BAKING SODA

LASDI©

LASDI©

Oh my GOODNESS!  And I do mean GOODNESS.  I made my annual Irish meal for the St. Patrick's holiday.  This year it fell on a Saturday so I decided to make it a Sunday Supper the following day, since that is our reward day and carbs are allowed!  So I went SOOOOO cabacious!!  The meal started with appetizers.  Sweet LAWD!  Home made pretzels, beer cheese dip, cream cheese dip, and creamy mustard dip.  OUTRAGEOUS!  Next we had a shamrock salad - with REAL SHAMROCKS!  It also had almonds, crunchy celery, Swiss cheese, and was tossed in a home made white wine vinegar-vinaigrette.  Main was pulled home made corned beef, cabbage and red potatoes, side of from-skrizzatch Irish soda bread (soft, wonderful, and AMAZING slathered with Irish butter!), and for dessert - grasshopper pie, minus the grasshoppers!  

Though I outdid myself - if I do say so myself, and I DO - my kitchen looked like a tornado had blown through it the next morning.  But ask me if it was worth the clean up.  GO on, ASK ME!  Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaasss!

Below, I have the recipe for the Irish soda bread.  So easy you will want to make it way more often than just for March!  Slainte! ('to your good health")

IRISH SODA BREAD

4 cups flour

4 tbs  sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tbs baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, super-softened

1 cup buttermilk (I make my own!  See notes below!)

1 egg

FOR BASTING:

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and butter. Stir in the one cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round of sorts and place on prepared baking sheet (see notes). In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush the top of your round loaf with a little of the buttermilk / butter mixture. Use a very sharp knife to cut an "x"; into the top of the loaf round.  Bake about 45 minutes, or until golden brown, brushing the loaf with the buttermilk / butter mixture every fifteen minutes or so until it's gone.

NOTES:  To make my own buttermilk, I pour two tablespoons of white vinegar into a measuring cup and pour milk over it until it reaches remaining one cup.  Need more?  for each cup of milk you add two more tablespoons of vinegar.  Let sit at least 20 minutes.  It's so easy and you don't have to buy buttermilk and then wonder what to do with what's left over!

YOU SAY POTATO

LASDI©

LASDI©

It's been COLD in Texas!  Said practically no one ever.  Nonetheless, cold it has been.  And of course, there is nothing better than hot soup to warm your bones on cold nights.

It was Sunday and the week had been so busy that I had not planned out our Sunday Supper.  GASP!  I only gasp so dramatically because Sunday is carbs-allowed day and I had not planned accordingly!  

So of course, I rummaged through my pantry and fridge to see what I could drum up. 

This was fast, easy, delicious, and a carb-loaded reward.  And it was even better the next day for The Hubster's lunch!  

LOADED BAKED POTATO SOUP

4 large potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into 1-inch cubes

4 tbs extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbs black pepper

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 package bacon, chopped

1 tsp white wine

1-32 oz box chicken broth

1 1/2 cups sour cream

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

2 tsp white pepper

1 tbs butter

In a heavy pot (I use my cast iron Dutch oven!) on medium-high, heat evoo for about one minute and then add potatoes.  In a small frying pan (believe it or not, I use my tiny cast iron skillet!) heat onion, garlic, and bacon on medium-high heat for five minutes or until bacon is cooked through, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and add white wine.  Stir and scrape any "bits" from the bottom with a wooden spoon or spoonula and set aside. 

Meanwhile, stir potatoes and add sea salt and pepper.  Let them sit in the pot, untouched, for about five minutes or until crisp and brown on bottom.  Stir and add chicken broth, then bring to a boil.  Once boiling, add bacon mixture to the pot, lower the heat, cover and let simmer for thirty minutes.  Bring heat back up to medium and stir in sour cream, cheese, and white pepper.  Let cook another three minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat, add butter and let melt, then stir and serve.

NOTES: For garnish, you can sprinkle a little more shredded cheddar or some chopped chives on top.  This smelled so good that no garnish made it to the bowl before it was devoured!  For some crunch I added a few raw veggies and some rice crackers.  For a healthier take on this meal, I use organic ingredients and uncured bacon  But it is what it is.  And it is DELICIOUS!!

ONE A PENNY, TWO A PENNY...

SHE2016©

SHE2016©

Hot cross buns!!  Do you remember that nursery rhyme?  It really stands out to me every Easter because I make the savory version to serve with our traditional ham, decadent potatoes, peas and carrots, salami pie, with carrot cake for dessert.  I even served a Cottontail Cocktail with it this year and it brought out the flavor of the raisins and currants in the buns.  If you've never tried them or had them, try this recipe!!  Share them with your family!  And "If you have no daughters, feed them to your sons.  One a penny, two a penny, HOT CROSS BUNS!!"

SAVORY HOT CROSS BUNS

1/2 cup apple juice

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 dried currants

1 1/4 cups milk

2 large eggs, plus one egg yolk (save the white for later)

6 tablespoons butter, softened

1 pkg fast rising yeast

1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 tbs ground cinnamon

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tsp sea salt

1 tbs baking powder

4 1/2 cups flour

for the baste: 

1 large egg white

2 tbs milk

for after they are baked:

4 tbs melted butter

Combine the raisins, currants, and apple juice in a small sauce pan, and bring to a small boil, just till the fruit and liquid are very warm, and then remove from heat. Set aside to cool to room temperature. When the fruit mixture is cool, mix together all of the remaining ingredients except the milk and fruit. Heat the milk to just warm - don't boil it - and add to the dough mixture.  Fold in the fruit and apple juice mixture.  Let the dough rise for an hour, covered. 
Using a greased ice cream scoop, form about 12 to 14 buns, and arrange them into a greased 9x13 pan.  Cover the pan, and let the buns rise for another hour, or until they've puffed up and are touching each another.  Whisk together the reserved egg white and milk, and brush it liberally over the buns.  Bake the buns at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, until they're golden brown. Remove from the oven, baste with the melted butter, and transfer to a rack to cool.

NOTES: These are usually served with less savory spices, and with different types of dried fruits.  It usually has a sweet cream cheese frosting drizzled ver it in the shape of a cross; hence the name!  In this instance, I made them much more savory and skipped the sweet frosting and I.  Am. Telling.  YOU.  They were insanely good - like, RIDICULOUS good.  

AHOY, MATEY!

SHE2016©

SHE2016©

I wanted to dedicate this particular Sunday Supper to my March Madness and all things Irish-and-green month.  I cannot begin to tell you how happy The Hubster was that we brought a little gastro-pub into the house!  I made Guinness-battered fish and chips with a side of slaw and Guinness beer bread with honey butter, a Pot O'Gold cocktails, and Guinness sticky pudding cake.  (Starting to see a theme here?)  

Let me just tell you how easy the fish-part of the fish and chips was:  EEEEEEE-Z!  I have included the recipe for you below.  Take a few minutes to cook this up - it is worth it times a thousand!!

GUINNESS BEER-BATTERED FISH

4 cups high-heat oil for frying, like canola

6 - 8 white fish filets (I use cod)

1 tbs sea salt

1 tbs white pepper

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tbs garlic powder

2 tbs paprika

1 egg, beaten

12 oz Guinness

Heat oil in a heavy pot or deep fryer (I use my cast-iron Dutch oven, of course!) to 370-375 degrees. Rinse your fish, and pat dry with a paper towel.  Season both sides with sea salt and pepper.  Combine flour, and other seasonings.  Stir egg into dry ingredients, and then gradually mix in beer until a thin batter is formed. You should be able to see the fish through the batter after it has been dipped.  Dip fish fillets into the batter, then drop one at a time into hot oil. Fry until brown on the bottom side, then flip once until brown on the opposite side.  Drain on a cooling rack with paper towel underneath.  Serve with seasoned potato wedges and cole-slaw for an authentic gastro pub feel.

NOTES:   I use organic canola oil, but any high-heat oil will do.  It helps to sprinkle a little sea salt on the filets once they come out of the oil.  A little malt vinegar on top doesn't hurt, either.  Oh, my Guinness!!  (See what I did just there?)

 

PASTA LOVE

SHE2016©

SHE2016©

It is a Leap Year so we got an extra day in February!  So because this was the last Sunday in February I had to make sure it was a Sunday Supper of Love to remember!  I decided - even as the Low-Carb Girl in the house - to go all out and make The Hubster home-made pasta!  I topped it with chicken Parmesan and made a side of squash stacks of eggplant, yellow squash, and zucchini, and some lovely garlic knots.  I finished it off with almond-liquor raspberry-topped cheesecake and a Bishop Burgundy cocktail.  It was nothing short of amazing, but was still pretty easy!  Who would you like to show some love to?  The way to the heart is through the stomach, no?  

SHE2016©

SHE2016©

FAST & EASY HOME-MADE PASTA

3 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
a pinch of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup flour

Add the eggs, salt, pepper, and olive oil to a food processor fit with the blade attachment, and pulse two or three times.  Add half the flour, and pulse until it is absorbed into the eggs and you have a bit of a paste. Add the rest of the flour, and continue to run the blade until you see a ball-shaped mass of flour and eggs bouncing around the processor. If the dough is still too sticky to the touch, add an extra tablespoon of flour. If it's a bit dry, then add a little water as needed.  Take the pasta dough out and roll/shape according to what you're looking to accomplish with your dish.  For us this time around, it was fettuccine-shaped with marinara sauce.  I cooked it in the sauce for about five minutes, as fresh pasta takes a lot less time to cook.  And it was incredible.

NOTES: Carbs doesn't mean unclean in my house.  I still use organic ingredients, including the flour and olive oil.  I really do believe in this particular case, it makes for a better-tasting pasta.  Happy eating! 

WINTER WONDERLAND

winterwonderland

We've had a few Winter Wonderland menus in the last couple of years, and this one did not disappoint!  I absolutely love the idea of trying to come up with foods that not only deliver flavor that resounds comfort for chilly winter nights, but that reflect same in appearance as well.  After all, we eat with our eyes first, right?  Well, to be completely honest, I eat with my eyes first for about ten seconds.  THEN I eat with muh mouth!!  This particular night, we had some friends and partners of Life As She Does It, talking give-aways for the blog.  So I had no choice but to get them food-drunk so they would feel more "giving"! for You, Dear Readers, to have wonderful give-aways.  We dined on a most-gorgeous cheese tray and artichoke-spinach crostini,  a hearty salad of cranberries, candied nuts, and Gorgonzola cheese, slow-cooked clam chowder with fresh clams, Cornish game hens with decadent potatoes and zucchini-squash ratatouille, and a GORGEOUS white cake (pronounced whhhhhhhhat-cake, emphasis on the ha-part of the h).  

The recipe below is for the clam chowder, with all it's snow-white glory and ocean-goodness. It was not only creamy and wonderland-wonderful (sorry, I HAD to go there), it is LOW-CARB.  It was BEYOND...... Or, as The Daughts says: "I. Can't. EVEN."  Wanna make someone special in your life food-drunk and made to feel warm and fuzzy for chilly nights?  DO THIS.

WINTER CLAM CHOWDER

6 strips bacon, cooked and chopped fine

1 onion, chopped fine

2 cloves garlic, chopped fine

2 large turnips, peeled and chopped into chunks

3 sprigs rosemary, chopped fine

2 bunches thyme, tied with butcher's twine

4 cans diced or chopped clams

2 jars clam juice

4 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 can cannellini or navy beans, blended

2 bay leaves

2 tbs butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tsp sea salt

2 tbs white pepper

1 tbs garlic powder

Throw all ingredients into a crock-pot and let cook on low all day.  Remove thyme twigs and bay leaves.  Serve.  THAT'S IT!!

NOTES: Remember that slow cooking can mute flavors, so be certain to add more of your spices to taste at the end and stir.  I simmered fresh clams in white wine and butter in a pan on the stove, and then added them to everyone's bowls just before serving. We simply ladled the soup over them for a more authentic look and flavor.  It was authentically AWESOME!!

 

 

OOPSIE, I DID IT AGAIN!

SHE2016©

SHE2016©

This was a Sunday supper that was a bit different - but it was still DELICIOUS!  We were taking a meal train meal over to our friend's house that just had a baby - BUT!  They are on the Atkins diet so there were exact specifications for what they could and could not eat.  Well, I LOVE A GOOD CHALLENGE!!  So I made meatloaf from ground turkey, ground chicken, and ground sirloin with a sour cream paprika gravy, cauliflower (non-mac) and cheese, collard greens, a gorgeous salad with home-made apple cider vinegar dressing, oopsie bread and coconut macaroons for dessert!  WOO!  Below I've given you the OOPSIE recipe.  This is extremely bread-like and wonderful.  Just make sure to add only a DASH of salt - trust me on this one!  Low-carber's DREAM!

OOPSIE BREAD

3 egg yolks

3 tbs cream cheese

1 sachet sweetener (I use Stevia)

pinch of salt

3 egg whites

1/8 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Whisk egg yolks, cream cheese, sweetener and (just a pinch of!) salt in a bowl until well blended.
In another clean bowl, beat egg whites until foamy, then add in cream of tartar and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold in the egg whites to the egg yolk mixture until just blended, be very careful not to break the egg whites down. Fill the batter into a greased 6-cup muffin top pan.  Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes.  

NOTES: If you are making these to be savory (for burgers) you can add dry mustard or dill or other any other seasonings (just no more salt!) to the yolk mixture.  If you want a more sweet roll, add a very small amount of stevia or other  natural sweetener to the yolk mixture.  I double the recipe and bake in a muffin tin with the extra-large cups so that I can use for turkey burgers.  Once you store your oopsies, they can be frozen!

 

YOUR (CHRISTMAS) GOOSE IS COOKED! (With Hanukkah Flair)

SHE©

SHE©

Every year for Christmas dinner, we make a traditional Jewish feast.  Though we are not Jewish, I think it turns out pretty authentic.  It consists of braised brisket, smoked goose, a noodle kugel, a vegetable side (this year was Parmesan-crusted baked green beans) and a rugelach for dessert.  It's truly amazing and we always take our time eating so we can savor every single, beautiful bite.  For the sake of this blog post, I am going to offer you the Christmas-inspired brine recipe I used on the goose prior to The Hubster smoking it.  It made for the juciest and most-moist goose EVER.  Shepen naches!

CHRISTMAS GOOSE BRINE

1 goose!

6 quarts cold water

One 12-ounce bottle amber beer, preferably Christmas blend, room temperature

1 cup kosher salt

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 pkg poultry seasoning (fresh thyme, rosemary and sage)

1 pkg star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 cup pumpkin pie spice

In a large pot, bring 1 quart of water to a boil over high heat. Add the beer, salt, sugar, fresh herbs and spices.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.   Pour the hot brine into a container large enough to hold the turkey (I use a clean and sanitized igloo cooler) and add the remaining quarts of cold water to cool the brine. Place the turkey into the brine, making sure it is entirely submerged. Cover the container tightly with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  When you're ready to cook (or smoke) the goose, remove from the brine and pat dry with paper towel.