21 November 2016

Mead's Maple Toffee


This recipe is from my daughter Meghan who posted it a while back. It is holiday season and this is the best toffee I have ever tried. It is a treat anytime of year but for some unknown reason to me when I eat this toffee during the holiday season I have no guilt. It takes minutes to make and brings a smile to everyone. I double the batch and use a Grade A light or medium syrup because it takes less time to cook. I boil it down to where it just pulls away from pan and looks like it can just slide as one big bundle into the waiting buttered dish. Or use a thermometer for your first attempts. Whatever method you use, patience and stirring are important here. Enjoy and look forward to more holiday treat recipes. 



01 November 2016

Rice is Nice When done up Twice





Sometimes you just know what to do with leftovers. It is like an idea just drifted into the kitchen and snagged your imagination. That is just what happened last evening. I have been so busy that stopping in a grocery store could not even be squeezed into the day. So when the hunger beast arrived, I went to the cupboard but the cupboard was bare as was the fridge and the pantry. The only thing I could find was leftover rice. So I mixed up a dressing of rice wine vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and maple syrup.Threw in some chopped up dried cranberries, almonds and pumpkin seeds I had on hand, Mixed it all together and whalla, I had a meal. Thankfully I still had lettuce in the garden that I kept protected from the frost. Needless to say, I went to bed full and happy.

I admit I measured nothing but here is an idea of what you could do for one cup cooked rice. Give it a taste but it should be good to go.

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar,
2TBS olive oil,
1/2 tsp dijon mustard,
2TBS maple syrup

17 August 2016

Curried Summer Squash Soup




This soup is so easy I can recall all the ingredients after my first time making it. It is my go to soup for the summer and a great way to use  the yellow squash that keeps growing and growing and growing in my garden. I have it for breakfast, lunch but rarely dinner although it would make a wonderful first course.  I store it in my refrigerator in Ball canning jars and enjoy it hot as well as cold.

Ingredients

6 medium yellow squash sliced
1 medium/large onion thinly sliced
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth ( I use vegetable )
3 TBS rice uncooked
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard or 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2  cup milk ( optional)
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a large saucepan combine squash, onion, and broth. Add rice, curry, and mustard. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about thirty to forty minutes. Then puree soup with blender, food processor or immersion blender. Add salt and pepper. Stir in milk if using. Have it hot or chill. Enjoy..

23 June 2016

Super Crispy Baked Avocado Fries


I like avocados. They are good for you and I buy them often. I use them on my salads and make guacamole. And now I found something even more special to do with them. I make crunchy baked avocado fries. But not just crunchy because these fries are super crunchy. They are also scrumptious and great for snacks or as a side dish. Try it, you'll like it.


Super Crispy Crunchy Baked Avocado Fries

Makes 2 to 4 servings

2 firm avocados
1/4 to 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs ( beat with fork)
1 1/2 to 2 cups cups panko or regular breadcrumbs or mix the two
Cooking spray


1    Preheat oven to 350°F.
2    Using 3 separate  bowls -  Mix the flour, salt, and pepper in the first bowl, beat the eggs in the second bowl, and pour the breadcrumbs in the third bowl. Arrange the bowls in an assembly line: flour mixture, eggs, then breadcrumbs. Place a baking sheet next to the bowl of breadcrumbs.
3   Slice avocados - halve the avocados, cutting from the stem end to the base. all the way around. Remove and discard the pits. Cut each half into 6 (1/2-inch-wide) slices, and remove and discard the skin.
4   Working with 1 avocado slice at a time, coat in flour, shaking off any excess.
5   Dip the flour-coated avocado slice in egg, making sure it completely coats the slice.
6   Roll the avocado slice in the breadcrumbs. Make sure it is fully covered and well-coated.
7   Place the slices on a baking sheet and repeat spacing them about 1-inch apart on the baking sheet.
8   Coat with cooking spray: Spray the avocado fries with cooking spray.
9   Bake the avocado fries until the fries are golden-brown, 20 to 25 minutes.  Halfway through cooking  flip each avocado fry over with a flat spatula or tongs to ensure it  browns evenly.
10 Remove from the oven and let cool 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

Leftover fries can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days. Reheat in a 350°F until warmed through or enjoy cold.

07 June 2016

Eggrolls with a Santa Fe Flair


When I visit Santa Fe I tend to eat with heat. Perhaps it's because the food is always served with some sort of chili or hot sauce. I like a hint of heat but I am not one that wants to breathe out fire like a dragon so I lean more towards  mild to medium. When I returned, I missed the southwest fare so wanted to experiment on something new. This is what I decided to make and so appreciate myself when I make the right decision. It took a moment to get over the fact that beans and corn are wrapped in an egg roll wrapper but the moment I took a bite, well all I can say is I ate 4 in one sitting. Enjoy.


Preheat oven to 450. Do not put these egg rolls in an oven that has not reached this degree as they will not crisp on outside well. Prepare a cookie baking sheet by rubbing it with olive oil. Do this even if you use aluminum foil or parchment paper.


Ingredients


Saute on low heat for five minutes or until soft and onions are translucent 

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 finely chopped large red bell pepper 

  • Add and sauté for five minutes or until spinach is soft

  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 to 4 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 2 to 3 tbs diced jalapeño peppers can
  •     or fresh
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

  • Stir in the following

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt ( optional)
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbs maple syrup

Take off heat and stir in cheese. Cover until cheese melts. Five minutes

  • 11/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack 
  •     cheese

Let cool for ten minutes then fold about 2 to 4 tbs of mixture into each egg roll wrapper. Fold and brush all sides with olive oil. Put on prepared cookie sheet. Cook in preheated 450 oven for ten minutes. Turn egg rolls over and cook for another five minutes until egg roll is crispy brown all over. Watch your egg rolls carefully during this time as all ovens run differently.

  • 12 eggroll wrappers



06 June 2016

Coconut Mango and Blueberry Muffins


  • When I heard about this idea of mixing mango, coconut and blueberry, I just knew I had to try it. I did two versions using both syrup and brown sugar. Both came out well. When I used maple syrup I used a bit less milk. I don't like food very sweet so I always cut back on any sweetener. I knew these were delicious when I went to bed with a dozen freshly baked muffins sitting on my table to cool and I awoke in the morning to find six already eaten. Muffin thieves perhaps?

  • Topping

  • 1/2 cup tablespoons unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter

Batter

  • 6 tbs  softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Meads Maple Syrup or 3/4 c light brown sugar
  •  dash of salt optional
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 1/2 cups  flour - 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 mango - peeled and diced



  1.  375 degrees F -  grease 12 muffin cups or use paper muffin liners.

  2. Combine 1/4 cup flour, the cinnamon, the coconut, in a small bowl. Mix in 2 tablespoons of butter; blend together using a fork or your hands. set it aside.

  3. Beat the 6 tbs of unsalted butter, the syrup or sugar, and dash of salt with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the eggs to the batter one at a time. Combine 1 1/2 cups of flour with the baking powder and mix into the butter mixture alternately with the milk. Mix in by hand the blueberries and the mango. Spoon into the muffin tins and top with coconut mixture.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until golden about 20 to 25 minutes. You can test by inserting a thin knife into center of one and see if it comes out clean.

13 May 2016

Crispy Oven Taco


When I saw this recipe of making Tacos in a muffin pan, it caught my attention. I wish I could recall where I saw it but it had stayed with me and finally I decided to try it out. I had to depend on my memory for the ingredients but hey a taco is really not that difficult to figure out. What I did remember was the use of wonton wrappers and tortilla chips. I made half with the chips and half without. I liked it better without because the wontons get crispy enough. I also experimented by filling half with refried beans and  half with regular baked beans . I must say they both were delicious. These are easy and with a salad made an eye appealing great meal. The leftovers (and as you all know I am not a leftover gal) were just as tasty after being heated. Will they replace my yummy regular tacos. Never. But did they spice up my dinner with a bit of delicious change. Yes. So give these a go, especially if you have children. They will love it.

Ingredients
            1 pound ground beef
            3 TBS  any taco seasoning mix 
            2/3 cups water

            24 wonton wrappers
            1 (16 ounce) can refried beans or you can use baked beans but not the liquid
            24 tortilla chips ( optional )
            1 to 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
            optional toppings: sour cream, salsa, diced tomatoes, cilantro, onion

Instructions
            Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.
            Brown beef in a skillet and then drain off the fat. Add the taco seasoning mix and water and simmer for about 5 minutes or until most liquid evaporates. Set aside.
            Place one wonton wrapper in the bottom of each muffin cup. Layer about 1 tbsp of refried beans on top of each wonton. Crush one tortilla chip on top of the beans. Top with 1 tbsp of taco meat and 1 tbsp of shredded cheese. Repeat the layers again with a wonton wrapper, refried beans, tortilla chips, taco meat, and cheese.
            Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Watch carefully.

            Remove taco from tin and top with your favorite  toppings (i.e. sour cream, salsa, diced tomatoes, onion, or cilantro).