(warning: this is not a recipe)

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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!

cake doctor or pantry raid, part dos?

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When it is cold and grey-skied and refuses to snow, I decide to bake!

Why not, you know.

Hubs was gone all day judging brass players in a music district competition, and both sets of my plans cancelled due to illness and unexpected babysitting, so it was, of course, a much better plan to bake than, say, tidy up the house, you know.

But what to make?

I didn’t want to make even MORE of a mess, and I didn’t feel like making something overly-holidayish, since I am recovering from the holiday diet (read:  cookies, sweets, and cheesey baked appetizers).

In the afternoons this week, I went  to my favorite pastime, reading cookbooks.  My mom found an ancient cookbook of my grandmother’s—well, it’s not really ancient, but it’s from the early seventies–and this adorable little fundraiser cookbook contained a recipe for a cake I’d never heard of before, but hubs claimed to have eaten once (in Minnesota, in fact) and loved:  pistachio cake.

I wasn’t sold right away on this–I’ve been wanting to make an upside-down cake–but alas, I discovered this morning that I had all of the ingredients for the pistachio cake right in my pantry and/or freezer, and well, if it can save me time, a grocery trip, and a few dollars, I’m in.   I mean, I am in it to win it!

Currently I am inhaling the baking scent of this cake, and it is altogether marvelous.  I chose correctly.

(and to be quite honest)–why couldn’t this become a new sort of holiday tradition?  It’s a lovely shade of green–(I suppose it could fit for spring:  St. Patty’s Day, Easter, Earthday) and I daresay that at Christmas, nobody else will come trotting up your doorstep with a pistachio cake in hand.  Your tastebuds will welcome a change in the constant flavor of cranberries, chocolate, coconut, and butter that surrounds the palate come dessert-time.

Ooh! And the most exciting part of this whole Saturday adventure was that I finally broke in my Kitchen-Aid mixer, the one I registered for, longed for, and received upon our July nuptials! Yes!!!!   Here she is, folks:

And now presenting:

PISTACHIO DOUBLE CAKE

1–Break open a box of yellow cake mix (white works, too, if that’s what you have).  Pour it into a a large mixing bowl, and add 1 4 oz. box of pistachio pudding mix. (I know, the intense labor of it all….)

2–Add to this 3 eggs, 1 cup of water, and 1/2 cup of vegetable or canola oil.

3–Also add in 1/2 tsp. of almond extract.  You can leave the vanilla alone; it’s the nutty flavor we want to enhance today!

4–If you wanna, you can also add about 1/2 cup nuts, crushed. Obviously, pistachios would be ideal, but I didn’t have pistachios, so I used almonds instead.  Yep. Leftover from my granola and trail-mix escapades.  I took what I had in leftover slivered almonds, and crushed them with a meat mallet.

NOTE:  Crushing up the nuts with a hammer or meat mallet is a great way to release stress, tension, aggravation, anger, and basically any other pent-up emotion you need to release in a semi-healthy manner.

 

5–Now, turn on your mixer (electric or hand-held) and mix for about 2 minutes on medium speed.

6–Pour into 2 9-inch round cake pans (that you have greased/Pammed and floured, of course) and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

NOTE:  I baked mine for exactly 32 and they were perfecto!

 

Let these suckers cool and then frost them with the following:  1 small tub of Cool Whip that you have mixed with 1 small box pistachio pudding mix–beat for several minutes, until thick, peaked, and well, frosting-like.   I was tempted to throw in confectioner’s sugar, but since this was the first time to ever try this recipe, I played it safe.

Now, I may not be a good froster/cake decorator (if you have any handy tips, comment and post!)…but!

This is a fantastic cake that is slightly sweet and VERY moist, but you wont’ get sick on it,  need to see the dentist, or refuse another slice.

In fact, you may even have room left over for all the fudges, cookies, and “typical” holiday treats 🙂

 

Enjoy!

it’s beginning to taste a lot like christmas

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This past Saturday, my little Main-Street-USA town hosted its annual Christmas parade.  I look forward to this event each year, as it marks the introduction of the holiday season.  Hubs was up and at’em early, since he had to gather his band together to march, and I had a few hours in between the parade and my mom and my mother-in-law both joining me for the festivities.

my town juxtaposed: the red hat ladies and the hunters, oh my.



how's this for a float, macys?

don't fall out of the sleigh, Santa!

So of course, I decided to bake! And since this was a day to share with both my mother and my mother-in-law, I decided to bake one of my mother-in-law’s famous dishes:  orange poppyseed bread.

It is the most delectable.

Last winter, she and I spent some time in the kitchen and she taught me in the way of the most delicious–and hubs, Mama Jill, and I spent the afternoon decorating her Christmas trees and munching on this bread.  Now,  I taste this bread and am instantly brought back to that wintry afternoon, but you can definitely make this bread any time of year.

So this loaf was made on Saturday, and by Sunday evening it was all gone.
How’s that for proof of good, eh?

MAMA JILL’S ORANGE POPPY SEED BREAD

1–Preheat oven to 350 and go ahead and butter/flour two 9 x 5 loaf pans, or six mini-loaf pans.

2–In a separate bowl, mix together 3 cups flour, 2 1/4 cups sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. poppy seeds, and 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder.

3–Add to the dry mixture the following:  3 eggs slightly beaten, 1 1/8 cup vegetable oil, 1 1/2 c. milk,  and 1 1/2 tsp EACH of almond extract, vanilla extract, and butter flavoring. Combine until JUST wet.

action shot!

**NOTE–butter flavoring can be found by all of the other extracts and flavorings.  I had no idea until I made this recipe, since I have never used it in anything else.  In case you are like me and weren’t sure, now you know—you’re welcome!

4–Mix (with a handheld or electric mixer) for 2 minutes only! No more, no less.

5–Pour batter into loaf pan(s) and bake for one hour, or until a toothpick test shows clean.

it's really ok if it oozes a bit, really. it's ok.

6–While your delicious bread bakes, make the glaze:  whisk up 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup orange juice, and 1/2 tsp. EACH of the flavorings used above. (I used TROPICANA orange juice, because that’s the only kind I buy.  Seriously.  I ought to buy stock in Tropicana.  I can’t start my day without it.  You know how some people have to have their coffee in the mornings?  That’s how I am with o.j.  If there’s no Tropicana in the house, I flip out.  Anyhoo, you get the idea and I digresss…)

7–While your bread is still hot, pour the glaze over it.  Yes, right on top.  Make sure not to get any on your counter or it might dry into superglue-like substance.  While this is not true for how it dries on bread, it is true for how it dries on countertops.  Or so I have been told by Mama Jill.  I heed her warnings, and you should, too.

8–Let bread cool completely before removing from loaf pan……..or act like Farley and myself, whose bread never wholey leaves the pan since we eat it straight out.

Mmmmmmm……..citrusy and Christmasy………

 

Be on the lookout for more holiday cooking from Feeding Farley!
And enjoy!


putting some spice back into the wintry nights

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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

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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

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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!

 

slow, cooked, and southern.

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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!