Archives

Apple Cider Sangria

Apple Cider Sangria
Print Recipe
Servings
8
Servings
8
Apple Cider Sangria
Print Recipe
Servings
8
Servings
8
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Combine the water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, orange peel, and ginger in a small saucepan. Heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Set Aside
  2. Combine the wine, vodka, and cider in a pitcher. Add the syrup along with the cinnamon and ginger, and orange peel.
  3. Add the fruits to the wine mixture. Allow to chill for 30 minutes or so. To serve; pour into glasses and top with a generous splash of seltzer water.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Slow Cooker Sunday Gravy

I am a firm believer that a slow cooker has a specific place in the kitchen of love. That is in the realm of soups and chili and now gravy. While I am not overly fond of large (or small)pieces pf meat prepared this way, I do find that soups, chili and other “liquidy” recipes work well. I do also like the convenience of setting and then forgetting these long cooking recipes.

Soups and chilies benefit from long slow cooking. With a slow cooker to keep an eye on things, the cook is able to go about life without the burden of being constantly available to stir and adjust the heat. At times that can feel like a life changing occurrence.

I had never thought to make Sunday Gravy in the slow cooker. I rather enjoy the process of stirring and tasting and adjusting. It brings back wonderful memories of my father making his gravy, meatballs, and sausage. Please, journey back with me by clicking on this link:

More Memories From the Kitchen of Love 

Back to the present and the slow cooker. This recipe takes the heart of my father’s recipe and introduces it to elements of the classic Bolognese Sauce. San Marzano tomatoes replaced my father’s Tomato paste and puree, though a good amount of tomato paste was needed to pay respect to the bolgonese.

I used meat that I had in the freezer; in this case two spicy Italian sausage links and a bag of “meat bits”. The bits were mostly chicken, remnants of trimmed thighs and breasts, but there were a few pork scraps as well.

I browned the meat and onions before adding them to the cooker. We all know that a slow cooker can’t brown things. Which in my opinion is one of the factors that contribute to the watered down taste. In this case it was worth the time because the flavors were really there. The tomato paste also had a chance to cook out a bit before jumping into the “hot tub”.

I originally planned to let the sauce cook 6 – 8 hours. It wound up going closer to 10. That was a good thing. It resulted in a thick rich sauce that was wonderful. I strongly suggest waiting until the next day to eat this. The aroma that is created in the house will make that difficult but be strong, I guarantee that the wait will be worth it. You have my permission however, to dip a chunk of bread into the pot to check for proper seasoning. That’s where the salt, pepper and perhaps a bit of sugar listed in the recipe come in.

Serve this over your favorite pasta. I chose spaghetti (Papa D’s favorite). I also used my mother’s technique of serving. A ladle of gravy in the bottom of the bowl with a sprinkle of cheese. Half of the pasta and another ladle of gravy, a quick toss, then repeat. Top with two generous ladles of gravy and a generous sprinkle of cheese and bring it to the table. 

I don’t know if my father would have embraced the slow cooker. Back then I think he was as concerned about the process as the product. I do believe that if he were around now he would approve of this take on his prized recipe.

Slow Cooker Sunday Gravy
Print Recipe
Servings
12
Servings
12
Slow Cooker Sunday Gravy
Print Recipe
Servings
12
Servings
12
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Pour the tomatoes into a 5 -6 quart crock pot. Use a potato masher or your hands (if you want to be one with the tomatoes) to crush the tomatoes.
  2. In a large skillet, heat a bit of the olive oil. Crumble the sausage meat into the skillet. Discard the casing. Brown the sausage lightly. When it is barely cooked through add it to the slow cooker.
  3. Add a little more olive oil to the pan and add the finely chopped chicken meat. You want this to brown, so if you need to, do it in two batches. Again we are looking for some color and barely cooked. Add this to the cooker as well
  4. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and add the onions and garlic. cook these until they are just getting translucent and lightly browned.
  5. Add the tomato paste to the onion mixture along with a splash of stock. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes.The onions should be coated and the mixture should be a lovely russet color.
  6. Add this to the cooker along with the parsley and Italian herbs. Stir everything together and cover the pot. Set the temperature on low and let it go. 8 -10 hours should do it.
  7. When you feel that it can't get any more wonderful, turn off the pot. If it seems to thick, add a little more stock. .
  8. Cool slightly. Divide the gravy into 3 containers. Freeze 2 and put the other one in the refrigerator for dinner tomorrow.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Smoky Roasted Almonds

DIGITAL CAMERAWhen it comes to snacks, I’m a crunchy-salty kind of gal. Potato chips, cheese curls, tortilla chips all have graced my snack tray. There’s something so comforting and satisfying about the crunch on the palate, the salt on the lips, and the oily residue on the fingers that these snacks provide.

Sadly, these tasty treats have become a very occasional indulgence, but for my taste, there is still nothing like a salty crunchy snack. What’s a gal to do? Oh, nuts! Really, I mean nuts. In their natural state they are a healthy and satisfying snack. With a little imagination and some mostly healthy ingredients they can become the perfect cure for that salt with crunch craving.

There are many good for you nuts out there that provide healthy fat, fiber, and protein to your diet. They are nutrient dense and their rich taste lets a little go a long way. Right now, I’m sharing a recipe for almonds so lets see what this tasty little seed (it is the seed of the fruit of the almond tree) has to offer.

Twenty three almonds (about an ounce) provides about 160 calories, 3 grams of fiber, 6 grams of protein and 14 grams of healthy fats. There’s also a generous dose of vitamin E. It boasts many health benefits including aiding in lowering bad (LDL) cholesterol and blood sugar. Most of the almonds we eat are grown here so that means you are eating American. The U.S. is the number one producer and California is the epicenter.

Enough about the wonders of almonds, let’s talk about how to make them even tastier. To create the smokey flavor I use a generous dose of sweet smoked paprika. I use a touch of garlic powder and sugar, along with a little salt.DIGITAL CAMERAThe almonds get tossed with some olive oil before the savory ingredients are added.DIGITAL CAMERAA slow roast in the oven and they’re read to eat.DIGITAL CAMERA

You can make this as spicy or sweet as you want. I often add some rosemary and a little black pepper, but let your herb and spice preferences be your guide.

 

 

Smokey Roasted Almonds
Print Recipe
Servings
16
Servings
16
Smokey Roasted Almonds
Print Recipe
Servings
16
Servings
16
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. In a medium size bowl, toss the almonds with the olive oil until they are nicely coated.
  2. Mix the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl. Add to the almonds and toss to coat evenly.
  3. Spread the almonds out on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in a 300 degree oven for 18 - 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so.
  4. When the almonds are light golden remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool completely on a rack.
  5. Store in an air tight container. Enjoy in moderation if you can.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Pork with Squash, Apples and Cranberries

Pork with Squash, Apples and Cranberries
Print Recipe
This is a skillet dinner that is all about Fall. Inspired by and adapted from Cooking Light Magazine.
Servings
4
Servings
4
Pork with Squash, Apples and Cranberries
Print Recipe
This is a skillet dinner that is all about Fall. Inspired by and adapted from Cooking Light Magazine.
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place the squash and cranberries in the basket of a steamer pan. Add water to the pan, cover and steam for 7 - 10 minutes. The squash should be tender and the cranberries slightly plumped. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Season the pork slices with onion herb mixture and dredge lightly in the flour. Add the slices to the skillet and cook, turning once until browned on both sides. This should take about 5 minutes. Place pork in a low oven to stay warm.
  3. Add the broth to the pan. Scrape up any brown bits and cook over medium heat until reduced by half. Set aside.
  4. In a medium fry pan, melt the butter. Add the apple and onion pieces, pepper flakes, and sugar. Toss to coat everything and let it cook for 4-5 minutes. The apples and onions should begin to soften.
  5. Add the squash and cranberries to the pan. Toss to coat and cook for a minute or two. Add the reduced chicken broth and any yummy bits stirring to combine. Let this cook for another minute.
  6. Add the pork slices and any accumulated juices and let everything get happy together for several more minutes.
  7. Divide among four plates and serve.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe

Marinated Zucchini

Marinated Zucchini
Print Recipe
Marinated Zucchini
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Layer zucchini slices in a colander. Sprinkle each layer liberally with salt. Let sit for 1 to 2 hours to draw out some of the liquid. Rinse and pat dry. Put in a large non reactive bowl.
  2. Add the onion and garlic to the bowl and toss to combine. Mix the remaining ingredients together and pour over the vegetables. Toss to combine.
  3. Pack into a clean wide mouth jar or pour into a quart size zip top bag. Refrigerate at least overnight and up to three days. Serve as part of a relish tray, on a salad, or as a side dish.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe