Friday, October 31, 2008

PLUM PERFECT

I found this recipe at Cannelle et Vanille. Aran is a gifted person who always has amazing pastries to share. She is a usual stop for me. Always something pretty and captivating at her site. These were so easy, they were ready very quickly and they disappeared rather quickly as well. If you haven't seen her site, you must check it out!

Plum and Almond Tart
Cannelle et Vanille, click the recipe and it will bring you to her site.

150 grams egg whites
155 grams sugar
70 grams flour
65 grams almond flour
190 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled


Whisk together the egg whites and the sugar until combined. Add the flour and almond flour and mix. Slowly add the melted and cooled butter until it is incorporated. Refrigerate the batter overnight. Place the batter in a pastry bag and pipe it into tart pan. Fill the pan about half way up and top with halved plums.

Bake in a 350F oven until golden brown, which will take approximately 30 minutes, but it depends on the pan.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

POPPIES, POPPIES, POPPIES



Recently I came across a great deal on poppy seeds. I don't know if they are as expensive where you live but normally they are 14 dollars per pound here. I found six ounces for $2.60. Poppy seeds do go rancid so I started putting them to good use. I JUST LOVE FINDING A GREAT DEAL!

I made some poppy seed salad dressing and poured it over some nappa cabbage. I added green onions and some bacon. I used about a tablespoon of chopped bacon in a big bowl of cabbage. It was enough flavor to go through the whole salad. So you don't need much.

POPPY SEED DRESSING
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness Original

2 teaspoons ground mustard
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Whisk ingredients together. Pour into glass container. Store in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

TWIRLING PIZZA DERVISH: A Daring Baker Challenge



Rosa of Rosa's Yum Yum's (a great blog by the way) is the host for this months Daring Bakers. She, and a few other gals have chosen this recipe and to have us do the toss, like the whirling dervishes that we are. At first I thought, she's crazy, there is no way, I can do this. It was kind of a comical thought. Ah, what the heck, this is the Daring Bakers, right? So glad I did because it was a lot of fun, I was giggling the whole time, but man it gives you the perfect thin crust pizza. My husband loved it!

I did an olive and hot pepper one. I also did a roasted peppers and cheese one. No sauce. Delicious. I ahve to tell you this dough is worth the days wait. It has a nice texture and flavor. Could we expect anything less from Peter Reinhart? I have my favorite that I use all the time but this crust will become a part of my pizza repertoire.


You can barely see the dough. This girl is camera shy.

~ BASIC PIZZA DOUGH ~

Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.

Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter).

Ingredients:
4 1/2 cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour
1 3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/4 cup (2 ounces/60g) olive oil
1 3/4 cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
1 tablespoon sugar
Semolina/durum flour or cornmeal for dusting


Method:
1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).

2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water.

NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water. The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C.

3. Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.

4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).

NOTE: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.

5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball.

NOTE: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.

6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.

7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.

NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespooons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.

On the second day:
8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.

9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C).

NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan.

10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.

NOTE: Make only one pizza at a time.
During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping. In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully,then try again.
You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.


11. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.

12. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.

NOTE: Remember that the best pizzas are topped not too generously. No more than 3 or 4 toppings (including sauce and cheese) are sufficient.

13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for abour 5-8 minutes.

NOTE: After 2 minutes baking, take a peek. For an even baking, rotate 180°.

If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone or jelly pan to a lower shelf before the next round. On the contrary, if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone or jelly.


14. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Sorry

I just recently realized that maybe I should not be posting pictures of my kids on this blog. I took all of their pictures off. So sad that it's like that.

BUTTERNUT SCONES, dip and eat

I'm sitting here enjoying my Butternut Scone and looking at food blogs. I went to Tartelette's site, one of my usual stops and lo and behold she had a teacup in her post. Last night while thinking about how I would take this picture of a scone. Yes, I think about these things at night, how else am I suppose to get my mind of the economy, elections, wars, kids colds ,etc. Anyway, I had this great idea of using one of the tea cups I bought at a thrift store (for my daughter's tea party). I had the image all set up. Then I see Tartelette has tea cups in her post today. I thought maybe I shouldnt go ahead with my scone on the tea cup shot because I don't want to look like a copycat. Then I thought no, I will do it. It happens a lot, I am sure it happens to you. You go to a site and someone has the exact recipe you were going to make or someone thought of the exact flavor combination that you were going to do. Or maybe you go to work and someone has a similar outfit on. These are some of the things that tie us together. Some commonality. If it's a copy, who cares, it's a high form of flattery.

Just like Grace of A Southern Grace, butternut squash has found it's place on my blog. Happily as it is one of my favorite squash's of Fall. Growing up, I never knew it was so versatile. Now, I know and I use it everywhere. It's economical and tastey!

BUTTERNUT SCONES
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness Original

2 cups cooked butternut squash or pumpkin (I roast mine and puree it)
2 eggs
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups self rising flour (had to use it, my Mom gave it to me)
1 cup allpurpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Beat butter till fluffy then add brown sugar. Beat until combined. Add eggs and then pumpkin and vanilla. In a seperate bowl stir flours and spices together. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Mix just until combined. Spoon onto sprayed or greased baking sheet. Or you can lay it out and cut circles or make a round and cut into triangles. Whatever you want, this is your scone. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, depending on size and thickness.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

BUTTER NUT SQUASH SOUP

My parents lived through the Great Depression. They taught me all my life not to waste. I reduce, reuse, recycle but I have been doing that before it was "cool". Just recently I picked up a dresser at someone's curb to pretty up for one of my daughters. Why? Because we needed it, two because it's better if I or someone else uses it rather than it going to the dump. I will show you a picture of it, came out pretty nice.



You know some people would turn their nose up at me but you know I don't care. I use to worry about someone doing that to me but these days I just don't care. What do I care about? Being mindful of our real needs, not a need that some commercial put forth to make me buy something. I no longer care whether or not I have the latest fashion find or the coolest pants or la la la. Because you know it doesnt matter. I think when I look at beautiful homes, I'm talking off the charts beautiful. I think how someone could have fed their whole community for the rest of their lives with that money. I'm thinking why are so many people living high on the hog when so many cant even afford to eat. There are children right in your own community who are sleepeing on the floor, they dont have a bed. I dont mean to be depressing but geez lets remember humanity, instead of our "imagined needs".

So I offer up this simple soup, that will keep some money in your pocket and put some goodness in your belly.


BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness original

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup apple cider
2 cups of roasted butternut squash
3 cups chicken stock
1 medium onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon sour cream
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons olive oil

Saute the onion in olive oil and butter. (I find this combination produces good flavor while also using a more healthy oil). When the onion is clear add the garlic (I find the garlic burns quickly as it is so sticky, so I add it near the end of the onion saute). Cook one minute then add cider, squash and chicken stock. Add 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Cook for about twenty minutes. Puree and add sour cream. You can also add a doolop of sour cream to each bowl instead.

And some good news. Lucy from Sweets, Savories Etc. sent over the blog award. Thank you Lucy that was real sweet of you (and savory too). YEAH!

So I want to take a moment to say thank you to all of you who visit my blog and leave comments. Thank you. I love reading the comments. They're like little gifts in my inbox. I love visiting all of you as well. Love to hear about whats new, get ideas, and see what you are all up to. It's a great sense of community being apart of the food blogging world! No matter how far we share a common bond.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

BUTTERNUT SQUASH GIANTS

(Not exactly a stellar picture. It disappeared real fast.)

There are some serious butternut squash's taking over our local market. I went there today and seriously some of them were 24 inches or more. The one below is from last week and it looks like a runt compared to the others. I love them. They only have a few seeds and they are just loaded with sweet squash meat. This particular squash here gave us three meals. At 3 for 2 dollars how can you go wrong?

So with all the risotto's around from the Barefoot Blogger group I have been so dying to make the risotto. I had some saffron on hand but no pancetta and I really did not want to run to the store and purchase expensive meat at this time. I looked around and lo and behold on Kevin's blog, Closet Cooking, I found this recipe. Of course I didn't have all the ingredients for his either. So I went the middle road and threw in a few touches of my own. It was delicious. THe apples sprinkled over the dish at the end were a last minute idea and I am so glad I did it. It was a nice contrast in the risotto.

Butternut Squash Risotto with Apple
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness Original

1 cup of risotto
1/2 cup of dry white wine
5-6 cups of chicken stock
1 1/2 cups cubed, cooked chicken
s and p to taste
pinch of saffron threads
2 cups roasted and cubed butternut squash
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 medium sized apple, chopped

Saute onion in olive oil, when it is transluscent add minced garlic. Cook that until the garlic is lightly golden. Add risotto, s and p, and saffron threads. Cook one minute. Add wine and cook over medium high heat until the liquid has evaporated. Add 1/4 cup of broth and heat until it has evaporated. Keep going adding around 1/4 cup to a half of a cup at a time. At first the risotto will just take in the liquid and become larger. After a while though you will notice that it is getting more creamy, that's when you know it is done. It should be a little toothsome instead of like porridge. Add squash and chicken and cook untilt hey are heated through.

Spoon risotto into dish and sprinkle with chopped apples.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

THE BATS HAVE GONE CRACKERS

This is one of those recipes that you see and have to make right away. It's not a save and make later. It's a print and make right now. Well at least for me. I saw it on the Food and Spice blog. It's a keeper alright! They were crispy and tastey. You can find chickpea flour at Indian Markets, Italian Markets and health food stores.

When I was setting up this shot I was thinking about how I have this degree that I really never use. Or at least I thought I didn't use it. I dont talk much about it because I am kind of embarassed that I have this degree. Embarassed not because of the subject but rather because, I, who barely styles her hair these days and has no fashionable clothing, have a Fashion Buying and Merchandising Degree. Yeah, I am a Social Worker but Fashion is what I wanted to do first. I wanted to be a buyer or a designer. I love art and love clothing. But you know you have to be the BEST of the BEST to make it at either one of those. I'm not dumb but I am certainly not a rocket scientist either. I call myself Jack of all Trades, Master of None.

I was really good at the set ups we had to do for our Merchandising class. I set them up for these shots but they certainly are not perfect. I don't expect perfection with this when I have a two year old running around. Of course Cannelle et Vanille and some others have totally mastered balancing a two year old and making exceptional food with exceptional pictures.


Rice and Besan Crackers
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness Recipe based on Lisa's Kitchen

1 1/2 cups of rice flour
1 cup of chickpea flour (besan)
6 tablespoons of cornmeal
4 heaping tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon of baking powder
11/2 teaspoons of sea salt
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
6 tablespoons of sesame seeds
1/3 cup of olive oil
roughly, 1/2 cup of water

Line a baking pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, cornmeal, Parmesan cheese, baking powder, salt, spices, and sesame seeds. Add the olive oil to the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until well combined. Now gradually add the water, kneading in between additions. Aim for a dough that is soft but not too sticky. When you have finished adding the water, knead the dough for another minute or so.

Separate the dough into two pieces. Turn one piece out onto a floured board, sprinkle the top with flour and roll out to a 1/4 inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter roughly 3-4 inches in diameter, cut the dough. Gently transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Gather up the scraps and repeat. Do the same with the other half of the dough.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10 - 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container if there are any left.

Monday, October 20, 2008

CHERRY PEPPER CUPS, "feelin' hot, hot, hot"!

At the picnic we were just at recently, someone brought these amazing cherry pepper cups. We loved them. Unfortunately we have no idea who made them. Couldnt ask for a recipe, there were so many people there. So we decided to make them and guess at what was in them. My Mom thought goat cheese would go rather well. I thought the cheese they put in it was a fresh mozzarella or some sort of creamy type soft cheese. We decided to go with the goat cheese.

Our hot peppers were much hotter than theirs so we couldnt have as many as we thought we were going to have. The ones at the picnic had been baked so long that they went flat which was okay as they were so delicious. I wonder if I had baked them longer if they would have become more milder. Probably not but if I had more time I would have baked them longer.

Nevertheless they were very delicious and the goat cheese really held up to the hotness of the peppers. They taste great with chicken.


STUFFED CHERRY PEPPER CUPS
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness Original

6 oz goat cheese (you could use havarti instead)
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs, fresh would be better
20- 30 cherry peppers

Wear gloves when working with the hot peppers. Cut tops off cherry peppers and slice a little piece off the bottom just to stabilize it. Stuff a dime size piece of goat cheese in each pepper. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for about 30 minutes.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

TRIPLE GINGER COOKIES for SHF


I saw the subject for SHF this month was spice! What a perfect pick for the Fall, at least in this hemisphere. Of course ginger is good anytime of the year, right?
Well I was all over this spicey SHF as I have been wanting to make ginger cookies for a while.

When we were in Ithaca last weekend, they were having this huge annual book sale for Friends of the Library. There was a line waiting to get into the warehouse. You know I was in that line waiting and hoping to get some good cookbooks. One of them was Nancy Silverton's, Chewy Ginger Cookies, from her book Desserts. You would think they would be super "spicey" but they are extremely delicious with the perfect amount of spice, at least for my taste.

So, go on over the Desserts First and make an entry for Sugar High Friday (SHF). If you don't want to make anything then check the blog for the round up. I am sure it will be full of delicious recipes!


Triple Ginger Cookies
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness
Recipe based on Chewy Ginger Cookies, from Desserts by Nancy Silverton

6 1/3 cups flour
5 teaspoons powdered ginger
4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cloves
1 pound unsalted butter, room temp
3 tablespoons minced ginger
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup molasses
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons boiling water
candied ginger
sucanat or sugar for rolling

1. Combine flour with spices.
2. Peel and mince ginger.
3. Cream butter, running on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Butter should be light and fluffy.
4. Add ginger to butter.
5. Combine molasses and egg then add to butter mixture.
6. Dissolve baking soda in boiling water.
7. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture.
8. Add baking soda mixture to butter mixture.
9. Add remaining flour to batter. Remove from mixer and chill for 2 hours or overnight.
10. Form balls of dough and roll in sucanat or sugar. Place on baking sheet and place a piece of candied ginger in center of cookie.
11. Bake at 325 F for about 11- 13 minutes.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

GREEN TOMATO SALAD PARTY

The last of the veggies from the garden and a few herbs from the herb garden came together for a party today in this salad bowl. The result was amazing! For years my Mother canned green tomato salad. I was okay with it. Now that I am an adult of course I wanted to make this classic from our family. I switched it up a little and invited some herbs to the party. Traditionally my Mother would put oregano and basil in this salad. I decided to go with those as well but also added parsley, tarragon, and sage. Play with the flavors to suit your tastes!

GREEN TOMATO SALAD
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness Original

1/4 cup fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh basil
1 large leaf of sage
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
4 tablespoons fresh oregano
1 head of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup of red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons cracked pepper
8 cups of sliced green tomatoes
3 Hungarian peppers, chopped (these are a mild pepper)

The first part of this process takes some time unless you have a mandolin. Clean and slice the green tomatoes. Leave the skin on. Place them in a non reactive bowl. Porcelain, ceramic or glass work best. Sprinkle them liberally with kosher salt. It is important to use non iodized salt. Let them sit overnight in a cool place. You can leave them sit two nights if you would like. This process extracts water from the tomatoes and also tenderizes them. Rinse in cold running water when ready to make the salad.

Mince all the herbs and garlic; add those to the green tomatoes. Pour in olive oil and vinegar and give it a taste. Add more salt or pepper as you see fit.

If you are canning this pack in jars up to 1/2 inch fromt he top. Seal and cold pack* for twenty five minutes. Yield: 4 pints.

*The cold pack process is when you place whatever you are going to can in jars, seal and put in a water bath. Bringing it to a boil and "processing" it for however long the recipe indicates. After which you remove to cool and you will hear the lids go down, "plink".

Friday, October 17, 2008

RISO FRITTELLA ON A SHOESTRING BUDGET

We are all watching our dollars these days. I know it may sound stupid but I dont like to hear about the DOW. I just prefer to have my rose colored glasses on. Oh, that's not to say that I havent been thinking of ways to watch my spending because I most certainly have. It just means that I am scared to death of our Country's current situation and what it will mean for my family and my children. I try to focus on the here and now and not try to look at it too much. eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! Okay breathe, in and out, in and out.

So here is one of the things I cooked up that will help to keep the money in our pockets a little longer. Cheesy, rice patties. These are a lot like arancini only they are in patty form. The idea is the same. They are really tastey but that doesn't mean that a little mango chutney wouldnt taste great on them. Or tomato jam. I'm thinking it would. I liked it with basil and tomatoes.

RISO FRITTELA / RICE FRITTERS
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness Original

2 cups cooked rice
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic or 1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup peccorino romano or parmesan or asiago
1/2 teaspoon salt
olive oil for frying

Combine all ingredients. Form little round discs and fry in olive oil, until lightly golden. You can make small ones and use as an appetizer or make larger ones for a meal.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE

Number three of the three has to be dessert right? It comes at the end of the meal. This is just a little twist on the zucchini bread that most of us know and love. It adds chocolate and what couldn't be improved by chocolate. At least that's what a lot of people think.
My daughter agrees.

CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness

3 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/3 cup allpurpose flour

Combine vegetable oil, vanilla, eggs, zucchini and sugar in a large bowl. In a medium sized bowl combine dry ingredients, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, baking powder and flour. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingedients. Pour into two greased loaf pans. Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes. (I use cooking spray, works fine).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

MOCK CRAB CAKES


Light on the budget and a pleasure to eat, mock crab cakes are a tastey treat. OK I just couldnt help myself, I had to go for the rhyme. They are really good. I dont know where the original idea came from but I got the recipe from my cousin. So glad she shared because we just love them. They are great as a side or put them on a bun and dress them up like a crab cake. They are delcious either way.

I make my own bay seasoning mix. If you make your own I suggest using a little less than the recipe calls for because it seems to be a bit more potent. Using Old Bay Seasoning really helps it along in the crab cake taste. Also, if you use plain bread crumbs please include a pinch of thyme, oregano and basil bcause this will also help the flavor along. You will not be disappointed with these!

MOCK CRAB CAKES
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness

2 cups grated zucchini, salt five minutes, rinse and drain
2 beaten eggs
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon mayonaise
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 cup finely chopped onions

Place shredded zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with salt, liberally. This will extract soem of the water out of the zucchini. Rinse, drain and squeeze. Mix all ingredients and let sit for about fifteen minutes. Form into patties and fry in olive oil, flip when golden.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ZUCCHINI: 3 WAYS IN 3 DAYS


Over the next three days I am going to post three different zucchini recipes that are a hit with everyone. I have passed out these recipes over and over again. Now it's time to pass them along to you. Two are savory and one is sweet.

The first is the newest addition. I created it this past summer. I was brainstorming on ways to get my kids to eat more vegetables. We had a lot of zucchini in the house so I fried it and pureed it. I have made it with and without bechamel. The bechamel is really what kicks it up a notch but it not needed if you want to cut calories. By the way it is a HUGE hit with my husband. I have to keep him away from it because he eats it all and leaves none for the kids.

MACARONI AND CHEESEY ZUCCHINI
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness Original

1 pound of cooked pasta (al dente)
1 pound of shredded cheese, a mix works nice especially if there is something sharp in the mix, like cheddar
1/2 cup peccorino romano or parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
6 cups chopped zucchini, no skin if you are trying to conceal it's presence
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
a smidge of cayenne- this gives it a lift (optional)

bechamel:
2 tablespoons ap flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups milk


Saute zucchini in the olive oil and the butter. Saute until lightly golden. Place in blender. In the same pan heat the two tablespoons butter until melted. Add flour and with a whisk cook until it is starting to turn a light color of brown. Add the milk and keep the whisk moving. As it heats up the lumps will dissipate. Bring to a boil, when it thickens remove from heat and add to blender. Puree the zucchini and the bechamel. Add garlic powder and salt to taste.

Combine shredded cheese, pecorino romano, pasta and blended zucchini bechamel mix. Place in large greased casserole dish and put oven for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

MAJESTIC DOMAIN and APPLE PIE POPPERS

So funny when I take pictures of mountains, I feel they are glorious. When I see them on the computer or pick them up from the photo lab, they are pretty but they just arent, well, majestic. You can capture feelings on photographs of course but there is simply no way to translate a mountains majesty. You have to feel its grandness and your smallness in person to truly appreciate it. It's the same way with fall's rich colors. A picture, no matter how perfect, could never translate the breath taking beauty of the rich tapestry of fall colors.

My husband and I were away in Ithaca, NY for our anniversary this past weekend. Ithaca is located in the Finger lakes Region of NY State. Great wines and beautiful panoramic views of the lakes. I love it there. I make my way to that area in one place or another just to get my fill of fresh air and gorgeous scenery. Usually stopping and getting fruit and or vegetables as well.

On our way home we stopped at a picnic to meet up with my parents and our kids. Friends of ours have some of those wind turbines on their property. During our hay ride up there we got a closer look. So funny, you think they are poles until you get up close and whoa, they are huge. I know that they really break up the vistas but certainly we really need to find alternatives to our oil dependence! I guess there is always a trade off for everything isn't there?

This is the base of a turbine. You can see the stair case leading up. The whole turbine is about 425 feet. One propellar is about 100 feet. They have weather devices n board. The turbine turns and faces the wind for optimum speed.

Amazing isnt it?

Okay, I bet you thought I wasn't going to talk about food but of course I am. Long winded today but the recipe here is quick and easy. I had some leftover dough from my grape pies that I made and thought I would do some minis.




The pastry is here. I revamped it to suit the small tarts. Inside the pastry is apple filling. I can't get over how good this crust recipe is. Go Elise!

APPLE PIE POPPERS
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness

filling:

2 apples, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar

Heat butter in a pan and begin to brown it. Add sugar and let cook a few minutes. Add chpped apples and heat until cooked but not mushy. Spoon into mini pastries.

pastry:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 to 4 Tbsp ice water

Combine flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Let spin and add butter while it is spinning. Add ice water, tablespoon by tablespoon, very slowly until dough forms a ball. Stop immediately. Remove dough from processor and knead, just to incorporate. Place in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Cut into small balls about the size of a quarter and roll out into a small circle. Stuff into a mini tart pan, trimming off excess at the top. Push any overlapping together.

Fill tarts with apple filling. Bake at 375 F until crust is golden.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

CANNING PLUMS

Nothing could be easier, really, Piece of cake, piece of crumb cake!
Step One: Buy plums or pick them off your tree.

Step two: Put them in your sink with cold water, wash them.

Step three: Put them in quart jars.  (If you like, you can halve them and remove the pit- you will get more in a jar this way).

Step four: Boil 5 1/4 cups water with 2 1/4 cups sugar for a light syrup. Bring to boil and turn off.

Step five: Pour boiling water into quart jars with the plums and fill until it is a 1/4 inch below the rim of the jar.  For a little added assurance I usually run my fingers around the rims of the jar at this point to make sure it is smooth and nothing is there to prevent the lid from suctioning onto the bottle.

Step six: Put new lids on, screw bands on firmly. Place in canning pot or you can use one of your deepest pots with a towel at the bottom or a round cooling rack (just so the bottom is padded. Cover jars with water. Bring to boil for about 15 minutes. (Updated 20 to 25 minutes according to the National Center for Home Preservation).  Remove from water and place on towel to cool. You will hear them pop. That pop is the satisfaction that you have been successful.  PLEASE refer to the NCHP for different processing times for your elevation).

I like to start the canning pot with water in it before I start this process. I like to put the hot jars into hot water. The process is really fast this way.

You have to do it. It is so economical and easy. You know what you put in it and where it has been. What could be finer?

Do it, do it, do it, do it, do it, do it! Then let me know how you did. Would love to hear about it. Questions, ideas, whatever. Let me know.

A few of you have asked what should you do with these after they are canned.

Here is one suggestion besides the many listed in the comment section.

Carrots in plum sauce.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Twist to the Classic Chocolate Chip

I had to make my girls some cookies. They have been very patient, eating all these grown up type desserts! It was time for a classic!


I know everyone has there favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and you probably have seen a million of them. This one is a little different than the rest. It adds instant pudding to the mix. The result are awesome. It is a nice chewy chocolate chip cookie with some body to it. The recipe is from Allrecipes. The recipe has almost a perfect score with 4,261 people giving their two cents, I think that is a pretty high approval rating. The Presidential candidates should be so lucky!

AWARD WINNING CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
Allrecipes via Lipsmacking Goodness

  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 (3.4 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour and baking soda, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in the instant pudding mix until blended. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Edges should be golden brown.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ginger Shrimp Napa Wraps

Years ago I went to DC with my friends to visit our friend Bill. He took us sightseeing around DC. We went to the Smithsonian Museum and many other places. It's funny the thing that I remember most is the food. He took us to PF Changs, a place I had never heard of (this is going back to ahhhh I think 1997 or so). We had their chicken lettuce wraps and they were absolutely amazing. Well this dish is akin to that dish. I think it packs just as much flavor but with shrimp instead.

GINGER SHRIMP NAPA WRAPS
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness
inspired by this recipe at Cooking Light

Sauce:


1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 garlic clove, minced

Wraps:


12 napa (Chinese) cabbage leaves
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 cups cooked cellophane noodles
2 lbs. cooked small shrimp (I used a bag of cooked shrimp)


To prepare sauce, combine the first 6 ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook until the sugar dissolves and sauce slightly thickens (about 5 minutes), stirring frequently. Remove from heat; cover and chill.

To prepare wraps, steam cabbage, covered, 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain and pat dry; set aside.

Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrot and next 4 ingredients (through 2 garlic cloves) to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add cilantro, basil, and juice; toss gently to combine. Add shrimp to heat. Do not overcook shrimp aas it wil get dry. Place about 3 tablespoons vegetable mixture and 2 tablespoons bean threads on each cabbage leaf. Serve with sauce.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Just got to have those green onion and cheddar biscuits!

And do they ever go good with this Chipotle Chorizo Chili! The weather turned cold and of course most everyone who likes chili must have it when the weather turns cold. It's the rite of passage after the equinox when temperatures begin to drop (at least here in the North East). I couldn't wait to get my hands on a bowl of this chili recipe from Cooking Light. And wow was it ever good. Spicy and full of rich flavor. I didnt even notice absence of fat but then I did put a dollop of real sour cream. Hey if I am going to go for some fat then I want it in my sour cream and cheese. A couple tablespoons of cheddar, a couple tablespoons of sour cream and of course some green onions to pretty up the plate and pack a little more onion punch! Wow!
So I had all this in mind when I stumbled on Kat's biscuits. I thought what a perfect accompaniment! That recipe was just begging to be made. I doubled her recipe as my parents were coming over. They were gobbled up in no time!

This is my contribution to Ivonne's Magazine Monday's. The Cream Puff herself started this cute idea. Check out what she has today!
Buttermilk Biscuits with Cheddar & Green Onions
(adapted from Bon Appétit Nov. '08)

1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup green onions, finely chopped
1/24 c cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/3 c all-purpose flour
2 t baking powder
big pinch of salt
2 T cornmeal (I didnt double this and I did use fine cornmeal)
4 T + 2 t cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 425 F.

In a small bowl mix together the buttermilk, onions & cheddar. Set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder salt & cornmeal. Add the butter. Use your hands to work the flour & butter together until it is the consistency of a coarse meal. Stir in the buttermilk mixture until large clumps form. Knead the dough about 3 or 4 times to bring everything together.

Put the dough on a baking sheet covered with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Form into a square about 3/4 inch thick. Cut the square into 4 pieces. Space the pieces about 2 inches apart. Melt a little more butter & brush it on the top of each biscuit.

Bake for 15 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.

Makes 4 biscuits

BEEF, BLACK BEAN and CHORIZO CHILI
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness
adapted from Cooking Light recipe

  • 2 links chicken chorizo sausage (about 6 ounces), thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup sweet red wine
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 (14-ounce) cans less-sodium beef broth
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chorizo to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until browned. Add beef to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until browned. In a seperate skillet saute onions in canola oil and a two teaspoons of butter until golden.

Chop about two tablespoons of chipotle. Add chopped chiles, tomato paste, and next 6 ingredients (through ground cumin) to pan, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in red wine, lime juice, beef broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Stir in black beans; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. I cooked on low for a couple hours to really tenderize the beef.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

PIE EATING CONTEST with GRAPE PIE

Just kidding. My husband thought it was though. Kidding again. Check out the pie event. What perfect timing for my Grape Pie!



About forty five minutes from where I live is the Finger Lakes. Some amazing wines come from this picturesque area. There are so many vineyards and so many wineries. The lakes are just beautiful!

In Naples, they have a Grape Festival every year. You can get some amazing grape pies there. They will cost you a little. Or you can make your own. I found a recipe and after a couple tries and some tweaking, I am very satisfied with the results. The pastry can be found here at Simply Recipes. Its an amazing dough. Very flaky and crisp! Tasty too!

Just to let you know the tapioca had to be upped because it was too runny. After experimentation the following recipe is what works for me.

Concord Grape Pie
based on this recipe
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness

2 1/4 cups grapes, skinned
1 cup sugar
2 heaping tablespoons tapioca flour

Seperate the grapes from the skins. Cook them in a heavy bottom sauce pan until they have fallen apart. Strain through a sieve over the skins. Let the skins and hot juice sit for two hours until completely cooled. The original recipe says five hours.  I did it both ways and am satisfied with the results.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Add sugar and tapioca. Stir. Roll out your pie crust. Pour grape mixture into (uncooked) prepared pie crust. Bake at 400 F for fifteen minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F for about 20 more minutes. Let cool completely to set.

A TASTE OF TUSCANY: Greens and Beans with Concord Grape Focaccia

I bought some Concord grapes at our town Farmers Market. Ten dollars for the peck and they were mine. We have a lot of vineyards near here int he Finger lakes Region. It is beautiful country if you ever make your way to this part of NY State.

I have been wanting to try this recipe I found for Grape Focaccia. I thought it sounded pretty interesting. Fresh grapes thrown on some focaccia. I sprinkled the top with sucanat just to add a texture and taste. It went well. It may seem a little odd to some people, grapes thrown on bread and baked. But think of it like grape jelly on your biscuits. But far better!


Aren't they just beautiful?
Then at the market downtown this past Saturday and there is this guy there who always has the most interesting produce. (Yes, I went to two markets this past Saturday). In the past he has had, Jerusalem artichokes, black walnuts, lima beans, baby bok choy, and on Saturday he had a type of kale I have never seen before. He said he bought the seeds from Tuscany, Italy. He said it was real sweet and nutty. He said it had an oyster like taste. I have never tried oysters but I will take his word for it. It was sweet and nutty! It was delicious.
I boiled the kale in chicken broth, as he suggested, drained it (saved that broth) and fried it in olive oil, along with some chopped garlic. I had cannelini beans boiling in chicken broth as well. I just strained the beans and threw them in with the greens when it was almost ready.

For the Focaccia
Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness

2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast or 1 packet
2 1/2 to 3 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups warm water

In a measuring cup stir the sugar into the water. Sprinkle the yeast on top. Let set for a couple minutes. Meanwhile add salt to yeast and stir. Pour in the yeast mixture and the oil and stir to combine. Add about 2 cups of flour and combine thoroughly- adding more water if too dry and more flour if too wet. Go slowly, adding little amounts until you get a smooth dough. Knead for about five minutes. Make sure the dough is springy and smooth. Place in oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about an hour or so. Press into jelly roll pan. You may need to let the dough rest as you work it into the pan.  If it gets springy- let it sit for about five minutes and then begin working the dough again to fit the pan. Place grapes* on top and let rise again for about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake in the oven at 375 F until golden.

* You may want to deseed them if that would bother you biting into the bread.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

R2R SHRIMP DUMPLINGS

Dumplings have to be one of my most favorite of foods. All kinds of dumplings. I guess it started years ago with our traditional Christmas Eve Polish dinner, consisting of two kinds of pierogies (along with all the other stuff). And every nationality has some kind of dumpling dont they? I love them all, at least all the ones I have tried.

This was a great pick by Heather of Randomosity and the Girl. And Temperance, my cohort of High on the Hog was the co host. Recipes to Rival R2R is growing quickly. It is so great to see such enthusiasm and support! We truly love our growing family. You can check out the complete recipe on our site, here.

HOT WATER DOUGH:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups boiling water

In a stainless steel bowl mix flour and salt. Slowly add hot water to flour in 1/4 cup increments. Mix with chopsticks until a ball is formed and the dough is not too hot to handle. On a floured surface, knead dough until it becomes a smooth, elastic ball. Place back in bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rest for at least 1 hour. Working on a floured surface with floured hands, roll out dough to form a long 'noodle', 1-inch in diameter. Cut 1/2-inch pieces and turn them over so the cut sides are facing up. Flatten with your palm and roll out thin using a rolling pin. The dumpling wrapper should end up about 3 inches in diameter. (2)

Source: Extraordinary Meals from Ordinary Ingredients, ©2007 The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

The filling I used can be found here.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface and create a long tube. Cut into equal pieces.

Roll out a piece into a small circle about four inches in diameter. You can vary the size of course.

I recently learned this technique for forming the dumpling. First pleat one side. This creates a pocket for you to fill.
This is the other side where it was pleated. Once pleated crimp with your fingers to reinforce the pleat.
Place your filling in the pocket being careful to not get any on the perimeter. DOugh will not adhere very well with grease or other substances on its surface.
Once your filling is in place seal the edges by firmly pinching together. Set on a cookie sheet and cover with a damp towel to keep it from drying out as you do the others.

Place in steamer if you have one. I use to use collanders over larger pots until I bought this. Really a steamer is a worthwhile investment. You can do so many things with it. Steaming vegtables and meat etc. And they are under 20 usually.

Enjoy. They are so delicious and such a nice treat!

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