Monthly Archives: August 2012

Oh My Darrrrlin’….Clementine Curd

Ohh my darlin’, Oh my darlin’, Oh my darrrrrlin’….CLEMENTINE!

It’s been on perma-loop in my brain all day, as has this curd. It’s in the fridge, what’s left of it. Along with a few shortbread cookies.

Now, I’m trying to be kind and keep my paws off of it until some other family members can try it in the morning. I honestly can’t say how long it will last.

I made a full pan of curd, I ate numerous spoonfuls before I took the pictures.

It cooled….I took pictures and ate some more. How many fruit servings are recommended on the daily food pyramid?

Ok, let’s get serious! Curd is deliciously easy to make and is a gorgeous addition to the breakfast or brunch table. It is pure heaven when spooned on scones, and makes a fabulous filling for tarts and cakes.

Are you catching the fact that it’s FABULOUS???

Since most of the curds I make tend to be lime, I decided to change it up a bit when I saw a large box of clementines on sale at the store.

Clementines are a type of mandarin orange, and tend to be a very juicy and sweet fruit. Since the clementine is a slight bit less acidic than regular oranges, I’ve added a touch of lime to the mix.

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Easy Carbonara

There are two kinds of people in this world…Those that LOVE carbonara and those that say EWWWWWW!

Please don’t be an EWWWW person, give me a chance! Most folks say ewwwww because they believe that the eggs in this dish are uncooked. That is FALSE my fine friends. They are just not cooked in the usual method, meaning they are not scrambled, fried, or made into an omelet.

They are HEATED and brought to a safe temperature for consumption, which is the definition of COOKED.

What I love about Carbonara is that it’s quick and versatile. I’ve thrown so many things in a carbonara, while some aren’t worth repeating, most turned out fantastically well. For today, I’ll stick with the base recipe. Keep in mind, this sauce truly is what you make it and depends on your palette. I’ve allowed for two ends of the spectrum on a couple of ingredients (noted in red)…..decide where you fall in. 🙂

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Baked Italian Egg Cups

These little cups make the most wonderful breakfast or brunch…they make me want to invest in more and more and more ramekins so I can make them for LOTS of people!

So here’s the deal…if you’re wanting a quick but fabulous breakfast, do the prep work the night before. On the other hand, if you’d like to spend the morning in the kitchen (which I love), then plan on starting early for breakfast, or just take your time and have a superb brunch. The choice is yours!

FYI…serve with toast! The “juice” in the bottom of the cup will make you weak in the knees!

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Antipasto Salad

I can’t help but get hung up on the Anti part…..I’m totally PRO Pasto!

Antipasto (no prefix actually) is traditionally how an Italian meal is started. Unlike appetizers, antipasto is served while seated at the table and often consists of cured meats, cheeses, vegetables and olives.

Well folks, we’re going to take all those flavors and thrown them into a divine pasta salad and finish it with a tasty homemade vinaigrette.

So pull out your checkered tablecloths and get ready for a little pasta Amore!

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Chicken Parmesan….and “The Base Sauce”

In cooking, there’s three essential ingredients called “The Trinity” or “Mirepoix”. Carrots, celery and onions to those who haven’t heard these terms. They are base ingredients to all things tasty!

Although in Modern Mrs. Cleaver’s kitchen…I have my own little trifecta of goodness, and I use them often.

1.) Cherub Tomatoes- or cherry tomatoes

2.) Onions

3.) Garlic

Now doesn’t that just sound tasty already! The key is in the roasting….I’ll show ya how

But first let’s talk over this dish called Chicken Parmesan. There’s a lotta people making a lotta chicken parmesan a lotta different ways. Here’s what I know….the sauce will either make or break the dish.

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Grown Up Grilled Cheese

Ok, for THIS…I’ll admit to being an “Official Grown Up”!

I have an assignment for ya, one that’s good for a laugh or two. One morning when your honey is leaving for work, give em’ a big ole’ hug and say, in your most excited voice….

“Hurry home….I’m making GRILLED CHEESE for dinner!”

You’re bound to get a quizzical look, and I guarantee he’ll be walking out the door thinking… {what in the world is she so excited about grilled cheese for?}

What he DOESN’T know, is this isn’t your average grilled cheese. This is a spoken word artist’s dream!

I truly don’t know what exactly a spoken word artist is… I just know that my husband jokes about wanting to become one when the pressures of work run a wee high.

Anyhow, if you have some time….let’s make this bad boy

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Apple Plum Crisp

Halt the press….PLUMS ARE ON SALE!

Now, having only been in the South for 2 months…that’s monumental in my world! In Alaska, most fresh produce was priced extremely high and always seemed to be on the back-end of ripeness. Needless to say, I’m getting my fill of produce at the stores now!

I watch the sale ads like a crazy lady and live and breath for coupons. My Tuesdays are usually spent perusing the “sneak peek” ads and compiling next week’s menu and shopping list accordingly. To my delight, apples and plums were on a ridiculous sale, and my “Plumple Crisp” came to mind.

I call it “Plumple” for two reasons….

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Sea Salt Caramel Sauce

*DISCLAIMER* This is HIGHLY addictive and the surgeon general should probably slap a warning on it.

If that doesn’t bother you…then lets make this crazy good sauce!

This is great on ice cream, straight off a spoon, over pies, a spoon, crisps and cobbers….AND STRAIGHT OFF A SPOON 🙂

I showed my ten-year old son how to make this last night, and then encouraged him to make a batch on his own this morning. (I’ll admit, we ate the first batch last night and I wanted more)

What I’m trying to say is…it’s easy enough for a kiddo to make it, with adult supervision of course, and they will be SO proud to serve THEIR sauce and watch everyone rave.

So here we go…….

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{Psssst} Cast Iron….Pass It Down!

While many folks pass down their treasured cast iron cookware, often times the vital knowledge of “Proper Cast Iron Care” is lost in translation. This information is just as valuable as the pans themselves. Without the proper care, cast iron cooking is just not enjoyable. You hear others RAVE about their cast iron dishes, while your dishes just stick and provided nothing but tedious cleanup.

So today, I’m taking a stroll down cast iron history and offering up a little advice that will turn you into a cast iron pro. With just a little information, you will be able to grab up those invaluable cast iron pieces at your local thrift stores and garage sales. One man’s trash REALLY can be your treasure!

That rusty dusty cast iron skillet sitting forlorn in the corner of a garage sale….YES GRAB IT!

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Cornbread is to cast iron…….

Let me be clear….all cornbread is not created equal!

Cornbread is to cast iron, as kites are to string. You cannot separate one from the other. Well….you CAN but who would recommend that?

While some of you may be insanely lucky enough to have inherited a grandmother’s set of cast iron…this is for sure NOT her cornbread.

You see, I can’t leave anything alone. I have to “play” in the kitchen…it’s my inner Alton Brown hard at work. So when I serve cornbread, rest assured NO jiffy cornbread mixes dare enter my kitchen! While the boxed mix has it’s place…Ok in my mind it doesn’t have a place but to some it does, so I will say no more.

My mother will be calling soon

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