Monday, January 28, 2013

Pretzel Mustard Chicken

This is my favorite uber easy four ingredient chicken recipe. Plus most likely it is all stuff you have in the house at any given moment. Well at least if your pantry looks like mine.

You need 
Chicken Breast
Brown Mustard
Pretzels ( rods are better but any sort of pretzels will do )
Simple short list of stuff needed
Preheat oven to 350. Take a fork and lightly scramble the egg in a bowl. Then mix in three tablespoons of mustard.
Egg mustard dip
Crush the pretzels. Easiest way for me is to put them in a still slightly open ziploc bag( closed can explode with air pressure) and pound down on it with a coffee mug. Put crushed pretzels in bowl.
Take each chicken breast and dunk until completely covered in egg mustard dip and then into crushed pretzels. Put on cast iron skillet or other ovenproof cooking dish. 
Ready to bake
Place in oven for 30-40 minutes. Time will vary based on size of chicken breasts and your oven so check for done before taking out.
Done! Delicious
Mmm now fully cooked time to eat. A side of salad or some other vegetable is all you need.  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lime White Chocolate Truffle

This weekend, I made these fantastic Lime White Chocolate Truffles. This recipe was a riff off of a lemon truffle I had a few weeks ago that I wanted to redo in lime format.
Lime White Chocolate Truffles
You need
8oz cream
Zest of 3 limes
16 oz white almond bark( or white chocolate melts or white chocolate)
powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Items needed ( ignore green sugar and pretend they are powdered sugar I changed  my mind)
1.In a saucepan put the 8oz of heavy cream 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the zest of the three limes. Put on medium  or medium low and bring to a simmer stirring while it simmers for 3-5 minutes.
2.Then remove from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature . This allows the yummy lime flavor to infuse into the cream.
Lime in the cream ( not as good a song as lime in the coconut)

3.Use a fine mesh spoon or a fine mesh strainer to remove the lime zest from the now cooled cream. Put the cream back in the saucepan and heat back to simmering at medium.
4. Break up the chocolate or chop up the chocolate. Add the chopped chocolate to the now just simmering cream. Keep on heat and stir until all of the chocolate has melted and then two more minutes where the chocolate cream mix is all well melted and simmering together.
5. Remove from heat and allow to come to room temp. After it has dropped to room temperature put in refrigerator until ready to roll.
6. Remove from fridge and using a spoon take 1 tablespoon at a time and roll into a nice truffle shape. Drop into a ramekin full of powdered sugar and roll it in the sugar. Place in mini muffin cup. Repeat for each truffle.

Options and riffs.
Could chill truffle balls and then dip in melted chocolate
Crushed graham crackers for rolling in would be delicious too and taste like key lime pie.

Try these this week.
Plate of delicious Lime White Chocolate Truffles

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Burgee cake

A burgee is the flag that denotes a nautical organization.  For one sailing club January party I made a cake today matching the burgee.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How to Steam Mussels

Mussels are delicious. With pretty black shells they are easy to cook easy to eat and taste great.
Get a bag off fresh mussels from the fish department.
You want to open the bag and wash all the mussels under cold water.You also want to discard any beard or grit. Often slicing the beards off with a sharp paring knife is the easiest way.  Discard any mussels that have broken shells.
Broken shell to be discarded
If a mussel is open tap it gently a few times on the counter-top. If it does not close discard the mussel.
Would not close so discarded.
Then open a bottle of dry white wine. Put two glasses into a large pan with a tight fitting lid and one glass into your wine glass. Then add one pat of butter to the wine in the pan. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. When boiling add the clean mussels.
Just as you add the mussels
Cover with tight fitting lid and let the wine steam for 2-3 minutes  Then shake the pan briefly and let steam again another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. 
Mussels open
The mussels should now all be open. Any mussel that did not open do not try to eat.
Serve in a bowl with crusty bread for dipping and extra napkins.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How to cook an Artichoke

Last night I was in the grocery store and artichokes were on sale. The lady next to me looked at me as I grabbed two and said "You know I never know how to cook those" I explained the simple yet tasty procedure to her and now I am going to explain to you. Artichokes are easy!
Nice artichoke
First buy artichokes. You want ones that are heavy for their size with tight leaves and no icky brown spots.
Cut the stem off just at the point where the leaves start. It is ok if you cut a few leaves off in this process.
see that junction of leaf and stem
Make sure you cut flat.
Nice ok easy. Now put cut part down in a pan with about one inch of water. Cover pan and put on high till steaming and simmering and then move to medium high. Keep the lid on tight. It takes about ten to twelve minutes depending on the artichoke. When you think the artichoke is done use tongs to grab artichoke and with almost no pressure see if a butter knife will slip in to bottom easy.
Notice butter knife has gone in very easy this means it is done.
Great! Now pull out of steaming pan and place in a bowl or on a plate. Time to make the easy dipping sauce. Different people use different dipping sauces but I believe in a very simple vinaigrette.
 Simply pour a bit of olive oil, some red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper in a ramekin. Use one artichoke leaf to stir and then each leaf dip in vinaigrette and then scrape off with teeth. Delicious 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ravens Sailing- Purple Sailing gear

So here in the Chesapeake bay region the world has gotten very excited for the Ravens. I think a can of purple paint has exploded everywhere in Maryland.
So sailing and showing Ravens pride oh what to do?!?
How about some purple glitter Sperry Topsiders
Sperry Top-sider  Women's Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoe
How sparkly!
Or if not glitter how about some purple sequins:

Women's Bahama Boat Shoe
Disco Ravens Sailing

Foul Weather Gear
Ok light purple not dark ravens purple but the well dressed ravens sailing fan is limited in choices. 
Women's Third Reef Jacket
Not a bad choice for a rainy day at Ravens stadium.

The Gill Woman's Spinnaker Jacket is a darker more Raven color. 
Women's Spinnaker Jacket
Very Nice for watching the games

Let me know if you find any more Ravens Sailing gear! Go Ravens beat Pats!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Best Free Android Apps for Sailors and others on the water

There are a million apps out there but here is my list of the best ones that are free. Some come as more advanced paid options. By Category the best are


Weather Channel  
The weather for where you are and where you want to be. Classic wonderful.

Marine Weather by Bluefin
Excellent on the water weather! Gives marine forcasts and warnings

Wind Alert 
Wind speed, forecasts  and history at thousands of spots around the globe. Real time snapshots of local wind conditions. A must have!

Tide App
Simple but useful: Tide times at lots of locations and sunrise sunset.

On the water 

Speed, log , GPS position, red backlight option. Great for when down below off watch and want to check how the boat is doing.

Marine Traffic
Oh no is that container ship heading your way? All the big container ships and many smaller cool boats use AIS ( automatic identification system) this tracks all of the boats that use AIS and allow you to see where they are going and identify the boats.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Dogfish head 60 minute IPA Beer lollipops and hard candy

This idea wad inspired by the red wine lollipops at Sprinkle Bakes.
Dogfish 60 min 
I used Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA which is a very hoppy beer on purpose. Think about what beer you use as the flavor is concentrated. 
You need
1 bottle delicious beer
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoon light corn syrup 
Lollipop or other silicone molds. FYI I found out that not all chocolate lollipop molds work for hard candy lollipops.
Enough Crisco to grease the molds.

In a small saucepan pour the entire bottle or beer. Slowly simmer until reduced down to about 1/3 cup. (This is a nice time to drink a second Dogfish 60 min and cook your dinner) On medium low it will take about 30 min to reduce. If you heat higher then you could do this faster but you would have to watch it more to prevent scorching. Once reduced put to side to cool.

In large ( use a larger saucepan then you think you need) saucepan put in the center 3/4 cup sugar and then put on  3 tablespoons light corn syrup. You are putting the sugar in the center because you do not want excess on the edges of the pan later. Then put the 1/3 cup of beer concentrate around the edges.  Using a silicone spatula mix in towards the center just until the sugar looks damp. Put saucepan on medium low and allow to boil and simmer up. Wait until the sugar mix is at hard crack stage and the temp reads 300. Immediately, remove from heat and place on a cold heat proof surface that can diffuse heat. I used my cast iron sink edge that I had put ice packs on previously but a cold cast iron pan would be a great option. Allow sugar mix to stop boiling and for most of the bubbles to disappear. Pour into greeased lollipop or other silicone molds. 
Most bubbles gone.
This is a chocolate lollipop mold and thus did not release the lollipops.

Wait at least an hour to cool completely  Then realize you made a mistake using a chocolate lollipop mold that would not release the hard candy. Leave that mold soaking in hot water to dissolve away the sugar and then pop out the hard candy fish( or Dogfish if you will) They popped out very easy from the silicone molds. 
Put on plate. Enjoy!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Favorite healthy breakfast

Like 99.97 percent of North America I am trying to eat healthy this January.  One issue is staying full until lunch on low calories.  I have a favorite fix for this only about 215 calories.
In your seasoned cast iron skillet on medium high (if you do not have a seasoned cast iron skillet go get one now) put half a chopped onion. Stir briefly.
Onions in skillet on medium high

Now chop a several button mushrooms. Once chopped add to skillet. Stir. 
Mushrooms in skillet with onions ( notice onions starting to cook)

OK now open can of black beans drain and rinse. Add about one sixth the can. Store remaining.  
See Beans now in skillet isn't this easy

Yum now grab two huge handfuls spinach and put on top. Stir.
Looks like a ton of spinach but just wait!
Take an egg out of fridge and crack into pan. Immediately stir breaking yolk. 
Egg added, stove gets turned off now as heat in pan will cook egg.

Turn off heat to skillet. Stir again egg should be cooked.
Done see that was fast!!

 Serve in bowl. Fills up entire bowl and fills me up till lunch. May not look fancy but tastes great and has about 15g protein which keeps you full. 
Yum! Delicious!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Rum Chata buttercream

So we all know that cake is just an frosting delivery system. Today we are talking Rum Chata Buttercream frosting.(Already sounds delicious doesn't it) 
The ingredients
If you look at my ingredients you will notice that I have a nutmeg grater. Seriously, you must must start using fresh ground nutmeg in place of that powder stuff it is like a totally different spice. Get yourself a nutmeg grater! Also note for those who like to measure exactly, when I say a dash of something I mean about 1/8th to 1/4th teaspoon. 

You will need 
(I used this for 1/2 batch of spice mini cupcakes for a full batch of frosting just double everything)
Half stick butter 
1 cup powdered sugar 
1 oz Rum Chata 
dash cinnamon 
dash nutmeg

In your mixer cream the butter and then mix in the powdered sugar. When mostly mixed in add the Rum Chata, cinnamon , and nutmeg. Mix until completely combined and smooth. It will be a mild ivory color if you want to add food coloring now is the time. Add to cooled spice cake with knife or piping bag.
Mmmmm Mini spice cupcakes with Rum Chata Buttercream
Rum Chata Mini cupcake in cordial glass. 

Seriously try this at home tonight they are delicious and a perfect dessert for winter. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Rum Chata

Rum Chata is a drink that seems to have come into its own this year despite being released in 2009 I had never seen it till 2012. From a drink I had never seen to a must have at every party. It tastes a bit like the lovechild of the manage a trois of Balieys Irish Cream , Egg Nog, and Rum. 
A glass of Rum Chata in front of the bottle
A big bottle of Rum Chatta
It is made with a delicious combo of Rum, cream. cinnamon,rice, vanilla, and sugar. Once open it is good for about 6 months and can be stored at room temp but tastes much better cold. Delicious on its own but just wait tomorrow I will give you a fantastic dessert containing Rum Chata.