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Archive for February 8th, 2009

We did rearrange the furniture.  It makes the room look smaller.  There is a lot of space when you first enter the sitting room but I guess that will be ok since the bar is off to the right and when we entertain guests, we all seem to cram into the bar area.  The new layout will give us more room around the bar.

A re-arranged sitting room

A re-arranged sitting room

By the way – that IS Ted napping in the far left and that IS Shane’s head poking out … he was napping as well. I was the only one awake at 4PM on this Sunday afternoon!!!   9671

I also made the scones today.  They weren’t as light as I wanted but then I completely “refurbished” the recipe. This is what I used:

  • 1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Pastry flour (I know…”why did you use PASTRY flour?”..because I don’t make pies??!!!… and didn’t know what else I would do with it) So… make sure YOU use all-purpose flour.
  • 3/4 cup Thick & Rough Silver Palate Oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (4oz) Fat Free Cream Cheese (should have been butter, but again…had to use it up) … make sure you either use Regular Cream Cheese or butter…scones need the fat.
  • 1 cup mixed dried fruit soaked in soy milk + 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup soy milk ( can use regular milk if you drink it).
  • You will need 1 cup + extra flour for blending after adding fruit and milk and also for rolling.

Put your chopped dried fruit mix in a cup and cover with soy milk and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Let that sit while mixing up the rest of the ingredients. You should try to let this sit about 30 min. to 1 hour.

Mix the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon together. Cut in cream cheese to make a crumb mix. Add the 1/4 cup milk all at once and JUST blend.  When fruit is nice and soaked, add it and the milk it sat in to the crumb mix. It will probably be wet. Add the extra 1 cup of flour to form a wet dough and turn onto a well floured surface for rolling.  Preheat your oven to 375 F. 

Make sure your rolling pin is covered with flour. Dust the top of the dough with flour and roll out about 1 inch or more thick.  Using a water glass, cut out circles and put on baking sheet. I used a SILPAT sheet so didn’t spray with non-stick, but if you don’t use SILPAT, use non-stick spray. Put cut out scones on baking sheet, you can brush with melted SMART BALANCE or butter and bake for 20 -30 minutes.

dscn0140The end result:  Too dense. Too dry. When I make them again, I won’t use oats, I will use either full fat cream cheese or butter.  I did like the incorporation of fruits, so I may use those again or try mandarin orange sections with some pineapple.

The Dinner Bell Rings….

Honey Mustard Catfish Nuggets topped with Honeyed Bechamel Sauce with Honey Butter Roasted Brussel Sprouts….pant, pant, pant..what a mouth full!

Brussel Sprouts.

  • Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • Prepare brussels by trimming off ends, and putting a + in the bottom. Rinse and put in salted water. Bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes. Drain. Put in a baking dish, spray with SmartBalance spray add 1/2 TBS honey mustard and mix around. Put in oven for 30 minutes.

The Bechamel Sauce:

  • 2 TBS SmartBalance
  • 1 TBS flour
  • 1/2 cup Soy Milk +1 TBS Honey Mustard
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.

Melt butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir until it looks slightly colored. Add milk and mustard and stir until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

The Catfish

  • 1.2 lb Catfish Nuggets
  • 1/2 cup flour seasoned with Grilling seasoning (to your taste)
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten with 1 tsp honey mustard
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs seasoned with Cajun seasoning (to your taste)
  • EVOO, Sesame Oil, Canola oil…your choice but remember… you will cook on high heat and EVOO is NOT the best for this. If you use EVOO, mix it with a little sesame oil or other high heat oil

Preheat oven to 375F. Let catfish sit in lemon juice for about 15 minutes (optional – I always sprinkle lemon over my fish before cooking…bad or good habit?).  Place the catfish in the flour, then dip it in the egg/honey mustard, finally coat it with the breadcrumbs.  Heat your large pan on high heat with the bottom well coated with your choice of oil.  When really hot, put catfish in pan and cook about 2-3 minutes per side.  When done, put in baking dish, top with the bechamel sauce and bake in oven for about 6-8 minutes.

dscn01411This dish is really good. If you like fish… un fishy – fish, give it a go. I was always a catfish skeptic but really love the nuggets now.

That’s a wrap for Sunday. It was a bad turned good weekend. The weather took a good turn and we can only hope keeps us smiling throughout the week. 

Have a great Sunday night!

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Winter got to me yesterday. My mood was foul.  It also seemed like the longest day in history.  However, some things did get accomplished.

1. I made the Spinach Artichoke Dip Bread using the left over dip from CEimB Thursday night dinner.

Spinach Artichoke Dip Bread

Spinach Artichoke Dip Bread

The crust was a bit hard and I would add a TBS of oil but it did turn out quite tasty with a large, open crumb. 

Using the bread maker, set on basic setting.

  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Left over Spinach/Artichoke dip
  • 2 TBS Dry Milk
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 TBS yeast

Next came Split Pea Soup.  This turned out excellent using the soy “bacon” and a mix of green and yellow split peas.  I’ve created a recipe page for this soup. It’s a keeper.

Split pea soup topped with wild rice, feta, and a toasted slice of Spinach Artichoke bread

Split pea soup topped with wild rice, feta, and a toasted slice of Spinach Artichoke bread

Split pea soup is not very photogenic.

After making those two tasty items, I lit some candles and read my current good read “The Making of a Chef” by Michael Ruhlman.

I then FINALLY took in the soldier, snowman, and tree from outside. They were Christmas decorations that have been buried in snow. The weather was warmer yesterday (45 degrees) so it allowed the digging out of buried chords, etc.

Vacuuming to follow since I was stomping through the house with dirty boots. 

Of course Shane wanted play time in the snow.  He wouldn’t give up the ball so that didn’t last long.

I voiced my disappointment with not having a dinner Friday and suggested we stop at the Turning Stone for a  few dollars of fun then to dinner at Charlotte’s Creekside Inn.  That’s when the day turned thoroughly delightful.  We BOTH won at the Turning Stone. We BOTH had a fabulous dinner.

Tuscan Greens and Beans Soup -complementary due to the chef being behind on his orders

Tuscan Greens and Beans Soup -complementary due to the chef being behind on his orders

 

Escarole, hot cherry peppers, bread crumbs, cheese.....

Italian Greens Appetizer: Escarole, hot cherry peppers, bread crumbs, cheese.....

 

 

Tuscany Style Haddock on a bed of broccoli and topped with Spinach with a Sun Dried tomato sauce

Tuscany Style Haddock on a bed of broccoli and topped with Spinach with a Sun Dried tomato sauce

Wonderful evening!
Now it’s SUNDAY and we all went for a windy but warmer 3 + mile walk.  Ted doesn’t like to walk too far so we kept it under 4 miles.  It was nice.
I made a huge EggBeater omelet using the left over greens, spinach, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, feta. Topped with Zukay salsa. No bread – the omelet was just too big.
Sunday Omelet

Sunday Omelet

For the rest of today… well, we are rearranging furniture. Something of Spring Fever. I will attempt some Scones.
You all have a great Sunday… Ted is waiting for me…pacing, pacing, pacing.

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