(warning: this is not a recipe)

Standard

This is NOT a recipe,

 

but this IS a warning.

I would never steer my readers wrong.

Hubs and I have put forth vigilant efforts to detox our bodies post-Christmas-over-indulgment-of-fattening-deliciousness.

Hence, I have been spending more time at the gym and less time writing, for which I apologize and plan to remedy soon.

(NOT that I will be spending less time at the gym and more time writing, but rather will find a way to balance things out and bring you more daily deliciousness at Feeding Farley).

We have learned a valuable lesson in these passing days:  never try to lighten up French Onion Soup.

Seriously.

Hubs was having a hankering for the golden onions and rich, cheesey goodness, and wifey over here remembered a Weight Watchers recipe developed to lighten up our beloved  soup.  It also called for less time than our favorite Julia Child rendition.  So WW it was last evening.

Did we ever choose wrongly!

Here are all things wrong with the recipe, which we followed exactly:

1.  Except for 1/8 tsp. black pepper, it calls for no flavorings in the ways of herbs, spices….salt….

2. We stared into a steamy pot of what resembled leftover dirty-dish water.

3.  If you inhaled a deep breath to savor the aroma from said pot, you would be confronted with the scent of a church basement fellowship hall:  stale coffee.  (Why in God’s name an onion soup smelled like stale church coffee, I know not, but hubs took a whiff and said that strangely enough, my hound-like nostrils proved right again.)

4.  Since taste and smell are so closely related, it is difficult to swallow any soup that reminds you of church pot-luck coffee.  Even if your pot-luck coffeee ladies are secret Starbucks baristas on the side.

 

I didn’t want to throw it down the drain, so I added garlic powder, more black pepper, and freshly grated sea salt to the soup.  That, along with the addition of healthy-toast croutons and skim cheeses, seemed to salvage our diet-conscious dinner efforts last night….although I am sure it is a recipe that will never see the light of my kitchen again.

 

Hopefully, you feel sufficiently warned!

 

Feeding Farley will be returning this weekend with fab recipes and photos that you will actually WANT to make and might even be a little bit good for you, so in the meantime, happy eating!

putting some spice back into the wintry nights

Standard

There is nothing like curry to bring some spice back into your wintry nights.  After a slew of traditional flavorings on ye olde tastebuds and a sky that’s been filled with the promise of snow, it’s been time to warm things up a bit in the kitchen.

With Thanksgiving gone and holiday baking a week or more away, along with the fact that hubs and I are working to create our little, less-than-seven-hundred-square-feet home into a tastefully decorated Christmas wonderland, who wants to spend even more time in the kitchen–well, other than me, apparently, being the author of a food blog, and my other foodie compadres–??

Lucky for all of us, the meal I’m about to share with you rivals the timing of the good ole thirty-minute-meal goddess herself.

This is a perfect dish for a cold night:  the curry and horseradish bring heat to the dish, but less than you would imagine (which is good for the heat-pansies out there, myself included) and the citrus is just plain seasonal.   And it’s only a few ingredients, and cooks up quickly.  Marvelous.

**please forgive the photos; there aren’t the best shots in the world, but they do provide a guide for you visual learners out there**

These ain’t no shake-and-bake:

PORK CHOPS WITH CURRIED ORANGE SAUCE

(The original Cooking Light recipe can be found here)

1–In a small bowl, mix us 1/4 tsp. curry powder, 1/4 tsp. paprika, and 1/4 tsp. salt.  Sprinkle it all over your pork chops.

2–Heat a non-stick pan over medium (or a stainless steel pan with a little bit of olive oil sprinkled and smeared around, which is what I went with) and put your pork  chops in there.  Cook for 3 minutes per side, or until no longer pink.

NOTE:  If your chops are thicker than 1/2 inch thick, be prepared to cook’em a bit longer.  I cooked mine about 5-6 minutes per side and made sure there wasn’t any pink left.  Luckily, they didn’t wind up dry at all, but just be careful!

3–While your chops are a-cooking, mix up 1/3 cup orange marmalade, 1/2 tsp. curry powder, 1 1/2 tsp. prepared horseradish, 1 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar, and 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper.  (Go ahead and mix it in the same bowl you mixed the spices in–why not? Save a bowl, fix a porkchop).

4–When the chops are done, remove them from the pan and set aside. Pour in your marmalade mixture and cook for 15 seconds, scraping up all the good pork chop brown bits from the bottom.   Pour on top of your chops and voila!

Served with Steamfresh Broccoli and jasmine rice (we did the jasmine rice with olive oil, chopped garlic, and white wine….mmmmmm! If you want THAT recipe, holla at your girl over here and leave a comment.)

Stay warm and enjoy!

a cake you can eat without having to put your big-girl pants on

Standard

I have always wondered why chocolate is never a featured dessert on a Thanksgiving table.  Sure, it’s time to celebrate the harvest of pumpkins and apples, but in my world, chocolate is never out of season.

My Frazer side of the family celebrated Thanksgiving on Saturday night, and Mom asked specifically if I would bake a non-pumpkin dessert, since my sister-in-law doesn’t like pumpkin.  I thought about it and decided to fix a sure crowd-pleaser:  chocolate chocolate-chip cake.

(You are most definitely allowed to drool at this point in the blog.)

This was going to be an all-around hit, I was certain, since my mother loves chocolate, my sister-in-law would like the non-pumpkinness, and my husband would get to eat his favorite cake that his Nanaw makes (and now his wife makes).  This was going to not just be feeding Farley, but feeding Frazer(s) as well.

Important to know: a nice change with this cake is that you’re not dying in chocolate (which I know might be a disappointment for some of you out there).

This is not the kind of cake that is so-rich-you-only-eat-two-bites-and-feel-like-you-swallowed-a-gold-mine rich;

this is not the kind of cake that you split with someone as a dessert;

this is the kind of dessert that you can have all to your own, chocolate cake, chocolate chips, and all.

(It’s awesome that you can actually eat a slice of this cake without needing to put your big-girl pants on.)

The recipe comes from one of the truest Southern adorable ladies to ever emerge from Virginia, who generously share it with me and I am glad to share it with you.

NOTE:  This cake is semi-homemade, so for you purists or die-hard from-scratchers, suck it up and try it on for size because it cooks up faster than you can say chocolate-chip and it’s absolutely fabulous.

NANAW’S CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE-CHIP CAKE

1–Preheat your oven to 325 and mix up 1 box Duncan Hines’ yellow cake mix, 1 small box of instant vanilla pudding, and 1 small box of instant chocolate pudding in a large bowl  Dig a well in the center and set it aside for a second.


2–In another large-ish bowl, beat together 4 eggs , 3/4 cup vegetable oil, and 1 cuppa water. (I skipped idea of my Kitchen-Aid or even my hand-held mixer and went with my beloved rotary beater instead.)

3–Pour this nice fluffy liquid mess into the aforementioned well in the dry mix and also mix in 6 oz. of chocolate chips (about half a bag). Stir it up, stir it good.

4–Get all of this into a Bundt pan and use a rubber scraper to get every last bit of chocolate yum yum into the pan.

5–Bake it for 1 hour.

6–MAKE SURE YOU LET THE CAKE FULLY COOL BEFORE UNMOLDING!
(Hubs, who loves to be helpful, knows how stressed out I get when I feel like I’m in a rush, so he unmolded the cake and the top wasn’t so attractive….oh well…..can be smoothed out with icing, if you so choose, or chocolate syrup and confectioner’s sugar sprinkled on top. I went with just the sugar).  Nanaw serves this cake as-is, no icing or any frilly stuff.

 

And it doesn’t NEED any frilly stuff.

(I forgot to take my *finished product* shot, and when I went to do it, there wasn’t any cake left.  True story.  Will post a pic next time I make it…better yet, if you, dear reader, fix this cake yourself, why don’t you send in a shot of your own? That’d be awesome!)

You will never leave a chocolate dessert off of your holiday buffet again!

Enjoy!

smack your lips together and call it good

Standard

While I wish I could write today about all of the trimmings and goodies I’d be preparing for Thanksgiving, I can’t, since I am not cooking at any one of the three Thanksgiving celebrations we are attending—the moms and grandmas own this, and until we have wee ones of our own, I am totally fine with being fed by tried-and-true turkey-day champions!!!

So I’m going to write to you about snacking instead.

We rarely buy packaged snack-food to keep around our house (unless you’re counting Hot Tamales).

Hence, when I’m home and feeling a tad bit snickety-snackety, I usually run out of options and have a few handfuls of cereal.

This gets old after a while, not to mention how it depletes my supplies of workday-morning breakfast fare.

I was hunting around in my cabinets to think of what kind of small bite I could come up with that wouldn’t completely destroy any positive, nutritional efforts I may have achieved that day (save for the Hot Tamales) and it struck me:  trail mix!

This recipe comes by way of a friend and I swear it is so sweet and crunchy and good you pretty much forget that it’s reasonably good for you.

 

MAMA JACKIE’S LIP-SMACKIN’ TRAIL MIX (adapted)

1–Take out your favorite granola cereal and measure out 2 cups.

2–To that, add 3/4 cup pecans, 3/4 cup almonds, and 1 1/2 cup flaked coconut.


3–Spice it up with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground ginger, and 1 tsp. salt.

4–Add a can of sweetened condensed milk and 1/4 cup vegetable oil.  Mix it up and make sure your delicious mixture is evening coated.

5–Spread out the goodness on a cookie sheet and bake at 300 for 60-75 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.

**NOTE:  I thought this part would be annoying, because, hey, who wants to have to get up from whatever it is they’re doing every fifteen minutes, but indeed, ’twas not.  I merely set my timer, and while the trail mix was baking, I washed up some dishes, put clothes away, swept, etc, etc–on my report card, this would be called ‘uses time wisely!’ :-)**

6–When it’s all said and done, remove the mix from the oven and stir in 1/2 cup gold raisins, 1/2 cup dark raisins, 1/2 cup dried cherries, and 1/2 cup dried cranberries. Let it cool and store in an air-tight container. (Mama Jackie suggests a screw-top jar–like a mason jar—in lieu of a ziplock or tin)

Smack your lips together and call it good.

Enjoy!

 

a quick and easy way to wow a man…with food

Standard

When you have spent several days at a conference filled with teachers and it’s the night before conferences of the parent-teacher variety, you really don’t feel like spending lots of time cooking Sunday dinner. That said, you also don’t want to do a frozen pizza or take-out anything since you have been eating out for three days straight.

What is one to do?

Consult a recipe, of course!!!  For me, there are only a few better ways to unwind than drooling over a cookbook or the newest issue of Cooking Light magazine (these ways include massage, Jamaica, endless episodes of Say Yes To The Dress, or napping).

The most recent edition of CL offered a “quick-and-easy” weeknight chicken dish, which is what I had hunted for since hubs took out some chicken from the freezer earlier in the day.  All I lacked was one ingredient—apple cider—and since Thanksgiving is just a few gobble-gobbles away, we picked some up to have around anyway.

Now, I have made several dishes this fall with cider and cider variants, so I was afraid of overdoing it with the cider.  On the other hand, it is autumn, and I feel like I need to eat up all the leave-changing, brisk-blowing, cider-soaked goodness that I can!

NOTE:  What I loved about the following dish:

1.  super fast–from start to finish was about 20 minutes.

2. the flavors were both sweet and savory, without one particular ingredient overpowering another.

3. the side and the main were meant to be, really.

4.  pretty much had all of the ingredients on hand. I applaud this convenience!

5.  it was a light dish, but not so light that I was still a little hungry.  On the contrary, it was just the perfect amount of food to fill my appetite without making feel the need to put on my I-just-ate-a-big-dinner-pants (that one’s for Webb).

With a meal like this one, there is no need to order take-out:

CIDER-GLAZED CHICKEN with BROWNED BUTTER-PECAN RICE

1–Make brown rice however you usually do, omitting salt and fat. (We used Uncle Ben’s Boil-In-A-Bag brown rice.)

2–While the rice is cooking, melt 1 tsp. butter in a large pan over med-hi heat.   Add 1 lb. of pounded chicken breasts that you have already seasoned with salt and pepper.  Cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until done (mine took about 5 minutes) and remove from pan.

3–Mix up 1 tsp. Dijon mustard (I am sure you could use a honey mustard, or a spicy brown if you like; we like Dijon) and 1/2 cup. apple cider. I also added the lightest dash of cinnamon. Pour into the chickened pan and cook for 2-3 minutes till thickened, scraping up the bits on the pan as you go.

**NOTE:  I followed the CL recipe (minus my addition of cinnamon) and it said to cook until syrupy.  Well, my ‘sauce’ didn’t get really thick or syrupy, but it did thicken up—so the moral of the story is that it will still taste good, so don’t second-guess!**

4–Add chicken back to pan, turn it around and let it swim and glaze over, set aside.

NOW……for the buttered pecan rice:

1—melt 5 tsp. butter in a small saucepan. over med-hi heat. Let it really melt, let it brown; it MUST get brown! After about 2-3 minutes—when it’s brown and smelling awesome—lower the heat to medium and add 1/4 cup chopped pecans to the pan.  Stir nonstop for 1 minute so the nuts toast and don’t burn!

2–pour the mixture over the rice with about 1/4 tsp. salt and stir well.

Farley (he who I feed) walked in and said it smelled like fall in the house, that it smelled like home.  He took one bite, I took one bite,  and before I knew it our Martha Stewart plates were as white as the day we got’em.

hubs, post-meal. quite content and delighted.

 

(You too can wow your husband with this very simple dish).

 

Enjoy!

slow, cooked, and southern.

Standard

I have succumbed to my slow cooker.

And why not?

It’s getting cold outside, kiddos.  Cold to warrant a wool coat with sweaters and jeans hiding underneath.

It’s also *holiday shopping time* according to commercial America, even though we haven’t even APPROACHED our gobble-gobble day of giving thanks yet!! Ugh…but that’s for another blog….

Since my husband has his weekends back, we are doing normal, newlyewed-ish types of things on the weekends:  house-hunting, shopping, daydreaming, being lazy, seeing all of our families (there is a lot and on my side and his), and we, of course, are having fun with all of the new kitchen toys we received as wedding gifts!  (Most recently made purchases at Crate & Barrel with a generous gift card—see?  A normal and newlywed-ish place to shop on the weekends, told ya!)

And while we’re busy being out and about, we still want to cook dinner at home on weekends, but there isn’t always time.

Lo and behold! The slow-cooker to the rescue!

I have always been shy of using a slow cooker, for no real reason other than I didn’t grow up with a Crock-Pot kind of mom—-my mother is an Italian-from-scratch-from-Queens-all-homemade kind of mom, and she does her own slow cooking in a slow oven—why use a Crock-Pot?

But we have one and we are determined to have fun (and good meals) and experimenting with all of our wedding gifts, so be it that the slow-cooker took center-countertop last Saturday.

My sister-in-law-to-be gave me a seriously simple and delicious recipe for pulled pork barbecue, which I couldn’t wait to try out.  Now, I also did not grow up eating this dish and I’m not even sure if you an purchase pulled pork anywhere on my beloved motherland of Long Island, but it’s one of my favorite regional dishes and I have loved it since my Carson-Newman days.  Hubs and I love it so much that we even featured it on the buffet at our wedding.  (Well, we also had chicken parmigiana and baked ziti–it was true and delicious comfort food!)

This came out AWESOME.   I sent hubs to the store, and he came back with a picnic roast—we were told to use Boston butt, but he said it looked no bueno at the store and this looked better–and cost less.  We’re in.

(But feel free to use whichever portion of roast you prefer).

Coming home from Barnes and Noble never smelled so good:

EASY, AWESOME PULLED PORK BBQ

1–Pull your Crock Pot out.

2–Dice up 2 onions.  This may seem like a lot, but I promise it’s not.  They sort of melt down and mix in and seriously, it’s bueno.  So go ahead and dice’em up.

3–Season your 3-4 lb. pork roast (we used a picnic roast) with salt and pepper.  Go ahead, get all kindsa liberal with it.  Set your pork on top of the onions.

 

make sure you put the fattiest side up! that is where the flavah is! it needs to melt down and out.

4–Pour 1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce on top.

5–Turn your slow cooker on LOW heat for about 9 hours and go play outside or visit Grandma.

6–Nine hours sure does go by fast when you’re not at home, doesn’t it?  Now your house should be filled with the awesome aroma of barbecue just waiting for you to dig in and have a huge bite. But hold on partner–you’ve got to shred your meat first.

Remove the pork with two heavy forks and set in a casserole dish.  Shred the sucker up with two forks.  (This is very easy to do; the meat will be tender and fall apart easily.)  Use a slotted spoon to save the onions you left behind (place in with the meat) and get rid of the juices and fat that melted in the bottom.

7—It may not LOOK gorgeous, but who cares? It SMELLS gorgeous and it’s gonna TASTE gorgeous!
Place your shredded pork and onions back into the slow cooker, cover with 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (more if you are feeling particularly saucy) and just wait one hour longer to get your fill.

8–You can serve on buns, on plates, with coleslaw on the top, with coleslaw on the side, however you please.  Green beans would be stellar, as would my corn pudding corn bread.

 

This is seriously good food to come home to on a chilly day of being out and about, and it’s so easy! You oughta try it!

Enjoy!

do you know the muffin, mon?

Standard

This cold weather makes me want my honeymoon and all of the warm, sunny, rum-drenched air of  Jamaica back.

sunset in Negril

It makes me want to curl up with my hubs and pretend that we are on vacation and don’t have to get up early in the morning.

But you know what else this cold weather makes me want to do?

 

 

…..

 

 

 

….

bake!

jamaica, baked into a muffin.

Should you ever have the opportunity to stay at Couples Negril , you will find  the people beautiful, the music intoxicating, and, the rum.  Yep, that’s basically it:  the rum.  In Jamaica, the rum flows like ocean water:  strong and everywhere.  Rum punch,  rum runners, rum cakes, daily rum drink specials at the plethora of bars permeating the place, rum everything–even rum cream, which is totally scrumptious.

And then, of course, is the Bananas Foster. Which my father-in-law happens to be a master of.(He is not Jamaican, no….but close.)  His Bananas Foster brings your mouth to a most tropical place that beckons to be returned to.  Which I would like to do. Right now.

I know that it it entirely impractical to believe most of us can  jet off to the islands whenever the whim hits, but it is entirely practical to bake Jamaica into a muffin.

All you need are some bananas and some rum to make an ordinary muffin a Bananas Foster muffin!

 

(looks like we're runnin' a little low....)

For a tropical and comforting treat on a cold day when all you long for is hot sand,  exotic fruits, and steel drum bands, sink your teeth into one of these babies:

BANANAS FOSTER MUFFINS

1–Beat 2 eggs, and pour them over 3 bananas that you’ve mashed up. (They should not just be freckled; they should have a tan—just like the kind you would have if you were in island paradise right now).  Preheat your oven to 350.

2–Add to these bananas 1/2  stick of butter, melted, and 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed. And then for the fun part:  pour in a delicious and smooth 1/4 cup dark or spiced rum, whatever you happen to have in your home bar.

NOTE:  instead of mixing this up with a spoon, I just mash it all up together with my potato masher–works like a charm!

3–Pour this into a medium skillet and cook over med-low heat until bubbly.

NOTE:  at this point, if you decide AGAINST making muffins, turn off your oven and pour this over ice cream and have dessert instead of breakfast!!! And WHY NOT!!!?? This is supposed to be similar to vacation eating, no?

4–Stir in 1 1/2 cups flour and 1 tsp. baking soda until just blended.  (Don’t worry about any lumps, lumps give it character–and overbeating those lumps are just gonna beat you, honey:  you’ll get tough muffins that don’t rise very nicely!)

5–Bake for 20-25 minutes.

 

glazed baked jamaicas

Now, at this point, you have two choices:  make a glaze or coat with icing.  The recipe will be the same; the only difference is when you top the muffins.  For a glaze, pour it over while the muffins are still warm.  For an icing, wait till they’ve cooled.

**Take 1/3 cup of powdered sugar and 1 T. of rum and mix. Add a small dribble or so of milk until it reaching icing consistency.  Taste–it will taste very rummy–but if you think it’s too strong, make a glaze—it mellows out the flavor.

 

Also, feel free to add any chopped pineapple to your blend of banana mix (about instead of three bananas, you can mash 2 and add 1/2 cup pineapple, drained) and you can certainly add toasted coconut to your topping.

 

Who would have ever thought that one little muffin like this:

could bring you here:

Enjoy!