Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!


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Pineapple Salsa for Pork Tenderloin

I love to serve the pineapple salsa with Pork Tenderloin.  I buy the already seasoned Pork (Mesquite, or Lemon Flavors are both very good) and add the salsa.  Cook the pork according to package directions or: (425F for 35-40 minutes for pork tenderloin or until the thermometer reads 160F). Allow the pork to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve with the following salsa:

Pineapple Salsa:

  • 1 (15 oz) can Pineapple tidbits, drained, or 2 cups fresh
  • 1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp dry pepper flakes

Directions:

Combine the pineapple, red bell pepper, green onion, brown sugar, and dry pepper flakes.  Stir to mix.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.  Serve with pork tenderloin.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I remember having rhubarb from time to time as a child, but never made any in my near 20 years of marriage.  My husband in fact, never had any rhubarb that he can remember!  This, I had to correct!  My Mom sent me a recipe for a strawberry rhubarb pie that was easy to make — and I found out also equally delicious!  I used a pre-made pie crust from the grocer’s refrigerated section.  This makes the process for pie making even easier! The original recipe called for 1 1/4 cups sugar.  I reduced it to 1 cup, but next time will only use 3/4 of a cup of sugar.  The only unusual ingredient is Minute Tapioca.  This serves as a thickening agent.

Mom’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

2 pie crusts (I used Pillsbury pre-made pie crusts)

Filling:

  • 2 cups rhubarb, roughly diced
  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced

Combine following ingredients then combine with the fruit:

  • 3/4 to 1 cup sugar (originally 1  1/4c)
  • 2 Tbsp minute tapioca
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp butter (to dot the top of the fruit before topping with second pie crust)

Prepare the pie pan with the first crust.  Combine sugar, tapioca, salt, and cinnamon and mix with the chopped rhubarb and strawberries.  Toss to combine.  Fill the pie with the filling.  Dot the tops with little pieces of butter.  Cut the top crust with slits to vent.  Top the pie and seal the edges.
Bake pie at 400F for 40-45 minutes.  Allow the pie to cool before slicing. (If you cannot wait, it is still good, but may be runny).

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Easy Banana Bread

My friend and mentor Mom, Carol is a fantastic cook.  Here is an easy recipe for Banana bread that uses ready made biscuit mix to make it.  It does not use any oil either, which is nice.  Bake it a loaf pan.

Carol’s Easy Banana Bread

Serves 12

3 cups Bisquick Mix

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

3 (very) ripe bananas, mashed

3/4 cup chopped pecans (or other nuts)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375F.  Spray the loaf pan with cooking spray (or coat with butter).  Mix all the ingredients together.  Pour into a loaf pan and bake at 375F for 45-60 minutes or until the cake tests done, when you insert a toothpick (mine usually is done around 45 minutes).  For an extra twist you can sprinkle about 3/4 cup chocolate chips on the loaf when you pull it out of the oven, wait a few minutes for the chocolate chips to melt and spread them.  Allow the loaf to cool and slice into 12 slices.  Yummy for breakfast or anytime.

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Marillenknödel – Austrian Apricot Dumplings

My folks are in town for a few weeks.  We wanted to make some German/Austrian food while they were visiting.  Today we made Marillenknödel (German for Apricot Dumplings) for lunch.  They are apricots wrapped in a cheese dough, then cooked in simmering water for 15 minutes.  Then you roll the dumplings in toasted breadcrumbs and coconut flakes.  Sprinkle each crumb coated dumpling with a little sugar and extra breading on the side and enjoy.  It was nice to work with my mother to make these. One word of caution though, if the fruit is very juicy you need to take care or it could squirt hot fruit juice.  You could easily swap out the fruit with plums (but they would be called “Zwetschkenknödel”in German).

The dough our family used most was called Topfenteig (the closest ingredient to that is cream cheese, though not the perfect substitute it works!) Other doughs used can be Kartoffelteig (Potato dough) or Brandteig (similar to the dough you use in creating cream puffs). Here is our family’s rendition:

Marillenknödel- Austrian Apricot Dumplings

adapted from a traditional recipe used in Austria

Serves 6

Dough:

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp flour (plus more if needed)

Breadcrumb coating:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup dry plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

6 apricots (or plums- or even large strawberries)

Instructions:

Mix cream cheese, egg and salt together.  Gradually add flour – enough to make the dough  not overly sticky and easy to handle, but soft and pliable.  Split the dough into 6 equal size balls.  Flour a pastry board and us a rolling pin to gently make small discs of dough.  Roll the apricots in flour and place in center of the dough rounds.  Gently wrap the dough around the fruit and seal the seams.  Repeat with remaining dough and fruit.  The process of wrapping the dough takes some patience, but it is well worth the effort.

Allow the dumplings to rest (at room temperature) while you get a large pot of water to the boiling point.  When it is at a full boil, lower the dumplings carefully into the hot water.  They may sink to the bottom while others may float.  Lower the heat so it is still simmering, but not a full boil while the dumplings are in the water.  Gently stir the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen any dumplings that may stick to the bottom, but this is usually not a problem.  Cook for about 15 minutes.

In a large non stick skillet, over medium heat, melt butter.  Add the dry breadcrumbs (Progresso is fine) and coconut flakes and stir to toast the crumbs.  Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon and place in the crumb mixture, carefully roll and spoon the crumbs over the dumplings.  Place on a serving platter.

To serve, sprinkle each dumpling with about 1/2 tsp of sugar and enjoy.  This makes a great breakfast, lunch or dessert.

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Pictures:


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Strawberries and cream

This festive looking dessert is in the theme of red, white, and blue.

I cut the tops of the strawberries off and used canned whipped cream to decorate the cut tops.  Next, I dotted them with blueberries and carefully arranged them in dessert bowls.  It is a great and easy to make dessert (even kids could make).

Then the kids had a little fun with the remaining strawberries.  They made strawberry creatures… I am not sure if it looks like a dinosaur or not. You decide.  They cut a little mouth in the tip of the strawberry and then made small holes for the eyes and placed blueberries into the holes.  I thought it was cute enough to share!


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A Different Coleslaw

Are you tired of the over-dressed coleslaw that is heavy and ‘same old same old’?  Here is a wonderful coleslaw that has pineapples and raisins in the mix that gives it a refreshing twist on a old and tired salad.  I found this jewel at a choir gathering.  I had thirds of the salad before I found out who brought the dish.  Finally, I found my friend Frieda, who had brought it… after some discussion she told me what was in the salad, but not the amounts- she is one of THOSE cooks (dump and taste), this was something I had to play around with a little to get it to the flavor I liked.  This time I wrote it down so you also can make it without all the guess work.

I call it Frieda’s Pineapple Coleslaw.  Thank you Frieda for sharing your passion with me.  My family really enjoyed it as well.  My husband even declared, you need to make this again… really soon!  This is a super easy recipe to make too – you could even have your upcoming cooks make it.

Frieda’s Pineapple Coleslaw

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 (14 oz) bag Coleslaw Mix (without dressing)
  • 16 oz can pineapple tidbits in juice, drained- reserving 2 Tbsp juice
  • 3/4 cup raisins

Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp white distilled vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp reserved pineapple juice
  • 3 Tbsp sugar

Preparation:

Combine the coleslaw with pineapple tidbits and raisins in a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, reserved pineapple juice and sugar and stir to combine.  Taste and add more sugar if desired.  (I don’t like it super sweet – the raisins and pineapple bring plenty of that to the table).
Pour the dressing over the coleslaw mixture and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate.


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Take two

Apple strudel take two.. that’s right. I made a few errors in forming my apple strudel and wanted to see if I could do it right.. I did.  I made changes to the strudel dough to make a larger quantity making it easier to work with.  I used Rick Rogers’ recipe as a guide and made a 1 1/2 recipe for the dough.  This pulls out to a much larger surface, but is still workable and not too big to handle.

Becky’s Strudel Dough

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cups water
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar

Preparation:

Place the flour and salt in the bottom of the mixing bowl of your Kitchen Aid mixer (if you have one: you could also mix by hand).  Use the paddle attachment to mix the ingredients at this point.  Combine the liquids in a glass measuring cup.  Slowly add the liquids to the flour and salt with the mixer on low.  You may need to add more water – I actually added a little flour as it was sticking to the bottom of the bowl a bit (not very much though less than 1 Tablespoon).  Scrape the dough into a ball and  switch to the dough hook attachment.  Continue kneading the dough at medium low to make a soft ball.

Transfer the dough to a un-floured pastry board.  Knead by hand and occasionally pick it up and slam it down hard on your board from time to time, this will get the gluten activated and make the dough pliable.  Remember you will be stretching it into a very thin layer of dough, much like a filo dough.  Pour about 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil into the palm of your hand and gently rub the top of the dough with the oil.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes even better 1 1/2 hours or more!

Wash your hands (wear a t-shirt) and wash your forearms all the way to your elbows and take off any jewelry or watches that could snag and damage the dough as you pull it.

Use a table, kitchen island or card table for the next step.  Cover your work space with a clean table cloth (if the table cloth has a pattern it is actually an aid you should be able to see the pattern of the cloth through the dough and you can see where the dough still needs stretching)  and sprinkle it with flour and rub the flour around to cover the work space. This time I did not roll the dough out with a rolling pin.  I picked the dough up and stretched it a bit much like you would a pizza dough, rotating it to stretch it in a circle. Once it was too big to handle I placed it on the floured surface and proceeded as I did the day before.

I found that pulling the dough was easiest when using the back of my hand to pull and stretch the dough.  My hands would be toward the center of the dough and my arms had dough draped over them — I pulled from the center going out, walking around the kitchen island to work on different parts of the dough.  In the end I had an almost 2 foot by 3 1/2 foot dough pulled – I imagine it could have and should have been pulled out more, but it was my first time and this was my first strudel. The edges will be thicker than the inside and that part gets cut away..  kitchen shears make this process very easy.  Once the edges are trimmed away it is ready to be filled.  Choose your filling.  This time I am making apple strudel, so I will use apples, rum soaked raisins, tossed with cinnamon sugar, but other fillings can also be used.

For filling see previous post to complete the strudel.  Even though I made the amounts larger for the dough the filling stays the same.

Here are the pictures of my “Take Two”.  As you can see the dough still had holes, but less of them and the strudel was prettier in the end.   I served it with the same vanilla sauce as in the previous entry.

I will keep the changes I made to the strudel dough.  It worked out nicely.