Meyer Lemon Smoothie

IMG_1778

A few days of much warmer weather had me looking at new smoothie recipes this week. My niece sent me a link to this one posted on realsimple.com.  Their version had the Meyer lemons peeled but then added lemon zest.  Meyer lemon skins are very thin (and difficult to peel without loosing alot of juice) and I have used the whole seeded lemon in other recipes, so I simply seeded the lemons and cut them in chunks, providing plenty of zest in the blending. I am not fond of drinking buttermilk but these breakfast treats were yummy, a definite keeper for refreshing summertime smoothies. I always love adding another Meyer lemon recipe to my files.  Our tree provides us with a bountiful supply of lemons every year.
Meyer Lemon Smoothie
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup Plain Greek yogurt
2 Meyer lemons seeded and cut in pieces
about 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
2  tablespoons agave syrup or honey to taste
1 cup crushed ice
Place all ingredients except ice in blender beginning with buttermilk. When lemon chunks have been pureed, add crushed ice and blend a few seconds longer. Pour in 2 glasses and garnish with lemon slice or mint.

Indoor S’Mores

IMG_1333Jordann is enjoying one of their campfire S’Mores, which are without doubt the best kind.  But some of us don’t do much camping, and even if you have a wood-burning fireplace, you might decide there are times when these gooey, chocolate treats can’t be made over a fire. That is when you can try Indoor S’Mores, iron skillet style.  This makes generous servings for 2. Just double the recipe if your family is larger.  If you double, be sure to use a larger skillet. You may even like this “fondue” so well you try making it this way over your next campfire!

1 small bag cocolate hcips

8 large marshmallows

a jar of Nutella

Graham crackers

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter or coat with cooking spray the bottom of a 6 inch iron skillet.  Cover the bottom with chocolate chips and drop a few spoonfuls of Nutella on top of the chocolate chips.  Cut marshmallows in half and arrange on top of chocolate. Place in oven and bake for 6-8 minutes, until marshamallows are golden brown.

Scoop out the melted chocolate and marshmallows with graham crackers.

1

Mushroom Stroganoff

IMG_1699

I have made a variety of Beef Stroganoff recipes over the years.  In fact, it is one of the first recipes I remember trying early in my marriage that seemed fancy when I was cooking for guests. I think that although it became popular in the U.S. in the 1950’s, until I made it the first time I had never eaten it before and loved it from first taste. Our family has always loved buttered noodles as a side; we like mushrooms, so I am not sure why I never just left out the meat.  But I tried this recently and it will be my favorite way to make Stroganoff now.  It also has the benefit of being much simpler to prepare and fairly low in calories, if not carbs!

Granmary’s Mushroom Stroganoff

2 Tablespoons butter

1 onion, chopped

2 tbsp  flour

2 cups chicken stock

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon tomato paste (I keep a tube of tomato paste in the refrigerator for recipes which only need a small amount.)

16 ounces sliced baby Bella mushrooms

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (I use Penzey’s French Thyme)

sea salt and black pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons white wine or sherry

2 Tablespoons sour cream

8 ounces uncooked thick, yolkless egg noodles:

Optional:  parsley and shaved Parmesan for topping
Bring a pot of water to boil, add 2 teaspoons salt, then add noodles.  Cook according to package directions, minus a minute or two.  Under-cooking them allows for adding to the sauce to finish cooking. Drain noodles in colander and set aside until sauce is ready.

While heating water and cooking noodles, in  a large saucier or skillet, melt butter and add onions. . Cook 2 – 3 minutes, then add flour, stirring with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds. Then gradually add chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste, stirring to keep mixture smooth as it begins to thicken. Keep stirring and add mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir continuously, simmering for at least 5 minutes or until thickened and bubbling.

Add flour; stir with a wooden spoon for 30 seconds. Gradually add broth, Worcestershire, mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir and cook 4-5 minutes or until thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly.  Add wine or sherry, stir, and continue cooking for 3 minutes longer. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and noodles. Garnish with parsley and shaved Parmesan if desired.

Maddie’s Chocolate Cake

IMG_1656

 

Our Christmas time with our middle son, Jeremy, and his family, began just before New Year’s when they arrived, filling us up with good hugs, little girl laughter, and lots of help in the kitchen.  At 8, Maddie has been developing her cooking skills for long enough that I barely need to stay in the kitchen while she creates.  I do, of course, for the pure pleasure of being with her and being amazed at her skill.  This cake is a deep, rich, chocolate, (made from scratch, of course!) with chocolate buttercream frosting, layered with strawberry jam. Beautiful to look at, and every crumb was delicious!

Recipe?  Times have changed!  Our younger cooks no longer pull out a cookbook to look up a recipe – the internet offers a wider range of choices, plus videos that show every step! As Maddie says, “Just go to YouTube!”  So here is the link for ingredients and easy to follow video:  Print version available by clicking on the link at bottom left of video.

I have made many a chocolate cake, but I learned several things from watching this video with Maddie.  I wish I had realized a long time ago that buttering my cooling rack would save the top of the cake sticking!  Thank you, Maddie,  This grandmother is still learning new tricks, and you are teaching me

Baked Black-eyed Peas with Ginger and Honey

IMG_1654Our New Year’s day traditionally includes black-eyed peas cooked with bacon, greens of some kind, often cabbage, ham if we have it, and cornbread.  This year I made the peas in a way that would have had my parents and grandparents shaking their heads.  But I am convinced they would have taken a bite and asked for more.

This year’s menu (cooked for 15) included Baked Ham, Baked black-eyed Peas, Potato Salad, and an Asian cole slaw.  I ran out of oven space and time for the cornbread (gasp!) but soft rolls worked just fine.

Baked Black Eyed Peas with Ginger and Honey

  • 1 lb. (2 cups) dried black-eyed peas
  • 1 medium onion,  chopped
  • 6 slices bacon, 1-inch dice
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped (I use Penzey’s Crystallized Ginger Bits – no chopping)
  • 3/4 cup honey
PREPARATION

Drain and rinse the black-eyed peas; cover with fresh water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until tender. Add water to keep them from drying out, if necessary.

Preheat oven to 325°. In an iron skillet, saute onion and bacon over medium heat until onion is golden and bacon is crisp. Drain off fat and stir bacon and onion into beans. Add mustard and salt and pepper, to taste. Add ginger; combine well. Turn into a 2-quart baking dish; drizzle with the honey. Cover and bake 1 1/2 hours. Remove the cover the last 30 minutes to brown the top.