Sunday, August 31, 2008

....Fruit Cobbler.....


Just this week someone interchanged the words cobbler and crisps, crumbles and struesel and tried to convince me there were one in the same. They are not...there are differences. History shows that the early settlers from Europe tried their traditional meat 'pyes' in various forms in North America. Fruit being handy the pies were often fruit pies rather than meat. At the beginning...these fruit pies were eaten for breakfast or for main meals as fruit was plentiful....only in later years did it move from the main table to the dessert table. Here then are the differences in the types of 'pyes' or pies.

Cobbler - Cobblers are a North American deep-dish fruit dessert or pie with a thick crust (usually a biscuit crust) and a fruit filling (such as peaches, apples, berries). Some versions are enclosed in the crust, while others have a drop-biscuit or crumb topping.

Crisps and Crumbles - Crisps are baked with the fruit mixture on the bottom with a crumb topping. The crumb topping can be made with flour, nuts, bread crumbs, cookie or graham cracker crumbs, or even breakfast cereal. Crumble are the British version of the North American Crisp.

Betty or Brown Betty - A Betty consist of a fruit, most commonly apples, baked between layers of buttered crumbs. Bettys are an English pudding dessert closely related to the French apple charlotte. Betty was a popular baked pudding made during colonial times in North America.


Having never made a cobbler I decided to use the meager last pickings of blackberries this morning and combine them with apples for a fruit cobbler. You may use any combo of fresh fruit. This particular cobbler uses a full biscuit crust on top and is low ca (170 per slice actually) l....using Splenda and 1% milk. No extra sugar to take away from the goodness of the fruit.


Ingredients

  • 3 cups blackberries(or mixed fruit - I used 2 cups blackberries and 1 cup apple)
  • 1/4 cup Splenda for baking
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


Topping

  • 1/4 cup 1% milk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter or margarine (melted)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp Splenda for baking
  • 1/4 tsp baking pwd
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg white beaten with 2 tsp water and 2 tsp sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly coat an 8 x 8 inch baking dish or a 9 inch glass pie plate with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl toss the berries lightly with the Splenda, cornstarch and 1 tsp lemon juice. Place in baking dish.

In a small bowl combine the milk, t2 tsp lemon juice and the butter. Set aside

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, 2 tbsp Splenda, baking pwd. and baking soda. Add the milk mixture and mix it with a spoon until the dough comes together. Knead gently 3 to 4 times and then remove from bowl. On a lightly floured surface pat the dough out until large enough to cover the baking dish. Place on top of the fruit. Brush with egg mixture. Cut small vents into the biscuit topping. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until crust is brown and berries bubble up through vents. Lovely...simple.

Tomato Ginger Jam (Relish/Sauce)


Oh my...did my house smell wonderful today....the sweet tang of crab apple butter and the sourness of the apple cider vinegar combined with ginger, garlic and hot spices of the Tomato Ginger Jam that I am about to share with you. Mmmmmm......wonderful. A crisp fall breeze through the kitchen window and all was set .... when it came time to put it all in jars and prepare for photos....the rain came down and the rainbow came out...the end of an autumn day.

I've made this sauce on several occasions and tend to fall back on a mainstay with a few variations each time. This is the one I made today but you can add, modify as you please. Remember, this is a sauce of sorts...you can thicken if you reduce over heat for a longer period of time with a result more like a chutney. I don't know why they call it a jam as it is not something you would use as a spread on its own. Rather, it compliments fish very well, or something bland like a white cheese or a plain risotto. A little on the side then if you please.

My mom used to make something similar to put on the top of her meatloaves although it was never quite this spicy.


Ingredients

1/4 cup minced red onion
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger (or cheat and buy the jar - I do)
1 tbsp fresh minced garlic (uh huh...as above)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/8 tsp red chili flakes (remember...have fun with this...you can take the heat!)
2 tbsp unsalted butter

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp corn syrup
1 1/2 lbs. tomatoes (I don't bother to seed and peel...however realize
that this adds a significant amount of moisture to your mixture which you will have to absorb somehow later...I usually do a quick 'drain' at some point)
1 tsp lime juice, lemon juice, hot sauce or you name it

Cook onion, ginger, garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in butter in deep, heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring, until onion and garlic are softened, about 5 minutes. Add sugar and cook, stirring, until dissolved. Add tomatoes and corn syrup and simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.
Cool jam to room temperature, then stir in lime juice and cilantro.
Pour into jars and give to friends. Follow proper procedure for canning if you wish to preserve or keep in fridge for up to one month if it can last that long!

...Crab Apple Butter...



Well.....I couldn't be happier. THIS recipe will for sure go into my B&B log of recipes. I must remember to buy a place with a crab apple tree or scout out the neighbourhood first, before purchasing. If I could bottle this scent and imprint the memories that the aroma evokes...I would. Believe me, your home will fill with delightful scents and memories of autumn...it is well worth the time and wee effort to make.

Not able to improve upon a timeless recipe...this recipe can be found in the Mennonite Treasury of Recipes @1962. The only changes I made was to split the recipe into 1/5th (but I will give you the whole recipe) and increased the spices. The spice amount noted for this large batch I am about to give to you...can easily be used in 1/5 the recipe...as I made. So feel free to double, or quadruple the spices. Good luck and enjoy!

Ingredients

10 lbs crab apples
7 1/2 cups white sugar
4 cups water
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves



Wash crab apples, remove the stems and blossom ends. Place in large heavy pot on stove. Add water and cover.









Cook until soft, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.






Put through a coarse sieve. I don't own any such thing so with 1/5th of the recipe it was no big deal...if you are big time into preserves etc...you might want to get a proper sieve...my bad wrist was nearly done for in just this small amount.






Return to pot, add sugar and spices. Cook slowly until thick, about 2 hours....yep...2 hours....and your house will love you for it!
Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal at once.

Process the Apple Butter according to safe canning procedures.

Please follow the link for all canning instructions here.




Corn Cheese Bake

Another great recipe from my sis in law. I had some extra corn on the cob so I used that but frozen or canned corn works too. A very nice vegetable side dish for any meal and it is something that can be prepared ahead of time and baked just before supper. Always a great idea when company is coming. I started gathering all the ingredients...the green pepper just picked from my garden. You need cooked corn for this recipe so if you are using corn on the cob..well that's where you start..so hurry, go cook the corn!

2 cups corn, drained and cooked

2/3 cup milk

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup shredded cheese(I used TexMex)

1/4 cup minced green and red pepper

1/2 tsp salt

dash black pepper, or to taste

dash crushed red pepper, if you don't like too much of a 'bite' just omit it

Pour into greased casserole dish and sprinkle with a mix of 1/2 cup cracker crumbs(12 crackers) and 2 tbsp melted butter. Bake at 350 for 45 min.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

...Dilly Beans....(can be used for carrots as well)


My friend gave me this recipe to try on the weekend. I have been 'hankering' for some good old fashioned pickled beans. This was my first pickling experience.
Sooo exciting...bought all the right equipment and soon the smell of the brine filled my home. Love that dill weed too. Brought back fall memories. Lets hope they taste as good as they smelled when I try them in two weeks. I'll report back on a comment.


Ingredients

6 cups water
1 cup pickling salt
6 cups pickling vinegar
(I admit...I used just regular white)
8 heads fresh dill weed

1/2 cup pickling spice
1/2 cup mustard seed
8 dried red chili peppers
(I only had crushed so I used 1/2 tsp)
16 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp alum
5 pounds fresh green (I used yellow) beans
rinsed and trimmed.)

(Or mini carrots)


  1. Sterilize 8 (1 pint) jars in boiling water for at least 5 minutes.
  2. combine the water, pickling salt and vinegar in a large pot and bring to a boil. When it begins to boil, reduce heat to low and keep at a simmer while you pack the jars.
  3. In each jar place the following: 1 head of dill, 1 tbsp of pickling spice, 1 tbsp of mustard seed, 1 dried chili pepper (1/8 tsp crushed,), 2 cloves of garlic, and 1/8 tsp of alum. Pack beans into the spiced jars in a standing position.
  4. Lade the hot brine into jars, leaving 1/2 inch of space at the top. Screw the lids onto the jars and process in a hot water bath for 6 minutes to seal. Store at least 2 weeks before eating.

Well, all my lids have snapped so I am off to bed....
that means the seal 'took' right?



Autumn Apple Cake

This is a very moist cake, recipe is from my sister in law and I of course had to tweak it a bit. This is the season that I like to bake 'apple things'. There are so many varieties of apples in the store and I think any kind will do. I used Gala as those were the kind I happened to have. Was chatting with Trish earlier and for some reason that triggered the urge to bake! Checked my pantry and yes I had all the ingredients so in short order I had the cake in the oven. Did it ever smell wonderful as it baked!
Hubby and I enjoyed some for coffee break..we both mmm'd our way through a rather generous serving with a dollop of whipped cream and some caramel drizzle!

2/3 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk or plain milk will do
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups chopped raw apples
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped nuts..I used pecans, walnuts would be good too

In mixer cream together butter, sugar, add eggs and vanilla. Blend in dry ingredients that have been blended alternately with the buttermilk. Fold in chopped apples and nuts.
Pour into a 9" by 11" greased pan and sprinkle topping over cake.

Topping:
1 tbsp melted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 tsp flour
1/4 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup toffee bits
2 tsp cinnamon
Crumble this together and sprinkle over cake.

Bake at 350 for 40 min.

Mexican Tomato Chowder

Fall is in the air...and soups are on the menu! One of our favorite fall soups is a tomato-corn chowder made from a recipe that I snipped out of a paper many years ago. I must be a Mexican Mennonite because I sure do love the dishes with a Mexican flair! Fresh herbs are wonderful...but dried oregano and basil are fine as well.

Mexican Tomato Chowder

2 pounds field tomatoes
1 large onion
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth
1 large can black beans, drained (19 oz.)
1 can beans in tomato sauce
2 cups sweet corn kernels (fresh, canned or frozen)
1 tsp. each of salt, oregano & basil
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro

Scald tomatoes to remove skins and chop coarsely. In large saucepan, cook onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until softened (about 3 minutes). Stir in stock, chopped tomatoes, corn, beans, salt, oregano, basil and cayenne. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve. Top each serving with a dollop of sour cream!

And if you happen to have an 35-year-old orange pyrex bowl to serve it in, it will even look Mexican!


Friday, August 29, 2008

Farmer Sausage Corn Chowder

  • Another family favourite, it is the soup I often take to families when they need a loving touch.
It is actually quite quick to make. . .no long simmering required, and it stores well in the refrigerator for the remainder of the week for quick lunches. . if it lasts that long.

Corn Chowder
  • 1/2 ring smoked farmer sausage or 3 cups cubed smoked ham
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 - 3 stalks celery, diced. 
  • 2 diced bell peppers
  • 5 medium potatoes,  peeled if not white thin skinned and then diced
  • 3 sliced carrots 
  • 2 -3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  1. Saute the sausage or ham in a soup pot.
  2. Add the onions and celery and fry until the veggies are softened.
  3. Add 5 -6 cups of water to the pot.
  4. Add the rest of the veggies. . .adding the corn last.
  5. Allow to simmer until all the veggies are tender.
I do this mid afternoon, put it on a very slow simmer . . .barely simmering and leave it be until nearly dinner time when I add the cheese sauce.
Cheese Sauce
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups grated cheese (cheddar or mexican blend)
  1. Stir together melted butter and flour in a 4 cup measuring cup.
  2. Add milk and whisk until well combined.
  3. Heat a minute at a time in the microwave, stirring well after each minute until the sauce is thickened and bubbly.
  4. Add cheese and stir to melt.
  5. Add the sauce into the soup and bring to a very low simmer and then serve immediately.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

SUMMER FRUIT PIES


Although several great recipes for pies have been posted already, I will add some more pictures and ideas so that we have more to glean from. Below I have the general pie pastry recipe for 1 double crust pie. This will fit a regular or a deep dish pie plate.

PASTRY ( for double crust pie)

1 2/3 c flour
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 c shortening or lard
4 Tbsp cold water

Combine flour, salt and shortening in medium sized mixing bowl. Cut shortening into flour with pastry blender until pieces are the size of large peas. Sprinkle with water and stir with fork, in circular motion, until there are no more lose crumbs. Press together with hands and shape into a ball. Divide in half. Turn out on floured surface, pat and shape with hands into circular shape then roll out a little larger than your pie plate. Roll onto rolling pin and unroll into pie plate. Bottom crust should come up higher than edge of pan.

FRUIT FILLING – (deep) double crust

Brush unbaked bottom crust with slightly beaten egg whites, to keep from getting soggy. Fill with fresh or frozen fruit. (approx 6 cups) Sprinkle with mixture of sugar and flour that is WELL MIXED. (Amounts will vary depending on tartness of fruit and taste preference) I just shake or tap the pan so sugar disperses a bit.
Cover with second crust. Fold top crust over and under bottom crust, so that you can pinch the two layers together as you flute them.
Brush with beaten egg white and cut small slits. Bake at 400F for 15 min. Turn down to 350F and bake for another 50 min. or until juice bubbles out through slits.
Basic suggestions to try:
* blueberries - sprinkle with some lemon rind, mix ½ cup sugar and 4 Tbsp flour
* peaches and nectarines – mix  ½ cup sugar, 3 Tbsp flour and 3 Tbsp tapioca
* blackberries – sprinkle with lemon rind, mix ¾ cup sugar, 4 Tbsp flour and 4 Tbsp tapioca
* apples – mix ½ cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 2 Tbsp flour

Baked pie keeps up to 5 days in the fridge and can be re-heated. Pie can also be frozen raw and baked later.

FREEZING PIES:
If you want to make up some fruit pies in the summer while the fruit is handy and get the mess over and done with, I would suggest using the pastry recipes posted by Charlotte, Lovella or Marg, or multiplying this one (using a pound (1 pkg) of shortening or lard, 5 ½ cups flour, 2 1/2 tsp salt and 3/4 cup water and 1 Tbsp vinegar – very similar)
Divide the pastry into three or four balls and divide each ball again, so that you can make 3 large double crust pies or 4 small double crust pies to fit 9” foil pie plates.
Don’t forget to brush the bottom crust with an egg wash and then again the top.
Because the foil pie plates are smaller, use a little less fruit (4 – 5 cups) and a little less sugar mix if you want them slightly on the tart side. Freeze pies first, then transfer into plastic bags, or do the top egg wash just before baking. Note: a frozen pie will easily transfer into a glass pie plate when you want to bake it.
Extra Tips:
*Don’t knead pastry, rather handle as little as possible.
*If the pastry tears as you transfer it, don’t re-roll, rather patch and seal with egg wash later.
*Don’t add more liquids because it will give a tougher crust.

PS I used to always use Tenderflake, but ever since it’s changed to non- hydrogenated, it seems to be different, so I don’t have a favorite any more. I like shortening crusts for pudding filled pies and such, but top crusts seem to be crispier using lard. That’s just been my experience.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Blackberry Apple Tart - yet more blackberries

I still had some blackberries left over from Sunday and a colleague had an apple tree that was bountiful this year so I was fortunate enough to be the recipient of some apples mid-workweek. I though I would quickly put together a combo dessert for work. This is a twist on the pie version....I hope you like it. I can proudly call it my own - a crust from one recipe....a unique blend of a 'struesel' topping and a filling I made up with a bit of this and a bit of that.... Hope they like it at work.

Pastry

1/2 cup butter
1 egg

3 to 4 tbsp cold water

2 cups flour

pinch of salt


Blend butter and flour and salt in food processor. Add egg. Mix just til dough 'pulls' up or combines. If needed, add water 1 tbsp at a time. Take out and form into a ball, wrap in saran and refrigerate for two hours or overnight. On a lightly floured surface roll out dough to form an 11 inch circle. Flip into your deep dish pie plate lightly coaxing the dough up the sides. Pinch the 'rim' and cut off excess. Place back in fridge for one hour.
Topping
6 tbsp flour

1/3 cup brown sugar
6 tbsp finely ground almonds
3 tbsp butter

Combine in a bowl and roll between palms of hand until well mixed into crumbs. Set aside.

Filling
Preheat oven to 400.
6 apples peeled, cut up into 1/2 inch or less cubes
1/4 cup apple brandy
(I never keep the stuff so
I used what I had on hand
...a little port)

1 cup blackberries


In a large heavy skillet melt butter. Add apples and stir often over a fifteen minute time period. You may add some cinnamon...some like it just fresh without any spice. When soft - not soupy - add brandy and allow to absorb and burn off over high heat. If the mixture remains too runny add a bit (1 tsp) of custard powder or vanilla pudding powder but go easy....you don't want pudding. Allow mixture to cool. Arrange apple mixture on pastry. Sprinkle with blackberries. Crumble topping on top and then press it firmly with hand or spatula to form an even 'crust' cover. Bake in 400 degree oven for 20 to 40 minutes until top is golden brown. (The length of time will relate to how deep a dish you are using. Mine took 27 minutes with 3/4 inch deep plate. Just keep checking.) Serve warm with ice cream or a very nice -low sweetened and thick dollop of REAL whipping cream

Peanut Butter Swirl Cookies

Okay...I admit that the handwritten scrawl on the worn paper said "Peanut Butter Pin Wheel Cookies" but as mine did not turn out perfect....I am thinking a swirl is as good a name as any. I found this recipe inside a book in a stack of recipe books given to me to sort through from a good friend and colleague. The recipe seemed easy enough although peanut butter cookies are very sensitive and break easily, so do be careful and allow them to cool properly...on a rack! The aroma was so delicious I had to break down and be the taste tester this time....they did not disappoint.

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar and 1 cup white sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour

Filling:
2 teaspoons butter
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in peanut butter, vanilla and egg. Add baking soda and salt, stir until well distributed, then add flour and stir until it is absorbed. Chill dough for 45 minutes max.

While the cookie dough is chilling prepare the filling. Melt chocolate with butter in a bowl in ten second intervals in the microwave. Let cool slightly

Divide chilled dough in half. On a lightly floured surface roll each half into 10 X 8 inch rectangle and spread each rectangle with half the chocolate mixture, stopping about ½ inch from sides.
Starting from long side roll up each rectangle jelly roll style to form 2 long rolls. Wrap separately seam side down in plastic wrap. Chill until firm at least three hours or overnight.

Using a sharp knife, cut into 1/4 inch slices. Place 1 1/2 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes of until lightly browned. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen medium sized cookies. NOTE: Make sure that your oven is at the right temperature.

Spaghetti Casserole


This is a simple casserole with lots of flavor. I usually make several and freeze one for a busy day.
Cook 200 grams of pasta. ( I used whole wheat spaghetti broken into pieces)
Meat Sauce
  • 2 lbs hamburger
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 minced onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped peppers ( I had frozen mixed pre chopped peppers in my freezer )
Saute vegetables in oil and add meat. Fry until meat is browned. Drain any excess fat.
ADD and simmer
  • 2 680 ml cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 2 large chopped fresh tomatoes
I added fresh parsley, oregano and thyme form my herb pot. If you don't have fresh add dry spices. I also add 1/4 tsp of dry chili peppers.
Simmer for 1/2-1 hour.
Combine pasta and sauce in a large casserole and top with grated cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 for 45 minutes.
I made Anneliese's french bread with this, and Caesar salad.
Good comfort food on a drizzly day.

Tacos

When I was dating my husband, his Mom would often have some of the young people from church over and she would make homemade tacos. They were a favorite then and have been one of the most requested meals from our girls and their friends while growing up. We all gathered in the kitchen and would each be given a few items to chop or grate. Have you ever heard of putting mashed potatoes, peas, and dill pickles in tacos? Well we do and it is tasty! Weird, but tasty! Try it, I think you will agree!


TACO SHELLS

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Whisk ingredients together until you get a smooth runny batter.
    STEP ONE-dry fry
    Spray a non stick fry pan with a small amount of PAM
    Heat on medium heat until pan is hot. Place about 1/2 cup of batter into the middle of the pan and with the back of a spoon swirl batter into a very thin circle. Allow to set and then flip to dry fry the other side. Place on cooling rack and continue until all the batter is used up. You will have about 6-8 shells. You can use these shells now or for added flavor and slight crispness deep fry in canola oil. They don't freeze well.
    STEP TWO-deep fry (optional)
    Using a deep sided fry pan add about 2 inches of oil to the pan and heat on med-high. You want the oil to be hot enough that when you drop the shell in it sizzles. (not too hot or they get too crispy) I usually just dip the corner of one shell into oil to check it out.
    When oil is hot enough drop shells in one at a time , let fry for about 20 seconds and then flip with a spoon and fork and fry about 20 more seconds. They should not get too crispy as you want to be able to roll them after filling. After deep frying each shell place on a cookie sheet lined with paper towel to absorb excess grease. Continue until you have all the shells fried. Once fried they are best eaten right aways. I keep them in a warm oven.
    Before I make the shells I usually cut up all the fillings. Put each item in a serving dish ready for everyone to fill their own shells.

FILLINGS

  • 1 lb hamburger -fry and salt/pepper to taste(or add a package of taco seasoning)
  • 2 cups of mashed potatoes - I add a bit of milk and butter to make them creamy
  • 1 cup cooked peas
  • diced tomatoes
  • diced dill pickles
  • shredded lettuce
  • finely chopped onion
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • taco sauce - My in-laws always went to the States and bought La Victoria taco sauce at Fred Meyers. We haven't changed a thing. We still pick up a good supply for us and our married kids. There is just something about an original flavor. You can use any taco sauce of salsa.
    Get creative and add what you like. (sour cream, guacamole, black olives, celery re fried beans)
    You might think us weird, but we also have a tradition that we only drink Good Host Iced Tea with this meal....with lots of ice of course.
    AND our tradition for dessert, home made Chocolate Cake with Seven Minute Frosting. i will post that another time.
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Maple Dijon Salmon with Pistachios


My sister in law gave me this recipe and it's become a favourite! It's easy prep and no hands on cooking! I've made it both on the BBQ and in the oven

Salmon fillets

3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 cup shelled and coarsely chopped pistachio nuts

Place salmon, skin side down on parchment paper or foil covered baking sheet (spray foil with oil) or a foil pan if doing on the BBQ.
Mix Maple syrup and Dijon Mustard together and spread over salmon fillet.
Sprinkle with pistachios and bake in oven at 350 degrees or on BBQ until fish is done.
It should flake easily with a fork but not be too dry. (Depending on the thickness of the fish, this will take about 20 minutes.)
Lift the salmon off of the skin and place on serving plate.

Lemon Pepper Salmon

Harv just came home from his annual fishing trip to Shearwater Lodge in Bella Bella and I now have 50 ibs. of salmon in the freezer. We made this salmon dish last night at my sister's place but I didn't have my camera. So you get a picture of the fish freshly caught instead!
I'll just list the ingredients as the amounts will vary for the amount of salmon you are cooking.
salmon fillets - We had Coho but any other variety is fine too

mayonaise - enough to cover the top of the salmon fillet
Lemon pepper - about 1 Tbsp to about 1/2 cup mayo or to taste
Dill - 1/2 tsp. to 1/2 cup mayo

Place salmon skin side down on a foil lined baking sheet or foil pan.
Mix mayonnaise with the seasoning and spread over the top of the salmon pieces.
Bake or BBQ for 20- 25 minutes - test it with a fork at 15 or 20 minutes - if it begins to flake it is done. Do not overcook or it will be dry.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Apricot Chicken


When our children were growing up this was our family favorite.
  • 1 cut up chicken or 6 - 8 small flattened chicken breasts 
  • 1 package dried onion soup mix. . or garlic onion 
  • 1/2 cup of apricot jam 
  • 1 small bottle Russian Dressing 
  • a sprinkle of chili peppers for a bit of bite. . if you like 

  1. Spray a 9 X 13 pan with Pam. 
  2. Line the chicken in the pan in a single layer. 
  3. Mix the remainder ingredients and pour over the chicken.
  4. Bake at 350 about an hour and a half. . .
  5. If I use frozen chicken breasts and whole chicken pieces . .it is 1 1/2 hours but if small chicken breasts .. it would closer to one hour.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Black Berry Cream Cheese Cake

The day started off rather gloomy and then turned to a steady downpour. But not before my Shepherd and I got in a picking of Blackberries..... This recipe is one I have pulled from a friend of a friend's of a friend's who runs a B & B. I can see why this made the menu...I am keeping it for my B & B Cookbook.


Streusel Topping:

1/3 cup (45 grams) all purpose white flour

1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup (56 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Cream Cheese Filling:

8 ounce package (227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (peel)

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

Cake Batter:

1 cup (140 grams) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup (56 grams) (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup (80 ml) milk

1 cup fresh blackberries, raspberries or blueberries or 1/2 cup raspberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Butter a 9 inch (23 cm) spring form pan and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

For streusel topping: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and ground cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

For cream cheese filling: Beat the cream cheese until creamy and smooth. Add the rest of the filling ingredients and beat until very smooth. Set aside.

For cake batter: In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add the flour mixture, alternately with the milk, and beat only until combined. Spread the batter onto the bottom, and slightly up the sides, of the prepared pan. Next, spread the cream cheese filling over the cake batter. Scatter the fresh berries over the filling and top with the streusel.

Bake for about 60 to 70 minutes or until the streusel is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


Makes 8 - 10 servings

Magic Bars

I have to admit....I was a bit skeptical. But in suddenly needing a quick 'boys' bar square for an afternoon get together I was desperate to quickly use what was at hand. I dashed to Cookie Madness where I have been successful before. Here was this terrific recipe with ALL the ingredients I had in the cooking cupboard. Well, okay...I had no idea what Golden Oreos were but I assumed the vanilla ones would do. The only changes I made were to use a mixture of pecan and walnuts (as I did not have enough pecans) and I only had fig newtons at home. My choco chips were of the tinier variety but equally as good.

Oh, and the cream cheese in the ingredient picture?
Not needed...it was just along for the 'ride'
as it was waiting for a photo session with my next baking venture.

Ingredients

45 Newton cookies, strawberry or raspberry (I used fig)
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk (that is a 300 g can for us Canadians)
1 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (I only had mini chips but worked well)
1 cup pecan pieces (did 1/2 pecan and 1/2 walnut)
8 regular or Golden Oreos, broken up (not crushed) (Vanilla Oreos?)
1/4 cup shredded, sweetened coconut (optional) Yes....a must use in my house

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with parchment.

Lay Newton cookies side by side across bottom of lined dish, packing closely together. Pour condensed milk over Newtons.

Stir together chocolate chips, pecan pieces, broken up sandwich cookies and coconut (if using) and sprinkle over the Newtons.

Bake for 22-25 minutes. Let cool, then chill for a while. Cut into 24 bars.