Tag Archives: food

The Best Cranberry Chutney EVER!

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The Best Cranberry Chutney EVER!

Thanksgiving – 2016

Maybe you’ve had that cranberry “stuff” than comes in a can and decided that cranberry sauce wasn’t for you.  That was my experience, until some years ago I came across this absolute marvel of a recipe for cranberry chutney.  I’ve been making it for Thanksgiving ever since as a “must have” on my menu.  Try it, it’s easy, its delicious and it’s  not only good with turkey, but with chicken and pork, as well.  It is so good, in fact, that I can’t bear to keep it to myself and have decided to share the recipe with you.  Happy Thanksgiving and Bon Appetite!

Begin by washing and sorting a bag of fresh cranberries, 4 cups.

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Add a cup of golden raisins

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Add 2 cups of sugar.

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Add cinnamon and allspice to taste.  I like things spicy, so I add extra but a 1/4 tsp of allspice and 1 tsp of cinnamon should be adequate to start… spice it up from there.

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Drain pineapple, reserving juice,  and chop to desired texture.

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Chop fresh ginger using a pleasing amount.

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Add water to pineapple juice measuring to one cup.

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Add liquid and stir.

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Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.  Cook a bit longer for thicker consistency.

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The mixture will reduce down to a syrup that thickens as it cools.img_3879

Store in refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.  Serve cold or at room temperature as desired.

fullsizeoutput_5ab!!ENJOY!!

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November Comfort Food

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Old-Fashioned Goodness.

It’s been a long while since my last encounter with oatmeal in the morning, but as chance would have it, I had a meet-up with the Quaker Oats guy in the cereal aisle last weekend and we decided to go home together.

It may have something to do with the change in seasons and the dark days of winter approaching, that cause my thoughts to turn to oatmeal.  I don’t know, but whatever the reason, I find a steaming bowl of hot mush to be a very satisfying and nutritious way to start a November morning. It’s really quite easy to make, but being pressed for time as I often am, I decided to do some pre-organizing to speed up the process in the morning.  I assembled five pre-measured bags of ingredients, one for each day of the week, so that all I’ll have to do when I stumble out to the kitchen at 5:30 a.m. is add a cup of hot water to the mixture and voila, I’ll have my oatmeal in no time at all.

Oatmeal Time

I like to use nut pieces, not only for added flavor, but for the trace nutrients and extra calories they provide. I use unsalted, dry roasted varieties such as pecans, filberts, almonds and cashews.

breaking nut pieces

Dried fruit, such as currants, raisins or cranberries add sweetness without the use of refined sugar.currants

Add 1/2 cup of dry oatmeal.oatmeal

To avoid the recommended salt, I add spices such as cinnamon, cloves or nutmeg again for flavor and also for added health benefits that spices offers.cinnamon spice

And with that, my work is done.  Just seal the bags and they are ready to go in the morning.  Now all I have to do in the morning is put a cup of water on to boil and breakfast will be ready  in a jiffy.Ready to go.

CHRISTMAS CUPCAKES

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Peppermint Delights

Here is my contribution to the Christmas potluck being held tomorrow at work.

I made yellow cupcakes and frosted them with mint flavored frosting and then crushed peppermint candies for the topping.

Christmas Cupcakes

They look delicious to me; too bad I’m off desserts.

I’ve been off sugar for so long that just the little bit of frosting that I licked off my fingers sent me into a sugar overload… really it did. 🙂

I hope you all are having fun preparing for the big day.  Wishing all the best of best holidays!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Eat Greek And Be Merry!

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Eat Greek And Be Merry!

BASKING IN THE WARMTH OF A PDX AFTERNOON THE OPA WAY

I look forward to the Holy Trinity Greek Festival all year long.  It is held every October and by July I start anticipating the smoky fragrances of roasting lamb on the spit, and the hot oil fryers of the pastry tent.  We’ve been going for so many years I’ve lost count.  We’ve watched it grow and expand over time to accommodate the ever-burgeoning crowds in what appears to be a hugely successful fund-raising event for Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral

Our annual pilgrimage takes us to the lovely tree-lined streets and vintage homes of Laurelhurst, one of old-Portland’s premiere neighborhoods.  Finding parking on the residential streets can take a bit of tenacity, but we always manage to find a spot without too much trouble and walking through the neighborhood is a part of the pleasant experience.

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tree lined streets of Laurelhurst

Laurelhurst

A beautiful Sunday in Portland, Oregon

As we make our approach to the church, we are first greeted by the delicious aroma of lamb roasting and the sounds of  bouzouki music.  I always have to exercise a certain level of self-restraint when I hear Greek music as it tends to make me want to extend my arms, start snapping my fingers and exclaiming opa!

the aroma of roasting lamb

roasting lamb

A large tent is set up where the ladies of the parish sell their homemade pastries… all Greek traditional  tasty treats like baklava and other things I can’t quite spell or pronounce the names of, but all delicious, every one, I’m sure.

Greek pastries

Greek pastries

Loukoumades, which I suspect means little-fat-pills in Greek, top my list of Greek savories.  They are basically doughnuts, fried and dipped in honey or a sugary syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon.  They are definitely a must have every year and very popular.

At the loukoumades booth

Living proof that loukoumades make you smile!

Help yourself!

Soooo good!

But, before dessert, we head for the the dining hall where we feast on a traditional Greek chicken dinner.  Tables are set up in the gymnasium and people are seated family style.  I really like this part of the festival, because invariably we meet nice people.  It is not an everyday thing to dine with people you don’t know, but it works in this situation and seems like a very Greek thing to do.

Dining family style

Dining family style

Dinner begins with a Greek salad with feta cheese, olives and tomatoes.

Greek salad

The main course consists of roasted chicken, orzo, green beans Greek-style of course, and a kourabiedes cookie for dessert.

Greek chicken dinner

Greek chicken dinner

After dinner, we take a trip through the market area where various Greek imports are sold.

Greek marketplace

Greek marketplace

I always try to stop in at the Ethos bookstore to pick up an icon for my refrigerator icon collection.  This year I found a rather stern image of Christ; I like it, it’s different from any others than I have and will be a nice addition to my growing number of magnets.

Ethos  bookstore

Ethos bookstore

my refrigerator icon collection

my refrigerator icon collection

Next we go to bask in the afternoon sun for awhile and watch the children dance in their traditional costumes.  It is nice to see them learning and carrying on their traditions.

traditional dancing

traditional dancing

We always like to visit the church; it is very beautiful and peaceful and while typical of orthodox churches, quite different from western churches I am familiar with.   I always begin by buying a candle.

Buying a prayer candle

Buying a prayer candle

And what is one to do with a prayer candle, but to light it and say a prayer, of course.

Sending up a prayer

Sending up a prayer

We go into the church for a few moments of reflection in the quiet under the gaze of the icons which line the walls.  It definitely feels like a holy place and quite a contrast to the party atmosphere just beyond the front door.

In the narthex

In the narthex

the Nave, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral

in the Nave looking toward the Iconostasis

And for the finale, we make our obligatory visit to pasty tent for a dessert and  Greek coffee

Greek Festival, 2013

Greek Festival, 2013
Until next year!

 

Garlic-Basil-Chicken

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OH, MY!

I noticed a restaurant sign board advertising Garlic Basil Chicken a couple of days ago.  It sounded really good to me, but the place advertising the dish looked like the kind that might accidentally mistake the rodents in the back alley for farm fresh chicken and oops into the garlic basil sauce they go.   I drove on, but the thought of garlic basil chicken lingered in my mind.

This morning I bought the ingredients making a special stop to buy my chicken from an organic supplier, Draper Valley Farms.  Then it was off to the produce market for other ingredients.  This dish is very simple to make, delicious and healthy.

Ingredients 

1 1/2 lbs. chicken breast sliced in thin slices

1 small onion halved and sliced in 1/4″ slices

2 red bell peppers sliced in 1/4″ sticks

5 large garlic cloves sliced or minced

1 1/2 cup of fresh basil

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1/4 cup of water

                                                                         ingredients for garlic basil chicken recipe

Dredge chicken in cornstarch or flour and saute in light olive oil until browned on both sides, approximately two minutes each side.

saute chickenRemove chicken from skillet  and add onions and peppers with more oil if needed.  Saute for a couple of minutes being careful not to over-cook.

saute onions and peppers

Add garlic slices and brown

IMG_7876Once garlic is browned, pour in the rice vinegar, soy sauce and water.

add liquids

Add cooked chicken back into pan.  The flour from the chicken will help to thicken the sauce.  Again, add more water if the sauce needs it.

IMG_7878Stir in chicken and cook a little until liquids begin to thicken into a sauce.

Add basil.

fresh basil

Cook until basil is limp stirring as needed.

IMG_7881Serve mixture over rice and pair with a cold beverage which in this case happens to be an Imperial Pale Ale, my personal favorite, Hop Czar from Bridgeport Brewery in Portland, Oregon.

Enjoy!Garlic Basil Chicken