Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Harbor Cruise in Charleston

A few months ago we lost a very dear friend...David Singleton was a person so full of life that I guess that God just needed to have him back in heaven.  He was in our church foyer group, I know I have written sometime in the past about the foyer dinners and David..at least I think I have.  Tomorrow we go on the our end of the year foyer group cruise and it is dedicated to David. 

David in one of his conservative outfits

So in memory of David I am bring one of his favorite foods Ms. Hamby's Shrimp Salad Sandwiches.  Now sadly the Piggly Wiggly has closed so I can no longer get the official bread of these yummy morsels so I am hoping that the Harris Teeter White bread does the trick.

If you live in the Charleston SC area (hint JuJu) and would like to have a great time for just $15 come join us at the aquarium marina departing at 6:30 tomorrow night.  We are Episcopal so there is lots of food and drink included for that small price.....

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Sick Hubby and Chicken Soup

My husband has a cold...to those of you living with someone else (of the male persuasion) you know what life is like at our house.  Lots of moans, groans and grumbles.  Of course he wants to be left alone (supposedly) but has been making numerous trips to the fridge looking for something to eat.

It was time for me to spring into action this morning with a pot of home-made chicken and rice soup.  I didn't have any chicken stock in the freezer but fortunately there was a left over chicken with its bones in the freezer so that was the start for our stock although I also added two legs and thighs so we had more meat afterwards in the soup. The whole thing took about 5 hours of simmering and you really don't have to do much but the end result is so rewarding!  I keep left over rice in the freezer in zip-lock bags so that saved even more labor.  You could also put egg noodles this if you prefer!

Chicken Soup

1 chicken carcass
2 chicken legs and thighs
4-5 carrots
4 celery ribs
12 cups water
1 large onion, peeled and rough cut
2 cups cooked rice
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the chicken, 2 carrots (unpeeled and rough chopped), 2 celery ribs (rough chopped), onion and the water in a large pot.  Place on a high heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer about 2 hours (if you notice the chicken falling apart you are done).

Drain the stock from the pot, reserving the legs and thighs and discarding the bones and veggies.  Place the stock back in the pot, peel and chop the carrots and chop the celery and add to the stock.  Once the chicken is cool enough to handle break up the meat and add back to the stock (I do not add the skin back in).  Season with salt and pepper, bring back to a boil then reduce to a simmer and  add the cooked rice.  It is ready to eat when the carrots are tender.

Viola!

To drain the stock I put a colander into my largest bowl and carefully pour the stock in.  This takes care of separating the meat from the stock with a lot less mess, I just pulled the legs and thighs out and put them to the side so they could cool enough to be handled.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mom's Sauerbraten with Potato Balls Recipe!

Ricer
Just in case you wondered what my Potato Ricer looked like! (even though this isn't my picture)


Just in case you feel adventurous here is the recipe!

Saurbraten

4lb boneless chuck roast (do not use an expensive cut for this)
1/4 box old fashioned Gingersnaps crushed
White Vinegar
5lbs Potatoes (my original copy specifies Long Island Potatoes but you would be best Googling to see what they suggest)
Flour
1 egg
1 Tbs Shortening (I use butter)
Place meat in a deep pot, fill half way with vinegar and then add water until meat is covered.  Refrigerate over night.

Early the next morning peel and cook the potatoes then using your ricer (don't have one?  No time like the present).  Let the potatoes cool.

Take the meat out of the marinade reserving 2 cups add the gingersnaps to this and let dissolve.  Melt the shortening in a dutch oven then brown the onion and the meat.  Pour the rest of the marinade (not the stuff with the gingersnaps in it) over meat than add enough water to cover the meat.  Cover the pot and simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Bring large pot of water to boil.  Add the egg to the potatoes and then start adding the flour.  You need enough flour so the balls stay together (Mom would get it the way she liked it, drop one into the water and see what happened).  You may need to add more flour so be prepared.  Do not over crowd the pot, when they rise to the top carefully scoop them out.

Remove the meat from the pot and set aside.  Add the gingersnap mixture to the water over a medium heat and stir until thickened.

I think you can figure out the rest!

 


 

Oktoberfest

sauerbraten-von-aldi18.jpg (448×336)


The first meeting of each month our Elk's Lodge has a social hour and this month's theme is Oktoberfest!  Each one of brings a dish to share with the group.  My fathers grandparents were both born in Germany and passed along some of the food traditions that they grew up with and of course getting these recipes out of my grandmother and aunt was like pulling teeth!  I will never understand why people don't want to share the wealth but perhaps it is that little part of the world they have cornered and they don't want anyone else treading on it!

There are a few things that take me back to my childhood, one of them is poppy seed rolls (the aunt never did share this recipe) and the other is Sauerbraten mit Gaduflglasen (roughly translated sour meat with potato balls) which she did share.

My mother (who had not a lick of German in her) made a mean Sauerbraten and would always serve it while I was pregnant the day before I had to go to the Ob/Gyn for my monthly weigh in. This is far from a light meal but it is absolutely delicious (even though it sounds yucky).  You marinade the beef roast for three days in vinegar and spices than simmer it and make a killer gravy using ginger snaps to thicken the sauce.  The potato balls are a bit trickier..you need just the right type of potatoes or the balls commit potato-acide in the boiling water...even with the right moisture level in the tater I honestly think you need to have a certain amount of starch (also known as potato balls) in the water before the rest decide it's okay to cook and then rise to the top where you carefully scoop them out.  All this is even better as left overs...and you all know how much I love gravy.  Mom would cut the potato balls in half, fry them in butter and serve them up with the meat, gravy and pickled red cabbage...can you say delicious???

So the long and the short of this story (I bet you were wondering) is what do I make for Tuesday night and non-experimental, boring eating Elks?  Someone else has taken the easy way out and is doing the brats...that doesn't leave much other than German Potato Salad, Apple Strudel or what ever else I can find on the Internet....

Friday, October 4, 2013

Life

It's hard getting started again after you have stopped for a while....especially if you are in a cooking slump!  There have been some pretty good meals, some new things tried, experiences I should have shared but...I need a good swift kick in the tuckus to get going again!

We had one of the daughters staying with us for many months and it really affects your life.  It's not like when they are little and you can tell them what to do when...it's tough.  When the two of you plus the dog becomes the three of you plus the dog, when you can't walk around the house without clothes on or have some fun on the couch.  When you are trying to cheer on someone who is unable to be cheered on, or motivate someone who cannot deal with motivation.  We both love our daughters but I think we love them more from a distance, the daughter probably feels the same way.  It has got to be tough to wind up as an adult back at home where your parents still sort of see you as a kid even though you aren't.  When you can't get yourself back together and everything feels like it is falling apart.  Telling her she needed to move on was the toughest thing I have ever done in my life...I love her with my whole heart but...I cannot live with her.  We are too different.

Slowly we are putting our simple life back together again and I hope and pray that she is too.

Love you Oh Daughter Of Mine...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Baked Red Mashed Potatoes

Sunday night I was baking sweet potatoes for dinner but really had a hankering for mashed potatoes.  I didn't feel like peeling the little red taters and boiling them so off to the Internet I went.  No where could I find a recipe for baked mashed red potatoes so...being the brave soul I am an experiment was called for.

This was as about as easy as it comes, it would probably work better in the winter months when you don't mind having the oven on.  All it takes is scrubbing the potatoes and bake them in a 350 degree oven until they are fork tender.  Place them in a bowl and smush them with a potato masher.  After they are sort of smushed I use the electric mixer along with some milk or yogurt and butter then mix them together until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste and you are finished!

Michael said it tasted like baked potatoes but better and it was far from labor intensive!


Sunday, August 11, 2013

This is only a test...

The youngest daughter is an excellent cook and one of her specialties is Roast Lamb...mmmmm.  In celebration of my up coming birthday she brought me some of the left overs from last night (not sure how that rates in birthday gifts but this one is very, very tasty). 

So there we go, the meat is all set for dinner tonight now to decide what to make with it...

In the oven already there are sweet potatoes baking away but I have a taste for mashed red potatoes....tonight's test is, can you mash baked red potatoes with the skin on?

Details to follow.....

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Still Bargain Shopping!

So you know I am always trying to find a way to squeeze a nickel...it's almost a game to me now "how much can I save".  I have a new addiction though and it is markdown meat.  Now I know you are thinking the same thing I thought for years...yuck...ewwww...gross...markdown meat?  I am now a major fan and it all started a couple of weeks back.

 I had a hankering for some beef which I think you all know is something not often eaten here.  So there I was at the Harris Teeter right around the beef section kinda window shopping (cause that's what I normally do in the vegetable and meat sections of that particular store) and what do my eyes spy but...3 Angus beef steaks for $3.35...I know I thought the same thing and even asked the guy at the meat counter if that could possibly be right...would something be marked for that little?  Turned out I was reading the wrong number and they were even less...how about 2.62?  Originally 21.00 now only that much?  So I looked around and snuck them into my cart carefully perusing the rest of the meat counter for more markdowns. 

So 3 meals later of some delicious steak and a few bargain purchases later (some beef and some boneless pork chops) I am going to be that person who is always checking out the markdown meat!!

On a totally different front I should soon be the proud owner of my own laptop since my desktop decided it had gone on for long enough and no longer had any interest in ingesting dog fur...I will be able to post much more regularly (since the kindle idea just didn't work for more than the one post anyway)!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Low-Country Boil 2

I don't know the history of the boil but I suspect it has to do with the availability of inexpensive ingredients and the need to feed large groups of people.  Here in the southeast US there are many who have made their living off the waters as is in other parts of the world, our claim to fame is shrimp and all who eat them from here of course say they are the tastiest they have ever had the opportunity to enjoy! 

The key to making this dish is cooking time.  Too little and the potatoes will not be cooked, too much and your shrimp will be rubbery.  I am going to tell you how much I used to feed about 20 folks with left overs and you can head from there.  We used a turkey fryer to cook ours but I suppose if you have a very very large stock pot it could be made on the stove.


Low Country Boil

8 lbs shrimp (heads off, shells still on)
15 ears of corn (shucked and broken in half)
6 lbs small red potatoes
6 lbs kielbasa cut in 1 inch pieces (we used beef but pork is fine)
1/2 container Old Bay seasoning
1 lemon cut in half

Place 8 quarts of water into pot, add the Old Bay and lemon.  Bring water to a boil and put in the potatoes cooking covered until fork tender.  Add the corn and kielbasa re-cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until corn is tender.  Add the shrimp cover and cook until shrimp are pink (you want to watch it at this point).

That's it...

So the cost for this feast...

Shrimp 8lbs with the heads on 3.00 a pound = 24.00
Beef Kielbasa 6 lbs 3.59 a pound                      25.00
Corn 15 ears (10 for 3.00)                                   4.50
Potatoes (3lbs 3.49 each)                                     7.00
Old Bay  (4.00 a container)                                 2.00
Total                                                                   62.00

You can add onions, carrots or even better fresh crab to this recipe and really round it out (the onions were on the menu here but I forgot until I opened the fridge and found them all peeled and ready to go).  No one seemed to miss them though! 

A Low-Country Boil

The surprises arrive
 Michael celebrated his 60th birthday back in May and this weekend we had a bash for him.  He knew about the party what he was not aware of was that his sisters and family were coming down from Greensboro NC to surprise him!

The hugs start

and go on...

and on....

Time for a gentlemanly handshake

One of my beautiful sister-in-laws

Looks like a story to me!


Utter chaos in the house and one happy dog!

Time for a cool beverage on the marsh
 We celebrated outside and fortunately the weather which has been very wet cooperated!
My family and friends!

Can we please have some food soon?
 A Low-Country Boil was on the menu.  If you haven't had the pleasure of enjoying this simple treat you should!  It is tasty but better yet it's an affordable way to feed a large group (more so here due to the availability of fresh inexpensive shrimp).  Since I cannot figure out for the life of me how to add anything after the picture below (must be the computer could not be the operator) the recipe will follow on the next posting!

A beautiful day!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Corn Salad with Frito's

This afternoon I have hijacked the laptop for a little while, this is a much easier way of putting  the blog together!!  Today has been a cook-a-rama!  We not only had The Hens Group but also the Elks meeting tonight and both of these events require...tada....food!

The topic for the Hen's was Italian food in celebration of Spoleto.  Let me tell you these women can cook!  My contribution was Limoncello Zabaglione, do not attempt this recipe unless you have great arm strength as you have to whisk the recipe for a total of 23 minutes.  I think my right arm is going to fall off!  Even with all the mishaps I encountered this morning (and there were many!) this is definitely a do again recipe..

Tonight's theme at the Elks is a beach party...I figure someone else will bring the potato salad and deviled eggs along with the pimento cheese so we are bringing Corn Salad with Frito's.  Yes I know it sounds weird and not so healthy but what the heck its tasty!!!

Corn Salad with Frito's

2 cans yellow corn drained
1 green pepper chopped
1/2 red onion chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup crushed Frito's

Mix everything together except the Frito's.  Chill and put crushed Frito's on top just before serving (this will stop them from getting mushy).

Yes, that is all there is to it!! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

My Kindle and I

So I am going to attempt to continue blogging using my Kindle.  I can tell you after just this much writing I am feeling out of steam.  My computer is in our home office which has been the daughters room since the middle of December rendering it basically unusable.  The hubby (thank God for him) has a laptop that he uses for his business and I do get to use it around him but it just hasn't worked with my blogging schedule.

So here we sit the Kindle and I, slowly pecking away at the keys, unable to see most of what I type.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Life

I was reading Juju's  blog today and realized that just like her my life has been hijacked.

Hijacked by working
Hijacked by living
Hijacked by our daughter living with us
Hijacked by a bill collector

I have been away for too long and have missed too much the contact.  It is strange how much life gets in the way of living life.  How much we let the little things (even though they don't seem so little at the time) affect us.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

10,000 Views

Shrimp, Gravy and Rice


Some times things don't look or taste exactly as you expect them to or during the perfect storm both happen.  I don't know about you but I usually feel kind of crappy when that happens (the taste thing not the look thing). 

The other day  was looking for a recipe that would use up the half a pound of shrimp that was vacationing in our freezer so off to the Internet I went.  There were a few recipes that were intriguing at first and then Michael commented that  was shrimp defrosting and brown rice cooking (I think it was going to be shrimp fried rice originally) suddenly inspiration struck! 

A big part of living in Charleston is the food and along with that goes Shrimp, Grits and Gravy.  Being from the northeast we don't eat grits so there was a recipe for Shrimp, Gravy and Rice, sounded interesting and to tell you the absolute truth it didn't taste terrible but it needs a second go around and some adjustments to it.   The recipe will not be posted until I figure it out.  It tasted like it needed less flour and more chicken stock.

In the mean time at some point yesterday we  passed 10,000 page views.  One of the things I have learned after much deep research (checking which pages have had the most views) is that you seem to enjoy recipes more than stories about Bear so I am going to try to post just about cooking but if you have something to tell me about this (like you want pictures of my cute dog) please let me know!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Red Wine Velvet Cake

What is left of the Red Wine Velvet cake...before the family gets to it!
 
I have been invited to join this interesting group of ladies who call themselves "The Hens".  Basically its a group of women who love to cook and all have diverse interests (although we have many different types of artists). For the first time in many years I am the youngest member (when the heck do you stop being the youngest and become the oldest anyway?).  This is the second get together I have been to, the first being last month when I made the Thyme and Parmesan Crackers and some Olive Oil Crackers. 

Today being Valentines Day we all needed to bring a red food...sounds easy but I didn't want to bring anymore tomatoes or beets (since I figured that would be the base of most of the foods we would be having) so...off to the Internet I went!  First I typed in Red food recipes and that got me pretty close to no where until I found this recipe on Oprah's web site!

I was pretty comfortable making the cakes as the directions were straight forward.  My worries were icing the cake and getting it all the way down town without messing up the icing.  To the rescue came the eldest daughter who has way more patience than I do!  She put a crumb coat on the cake and than carefully iced the rest of it and did a pretty dern good job too!  I only know about a crumb layer of cake from watching PBS this morning where Julia Child's had Martha Stewart on making a wedding cake.  Now after I watch something like that I always feel like such an amateur (which I am).  They were making fruit out of marzipan...no such fanciness for us!  All we wanted was a kind of smooth looking icing and a cake that did not slide over as I made a turn (thanks to "The Chew" yesterday for letting me know that I am not the only person that ever happens to).  The daughter figured out that if we put bamboo skewers through top of the cake the layers wouldn't shift all over the place and than some careful skewers through the sides would stop the foil from mushing up the icing!  Well  done Jen!!

So for your reading and hopefully cake making enjoyment is....


Red-Wine Velvet Cake Recipe

Recipe created by Deb Perelman
Oprah.com | From the October 2012 issue of
O, The Oprah Magazine
 
Rather than let an open bottle of red wine languish on the refrigerator shelf, blogger Deb Perelman, author of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, uses it in place of the usual food coloring in a red velvet cake. The result—a rich, fudgy marriage of chocolate and wine—will leave you hopeful for more leftover Pinot Noir in the near future.

Makes 1 cake, to serve 16 to 20.


Ingredients

Cake:


·    18 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for greasing
·    2 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
·    3/4 cup granulated sugar
·    4 large eggs, at room temperature
·    1 large egg yolk
·    2 1/4 cups red wine
·    1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
·    3 cups plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
·    1 1/2 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder                   
·    3/8 tsp. baking soda
·    1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
·    3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
·    3/4 tsp. salt
Frosting:

·    24 ounces cream cheese (three 8-ounce boxes), at room temperature
·    3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
·    2 tsp. vanilla extract
·    3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Directions
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour


To make cake: Preheat oven to 325°. Line the bottom of three 9 round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease parchment and sides of pan. Place butter in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, cream butter on medium speed until smooth. Add brown and granulated sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and yolk and beat until incorporated, then add red wine and vanilla. (Don't worry if the batter looks a little uneven and grainy.)

In a medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Sift dry mixture over wet ingredients. Mix until 3/4 combined, then fold in remaining dry mixture with a rubber spatula.

Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of each layer comes out clean. The top of each cake should be shiny and smooth. Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then remove cakes from pans and let cool completely on a rack. (If cakes have domed a bit and you want even layers, trim tops using a long serrated knife held horizontally.)

To make frosting: In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in vanilla, then gradually stir in confectioners' sugar.

To frost cake, place one layer on a cake stand or plate and spread with 1 cup frosting. Repeat with next 2 layers and spread top and sides with remaining frosting.

Printed from Oprah.com on Tuesday, January 29, 2013

© 2012 Harpo Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
 
 
 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Anne's Hot Sausage Dip




We went and watched the Super Bowl at a friends house last night.  The food and the beer flowed at least until the lights went out at the game. 

I had to work yesterday so Michael was in charge of making what we were bringing over last night.  He did he usual fine job!  He had a recipe, he had a shopping list and off he went.  A friend from church had given me this treat, we had enjoyed at Tea Time after church one Sunday and it is delicious!!!!  Not healthy but tasty!  I do not know who the Anne is that this is named after but she deserves some kind of an award!!!  What you are seeing is the little bit that we brought home with us...I think Michael hid it from everyone else.

Anne's Hot Sausage Dip

1 lb hot sausage
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 10 oz can Rotelle tomatoes
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

Cook sausage in a large skillet, stirring until the meat crumbles and is no longer pink, drain.  Drain tomatoes, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid.  Stir together sausage, diced tomatoes, reserved liquid and cream cheese.  Spoon into a lightly greased deep casserole dish.  Sprinkle with the cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Now if you are like my husband and think that Rotelle tomatoes are a type of tomatoes just stop there!  They are a brand and they come with different spices and various levels of hotness. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Homemade Chicken Soup with Tortellini and Spinach

The weather here has been cold (at least for us) and Michael has come down with some kind of flu thing.  You know what I am talking about, scratchy throat, feverish and run down.  Seems like the perfect time for some chicken soup and being me I couldn't just stop at plain soup.  This is very comforting and is much more filling thanks to addition of tortellini and fresh spinach.  If you have left over chicken in the fridge that can be added also (we had a left over roasted thigh which went in the mix).

Homemade Chicken Soup with Tortellini and Spinach

1 pound chicken breast (with skin and bones attached)
2 carrots peeled and sliced into large slices
2 celery stalks with greens attached sliced
1 medium onion sliced
8 cups water
2 cups chicken stock (see note below)
salt
pepper
1 sprig thyme
1 cup dry cheese tortellini
2 cups fresh spinach
1 Tbls butter
3 large mushrooms sliced

Place the chicken, carrots, celery, water, chicken stock, salt and pepper into a large stock pot.  Bring to a boil and let simmer 2 hours uncovered.  Remove chicken and place to the side, allow to cool.  Add the thyme and allow to cook down to about 1/2 (or so).

Remove chicken from bones and chop roughly then add it back to the broth.  Bring back to a boil and add the tortellini allowing to cook about 12 minutes.  While this is happening place your butter into a small saute pan and melt.  Add the mushrooms to the butter and brown.  Add the mushrooms to your soup along with the spinach.

Note:  I keep chicken broth in zip lock bags in the freezer.  I make it anytime we have a whole chicken using the carcass, it is inexpensive to make, tastes so much better then what you buy at the store and you can control the amount of salt in it.

Chicken Broth

1 chicken carcass
1 carrot roughly chopped (no need to peel)
1 stalk of celery roughly chopped (including the greens on the top)
1 onion roughly chopped
8-10 cup of water
Freshly ground pepper
Salt

Place it all in a large stock pot, bring to a boil and simmer for 2 hours.  Place a strainer in a large bowl and carefully pour the stock in to remove the vegetables and bones.  Cool and separate into zip lock bags (I usually put 2 cups into each bag) place in the freezer and you are done!

 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Seafood Stew




When  I first started this cooking adventure I was a cooking chicken.  By that I mean that unless it was something I had made before or if trying a new recipe it had more than a few items and a short set of directions it was not going to be tried here.  Then I moved onto a few cooking websites and if it didn't have a lot of positive reviews it wouldn't be cooked here.  Well over the past year and a half I have certainly become more adventurous and much braver. 

What brings all this to mind is yesterday's dinner.  Michael was talking about making some type of a fish soup, we talked about what we would like in it (red sauce or white sauce, what vegetables, what kinds of fish).  Once we had decided on the preliminaries off to the Internet we both went each with an idea of what we were looking for.  We came up with a combination of tastes from two different recipes and two different chefs.  Earlier in my cooking journey I would have had to stay exactly with the recipe and heavens forbid there was not every item called for in the pantry, that recipe would have been out the window!  So here is (to the best of my recollection) a combination of Emeril and Ina's seafood stew!

Seafood Stew

1 Tbls olive oil
1 Tbls butter
1 carrot diced
1 stalk celery diced
1 medium onion diced
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 cup diced green pepper
6 small red potatoes cut in small pieces
Cayenne pepper
Salt
2 cups seafood stock
1 can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
A couple threads of saffron
1 cup white wine
1/2 lb firm white fish (we used whiting) cut into chunks
1/2 lb mussels
One dozen small clams
1/2 lb raw shrimp (shelled and de-veined)

In a large stockpot heat oil and melt butter, add the carrot, celery, onion and potatoes.  Add some salt, cayenne pepper and bay leaf, stir and let cook over medium heat for 6 minutes (or until onions and peppers are soft).  Add your seafood stock, wine, tomatoes and saffron.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about a half an hour (potatoes should be soft).

Add the white fish and clams, simmer until the clams open.  Add the mussels and shrimp, once again let simmer until mussels open and shrimp turn pink.

Serve with crusty bread!



Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ina Gartner's Parmesan and Thyme Crackers

Well, that was a nice little blogging vacation!  Hadn't really planned it but life got a tad over busy (including the eldest daughter returning from Guatemala and moving into our 700 sq foot apartment with Michael, Bear and myself).  All I can say is thank goodness for the backyard which makes this place seem larger.

I have been invited to join a group called the Hens and tomorrow afternoon is the first get together.  Apparently this group (which I knew nothing about) is a group of ladies who are devoted to cooking.  Tomorrows get together is going to be cheese, appetizers, fondue and wine.  Everyone brings something  or makes something...usually nothing store bought is allowed (except for things like the wine and cheese).  I know nothing about cheeses (so this should be a great learning experience) and to make up for my lack of knowledge we are going to make and bring crackers.  Little did I know there were tons of recipes on the web for crackers!  I am going to make two different types (possibly a third one if there is enough time) and this morning the first one was baked!  These taste like savory shortbread and are kind of tender...

Parmesan and Thyme Crackers on the Food Network

Ingredients


  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces grated Parmesan
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until creamy. Add the Parmesan, flour, salt, thyme and pepper and combine.
Dump the dough on a lightly floured board and roll into a 13-inch long log. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the log crosswise into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick slices. Place the slices on a sheet pan and bake for 22 minutes.