Sunday, March 4, 2012

Coming soon: talking coffee


We start our day with a cup of the bean so, tell us: what do you think about it? 

Do you drink coffee everyday? Before breakfast? With? How do you prepare it? I have a friend with a Bunn, he swears by it. Me? I'm looking into a MoccaMaster. And Jemma wouldn't part with her French Press, (but she drinks my coffee from the Cuisinart Thermal Carafe).
We seem to love it. It's a tradition, a ritual. 

We'll be celebrating a couple of weeks on the perfect cup coming up quite soon and we'd love to hear from you. Guest bloggers from Paris to the Pacific shore have lots for us to talk about.

Enjoy your morning cup and let us know -- how do you enjoy a cup?


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Chicken Broth Success

Don't freeze your broth in Mason Jars. They break. I know. I tried.
I am so happy with the success of the Chef John's Roasted Chicken Broth. Easy. Though, with my three days on the task you might not know it. But, believe me, that's just life with a high school schedule.

It is so very delicious. Rich, full of body and ready for carrots and onions, celery and the chicken breast remaining. Here's his recipe. We're having soup for lunch and saving the rest for later (in the freezer, of course).

When you make it (and you should), just give yourself the space on a Saturday. The flavor is much different than a standard homemade stock, which I love, but the richness and depth of flavor makes it just perfect as a simple soup base. And, it's not labor intensive, it just needs the stretch of 3 hours to cook.

I'm planning to add red pepper, tomato and sausage soup to one of these, too.

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Quick Apple Dumplings


Well, there's your picture. It happened before I got back to the kitchen this morning. 8 dumplings. 2 kiddos. 1 Dear Husband.

Ta da.
Poof.
Gone.

Here's the recipe and I believe you'll love it!
Set the oven at 350.

You'll need:
2 apples - Granny Smith are fine, I like Jazz
1/2 stick butter
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 container refrigerated crescent rolls

Cut the apples in quarters, skin on and core them.
Wrap the apples in the crescent roll strips and place them in a greased 8x8 baking pan.
Melt butter and sugar and whisk together lightly.
Pour over the wrapped apples and bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Breakfast? Dessert? Kiddo's snack? Just enjoy.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Chicken Broth, continued

We had a bit too much on our plate tonight, but the chicken broth finished it's simmering. This will be a staple for a Saturday from now on. My Dear grabbed a piece of the cold chicken breast and loved it. I had a tiny bowl of the broth for taste and can't wait to compile the soup.
That's coming up, but the worthy work is through and it really was no work at all.
Ahh. Chicken broth. In Ball Jars. Ready for soup.
So, on then to soup.
Tomorrow or so.

Do you have a favorite?

Chicken Broth update

Ok, I went and got the chicken.
But I went to Whole Foods (but not this one in Austin, Texas).


I became distracted by beautiful kales



Purple cauliflower


Sumo Mandarins


And the salad bar. 

Ai, ai, ai! My daughter and I spent over an hour looking and touching and dreaming. I grabbed some whey protein for morning smoothies and shocked my girl when I showed her the spinach I'd be adding. She's still recovering.

So, yes, we bought the chicken. But with the salad bar, right near the cold case where I picked up some cold roasted brussels sprouts (I promise, both my grandmothers are rolling over in their graves.) I acquiesced immediately to my girlie's request for their rotisserie chicken. Dinner? Done!

Last night I finally got to the Chicken Broth and I'll say this. It is worthy of some time. I roasted the chicken in the dutch oven as Chef John suggested, but I'm finicky about the breast meat coming up to 160 degrees. It took a bit longer than 45 minutes. Do temperature test the chicken when you try this. 

Then, after the stove top caramelizing and about one hour of simmering, I gave up for the night and put it in the refrigerator to wait. (I did cool it first.) So more on that later. The fragrance is superb and I can't wait to finish it tonight for chicken soup. 

I promise, we'll report on it when it's finally complete. Chef John's recipe is a keeper, or at least seems so for now. What I love over and over about his point of view is this, more of the chicken, less of the extras. This recipe doesn't want you to add anything to the broth as you go but one celery stalk, one onion and three little bruised garlic cloves.

It took a lot not to let my Dear have a spoonful. Mais non! It is not ready for tasting.

To be continued.

Til then, 
Vicki


  



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