Monday, July 28, 2008

Challah, I'm Back

Greetings everyone! I am back from Ireland. I had an amazing trip but I'm very glad to be back. This morning, I made some Challah. This recipe came from my roommate last year and it is very good.

Ok, quick post...I'm still unpacking...I'll have my Ireland pictures on flickr soon for anyone's enjoyment.


1/2 c oil
4t salt
1/3 c sugar
1 c boiling water
1/2 c cold water
2 pkg dry yeast
1/3 (scant) c warm water
3 eggs
7 c bread flour
poppy or sesame seeds
pour oil, salt and sugar into large mixing bowl. add one c boiling water and stir. add 1/2 c cold water. in a separate cup, dissolve the yeast in the 1/3 c warm water (with a pinch of sugar added). beat eggs and add to oil and water mixture, reserving two T to brush on loaves. add dissolved yeast and stir. add flour gradually and mix well.
turn out onto floured board and knead until dough doesn't stick. add more flour if necessary. return to bowl and cover with a clean town. let rise one hour.
knead one minute. cut into six pieces. knead each piece with a little flour. roll into strands and braid into two loaves. place loaves on greased pan or baking sheets.
let rise forty-five minutes. brush tops with reserved egg. sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. bake at 375 for 30 min.

Click Here for Recipe...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Crab Cakes!!!

This is Mortimer...He is a Blue Crab from the Chesapeake Bay. A couple weeks ago, J and I went crabbing with my uncle, catching Mortimer and many of his friends. We did a fairly good job. The first time I went crabbing with my uncle, I fell asleep on the boat and was not too good at catching the crabs. In my defense, I did have to get up at 4am so it was understandable that I fell asleep. After that though, I normal chose to sleep in and just eat the crabs with my brother and sister caught. Lazy, I know!

This year, however, when J expressed interest in going crabbing and my uncle mentioned it, I thought, "Why not? It would be fun!" This time, I had to get up at 6am, which was not as bad. We spent a beautiful morning on the boat and caught a good amount of crabs. I have definitely improved in catching crabs and found that I really enjoy it. When we got back to the house, my uncle smothered them in Old Bay and steamed them. We picked some for lunch and took some home with us.

A few hours later, J turned to me and said the magic words "Crab Cakes?" We picked the rest of the crab meat and I called my mother for her recipe. My mother's secret is more crab and less filling. They turned out great! J is responsible for the photography. Mortimer was quite photogenic and quite tasty!

Maryland Crab Cakes
(from Ginny's Mom)

1 lb crab meat
2-3 tablespoons of flour, pancake mix or bisquick
4 shakes Worcestershire sauce
1 large egg
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon mayonnaise
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Pick over the crab meat carefully to remove any shell or cartilage.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir gently.
3. Heat vegetable oil in the frying pan to about one-half inch depth.
4. Form the cakes and fry for 3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.

P.S. I am off to Ireland this week! I will see you in two weeks!

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Love Affair with Squash Continues...

As I have mentioned many, many, many times before, I love butternut squash...I also failed to mention that I LOVE SQUASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Every variety is absolutely delicious. When I was younger, I would love it when my father would make us spaghetti squash with some olive oil and paremesan. It is amazing!

When I saw Cookthink's Root Source Challenge #21 was to make a dish with Yellow Squash, I felt I was up to the challenge and I knew exactly which recipe I wanted to use. Every month or so, I get together with a good high school friend of mine to cook. We sit around talking, eating lots of Brie and making some good vegetarian dishes. She is one of those really good friends, who I can go months without talking to and yet, when we do talk, we pick up exactly where we left off. She and her husband moved up here last fall and I will definitely miss our cooking adventures when I move next month.

The last time we were together, she showed me a cute little cookbook, Gail Greco's Gardens of Plenty. It had a number of interesting recipes that used herbs in new and interesting ways. The Lemon Yellow Squash Soup with Orzo caught my eye and I scribbled it down. Overall, I liked it but I think next time I would reduce the butter. I used frozen yellow squash because we are moving soon and trying to clean out all the food. I think fresh would have made it much better. Also, I would recommend increasing the lemon juice. There was a hint but not enough. I loved the addition of the mint and now I have plenty leftover to make some good ole' Southern Sweet Tea!

Lemon Yellow Squash Soup with Orzo
(adapted from Gail Greco's Gardens of Plenty)

16 oz frozen yellow squash (1 1/2 lb. yellow squash, sliced)
4 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, finely minced
salt and fresh cracked white pepper
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup orzo
1/2 cup light cream
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon mint, chopped

1. Melt butter in larger soup pot over medium heat.
2. Add onion and cook until tender but not browned.
3. Add squash. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 min.
4. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender and liquid reduces.
6. Blend in food processor.
7. Return to soup pot and bring to a boil.
8. Add orzo and cook until pasta is tender, about 7-8 min.
9. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine cream, egg and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth.
10. Add the mixture to the soup and whisk over low heat until blended. Do not let the soup come to a boil or the egg yolk will curdle.
11. Stir in the mint.
12. If the soup is too thick, add some more chicken stock.

P.S. Happy July 4th!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope everyone has a wonderful and fun holiday weekend!!!

Click Here for Recipe...