Friday, April 18, 2008

"Is it Thursday?"



disclaimer:: this picture has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with this post...I just think it is beautiful. It is an Australian Rainbow Bee Eater... done in pastels...I bought it on ebay. Love this lady's work.

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Our Mom didn't bake a lot....as a matter of fact she didn't cook much at all. There were lots of underlying factors; so, we didn't really expect much and knew better than to ask.. We ate a lot of toast...made it ourselves from the time we were about 5...... or sandwiches.... I remember we always knew it was Thursday if she made mashed potatoes,sausages and creamed corn. ick...still makes me shiver to say it out loud. Once, several years ago, I made it just for a laugh when my sister was visiting me. It wasn't Thursday..., but she looked right at me and asked, "is it Thursday"? We hooted. Poor Mom... hope she knows we loved her in spite of our silly jokes about her culinary talents. Honestly, every so often she would make a loaf or a birthday cake for one of us four, or some little cookies...and we absolutely loved it. She really did a great job when she did bake.... was always very precise in her measuring...so clean and careful with every little ingredient...of course, you sure as heck didn't waste a speck of anything in those days ... no wonder she was afraid to bake. The expense..... but, back to it.... I remember her saying that careful measuring was the key to having baking turn out right. How often I still hear that today...read it in all the cook books..... even see it in info from the pastry chefs. Once again...Mom had it right...

This is one of the loaves she used to surprise us with every so often.... quite tasty even if it sounds like an odd combination.

Pineapple Cheese Loaf.

2 cups sifted all purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt (optional..I never use it ..I find enough in butter or marg).

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup crushed pineapple

2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

1 large egg

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/2 cup chopped nuts (I like walnuts).

Line bottom of loaf pan with waxed paper, or grease and flour the pan. Into mixing bowl, sift first 5 ingredients. Combine vanilla, pineapple, shortening and egg, stir into dry ingredients until they are moistened.

Lightly stir in cheese and nuts; transfer to prepared pan; let stand 15 minutes.

Bake at 325 -350 F. about 60 minutes.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Stuffed tenderloin

I've talked about this one before...but didn't have any pics of the "before".....only the "after".. plus, this time I tried trussing it the same way the butcher does it at Safeway.
Last time I was there, I was picking his brain about what he uses in his stuffing... he admitted to me that he uses Stove top! ackk! I was pretty surprised.... but, when he told me he takes them home and stuffs them there...I was shocked! I am sure the health inspectors don't know he is doing that...and he was talking loud enough for anyone to hear.... too weird. Just never know half of what is happening do we?

My stuffing begins with sauteed onions...check out the other post if you would like to try this yummy meal..










trussed up just like the butcher does it.. looks pretty tidy doesn't it? Slide in some round strong toothpicks every inch or inch and half or so.. then lace a piece of kitchen string around the ends of each toothpick..just like lacing a shoe.. tie off at one end...










This is where mine differs from the butcher 's. I use something to coat the meat in order to stick some crumbs to it. This time it was a tablespoon of mayonnaise, some Dijon mustard and a bit of yogurt. Mix it up and smear it on the meat.. then press on cracker or bread crumbs. this really helps to keep the meat moist and tender.










Sprinkle with some lovely fresh cracked pepper..place in a lightly oiled baking dish. If one end of the tenderloin is thin...just tuck it under itself so it doesn't overcook.










This time, I drizzled on a few tablespoons of diced tomatoes and juice..... and added a few tiny dabs of butter on top.......










Baked for barely 30 minutes..at 350F ... .... mmmmm.... just look how tender and moist.