Saturday, April 30, 2016

Roasting Nuts



I love making salads and it's just coming to that time of year where fresh produce will be ready. 
This is probably one of my favorite tips that I will pass along, as who doesn't enjoy nuts on a salad.
But what really gets me is when you find a new recipe and at the end of the recipe it suggests that you add roasted nuts and it's just like one extra step to make, but you know that it's worth it.
So a few years back, I started to buy my nuts in bulk and about once or twice a year I take an hour or so and roast nuts on large cookie sheets, making a variety and packaging them in Ziploc bags and freezing them.  They maintain their flavor and texture very well and you always have them available.


Slivered Almonds
  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • 3 cups (750 grams) of sliced almonds on a cookie sheet.  
  • Spread almonds evenly on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake up to 15-20 minutes, checking and stirring every 3 minutes.
  • At the end check more regularly till they are the desired color.
  • Remove from oven and let them cool and then store in Ziploc bags and freeze.

Coconut 
  • Preheat oven to 325°
  • 2 cups (500 grams) coconut flakes on a baking sheet.
  • The flakes will toast very quickly (5-10 minutes)
  • After a few minutes stir the coconut  frequently.
  • Sweetened flakes takes less time because the sugar speeds up the toasting process.

Sugared Almonds
  • 2 cups whole almonds
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Place nuts and sugar into a frying pan on low heat, stirring constantly until sugar is melted and almonds are coated. (15 minutes)
  • Place almond mixture on parchment paper and let cool.
  • Once they are cooled you can either chop them into smaller pieces or leave them whole.
  • Store in a container in the fridge or freezer.


This is one of my most favorite nut mixtures.  But, you need to hide these, because they are like candy and very hard to keep around once my family knows they are in the fridge.

Toss your nuts on your favorite salad...
and remember how easy it is when you make them in advance.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Grilled Peppers with Tomatoes and Feta





For Flashback Friday, I am bringing back my recipe for Grilled Peppers
Harv and I did them for supper last week but added a few ingredients to the filling.
He thought black olives would be a great addition and I chose to add diced green peppers.
Either way, they make a colourful and delicious side dish.
We served them with grilled Basil Italian sausages from the grocery store and a big green salad.
With barbeque season beginning, you might enjoy making these.

Just a note about our Flashback Friday Posts.
Because of comments from some readers who've had trouble locating recipes on our blog,
we've decided to change the way we handle the Flashback Friday recipes. 
Today I am posting it in the new format.
From now on we will be posting an updated photo of the recipe we are featuring with a short description and will add a link to the original recipe.
In this way all the original comments on the recipe will be preserved.
We will also make a new Flashback Friday category in our index so you can see which recipes are worthy of a second post.
I hope this eliminates problems with finding that recipe you're looking for.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Rhubarb Meringue Torte



Here is a springtime favorite...with a press-in-the-pan shortbread crust that makes this dessert 'easier than pie'! 

Crust:
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  1. Mix butter, flour and sugar together until crumbly.
  2. Pat into an ungreased 9 x 13 inch pan, and bake in 350 F oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Cool slightly.
Custard:
  • 6 egg yolk
  • 1 cup whipping cream or half and half
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5-6 cups rhubarb, cut into small pieces
  1. Beat egg yolks, cream, sugar, flour and salt together.
  2. Fold in rhubarb and pour over baked crust.
  3. Bake at 350°F for 45-55 minutes (until custard is set).
Meringue:
  • 6 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Beat egg whites with salt and vanilla until foamy.
  2. Add sugar gradually, and beat until stiff.
  3. Spread over custard and bake at 350° F until golden (about 10 minutes).

Serves 12-15

*This is a large recipe...can be halved and made in an 8 inch square pan.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Slow Cooker Brisket

Preparing a brisket in a slow cooker is an easy method and while it is cooking your house will smell delicious.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4-5 pound fresh beef brisket
1-1/2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup broth or water

Directions:
1. In small bowl mix together brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, celery salt, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
2. Spray the inside of a 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place brisket in slow cooker and rub all over with the mixture of spices.
3. In small bowl mix the remaining ingredients together setting aside 3/4 of this mixture for the end of the cooking cycle. Pour all but the 3/4 cup of liquid over the brisket in the crock pot.
4. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
5. Remove brisket to cutting board, let stand 10 minutes.
6. Drain all but 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid from the crock pot.
7. Add the reserved 3/4 cup of ketchup mixture to the 1/2 cup of the cooking liquids in the crock pot and cook on high for fifteen minutes.
8. Cut the brisket, transfer to serving dish and then pour the heated sauce from the crock pot over the meat.

This will serve up to 10 people, more if you use the meat in sandwiches.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tequila Lime Flank Steak Fajitas

The marinade for this flank steak is also used to spice up sour cream for a tasty sauce.
Serves 4-6

Marinade:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp season salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  1. Place all ingredients in a jar and shake well.
Tortilla Ingredients:
  • 1 flank steak
  • 4-6 flour tortilla shells
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • shredded lettuce
  • tomatoes, diced
  • avocado, sliced
  • cilantro, (optional)
  • grated cheese
  • 3 large peppers, sliced
  • 1 large onion sliced 
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp taco seasoning
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  1. Place sour cream in a small glass bowl and add 2 tbsp of the marinade. Stir well, cover and place in refrigerator. This is a sauce to serve with the fajitas.
  2. Place flank steak in a shallow GLASS container and pour marinade over. (because of the ingredient of lime juice and tequila in the marinade it's important that you marinade in a non reactive container. I like to use a glass baking pan.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap (not foil) and place in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours.
  4. Slice peppers and onions into a bowl. Toss with olive oil, cumin and taco seasoning. Cover and allow to marinade for at least one hour. 
  5. Have all vegetables cut up and ready to serve.
  6. We grill on The Big Green Egg grill. You can saute the peppers and onions in a cast iron on the grill, or on your stove top. Keep them slightly crunchy. 
  7. Grill marinaded flank steak basting with marinade several times during grilling. 
  8. Remove from grill and allow steak to rest for 10 minutes. Slice very thin.
  9. Place flour tortillas on grill just shortly (watch closely) to get grill marks and heat slightly.
  10. Serve with flavoured sour cream, and other ingredients. Salsa is a nice addition to top it off...and we like a fresh squeeze of lime too.
Peppers and onions grilling.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Creamy Chicken Piccata with Mushrooms


This tasty chicken dish is a take off of some dishes I've enjoyed at Olive Garden.  Dare I say this one turned out even better? Basically you can't go wrong with thin slices of chicken dredged in flour and cooked in a cream sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • zest from 1 lime, divided
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • flour for dredging (1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced or 1 can sliced mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup half and half cream
  • 1 tsp (chicken) better than bouillon or (1 cube)
  • 1/2 tsp fine, dried thyme or more if fresh
  • parsley, lime slices for garnish
Method:
  1. Hold each chicken breast standing on it's side and slice lengthwise, twice, to make 9 thin slices. This works best if the meat is barely thawed/from frozen. 
  2. Season with salt, pepper and a sprinkle of lime zest (about half)
  3. In large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp of butter with the olive oil over medium heat. 
  4. Dredge chicken pieces in flour and add to skillet to cook each side until lightly browned, about two minutes on each side. 
  5. Remove chicken from skillet. Continue with second round if needed. 
  6. To drippings in pan add sliced mushrooms, scraping up brown bits, and cook until tender or starting to brown slightly. Add garlic, stirring for a minute and then the apple juice. Cook several minutes, adding bouillon flavoring.
  7. Add cream, left over lime zest and thyme according to taste. Return chicken to skillet and simmer for five minutes. Serve with 250 g spaghettini. Serves 4 adults

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Bread for the Journey




How Good It Is to Thank The Lord

How good it is to thank the Lord,
And praise to Thee, Most High, accord,
To show Thy love with morning light,
And tell Thy faithfulness each night;
Yea, good it is Thy praise to sing,
And all our sweetest music bring.

O Lord, with joy my heart expands,
Before the wonders of Thy hands;
Great works, Jehovah, Thou hast wrought,
Exceeding deep Thine every thought;
A foolish man knows not their worth,
Nor he whose mind is of the earth.

When as the grass the wicked grow,
When sinners flourish here below,
Then is there endless ruin nigh,
But Thou, O Lord, art throned on high;
Thy foes shall fall before Thy might,
The wicked shall be put to flight.

Thou, Lord, hast high exalted me
With royal strength and dignity;
With Thine anointing I am blest,
Thy grace and favor on me rest;
I thus exult o’er all my foes,
O’er all that would my cause oppose.

The righteous man shall flourish well,
And in the house of God shall dwell;
He shall be like a goodly tree,
And all his life shall fruitful be;
For righteous is the Lord and just, 
He is my Rock, in Him I trust.

Words: The Psalter 1912, Music: St. Petersburg ~ Dimitri S. Bortniansky