Showing posts with label Sour Cream. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sour Cream. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Easiest Summer Salad Ever and Results of Favorite Cookout Foods Poll from Cleo Coyle




Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

Have you ever wondered where the phrase "cool as a cucumber" came from? 

The inside of a cucumber is 20 degrees cooler than the outside. Too bad we can't claim the same advantage on these sweltering summer days! Marc and I do the next best thing, we eat them like crazy. 

Crunchy, cold cukes are supremely satisfying in summer. Their B vitamins make them a great pick-me-up food. They're also hydrating. And staying properly hydrated is a real health concern these days, not only in summer but year-round. 




Apparently, the Roman Emperor Tiberius insisted on cucumbers daily during summer and winter. The Romans used greenhouses to provide it for him every day of the yearBelow you'll find one of our favorite ways to put it on the table...


Cleo Coyle's
Cool as a Cucumber 
Summer Salad

If you like buttermilk Ranch dressing but never have buttermilk on hand and don't want to use bottled dressing, try this super-fast creamy, cool, and crunchy salad. It pairs beautifully with grilled meats and fish, making it a fantastic salad for summer cookouts. And speaking of cookouts, scroll down for the results of my Cookout Foods Poll that many of you took last week. May you eat with the joy of summer! 

~ Cleo


Yield: About 4 servings


Ingredients

2 medium to large chilled cucumbers
1 small red onion (or 1/2 a medium to large red onion)
3 (or so) tablespoons cold sour cream (*see my note)
Fresh dill 
Salt and pepper (to your taste)


* CLEO NOTE: You can substitute crema Mexicana or creme fraiche for this recipe, but do not use yogurt, which is too tangy. The sour cream provides a sweeter, creamier flavor that (combined with the dill) mimics a lovely buttermilk Ranch dressing, but without the fuss of lots of ingredients, including buying buttermilk, which some folks have told me they have trouble finding these days. I hope you enjoy it!

Directions: You can either peel the skin from the cucumbers or keep the skins on for extra fiber. (See a great use for cucumber skin in my tips below.) Cut the cucumbers into thin slices. Cut the red onion into thin slices. Toss both well with sour cream and the fresh dill. Salt and pepper to taste. White pepper (used sparingly) makes a pretty presentation. Garnish with a bit more fresh dill.




CLEO'S COOL 
CUCUMBER TIPS!



* SUNBURN SOOTHER

Use the skin of a cucumber to sooth your sunburn or skin irritations, the same way you would use aloe for sunburn. 





Cleo and her (home office) 
Cucumber Spa





* EASY, SOOTHING SPA TREATMENT - Place a slice over each eye. The cool feel of it is incredibly soothing, the scent is lovely, and the anti-inflammatory properties help reduce puffiness.

* HANGOVER CURE - Because cucumbers have B vitamins and electrolytes, they can restore the nutrients you need during sleep. So if you've had a few too many cocktails, eat cucumbers before going to bed. By morning, the intensity of any hangover headache will be reduced.



Mr. Fellows appreciates 
the Hangover Cure.





* HEALTH BENEFITS: The fiber in cucumbers helps us eliminate toxins from our bodies. They relieve bad breath, help fight some forms of cancer, promote joint health, and reduce cholesterol. The potassium and magnesium also help regulate blood pressure, and cucumber juice has been found to be beneficial for diabetic patients (it contains a hormone needed by cells of the pancreas for producing insulin). Read more here.



And now...




CLEO's
SUMMER COOKOUTS 
POLL RESULTS!


As our blog follower "Jen" put it in the comments last week, "Nothing beats summer BBQs!!!"  Many of you had the same happy reactions to my poll.

You can see the original blog post and poll by clicking here. Now here are the final results of your voting...


What 4 items are a MUST 
for your summer cookouts?



Out of over 500 votes cast, 
you chose the following Top 4 foods...


#1 Burgers (beef, lamb, turkey, or veggie)

#2 Sweet Corn on the Cob

#3 Potato Salad

#4 Watermelon


And here is how you ranked 
the other foods in the poll...


(#5) Hot Dogs  (#6) Steak  (#7) BBQ Baked Beans 

(#8) Chicken (#9) Ribs (#10) Beer 

and finally (#11) S'mores 



* * *

Your "other" suggestions
for cookout foods included...

BRATS - Anne Lovell, Elaine Klingbiel, Deborah, and B.E. Sanderson all mentioned bratwursts. 

And Deborah added:  “…here in Ohio, we are big on grilling bratwurst. Hey, at least I didn't go with goetta - no one outside this area even knows what that is. :)”

TURKEY BRISKET IN THE SMOKER - Stephanie Jones said: “I like turkey or brisket in the smoker for the day, and those amazing aromas that trigger hunger. Also, a fruit skewer of whatever is in season…”

BRISKET AND PORK LOINS - Kitty said: "We love to put them on the back of the pit and let them smoke.”

Donna E had a great suggestion: “…one of our favorite grilled meals at home is chicken marinated in Italian dressing & then grilled.”

Grandma Cootie has a favorite, too: “…can't leave out my son's wonderful special baked potatoes. Slices and seasons them, cooks up a little crisp bacon to add while serving - yum. Everything is better on the grill.”

Helena Georgette likes to cook more than one meal on her grill. “My Santa Maria Tri Tip & Santa Maria Beans are very good for summer grilling.”

Joyce Tremel said: “…If I'd have had a fifth choice it might have been ham barbecues with Isaly's Chipped Ham.”





Cynthia E. Blain – “…we do love lobster steamed in a pot ON the grill along with plenty of steamer clams from Maine or Cape Cod and many times we do a Clam Boil with the potatoes, onions, Portuguese sausage or Kielbasa, along with the clams. Nothing like a real New England Clam Boil. We also make homemade clam chowder and clam fritters to go along with almost every cookout/BBQ….” (Wow! Count me in, Cynthia! - Cleo)


  

* * * 


And many of you 

shared lovely memories...




Dotty Kelley – “When I was a kid we used to summer on Cape Cod. There was a great farm stand on the way that sold the sweetest sweet corn ever. We always stopped there and bought dozens of ears for our first cookout. Great memories of family fun and summer grilling.”

PlumGaga – “…I'm a corn snob, so in an ideal world, the water would be put on to boil before the corn was picked from the garden. These days I reluctantly settle for the freshest from the farm stand.”

Ronna Lord - “…the potato salad is a definite must. It's my mom's recipe from years ago and everyone loves it and the memory of mom/Grammy/great Grammy!”

AnnMarie Green – “4th of July was like a big family reunion when I was growing up. It was the best picnic ever…and for dessert a cup of coffee with a plate full of cakes and cookies!”

Debra Carmichael – “We love grilling out…My husband is retired Army and even stationed in Alaska we cooked out in the winter.”


Carol Summers-Kolber – 

“My favorite cookout was the summer before my husband passed away. All the family was there and some of my adult kid's in-laws too. We cracked open a bottle of wine that my granddaughter had corked in her summer apprenticeship to a vineyard and toasted each other. My son-in-law did the grilling and we all contributed the side dishes. We ate outside under the huge maple tree in the backyard while various family pets chased each other and the younger kids around the yard. We all knew my husband did not have much time left because of his illness and it remains one of the best days of summer past.”



Thank you, Carol, and all of you for
sharing such beautiful memories!

XOXO  ~ Cleo


* * * 

Finally, the most 
important ingredient of all...

ANN*H – “The only thing I would add to this list is family and fun : )”

Connie Stein – “plus…swimming pool and family and friends…”

Diane Snow – “The most important ingredient is ‘Family and Friends’ (including the 4 leg variety)!”





Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
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Coffeehouse Mystery
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Countdown to
Release!
 


Next Tuesday
August 5

The hardcover
bestseller comes to
paperback...


*Starred Review ~ Kirkus
"Top Pick" ~ RT Book Reviews
"A highly satisfying mystery" - PW


Billionaire Blend
A Coffeehouse Mystery

This culinary murder mystery features
more than 30 delicious recipes, including
secret "off the menu" coffee drinks.
Read (and eat) with joy!



***

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
amateur sleuth murder mysteries set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
14 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 

Download a Free Title Checklist
(with mini plot summaries)
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Writer’s Breakfast: Secret Ingredient Cornbread Squares from Cleo Coyle


On most mornings, my breakfast table
is also my writer's work table.


So the comments on this blog have made it ginormously clear: some of you like your cornbread sweet and some of you think it makes about as much sense as adding garlic to fudge. :)

Certainly, if you’re baking up cornbread as a side dish for a hearty lunch or dinner, then jalapeños and corn kernels are delicious additions and putting sugar in such a mix would be oh-so wrong. But…

For me, well...cornbread is a breakfast food, especially here in New York City, where a toasted corn muffin has been a classic morning deli order for decades. That's why my cornbread is on the sweet side, and I treat it more like a coffee-break cake. 

If you’re no fan of dry, grainy cornbread, this may be the recipe for you (with or without the sugar). The crumb is tender and tasty (more cake-like). The sour cream is my secret, along with my (subjectively favorite) ratio of flour to cornmeal. I often cut the fat and calories by using low fat milk and sour cream; and I sometimes increase the fiber and nutrition by using white whole wheat flour (more on that below).

Are Oranges Safe? Yes! No worries…

This is a peak time for California and Florida oranges. They're a great source of vitamins and with winter taxing our systems, they’re also a good immune booster so don’t pass on them because of that recent issue with some brands of orange juice. 


In a nutshell, orange juice products made from Brazilian oranges are being inspected for a health issue: Brazilian farmers were using a fungicide on their oranges that was not approved for use on foods in the US. There is no recall, and it has nothing to do with oranges grown in the United States. You can read more about the orange juice story by clicking here.

To read about the harvesting seasons for (and varieties of) our California and Florida oranges, click here and here, and eat US-grown oranges with joy!


A note on white whole wheat flour…

What is it? A lighter type of whole wheat flour that gives you the fiber and nutritional benefits of whole grain but with a taste and texture closer to white flour. You can substitute white whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour at a 1:1 ratio. While this won’t work in an angel food cake or puff pastry, you can get good results using it in cookies, muffins, brownies, quick breads, and yeast breads. Learn more from King Arthur flour by clicking here




Cleo Coyle, sweet on
cornbread, is author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries
CLEO COYLE’S
BREAKFAST CORNBREAD

This sweet cornbread is delicious plain, slathered with butter, or even drizzled with the orange blossom honey. And speaking of a slight note of citrus, here’s a second secret to something amazing…

With a bounty of California and Florida oranges cheering up our winter produce aisles (as I mentioned above, this is a peak time to go orange!), I’ve started adding a little orange zest to my morning cornbread. The light orange fragrance in the warm, sweet bread starts off my winter day just right. If you’re not a fan of oranges, leave it out. But it you are, I think you’ll go Lady Ga-Ga for it.




To download a free PDF of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here.




Makes one 8- or 9-inch square pan of cornbread (This recipe will also work in a 7 x 11-inch pan.)



Ingredients

1 large egg
1/2 cup milk (whole, 2%, or skim)
1/2 cup sour cream (regular or low fat)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola (or vegetable) oil
1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour (for more fiber and nutrition I often use
          “white whole wheat flour,” more info on this above)
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
(optional) 1 tablespoon orange zest (grated orange peel, no white pith)



CLEO NOTE: I'm adding this bit of info on zesting based on a query in the comments section. If you've never "zested" an orange, lemon or lime, Chef Gordan Ramsay will show you how in the video below... 





CLEO NOTE CONTINUED... Although I do have a boxed grater similar to the one that you see in Chef Ramsay's video, I find a MICROPLANE grater/zester makes zesting citrus fruits even easier and well worth the small investment. To see the microplane tool (and/or purchase one for yourself), click here. To see me using a microplane grater in a recipe, jump to my Key Lime Coolers cookies post by clicking here.


Directions:

One bowl mixing method: First preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. In a mixing bowl, whisk together egg, milk, sour cream, sugar, salt, and oil. 




When the mixture is well blended and the sour cream smoothly incorporated, measure in the flour and cornmeal. Evenly sprinkle over the baking powder and soda. If using, add orange zest now. 

Switching to a spoon or spatula, mix to create a lumpy batter. Do not over-mix or you’ll develop the gluten in the flour and your cornbread will be tough instead of tender. 



Prep an 8- or 9-inch square pan by coating
with non-stick spray (or buttering and dusting with flour). 




Pour batter into pan and 
spread into an even layer.




Bake in preheated oven
for about 25 minutes. 





When a toothpick inserted in the center 
comes out clean, remove from oven. 





Cool, cut, and... 








Eat with joy!


~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

------------------------------




To get more of my recipes,
enter to win free coffee, or
learn about my books,
including my bestselling
Haunted Bookshop series,
visit my online coffeehouse:





The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 

 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.






Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Special Chanukah Latkes from a teen Iron Chef by Cleo Coyle



A few weeks ago on Facebook, Nancy Prior Phillips, one of our wonderful followers, mentioned that her teenage son, Connor, whipped up my Autumn Potatoes recipe (a mashed potato makeover, adding flavor and nutrition to your classic mashed via garlic and carrots).

I was delighted to hear that Connor, an aspiring chef, was inspired by my recipe to take it one step further. He added a few ingredients and fried them up as pancakes! Brilliant!

The result is a delicious latke recipe that my husband and I inhaled the day we tried them. I hope you enjoy them, too. Connor even gave us a sweet variation. Go, Chef Connor! You’re on your way to becoming the next Iron Chef!


Wednesday evening, December 1st, of course, brings us the first night of Chanukah, and latkes (potato pancakes) are a tasty, traditional Chanukah food.

The Jewish custom of eating foods fried or baked in oil comes from the original miracle of the Chanukah menorah, which involved the discovery of a small flask of oil that lasted many more days than it should have. Consequently, the “Festival of Lights” is eight days long and marked each night by the lighting of a new candle.

My barista character, Esther, has her own unique spin on her mother’s traditional latke recipe. In Holiday Grind, I share her recipe with readers. For today’s post, I am delighted to share…




Connor Phillips’
Chanukah Latkes (2 Ways!)


To print, save, or share this recipe in a PDF document, click here.  The PDF includes Connor's Latke recipe along with Cleo's Autumn Potatoes.





Garlic-Carrot Potato Latkes
with Dill, topped with
Ginger Sour Cream 


Servings: 6 pancakes

1 egg, well beaten
1 tablespoon Wondra flour
2 teaspoons dried dill
3 cups of Cleo Coyle's Autumn Potatoes (click here to get Cleo's free PDF of her recipe, which will give you 3 cups of garlic-carrot mashed potatoes) 
Olive oil (enough for 1/2 inch in frying pan)

For Topping:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (or to your own taste)

Directions: Mix together Cleo's Autumn Potatoes, egg, flour, and dried dill. Now heat 1/2 inch of olive oil in a cast iron skillet (or frying pan) until it shimmers. (Be sure oil is nice and hot or the results will be greasy.) Using an ice cream scoop, carefully place mounds of the batter into the hot oil. Flatten with a spatula. Cook these small pancakes until they brown and form crunchy crusts (5 or 6 minutes on one side), then flip over and continue until the other side is similar (another 5 or 6 minutes). Remove the pancakes from the pan and drain on paper towels. Serve with ginger sour cream.


Sweet Latkes with
Cinnamon and Apple Sauce 


Servings: 6 pancakes

1 egg, well beaten 
1 tablespoon Wondra flour
2 teaspoons nutmeg or cinnamon 
3 cups of Cleo Coyle's Autumn Potatoes (click here for Cleo's free PDF of her recipe, which will give you 3 cups of garlic-carrot mashed potatoes)
Olive oil (enough for 1/2 inch in frying pan)

Directions: Follow cooking instructions in previous latke recipe. Top with cinnamon apple sauce (Connor used the chunky kind). You can also use vanilla yogurt or sour cream swirled with vanilla and cinnamon.

 



Cleo's Tip #1:

For best results, be sure to use 1/2 inch of olive oil. Don't skimp. Remember: It's the temperature of the oil that will give you greasy latkes and not the amount.

Just make sure the oil is hot enough before you plop in your first scoop of batter. As Connor advises, wait until the oil "shimmers." (As Esther advises, "It's the oil that's the mitzvah, so don't be stingy with it!") 




Plopping scoops of latke
batter into the hot oil.

Flatten with spatula.

Cleo's Tip #2:


Be patient. The pancakes will take 5 or 6 minutes to cook per side. The oil needs to be nice and hot (note the bubbling in the photo).

Flip with care: Allow the latkes to cook until nice and crispy on one side before flipping to the other or they may fall apart on you. And don't flip more than once. Just fry until crispy. Flip. Fry until crispy, and you're done.

When finished frying, drain them on a paper towel,
plate them up, add a little sour cream, and...


Eat with joy!



Delicious...

Thank you,
Connor!




Happy Chanukah,
everyone!


~ Cleo Coyle, author
of The Coffeehouse Mysteries

To get more of my recipes, find out more about my books, or sign up to win free coffee, visit my *virtual* coffeehouse at...

Coffeehouse Mystery.com




     
HOLIDAY GRIND
by Cleo Coyle


Holiday Grind: 
A Coffeehouse Mystery,



“Fun and gripping…” —The Huffington Post 


“Some of the most vibrant characters I've ever read. Coyle also is a master of misdirection and red herrings. I challenge any reader to figure out whodunit before Coyle reveals all.” Mystery Scene