Friday, August 31, 2012

Minted Zucchini Tagliatelle With Cucumbers and Lemon

Minted Zucchini Tagliatelle With Cucumbers and Lemon
This week in French Fridays With Dorie we made Minted Zucchini Tagliatelle With Cucumbers and Lemon. This is a crisp and refreshing salad.     Zucchini is sliced into ribbons using a Mandoline or other type of slicer.  A cumber is cut into chunks and both  the zucchini and cucumber chunks are tossed with lemon zest and mint.  You then toss the salad with  a dressing made from lemon juice and pistachio oil.  I did not have pistachio oil so I  used walnut oil.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Toss with the remaining mint to give it "jolt of freshness" as described by Dorie.
This salad is easy to make.  You can serve it by itself or as a side.  I served my with grilled burgers.

You can find this recipe here or on p. 124 in "Around My French Table".

Zucchini, Cucumber, Mint, and Onion

Lemon Juice and Walnut Oil 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Slow Cooker Rice Pudding

Creamy Rice Pudding
Rice Pudding was a dessert my mother frequently made as I was growing up. She would use rice, milk, cinnamon, sugar, and raisins. This was a favorite of mine as a kid.  Today, like my mom, I make different variations of Rice Pudding for my family.
A recipe that recently caught my attention, was "Slow Cooker Rice Pudding" in the recent issue of "Woman's Day" magazine.  It is very easy to make and requires little preparation time.
You whisk together sweetened condensed milk with whole milk in a 5-6 quart slow cooker.  Then stir in the rice, cover and cook until the rice is tender. Remove from heat and fold in some delicious Nutella. Top with strawberries (I used raspberries) and you are set to enjoy a tasty comforting dessert.
The mixture may be a little runny but don't worry, it will thicken as it cools.  If it is too thick for your liking, just add a little more milk.
The  pudding is sweet and creamy. This is probably the family's favorite recipe for Rice Pudding.  The Nutella is what makes it my favorite:)

Slow Cooker Rice Pudding
From Woman's Day

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
5 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons hazelnut-chocolate spread (we used Nutella)
Sliced strawberries, for serving


1. In a 5-to-6 quart slow cooker, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and whole milk.  Stir in the rice.
2. Cook, covered, until the rice is tender and the mixture has slightly thickened, 2 to 3 hours on high.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
3. Drizzle the hazelnut-chocolate spread over the rice pudding and gently fold in to create swirls.  Spoon into bowls and top with sliced strawberries, if desired.

Dessert is Served. Want Some?

Delicious Nutella 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Rose Petal Granola

Rose Petal Granola

I usually try to make my own granola - it is so easy and  quick.  My granolas are typically  made with the standard ingredients - oats, spices, nuts, fruits, etc.  Today,  I wanted to make a granola that wasn't the same old recipe.  In reading over some blogs, I  found this recipe for  "Rose Petal Granola" on the Blog "101 Cookbooks".  This recipe sounded very interesting.

It is made with oats, walnuts, sea salt, pepper, currants, and dried rose petals.   You can dry your own petals, just be sure they are pesticide free.  I bought my  "culinary" rose  petals from Amazon.    You then toss the oat mixture with a syrup made from butter, honey, and rose water.  The mixture is then baked, cooled and stored in an airtight container.
This granola is wonderful.  It has a slight peppery flavor, sweet and an ever so slight floral taste.
Need a quick gift?  This granola is a a perfect gift from your kitchen.

Rose Petal Granola
From 101 Cookbooks


4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups walnut halves
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2/3 cup dried currants
dried petals from a dozen (or so) small roses
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon rose water
1 egg white (large egg), optional


1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F with the racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven.  Set out two rimmed baking sheeets.
2. Combine the oats, walnuts, salt, pepper, currants and half of the rose petals in a large mixing bowl.
3. Heat the butter in a small saucepan over low heat and stir in the honey.
4. Remove from heat and whisk in the rose water.  When throughly combined, pour the honey  mixture over the oat mixture and stir until everything is well coated, at least 30 seconds.  If you like clumpier granola, stir  in the egg white.
5. Divide the mixture equally between the two baking sheets and spread into a thin layer.
6. Bake, stirring a couple times along the way, for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until the granola is toasty and deeply golden.  You may want to rotate the pan once, top to bottom, to ensure even baking.
7. Remove from the oven and press down on the granola with a metal spatula- you'll get more clumps this way.  Let cool completely, sprinkle with the remaining dried rose petals, then store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Makes 7 cups

Rose Petal Granola

Great Gift From Your Kitchen

Friday, August 24, 2012

Peach Melba

Peach Melba

A great dessert to make in celebration of National Peach Month!  Let me begin this post by saying this dessert was fantastic!  Everyone loved it and wanted to know when I was going to make it again.

You first poach the peaches in a flavorful  lemony syrup and let them cool.  I used white peaches from our peach tree.   Next, you make a raspberry sauce by pureeing fresh raspberries.   You can strain the sauce if you wish (I strained mine).  The peaches can be poached ahead of time  and  the raspberry sauce can also be made ahead of time.    When you are ready to make the dessert you pour some syrup in the bottom of a parfait glass and add a peach half.  A nice scoop of vanilla ice cream (I used my Summertime Peach Ice Cream)  is then  placed on the peach half.  The other half of the peach is placed over the ice cream.  You them spoon some raspberry sauce over the peach, add a dollop of whipped cream and top with raspberries and/or toasted almonds.
The Peach Melba is ready to serve.  You family and/or guest will be impressed with this elegant and delicious dessert.

This recipe can be found on pages 477-478 in "French Fridays With Dorie."  You can also find the recipe on the blog Serious Eats.

Top View of Peach Melba

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lenny's Meatloaf

Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes
When I told my family I was making meatloaf for dinner I heard a lot of groaning.  Meatloaf isn't one of their favorites.  I told them I was trying a new recipe and from everything I read, it was very good.  Becky, was glad to hear I wasn't making my old recipe and maybe, just maybe she would give it a try.
Undaunted, I proceeded to make the recipe.  It was one I have been wanting to try for a long time.
You need to allow yourself at least 2 hours to prepare and bake the meatloaf.  Start by sauteing  finely diced onions, carrots, celery, garlic and peppers together.  The veggie mixture cools for at least  an hour.  I cooked mine the day before and  removed them from the fridge when I was ready to use them.    In a large mixing bowl you mix well the ground beef, ground pork, veggie mixture, spices, bread crumbs, ketchup, and half and half.   You shape the mixture into a large loaf and bake for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and let the meat loaf cool for 20 minutes before slicing.
As the meatloaf is baking it has a wonderful aroma.   Even my picky eater daughter wanted to know what smelled soo good.  I told her it was my meatloaf.  To which she responded she MAY give it a try.
After the meatloaf cooled for 20 minutes, the taste test began.  In my opinion, it was the best meatloaf I ever tasted - so moist and flavorful.   Three out of the four kids ate it and the ratings ranged from ok to very good:)  Not too bad.  This recipe is a keeper in my book.

Lenny's Meatloaf
From  Epicurious

3 tablespoons butter
Freshly Chopped Veggies
3/4 cup each finely chopped onion and scallion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 pounds lean ground beef chuck
12 ounces ground sausage
3/4 cup fine fresh bread crumbs, toasted


1. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet, then add the onion, scallion, carrots, celery bell peppers and garlic.  Cook, stirring often, until the moisture from the vegetables has evaporated, about 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool; then cover and refrigerated until chilled, at least 1 hour.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, ketchup, half-and-half, cumin, nutmeg, cayenne, salt and pepper.  Add the ground beef, sausage and bread crumbs.  Then add the chilled vegetables and mix thoroughly with your hands, kneading for 5 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
4. Form the mixture into a loaf, approximately 12x5x2 1/2 inches, on a baking sheet.  Bake until cooked through (or 160 degress F on a meat thermometer), about 1 hour.  Let rest 20 minutes before slicing.

Makes 8 servings

Loaf 12x5x2 1/2 inches

Slice of Lenny's Meatloaf

Monday, August 20, 2012

Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder
With fresh corn being sold at my local Farmer's Market,  I had to make some Corn Chowder.  Corn Chowder is a soup everyone in my family loves.  I have made various recipes throughout the years, but when I saw this recipe from "Bon Appetit", I had to make it.  Even though it was my first time making this recipe, I modified it just a bit.  I left out the Chorizo and reduced the onions by half a cup.  I knew my family would not eat it if I left in the Chorizo - they like their Corn Chowder  with just veggies.    For the original recipe click here.

This recipe is loaded with fresh corn (yum) and potatoes.   You puree half of the corn and the other half you cook in a skillet with the onions and potatoes.  The ingredients are then added to a large pot and simmered until the potatoes are tender.  Add the half and half and heat through. Soup is done:)

I liked this recipe for Corn Chowder but the next time I make it I am not going to add so much dried thyme.  It overpowered the soup in my opinion.  Otherwise, the chowder was very tasty.

Corn Chowder
Adapted from Bon Appetit


6 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 6 to 8 large ears) or frozen kernels, thawed, patted dry (about 2 pounds frozen). divided
4 cups low-salt chicken broth, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 pound (about 3 medium) unpeeled red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 cayenne pepper
2 cups half and half
Fresh thyme sprigs
Salt and Pepper to taste, if needed


1. Blend 3 cups corn kernels and 1 1/2 cups broth in processor to coarse puree.  Transfer to a large bowl.
2. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and remaining 3 cups corn kernels.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Saute over medium-high heat until onion begins to soften, 5 to 6 minutes.
3.  Add potatoes and stir until potatoes begin to soften, about 2 minutes (corn may brown slightly.)
4.  Transfer corn mixture to large pot.  Add dried thyme, cayenne, reserved pureed corn mixture and remaining 2 1/2 cups broth to the pot.
5.  Stir and bring just to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender, 10-12 minutes.
6.  Add half and half.  Simmer uncovered until heated through, about 2 minutes.
7. Season chowder to taste with salt and pepper.  Simmer 5 minutes longer to thicken, if desired.

Makes 16 servings

Diced Onion

Fresh Corn Cut Off Cob

Diced Potatoes

Bowl of Goodness

Friday, August 17, 2012

Cafe-Style Grated Carrot Salad

Cafe-Style Grated Carrot Salad
I was excited to make this week's recipe.  As I was growing up my mom's favorite salad to make was a carrot salad with raisins tossed in a mayonnaise dressing.  Dorie's version of the salad is almost  the same except it is tossed in a Dijon Vinaigrette.
The salad is very easy to make.  You start by grating a pound of carrots. This is the hardest part  of the salad.   Toss in some raisins and walnuts.  Then toss everything together in a tangy Dijon Vinaigrette.
The salad was quite tasty.   As Dorie stated in the recipe, the salad played the sweet against the sharp.  I served the salad immediately after I tossed it in the dressing.  It was liked by all in the family - something that doesn't happen often in a family of six.  This recipe is a keeper.

It  can be found on page 107 in "Around My French Table" by Dorie Greenspan or here.

Have a great weekend everyone:)

Grated Carrots

Dijon Vinaigrette

Carrot Salad

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Brownies Stuffed With Rolos

My kids wanted to make some brownies. Becky, my daughter found some brownie mix in the pantry and was ready to get started.    Instead of just making plain brownies, I suggested we put Rolos in them after they got done baking.  I go this idea from my blogger friend Lizzy.  She is the author of the Blog "That Skinny Chick Can Bake."  Lizzy made her Brownies from scratch.   You can fine her recipe  here.
Brownies Stuffed With Rolos

These brownies are very easy for kids to make and require little adult supervision.  Start by making the brownies according to package directions. We made fudge type brownies in and 8x8-inch baking dish.    Once the brownies are baked, you immediately press Rolos into the baked brownies.
Let the brownies cool and then frost.  We used chocolate frosting but you can use whatever frosting you wish.

The kids had a great time baking and eating these brownies.  They were moist, chocolaty,  a little gooey,  and  delicious.

Brownies Stuffed With Rolos


1 box Brownie Mix
Rolos - about 12
1 container of prepared frosting


1. Make the brownies according to package directions.
2. Press Rolos into the baked brownies.  Let brownies cool completely.
3. Frost Brownies.  Cut into squares and serve.

Brownie Mix

Rolos Pressed Into Brownies

Becky Frosting Brownies


Monday, August 13, 2012

Salt-and-Vinegar Potatoes

Salt-and-Vinegar Potatoes
Salt-and-Vinegar chips are my favorite.  When I saw this recipe for Salt-and Vinegar potatoes in "Cook's Country" magazine, I had to make them.   The potatoes were not a disappointment.  The potatoes had a nice creamy flesh, the skin was slightly crispy and the flavor a perfect salty sour.
In reading over the recipe, I got a little concerned when I read the potatoes were boiled in 2 quarts of water with 14 ounces of kosher salt. However, like the introduction of the recipe stated, the potatoes will have a salt-crusted exterior and the skin prevents the flesh from being extremely salty.  They were right.  After you boil the potatoes, you place them on a baking sheet, smash them, bush them with vinegar and bake in a very hot oven.  When you remove the potatoes from the oven, you brush them with the remaining vinegar and serve.  These potatoes are a perfect side for any dish.  I served mine with ribs.

Salt-and-Vinegar Potatoes
From "Cooks Country" Magazine

Use small red potatoes, measuring 1 to 2 inches in diameter.


6 tablespoons olive oil
2 pound small red potatoes
14 ounces kosher salt
3 tablespoons malt vinegar


1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees F.  Set wire rack inside rimmed baking sheet.  Brush second rimmed baking sheet evenly with oil.  Bring 2 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Stir in potatoes and salt, and cook until just tender and paring knife slips easily in and out of potatoes, 20 to 30 minutes.  Drain potatoes and transfer to wire rack; let dry for 10 minutes.

Can You See the Salty Crust

2. Transfer potatoes to oiled baking sheet.  Flatten each potato with underside of measuring cup until 1/2 inch thick.  Brush potatoes with half of vinegar and season with pepper.  Roast until potatoes are well browned, 25 to 30 minutes.  Brush with remaining vinegar.  Transfer potatoes to platter, smashed side up.  Serve.

Smashed Potatoes Brushed with Vinegar and Seasoned 

Out-of-the-Oven Goodness