Pear Hot Toddies

Argh that there glass makes me want some meat on a stick

Argh that there glass makes me want some meat on a stick

On with our quest to use up an overstock of homemade jam. Katherine recently used pear preserves to create a champagne cocktail, so when we were given a batch of homemade pear butter we made a similar concoction to give the traditional Hot Toddy a distinctly fall twist. The recipe below serves two.

Pear Hot Toddies

  • 3 ounces brandy
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup pear butter or preserves
  • boiling water

Mix pear butter with a third cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for five minutes. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve. (If you don’t want to waste the discarded bits, through them in a batch of muffins.) Set tea kettle to boil. Divide pear mix between two large coffee mugs. Add a half teaspoon lemon juice to each mug and one and a half ounces of brandy. Fill with boiling water. Garnish with lemon or pear slices.

 

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Our Favorite Pumpkin Recipes

Fall weather arrives later in these parts, but our kitchen at least can smell like autumn. Here are some of our favorite ways, sweet and savory, to enjoy pumpkin.

Pumpkin Gnocchi

Tasty little dumplings

Tasty little dumplings

Pumpkin Biscotti

Try these for the next halloween party

Try these for the next Halloween party

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

I eat these by the handful

I eat these by the handful

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Maple Whipped Cream

Substitute this if you are tired  of pumpkin pie

Substitute this if you are tired of pumpkin pie

Pumpkin Muffins

The one in the back is deformed, quick eat it first

The one in the back is deformed, quick eat it first

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Just need a dab of whipped cream

Just need a dab of whipped cream

Pumpkin Bisque with Shrimp

Crawfish would also work well

Crawfish would also work well

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Extra powdered sugar is always good

Extra powdered sugar is always good

Fall Calzones

More cheese can never hurt

More cheese can never hurt

Pumpkin Dip

That cookie needs to cool off so it went for a dip

That cookie needs to cool off so it went for a dip

Whole Pumpkin Soup

So much milky goodness inside

So much milky goodness inside

Pumpkin Molasses Bread

Perfect for breakfast or dessert

Perfect for breakfast or dessert

And of course… Maple-Bourbon Pumpkin Pie

Pie is perfect for breakfast as well

Pie is perfect for breakfast as well

Posted in Dessert, Dinner, Food, Recipes, Seafood | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Meatballs with Sweet Plum Sauce

Italian and Asian combined... how very Marco Polo of me

Italian and Asian combined… how very Marco Polo of me

These are a perfect addition to any sports event party, or any party, or as a personal snack.

Nothing says these cannot be a main course as well.

Veal Meatballs with Sweet Plum Sauce

for meatballs

  • 1 lb ground veal
  • 1 cup onion finely diced
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1/8 cup red wine
  • Salt/pepper
  • Bread crumbs

for sauce

  • 2 tbsp plum jelly
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp butter

Mix meatball ingredients together and add enough bread crumbs to make a rough mass. Form into golf ball-sized meatballs and place on a greased baking tray. Bake at 365 degrees until cooked through turning once. Mix all sauce ingredients together except onion. In a large saute pan heat butter. Saute onion over medium until softened. Add sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook until sauce begins to thicken, about five minutes. Add meatballs and toss to coat. Continue to cook until sauce is thick. Serve hot.

Posted in Appetizers, Food, Italian, Recipes | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Spaghetti Amatriciana

Mmmmmmmmmm pasta

Mmmmmmmmmm pasta

This is a simple pasta that is perfect as a first course or light dinner. Fresh tomatoes can be used instead canned if available, just make sure to skin them first.

Spaghetti Amatriciana

  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup diced pancetta
  • 1 onion sliced paper thin
  • 14 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1-2 fresh cayenne peppers diced fine
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1/8 cup romano
  • Salt/pepper

In a four-quart pot saute pancetta over medium-low heat until fat is rendered and meat begins to just brown. Add onion and continue to saute on low until onion is deep golden brown. Add cayenne pepper and saute. Add tomatoes, wine and basil, bring to a high simmer then cover and cook on low until sauce is fairly thick but still has a bit of liquid to coat the pasta, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile cook pasta to al dente then drain and coat with olive oil. Add cheese and toss to pasta. When sauce is ready pour over pasta and toss well to coat. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Posted in Dinner, Food, Italian, Recipes | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Sunday Suppers: Save Room For Dessert

It’s finally feeling like fall here, at least this week. We’ll fire up the oven before the temperature spikes again. Since this meal is so healthy looking we couldn’t resist adding dessert.

Baked Butternut Squash

It looks almost like sweet potatoes

It looks almost like sweet potatoes

Stuffed Pork Loin

The fat is good

The fat is good

Chocolate Souffle

So rich and creamy

So rich and creamy

Posted in Dessert, Dinner, Food, Pork, Sides | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Red Cabbage Bread Casserole

This is called a guts shot

This is called a guts shot

This is a really fantastic strata that is also low in fat. If you want it to be high in fat add more cheese and use butter to toast the bread. Cream can not hurt in the broth either.

I used a mixture of rye and whole wheat bread but flax seed and ten-grain torpedo are good alternatives. The recipe below is adapted from Piatto Unico: When One Course Makes a Real Italian Meal.

Red Cabbage Bread Casserole

  • 1 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Romano grated
  • 4 cups red cabbage thinly sliced
  • 4 cups day old whole grain bread mixture cut into cubes
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt/pepper
  • 6 ounces brie

Coat bread cubes in 1/8 cup Romano, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toast in an oven at 275 degrees until lightly browned and dry, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spread toasted bread into a greased 9×13 baking dish. In a large saute pan melt butter and saute onion until dark golden brown. Add cabbage and saute until it begins to caramelize. Pour in the wine and deglaze pan. Cook mixture until all liquid is absorbed, then spoon vegetables over bread cubes. Whisk stock and eggs together until frothy, then add oregano and half the parsley. Pour mixture over bread and let set in the refrigerator for at least two hours, but overnight for best results. Top with cheeses and remaining parsley, cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees until bubbly. Remove foil and bake until top begins to brown, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.

 

Posted in Breakfast, Food, Italian, Recipes, vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Apple Butter Muffins

Fresh coffee and sliced fruit go well with this

Fresh coffee and sliced fruit go well with this

A coworker of Katherine’s unloaded some of her extra jam on us. It was all really tasty, but a few years old so we wanted to make sure it didn’t sit long at our house. We know from watching a certain zombie show that canned food has a long shelf life, but until the zombie apocalypse comes we’ll try not to let things linger in our pantry. These muffins are quite chunky. If you want them to be less so, cut back or omit the fresh apples. We didn’t add sugar because the apple butter was sweet enough. Feel free to adjust the sweetness.

Apple Butter Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk*
  • 1/2 cup apple butter, plus one tablespoon
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp chopped pecans
  • 1 large apple, cored and diced (about 1 1/2 cups)

Preheat oven to 400. Grease 12 regular muffin cups. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Create a well in the center and add 1/2 cup apple butter, buttermilk, butter, egg. Stir to incorporate. Fold in apples and nuts. Divide batter between muffin cups. Use a pastry brush to brush the remaining apple butter on the muffin tops. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Notes: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can put a half tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in your measuring cup and fill it the rest of the way to the half-cup mark with regular milk. Let stand for five minutes before using.

Posted in Breakfast, Food, Recipes, Things in Jars | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments