Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sauteed Squash and Kale Bow Tie Pasta

This is a very tasty and healthy main dish and it is easy to make too.  I saw this recently on the pioneer woman's blog and had to try it.
 But first I had to show you this.  I saw one of these on Bev's wonderful blog ( recently.  I guess I am late to the party because I never knew about these before. 

 It's a yarn spinner!  You slide your ball of yarn over the spindle and it unravels as it spins on ball bearings.  No more balls of yarn rolling across the floor. You can find them on Etsy.

 Back to the pasta.  I forgot to take pics of a few steps.  Cube 1 whole butternut squash.  Saute it in a bit of butter sprinkled with salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon of chili powder.  Cook it just until it starts to turn golden but does not become mushy.  Set it aside.

 Chop up 1 bunch of kale and saute it for a few minutes until it becomes dark green.

 Add the squash and toss it together.

 Sprinkle it with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.

 Add 1 box of cooked bow tie pasta.

 Add about 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese.

Toss and serve it warm.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Black Friday

 We had Black Ice Friday. I was hoping to get my tree yesterday but it didn't work out.  We had a freak ice/snow storm which caught everyone of guard and roads were closed everywhere.  So, it turned into a stay at home day.  Hopefully today I will get my tree and put it up.

 It was a good day to make mincemeat.

 And I made turkey stock.  Turkey bone gumbo is on tomorrow's menu.

 I made more of the herb dinner rolls and used them to made turkey sandwiches with blue cheese and cranberry sauce.

After hours of cooking, the mincemeat is ready for tart making.  What did you do on Black Friday?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thank You

 I think that authentic, from the heart 'thank yous' are one of the best things you can receive.  We all agreed that this thanksgiving was the best one we ever had. Everyone pitched in and by 3:00, we had a feast prepared to deliver.  The Blog Tech took it over the river and through the hoods and carried it into the families house and set it up.  The family was overwhelmed.  And what did they do with all of the food?

They invited all of their local 'on duty' police over for a meal.  And then they invited all of their neighbors, that wanted a plate of food, to stop by and eat. And yes, the little boy loved the pumpkin pie, especially the homemade whipped cream.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving 2014

This is our Thanksgiving menu this year.  We are having a different holiday this year.  Since there are just the 4 of us, and we see each other every day, Thanksgiving is sort of redundant for us. This year we picked a family with lots of little kids that live in a very poor section of our city and made thanksgiving for them. We will be taking this dinner over the river and through the hoods, so to speak.  Some of them are vegetarians so I made most of the dishes vegetarian.  I even made vegetarian gravy.
 This has been so much fun.  I've been cooking and baking for days.  Pumpkin pies.  One of the children told me he had never had a pumpkin pie before.  Well, this is your year little guy.  Hope you like it!

 A cranberry cornbread cake.

Pecan pie too.  I think everyone deserves a feast once in a while.  I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Glazed Cranberry Orange Breakfast Rolls

This is a good recipe to make for breakfast on Thanksgiving or Christmas.        Here are the ingredients for the dough:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
pinch salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
1/2 cup buttermilk
the zest of 1 orange
                                                   2 large eggs                                                                
Pour the buttermilk into your mixer bowl.  Add the eggs, sugar, yeast and butter.

Add the orange zest.  Add the flour and knead until you have a smooth dough.  Place it in a buttered bowl, cover and let rise until doubled.

After it has risen, roll it out on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness.  Spread cranberry sauce over the dough.  I forgot to take a pic of this step.  I used my homemade sauce.

Roll the dough into a log.  Slice them about 1 inch thick.

Place them in a buttered bowl, cover and let rise again.

Bake them at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until they are browning on the top.

Make the glaze:

Orange Glaze
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar
about 3 tablespoons milk
3 teaspoons orange zest

Pour the glaze over the warm rolls.

Let them sit for a few minutes so the glaze can sink in.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Herb Dinner Rolls

I made these yesterday and froze them for Thanksgiving.  These are some seriously good rolls.                                                

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon each minced parsley, thyme, chives and rosemary leaves. 4 tablespoons total.
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg for the dough and 1 egg for brushing
1 cup milk or half-and-half
3 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Mix all ingredients except for the 1 brushing egg and the kosher salt.  Knead until you have a smooth ball of dough.

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

It will take about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Divide it into 16 equal pies and form them into balls.  Place them in a buttered oblong pan and cover.

Let them rise until they are touching.

Beat an egg with 1 tsp. of water and brush the rolls.

Sprinkle them with sea salt.

Bake them at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Yum, eh?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Potato Rolls

Growing up, these were the only homemade rolls I ever knew.  My mother made them for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Though they have wonderful flavor, they tended to be a dense roll.  Well, after 40 years of making them, I finally realized that they could be made light and fluffy.  I made these yesterday and they are truly the best dinner roll.  You can teach old dogs new tricks!
How could I have never thought of this before?  All I needed to do was increase the amount of yeast!  I added 1 tablespoon instead of the 2-1/4 teaspoons it called for.
 Potato Rolls

1-1/2cups warm water
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1 tablespoon rapid rise yeast
2/3 c. shortening
1 c. mashed potatoes ( I make instant ones for this recipe because homemade is too heavy)
7-7 1/2 cups flour

Mix everything together and knead.  Place the dough in a buttered bowl, cover and let it rise.  The potatoes make this dough heavy so it takes longer to rise.  Mine took about 2 hours.

 I formed mine into crescents but you can form them any way you want. Brush them with butter before you cut them.

 Brush them with butter again before you cover them.  Let them rise again for an hour.

 They should be nice and fluffy before you bake them.  Bake them at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.

 Have your Blog Tech brush them with butter when they come out of the oven.  Hey...might as well pass down the tradition!

Cool them on a rack.  These freeze very well.  Just reheat them before serving.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Chicken Francese

There is a restaurant that we go to frequently and I always order the same thing...chicken francese.  Most of the time it is excellent but depending on who the chef is when we visit, it can sometimes be disappointing.  So, I decided to perfect it at home.
 Here are the ingredients you will need:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
flour for dusting
salt and pepper
2 large eggs beaten with 3 tsp. water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon cut into thin rounds
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of flour
fresh parsley

Set up your breading station.
4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts (about 1-1/2 pounds)
flour, for dredging
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 lemon, with rind, cut in thin rounds
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 lemon, juiced (although I juice just about a whole lemon)
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped parsley
- See more at:
Pound the chicken between waxed paper to 1/4 inch thickness.

Coat the breasts with flour and shake off the excess.  Dip each breast in the egg to coat it and shake off the extra egg.  Place them in a hot skillet with the oil and cook on each side until golden.  This will take about 2 minutes per side.

Remove them and set them aside.

Pour the lemon juice, wine and chicken broth in the skillet.  Add the lemon slices. Cook for several minutes.

Mix the 2 tablespoons of softened butter with 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk it into the sauce.  Simmer until the sauce begins to thicken.  Throw in some diced parsley. Return the chicken to the sauce to coat it.

I served it with a creamy garlic pasta.  Excellent and it takes no time at all to prepare.