"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies/Bars with Brown Sugar Frosting

Here is a little problem that worked out okay for me.  I started out wanting cookies... The only pumpkin I had in the house was home made puree which has a ton more liquid than the canned "stuff".  Soooo.... the cookies became bars.  I did have to add more flour than the recipe called for because the batter was pretty wet.  (about a cup more)  If you use the canned "stuff", this won't be a problem.  I also made the standard brown sugar/cream cheese frosting..  and we've got a winner! Frosting is dusted with Cocoa.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups (12-ounce bag) milk chocolate chips, not semisweet
Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Revisit Basil Lime Marinade Rotisserie Style

We decided since I have SO much basil right now we would give the Basil Lime Marinade a try on a Rotisserie Chicken. I also used the marinade as an injected liquid.  You can see from the picture below just how plump the chicken is.

 Almost ready for the grill.
 Have you ever seen such a beautiful bird?
 We were not disappointed in the results.  It fell off the bones and the juices were right on... even the breast meat was moist. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


I have been having fun with my little herb garden this summer.  It had such a slow start this spring I about gave up.  It's growing now!

Oregano anyone... You would think I could just trim the plants and throw away the trimmings.... I haven't been able to do that yet.

Below is my latest cutting of Oregano along with a jar of what has already been dried.  I have also given away several small jars to family members.

 Below is what the dried leaves look like after they have been run through the food processor.

Right are the Oregano plants, they have already been cut at least three times this summer.  The plants just keep getting thicker.

Flat leaf parsley is now ready for cutting.

Lemon Thyme has a very intense lemon flavor.  Great with chicken and pork.

Rosemary... great in homemade breads, chicken and pork.

Curly Leaf Parsley, almost ready.

Of course Basil, I have taken several cuttings from this pot, and dried one small batch.  For some reason I had to replant twice this year.  It's growing now!

A person doesn't need much space to get lots of herbs.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Summer Veggie Pasta Salad

Cook pasta per box instructions.  As you can see I added all my favorite veggies, chopped and seeded cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, peas, red onion, carrots and green pepper.  I steamed the veggies (except tomatoes, green pepper, onion and cucumbers) and cooled before adding to pasta.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 teaspoon Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and ground black pepper to taste


I used my Cuisinart Smart Stick to blend the dressing until smooth.

1. Combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, salt, and black pepper together in a glass jar with a lid. Replace lid on the jar and shake vigorously until thoroughly combined.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Basil Lime Marinade

I love Basil!  Enough said...
After I mixed up the marinade below I wanted to drink it.. the smell was absolutely the fantastic if you love Basil..and Lime of course..

1      Cup             Basil Leaves Packed
1      Sprig           Fresh Rosemary
1/2   Cup             Lime Juice (or the juice of two limes and the zest of one lime)
1/2   Cup             Oil (either Olive or Vegetable or combination)
2      Each            Shallots (or 1/8 cup diced fresh green onions with some of the green tops added)
2-3   Each            Cloves Garlic
1      Teaspoon     Salt (to taste)
1      Teaspoon     Lemon Pepper
1-2   Teaspoons   Hot sauce
1-2   Teaspoons   Dijon Mustard

I used my Cuisinart Smart Stick to blend all the ingredients until smooth, you can also use your food processor to blend.

I had 4 pounds of chicken thighs that I placed in a gallon zip lock bag and add the marinade, make sure all the chicken pieces are coated well.   Place in refrigerator for a least an hour.  Turn frequently.

Grill or bake chicken until done.  Length of time will depend on the size of your chicken pieces.

Meat and Poultry Temperature Guide-Food Network

Chicken & Turkey
                                                    USDA Safe Minimum (degrees)
Whole                                                      165 

Parts                                                        165

Stuffed                                                     165

Ground                                                     165

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Buffa Cue Chicken Wings with Sticky Honey Sauce

We tried this recipe on Friday... Excellent.  We did not use the hot sauce mop.  The wings were even better the second day.  Spices had a chance to really soak into the meat.

Get a wet towel ready... you're going to need it!

 Home made Sticky Honey Sauce
 Marinade wings for at least 4 hours.  I have tons of fresh chives available so I added to the recipe.
 Do Not Wash off Marinade before grilling.

BBQ University Buffa Cue Wings

For the wings and marinade:
16 whole chicken wings (about 3-1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup Tabasco sauce or your favorite hot sauce
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the mop sauce:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter
1/2 cup Tabasco sauce or your favorite hot sauce

For serving:
Maytag Blue Cheese Sauce (see step 6)
4 ribs celery, rinsed and cut into thirds lengthwise, then cut crosswise into roughly 3-inch sticks

Step 1: Rinse the chicken wings under cold running water and blot them dry with paper towels. Cut the tips off the wings and discard them (or leave the tips on if you don’t mind munching a morsel that’s mostly skin and bones). Cut each wing into 2 pieces through the joint.

Step 2: Make the marinade: Whisk together the hot sauce, lemon juice, oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large nonreactive mixing bowl. Stir in the wing pieces and let marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 4 to 6 hours or as long as overnight, turning the wings several times so that they marinate evenly.

Step 3: Make the mop sauce: Just before setting up the grill, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir in the hot sauce.

Step 4: Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. If using a gas grill, place all of the wood chips or chunks in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to medium. If using a charcoal grill, place a large drip pan in the center, preheat the grill to medium, then toss all of the wood chips or chunks on the coals.

Step 5: When ready to cook, drain the marinade off the wings and discard the marinade. Brush and oil the grill grate. Place the wings in the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan and away from the heat, and cover the grill. Cook the wings until the skin is crisp and golden brown and the meat is cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes. During the last 10 minutes, start basting the wings with some of the mop sauce.

Step 6: Transfer the grilled wings to a shallow bowl or platter and pour the remaining mop sauce over them. Serve with Maytag Blue Cheese Sauce and celery for dipping and of course plenty of paper napkins and cold beer.

1 cup ketchup
1 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup molasses (not blackstrap)
3/4 cup honey
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp chili powder (or Tabasco sauce)
Add all the ingredients to a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
Whisk to combine.
Bring to a low boil and reduce to a simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes for a thin sauce, 1 hour for a thicker sauce.
Store in the fridge.

To can this you need the following: Water Bath Canner Canning Set Pint Jars with lids and rings 1. PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside. 2. LADLE hot sauce into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight. 3. PROCESS jars in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Marinated Pork Tenderloins

Last weekend I went to the big city of St. Louis to help my mom (87 yrs young) prepare a family Father's day celebration for my stepfather (91 yrs. young).  Mom had a beef brisket in the oven by the time I arrived. She also had pork tenderloins on the menu.  She told me about a pre marinaded pork tenderloin she had purchased and how much they loved it.  The pork she had for this dinner did not have marinade.  This was the first recipe we looked at and she loved it.  Just by chance I had brought rosemary, lemon thyme and chives from my herb garden and she had the garlic in her garden.

We mixed it all up and let it marinate over night.  

Everyone loved "the pork", it was tender and juicy.

Sorry no pictures.

From Food Network

1 lemon, zest grated
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 to 6 lemons)
Good olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Kosher salt
3 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each)
Freshly ground black pepper
Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, and 2 teaspoons salt in a sturdy 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add the pork tenderloins and turn to coat with the marinade. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag. Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and discard the marinade but leave the herbs that cling to the meat. Sprinkle the tenderloins generously with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large oven-proof saute pan over medium-high heat. Sear the pork tenderloins on all sides until golden brown. Place the saute pan in the oven and roast the tenderloins for 10 to 15 minutes or until the meat registers 137 degrees F at the thickest part. Transfer the tenderloins to a platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Carve in 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices. The thickest part of the tenderloin will be quite pink (it's just fine!) and the thinnest part will be well done. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm, or at room temperature with the juices that collect in the platter.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/herb-marinated-pork-tenderloins-recipe.html?oc=linkback