Thursday, November 24, 2011

Just a Happy Thanksgiving To All Of Our American Friends!!!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Sister's Very Yummy Fig and Olive Tapenade

My sister made this for her twin's birthday party and all the moms LOVED it! I took some home and used it for an appie the following night. I put cream cheese on crackers and topped it with this tapenade. Very delicious. I love the salty and sweet combo which of course is my favourite food mix and is called, Agrodolce (which means salty and sweet in Italian).

1 cup chopped stemmed dried Calimyrna figs
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon drained capers, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

Combine chopped figs and 1/3 cup water in heavy medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until liquid evaporates and figs are soft, about 7 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl. Mix in olives, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, capers, and chopped thyme. Season tapenade to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Bonnie Stern's Best Ever Banana Bread

One of my favourite cookbooks is "Friday Night Dinners" by Bonnie Stern. I checked out her website and found this recipe for BANANA BREAD. I've made the same banana bread recipe forever, but tried this new one because I liked the addition of buttermilk and brown sugar. If you don't have buttermilk, make your own: combine 1 cup of milk with 1 tbsp. of vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes.

My kids had this banana bread after school today and LOVED IT!

1 cup of mashed bananas, ½ cup of buttermilk or yogurt, 1 tsp. of baking soda, ½ cup of butter, 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 egg, 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract, 1 ½ cups of pastry flour, 1 tsp. of baking powder.

Combine bananas with buttermilk and baking soda in a bowl.
Beat butter with brown sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla.
In another bowl combine flour with baking powder. Add flour to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk/bananas beginning and ending with flour. If you do this in a food processor add all the buttermilk/bananas to the butter mixture and blend and then briefly blend in flour.
Transfer to a buttered loaf pan lined (I sprayed my loaf pan with PAM). Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 50 to 60 minutes.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Southern Fried Chicken Pot Pie

Ok, this is one fabulous and delicious chicken pot pie.

I of course must confess that we are using left over Shake'n Bake chicken breasts, hence the Southern Fried. But what I really love about this chicken pot pie is that it's made with puff pastry. Ooooh la la! This would be the perfect ladies' lunch over the holidays. Of course it's also the perfect men who lunch with the ladies lunch too.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. I just so happened to have 5 large-ish chicken breasts, but the recipe calls for three cups. I chopped up what I had so I wouldn't waste any left overs and added a little extra milk to the sauce for moistness. So chop up your left over chicken breasts, shake'n baked or not, you decide.

Then you are going to make a roux. Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a pot over medium heat then add 1/2 cup of flour and stir vigorously until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Then you add 2 cups of beef broth (yes beef) and 1 cup of chopped onion (I used frozen to save some chopping time) and stir occassionally until the roux thickens up - then add the chopped chicken and stir so all the meat is coated in sauce. Then I added 1/2 chopped red pepper, 1/2 chopped yellow pepper, sprinkled pepper over it to look pretty. Put aside so you can roll out the puff pastry.

Get out a pie plate, roll out the puff pastry on parchment paper with a little flour on the parchment so it won't stick and make into the shape of the pie plate. Lift the parchment paper and lay the dough over the pie plate and let the puff pastry fall in. Trim any uneven edges, but don't worry about being perfect, it actually looks even more gorgeous when it's not after it's baked. Just make sure the dough goes over all the edges.

Then pour the chicken/sauce filling into the pie plate and dough, and roll out another puff pastry circle, put it over the pie and trim and pinch the edges.

Then put a little egg wash over it, (stir together an egg with a tbsp. of water).

Poke a couple of fork holes in the top of the pie and bake for about 30 minutes or until nice and brown. Let sit for 10 minutes and slice!!!!

After reading my post it's apparent I like the word....."then."

You will cry tears of joy!