Sunday, July 26, 2009

Recipe: Asian Short Ribs

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 beef short ribs boneless, skinless (about 4 pounds)
4 medium carrots, peeled and halved crosswise
1 small green cabbage (about 1 pound), quartered
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon sesame oil
4 scallions, thinly sliced (optional)

In a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker, combine the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and red pepper.

Add the short ribs and carrots and arrange in a single layer.

Lay the cabbage on top.

Cook, covered, on high for 5 to 6 hours (or on low for 7 to 8 hours), until the meat is tender.

Transfer the cabbage, short ribs, and carrots to plates.

With a large spoon or ladle, skim the fat from the cooking liquid and discard.

If the slow cooker is on the low setting, turn it to high.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water until smooth.

Whisk into the cooking liquid and cook until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the sesame oil.

Spoon the sauce over the short ribs and vegetables and sprinkle with the scallions (if using).

Serves 4

Real Simple Magazine October 2008
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Friday, July 24, 2009

Recipe: Thick, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (12 oz.)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until well blended.

Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt.

Stir or beat into butter mixture until well incorporated.

Stir in chocolate chips and pecans, if using.

Drop dough by 2 tablespoon portions, 2 inches apart, onto buttered 12 by 15 inch baking sheets.

Bake in the 400 degree oven until cookies are lightly browned and no longer wet in the center (break open to check), 6 to 8 minutes; if baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking.

With a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool.

If hot cookies start to break, slide a thin spatula under them to release; let stand on pan to firm up, 2 to 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Makes about 28 cookies.

Sunset Magazine November 2003
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Recipe: Marionberry, Blue cheese, and Arugula salad

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper
6 ounces arugula (about 13 cups)
6 ounces marionberries or blackberries (1 1/2 cups)
2 ounces mild blue cheese

In a salad bowl, whick together olive oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, the mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Add arugula and gently toss until leaves are coated with dressing.

Add berries and gently toss.

Divide among 4 salad plates.

Crumble 1/2 ounce cheese on each salad.

Sprinkle with remaining thyme, salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 servings.

NOTE: I substituted the marionberries or blackberries and used blueberries. You could even use dried cranberries.

Sunset magazine June 2008
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Kitchen Tip: 10 Ways to Prep Like a Pro

1. When measuring honey, corn syrup, or molasses, always measure the oil in the recipe first (or coat the cup with vegetable cooking spray); the sticky stuff will then slide right out.

2. Slip a wet paper towel under a cutting board or mixing bowl to keep it safely in place.

3. Before you toss a package of fozen veggies into your shopping cart, give it a shake; if the contents rattle, they're fresh. If they don't, choose another package.

4. When making a beef stir-fry, stick the meat in your freezer for 15 minutes. Cutting very thin slices will be much easier.

5. Press down on and roll citrus fruits under the palm of your hand before squeezing to get the most juice. Another juicy tip: Pop refrigerated citrus fruits into the microwave for 10 seconds to warm them; they'll release even more liquid.

6. Always insert a thermometer horizontally into the end of a piece of roasting meat for the most accurate reading.

7. For great flavor and even browning, heat your skillet and oil until hot before adding meat or poultry. This is especially important when cooking low-fat cuts like chicken or pork tenderloin.

8. Allow a roasted chicken (or any roasted meat) to rest at least 10 minutes before carving it. The meat will retain more juice, and it won't drip on the floor.

9. To remove a layer of fat from gravy or a sauce, drag a paper towel lightly across the surface of the liquid. Repeat if necessary.

10. Toast nuts in a dry pan for 3 to 4 minutes before using in a recipe. This brings out their best flavor.

Parents Magazine June 2005
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Kitchen Tip: Kitchen Scissor Uses

  • Cut pizza or quesadillas.
  • Snip parsley or other herbs.
  • Cut up chicken.
  • Cut canned tomatoes in chunks.
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Kitchen Tip: Mellon Baller Uses

  • Add balls of fruit or veggies to a salad.
  • Remove seeds from cucumbers, melons, or winter squash.
  • Scrape the hairy center from an artichoke.
  • Make tiny ice-cream balls for parfaits and sundaes.
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Kitchen Tip: Ice Cream Scoop Uses

  • Scoop cookie dough.
  • Measure muffin and cupcake batter.
  • Shape cooked rice or mashed potatoes into balls to decorate a plate.
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