Showing posts with label Farmer's Daughter Series. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Farmer's Daughter Series. Show all posts

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.   



Ingredients:

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.


COMING IN MAY!




STILL ONLY $2.99 FOR E-BOOK!!


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Mashed Cauliflower "Potatoes" #Recipe @PegCochran

For me one of the hardest things about a low carb diet is giving up potatoes.  I love potatoes--fried, baked, scalloped, mashed, shredded...whatever.  I think I must have at least a drop of Irish blood in me somewhere!

But sometimes you've just got to stay on that low carb stint for awhile for your own good!  And mashed cauliflower makes a decent substitute for a pile of mashed potatoes.  Actually, even if you aren't on a low carb diet, you would enjoy these!



 Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower
1 leek
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
Pinch of nutmeg


Break the head of cauliflower into small pieces and clean and slice the white part of the leek.


Bring a pot of salted water to boil and add cauliflower and leek.  Boil until both are tender--approximately 15 minutes.


Drain vegetables and return to hot pan briefly to dry.


Place vegetables, cream, butter and nutmeg in food processor and puree.







Saturday, February 18, 2017

Thai Stir Fry #Recipe @PegCochran

Here is another great stir fry from Skinny Kitchen—this one with a Thai flair.  I’ve made a few changes (surprise!) by adding broccoli—because I had some, and I’m always trying to get more green veggies into us.  I was going to make the cauliflower rice since it’s quite easy with a food processor, but our grocery store was completely out of cauliflower!  Fortunately I found frozen cauliflower rice (albeit with the addition of peas and carrots) and that made this a very quick weeknight meal. 


We really enjoyed this (hubby had seconds!) and didn’t miss having it served over regular rice although you could do that if you wanted.  


Ingredients for Peanut Sauce:
½ cup chicken broth
¼ cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons peanut butter (natural peanut butter is best)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons garlic, minced (I use the minced garlic in a jar)
2 teaspoons ginger, (again, I use the jarred ginger)
1 teaspoon sriracha (more or less depending on your taste)


Ingredients for Stir-Fry:
Olive oil--approximately 1 tablespoon to coat pan
1 (16 oz) package cauliflower rice
1 cup onions, diced or sliced
1 cup red bell peppers, cut in strips or diced
1 cup cooked chicken breast, chopped
1 cup broccoli florets (I used frozen but if using fresh microwave until soft)


My frozen cauliflower rice








Prepare ingredients--slice, dice, etc.


  Mix together the sauce ingredients and microwave for one minute.




Add olive oil to pan and heat.  Add red pepper and onions and stir fry until wilted.




Add cauliflower rice and stir fry until cauliflower is soft--approximately five minutes.

 


Add broccoli and stir fry for one minute or until broccoli is cooked.




Add chicken and sauce and stir fry until heated through.

 


Berkley Prime Crime is having a sale! The e-book versions of two of my books are now only $2.99! 









Saturday, February 4, 2017

Copycat Olive Garden Zuppa Tuscana #Recipe @PegCochran

Earlier this week we had Lucy Burdette's copycat pasta e fagioli recipe from Olive Garden and now here's another copycat Olive Garden recipe--Zuppa Tuscana.  Whenever I go there for lunch and get the soup/salad/breaksticks entree, I opt for this soup.

It's super easy to make and is a great dinner along with some crusty bread!



1 lb. Italian sausage (I chose mild Italian turkey sausage)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 or 3 large baking potatoes, diced (I went with 3 because I could happily live on potatoes)
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup bacon bits (optional--I left this out but you could also crumble real bacon into the soup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups kale or Swiss chard (I went with the chard--hubby thinks he doesn't like kale)
2 8-ounce cans chicken broth
1 quart water
1 cup heavy cream

Slice sausage (uncooked) into small pieces and brown in olive oil.  Add onions and garlic and cook until onion is wilted.






Add chicken broth, water and potatoes.  Cook until potatoes are tender.



Add salt and pepper to taste and optional bacon bits.  Simmer soup for 10 minutes.

Turn heat to low and add kale or Swiss chard and cream.  Heat until greens are tender and soup is warmed through.





Buon Appetito!!






Saturday, January 7, 2017

Easy Chicken Stir-Fry #Recipe @PegCochran

This recipe started with one I found on Skinny Kitchen, a lovely site with light and healthy recipes.  But...I had to give it my own spin.  It's supposed to serve four and probably would serve four "normal" people, but since hubby liked it so much he went back for seconds, it only served two with a bit leftover for my lunch!

You need a good-sized skillet for this so you can toss the ingredients around with wild abandon--at least that's what my stove looked like I did when I was done!  I do have a wok but it's downstairs...in the basement...so it doesn't get used as much as it should. If you have one handy, by all means use it!

The original recipe also had zucchini in it, but I preferred to leave it out.  The choice is yours!

As with most stir fries, the cooking goes quickly so have all your ingredients prepped in advance.



Ingredients:

1 tablespoon oil (I used sesame oil for great flavor)
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced (there was no garlic in the original recipe but what's a stir fry without garlic?)
2 onions, chopped
2 cups broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper sliced
2 tablespoons water
1 8 ounce package cole slaw mix or shreded cabbage

Sauce:

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar (I used Splenda brown sugar)
1 teaspoon sriracha sauce (optional--to taste.  Or use red pepper flakes)

Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.



Heat oil in pan or wok and add chicken.  Cook, stirring often, until cooked through.  Remove to a plate.



In the same pan, saute the onion and garlic until slightly wilted.  Add broccoli and bell peppers and saute until vegetables are done to your liking--about five minutes.



Add cabbage and saute until soft--around two minutes.



Reduce heat to medium, add chicken and sauce.  Continue to cook, stirring, for another two or three minutes.



Serve over rice if desired.



Coming in May!


Coming in July!


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.





Ingredients:

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