. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough, to prevent it from getting tough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. If preparing ahead of time, the dough can be stored at this point for up to one month in the freezer.

Divide the refrigerated dough in half. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one half of the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 4 1/2-inch-round biscuit cutter  cut seven circles out of the rolled dough. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes. Repeat the rolling, cutting, and chilling process with the remaining half of dough.
Make the filling: If using fresh peaches, peel and chop the peaches into small bits (approx. 1/2-inch dice), much smaller than you’d use for a regular-sized pie. If using can peaches, drain well then mix them with the flour, sugar and pinch of salt and cinnamon, and add the bourbon and vanilla. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature until just pliable, 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon about 1 to 2 tablespoons filling (use the smaller amount for a 4-inch circle) onto one half of each circle of dough.  I used the can from the peaches and did two different types.  One folded over....these and be difficult and you don't get much filling, the others shown are make with two circles cut with the peach can then bottom one is filled and put the other on top and seal.  Quickly brush a little cold water around the circumference of the dough, and fold it in half so the other side comes down over the filling, creating a semicircle. Seal the hand pie, and make a decorative edge by pressing the edges of the dough together with the back of a fork. Repeat process with remaining dough. Place the hand pies back on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and return to the refrigerator to chill for another 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the chilled hand pies from the refrigerator, cut a small slit in each and lightly brush with the egg yolk wash. Sprinkle coarse sugar generously over the pies, and place pies in the oven to bake. Bake until the hand pies are golden brown and just slightly cracked, about 20 minutes. Remove the pies from the oven, and let stand to cool slightly before serving.
I made these two different days.  The first time I made the half moon when my friends were over and they were barely out of the oven and Patsy had to have one.  She's too funny!  From making them the first time that's when I decided that putting the filling into the one circle and then covering was the way to go.  Guess if  you have a large can...oh which I could make a bigger turnover shape.  Will try that next time.  I will be making these again but next time I will be doing apple.  When I went to the liquor store to get the bourbon I found two other types, one with cherry flavor and one with cinnamon.  So will try the Cinnamon bourbon on the apples turnovers.

Thanks for stopping by.  Remember to Find the time To do all the things you love.
Have a great week.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Pineapple dessert

These are made with flour tortilla's.  A very simple, quick and easy dessert.  Make a filling of your choice...I used pineapple.  Fill the tortilla and then slowly fry until golden brown and when you remove from heat put on paper towel and sprinkle with confectionery sugar.  Wala something yummy.

Pineapple Filling:
I used fresh pineapple but you can use canned
1 whole pineapple, cut into chunks
1 TBL butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/4 cup white wine
1 TBL AP flour
6-8 10" flour tortilla's
1/3 cup coconut
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

peel pineapple and then cut out core
slice and then cut into chunks.  In a large skillet heat a TBL of butter and a dash of olive oil put pineapple in add about 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, pinch of salt and  cook on low heat.  You will notice that you will start to get a liquid.  Add 1/4 cup of white wine and continue to cook for about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle 1 TBL of flour over top and mix together well.  This will help thicken the sauce.  Remove and let cool a bit.  In another skillet heat oil (I don't measure so sorry can't tell you how much)  While this is heating take 1 tortilla and fill it  towards one end (use about 1/4 cup), sprinkle some coconut and nuts on top and then fold the sides in and start to roll (like making a Spring or Egg Roll).  Place in hot oil seam side down and fry until golden.  Takes about 10 minutes.  When done drain on paper towel and while still hot sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Enjoy
Thanks for taking time from you day to stop by.  Have a wonderful Day and Remember to Always Find the time to do all the things YOU love.
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