We’ve Been Hacked!

The other day I tried to add a new post on this blog, only to discover that it had been hacked. What I have since learned is that WordPress is vulnerable to hacking and malware–something that I did not know when I came over from Blogger.

Since I’m not keen on hackers I’m migrating this blog back to Blogger. While some may argue that it’s not as good as WordPress, it has one distinct advantage. It’s secure.

This blog will remain on WordPress until July 5. Meantime I have the new Blogger edition up, so if you’d like to subscribe, (your option, of course), there is a link to allow you to do so. I’m using my old URL, www.mytimelesscuisine.com,  for the new host, but it will eventually switch over to rosiesrivetingrecipes.com.

Sorry for the interruption, and I’ll see you at the new home for Rosie’s Riveting Recipes. 

 

Orange Glazed Cornish Game Hens

Cornish game hens are the perfect dish to “Wow!” your guests. I particularly recommend them as an entree for a romantic dinner for two.  Cornish game hens are economical, easy to prepare and full of flavor, yet exotic enough to make any guest feel special. The orange glaze and lemon pepper add just the right amount of zing without becoming overpowering.

GM

ORANGE GLAZED CORNISH GAME HENS

  • 2 Cornish Game Hens (defrosted)
  • 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • lemon pepper blend

Preheat oven to 350 F. Wash hens thoroughly, shake off excess water and place in a baking dish. Mix orange marmalade and orange juice in a small mixing bowl. Once the marmalade is blended smooth brush 1/2 of the mixture on each hen with a pastry brush. Sprinkle lightly with lemon pepper blend. Bake for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Serve with rice, wild rice or potatoes.If desired, garnish with fresh orange slices.

Note:  If you are preparing more than two hens simply increase orange mixture by adding 1 tablespoon of orange juice and marmalade for each hen. If using fresh oranges, the zest adds a nice touch.

Let’s Keep It Clean

I once heard a report that said most American home kitchens would fail if a health inspector came calling. Either we’ve gotten lazy, or our mothers simply didn’t teach us how to keep our kitchens clean. A clean kitchen is vital for good health since many so-called cases of “stomach flu” aren’t the flu at all, but foodborne illnesses.

Keeping your kitchen clean and healthy would include doing the following…

• Washing your hands thoroughly with soap, preferably an antibacterial soap, before handling any foods, and rewashing them as you go, especially after handling raw meat.

• Keep kitchen surfaces clean. Wipe down your stove and all your counter tops down each and every time you wash the dishes.  Wipe up splashes and spills as soon as they happen. Those disposable disinfectant cloths can come in very handy.

• Clean up as you go. Sounds simple enough, but sometimes we need to be reminded. Those dirty dishes, cooking utensils and pots and pans left all day, or all night, in the kitchen sink are a breeding ground for bacteria like salmonella, and did you know that salmonella can become airborne?

• Use a dishrag, instead of a sponge, for washing dishes, and launder your dishrags frequently.

• The best way to defrost meats is overnight in the refrigerator, but in the real world that’s not always possible. If you have to defrost something in a hurry the best way go is to either defrost it in a sink full of hot water, or on the countertop, covered.  Remember what I said about salmonella being airborne?  I can’t think of a better way to invite a foodborne illness than to leave uncovered meat to defrost on a countertop next to a sink full of dirty dishes.

• Use plastic cutting boards. I have two cutting boards. One is used exclusively for cutting meats, the other for cutting vegetables. Wash your cutting boards thoroughly, with hot water, after each use. Never ever use a wooden cutting board for cutting anything but bread.

• Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.  Remember the food temperature danger zone is between 40º F and 140º F.  Foods kept in this temperature zone for more than 4 hours should be disposed of.

• Keep foods in the refrigerator covered, and clean up spills and messes in the refrigerator immediately.  Again, those disposable disinfectant wipes can do wonders.

• Store cleaning products away from food to prevent cross-contamination.  I keep all my cleaning products underneath the kitchen sink.

• Use plastic trash bags to line your kitchen wastebasket.  If your kitchen wastebasket is small enough you can save money by using plastic grocery bags instead.

Let’s keep it clean, folks.

GM

Rosie’s Recipe — Hamburger Vegetable Soup

There’s nothing like a bowl of hot soup on a cold winter’s day. It warms the heart and the soul. This soup, courtesy of Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is easy to prepare and totally delicious.

GM

HAMBURGER VEGETABLE SOUP

  • 3/4 to 1 lb hamburger
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups canned or cooked tomatoes
  • 2 cups potato cubes
  • 2 medium-diced carrots
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup rice
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Brown meat and onion lightly in 2 tablespoons fat or drippings, add all rest of ingredients in large kettle, add 1 1/2 quarts water and simmer slowly 3/4 to 1 hour. Serve with toast or crackers as the main dish for lunch or supper. Makes 4 servings.

Modern adaptation:  To give the soup more zing use chicken stock instead of water, and add 1 teaspoon cumin. A 14.5 ounce can of tomatoes works nicely. Cooking oil can be used for fat or drippings if using lean group beef. Additional fat or oil may not be necessary if using regular ground beef.

Baked Sweet Potatoes — a Hassle Free Thanksgiving Side Dish

I love cooking a full-course Thanksgiving dinner, even though it’s a lot of work. So much food to prepare in so little time. I have, however, figured out one quick little shortcut that helps save time, and confusion, in the kitchen.

I first discovered baked sweet potatoes at a buffet restaurant. The friend I was dining with pointed them out to me and raved about how delicious they were. While not a huge sweet potato fan myself, I noticed what an easy side dish it would be to prepare. Simply take a sweet potato, or a yam, quarter it, wrap it in foil, and bake it like a regular potato.

I tried it myself a couple of Thanksgivings ago, and it was a big hit. Much less prep time and less hassle than candied yams, with no added sugars or preservatives, no casserole dish to wash, and fewer calories to boot. Best of all, my guests loved them.

GM

Pot Roast – Good Old-Fashioned Comfort Food

Pot roast was a family favorite when I was growing up, and I think just about every kid’s mom made pot roast. It’s simply one of those good old-fashioned American comfort foods. It requires very little prep time, and just about anyone, regardless of their cooking skill, can whip up a pot roast. Modern cooks have a few more options, such as using a crock pot instead of a roasting pan, and there are a few other variations you can use as well.

My mother never wrote down her pot roast recipe. Some dishes are so basic they really don’t require one. This is how I make a pot roast. No doubt it’s similar to the way the rest of you make your pot roast too.

I start by putting my roast in the roasting pan, and then adding chopped onions, carrots, and potatoes. (Red potatoes work very well). Then, depending on your preferences, you can add celery, shallots, corn, squash, or lima beans, whatever vegetable you like. One time I even tried adding broccoli. It tasted okay, but broccoli doesn’t always smell so nice when it’s cooking, and it left a strong odor in my kitchen. Season the mixture with season salt and pepper. You can also use celery salt, garlic powder, onion powder and parsley, whatever your favorite seasonings happen to be.

I prefer having my pot roast well done, so if I’m baking it in the oven I set the thermostat to 350 and roast it for about 15 minutes per pound.  However, I usually make my pot roast in the crock pot, so I’ll start it in the morning and cook it on low all day. Whichever method you choose, be sure to add about a half cup of water to your mixture before you begin roasting.  That way the roast will stay moist and not get too dry.

Here’s another tip: the leftover roast can be used to make tacos. Place it in an iron skillet, add a little water and some taco seasoning blend, and break up the meat with a spoon as it’s heating.

Enjoy.

GM

When in Doubt Throw It Out

Most of our mothers taught us to check the food before we prepare it. A slimy texture, an off color, or a bad odor is an indicator that the food has either spoiled, or has begun to spoil.

Food spoilage is caused by bacteria. As we learned in our grade school science classes, bacteria are single-celled organisms that find many of our favorite foods just as yummy as we do. In fact, they like our food so much that they decide to take up residence. They reproduce, form colonies, and as they eat, grow and eliminate body waste, they begin to break the foods down, or decompose them. This is what causes the sliminess, the mushiness, and the bad smell.

There seems to be some debate among the experts as to whether or not eating spoiled food will make you sick. While the bacterias that cause the food spoilage itself may not make us sick, it’s a safe bet that if those bacteria are present then the pathogens that do cause food-borne illnesses are probably in the mix as well. And since most of us don’t have microscopes in our kitchens, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

While we may not be able to prevent all spoilage, we can take steps to slow it down. One of the easiest is to pay attention to the “sell by” dates on the package of meat or fish, and be sure to either cook or freeze these items by that sell by date. Whenever I buy meat on the sell by date I don’t bother freezing it. I make it a point of cooking it the same day.

As soon as I remove uncooked meat or fish from the package I take a good whiff. If I detect any kind of a foul odor I immediately throw it out.  Washing or cooking the meat simply may not destroy the pathogens that cause food-borne illnesses. Yes, it’s a bummer when you have to waste an expensive piece of meat or fish, but which is more costly? The price of the meat, or cost of the emergency room bill?

It’s simple, really. Keep cold foods cold. Take fresh foods, especially meat and fish, straight home from the grocery store and freeze or refrigerate them promptly. That means when you’re out running errands, you leave your food shopping for last. Sure, we all want to conserve time and gasoline, but if you’re meeting a friend for lunch, have a doctor’s appointment, or need to pick up your kids from soccer practice, be sure to get it all done before you stop at the grocery store.

I also have a three-day rule. After three days in the refrigerator I either cook it or freeze it. Same with leftovers. I either freeze them or toss them out after three days. I know this may seem wasteful to some, but it simply isn’t worth taking the chance of contracting food poisoning.

Food safety is something I just don’t compromise on. It’s like Mother said, “When in doubt, throw it out.”

My tip for the day.

GM

Rosie’s Recipe — Vegetable Potpourri

Sometimes I spend so much time worrying about the main course that I forget about the side dishes. This timeless, historic recipe is quick and easy, and would compliment any meal.

Enjoy,

GM

 

VEGETABLE POTPOURRI

  • 1½ cups cut cabbage
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup boiling water

Combine and cook until tender. (20 minutes.) Makes 4 servings.

Modern adaptation: Omit salt and use ½ cup of chicken stock instead of ½ cup of water.

Rosie’s Recipe — Split Pea Soup

There’s nothing like a bowl of hot soup on a crisp fall day, and Rosie has the recipe for a hot and tasty split pea soup that’s easy to make.

Some dishes never seem to go out of style, and this is one of them.

Enjoy,

GM

 

SPLIT PEA SOUP

  • 8 oz. cooked cubed ham (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 ham bone
  • 2 1/2 quarts ham stock
  • 1 1/2 cups split green peas
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour

Place ham bone, stock, peas, seasonings and onion in large pan. Simmer 2 hours. Melt butter, add flour and blend. Add a small amount of soup stock and stir until smooth, then stir into soup to thicken slightly. Let cubes of ham heat in soup before serving. Makes 4 generous servings.

Modern adaptation: Ham hocks may be used in place of the ham bone. To make a ham stock boil the ham hocks or ham bones in water for approximately one to two hours. Chicken stock can be added to the ham stock or even used as a substitute for the ham stock. Cornstarch can also be used as a thickener instead of the flour.

Rosie’s Recipe — Refrigerated Bread Pudding

I hate sounding like a food snob, but there are a few foods out there that I honestly try to avoid whenever possible. One is prepackaged white bread. I never buy it. No, I’m not into gluten free. The reason I don’t buy white bread is because the experts all say it has little, if any, nutritional value, and I much prefer the taste of whole wheat or multi-grain breads. So imagine my surprise when I came upon a half consumed loaf of generic white bread stashed in the back of my freezer. It had been left by out of town friends who had visited a few months before. They didn’t like wheat bread and wanted to have some white bread on hand.

At the time this happened I was testing recipes for Rosie’s Riveting Recipes, so I defrosted it and used in some of the recipes. Four slices went into this classic that your grandmothers may have made, and it was delicious. One nice thing about many of these historic dessert recipes is that they’re sweet, but not too sugar-laden.

Enjoy.

GM

 

REFRIGERATOR BREAD PUDDING

  • 1 envelope plain gelatin
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cup light or dark corn syrup or 1/3 cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 slices white bread (2 ½ cups cubed)
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • nutmeg, if desired

Soften gelatin in ¼ cup cold milk. Scald remaining milk with corn syrup (or sugar) and salt in double boiler. Add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Remove crusts and cut slices of bread into cubes. Pour hot milk slowly over beaten eggs, stirring constantly. Return to double boiler. Add bread cubes and cook until custard consistency, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and beat with rotary beater until frothy. Turn into one large (or individual molds) that have been rinsed in cold water first. Chill. When firm, un-mold and serve with cream or any sauce. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Modern adaptation: Be careful not boil the milk. The beaten eggs can be slowly added to the milk mixture in the double boiler, stirring constantly as directed in the original recipe, until they are well blended. To give the pudding a bolder flavor add ¼ teaspoon ginger, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ nutmeg with the vanilla. The pudding can also be poured into ramekins and served with whipped cream, cinnamon, or nutmeg on top, as suggested in the original recipe.