Thursday, July 20, 2017

Summer Iced Tea

Iced Tea is one of my favorites during the summer.  So cool, refreshing, and great tasting.  In this recipe, the refreshing flavors of mint, orange and lemon are combined to make one of the best tasting teas I have had in a long time.

Brew some tea and make a simple syrup.  To the syrup add some fresh mint sprigs.  In a large pitcher add some orange juice, lemon juice, water, tea, and the syrup - mint sprigs removed.  Stir and chill.  Serve over ice and you will enjoy a very tasty and refreshing summer beverage.



Summer Iced Tea

Ingredients:
4 black tea bags
8 cups water - divided
1 cup sugar
3 mint sprigs
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup lemon juice

Directions:
1.  Bring 4 cups of water to a boil.  In 2 cups of boiling water brew the tea bags for about 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags.
In the remaining 2 cups of water add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Let set for 20 minutes.
2. In a large pitcher add the remaining 4 cup of water, orange juice and lemon juice.  Remove the mint sprigs from the simple syrup and pour into the pitcher along with the brewed tea.  Stir well and chill for about 2 hours.
3.  Pour over ice and garnish with a mint sprig if desired.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Instant Pot Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding is a wonderful comfort dessert.  A rich pudding made with milk, rice, raisins, vanilla extract and some cinnamon.   This recipe made in the Instant Pot is truly one of the best recipes for Rice Pudding I have made.  The rice is cooked perfectly, the pudding is not too runny, and has wonderful vanilla flavor.  I did not put any cinnamon in the pudding.  I let individuals sprinkle it on top of the pudding after I served it to their taste.

This is a easy tasty recipe to serve.


Instant Pot Rice Pudding
From Pressure Cooking Today

INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups milk (I used 1%)
2 eggs
1 cup half and half
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
Ground cinnamon for garnish

DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine rice, sugar, salt, and milk in Instant Pot. Select Saute and bring to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, cover and lock lid in place.  Be sure the valve is set to sealing.  Select Low Pressure and set timer for 16 minutes.
2. While rice is cooking, whisk eggs with half and half and vanilla.
3. When beeps sound, turn off pressure cooker, wait 10 minutes and then use a quick pressure release. Turn valve to venting setting. Carefully remove the lid. Stir the rice in pot.
4. Stir the egg mixture in to the pot. Select Saute and cook uncovered until mixture just starts to boil. Turn off pressure cooker. Stir in raisins.
5. Serve immediately, or put into serving dishes and chill. When serving serve with some ground cinnamon.  Note:  The pudding thickens as it cools.



Serves 8

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings

Another great meal in my Instant Pot.  Tonight I made Chicken and Dumplings.  A classic and very satisfying comfort meal that is ready in minutes.

Start by sautéing some chicken  with some herbs.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.  Place the lid on the Instant Pot and manually set time for 5 minutes.  Be sure the Instant Pot valve is on sealing.  Once the chicken was cooked, I let it  rest for about 5 minutes before I released the pressure.  I ladled into bowls and served.

A  tasty meal that was super  easy and quick to prepare.

Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings
From Southern Family Fun

Ingredients

2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1-1/2 lbs chicken breast, cubed
1 tube (16oz) refrigerated biscuits
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup frozen peas
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon basil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

1.Flatten each biscuit to about 1/8" thickness. Use a knife to cut into 1/2" strips.
Place 1 teaspoon olive oil, chicken, oregano, onion powder, basil, garlic, salt and pepper into the instant pot and mix to coat.
2.Turn instant pot to sautee and cook chicken (with the lid off) until brown on all sides, stirring frequently.
When finished, shut off instant pot by pressing cancel.
3. Add chicken broth, water, carrots and peas to instant pot and mix well.
Stir in biscuits.
4. Seal lid of instant pot and close the pressure knob.
Set instant pot to manual for 5 minutes.
It may take 5-10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure and then you will see the count down of time from 5 minutes.
5.Once cooking cycle is finished, press cancel to turn off the unit and quick release steam/pressure.
Spoon chicken and dumplings into bowls and serve.

Serves 6



Monday, June 26, 2017

Peaches and Nectarines With Rosemary Lavender Syrup

A refreshing salad for those host summer days.  Juicy, sweet peaches and nectarines  tossed in syrup flavored with rosemary and lavender.   Add some pecans and you have a perfect dish you can serve as a summer salad or dessert.


Peaches and Nectarines With Rosemary Lavender Syrup

Ingredients: 

3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch kosher salt
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon dried lavender buds
3 ripe white or yellow peaches, sliced
3 ripe white or yellow nectarines, sliced
1/2 cup pecan halves

Directions:
1. Place the honey, water, sugar, lemon juice and pinch of kosher salt  in a small saucepan.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a simmer and swirl until sugar is dissolved.
2.  Remove saucepan from heat. Add rosemary and lavender buds.  Stir and let syrup cool. Once cool remove the sprig of rosemary.
3. Toss peaches, nectarine, and pecans with the syrup in a large bowl.  Serve.

Makes 4-6 servings





Friday, June 23, 2017

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja

I found this fantastic recipe in the latest edition of Cook's Country June/July 2017.   Ropa Vieja  is  Cuba's national dish.   The legend for this dish is a man too poor to afford meat for his family stirred some old clothes  ("ropa vieja" in Spanish) into a pot of broth. He prayed over the pot and later ladled out a rich stew of beef and vegetables.

This tasty dish comes together very nicely in a slow cooker.  Start by cooking some red  bell peppers and onions in a skillet until soft.  Then you push the veggies aside and add a mixture of tomato paste, garlic, cumin, oregano, and salt.  You then add some white wine to the mixture.  Once the wine has evaporated pour the sauce into the slow cooker.  Add some soy sauce and bay leaves.  Next nestle the flank steak into the veggies.  Cook on low for about 6-7 hours.  When the meat is done, shred the meat, return to the slow cooker and add some sliced olives and vinegar.  Stir  - season with salt and pepper if needed and serve over rice.

Your family will have a very tasty and satisfying meal that was easy to prepare.


Slow-Cooker Ropa Vieja
From Cook's Country Magazine

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, halved and sliced thin
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and sliced into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 garlic cloves,minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 (2-pound) flank steak, trimmed and cut crosswise against grain into 4 equal pieces
3/4 cup pitted green olives, sliced
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
Cooked rice

Directions:
1. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add onions and bell peppers and cook, covered, until softened and spotty brown, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Push vegetables to sides of skillet.  Add tomato paste, garlic, cumin, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to enter and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir vegetables into tomato paste mixture.  Add wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes.  Transfer vegetable mixture, soy sauce, and bay leaves to slow cooker.  Season steak with salt and pepper and nestle into vegetable mixture.  Cover and cook until meat is very tender, 6 to 7 hours on low or 5 to 6 hours on high.






3. Transfer steak to cutting board.  Discard bay leaves.  Using 2 forks, shred steak into bite-size pieces, then return it to slow cooker.  Stir in olives and vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve over cooked rice.

Serves 4 to 6





Thursday, June 15, 2017

Pancakes

Pancakes are a wonderful meal to prepare anytime.  They are easy and you can add blueberries, pecans, chocolate chips, granola -  whatever you feel to make them a personal favorite.  I usually make a large quantity and freeze them so you can just pop them into the microwave when you need a quick breakfast or a pick-me-up.

There are so many wonderful recipes out there but my personal favorite is the one I found from the NY Times Cooking.  It is your basic recipe of flour, salt, eggs, milk, butter, and baking powder.   I like it because you can add whatever flavors you wish.



Pancakes
NYT Cooking

INGREDIENTS
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar, optional
2 eggs
1 ½ to 2 cups milk
2 tablespoons melted and cooled butter (optional), plus unmelted  butter for cooking, or use neutral oil

PREPARATION
Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat. In a bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Beat eggs into 1 1/2 cups milk, then stir in 2 tablespoons melted cooled butter, if using it. Gently stir this mixture into dry ingredients, mixing only enough to moisten flour; don't worry about a few lumps. If batter seems thick, add a little more milk.
Place a teaspoon or 2 of butter or oil on griddle or skillet. When butter foam subsides or oil shimmers, ladle batter onto griddle or skillet, making pancakes of any size you like. Adjust heat as necessary; usually, first batch will require higher heat than subsequent batches. Flip pancakes after bubbles rise to surface and bottoms brown, after 2 to 4 minutes.
Cook until second side is lightly browned. Serve, or hold on an ovenproof plate in a 200-degree oven for up to 15 minutes.