Friday, June 30, 2017

Tomato and Goat-Cheese Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

This Tomato and Goat-Cheese Salad with Basil Vinaigrette recipe is from Martha Stewart, so it has to be a good thing...right? Click on the link for more information.


INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 ounces fresh goat cheese
3 medium tomatoes, cored and sliced crosswise 1 inch thick

DIRECTIONS

In a blender, combine basil, oil, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon water. Blend until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

With dental floss or a warm knife (wiped clean after each slice), thinly slice cheese. Arrange tomatoes and goat cheese on a serving plate; drizzle with dressing to taste. Serve garnished with basil leaves.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What the Heck is This?

My friend Jane and I were talking about saucers and cup plates, as the barista slopped the coffee out of Jane's cup into her saucer. Jane remarked that people used to "saucer their tea" or coffee, pouring from the cup into the saucer so the liquid would cool faster. We each remembered relatives who did that, and we each knew it was an old custom, reaching back at least as far as the Regency Romances we used to (and sometimes still) read.

Then Jane, as she so often does, added another trivia bullet to my Jeopardy arsenal: She said that place settings also had a cup plate, so you could put your cup down without leaving a mess while you drank from the saucer.

Then I thought: Is that what this little dish is?
I picked up about four of these little things when Mom's church cleaned out their kitchen cabinets. I use them for tiny salads, to hold small quantities of prepped ingredients, for hard-boiled eggs, for fruit -- small bits of lots of things. They are, as my grandpa used to say and we all say in his honor, handy little gadgets.

After talking to Jane, I thought they might be cup plates, but my research on cup plates shows them to be made of glass, so I think they're something else. Butter dishes?

Any guesses or, preferably, positive identification?

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, June 23, 2017

Black Forbidden Rice with Shrimp, Peaches, and Snap Peas

Why is black rice "forbidden"? Because in ancient China, the grain was served only to the Emperor. Black rice is called a super food because it's loaded with the antioxidant anthocyanin. If you don't have any black rice available, feel free to substitute white or brown rice in this Black Forbidden Rice with Shrimp, Peaches, and Snap Peas recipe from Health. Click the link for further information.

Ingredients

2 cups black rice (see note)
3 1/2 cups water
1 (1 1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons plus 1 tsp grapeseed oil, divided
1 1/4 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
2 1/2 cups sugar snap peas, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 peaches, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

Preparation

1. In medium saucepan, bring rice, water, ginger, and teaspoon salt to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender (30 minutes). Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and transfer to a large bowl.

2. Meanwhile, in large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and a pinch each salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until cooked through and opaque (4-5 minutes). Remove shrimp; wipe pan with paper towels.

3. In same pan, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Add snap peas and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Add peaches and cook 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl with rice.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, honey, and soy sauce until smooth; pour dressing over rice mixture, add shrimp, and toss.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Lemonade, Regular and Pink

In the throes of the Russia investigation, my fellow old-timers will understand why I'm hesitant to post about anything pink. Nevertheless, I hereby step onto the wild side.



It's nearly summer here in the Midwestern USA, and thoughts turn to refreshing drinks. The Harrison County Fair is about to start, and that means lemonade.

Image courtesy of SweetClipArt
My mother asked me what makes pink lemonade pink, and I didn't know, so I found out. 

First, although I always associate lemonade with the turn of the 18/19th centuries, it's an ancient drink. Lemons, which originated in the Mediterranean area, were squeezed, diluted with water, sugared and cooled for the upper class, who could afford to bring ice down from the mountains. 

By the 17th century, lemonade had made its way to Europe, where it was a popular street vendor product. 

Lemonade came to the USA with European settlers. Where lemons couldn't be had, lemonade could be made with lemon syrup, which could be imported. The temperance movement, during the Victorian era, made lemonade the genteel drink of choice, and it was featured at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition. 

In 1872 or 1873, a 15-year-old boy who had run away from home to join the circus, Henry E. Allott, dropped some cinnamon candies into the lemonade he was mixing. The pink lemonade outsold the regular, and has been a staple of the circus concession stand ever since. Red fruit juice is sometimes added by home cooks to get the color, but cinnamon drops originally made the yellow drink pink.

So now we all know.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Blackberry Lime Cream Puffs

This Blackberry Lime Cream Puffs recipe is from CountryLiving. Click the link to learn more about the recipe's contributor, see the finished product, and more.


Ingredients

6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. fresh lime zest, plus more for serving
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Pinch kosher salt
2 1/2 c. fresh blackberries, divided
1 c. heavy cream
24 (2-inch) store-bought profiterole shells
confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

Directions

Whisk cream cheese, sugar, lime zest, vanilla, salt, and 3/4 cup berries on medium speed with a mixer until creamy and berries are broken down, 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high, add cream, and beat until whipped, about 1 minute. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a medium-sized pastry tip or zip-top bag. Chill 2 hours or up to 1 day.

Snip a hole in the corner of the zip-top bag, if using. Split profiteroles and pipe blackberry filling on bottom halves, dividing evenly. Top with remaining 1 3/4 cups blackberries and lime zest. Sandwich with profiterole tops. Garnish with confectioners’ sugar. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Another #Vegan Stir-Fry

Today's grocery day, so we cleaned out the refrigerator. That usually means 1) soup or 2) stir fry or 3) smorgasbord. This time, it was stir-fry.
That's onion, garlic cloves, the last bits of raw broccoli and carrot from a crudités plate, a couple of dry-ish mushrooms, a small, sad zucchini we got at the farmer's market because we felt sorry for it, and leftover rice. Fried it in sesame oil and sprinkled it with Five Spice Powder and soy sauce. I topped mine with Pad Thai sauce, but Charlie didn't.

After I put it on the table, I thought, "Oh! I should have put some cashews in!" So we sprinkled cashews on top and that was great.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, June 9, 2017

Glazed Wings With Butter Lettuce Salad

This Glazed Wings With Butter Lettuce Salad recipe is from RealSimple. Click the link for nutritional information, tips, reviews, and yield.


INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
kosher salt
3 1/2 pounds chicken wings (about 25)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons store-bought pesto
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 head butter lettuce, torn into pieces


DIRECTIONS

Heat grill to medium-low. In a large bowl, combine the preserves, vinegar, ginger, cayenne, and ¾ teaspoon salt. Set aside ¼ cup of the mixture.

Add the chicken wings to the bowl and toss to coat.
Grill chicken, covered, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes, basting with reserved mixture in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the oil, pesto, and lemon juice.
Divide the lettuce among plates and drizzle with the pesto vinaigrette. Serve with the chicken wings.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Rescuing Leftover Blah #trayf

I made a dish for a cookout, which was a disappointment. The dish, not the cookout. It was potatoes and flat-leaf kale, boiled together and seasoned with salt and vegan margarine. Okay, all you non-vegan/vegetarians, I don't wanna hear it. Most vegan/vegetarian food is goo-ood, but this was kind of blah.

Part of it is that flat-leaf kale doesn't have any body to it, and seems (to me) to be milder in flavor than curly kale. I think pepper would have helped, or replacing the salt with some zesty Mrs. Dash, but Charlie doesn't like pepper and spice, so that was out.

ANYWAY, I had some left.

Since Charlie and I aren't vegetarian, we have some bacon, and I chopped some of that and fried it. When that was nearly done, I added the potatoes and kale and browned them. Meanwhile, I beat a few eggs with milk, salt, and marjoram. Poured that over the potatoes/kale/bacon. I covered it until it was set, then flipped it to brown the other side.
It worked! It was actually delicious!

From now on, though, I'm sticking with the curly kale.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, June 2, 2017

So Simple Cowboy Caviar

The So Simple Cowboy Caviar recipe comes from Food.com. Visit the page for information about the contributor and for reviews, photos, nutrition facts, and tips.


INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar ( flavor of your choice)
1 (16 ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (7 ounce) cans white shoepeg corn, rinsed and drained
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced

DIRECTIONS

In small saucepan, combine oil, sugar and vinegar.
Heat and boil 1 minute and then cool completely.
In large bowl, combine beans, peas, corn, peppers and onions.
Pour vinegar mixture over bean/pepper mixture and mix to thoroughly coat.
Cover and marinate overnight.
Drain for 2-3 hours before serving.