Monthly Archives: June 2010

Tupelo Honey

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This afternoon I went out to lunch with a wonderful friend I’ve known since Junior High, miss Emily Brooks of Brooks Bakery in Asheville, NC. We ate at a popular restaurant named “Tupelo Honey” located in the heart of Asheville right across from Prichard Park .

She had a pulled pork sandwich with sweet potato fries, and I had a tomato sandwich with candied ginger corn bread and whipped peach butter. Oohhh, how we enjoyed our lunch! Both of us being food connoisseurs, we just relished each bite of our, and each others food, identifying each flavour and planning out how to reproduce them in our own kitchens.

Hopefully soon I will make my own sweet potato fries and the ginger cornbread with peach butter.  Hold me to that, ok? These items are worth not forgetting about!

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

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I love zucchini bread! It’s so moist and sweet, and because it has a vegetable in it, you can tell yourself it’s healthy! 😉

At my house where I grew up we had 10-12 blueberry bushes. We had so many blueberry’s by late summer that we didn’t know what to do with ourselves! (ok, yes we did. We ate them, we froze them, we baked with them… ) Browsing a recipe site  I came across a recipe similar to this. Blueberry Zucchini? An odd combination,to say the least. But because we had so many berries at our disposal, I gave it a shot. Oh wow! One of my better choices, if I do say so myself! Long story short, enjoy this bread!

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Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 2 loaf pans (I put all my batter into  one pan, and it was  super gooey in the middle. So bake two loaves)
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini. Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer to the prepared mini-loaf pans.
  3. Bake 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Not new, but still delicious!

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So the other night I made rib-eye steaks for my husband and (one of my ) best friend(s), and it just turned out marvelously!

I totally cheated, using Jack Daniels marinade on the steaks. I then put them in the broiler for about 3-5 minutes per side, or until the center is at least 130*
(by the way, for those of you wondering, I had a marvelous salmon steak. Mmm)

But as a marvelous “luxury”, Meara and I sautéed onions and mushrooms until they caramelized (the onions. shrooms don’t caramelize), and then… well…

This was served with asparagus, and smashed red potatoes.

I apparently haven’t posted my asparagus “recipe” yet, so I’ll do that soon.

Eat up!

Ginger Pear Tea

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I adore tea.  This doesn’t have any tea leaves in it, but the fact that it’s simmered and steeped makes it a tea.

So delicate. A must try, again and again, and again!

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Ginger Pear Tea

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 pears, peeled and coarsely grated (I couldn’t find my grater, so I just sliced the pears very thin, chopped them into 1″ long segments. Worked perfectly!)
  • 1-inch piece ginger, sliced into 1/8-inch coins

Directions:

In a medium pot bring water, grated pear, ginger and sugar to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the pears are very soft, about 30 minutes Remove from heat and strain into a bowl or pitcher, or whatever. Refrigerate until chilled, or drink it hot!

Baked Home Made Mac and Cheese

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My husband adores pasta. He would eat it every day and be perfectly happy (actually, we did have pasta almost every day for the first 4 months of our marriage!).  I, however, even tho I love pasta, need to shake it up a little. Spaghetti or box Mac and Cheese gets OLD!

I decided to make a special dinner last night, so made pasta, but with a nice twist. It’s cheesy and warm and perfect, but with an abnormal mac and cheese kick! Abnormal in a totally awesome way! He was a BIG fan. Served this with the Maple Sweet Potato Puree and Fried Broccoli

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Baked Home Made Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it’s free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Makes 6-8 servings

Maple Sweet Potato Puree with Caramelized Onions

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I love to cook (you might have noticed). But I’m big on preparing not only tasty meals, but healthy ones! My man is some-what picky, especially when it comes to things that have vitamins and what-not in them. Sweet Potatoes are so healthy, and tasty! And he loves them! So I’m always searching for new and different ways to cook them. This is a fun, sweet new (to me) recipe!

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Maple Sweet Potato Puree with Caramelized Onions

Ingredients:

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into rough chunks
  • 1/4 cup grade B maple syrup, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided in 1/2
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • Hot water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup of the maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large mixing bowl. Toss to evenly coat and place on sheet tray. Roast in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft. Be sure to check on them after 15 minutes and stir, if needed.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter and add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the sliced onion, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Saute until deep golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the pan becomes dry.

Transfer sweet potato mixture to a food processor, (may need to be done in batches) and add about a tablespoon of hot water. Pulse until just blended and then add half the caramelized onions. Pulse just a few times until desired consistency, adding more hot water for a smoother puree. Fold in remaining caramelized onions, reserving some for garnish.

Serve in a warm dish and garnish with the reserved caramelized onions

This makes 4-6 servings