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Archive for April 5th, 2009

This relaxing Sunday began with a nice run/walk with Shane around Valley View Golf Course. No one was out, it was 37 degrees, overcast and windy. We were able to walk the first through third holes and, although it was wet, it was a nice walk with the soft grass underfoot.  The hill going up the third hole was a challenge, but it put us into the Switchbacks where we heard cracking wood as the old trees swayed under pressure of the blowing wind.  As Shane and I were out putting in our 5 miles, Ted was still asleep in a nice, warm bed. He felt no guilt about it what so ever.

For our breakfast, we put together the Tropical Fruit and Mint Salad, mentioned on Friday. dscn0565

Minor changes were made to the recipe which allowed our taste buds to leap with joy as the fresh pineapple’s sweet juiciness overwhelmed our mouths.  The banana and the papaya played under the Mango Mint Sauce to create a performance best described as a perfect Tropical Tango.   Here is our recipe: Enough to feed 6.

  • 1 whole pineapple: peeled and cut into 1 ” pieces
  • 1 Papaya: peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 3 ripe small bananas. Peeled, sliced into 3/4 ” thick slices
  • 3-4 medium sized mint leaves
  • 1 Mango: peeled and coarsely cubed
  • 1 packet of Splenda
  • 3 TBS Lime Juice

Put the pineapple, papaya and banana pieces into a bowl.  Puree the rest of the ingredients to make a thick sauce.  Portion fruit into serving bowls and top with sauce.  Optional:  sprinkle with coconut.

A little Creole for Sunday Dinner 

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What does it mean? From Wikipedia….. “Louisiana Creole cuisine is a style of cooking originating in Louisiana (centered on the Greater New Orleans area) which is a melting pot cuisine that blends French, Spanish, Canarian, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Deep Southern American, Indian, and African influences.”

Three Beans Etouffee. Will serve 6-8.

In our cupboard, there was a box of Zatarain’s New Orleans Style Etoufee Base and tonight seemed like a good night to use it up.  Etouffee is “to smoother with onions and other vegetables (usually bell pepper and celery). 

dscn0569

  • Soak overnight, your choice of 3 beans.  I used red beans, great northern beans, and black eyed peas.
  • Bring to a boil in water and reduce to an active simmer for 1 hour or until tender. Drain.
  • Add 4 cups water to the drained bean, Etouffee mix, (1) 8 oz can tomato sauce and simmer 10 minutes.  Add salt and pepper if you need it.  Reheat when ready to eat or consume right away.

Blue Cornmeal Bread (Cut into 18 squares)

dscn0566

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Prepare a 13x9x2 pan with non stick spray
  • Mix in large bowl:  2 cup flour+2 cup Blue cornmeal +3/4 cup Sugar + 1 tsp Baking Powder + 1/2 tsp Baking soda + 1 tsp salt + 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • Mix in smaller bowl:  1 1/2 cup soy or regular milk + 1 tsp lemon juice (or use buttermilk then you don’t need the lemon) + 1/4 cup Yogurt + 1/4 cup Canola Oil + 3 eggs + 1 TBS fruit juice (optional for added sweetness)
  • Fold the liquid ingredients into the dry.  You may also add a can of sweet corn at this time.
  • Pour into the prepared pan and bake 35 minutes. Serve warm

Creole Collards (Serves 4-6)

dscn0567

  • 1 lb Collard Greens (Cut into pieces)
  • 2 slices soy bacon
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 TBS Honey Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Cajun Seasoning
  • 1 tsp vinegar

Bring collards to a boil. Add salt and return to a boil 15 minutes.  Drain.  In a skillet cook soy bacon til crisp (about 3 minutes on med.- high). Remove and crumble. Set aside.  In same skillet, heat oil on medium and add onion, cook 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.  Add the wine, mustard, seasoning and vinegar. Mix around. Add the collards and mix to cover.  Cook for 10 more minutes at a simmer. Top with crumbled soy bacon to serve. 

Dinner is wrapped up and we are ready to relax.  The sun finally decided to show it’s pretty face late in the day, but it’s time to get cleaned up and mentally prepare for the week ahead. With that, best wishes for a wonderful night… G’Night!

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Gourmet food. Beer and a variety of wines. Entertainment by “Arethusa” a Medieval and World Music Duo of Father and Son. Silent auction and a very lively live auction.  A night of new experiences and loads of fun.  If you missed it this year, make sure to mark your calendar as a must for 2010.  The event was hosted by The Herkimer County College Foundation it featured international cuisine from 12 different local restaurants. 

The music by Arethusa.  The music was so soothing at times, but offered a lively vibe that put your mind back into the Renaissance era.  The Father and Son, T. Virgil and T. Blake Parker were so excited about their music and their 36 different unique instruments.  They offered information for over 15 minutes.  They played the Shauhacki, a flute type instrument that produced such a sweet sound and had a beautiful picture of a peacock inset in the wood.  You can see these two play at the Renaissance fair this summer in New York.  A must see, for sure.

Arethusa Playing For The Crowd

Arethusa Playing For The Crowd

The Tarka

The Tarka

 

The crowd at this event was friendly and outgoing.  The servers were the international exchange students attending the college. They were very polite and friendly.  Unfortunately, they didn’t really know what they were serving only that it was “very good!”.

The pictures will tell the story.  There were so many more food items, but how much can one put into only one blog post?!

The wines

The wines

 

Appetizers: Smoked salmon was firm and just a little fishy. Loved the sliced hot cherry peppers and herbed goat cheese.

Appetizers: Smoked salmon was firm and just a little fishy. Loved the sliced hot cherry peppers and herbed goat cheese.

 

 

Attractive table settings

Attractive table settings

 

The table settings were so simple yet so elegant.  You just might see some of those rocks in the background of Apple Crumbles future pictures.  They said I could have them…honest!!!

Sweet Potato patties topped with smoked salmon and the other is smoked salmon with a dill sauce

Sweet Potato patties topped with smoked salmon and the other is smoked salmon with a dill sauce

 

Lemony, garlicky hummus (very good!) and a refreshing tabouli

Lemony, garlicky hummus (very good!) and a refreshing tabouli

 

Rice dishes with chicken and vegetables and also beef and vegetables

Rice dishes with chicken and vegetables and also beef and vegetables

 

Chicken dumplings with Sweet - Sour vegetables

Chicken dumplings with Sweet - Sour vegetables

 

 

Pasta Purses: Cheesey and full of flavor. Unfortunately, they were only luke warm.

Pasta Purses: Cheesy and full of flavor. Unfortunately, they were only luke warm.

 

Chicken on stick with Pickled Plum: A little dry - breaded chicken.

Chicken on stick with Pickled Plum: A little dry - breaded chicken.

 

 

Tempura Vegetables. Tasted ginger. Good. Ted didn't like the texture of the vegetable in side the batter.

Tempura Vegetables. Tasted ginger. Good. Ted didn't like the texture of the vegetable in side the batter.

 

We both indulged in Rice Pudding for dessert

We both indulged in Rice Pudding for dessert

 

 

Look what we passed up...Cream Puffs! Oh La La!

Look what we passed up...Cream Puffs! Oh La La!

 

At this point my camera battery died.  I completely forgot about my cell phone until talking to Arethusa and during this time of mindlessness, I had the best item of the night:  Sweet Potato Pierogi and Blueberry Pierogi. SO Good! I’ve only had regular potato and sauerkraut pierogis before. The two last night were definitely the best ever!

Make sure you note the date and keep an eye out for next years annual event.  It was not crowded. The cost was a mere $30. which got you all the food you could possibly want, a free drink and if you wanted more to drink, wine and beer were only $2.50 ( a full glass of wine and a bottle of beer!).

Hats off to The Herkimer County College Foundation!

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