Friday, November 30, 2012

Avocado and tomato salad

This salad looks great heaped up on a large plate.  It's pretty and show-offy enough to be served to guests, even though it's really really easy!

Avocado and Tomato Salad

3 T red wine vinegar
3 T olive oil
1 t brown mustard
Dash of garlic powder

3 avocados, quartered and sliced
Pint of grape tomatoes, halved
3 - 4 radishes, sliced thin
1/2 c fresh basil, chopped
3 - 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
Salt and pepper

Place vinegar through garlic powder in a small jar and shake.  Set aside.  Place the chopped avocados on a large plate and sprinkle with about 1/3 of the dressing.  Layer on the rest of the ingredients in order and top with the remaining dressing. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Real Food Fast for your Kindle!

Did you know that the Real Food Fast! blog is available for your Kindle?  Unfortunately, it's not free (Amazon sets the price), but it's only 99¢ a month.  Is technology great, or what?

My other two blogs are now there as well:
Beading Arts
Mixed Media Artist blog   

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Our Thanksgiving turkey

I know, I know...I'm late!!  This turkey was roasted last week, but not on Thanksgiving day itself.  We spent that day with friends, and I made lots of the side dishes that I've been posting recently.  The turkey spent Thursday brining!  Then on Friday, it was time to finally roast it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cranberry and apple dressing

We like to try different types of dressing with our turkey each year.  Mostly we've settled on either Traditional Dressing or Hazelnut Dressing.  Some of the others we've tried have been sort of disappointing, but this year I made Cranberry and Apple Dressing from Baking Bites, and it was far from disappointing!  In fact, I think it's going to join the other two and become part of the regular rotation.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fennel and honey cornbread

It seems that I collect cornbread recipes.  I didn't mean to, because I've always loved my plain old Whole-Kernel Cornbread, but it's just seemed to have happened.  And then I bought the antique cornbread pan...

My most recent variation is Fennel and Honey Cornbread.  It's sweet enough to be a dessert, or you can cut back a bit on the sugar and serve it along with poultry or pork. 

Here are links to the other cornbreads that we most love:
Whole-Kernel Cornbread
Cranberry-Almond Cornbread
Cornbread with Figs and Feta

Fennel and Honey Cornbread

1 1/4 c coarse yellow cornmeal
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c sugar
1 T fennel seeds, lightly ground
1 t salt
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 stick plus extra for skillet
1/4 c milk
1 c buttermilk
2 large eggs
1/4 c honey

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in oven for about 10 minutes while you mix the batter.

In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, fennel, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a large glass measuring cup, melt 1 stick butter in the microwave.  Add the honey to the hot butter, and stir till dissolved.  Stir in the milk, buttermilk, and eggs. Stir milk mixture into cornmeal mixture until just combined.

Remove skillet from oven and add butter, swirling to coat. Pour in batter, and bake until cornbread is golden, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool at least 30 minutes before cutting into wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature.

If baking batter as muffins in either muffin cups or cornbread pan, it will take about 18 minutes and make approximately 20 muffins. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

I have loved this dish since I was a small child, but back in the day it was made with much more abandon than I make it now.  I still use full-fat Swiss cheese, but I've switched to prosciutto and a fairly non-fatty sauce. 

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 slice of Swiss cheese and 2 slices of prosciutto for each
Dried bread crumbs, seasoned with salt, pepper, and paprika
Cooking spray
3/4 c white wine (dry)
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 T cornstarch
1 T butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an open baking pan large enough to hold all of the chicken with cooking spray.

From the centers, slice each chicken breast to create a flat sheet.  Pound them to 1/2-inch thickness. Place 1 slice of cheese and 2 slices prosciutto each. Roll the chicken lengthwise towards the wider end, securing with a toothpick.   Place on the baking sheet.

In a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs and paprika.  About 1/4 c will cover 2 chicken rolls. Spray the tops of the chicken with cooking spray, and press the crumbs into the tops. Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Make the sauce.  Combine wine and bouillon cube in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Simmer, then cover and reduce heat to low, cooking  for 10 minutes. Sprinkle in the cornstarch, whisking constantly.  Add the butter and stir in until smooth. 

About 5 minutes before the chicken is ready, cover with half of the sauce.  Drizzle with remaining sauce to serve. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cranberry cookie bars

If you end up with leftover cranberry sauce after Thanksgiving (we NEVER do!), here's something you can use it for. If, like us, you have cranberry fiends in your family, you can use a 14 oz can of whole-berry cranberry sauce.  The recipe for these delicious bars can be found at Martha Stewart

There are lots of different substitutions you could make, using the same dough.  I just got a large jar of fig preserves, and I think they'd be amazing too.  Or how about apricots and peaches?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Chicken stew with malangas

Awhile ago I told you about the malangas we were enjoying for the first time.  Not wanting to leave well enough alone, I decided to substitute them into our favorite Chicken and Potato Soup recipe.  I made the soup considerably thicker as well, so it really became a stew.  The malangas gave it a totally different flavor. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Grilled chicken with Thai seasonings

Is this authentic Thai?  No.  Is it good.  You betcha!

Thai Marinade and Grilling Sauce

Chicken thighs

1 T coconut milk
1 T peanut butter, smooth
1 T soy sauce
1 T fresh ginger, grated
1 clove of garlic, smashed
2 t turmeric
1 t curry paste
1 t sugar
1 t fish sauce

In a zip-loc baggie, marinate the chicken thighs in most of the sauce, reserving a little for grilling time.

Monday, November 12, 2012

I heart food

Image: Portlandia on Facebook

Friday, November 9, 2012

A taste of summer on a dark day

Scones make everything better.  And summer fruits, if you can get some that have a decent taste at this time of the year, will brighten up even the most dismal November day.  Forget the fruit and go straight for the ice cream :-)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I wish I knew where this BLT salad basket came from.  Does anyone know?  I'd love to give proper credit!  I've seen it on several people's websites, but there's no indication that they were actually the bacon artist.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Avocado salad dressing

Don't you just hate it when the avocado that was rock hard yesterday (or so it seems) is now too soft to slice up for your salad?  Never fear...just turn it into Avocado Salad Dressing with a flick of your trusty immersion blender.

Avocado Salad Dressing

1 ripe avocado
1 t hot sauce (we like Sriracha)
1 T lime juice
1/3 c buttermilk
1/4 c Greek yogurt
1 T red onion, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
Salt and sugar to taste

Place all ingredients into a glass measuring cup.  Use an immersion blender to process until smooth.  If you need to store leftovers, place plastic wrap on the surface to prevent oxidation. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pear salad with arugula and prosciutto

Before the best pears have disappeared, don't forget to make this wonderful Pear and Arugula Salad