Monday, May 30, 2016

Citrus Beef Skewers for a Special Edition of Secret Recipe Club

This is the 5th Monday of the month and it is also Memorial Day.  I would like to take a moment of silence to honor those who have fallen in the line of duty.

Image result for Memorial Day

Sometimes, in our harried lives, we forget what this day is all about.  We are excited to have an extra day off from work or school and we spend it trying to fit in time with family and friends, often celebrating with barbecues and/or picnics.

I am personally spending the day finishing up a garage sale.  We are hoping to put our home on the market tomorrow since we have already found a house that we love and have put a bid on.  We did attend a bbq with family and friends at Frank's sister's house yesterday and it was nice to take a break from all of the hard work we have been doing to get the house and yard ready to be shown.

Besides being Memorial day today it is also time for a Special Secret Recipe Club.  Secret Recipe Club or SRC, as we call it, is a fun little group that gets together once a month usually to secretly go through another members blog and recreate one of their recipes.  On months with 5 Mondays we have an extra SRC reveal day where we may be assigned members who belong to other subgroups.

Image result for secret recipe club.

This month, I was pleased to be assigned to Tara of Tara's Multicultural Table.  I am very familiar with Tara's blog from this and other groups to which we both belong and I LOVE it!!  Tara's blog features great recipes from all around the world, using mainly fresh and local ingredients whenever possible.  Yep, a girl after my own heart.  She belongs to a CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) as well and, like me, loves to get her basket and come up with exciting recipes for items no widely known.

Since Reveal Day is on Memorial Day our theme this month is......you guessed it.....Picnics and Barbecues.  

Image result for picnics and barbecues

Tara's recipe index is set up by Continent and by Categories.  I went with the Categories this time as I knew I wanted to make a main dish on the grill.  Straight to the meat category for me and boy....what choices I was given!!

I looked at Cachorro Quente which are Brazilian Hot Dogs and will be made this summer, just not this time.  They remind me of our chili dogs.  There was also a Hawaiian Teriyaki Burger that  I know Frank is going to love.  I finally decided on the Citrus Beef Skewers and was so happy that I did.  I served these alongside a wonderful Hot O'Brien Potato Salad and grilled asparagus.  It was the perfect meal. 


These delicious little bites of meat and veggies couldn't be easier.  Simply let them marinade for a few hours, place them on skewers and grill for about 10 minutes.  Easy peasy and delicious....the perfect recipe!


I made just a couple of very slight adaptations to Tara's recipe.  I used chunky garlic paste from Gourmet Garden instead of minced garlic and dried thyme as I was out of fresh for both of those items.  I also used a sweet Vidalia onion in place of the red onion.  Other than that I followed the recipe because there is no sense in messing with perfection.  Thanks Tara for a great recipe!!

Citrus Beef Skewers
very slightly adapted from Tara's Multicultural Table

2 T. olive oil
1/4 c. dry white wine
1 T. chunky garlic paste or 3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice from 1 grapefruit
1 t. dried thyme or 1 T. fresh
1 lb. sirloin steak, cut into 1" squares
1 onion, cut into chunks
2 red bell peppers, cut into chunks
12 oz. cherry tomatoes

Place the olive oil, wine, garlic, juice and thyme in a gallon size sealable plastic bag and shake vigorously to combine.  Add the steak chunks and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Alternate the meat chunks with the vegetables onto skewers.  If using wooden skewers you will want to soak them in water for half an hour before using.  Place the skewers on a hot grill for about 5 minutes per side, brushing often with the leftover marinade.  Print Recipe

Here is what the other's brought to our Memorial Day Party









Spicy Zucchini Bacon Cheese Muffins ~~ #MuffinMonday

Today is Muffin Monday and I have a fabulous recipe to share with you.  Muffin Monday is a wonderful group of bloggers led by Stacy of Food Lust People Love.  Stacy is the Queen of Muffin Madness and we appreciate all her hard work and love all her wonderful recipes.


For this month I needed to make muffins to serve with coffee for one of Frank's Concealed Pistol classes.  I had some leftover zucchini that I had shredded and put in the freezer after using part of it for Zucchini Jam that I knew I wanted to incorporate.  I also had some leftover bacon that I crumbled up and of course, every breakfast muffin must have cheese.  I still had a brick of chipotle cheddar that I had received from Cabot Creamery when they sponsored Brunch Week at the beginning of the month.  I thought the smoky goodness of this cheese would be perfect with the bacon and zucchini and I was right!


There were only 4 students and a dozen muffins. Only two of the dozen remained after morning coffee.  I would say they were a great success.

Zucchini Bacon Cheese Muffins
adapted from Allrecipes.com, submitted by Pam Ziegler Lutz

1 3/4 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt 
1/4 c. butter, melted
1 egg
1 c. milk
1 c. shredded zucchini
1 c. chipotle cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  In a second bowl combine the butter, egg and milk. Incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing just until combined.  Fold in the bacon and cheese.  Divide batter between 12 muffin cups that have been treated with cooking spray or lined with papers.  Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center removes cleanly.  Print Recipe

Here are some more Memorial Day Muffins.  Let's take a moment to remember those we have lost to protect our freedoms.




#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Crunchy Coleslaw for #SundaySupper

Happy Memorial Day Weekend.  The largest picnic and barbecue weekend of the year.  Everyone is excited to have a long weekend and to welcome the summer season.  One of the best ways to celebrate a gathering of friends is with a Potluck.  Everyone brings their best dish to share which means there is tons of great food.  Normally the host throws some burgers, hot dogs or sausages on the grill and the guests bring appetizers, side dishes and desserts.  I am getting hungry just writing about it!!


The dish I'm sharing with you today is a colorful, crunchy and delicious coleslaw that is sure to be a hit at your next Potluck.  It couldn't be easier and I have yet to serve it and not have it get rave reviews and requests for the recipe.  It goes by many different names...Asian Coleslaw, Ramen Coleslaw, Nutty Coleslaw.....I call mine Crunchy Coleslaw.  It is like many other potluck salads and sides.  Each one is just a little bit different but they are all equally delicious.  I hope you enjoy this version.

Crunchy Coleslaw

1/2 T. hemp oil
1/4 c. slivered almonds
1/4 c. sunflower seeds
1 (14 oz) bag coleslaw mix
4 scallions, whites and light green, sliced
1 small red pepper, diced
2 1/2 T. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. hemp oil
1 grind fresh pepper
1 (3 oz) pkg ramen noodles (roasted chicken flavor)

Heat 1/2 T. oil in a large skillet.  Add almonds and sunflower seeds.  Cook, stirring, until toasted. Watch carefully so they don't burn.  Remove from hot pan and set aside to cool.

Place coleslaw mix, scallions and red pepper in a large bowl.  Place vinegar, 1/4 c. hemp oil, pepper and the contents of the ramen flavoring in a small jar.  Shake vigorously to blend.  Pour over the vegetables and toss to coat.  Break the ramen noodles into small pieces and add to the coleslaw along with the nuts and sunflowers. Toss lightly and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Print Recipe

Let's see what the other have brought to the Potluck this week!

Appetizers
Sides and Salads
The Main
Desserts
Plus Lemon Yogurt Pound Cake and Best Potluck Dishes from Sunday Supper Movement


Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

Friday, May 27, 2016

Weekly Menu during our Garage Sale

We got everything ready and set up for our garage sale that started yesterday.  There is a lot of truth to that saying "One man's trash is another man's treasure".  We sold over $500 worth of treasures yesterday and things are going pretty well today.

In between customers I have time to plan and share our weeky menu.  It is going to be a busy week as we put our house onto the market for sale.  It is a holiday weekend as well so we want to take a moment to thank all of our service members who have paid the price for our freedom and for those who are protcting us today.



I had tuna noodle casserole on the menu for tonight because I thought I would still need soft food after my surgery yesterday.  Thankfully that is not the case.  I have no pain or swelling at all.  Yay!!!
So I pulled out some Cod, now I just have to decide how to prepare it.  

Tomorrow night we are meeting friends for dinner at a local steakhouse and Sunday we are attending a BBQ at Frank's sister's house.  Thursday we are going out again with friends so while I won't have a lot of meals to share I will be sharing those we have so make sure you stop by each day for photos and recipes.

Saturday
Out with friends

Sunday
BBQ and R&R's

Monday
Steaks
Grill Roasted Yukon Golds
Spinach Salad

Tuesday
Risotto with Chicken, Asparagus and Herbs

Wednesday
Grilled Ham Steak
Mac and Cheese
Grilled Carrots

Thursday
Out to dinner with friends

Fish Friday 
Grilled Fish Tacos

Monday, May 23, 2016

Eggplant, Tomato and Pepper Salad

Last Tuesday, before all the move craziness began, Kim and Kurt came over for dinner.  It had been a couple of months since we had spent any time together and we had a wonderful relaxing visit and we were anxious to catch up on each other's lives.

I had planned on Beer Butt Chicken and I had some redskin potatoes that I roasted on the grill but that left me wondering what to serve as a veggie side.  I could have opened up a can of corn.  That would have made Kurt and Frank happy but it just seemed kind of blah to me.  So I looked in the refrigerator and found an eggplant and red bell pepper.  I had some Compari tomatoes on the counter that needed to be used so I decided to make a salad.


Kim and I LOVED it.  Frank thought it was okay.  Kurt didn't even try it.  Perhaps I should have opened up the corn too.......

I had originally planned to share this recipe along with the wine I served for French Winophiles but then the craziness began.  I am sharing this with you now while sipping my coffee and gearing up for another day of packing and sorting.  Talk to you soon.

Eggplant, Tomato and Pepper Salad

1 eggplant, peeled and sliced
1 red bell pepper
4 tomatoes, quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1 T. Parsley flakes
1/2 T. Basil, minced

Place eggplant slices and whole red pepper on a hot grill.  Grill the eggplant about 10 minutes per side until grill marks are pronounced and the eggplant is tender,  Remove to a plate to cool.  Grill the red pepper until charred on all sides.  Remove to a paper bag to cool.

When cool enough to handle cut the eggplant into large dice and place in a bowl with the tomatoes. Remove the charred skin from the pepper rinsing it under cold water and removing the stem and seeds, cut into large dice.

Place remaining ingredients into a jar and shake until well combined.  Pour over vegetables and toss to coat.  Let sit at room temperature for up to two hours before serving.  Print Recipe

Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Best Baby Back Ribs Ever for #SundaySupper

Sue, from  A Palatable Pastime, created a fun theme for this month's Sunday Supper titled Throw it on the Barbie.  She asked us to share our favorite thing to barbecue now that summer is finally here. This was an easy choice for me.  I immediately knew that I wanted to share with you the Best Baby Back Rib Recipe you have ever seen.  It is the best because not only do the ribs turn out fall off of the bone tender but it is easy peasy and delicious....in other words, the perfect recipe!!

I  found this recipe many years ago on Allrecipes.com.  Since that time, my husband and I have tweaked it and played with it until it was exactly what we wanted.  You start out putting a dry rub on the ribs and letting them sit out for a while so that they are room temperature when you put them on the grill.  Line your grill with foil, to catch the grease from the ribs and prevent flare ups.  Heat the grill to with the lid closed until it is good and hot.  Open the grill, put on the ribs, close it and turn the heat to low.  Now for the most important part.....Walk Away....Do Not Open the Grill for at least one to one and a half hours.  Now open the grill, slather the ribs with sauce on the top and flip them over, close the lid and let cook for 5-10 minutes.  Open the grill, slather the other side, flip them over, close the lid and let cook for another 5-10 minutes.  You are done...that's it....told you it was easy peasy.


Now you can use any rib rub that you want but I would recommend that you try our World's Best Rib Rub that I shared with you when we were celebrating Handcrafted Edibles before last Christmas. Likewise you can use your favorite jarred sauce but if you want the authentic Best Baby Back Ribs Ever then I would suggest Frank's Special Barbecue Sauce.  It is super simple, very delicious and I think you will find that you normally have all the needed ingredients on hand.  We have not used store bought sauce since the day that Frank developed this recipe.  We use it for any recipe that calls for barbecue sauce.

The recipe I am sharing will easily feed 10-12 people.  The recipe is easily reduced or increased to meet your needs.

Best Baby Back Ribs Ever

3 racks Baby Back Ribs

Rinse ribs and pat dry.  Score the membrane on the back of the ribs with a sharp knife.  Rub both sides of the ribs liberally with the rub and place onto a baking sheet.  Allow to come to room temperature before cooking.

Place a layer of heavy duty foil between the grill grates and the burners of a gas grill.  This is to prevent flare ups when the ribs render their fat.  Start the grill, set to high heat and close the lid. Allow the grill to heat for 15-20 minutes.  Place the ribs, bone side down, on the grill grates.  Close the lid, reduce heat to low and walk away.  Do Not Open the lid for at least an hour but no longer than an hour and a half.  Open the grill and slather the tops of the ribs liberally with the barbecue sauce. Flip the ribs over, close the lid and cook for 5-10 minutes.  Open the lid, slather the other side of the ribs with sauce, flip over, and cook, covered for another 5-10 minutes.  Remove ribs from grill, tent with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before cutting into serving size pieces.  Print Recipe

Here is what the others are grilling up today

Patio Libations
Let’s Get This BBQ Started!
The Main Event
On a Side Note
Saucy Sentiments and Rebellious Rubs
Finishing Touches
Plus Piri Piri Sauce and Recipes for Summer Grilling from Sunday Supper Movement



Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Getting Ready to Move and Kind of a Weekly Menu

Just when I thought our life couldn't get any crazier....It did.  Frank and I have been talking about downsizing for a while now.  We weren't in any hurry, we just knew that after he retired we would eventually move to a parcel and home that required less time and money to maintain.  Frank's been keeping an eye on Zillow and every once in a while we would drive by some houses but none of them met our criteria.  Since we were in no hurry, we could afford to wait until we found exactly what we wanted.

We wanted:
  • Ranch style home with maintenance free exterior
  • At least 5 acres
  • Paved Road
  • City Water
  • Natural Gas
  • Within a 10 mile radius of current home
  • Master suite on opposite side of home from other bedrooms
  • At least 1600 square feet
  • Local ordinances that allow us to raise our animals and Frank to conduct his CPL classes
Last Friday, Frank found a house that seemed nice.  He showed me the photos and told me it had just listed on  Zillow that day for sale by owner.  On Saturday, yes just one mere week ago, we went to see the home and we liked it.  We came home, discussed it and decided to hit some open houses on Sunday to compare what was available in the price they were asking. 

We went back to the first house to look at it again and then went to look at the others.  We liked the house even better the second time through and though we thought we were wasting our time we figured we should look around at some of the others.  Nothing compared.  We went back to the house and gave them an offer, contingent on the sale of our home.  They accepted and on Monday we signed a purchase agreement.


Front and Rear views of the new home.


On Tuesday our friend Maria McGuire came out and we looked at comparables for listing our home and at what our competition would be listed out there.  She thought the house would sell for more than what we were hoping and instructed us that she wanted all the kitchen counters cleared, the storage areas partially emptied, some of the furnishings removed, the decks stained, the gazebo powerwashed and set up as an entertaining space, some trees trimmed that were hiding the deck, etc...before she came out to take photos and put it out on the market.

Maria predicts that once our home is listed we will have multiple viewings in the first few days. The market is tight in this area right now and the houses are moving quickly.  We got to work and haven't stopped for 3 days.  We rented a pod and have been clearing out and filling up.  Frank cleaned the garage first so that we would have somewhere to put all of the stuff we will be selling in a moving sale.  Our current home is nearly 4500 square feet so we need to get rid of lots of stuff!!!!

Our goal is to have it ready to go on the market on Wednesday.  I would like to start the moving sale on Thursday but need Maria's advice before I do so.  In the meanwhile, life goes on and we gotta eat, so here's a haphazard weekly menu.

Tonight we had previously made reservations for a wine tasting dinner at Andiamo's Steak House downtown.  On Thursday, I am scheduled to have a lesion removed from my tongue.  The oral surgeon seems to think it is nothing but wants to remove it and have it biopsied to be on the safe side. That means a soft diet for a few days.

Please stop by during the week.  I have some posts previously scheduled and I will be updating with house info as time permits. 

Saturday
Wine Tasting Dinner Date

Sunday
Pork Tenderloin
Grilled Sweet Potato Planks

Monday
Fajitas

Tuesday
Italian Sausage Sandwiches

Wednesday
Pork Fried Rice (with leftover tenderloin)

Thursday
Pasta with Grilled Veggie Sauce

Fish Friday
Tuna Noodle Casserole




Friday, May 20, 2016

Spicy Crab Dip for #FishFridayFoodies

Hi all.  It is the 3rd Friday of the month....you know what that means, don't you?  That's right...It is Fish Friday!!!  Where a group of us Foodies get together and share a Fish or Seafood recipe with each other and all of our readers.  I started this group at the beginning of the year in an effort to add more fish and seafood to our diets.  I was thrilled and excited when 24 other bloggers asked to join me on this adventure.  Shortly after the first post which had no theme, the group decided it might be more fun and a lot more interesting if we took turns hosting with the host choosing a theme for each month.

This month my friend Caroline, of Caroline's Cooking, is hosting and has chosen the theme "Fish and Seafood with a Bit of Spice".   Great theme Caroline.  Thanks so much for taking over the reins this month.


We celebrated my husband's 65th birthday earlier this month.  We had family and a few friends over for hamburgers and chicken on the grill.  We celebrated during the week so dinner was later as to accomodate those poor souls who still have to work for a living.  


Since everyone would be arriving at different times, I set out some munchies and appetizers including this Spicy Crab Dip, to hold people over until dinner was served.


I was so anxious to try this dip that as soon as it came out of the oven, I spread some on a piece of baguette and ate it.  It was HOT....not spicy hot but boiling hot...I blistered the roof of my mouth!!  It was worth it though because it was very delicious albeit not as spicy as I would have liked, I increased the amount of hot sauce when I wrote this recipe so if you make it, it should be perfect. Please, let it cool a bit before you eat it.....no matter how amazing it smells!

Please join us next month when April of Angel's Home Sweet Homestead invites us to a Fish Fry!!  See all the info on our facebook page .  Want to join our group? Email me at wendyklik1517@gmail.com


Spicy Crab Dip

1 lb. lump crab meat, picked over  
1 (8 oz) block Neufchatel cheese
1 c. sour cream
1/2 t. cajun spice mix
5 shakes of hot sauce
juice of 1/2 large lemon
1 t. Dijon mustard
1 t. garlic paste
1 (8oz) package shredded colby jack cheese

In large bowl of stand mixer, combine Neufchatel cheese, sour cream, spice mix, hot sauce, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and garlic paste.  Turn speed to low and fold in crab and half of the shredded cheese.  Turn into a casserole that has been treated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake in a preheated 350* oven for 20-30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the misture is bubbly.  Print Recipe

Let's see how the others Spiced It Up!!



Thursday, May 19, 2016

Orange Cardamom Bundt with Mandarins and Orange Scented Whipped Cream #BundtBakers

Bundt Bakers this month is being hosted by Lara of Tartacadabra.  Don't you just love that name? Lara lives in Spain but decided that we should travel to India this month with the theme of  One Thousand and One Nights or as it is known in English, The Arabian Nights.

Have you read it?  I have not but Lara's invitation was very clear and I was excited to create an Indian inspired Bundt cake.  Lara said:
"Let Scheherazade's tales ensnare you as they ensnared Shahryar. Let them inspire you to bake something with the most suggestive ingredients from Arabic, Persian and Indian kitchens.   
Use pistachios, almonds, dates, raisins, cashews, spearmint, saffron, cardamom, rosewater, orange blossom water, figs, dried apricots, coconuts, sesame (obviously!)... anything you would expect to be served at Aladdin and Badroulbadour's table, while belly dancers entertain them and their guests."
The possibilities were endless and my taste buds were tingling.  I have used cardamom before when baking these Spiced Parsnip Cupcakes.  I also added it to an Indian Mango Cooler and loved it in my Stollen Bread Pudding.  So I knew that cardamom was going to be one of the flavors that I used for this challenge.

I had received a bottle of orange extract from Nielsen-Massey that I have been enjoying immensely and I knew it would pair well with the cardamom.  Now that I knew my flavor profile I punched in a google search and found this recipe for a mava cake by Swathi at Zesty South Indian Kitchen.

I read through the recipe and adapted it quite a bit.  I did not make my own mava and chose to use ricotta cheese instead.  I doubled the recipe as Swathi had made mini bundts and I was using a large bundt pan.  I also bundted (see what I did there?) a bit as Swathi's recipe was a little unclear to me but that may have been caused by the website translation.


The cashews I had were salted so I was going to omit the salt from the recipe but then there was no salt listed.  I am not sure if this was intentional or if it got missed in the ingredients but in my recipe you will find no salt but salted cashews.  If you are using unsalted cashews I would add some salt to the recipe.


The cake rose very nicely and the aroma emanating from the kitchen had me salivating all over the place.  


I was originally going to make an orange glaze for this cake which would have been very pretty but time got away from me.


So when it came time to serve it.  I opened a can of mandarin oranges and sprinkled some of the juices over the cake along with the oranges.  Then I added a dollop of cream that I had whipped up sweetened with powdered sugar and some of the orange extract.  DELISH!!

Orange Cardamom Bundt Cake
adapted from Zesty South Indian Recipes

2/3 c. ricotta cheese
6 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 c. sugar
zest of one orange
1 egg
2 c. flour
2/3 c. milk
1/2 c. salted, roasted cashews, chopped
1 1/3 t. baking powder


Place cheese, butter, sugar, orange zest and egg in the large bowl of a stand mixer.  Beat until creamy. Add dry ingredients alternately with the milk, mixing well after each addition.  Fold in the cashews. Pour batter into a bundt pan that has been liberally treated with baking spray.  Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 45-55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center removes cleanly.  Serve with sweetened, orange scented whipped cream if desired.  Print Recipe

Let's kick off our shoes, grab one of these treats and curl up with a story about Aladdin.