Closing Shop

As school approaches, I realize, I can’t maintain this blog. It is time to empty the bookcase of some of the cookbooks and replace them with Math, Science, History and Writing.  It is time to focus on my precious class, I have not yet met.

I have enjoyed this blog and handled it differently than my other two blogs.  I kept a distance here, I think knowing, I could not keep it up.  I did not become attached the way I am to the other blogs.

I am thinking of moving some of these posts to Bizzy Bakes and My Sweet and Savory.  I love some of the recipes, I have shared here and don’t want to lose them.  I hope, you will continue to visit me there.  I am going to move Power Foods to My Sweet and Savory.

Thanks for your support and interest in Bookcase Foodie.

To say, “See ya” with a little humor.  I am looking at the sidebar which has a place for recommended tags for this post and I see, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Shannon Donnely, Canada, Roller coaster, rice and sweet.  Perhaps, you understand why my few words have prompted these choices.

I am going to include a few of the photos, they suggest, I use.

Sweet at the height of their career in the mid...

Sweet at the height of their career in the mid-1970s. Clockwise from top left: Steve Priest, Brian Connolly, Mick Tucker, and Andy Scott. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Sweet Shop

Sweet Shop (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

English: Hackthorn Shop & Post Office A sign d...

English: Hackthorn Shop & Post Office A sign declares “closing down, everything must go” and today (8th May 2008) I’m reliably informed by the lady in the shop is the last day ….. fortuitous timing ! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The York Sweet Shop Traditional sweet...

English: The York Sweet Shop Traditional sweet shop on Low Petergate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Balsamic Smoked Chicken – Thanks Hubby

We got a brand new, free smoker (the kind you cook in).   We have used it a few times and surprisingly the simple chicken won over the turkey and beef.  There is something to be said about smoking food although, I can only speak for poultry and beef.  The smokiness is two fold.  It makes the food delicious and it fills my house with air that makes one cough. (The smoker is outside but it comes in through the window, which gets closed, very quickly.)

I hate to admit it but I was not really tuned in to my husband.  Our conversation went like this. 

Husband: I need a marinade.

Me: Uh Huh.

H: Would you find a marinade for me?

M: Uh Huh.

H: I want to do this now so it will marinate overnight.

M: OK

H: So, will you get me a marinade?

M: (springing to action) )I remembered seeing one online using balsamic vinegar so I did a search and found the following at CD Kitchen.

Balsamic Smoked Chicken

Ingredients

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 whole chicken

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the marinade ingredients. Place chicken in a resealable bag.

Add marinade and seal closed, removing as much air as possible from the bag. 

When ready to grill remove from marinade, discard the excess marinade and grill until chicken is fork tender and no pink remains.  Hubby was in charge of the grilling and I don’t know how long it was in the smoker.It was succulent and had the smoky flavor permeating every pore.  It stole the show.

This is linked to Made From Scratch Monday

Menu Plan Monday

It has been a while since I have planned for the week.  I am attempting to find out which way works better for me.  With the planning, I am able to select a book to cook from during the week.  When, I don’t plan, I end up making anything that appeals to me.  I am doing this backwards.  Since I am off for the summer, I should be free and easy with my plans and during the school year, I do need that schedule.  

At least, this week, I am planning my menu and from there, I will make decisions, as what to do for this month.  I selected Hadassah Everyday Cookbook for my recipes.  I admit, it is fun, to pick for a whole week.  I can sit for a long time, flipping through the recipes, selecting the ones that are most appealing, at that moment.  Here goes.

Sunday – Cilantro and Cumin Burgers with Thyme Roasted Root Vegetables

Monday -  Quasado with Grated Beets with Toasted Almonds

Tuesday – Spinach Peppers and Mozzarella Pizza with Ginger Sesame Broccoli

Wednesday – Goat Cheese Quesadilla with Sweet Corn with Lime and Chili Butter

Thursday – Spaghetti and Parmesan with Fried Egg

Friday – Sesame Seed Chicken with Caramelized Onion Rice (or Quinoa) and Tomato Stew

Saturday – Miso Ginger Salmon with Colcannon

Linked to Organizing junkie

Bibimbap

Bibimbap (비빔밥, Korean pronunciation: [pibimp͈ap̚][1]) is a signature Korean dish. The word literally means “mixed meal” or “mixed rice”. Bibimbap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with namul (sautéed and seasoned vegetables) and gochujang (chili pepper paste). A raw or fried egg and sliced meat (usually beef) are common additions. The ingredients are stirred together thoroughly just before eating.[2] It can be served either cold or hot.”  Wikipedia

I have read the word but had no idea what this could be.  The recipe from a magazine called, Bitavyon for Bibimbap appealed to me so much, I could not wait to make it.  My husband had a meeting after work and we were not going to eat until about 10 PM so I had plenty of time to make the dish.  The recipe, I used called for grilled vegetables and meat but I made them in almost dry cast iron pan and they cooked beautifully.

I finished making the dish an hour before my husband was due home so I put it in the oven, except for the eggs.  When the man walked in the door, I put the oven up high and dropped two eggs on the vegetables and chicken (which I subbed for the beef, in the recipe).  I let it cook until it looked like it had partially solidified.

I adjusted the amount of ingredients for the two of us and we finished it up, although the man ate most of it.  I used a basmati rice that came with dried vegetables in it, so we picked up some more veggies, along the way.  This had such a beautiful selection of vegetables and they are supposed to be separate on the rice.  That worked until I had to remove a portion from the pan.  I used a large cast iron pan which is quite heavy and to be effective, I had to leave it on a burner and remove the food.  It did not stay the way, I would have liked it, for purposes of the picture but was fine.

I am going to include photos of some of the steps so you see how it was set up.  I had fun making this.

1 red pepper

2 cups spinach

1 cup grated carrots

1 large zucchini, sliced

4 scallions, cut in three sections, each

1 pound of chicken cutlets, sliced

1/2 cup Korean barbecue sauce (the best)

2 baked eggs

2 cups cooked rice with vegetables

In a large cast iron pan with almost no oil, cook red peppers until the start to blacken.  Remove from pan and put aside.

Add zucchini and scallions to pan, cook for 2 minutes on each side.  Put aside.

Add chicken slices to pan and cook for about 3 minutes a side.  Check for doneness.  Remove from pan.

I sprayed the pan with a tiny bit of olive oil, at this point.

Add rice to pan.  (recipe calls for a homemade seasoned soy sauce, at this point.  I eliminated this because the Korean barbecue sauce had plenty of flavor and I did not want it altered.)

Arrange the red peppers, zucchini, spinach, scallions, chicken and shredded carrots on top of rice, separate from each other.  I added the grated carrots in several places.

Drizzle with Korean barbecue sauce.

Drop eggs on top and place in oven until it is cooked the way you like it.  I left mine for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Korean Barbecue Sauce

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons low sodium gluten-free soy sauce

1 teaspoon sriracha

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Use or store in refrigerator.  Delicious.

My husband has not “kvelled” over a dish like he did, over this one.  He absolutely loves it and I am sure, there are going to be requests for this, again and again.

This is linked to

All the Small Stuff        Pennywise Platter Thursday         Frugal food thursdays         Tastetastic Thursday           Full Plate Thursday      Friday Food

Life’s Challenges

I came across this piece of wisdom and it got me started thinking.  Life may be beautiful but life is hard.  Life is filled with challenges and meeting them is not always easy, no, it is rarely easy.  For me, attitude is what makes or breaks me when I am given a challenge.

A challenge can be big or small.  Right now, my challenge is that the size of my font is not working properly and I can’t seem to get all the words the same size.  This is a little challenge and while it is frustrating, it is not important.  I am sure it came along, at this point, to prove something but I am not sure what.  Perhaps, it is that we meet challenges throughout our day, every day.

I have lived many years, thankfully, and in that time, all kinds of challenges have come my way.  The ones, I remember are the big ones.  The little ones disappear almost as quickly as they come along.  Even though my font size may be failing, it does not change my life.  Bigger challenges can and do change the direction of the path, we choose to take.

How we deal with a challenge determines how much effect it has on us.  I talk to myself, all the time, when I have one of these biggies.  I tell myself, I can do it.  I can pull through.  If I say it enough, I start to believe it.  It does not just happen.

When I was younger, I was a quitter.  If something hard came along, I would run.  One can’t go through life like this.  We miss out on too much.  Not only that, there are challenges, there is no running away from.  Illness, death, layoffs, pain, financial problems, all have to be dealt with.

I lost a dear friend because she didn’t deal with it.  At the age of 39, she had a lump on her breast and she was afraid to go to the doctor.  When she finally did, it was too late and the disease had spread throughout her body.  She died at that young age.  If I tell you, this was a sharp woman, one who loved life and lived a Godly life, you must be surprised.  How did she make such a choice?  I don’t have the answers.  She seemed so brave to me.  She was one of those people who inspired me and this seems out of character but there is a part of me that believes, she was so busy helping everyone else, perhaps she just didn’t allow herself the time to take care of herself.  I don’t know but I do know, I have to learn from her.

Side bar:  I just fixed the font size.  I won this challenge.  May God give me the strength to win others that come my way.

I believe that what happens in life has a purpose.  We may not see the purpose or ever discover it, but it exists.  We all know instances where the purpose is revealed after the incident and we know our attitude turns around.

Take the businessman, on his way, to close a multi-million dollar deal that is going to turn him into a wealthy human being.  It is a bright sunny day and off he goes to the airport to fly to New York to sign the papers.  He has until 1:00 PM or he loses the deal.  As he gets to the airport, he sees his plane pulling away.  He begins to curse and blames the airline.  He is in the middle of the airport, screaming at everyone, making all feel uncomfortable.

A few minutes later, it is announced that the plane he missed, went down, and there were no survivors. Now, he is happy and thankful that he missed that plane.  What a shame, he could not sit back and accept what life had given him, in the first place.  No, it is not easy but nothing was accomplished by his being unpleasant.

This is a subject, I could write about for hours but I am not going to.  Let us pray that we all have the strength to meet our challenges and come out the victor.  If you have words of wisdom, please share them, with us.

Brown Sugar Chewies

I am a fan of brown sugar so when I came across this recipe, I knew, I had to make it. It was a smart choice.  Although, I don’t like Paula’s use of butter, I find I can cut it down and the recipe works just fine.

Brown Sugar Chewies  adapted from Paula Deen                       9 servings

Ingredients

 1/4 cup margarine

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

3/4 cup gluten-free flour mix

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract1/4 cup chopped pecans

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray an 8-inch square pan with vegetable oil cooking spray.

In the microwave or on the stove, melt the margarine.

Turn off the heat, add the brown sugar and stir until smooth.

Stir in the egg.

Stir together the flour and baking powder and stir into the brown sugar mixture.

Stir in the vanilla and pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.

When cool, dust the top with a sifting of confectioners’ sugar.

 

Too Hot To Cook Omelet

 

The hot weather almost prohibits cooking.  I locked myself in our bedroom, closed the door, turned on the air conditioner and lay down.  I don’t think, I moved for  30 minutes.  It was still hot, oppressively hot, but I was pretty sure, I would throw together something simple so we would have dinner.  Who could eat that much, anyway?

An omelet was what I had in mind but the new me automatically thinks vegetables so my omelet had to have eggs.  This is where the mandolin came into play.  What a difference.  It is not that chopping vegetables is hard work but the mandolin makes them fly from its blade into the skillet.  I took anything, I could find that was already cut or that I had an abundance of.  Yellow squash, green pepper, tomato, carrots, onion, all fell into the pan which had a little vegetable broth in it, enough to cover the bottom.  While they cooked, I made a smoothie to go with it.  Funny, how a smoothie fills me up. 

Both of us were full, after the combo omelet-smoothie dinner.  I guess hot weather is made for dieters.

Veggie Omelet

Ingredients

1 cup vegetable broth, no salt

5 eggs, beaten

1/4 onion sliced thin

1/4 green pepper, sliced thin

1 yellow squash, sliced thin

1 tomato, mushed up to get the juice into the pan to mix with the broth

1 carrot, thin sliced

1/2 cup broccoli florets, broken into smaller pieces

1/2 cup Mexican blend cheese

Procedure

Heat 1/2 cup broth in medium skillet.  Keep on low flame until you are ready to add vegetable.

Slice vegetables into broth and raise heat to medium.

Add the rest of broth as the original liquid evaporates.

Cook 3 – 4  minutesThe rest of the broth will evaporate in that time.

Add the eggs and cook slowly for about 3 minutes.  Top with cheese, pushing gently down so it is inside slightly.  Cook until top is firm and flip.  Cook other side of omelet for two minutes or until slightly browned.

Rice Crispy Treats

All year, my class has been asking for Rice Crispy Treats and I have finally come through.  I hope their waiting is worth it.

I use Marshmallow Creme in place of Marshmallows and it is a cinch to put together.  I also melt the margarine and creme in the microwave.  Another easy step.

 

 

Microwave Marshmallow Fluff Treats
Place Fluff and margarine in 2 1/2 qt. microwave safe bowl.

Microwave at 50 %  for 1 minute.  The original recipe says 3 minutes at full power.  I found at the one minute mark, the marshmallow creme was almost too dry looking.

Stir in cereal until coated.

Using a buttered spatula or waxpaper, press mixture evenly into buttered 13 X 9 inch pan.

Cut into 2 X 2 squares. Yield: 24 squares.

 

For chocolate, melt 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips by laying them on the top of the Crispy Bars.  Put in oven at 250 degreees for two minutes.

 

 

 

Feeling Happy

Do you know what makes you feel happy?  Sometimes, I can’t figure what the trigger is but then I realize that I don’t care why.  Happiness is to be treasured and utilized to make our life and those we come into contact with, better.

I am feeling very happy.  I, thankfully, have many reasons to feel this way but I know this is not a gratitude happiness.  It is one of freedom.  School, which I love, is almost over and I need a break in my tight schedule.  Although, my summer is planned to be hectic, I can come and go, as I please.  I feel like a bird soaring in the air, going higher and higher and it is wonderful.

As much as I love being busy, there is a time I need to stop and smell the roses, drink the wine, eat the chocolates and read a novel.  I want music playing and social time and quiet time.  I pray that is what I will be granted, this summer.

If you are happy, let people know it, by smiling.  Your smile can light up the day for another human being.  Say, “hi” to strangers.  If they look at you funny, scratching their heads, trying to figure out who your are, you get a giggle for yourself.  If you are not feeling happy, smile also, and you may find yourself feeling more positive.

Oops, this is not a lecture.  I simply feel like sharing.  I hope that you feel happy and that you do a lot of smiling. I am smiling at you.