Sweet as a candy apple . . . and so much fun to make!
Staying home for Halloween? No worries.
Enjoy some time in your kitchen with your family. Candy Apples is an extraordinary culinary project. If you can boil water, you can make Candy Apples. With just a few more ingredients, craft sticks, a candy thermometer and a pastry brush, you can transform delicious red apples into a culinary dream!
The next best thing to being in New Orleans is cooking your favorite creole cuisine at home. Grillades and Grits is New Orleans quintessential choice for breakfast or brunch. Grillades and Grits, pronounced “gree-yahds”, are medallions of various meats, usually veal or pork. They are slow-cooked in a tomato gravy, the “trinity”(onions, celery and green pepper) plus plenty of garlic. Smooth, rich, cheesy grits and fluffy biscuits are the perfect sides.
Grillades and Grits:
Cut the meat into medallions.
Season with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
Dredge with flour.
In a heavy-bottom skillet, brown the medallions. Set aside.
Sauté the “trinity”, onions, bell pepper, and celery, add 1 tablespoon minced garlic.
A classic brunch dish in the French Quarter in New Orleans. Enriched with creole flavors this is comfort food at its best!
2 poundsveal round steak, about 1/2" thick
1t. cayenne pepper
1/2cup all-purpose flour
1/4cup vegetable oil
1cupbell pepper, chopped
1cup celery, chopped
1 1/2cupspeeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
1/2cupdry red wine
1/2t. dried oregano
1bunchgreen onions, green part only, chopped
3T.fresh parsley, finely chopped
Baked cheese grits
Combine the salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Set aside.
Cut the meat into 2" squares. With a mallet, pound each piece of meat until slightly flattened.
Sprinkle with seasoning mix and dredge in the flour. Shake off excess flour. Turn pieces of meat over and repeat the process.
In a large cast-iron pot or enameled cast-iron, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the meat several pieces at a time and brown evenly on both sides, being careful not to overcrowd. Remove and place on a paper towel-lined plate. When all of the meat is browned, set aside.
Remove any burnt drippings from the pan, add the oil. When hot, add the onions, bell pepper and celery, cook, stirring occasionally, in oil until vegetables are wilted, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 4 to 6 minutes.
Return the browned meat to the large heavy pot, add the beef broth, sautéd vegetables, wine, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, and basil.
Reduce heat to a medium, simmer partially covered for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally.
Meanwhile, cook the cheese grits.
When ready to serve, remove the bay leaves, add the green onions and parsley.
During our uncertain times, families are focused on building spaces that bring comfort and improve everyday quality of life. Before the coronavirus pandemic, everyone wanted patio spaces that would work for entertaining. Our needs have changed. Work spaces and living spaces are our top priorities.
Now is the moment to take stock of our outdoor patios and porches. What items need to be replaced? Most likely, it is our furniture cushions.
Here’s a crazy idea . . . cover them with drapery textiles. You know, the living room drapes that you are thinking about replacing anyway. Combine these two ideas into one. Find a local seamstress or sew them, either way, before you now it, beautiful new cushions will emerge and the warm textiles will embellish your patio. Now, add a some throw pillows, blankets, lighting, and outdoor heaters. You will be ready for daily living as well as Covid-19 style outdoor entertaining!
A delicious pasta, takes about 30 minutes to make it and some time for resting. Serve with delicious butter/sage sauce.
2cups all-purpose flour
1t. olive oil
Butter/sage sauce: 5 T. salted butter, 2 T. minced fresh sage, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese and salt & freshly grated pepper to taste
On a large work surface, pour the flour and salt into a mound. Blend together with a fork and make a well in the center. Add the eggs, egg yolks and olive oil to the center of the well. Beat the eggs with a fork, working in a circular motion, gradually blend the ingredients together. Be careful that the liquid egg doesn't run out of the well. Once the egg is incorporated into the dry ingredients, knead briefly. Leave the dough to rest, covered, for 30 minutes to one hour.
Dust the work surface lightly with flour. Roll out the dough, pushing it away from you, turning occasionally. Try to keep it rectangular. Roll out to 1/8" thick and about 24" in diameter. Place a clean tea towel over the back of a chair, drape the dough over the towel. Let it dry for 30 to 45 minutes.
On a work surface, roll the dough up into a flat roll. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into strips 1/4" wide. Gently toss and unroll the strips. Set aside for a few minutes.
Bring a pan of water to a boil. Add the noodles and salt. Stir immediately with a wooden spoon. Cook until just al dente. Drain. Toss with butter/sage sauce.
Toss with brown butter/sage sauce. Add Parmesan cheese and freshly grated black pepper.
Butter/sage sauce: In a large skillet, melt the butter, add the sage. Set aside while the pasta cooks. Add the Parmesan cheese and season to taste with the salt and pepper. When the pasta is cooked, add it to the pan and toss.
It is patio season! Cooler weather is on the way. We are enjoying football games on TV. I am cooking more comfort foods and we are dining on our patio. So . . . now is the perfect time for a patio makeover!
Five tips for a patio makeover on a limited budget:
Select a fall color theme.
Cut and sew patio custom furniture cushions with covers made of repurposed vintage textiles.
Shop at a local upholstery store for additional fabrics for pillows. In Dallas, family-owned, Childress Fabrics has a grand selection of fabrics.
Shop your house for table scape items; ie. lanterns, candlesticks, vases, baskets, table runners, etc.
With the money saved, splurge on pumpkins, dried flowers and candles to decorate the table.
Five reasons the patio project is worth your time:
It’s a clever way to repurpose used drapes when you are done with them.
Engaging in a creative project is meaningful.
Your patio will be original and beautiful.
It is a great money saver!
Happy with my patio makeover! The fabric’s texture, design and fall colors are well-suited for patio cushion covers. Don’t worry if you don’t have any drapes for a patio project, resale shops and estate sales are a great source.