Monday, March 30, 2009

Everything Old Is New Again EXTENDED: April 13



We are celebrating Spring with Everything Old Is New Again: A vintage recipe contest. DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS EXTENDED TO APRIL 13.

To participate in this contest, prepare and submit a recipe for a "vintage" dish that you would like to see come back into vogue again. You can think about what you may have eaten at your grandmother's table (old skool). Put a new spin on Aunt Toonta's Beet and Jello salad. Or go for something retro-cool. Maybe the hottest dinner party entree from the mod mod 70's. Entries are due on April 13 . You can submit them in 3 categories: Desserts (let's get the most important out of the way first ;), Main Courses, and Everything Else (salads, soups, appetizers, etc.) And yes, you can update your recipe to add your own special touch.

I'm hoping this will be a lot of fun! Did I mention there are fabulous prizes? I adore all things vintage.
My love for vintage things includes VINTAGE APRONS. And what better prizes to have for a vintage recipe contest than vintage-style aprons? Also, one lucky winner will receive his or her very own copy of Gloria Chadwick's brand new cookbook, Foods and Flavors of San Antonio!

will be given to the lucky winner in each of our 3 categories.

Gents, don't despair: there's something here for you too!


Handmaiden's Cottage

Handmaiden's Cottage

Now for you spicy ladies, check out:

From Carolyn's Kitchen

I have received all 3 aprons, and I can tell you, they are gorgeous! The amount of detail that has gone into each of them is amazing! I recently ordered a couple of aprons for myself from Lynne at Handmaiden's Cottage, and I have really been enjoying them!

The Everything Old Is New Again Vintage Recipe Contest

Submit a comment to this post stating which apron best suits your personality and why. Prepare a "vintage" recipe, post it to your blog (new posts only, please??), and link to this post.
By vintage, I mean a recipe popular earlier than 1990 (or a recipe published prior to 1990).
In addition, send me an email with subject line EONA to DomestickMuse at gmail dot com. In the email, please give me your name, the name of your blog, the name of your dish, the category you are entering (Desserts, Main Courses, or Everything Else), a link to your post, and a photo of your recipe. In addition, a short paragraph about this history of your dish would be great! This contest ends on April 13. Winners will be selected randomly in each category

In fact, I have a 4th prize, the Mr./Ms. Congeniality Award. This will go to the person exhibiting the greatest sense of fun and panache in their contest entry! And what is this award, you may ask? It's a copy of Gloria Chadwick's wonderful new cookbook,

Happy cooking, All!

Love those aprons? Want to see more apron action? Then just click on the photos below.

Lynn at Handmaiden'sCottage will be glad to help you!

And Carolyn's Kitchen (Hot-Cha-Cha)


Everyone-- thanks for visiting DomesticMuse! I am horribly behind on everything, not the least of which is visiting those of you I read every day. We are getting ready to move, starting April 1, so things are extra-busy at home. We'll start dragging as much as we can over to our new house starting Wed. evening. The furniture movers are coming next Monday (we hope). There was a little drama with the apt. people Friday so I wasn't able to finalize that.

So, posts will be light, and I won't have much time for reading this week either! I will have one or two posts to put up before Wed. I'll catch up with you as I can. Have a fabulous week, all! I'll miss you :( but be back soon! :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Soup and Bread

Soup and bread... a simple, elemental, satisfying meal. It's also the name of one of my favorite cookbooks, Dairy Hollow House Soup and Bread, by Crescent Dragonwagon. It's about the soups and breads served by CD and her late husband, Ned Shank, at their charming bed and breakfast inn in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. CD's recipes are always innovative, brilliant, delicious. And her writing is a joy to experience. She also has the distinction of being invited to cater President Bill Clinton's inaugural luncheon. I've had the cookbook for years... it's tattered, splashed with ingredients, dog-eared, annotated-- in short, it's been loved. If you don't have a copy, and are a soup lover, I encourage you to do yourself a favor and get it.

The following soup, Jerry Stamps' Great Bean and Corn Chowder is a recipe contributed by CD"s friend and the town pharmacist, Jerry Stamps. It is a fun departure from the normal creamy, dairy-based corn chowders. It's a snap to make, and it's just soooooo good. So good in fact, that it doesn't matter if you use homemade stock or canned. The other great thing about this recipe is it tastes good year round, not just in the winter. Although I admit I have a soup addiction!

The recipe calls for dried beans, which I do suggest using so that you can season them as they are cooking. I often use the pressure cooker for dried beans, but this time I just went with the simple stovetop method. A word on soaking: you really don't need to soak most beans before cooking, as it only adds a little more to the cooking time. I will say that soaking can cut down on some of the less desirable features of bean cookery, if you drain off the soaking water and add fresh for cooking. This is because the soaking water gets rid of some the indigestible sugars in the beans that can lead to, let's just say, an unromantic evening!

Here is the awesome

Jerry Stamps's Great Bean and Corn Chowder

2 c. dried Great Northern beans, picked over and rinsed
2 qt. chicken stock
1 heaping t. dried basil
1 heaping t. dried oregano
1 heaping t. dried rosemary
1 heaping t. dried thyme
1 heaping t. dried summer savory
1 bay leaf
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes or 2 c. tomato puree
1 lg. onion, diced
3-4 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 pinch cayenne
1/2 lb. salami or summer sausage, thinly sliced and roughly chopped
7-8 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 bag frozen corn, preferably white baby corn kernels
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

If you plan to soak the beans, cover them with water by 2-3 inches and let sit 8 hrs.
Otherwise, spray a large, heavy soup pot with nonstick spray and add the rinsed beans and enough chicken broth to cover by 2 inches. Add 1 t. salt, the bay leaf, and the dried herbs.

Bring the beans to a boil, then reduce the heat and simnmer over medium-low heat until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2-2 hrs.

Once the beans are tender, add the canned tomatoes or puree to the soup, the diced onions, the olive oil, the corn,
and the cayenne and simmer for 20 minutes.

Then add the salami and sliced mushrooms and cook for an addtional 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.

NOTE: Once the beans are tender, you can just add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until the vegetables are to your liking, 20 min. or so. I prefer to saute the onions in 2 T of the olive oil before adding them to the soup; this cuts the final simmer time down to about 10 minutes, as the corn and mushrooms will be definitely be done after 10 minutes.

Bread is a natural combination with soup. However, this "bread" is more like cake: Chocolate Banana Bread by Tyler Florence. It's a simple quick-bread recipe. Tyler bakes it in a loaf pan, but I'm sure it would work well in a 9x9 pan, to cut and serve like brownies.

Tyler Florence's Chocolate Banana Bread

1/2 c. butter, softened
2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
2 lg. eggs
3 very ripe bananas
1 t. vanilla extract

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the melted chocolate and eggs.

I found the cutest little baby bananas at the store, and they ripened up very nicely.

Here are my bananas, mashed up:

Add the mashed bananas and vanilla to the butter mixture.

Then add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture.

Next we put the batter in a greased loaf pan, and bake at 350F. Tyler says bake for 50-60 minutes; it took mine longer, probably because all my little bananas added up to more than 3 big ones.

Here is the finished bread:

We enjoyed this bread, but I think a few little additions would improve it.
Next time I make it, I'm going to add some chopped walnuts and chocolate chips. :D

The Ultimate Blueberry Pancake

I so enjoy sharing a leisurely brunch with my guys on the weekends. Because of DS's school schedule (it's killing me, it really is!), he's gone long before it's time for DC to get up. So we never get to have breakfast together during the week. Before middle school and his god-awful schedule, DS was accustomed to sitting down to a hot, delicious breakfast every morning before school. Now I'm lucky if I can get even a cereal bar crammed down his throat before we have to leave the house at 6:15 a.m. All the fabulous muffin recipes I've found on food blogs far and wide have been a tremendous help: the perfect portable, irresistible breakfast.

On the weekends, DS sometimes wistfully asks for pancakes. I'm not supposed to eat them, and they do make me feel terrible, so I almost never fix them. These, however, seem to sit well with me. They are DS's favorite pancakes. I am sure you will love them, too!

The great thing about this recipe is that there are no raw spots in the pancakes where the blueberries are. This is because the blueberries are cooked separately into a marvelously delicious compote to be served over the pancakes. So I guess I lied a little in my title, since this is pancakes with blueberries, rather than blueberry pancakes. The sour cream makes them fluffy and rich, the buttermillk makes them light.

By serving the blueberries as a compote, you also avoid getting that weird gray-green color in your pancakes from the blueberries reacting with the leavening. A further bonus is that with the delicious compote, you don't need syrup or butter for serving. The pancakes themselves are slightly sweetened, so the blueberry compote perfectly finishes them.

I feel I am doing something good when I serve these, since blueberries are full of antioxidants. The recipe calls for frozen blueberries, so you can make this compote year round. You can use fresh, too! This recipe makes a lot, so I always cut it in half. I've given the amounts for the HALF recipe below.

Stefan's Favorite Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Compote
(makes 9 pancakes)

For the Pancakes:
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 T sugar
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. sour cream
1 eggs
2 t. vanilla extract
3 T. unsalted butter

For the Compote:
2 1/2 c. frozen blueberries (unthawed)
1/3 c. sigar
1/3 c. water

To make the compote, combine the ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer and let cook until the sauce is somewhat thickened.

For the Pancakes, combine the dry ingredients with a whisk n a large bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt

Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl: sour cream, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined.

On a griddle or in a skillet, melt some of the butter and drop the batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto the griddle or into the skillet.

Cook the pancakes about 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Add more butter as needed.
Continue until all the batter has been used.

We love these pancakes with some soysage on the side. I use the Morningstar Farms brand from the freezer case. They taste best cooked in a skillet or on a griddle; all you need is a little nonstick spray to brown them. I like them better than regular pork sausage, as they are much less greasy and therefore do not give me heartburn! DC especially enjoys his soysage brushed with a little melted hot pepper jelly on both sides, just before serving.

DC's plate, up close and personal.

Yum, yum!

Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Compote

Fluffy buttermilk pancakes topped with a delicious blueberry compote

See Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Compote on Key Ingredient.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Dad's Meatloaf and Potatoes Au Gratin, plus AWARDS!

This has been a very stressful week at work, and I'm also trying to get back into my fitness routine, so I am very behind on posts! Dad's Meatloaf with Tomato Relish and Potatoes Au Gratin were for Tyler Florence Fridays last week, LOL!

DC has requested meatloaf several times and this is the first time I have got around to making it, because DS "hates" meatloaf. I can't get DS to understand that not all meatloaf is the same! Since it was just the 2 of us, I only made half a recipe, which gave nice dinner servings with some leftovers for meatloaf sandwiches. I'm giving the amounts for the full amount below.

These dishes were very easy to prepare, and really delicious. Tyler uses both ground pork as well as ground beef in his meatloaf, so it is very flavorful. The tomato relish adds a nice twist to plain old ketchup topping for the meatloaf, as well as helping to keep the meatloaf moist. And the smell is heavenly once it's in the oven with its little jacket of bacon.

Here are the ingredients:

Dad's Meatloaf with Tomato Relish

For the Tomato Relish:
Extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced (I used 2 for my half-recipe)
2 bayleaves
2 red peppers, finely diced
2 tomatoes, halved, seeded and finely diced (I used 1/2 can Rotel for my 1/2 recipe)
1/4 c. flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 12 oz. bottle ketchup
1 T worcestershire sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Meatloaf:
3 slices white bread, crusts removed,torn into chunks by hand
1/4 c. whole milk
1 1/2 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
2 eggs
leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3-4 bacon slices

First, we make the tomato relish, because it goes into as well as on top of the meatloaf. It is very quick to prepare.
We heat our skillet with oil, and saute the onion and garlic and bayleaves together. Toss the chopped peppers in next, cooking until softened and fragrant.
I bet this is great with fresh summer tomatoes, but since I had half a can of Rotel sitting in the fridge that I wanted to use up, I substituted it for the fresh tomatoes. At this point you add the seasonings too, parsley, ketchup, worcestershire, salt and pepper. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.

This is my relish, after all the ingredients have been added. I love the bright colors!

Now on to the meatloaf!

Here are my ground sirloin and ground pork

Next you add the eggs, bread/milk, thyme leaves, salt and pepper, and 1 1/2 c. of the tomato relish. My relish was still pretty hot, so I used an ice water bath to cook it down before adding it to the bowl. Tyler says to squeeze the excess milk out of the bread, but there really wasn't any! Guess it all soaked in to the bread.

My meatloaf mixture:

Tyler next instructs you to make a free-form loaf on a greased cookie sheet.
I prefer to make meatloaf this way, rather than in a loaf pan. You get a higher ration of topping-covered crust to soft interior, plus it cooks faster.

We coat the top generously with the tomato relish. Tyler says use 1/2 c.
Now for the best part: bacon!! Lay the bacon slices lengthwise on the top pf the loaf.

It goes in a 350F oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. I forgot to take a picture of the finished loaf, because we were very ready to eat! You can serve the meatloaf with more relish on it.

I made Tyler's Potatoes Gratin to go with the meatloaf. My friend Donna at My Tasty Treasures posted them a while ago and I have been dying to try them. This has to be the easiest-to-make scalloped potato type dish out there, and it's so good! You just mix everything up in the baking pan together. I used my food processor to slice the potatoes, so they came out nice and even, as well as much thinner than I could ever get them with a knife.

Potatoes Gratin
2 lbs. baking potatoes, peeled and sliced paper thin
2 c. heavy cream (I only had 1 c. of cream and 1 of whole milk)
2 garlic cloves, split
leaves from 4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 T. chopped chives
1 c. grated parmigiano reggiano
salt and freshly ground pepper

Toss all the ingredients together in a large bowl, then into the casserole dish. Flatten everything with a spatula. Now, you are supposed to bake the potatoes at 375 for 40 minutes, but my meatloaf was about 20 minutes away from being done, so I put them in the oven for the first 10 minutes, then microwaved them for 10 minutes, until the potatoes were tender. Then I popped them back into the oven hoping they would brown a little.

A little is about it! They are not so pretty, but extremely tasty. Using some milk in place of the cream did not seem to have an adverse effect on either the flavor or texture of the finished dish.

Wondering what to serve with these two glorious dishes, I rummaged around in the freezer and found some baby peas. The perfect retro-cool meal!

Now for some fun bloggy business! As mentioned in the title of this post, Kendra over at Homegrown Housewife received both the Friends Award

and the Excellent Blog award!

And I am really thrilled, honored, and excited she has passed them on to me! These awards mean a lot to me because Kendra is one of my best blogging buddies and her blog not only inspires me, I learn so many interesting things from reading it! Kendra is one of the people in our little corner of blogland that has welcomed me and encouraged me with my relatively new blog. Thank you, Kendra! You totally made my week!

Please do check out Kendra's blog if you haven't had a chance to visit. You are sure to find something delicious, funny, and uplifting there! Her other blog, Screams from My Front Porch, about life with her "three reckless children" is also sure to bring a smile to your face, so check it out too.

Both of these awards are supposed to be passed on-- There are so many wonderful blogs and bloggers I have met, it's hard to know who to pick! I will share the names of my co-awardees and partners in crime soon!

Dad's Meatloaf with Tomato Relish (Tyler Florence)

A moist, delicious meatloaf gets a special twist from homemade ...

See Dad's Meatloaf with Tomato Relish (Tyler Florence) on Key Ingredient.

Potatoes Gratin

Easy delicious weeknight version of potatoes gratin by Tyler Florence..

See Potatoes Gratin on Key Ingredient.

Chi miigwetch SCL: thank you to my son for creating this logo
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