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Ginger Cake Cookies

We love Williamsburg Virginia. Anytime we get some vacation time, you can find us there. If you have never visited this living history museum, you need to make the time to do so. It is not a place you can visit on an afternoon, you can spend days, even weeks and not see it all. My wife and I can spend hours at an exhibit,only to return another day and spend additional hours. Our last visit, we watched how they built the kilns to dry bricks, spent several hours at different cooking demonstrations, had a visit with Thomas Jefferson, watched the wig maker, and the cooper. One thing is certain, if you are looking for me, at 10 AM, you can find me at the Raleigh Tavern bake shop. Every morning the baker fires up the two wood fired ovens and bakes ginger cakes. There  is nothing better than those beautiful cakes hot from the oven. Yes, I will be there every morning, on our entire stay. Have even been known to get a couple for the road when leaving. To say I am obsessed is an

Spanish Rice

Recently we had the urge for fajitas. Nothing goes with them quite like spanish rice. This is my recipe for a great tasting side dish.  Ingredients: 1 small onion 1 small jalapeño pepper 3 roma tomatoes  1 cubanelle pepper 1 clove garlic 1/8 teaspoon cumin  1/8 teaspoon chili powder  1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt  5 tablespoons olive oil 1 packet salt free chicken bouillon 1 cup long grain rice Begin by placing all the ingredients except the bouillon and rice in a food processor. Puree the vegetables and spices until a wet paste is formed. Place mixture in a sieve over a medium sized bowl.  Scrap the mixture removing as much liquid as possible.  You should have about 2 cups. If short you can add water. Ads two tablespoons of olive oil to a sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until oil is shimmering. Add rice toasting to a light brown. Stir thoroughly making sure all the rice is toasted. Lower heat to simmer and ads the liquid and bouillon to t

Summer Salsa

We love salsa in our house. This is a cooler salsa for summer that substitues cucumber for bell peppers. It is refreshing with a bit of heat. Ingredients: 5 roma tomatoes  1 sweet onion 1/2 cucmber 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste  1 jalapeño pepper  1 to 2 tablespoons cilantro 1 teaspoon keylime juice Begin by slicing the tomatoes in half and scooping out the seeds and membrane. Reserve them. Dice the tomatoes finely.  Half the cucumber and remove the seeds. Again remove the seeds Dice the sweet onion. Half the jalapeño and remove the membrane and seeds. Dice finely.  Finely chop rhe cilantro.  Combine all the ingredients.  Place the membranes from the tomatoes in a double layer of cheese cloth. Squeeze out the juice into the mixture. Mix thoroughly.  Enjoy

Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce and Bok Choy

After  church today, my wife and I went for a drive to St Augustine. Earlier in the week, my eldest daughter took me to Rype and Readi Market. If you are in the area and looking for locally grown organic vegetables, this is the place to go. After loading up on tomatoes, peppers, bok choy, honey granules, strawberry plants and tomato plants, we headed home. Wondering what to make with the bok choy, I decided to saute it as a side for stir fry. To a large skillet add: 3 tablespoons canola oil 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 2 cloves minced garlic 1/4 teaspoon ginger 2 tablespoons diced red bell pepper 2 tablespoons diced onion 2 tablespoons bacon bits Heat the ingredients over a medium heat until hot. Add bok choy, sauteing each side until leaves are wilted and stalk is blistered. Drizzle with sesame oil and serve. Sirloin Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce Thin slice sirloin and place in a disposable zipper bag. Marinade: 2 cloves minc

Chinese BBQ Pork Roast

Every once in a while my wife surprise with a dinner request. This morning after putting a pork roast in the sous vide,  she decided she wanted Chinese style BBQ.  Ingredients: 1 pound pork roast 1/4 cup honey  3 tablespoons molasses 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar 1/3 cup ketchup  1/4 cup Chinese rice vinegar 2 tablespoons housin sauce  2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice  1/2 teaspoon ginger powder 1/4 teaspoon chili powder  1/2 teaspoon sesame oil 1/4 teaspoon garlic. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl until sugar is dissolved.  Add pork to a large vacuum bag and pour half of the sauce over top of the pork trying not to get sauce on the side of the bag. Fold bag over a couple of times trapping as much sauce around the meat as possible.   Vacuum seal the bag and place in water bath. Set your sous vide for 148 degree and cook for 8 to 10 hours About 20 minutes before removing the bag, preheat your grill as hot as possible.   Remo

Keylime Cheesecake Pie

I promised my wife a cheesecake for her birthday. A few days before her big day,  I broke my heel. After 2 months of being off my foot, I have mastered my knee scooter enough to get back in the kitchen. Not having  a pan for baking a  cheesecake, I had to improvise.  Here are the delicious results. Ingredients: 16 oz cream cheese room temp 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk lightly beaten 1 can sweetened condensed milk  1/4 cup Kermit's keylime juice  1/2 teaspoon Kermit's keylime oil (Other oils may be different concentrations) 1 large graham cracker crust In your stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add cream cheese and condensed milk. Blend on medium speed until velvety smooth. Add the keylime oil, then slowly add the juice. Blend until everything is combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix another minute. Pour batter into the crust.   Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Place your pie in a larger pan and add hot water half way up the sides of the pie pa

Spit Pea Soup

Here is a great recipe for using up a leftover ham bone. It was a favorite of my mother. Ingredients: 1 leftover ham bone 1 cup of chunked ham pieces 1 celery stock 1 small onion 1 small bell pepper 1 carrot  2 cups dried split peas 2 quarts water 1 tablespoon olive oil Begin by rinsing the peas in a fine mesh strainer. Look for small pebbles that sometimes end up in the bag.  This will also remove any dirt also. Place the celery, onion, pepper, and carrot in a food processor.  Chop vegetables into coarse pieces. In a large stock pot add oil and heat over medium heat until oil is shimmering.  Add vegetables and cook until softened and aromatic. Add two quarts of water and bring to a boil. Add peas. Cook at a high simmer for 20 minutes.  Reduce heat and and add ham bone. Simmer 30 to 40 minutes until peas are very soft. Remove bone, and with a food mill or sieve over a large bowl, press peas and vegetables through until you ha