Thursday, March 10, 2011

I think Johnny Mathis missed the mark...

(sung to the tune of "It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas")

It’s beginning to look a lot like Le-ent,
everywhere you go;
Take a look in the church kitchen; they’re cooking once again
With sausages and pancakes in a row.

It's beginning to look a lot like Le-ent,
Ashes on your head,
But the soberest sight to see is the cross that will be
Draped for forty days.

To give till it hurts and to pray without perks
Is the goal of Barney and Ben;
Denying self meat and good things to eat
Is the hope of Janice and Jen;
And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for Vigil to start again.

It's beginning to look a lot like Le-ent
All up in the nave;
There’s the Litany, boy, it’s great! The priest gives you a clean slate,
but only at church, so show up and behave!

It's beginning to look a lot like Le-ent;
Penitence will start,
And the thing that will make you sing is the change that God will bring
Right within your heart!

bowl of creamy goodness

This is fettucine with creamy chicken sauce from the last issue of Everyday Food. I followed the recipe exactly (for once in my life!) except that the original called for pappardelle instead of fettucine. I live in the country which is a wonderful thing except when you want to purchase more uncommon pasta like pappardelle. Oh well.

The newest Everyday Food was in today's mail which was so exciting. It's great to come home to a new magazine or cook book in the mail. It's almost like getting a package. Almost. Getting a package in the mail is like Christmas. Yeah, that good.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

not edible

Lenny bought these little carved wood farm animals from The Country House and I am just crazy about them.

I am trying to spend more time in this room working on some new crafts for spring. Inspiration is a funny thing indeed.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

oh my gosh, it's paprikash

The first time I can recall eating chicken paprikash was in Detroit. A family in our church there talked about having us over for paprikash all the time. I had never even heard of paprikash, so I was rather excited by the prospect. I really enjoy trying new foods, especially if I do not have a concept of what they should be. Finally, paprikash was prepared for us and I must say, it did not dissappoint. It was chicken stewed in a tomato sauce with onions and paprika with homemade dumplings poached in the sauce and finished with a little sour cream. Delicious!

I have prepared a couple of different paprikash pots in the 8+ years since then and was excited to see another paprikash recipe in the November issue of Everyday Food. The original recipe can be found here. I made a couple of small changes - I used smoked paprika instead of sweet and once I browned the chicken, I put it in the oven on a baking sheet at 400 degrees while I was preparing the sauce. I only added the chicken to the sauce at the end and did that really just to coat it a bit. I wanted the skin to be crispy. I dislike rubbery chicken skin, or meat for that matter, and many times cooking chicken on the bone in a liquid results in just that.

I thought it might be fun to prop my pictures to be similiar to the ones in the magazine. I am a total amatuer with a camera and I find that mimicking photos I see teaches me a bit about composition and blah, blah, blah.

Now I think it was just really unoriginal.

My husband liked this very, ver much which always makes me happy.

Monday, January 17, 2011

cooking with celebrity chefs part 1

This is Ina's chicken stew with biscuits.

Well, almost Ina's... I made a couple of changes. I used half as many onions and I added about half a cup of diced celery. My husband and I both love this dish. It is great comfort food and tastes better the next day.

Of all the celebrity chefs, I think I enjoy Ina Garten the most. I believe she is that person she protrays herself as on her show - a rich lady with a somewhat nervous laugh who likes to cook for her husband Jeffrey and her friends. That's cool. I also adore her house - so lovely.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

sour cream coffee cake

A few days after I made this I went to a function where coffee cake was served, only the coffee cake served there was covered in a lot of sweet, gloppy icing piped all over the top. I prefer my coffee cake a bit more subtle.

This is wonderful served with coffee! I know. I know.

For the crumb topping:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

For the batter:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for cake pan
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for cake pan
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make topping: In a medium bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, pecans, oats, cinnamon, and salt. With a pastry cutter or your hands, blend until butter is incorporated and mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Make batter: Butter and flour an angel-food cake pan or 14-cup Bundt cake pan. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In another large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on high, scraping down bowl as needed, until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl after each addition. Add sour cream and beat to combine. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and beat just until combined. With a rubber spatula, fold in pecans; transfer batter to pan. Top with crumb topping and, with a butter knife, gently fold some of topping into batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes, then turn out onto rack and let cool.

Monday, January 10, 2011

it is splendid

Maccaroni and cheese made from the Splendid Table's recipe for 21st Century mac and cheese sans saltines. I don't like saltines in my mac and cheese. I do however love Lynn Rosetto Kasper - I could listen to her talk about food all day.