Monday, June 26, 2017

Welcome to #Cookout Week and a Great #Giveaway

#CookoutWeek_Logo2 

 Get those grills fired up... because it's #CookoutWeek 2017! This week, I'm joining forces with over 40 food blogger friends to bring you delicious recipes perfect for every backyard BBQ, picnic, summer party, or cookout. We also have a fabulous giveaway featuring products from the brands who have made #CookoutWeek possible! You can enter below to win:
  • From blog host The PinterTest Kitchen: $100 Amazon gift card, to use to buy all the supplies you need for your next cookout
  • From our sponsor The French Farm: A gift pack of gourmet products hand-crafted by small businesses and using only the finest ingredients - La Favorita Genovese Pesto, Caprichos del Guadalquivir Cadenera Orange Marmalade, and L’Abeille Occitane Lavender Honey
  • From our sponsor Smokin'-Os: A sampler pack of their "smokin'-os" wood rings, to help you add wood-fired, smokey taste to your grilled foods, even if you don't own a smoker
  • From our sponsor Primal Kitchen: $200 of Primal Kitchen goodies, including condiments made with avocado oil and bars and shakes with grass-fed collagen
  • From our sponsor Langers Juice Company: Your choice of 10 bottles of Langers Juice, with flavors including traditional Apple and Grape, as well as interesting mixes such as Pineapple Orange Coconut, Cranberry Blood Orange, and Mango Peach
  • From our sponsor True Made Foods: A 3-bottle sampler pack of sauces with real flavors made from real vegetables and less sugar - Ketchup, BBQ, and Veracha
This prize pack has an ARV of over $400! You have until July 1 at 11:59 PM to enter by following our sponsors and bloggers on social media.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stay tuned... remember, throughout the week, all of the participating bloggers will be posting delicious cookout recipes.  I am posting a dish each day so that by the end of the week you will have a complete Cookout Dinner to enjoy for the weekend.  It is quick.  It is easy.  It is delicious.  I can't wait to share it with all of you.

Here are all the bloggers who are part of #CookoutWeek 2017.

As one of the bonus entries in the giveaway, leave a comment on this blog post... what is your favorite dish to eat at a cookout?


Here are some recipes being shared today





Cinnamon Rhubarb Muffins #MuffinMonday

It's rhubarb season again and what better way to use up some rhubarb than with some light fluffy muffins with a cinnamon sugar topping?


These muffins that I'm sharing with you on the Muffin Monday are adapted from a recipe found at Fine Cooking. They were written as a sour cream muffin but I used half sour cream and half ricotta cheese since that was what I had in the refrigerator.  I also used almond extracts as I was out of vanilla.  They were absolutely delicious and lasted exactly 2 hours once they were baked.  I took a few to a friend's house and the rest were gobbled by me, Frank and our Little Miss.

Cinnamon Rhubarb Muffins
adapted from Fine Cooking

2 c. flour
3/4 c. sugar
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. ricotta cheese
1 T. milk
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. small dice rhubarb
Cinnamon Sugar for sprinkling (1 t. cinnamon + 1/4 c. sugar)

In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

In med. bowl whisk together the sour cream, ricotta, milk, butter and eggs. 

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients all at once into the well.  Stir just until combined then fold in the rhubarb.

Divide the batter between 12 cup muffin tin that is treated with baking spray or lined with paper cups. Sprinkle generously with Cinnamon Sugar.  You can make your own cinnamon sugar using the amounts indicated above.  Store any extra in a sealed container or baggie in a dry location.

Bake in a preheated 400* oven for about 20 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center removes cleanly.  Print Recipe

More Marvelous Muffins


#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Let the Visiting Begin.....and the Weekly Menu

Our son from Denmark, Dian, his girl, Helena and their baby, Jordan, arrive this afternoon for a 3 week visit to the USA.  We are so excited to meet Helena and Jordan and can't wait to spend time with Dian who was fondly referred to as "Bratski" while he lived with us.


This is the first day of company from out of town staying with us for the summer.  My brother, Larry, and his wife, Mary, arrive July 6th for the month.  While they are with us, some of Mary's friends are coming in from California too so we will have them for a few days as well.  It is going to be a hectic, busy, fun filled summer!!

Yesterday was spent going to the Farmer's Market, Butcher and Grocers to have full cupboards, pantry and refrigerator for our guests.  The afternoon was spent on yard work and then we attended a Graduation party for Frank's cousin's son.

Today we are going to 9:30 am Mass and then heading over to a neighboring town for an Art Fair. Dian and family should be arriving to the house about 3 or 4 pm.  Tingting and Melody will be over to welcome them.  Dian was living at our house and attending school with Tingting.  It was he who let us know that she needed a home for the second semester.  We invited her to stay with us and the rest is history. 

Dian's favorite food while he was here was hamburgers so that is what we are serving for his first dinner home. We are going to play the rest of the week by ear.  I have a meeting at church to attend on Monday afternoon and we are picking John and Kirsten up at the airport late Wednesday evening when they return from Japan.  I can't wait to hear all about their trip.

So here is the Weekly Menu....it may be switched up depending on what activities we decide on during the week but at least I will have a plan in mind.

Saturday
Graduation Party

Sunday
Hamburgers
Potato Salad
Baked Beans

Meatless Monday
Spinach and Cheese Ravioli
Caesar Salad
Tomato/Blue Cheese Salad
Garlic Bread

Tuesday
Chicken Enchiladas
Spanish Rice
Refried Beans

Wednesday
Meatballs in Mushroom Gravy
Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
Steamed Broccoli

Thursday
Asst. Grilled Sausages
Asst. Salads

Fish Friday
Shrimp Scampi
Pasta Agli Olio


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Lahma Bil Basal #EatLikeAnEgyptian

Today marks the end of Ramadan, a time of prayer and fasting for those of the Muslim faith, reminiscent (to me) of the Lenten Season of the Christian Community.  This Holiday is known as Eid al-Fitr.
"What is Eid al-Fitr? The arabic name Eid al-Fitr translates to 'festival of the breaking of the fast' in English. It marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan, and the beginning of the Islamic month of Shawwal."
from Mirror.com

My friend, Sue of Palatable Pastime invited us to Eat Like An Egyptian in support and celebration with our Muslim friends.

When I finished my Google search to learn what this holiday was all about, I conducted another to find an Egyptian Recipe.  Many of the Middle Eastern Foods that I am crazy about: hommus, baba ghanouj, chicken shwarma, mujadara, baklava, stuffed grape leaves, and kebabs are included in this group.


I also found a recipe for this delicious, tender Beef in Rich Onion Broth that I knew would be easily adaptable to the crockpot.  

I had a funeral to attend that was several hours away.  It was on a Wednesday and we watch our Little Miss Melody on Wednesdays so Frank remained home with her so I could attend with our friends, John and Kirsten.  I left him with this recipe from Allrecipes.com and asked him to make it and then put it in the crockpot to finish cooking so that we could enjoy it for dinner when we returned home.I forgot to tell him to reduce the amount of water for the crockpot version. So the gravy was not very thick.  We chose to just use a slotted spoon and a little ladle for the au jus.  You can halve the amount of water or use a roux to thicken the gravy if you prefer.


When we walked in the door our mouths started watering.  It smelled delicious and we couldn't wait for Frank, who was returning Melody to her mom, to get home so we could eat.  Frank served this up with white rice and corn.  This is no surprise, Frank always chooses white rice over brown and corn is the only vegetable he ever makes when he is cooking dinner.  Not that I am complaining.....I am always very grateful that he is always so willing and able to step up to the (dinner) plate.

The recipe was adapted only slightly.  We used 2 lbs of beef instead of 1 and where it called for a bay leaf, Frank read basil (probably because of the name of the dish) and plucked one from my basil plant to add instead of the bay leaf.  Oh.....and, of course, it was made in the crockpot.



Lahma Bil Basal (Beef in Rich Onion Sauce)
adapted from Allrecipes.com 

2 lbs. beef stew meat
2 T. butter
1 T. canola oil
2 large Vidalia onions, thinly sliced
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 bay leaf (or basil leaf works too LOL)
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 c. water ( I would lower this to 3/4 c for the crockpot)

Melt the butter and oil in a large skillet over med high heat.  Season the beef with salt and pepper. Add the beef to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally until lightly browned.  Transfer to a slow cooker along with the onions, bouillon cubes, water and bay leaf.  Set on low and cook for 6-8 hrs. Print Recipe

More Enjoyable Egyptian Eats

Friday, June 23, 2017

Black Currant and Rosemary Tea Ice Cream #DairyMonth #InspiredbyNature

Along with Dairy Month, we are also having a Progressive Dinner that is Inspired by Nature. We have been celebrating all things dairy this week under the guidance of my friend, Carlee of Cooking with Carlee.  Today is the last day of the event.  It has been amazing and the recipes shared so far have been out of this world!!  You can find the recipes by looking at #DairyMonth in any social media platform and you can enter a giveaway sponsored by Cabot Creamery by going here.


While this was going on, my friend Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla was hosting a progressive dinner party sponsored by Charles Viancin and the Republic of Tea.  Six of us were provided products from both sponsors and assigned a day and a theme for our blog post.


You can see what the others made to bring to the party by going to their individual blogs and searching #InspiredbyNature.  You can also find us by that hashtag on social media platforms.  While we did receive products, we received no monetary compensation and all opinions are strictly our own.  You can enter the generous giveaway by visiting my Welcome Post.


Some of the kids were able to come over to celebrate Father's Day with Frank last weekend.  I started the afternoon with this beautiful cheeseboard featuring Cabot Cheeses and drinks, poolside.  It was a gorgeous sunny day following a brief thunderstorm.


We had wine, both red (for me) and white (for my daughter, Amy) kept fresh and bug free while we were in the pool with granite bottle caps and glass covers from Charles Viancin.  We also served up some Iced Tea from the Republic of Tea for those wishing not to imbibe.  The references to alcohol in this post are meant for those over 21 years of age.  Please drink responsibly because always........


Take Safety Seriously!!

We played in the pool for a while, visiting and laughing.  Frank's sister, Roz, and her husband stopped in for a while and our friend, Karen, came and spent the afternoon with us as well.  


I had made several of the side dishes ahead of time and stored them in the refrigerator covered with the granite bowl covers that are airtight, leak proof and earth friendly relieving our landfills of the plastic wrap that otherwise would be used.


Just as a side note.  I am featuring the granite series for Charles Viancin today as that is what I was  provided.  However, I have been using these products for years, not knowing anything about the company. I purchased these at a specialty store about 5 or 6 years ago and have used them consistently for all that time.  They have been refrigerated, microwaved and put through the dishwasher and still work and look as if they were brand new.  


I had decided to make a custard ice cream for dessert because my hens have been working overtime lately and I needed to use up some of the dozens of eggs filling my refrigerator.  When I got the Black Currant Rosemary tea I decided to use it in the ice cream, thinking that not only would it be a great flavor but it would be a beautiful raspberry red color as displayed on the package.


I started out by making my custard base of cream, milk and sugar to which I added 3 of the large tea bags from Republic of Tea.



When the cream mixture was steamy, I pressed all of the liquid from the tea bags into the custard and disposed of the bags.  I tempered some egg yolks with part of the cream, incorporated this mixture into the cream mixture and continued to heat it over steaming water until it thickened to the point where a finger ran across the back of the wooden spoon left a trail.  The custard was then transferred to a bowl that was set into an ice bath and stirred until cooled.  


Cover with a lid and refrigerate for at least 4 hrs. but it is better if you remember to make the custard the night before and let it refrigerate overnight.


While it wasn't the beautiful raspberry color that I imagined it was a pretty caramel color.  More Most importantly it was amazingly creamy and delicious.  Did it taste like black currants and rosemary.....no......Surprisingly it tasted like a Boston Cooler.  This made us very happy because we LOVE Boston Coolers.  It tasted bright and gingery and fizzy.....I have no idea why but it was a wonderful surprise.


Make sure to stop by and visit all the other Dairy Month recipes being shared today.  You will find them immediately following my recipe.

Black Currant and Rosemary Ice Cream

2 c. heavy cream
1 c. 2% milk
3/4 c. sugar
3 large Black Currant Rosemary Ice Tea Bags
pinch of salt
6 egg yolks, room temperature

Pour the cream and milk into the top of a double boiler.  Whisk in the sugar and salt.  Add the tea bags and heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture begins to steam.  Remove the tea bags, pressing to release the liquid into the cream. 

While the cream is heating, prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl halfway with ice and water and nesting a smaller bowl inside.

Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl.  Whisk in 3/4 cup of the hot liquid a little at a time then add this mixture to the cream mixture in the top of the double boiler.  Cook and stir until steamy and thickened enough that a finger ran over the back of a wooden spoon creates a trail that does not close.

Transfer the custard to the top bowl in the ice bath and stir until the mixture is cooled, about 5 minutes.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.

Pour the chilled custard into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions.  Serve immediately for soft serve custard or return to the freezer after churning for a harder ice cream. Print Recipe


More Dairy Month Recipes




Thursday, June 22, 2017

Marina's Malted Milk Shake #DairyMonth

Our daughter from Russia, Marina, was our very first exchange student.  The fact that we continued and hosted 4 more times is a testament to what a joy she was to have and an indication of how very much we loved her and how perfectly she fit into our family.

She is currently working for a cruise line that is sailing from Seattle to Alaska all summer long and asked if we could join her on one of the cruises.  She is going to have free time to spend with us on excursions.  We couldn't be more excited.

We had so much fun with Marina while she was here.  We traveled to California, Chicago and Up North.  She loved to eat and to cook.  She taught us how to make Pelmeni and she was anxious to learn how to make American dishes.  She loved our parents and could spend hours learning about them and their backgrounds.  We taught her to play pinochle and spent probably 3 or 4 nights a week playing cards.  When we weren't playing cards we were watching movies and eating popcorn. Shortly after she arrived, Frank made her a Malted Milk Shake. This quickly became a regular treat around our house.  Marina would request a Malt nearly every night and when she returned home, Malted Milk mix was included in the care packages we sent her.

Soon, new students arrived and new favorites took precedence.  Marina's Malted Milk Shakes, that we had enjoyed several times a week, now became a pleasant memory.  The next four exchange students came to us with their own unique personalities and likes and dislikes.  We adapted to them all and had wonderful experiences.....but as stated previously....all of those relationships would never had happened had our first experience with our Marina not been so amazing.



Today is Day 4 of the Dairy Month celebration that we are celebrating all week long.  This party is hosted by Carlee of Cooking with Carlee and Lauren of From Gate to Plate.  All of these memories of My Marina made me want to share our Malted Milk Shake recipe.


Our time with Marina was nearly 10 years ago.  We have been blessed to spend some time with her during the years, including a trip to Georgia. We have not been blessed with the opportunity to make her another Malted Milk Shake but the memories made me want to share this recipe with you.

In anticipation of our next meeting with Marina, I asked Frank to make us one of his Malted Milk Shakes that she loved.   Our Little Miss shared this drink with me....stating immediately upon finishing her sip that it was "her turn".   We hadn't made this treat for quite a while but I think that, like with Marina, it is going to become a regular again.  Perhaps with a new name......Melody's Malted Milk Shake.

Please visit the other #DairyMonth recipes being shared today.  You will find links  for them immediately following our recipe.

Marina's Malted Milk Shake

2 c. vanilla ice cream
3 T. chocolate syrup (we use Hershey's)
3 T. malted milk powder
3/4 c. milk

Place all ingredients into a heavy duty blender.  Puree until smooth.  Divide between 2 glasses and sere. Print Recipe

More Dairy Month Recipes


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream #FantasticalFoodFight #DairyMonth

Happy Wednesday everyone.  To celebrate "hump day" as it is affectionately called, I am sharing a wonderful recipe that incorporates two events.  We have been celebrating Dairy Month, all week long, hosted by From Gate to Plate and Cooking With Carlee.  Thus far, I shared a wonderful Orange Creamsicle Martini and an elegant Souffle.

Today is also the day of the month set aside for Fantastical Food Fight, hosted by Sarah of Fantastical Sharing of Recipes.  As luck would have it, Sarah chose the theme "Peaches and Cream" for this month's challenge.


I love when my blogging worlds collide!!  I made up this quick, easy dessert one evening for our friends, Kim and Kurt.  We had enjoyed a grilled dinner al fresco and this was the perfect ending.


I had the peaches all ready to go, by pitting them and brushing them with a flavorful pumpkin spice olive oil that I had gotten as a gift.  You can just use a good unflavored extra virgin olive oil.  The compound butter is the real secret to this delectable dessert.


When dinner is finished, pour your guests and yourself another glass of wine and visit while you grill the peaches.


When they have some nice grill marks on them, flip them to the other side and add a dollop of that cinnamon compound butter into the crevice left by removing the pit.


Transfer the peaches to serving dishes being careful not to lose any of that delicious melted butter and top with your favorite, good quality, vanilla bean ice cream.  


So simple and so very delicious.  

Image may contain: sky, candles, outdoor, nature and text

Please stop by and visit all the other Dairy Month Posts following my recipe.

Image may contain: text

You will find the other fighter's recipes below that.

Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream
serves 4

2 peaches
Extra Virgin Olive oil for brushing (I used a pumpkin spiced flavor)
2 T. butter, room temperature 
1/4 t. cinnamon
1 t. sugar
2 c. good quality, vanilla bean Ice Cream

Cut the peaches in half and remove the pit.  Brush both sides with olive oil and place on a medium hot grill, flesh side down. 

Meanwhile combine the butter, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Grill the peaches until slightly charred with nice grill marks showing.  Flip skin side down and place a dollop of the compound butter in the indentation of each peach, where the pit was removed.  Cook until butter is melted and flesh is showing grill marks.

Remove to serving dishes and immediately top with a 1/2 cup of ice cream before serving. Print Recipe

More Delightful Dairy Month Recipes



More Fantastical Food Fight Recipes