Saturday, May 23, 2009

Herb Garden

I hope you are all having a wonderful and relaxing holiday weekend. I was going to have lots and lots of time to relax since I took Thursday and Friday off but every day just seems to fly bye. I am getting a lot done though.
I think I've crammed all the herbs I can in my little garden. I plan on freezing and drying some this fall. I get a lot out of my little space. I was happy with the herbs I dried last fall so I'll be doing more this year. I cringe every time I have to buy fresh herbs at the grocery store. Some are so pricey.
I've had to have a few (A LOT) of talks with Bailey, he keeps eating my tarragon and chives and digging out the rosemary. You should see him cower when I catch him, you'd think I beat the poor baby or something. Their grass is growing now so in a few days they will have that to chew on. Plus they have their catnip!! So please leave Mommy's herbs alone!
Why is it that it is so nice and sunny, even hot, during the week and weekends are cool and rainy? It was actually 90 last week and this weekend it is cool cloudy and rainy again. Go figure! We seem to be following this weekend snow/rain pattern since our no snow winter. We need the moisture so I'm trying not to complain but it would be nice if it would rain during the week when we are all stuck inside.
Have a great weekend!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Brownie Cookies and Blackberry Slump recipe

I hope my title got your attention when you read it! I know the recipe sure caught mine!! I received my June Everyday Food yesterday and this is the first thing I saw! I know it's on the last page but it just opened up all by itself and I knew I had to make those today. They are are like eating crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside brownies. They are to die for so I hope you try them.
Don't they look scrumptious? And I'm sure Martha won't mind me posting the recipe. I'm also making a couscous recipe for dinner that I found and I haven't even read the whole magazine yet. The couscous recipe is so easy, just cook the couscous and add sliced scallions and 2 T olive oil and 1 T lime juice. How easy it that?
These are nice and hot from the oven and I've already eaten two!!

OK here's the recipe. Oh and keep reading because of popular request I am posting the blackberry slump recipe I mentioned last week.
Brownie Cookies (from Martha's Everyday Food)
12 Oz's bittersweet chocolate chopped and melted
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 T unsalted butter room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven 350. Melt the chocolate (I use the microwave at 30 second intervals) and let cool. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Beat butter and sugars until light in color. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until combined. Alternately add flour mixture and chocolate until just combined (do not over beat)
Drop dough by heaping Tablespoons about 2 inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheets (I used my Silpat). Bake about 14-16 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack to cool and then please eat one or two or even three.
And just so you don't think all I'm eating this week are cookies, I made this Quinoa salad for my lunch this week. It went together really easy. Just cook the Quinoa, add cucumber, tomatoes, snow peas and scallions. I put a sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, red vinegar and soy sauce dressing on it. If you want the recipe let me know.
Blackberry Slump (from The Good Home Cookbook)
You can substitute other berries, peaches or plums. Serve with cream, whipped cream or ice cream.
4 cups (2 pints) fresh or frozen blackberries
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup 1/2 stick) melted butter
Preheat oven to 375. Grease an 8" square pan.
Pour berries into the baking dish and sprinkle with 1 1/2 cup sugar. Set aside.
Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Mix in milk and butter, then spoon over the berries.
Bake for 40-45 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Serve warm or cooled.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fish Without a Doubt

This is a new cookbook that I am finally reading. Not that I've had it that long, just a couple of weeks. I'm trying to eat more fish and this cookbook will definitely help me do that. What I love about it is that every recipe tells you other fish that you could use. Since Halibut is good now or at least we can get good halibut now I decided to try this recipe first. It would also be good with Salmon and I love Salmon. It was so easy and went together so fast. It took longer to make the compound butter than to cook the meal. I put the rest of the butter in the freezer in individual pats so I have lots to use later. This week I'm making a lemon meyer compound butter. I have the lemons but silly me forgot the dill so it will have to wait until I to the store again.

The bread crumbs got a little brown but they were still OK. I was getting full and thought that Anna and Bailey would get there bite of fish when I was done but then I kept eating and lo and behold there was not left for them. I don't give them human food too often but when I have fish I try to save them a bite or two and they love it. Anna will any kind of fish but Bailey is very very picky. I had Cod the other night and he wouldn't touch it so Anna got 2 bites. Way to go Anna!!

This is my compound butter before I rolled in a log and put it in the frig to harden.
Broiled Halibut Steaks with Basil Butter (Also good with salmon or swordfish)
4 halibut steaks
Olive oil
4 T basil butter (recipe below)
4 t fresh bread crumbs. When I have stale bread I put it in my food processor and then bag it up and put it in the freezer and I always have fresh breadcrumbs on hand. If the bread is too fresh I toast it in the oven for a few minutes. Adding dried herbs is fun too.
Season the halibut with salt/pepper on both sides. Pour a little oil on a plate and set the fish on top. Smear the top of each piece of fish with 1 T basil butter, then sprinkle 1 tsp bread crumbs and pat them into the the butter. You can prep the fish in advance and put it in the frig until ready to broil. Set an oven rack in the top position, slide in a cast iron griddle and turn on the broiler. Let the griddle heat for 15 minutes.
Set the fish onto the griddle, buttered side up. Broil for 6 or 7 minutes or until done. Remove from griddle and let it rest for 5 minutes. Salmon and swordfish cook faster.
Basil Butter
2 cups fresh basil leaves
8 T unsalted butter, softened
1 garlic clove minced to a paste
Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Stir in the basil leaves and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain, then shock the basil in ice water. Drain again and squeeze the basil very dry. Start squeezing with your hands then put in a clean kitchen towel or a few layers of paper towels and squeeze some more.
Give the basil a rough chop. Combine basil, butter and garlic in food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt/pepper and pulse one or two times. Scrape the butter onto a piece of waxed paper and form into a rough log. Wrap the paper around the log using it to form a log. Twist the ends and put in the frig until firm.
Meyer Lemon butter
I used 1 stick of butter, zest from 2 meyer lemons and added some dill and thyme.
It was fantastic on salmon.
And for dessert I made my Blackberry Slump. I got this recipe from the Good Cooks book. It was free a couple of years ago and who am I to pass up a free cookbook.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day everyone!! I hope you day is happy!
Hi Everyone!! We got Mom some catnip for Mother's Day but she wouldn't eat any so we did!! Can't let it go to waste. We didn't even give her time to transplant it. We just dug in. Our human sister gave Mom the how can anyone eat something like that. We decided we had to talk to her before next year. Catnip is much much better.
We hope you all have a nice Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Lemon Yogurt Muffins

You probably think I quit cooking since all I've been doing is cleaning and posting some of my beautiful treasures so I thought I would share the muffins I made for breakfast this morning. I found the recipe in The Breakfast Book. It is a great breakfast book with lots and lots of ideas and recipes. Do you remember the lemon cake recipe that you poked holes in and then poured over it some kind of lemon glaze to soak into the cake? This recipe reminded me of that cake so I thought I would try them. When my daughter took the first bite this morning she said "Oh it's like the cake you used to make!! These bring back memories!! " I don't remember how the glaze was made for the cake because I haven't made it in years and years and have no idea where the recipe is. If anyone out there has it, please let me know. The muffins are very easy and yummy too!! I hope you enjoy them.

After I got all my errands done I came home and made some tea and had another muffin. My daughter had two for breakfast and I only had one so I figured I deserved another one. Good excuse anyway!!

Lemon Yogurt Muffins
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 T honey
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups plain yogurt
1/4 cup melted butter
1 T grated lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 375 and butter muffin tin. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, mix sugar, honey, eggs, yogurt, melted butter and lemon zest until thoroughly blended. Add the flour mixture and mix until blended. I didn't dirty the kitchen aid for these I just used a wooden spoon.
Spoon batter into buttered muffin tin. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown. While the muffins bake make the syrup.
Lemon Syrup
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
3 T water
Combine ingredients in a small pan and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute and set aside. When the muffins are done poke the tops with a fork a few times. Drizzle syrup over the top letting it run over the top and edges.
Bon Appetit!
I found this cake recipe at Alosha's Kitchen and made it last weekend. You can get the recipe here. It is so easy and springy. We really enjoyed it.
OK that should keep you busy this weekend and I'm off the put clean sheets on my bed. I stripped it down to the mattress and washing everything today. We are having ANOTHER cool rainy weekend. I'm trying not to complain because we need the rain but it could be 70 on the weekends and 50 during the week instead of the other way around. At least it's too warm to snow. Blackberries were on sale so I'm making a blackberry slump this afternoon. Blackberries always make me think of my Grandparents. They lived in Missouri and we had a ditch as Grandpa called it (it was a really big deep ditch!!) and there were lots of wild blackberries growing so we would go pick them and Grandma would always make blackberry pie. I should add that they did most of the picking and my sister and played and hid in the bushes. We did pick some though when Grandma reminded us if we didn't have enough there would be NO PIE!!
Have a great weekend!