Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Immersion Blender

This Christmas I received one of my kitchen dream toys....The Immersion Blender from Tim's parents. Right after Christmas I ran to my favorite soup cookbook "The Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special" and found the spicy carrot peanut soup recipe I love. I also used the great chopper attachment for my blender that Nancy (Tim's mom) had given me a couple of months ago. The immersion blender was fantastic.

Spicy Carrot Peanut Soup
1Tbl oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 pounds of carrots, peeled and sliced
1 celery stock, thinly sliced
1 ts salt
1 ts chili paste
6 cups water or chicken broth
2 Tbl peanut butter
3 Tbl soy sauce
2 Tble lime juice
In a soup pot on medium heat, warm the oil and add the onions, carrots, celery, salt and chili paste. Saute on high heat for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the water or broth, cover, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until carrots are soft, about 25 minutes. Stir peanut butter, soy sauce, and lime juice. With the Immersion Blender or a blender of your choice puree the soup and reheat if necessary. Serve with lime wedges.

Chopping the carrots

I'm like Spiderman with a blender.
Seriously, blending this soup was so much fun.

Up close and personal.

Looking at the underside of the blender.

The finished product.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Christmas Treats--Granola and Hot Chocolate

Homemade Granola

4 cups rolled oats
1 cup flax seed
1 cup chopped walnuts or slivered almonds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup water
1 (6-ounce) package dried sweetened cranberries or other dried fruits
Heat the oven to 300ยบ. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, flax seed, nuts, sesame seeds, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the oil, honey, and water. Toss the mixture until the ingredients are well combined, then spread it evenly on a cookie sheet.

Bake the granola for 40 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring every 10 minutes to keep the mixture from sticking. Let it cool completely, then stir in the cranberries or dried fruit. Makes about 7 cups.

Hot Chocolate in a Jar

1½ cups skim milk powder
1½ cups white sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
¾ cup (vanilla) non-dairy creamer

To Make this Jar Gift: Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir well. For a finer mix, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix well. Store in an air tight container.
Directions: Place 2 or 3 tablespoons in a mug and add boiling water

Friday, January 11, 2008

Christmas Treats-Pasta and Sauce

This year we decided to make a bunch of homemade treats. The next few posts will be about some of the things we made to give away. The first one pictured below is pasta sauce and pasta. Once again my love of canning really worked out well. While I worked on the sauce Tim once again perfected the art of rolling and cutting the pasta. I still have no idea why I can't for the life of me roll and cut the pasta. Oh well, I think everything turned out great.

Quick Marinara Sauce-From Giada's Family Dinners
-2 ( 28 oz) cans of whole tomatoes in juice
-1 bunch of fresh basil (I substituted some of the basil from our garden that I blended with olive oil and froze)
-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
-2 small onions, chopped
-4 garlic cloves, chopped
-1 ts dried oregano
-1 ts sugar
-salt and pepper

In a blender, puree the tomatoes with their juice and the basil until almost smooth. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until very tender. Stir in the tomato puree, oregano, and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Then can. As you can see it made about to pint jars.
Fresh Pasta
-8 oz all purpose flour (about 2 cups)
-1tsp salt
-2 large egg yolks
-5 large egg yolks
-1 T olive oil
Combine flour and salt in bowl. Make a mound with an impression in the middle. Put eggs, yolks and olive oil in the middle of the impression. Break each yolk by poking it with a finger, then in a circular motion begin to incorporate flour from the side of the mound. Continue until all the flour is incorporated. Turn out onto tabletop and knead by hand until dough is smooth and elastic.
The dough can now be rolled through a pasta machine, or wrapped in plastic and placed in the refrigerator to rest for 30 minutes or so. Proceed according to what sort of pasta you would like.

We looked all over the Internet to find drying times and how long the pasta would keep. We ended up coming across a site that said to dry the noodles for up to an hour, wrap tightly in plastic and the noodles can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

The finished product. Cheers!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Coonsie Style Dinner

I'm 28 and I still ask for the my favorite meal every time my mother comes to town. I love her baked chicken, mashers and gravy. So, the other day while Tim and I were in the middle of grocery shopping I spotted some chicken drummies and decided I would attempt to make my mother's chicken. I spiced up my mom's recipe a bit (she normally uses just flour salt and pepper) and it tuned out really good. I have to say I was pretty proud of myself.
Coonsie's Spiced Up Chicken
2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and Pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or a cajun mix of some kind
6 chicken drumsticks or more
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix together bread crumbs, Parmesan, salt and cayenne pepper in large bowl. Dip each chicken drumstick in crumbs to coat. Place on baking sheet. Add 4-5 pads of margarine. Bake in 350 degrees F oven, without turning, for 1 hour.
The chicken baking.

Making the gravy.

The finished product.