Aug 222015
 

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Just Mini Cocktails: Cocktails and Party Drinks by Robert Zollweg

Photographs by Rick Luettke

Paperback: 127 pages
Publisher: Self-published (2011)
Language: English
ISBN: 878-0-615-49813-3

This book guides you with the proper glassware, tiered trays, recipes and, of course, presentation in the art of mini cocktails parties. This presentations are great for special parties.

Thoughts
I don’t drink, but some of my friends and family do so when I saw this book for only $1.00 at Big Lots I decided to get a copy. The book has quite a few sections. After an Introduction there is:

Glassware, Preparation, Garnishes and Servings
Martinis and Margaritas
Tropical Cocktails
Classic Cocktails
Party Punches
Smoothies and Non Alcoholic Cocktails
Coffees, Teas and Hot Chocolates
Beer and Wine Tastings

and then the index.

The author says “Just Mini Cocktails is a trendy way to serve ordinary cocktails at your next party or get together but adding a unique twist by serving them in little mini glasses for tasting or samplings.”

The first section on Glassware, Preparation, Garnishes and Servings will be a huge help to anyone like me who is not familiar with making cocktails. One of my favorite things about this chapter was learning which glassware to use for which drink.

The Serving Preparation section shows how to use a variety of mini cocktails and appetizers on different platters and servers so that it’s pleasing to the eye.

The book includes well known cocktails like Whiskey Sour and Singapore Sling, but also has some I’ve never heard of like Mango Bellini. Of course I don’t drink so you may be familiar with it.

I’d like to try some of the smoothies and hot chocolate recipes. The first one I want to try is the Mad Max Cocktail:

8 oz. blue raspberry cocktail mix
16 oz. lemon lime soda, cold
1 oz. lime juice
ice cubes
orange and lemon slices for garnish
mint leaves for garnish (optional)
for an alcoholic cocktail add 6 oz. vodka or light rum

Mix all ingredients together in a pitcher. Have an ice bucket full of ice available.
When serving on a tasting buffet, line the glasses up and add a few citrus wedges to each glass.
Let your guest add their own ice and fill the glasses.
This cocktail looks great in almost any sleek mini glass tumbler or stem.

I’m glad I bought this book, I liked learning about serving cocktails and see many I’d like to try. The photographs are great, just look at the cover and you’ll see what I mean.

 wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Aug 082015
 

This is a recipe that’s linked to two books. I first saw the recipe in

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Cozy Food: 128 Cozy Mystery Writers Share Their Favorite Recipes
by Nancy Lynn Jarvis

It was referenced to

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Geared for the Grave (The Cycle Path Mysteries #1) by Duffy Brown

I linked the books to my reviews in case you haven’t read them (I loved both of them)

Anyway, here is the first recipe I tried from Cozy Food.

Mackinac Island Soup
page 24

In a big pot, brown together the following:
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 pack Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix
1 packet Hidden Ranch Dressing Mix

ingredients

Add:
2 cans chopped tomotatoes

Add 1 can each, undrained:
1 can hominy
yellow corn
black beans
pinto beans

Simmer for as long as you have (smells great)

pot

 

soup

Serve with dollop of sour cream, spinkle of shredded cheddar, chopped cilantro.

finished bowl

I used ground chuck and didn’t use cilantro because my son and I aren’t really fans. We like it if there’s just a tiny amount, but I don’t see the point in buying it and throwing the rest out. I simmered it for a few hours and the house smelled so good.

This was really good,  even my picky son liked it and ate two bowls.

I’ll be making this recipe again for sure! Yum!!

 

 

wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Aug 012015
 

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Twenty Dinners by Ithai Schori and Chris Taylor

This is the first recipe I tried from this book. I used cumin seeds as my aromatic (I was in a hurry when I took the picture and didn’t notice the bottle was turned backwards). I’d never tried pickling vegetables or any kind of canning, so this was fun. The veggies turned out good, but I think the next time I do this I’ll try garlic.

Sweet And Sour Pickle Brine
page 151

1 quart sugar
1/3 quart vineger (rice wine, Chardonnay, red wine etc)
1/teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 tablespoon aromatics (cumin seeds, garlic, rosemary) optional. I used cumin seeds (didn’t notice it was turned backwards when I took the picture)
Suggested vegetables: Cucumbers, radishes, trimmed green beans, thin slices of red onion

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Add the sugar, vinegar, and 2/3 quart water to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Cook until the sugar has fully dissolved.
Remove from heat.

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Taste your pickling liquid. The vinegar should be strong enough to make the back of your throat tickle but not enough so that you cough.

Add the salt and pepper and taste for seasoning-you want just enough to round out the acidity of the pickling liquid and bring out it’s sweetness. Then add the aromatics.

Situate your produce in either four small (1 cup) or one large (4 cup) mason jar or another glass container with a tightly fitting lid. Make sure there is about 1 inch clearance between the produce and the top of the container.

Either pour the hot brine over your produce now or wait until it’s cooled, entirely submerging the produce and keeping 1/2 inch of clearance.

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Store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

If your produce starts to have an almost carbonated taste, that means it’s beginning to ferment and should be thrown away. If your vegetables have turned black or brown, the pickles are ready to be tossed.

 

wkendcooking Weekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Jun 202015
 

My favorite meat is chicken. I love boneless skinless chicken breasts. My son however doesn’t like the white meat, his favorite is the drumsticks. I’m always looking for a good drumstick recipe so that he’s not always having to eat white meat. A few weeks ago I was blog hopping and found this recipe from way back in 2009 @ Creatively Domestic. When I saw this recipe for drumsticks I decided to make it.

Here’s the recipe:

Slow Cooker Sticky Chicken Drumsticks

2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 lbs. chicken drumsticks, skinned if desired
foil for crumpling up in crockpot

In a small bowl, thoroughly combine salt and all the spices.

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Rinse drumsticks and pat dry with paper towel.

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Rub the spice mixture into the chicken.
Crumple up foil and put in the bottom of a 4 quart crockpot.
Top the foil with the spice rubbed chicken pieces.
Cook on LOW for 8-12 hours until very tender.
(mine was perfect after 6 hours on Low)

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In the middle of rubbing the spices on the chicken, I wasn’t sure I would have enough for all the drumsticks, but I did. Also, you can’t crumple the foil too small or the chicken will end up down in the juices, which is what you’re trying to avoid.

I took a picture of the foil balls laying in the bottom of the crock pot, and some of them on a plate after they were done, but couldn’t find them on my phone.

Thoughts: delicious! Even though I’m not a drumstick fan, the spices had a great flavor and we both loved them. I will be making this recipe again.

 

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May 232015
 

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Cozy Food: 128 Cozy Mystery Writers Share Their Favorite Recipes
by Nancy Lynn Jarvis

Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: Good Read Mysteries; 1 edition (May 15, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0983589178
ISBN-13: 978-0983589174

What happens when 128 cozy mystery writers get together to do a cookbook? You get more than 220 recipes that are as varied and interesting as an amateur sleuth’s day job. Regional recipes come from every part of the United States and England — a couple find their way from Australia and Italy, too — and from diverse times. There are recipes from people looking to keep gluten out of their lives, eat vegetarian, or make a treat or two for their furry four-legged friends. And yes, there are recipes that appeal to the sweet tooth, lots of them, in fact. There’s no mystery about what happens when cozy writers get together. They bring the wit, inventiveness, and adventure found in their books right along with their recipes. The recipes are introduced by their authors and linked to the writer bios in the back of the book. You can look up your favorite cozy writer and see which recipes are their favorites; they’ll tell you what the recipe means to them. Or you can enjoy a dish and then link to the recipe’s author’s biography and books. Either way you enjoy the cookbook, you’re sure to find great new recipes to make and terrific new cozy authors to read.

Thoughts
This is a wonderful book for anyone who loves cozy books, food, or both. In this book, 128 Cozy Mystery Writers share their all time favorite recipes and I loved seeing what they all chose.

Table Of Contents:
Starters and Beverages
Soups and Crumbles
Salads and Dressings
Pasta and Casseroles
Main Course Dishes
Veggies and Sides
Desserts and Pies
Cakes, Cupcakes, and Frostings
Cookies, Bars, and BrowniesBreakfast, Brunch, Lunch, and Teatime
Quick, Easy, Quirky, Saucy, and Even Pet Treats

There is also a section called Cozy Author Biographies. There are so many other bits of information about these authors in the book, and I loved learning all these interesting facts. One thing I learned about author Joan H. Young, author of the Anastasia Raven Mysteries is that she has been writing stories about the outdoors since she was 7 years old, with “The Adventures Of Skippy The Field Mouse”.

Before each recipe there is a paragraph or two about the book the recipe is from. I’m not familiar with all the authors or their books, so I loved reading these.

There are so many yummy recipes in this book that it would be a very long post if I listed all that I want to try. I’ll give you the one I want to try first.

We don’t eat hot dogs very often, but when we do we like different toppings at different times…cole slaw, hot dog sauce, chow chow, relish etc. When we want hot dog sauce, I buy it in a can from the store (yeah, I know). The problem with that is that while it’s ok, it doesn’t have the taste that I remember from my childhood. So when I saw this recipe, I knew I wanted to try it. In the snippet for this recipe it says “It surely tastes like what I remember!” That’s all I needed to hear! So here is the recipe:

A Michigan from New York (hot dog sauce)
from Death Dangles A Participle (Miss Prentice Mystery #2) by E.E. Kennedy
(page 161)
3 lbs. finely ground lean beef, sauteed and well-drained
10 ts. chili powder
14 oz. can tomato sauce (or less)
Scant 1/4 cup good hot sauce, NOT Tabasco!
3 tsp. garlic powder
3 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. black pepper
3 tsp. ground cumin
Make sure the beef is cooked into tiny particles.
(Hester used a pastry cutter to achieve this, chopping the beef as she browns it.)
Blend all ingredients well BEFORE cooking.
Add the tomato sauce, but sparingly.
The mixture should ultimately be just barely moistened.
Simmer for 2 hours, stirring frequently.
Results are best if you use non-direct heat, such as a crock pot on low for six hours or double boiler.There is some controversy about using tomato sauce.
Some say there should no tomato in this sauce, but this recipe turns out with a very authentic-tasting result..

 

My crock pot is my favorite kitchen appliance, so I love that this is best in a crock pot.

If you love cozies, or food, or both, this book is perfect for you. Not only will you find a bunch of recipes to try, you’ll learn about new to you cozy writers and series you’ve never heard of.

I would recommend this book 100%. It’s a book I’ll keep and go to when I want to try a new recipe.

 

 

 

Mar 202015
 

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Life From Scratch by Sasha Martin

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: National Geographic (March 3, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1426213743
ISBN-13: 978-1426213748

It was a culinary journey like no other: Over the course of 195 weeks, food writer and blogger Sasha Martin set out to cook—and eat—a meal from every country in the world. As cooking unlocked the memories of her rough-and-tumble childhood and the loss and heartbreak that came with it, Martin became more determined than ever to find peace and elevate her life through the prism of food and world cultures. From the tiny, makeshift kitchen of her eccentric, creative mother to a string of foster homes to the house from which she launches her own cooking adventure, Martin’s heartfelt, brutally honest memoir reveals the power of cooking to bond, to empower, and to heal—and celebrates the simple truth that happiness is created from within.

Thoughts
I love memoirs, and I love cookbooks, so this book grabbed my attention right away. I loved reading about Sasha’s childhood. Her mother wasn’t your ordinary mother.  She was quite the character.  I loved reading about her, through the good and the bad.

Subsequently, Sasha and her brother had a very different  childhood from anyone I know. At times it was very good, but a lot of her young years were very bad, and had a lasting effect on her. She ultimately finds peace and forgiveness through her love of cooking.

This is such a good book! Not only does it have the fascinating story of Sasha’s life, it also had recipes from around the world. One that I’d like to try is Muamba de Galinha, which is a spicy Angolan Chicken Stew:

Muamba de Galinha
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
Generous pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
4-5 whole chicken legs
1/4 to 1/3 cup red palm oil
2 large onions, chopped
3 tomatoes, quartered
1 habanero pepper, as desired
1 cup water
salt and pepper
1 small pumpkin (about 1 1/2 pounds) to make 1 pounds cubed
1/2 pound okra (fresh or frozen) sliced in rounds

Mix lemon juice, zest, crushed garlic, salt and chili powder and rub into the chicken.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight
Add the oil to a large pot and heat on medium-high heat
Brown the chicken (avoid crowding) 5-10 minutes a side
Cook the onions until soft and beginning to brown
Add in the remaining marinade and tomatoes.
Slit the habanero in half and deseed (for more fire, just chop it) and add to mix
Add the water and season with salt and pepper
Cover and cook at a gently bubble for 30 to 45 minuets, or until the chicken is tender
Meanwhile, peel, seed and cut the pumpkin into 1.5 inch cubes
Stir the pumpkin and sliced okra into the broth
Cover and cook until all the ingredients are cooked through (about 30 minuets)
Adjust seasoning and serve hot
*can be served on its own, with boiled yucca, or served over rice

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves memoirs or recipes.

About The Author
smSasha Martin is an award-winning writer and blogger who spent almost four years cooking her way around the world. She graduated from Wesleyan University and was an MFK Fisher Scholar at the Culinary Institute of America. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband Keith and their daughter Ava.

Sasha’s work has been featured on NPR, as well as in Whole Living, Bon Appetit, The Smithsonian, The Huffington Post, and CNNgo. Her website, Global Table Adventure, is a go-to hub for foodies around the world.

Her first book, Life From Scratch chronicles her lifelong struggle to find inner-peace, including the years she spent cooking the world as a new mother.

 

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Purchase Links: Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble
 
Author Links: Website, Global Table AdventureTwitter, and Facebook

 

tlc-logo-resized
Oct 182014
 

My son helped his cousin go through a bunch of stuff another cousin left when they moved out of state a while back. He found some old cookbooks and albums. There were a whole lot of them, but I won’t know exactly how many until I go through them all. I do know there were 2 1/2 of those plastic tubs full of cookbooks and one full of old albums. I plan on posting more about them after I go through them and check them out.

Here are four that I found near the top of one of the tubs:

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The two oldest out of these four are the Hershey’s which is 1934 and the Betty Crocker’s Good And Easy which is 1954.

I did check out the Aunt Bee’s Mayberry Cookbook a little. Here’s a recipe I plan on trying:

Gomer’s Banana Bread Pyle
1 cup butter or oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten well
6-7 bananas, mashed
2 1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Greas 3 large loaf pans or 5 small ones
Cream the butter with the sugar
Add the eggs and heat well
Add the mashed bananas, stirring to blend
In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients
Fold the dry ingredients into the batter, mixing well
Add the macadamia nuts
Pour the batter into the pans
Bake in a 350 oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until done

For muffins, fill 12 muffin cups 1/4 full and bake in a 350 oven for 35-45 minuets

–Jim Nabors

 

 

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Oct 042014
 

We LOVE Chili in our house!! I’ve made it with both name brands and store brands and it tastes pretty much the same. I have a few different ways I make chili (different ingredients) but this time I used:

 

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3-5 lbs ground chuck, depends on if you like lots of meat or not…we do
(forgot to add it for the picture)
2 Seasoned Tomato Sauce For Chili
2 dark red kidney beans
2 light red kidney beans
2 chili beans
2 tomato paste
2 chopped chilies
1 mushroom pieces and stems
3 stewed tomatoes
3 envelopes chili seasoning
American cheese

 

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Brown ground chuck in large pot . Drain.
Add back into the pot
Add remaining ingredients except cheese and stir

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Simmer for 60 min. or until ready to eat.
(I also make this in the crock pot on low for 6-8 hours)

When it’s almost time to eat, add pieces of cheese, stir until melted
(forgot to take a photo)

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We add more cheese to our bowls too, but of course I forgot to take a photo.

FYI: Since I was a kid, I’ve always eaten a peanut butter sandwich with my chili.
It’s gooood!

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Sep 062014
 

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The I Hate To Cook Book by Peg Braken

Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 50 Anv edition (July 26, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446545929
ISBN-13: 978-0446545921

“There are two kinds of people in this world: the ones who don’t cook out of and have NEVER cooked out of THE I HATE TO COOK BOOK, and the other kind…The I HATE TO COOK people consist mainly of those who find other things more interesting and less fattening, and so they do it as seldom as possible. Today there is an Annual Culinary Olympics, with hundreds of cooks from many countries ardently competing. But we who hate to cook have had our own Olympics for years, seeing who can get out of the kitchen the fastest and stay out the longest.”
– Peg Bracken

Philosopher’s Chowder. Skinny Meatloaf. Fat Man’s Shrimp. Immediate Fudge Cake. These are just a few of the beloved recipes from Peg Bracken’s classic I HATE TO COOK BOOK. Written in a time when women were expected to have full, delicious meals on the table for their families every night, Peg Bracken offered women who didn’t revel in this obligation an alternative: quick, simple meals that took minimal effort but would still satisfy.

50 years later, times have certainly changed – but the appeal of THE I HATE TO COOK BOOK hasn’t.

This book is for everyone, men and women alike, who wants to get from cooking hour to cocktail hour in as little time as possible.

Thoughts
I used to love to cook and bake. Now I only do it to keep us from starving and going broke from eating out.

This book is full of recipes that were popular in the 60’s. The book has many recipes that are quick, easy and have just a few ingredients, which are my favorite kinds of recipes. Many of the recipes use a “cream of” soup, but it would be easy to use healthier choices like “low fat” and “low sodium”, if you’re eating healthy. To make this cookbook even better, there is humor spread throughout it.

You might have to figure out other ways to make some of them too, since the appliances we use in the kitchen have changed some. Overall though, I think these recipes could be adapted so that they are easy and tasty.

I plan on making more recipes from the book, but so far I’ve only made one:

Florida Dip (page 119)
1 large rip avocado
3 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
dash of Tabasco, salt & pepper
2 oz. can of diced anchovies
Mash the avocado until it’s lumpless.
Blend in everything else.

 

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Ok, I know you don’t “cook” this recipe, but since I live in Florida. and it’s called Florida Dip, I wanted to try it since I’ve never had it.

First of all, I used more than a dash of Tabasco. I used more like 1 tablespoon. I didn’t use anchovies because they are, well, just plain nasty. And I hear from the hubs who likes them once in a while with pizza (yuck!) that they are really really salty, even though I rince them a few times. Anyway, I can’t stand to look at them much less touch them ( always use a fork), so I definitely don’t want them in my mouth.

This was quick and easy to make, and while we all liked it ok, I think I’ll make it a few more times, using different amounts of the ingredients, until I get it just right. I want to love it, not just like it, and it’s not quite there yet.

 

I’m linking to:

Cook-it-up-ChallengeHosted @ Love, Laughter, And A Touch Of Insanity. Pull those cookbooks off the shelves or check out new cookbooks from the library. You make the rules!

 

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Jul 172014
 

Maria Loggia’s kitchen door is always open. Her home and garden are a gathering place for friends and family, who come to share her easygoing enthusiasm and generosity – and her inspired Italian cuisine. In this, her second book, Loggia celebrates the seasons with 16 sumptuous menus – from a spontaneous al fresco garden party to a slow-simmered midwinter feast and a traditional Sunday family lunch.

Everyday Celebrations with Maria Loggia is on a spotlight tour from July 14 to 18.

Author & Chef: Maria Loggia
Category: Non-fiction
Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine, 176 pages
Publisher: Cardinal Publishing
Published: Oct 1, 2012

Amazon.ca * Cardinal Publishing * Amazon.com

 

Try One of the Recipes!

Petto di Pollo Farcito con Uva e Noci

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Grapes and Walnuts

Ingredienti
For filling:
1 tbsp (15 ml) unsalted butter
2 tbsp (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
¾ cup (180 ml) walnuts, coarsely chopped
½ cup (125 ml) red seedless grapes, quartered
2 tbsp (30 ml) finely chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp (30 ml) bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
7 oz (200 g) soft goat cheese, cut in 6 slices

For chicken:
6 tbsp (90 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
6 bone-in chicken breasts, skin on
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 tbsp (45 ml) unsalted butter, softened
1 orange, cut into wedges
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, each cut in half
5 bay leaves

To serve:
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange

Preparazione
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
To prepare filling: Heat butter and oil in a large skillet and sauté shallots until soft, 1 to 2 minutes, and remove from heat. Stir in walnuts, grapes, chives and bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool slightly. Leave goat cheese aside for now.

To prepare chicken: Oil a 14-inch (35 cm) round earthenware tiella or roasting pan with 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the olive oil and set aside. On a baking sheet, season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Make a lengthwise slit in each chicken breast, being careful not to cut all the way through. (This will form the pocket for the stuffing.) Rub remaining 4 tbsp (60 ml) olive oil into the chicken (including in the pockets). Divide stuffing equally among chicken breasts, stuffing it into the slit in each breast, and top with a slice of goat cheese. Pull the chicken skin over the filling and secure with toothpicks. Smear butter over the skin and season again to taste with salt and pepper.

Gently transfer chicken to prepared tiella. Scatter orange wedges, rosemary and bay leaves around chicken. Roast 35 to 40 minutes, or until juices run clear when the thickest part of the breast is pierced. Then broil 2 to 3 minutes, or until skin is crisp and golden. Drizzle with orange juice and serve warm with pan juices.

Serves 6

Tips from Maria:

Consigli di cucina (kitchen tips)

The chicken breasts can be assembled the day before, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated. When ready to serve, bring chicken to room temperature and cook as instructed. Doing it this way allows the flavours time to meld together beautifully.

Che cos’è? (what is it?)

I’m convinced food tastes better when cooked in a shallow, glazed earthenware dish known in Italian as a tiella. I find earthenware dishes distribute heat slowly and evenly as the food cooks. Aromas and flavours are intensified and casseroles never stick or dry out.

To season a tiella: Before using your tiella the first time, immerse the dish in cold water to soak overnight. The next day, empty the tiella and wipe it dry. Rub the inside with olive oil and place in a preheated 300°F (150°C) oven for 1½ hours. Remove seasoned tiella from oven and place on a wooden board or thick tablecloth to cool. (If placed on a surface like granite or a cold stovetop, it will crack.) To clean a tiella, soak it in warm, soapy water, then scrub with a soft sponge.

 

Meet the Author

Maria Loggia is one of Montreal’s best-loved Italian cooking teachers. Her Tavola Mia cooking school in the village of Hudson is a warm, inviting place to learn about Italian cuisine. She also appears regularly on television, is featured in newspapers and magazines, and leads culinary tours in Italy.

Maria finds inspiration in her Italian heritage and draws on family recipes that go back generations. She founded Tavola Mia, her at-home cooking school in 1999. Through her study of Italy’s regional cuisines, which has included numerous sojourns back to her native country, she has acquired great expertise in the art of Italian cooking. Her passion, humor and dedication to excellence have made her an inspiring teacher. Using fresh local ingredients, Tavola Mia celebrates the seasons in authentic, irrepressible Italian style.

 

An Interview with Maria Loggia

Maria Loggia from Pierre Blais on Vimeo.

 

 

Thank you for supporting our authors!

 

Jun 212014
 

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The History Lover’s Cookbook by Roxe Ann Peacock
Narrated by Dave Wright

Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 5 hours and 2 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Roxe Anne Peacock
Audible.com Release Date: May 8, 2014
Language: English
ASIN: B00KC3CL0M
Over 150 full-color photos inspired by nineteenth century recipes, anecdotes, and the Civil War

History Lover’s Cookbook will transport readers through the Battle of First Bull Run/Manassas to April 9, 1865, where General Robert E. Lee stood under an apple tree to dispatch his surrender to General Grant. Do you know what he was eating when he surrendered?

Prepare a picnic of lemonade, raspberry shrub, mint julep, fried chicken, ham sandwiches, potato salad with boiled dressing, cold slaw, soda biscuits and quince marmalade to observe one of the many Civil War re-enactments throughout the United States.

Enjoy eating tea cakes while viewing more than 150 full-color photos of replica Civil War items, re-enactors portraying Abraham Lincoln, Generals Custer, Lee and Grant, foods and recipes inspired by the nineteenth century.

Share in the Union’s Thanksgiving holiday by preparing recipes from the chapter, Siege at Petersburg.

Find out what General Grant ate every morning with his breakfast.

Roxe Anne Peacock brings the nineteenth century and Civil War era to life through the wonderful photography depicted throughout the book.

Thoughts
This book interested me at first because I wanted to see what kinds of recipes people made in the nineteeth century. The book has so many that I’d like to try, most of them sound really good. Some were a little more complex than others, but all seem to be easily do-able.

In school I loved history class, but it’s been so many years since I was in school, and I haven’t been interested in reading about history since, so I really thought that part of the book would be somewhat boring to me. Man, was I wrong! What kept me interested far more than I would have imagined was the history and miscellaneous info. I was so engrossed while listening to those sections that it surprised me. I learned things about different battles, I loved learning that Custer went to West Point. For some reason that fact really surprised me.

Did you know that in the U.S., blackberries usually peak during June in the South and July in the north. I didn’t. I thought they peaked during the same month. I also learned that the medicinal plants have been used to treat a variety of ailments like dysentery, sore throat, gout, venomous snake bites and other illnesses. Another thing that I found very interesting was that coffee was scarce so some popular substitutes were roasted acorns, okra that were browned, dried sweat potatoes and carrots, wheat berries, barley, beans, beats, bran, cornmeal, cotton seeds, dandelions, peas, persimmons, rice, rye sorghum molasses, and watermelon seeds. Wow, I’d like to know how those substitues compared to the real thing.

I learned that Hardtack was a simple cracker or biscuit made only from flour and water. The only hardtack I’ve ever heard of was a hardtack candy.

There were notes and tidbits included throughout to give a little more interesting information on something that had been covered.

Since I listened to the audible.com version, I’m glad I also had the had the ebook version so that I could see the photos. There were many of them…food, items they used back then, battle re-enactments etc.

Also included in the ebook version was a Measurements & Substitutions Coversions. A few examples are:
1 jigger = 3 tablesoons
1 pony = 2 tablesppons
1 small pinch = 1/16 teaspoon
Indian meal = cornmeal
Gem = muffin or cupcake

The audio was narrated by Dave Wright and I thought he did an excellent job! His voice was smooth and calming. He talked at a pace that was slow enough for you to hear every word clearly, but not slow enough that you got impatient listening to him.

Roxe Anne Peacock did an execellent job with this book, you can tell she put a lot of time into research.

I love love love this book and would recommend it to anyone, whether they’re a history lover or cookbook lover, or both!

This is one of the best cookbooks I’ve ever read and know I’ll be going back to it over and over.

Here is the first recipe I want to try:
Potato Salad
10 large red potatoes (8 cups cooked)
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Boiled Salad Dressing (recipe below)

Wash the potatoes in cold water; drain.
Place then in a large stockpot with enough cold water to cover them.
Cook the potatoes on medium heat until fork tender but before the skins burst.
Cool the potatoes by running cold water over them in a colander.
Peel the slightly cooled skins off the potatoes.
Dice the cooked potatoes into one-half inch cubes.
Place the chopped onions into the bottom of a large bowl.
Put the diced potatoes on thop of the onions.
Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups prepared Boiled Salad Dreesing to the potato salad.
Mix well to incorporate.
Serve immediately or refridgerate.
Best if eaten the same day.

Boiled Salad Dressing
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large egg yolks, slightly beaten

Whisk the vinegar, water, sugar, dry mustard, salt and peppers in a medium saucepan until smooth.
Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer; whisking continuously.
Add the heavy cream and unsalted butter; continue whisking until the butter has melted.
In a large bowl, have ready 4 slightly beaten egg yolks.
Slowly stir in small amounts of the hot vinegar until it is incorporated into the egg yolks.
Pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
Heat the mixture on medium-low and continue whisking until the sauce thickens. Do not boil.
Transfer the Boiled Salad Dressing to a large bowl and cool uncovered until the dressing is room temperature.
Refrigerate covered if you are not incorporating the dressing into a recipe immediately.

This dressing is great for potato salad, chicken salad, lettuce salads and cold slaw.

Note: The common size of an egg in the nineteenth century was medium; now it is large

Tidbit: In the nineteenth century, recipes were known as receipts.

Weekend Cooking