For some reason I’ve only eaten steak on the rare occasion. It isn’t that I dislike steak, it’s just that I like chicken and fish considerably more. I even went a year without eating beef or pork, and only started up again because at the end of that year I happened upon a blood drive and they almost wouldn’t allow me to contribute because I was borderline anemic. The nurse asked me if I was a vegetarian, and when she was certain that I didn’t have any moral objections against doing so she suggested that I start incorporating more red meat into my diet. Continue reading
Today I want to show you how to make a quick yogurt and chives salad dressing that I adore as I never buy store bought dressings. The next time you’re buying groceries just read the ingredients and you’ll see why. I eat a lot of salads and our vegetable spring rolls call for a dipping sauce and this works great for that as well. Continue reading
Hello dear friends, I wonder how many of you like coffee and how many of you LOVE coffee?
I would say I fall into the LOVE coffee category. I blame my mother for this because as a young child I remember smelling my parents morning coffee and asking if I could have some. My mother, thinking, “She bounces off the wall as it is,” and as I was much too young, the answer was always “No”. Continue reading
This lemon curd has just the right amount of tart citrus flavor, and is sweet but not too sweet. It’s also very easy to make.
I used to only make lemon curd when I was going to bake a lemon meringue pie, or a lemon tart, but I eventually learned the error of my ways. This is amazing on toast and (I’m a little embarrassed to admit) pretty fantastic straight out of the jar. Continue reading
It’s somewhat surprising the additives added to many seasoning packages in the grocery stores today. I understand that some of the additives help to keep them from clumping, or perhaps extend their shelf life. But they’re not helping to extend our lives. Continue reading
I grew up in Minnesota and we occasionally had something that would require barbecue sauce however, now that I live in Texas I now understand the importance of this spicy, tangy sauce.
Texans love their barbecue sauce and I have to say I’ve tasted some wonderful varieties living here. Continue reading
Can I ask you a question? How many of you love Pot Pies? Do they bring back good memories for you? I assume many of you have had the store bought versions however, how many grew up on the homemade type? Well I for one grew up on the store bought version and I thought they were OK but not terrific. As time went by the meat and vegetables became less and less in many of the pot pies we purchased and more sauce. Have you noticed this too? Continue reading
Early on I made a chicken stock for you, as winter had arrived and well, lets face it, there is nothing like homemade soup- for which you need a good stock. So today we’ll make beef stock and oh I see beef stew in my future. Actually, French Onion Soup sounds really wonderful with melted cheese… and a glass of wine, too. Doesn’t it sound perfect?
There are many occasions where a recipe calls for either chicken or beef stock and what is called stock in our grocery store is so watered down it no longer resembles a stock with the appropriate adjectives such as rich, deep flavor, mouth watering, and soul satisfying. Your stock is the essence of the dish; if it’s not the very best the dish will not be your best creation. You can make a good stock and freeze it and for the occasion when you just need a few tablespoons it’s a great idea to freeze them in ice cube trays then pop out what you need. Great for soups, stews and sauces.
In classic French cuisine stocks are so important that they are known as the “fond du cuisine”
or the foundation of cooking. Stocks are not intimidating by any mean but rather easy and economical and taste wonderful. Save all your bones, freeze them and they will be there when you have time to cook them up and make your stock. Here we go.
In a large stock pot add all your bones, vegetables, spices and water. Bring it to a boil then lower heat to medium and continue simmering for 2-3 hours. Check it often and adjust the temp if necessary. I usually aim for 3 hours as it has time to render the marrow and make it richer. Remove bones and vegetables to a strainer and drain broth thru strainer right into a bowl, pressing any liquid out of vegetables with the back of a large spoon. Discard any solids and drain remaining stock if any in the same strainer catching any spices or pieces. Again, press liquid out with the back of a large spoon, and discard the solids. If you can drain everything all at once, great! I tend to do batches- it’s just easier and I don’t have a large enough strainer. Remember you want a smooth, silky broth.
Refrigerate stock so fat rises to the top, you can now skim off and discard the fat. Freeze in ice cube trays or freezer bags. Now you’re ready for the next time you prepare a soup, stew or sauce. You’ll taste the difference and never purchase at the grocery store again. I promise.
- 4 pounds meaty beef neck bones or beef soup bones
- 12 cups water
- 1 large onion
- 2 carrots, scrubbed and cut into pieces
- 2 large celery stalks with leaves cut into pieces
- 1 large leek, cleaned and cut into pieces
- 1 heaping Tablespoon parsley
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tablespoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
- Add all ingredients to a large stock pot.
- Bring to boil.
- Lower heat and simmer for 2 to 3 hours.
- Remove bones and vegetables.
- Strain liquid into a container.
- Refrigerate until fat solidifies at top.
- Remove fat.
Slightly adapted from Food Wishes
This one has eluded me for a while. I tried the food processor method, the blender method, and even the (gasp) hand held whisk method, and was never able to get my mayonnaise to emulsify. A few years ago I complained to a friend of mine who also happens to be a highly skilled chef. He laughed and promised to show me how to properly make it the next time we saw each other. Continue reading