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Showing posts from September, 2011

Cranberry Orange Scones

Scones.  Do you love them?  I'm a scones fan.  I think they are a perfect pastry to have with a piping hot cup of coffee or tea.  I like their flaky consistency and their not too sweet flavor.  Somehow when I'm eating a scone I feel like I'm only being a little bit bad. Cranberry Orange Scone For this recipe I went into test kitchen mode.  I had seen Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, make these scones on her television program on the Food Network.  What caught my eye was her technique.  When I make scones I usually cut in the butter by hand with a pastry cutter, or I use my food processor.  Both techniques work well, by the way.  Ina used her stand mixture during the entire scone making process.  I wanted to try it that way and see how it would work. The  Cranberry Orange Scone recipe from the Food Network makes sixteen scones, so I cut the recipe in half.  You may want to make the whole recipe if you decide to try this, because you can freeze the dough and bake o

Chicken Salad with Walnuts and Dried Cranberries

As a rule I stick to the same old boring lunches day in and day out.  That's one of the ways I monitor my calorie intake.  If I stick to the same few choices I allow myself for lunch, I know that I am appropriately managing my daily calories.  Sometimes, I don't want the same old, same old though.  I call these days my wild and crazy days.  OK, not really wild and crazy, but I do occasionally step out of my rut.  Don't we all? Chicken Salad Sandwich The other day I was hankering for something out of the ordinary for my lunch.  A look in my refrigerator gave me the ingredients for this chicken salad with walnuts and cranberries.  Yes, that is what I wanted for lunch.  I had two chicken breasts as a result of cooking a chicken to make a stock for soup.  Chicken salad was a perfect use for them, don't you think? Chicken Salad with Walnuts and Dried Cranberries Chicken Salad Ingredients 2 boneless chicken breasts, poached and diced 1 stalk celery, chopped

Pantry Essentials-Pasta, Rice and Bread

Today's post is the third post in my well-stocked pantry series.  Previously we talked about selecting the right space for your pantry and the baking essentials.  Today let's focus on the essential pasta, rice, and bread products you'll want to keep on hand. Remember, creating your well-stocked pantry is a function of the foods you and your family like to eat.  No two families will have the same well-stocked pantry and that is exactly as it should be.  I'm sharing this look into my pantry as a starting point for those of you looking for help in getting your pantry organized.  If you already have a fully stocked pantry it may be fun to compare and contrast how we are alike or different. The Roll of Pasta, Rice, and Bread in a Well-Stocked Pantry A Glimpse of My Pantry Let's see what is on my pasta, rice, and bread shelf... The Pasta Essentials I like to keep on hand the various pastas I use to make most of the soups and main dishes my family likes. 

Steak with Mushroom Sauce

Sometimes you want a quick, but satisfying dinner.  Sometimes you want  a dinner that tastes like someone else made it.  Sometimes you want a quick, satisfying, dinner like you would have gotten in a restaurant, but you'd rather keep the $100 in your pocket.  Take a simple steak, fry it on the stove top and add a rich mushroom sauce.  You'll be surprised by how quick and delicious this simple meal can be. Shall we make it together? Steak with Mushroom Sauce Serves 4 Steak with Mushroom Sauce Ingredients 4 servings of steak, approximately 1/2 pound per person 1 stick unsalted butter 1 pound mushrooms, sliced 1-3 cloves garlic, chopped 3 scallions, sliced, whites and green parts 1 cup red wine, your choice (I used Pinot Noir) 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped salt and pepper to taste Directions Heat two tablespooons of butter in a heavy skillet over medium high heat.  I used a cast ion skillet.  Salt and pepper your steaks and put them in the hot pan.  Cook the

Blueberry Slump

Cobblers, Brown Bettys and slumps are words used to describe old fashioned desserts.  They may be more popular in one region of the country than another.  Blueberry slump is a dessert I discovered early in my married life.  In our first years together, Hubby and I lived in a house that shared a property line with a cemetery.  That cemetery had many, many low bush blueberry bushes on the undeveloped part of the property near our house.  Hubby was the blueberry picker and I was the cook.  We had so many blueberries, we didn't know what to do with them.   Blueberry slump came to the rescue. I know, you are wondering what exactly is blueberry slump.  It is a simple dessert made with stewed blueberries and topped with dumplings.   You can top it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, or both.  Hmmm....think about a bowl of hot sweetened blueberries topped with a hot biscuit island.  Those hot elements are balanced by a scoop of icy cold vanilla ice cream and a dollop of sweetened wh

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Avocado Sandwich

Today's post is being brought to you as a public service announcement.  It is a reminder of the importance of enjoying tomatoes while they are in season.  Yes, tomato season here in the Northeast is fleeting and if we don't stop and sink our teeth into those sweet, juicy tomatoes now, it will be a whole year before we'll get another chance.  Oh sure, we can buy tomatoes twelve months of the year at the grocery store, but let's face it, those grocery store tomatoes taste more like cardboard than tomatoes. One of the tastiest, yet simplest, ways to celebrate the tomato is with a BLT.  Yes, the lowly bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich is the perfect sandwich for this time of year.  After all a BLT without the tomato is well, just a bacon and lettuce sandwich.  So friends, if you haven't had a BLT in the past few weeks it is time to have mean it. Yes, I can be bossy. My BLT is being kicked up just a tad with the addition of some avocado.  I