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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Pork Tenderloin with Plum Ketchup

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Well, I figured it would be  just a matter of time before I got around to making my own ketchup.  I just never suspected that it would be derived from plums.

Really, those aren’t beets. 

Process these with onion, garlic, and ginger. 

Add brown sugar, cider vinegar, and cinnamon.

Simmer 30 minutes until thickened.  Use one cup to marinate the pork and the other to put inside a cute little jar.

Fortunately I had en empty jar left after the apple jelly failure.  No, I’m not bitter.

I pulled this out of Family Circle at some point.  It’s not a magazine that I subscribe too, so I’m sure while at the checkout I was tempted by some amazing summer dishes on the cover.  The recipe said to broil this, which I did.  That accounts for the little bit of crust, which Jake loved.  For real, he told me about eight times how great it was.  I’m sure you could throw it on the grill too.  One thing is for sure, I can’t wait to put that ketchup on some sandwiches. 

Eat Well and Savor.


Buttermilk Pie (With a Hint of Maple Syrup)

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This is pretty much custard in a pie shell.  It also qualifies as the easiest pie I’ve ever made.  Well, that’s probably not entirely true, considering I made the crust from scratch.  Thanks to Baked Explorations that was simple too.

Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito say that this pie isn’t winning any beauty contests, but I think it came out all right.

It probably could have cooked just a tad more, but it was perfectly scrumptious the way it was.

This was before the oven.  It looks a little bit like pumpkin, but it’s really just eggs with sugar and the golden color comes from the dark brown sugar and the maple syrup.

I was pretty impressed with my crimping prowess.

The recipe says that the origin of this pie is Texas.  I did a teeny bit of research and all I could find was that it’s Southern and similar to chess pie.  I read a cute little snippet by Virginia Willis that suggested that a waitress (one I would liken to Alice) would answer the question about what the pie of the day is and the response would perhaps be:  it’s just pie.  Imagine that with a little Southern drawl and I can hear it’s chess pie.

Eat Well and Savor.

Apple and Mint Jelly

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The path to hell is paved with good intentions.  I’m not sure if that really applies to this situation.  I basically wanted to say that the jelly actually never happened.  I swear there’s some other phrase that refers to a science experiment gone wrong.

Wanna see what’s inside?

Once upon a time there was two pounds of apples just begging to become jelly and hang out on my buttered toast.  Then the Evil Queen, Annie Rigg, stepped in and ruined everything.  The Sugarplum Princess just needed a little guidance for my first foray into making jelly.  It all seemed simple enough.  The storybook in question is Gifts from the Kitchen and in it the EQ simply says cut up the apples, add water, cover the saucepan, and cook gently until the apple chunks are soft.  Seriously, EQ?  This princess has a life.  Could you at least let me know how long that’s going to take.  Just a little hint would be great.  Do I have time to paint my nails or maybe walk the dog?  Fortunately, the Prince of Pastry stepped in to save me.  I whipped out the new iPad and followed the yellow brick road right to who informed me that not only should I leave the lid askew, but this would take about 20 to 30 minutes.  I swear I let these go about 40 minutes.  And yes, I realize I just made DL a prince and the Wizard of Oz at the same time.

At that point I thought we had stumbled onto a happy ending.  Alas, there is always a twist.  EQ said that whatever you do, when you put the apples into the jellybag, do not push or prod the apples or the juice will be cloudy.  She at least gave a guideline that the extraction would take at least four hours.  The Prince said this too but said that overnight would work best.  I’m here to tell you, it didn’t make a bit of difference.  Also, I swear on the life of my made-up fairytale sidekick that I did not push or prod those apples.  Still, here’s what I was awarded with:

Being the firm believer in Happy Endings that I am, was going to attempt to make what would probably have been the world’s smallest batch of jelly.  That never happened either because I wound up working 9:00 to 7:30 with a bunch of attorneys that around 4:00 started to resemble the flying monkeys.

Actual Happy Ending:  Peaches and Cream mani/pedi at the Four Seasons Spa.

For reals, I am so tempted to abandon this book.  I love her ideas, but her direction is weak at best.  Obviously I don’t blame her for the amount of juice in the apples.  Maybe I will have to cast a sequel this fall.

Eat Well and Savor.

Spicy Chicken Crunchtastic Supreme

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I know I say it every time, but I just love the names that Hungry Girl comes up with.

This is from Lisa Lillien;s 300 Under 300.  It’s in the chapter for Fast Food/Drive-Thru Makeovers.  Apparently it’s a swap for something at Taco Bell.  I haven’t been there in YEARS, so I have no idea what it’s supposed to replace.  It’s a flour tortilla and she said you’re supposed to fold it over six times and then brown it in the skillet.   Obviously I couldn’t get mine to fold, so I skipped the skillet part.

Start with cheese, canned chicken, and taco seasoning.  I can’t believe I used the words chicken and canned in conjunction.

30 seconds in the microwave and you get cheesy goodness.

Top the tortilla with the aforementioned cheesy goodness, a few tortilla chips, sour cream, lettuce, tomato.   I suspect the crunchtastic is supposed to come from the chips.  I don’t know what brand HG is using, but mine softened right up.

I had a few on the side and pretty much ate this with a fork and called it taco salad.

Eat Well and Savor.



Penne with Zucchini and Italian Sausage

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A simple pasta with robust flavors.  That’s what Sharon O’Connor says at least.  I don’t know that I would use the word robust.  But it was pretty creamy with all that cheese in there.

Five cloves of garlic.

And four diced zucchini.

More important is the cup of parmesan.  I guess technically I should say that the wine is important too, since this did come from the Wine Tasting Collection of Music Cooks.

It was the perfect night for dinner on the deck and the extra wine came in handy.

I used the parsley from my own scrawny little plant.

I guess scrawny is the theme for my little balcony garden.

Some day this little guy is going to make a beautiful sandwich.

btw – Jake loved this, even with the zucchini.  Of course the main topic of conversation at dinner was about what other vegetable could be substituted.  Turns out the recipe recommends spinach or chard.  He didn’t really go for either of those.

Eat Well and Savor.

Corned Beef Hash and Eggs

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I love having breakfast for dinner.

I always thought that hash meant crispy, as in hash browns.   Turns out it is just a dish of diced or chopped meat and often vegetables, as of leftover corned beef or veal and potatoes, sautéed in a frying pan or of meat, potatoes, and carrots cooked together in gravy.  Yes, once again, I just cut and pasted that from

Even though I was wrong about that, Ellie Krieger in Comfort Food Fix still said that you want a brown crust to form.  Unfortunately the only crust that coud be found in my kitchen was on the bottom of my pan.

This still came out delish, in my humble opinion.

I was really looking forward to this one.  Whenever I go to Danvers to visit my cousin we always try to get to Salem, MA and go to Red’s Sandwich Shop for a Hash Omelette.  The building itself dates back to the 1700s.  I vaguely remember some reference to Paul Revere, but for all I know one of my cousins could have made that up.  If you aren’t partial to corned beef hash, they have amazing pancakes too.

Eat Well and Savor.



White Bean Dip with Pita Chips

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I really didn’t need anything else hummus-like in my fridge.  Last week I picked up a two-pounder at Costco.  Still, I’m glad I made this.

This was smooth and creamy and includes just the basics:  cannellini beans, oil, garlic, parsley, lemon juice.

The chips were a piece of cake too.   Totally worth a repeat.   Just sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oregano, brush with olive oil and toast.

I’m beginning to realize that Giada named this book Everyday Italian because everyday equals simple.  By the way, I had this for dinner.

Eat Well and Savor.