Happy Memorial Day

First off – Happy Memorial Day. Take this time to remember those that have given so much so we can have the freedom we enjoy.

Today is also Coc Au Vin Day. This is basically French for cook in wine. This classic recipe slow cooks chicken in red wine. Even though I made this in the slow cooker and it was edible, I probably won’t do it again. It was not that tasty and there was actually more onions than anything else. Below is the recipe from Ina Garten that I tried if you want to cook a classic French meal.

2 tablespoons good olive oil
4 ounces good bacon or pancetta, diced
3 to 4-pound chicken pieces
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 carrots, cut diagonally in 1-inch pieces
½ large yellow onion, sliced
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup Cognac or good brandy
2 cups good dry red wine such as Burgundy
1 cup good chicken stock, preferably homemade
3 tsp. thyme
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 pound frozen small whole onions
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, stems removed and thickly sliced

Cook bacon over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the bacon to a plate with a slotted spoon.

Meanwhile, lay the chicken out on paper towels and pat dry. Liberally sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. When the bacon is removed, brown the chicken pieces in batches in a single layer for about 5 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Remove the chicken to the crock pot/slow cooker and continue to brown until all the chicken is done.

 

 

Add the carrots, onions, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to the pan and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned.

 

 

Add the bacon, carrots, onions, garlic and any juices that collected in the pan, Cognac, wine, chicken stock, and thyme into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

 

 

If you would like a thick sauce, in a medium saute pan, mash butter and the flour together over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Add to the stew. Add the frozen onions and mushrooms. Let stew cook for another 10 minutes. Season to taste. Serve hot.

Garden Hot Dog Topping

This being Memorial Day weekend, I will be grilling hot dogs with a couple of toppings.  Below is the Garden Hot Dog Topping.

¼ c. vinegar
3 Tbsp. Sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
½ small yellow bell pepper, chopped
½ small green bell pepper, chopped
½ small orange bell pepper, chopped
Cream cheese, softened
Tomatoes, chopped

To make pickled peppers, whisk together vinegar, sugar & garlic in a bowl. Add peppers. Chill 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Serve hot dog with pickled peppers, cream cheese & tomatoes

Cajun Spiced Turkey & Dirty Rice

I said earlier in the week that I would be sharing the turkey and rice dish I have made for Easter.  Today is the day. Run to the store and pick up these items for a delicious meal. When I made the turkey, I followed the cooking time provided by Good Housekeeping but found that 2 to 3 hours is way too long to roast this turkey.  You will note that I have put to check turkey after an hour and a half for an internal temperature of 145 before covering with foil for the final 30 minutes.  This will keep your turkey from getting overly browned (almost burnt) and

Cajun Spiced Turkey

2 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. celery salt
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. black pepper
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 c. ( 1 stick) butter, melted
12 – 14 lb. turkey
1 med. green pepper, seeded & chopped
1 med. onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
Remoulade listed below

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange oven rack on lowest position. In medium bowl, combine paprika, celery salt, garlic power, black pepper, onion powder and thyme. Set aside 2 teaspoons spice mixture for remoulade. To mixture in medium bowl, add butter and 1 tablespoon salt; stir to combine.

Remove giblets and neck from cavity of turkey. Pat dry; arrange breast side up in roasting pan. Tuck wings behind turkey. Gently separate skin from breast and around side of turkey. Brush spiced-butter mixture inside turkey, underneath skin and all over outside. Stuff cavity with green pepper, onion, garlic and celery; tie legs together with twine or wire. Sprinkle all over with 1 teaspoon salt. Pour 2 cups water into bottom of pan.  Roast 1 1/2 hours or until inner temperature is 145. The loosely tent turkey with foil . Roast 30 minutes longer or until thermometer inserted into thigh reads 165 degrees F. Remove foil; let stand 20 minutes before carving. Serve turkey with remoulade.

No-Cook Remoulade

 

1/2 c. buttermilk
1/4 c.mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. finely copped parsley
1 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 green onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. reserved spice mixture

 

In medium bowl, whisk all ingredients until combined.  Makes 1 1/4 cups. Can be made up to 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated until 30 minutes before serving.

Dirty Rice 

1 lb. chicken livers, rinsed
6 oz. bacon, cut in 1/4″ dice
1/2 c. onion, diced
1/2 c. green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic,minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 head cauliflower, riced in food processor
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Coarsely chop livers; set aside. In a pot, cook bacon over medium heat until just browned and crispy and the fat is rendered. Add livers; cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, cumin, Tabasco, salt and pepper; cook for 10 minutes.  Stir in cauliflower and oil; cook 2 minutes, stirring. Add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 29 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Stir in scallions and parsley. Serve warm.

NOTES: If you prefer you can use long grain rice instead of cauliflower.  When using rice, you will need to increase the chicken broth to 2 1/2 cups which needs to be absorbed by the rice before serving.  If you like gizzards, use 1/2 pound gizzards and 1/2 pound livers.  To prepare the gizzards, chop them by pulsing your food processor on and off.

Week Before Easter

 

Easter is next Sunday.  Growing up we always colored eggs and got an Easter Basket with candy. I continued these traditions with my kids.  Since we do not have any grandchildren, I guess the tradition stopped with my kids. This year we will not be doing anything special for Easter.  What are your plans?

 

 

Our usual Easter meal starts with a ham.  However, this year we will be doing a Cajun Spiced Turkey and Dirty Rice made with cauliflower. I’ll be sharing these recipes later this week.  What do you usually eat on Easter Sunday?

 

 

I will not be decorating the house for Easter this year except for hanging an Easter flag I am making.  I have started the flag and have finished the embroidery.  Now I need to quilt and applique it together.  Hope to finish the flag today. 

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

 

This year for St. Patrick’s Day we will be having the classic Corned Beef & Cabbage. I was able to complete my St. Patty’s Flag and have it hanging outside our front door. I purchased these 3 shamrock fabrics for this flag.

 

 

 

I made the 2 sides different. First I used a shamrock cookie cutter as the pattern for a single shamrock cut out of the printed fabric.

 

 

 

These were then placed on plain fabric by appliqueing.

 

 

 

 

The other side used triangles out of the printed fabric and plain fabric to form squares. These were then sewn together in rows.

 

 

 

I placed batting between these 2 sides, put a green binding around the edges with strips to hang the flag. To finish the flag I machine quilted around each of the full size shamrocks.

 

 

Ta-Da! Flag is complete.


Happy Valentine’s Day!

valentines-day

*Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14. It is a festival of romantic love and many people give cards, letters, flowers or presents to their spouse or partner. They may also arrange a romantic meal in a restaurant or night in a hotel. Common symbols of Valentine’s Day are hearts, red roses and Cupid.

What Do People Do?

Many people celebrate their love for their partner by sending cards or letters, giving gifts or flowers and arranging meals in restaurants or romantic nights in hotels. People who would like to have a romantic relationship with somebody may use the occasion to make this known, often anonymously. Valentine’s cards are often decorated with images of hearts, red roses or Cupid. Common Valentine’s Day gifts are flowers chocolates, candy, lingerie and champagne or sparkling wine. However, some people use the occasion to present lavish gifts, such as jewelry. Many restaurants and hotels have special offers at this time. These can include romantic meals or weekend breaks.

*https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/valentine-day