Cofrin Park

Cofrin Park
Cofrin Nature Park

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

SPICY BEAN SAUCE AND NOODLES

What to eat between all the holiday feasting on roasts of beef, pork, turkey and trimmings? Oodles of noodles with a tasty, nutty bean sauce.



This interim holiday meal  is easily prepared, once the sauce is made. Simply prepare sauce ahead of time and refrigerate. Reheat when ready to serve. The spicy bean sauce may also be served as a hearty soup, with additional veggies, or as a "hummus" appetizer dip.

I created this concoction out of left-over ingredients and it turned out so tasty--my husband loved it! (And he's the old "meat and potatoes" type guy.)

SPICY BEAN SAUCE and NOODLES:

SAUTE:
1T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 Cloves garlic
1T Ginger
1/3 Cup Onion

DEGLAZE PAN:
With ¼ cup White Wine (Chardonnay)
1 Cup Homemade Turkey or Chicken Stock

TURN OFF HEAT/SET ASIDE

PUREE TOGETHER:
(A portion of the above slightly warm liquid, enough to blend easily)
1 Can Garbanzo Beans, rinsed and drained.
2 small oven-roasted fresh tomatoes (roasted in 1T olive oil and dash Balsamic Vinegar)
2T Parsley
¼ t Fennel
¼ t Fresh ground pepper
¼ t Cumin
1 t ground fresh chili paste (if desired)
3T Peanut sauce* (SUBSTITUTION: Use Almond Sauce, see below)

*Peanut sauce: 1 cup peanut butter, ¼ cup soy sauce, 1t ground fresh chili paste, 3 cloves garlic, ½ fresh lime squeezed, 1T dark sesame oil. Ground pepper. Blend all ingredients with immersion blender or other blender.
ALMOND SAUCE: Substitute almond butter (raw or roasted) in place of peanut butter.

ADD TO SAUTEED INGREDIENTS:
Purred mixture
Sliced mushrooms

HEAT on lowest setting for approximately 10minutes.

COOK:
Pasta OR substitution according to package directions. WHEAT-FREE/GLUTEN FREE SUBSTITUTION: Use brown rice noodles OR, if you are brave, use Shiritaki Noodles (available in the refrigerated section of most grocers, especially Asian specialty grocers.)

SERVE:
Add sauce to noodles and top with grated Parmesan Cheese

Yummmmmmmmmm.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Easy-Peel Steamed Eggs Recipe

Let's cook some hard-cooked eggs that we can actually peel, shall we?
These eggs opened up like little jackets being unzipped. It gave me a satisfaction similar to popping packing bubbles, and who doesn't like to pop packing bubbles?

Shells came off almost in one piece!
No discoloration! Lovely yellow yolks.

After scouring the Internet for the perfect way to cook and peel hard-boiled eggs,and trying out the recipes only to fail, I found a recipe for steaming the eggs, rather than boiling them. Brilliant.

Previously, I had followed all the old advice, including, adding vinegar or baking soda to the boiling water; using "unfresh" eggs; boiling, quick cooling in an ice bath, and  reboiling and re-cooling, ala Julia Childs. Still, I peeled a third of the egg away, despite meticulously following directions. Very frustrating.

I persevered until I happened upon the blog, http://www.whatscookingwithkids.com/  where Michelle Stern shares her recipe for steaming eggs to make hard-cooked eggs. She keeps chickens that lay only fresh eggs which proved impossible to use for making hard-boiled eggs the traditional way, because they simply would not peel. Terry Golson left her a recipe for steaming the eggs for 20 minutes.  

I tried the recipe immediately, with some tweaking.

Here is my interpretation of the steaming method for making hard-cooked eggs:

EASY-PEEL STEAMED EGGS
TOOLS:
1 large steamer that nests in a large pot.
Large bowl for the ice bath.
Tongs.
DIRECTIONS:
Add water to pot, about 2-3 inches deep.
Set about 6 large eggs in the large nesting steamer and place steamer on pot.
Cover with the lid.
Boil the water on high heat.
When water boils, time the eggs for 12 minutes.
To stop the cooking process, immediately place the eggs in an ice bath (about 1/2 ice to 1/2 water.)
Cool about 6 minutes.
Take all eggs out of ice bath and peel.
To peel, gently tap on the counter the "flat" end of the egg first, and then gently tap 2 or 3 more times on the sides of the egg. Begin to peel from the flat end of egg to top point of egg, creating a "line" of peeled egg. This allows the rest of the peel to come off almost in one piece.
Refrigerate. Enjoy within 3 days.



Shiny, pit-free "hard-boiled" eggs that peel easily, at last! My life is complete.

Yolks popped right out.




Friday, December 2, 2011

Testing Amazon.com Affiliate Program: Linking A Product Within A Blog Post

Making money blogging via affiliate programs is what I am testing out today. The Amazon.com Affiliate Program is an obvious place to start, so I will attempt to add a link to a product, a book, on this blog post. Sounds easy, however, I found getting an answer to my question circuitous:

How does a Blogger embed an Amazon.com affiliate link to a book, for example,within a blog post? I am going to try it now. I just got approved as an Amazon Affiliate today. The current Blogger "Monetize" tab no longer includes the Amazon Affiliate Program, just the AdSense program. Thus, we Amazon Affiliates who wish to embed product links within a post, must jump through the Amazon hoops and manually embed a link. Here it goes:

I'll pick a book I recently reviewed by Barbara Sher, Refuse to Choose. The plan is to allow a reader to click on the title and buy the book through Amazon.com. Supposedly I make a commission, if I embed the link through Amazon Associates Central.

I'm going to Amazon Associate Central now to figure it out. See you soon.

Facebook