Sunday, April 20, 2014

2nd Annual Adult Easter Egg Hunt Party

This pasted weekend, I hosted the 2nd Annual Adult Easter Egg Hunt. No... by "adult", I mean that this was an Egg Hunt for big "kids". Last year, I shared with my friends that the Hubby and I hide eggs for the kids as usual, but my son stared a tradition of them hiding eggs for the hubby and me. I got such response to that, that it wound up leading to the 1st Annual Egg Hunt for Adults! So we decided to make it a yearly event! :-)

Well, this year the weather turned on us! It turned windy, cold and rainy. Did we cancel or postpone? No way!!! We had good food, great friends and family, yummy desserts and even got in the egg hunt... slightly chilled and damp, but happy! :-)

I have included links to 8 of the recipes for the food pictured in these photos. Click on the links highlighted for the recipes! Enjoy! :-)

The food island...
Pulled pork Sammies, Ham and Swiss Sliders,
Stuffed Meatball Subs,
(Click the links for the recipes.)

 Kendal was not to be left out!

 Elliott and Kendal hunting eggs.

 Elliott seems pleased with his finds.

 Granddaddy and Kendal hunting eggs.
Actually, Kendal's cheating because he and I hid the eggs! LOL

See! She's following his hints! LOL 

 KENDAL!!! You dropped something!

Uuuuhhhh Ooooooh!!! 
The other adults had been giving her their eggs too!
She's such a flirt!

 Granddaddy! Help!

Good thing they are plastic!

 Jack and Kendal playing...

It's hard to believe that Kendal will be 2 years old in June,
and Jack is only 17 months old!!!

Hi Marley! (2 1/2 months old! My big girl!)

Elliott's cuddled up with Kendal... Everyone's tuckered out!

 Pulled Pork for Sammies!
(Click link for the recipe.)

 Elliott's Easter Eggs that he colored...

 Easter Egg Bark and Hazelnut stuffed and dipped cookies.
(Click link for the recipe.)

(Click link for the recipe.)

 Snack table...

(Click link for the recipe.)

(Click link for the recipe.)

It's been a long hard day but very fun and exciting!
I wonder who put who to sleep? LOL 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Egg Bark

We had this candy bark last year at our 1st Annual Adult Easter Egg Hunt, and it was a big hit! I'm making it again this year! It is one of the easiest candies that you can make! Quick and easy! Perfect!


1 bag Colored Mini Marshmallows
1/2 cups White Chocolate Chips
Spring Color Sprinkles

Melt the chips and toss in marshmallows. Stir until well combined. Pour into a foil lined pan and cover lightly with sprinkles. Place in a cool spot or refrigerate until hardened. Cut into egg shapes or cut with cookie cutters. Serve!



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Flour Tortillas

My son asked me to get the stuff I needed to make him soft tacos. So, I went to the grocery store and got everything, but the flour tortillas. My sons response? "Really Mom???" So, I assure him that I could make some for him! As most of you know by now, we live way out in the country and running out to the store to pick something up is not an option. I shop for the week, once a week, and that's pretty much it. So, I did a little research and realize that the flat breads that I have been making are all pretty much the same, just changing a little bit per region. The Chinese Pancakes are made with all-purpose flour and water. The Pita breads are made by adding yeast to that mixture. Tortillas are made by adding baking powder and lard. 



3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening
1 cup warm water

In a large bowl, blend the flour, baking powder, and salt together. With a fork, pastry blender or your hands cut in the lard or shortening. The mixture should clump together slightly and hold shape when squeezed in your hand.

Add the water all at once and mix the dough quickly with a wooden spoon or by hand until the dough forms a mass. Work it in the bowl, moving it around the sides to pick up any flour remaining in the bowl. Knead the dough by folding it in half, pushing it down, and folding again until it forms a soft dough that is no longer sticky. Cover the dough with a towel and let it rest for about 5 to 10 minutes. 

After resting, pinch off 1-inch diameter balls of dough. Knead each of these into a tight ball by folding them over with your fingers, turning and repeating until it is about the size of a golf ball. 


Before rolling out the tortillas, allow the dough balls to rest at least 10 minutes. This will permit the gluten to relax and make them much easier to shape and roll.

On a lightly floured surface take one of the dough balls and begin to roll it out. To keep a somewhat round shape, roll one directions, make a 1/4 turn and roll again, make another 1/4 turn and roll. Continue to roll and turn until you the dough is about 1/8-inch thick and 8 to 10 inches in diameter.

Heat a cast-iron pan over medium to medium-high heat until water droplets "dance" when dropped on the surface. Place the raw tortilla on the preheated pan and allow it to cook until it begins to puff up with air pockets, turn carefully. Each side should cook about 30 seconds, leaving the tortilla puffy.

Getting puffy! :-)

Perfect... (cooked... not round) LOL

As you pull the tortillas off the pan, place them on a plate (lined with a dish towel or paper towels to keep them warm), or put them in a warm oven to keep warm until all the tortillas are done.


Note: I had my oven on 170 degrees. (That's my lowest setting.) Since it was my first time making them, it took me a while to get them all done. The tortillas started to dry out on the edges. I should have covered them with a damp towel.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Our Trip to Summerville Farmers Market and Wishbone Heritage Farms Trip with Crispy Duck and Chinese Pancakes

Last Saturday, my foodie friend Mary and I, along with 5 other friends, went on a 'farm to table' trip to the Farmers Market in Summerville, SC and then on to Wishbone Heritage Farms in Ridgeville, SC. It went something like this...


Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, 
A tale of a bountiful trip 
That started from this southern port 
Aboard this tiny ship. 

Mary was a mighty tour guide, 
The driver brave and sure. 
Five passengers set sail that day 
For a three hour tour, a three hour tour. 

The naviguesser started getting rough, 
The tiny ship was tossed, 
If not for the courage of the GPS 
The market would be lost, the market would be lost. 

The ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted farmer’s market 
in Summerville… 
With Russell too, 
Farmer Dave and his partner, 
The Naviguessor 
And the rest, 
Here on Summerville Isle. 

So this is the tale of the food bloggers, 
They're here for a long, long time, 
They'll have to make the best of things, 
It's an uphill climb. 

The first mate and the Skipper too, 
Will do their very best, 
To make the others comfortable, 
In the farmer’s market quest. 

No phone, no lights, no GPS, 
Not a single luxury, 
Like Robinson Crusoe, 
As primitive as can be. 

So join us here each week my friends, 
You're sure to get a smile, 
From all the farmer’s produce, 
Here on "Summerville's Isle."


Found him! Hey Russell!

Me, Russell of Sunny Cedars Farm and 
Mary of All Things Food ~ Cooking with Mary and Friends
Mary was the tour guide and navi-guesser of our trip...
The GPS couldn't get the directions right,
and Mary would say, "I guess you need to turn up here next."
Caroline, our driver would say, "Great job Naviguesser!" LOL

 Wishbone Heritage Farms
Our next stop!

Beautiful Cranberry Beans...
They are kind of like pintos but with a nutty flavor.

 Rio Bertolini's Fresh Pasta
Mary puts the camera down and really gets down to business!

Gorgeous oils and balsamic vinegars!

We left the market and took a lunch break at The Crab Shack. Keeping with our theme, The Crab Shacks' primary objective is...
  
"One of our primary objectives is to serve you superior food that is raised, caught or grown in the immediate area, and to continuously source sustainable food producers and farmers."


Now with full bellies, we were off to Wishbone Heritage Farms! Finally, after having to postpone our first trip due to weather... we arrived happy and very excited! Here at Wishbone Heritage Farms...
  
"We believe in local sustainable agriculture and raise animals and produce to the highest standards of health and flavor with absolutely no hormones, medications, antibiotics, or pesticides. 
We are passionate about helping people rebuild a relationship with their food, where it comes from, how it is raised, and how best to prepare it."

 David Gravelin... Wishbone Heritage Farms
describes their chicken raising process. 

He explained that they don't use any hormones, medications or antibiotics. That makes the chicks more fragile, and they require the right conditions, not to hot or cold. They keep them close and, in my opinion, raise them with love... and that's why their farm works! 

 Dyson... the chicken that vacuums the yard! :-)

 Duck, Duck, Goose!


They raise Tamworth Pigs, which are forest foragers
with long snouts to root around for food. 

This was a very hands on trip! Bunnies for Cathy and Liz! :-)

Bob White Quail


The girls hanging out eating watermelon from the market!



Pasture Raised Chicken 
100% Grass Fed Beef
Free Range Eggs
Forest Raised Pork
Peking Duck
Turkey and MUCH more

David says...

 "You can find Wishbone Heritage Farms @ facebook.com/wishboneheritage.  We happily support farm sales in Ridgeville, SC and have a stand at the Summerville Farmers Market every Saturday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm and the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market on Tuesdays from 3:30 PM to 7:00 PM.  Thank you all for your interest and support!!!"

For a more technical lesson on the sustainable aspect of their farm, check out my friend Mary's blog about our trip! Click here Mary's blog post about Summerville Farmers Market and Wishbone Heritage Farms. (AFTER, checking out my recipe below! LOL)

Please visit David on Facebook and 'like' their farm. If you are in the area, please go see them at the Summerville Farmers Market! Tell them, I sent you! You will NOT be disappointed. Check out what I did with the Peking Duck that I got from the Farm!!! It takes some time, but it's so worth it! It is awesome, moist and crispy!

Crispy Duck (or Peking Duck)

1 duck
6 cups water
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp dry sherry
1 tbsp white vinegar
3 tbsp corn starch
Scallion brushes
10 Chinese Pancakes (basically just like my Pita Bread, but no yeast)


Cut the wings off at the first joint and wash the duck thoroughly. Pat the duck dry with paper towels, making sure there are no feathers or quills attached to the skin. Using your hand or a wooden spoon and loosen the skin from the flesh. This is a critical step in getting the skin crispy.

Add 6 cups of water to a large pot. Bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add 2 tbsp honey to the water and stir. Then add the sherry and vinegar. Bring the mixture back up to a boil.

Create a slurry by adding 1/3 cup of water to 3 tablespoons corn starch. Stir until the cornstarch dissolves. Add the slurry to the boiling mixture in the pot, stir and bring it back up to a boil.




Slide the duck carefully into the boiling water. Use a large spoon and spoon the sauce over the duck until it's fully coated. The duck will puff up and the skin will take on a shine. (Notice the difference in the pictures.)


Place the duck uncovered on a rack. Let it air dry for at least 6 hours. This will remove moisture and tighten the skin. This is a critical step for a perfect Crispy/Peking duck. I turned my ceiling fan on let the duck air dry. You don't have to use a fan, but be sure to put it in an area that is cool and airy.


Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Fill a tray with an inch or so of water and place it on the bottom rack of the oven, under the duck. This will catch the duck drippings and keep the meat moist while it bakes.

Place the duck, breast side up, on a greased rack in the center of the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Then, carefully turn the duck breast side down and bake for and additional 45 minutes. Finally, turn the duck one more time and roast for another 30 minutes…just long enough for the skin to crisp and turn dark brown.




Peking duck is traditionally served with scallion brushes, hoisin sauce and Chinese pancakes. Place some duck meat and crispy skin in a pancake, drizzle on some hoisin sauce, roll and drive on in!


Awesome! You'd think that it would be dry,
cooking it this way, but the juices are sealed in and it is super moist!

Now... Please visit Wishbone Heritage Farms! :-)



Saturday, April 5, 2014

Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin

Last night, I took a pork tenderloin, that I had marinated in teriyaki overnight, pan seared it, then roasted it off in the oven. It was so tender that I couldn't get it cut into medallions without it falling apart! I made another batch of teriyaki, and reduced it to a thick sauce to pour over the medallions! Perfection!



For the marinade, I used the same recipe for the sauce
but left out the 1/4 cup water and corn starch.

Teriyaki Sauce


1/3 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Mix all but the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of cold water, in a sauce pan over medium heat. Mix cornstarch and water. Stir til dissolved. Add to sauce pan. Cook until thickened.