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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Gumbo Weather


Nothing better than Gumbo & an LSU win :-) Taking the time to make this quick post to share my recipe with some friends that asked.

 


 Chicken & Sausage Gumbo

1 cup flour
1 cup oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped bell peppers
1 cup chopped celery
¼ cup minced garlic
4 quarts (16 cups) chicken broth (I made earlier using a deli chicken carcass)
4 pounds boneless chicken cut into bite sized pieces ( I used a mix of thighs and breast) ( you can also do chicken with the bones in but Randy doesn't do bones)
1-2 pound good smoked sausage cut into bite sized pieces
2 Tablespoons minced parsley (I used dried)
 Bunch of green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon Tony Chachere seasoning (or other cajun seasoning)
1 Tablespoon tabasco sauce
salt to taste

Make a roux: Use an iron skillet if you have one. Heat oil until pretty hot. Turn heat down a bit and slowly whisk in flour. Whisk almost constantly, being careful to not burn the mixture. Cook until roux is like light milk chocolate (3-5 minutes usually). Add onions, bell peppers, celery and garlic. Cook until vegetables are wilted. Add chicken broth a little at a time and stir until dissolved. If it seems thick you can add more water. Add seasoning, tabasco & chicken. Bring to a boil and cook for about an hour. Skim oil from top of gumbo. Add green onions/parsley and let simmer on low for another hour or so. Chicken will be very tender and falling apart. Serve over rice. Potato Salad or Baked sweet potatoes make a good side. 


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Epiphany Burgers

New Year...New Leaf. It's been a while since I've blogged and I miss it. I love using my blog as a way to catalog the things I make in my kitchen or have growing in my yard. So here we go again :-)

There's not much going on in the yard at the moment although I do see little bulbs already trying to poke their way through the dirt. Yay! So the kitchen is where its at for me right now. I got a Panasonic bread machine from my sweet hubby Randy for Christmas so I'm getting to know it and enjoying every minute!


 I've made a couple of loaves..one good..one not so great but I figure a little trial and error is to be expected. The best so far has been this homemade hamburger bun.


Its a bun I've seen around the web for awhile and has gotten rave reviews so I knew it would be a good one to try. Although it may look crusty, it wasn't. Soft on the the outside and inside just like a hamburger bun should be! Randy said it held up great..less mess, which is important to him! Give these a try..super easy with the machine.

Moomie's Beautiful Burger Buns

Ingredients
    • 1 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine
    • 1 eggs
    • 3 1/4 cups flour
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon instant yeast

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in your bread machine following the order given in the manual for your machine. Select dough. Allow to run cycle.
  2. Dump out onto lightly floured surface. Divide into 8 pieces (I did this with a sharp knife). With each piece, slap into a bun shape. Usually four or five slaps will do it. Place on greased cookie sheets or your bun pans, cover; rise about 30 to 40 minutes.
  3. Bake in preheated 375°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes till golden. Cool on wire racks.
  4. You can add a teaspoon of onion powder and about 1/2 teaspoon dried onion to the dough in the bread machine. Suzy's note: I didn't try it this time, but I will in the future. Sounds good!
 Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and Epiphany!


Linking up with On the Menu Mondays

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Welcome to the Ice Cream Social 2012!



Welcome to the 4th Annual Ice Cream Social at Kitchen Bouquet...come in to the parlor and see what kind of frosty treats and ice cream goodies me and my blogging friends have to share!
Statistics show that we eat more ice cream in the United States per capita than in any other country in the world. But after doing a little research it became clear that Ice Cream in one form or fashion is popular the whole world over. 

Here are a few little tidbits you may not have known about ice cream from a global perspective
  • The world's top 5 consumers of ice cream in order are: USA, New Zealand, Denmark, Australia, Belgium/Luxembourg.
  •  According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the biggest ice cream sundae in the world was made in Alberta, Canada, in 1988. It weighed nearly 55,000 pounds.
  •  According to Guinness World Records, the largest ice cream cone (as of January 2011) was over 9 feet tall. It was achieved at an event in Italy.
There are some pretty interesting ice cream flavors and creations worldwide.
Look at this colorful Phillipine concoction called Halo Halo!!! I'm not sure how this would taste but it sure is beautiful.

Ice cream in india is often flavored with exotic spices. Cardamom is a favorite.

In Mexico, ice cream bars called Paletas are popular. Don't these look refreshing? The picture is from Eastside Foodbites blog..check it out HERE

Turkey is famous for their "stretchy" version of ice cream, Dondurma. See Viewfinder blog for the source of the photo below.

 If I had the money I would start a Dondurma stand in NYC. Dondurma is Turkish ice cream that has a unique texture (sort of stretchy), it resists melting (that’s right mom with the twin 2 year-olds who usually wear their ice-cream instead of eating it) and it tastes delish! The photo above I took in Istanbul as I was flitting about the city. The vendors, dressed in what seems to be some kind of colorful traditional Turkish costume, regularly churn the ice-cream in small vats with long thin paddles to keep it manageable, and often put on a show for passersby, highlighting it’s unique globular qualities.  My favorite was the chocolate. 

The Japanese are the most "creative" with their ice cream selections and actually have flavors including eel, octopus, eggplant, and miso!! I think I will pass on those :-) However, in doing this ice cream research I did keep coming across these cute little Mochi Ice Creams. They are ice cream coated in a sweet rice shell. I have never eaten any, but they look so cute I thought I would give them a try. Easier said than done in a house without air conditioning on one of the hottest days of the year!!!
My efforts were not nearly as pretty! You try wrapping sticky rice dough around melting ice cream and see what I mean. I filled the Mochi with Haagen Daz Green Tea Ice cream. The end result is interesting..the sweet rice cover is not so sweet but interestingly textured. I will need to go try "real" Mochi Ice Cream now to see how mine compares! Recipe follows.

  While Mochi is an ancient invention the Mochi ice cream was created in 1981 at a California restaurant. As I was making the mochi I realized I had eaten it before many times at Chinese restaurants as they are often served filled with a sweet bean paste. My insides weren't so photogenic!
 Mochi Ice Cream
Adapted from this and this recipe
10 small scoops of ice cream frozen hard unless you want the mess I had on my hands
1 cup glutinous or sweet rice flour labeled as Mochiko - I found mine in the asian aisle.
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
Cornstarch - a ton of it

Combine glutinous rice flour and water in a glass bowl. Mix well to paste, then add sugar and vanilla, mix until dissolved.  Lightly cover bowl with plastic wrap and microwave for 2 minutes. Remove from the microwave and stir well. Dough will very thick! Stir as best you can with a sturdy spatula. Re-cover and return to microwave; heat for 1 minute. When dough begins to inflate while cooking, and then deflates with the microwave door is opened – it’s ready! If dough doesn’t inflate during the previous one minute of cooking time, microwave for 1 additional minute. Remove the bowl from the microwave. Sprinkle a cutting board with a lot of cornstarch; scrape the hot dough onto the cornstarch and then pat the surface with cornstarch-coated hands. Stretch dough gently and use your hands to flatten it. Cut into 10-12 pieces. Place ice cream ball on a mochi piece and gently pinch the edges together to seal. Eat right away or return to freezer.




 We are probably all mostly familiar with the Italian version of ice cream...Gelato. I happen to think Gelato is the BEST form of ice cream created and guess what???? Despite its creaminess its actually lower in fat than most ice creams due to the fact its made with milk and no eggs!

I tried my hand at some Chocolate Gelato for my chocolate ice cream loving hubby Randy. He approves and so do I although chocolate ice cream is hardly ever my first choice. This version was actually made with skim milk (plus a little evaporated milk to give it a bit more body). Lactose free skim milk to boot!! I think I could have gotten away with pure skim. I'll try it next time. Give this simple recipe a try.  Four ingredients!!!

 Chocolate Gelato
Inspired by a recipe in Saveur
3 cups milk (I used 2 cups skim lactose free milk & 1 cup evaporated milk)
3⁄4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
3⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1. Bring 2 cups of the milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then remove from heat. Combine remaining 1 cup milk, sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa in a bowl, add to hot milk, and cook until sugar and cocoa dissolve and it begins to thicken (about 3 minutes). Mixture will be like pudding.
2. Set aside to let cool, then cover with plastic wrap or wax paper touching the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate overnight. Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions.

So remember the stretchy ice cream?  Gelato is also supposed to be stretchier than other ice creams as well. Can you see the stretchiness in this piece? Weird huh? Still melty though! So I had to pop this tiny little piece in my mouth immediately after this picture was taken.
 

Finally I come to France. 

 
They have great ice cream too in such beautiful clean sounding flavors. I opted to make a cousin to ice cream..the French sorbet which has no dairy whatsoever in it but somehow ends up tasting quite smooth and somehow creamy. I have oodles of blackberries beginning to ripen so I went with what I have fresh and I did not go wrong! This is to die for right now with the high temps we've had this week. Super refreshing!



Blackberry Lime Sorbet
Ingredients:
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
4 cups blackberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
splash of tequila (optional - I opted for about a teaspoon)
Directions:
In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
Puree the blackberries in a blender or food processor with the sugar syrup.  Press the mixture through a large mesh sieve to remove the seeds, then stir the lime juice into the sweetened puree.  Add a splash of tequila, if desired.
Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Source: adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Hope you enjoyed the world tour of ice cream! I'll close with an Ice Cream Colors mosaic.


Now's the time to grab a bowl, scoop some in and get some toppings going while you browse all of the fabulous ice cream posts my blogging friends have created. If you have an ice cream related post please add your link below and link back to this post at your blog. Anything ice cream related is welcome! It can be a favorite recipe, ice cream product, ice cream dishes, ice cream memories, ice cream anything! Just join right in. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Put the 2012 Ice Cream Social on Your Calendar


I'm hoping everyone will join me for the 4th Annual Kitchen Bouquet Ice Cream Social the weekend of August 18th and 19th, 2012. You can come and share your favorite ice cream recipe, products, dishes, memories, anything Ice Cream related is welcome! Even if you don't have a post to share please come by to see what everyone else has to offer. Here is a peek at the last 3 years of Ice Cream Socials.

 Click HERE for 2011. I tried my hand at homemade Nutty Butty's!




Check out HERE for 2010. I made a yummy Baked Alaska.




 And finally see HERE for 2009. This Raspberry Chip Ice Cream was a definite winner.
 

Looking forward to seeing all of you again this year!

This week I'm participating in :
What's It Wednesday's over at  Ivy and Elephants
Foodie Friday at RattleBridge Farm

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Calzones and a Few Spring Blooms




Tonight I had a request to make Calzones. I wasn't surprised because I had tried them a while back and they were so good I figured they would become part of the dinner repertoire around here. When I made them the first time I was a bit intimidated looking for dough recipes because there are so many out there. When that happens I find the best thing to do is to refer to a trusted cookbook for a recipe and then tweak from there.

My sister Cindy gave me the Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book when I got my first apartment in college and I turn to it in cases like this. Their dough recipe is pretty straightforward and I'd recommend it for anyone wanting to try their hand at pizza or something like calzones. It seems pretty forgiving. It might not be quite as chewy as delivery pizza, but still really good. The filling for these can really be whatever you have on hand. Even leftovers stuffed in dough would be great.

Calzones
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook



Filling Ingredients:

Pepperoni (about half of one of those pillow packs), chopped into small pieces
Salami (I used about 4 ounces of a pre-sliced, but hard salami would be great too), chopped into small pieces
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 onion chopped
Spaghetti Sauce (use your favorite jarred or homemade) about a cup
Mozzarella Cheese - about 1 1/2 cups
Parmesan Cheese for sprinkling

Combine meats, onions & bell peppers and saute for a few minutes until onions begin to soften. Add Sauce and cook for a couple of minutes more to warm but no need to get super hot. Remove from heat.

Dough Ingredients:

3 cups flour
1 packet yeast
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons oil
1 egg


Preheat oven to 425°. In a large mixer bowl combine 1 1/4 cup flower, yeast and salt. Stir in warm water and oil. Beat at low speed with a mixer for a 1/2 minute, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes at high speed then stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can mix in with a spoon. Either knead with a dough hook if your mixer has it or turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes). Cover dough and let rest for at least 10 minutes (I let mine go about 30 mins) Punch down lightly, let sit for a minute then divide into 6 equal pieces.

Working with one piece of dough at a time roll out to about 6 inches, put 1/6 of meat mixture on one side of dough about 1/4 cup of mozzarella and a sprinkle of parmesan. Wet the edges of the dough slightly, fold over one side and crimp edges to seal. Place on a greased or lined pan or a baking stone. Repeat with the remainder of the dough & filling. Let Calzones rest for about 10 minutes, brush tops and edges with beaten egg. Put three small slashes in each to allow steam to escape. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until nicely golden brown. Serve with a nice salad and you have a meal.



Spring is slow to arrive here although I know much of the rest of the country has almost skipped to summer! There are a few things happening though. Here's an early spring mini tour, starting with my first daffodil to open.


The primroses never fail to open! Love their bright cheery faces.


The hellebores or Lenten Roses are pretty right now too.



These little anemones come up from little tubers every year.


This is a tiny little spring bloomer called Hepatica


More primroses!


And a darker Hellebore


We've been awfully rainy, but I walked around today and saw even more things on the verge of bloom. Looks like its going to be a good lilac and clematis year!
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