Off the Shelf: October Magazines

The weather is cooling and filling the house with good smells is one of the best activities! Our October magazines arrived and fall is officially ushered in – at least in our kitchens. We talked about magazines we would review and we have chosen four but the reality is – you can’t go wrong with any of the fall magazines. I have Bon Apetit and Cooking Light in my menu plan ideas with several recipes marked. All of the magazines have wonderful, seasonal recipes and there is a good chance you will see a few more recipes featured here during October and November.

Everyday with Rachael Ray (Alaina) – This magazine has a great variety of recipes. It was such a tough choice of what to make. The Pear & Goat Cheese Crostini, Spiced Squash with Browned Butter Glaze, Maple-Walnut Chicken Thighs & Cheddar-Apple Rice, and Apple Tart Tatin were all tempting. I think I’m just ready for the fall fruits and vegetables!

Mini Meatloaves Smothered with Onions finally made the cut and they were delicious. The combination of beef, dates, bacon, and onions with worcestshire sauce and balsamic vinegar made for flavorful and moist meatloaves.

MINI MEATLOAVES SMOTHERED with ONIONS
(Everyday with Rachael Ray, October 2010)
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1/2 cup pitted dried dates, chopped
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 1/3 pounds ground beef
3 onions, 2 thinly sliced and 1 finely chopped
3 slices cooked bacon, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 375°. In a bowl, combine the dates and breadcrumbs, working the mixture through your fingers to separate. Mix in the beef. Mix in the chopped onion, bacon, egg, worcestershire and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Divide into 4 mounds and, on a baking sheet, shape into loaves. Place on the upper rack and bake for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, on another baking sheet, toss the sliced onions with the butter and season with salt; spread out evenly. Bake on the lower rack, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 30 minutes. Serve the meatloaves with the onions.

Food Network Magazine (Alaina) – I love this edition of Food Network. The recipes all look wonderful and again it was such a hard decision. How can you go wrong with a pull-out full of 50 delicious Panini ideas?! And the use of fall ingredients is impressive.

I’m still planning to make the Pumpkin Waffles with Trail Mix Topping and the Slow-Cooker Squash Stew and perhaps a few more!  The Caramel Apple Cake, Pumpkin Pie Parfaits, Honey-Mustard Chicken & Apples, and Portabella Fries all sound so good.

After many requests for more side dish recipes, I decided to try a couple of the recipes included in this magazine. So, we enjoyed Sweet Potato Mash and Sesame Broccoli. We really liked both dishes.

SWEET POTATO MASH
(Food Network, October 2010)
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Pierce 4 sweet potatoes with a fork; microwave 8 minutes. Scoop the flesh into a bowl, then mash. Brown 3 tablespoons butter in a skillet, then add 8 sage leaves and fry until crisp; transfer to a plate. Cook 4 chopped scallions with salt and pepper in the browned butter. Drizzle over the sweet potatoes; top with the sage.


SESAME BROCCOLI
(Food Network Magazine, October 2010)
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Cook 1 bunch broccoli spears in a steamer set over simmering water, 10 minutes. Pulse a 1-inch piece peeled ginger, 1 garlic clove, 2 tablespoons each water and sesame oil, 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, and a pinch each of sugar and salt in a mini food processor. Drizzle over the broccoli and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Midwest Living (Heather) — Although Midwest Living is not technically a food magazine, the Sept/Oct issue included a huge spread focused on cranberries. The article was so beautiful and inspiring that I felt it was worth mentioning here.

The cranberry article included things such as cranberry scones, cranberry layer cake, and cranberry apple sweet potatoes. I chose to try the Crimson Slaw and it was delicious. The color, taste, and texture were right on and paired perfectly with my baked ham, roasted sweet potatoes, and steamed green beans.

CRIMSON SLAW
(Sept/Oct Midwest Living 2010)
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1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. dry red wine (optional — but added a great depth)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
4 cups shredded red cabbage (1/2 of a medium head)
1  6-ounce package dried cranberries (I used half this amount)
1/4 to 1/2 of a medium red onion, thinly sliced

For vinaigrette: in screw-top jar, combine oil, sugar, vinegar, wine (if you like), salt, pepper, and mustard. Cover and shake well.

In a large bowl, toss together cabbage, cranberries and onion. Pour the vinaigrette over cabbage mixture; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours. (I had to serve it immediately and it was great.)

Serves 6.

Victoria (Heather) — Victoria has always been my favorite magazine. The beauty and romance of its pages capture my heart. I enjoyed flipping through this magazine while on our recent “staycation”. Since I am a devoted Anglophile (more precisely a UK-phile), I particularly enjoyed this issue.

Page 38 contains a beautiful photo of an amazing cake: who knew it was gluten-free?! I had to make it. The result was beautiful, but strangely tinny. After some reflection I realized the recipe had been altered in translation and the “tablespoons” should be read as “teaspoons”, especially where baking powder is concerned!!! So, if you’re going to make this cake, be sure to follow the recipe below, or remember the proper translation when you read the magazine!

APPLE AND CINNAMON CAKE
(Victoria Magazine, Sept/Oct 2010)
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1 1/2 cups butter, softened (margarine can be used if you can’t use butter)
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 1/2 cups all-purpose, gluten-free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill with great results)
4 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
2 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 large eggs
4 apples, peeled and coarsely grated

garnish: 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped; 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and line two 9-inch cake pans.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment at medium-high speed, beat together butter and sugar until smooth.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, and cinnamon. Add to butter mixture, and mix at low speed until combined and smooth.

In a medium bowl, combine eggs and grated apple; fold into butter mixture.

Divide batter between prepared pan, and bake for 40 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes. Transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

To assemble cake, place one cake layer on plate and spread half of the icing over top; top with second cake layer, and spread remaining icing over top. Garnish with walnuts and dried cranberries, if desired.

ICING
(Heather’s Recipe)

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups heavy whipping cream

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a mixer and whip (slowly at first) until cheese is thoroughly mixed in and mixture has thickened.

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Counter Culture

My counters have been busy this week: from the stacks of china and glass to be put away after my daughter’s baptism dinner to the mountain of baking on my to-do list, and then the testing of our new ice-cream machine! Yes, we are now the proud owners of a Cuisinart Automatic Ice-Cream Maker!!! This was our first attempt:

The kids decided on mint chocolate chip and we happened to have the chocolate and green chocolate chips to add. We all loved the results and the next night we tried raspberry frozen yogurt — also very delicious. Making one’s own ice-cream means you can control the ingredients, especially the sugar. So far we’ve been using about 1/3 of the amount called for in ice-cream recipes. No doubt ice-cream recipes will begin to appear on The Cooks Next Door.

Getting my CSA each week is something I really look forward to. I love the challenge of using the vegetables we get.

Here’s some of what we’ve eaten recently:

Swiss Chard — I made this Swiss Chard Lasagna and it was so good I hope to make it again soon
Kohlrabi — a relative of the cabbage, I added mine to coleslaw
Peas — we ate the sugar snaps raw and the boys shelled the shell peas to be steamed for dinner
Cabbage — we all love coleslaw and that’s what we did with our beautiful cabbage
Kale — I made an amazing Italian sausage, white bean and kale soup which I plan to make again this week
Mustard Greens — I used these greens in place of spinach in a Greek rice salad
Herbs — we’ve been given a lot of “cutting celery” which I’ve never heard of before. It has the appearance of overgrown parsley but tastes more like celery. I’ve been using it in salads and as a substitute for parsley.
Basil — I came home with a shopping bag full of basil and decided pesto was in order. The recipe I found gave options for freezing, which was perfect for me. Seven little jars found their way into the freezer.

BASIL PESTO
(Food Network)
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2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts (I left these out)
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese

Combine the basil, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

If freezing, transfer to air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in the cheese.

Makes 1 cup.

Last, but not least, the children and I went black raspberry picking in the nearby woods last week. When we got home we made handpies with the berries we found. It made me think of my childhood and the memories I have of berry picking. Hopefully my children will someday look back and remember the fun we had (even though we all ended up being eaten up by bugs!!).

Weekend Fare: Irish Feast

These Irish recipes are simple, traditional, and great for weekend cooking or for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration!


CORNED BEEF & CABBAGE*
(Recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens)
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2- to 2-1/2-lb. corned beef brisket
1  tsp. whole black pepper*
2  bay leaves*
4  med. potatoes, peeled & quartered
5 med. carrots, peeled & quartered
2 med.- lg. onion, cut into 6 wedges
1 sm. cabbage, cut into 6 wedges
Salt and black pepper (optional)

Trim fat from meat. Place in a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven; add juices and spices from package of corned beef. (*Add pepper and bay leaves if your brisket doesn’t come with an additional packet of spices.) Add enough water to cover meat. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 2 hours or until almost tender.

Add potatoes, carrots, and onion to meat. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 min. Add cabbage. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 min. more or until tender. Discard bay leaves. Thinly slice meat across the grain. Transfer meat and vegetables to a serving platter. If desired, season to taste with salt and black pepper and serve with horseradish or mustard. Makes about 6 servings.

*You can use a larger piece of meat and more vegetables, just add the seasonings listed in addition to the packet included in the meat.

This homemade horseradish sauce made the meal! So delicious and so easy!

HORSERADISH SAUCE
(Recipe from Food Network Kitchens)
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3/4 c. mayonnaise
3/4 c. sour cream
1/4 c. plus 2 Tb. jarred grated horseradish (with liquid)
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, horseradish, zest, and 2 teaspoons salt. Season generously with pepper to taste. Refrigerate the horseradish sauce for at least 30 min. before serving.

Makes about 1 3/4 cups.

This bread is amazing! So moist and flavorful. It does not have a strong beer flavor – simply wonderful. We especially liked it warm with a little butter.
GUINNESS BREAD
(Recipe adapted slightly from allrecipes.com)
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1 c. regular rolled oats, plus 1-2 Tb. additional
2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. melted butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. buttermilk
1 (12 oz.) can or bottle Guinness® beer

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan.

Mix together the oats, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In a separate large bowl, stir together the butter, vanilla, buttermilk, and Guinness® beer. Pour the flour mixture into the beer mixture, and gently stir until well blended. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan, and sprinkle with additional oats.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 min., then turn the temperature down to 400 degrees F and bake for an additional 10-15 min. until knife inserted comes out clean and top is a dark golden brown. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

This cake calls for 2 lbs. of raisins and makes a HUGE cake. I didn’t have whisky on hand, so went without – really, it would be better with! It would make it so moist and wonderful! I also think a lemon sauce or creme fraiche or even freshed whipped cream would have been so delicious with it.

IRISH RAISIN CAKE
(Recipe from Food Network – Ann Rafferty)
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2 1/2 c. of buttermilk
2 c. of sugar
5 c. of flour
2 sticks of butter
5 eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. baking soda
Dash of salt
1 (16-oz box) of brown raisins
1 (16-oz) box of golden raisins
1/2 c. whiskey, optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a Dutch Oven. Cream sugar and butter in large bowl. Add in eggs one at a time. Add seasonings. Mix baking soda into the buttermilk. Alternate adding flour, buttermilk and raisins into mix. Bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hrs. in covered Dutch Oven (I baked mine in a greased, covered family size skillet – not cast iron – and it took about 1 1/2 hrs. Cake is finished when knife inserted into middle comes out clean.

Optional- pour 1/2 cup of whiskey over cake immediately after removing from oven. Cake is best when cut after a few days.

Market Fresh: Irish Colcannon

Today kicks off Irish week – in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day. For this market fresh, we will focus on potatoes with a little cabbage and kale thrown in – it’s Irish Colcannon to be exact. I’m offering two recipes for this traditional Irish potato dish – both are vegetarian and both are gluten free. One would work great for a main dish and the other is better as a side dish.

IRISH COLCANNON – Side Dish Version
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4 lg. potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 c. chopped cabbage
1 med. onion, chopped
1/4 c. milk
2 Tb. butter or stick margarine, divided
salt & pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a large saucepan or Dutch oven; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat until potatoes are almost tender. Add cabbage and onion. Cover and simmer for 5-6 minutes or until cabbage is tender. Drain well. Mash with1 Tb. butter, milk, salt and pepper. Place 1 Tb. of butter on top for serving. Serves about 5.

My friend, Jenna, gave me this recipe. I’ve modified it slightly to our taste. We really love the way that the egg yolk breaks into the potatoes. Delicious!

BAKED IRISH COLCANNON – Main Dish Version
(Thanks, Jenna!)
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4-6 med. potatoes, cut into even pieces
1/2 bunch curly kale, shredded (I remove the ribs and chop the leafy part)
1 med. onion, chopped
2 Tb. butter or margarine, to taste
1/4 c. milk
fresh nutmeg, grated
salt and pepper to taste
4 large eggs
1/4-1/3 c. fresh grated paremsan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Boil the potatoes until almost tender, add the kale and onion and cook until kale is just tender. Drain and mash well with butter, milk, and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon the mixture into a shallow ovenproof dish and make four hollows in the mixture. Crack an egg into each and season well. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the eggs are just set, then serve sprinkled with the parmesan cheese.

Market Fresh: Chinese Vegetables

We decided that we would do several posts in preparation for the Chinese New Year! So this week will be an international focus on Chinese food with Friday switching to Valentine’s Day for two. We hope you enjoy!

Today, I’m going to share a few recipes for vegetarian and vegetable-focused Chinese dishes. We invited guests over to enjoy our Chinese feast and this Vegetable Lo-Mein was a huge hit!

VEGETABLE LO-MEIN
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6 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tb. fresh ginger, minced
1/2 c. vegetable or canola oil 
1 Tb. sesame seeds 
1/2 c. smooth peanut butter
1/2 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. chicken or vegetable stock 
1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
1/4 c. honey
1/2 tsp. hot chili oil
2 Tb. dark sesame oil
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 pound linguini
1 c. bean sprouts
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
4 scallions, sliced diagonally (white and green parts)

Combine the garlic, ginger, oil, sesame seeds, peanut butter, soy sauce, stock, vinegar, chili oil, sesame oil, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Stir well to fully combine.

Cook the linguine as directed until al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander, place it in a large bowl, and while still warm, toss with 3/4 of the sauce. Add the sprouts, red and yellow bell peppers, and scallions; toss well. Serve warm or at room temperature. The remaining sauce may be added, as needed, to moisten the pasta.

CHINESE BROCCOLI
(adapted from allrecipes.com)
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2 bunches broccoli, cut into florets
2 Tb. white sugar
1 Tb. cornstarch
2 Tb. soy sauce
1 Tb. rice vinegar
1 Tb. sesame oil
3 Tb. hoisin sauce
1 tsp. fresh ginger root, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Sesame seeds (opt.)

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook uncovered until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, ginger, and garlic together in a small saucepan over medium heat until thickened and no longer cloudy, 4 to 6 minutes. Toss the broccoli in the sauce, pour into serving dish, sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired, and serve.

EGG ROLLS
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1/2 lb. pork sausage
1/4 head of cabbage, shredded
1/4 head of napa cabbage, shredded
1/2 c. carrot, shredded
1/2 c. bean sprouts
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tb. Hoisen Sauce
2 Tb. Smooth Peanut butter
1 package Egg Roll wrappers

Brown sausage. Add vegetables and garlic and saute until slightly cooked but still crunchy. Add sauce and peanut butter. Divide mixture into egg roll wrappers – about 2 Tb./wrapper.

To Roll: Place filling lengthwise towards end closest to you. Fold sides in and slowly roll. Seal edge with water.

Fry in a deep fryer until golden brown or bake in oven at 400 for about 15 minutes or until golden. Serve with Sweet & Sour and enjoy!