Tasty Tuesday: Meatballs and Sausages #appetizer w/ #romance #author Lynn Crandall #recipe

Let’s talk about appetizers on this Tasty Tuesday, shall we? With all the parties of the holiday season, this might be one you’d enjoy to contribute. Romance author Lynn Crandall is here to share her story Nutcracker Sweet and a recipe for meatballs and sausages. Take it away, Lynn!


I’m happy to be on Betty Bolte’s Tasty Tuesday to share a little bit about my new release, Nutcracker Sweet, and a recipe mentioned in the story. Thank you, Betty!

My mom was making chocolate Christmas cookies and gathering all the family around the kitchen table to stretch out a blob of hot candy into a platter of peanut brittle. It was a tradition, and one in which we all bonded together.

We were not unique. When the holidays come around, many of us celebrate with family traditions. According to Amy Griswold, Family Life Educator at the University of Illinois County Extension, traditions are part of the fabric of family.

Research shows that these traditions are important in building strong family relationships between generations,” Griswold wrote on the Extension’s website. “Traditions are stories, beliefs, rituals, and customs that are passed from one generation to the next. Keeping traditions for the holidays as well as the ordinary days help teach children the things their family values. These traditions help fill the individual’s need to belong. Being a part of the special things our family does, helps us to have that sense of belonging.”

In my story, Nutcracker Sweet, Noël Hartley is facing the holiday season burdened with sorrow over her sister’s death. Family holiday traditions, including attending a performance of the Nutcracker ballet each Christmas with her older sister, Reggie, are painful reminders that her sister is no longer around and her family is falling apart. Her parents have left town, her younger brother and sister are looking to her to hold the family together, and on top of everything, the firefighter Jonah Grant, the man who didn’t save Reggie from the fire, keeps trying to make pathways into her life. Ugghh.

Rather than trying to ignore Christmas, Noël plans a holiday get-together for the three of them, and turns to traditional foods to help create a sense of belonging. Her contribution to the festivities is a zingy cheddar cheese ball. Her sister, Brie, supplies the peppermint mocha coffees, and her brother, Oliver, brings the hot meatballs and sausages in a family-favorite, tangy sauce. Unexpected guest, Jonah, adds his homemade apricot liqueur eggnog and a whole lot more than Noël expects.

Nutcracker Sweet FINALcover

Here’s the blurb:

A year after her sister’s death, Noël Hartley is haunted by memories of Christmas past. All around, life is going on, including all the happy celebrations of Christmas. Noël is having nothing of it, or the firefighter who failed to save her sister Regina from the deadly fire.

Firefighter Jonah Grant is going through the motions of working and living his life. The night he fought a fire in Regina Hartley’s house replays over and over, but always ends the same. He went into a fire to save her, but came out without her.

A wall of pain keeps Noël and Jonah apart and alone in their suffering, though in mid-size Cranberry Cove they’re finding it challenging to avoid one another. But when a stalker puts Noël’s life in danger, Jonah has to find a way to prevent another tragedy and prove to her that their futures rely on facing the past.

Amazon: http://a.co/at5I5sm

Here’s an excerpt from Nutcracker Sweet:

“Excuse me, could you help me get that box of crackers on the top shelf?”

The female voice sounded familiar and Jonah looked up, ready to assist. His heart stopped. Please floor, open up and swallow me now.

It was Noël Hartley, standing two feet away and asking for help. She blinked, twice, and swayed a tiny bit. It was a very quiet sound, but he heard her gasp.

“I’m sorry.” The words just fell out. “I mean, sure.” He couldn’t move.

She held his gaze, silently, for a full, frozen minute. “Hi, Jonah. Do you mind?” She pointed to a box of seven grain, sea salt crackers. “Please?”

He grabbed the box and handed it to her, his arms were heavy logs. “Just one box?”

She slanted her head, and his pulse sped up. Cute was not a strong enough word to assign to her face. Cad.

“No, two would be better.”

He gave her another box and paused, their eyes meeting again. His mouth went dry. Words, where were his words? Nerves rattled in his head. “I came in to get something for dinner, but I don’t know…” He let the sentence drop and twisted as though searching for something to buy.

She chuckled lightly, and it steadied his rambling thoughts. “Me too. I have to pick up things for a meal, anyway.” She chewed on her lip, drawing his attention to them.

His heart ached for her. The apologies he had made to Noël and her family just after the fire were the last words he’d spoken about the tragedy with them. His words had been so inadequate that thinking of them now he felt his skin blanch. He lifted his gaze and found Noël searching his face.

“Jonah.” Her expression got very somber. “I don’t hold any hard feelings for you. Don’t feel uncomfortable for what happened.” She dropped her gaze, but not before he saw her eyes reveal her pain. Then her expression perked up. “It’s been almost a year. I’m fine. I hope you are too. Now, I need to finish my shopping. Good luck with finding your dinner.”

So we’re going to gloss over everything wrong. She was not fine, and that crunched his heart. But he wouldn’t press, not here, not in the grocery store. “Thanks. I’ll find something.”

She pushed her cart away from him, but he stood watching her retreat, helpless in her despair. He couldn’t just go on as he’d been over the months since the fire. Noël had graciously let him off the hook, but the truth was in her eyes. It had pierced his soul and he couldn’t continue as though nothing had happened but he didn’t yet know what to do either.

Now for the recipe Oliver made for Brie and Noël.

Meatballs and Sausages in Tangy Sauce

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef

1 16 ounce bottle Catalina dressing

1 20 ounce can pineapple chunks in pineapple juice

1 package cocktail sausages

Directions 

  • Shape ground beef into small meatballs and brown on all sides.

  • When meatballs are done, pour full bottle of Catalina dressing and  entire can of pineapple chunks with juice in a crockpot. Stir, and add meatballs and sausages to the crockpot mixture. Stir again.

  • Cook over low heat in crockpot  until meatballs are done, about two or three hours, depending on your crockpot.

  • Keep mixture warm in pot  to serve.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as an appetizer for any kind of gathering this holiday or any time you throw a party. Check out Nutcracker Sweet to read how I used the dish in the story.

May your holiday season be full of peace, love, and joy!

my best author picLynn Crandall lives in the Midwest and writes in the company of her cat. She has been a reader and a writer all her life. Her background is in journalism, but whether writing a magazine or newspaper story or creating a romance, she loves the power stories hold to transport, inspire, and uplift. In her romances, she focuses on vulnerable, embraceable characters who don’t back down. She hopes that readers discover, over and over, stories of ordinary people who face ordinary life challenges and are transformed by extraordinary love.

 

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Crandall/e/B00AX9OA40/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1511570977&sr=8-1

Website http://lynn-crandall.com/

Facebook Author Page https://www.facebook.com/LynnCrandallAuthor/?ref=settings

Twitter https://twitter.com/lcrandallwriter

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6198966.Lynn_Crandall

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/lynncrandallwriter/

Instagram lcrandall246


That’s an easy and tasty appetizer, isn’t it? The story sounds tempting as well. Do you have a favorite pitch-in dish you take to gatherings?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

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Tasty Tuesday: Scottish Cranachan #dessert w/ #regency #romance #author Regan Walker #recipe

For Tasty Tuesday I have a very special guest and recipe for you all. Regan Walker writes regency historical romance and this story is a Christmas story set in Scotland and featuring a really delicious confection, cranachan. What is cranachan? Well, here’s Regan to tell you all about it. Enjoy!


Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert served at the Stephens in Arbroath in A Secret Scottish Christmas. It was a favorite of William Stephen, but new to his English guests. Today, it’s usually made from a mixture of whipped cream, whisky, honey, and fresh raspberries topped with toasted oatmeal. But in the Regency era, whisky was the equivalent of moonshine and the upper classes would more likely have used brandy if they wanted to make it with liquor.

Some of the best raspberries in the world are grown in Scotland, but in winter, bottled and preserved raspberries would be used. Today you can use frozen raspberries out of season, of course. If no cream was available, the Scots would use a traditional cream cheese called Crowdie.

The scene on Christmas Eve when cranachan was served:

For dessert, they had Will’s favorite, cranachan, a Scottish tradition their English guests had not sampled before.

“Anything in it we should know about?” asked Hugh, his spoon suspended above the layered confection.

“Not unless you are averse to toasted oatmeal, cream, honey, raspberries and a dash of brandy,” replied Ailie. “I assure you, no kale is hiding beneath the layers.”

Everyone laughed and picked up their spoons.

“Our cook bottled the raspberries herself last summer,” offered Emily.

Will licked some of the honeyed confection from his bottom lip. “If you don’t want yours, Ormond, old chum, I’d be happy to take it from you.” He made as if to reach his spoon toward Hugh’s cranachan.

Hugh raised his spoon like a sword poised to repel an attack. “You’re not getting mine ‘old chum’. I do believe I will like the dessert.”

Many chuckles echoed around the table.

Walker-Secret Scottish ChristmasSpies and Scots and Shipmasters, oh my!

Scotland 1819

Twin brothers Nash and Robbie Powell of Powell & Sons Shipping, London, sail with their fellow Agents of the Crown to Scotland for a secret celebration of Christmastide, a holiday long frowned upon by the Scottish Kirk. But more than Christmas is being kept secret. The two brothers have accepted an assignment from the Home Secretary Lord Sidmouth to ferret out a fugitive fomenting rebellion among the Scots.

Aileen Stephen, the only daughter of an Aberdeen shipbuilder, had to be clever, devious and determined to gain her place in the family business. She succeeded to become a designer of highly coveted ships. One night, a man’s handsome face appears to her in a dream. When two men having that same face arrive on a ship full of Londoners, Ailie wonders what her second sight is telling her. Is the face she saw a portender of the future, a harbinger of danger, or both? And which of the two Englishmen is the one in her dream?

Older than Nash by a mere five minutes, Robbie has always been protective of his twin. When he realizes Nash is attracted to the sister of their Scottish host, he thinks to help matters along. But Nash wants no help from his brother, not where Ailie Stephen is concerned because Robbie is attracted to the girl himself!

Two brothers vie for the affection of the Scottish lass but only one stirs her passion. Which one will it be? And what will she do when she learns they are spies?

Walker-CranachanScottish Cranachan

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup + ¼ cup steel cut (pinhead) oats
  • ⅓ cup Scotch whisky (use a top quality brand)
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 3 tbsp. Scotch whisky
  • 3 tbsp. organic raw honey
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream

Instructions

  1. The night before you want to make the dessert, toast ⅓ cup (2 oz.) of the oats in a cast iron or very heavy pan until very lightly browned- this won’t take long, so keep a close eye, as you don’t want burnt oats. Put the oats in a bowl and cover with ⅓ cup (3 oz.) of whisky. Cover and let stand overnight to soak.
  2. When you are ready to make the Cranachan, toast the second batch of oats, exactly the same as you did the first. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Choose a few choice raspberries to decorate the top and set them aside.
  4. Crush the rest of the raspberries in a bowl, with a spatula or fork (just a bit, we’re not making jam).
  5. Sprinkle the raspberries with 2 teaspoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of whisky. Mix well and set aside.
  6. Whip the cream until it starts to thicken, then add the other 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of whisky. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form, then fold in the whisky-soaked oats.
  7. At this point, we are ready to assemble the dessert. I would recommend doing this relatively close to serving time as the dessert will taste better fresh. (If possible, don’t make it in the morning to serve for dinner.)
  8. Place a spoonful or two of the raspberries to cover the bottom of the glass, then add some of the cream mixture.
  9. Sprinkle the cream with some of the toasted oats, then repeat the layers. Finish with the sprinkled oats and top with a raspberry or three.

Refrigerate until ready to eat, but take them out about 20 minutes before serving, for better flavor.

See it on Regan’s website here: http://www.reganwalkerauthor.com/cranachan.html

Regan Walker profile picRegan Walker is an award-winning, Amazon bestselling author of Regency, Georgian and Medieval romances. A lawyer turned full-time writer, she has seven times been featured in USA TODAY’s HEA column and nominated six times for the prestigious RONE award. (Her novels, The Red Wolf’s Prize and King’s Knight, won Best Historical Novel in the medieval category for 2015 and 2017, respectively.) In 2017, her novel The Refuge: An Inspirational Novel of Scotland won the Gold Medal in the Illumination Awards, and To Tame the Wind won the International Book Award for Romance Fiction.

Years of serving clients in private practice and several stints in high levels of government have given Regan a love of international travel and a feel for the demands of the “Crown”. Hence her stories often feature a demanding sovereign who taps his subjects for special assignments. Each of her novels includes real history and real historical figures as characters. And, of course, adventure and love.

Follow Regan on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Regan-Walker/e/B008OUWC5Y) and BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/profile/regan-walker

Keep in touch with her on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/regan.walker.104 where you can join Regan Walker’s Readers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ReganWalkersReaders/. You can sign up for her newsletter on her website, www.reganwalkerauthor.com

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/regan.walker.104

Pinterest Storyboard for the book: https://www.pinterest.com/reganwalker123/a-secret-scottish-christmas-by-regan-walker/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35064223-a-secret-scottish-christmas

Amazon buy links:

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076BBG6HV

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076BBG6HV

Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B076BBG6HV

Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/d/B076BBG6HV


Thanks so much, Regan! That cranachan sounds like something I may have to try this Christmas, right after I read A Secret Scottish Christmas story! Thanks for swinging by and sharing the recipe and snippet from the story.

What about you? Are you tempted to try either or both? Are you enjoying these guest author posts as much as I am?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Tasty Tuesday: Cinnamon Buns and Kick-Butt Characters w/ #romance #author Roxanne Snopek #breakfast #recipe

Tasty Tuesday has arrived and brought my first guest author for this round of posts, Roxanne Snopek, to introduce you to her kick-butt characters and cinnamon bun recipe. Take it away, Roxanne!


When I was about sixteen, a friend told me that I’d make a wonderful grandmother. Think about that for a moment: old, soft, a little out-of-touch, good at baking buns and knitting and providing peppermints is not exactly the image one aspires to as a teenage girl! However, now that I’m at that age, I have a different view. Yes, many of my friends who are grandmas are good at baking and knitting but they are also tough, smart and dare I say it, young, too! They are Kick-Butt Grannies and they rock a lot more than chairs!

In my new Sunset Bay series, I have a character named Daphne who’s the ranch cook. She’s got a rough past, a kid and grandkid she doesn’t see, a soft heart and a cinnamon bun recipe that has made her a local celebrity. But don’t let the helmet-hair and granny-jeans fool you. She also kick-boxes in her spare time, has zero tolerance for crap and cusses like a sailor when necessary.

For the many wounded people who find their way to Sanctuary Ranch, she’s just what they need. Here’s a glimpse of Haylee, my heroine, watching Daphne interact with her new assistant, Jamie.

Haylee was at the main house the next morning with a whole minute to spare.

“Good morning Daphne,” she said to the cook.

“It’s morning,” Daphne replied, wiping her hands on her apron. “Can’t comment on the goodness, yet. Just when I think Jamie’s turned a corner, she pulls something new. Today it’s potato mutation.” She leaned toward the cellar steps. “They’re sprouting, you ninny!”

Jamie’s voice floated up. “They’re squishy and gross. It’s like a horror show down here.”

“Kids these days,” muttered the cook. “No life skills.”

“She’s hardly a kid, Daphne,” said Haylee.

“And I’m an old woman, getting older by the second. Bring them up now, Jamie,” yelled Daphne, “or I’ll make you peel them too.”

Daphne loved Jamie like a daughter.

A thumping, bumping noise sounded from the cellar, followed by the heavy wooden door slamming, then footsteps stomping up the stairs as the girl huffed her way into the kitchen, holding the plastic tub out at arm’s length.

“They look desperate, like they’re reaching out for help,” said Jamie. “It’s bad energy.”

Jamie had dabbled in reiki at one time. She’d dabbled in a lot of things.

“It’s life force,” corrected Daphne. “If you put those in the ground outside, they’d turn into a whole garden of spuds.”

Jamie tipped the tub of tubers into the farmhouse sink and turned on the cold water. “Then why aren’t we doing that?”

“You know those green plants you spent three hours weeding yesterday? Potatoes. In another month or so, we’ll be eating them fresh. Until then, we finish last year’s crop. Quit being such a girl.”

Jamie’s jaw dropped. “You can’t say that.”

Haylee bit back a laugh and looked away. She was used to Daphne.

Daphne pointed her knife at the butcher-block work station. “Then woman up, girl.”

That’s the kind of granny I want to be, when the time comes. I don’t knit, but I do bake. In fact, the cinnamon buns Daphne makes for the ranch guests come from a recipe I’ve used many times. My family loves them and when they’re in the oven, the whole house smells of yeasty, cinnamon-y goodness.

Everyone is more than they seem and I love watching my characters find out how tough they really are. I may seem soft and mild at times, but like Daphne, I’ve learned to kick butt when necessary. I bet there’s a warrior inside you, too.

UBC CINNAMON BUNS (TRADITIONAL METHOD)

CinniesThese legendary cinnamon buns were first introduced to the University of British Columbia’s students in the early 1950s. The recipe has been printed numerous times in The Vancouver Sun and every year they still get requests for these light-textured buns. Although large, they’re not as rich and gooey as some cinnamon buns.

Dough

3 cups (750 mL) milk (2 per cent M.F.)

6 tablespoons (90 mL) butter

6 tablespoons (90 mL) granulated sugar

1 tablespoon (15 mL) salt

1 teaspoon (5 mL) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (125 mL) lukewarm water

2 (8 g) packages traditional active dry yeast

2 large eggs

9 cups (2.25 L) all-purpose flour, about

Filling

11/4 cups (300 mL) granulated sugar

2 tablespoons (30 mL) ground cinnamon

3/4 cup (175 mL) melted butter, divided

Directions

  • Dough: Scald milk. Stir in butter, 6 tablespoons (90 mL) sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm.
  • Dissolve the 1 teaspoon (5 mL) sugar in lukewarm water. Sprinkle yeast over water mixture. Let stand in warm place for 10 minutes; stir.
  • In large bowl, combine lukewarm milk mixture and eggs. Stir in dissolved yeast. Add 4 to 5 cups (1 to 1.25 L) flour and beat well for 10 minutes. With wooden spoon, gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough.
  • Turn dough out on to lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding additional flour as needed. (This is a soft dough.) Place in well greased bowl and roll dough over to grease the top. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in warm place for 1 hour or until double in size.
  • Meanwhile prepare filling: In small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
  • Punch down dough and turn out on to lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half.
  • Roll out each piece of dough into 18×9-inch (46×23 cm) rectangle. Brush each rectangle generously with melted butter. Place remaining melted butter in bottom of 161/2 x111/2 x21/2-inch (42x29x6 cm) pan.
  • Sprinkle an equal portion of sugar-cinnamon mixture evenly over each rectangle. Roll each dough rectangle up tightly like a jelly roll, starting from the long side; pinch seam to seal. With sharp knife, cut into 2-inch (5 cm) slices. Arrange slices, cut-side down, in prepared pan and cover loosely with greased wax paper. Let rise in warm place for 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 35 to 45 minutes or until baked. Remove from oven and immediately invert on to serving tray.

Makes 18 large cinnamon buns.

Approximate nutritional analysis for each serving: 433 cal, 9 g pro, 14 g fat, 69 g carb.

Snopek-grin cropUSA Today bestselling author Roxanne Snopek writes contemporary romance set in small towns, big cities and secluded islands, with families and communities that will warm your heart. Her fictional heroes (like her own real-life hero) are swoon-worthy, ultra-responsible, secretly vulnerable and occasionally dough-headed, but animals love them, which makes everything okay. Roxanne writes from British Columbia, Canada, where she is surrounded by flowers, wildlife and two adoring dogs. She does yoga to stay sane. It works, mostly.

Visit her at www.roxannesnopek.ca

Sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/vqXgv

Follow her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RoxanneSnopekAuthor

Join her on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RoxanneSnopek

Follow her on Instagram: www.instagram.com/RoxanneSnopekAuthor

Follow her on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Roxanne-Snopek/e/B004UO6RQ8/

Follow her on BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/roxanne-snopek

Snopek-SBScover (388x640)The spectacular scenery and craggy beaches draw tourists to the small Oregon town of Sunset Bay. But Sanctuary Ranch offers a different kind of experience: a refuge for people—and animals—desperate for a new beginning . 
 
Haylee Hansen has made a career out of caring for and training the dogs and horses on her aunt’s ranch. Part halfway house, part work camp, it also gives troubled kids and adults the tough love they so desperately need. Haylee should know. She was her aunt’s first success story. But now her turbulent past is about to show up on her doorstep . . .

After thirteen years running a level one emergency room in Portland, Aiden McCall arrives in Sunset Bay a broken man. Anger and anxiety have nearly taken over his life—and could sabotage his new job at the local hospital. Until someone proposes an unconventional solution: a therapy dog.

Haylee has seen her share of damaged people, but no one like Aiden. As she tries to match him with the perfect dog, he’ll help her to see that no one has a perfect life. And that opening yourself up to love is the only way to heal your soul . . .

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sunset-Bay-Sanctuary-Novel-ebook/dp/B06XFK9BFV/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sunset-bay-sanctuary-roxanne-snopek/1125896933

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/sunset-bay-sanctuary

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sunset-bay-sanctuary/id1212554748?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Roxanne_Snopek_Sunset_Bay_Sanctuary?id=IdFDDgAAQBAJ


Yum to both the buns and the story! I think that sounds like a super grandma to have around. What do you think? Is this a story you’d like to read while nibbling on a cinnamon bun?

Next week I’ll have another guest author, so until then, happy reading and may your mornings start with a delicious breakfast!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Tasty Tuesday: What I learned about #colonial #cooking #recipes #American #history

Well, Tasty Tuesday fans, the adaptations have come to an end, so I thought I’d sum up a few lessons I learned about colonial cooking. But just because my adaptations are done doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on some new delicious recipes! I’ve invited some other authors to share a recipe from one of their stories, to introduce their characters to you. That will start next week. Today, I’d like to recap a few of the more interesting things I discovered in this adventure.

The_Touchstone_of_Raven_Hollow_600x900Before I do, I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving, if you’re in America. It’s the perfect time to read my latest paranormal, The Touchstone of Raven Hollow, which happens during Thanksgiving week in the Cumberland Plateau of southeastern Tennessee. Tara and Grant have quite an adventure when they escape Roseville to take a day hike in the woods! See below for the description and links where you can buy your own copy. I hope you enjoy it!

So, let’s turn to, in bullet form, the lessons and observations I think are worth sharing:

  1. Ground mace is too strong for my taste buds, so I needed to substitute with ginger, or cloves, or nutmeg, or even herbs at times. I used my judgment based on our preferences.
  2. Adding chopped up oysters into fish sauce makes it taste really good!
  3. Adding diced mushrooms adds richness to sauces. Note that I hadn’t previously cooked with mushrooms except in ground beef stroganoff, so this was a revelation to me.
  4. Many of the meat recipes called for sauce, which we grew rather tired of after a while. They were fairly rich and heavy, so I ended up serving them on the side to add as desired.
  5. The “gravy” they used is more similar to what we call broth or bouillon. I recommend using one of those instead of making the gravy from the recipe, which proved time-consuming and rather expensive.
  6. The ingredients which seemed readily available to 18th-century cooks are now not quite as at hand and expensive when they are. Veal, chestnuts, and truffles and morels come to mind as examples.
  7. Cooking with lettuce was an entirely new concept to me! It never crossed my mind to use to thicken sauce.
  8. I was reminded that I shouldn’t try to fry! Ever.
  9. Meat recipes with gravy and/or force meat balls were too rich and heavy for our taste, even though they tasted good to begin with. Perhaps omitting the force meat balls would have made them a bit more palatable.
  10. One of the recipes called for fish liquor, so I bought some Fish Sauce in the oriental aisle of the grocery store. Used it twice, then discarded. The taste just hung on my tongue for way too long!
  11. Adding cut up oranges to salad really perks up the flavor.
  12. Sautéed spinach with garlic and olive oil is a tasty and healthy way to cook it. I’ve done that repeatedly since “discovering” that technique.
  13. Cake pans must have been huge back then. The quantity of flour, sugar, and eggs is at least twice what today’s cake recipes called for. I’m grateful to the ladies who wrote Revolutionary Cooking for adapting the pound cake recipe for me!
  14. Women must have been really strong and/or traded off the work of beating a cake batter literally by hand for an hour. Can’t imagine!

So there you have it! I hope you’ve enjoyed this little journey as much as I have. Here is the complete list of blogs and recipes in case you missed a few:

Veggies and cooking techniques https://wp.me/p6TEhM-rW
Stewed spinach and eggs http://wp.me/p6TEhM-sn
Potato pudding https://wp.me/p6TEhM-sU
Meats and cooking techniques https://wp.me/p6TEhM-ts
Brown gravy (Strong Broth for Soup/Gravy) http://wp.me/p6TEhM-u1
Oyster sauce http://wp.me/p6TEhM-vN
Force-meat balls http://wp.me/p6TEhM-we
Scotch collops http://wp.me/p6TEhM-wG
Beef collops http://wp.me/p6TEhM-xS
Lamb pie http://wp.me/p6TEhM-ys
Fish types and cooking techniques http://wp.me/p6TEhM-yX
Salmon – broiled, and baked http://wp.me/p6TEhM-zB
Fried Fish; Shrimp Sauce http://wp.me/p6TEhM-A5
To Dress A Crab http://wp.me/p6TEhM-Aw
Fowl and other birds http://wp.me/p6TEhM-AT
Brown Fricasey with chicken http://wp.me/p6TEhM-B3
Roast chicken with chestnuts http://wp.me/p6TEhM-Bs
Stewing chickens http://wp.me/p6TEhM-BN
Duck with green peas http://wp.me/p6TEhM-Cw
Collops and eggs http://wp.me/p6TEhM-Cb
Salmagundy https://wp.me/p6TEhM-D1
Apple pudding https://wp.me/p6TEhM-Dv
Stewed pears https://wp.me/p6TEhM-Er
Pound cake https://wp.me/p6TEhM-EK

Do you have a favorite recipe from the batch of adapted ones? Did you try any of them? Will you?

See you next week when we start the guest author recipes! See you then.

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

The_Touchstone_of_Raven_Hollow_600x900He dug for the truth and found her magic.

Tara Golden has hidden her healing power all her life. But occasionally, she uses her abilities on people passing through town, sure they’d never figure out what saved them. Now a tall, sexy geologist is asking questions she doesn’t want to face, and he isn’t going to take no for an answer. There’s no way she would reveal her abilities and her gifted sisters for a fling.

The latest tests divulge geologist’s Grant Markel’s fatal condition is cured, but the scientist within him won’t accept it’s a miracle. When he meets the sexy, mystical witch who may hold the answer to his quest, he’s determined to prove she’s full of smoke and mirrors despite their mutual attraction.

When they are trapped in an enchanted valley, Tara must choose between her magical truth or his scientific beliefs. Can she step from the shadows to claim her true powers before it’s too late?

Amazon: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-kindle

B&N: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-BN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Kobo

Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-AU

Amazon CA: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-CA

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-UK

iBooks: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-iBooks

Google: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-GoogleBks

Tasty Tuesday: Pound Cake #colonial #dessert #cooking #cake

One of the biggest challenges for me and my Tasty Tuesday recipes is adapting the cake recipes. Why? Well, let me explain.

Take a look at Hannah Glasse’s receipt for Pound Cake and then I’ll share my reaction to it.

Art of CookeryTo make a Pound Cake.

Take a pound of butter, beat it in an earthen pan with your hand one way, till it is like a fine thick cream; then have ready twelve eggs, but half the whites; beat them well, and beat them up with the butter, a pound of flour beat in it, a pound of sugar, and a few caraways. Beat it all well together for an hour with your hand, or a great wooden spoon, butter a pan and put it in, and then bake it an hour in a quick oven.

So, 12 eggs? A pound each of sugar and flour and butter? How big of a cake will this make? I truly believe I don’t own a pan large enough to bake this cake. But then the show-stopper for me was beating it by hand, literally, or I could use a big wooden spoon, for an hour. An hour? Well, that couldn’t happen since I’m not strong enough to last for an hour. I’d have to use my mixer.

I believe I’ve mentioned before that the eggs then were smaller than today’s. What I don’t know is the equivalence. Not knowing how big a cake this recipe would make, I wasn’t certain how to cut it down. So I went looking in my other colonial and early America cookbooks to see if there was another pound cake recipe I could use. And yes, I found one in Revolutionary Cooking by Virginia T. Elverson and Mary Ann McLanahan.

Let’s take a look at both the original receipt and the adapted recipe, which I followed with one small change.

Revolutionary CookingOriginal receipt by Mrs. Mary Randolph, 1824, in The Virginia Housewife; or, Methodical Cook (p146)

Pound Cake

Wash the salt from a pound of butter, and rub it till it is soft as cream—have ready a pound of flour sifted, one of powdered sugar, and twelve eggs beaten; put alternately into the butter, sugar, flour, and the froth from the eggs—continuing to beat them together till all the ingredients are in, and the cake quite light: add some grated lemon peel, a nutmeg, and a gill of brandy; butter the pans, and bake them. This cake makes an excellent pudding [aka dessert], if baked in a large mould, and eaten with sugar and wine. It is also excellent when boiled, and served up with melted butter, sugar and wine.

Here is their take on how to make a modern sized cake:

Pound Cake

2 cups sugar

Eggs and Butter2 cups flour

½ pound butter

5 eggs

1 teaspoon each of lemon, rum, and vanilla extract

Instructions

Have all ingredients at room temperature. Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a 9-inch tube or bundt pan generously. Mix all ingredients at one time in a mixer and beat for about 10 minutes, or until smooth. Turn into greased pan. Bake at 325°F for about 1 hour, until cake tests done.

Note: As in the original, there is no liquid or baking powder or baking soda.

Pound CakeThe only change I made is that instead of the three extracts I used 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. It still turned out really tasty!

Even though I used my electric mixer, my right arm let me know it wasn’t okay to do so. I’m still not quite back to pre-surgery strength but almost.

What I love about this recipe is that there are only five ingredients (the way I made it) and all wholesome foods. I wondered about reducing the sugar but I’d need to do some kitchen science research to understand how that might impact the results. Would less sugar make a smaller cake, for instance, since there is less mass introduced to the batter? I don’t know the answer but suspect it would be denser. Anyway, it’s a yummy recipe and I hope you’ll try it!

Next week’s blog will be a summary of the lessons I’ve learned, the recipes that I will earmark to use again, and those that I won’t. Until then, happy reading!

Remember that my A More Perfect Union series (ebooks) are on sale for the holidays! And the prequel novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, is also only 99 cents for the ebook at Amazon.

AMPU Covers-4

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

My latest romantic witch story is The Touchstone of Raven Hollow, and it takes places in an enchanted valley during Thanksgiving. What a perfect time to give it a try! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing Tara and Grant’s love story!

The_Touchstone_of_Raven_Hollow_600x900He dug for the truth and found her magic.

Tara Golden has hidden her healing power all her life. But occasionally, she uses her abilities on people passing through town, sure they’d never figure out what saved them. Now a tall, sexy geologist is asking questions she doesn’t want to face, and he isn’t going to take no for an answer. There’s no way she would reveal her abilities and her gifted sisters for a fling.

The latest tests divulge geologist’s Grant Markel’s fatal condition is cured, but the scientist within him won’t accept it’s a miracle. When he meets the sexy, mystical witch who may hold the answer to his quest, he’s determined to prove she’s full of smoke and mirrors despite their mutual attraction.

When they are trapped in an enchanted valley, Tara must choose between her magical truth or his scientific beliefs. Can she step from the shadows to claim her true powers before it’s too late?

Amazon: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-kindle

B&N: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-BN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Kobo

Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-AU

Amazon CA: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-CA

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-Amazon-UK

iBooks: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-iBooks

Google: http://bit.ly/Touchstone-GoogleBks

Tasty Tuesday: Stewed Pears #colonial #dessert #cooking #recipes

Have you been following along with the many Tasty Tuesday recipes? Have you tried any for yourself? This week’s dessert, stewed pears, is simple and delicious!

First, let me explain why I didn’t do the apricot pudding as promised. I had fully intended to try it, but when I went to my grocery store they did not have any fresh apricots because they’re out of season. My bad for checking on when they’d be available before I made my schedule. If I do another round of adapted recipes, something I am pondering, maybe I’ll add it back into that schedule.

Moving on to this week’s dessert recipe… I wasn’t sure we’d enjoy baked pears, but we did and they were very easy to make, too. Let’s take a look at the original recipe:

Art of CookeryTo stew Pears.

Pare six pears, and either quarter them or do them whole; they make a pretty dish with one whole, the rest cut in quarters, and the cores taken out. Lay them in a deep earthen pot, with a few cloves, a piece of lemon-peel, a gill of red wine, and a quarter of a pound of fine sugar. If the pears are very large, they will take half a pound of sugar, and half a pint of red wine; cover them close with brown paper, and bake them till they are enough. Serve them hot or cold, just as you like them, and they will be very good with water in the place of wine.

First adjustment I realized I’d have to make is to cut back on the number of pears and the quantity of sugar. I also wasn’t too sure about using a piece of lemon peel. Mrs. Glasse doesn’t say how long to bake them, just until “they are enough.” But overall, this is straightforward kind of recipe. Here’s what I ended up doing:

Betty’s Stewed Pears

Ingredients

Pears and Lemon4 Bartlett pears, pared, quartered and cored

1 fresh lemon, sliced

1 T sugar

½ c. white wine

3 whole cloves

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Place the pears in a baking dish.

Arrange lemon slices on top of the pears.

Combine wine and sugar and pour over the fruit.

Add the cloves scattered among the mixture.

Bake 30-40 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

ready-to-eat.jpgWe enjoyed them very much. If you don’t like cloves, I think you could omit them but they did add a warm note to the taste of the pears.

Oh, and try them chilled with a dip of vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. Talk about delicious! We enjoyed that way of eating them, too.

Before I go, I want to share that not only did Elizabeth’s Hope just release on November 3, but the first three ebooks in the series are all on sale. Emily’s Vow is only 99 cents, just like Elizabeth’s Hope; Amy’s Choice is $1.99, and Samantha’s Secret is $2.99. I hope you’ll pick up a copy for yourself or to give as a gift over the holidays! Also, if you buy a paperback, contact me and I’ll tell you where you can send it to me and I’ll sign it – personalize it for the recipient – and mail it back to you.

AMPU Covers-4Only one more recipe to attempt: pound cake. Wish me luck on that one! And after I finish with this round of historical recipes, I’m hoping to share some recipes from a slew of guest authors like I did last winter/spring. We’ll see how many authors take me up on the offer. Until next time!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

Elizabeth's HopeNow available! Elizabeth’s Hope!

Introducing the lives, loves, and dangerous times of the men and women in the A More Perfect Union historical romance series! This prequel novella takes place when Charles Town, South Carolina, is about to face the British enemy during the American Revolution.

CAUGHT BETWEEN DUTY AND LOVE

Joining the revolutionary army was the honorable thing to do—but Jedediah Thomson hadn’t realized how long he’d be away from the lovely, spirited Miss Elizabeth Sullivan. They’d only begun their courtship when the occupation of Charles Town, South Carolina, trapped her in the city, making it dangerous to get to her.

Elizabeth Sullivan feared for her brothers, fighting for American freedom; for her father, pretending to be a loyalist; for family and friends, caught between beliefs; and most of all for Jedediah, the man she loves, who was doing his duty. She cherished every moment they had together, knowing how swiftly it could be taken away.

And that made her willing to risk everything to claim a piece of him forever….

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Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2wDNmv3

Tasty Tuesday: Layered #Salmagundi #salad #colonial #supper #brunch #cooking #recipes

A little lighter fare is on tap for today’s Tasty Tuesday recipe adaptation. Have you heard of Salmagundi? According to Dictionary.com, it is defined as “a mixed dish consisting usually of cubed poultry or fish, chopped meat, anchovies, eggs, onions, oil, etc., often served as a salad.” This is a recipe I’ve made out of Our Founding Foods by Jane Tennant, but her recipe was different from Hannah Glasse’s. Let’s start with Hannah’s take on this dish, and then I’ll talk about two other versions that I consulted before putting my own Salmagundi together.

Art of CookeryTo make Salmagundy

Mince two chickens, either boiled or roasted, very fine, or veal, if you please: also mince the yolks of hard eggs very small, and mince the whites very small by themselves; shred the pulp of two or three lemons very small, then lay in your dish a layer of mincemeat, and a layer of yolks of eggs, a layer of whites, a layer of anchovies, a layer of your shred lemon pulp, a layer of pickles, a layer of sorrel, a layer of spinach, and shallots shred small. When you have filled a dish with the ingredients, set an orange or lemon on the top; then garnish with horse-radish scraped, barberries, and sliced lemon. Beat up some oil with the juice of lemon, salt, and mustard, thick, and serve it up for a second course, side dish, or middle-dish, for supper.

Analyzing Hannah’s ingredients, I nixed several of her ideas since I didn’t think it would be pleasing to our taste buds. I didn’t use any lemons, for instance, though I did use a navel orange which added a delightful pop of citrus to the final dish.

Also, since I was making only enough for the two of us, I reduced the amount of chicken drastically. One chicken breast, to be exact. I figured that with the protein from the eggs would be adequate.

I also didn’t use anchovies, onions, or try to find sorrel. Instead, I used some tossed salad mix (iceberg lettuce, carrots, cabbage, etc.) and fresh spinach as my greens. Again this is based on our preferences. The fun thing about this dish is that it’s so adaptable!

Barberries sounded like something I’d like to try, but I didn’t have time to hunt them down. Instead, I used dried cranberries which added the tart taste that barberries are purported to have.

But what other options are there, you may be asking?

Jane Tennant’s book (which I’ve made several recipes out of, by the way)IMG_0079 includes a recipe adapted from Mary Randolph’s The Virginia Housewife, 1824. The list of ingredients included lettuce leaves, green beans (cooked), cherry tomatoes, chicken, fresh green grapes, an orange, eggs, toasted almonds, raisins, anchovy fillets, radishes, spring onions, and gherkin pickles. The dressing is a blend of orange juice, orange zest, olive, oil, red wine vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper. If you’d like the recipe, let me know and I’ll be happy to share it. I made this to take to a potluck luncheon at my Heart of Dixie chapter meeting one year. It’s good but rather complicated to put together and of course, it makes a lot of food!

Revolutionary CookingI also checked what Virginia Elverson and Mary Ann McLanahan had to suggest in Revolutionary Cooking. They simply gave a list of possible ingredients and how to layer them. Here’s a snippet of what they had to say:

Arrange dishes of cold cooked vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, kidney beans, etc., which have been marinated in French dressing; other dishes of sliced sweet onions, sliced cucumbers, halved cherry tomatoes, thin-sliced celery, sliced radishes, chopped hard-cooked eggs, anchovies, croutons, Parmesan cheese, and a large bowl of lettuces.

Then they suggest letting each person build their own salad and top it with any kind of dressing you have available, and serve it with “cold sliced meats, herring, smoked salmon, lobster tails or crab claws.” They’re getting rather fancy, aren’t they? But they had some good ideas. Again, they’re apparently preparing a feast for a gathering. I, on the other hand, was simply trying to make dinner for me and my husband.

I chose a glass bowl that I estimated would hold enough salad for the two of us, maybe with a little leftover. But it wouldn’t be by much. Then I layered ingredients in quantities that I thought we’d manage for one meal.

Betty’s Salmagundi for 2

Ingredients

Ingredients1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast

2 T Italian dressing

2 eggs, hard-boiled and chopped

2 cups salad mix

1 cup fresh spinach leaves

¼ cup shredded cheese

1 navel orange, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

¼ cup dried cranberries

2 Roma tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces

½ cucumber, chopped

Instructions

Chopped ingredientsPreheat the oven to 375°F.

Place the chicken into a shallow pan. Pour Italian dressing to coat and then cover the pan before putting into the oven for 40 minutes or until cooked through and tender. Let cool before cutting into bite-sized pieces.

In a bowl, layer the salad, spinach, chicken, and the remaining ingredients.

Serve as is, with dressings on the side, or drizzle Italian dressing over the salad before serving.

Salad layered and ready to eat

Of course, if you have leftover cold meats, say after your Thanksgiving dinner, then this could be a great way to use up some of them. We particularly enjoyed the orange mixed into the salad. I think I might try it with marinated artichoke hearts next time, to add a bit more bite to the combination.

This recipe is more of a concept and subject to variation each time I make it. I like that it’s scalable, too. It’s a refreshing contribution to a pitch-in dinner, as well. What do you think? Will you be trying your own Salmagundi? I hope so! Enjoy!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

SamanthsSecretCOVERIn 1782, the fight for independence becomes personal…

Midwife and healer, Samantha McAlester returns from the front lines to find Charles Town under British siege and the town’s new doctor at war with its citizens.

Dr. Trent Cunningham intends to build a hospital staffed solely with educated doctors. What he doesn’t need is a raven-haired charlatan spooning out herbs and false promises to his patients, while tempting him at every turn.

Then a mutual friend develops a mysterious infection. Trenton is stumped. Samantha suspects the cure but knows treatment will expose her long-guarded secret, risking all she holds dear… including Trenton.

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Google: http://bit.ly/1Dqj7tF

Tasty Tuesday: Bacon and Eggs #colonial #bacon #eggs #breakfast #cooking #recipes

For a change of pace, here’s a breakfast recipe for today’s Tasty Tuesday post. At least, that’s when we enjoyed it, for a Sunday morning breakfast. I’ll let Mrs. Glasse introduce this new-to-me concept of fixing breakfast…

Collops and Eggs

Cut either bacon, pickled beef, or hung mutton, into thin slices, broil them nicely, lay them in a dish before the fire, have ready a stew-pan of water boiling, break as many eggs as you have collops, break them one by one in a cup, and pour them into the stew-pan. When the whites of the eggs begin to harden, and all look of a clear white, take them up one by one in an egg-slice, and lay them on the collops.

So my obvious choice was bacon, because I’m not a fan of beef or lamb for breakfast. If I were to make this as a dinner, then perhaps that would work. But feel free to choose whichever meet you’d like to broil.

It took me a little while to understand why she wants me to put all the eggs into one cup. That way all the eggs cook at the same time, so they’re all done at the same time and ready to serve. By the way, an “egg-slice” is simply a slotted spatula or turner. Because the eggs are rather slick from the boiled water, I think a slotted spoon makes it easier to lift them out without having them end up on the floor. But perhaps that’s just me…

The other thing “new” to me, besides boiling eggs in water without their shells on, was broiling bacon. Only after hubby and I were eating the results did I remember that my family also used a broiler to cook bacon for larger groups. Just like those 18th-century cooks with their large families and frequent visitors, my parents had five children and often we had friends or other family members visiting. Hubby’s aunt also used a broiler to do bacon when she needed to feed a family gathering after a funeral. So it’s really not new, just overlooked on my part. But I don’t have such a large group to feed, and hubby typically cooks the bacon on a flat griddle. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…

Anyway, here’s my adaptation of this recipe…

Betty’s Bacon Collops and Eggs

Ingredients

4 slices bacon, cut into halves or quarters

4 eggs

Instructions

Heat broiler on high. Arrange bacon on broiler pan and broil until desired crispness, turning occasionally.

IMG_0003Meanwhile, start a pot of water boiling.

Remove bacon from broiler pan to a serving platter and keep warm.

Crack each egg into a small to medium mixing bowl.

Add all eggs at once to boiling water, stirring gently to separate whites as they cook.

When the whites are bright white and the yolks done enough, carefully use a slotted spoon to remove each from the water and arrange on the bacon. Serve hot.

IMG_0005When I made this, I left the slices whole but I discovered it made it rather tricky to serve the bacon and eggs. So next time I’d cut the slices into halves or better into quarters so you have an easier time choosing one egg instead of multiples at one time.

I served this with toasted English muffins and orange juice since I had both on hand. It made for a nice Sunday morning breakfast.

What do you enjoy for breakfast? What meat would you use if you were to make this recipe?

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

In 1782, the fight for independence becomes personal…

Amy's ChoiceWhen Amy Abernathy’s childhood sweetheart, Benjamin Hanson, leaves to fight in the American War for Independence without a word of goodbye, Amy picks up the pieces of her heart and chooses independence. When Benjamin returns unexpectedly, Amy flees to the country to help her pregnant sister and protect her heart.

Benjamin Hanson knows he hurt Amy, but he also knows he can make it up to her after he completes his mission. Then he learns that Amy has been captured by renegade soldiers. Now Benjamin faces his own choice: free the sassy yet obstinate woman he’s never stopped loving or protect Charles Town from the vengeful British occupation.

 

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Google: http://bit.ly/1ocTIfL

Tasty Tuesday: Duck dressed with Peas #colonial #dinner #cooking #duckling #vegetables #whatsfordinner

This week’s Tasty Tuesday recipe was a delicious challenge to make. I’ve only ever roasted a duckling once before and that was a long time ago. Which is why I added it to my schedule of recipes to adapt. This one ended up being done very differently from the method used by Hannah Glasse. Here’s what she recommended as a method of cooking duckling dressed with green peas.

Art of CookeryTo dress a Duck with green peas

Put a deep stew-pan over the fire, with a piece of fresh butter; singe your duck and flour it, turn it in the pan two or three minutes, then pour out all the fat, but let the duck remain in the pan: put to it a pint of good gravy, a pint of peas, two lettuces cut small, a small bundle of sweet herbs, a little pepper and salt, cover them close, and let them stew for half an hour, now and then give the pan a shake; when they are just done, grate in a little nutmeg, and put in a very little beaten mace, and thicken it either with apiece of butter rolled in flour, or the yolk of an egg beat up with two or three spoonfuls of cream; shake it all together for three or four minutes, take out the sweet herbs lay the duck in the dish, and pour the sauce over it. You may garnish with boiled mint chopped, or let it alone.

Let’s look at the steps and ingredients involved here and bring them into the 21st century. First, the deep stew-pan over the fire. I don’t have a pot big enough to hold a 6-pound duckling, so that was my first stumbling point with this recipe. And I’m not using an open flame to cook anything, so I had to decide what to use. I considered using my crock pot, thinking it would be good for ensuring the bird was done through and stayed moist and tender. I could add the ingredients for the peas sauce to the pot and let it simmer.

Before I did, I pulled out my trusty Joy of Cooking cookbook and consulted it on how they recommended roasting duckling. They mentioned that duckling has a high fat content and thus should be roasted on a rack and pricked to release the fat into the roasting pan. I finally decided to do that and make the sauce separately. Unlike Hannah, I seasoned the duckling itself and put it into the oven.

For the sauce then, I waited until the duckling was nearly done before I gathered the ingredients. I did not use the “pint of good gravy” she recommended. Instead, I dissolved some low-sodium chicken bouillon cubes into hot water and used that as my “gravy.” I’ve mentioned before my dislike of mace, so I used seasonings that I know we like.

When I started analyzing the original recipe I questioned using lettuce in the sauce. This was another new concept to me. I did a quick online search and found not only a discussion on why you’d want to cook lettuce but also a cool list of 10 ways to eat lettuce, some of which I hadn’t considered so thought I’d share that with you too. I cut up one small head of Italian lettuce I picked up at my local grocery store, making the pieces fairly small – perhaps one inch squares, give or take. Given that I was not sure we’d like the peas with lettuce mixed together, I decided to serve the sauce on the side so my hubby and son could add as much or as little as they’d like.

 

Veggies Mixed
Peas and lettuce cooking

Note also that Hannah called for a “bundle of sweet herbs” which I assume means fresh herbs from the garden tied together and dropped into the pot and then taken out. Instead, I used dried herbs from bottles in my pantry, but I can’t remove them, so I didn’t use a lot.

 

Here’s my recipe then for duckling with peas.

Betty’s Roasted Duck with Peas

Ingredients

1 6-pound duck, thawed completely

1 T minced garlic

½ T thyme leaves

½ T rosemary leaves, crushed

1 cup hot water

2 chicken bouillon cubes (I used low sodium cubes)

1 small lettuce, cut up into small pieces

1 10-ounce bag of frozen green peas

1 T Italian seasoning

½ tsp black pepper

1 T butter rolled in flour

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Place thawed duck on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Be sure to remove all giblets from neck cavity.

Combine garlic, thyme, and rosemary. Spread over duck.

Put the pan in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 350°F. Roast the duck for 20-25 minutes per pound, or 2-2½ hours, or until internal temperature measured with a thermometer at the thigh reaches 185°F. Be sure the thermometer doesn’t touch the bone though.

As the duck nears being done, combine the hot water and bouillon cubes in a saucepan and stir until the cubes are dissolved completely.

Add the peas, lettuce, Italian seasoning and pepper, stirring to combine well.

Cook on medium heat until the lettuce reduces and the peas are tender. Add the butter rolled in flour and simmer until the sauce thickens.

Remove the duck from the oven when done and carve it into slices and pieces. Serve hot with the sauce on the side or you can pour the sauce over the meat if you’d prefer.

I thawed my duckling in the refrigerator. The package says to do so “overnight” which I did for two days. But apparently, that wasn’t quite long enough. When I pulled it out to cook it, there were still ice crystals on it. I had to run hot water over it and inside it to thaw it enough to remove the packet of orange sauce it came with. I didn’t see that there were giblets inside, too, so those got cooked along with the duck. I don’t think it hurt anything, though. But be sure to allow plenty of time for the bird to thaw completely and double-check for giblets.

I think if I were to make the peas sauce again, I might use fresh spinach leaves (not the stalks) instead of lettuce to boost the nutritional value. The sauce wasn’t as thick as I expected, so I might also tinker with the fluid quantity to make it saucier.

Overall, we really enjoyed the duckling alone and with the sauce. The meat was tender and flavorful, and the sweetness of the green peas complemented it well and made it look pretty, too. I was glad that the sauce wasn’t a heavy, rich one as I’m not a fan, so that was a pleasant surprise.

Next week I’m going to do what I think of as a breakfast receipt but I imagine it could be used for brunch or even supper. Until next time, I hope you have good meals and good reads, too!

Betty

P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I only send out when there is news to share. News like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers. Thanks and happy reading!

Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.

SamanthsSecretCOVERIn 1782, the fight for independence becomes personal in the port city Charles Town, South Carolina.

Midwife and healer, Samantha McAlester returns from the front lines to find Charles Town under British siege and the town’s new doctor at war with its citizens.

Dr. Trent Cunningham intends to build a hospital staffed solely with educated doctors. What he doesn’t need is a raven-haired charlatan spooning out herbs and false promises to his patients, while tempting him at every turn.

Then a mutual friend develops a mysterious infection. Trenton is stumped. Samantha suspects the cure but knows treatment will expose her long-guarded secret, risking all she holds dear… including Trenton.

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Tasty Tuesday: Stewed Cornish Hens #colonial #chicken #dinner #cooking #whatsfordinner #recipes

I have a funny story along with a foolproof recipe for Tasty Tuesday! Today we’re going to find out about how to stew chickens for dinner. Not chicken stew, but stewed chicken. As usual, I’ll let Hannah Glasse tell us in a bit more detail what we’re aiming for.

Art of CookeryA pretty Way of stewing Chickens

Take two fine chickens, half boil them, then take them up in a pewter or silver dish, if you have one, cut up your fowls, and separate all the joint bones one from another, and then take out the breast-bones. If there is not liquor enough from the fowls, add a few spoonfuls of the water they were boiled in, put in a blade of mace, and a little salt; cover it close with another dish, set it over a stove or chafing dish of coals, let it stew till the chickens are enough, and then send them hot to the table in the same dish they were stewed in.

Note, This is a very pretty dish for any sick person, or for a lying in lady. For change, it is better than butter, and the sauce is very agreeable and pretty.

N.B. You may do rabbits, partridges, or moor-game, this way.

So, essentially she wants us to cook the chickens twice: once in boiling water, and then over coals. She’s wise, let me tell you. In fact, my funny story is about making Cornish hens for New Year’s Eve dinner one year. I stuffed their little chest cavities with long grain and wild rice and put them in the oven. Their skin turned all golden brown, but the flesh would not cook. Not even in the microwave, which I finally grew desperate enough to try. I think we ended up eating pizza… And my family will never let me forget it, either. So I was overjoyed to find this method of cooking them!

I didn’t have to make many adjustments to this recipe. After all, there are not many ingredients to begin with. Instead of using two whole chickens, since again I’m adapting these to dinner for two as much as possible, I used Cornish hens. If you were feeding a larger crowd though, you might want to adjust up to two whole chickens. And instead of mace and salt, I used my old standbys of garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and black pepper.

I also had to have my hubby do the separation of the hens’ joints because while I’m recovering from my shoulder surgery, I’m not strong enough to do that yet. Even he had a bit of difficulty with locating the joint to cut through it on the small-boned birds.

So here’s my take on making stewed chicken…

Betty’s Stewed Cornish Hens

Ingredients

2 Cornish hens, thawed

Garlic powder, to taste

Italian seasoning, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

Instructions

Boiling hensPreheat oven to 350°F.

In a large pot of boiling water, parboil the hens. Carefully remove them (as their skin/flesh is very tender) to a large cutting board.

Separate the joints and lay the breasts and pieces in a covered casserole dish.

Sprinkle with seasonings; cover and place in the oven for 45-60 minutes or until done.

Ready to serveI steamed some broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, and boiled up some small honey gold potatoes to add to the dish before serving it. It did make a nice presentation and tasted even better than it looked. We had enough for two meals out of it. The best part is that they were cooked through without any snide remarks…

I’ve also had success with cooking Cornish hens in my crockpot. That’s easier than having to cut up the birds, too. Have you found a fool-proof way to stew chicken or hens?

Betty

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Emily's Vow Finalist SealEmily Sullivan’s greatest fear is dying in childbirth, as did her twin sister and their mother. Then she’s thrown in a loyalist prison for her privateering father’s raids on the British, and her accuser–a former beau–promises to recant if she will marry him.

Frank Thomson always loved Emily despite her refusal to return his affections. A patriot spy posing as a loyalist officer, when Frank learns of Emily’s plight, he challenges her accuser to a duel.

Freed from prison, Emily ponders returning the affections of her rescuer–the only man she’s ever loved and who married her twin to save the Sullivan family’s reputation. But Frank cannot afford to be discovered. For the sake of young America, he must deliver his secrets.

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