Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Swedish Meatball Massacre

I am so easily influenced.  After days of watching, hearing and reading about the Trump comment concerning the massive problems with immigrants  in Sweden aka The Swedish Meatball Massacre, I decided I needed to make Swedish meatballs.  So, something good can come out of something bad.  Ha!

  • 2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 C. flour
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 C. sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

 In a medium sized bowl combine ground beef, panko, parsley, allspice, nutmeg, onion, garlic powder, pepper, salt and eggs. Mix until combined.  Cook a small piece to taste it and adjust seasoning if needed.

 Roll into  meatballs. Melt 2 tablespoons butter and a bit of oil in a pot.

Add the meatballs and cook turning continuously until brown on each side and cooked throughout.

 Transfer to a plate.

 Add a stick of butter to the pot.

 Add the flour to the pot.

 Whisk until it turns brown.

 Slowly stir in beef broth and heavy cream.

 Add worchestershire sauce and dijon mustard and bring to a simmer until sauce starts to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 Add some chopped parsley and add the meatballs back to the sauce.

 Cook some egg noodles.  I used two bags for this recipe.

Serve the meatballs over the noodles sprinkled with some parsley.

Perfect comfort food for a stressful time.

Monday, February 20, 2017

A New Potting Table

I bought a new potting table.
 Adieu old table, you served me well!  This table has been on my patio for 10 years in all sorts of weather and though it looks a bit rickety, it's actually pretty solid.

 Hello new table....you look like a real work horse.

 The old table is going to the lower garden.  The new one is unusual.  It's from Paris and I am guessing it's an old farm table.  Notice the drawer on the left without a drawer pull?

 The third drawer is actually on the side and has a metal drawer pull.  Interesting?

Has anyone ever seen a table like this?  Any idea what kind of wood this is made of?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Korean Spaghetti

I made this for my daughter and her boyfriend, the chef, yesterday.  This is seriously good spaghetti.  It's so cute that someone who cooks for others all day long every day, loves me to cook for him.

  • 2 pounds of assorted mushrooms
  • 4~ 5 tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound of ground pork
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp of gochujang paste 
  • 4 tsp of flour
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmigiano cheese, plus more to sprinkle
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-1/2 pounds of spaghetti cooked al dente

Saute the mushrooms in the oil until browned on both sides.

They should be very golden.  Make sure you do this because it really makes the mushrooms very flavorful.  Remove them and set them aside.

Brown the pork in the remaining oil.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Add the onion and the garlic. Cook for a couple minutes.

Add the tomato paste and the gochujang.

Stir it in until it evenly coats the meat.

Sprinkle with the flour and cook it a few minutes stirring all the while.
Add the milk.

 Cook until it begins to thicken.

Add the mushrooms.

Then the cheese.

Stir it until the cheese melts and add the spaghetti.  Taste it and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Serve it sprinkled with more Parmesan, sliced green onions and some diced cilantro. 

This is not very spicy.  If you want more spice, add more gochujang.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Easter Wreath

I guess I better start wrapping my head around winter being over.  We are going to be close to 70 degrees this weekend and well into next week.  My crocuses are up as well as my daffodils. No winter this year.  My daughter loves having seasonal wreaths on her front door so I made her an Easter wreath yesterday.

I find ugly old wreath castoffs at thrift stores for 1.00.  I rip off whatever they are covered with and use the base to make a new one.  Easy and very affordable!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

I made this cake for my husband for Valentine's Day.
The recipe:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 extra large egg
  • Topping:
  • 8-oz package cream cheese
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 16 ounces confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  1. Heat over to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan
  2. For the cake, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In another mixing bowl whisk together the sugar, melted butter and egg. Add in flour mixture then spread on bottom of the baking dish.
  3. For the topping, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Reserve two tablespoons of confectioners sugar for finishing. Add remaining confectioners sugar to cream cheese mixture along with melted butter. Pour over top of cake dough, spreading evenly over the entire surface of cake. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until top is set and obtains a golden brown crust but is still gooey and soft. Remove from the oven and cool. Sprinkle top of cake with reserved confectioners sugar. Cut cake into 16 squares.
I placed a piece of waxed paper over the cake portion and pushed it into place.

Pour the topping over the base.
This is what it looks like out of the oven.

Let it cool and then sprinkle it with the powdered sugar.

It has a shortbread like bottom.

And a gooey buttery vanilla center.   Very easy to make.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Some of My Favorite Spices

 I like to use all sorts of salt and spices in my cooking and I am always on the lookout for new ones to incorporate into my dishes.  I collect lots of different salts and this is one of my favorites.  Truffle salt is great sprinkled on steaks and burgers because it adds a depth of flavor.  It is particularly good on french fries and popcorn too.

 Mahlab is the pit of the sour cherry.  Ground up, it has a sweet-sour nutty flavor that is delicious in breads, cookies and scones.

 I love this Krakow Nights Polish seasoning from Penzeys.  It's great on all kinds of meats, in soups and of course, in halushki.

 I now use this almost exclusively instead of red pepper flakes. Korean chili flakes are earthy, fruity and smoky.  They waken up any dish and depending on how much you use, they can brighten a dish or add a kick to it.

 Sumac berries are widely used in Mediterranean cuisine.  Sometimes it's sprinkled on food as a condiment. It has a lemony flavor which adds a fruity sourness to sauces.

 I add truffle zest to dishes when I want them to have an earthy flavor.  It's especially good in meatloaves and meatballs.  I add it to rice and soups and gravies.

 Aromat Seasoning is a good all purpose seasoning to use on just about anything.

Sazon Goya can be found in most grocery stores or Latin American markets.  I use this a lot!  The garlic and onion can be used in almost all soups, stews and sauces.  The Coriander & Annatto is used in stews, soups, pasta, rice, beans and mixed into cooked vegetables.

 I think we get used to adding the same spices and flavorings to our food.  I like to experiment with flavorings, especially from other countries, to see how they improve and enrich the food I make. If you want to take your cooking to the next level, give some of these a try.