HALLOWEEN 2014

HappyDon’t worry, FOOD FACT FRIDAY will return next Friday. If you were hoping to learn more food facts today, sorry to disappoint you, but I wanted to take today off to celebrate my birthday! Yep, that’s right, I was born on Halloween. That explains a lot doesn’t it? ;)

HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN, HAVE A SPOOKTACULAR DAY!

Debbie, David & His Royal Highness of The Mountain Kitchen

Categories: Worth The Blog | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments

Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls | The Mountain KitchenI made stuffed cabbage in June of last year for the first time. I was surprised at the amount of great flavor this dish had using such simple ingredients. I have made these a time or two since then, but last week I decided I was going to try my recipe in the time saving wonder machine called the crock-pot. Boy Howdy, did slow cooking make the most tender cabbage rolls ever!!! I have never truly had the time to bake them in the oven long enough to get them as tender as they were when cooked in the crock-pot. One of my favorite recipes, just got a lot easier! Here’s how I made them:

Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Time: PREP TIME: 30 Minutes / COOK TIME: 6 Hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls | The Mountain KitchenIngredients:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 medium head green cabbage (about 2 pounds)
1 pound ground beef, raw
1/2 cup rice, cooked
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 can (16-ounce) tomato sauce
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 teaspoon paprika
sour cream and red wine vinegar, for serving (optional, but HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)

Directions:

  1. Cook the rice according to package directions and allow to cool.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat the oil over a medium-high heat and cook onion until softened.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Using a small, sharp knife, cut in a circle all around the stem of the cabbage and remove the core. Place the cabbage in the boiling water. After about 2 minutes an outside leaf will come loose–pull it off and out of the water using tongs. After another minute the next leaf will come loose. Remove and repeat until you have 8 to 10 leaves.Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls | The Mountain Kitchen
  4. Pat the leaves dry with paper towels. Cut out the thick part of the rib from the bottom of each leaf, no more than a third of the way into the leaf.Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls | The Mountain Kitchen
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine the beef, cooled onion, cooled rice, and salt. With the stem side of the cabbage leaf facing you, place a 1/4 cup of the beef mixture in the center of each cabbage leaf. Fold the bottom edge over the mixture and then fold the sides over and roll into packet. Place the cabbage rolls, seam side down, into the crock pot dish.Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls | The Mountain Kitchen
  6. In a bowl, mix together the tomato sauce, broth, and paprika. Pour evenly over the cabbage rolls and carefully move them around a bit to ensure they are bathed in the sauce mixture all over. (Refrigerate over night OR cook right away)
  7. Cover the crock and cook on LOW for 6 hours.
  8. Optional: Serve the cabbage rolls with a big dollop of sour cream and a splash of red wine vinegar!Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls | The Mountain Kitchen

Slow Cooker Stuffed Cabbage Rolls | The Mountain KitchenI prepared them and placed everything in the crock-pot dish the night before and placed it in the refrigerator. The next morning, I placed the dish inside the slow cooker, set it and away to work we went, leaving His Royal Highness to watch over the crock-pot while we were gone. The cabbage rolls were ready when we got home and the best part was I didn’t have to spend all night in the kitchen. I will be using the slow cooker from here on out to make this recipe.

A special thanks to Mr. A, for watching over our crock-pot! (Yes, he got extra treats for being a good crock-pot watcher.) :)

DMS

Categories: Beef Recipes, Slow Cooker / Crock Pot, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

The Mountain Kitchen Won!

We are pleased to announce that The Mountain Kitchen has been selected as the winner of the Foodie Blogroll Promote Each Other Giveaway!

FBRThe Mountain Kitchen is featured on the Foodie Blogroll widget for a week, which started last Saturday, 10/26. If you visit the Foodie Blogroll page, pause a moment and the widget will flash up a link bringing you to this blog. How cool is that?!?!?

We are excited to have this opportunity. Blog friends, if you would like the chance for some more exposure, go over and check them out. Thanks to all who stop by and visit us. We hope you get a good laugh, learn something new and find something good to eat while you’re here!

DMS

Categories: Worth The Blog | Tags: , , , | 19 Comments

Pickled Jalapenos

TMK-Pickled-Jalapenos

I used to be brought to tears by the sight of jalapeno peppers. I could not eat them without them making me cry. These things would tear up my tummy and well… a nice way of putting it I guess would be to say they would come out just as hot as they went in!! (David says TMI…lol!) Well, over the years, little by little, David and I have both built up a tolerance to these spicy slices of hotness.

Trust me, you can definitely build up a tolerance to heat, because I have and I now I really crave them. I recently made my own pickled jalapenos and I wanted to share the recipe, because they turned out really good. If you like spicy, you will like these little rascals! Here’s how I made them:

Pickled Jalapenos

  • Servings: 1 32-ounce Mason Jar
  • Time: 20 Minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

IMG_20140923_180831_955-1Ingredients:

  • 15 large jalapenos
  • 1 cup very hot tap water
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Slice the jalapenos into ¼ inch rings. The heat level is determined by the amount of seeds. Remove all or none of the seeds, depending on desired heat level. Place the jalapeno slices into a 32-ounce jar or (4) 8-ounce jars. (I left all the seeds!)
  2. In a pot over medium high heat, add the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar and salt have dissolved, remove from heat.
  3. Carefully pour the pickling liquid over the jar of jalapeno slices. Make sure that all of the slices are covered with the solution. If not either remove some of the slices from the jar or make more pickling liquid.

They have far less sodium than the store brands out there and you can control the amount of sugar also. I hope you will give these a try and let me know how they are. :)

DMS

Categories: Homemade Sauces, Spices and Seasonings, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , | 12 Comments

The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ The Best Way to Peel Ginger

The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ The Best Way to Peel GingerI was making Teriyaki Chicken last week and needed to peel some ginger to grate into my homemade teriyaki sauce. I usually peel the skin using a potato peeler, but decided I would try the spoon technique instead to see how it worked compared to the peeler. It turns out that scraping ginger with a spoon is one of the most common ways to peel ginger. The skin is thin and scrapes off very easily. Using a peeler creates more waste than is necessary. All you have to do is scrape the ginger with the inside of a spoon, getting the edge of the spoon into the crevices of the ginger. Not only is there no waste, but there is less of a chance of peeling your finger with the peeler, especially with smaller pieces that can be harder to hold.

In case you wondered, this technique can also be done to frozen ginger. Click HERE to learn more about ginger and freezing it.

How do you peel ginger?

DMS

Categories: The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

5 Fantastic Meatless Monday Soups

5 Fantastic Meatless Monday Soups | The Mountain Kitchen

You’ve got to love this time of year. Just perfect for soups to warm up your innards on these chilly fall days. Here are 5 soups perfect for Meatless Monday, or any day of the week:

Roasted Carrot-Apple Soup

5 Fantastic Meatless Monday Soups | The Mountain KitchenRoasted Tomato Soup

5 Fantastic Meatless Monday Soups | The Mountain KitchenButternut Squash Soup

5 Fantastic Meatless Monday Soups | The Mountain Kitchen A Healthier French Onion Soup

5 Fantastic Meatless Monday Soups | The Mountain Kitchen Irish Potato Soup

5 Fantastic Meatless Monday Soups | The Mountain KitchenWhat is your favorite Meatless Soup?

DMS

Categories: Meatless Monday Recipes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

FOOD FACT FRIDAY ~ The Potato

FFF The Potato

Here are 13 facts you may not have known about Potatoes:

  1. The potato originated in the Andes of Bolivia and Peru. Peru’s Inca Indians first cultivated the potato in about 200 B.C.  In 1537, that the Spanish conquistadors discovered the potato. From there it traveled to Europe, then back to the United States. Potatoes had many uses to the Incas. Raw slices were placed on broken bones, carried to prevent rheumatism, and eaten with other foods to prevent indigestion. The ancient Inca Indians valued the potato not only as a food, but as a measure of time. Units of time were correlated to how long it took a potato to cook.
  2. The Irish are perhaps best known for their love of potatoes. At one time Ireland was so dependent upon potatoes that when the potato crops were destroyed by blight in 1845 and 1846, over one million people died and another million left Ireland to find food.
  3. Americans consume about 140 pounds of potatoes per person, the Europeans have us beat; they consume twice as many spuds!
  4. The potato chip was invented in 1853 and has been America’s number one snack food for more than 50 years. In two hours, a factory can make 7,000 pounds of potato chips.The greatest number of U.S. barrels picked in a 9 and ½ hour day is 235 by Walter Sirois (B. 1917) of Caribou, Maine on September 30, 1950.
  5. While ambassador to France, Benjamin Franklin attended a banquet where the fare was nothing but potatoes, prepared in 20 different ways.
  6. Thomas Jefferson gets the credit for introducing French fries to America when he served them at a White House dinner.
  7. According to legend, General Washington’s cook kept the troops satisfied during the cold winter at Valley Forge with a hearty soup, Philadelphia Pepper Pot. The ingredients: tripe fatback, pepper and of course, potatoes (sounds good!)
  8. Sir Walter Raleigh was given 40,000 acres of land in Ireland by Queen Elizabeth to grow potatoes and tobacco. That’s how the Irish were introduced to potatoes, who then made them so famous that, even today, potatoes are often referred to as Irish potatoes.
  9. Vincent Van Gogh painted four still-life canvases devoted entirely to the potato.
  10. Potatoes are the world’s 4th food staple . . .after wheat, corn and rice.
  11. Mr. Potato Head was born in 1952 and was introduced to Mrs. Potato Head in 1953. According to Playskool, Inc., the two honeymooned in Boise, Idaho and have 12 children. In 1987, Mr. Potato Head gave up his pipe to set a good example for children.
  12. In 1952, a chipper tossed several bags of potato chips over Niagara Falls. The bags were recovered unharmed and promptly eaten by spectators.
  13. Potatoes give you 45 percent of the daily value for vitamin C, have more potassium than even bananas, spinach, or broccoli and give you 10 percent of the daily value of B6. They have trace amounts of thiamine, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, and zinc and all this for just 110 calories and no fat, sodium or cholesterol.

You say potato, we say tater, but who cares!! They are so good! I cannot think of a single way I do not like to eat a potato. Can you? What is your favorite potato recipe?

GET TO KNOW YOUR FOOD!

DMS

Categories: FOOD FACT FRIDAY | Tags: , , , , | 12 Comments

Italian Meat Pops

Italian Meat Pops | The Mountain KitchenSomehow I came across a blog called “Just Eat It”, that had a recipe for Grilled Stuffed Flank Steak. I was inspired by this recipe and became obsessed by the fact the meat is rolled up and put onto a stick like a lollipop! I don’t think there is a single carnivore on the planet that wouldn’t like some juicy meat stuck on top of a stick like a giant lollipop. Am I wrong? I decided to alter the recipe a little and came up with a similar version of my own.  Here is how I made my Italian Meat Pops:

Italian Meat Pops

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Moderately Easy
  • Print

Italian Meat Pops | The Mountain KitchenIngredients:

  • 1 flank steak (2- to 2 1/2-pounds)
  • Kosher salt & Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 medium garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 small shallot , minced
  • 2 teaspoons oregano, dried
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced provolone
  • 8–12 skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 3 or more pieces of 12-inch long butcher’s twine
  • olive oil, for oiling grate

Directions:

  1. Using a mallet, place a piece of wax paper over the meat and pound the flank steak into a rough rectangle shape.Italian Meat Pops | The Mountain Kitchen
  2. With the steak positioned so that grain runs parallel to edge of counter, sprinkle the salt & pepper, garlic, shallots, and oregano evenly over surface of steak.Italian Meat Pops | The Mountain Kitchen
  3. Lay the prosciutto slices evenly over steak. Leave a 1-inch border along top edge.Italian Meat Pops | The Mountain Kitchen
  4. Cover prosciutto with even layer of cheese, leaving 1-inch border along top edge.Italian Meat Pops | The Mountain Kitchen
  5. Starting from the bottom edge, roll the beef into a tight log and place on cutting board seam-side down. You may have to cram the filling ingredients back inside of the roll. It will want to push outward as you roll the meat.
  6. Tie a piece of butcher’s twine around the middle and two ends of the tightly rolled steak, to help hold it together. Italian Meat Pops | The Mountain Kitchen
  7. Evenly space 8 to 12 wooden skewers at 1-inch intervals into the steak, starting in the middle working outward to about ½ inch from the end of the rolled steak. Skewer the beef directly through the bottom to the outermost flap of steak near seam, allowing skewer to extend ½ inch on opposite side. Make sure that both flaps at the seam are skewered and the roll is tight, so that the cheese will not ooze out to much when grilling.Italian Meat Pops | The Mountain Kitchen Italian Meat Pops | The Mountain Kitchen
  8. Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice the roll between skewers into 1-inch-thick pinwheels. Season the meat pops lightly with more salt & pepper.Italian Meat Pops | The Mountain Kitchen Italian Meat Pops | The Mountain Kitchen
  9. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over half of coal grate. (If using a gas grill, light half the burners of a gas grill to high heat). Build a two-level fire. Arrange all the coals over half of the grill, leaving the other half empty. Set cooking grate in place, cover gill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Italian Meat Pops | The Mountain Kitchen
  10. Grill the meat pops over direct heat, until well browned, 3 to 6 minutes. Using tongs, flip pinwheels; grill until second side is well browned, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Transfer meat pops to the cooler side of grill. Cover, and continue to cook until center of pinwheels registers 125 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 1 to 4 minutes (The end pieces of the steak roll, may be slightly thinner, so they may not need time on cooler side of grill).
  11. Transfer the meat pops to a large plate, tent with foil, and let rest 5 minutes. Serve with or without the skewers.Italian Meat Pops | The Mountain Kitchen

We threw some asparagus on the grill during the last few minutes of cooking to go along with the meat pops. I can’t stop thinking about the endless stuffing possibilities. Stay tuned to see what kind of meat pops we come up with next…

DMS

Categories: Beef Recipes, Grilling With Grill Master David, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

The Mountain Kitchen Meatloaf

The Mountain Kitchen MeatloafIt had been a long time since David and I had meatloaf. I used to make one using a Lipton Onion Soup Mix packet, but do you know how much sodium and other weird long word ingredients are in that stuff? WAY TOO MUCH!! I decided I was going to make a meatloaf without that junk. A meatloaf that was made with ingredients I could pronounce and knew where they came from. I was inspired by a recipe from Ina Garten (no surprise there, right?) and adapted it to suite our taste. Here’s how I made it:

The Mountain Kitchen Meatloaf

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 1 hour 45 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

The Mountain Kitchen MeatloafIngredients:

  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme, dried
  • salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 pounds ground chuck ( I used a meatloaf mixture of veal, pork and chuck)
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ketchup (optional)

The Mountain Kitchen MeatloafDirections:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a medium pan, heat olive oil and add the onions, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent but not brown, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and add the Worcestershire sauce, vegetable broth, and tomato paste. Allow the mixture to cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the ground meat, onion mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs, and mix lightly with clean hands. Try not to mash the meat loaf or it will be dense.
  5. Shape the mixture into a rectangle loaf pan, covered with parchment paper. Place the loaf pan onto a foil covered sheet pan, and bake for 1 hour – 1 1/2 hours, until the meat loaf is cooked through (internal temperature is 160 degrees F).
  6. Using the edges of the parchment paper, carefully remove the meatloaf from the loaf pan and place the meatloaf onto a serving plate. Slice and serve hot with ketchup.

This meatloaf is loaded with flavor and is super moist. If you love meatloaf, you need to try this recipe!

DMS

Categories: Beef Recipes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ How to Make Caramel Sauce

The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ How to Make Caramel SauceThis was my first attempt ever at making caramel sauce and I have to admit, it was quite challenging. I ended up with a gooey caramel sauce that tastes like a Werther’s Original candy. It has a very slight smokiness to it, because I believe I was on the verge of burning it up! That was after I burnt the poo-poo-ca-ca out of the tip of my finger…(sigh). Here is how I made it:

Caramel Sauce

  • Servings: 1 1/2 cups
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: Somewhat Challenging...
  • Print

The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ How to Make Caramel SauceIngredients:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup heavy cream

 Instructions:

  1. In a medium sauce pot, heat sugar over medium heat, stirring often.The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ How to Make Caramel Sauce
  2. The sugar will start to clump together then will begin to break down into a liquid. Keep stirring to get out any clumps.The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ How to Make Caramel Sauce
  3. Once the sugar is in liquid form, continue stirring and heat to 350 degrees F on a candy thermometer.
  4. Once it’s hit 350 degrees Fahrenheit, carefully add the butter. The mixture will hiss and splatter a bit. Continue stirring until all the butter has melted.The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ How to Make Caramel Sauce
  5. Once the butter has melted, CAREFULLY add the heavy cream. Stir the mixture and let it boil for 3 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, and let the caramel cool completely.
  7. Poor into a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Warm up slightly to drizzle or use for desserts. I make a few caramel apples!
 Notes: If you love salted caramel, simply add a 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite type of salt at a time to get to your desired saltiness, while the mixture is still hot. Remember, you can always add but you can never take it away! I recommend kosher, fleur de selHimalayan Pink or sea salt.

This is one of those recipes that can go bad really quickly, so be really careful. It is definitely worth your effort and so much better than melting down caramel candies. The best part is you don’t have to unwrap all those individual caramels. It tasted really good drizzled on my Apple Ricotta Tart.

The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ How to Make Caramel Sauce

Once the caramel sauce was made I had to enlist the help of my trusty vacuum to help get rid of all the sugar I spilled onto the stove top. I was having a bad kitchen day, just ask my poor finger!

DMS

 

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Categories: The Mountain Kitchen Recipes, The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Meatless Monday ~ Apple Ricotta Tart

Meatless Monday ~ Apple Ricotta Tart | The Mountain KitchenI realized that most of my Meatless Monday recipes are about supper or lunch. I haven’t shared too many recipes that could be used for breakfast or a dessert. So today, I am going to share with you a tart recipe I made last weekend, using some of our fresh local apples. Here’s how I made my Apple Ricotta Tart:

Apple Ricotta Tart

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Meatless Monday ~ Apple Ricotta Tart | The Mountain KitchenIngredients:

  • 1 14-ounce sheet puff pastry dough
  • 2 medium apples (I used golden delicious)
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese (Click HERE for a recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, diced for dotting the tart & extra brown sugar to sprinkle on top
  • Caramel Sauce for drizzling over the tart (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Remove the puff pastry sheet from the freezer and allow to thaw 20-30 minutes.
  3. Peel, core and slice apples into 1/8 – ¼ inch slices. Place the slices into a large bowl and toss with sugar and spices.
  4. Once the pastry dough has thawed. Roll out onto a flower surface to roughly a 12×14 inch sheet.
  5. Carefully place the pastry dough onto a sheet pan and add the ricotta cheese to it and smear it evenly across the sheet using the back of the
  6. spoon, leaving a 1-inch border all the way around the edge of the dough.
  7. Next, toss the apple slices once more and then add them on top of the ricotta cheese. I put mine in rows to make it look nice. You don’t have to do anything fancy if you don’t want to. Reserve any juice inside the bowl.Meatless Monday ~ Apple Ricotta Tart | The Mountain Kitchen
  8. Fold the 1-inch of plain edge of dough up over the apples.
  9. Using a pastry brush, dip into the bowl of reserved juices from the apple slices and brush the edges of the dough. (If there isn’t any left inside the bowl you can use an egg wash.)
  10. Dot the tart with butter and sprinkle with extra brown sugar.
  11. Place the tart into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the edges of the pastry dough are golden brown.
  12. Slice and serve warm.

Meatless Monday ~ Apple Ricotta Tart | The Mountain KitchenSlicing was made easier with the use of a pizza cutter. You can also drizzle with caramel sauce if desired. I will be sharing a caramel sauce recipe later this week, so stay tuned… ;)

DMS

Categories: Breakfast & Brunch, Meatless Monday Recipes, Sweet Tooth Recipes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , | 16 Comments

FOOD FACT FRIDAY ~ Snaps

FFF SNAPSSnap beans, green beans, or string beans…no matter which name you prefer, they are one and the same. Where we come from, they are called Snaps!

Here are 7 facts you may not have known about SNAPS:

  1. Snaps are actually immature dry beans.
  2. They used to be called string beans because of the string that ran along the outer side of the pod. By 1894, botanists successfully removed the string through breeding experiments.
  3. Snaps are categorized into two different groups, bush or pole beans, based on growth. If the bean plant needs support to grow, they are known as pole beans; if the beans can grow on their own without added support, they are known as bush beans.
  4. If you plant a green bean plant today, you can eat its beans within 60 days.
  5. Snaps should be picked when they reach a length of 4-5 inches long and before the developing seeds begin to bulge on the bean. They should also snap when broken to indicate turgor and freshness of the bean, hence the name SNAPS.
  6. Snaps are found to be a good source of some B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, plus some phytonutrients (lutein, zeaxathin, beta-carotene, etc.). They are also considered a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and manganese.
  7. Snaps promote weight loss and overall body health, reduce blood cholesterol levels, can play a role in slowing the aging process, and help to keep a healthy blood pressure.

IMG_20130825_191549_299

I have to say my favorite way to eat them is in a big ol’ pot of ham hock liquor, but I do like them sauteed also. What’s your favorite way to eat snaps?

DMS

 

Categories: FOOD FACT FRIDAY | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Chicken Caesar Sandwiches

Chicken Caesar Sandwiches | The Mountain Kitchen

If you made yesterday’s Caesar dressing here is the recipe in which it can be used:

Chicken Caesar Sandwiches

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Chicken Caesar Sandwiches | The Mountain Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 thick slices of mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces or 1/2 cup shredded)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 10-15 pepperoni slices, (I like to brown mine, click HERE to see how)
  • 2-4 Ciabatta Buns
  • Caesar Dressing, (get the recipe HERE)
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Tomato slices
  • fresh cracked black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done.
  3. Before removing the chicken from the oven, sprinkle with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Broil on high until cheese has melted and bubbling brown, about 5 minutes, the remove from the oven to cool a bit.
  4. Slice the buns in half and spread on some of the Dressing.
  5. Top with lettuce, chicken, tomato and pepperoni slices, salt & pepper to taste. Extra cheese is optional, but encouraged. ;)

Chicken Caesar Sandwiches | The Mountain KitchenI served these sandwiches with some baked french fries and sprinkled with some parmesan cheese.

DMS

Categories: Chicken Recipes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Caesar Dressing Without the Dragon Breath

I am in search of the perfect homemade Caesar Dressing. David and I both hate really powerful garlic tasting dressings, you know the ones that give you awful dragon breath? I always have to alter the recipes I find.

Here’s one worth making again:

Caesar Salad Dressing

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 whole anchovy fillets
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 whole lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Place the anchovies into a blender or food processor.
  2. Add the Dijon mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire, garlic powder and lemon juice.
  3. Pulse the processor or blend on low speed for several seconds. Scrape down the sides.
  4. With the food processor or blender on, drizzle the olive oil into the mixture in a small stream. Scrape down the sides.
  5. Add the Parmesan, salt and pepper.
  6. Pulse the whole thing together and mix until thoroughly combined.
  7. Refrigerate the dressing at least an hour before using it on the salad. It actually get better as it sits, so you could do it a whole day before.

If you make this dressing today, I will show you what to put it on tomorrow! Stay tuned…

DMS

 

Categories: Homemade Sauces, Spices and Seasonings, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ A Featured Kitchen Tip By Colleen Delawder

The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ A Featured Kitchen Tip By Colleen Delawder | How to Hard-Boil EggsDo you like hard boiled eggs? I don’t, but David does. He puts them in his potato salad, his tuna salad and even his chicken salad. He even makes deviled eggs for himself from time to time. He even has a deviled egg dish for them.

I cannot count the number of times I have heard him in the kitchen mumbling a few choice words at hard-boiled eggs. For some reason, there is always a problem with his hard-boiled eggs.  Most of the time when he peels the eggs the shell picks away part of the white. The eggs do not come out cleanly from the shell. Sometimes they aren’t even hard boiled and are under cooked and more like soft boiled.

Most recipes for hard-boiled eggs say place the eggs in a saucepan, cover them with water, bring to a boil, turn off heat and then let them sit for 10 minutes or so. Even Martha Stewart‘s site says to do them this way. This doesn’t work for everybody, especially not David… Does this happen to you too?

Today’s featured kitchen tip was submitted by Colleen Delawder from Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck. Her kitchen tip is how to hard-boil eggs. Here’s what Colleen says you should do:

The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ A Featured Kitchen Tip By Colleen Delawder | How to Hard-Boil Eggs

Hard-Boiled Eggs

  • Time: 1 hour 17 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • Eggs
  • 1 Large Pot
  • Cold Water
  • Pasta Fork
  • 1 Large Bowl
  • Ice

Directions:

  1. Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the eggs by at least one-inch.
  2. Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium, and use a pasta fork to slowly place one egg at a time into the hot water.
  4. Cook the eggs for 17 minutes.
  5. Fill a large bowl 3/4 of the way full with ice, and then add cold water. Use the pasta fork to remove the cooked eggs from the hot water and place them into the ice bath.
  6. Allow the eggs to bathe in the ice bath for at least an hour, before removing them for use, or storage in an airtight container to be refrigerated.

When I told David about Colleen’s technique he said “I knew it took longer than 10 damn minutes!” You can believe David will give her technique a try then next time he wants hard-boiled eggs!

How do I know her technique works without even trying? Well that is easy, Colleen is a 2014 Eggland’s Best Finalist! Go over to http://www.egglandsbest.com/yourbestrecipe and vote for her Balsamic Deviled Eggs with Pancetta recipe in the Eggland’s Best “Your Best Recipe” Contest.

Also check out all of her egg recipes:

Balsamic Deviled Eggs with Pancetta  /  Colleen’s Famous Deviled Eggs  /  Italian Caper Deviled Eggs  /  Pumpkin Deviled Eggs  /  Deviled Egg Potato Salad

Thank you Colleen for your kitchen tip submission  and the providing your beautiful images. GOOD LUCK with the contest!! :)

DMS

For further improvements and suggestions about hard-boiled eggs: Click HERE to visit Colleen’s blog posting about how to hard-boil eggs.

 

Categories: The Mountain Kitchen Tip Tuesday | Tags: , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Meatless Monday ~ The BeetNut Tart

Meatless Monday ~ The BeetNut Tart | The Mountain KitchenOn FOOD FACT FRIDAY, I told you about some pretty interesting facts about the butternut squash. As mentioned, David nor I had never had butternut squash until last year, when we tried it roasted in the oven for the first time. We like it because it is pretty unique and really not like anything else. It’s one of those fruits you treat like a vegetable to make it savory.

Today, for Meatless Monday, I am excited to share with you a recipe for a Beet and Butternut Squash Tart that I made last week. David renamed it “BeetNut Tart” I made a dressing to drizzle over it when it was ready to eat. It was so colorful and so good! Here’s how I made it:

BeetNut Tart

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Tart Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (1 medium sized) butternut squash, cubed (Click HERE to learn how to cut up a butternut squash)
  • 3 cups (3 medium sized) beets, cubed
  • 2-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 (14-ounce) sheet puff pastry, defrosted if frozen
  • 1/2 cup homemade ricotta (Click HERE to learn how to make your own ricotta)
  • 10-15 fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, rough chop
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • Egg Wash – 1 Egg & 2 tablespoons of water slightly beaten

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut off the ends of each butternut squash and discard. Peel the squash and cut in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, remove the seeds.
  3. Cut the squash into 1/2″ – 1/4” cubes, as uniform as possible and place them on a baking sheet.
  4. Cut the ends off the beets and peel with a veggie peeler. Cut into 1/2” – 1/4 pieces, about the same size as the squash.
  5. Pour olive oil over the beets and squash. Toss and spread out in a single layer on the baking sheet.Meatless Monday ~ The BeetNut Tart | The Mountain Kitchen
  6. Place the sheet pan into the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the beets and squash with a spatula to be sure it browns evenly and bake for 10 more minutes.
  7. After the second 10 minute interval, the beets and squash should be fork tender, but not mushy.
  8. Roll out the sheet of pastry dough on a lightly floured surface to about 10 x 16 inches (As long as it fits your pan, size is not important).
  9. Transfer pastry to the baking sheet.
  10. Using a knife, gently score a 1 inch border around the edge of the dough.Meatless Monday ~ The BeetNut Tart | The Mountain Kitchen
  11. Spread ricotta evenly on pastry, leaving the 1-inch border around the edge. (I used the back of a spoon)Meatless Monday ~ The BeetNut Tart | The Mountain Kitchen
  12. Make sure the spinach leaves are dry, blot with paper towels if needed, then place individual leaves of spinach onto the ricotta, until there is no ricotta cheese exposed.Meatless Monday ~ The BeetNut Tart | The Mountain Kitchen
  13. Add the beets and squash on top of the spinach.Meatless Monday ~ The BeetNut Tart | The Mountain Kitchen
  14. Next add chopped walnuts and feta.Meatless Monday ~ The BeetNut Tart | The Mountain Kitchen
  15. Fold the 1 inch edge of pastry dough up over the edges of the beet and squash mixture.Meatless Monday ~ The BeetNut Tart | The Mountain Kitchen
  16. Brush with egg wash.Meatless Monday ~ The BeetNut Tart | The Mountain Kitchen
  17. Place into the oven and bake at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes, until the crust of the pastry is golden brown.Meatless Monday ~ The BeetNut Tart | The Mountain Kitchen

While the tart is baking, prepare the dressing as follows:

Balsamic Maple Cinnamon Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

Directions:

Put all the ingredients into a glass jar or bottle (you could also whisk together in a small bowl). Seal and shake well to mix. Shake well before using.

When the tart has cooled slightly, slice (I used a pizza cutter) and serve with a drizzle of dressing.Meatless Monday ~ The BeetNut Tart | The Mountain Kitchen

The dressing brought the tart full circle. We enjoyed it again for lunch the following day. This will happen again, yum!

DMS

Categories: Meatless Monday Recipes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

FOOD FACT FRIDAY ~ Butternut Squash

FFF Butternut Squash

Here are 5 facts you may not have known about butternut squash:

  1. The health benefits of fall-harvest squashes are much higher than their summer cousins the zucchini.
  2. Butternut squash is technically a fruit because it contains seeds. Cut into its pale, yellow-beige hard skin, though, and you’ll discover a vibrant flesh that’s much denser than that of its relatives. This squash is used as a vegetable that can be roasted, toasted, pureed for soups, or mashed and used in casseroles, breads, and muffins.
  3. Butternut squash are low in fat and delivers an ample dose of dietary fiber, which makes it heart-friendly choice. It provides significant amounts of potassium, important for bone health, and vitamin B6, essential for the proper functioning of both the nervous and immune systems. Rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants this hourglass-like gourd is the perfect addition to an autumn meal.
  4. In Australia it is regarded as a pumpkin, and is used interchangeably with other types of pumpkin.
  5. In South Africa, butternut squash is often prepared as soup or grilled whole. Grilled butternut is typically seasoned with spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon, or stuffed (e.g. spinach and feta before wrapped in foil and then grilled). The grilled butternut is often served as a side dish to barbecues and the soup as a starter dish.

I’ll admit last year was the first time I had ever had butternut squash. I’ve used it in soups and side dishes. Wait until you see what I did for this past Meatless Monday, I get hungry just thinking about it! Stay tuned…

DMS

 

Categories: FOOD FACT FRIDAY | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Crock-Pot Mexican Chicken Soup

Crock-Pot-Mexican-Chicken Soup | The Mountain KitchenI was inspired by Ina’s Mexican Chicken Soup. I wanted something I could put into the crock-pot so that I wouldn’t have to cook when I got home from work. Using the ingredients mentioned in Ina’s recipe, I came up with a slow cooker version of this soup. Here’s what I did:

Crock-Pot Mexican Chicken Soup

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: Prep: 15 Minutes Cook: 6-8 Hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Crock-Pot-Mexican-Chicken Soup | The Mountain KitchenIngredients:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped 
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped 
  • 2½ quarts chicken stock
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree, crushed 
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

Serving Suggestions:

Fresh cilantro, avocado slices, grated cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips (options are endless).

Crock-Pot-Mexican-Chicken Soup | The Mountain KitchenDirections:

  1. Sprinkle chicken breasts generously with salt and pepper. Place the chicken into the bottom of the crock-pot. Add all the ingredients to the crock-pot. Hand crush the tomatoes when adding to the crock-pot.
  2. Cook 6-8 hours on low heat.
  3. Once the soup has cooked, stir well and break up the chicken using a pair of tongs or fork until it is shredded and mixed into the liquid of the soup.
  4. Ladle into bowls. Serve the soup hot topped with a dollop of sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, cilantro and tortilla chips.Kitchen Tip Tuesday ~ Tips About Bell Peppers
This is a great soup for cold weather and the best part is that it is hot and waiting for you when you get home! :)
DMS

Categories: Slow Cooker / Crock Pot, Spanish Inspired Dishes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Why We Need to Rethink Home-Cooked Meals

This is a great article that showed up in my Facebook feed this morning from National Geographic: Why We Need to Rethink Home-Cooked Meals.

Please read!

Thoughts?

DMS

Categories: Worth The Blog | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed-Bell-Peppers | The Mountain KitchenFriday I gave you facts about the bell pepper. Yesterday I gave you tips about peppers and as promised, today I am giving you a wonderful recipe for stuffed bell peppers. Here’s how I make them:

Stuffed Bell Peppers

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
Stuffed-Bell-Peppers | The Mountain Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 Bell Peppers
  • 1 Cup Rice
  • 1 Pound Ground Chuck
  • 1/4 Cup Onions, chopped
  • 1 15-ounce Can Tomato Sauce
  • 15-ounces Water
  • Taco Seasoning Mix (click HERE for the recipe)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Cheese, for stuffing and topping

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare rice according to package instructions and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, brown hamburger with chopped onions until cooked through, medium high heat. Drain off any excess grease from the hamburger mixture.
  4. Add tomato sauce, water and taco seasoning mix and rice to the hamburger mixture. Simmer of low heat until warmed through. Be careful to stir often to ensure the rice does not stick.
  5. Bring a pot of water, with enough water inside to submerge the peppers, to a boil.
  6. Cut the tops off the peppers, as if you were carving into a pumpkin. Scoop out seeds and membranes and discard.
  7. Carefully place the peppers into the boiling water. Make sure they are completely submerged (they tend to float if the water does not enter the cavity of the pepper). Boil for approximately 5 minutes.
  8. Carefully remove the peppers from the water and allow them to drain.
  9. Place some cheese into the bottom of each pepper.
  10. Ladle the stuffing mixture into the peppers and place them inside the pot with the extra stuffing mixture.
  11. Cover and place into the oven. Back for about 25-30 minutes or until the peppers are tender.
  12. Top with cheese and melt just before removal from the oven.
  13. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before serving.

Note: If you do not have a Dutch oven, simply make the mixture in a large skillet or pot. After the stuffing the peppers, place them in a backing dish with approximately 1 inch of water in the bottom. You can use wadded up foil rings to sit the peppers down inside so that they do not spill over. Bake the same way.

Stuffed-Bell-Peppers | The Mountain KitchenAs I mentioned on Friday, I did not like bell peppers as a child. This recipe is altered from the one my mama used to make. Whenever she made them, I would just eat the stuffing. It’s a good thing she always had extra stuffing. I like this recipe for exactly that reason. The extra stuffing gives you a place to nest the peppers when baking. I hope you will try this recipe and let me know what you think!
DMS

Categories: Spanish Inspired Dishes, The Mountain Kitchen Recipes | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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