I have a good friend who I have know for a long time who is moving out of state. To save moving costs, she decided to get rid of some of her things, and invited me to come over and see if there was anything I wanted to needed. Included in the group were a set of dinner plates that I absolutely loved, so she gave those to me, as well as a new cover for my couch, storage containers, some lovely glass bowls, stuff of the pantry, and two lovely green tomatoes someone had given her.
I love going on Pinterest and getting ideas for recipes. I saw a picture of Greek chicken that was made by dipping chicken in herb flavored yogurt and then grilling it. I always have plain yogurt in the house. We have it frequently for breakfast, and I love to make yogurt salad and yogurt soup out of it.
Coincidentally, I had made a batch of Fresh Basil and Pine Nut Pesto that I needed to use up. I thought that Italian pesto with a yogurt marinade would be quite tasty, and good for you. I was right, the chicken was delicious. We had it with steak cut potatoes and a salad. Very nice.
When I was a little girl, my mother had the entire collection of The Woman’s Day Encyclopedia of Cooking, and there was a recipe in for Hungarian Porkchops, which I have been making for many years. Today, I decided to change the recipe a bit, and came up with Pork Chops Paprikash.
In Glendale, California, which has a large Armenian population, we have Red Pepper Sauce. It’s basically paprika peppers, and I use it quite often, in sauces, eggs, and other dishes. There are many brands and you can probably find it in ethnic European stores. I highly recommend it.
Paprikash dishes call for sour cream. I have probably talked about this before, and I will say it again. When you buy sour cream, please only get the kind that has cultured cream. The other stuff has gelatin and other ingredients as fillers, and they just are not real sour cream. The Alta Dena brand has a wonderful saying on the top of the tub, “Those cravings you feel are totally natural”. I love that because it’s true – there is nothing in that sour cream except cultured cream, the way sour cream should be.
Mis en Place – Sour Cream, Red Pepper Sauce and Beef Base
Did you know that July 24th is National Tequila Day? I’ve been looking at pictures of Margarita all day long. I’ve also been bemoaning the fact that I can’t find Agave wine anymore. Agave wine is made from the agave plant, from which tequila is also made. Since the wine is fermented, it does not have the same kick as tequila, which is distilled. But, it does have virtually the same taste, but doesn’t make you feel like you’re plastered after only one drink.
A Bavarian cream is a classic French dessert, similar to pastry cream, but is thickened with gelatin instead of flour. Usually, it is served in a mold, and decorated with Crème Chantilly. So, there you have the inspiration for my Lemon Margarita Bavarian Creams.
There was a wonderful tip from America’s Test Kitchen that I’ve been doing for quite a while, only not as efficiently. To protect iced cakes from plastic wrap, I’ve been sticking the top with toothpicks. America’s Test Kitchen uses spaghetti noodles – they’re more plentiful, and easy to break for whatever length you want.
So, when I decided to make my pie today, and didn’t want it getting over burdened with plastic wrap, I took linguine noodles, stuck them in, covered my pie, and stuck it in the refrigerator. Now it won’t pick up any bad smells, or have any of it come off with the plastic wrap. There’s a bunch of other transport tricks at America’s Test Kitchen.
Spane liked the Balsamic Strawberry and Blueberry Trifle so much that he asked me if I could make it again. There were fresh raspberries and blueberries on sale at the market, but I didn’t want another trifle, I wanted a tart.
When thinking about making this Balsamic Strawberry and Blueberry Trifle with Lemon Cream, it reminded me of something that happened many years ago. I was asked to bring something to a 4th of July potluck. I was making a yellow cake and using strawberries and blueberries for filling, with a whipped cream topping. As I was taking the cake out of the pan, my cat Lazer startled me, and I dropped the cake on the counter. I went into bunch of little pieces. Well, I had a trifle bowl, so I scooped everything up, put in the bowl with the cream and fruit, presented it as Oops 4th of July Trifle, and called it a day.
This year, I wanted something along the same lines, but a little more fun. Strawberries and balsamic vinegar are perfect together. Strawberries and Mascarpone are even better together, but I didn’t want anything that thick. So I developed a wonderful lemon cream.