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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Crunchy Buttermilk-Coconut Chicken Fingers

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It’s okay.  You can call off the search.  I am back.  It’s only been a few days, but it seems so much longer to me.  The movers came to pack on Saturday and we moved on Sunday.  I had it all planned out so that I could still post every day.  Every now and then I surprise myself and the plan goes south.

I thought I would get ahead of the game and move a few things on my own so that I don’t have to go digging for them later.  One of those things was my office.  You know, computer, printers, keyboard, modem, router.  Imagine my surprise when I got home from the new house and couldn’t connect to the Internet.  Duh, no router = no wi-fi.

I still made these delicious chicken fingers.  I cheated a little and bought the strips.  I wish I had cut them in half, but they were still delish.   The rest of the breading is corn flakes.  I thought it was a little strange that the recipe called for combining the chicken and flour in a bowl, as opposed to the standard dredge.  I don’t recommend it.

There’s just no way to make these guys attractive.  They did hit the spot with a sweet potato and an ear of corn.  I pulled this out of Cooking Light’s April 2008 issue.

I haven’t cooked since Friday and I think I’m having withdrawals.  I was pretty happy to pick up sushi, order pizza, make roast beef sandwiches, and go to the Cheesecake Factory.  I think it’s time to get back to it, though.

This is what I’ve been doing in the meantime.

Do you think I have a coffee problem?  Rest assured that half of one of those cabinets is at least halfway filled with the remainder of my coffee accessories.

This is what Phoebe’s been doing in the meantime.

Eat Well and Savor.


Roasted Pineapple Tart

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Or Tarte Ananas Roti, if you prefer.

Let me tell you a tale about a pineapple and a vanilla bean.  Before you can get to the Roasted Pineapple Tart, you have to get past the Roasted Pineapple.  It’s all a very time-consuming process.  Actually, to tell the truth, before the pineapple, you need the Sweet Almond Pastry.  I made that yesterday and let it sit in the fridge.  For the pineapple you basically steep the vanilla bean and then caramelize the sugar.  Then it all roasts together for an hour and 45 minutes.   Oh, and there’s rum.

As the vanilla was steeping Jake came into the kitchen and said, what is that intoxicating aroma?  Well, maybe he said smell, but definitely intoxicating.

Once you get past the dough and the pineapple next you have to conquer the coconut cream.  Said cream calls for ground coconut, or as they put it in Laduree Sucre, coconut flour.   Now, I’ve been around, and I’ve heard some things, so I am under the impression that coconut flour in France is a little different from what we have here.  So going along with the idea of ground coconut, I probably should have just ground some coconut.  Instead, I used powdered coconut, which is really for making milk.  Before it went into the oven, it looked exactly as I thought it should, and it tasted even better.  Yes, of course I licked the spatula.  I was even nice enough to share it with Jake.  That doesn’t always happen, you know.

I just wanted to show off my perfectly whipped cream.

I think that’s where it all went south.  Although the texture still looked great after folding in the whipped cream.

So after you top it with half the pineapple and then bake it for 45 minutes — I hope you’re not in a hurry — this is what happens.

I know, it’s not pretty.  It puffed up so much that some of the pineapple fell to its demise on the oven floor.  Fortunately, it settled down a little after cooling, and I managed to camouflage it a bit.

Those are vanilla beans all over the place.  I swear, I didn’t pick the pieces off the oven floor.

In the end, it was a little soft, and not very photogenic, but it was tasty for sure.  I’m suspect it will firm up in the fridge.   Whatever happens it will not go to waste.  All in all, it was totally worth the effort.

Eat Well and Savor.



Chicken Chop Suey

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I never use chopsticks.  I am severely chopstick-challenged.

Don’t let the brown rice fool you.  This was really good.  And, in typical Ellie Krieger style, the serving was huge.  You can find this in the Food You Crave.

Frankly, though, there’s a lot of prep work.

Slice the celery, scallions, garlic, napa cabbage, shiitakes.  In fact, as if that’s not enough slicing, you can then slice the sliced bamboo shoots.  On top of all the slicing, you also have to cook the rice, the chicken, and the wonton wrappers, and toast some sesame seeds.  Before I forget, EK says 10 to 12 minutes for those wontons.  I am here to tell you that they took about seven minutes.  Of course, every oven is different.  Isn’t that what they say?

Once all the slicing was done, it went pretty fast.

EK says that her Grandma used to make this.  My Grandma isn’t much of a cook, but she loves to go to the Salem Willows in MA and get chop suey sandwiches.  I highly recommend them too.

I was so worn out after all the slicing I forgot to sprinkle on the toasted sesame seeds.

By the way, in my humble opinion, it ain’t chop suey unless there are bean sprouts, and maybe a water chestnut or two.

Eat Well and Savor.

Fruit Salad with Cannoli Cream

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This is from Giada’s book Everyday Italian.

There really isn’t a whole lot to say about this.  Strawberries, raspberries, and kiwi, topped with cream and almonds.

This cream itself has ricotta and a nice pinch of cinnamon.  I suppose if you know how to make cannolis you already know that.  Can you tell I don’t?

I know we didn’t need another picture, but I wanted to throw in my vintage spoon.  Giada says this is for dessert, but I had it for lunch today.

That’s it.  That’s all I’ve got.

Eat Well and Savor.




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The perfect way to start the day.

I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m intimidated by pastry dough, but it is my least favorite kind of baking.  Especially when it comes to all of the flour, rolling it out, the chilling, or the rising – ugh.  I just don’t have the patience.  Of course I always love the end result and it’s usually worth it.  These little gems were the exception in that there was no fuss and no muss.  Just some milk, butter, flour, and eggs.  Well, a little sugar and salt too.

Then just dollop onto a parchment lined pan.  I’m here to tell you, if you run out of parchment, don’t use foil.

These are from Elizabeth Bard and Lunch in Paris.   She kindly gives instrcutions on how to bake these from the freezer, fridge, or fresh.  She also said they should make about 24.  My batch made 30ish.

In case you can’t tell from the picture, they were excellent and by the end of the day there were only three leftover.

These came out of my first batch and I thought they were perfect.

This one is from the lsat batch and even though it’s out of focus you can tell it’s different.

I’m not a pastry chef or a scientist, so I’m not going to attempt an explanation.  They were all good.

Eat Well and Savor.

House of Schwarzenberg Pot Roast

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If you know more history than I do, and it wouldn’t take much, I’m sure you realize that tonight we had royal pot roast.

This recipe comes from Clementine Paddleford and The Great American Cookbook.  It was in the Vermont section and even though I have spent many years in New England, I have not made it to Vermont.  Apparently, back in the day, Princess Anna Maria Schwarzenberg lived in Bethel and CP went to see her.  This recipe comes from her family’s cookbook, written in 1824.  And I thought only the von Trapps hung out up there in the hills.

I knew this was going to be good.   How can something with 2 cups of wine, 1/2 cup of cognac, and 1/3 cup of sherry come out bad?  The usual aromatics are hiding under there, but I had to take a picture of my tomatoes.  I am very proud of these, since I peeled them myself.  I personally don’t think it’s a huge accomplishment, but it’s something I usually don’t do because most recipes call for the canned variety.  My husband was certainly impressed because to him it’s unheard of.  I remember my mom doing it many times on the farm.  I had a pretty good idea how to do it, but I did look it up to verify.  Cut an X on the bottom, put in boiling water for 20 seconds, drain, and then rinse with cold water.  For medium-sized tomatoes it should peel off in four pieces.   I had one big one that required a little more effort.

I was also pretty happy that this recipe had cabbage.  I love cabbage, and there aren’t too many ways to prepare it, especially since I will be eating the whole thing alone.  Unfortunately, I think the head I bought was too big and it didn’t cook in the amount of time specified.  No worries, it is simmering away now in the leftover juice from the roast.

One more criticsm:  more carrots.  One is not enough.

All in all, not as good as my mother’s boiled dinner.  But Jake did give it a 9 out of 10.

It did fall off the fork and melt in the mouth.

Eat Well and Savor.

Breakfast Sundae Supreme

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I know, I know, two Hungry Girl recipes in a row.  Cut me some slack, I’m trying to pack for the big move.  On top of that, I had an all-day seminar for work today.  Good times.

There’s some banana in there and I suspect the idea is that this is like a banana split.

In my humble opinion, you can’t go wrong with chocolate chips for breakfast.  And thanks to the power of strawberry yogurt, you can start the day with pink cottage cheese, which I think makes it seem like a special occasion.

Eat Well and Savor.