Life as the Innkeeper at the Aleksander House in "Old Louisville" Kentucky.......recipes and articles about food, healthy eating, special diets, kitchens, restaurants, travel and activities in Kentucky.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Be careful what you put in your refrigerator
OK, a tomato is technically a fruit, but taste-wise, it’s closer to a vegetable. The fridge is not the ideal place to store tomatoes. Store them there and your perfect tomatoes turn into a mealy disappointment. They’ll still be good for cooking, but not the best for eating fresh. Instead store them on your counter (not in direct sunlight) and enjoy them when they’re ripe.
Tomatoes and basil go well together on your plate and it turns out they have similar needs in the storage department too. Basil will do best if it’s stored on your counter and treated as you would fresh cut-flowers. A fresh bunch of basil can be stored for a week or two in a cup of water (change it every day or two) away from direct sunlight. Covering it loosely with a plastic bag will help keep it moist (but make sure the bag has an opening to allow for some fresh air to seep in).
Potatoes like cool, not cold temperatures. They do best at around 45 degrees F, which is about 10 degrees warmer than the average refrigerator. Most of us don’t have a root cellar (a cool, dark place to store root vegetables like potatoes), so keeping them in a paper bag in a coolish spot (like a pantry) is best. Why paper? It’s more breathable then plastic so potatoes won’t succumb to rot as easily.
Onions don’t come out of the ground with that protective papery skin. To develop and keep that dry outer layer, they need to be "cured" and kept in a dry environment like a pantry, which is not as damp as the refrigerator. Also, lack of air circulation will cause onions to spoil, as will storing them near potatoes, which give off moisture and gas that can cause onions to spoil quickly.
Avocados: Avocados don’t start to ripen until after they’re picked from the tree. If you’re buying a rock-hard avocado, don’t store it in your refrigerator, as it slows the ripening process. On the other hand, if you have a perfectly ripe avocado that you’re not ready to use, storing it in the refrigerator may work to your advantage by prolonging your window of opportunity to use it before it becomes overripe.
( Courtesy of Kitchen Daily: Eating Well article by: Hilary Meyer)
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This beautiful, coffee-table cookbook, sponsered by the Bed and Breakfast Association of Kentucky, features a collection of recipes from the Premier Bed and Breakfasts located in the cities, towns, and villages of Kentucky.
The Aleksander House is featured in the cookbook with several wonderful breakfast recipes, which are served at the Inn on a regular basis.
The new cookbook is filled with delicious gourmet recipes and beautiful photographs of prepared dishes, featured Inns, and extraordinary landscapes of Kentucky. It may be purchased at the Aleksander House.
I am a writer, editor, educator, musician, and small business owner. For the past 20 years I have been innkeeping at my bed and breakfast in Louisville KY. I am passionate about writing, women's issues, the arts, and life in general. I love to blog.
A charming, 1882, european-style, Victorian bed and breakfast in historic "Old Louisville" Kentucky, completely restored and catering to business and leisure travelers
Breakfast at the Aleksander House
Pears poached in White Zinfindel
From time to time we'll add a new recipe. They are either Aleksander House recipes, recipes from the Bed and Breakfast Association of Kentucky new cookbook (which I edited and to which I contributed writing and styling ideas) or favorite recipes from friends and family.
Baked Sweet Potato Shoestrings
recipe by Karina'Kitchen
Sweet Potato Shoestrings
We bake our shoestring potatoes instead of deep-frying them because after a certain age your tummy starts to protest too much fat. But don't worry. These fries are still crispy and delicious (compliments of Karina's Kitchen).
Ingredients 1 sweet potato per person Light olive oil or organic canola oil, as needed ground cumin, thyme, black pepper, red pepper, cinnamon* For serving:Sea saltChampagne or rice vinegar
Instructions Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into long thin shoestrings. Toss them into a bowl and drizzle with light olive oil; stirring lightly to coat.Generously season them.
My seasoning mix is equal shakes of: cumin, thyme and black pepper; and a little bit of hot red pepper and cinnamon.
Throw them on a baking sheet. Spread evenly- in one layer, if possible.Bake in the upper portion of your oven for about 20 to 30 minutes- until they are tender and sizzling and crispy around the edges.
Season with sea salt immediately. (Adding salt after they roast keeps them crisper.) Serve with a sprinkle of champagne vinegar (at the table) or scarf them down plain.
Delicious Gluten-Free Muffins
1 C. Authentic Foods Pancake & Baking Mix* 1/2 C sugar 1 TBL sugar 1/8 tsp Xanthan gum (optional) 1/8 tsp allspice 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp baking powder 2 TBL corn or canola oil 1/2 tsp lemon juice 1 egg or 2 egg whites 1/4 C cream 2 TBL water 1/2 C. raisins and/or nuts paper muffin cups
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. place paper muffin cups into muffin tin, spray with baking oil, & set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together first 7 ingredients. In a small bowl, beat together remaining wet ingredients. Add to dry ingredients, and stil until smooth. Add raisins and/or nuts. Divide batter into 6 muffin cups andBake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Muffins should be golden.Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in centercomes out clean.
* may substitute any reputable gluten-free baking mix
Ingredients 1 cup sliced mushrooms 1 TBL olive oil 1TBL butter 1 cup Mozzarella cheese (shredded) 1/2 cup Mexican cheeses (shredded) 1 cup Swiss cheese (shredded 1 cup chiffonade of fresh spinach 1 tsp basil (dried or fresh, minced) 1/2 tsp dill (dried or fresh, minced) 1/4 tsp Cayene pepper 1/2 tsp garlic salt fresh cracked pepper (to taste) 1 pie crust 5 eggs 1 cup half & half 1/2 cup sour creme grated parmesean (to taste)
Instructions(Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees)
Saute mushrooms in olive oil and butter until browned and slightly crisp. Set aside.
Line a quiche pan with pie crust. Crimp around edges. Combine cheeses, spinach, and seasonings and press into pie shell. Distribute sauteed mushrooms across top of cheese mixture.
Process eggs, half & half, and sour creme together in blender, until smooth. Pour over cheese mixture. Fill to top. Sprinkle with cracked pepper and grated parmesean. Bake 45-50 minutes at 400 degrees. Top should be lightly browned.
Timothy's White Chili
Yield: 6 servings
2-3 8 oz. cans Great Northern Beans 2 LB chicken breasts 1 ½ tsp. oregano 1TBL Olive oil ¼tsp grnd cloves 2 med Onions, chopped ¼ tsp Cayenne 4 Garlic cloves, minced 6 C. Chicken stock or broth 8 oz. Chopped mild green chilies 2tsp. Grnd cumin 3 C. Monterey Jack; grated 1/2 C. Sherry
Saute chicken in heavy large saucepan. until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool, remove skin, & cut into cubes. Heat oil in same pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, then chilies, cumin, oregano, cloves, and cayenne pepper and saute 2 minutes. Add beans and stock and bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1/2 hour. Add chicken and 1 cup cheese to chili and stir until cheese melts. Continue to simmer for another 1/2 hour. Add sherry 5 minutes before finished cooking. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle chili into bowls. Serve with remaining cheese, sour cream, salsa and cilantro. (recipe edited by Aleksander House)
German Baked Apple Pancake (serves 2)
Glazed Apples 2 TBL butter 3 med-lg Grannie Smith apples, cored & sliced 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar Confectioners' sugar Maple syrup (optional)
Batter 3 large eggs, lightly beaten 3/4 cup whole milk 3/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract pinch of salt 2 tablespoons butter
Instructions Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute apples in 2 tablespoons butter for 5 minutes. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Continue sauteing until just soft. Keep warm. Mix eggs, milk, flour, vanilla and salt is an electric blender.Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter is a large heavy frying pan (preferably iron). Heat for a minute or two on a burner on the stove top. Pour batter into hot pan and place in hot oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and slide pancake on to a plate. Pour sauteed apple over the pancake evenly and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve with maple syrup.
Gateau of Crepes
Ingredients: FOR THE BECHAMEL 1/2 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for sheet 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups whole milk 1 1/4 cups grated Gruyere cheese (4 ounces) Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
FOR THE ASSEMBLY 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 3 garlic cloves, minced (1 tablespoon) 5 ounces baby spinach (about 6 cups) Pinch of crushed red-pepper flakes Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 1 lemon, for squeezing 12 small Basic Crepes
Directions: Make the Bechamel: Place onion and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and cook until onion is translucent and softened, about 5 minutes. Add flour, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk in a slow, steady stream. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup Gruyere, and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat, add nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper.
Assemble: Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add spinach, and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add red-pepper flakes, and season with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon. Let cool slightly. Squeeze out any excess liquid, and coarsely chop.
Finish Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Reserve 2 tablespoons bechamel. Mix remaining bechamel and spinach in a medium bowl. Butter a rimmed baking sheet. Place 1 crepe on center of sheet, and top with 3 tablespoons spinach mixture. Repeat with remaining crepes and spinach mixture, ending with a crepe. Spread reserved bechamel on top, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake until cheese melts and turns golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer gateau de crepes to a platter. Cut into wedges, and serve warm.