Thursday, December 16, 2010

Balducci's The Food Lover's Market and Deep River Snacks

Yesterday I took a trip to Balducci's - the Food Lover's Market in Cos Cob/Greenwich. I picked myself up a roast beef sandwich on sourdough bread which was definitely tasty.

Fra samme butikImage via WikipediaAlong with that I had myself a Orangina. I had a relative who lived in Italy and he talked about the joys of drinking them. Thank goodness we don't have to go to Italy to have an Orangina. Talk about scrumptious and juicy.

I also bought myself some Deep River Snack potato chips -- Rosemary and Olive Oil. These are made locally right here in Connecticut. I love the taste of the rosemary and olive oil on the potato chip. I have never tasted anything like it before. I would say it has a very lady like flavor. It is definitely gourmet. That is the only way I go if you know the way I grocery shop. These potato chips should be in the supermarket in full size bags.

Whip up new recipes and try new things.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bacon-Roast Chicken with Brown Gravy

Last night I tried a roast chicken I had not tried before - Bacon-Roast Chicken with Brown Gravy.  Here are the basic ingredients I used.
Here is the recipe

BACON-ROAST CHICKEN WITH BROWN GRAVY                                                            Serving Size: 4
1 3 pound whole chicken
3 slices bacon
1 tablespoon butter or margarine -- softened
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons flour
1 carrot -- cut in half

Preheat oven to 450°F. Rub cavity of chicken with butter; season with salt and pepper and half the thyme. Place carrot inside and tie legs and wings to the body. Place in a shallow roasting pan. Lay bacon strips over the breast. Sprinkle with salt and paprika.
Roast 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and baste chicken with beef broth. Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until tender, basting every 15 minutes.
Remove chicken to a warm platter and remove ties and bacon. Skim off as much fat as possible from drippings in pan. Heat drippings over medium heat.
Dissolve flour in ¼ cup cold water and stir into drippings. Bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan. Pour in any remaining broth and cook until thickened. If too thick, thin with water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
NOTE: The bacon here is used as a "baster". But if you prefer, it can be chopped up after use and added to the gravy.

We like Boar's Head bacon. It has a nicer flavor.  It also seems to be less fatty. My chicken ended up being 4 lbs.

This recipe I have had since 2003 and I have no idea where I found it. The recipe is just that old but now can be said to be tried and true.
Let me be truthful, I put the bacon on the backside instead of on the breast and moved it later on during roasting. My chickens have always come out very juicy. The juices seem to flow to the bottom of the chicken. I added extra butter on the outside even though the recipe did not require it.
This was my first time really preparing a gravy.  I discovered more tools I need for my little kitchen.

After I finished cooking the chicken I added half of the bacon to the gravy, and while the chicken was cooking I prepared a stuffing and while I was preparing the gravy I cut up the crispified bacon and put half the bacon in the gravy and the other half into my stuffing which I prepared from scratch from my own recipe. I pay attention to my Mother in the kitchen and all those great chefs on television. The chicken was moist and the gravy had a nice rich flavor. My boyfriend loved it. Worth serving again.

Whip up new recipes and try new things.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Time is Near.... and Barnum at the Ivoryton Playhouse

Recently I went to my parents home and I helped to decorate. My Grandmother came to live with my parents and she brought the houses that go underneath the tree. I helped set them up at my parents home along with my Mother's Nativity. Here are the images.
Here is the Nativity
Last night I went to see Barnum at the Ivoryton Playhouse. It was absolutely wonderful. Bruce Connelly played Barnum, and Beverley Galpin played his wife Charity. It was a circus load of fun.

Photo by Anne Hudson
The show was magnificent and lots of fun and full of life. Phineas Taylor Barnum is the Prince of Humbug. He is a born showman and loves a life full of color. He is not the type of man who would be comfortable working in a little cubicle in an office.   It is a show you should not miss. I loved it. The clowns were cute and wonderful. There was a magician and trapeze artists. Opening night is tonight. Your children will love it.

The Ivoryton Playhouse is also selling Boy Scout Ornaments. The 2010 Ornament is of the Ivoryton Playhouse. They are $10 a piece and they are beautiful.

Explore new things, see new shows, and whip up new dishes.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Beef Paprikash and Bear Slippers

Last night I cooked up a dinner of Beef Paprikash. The only dish I had that was similar to this dish was Chicken Paprika made with chicken breasts, so this was going to be a new taste for me. It was very good and my boyfriend enjoyed it. He wanted to know the nationality of the dish and I looked it up online and discovered it was a Hungarian Beef Stew.

Here is the recipe.

BEEF PAPRIKASH                                                                          Servings: 4
Source: The Healthy Beef Cookbook: Steaks, Salads, Stir-fry, and More - Over 130 Luscious Lean Beef Recipes for Every Occasion by American Dietetic Association (ADA), National Cattleman's Beef Association, Richard Chamberlain, and Betsy Hornick
1 pound boneless beef top sirloin, cut ¾-inch thick
3 tablespoons sweet or hot paprika
4 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided use
2 tablespoons water, optional
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¾ cup ready-to-serve beef broth
Salt and pepper, as desired
1 cup frozen peas
4 cups uncooked yolk-free egg noodles
½ cup reduced-fat dairy sour cream
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
½ cup chopped tomato
2 cups chopped onions
Chopped fresh parsley, optional
Cut beef steak lengthwise in half, then crosswise into ¼-inch-thick strips.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add half of the beef and half of the garlic; stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until outside surface of beef is no longer pink. Remove from skillet. Repeat with remaining beef and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Set aside.
Cook noodles according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in same skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Add mushrooms, onions and paprika; cook 12 to 14 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. If pan becomes dry, add water a tablespoon at a time.
Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 3 minutes.
Add peas; simmer an additional 2 minutes or until peas are just tender.
Return beef to skillet; stir in sour cream. Cook until heated through; do not boil.
Serve beef mixture over noodles. Top with tomato. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

 Here are the ingredients I used.
One of the reasons I choose this dish was because the top round was on sale. I cut up all the ingredients ahead of time which made this dish very easy to make. There is also beef broth in this dish (because silly me forgot to add it to the ingredients before I took the phoito).

And, as promised, here are the bear slippers which my Grandma gave me quite along time ago, which I still own. 

These slippers are cute and cuddly but they are hard to walk up the stairs. The heads get caught on the lips of the steps.

Whip up new dishes and try new things (including bear slippers)


Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

Thanksgiving Dinner, Falmouth, Maine, USA 2008Image via Wikipedia

I hope everyone had a happy thanksgiving here in the USA. I sure had a nice time. There is nothing better than roasted turkey and gravy with cranberry sauce. Don't forget the pumpkin pie and apple pie.

Recently I went to the movie theater and saw the latest Harry Potter flick...Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. It was really enjoyable and those kids have definitely grown. They have been awfully lucky.

Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsImage via Wikipedia
Today I watched a much older movie, Hooper starring Burt Reynolds and Jan Michael Vincent. Renolds plays a stuntman, and Field is his girlfriend. This is their third or fourth film together.

The Ivoryton Playhouse next show will be opening soon with the show Barnum. I can't wait go. It stars Bruce Connelly and Beverley Galpin.  It opens December 9.  I can't wait to see it. I also was interested in the world of Phineas Taylor Barnum. He is the founder of publicity.

Whip up new things in the kitchen and try new things,

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Apartment Organization

I live in a one room apartment and have a galley for a kitchen. I have three counters  to work on and they all have other items on them and they are not exactly large counters. My food was competing for the same space as my plates, pots, pans, etc. I miss my parents home and the pantry cabinet.  My boyfriend did something he had done to lend more room in the places he lived in. He stuck a shelf unit into the closet.

In the CNS Store I found this great Pot Wall Hanger at a great price. My Mother bought it for me as a birthday gift. She couldn't believe the item arrived at the house in 3 days.

Here is the unit without anything on it on the wall.
Here is the shelf all filled with pots and pans.
Isn't it just beautiful. I love it and it freed a lot of room to reorganize the kitchen.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cherry-Glazed Chicken

Last night I got into the kitchen to cook my next meal. I began interested in this recipe called Cherry-Glazed Chicken from the Cherry Marketing Institute. You see the finished product above. it tasted wonderful. I am not use to having chicken with cherries.

Here is the recipe.

Cherry-Glazed Chicken

Makes 6

1 broiler-fryer chicken, cut up (or 6 chicken breast halves)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste (used ¼ teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper)
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 16-ounce can unsweetened tart cherries
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 granulated sugar
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard

Rinse chicken; pat dry with paper towels. Pour milk into a shallow container. Combine flour, thyme, salt and pepper. Dip chicken first in milk, then in flour mixture; coat evenly. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken; brown on all sides. Put chicken in a 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Bake, covered with aluminum foil, in a preheated 350 degree oven 30 minutes. Meanwhile, drain cherries, reserving 1/2 cup juice. Combine cherry juice, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a small saucepan; mix well. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. Add mustard; m ix well. Cook 5 minutes, o runtil sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in cherries. After chicken has cooked 30 minutes, remove from oven and uncover. Spoon hot cherry mixture over chicken. Bake, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes, or until chicken is tender. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Info:
Nutrition Facts per serving: 493 cal., 26 g total fat (7 g sat. fat), 33 g carbo., 117 mg chol., 31 g pro., 1 g fiber, 231 mg sodium. Daily RDA values: 15% vit. A, 8% vit. C, 6% calcium, 20% iron.

Here is the ingredients I used.
Of course in my photo I forgot the flour. I used chicken breasts instead of a cut up whole broiler-fryer because of value. I also could have bought a whole broiler-fryer and cut it up because to my knowledge that is what Alton Brown would have done (along with other cooks and chefs I know of on television).
Here is the flour and milk mixture that I dipped the chicken in before I browned them.
Here is the chicken browning in the pan.
Note: When you brown in this fashion, you should not turn the chicken until the chicken is completely browned or you will take off the flour-milk mixture which is used as a sealant to keep in the juices.
Here in this chicken in the 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan which I am preparing to cover with foil and put in the 350F oven.

After this it is time to prepare the cherry juice and mustard mixture.
 What would the mixture be without the cherries.
 The only thing left to do is put the cherry mixture on top of the cherries and put it back in the oven. When it comes out of the oven it looks like this when it comes out of the oven.
 Then you have this lovely dish out of the oven. Anyone who hasn't tried chicken and cherries really should. I choose to have my chicken with rice and grilled zucchini from the frozen aisle of Trader Joe's.

A new recipe to whip up in the kitchen.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I went shopping yesterday and look at what I bought for myself -- a garlic keeper. Something handy to have around the kitchen. It looks nicer than putting your garlic in a brown paper bag on the counter. I could just see it being accidently thrown out.
 Has anyone ever tried Stacy's All Natural Pita Chips? I have never bought pita chips before. It was a new experience for me. The one thing I know is that they are for the health conscious. I put myself in that dietary category.
 Here is a picture of the chips. They taste nothing like potato chips are crackers. Their is no flakiness to them. They don't taste bad or anything, but I won't rush out to the grocery store and purchase more.

 Try new things and whip things up in the kitchen.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My First Pork Roast

The time has come for me to make my first pork roast, and that I did.  I thought it looked so beautiful when it came out of the oven. I roasted some potatoes while I cooked it. Here is the recipe I used.

Honey-Ginger Pork Roast

One 5-pound center cut boneless pork loin
1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger root
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons salt
Run knife between fat and meat to form pockets on top of roast. Using a long-bladed knife, insert grated ginger into pockets. In small bowl, mix olive oil, ground ginger, and salt. Place pork in roasting pan and brush with oil, ginger, and salt mixture. Bake at 350 degrees, allowing 30 minutes per pound. About 15 minutes before roast is done, brush meat completely with honey. Allow roast to stand 15 to 20 minutes before slicing.
  • You found this recipe on 1st Traveler's Choice Internet Cookbook. (

I did make a small change to the recipe myself. Instead of using a 5 lb center cut pork loin I used a 2.5 lb mini pork loin.  It took an hour and a half to roast.

 It was scrumptious. You pour honey over the pork once it comes out of the oven. It lends a nice sweet taste to the pork.

 Here it is on a plate. I know -- the vegetables are missing! I ate mixed vegetables on a different plate. I know how important it is to get those greens.

And have you tried salsa and chips from Trader Joe's?

Here is a closer look at the salsa.
What makes it even more appetizing is to see what it looks like in a bowl and with a chip.
 It is so good. I love the flavor of the peaches. I never knew peaches in salsa could be so heavenly until I tried it. It would serve as a wonderful appetizer for Thanksgiving.

Try something new, and whip something up in your kitchen.

Enhanced by Zemanta