Monthly Archives: September 2015

New England Blueberry Buckle

You can definitely tell it’s getting cooler here in NH; actually today we had our first frost and some of my plants/herbs in the garden are looking pretty sad and some even died – sad face!

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Yesterday I was looking through a foodie magazine and either I was very hungry at the time or I was just itching to start baking. so I could heat up the house. I swear it had a LIST of things that sounded amazing.

It was SO cold this morning I have already made 2 of the recipes I found one from the magazine and the other from one of the bloggers I follow and it is not even 10 am.

OK so while the blueberry buckle recipe sounded and looked awesome, I honestly have never heard of the term buckle, which when I just googled it; it is a New England based term for a cobbler, crisp etc. I’ve lived here my whole life, I am actually 4th and my children are 5th generation from the same town that I still live in. WHY does it not sound familiar to me?

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I am sharing it with all of you because it was that good and this is worth making; it was very easy and only takes about 30 minutes to bake; it is good warm or at room temperature and is just plain delicious.

Batter

2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
2½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 large egg
¾ cup milk
¼ cup butter, melted
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Topping

½ cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ cup butter, softened

Preheat oven to 375’

In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients; flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

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In another bowl whisk wet ingredients; egg, milk and melted butter until blended.

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Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stir just to combine; fold in blueberries. Transfer to a greased 9-in square baking pan.

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In a small bowl mix sugar, flour and cinnamon; using a fork stir in the softened butter till crumbly. Sprinkle over batter.

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Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Best if you do not over bake. I tend to set my timer for 5 minutes less than what the recipe asks for just to make sure.

Cool on a rack in the pan and serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe: Taste of Home magazine entered by Dianne van der veen, Plymouth MA

Broiled Steak and Brussels Sprouts

I found a recipe that might convert your “NO WAY” Brussels Sprouts to “OK I can eat them this way”. Well at least that was how dinner at my house went the other night.  Literally the same ingredients, same table, same family and my husband was converted to liking the sprouts the way I prepared them, my son was still adamant he did not like them but he didn’t dislike them as much this way. My daughter likes them and I can eat them without making a face; I think that’s progress.bacon corn tomato salad - steak brussell sprouts 028

Growing up my kids were total opposites when it came to eating fruits and veggies. My son would eat any and all fruits. The only vegetable he liked was beets and my daughter was all about eating veggies and really the only fruit she ate was apples. I on the other hand refused to eat anything green, not sure what that was all about but thankfully I am over that. My husband is from a large family and he pretty much ate whatever was put in front of him since there wasn’t a lot to go around. To this day my husband tells me he doesn’t like certain veggies but I still make them because I like them and he still eats them win win.

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One thing that totally surprises me is how many of my friends truly hate beets. This one definitely baffles. I really love beets and always have, I grow them in my garden and when I can’t keep up with them I can them for use all winter. We tried to convert one of our friends a few weeks ago, we roasted them which if you have never roasted a beet, please try it, they become SO sweet and delicious it’s like candy. Unfortunately my friend made a face that clearly states she still does not like beets but she does like Brussels sprouts – hmmmm Maybe the world is made up of people who can only like one or the other???

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broiled steak & brussels sprouts – one pan dinner

15-20 brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper
2  1-1/2 inch thick New York strip steaks

position the rack about 6 inches from the broiler element. with the heat on high line a rimmed sheet pan using non-stick tin-foil (the stuff is great-buy some). Place the sliced sprouts on the pan drizzle with olive oil to lightly coat, sprinkle with salt and pepper to your liking. arrange an even layer. Spray a wire rack with cooking spray and place it over the sprouts. Make sure the rack lies flat. Brush steaks with olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper. Place them on the rack

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Broil, flipping the steaks once, until the sprouts are tender and charred on the edges, and the steaks are cooked to your liking. 3-5 minutes per side for medium rare 125’F.

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Allow the steak and sprouts to rest for 10 minutes.Transfer the steak to a cutting board and thinly slice. Toss the sprouts and serve along side the steak.

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Bacon Corn Tomato Salad

I have always loved looking through cookbooks and cooking magazines but to be perfectly honest only the ones with the pictures. The picture is what grabs my attention and then I read the ingredient list to see if I have everything on hand, or at least a facsimile of what they ask for so I can hopefully make my own version. I am also realistic in knowing that my plate will never look the same as the one pictured, I may get a little disappointed at first but the flavor can sometime make up for my lack of plating skills. Yes I will never win chopped for my plating but I am all about the flavors.

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We decided to have fish for dinner the other night and I was thinking it should be a little light we had snacks out on our friends boat and didn’t need a heavy dinner and I didn’t feel like having cereal, yes that can sometimes happen in our house. I wanted a light dinner; not crazy light but light for us, the flavor still had to be there, sometimes I feel light can lose a little of the flavor love we so enjoy.

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I still have a ton of sunburst cherry tomatoes from the garden that I want to use and while I didn’t have corn on the cob on hand, I had no problem substituting it with a can of corn for a last minute tomato bacon corn salad. it was so yummy that my husband declared “oh you need to blog about this, you hit it out of the park” – I love when he says things like this, he doesn’t even read my blog, he loves to tell people he doesn’t need to; he lives it.

This is great for a side dish or use it as a salsa as I did here.

Serves 4–6

6 slices of thick-cut bacon
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
cut kernels from 4 ears of corn (about 2 cups) – I used a can of niblets
3 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Remove bacon to a plate and set aside.

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Turn heat down to medium-low and add onions to the bacon drippings in the skillet.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion has softened – about 5 minutes.

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Add corn, turn heat back up to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is tender and just starting to brown in spots about 7–10 minutes.

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Remove corn and onion mixture to a large mixing bowl and let cool for about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, crumble bacon.  Add the sliced tomatoes, bacon, basil, and vinegar to the bowl with the corn.  Sprinkle in a big pinch of salt and some fresh ground black pepper. Toss everything together add more salt and/or pepper if needed.

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Individual Chocolate Chip Cookie

My daughter has been home for a month now, while she was in Japan she and a few of her expat friends started a weekly meal from another country. One of the first things she did when she got home was declared she wanted to continue this tradition here at home. I personally thought it was a great idea. I will admit that my initial thought was one night off from cooking dinner sounded pretty cool to me but I knew the adventure would be so much fun! I knew the guys would be cool with it, I just didn’t expect how cool they thought the idea was.

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After the first week my son decided that he wanted to invite his girlfriend over for this AND he was going to make the native cocktail from the country/region. My husband on the third week invited one of his buddies over for Hawaiian night and his buddy made a traditional Hawaiian cake for dessert. That night; after a cocktail or two; my husband dubbed the weekly event Worldwide Wednesday BRILLIANT!!! Oh and he wanted to make the appetizer; which really meant that either Abbi or I was to also make an app.

So far we have been to Cambodia, Hawaii, Chile and Iraq which she made Sabih which was a pita pocket with fried eggplant, pickled mango and a couple of sauces. It was tasty and we all liked it except for my son he really was not a fan. Ab was a little crushed since this was the first dish she made that someone didn’t like. Welcome home Abbi did you miss your “little” brother? She ended up giving the rest of it to my in-laws and they LOVED it.

This last Wednesday I tried to make the dessert can you say epic fail! We again invited friends over and we were going to Chile so I asked them to bring some Chilean wine and I would make the dessert. My Tres Leches cake let’s just say I should have brought the wine. I figured out what I did wrong, and I will try making it again, just to show that I can. But I really need to score myself a kitchen scale, don’t tell my son Alex this, he thinks I have WAY too many kitchen gadgets already.

I am probably not going to share her recipes here as I really would like her to maybe start her own blog someday, for now I will just be enjoying the journey first hand instead of hearing about it over the phone.

Love in a cup 007

So when you have an epic dessert failure I pulled out what I have dubbed love in a cup. A warm chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream; it takes so little time to make and EVERYONE loved it. Use your go to chocolate chip cookie recipe and instead of making individual cookies, put some dough in a ramekin and bake just till barely cooked through, top with some cold vanilla ice cream, zero to hero in what maybe 30 minutes max!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

 2 ¼C flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

¾C sugar

¾C brown sugar

½C softened butter – if too dry add another ½ stick softened butter

2-3 handfuls of chocolate chips (I don’t like a lot of chips in mine, I’ve even left them out on purpose)

Cream the butter in a stand mixer or by hand add the sugars and mix well. Add the eggs mix until combined add the vanilla and dry ingredients to incorporate. Stir in the chips and done.

Pre-heat oven at 350’ spray your ramekin with nonstick cooking spray, fill the ramekin about ½ to ¾ of the way full and bake for about 20 minutes just till barely cooked through. Place on a small plate as the ramekin is super-hot and top with your favorite vanilla ice cream.

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Dough freezes well so you can make yourself one any night you want!