Thursday, October 29, 2015

Thursday Thought

¨The moment you think of others, your mind widens.¨
the Dalai Lama, as quoted in A Force for Good: the Dalai Lama's Vision for Our World by Daniel Goleman

Man, talk about inspiring - I so enjoyed reading about the Dalai Lama. 

At times I get discouraged by how much room for positive change there is in the world. I lament that we will never become a truly ¨family-friendly¨ society, where we take care of the sick and the elderly and allow parents to actually spend time with their children when they come into the world, where no one works 60 hour work weeks. I do believe change is possible though - that by thinking of others and encouraging our communities to do the same, our minds and hearts will both widen.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Final Recipe - Bobbie's Custard - #112

The note at the bottom of my recipe card for Bobbie's Custard said that ¨Bobbie [Trent's grandmother] made this custard for many ill friends.¨ While I was happy that my friends remained relatively healthy throughout the year of the challenge, I saved this one up until the end just in case I would be called upon to cheer up a sick friend. Fortunately, that didn't happen, so I made a half recipe in my custard cups (which had never before been used to bake custard). I don't think I stirred these up thoroughly enough, as one cup set 15 minutes before the other seemed ready. There is something magical and delightful about the change the egg and milk mixture undergoes in the oven. A simple recipe made from real food.
Bobbie's Custard
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • cinnamon for dusting top
Heat the milk to bubbling stage. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add sugar and vanilla. Add the hot milk to the egg mixture, slowly at first so hot milk does not begin to cook the eggs. Pour in casserole or custard cups and dust with cinnamon. Bake for 35 min. at 350 degrees in a bain marie.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Southern Cheese Biscuits - Recipe #111

It seems fitting that the last two recipes in the Loose Recipe Challenge are family recipes. This savory cookie has arrived at our doorstep countless times as part of a Christmas care package from Trent's mom, but this was the first time I had baked it on my own. The rolls were so crumbly, I was certain that I had not followed the recipe correctly, but by the time they chilled, I was able to cut them into the small slices necessary.

Just one more recipe to go...
Southern Cheese Biscuits
  • 2-3 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
Mix together then add:
  • 10 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
Form into rolls and chill. Slice thinly, sprinkle with sugar, top with pecan half, and bake at 350 degrees for 10 min. or until edges just begin to brown. Sprinkle again with sugar.

From Modie, Trent's great-grandmother.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Crab Cakes - Recipe #110

We have a crab pot for Rock Lobster, so for the last few years, Trent has gotten his shellfish license, gone down to Shilshole, dropped the pot and returned with either Red Rock crabs or Dungeness or a combination. While normally we just enjoy a crab boil, on days where the yield is especially high, I'll save some crab meat for this Simply Recipes recipe. This year was a little busier than usual, so we never got the shellfish license. With as expensive as crab is, I typically don't purchase it from the grocery store - but the Challenge called, so off I headed to PCC for 1/2 lb. of crab (at $35.99 per pound, I decided not to make a full recipe, though there was a very sad sigh from Trent when he learned that there were no leftovers). On the up side, it was far less time-consuming to make these when the meat has already been extracted from the shells. Fresh bread crumbs add to the deliciousness of the recipe, though I'm always afraid that I'll wear out the food processor motor, as I did to my chopper-grinder the last time I ground gingersnaps for cabbage rolls.

Crab Cakes
  • 1 lb. crab
  • 1/2 stick butter (1 T & 3 T)
  • 1/2 cup shallots
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt (divided)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 T. tartar
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 2 T. parsley
  • 2 cups bread (crusts removed)
  • 2/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Heat butter, shallots, 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook until translucent Whisk remaining ingredients. Fold in crab and bread. Make 12 patties 2 1/4¨ x 3/4¨. Place on rimmed tray with Silpat, sprinkled with half of the breadcrumbs. Place the other half on top. Cover loosely. Chill at least 1 hr. Heat 3 T. butter in a large non-stick pan on med. high heat. Cook in uncrowded pan, approx. 3 min. each side.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Cheese-Mushroom Fingers - Recipe 109

Another recipe from my mother-in-law. I've made this several times as an appetizer, but it had been languishing in my recipe for a while since the last time I made it. I had made a double (or was it a triple?) recipe for an event and there were leftovers upon leftovers to the point where I couldn't make myself get excited about eating any more. I came this close to recycling it, but I'm glad I didn't. While it still makes a great appetizer, its resemblance to quiche makes an even better breakfast heated up in the toaster oven or mid-morning snack. And I got wise this time and made just a half recipe in a 9x9 baking dish. My ¨green¨ peppers that I ordered from my CSA ended up purple (but no less delicious) and my cottage cheese from PCC ended up being all curds and no whey, which probably helped the texture.
Cheese-Mushroom Fingers
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 lg. onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lg. green pepper
Saute mushrooms, onion and garlic in butter until soft. Add pepper and cook a minute more. Set aside.
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 cups small curd cottage cheese
  • 4 cups shredded Jack cheese
  • 3/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
Beat eggs. Then mix in the other ingredients until blended. Add the mushroom mixture.

Put into greased 10"x 15¨ jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 min. or until firm.

Cool at least 15 min. before cutting into 3/4¨ x 2¨ fingers. Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate up to 2 days. Freezes well.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Grilled Pork Tenderloin - Recipe #108

I hate grilling - but I love pork tenderloin, so it is no surprise that while I kept this recipe from Trent's mom, I never had made it before the Recipe Challenge. I adore the smell of lighter fluid and charcoal together (though I know it is probably not the best for me), but I can never seem to get them to actually light - or if I do, I don't have the patience for the coals to glow with heat. So I was a little nervous having this as one of my final recipes in the month of October, always iffy grilling weather. Fortunately, we have had a lovely early autumn and I had a willing grill-er/sous chef in Trent. I did have to make one substitution - I could not find guava jelly anywhere, so I substituted red pepper jelly. Delish! I served some of the leftover marinade sauce on a salmon burger.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups cold water
Stir salt and sugar in boiling water to dissolve, then add cold water. Add meat and brine in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

  • 3 Tbs. Spanish paprika
  • 1 Tbs. cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground fennel
  • 1 Tbs. ground mustard
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • coarse black pepper
Mix spices together and rub into meat, then coat with olive oil. Grill meat 5 to 6 min. per side over med. hot coals, turning 1/4 turn each time, and basting with glaze often.

  • 1 cup guava jelly
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • salt & pepper
Reserve some glaze for serving, adding cilantro.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Frozen Cranberry-Pineapple Salad - Recipe #107

I can't decide whether to count this as a dessert or a salad. This is a Thanksgiving classic from Trent's mom. The first time I prepared it, I brought it to my grandmother's for dinner. My family seemed excited to try it until they learned there was sour cream in it (who knows what their bias is - sour cream makes it like a delicious creamsicle). For the challenge, I prepared just a half recipe, taking advantage of the half can of pineapple leftover from the carrot cake and the sour cream leftover from the sour cream horseradish sauce and Beef Stroganoff.
Frozen Cranberry-Pineapple Salad 
  • 1 can crushed pineapple (1#, 4oz.), drained
  • 1 can cranberry sauce
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1/4 c. coarsely chopped pecans
Thoroughly mix all ingredients. Freeze at least 3 hours until firm. Allow to sit at room temp. for a few min. before cutting.