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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Praline Cookies

I love these easy and highly addictive cookies. I think most everyone in Texas has all of these ingredients readily available in their pantries. I'm reposting the link from Mom's Pantry Kitchen.
What a great, last minutes dessert or a great last minute gift for a neighbor or friend. Package them in cello bags with a recipe card attached to a ribbon.
Thanks again to Mom's Pantry Kitchen for allowing me to share another one of her great recipes.
I have a few recipes in one of her cookbooks.

http://www.momspantrykitchen.com/praline-cookies.html


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sautéed Apples and Sweet Onions

This one is really simple and really tasty.
It's just a great Fall side dish.
While I was researching the history of this recipe, I discovered that it may be a Medieval recipe or it may possibly have a Germanic heritage.

Here are my reccomendations for the Apples:
Crimson Crisp
Cortland
Ida Red
Jonagored
Stayman Winesap


Sautéed Apples and Sweet Onions:

6 medium Sweet Onions
2 TBS Butter
6 Tart Red Apples, cut into 1/4" wedges.
3 TBS Brown Sugar

In a large skillet on medium heat:
Melt Butter
Add Onions and sauté for 3 - 5 minutes.
Add Apples and sprinkle with Sugar.
Cover and cook 15 - 20 minutes.

That's it!

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Golden Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Currants

This recipe is from Daphne Oz on The Chew.
I've stopped eating casserole dishes with a lot of cheese and bread crumbs. I like the simplicity and full flavor of the casserole.

Golden Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Currants:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
A Sheet Pan, lined with Parchment Paper, for roasting the Pine Nuts in a single layer.

1/4 C Pine Nuts (sautéed in a skillet on medium heat, stirring frequently for 4 minutes and set aside to cool)
1 Head of Cauliflower, finely chopped. (fine!)
1/2 C chopped Shallots
1/4 C Currants
1 TBS Red Wine Vinegar
2 TBS Honey
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Fresh chopped Parsley for a garnish

Add a drizzle of Oil to the skillet and turn up the heat to medium high until it's HOT!
Add:
Cauliflower
Salt and Pepper to taste (additional will be added at the end)
Let it sit without stirring until it begins to caramelize.
Stir
Add:
Shallots
Saute until the golden brown for 3 - 4 minutes.

Add:
Currants
Red Wine Vinegar
Honey
Pine Nuts
Continue cooking for 2 minutes.

Finish with a drizzle of Olive Oil and season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
Garnish with chopped Parsley and serve.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!





















Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pineapple Pretzel Salad

Is it a salad or a dessert? A friend of mine told me about this recipe that was served at a Thanksgiving gathering. It was supposed to be served as a salad during the meal. They thought it would make a better dessert so they saved it until the end of the meal. I had never heard of it before, but it reminds me of my mother's Pineapple Pie recipe. It was her favorite pie.


Here's her recipe.

Pineapple Cream Pie:

This was one of the best pies that my mother made...... often.
We all loved it and we still enjoy it for a summer picnic.

1 16oz. container of Sour Cream
1 small box of Vanilla Pudding
1 20oz. can of Crushed Pineapple, drained
1 C Chopped Pecans
1 pre made Graham-cracker Pie Shell

Mix all ingredient in a bowl, combine well.
Pour into the Pie Shell
Refrigerate

Simple, Easy, Yummy!

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Pineapple Pretzel Salad:

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - 9" X 13" baking dish.

2 C crushed Pretzels
16 TBS (2 sticks) Butter, melted
1 - 8oz. package of Cream Cheese
1 C granulated Sugar
1 8oz. container of frozen Cool Whip, thawed.
2 - 20 oz. cans of Crushed Pineapple, not drained
1/2 of a 3.4oz. box of Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix

Spread the Pretzels evenly on the bottom of the dish.
Carefully drizzle the butter over the Pretzels.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove the pan and place it on a rack to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, with an electric hand mixer:
Cream Cheese
Sugar
Beat until creamy smooth.
Fold in the Cool Whip, by hand.
Spread evenly over the cooled Crust.

In a small bowl:
Pineapple
Pudding Mix
Stir to combine well.
Spread over the Cream Cheese layer.
Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Serve cold.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Scandinavian Christmas Cookies


I have always wanted to spend Christmas in Scandinavia. Maybe it's because I love everything about winter there. I would love to see a Reindeer in my lifetime. So, until those dreams come true, I'll make Scandinavian Christmas Cookies.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Sheet Pans lined with Parchment Paper
A variety of Christmas Cookie Cutters
Scandinavian Pearl Sugar


3 1/2 C Flour
2 tsp ground Ginger
2 tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp ground Cloves
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 C Lyles Golden Syrup
1 tsp fresh grated Orange Peel
16 TBS  unsalted Butter, cubed
1 C granulated Sugar
1 large Egg, beaten
Pearl Sugar to dust the finished cookies.


A speciality sugar that doesn't melt during baking.
You can mix it in cookie dough for added crunch or
dust the tops of cookies before baking.



In a large Mixing Bowl:
Flour
Ginger
Cinnamon
Clove
Baking Soda
Salt
Whisk well.

In a saucepan on medium heat:
Lyles Golden Syrup
Orange Peel
Whisk together.

Add:
Butter
Sugar
Heat, stirring, until melted.
Set aside and cool completely off the heat.
Add:
Egg
Whisk together.
Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix to combine well.
Form the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate overnight.

Roll out portions of the dough on a floured surface, 1/4" thick.
Cut out your favorite Christmas shapes with the Holiday Cookie Cutters.
Transfer the cookies to the Sheet Pans and sprinkle with a light dusting of the Pearl Sugar.
Bake for 7 - 8 minutes.
Watch carefully, avoid letting them get too brown.

Remove to a rack and cool for 5 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to the rack and cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Stuffed Plums

I wanted to share one of our favorite restaurants in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area.  The concept of the Potager Cafe is amazing. You're asked to only take what you can eat and only pay what you believe the meal is worth. Believe me, the cuisine is amazing as you watch the chef at work, preparing gourmet quality recipes, right in front of you. The atmosphere is casual and reminiscent of a  Hippy Cafe in the late 60's.
The Cafe is a reminder of commune cooking, circa 1973 and so is Potager's Other Stuff across the street from the cafe. The atmosphere of both locations reminds me of my hippy days in Steamboat Springs, Colorado in the early 70's.
Cynthia Chippindale, the owner, is as free spirited as her cafe and shop. She is usually available to talk to and is as interesting as the cafe and the gift shop across the street. I've included some pictures of the location.
When you get ready to pay for your meal, Cynthia has handmade envelopes, made from recycled magazine pages to put your money in and drop it in an old fashioned watering can. The place is eclectic with mismatched tables, chairs , china, glassware and flatware. The European copper espresso machine makes the best espresso this side of the Marais District in Paris, France.


http://www.potagercafe.com/



"Potager's concept is: “ask for only as much as you can eat and pay what you feel it was worth” kind of strange. We admit, it probably is. But is it wrong? We don’t think so".
"We would like to bring people back to the way we should be eating — with joy and pleasure, experiencing wholesome food, fresh from a local farm. As much as possible, we get our products directly from nearby farms and ranches. We have known the pleasure of quietly watching the cattle at Burgundy Beef, contentedly grazing on honest Texas grasses. We marvel at the freshness of the eggs and taste of the free range chicken we get from Dominion Farms. Our outstandingly skilled and talented chefs have reverence for these products. Following Slow Food principles, they prepare a menu each day that reflects the ever-changing seasons".
"Food such as this should not be wasted. That is why we want you to only ask for as much as you know you can eat. For that reason, we can’t have set prices. This doesn’t mean you pay only as much as you want. Let’s face it – everyone would like a free meal. But we do ask that you pay what you honestly feel it was worth. Remember that we are not using bulk produced ingredients, like most restaurants use — we use Real Food, for which we have paid a fair price to our farmers and ranchers. By doing that, and encouraging you to do the same, we hope that more and more local farmers will find they can actually make a living by growing organic produce. And, by doing that, we will hope to be able to continue bringing food such as this to everyone. Like Dumbledore said – “There comes a time when we have to choose between doing what is right, and what is easy.”

In conclusion, I always end my recipes on the blog with Enjoy! Peace in the Kitchen. Today I simple end my story about the Potager Cafe in Arlington, Texas with......... PEACE!
Cynthia would wish you the same











An example of the menu!

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


This recipe was shared with us by Cynthia. Thank you Cynthia for bringing this incredible restaurant and concept to our area. And thanks for sharing this amazing recipe with me.

Stuffed Plums:

Cold fresh Plums, cut in half and pitted.

Filling:
1/2 C Pecan Halves, processed into a Pecan Meal
1 C Cream Cheese, room temperature
1/2 C Blue Cheese, room temperature
A drizzle of Honey
Place in a Food Processor and processor into a spread.
Stuff the Plums.
Refrigerate and serve chilled.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Sweet and Spicy Pretzel and Nut Mix

I just received this holiday snack idea from Food52 entered by drbabs. I have many recipes for sweet, spicy and salty nut mixes. This one seems to be another interesting recipe to make during the holidays.
You can use a variety of your favorite nuts for this recipe or make them with only one kind.  The recipe makes 4 cups. I use a combination of 1 C Pecans, 1 C Almonds, 1 C Cashews, 1 C Pistachios.
Here's my adapted version of the recipe.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
A Sheet Pan lined with Parchment Paper






4 C of Nuts
2 TBS Butter, melted
1/3 C Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Allspice
1 tsp ground Cloves
1 tsp ground Ginger
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 TBS Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 TBS Pure Maple Syrup
2 tsp Salt
4 C Pretzel Twists

Spread the nuts in an even layer on the sheet pan.
Bake for 10 minutes.

In a large Mixing Bowl:
Brown Sugar
Cinnamon
Allspice
Cloves
Ginger
Cayenne Pepper
Cocoa Powder
Maple Syrup
Butter
Whisk well.
Add the warm nuts and stir until they are well coated.

Add:
Pretzels
Salt
Gently fold them in, to coat well.
Spread the mixture on the sheet pan and return to bake for 12 - 15 minutes. Stir a couple of times during baking.
Remove the pan to a rack and cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!