Saturday, November 29, 2008

Daring Bakers Challenge...Caramel Cake! YUM!

Our leading lady this month's challenge was Shuna Fish Lydon of Eggbeater and her signature caramel cake. And in a supporting role we have an optional challenge: Alice Medrich’s Golden Vanilla Bean Caramels, with LOTS of variation. Guaranteed to keep us all on a sugar-induced high all month!

The host and co-host's for this month;s event were Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity host this month are Alex (Brownie of the Blondie and Brownie duo: ), Jenny of Foray into Food . And since they don't know jack about alternative baking, they once again turned to Natalie of Gluten-a-Go-Go to assist them.

Shuna Fish Lydon’s recipe can be found here on her website Eggbeater.

I loved this cake. This was probably one of my favorites, yes, despite all the trouble I had. All my own fault as this recipe is flawless!

I was making this to be served with our Thanksgiving Day meal. I may have over scheduled myself a bit and was a bit rushed but this cake was truly forgiving! I made two 8 inch cakes and layered them. I didn't have a 9 inch one and this worked really well.

Here is the only trouble I had...when I browned the butter for the frosting I followed the directions and browned it nice and went to pour it through my sieve and into my mixing bowl. As I was pouring I heard some crackling and kinda thought that was weird but kept going. Then I smelled it. The sieve was nylon. It had never crossed my mind at all!!! Crazy huh? Anyway as this was my last butter in the house and I had some lessons and things to get the girls to I wrapped up the cakes and left them for the morning.

As I was a little more rushed (Thanksgiving Day prep) and had both of the girls home with me, I wasn't nearly as creative as I would have liked to have been. As it was, my guests loved this cake and it flew off the platter, yes, even over pumpkin pie!!!!

I did follow some advice from Elle of Elle's New England Kitchen and added 1/2 tsp of salt to the frosting. This really helped to cut the sweet. I probably could have darkened up the caramel syrup a bit more but the flavor still shone through!

I have included the recipe along with the recipe for the caramels but have yet too make them!


10 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/4 Cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 Cup Caramel Syrup (see recipe below)
2 each eggs, at room temperature
splash vanilla extract
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk, at room temperature

Notes from Natalie for those of you baking gluten-free:

So the GF changes to the cake would be:

2 cups of gluten free flour blend (w/xanthan gum) or 2 cups of gf flour blend + 1 1/2 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1/2 - 1 tsp baking powder (this would be the recipe amount to the amount it might need to be raised to & I'm going to check)

I'll let you when I get the cake finished, how it turns out and if the baking powder amount needs to be raised.

Preheat oven to 350F

Butter one tall (2 – 2.5 inch deep) 9-inch cake pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and salt & cream until light and fluffy.

Slowly pour room temperature caramel syrup into bowl. Scrape down bowl and increase speed. Add eggs/vanilla extract a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down bowl again, beat mixture until light and uniform.

Sift flour and baking powder.

Turn mixer to lowest speed, and add one third of the dry ingredients. When incorporated, add half of the milk, a little at a time. Add another third of the dry ingredients, then the other half of the milk and finish with the dry ingredients. {This is called the dry, wet, dry, wet, dry method in cake making. It is often employed when there is a high proportion of liquid in the batter.}

Take off mixer and by hand, use a spatula to do a few last folds, making sure batter is uniform. Turn batter into prepared cake pan.

Place cake pan on cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan. Set first timer for 30 minutes, rotate pan and set timer for another 15-20 minutes. Your own oven will set the pace. Bake until sides pull away from the pan and skewer inserted in middle comes out clean. Cool cake completely before icing it.

Cake will keep for three days outside of the refrigerator.


2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup water (for "stopping" the caramelization process)
In a small stainless steel saucepan, with tall sides, mix water and sugar until mixture feels like wet sand. Brush down any stray sugar crystals with wet pastry brush. Turn on heat to highest flame. Cook until smoking slightly: dark amber.

When color is achieved, very carefully pour in one cup of water. Caramel will jump and sputter about! It is very dangerous, so have long sleeves on and be prepared to step back.

Whisk over medium heat until it has reduced slightly and feels sticky between two fingers. {Obviously wait for it to cool on a spoon before touching it.}

Note: For safety reasons, have ready a bowl of ice water to plunge your hands into if any caramel should land on your skin.


12 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound confectioner’s sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-4 tablespoons caramel syrup
Kosher or sea salt to taste

Cook butter until brown. Pour through a fine meshed sieve into a heatproof bowl, set aside to cool.

Pour cooled brown butter into mixer bowl.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, add confectioner's sugar a little at a time. When mixture looks too chunky to take any more, add a bit of cream and or caramel syrup. Repeat until mixture looks smooth and all confectioner's sugar has been incorporated. Add salt to taste.

Note: Caramelized butter frosting will keep in fridge for up to a month.
To smooth out from cold, microwave a bit, then mix with paddle attachment until smooth and light

(recipes above courtesy of Shuna Fish Lydon)

- makes eighty-one 1-inch caramels -

1 cup golden syrup
2 cups sugar
3/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons pure ground vanilla beans, purchased or ground in a coffee or spice grinders, or 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks, softened

A 9-inch square baking pan
Candy thermometer


Line the bottom and sides of the baking pan with aluminum foil and grease the foil. Combine the golden syrup, sugar, and salt in a heavy 3-quart saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, until the mixture begins to simmer around the edges. Wash the sugar and syrup from the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes. (Meanwhile, rinse the spatula or spoon before using it again later.) Uncover the pan and wash down the sides once more. Attach the candy thermometer to the pan, without letting it touch the bottom of the pan, and cook, uncovered (without stirring) until the mixture reaches 305°F. Meanwhile, combine the cream and ground vanilla beans (not the extract) in a small saucepan and heat until tiny bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Turn off the heat and cover the pan to keep the cream hot.

When the sugar mixture reaches 305°F, turn off the heat and stir in the butter chunks. Gradually stir in the hot cream; it will bubble up and steam dramatically, so be careful. Turn the burner back on and adjust it so that the mixture boils energetically but not violently. Stir until any thickened syrup at the bottom of the pan is dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, to about 245°F. Then cook, stirring constantly, to 260°f for soft, chewy caramels or 265°F; for firmer chewy caramels.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract, if using it. Pour the caramel into the lined pan. Let set for 4 to 5 hours, or overnight until firm.

Lift the pan liner from the pan and invert the sheet of caramel onto a sheet of parchment paper. Peel off the liner. Cut the caramels with an oiled knife. Wrap each caramel individually in wax paper or cellophane.


Fleur de Sel Caramels: Extra salt, in the form of fleur de sel or another coarse flaked salt, brings out the flavor of the caramel and offers a little ying to the yang. Add an extra scant 1/4 teaspoon of coarse sea salt to the recipe. Or, to keep the salt crunchy, let the caramel cool and firm. Then sprinkle with two pinches of flaky salt and press it in. Invert, remove the pan liner, sprinkle with more salt. Then cut and wrap the caramels in wax paper or cellophane.

Nutmeg and Vanilla Bean Caramels: Add 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg to the cream before you heat it.

Cardamom Caramels: Omit the vanilla. Add 1/2 teaspoon slightly crushed cardamom seeds (from about 15 cardamom pods) to the cream before heating it. Strain the cream when you add it to the caramel; discard the seeds.

Caramel Sauce: Stop cooking any caramel recipe or variation when it reaches 225°F or, for a sauce that thickens like hot fudge over ice cream, 228°F. Pour it into a sauceboat to serve or into a heatproof jar for storage. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for ages and reheated gently in the microwave or a saucepan just until hot and flowing before use. You can stir in rum or brandy to taste. If the sauce is too thick or stiff to serve over ice cream, it can always be thinned with a little water or cream. Or, if you like a sauce that thickens more over ice cream, simmer it for a few minutes longer.
(recipe from Alice Medrich's Pure Dessert)

Friday, November 28, 2008

November 28, 2008 - Finest Foodies Friday

I hope everyone had an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving and were surrounded by good food, friends and family. Jenn is away and once again I begged for the chance to be the stand in for The Leftover Queen's Finest Foodies Friday and after almost no hesitation she said she would let me (happy dance!!!). So here we go...

As always here is what the FFF is all about. Finest Foodies Friday! FFF is a weekly Friday post featuring favorites from The Foodie Blogroll! We do this so we can share in the rich diversity of what The Foodie Blogroll has to offer by featuring some of our favorites and yours!

What is the Foodie Blogroll? It is the first and fastest growing free membership blogroll for food bloggers and has become a wonderful community (just over 2700 strong) to share ideas about all things food related.

The only requirement to be featured here on FFF is to be a member of The Foodie Blogroll and be displaying The Foodie Blogroll widget on your blog. If you are not yet a member, but you have a food blog and would like to join, please click here!

If you have a favorite foodblog on The Foodie Blogroll, that you would like to be featured here on FFF, please join Jenn and crew over on The Leftover Queen/Foodie Blogroll Forum, and post your favorite Foodie Blogroll foodblogs here.

With no further ado here are my 5 choices for the week.

They may have been featured before but what do I know. These are just a couple of the blogs I like to visit and enjoy.

Joan Nova of FOODalogue describes her blog as the inevitable collision of her life's passions: food, travel, writing and photography. She says she is a “culinista” (One who obsesses about food...cooks it, eats it, writes about it and photographs it.) Check out Joan's blog. The pictures are beautiful and she if a fellow Floridian as well!

Next up is Jo who's blog The Adventures of Kitchen Girl is truly a delight! And so is she! Jo is a
thirty-something Mother of 3 who loves to cook and take pictures of food. She is always trying something new in the kitchen, and would love for you to come and join her! I love Jo's blog because she cooks like I do and she is also the one of the sweetest people I "know"! Check out her blog and see what I mean!

Then there is my friend Annie who we all know from Cooking with Anne fame. She recently started up a new blog. Anne is a mother of 7 noseminers, (ages 19 years to 2 years ~ 5 girls, 2 boys) and Chief Cook and Bottle Washer (among other titles) of this brood. Egad, can you just imagine? Anyway, as if she didn't have enough going on she recently started a new blog called A Thousand Soups. This blog began at the start of 'soup season' and her fondest wish is that each person who stops there finds the perfect soup for them. What a great theme for a blog. Especially with the cooler weather that we all have now.

Next up is The Recipe Girl. Blogger Lori (a.k.a. RecipeGirl) is located in the beautiful, sunny Southern California city of San Diego. She started this blog just this year as a writing outlet to go with her wonderful recipes and recipe site Each visit will land you a new recipe and a beautiful food picture!

And last but not least is Nikki of CanaryGirl fame. This girl is a hoot. There is not a time that she does not make me chuckle at least a little bit. You can go to her blog and read all about her "early Thanksgiving meal". She is a stay at home mom of 4…2 girls and 2 boys…..Her home is in the Canary Islands, Spain. She describes herself as passionate about cooking, and has fun photographing the results. Visit Nikki for a guaranteed smile on your face!

That’s it for this week! I hope you enjoyed this week’s FFF. Remember, if you would like to see a blog featured on Jenn's site, and who is part of the FBR please visit the forum and nominate them. I NEED NOMINATIONS!!!!!!

Also we all love to know how people came to find our blogs, so please visit all of our featured bloggers today and don’t forget to tell them that you found them via Finest Foodies Friday!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Eve!

Eggplant Parmesan-Our Way!

It's been a busy couple of days in our house! Not only are we getting ourselves ready for Thanksgiving but our oldest daughter just tested and passed her blue/brown belt in karate!

Tying on her new Blue/Brown Belt!!!

As is our family tradition with a slight change, the dinner that night is all about her. Usually we go out but due to the fact that we have so much going on I decided it would be easier and an earlier night for them to make her a favorite meal. Her absolute favorite meal is Eggplant Parmesan but without the tomato sauce (tomato hater!). I didn't take pictures of hers as it's pretty straight forward. Use all the layers but don't use sauce and add more goat cheese! I made this the day before and cooked it off and just heated it up for us the next night. Worked out perfect and Italian always tastes better the next night!

Eggplant Parmesan-Our Way!!!


3 medium sized eggplant or 4 small
2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp granulated garlic
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp white pepper
5 eggs
1/4 cup of milk
10.5 oz of goat cheese cut into 1/2 inch slices (we love goat cheese so we use large ones - 10.5 ounces but use what you like)
1 lb of shredded mozzarella
2 jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce
Canola or vegetable oil (for frying the eggplant)


  • Preheat your oven to 375°
  • Wash and remove the stems from the eggplant. Slice the eggplant lengthwise about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Mix all of the dry ingredients together. This will be your breading for the eggplant.
  • Mix eggs and milk together to make your wash.
  • Preheat a skillet or fry pan with about 1/2 inch of oil (this will vary depending upon the size of your pan) on med-high.
  • Dip each slice of eggplant in your wash and then in the breadcrumbs.
  • Cook each slice until browned. Flip them and brown the other side. Remove from pan and place each slice on a rack to drain.
  • In a small 8x8 casserole dish you will need to start layering your ingredients. Start with a thin layer of sauce to prevent sticking. Add a layer of eggplant. You will need to have these overlapped. On top of the eggplant you will use about 2/3 of the goat cheese. Cover with about 1/3 of the mozzarella and about 1/3 sauce. Top with another layer of eggplant. This is the last layer so you will want to use up all of your ingredients. On top of the eggplant layer the goat cheese, the last of the sauce and top with the remaining mozzarella.
  • Bake this in your preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until bubbling and browned.
  • Allow to rest for about 10 minutes, cut and serve!
Sliced eggplant-skin on and not salted and drained

Post fry and layered in casserole dish over sauce and mozzerella

Goat cheese sprinkles! This is topped with sauce and more mozzerella!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Chili Nachos!

Chili Nachos with cheddar, onions and fresh jalapeños!

It was lunch time and I was HUNGRY!!! I looked in the fridge and there were a ton of possibilites. Leftover chili, tuna salad, veggies, salad...I didn't want any of it though. Then my eyes lit up and I knew what I had to have!!!

Venison Chili Nachos:

I used the recipe that I posted a couple of week ago for Confessional Chili (posted below). This time though I followed the recipe completely except for the fact that I used ground venison not beef. This was only because it's what I had on hand right then. Venison is a very lean meat with a stronger flavor than beef. This is a great recipe to use it in as the spices and herbs used help to cover up the different taste!

I took out a handful or more of tortilla chips, topped them with cheese, preheated chili, onions and fresh jalapeños. I broiled this just until the cheese was melted. Made for a great lunch!!!

Confessional Chili (New York Cookbook by Molly O'Neill)


2 to 3 large onions, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
3 to 4 small Indian green chilies, chopped, or 4 jalapeno chilies, chopped (including the seeds), or 3 tablespoons extra-hot ground dried chilis
3 tablespoons peanut oil
3 pounds lean chopped sirloin (used ground venison)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
2 cans (28 ounces each) imported Italian whole plum tomatoes (I used Muir Grove chopped tomatoes and I have to say they were incredibly delicious!)
4 bay leaves
2 cans (16 ounces each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch cilantro or Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, rinsed and chopped.


1. In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, saute the onions, garlic, and chili's in the oil until the onions are translucent, 5 minutes.

2. Crumble the chopped sirloin over the top of the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper; stir in the coriander, cumin, thyme, and oregano. Cover and cook until the meat is cooked through, about 7 minutes.

3. Pour the tomatoes into a small bowl and coarsely crush with your hands. Pour the tomatoes and juice on top of the chili mixture. Stir in the bay leaves. Cover or leave uncovered, depending on the consistency you prefer (a covered pot with yield a thicker chili), and simmer until the flavors are well married, about 30 minutes.

4. Stir in the pinto beans and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve at once.

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Maple Glazed Pork Steaks with Pumpkin Polenta

Maple Glazed Pork Steak with Pumpkin Polenta and a Side Dish of Roasted Root Vegetables! Crappy picture...I need my lights!!!

I know, I know. I am not following the herd right now. Everything is suppose to be about Thanksgiving!!! Trust me, we are all getting plenty of that and we still have to eat the other 364 days of the year. Do yourself a favor and bookmark this recipe for when you are sick of turkey or have finally run out of leftovers! For a really great site that has a ton of Thanksgiving recipes head over to see Jerry at the seat of my Pants!

Onto the recipe:

I saw this recipe on the Food Network site and it is from their Food Network Kitchens. When I told T. what I was making he was a bit hesitant to say the least. We don't really go in for the whole sweet tasting meat thing. But I convinced him that even that it was maple it didn't have to be really sweet. This dish had so many things going on in it that the maple was just an enhancing flavor.

Pork Chops (Food Network Kitchens)

  • 4 (5-ounce) boneless center-cut pork loin chops (I used bone in pork steaks)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth, low-sodium canned

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dry the pork chops well and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the oil to the pan and heat until shimmering. Lay the chops in the pan and cook until lightly browned on the first side, about 4 minutes. Turn the chops and cook until the second side is browned and the chops are cooked through, about 3 minutes more. Transfer the chops to a platter.

Pour off the excess oil from the pan. Add the vinegar, and return the pan to the heat and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits that cling to the pan. Stir in the mustard, maple syrup, and chicken broth, along with any juices from the pork chops. Cook over high heat until the mixture is syrupy, about 5 minutes. Season to taste.

Pumpkin Polenta (Food Network Kitchens)

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups 1 percent milk
  • 2/3 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pure pumpkin (or homemade roasted pumpkin puree)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the sage to the oil and cook until the sage is slightly crisped, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside. Meanwhile, put the broth and milk in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Slowly whisk in the polenta, reduce the heat to low, and cook, whisking occasionally, until the polenta is thick and creamy, about 15 minutes. Pull the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the pumpkin, sage with the oil, cheese, salt, and pepper. Hold in a warm place.

Serve the pork chop or steak over the pumpkin polenta with some roasted root vegetables on the side. This was a great meal for a cold night! Not too sweet either just as I told T. it would be!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Preperations!

I am starting to feel a little guilty about not having helped you out a whole lot with your entertaining plans this year! I have been going full tilt the last week or so which is normal for most of us getting ready for Thanksgiving.

This is just a guide line of what I do to prepare:

1) Set my guest list: This year we have 13 people coming. Of that number I have 5 children.

2) Make a list of all the menu items I am going to be making:

Dressing (stuffing)
Mashed Potatoes

I have asked my guests to bring a dish of their choice. That wasy everyone gets to share in the meal!

3) Make a list of all the ingredients that I will need.

4) Go through my pantry and freezer to cross of the list what I already have.

5) The last list is of all the items I need to purchase. This list is broken down by store (Costco, Publix etc.)

Hope this helps in getting you organized this year!

For some really good recipes this year my friend Jerry over at the seat of my Pants! has done a post featuring some of his best Turkey Day recipes!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Paula Deen's Pumpkin Bars

Paula Deen's super moist Pumpkin Bar's with Cream Cheese Frosting!

On with my pumpkin recipes.

I've made them savory and I've made them sweet but by far this was the sweetest. Did you see Top Chef on Wednesday night when Padma used her napkin to spit out the super sweet lemon meringue martini? Well these aren't that sweet. Close, but no spitting was going on here. Just remember I warned you!

Before the recipe I wanted to do a couple of shout outs to some very kind people who have sent me a couple of things to try out...

Carr's cracker people contacted me a couple of weeks ago with some recipes that they thought I might be interested in (am and will show them later). They also asked me if they could send me some Carr's samples. Well seeing that they are my go to entertaining cracker I jumped at the chance to get some free. I thought maybe they would send me a box of crackers and that would be it. I was wrong...very wrong. The wonderful people at Carr's sent me an elegantly wrapped up basket with three boxes of crackers!!! Rosemary Crackers, Their classic Table Water Crackers w/ cracked black pepper and their Whole Wheat Crackers!!! Thanks Carr's

I was also contacted by the YouBar people. A few months back I was sent a couple of samples of their YouBars. Great idea but I am way too lazy to do it. You choose all of your ingredients in your bar and they send it to you labeled for you personally and all. Last week they contacted me and asked me if they could send me samples from their newest product line YouShake. Seeing as T. has a protein smoothie every morning I gladly accepted. So far he has only tried one but he did say that it was very, very good. It was a chocolate whey protein drink with banana. Sounded good to me. Thanks YouBar!!!

Pumpkin Bars (Food Network-Paula Deen)



  • 4 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 15-ounce can pumpkin
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I changed this to 1 tsp cinnamon)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves (I added)
  • 1/4 tsp ginger (I added)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (I added)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  • 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • I also added 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.

To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pomegranate Lemon Bars

Pomegranate Lemon Bars - Sweet-tart and moist!

Okay, so about a week ago Jenn first announced that there was a POM Wonderful Featured Blogger Contest going on this month. If you have not heard about it, food bloggers can submit an original recipe featuring pomegranates and have a chance to win $5000 from POM Wonderful!

As an added incentive to Foodie Blogroll members, in conjunction with the lovely POM folks, they are giving away cases of POM Wonderful products for the next 2 weeks, while the contest is going on. For more details on how you can enter to win either of these contests, please check out the Foodie Blogroll/ Leftover Queen Forum!

I had every intention of entering this contest and maybe I still will, but I used up both of the pomegranates that I had bought!!! Guess I need to buy some more!!!

Pomegranate Lemon Bars (adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman)


8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus a little more for greasing the pan
1-1/4 Cup sugar
1 Cup AP Flour, plus 2 Tbsp
2 eggs
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp baking soda
grated or minced zest of 1 lemon
1/2 POM pomegranate seeds removed
Confectioners sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Grease an 8 inch square baking pan.
  • Use an electric mixer to cream the butter with 1/4 cup of the sugar. Stir in 1 cup of flour. This mixture will be quite dry; press into the greased pan and bake for 15 minutes, no longer. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
  • Beat together the eggs, lemon juice, baking soda, remaining 1 cup of sugar, 2 Tbsp of flour, and lemon zest. Stir in pomegranate. Pour mixture over the crust and bake until firm on the edges but still a little soft in the middle, another 20 minutes. Cool, then sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Cut into squares and serve with some additional pomegranate seeds for garnish.
  • Store covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Split Pea Soup without the ham...

Don't forget the hot smoked really adds to this soup!!!

I love pea soup. Not the traditional pea soup with the smoked ham hock thrown in. Nope I like the pure taste of the peas to come shining through.

I first tried this soup back in February when I saw it on 101 Cookbooks. I wasn't sure though if the rest of the family was going to like it. Lucky for me they did. It's become one of our cold weather staples and we usually have it about 1 every week or so. Over that time I have made just a few small changes like adding garlic and some chicken stock, otherwise this soup is delicious just the way it is!

If you like you can buy or make a nice crusty loaf of bread to add to this hearty, cold weather meal!!!

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup (Heidi of 101 Cookbooks)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, chopped (I added 3 cloves of garlic as well)
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 cups dried split green peas, picked over and rinsed
5 cups water (I substitute3 cup of the water with homemade chicken stock)
juice of 1/2 lemon (reserve the zest)

a few pinches of smoked paprika
more olive oil to drizzle

Add olive oil to a big pot over med-high heat. Stir in onions and salt and cook until the onions soften, just a minute or two. Add the split peas and water. Bring to a boil, dial down the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the peas are cooked through (but still a touch al dente). Using a large cup or mug ladle half of the soup into a bowl and set aside. Using a hand blender (or regular blender) puree the soup that is still remaining in the pot. Stir the reserved (still chunky) soup back into the puree - you should have a soup that is nicely textured. If you need to thin the soup out with more water (or stock) do so a bit at a time. Stir in the lemon juice and taste. If the soup needs more salt, add more a bit at a time until the flavor of the soup really pops.

Ladle into bowls or cups, and serve each drizzled with olive oil and topped with a good pinch of smoked paprika and a touch of lemon zest.

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pumpkin Pancakes!

I know, I know. It's a lot of pumpkin but it is pumpkin season and I can only do this at one time of the year. I took a huge pumpkin and roasted it and pureed it and that was my inspiration for these. I basically took my regular WW pancakes and added spice and pumpkin puree instead of all of the milk and oil!

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes


1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Cups milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/8 Cup of Canola Oil
1 Cup pureed pumpkin (canned or homemade)

  • Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix all wet ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Be careful to not over mix stir just til moist.
  • Using a 1/4 cup measure cook on a hot lightly oiled griddle or skillet.

These were delicious topped with warm maple syrup! I will be making these again, next time with some spiced whipped cream!!!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Monday, November 17, 2008

Pumpkin Sage Dinner Rolls

I have a lot of roasted pumpkin puree. Just stands to reason that I am going to be making a lot of pumpkin recipes. Somehow T. missed that memo...

I decided the other day to test some pumpkin rolls that I had seen in this months Family Fun magazine. They turned out incredibly well and would have even been better had I followed ALL of the directions. I usually have so many things that I am working on at one time that I mess up. I am going to make these for Thanksgiving as even with the mess up they were that good.

Be sure to follow ALL of the direction and make that last split in the dough. Mine only made it halfway through the division. I realized after about the third muffin cup that I had messed up but I couldn't fix it all. I ended up with 8 HUGE rolls when I should have had 12!!! Oh well. At least it's been tested...

See the error of my ways??? HUGE ROLLS!

Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls (Family Fun Magazine)


3-3/4 cups flour, plus more for sprinkling
1 pkg or 2-1/4 tsp instant or bread machine yeast
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup canned or frozen and thawed pureed pumpkin or squash
1 lg egg
1/2 cup water
8 fresh sage leaves, slivered (or 1-1/3 teaspoon dried leaves)
1/2 cup butter


1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, yeast, and salt, and set it aside.

2. Pour the milk into a microwave-safe bowl or 4-cup glass measuring cup and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Whisk in the honey, squash, egg, and water. (The liquid mixture should be less than 110°; anything hotter might kill the yeast.)

3. With a fork, blend the squash mixture into the flour mixture until you have a soft dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

4. Two hours before baking, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 6 sage leaves into the dough. Melt the butter and set it aside in a small bowl. Divide the dough in half, then divide each half into 6 portions. Divide each portion into 3 pieces. With floured hands, roll each piece into a ball and dip it into the melted butter. Place 3 balls in a muffin cup. Continue until 12 muffin cups are filled. (very important step unless you want really HUGE rolls!)

5. Drizzle or brush each roll with 1/2 teaspoon of the leftover melted butter and then sprinkle them with the rest of the sage. Let the rolls rise in a warm spot (at least 70°) until they're double in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The 3 balls of dough will rise together to form a cloverleaf shape.

6. Heat the oven to 350°. Bake the rolls until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Makes 1 dozen.

These were really a delicious change from just the regular yeasty rolls that are normally on my table! I can't wait to serve these!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Whole Foods and homemade breakfast sausage!

Now "what" you may ask do the 2 things have to do with each other??? Last weekend we took a short drive (about 45 minutes) to Naples to the new Whole Foods store there. I have never been in one before and I was really curious especially about there meats. I had been warned that this would be an expensive shopping trip as the glitz and the shine will entice me to buy way more than I needed! I was prepared...but you know what? I think because we don't eat processed and prepackaged foods I really didn't see a whole lot that I would buy. They have aisles and aisles of things but I can get alot of that stuff elsewhere or can make it myself!

But the meat...OMG the meat! I have never seen so much "happy meat" in one place in my entire life!!!! We bought beef, pork, chicken...It was wonderful. But alas their is always that one sad spot. They had no pork breakfast sausage! My youngest daughter LOVES, LOVES, LOVES breakfast sausage.

I ended up buying some ground pork and trying my hand at sausage making. No way was I going to stuff any casings but she also likes patties so I was good there! After searching the internet for a sausage that wasn't too sweet, here's what I came up with...

Breakfast Sausage (Homesick Texan)


2 lbs of ground pork
1 tablespoon of sage
2 teaspoons of marjoram
2 teaspoons of thyme
2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper


1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Form into patties and fry six minutes on each side.
Keeps in the refrigerator for a week.

***This made spicy sausage. Maybe a bit too spicy for the girls but play around with the pepper flakes and the cayenne until it suits your taste!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Farmer's Market Day and a chili recipe!

This weeks haul: cucumbers, scallions, radishes, beets, tat soi (Asian spinach), lettuces, eggplant, bread and some really, really stinky blue cheese (not pictured cuz I didn't want to touch it again!)

Friday night of last week was our Monthly Potluck. This is an event that a bunch of us decided to do because we felt like we were all losing touch with each other. The kids are all at different schools now and we are all so busy with after school activities that we were going months with only the odd email or text message in between. If this is happening to you and you want to start something like this and need more info as to how to do it, email me and I can lend you a hand! It is really working out so great for all of us. Anyway...where was I???

Confessional Chili - David Durk, whose career in law enforcement has spanned 23 years and included a stint as the partner of the famous Frank Serpico, purports to have served this atomic chili to tight-lipped prisoners and potential informers, many of whom he claims "would never talk to a New York Cop." How soon after consumption did they start gabbing? "Immediately," he laughs.

Oh yah, a chili recipe. Last months hostess was Kathy and she made an incredible chili. Of course I asked her for the recipe...but when I was ready to make the recipe I realized I had some of the wrong stuff (crushed tomatoes not whole tomatoes and certainly not 3 lbs of beef). I made do with what I had and it turned out really, really good but was it as good as hers? Nope, need the freshness of the whole tomatoes!!!

The cornbread turned out really good this time and I topped T's and my side with jalapeños and I managed to keep it from falling and cracking on the counter!

Confessional Chili (New York Cookbook by Molly O'Neill)


2 to 3 large onions, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
3 to 4 small Indian green chilies, chopped, or 4 jalapeno chilies, chopped (including the seeds), or 3 tablespoons extra-hot ground dried chilis
3 tablespoons peanut oil
3 pounds lean chopped sirloin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
2 cans (28 ounces each) imported Italian whole plum tomatoes
4 bay leaves
2 cans (16 ounces each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch cilantro or Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, rinsed and chopped.


1. In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, saute the onions, garlic, and chili's in the oil until the onions are translucent, 5 minutes.

2. Crumble the chopped sirloin over the top of the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper; stir in the coriander, cumin, thyme, and oregano. Cover and cook until the meat is cooked through, about 7 minutes.

3. Pour the tomatoes into a small bowl and coarsely crush with your hands. Pour the tomatoes and juice on top of the chili mixture. Stir in the bay leaves. Cover or leave uncovered, depending on the consistency you prefer (a covered pot with yield a thicker chili), and simmer until the flavors are well married, about 30 minutes.

4. Stir in the pinto beans and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve at once.

Serves 8 to 10

I ended up halving the recipe and using crushed tomatoes (recommend whole-the taste wasn't really fresh like it should have been). Despite my errors this is an incredible recipe and goes wonderfully with all sorts of toppings:

tortilla chips
sour cream

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I Love Stone Crab Season!!!

Stone Crab claws are truly one of my favorite seafood meals. I love shrimp, oysters, clams, lobster, and all sorts of fish but there is something truly special about Stone Crab. Maybe it's the fact that you can only get them in the winter months, making you wait all summer long for them?

The season for stone crab runs from October 15 to May 15. It sounds like a fairly long season but they are not always abundant and the market price can really vary!

Stone crabs are also a very sustainable species. When the crabs are harvested only on e of the claws is removed and then the crab is returned to the water. They still have one claw to defend and feed with and the missing claw will grow back with 12 to 24 months to legal size once again. They are caught in traps and and now equipment but bare hands are used to handle the crabs.

I was just searching around for a price per pound on these monsters and came across a special for Large Size 8 Lbs(32-40 Claws) Fresh Florida Claws Shipping Included
$360.00 $320.00
Crazy prices...that equals about $40 a pound!!!!! If you know the right people you are able to get them locally. We got 5 lb for $10 a pound! Not a bad deal at all.

5 pounds was just the right amount for us to. The girls are pros at this by now and are pretty self sufficient as long as they are cracked. This was a nice leisurely meal for us on a lazy Saturday night...

All we do with a pile of stone crab is crack them and serve them with clarified butter for dunking. We ate these cold with some oven roasted french fries and a salad. Love this meal!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Monday, November 10, 2008

Arugula Pesto and Wild Mushroom Pizza

Arugula Pesto and Wild Mushroom Pizza just waiting it's turn in the oven!

So for our pot luck this month I made cornbread to go with the chili that Kathy was making. I will be making the chili this week so check back for that recipe. It was incredibly delicious chili and better than any I have made!

I also wanted to take an appetizer so I was going to take the spinach dip that I had taken to the Halloween party. All was good the night before and I had everything ready to go the next day. Then T. decided to tell me that he thought the spinach dip wasn't very good and I should make some of that really good pizza dough from last week and make an Augula Pesto and Wild Mushroom Pizza...Yep, I'll get right on that!

The pizza dough he was talking about was the Daring Baker Pizza Dough Challenge from last month. It's a freakin' 2 day pizza dough. I had just enough time that night to get the dough done and let it rest overnight in the fridge. Unbelievable! Why would he not tell me he didn't like something until the very last minute!!!! Anyway the pizza turned out incredible and everyone really liked it and it was gone in no time at all. I guess I'll have to wait until the next time I go to make before I find out if T. really likes it or not!

Arugula Pesto


2 cups of fresh arugula
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts (i just lightly toasted them in a dry pan)
6 garlic cloves (you can use less but I love garlic)
2 pinches of sea salt


Add arugula, Parmesan, toasted pine nuts, garlic, sea salt to the bowl of your food processor. Chop until well chopped and mixed. Add the Olive Oil slowly to the mixture.

Arugula Pesto spread onto the pizza sheet (at home I would have done smaller, round pizzas but for this many people a sheet pan worked better!)

For the pizza just follow the directions for the Daring Baker Challenge. Rehydrate some dried wild mushrooms, use your arugula pesto for the sauce, add mozzarella and some Parmesan and there you have an incredible pizza that everyone will like!

Hot out of the oven!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cornbread - a must have with chili!!!

Last night was the 1st Friday of the month which means that a bunch of our friends all got together at someone's house for a delicious Pot Luck Meal. Kathy - the hostess for this month, choose a menu that involved our Family Favorites. How fun was that? Until I got to thinking that the only real thing that we all eat together was crazy is that? Yep there are other things that we eat but they just wouldn't be good for a Pot Luck. So after much thought and no real solution I decided to make cornbread to go along with the chili Kathy was making!

I remembered that Heather from Gild the (Voodoo)lily had a cornbread recipe that I had been wanting to try since I saw it back in May!

Yankee Cornbread (this was adapted from a Joy of Cooking recipe that Heather had)

1 tbsp bacon fat (I had to fry up some bacon to get this bacon fat-don't tell Heather!)
1-1/4 c cornmeal (she used blue and yellow. I could only find yellow)
3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar (Heather likes 2 Tbsp - I only added 1)
2 large eggs
2/3 c buttermilk
2/3 c milk
3 tbsp melted butter
1/2 c frozen corn (She likes to add minced jalapeños, I didn't do that though)

Stick a 10" cast-iron skillet with the bacon fat in the oven that's preheating to 425. Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients (eggs and milks). Add wet to dry, mix, and stir in the melted butter and corn. Pour batter into now-hot skillet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until browned on top and toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

This was a nice easy to follow recipe. I did great until it was time for me to remove it from the pan so I could get it ready to take with me. I dropped the freakin' thing on the counter and it cracked! Did everyone still love it...oh yes they did!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy Friday!

Some weeks definitely feel longer than others! This was one of them. Not sure why and it's not even in a bad way that it's felt long. Anyway, I made us some cookies!

Remember the Pumpkin Butter that I made? Turns out a little goes a long way. Even after everyone snacking on it and all there was still about a cup leftover and it looked like everyone had had their fill.

I Googled "recipes using pumpkin butter". I was amazed by all the options I had. I settled on cookies. Fast, easy and a guaranteed hit.

Pumpkin Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe adapted from Muirhead Recipes)


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 to 3/4 cup pumpkin butter (
homemade or store bought)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups oats, uncooked
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, and Pumpkin Butter. Beat well. Combine flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Mix in flour mixture, oats, and raisins. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet and flatten dough if desired. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool several minutes on cookie sheet and move to wire rack. Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies.

This was an excellent way to use up the leftover pumpkin butter and I think these are going with me to our 2nd monthly Friday Potluck to work on the pumpkin puree!!!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Farmer's Market -1st of the season!

This is a picture taken from their website. Don't you just love how pretty everything is???

Anyone who has followed my blog for the past year knows how excited I get about Farmer's Markets. I love to be able to buy locally and I also love to be able to save money on my grocery bill. You also know that I live in Southwest Florida and that my growing season here is completely opposite of the majority of the country.

Today was the very first day of the all organic, sustainably farmed and local Worden Farm Farmer's Market at Fisherman's Village!!! I have been planning a trip there now for about 7 months (hehe that's when they closed for the summer!). This was a thrill though. Myself and one of my girlfriends' who shares a love of good, fresh food and cooking, hoped in the car and headed north to the Farmer's Market! It was a beautiful day. Sunny and warm with an nice breeze that managed to keep it just slightly cool. We were so not disappointed! This market is gorgeous. Not only is the setting nice. Right on the water of Charlotte Harbor but the fresh vegetables, the beautiful fresh vegetables!

My haul - Tat Soi (Asian Spinach), Arugula (see those bags? $3 for organic arugula!!!), lettuces, radishes, shitake mushrooms, cucumber, squash blossoms and a big beautiful loaf of rustic bread!!!

Dinner last night was hectic as T. is working on a deadline and wasn't able to help out with dinner while I did Karate, so it was a big happy bowl of pea soup, with that incredible loaf of bread and some beer battered squash blossoms!

Deep Fried Squash Blossoms (recipe by Mark Bittman-How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)

Heat 2 inches of oil in a heavy bottomed pot to at least 350 degrees.

1 Cup all-purpose flour, plus 1 Cup for dredging
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
3/4 Cup beer or sparkling water (I stole T.'s beer for this one)
Coarse salt for finishing
  • While the oil is heating mix the batter ingredients until just combined. This batter should be the consistency of pancake batter.
  • Dredge each blossom lightly in the plain flour and then dip into the batter and place gently in the oil. Do not crowd the blossoms in the oil, you may have to cook in batches. Cook turning once until a nice golden brown.
  • Drain on a rack or paper towels and serve immediately

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pumpkin Butter and my ridiculous amount of pumpkin puree!

Pumpkin puree and all the ingredients for delicious Pumpkin Butter!

I hate to waste food.

On Saturday night T. went to the store. He came home with a huge pumpkin (one helluva an impulse buy I would say!) for $.99. His idea was that he could open the pumpkin and take the seeds and make some more roasted pumpkin seeds. What to do with the rest of the pumpkin? He wanted to throw it out! Guess what I did ALL day Monday? Roasted and pureed a great big pumpkin.

I had to do this in 3 batches as the pumpkin was soooo big! Here is what I did:

Cleaned out the guts and set them aside.
Cut the pumpkin into chunks and used a vegetable peeler to remove the skin.
Lined a sheet pan with foil and placed as many chunks of pumpkin I could fit.
Placed them in a 400 ° oven (thanks Dharm it works!)
Roasted them until they were fork tender.
Allowed them to cool and then in batches I pureed them in my food processor.
I then placed 3 cups of cooled pumpkin puree in quart Ziploc bags and plopped them in the freezer.

Today I decided to make pumpkin butter out of some of the puree. Turned out wonderful. The girls loved this on some fresh made bread for an afternoon snack!

Pumpkin Butter


1½ cups (or one 15-oz can) of pumpkin puree
¼ cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp white sugar
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground allspice
¼ cup water or apple juice

  1. In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  3. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Let mixture simmer for approximately 30 minutes to an hour or until it thickens.
  5. Stir frequently.
My house smelled incredible while this was cooking and the girls love it. I will definitely be making this again!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Here is my cop out post on voting...

Go vote.

Brittany at Musings of a Barefoot Foodie says it best!

I am Canadian and therefore am unable to vote. Sorry to all those political callers that called and I said I was so voting for your guy. Nothing personal, I just can't!


Monday, November 3, 2008

Yummy Fried Chicken!

See how nice and crispy it turned out? How could you resist?

The other night T. and I were both wanting some fried chicken. Seeing as we don't eat meat that is from a CAFO it really limits us on where we can eat out when we do. I usually follow a vegetarian diet when eating out. Solves the ethical issues I have. But this was different and very hard. I mean, I wanted fried chicken badly!!!!

We ended up buying 2 "happy" chickens from Costco and cutting them up and making a whole slew of fried chicken! We needed enough to feed 2 extra children and then have some leftovers. It went over well and yes, we still have a bunch of leftovers. Nothing quite like cold fried chicken is there???

Fried Chicken


whole chicken cut up (or just pieces of your favorite parts)
1 carton of buttermilk
Peanut or Canola Oil
5 cups of flour
1 Tbsp cayenne
2 Tbsp onion salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp ground pepper
1 Tbsp garlic salt

  • In a pan or a bowl soak the chicken in enough Buttermilk to cover for about 15 - 20 minutes (or longer if you have more time).
  • Heat a cast iron skillet (or any other deep skillet) with about 1.2 to 1/4 inches of peanut or canola oil. It is hot enough when you drop a small piece of food in and it bobs right to the surface. If you have a thermometer you can place that in the oil and when it reaches 365° your oil is at the right temperature.
  • * Mix together all of the dry ingredients and take the chicken pieces from the buttermilk and place it in the flour to cover.
  • Remove the chicken from the flour and remove any excess flour and place in another bowl or pan and allow to sit until the oil is up to the right temperature.
  • * Place each piece of chicken in the oil gently turn only when the chicken is a golden brown. Turn and cook the other side.
  • You can test the chicken the old fashioned way (by cutting into it) or you can use a meat thermometer to check and ensure that it has reached 170 degrees.
  • Allow to drain on a rack for several minutes and then serve immediately!
The french fries ended up incredible too. We like them nice and crispy and to acheive that with homemade ones you need to fry them twice. Do the initial fry in small batches and then toss them all back in in the end and fry them for another minute or two and they will end up nice and crispy!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

I won, I won!!!

I just wanted to give a quick shout out and some link love to a couple of my blogging friends. I seem to have had an incredibly lucky weekend and not one just one giveaway but 2!!! What are the chances of that happening????

The first one I heard about was an incredible beef giveaway from La Cense Beef that was hosted on my friend Robin's blog at Caviar and Codfish. Apparently they have the best to offer in grass fed beef. I can't wait to compare it against the grass fed, local beef that we have been lucky enough to get. I am really curious to find out whether or not the taste of the meat is different depending on where and what they are grazed on.

The second one was a book giveaway that was on Jo's site at The Adventures of Kitchen Girl. This one was another one that I entered based on my ethical and responsible choices towards meat and seafood. She was giving away a book called The Cook's Essential Companion-Fish Without a Doubt! Living here with my year round access to incredible seafood I am sure this book will become one of my favorites!!!

Thanks so much girls!!! I will be checking my mail daily...I am so excited!

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!