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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Green Shopping in Your Area

Top of the morning to all of you! We had a great Brunch In The Ozarks this past week and it was truly like a bit of 'heaven on earth' with that scrumptious baked brie! This ooey, gooey delicacy was to die for along with the savory squash, chutney grilled chicken, and the classic Caesar salad. Surely one of these great specialties is a high Fork Five on your list. Check out what I mean about a High Fork 5 at http://grouprecipes.com/.

This week end we will turn in a slightly different direction...don't you just love zigzagging down the road of life? Just try to stay 'left of center' if you know what I mean! And if you don't know what I mean, I hope you never do. Anyway, how about an Ox tail Soup for brunch this week? As I have said, shop green whenever you are able, so I'm going to my neighborhood super store where I am always able to find ox tails. These little bony tails of beef may be hard to find in your region, however, we have a large Latino base in the Ozark area and are fortunate to have access to the foods this ethnic group loves to cook and eat! Ox tails have such a distinct and flavorful taste that you will surely want to take the extra time to make this special stew. Remember to print this page and use for your midweek shopping list...happy trails to you, until we meet again!
Oxtail Stew
1 cup flour
freshly-ground black pepper
5 lbs oxtails
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped parsnips
1 cup sliced squash
2 cups sliced cabbage
1 sliced and seeded bell pepper
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 bay leaves
2 quarts beef stock
Season flour with salt and pepper and dredge oxtails in the flour.
Heat oil in large Dutch oven, over medium heat.
Add the oxtails in batches, and brown for approx. 3 minutes on all sides
Remove oxtails from the pan and set aside.
Add onions, celery, carrots, parsnips, squash, cabbage, bell pepper.
Season with salt and pepper.
Saute vegetables about 6 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, bay leaves and stock, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan to loosen the browned particles.
Return the oxtails to the pot and cook, covered, until the sauce is stew-like and the meat starts to fall of the bone (about 2 hours)
Ozark Golden Silver Dollars
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat bran
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk OR soured milk (to sour milk, add about 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to regular milk and stir until it is lumpy)
Oil and skillet for frying
Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl, batter will be thick
Drop by tablespoonfuls into oil at medium heat on stove top
Fry until puffy and golden brown, turning only once...Scrumptious!
Serve hot
Fried Green Tomatoes
3 medium green tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick, not too thin!
1 egg
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying
Ranch dip
Slice tomatoes to 1/2 inch thick, don't peel the tomatoes
Mix egg and water
Soak sliced green tomatoes in egg and water while mixing cornmeal and flour
Pour small amount of oil into skillet
Heat oil to medium temperature
Dip tomatoes in meal and flour until fully covered
Fry in the oil until just brown
Drain on paper towels
Salt, pepper, and serve with classic ranch dip!
Fresh Fruit Salad Recipe from Noola at grouprecipes.com
3/4 cup cut watermelon
7 big strawberries
3/4 cup cut grapes
4 kiwi
1 mango
2 peach
1 Apple
1 orange
1 banana
3/4 cup cut melon
4 tbsp dry mint
½ cup maple syrup
Cut the ingredients to cubes or balls as desired, put them in a bowl then add the maple syrup and the dry mint to the ingredients and mix, finally put in the serving plate and sprinkle some dry mint in top.
Dump Cake straight from the Southern cooks of America and taken from Shai at grouprecipes.com
1 box yellow or white cake mix
1 stick butter or margarine, melted
1 can cherry pie filling
1 can (15 oz.) pineapple in heavy syrup
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1/4 cup coconut (optional)
Grease a 9x13 baking dish-do not flour
DUMP canned fruit into baking dish in layers
DUMP cake mix (powder-DO NOT PREP) evenly over fruit
Drizzle melted butter over cake mix
Top with nuts if desired
Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F or until golden brown.
Don't worry if topping appears dry, fruit will bubble up and make it nice.
Serve warm or cold with or without ice cream or whipped cream.
Coffee, Tea, or Wine or Whatever your Beverage of Choice is for this week!

Rubber Ducky Cupcakes for Henry

On a recent trip to see our new grand baby, Henry, #3 and me travelled through the duck capital of the world, Stuttgart, Arkansas. #3 loves to duck hunt and is an avid member of Ducks Unlimited http://ducks.org/. It is interesting to know that this great organization was started in the 30s to help preserve habitat areas for our waterfowl and ensure duck hunting for our future generations. Ducks Unlimited has continued to be very instrumental in preventing further degradation of existing wetlands in North America, as well as, many other parts of the world.

I found this Rubber Ducky Baby Shower cupcake theme, as well as, other baby shower topics at A Baked Creation http://abakedcreation.com/. Check it out! And do teach your children, as we will teach Henry, that protecting our wetlands and other natural habitats of the world will only secure a better environment for our kids and other kiddos to come. Life would be pretty sad if Henry and our other wonderful grand kids grew up to ask, "Paw paw, now just what was that thing called a 'duck'?" And especially sad if they couldn't go duck hunting with Paw paw in our little corner of the Duck Capital of the world.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Different Kind of Cupcake

Was thumbing through my group recipes website http://grouprecipes.com/ the other day and found this great recipe by gagagrits. I do like that name! And I especially love these delightful little somewhat different cupcakes. What's your favorite cupcake recipe? Do tell! And thank you gagagrits for sharing yours!

Breakfast Cupcakes

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. cornmeal
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/2 c. plain nonfat yogurt or buttermilk
1/4 c. milk
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 egg white
1/2 bulk breakfast sausage
1 apple sliced thin
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/3 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. maple syrup
2 Tbs. of a good bourbon or rum (optional)
1 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350
Coat cups of jumbo muffin tin with nonstick spray or can be baked in a greased 9 inch cast iron skillet for 30 min.
Combine flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
Combine yogurt, milk, oil, eggs, and egg white in another bowl. Set aside
Brown sausage in a skillet about 5 min. remove and drain on paper towel.
Whisk brown sugar, cream, syrup, bourbon, and salt for caramel together in a skillet over med high heat, stirring often, bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 min.
Stir sausage into flour mixture and add yogurt mixture. Stir just until combined; mixture will be slightly lumpy. Arrange apple slices in muffin cups. Divide the caramel evenly between cups and finish off with a batter layer.
Bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 30 min.
Let them cool briefly before turning out of muffin tin.

Heaven on Earth

Either that or I've died and gone to heaven and there's a French chef catering to my cheesy, rich commands! Was trying a new recipe just recently and cannot believe I have never done this before. Wow, a first time event! Maybe it was the pricey brie cheese or lazily never wanting to take time to thaw the puff pastry (also a bit pricey)I got at the market! Whatever...I can now say I have baked some brie in a puff pastry. So easy to do and elegant to serve! It's on my menu for this weekend along with some other scrumptious morsels. Shop green and see you soon at Brunch in the Ozarks!

Baked Brie in Puff Pastry
1/2 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 (8 ounce) package brie cheese, round
3 tablespoons jelly, of choice
Preheat oven to 425.
Lightly grease cookie sheet.
Roll puff pastry out slightly.
Place cheese wheel on top (leave rind on).
Place preserves on top of cheese.
Bundle Puff Pastry up and around the cheese.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Let cool for five minutes.
Serve with your favorite crackers
Baked Acorn Squash with Apples
3 medium acorn squash
3 tart apples, peeled, cored, and cut into small chunks
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
To facilitate slicing, partially bake or microwave the squash until the skin can be broken easily by the pressure of your thumbnail. Transfer to a colander and allow to stand.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly oil 6 individual baking dishes or a large shallow pan.
In a mixing bowl, combine the apples and flour and toss to coat evenly.
When the squash is cool enough to handle, cut each one in half lengthwise.
Scoop out the seeds and fibrous tissue.
Transfer the shells to the prepared baking dish.
Spoon the apples into the squash cavities and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
In a small saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
Brush over the exposed flesh of the squash and then drizzle what remains over the apples.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Uncover the dish and continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes or until the squash is tender.
Grilled Chutney Chicken
Chutney Sauce:
1/2 cup of your favorite chutney
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon red (cayenne) pepper
6 pieces chicken, such as breast halves, legs, or thighs
Preheat barbecue grill (spray grill with vegetable oil cooking spray).
Make the Chutney Sauce:
In a small bowl, combine chutney, garlic, ginger, and cayenne pepper; stir until well blended. Place chicken onto hot grill and brush generously with chutney sauce.
Cover barbecue with lid, open any vents, and cook 20 to 30 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked; turning and basting several times.
Remove from grill, transfer onto a serving platter, and serve immediately. Yield: 6 servings
Caesar Salad
2 large raw egg yolks (optional)
5 large cloves garlic, peeled
3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 (2-ounce) can anchovy fillets, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 head romaine lettuce, cleaned, dried, and torn
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup croutons
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the egg yolks, garlic, Dijon, mustard, lemon juice, wine vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce.
Pulse the mixture together until the garlic is finely chopped.
Then, while continuing to pulse, add the olive oil in a very patient, slow, steady stream to produce a smooth, creamy mayonnaise emulsion.
Add the anchovies, pulse for 30 seconds, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
This makes enough dressing for 8 servings. The extra dressing can be stored in the refrigerator 3 to 4 days.
To serve, place the romaine in a large salad bowl. Add the Parmesan cheese and half the dressing. Crumble the roasted croutons roughly over the salad. Toss thoroughly to coat the greens evenly.
Iced Tea, Coffee, or Beverage of choice

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Too Much Food, So Little Time!

It was a wild and crazy weekend for me and #3! We had a great time doing lots of different merrymaking with friends and family. Be assured that we did manage to get some quality eating and drinking time during all of our weekend festivities. First, Wendy and Felicia came down and we all went to the annual NWArkansas Alzheimer's Walk in Springdale. Our Trucker Buddies for Alzheimer's Team raised $620 for the cause! Check out our pictures!

Next on the agenda was a day trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas http://eurekasprings.org/ which is just a short 30 minutes from the Turquoise House. There was an antique car show going on with the usual ghost tours, as well as, excellent eating and shopping. We ate lunch at the Crescent Hotel in Dr. Baker's Lounge high atop the hills of this quirky, well known tourist attraction of a city! Did you know that this town of 2,350 residents and tons of yearly visitors does not have one traffic light in the whole city? Check out those pictures, too!

My preplanned and easy to prepare flexible brunch of pork sandwiches, chips and dip, coleslaw, and exotic drinks came in mighty handy when we settled back at home on Sunday. We were all very tired as we kicked back to enjoy football, food, and family at our little Brunch in the Ozarks! Check out that yummy Ozark Redneck Caviar pictured up above...and we Lagniappe'd it by watching the Dallas Cowboys actually win one in their new billion dollar stadium! See you midweek for the next brunch menu and do take care!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Let's Do Brunch!

What's up with you? Plenty over here in the Ozarks...#3 and me are going on the Northwest Arkansas Alzheimer's Memory Walk tomorrow, Saturday the 12th of September http://nwawalk.kintera.org/diannehocut. This annual event and fundraiser has been gearing up for months and walk day is finally here! Because of this event, friends are coming to visit at the Turquoise House and I want to have the most flowing and flexible menu possible. We'll be here, there, and everywhere this week end...so hope you can join us in some way at the Memory Walk, 8:00am, Arvest Ballpark off Interstate 540 N in Springdale or as usual at Brunch in the Ozarks. Remember to shop (copy this page and use as your shopping list) with your green on and be safe whatever you do!

Crock Pot Pork
1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
3 pounds boneless pork roast
1 (18 ounce) bottle barbecue sauce
Pour can of beef broth into slow cooker, and add boneless pork roast. Cook on High heat for 4 hours, or until meat shreds easily. Remove meat, and shred with two forks. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Transfer the shredded pork to a Dutch oven or iron skillet, and stir in barbecue sauce.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until heated through.
Serve on your favorite bread or buns and enjoy!
Confetti Coleslaw
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups shredded green cabbage
2 2/3 cups shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
1 cup minced red bell pepper
Directions:In a large bowl, whisk together the honey, vegetable oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add green and red cabbage, green onion, carrots and red pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate several hours before serving.
Ozark Redneck Caviar
1 can purple hull peas, drained
1 can crowder peas, drained
1 can Mexicorn, drained
1 small jar pimentos, drained
1 small can ripe olives, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 green pepper, seeded, and chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 (16 oz) jar Russian or French style salad dressing
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving Goes great with corn tortilla chips!
Blueberry Cobbler from Lacrenshaw at http://grouprecipes.com/
2 1/2 cups fresh OR frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 cup white sugar or to taste
1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
6 tablespoons white sugar
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons sugar
1 pinch cinnamon
Lightly grease an 8" square baking dish.
Place blueberries into the baking dish and mix in vanilla and lemon juice.
Sprinkle with 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon flour.
Stir in melted butter.
Set aside.
In medium bowl stir together 1 3/4 cups flour, baking powder and 6 tablespoons sugar.
Rub in 5 tablespoons butter using your fingers OR a pastry blender until you have small pieces.
Make a well in center and quickly stir in milk.
Mix until just moistened.
You should have a very thick batter or a very wet dough.
Add more milk, if necessary.
Cover and let batter rest for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Spoon the batter over the berries, leaving small holes to vent.
Mix together the cinnamon and 2 teaspoons sugar.
Sprinkle over the top.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes OR until top is golden brown.
Let cool to just warm before serving.
Can be stored in refrigerator for 2 days.
Brandy Slushes
9 cups water
2 cups sugar
4 tea bags
1 large can frozen lemonade
1 large can frozen orange juice
2 cups brandy
Boil together sugar and 7 cups of the water, cool
Prepare tea with 2 cups of the water, cool
Mix all ingredients together and freeze
Spoon into glasses
Pour 7 up over it and stir
Will be slushy and refreshing to drink

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Top of the morning to you!

Hope your weekend was wonderful. As for me, it did continue to rain all week long and well into the weekend. But, this did not stop #3 and me from sharing some special brunch time with our family. In fact, we switched gears and instead of Brunch in the Ozarks, we had Brunch at Loca Luna in Little Rock! Spontaneity, such a fun trait to possess. Wish #3 shared it with me!

The weather was in the mid 80s with a cool, gentle breeze blowing through the patio as the rain had cleared and allowed our family to settle in for a special meal. Today was Wendy's birthday so the birthday girl had Lobster and Crab Cakes, Eggs Benedict style, topped off with Southern Grits and White Cheddar Cheese Sauce and of course, a Mimosa. # 3 and me each had House Salads with lots of Goat Cheese, Blue Cheese, Toasted Pecans, Grilled Chicken, and Roasted Red Peppers. Sort of boring, but it did hit the spot. Noah had the Child's Plate which had enough eggs, bacon, and biscuits on it to feed all of us at the table! I really wish they would practice the art of portion control! Anyway, all was yummy and we feasted rather nicely, as well as enjoyed great service from our waitress. Check out my critique on this restaurant at http://yelp.com/. This is a great little site that allows you to dish good or bad on the businesses in your area or wherever you may go.

With all the extra running around, I've fallen a bit behind with my mid week preparation duties! I must confess I have become addicted to that other new site I mentioned in an earlier post, http://grouprecipes.com/. In fact I can't wait to go there after I hit the publish button on this blog. I have met the most wonderful friends who share their fantastic recipes. Please check it out and please do check in tomorrow to see what's cooking for this weekend at Brunch in the Ozarks!