Thursday, September 30, 2010

Time for Apples

It is apple season at my house.  Applesauce, Apple Crisp, Fresh Sliced Apples, Apple stuffed pork loin.  But my Summer Slaw turns to Fall Slaw with fresh Honeycrisp or Gala apples. 

Recently I hosted a Monday Night Football party.  Packers vs Bears.  The game was good, as was my food.  I didn't snap pics of the pulled pork (which was heavenly), but here's a viewing of the Slaw.  This is not your normal Slaw.  Actually, this is an old picture, but the same recipe.  It's getting colder here in the PNW, so this may have been the last time I make it this year.    

Books N Brew Apple Slaw

1 Package Fresh Express Angel Hair Cabbage Shreds (Fine shredded cabbage is a necessity)
1 Package Broccoli Slaw Mix
2 Fresh Apples
1 Peach
1/2 Red Onion (Optional)
Lemon juice
Walnuts or Pecans

3/4 cup Light Mayo
3/4 Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 Cup Organic or Raw Sugar (do not use White sugar.  I prefer Sugar in the Raw)
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 tsp Celery Seed

1/4 Cup diced peaches or Oranges.  
If using oranges, I recommend Satsuma, Mandarin or Tangelo. Cut off the rind (You can use some of the zest in the dressing too!) and cut into  1/2" pieces.

Whisk all ingredients of Dressing, cover and chill for at least 30 minutes. Shake well before dressing the slaw. 

While the dressing is marrying together, prepare the slaw.  

Wash the Apples, peach, and onion with an organic fruit/veggie wash.

Using a Colander or Salad spinner, wash the slaw broccoli and cabbage mix.  I know it says it's washed, but just give it a quick rinse.  The reason I use a Salad Spinner is that I add my dressing on at plating.  If you want to serve a big bowl to a group, then once the mix is spun a few times to get the water out, transfer to a glass storage bowl.

Chop the onions into 1/4" pieces  (if using them) and add to bowl.

Using an apple corer, slice the apples and then chop into 1/2 chunks, leaving the skin on.  Make sure to remove any bruising.  Toss the apples with a little bit of lemon juice to prevent browning before putting in bowl.

Remove the pit from the peach and chop to 1/2 pieces, leaving the skin on.  Again, toss the pieces with the leftover lemon juice from the apples.  

If serving in the next hour, taste test the dressing.  It should be sweet, but a little tart-tangy too.  Adjust to your taste preference.  

For those platers out there, in a small bowl, toss the 1 cup of slaw ix to 1 tbsp of dressing.  Mix well and plate.  Top with crushed walnuts or pecans.

For those who want to serve a big bowl, 1/2 hour before service, add 1/2 the dressing to the storage bowl, mix well and chill for 20 minutes. If it needs more dressing, add more, but just enough to coat.  After 20 minutes, transfer to serving bowl, top with pecans and/or walnuts.  

Have the extra dressing in a nice bowl, so that if people want, they can dress up their coleslaw more.

This is a big hit with adults!  It may be too tangy-tart for children, so subbing 1/4 c of the vinegar for orange juice may juice it up more for them.  Feel free to experiment with this recipe.  I normally don't make the same one twice!  There's always room for improvement.  All I can say is that those who normally don't like coleslaw, love this!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Missy Kitty, The official Taste Tester

Many think that the barstool by my kitchen counter is for guests. Well that's true. But it's actually the official seat of the BNB Taste Tester. Missy is my 5 year old Russian/Havana Mix. She's a good girl whom, like others who sleep all day, have become fat and lazy. She no longer roams the farm to hunt mice, shrews, and birds. Her toys take up half the living room and she's a sucker for someone to pet her. But her favorite job is to watch me cook. She's not underfoot in the kitchen, as she knows that's my place. Her place is on the bar stool, where she can watch me.

Her favorites are meat, fish, and ice cream. She knows not to lick plates or get into your food (unless it's right in her face). Since I've been trying to limit the red meat in my diet, so is she. No more Friday Steak & Seafood. We've gotten into the Bocca American Grillers with Tomato and Avocado. She really likes the Boccas. Now before you get all upset that she's getting a portion of human food, know this. a 3 mm speck of food won't kill the kitty, she gets her good cat food, which already has these. And we try to balance out the meats with veggies. She loves to lick strawberry fingers (she may try to nibble them too!) and enjoys a romp in the fresh catnip. We grow grass so she can roll and play in it inside the apartment, and she just so happens to like roasted red pepper! When you see Missy Approved, that's because the cat likes it too!

Now for those who are interested in their cat being interactive in the kitchen with them, remember these rules:
1. No Kitties on the counter!
2. Give the Kitty a perch to sit on, so they can see what you're doing.
3. Place the tidbit on the stool or dish on the stool. No taking food from the hands (prevents biting).
4. Never give kitty scraps that you won't eat. Remember, delicate stomachs!
5. Only tidbits. These treats are supposed to be interactive. Great if you're feeling unappreciated or lonely. Talking to yourself also helps, but perhaps they'll start talking back too!
6. Encourage play after treat time! Those fat cats need to work off the 20 calories you've given them.
7. Tell them when there's no more. Just say, "Okay, that's all for now", and make sure you put the food away, else you're just teasing them.
8. Plenty of water, always fresh clean water.
9. No petting the cat when you're cooking. Who wants cat hair in their food?
10. Clean up after kitty. If they don't like it, they may spit it out, so wipe up the area during your normal cleaning.
Missy in her Crinkle Shoot Toy!

Hopefully you and your cat will enjoy this fun activity, just don't let others see you talking to your cat while you're cooking. It may be great for your ego to do so, just not in front of company. She should be entertaining the guests!!

September 2010

I haven't updated this wonderful blog with all the things I've been doing. What have I been doing, you ask? Fishing, Camping, Cooking, and most of all, having great adventures! I've come up with a few good new recipes. For example, for those that are cutting pasta, how about Turkey/Pork Meatballs in quick tomato sauce with Spinach? So yummy! Or Fruited Coleslaw with apples and peaches? It's fall, so my taste buds are yearning for stews and soups. I've got corn, potatoes and peppers. Harvest Corn Soup? You'll be the first to see it!

Also, the Books part of Books N Brew has improved! I've added a new addition to my living room, which now allows me to house more books and display them with the rest of my trinkets. Pictures to be added soon!

My health is a priority for me. Especially with mild cholesterol issues, weight issues, and the fact that I'm an ex-smoker trying to have as healthy as an immune system as I can. Sustainable living isn't for everyone, but I do my best to use local, organic, and as natural as can be. Next up will be about Full Circle Farms, my new CSA. And of course a shout out to the gals at Cafe Ladro, where I pick up my box every week. Can you say hot tea and granola? It's the best!

Stay Tuned!

Books N Brew