Sunday, May 31, 2020

Chicken of the Woods and Asparagus Fettuccine

What a strange year 2020 has been!  Because of the corona virus, or as I like to call it the "Co-VEED", I hadn't seen my old neighbor Ann in a long time, but we went to church together and on a hike in Hudson Mills where I found this....

It's a Laetiporus sulfureus, aka a "chicken of the woods" mushroom.    And that is me with without dyeing my hair since the beginning of March.   I call it my "sexy grandma" look....actually, I color my own hair so I could have kept doing it but decided to use this time to see what my gray hair looks like.  It's one of the gifts of the "Co-VEED".   I'd love to quit having to dye my hair.  Of the two laetiporus mushrooms you can find in Michigan, this one and  L. cinncinatus, the later is considered a better tasting mushroom, but I like them both.    I have a soup recipe created at the lakehouse with a chicken my son found in the woods one fall day, but but it is springtime so I wanted something different.  I had some local asparagus so I decided on a pasta dish.  It came out delicious!  I just used the tender tips of this mushroom; the inner part was rather tough. 

Chicken of the Woods and Asparagus Fettuccine
serves 1

2 T olive oil
1 c. thinly sliced chicken of the woods mushroom (you can substitute oyster mushrooms or morels or even storebought portobellas)
4 stalks asparagus, sliced in 1/4 inch chunks
1 clove garlic, minced
1 c. chicken stock
1/4 c. evaporated milk
2 T. flour
1/4 c water
3 T white wine

To serve:
1 c. cooked fettuccine
grated Parmesan cheese

In a medium skillet, heat oil.   Add mushrooms and asparagus and salt to taste and saute 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic.   Add stock and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.  Add evaporated milk and stir on medium high heat until bubbling.   Make a slurry of flour and water and add to skillet, stirring until thickened.   Remove from heat and add wine.     Top pasta with sauce and Parmesan cheese .   Tastes just like spring!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Lakehouse Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Because of the corona virus pandemic.I haven't been into the office since Thursday March 12.   Because my job can be done from anywhere, we have been spending time at the lakehouse, which actually makes for a great experience!  I never thought I'd be able to do is awesome.     

my new office view

In addition to this great view and beach walks and hikes,  I've been making brownies as a treat in the evening.   I've been looking for recipes that aren't too fancy because I don't keep exotic ingredients in my lakehouse pantry.   I was looking for something I could make on hand with what is here.     After experimenting, I've developed a great brownie recipe from pantry staples.   Perfect for your cottage or camp.   

Lakehouse Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Lakehouse Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

for brownie layer
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 cup sugar
2  eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

for peanut butter layer

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan with butter or cooking oil spray. Line with parchment paper.  (here's a good "how to"

Melt butter in a medium bowl in the microwave until melted ant hot. Combine hot melted butter, oil and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk well for about a minute. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat until lighter in color (another minute or so).  Add flour  cocoa powder and salt. and mix until just combined.   Pour half the bbatter into prepared pan, smoothing the top out evenly. 

In a small bowl, mix the peanut butter layer ingredients until well blended.    Spoon peanut butter layer on top of brownie layer in half teaspoon or so so blobs.    Top with remaining brownie batter, using a fork to marbleize the peanut butter layer with the brownie batter.  

Bake for 30 miunes, or until the center of the brownies in the pan no longer jiggles and is just set to the touch  Remove and allow to cool to room temperature before slicing into 16 brownies.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Whole Wheat Rhubarb Streusel Muffins

If you are looking for a great springtime canning recipe, I recommend stewed rhubarb.   Super easy to can and it can be used as a topping for vanilla yogurt or with pork roast, or in a variety of baked goods.   Very versatile!    Here's how to do it, plus a tasty recipe for rhubarb muffins.  

Stewed Rhubarb
Makes about 18 half pints (two canner loads) of rhubarb

7 lbs rhubarb
5 cups sugar

Trim off leaves. Wash stalks and cut into 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces. In a large saucepan add sugar to fruit. Let stand until juice appears. Heat gently to boiling. Fill jars without delay, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process for 15 minutes.

Whole Wheat Rhubarb Streusel Muffins
For the muffins
1 half pint jar of stewed rhubarb
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ cup  all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar

For the streusel topping
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Grease medium muffin pan with butter.  In a small bowl, mix stewed rhubarb, egg, oil and vanilla with a fork until well combined.   In a medium bowl, mix remaining muffin ingredients and then add rhubarb mixture and stir until well combined.

To make streusel topping, put all ingredients in a small bowl and rub between your fingers until the mixture resembles pebbly small sand.  

Fill muffin tin cups 2/3 full with muffin batter and top each with some streusel topping.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes until golden on top. A skewer put in the middle should come out clean when the rhubarb muffins are done