Apple Date Kale Salad

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Hard to believe how good this salad is. I took this from the web but cannot find the original website.  It was served with a piece of salmon cooked in a frying pan.  To save on the calories, I lightly oil the fish, added a fish rub and baked for about 15-20 minutes at 375 in my toaster if making just 1-2 pieces.  If 4 pieces I cook in my oven.

Salad – serves 4.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (1-2 lemons)

2 tablespoons of good olive oil (for salad); more for oil if adding fish.

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 large bunch of kale  1 large bunch,  wash & remove the center rib and slice thinly the leaves

1/4 cup of dates (small dice)

1 honey crisp apple (very small dice) – I like to peel my apple.

1/4 cup finely grated pecorino cheese

3 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds.  I toasted these for 2 minutes on a piece of foil in my toaster.

Fresh ground black pepper.

Directions:

Whisk/shake lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt in a jar.

Pour over kale, toss, and let stand for 10 minutes

As kale is marinating, dice your figs and apples.

Add fruit, grated cheese, and almonds to kale.

Season with pepper, toss well, and let sit a few more minutes before serving.

Serve over salmon or serve just the salad.

 

Salmon:

4   5-6 oz pieces of salmon good cut

1 tablespoon of oil

fish rub or just use salt and pepper

Preheat oven or toaster to 375.

Spread oil and rub on fish.

Bake 15-20 minutes until desired doneness.

 

 

Apple Muffins from Scratch

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Easy recipe and kid helper friendly.   Without a kid helper, prep time is 15 minutes.  With a kid helper … 🙂

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pull out your butter to start softening.  Prep all ingredients until butter is soft prior to creaming it.   This apple muffin is a little more tasty and less healthy than my other apple muffin.  It is a better brunch muffin and presents more upscale.

Makes 12 regular sized muffins.

Muffin Batter:

1/2 Cup White Sugar

1/4 Cup Butter (half of a typical US stick of butter or  4 tablespoons ).   Soften approximately 15-20 minutes.

1 Egg

1 Cup Milk (2% fine)

2 Cups Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon (will need again for topping)

1 Teaspoon Allspice

1 Teaspoon Nutmeg (optional but I used)

1 1/2 Cups Peeled Small Diced/ Chopped Apple

Muffin Topping:  

1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar

1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

 

Directions:

In a large bowl add flour, salt, baking powder and spices for batter.  Stir to mix ingredients.

Mix in another small bowl the two muffin topping and set aside

Cream on a medium speed in mixer with paddle attachment the softened butter and sugar.  Add egg and mix some more.  Add milk and mix on low speed some more.

Pour egg mixture into flour mixture and blend/stir until all is lightly moistened.  It is properly mixed when you do not see much flour but batter is still lumpy.

Add diced apples to batter and blend throughout.

Evenly fill a well-greased muffin tin or use liners.  These muffins do stick some.  I recommend spraying your liners some if you are using with some non-stick spray but is not totally necessary.   In a normal 12 muffin pan the batter will be a little more than half filled prior to cooking.   Sprinkle with a spoon the muffin topping across all muffins.  You may not need all the topping.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  Test after 20 minutes with a toothpick but in most cases 2-3 more minutes gives a more done muffin without any harm.

 

 

 

 

Aunt Norsey’s Light as a Cloud Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe and a Bonus Meringue Cookie Recipe

This is my Aunt Norsey’s Recipe that I have now been making for years thanks to her excellent coaching.  The pie is a bit of effort (I can’t lie), but the taste is a unique combination for lemon meringue pie that is worth experiencing.   Please post any questions or comments.  I tried to elaborate as much as possible for each major step.

Norsey’s Lemon Meringue Pie – Last Updated 10/5/2014

Use 10 inch high sided pie plate

Lemon Meringue Crust Ingredients

  • 8 Egg Whites *
    • Make sure eggs are room temperature before starting and no shells
    • Have a few extra on hand if an egg does not separate properly
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Half of Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • 2 Cups of Sugar
  • Butter (for buttering pie plate)

Lemon Meringue Crust Preparation

Preheat oven to 275

  • Using whisk beater, beat eggs whites alone (around 3 minutes) with a pinch of salt and cream of tarter until approaching “stiff peaks.” (moving speed up gradually to level 6 on kitchen-aid mixer).
  • Add 2 cups of sugar to egg whites, a little at a time and continue beating until mixture is glossy and sugar is dissolved . Beat this stage at least 4-5 minutes moving from level 6 to 8 (medium high to high speed).
  • Remove from mixer stand and spread meringue in a well buttered 10 inch pie plate with deep sides. Carry out the meringue out until the rim (but not over the edge). Should have an inch on bottom of plate and then on the sides create a high outside ring of meringue.   There will be a fair amount of meringue left over to bake cookies separately! See a suggested recipe at end.
  • Lay pie pan on cookie sheet and bake the crust 275 heat for about 50 minutes or until very faint tinge has appeared. Crust should feel hard.
  • Remove from oven. Allow to cool. Store shell in a cool place with clean dish towel over it.   Crust can sit overnight and rest of pie can be prepared early next day.  If so, just cover the egg yolks and place in fridge until ready to use.

Lemon Filling Ingredients

  • 8 Egg Yolks
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • ½ Cup lemon juice (around 3 lemons)
  • Rind of 2 lemons grated
  • 2 pints of heavy cream (can do with only 3 cups if need be)
    • One pint for lemon filling below; other pint for whip-cream step
  • 2 tsp unflavored gelatin (about 1 packet of Knox brand)

Lemon Filling Preparation

  • Beat egg yolks until thick using flat mixer beater (up to a medium speed).
  • Add sugar and lemon juice until blended. Remove bowl from mixer.
  • Add rind by hand.
  • Stir and cook in double boiler until the mixture thickens some. Use a whisk or spoon for this.   Want to do this over low to low/medium heat, not boiling. Usually takes around 10-20 minutes for mixture to become thick. Remove from stove.
  • While mixture is heating above drop some ice cubes into cold water.   Measure a ¼ cup of ice cold water and add the gelatin as your lemon mixture is near completion on stove.
  • Add gelatin water to cooked filling.
  • Put mixture into fridge COVERED to cool for 60 minutes. At the same time put the bowl you are mixing the whip cream and the whisk beater in the fridge to get cold. Stir with whisk the lemon mixture when you remove from fridge. If too thick reheat some on stove. You do not want the mixture warm or watery before adding cream.
  • Whip 2 cups heavy cream with whisk beater. Fold into cooled lemon filling . Fold in a quarter (1/4th) at a time.
  • Spoon into meringue crust.

Whip Cream Pie Topping: Ingredients and Preparation

  • Whip second pint (or less if you want to go light on the whip cream). Add:
    • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
    • 1 -2 teaspoons of sugar
    • Whip some more
  • Spread whip cream around the edges of the pie and in the middle to decorate.
  • Put pie in fridge overnight if possible.

Recommend waiting at least a few hours to add the whip cream and cut the pie. The more time in the fridge the better. Less than 3-4 hours, the pie will be difficult to cut.

 

* Separating Eggs

  • Tip set out 2 bowls one to collect yolks, one to collect whites
  • Crack and separate each egg white separately into third bowl and only add to whites bowl one at a time assuring no yolks or shells get into the egg white bowl.

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8 egg whites and egg yolks separated (above)

 

Pictures for making the crust (below)

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Texture of whites before adding sugar (above)

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Texture of whites when finished and ready for pie plate (above)

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Pie plate (above)

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Meringue spread into pie plate.  Notice crust is a good inch plus above the center of the pie (above)

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Sense of amount of leftover meringue (above)

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Cooked crust (above). Notice tinge.

 

Pictures for making the lemon filling (below):

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Grated lemon rind (above)

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Mixture just set on double boiler on stove (above)

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Texture of mixture after 15 minutes (above). Notice thicker consistency.

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Texture of whip cream to be folded into lemon mixture (above)

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Cooked lemon waiting for whip cream to be folded into it (above)

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Filling with whip cream folded in (above)

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Crust with filling added.  Now ready for fridge for a few hours (above)

 

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Meringue Cookie Recipe

Preheat oven to 350, making sure the oven is nice and hot

Add chocolate chips to cookies if desired

Scoop leftover meringue on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

Use a finger to push the meringue off the spoon

Turn off the oven

Place the cookies into the off oven and leave for 8-12 hours

Seal in a airtight container or zip lock bag

 

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Uncooked (above)

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Cooked (above).  Hard to see but cookies are now crisp.

 

 

Upscale Pigs in the Blanket (Chicken Sausage-Cranberry Pigs-in-Blankets)

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I found this recipe in a mini appetizer book.  It is an upscale mini hot dog with a nice blend of sweet and tangy flavors.  It is always well received.  Kids can help make them in the kitchen.  This recipe can easily be doubled and leftovers can be frozen.  If I know I will be freezing portions to be reheated later I slightly undercook.   Often I need to make this recipe without the nuts because of nut allergies.  I personally think the recipe is more tasty with the almond slivers but it is certainly still good without nuts.  Exact measurements are not required.  Prep time for a double recipe is about 20 minutes using a Cuisinart.  Cleanup is very easy especially if you throw your Cuisinart pieces in the dishwasher.  Cooking time is 20 minutes.  Make sure you allow 30-40 to thaw your dough.  Do not prematurely pull out the dough from the freezer.  If the dough gets too soft, making the hot dogs will become difficult.

Ingredients for 1 batch:  Yields 25-30 mini dogs

1/3rd cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves – do not substitute dry

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup grated Gruyere Cheese

1 teaspoon whole-grain or creamy dijon mustard (if I am doubling the recipe I use one heaping teaspoon of each)

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

2-3 links PRE-COOKED apple flavored (or other) chicken sausage.  The package I show requires just two links given the thickness of the links.

 

Directions:

Defrost Pastry Dough (allow 30-40 minutes).  Open box.  Set on counter.  Do not try to unroll dough until fully defrosted.

Combine cranberries, parsley, almonds, cheese, and mustard in a food processor fired with a metal blade and process to coarse paste.  It takes about 30-60 seconds.

Place pastry dough on work surface (cutting board works well).   Cut into 3 long strips (10 inches) and then 8-10 approximately 1 inch cuts across.

Cut sausage links in half lengthwise and then cut each link 5-7 slices the other direction depending on the brand.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prepare a small bowl of warm water and set aside.

Press about a half teaspoon cranberry mixture onto center of each pastry strip, leaving the sides empty of paste.

Top each with piece of sausage.

Slightly wet the sides of each strip (using your water bowl).

Bring the ends together up and over the sausage.  Press firmly to seal and place on a non-stick baking sheet (I usually lay some parchment down or spray some cooking spray but neither step is necessary).

Do not crowd dogs and bake for 20 minutes if serving right away or 18 minutes if freezing for later cooking.  The pastry at either time should be baked through but at 20 minutes the dough will be a slightly darker color.

Serve piping hot with additional mustard.

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Sausage – notice words at bottom fully cooked.  I did remove the small amount of casing.  Not not all precooked sausage has a casing film.

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Parsley, Cheese, Cranberry Paste

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Prepping Pastry

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Prepping Dogs

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Preparing the Dogs

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Precooked

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Cooked cooling on a baking rack

 

Ina Garten’s / Barefoot Contessa Company Pot Roast

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Tips:

If you are looking for a pot roast and have about a half hour to invest in preparation, Ina’s version is delicious.  Her directions list 20 minutes of prep time.  That is too short to clean and dice all items and sear your meat.  Total cooking time is about 3 1/2 hours, in addition to the 30 minutes of prep.  If you are not serving right away leave the completed stew in a slow cooker on warm setting.  Freeze in small portion any leftovers.  I made this entire dish in my Williams-Sonoma All-Clad Deluxe Slow Cooker (with Cast-Aluminum Insert 7 quart) even though the dish was not cooked in a slow cooker manner. This slow cooker can sear your meat on the stove top and then go into the oven.    I made one addition.  I added diced potatoes after 90 minutes of initial cooking at the higher temperature.  I made one deletion, skipping the Cognac because we did not have any.  The sauce has such a complete taste,  I am not sure it matters.   Note: I did use most of the amount of salt and pepper recommended despite seeming high.  I would not drop the amounts below much,  unless salt intake must be closely watched.  The dish once done is not salty nor too peppery.  I do not have a sense for how many servings this dish made because we froze a lot.  My best guess would be there is enough for 8-10 people easily.

Ingredients:

1 (4 to 5-pound*) prime boneless beef chuck roast, tied  (I cooked mine untied)

* I also used two ” 2  1/2 ” pound pieces given one large option was not available

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour
Good olive oil
2 cups chopped carrots (4-5 carrots)
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 small onions or 1 large)
2 cups chopped celery (4 stalks)
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 to 4 leeks)

4 small white potatoes cleaned and diced (peeling not necessary)
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 cups good red wine
2 tablespoons Cognac or brandy (I skipped)
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes in puree
1 cup chicken stock
1 chicken bouillon cube
3 branches fresh thyme **
2 branches fresh rosemary **
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

**I used a combo herb packet for roasting a chicken which had a total of 4 herbs

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Pat the beef dry with a paper towel. Season the roast all over with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Dredge the whole roast in flour, including the ends. In a large Dutch oven (I used my slow cooker), heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the roast and sear for 4 to 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn and sear the other side and then turn and sear the ends. This should take 4 to 5 minutes for each side. Remove the roast to a large plate.  If you are using 2 smaller pieces you likely will only need to sear on 2 sides not 4.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. Add the wine and Cognac (if using) and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, bouillon cube, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie the thyme and rosemary together with kitchen string and add to the pot.

Put the roast back into the pot, bring to a boil, and cover.

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(Picture before being covered and placed into oven)

Place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours (if using potatoes add after 90 minutes and return meat to oven for another 1 hour at 325), until the meat is fork tender or about 160 degrees F internally. Turn the heat down to 250 degrees F for about an hour to keep the sauce at a simmer.

Remove the roast to a cutting board. Remove the herb bundle and discard. Skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce. Transfer half the sauce and vegetables to a blender or a food processor fitted with the steel blade and puree until smooth. Pour the puree back into the pot, place on the stovetop over low heat, and return the sauce to a simmer. Place 2 tablespoons flour and the butter in a small bowl and mash them together with a fork. Stir into the sauce and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring until thickened. Taste for seasonings. Remove the strings from the roast (if not already done so), and slice the meat. Serve warm with the sauce spooned over it.

Other Photos

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Meat seasoned but raw above

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Meat seared above

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Raw vegetables diced excluding potatoes above

 

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Fresh herbs tied with kitchen string above

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Vegetables (excluding potatoes) tender not browned (above)

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/company-pot-roast-recipe.print.html?oc=linkback

 

Tasty Honey Mango Grilled Salmon Recipe

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TIME:  At least 2 1/2 Hours if using  wood planks.  However prep time is no more than 10 minutes plus watching the grill.  This is an easy recipe and the planks will add great flavor and texture on the bottom.  If not using the planks, you will at least need one hour of marinating time plus cooking time.

This recipe came from a friend’s wife and it is outstanding.

If using wood planks start soaking them now for at least 2 hours.  Less is a problem according to the fish mongers at Whole Foods.  My research on line and at looking at the planks toss them when done.  Trying to reuse is unlikely going to result in the same type of taste you are looking for from this recipe. 

The better the cut of salmon, obviously the better the outcome.  I will try to post the recipes for the corn soufflé (made by my brother-in-law if he will share it) and the steak by my husband.

Ingredients:

One 3.5 to 5.0 pound salmon fillet

4 generous tablespoons of honey

3 generous tablespoons of dijon mustard

1 tablespoon of course grain mustard

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (@ 1 1/2 lemons) plus additional whole lemon for slices when grilling.

3-4 tablespoons of fresh herbs of preference – recommend at least some dill and parsley.  Tarragon will work great too and/or try to buy a bundle of fresh herbs used for poultry roasting.  Remove all stems and chop fine.

1 fresh mango optional for bonus flavor – use about a half of mango cut into small chunks.

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients in the bowl until well blended and use half of it to brush over the salmon.

Marinate in the fridge at lest one hour (or longer).  The longer the better.

if using cedar planks but some lemon on the top of planks (that have soaked for at least 2 hours!) under the salmon.  Add additional lemon slices on top of fish if you want more lemon flavor.

Continue to use the marinade via brush method when grilling the salmon.

We grilled for about 20-25 minutes on a 350-375 temperature on the grill.  Doneness is a preference.  At 20-25 minutes your fish should be more on the done side.  Smaller cuts will likely take less time.

If there is any mustard sauce left over, you can heat on stove until bubbly an use to top the fish.

Simple Salmon with Brown Sugar Glaze served with Sweet Potatoes – Easy

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Ingredients:

2-4 pieces of 6 ounces of salmon fillets

Sauce sized for 4 portions
1/4 teaspoon of salt (adjusted for taste)
1/4 teaspoon of pepper (adjusted for taste)
3 tablespoons brown sugar (glaze)
1 tablespoon of low sodium soy (glaze)
4 teaspoons of grain or dijon mustard (glaze)
1 teaspoon of rice vinegar (glaze- try not to skip ingredient)

2-4 sweet potatoes scrubbed and dried
dash of olive oil

Directions:

For sweet potatoes preheat oven or toaster to 400

Prick dried potatoes with a fork in a few places for each potato

Rub a little bit of oil on each potato

Place on a tray or cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil

Loosely cover potatoes and rotate half way through for a total of 55-60 minutes.

These can be done successfully in a toaster in a small pyrex (just make sure to line with foil)

For salmon preheat oven or toaster to 425

Sliver with knife once or twice across short side about half way down fillet

Place in a foiled line baking pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper  (to your taste)

Bake uncovered at 425 for 10 minutes

In small pot prepare the sauce over medium low heat

Add all the ingredients brown sugar, soy, mustard, vinegar bringing to a boil (will happen quick in small pot)

Brush / pour sauce over fish.  Broil 6-8 inches from heat for 1-2 minutes.  Do not turn eye away while in the broiler.  Fish should fall apart when touched with a fork.

Rice (Brown or White) Black Bean Chicken Enchilada Casserole – Skill Easy

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Ingredients:

Approx. 5 cups of cooked brown or white rice – Get your rice started early especially if using brown rice

1 Can of Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed

1 Cup of Corn (frozen fine)

2 cups chopped vegetables + 1 cup diced onion

1 8 to 12 ounce bottle of enchilada sauce

1/2 cup low fat shredded cheese

2 cups already cooked shredded chicken (see previous post on gimmeoven’s awesome slow cooked shredded chicken or pull to pieces a store bought fresh rotisserie chicken)

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 375 Degrees

Cook rice (highly recommend a rice cooker for perfect rice every time)

Saute with oil the vegetables for 10-15 minutes on low to medium low heat while the rice is cooking

Mix all ingredients in a VERY large bowl except for cheese. Make sure to stir the enchilada sauce well into the ingredients. I add my last.

Pour mixture in a large baking dish (at least 9 x 13) or a very high sided smaller casserole dish.

Bake for 20 minutes or a bit longer if using a smaller but deeper casserole dish

Remove dish from oven an sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Bake for another 10 minutes or until is melted and serve.

The dish is easy to freeze and defrost at a later date. Rewarm low heat 300/325 or use the microwave.

This dish is healthy especially with brown rice and tastes very good. Best of all you can be cleaned up quick before the final dish comes out of the oven.

Enjoy!

FYI When I make the slow cooker chicken, I freeze the leftovers in two cup portions. The morning before making this casserole I defrost one of the bags with two cups of chicken. While the dish works without chicken, it adds a little more heft to the meal.

Pair with fresh sliced tomatoes drizzled with oil, balsamic glaze and a dash of kosher salt and ground pepper.

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Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken / Soft Chicken Tacos

http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/slow-cooker-chicken-recipe.

This was great and made a ton of chicken which we used for chicken tacos, and Chipotle Chicken and Rice Soup.

[www.gimmesomeoven.com/chipotle-chicken-and-rice-soup]

 

Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken from gimmesomeoven.com

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 4 1/2)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • (optional) 1/2 cup water or chicken broth (**see note below**) – I used water.

Method

Place chicken breasts in slow cooker, and sprinkle with seasonings (and liquid, if using). Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or until the chicken shreds easily with a fork. (*If making a smaller batch, keep an eye on your slow cooker as the chicken will likely need less cooking time.)   I set my slow cooker with 4 1/2 pounds of chicken to 6 hours low and then let it go to warm for an hour.

Remove the chicken with tongs, and shred using two forks or the paddle attachment of a stand mixer. Use immediately, or freeze in ziplock bags or a sealed container.

Chicken was great and I put in my kitchen-aid with paddle to shred it – on lowest setting in two batches.

This recipe worked great.

Chicken Tacos:

1 tortilla

Spread 2 tablespoons of refried bean (got from Whole Foods, private label small can)

Add some shredded chicken

Add shredded cheese from store.

Fold Tortilla and place on Panini maker or Breville grill 5 minutes on about 370 degrees.  (Flip halfway)

Add fresh salsa.

Yum.