Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Vegetarian Chili

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I am surprised every time I make this chili. It's remarkably flavorful for something that cooks so quickly and is very easy to make. I pulled this from the freezer for our supper tonight. I made it two weeks ago for a meat heavy barbecue and wanted something to offer those who did not want hot dogs or hamburgers. Actually, I made it for myself because I'm cutting back on red meat, and I so liked the recipe that I doubled the ingredients in order to have leftovers as a meal later on. As it turned out, I didn't have a lot to freeze because the meat eaters topped their hot dogs with my vegetarian chili. I suspect those of you who are avoiding or cutting back on meat will really enjoy this chili. It is well-flavored and filling and it is as simple as pie to make. The recipe was developed by Bill Telepan, a New York chef and restaurateur, and it has appeared in so many publications that I can't determine who first published it. I do hope you'll give this recipe a try. You will not be disappointed. Here is how this version of vegetarian chili is made.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Pound Cake with Pecan Glaze

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is a homely cake that makes a great base for ice cream or macerated berries. I pulled this one from my freezer last weekend to dress up an otherwise plain dessert. It had been in the freezer for nearly 3 months, so you can add "good keeper" to other descriptors in its pedigree. The cake is simple to make and the glaze makes it a bit special. While I love pound cake, it can be a ho-hum affair and its simplicity often prevents it from being served to guests. I served this one with butter pecan ice cream and a butterscotch sauce. There wasn't a complaint at the table. I know most of you already have several recipes for pound cake in your files, but on the odd chance you are looking for another one, I urge you to give this version a try. Here is how the cake and glaze are made.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Peanut Butter Bars

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The Oregon countryside begins to brown in early July. The gorgeous green that gives the Emerald Valley its name, fades when hay is harvested and a buff tan replaces green until winter rains begin to fall. The heat has kept us housebound this weekend, and I've been using some of that "found" time to experiment with recipes for the blog. While I often make peanut butter sheet cake, tonight's peanut bars are a first for me. Their color reminds me of the hay fields after the harvest. I've had this recipe for several months now, and today was a perfect time to give it a try. It caught my eye because I love peanut butter, and, to my delight, peanut butter is used to make both the cake and the frosting. Were that not enough, the resulting bars are topped with chopped peanuts. I'm happy to report I like this recipe. The bars which are more cake than cookie are simple to make and I think you will enjoy them, too. Here is how they are made.

Friday, August 19, 2016

It's Time for a Burger Bash

In a few week, the kids will go back to school and life will again become more structured. That, however, still leaves us with plenty of time to fire up the grill and barbecue for weekend eating. I thought you might enjoy this retrospective of burger recipes that I have featured in past posts. They are all easy to prepare and a bit unusual without being weird or contrived. I hope you'll have the opportunity to try one or two of them. I know you'll enjoy them.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Shortcut Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Somewhere, at some point in your life, someone told you to "never say never." Chances are it was your mother who hadn't yet realized you knew more than she did. I remember those heady days, but the universe conspired against me, and following a particularly embarrassing debacle, I quickly learned it was much better to say "almost never" rather than bet the ranch on the outcome of my endeavors. Are you ready for my disclaimer? Folks who follow my blog on a regular basis know I prefer "from scratch" cooking. They also know I've been known to take a shortcut or two when it's necessary. This weekend the Silver Fox and I attended a large multi-age barbecue. I was responsible for the sweet stuff and spent more time than I should  making the adult desserts. I was time-pressed to produce something that would appeal to the children. A couple of ideas popped into mind. I decided to go with ice cream sandwiches, which could be made with cookies and ice cream from the grocery store, and peanut butter and jelly bars. I knew Ina Garten had a recipe for the bars, but I wanted to make something a bit less involved than that. I let my fingers do the walking and they found a truly simple recipe for the bars on the Land O' Lakes website. The base of the recipe was a packaged cake mix. I looked at the clock and gave myself absolution and permission to proceed with the shortcut version of the cookies. I'm glad I did. This is a nice recipe and it is nearly effortless to prepare. I hope you'll give it a try. Here is how these moist bars are made. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Asian-Style Glazed Salmon

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I had planned to share a grand dessert with you tonight, but time caught up with me and it never quite made it to the oven. Tomorrow will be a better day, I promise. What I do have to share tonight is an easy Nigella Lawson recipe that is perfect for guests as well as family. The recipe is self-explanatory and the salmon comes together quickly. While I made a few minor changes to her recipe, I wanted to share the original version with you, and simply tell you about the changes I made. As you probably can tell from the photo, I used Atlantic salmon for my version of the dish. I had the fish monger cut a single thick fillet to makes its preparation even easier than in the original recipe. I also left the skin on and removed it just before serving. Over the years, I've learned that the flake test is really the most reliable way to determine if a fish is done, especially if you are working with thick fillets. The sugar in the marinade makes the fillets prone to scorching, so you'll want to carefully watch them as they cook. I make it a point to have everything else I plan to serve with dinner ready to go before I begin to cook the fish, It comes together so quickly that there won't be time for anything else once its done. This is a really nice recipe and I think you'll use it often. Come back tomorrow for the dessert recipe I had planned to feature tonight.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Homemade Ginger Beer

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The last several days have been unusually busy around here. We've been out to dinner and picnicked with friends, attended a local Scandinavian festival and spent a full day paddling on Waldo Lake in a "war" canoe that holds 12 people. The weather has been warm but within the realm of normal and the lake - ah, the lake - is achingly beautiful. I'm tired and have a couple of blisters on my hands, but all-in-all I've had a marvelous time. I like to be busy and I love new experiences. The Silver Fox, who is a more solitary soul, calls these busy days the "Mary-go-round." One of the things I came across while on my carousel was the Ginger Beer at P.F. Chang's. I've never had it before, so I gave it a try. The big difference between ginger beer and ginger ale is that ginger beer is brewed (fermented) but ginger ale is just carbonated water that’s been flavored with ginger. Now, I must tell you I was not particularly enamored by it, but I was curious to see how it was made, and after doing some research, I decided to experiment and see how the homemade version compared to the one we had at the restaurant. I made some changes to a simple recipe I found in The New York Times, and, voila, tonight we got to try the homemade version. If you like to experiment, I think you'll be tempted to try this recipe. You may never replace your love of ginger ale with ginger beer, but you'll never know if you don't try. Here is how homemade ginger beer is made.

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