Thursday, May 25, 2017

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

In addition to the Indonesian green beans I made yesterday, I also made the weary travelers two satays. The one on the left is made with thinly sliced chicken breasts. Slice 4 boneless chicken breasts into thin slices. In your food processor, blend 2 stalks of lemongrass, 3 garlic cloves, 6 shallots, 2 tsp. turmeric, 1 tsp. coriander pwd., 1 tsp. chili pwd., 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 T. sugar. Add a little water and marinate the chicken in this for 24 hours. After it's marinaded, skewer it on bamboo skewers which have been soaked in water for at least an hour.  Cook over charcoal until chicken is cooked and begins to scorch.

Serve it with peanut sauce:  1-1/2 cups peanuts chopped.  1 C. water, 1 T. sweet soy sauce (kecap manis), 1-1/2 T. palm sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 C. oil, 1/4 C. tamarind juice.    4 dried chilies, 3 cloves garlic, 3 shallots minced, 2 stalks lemongrass minced, 1 inch cube ginger minced, 1 T. coriander powder.  Saute the last 6 ingredients in the 1/4 cup of oil until aromatic.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients and cook until it begins to thicken.  Serve it drizzled over the cooked chicken.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Indoneasian Green Beans

The Blog Tech and his wife should be landing in Philedelphia as I type this.  They are on their very long trip home from Bali.  Those two foodies are going to go into exotic food shock after eating such a wide array of Indonesian food for the last two weeks.They sent me daily pics of everything they ate.  Lucky for them, I learned how to cook Indonesian food when I lived in Toronto.  I got up early this morning and have been cooking them a Bali feast.  I started by making them the most popular vegetable recipe in that part of the world, green beans.

1/4 kg of green beans
3 tablespoons of chopped onions
1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon sambal oelek and 1/2 teaspoon terasi – shrimp paste)
1 teaspoon of minced ginger
1 teaspoon of Javanese sugar or brown sugar
1 stalk of lemongrass
1 salam leaf
1/4 cup coconut cream (what's on top of the can)
2 tablespoons of oil
some salt
Bean sprouts
 Clean the green beans and set them aside.  Put the next 7 ingredients in your food processor and blend them into a paste.  Add the paste to a few tablespoons of oil in a heavy pot and cook it stirring for about 4 minutes.  Add the green beans and cook stirring often until they soften.  Don't overcook them.  Sprinkle with some salt.

 Add some water if they are too dry.

Stir in a bag of bean sprouts, cover and let the pot sit for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle chopped peanuts mixed with unsweetened coconut over the top.  I'll post pics of the other dishes tomorrow.  They just texted me from Philly!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Garlic Lemon Butter Salmon

 My daughter and her boyfriend had the day together yesterday which doesn't happen often.  They both work such long hours that when they get a day off, they usually just want to relax.  I offered to make them a good dinner.  Her boyfriend loves birds and that is one thing I have an over abundance of around here.  My bird population is out of control!  So, yesterday evening, they went to the guest house with binoculars and a bird book and I served them dinner.  I was so busy that I forgot to take pics.  I made these caraway breadsticks and wrapped them in proscuitto.

 I made rice cakes and topped them with a truffled parsnip puree and brown butter and thyme seared scallops.  I made lots of other appetizers for them too.

This salmon was a big hit and it is so easy to make:

Monday, May 22, 2017

Playing With My Food

Another entry for the flower show.  I wanted it to look like a parrot but it looks more like a buzzard!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Coconut Cake and a Welsh Flower Show

 I made this cake yesterday for my daughter to take to work.  She said it was so good that people were moaning as they ate it.  If you like coconut, you might want to give it a try:

  • Cake:
  • 1½ cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract 
  • 1¾ cups flour
  • 2 cups flaked coconut

  • Coconut Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • sprinkling of toasted coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously grease and flour a bundt pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix flour and flaked coconut. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter & sugar. Add eggs and mix until mixture is light and fluffy. Add sour cream, baking powder and coconut extract. Mix well.
  4. Add half of the flour mixture to creamed mixture, mix well. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until well combined.
  5. Grease you bundt pan just before pouring in the batter.
  6. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for for 60 - 70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 25 minutes. Invert onto serving plate. Frost with coconut glaze.
  7. For the glaze: Mix ingredients together. Pour on top of cake and let the glaze drizzle down the sides of the cake. Top with coconut, if desired. I doubled the glaze recipe.
If you like to play with your food, hop over to Going Gently's blog and enter the Trelawnyd International Novelty Fruit and Vegetable Competition.  It's a flower show held in a small Welsh town. There were 80 entries last year and John is hoping for 100 this year. Above is my first entry this year.  Carrot Miranda....let the fun begin! Send your creation to:

Friday, May 19, 2017

Everything Cookies

I saw a cookie recipe I wanted to try so I baked these for my daughter to take to work yesterday.  I'm always looking for a recipient to take food off my hands.  My husband can only eat so much.  Though he does give it his best shot when it comes to desserts.
 These are loaded chocolate chip cookies:


  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups  chocolate chips
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1-1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.
  3. Beat butter, brown sugar, vanilla in large bowl of mixer until creamy.
  4. Add eggs and beat well until fluffy.
  5. Gradually beat in the flour mixture.
  6. Beat in the oats and coconut.
  7. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.
  8. Use a medium ice cream scoop and drop on parchment covered cookie sheet.
  9. Press the top of each cookie a bit to flatten
  10. Bake for 12 minutes or until just turning golden.
  11. Let sit on  on cookie sheets about 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool.
 You just want to flatten them a bit.

I didn't try them but my daughter said they are very good.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Chicken Yakitori

I'm determined to cook outside as much as possible this summer.  I have a Big Green Egg which I haven't really mastered so I figure if I use it every day, I will finally figure it out.  Plus, it will keep my kitchen cooler if I'm not firing up my ovens and cook top.
I wanted to try a good yakitori and this recipe is great.  Start by pounding out 12 chicken thighs, trimming off the fat and cutting them in 2 inch pieces.  Make some teriyaki sauce:

4 minced garlic cloves
2 T grated ginger
2/3 C. soy sauce
1 tsp. black pepper
2/3 C. water
6 T. mirin (rice wine)
3/4 C. brown sugar
2 T. rice wine vinegar

Mix this together until the sugar dissolves and pour a few tablespoons of it in a ziplock bag along with the chicken.  Let it marinate overnight turning the bag occasionally.  Refrigerate the additional marinade. 

Soak some wooden skewers ahead of time so they won't burn.  Then pierce the chicken sliding it on the skewers in a zigzag fashion.

Heat the reserved marinade until it begins to boil and stir in 2 T. corn starch mixed with 1 T. water.  Stir and cook until it thickens.  Sorry for the blur.
Cook the skewers over hot coals brushing with more marinade until cooked through and slightly charred.

Brush with more of the sauce just before serving.

I served them with sticky rice topped with a knob of ramp butter. These sure are good!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Funeral Food and a Garlic Bread Recipe

 My friends were on vacation out west when they got the horrible news that one of their sister's had died suddenly.  I felt so bad when I got the news.  They had to drop everything and go to DC for the funeral.  When something like this happens, there is not much you can do.  I do think it is important to let them know how bad you feel for what they are going through.

 They were returning home after two weeks and I knew they would be emotionally exhausted so I thought a nice meal might help cheer them up.  I made them a big pan of lasagna thinking that they could freeze leftovers.  I made my kids some too.

 I made them giant chocolate and walnut cookies.

 And I made them garlic bread.  This recipe actually has the garlic and herbs mixed into the bread.

The recipe:

3 C. flour
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. marjoram
1 T. pasley
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
2 T. sugar
2-1/2 tsp. rapid rise yeast
1 C. water
3 T. melted butter

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ones and knead until you have a smooth ball of dough.  Place it in a buttered bowl, cover and let it rise for an hour or until it doubles in bulk.  Split it in three pieces and braid it and let it rise again.  Bake it at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes to an internal temperature of 190 degrees.  Place it on a  rack and brush it with a mixture of melted butter and minced garlic and basil.
 I made them a big salad and some Italian dressing too.

 Funeral food is an old tradition.

But I think it is a good one.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Scallop Chowder and a Mother's Day Gift

My daughter's boyfriend loves scallops.  He is a chef and works incredibly long hours so I like to make him food for when he gets home.  The last thing he wants to do is cook for himself.  I made him this scallop chowder on Sunday.

Click here for the recipe:

And what a surprise he gave me!  He made me a charcuterie board.  And when I say he made it...I mean he made all of the jerky, sausages and cured the meats himself.  What a treat!  It's so fun to have a chef in the family!  I've always wanted to learn to make charcuterie so maybe one of these days he can teach me.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Garden Totem

 I made a garden totem for one of my friends.  These things are so much fun to make.

 I added a small clear glass bowl and glued a porcelain flower inside of it.  I always use outdoor glass glue for these pieces.

 This totem has 11 pieces of glass in it.

Whenever I give these away, the recipients are always a bit nervous to place them outdoors.  I've had my original ones outside for years and nothing has ever happened to them.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Hummingbirds in the Garden

 Since my daughter walked off with the first one of these that I made, I hunted down another hummingbird suncatcher and made myself a new one.

 I love these mirror chains.  When the wind blows, the hummingbird flies.

 I added glass beads in colors matching the bird.

I think of them as garden jewelry.

Happy Mother's Day to everyone!  I got the sweetest Mother's Day card from my daughter in law. Though she is on the other side of the world on her honeymoon, she was thoughtful before she left and gave the card to my husband to give to me. I have the best DIL in the world!

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Honeymoon in Bali

 The Blog Tech and his wife sent some photos of their honeymoon to share with you. This is the beach in front of their villa.

 I think they are sort of enjoying themselves!

Looking out of the villa onto their patio.

 They have their own private pool.

 The whole thing is walled in for privacy.

 They have been eating seafood at every meal and said it is heavenly.  The Blog Tech even had shrimp porridge for breakfast.

 It's all so romantic.

 Tomorrow they are going on a camel ride.

 They've booked an elephant ride too.

 They will spend the second week in the mountains.  I'll ask them to send more pics.