Sunday, November 21, 2010

Steamed Pudding

While looking for something to make for the holiday dessert table, I stumbled across this recipe in my pile of "gotta try this" print outs.  Here's what ensued!
Caramel Apple Steamed Pudding...courtesy of Martha Stewart and co...

(Why do I keep thinking of Charles Dickens?)
Though this was very labor intensive, it would be a smashing addition to either Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner.  While I didn't think the batter was that tasty (yep, I'm a bowl scraper), the "pudding" turned out better than I'd hoped!  Very moist and not overly sweet...and when finished it actually resembled the photo Martha provided!  Amazing.
All being said, I would make this for company...but will stick to my catalog of holiday pies for now.  I just don't have the time necessary to pull this rich creation off and not be stressed out of my mind (time-wise).

 You can find the recipe here and an Amazon link for the pudding mold I have.

So folks, have a marvelous Thanksgiving and enjoy every moment with your friends and family.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Grilled Blue Cheese and Bacon Sandwich

Rummaging through the refrigerator after church today seemed like it was going nowhere...until I found a package of sliced Blue Cheese I was struggling to use up.  Hm-m-m-m, thought I, what am I ever going to do with this?  I turned...found hubby grilling up a cheese sandwich at the stove...bells and whistles starting going off...and out of the fridge also came the bacon, mayo and rye bread.  I was on to something.
(Post Script...After checking around the internet...ends up I'm NOT so original!  Jokes on me.  :P 
But if you're still interested in a scaled down, no frills version...this is it...)

Grilled Blue Cheese and Bacon Sandwich (plain & simple)

Rye Bread
2 slices Bacon, fried
Blue Cheese, pre-sliced -->(or slice it pretty thinly yourself)

Spread the mayonnaise on the Rye bread, add blue cheese slices to cover one side.  Top with the bacon and pull the other slice of Rye over to make your sandwich.  Now butter both sides and grill.
(Aren't those dried cranberries beautiful? )
Blue cheese can be a pretty strong tasting dairy product, so I wasn't at all sure this was going to work, but it was really good!  I think the bacon helps temper the blue cheese somewhat.  After the fact, I thought adding some dried cranberries here and there in the sandwich would be pretty good and ended up popping the little red jewels in the sides to test my theory.  Ends up they are pretty good too, in moderation!

So that's it for today's experiment. Later!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cauliflower Soup

Stopping by with a quick tip and recipe tonight....
If you're anything like me, you buy a beautiful, cream-colored cauliflower with every intention of using it right away.  But gets in the way and it eventually finds it's way to the very back of the refrigerator....lonely and forgotten.  By the time you discover the poor, neglected vegetable, it's starting to show it's age...and it ain't so pretty anymore...(with this I can sympathize!).
Usually, I end up sitting there with a knife, paring all the blemishes off the surface, making a HUGE mess.  Tonight, however, I had a brain storm...which doesn't happen often.  Why not use a potato peeler to "peel" away the brown bits?  So with my Zyliss potato peeler in hand I went to town, and surprise, worked!!...beautifully!  No more chipping away at the cauliflower head, just a few passes with the peeler and I'm done!  Yay!  I realize that I'm surely not the first person to come up with this little tip, but I get excited over the small things. ;)

Now that the cauliflower is peeled and usable again, what to do with it....?
(I peeled the head as a whole before I broke it up)
How about some lovely Cauliflower Soup?  This recipe came to me from a friend I worked with years ago and is one of our favorite soup recipes.

Cauliflower Soup

1/4 c. onion, chopped
1/4 c. butter
2 T. flour
4 c. milk
1 t. salt
dash pepper
1 medium head cauliflower, cooked and coarsely chopped
1 c. shredded, sharp cheddar cheese

Saute onion in butter until tender.  Blend in flour, cook 3-4 minutes without browning.  Add milk, seasonings and cauliflower.  Cook until smooth and slightly thick, stirring frequently.  Just before serving, add shredded cheese and stir until melted.

Serves 4-6

1.  I chop the cauliflower before I boil it (about 5 minutes), throwing in all the bits, then drain well.
2.  Be careful when adding the flour.  I have yet to make the 3 minute mark.  It seems to want to brown very I just mix it in well with the butter/onion and move on to the milk addition.  It's fine.

Super good, super fast.  Serve with cornbread and a nice tossed salad for a satisfying meal (that note came from my friend...and she was right).

Just another recipe for a cold fall/winter evening.  Enjoy!