Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Trifling Dessert

So, can anyone tell me HOW...just HOW do you transport a trifle bowl? The only way I can think of is if you have someone hold it. What if you don't HAVE someone who can hold it?I can tell you how NOT to transport a trifle bowl. You DEFINATELY should not transport a trifle bowl in floorboard of you car. EVEN if you are holding on to it with one hand while driving! Because when you let go for a NANO-Second to answer your cell phone...even with one of those high-speed MCDonalds looking ear-piece thingys it WILL, I repeat WILL ,fall over and land on the floorboard of your car. Rendering an afternoon and several $$ completely wasted! It will also put you in a VERY VERY bad mood!!!

I was so excited. I was going to a dinner party and I decided that this Peach Melba Trifle sounded scruptious! I envisioned ohh's and ahh's from the other guests! I imagined moans as they took the first bite! imagined, "Oh, Sindy you are SUCH A GOOD COOK!" I got none of that ...what I got as I carried in the half empty, dasterdly trifle bowl with what now looked the birthday cake of a 1 yr old AFTER he smeared it all over himself. Were pitiful looks ...pats on the back , and "I am sure it will still taste wonderful" There was a enough left in the bowl to try. But it was could be the best thing in the world ..but it just wasn't the same.

Ok, I did try it and it was good ...sigh ! Really it was ....sigh! OK, I just can't stop pouting enough to be objective. I would recomend that you try it ..the ingredients will tell you that there is no way that it wouldn't be good. But I WILL advise you that you should make it and SERVE it in the same location!
The only good thing is ...I actually had the presence of mind to take a picture of it BEFORE I left home. So ...YOU get to see it BEFORE it became a pile of mush! Pitty that my friends did NOT!
Peach Melba Trifle
6 cups Frozen sliced peaches (defrosted)
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbs Fresh squeezed OJ
Zest of 1 0range
1/8 gound nutmeg
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
2 TBS raspberry Liqueur
1 1/2 cups seedless raspberry jam
1-16oz pound cake cut into 1/2 in slices
1/4 cup water
1 large pkg instant vanilla pudding prepared as directed except replace 1/4 cup of milk with 1/4 cup of Grand Marnier .

In large bowl combine peaches , sugar, oj, orange zest, nutmeg and 2TBS of the Grand Marnier. Stir well and set aside
Combine Raspberry Liqueur and jam and set aside
Place layer of pound cake in bottom of trifle bowl. mix remaining Grand Marnier and water, brush onto pound cake.
Spread 1/3 of jam mixture onto cake, Spoon 1/3 of pudding mixture on top and a layer of peaches ( removed from juice with slotted spoon) Repeat for a total of 3 layers. Chill for 1 hour.

I made some adjustments to the original recipe which I got from "Perfect Party Food" It actually had a recipe for a vanilla custard flavored with the Grand Marnier. It also called for topping it with 2 cups of heavy cream whipped to stiff peaks. I had plans to top it with store bought whipped cream ..but did not get that far ...SIGH It was also supposed to be refrigerated for at least 8 hour but I did not have time for that. ....SIGH! Did I mention that Trifle bowls by there very nature are TOP HEAVY??????

Monday, July 24, 2006


Despite working all weekend I actually managed to do a lot of cooking. On Saturday I catered a dinner for my co-workers before I started my 12 hr shift. Unfortunately I forgot my camera so I have no ACTUAL EVIDENCE of this you will have to take my word for it. We had Margarita Chicken, which is really just another recipe for chicken marinade . I just broiled it and served it with a lemongrass and ginger rice (box mix from Harris Teeter YUMM!) but you could also grill and afterwards do a wide variety of things with it like add to a salad or fajitas. I got good reviews from my co-workers. Proven by the fact that the container of left overs that I went back to get at the end of my shift had disappeared. Then again those guys will eat anything! I also made a Trifle with lime and angelfood cake ..along with the other usual suspects like whipped topping and cream cheese. I will post that recipe later as again, I have no pictures and since it was an has no catchy name as of yet.
WHAT do you ask does any of this have to do with my title or the picture ? Not a darn thing I was just showing off my SUPERCOOK abilties to work 36 hrs AND get my cook on. Are you impressed? ..NO? Awww darn ( looking forlorn and dejected). Ok, well let me get on to my actual post topic.
Sunday at Church we had a Luau and contest for the best Hawaiian dish.
So I poured over my cookbooks and searched the internet for days looking for something that looked yummy, yet different. I ended up at the food Network and Emeril was kind enough to provide a recipe for Molokai Sweet Potato Salad. Initally I was not sure that I liked it but after it had a chance to sit and the flavors mingle I liked it a lot. I guess I expected a sweeter flavor but it turned out to be more Savory. The sweet potato did not take on that usual "Thanksgiving" flavor and the pineapple was very subtle. It was a refreshing change of pace and I would have to say that I have not ever tasted anything similar. Considering my love of food and willingness to try just about anything, that is quite an accomplishment. I would recommend that you give this recipe a try if you are planning a Hawaiian type meal or any casual meal that might include pork. The flavors are not too strong so unless someone has a strong aversion to the individual ingredients it should be a dish that is pleasant to most palates that are at least moderately adventurous. Much to my dismay the contest was not carried out due to lack of voting ..I guess no one wanted to compete against me (wink wink).
Margarita Chicken Marinade ("Perfect Party Food" cookbook)
1/4cup olive oil
1/2 cup OJ
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup gold tequila
1/2tsp ground cumin
1canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Place chicken and marinade in ziplock bag and let marinate in Fridge for at least 4 hrs or overnight. Makes enough marinade for about 12 chicken breasts. Broil or grill chicken until juices run clear Garnish with fresh cilantro and slices of lemon, lime and orange.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I love creamy, decadent foods. Who doesn't? But I have noticed that in my day to day cooking I really swing the other way. Especially in the summer time. I crave things that are light and fresh tasting. This is why I love fresh herbs! My other love is citrus, lemon and lime especially. My absolute favorite dessert is Key Lime Pie. Depending on the recipe this can be creamy and decadent too, but the lime just gives that fresh, light burst of flavor that to me, is heaven! I was browsing through some recipes and came across a simple recipe for a marinade. It was specifically for pork chops but after tasting it I think it would be wonderful on chicken also. Of course, I can't ever make a recipe EXACTLY how I find it so had to tweak it up a bit by adding the lime zest and rice wine vinegar (actually it called for more lime juice than I had which was the real reason for the vinegar). The zest in citrus is where all that intense flavor lives and it's my personal opinion (for what THAT is worth) that it is simply a waste to not use it. I was in a hurry and did not marinate the pork chops as long as it called for and I broiled them. Let me just say they were delish! I think left to marinate all day or overnight and tossed on the grill would make them even better. BOTH of my children complimented them ..that is a miracle in itself!!!!!!

zest of one lime
1/4 cup fresh sqeezed lime juice
2Tbs honey
1/2 cup soy sauce (reduced sodium)
2 cloves of garlic,minced
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (milder than regular)

Place ingredients in a large ziplock bag add pork or chicken, give a shake and let marinate for at least 4 hours. Remove meat from marinade. Discard marinade ( if you want to baste meat reserve a little marinade BEFORE adding meat). Grill or broil meat until done.
I served this with a lemon-grass and ginger rice (yes, I cheated! It was from a box) and a salad of fresh spring greens. Perfect summer dinner!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Confused Salsa

I was in the mood yesterday for some fruit salsa. My recipe was inspired by the recipe from "Pampered Chef" but of course I had to make it my own. It turned out pretty tasty so I took some with me while visiting a friend and between that and grazing on it everytime I passed the fridge yesterday, It was GONE before I went to bed last night. Low and behold my daughter liked it!!! My son's comment was that it was like picking up the wrong drink. Evidently his taste buds were confused by his eyes. He was thinking regular salsa That's ok ..he is easily confused. He said it was not bad but he did not eat any more. He said not to be offended. I told him I would never be offended by his opinion of anything I cook because has has NO TASTE! He was offended.
So, I decided that I would make some more . I tweaked it up a bit more today although I am not sure that the extra work of the cherries was worth the effort.
As a tribute to my son I will call this CONFUSED SALSA. I served it with cinamon tortilla chips I made by giving tortillas a light spritz of cooking spray, sprinkled on some cinamon and sugar then baked at 425 for about 8 mins turning over half way through. I am a big yogurt eater and I prefer to get vanilla yougurt and add my own fruit. I thought this would be really good in it.It would also be a nice filling for Crepes or topping on french toast or waffles.

Confused Salsa
1 pint of strawberries
2 Granny Smith apples
2 Kiwi
1 cup cherries
1 nectarine
2 oranges
3 TBS brown sugar
2 TBS dried Mint

Dice strawberries add brown sugar and mix. Peel and dice nectarines kiwi and apples add to mixture. Pit and chop cherries (optional). Zest one orange and add the juice of both oranges to mixture. Add Mint. Stir well. Cover and chill for at least 1/2 hour. Serve with Cinamon Tortilla
chips or as a topping for ice cream, french toast or yogurt.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

No Talent, just pretty

Is that not pretty? Doesn't it just look YUMMY? I just got my shipment from William-sonoma with my Pineapple and Mango slicer and had to try them out. The Pineapple cutter I would definately recomend! You just slice off the top and screw it down into the pineapple and it is perfectly cored and sliced. If you are careful (which I was not) you will have an intact pineapple shell that you can use to serve your fruit salad or make cool frosty Drinks (Do, you like Pina Coladas...and getting caught in the rain...). The mango slicer also CAN work very well ...sliding down over that tough pit and leaving two halves that you can just turn wrongside out and slice off the peel. HOWEVER, you have to make sure you have a nice shaped mango with the stem in the center (Which I did NOT) Anyway this is just a basic tropical fruit salad. Pineapple , Mango , Papaya, Kiwi and Bananna.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Techical Difficulties

Here is the pictures from the previous post. Hopefully next time I can get them TOGETHER
Tortellini with Dip Recipe Courtesy of Indyfoodie

Stuffed Cucumbers

Savory Ham Cheescake