Friday, November 21, 2014

A New Take on Pimento Cheese Using Red Leicester Cheese

Trader Joe's Red Leicester Cheese

As I was checking out at Trader Joe's this afternoon with my cream cheese and roasted red peppers in a jar, the checkout guy asked what I was making.  I told him pimento cheese.  He asked if I had ever used their Red Leicester cheese.  He said it made the best pimento cheese.  So I brought some home. Sure enough it makes great pimento cheese and so easy.

Trader Joe's Red Leicester Cheese has a hint of chili and a lot of red bell pepper.  The cheese is also somewhat softer than regular cheddar cheese that I normally use for making pimento cheese.  I grated a half pound of the Leicester and added about 3 to 4 ounces of cream cheese and blended these in the food processor.  I added enough mayonnaise to make it the consistency I like.  This was quick, easy and very tasty.

Grate the Red Leicester Cheese.  Notice the red bell pepper is quite abundant. 
Add the cream cheese and blend in food processor. 

Add enough mayo for desired consistency. 

I like pimento cheese on Graham Crackers and also on slices of apples.  We had these as appetizers before our dinner tonight.
This is good spread on Graham Crackers. 
Or on apple slices.  

If you have a Trader Joe's, you might like to try this.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Queen Anne's Revenge

Notorious pirate Blackbeard's flagship, Queen Anne's Revenge, was run aground in what is now Beaufort Inlet in 1718.  Some believe Blackbeard intentionally did this.  For more than 200 years the ship  lay in the bottom of the sea off Shackleford Banks in North Carolina.  It was in 1996 that the ship was discovered and since then archaeologists have recovered thousands of artifacts that are being conserved at the QAR Museum at ECU in Greenville, NC.
Blackbeard the notorious pirate who sailed the Queen Anne's Revenge. 

Dan's grandson, Erik, who just finished his Master's Degree at University of Durham, England, is a conservator at the QAR Conservation Laboratory.
Grandson Erik. 
Dan talks with Sarah the Director of the Laboratory.
In addition to learning about  the techniques used to conserve these artifacts, many artifacts were on display.
Xray of shoe buckle.  
Xrays are used to locate artifacts within the concretions.  A shoe buckle was located by xray and later carefully removed from the concretion.
Shoe buckle. 
There have been a number of cannons removed.  A map shows the position of cannons at the site of the shipwreck.
Add Map showing location of cannons and anchors at the site of the shipwreck.

Cannon with cannon balls. 
Perhaps the most impressive artifact is the 12 foot anchor.
Twelve-foot anchor.  

We thoroughly enjoyed the Open House that the Laboratory held on Saturday, and we especially enjoyed learning about some of Erik's work.  

Monday, November 10, 2014

Apple Ring Pancakes

Apple Ring Pancakes

I'm not sure where I saw this recipe.  Perhaps someone posted it on Facebook.  Anyway Dan and I like both apples and pancakes so I thought I would try this combination of the two.. We had nice big Honey Crisp apples just made for this recipe.

1 batch pancake mix, (I used 1 1/2 cups Arrowhead Multigrain pancake mix, 2 tbs canola oil, 1 1/4 cup buttermilk.)
1/2 cup additional buttermilk*
4 medium apples

Heat a griddle over medium heat.
Prepare the pancake mix, mixing in the additional buttermilk, and spices.
Peel and core the apples.  Slice them into 1/8 " slices.  Use a toothpick to dip each slice into the pancake batter, then onto the griddle,  Cook until golden, flipping once.  Serve warm with syrup.

* I didn't have buttermilk so I improvised. Combine 2 % milk and lemon juice. Measure 1 scant cup of milk. Stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Let stand 5-10 minutes at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.  Use this substitute (including curdled bits) as you would buttermilk in your recipe.
Add lemon juice to milk to make buttermilk. 
Pancake mix with nutmeg and cinnamon. 

I made the batter to have it ready when the apples were sliced..

Beautiful Honey Crisp apples.  
Slice apples very thin. 1/8".
Dip apple slices into pancake mix using a toothpick. 

Cook on hot griddle until golden brown on each side.  

Flip once.
Add butter and maple supper. 

Ready to eat.  

A nice take on pancakes! We enjoyed these for breakfast this morning. Check out this website:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pecan Pie Truffles (Vegan)

Pecan Pie Truffles

This recipe* from the NY Times is quite fun to make and is absolutely delicious.  The truffle features the best part of a pecan pie but with a chocolate coating.  I'm not vegan, but this recipe is.  I loved it anyway.  No eggs, no milk, no butter. No cooking except for melting the chocolate.

My friend Virginia from Greensboro was here for a visit and we made these.  It's always fun to cook with a friend.  These will freeze nicely, so I have some stashed away in the freezer ready for the holidays.

  • cups pecans, toasted and finely chopped
  • 1cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • ½teaspoon salt
  • 2tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼cup bourbon
  • 1teaspoon vanilla
  • 7ounces dark chocolate
  • In a medium bowl, stir together pecans, graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and salt until well combined. Add maple syrup, bourbon and vanilla, stirring thoroughly. Use your hands to make sure the mixture becomes fully incorporated.

  • Form mixture into walnut-sized balls, then place on a cookie sheet and freeze for 2 hours.

  • In the top of a double boiler or in a medium stainless steel bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water, melt chocolate. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dip the frozen balls into the melted chocolate, then place onto prepared baking sheet. Let sit for 15 minutes or until firm.
All ingredients mixed together.
Walnut-sized balls ready for the freezer.

Melt dark chocolate in double boiler. 
Chocolate coated and ready to eat or ready to freeze for the holidays. 

A bite out reveals the pecan pie center. 
I will serve these in a candy dish that was a wedding gift to Mama,  I remember it holding candy every Christmas. 

Yes, I think I will add this recipe to my holiday recipes book.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

Vegetable Corn Chowder

The veggies in the chowder. 

I'm always glad to get the Wednesday issues of The News and Observer and The New York Times, because in both newspapers a section is devoted to food and cooking.  This week in the N&O there was a recipe for Vegetable Corn Chowder from the popular cookbook 100 Days of Real Food, by NC blogger Lisa Leake.

Now that the weather is getting cooler, I am beginning to think of soup for supper.  Here's the recipe:

Veggie Corn Chowder
3 tbs butter
2 tbs flour
1 medium onion, diced
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 large stalks celery, diced
5 cups corn kernel, (fresh, frozen or canned)
1 tsp salt (I omit this)
Cayenne pepper to taste
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

2 cups milk (or half and half)

Melt  the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and keep whisking until the mixture darkens but does not burn, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the onion, carrot and celery and stir occasionally until the vegetables soften, 5 to 6 minutes.  Add the corn, salt and pepper and cook stirring for 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour in the stock and milk and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer 10 minutes, until thickened.
Transfer half the soup to a blender and puree.  Add pureed soup back to the pot.  Ladle into bowls and serve warm, or you can freeze in individual portions for later. 
Yield 6 servings
Dice the carrot, celery and onion.

Three cups of corn kernels. 

Two cups of chicken broth. 
Mix the flour with the butter. 

Add the veggies and corn. 
Add the broth and the milk and simmer. 

Ready for supper. 

We enjoyed a bowl of this for supper the other day.