Touch of Nectar

{January 20, 2012}   That’s Nuts!

I made these for Project 365.  It is one of those super simple recipes that I am going to make over and over again.  It’s not even really a recipe.

Buy a can of spanish peanuts. You know, the red skinned ones that are uber salty… Now chop up an equal amount of candied ginger. I happened to find some on sale, but the bulk bins are your friend. 

Now mix the two together and put in an airtight container.  Eat by the handfuls.  This is salty, sweet and has a nice little bit of kickin spice from the ginger. Lovely.


{April 19, 2011}   Ham and Pineapple Kebabs

Not only does using the grill keep the hubby happy, it gets him to help me with dinner. Both he and the kidling LOVED this recipe. I served it with steamed basmati rice and green beans.

As usual, I made a few changes. I forgot to buy the Maraschino cherries and I added some sweet onion to the skewers. I also used fresh pineapple instead of canned.  Hubby says to use both the onions AND cherries next time. This is one of those recipes that now that I’ve made it once, I can make it over and over again without the actual recipe in front of me. It’s a keeper!

1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained
1 1/2 lbs cooked ham, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
8 maraschino cherries, stemmed
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Soak skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.
Prepare a medium-hot grill.
Thread pineapple, ham, and cherries onto skewers, dividing the ingredients equally.
In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
Brush over ham skewers.
Grill kebabs until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

{March 29, 2011}   Quick and Delicious Dinner

My menu plan for last night more or less got thrown out the window for various reasons. I keep plain chicken breast in the freezer for just that sort of occurance.

I thawed the chicken and found a simple and fast recipe in my 365 Great 20 Minute Recipes cookbook (out of print? I can’t find a link)

The recipe is called Ginger Chicken Saute and it really did take me only 20 minutes to get dinner on the table.  This is recipe #106 of Project 365I had rice already cooked in the fridge, so I heated that up with a tiny bit of water in the microwave. Meanwhile I also sauteed some snap peas and yellow squash.

Dinner is served! Yum! Very gingery.

This could also be done as a make-ahead or OAMC meal if you make the marinade and freeze the chicken. Just cook and eat in that case. Easy Peasy! I will make this again for sure. Hubby inhaled it too, which is always a bonus.

Restocking the freezer this week.  Some doubling up on recipes throughout the week.   Ground turkey is on sale at Safeway for buy one get one free, so I’ll be making a HUGE batch of meatballs to freeze. I also want to restock my freezer with roasted red bell pepper and tomato soup.  I might throw some beans in the crockpot for some sort of freezable stew later this week too. I bought a giant package of chicken breasts, so those will go in the freezer in at least 3 different marinades. (to be determined)

As of today, I am at 99/365 recipes. As always, these are in no particular order.  (Already changing the menu since I forgot a few things at the store last night…)

Sat 26 Shrimp and Snow Pea Stir Fry – Cooking Light 04
Steamed rice, dumplings (freezer)

Sun 27 – Mini Meatloaves – Cooking Light 2004 (make double) and Twice Baked Potatoes (make at least double. hubby loves these)

Mon 28 Pork Chili with Greens – 1001 Slow Cooker  and Sweet Corn Cheddar Pancakes From Asparagus to Zucchini

Tue 29Sage Stuffed Chicken Breasts – George Foreman Green Beans (wondering if this would freeze well?)

Wed 30 – CORN/Leftovers night (might change since I won’t be around this weekend to cook)

Thur 31 Pork and Fennel Ragu – Cooking Light 2004 Rice, Bread, Salad

Fri 1 – Off to Canada! I’m teaching a 4 hour backcountry cooking class. So not ready! Hubby and kidling to eat leftovers or eat pizza.

BreakfastsStrawberry Cinnamon Muffins – Cooking Light 2005 and Ginger Dessert Waffles – Spices of the World

LunchesGreen Apple Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette – Cooking Light 2004 and  Tarragon Tuna Salad – Spices of the World and and Potato Salad with Parsley and Chives – Cooking Light 2004 (for hubby. Didn’t get made from previous menu) Slaw of some sort? I have green cabbage to use up.

Dessert Applesauce Cake Spices of the World (made with home canned applesauce) I also picked up an angelfood cake at the store – to be served topped with Cool Whip and home-canned berries.

{September 15, 2009}   Pear Overload – Part #3

Okay, I am officially sick of pears… And despite that, I am going back today to harvest the rest of the tree. Yes, I’m nuts. But I never say no to free food!

Saturday night I cut up the pears so that I could have everything ready on Sunday morning to dump in the crock pot. What was I making? Ginger Pear Butter. I had never made pear butter (0r any kind of fruit butter for that matter) before, so this was a bit of an adventure.

Ginger Pear Butter

3 lbs ripe pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup water
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Add the first 4 ingredients to the slow cooker; stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours. Remove the lid and stir in the fresh and ground ginger. Increase temperature setting to HIGH; cook, uncovered, 1-2 hours, to thicken and blend, stirring occasionally. Let cool completely, then transfer to glass jars or other containers with tight fitting lids; store in the refrigerator where they will keep for several weeks.

Since this was all new to me, I mostly followed the recipe for a change. I did double it. I’ve decided that I could probably use a kitchen scale. I felt a bit ridiculous weighing my pears on the kidling’s old baby scale. Hey, it worked! LOL.

Into the crockpot everything went and I was off for the day. I love crock pot recipes!

I came back home to a house smelling amazing. I added the ginger and increased the heat. I didn’t exactly measure the fresh ginger. I just grated it right into the pears. I may have gotten a little carried away. The final product is VERY gingery.

I took my stick blender to the mass of chunks in the crock and let the butter cool a bit before packaging it up. Oh man, did the house ever smell good! Like fall had moved right on in.

I think either my pears were a bit wet or I added to much water initially because the final pear butter is more like a thick sauce than something spreadable. From 6 pounds of pears, I got about 8 cups of pear butter (sauce). My foodie friends say this is freezable. So I think about half will be frozen and half will be gifted and eaten right away. 

So what do you do with a super gingery pear butter? Well yesterday I had it spooned over some vanilla yogurt.

It would also make a nice glaze for ham, pork or chicken. Maybe served on some green beans? Drizzled over ice cream. Toss with cubed winter squash or sweet potatoes and baked?  Made into some sort of salad dressing? Top pancakes or waffles. Served over chevre like you would serve a chutney… I’d love to hear other ideas. I have a ton of this stuff!

Today’s bento is made up of leftovers remixed from a couple of night’s dinners.

On the left is vanilla yogurt, cherries and mangos (breakfast), green beans, boiled quails eggs, radishes and olives (snack).

On the right is fresh pineapple, spring rolls (made from leftover tofu stir fry, cabbage, rice noodles and snow peas) and a small container of ginger dressing for dipping.

Not terribly exciting, but it’s monday. Meh. I’m just bummed that I left my desk-drawer-chocolate restocking supply sitting on the kitchen counter. No afternoon chocolate for me today. 😦

et cetera