Saturday, January 14, 2017

Sausage Bread - Homemade By Jim

Our kitchen is a Working Kitchen, and today, Jim made homemade Italian Sausage Bread.  It was his very first attempt.  We both have fond memories of our early years in our marriage, and we would have sausage bread, along with some other wonderful things from the neighborhood Italian Deli.

This recipe come from the Blog:  Proud Italian Cook.  Marie writes at her site:

"This recipe connects me to my childhood, I remember my mom use to make this for special holidays and occasions. When I was a kid I thought making this was such a big ordeal, but when I got married and started making it on my own I realized just how simple it was to put together."

I loved munching away on Sunday's with our friend, on all these wonderful foods.  Here's a picture of Jim's Bread.  I am so proud of him!!

Marie writes in her post:  "You’ll also need the best Italian sausage you can find, I like using hot, it adds so much flavor and honestly rolled up in all that bread dough you can hardly taste the heat."    We used some great Italian Sausage that we purchased from a site called  We chose some sausage from Esposito's Sausage, in NYC.  Hand made since 1933.  It is really really good.  So there you go.  The link to this recipe is here.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Egg Bhurji

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This recipe came from The Domestic Man Blog.  I've made this at least a half-dozen times, and it is really good.  You can get the recipe here.

An excerpt from his site:
Egg Bhurji is a recent favorite, as it combines exotic South Asian flavors with an egg scramble for delicious effect. All it takes is a bit of prep to chop and soften the vegetables before adding in the eggs; it’s definitely worth that extra few minutes of effort.

Here's my pic of this mornings Breakfast:

Egg Bhurji (Gluten-free, Paleo, Perfect Health Diet, Whole30)

It took a few times for Jim to get used to the Tumeric, but he now enjoys it.  And it's a great brunch dish.

Homemade Italian Salad Dressing

This recipe is from Cook's Country, and under a subscription to review.  It is well worth the money to join the Cook's Illustrated site, and make all of their great recipes.  I've been making this recipe, and I haven't bought store dressing in months.

Italian Dressing
Each batch of dressing makes about 1/2 cup, enough to dress 16 cups of greens and serve 6 to 8 people. Leftover dressing can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Dry Mix (1 Cup, or 10 Batches)
1/4 cup powdered lemonade mix
3 tablespoons dehydrated minced onion
3 tablespoons dehydrated minced garlic
3 tablespoons pectin (Sure-Jell)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon salt
Whisk all ingredients in bowl until well combined. Store in airtight container for up to 3 months. 

To make salad dressing:  
whisk in a bowl:
1 1/2 tablespoons Dry Mix
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water 

Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until garlic and onion are just softened, about 15 seconds. Cool to room temperature, then slowly whisk in 6 tablespoons (if doubling 12 Tbs equals 3/4 C)  olive oil.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Making Your Own Thai Red Curry Paste

This recipe comes from the Blog:  The Domestic Man.  I've made this Curry Paste once before.  It is excellent and not too spicy at all (I make it with a Jalapeno, see recipe choices below).  What is nice about this recipe is that I double it.  I then fill the paste into an ice cube tray, freeze it, and dump the cubes into a ziplock bag.  When I want to have this dish, it takes 2 cubes to equal the 1/4 cup called for in the recipe.

The last time I made this I used Anaheim dried peppers, but today I am using New Mexico.  I removed 1/4 cup and put it in the fridge for tomorrow's dinner, when I'll make it.  I'm going to try making it with lean beef.  I've always used boneless chicken thighs in the past.  The rest I put in the ice cube tray and it fit perfectly.  As you can see I will get 8 meals out of one tray.  Remember:  I double the recipe!

    Thai Red Curry (Paleo, Primal, Whole30, Gluten-Free, Perfect Health Diet)

    • Servings: 4
    • Time: 20 minutes plus time to soak chiles
    • Difficulty: Easy
    Red Curry Paste (makes 1/2 cup, enough for 2 curries):
    4 large dried red chile peppers (AnaheimGuajillo, or New Mexico), seeds and tops removed
    2 dried or fresh Thai (Bird’s Eye) chiles, seeds, tops, and ribs removed (or 1 Jalapeño chili)
    10 cloves garlic
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp ground coriander
    1/2 tsp shrimp paste (or 2 tsp fish sauce)
    1 tbsp white peppercorns
    3 shallots
    grated zest of 1/2 lime
    1″ fresh galangal or ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
    1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, thinly sliced
    small handful of fresh cilantro stems

    2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
    2 lbs lean steak, chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or shrimp, cut into bite-sized chunks
    1 (14 oz) can full-fat coconut milk, divided
    1 tbsp fish sauce
    1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
    juice of 1/2 lime (1 tbsp)
    small handful of Thai basil leaves

    sliced Thai chiles to garnish
    lime wedges to garnish
    fresh cilantro to garnish
    1. Soak the dried chiles in warm water for 30 minutes. Place the soaked chiles, 1/4 cup of the water in which you soaked them, and the rest of the curry paste ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth, adding chile water if needed to help the blending process, then set aside.
    2. Warm the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the steak, chicken, or shrimp. Stir-fry until browned and cooked through, in batches if needed, 1 minute for shrimp, 3 minutes for steak, or 6 minutes for chicken. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
    3. Reduce the heat to medium and add 1/4 cup of the curry paste to the skillet. Bring to a simmer and sauté until aromatic and darkened, stirring constantly, about 4 minutes.
    4. Add half of the coconut milk and stir to incorporate. Simmer until thick and darkened, about 8 minutes, then stir in the steak, chicken, or shrimp and any accumulated juices. Stir in the remaining coconut milk, fish sauce, and bell pepper and cook until the pepper starts to soften, about 1 minute, then add the lime juice and Thai basil leaves. Taste and add salt if needed, then serve, garnished with sliced Thai chiles, lime wedges, and cilantro.
    ** The curry paste can be kept in the fridge for a month, and freezes really well. Make a double (or triple) batch, separate it into 1/4 cup portions, and freeze it for easy meals – just be sure to use it within six months or so.
    ** If you’re not up for making your own curry paste, I recommend using the Maesri or Mae Ploy pre-made pastes. The Maesri version has added sugar, but otherwise they both have very clean ingredients lists (but beware that they are a bit spicier than my paste above).
    I have become a big fan of his site and have made other recipes as well. Here is the link:

    Saturday, December 31, 2016

    Making Your Own Frappuccino

    We were never ones to stop in at Starbuck's for a coffee while on the road.  What got us connected was the Starbuck's Frappuccino that you can be in the market.  You know the four pack...

    So while we were on the road last Summer, I had some time to surf the net, and I wanted to try to make my own at home.  I did end up getting everything I needed to make my own, and we have not bought a four pack of Starbucks Frappuccino since.

    It's not as hard as you think.
    You will need something to make a "Cold Brew".  (recipe below).
    This is the French Press Cold Brew that I bought:

    KONA French Press Coffee Tea & Espresso Maker, Black 34oz Glass Teapot

    This is what I ended up buying.  It's easy to clean.  And for our purposes, it does not make a very large batch.  You only want to refrigerate your cold brew no longer than 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator.
    From bonappetit:
    Unlike hot coffee, which is pretty much crap after a few hours, cold brew will keep in your fridge. As an undiluted concentrate, it'll keep for up to two weeks, although the flavor quality will degrade after the first week. If you've cut the concentrate with water, that shortens the shelf life to a mere 2-3 days.

    You will need some syrups.  Doing research I found out the the Monin Syrup contains pure cane sugar, rather than corn syrup (which is what the brand that Starbuck's uses has).
    I get my Monin Syrup right from Amazon, but you can buy it in Stores also.

    When my friends drop by and I offer them a Frapp, they always say 'Sure'!!

    For Cold Brew Coffee, you will want to have a bold smooth bean.  From Starbuck's Site:
    Coffee from Sumatra is the foundation of Starbucks most treasured blends, and something Starbucks has been honored to share with you for four decades. Body: Full Acidity: Low Processing: Semi-Washed


     Dark Roast Coffee (Cold Brew)
    34 oz Press  (pictured above)
    5 oz. Coffee - ground coarse (I use "Sumatra" ground.  Can be purchased in Supermarket, Walmart...)
    3 Cups cold water

    5 ounces = 2 cups of ground coffee.  Put it in the Press (fill it to 8 oz line) and add 3 cups cold water.  Stir it to make sure the grounds are incorporated.  I put the top on and push down just until it reaches the grounds.  Sit overnight in room temperature.  Press out and pour your coffee into container and refrigerate.

    Salted Caramel Mocha Frappe  
    1/2 Cup Cold Brew Coffee
    1/2 Milk (I use Almond Milk)
    Ice cubes
    1 oz Monin Salted Caramel Syrup
    1 oz Chocolate Syrup (I use Hershey's)
    Course Salt

    Top with Whipped Cream, Chocolate Syrup, Caramel Syrup, Sea Salt

    Caramel Nut Iced Latte
    Fill 16oz glass with ice
    Add 3/4 oz Monin Caramel Sauce
    4 oz cold Milk
    2 oz expresso (I found some freeze dried expresso that I use @ Fresh Market)

    Garnish with Whipped Cream, caramel sauce

    Mocha Frappuccino
    1/2 Cup Milk
    2 Tablespoons chocolate syrup
    1 Tablespoon granulated syrup
    1/3 Cup strong coffee
    1 Cup Ice

    Mocha Frappuccino
    72 calories for 2 Cups
    2 Cups strong Coffee
    1/4 Almond Milk
    2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
    1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
    Pinch Sea Salt
    Whipped Cream

    Combine in a blender for 1 minute.  Add 1 or 2 scoops ice and puree another minute.  Add Whipped Cream

    Skinny Vanilla Mocha Frappe
    50 calories
    8 coffee ice cubes (approx. 1 cup) (ice cubes made with coffee)
    single shot Expresso (use the freeze dried if you don't have an expresso machine)
    1/2 Cup Skim Milk
    2 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
    2 teaspoon Cocoa Powder - unsweetened
    1 packet sugar substitute

    Friday, December 30, 2016

    Iceburg Wedges with Blue Cheese Dressing

    Make your own Blue Cheese Dressing.  Save money, no preservatives, and you just need to keep blue cheese, and some dehydrated chives on hand, or you don't have fresh chives.

    Here's my salad...

    Here's the recipe that "Wilde in the Kitchen" has adapted from the Williams-sonoma New York Cookbook:

    1/2 cup mayonaisse
    1/2 cup light sour cream
    juice from 1 lemon
    dash of Tabasco
    1 tsp kosher salt
    1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
    4 oz crumbled blue cheese
    1 tbsp fresh chive, finely chopped

    Grilled Chicken with Mustard Tarragon Sauce

    I made this tonight and it was delicious.  It's a very simple recipe that can be made quickly, and it's healthy.  You could make this inside on your grill pan, which is what we did.

    Only 230 calories.

    Here is a video
    We just bought a new grill pan.  Its a La Creuset.  So I've been trying it out.

    From  My Recipes


    (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
    Cooking spray
    3 tablespoons minced shallots
    3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    2 tablespoons water
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
    1/2 teaspoon sugar
    4 cups gourmet salad greens

    1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray. Place chicken in pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.

    2. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper, shallots, and next 6 ingredients (through sugar) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Serve chicken over greens with sauce.