Sunday, March 28, 2010

Frico Cup Salads and a Dinner

I am still in my salad days,

but wanted to put a different twist on it.

Giada's Frico Cups seemed to be just the thing.

Isn't this a thing of beauty?

But of course man,

and woman,

cannot survive on salad alone.

I found a recipe in a cookbook that I wanted to try.

Of course, the original recipe was for pork loin,

but I only had turkey tenderloin on hand.

Not to worry;

the flavor profiles are similar enough to work.

This recipe, titled "Pork Roast," from the

Jack Daniel's The Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook

calls for Jack Daniel's whiskey, of course.

Not having Jack Daniel's,

I subbed 1/4 cup of my husband's favorite brand.

The other ingredients are:

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup water

1 bay leaf

1/2 tablespoon dried parsley

I poured the cider vinegar over the tenderloin

in a zip-top bag.

The brown sugar, flour, paprika, salt and pepper

were mixed together and then rubbed

over the tenderloin.

This sat for 1 hour,
allowing the flavors to meld.

Now, on to the frico cups.

I wisely turned to fellow blogger,

Rosie Hawthorne,

for her words of wisdom on the subject
in her blog, "Kitchens Are Monkey Business."

I grated enough Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

to make six frico cups.

At 1/4 cup per frico,

that comes out to 1-1/2 cups of grated cheese.

Each round was placed on a silicon mat

before going in a preheated 375 degree oven for 9 minutes.

Then they cooled for a couple of minutes

before proceeding.

Here, I followed Giada's advice

and placed them in the muffin cups

rather than draping them over the bottoms

as Rosie did.

It is very helpful to have an extra set of hands for this job.

A glass was used to press the cups into the muffin tins.

A paper towel was helpful in blotting the excess oil.

These went into the fridge to cool.

Back to the turkey tenderloin.

I placed the tenderloin in a baking dish
and added the water and whiskey to the dish.

Then the bay leaf was added
and the parsley was sprinkled over the tenderloin.

This went in a preheated 450 degree oven.
After placing the dish in the oven,
turn the heat down to 325 degrees
(or not, in my case).
Oops, I forgot,
and it was a job to clean the dish afterwards.

Bake until the internal temperature
reaches 155 degrees.

Remove from the oven,
cover with foil and set aside for 15 minutes.
The meat will continue to cook,
bringing the internal temperature up to 165 degrees.

The turkey was perfectly cooked,
very flavorful and wonderfully moist.

And dinner is served.

The salad in the frico cup
truly was a nice departure from
the ordinary salad.

A drizzle of Raspberry Honey Mustard Pretzel Dip*
from Robert Rothschild Farms
nicely accented the subtle flavors of the turkey.

*This is the Foodie Daughter's favorite condiment,
so I try to get a jar when I can find it.
Of course,
we rarely use it on pretzels!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thank You, Foodie Boyfriend and Brother

The Foodie Boyfriend's brother wished to thank me

for helping him out recently.

But first you need a bit of the background story here:

when I was in high school,

I had a friend who insisted that

I needed a gong so I could ring it

every time I changed the subject.

It appears that others

couldn't quite keep up

with my rapid and sudden changes of subject.

Though I have tried to work on that habit,

I still tend to be thinking

one or two subjects ahead of the current conversation.

So, long story short (too late!),

the Foodie Boyfriend suggested to his brother

that they get me a gong.

Aren't they sweet?

"J", you are most welcome.

And thank you very much.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Has Sprung!
Oh, happy days are here!
Spring has finally shown its glorious face
here once again!
Sadly, in Southern Indiana,
early spring flowers are in short demand.
my crocuses are blooming.

Please enjoy.

The veining in these flowers is just amazing.

The purple crocus are also blooming.


The yellow crocus are a bit sparse.

Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Late Saint Paddy's Day Dinner

As yesterday was the Foodie Boyfriend's birthday,
I decided to wait until today to celebrate
Saint Patrick's Day.

In honor of the Irish,
Bacon, Broccoli and Craisin Salad gives us our green.

Tender lamb meat (if you can find it amongst the fat)
is nicely accented by the mustard and herb blend.
I will be making this dish again,
but with a different cut of meat.
Perhaps a nice leg of lamb?

Mustard Herb Roasted Lamb Breast

Dijon mustard and herbs lend a delicate flavor to lamb ...

See Mustard Herb Roasted Lamb Breast on Key Ingredient.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Birthday to the Foodie Boyfriend!

The Foodie Boyfriend,

who may or may not be Irish,

celebrates his birthday today.

The Foodie Daughter decided to make him

a cheesecake for his special day.

After an Internet search (I taught that girl well),

she decided on a recipe for New York Cheesecake

from Emeril (Bam!).

Her mise en place includes:

the zest of one lemon

the zest of one orange

1-1/2 teaspoons good vanilla extract

1 teaspoon whiskey

1/2 cup sour cream

2-1/2 pounds cream cheese

1-1/2 cups sugar

3 tablespoons flour

5 eggs

2 egg yolks

Not shown:

A pre-made graham cracker crust

The Foodie Daughter began by mixing together

the cream cheese,


vanilla extract

and lemon and orange zests.

I was out of the house and the Foodie Daughter

was too busy mixing ingredients to take pictures.

But here is the finished filling.

The Foodie Boyfriend helps assemble the cheesecake.

The recipe directed them to cover the cheesecake with foil

before baking.
The oven was preheated to 375 degrees.
The oven was then turned down to 350 degrees
and the cheesecake baked for 1-1/2 hours.

Oh look, there was extra filling.

Good thing we got more graham cracker crusts.


Still more filling left?

Guess it's time to fill some ramekins

with the remaining filling.

The foil stuck to the top of the cheesecake.

Then it was time to make

the strawberry sauce.

1 pint of fresh strawberries

combined with 2/3 cup sugar,

1 cup water,

1 teaspoon lemon zest

and 2 tablespoons whiskey.

to make the sauce.*

*See, even the Foodie Daughter

can't follow a recipe exactly.

I am so proud.

The whiskey goes in towards the end.

We got to try out the mini cheesecakes

the night before the big day.


dear Foodie Daughter.


Happy Birthday,

Foodie Boyfriend!

DIY Solar Post Lights

Last year we added on to our deck and upgraded
the decking material and redid the railings.

Josh and crew of Koontz Construction
did a wonderful job for us.

This year I wanted to focus on lighting for the deck.
I had thought that solar post lights would
be a wonderful addition.

I found that these can be difficult to find
and when found,
they are not cheap.*

I, though, am cheap.

*I recently found solar post lights
at Wally World (Wal Mart) for $30.

And I have 12 posts on my deck.
Time to rethink this.

Wally World did have these solar lights,
meant to be stuck in the ground with the
stake provided.
These lights only cost $5 each.

Now, how to make this work?

After measuring the hollow metal post for the light,
I determined that I needed a dowel that was 1-1/4 inch thick.

I had hoped that the dowel would be like dimensional lumber
in that a 2"x4" is actually 1-1/2"x3-1/2".

No such luck,
so I got busy sanding.
And sanding.
And sanding.

Then I had to cut the dowel into 1/2" thick disks.

I do have a circular saw and a jig saw,
but it seemed that a hand saw and the miter box
would be the better way to go here.

Hey, I said this was DIY,
not easy.

I located the center of the post and drilled a hole**
straight down.

I decided to place a washer between the top of the post
and the dowel so that water couldn't
wick up into the dowel.

I drilled a hole in the center of the disk
and then used a deck screw to fasten the dowel to the post.

The hollow metal post on the light slips over the dowel
and is held securely in place.

**Use a drill bit that is just smaller than the screw being used.

And the job is done.

Time to pat myself on the back.

And just think,
I saved my husband $300
by doing it myself.

Let there be light.

Looking good.

Next project, please.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Indiana's Oldest Winery

This is spring break week for Indiana University.

Since taking a trip to some exciting place

like Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN

is out of the question this year,

the Foodie Girls decided to have some fun
a bit closer to home.

The dear husband is very happy about that

(and so is his wallet).

Indiana's first winery is just outside of Bloomington.

"Oliver Winery was started in the 1960s

as a hobby in the basement

of Indiana University law professor William Oliver.

His enthusiasm for making wine led him to establish

a vineyard northwest of Bloomington.

Soon the flourishing vines produced grapes

far in excess of his needs as a hobby winemaker,

and he began plans to open a commercial winery.

Professor Oliver was instrumental in passing legislation

allowing for the creation of small wineries in Indiana .

The Indiana Small Winery Act passed in 1971

and Oliver Winery opened to the public in 1972."

-From Oliver Winery's web site.

Now that the Foodie Daughter is old enough,

I thought we should go to to the winery

and taste some wines.

This lovely building houses the tasting room and retail area.

To get to the tasting room,
one must first traverse the gardens.

They hold a certain beauty,

even in mid-March.

Large boulders of Indiana limestone

accent the landscape.

I was pleased to see that the waterscape

was up and running,

despite it still being winter.

This building

behind all the daffodils

is the original tasting room.

If I recall correctly,

it is now used as office space.

This is the view from the front of the building.

They even have a pond below with picnic tables

dotting the lawn.

Back in October of 2007,

our county's Master Gardener group

took a garden tour here.

Oliver Winery employs a talented gardener

to tend to the plots.

Isn't this just gorgeous?
The original tasting house is hiding behind
the lush landscaping.
(Hint, this is the same garden plot
that currently holds the daffodils that you saw earlier.)

Can you tell it's October in this picture?

So, what gave it away?

I wish they'd come tend to my garden.

I tell you, I have serious garden envy here.

Don't you just love the frog in the pond?

And now we are back to a chilly March day.

This fence and gate was custom-made

by an artisan.

Iron grapevines twine around the fence.

Detail of the artistry.

When I was a child,

growing up in my rural Ohio town,

I was fortunate enough to visit

a blacksmith who had been working
in the village for many years.

I was fascinated by how much work

and effort it took to bend the iron

even the tiniest bit,

and all without breaking it.

I cannot fathom the amount of work

and love

that went into the making of this fence.

The artist even expressed the grapevine

as growing up from the ground

by the fence.

More detail.

I love this fence.

A few years ago the winery planted a mini vineyard

at the entrance to the winery.

They don't look like much now,

but just wait until later in the year.

And in case you were wondering,

we ended up purchasing a few bottles of wine,

and a wine cooler that was created

by a local potter.

Happy early Mother's Day to me?

Not a bad start for our Indiana Uplands Wine Trail.

And just think,

we only have eight more wineries to go.