Sunday, April 29, 2018

Grilled Pork Tenderloin a Soy-Orange Marmalade Glaze

I have been following the "Simply Recipe" blog for some time, and I have made several recipes from it. I appreciate the step-by-step photos, and have had success every time. This recipe is no exception.

I had recently cleaned out reorganized my pantry, and discovered a jar of Orange Marmalade lurking in a corner, totally forgotten.  The ingredients for the marinade were simple-- soy sauce, honey, orange marmalade, rice vinegar and red pepper flakes.  I had all of them on hand except for needing to buy a pork tenderloin.  Now that the days are longer, and we are blessed with sunshine, it was time to uncover our gas grill.  Dinner is solved!

I was able to speed up the one hour marinating time, by using my Food Saver Marinator in half.  The other half of the marinade was lightly simmered and cooled. My husband seared the pork on all sides with direct heat.

Then, he moved it to indirect heat for about 20 minutes.

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

German Marble Cake (Marmor Kuchen)

Craig and I just return from a 2 week vacation to Bavaria, Austria and Tyrol (Northern Italy). We had a fabulous time, of course, and we took at least 2000 pictures. I know I have a summer school break project on my hands, as I cull the best of the best. If you're curious to see some of our photos on my Instagram, I invite you to come and take look.

We spent nine days of our vacation in my mother's birth city of Bad Reichenhall, Bavaria.  If you ever decide to visit this part of Europe, this beautiful town is a hidden jewel.  It is only about 20 minutes away from Berchtesgaden and about the same distance to Salzburg, Austria.  We love how quaint and quiet this city is. Of course, I have childhood memories of living here and visiting my Oma until she passed away in 1989. My ancestors lived here for many generations, and there is so much history here. But, that's another story I should write about. One of these days...

The Bavarian food we enjoyed was so familiar to me, since my Mutti taught me how to make so many of the traditional  recipes that inspired me to start my blog, in the first place.  However, I realized that I had never made Marmor Kuchen (Marble Cake). I saw these cakes in many of the bakeries we passed by, and I thought of my Mutti-- who used to bake these for us.  However,  I passed that by to eat Bienenstiech (Been-en-stee-ccccch) Kuchen/ Bee Sting Cake (our favorite).  I made a mental note that I wanted to bake a Marmor Kuchen when I returned home.  So, today, was the day!

I am not particular fond of the flavor of rum in my desserts, nor was my Mutti. I remember she always added lemon zest to the cake batter instead.  The recipe I found uses almond extract (and I love it), but I wanted to make it Mutti's way. I am very fond of Lorann Baking Emulsions and so I added one teaspoon of the lemon emulsion to the batter.  To half of the batter, unsweetened cocoa powder is added and then  rum. I discovered that I had Imitation Rum Extract, so I added  1/2 teaspoon so that it would "amp up" the flavor of the chocolate.

There is a distinct difference between German cakes and American cakes. They are very different, so please take this into consideration-- should you try this recipe.  American cakes have a more tender crumb, are moist and have buttercream frosting (unless you venture into making Swiss or Italian Buttercream...but then that's not American is it?!).  When my Mutti would serve this to my American friends, some of them would call it "choke cake".  I never told my Mutti, or her feelings might have been hurt.

I read that some Americans add a package of vanilla pudding to make this moister. I chose not to do this, because I wanted to stay more traditional. I just made sure to make sure that I did not over bake my cake. The recipe said to bake for 70 minutes, but mine was ready in 50 minutes!

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Monday, March 26, 2018

Braised Brisket and Vegetables

I absolutely love my InstantPot, and I use mine several times a week. But, there are lazy Sundays when I enjoy putting my Dutch Oven to work.  Braising meats, in liquid, low and slow for several hours tenderizes meat until it's so tender that you don't really need a knife.

 We have made slow-grilled  brisket on the Weber (husband's favorite), and my personal favorite "Kansas City Style Burnt Ends" .  However, brisket is a perfect cut of meat to slow braise in the oven, and this is a new recipe that I saw on "The Pioneer Woman" show on Food Network.

This recipe is somewhat like my Pot Roast (adapted from the same show).  To build flavor, you have to make sure that your meat is patted very dry. Turn your oven-proof pot up as to high and sear that chunk of brisket until it's nice and brown on both sides (a few minutes).

I cut up onions and carrots nice and chunky. I passed on the parsnips because I haven't really bonded with that vegetable.  Once I removed the brisket all that beautiful "brown stuff" (fond) turned the onions a golden color and I sauteed the carrots for a few minutes.

For the braising liquid, I used beef broth, red wine, tomato paste, a little soy sauce and some brown sugar. I picked some fresh rosemary and thyme from our garden and toss that in.  Into a 300F oven it went.  Then, I puttered around the house, read my email, read a magazine and enjoy the aroma wafting from our oven.

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Mile High Lemon Meringue Pie

Yes, I am back from my food blogging hiatus!  I'm glad to be back, and I hope that many of you have stuck around by subscribing to my feed or following me on my Facebook Fan Page. I just had to take a break from social media for a while. I wanted to take the pressure of myself worrying about stats on how many comments or hits this blog of mine receives.  I wanted to come back to food blogging for the joy of it, because I haven't lost my desire to cook and bake new recipes. So, I'm back feeling refreshed with a few recipes I'll be sharing with you.

This luscious Lemon Meringue Pie is the perfect way for me to come back to my blog and tell you that if you love Lemon Meringue Pie as much as I do-- you must make this!  There's a mini-story behind this pie, that has a secret little ingredient that takes this to a new level, Yes, folks, I'm about to blow that secret right out of the water!  The story begins at a restaurant where we live.  My husband and I decided to split a slice of the lemon creme pie that was the special of the day.  The meringue was velvety smooth.  It was not like any classic meringue pie I've ever had, and I was smitten.  The only downer was the crust. It was tough and I just scraped out the pie and its topping. I had to figure out what was in that meringue and I had to make this pie for myself-- with a good pie crust! I went back to that restaurant for a second time, and paid the $8.00 for a sliver of that pie.  The pie crust still wasn't good, but I finally realized what made that meringue so addicting!

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