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Showing posts from July, 2010

Kohlrabi and Yellow Wax Beans with Carrots

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Kohlrabi was all new to me until I met Bill’s mother and tasted her great kohlrabi dish years ago.  


Kohlrabi, for those of you who are not familiar with it, is a German turnip.  The word comes from the German “kohl” (cabbage) and “rabi” meaning turnip.   You would think it is a root vegetable like a turnip but, is in fact a tightly packed version of its cousin, cabbage.  As you can see in the photo, it has a bulbous shape which is caused by the swelling of plant’s stem near the ground.  Some people think it tastes like broccoli, I think it tastes more like a mild turnip. 
Many people in the Midwest were raised in largely German communities who grew up growing and eating kohlrabi much like an apple.  Hamburg Township, Michigan has titled itself “Kohlrabi Capital of the World” and even had a kohlrabi festival but such enthusiasm has declined in recent years.
This is an excellent recipe for using kohlrabi whose taste complements yellow wax beans, carrots and onions.  After the vegetable…

Burnt Tomato Halves

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“Turn a classic summer favorite into a smoking-hot side dish.”
Do you like some foods when burnt, blackened, or charred?  You know, like marshmallows ~ they have to be charred!  And it used to be that I wouldn’t eat toast unless it was burnt.  I’ve changed on that some, especially when eating breakfast at a restaurant, they just don’t get it and usually won’t do it! 
But, have you ever tried tomatoes with a char?  I had not until just recently when I saw the above quote and recipe in Guideposts magazine.  We love tomatoes here and Bill and Bubba like to eat tomatoes just like I would eat an apple.  I haven’t gone that far yet. 
So give this a try; it’s easy with just a few ingredients and really tasty!



Burnt Tomato Halves
Ingredients:
4 firm, ripe tomatoes Extra-virgin olive oil Coarse salt 16 black peppercorns* 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves
Method:
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until a drop of water sizzles on the surface. Cut tomatoes in half. Brush cut side of tomatoes wit…

Shrimp Creole

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“Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it.”  Bubba Blue, “Forrest Gump”

Shrimp isn’t exactly Midwest food but, we forgive it as it is such a great food!
Talk about a good old Southern dish, what could be more Southern than Shrimp Creole?   I imagine if New Orleans were forced to select an official dish, Shrimp Creole would undoubtedly be in contention.  For those of you who like shrimp, you must try this unique dish.  There are probably a billion recipes out there for this ~ it all just depends on your personal taste.
Shrimp Creole looks and tastes like gourmet fare that took hours of fussing over.   In fact, it actually boil…

I love Brun-uusto!!!

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I came upon this cheese in the store the other day and it makes for a perfect appetizer or snack.  If you love cheese like we do here, you will love this one!  It’s “Brun-uusto,” Brunkow’s Baked Cheese made at Brunkow Cheese in Darlington, Wisconsin.

It’s a wonderful thing!  The recipe comes from Finland, where it is known as Juustalepia, (Hoostah-lee-pah) or “bread cheese.”  It is an appropriate name because Brun-uusto’s aroma and appearance likens itself to toasted bread.   The cheese has a browned, caramelized crisp crust with the flavor being mild, buttery and a little salty.
Brun-uusto can be eaten right out of the packaging but, it is meant to be enjoyed warm whether by heating in a skillet, on a grill or even in the micro for a short time.  It can definitely stand alone but is especially good with a tomato slice atop it and then warmed, adding a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.  It also has an amazing flavor when warmed and topped with something sweet such as maple syrup, marmalade…

My Blackberry Buckle and So Forth

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There are grunts, cobblers, crumbles, crisps, pandowdy’s, slumps, clafouti’s, betty’s and then there’s my favorite ~ buckles.
All of the above always confuse me so here’s the lowdown:
Grunt:  It is a simple, dumpling-like fruit dessert that is cooked on the stove-top.  Large dollops of biscuit dough are dropped on top of the fruit; the dough is steam cooked through the escaping steam of the fruit.  The name supposedly comes from the sound the fruit makes as it stews.
Slump:  It’s the same as grunt.
Cobbler:  A cobbler is a deep-dish fruit dessert with the fruit filling in the bottom of the dish and topped with thick biscuit dough, usually dropped in spoonfuls.
Crisp:  This dessert is baked with the fruit on the bottom and having a sweet crunchy topping which is crumbled over the top.  The crumb topping can be made with flour, nuts, breadcrumbs, graham cracker or cookie crumbs, or even cereal and baked until the top is brown and crunchy.  Crisps are the homey, American version of the Britis…

My Favorite Chicken Salad Sandwich!

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My favorite meal of the day is breakfast, but it may be slipping fast after eating this great sandwich for lunch!
 I can make chicken salad myself but I’ve come to the conclusion that what really makes Bill’s chicken salad sandwiches so good is that he dices the chicken into larger pieces than I normally do.  But then, there’s something else ~ he uses MAYONNAISE!  If you’ve read a few of my posts, you know I’m a Miracle Whip kind of girl.  I forgive him though as he makes a great hearty delicious chicken salad sandwich!

Here’s his recipe:
Bill’s Chicken Salad Sandwich
Ingredients:
1 cup chicken breast, roasted and diced ½ cup mayonnaise 2 teaspoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons pickle relish ¼ teaspoon each, salt and pepper Your favorite bread, toasted
Method:
In a mixing bowl, add first 5 ingredients. Toss gently until well combined. Assemble the sandwich.

Yum!  It’s a great filling sandwich!


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Smashed Potatoes

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I’m a spudoholic and I admit it!  I like them prepared just about any way except for potato soup.  I would run fast when I knew Mom was cooking that for dinner!
A while back, I stopped by at theClements Family’s great blog to see what was cooking.  I’m not really sure how they have time to cook with having 3 kids, 5 years old and under, but there is always something good going on over there!  
This smashed potatoes recipe got my attention.  I’ve made smashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, many times but never in this manner.  I always roasted them in the oven and then smashed them good after roasting.  This recipe calls for boiling them first and then smashing and roasting them.
It makes a big difference!  Par-boiling definitely is the secret to great smashed potatoes!  They are not dried out from roasting!  The potatoes bake creamy and smooth with the skin having a good crunch.  I used new potatoes; they’re excellent for this ~ small, with a good thin skin for roasting. 
That’s it!  Voila…

Garlic-Basted Chicken

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Many folks insist that garlic is “good for what ails you.”  I know that it’s good for flavoring chicken, especially when combined with the subtle hop overtones from beer.
Chicken was definitely made for the grill but, with its mild neutral flavor it needs a little boost and that is why it is so nice to baste it.  The basting not only keeps the chicken moist, it flavors the poultry with something extra.
This dish brought rave reviews from Bill!  Of course, he grilled it but, I delivered the sauce for basting!  The melted butter with the garlic, beer and other flavors resulted in flavorful, very moist chicken. And it requires no marinating for hours!
So, start grilling and kick your chicken up a notch with this tasty recipe ~ it’s really delicious!



Garlic-Basted Chicken
Ingredients:
3 whole chicken breasts or 6 whole chicken legs, thighs attached ½ cup butter 5 cloves garlic, minced ¼ cup onions, chopped 1 cup dark beer 1 tablespoon chopped parsley ¼ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon McCormick’s Seasoned Pep…

Pepper Coleslaw

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I love coleslaw and am always looking for different versions of it.
Coleslaw comes from the Dutch word “koolsla” with “kool” being cabbage and “sla” meaning salad.  The earliest settlers on our eastern shores were many people of Dutch heritage who brought cabbage seeds on their voyage and started growing cabbage patches throughout the area.  These settlers supposedly served cabbage in their “old-country” ways, mainly as shredded cabbage salad or “koolsla.” 
This recipe is from Southern Living magazine. There are so many variations of coleslaw and it is an absolute staple at barbecues and picnics.   I am a huge fan of freshly ground black pepper and that is why this recipe caught my eye!
What I also like about this recipe is that there is not a large amount of sugar such as most slaw recipes contain.  It has a great buttermilk based dressing with lemon juice, cider vinegar and olive oil.  It’s a delicious peppery coleslaw and one of our favorites!
Here’s the recipe:
Pepper Coleslaw
Ingredi…

Italian Sausage in Tomato Spinach Sauce with Pasta

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Love that Italian sausage and this time I wanted it cooked inside instead of on the grill.  Good thing that it was made last night because today they are predicting the heat index to be around 105!  So it will definitely be back to the grill tonight.
I didn’t grow up eating a lot of pasta; just the usual macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs and occasionally lasagna.  There is such a wide variety of pasta now, it’s amazing and I like them all. 
We definitely never had Italian sausage back then when living on the farm in Ohio and having our own pork sausage made.  That is a whole other story from years ago.  My grandfather had a great recipe for making pork sausage and it was a wonderful thing; nothing like the store bought.  Bill would wholeheartedly agree!
This Italian sausage with pasta is cooked in a tomato sauce with a spinach addition.  We destroyed this quickly and liked every single bite of it!
Italian Sausage with Tomato and Spinach Pasta
Ingredients:
½ pound rigatoni 1 pound…

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I want to enjoy my life, and food is a big part of it.

~ Gwyneth Paltrow





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Dinner Party

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Jules-Alexandre Grun

Since 2009