Monday, March 31, 2014

Meyer Lemon Cream

Infuse your meal with the sunny sweet tang of Meyer Lemon Cream. 
Cook's notes:  Every bite of this creamy smooth lemon cream is decadent. It can served in a small demitasse cup, parfait or wine glass. Crumbled ginger cookie crumbs add a finishing touch or top the lemon cream with fresh blueberries or serve over a slice of pound or almond cake.  Meyer lemons were suggested for this recipe but regular lemons will work too.
The recipe serves 4 and would shine at the dessert table for a spring brunch.
Recipe from bonappetit.com

I discovered these crisp ginger cookies and found it was not easy to stop at just one. They go well with coffee or tea. 
 Meyer Lemon Cream
Ingredients:
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 TB. butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 crisp ginger cookie crumbs  
Directions:
  • Whisk eggs, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat
  • Stir constantly until thickened (mixture should coat wooden spoon) about 5-8 minutes
  • Transfer  mixture to blender, add in butter on low speed, blend until smooth
  • Transfer mixture to to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours  
  • Just before serving slightly whip cream till it starts to thicken 
  • Fold into lemon curd and sprinkle with cookie crumbs


Meyer lemons, so named because they were identified in 1908 by Frank N. Meyer, are thought to be a cross between Eurekas or Lisbons and a mandarin orange. They have a sweeter and more floral taste than other lemons and can even have an slightly orange tint. They also have very thin skins, making them difficult to transport and store. Most Meyers are grown in California backyards, but rising demand and wide culinary interest has created demand for a commercial crop and they are increasingly available at markets.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Part Two: Vegetarian Options for a Spring Brunch

Quinoa has come a long way in the last few years. From health stores to the mainstream, its high protein content and delicate texture have made it a popular substitute for starchier pasta and rice.
Today, the popularity of quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is growing steadily as people discover its pleasant nutty taste and superfood qualities. As a complete protein source also high in iron, magnesium, and fiber, quinoa is not only one of our healthiest pantry staples, but also one that's incredibly easy and quick to cook.

Cook's notes: Quinoa is more flavorful when cooked in vegetable or chicken broth rather than water. Try adding in some aromatic spices during cooking as well as a clove of smashed garlic, a sprig of fresh rosemary and/or a dash of black pepper.
This recipe was inspired by iFOODreal.com and serves 4 but ingredients can easily be doubled. The vinaigrette dressing recipe below is enough for 8 servings. 
Quinoa Salad with Apple, Cranberries, Pecans and Maple Vinaigrette Dressing
Salad Ingredients: 
  • 1 cup quinoa (dry, uncooked)
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 large Red Delicious or Gala apple, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
Salad Directions:
  • Add quinoa to broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat,cook on low 10-15 minutes until the liquid is asorbed and quinoa has popped
  • Remove from heat leave covered for 5 minutes
  • Fluff with a fork and add remaining salad ingredients
  • Drizzle with dressing just to combine all salad ingredients
  • Serve at room temperatures or cold
Maple Cider Vinaigrette
recipe adapted from Byerly and Lund's Cookbook
Ingredients:
  • 3 TB. cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. apple pie spice 
  • 1/8 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
Directions:
  • Whisk together cider vinegar and next 5 ingredients. Gradually whisk in oil until well blended or use blender.
  • Vinaigrette may be made up to 3 days ahead. Cover and chill until ready to serve
 
Pear Quinoa and Spinach Salad
Cook's notes: This recipe comes from twopeasandtheirpods.com
A Lemon-Honey dressing recipe below was suggested for the recipe but I really liked using the Maple Cider Vinaigrette recipe. Roasting pears and grapes elevates this salad to a new level. 
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups red seedless grapes
  • 2 large Bartlett pears, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups water
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup quinoa,rinsed and drained
  • 8 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
Lemon-Honey Dressing Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1- 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salad Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine grapes and pears in a small bowl. Drizzle with honey and stir until fruit is well coated. Place fruit on a large greased baking sheet. Roast fruit for 15-20 minutes, or until grapes are slightly shriveled and pears are soft.

  • While the fruit is roasting, cook the quinoa. In a large pot, bring 2 cups chicken broth to a boil. Season water with a pinch of sea salt. Stir in quinoa and cook until water is evaporated and quinoa is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Pour quinoa into a medium bowl and fluff with a fork. Let cool to room temperature.
  • In a salad bowl, combine spinach, roasted grapes, pears, quinoa, and chopped almonds. 
Dressing Ingredients:
  • Combine olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, close, and shake until well combined.
  • Drizzle dressing over salad
Asparagus Roll-Ups
Cook's notes: This recipe comes from Taste of Home. It can  be a vegetarian side by eliminating the ham.
Ingredients:

  • 16 fresh asparagus spears, trimmed 
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, cut into 16 strips 
  • 8 ounces Havarti cheese, cut into 16 strips 
  • 8 thin slices deli ham or prosciutto, cut in half lengthwise 
  • 16 whole chives
Directions:
  • In a large skillet, bring 1 in. of water to a boil. Add asparagus; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and immediately place asparagus in ice water. Drain and pat dry 
  • Place an asparagus spear, red pepper strip and cheese strip on each piece of ham. Roll up tightly; tie with a chive. Refrigerate until serving  

If your iron does not have a non-stick surface, try this tip from the author of Talking Dirty with the Queen of Clean, Linda Cobb: Heat the iron to the hottest, non-steam setting. Sprinkle a brown paper bag with salt and run the iron over the bag.



Saturday, March 29, 2014

Vincent van Gogh

 Happy Birthday Vincent van Gogh March 30th

Arles, France
Vincent Willem van Gogh (1853-1890) was a post-Impressionist painter of Dutch origin whose work, notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty and bold color, had a far-reaching influence on 20th-century art. Although he didn't start painting until the final 10 years of his life he failed to sell a single one of his 900 paintings during his lifetime.  

In just over a decade, he produced more than 2,100 artworks, consisting of 860 oil paintings and more than 1,300 watercolors, drawings, sketches and prints. His work included self portraits, landscapes, still lifes, portraits and paintings of cypresses, wheat fields and sunflowers. His oil paintings and drawings are now some of the world's best known and most expensive works of art. 

Van Gogh moved to Arles in 1888 and stayed one year. He hoped Arles would be a refuge for him since he was ill from drink and suffering from smoker's cough. Van Gogh was enchanted by the local landscape and light, and his works from the period are richly draped in yellow, ultramarine and mauve. His portrayals of the Arles landscape are influenced by his Dutch upbringing; the patchwork of fields and avenues appear flat and lack perspective, but excel in their intensity of color.The vibrant light in Arles excited him, and his new found appreciation is seen in the range and scope of his work

Which brings me to this van Gogh painting. I was quite surprised to see this particular piece of art hanging in the kitchen of the condo we are renting. When we were in Arles this photo below shows the same cafe where supposedly van Gogh painted the picture.


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Buttermilk Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake
Cook's notes: This recipe is perfect for a spring brunch. Buttermilk makes the coffee cake moist with lemon and allspice enhancing the flavor of the blueberries.  
Coffee Cake Ingredients:
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 pint of blueberries, drained and patted dry on a paper towel
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 TB. lemon zest
  • 2TB lemon juice
Coffee Cake Directions:
  • Preheat oven 350 and grease a 8 x 8 pan
  • In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, allspice and cinnamon with a spoon
  • Beat in buttermilk, butter, eggs, zest, lemon juice just until blended
  • Toss blueberries with 1 TB. flour and stir gently ino batter
  • Bake 28 minutes or until center comes clean using a toothpick
  • Cool in pan and then drizzle icing over the top
Icing Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup white vanilla chips
  • 4 TB. powdered sugar
  • 2 TB. milk, add as needed
Icing Directions:
  • Microwave baking chips uncovered on HIGH for 30 seconds
  • Stir until melted  
  • Beat in milk and powdered sugar
  • Drizzle over coffee cake 


Despite its name allspice is just one spice. It gets the name because it tastes like a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Bringing Matisse to America

The Desert: Harmony in Red (1906)
It is considered by many critics to be his finest masterpiece.   

HENRI MATISSE (1869-1954) at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. 
This is the largest collection ever assembled in Minneapolis which exhibits the work of Henri Matisse. Most of the artworks are drawn from the legendary Cone Collection, assembled by two Baltimore sisters–Dr. Claribel Cone and Miss Ettthea Cone who had an unrivaled passion for modernism and Matisse.

Spanning six decades of Matisse’s prolific career, with an emphasis on the artist’s earliest works, this special exhibition features 50 works of painting and sculpture, 30 prints, and the artist’s book Jazz. The exhibit runs from February 23-May 18th. Reservations are needed.

To coincide with this exhibit, the MIA March Book Tour is based on the book Miss Etta and Dr. Claribel by Susan Fillion. These tours are on Tuesday and Thursday each week.

What could be more unlikely than this tale of two unmarried sisters from a German-Jewish family in Baltimore amassing one of the major collections of modern art in America? But Etta and Claribel Cone saw the potential of young artists like Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso when few people, or institutions, in America even knew they existed.
Etta had fallen in love with art on her first trip to Italy under the exuberant encouragement of Leo Stein, an old family friend from Baltimore. During their travels, including an arduous journey around the world in 1906, the sisters began amassing Japanese prints, antiques, textiles, and jewelry. Buying without professional advice or counsel, trusting their eyes and instincts, they soon were concentrating on the avant-garde, befriending and supporting artists, and building one of the foremost collections of Matisse's work in the world.

For decades, their treasures remained hidden in their Baltimore apartment. Claribel died in 1929, and in 1934 Etta published a catalog of the stunning collection she would ultimately bequeath to The Baltimore Museum of Art in 1949. Only then was the amazing breadth of their vision revealed.



Miss Etta and Dr. Claribel was written by Susan Fillion. She is an artist and museum educator from the Baltimore Museum of Art . Over the years she has introduced audiences of all ages to the Cone Collection and taught drawing from the Matisse collection.

The book is aimed at YA (Young Adult) audience but I found 75 pages was just the right amount as an introduction to the life of Matisse, his works of art, friendships with Gertrude Stein and her brother Leo, Picasso and the Cone sisters. 
I found it fascinating to read how the Cone's friendship with Matisse developed over the years and how much of his art they collected. It was quite interesting also to find out that Matisse around 1906 met Pablo Picasso. The two became lifelong friends as well as rivals and are often compared; one key difference between them is that Matisse drew and painted from nature, while Picasso was much more inclined to work from imagination. The subjects painted most frequently by both artists were women and still life with Matisse more likely to place his figures in fully realised interiors.
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Matisse's painting, "Woman with a Hat," caused great controversy at the time for its liberal use of color. It depicts Matisse's wife Amelie. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Brunch Ideas-Part One


The key to a good brunch spread is variety: it's nice to have a few items that are clearly more morning-focused like muffins or cinnamon rolls, but it's also a good idea to offer savory items that help carry it into midday. For brunch, I like to lay out different more substantial salads like an interesting chicken or egg salad along with a colorful grain or pasta salad and assorted fruits.
Creamy scrambled eggs dotted with savory smoked salmon, asparagus pieces and goat cheese make an elegant and easy brunch dish. Or try eggs scrambled eggs with salmon served over rye toast topped with fresh chives.
Ingredients:
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. tarragon
  • 1/3 cup minced onions
  • 1 cup of milk
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 TB. butter
  • 6 0z. smoked salmon, shredded
  • 2 TB. chopped fresh chives
  • 4 slices rye bread

Directions:
  • Blend eggs, milk, salt, pepper, mustard, parsley flakes, tarragon and onion in blender
  • Melt the butter in non-stick pan and when it is foaming, pour in the egg mixture
  • Cook gently over a low heat, stirring until the eggs have thickened and almost scrambled.
  • Stir the salmon into the eggs and continue to cook until the eggs are a creamy consistency. Remember the slower you cook scrambled eggs the creamier they will become
  • Toast the rye bread, cut in half and place on four plates
  • Top with the scrambled eggs, add chives  


Dutch boy (or baby) pancake is a large puffed popover-like pancake that’s baked in the oven. These mini versions are made baking the batter in a muffin pan. Serve at brunch time with a lemon-infused blueberry sauce and a sprinkle of confectioners’ sugar. 
recipe from mccormick.com and serves 4
Ingredients Mini Dutch Boy Pancakes:

  • 1/2 cup flour 
  • 1/2 cup milk 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla 
  • ¼ tsp. salt
Ingredients Blueberry-Lemon Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch 
  • 1 cup blueberries 
  • 3 tablespoons water 
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract 
Pancake Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. For the Pancakes, spray 12-cup muffin pan with no stick cooking spray and set aside 

  • Place all ingredients in blender container; cover. Blend on medium speed until smooth. Pour evenly into prepared muffin pan. 
  • Bake 13 to 16 minutes or until edges of pancakes are golden brown. Cool on wire rack 2 minutes. 
  • Lemon-blueberry Sauce Directions: 
  • Mix sugar and cornstarch in small saucepan, add in blueberries, water and lemon extract 
  • Bring to boil on medium heat, stirring constantly and boil 1 minute 
  • Spoon sauce into center of each pancake. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Serve immediately 

Shrimp and Pasta Primavera 
recipe from mccormick.com
Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 8 ounces linguine
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1-1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or plain fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1-1/2 cups cut-up broccoli florets
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, strips
  • 1 cup peas
Directions:
  • Cook pasta in 5-quart Dutch oven as directed on package, adding shrimp and vegetables during the last 3 to 4 minutes of cooking,drain well.
  • Mix half-and-half, cheese, salt and all of the spices in same Dutch oven
  • Bring to boil, stirring constantly with whisk. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes
  • Add in pasta, shrimp, vegetables and sour cream; toss gently to coat well and heat through
  • Serve immediately with additional Parmesan cheese 



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The World According to Bella

Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge and Dining Out
Once I spied this critter in the swamp I was out of control even though Mrs. S assured me I was not in danger. But this alligator looked pretty scary. The beady looking eyes really freaked me out. Since I just couldn't stop barking I was dragged back to the van.  I missed all the fun of going on a swamp tour boat ride. I had to hear all about it afterwards. This is the last thing I saw before I was left behind.
Okefenokee Wildlife Refuge is huge. It covers 630 square miles in southeast Georgia. Okefenokee is a Native American word meaning "land of the trembling earth."  I thought it was strange when Mrs. S read that on an average wildfires burn the swamp on a 20 year 
cycle following periods of drought. So we saw lots of burned trees.  
There was lots to do where we were like boating, hiking, fishing,camping and hunting. But if you are a dog not too much. I could only walk the trails and it was a 'must' to be on a leash. So for me not too pet friendly. Too many rules on what I could and could not do.  
After many, many hours Mrs. S announced we should eat which sounded like the best thing I'd heard all day.  She spent some time on her phone looking for a restaurant and scored big with Gourmet, Gourmet.  They advertised being pet friendly with outdoor dining but here is the best part...  suggested that pet owners should ask for Doggie Menu. 
Imagine having your own menu to choose from. Mrs. S had to explain what charcuterie meant before I placed my order. I was in 'dog heaven' with this place! 
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Ever struggled with the supposedly simple kitchen task of boiling and peeling an egg?
The best guarantee of easy peeling is to use old eggs!” But consider adding 1 tsp. baking soda to the water.
Baking soda helps to separate the egg from the shell. A little sodium bicarbonate in the cooking water makes it alkaline, which in turn draws some of the water content in the egg through the shell and into the pot.

Robert Frost



Robert Lee Frost was an American poet. He is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. His work frequently employed settings from rural life in New England in the early twentieth century, using them to examine complex social and philosophical themes. A popular and often-quoted poet, Frost was honored frequently during his lifetime, receiving four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry.

Robert Frost reading at JFK's Inauguration 


I picked the following poems because they seemed timely though spring's arrival is a bit slow in some regions. 

A Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

by Robert Frost


Spring Pools

These pools that, though in forests, still reflect
The total sky almost without defect,
And like the flowers beside them, chill and shiver,
Will like the flowers beside them, soon be gone,
And yet not out by any brook or river,
But up by roots to bring dark foliage on.

The trees that have it in their pent-up buds
To darken nature and be summer woods—
Let them think twice before they use their powers
To blot out and drink up and sweep away
These flowery waters and these watery flowers
From snow that melted only yesterday.


by Robert Frost

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring on a Plate


Such Singing in the Wild Branches

It was spring
and I finally heard him
among the first leaves––
then I saw him clutching the limb

in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still

and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness––
and that’s when it happened,

when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree––
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,

and the sands in the glass
stopped
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward

like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing––
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed

not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfect blue sky–––all of them

were singing.
And, of course, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last

For more than a few moments.
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,

is that, once you’ve been there,
you’re there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?

Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then––open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.
-Mary Oliver

Spring Salad
Cook's notes: A tangy herb vinaigrette pairs well with this spring salad. Strawberries are one of the early bird berries of the season. Adding crisp green beans, radishes and sweet snap peas make this an ultra crunchy salad.  
The salad serves 4 and is adapted from BHG March 2014
Dressing makes 3/4 cup 
Salad Ingredients:
  • chopped Romaine lettuce or spring greens
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup sliced radishes or watermelon radishes
  • 8 oz. green beans, ends trimmed
  • 8 oz. sugar snap peas
  • 1/4 cup caramelized almonds
Salad Directions:
  • In a large pot cook green beans and peas in boiling salted water 3 minutes
  • Fill a colander with ice cubes, drain beans and peas, let sit for  few minutes
  • In a large bowl toss beans  and peas with a 2 TB. of dressing, cover and chill 30 minutes or up until 4 hours
  • Stir in radishes and strawberries
  • On each serving plate add mixed greens, with strawberries, beans and radishes
  • Top with almonds and a drizzle of dressing
Dressing Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup Olive oil
  • 2 TB. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TB. honey
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 TB. minced onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • 1/4 tsp. tarragon
  • 1/4 tsp. parsley
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp. each salt and cracked pepper
Dressing Directions:
  • Add all ingredients in blender and blend or use a screw top jar, refrigerate to meld flavors 
  • Whisk right before serving



Did you know that homemade pie crusts can be extra crispy by using vodka rather than water?


Swapping ice cold vodka for water in pie crust recipes ensures a flakier crust. The liquid makes the dough more pliable to work with, and then evaporates while baking, giving you a lighter result than when using water. Check out google for more information.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Lavender Cookies

The lavender fields in Provence, France are on my 'bucket list.' The fields bloom anywhere between May and July. The peak is late June till early July. I have seen pictures that show these fields to be spectacular during the peak and I am told that one must see it full bloom to appreciate its real beauty and heavenly scent.
But for the time being, I will be content munching on freshly baked lavender cookies
while dreaming of far off lavender fields. Mary Ann Miller got me hooked on these cookies as she had them displayed at Amelia Island Book Festival along with her book More Travels With A Blue Vase:A Sketchbook of Paris and Beyond.  The blog was posted February 22. 
I have been experimenting with a few recipes now that I have a good size container of lavender buds, courtesy of my friend Dennie.  
Cook's notes: These delicate shortbread cookies were fragrant with lemon and hints of lavender spice. I might add these cookies go great with a cup of tea or coffee. 
My biggest challenge making this recipe was not having a food processor available. So just to let you know it is possible to pull off this recipe using parts of the imersion blender set-up or a blender and a pastry cutter to work butter into crumb mixture.
Be sure to use parchment paper for easier handling of cookies. 
Makes 24 cookies and recipe is from food.com
Lavender Cookies
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 TB. grated lemon zest
  • 2 TB. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. dried lavender buds
  • 1-3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp.salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 12 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes 
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Directions:
  • In a food processor, process the sugar, lemon zest and lavender buds until the sugar, zest and lavender are fully incorporated (about 30 seconds)
  • Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt together and add to sugar mixture, pulse to combine, about 10 1 second pulses
  • Scatter butter pieces over flour/sugar mixture and pulse until mixture becomes fine cornmeal
  • In a measuring cup, beat together the lemon juice, egg yolk and vanilla
  • With machine running, add in juice mixture and continue processing until dough forms a ball about 10-15 seconds
  • On a clean floured surface, work dough gently into a ball and then shape the dough to a long cyclinder log shape
  • Roll log shape on to wax paper, reshape and cover  with plastic wrap, seal edges
  • Place dough log in  freezer for an hour or 2 hours in the refrigerator
  • Preheat oven to 375 line baking sheet with parchment paper   
  • Slice log into pieces about 1-1/2 inches diameter, keep rest of dough refrigerated until needed for next batch
  • Bake 9 minutes or until edges are slightly brown

Use a few drops of water, creme of tartar and a sponge to get your stainless steel appliances looking brand new again.


"The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers." 
-- Thich Nhat Hanh 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Herbed Chicken in a Tomato Cream Sauce

Food quote supplied by Bella

Herbed Chicken and Tomatoes
Cook's notes: This recipe is a flavorful combination of herbs, chicken and a cream tomato sauce served over thin spaghetti noodles. It serves 4 and was adapted from mccormickgourmet.com 
Pair this meal with Chianti, zinfandel or Pinot Noir wine.
Ingredients:
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken fillets
  • 1-1/2 tsp. each dried crushed basil and Rosemary
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 4-1/2 TB. flour (reserve 1TB. flour for the sauce)
  • 1 small diced onion
  • 1 can of chunky tomatoes (garlic, basil, oregano)
  • 2 TB. tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 TB. cream or fat free half and half
  • 2-3 TB. vegetable oil (divided)
  • 8 0z. pasta such as spaghetti or linguine
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Directions:
  • Mix seasonings in a shallow bowl with 3 TB. flour 
  • Coat chicken fillets in seasoned flour, place on a sheet of wax paper
  • In a large skillet heat 1TB. oil, cook chicken 3 minutes on a side or until cooked thorough 
  • Remove chicken from pan, cool slightly and cut each piece diagonally
  • Whisk 1-1/2 TB. flour into the chicken stock 
  • Wipe skillet clean, add in 1 TB. oil, saute onions
  • Add in can of tomatoes, chicken stock mixed with flour, chicken pieces and tomato paste
  • Blend sauce and simmer on low 20-25 minutes
  • Last 5 minutes add in 2 TB. cream and stir
  • While sauce and chicken are simmering , cook pasta and drain
  • To serve place chicken on top of pasta, spoon sauce over chicken, grate Parmesan cheese on top
Bon Appetit !  

that stained clothes can have a second chance. 
Before cleaning the stained garment, soak it in solution with two-parts milk and one part white vinegar overnight. Stain, be gone