Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Baby Butternut Squash Souffle

Now what kind of holiday did I think this was? Thanksgiving? No, Memorial Day, the official kick off to summer. Well, the thing is my excuses are: I saw these adorable, organic, baby butternut squashes for an excellent price while I was shopping. We have been having a very cool and wet spring, so I still needed warming foods. And, we toast marshmallows in summer, right? So mine just happened to be on top of a casserole.

I was originally going to stuff the squashes, which I thought would really add to their cuteness factor. Once I cut them open and de-seeded them, I decided that was not such a good idea. So I placed them face down on a buttered baking sheet and baked them until tender--about 30 minutes. Then one thing led to another. . .

I loved this!

Butternut Squash Souffle
3 pounds butternut squash, baked until tender
1 small (4 1/2 oz.) can evaporated milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 bag (10 oz.) mini marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 2-quart casserole dish.

Combine squash, milk, brown sugar, butter, egg, and salt and pepper. Mix together very well, with an electric mixer. Pour into prepared dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, until set. Remove from oven and top with marshmallows. Return to oven and bake an additional 10 minutes until marshmallows are well browned. Let set about 10 minutes before serving.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Grilled Asian Glazed Tuna

Today, I found this unfinished post in my drafts folder. It was dated 4/17/2010. I don't know why I never finished it. And now, two years later, I don't even know how I made it. Too bad, because I sure would like to have this for dinner tonight.

I can see that I used fresh ginger and garlic, olive oil, and it looks like I was quite generous with the freshly ground black pepper. Most likely there was soy sauce involved. I can see that I grilled in on my cast iron grill pan.

And then I served it with rice and these darling baby carrots. As I said, I wish I had that for dinner tonight.

Do you ever start a post, never finish it, then later don't know how you did it?


Monday, May 13, 2013

Strawberry Smoothie

I had a lovely Mother's Day yesterday. Did you? I had brunch at The Cantina, a restaurant in Biltmore Village in Asheville, North Carolina, with Alice, Nina Linda, and Pritchard Parker, of course. Alice gave me cards and flowers.  Afterwards, "the girls" came over to visit for the afternoon while Pritchard Parker went to visit his Mother. Later, I called and talked to my Mother, who lives in Alabama.  Here is a post I wrote about her last year in case you missed it.
I started the day with a strawberry smoothie. Shown is my Grandmother's table cloth, so naturally I thought of her too.
Strawberry Smoothie
1 cup fresh strawberries, rinsed and halved
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup milk (soy, almond, cow, or other)
1 serving protein powder, optional
Place all ingredients in blender. You can freeze the strawberries if you want your smoothie thick and icy, or you can add a little ice. I don't. Process until smooth and creamy.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Hoe Cakes

Whether you call them hoe cakes, johnny cakes, corn cakes, or arepas, these corn pancakes are simply delicious. They are a fine accompaniment to a fresh vegetable plate, especially good with greens and beans. The leftovers are delightful, reheated the next morning with syrup or jam. Always serve them with plenty of butter.

Hoe Cakes
1 1/2 cups self-rising cornmeal mix
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
Melted butter

Heat black iron skillet over medium to medium-low heat. In a mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal mix, sugar, beaten egg, and milk. Stir together well but don't over mix; it's fine if the batter is slightly lumpy.

Melt about 3 tablespoons of butter in the heated skillet. If the butter melts too quickly and hisses, lower the heat. Pour 2 tablespoons of the melted butter into the batter and stir quickly to combine.

Pour about 1/8 cupful of batter for each cake into the heated pan. Once the hoe cake's surface is filled with bubbles and the bottom is brown, flip the pancakes. Continue until all batter is used, keeping the finished cakes warm in the oven.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Grilled Camembert and Fig Preserves on Cuban Bread

I checked weather (dot) com this morning, not that I needed to. It is raining, has been raining, and will continue to rain for a few more days. Our yard already looks like a rice patty and I feel like I may mildew. For a fine spring day in May, it is cold! I see that we have 2 weather alerts--one for flash flooding and the other for high pollen count. Hmmm.

Good thing it is cozy inside.

~~2 hours later, after a power outage~~
I was about to say. . .
Pritchard Parker recently splurged on a small wheel of Camembert. That is one creamy and flavorful cheese. It looks like Brie, but tastes (and smells) much more pungent. At room temperature, it oozes thickly and the rind is perfectly edible.
We have a new bakery in town and I had bought a loaf of Cuban bread. With the cheese, the bread, and the last jar of fig preserves I made last summer, we had the makings for a delicious sandwich.
Spread thickly sliced Cuban bread with a generous amount of Camembert. Top with fig preserves. Sprinkle with a couple of drops of Balsamic vinegar. Butter the outside of each bread slice and grill until golden brown and crispy.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dump Cake

Remember the thrift shop cookbook I told you about in my last post? Of course you do. It is a fund-raiser cookbook, vintage 1989, assembled by the Business and Professional Women of Alabama. This recipe was submitted by Gwen Lovell of Talladega, Alabama.

Although the recipe calls for a cake mix, it is really not a cake at all. It is really more like a cobbler. I don't know why Miss Gwen calls it by the unflattering name "Dump" cake. After all, she could have called it Pineapple-Cherry Grunt. Or Fruit Slump. But I must admit, it was the name that called my attention to this recipe to begin with.

This dessert is ridiculously quick and easy to assemble and  I am reluctant to admit how delicious the humble dish tasted. I am trying to be true to these recipes and not make substitutions, but I did put my foot down on using the carton of non-dairy whipped topping called for and whipped some fresh cream.

Dump Cake
1 large can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 can cherry pie filling
1 cup chopped nuts, pecans
1 box dry yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Pour pineapple, cherry pie filling, and nuts into a 13 x 9 inch cake pan. Spread dry cake mix evenly over the fruit mixture. Drizzle evenly with melted butter or margarine. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Top with whipped cream.  (Ice cream would also be good).