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My Grandma passed away at the age of 94. She was a wonderful cook and I was lucky enough to inherit her recipes. Many date back to the 1940s and 50s. Grandma prepared them in a charming country kitchen with no running water and most of her produce came from her garden, not from the grocery store. These are made-from-scratch recipes. I wish I had spent more time with her in the kitchen and . . . I wish I had spent more time with her for so many other reasons.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Rhubarb Sherbet with Fresh Strawberry Sauce

My grandparents grew rhubarb in their garden, and I used to love the desserts Grandma would make with rhubarb.

4 cups cubed rhubarb
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon rind
2 egg whites
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Strawberry Sauce
2 pints strawberries
1 Tbsp sugar

To begin, boil the diced rhubarb in a half-cup of water until it is tender.  This should take about 10 - 15 minutes.  While continuing to cook add 1 cup of sugar to the rhubarb, stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Remove the mixture from heat and add corn syrup, orange juice, lemon juice and lemon rind.  Turn the mixture into a chilled bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool.

Beat the egg whites, 2 Tbsp sugar and 1/4 tsp of salt until foamy.  Slowly add the chilled rhubarb syrup to egg whites.  Whisk together until well combined.  Pour solution into an ice cream freezer and rotate the freezer as you would if you were making homemade ice cream.  Transfer the firm sorbet into a container and place in the freezer.  If you d not have an ice cream maker, pour the solution into a shallow dish and freeze until sherbet is frozen around the edges.  Remove from freezer, mix until smooth and refreeze until almost solid.  Repeat this process two more times

While the sherbet is freezing you can make the strawberry sauce.  Place 2/3 of the washed and hulled strawberries and 2 Tbsp of sugar in food processor or blender.  Puree the strawberries, adding water is necessary, until smooth but not too runny.  Slice the remaining strawberries and fold into sauce.

Just before you are ready to serve the sherbet, stir it briefly with a spoon to make it creamy.  Serve cold, topped with the strawberry sauce.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring Fever

I'm anxious to spend some quality time outdoors planting my hanging baskets and weeding my flower gardens.  That has left me with little creativity for the kitchen.  Bear with me as I make my way through the next couple of weeks to get my outdoor world looking presentable.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Orange -Thyme Veggie Trio

3 medium beets
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 2" lengths
2 lbs acorn squash, cut into 1" slices
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tsp olive oil
1 tsp thyme (divided)
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
zest and juice of 1 orange
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Wrap beets in a double layer of aluminum foil, seal and bake for 75 minutes or until soft.

In a bowl toss together carrots, squash, garlic, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp thyme, and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper.  Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast alongside the beets until just tender and golden, 35 - 40 minutes.  Peel skin from cooked beets by rubbing with a paper towel, then cut beets into 1" pieces.  Set aside.

Measure orange juice, then add enough vinegar to equal 2/3 cup.  Whisk together juice, vinegar and 1/4 tsp salt and drizzle in 2 Tbsp olive oil, whisking constantly.  Add 1/2 tsp thyme leaves and zest.  Place vegetables on a serving dish and add orange vinaigrette.

I have to wonder how Grandma knew how to make veggies so delicious.  I probably wouldn't have eaten them as a kid, but now, this sounds awesome.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Brown Sugar Chews - The easiest dessert ever!

Grandma knew all of the secrets of a good cook!  This was a simple, but so delicious recipe of hers.  It's almost like a small bite of pecan pie in cookie form.  They absolutely melt in your mouth!

1 egg white
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup pecans (chopped)

Beat egg white until stiff and frothy.  Add brown sugar and continue beating.  Stir in flour ans salt.  Fold in pecans.  Drop by small teaspoon on buttered cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.

Cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bacon and Cheese Egg Casserole

This is a great idea for Easter breakfast, but with a modification or two it could easily become breakfast for dinner any night of the week.

6 green onions (green and white parts sliced)
1 tomato (chopped) divided
1/2 lb bacon slices
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 dozen eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Reserve 2 Tbsp each of the green onions and tomatoes.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  Cut bacon into 1" pieces into hot pan.  Cook until crisp.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towel.

Add 2 Tbsp of bacon fat to a 10" skillet.  Add sliced mushrooms to drippings;  cook until tender.  Remove from heat.  Add bacon to skillet with remaining onions and tomatoes.  Mix well.

Whisk eggs and sour cream until well blended.  Pour into greased 13 x 9" baking dish.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Top with bacon mixture and cheeses.

Bake for 30 minutes or until center is set.  Top with reserved onions and tomatoes.  Let stand 5 minutes before cutting to serve.

To make this a dinner dish, add one thinly sliced/diced zucchini with the mushrooms.