Friday, August 29, 2008

Sufferin' Succotash

What is Succotash? well, according to Wikipedia:
Succotash (from the Native American Narraganset language, msikwatash) is a food dish consisting primarily of lima beans (butter beans) and corn (maize), possibly including pieces of cured meat or fish. This method of preparing vegetables became very popular during the Great Depression in the United States. It was sometimes cooked in a casserole form, often with a light pie crust on top as in a traditional pot pie. In some parts of the American south, any mixture of vegetables prepared with lima beans and topped with lard or butter is called succotash. Succotash is a traditional dish of many Thanksgiving celebrations in Pennsylvania and other states. In Indiana, Succotash is made with green beans and corn instead of lima beans.

So here is my take on Succotash. This was my featured entree from last weeks class at the Finishing School. If you can't find fresh okra, I wouldn't suggest frozen-it is soooo slimy! Try substituting it with some zuccini.


1 lb. scallops
1 lb. shrimp
½ lb. Lima beans
1 red bell pepper
1 leek
3 cups corn
4 green onions
Handful of okra
A few sprigs of oregano
1 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. olive oil

In a skillet, heat the olive oil and butter together. Cook leek until translucent, add the Lima beans, bell pepper, and corn. Next add the onion, oregano, salt and pepper to taste.
Next, in another skillet heat a bit of olive oil. Generously season shrimp and scallops with salt and pepper. Sear the scallops and shrimp for about two minutes each side and serve hot over hot succotash.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dessert is on Me

This cool treat was the highlight of the August 9th class (Summer Garden Party) at Thanksgiving Point. Other recipes featured were french fried vegetables (tempura), pineapple cabbage slaw, garlic lime compound butter with roasted corn wheels, and Salmon burgers on home made herbed foccacia. Class attendee Marian Gallian made the ice cream and cookies and sent me this picture. Thanks so much Marian!


¼ cup lemon zest, finely grated
½ cup fresh lemon juice
3 cups superfine sugar
4 ½ cups heavy cream
1 ½ cups whole milk
½ teaspoon salt

In a saucepan whisk together lemon juice, zest, and sugar. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves about ten minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature. Whisk together the cream, milk and salt. Add the milk to the lemon mixture and chill. Freeze according to your ice cream maker instructions. Do not let it run too long or it will turn to butter.


¾ lb. unsalted butter
1 ½ cup sugar
3 Tablespoons lemon zest
3 Tablespoons orange zest
3 ¾ cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks

Cream butter and sugar with paddle.
Incorporate zest and eggs. Mix until sticky.
Add all dry ingredients. Mix until forms a solid ball, but not too sticky.
Roll into even rolls.
Store wrapped in parchment paper.
Cut and press cookies. (I press them with the bottom of a tea plate to make them thinner)
Bake on parchment for 8 minutes at 375.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Easy Summer Meal

Here is a fantastically easy summertime dish that you should enjoy. Don't be intimidated by the tortillas-they are super easy to make and they don't have to be perfect. I have a word for food that isn't perfect..."rustic". I love to serve this with "Cafe Rio"-style Cilantro Lime dressing. If you can't stand cilantro, try parsley with it instead. Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Oh yes, by the way, thanks to Tricia Porter again for the great rock!

Grilled Flank Steak

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons honey
6 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
6 Tablespoons sweet red pepper relish
juice and zest of a lime
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2-3 pound flank steak

Mix all ingredients except steak in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Add steak and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to a day, turning occasionally.
Prepare barbeque (medium-high heat) or preheat broiler. Remove meat from marinade; discard marinade. Grill steak to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut across grain into thin strips.

Flour Tortillas

4 cups all-purpose flour (or 3 cups all-purpose and 1 cup whole wheat)
1 teaspoon baking powder1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups warm water (or enough to make the dough the right consistency)

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and 1/2 of the water. Mix together with your hands and continue adding water into the dough until it forms a solid ball, but is not too sticky. If necessary, add additional flour or water as needed. Knead the dough on a floured board for 5 minutes. Cut the dough in half and then in half again, continuing the process until you have 8 equal portions. Roll each piece into a ball, place them on a lightly floured surface, and cover with a damp towel.
Heat a griddle or cast iron pan to medium heat. Roll out the dough, one piece at a time to about 1/4 inch thickness. Place one round of dough on the griddle and cook on each side for about 30 seconds. Take care that the griddle is not too hot or the tortillas will scorch. Continue the process with the remaining 7 portions of dough.
1 buttermilk ranch dressing packet
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
4 tomatillos (tomato like vegetable with a husk around them)
½ bunch of cilantro
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. jalapeƱo
Use a food processor to blend all the ingredients well. Refrigerate.* be warned... this makes a ton of dressing, but it will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A La Peanut Butter Sandwiches

So today my daughter (4) almost (5) asked me why I call her "Peanut butter" and her sister (3) "Jelly". I know that she much prefers being called "Cowgirl" and her sister "Princess" and sometimes they just like me to call them both "Cowgirl Princesses". I would have thought that by now that my children would all have figured out that I really don't do anything "normal" or their way for that matter-sometimes because I just like to be different, sometimes just because I like to bug them. But I thought that this was a good question so it deserved a good answer. The answer being:

One of my favorite characters when I was little was The Amazing Mumford. Do you know who he was??? He was the magician on Sesame Street...ringing a bell? I know, of all the characters...why him? I don't know...Maybe I felt sorry for him...always trying to conjure up some great trick only to have it go wrong. (sounds like being a grownup now that I think of it) Anyway, right before he would perform his amazing feat he would say "a la peanut butter sandwiches!" And thus I have always loved that saying. Now the "Jelly", where did that come from...well naturally if you call one child "Peanut butter" you musts call the other "Jelly"...right? Well at least that is my rationale. Quite frankly, I think there is no thing better than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made on fresh comfort food. So I told her that I call her that because I love peanut butter so much and I love her it works.

She stared blankly at me...what did she expect? I personally thought it was a good explanation. She then asked me "Which do you like better-peanut butter or jelly?" (she isn't too dumb for four)

I told her "I love them both...I couldn't bear a sandwich without both of them. So do you mind if I still call you "Peanut butter"?"

"I guess you can call me that, but just not at school,"she replied.

So that's that. I only wonder what ever happened to poor old Mumford.
Are you wondering how I am going to tie this story in with a recipe? Well, there is nothing better with a fresh peanut butter sandwich than potato here you go:
4 russet (baking) potatoes (about 2 pounds)
4 cups canola oil for deep-frying
sea salt
malt vinegar

Peel potatoes and put in a bowl of cold water to cover. Cut potato into paper-thin slices (about 1/16 inch thick) and let potato slices stand 20 minutes in another bowl of cold water with ice in it to cover.
Drain potato slices and spread without overlapping on a triple layer of paper towels. Blot slices completely dry with another triple layer of paper towels.
In a 3-quart saucepan heat oil until a deep-fat thermometer registers 380°F. Working in batches of 8 to 10 slices, fry potatoes, turning once or twice, until golden, this takes about two minutes, making sure oil returns to 380°F before adding next batch. Transfer chips with a large slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and sprinkle with salt and vinegar. Potato chips may be made 2 days ahead and kept in an airtight container.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Beans, Beans,The Magical Fruit...

My children eat and enjoy quite a wide array of food. It has always been one of my goals to raise kids who aren't picky. I've always wondered how people make it all the way into adulthood without eating vegetables. Now, I don't mean iceberg lettuce, potatoes, and corn. I mean vegetables like cabbage, yams, brussel sprouts, eggplant...and so on. I understand that it can be hard to get our children (or significant other) to try new things, but don't give up. It is a rule in my household to try everything. Now, on the other hand, I don't make the goal unattainable by piling food on the plate. It is important to remember, we as Americans, generally eat way too much. Our portion control is out of control. I figure if I am going to make a meal, that those who eat it should show me enough respect to try it. I don't expect everyone to love it, I surely don't enjoy all things, but unless they can prove it's gonna kill them...they're going to eat it.

So, with that said, I love things that just make eating good..easy. One of my family's favorite snacks is edamame. I get satisfaction when I can make a bowl full of edamame and my kids finish it off in seconds. But tonight I found an edamame loophole. Tonight we had fresh wax and green beans from the garden...yummy! But I had some difficulty getting my youngest (3) to eat the whole bean. She was disappointed that the "beans" as she calls them, were so small. She was literally leaving sucked out beans on the plate. It took me some time to convince her that, unlike the pod of the edamame that is inedible, she was to eat the whole bean. Do you have a hard time getting someone to eat vegetables?

Well, here is a fun and easy recipe for a bean salad...I hope you enjoy it.


1 pound green beans, cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces
1 cup jicima
1 bunch radishes, trimmed, sliced

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Blanch beans in salted water for 3-5 minutes then chill well.

**Blanching is a cooking term that describes a process of food preparation wherein the food, usually a vegetable or fruit, is plunged into boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water (shocked) to halt the cooking process.
Combine beans, jicima and radishes in large bowl. Whisk remaining ingredients to blend in small bowl. Add enough dressing to salad to taste. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I love Mushu Pork.......

I was just glad I wasn't Ursula!
You Are Mulan!
Image hosted by

Strong and spirited. You're no one's girly girl; actually you are very determined person with a strong sense of self. Never let go of that! The only thing that equals your sense of self is your family, but the traditions of society can always be bent to protect something or someone you love.

Which Disney Princess Are You?

So much fun and nothing to do with food.

What Disney princess are you?
Ok. So you have to take this test. Try to ignore it, but you know you want to know what princess you are...even if you don't think of yourself as the princess type. I want to know what you find out. So leave me a comment and let me know who yo turned out to be. Or guess who I am- I'll tell you tomorrow.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


With fruit trees in the west booming with these sweet treats, take the time to whip up fun and new recipes. I thought you might like these with your eggs and bacon this morning. If you already had breakfast...shame on should have checked in with me first! Just kidding. But make sure you make them soon, they are super yummy.


2 cups flour
½ tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Baking powder
¼ tsp. Baking soda
½ stick butter
½ cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp. Maple syrup
1 1/2 cup fresh apricots, chopped

Sift the dry ingredients together. Cut the butter into the dry mixture with a pastry blender or fork until resembles oatmeal. Add the milk, syrup, and apricots. Work with your hands , quickly and bring the dough the dough together (it will be crumbly). Pat down until it is ½ inch thick and cut with a large biscuit cutter then cut into fourths. Place on parchment paper. Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in a 400 degree oven for ten minutes or until golden.