Friday, December 31, 2010

Pineapple-Mango Salsa

by Pioneer Woman

1 fresh pineapple
1 mango (not too hard but not mushy)
1 jalapeno
1 lime
1 bunch cilantro
Kosher salt

Cut the top off the pineapple

Trim the sides off

Cut three wedges at a time

Slice the wedges

Cut the slices across the wedges and start dicing.  Place in a bowl

I had to skip the whole mango pictures and all because it seems I bought one that looked really bad.  It was firm and felt right but as soon as I started cutting into it, it looked bruised in different places and the color was dark and splotchy, I tasted it and there was no "mango" flavor to it at all.  In my opinion, it looked like it had been frozen much longer than it should have been hence the discoloration and no flavor.  I don't know but Pioneer Woman says that if we couldn't find a mango, using just the pineapple would be fine too, so that's what I had to end up doing.  Now, onto the next step....

Cut the onion in half and start slicing

and dicing.  Place in same bowl with pineapple.

Cut the jalapeno in quarters and if you don't want the veins and seeds (because they're a lot hotter), go ahead and trim them off like I did.

and start dicing them up and place in bowl

Cut off about 1 cup of cilantro and chop it up, place in bowl

Cut the lime in half and ream the limes, place in bowl

Squeeze the lime juice into the pineapple mixture

 Add a sprinkle or two of kosher salt, mix everything together until well blended

I made this on New Year's Eve night, the night before our family Christmas/Holiday get together. I  wanted all the ingredients in the salsa to sit all night and blend or "marry" each other just so that it will taste much better.  We'll see how everyone likes it ....or not.  I'll keep you posted.  :)  ~isavortheweekend

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Classic Pot Roast with garlic-thyme gravy

by Chef Elise and Cuisine at Home Specials magazine - Slow Cooker Menus
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 3-4 lb. boneless chuck roast, trimmed, seasoned with salt and pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2  cups low-sodium beef broth
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 cups sliced onions
6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2 - 3 inch pieces
6 cloves garlic, chopped
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 dried bay leaves

Heat oil in a saute pan over medium-high.  Sear the meat to brown it well on both sides.  This will add color and flavor to the final dish. 10 minutes total.  Transfer roast to a 4 to 6 qt. slow cooker.  Stir flour into pan; cook 1 minute.  Add tomato paste to the pan; stir to combine it with the flour.  This forms the base for the gravy.
Deglaze saute pan with wine, cooking until liquid evaporates.  Stir in broth and Worcestershire; bring mixture to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits.

Transfer broth mixture to the slow cooker; add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves.  Cover and cook until meat is fork tender, on high-heat setting for 4-5 hours or on low-heat setting for 8-9 hours.  Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves before serving.

This is Chef Elise.  Hard at not really but concentrating and focusing on making a delectable meal.

I must say this has been the best pot roast I've tasted in quite some time.  To have it simmer in the gravy was another added touch that just made this meal so wonderful and tastefully delicious.  It's a simple recipe, really no different than any other ones but I think what makes this stand out in savory flavors are the garlic and thyme.  This is a must try and one I will definitely want to try again.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Baked Virginia Ham

1 (14 to 16-pound) fully cooked,
  spiral-cut smoked ham, on the bone
6 garlic cloves
8 1/2 ounces mango chutney
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 orange, zested
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the ham in a heavy roasting pan.

Mince the garlic in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the chutney, mustard, brown sugar, orange zest, and orange juice and process until smooth.

Pour the glaze over the ham and bake for around 1 hour.

Bake until the ham is fully heated and the glaze is well browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Baked Virginia Ham in Virginia.....sorry, I just had to say that.  Mmmmmm, served with mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, jello-salad.  Simple but VERY good!!  All enjoyed it and that's what it's all about! :)  ~isavortheweekend

Saturday, December 25, 2010

It Snowed on Christmas Day 12/25/10

Because we are in the middle of moving into our new home, this was the best Christmas tree we could muster up.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Yields about 100 cookies, depending on size and style.
The original recipe for this sweet and slightly tangy cookie dates back to the 1960s.  Luckily, today’s cookie presses are much easier to use than the old hand-crank variety, so baking dozens of pretty little cookies is a snap.

2 sticks of butter, softened at room temperature
3 oz. cream cheese (preferably Philadelphia brand), softened at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Colored sugars or other decorations for sprinkling (optional)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375˚ F.  
Beat the butter, cream cheese, and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat again until blended.  Add the flour and mix on low speed until blended.

Fit a cookie press with a die plate.  Scoop up about a quarter of the dough and, using a small amount of flour if needed, shape the dough into a log just narrower than the barrel of the cookie press.  Slide the log into the cookie press and spritz the cookies directly onto ungreased baking sheet about 1 inch apart.

ooooops, how did that pic get in there?!! ;)

Brush the tops with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with colored sugar, or other decorations, if using.  Repeat with the remaining dough.

Bake until the cookies are just golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes.  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet on a rack for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.  Be sure the baking sheet is cool before spritzing more cookies.

Store at room temperature or freeze in an airtight container, separating the cookie layers with waxed paper.

Well, this would be the last time I would do any baking, the last time I would bake Christmas cookies in this oven.  We are boxing and packing up the house because we’re moving.  If you had told me two months ago that we’d be packing up and moving, especially during Christmas time, I would of told you, {{{YOU ARE CRAZY!!!}}}  Who in their right mind would move, during Christmas, of all times?!!!!  Well we are, it’s a long but lovely story, a proof of how our God provides and grants you your hearts desire, another story for another time.

So, Elise bought a new Spritz cookie press and couldn’t wait to start using it.  I found this recipe once again in this Fine Cooking magazine where I’ve pulled the previous cookie recipes from too.  Once I figured out how to use the cookie press, it was a breeze from there.  I don’t know if I made 100 cookies but it must have been pretty close, there were quite a few.  My whole family LOVED them and I can’t wait to bake some more, in my new kitchen and new stove J  ~isavortheweekend

Sunday, December 5, 2010


For a very distinct marbled pattern, handle this dough as little as possible
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking pwsder
¼ tsp. table salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
¾ cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz. semisweet chocolate (preferably high quality),

Melt semisweet chocolate and cool slightly

 In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg and vanilla, scrape the bowl, and beat 
again until blended.  Lower the speed and add the flour mixture, beating just until combined. 

Remove half the dough and set it aside.  Whisk the cocoa into the melted chocolate; 

add to the dough remaining in the mixing bowl and beat briefly to blend.

Divide the chocolate and vanilla doughs into 8 pieces each, more or less the same size. 

Recombine the pieces, alternately pressing the chocolate and vanilla pieces together, to create a marbled ball.  

On a lightly floured surface, roll and shape the ball into a 9” long log.  Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, 2 to 3 hours. 

Heat the oven to 350 degree F.  Line baking sheet with a non-stick baking liner or parchment paper.  Unwrap the firm dough, one log at a time and roll the log briefly on the counter to make it more evenly round.  Cut it crosswise into ¼” thick slices; arrange the slices 1 ½ inch on the sheet.    Bake until edges are lightly browned, 9 to 11 minutes.  Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes and then transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.

My hubby didn't think these were at all bad but I'm really disappointed.  The end results look more like quarter size cookies.  They were supposed to be a little bigger at least that's the way they  look in the Fine Living magazine (yes, another Christmas cookie recipe from that magazine).  They're not as chocolaty as I had hoped.  What I'm going to do next time is make four marbled balls instead of 8, that way when I roll them into a log, they will be a bigger cookie.  Well, as long as my hubby is happy, that's all that matters!  ~isavortheweekend
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