Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Herbed Butter

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 This month we are all about herbs. This fantastic recipe was submitted by Linda B. at Westinghouse. Thank you, Linda B.!

You'll Need:
  • 3 teaspoons dried herbs or 4 Tablespoons of fresh herbs 
  • 1 /2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoons lemon juice
  • Dash of white pepper
  • Mix in a medium bowl.
  • Use a wooden spoon to blend the butter, herbs, lemon juice and pepper.
  • Cover and refrigerate several hours before using to blend the flavors.
  • The herbed butter can be stored in the refrigerator 3 to 4 weeks or frozen up to 4 months.
  • Nice change on vegetables.
  • Try different combinations.
  • Use different thymes together. Lemon thyme, variegated thyme and mother of thyme is a nice combination when used fresh.
  • Parsley, lemon balm and basil is a good combination and of course parsley, rosemary and thyme.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Make Ahead French Toast

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Looking for a component for a perfect Easter Brunch? This make ahead French toast would be a very nice addition.

You’ll Need
· 12 eggs
· 2 cups milk
· 1 teaspoon lemon rind
· 1 teaspoon sugar
· 1 teaspoon vanilla
· ½ teaspoon salt
· ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
· 8 slices of bread, cut on the diagonal

· Grease 9 x 13" shallow baking dish; set aside.
· In large bowl, beat together all ingredients except bread.
· Arrange bread slices so they overlap.
· Pour egg mixture over the bread.
· Cover; refrigerate overnight.
· When ready to serve, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
· Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden and fluffy.
· Serve with syrup or jam.
Nutrition Facts for Plain French Toast
Calories: 200
Protein: 10g
Carbohydrate: 16g
Fat: 10g
Saturated Fat: 3g
Cholesterol: 220mg
Sodium: 378mg

Monday, March 30, 2015

Audible Groaning Eggs a la Julia

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Easter is just around the corner and that means extra eggs! Give this delightful brunch recipe a try. 

For the sauce:
  • 2 cups (500ml) rich beef stock (or chicken stock, in a pinch)
  • 2 cups (500ml) red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 2 tablespoons flour
For the garnish:
  • 4 ounces (120g) smoked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces (240g) small button mushrooms, halved
  • salt
For the eggs:
  • 8 very fresh eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
To serve:
  • 8 slices pain de campagne, or any hearty country-style bread
  • 1 large clove garlic, halved
  • fresh thyme, for garnish

For the sauce, combine the stock, wine, herbs, shallots, carrot and seasonings in a heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Boil rapidly until the liquid has reduced to two cups (500ml). Strain out the shallots and herbs. Blend 2 tablespoons of the butter with the flour, working them together into a smooth paste. Off the heat, whisk the butter-flour mixture into the wine. Return it to the heat and boil for about 30 seconds, until thickened. Cover and set aside.
While the wine mixture is boiling, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the bacon pieces until crisp. Remove to a paper towel with a slotted spoon. Add the mushrooms to the bacon fat in the pan and fry until golden-brown, about 5 minutes. Season lightly with salt and set aside.
To poach the eggs, bring a saucepan with water to a depth of 2 inches to a gentle simmer. Add the vinegar. Break the eggs one at a time into a small bowl or ramekin and gently tip them into the water. Poach each egg for 3-4 minutes, until the white is cooked but the yolk is still runny. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl of warm lightly-salted water (or, if you're going to be serving them immediately, just to a plate).
Just before serving, toast the slices of bread and rub each one with the cut side of a garlic clove. Rewarm the sauce and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Taste and correct the seasoning if needed.
To serve, place place two slices of bread on each plate. Top each one with a poached egg. Divide the sauce between the plates, and top with the fried mushrooms and bacon. Garnish with some fresh thyme and serve immediately.
Source: Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Vol I, by Julia Child

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.
Will Clower Articles

Friday, March 27, 2015

Swiss Chard Zucchini Frittata

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This week's theme is exercise! This is a delightful dish to enjoy as a part of a Saturday morning brunch. Get your weekend started off right and do some strength training exercises such as squats and push-ups while the frittata bakes.

You’ll Need:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Small yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 Clove garlic crushed
  • 2 Large Swiss chard leaves including stems, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Medium zucchini, chopped
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1/8 Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ Teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ Cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • In a frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Add onion, garlic, chard, and zucchini; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft (about 5 minutes).
  • Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  • Beat eggs lightly with, salt pepper, basil, and oregano.
  • Stir in cheese and vegetables.
  • Pour into a greased 9-inch pie pan.
  • Bake in a 350 F degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until puffed and brown.
  • Serve hot or at room temperature.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Split Pea Soup

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As the soup melds consider cleaning the house, and remember cleaning is a way to get some movement in your day. You'll enjoy the bowl of soup so much more knowing you got some exercising and cleaning done. 

You’ll Need

  • 1 Cup split peas
  • 1 Hambone or pieces of cubed ham
  • 1 Carrot, grated
  • 2 Medium onions, minced
  • 1 Potato, grated
  • 4 Cups diced celery
  • 4 Cups green pepper, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Place split peas in a large pot.
  • Cover split peas with 6 cups of boiling water, let soak for 1 hour.
  • Add hambone, carrot, onions, potato, celery and green pepper.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Simmer until peas are tender stirring occasionally.
  • Add water if needed, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes longer.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Last Lasagna

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Take advantage of short bursts of exercise and make these bursts happen when dinner is in the oven. 

Time to the Table: 1 hour

Yield: 15-18 servings

Preheat the Oven to 350F

For the Sauce You’ll Need:
• 1 Pound spicy Italian sausage
• 1 Onion, chopped
• 4 Garlic cloves, minced
• 1 Large can whole tomatoes
• 1 Small can tomato sauce
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 to 2 bay leaves
• 1 Teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 Teaspoon dried basil
• 1 Pinch cayenne
• ½ Cup red wine

For the Ricotta Cheese Mix You’ll Need:
• 1, 16-ounce container of ricotta cheese
• 1 Large egg
• ¼ Cup Parmesan cheese, grated
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 Teaspoon dried oregano
• 12 Lasagna noodles
• 1 Pound whole milk Mozzarella cheese, grated


Make the Sauce:
• In a large frying pan, cook the Italian sausage over medium heat with the chopped onions and minced garlic.  
• After it’s brown, add the whole tomatoes and tomato sauce right into the frying pan. Cut up the whole tomatoes into bite sized pieces. Add the bay leaves, oregano, basil, and cayenne. Throw in a half-cup of red wine. Simmer for at least 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
• When you think you’ve got it, let it sit and simmer on low heat for a while, because it only gets better as it cooks.
• While the sauce is bubbling its way into its various stages of perfection, continue below.

Make the Ricotta Mix:
• In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, egg, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and oregano.

Prepare Noodles:
• Boil 12 lasagna noodles in a pan of salty water and a splash of olive oil.

In a Standard Lasagna Pan:
Place the pasta on the bottom layer. Spread a third of the ricotta mix onto the pasta. Spread a third of the sauce on the ricotta mix. Sprinkle a third of the mozzarella onto the sauce. Repeat the process for the remaining ingredients.

Into the Oven:
Bake for 45 minutes – you’ll smell it when it is getting close. When it’s crisping a bit on the top and bubbling up on the sides pull it out. Allow another 30 minutes for it to cool and set.

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

French Onion Soup

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While the soup is simmering away, let's do some exercise! Consider putting on some music and dancing or doing some strength training exercises. Enjoy the way the smell of the onions penetrate your home.

You'll Need
  • 1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 2 Tablespoons (about) Emmenthal or Swiss cheese per person
  • 1 baguette toast round per person

In A Skillet
  • Sauté onion in butter over a gentle medium flame until it softens (a good 15 minutes). Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of flour and stir for another 2 minutes.
  • Add in chicken stock. Bring to a boil, and then simmer with the lid on. Allow this mixture a chummy sort of bubbling for another 40 minutes.

By the Way

As in other matters of the skillet, time and flavor trade off. Leave the onions on medium heat and let them slowly sauté, to mellow the floury taste. Likewise, after the stock goes in, allow the soup its full 40 minute covered cook time. You’ll appreciate the results in the end.

Ready the Remaining Parts

  • As the soup comes along, grate the cheese, and then toast the bread (baguettes, not surprisingly, work best for this).
  • Simply ladle the broth into oven-safe bowls, top with the toast, and sprinkle with enough cheese to just cover the bread. Broil until the cheese wants to be golden and the soup bubbles up the side of the dish.

Play With Your Food!

There’s a lot you can do with this soup. Throw in some sliced mushrooms, or even the chicken meat, just after the flour addition. The smokiness of the mushroom and the heartiness of the chicken are truly delicious and make this soup its own meal.