One woman's foray into cooking for herself, for her family, and for her friends. It's not always picture-perfect, sometimes a little messy,
but it's always delicious. Join me in exploring new recipes, savoring the "résultats" and learning from the "erreurs".


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Favorites from All That Splatters

Several of my fellow bloggers are doing, or have done, their top ten posts of 2013. Well, seeing that 2013 was a slow year for All That Splatters, I thought I would come up with the all-time top ten favorite posts of ATS (or what I thought were the top ten favorite posts of ATS). If you disagree with my list, let me know! In no particular order, here we go:

General Tso's Chicken

This delicious chicken dish seems to be a popular dish among Pinteresters. All the ingredients can be found with a trip to your local grocery store. Easy enough to make, a batch of rice rounds out this meal. If you haven't tried it yet, do so. You're going to love it!





Jalapeno-Cheese Bread

Many people shy away from yeast breads. A little flour, a little yeast, a little water, a touch of salt, and a little time is basically all breads need. Need. Hmm. Okay, maybe a little kneading. If you have a heavy-duty stand mixer (like a Kitchenaid), that machine will do most of your kneading. Now, if you are so moved, add something that makes your mouth water. You can add nuts, or dried fruit, or cheese and/or chopped jalapenos. Yum. You've got the makings of the best toast ever. Seriously. Ever. You'll see.

 
Oven-Roasted Cauliflower, Onions & Garlic

I learned a few years ago that if you roast a vegetable, the end-product was like candy. Put a little caramelization on Brussels sprouts, asparagus, eggplant, and I'm a happy girl. Roast some cauliflower with onions and garlic and then finish it off with a tangy little dressing, and I'm in heaven. You will be, too. Trust me on this.




Vanilla Bean Butter-Rum Poundcakes

While my chocoholic sisters and brethren enjoy their addiction to the cacao bean, my craving goes towards the other end of the spectrum. I find the aroma of vanilla heady and intoxicating. And if the dessert menu suggests anything with vanilla bean added to it, I'm done. My decision is cemented. With vanilla bean added to the cake and the sauce, these little cakelets are luscious. Absolutely luscious.



Pulled Pork Sandwich

One would think that pulled pork always needs to start in a smoker. Or a barbeque grill of some sort. Not so. My trusty crockpot came out of retirement for this version and was I ever glad to give this version a shot. The meat comes out juicy and tender and delicious. Top the meat with a little cole slaw, and you've got a memorable sandwich. I'm telling you - get out your crockpot. You won't be sorry.



Scallops with Chili and Honey

Here's an appetizer that's easy and decadent. How often is a recipe described that way? Crispy little wontons, blanketed with sliced green onions (scallions), then layered with juicy scallops that have been caramelized with a bit of a saute and glazed with a sauce of honey and chili. Is your mouth watering yet?




Cloud Souffle

This is a pretty and delicious breakfast dish. It's gorgeous enough for guests, and surprisingly easy enough for treating yourself. Serve with asparagus or toast "soldiers". It's wonderful.






Union Square Cafe Bar Nuts

You're going to want to make these. And when you do, make sure you double the recipe. They are spicy and sweet, salty and slightly herbacious. One tip: when you add the rosemary, make sure you use fresh. A dear friend of mine used dried rosemary - the full amount called for in the recipe. She thought I had gone out of my mind for recommending this recipe. Use fresh rosemary. You will think you had temporarily lost your mind for not making these sooner. Promise.


Italian Open-Faced Sandwich

I came upon the recipe for this open-faced sandwich while watching a PBS cooking show many years ago, long before FoodTV or the Cooking Channel. As I mention in the post, the flavors meld together unbelievably well. You'll be surprised how delicious this is. It's an easy casual week-night, after-work, anytime meal.




Chicken with Garlic & Parsley

This is another dish that brings a lot of people to All That Splatters. The recipe calls for few ingredients, and the whole thing is done in less than 1/2 hour. With all that going for it, you'd think this recipe wouldn't have much flavor. But you'd be wrong. It's full of flavor and quite satisfying. Cook up a little rice or pasta as a side, and dinner is done.




BONUS:  Apple Cake with Caramel Sauce

I love caramel. I think I could eat a shoe if it had caramel sauce drizzled over it. That's not to say that the apple cake isn't good. It's really moist and delicious. The caramel sauce, however, puts it over the top. My mother has been making this recipe since I was a kid. It is a winner.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Pecan Pie


I'm not ready to start my resolution of healthy eating just yet. Pecan pie is my all-time favorite pie, and this recipe is my all-time favorite recipe for pecan pie. The filling is not syrupy but "stands up" on its own. It's super easy though super decadent. If you are willing to indulge one last time before you begin your regimen of grapefruit and salads, this is a great indulgence.


Pecan Pie

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecan halves

Combine sugar, butter, and corn syrup until smooth. Add flour, salt, and eggs together and stir until smooth. Stir in vanilla and pecans. Bake in unbaked pie shell 1 hour at 350 F.

(Note: Since the pie bakes so long, I make a collar out of foil to cover the edges of the pie crust for the first 45 minutes of baking. Remove the foil and continue baking the remaining 15 minutes.)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Up For a Cup?

I was contacted recently by Tamara, a representative from Puro coffee.  Never heard of them? Neither had I, but she was ready and willing to introduce this brand to me and my readers. A generous package of coffees, a mini French press and coffee cup arrived shortly. Since Jason, the Director of Creative Services at work, and I often talk coffee, I shared my bounty with him and his family, and the taste-testing began. 

While Jason said he picked up on some of the flavor notes described on the packaging, I was content with the comfort a good cup of coffee brings. The coffee is obviously roasted well, apparently a difficult feat for some companies. While I may not pick up on "citrus-y" or "chocolate-y" flavor notes, I often pick up on the flavor of burnt coffee beans. This does not make for a comforting cup of coffee. 

While I was appreciative of the bounty I received from Puro, the back-story of this company really got my attention. Tamara sent along the following information. It's a bit lengthy, but full of so much great information, I just couldn't decide what to cull it down to. Here is all the info she sent. There are some wonderful links you will definitely want to explore.

Thank you, Tamara. If you were here, I'd invite you in for a cup of coffee. You know it would be a good cup!:


A large number of your coffee drinking readers might not have heard of us before as we don’t have our own cafes and you won’t find us in supermarkets, nevertheless, if they drink coffee, then they will have probably enjoyed ours without realising it was us! Every National Trust site uses our coffee, restaurants like Gourmet Burger Kitchen and The Real Greek, large offices such as Innocent Drinks (the smoothie company), hairdressers like Headmasters and golf clubs like Wentworth all serve our coffee.
Through the Puro brand, alongside Fairtrade, we want to communicate the threat to rainforest and the need to preserve it. After oil, coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world, so imagine the amount of coffee consumed every day all over the world. By putting messages on our cups and sharing our stories and videos with our clients and consumers, we think we can help make a difference. We also want to show other companies that people and planet are just as important as profit. In order to help spread this message, it would be amazing if you were able to embed our short film (4.5mins long) within your review.
http://vimeo.com/fairtradecoffee/our-story or to all of our short films on Vimeo http://vimeo.com/fairtradecoffee
 
http://www.purocoffee.com/us/
Our Facebook page, where we share all our feel good stories and offer a monthly competition to win a gift box just like the one we sent you is http://www.facebook.com/fairtradecoffee
 
Puro Fairtrade Coffee is a brand from a company called Miko who has been roasting coffee in Belgium for 212 years now. It was created in 2005.
 
Miko has 9000m2 of solar panels on the roof of their building to generate their own electricity.
In 2007 whilst some of the Puro Fairtrade Coffee team were trekking through the Puro Ecuadorian Rainforest Reserve, some new species of orchid were discovered. One of these orchids was later named after us http://www.purocoffee.com/uk/saving-rainforest/orchid
In 2008, together with Sir David Attenborough, we launched a webcam in the rainforest to the media
Miko won a business charity award last year for the partnership between Puro Fairtrade Coffee and World Land Trust (we have gone on to help judge the 2013 Business Charity Awards)
Located within Chocó, Colombia. The 124 acre Puro Poison Frog Reserve is the only protected location in the world for the critically endangered and close to extinct Golden Poison Frog. Indigenous tribes still use their poison on their arrows and spears for hunting.
http://purocoffee.com/uk/saving-rainforest/poison-frog

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Panzanella


(I need to start out by saying the photos here will look much better if you take your glasses off. I'm not sure why I can't seem to take a picture anymore. Lack of practice has a lot to do with it, I'm sure. That and being distracted by the Big Bang Theory rerun that was on tv. I'm rarely home for this show. *sigh* Am I the only one who finally developed an appreciation for this series??)

Back to the dish: I really do love this salad. Evidently it was created to use up a rather tasteless bread. The recipe I based this on has you just tear up the bread. Rather brutish, if you ask me. I prefer to slice Italian or French bread rather thickly, then lightly toast (in the oven or a toaster, your choice). I like the kind of 'crouton-ish' texture of the bread in the salad when it's toasted.

The flavors of the season really come through here. Nice ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and sweet cucumbers just sing summer. An uncomplicated dressing finishes off the dish. Eat it alone for a light lunch or serve it alongside a simply prepared chicken dish, and Roberto's your uncle. :-)

Panzanella

2 medium to large ripe tomatoes, diced into bite-sized pieces
1 small cucumber, pared and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

6 - 8 thick slices of French or Italian bread, lightly toasted, cut into bite-sized pieces

Mix vegetables and basil in a bowl. Drizzles olive oil and red wine vinegar over vegetables. Season with salt & pepper, to taste.

Layer half of the bread in bottom of serving dish. Spread half of the vegetables over the bread. Layer rest of the bread over first layer of vegetables, and finish salad with spreading the rest of the vegetables along with rest of the dressing over top of second layer of bread. Cover and rest in refrigerator for 1 hour. Serve immediately.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Simple, tasty dishes are a favorite of mine these days. The days of wanting to try my hand at puff pastry from scratch and recipes utilizing every pot and pan in the kitchen, 42 ingredients, and 2-1/2 days of prep time no longer hold the same sheen they once did. So, when I came upon this recipe via a recent stroll through the land of Foodgawker, I was immediately hooked.

Barb's photos at WishfulChef were drool-inspiring. With all the ingredients on hand, my kitchen was soon wafting with the heady aromas of curry, shallots, garlic, and chili powder. And the flavor was comforting and lived up to the anticipation. It was just what I needed on a day when a little Asian comfort food was in order. Thank you, Barb.

Coconut Shrimp Curry
(I tweaked the recipe a little for my tastes, omitting the sweetener used in the original recipe, and halving the milk used in addition to the coconut milk for a little less brothy result.)

coconut or canola oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 cup potatoes, diced into small cubes
1 small can coconut milk(about 6-8 ounces)
1/2 can of milk (use the empty coconut milk can to measure)
8 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 medium tomato, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1-2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
3/4 cup frozen peas
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large pan, heat oil and add curry powder, cook for about two minutes. Stir in garlic and shallot and cook for a minute. Mix in potatoes, then stir together with coconut milk and regular milk. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, honey and chili powder. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add shrimp and frozen peas and cook for a few more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with basmati or brown rice.

Yield: 4 servings

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Kale, Cranberry & Quinoa Salad


In my efforts to eat healthier and explore healthier food options, I came across this recipe. I had heard of quinoa (say keen-wa) before, I'd even bought some that had been sitting in my pantry for quite a while, but I had never cooked it or eaten it anywhere. A little research revealed that this grain contains more protein than any other grain. One website indicates that there are varieties of quinoa that are more than 20 percent protein, making this grain a boon for vegetarians.

And kale. Touted as one of the world's "super foods", kale has risk-lowering benefits for at least five different types of cancers, including cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate(1). It comprehensively supports the body's detoxification system. Kale's extremely high vitamin-K content ("one cup of kale provides far more micrograms of vitamin K than any of our 135 World's Healthiest foods"(1)) makes it a champion in anti-inflammatory properties.

Whoa.

But does this all taste good??

In a word, Yes.

I love this dish so much, I've made it at least once a week for the last several weeks. In addition to my dinner, the leftovers heat up beautifully, becoming my lunch for the next couple of days. The toasted pine nuts add a bit of crunch, the dried cranberries give it a touch of sweetness, the sauteed shallots give it a tiny bit of caramelization that I just adore. Don't forget the salt... it definitely needs it. And definitely don't forget to thoroughly rinse the quinoa or your dish will have an awfully bitter aftertaste. You can smell the saponins on the quinoa. You'll know you've rinsed the grain enough - you won't smell the bitter coating at all any longer.

Thanks to Beyond the Plate for this wonderful recipe. I am deeply grateful!


Kale, Cranberry and Quinoa Salad

2 cups water
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 ounces/ 56 grams pine nuts
1/2 pound/ 260 grams kale
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium shallot (about 2 ounces/50 grams) peeled and thinly sliced
3 ounces/ 85 grams dried cranberries
1 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
1 teaspoon salt

Combine quinoa and water in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir the mixture about 10 minutes into cooking to prevent the quinoa from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Set aside.

Toast the pine nuts in a small, dry saute pan over low heat. Watch them carefully so they don't burn. Remove from the heat and reserve.

Remove the stems of the kale, then stack the leaves and thinly slice. Finely chop the stems as well.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add the shallots and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the kale and the cranberries, stir, then leave to cook, covered, for about 5 minutes.

Add the pine nuts, chili flakes (if using) and salt, stir and leave to cook again, covered, for another 5 minutes. If the kale starts to stick to the pan, add some water, a tablespoon at a time. (I use a non-stick skillet which eliminates any concern of, um, stickage...)You want just enough moisture to create steam in the skillet, but not too much to give you a sauce.

Toss the kale mixture and quinoa in a medium bowl and serve immediately, or at room temperature. (My personal preference is to serve this warm!)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Oaxaca Pizza


My Aunt Joanie is a good cook...no... a GREAT cook! She never steers me wrong when it comes to recipes. And she didn't this time, either. She told me about this simple pizza she makes every Friday night. And while it may be simple to make, it's far from simple in flavor.

Does one need another pizza recipe?? Is there anything original anymore when it comes to pizza? I think so!! At least this was new to me. First, she puts a pint of grape tomatoes in a baking pan, drizzles them with olive oil and adds salt & pepper, puts them in a hot oven (450F - 500F) for 15 - 20 minutes, then sets them aside to cool.


To save herself time (and trouble), my aunt purchases ready-made pizza dough from Central Market (pizza parlors have been known to sell dough very inexpensively, as well). And seriously, I would have purchased pre-made dough as well, but I was house-bound (a self-imposed sentence), so I blitzed up a batch of dough (see recipe below) in my KitchenAid  mixer in less than 10 minutes. I divided the dough into thirds.

Once the dough has risen, place the dough on a piece of parchment and spread out. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the dough. Transfer the dough onto a pizza stone in a 500F. oven (a pizza peel makes short work of this), and bake for about 8 - 10 minutes.


Now here's the big difference between this pizza and any I've ever had before: oaxaco cheese (say wha-ha-ka).  This Mexican cheese grates similarly to mozzarella but is a bit saltier, more flavorful, which makes this pizza tastier! Spread the grated oaxaca cheese over the baked crust and dot the pizza with the roasted grape tomatoes. Sprinkle grated Parmigiana-Reggiano over the entire pizza and place back into the oven. Bake for about 5 - 8 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

Before serving, strew basil cut into a chiffonade over the pizza. It's beautiful and delicious! (I'm sure you noticed the lack of gorgeous greenery over my pizza... )

Really, those roasted grape tomatoes and that wonderful oaxaca cheese... now that's a pizza! Thanks, Aunt Joanie!!

Pizza Crust

4 cups flour
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (this really makes a difference in the texture of the dough)
2-1/4 teaspoons dried instant yeast
1-1/2 cup tepid water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons salt

Mix flour, vital wheat gluten, instant yeast, water and olive oil. If dough does not come together and form a ball, add a bit more water. Let dough rest 10 minutes. Add salt, mix well, and knead for 5 minutes. Place dough in oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in draft-free area to rise until double, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.



P.S. I would have posted a few days earlier, but I was electronically stymied. The cord connecting my camera and computer was frayed almost in two! However, we are back in business! Thanks to all for your patience!!
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