Monday, October 25, 2010

Sweet Potato Delight Casserole

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 10:35 AM 1 comments

Sweet Potato Delight from The Taste Of Oregon Cookbook, a staple in our home.

Our favorite fall side dish is actually used as a dessert in our house. This casserole has delighted many people who believed they did not like Sweet Potatoes.




  • 3 C. Cooked mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (this year I will substitute Agave Nectar)
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. butter
Topping:
  • 1 C. brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. flour
  • 1 C. chopped pecans
  • 1/3 c. butter
Mix all ingredients together except the topping and pour into a buttered casserole dish or stoneware.

Mix topping ingredients together and sprinkle over the casserole.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Gift From My Niece

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 1:11 PM 0 comments

I love Subway sandwiches. I mean I really love Subway sandwiches. Most days for the past seven years you will find me eating at the local sub shop. And not just any sandwich will do. It needs to be a Veggie on wheat with everything on it except the jalapenos. Hold the dressing please. That’s my sandwich.

This year for Christmas, my niece wanted to do something special for me. She makes holiday gift baskets. She usually chooses a theme and of course my theme had to be sub sandwiches.

She got a beautiful red basket and put several different types of bread in it. Rye, whole grain, French, and of course wheat because she knew it was favorite. Then she added cheese; Swiss, American, provolone, and you can’t forget spicy jack. The meat combos were next and she out did herself? Ham and roast beef and at least three others swarmed my bread. Next came the condiments and she spared no expense. She wrapped it all in a large piece of cellophane with a beautiful bow on top. In it she added a note about how she hoped I would enjoy this holiday gift basket and how she made it just for me with all her love.

Christmas morning my son and daughter in law and three children came over for Christmas brunch. My niece has never married and joined us too. We would enjoy some of our family favorite recipes and traditional foods and then it would be time to open presents.

When I looked over at the tree, my eyes went right to the beautiful big red basket. It doesn’t matter how old we get, we still love to receive beautifully wrapped packages. Maybe that is more fun than the gift, but let’s talk about that some other time.

My niece had a big smile on her face as I opened it. She was picturing all those sandwiches my husband and I were going to enjoy over the next few weeks.

Well, make sandwiches we did. And they were good too. Ham on rye was my favorite. We even tried grilling it. My husband was enjoying my gift as much as I was.

Now I wish I could tell you that I was a convert and never went back to Subway. I tried. I really tried, but after a few weeks there I was at the local Subway shop asking for my 6 inch veggie on wheat. I sat down with my diet cola and took a bit. I was hooked and happy to be. I love my niece and loved the gift basket but I guess I am just a subway girl

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What is an easy candy recipe to give out during the holidays?

Posted by The Delightful Gourmet at 1:21 PM 0 comments

I knew it was our last thanksgiving together. It was our first and our last all in one. Now that seems strange, but for this year we were celebrating with our exchange student from England. We wanted to share all our traditions with her. We played mud football Thanksgiving morning with some of our cousins. I sprained my ankle, but nothing was going to stop us from enjoying this holiday. My Grandparents came from California and brought up two pecan pies. Auntie Sue made her famous Southern sweet potato pie and I even tried my hand in making the cranberry sauce.

Our exchange student seemed over whelmed, but we didn’t care, we were determined to share our Holiday with her. And share we did. By the end of the year, she was a true family member. I loved her like a real sister.

But sometimes things have to end. Jana had to go home in June and back to her family and to her own wonderful traditions. We cried and hugged at the airport and I felt like I lost my best friend. We vowed to stay in touch and over the years we have. Of course it is not the same, but it is still very sweet.

At Thanksgiving I start thinking about what holiday gifts I want to send to Jana and her family. Sending holiday gifts over the ocean can be very expensive, but it is something I love to do.

I usually try to make some kind of candy, because it is easy to send and can stay fresh for a longer time. I add a note and talk about some of the wonderful things we shared that year. Jana even tried to fix Thanksgiving dinner for her family. She had lots of funny stories about trying to cook a duck, because she could not find a turkey. I know it is not the same, but somehow I know when she gets my package of homemade goodies, she is smiling and remembering. I will always miss her, but a part of her is in my heart.

My favorite candy to send is Tiger butter. Not sure where it got its name, but it is easy and oh so good. It is the perfect holiday gift to send and it mails easily too. So if you need an inexpensive holiday gift to send to someone who is special to you. Try this. It is good for the heart and don’t forget to add a note.

TIGER BUTTER

16 ounces white chocolate, chopped

3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter

1 cup milk chocolate chips

Directions

Butter a 10x15 pan. Set aside.

Place white chocolate in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until melted, stirring frequently. Stir in peanut butter.

Spread into prepared pan. Drizzle with melted milk chocolate chips, stirring through mixture to create a marbled effect. Let stand until set. Break into bite-sized pieces. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Food Networks Alton Brown's Fried Chicken Recipe

Posted by Generation Girls at 10:53 AM 6 comments

My husband and I watched with mouths watering, Alton Brown's Good Eats show on Fried Chicken. It was so good, we went out immediately and bought all the ingredients to make our own. Simple and profound this recipe has to be one of the best!

 

Fried Chicken

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown

Prep Time:
20 min
Cook Time:
20 min
Serves:
3 to 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 cups low fat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Flour, for dredging
  • Vegetable shortening, for frying

Directions

Place chicken pieces into a plastic container and cover with buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

Melt enough shortening (over low heat) to come just 1/8-inch up the side of a 12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy fry pan. Once shortening liquefies raise heat to 325 degrees F. Do not allow oil to go over 325 degrees F.

Drain chicken in a colander. Combine salt, paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Liberally season chicken with this mixture. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

Place chicken skin side down into the pan. Put thighs in the center, and breast and legs around the edge of the pan. The oil should come half way up the pan. Cook chicken until golden brown on each side, approximately 10 to 12 minutes per side. More importantly, the internal temperature should be right around 180 degrees. (Be careful to monitor shortening temperature every few minutes.)

Drain chicken on a rack over a sheet pan. Don't drain by setting chicken directly on paper towels or brown paper bags. If you need to hold the chicken before serving, cover loosely with foil but avoid holding in a warm oven, especially if it's a gas oven.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Kitchen Gardens

Posted by Generation Girls at 4:19 PM 0 comments
Even if you live in the middle of a sprawling city you can have a small kitchen garden that can save you a bundle. One of the most expensive items for flavoring our foods is herbs. Growing your own is cheap, simple and provides most taste then even the freshest store package.

A simple 4x4 or even two 2x2 plots on a balcony can hold up to 8 herbs, two Roma tomato plants, and a pepper plant.

Here are the most useful and easiest herbs to grow in your little garden spot.

  • Sweet basil
  • Common Sage
  • Chives
  • Sweet bay
  • Dill
  • Oregano
  • Woolly thyme
  • rosemary
Enjoy!

Monday, July 19, 2010

I Am Gluten Free: Southwestern-Style Bean & Avocado Salad (gluten free, dairy free)

Posted by Generation Girls at 2:04 PM 0 comments
I Am Gluten Free: Southwestern-Style Bean & Avocado Salad (gluten free, dairy free)

I have been spending a lot of time reading I am GlutenFree blogs for awhile now and have tried several of her recipes. One of the things I have enjoyed the most is that even though her recipes are gluten free they are also many times down home and work for the entire family.

Take a little detour and check out her delicious blog.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Home Made Vanilla Custard Ice Cream

Posted by Generation Girls at 9:04 AM 0 comments
Summer memories are made of stuff like this. Whether you have a hand crank ice cream maker or an electric one this recipe is easy, fantastic and will melt in your mouth like the summer heat. With simple ingredients like milk, heavy cream, egg yolks and sugar all you need to find is a beautiful vanilla bean. It will still be wonderful with vanilla extract, but the bean adds flavor you can get nowhere else.

Pull up a chair, sit in the shade and listen to the sound of the ice cream maker as your mouth waters.

Get the recipe at Planet Gift Baskets

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How to BBQ Fish

Posted by Generation Girls at 3:32 PM 0 comments
I have a love hate relationship with cooking fish. It tastes so good when done right, and well, it's burnt and falls apart into pieces if you do not do it right. Here is a step by step cooking method that will give you a great flavored well cooked fish every time.

1. Have your grill hot. Don't turn on the gas, wait two minutes and start cooking. The grill must be hot and ready to sear your fish.
2. Have a clean grill, freshly oiled. Now here is a little trick to a clean grill. After the fire has been going for 5 minutes, use a scraper and scrape off all the bits of leftovers stuck to the grill. The heat will soften them and they should come off like a charm. Secondly, before placing your fish on the grill give the metal and the fish a quick one two with olive oil.
3. Bring the fish to room temperature, pat dry and make sure the fillet is equal thickness. Any variation and you will have either undone meat on one end, or crispy fries on the other.
4. Season lightly with butter and lemon juice while it is cooking.
5. Once the fish is on the grill, walk away. Do not try to look under it, just let it sit and cook. Usually we start with the skin side down. After 3-5 minutes, flip your fish. You should hear another wonderful blast of sizzle. This means your grill is nice and hot.
6. Once the fish is done, give it another coat of butter and lemon juice and enjoy.

It's easy as pie. Fish was meant to be grilled and it tastes wonderful cooked that way.

Enjoy!

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Wonders of Fresh Basil

Posted by Generation Girls at 2:56 PM 0 comments
To me, nothing says summer time like fresh basil. Recently I added some recipes to our Planet Gift Baskets Website that are all about the wonderful and complementary flavor of Basil. Check out these two links to find an amazing Mango and Basil Salsa that is beyond a perfect compliment to tacos, nachos, chicken or just eating on a crisp tortilla chip. The sweet ripe mango and the basil make this salsa a party favorite and a repeated request by all my guests.
The second recipe is a new family favorite using fresh basil and olive oil as a base dressing for this wonderful and easy summer pasta salad. Filled with yummy crisp veggies and tender whole grain pasta, you will love that you didn't need to heat your house up to get dinner on the table. The trick here is to cook the pasta in the morning, toss with olive oil and basil, and let sit in the fridge until dinner. Add the rest of the ingredients or choose your own family favorites.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Perfect Sandwich for Your Tea Time

Posted by Generation Girls at 7:18 AM 1 comments
Summer is all about finding ways to not heat of the house with your oven. Finding simple recipes that are enjoyable without the expense of having to eat out is a goal most are looking to meet.

We found a perfect foccacia sandwich we would like to share. The Summer Tea Time Sandwich is made on foccacia because it holds up well, gives a great base for almost anything you want to put on it and doesn't take much to fill you up. It's a perfect summer food. Add home made lemonade, a summer spritzer, and this amazing Mango Avocado Salsa and you will have people begging for you to host lunch again. Instead of cilantro, add fresh basil to the salsa. You will tie in your meal perfectly.

Experiment with the ingredients and let us know how you liked it!. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Peeling the Amazing Avocado

Posted by Generation Girls at 1:47 PM 0 comments
Yes, there is a secret to peeling an avocado. Chef Ron shows us the easiest way to get a perfect cut every time.


Friday, June 11, 2010

The Amazing Avocado

Posted by Generation Girls at 9:32 AM 2 comments
Avocados are considered a berry. Did you know that? It tops a banana in potassium, is heart rich in healthy monounsaturated fats and gives almost 50% of your child's daily fiber intake in one serving.

Avocados are perfect, smashed on a whole wheat bagel with vine ripen tomatoes. You can also make an amazing guacamole with just a few simple ingredients. Eat with whole wheat crackers or chips. Dice the avocado and add it to your scrambled eggs, wrap in a flour tortilla and you have a quick healthy breakfast, or any time of day snack.

Avocados are available anytime of year but they are the best in early spring and summer when the Hass variety is available. Hass avocados are noted for the best flavor and perfect in stand alone dishes.

Next time your out, pick up a few and enjoy :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

How to Choose a Good Cut of Beef

Posted by Generation Girls at 9:09 AM 0 comments
Ever wonder why your grocery store is stocked with so many cuts of beef? Do  you ever wonder what cut is the best to choose for the BBQ or for pan searing, or for broiling?
Join  LX.com's Jonathan Redford as he gets the 101 on picking a prime piece of meat at Boa Steakhouse in LA.



Here is a link to the charts they refer to in this short video.



Monday, June 7, 2010

Cooking a Steak With Neil Perry

Posted by Generation Girls at 8:47 AM 0 comments
Summer time is a great time to practice your steak grilling skills. Neil Perry gives a great demonstration on how to cook a perfect steak. The number one thing to consider is your meat. We will cover that in our next post.
Until then, enjoy learning from Neil Perry.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Father's Day Gift Basket

Posted by Generation Girls at 7:40 AM 2 comments
Features :

  • Foccacia Crisps
  • Angelina's Butter Cookies
  • Almond Roca
  • Cinnamon Roasted Cashews
  • Beef Summer Sausage
  • Coffee Mug
  • Mini Fruit Bon Bons
  • Ghirardelli Chocolate
  • Bellagio French Vanilla Mocha
  • Caramel Popcorn
  • Ghirardelli Coffee
  • English Breakfast Tea
  • Dolcetto Wafer Rolls
  • Dutch Shortbread Cookies
  • Wheat Crackers
  • Keepsake Trunk


This year get dad something he will really treasure. A gift basket filled with delicious gourmet foods meant to impress. Personalize the ribbon with something special to remind dad how much you love him.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Gluten Free Mixes from Betty Crocker

Posted by Generation Girls at 8:11 AM 0 comments
Gluten Free Bownie Mix
Have you tried Betty Crockers line of gluten free mixes? You should! We tried the brownie mix and I have to say no one in my family even noticed they were gluten free. My husband who does not need to be gluten free and tends to notice the difference in textures did not notice until I told him. I say that is a good rating for these brownies. Betty Crocker has cake mixes and cookies in their line of gluten free products.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. If you need ideas the Betty Crocker website has a huge area dedicated to just gluten free products and recipes.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hot Nutella Drink - Gluten Free

Posted by Generation Girls at 2:47 PM 1 comments
Today I ran across a wonderful blog that has some amazing food ideas. One of the posts had a drink made out of Nutella. What could get better?
Ya Salam Cooking: Hot Nutella is made with milk, vanilla and nutella. If you are unfamiliar with nutella it is a chocolate hazelnut spread that tastes so good. One of the best things about this drink is that it is gluten free. Nutella is awaiting their FDA approval, but from many people that have gluten allergies they have tolerated it just fine.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Posted by Generation Girls at 2:10 PM 2 comments

It's Saint Patrick's Day and what is more popular then wearing green? Corned Beef and Cabbage for sure!
Ingredients:
2 pounds corned beef brisket
5 red potatoes
5 carrots, peeled and cut
1 large head cabbage, cut into wedges
Directions on how to cook:
1. Place corned beef in crock pot and cover with water. Cook on low all day
2. Add whole potatoes and carrots, and cook until the vegetables are almost tender. Add cabbage and cook for 1 hour. Remove meat and let rest 15 minutes.
3. Place vegetables in a bowl and cover. Slice meat across the grain and serve.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Salmon Flat-bread Sandwich

Posted by Generation Girls at 2:19 PM 1 comments
We love almost any sandwich topping stuffed into a pita. However, I have never tried canned salmon and was eager to see if it could be as good out of a can, as it was fresh from the sea.
We took the salmon and mixed it with cauliflower, red onion, celery and tomato. We used about 1/2 cup of mayo to bind it all together and topped with some fresh baby lettuce.

Even the kids loved this simple dinner and I was able to feel good that they got in an extra serving of vegetables and fish.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Spinach Gnocchi

Posted by Generation Girls at 9:15 AM 0 comments
Wilted Spinach Gnocchi

This recipe is vegetarian in concept, but fills even the meat-eaters stomachs in my family. Made in about 1/2 hour from start to finish it is a healthy, easy on your budget meal to put on the table even on a busy night.

1 pkg Gnocchi
Water
1 onion
Olive Oil (3 tablespoons)
1/2 cup chopped pecans or other nut
1 clove garlic
1/4 milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
Spinach 1 pkg

Cook Gnocchi according to directions on package. While this is cooking dice onion and saute in 1/2 of the olive oil. When onions are almost done, add garlic, salt and pepper. Sprinkle nutmeg and nuts on and continue cooking for about 1 minute. When the onions begin to caramelize add cooked Gnocchi that has been drained. Add milk and cook for about 2 minutes stirring to coat. Add about 6 oz of spinach or 1 pkg of fresh bagged spinach. Cover with a lid and let wilt. Stir every minute or so until the spinach is wilted but not soggy. Serve immediately.
This recipe feed about 5 hungry meat eating family members, without meat!

This recipe was cooked by me, using the Trader Joes Cookbook written by Deana Gunn and Wona Miniati.
This recipe has not been copied from their cookbook and includes my slight changes to what I had on hand.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shari's Chocolate Peanut Butter Silk Pie

Posted by Generation Girls at 12:18 PM 1 comments
I would have taken a picture if I had stopped to think after the first bite. If you love peanut butter, and enjoy the texture of a cream pie, this one is for you. I was amazed that a cool creamy pudding texture could taste so much like peanut butter. There was even a perfect nutty after taste. Shari's pie comes with a thick graham cracker crust, drizzled with chocolate and layered with a fluffy whipped cream. The portions are very large and since this pie is incredibly rich, it is the perfect dessert to share. For those of you who get a peanut butter craving once in awhile, this pie will fill that desire perfectly.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Kings Cupboard Cocoa Mix

Posted by Generation Girls at 5:18 PM 0 comments
Kings Cupboard Hot Chocolate Mix

Give your taste buds a wake up call with this amazingly rich cocoa mix. Kings Cupboard has created this cocoa not for the faint hearted. Mixed with real dark chocolate chunks, your guests will never know you didn't make it from scratch. Mix with milk and you will be living in a creamy chocolate wonder land. These cocoa tins make great gifts for children and adults alike. Pair it with a tin of cookies and watch their faces glow with delight.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year Beans

Posted by Generation Girls at 7:07 AM 1 comments

It's been a family tradition to make a huge pot of Red Beans on New Years Eve. This year it was my goal to find out why we eat beans on New Years Eve. In many cultures, eating beans, rather they be black eye peas, navy beans, or red beans, is suppose to bring luck and fortune for the new year. Although when I asked my family why we eat the beans on New Years Eve their answer was, that is what Grandma did every year. This year I got into the spirit and made Grandmas beans for everyone too. I could not find a recipe that matched hers anywhere on the Internet, but its so simple and may be in your family cookbook too.

Peppercorn Red Beans

1 pkg Dry Red Beans (soak overnight in water with baking soda approx 4 tablespoons)

After the beans have soaked overnight
Put them in a crock pot with
6 cups of water
2 ham hocks
2 spice bags filled with peppercorns (about 50 in each) remove before serving
2 teaspoons of cumin
2 teaspoons of chili powder
1 clove of garlic

Towards the end of day two, take 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of the liquid soup and mix together into a thick paste. Add it back into the soup to make your soup thicken.

Let cook for two days on high.

Serve on New Years Eve with plenty of Sausage Bread.
 

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