Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Roast Potatoes with Rosemary and Garlic

This is natures answer to the French fry.  Except they're much easier to make and much easier on the body.  I like to smoother them in freshly ground black pepper and Maldon sea salt before and after cooking.  Throwing in some garlic cloves, unpeeled, is a good idea as you can then squeeze out the roasted, caramelized garlic and spread it on the potatoes - Heaven.  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Nice Bit of Meat! Pan Seared Strip Steak.

"How?' you ask. "How could you possibly eat an entire steak the day after Thanksgiving?" As wonderful as a roast turkey is, it doesn't compare with a juicy, grass fed, organic, unbelievably succulent steak.  YUM.  I can't claim this is a recipe but the simplicity is the beauty of it. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the meat, give it a quick sear, add some sauteed spinach and you have a meal that will make your taste buds sing.  Plus - there's no carbs - you know where I'm going with this!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Turkey 101

Succulent, tender turkey.

Tart, tangy, cranberry sauce.

Sweet Potato, Pear, Casserole.

I do realize I'm preaching to the choir here, but I thought I would hop on the Thanksgiving bandwagon and offer my two cents on how to roast a turkey.   Here are my few tricks that guarantee a succulent, tender, mouthwatering turkey. Plus a couple of favorite sides,  Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Sausage, Couscous, Leeks and Cherries

This is a  meal all in it's own natural container.  I always get excited when visiting the farmer's market and come home laden with all sorts of various squash but no idea what to do with them, squash is not a native of England, so they're still a bit of a novelty for me. There's a little of everything here, vegetables, whole grains, (as I used wholewheat couscous) meat and a touch of sweet from the cherries and the maple syrup.  I made the stuffing separately and then filled the squash before serving, I think you get a brisker, cleaner taste of all the flavors that way.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Rich, Delectable, Fudgy, Chocolate Brownies.

I think the title just about sums it up.  Except perhaps I should add gooey.  If you're watching your waistline, read no further.  These are a treat.  I admit that I'm a fudgy brownie fan, not a cakey brownie fan and hand on heart, after careful sampling, I can tell you these are the best brownies I've EVER made.  And that's a lot of brownies.  The added bonus to these delicious morsels is that they take 5, no, 4 minutes to prepare, it's a question of melting and mixing and that's it.  For a completely over the top full sugar blast experience, add a scoop of ice cream (whatever your favorite flavor may be) and a squirt of chocolate sauce.  Ohhhh.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"What Katie Ate" by Katie Quinn Davies and her Delicious Sticky Chicken with Sesame and Chile.

I've mentioned before that I have an embarrassingly large library of cookbooks. It must have reached the hundreds by now.  I like to have them around me, some in the kitchen, some in the sitting room, lots by my bed for a flash of inspiration when the mood strikes.  So I really, really didn't need ANOTHER one.  But, I just couldn't resist and its a beauty.  "What Katie Ate" by Katie Quinn Davies is a visual feast as well as being chock full of recipes I'm drooling over.  It's real food if you know what I mean.  The sticky chicken with sesame and chilies was the first recipe I tried it was a winner.  Everyone loved it.  In a family of six it's rare that everyone is happy at the same time but this recipe produced that unusual and welcome state of affairs.  It called for me to skin the chicken legs.  I had two large pairs of eyes watching me while I was ripping the skin off the leg bone (which was curiously satisfying), one belonging to the 11 year old who was utterly horrified and one belonging to the Jack Russell who was transfixed with admiration and desire.

If you're in the market for a cookbook - rush out and buy this one.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

This morning at the Farmer's Market.

I just had to share a few images from this mornings Farmer's Market.  The beginnings of squash soup.

An apple pie perhaps?

Baked squash anyone?

Smell the flowers.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Pan Seared Salmon with Israeli Couscous Salad

So much for seasonal eating! I realize this sounds a bit like a summer dish and yes, there is snow on the ground but as you can see from the picture, the sun has come out to play! and after living on carbs pretty much non stop during the recent hurricane, I felt a craving for pure protein.  Salmon is almost always the answer to such a craving. I pan seared it, finished it off in the oven and served it on a bed of wholewheat Israeli Couscous (which the girls love) tossed in a rice vinegar dressing.  I added a few sauteed veggies that needed using up in the fridge, an onion, some celery, a box of baby spinach and a couple of mushrooms.  It did the trick, almost everyone loved it, except the one who won't eat fish but that was no surprise and I'm afraid to say her loss, my gain as it made a very nice lunch the next day.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Full Power and Butternut Squash Soup

Here we are! Fully powered up and I'm ready to switch on that oven. It's a wonderful feeling when everything works.  The novelty of flicking on and off the light switches hasn't yet worn off.  The news of the impending Nor'easter bearing down on us and warnings of further power outages did make my stiff upper lip momentarily wobble but I've decided I'm just going to ignore this one.  We made it through Sandy and I've absolutely HAD IT with any more weather issues.  I'm going to keep calm and carry on cooking and just try not to look out of the window.

With all the excitement of the last week I'm fully into comfort cooking.  What screams comfort more than butternut squash soup.  My lovely mother in law who is staying with us as she still doesn't have power, told me this was the best soup she'd ever had - I'm going to believe her!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

This was a week I will never forget.
As Sandy ripped through our neighborhood last
Monday night we were huddled together in the dark
listening to the howling wind, waiting for the next
deafening crack and monstrous thud as the storm claimed
another beautiful Norway Spruce or Sycamore tree.
We were fortunate, trees fell all around us but miracleously
they missed the house.  We were without power for
four days which is nothing around here.  We dont
yet have phone, cable or Internet and I'm typing this on
my husband's iPhone hoping that it will publish.

The closest town is devastated, families have lost everything
Their houses condemned and their mud soaked
belongings piled up on what's left of the sidewalk. My heart
goes out to all who are dealing with the aftermath
Of this terrible storm.

Without power but with a gas burner cooking could continue
And it became a way to carry on, to produce some
Comfort to anyone who needed a home cooked meal.
It's amazing what you can produce on a gas burner!
I was fortunate to have stocked up before the storm
and cooked my way through the ingredients before they
spoiled .

Although there will be no school for the foreseeable
future we are getting on and regrouping.  I miss
Blogging and my blogging friends and hope to
be up and running soon.