Thursday, January 29, 2009

7 minute frosting

I was thinking of making it. The recipe I have calls for eggs whites. I don't have any egg beaters in the house. Would you make it with whites or would you hold off. I remember loving the frosting as a kid and thought Molly would have fun making it. (OK I promised her cupcakes and don't have any canned frosting or powdered sugar in the house.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Friday night my husband and I went to Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, NY (where I grew up). It's a combination working farm and restaurant on the beautiful grounds of the Rockefeller Estate. Although the $100 gift certificate barely cover 1/3 of the meal, it was a quite an experience. Look at this review for a write up and photos. In winter about 30% of the food served is from the farm, in Spring and summer it's over 75%. It's not like any other restaurant we've been to, you don't order an entree, you look over the ingredients list and tell the waiter any allergies, food dislikes and preferences.

I'll do my best to describe our meal. I started with a Black Current Cosmopolitan (that can now be legally grown in NY after a ban of many years) made with fresh lime juice, it was amazing:)
They brought out many starters (for lack of the "sophisticated" names). 1st we had the veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, baby carrots, and snow peas) on the stakes as shown in the review photo, they were slightly blanched and perfectly salted. Delicious! Next they brought out a wooden block with dried veggie "chips", paper thin, some purees, others just dried; beets, butternut squash and turnips. They were all very flavorful. Then we had a fingerling potato wedge that was coated in something and then encrusted in sesame seeds on a skewer. Very unique. We had fresh squeezed grapefruit juice to clean our palates. One of our highlights of the evening were the beet sliders: quarter size fresh baked buns with finely chopped beets, topped with goat cheese and a very little green leaf. Very tasty for the minuet bite. (Plus I got in some beets, Kate:) Lastly there were 2 paper thin slices of fennel salami.

The homemade Potato Onion bread (with a rare small piece of cooked potato in it, and a crusty outside was amazing. I could have eaten only that and been happy. It was served with farm churned butter, fresh ricotta, as well as carrot salt and arugula salt. I tried the salts but didn't find them necessary. The bread was good enough without anything, but the fresh ricotta was delicious.
The Fruit and veggie platter was a mix or pickled (cabbage) and salted (broccoli, cauliflower) veggies as well as fruits (sickle pears, apple) and others (another beet, I couldn't identify all on a platter) with pureed sauces. My husband said it was the best vegetables he's ever eaten.
Then they brought out our Smoke Maine Lobster (1 claw and 1 small tail), it was on a bed of winter veggie puree with whole pistachio nuts in it. I really enjoyed it.

After that they brought out 5 mini tortellini, with 3 different fillings, chestnut, cheese and greens, in a pureed green sauce and topped with pea greens. The fillings were hard to differentiate as they were so tiny, but they were all enjoyable.

Finally it was time for the entrees. Manny had Veal cooked in a sauce with these sweet roasted carrots and a parsnip puree. There were about 4-5 slices of meat, not a ton, but probably a serving size. He really enjoyed it. I had Grouper in a green soup base, kind of like a Vegetable bouillabaisse with white beans and pistachios. It was good, not overly salty and very satisfying.

My only disappointment came at dessert, as I forgot to mention that I didn't like chocolate, plus the $5.75 pot of tea for 1. Manny enjoyed the Hazelnut brownie with cocoa bean ice cream as well as the chocolate mousse that was served with a Beer ice cream (made from Beer from Captain Lawrence's a local brewery, Pleasantville, NY). I tasted the ice cream, it really did taste like beer:) I had Linden Tea for the 1st time, it was good, but not worth $5.75, and Manny enjoyed his $4 cup of coffee, as well as the 2 miniature coffee meringues.

It was definitely a worthwhile experience. I would suggest to go in the warmer weather when you can enjoy the grounds and the more plentiful produce. We were glad to have had the opportunity, thanks to my sister in laws:)

Super Bowl

I just came across this dip and thought it might be a fun alternative to a standard dip for Super Bowl Sunday. What is everyone else making for the big game?

1 lg round loaf of sourdough bread
1 pkg cream cheese
1 1/2 c sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2-3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 lb bacon - cooked and crumbled

Cut out a circle in top of the bread and gut the middle to make a bowl. Save inside pieces for dipping.
In a mixing bowl beat cream ch, sour cream, cheddar cheese and Worcestershire sauce. Then mix in bacon. Pour into bread bowl. Wrap in tin foil and bake in over at 325 degrees for one hour until heated through. Serve with extra bread or crackers.

Mom's Clam Chowder

Does anyone have Mom's recipe for Clam Chowder handy?

As Admin, I'm taking the liberty of editing this entry and placing the recipe right in the entry. I find it easier to find recipes when they're here, not in the comments. Regina, hope you don't mind.

Mom's clam chowder

2 strips bacon
½ c onion, chopped
¾ c celery, chopped
1½ pt half-and-half
¾ pt heavy cream
3 bottles clam broth
3 cans minced clams
3 cans whole clams
1½ c potatoes, diced
white pepper and salt, to taste

Cook bacon. Remove and set aside. Sauté onion and celery in bacon fat until clear. Combine half-and-half, heavy cream, broth, clams, potatoes, and crumbled bacon in stockpot. Add onion and celery. Season to taste. Cook until potatoes are soft (about 1 hour). Very easy!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Blueberry Mascarpone Turnovers -- Yummy

Hi Ladies,

I saw Giada make these the other day and I felt brave. They were delicious! I tried baking one to experiment with less fat but it isn't worth it. My kids and hubby loved them. They have been added to my "must make" list. I sometimes find her stuff tough to mimic so this was a nice surprise.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I got this link in an email from today: Effortless One-dish Chicken Dinners. Each one looked better than then last. I especially liked the looks of Ginger-curry chicken with lentils and leeks and Chicken with olives.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Make-ahead Mashed Potatoes Recipe?

Regina, your Make-ahead Mashed Potatoes at Christmas were great. Can you please share the recipe?

Monday, January 12, 2009

What's for dinner this week?

I find that when I plan my meals and base my shopping list on them, my weeks is so much easier. So, I am trying to plan my menus for the week ahead. I am also trying to add lots of veggies to our meals, so after I shop and grab what looks good I'll let you know how I did.

Mondays are Religion days, so I feed the kids early and then G and I eat later. Most nights we all eat together and I try to do a combination of meals in the week of things George and I will enjoy, and some things the kids will enjoy. Tonight, I am going to do Turkey Meatball sliders. The kids have never been meatball wedge (hero, subs, whatever you call them) people, but I am thinking with smaller rolls they might get into it. Plus, I can keep the meatballs in the crockpot so they are ready for the kids, and still good when George and I are ready to eat.

Other than that, I am looking at Chicken picata or Tandoori chicken with spinach and rice, Lamb kebabs with sweet potatoes and butternut squash, eggplant and pasta, and I think I'm going to try those pizza bites I posted in an earlier post. 

Would love to hear what you are all having.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

the 11 best foods you aren't eating

We just read an article the 11 best foods you aren't eating.  And want to try to add these food to our diet. Number 1 on the list. Beets - I served my children beets as babies but have never cooked a raw beet.  The article says to eat raw and grated in a salad. Any of you do this.  Any other ways to use. 

Number 2 on the list was cabbage- besides corned beef and cabbage or cole slaw any recipes.

Number 3 Swiss Chard
4. Cinnamon
5. Pomegranate juice
6. Dried Plums (prunes)
7. Pumpkin seed
8. Sardines
9. Turmeric
10. Frozen blueberriee
11. canned pumpkin

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Simple appetizer?

Any suggestions for a simple appetizer? We are traveling an hour Sunday to my niece's Christening, then go back to the house. My sister-in-law is having cheese and crackers, veggies and dip, deviled eggs, a sub and wraps. I'd like to bring an appetizer, something that can be cold, room temperature or microwaved? What's your favorites? Thanks in advance for sharing.

Pizza Party Bites

This looks like such a simple, easy appetizer/snack-y dinner idea. I think it would be perfect for get-togethers and kids' parties. Also, while the original recipe calls for pepperoni, I'd love to experiment with it.

A week of good meal ideas

Sometimes I'm totally out of food thoughts and ideas. This meal ideas just seemed to have "hit" me. I had made Balsamic Beef in the crock pot it was good, but made a lot, so I was looking for a way to use it up. As we had eaten it as sandwiches once and added some red, green and yellow bell peppers to it and served it over egg noodles another time. At my daughter's request, I decided to carmalize some onions and add the last of the beef and some beef broth to it. We all enjoyed this Onion soup variation.

Next I tried some recipes from the January 2009 addition of Everyday Food Magazine. This week we tried the Light Italian Wedding Soup, it was good and we had escarole for the first time. The turkey meatballs do give off a "smell" while simmering, but it was enjoyed by all with bread and a green salad topped with sundried tomatoes, smoked gouda and bacon bits. Last night we made the Steak and Red Onion sandwiches also from Everyday Food Magazine( January 2009 ). I decided to sautee the onions while the beef was resting as I thought we'd all prefer them cooked rather than raw. We opted for our favorite light dressing instead of using the vinegar and oil suggested by the recipe. We also rounded out the meal with the leftover Beef and Onion soup. Our breath was smelly but everyone enjoyed the meals, three nights in a row. Now that may be a first! Today we are home enjoying a snow day. We'll light the fire place soon and I may throw together a pot of chili or defrost Saurbrauten from the freezer (that would be 4 meals liked by all:). Or possible get my husband to cook something in is dutch oven at the fireplace. Now that would be an awesome ending to a good food week. I will post the recipes later.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Crockpot Banana Bread

OK, I was thinking today as I was cleaning up from the holidays, getting rid of the tree, and the decorations, and finally giving the place the cleaning it didn't get when I took all the decorations out in a rush, that generally if you give more, you get more. Not necessarily material things, but that if you put more effort in, you reap greater reward or satisfaction. That said, isn't everyone always looking for the quick fix? Myself included. So, when this arrived in my email inbox this week I was intrigued. I love anything you can put in a crockpot and forget about and come back later to just enjoy. I do stews, sauces, chilis, soups, chowders, ribs, pulled pork or chicken or beef. I've even done meatloaf and baked potatoes with moderate success. However, I'm not sure if I believe that you can get sweet treats from a crockpot. Here it is: Crockpot banana bread. Let's give it a try and weigh in on the results.