Quick Puff Pastry

I have always wanted to try and make my own puff pastry, but the traditional method kind of made me nervous. Making a big slab of butter? I wasn’t sure if I could do it properly, and that is a LOT of butter to waste if it didn’t work out right. When I came across another method to make quick puff pastry I was hooked!

 

Quick Puff Pastry
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 ¼ sticks butter
  • ½ cup cold water
Instructions
  1. Cut up butter into small cubes. Coat in flour and put it and the rest of the flour into the food processor. Pulse 3-5 times.
  2. Add the water and pulse 3 more times.
  3. Dump out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape with your hands into a rectangle. Fold over in thirds, like a business letter. Turn 90 degrees and do another fold. Repeat two more times for a total of 4 turns. Chill for 45 minutes to an hour.
  4. Remove from fridge and place on lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin this time, roll out into a rectangle and do three more turns folding over in thirds, turning 90 degrees, and repeating the process.
  5. After the 7th turn, roll out to about ½ inch in thickness, cut out to desired shapes, and use according to your favorite recipe directions!

[Read more…]

Creamy Peaches and Rice

Quickly prepared, this dish featuring canned peaches are rice is made into something special with the addition of spices.

Creamy Peaches and Rice
Author:
Serves: 4
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup uncooked long-grain white rice
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1½ cups boiling water
  • 1 can (16 oz) sliced freestone peaches in heavy syrup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tbs. butter or margarine
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ½ cup whipping cream or half-and-half
Instructions
  1. Cook rice with the salt in the boiling water for 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Drain, if necessary but leave in saucepan.
  2. Drain peaches, reserving ¼ cup syrup. Set aside 4 to 8 peach slices. Chop remaining peaches.
  3. Mix chopped peaches, reserved syrup, sugar, butter, spices and lemon juice. Add to hot cooked rice, mixing well. Put saucepan over medium heat and cook mixture for 5 minutes.
  4. Turn into buttered, shallow 1½-quart baking dish. Pour cream over. Arrange reserved peach slices on top.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Serve warm. Or let cool, serve in individual dishes with additional cream.

 

Pork Chops Dijon

Pork Chops Dijon
Slow cooked pork chops pair nicely with a Dijon cream sauce for a tasty twist to your usual pork chop routine.
Author:
Recipe type: Pork and Lamb
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3-4 TBSP Vegetable oil
  • 6-8 Center Cut Pork Chops
  • 2-3 cups Onions, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 TBSP Garlic, diced
  • 1.5 tsp Dry Mustard
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 3 TBSP Flour
  • 2 TBSP Cider Vinegar
  • ¾ Cup White Wine
  • 2 TBSP Dijon Mustard
  • ½ cup Heavy Cream
Instructions
  1. Season trimmed center-cut chops well with salt, pepper, garlic salt, onion powder, and Lawry's Seasoning salt. Heat 2 TBSP of vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Brown chops well on both sides and remove to slow cooker.
  2. Thinly slice 2 large onions and place into pan with an additional 1 TBSP of oil. Add in 1.5 tsp of dry mustard, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp ground black pepper, and ¼ tsp cayenne pepper. Stir well and cook over medium-low heat until onions are cooked, caramelized, and developed in color.
  3. Add to skillet 1.5 TBSP of minced garlic. Cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add 3 TBSP of flour. Stir until well combined and cook 2 minutes. Add ¾ cup of white wine and 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar. Cook until thickened and pour over chops in slow cooker.
  4. Cook 6-7 hours on medium, or 4-5 hours on high. Check approximately 1 hour before end of cook time as total cooking time will depend on your particular model of slow cooker.
  5. When chops are fork tender remove from cooker. Add in 2 TBSP Dijon mustard and ½ cup heavy cream. Stir well and pour over chops on serving plate.
  6. Serve with garlic mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

 Cooking Lesson

This is a unique pork chop dish for when you are in the mood for something different. It only takes about 30 minutes to throw together and get into the crock pot in the morning, and then in the evening all you have to do is either mash some potatoes, or boil some egg noodles with a vegetable on the side for a delicious, easy, filling meal.

Start out by seasoning some boneless center cut pork chops with salt, pepper, garlic salt, onion powder, and Lawry’s seasoning salt.  Make sure they are thick cut chops, you want them at least 1″ thick. I usually buy a whole pork loin and trim and slice it myself.

2dijonpork-resized

Heat some vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until its almost smoking. Add in seasoned chops and brown well on each side.

3dijonpork-resized

4dijonpork-resized

While the chops are browning, thinly slice about 2-3 cups of onions.

5dijonpork-resized

Place browned chops into a preheated crock pot. If you will be starting this in the morning, put it on medium. If you are starting this in the early afternoon, put it on high.

6dijonpork-resized

Add a few tablespoons of additional oil to the pan if necessary and allow to heat up. Add onions to the pan and season with 1.5 tsp dry mustard, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper. Cook over medium-low heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are cooked through and developing a nice color.

7dijonpork-resized

Add to skillet 1.5 TBSP of minced garlic. Cook, while stirring, for 1 minute. Add in 3 TBSP of flour. Stir until moistened and cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Add in 3/4 cup of dry white wine (I use Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio), and 2 TBSP of apple cider vinegar.  Stir and cook until the mixture is thickened. Immediately pour over the pork chops in the crock pot.

8dijonpork-resized

Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, on medium for 6-7 hours, depending on the heat of your particular model.

When the chops are fork tender, remove from crock pot leaving behind as much of the sauce as possible. Stir in 2 TBSP of dijon mustard and 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream. Pour over chops on serving plate.

Comfort Foods

Comfort foods can be defined as food that has been prepared simply and brings a feeling of satisfaction to the one who eats it. It could likewise be specified as any type of food that a person can link with home or his youth. Comfort foods are also those meals that are commonly eaten when a person is under emotional stress.

Typical Comfort Foods

The most usual comfort foods often include a high amount of sugar or carbohydrate and fat. Foods that are most typically reported as comfort foods include biscuits, potato chips and gelato. Another record showed that ladies favor comfort foods like chocolate. Women also typically eat snack foods as comfort foods. Men, on the other hand, prefer entire meals as comfort food. Young people prefer snack foods and also sugary foods, just as women do, while older people prefer hot, rather than cold, meals as comfort food.

Usual comfort foods include apple pie, banana pudding, pot roast, chicken soup, fried chicken, frankfurters, macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, pumpkin pie, pastas as well as beef stew.

Just what is in a Comfort Food?

Food scientist researchers guess that there is a connection between the person’s mood and also consuming specific meals. It is thought that some foods that have high carbohydrate content increases tryptophan. Tryptophan raises the quantity of serotonin in the human brain, which then causes enhancing the expert’s state of mind.

An additional possible description for why specific meals supply comfort is that tasty meals add to the system releasing opioids, which modify a person’s mood. Another explanation offered by scientists is that this is a result of an expert’s sensations of nostalgia. A person feels comfort whenever they prep as well as eat food that recognizes to them, is indulgent, and offers a feeling of psychological as well as physical convenience.

There are cases when a person eats way too much of what they consider comfort food, specifically when they want to be distracted from handling stressful situations. Comfort foods can help to improve one’s moods. My suggestion is not to indulge in these meals very often or to “slim down” the recipe using less fattening ingredients. Since a majority of these comfort foods contain a high amount of fat and salt, overindulgence in these foods can cause the advancement of heart disease and also other sorts of diseases. Likewise, many comfort foods contain high carbohydrate content and so overindulging, little physical activity can lead to weight gain or health problems.

Baked Spinach and Tomato

Baked Spinach and Tomato
Good served with Steamed chicken, carrots, Bibb lettuce salad.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetables
Serves: 4
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. fresh leaf spinach or Swiss chard
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 lb. mushrooms, quartered
  • 4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbs. butter or margarine
Instructions
  1. Spread spinach over bottom of lightly buttered, shallow 8- or 9-inch tart pan or square oven-to-table pan. Spread tomato mixture over center, allowing some of the green to show around edges. Dot with butter. (This much can be done ahead, covered and refrigerated for later heating and serving.)
  2. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve hot.