Monday, December 30, 2013

Our Celebration of 2013 and Preparation for 2014!



Well friends and fellow servants we have arrived at the end of one year and the beginning of another. Wish slave had something cosmic and profound to impart, but nothing. In fact slave is not even going out to party. An upper respiratory distress is dragging it down. When that happens, the mind just doesn't want to work either!

Many use this night to reflect on their year or to make pledges to themselves to be better in the next year. Last year Master had slave make 13 new years resolutions, then it had to post its progress on each on every Saturday!

You might think that was tough, but it kept them fresh in slave's mind and active on its to do lists! It can report accomplishment on ten of the thirteen! Including putting an end to 50 years of smoking. Slave has been smoke free for 10 months now and could not be talked into going back!

So on this night You might consider what has been your victories this year as well as decide what your victories will be next year! 


Slave wanted to share just a couple of recipes with you for any possible get togethers you might have. Even if you do not go out and instead stay with the most important people of your life.
How about some bake ahead muffins for New Years Day?

How to make muffins:

Line the pan(s) with paper or foil liners; coat the liners with cooking spray. (For savory muffins, dust with flour after spraying.)

Fill each liner 2/3 to 3/4 full with batter and bake at 350 degrees F until a toothpick comes out clean.
Now then here are some varieties for you to chose from!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Does your master like Streusel?       

Make the topping:
Mix 2/3 cup each chopped pecans,
brown sugar and
flour, and
1/4 teaspoon salt;
work in 5 tablespoons cold cubed butter.

Make the batter:
Mix 2 cups flour,
1 teaspoon baking powder,
½ teaspoon each
cinnamon and
salt, and
¼ teaspoon baking soda.
Whisk 3 eggs,
¾ cup sugar,
1 stick melted butter,
1 cup sour cream and
1 teaspoon vanilla;
fold into the flour mixture.
Divide among 12 prepared muffin cups,
sprinkle with the topping and
bake 20 to 25 minutes.
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Oh, How about Banana?
Mix:
2 cups flour,
½ cup chopped nuts,
1 teaspoon baking powder,
½ teaspoon salt and
1/4 teaspoon baking soda.
Whisk 3/4 cup brown sugar,
1 stick melted butter,
½ cup each mashed banana and sour cream, and
2 eggs;
fold into the flour mixture.
Divide among 12 prepared muffin cups; bake 20 to 25 minutes.
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or Apple-Cranberry
Make Banana Muffins (above except),
add ½ teaspoon cinnamon with the flour and
replace the nuts with dried cranberries and
the banana with applesauce.
Top with dried apples and dried cranberries before baking.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Any pumpkin left?
Make Banana Muffins (except for), adding
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice with the flour,
omitting the nuts and
replacing the banana with canned pure pumpkin.
Top with coarse sugar before baking.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Maybe some savory Corn Muffins?

Mix 1 ½ cups each flour and cornmeal,
1/3 cup sugar,
1 teaspoon baking powder and
½ teaspoon each baking soda and salt.
Whisk 2/3 cup each sour cream and milk,
1 stick melted butter and
2 eggs;
fold into the flour mixture.
Divide the batter among 12 prepared muffin cups and
bake at 400 degrees F, 20 to 25 minutes.*

*NOTE the difference in this recipe of temps and times!
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How about a Breakfast Maple-Bacon Muffin
Make Corn Muffins (with these changes),
omit the sugar,
add 3 slices chopped cooked bacon with the flour
replace the milk with maple syrup

.slave can just smell them reheating on News Years Day to have with coffee!
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Sweet Butter Cookie Muffin
Mix 2 cups flour,
1 teaspoon baking powder and
½ teaspoon salt.
Beat 1 ½ sticks softened butter and
2/3 cup sugar until fluffy, then beat in
2 eggs and
1 teaspoon vanilla.
Slowly beat in the flour mixture and 1/3 cup milk in alternating batches.
Divide among 12 prepared muffin cups and bake 20 to 25 minutes.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
slave gave you that recipe so you can do this one also:
Eggnog Muffins .. sure to please A Daddy Bear!

Make Sweet Butter Muffins (except for),
adding 1 teaspoon nutmeg with the flour.
When cool, dip the muffin tops in a mixture of
1 cup confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons Dark rum.
------------------------------------------------

Or just a Harvest Muffin made with Cider-Cinnamon
Make Sweet Butter Muffins (except for)
replace the milk with apple cider.
Brush the finished warm muffins with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
--------------------------------------------------------
 
By now You have the main idea down, try some variations of your own!

Now then for tonight, slave has given great party ideas You can re-cycle from Halloween!

And here is a new one for you. Saving the best for last!
Make shrimp this way and you will never boil it again! Roasting imparts such a good flavor, a real shrimp flavor, You might even wish to go light on the sauce.

A Tasty Cocktail of Roasted Shrimp

Ingredients
For the shrimp:

2 pounds (12 to 15-count) shrimp *2 Tbs of mayonnaise
1 Tbs of a good canola oil
1 Tbs melted butter
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
*NOTE: The 20-25 count shrimp will take about 6 minutes: 16-20 count will roast for 8 minutes, (since it continues to cook on the pan when you pull it out of the oven)and JUMBO shrimp will also cook for 8 minutes.

For the sauce:

½ cup chili sauce*
½ cup ketchup*
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
and the zest of that lemon.
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
*
vary the proportions of these depending on how hot Your Master likes!

For an even more homemade cocktail sauce:
1 (14½ ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
½ cup prepared chili sauce
4 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon sugar
Few grinds fresh black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon
canola oil

You can serve with both traditional cocktail and a homemade creamy horseradish, if you like.







Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Peel and de
-vein the shrimp. Use a pair of heavy kitchen scissors or a serrated knife, make an incision down the backside of the shrimp, following the intestinal track. Then the black vein will come out easily with a little bit of practice.
You can also buy a large bag of frozen shrimp from Costco and take out what you need, thaw, and cook. However you just never know and you will miss the freshness of peeling and de-veining them yourself and slave finds that enjoyable.
Toss with a mixture of mayonnaise, melted butter and oil. Arrange in one layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Roast for 8 to10 minutes, just until pink and firm and cooked through.
Set aside to cool.




For the sauce, just combine the ingredients. Serve as a dip with the shrimp.
Present the shrimp on a platter with a small dish of toothpicks and 7 inch paper plates. They should hold shrimp and leave room for spooning small amounts of dip. Slave thinks this is better, if you have guests, than leaving the tails on. Because you will find they have hidden those morsels everywhere around your place, (just looking for somewhere to put them)!
Frankly you might decide not to use any sauce because it is so very good. A great food for toasting in the new year 2014!
Now that's a cocktail You don't have to worry about making people drunk!
Remember this is the night for amateur drinkers and they will all try to drive!




Please be safe
Have fun
That way we can see what kind of mischief will be concocted on this blog in the next year!
Serving My Master Indy

socialslave

To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!




Wednesday, December 25, 2013

This Christmas Part Fourteen!


Hey, if whole buildings can skip a number so can this blog! Merry Christmas to all, and to all, grab another cup of coffee and lets get this show on the road!




Christmas Feast at 6 PM time line

1:30PM Prep tray of Brussels sprouts.

2:00 PM Turn on oven to 400 degrees. When preheated put trays of vegetables in oven. Remember to stir the Brussels sprouts every 10 minutes – this is important

2:45PM Take out vegetables put B.S. in their microwave safe covered dish, and potatoes into a bowl for mashing. Move rack to lowest run.

3:00PM Remove turkey from brine and rinse then pat dry with paper towels. Put aromatics in cavity and “butter” the skin with mayonnaise and place on rack.

3:20PM Put in Oven! (Roasting estimate of 2 hours & 15 minutes + fudge factor of 10 minutes) Drop temperature down to 350 degrees

5:00PM Put dressing in oven along side of turkey

Cover the Brussels sprouts, these will need final re-heating in microwave

If family insists on rolls, put them in oven now

5:45PM Out of oven to rest (leave dressing in)

5:45PM Heat Cook the potatoes for 7 minutes, take out to mash, Brussels sprouts in microwave for no more than 3 minutes, Same for carrots and 2 minutes for gravy.
While microwaving, mix 2-3 tbs of drippings from the pan into the bowl of gravy before heating that for 3 minutes and stir before serving.
6:00PM Carve and Serve!

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Slave hopes that you have enjoyed all of the internet pictures it has scrounged to decorate these posts! Wish it could give credit to each and everyone, but these is just no way of knowing my the time they reached slave how many times they were re-posted. So I guess they have also “Been around the block”!

 
This is the day of sharing and caring. Do you best to keep a child-like heart, be open to the wonder! Keep handy in your arsenal all five of your senses and do your best to use each and everyone of them to spread the happiness of the day.

Getting you stuff ready in the kitchen
Just a quick word about the pan you use to roast the turkey.
Lets not use that old Spackle-wear closed “roaster”. They do NOT roast the turkey, they stew it! To roast, air must circulate around the meat. This is what gives the best Caramelization - browning!













Take a large cake pan, line it with foil or spray it well, then set in a rack which is also sprayed well.













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Our Royal Bird Breast about to go into the oven. All buttered up with mayonnaise, some onion, bay leaves, and a cut up lemon in the cavity!
Note extra onion wedges in the pan, not necessary but I think adds to smells and to flavor of gravy. 


Remember This Day Is About the Ones You Care For!
Keep all this other stuff in perspective, don't overlook your goal by focusing on the small details. Keep an eye on details, just don't obsess.

Pay more attention on their eyes, for there is what is in the hearts.







Our Menu for Today

Since this will likely be a heavy meal slave does not suggest appetizers. It knows that you already have nuts and cookies around and with all probability you've had a late breakfast – brunch. That's just how it goes on the holiday, esp Christmas!

Slow Roasted Turkey Breast
Pan gravy
Homemade Cranberry-Apple Cinnamon sauce
Sweet Cornbread dressing
Fresh mashed potatoes
Sweet roasted Brussels Sprouts with bacon and nuts
Honeyed-ginger baby carrots
Rolls
Old Fashioned hand-made Mince meat pie




 

NOTE: Let slave give you a tip about the gravy. Often slave buys it already made. The trick is to add about 4 tbs of pan juices and just a touch of creamer to it, stir well before you microwave it to proper temperature! It will then have all the taste of the bird that You have cooked!

Slave knows that this blog is nowhere near complete. It hopes it has served as a guideline to your own creations.

Above all it has hoped and prayed for is that you and yours have shared in the joy of this season. May you keep that warmth of love and happiness wrapped around your loved ones all year long.

Happy serving!

Serving My Wonderful and Precious Master Indy

socialslave

To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil,
comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!





Tuesday, December 24, 2013

This Christmas Part twelve


Today there will not be a lot of pictures. Most of what is here is just prepping you for what will happen latter tonight and tomorrow.

We made it this far, no stopping us now!

Here is one last recipe for you:

Baking Your Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 2 pieces slab bacon cut into 3/4 inch
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Wash and then peel off any loose or damaged leaves from the sprouts. Trim the root end and cut an “X” into the root end.

Cook the bacon pieces along with walnuts stirring well in a skillet over medium heat until bacon just begins to crisp and walnuts are toasted, about 4 minutes. Transfer the bacon and walnuts with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside. Add the Brussels sprouts to the skillet and stir until the sprouts are well coated with the bacon fat, if necessary add 1 tbs of oil to coat them well. Season with Kosher salt and pepper.

Place on a baking tray with ½ inch sides. Put the tray in the oven and roast the Brussels sprouts for about 30 minutes, stirring twice (about every 10 minutes), with each stir – sprinkle with a pinch of sugar!

Add the bacon and walnuts and continue to roast until the sprouts are cooked through and starting to have touches of brown, about 10 to 15 minutes more.

Even confirmed Brussels Sprout Haters will devour these wonderful morsels.
========================


Copy and paste this sample Christmas Dinner time line for reference on the big day. This is just a suggestion. You will have to make your own time line based on what You are cooking and when You want to eat.

Christmas Feast at 6 PM time line

1:30PM Prep tray of Brussels sprouts.

2:00 PM Turn on oven to 400 degrees. When preheated put tray of aprouts in oven. Remember to stir the Brussels sprouts every 10 minutes – this is important

2:45PM Take out sprouts and put in a microwave safe covered dish. They will need reheating latter.  Move rack to lowest run.

3:00PM Remove turkey from brine and rinse then pat dry with paper towels. Put aromatics in cavity and “butter” the skin with mayonnaise then insert an oven safe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast.  Set for 151 degrees.

3:20PM Put in Oven! (Roasting estimate of 2 hours & 15 minutes + fudge factor of 10 minutes) Drop temperature down to 350 degrees

5:00PM Put dressing in oven along side of turkey.

If family insists on rolls, put them in oven now

5:45PM IF the thermometer has gone off, if not wait for that indicator. Out of oven to rest (leave dressing in)

5:45PM MICROWAVE TIME: Cook the potatoes for 7 minutes, take out to mash, Brussels sprouts in microwave for no more than 3 minutes, Same for carrots and 2 minutes for gravy.

While microwaving, mix 2-3 tbs of drippings from the pan into the bowl of gravy before heating that for 3 minutes and stir before serving.

6:00PM Carve and Serve!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Did you follow how slave subtracted the time each step would take from the time dinner was to be?

NOTE: The biggest pace for error in this method is if you forget that an hour only has 60 minutes, not 100!  
When you start subtracting it is almost automatic! 

Think about it. Double check, add it up, then add it down. Do this on paper not in your head! Tape the paper on a cabinet door so that it is right in front of you!.

Once you get your time line down, it will surprise you how easy the rest of the cooking just flows. This will allow You to be relaxed and that will make everybody else happier!

 
Now back to today! Tonight we are going to brine the turkey breast! So today we will make the brine and let it cool before we put the bird to sleep in the deep tonight!

Turkey Brine

                        Asleep in the deep!

 
Ingredients:
1 gallon cold water
1 cup of kosher salt
1 cup of brown sugar (either light or dark)
 
Bring to a boil to completely dissolve the salt & sugar. Remove from heat and add:

2 quarts of vegetable stock, NOT the low sodium kind, you need the salt
3 tablespoons peppercorns
5 whole bay leaves
3 cups apple cider

Allow to cool to room temperature, then cool in refrigerator.
Pour cold mixture in to brining pot.

Open the turkey breast up and rinse, then pat dry. Make sure the cavity is empty, also patted dry.

Place turkey into brine with breast side down, add ice water until it reaches the level we found last night. Weight the bird down with a heavy plate like we did yesterday and leave pot in a cool place.

YOU DO NOT have to worry about bacteria or the turkey going bad because of the salt! 
 Remember to turn the bird over once half way through the time. Or when you get up in morning!

Yes, slave knows that there are last minute presents to wrap, things to gather, people to call. Etc Etc.


Please let slave urge you: tonight, take the time with your special someone, to just sit and look at the tree. Each take turns telling what makes this Christmas special. Hug them, and when you do, make sure you are touching from shoulder to hips. Take a breath and let it out to relax into the hug. Not “air kisses” or “lean over” hugs. This is the time to connect and tell them how much they mean to you. 

For without them, without the caring and effort, 
it is no holiday,
 no special night, 
no special time. 
 Anytime with them is special. 

 If you are the praying type, do it now! If not, take a moment in silence to reflect on this last year, and ask have you done your best? What can You do better? How can you care more?


 
Serving my Master Indy and Wishing You A Merry Christmas!

socialslave

To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!




Monday, December 23, 2013

This Christmas Part eleven


 
Ah, fellow Agents of Christmas, this was not an easy day to jump right out of bed. Freezing drizzle, even though it was outside does not agree with arthritis! The whole house seemed cold as well as empty. Just slave all weekend as Master is traveling. It would have been so easy to just feel sorry for myself, but that is not what the season is all about! It is not what slave is about either, So Here We Go!

A quick check shows that the turkey breast is not thawed yet. This is no reason to panic because we have planed ahead. This also gives a great opportunity to learn the proper way to speed thaw!

From the Butterball web site:
To thaw, place unopened roast (Turkey Breast) in cold tap water for 3 to 5 hours. Change water every 30 minutes to keep turkey cold!

OK, this also gives us a chance to check out how much fluid we will need for the brining we will do Tuesday night!














 
Place the pot in the sink and add COLD water. Place the unopened turkey breast in the water and keep filling for a bit after the turkey starts to float. Yes it will float. We do not want that either today to thaw or tomorrow night when we are Brining. So lets try a plate! It is not going to perfectly balance: however if it keeps the bird under, that is all we ask!


 
When thawed, keep in refrigerator until ready to cook. Cook within 4 days of thawing.
Now then Set a timer for 30 minutes (this is important!). When that goes off, remove the plate and bird. Pour out the water and repeat the process with fresh cold water. It is going to take 8 to 10 fills of the pot to get the bird thawed safely! NO NOT TRY TO HURRY the process with hot or warm water, not only can this make you violently sick it is possible you could cause someone else to get violently sick or worse. It is not worth it.



 
Note: use a ruler to measure how much fluid you are going to need by checking the level when you remove the bird. In this case the level is right at 5 inches below the lip. That way we can have a good guess how much we need each time and how much we will need for the brine!
=========================
So while this process is going on and we have to be in the kitchen anyway: lets bake some cookies! These make great little thank you gifts for the person who does your hair, or any service person who has treated you fairly all year.

In fact it is a tradition to do this for the Postal delivery person on the day after Christmas or “Boxing Day” as it is called in Great Britain!

The other day slave got the chance to take some cookies to a friend at the Bad Dog Bar and Grill, Tiger. He was so nice in thanking me. He even shared a recipe from his grandmother for Butter Cookies and said that slave could share it on the blog! Slave always gets requests for its “dreamsicle” type of cookie, so here are both for us to make!

Easy Orange Cream type cookie


Since it has appeared before in this blog, here is an easy way to make it:


 

Ingredients
  • 1 pouch instant sugar cookie mix (1 pound 1.5 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 5 drops yellow food color
  • 2 drops red food color
  • 1 ½ cups white vanilla baking chips
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

 






















Directions
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl, stir all ingredients except baking chips until soft dough forms. Stir in baking chips.
This batter is very stiff and will take some muscle. If you aree having to much trouble with it try adding 2 Tbs of milk, but be careful with it.

2. On cookie sheets lined with parchment paper, drop dough with 1½ tablespoon-size cookie scoop or by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart.

3. Bake 9 to 10 minutes or just until dough is set (do not overbake). Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely.
========================



Grandma Roth’s Butter Cookies
 
Ingredients:
4 ¾ cups sifted all purpose flour
7oz butter (2Tbs less than 1 cup) softened
c nuts (black walnuts work the best)
½ c sugar
4 eggs
1tsp vanilla






Directions:
Sift your dry ingredients before measuring them. This puts air into the flour and you end up using less. Set aside.



Cream the butter and sugar until it is a light lemony color.





Break the eggs into a bowl, slave usually adds any vanilla or flavoring to them and gives them a quick mix before adding to the mixer bowl and blending in well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.



Add the flour by thirds into the mixer, each time stopping to scrape down the sides. Add the nuts last. The dough should now be pulling from the sides. Slave thanks modern-day KitchenAid, because this dough is heavy. Grandma Roth had strong arms!







Roll out some wax paper on the counter and sprinkle with powered sugar.
With a rolling pin, roll out the dough till it is about ¼ inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut out the shapes you wish. If you have trouble moving the raw cookie, try sliding the spatula under the cutter and moving the whole thing onto the parchment lined baking tray. Collect the scraps and reform, roll out again and repeat until all the dough is used. Keep sprinkling everything with powdered sugar to keep the dough from sticking and don't forget to spread it on the rolling pin and your hands too.



When the cookies are arraigned on the paper, brush them with beaten egg yoke then sprinkle with colored sugar bits.


































 

Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 to 14 minutes until they are firm, they will only brown a little so watch closely.



Slave is told this recipe dates back to the 1800's!



A big Thank You to Tiger for being so generous and allowing slave to share this treasure with you!
Don't forget You are thawing the bird.

 EVERY HALF HOUR, CHANGE the water!


Serving my Master Indy


socialslave


To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil,
comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!