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Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Dad’s Sunday French Toast

In my mind, I thought that country French cooks didn’t waste anything.  And I think this is why and how French toast must have originated.  By taking what was left over from yesterday, and using to create a substantial meal for today.

So then, French toast must have been made with French bread right?  Oh yeah!

Here in Florida, Publix supermarkets (Where Shopping Is a Pleasure – you know), they have wonderful bakeries.  Not as good as, say, fifteen years ago, but the bakeries are pretty good – and they make great baguettes.

Slice your baguette

Slice your baguette

I took a whole baguette and sliced it on an angle.  I let the sliced baguette soak for a few minutes in custard made of:

Three eggs beaten

¼ cup of whole milk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

¼ tsp cinnamon

(OK, I know you only see two eggs in the picture, but actually used three!)

Whisk all that together in a bowl or casserole dish (something deep) large enough to hold and soak about four of the slices of bread.

On the stove, using a heavy skillet at med/high temperature – place a tablespoon of vegetable shortening and let it melt (or use vegetable oil) and let it come up to temperature.

Soak the French bread in the custard

Soak the French bread in the custard

Drop in the custard soaked baguette slices – fry until just past golden (or as you like it) about two minutes on each side.  Remove and set aside on another ovenproof plate in the oven at 300 to keep warm until all of the French bread is made.

Put two or three slices of French toast on a plate, smear with some room temperature butter and dust with powdered sugar – top with fresh or thawed fruit and drizzle with real maple syrup.  Some pork or turkey sausage pairs well with it.

Happy Sunday!  (OK, OK, if you must, you can make this on Saturday too!)

Fry the French bread

Fry the French bread

Dad's Sunday French Toast

Dad's Sunday French Toast

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Check out HEAVY TWEED JACKET’S Saturday morning pancakes at the link.  I made them on Sunday, terrif!  and easy.

http://heavytweed.blogspot.com/2009/06/pancakes-on-saturday.html

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A friend sent me this recipe (snail mail) and I found it with a quick google.  Although I haven’t made this – and I will – it looks too awesome not to post.  So here it is.

 

Courtesy of Bon Apetit Magazine

 

No ice cream maker is needed to make this flavorful sorbet.

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings

ingredients

2 pounds cooking apples (such as McIntosh), stemmed, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (including cores and seeds)1 1-pound bag frozen unsweetened blackberries, unthawed
1 1/2 cups water

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup

preparation

Combine apples, blackberries and water in heavy large pot or Dutch oven. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer until fruit is tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Transfer to sieve set over large bowl. Press to force through as much fruit and liquid as possible. Discard solids in sieve.

Return puree to same pot. Add sugar and corn syrup. Stir over low heat just until sugar dissolves. Spoon puree into 13x9x2-inch glass dish. Freeze until almost solid, about 1 hour.

Break up frozen puree into chunks. Place in processor; puree. Return to same dish; cover and freeze until firm enough to hold shape in spoon, at least 1 hour.

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Pannullo's on Park Ave., Winter Park, FL

Pannullo

On Friday I went over to Park Avenue in Winter Park for lunch.  I wasn’t really sure what I wanted, but I was in a “vacation” kind of mood, so I stopped at Pannullo’s.  At first I thought about have a pannini or other sandwich, but then I spotted “The Park Avenue Burger” on their menu.

Gotta tell ya – the BEST burger I’ve had all year (including the ones I make myself).  The wait person told me that they grind their own beef each day.  I’m not sure if that was the ultimate secret, but this was a great burger.  I had mine done med-well and topped with two slices of provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, and shaved red onion. It came with fries – I had a beer with it.  Total with the tip $15.00.  I’ll go again when I’m in the craving a great burger.  Thanks Pannullo’s!

Park Avenue Burger w/fries

Park Avenue Burger w/fries

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I got this great recipe from About.com:Southern Food and it worked out very well – although I did make a few adjustments to the recipe.

My recipe is as follows:

3 lb new (red) potatoes – cooked in salted water until just tender
1 lb fresh green beans that have been trimmed, cooked for 5 minutes in boiling salted water, and rinsed in ice water
1/2 a medium red onion – slivered
1/4 of a vidalia (sweet) onion slivered

The Dressing consisted of the following:

In bowl big enough to whisk in:

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
a few turns of fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp dijon mustard

Whisk all of the ingredients and pour over the potatoes, green beans, and onions all of which have been combined in a large mixing bowl.  The flavor is wonderful!  Hope you enjoy.  Write if you have questions.

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Saturday we went to the Winter Park (FL) Farmer’s Market.  Early in the morning the market area was teaming with people and vendors.  We wanted to get there early since it was supposed to be a very hot day – and Mother Nature didn’t lie.  By 9:30 AM it was really getting steamy.  I had my camera and camera/backpack on and it got uncomfortable fast.  The older I get – the less I can stand the heat – it really bothers me.

OK, if you’re anything like Donna and I, we start eating with our eyes.  The market had so many beautiful veggies, flowers, cheeses, plants, shrubs, herbs, breads – you name it.  Here are a few shots from the market.

We bought peppers, tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, radishes, lemons, and red potatoes.  So far I’ve used the lemons, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, green beans and potatoes.  I’ll have a few dishes to post soon.

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Sunday I made Grilled Shrimp with Lemon Pasta. I looked around for an easy lemon pasta recipe and found Giada De Laurentis had one that was easy and looked great – check out her Lemon Spaghetti.

For the shrimp I made a marinade as follows:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of one lemon
two garlic cloves finely chopped
1 tsp of Old Bay seafood seasoning
a few turns of fresh black pepper and a pinch of sea salt
Some fresh chopped basil to sprinkle

I whisked this all in a medium bowl and then tossed in a half pound of large de-veined shrimp. Let that marinate for about an hour; then placed the shrimp on skewers that were soaked in water for about a half hour.

I grilled the skewered shrimp on high on an electric grill for about three minutes each side. Only turned the skewers once. Enjoy. Write if you have questions.

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Scott McKenzie on MIX105.1 in Orlando was talking about Cheez-It Chicken this week. I couldn’t get it out of my head – so I searched around and found a recipe. This was great. Easy to prepare, and I think it would be something kids would like. For kids (especially little one – try using chicken tenders – finger food).

Two skinless/boneless chicken breast – pounded to a consistent thickness
1 cup of crushed (very fine) Cheez-It crackers (use a baggie)
Dabs of butter for the top of the chicken
1 egg beaten with a teaspoon of water to loosen it up
Non-stick spray for a 9×9 baking dish

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk the egg with the water until its very loose. Dip the chicken – both sides – in the egg and then dredge in the crushed Cheez-Its and then place in the sprayed baking dish.

Place three tabs of butter on each piece of chicken.

Bake at 375 for 40 minutes in the center of the over on the middle rack.

Cook frozen broccoli according to package directions, drain any water and toss with low-fat butter/margarine. Good stuff !!!

(I was in meeting after meeting today – around lunch – so I ended up at McDonalds and had a BigMac and a 1/4 Pounder with cheese, small fries, and med coke… – which I had to eat in my PM meeting) after all that I felt pretty good about this dinner.

Good luck fine people. Write if you have any questions: dadcooks at reciperedux dot com

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Romaine lettuce, salami, provolone, green olives, black olives, red onion, provolone cheese, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, artichokes, ham, salami.

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Note: My Eggplant Parmesan is NOT a vegetarian meal. It is a wonderful blend of Italian meatballs, sausage, cheese, eggplant, and home made sauce.

4 Medium/Large Firm Eggplant

4 Eggs – beaten with a little water

3 cups Italian seasoned bread crumb

Kosher Salt

1 cup Olive Oil

1 cup Vegetable Oil

Left-over meatballs (4), left over Italian sausage (3), and about two cups of left over spaghetti sauce.

½ lb sliced provolone cheese

4 oz. of shredded mozzarella cheese

Peel the eggplant and slice them a little more than ¼ inch thick.

Lay the sliced eggplant out on a large platter and generously salt them with kosher salt. Layer the slice and salt them until all of them are sliced and salted. Let them set for about an hour. A lot of dark liquid will come out of the eggplant. Be sure and drain the liquid.

salt-the-eggplant.jpg

After an hour, rinse all of the eggplant under cold running water, and then pat them all dry.

In a medium bowl, beat 4 eggs with a tablespoon of water. Pour out 2 cups of seasoned bread crumbs onto a large plate. You may need to use more bread crumbs or eggs depending on the size of your eggplant.

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

On a large sheet pan (it helps to have two pans) blend the olive oil and the vegetable oil.

use-veg-oil-and-olive-oil.jpg

Dip sliced eggplant in egg and then in the bread crumbs and place on the oiled sheet pan. Do this until the sheet pan is full. If you have another pan, do the same process.

Bake the eggplant until golden brown on both sides (about 10 minutes each side). When done, lay the fried eggplant on a large platter lined with paper towel to drain the excess oil. Put paper towel between layers of eggplant to ensure proper drain.

Repeat this until all of the eggplant has been fried and let them cool a bit.

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In the meantime, using a fork or potato masher, break up the meatballs and sausage with some sauce. Then add the rest of the sauce and mix.

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In 9 X 9 baking dish – spread some sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.

Line the pan with the first layer of eggplant. Next put down three slices of provolone cheese and a little of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Next, spoon on some of the meat/sauce mixture. Repeat these steps until the baking dish is full, or you’ve used up all of the eggplant. Top with any remaining sauce and cheese.

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Bake –covered (I use a sheet of parchment paper covered with aluminum foil) for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

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(ok, it’s not a perfect picture, I had to try some!!)

My family loves to make eggplant sandwiches using Portuguese Rolls. Sometimes I will cook angel hair pasta and top with a nice square of eggplant parmesan and extra sauce.

Enjoy. If you have questions, write me at dadcooks at reciperedux dot com.

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Follow these instructions and don’t fool around with it and you’ll have the best BBQ ribs you ever tasted.

Rib Rub and BBQ Sauce

5 TBS Paprika

5 TBS Brown Sugar

3 TBS Salt

2 TBS Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1 TBS Garlic Powder

1 TBS Ground Cayenne Pepper

1 1/2 TSP Onion Powder

1 TSP Marjoram (or Oregano)

1 TSP Mustard Powder

1/2 TSP Fresh Ground Nutmeg

Put all of this in a jar with a lid, and mix/shake thoroughly so that it’s all blended. For two large slabs of ribs I shake the entire contents onto the MEAT side of the ribs. Leave the bone side alone. Place in a large baking pan large enough to hold the ribs (the big pan that comes with your stove will do nicely) and refrigerator for a day, or overnight so that all of the spices can soak into the meat.

Ribs have been rubbed

Ribs have been rubbed

Next day, place about a quart of water in the bottom of the pan, and slow-bake the ribs COVERED WITH FOIL for 4-5 hours at 275 degrees. The bones should start to pull away from the meat, but the meat should remain moist and not burned and still stick to the bone.

GENEROUSLY slather ribs with BBQ Sauce (recipe follows) and place on your grill BONE SIDE DOWN on a low or medium grill. I prefer not to grill the meat side, but let the BBQ sauce thicken on the ribs while they are on the grill. Grill until the meat is hot all the way through.

BBQ Sauce

1 LARGE (64oz) Bottle of Ketchup

One 2 LB Box of brown sugar (light or dark – doesn’t matter)

1 TBS liquid smoke

1/2 tsp of dried basil

1/2 tsp of dried oregano

1/2 tsp of ground black pepper

1/2 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp (or more if desired) of ground cayenne pepper (I keep adding this until I get where everyone can deal with it… for me, a little more is better and I end up adding about 2 teaspoons and its very warm – not hot, but very warm and still has lots of flavor)

1/4 cup any white wine

juice from half a lemon

In a large pot, blend all of the ingredients (you’ll need to get all of the brown sugar dissolved into the mixture) and simmer very s l o w l y for an hour and make sure that it “blubs” with bubbles. Bottle it up. I use quart canning jars that have been sterilized with their caps and rings.

Ribs cooked and sauced

Ribs cooked and sauced

Good Luck !!! Email me if you have any questions. dadcooks at reciperedux dot com

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Dad’s Potato Salad

3 pounds red potatoes (skins on) cubed to about ½-3/4 inch
Kosher salt
1 cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon of celery seed
Freshly ground black pepper

½ to ¾ cup chopped onion – any kind you like – yellow-red-sweet
6 Hard boiled eggs –3 of them sliced in quarters – the rest chopped
Shakes of paprika
Chopped Fresh Parsley

Put the potatoes in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Emril calls this “fork tender”. Drain the potatoes in a very large bowl to cool to room temperature.

In another bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and the celery seed and set this aside.

Chop 3 of the hard boiled eggs and add to the cooled potatoes. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate. When cooled, add the dressing and mix thoroughly. Transfer to a serving bowl (nice for the table) and add the remaining eggs/quartered around the top of the salad. Shake on the paprika and sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley. Serve cold.

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These photos are from Easter last year. The kids had a lot of fun feeding the horses. It was a beautiful day.

Click on the pics for a larger view.

andrew-and-elizabeth.jpg callahan-and-ella.jpg callahan-and-rosa.jpg callahan-skyler-and-hector.jpg elizabeth.jpg

elizabeth-and-hector.jpg ella.jpg goofing-around.jpg grampa-callahan-and-hector.jpg grandpa-kids-and-brownie.jpg

grandpa-kids-and-brownie-2.jpg skyler-and-ella.jpg trouble.jpg

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We bought a 5 pound package of Bobak kielbasa from Polonia in Casselberry, FL and I just loved it. We had company for dinner and I made Stuffed Cabbage, pierogi, and Bobak kielbasa simmered in beer. Everyone just raved about it. I’m so glad that I bought the large package – I will share it with my children and other guests at Easter. The flavor was the best – I think it’s the best kielbasa I’ve ever had.

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#1 – Went to a going away lunch today at the Cheesecake Factory in Winter Park Village with our team for one of our co-workers.  Had the Kobe Cheeseburger.  When you order medium, you get it pretty much raw on the inside.  I ate it.  I didn’t feel too good an hour later.

#2 – Waited for our server to give us fill-up on our drinks (longer than usual).  She had one of the other wait persons take our ice tea glasses.  He gathered them up, took them away and then brought them back filled with the original straws.  Only the one I got back was someone else’s – but couldn’t be sure who’s.  Not a good system.  They should have filled our glasses at the table.

Lunch – Kobe cheese burger with fries $13.95, green ice tea $2.95 + 18% tip = $21.04.  I won’t be back for lunch.

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