Sweet and Sour Sauce

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  • 1/4 cup sugar or lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon light (regular) soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
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The Best Ever Pie Crust

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I have been following the A Bountiful Kitchen site for a long time and Si Foster has some really great recipes that I use often. My new favorite is her pie crust. I have found that if I don’t post favorites here they can disappear from the original website. Please follow the links to see all of her hints and tips on making the perfect pie crust. I enjoyed the flakiness and crispiness of this crust.

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening- I used 1/2 cup regular Crisco and 1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco
1/2 cup very cold water-I put it in the freezer when I started making the pie crust. I added just a little more water. Don’t add to much. you don’t want a sticky pie crust!

Method

  1. Mix flour and salt.
  2. Cut in shortening with pastry blender. You are looking for the shortening to be in pea sized pieces.
  3. Add 1/2 cup water all at once. 
  4. Fold ingredients with fork until flour is absorbed and dough comes together. If needed, add more cold water, a tablespoon or two at a time, until the dough resembles something similar to biscuit dough.
  5. Divide dough in half for two pie crusts. The dough should be soft and not sticky. If sticky, roll in a bit of flour. 
  6. Flour surface and rolling pin well. I use about 1/4 or more cups of flour on surface and spread in circle. Keep the rolling pin floured. 
  7. Flatten dough with hand to make round disc shape.
  8. Roll out from center to about 1/8” thickness. Place the pie plate on top of the dough. The dough should be rolled out approximately 2 1/2  inches past the edge of the pie plate, to allow for the dough to sink into the corner of the pie plate, and also extend over the edge of the plate so an outer crust is easily formed. 
  9. Fold dough in half, lift onto pie plate.
  10. Open and shape to pan, make sure to gently press the pastry into the corner of the pie plate. 
  11. Cut off excess dough if making a single pie crust. If making a pie to be baked with filling, fill the pie shell, top with crust if desired (if making apple or other fruit pies). Follow pie recipe directions. 

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More Brownies

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This recipe sounds so delicious. I am putting it here so I can find it. It is from the Cup of Jo website.

Ingredients-
Butter for the pan
¼ cup Dutch process cocoa powder (0.7 oz / 20g)
5 ounces (142g) semisweet chocolate (preferably 64 to 68% cacao), coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3 oz / 85g), cut into pieces
¼ cup neutral oil, such as vegetable or grapeseed (2 oz / 56g)
½ cup granulated sugar (3.5 oz / 100g)
½ cup packed dark brown sugar (3.5 oz / 100g)
1 large egg (1.8 oz / 50g)
2 large egg yolks (1.1 oz / 32g)
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour (3.5 oz / 100g)
2 tablespoons malted milk powder**  (0.63 oz / 18g) (optional)
1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (0.11 oz / 3g)
6 ounces (170g) milk chocolate, coarsely chopped (1 cup)

Method-
Preheat the oven and prepare the pan: Arrange an oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 × 8-inch pan with 2 sheets of foil, crossing one over the other and pressing the foil into the corners and up the sides. Lightly butter the foil and set aside.

Bloom the cocoa: In a large heatproof bowl, whisk the cocoa powder and ¼ cup boiling water (4 oz / 113g) until smooth (this will bring out the flavor of the cocoa).

Melt the chocolate, butter, and oil: Add the semisweet chocolate, butter, and oil to the bowl with the cocoa mixture and set it over a medium saucepan filled with about 1 inch of simmering (not boiling) water (make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water). Warm the mixture gently, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool until lukewarm.

Add the sugars and egg: Whisk the granulated and brown sugars into the chocolate mixture. It will look grainy and you might see some of the fat start to separate from the rest of the mixture, which is normal. Add the whole egg, egg yolks, and vanilla and whisk vigorously until the mixture comes back together and looks very thick, smooth, and glossy.

Add the dry ingredients: Add the flour, malted milk powder (if using), and salt and whisk slowly until everything is combined, then whisk more vigorously until the batter is very thick, a full 45 seconds.

Fold in the chocolate and bake: Add the milk chocolate to the batter and fold with a flexible spatula to distribute. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading in an even layer all the way to the corners. Sprinkle flaky salt on top of the batter prior to baking if you’re a salty dessert person.

Bake the brownies until the surface is shiny and puffed and the center is dry to the touch but still soft when pressed, 25 to 30 minutes.

Cool, chill, and cut: Allow the brownies to cool in the pan until they are no longer hot, about 1 hour, then refrigerate until the bottom of the pan feels cold, about 1 hour longer (this results in a chewier texture). Use the ends of the foil to lift the brownies out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Slice the brownies into 16 squares.


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Buttermilk Biscuits

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I found this biscuit recipe on Food 52 and am posting it here so that I can find it again when I am ready to try baking these.

Ingredients-

  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, frozen, plus more, for the pan
  • 2 1/2 cups (310g) all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping the biscuits
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-milk buttermilk, cold
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Marge Means Bread

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When we moved back to Kingwood in 2012 I became friends with Marge and visited with her at church and in her home. She loved everyone and everyone loved her. She passed away when we were on our mission in the Philippines here is the photo I have of her bread recipe. She used to make loaves and deliver them all the time in her little red truck.

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Japanese Curry

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I met my friend Rachel when we lived in Tokyo. Actually, we met her husband Nate first. It was our first Sunday in Tokyo and it was Nate’s, too. A senior missionary couple, the Snow’s, invited us all for dinner. Rachel came awhile later. I do feel that I have gotten to know Rachel a bit better since leaving Japan. She has a blog Lafujimama.com, but mostly I see her on Instagram. She shares many Japanese recipes and I love her recipe for Japanese Curry. It is a favorite comfort food. You might be thinking why would you need a recipe, can’t you just buy the curry block at the store? My answer is usually, I can buy a brand that doesn’t have much flavor at my favorite grocery store or I can drive across town and buy the one we do like at a different store. Right now, with the Covid 19 stay home in place neither of my stores have curry blocks on their websites for curbside pick up. That doesn’t mean they don’t have it, but I am not going in to find out. Also, Ally hasn’t found them in Montreal at all. Another reason for making your own is to avoid preservatives and gluten.  This is my adaptation of Rachel’s Vegan Japanese Curry Rice. If you want to see her original recipe go here.

Ingredients-

2-3 cooked chicken breasts, chopped (depends on how much meat you want)
1-2 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (See my tip on fresh ginger below)
2 to 4 tablespoons curry powder-I tried S&B this time (Start with 2-add more to taste)
1 teaspoon salt (add more to taste at the end of cooking if needed)
4 carrots cut into chunks
2 large potatoes cut into chunks
1 cup green beans or frozen peas (add at the end of cooking)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons apricot or peach jam (I didn’t have either and used fig preserves instead)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (I love rice vinegar, but use white or apple cider as a sub)
2 cups chicken stock (I make mine from bouillon cubes so I can control the strength)
1-2 cups water (start with 1 and increase it until you get the consistency that you like)
1/3 cup cornstarch
Hot steamed rice for serving

Method-

Heat a large non-stick pan or wok over medium high heat and add the onions to sauté until wilted. If they start to stick add a little water. Next add the garlic and ginger and sprinkle the curry powder and salt over everything and stir.

Add 1/2 cup chicken stock, tomato paste, jam, and vinegar and stir to combine. Add the carrots, potatoes and rest of the chicken stock and the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium.

Add the cooked chicken and peas or green beans. Simmer until the potatoes and carrots are cooked.

Put the cornstarch in a bowl and spoon some of the hot curry sauce over it. Whisk it to make a paste. Add to the pan and stir until the curry has thickened. If it is too thick add water a little at a time. Sample and add more curry powder or salt to taste. Serve over hot rice. Makes 6 servings.

Tips-
You can use any kind of vegetable you have on hand.

Ginger- Did you know that you can freeze fresh ginger? I bought a piece at the store and just popped it in a freezer bag. When a recipe calls for ginger I pull it out and grate the frozen ginger on my microplane. I don’t even peel it. The peel is not noticeable at all in whatever I am cooking. I was so glad to discover this, no more wasted fresh ginger!

Posted in Comfort Food, Main Dishes, Rice, Sauces | Leave a comment

DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Makes 26

Ingredients-

1/2 pound butter, slightly softened
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cinnamon
2 3/4 cups Nestle’s Tollhouse semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 3/4 cups chopped walnuts

Cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for two minutes.

Add eggs, vanilla and lemon juice, blending with the mixer on low speed for about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl.

With mixer on low speed, add flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, blending for about 45 seconds, don’t overmix.

Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.

Portion dough with a scoop (about 3 tablespoons) two inches apart onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and the center is still soft.

Remove from oven and cool on a baking sheet for about one hour.

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Fanny Farmer’s Raised Waffles

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Makes 8-10 waffles 8-10 waffles.

1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast or 1 1/2 teaspoons
2 cups milk, warmed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Add the milk, butter, salt, sugar, yeast and flour mixing bowl and whisk until smooth and blended. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand overnight at room temperature.

Heat a nonstick waffle iron. Whisk eggs and baking soda into batter. Pour about 1/2 to 3/4 cup batter into waffle iron. Bake until they are golden and crisp.

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Parmesan-Panko Crusted Tilapia

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This is one of the best tilapia recipes that I have found. It was on Mutt and Chops.

Ingredients-

  • 4 tilapia fillets (approximately ⅓ pounds each)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method-

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Season both sides of the tilapia fillets with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  3. Melt the butter and add the diced garlic, lemon juice, and chopped parsley.
  4. Place the seasoned tilapia fillets in a shallow baking pan.
  5. Spoon about ½ of the butter sauce over the fillets, making sure to coat the entire surface.
  6. Mix the panko and Parmesan cheese together, and spoon equally over each fillet.
  7. Bake until starting to turn golden grown (about 10 minutes).
  8. Randomly drizzle some of the remaining butter sauce over the fish and bake another 2 minutes or so.
  9. Remove from the oven and serve hot. You can slightly warm up any remaining butter sauce if anyone wants to add some to their fish.
Posted in Fish, Main Dishes, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tilapia Florentine

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Ingredients

  • 2 tilapia filets 
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic minced
  • 5 ounces fresh baby spinach 
  • 3 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt
  • fresh black pepper

Method

  • In a large skillet over medium heat add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon of butter, red bell pepper and garlic and cook for about 4 minutes.
  • Add spinach seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper mix until the spinach wilts down.
  • Add cream cheese, milk and parmesan cheese mix well until cream cheese is melted and resembles creamed spinach.
  • Heat a separate skillet on medium high heat, add remaining oil and butter.
  • Season fish on both sides with salt and pepper and place on the hot pan.
  • Cook about 6 minutes on first side and flip fish over and cook other side an additional 5 minutes, until cooked through and browned.
  • Divide the spinach mixture on the bottom of each plate and top with piece of fish.
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