31 October 2013

Almost Instant Gratification ... Pork Saltimbocca

For all the meat eaters in the crowd, I have THE simplest and most delicious dish ... pork saltimbocca  ... total minimalist fashion. Easy, easy, easy! Crack a bottle of nice red ... something from Montepulciano D'Abruzzo is nice. Make a nice plate of fresh greens and add slivers of purple onion, beautiful black olives, grated Asiago cheese, and a handful of nice herbed croutons. Fix this saltimbocca and enjoy ...

30 October 2013

Making Macaroon Sandwiches - IHCC

This week, it's all about the sandwiches here at the I Heart Cooking Club! Sandwiches, you say? Okay !

How about these little coconut sandwich cookies that make me sing that old chocolate bar advertisement jingle ... "Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't ! Almond Joys have nuts, Mounds don't ... because sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't!"

28 October 2013

Turkey Sausage Chili and Herbed Cheese Bread

Getting outside early the other morning, I found the most beautiful frosty leaves on our lawn and in our gardens. The air was so crisp and as Sprout Sara and I drove off for our weekend foodie adventure, the mists were rising off the area lakes and ponds. If I hadn't been on a strict timetable to get us to Newmarket on time, I'd have stopped in several locations to try to capture the beauty with my camera, but alas, we drove on and just marveled at the sights - wispy streams of steamy fog rising off the water and the sunshine coming through the bright golds and deep browns of the beech and oak trees ...

27 October 2013

Cooking Adventure - Hearthside Cooking with Sandra Tarbox

Nestled to the side of a lovely new house on a small dead end road in southwestern Newmarket, New Hampshire is a large colonial kitchen with a beautiful open hearth and accompanying side beehive bake oven. The woman who shares this kitchen is a font of knowledge when it comes to the ways of colonial housewives. Her name is Sandra Tarbox and she is , not only a hearthside cooking instructor, but also an historical interpreter for area historical museums and restored residences maintained by local historical societies.

25 October 2013

New Cookbook - New Cake ! Random Recipe !

Well, it's official. My collection of cookbooks is out of control. I have become a cookbook junkie and everyone in my life knows about it. To boot, they're aiding and abetting my obsession! This past week a new friend popped through the back door with gifts for SB and I ... he got a map cover for his biking maps and I got Mollie Katzen's cookbook called Still Life With Menu Cookbook. The look of this book is so interesting; Mollie's original painted illustrations highlight each short collection of recipes that are themed to make an entire vegetarian meal from appetizer or soup to dessert. I like that. I often wish that every cookbook recipe would have a brief snippet about what other dishes go well with the recipe or how the recipe might be incorporated into a larger meal.

At any rate, I have already turned each page of this newest addition to the cookbook shelf and have slipped little markers into a few pages for dishes and desserts that will make it onto our dinner table or onto the party buffet table come holiday time.

23 October 2013

Moroccan Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes and Honey-Saffron Jam

The other evening, I walked into the kitchen with no idea of what I might make for dinner. There was a package of thawed skinless/boneless chicken thighs and a can of tomatoes on the counter. And there was a copy of Diana Henry's cook book called Crazy Water/Pickled Lemons on the cook island. What transpired over a glass of wine and some poking through the book turned to magic when I finally stirred myself to rattle the pots and pans.

20 October 2013

Willow Manor Ball 2013 .... A Frolic in the Woods

Each year at this time, Tess Kinkaid hosts her annual ball at Willow Manor. It's an evening of fun, frolic, and fantasy that all are welcome to enjoy. Being a make-believe sorceress held prisoner in a middle-aged frumpy body, I always take great pleasure in transforming myself for the evening. Join me on my magical fantasy tour for just a bit ... right click the music links and you can listen to the songs as you make your way to Willow Manor. It's just a ways through the woods ... just out this way ...

18 October 2013

Cranberry and Beer Braised Brisket

Here is a beef brisket that has been braised to the point of falling apart into a smooth candied pile of sweet onions ... melt in your mouth delicious with crusty crunchy bread slices, or mounds of whipped potatoes, or a soft and smoky polenta. However you prefer, it makes enough for three hearty eaters of two with a plan for lunch leftovers.

14 October 2013

Clean Plate Special - Beef and Mushroom Pies !

Pub food is the best! In my mind, it's easy to fix, can be put together fast and slapped down on the table in the time it takes to draw a pint and let the 'head' settle a bit.

13 October 2013

Pound Cake - A True Baking Basic

Look in any baker's pantry and you will find the basics - flour, sugar, leavening agents, salt, milk, eggs, and butter ... anything else is incidental and serves to jazz up the basic baked goods that are main elements for family eating - breads, biscuits, muffins, cakes. These are the baked goods that most of us started out making when we stood on a chair next  to our mothers or grannies and watched and learned and licked the spoons.

We learned that a basic cake recipe could be made special by adding just a few flavours ... cinnamon and spices one time to make a spice cake, apples and raisins the next time to make a fruit laden coffee cake, citrus juice and fruit zest to make a light tangy teacake ... but always there was a basic recipe to start from.

11 October 2013

IHCC - Fast Pantry Supper

Disclaimer: This is not my pantry. My pantry is better stocked ...

09 October 2013

Virtual Supper Club - Arroz con Dulce and a Cool Havana Loco Cocktail

This is the prettiest dish of rice that I have ever seen. It is a dessert dish meant for a Cuban feast that the members of  The Virtual Supper Club are sharing this month. When I first came across the recipe, I was a bit turned off, as I have never cared for the conventional rice pudding served by my grandmother and mother. But life's for experimenting, so I set aside my prejudice and made this jazzed up version ... and I'm very glad I did !!

04 October 2013

Butternut Squash Muffins with Pecans

Cooking with leftovers today! These muffins are positively luscious ... sweet and moist and perfect with ice cold milk ... I played with Nigella's maple and pecan muffin recipe that comes from her Feast cookbook. The resulting muffins could pass as cupcakes if you iced them, but we're just dusting them with confectioner's sugar and having them with some butter slathered on.

02 October 2013

IHCC - Hello There, Donna Hay!

This week, the I Heart Cooking Club welcomes a new chef to the rolls! Hello there, Donna Hay! 
But first ...

This is a chai-spiced cheesecake. It will be served with a warm sauce of cooked apple bits, apple cider and allspice.  I got the apples when we went to Norway Hill Orchards in Hancock, New Hampshire this morning ... the trees were loaded and the picking was so easy. We picked Cortlands ... and knoshed a couple Macouns that were 'drops' from a neighboring row of trees.