Friday, June 26, 2009

Knife Class

My knife skills class at Teach Me Now was last night and it was so much fun! It's very personal and hands on. There were only 6 of us and I am now a pro!! I even know how to use the steel to hone the knife!

I shall show you my skills next month.

This is the knife we used. It is a Forschner Victorinox Fibrox and just like Carol said, the only knives you need are a chef knife, paring knife and bread knife.

Monday, June 22, 2009

June 21, 2009 Gathering (Ina Garten Theme)

Two of our gals were missing today, which meant more food for the rest of us. I think I grazed for 3 hours straight.

I picked the main dish and decided on a theme of using Ina Garten recipes. We all agreed that we have never made a recipe of Ina's that was not delicious so it worked out well.

Appetizers - Carol
Carol made 2 of Ina's appetizers: Parmesan Crackers and Pan Fried Onion Dip. Both were so delicious!! Carol also brought a beautiful platter of other goodies. These were prosciutto and melon, stuffed tomatoes with bacon, stuffed snow peas with dill and cute cucumbers with tomatoes and olives. The snow peas were my favorite!

Salad - Teresa

Teresa's Bibb Salad with Basil Green Goddess Dressing was one of the best salads I have ever had. The dressing was perfect - it tasted so fresh! It was a deconstructed salad and so delicious!! I think you could use the bibb lettuce, dressing, and any vegetable you wanted and Teresa used English cucumbers and tomatoes. Avocado would have been nice too.
Main Dish - Angie

Sorry for the out of focus photo.. I was getting excited about eating! Roasted Shrimp with Orzo was very good. We let it sit about an hour, but I am thinking today's appetizers will be even better! The dill is the star of the recipe and it was a great combination of flavors. It is a perfect make ahead dish that can refrigerate overnight.

Dessert - Janet

Janet made two perfectly cute Coconut cakes. So tasty!! One modification Janet made was poking the cakes and pouring on some coconut milk, which made for a sweet, distinct taste.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Blueberry Muffins

Apparently 1,000,000 people read this blog, because they all showed up at the blueberry farm this morning to greet me. Who knew, that at 8:30 am on a Friday, there would already be 100 cars full of people picking my blueberries?! By the time my parents and I had picked our 5 pounds there were probably 200 cars including every stay at home mom along with their little children. Sadly, little children, the only available berries were at the tops of the bushes. To reach these you have to pull the branch to you and pick pick pick. My dad had several war wounds of bleeding arms from the branches. I must be more careful, because I just have a couple of scratches, and picked less berries.

I made this blueberry muffin recipe HEAVY on adaptations. They were:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour rather than 2 cups all-purpose

  • no lemon zest as I had none ( I need to grocery shop)

  • buttermilk rather than milk (yes, need to grocery shop)

  • added 1 cup of unsweetened coconut

  • added about 1/2 cup of pecans

  • used 2 cups of blueberries

  • no topping as I was hungry and anxious to eat them. Plus, I want to lose 4 lbs.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rules and BLUEBERRY season

You all remember my confession about my brownies not having a "flaky" crust, but rather a cake like top. I decided it was my oven's fault. Poor oven. This weekend I bought an oven thermometer for $5 from Bed, Bath and Beyond and it verified that my OVEN IS PERFECT!! So then I started thinking... my last batch of brownies had a ribbon of flakiness running the length of the brownies as if that one patch was perfect. How can that be? I decided that maybe my problem is that I do not blend the brownie mix sufficiently!! EUREKA! And this makes sense.. the directions usually state a RULE, something like "mix well, 50 times". I figure since there is a number mentioned, that something bad or evil will happen should you over mix! So maybe, I have been under mixing all this time! EEK! I will test my theory when I mix the heck out of the brownies next time I make them.

In the mean time, I will be making recipes featuring blueberries as my parents and I are heading out for picking tomorrow bright and early. We want to beat the weekend pickers at the Moorehead Blueberry Farm. My mom wants to make Bran muffins, but I think I will find a recipe for a decadent muffin with struesel topping. Yum.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


I had 2 bananas on their way out of "snackville" and on their way to TOO RIPE land so I went through my newly organized recipes and found this: Caramel Walnut Upside Down Banana Cake (whew!).

This was very easy to make. I did the topping first and as it cooled in the pan, I assembled the rest of the ingredients and by the time I was finished, the topping was cool. The caramel DID overflow while baking, so I suggest putting it on a cooking sheet lined with a silicone sheet or foil. It also seemed to brown quickly while the cake still was not finished, so be aware of that too. The cake part is very moist and the caramel is so rich. Mine did not harden like some of the reviews mentioned, but then again, I ate it pretty quickly upon getting out of the oven. :-) Also, I had no problems with it coming cleanly out of the pan when I over turned it onto the plate.