August Cookie of the Month: Cranberry Pecan Shortbread

This recipe incorporates two of my favorites: dried cranberries and pecans. Shortbread has a minimal amount of ingredients. Easy. Great with hot or cold tea, afternoon coffee.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup of Land-O-Lakes butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

2 1/4 all-purpose flour

4 oz chopped dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped pecans

A couple tablespoons of granulated sugar and powdered sugar in separate bowls

What to do:

Cream butter and powdered sugar till fluffy. A 1/4 cup at a time, add the flour; Mixer on low, so not to flour up your kitchen. Then add in the dried cranberries and pecans. This dough is stiff.

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Divide the shortbread into thirds, form  two logs, wrapped in parchment paper and label it. Placed in the freezer, it will be ready for gatherings this fall.

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Roll the last part of the shortbread into 1 inch balls and place an inch apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet. With a little glass dipped in granulated sugar, flatten the shortbread.

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Bake in a preheated 325° degree oven for about 15 minutes, depending on your oven. Don’t over brown these cookies. Shortbread is light in color.

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Cool the shortbread slightly on the cookie sheet, then roll in the extra powdered sugar. Next, cool completely on a wired wrack.

These shortbread cookies are light and buttery. I can’t wait for afternoon coffee.

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Shortbread Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

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My Grandmother’s Scarf

To the reader in India, who has looked at this post, will you tell me, please, why? Is it the title? Is it that I wrote about renovating my old farmhouse? Is it that I told how melancholy it is to have a child go away to college? Is it the mention of my difficult past with natural disasters? Is it the little thought at the end of my inspirational Grandmother? Really, I’d like know. Thank you for visiting theexileskitchen. Blessings.

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Randomness

Last week it rained. The week before that it rained.  And the week before that. It’s soggy. None of my family in the Baton Rouge area were personally affected, but they are helping with the clean up and tearing out. Brings back childhood memories- sad, scary ones. This flooding in Louisiana is worse than what we experienced in 1983. My heart goes out to my native city. Our church collected needed items last Monday. I gave what I could.

My youngest went back to school Saturday afternoon. All day he kept asking if I was going to miss him.

“I already do and you’re not even gone yet,” was my answer.

He threw open his big arms and said like he did when he was little: “Hug?”

I hugged. He packed. Getting into his truck, he hesitated, jingled the keys.

“You know, if you need anything, just call me.”

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My Cup of Coffee Went to Heaven and Came Back For Me to Enjoy

When I was in England a few years back, the ladies of the New Milton church we were helping that week served us cream and fresh berries one evening. One bite and I asked, “Okay, what’s in this?”

“Oh, that’s the clotted cream you’re tasting,” was their off handed answer.

Weird name, but Oh my gosh! Hard to describe, but Oh my gosh! Here’s the nutritional values for this gift from heaven.

https://www.eatthismuch.com/food/view/english-clotted-cream,569770/

A happy memory of that week in New Milton popped into mind a few months back and I have been researching recipes and trying them out.  I remember asking Julia, a lovely little lady from an afternoon spent at her dining table and back garden– y’all, Bill and Julia had a gorgeous garden, packed with flowers and vegetables.  I made the mistake of calling it a yard and they when they bristled at my very American gaff, I quickly corrected and said, “I mean garden!”— anyway, I asked Julia for a recipe on clotted cream and she just waved her little hand in a dismissive manner. “Just pour it in a dish and put it in the oven,” she answered.

And it is that simple. And it’s so dang good you’ll think that it can’t be that easy. Heavy whipping cream plus nothing. Kinda like salvation: Jesus plus nothing…

Here’s what I’ve learn to do:

Pour 2 cups heavy whipping cream into a shallow baking dish. Place in a 175° oven. Close the door and leave it alone for 12 hours. Don’t stir it, don’t jiggle it. Leave it alone. I usually put it in the oven a couple of hours before bed and when I get up the next morning it’s ready to come out. Cool to room temperature, cover in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for another 12 hours. It’s worth the wait. The top layer will be deep golden and uderneath that is a creamy white layer. The cream solids seperate from the whey. Scrape the solids into a jar and put a lid on it. The liquid left in the bottom of the dish can be used in baking.

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This evening I poured it into my cup of coffee, sending it to heaven and back! People are putting all kinds of things in coffee these days, from butter to coconut oil so, why not clotted cream whey? Swirled it around, turning it a lovely cafe ole` color. The fat glistening on top.

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Simple summer supper was a cool one tonight: Vanilla Greek yogurt, fresh blueberries, and a big scoop of clotted cream! If you’ve got a do-nothing weeknight, try out this clotted cream recipe.

Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

Revisiting A Dorm Room Recipe

School starts next week, here in our part of the world. If you have a college student leaving soon, tuck this easy, penny pinching, portable recipe in their belongings. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you know?

Can This Really Be Considered Cooking or Dorm Room Fare

Eggs, bacon, toast or an English muffin, salt and pepper make Easy Dorm Fare Omlettes. As most dorms allow microwaves and mini fridges, this recipe is a winner for your college student.

What to do:

Crack an egg into a saucer that’s been spritzed with vegetable spray. Season with salt and pepper and lightly whisk with a fork. Lay one piece of bacon on top of the egg. Place in microwave, cover and nuke for 2 1/2 minutes. Serve either on toast or an English muffin. A little jelly adds a touch of sweetness and is great with the savory flavors of egg and bacon.

Blessings to your college student from the Exile’s Kitchen.

20160103_075559 Vegetable spray will make the microwave omlette slide from saucer to toast so easy.20160103_080508Yum! Easy Dorm Fare Omlettes

 

Bright year blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen .

Peaches and Puttering Around

I went to the McComb Farmer’s Market Thursday, looking for bell peppers. Love stuffed peppers! Local honey and fresh peaches is what I came away with.

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Peach preserves? Peach cobbler? Peach pie filling? I decided I’d make peach butter.  For one pint, only three ingredients: 5 large, pitted peaches, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water. No need to peel your peaches.

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I had enough peaches to make about 6 pints. In an 8 quart pot, I simmered the peaches and water till tender.

 

 

 

Here’s a tip; vent the lid on your 8 quart pot or you will be cleaning up a big mess. Big stcky mess.

After the peaches were tender, I let it cool slightly and then pureed with an immersion blender. Bringing the  puree back to a simmer, I stirred in the sugar. Cooking at a gentle boil till the mixture thickened, I stirred it often to keep it from burning or sticking. When it was thick enough to coat the back of a spoon without running off, I poured the peach butter into sterilized canning jars, sealed and process them in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.

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As you can see, I used different sized jars. It’s the end of canning season for me, so I filled what I had. It’s been a fun spring and summer, stocking the pantry.

Its taken two years of renovations to make my farmhouse livable and comfortable. Now, on Saturdays I can putter around.

I’ve told y’all before that I didn’t start drinking coffee till I was fifty. Late bloomer, I know. Coffee, however, has turned into a morning must. A well stocked drawer of coffee accoutrements-and, you know- “Coffee Time”. Plus, with coffee supplies arranged in a drawer, it frees up counter space.

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This drawer had held kitchen papers and freezer bags, but I cleared it out to just have coffee stuff. The adjacent drawer was the junk drawer- every appliance manual, miscellaneous hardware, twist ties- those got moved to the bottom drawer and kitchen papers were placed in that space. Neat and tidy, just don’t ever open the bottom drawer…

Let’s see… putter-putter. I’ve got homemade clotted cream setting up in the frig. Manna from heaven. Smear it on a biscuit and then top with peach butter. Oh, yes!

I picked lots of hot peppers and a few figs. Thinking about braving the heat and starting on sanding and painting a cabinet that will return to its original wall mount. I said I was thinking about starting.

Life is peachy, nowadays. (Oo, groan)

Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

No Churn Berry Cake Ice Cream

 

No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream became Berry Cake Ice Cream.

In a mixer pour in a 16 ounce carton of heavy whipping cream. While that’s spinning around, in another bowl combine 1 can of fat free sweetened condensed milk,  a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of vanilla. When the cream is whipped, fold one cup into the sweetened condensed milk mixture. Then add that back into the whipped cream, stirring lightly, till well combined. Pour into a bread pan and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer till firm. Serve over warm apple pie or a brownie or your choice, your choice.

My choice off add-ins this time was leftover berry cake from the 4th of July. A strawberry cake mix, baked up with a ribbon of blueberry pie filling in the middle. The cake was sliced and put in the freezer to be eaten later, but I thought adding it to this ice cream recipe would be a cool way to use remaining cake.

 

 

 

Enjoying the Summer season.

Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

The Grand Ole Flag

Happy Independence Day from #FlowersProper and theexileskitchen.com What are you cooking on the grill this July 4th? I think I’ll let the budding grill master Georgie plan the menu and do all the work.

I bought a new American flag and pole yesterday.  My father placed a deep vein of Patiotism in me and my brothers. He traveled all over the world on business trips and those travels made him love our country all the more.

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Is your flag flying? Well, go put it out. Proudly.

Patriotic Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

Serendipity

It’s been busy in the Exile’s Kitchen.  Canning green beans, making pickle relish. Arranging buckets of fresh cut flowers. Two gallons of blueberries became two batches of pie filling. And there was some juice left over. From the blueberries. Hummmm. Wonder if I could make Blueberry Jelly, not jam, because I used all the berries to make pie filling?

Something didn’t work out just right, even with two boxes of pectin. I poured it into the jelly jars anyway and sealed them, and processed them. Jelly turned out to be syrup. Made me think of vacations taken as a child where IHOP and Waffle House were always a welcome sight to us weary travelers. What syrup to pick to drizzle over waffles..? Well, since my jelly didn’t set up, I can have homemade IHOP/Waffle House any day of the week without leaving the driveway.

That’s the definition of serendipity, my friends. Getting something equally good or better out of an unexpected turn of events. Wanted jelly, got syrup. I haven’t thought about my once marriage in a long time. Yesterday’s kitchen happenings brought these thoughts to mind. What I thought I wanted at the age of 20 turned out not to be what I got. What I have now I would not trade for anything. Serenity. Peace.

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Blueberry Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.

June Cookie of the Month

File this one under super easy coffee dunker. And cheap? My yes! Made with flour tortillas, you can make many, many for pennies.

Cut four,  8 inch flour tortillas into six triangles each and place them in a single layer, on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Lightly spritz tortillas with vegetable spray. Dust with cinnamon sugar snd bake till crisp in 350° oven. While they baked, I cut up a handful of Hershey Kisses into small chunks.. I had them on hand, but you could use regular chocolate morsels and skip the chopping. After the cinnamon tortillas have baked, sprinkle the chocolate on top of the hot triangles. The chocolate will melt slightly. I took a butter knife and smeared the kisses chunks around a little.

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This vase is my favorite, bought at a Virginia Beach farmer’s market years ago. The flowers I grew myself. Autumn Beauty sunflowers, mixed zinnias, and brilliant white cosmos. The cosmos is the front runner this year and the Viceroy of butterflies adore it, too,

 

So good with a cup of afternoon coffee.

 

 

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This week, I’ve also made two kinds of pickles: Bread and Butter and Spicy Dill. The slide show is of the first batch Bread and Butter. They remind me of my daddy’s sister, Aunt Louise. She was a fantastic cook and had a pantry full of homemade goodness, including Bread and Butter pickles. On a visit to her home in Homer, Louisiana way back in the late 80’s, Aunt Louise gifted me with a jar. They were so good! I guess I make pickles because, yes they’re tasty, but they connect me to fond memories of Aunt Louise.

Garden Blessings from the Exile’s Kitchen.