Monday, September 12, 2011

Today is National Chocolate Milk Shake Day!

Do you prefer a chocolate milk shake or a chocolate malted shake? I prefer the malted shake. Do you prefer homemade or have a favorite spot to buy one? I prefer homemade. I'm pretty much a home made type of gal for all my food! Both are yummy and I'd not be able to refuse either!

This week is also recognizing National Waffle Week, National Biscuit And Gravy Week, and National Vegetarian Awareness Week.

Why do we have a National Waffle Day and a National Waffle Week? And why are they recognized in August and September instead of spread out a bit? It seems a tad bit redundant to me!

I'm going to make note to include these yummy items to the menus for this week! Are you?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Rememberance Day 9/11

My thoughts and prayers are in honor of all Americans. We won't forget.

Friday, September 9, 2011

National Days!

Weinerschnitzel Day!


sliced veal
bread crumbs
salt & pepper
lemon wedges

pound veal slices until they are very thin,(one standard cutlet will be about as round as a dinner plate after tenderizing with a hammer) (hint: cover with plastic wrap before tenderizing, it will reduce bits of meat from splattering) coat the processed veal with flour, season, dip in scrambled egg thed coat with the breadcrumbs, (process all meat first and cook it just before serving, for maximum flavor) Put a small amount of butter in a skillet on med high heat, when butter gets hot place cutlet in butter and fry about 1 minute, gently turn over and fry the the other side for about 1 minute. The meat will cook fast because it is very thin. Repeat process for all pieces of meat. Place on paper towels to drain any excess butter. DO NOT DROWN MEAT IN BUTTER WHEN FRYING AND DO NOT LET BUTTER BURN.

Serve with lemon wedges, which when squeezed over the cutlet will make it taste out of this world. (suggestion: serve asparagus and parsley potatoes with the cutlet and an individual salad. substitute pork cutlet for veal and follow the same process, except pork will take a little longer to cook (stretch the butter with a small amount of oil, when all the pork is cookedadd some flour to the drippings, and cook to thicken, add water then cook it until it recuces to a nice brown gravy (a small dash of Kitchen Boquet) will gice it a deep brown. While the gravey is cooking saute some thin onion slices and mushrooms in another skillet (saute not fry)after the gravy is cooked strain it to get a smooth texture then add the onions and mushrooms and place an ample dip ful over the pork cutlet when it is served, In Germany this is called a Yeager Schnitzel which translates to a "Hunters Schnitzel" because it is more robust.

National Steak Au Poivre Day!

Filet of Beef au Poivre

Source: Ina Garten
6 filet mignon, cut 1 1/4 inches thick
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped shallots (3 to 4 shallots)
1 cup canned beef broth
1/2 cup good Cognac or brandy

Place the filets on a board and pat them dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the filets with salt and then press the black pepper evenly on both sides. Allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until the butter almost smokes. Place the steaks in the pan and lower the heat to medium. Saute the steaks for 4 minutes on 1 side and then for 3 minutes on the other side, for medium rare. Remove the steaks to a serving platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Meanwhile, pour all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the saute pan. Add the shallots and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the beef broth and cook over high heat for 4 to 6 minutes, until reduced by half, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the Cognac and cook for 2 more minutes. Off the heat, swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Serve the steaks hot with the sauce poured on top.

The titles of these 2 recipes sound like the recipes would be difficult. Surprisingly, both recipes were rated as EASY! So don't be afraid to give them a try sometime. Also, for the au Poivre, you might like that peppercorn sauce on other meats. I bet it's good on pork chops too!

It's also National Teddy Bear Day! Do you have a teddy bear or do you limit them for the kiddos? I have a stuffed pink pig who plays Farmer in the Dell.

National Date Nut Bread Day


Source: Flowers and Thyme B&B

2 cups chopped dates
1 ½ cups boiling water

* Pour water over dates and let stand.

2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter

* Beat the above 5 ingredients together.

1 cup nuts
3 cups flour
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. baking soda

* Add to the creamed mixture and stir till blended. Add the date mixture. Pour into a 13x9" pan. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.

Date Nut Spice Bread

2 cups coarsely chopped dates (10 ounces pitted)
1/3 cup orange liqueur (recommended: Cointreau or Triple Sec)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 extra-large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated orange zest (2 oranges)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (3 oranges)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans (3 ounces)

For the cream cheese spread:
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom of an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pan.
Combine the dates and orange liqueur in a small bowl and set aside for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl. With the mixer on low, add the egg, vanilla, and orange zest. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. With the mixer still on low, add the flour mixture alternately with the orange juice to the creamed mixture, beating only until combined. By hand, stir in the dates with their liquid, and the pecans.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese, sugar, and orange zest on medium speed until just combined.
Slice the bread and serve with the orange cream cheese on the side for spreading.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

National Days!

You will be very busy celebrating all of these today!

National Acorn Squash Day

One of my favorite ways to make Acorn Squash is to cut the squash in half, clean out the seeds and fibers and place on a baking sheet. Then fill the cavity with what ever sausage is on hand, cover with foil, and bake until the sausage is done and the squash tender. I like to put grated cheese on top just as I take it out of the oven so the cheese has some time to melt while the squash cools just enough to eat.

National Napoleon Day

The Napoleon Dessert! Oh my! I had no idea this was food. I went to see if I wanted to take this out so I had more room for recipes but instead it's staying! I've learned something new and I WANT SOME! So, what is it, you ask? From "the Examiner", "The Napoleon is a french creme filled pastry that is famous for its silky texture amongst a light buttery crust." I do think we should "keep" this for recognition!

I don't have a photo to share, so while you're reading this recipe just envision layers of toasted puff pastry with a sweet filling, topped with a drizzle of honey or syrup and whipped toping! YUM!

The Napoleon Dessert

•17-ounce package frozen pastry
•chocolate or vanilla pastry cream*
•1 cup powdered sugar
•2 tablespoons water
•1 ounce semisweet chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lighly flour bread board and rolling pin. Roll dough to 13 x 17 inch triangle, 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to cookie sheet. Prick dough with fork. Cover with another cookie sheet. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove top sheet and continue to bake for 5 more minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack.
Cut pastry into thirds, lengthwise. Mix powdered sugar and water. Stir until smooth. Turn over 1 pastry strip on rack. Pour sugar glaze over strip. Smooth with spatula. Quickly pour stripes of chocolate over glaze. Drag knife over top to make decorative design. Let stand until dry, about 30 minutes.

To assemble: Place one unglazed strip on serving platter. Spread half of pastry cream on top. Top with the other unglazed strip. Top with rest of pastry cream. Top that with glazed strip. Chill until firm, about and hour. (Don't chill longer than 3 hours. It may get soggy.) For serving, cut with serrated knife.

Vanilla Creme Filling Ingredients:
•2-1/4 cups milk
•4 egg yolks
•2/3 cups sugar
•1/4 cup cornstarch
•1/4 cup flour
•2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Boil 2 cups of milk. Beat yolks with sugar and remaining milk. Whisk until smooth. Add cornstarch and flour until combined. Gradually whisk hot milk into egg mixture. Return to saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture boils and thickens. Reduce to low and stir for 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour into a shallow disk. Cover with plastic wrap. (Make sure wrap touches surface to prevent a skim from forming.) Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Makes approximately 2-3/4 cups.

National Salami Day

I had a salami, cheese, tomato and lettuce sandwich for lunch on whole wheat bread. I've not had any lunch meat for months and salami has always been my favorite lunch meat. I'll have to repeat it tomorrow while that salami is still fresh!

National Strawberry Sundae Day

Is there anyone who might not know what a strawberry sundae is? I don't think I know of anyone who doesn't! This is a wonderful way to end a day.... Ice cream with strawberries and topped with chocolate syrup, nuts and a dollop of whipped cream.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

National Coffee Ice Cream Day!

National Coffee Ice Cream Day just has to be a WONDERFUL day. Any day we are suppose to eat ice cream is a good day in my book!

Coffee Ice Cream Recipe

1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whole coffee beans (decaf unless you want the caffeine in your ice cream)
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon finely ground coffee (press grinds through a fine mesh sieve)

1 Heat the milk, sugar, whole coffee beans, salt, and 1/2 cup of the cream in a medium saucepan until it is quite warm and steamy, but not boiling. Once the mixture is warm, cover, remove from the heat, and let steep at room temperature for 1 hour.
2 Pour the remaining 1 cup of cream into a medium size metal bowl, set on ice over a larger bowl. Set a mesh strainer on top of the bowls. Set aside.
3 Reheat the milk and coffee mixture, on medium heat, until again hot and steamy (not boiling!). In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks together. Slowly pour the heated milk and coffee mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that the egg yolks are tempered by the warm milk, but not cooked by it. Scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
4 Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof, flat-bottomed spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula so that you can run your finger across the coating and have the coating not run. This can take about 10 minutes.
5 Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Press on the coffee beans in the strainer to extract as much of the coffee flavor as possible. Then discard the beans. Mix in the vanilla and finely ground coffee, and stir until cool.
6 Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Makes one quart.

Coffee Ice Cream

2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
6 egg yolks
Chocolate curls, for garnish

Combine the cream, milk, sugar, and coffee in a medium, heavy saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat.

Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream into the egg yolks. Gradually add the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream, to the hot cream. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon and reaches 170 degrees F. on an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean container. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down against the surface to keep a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Remove from the refrigerator and pour into the bowl of an ice cream machine. Freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. After the ice cream is made, transfer to an airtight container. Cover tightly and freeze until ready to serve. Garnish with chocolate curls. 1 Quart
Source: Emeril Lagasse

And, speaking of "my book", it's also Read A Book Day!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

How to Boil Water!

REALLY! I found this on the inter net while searching for fun things to share with you! I never expected to find directions for boiling water on the net! Did you?

So here is your cooking lesson!

Boiled Water Recipe

Source: Serious Eats

Boiled Water Recipe
Posted by Adam Kuban, July 28, 2010 at 11:17 AM
CJ McD asked where my recipe for boiled water went. LOL. That was from the test phase of the new SE Recipes functionality. Anyway, here it is ...
Boiling water is essential to many recipes. If you have never cooked before, don't worry. It is not as difficult as it may appear. This recipe will guide you through the process, even if you have never set foot in a kitchen.
Special equipment: 12-quart stockpot

Serves 48
Cooking time 5 minutes
Total time varies


Open your cupboard or wherever it is you store your cookware.
Locate a 12-quart stockpot. If you do not have a 12-quart stockpot, you may use whatever size pot you have; in that event, keep in mind that serving size here is 1 cup and there are 4 cups in a quart. Do the math.
Place your pot in the sink under the tap. If you have never used a sink before, it is the large depression in your counter top. (If you live with someone else, they may have filled it with dirty dishes; in this case, wash them or simply remove them from the sink and place them in the oven— someone else will eventually discover them there and wash them.)
Turn the cold-water knob to the "on" position. Some people (like my dad) prefer to let the water run a little bit. This is optional but encouraged — if it's a hot day or someone has previously used the "hot" water knob, the warmer water will eventually be replaced by truly cold water.
Fill stockpot to within a couple inches of the rim.
Lift stockpot from sink and transfer to stove. (Although appearances may vary, the stove is the thing with 4 or more circular metal bands on top of it; alternately, it may be a completely flat black glass surface. If you are unsure, ask your family, roommate, or neighbor for guidance.)
Find knob on stove that corresponds to the "burner" you have placed your pot on.
In addition to words like "Right Front" or "Left Rear," there are usually little pictures near the knobs to indicate position.
Turn knob to "High" and wait until water boils. Depending on strength of your stove and amount of water, the boiling time may vary. Note: DO NOT WATCH THE POT; it will never boil in the event that you do. Boiled water may be used for any number of applications. Serve hot but do not drink.

Alternate methods
Depending on water application, you may want to salt the water. Do this after the water has come to a boil.
Placing a lid on the pot will help it boil faster, with the additional benefit of blocking water from your line of sight, which, as stated above, inhibits the boiling process.


Fortunately this serves a whole family plus some! There will also be adequate left overs and 2nds too! I'm not sure how well it would go over at a potluck. Plus, would need to take bowls along for serving it?

I'll leave that up to you!

Friday, September 2, 2011

National Blueberry Popsicle Day!

It's National Blueberry Popsicle Day!

Have you ever made blueberry popsicles? I haven't made blueberry and I'm not sure why not! I guess I probably just didn't think about it. Here's a few recipes to get you started!

Blueberry Bliss Popsicles

2 cups blueberries
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
9 small paper cups
9 wooden craft sticks

1. Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Mash everything together with a potato masher, squeezing as much out of the blueberries as you can.
3. Place a strainer over another bowl and dump the blueberry mash into the strainer. Use the back of a large slotted spoon to push through the strainer as much juice as possible.
4. Throw away the blueberry skins left in the strainer.
5. Pour the contents of the bowl into a pourable measuring cup.
6. Line up the cups and pour the blueberry mixture into each one. Fill them up about 3/4 of the way full.
7. Place a wooden craft stick in each cup.
8. Put the cups in the freezer for about 4 hours or until frozen.
9. Peel off the cup from the frozen pop and enjoy!

Blueberry And Vanilla Parfait Pops


Perfect for a hot day, and so yummy. Great way to get rid of canned or frozen
fruit! You can mix and match the flavors of yogurt and types of fruit, too:
cherries and chocolate is my favorite.

2 cups low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt, slightly melted
6 wooden popsicle sticks
6 popsicle molds, as large as possible

1 Pour 1/3 cup of blueberries into each mold. Cover the molds with tinfoil, insert the popsicle sticks so that the tips are inside the blueberry mixture, and freeze overnight.

2 Take the molds out and remove the tinfoil (not the sticks!) Spoon in 1/3 cup of vanilla frozen yogurt into each mold, making sure not to pull out any sticks while doing so. The softer the yogurt is, the easier this will be. Put in the freezer for two hours or so to allow the yogurt to settle and refreeze slightly.

3 Take the popsicles out and enjoy!

Banana Blueberry Swirl Popsicles

Source: Martha Stewart

Perfect for hot summer days, this frosty treat showcases swirls of creamy
yogurt, sweet blueberries, and bananas. Although Martha uses Stonyfield Farm
BaNilla lowfat yogurt, you can substitute your favorite flavored yogurt in this
Makes 10 ice pops

3 to 4 ripe bananas (1 pound)
1 1/2 cups yogurt
3 tablespoons sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup fresh blueberries

In the bowl of a food processor, puree bananas until smooth. Add yogurt,
sugar, and lemon juice; pulse to combine. Remove half of the yogurt mixture;
set aside.
Add blueberries to processor, and pulse until just combined. Layer blueberry
and reserved yogurt mixtures into ten 1/3 cup ice-pop molds. Using a wooden
skewer, swirl the two flavors together. Insert ice-pop sticks. Transfer to
freezer until frozen, about 8 hours
Dip molds quickly in hot water to unmold.

Blueberry Fruit Pops

Source: US Highbush Blueberry Council

1 can (15 ¼-ounce) fruit in heavy syrup* such as pears, peaches or apricots
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup fresh, frozen or canned drained blueberries

In a blender, puree the canned fruit with all the syrup and lemon juice. Transfer to a large measuring cup or pitcher. Return ¼ cup of the fruit mixture to the blender. Add blueberries
Blend until pureed.
Holding a 6- or 8-ounce plastic cup at an angle, spoon in a layer of fruit puree then a layer of blueberry puree. Repeat to make 4 layers filling the cup about two-thirds
Set cup upright and insert a plastic spoon or wooden ice cream stick in the center. Repeat to use all the pureed fruit and blueberries.
Place cups on a baking pan for support and freeze until firm, 4 to 6 hours.
To serve, place pops at room temperature for 5 minutes then twist from cups.

Quick notes
Per pop: 50 calories; 0 g protein; 13 g carbohydrate; 0 g total fat; 1.4 g fiber
* Note: Fruit canned with less sugar will produce frozen pops that are more
Number of servings (yield): 8

Blueberry Equivalents
One dry cup (8 fl oz.) of fresh or frozen blueberries is equal to:
90-129 large blueberries
130-189 medium blueberries
5 ounces by weight (3 cups to a pound)
2/3 cup pureed
1/2 cup pureed and strained
2/3 cup after simmering 5 minutes with 2 tbsp. water
1 cup frozen blueberries = 2/3 cup thawed blueberries

I hope you enjoy those recipes and might be able to make some popsicles. IF you don't have the ingredients needed, you could make popsicles from blueberry juice. You could make some lemonade with blueberries mixed in or mashed blueberries. I would think one could use blueberry jello and add a bit of lemon juice or mix with some lemonade too.

Enjoy! They sure sound good to me and today is definitely a popsicle day! It's 90 out and HUMID!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

National Days!

National Onion Day!

Caramelized Onions

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
3/4 cup coarsely chopped onion

1. Heat oven to 400°F. In 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium; add bell pepper. Cook 5 to 7 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and golden brown. Remove from heat.
Source: Pillsbury
Shar's Note: I usually add a dribble of olive oil to my pan first and then add the butter after the oil is hot when using butter. I find I have a LOT less trouble with the butter over heating. Also, if you onions start to get a bit dry before done, you can add a dribble of water to help get them done without burning their edges or burning the smaller pieces.

National Cherry Popover Day!

Dried Cherry Popover

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
3 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon, granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup dried cherries

Heat oven to 375° F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 2-quart baking dish.
In a bowl, combine the eggs and 1/3 cup of the sugar. Whisk in the flour until no lumps remain. Whisk in the milk and melted butter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and scatter the cherries over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and bake until puffed and golden, about 45 minutes. Serve warm.

Edited and a thank you to "westbrook" for catching the error in the carmelized onions direction! ;) I fixed it and I know the blog is getting read! THANK YOU, Ma'am!