New Year, New Me!

It’s a brand New Year and everyone is breathing a sigh of relief that 2020 is over, but are we really out of the woods yet!

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I know cheesy but I couldn’t help myself!

The first thing to do in this new year is to fix up a big pot of black-eye peas with greens and rice to help bring in some good luck for the new year. Black-eye peas is a symbol of prosperity for the coming year, greens are added for of course green money and after this past year we need a little prosperity in our lives. I didn’t use ham or bacon like most recipes, I had a boston pork roast bone that had a pretty good amount of meat on it after I had sliced it up for pork steaks, and decided to use that to flavor my peas. I found out that pork is good luck for New year’s also.

I talked with my chefs at work to help me get as much flavor as I could out of it, so I seasoned up the meat and seared it in a little oil to get some color then added onions and celery and let it cook for about an hour  before adding my peas to continue cooking till the meat was falling off the bone. Threw in some chopped collard greens and made a side of rice, very good eating.

This being a New Year and time for a new thing, I’m making some changes and the first big one will be with this blog (cue music…dum, dum dum). First, I will be changing the name of this blog to “Cooking with Princellar” mainly because where I am now is not where I started and where I want to go in the future. Second I will of course give an update to my site design and putting together a monthly newsletter. I am really looking forward to what this New Year has to offer me, from the new direction in my blog, getting some videos created, getting healthy and just starting over in my love life.

I am looking to get the new name change done by the end of the month, along with the upgraded site. I hope that all of you that are following along now will be on the look out for the new site and then sign up for my monthly newsletter.

Black-Eye Peas with Pork

Course Main Course

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Bag Dried black-eyed peas 
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion chopped
  • 6 Celery stalks chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Boston Pork Butt bone with meat Use the leftover pork roast from your Sunday dinner
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • Red pepper
  • 1 bunch Collard Greens
  • 1 box Chicken stock

Instructions
 

  • The night before pick the peas to discard stones and any broken pieces Soak in cold water overnight in the refrigerator. 
  • Place oil in your Dutch oven, season the pork butt with the list of seasonings, heat oil and sear the meat on all sides till it has a good color. 
  • Remove the meat and add in the onions and celery cook till soft.
  • Return the meat to the pot add in the chicken broth and enough water to cover the meat
  • Bring to a boil, then turn down and cook on medium till meat is tender. 
  • Add the peas and bring to a boil again, lower the heat and cook till the peas are tender.
  • Add the greens and cook till the greens are tender.
  • Serve over rice 

10 Years of Sushi

Today is not only one of my favorite times of the year but is is also our 10 year anniversary. It’s been good, bad, and even ugly at times but we always seem to make our way back to each other. We both love Halloween and it’s become our special anniversary day because we had split-up for a couple of months but got back together on Halloween in time to get dressed up, hand out candy and of course go to our favorite restaurant for sushi.

This year is a little different, because of the pandamic and also because we are fighting or should I say we are a little distant from each other today, but I decided that I was going to continue with the surprise that I had planned regardless of if he’s here or not and maybe it will be the catnip to the tom cat that will get him over.

I was already going to post a recipe for the pumpkin bread that I make every year for Halloween but this year I changed it up and made it a savory style which came out excellant and is now on the menu for good.

Then I found that our favorite sushi restaurant “Blue Sashi Sake Grill” had posted their recipe for our favorite soup the “Coconut Crab Soup“, so yes I’m making that and ordering sushi for delivery today.

To complete this Halloween I found the perfect dress from Retro Vixen that is sure to make his heart beat just a little bit faster.

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Here’s to a wonderful Halloween with more treats than tricks for everyone. Enjoy the tasty soup and pumpkin bread if you dare….Happy Halloween!!

Coconut Crab Soup

Savory Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients
  

  • 1 16oz Canned Pumpkin
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • cup Olive oil
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1 ½ tsp Black pepper
  • ½ tsp Baking powder
  • cup Chopped fresh sage
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour pan; set aside
  • In large bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and pepper
  • Add eggs and oil, beating well
  • Stir in pumpkin, the sage and 3/4 cup of the parmesan cheese
  • Mix until blended, pour batter into prepared pan
  • Bake for 65-75 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean
  • Cool in pan and sprinkle with the rest of the parmesan
  • Remove from pan and cool completely

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Apple Pandowdy

This week we continue our journey through “1000 Foods To Eat Before You Die”, we are still in America and we are trying out an old American treat call the Apple Pandowdy. This apple dessert was very popular in the colonial period and it happened to be one of the first ladies Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams, favorite dessert.

This dessert has seen a lot of changes over the years from when it was first introduced and the interesting name pan-dowdy came about because it was so plain or some say because the crust has been cut-up or dowdy during baking. Whichever the reason the pan-dowdy is basically fruit baked under a crust similar to a pie but the bits and pieces of the crust  has been cut-up to be submerged into the fruit filling liquid. In the eighteenth-century this dessert would take all night as it cooked in the embers of the dying fire. Thankfully it doesn’t take that long anymore to bake a really interesting dessert.

Apple Pan-Dowdy

 

I was lazy on this one and didn’t make a crust, I used a frozen pie crust and broke it up over the filling, though next time I should try the roll-out pie dough.

This is a dessert I will have to make again because I over cooked it so it came out a little dry when it should have some juice to it. Other than that it was really good.

Now next week I will make a handmade crust even though I’ve never made one, but its for an apple pie that’s next on the list. So come back and check it out.

Apple Pandowdy

Ingredients
  

  • 5 large Baking apples I used Pink Lady's
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Freshly ground Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ cup Molasses
  • 3 tbsp Melted Butter
  • ¼ cup Water

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven at 400
  • Core, peel and slice the apples and sprinkle with lemon juice to keep from browning.
    Mix the apple slices with the sugar and spices
  • Whisk together the molasses, butter and water
  • Place a crust on the bottom of your skillet place apples on top and pour the molasses mixture over the top
  • Place the top crust that has been torn on top
  • Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and dowdy the crust (pushing the crust down into the apples)
  • Reduce heat to 325 and bake for an hour
  • Serve with whip cream



 

Alinea, Ambrosia and The Hot Brown

We are starting our journey through the “1000 foods to eat before you die” book and our first stop is going to be right in the American/Canadian region and the top two to begin with was the restaurant Alinea named one of the best molecular gastronomy restaurants located in Chicago. Chef Grant Achatz is the man behind this top restaurant which offers up food that looks both delicious and funky fun.

This is one of those places I would visit for a very special occasion and of course have the money saved up for the bill (smile). They do have a cookbook out and I hadn’t plan on getting it but I think I will just have to add it to my collection this coming pay period. Since I don’t know when or if I will ever get to Chicago to try this little place first hand, I did send an email to see if they would do a Triple D kind of special and overnight me a meal, so we shall see what they say.

Next up in this journey was a dish called Ambrosia which came about in the 1800’s and it was said to be what the Ancient Greek gods ate for immortality. The original recipe only called for navel oranges, coconut, and sugar. It was not like it has evolved into this crazy concoction of oranges, pineapple, marshmallows, whip cream or even mayonnaise, “ugh”. 

I finally found a recipe that was as close to the original that I found from one of my cookbooks I have on hand, “The Gone With the Wind cookbook” as well as the e-book “Dixie Cookery”. I did make a minor change on my part because I couldn’t find fresh coconut or sherry flavoring, so I used real sherry and canned coconut, which meant no need for sugar. 

For our Saturday date night meal we made the Hot Brown Sandwich, made famous in 1920 at the Brown Hotel by Chef Fred Schmidt, who was looking for something different to serve the guests for the dinner dance. This was a nice filling sandwich and pretty easy to make, so we both liked this one and we will be making this one again.

1000 Foods

One of the greatest gifts I received this year for my birthday was a book and not just any book, this book titled 1000 Foods To Eat Before You Die by Mimi Sheraton. This book is a food lovers dream bible, it covers pretty much every country’s food passion to create a straight-up culinary journey of the senses. The book is broken down into eighteen different regions and cultures. Under each ingredient, food or even restaurant there is a way to get it to you, through a website, a physical address, a phone number and in some cases theres even a cookbook listed oh and sometimes a recipe for you to try.
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To say I was excited when I received this book was an understatement, I was over the moon excited especially as I started flipping through the pages and reading various paragraphs, this book will become my top reference book to use over and over again. I did realize that a few of the items I’ve already had, but I will now look for the best of the best from each category and try them again.

This book will become dogeared and marked up with highlights and notes and I will have to share it with you guys.

 

I will be starting this journey off right here in the United States and Canada, so make sure you stay tuned so you can see what I’m going to eat and what I’ll be learning about for the rest of this year.