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.

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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.

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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)


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