Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pork Chops with Blueberry-Chipotle Sauce


Pork Chops with Blueberry-Chipotle Sauce 
recipe from tideandthyme.com
Cook's notes:The sweet and spicy combo was the perfect accent for the meaty chops. I served it all over a bed of cinnamon-spiked mashed sweet potatoes. An easy recipe for summer grilling. A time saver is making the blueberry chipotle sauce a day ahead and reheat on low right before serving. 
Pork Chops with Blueberry-Chipotle Sauce and Cinnamon Spiked Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in (1-inch thick) pork chops or 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp. each salt and pepper
For the Blueberry-Chipotle Sauce:
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 TB. red wine vinegar
  • 3 TB. light brown sugar
  • 2 TB. blueberry preserves
  • 1 TB. chipotle in adobo, chopped
For the Cinnamon-Spiked Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2-3 TB. butter
  • 1 TB. brown sugar
  • 2 TB. half and half
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • kosher salt
Directions:
  • Add the quartered sweet potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Boil over medium-high heat until potatoes are tender – about 15 minutes. Drain, and place back in the pot. Add the butter, brown sugar, half and half, and cinnamon. Mash until smooth and well combined or use a hand mixer. Season to taste with salt and cinnamon. May need to use more half and half to get the right consistency. Cover and set aside.
  • Prepare the sauce by combining all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once blueberries begin to soften and burst, reduce heat to low and let sauce simmer until it’s reduced by about half. The sauce will thicken as it cools. 
  • While sauce is reducing, grill the chops. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Season chops with salt and pepper well on both sides. Grill chops for about 3 minutes on each side, internal temperature should reach 140. Remove to a platter and tent with aluminum foil.
  • To serve, lay down a bed of the sweet potatoes, followed by a chop. Spoon over chop some of the blueberry-chipotle sauce. Serve immediately. 
Cook's notes: 
Amazingly refreshing, bubbly, and sweet - a perfect summer cocktail that you can make in just 5 minutes! recipe adapted from 
The Comfort of Cooking
Ingredients: 
  • 3 cups prosecco, chilled
  • 1 cup limoncello liqueur, chilled
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 6 sprigs fresh mint
Directions:
  • In a large pitcher, whisk together prosecco and limoncello.
  • Serve over raspberries, garnished with mint, if desired.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Summer Provencal Vegetable Gratin


Provencal Vegetable Gratin
For this gratin, use all the interesting green and yellow summer squashes (pattypan, scallop, crookneck, butterstick) you can find at the farmers' market or if you are lucky enough in your very own garden.
Cook's notes: 
By mid summer gardens are producing large amounts of vegetables that can be used in a summer vegetable gratin—layers of fresh tomatoes and other produce like eggplant, zucchini, or squash, with a bit of cheese, a generous amount of fresh herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, and a crunchy breadcrumb topping, all melted together by slow roasting.
As the gratin cooks, the vegetables shrink, releasing their moisture and concentrating their flavor. The finished dish is a hearty blend of flavors that can stand on its own as dinner with some crusty bread, or that can be the perfect side dish for grilled meats.
Here are some helpful steps to help you create a perfect summer vegetable gratin

  • First, you need the right dish. I'd like to say that this is the excuse you needed to buy a beautiful earthenware tian made in the South of France. (A tian is the French name for an ovenproof earthenware dish, used to cook all kinds of gratins.) But I won't, because these recipes will taste just as good in a 7 x 11-inch Pyrex dish. An oval dish looks pretty, but any heavy, shallow, 2-quart, ovenproof dish will work.
  • Next, choose the freshest vegetables and herbs you can find. 
  • Don't feel constrained by the ingredient lists in recipes. "Customizing your gratin" is a great way to use all those funny round and twisted squash or tiny eggplant from the farmers' market, or even freshly harvested baby potatoes. At the start of the summer, you can use the first green tomatoes. To complement your produce, make sure that your other ingredients, including the olive oil and cheese, are of the best quality. Their flavors will play a dominant role in the finish.


Summer Vegetable Gratin 
Adapted slightly from Food Network  and Iowagirleats.com
Ingredients:
  • 2 TB. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling or lemon olive oil
  • 4 shallots (or 2 small sweet onions,) chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 5-6 Roma tomatoes or 4-5 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced 3/4” thick
  • 2 medium yellow squash, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 3/4 -1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 7 x 11" baking dish with nonstick spray then set aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot or onions, season with salt and pepper, and then saute until softened, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic then saute for 1 more minute. Add fresh basil and thyme then stir to combine. 
  • Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish then spread into an even layer in the bottom.
  • Add sliced zucchini and yellow squash to a large bowl then drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Layer the vegetables in slightly slanted rows until you run out of room or all the vegetables are used up. 


  • Season the top with salt and pepper then cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife. 
  • Remove foil then sprinkle Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs on top. Return to oven uncovered then bake until cheese is golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Let dish sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Two more party ideas
Flag Fruit Kabobs 

Nighttime Ring Toss Game
Use Glow in the Dark rings. They can be found at Hobby Lobby stores if in your area or other craft stores.  Tape two together for more weight and challenge an opponent to a game of ring toss. 


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Road Trip to Eau Claire, Michigan for their Cherry Festival

Eau Claire, Michigan is a small town community that celebrates big for the 4th of July and the cherries that grow around it.
Every 4th of July the town gets the party rolling with their Annual Cherry Festival. Just in case you happen to be in the area July 3rd and 4th here is the run down of events for their 30th Annual Cherry Festival 
July 3rd starting at 6pm Veteran's Park and July 4th starting 8am Main Street 
  • 6pm (come early for registration for events) Color Walk/Run, 7:30pm Greased Pig Contest followed by auction, Tug of War. 
  • July 4th starts 8am with Oil Can Derby, 10 am Cherry Baking Contest, Prince & Princess, Cutest Baby, Parade at 1pm, Lip Sync, Cherry Pie Eating Contest, Bed Race, many events & vendors throughout the day, local village church activities, Street Dance w/ live band Rebel Pride Main Street 8 - 12 midnight
  • Fireworks show at 10pm, a family friendly festival, trophies, ribbons, cash awards, entry forms available at eauclairemi.com.
One of the more popular events is the Cherry Pie Baking Contest.  
Cook's notes: Lucky for us, Joyel Timmreck 2014 Grand Prize Winner from the Cherry Festival was willing to share her blue-ribbon cherry pie recipe. It was published in Food Network Magazine July/August 2015. 

With a couple of tweaks Voila! Here is my culinary interpretation of her 4th of July dessert. 
But first you need to see my recent must have purchase.
OXO Good Grips-Cherry Pitter
and it was only $3.99
It's a useful gadget that would keep kids entertained shooting out pits while you are making the dessert :)
Yes, I know a can of cherry pie filling could be used but does not come close to the taste of a sauce made with fresh cherries. Besides one would miss out on all the fun of pitting fresh cherries if used a can!   
Ingredients:
For The Crust
  • 3 cups finely crushed graham crackers-about 20 full sheets
  • 1 tsp. Saigon cinnamon or regular cinnamon 
  • 1 TB. sugar
  • 1 stick of butter, melted
For The Filling
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 TB. Amaretto or 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 3 cups fresh pitted cherries
  • 1/3-1/2 cup sugar-depends on the tartness of the cherries 
  • 2 TB. cornstarch
  • 1 TB. orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract 
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all crust ingredients in a bowl. Press into a 9 inch pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Beat cream until soft peaks are formed, add in cream cheese and confectioners sugar. Beat until smooth. Add in 1 TB. Amaretto or 1/2 tsp. almond extract. Mix and set aside. 
  • In a saucepan bring cherries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, orange juice and 1/2 tsp. almond extract to a simmer over medium low heat. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened about 8 minutes. Remove from stove and cool completely. 
  • To the cooled crust add cream filling and top with cherry filling. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. 
FYI- I think the greased pig contest would be a fun event to watch. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Weekend Round Up

Some of the week's best
This is my top rated recipe pick for the week 
Balsamic Grilled Cherry, Blueberry, Goat Cheese, and Candied Walnuts Salad. The recipe was adapted from twopeasandtheirpod.com 
It's festive perfect for your 4th of July celebration with red, white and blue and the sweet and savory flavors that work amazingly well together.  
Cook's notes: The cherries were pitted, tossed in prepared dressing Newman's Own Lite Balsamic Dressing or another similar dressing and place on a grill pan. They were grilled until they were juicy and slightly charred about 5 minutes.  A good quality balsamic vinegar or black cherry balsamic can be substituted for the prepared dressing using  1 tablespoon. The cherries can also be roasted in oven at 400 degrees for 8 minutes on a rimmed pan lined with parchment paper. Be sure to place grilled cherries on a paper towel (they are juicy) before adding to salad. The recipe serves 4 .
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups cherries, pitted and halved or substitute frozen pitted dark cherries
  • 2 TB. Newman's Own Lite Balsamic Dressing or 1 TB. of a good quality balsamic vinegar or black cherry balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup prepackaged candied  walnuts or pecans
  • 8-10 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 pint blueberries, rinsed and patted dry on a paper towel
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • Additional Newman's Own Lite Balsamic Dressing or a similar prepared dressing to finish off the salad or make own own balsamic dressing
Directions:
  • Preheat grill to medium heat. Place cherries in a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of balsamic dressing and toss well. Place cherries on a grill pan and grill until tender, about 5 minutes. Use a spatula to turn occasionally while cooking.
  • In a large bowl, add greens, grilled cherries, blueberries, goat cheese, red onion and candied walnuts. Drizzle with additional balsamic dressing and serve immediately.



Banana Split Bites
Cook's notes: I was super excited to find this easy summer treat on a stick from ourfamilyofseven.com. Everything tastes better on a stick, right? Even kids can get in on the fun and make their own. Since the fruit is chilled, this treat is both tasty and refreshing. Perfect for hot summer days.








Ingredients:
  • 3 bananas
  • 1/4 lb cored pineapple
  • 6 strawberries
  • 1 cup melted dipping chocolate
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
  • 12 Popsicle sticks (or skewers)
Directions:
  • Cut strawberries in half.
  • For each strawberry half, cut an equal size piece of banana and pineapple.
  • Place pineapple on first, then banana and lastly strawberry.
  • Line a tray with wax paper or parchment paper.
  • Place skewered fruit on tray and freeze for 10 minutes.
  • Put chopped nuts in small plate to use for dipping.
  • Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and melt chocolate by heating in microwave for 30 seconds, stirring and repeating until melted and smooth.
  • Dip cold fruit in chocolate, then into nuts, and place back on tray. Chill in refrigerator until serving.
Strawberry Banana-Mango Lava Flow
Check out this link for other Spring Smoothies
http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/happy-smoothies#.mx2q2rP35

and last but certainly not least 120 Fourth of July recipes
http://www.browneyedbaker.com/fourth-of-july-recipes/

includes:7 drink recipes, 36 appetizers and snacks, 16 sides and over 60 desserts
What a round-up bonanza!
Watermelon Peach Slushies

Friday, June 26, 2015

Friday Sock Fairy Adventures and Strawberry Fool


Friday Sock Fairy Adventures in Sockland
Reader ages 6-9 Story synopsis so far…
Will, an eight year old boy, is searching through the clothes in the dryer for his lost soccer sock. He really wants to find the mate as his soccer socks are a lucky pair. He once scored a winning goal wearing them. As Will leans into the dryer he suddenly is sucked in and tossed about. When Will stops spinning he tumbles out into a new place called Sockland. This new magical place has mismatched socks everywhere hanging on tree branches. Three fairies fly by Will. He knows they are fairies from seeing pictures in his story books. He runs excitedly down the road hoping to catch up to them but trips and falls over a large rock on the road. His leg hurts but he manages to catch up just as the fairies disappear through the door into the Sock Bank. Unexpectedly Will’s size changes to very small when he rubs fairy dust over his hands. He is able to make it inside the Sock Bank behind a fairy just as the door closes.
Vocabulary words to be discussed before reading the story
Bank-a place that accepts money deposits and also where money can be withdrawn
Cubbyholes- a group of small boxlike enclosures or compartments, open at the front, in which things or belongings are stored
Pair-two things that are alike
Mismatched-two things that are not alike
Mate-one of a matched pair
Accessory-a thing which can be added to something else in order to make it more useful or attractive
Teller-someone who works at a bank

Chapter Two: Sock Bank
Will moved over to the corner sitting quietly on the floor. He did not want anyone to see him. He had heard stories that fairies are known to play tricks on humans. But no one paid attention to him. Will looked around. He had never seen so many fairies in all different shapes and colors. Each fairy was wearing some kind of sock accessory: leg warmers, stocking caps, mittens, mismatched socks some long- some short, hand warmers and even sock monkey hats. They were standing in a line holding their bags talking and laughing.

Straight ahead of the line was a long table. Behind the table was a huge bookcase with many cubbyholes. Each cubbyhole had a different sign in front of it Women, Men, Boys, Girls. Inside they were stuffed with all sorts of socks: rubber duckies, dinosaurs, monkeys, sailboats, ladybugs and many, many more.

The funniest looking fairy was standing in front of the long table. She was wearing a colorful stripped stocking cap that hung down her back.  Attached to the front of her cap was a large sign that said Teller. When each fairy reached the front of the line she dumped all the mismatched socks out of their bag. It looked like to Will the fairy was looking for the mate to each one of the socks in the cubbyholes.

“I’ve got one! I’ve got one!” shouted one fairy waving a matching pair in the air.

The teller handed the fairy a gold coin. Loud clapping from all the fairies standing in line could be heard all through the room. Just as the next fairy standing in line dumped out her bag, Will yelled, “Stop! That’s mine!”

He ran down the aisle waving his green stripped soccer sock and grabbed the mate right off the table. Silence filled the room. A loud buzzer went off  Beep-Beep-Beep. 
But all Will heard was “Thief! Thief! Thief!” as two very large guards grabbed him.


© Copyright 2015 EVER READY All Rights Reserved

Next Friday Adventures Chapter Three-Melinda to the Rescue



A lovely summery dessert with a fruit, that doesn't need cooking. This recipe is a twist on the traditional strawberry fool recipe using whole milk Greek yogurt. Only 196 calories per serving.  Recipe adapted from Beth Dooley Star Tribune newspaper 6-25-15
Ingredients:
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled plus a few extra strawberries for garnish
  • 2 TB. sugar
  • 3/4 heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup whole milk yogurt
  • fresh mint sprigs
Directions:
  • Cut berries into 1/4 inch pieces and place in a medium bowl with the sugar. Using the back of the fork, smash the strawberries to release their juices.
  • In a medium bowl , whip the cream until it holds firm peaks and then whip in yogurt. 
  • Fold the smashed berries with their juices into the cream mixture.
  • Place the mixture in parfait glasses and garnish with mint and more diced strawberries. 
 

The fool, or a dessert of sweetened fruit folded into stiffly peaked and slightly sugared whipped cream, dates back to 16th-century England. It’s possibly the simplest dessert, and any fool should be able to make it. Many fruits and some vegetables (in the case of rhubarb) can be used, but berries work particularly well, especially strawberries. If you’re a stickler for tradition, channel the Brits and make your fool with gooseberries.
Rhubarb is a vegetable with a unique taste that makes it a favorite in many pies and desserts. It originated in Asia over 2,000 years ago. It was initially cultivated for its medicinal qualities, it was not until the 18th century that rhubarb was grown for culinary purposes in Britain and America. Rhubarb is often commonly mistaken to be a fruit but rhubarb is actually a close relative of garden sorrel, and is therefore a member of the vegetable family. Rhubarb is rich in vitamin C and dietary fiber.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Eric Carle and A Book List

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIC CARLE
Eric Carle (born June 25, 1929) is an American designer, illustrator, and writer of children's books. He is most famous for "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", a picture book with few words that has been translated into more than 58 languages and sold more than 38 million copies. Since it was published in 1969 he has illustrated more than 70 books, most of which he also wrote, and more than 125 million copies of his books have been sold around the world.He won the biennial galls Wilder Award for his career contribution to American children's literature in 2003. In 1985 Carle won the Caldecott Honor Book for the "The Very Busy Spider" For his contribution as a children's illustrator Carle was U.S. nominee for the biennial, international Hans Chrisitian Anderson Award in 2010.
Even those not brought up on "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" are likely to recognize Eric Carle’s exuberant collages of tissue paper painted in saturated hues.
I would highly recommend this insightful autobiography book to all Eric Carle fans. It is more than a book of art but also contains personal photographs, an anecdotal essay by his longtime editor, a photographic essay on how Carle creates his collages, and writings by Carle and his colleagues. Still, it is the artwork in the oversize volume that seizes the imagination. More than 60 of his full-color collage pictures are handsomely reproduced and serve as a statement of Carle’s impressive talent.” A book to add to your list. 
Speaking of lists... the following book titles were put together by four friends of mine who are avid readers. 
The Accidental Empress by Allison Patari
The Traitor’s Wife by Allison Patari
The Bridal Chair by Gloria Goldreich
The Wright Brothers by David Mc Cullough
The Housekeeper and The Professor by Yoko Ogawa
Paris by Edward Rutherford
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
All The light You Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Dead Wake by Eric Larson
and the following are two book recommends I found on www.jumpintoabook.com/
Louisa May Alcott can’t believe it—her mother is leaving for the summer to earn money for the family and Louisa is to be in charge of the household. How will she find the time to write her stories, much less have any adventures of her own? But before long, Louisa finds herself juggling her temperamental father, a mysterious murder, a fugitive seeking refuge along the Underground Railroad, and blossoming love. Intertwining fact, fiction, and quotes from Little Women, Michaela MacColl has crafted another spunky heroine whose story will keep readers turning pages until the very end.
This is biography of John Muir is for children. It brims with his spirit and adventures. The text was selected and retold by naturalist Joseph Cornell, author of Sharing Nature with Children. It is a book that expands your sense of hope, adventure, and awareness. Included are numerous explore more activities that help the reader to understand and appreciate the many wonderful qualities of Muir.
www.jumpintoabook.com/2015/04/an-earth-day-booklist-for-the-whole-family/

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Rhubarb Delight

Lady Slippers by the water's edge
Cook's notes:
Dubbed the "pie plant" by author Laura Ingalls Wilder, rhubarb's most well-known preparation is rhubarb pie. But have you ever heard of Rhubarb Delight? As you know it is not uncommon for recipes to be passed down through generations of families. Perhaps you have some favorite recipes made by one of your family members. This recipe comes from a groom's family in Iowa who passed it along to his new bride in Minnesota. 
Rhubarb Delight
Crust Ingredients:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 6 TB powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • optional 3/4 cup toasted coconut

Crust Directions:
  • Beat ingredients and pat into a 9 x9 glass pan.
  • Bake @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Set aside and make filling.
Filling Ingredients:
  • 2 large beaten eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups diced rhubarb
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon 
Filling Directions:
  • Pour filling over prepared crust. 
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. 
Serve Rhubarb Delight with a scoop of ice cream

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tri-Color Orzo Salad and Salad Elaine

Cook's notes: Two summer salads that are light, refreshing and healthy.
Tri-Color Orzo Salad Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 pound orzo pasta
  • 3 TB. extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup or use lemon olive oil
  • 3 TB. lemon juice
  • 1- 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black 
  • 2 cups fresh arugula or spinach 
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
Directions:
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. 
  • Drain pasta and put the pasta on a large cookie sheet. Drizzle the pasta with 3 tablespoons olive oil, toss, spread out, and set aside to cool.
  • Once the orzo is cool, transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine. Refrigerate 2 hours.
What we do know: Elaine ordered a big salad on almost every episode of Seinfeld. What we don't know: what the heck was in it. Here's our best guess; consider...
Salad Elaine
Salad:
  • 4 cups torn lettuce- combination of romaine, red leaf, and iceberg
  • 1 cup halved red and green seedless grapes
  • 1 large apple, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. celery seed
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 TB. grated onion
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup good quality olive oil or lemon olive oil
Directions:
  • Combine all dressing ingredients except oil in blender or food processor. Mix well and then add oil slowly and mix until it begins to thicken. Cool in refrigerator. Can be kept for up to one week. Pour over salad immediately before serving. Only use enough dressing to moisten salad ingredients.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and Raspberry-Rhubarb Turnovers

Rhubarb Strawberry Pie
Cook's notes: Rhubarb is in full swing and a good time to take advantage of the crop. 
Note what I thought looked like one perfect pie in this photo. But sometimes I think perfection can be highly overrated. Take for instance today. While making this pie a series of unexpected events and visitors at my door distracted me from the task on hand. With one bite of this perfect baked pie I knew immediately where I had gone very WRONG. I forgot to add sugar!! I tried to camouflage the very tart taste with ice cream with little success. But I am confident though if you follow the directions listed below you will be quite satisfied with the pie. It is usually delicious when made correctly:)
Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups of sugar
  • 3 TB. quick cooking tapioca
  • dash of salt
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2 cups cut finely rhubarb
  • 2 TB. cinnamon
Directions:
  • Preheat oven 425 degrees.
  • In a large bowl combine sugar, tapioca, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add cut strawberries and rhubarb. Mix well to coat.
  • Let stand 30 minutes and stir occasionally
  • Place pie crust in pan. Use a slotted spoon to drain fruit juices and place fruit mixture in bottom pie crust.
  • Dot with butter and place pie crust on top of the rhubarb mixture.
  • Brush crust lightly with milk.
  • Mix sugar and cinnamon together a couple of tablespoons and sprinkle over crust.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut a few vents in the crust.
  • Add strips of foil on outer edge to prevent crust edges from over browning. 
  • Bake 10 minutes at 425 and reduce heat to 400 and bake 30 minutes longer or until filling is bubbling and looks set.
  • Wait until completely cooled before cutting so pie can set up.

Bon Appetit!

Raspberry-Rhubarb Turnovers
Cook's notes: One of the most amazing things about this recipe is how using such few ingredients can create such a delicious pastry treat with wonton wrappers.
Recipe is from Oprah.com April 2015 
Serves 6 
Ingredients: 
  • 1 cup chopped rhubarb (about 4 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup raspberries (fresh)
  • 2 TB. cornstarch
  • Zest of an orange
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 14-16 square wonton wrappers
  • 2 TB. butter, melted
  • Powdered sugar, for garnish or sugar mixed cinnamon
  • Ice cream, for serving 
Directions: 
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small saucepan, cook rhubarb and sugar over low heat until rhubarb softens, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add raspberries, cornstarch, zest and salt. Mix to combine. Chill for 1 hour in refrigerator. 
  • Drain rhubarb mixture into a strainer.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Take one wrapper out of package and add a tablespoon of filling placing it on the corner of the wrapper. Using a finger dipped in water, moisten edges of wrapper. Fold into a triangle and pinch to seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers. 

  • Brush one side with melted butter.  
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. 
    • Bake until golden brown, about minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Serve with ice cream.

    Sunday, June 21, 2015

    Hats Off to Dad and Fire Up The Grill

    Thai Grilled Chicken
    Cook's notes: Sticky, tender and moist packed with so much flavor. Recipe adapted from damndelicios.com
    Ingredients:

    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 8 bone-in, chicken thighs or 1-1/2 LBS. chicken breasts
    • 1/3 cup peanuts, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
    Sauce
    • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
    • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
    • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more, to taste
    Directions:
    • Whisk sauce ingredients and pour into a zip loc bag. Place chicken pieces inside and seal. Place bag in a bowl, marinate 4-6 hours in refrigerator.  
    • Melt butter. Drain chicken, reserve marinade. Pat chicken dry. Make sure grill grates are oiled. 
    • Place chicken on grill and baste with butter. Sear at a high heat 3 minutes per side. Reduce heat to medium high heat.
    • Baste chicken throughout cooking time with reserved marinade. Turn chicken pieces several times so pieces don't stick to grate.
    • Serve immediately, garnish with peanuts and cilantro, if desired.

    Billy Collins remembered his father in this poem"The Death of the Hat." It evoked memories of my growing up years when my father always wore a hat and an overcoat when he left the house. 
    Collins writes...On Father's Day, "The Death of the Hat." For all of the fathers out there and for everyone who had (or has) a father. Hats off to you.
    THE DEATH OF THE HAT
    by Billy Collins
    Once every man wore a hat.

    In the ashen newsreels,
    the avenues of cities
    are broad rivers flowing with hats.

    The ballparks swelled
    with thousands of strawhats,
    brims and bands,
    rows of men smoking
    and cheering in shirtsleeves.

    Hats were the law.
    They went without saying.
    You noticed a man without a hat in a crowd.

    You bought them from Adams or Dobbs
    who branded your initials in gold
    on the inside band.

    Trolleys crisscrossed the city.
    Steamships sailed in and out of the harbor.
    Men with hats gathered on the docks.

    There was a person to block your hat
    and a hatcheck girl to mind it
    while you had a drink
    or ate a steak with peas and a baked potato.
    In your office stood a hat rack.

    The day the war was declared
    everyone in the street was wearing a hat
    and they were wearing hats
    when a ship loaded with men sank in the icy sea.

    My father wore one to work every day
    and returned home
    carrying the evening paper,
    the winter chill radiating from his overcoat.

    But today we go bareheaded
    into the winter streets,
    stand hatless on frozen platforms.

    Today the mailboxes on the roadside
    and the spruce trees behind the house
    wear cold white hats of snow.

    Mice scurry from the stone walls at night
    in their thin fur hats
    to eat the birdseed that has spilled.

    And now my father, after a life of work,
    wears a hat of earth,
    and on top of that,

    A lighter one of cloud and sky--a hat of wind.