Monday, October 4, 2010

Witch's Brew Punch

This is my very favorite punch recipe for fall/winter---nothing like it:

2 qts apple juice, set aside 7 cups
3/4 c. sugar
1 teas ea. cinnamon, nutmeg (I grate mine fresh), allspice
1 12 oz. OJ concentrate
1 qt ginger ale

In saucepan combine apple juice setting 7 cups aside, sugar, spices. Stir over med. heat till sugar dissolves. Cool. In lg serving bowl, combine 7 c of remaining apple juice, OJ concentrate, sugar mixture with juice that has cooled and mix well. Pour gingerale over. Add ice. Garnish with orange slices.

Makes 3 quarts.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Couscous side dish

In a saucepan (1-2 qt), add 2 Tblsp. olive oil. Heat & add 1/2 cup chopped onion & 4-6 minced cloves of garlic, depending on how garlicky you like things. Stir now & then, making sure it doesn't burn - once it's cooked & translucent, add:
1-1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 c. (thawed) frozen or fresh peas
1/4 c. minced roasted red pepper
6 minced dried apricots
1/4 tsp. Trader Joe's 21-season salute (a GREAT blend!) you can use a seasoned salt but .....
freshly ground pepper (liberal amount)
several shakes (spiciness to taste) of ground cayenne

Raise heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup of couscous to pot, stir & then remove from heat. Cover and let it sit 5-10 minutes. Stir and serve immediately or chill and enjoy it cooled off. It was a tasty side dish last night served with heavily seasoned & oiled grilled sirloin steaks.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Irish Soda Bread

Recipe will be posted soon; it's one of the best I've tried!

Instead of retyping the recipe, here's the link to the recipe I used. It has step-by-step instructions and colored photographs; you cant miss with this one!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

King Cake

Especially for Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras:
If you've never baked yeast bread before, you may want to find another more detailed recipe with more detailed instructions. The recipe below is somewhat abbreviated:

Makes 2 King Cakes:
Dissolve 4-1/2 tsps. dry yeast in 2/3 c. warm water mixed with 1 T. sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes.
In a bowl, add 1/4 c. melted butter & 1 C. warm milk.

In a large bowl, combine both liquids. Add:
1/2 C. white sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
5-1/2 cups white flour (a little at a time, making a pliable dough)

Mix well, knead for 5 minutes until smooth & elastic. Turn dough into a greased bowl, cover with a damp towel & let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.

Make filling: In a bowl, combine & mix well, set aside:
3/4 C. brown sugar
1 Tblsp. cinnamon
2 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup flour
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup melted butter

When dough is ready, divide in half. Roll onto a floured board into 2 rectangles, approx. 8" X 20". Spread half the filling onto one end (the long way) and roll up - jelly roll style - tightly. Form into a ring, sealing the ends firmly. At this time, you CAN (not mandatory) 'HIDE' a little, tiny BOY figurine under/inside the dough, concealing it completely.

Place the dough rings on 2 parchment covered baking pans. Cover lightly & let rise for 45 minutes.

Put sheets in a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until tops are golden. Rotate sheets once halfway thru baking time.

Remove from oven. Let cool an hour and then brush with icing (1 C. powdered sugar mixed with 1 Tblsp. water), and then sprinkle with colored sugar (authentic colors: purple, yellow, green).

Whoever gets the piece with the baby inside, gets good luck along with it!

For more information about King Cakes: