Friday, September 4, 2015

Dill and Onion Knots

I saw dill rolls on a blog the other day and thought I would make a version of them.  These are similar to  kimmelwick rolls but more flavorful.
 Pour 1 cup of milk into the bowl of your mixer.  Add 1 T. of honey, 4 T. of oil, 2 T. of rapid rise yeast and 1 cup of water.  Add 1 small finely diced onion, 1 bunch of diced fresh dill, 1 T. dried dill and 2 tsp. of salt.  Add 2 cups of whole wheat flour and about 3 cups of all purpose flour and knead until you have a nice smooth ball of dough.

 Place it in a buttered bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

 Turn it out on your counter and divide into two pieces.

 Split each piece in half.

 Split each of these into 6 pieces.

 Roll each piece into a rope.

 Tie it into a knot.

 Tuck one end up through the middle and the other end over and down through the middle.

 Place them on a cookie sheet and brush with butter.  Cover them and let them rise for about 30 minutes.

 Sprinkle them with caraway seeds and flaked sea salt.

 Bake them at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden on the bottom.  Cool on racks.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Tuna Salad Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread

I wanted to make a good sandwich for The Blog Tech's lunch today and this is what he got.                                                        
 I started out by making some good honey whole wheat bread.  Here's the recipe:

4-1/2 T. rapid rise yeast
2-3/4 C. water
1/2 C. honey
1/4 C. melted butter
3 tsp. salt
4-1/2 C. whole wheat flour
2-3 C. all purpose flour

Mix the liquid ingredients together and add the dry.  Knead until you have a smooth ball of dough.  Place it in a buttered bowl and cover it and let it rise for an hour until it doubles in bulk.

 Split it in two and form into two loaves.

 Place them in buttered loaf pans and cover and let rise until they crest the pans.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes and then lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake 10-15 minutes longer until they reach an internal temp of 190 or sound hollow when you knock on them.  Cool on racks.

 There is nothing like home grown celery!  Mine is ready so I cut some for the tuna salad.  A little of it goes a long way.

 Empty 4 cans of drained tuna in oil in a bowl.  Add a diced sweet onion.

 Chop your celery and add 5 hard boiled eggs chopped.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

 Squeeze half a lemon over it and add about 1/3 C. of mayonnaise. It should be on the dry side so it doesn't make the sandwich soggy.

 I refrigerate it ahead of time to let it thicken and allow the flavors to blend.

 Slice some bread.

 When I am packing these for a lunch, I line them with a crunchy lettuce to keep the bread from getting soggy.

 Scoop on the salad.

 Sprouts go very well with this sandwich.

 More lettuce.


Slice and wrap tight.  This is a wonderful tuna salad sandwich.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


I bought tomatoes at the Amish market last weekend dreaming of fresh tomato sauce in the dead of winter.  But then I had to get them to that usable stage in this miserable heat.

This is a very easy way to do that.  No peeling or seeding, just cook the diced tomatoes with some onions and garlic and seasonings of your choice.  Put it all in a slow cooker and cook for a long long time.  I had to use my big old Nesco slow cooker and I cooked them uncovered set on 220 for 24 hours.
 Then I use my stick blender to puree the whole batch.  I added fresh basil and let it simmer for a couple more hours stirring it occasionally.  Don't cover it!

 Place 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in each sterilized jar and fill them with sauce leaving 1/4 inch of space at the top.

Place them in a boiling water bath making sure the tops are covered by 2 inches of water.  Cover and let them bubble away for 35 minutes.  Turn off the burner and let them sit for 5 minutes then remove them from the pot and let them rest on a towel until you hear them all seal.  Mine sealed before I took them out of the water bath.
 The sauce is ready for winter.  So am I.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Summer Corn Chowder

My daughter, who insists she does not like soup, requested corn chowder yesterday.                                                              
 I had just picked up a dozen ears at an Amish market over the weekend.  Corn is terrific this year.  I am guessing all the rain we had in the beginning of Summer has something to do with it.

 I had just made stock using a free range chicken.  I heated it in a pot and added all of the corn cobs after having cut the kernels off of them.  If you simmer the cobs for an hour or so, all the rest of the pieces of corn can easily be scraped off of them adding lots of flavor to the chowder.

Dice a large onion, some celery and carrots and some green pepper.  I used my poblanos.  Saute them in a bit of bacon grease to add smokey flavor.  Add 4 tablespoons of flour and cook, stirring for a minute. Add the stock. Add salt and pepper and some thyme.
Dice some new potatoes and add them and bring this to a boil.  Turn it down to a simmer.                                                   
Add 2 cups of milk.  You can add cream or half and half if you want it to be really rich.                                                    
When the potatoes are tender, it is ready.  You can serve this topped with crumbled bacon and cheddar cheese to make it heartier.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Homemade Caramel Apples

I guess I should have waited for cooler weather to make these treats.  I fought the melting caramel battle and ended up refrigerating them to firm them up. I was cooking for a friend and made these for her kids.
This recipe made 6.  Wash and dry your apples, set aside and push a stick into the core.  I think if you refrigerate these the caramel will adhere better.  I hope I remember that next time.  In a heavy pot, mix 4 tablespoons of butter, 1 cup of light corn syrup, 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk and 2 cups of white sugar.  Cook this over ed/high heat until it comes to the soft ball stage, stirring occasionally.  Remove it from the heat and stir in 1 tsp. of vanilla extract.  Let this sit for a few minutes.
Sit them on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

I drizzled some melted chocolate over them. 

My friend's husband loves eggplant parmesan.  I picked up some eggplant at an Amish market over the weekend and made him some.
I don't like eggplant parm when it is soaked in tomato sauce.  I like to keep it crisp and add jut a bit of sauce.  So, I fry the eggplant until it is very crisp and drain it on paper towels.
I usually serve it on top of cacio e pepe with a drizzling of spaghetti sauce on it.  I top each slice with provolone cheese and a slice of fresh mozzarella and add a dollop of pesto.  You can find the step by step here:

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Yesterday we headed out to Amish country with one goal in mind....find the first pumpkins of the year!
All of the garden centers have mums, cornstalks and straw bales.....none had pumpkins.
We passed some interesting characters along the way. Click to enlarge.
We pulled up to an Amish farm market and there they were.
And now they are mine!
Lined up on my table in the rain this morning.  RAIN!  Pumpkins and rain...I am having a wonderful day.

 A friend sent this to me the other day and I just thought it was so perfect!