food amongst family and friends

Buttermilk and herb BBQ chicken July 28, 2011

Filed under: Chicken,Mains,Make Ahead — blisteringlydrunk @ 12:39 pm

Buttermilk chicken

I have always lived under the delusion that buttermilk was high in fat.  Turns out, not so much, and it’s pretty darn delicious to cook with.  So, here’s phase 1 of “Ren’s adventures with buttermilk”. 

I got this recipe from Lighthearted at Home by Anne Lindsay.  I followed it exactly, but I think I’d change it a bit next time: my husband did the actual barbecuing and basted the chicken as he was doing it.  While this made for a nice, creamy chicken, it was too oregano-y or perhaps thyme-y, or just plain herb-y, so if you’re going to baste it throughout, cut the herbs to about, say, 1/4 t each.  Or don’t baste and keep as is.  Let me know how that works out for you.  I used 2 chicken breasts, but skinned and boned thighs would be great too.

Buttermilk marinade
3/4 c buttermilk
2 T Dijon
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 t each dried oregano, basil, thyme and rosemary (or 1/4 t each if basting during grilling)
1/4 t each salt and pepper

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well, and then add chicken, turning to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or up to 1 day ahead.  Place chicken on grill over medium heat; turn chicken and baste (or not, see above) occasionally for about 30 – 40 minutes, or until juices run clear.  Cheers!  Ren

 BBQ chicken


Feta dill asparagus crustless quiche July 27, 2011

Filed under: Mains,Quick and easy,Vegetarian — blisteringlydrunk @ 10:07 am
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quicheI love pie crust.  So much so, that even when making a savoury dish, I just use my spare pie crust in all its flakey, buttery goodness.  However, whenever I do this, the rest of my family scoops out the insides and leaves it behind (I am saddled with, gasp!, healthy eaters).  So in an effort to cater to them, I tried this crustless quiche that I got from the Backseat Gourmet.  I added more dill to it than called for and I used light feta, and could have maybe used more – I’ll leave that to you to decide.  It was so good, and everyone enjoyed it so much, I may just save the pie crust for, well, pies…

1 T butter
1/2 c bread crumbs
1/2 bunch of asparagus
8 eggs
1 c milk
salt and pepper to taste
2 T chopped fresh dill
1 c crumbled feta

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Clean then chop asparagus into 1 in. portions. Steam for about 2 min. and then remove immediately and set aside to cool.  Butter a deep pie dish and sprinkle bread crumbs in it, rolling around until sides are covered.  Whisk eggs and milk together, add some pepper and a small amount of salt, then add dill, crumbled feta and asparagus.  Mix together and pour into dish.  Bake for about 35 min., or until quiche is puffy and golden on top.  Remove and set aside for 5 min. before serving.  Cheers!  Ren


Apple crisplettes July 26, 2011

Filed under: Baking,Quick and easy — blisteringlydrunk @ 11:05 am

Apple crisplettes


I love apple crisp (actually, I love any kind of crisp: rhubarb, blueberry, whatever).  However, the last two times I’ve tried to make it, nothing good came of it (um, unless you count having to remove an exploded pyrex dish full of apple rhubarb mess from your new oven a rip-roaring good time…).  Thinking this was going to be the end of a long, wonderful relationship, I was delighted to have come upon this little delight.  Apple crisplettesThey are easy to make (always my m.o.) and a perfect little portion for each of us – I just brought a pan of this to for dinner at a friend’s place, and it was a mouth-watering success.


Crisp Layer (for 6 apples)
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c rolled oats
1 c brown sugar (lightly packed)
1/2 t kosher salt
1 t cinnamon
1 t ground nutmeg
1/2 c butter, melted and cooled

Halve the apples and core them.  Cram dried cherries (or whatever dried fruit suits your palate) into the crater and top with the crisp.  Place in pan and bake at 375°F for about 45 min., or until the apples are soft.  It’s lovely with a side of vanilla ice cream.  Cheers!  Ren


Beef tenderloin with mustard peppercorn crust

Filed under: Beef,Mains — blisteringlydrunk @ 10:35 am

Beef tenderloinThis was a delicious, tender roast that I served for a dinner party – very little prep time and it was a big hit.  I got the idea from Lighthearted at Home by Anne Lindsay.  I served it with steamed asparagus, horseradish and yam fries.

2 1/2 lb. beef tenderloin
1/4 c. Dijon mustard
2 t minced garlic
2 T ground black peppercorns

Mix together mustard and garlic and slap all over the tenderloin then cover it all with the pepper.  Let it stand at room temp. for about an hour.  Roast at 425°F for 10, then reduce heat to 350°F until med. rare (internal temp. of around 140°F) – about 40 min.  Remove and let stand for 10 min. before carving. Cheers!  Ren


Happy 100th post to us and a Rhubarb Vinagrette July 19, 2011

Filed under: Make Ahead,Quick and easy,Salads,Sauces — blisteringlydrunk @ 12:55 pm
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So, here is our 100th post, 2 weeks late and not overly exciting on the surface. Summer has officially taken over my life and not allowed a whole lot of time for posting, although there has still been a lot of cooking, mainly early in the morning, before it gets hot. Once the heat kicks in, all I want to do is BBQ some meat and throw a salad together, hence this post. I saw this recipe on Dinner with Julie the other day and when the temperature inside my house hit 29 degrees yesterday afternoon, I changed my dinner plans and threw this together. Tossed with fresh greens and some dill from my garden, this was easily the best salad I’ve had all summer (and I’m a salad junkie), so good in fact, that I repeated it for my lunch today. I’m currently debating in my head if I could actually can this so that I could enjoy it year round, but the jury is still out – I need to do a little research. For now, one batch should last in the fridge for a week or two, if it lasts that long.

1 large rhubarb stalk, or 3 little ones, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp each, honey and rice vinegar

1-2 tsp Dijon mustard

3 Tbsp olive oil

1. Place rhubarb and about 1/4 – 1/2 cup water in a small pan over medium heat and simmer about 5 minutes, or until water is mostly evaporated and rhubarb is really soft.

2. Put everything but the oil in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Then turn on high and add the oil with the motor running – this will emulsify the oil and make for a thick creamy dressing.

3. Store in the fridge and serve once cool. Dill would also be great right in the dressing, but the color might be a little funky.




Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread July 4, 2011

Filed under: Breads,Breakfast — blisteringlydrunk @ 8:27 am
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I feel like all I have been doing lately is cooking and then dashing off to the next exciting summer vacation destination: the zoo, the waterpark, the regular park, the amusement park, bike ride tour of our neighbourhood (now on hold due to my bike being stolen out of our garage on the weekend), and this week the beach. It’s only two weeks in and I think I might need to slow down a little. That said, I have been cooking, I just haven’t been finding the time to post. For example, these burger buns are fantastic and fairly easy, if you are into fresh buns for burgers. And yesterday I made this amazing rhubarb custard pie, that I can guarantee will be made at least once every rhubarb season. And I used this marinade recipe for some grilled pork chops last night on Meagan’s recommendation, which turned out beautifully. The problem I am having currently, is a lack of time to post, so I am going to give you some recipes to the stuff I am making changes to and links to the stuff that I wouldn’t change at all.

This cinnamon pull apart bread is something I will definitely make again, as it was simpler than cinnamon buns, but with essentially the same result. However, the recipe needed some work; if you change nothing else, cook this way longer than it says, possibly double. But do make it; it’s totally worth it.

For the dough:

1/2 cup milk, warmed slightly (room temperature or so)

1/4 cup warm water

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

3 cups all purpose flour (next time I will use either all spelt or half ap, half whole wheat)

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 large eggs

For the filling:

3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 cup butter melted

Raisins, chopped pecans, etc could also be added here with good results; I’m thinking chopped pecans rolled in a little cinnamon sugar on the bottom of the loaf pan before you put the dough in

1. In a large bowl (that is not cold, and if it is, warm the milk and water a little extra), combine milk, water, yeast and a pinch of the sugar. Let stand 5-10 minutes, or until nice and foamy.

2. Stir in butter and eggs with a heavy whisk until butter is chopped up fairly fine, then add flour and the remaining sugar. Stir until a dough is formed. This is where a stand mixer with a dough hook would come in handy, as this is a sticky dough and you don’t want to add too much flour to it, however, you do have to knead it a bit. So flour up your hands and be prepared to get a little dirty. Knead just until the dough is well combined, maybe 2 minutes.

3.  At this point I covered mine and put it in the fridge overnight, then in the morning, I put it in the oven with a pan of steaming water for 30 minutes to bring it back to life. Otherwise, you can just let it rise for about an hour in a warmish place until doubled in size.

4. In a small bowl, stir together cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar, then butter a 9×5 loaf pan (and add in the chopped pecans if you want to try that).

5. Roll out your dough into a 12″x20″ rectangle on the nearest clean and floured surface. Spread with melted butter, then sprinkle evenly with sugar/spice combo; it will be a lot and I have already cut it a bit.

6. Slice the dough lengthwise into 6 strips. Stack the strips on top of each other, then cut them crosswise into 6  pieces again. Stand them up and put them in the loaf pan, so that you essentially have already sliced bread (I had to put some in the side to fit them all in though, just so long as they are standing up and in there fairly securely). Cover and let rise for another 30-60 minutes, until doubled.

7. Preheat oven to 350. Here’s where it gets a little tricky, the original recipe says to cook for 20-30 minutes; I cooked mine for 35 minutes and the middle was still pure dough, so I had to put it back in. I would recommend baking for 45 minutes to an hour. The tops will probably be dark brown and if you press in the middle, it should hold its shape.

8. Let cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and flip it onto a serving plate. Let cool for another 5 – 10 minutes before eating.