Monday, June 20, 2016

Garlic Scape Pesto

I was just given a huge pile of garlic scapes from my niece Kelly...our farm manager.  It was time to trim them off the garlic so that the garlic bulbs could bulk up before their harvest next month.

Here's the bowl full of scapes:



Today I made a whole lot of garlic scape pesto.



And then I got it ready for the freezer.



One of these tossed into any pasta, soup or stew will be delicious.  I wonder how long it will last.

Here's the recipe I used.  Both a normal size portion and the bulk size portion.

Garlic Scape Pesto

Normal Size Portion:            
·      1/4 cup pine nuts
·      3/4 cup coarsely chopped garlic scapes
·      ½ cup basil
·      Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
·      1/2 teaspoon salt
·      A few generous grinds of black pepper
·      1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
·      1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


Bulk Size Portion*:
·      1 ¼  cups pine nuts
·      5 cups coarsely chopped garlic scapes
·      1 + cup of basil
·      Juice and zest of 3 lemons
·      3 teaspoons salt
·      1 tsp black pepper
·      3 cup extra virgin olive oil
·      3/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
·       
*(Makes enough pesto to fill 1 ice tray and 12 cupcake tins + 1 cup for the fridge)


Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan for 2-3 minutes.  Let cool a bit.  Put the scapes, basil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper into your food processer.  Pulse until well mixed.  (About 20 pulses).   Turn the processor on and slowly drizzle in the olive oil.  Remove the lid and scrap down the sides.  Add the cheese and pulse again to well mixed and the texture you prefer.

Enjoy.




Friday, May 27, 2016

Work in Progress

I'm working on a granola bar recipe.  Hope to have it perfected soon.  I started with a recipe from Ina, but that one just fell apart.  Intertwined Ina and PW's recipes, but I think I over cooked it and the sunflower seeds gave it a funky taste...although it's still getting consumed pretty quickly.

I'll keep you posted.

HAHAHAHAHA!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

My Lost Blog

I have not been able to access my blog since May 8.  In fact, no one could access it.  It seemed to have just disappeared.  Turns out I needed to fix something with my DNS CNAME settings.

ARGHHHHH!!!

I set this whole blog thing up back in 2009.  I somehow managed to purchase a domain name and get it to work with Blogger.  But that was back in 2009.  That is a long, long time in techno years when you get to be my age.  I have NO memory of what I did back then.  I do remember being quite pleased that I got it to work, but today, it's all a mystery.

Ended up calling technical support and was quickly able to resolve the issue.  Somehow an additional CNAME alias was set up for my www link.  NO FREAKIN' idea how that could have happened since I never touch it.  They had no idea either.

So glad it's all better, but has caused me some significant stress today.




Monday, May 2, 2016

Easy Peel Hardboiled Eggs

I can't tell you how long I have struggled with peeling hard-boiled eggs.  Seriously....it's been a long time.  I have been so frustrated while peeling an egg, as I remove shell bit by tiny bit resulting in a tore up ugly egg with a significant portion of the whites still sticking to the shell.

Every recipe I ever seen has called for starting the eggs in cold water, bring to a boil, turn off heat and cover.  Let the eggs sit for 10-12 minutes.  That is how I have always made my hard-boiled eggs which always resulted in a difficult peeling process.  I pretty sure I even watch Ina make them this way.

In desperation, I reached out to my Facebook community and I got a lot of varied answers.  Add baking soda to the water, put a pin whole in the egg before cooking, don't use fresh eggs, make sure you get them cold quickly in an ice bath.

Finally, finally, finally...with the guidance of my Auntie Mar and the ever helpful Pioneer Woman, I succeeded in making an easy to peel hard-boiled eggs:

Hard-Boiled Eggs


  • Bring a pot of water to boil, making sure you have enough water to cover the eggs.  When the water is boiling, using a slotted spoon to GENTLY place each egg in the water.  Return the eggs to a gentle boil.  Boil for 12-13 minutes


  • Immediately, place each egg in a ice water bath.  Let them cool in the water for 5 minutes.  Remove the eggs from the water, dry them off and cracked the shells to peel.
Perfect eggs.

And here's what I made with my eggs:



Egg Salad

Ingredients
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced
1-2 stalks of celery, diced
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp dry mustard
salt & pepper to taste

Add all the ingredients to a bowl and stir  to combine.   Spread liberally on two pieces of toasted wheat bread (buttered) with some crunchy lettuce and eat yourself happy.  I know I just did.





Monday, April 25, 2016

Breakfast Goodies #3

I know this is a long time in coming.  So sorry it has taken me this long to post.

Here is the third and final installment of the Breakfast casserole recipes from my mother's birthday brunch.

This is the sweet one.  Perfect for my mother who has developed a bit of sweet tooth as she has gotten older (haven't we all).



Sorry for the crap photo. 

Raspberry and Mascarpone French Toast Bake

Ingredients

Casserole:
12 slices of Italian or French bread cut into pieces (Leave out over night to dry out)
2 (8 oz) containers of mascarpone
1-cup fresh raspberries
12 eggs
2-cups half and half
½ cup maple syrup

Raspberry Sauce:
1-cup raspberries
1-cup water
1-cup sugar
2 TBL cornstarch
3 TBL butter

Spray the bottom and sides of a 9x12 baking dish (can also use large oval Corning Ware casserole dish).

Add half of the bread to the baking dish.  Scatter chunks of mascarpone over the bread.  Scatter 1 cup of raspberries over the mascarpone.  Top with the remaining bread cubes.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, half and half and syrup.  Pour over bread mixture.  Cover securely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

For the sauce:  In a small saucepan, whisk together the water sugar and cornstarch.  Bring to a boil over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture thickens.  Gently fold in 1 cup of raspberries and butter.  Stir gently until butter melts.  Can be made the morning of or the day before.  If you make it the day before, just store in the refrigerator and reheat in the morning.

Remove casserole from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to baking.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove cover and bake for 30-40 minutes until puffed up and brown. 

Serve with sauce or warm maple syrup.  Both work well with this dish.




And I'm adding this photo of mom and her sister...just because.

Sisters




Saturday, April 9, 2016

Card of the Week

April is by far the heaviest Birthday month for my family.  We have eight birthdays in quick succession.  Already sent out two cards and made two more today.

Here is the inspiration I used:

And here is my sister's card:



And here is Breslyn's:



I am often surprised by how a card changes from when I start it to when I finish it.   Frequently it's quite different.  Just an evolution I guess.

Happy Saturday Everyone.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Breakfast Goodies Part 2

Now it's time for the Spinach and Gruyere Strata.  Again, this recipe originated from Cooks Illustrated.  Need to give credit where credit is due.

You all ready...Here goes:


Breakfast Strata

Spinach and Gruyere Version – Double Recipe

Ingredients (makes one 8 x 12 inch strata)
  • ·       10 – 12 slices supermarket French or Italian Bread
  • ·       10 Tbl butter
  • ·       8 medium shallots, minced (about 1/2 of a cup)
  • ·       2 packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • ·       Salt and ground black pepper
  • ·       1 cup medium-dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
  • ·       12 bounces Gruyere cheese, grated
  • ·       12 large eggs
  • ·       3 ½ cups half and half

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 225 degrees.  Arrange bread in a single layer on large baking sheet and bake 20 minutes and flip.  Bake 20 minutes more until bread is dry and crisp. Set aside to cool. (Alternative option: leave slices out overnight to dry.) When cooled, butter slices on one side using 4 tablespoons of butter; set aside.

Heat 4 tablespoons of butter in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Sauté shallots until fragrant and translucent, about 3 minutes; add spinach and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir occasionally, until spinach and shallots are combined, about 2 minutes. Transfer spinach mixture to medium bowl; set aside.  Add wine to skillet, increase heat to medium-high and simmer until reduced to ¼ cup, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Butter 8 x 12 -inch rectangular baking dish with remaining 2 tablespoons butter; arrange half the buttered bread slices, buttered-side up, in a single layer in the dish (can cut bread to fit).  Sprinkle half of the spinach mixture over the layer of bread.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese on top of the spinach mixture.  Arrange remaining bread slices in single layer over cheese.  Sprinkle remaining spinach mixture and then another 1/2 cup of cheese evenly over bread.

Whisk eggs in medium bowl until combined; whisk in cooled reduced wine mixture, half and half, 1 tsp salt, and pepper to taste.  Pour egg mixture evenly over bread layers; cover surface flush with plastic wrap.  Place boxes of sugar or cake mixes on top of plastic wrap.  (Intent here is to press down lightly on the mixture so all the ingredients are covered in the egg mixture.)  Refrigerate overnight.


Remove dish from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees.  Uncover strata and add remaining ½ cup cheese.  Bake until both edges and center are puffed and edges have slightly pulled away from the side of the baking dish, 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Enjoy and make often. Preferably with the Sausage version.  It's hard to decide which version is better.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Card of the Week

I'm prepping for the onslaught of April birthdays that are fast approaching.  The next four will all have to be kid focused as four of the five grandkids have birthdays in April or early May.

Here was my inspiration from CAS(E) This Sketch:


And here is my version:


I was trying for a "guy" card.  I think it will work.  Happy carding.