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Pineapple in a Cloud

 Real whipping cream and pineapple: what’s not to like! 🙂

Pineapple Whip

This recipe is from an old magazine clipping that Lowell’s Grandma, Gladys Trenholm, passed on to us. It is at least 50 years old and is THE top dessert ever for our family. It was originally called “Pineapple Whip”, but since there is a well known modern recipe that is different and uses packaged whipping cream, we’ve decided to rename ours to:

Pineapple in a Cloud

Ingredients:

1-cup white sugar
19 oz. Can crushed Pineapple
Pulp and zest of 1 lemon or 1 tsp. of lemon flavoring
1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
1-cup cold water
1 pkg. Gelatin (7g)
1-½ cups whipping cream (3 cups whipped)
1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

1. Boil sugar, pineapple, pulp, zest and juice for 10 minutes, remove from heat.
2. Meanwhile, dissolve gelatin in cold water.
3. Add gelatin and water to hot mixture.
4. Cool, stirring occasionally until as thick as honey.
5. Chill cream, bowl and beaters.
6. Beat cream and vanilla, fold into cooled mixture.
7. Chill and serve. Received by:

Granny Trenholm (1911-2011)

Old Fashioned Popcorn – Simplified & Perfected

Perfect Popcorn

When my husband and I were first married, I really didn’t know how to cook much of anything, but a good cookbook (given to me by my mother-in-law) and a great husband who was also a good cook, taught me much. So having my husband perfect old fashioned, stove top popcorn is of no surprise to me.

Two Christmas’ ago, one of our daughters – Cynthia – gave him this popcorn maker. At first, he looked at it as a gimick, but quickly learned its great potential. This type of unit is available at many stores, including amazon.com, etc. Simply do a search for  “Stovetop popcorn popper.” Cynthia bought it at Homesense.

Orville Popcorn

Stove-Top Popcorn Popper

It came with some pre-packaged, seasoned popping corn, which turned out really well, but were on the pricey side to continue buying, so my husband decided to try making some on his own. Through a few trials and a few errors, he truly perfected the recipe and procedure with obsolutely no burned kernels.

Important notes:

Powderized salt: Take regular table salt, or sea salt (preferred) and grind it in a spice grinder to a fine powder. Using salt right out of the box just doesn’t distribute properly on the popcorn. The salt gets put right in with the oil, so the kernels are perfectly coated.

Oil/Fat: This system really doesn’t work well with butter, as it burns easily, but grape seed oil gives a great taste and works better than Canola, as it has a higher heat tolerance so does not turn to trans-fats, and is not GMO like Canola.

Popping corn: We buy a big jug of Orville Rendenbackher at Costco, but any popping corn should work fine.

Orville Popcorn

Ingredients:

1/2 tsp. Powderized salt
1/4 cup Oil
3/4 cup Popping corn

Yield:

Approximately 1 gallon

Directions:

1. Place popping corn, salt and oil in popper, and stir around to coat kernels evenly with salt and oil. Close lid.

 Ingredients

2. Turn stove burner under popper on high, stir occasionaly every 10-15 seconds until popping starts.

3. Stir steadily until difficult to turn handle. This is due to pot now being filled with popped corn.

4. Tricky Part: Listen for the sound of popping to slow down to 1-2 per second, and turn off heat. If you leave on too long, you will have burnt kernels and corn at the bottom. If that happens, just remove unburned portion as it is fine to eat. If you remove from heat too soon, you will have many unpopped kernels.

Multiple Batches:

Two to three batches can be done in a row as long as no burning occured. After 3 pots, there are burnt particles regardless, so it’s best to stop, clean the popper and resume. It can simply be rinsed with hot water for more batches, but must be fully dry to resume popping. When done popping, wash thoroughly with hot soapy water, and scrub pad if needed, and dry thoroughly before storing for future use.

Enjoy!

 

Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream, Walnuts and Arugula

Another simple and amazing Italian pasta recipe I tried by Chef Pietro at Valoroso Foods this week.  I cannot stress enough how much I HATE blue cheese, but this dish had me going “Wow!” This cremy Bechamel based dish has a wonderful tang. I’ve modified the recipe to reduce the amount of blue cheese in the original recipe to 1/4 of the original ,as the full amount was just too strong for us.  The picture below also features meatloaf, but I haven’t written up a recipe for that yet, as mine tends to change depending on my moods…. oh…. I guess it always changes then! LOL

Gnocchi
 Gnocchi with Meatloaf

Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream, Walnuts and Arugula

Ingredients

1 – 500g pack Gnocchi (any flavour)
40g Gorgonzola (bue) cheese, crumbled into pieces
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup Bechamel sauce
100g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
50g chopped walnuts, toasted
1 handful arugula leaves

Directions:

For the Gorgonzola cream:

  1. Once you’ve made the Bechamel sauce (recipe below), leave the burner on medium-low and add the Gorgonzola.
  2. Once the cheese has melted, simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  3. Season to taste with pepper and nutmeg.

Gnocchi:

  1. Bring a large saucepan of water with 1 teaspoon salt to boil. 
  2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the gnocchi 2-3 minutes. They will rise to the surface when cooked.
  3. Remove gnocchi from the water, drain well and place in large heat proof bowl.

Assembly:

  1. Preheat the broiler to high.
  2. Pour the Gorgonzola sauce over the gnocchi and toss to coat.
  3. Sprinkle with the Parmesan.
  4. Place the bowl on a baking sheet and broil the gnocchi for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and turning golden.
  5. Serve immediately topped with fresh black pepper, toasted walnuts and arugula leaves.

Bechamel (Basic White Sauce)

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Flour
1 Cups Milk

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.
  2. Add flour and stir until the butter and flour are well combined.
  3. Pour in milk, stirring constantly as it thickens. Add more milk depending on desired consistency.

Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms, Eggplant & Sundried Tomato

While visiting our daughter Brianna at Valoroso Foods a few weeks ago, we were given a sample of this freshly cooked dish by Italian Chef Pietro. I’m very thankful he had the recipe printed out for clients to take. It is delicious and easy to prepare.

I have added a few notes  as he relayed them, and what I did different.

Porcini mushrooms are very “earthy”, and some consider them too strong. We really love the flavour and feel that they “make the dish”.

Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms & Eggplant

Italian name: Paccheri Al Profumi Di Terra (Rough translation: Paccheri Pasta and Perfume of the Earth.

This recipe calls for Paccheri pasta, but any will do. I used leftover linguine noodles.

Ingredients:

500g pasta
2 large eggplants
50g sundried tomato
100g fresh mushrooms
30g dried Porcini mushrooms (Soak them 20 min before –  I used fresh and did not soak them) 10g flour Salt & Pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Garlic and Parsley
100g smoked Provolone (I used smoked Havarti)
100 ml warm milk

Instructions:

1. Dice the eggplant and put it into a pan with oil, garlic and parsley – light fry.
2. Add the sliced sundried tomato (I minced them) and both types of mushrooms. Let it cook for 15 minutes on low heat.
3. Add the flour and lastly the milk. Cook over low heat, sirring occasionaly until flour is cooked and milk has thickened into a nice sauce.
4. Add the cooked pasta and the smoked cheese, either grated or shredded, and stir in to melt. 5. Serve with a salad or vegi tray.

A Twist on Hot Turkey Sandwiches

Lunch today was made easy by prep that happened at Christmas time. We put an appropriate mix of leftover Christmas turkey and gravy in freezer bags to enjoy at a later time, and it sure came in handy today! I took the bag out of the freezer yesterday morning, and thawed it in the fridge overnight..

Extra ingredients needed for the “twist”:

– Loaf of garlic bread
– Sliced ham (we love porscuito, westphalean or some other smoked ham)
– Swiss or a smoke cheese

Directions:

– Leaving or wrapping garlic bread in foil, place garlic bread in oven and heat to 350F. Turn off and let sit in oven while working on the rest of supper

– Reheat the turkey/gravy blend on the stove-top at medium-low heat, stirring now and then to prevent burning. Turn off burner when heated through. 

– Meanwhile, make a salad or vegi tray for a healthy side dish.

– When meat is heated through, remove garlic bread from oven, turn on broiler. Place bread on baking sheet. Open and spread on preferred mount of turkey/gravy mixture.

– Top with ham and cheese, then place under broiler for 2-3 minutes to melt cheese. Remove from oven, close up the bread to make sandwich, and slice as desired to serve.

Sorry there’s no picture, but I’m sure you get the picture. 🙂

Chocolate Chunk Brownies

I’ve had this recipe for close to 20 years now from recipe cards that came in the mail. It is a family and church favourite, and I don’t know what else to say about these other than, “YUMMY!” Enjoy!

Chocolate Chunk Brownies

 

I only use Dutch Cocoa, versus “Fry’s Cocoa”, as we find it is richer in flavour, and the darker colour is more appealing.

Chocolate Chunk Brownies

For One 8 by 8-inch pan of brownies you will need:

½ cup butter or margarine

½ cup all purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

½ tsp. baking powder

2 eggs

½ cup toasted almonds, pecans or walnuts

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp. Vanilla

4 oz. sweet chocolate chips, or chocolate

1. Melt butter. Add the sugar, eggs, cocoa and vanilla. Combine the flour and baking powder. Stir into the chocolate mixture.

2. Toast the nuts by spreading in a single layer in a shallow pan. Bake at 325F for 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Add the chips or coarsely chop the chocolate squares, keeping in large chunks. Stir in the nuts and chocolate to batter. Spread batter in an 8 by 8 inch baking pan that is lightly greased.

4. Bake at 350F for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out barely moist. Cool in pan on a rack. Cut into squares and serve.

Blender Hollandaise Sauce

I really enjoy Hollandaise Sauce (ie. sauce on Eggs Bennedict) but find it tedious to make with the double boiler on the stove-top. However, there is an easy way – with a blender. I found these recipes online on several sites and they are sooooo yummy! They have all the same ingredients as the classic, but no double boiler and no chance of the sauce separating.

Eggs Benedict-01

Blender Hollandaise Sauce:

Recipe #1

INGREDIENTS:

3 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 dash hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™)
1/2 cup butter

DIRECTIONS:

1. In the blender container, combine the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce. Cover, and blend for about 5 seconds.
2. Place the butter in a glass measuring cup. Heat butter in the microwave for about 1 minute, or until completely melted and hot.
3. Set the blender on high speed, and pour the butter into the egg yolk mixture in a thin stream. It should thicken almost immediately.
4. Keep the sauce warm until serving by placing the blender container in a pan of hot tap water.

Recipe #2

INGREDIENTS

1 large egg yoke
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Directions

1. Put the egg yolk, lemon juice, and cayenne in a blender. Pulse a couple times to combine.

2. Put the butter in a small microwave safe bowl and melt in a microwave until just melted.

3. With the blender running, gradually add the melted butter into the egg to make a smooth frothy sauce. If the sauce is very thick, blend in a teaspoon of lukewarm water loosen it up.

4. Season with the salt and serve immediately or keep warm in a small heat-proof bowl set over hot (but not simmering) water until ready to serve.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/blender-hollandaise-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

 

 

 

"She… worketh willingly with her hands." Proverbs 31:13