Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tots aka Cauliflower Tots

Tots just Tots
 if anyone asks they are just Tots
no one will ever know

 pretty cauliflower ....now let's make it yummy tots!!

this is a very large head of cauliflower it would have easily made a double batch
I wish I made a double batch
 easy, fun to make,
yummy....... oh yea I said that

I like to core my cauliflower before cutting off the flowerets
I find it easier to cut

the head was large my flowerets were large
they measured 3 cups of flowerets
steam the flowerets 15-20 minutes
soft but not mushy
unless you like a more mashed potato style tot

drain the cooked cauliflower then mash
you want it to crumble like cutting in biscuit or pie dough
add egg, cheese, seasoning

shape into tots
tots are small ........we aren't making nuggets
roll in breadcrumbs, place on parchment lined cookie sheet
these are so easy a child could make them!!


noooo..... that's not my snack for tomorrow
I'm testing their freezability
I really want to make a quadruple batch

Cauliflower Tots

2-3 cups cauliflower flowerets
1 egg
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup breadcrumbs, I used 4C gluten free crumbs
chicken broth - optional

Place the cauliflower in a large saucepan, pour broth  or water over just to cover the pan by 1/4  inch.  Steam the cauliflower about 15 minutes until soft but not mushy, drain.   Mash with a fork
you want it to be crumbly (like cutting in biscuit or pie dough) add egg, cheese, seasoning.
Shape into tots, roll in breadcrumbs, place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  If you don't have parchment paper spray sheet with cooking spray.
Bake 400 degrees, 12 minutes, turn tots, bake another 8 minutes.
makes 27 tator tot size tots
 I like to use chicken broth for steaming cauliflower in place of water to me it softens the flavor, cauliflower can be a bit bitter.
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper would give a little zing without to much heat

Monday, April 27, 2015

It's Oriole Season time to get your oranges sliced............

May is when the Orioles
migrate thru New England
get your feeders ready

 GrampaBob & Gram always had colorful birds in their yard
Red Cardinals, Orange Orioles, Yellow Finches, Blue Jays
love, love,love to watch and feed the birds at their home

Gram would have me put sliced oranges on nails sticking out of the pine trees
GrandpaBob would tell me about the birds,
I loved all the bright colors......not much has changed......sigh
It takes time to attract the Orioles you need to start in the beginning of May
have patience it can take 2 weeks to attract Orioles
halve them, quarter them, slice them
as long as they are fresh the Orioles will enjoy them
I have put nails in a tree, lined my deck rails,  filled an onion mesh bag
today I'm taking a metal coat hanger
 put the slices on it and hang it from a tree branch
this should keep the squirrels from taking the oranges!
the cardinals are enjoying the oranges
I'll let ya know when the first Orioles arrive 
Audubon has great information about the Orioles
Birds in Bloom has great information about attracting Orioles


Friday, April 24, 2015

Strawberry Basil Martini

Fresh Strawberries Fresh Basil could life get any better........
Muddle the strawberries and basil add a little vodka
oh yea baby life just got better!!!

Strawberry Basil Martini
I love basil I use it in my favorite food group
the martini!

 the lemon didn't want to squeeze into the photo shoot
strawberry basil martinis are good ;0)

Homemade Muddler & Cocktail Shaker
my shaker was stuck shut tight
I wasn't giving up
strawberries in the jar start muddling
vodka shooters make great vases & muddlers

add the basil

vodka next

hmmm photographers a little tipsy .............
squeeze of lemon and ice
shake - shaking chills it while blending
a good martini is well chilled

strain into a chilled martini glass

Strawberry Basil Martini

6 fresh strawberries, cored and sliced
6 basil leaves
2 oz of simple syrup 
4 oz vodka
squeeze of 1/2 a lemon


 Grab your favorite shaker; add muddle strawberries, chilled simple syrup, and basil leaves together
 Add lots of ice,vodka and shake.
Strain into it into your martini glass, garnish with a basil leaf.

Basil VodkaI'm trying infused basil vodka by Tori Avey  I'll let you know in about a week how it tastes, If this works just think of the places we can go...............
Lemon Basil Martini
Cucumber Basil Martini
Vodka Watermelon

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mashed Potatoes slooowwcooker Oh yea!!!

Never going back
no boil overs
put ingredients in 
no babysitting
 walk away enjoy life
chop them large if you have 4 hours to cook them
If I had pretty red potatoes I wouldn't have peeled
I had ugly a bit aged potatoes peeling was a must
in a hurry jump start by putting your ingredient filled slowcooker in the microwave 10 minutes
 chopped mine real small with the jumpstart the potatoes were cooked in one hour
Pork Chops and Apples in the oven
potatoes in the slowcooker
I'm enjoying a martini with friends while dinner cooks

add more milk, butter  if potatoes are dry
no 2 potatoes are alike

totally in love

remember depending on the type of potato  cooking times will vary, allow extra time you can always keep them on warm while the rest of the meal cooks

Great with my Pork Chops and Apples

Slowcooker Mashed Potatoes
5 servings

6 med size potatoes, cubed, peeling is optional 
1 cup water
 ½ stick of butter
4 oz of cream cheese
½ tsp onion powder

1 clove garlic, crushed
 ¼ - 1/2 cup milk depending on how dry the potatoes are

 Salt and pepper to taste

Butter a 4-quart slowcooker, toss the potatoes, water garlic in then cover and cook on high until the potatoes are tender, about 4 hours. The potatoes might have browned lightly in spots but that is okay.
No need to drain another bonus, add the cream cheese, 1/4 cup  milk , onion powder, to the potatoes. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes until they are mostly smooth. If the potatoes need to be thinned out, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup warm milk. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Garnish with chives.

add crumbled cooked bacon, 1/2 cup shredded cheese,
2 tbs scallions or chives for a bake stuffed version

sour cream can be used in place of cream cheese

Monday, April 20, 2015

Pork Chops with Apples

Pork Chop with Apples
Yummy! Scrumptious! Divine! Delectable!
And oh so easy!
Prep is maybe 15 minutes bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours
You can enjoy your company, chill out, relax

I use Bell's Poultry Seasoning it's a New England Thing
I put potatoes in the crockpot for mashing before starting my Pork chops & Apples
recipe tomorrow
Slice the Onions put 1/2 the sliced onion in bottom of Dutch Oven or 13x9 dish
add all of the sliced carrots

rub the pork chops with the seasonings and place on the carrots
I use Bell's Poultry Seasoning it's a New England thing
if you don't have poultry seasoning use ground sage

top with the rest of onions and brown sugar

put apples on top placing over pork chops
it's the apples that keep the pork chops moist
cover, bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours depending on thickness of chops
potatoes are in crockpot
enjoy your time
grocery store chops tend to be thin and will only take 1 hr to cook,
slice carrots thin if you have real thin chops

ENJOY!!!!!   I am!!
Pork Chop and Apples 
Serving Size  : 6 
6   pork chops, 1 1/2" thick I prefer bone in for this recipe
1/2  teaspoon   salt
1/4  teaspoon   pepper
1/2  teaspoon   Bell’s Poultry Seasoning
3   large   onions, sliced
10   carrots, sliced
1/3  cup brown sugar, packed
3   apples, cored & halved
Rub spices on pork chops.  In bottom of large casserole layer sliced onions, sliced carrots, pork chops and sliced onions.  Sprinkle with brown sugar, place apples flat side down on top.  Cover and bake 2 hours at 350 degrees.  Baste with drippings.  Cooking time depends on thickness of chops.
grocery store chops tend to be thin and will only take 1 hr to cook,
slice carrots thin if you have real thin chops
this works in the crockpot I'll post how next time I make it
green beans would be great in this

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Cauliflower really does mash

Mashed Cauliflower surprisingly works very well!!
Now I love cauliflower so my opinion is a bit jaded
but Rene he has never been a cauliflower fan
Rene Loves mashed potatoes 
fish has to be served with mashed potatoes, really
So in our kick to get back to summer size mashed potatoes are not on the menu
Mashed Cauliflower has been posted all over social media
Now's my chance to try it
1 pretty head of cauliflower will make about 2-3 cups mashed

the smaller the flowerets the quicker it will steam

I like to steam my cauliflower with chicken stock
I've tried putting the stock in the pan then the cauliflower and that bitter edge stands out
the stock poured over the cauliflower then steamed makes the cauliflower sweet

My favorite Emulsion Blender
I would have fluffed up the mashed cauliflower but my emulsion blender is in Maine I'm not
every kitchen should have an emulsion blender, food chopper with whip.  It doesn't take much space, it's easy to clean.  I use mine for soups, whip cream, chopping garlic, peppers, carrots.
After steaming do not drain - just mash the liquid with the cauliflower
mine is hand mashed with a fork, still great
If you want fluffier use an emulsion blender, hand mixer or food processor
Rene loved the Mashed Cauliflower
I will continue to make it on occasion
cauliflower is not a cheap version of potatoes

Mashed Cauliflower

1/2 cup chicken broth
1 large head cauliflower
1 tbl cream cheese
3 tablespoons chives, snipped, about 12 blades

 Trim away greens and stems from the base of cauliflower. Cut flowerets off core with a sharp paring knife. Set flowerets into saucepan.  Pour broth over cauliflower giving the cauliflower a light coat helps take the bitterness away.  Cover pot, bring liquid to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low steam cauliflower, covered, until very soft 15-20 minutes.  Do not drain, mash the cauliflower, add  cream cheese and a splash of milk if it is dry. Season with salt & pepper.

 Stir in chives and transfer cauliflower to as serving dish.


A handful grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano ,1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg or
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tbs fresh rosemary
crumbled bacon
If you don't want dairy don't use cream cheese add a little stock or earth balance buttery spread