Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Grilling a whole naked chicken

There have been a plethora of wonderful chicken ideas coming from Cook's Illustrated, and even though this recipe came from the May/June 2013 issue, I only got around to trying it recently.  I used one of the same tricks as the Barbecued Chicken techniques that I shared with you earlier, namely aluminum pie pans full of water under the grate on the cool side of the grill.  But the biggest aha came from the directions to cut out the chicken's backbone and flatten it for grilling.  In order to stabilize it, you run skewers through the legs and body in a few spots.  Easy peasy to flip and move now!

See how the meat is slashed?  That's to allow a marinade of lemon, rosemary, Dijon mustard, and butter to penetrate deeply into the meat.  Yum.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Three great panini for Autumn

We usually scale back on the weekly panini during the summer, but once Autumn hits, I'm back to looking for tasty new combinations.  At least new to me ;-)

Ham, sliced Granny Smith apples, brie cheese, mustard (shown above)

Tomato slices, chopped fresh basil leaves, pepper jack cheese

Prosciutto, sauted mushrooms, greens, cranberry mustard (shown below)

Friday, October 25, 2013


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Apple chai muffins

When you end up with an apple harvest like we had this year, you've got to figure out what to do with all the Applesauce you make besides just slurp it down!  I always end up making several types of apple cake, apple dumplings, and apple pie, but this year I experimented with the spices a bit and made my Apple Muffins into chai spiced apple muffins.

Apple Muffins

3 c flour
2 t baking soda
1/2 t allspice
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1 c light brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c butter, melted
1/2 c sour cream
2 large eggs

Heat oven to 350.  Combine flour through sugars in a medium bowl.  Beat the applesauce through the eggs together in another bowl and add to the flour mixture, stirring until just combined.  Divide the batter into 24 muffin cups.  Bake for about 30 minutes.  Add a nut-based icing to make them into cupcakes.

For the Chai variation, reduce the brown sugar to 1/2 c and replace the allspice through salt with the following mixture:
1 t cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
1/2 t allspice
1/2 t cardamom
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper

Monday, October 21, 2013

Bumper crop of apples this year

Maybe it was worth putting up with the rainy spring and scorching summer.  This is just a small sampling of our apples this year.  Our applesauce and apple butter stock is going to be refilled!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pumpkin much easier than you'd think!

Thanks to my friend Cherie Burbach, a woman of many many talents, I found out that Real Simple magazine has a recipe online for baked Pumpkin Donuts!  I've been wanting to make donuts again ever since I was a kid and Mom and I spent an enjoyable afternoon deep frying a ton-load of plain sugar donuts.  The biggest problem (besides the mess and the extra calories) was that they tasted soooo much better when they were still warm.  Thus, one on the plate, one down the hatch.  Repeat all afternoon!


Baked donuts are (usually? always?) of the cakey variety, which are my favorite anyway.  I'm not a big fan of Crispy Cremes...please don't yell at me, they're just not my thing.  But this recipe looked promising, and indeed, it was awesome.  I plan to use the base of this recipe to try some Apple Cider Donuts and maybe some other cake types.

Wilton Donut Pans, 2 of them stacked

They don't turn out perfect like deep fried donuts...
the batter is more like muffins

Plop them on a pretty plate...

...and add the glaze

You can eat them before the glaze hardens if you want,
and actually, it's pretty hard not to!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Grilled tuna with watermelon-feta salad

As watermelon season ends, grab the chance to include one last ripe slice or two into your meal.  The tuna was grilled to medium rare, and then I proceeded to butcher it while slicing.  It tasted great, but I'd like to do a better cutting job next time...

The recipe for both can be found in Hannaford's Fresh magazine.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

On the trail of great food in Portland Oregon - part six

What we brought home...

Rose petal black tea, Portland rose soap, huckleberry jam and marmalade
lavender jelly,  lavender tea

Kokeicha green tea and Glendale OP black tea
from The Olive and Vine

Ghost pepper salt (oh yes she did!) and pink peppercorns

Rosebuds and juniper berries from Pat's Pantry in Astoria...
soon to be opening a second location in Portland!

Monday, October 7, 2013

On the trail of great food in Portland Oregon - part five

Our last day, we went in search of multi-cultural fun...Cuban and Indian!

Fabulous Cuban breakfast at Pambiche

Picadillo Cua-Cua with eggs, avocado, fruit, rice, and fried plantains

Cuban French toast with almonds and fruit

Bistek - steak and eggs

And an equally fabulous Indian dinner at Swagat!

Braised goat, on the bone

Friday, October 4, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

On the trail of great food in Portland Oregon - part four

St John's Pub and Theater (McMenamin's)

The gold-domed building was originally built for the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition, Portland's World's Fair, and was meant to last just 6 months.  It has been relocated and used for many purposes, both sacred and profane ever since!  In 1998, Mike and Brian McMenamin restored it to run it as a pub/theater).

I knew nothing about Nitro taps until visiting here.  Nitro makes everything better!

Grateful Veg Burger with cajun tater tots and peppercorn ranch.