Showing posts with label Key West. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Key West. Show all posts

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Pecan Pie Bars #recipe @LucyBurdette




LUCY BURDETTE: We were attending a holiday potluck party and my responsibility was some kind of cookies. I decided this was an opportunity to try pecan pie bars, which would be festive but also easier than making dozens of cookies. I looked at a number of recipes and decided to try one from Life Tastes GoodI made a few tweaks, cutting the salt and subbing some brown sugar for white.

The recipe is not very difficult and it makes a lot. But warning, it’s very very sweet! So cut your bars small. 

Ingredients

3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter

For the topping:

Four eggs
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
One and a half cups sugar (I decided to use a half cup brown sugar and a cup of white)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
One and a half teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups pecans, broken into pieces

Put the flour, sugar, and salt in your food processor. Cut the cold butter into small chunks and with the machine running, feed them into the dry ingredients. This should all begin to hold together a little like pie crust.

Cover a 11 by 15 inch sheet pan with parchment paper so the paper hangs out the sides. (The paper will stick better if you grease the pan, then lay the parchment on top.) Dump the shortbread mixture into the pan and spread it evenly. Bake this for 20 minutes at 350.

Crust baked and ready for action!

While the crust bakes, whip the eggs in your food processor and then add the other ingredients up to pecans. Fold in the lightly broken pecans. When the shortbread crust has baked, remove the pan from the oven and pour in the filling. Spread the pecans evenly over the top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until nothing jiggles.

ready to bake

Let the pan of bars cool completely before lifting the bars out of the pan with the parchment overhang. Place them on a large cutting board and divide them into individual squares. Store in the refrigerator or freeze them for your party!

Finished bars


Merry Christmas and happy all holidays to our readers and friends!



Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries--find them wherever books are sold! Find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest--Instagram too...





Thursday, November 2, 2017

Crockpot Barbecue Chicken Sandwich #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: Every once in a while I go on a Pinterest binge, often looking for new crockpot recipes. This latest was based on a post from Natasha's kitchen


Here was the problem: We were having guests for dinner but I was also packing for a trip. So I needed to cook up something easy but delicious. And I happen to have a jar of my favorite barbecue sauce on hand, called Bone Suckin' Sauce. It's ever so tasty, with no weird, unnatural ingredients, and lower in sodium than most jarred sauces. I also added a whole sliced onion and a sliced green pepper, since the garden was full of them. You can add or delete those as you see fit.

1.5 pounds chicken (I used boneless skinless thighs)
Three-quarter cup barbecue sauce
1.5 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
One small onion, sliced
One green pepper, seeded and sliced

Buns and coleslaw for serving

Since it's so easy to sauté things in my crockpot, I put a little olive oil in the bottom and browned the thighs. While that was happening, I sliced the onion and pepper.

When the thighs are turning brown, layer the vegetables over the chicken. Mix the Worcestershire and brown sugar into the barbecue sauce and pour that over the top. 


Move the crockpot to the lowest setting and simmer for six hours. Serve on buns with coleslaw. 


That's it! Enjoy your dinner and enjoy your guests!

Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries--find them wherever books are sold! Find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest--Instagram too...

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Magnificent (and Healthy!) Stuffed Peppers #recipe @LucyBurdette



LUCY BURDETTE: Before I talk about food, I wanted to acknowledge what a difficult week it's been for those in the path of Hurricane Irma. This included my beloved Florida Keys, though Key West itself sustained less damage than the islands further north. (And also in the Caribbean islands further south.) My heart is down there with the workers who are trying to restore phone, electric, water, and sewer service--and with all those anxiously awaiting news of their homes and businesses. I'm hoping and praying that life can return to something like normal soon on that magical spray of islands...

Now back to food...Two things happened this week that led me to this particular post. First, our green peppers began to ripen in the garden. Aren't they gorgeous? And second, in my quest to slowly clean stuff out of my closet and drawers, I found an old cast iron frying pan that came from my dad. He worked for International Nickel Company his whole career, and he was very proud of the nickel plating on this pan. I did not take care of it the way my sister does with her cast-iron pans, which is to say, don't wash them with soap. Instead, clean them with water and then oil them. You can see the logo on the back of the pan testifying that it came from the Griswold company in Erie Pennsylvania. Apparently they stopped making these in 1957, and it seems as though I have a collectors' item. So I thought I better start using it! (Even if I've possibly ruined the finish.)

I have a recipe for stuffed peppers which both John and I have loved. Unfortunately it's fairly high in sodium because of the sausage and the spaghetti sauce that I used to choose. And don't forget the cheddar cheese! If you're not concerned about sodium, you can find that recipe here. It was also a favorite of my mother-in-law. 


Meanwhile here are the instructions for this updated version, which was also delicious. 

Ingredients

5 to 6 large green peppers
One large or two smaller onions, chopped
One hot pepper, diced
Handful of fresh basil, shredded
24 oz spaghetti sauce (Mine came from a local store, Bishops, and has only 140 mg sodium 
per quarter cup)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Half cup rice (I use brown)
Half cup water
1 to 1 1/4 pounds ground beef

Brown the beef and set it aside to drain. Add a dollop of olive oil to the pan and sauté the chopped onions, Hot pepper, and rice for a few minutes. Add the sauce, the water, the beef, and the Worcestershire sauce, and sliced basil, and simmer this until the rice is soft, half hour to 45 minutes depending on the brand you use.

Slice the peppers lengthwise, and take out the seeds and webbing. 


Place them in a greased 9 x 13 hand. When the beef mixture is ready, fill the pepper shells with the sauce and top with a little grated Parmesan if you desire.Bake at 350 for half an hour or until the peppers are soft and the stuffing bubbly. Here's the whole photo review:


chopped peppers, onions and basil

Everything is browning
simmering in my father's pan
Stuffed and ready to bake
Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries--find them wherever books are sold! Find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest--Instagram too...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Easy Strawberry Cream Cheese Dip #recipe @LucyBurdette



LUCY BURDETTE: I love salty chips and dips--good old Ruffles and Lipton onion soup dip to me are heaven! But they do not love me. So when it was my turn to bring a nibble to a party, I started thinking about whipping up something slightly sweet instead of savory. I wanted a dip that would go with Stacy's sugar cinnamon chips (my new addiction.) This couldn't be easier and better and yet, everyone liked it!

Ingredients

8 ounces whipped cream cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup plain yogurt
5 to 6 ripe strawberries, finally chopped
Honey, about one tsp or to taste


Chips and fruit for dippingMix the cream cheese with the yogurt and stir in the chopped strawberries. Taste, and add honey according to your sweet tooth. My strawberries were not completely ripe and sweet so, I added a teaspoon. 

Serve the dip with cinnamon sugar chips or plain crackers or fruit such as strawberries halves and chunks of pineapple.

And it's so easy, you have time left over to read--or write. And I am writing a brand new Key West food critic mystery...hooray!


Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries. Follow her on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram!


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Cheater Spinach Lasagna #recipe @LucyBurdette






LUCY BURDETTE: I've made plenty of stuffed shells in my day but never a lasagna. So with company coming and lots of work on my desk, I decided now was the time. This version is tweaked from the Mueller's pasta box, and I used spinach rather than meat sauce. The cheater part comes in because the noodles don't have to be pre-boiled. I did substitute fresh mozzarella for the packaged dried cheese, which is high in sodium. I had never tried this before and was not quite certain it would work…here goes...

Ingredients

24 ounces ricotta cheese
8 ounces fresh mozzarella
24 ounce jar good marinara sauce (like Gia Russa Sicilian)
Two packages frozen spinach
Eight fresh basil leaves, if you have them
Fresh grated Parmesan
2 eggs
One package oven-ready lasagna noodles

Thaw the spinach and squeeze it dry. Shred the mozzarella. Grate the Parmesan. Snip the basil into shreds.



Mix the cheeses, the dried spinach, basil, and the eggs in a large bowl. 


Grease a 9 x 13 pan. In the bottom of the pan, spread one third of the sauce. Cover the sauce with dried noodles (about 3 1/2.) 



Spread one half of the cheese spinach mixture on top of the noodles. 





Top the cheese mixture with another layer of lasagna noodles. Spread one third of the sauce over those noodles. 



Add the remainder of the cheese mixture, top with more noodles, finish with the rest of the sauce and some grated Parmesan.

Cover with an oiled piece of aluminum foil. Bake at 375 for about 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 10 minutes more. Let sit for 10 to minutes before serving with a green salad and fresh bread.


And the results were declared delicious by the guests--that's what counts, right? (And it didn't take all day...which is good, because I needed to be working on Food Critic Mystery #8!) And once again, while busy serving, I forgot to take a great photo of the finished dinner!







Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries. Follow her on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Tasty Broccoli Slaw #recipe @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: Here's another recipe that got stuck in my brain and did not want to leave until I'd made it several times: broccoli slaw. Up until this point in my cooking life, I've thrown out my broccoli stalks. But no more! I decided against the sweet and raisin-y kind, and concentrated on lots of herbs. Here's what I came up with...

Ingredients



Two heaping tablespoons mayonnaise 
One heaping teaspoon mustard (I use Kozlik's--both tasty and low-sodium)
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 teaspoons cider vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar

One half head red cabbage 
Three stalks broccoli
Two carrots

Finely chop the cabbage. Peel the broccoli and carrots, and then chop them – I use the food processor for this. It's so easy and it makes the pieces more uniform.

Prepare the dressing by mixing all ingredients together and taste. Any of these can be replaced, increased, or decreased according to your liking. And of course those who feel the slaw needs salt can salt it at the table. The recipe makes a lot of slaw, but that's okay because it lasts several days and goes with most anything!


Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries. Follow her on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Chai Snickerdoodle Cookies #recipe @lucyburdette



LUCY BURDETTE: There are a couple of food catalogs that I can't resist, and usually I end up making something with one of their specialty products. This time it was King Arthur Flour's chai spice mixture containing ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, and cloves. Of course, I could have ground all of that together myself, but this looked appealing and so easy. They also sell "chaidoodle" cookie mix, but I wanted to try my own, adjusted for lower sodium pleasure of course!

First I went in search of the perfect snickerdoodle cookie recipe, and ended up using a combination of the Joy of Cooking and Bessie Bakes. And then I rolled the cookies in a cinnamon plus chai mixture.

They were delicious and I will definitely make them again!
Ingredients

Two sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
2 and 1/2 tsp low-sodium baking powder
2 and 3/4 cups flour
2 eggs, room temperature


For the topping:

2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Chai spice

3 tablespoons sugar

Preheat the oven to 375. Sift the dry ingredients (salt, sugar, and low-sodium baking powder) together and set aside. Using either a beater or a Kitchenaid mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, about 1 to 2 minutes after each addition. 

Slowly mix in the dry ingredients--don't beat too long or the cookies will be tough. Divide the dough into two parts and roll them into logs, wrapped with parchment paper. Refrigerate for two hours or freeze for one. (As you can see from my photo, this isn't a beauty contest, as you'll be rolling the cookies too.)

Mix the cinnamon, chai spice and sugar on a plate. Cut the logs into one-inch pieces and form them into balls. Roll the balls in the cinnamon mixture and place them on 2 parchment-covered baking sheets. You should end up with about 2 dozen. Big ones!

Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes, removing them as soon as the first cracks appear.


If you're lucky, you'll have one left over to munch with your morning coffee! I am having one right now to celebrate the news that there will be two more Key West food critic mysteries, courtesy of Crooked Lane Books. Hooray!

Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries. Follow her on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Leek Pepper Biscuits #recipe for Thanksgiving @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: Happy run-up days to Thanksgiving, Mystery Lovers Kitchen friends! It's so interesting that my fellow bloggers are posting nontraditional Thanksgiving recipe suggestions, rather than old standbys. 

My recipe for leek and pepper biscuits falls somewhere in the middle. I know I have raved to you in the past about the fabulous bakery in Guilford, Connecticut called 4 and 20 Blackbirds. Among many other fabulous treats, they make special biscuits every Friday. You have to call in advance if you want any number of them, and I've done that many times. They are special enough for any holiday, including the baby shower I threw for our daughter last spring. (They made a smaller size for the tea sandwiches I had in mind.)

But what to do when I'm not in Connecticut? Mourn the absence of those biscuits at my table… But then, I heard that the lead two bakers had been interviewed by a local paper and that they'd been willing to provide the recipe for their leeks biscuits to the world. Hooray!

So that's what I'm sharing with you, tweaked of course for a lower sodium diet. And I should warn you, my oven is seriously malfunctioning. I mean seriously, as in turn the knob to warm and the temperature shoots up to 450 within minutes. I did manage to bake the biscuits by turning the oven on and off and watching carefully. They definitely would have been more beautiful without this oddball treatment! 

Ingredients:

2½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons baking powder (I used no sodium)
10 tablespoons (5 ounces) chilled unsalted butter, cubed
1/3 cup finely chopped leeks (white and tender green parts only)
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (add more or less, depending on your taste—FOR ME IT WAS MORE)
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (HA!)


Add all the dry ingredients to the bowl of your food processor and pulse until combined. Then cut chilled butter into dry ingredients, until a coarse meal texture forms. (Pieces of butter should be no larger than a small pea.) Stir in milk. 

 


Dump the dough onto a piece of parchment paper or a floured surface and knead a few times. Pat the dough into ½-inch thick rectangle. Cut into biscuits of your preferred size. You should have about twelve.




Place on a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, turning cookie sheet 180 degrees half through baking time. Tops and bottoms should be nicely browned. 


(Lucy's note--I never roll and cut biscuits the traditional way anymore, as the method above is so easy. But if you want round biscuits, use a cookie cutter.) HAPPY THANKSGIVING! We're grateful for you, my friends!


Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries.  Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!