My Wonderful World

W e l c o m e... And Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cozumel Cooking!

What a wonderful Cooking Experience!!   Playamia.com was featured by our Carnival Inspiration staff and they hit a home run with their suggestion. Our Chef Luis helped us create good food and even better plate presentations!  And we all became "more gifted" at our craft with una más cerveza!

Our three course menu included a fabulous homemade huarache with diced potato and traditional Mexican chorizo served with lettuce, cheese and cream, a Veracruz style fish filet wrapped in banana leaves and a triple tower dessert of lime pastry cookies with rice pudding topped with strawberry sauce. 


And it was a real treat to meet nine new "foodies" that enjoyed cooking, dining and imbibing!  Senior Frog in Cozumel will never be the same!!  Thanks to my nine new "foodie" friends for making this shore excursion one I will never forget. 


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas in Mexico

What a beautiful Mexican Cruise on the Carnival Inspiration!   It was so nice to be in Mexico on Christmas Day....sun...fun and met some wonderful new friends!  


Christmas Morning Sunrise

The Ship's Pastry Chef was AMAZING!





Early Morning on the Lido Deck

So many things to share and will be doing that in the next few days.   Meanwhile, wishing everyone a Very Happy New Year! 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Comfort Foods

I enjoy the fine dining experience immensely...but nothing beats a Comfort Food meal at home.   Growing up on a farm, many meals we shared at the kitchen table would and could qualify as comfort food.   Some that come to mind....Mac & Cheese, Chicken and Dumplings, Great Northern Bean Soup with home made bread,  Salmon Patties..My  blessed mother could always fill the table and fill our bellies with good food.    As I have lost Mom and continue to "age" myself, I find those foods an absolute essential for our table too.  

Last week I roasted a sirloin pork roast.   Quite a value in grocery budget at $1.69 per pound.   I found one roast with a small bone and 98% of the roast was usable.   Belle, our sweet dog enjoyed that part of the meal.  

Last evening, I was scouring the refrigerator for something to make for supper.   I found the left over pork and about 1 cup of leftover gravy.   Also, a cup of leftover baby carrots caught my attention.   

I took the pork chunks and cut into small bite size pieces and added to stock pot.  Sauted with a tablespoon of oil.  Added gravy and carrots.   The gravy was a little thick and I thinned it with a cup of water.  Let it simmer for 30 minutes and then added four large quartered  mushrooms to the pot.   

Now it comes time to boil egg noodles, a Comfort Food staple in Mom's kitchen.  Cooked for six minutes, drained and added to simmering pork.   A quick stir to blend; simmered for five additional minutes to allow the noodles to soak up flavor.  By the way,  Mom made egg noodles more than we ever had a bag from the grocery.  I find myself buying a few things and never found the need to make noodles. 

Along with the new Comfort Food creation, a salad with French vinaigrette completed the meal.   Hearty and healthy for a cold winter's night supper.  



Ready for serving with a dollop of Sour Cream and Scallions

A Fresh Salad

Bon Appetit!! 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Apple Tart Tatin

While browsing through the grocery, I came across beautiful, Granny Smith apples at a great price.   Of course, any apple dessert will be at the top of my dessert  choices and a little scoop of good vanilla ice cream can't hurt!   This is SO EASY and will impress with little effort or skill. 

Ready for Serving


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Apple Tart Tatin

Desserts

5 lg Granny Smith apples; peeled, cored
2 tb butter
1/2 c brown sugar
  or
1/2 c Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1 ts cinnamon
1/2 c walnuts; chopped
1/4 c Amaretto Liqueur; if desired
1 tb cornstarch
1 pinch salt
1 sheet Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry; thawed

 
Preheat oven to 400F.     Thaw Puff Pastry, covered, on counter top for 30 minutes.  Directions will be included with the  Pepperidge Farm package.

Core and peel apples.  Slice apples and place in bowl.   Sprinkle with a  tablespoon lemon juice, if desired.   Lemon juice prevents apples from darkening, but since this has cinnamon in the spice mix, the color change is not objectionable.

Over medium heat, melt butter, add brown sugar and chopped walnuts.  Add sliced apples, cinnamon, salt and Amaretto.   Sprinkle cornstarch over top.  Stir to blend and cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes.

While apples are sauteing, cut thawed puff pastry a little larger than the skillet size.    After cooking, remove from heat to cool slightly.    Place pastry over top of cooked apples and slightly tuck the edge into the skillet to prevent apple mixture from boiling out.

Immediately, place in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden puffed.

Remove from oven and let set for five minutes....NO LONGER!   With a knife, loosen the pastry from the edge of pan and immediately invert onto serving plate.  Adjust as necessary to re center on serving plate.   I cut small heart shapes from the pastry scraps.  Cooked in separate sheet for 15 minutes, cool completely and add to top after inverting. 

Cool completely and serve with ice cream or whipped cream is nice.

Notes:  ©WHStoneman


** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.87 **

Walnuts chopped

Brown Sugar and Walnuts ready to saute

Beautiful Granny Smith Apples

After 15 minutes, covered stove-top cooking

Pastry cut to pan size

Right from the Oven!
 
 
Bon Appetit and Enjoy! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Perfect Loaf?

My bread baking friends suggested I jump over to a news article and check out a recipe.     Dan's Easy Yeast Bread was the page they were referring to since it appears to be an "odd method" of baking a loaf.  And they were right...it is different than any other method I have experienced.    The results were incredible!   I hope you enjoy the ease of this recipe and try it.  A novice bread baker will have great results on their first try!

I recopied the recipe for NYC format.  Enjoy!!


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Sour Cream Easy Yeast Bread

Breads

2/3 c cold water
1/2 c boiling water
2 tb orange juice
2 ts salt
2 ts sugar
1/2 c sour cream
2 ts instant yeast
4 1/2 c flour
  Or:
4 1/2 c whole wheat flour


NOTE:   Use 2 tablespoons orange juice IF using whole wheat flour!

Combine the cold water, boiling water, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Stir in the sour cream, then the yeast.  Stir in the flour. The dough may seem quite dry at first; work it with your hands to bring it together.

Let the dough rest, covered, for 10 minutes.

Knead the dough, on a lightly oiled counter or right in the bowl, for 10 to 20 seconds. If you're kneading in the bowl, just push it vigorously against the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then knead it again for 10 to 20 seconds. Repeat the process once more; you will have kneaded the dough three times.

Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise for 1 hour.

Gently deflate the dough, and place it in a lightly greased 9' x 5' loaf pan. Cover the pan, and let the dough rise until it's crowned about 1' over the rim of the pan; this should take about an hour. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F.

Uncover the bread, and bake it for 40 to 45 minutes, until it's golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers about 190°F.

Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack. Run a stick of butter over the top, if desired, for a soft, buttery crust. Let the bread cool completely before slicing.

Store the bread well wrapped, at room temperature.

Source: Dan Lepard



Yield: one loaf


** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.87 **

Ready for Butter!!   Enjoy. 

 

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Fate of One Pound

Somehow, I gravitate to sales at the grocery.   This week, once again, we have shrimp at $4.99 per pound.  Shells on but deveined which makes cleaning easy.   OK...been through fried, boiled, sauteed, Chinese...what are we going to do tonight?    And this is what was created...no recipe..but a quick put together dish.    

  


I had a red and yellow pepper, onions and garlic.   Looks like Italian something is on its way to the supper table.  Sauteed in olive oil and butter.  




After onions become translucent, I added basil from the summer garden.  I hang it to dry in the fall, and store the dried leaves in the freezer.   Great to have available all winter long.  


Added six mushrooms and I find my egg slicer is the quickest way to slice mushrooms....all equal sized for even cooking.  



To the pound of shrimp, I added three tablespoons flour, and one tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning....stir to coat shrimp and added to skillet.   Added one pint jar of tomatoes from the summer garden.  Salt and pepper, to taste.    Added the dried basil and let simmer until shrimp is cooked.  



And the finished plate ready with a salad from our cold frame....mesculin is doing so good this year even in the unusually cold weather.



Pasta of choice is Whole Wheat Linguine topped with 
Shrimp Sauce and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese!  


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Shrimp Tomato Creme

Italian, Seafood

1 tb olive oil
2 tb butter
1  yellow pepper; cleaned & julienned
1  red pepper; cleaned & julienned
1 md onion; diced
2  garlic cloves; minced
6  mushrooms; sliced
1 lb shrimp; cleaned, deveined
3 tb flour
1 tb Old Bay Seasoning
1 tb basil; dried or fresh
1 pt tomatoes
3 tb heavy cream


In heavy saute pan, heat olive oil and butter until melted. Add peppers, onions and garlic and saute until onion is translucent. Don't let garlic burn! After five minutes, add mushrooms and saute gently until golden.

Mix shrimp with two tablespoons flour and one tablespoon Old Bay seasoning.  Mix to coat and add to pepper/mushroom mixture. Sprinkle dried basil or chopped fresh basil. Add tomatoes, or a jarred tomato sauce of your choice.  Simmer until shrimp is cooked. Shrimp cooks very quickly, so don't overcook...will make the shrimp tough. Just before serving, stir in heavy cream and stir to blend.

Serve over pasta of your choice or cooked rice.

Notes:  ©WHStoneman

Yield: 6 servings


** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.87 **


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Turkey Pot Pie

Like most....there was left over turkey.  Time to reinvent leftovers and Turkey Pot Pie has to be one of my favorite comfort foods.    Here is my version...with the addition of carrots I also had left over!!

Onions, Celery and Mushrooms in the Saute Pan

Turkey and Vegetables added


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Turkey Pot Pie

Casserole, Poultry

2 tb butter
1  onion; diced
2  celery stalks; diced
3  carrots; diced
4 tb flour
4 c turkey stock
2 c turkey; cubed
2 tb parsley; minced
1/2 cup peas; fresh or frozen
4 md mushrooms; sliced
1  pastry crust; unbaked
1  egg; mixed w/
1 tb water
  salt & pepper; to taste

Preheat oven to 425F.

Melt butter in saucepan and cook diced onion until tender. Stir in diced celery and diced carrots;  cook for 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add turkey stock and bring to a simmer to thicken.   Adjust seasonings.

Stir in turkey, parsley and peas and sliced mushrooms. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Pour mixture into casserole. Top with pie crust and brush with egg wash. Bake for 30 minutes until crust is golden.

I make this in four individual baking dishes.     This freezes very well for later...just thaw in refrigerator overnight.

Notes:  ©WHStoneman--I found some left over carrots and added them to the mix.


Individual Oven Proof  Bowls

Pastry Tops in Place

Yield: 4 servings


** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.87 **



And ON to the pastry...this is so easy!!   Make this recipe and you will NEVER be afraid of pastry again.   Makes a perfect crust every time!....Thanks Lucinda!! 

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Cream Cheese Pastry Dough

Pastry

8 tb unsalted butter; room temperature
4 oz cream cheese; room temperature
1/4 c heavy cream
1 1/2 c flour plus
2 tb flour; for dusting
1/2 ts coarse salt


For a novice baker, this is the most forgiving dough to work with. The cream cheese allows this pastry some elasticity but still produces tender and flaky results. From the book 'Mad Hungry,' by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).

Process the butter, cream cheese, and cream in a food processor, electric mixer, or by hand to thoroughly combine.

Add the flour and salt. Process just until combined and the dough holds together in a ball. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Divide into 2 pieces. Flatten into disks and wrap each in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out. If the dough is chilled overnight, take it out 15 minutes before rolling out.

Rub flour all over a rolling pin. Working with one dough disk at a time, place the disk on a clean, well-floured surface. Applying some pressure with the rolling pin, roll gently from the center of the dough to the top and bottom edges. Rotate the disk and roll to the top and bottom edges again. Reflour the work surface and rolling pin, turn the dough over, and continue to roll the dough from the center out to the edges. Turn over and roll again, rotating the disk to ensure even rolling until the dough is about 12 inches in diameter, thin but not transparent.

Makes 10 pocket pies or 1 double-crusted 10-inch pie.

Notes:  ©Martha Stewart Living

Yield: 2 10" rounds


** Exported from Now You're Cooking! v5.87 **



Presenting...FRESH from the oven! 


Turkey Pot Pie with Mesculin Salad

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The Fine Art of Cooking involves personal choice. Many preferences, ingredients, and procedures may not be consistent with what you know to be true. As with any recipe, you may find your personal intervention will be necessary -- © WHStoneman 2014