People are "guinea pigs" in the nicest form. Us "foodies" tend to take great liberties using our guests taste buds. I served this hearty bowl of yum, during a church dinner with visiting Pastors. It was a hit. Great soup that works with all different kind of food restrictions. Into the freezer go the leftovers for a blustery day dinner. This bone marrow beef goodness will fill your families tummy. Easy, Gluten free, low carbs with a touch of red wine to give it richness. Another favorite of my families Farmhouse Chicken Stew.
I braised the meat the night before and put it in a crock pot to bring out all its brilliance by morning. I transferred the broth and shredded beef to my oven roaster to cook all day and wonderfully feed the gang.
The night before: trim roast and braise in bacon grease till nicely browned on both sides. Remove and place in large crock-pot covering with broth and cook overnight. In the morning, remove from heat and cool. Pour off broth into larger pan or roaster oven and set aside "falling apart" roast to cool and shred. Clean, prepare and chop vegetables, add to soup. Add the rest of beef broth, herbs, salt, wine and canned veggies. Cook down onions, celery and leeks first to save on over-cooking. Bring to 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours and then turn down to a simmer for 4 hours. Add quinoa during the last hour of cooking. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon and freeze leftover.
1 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 large egg
Prepare shortbread crust:
Pre-heat over to 350 degrees
Grease 13 x 9 glass baking dish
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and flour. Mix till combined. Press shortbread dough firmly into baking dish.
Topping Ingredients: Layering (in order of appearance)
1 cup crunchy peanut butter, spread on top of shortbread dough
1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal-sprinkle
1 cup shredded coconut - sprinkle
1 cup Graham cracker crumbs - sprinkle and press
1 can sweeten condensed milk (submerge in warm water for easy pouring) pour over dough
1/4 cup sliver almonds - sprinkle over dough
1/2 cup Reese's Peanut butter baking chips - sprinkle over dough
1/2 cup Semi-Sweet baking chips - sprinkle over dough
1/3 cup Butterscotch baking chips - sprinkle over dough
1/4 Slivered almonds - sprinkled over dough
1/2 cup Graham cracker crumbs - sprinkles over dough
1/2 cup Shredded Coconut - sprinkle over dough and press firmly
Press and Bake 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Cool 15 minutes, score/cut complete cool (If you can?)
I love baking favorites for my family. It "feeds" me as well as delights them. Emotional affirmation baking. Haha! Nothing says moist like carrot cake. Cake without the refrigerator. Cream cheese frosting to die for... This easy to make one BUNDT pan recipes will capture your families heart. Sturdy enough to pack a hearty slice as a lunch companion or potluck feast. Truly Beyond Bundt.
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour sifted with dry ingredients
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/3 cup soften butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used corn oil)
4 eggs lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1 overripe apple, cored, chopped
3 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 shredded coconut
1/2 chopped walnuts (save 1/4 cup for garnish)
Preheat over to 350 degrees
Grease and flour bundt pan well
Sift together flour and dry ingredients
In a large mixing bowl ( I use my kitchen aid) beat butter, eggs, oil vanilla and brown sugar on medium speed until well mixed.
Add sifted-together-dry ingredients, blend well
Stir in carrots, apple, and optional ingredients.
Pour batter into prepared bundt pan
Bake for 50 minutes @ 350 degrees
"test baked cake with a toothpick."
remove from oven, rest/cool 10 minutes
invert hot pan onto cake serving dish
Walla! Cool completely
Frosting with cream cheese frosting, sprinkle cake with chopped walnuts,
or in a hurry, sprinkle with powder sugar and serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream.
Cream cheese frosting
1/3 cups soften cream cheese
3 cups powder sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 cup of cream or half and half
Prepare Cream cheese frosting, beat soften cream cheese, add powder sugar small portions at a time mixing in between, add vanilla, add cream to desired frosting thickness.
This frosting recipe is also perfect forcinnamon rolls or breakfast buns
I recently had the joy to spend a little over two weeks in England with a dear friend. Feeling a bit "home away from home." as England has adopted my heart. Putting my hands to the baking plow often is a therapeutic exercise. What better way to share with your own family the depth of relationship you felt than to celebrate a festive treasure from England. Brandy and a match made a brilliant showing with a Flaming pudding on Christmas Eve. The investment is well worth it. This merrie-ful treasure is worth the time contribution like our Champagne Cake. Try them both.
We found many of the dried fruits at our local organic trader store which saved a penny or two. A bit of brandy around the house serves this "couples" baking project making for a fun holiday date. I used the steaming time to wrap presents and enjoy all the twinkle lights in the house. Credit for the "original" recipe goes to Mary Berry from the BBC food channel. Don't you just love the Great British Bake-off! I'm enjoying honing a new skill with the best of them. Never let your pallet get bored. Families are the best guinea pigs.
Enjoy, Happy Christmas, Happy New Year.
Preparation time 1-2 hours
Cooking/Steaming time 8 hours
Re-heat to serve steaming 2 hours
Serves 8-10 small portions
I used from this side of the pond:
Oven roaster for steaming:
fill with water and 1/2 cup vinegar to keep hard water mark building up.
Pudding basin 2 1/2 pint. My small Pyrex oven bowl worked well next to my Mason Cash pudding basin I brought home in my carry-on luggage.
String, Parchment paper,Foil, kitchen scale
Ingredients for pudding:
450g/1 lb. dried mixed fruit chopped/snippet
(I use sultanas, raisins, apricots, sour cherries.)
1 small cooking apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
1 orange, finely grate rind and juice
3 Tablespoons brandy, sherry or rum, plus extra for flaming, But who's measuring...
75 grams/3 oz butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
100 g./3 1@ oz light muscovado sugar (soft light brown sugar)
120 g/1/12 cup self-rising flour. I used all purpose
(I altered the recipe here)
1/2 cup Guinness beer, pour into measuring cup, add good pinch of baking soda, pinch of salt, stir
1 teaspoon mixed spice ( 1 tsp. Cinnamon, 3/4 tsp. Fresh ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. ground clove
40 g./1 1/2 oz fresh white breadcrumbs. (about 4 slices)
40 g/1 1/2 oz whole shelled almonds, roughly chopped
For the brandy butter
100 g/3 1/2 oz unsalted butter, softened
225 g/8 oz icing sugar, sieved (powder sugar)
3 Tablespoon brandy, rum or cognac (I used brandy)
To Serve 4 Tablespoons brandy for flaming
Measure the dried snippet fruit and apple into a bowl with the orange juice. Add 3 Tablespoon. Brandy, stir and leave to marinate for about one hour.
Cream butter, sugar, and grated orange rind into a large bowl until light and fluffy (I used my kitchen aid mixer)
Gradually beat in the eggs, adding a little of the measured flour if the mixture starts to curdle.
Sift together the flour and mixed spices, then fold into the creamed mixture with the breadcrumbs and the nuts. Alternating portions, add soaked dried fruits with juice,
Guinness, and stir well.
Generously butter a 2 1/2 pint pudding basin or small pyrex oven proof bowl. Cut a small disc of foil or baking parchment and press into the greased base of the basin. Grease again.
Spoon into the prepared pudding basin and press the mixture down with the back of a spoon to dislodge air pockets. Cover the pudding with a layer of baking parchment paper and foil, both pleated across the middle to allow for expansions of pudding. Tie securely with string and trim off excess paper and foil with scissors.
To steam, put the pudding in the top of a steamer (oven roaster set to 400 degrees) filled with simmering water, cover with lid and steam for seven hours, topping up the water as necessary. (Turn down oven roaster to 300 degrees after the pudding reaches a boil.) Lower pudding into steaming water with care. (I had a kettle hot on the stove to top off my water) Make sure the water covers 3/4 of the basin at all times. Cover with lid and check frequently. Bring the water back to a boil. Turn down to simmer for about seven hours. Until pudding is wonderfully deep brown color.
Back to Steaming
When cooked thoroughly, remove pudding carefully from water and allow to cool completely. Discard the paper and foil. Poke with fork and dribble 2 Tbs brandy. More than once if you desire. Store in cool, dry place.
To serve on Christmas Day steam pudding for about two hours to re-heat. Turn the pudding onto a serving glass serving plate.
To flame, warm the brandy (I missed this key) in a small pan, pour over the hot pudding and set light to it. Serve with Brandy Butter. Happy Holidays
The History of Christmas Pudding
by Nate Barksdale History Channel
In America, Christmas Pudding (also known as plum pudding or figgy pudding) is a dish as famous as it is misunderstood. It’s the flaming center of the climactic meal of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” and pops up in carols themselves: “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” has two whole verses about demanding figgy pudding. But for the uninitiated, Christmas puddings are eyed with skepticism befitting a dish that can be accurately described as a cross between a fruitcake and a haggis, set on fire.
Christmas pudding has its roots in medieval English sausages, when fat, spices and fruits (the best preservatives of their day) were mixed with meats, grains and vegetables and packed into animal stomachs and intestines so they would keep as long as possible. The first records of plum puddings date to the early 15th century, when “plum pottage,” a savory concoction heavy on the meat and root vegetables, was served at the start of a meal. Then as now, the “plum” in plum pudding was a generic term for any dried fruit—most commonly raisins and currants, with prunes and other dried, preserved or candied fruit added when available. By the end of the 16th century, dried fruit was more plentiful in England and plum pudding made the shift from savory to sweet. The development of the pudding cloth—a floured piece of fabric that could hold and preserve a pudding of any size—further freed the pudding from dependence on animal products (but not entirely: suet, the fat found around beef and mutton kidneys, has always been a key ingredient). Read more
More tutorials to help you
Wild-bird Christmas Tree and edible ornaments.
A festively simple task.
And I'm not planning on taking it down till winter is over. A lovely shelter for our feathered friends. With anticipation looking forward to seeing the snow flurry and dust its branches. Let nature sift winter on your back door and kiss up close your treasured garden mates.
DIY Edible Ornaments for a Bird Christmas Tree
My sweetie has a sweet tooth attached to his puppy-dog eye look. It gets him after dinner and gets me just when I'm thinking of heading to bed. Baking says "I Love You." It fills the cookie jar and makes for brag-able "happy" lunches. You got to spoil then somehow, so when the need arises, you can hold it over them. Chuckle chuckle! My father's favorite cookie. Not sure where the recipe originates from, been around the Richards/Wambach household since my childhood and now to spoil my husband. My mom presses them thin with a sugared glass because Dad likes the crisp edges. Me? Don's preference is more towards shortbread, so I leave them a bit thicker on the press. During the holidays you can sprinkle with festive color, dip them in white chocolate. They are a quick "Git R Done" cookie.
Prepare: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
ungreased cookie sheet and cooling racks
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add remaining ingredients. With small cookie scoop or teaspoon rolled into a ball, press with sugared bottom glass. (add sprinkles) Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 11-12 minutes. Cool 1 minute remove to a cooling rack. Freeze or store in a cookie jar, if they make it there. Enjoy.
I have happily traded in my high carb popcorn for this touch of garlic and vinegar snack. A simple and quick recipe, 30 minutes at the most for prep, toss and bake. It takes you that long to choose a movie these days. Fresh from your summer or fall garden or inexpensively purchase Kale in bulk bags, washed and ready to go.
Prep time 30 minutes
Oven temperature 325 degrees
8oz Fresh Kale, washed, de-stemmed and torn/or chopped for chip size. Or double the recipe 16 oz. of kale.
2 Tablespoons Olive or Avocado Oil "Organic"
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (in spray bottle)
Pre-heat over to 325 degrees
Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper and brush with oil. Wash and dry Kale. Tear, cut or already chopped kale into chip size pieces. Place kale in a large bowl. Drizzle the outsides of the bowl with oil, toss kale with salad tongs, wiping the edges of the bowl. Sprinkle garlic powder and salt a little at a time, spray with vinegar alternating 10 sprays and tossing, till distributed evenly. Place the kale in a single layer on prepared baking sheets. Bake until crisp and the edges are slightly browned, 12-15 minutes. Observe and test taste the process. Eat warm Like popcorn the oil on the kale makes it soggy or stale when stored. I never have any left over to warrant a complete dehydration process for storage.
Gluten-Free, Low Carb, hip healthy snack.
How many Mom's do you have the unique opportunity to celebrate their birthdays? I count two after marriage.
Today is my Mom's birthday.
Don't think she'd appreciate me sharing her age. I'm 58 so that should give you a clue. She is a "mature" treasure. This time of the year she anxiously waits for summer to wane and fall to bring forth her beloved "Pumpkin" & Spice flavors. Has your mom ever "tisked" at you for spending money on her? Gets a bit more challenging to find the right token of love, her having to dust it just takes the fun out of the gift. This gorgeous recipe I clipped out of the Country Living magazine almost 20+years ago. Do not know who to give credit too, but it is a family favorite, as easy as it is beautiful to set on your holiday table. The time and thought you put into the gift weighs as much if not more than the value. So love begins when the mixer turns, and the deserving party celebrated before the surprise is carried up the porch steps. I quickly put the kettle on; Dad took a snooze in his easy-chair, I sliced a generous piece and laid it on her favorite red and white restaurant transfer-ware dishes. Yum, Yum, Yum. We sipped tea and ooh'd over the moist texture and talked Mom and daughter for a couple of hours. Her love tank was full.
Pre-heat over to 350 degrees
Grease and dust with flour, bundt pan
In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, Baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix
Using your mixer, beat pumpkin, oil, juice, eggs, and vanilla. On low speed combine dry ingredients until blended, add nuts and raisin. Pour into prepared bundt pan, bake 55-60 minutes. Poke with a tooth pick at 55, remove from oven when the toothpick comes away clean. Cool 5 minutes place cake dish over bundt pan and invert. Lift pan off of cake slowing, so the weight of the cake leaves the hot pan without tares. I use the edge of a butter knife to score the edge, pry & lift the cake pan gently. Complete cooling,
Sprinkle after cooling with powder sugar
Maple glaze (Mom's birthday cake."
Maple Glaze: 2 cups powder sugar, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, beat with a fork till smooth. Add 1/2 & 1/2 for dribbly consistency, Dribble 1/2 batch over hot cake and finish glaze for "looks" on cooled cake. Happy Pumpkin Lovers
My family's winter holiday table
always has a dish served.
12 large fresh beets, scrubbed and tops cut off
(save greens for smoothies or soups)
8 cups cider vinegar
3 cups packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoon "Kosher" salt
2 Tablespoon pickling spice (spice bag optional)
Prepare Fresh Beets
Scrub, cut off tops, slice 1/2 inch and cut in half to fit inside jar
In large stock pot fill and bring water to boil,
(sterilize jars, etc.)
Ladle prepared beets into boiling water, cook 30 minutes. Till still firm but tender, not mushy.
Prepare Pickling syrup. Simmer at least 15 minutes keep covered with a lid.
Remove, drain and ice bath cooked beets. Load jars not over-packing leaving room for liquid.
Pour Vinegar syrup over beets in jars. Clean top of the jar and place hot sterilized lid, secure with a ring.
Prepare Water bath, in large stock or canning pot 3/4 filled with water, bring to rolling boil. Turn down to medium-high and gently place filled beet jars into water. Return to easy boil for 30 minutes. Remove carefully. Set on towel cushioned counter to cool.
"Enjoy the pop of the lids."
Cool for 24 hours, press-check the lid to make sure it sealed (no popping) and store for up to 6 months, cool dark place.
If your beets didn't seal?
Leave to jars on the counter for three days, then enjoy, refrigerate after opening. Eat within two weeks.
If you have extra pickling vinegar don't through it away, see Leftover Harvest "Oversize Veggie" Pickle relish recipe.
A Hidden Gem in an old Lumber-Jack town.
It was mid-week, and my husband and I were out and about and nothing planned at home for dinner. We have eaten at the Woodsman quite a few times and always walk away with "Doggie Bags". Thai food is so fantastic that we have never ordered anything else on the extensive menu. Service has always been friendly and prompt. The Peanut Sauce over Spinach "Palam" is to die for. If you need to spice up your taste buds, this is the restaurant you need to try. Ample parking. We will return often.