Monday, February 23, 2009

Pear Cinnamon Syrup

I am doing this mostly so that I can have a record of this recipe because I have to refigure it each year and I want to get rid of one extra piece of paper laying around the house. It was written down on a scratch paper so it can easily be thrown away. Plus, there are few others - won't mention any names - that have the same problem I do of not remembering what we had done the year before. So this is for their benefit also. This is a good use for over ripe pears.

Pear Cinnamon Syrup

20 cups pear juice (15 lbs whole pears)
15 cups sugar
1 cup corn syrup
3/4 cup red hots

Wash pears and cut them in quarters, you only need to get rid of the stem. Put in steam juicer and juice for 90 minutes. The time starts after it is all steamed up. Mix with the rest of ingredients and heat until candy and sugar are dissolved. If you would like to simmer it longer you will have thicker syrup, but less syrup. Process in water bath for 15 minutes for quarts.

Yields: 7 quarts of syrup

1 lb fruit = 1-2 cups juice

You can add more red hots if you like your syrup with a little more cinnamon taste.

The young women that helped me make this last year has found a new use for this syrup. She adds it to Wassail. I got my first taste of the Wassail yesterday, it was yummy - or as her Grandma put it - divine.

Now the next trick is to remember that when I need the recipe to look on the blog to find
it. :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

So I lied

I lied, but not intentionally. We decided to do another meal today. It is one of Dad and Mom's favorite, but the kids are not fans of the spice. We made Red Curry Chicken and brussel sprouts. Yes, brussel sprouts - this is a favorite for the kids. Really, I am telling the truth about this subject. When we are in the store and they see the brussel sprouts. They drag us over so that we can get some. They get mad at the table if somebody gets more then they do. Sorry if the picture isn't the best. I forgot to take one and remembered when Dad went for seconds and was starting to eat before I could get the picture taken. It definitely tastes a million times better then it looks in the picture.

Red Curry Chicken

Heat until combined:
1 pkg (1.75 oz) (2 Tbsp) Taste of Thai Red Curry Base
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
1 lb chicken (or raw shrimp is yummy also)
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 green and pepper, sliced thin (we used green peas as we didn't have peppers)
1/2 cup fish sauce (we use soy sauce)
1/2 cup vinegar (optional, but it helps cut down on the salt taste of the curry and soy)

Cook until heated through (or if you are using raw shrimp, until the shrimp is cooked).
1 can (8 oz) bamboo shoots, drained
Fresh basil (Thai basil is the best)

(We didn't add the last 2 ingredients as we didn't have them, but they really add to the taste and texture of the finished product.)

Menu for the day

Today is Sunday so the menu is a lot more relaxed. We have breakfast and late lunch and then just snack for the rest of the day.

For breakfast we had homemade Grape Nuts
7 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 cups milk

Mix dry ingredients until all clumps from brown sugar are broken up. Then add milk, mix until no more flour in bowl. Crumble on cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 20 min. Crumble up baked dough and serve with milk. This is a family favorite.

For lupper (lunch / supper) we had spaghetti, green salad and garlic bread.

Nothing exciting but gives ideas for future meals. Our stomachs were filled and we were all content and happy after eating. If I ever get the recipe for the spaghetti sauce that was given to us I will post it. It was enjoyed by all.

Sirloin and Vegetable Skillet

2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 lb. steak, cut into strips
2 cups (about 6 oz.) mushroms
1 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 pint (about 16 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 pint (8 oz) tomato sauce
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes.

- Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add steak and cook until browned, stirring occasionally. (About 5 mins.) Move steak to platter, discarding any fat.
- Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in the skillet. Stir in mushrooms, pepper, and onion. Cook until crisp-tender, about 5 mins.
- Put steak back in skillet, add corn, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Cook until heated through, stirring occasionally (about 2-3 mins).
- Serve and enjoy immediately.

(Tip: I would recommend putting this over rice and/or with a salad on the side. Also, perhaps, with bread.)

Recipe based on one in Great American Recipes

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rub-a-dub Chicken

I tried a recipe for a rub for chicken yesterday that was absolutely delicious, at least in my book. I have a couple kids that will beg to differ, but they don't like any spice to any degree - so they of course put in their two cents. But I would definitely use it again. I cut the chili powder in 4ths (so 1/2 Tbsp). And since our grill is put away for the winter, we just cooked it in the electric fry pan on about 300 degrees. It turned out great.

Rub-a-dub Chicken
(Family Fun)

An easy rub makes this chicken simply mouthwatering and forms a gorgeous crust during grilling. Make a batch of the spicy powder, store it in your cupboard, and use it all summer long to give your chicken an outrageous zing.

1 tablespoon black pepper
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon oregano
4 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon celery salt
4 to 6 pieces boneless chicken thighs or breast halves
Barbecue sauce (for dipping)

1. Pour all the spices into a sandwich-size sealable plastic bag. Shake well. This mix can be stored at room temperature in the sealed bag for months -- and it makes enough rub to cover approximately 5 1/2 pounds of chicken.
2. To prepare your chicken, place a piece of chicken and 2 tablespoons of the rub (for a milder flavor, use less rub) in a gallon-size sealable bag. Give the bag a shake to cover the piece with the powder. Repeat, adding chicken and rub and shaking until all the chicken is in the bag and uniformly covered. (For a more intense flavor, refrigerate the bag of chicken for up to 1 hour before grilling.)
3. Grill the chicken over medium heat, on a covered grill, about 5 to 7 minutes per side or until the meat is no longer pink on the inside. Arrange the pieces neatly on a dinner plate and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Let sit for at least 10 minutes (very important!). Serve with barbecue dipping sauce. Serves 4 to 6.