An Apple A Day…

Robyn just went back to Alabama after a whirlwind week in Bardstown, KY at Scarlett’s house. She has been officially adopted by Scarlett’s gal pals and being encouraged to move back to Kentucky! During her visit, the two got serious about a new whiskey (Skrewball)…they experimented with the peanut flavored libation straight and loved it. It got their creative minds going and many adult beverages were experimented with…these recipes are soon to follow. However, this insertion will be all about apples. While Robyn was here, the girls caught up with an old friend from Newcomers Louisville and enjoyed a long lunch at Mammy’s and a story about apples. Here is her story…

The calendar said Fall but here in the South, we were still having record high temperatures. I’m talking high 90’s. Also, it seemed as if the whole U.S. had gone pumpkin crazy. Everything from lattes to SPAM! You name it they have it in pumpkin.

At this time of year, Robyn’s thoughts turn elsewhere. Apples. She lived a while in Michigan. Did you know that the state is the No. 3 producer of apples in the U.S. ?

Amazed on her first visit to a local produce market to find 24 different varieties of apples available. How had she lived without this? In the fall, a short drive outside of town to the orchards will have you eating doughnuts and hot cider. Robyn was also lucky to take a spin in her neighbor’s single engine plane over the orchards. The geometric layout was beautiful.

Apples also bring memories of Louisville. Attending a weekly stitchery group where you were encouraged to bring whatever you were working on and enjoy the coffee and conversation. One week, we arrived to find that our hostess had made a dried apple wreath. Everyone loved it! It was soon decided that we would all dry our apples and bring everything the following week to assemble together.

The first step to drying is to slice off the sides of the apples. Then, all your slices for drying will be lovely heart shaped with the seeds in the middle. What to do with all those sides you cut off? Apple Bread of course. It is a fragrant moist bread. It was enjoyed by all. We assembled our wreaths and no two were alike.

Techy Thoroughbroads cont’d

As we stated in our last entry, Robyn and Scarlett have mastered Messenger and Facebook pretty well but other devices not so much. Robyn texted Scarlett of how she had just poured windshield wiper fluid in the wrong container under the hood of her car and it would not start. She asked her if her husband could respond back what she should do. Scarlett, knowing that her husband answers everyone else’s calls and rarely hers, she advised Robyn to seek a neighbor’s help for it would late evening before he called back.

In the meantime, Scarlett let Robyn know that she had been working 3 hours trying to get her printer to connect with her computer to print out an advertiser’s contract to no avail. Being that they both are emotional eaters, Robyn made a big adult beverage and went to the hot tub while Scarlett baked a fruit tarte with intentions of eating the whole thing….ahhh misery loves company.

Here are the recipes:

Fruit Tarte

grab a pre-made pie crust and let it thaw on the counter until pliable. Then place in a vintage pie plate and let it hang over the edges. Open a can of blueberry pie filling and a can of peach pie filling and pour the two into the pie shell spreading the mixture around to the sides evenly then add two pats of butter to the middle and fold the overhanging crust up and over the edges of the pie. Sprinkle the top with brown sugar and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, let chill then slice the pie and eat a piece or eat the whole darn thing depending on your frustration.

Pinky Shake Beverage

pour pink grapefruit into a chilled shaker add appropriate amount of vodka to kill the pain and shake. Now pour that delicious concoction into a plastic salt rimmed glass (remember you are going to a hot tub so no glass) and enjoy!

fruit tartindex

Thoroughly Modern Thoroughbroads

As Robyn and Scarlett progress with their book and blog they continue to enjoy each other’s company not only in person but through modern technology. Messenger, Facebook and our smart phones makes it so easy to stay in touch. But, those one on one visits are enjoyed the most. The visits come more frequent and the parting hurts a little more, a sign that true gal pal friendship can last a lifetime if you love each other.

The last visit to Kentucky, Robyn got to enjoy Scarlett’s husband’s Pork Tenderloin a la convection oven. It is his go to dish and he changes it up by using various sauces he has created. This time it was topped with peach preserves a friend of his had canned, a quality Bourbon and brown sugar. We all licked our plates clean and wished he had made a tenderloin a piece for us.

There really is no special recipe…just take tenderloins and rub them with a grainy mustard and place in convection oven and cook for 20 minutes on high. (This oven came from QVC and has lasted years and used frequently for all types of meats.)

Once meat has cooked let it sit for 5 minutes while you make the sauce. This sauce was a pint of fresh peaches preserved, a small hand full of brown sugar and two jiggers of quality bourbon in a saucepan. Heat this mixture until the preserves are melted down a little and pour over pork tenderloins adding chopped scallions to the top as a garnish…then slice and serve.

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Seems the Russians are still coming…

Isn’t it strange how we just can’t get enough of the Russians? As one of their military ships cruises off the Georgia coast as we speak, they are still in the news 30 odd years later. We do love some of the food. We promised the recipes from our Russian nite entry in October and are just now finding them to publish… what great timing.

And, you will thank us for finally finding them! So Feast & Frolic.

We enjoyed Iced Vodka, but also a drink called Uncle Vanya’s (this recipe is per glass)

1 ounce Vodka, 2 ounces Blackberry liquer, 1/2 tsp lime juice and serve over ice after shaking.

Piroski (24 of them) appetizer course

Pastry – 2 cups all purpose flour, 1/2 cup unslated butter, 4 Tbsp lard, 1 tsp salt, 4tsp ice water

Filling – 1 med. onion finely chopped, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 large clove garlic minced, 2 cups shredded cabbage, 2 cups cooked pork cubed, 1 large potato peeled-diced-cooked, 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1 Tbsp caraway seed, 2 Tbsp fresh snipped dill weed, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper

Egg Glaze– 1 egg yolk beaten with 2 tsp water

Saute onion in oil add garlic and cook 1 min. Stir in cabbage cook 10 minutes stirring until done. Remove from heat then stir in remaining ingredients and cool. Preheat oven to 375 and roll your pastry into a 1/8 inch thickness and cut into 2 1/2 inch circles. Put 2 Tbsp of filling in center and fold pastry in half and seal edges and crimp with tines of a fork. Place them on a buttered baking sheet and glaze with egg wash. Pierce them with 1 or 2 small holes and bake for 20-30 minutes and serve warm…you can prepare these ahead of time and freeze them unbaked.

Borscht ( serves 8) soup course

4lbs beets

1/2 cup wine vinegar

1 tsp sugar

1/2 cup butter

3 Tbsp oil

1 small head green cabbage

3 large onions sliced

1/4 cup minced shallots

3 green or red peppers sliced thin

1 lb zucchini unpeeled sliced thin

1 lb carrots sliced thin

16 cups chicken stock and salt & pepper to taste/ (garnish with a dollop of sour cream per serving)

Peel and grate beets put 1/4 in bowl w/vinegar and sugar set aside.

Slice cabbage thinly and chop.

In a heavy stockpot melt the butter with the oil and saute onions and shallots until soft add the other veggies except beets and cabbage and cook covered for 10-15 min. Add remaining beets and cabbage pour in the stock bring to a boil and reduce to simmer cover partially and cook 2 hours. Skim off any fat and strain then add salt & pepper. Reheat the borscht with the reserved beets in vinegar and sugar along with any liquid from them cook gently for 15 minutes DO NOT BOIL! Serve hot in goblets with a dollop of sour cream.

borscht

Chicken Pojarsky (16 cutlets) main dish

4 chicken breasts skinned and boned

3/4 lb unsalted butter

salt & pepper to taste

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 cup flour

2 eggs lightly beaten

3-4 cups fresh bread crumbs

1/4 cup veggie oil

Chill the chicken then chop finely in a food processor. Melt 1 1/2 sticks butter and stir into the ground chicken season with slat & pepper and nutmeg. Chill this mixture until very cold. use 1/2 cup of the mixture to form a cutlet shape3/4 inch thick and place on waxed paper and chill until breaded. Dip each cutlet into flour then egg mixture then bread crumbs place them on wax paper and chill again.

Heat remaining butter and oil in skillet and cook on each side until lightly brown, which should be 8-10 minutes then keep them warm in a 200 degree oven turned off.

Make the sauce which is comprised of:

1 large onion chopped

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

4 tsp hot paprika

2 Tbsp flour

1 tsp fresh thyme

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup heavy cream

juice of 1 lemon

salt & pepper to taste

2 tsp Brandy

1 1/2 cup sour cream

Cook onion in butter add paprika, flour, thyme and stock simmer 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, cream salt & pepper along with Brandy. Strain mixture. Right before serving over the cutlets, reheat with the sour cream then spoon over the cutlets and serve.

Chickin Pojorski

Serve red potatoes and or red cabbage as a side dish

 

Kulich dessert course

Bake in two one pound coffee cans (this makes 2 cakes)

¼ cup milk

2Tbsp unsalted butter

¼ cup all purpose flour

1 egg

1 pkg. dry yeast

1 cup sugar

¾ cup unsalted butter

½ tsp salt

8 egg yolks

1 vanilla bean finely minced

¼ cup candied citron finely chopped

¼ cup golden raisins

¼ cup currants

¼ cup blanched slivered almonds

1/8 tsp cardamom

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp saffron

¼ cup milk

1 Tbsp vodka

3-4 cups all purpose flour

 

Royal Icing for topping

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 egg white

lemon juice

Heat the milk and butter until butter melts add ¼ cup flour and stir in egg. Let cool.

Proof the yeast for 5 min. in ¼ cup water at 105 degrees then add 1tsp sugar to flour mixture and let sponge rise for 30 min. covered in a warm place.

Cream the sugar and butter until fluffy add slat, egg yolks and beat well. Add vanilla, fruit, nuts, flavorings and liquids to this mixture then add it to the sponge. Using a mixer with a dough hook, add enough of the flour to make it smooth and an elastic dough. Put dough in a well greased bowl and cover loosely until it rises and doubles in size…about 5 hours.

Butter 2 coffee cans and line bottom and sides with waxed paper, then butter the linings. Divide the dough in half and place each half in a can and let them rise to the tops of the cans…about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 and bake cakes 45-60 min. Cool slightly then remove the cakes from the cans, tear off the paper and cool them upright on a rack. After they are cool then make the icing a little runny and pour over the cooled cakes when the icing dries add a flower to the top and enjoy.

Kulich cake

If the Russians are still on the GA. coast at Christmas 2019, invite them in for this meal…may we start 2020 on better terms all of us.

 

 

Halloweeeeeeeen Fun

Two of the Thoroughbroads…Robin & Scarlett along with their husbands saw each other regularly, as they had all become fast friends. Dinners out, card games and movie nights frequently included another couple not in the “Thoroughbroad” group. One October a devilish plot was carried out on the non – Thoroughbroad couple. They would kidnap Pat & Tony’s cherished yard art scarecrow Herman and hold him for ransom. Over adult beverages…the decision was made to create one of those kidnap notes with cut out letters from newspapers and magazines…which ain’t that easy! It took hours and after a number of beers and glasses of wine, it became quite detailed and full of instructions. Herman would be returned for the ransom of Pat’s famous margaritas and her husband Tony’s nachos on a specific date, or they would never see Herman again. Robyn’s husband came in from the garage with small shavings of firewood to include in the note. They even painted red spots on most of them and claimed they were part of Herman’s bleeding wooden ear.

Now that the plot was in place,  they all piled into the van to go get Herman. The kidnappers were thrilled and some a little loud, due to the adult beverages consumed.  With Pat & Tony’s house close to the street and under a street lamp, there was considerable laughing and noise, as the two couples tried to get Herman out of the holiday décor and into the back of the van without being seen or heard…yeah right.

scare crow

Days went by, nights came and went and not one word about the kidnapping from the other couple. Scarlett was convinced they must not have found the note in the mailbox, maybe the postal worker took it out, they should drop some hints, but Robyn’s husband convinced her not to say a word, they would all just show up with Herman on the proposed due date of his return, which they did.

To their surprise, a big banner draped the front porch reading “Welcome Home Herman, We love and missed you – Tony, Pat, the cat & both dogs!”. As the kidnappers piled out of the van laughing, they were greeted on the porch with Pat holding a silver tray full of her famous margaritas for all. Tony took Herman, kissed him square on the mouth and put him back in the holiday décor. All enjoyed the evening with Pat’s the fabulous drinks and Tony’s famous nachos in the den as he told the kidnappers they would never make it in real life. So much noise was made taking Herman that it woke Pat and Tony up, along with the dogs and cat. They had all gone to the front window and had seen the kidnapping under the street lamp…who else did they know with red hair other than Robyn and who did they know with that loud laugh but Scarlet? Tony went out to the mailbox for the note and their plan was to not say a word, so they had turned the table on the kidnappers by not responding. That drove the criminals  crazy with worry that all of their efforts were for naught.

Thus, the “prankees had pranked the pranksters!” It was decided that night that next time the kidnappers would just toilet paper the yard…

Don Julio Margarita Legendario

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce Don Julio Blanco
  • .5 ounce Grand Marnier
  • .5 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 wedge lime

How to Make It

Add Don Julio Blanco, Grand Marnier, and fresh lime juice.
Shake and strain over ice.
Salt rim of rocks glass.
Garnish with lime wedge. And Yummy in your tummy good!

 

Sheet Pan Nachos

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (1.25-ounce) package taco seasoning
  • 12 ounces tortilla chips
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add ground beef and garlic, and cook until beef has browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; stir in taco seasoning. Drain excess fat.
  3. Place tortilla chips in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Top with ground beef mixture, black beans, corn and cheeses.
  4. Place into oven and bake until heated through and the cheeses have melted, about 5-6 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately, topped with tomato, onion, jalapeno, sour cream and cilantro.

 

The Russians Are Coming…

Vodka was first and foremost used as a medicine for treating various ailments. Fast forward to the present time and people now drink vodka for leisure and to celebrate significant occasions. With this, it isn’t a surprise to see the number of vodka consumers reaching 43 million in Spring 2017.

This at one time was one of the finest way to demonstrate your wealth. Showing off expensive bottles of Russian Vodka was a status symbol. The $7.25 million-priced bottle called “Billionaire Vodka” from Leon Verres is currently the most expensive, as the bottle comes decorated with almost 2000 diamonds set in gold. The bottle is dressed with a deep black faux fur jacket and you’ll get to know what diamonds taste like if you open it as the 18-liter bottle contains vodka made from an original Russian recipe and is filtered thru diamonds…

It should come as no surprise, because of their love of cooking and eating, that the Thoroughbroads of Louisville participated in other food related activities in the ’80’s. One such group was dubbed “Feast & Frolic”,  a couples dinner. Scarlett was one of the organizers of this group. She and Robyn came up with themes, set menus and recipes, and assigned said recipes to participants. The hostess prepared the main course and the drinks. Because this was a large group, the dinner took place in several homes on the same night. Scarlett kept track of who was where and shuffled us around to ensure that we dined with different people each month. A big job that she did well. And, it filled up fast with a waiting list if anyone cancelled.

Robyn volunteered to host a Russian night during a snowy February. When she received the menu, she checked out the main course, Chicken Pojarsky. Seemed straight forward and sounded delicious. As she said before, “I don’t do trial runs.” she loved challenges.

On to the table setting. Robyn’s first thought was Matryoshka (Russian stacking dolls). She had none and none were to be found in Louisville. Remember, this is before Al Gore invented the internet. If it wasn’t in a local store or a catalogue you happened to have, forget it! Plan B, books by Russian authors. She had a few and picked up some more at the library. Scattered them down the center of the table and added a few candles. Being a lover of classical music, she had a good selection of Russian composers for background music. Check, check, check! One more detail…

You can’t have a Russian themed night without caviar and iced vodka. Robyn loves this combination! One of the guests was in charge of the caviar and she the vodka. A cold bottle of vodka on a tray is nothing to sniff at but Robyn being the clever hostess decided to dress it up.

Robyn’s suggestions: freeze the bottle in ice. You will need a half gallon juice or milk container and fresh flowers or fruit of your choice. Remove the label from the vodka bottle. Cut the top from your container. Place the vodka in the container. Add your flowers or fruit and fill with water. Tip: if your flowers are small, light weight ( will float to the top) add a small branch of leaves or pine twig, etc. to hold them down. You can also do the freezing in thirds to assure the flowers are evenly dispersed. When completely frozen, peel away the carton. Place on a tray with a napkin to wrap around while pouring. Nostrovia!    Here is an example below…

vodka in ice

I have to tell you that the borscht was the least favorite item on the menu. Robyn likes beets so she was happy, but Scarlett, who hates beets, ate all of hers. Preparing the Chicken Pojarsky today, Robyn says she would use smoked paprika. Love it! A glimpse into another culture, good food, and great company made for a very fun evening.

Here is an example of a Caviar and Vodka tasting tray and ways to dress for the Russian evening…(we have to say that we like the leopard look better, but if you like comfort go with the simpler style…super cool ideas!) Recipes to follow in December Blog

 

Russain clothing

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The “I Would Never” Party…

Have you ever wanted to throw a party where everybody brings a dish that they eat at home but would never serve to company? Where you dress in your pajamas or old yard comfy clothes? Where you could “let it all hangout”?

Well, the Thoroughbroads did.

Here are a few tips you can use to throw your own event.

  1. Send invitations on a paper towel concealed in an envelope inviting guests to participate by coming in something they would never wear out in public and bring a favorite dish they would never serve company..preferably in a container like the saucepan it was cooked in, aluminum foil, plastic leftover containers, etc.
  2. Decorate your entertainment area with large trash cans turned upside down serving as tables, use an ironing board as a server for paper plates, plastic utensils and plastic cup, leave igloos out to hold ice, beverages, etc. Hang clean laundry on a rope across an entry to a bathroom or the entertaining room, use ladders and 2×4 boards to hold desserts, appetizers or extra dishes. You get the idea.
  3. Give out a great prize for the worst dressed and for the best worst dish.
  4. Buy cheap wines and some bottles of very good wine. Play spin the bottle by placing a bottle of cheap wine on the floor and spinning it. Whoever the screwed on top bottle points to has to open it and take a swig, if they like it they can keep it, if they don’t then give them a piece of paper to write their name on for a drawing of good wines when the game is over.

Our party was a “white trash” event and we did all of the above. The women came  pregnant & barefoot, with teeth missing and hair in curlers and one came in a burlap sack tied to her bra straps! She also carried a BIG clever in one hand and a roll of uncooked cookie dough and shared slivers with everyone. (She was the wife a a bigwig at GE and shocked us all and declared immediately our winner for best outfit. She went home with a cheap aluminum sauce pan and was thrilled.)) Many of the men came in their boxers or bathrobe with black socks and flip flops. One gentleman had made an appetizer extravaganza by mounting toilet plungers upside down on a plywood base. The plungers were filled with chips and dips and the contraption also had a square mounted stand for the aerosol cheese spreads he brought…needless to say, he won a prize for his inventive idea..the biggest jar of dill pickles we could find.

For an ice breaker we played a game. Dollar store items were placed on a table and everyone was asked to tell us what a redneck would use them for…to our amazement our local police officer got them all right!  He won two redneck recliners… two webbed strap chairs bought at a yard sale. When we asked him how he guessed correctly on each item, he reminded us that as a police officer he had seen it all.

vintage-webbed-lawn-chair-aluminum

imagesInstead of providing you our recipes  we are referring you to this Great resource material! Hilarious and most of the food is good believe it or not…. we used it for a number of the dishes. Just remember that the serving dish you use is imperative to the white trash theme…sauce pans, aluminum foil, Tupperware or paper plate adds to the ambiance of the evening.

trailer trashCasual dress is required.

boozeAdult beverages are best served in a bucket and sharing out of your own glass a must.

indexAerosol cheese is a delight.

a002b147f1c576b82bcc2b7a01323533-301x306who knew?

A funny anecdote:  Some of the guests rode together and in full “trash” attire, stopped by a home for sale that was having an open house and they all went in together. They told the homeowners and realtor that they were relatives of the neighbor down the street that was hosting a family reunion party. Scarlett, the hostess, nearly died when she found that out.

It truly was a fun evening and after she recovered from the night of fun, she didn’t even mind picking up all of the empty beer cans the boys had thrown out the front door in this classy neighborhood…after all, she had distinguished herself as the perfect hostess by placing two big truck tires at the edges of her driveway entrance and filled them with pansies and had hung the clean laundry between two trees in the front yard signifying that this is where the “trash” are partying tonite.

24tire-planter Do let the grass and weeds grow up a bit before your event. That way your decor fits right in with your theme. Oh, and be sure to invite the neighbors so they don’t call the homeowner’s association on you!