Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Marinated Cheese

331.  While searching for appetizers that were unique and tasty I came across this recipe for marinated cheese.  It can be served with toothpicks, crackers or crusty bread.  There are little bits of lemon zest, garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes and pepper corns.  I like to make it several hours before serving for the flavors to develop.

I found the recipe in a Better Homes and Garden Magazine from 2006 while tossing old issues.  
The recipe is simple, easy to follow and has flavor plus!
 Save this link the next time you are making appetizers and surprise your company.  It brings a smile to your face and will come alive on your palette.

"The early bird may get the worm, 
but its the second mouse that gets the cheese." 
- Jeremy Paxman

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Matzo Ball Soup

330. The months of February and March call for hot, hardy soup.  This recipe for Matzo Ball Soup is a staple and has always delivered.
When I was young, in college and lived in New England, I would collect recipes and other household items for my future home.  One of my favorite past times would be to catch the local radio show "Gus Sanders Yankee Kitchen" out of Boston, MA.  Here is a video of the actual show.
This is a link to a blogger who devotes her entire blog to Yankee Kitchen recipes:  http://ykconnection.blogspot.com 
Also, an online cookbook from Gus Saunders, the tenth edition here:  https://www.scribd.com/document/19966643/The-Gus-Saunders-Boston-Kitchen-Cookbook-Vol-X

I would wait patiently by the radio and grab whatever paper was nearby to jot down recipes that women would call in and give over the radio. 
As years went by and I established my own home and family, I took time to type out the recipes and try them.  This is where I learned my Matzo Balls recipe from Mrs. Finkelstein...and if you can see the date on the recipe...1984. 
 I like to date my recipes and make notations of changes or if I liked the recipe or not.  It helps when you don't make a certain recipe often to remember your thoughts at the time of preparation.
In addition to the matzo balls, I make a chicken soup, sometimes with veggies sometimes as a consommé broth.
This recipe always turns out beautiful but you must make sure the transfer is quick.  My Matzo Balls fall sometimes in the transfer.

I loved that time of life...young, expectant and hopeful for a family I could cook for and spoil with homemade meals.

Mr. Saunders gave aspiring cooks advice that was practical and to the point, telling the Herald American in 1973, 
“I feel food shouldn’t be a big, complex mystery.”
- Gus Saunders

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Nosh Snack Bar

329.  Nosh - noun;  early 20th century Yiddish; denoting a snack bar.   This post is my celebration of the "Nosh" display that is to me the perfect meal in itself.  What more could you need than cheese, nuts, great bread, fruit and veg.   It could be in any form, any type of cheese (Although brie to me is always a must) any type or grain of bread, whole loaf torn or cut to smaller pieces.  

The mix of salty, sweet, cheesy, brine-y, crunchy, soft, smooth and flavorful.  It is a perfect combination.  Your imagination, personal choices and creativity are the tools needed.

Start with fruit: grapes, figs, blueberry, strawberry, apples or pears, a walk down the special cheese & meat aisle in a deli or your local grocer.  Then stop in your local bakery and pick up a crusty bread freshly baked.  Many grocers have beautiful bread that is rustic and varied as well as a variety of olives and marinated veggies.  I love shopping at Fairway  or Wegmans Markets.  They have a beautiful selection of all of the above.  Add mustards, nuts, honey, jam, raisins, dates, crackers, bread sticks, wafers,  peanut or almond butter, mushrooms, infused olive oils, salsas and tapenade...and the list trails on.  You are only limited by the items you are able to obtain or items you've never experienced before.  Take risks, experiment new cheeses, breads, olives and other delicacies.  Lucero Olive Co. is a must: link Here.    You could go for a theme or ethnic slant such as Italian or Greek with cheeses, breads and meats or a sweet nosh as a dessert with fruit, honey, whipped cream and a variety of cake slices and tarts, fruit sauces and chocolate fudge sauce or caramel.

Then lay everything out on a large tray, multiple wooden slices or directly in the center of your table. All you need are your guests to pick, dip, spread and sample in a variety of creations.  Now this is noshing to me.  Add whatever music, movie or beverage you prefer that tops off this culinary experience.  It transports you from just eating to a satisfying adventure.

Make tonight a "nosh" night and enjoy!

"My whole artistic life has always been about change,
change, change, move on, move on.
It's the only thing I find interesting."
-Paul Simon

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Chocolate Coconut Pecan Pie

328.  There is no better way to start off your week than with a slice of warm Chocolate Coconut Pecan Pie.  And don't forget the whipped cream on top.
I adapted my recipe to satisfy the chocolate lovers, coconut lovers and pecan pie lovers in my household.  Needless to say, all the lovers were satisfied.

Chocolate Coconut Pecan Pie

1 pie crust (or two if you double the recipe)

1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup soft butter
1 cup light corn syrup
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
pinch of salt
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
8 oz dark chocolate chips or chopped Ghirardelli baking bar
2 cups pecan halves


Prepare your crust, roll out and place in a 9" pie plate.  Crimp edges to your desired look.

First, spread flaked coconut in a non-stick pan and toast on the stove.  Allow the coconut to heat up watching carefully and stir occasionally making sure edges do not burn.  Remove from stove and allow to cool completely.
In a mixing bowl place brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, eggs, salt and extracts.  Blend till incorporated.  With a spatula, stir in the toasted coconut, chocolate and pecans.  Transfer the mixture to your prepared pie crust.  Turn over the pecans with your fingers for desired look and even texture on top. The filling will rise in baking so make sure you do not overfill your crust.
Bake at 350∘ for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or till no longer wet in center. Check by running a cool knife into the center. The filling is set when the knife comes out clean.

Serve warm or cooled with a dollop of whipped cream

You may choose to toast coconut in the oven but for myself, it is easier to eliminate burned batches.
I used dark chocolate chips but would have preferred the chopped chocolate bar.  The chocolate just seems to be softer and doesn't harden up once the pie cools.  
 This was a delicious pie!  The chocolate hides beneath the surface and is a sweet surprise.  If you are a hardcore pecan pie lover...you may want to stick to the original.  But if you are a chocolate lover...this is the pie for you!

"I just clipped two articles from a current magazine. 
 One is a diet guaranteed to drop 5 pounds off my body in a weekend.  
The other is a recipe for a 6 minute pecan pie."
- Erma Bombeck

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Kerber's Farm Long Island New York

327.  Do you like to explore?  Try new foods or go to new places?  This has always been a happy place for me.  To jump in the car with a fresh cup of coffee, my yarn project and good music.  Heading off to a new destination mapped out or unknown.

The day after Thanksgiving, for the past 35 years, we have always made a day of cutting down our Christmas tree from a local tree farm.  I heard about this great little place on Long Island that celebrates good food and has been making a name for themselves recently,  Kerber's Farm.  Here is their website:  http://kerbersfarm.com    They have delicious homemade foods and baked goods, guest houses for overnight visits, produce and antiques.  It is rustic and basic, a farm stand vibe yet upscale Hamptonesque.  The fact that they describe their offerings as provisions leads your expectations to experience something needful, homey and gosh, I can't live without it!

It was an A+ from my experience!  We set out earlier than usual and when we pulled into the parking lot at 9:00a.m., it was busy.
Walking in the front door you are welcomed with large cases filled with everything that makes life delicious!  Pies, muffins, biscuits, cookies calling to you..."You need me!"
We ordered breakfast sandwiches and coffee and found a garden table to sit and wait for our order.
My sandwich was egg, cheese, bacon and Swiss on a homemade biscuit.  Hot, fresh, delicious and so satisfying! 
 Outside was a small yard with chickens, antiques and quaint seating.

 If you go onto their website you can read their 75 year history.  It is a great place to visit, enjoy baked goods, breakfast or lunch or just to sit and read a book.
 If you live on Long Island or plan to visit sometime, make a day trip to Kerber's Farm.  You will be happy you did.  Article features here: http://kerbersfarm.com/press/

"The farm was always known for its
 fine baked goods, chickens, eggs, ice cream and fresh produce."
- Kerber's Farm History


Blog Widget by LinkWithin