Marked one off the travel bucket list this week. Mount Rushmore is everything I heard it would be, and more. MUCH more.
I don’t know if it’s because what our country and countrymen are going through (and have BEEN through) but it was quite the emotional experience for me.
Got some good close-ups too:
And some extreme closeups:
The Meaning of Mount Rushmore
The four American Presidents carved into the granite of Mount Rushmore were chosen by the sculptor to commemorate the founding, growth, preservation, and development of the United States. They symbolize the principles of liberty and freedom on which the nation was founded. George Washington signifies the struggle for independence and the birth of the Republic; Thomas Jefferson the territorial expansion of the country; Abraham Lincoln the permanent union of the States, and equality for all citizens, and Theodore Roosevelt, the 20th century role of the United States in world affairs and the rights of common man.
Well, I did my best to bring the Mount Rushmore experience TO you. Have you been? Are you planning to go? My family and I cannot wait to go back. There is SO much to see & do in South Dakota!
2 cups + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with a knife
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries (if using frozen blueberries, do not defrost)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
FOR THE GLAZE:
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, packed
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Begin by zesting the lemons.
In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Let sit for at least 10 minutes while you proceed with the recipe. (It will curdle; that’s okay.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the 2 cups flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining teaspoon of flour. Set both aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or beaters), combine the butter and sugar.
Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
With the mixer on low speed, beat in a third of the flour mixture.
Next, beat in half of the milk mixture.
Beat in another third of the flour mixture, then the remaining milk mixture, followed by the remaining flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix briefly to make sure the batter is evenly combined.
Add the flour-dusted blueberries to the batter and, using a spatula, fold until evenly combined.
Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and a tester comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
When the cake is cool, transfer it to a serving platter and make the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
Add more confectioners’ sugar or lemon juice as necessary to make a thick but pourable glaze (it should be a little thicker than you’d think, about the consistency of molasses or honey).
Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.
Let the glaze set for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Slice with a serrated knife. The cake will keep on the countertop for up to 3 days; store in a covered container or wrap in plastic wrap.
Wrap it securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place it in heavy-duty freezer bag. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving. (Add the glaze after the cake is thawed.)
Note: You’ll need 2 large lemons for the entire recipe. Be sure to zest them before you juice them.
I know my way around cooking shellfish, but cooking fish in general, intimidates me. That’s why I joined an Alaskan co-op of fisherman last year. You don’t get more land locked than living in Nebraska 😉. Sitka Salmon shares not only sells you the fish, they provide great (easy!) recipes. Tonight I made Teriyaki Wild Alaskan Black Cod (Sablefish) from the vessel known as the Bella Dawn. I’m hooked 🎣😍
1 lb sablefish (black cod) fillets, cut into 4 pieces
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon water
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced to a paste
1/4 cup mirin
MAKE TERIYAKI SAUCE
Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl to create a slurry. In a small saucepan over medium-low, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and mirin. Stir in cornstarch slurry and simmer until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Let cool completely.
In a large resealable bag, place sablefish fillets with teriyaki sauce. Marinate for at least 2 hours—overnight is preferable.
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill over medium heat. Place marinated sablefish fillets skin-side down on the grates. Cover and cook for approximately 12–15 minutes or until the fish begins to flake. Serve immediately!
Note: You can use 3/4 cup of your favorite teriyaki sauce mixed with 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger and 4 finely minced garlic cloves to make this even easier.
Bone broth is everywhere these days. Learn how to make it at home by avoiding the most common mistakes.
We know. We know: Bone broth. It’s almost too hip for its own good. But whether you consider it a miracle cure for all ailments, or just a hearty broth to sip on during cold winter months, it’s a cooking project worth tackling. That said, poorly made bone broth can be about as palatable as, well, a bowl full of bones. Avoid these common mistakes, and your bone broth will be the hottest ticket in town—or at least your kitchen.
1. Skipping the Blanching Step
If you think bone broth is too funky, you’ve probably had to suffer through a mug or bowl that was made without blanching. This step, to be done before roasting and boiling, removes any impurities (read: the nasty bits) from the bones. And if you’re using the right bones, there will be some nasty bits. A real bone broth is made with bones and cuts of meat high in collagen, like marrow, knuckles, and feet. While beef is the meat most people associate with bone broth, it can also be made with lamb, pork, chicken, veal… you name it. A word on these collagen-heavy bones: They make for a stock that’s gelatinous at room temperature. Don’t let the texture of this meat Jell-O alarm you; that’s a sign you did it right. To blanch, cover the bones with cold water, bring to a boil, and let them cook at an aggressive simmer for 20 minutes before draining and roasting (see mistake no. 2!).
2. Not Roasting the Bones
Repeat after us: “I will always roast my bones.” This browns and caramelizes them, and we all know what browned and caramelized means: Better flavor. Don’t be afraid to really take the bones to the limit: Crank the oven up high—a bold 450˚, says senior food editor Andy Baraghani. Lily Freedman, test kitchen contributor, also adds that you have to put in ample oven time. A quick 15 minutes won’t do: Take those bones right up to the edge of “too done.” Once you’re ready to boil the bones, don’t waste the crisped brown bits on the bottom of the pan; loosen them with a little water and a metal spatula, and add those to your stockpot. This adds flavor to the finished broth.
3. Adding Too Much “Stuff”
According to Baraghani, a good bone broth doesn’t need much more than bones and a few choice aromatics, like onions, garlic, and black pepper. “Don’t even get me started on carrots,” he says, which add sweetness. (We won’t dock points if you choose to add them, however; a little sweet can help balance the deeply savory quality of bone broth). But ultimately, this is not the best place to dump all of your compost scraps. Keep the flavor focused and concentrated. Worried about it tasting “one-note”? Just roast the bones to build depth of flavor, and that won’t be an issue.
4. Not Using a Large Enough Stockpot
Those femur bones you’re using? They’re pretty big. This is not a task for your 4-quart sauce pot, says senior associate food editor Claire Saffitz. Use the biggest, heaviest stockpot you’ve got, and fill it up with your roasted bones, plus your (carefully curated) selection of aromatics. Add just enough water to cover, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cover. “There shouldn’t be so much water that the bones are floating,” Saffitz explains. The bone-to-water ratio should be close enough that the resulting broth is intensely flavored. Adding too much liquid will make it taste, well, watered down.
5. Not Simmering It Long Enough
Q: How long can you simmer a bone broth? A: How much time have you got? Saffitz recently made one that she kept on the stove overnight. Because the bones used are thick and hardy, they have a lot of flavor to offer up. This is in contrast to a simpler broth, like basic chicken stock: Those smaller, thinner bones will disintegrate after hours on the heat, and won’t add much more flavor.
6. Letting the Finished Broth Cool Slowly
Not to alarm you, but hot broth can be a breeding ground for bacteria—and not the good kind. “Cool it as quickly and efficiently as possible,” says Saffitz. This will also keep the broth fresher for longer. Once you’ve strained out the bones, she recommends adding ice and transferring it to a shallow and wide container, where it will lose heat more rapidly. Don’t worry about the ice diluting the broth; it’s so intensely flavored (you did roast the bones and simmer them for a heck of a long time, right?) that a few cups of cubes won’t drastically impact the flavor. One thing’s for sure: Don’t put screaming-hot broth in the fridge. Not only will it invite bacterial growth, it will raise the temperature of the refrigerator and potentially contaminate the rest of its contents.
How do YOU use your bone broth? I like mine straight up or I use it for the recipe in the first image (posting soon). I use it most for (beef) pressure cooking.
Nothing I like better than to buy a couple flats of strawberries in season, to make my favorite recipes 🍓
Fresh Strawberry Pie ★★★★★ Baked goods, Desserts Makes 8 servings – source: Cooking Light INGREDIENTS
Crust: 50 Reduced calorie vanilla wafers ¼ cup butter or stick margarine melted 2 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon grated orange rind cooking spray Filling: 2 cups ripe strawberries ½ cup water ⅔ cup sugar 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 6 cups small ripe strawberries ½ cup frozen reduced calorie whipped topping thawed and divided (I used fresh whipped cream 🙂 DIRECTIONS
To prepare crust, place wafers in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add butter, 2 tablespoons sugar, and orange rind, and pulse 10 times or just until wafers are moist. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, cool on a wire rack.
To prepare filling, mash 2 cups strawberries with a potato masher. Combine mashed strawberries and water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Press the strawberry mixture through a sieve into a bowl, and reserve 1 cup strawberry liquid (add enough water to measure 1 cup, if necessary). Discard pulp.Combine 2/3 cup sugar and cornstarch in a pan; add strawberry liquid, stirring well with a whisk.
Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice.
Arrange a layer of small strawberries, stem sides down, in the crust. Spoon about one-third of sauce over the strawberries. Arrange the remaining strawberries on top, spooning the remaining sauce over the strawberries.
Chill for at least 3 hours.
Serve with whipped topping. Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 wedge and 1 tablespoon whipped topping).
Calories 285 (27% from fat); Fat 8.5 grams (sat 4.6g, mono 2.5g, poly 0.9g); protein 1.9 g; Carb 52.2g; Fiber 3.5g; chol 16mg; iron 1.2mg; sodium 146mg; Calc 42mg
A creamy cheesy Puff Pastry Tart with poached eggs, bacon and some delish greens on top.
Bacon and Egg Puff Pastry Tart
Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 20 mins Difficulty: Easy Servings: 4 people Source: whatsgabycooking.com
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1 lemon, juiced and zested (divided)
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 sheet store bought Puff Pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten
2-3 tablespoons This Is Everything Seasoning
6 slices cooked bacon
4 eggs, poached
1 cup upland cress or arugula
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chives to garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix gruyere cheese and créme fraiche in a small bowl. Season with salt, pepper and lemon zest to taste. Set aside.
Roll out the puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface to make a large rectangle just smaller than a half sheet pan. Place on a parchment lined sheet pan. Create a border by scoring with a knife, an inch from the edges. Dock the dough by poking holes with a fork in the center area. Brush the border edges with beaten egg and sprinkle with This Is Everything. Refrigerate dough for 10 minutes.
Spread cheese mixture in the center of the pastry dough. Place the bacon on top. Bake for 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden. Remove from the oven.
While the tart is baking, poach the eggs. Toss upland cress with the olive oil, and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the tart from the oven, add the poached eggs and break open, garnish with the upland cress salad and chives. Serve immediately
I love fresh fruit from an orchard and had been looking for a source for apples, when I found honeycrisp.com.
The apples in the image above were shipped to me in October. Yes, 4 months ago. I ordered a bushel. I was saving these to take with us on our month of travel in January, but they got left behind. I wasn’t sure what condition they’d be in, but they’ll be pie filling and apple sauce by day’s end.