Friday, May 8, 2015

Kimchi Stew

I have found myself madly in love with Korean food.   It started with a love for kimchi especially and has just grown.   But kimchi is still my all time favorite.   I recently ate at a Korean restaurant and had kimchi stew.  It was incredible!   The recipe searches I've made online are look to be very simple, so decided to try it.  I also spoke with a Korean woman I work with and asked her about it.   She basically said you put in it what you like, as long as there is lots of kimchi, garlic and red peppers.   So came home, through caution to the winds and just made it.    It is very tasty too!

1 lb. diced pork, with a little fat in it if possible.   many recipes call for pork belly
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 pints/4 cups kimchi
1 heaping tbsp.  garlic and red chile paste (optional but tasty)
dash of soy sauce and rice wine vinegar
1/2-1 tsp. crushed red pepper, unless using the red chile paste
2 tbsp. sesame oil
8 oz. cubed tofu
1 tsp. brown sugar
4 cups water

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven then brown the diced pork, when the pork is starting to brown, add the onion and brown both together.   Next add the garlic and stir around until fragrant.   Add the kimchi and any liquid in the jar, the garlic and red chile paste or crushed red pepper, the soy, vinegar and sesame oil, then the water.   Bring to a full boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer about 30 minutes.   Ten minutes before the time is up, add the tofu, continue to simmer another 10 minutes, then remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit about 10-15 minutes.    Serve with cooked rice.

Options:  this can very easily be made vegan, just by omitting the meat.    You can add other vegetables like mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, radishes, turnips, you name it.   I have also been told you can top each serving with a fried egg.  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Hummingbird Cake

A true southern classic, very rich, very moist, very addictive.   Enjoy!

Hummingbird cake

3 cups all-pupose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups salad oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts, divided
2 cups chopped bananas
Cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)

Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl; add eggs and salad oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not beat. Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup chopped pecans, and bananas. Spoon batter into 3 well-greased and floured 9-inch cakepans. Bake at 350 degrees F. For 25 to 30 minutes; remove from pans, and cool immediately. Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with 1 cup chopped pecans.

Yield: one 9-inch layer cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 (16 ounce) packages powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine cream cheese and butter; cream until smooth. Add powdered sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla.

Yield: enough for a 3 layer cake.   Can also be made into a sheet cake.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cake Batter Ice Cream

Spring is here and summer won't be too far behind.   I love making ice cream at home and do it a lot.   I have always loved Cold Stone Creamery's cale batter ice cream.  I have some some research to try and find a recipe for making it myself.  Here is ont that comes pretty darned close.   Give it a try!     Oh, the original recipe is very adament to only use Duncan Hines Butter Recipe CAke Mix.   Said that other brands just won't take quite right.  I will take their word for it.
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup dry Duncan Hines Butter Cake Mix
Dissolve the sugar in the cream and milk, then stir in the remaining ingredients, mixing well.   Chill at least 4 hours or overnight.   Whisk again before freezing the mixture, then freeze as usual.   Allow to ripen in the freezer a couple of hours before serviing.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Spicy Mustard Vinaigrette

Spicy Mustard Vinaigrette

1/2 cup Dijon style mustard
1/2 cup spicy brown mustard (horseradish mustard is good too, but a bit hotter)
3-4 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
1/8 cup dark brown sugar
3 tbsp. honey or sorghum
1/4-1/2 cup cider vinegar (or more to taste
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (omit or adjust to taste)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Whisk all together, adding more or less of the vinegar as you like.   Store in fridge.  I use this on sandwiches, salads, steamed vegetables, meats, you name it.   It is very good for all of these things. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Peanut Butter and Jam Bars

Peanut Butter and Jam Bars

1 cup softened butter
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups peanut butter
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1-2 cups jam of any flavor

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch cake pan. Cream the butter, sugars, peanut butter and vanilla. When fluffy, beat in the eggs. Gently fold in the flour, baking powder and salt. Evenly pat at about 2/3 of the dough into the pan, then spread with the jam, adjusting amount as you please. I like it pretty jammy so use 2 cups. Scoop spoonfuls of the remaining dough and scatter on top of the jam. Bake about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cherry Almond Cake

A friend at work gave me a bag of almond flour and I've  been trying to find ways of using it.  This is a recipe I found online, but have adapted to make a very moist and delicious cake, with a pleasant almond flavor.   Stone fruits of all kinds are the perfect match for anything with almonds, so this cake has some dried cherries for flavor as well as a pretty touch of red.   Enjoy!

1/2 cup of softened butter
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
about 1/2 cup dried cherries (no reason why diced dried apricots or peaches wouldn't work too)

Butter and flour or spray with baking spray a 8x8 inch cake pan.  Preheat over to 325 degrees.   Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs and extracts.   If batter looks curdled that is ok.   Mix together the flours, salt and baking powder and gently mix until just barely incorporated, do not over mix.   Spread in the bottom of the prepared pan and then dot the fruit over the top of the batter, use more or less according to your tastes.   Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.   Cool completely before cutting.  If you wish, you can dust the top of the cake with some powdered sugar or make a very light butter cream frosting and spread over the top of the cooled cake.  

This recipe can also be doubled and baked in a 9x13 inch cake pan, baking time will probably take about 15 minutes longer or even more, so be sure to test with the toothpick before removing from the oven. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Moist Almond Mug Cake

I love mug cakes, but so many of them can be so eggy they just aren't that tasty.   I am always on the look out for new recipes and then try to adapt them to my own taste.   Here is one I've been working on and think I've come up with something good.    This recipe will make two mug cakes, so you will have one to share.

1/4 cup and 2 tbsp.  all purpose flour
1/4 cup and 2 tbsp.  almond flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
4-5 tbsp. sugar, white or brown your choice
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup milk
5 tbsp. melted butter or vegetable oil (butter is more flavorful of course)
1 tsp. vanilla
a couple drops of almond extract

Spray two large mugs with cooking spray.   Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well.   Then add the milk, butter and extracts.  Mix well and then divide between the two mugs.   Place in the microwave and cook on high for 2 minutes and check for doneness with a toothpick.  If toothpick comes out clean, it is done.  It not, continue cooking for another 30-60 seconds or until the toothpick comes out clean.   Cool before eating.  You can frost or just sprinkle with some powdered sugar.