Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How to Chop An Onion

I didn't not know how to properly chop an onion until I was about 35.  Weird, huh?  So I thought I would do a post on something simple.

1. Cut the stem end off of the onion. Cut in half lengthwise and peel.  Keep root end intact.

 You will have this.

2.   Put the tip in at the root end but don't cut through the root end. 
Cut into the onion like this from one end to the other.
Try to keep the onion together.

3. Then slice down across the onion in the other direction until you get close to the root.
Throw the root away. Voila, you have a chopped onion.  Once you get used to doing this it will take seconds.  The longest part will be peeling it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cranberry and Blueberry Pie

I got this recipe from Bon Appetit. http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2010/11/cranberry_and_wild_blueberry_pie
Sophia and I made this on Wednesday afternoon.   It was very easy.  The pie set up perfectly, although my pie plate was a little full.  I like the tartness of the cranberries.  This is definitely the pie to serve with lots of whipped cream or ice cream.  I would try this recipe with any berries.  The cranberries I used were fresh and the blueberries were frozen. It doesn't matter because you cook the berries and thicken them.
Try it out!! Yummy!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Soup

Last night after the turkey cooled, I picked off all the edible bits, refrigerated them and put the bones into a stock pot covered them with water and let it simmer for a few hours.  This morning I strained all the bits and bones out and put the broth back into the pot and reduced it by half. In a small pot I hard boiled 5 eggs. In another pan I sauted a small chopped onion in some olive oil and bit of butter.  Then I added 3 small carrots which I cut into coins.  I chopped up 3 ribs of celery and added that to the onions and carrots.  I salted and peppered them and left it to cook until the onions were translucent.
After the broth was reduced, I added the vegetables to it and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.  Then I tasted it and added a bit more salt.  I had a can of corn that I had picked up for $.39 cents last week.  Sophia opened the can and drained the water and added the corn to the broth.  I also broke up some fettucine (about a 1/4 of a box) into pieces.  I picked out some turkey and cubed it and added it to the broth.
I let this simmer for 1/2 hour and I added the eggs which I had peeled and sliced.  I don't use the yolks but you can if you like.
Again I tasted the soup and added a bit more salt and a little pepper and about a teaspoon of parsley.

Boy, that's some tasty soup!!  Yummy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Penzey's Order

Yesterday I got my order from http://www.penzeys.com./ I wanted some ground cardamon and I was not going to pay almost $8 at Food Lion for it. i have heard that Penzey's has great products so I decided to give them a try.  I thought their prices were great. You can get a small amount of a spice or blend to try and if you like it you can order a larger amount.

I made mashed potatoes last night and seasoned it with their seasoned salt and my family really liked it.  Next I am going to make some homemade cocoa with the cocoa I received.  Yummy!!

P.S. Penzey's has a bunch of stores that you can shop at instead of ordering online.  I had to call them to order because their site isn't completely set up yet.  They just opened a store in Raleigh last week.  Maybe I will get there someday.  It's about 2-2 1/2 hours from here.

Crunchy Onion Pork Chops

Right now there are coupons for French's French Fried Onions everywhere and all the stores have them on sale. Have you ever tried them?  I have never made that green bean casserole that uses them.  BUT I have made a chicken recipe with them.

Yesterday I decided to use pork chops instead of chicken breast.  It came out so good.  I will definitely make pork chops this way again.

Print a coupon or get one from the paper.  Walgreen's has a coupon for the small container for $.98 and you can use a manufacturer's coupon too (you can do this at Target also).  Give the recipe a try for something a little different!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Julie's Cookies

Today I made some cookies from Julie's blog. http://dinnerwithjulie.com/2010/11/15/cookies-cocoa/
Mine actually looked like hers!  These cookies are very good and super sweet.
The dough was a little sticky for me so I popped the bowl in the fridge for a bit before I made the second tray full.
Sophia really liked them. 
Try them out!!
Something a little different for Christmas cookies. You could make the balls smaller and it would be a sweet amuse bouche. The term is French, literally translated to "mouth amuser".

You CAN make bread by hand...

Last year we sold everything and moved to Italy.  Then in June we came back to the US.  In the move I had to sell or throw out almost everything, including my KitchenAid Mixer.  It was old more than 21 years.  I can't remember if I had the mixer before my first child or after she was born.
ANYWAY, my husband loves fresh bread.  He doesn't eat sliced bread.  So I make him bread at least every other day.  Since I don't have a mixer I was thinking that I couldn't do it.  But I was wrong.  I actually think it is better than before. This recipe will make 2 bagettes.
This is how I do it....

First you need a medium size bowl - add 1/2 -1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of yeast (or one packet you get at the store) and 1 cup of warm water. Cover with a tea towel for a while

until it looks like this.  I call this the sponge. This step will take anywhere from 10-20 minutes.

Add 2 cups of flour and 1/2 tablespoon of salt to the sponge.  Mix it as best you can until it looks like the next photo.

Then put the dough onto a floured surface. You are going to add in more flour, maybe a half to a cup more.  The dough is going to be sticky.  You want the dough to get more flour until it's not sticky anymore.

 Here's a little video of me trying to show how to knead the dough.  You do this as you are adding flour.  It's hard to hold the camera and work the dough at the same time!!  This is one of those things you have to get a feel for.  It's not hard but it may take a few times.  When you think you have added enough flour form it into a ball by rolling the edges under it.

The dough should look like this.

 Place the dough in a large oiled bowl.  I just spray it with a cooking spray. Make sure you get both sides of the dough ball oiled.  I put the top side in first and then turn it over.
 Notice the size of the dough ball.
Cover it again with the tea towel and let it rise until it's doubled.
 Probably 1 hour unless it's very warm,
may take less time.  There's no hurry.

 After it's doubled it will look like this.

Remove from the bowl to a floured surface and divide into two pieces.  I use the back of a long knife.  Please be careful if you use a knife.  I haven't found my dough scraper yet. 
 It is in our moving boxes somewhere!!

Roll these into bagette shapes and place on pan.  I have a bagette pan but you can bake
these on a cookie/baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

 They will look like this!
Cover them again with the tea towel and let rise.

 When the dough has risen the loaves will look like the photo above.
Bake at 400º F (make sure your oven is preheated) for 11 minutes.
Then lower the temperature to 350º F and bake for another 10 minutes. 

 This is how the bread will look when it is done baking.
Cool and enjoy.

On my other blog I had a post about making bread using the mixer.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Cookbooks

These are the cookbooks that I use.  The BH&G cookbook I got
when I was newly married, so it's 25 years old.
How To CookEverything and the Food Matters Cookbook are by Mark Bittman. 
 I love him.  Check out his blog to the right.
The Bon Appetit cookbook I just got at a used bookstore in Harrisburg, NC.  It was a steal.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Beginning

This is going to be the beginning of my new food blog. I have been thinking about doing this for sometime.
I love reading food blogs. I love food. I love cookbooks. I love trying new things. So join me on my new adventure.