Archive for July, 2014


Bounteous Bounty

bounty 007

Here it is!!! Could hardly wait to get home and do the usual photo shoot with my organic vegetables (I’m sure my neighbors think I’m crazy)!!!

Cabbage…lots and lots of cabbage…not all pictured here…but ready to be cut up and prepared. Must make Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage and Buttered Green Cabbage. May even make some stuffed cabbage rolls…I don’t know. Found out the other day that fresh cabbage hardly needs any cooking. Just a quick fry in the pan and it’s soft and ready to eat.

You see here mixed salad greens, turnips, green beans, green onions, broccoli and cauliflower. I wonder if people who don’t like GREEN feel the same way as I do??? Well, I’m in my green mode today and my mind is exploding with green ideas. Must go and do some prep work now.

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One batch done (Alton Brown’s) and one to go. The cookies look really good. I baked them according to his instructions (maybe a little longer than I would have).  Had only one catastrophic event (I know you have these and don’t tell anyone)!!! My potholder hit one of the cookies almost destroying it so I removed it from the baking sheet with an off-set spatula. Little did I know that some of the cookie fell on my kitchen carpet…was smeared by my shoe…then was walked into the living room where it stained the rug in three places. Oh, great…now we get to see how hard it is to remove CHOCOLATE!!!

Luckily, the cookies were out of the oven and I had plenty of time as the other recipe required a couple of hours of chilling. I need to tell you that it all cleaned up very nicely and I will try harder with the next ones not to drop any on the floor!!! Now, if I had a dog he would have spotted my accident right away, eaten the debris off the floor and maybe even licked it clean!!!

Everything is ready for my great test. Two recipes (both touted as being very good) flavorful and chewy (you know how I love chewy). Went out last night and bought bread flour for one (hate to do that because you know it will end up in the back of the cupboard…already discussed that with you once). Had to buy instant vanilla pudding for one, also, which I didn’t have.

Got rid of the car today, too, so I’m stuck unable to go anywhere!!! That secures my ability to stay here and concentrate on these recipes.

Thought you might enjoy a picture of the scoop I use for my cookies. It’s actually probably (I know that’s not correct English but I’ve made that into an adjective clause)  an ice cream scoop…it holds about 4 teaspoons…and it is my FAVE (that’s not exactly a word but it works for me)!!!  You didn’t know this was going to be a Basic Grammar Challenge, did you???

 

cookie scoop 004

Stop me before I eat all these chocolate chips or…I won’t have any left for the cookies!!! I was hungry the other night for a sweet…found an unopened bag of Nestlé’s Dark Chocolate Morsels…didn’t think they would be any big deal but…they are wonderful!!! They are DARK, FRESH, SOFT, and full of FLAVOR and RICHNESS!!! And for some reason, there is almost a “liquor-like” flavor to them (and I checked the bag…there is none of that in there).

Found two great recipes I want to try. One is Alton Brown’s, the chewy, and another is from Averie Cooks, also considered soft and chewy. Now I’ll let you know right now that soft is not my thing but…”chewy” is and you already know that!!!

So…here’s the plan.  I will make both of the cookies, provide you with the recipes and a taste test.  Oh, wait…una problema grande!!!   Just finished eating the chocolate chips so…this will be continued after I visit the store!!!

french onion soup 015

French Onion Soup (Julia Child’s version)

3 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. yellow onions, sliced thin
1 t. salt
1/2 t. sugar
3 T. flour
2 qt. beef broth
1 c. white wine (like Chablis)
1 bay leaf
1/2 t. sage
S&P to taste

Saute onions in butter and olive oil (use a large kettle for this soup). Turn heat up to moderate low and cover pan. Cook 15 minutes and stir now and then. Uncover and add salt and sugar. Stir. Cook another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Onions should be golden brown. Lower heat and add flour. Stir to coat onions well. Cook about 2 minutes. With a wire whisk, stir in about one cup of the broth and stir until smooth. Add rest of broth, wine, bay leaf and sage. Bring to a simmer and cook for another 30-40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with giant cheese croutons.

Swiss Cheese Croutons

Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Cut some French bread into 1″ slices. Place in single layer on baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with shredded Swiss cheese. Bake another 15 minutes. Serve on soup.

Bottomless Bounty

bottomless bounty 001

What do you see here??? I see Julia Child’s French Onion Soup with homemade croutons!!! If you have never made it, you absolutely must!!! It is SO tasty and it makes a lot…and it is easy, too!!! So, let me go clean the vegetables and get everything ready. I must go out and buy some bread for the croutons (normally I would make my own but I’m too hungry for the soup). It should only take a while and I will be back with another photo AND the recipe. This is your lucky day…a wonderful recipe for you to try…and get rave reviews from!!!

Wish you were here to enjoy these lovely, organic, fresh from Maggie’s farm veggies…well, maybe I don’t because then I would have to share!!!

 

Beef Stroganoff 018

I love this recipe!!!. I had a piece of top sirloin and sat looking at it wondering what to do. It can be so bland and plain some times, huh, not to mention tough. So, what better to do than load it with calories and seasonings!!!

Here’s the recipe. I changed it by marinating the cut-up beef cubes with Weber Chicago Steak seasoning. They really turned out tasty. The seasoning added some zest to the dish.   Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

It only took me about 3 minutes to devour this meal as I was starved. No, there was no one around…that would have been a little embarrassing!!! And besides, this meal is really not on my diet. I justified it because I lost about 2 more pounds this week. That’s what women do, you know!!!

Beef Stroganoff

1 1/2 lbs. top sirloin (sprinkle on about 1 T. Weber Chicago Steak Seasoning and marinate in fridge about 1 hour)

2 T. butter

1 1/2 c. beef broth

2 T. catsup

1 t. salt

1 clove garlic, minced

3 c. mushrooms, sliced (I used a 13.25 oz. can, drained)

1 medium onion, chopped

3 T. flour

1 c. sour cream

Hot cooked noodles

Cut beef in small pieces or strips. Marinate if desired. Melt butter in a large fry pan and brown the beef. Reserve 1/3 c. broth. Stir remaining broth, catsup, salt and garlic into skillet. Heat to boil than simmer 10 minutes until beef tender. Stir in mushrooms and onion. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Combine reserved broth and flour then stir into hot meat mixture. Heat to boiling and continue to stir for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and stir in sour cream. Serve over hot noodles.

Beef & cabbage 010

I had a lovely green cabbage I needed to use. I had ground beef. I had rice. I didn’t want to make stuffed cabbage rolls. So…what to do??? I found a recipe for cabbage and ground beef casserole. Thanks, Cooks.Com, for the recipe. It was easy and for some reason I had all the ingredients. I added some shredded cheese to the top (everything tastes good with that) and changed the instructions somewhat. The taste isn’t bad. I do, though, have enough for two armies so I have reinforcements coming to dinner!!!

Cabbage and Ground Beef Casserole

2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
Saute beef and onion until browned. Pour into a colander to drain off fat.
1 c. dry long grain rice
Put into skillet and toast lightly. Pour out of pan into dish.
1 pkg. onion soup mix
1 can tomato soup
1 can water
Mix above in the fry pan until blended.
1 small green cabbage, shredded
Put cabbage in fry pan with soup mixture and cook for a few minutes to soften. Now, mix together the beef, rice and soup mix with cabbage. Use some pepper if you like. I felt there was already enough salt.
1-2 c. shredded cheese (of your liking)
My idea was to top with shredded cheese (something like cheddar). Now cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour (I used 45 minutes). Remove and let sit on the stove for about 15. I just tried it and the taste is not bad!!! I’m a happy person when I can use up things from my refrigerator!!!

Bountiful Bounty 006

Just back from the farm…got more onions (hooray)!!! Got broccoli and cauliflower and BASIL (doesn’t it look grand)!!! If you only knew how swell those onions are you would be over here begging for some…all fresh and organic. But…they are all for me!!! Unfortunately, had to stop at the store for corn-on-the-cob because we don’t have any from the farm and I really felt like having some tonight. Good Price = 5 for $1.00??? Anyway, the weather was beautiful…the soil was soft…and the work was pleasant with the company of good friends. Who could ask for more???

Miranda's BB muffins 004

These muffins turned out so well!!! We actually overfilled the cups but each muffin turned out exactly the same. None spread over the top…how did that happen??? Thanks, King Arthur Flour AND Jordan Marsh Department Store for this great recipe. I will be heading off to the blueberry patch within the next month and now know what I’m going to do with some of them!!! Don’t you just love blueberries???

MIRANDA’S BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
1/2 c. cream (original recipe used regular milk but I had this left in the back of the fridge)
2 1/2 to 3 c. blueberries, fresh
1/4 c. Sugar in the Raw

Cream butter with sugar. Add eggs. Stir in baking powder, salt and vanilla. (This is an odd step as I’m used to putting the baking powder and salt in with the flour but it worked OK). Add the flour alternately with the cream until combined. Fold in the blueberries gently. Scoop batter into a 12 cup muffin tin that has been lined with paper cups or greased with Pam. Sprinkle tops generously with Sugar in the Raw. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes. I had to watch mine closely as they were done in about 20.