Sunday, April 25, 2010

Marinated Grilled Flank Steak

Having unearthed a few cookbooks mentioned on a previous post, I found some "lost" recipes!  One that is simple and I should have had "off the top of my head" is Marinated Grilled Flank Steak from Colorado Cache Cookbook.  The steak is always flavorful.  We have used this recipe for the last thirty years!

The recipes lists a number of option ingredients.  When we make this I always include the green onion and celery seed.  I include the dill weed only if I have any fresh available.

Marinated Grilled Flank Steak

Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup or more dry red wine

3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 large clove garlic, sliced
Pepper to taste
Chopped green onion or chives (optional)
Chopped dill weed (optional)
Celery Seed (optional)
1 1/12 lb. flank steak, trimmed

Mix all ingredients in the pan in which meat is to be marinated.  Marinate flank steak, turning occasionally, for 2 to 12 hours in the refrigerator.  Broil meat over hot coals for 5 minutes per side for rare meat.  Slice meat on the diagonal across the grain and serve.


Flank Steak on the grill is delicious!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

This month has gone by so quickly!  It is time once again for Barefoot Bloggers to join together to prepare one of Ina Garten's recipes.  This week, Cassandra at Foodie with Little Thyme has selected Jam Thumbprint Cookies.  Thank you Cassandra!

The recipe can be found in Barefoot Contessa Family Style or here at Food Network.

I made the recipe as written except that the red jam in the refrigerator was not raspberry!  It was red currant so I used that as well as apricot jam.

I love shortbread, coconut and jams of all kinds so I really like these cookies.  The Kitchen Gnome likes them and commented how the coconut had toasted and they had such a great flavor.  My neighbor liked them and the gals at work liked them, too.  I think this is a keeper!

Barefoot Bloggers have made two different kinds of cookies this month.  Of the two, I cannot say that I prefer one over the other.  In my mind, they serve two purposes, the Jam Thumbprint Cookies are tasty morsels and great for enjoying with a warm cup of coffee or tea in the afternoon.  The Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies are a good anytime snack!  Both recipes will be saved!

This is a cookie with a subtle flavor.  
It would be a nice treat, in the afternoon, with a cup of tea!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pasta with Prosciutto, Asparagus, and Peas

Sometimes I am searching for a dish that can double as a main course or a side.  I think I have put one together that fits in either category.  Like many of you I like to read through cookbooks and create a new recipe from three of four I have found.  This time I was reading through old Bon Appetit magazines...(I am determined to cut down on what I keep...unfortunately, I end up cooking instead of purging the pile!) and I paged through a few cookbooks that just happened to have gotten mixed into the pile...I hadn't seen them in a very long time! 

I had been thinking of a pasta dish that could accompany the flank steak that the Kitchen Gnome was going to barbecue.  Since I could find nothing that excited me, I created my own.

Pasta with Prosciutto, Asparagus, and Peas

Serves 8

 8 oz thin asparagus, cut into 1 inch lengths
1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 oz slices of prosciutto, cut into 1/4 inch strips
8 oz mushrooms
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 green onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp flour
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley for garnish

1 pound pasta
Remaining grated Parmesan cheese

Cook asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer a bowl and set aside.  Reserve water in pot.

Melt butter in skillet over medium-low heat.  Add prosciutto and stir about 2 minutes.  Add mushrooms and saute until golden.  Add garlic and green onion.  Cook 1 minute.  Add flour and cook for about a minute but do not brown.  Stir in broth and cream, asparagus, and peas. Cook, stirring constantly until smooth and thickened, 3-4 minutes.  Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan.  Turn off heat and mix in the tomatoes.

Bring reserved water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook until tender but firm to bite, stirring occasionally.  Drain.  Add pasta to skillet with sauce and toss to coat over low heat.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat.  Stir in remaining Parmesan.  Transfer to large serving dish. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


This was really good!

It matched up to the flank steak beautifully.  A delicious meal!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bread Pudding with Brandy Sauce

 I found myself looking at too many loaves of bread in the bread drawer.  There was some for the birds but still too much waiting to be eaten.  When faced with this situation, bread pudding is what comes to mind!  I love the many different ways that the pudding can be prepared.  In July I used a recipe that had raisins, coconut, and pecans with a lemon rum sauce.  As a lover of bread pudding I must say that it was fabulous. 

This time I wanted to try another recipe, one with brandy sauce.  I found this recipe in feast of eden, a Junior League Cookbook from Monterey County.  On the very last page of the cookbook is an excellent bread pudding recipe.

I followed my own advice from last July.  I checked the pantry first.  I actually had heavy cream and enough milk in the refrigerator!  I used more bread than it called for.  I used about ten slices of sour dough bread.

Bread Pudding with Brandy Sauce
  from feast of eden

Serves 4-6

3 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups milk
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup margarine or butter, melted
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins
8 slices of stale French bread, cut 1/2 inch thick

Brandy Sauce
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 Tbsp milk
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup brandy, or to taste

Pudding:  Mix together all ingredients except the bread.  Put bread pieces in a large bowl.  Pour the egg mixture over the bread slices and let sit 20 minutes.  Lightly grease a 4 quart baking dish, and place bread slices in it.  If there is any egg mixture left, pour it over the bread.  Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes or until the custard is set and the top is slightly browned.

Brandy Sauce:  In medium saucepan, cook over low heat the sugar, butter and milk until the sugar dissolves.  Cool 5 minutes.  Stir in beaten egg and liquor to taste.  Serve over warm or room temperature bread pudding.


The Brandy Sauce was absolutely to die for...
I need to find something else I can use it on. 
I couldn't get enough of it!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

The Kitchen Gnome's comment was, "They don't have much sugar.  These are healthy!"  Well, I don't know how healthy but I did have two and took half of them to work so that the gals could all share the "health"!

Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies is this month's Barefoot Blogger recipe.  It was selected by Leslie at Lethally Delicious.  They are lethally delicious!  This is a keeper recipe.  It gives competition to my mom's recipe and hers are outstanding.  The recipe comes from the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics Cookbook.  If you do not have it in your cookbook library, you are missing out.  This is just one of many great recipes from the cookbook.

The recipe is also available here at Food Network.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Bird in Passing

We have gone to numerous places to view the wild flowers.  Along the way we have seen many birds.  I was able to capture a picture or two and would like to share them with you.

On the backyard fence, a Cooper's Hawk eyes the sparrows who scattered under the bushes.

Being able to capture a road runner is really special.  They are usually so fast that one doesn't have time to focus!  These were running in the orange grove that we passed on our way to Wind Wolves Preserve to see the wild flowers.

The meadow lark's song is quite distinctive.  This one sat on a fence post long enough for me to snap a picture.

There are so many types of sparrows that identifying them can be a challenge.  My daughter refers to them a "little brown jobs!"

When we arrived at the coast I had to go to a few of our favorite spots.  This curlew was standing close to shore at Sweet Springs Preserve in Los Osos.

It wouldn't be a trip to the coast without my friend, the egret.  I ended up with a very sore neck trying to take this picture.  They nest near the top of the eucalyptus trees.  I was able to get one shot of it at the nest.  (I need a tripod!)  I am so glad that we are no longer killing them so that we can collect feathers for hats!

 These house finches were hanging around Morro Rock.

And last, but not least, the only non-bird in the group!!  (Smile!)  I couldn't resist sharing a picture of the sea otters. Aren't they adorable?  They were diving for crabs!

 Thank you for joining me on a bird tour today.  Isn't Outdoor Wednesday fun?  Do stop by A Southern Daydreamer and take a look at the other outdoor explorations!  Thank  you Susan, for hosting!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

BLT Potato Salad

 The first thing the Kitchen Gnome said when I told him I had a new potato salad recipe that I wanted to try was, "Don't mess with the potato salad recipe.  Yours is great.  I don't want another kind."  Those are nice compliments....but I really wanted to try this new recipe.  I told him that he would love it, it had bacon in it!  (How else does one appeal?  Bacon added to anything is great!)  I was definitely making this potato had spoken to me!!

I saw the recipe while cruising through Food With Style, Jain's wonderful collection of photo links.  There was a photograph that said, "You will want to make me!"  So, I clicked and found myself on a blog that was new to me, Home is Where the Boat is!  Mary has a great blog and on this day she was participating in the Edible Book Review that is hosted by Jain, at Food for Thought

The recipe is credited to Southern Living, September 2005 and can be found here.  I made a few adaptations to it....and, I was in such a hurry to eat it that I forgot the "L"!  The lettuce leaves remained in the refrigerator...maybe next time...  I always allow my warm potatoes to marinade in oil and vinegar until they are cool so that step has been added.  Our potato salad preferences call for a hint of mustard.  This dressing had a stronger mustard taste than we like, so I adjusted the proportions.

BLT Potato Salad
adapted from Southern Living

Serves 6-8

3 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup grape tomatoes, whole if they are small or cut in half if they are large
3 green onions, tops only, sliced
3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
4-5 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
Lettuce leaves

1 1/3 cup mayonnaise
4 Tbsp pickle relish
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
3/4 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender.  Drain.  Transfer to a large bowl.
Drizzle some oil and red wine vinegar over the potatoes.  Allow potatoes to cool.

In a separate bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients.  Taste and adjust, as needed.

Add tomatoes, green onion tops and eggs to the potatoes.  Pour desired amount of dressing over the potatoes and gently mix until well blended.  Add the crumbled bacon just before serving.

Serve on lettuce leaves.


I am very happy to be able to share this recipe with all of you at today's Saturday Blog Showcase.  Thank you Mary at Home is Where the Boat is for the inspiration!  Saturday Blog Showcase is hosted weekly by Ann of Thibeault's Table and Lori at All That Splatters.

 Stop by and take a look!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spinach Salad with Strawberry and Kiwi

It is spring and time to prepare something that is light and flavorful.  We have been getting kiwis in our veggie box for the last two weeks so I have been searching for different recipes that use kiwi fruit.  Kiwi fruit are native to China and were not introduced to the western world until the beginning of the 20th century.  In 1910 the first kiwi fruit were harvested in the United States.  It wasn't until 1970 that California grew and harvested its first kiwi fruit.

Spinach Salad with Strawberry and Kiwi

6 cups spinach, rinsed and torn into bite size pieces
6-8 strawberries, quartered or thinly sliced
2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
About 1/2 cup pecan pieces

1/3 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp raspberry vinegar
2 Tbsp raspberry jam

Mix together the dressing ingredients in a small container.

Place a serving of spinach on a salad plate.  Arrange strawberries and kiwis on the spinach.  Sprinkle with pecan pieces.  Drizzle with the dressing dressing.


This salad is being served at Foodie Friday!  Thank you Michael for hosting the weekly event.  Take a few minutes to stop by Designs by Gollum to enjoy the other dishes being prepared!