Friday, December 04, 2009

Corn and Crab chowder

(adapted from a Rachael Ray recipe)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil or extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan in a slow stream
2 tablespoons butter
1 large or 2 small potatoes, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Old Bay
2 tsp Tony Chachere
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups 1/2 and 1/2
2 cups whole milk
3 cups corn kernels, frozen or fresh
8 ounces cooked lump crab meat, fresh is available in plastic tubs at many fish counters
4 small bread boules, 6 inches, hollowed out, preferably sour dough, optional

Oyster crackers
Hot cayenne pepper sauce
Crumbled bacon bits

Heat a deep pot over moderate heat. Add oil and butter. As you chop your veggies, add them to the pot: potatoes, celery, onion, and red bell pepper. Add bay leaf to the pot. Season vegetables with salt and pepper and Old Bay seasoning. Saute veggies 5 minutes, then sprinkle in flour. Cook flour 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in broth and combine. Stir in milk and combine. Bring soup up to a bubble. Add corn and crab meat and simmer soup 5 minutes. Adjust the soup seasonings. Remove bay leaf. Ladle soup into bread bowls or soup bowls and top as desired.

**I make this with or without crab, also sometimes sub smoked chicken. Freezes great!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili

3 pounds cooked Great Northern Beans

2 pounds boneless chicken breast

1 tbsp olive oil

4 garlic cloves

1 medium onion (chopped )

2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp ground oregano

1 - 4oz cans chopped mild green chilies (optional)

4 cups chicken stock or canned broth

20 oz Monterey Jack cheese, grated

Sour cream

Makes 6-8 servings

Place chicken in a large saucepan. Add cold water to cover and bring to a simmer. Cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from saucepan and dice into 1/2" cubes.

In another pot heat oil over medium heat. Add onions until translucent. Stir in garlic, chilies, and all the above spices. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add chicken, beans, stock, and 12 oz cheese, let simmer for 15 minutes. Ladle into bowls and top with 1 oz cheese. Serve with a side of sour cream.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Honey Wheat Bread

1 1/2 c warm milk
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 c honey
2 c bread flour sometimes more
1 2/3 c wheat flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 package yeast

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

  • 1/2 Cup water (110-115°, bath water temp)
  • 2 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 11/2 Cups whole milk
  • 1/2 Cup butter (1 stick)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 6 Cups white flour (approximately)

  • 1 c sugar
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 c butter, softened

  • 1 # powdered sugar
  • 1/4 c softened butter
  • 4-6 Tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
Dissolve the yeast and teaspoon of sugar in the warm water in a large mixing bowl and let sit about 5 minutes until foamy. While that is sitting, put the milk and butter in a glass pitcher or microwaveable dish. Heat in microwave about 1 1/2 minutes to 110-115°. The butter does not need to melt totally. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, milk/butter and about 1/2 of the flour to the yeast mix. Stir until smooth. Gradually add the remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, until you get a firm but soft dough. Reserve the final 1/2 cup of flour and place it on the surface of the table. Turn the dough out on top of that last bit of flour and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. The amount of flour will vary according to humidity levels in the flour and in your kitchen, so you might need a bit more. It is okay if the dough is soft, but it shouldn’t stick to your hands. Place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down and let rise again, about 30 minutes more. This can be done the night before, and the second rising can take place in the fridge while you sleep, which makes the rolls easier to bake for breakfast.

For the filling, combine the sugar and cinnamon. After the last rise, place the dough on a lightly floured surface (i use SilPat) and roll out to a long rectangle (usually about 10x15). Using a basting brush spread the softened butter all over the dough then liberally apply cinnamon and sugar. Tightly roll lengthwise and pinch seams together. Use a sharp knife to slice the cinnamon rolls 1 1/2 inches thick and place each roll in a greased 9x13 pan. Cover the rolls and let rise again for 30 minutes. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Chocolate Chippers

1 cup butter, room temperature (I soften mine in the microwave at 10% power for 90 seconds at a time until bendable, usually 3 times if it's straight from the fridge)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 eggs, room temperature (you can put these in a bowl of warm water if you're in a rush)
2 1/2 c AP flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 c chocolate chunks

Cream butter on high until white (3-4 minutes). Add sugars and cream until light and fluffy (usually another 4 minutes in my KitchenAid mixer). Really beat it to death, I realized as late as a couple of years ago that I was not actually waiting until the sugar and butter was creamed. Here's a good picture of how it might look (though yours will be darker because of the brown sugar). Add in vanilla and eggs (one at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition).

Sift the dry ingredients together and pour into batter. Mix on low (my setting is called stir) just until blended (about 20 seconds). Pour in your chocolate and stir them in by hand until evenly distributed. (You could also add nuts or M&Ms, sometimes I put in coconut and oatmeal along with chocolate chunks).

Scoop cookies with a big ice cream scoop onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. I think the size is essential because you want them chewy on the outsides and gooey on the insides. Now here is the secret: refrigerate or freeze the cookie dough balls for at least 12 hours (preferably 48 hours). Supposedly this helps the eggs get absorbed by the dry ingredients.

Bake the cookies in a preheated 325 oven for 12-14 minutes, rotating cookie sheet halfway through. Take them out just as they are set and leave them on the hot sheet to finish cooking.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Perfect Microwave Rice

1 cup Adolphus long-grain rice
2 cups water or stock
1/2 Tbsp of butter
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in 2 qt Pyrex dish. Microwave* uncovered at full power for 10 minutes. Cover, then microwave at 30% power for 7 minutes. Allow to stand covered 5 minutes. *My microwave cooks at 1200W.

Monday, August 17, 2009

clark's room

The room is pretty small (with slanty ceilings) so we are limited in what we can do:

Here is a dresser i would like to use, but it's big--46 inches wide. i'm hoping we can use that in the room and i can use his existing dresser in my hobby room to store my growing masses of fabrics.

Here's a view from the corner--ignore the colors on these first two shots (I had to use the flash).

View from the bedroom door.

This is the wall the crib was on.

View from the windows.

View from the crib wall (the changing table is going of course).

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

More pics

These are the only two windows in the kitchen. I have also thought about doing roman shades on the playroom french doors that lead to the backyard until i can scrape up $500 for plantation shutters.

Here are the Ginseng (bloom/sand and rosebud/raspberry) tacked up together.

Here are archictectural sky and lodge lattice sky.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

from pantry over playroom (yikes)

view of family room (for context) ignore hideous country blue recliner and cluttered armoire
from kitchen overlooking breakfast room into playroom (right) and family room (left)

from playroom

from breakfast room
formal dining room (open to formal living). the front door and tile entry is just to the right of this picture. the walls in the living areas are SW restrained gold.

this doorway is between the staircase and the formal dining room and leads down a short hallway to the kitchen. i have an office on the left.

view of the kitchen from the hallway. i tacked some fabric up there to look at. also forgive the ghetto fan--it's impossible to bake without one here these days. i would someday love to beadboard that island and replace the counter top with butcher block.
view from my front door looking over formal living room.

view from kitchen hallway entry over formal can see half bath and entry to my room

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup fresh blueberries
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Streusel topping: 1/4 c sugar, 2 1/2 Tbsp flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 1/2 Tbsp butter (Mix sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture is crumbly.)

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add blueberries, tossing gently. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, oil, and egg; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Spoon batter into greased muffin pans, filling two-thirds full, and sprinkle with streusel topping.
Bake at 400° for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from pans immediately; cool on wire racks.

Almond Poppyseed Muffins

2 c flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 c sugar

Whisk in separate bowl:
1 c milk
3/4 c oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

Stir wet into dry just until moistened, fold in 1 Tbsp poppy seeds. Bake muffins for 18 minutes (rotating halfway through) at 400F.