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Showing posts from August, 2010

Fried Green Tomatoes

Corn meal above cracker crumbs
“I miss the smell of coffee, and bacon fryin’. Oh and what I wouldn’t give for a plate of fried green tomatoes like we used to have at the cafe.”  Remember that line by Ninny from “Fried Green Tomatoes?” 
I love fried green tomatoes ~ I’m referring to the great vegetable now, not the movie; although, the movie is one of my absolute favorites.  Right now is the time of year to be frying up some green tomatoes as they’re the perfect size and they’re firm enough that they remain firm after frying. 
Bacon drippings or lard is the traditional way to fry green tomatoes but, there are a lot of variations with whether to dip them in milk or eggs and to bread them with cornmeal, flour or cracker crumbs.  I’ve always made some with corn meal and some with flour.  This time though, I made half with corn meal and the other half with cracker crumb breading.  I could not believe how delicious they were with the cracker crumbs!  It’s a bit of nostalgia for me because it…

Grilled Italian Sausage and Peppers

Add some spice into your next barbecue with quick and delicious Italian sausage!  Just light the grill, throw on a few sausages.  What could be easier?  There is an art to it though and Bill has it down pat!

The problem is they may burn easily.  I used to parboil them in water before Bill grilled them and then realized that even if a little beer is added to the water, all the parboiling did was pull the flavor out of the sausages and make flavored water in the pot.
Now they go straight from the refrigerator to the grill.  Bill’s secret to grilling the Italian sausage is to grill them on low heat.  It keeps the flavor in and cooks the middle perfectly.  And he uses tongs, no forks!  Once the skin is pierced, you’re in for some flare ups which leads to burnt sausages.  It takes a while longer to grill them this way but, the appearance is great and they’re packed with delicious flavors. 
Of course, sautéed red peppers are almost mandatory for topping Italian sausage sandwiches!  I go for h…

Peachy Keen Ice Cream

Dad loved his ice cream!  I love ice cream!  It’s my favorite “food.”  I could eat it any time of the day.  I am sure I inherited this trait from Dad.  
It was a wonderful thing when Mom went to the basement and pulled out the ice cream maker on a hot summer day.  She mixed fresh fruit with milk and cream to make a custard, then placed it in the tall metal can and inserted the paddle.  Dad packed lots of rock salt and ice around it and then the hard part started ~ the hand cranking.  It was a messy experience with the melted rock salt and ice slurry that I thought was great fun!  As the crank became hard to turn, after about a half-hour, the ice cream was ready to eat.  I do it the easy way now with an electric ice cream maker!


Old way - hand crank







                                          My way -                                         electric!





Peaches are great also.  Remember the other day when I made peach cake?  I bought enough peaches to make peach ice cream also.  They were excell…

My Homemade Ketchup

I love mustard but, ketchup is an American icon for hamburgers and French fries!

Years ago, Dad not only had the garden at home but after his retirement, he started the first community garden in Louisville and had a garden plot there as well.  The amount of tomatoes he raised was amazing.  

Mom canned a lot of tomatoes, made tomato juice and then she made ketchup.  Bubba reminded me of how much he likes homemade ketchup and that I haven’t made it in a long while.  So, yesterday I made ketchup.  The aroma of it cooking is unbelievable, very spicy and good. 
This is sweet, tangy and spicy and it takes time for it to cook down.  It’s easy but, it’s definitely not for an impatient cook because it takes time!  I ended up with close to 3 pints of ketchup from this recipe.  

I let it cook down until it was very thick, mainly because Bill likes it thick, not “runny” like Mom made it.    If you don’t want it so thick, cook a shorter period of time and you will have a higher yield.  Another good t…

Fabulous Fish Tacos

I tried something new for us last night for dinner ~ fish tacos.  Kathy, our daughter-in-law, was talking a while back about how great fish tacos are.  I’m always looking for ways to include more fish in our weekly menus and finally got around to making them for dinner the other night.
Most times, in restaurants and in recipes, the fish is deep fried.  It’s delicious that way, but I thought it was better left to the restaurants.  I sautéed orange roughy filets in the skillet with a little olive oil and the rest is the typical taco thing, except for using mozzarella cheese.  Yes, mozzarella!
Bill and I thought they were delicious!  The concept is so easy and they’re healthy also.  As we were eating them, Bill thought they were missing something and then when we had just finished eating, he said, “Lettuce! We forgot to get the lettuce out!”  I had both shredded cabbage and shredded lettuce in the refrigerator and they’re still in there.  So, be sure to include that in yours!
So Kathy, the…

Wild about Mushrooms

I remember my Mom and Dad foraging in the yard and woods for various wild mushrooms when we lived on the farm in Pickerington.  

Then later, when we moved to Louisville, the neighbors all thought they were crazy for picking wild mushrooms.  They always gave Mom and Dad warnings about how risky it was.  Thankfully, that didn’t stop my parents.
Early Greeks and Romans are thought to be the first cultivator’s of mushrooms, using them in numerous dishes.  Today there are more than 70,000 thousand varieties, shapes and sizes of mushrooms with only a very small fraction of them being edible.  

So, if you’re not familiar with the types of mushrooms, only forage for them with someone that can identify them and whom you would entrust your life!
A much quicker way to forage for mushrooms is to go to the grocery store like I do.  Then they make their way onto the top of a pizza, into salads and casseroles or my favorite way, sautéed.  

Here’s my way of sautéing them:


Sautéed Mushrooms
Ingredients:
1 pou…

Fresh Peach Cake

Peaches were used by ancient Egyptians as offerings to the God of Tranquility.  No wonder most of us enjoy peaches and it makes me love August too!  That’s because it means there are great Michigan peaches at the farmer’s markets.  They’re large, ripe and juicy! 
This recipe is from a friend and makes the best peach cake you can imagine.  It may seem like a cobbler but, it’s really more like a cake.  

Here’s the secret why this is so very delicious:  the peaches are combined with brown sugar and allowed to macerate over-night in the refrigerator.  Oh, are they good the next day ~ very soft with an intense flavor.  Then they turn into this magnificent “homey” dessert!
Be sure to make it in a large glass baking dish or other 2 quart shallow pan.  I use my Le Crueset Au Gratin dish.  It is shallow and large and has more surface to crisp up the great edge of the cake.  The edges are awesome!
Do not open the oven door until baking time is completed.  After the time is up, I look at it and the…

THE WINNER IS…

Thanks to all of you who entered the CSN Le Crueset giveaway!  There were over 100 entries to win this great $60 voucher.  I used Random.org and the winner is Dishesdone @ There’s Always Thyme to Cook.  Dishesdone, please email me (mzpst@att.net) so that you can receive the wonderful CSN LeCrueset prize! 
Thanks again so much to all of you who entered and congratulations to Dishesdone!












“He toasted his bacon on a fork and caught the drops of fat on his bread; then he put the rasher on his thick slice of bread, and cut off chunks with a knife, poured his tea into his saucer, and was happy.”


~ D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers







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ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

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