Recipe Printing Information

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Birthday Dinner for Hermity Farmer-Woman Christine!

On the menu:
Coke chicken (recipe follows) ~Printable Version
Steamed rice
Salad w/ balsamic vinaigrette
Brioche (from Julia Child's recipe, rising as we speak)
Lemon Meringue birthday cake (recipe follows) with sliced strawberries ~ Printable Version

Coke Chicken for 8-12 (depending on how many hungry farmers you are feeding)
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
2 T. canola oil
2 C. Coca Cola
2 C. ketchup
4 T. Worcestershire sauce
Brown chicken breasts lightly in oil in a dutch oven or very large saute/frying pan.  Mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, then pour over chicken and simmer over low heat about an hour.  Serve over steamed rice.

Lemon Meringue Cake (modified from a Taste of Home recipe -- I make my cake from scratch but you can use a lemon cake mix and purchased lemon curd if you want).
2/3 C. butter, softened
1  3/4 C. sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 C. lemon juice
2  3/4 C. all purpose flour
2  1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 C. milk
Oven 350 degrees.  Grease and flour 2, 9x9 inch square pans.  In large bowl, beat first four ingredients until fluffy.  Add flour, baking powder, salt and milk.  Beat well until batter is smooth, scraping bowl occasionally.
Divide evenly between two pans and bake 30-35 minutes until golden and toothpick inserted comes clean.  Cool 5 minutes, then turn cakes out onto board to cool.  Cakes may be frozen at this point until ready to fill and frost.
1 C. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C. water
1/4 C. lemon juice
5 egg yolks, beaten
2 T. butter
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in saucepan. Stir in water and juice until smooth.  Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir until thickened. Remove from heat.  Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg yolks; return all to pan, stirring briskly and constantly.  Bring just to a boil, cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in butter and lemon peel.  Cool completely.
5 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 C. sugar
In a clean, dry and preferably glass or metal mixing bowl, beat room temperature egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy.  Gradually beat in sugar at high speed until stiff peaks form.
To Assemble:
Split each cake into two layers.  Place bottom layer on an oven proof serving plate; spread with a third of the filling.  Repeat layers twice.  Top with fourth cake layer.  Spread meringue over top and sides, swirling and fluffing to make it pretty.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned.  Serve or refrigerate.
This cake is best eaten right away.  It is so incredibly good, that you should not have a problem with that.  Especially if you are serving hungry farmers.  :-)
Food and birthday party photos forthcoming!  Stay tuned to On the Table! 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Clementine Upside Down Cake

We didn't have any pineapple, but wanted that brown sugar taste of upside down cake, so we got creative.  I did have a drawer full of clementines that needed to be used. ~Printable Recipe

In an 8x8 baking pan:
Grease pan well, then cut 4 tablespoons of stick butter and dot in bottom of pan.
Crumble 1 C. packed brown sugar over the bottom of the pan in an even layer.
Peel 3 clementines, section them and arrange evenly in pan on top of brown sugar.
1  1/2 C. flour
1 C. sugar
1/3 C. butter, softened
1 egg
1  1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla (we used our homemade vanilla)
Mix all ingredients together; beat well.

Pour cake batter on top of sugar and clementines in pan.
Bake 25-30 min. @ 350 degrees.  Immediately turn out of pan.

Serve with whipped cream.
We didn't have any cream, but I had an old box of Dream Whip from an ice cream cake I made last fall.  Now, I am new to this mixer business, as you know....  I put the dream whip stuff in the mixing bowl and turned it on.  It needed to be scraped down on the sides, and I was pretty sure I was skilled enough to do it without turning off the mixer.  I stuck that rubber spatula in there and the wire whisk grabbed it.  The spatula had a metal handle.  This is important later in the story.... We had an Oprah and Paula Deen moment in the kitchen, but the Dream Whip got fluffy and everything seemed okay.  I was dishing it up and noticed a little spot of something -- the metal spatula handle had apparently shaved some steel off the whisk and just like little chocolate shavings, there was steel in the Dream Whip (never doubt the power of your KitchenAid mixer)-- I grabbed the dessert from the hands of my son-in-law and got rid of the deadly Dream Whip (and I had just been nagging them about getting the little pieces of scrap iron out of the goat pen before they came down with "hardware disease."  Talk about Karma.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Pasta Salad with Kidney Beans and Balsamic Vinaigrette

This might not sound very glamorous, but it tasted really good.  I was stuck with not much in the pantry and in need of a side dish for burgers yesterday, so I got inventive.  Here is the result:

2 C. cooked Orechiette pasta, drained and cooled
1  15-oz. can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed very well
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
3 T. bottled balsamic vinaigrette dressing
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
Toss everything together in a big salad bowl.  We added extra balsamic vinegar -- you might decide you need more too.

I had some leftover and finished it today -- it is even better the second day.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Easy Peasy Irish Soda Bread~Yeast Variety

Well I am not one to steal and post recipes from other bloggers, however I will send you directly to the source.  The Backyard Farmwife posted this terrific recipe on her blog, you better check it out.  This will go with our Irish Stew. I do think that my yeast must be old, because the rising didn't go quite as planned but they still turned out ok.  I also did one loaf without raisins, since my silly children and dad don't like them. The photos are of my bread making process:)  Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!
Aiden gets ready to help

Everyone needs a mixer right?
Beautiful loaves

Irish Stew

I'm Irish, so my stew is Irish Stew, right?  Haha....  here is the recipe that our Irish (and Swedish and Danish) family will be having for dinner tonight.

In the morning, layer in order in a crockpot set on high:

2 lb. stew meat of choice.  Lamb is good (we had it that way in England); but for us tonight it's venison.
4 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
1 large onion, diced
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 C. frozen peas (or fresh if you have them)
1 T. garlic powder
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 C. beef broth, poured over top of all

Simmer on high 4 hours, then turn to low -- it can simmer along on low until dinnertime.  Do not open the cover - you do not want heat and juices to escape.
Right before serving time, it will probably need to be thickened (this will depend largely on the starchiness of the potatoes and how thick you like your stew).  Make a roux with 1/4 C. butter and 3 T. flour (melt butter in a small saucepan, then briskly stir in flour until well-incorporated), remove from heat, whisk in 1/2 C. of stew juices, then return to stew pot and stir well into stew.  Cover and let simmer a few minutes to thicken.
Serve with Irish Soda Bread and good beer. 
This is also good served with steamed cabbage that has been buttered and sprinkled with a pinch of nutmeg.
We're having green frosted cupcakes for dessert -- our one concession to the kitschy-ness of the holiday!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Grilled Asparagus

Sunday we had a beautiful day here, finally!  My husband had a friend coming over for lunch, so we decided on grilling elk cheddar dogs and asparagus.  Here is a simple recipe for the grilled asparagus.
*1 bundle fresh asparagus
*Weber Grillmates Roasted garlic and Herb Seasoning or similar
*1/4 c butter,unsalted is best but all I had was salted
1. Wash your asparagus, then snap the ends off. This may seem like you waste a lot but you will get only the tender part of the asparagus and its much better, trust me!  Your asparagus ends can go into your compost bin if you have one.
2. Soften butter in a microwave safe bowl until its almost liquid, in my microwave this is about 20 seconds.
3. Mix in 1 TBSP of the seasoning mix to the butter.
4. Using a pastry brush (your fingers work fine too) spread the mixture over your asparagus evenly.
5. Cook over the grill on Med temp for 5-10 minutes depending on the heat your grill puts out.  You don't want them black;)
6. Enjoy!  I forgot to take a pic of the finished product, we were having too much fun enjoying the day.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Chocolate Cookie Cakes

These cookies have always been the "forgiveness" cookies. The Old Farmer loves them so much that he will overlook any number of bent fenders, broken garage doors, gates left open or holes in the plaster, as long as he can come home to a batch of these cookies and a good cup of coffee.  I am typing the original recipe, just as it is, from the 1973 edition of the Good Housekeeping Cookbook.  I do not use this particular cookbook for much more than this recipe.  Due to its "vintage" nature (the cookbook was a wedding present almost 34 years ago), I have made one concession to modern appliances -- I melt the chocolate in the microwave (always melt chocolate at a low "power", stirring frequently and removing before fully melted then stirring to finish the process) instead of a double-boiler.  Please note that the frosting requires additional ingredients to those listed for the cookies.

3 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup butter or margarine [ I always use butter ]
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Chocolate Frosting (below)
1/2 C. chopped pistachio nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease cookie sheets.  Into large bowl, measure all ingredients except Chocolate Frosting and nuts.  With mixer at medium speed, beat until well mixed, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. [At this point I let the dough sit for about 10 minutes.  It drops and bakes better.]
Drop mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto cookie sheets.  Bake 10 minutes or until firm when lightly pressed with finger. With pancake turner, immediately remove cookies to wire racks.  Cool.
Meanwhile, prepare Chocolate Frosting. Generously frost each cookie; sprinkle with nuts.  Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Frosting:
In double boiler [see note about microwave above] over hot, not boiling water, melt 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate pieces with 1/3 cup milk and 3 tablespoons butter. Remove from heat and, with spoon, beat in 3 cups confectioners' sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract; use immediately to frost cooled cookies.

Since the OF is not a big nut fan, I have never actually put the pistachios on the cookies -- but I think it sounds very good.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mixing It Up

Since the early days of my marriage, I have viewed standing mixers (known in my day as Mixmasters, but now everyone has a Kitchenaid) as the ultimate symbol of domestic oppression.  They ranked right down there with mop buckets and ironing boards.  For years I have used my own two hands, occasionally augmented by an electric hand mixer, to do all the work. I scoffed at my mother-in-law and ultimately at my daughters for allowing this subjugation to be perpetrated upon them.  My mother, it must be noted, encouraged this belief.  She has never owned and will never own a mixer -- but then again she insists on brewing her coffee in an old percolator and making toast under the broiler.  *Lightbulb Moment* -- maybe Mom was not such a good role model in this respect. 
Lately, my hands have struggled to accomplish the heavy lifting of serious baking.  I have seen what my daughters can do with their Kitchenaids and how owning a mixer has somehow not transformed them into domestic slaves...  and I capitulate.  I still am unsure how using a mixer would be effective when baking enough bread to feed 7 people for a week.  But for pie crusts and cookie doughs and many other mixing duties, I can see how it might be nice to own one.  How I wish I had experienced this epiphany while I still had an income.  The Buttercup Yellow Kitchenaid that my heart now covets costs more than I spent last year on expensive shoes.  Does anyone want to trade a Buttercup Yellow Kitchenaid for a few of pair of high quality shoes?