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

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

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

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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….

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2xuGoNB

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2yoixg2

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

Release Day for Elizabeth’s Hope! #Historical #Romance during the American Revolution #amreading #histfic

Elizabeth's HopeIntroducing 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….

Available at Amazon! Only 99 cents for the ebook too! Also available in paperback.

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2yoixg2

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

The story continues with four more tales…

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Read an excerpt of each book at my website. Happy reading!

 

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.

B&N: http://bit.ly/1akvryM

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1HkamyG

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2h7qpKW

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2ymuORU

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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.

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2wuHGmQ

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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.

B&N: http://bit.ly/1akvryM

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1HkamyG

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2h7qpKW

iBooks: http://apple.co/1BOdiiB

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

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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Tasty Tuesday: Roasted #Chicken with Almonds #colonial #dinner #cooking #whatsfordinner #recipes

One thing I’m enjoying about my adventure with colonial recipes is facing new challenges and new ways of cooking. This week’s recipe is for roasted chicken, something I do not do often. Turkey, yes. Chicken, not so much. So it was good to brush up on my chicken roasting skills! But not without a few hiccups. Let’s look at what Mrs. Glasse would have us do and then I’ll share what I did and didn’t agree with.

Art of CookeryTo roast a Fowl with Chesnuts

First take some chesnuts, roast them very carefully, so as not to burn them, take off the skin, and peel them, take about a dozen of them cut small, and bruise them in a mortar; par-boil the liver of the fowl, bruise it, cut about a quarter of a pound of ham or bacon, and pound it; them all together, with a good deal of parsley chopped small, a little sweet herbs, some mace, pepper, salt, and nutmeg; mix these together, and put into your fowl, and roast it. The best way of doing it is to tie the neck, and hang it up by the legs to roast with a string and baste it with butter. For sauce take the rest of the chesnuts peeled and skinned, put them into some good gravy, with a little white wine and thicken it with a piece of butter rolled in flour; then take up your fowl, lay it in the dish, and pour in the sauce. Garnish with lemon.

The very first hiccup was the chestnuts. In my area they are hard to find and when you do they are expensive. So I needed a substitute. A quick online search yielded the information I needed to make an informed choice, based on taste and texture. So I used almonds, which I had on hand and are also good for us.

Almonds toastedMy roasting chicken did not come with all of its parts, so I didn’t have nor want to use the liver. You may decide you’d like to have the liver in your stuffing, and that’s fine! My stuffing probably ended up a little skimpier than intended, but the flavors were there nonetheless.

Again, I omitted the mace and substituted nutmeg with ground ginger. I like the lighter flavor of the ginger even as it lends a slight bite to the taste of the chicken.

The other change I made was to add a bit of seasoning to the butter I used for basting the chicken. I use some form of garlic in almost everything I cook, so it was natural to add some garlic powder and Italian seasoning (which is mostly herbs) to the butter to brush over the chicken before popping it into the oven.

Here’s what I ended up with…

Betty’s Roasted Chicken with Almonds

Ingredients

1 whole, fresh roasting chicken

¼ cup fresh almonds, toasted and ground

2 slices bacon, cut into small pieces

¼ cup parsley

¼ cup Italian seasoning

Black pepper

½ Tablespoon Ginger, ground

2 T melted butter

Italian seasoning and garlic powder to taste

¼ cup gravy

2 oz. white winte

1 T butter rolled in flour

1 lemon, cut up for garnish

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

StuffingPlace chicken in shallow roasting pan.

Toast and grind the almonds.

In a medium size bowl, combine bacon, half of ground nuts, parsley, Italian seasoning, pepper, and ginger. Put mixture into breast cavity of the chicken.

Combine melted butter with Italian seasoning and garlic powder and baste the chicken.

Put chicken in hot oven for 1½ hours or until done.

For the sauce, combine the gravy, wine, remaining nuts, and butter rolled in flour. Heat through until sauce is thickened.

Remove the chicken from the roasting pan and put on a serving dish. Garnish with lemon.

Pour sauce into a gravy boat or other serving dish and serve.

Chicken ready to serveYou’ll notice I did not pour the sauce over the chicken. I have two reasons for not following orders… First, the sauce is very rich. Second, I knew my hubby and I wouldn’t eat the entire chicken in one sitting, so reheating the chicken with the sauce would prove challenging. Leaving them separate allowed for us to control how much sauce we put on the chicken once it was on our plates. I liked the chicken roasted in this fashion, but I don’t think I’d do the sauce again.

While the dish looked pretty with the lemon garnish, a better use of the lemon might be to use the juice in the sauce to help cut some of the thick richness. I’m discovering that I’m finding most of the sauces too rich for my taste. I realize my preferences may not be yours, so feel free to play around with the recipes I’m sharing with you. That’s part of the fun of cooking, right? Making it your own?

What do you think about sauces? Fan or not?

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.

Have you ordered your copy of my new novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, yet? Elizabeth’s story will release on November 3, 2017. Here’s what it’s about in a nutshell…

Elizabeth's HopeCAUGHT 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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Tasty Tuesday: Brown Fricassee of #Chicken #colonial #dinner #cooking #whatsfordinner #recipes

Today’s Tasty Tuesday recipe is pretty easy and pretty good! Fricasseed chicken doesn’t take too long and is quite a nice dish to serve up. At least the way I made it. Let’s first take a look at the original recipe and then I’ll talk about my adaptations and what I’d do differently next time.

Art of CookeryTo make a Brown Fricasey.

You must take your rabbits or chickens and skin them, then cut them into small pieces, and rub them over with yolks of eggs. Have ready some grated bread, a little beaten mace, and a little grated nutmeg mixed together, and then roll them in it: put a little butter into a stew-pan, and when it is melted put in your meat. Fry it of a fine brown, take care they do not stick to the bottom of the pan, then pour the butter from them, and pour in half a pint of brown gravy, a glass of white-wine, a few mushrooms, or two spoonfuls of the pickle, a little salt, (if wanted), and a piece of butter rolled in flour. When it is of a fine thickness dish it up, and send it to table.

Thankfully, I could buy boneless and skinless chicken breasts and simply cut them into bite-sized pieces. If you’d prefer to do your own hunting and skinning, then be sure to include that step in your prep time. <grin> I do recall one time decades ago when my dad, who lived with me and my family, returned from a trip carrying three dead rabbits for me to skin and cook. That was a one-time thing for me, let me tell ya! The rabbit stew I made wasn’t too bad, but the prep was not pleasant since I really had no idea of the proper method for skinning rabbits and cutting them up.

Back to our chicken dish. I didn’t change much to this recipe, and the steps are fairly easy to follow. I didn’t know what “the pickle” meant, but I had some mushrooms so used them.

For the “grated bread” I had some hot dog buns hanging around, so I toasted some and crumbled them. Obviously, you can make your own like I did, or buy them at the store ready to use. If you have seasoned bread crumbs you wouldn’t need to add other seasonings unless you wanted something specific, so that might save you some time and effort as well.

Okay, so here’s the recipe from what I made:

Betty’s Chicken Fricassee

Ingredients

Chicken mixed with egg and bread1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into pieces

1 egg, beaten

1 cup bread crumbs/pieces

1/8 tsp mace

1/8 tsp nutmeg

2 T butter

½ cup brown gravy

½ cup white wine

6 mushrooms, sliced or diced

1 T butter rolled in flour

Instructions

Put cut up chicken breasts into a mixing bowl.

Pour egg over chicken and stir to coat evenly.

Chicken simmeringIn a separate bowl, mix bread and seasonings. Add to chicken and stir to coat evenly.

Melt butter in a deep skillet.

Brown chicken, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.

Add remaining ingredients.

Simmer until sauce thickens and serve.

I’ve mentioned this before but just to be clear, I’ve decided to not use mace so much as they did back then. It’s a very strong spice, to my taste, and so I know that if/when I make this again I will use milder herbs and spices instead of the mace and nutmeg. Also, instead of the brown gravy I used this time, I’ll likely use a cup of beef bouillon to simmer the chicken and flavor the sauce.

What do you think? Sound like something you’d like to try?

One more thing! I’m thrilled to share that my new novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, is now up for pre-order! Elizabeth’s story will release on November 3, 2017. This prequel novella for the A More Perfect Union historical romance series shares the longed-for story of how Emily and Frank find themselves at 6’s and 9’s at the beginning of Emily’s Vow. I’ve been sharing it with my newsletter subscribers all year, one chapter at a time. But finally her story will be available to a larger audience! Here’s what it’s about in a nutshell…

Elizabeth's HopeCAUGHT 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….

Currently available only at Amazon: http://amzn.to/2xuGoNB

That’s my news for this week! 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.

Tasty Tuesday: Dressed Crab #colonial #dinner #cooking #seafood #crab #whatsfordinner #IARTG

My Tasty Tuesday recipe today is the last one for any kind of fish or seafood. But it’s definitely not least in my book! I love crab, so I’ve been looking forward to sampling this one on how “To dress a Crab.” I do believe Mrs. Glasse was on to something…

Art of CookeryTo dress a Crab.

Having taken out the meat, and cleansed it from the skin, put it into a stew-pan, with half a pint of white-wine, a little nutmeg, pepper, and salt, over a slow fire. Throw in a few crumbs of bread, beat up one yolk of an egg with one spoonful of vinegar, throw it in, then shake the sauce pan round a minute, and serve it up on a plate.

Simple and straightforward recipe for crab, right? Really, it pretty much is with a few nuances that I needed to consider.

First, how much crab meat? Second, lump or claw or both? Knowing that in the 18th and even 19th centuries nothing was ever wasted, I can answer the second question first: both kinds of crab would have been thrown into the pot. But how much? Given the other measurements in the recipe, and how much I thought would be appropriate, I decided on one pound. Specifically, eight ounces of claw and eight of lump crab already picked and prepared from my local grocery store. After all, I live in northern Alabama and there is not much opportunity to get fresh crab around here except packed and shipped in from the Philippines (apparently).

Next the nutmeg and pepper seasonings made me pause. Both are spices, obviously, but wouldn’t the nutmeg overpower the delicate crab flavor? I love crab, so I wouldn’t want to overshadow its taste. I’d rather enhance it. So I decided to stick with my trusty seafood seasoning and only use a small amount to bolster the crab. As I’ve said before, I don’t cook with salt, so that was an easy item to cross off.

The crumbs of bread isn’t specified as to how much either. But after some thought, I chose to not use any because I don’t much enjoy breading in my crab cakes so I reasoned I’d enjoy the crab more without the crumbs. Turns out I was right to leave them out. Here’s what I ended up with…

Betty’s Dressed Crab

 

Ingredients
Ingredients ready to use

Ingredients 

8 oz. lump crab meat

8 oz. claw crab meat

4 oz. white wine

½ T seafood seasoning

1 egg

1 T white vinegar

 

Simmering Crab
Crab meat ready to cook

Instructions 

Put crab meat into a sauce pan.

Add the wine and seafood seasoning; stir to combine.

Heat through on medium heat.

Beat together the egg and vinegar. Stir into the crab meat.

Cook until the egg is done. Serve hot.

DinnerThis was excellent and we’ll definitely enjoy this one again! It’s easy to make and healthy to boot. I served it with spinach cooked like I did for the Spinach and Eggs recipe and corn on the cob. It was a light and delicious supper for a warm Saturday evening.

Have you been enjoying these forays into old but new recipes? Next week we’ll move into a series of poultry recipes, including one for duck (should I be worried about that one since I’ve only ever cooked one in my life?). I’ve been enjoying the challenge and the insights I’ve gained from analyzing each of them. I’ve also learned more about my likes and dislikes, and just how patient my husband is with my wild ideas. Until next week… happy eating!

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. Also, I’ll be sharing one chapter each month in 2017 of a new historical romance novella, Elizabeth’s Hope, the prequel to my A More Perfect Union historical romance series, with my subscribers. 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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