Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fresh Pineapple Salsa

My sweet hubby does a lot of the grocery shopping for me. He is pretty good to stick to a list--I'm not, so I guess it is good he shops! But I always tell him check the produce dept for really good fresh fruit, he does this well, he spent his teen years working in the produce room at Reams. If there is a good watermelon in the bin Greg can pick it out. 
I know too much information, just give us the recipe. Greg brought home a beautiful pineapple. It was a great addition to our Father's Day fruit plate. But, pineapples are large and our family is small. Luckily Maria over at Two Peas in a Pod had just posted a recipe for pineapple salsa.
It took minutes to prepare--the pineapple was already sliced. A few more fresh ingredients turned this into one yummy dish. It would be great with grilled chicken or salmon. But we ate it with chips, a perfect appetizer. 

Fresh Pineapple Salsa
2 cups diced pineapple, fresh
1 cup diced red pepper
3 tablespoons diced jalapeno pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice from 1 large lime
Salt to taste
Mix together and chill.

Linked to:
Everyday Sisters; Sharing Sunday

Monday, June 20, 2011

TWD Date-Nut Loaf

When I think of a 'loaf' bread is the first thing that comes to mind. So I assumed Date Nut Loaf was like banana or pumpkin bread only with dates. I should know by now that  Dories recipes are anything but normal. This loaf is actually more like a cake, which is fine with me! I just realized this recipe was in the 'cakes' section!
This loaf is light with a tender crumb. It is rich with butter and cream cheese, lightened with eggs, sweetened with brown sugar and flavored with vanilla and a hint of almond. Chopped dates and walnuts are added for texture and interest. Dates are my new favorite food, I use them in any recipe calling for raisins--they work every time.
This recipe is perfect! I made it in four small Pampered Chef Stoneware Loaf pans. I plan on sharing these cute little loaves. But, one loaf was eaten warm, one loaf is for breakfast tomorrow (Dorie said they are better the second day). I better get the other 2 loaves out of the house quick. I have little self-control! 
Check Mary's blog Popsicles and Sandy Feet for the complete recipe. This is one 'loaf' you don't want to miss!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Chocolate Cream Cake with Whip It--Cream Stabilizer

This post is more about a product than a recipe. This product is manufactured in Canada so it is often found in import cooking shops. My daughter lives near Chicago and sends it to me, there are fun, fun food stores near her home. Visits always include a trip to the 'import store'.
'Whip It' is the magic ingredient in this cake. The original recipe from The Lion House Cookbook calls for whipping cream that is stabilized by adding softened gelatin. I tried the recipe and ruined 3 cups of heavy whipping cream! Ouch. If you don't stabilize the cream it 'weeps', not good for a layer cake.
Whip It is a powder that you add to cream as you whip it. It adds no taste; just keeps cream from separating.
So, this yummy cake is your favorite chocolate cake baked in three 9 inch round cake pans.
Whip 3 cups heavy whipping cream. Add 2-3 packets of 'Whip It', 3/4 cup powdered sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Spread whiped cream between layers. Chill and frost with Chocolate Frosting.
This is one delicious crowd pleasing cake.
'Whip It' website is I have also seen a similar product on KAF site. It is worth finding!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Rice Krispie-Sicles

I volunteered to bring treats to a meeting with the theme "Fun Things to do in the Summer". My first choice was some fun " Corn Dog Cookies"  I saw on Munchkins Munchies blog, she is one talented lady! But time (and talent) was short so I went with something I could really do!
These 'cookies' are just a basic Rice Krispie Treat cut in 2x3 inch rectangles. I cut off the top corners, rounded the rice krispie treat a bit and added a Popsicle stick. I let the treats chill for a minute in the fridge. I then dipped them in white or milk chocolate, added some sprinkles. They were returned to the fridge for just a few minutes.
My sweet friend Nancy then tied cute bows around the sticks and arranged them in a watermelon half. It was a fun summer treat that you could create with the kids.
I found the basic idea on the Rice Krispie web site.

Rice Krispie-Sicles
Melt 4 tablespoons butter and one 10 oz package on marshmallows in microwave for 1-2 minutes until melted. Add 6 cups rice krispies and stir. Put in a buttered 9x13 inch pan. I wet my hand with cold water and gently press mixture in pan. Cool. Cut in 2x3 inch rectangles and form into Popsicle shape. Insert Popsicle stick.
Put treat on parchment paper and refrigerate--this will help in the dipping process. I used milk chocolate discs that can be found at craft stores or Orson Gygi's. These melt quickly and are very easy to work with. If using chocolate chips (white, milk or semi-sweet) melt gently in the microwave and add 1 tablespoon oil  to 2 cups of chips. Dip treats, add sprinkles and put back on parchment paper. Return to fridge--the chocolate should set quickly. Add bows if desired and arrange in a melon half. Or just put on a platter and enjoy.
This recipe made 18 treats.

Linked to: This Chick Cooks

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What Do You Do in Chicago??

Chicago is a great place to visit. Everyone should experience The Taste of Chicago, Fireworks on Lake Michigan, a Cubs game, The Field Museum and The Shedd Aquarium. A speedboat ride in Lake Michigan and an architectural tour on the Chicago River is awesome. There is shopping on Michigan Avenue, The Sears Tower and many great restaurants. This is just a few things one should do while in Chicago.

We have enjoyed all of the above....But visiting with the Grand kids trumps them all!
We laughed, ate Popsicles, watched Kung Fu Panda 2, went fishing, planted flowers, laughed, ate more Popsicles, enjoyed our daughters delicious cooking, read stories, created works of art with paper, glitter and glue. And that was just the first day.

It was hot--real hot and humid. We come from the west where humidity is something you get from a humidifier! So we ate more Popsicles and played in the water. Life is good, we had a wonderful time.
Thanks Amber and Tadd. We were comfortable and couldn't ask for better hosts. Thanks Harrison and Henry for giving up your room for us. Thanks Maya for singing with Grandpa. We are looking forward to our next visit.

Saying Good-bye

I believe it was Mark Twain that said, Fish and Relatives both stink after 3 days.
We do think it is important to leave while still having fun, We were probably having too much fun! We were packing our bags (day 4 1/2) and Henry age three was watching us, here is our conversation:

Henry: I'm going to Utah with you.
Nana Cindy: We would love to have you visit us..
Henry: I'm really going to Utah with you.
Nana Cindy:  But Henry you don't have a ticket.
Henry disappears for a minute.
Henry: My Dad says I can come to Utah, and my Dad's a Manager.
Case closed.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Puff Pancakes

I'm almost embarrassed to admit that this is the first Puff/Monster/Swedish/German Pancake I have ever tasted. It was delicious, I feel bad I've waited 50+ years to enjoy this eggy delight. I'll make it again, often, probably for dinner with fruit and a slice or two of bacon. Easy to make and who doesn't like to see the 'monster' when it is removed from the oven.
It is one of EJ's favorite meals. Thanks Eliza for sharing such a yummy meal with Nana. We topped the pancake with a little powdered sugar and some fresh Strawberry Syrup.

Eliza's Favorite Puff Pancake

6 tablespoons butter, melted in a 9x13 Pyrex pan--put in pre-heating 425 oven, watch carefully (for some odd reason it will not stick to a Pyrex pan as it does in stoneware and metal.)
Mix together
5 eggs
1 1/4 cup flour
1 1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
generous pinch of salt
Pour batter over melted butter, bake 20-25 minutes at 425 degrees.
Recipe from Candise Gilbert--an amazing cook!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Blueberry-Brown Sugar Plain Cake

It's my turn!!!! After patiently waiting for 18 months it is finally my turn to host TWD. I was a little worried as I scanned the recipes that had already been done. We are getting to the last 6 months. However, I was amazed at all the yummy recipes still waiting to be made. I had a list of at least a dozen recipes to choose from. I left the apple recipes for fall picks as well as a yummy Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie.

But it is the perfect time of year for blueberries! Beautiful blueberries were at Costco for a decent price. So I was happy to choose Blueberry-Brown Sugar Plain Cake. It turned out to be an excellent choice. It was easy to mix together with ingredients I had on hand. I did purchase a 11x7 Pyrex Pan, mostly because I have always wanted one. 

We thought this was excellent. Just what its name suggested; Blueberry Brown Sugar Plain Cake. It was tender, moist and blueberry delicious. I served it with ice cream, but it didn't need it.

Blueberry-Brown Sugar Plain Cake
This "Plain Cake"--no crumbs, streusel, nuts, icing or filling--is just plain appealing.  It's got soft crumbs, a strong streak of caramel brown sugar flavor and the here-and-there surprise of sweet tart berries. It's a perfect "daylight" cake, good for breakfast, brunch or lunch, and it can easily be a picnic cake because it is eminently packable.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I used Pampered Chef's Cinnamon Plus)
1/8 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt
2 large eggs, separated
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 pint blueberries--fresh, preferably, or frozen (not thawed)
confectioners' sugar for dusting

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Generously butter an 11x7 inch Pyrex baking pan and place on a baking sheet.
    Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon salt. 
    Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the egg whites with the pinch of salt until they form firm, glossy peaks. Gently scrape the whites into a clean bowl if using a stand mixer. Fix the mixer with the paddle attachment, if you have one. (There is no need to clean the mixer bowl). Put the butter and sugar in the mixer bowl, or in another large bowl if using a hand mixer, and beat on medium speed until creamy. Add the egg yolks and beat 2 more minutes. Reduce the mixer to low and add half the dry ingredients, then all of the milk and then the remainder of the dry ingredients, adding each new batch as soon as the previous batch has been incorporated.
    Switch to a large rubber spatula  and lighten the batter by stirring in about one quarter of the stiffly beaten egg whites. Fold in the rest of the whites, working as gently as you can. Since the cake batter is heavy, it's only natural you'll deflate the whites a little--don't be concerned. Still working with as light a hand as possible, fold in the blueberries, and scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
    Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until it is golden and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and cool in the pan for about 30 minutes before dusting the top with confectioners' sugar and serving warm.
    Makes about 15 servings.
Serving: Once the cake is cool enough to cut it is cool enough to eat. give the cake another dusting of cofectioners' sugar and cut the cake into squares about 2 inches on a side. I like the cake plain, but if you're looking for an accompaniment, look at blueberry jam or a bowl of lightly sweetened sour cream or creme fraiche.
Storing: Well covered, the cake will keep at room temperature for about 3 days. You can wrap the cake airtight and freeze it for up to 2 months, but it really is best fresh.

And that my friends is everything you need to know about a Blueberry-Brown Sugar Plain Cake! I highly recommend it. Check out the other TWD bakers, they are an amazing group of talented bakers. I'm sure they had fun with this recipe. If you don't own Dorie's, 'Baking From My Home To Yours', put it on your Amazon wish list, or get it for Hubby for Fathers Day. It is a wealth of baking information; I can't say enough good about it!
Linked to Every Day Sisters Sharing Sundays

Saturday, June 4, 2011

In Memory JP Lindstrom/Dad

Today is Dad's birthday, he has been gone almost 6 years now and I miss him every day. Please allow me to ramble a bit.
--Dad was a gentle man, he didn't raise his voice.
--He encouraged education, he would often say it is easier to make a living with your brains than your back.
--He treated women with respect, always a gentleman. Mom never opened a door or pumped gas.
--Dad had a great sense of humor, he was pleasent; fun to be around.
--Dad was a hard worker, when you worked with Dad you worked hard. But he was quick to take a break at the 'Gas and Goodie'.
--Lunch was always at 12, he liked One Man Band, Sonic and Purple Turtle. When we were kids Mom always packed him a lunch in a black lunch box with a silver thermos.
--Dad quit work at 4:30, got home at 4:40 took a shower and we ate promptly at 5:00. Everyday. Mom cooked great meals and we were all home for dinner. There were few exceptions. But the dinner table was always a place you wanted to be. Not only good food but pleasant conversation. Dad talked about funny things that happened at work, embellished just a bit I'm sure.
--Dad never worked on Sunday, it was a day of rest. We went to church, Dad stayed home and peeled the potatoes, set the table, checked on the roast, cooked the frozen corn. We got home, Mom made the gravy
and we ate a delicious dinner! We thought it was great. Later in life Dad went to church so dinner was delayed a bit. We didn't mind.
--We go about our busy life, but we all take a little bit of Dad with us.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Magic Blondies

This recipe is straight form the Martha Stewart Cookie Cookbook. It is a great resource, photos of every recipe and my favorite--a section on creative ways to give cookies. This cookbook should be in your library!
I tried this recipe in my quest for a workable Blondie recipe. It worked! It is basically a blondie in a cupcake.

Magic Blondies
2/3 cup sweetened coconut
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup dried cherries
1 2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
9 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners. Stir together coconut, nuts, chocolate chips and cherries in a small bowl. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in another bowl.
2. Put butter and sugar in bowl of mixer fitted with paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla; mix until combined. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture. Mix until well combined. Mix in 1 cup of coconut mixture.
3. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Sprinkle remaining coconut mixture over tops. Bake until a cake tester comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
4. My changes: I used macadamias and white chocolate chips. This recipe can be a 'clean out the cupboard' recipe. Use whatever kind of chips, nut or dried fruit you have. I want to try it with dried blueberries. I made this recipe in mini muffin tins. It was the perfect little bite!
Linked to: A Well Seasoned Life 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fresh Mango Salsa

I like to eat at Rumbi's, a fresh Island grill. They have fun salads, rice bowls and the best mango salsa. The salsa is sweet with mangoes, spicy and just delicious. I often make salsa so I knew I could create something similar. I did a little blog search and found several recipes that had possibilities. I combined, adjusted and worked with what I had (I forgot my grocery list). I do have a winner. I'm writing down exactly what I did. I think you will want this recipe.

Fresh Mango Salsa
3 medium mangoes, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1/4 red or white onion, diced
1/2 cup cilantro
6 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
juice from 2 limes
This is yummy with chips but I served it with a shrimp quesadilla. This was one amazing dish.