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Anything is good, in moderation. I cook because I love to and because I can share with those around me. I crochet for the same reason.

Do what you want to do, enjoy what you do and use it to touch those around you.

Apr 23, 2014

Coconut Creme Brûlée

As promised, a recipe to use some of the egg yolks.  Don't let the name scare you - these are just baked custards.  They key is to temper the hot liquid into the eggs slowly so they don't get cooked by the liquid.  You will prep 6 ramekins, but you may only  need 5 (as pictured).  If this happens, take the coconut from the last ramekin and sprinkle over the others.

2 Cups Heavy Cream
1/3 Cup White Sugar
6 Egg Yolks
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup Cream of Coconut
6 Tbl Shredded Coconut

Heat oven to 300 degrees.  Place 6 ramekins into a cake pan.  Sprinkle 1 tablespoon coconut into the bottom of each ramekin.  Set aside.

Stir together cream and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
  Heat until very hot, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.  While heating, whisk together egg yolks, vanilla and cream of coconut until well combined.

When cream mixture is hot, use a small ladle (like a gravy ladle), ladle small amounts of the hot mixture into the egg mixture.  At least 1/3 of the hot mixture should be incorporated before pouring from the pan directly.

Pour custard into the ramekins.

Add boiling water around the ramekins until half way up the sides of the ramekins.  Gently place into the heated oven and bake until set, 55 to 60 minutes.
When done, cool then refrigerate until cold.  When ready to serve, sprinkle with about 2 tsp sugar.  Gently shake to coat the entire surface then use a small hand torch to melt the sugar.  Serve immediately.

Apr 21, 2014

Chocolate Angel Food Cake

When making this, don't throw out the yolks.  There are LOTS of things you can make, at least one to follow.

1 1/2 Cups Eggs Whites (about a dozen large eggs)
2 Tsp Cream of Tarter
2 Tbl Water
2 Tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Scant Cups Sugar
1 Cup Cake Flour
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Special Dark Cocoa

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sift together flour, salt and cocoa.  Set aside.  Beat egg whites until frothy.

Sprinkle cream of tarter over top.

Continue beating until whites are stiff enough to form peaks but not dry.

Gradually add water and vanilla.

Fold in the sugar, half at a time.

Gently fold in flour mixture 1/3 at a time.

Scrape batter into an ungreased 10 inch tube pan.

Bake 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and invert.  Let stand until completely cooled, at least 1 1/2 hours.  Remove from pan.

Apr 20, 2014

Mexican Meatball Soup

Unfortunately, soup is still a viable option as there is still a chill in the air - especially after the sun starts to go down.  You can make this as spicy or as mild as you like.  You can make the meatballs the night before or just before you are ready to add them to the soup.

1 Lb Ground Beef
1 Large Egg
1/3 Cup Cornmeal
1/3 Cup Water
1 Tbl Hot Pepper Sauce
3 Tbl Chopped Fresh Cilantro

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all meatball ingredients.

Form into 1 inch balls, place on a foil lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes.

4 Cups Beef Stock
16 Ounces Salsa (I prefer Medium Salsa)
14.5 Ounces Petit Diced Tomatoes
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
3/4 Cup UNCOOKED Long Grain Rice

Stir together soup ingredients in a crock pot.

Cook on low 7 to 8 hours (until rice is tender).  If you have a stirring crock pot, push the pulse button every 2 hours or so.

Add the meatballs during the last hour of cooking.

Apr 17, 2014

Marinara with Chicken and Vegetables.

I raided my pantry and made this dish for a quick supper.  I started cooking the chicken whole then sliced it down and finished it off.  Next time, I think I will slice before marinading and cooking to make it quicker.  I served this over ravioli.

Balsamic Dressing
1 Chicken Breast
1 Cup Peppers
2 C Spinach
3 Cloves Garlic
1 Jar Marinara
Pasta of your choice, cooked to your liking

Place chicken in a zip top bag and add just enough dressing to cover.  Marinade at least one hour.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Add some olive oil.  Add chicken and cook until done.

Remove chicken.  Add garlic to pan and cook about one minute.

Add peppers to the pan, cook three minutes.

Add spinach to the pan, cook until wilted.

Add sauce.

Stir, add chicken on top and heat through.  Serve over your pasta.

Apr 16, 2014

Sausage and Pepper Quiche

Breakfast for supper again - this is becoming habit.  And why not?

2 Hot Italian Turkey Sausage Links (about 4 ounces)
1 1/2 Cups Chopped Bell Pepper
1 Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
4 Eggs, Beaten
1 Cup Half and Half
1/2 Cup Bisquick

Heat oven to 375 degrees, grease a pie plate and set aside.

Brown Sausage, drain and put into pie pan.

Top with peppers.

Top with cheese.

Whisk together Eggs, Half and Half and Bisquick.

Pour over contents of pie plate.

Bake until set and slightly browned, about 45 minutes.

Apr 15, 2014

Corn and Green Bean Bake

I wanted a veg to go with dinner - grilled fish.  This was quick to throw together and cooked while we heated the grill and cooked the fish.  I used frozen corn from the summer, you can use store frozen corn, just reserve about 1/2 cup bean juice to stir into the corn/bean mixture.

You will need:
15 Ounces Green Beans, drained (see notes)
2 Cups Frozen Corn, thawed, DO NOT DRAIN
1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Pecans
3/4 Cup Grated Mozzarella
1 Sleeve Crackers, Crushed (I used club crackers)
1 Stick Butter, Melted

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, stir together everything but cheese, crackers and butter.

Pour into a 1.5 to 2 quart baking dish.  Top with cheese.

Mix together crushed crackers and butter.  Top vegetables with cracker mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Apr 13, 2014

Fish without Tartar Sauce? Not in our house....OOPS

Every time I make fish, Hubby asks if we have tartar sauce.  After 15+ years, you would think I would remember.  What do I do in a pinch?  Make it myself.

Stir Together:

1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Tbl Relish
1 Tbl Lemon Juice
dash salt
dash pepper

Taste.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Apr 12, 2014

Delicious by Ruth Reichl

Delicious! is a wonderful story that weaves together two stories throughout and ties them together at the end. First, there is Billie - the Ugly Duckling living in her sister's shadow. She breaks away by quitting school to move to New York and work for a magazine - Delicious!. She slowly learns about herself as we learn about her past. At the end of book one, there is a momentous event. The results start book two and lead to the introduction of Lulu through letters. I COULD NOT put this book down. It is a captivating enigma and it ends with a wonderful gift - but you will have to read it to learn what that gift is and who it is for.

Apr 6, 2014

Braised Eggs

This was our recent 'breakfast for dinner' dish.  It is very customizable - you can cook as many eggs as your pan will hold.  Don't worry about leftover bean/sausage mix - chop up small amounts and scramble with eggs the next morning.

1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes
1 Tsp Olive Oil
1 Tbl Olive Oil
12 Ounces Breakfast Sausage
3/4 Cup Bell Pepper, cut into strips
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Chili Powder
2 Tsp Hot Sauce
1 Cup Salsa
15 Ounces Black Beans - rinsing and draining optional
Large Eggs - you choose the amount

Heat broiler on high.  Cut tomatoes in half, place cut side down in a pie plate.  Drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil.  

Broil until slightly charred.  Set aside.

Use a large skillet with a lid.  Heat remaining oil over medium high heat.  Add sausage and cook about 5 minutes, breaking into small pieces.

Add bell pepper and cook until sausage is done.

Reduce heat to medium, add cumin, chili powder, hot sauce, salsa and black beans.

Bring to a simmer.  Make small wells in sausage mixture - enough to hold the eggs you want to cook. I made 5.

Add an egg into each well.  Cove and cook for three minutes.

After three minutes, they will look like this.

Add tomatoes to the pan, avoiding the yolks.  

Cover and cook another 4 to 6 minutes until egg whites are cooked and yolks are still runny.  Remove from heat and serve with toast.