Here on the frontier, There are falling leaves, Although my neighbors are all barbarions…And you? You are a thousand miles away. There are always two cups on my table.

Posts tagged ‘The Chef’

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy Recipe OMG It’s Better Than…

There are some foods that children shouldn’t be allowed to eat.

Now I see you shakin’ your heads but it’s true.

When the “grown ups” are moaning and smooching their spoons now there is something going on that’s not for little mouths.

Take mashed potatoes and gravy for instance.

It looks innocent enough.

But don’t let looks fool you.

The dowdiest of spuds  with a slick of creamy gravy can tickle you up like the first time a boy ever…well you know.

and you never looked back.

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Boil potatoes until they are fork tender.

Run them under cool water and peel.

Mash with a masher, food processor or even the back of a fork.

Like a much-loved mattress a little lumpy is good.

To make gravy:

Take all the pan drippings from your turkey, chicken or meat.

Put them on the stove and heat the pan.

Stir around so all the tasty bits get loosened up.

If your pan is fairly dry add in 1 cup of water and 1 cup of red wine.

In a cup measure out 1/4 cup of corn starch and 1/2 cup of water.

Stir to combine.

Pour this mixture into your pan drippings.

Stir the gravy as it thickens.

Once the thickening (cornstarch + water) is mixed  pour the gravy into a saucepan over a low to medium heat.

Let the gravy cook until it is the consistency you like.

How’s that for easy.

Now pour this yummy delectable bit of naughtiness over the mashed spuds and….

Stand around the kitchen with all the daughters and women and eat the mashed potatoes and gravy out of coffee mugs cause you just can’t wait till dinner…

Just kidding.

(That’s what gmom and the girls did while the boys played some poker and watched football.)

Happy Thanks WP kids.

Hope your day was as yummy as mine was.

I can’t wait for the turkey, stuffing, cranberry and gravy sandwiches tomorrow!

Roasted Garlic Recipe

Cut the top off the garlic head to expose most of the cloves.

There is nothing better to spread on bread then roasted garlic.

Butter is good but garlic is outrageous!

It’s low in calories, is heart healthy and really packs a punch in flavor.

The aroma alone gets everyone’s mouth-watering,

and when your company sees the beautiful golden heads on your table they will be impressed with your culinary skills.

This dish is so impressive but ridiculously easy to make.

My kids eat it on bread, drop it into their soup and put it on vegetables.

Whatever is leftover I squeeze into mayonnaise to make aioli.

Enjoy this simple little treat.

Pour a teaspoon of oil over the top of the garlic and then sprinkle with italian seasoning or pepper. If sodium is not a problem a sprinkle of salt is good. Then wrap the aluminum foil around the garlic tightly. Put it into an oven safe baking dish and roast for 45 minutes.Unwrap when you are ready to serve. Can be eaten warm or cold.

Here is the easy way to make roasted garlic.

You eat it by using your butter knife to slide out the individual pieces (cloves) of garlic.

Simple and Perfect Roast Turkey Recipe

Happy Thanksgiving!

Now let’s get to it!

This prep shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.

When you put your turkey in the pan put it breast side down.

It’s a continuing argument among cooks about this but I side with those who believe that if it’s cooked this way the juices flow down into the breast.

After your turkey is done be sure to let it rest for 20-30 minutes before carving to allow juices to absorb back into the meat.

Parade time!

Pat dry your turkey with paper towels.

Make a dry rub of 3 parts brown sugar, 2 parts paprika, 2 parts salt, 1 part garlic powder and 1 part pepper. The butter infused with herbs will be one:1/2 cup of butter or alternative, 2 teaspoons of thyme, 1 teaspoon of rosemary 1 teaspoon of sage.

Put your butter (or margarine or oil) infused with herbs under the skin of the turkey.

Preheat your oven to 325 F. I have mine at 250 F because I like to slow roast our turkey but if you are short on time or need your oven for other preparations go with 325F.

Rub your dry rub ingredients all over the skin and inside the cavity of the turkey.

Cover the turkey with aluminum foil and put into the oven at 325 F for 2.5 hours for an 18 pound bird. Uncover for the last 30 minutes to allow skin to brown.

“Hoo is all set to watch the parade!”]

Baked Butternut Squash Recipe(Thanksgiving)

The tools to attack the butternut squash.

The big day is coming and cooking ahead makes life so much easier!

The Chef may or may not be frying the turkey ’cause it looks like rain here in B’more.

I may just slow roast it.

But I love nothing better than to sit with the kids and watch the Macy’s Day parade on TV, and then (I know this is so lame…) the International Dog Show.

I’m probably the only person without a competitor watching.

But me and Cujo we just loves it!

So I don’t want to be in kitchen the whole day.

I want my chocolate spoon in my good Ghiardelli hot cocoa and some french toast.

Maybe some caramel popcorn during the day.

But to get that free time and still have a meal for 15 people come late afternoon I have to cook today (and yesterday).

This side dish of baked butternut squash is another seasonal good one that goes nicely with the traditional foods of Thanksgiving.

Just be careful when you are cutting this hard squash up you don’t cut yourself.

You can soften it first by cooking it in the microwave for a few minutes first then proceeding with the recipe.

If you do that be sure to pierce the squash deeply so if pressure builds inside it doesn’t explode all over the place.

Directions:

Peel the butternut squash and cut it into cubes.

After the squash is peeled cut it into cubes. There will be seeds in a center pocket that you can discard.

Dice up 1/2 cup of an onion.

Put the butternut squash into a baking dish.

Toss with 1/2 cup of oil.

Put the onion over the squash pieces and sprinkle on salt, pepper and a teaspoon of sugar.

The squah and onions seasoned and ready to bake.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Into the oven you go covered snugly with aluminum foil

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Take foil off and continue baking until squash is fork tender, about 15 minutes.

If you are making this dish ahead of time don’t do the last 15 minutes of bake time.

When you reheat the dish on Thursday prior to the meal you will finish off the baking then.

That’s it another yum dish to serve on your Thanksgiving table.

The finished dish after baking uncovered the last 15 minutes will have browned edges and be so yummy.

Enjoy WP friends.

Happy Thanksgiving!

From gmom and Hoo and Cujo the dog.

Delicious Cranberry Sauce With or Without Grand Marnier

3 ingredients plus 1 optional. You will need 1 bag of fresh cranberries.(BTW you can buy them in bulk now that they are in season and freeze them with the same cooking results) 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of orange juice and optionally 1/4 cup of Grand Marnier.

Nothing complements a turkey dinner as nicely as cranberry sauce.

The sweet tart combination with a bite of succulent turkey is oh so good!

So here is my favorite way to prepare it.

Easy as pie as usual.

“You will need one cup of orange juice”

Put one cup of orange juice into a pot then add in one cup of sugar.

Bring the orange juice and the sugar to a a boil briefly to dissolve the sugar then add in the cranberries.

[

Let Cranberries sugar and orange juice simmer for 10 minutes. You will hear cranberries pop. After 10 minutes you can add in 1/4 cup of Grand Marnier if you like. The sauce will be syrupy but when cool will jell.

This is a much loved recipe for it’s great taste.

Ease of preparation and (wait for it) you can make it ahead by several days and it keeps beautifully in the refrigerater.

Happy Thanksgiving Day WP’s.

Watch for the turkey recipe Thursday.

The bad boy is brining away already.

This is gmom and baby Hoo and Cujo the dog sending out cranberry peace to all the blogger cooks out there.

Peace out.

Easy Pizza Recipe

This post goes out to Littlequeenjay who lives far far away and doesn’t get good results from her current pizza recipe.

Here ya go girl!
http://losingtheplotinnortherncyprus.wordpress.com/

Be sure to visit her blog she is awesome!!!!

This pizza recipe is so much tastier (and cheaper) then any take out pizza or frozen store bought.

It doesn’t require a lot of time and can be done in under 2 hours including dough rising.


Ingredients:

– 2 cups warm water

– 2 packet of yeast

– 2 tablespoons sugar

Put water, yeast and sugar into a mixing bowl.

When yeast begins to foam like this….

When yeast foams this is called proofing the yeast. You want to see this as it demonstrates that the yeast is active. If it doesn't foam after several minutes it may be old yeast or the water may have been hot and killed the yeast. Start over.

add in:

– 2 teaspoons salt

– 1 egg

– 1/2 stick of softened or melted margarine or butter

– 7 cups of flour

Mix all ingredients.

Knead briefly.

Cover dough with a tea towel and set aside to rise.

Dough has been kneaded and is ready to rise.Leave it for at least 30 minutes.

Prepare your favorite pizza sauce and toppings.

We used portabello mushrooms and garlic.

For sauce I used 1 can of tomato paste(16 oz) plus 1 can of water.

1/2 cup of sugar

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon oregano

After 1/2 an hour or up to an hour or more take your dough and punch it down as it will have risen.

Punch dough down after it has been left to rise and knead for a couple of minutes. Then spread it out in your greased cookie sheet or pizza pan.

Knead it for a couple of minutes.

Spread it on a cookie sheet or pizza pan.

Spread sauce and toppings on pizza dough.

After the dough has been pressed into the pizza pan. Spread the sauce and add the toppings and cheese.

Sprinkle on cheese.

I used cheddar.

Bake at 375 F for 20-30 minutes checking frequently for desired doneness.

Pizza with Portabello mushroom and minced garlic with cheddar cheese ready for the oven

We like ours a little burnt on the edges and very crisp.

Rose home just in time to take the pizza out. There is just a good feeling in a home when you come in after a day of school and work and someone has thought enough of you to make something good to eat. Little gal dug right in!


This is a very simple and delicious pizza recipe.

If you are short on time and don’t want to make your own dough check out Trader Joe’s pizza dough for .99 cents in the refrigerater case. It comes in herb flavour and whole wheat beside plain white dough.
It’s not bad and in a pinch makes a good pizza.

One slice left for any midnight snacker. Don't worry I squirreled away a big piece for my boy Bart. You know where he is. Out collecting oil. Won't be home till the wee hours. There will be pizza a cold beer and warm bed waiting for the boy.

Enjoy WP kids eat pizza today turkey day is coming!!!!

Our turkey is already brining in the fridge.

It’s the only way to make a turkey!

Put a cup of salt, a cup of sugar and a generous handful of spices into a big pot with some water. Bring to a boil. Let cool completely. Put your defrosted turkey in and add enough water so turkey is submerged. Put in fridge. It can sit for 3-4 days until you cook it. You won’t taste a better turkey where every bit is eaten. Will post recipe later.

Turkey sits in the brine in the refrigerater for several days before cooking.

This is gmom ,Hoo and Cujo sending love out there to all you good folks.

Peace out.

Hoo and Cujo

Chocolate Spoons Make Great Hostess Gifts

Presentation of chocolate spoons. Ready for gift giving!

You’ve seen them in fine chocolate shops for $15 for 5.

Now it’s time to make them yourself.

They are easy and yummy and everyone loves to get them to dip in their coffee or hot chocolate.

Watch out for those sneaky people who nab a spoon to snack on.

Godiva and Williams Sonoma??? Eat your heart out!

What you will need:

1. Plastic spoons

2. chocolate chips melted

3. mini marshmallows

4. little candies that go with coffee, milk or cocoa.

Ingredients for chocolate spoons.

Put chocolate in a pot and put that pot in another larger one filled with hot water. Stir the chocolate as it melts. When the water cools down you may need to replace the hot water to keep your chocolate melted and smooth.

Coat the spoon with the melted chocolate.

After you have coated the spoon in chocolate stick on a couple of mini marshmallows and candies of your choice. I used baby malted balls and white chocolate,and half a chocolate coin.

Let the spoons cool and the chocolate become firm before wrapping. You may need to refrigerate them briefly.

Present the chocolate spoons in a pretty coffee mug. You can stuff a bunch in or put just a few and tuck a couple of envelopes of instant hot cocoa in with them.

Yogurt Recipe!

When you feed a big family you cut corners where you can.

When you have a bunch that eats strictly organic it’s even more of a challenge to keep the food costs low.

Making your own yogurt is no more expensive than the milk it costs to make it.

It tastes great, can be mixed with honey or agave and fruit.

Hubby eats it everyday mixed with a drop of vanilla.

low-fat milk makes a firmer yogurt.

Higher fat milk makes a creamier yogurt.

The only kitchen tool you will need is a cooking thermometer.

Now eat like Hoo does and make yourself some healthy yogurt!

This is gmom and Hoo, and even Cujo coming to you from chilly B’more.

The leaves are fallin’ here.

It’s beautiful.

Be safe out there.

Heat up milk to 185 degree F. This is just to the point when milk starts to froth. You have to stir it constantly to make sure it doesn't scorch. Some people use a double boiler to avoid burning the milk but if you keep stirring you won't have a problem!

Heat milk to 185 F being careful not to burn it. Stir often and watch carefully.

Let milk cool down to 115 F before adding your starter yogurt.

Once the milk has cooled to 115 F stir in 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt containing active yogurt cultures.

Pour cooled milk now infused with active yogurt cultures into clean containers.

Hoo is helping to put the heating pad into the bottom of the cooler and covering that with a dishtowel. Hoo loves his organic homemade yogurt!

Put your covered yugurt into the cooler to set on top of a heating pad set on low. The yogurt must be kept warm at a temperature at about 110 F.

Once the yogurt containers are in the cooler turn the heating pad on low. It will take 7 hours for the yogurt to culture and set.

Leave the yogurt to set for at least 7 hours. It will be custard like. The longer you leave it beyond 7 hours the more tangy it becomes. You may notice a slightly greenish fluid on top. That's normal and safe. You can pour it off or stir it into your yogurt before eating.

You Don’t Have To Be A Pastry Chef To Make Linzer Cookies!(5 Ingredients!)

Linzer cookies are a classic holiday dessert cookie.

They are delicate, crisp, buttery cookies with a jelly filling.

Enjoy this simple version of a European treat and your family will be

wowed and thanking you.

It’s the bakery cookie you love to look at and can’t stop eating with it’s tempting not too sweet, melt in your mouth crumb, to the sticky chew of the filling.

This cookie begs for a cup of Earl Grey.

When our babes were little, Hubby and I would hide the Linzers until the kids were asleep and eat them slowly by ourselves. They were too good to be stuffed into little mouths.

When the kids got older they learned to help make them with me and earned the privilege of eating the fruits of their labor.

But old habits die hard.

Little Hoo gets a tea biscuit while I savor a Linzer.

Someday Hoo-bear….

The elegant and delicious Linzer cookie

Tayna’s Linzer Cookies
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1 cup of butter or margarine

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1 cup confectionary sugar

2 cups flour

Jam or jelly flavor of your choice

Directions:

Put room temperature butter, vanilla, sugar and flour in a food processor.

Pulse until all ingredients are combined.


Mixture will form a sticky ball in bowl of food processor.

Put this dough into the refrigerator for one hour or until you are ready to make the cookies.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness.

You will need to flour the top of the dough as well as the rolling pin.

This is a delicate cookie dough and sticks easily so don’t hesitate to toss the flour at it to keep it from sticking and tearing.

Using a cookie cutter or shot glass cut out cookie shapes.

Make a small hole in half of the cookies.

Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet in a 350 F oven for 10 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before transferring to your work surface.

Put one scant teaspoon of jam or jelly on each of the whole cookie rounds.

(The ones without the center cutouts.)

Take a cookie with a center hole and put it on top of the jelly pressing gently.

You can finish your cookie with a dusting of confectionary sugar.

…and there you have it!

Your beautiful Linzer cookies ready for a holiday table or any occasion.

This is gmom and Cujo, and Hoo- dee- doo, wishing all the WPer’s out there
a happy Thanksgiving.

May God bless you all and keep you safe.

Easy Fried Chicken With Hooter’s Hot Wing Sauce

You can pour the sauce over your fried chicken or use it as a dipping sauce on the side.

Here’s my truth.

Almost every night before I fall asleep I get a little hungry,

and wish there was some fried chicken in the house.

Sometimes I even think about where my husband might be on his pickups around Maryland and D.C. pumping out waste oil from closed restaurants and wonder if calling him to pick up some fried chicken on his way home at 3 a.m. would be thoughtless.

Kinda.

I lie there hungry and wondering how the hell did Jay Leno get the Tonite Show back

and what is Conan doin’ now???

Hungry…hungry,hungry…

Just me and my chapstick and ROC age defying night cream.

Did I smear enough on?

I’m hungry..

Why didn’t The Chef bring anything over to eat!!!! (I whine to myself)

When he has leftovers from a catering job I am often the fortunate recipient and can be found snarfing over trays of picked over hor dourves.

Pigs in blankets.

Yummy!

This 6 foot tall Chef, whose first words were,”No you shut up.”

He turned out swell.

But tonite…oh yes tonite!!!

Let there be late night indigestion!!!!!

Fried chicken!!!!!

(Easy style it’s a work night.)


Ingredients:

2 pounds of chicken parts

2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 tablespoon of salt

1 teaspoon of pepper

1 teaspoon of garlic

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of cumin

2 tablespoons of sugar

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Directions:

In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients and then toss the chicken pieces in the mix.

Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour so batter will stick to chicken.

floured chicken ready to sit in the fridge for 90 minutes or so. Time gets that thin crust to stick good.

Heat a pot of oil to 350 F.

Carefully lower in a few pieces of chicken at a time.

Do not crowd the chicken (or the pieces won’t crisp they will steam).

Fry the chicken until the pieces are golden brown and the juices run clear when pierced

with a fork.

It don’t get no easier than this!

Now here is a dipping sauce that will make your chicken taste just like

Hooter’s hot wings!

HOT WING SAUCE HOOTER’S STYLE
———————————–

1 stick of butter or margarine

1/2 cup of hot sauce

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon garlic

Put butter, hot sauce, pepper and garlic in a saucepan and heat through. Pour over fried chicken or use as a dipping sauce.

Mixing up the Hooter's style hot wing sauce.

As an alternative add 3 tablespoons brown sugar in to the sauce recipe.

Great flavor for those who like sweet and hot.

So there you go!

Your week night fast and easy fried chicken recipe with hot sauce.

Make some mashed potatoes and peas on the side and you are good to go!

This is gmom and Cujo wishing all the working WPer’s out there a safe week!

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