Friday, February 29, 2008

French Bread For February

This is my first Daring Bakers challenge and it couldn't have been a better one for me. French bread Yum!!!

We love fresh bread with everything. But with these loaves we are going to have it with my 20 minute weeknight sauce and linquine. The house is filled with the smell of yeasty warm bread and spicy sweet tomatoe sauce. This must be heaven!

The recipe for the bread is from Julia Childs and the challenge came from the breadchick. Check out the recipe on her site. Just click here . They included alot of notes, which seemed kinda daunting at first, but I really found them to be helpful.

And if you follow their suggestion of reading the recipe with Julia Childs voice in your head it made it really fun!

Course, my husband wasn't sure how I was going to add Julia's voice in with the 19 others that are roaming around in my head. Ha!! he thinks he is so funny.

My picture taking skills seem to be getting better, maybe next time more than one or two will come out post worthy.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Orange Balsamic Glazed Green Beans

Living in Florida, I'm lucky to have fresh oranges right out my back door. Well---actually there right out my back door and into my neighbors yard. She has the best oranges and her trees are so prolific that she can never eat all of the oranges they produce. Lucky Lucky me!

If you have picky eaters in your family try this recipe. I bought the giant bag of green beans from Sam's last week, (it's so big I think I'm going to have to put it in the will), and I am having fun finding different ways to cook them.

Orange Balsamic Glazed Green Beans
If you get the oranges from your neighbor don't forget to make enough for her so you'll be sure to have oranges in the future.
2 cups frozen fresh green beans
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons orange zest
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and green beans. Boil for about 4 minutes or until beans are crisp tender. Immediately remove from the water and plunge into a bowl with ice and water. Set aside
In a medium saute pan over medium heat add the orange juice and balsamic vinegar
and reduce by 1/2, about 10 minutes. Add the orange zest and green beans. Toss to coat and heat through. Serve immediately

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What a week I'm havin'

Whew! This has been one busy week. After my husband's b-day and the superbowl, my mother in-law had a wreck and totaled her car. She tried to make a left u-turn from the right lane!!! O.M.G--- Luckily she is alright. It really sounds worse than it was. I think they totaled her car because it was so old.

The other car hit her smack in the rear driver's side tire. Bent it inward so the car couldn't be driven away. We had her take a defensive driving course for seniors and they said they thought she was fine to drive. So the past few days have been spent looking for and purchasing a car for her. This one has side air bags. We don't want to take any chances.

On the lighter side I won my first contest this week!!! Yay for me!!!

It is the Bay's English Muffin Contest. The theme was "Let the good times roll", for Mardi Gras. My entry was the Mufaletta Muffin Salad. As soon as I can get a good picture I'll post it. Should be sometime in the next few days since things have calmed down a little bit.

The prize is really cool. $500 shopping spree at Williams and Sonoma. I've already started making my list and let me tell you--$500 dollars can go pretty quick.

I am just finishing up some recipes to enter in the National Cornbread Festival. I'm visualizing myself accepting the first prize and being crowned with the cast iron tiara. We are having a great time and my husband is very proud.

I'll let you know what happens!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Creme Puffs for the Hubby!

This week was my husbands bithday,(I'll spare you his age as it might give clues to mine). Instead of cake I decided to make him one of his favorite treats-Creme Puffs. My oldest niece came over manned with a recipe from her Aunt Virginia, a nice polish lady that niether of us has met. At first we were a little intimidated thinking that there would be a lot of work involved, but as it turned out these little gems are fairly easy to make. So easy if fact that we made 2 batches!!

Well, as it turns out we had to make two batches because we sorta ate the first batch as we made them. Had to, we told ourselves. How else would we know if they were good enough to give to her favorite uncle for his birthday!

When all was said and done these tasty little treats are worth the try.

Aunt Virginia's Creme Puffs
1/2 cup Crisco Shortening
1 cup Flour
1 cup water
pinch of slat
5 eggs

On low heat, melt together Crisco, salt and water. Bring to a boil
Add Flour, cook one minute stirring to bring together.
Beat in eggs one at a time until it is neither thick nor runny. (That's what the recipe said!)
Droup dough by tablespoonfuls on greased cookie sheet. (Makes about 24)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Bake 10 minutes, reduce to 400 degrees and bake 20 minutes longer
Creme Filling (add in this order)
3/4 cup sugar
dash of salt
10 tablespoons of flour
4 cups milk
4 egg yolks
Combine all ingredients. Sir constatly over low heat until thick....add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cool
Fill Puffs ..... Enjoy!!!

Friday, February 1, 2008

One Dish Wonders!!

I'm all for cooking really elaborate meals, but sometimes you just want a really good dinner with out going to a lot of trouble. This dish fits the bill perfectly and it's good enough to serve to company. This is the way I usually make it but I have also used scallops or both shrimp and scallops. Just depends what looks good. I usually garnish this with fresh parsley or green onions, but I was out of both so you'll have to use your imagination.

Just as art requires you to bring something of yourself to the piece I truly believe the same can be said for food. If you start with a good idea, bring some basic skills to the kitchen and then add a little of yourself to each dish you are sure to create something unforgettable.

Key West Shrimp with Lemon Garlic Linquine

1 lb linquine
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces crimini mushrooms
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
24 wild shrimp, peeled and deviened
1/2 cup parmeseano reggiono, grated
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

1. Cook the linguine to al dente according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large non stick skillet to medium heat

3. Add the olive oil and mushrooms. Saute 4-5 minutes or until browned.

4. Add the lemon juice and the garlic cloves. Saute 1-2 minutes

5. Add the shrimp and saute 2 minutes. (Shrimp will not be done)

6. With a slotted spoon, drain the linguine and add the the shrimp mixture. Saute 2 minutes longer or until shrimp are done.

7. Add the remaining lemon zest, cheese and parsley. Toss with tongs to combine.