Tag Archive | recipe

Blueberry Cheese Streusel Coffeecake

Blueberry Cheese Streusel Coffeecake

2 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 to 1 1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3/4 c. butter
To make batter, combine flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl; cut in butter as for pie crust. Reserve 1 cup of mixture. Add the following to the balance of the batter.

2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 c. milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl constantly. Pour evenly in greased 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Clearly, I used two loaf pans. I always like making two, so I can make my friends fat also.. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over batter.

Next make the cheese:
1 c. ricotta or cream cheese
1 egg
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. grated lemon peel
Blend cheese, egg, sugar and lemon peel until smooth, then spoon evenly over blueberries.

Streusel topping:
1 c. reserved mix
1/2 c. chopped nuts (I used walnuts – Can be omitted also)
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Make topping by mixing the reserved mix, nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over cheese layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool slightly before cutting.

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Fried Turkey, Cranberries, Stuffin’ et all!

This is a reblog of my recipes for my cranberries and stuffing =-)

We’ve been frying our turkey for years now. I’m not going to get into all the rules for frying here, although there are some funny EPIC FAILS on this topic!

I will share my recipe for stuffing though. Many who have come over to my house for Turkey Fry Friday in the past have asked me for it.

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I am horrible about placing ‘amounts’ on ingredients, as I add more of what I like and less of what I don’t. With this recipe, there really is no wrong answer. However, have these thing for the base and add things you like including: pork sausage, celery, carrots, use cornbread instead of plain bread, cranberries, raisins, water chestnuts (nice crunch!) or even nuts.

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Melt a stick of butter in a large pot. Cut up and combine everything except the chicken broth and stuffing. Here you see: Onion, Mushrooms, Celery and Apples.

I’m not really cooking it, just getting it started. I then add my seasonings like: Onion powder, salt/pepper, garlic, rosemary and of course some thyme. After this, I add my chicken broth.

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I then put my stuffing into a large bowl.

**As my family celebrated Thanksgiving November 2nd this year, ironically, I could not find stuffing (dried bread quarters) to save my life. I used fresh bread this time and the stuffing turned out like a bread pudding. Actually, everyone liked it more than normal!

Back to the directions…

Pour the pot mix over the stuffing and mix. Depending on how you like your stuffing (dry or moist) add more chicken broth or more stuffing to compensate. At this point I take a taste to see what I came up with. I tend to make mine moist, however you will loose some moisture cooking, be aware.

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Smash either into your turkey or into a oven safe dish if you are frying. Remember, you CANNOT fry the turkey stuffed. Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes.

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Although you really don’t need to inject anything into the bird for moisture, we like to add some garlic butter for some zing.

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Although my family loves the jelly-type cranberry sauce, I find it quite disgusting. This year I made fresh cranberry sauce, something I never thought of doing. It was a big smack to the head as to how easy it is and why I’ve not been doing it over the years.

  • 12oz of fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water

Other additions (after cooking): orange slices, raisins, cinnamon..

Boil all 3 ingredients while stirring until the berries ‘pop’. You will hear it. Then remove from heat, let cool and add other enhancements if wanted.

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Turkey Time!!

Most of the fails happen upon entry. Be sure your turkey is defrosted, dry (water will make it splatter) and you use the ‘2 person + pole’ method of dunking for safety.

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Almost down!

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It only takes 3 1/2 minutes per pound @ 350F. Pretty quick, IMO.

Hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving!!

Copyright – Ilex Farrell

Pot Roast and Rosy Fruit Wine

Pot roast is a winter comfort food of mine. I’ve grown-up making it this way.
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This wine has a nice, light fruit flavor, like adult Kool-ade. I’m not sure where I picked this wine up, it’s not local and I generally don’t go to liqueur stores. I like going to the winery and tasting the wine. I’ve picked-up way too many cooking wines, i.e. wines that I can’t drink, however are fine for cooking.

  • 1 – 3 pound Chuck Roast
  • Flour or potato starch for searing / thickening the gravy.
  • 2-3 tbsn. of Soy Sauce
  • 1 cup of beef broth
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • Potatoes, carrots or any other stew type veggie you have around.

In either a large pot or a pressure cooker (my preferred method) saute the onion, then remove. Flour the meat and brown the sides. I sprinkle a bit of soy sauce on now, return the onions, cup of beef broth, add veggies then enough water to cover. Cook until tender. Add soy sauce to taste & thicken gravy to your liking. 15 minutes per pound in a pressure cooker, nice. They’re not just for bombs anymore. Too soon?

© – Ilex Farrell

Beef Stroganoff and White Wine

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It is a bit of a tradition in my house to make prime rib for Christmas dinner. I always tend to buy a larger-than-needed roast, so I can enjoy a ‘twofer’ meal and make stroganoff the next day.

Again, I’m a taster-cooker, meaning my tastes dictate the amount of ingredient. Also how much leftovers you have. Here’s a good place to start.

Start the egg noodle water and cook as directed. For two, about 2 cups of finished noodles.

Cube enough left-over meat for your tastes. For two (hungry) people, about 3 cups of meat. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet – chop one medium onion (I like to use sweet, however a yellow is fine). Caramelize the onions, then remove to a holding bowl.

Chop about 10 mushrooms into small pieces. Brown and add to your holding bowl.

Brown meat.

Reduce heat. Add onion, mushrooms and egg noodles to skillet. Add about 1 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon of tarragon, 4-6 tablespoons of butter, and about a cup of sour cream. This is done cooking, it just needs to be blended.

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I’m not a wine snob. I match my wine as I like it. Although this is beef, I felt because of the white sauce, it needed a lighter (white) tasting wine.

Fried Turkey, Stuffin’ et al!

We’ve been frying our turkey for years now. I’m not going to get into all the rules for frying here, although there are some funny EPIC FAILS on this topic!

I will share my recipe for stuffing though. Many who have come over to my house for Turkey Fry Friday in the past have asked me for it.

image

I am horrible about placing ‘amounts’ on ingredients, as I add more of what I like and less of what I don’t. With this recipe, there really is no wrong answer. However, have these thing for the base and add things you like including: pork sausage, celery, carrots, use cornbread instead of plain bread, cranberries, raisins, water chestnuts (nice crunch!) or even nuts.

image

Melt a stick of butter in a large pot. Cut up and combine everything except the chicken broth and stuffing. Here you see: Onion, Mushrooms, Celery and Apples.

I’m not really cooking it, just getting it started. I then add my seasonings like: Onion powder, salt/pepper, garlic, rosemary and of course some thyme. After this, I add my chicken broth.

image

I then put my stuffing into a large bowl.

**As my family celebrated Thanksgiving November 2nd this year, ironically, I could not find stuffing (dried bread quarters) to save my life. I used fresh bread this time and the stuffing turned out like a bread pudding. Actually, everyone liked it more than normal!

Back to the directions…

Pour the pot mix over the stuffing and mix. Depending on how you like your stuffing (dry or moist) add more chicken broth or more stuffing to compensate. At this point I take a taste to see what I came up with. I tend to make mine moist, however you will loose some moisture cooking, be aware.

image

Smash either into your turkey or into a oven safe dish if you are frying. Remember, you CANNOT fry the turkey stuffed. Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes.

image

Although you really don’t need to inject anything into the bird for moisture, we like to add some garlic butter for some zing.

image

Although my family loves the jelly-type cranberry sauce, I find it quite disgusting. This year I made fresh cranberry sauce, something I never thought of doing. It was a big smack to the head as to how easy it is and why I’ve not been doing it over the years.

  • 12oz of fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water

Other additions (after cooking): orange slices, raisins, cinnamon..

Boil all 3 ingredients while stirring until the berries ‘pop’. You will hear it. Then remove from heat, let cool and add other enhancements if wanted.

image

Turkey Time!!

Most of the fails happen upon entry. Be sure your turkey is defrosted, dry (water will make it splatter) and you use the ‘2 person + pole’ method of dunking for safety.

image

Almost down!

image

It only takes 3 1/2 minutes per pound @ 350F. Pretty quick, IMO.

Hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving!!

Copyright – Ilex Farrell

Dill Cucumber Salad

I love this salad for camping and cookouts. There’s no spoiling risk, although it’s much better when chilled. I will give basic ratios and your own tastes can follow-up from there.

5 Cucumbers

1 Small sweet onion

Slice both of these extremely thin, the thinner the better I think.

1/2 Cup white vinegar

1/2 Cup water

1/2 Cup white sugar

1 Teaspoon of dill

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Yummy!!!

© Ilex – Midwestern Plants

Homegrown Garlic Scapes, Broccoli and Tilapia

My garlic has started to ‘flower’ which most folk call scapes. These are a bit lighter tasting than the garlic bulb and can be made into a pesto, put in soups or just sautéed.

The Brook Cook also has a great recipe for these: Seared Pork Chops with Garlic Scape Chimichurri

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I wasn’t feeling that creative and it was getting late in the day to eat. Tilapia was on sale at the store and I had fresh scapes and broccoli from my garden. Yum!!

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© Ilex – Midwestern Plants

Pickled Asparagus – Almost Better Than XXXX!!

I’m a devout Bloody Mary fan and have found many substitutes for the boring celery uncreative bars serve. I use: Shrimp, horseradish cheese and sausage (among other things) I’ve even seen sausage straws now! If you’ve been to Wisconsin, you know that your Bloody Mary is served with a ‘sidecar’ of beer (a 4oz juice glass). There is also a pickle in lieu of the celery. Or a fav of mine, a pickled artichoke from Wolski’s of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This area has a strong German immigrant influence, I myself having the same background, must be born-to-pickle!!

So why not use what you’ve got in plenty like the asparagus! I’ve found these in the hoidy-toidy shops for crazy prices and thought, “I’m so making that!” And here is what I did!

These are like refrigerator pickles where they are only good for about a month in the fridge. I did ‘boil bath’ them. This was my first time making them, so I’m not sure how soon you can open them, however I opened mine after a week and they were fabulous!!

I will give this recipe as ratios to how many jars you make. I kinda made this up as I went along, you see…

I made three jars. Two were the full size asparagus, the last was pieces cut to about 1 1/2 inches (bite-sized) and were of varying thickness. I researched that smaller diameter sprouts were preferred, after trying the first jar, it has to do with cooking, as (duh) the smaller ones cook faster. I prepared my jars by boiling them (or dishwasher) remove. Use the same water to boil bath them! It’s already hot.

Feel free to lessen the vinegar here, I like them strong, I ate a half of a jar in one sitting with no issue of them being too strong.

Using the jars you will be canning with, use this ratio: 2 waters : 1 jar of white vinegar : 1/2 cup pickling salt (kosher salt can be used). As I suck in math myself….  This made three jars. If concerned, make more. – Bring this to a light boil.

Wash and cut asparagus to fit into respective jars you are using.

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I then blanched the asparagus for a few minutes. image

I filled each jar with:

1/2 tea – dill

1/2 – 1 tea – garlic

Dash of red pepper – WhooHaa!

 

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Stuff them into the jar! The heating process will shrink them. I find holding the jar on it’s side while shaking works them in best. You do not want them hitting the lid, a few ok, but not all.

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Fill with vinegar mix until about 1/2 inch from the top. Clean the rim and finger tighten lid on. Lower into boil bath, being sure water is at least an inch over the top. Boil for about 10 minutes. Using bottle tongs, lift out an allow to cool and place in refrigerator. I let them sit for a week.

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Nom-Nom-Nom!!! OMG these are the BESTEST!!!

These are great for your digestive system along with being a great veggie that’s  high in vitamins.

© Ilex – Midwestern Plants

Meringue Cookies Recipe – Gluten, Fat & Cholesterol Free

The weather outside was frightful and the oven so delightful…

A thought from my brain did sprang. Let it meringue Let it meringue Let it meringue!!

I decided today was a great day to make some imageMeringue Cookies!

The thunderstorms had the dogs all trippy and I thought the whirl of the mixer would drown out some of the thunder for awhile. My husband also had a Toys For Tots pool tournament, so I got some ME time! =-)

My Mom used to make these in concert with Spritz cookies because the Spritz used yokes and she wasn’t about to waste the whites! It was only in the last few years I started to use the powdered egg whites. In my opinion, the powdered seems to be fluffier, yields more ‘batter’ and produces a crispier cookie.

This recipe is basic and they can be BLINGED with many other things than listed below. Add 1 Tablespoon of cocoa powder for chocolate, mini chocolate chips (the regular size seem to weigh down too much), toffee chips, sugar sprinkles, or any other things you like.

Ingredients:

3 Tbsn  Powdered Egg Whites or 3 egg whites

½ C      Warm water

¼ tea    Cream of tarter

1 tea     Vanilla or almond extract

½ C      Powdered sugar

Walnut pieces

Parchment paper or paper bags

  • Place the Just Whites in the mixer bowl and add the warm water. Break-up with a fork and let stand for 2 minutes.
  • If sing eggs, separate whites.
  • Increase speed to medium until the Just Whites have fully dissolved and the mixture is frothy.
  • Add vanilla and cream of tarter.
  • Increase speed to high and allow to beat for about 10-15 minutes.

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    Whip until stiff peaks form.

  • After about 10 minutes, turn the oven on to 250F
  • Line your pan with parchment paper or I use paper bags.
  • Add sugar very slowly.
  • Mix is ready when stiff peaks form and it looks silky, not foamy.
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Whatever you’re adding, just sprinkle on top. No need to mix. Just shave off top layer and add more bling to top.

  • To avoid popping your hard-beaten bubbles in the mixture, I sprinkle the walnuts on top and use the spatula to ‘shave’ a layer off. No need to mix or fold them in.
  • Dollop the batter on the paper bag lined pan.
  • If you’d like more walnuts (or any other nuts), add now.
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No need to leave space, these don’t rise.

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Ready when they take on a beige hue. Oh! Nom-nom-nom!!

© Ilex Farrell ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

Homemade Apple Pie – Oooh Yeah!

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When we moved here, there were about 8 different apple trees in our backyard. Actually, this whole neighborhood was built over an old orchard. It’s quite possible these trees are remnants of it. The first 2 years we were here we pruned them heavily, sprayed, fertilized, everything you need to do for apples…. just to be disappointed with crappy coddling moth ridden, apple scabby, maggoty apples. We gave up.

Since then we’ve cut down 3 for various reasons, and one will be gone this winter as it has cracked larges limb last spring and a good chunk of it fell on our fence.

BUT, this year, outta nowhere, the apples really looked large and mostly unblemished!! I couldn’t let them go to waste, I needed to do something with them and my tummy screamed “PIE”!!

 

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Move over duck tape, there’s a new ‘all use item’ in town!

Since we never had to harvest before, we didn’t have any harvesting equipment… But, never fear! Urban Engineer is here! I thought of using the wicker Tiki torch holder and it worked perfectly!

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I used much less for the pie, but haven’t made pie in forever, so I got a bit over-zealous in my peeling! Most, if not all blemishes were gone after peeling. I often wondered why orchards didn’t sell ‘Plan B’ apples that were slightly damaged.. Well, maybe they do, to the applesauce makers.

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I peeled these outside as there’s less mess and we are on borrowed time for nice days…

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I used the apple corer and a knife to thin the slices.

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I mostly followed the Martha Stewart apple pie recipe, but made some changes. I cheated and bought prepared pie crusts. Here’s the original recipe:

  • 12 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 3/4 cup sugar, plus additional for pie top
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg, beaten

I used brown sugar instead of white (I did sprinkle top with white).

I also mixed a tbsn of white flour into the mix, as I guessed it may be runny.

I mixed everything together, sans the egg, poured it onto the apple slices and place in crust.

BTW, if you’d like to be more like Martha, here is her pate-brisee recipe… or for folks like me that have no idea what pate-brisee is… Here’s the crust recipe.

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Slice top to allow for steam to vent, beat egg & brush the top. Sprinkle with white sugar.

Cook at 375F for about an hour. I cooked this one about 10 minutes less as the top was getting too brown.

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My only note would be that this was a bit runny while still warm. It still tasted awesome, which is my most important thing. But, if you want a pie that holds its own, place in refrigerator for a bit or overnight.

Thanks for visiting & keep on planting!
© Ilex Farrell ~ Midwestern Plant Girl