Showing posts with label cheese. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cheese. Show all posts

Friday, July 14, 2017

A Different Corn Casserole

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Last week I gave you the classic corn casserole that I’ve been making for (gasp) thirty years or so. But recently I found myself thinking that I wanted to make something like it, but different. Funny how that happens a lot in this household.

For once I was well-stocked with supplies, so I started reconstructing the recipe.

--I wanted to add some protein and I had a handy ham slice, so I put in a half-pound of ham, cubed

--I decided to toss the whole corn, but I wanted to keep the cornmeal in the recipe because it adds a nice texture (if you use fairly coarse meal) and helps bind the whole thing together

--The original recipe calls for Monterey Jack cheese, which is sort of semi-soft. I didn’t have any, but I had a really interesting Italian smoked cheese called Scamorza with the same kind of texture, so I cubed it, because that too makes the texture a bit more varied, and in that went. I figured smoked ham and smoked cheese should work well together.




--Since I’d eliminated the corn kernels, I needed to replace the volume of the dish with something, and I happened to have some colorful small sweet peppers, so I chopped them and they went in too.

--Rather than use the lovely ceramic casserole dish that has always been home to the original recipe, I tried out the new/old Pyrex casserole I bought at a yard sale simply because I like the shape (it cost $1).

I kept the sour cream from the original, as well as the eggs and salt.



A Different Corn Casserole
Ingredients:

1/2 lb of ham steak, diced


1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup cheese*, diced
1/2 cup coarse-ground cornmeal
Assorted sweet peppers, diced 
     (enough to make up about 1 cup)
1 tsp salt



*I’m going to guess that you can substitute any number of different cheeses, but I’d recommend sticking to something semi-soft, that will melt easily. Parmesan wouldn’t work, and I think Brie or a really runny cheese would make a mess. But you could try a nice orange chedder and add more color that way. Feel free to experiment!

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Generously butter a 2-quart casserole dish.

Beat together the melted butter (cooled) and eggs in a bowl. 



Mix the remaining ingredients another bowl. Add the pureed mixture and blend well.

Pour into the casserole dish and bake, uncovered, for 50-60 minutes, or until lightly browned.




I’ll admit at the beginning I was a bit worried whether this would result in a texture like the original’s, or if I’d end up with a soggy blob (remember there’s not any leavening in it). But it worked fine. It’s not a sensitive dish, so you can add more peppers, or spicier peppers, or whatever you have in your fridge and it should be fine. I liked it. My husband liked it. I think it’s a keeper!


Still waiting for the next book, A Late Frost, to come out--not until November! But don't worry, because I keep busy with at least three other series, including a brand new one (The Victorian Village series) next year.

And right now I'm in Ireland playing, er, doing research. It's a hard job, but somebody's got to do it!







Friday, July 7, 2017

Easy Corn Casserole

I can’t believe I haven’t shared this recipe before! (I did search for it in my computer files but came up blank—if you’ve seen it before, I’m the one who’s crazy, not you.) I found it in a magazine sometime in the 1980s, when I was living in California, and it became one of my go-to recipes. It’s a big hit at pot-lucks because it tastes good hot or at room temperature, and it travels well.

Corn Casserole


Ingredients:

2 cups fresh corn kernels 


     (or use frozen but let thaw)
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup diced Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 4-oz. can diced green chiles
1 tsp salt

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Generously butter a 2-quart casserole dish.

Puree 1 cup of the corn kernels with melted butter and eggs in blender/food processor.





Mix remaining ingredients (including the rest of the corn) in a medium bowl. Add the pureed mixture and blend well. 






Pour into casserole and bake, uncovered, for 50-60 minutes, or until lightly browned.








Simple, isn’t it? Which is why I’ve been using it all these years. But! (drumroll, please) I was feeling creative recently, so I came up with a very different variation, which turned out much better than I expected. Stay tuned for next week’s post!


And don't miss out on our giveaway drawings! Yes, drawings with an S, because we're going to pick five winners! For details click on the cheerleaders on the left sidebar!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving in Ireland

I may have mentioned that I live near Plymouth, Massachusetts. Yes, that place where Thanksgiving began. Recent archeology seems to have pinpointed exactly where the first settlement was located—where those poor cold and hungry settlers were struggling to survive, with a little help from the local Indians.

But right now I’m not at home, I’m in Ireland. This is a nice time to travel to Ireland, since it’s not too crowded and not too cold. And this year I’m setting up my own cottage (including the kitchen), which is a real thrill.



I’ve been visiting Ireland since 1998, and it grabbed hold of me then and never let go. Now I own a half-acre piece of it, in sight of where my great-grandparents were married, and where the bride’s family, the O’Regans, had lived for generations. I can see the church steeple from my land. Rather than braving a new and unknown land, I’m taking back a bit of the old country.

But this is a food blog, right? Let me say up front: Irish food is great. That wasn’t true when I first visited, when watery stew with lots of potatoes and carrots was all too common. Now it will stand up to anyone’s cuisine. I’m not talking about fancy white-tablecloth places, I’m talking about little storefront restaurants with a couple of hardworking women turning out simple tasty and creative dishes (I promise I’ll share one of those with you soon).

Here's one good example, from the Eldon Hotel in Skibbereen: a warm steak salad.
The steak was sauted with coconut milk, soy sauce and red chiles and served on "mixed leaves"
(don't you love it?)

I’m madly in love with the Skibbereen weekly farmers’ market—I plan my visits to include at least one Saturday there. The local supermarket Fields is also terrific, with fresh game, and bread baked daily, and an amazing array of cakes (the Irish do seem to love their sweets—maybe that’s where I get it).

Freshly-baked bread
From the farmers' market: on the left,
goat cheese with fresh herbs; on the right,
gubbeen ( a local specialty)


Yes, that thing at the bottom left is a rabbit
I passed.
But I had to have the pheasant.

But I can’t give you a recipe right now because I’m still getting to know my kitchen. The appliances all work, but they’re tiny by U.S. standards (no way an American turkey would fit in that oven!). We’re still scrubbing and sanding and filling and sorting and so on, and we’re lucky if we can even see a countertop. I’m also still buying all the “essential” cooking tools. Give me a few more days and it will be ready to roll.

It's coming along. At least all the
appliances work!

In addition, I have a vintage Rayburn cooker (the Irish term for stove/oven). It dates from around 1950, so it’s probably original to the cottage. I’m hoping that as soon as I get it clean(er) and patch up a few joints, I can manage to produce something like food in it—at least a loaf of soda bread!

My Rayburn cooker, ca. 1950

I am grateful to all you followers that have read our books, which helped me find a way to reclaim a piece of my own history. Don’t worry, I’ll be headed back to Massachusetts soon, but I hope I’ll be able to get over here a few times a year. So now I have two homes, each with its own history.

Next week: a recipe! (I hope). 

Cruel Winter, the next in the County Cork Mystery Series, coming from Crooked Lane in March 2017.

Of course I'm doing research here! No snow yet, but definitely frost in the mornings.

www.sheilaconnolly.com








Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Easy Pear Muffins, gluten-free #recipe from @DarylWoodGerber




Who are we kidding? You are (I am) too busy to go to the grocery store today. You've got (I've got) too much to do. You're probably hungry. (Yes, I am!)

Here's a recipe that might be perfect for you if you're in dire need of a goodie and you have some pears or apples on hand.

I remembered a recipe Cleo shared a while back when peaches were in season...

Cleo's pretty muffins!

...and thought, pears or apples! 

Perfect. 

So riffing from Cleo's recipe and making this one gluten-free, here is a simple muffin, perfect for any morning or afternoon pick me up!




Speaking of afternoons, I have been so busy getting ready for the release of GIRL ON THE RUN, my new suspense. I am self-publishing this, and I've got to tell you, the whole process is so much more complicated than I ever knew. I'm excited that I'm doing it. I'm learning so much. I have a great street team that is helping me get the word out. I've written an article about the process with step-by-step instructions, because I kept a journal. It will be helpful for any of you who are aspiring authors or aspiring self-publishing authors. I'm going to post that in my Savor the Mystery fan club section of my website.

Do you know about my fan club? It's on my website HERE! Take a peek. There are fun puzzles, special pictures, tidbits, and giveaways. Perfect for any time of the year.

Just like these muffins!


Enjoy!


GLUTEN-FREE PEAR MUFFINS

Ingredients:

1 cup diced ripe pear, skinned (1 large) (use an apple, if you don't have pears
1 egg
½ cup low fat milk (I used 2%)
2 tablespoons canola oil
5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (make sure gluten-free or use vanillin)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup gluten-free flour (I used artisan blend by Pamela’s; can use King Arthurs’, etc.)

Finishing sugar (like raw sugar)


Directions:

Peel and dice pears.





Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 6 muffin cups with paper holders and coat with non-stick spray (gluten-free).

In one bowl, crack egg. Beat. Add mik, oil, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until blended. Add cinnamon. Whisk. Now add baking powder and xanthan gum. Whisk well.

Using a spoon or spatula, mix in the gluten-free flour until completely mixed in. (With gluten-free flour, there’s no worry about overmixing). Fold in the diced pears.










This makes 6 muffins. Divide the mixture up evenly among the muffin cups. Dash each muffin with raw sugar.










Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the muffins frm the pan and set on a wire rack to cool.


[*Note: Cleo's recipe uses white sugar, so these muffins will be “darker” than Cleo’s muffins because of the brown sugar!]





Savor the mystery and say cheese!
Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames
Tasty ~ Zesty ~ Dangerous!

Friend Daryl and Avery on Facebook
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Follow both of us on Pinterest

Plus check out my website.

Do you get my newsletterSign up today so you don't miss out in the future. I won't inundate you with mail. Just share announcements when special things are happening, like the release of a new suspense, GIRL ON THE RUN, April 9th!


www.darylwoodgerber.com

When a fairytale fantasy night becomes a nightmare, 
Chessa Paxton must run for her life...but will the truth set her free? 
To pre-order: CLICK HERE.



GRILLING THE SUBJECT, the 5th Cookbook Nook Mystery, can be pre-ordered. 
Click here to pre-order.





FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE, 
the 7th Cheese Shop Mystery.
Click to order.




Wednesday, February 3, 2016

FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE release week + book #giveaway from author @AveryAames


It's out! It's here!  The 7th Cheese Shop Mystery: 
FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE


It's release week for Sheila and me!  
I hope you've ordered, pre-ordered, or hope to get to a bookstore this week! 
Good reading for all.  Congrats, Sheila!


To celebrate, I have a give away below! 

FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE is the 7th in the series. What's it about?


The whey to a woman’s heart is murder...

It’s time for the annual Cheese Festival in Providence, Ohio, and Charlotte Bessette’s Fromagerie is ripe with homemade specialties. Meanwhile, her friend Erin is prepping her dairy farm and inn for cheese makers, marketers, journalists, and one surprise guest from the past—Lara Berry, pretentious cheese whiz, pompous bestselling author, and pungent critic whose extra sharp tongue can crumble a reputation. 
Since any love for Lara curdled long ago, Charlotte isn’t surprised when the foodie is smothered to death in her room at Erin’s inn. Accusations start flying, but the one sticking to Erin strikes Charlotte as a crock. Now, to clear her friend’s name, Charlotte has to sift through Lara’s ex-lovers, former business partners, and unforgiving enemies to find a killer before Lara’s past casts a gamey pall on the festival’s future.
***
And, now, here's a delicious recipe that I created for For Cheddar Or Worse. You know there are recipes in all the books, right? And did you know that there has been a quiche recipe in every book since The Long Quiche Goodbye?
When I am in recipe-making mode for a book, which means I wrack my brain trying to figure out new and fun recipes to include, I try to imagine tasty items, but sometimes I have to force the issue. Now Charlotte, of course, is always thinking quiche since she offers those in the shop on a daily basis. So I, channeling Charlotte, decided upon quiche, too. I love when Charlotte and I are in synch. 
I love the texture of quiche. I love the combo of flavors. 
For this experiment...I had a ton of carrots in the refrigerator, just sitting there staring at me one day, and I knew that I needed to do someone with them. I'd recently made a carrot cake. I didn't need another.
Carrot quiche, I thought. Hmm. What would pair well with carrots? This time I scoured my cupboards and found pine nuts and thought, yes! Nice texture with toasty flavor. Perfect!


 Pine Nut Carrot Quiche

(serves 6)


1 frozen 9-inch ready-made pie shell (regular or gluten-free)
1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups shredded carrots
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. dried sage or 1 Tbs. fresh sage, chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup milk
2 large eggs



Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Remove pie shell from the freezer and thaw for ten minutes. Prick the bottom with a fork and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove crust from the oven to cool.
 [Of course you can make your own pie shell if you wish...this was just the easy way!]

Chop the carrots. I used my Cuisinart to shred really small. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan on medium-high. Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic powder (or garlic cloves, chopped), carrots, salt, white pepper, and sage. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute. Stir in pine nuts.


In a small bowl, mix Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. In another bowl, whisk milk and eggs together.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture on the cooled piecrust.  Top with half of the carrot-pine nut mixture. 
Add 1/2 cup cheese mixture and then remaining carrot mixture. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese mixture.








Don’t worry – I didn’t forget the milk mixture. First, place the pie pan on a sheet pan. 


Carefully pour in the milk mixture.  Bake for 40 minutes. Check. If necessary, cook another 5-10 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool slightly before cutting.




***

Now I have to knuckle down for recipes to include in my next Cookbook Nook Mystery, GRILLING THE SUBJECT.  Barbecue is the theme. I think I'm going to have fun! Don't you love the festive cover? 


By the way, do you get my newsletter? Are you part of the fan club? There are fun puzzles, special pictures, tidbits, and giveaways. One of my fans won this prize just a few days ago. Five more won books and mugs! 

Sign up today so you don't miss out in the future. I won't inundate you with mail. Just announcements about when special things are happening, like the release of FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE, release parties, giveaways, and more!  Good luck.



TODAY'S GIVEAWAY!

Leave your name and email so I can contact you if you WIN, and tell me if you like to attend festivals and such!  I'll be giving away a SAVOR THE MYSTERY MUG. Winner will be picked Friday, the 5th.








Savor the mystery and say cheese!
Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames
Tasty ~ Zesty ~ Dangerous!


Friend Daryl and Avery on Facebook
Follow Daryl on Twitter
Follow Avery on Twitter
Follow both of us on Pinterest


Plus check out our website with lots of trailers, excerpts, plus a fan club with puzzles and giveaways!


FUDGING THE BOOKS, the 4th Cookbook Nook Mystery, is HERE!  Click to order.




New in February
FOR CHEDDAR OR WORSE
Click to order.