Showing posts with label Cranberry Cove Mysteries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cranberry Cove Mysteries. Show all posts

Saturday, April 15, 2017

POULET A L'ORANGE #Recipe @PegCochran #Easterweek

Doesn't that sound fancy?  The original recipe came from AllRecipes and it's actually called Chicken with Orange Sauce  but I thought the French version had a nice ring to it.

This is an easy dish that you can make for a weeknight meal or if you want to do something different for Easter, this would be lovely with the fresh orange flavor.  And if you call it Poulet a l'orange, your guests will be doubly impressed!


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves or 4 - 6 chicken thighs depending on size (bone in or out, it doesn't matter)
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar, divided (I used the Splenda version)
2 cups orange juice
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour

What to do:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Place chicken in baking dish (I used a square Pyrex dish)  Spread mustard over the chicken and sprinkle with the chopped onion.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup brown sugar over the chicken to coat lightly.  Add enough orange juice to cover chicken.  Dot with butter on top.

Bake 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and pour sauce into a saucepan.

Sprinkle chicken with remaining brown sugar and return to oven.

Whisk flour into the sauce in the pan, adding any leftover orange juice.  Cook over high heat until the sauce thickens.

Remove chicken from oven when sauce is done and serve with sauce.


    It's June in Cranberry Cove and Monica Albertson's plan to sell cranberry relish to chain stores is taking off. The cranberry bogs are in bloom, and local beekeeper Rick Taylor and his assistant Lori Wenk are bringing in bees to pollinate the blossoms.  When a fatal prick fells Lori, the buzz is that Rick is to blame.

    In trying to clear her friend’s name, Monica discovers that more than a few people in Cranberry Cove have felt the power of Lori’s venom, and it looks as if this time she may have agitated the hive a bit too much.  With the fate of the farm on the line, Monica must get to the bottom of the crime before another victim gets stung.


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    Saturday, March 18, 2017

    Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake #Recipe @PegCochran

    Yes, St. Patrick’s Day was yesterday but I had to take a dessert to a St. Patty’s Day-themed party last weekend and this was so delicious I wanted to share the recipe with you.  It comes from Bay Area Bites and I didn’t do anything to change the recipe (a first!)  Except I did use bourbon since I didn’t have any Irish whiskey but it was suggested that that would be a fine substitute.

    I even invested (a whopping $9.99) in my first bundt pan for this cake!  

    Making it was quite the adventure, I must admit.  First I solved a mystery! I invested in an oven thermometer because I suspected my new oven runs cool.  Does it ever!  It indicated it was pre-heated to 325 when the thermometer read only 225!  No wonder the chocolate roll cake I make every Christmas didn’t turn out this year—my oven was off.

    I forgot to take my butter out to soften it so I had the bright idea of popping it into the microwave for ten seconds.  Good idea except I hit one minute by accident.  Yup—melted butter all over the inside of my microwave.  And those were my last two sticks so everything had to go on hold while I went to the grocery store.

    Then I was about to put the cake in the oven when I noticed a bowl on the counter—full of the whiskey soaked raisins that were supposed to go in the cake!  I managed to gently stir them in and finally got the cake in the oven!

    It was worth the effort—it was rich and moist without being overly sweet.   


    Butter or nonstick spray for greasing pan
    3/4 cup Irish whiskey
    1 cup strong coffee
    1 cup golden raisins
    5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
    1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    1 3/4 cups sugar
    3 eggs
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    2 cups all-purpose flour, more for dusting pan
    Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish
    Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan.
    Pour whiskey and coffee over raisins and set aside.
    In a double boiler over simmering water, melt chocolate. Remove from heat and let cool.

    Cream one cup butter until fluffy. Add sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla extract and melted chocolate.
    Whisk together the salt, baking soda, cocoa powder and flour. Stir one-third of the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture, until just combined. 

    Add one-third of the coffee-whiskey mixture and stir to combine. Repeat two more times, alternating flour and coffee. 

    Fold in the soaked raisins at the end. Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, approximately 50-60 minutes. 

    Transfer cake to a rack and let cool for 15 minutes then unmold. Optional: for a more potent whiskey flavor, sprinkle warm cake with about two more tablespoons whiskey. Let cool, then sift confectioners’ sugar over cake before serving.



    Saturday, December 31, 2016

    Rigatoni al Forno #Recipe @PegCochran

    This recipe comes from an OLD Craig Claiborne's New York Times Cookbook that I've  had for close to 40 years (it's dated 1979.)  The back cover has fallen off along with the spine and large chunks are loose.  But it still has some great, tasty and not terribly complicated recipes.  I changed virtually nothing in the recipe--it's perfect as it is.

    This sauce would be excellent simply served over plain pasta as well.

    I made this for Christmas Eve and I think it would be perfect for New Year's Eve or New Year's Day.


    7 tablespoons butter (I used less)
    2 cups chopped onion
    1 pound mushrooms, sliced
    1 pound ground pork or Italian sausage
    1 tsp minced garlic
    3/4 tsp fennel seeds
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried
    3/4 tsp crushed sage
    3/4 tsp crushed oregano
    1 dried pepper, chopped (optional--I didn't use)
    6 cups peeled Italian plum tomatoes
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 cup water
    1 cup chicken broth
    1/4 cup chopped parsley
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 pound rigatoni or ziti
    1/2 lb mozzarella cheese cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    2 cups grated Parmesan

    Heat 3 tablespoons butter and add onion.  Cook until wilted.  Add sliced mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms give up their liquid.

    Continue to cook until liquid evaporates.

    In a separate skillet cook pork or sausage meat (remove casing.) I used pork for a milder flavor.   Add meat to the mushrooms and stir.  Add garlic, fennel (if not using sausage), basil, sage, oregano and red pepper if using.  Cook about three minutes, stirring.

    Add the tomatoes (I wasn't sure if the recipe meant fresh or canned but I used two 28-ounce cans including juice.)  Add salt, pepper, water, broth and simmer for one hour, stirring frequently.

    Add parsley and simmer 15 minutes more.  Stir in olive oil and set aside.  (I did not add the olive oil feeling there was enough fat in the sauce already.  I was also afraid the sauce would be too thin so I added about half a can of tomato paste.  I had the pan on the barest simmer and forgot to turn the stove off so probably cooked it for two to three hours in the end.  It thickened up nicely and was perfect!)

    Cook pasta for eight minutes (it needs to be al dente since it will cook more in the oven.) Drain and run cold water to stop the cooking.

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    Spoon a thin layer of sauce into your casserole dish (13.5 x 8.75 is recommended--don't know what mine was.)

    Add a single layer of pasta.  Scatter half the mozzarella over it.  Top with one tablespoon Parmesan. 

    Continue making layers of sauce, pasta, mozzarella and Parmesan ending with sauce and Parmesan.  (Use about 1/2 cup Parmesan and save the rest for serving at the table.)

    Dot with remaining butter (I omitted the extra butter because...well just because.)

    Bake 30 minutes uncovered until hot and bubbling.  Makes 8 to 12 servings.  (We served six adults and one child with plenty of leftovers.)

    Coming May 2017

     Coming July 2017

    Saturday, December 17, 2016

    Beef Stroganoff #Recipe @PegCochran

    Beef Stroganoff is a wonderfully classic dish--fit for the finest company.  This recipe, which I found online and adapted somewhat, is not quite as elegant but makes wonderful comfort food and is still delicious enough for company.  With this recipe you can use a less pricey cut of meat since the meat will cook in the oven for an hour.  The recipe calls for round steak--I used a London Broil I had in the freezer and which I suspected was probably going to taste better in a recipe like this than simply thrown on the grill.

    I made enough for two meals and it froze very well.  I love having something delicious to pull from the freezer on a night when I'm too busy to cook or don't feel like it!


    2 1/2 lbs. round steak cut into 1/2 inch strips *
    1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
    salt and pepper to taste
    1/4 cup red wine
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    1/2 cup sour cream (I used low fat)
    1 large onion sliced
    2 cups mushrooms sliced
    1/4 cup tomato paste
    3 tablespoons flour
    1 10 3/4-ounce can beef consomme condensed (not beef broth)
    1 bay leaf crumbled.

    *It's easier to slice the meat if it's slightly frozen


    Heat oil in saute pan and add steak.  Brown meat quickly and transfer to casserole or Dutch oven.  Add salt and pepper to taste.


    In the drippings, saute onion until soft and golden.  Add garlic and cook briefly. Remove from pan and add to Dutch oven.

    Add mushrooms to pan and saute approximately five minutes, stirring often.  Add mushrooms to Dutch oven.

    Deglaze pan with wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, then mix in tomato paste, bay leaf, flour and consomme.  Stir well and pour over meat and vegetables in Dutch oven.

    Cover and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.  Remove from oven and stir in sour cream.

    Stroganoff is traditionally served over noodles, but you can also serve with rice or mashed potatoes or even orzo for something different.


    The county fair is the highlight of the year for the small town of Lovett, Michigan—especially for food-and-lifestyle blogger Shelby McDonald, who writes as the Farmer’s Daughter. She’s submitting jams and jellies she’s created from the produce she grows at Love Blossom Farm in hopes of harvesting a blue ribbon.

    But the townspeople get more than just the excitement of hayrides, tractor pulls, and cotton candy when Shelby’s neighbor and volunteer fireman, Jake Taylor, extricates the body of Zeke Barnstable instead of a dummy during a demonstration of the Jaws of Life. The fact that Jake and Zeke were known to be at odds plants suspicion in the minds of the police. As evidence against Jake grows, Shelby knows she has to plow through the clues to weed out the true killer and save her friend.




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    Saturday, November 5, 2016

    Pasta with Mussels #Recipe @PegCochran

    I'm sure there are some people who would consider craving mussels a bit strange!  And I wouldn't blame you.  But for some reason last Friday I decided that that was what I wanted for dinner!  Hubby doesn't care for mussels but he was away for the weekend so the timing was perfect.

    This recipe is from Jamie Oliver although tweaked a bit to accommodate what I had to work with and how I wanted to cook this.  He is a big proponent of doing four things at once (while the water boils, chop the garlic...) while I like to have my ingredients ready beforehand or I feel like I'm one of those entertainers trying to keep a dozen plates spinning at once.  I cut the recipe in half but I will give you the ingredients for making this for two as in the original recipe  It still made quite a lot.  (And yes, I ate it all--I didn't think it would keep all that well for lunch the next day.)


    extra virgin olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, sliced
    1 onion, chopped (I added this from another recipe)
    1 kg washed and debearded mussels (this is about two pounds)
    1 - 2 pinches red chili flakes
    1 anchovy fillet or a squeeze of anchovy paste
    12 cherry tomatoes, halved
    splash of white wine (added from another recipe)
    250 g linguine (I made 4 ounces for myself so make this 8 ounces)
    parsley, chopped
    salt & pepper to taste

    Start the water boiling for your pasta.  When it boils, add pasta and cook until al dente.  I would cook the pasta when the sauce was almost done because "the sauce waits for the pasta, the pasta never waits for the sauce."

    Heat the oil in a skillet and add the garlic and onion.  (I had minced jarred garlic so that is what I used.)   Ideally don't let the garlic brown.  Add the chili flakes (I added them to the finished dish) and the anchovy.  (I didn't have anchovies and didn't want to buy a whole can for one fillet so I used a squeeze of anchovy paste.)  Squeeze the cherry tomatoes over the pan and toss them in.  (I forgot to cut them in half.)  Add the splash of white wine if using.

    Add the washed and debearded mussels to the skillet.  Cover and cook until the mussels are open.  Discard any mussels that don't open.

    Drain your cooked linguine (cooked al dente) reserving a bit of pasta water in case you need it (I didn't.)  Return pasta to pan and add the mussels and sauce.  Give it a good stir.  Put over a low burner and cook for a minute or two.  (Although I don't see why you couldn't add the pasta to the skillet you cooked the mussels in instead of dirtying up the pasta pan which just takes a swish of hot water and soap to clean.)

    Sprinkle with chopped parsley, add salt and pepper to taste and serve!

    On her blog, The Farmer’s Daughter, Shelby McDonald is growing her audience as she posts recipes, gardening tips, and her experiences raising two kids and running Love Blossom Farm in the small western Michigan town of Lovett.

    Working the farm is demanding but peaceful—until that peace is shattered when the minister’s wife is murdered on Shelby’s property during a fund-raiser for a local church. But the manure really hits the fan when Shelby’s good friend veterinarian Kelly Thacker emerges as the prime suspect. Shelby decides to dig in and find the murderer by herself. As more suspects crop up, she’ll have to move fast—before someone else buys the farm. . . .


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    Coming Soon!  Available for Pre-Order Now!

    Saturday, October 15, 2016

    Chicken Fricassee with Vermouth #Recipe @PegCochran

    This was another Sunday night dinner.  For some reason on Sundays, I try to make something a little special and sort of "homey" especially as it gets cooler.  Do you have certain days for certain meals?  Growing up Saturday was steak night and Sunday night was roast chicken or something similar.  Friday was fish since that is what Catholics ate back then.

    This is another Mark Bittman recipe.  I adapted it a bit to make it "easier" (fewer pans) and to accommodate what I had to work with.  I also used chicken thighs since that is what I had on hand and wanted to use up.  I also used two big carrots and one large leek--not sure that added up to the original quantities but it worked out fine!

    It was really delicious and perfect for a cool fall evening.  I served it with buttered peas and rice pilaf to soak up some of the gravy.


    1 small chicken cut in pieces (or bone-in thighs--I removed the skin)
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 tablespoons butter (I subbed in olive oil)
    1 small to medium onion, chopped
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    2 tablespoons flour
    3/4 cup dry vermouth
    1/4 cup chicken broth
    1 bay leaf
    2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
    1 cup carrots cut into thin strips
    1 1/2 cups leeks cut into thin strips
    1/2 cup heavy cream

    Heat oil or butter in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring for about 30 seconds.

    Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper to taste.

    Add the chicken skin side down and cook for about 1 minute (without browning.)  Cook the chicken another four minutes, turning regularly in the fat.

    Sprinkle the flour over the chicken, turning them to coat them evenly.  Add the vermouth, broth, bay leaf and thyme.  Cover and cook over medium heat until the chicken is about done--approximately 20 minutes.

    Boil water and add the leeks.  Blanch about three minutes, add the carrots and blanch for another minute or two. 


    Once the chicken has just about cooked through, add the carrots, leeks and cream.  Simmer for about two minutes. 

    OUT NOW!

    On her blog, The Farmer’s Daughter, Shelby McDonald is growing her audience as she posts recipes, gardening tips, and her experiences raising two kids and running Love Blossom Farm in the small western Michigan town of Lovett.

    Working the farm is demanding but peaceful—until that peace is shattered when the minister’s wife is murdered on Shelby’s property during a fund-raiser for a local church. But the manure really hits the fan when Shelby’s good friend veterinarian Kelly Thacker emerges as the prime suspect. Shelby decides to dig in and find the murderer by herself. As more suspects crop up, she’ll have to move fast—before someone else buys the farm. . . .