Friday, October 31, 2014

Spiced Apple Cider

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Here is another drink you can enjoy sipping on, on a chilled fall evening. It's a nice addition for a fall potluck too.

You’ll Need:
  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 3 3-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole nutmegs
  • 2 chunks crystallized ginger
Directions
On the Stovetop:
Heat on stove top for approximately 30 minutes or until spices flavor the cider.
In a Crockpot:
Dump all ingredients in a crockpot.
Heat on high for 2 hours, and on low to keep warm until ready to serve.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Audible Groaning Eggs a la Julia

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Audible groaning ... prepare for sounds to emanate, with out conscious control, from your happy lips. You are going to absolutely love these purple eggs, adapted from Julia (does the Queen NEED a last name? I don't think so). 


Before you scan further, I just want you to think about the practically illicit love-making that these flavors are doing together in your sauce: red wine and beef stock and bacon and mushrooms and lightly poached eggs ... served as a late summer breakfast with some form of crunchy bread to you don't have to physically LAP up this sauce from the pan. 

Enjoy. You're going to love this. 

Serves: 4 as your most amazing brunch ever
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

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chai Tea

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While you greet the trick or treaters at your door, enjoy sipping on a warm glass of Chai.


You'll Need 
  • 2 whole cardamom pods
  • 1 inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole black peppercorns
  • ½ inch fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 cups milk
Directions

Combine all ingredients and place of medium heat. Heat uncovered for 4 minutes.

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Honey Nut Cinnamon Biscotti (Vegan)

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Here is a recipe for biscotti that contains, no eggs, or dairy. You can jazz it up with flavor combinations of your choice.
 
You’ll Need
·         2 cups all-purpose flour
·         ½ cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar
·         ¾ cup blanched almonds, finely ground
·         ¾ cup whole almonds, coarsely chopped (or other nut such as macadamia nuts, pecans or walnuts)
·         ½ teaspoon baking powder
·         ½ teaspoon baking soda
·         ½ teaspoon cinnamon
·         1/3 cup honey
·         1/3 cup water

Directions
  • Preheat oven 350
  • Combine everything except honey and water and stir to mix. Next add in honey and water and stir until a firm dough forms. It may help to use your hands to mix dough
  • Divide in half and form two narrow logs, approximately 12 to 14 inches in length.
  • Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Be sure to leave room between logs for spreading.
  • Bake until firm and risen approximately 20 minutes.
  • Take out of oven and let cool for 8 minutes. Then slice on a diagonal about ½ inch thick.
  • Slightly separate and bake another 15 to 20 minutes until lightly golden and fairly dry. Bake longer if needed


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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Healthy Taco Salad

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I know, I know, taco salads are typically associated with bar food, horrible eating habits, and WAY too much beer!! 

But that doesn't mean we can get all the healthy benefits of this super salad ... you just have to control consumption. 

Try this at home ... it's delicious and a perfect quick meal!


Ingredients

2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 (19 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce
  • 2 small carrots, julienned
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into thin strips

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Add the turkey, and stir until crumbly and no longer pink. 
  3. Season with chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, kidney beans, and salsa. Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture is simmering and the beans are hot, about 5 minutes.
  4. Divide the lettuce, carrots, and red bell peppers among 4 serving plates. 
  5. Spoon the turkey mixture overtop to serve.


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Monday, October 27, 2014

Cream Sauce For Fettuccine Alfredo

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This recipe is your perfect base then you jazz it up as you see fit with vegetables, seafood or chicken.


You’ll Need
  •  ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • Salt to taste
  • White pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Directions
  • Melt butter in a large skillet.
  • When butter foams, add cream.
  • Simmer over medium heat about 2 minutes until slightly thickened.
  • Season with salt and white pepper.
  • When your fettuccine has been cooked, drain noodles and place in the skillet with the cream.
  • Add 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  • Toss noodles and sauce over medium heat until sauce coats noodles, 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Serve immediately.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Baked Squash

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Submitted by Sue at HHM. Thank you Sue! This recipe just seems like the perfect idea for these wonderful in season fall produce.


You’ll Need:
  • 1 winter squash (acorn or butternut)
  • Butter
  • Maple syrup or Honey
Directions
  • Cut in half lengthwise
  • Scoop out the seeds
  • Place cut side down in a covered baking pan with enough water to barely cover the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake @ 350 degrees until tender, about 30-45 for acorn and about 1 hour for a large butternut.
  • Test for tenderness with a fork.
  • Turn the squash halves over and brush with butter and drizzle with honey or maple syrup.
  • Bake a few minutes longer.


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