Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Posted by squillen at 4:26 PM
Monday, November 25, 2013
Posted by squillen at 7:13 PM
Friday, November 22, 2013
2 Tbsp butter
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 tsp garlic powder
kosher salt and white pepper
1 cup cream
1 small can diced green chiles
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup butter, melted
Put 2 Tbsp butter in a heated skillet. When melted and bubbly, add garlic, HALF of the fresh corn and onion. Saute. While that's cooking, put the rest of the corn in a blender with the cream. Blitz until the corn starts moving around. Don't over-blitz!
Sprinkle the corn, onion, and garlic with some salt, white pepper, and garlic powder. Add the can of diced green chiles. Keep sauteing until the onion becomes translucent.
Add the creamed corn and mix in. Cook until it's heated through and bubbling. Pour into a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well to incorporate. Pour into a casserole dish. Place your 9x13 casserole dish in another pan and add hot water to the larger pan (don't put it in the corn pudding! We're going to steam it!). Cover both pans together with foil so the steam will cook the pudding. Place in a 350* oven and bake for 1 hour. Serve immediately.
Posted by squillen at 12:02 AM
Sunday, November 17, 2013
I'm having to reuse my Thanksgiving plate image again because I never got a picture of the stuffing all by itself. Stuffing vs. Dressing. It doesn't matter to me. "It's allll good!" said in my very best Southern accent. Love the stuff. Probably my most favorite thing ever! Wouldn't you agree?
I always stuff my bird. I know there are skeptics out there, but I have never (and I repeat "NEVER") gotten sick, or gotten anyone else sick. There are a couple important tips to know about stuffing your turkey, though:
RULE #1: NEVER stuff until just before you're ready to put the turkey in the oven.
RULE #2: Wait until just before stuffing to mix all your ingredients together.
Because turkey takes such a long time to roast, I always get all of my stuffing ingredients prepped the night before, so all I have to do is mix things together in the morning, stuff, and pop in the oven. Works out perfectly. I also stuff the neck cavity and use needle and string or skewers to tack the flap down to hold it all in place.
Here's my recipe for sausage sage stuffing.
2 bags bread cubes for stuffing (I like the kind that has white and wheat)
1 tube sage sausage
1 large onion, diced
1 1/2 cups carrots, finely diced
1 1/2 cups celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp sage
1/2 tsp thyme
approx. 3 cups chicken broth or turkey broth
Cook the sausage in a skillet using a spatula to break apart the sausage. Set aside.
Heat a little oil or butter in a skillet and saute the garlic, onion, carrots, and celery until onion becomes translucent. (I like to add 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms to the saute, too but if you don't like mushrooms, leave them out.)
*The sausage and veggies can be cooked the night before so everything's ready to go in the morning when you stuff your turkey.
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Drizzle some broth around the top and mix around. Stuff the neck and body cavities of your turkey and stitch up so nothing falls out. Put your turkey in the oven immediately. Don't let this sit around or you could contaminate your turkey and stuffing with bad bacteria.
With the leftover stuffing, wet more with broth and put in a casserole dish. Put in the fridge until you're ready to put it in the oven. Bake approx. 1 hour or until nice and hot.
We mix the stuffing from the casserole dish with the bit that comes out of the turkey. Serve hot.
Posted by squillen at 5:57 PM
Thursday, November 14, 2013
My house is already decorated for Christmas. :D
I started a pie business earlier this year and it's kept me so busy all summer long. I sold at our local farmers market twice a week and now we're going into the winter market. Plus, Thanksgiving has me loaded up with orders and then we have Christmas! Craziness. I had a slow week and figured I better get the decorating done now otherwise I might not have the energy (or time) to do it later. The decorations I have, I've had for quite some years. My husband and I will be celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary in January and while our decorations aren't quite THAT old, I was feeling like I needed some new stuff - or even arrange things differently.
I decided to hit Pinterest for inspiration. If you want to follow me, check it out. :) I found some super cute DIY ideas but one I really liked was this wood plank "BELIEVE" sign. I changed it up to make it my own and am very happy with the results.
Here's how it turned out!
It took me two days to get it done, but I could have probably gotten it finished in one had I started earlier and if my nail gun hadn't gotten jammed, and if I had wood glue on hand. So, hoping you don't have any of those problems, this should be very easy for you to make!
First you want to paint your entire board RED. I bought little quart cans of paint at Lowe's - one red, one cream, and one grey. I'm going to have this paint forever because you don't use much at all. Let the red paint dry.
Now here's where I would do this differently. I made my letters on Photoshop and printed onto regular paper. Not a good idea. I would print out, then cut them out of vinyl or something that won't go weird when coated with 3-4 layers of paint. (oops!) Take the cut out letters and spray the back side with a spray adhesive. Carefully lay your letters down the center of your board and rub the edges well so everything is good and stuck on.
Next, paint the entire board CREAM! Go ahead and roller right over those letters. We're doing a resistance technique and those letters will stay red - don't you worry about that. You'll need to let the first coat of cream dry completely and then put on a 2nd coat. Let that dry completely.
If all your paint is dry, then you can move onto the next step.
Use extra wide (2 inch? I can't be certain how wide mine was) blue painter's tape. Make a diagonal stripe, then put a 2nd strip of tape on that so you get wide stripes. I didn't measure at all - just eyeballed it, but if you want to make sure it's perfect, measure and then tape. Leave equal sized gaps between your painter tape stripes so you get the candy cane effect. Once you have the tape done, then paint all those white gaps grey. Again, you might need to do one or two coats, depending on how dark you want the color.
Don't leave your tape on very long. Once you're done painting, go ahead and pull it off to reveal your stripes. Let dry completely!! When everything is 100% DRY, carefully pull up your letters! I had a bugger of a time pulling off my paper, but if you USE VINYL (please use vinyl) they should come up in one piece. You will probably have to touch up your letters a little bit with some more red paint. Dry.
Now that everything is painted, you can begin sanding to give it more of a rustic look. I didn't sand the entire thing. I did spots here and there with 180 grit sandpaper. Wipe with a tack cloth and let dry.
While things are drying, you can paint your trim moulding (if you want to use moulding). I used the same red as the letters. Use a miter saw to cut your edges at a 45* angle and then nail or glue down. Use painter's tape to hold things in place while it dries. Once it's all dry (lots of drying, right?), you can distress the moulding a little with that sandpaper. Wipe with tack cloth.
At Lowe's you can buy a little bottle of something called Antiquing Glaze. It's in the paint department. Wet a rag or a paper towel and put some of that antiquing glaze on your rag. Make sure you're wearing gloves or something because you don't want to give your hands that antique look. lol Start rubbing all over the surface of your sign. Use a dry rag to wipe some off if it's too dark. Work until you have a look you want. Dry.
Polyurethane that baby to death since it'll be outside (maybe?) and exposed to the elements. Let dry between each layer and voila! ALL DONE!!!! If you have any questions as to how to complete any of the steps I listed above, leave me a comment! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
Posted by squillen at 7:39 AM
Friday, November 8, 2013
5-6 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
2-3 shallots, sliced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
Kosher salt and pepper
Fry up the bacon and drain on paper towels. Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss well to coat the beans with some olive oil. Spread on a cookie sheet and roast at 350* until the green beans are cooked through. Spoon into a serving dish. Eat warm.
**NOTE: If you're roasting the turkey and making sides (including this one), put all of the sides in once the turkey has cooked. I said in my last Pre-Turkey Dinner post to let your turkey rest for at least 30 minutes. Well, you'll probably need 45 minutes to an hour for these which is fine. Just put some foil on your turkey and keep it on the stovetop so it stays warm. Trust me -- even after an hour, the turkey is still hot but won't burn your fingers when you go to carve it. Enjoy!
Posted by squillen at 1:54 PM
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Posted by squillen at 1:21 PM
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
I love burgers, but sometimes, I want something different. This isn't necessarily lighter in calories, but it makes for a great alternative to throwing patties on the grill. It works best if you have some kind of fryer to keep the grease mess minimal. (I have this one that I bought at Target. It's awesome!)
The first thing you want to do is make the jalapeno slaw. I make this slaw all the time and everyone raves. Don't let the name deceive you. It's not spicy at all, unless you want it to be. What you get is a wonderful jalapeno flavor without much heat. Here's what you need:
3-4 jalapeno, diced
1/2 head cabbage, finely sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 small onion (or 1/2 medium), grated
1 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
salt and pepper
*For more heat, keep the seeds and ribbing on the jalapeno and add to your slaw. If you want virtually no spice at all, remove the ribbing and seeds before dicing.
Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed. Keep refrigerated.
The slaw can be made earlier in the day, or even the day before. It holds up great for days.
You can grill a chicken breast if you want to make this lighter, but there's something about a fried piece of meat on a bun with that slaw on top that knocks it out of the park.
In a bowl, mix together 1 cup flour, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp cayenne, 1/2 tsp garlic powder. In another dish, scramble 2-3 eggs. In a 3rd dish mix together the same flour mixture we have in the first dish. You could use the same dish for the flour if you want -- just double the ingredients.
Take 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and coat well with the flour mixture. Dip in the egg, then back into the flour. Set on a cake cooling rack that's placed on a cookie sheet. When you've coated all the breasts, put in the fridge and let set for an hour. This is VITAL to getting a nice crispy crust when it's fried. If you don't give it enough time to sit, you'll have a soggy crust.
Heat your oil to 350*F. When the oil is ready, carefully put each breaded chicken breast in and fry for 10 minutes. Remove from the oil and sit on paper towels to drain.
To serve, I put on toasted hamburger buns and add a generous helping of the jalapeno slaw on top. Serve with fries or salad or whatever you want with it. I think I'm going to convert a few new fans. Enjoy!
Posted by squillen at 8:00 AM
Friday, October 18, 2013
2 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded
2 limes, juiced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, finely minced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar
4 Tbsp butter
Put the peppers and lime juice in a blender and puree until smooth; set aside.
In a saucepan, heat the olive oil. Saute the shallot for a minute, stirring once or twice. Add the pureed poblano, the white wine and vinegar and sugar. Bring to boil and allow to reduce by half. It will become syrupy. Remove from the heat and add 1 Tbsp of butter at a time, mixing as it melts to incorporate into the sauce. Set aside.
1 mango, diced in small pieces
2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 bunch green onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1/2 lime, juiced
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Set aside.
To plate: Spoon a layer of gastrique on the bottom of your dish. Place your shrimp and then top with the mango salsa. Drizzle with a little more gastrique. Serve immediately!
Posted by squillen at 8:00 AM
Monday, October 14, 2013
The weather here in New York has been relatively nice this month. Typically we're cooling down and I start wanting things like soup, stew, casseroles; so you can imagine my culinary winter "appetite" is confused. While at the store this week, I picked up the ingredients to make barley beef soup and here it is .. a 70 degree day and I'm making it. Shoot. I even made homemade rolls. Go me!
Barley is a grass, like wheat. Barley is used in making beer, soup, it can be ground to make bread, etc. It has many uses. I learned all of this on Wikipedia and my oldest daughter was happy to read that it grows in the Fertile Crescent of northern Africa (aka Egypt). (She's learning about the Fertile Crescent in school right now!)
This is a soup I cook in my Dutch oven and let it go all day in the oven at 250*. My husband asked me today why I didn't use my crockpot and I informed him that 1) I destroyed my crockpot insert when I attempted to make overnight steel cut oats (oops!); and, 2) nothing EVER turns out in my crockpot. It's even one of these nice ones and I have this great disdain for the dang thing. So, I stick with my method of just letting it go low and slow for hours and hours.
Here are the ingredients you'll need:
2-3 lbs stew meat, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
2 cups carrots (I buy the bag of baby carrots and cut them in half)
5-6 medium sized white or gold potatoes, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
3/4 cup barley
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2-3 cups beef broth
2-3 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper
Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat some oil in your Dutch oven or skillet and fry up the meat. Sear. Remove and put on a plate or bowl; set aside. Heat a little more oil in the pot and sauté the garlic and onion for about 30 seconds. Add carrots, potato, celery, and bay leaf. Saute until the potatoes get a little glossy on the outside. Return the seared meat to the pot and add barley, broth, sugar, herbs, and a little salt and pepper. Pop the lid on and put in your pre-heated oven. Let cook for 4-5 hours.
Because I use stew meat, the long cooking time helps to break down the fat and sinew resulting in the most amazingly tender beef you'll ever have in your life, so don't be tempted to rush this dish.
This makes a big pot of soup so you'll have plenty of leftovers (if you're a family of 4, like us) or you can freeze half for a later meal.
I always serve this soup with homemade dinner rolls. Enjoy!
Posted by squillen at 5:21 PM