Tag Archives: grapes

Cookies, eaten like grapes

header –Snail, Fruit, Nuts, Grapes, and Pinecones by Giovan Battista Ruoppolo, 2nd half 17th century. 

I was thinking about shortbread, a cookie I used to make, and then having made it for two years, it HAD to be made because we

ALWAYS

had it. Until it didn’t get made for a year or two, because new cookies joined the fray….I mean

TRAY

cookie_tray

According to Wikipedia, this is an American Christmas Cookie Tray.

I found a shortbread recipe….or four….or six…..some have splatters and some do not….from the many shortbread years. This will not be a shortbread year. Maybe next year.

I also found a recipe from my cousin Flora. She e-mailed it in 2006. This is her version, with some notes from me. I re-wrote the recipe in 2008, so I had made it several times by then. An easy add to the Holiday Tray.

RICOTTA COOKIES

Blend until creamy:

1 stick ROOM TEMPERATURE butter

1/4 cup ricotta (I actually put in about 1/3 cup)

Add and mix well

1 cup sugar

1 egg

Slowly stir in:

2 cups SIFTED flour (this is less than 2 cups flour sifted)

1/2 tsp baking soda (note from me – baking soda and baking powder are not the same thing, and aren’t really interchangeable. Don’t ask me how I know this, but I do, I REALLY do!)

1/2 tsp salt (note from me – don’t leave out the salt – it activate the soda to leaven)

Drop batter from a tsp onto a greased baking sheet. (I use RELEASE which I think is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I TOTALLY agree!)

Bake in the upper half of oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Tops will be white but bottoms will be brown. Makes 36 cookies. Cool and glaze. Store in a covered container and they will last for a couple of weeks (you won’t get to this point because they will be eaten like grapes).

Glaze: 2 cups sifted confectionery sugar

3 tbls orange juice or whatever flavoring you choose

sprinkles if you have them

Blend well (NOTE: the sprinkles go one the cookies after they have been glazed – don’t add the sprinkles to the glaze)

Bon Appetito!

forte-luca-still-life-with-grapes-1630s-copper-gettyStill Life with Grapes and Other Fruits by Luca Forte, Getty Center, 1630s

“eaten like grapes”

roses_boutons_fr_2012

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Filed under Christmas

Sour Grapes.

Seriously Sour Grapes.

As ‘these can not possibly pass for table grapes’ sour.

Frans Snyders Grapes, Peaches and Quinces in a Niche 17th century

Frans Snyders Grapes, Peaches and Quinces in a Niche 17th century

What to do with grapes too  sour to eat????

Cook  them!

CIAug2015

Italian Sausage with Grapes – right on the cover. Issue  #135 August 2015

Cook the grapes with sausages. I’d actually made this recipe before….December? January? It was before the Big Snows of last winter.

I’ve been a sometimes tester of recipes for  Cook’s Illustrated  for the last few years…..I don’t remember how I got on the notice list, but every now and again I get an e-mail as a Friend of CI and then I have an assignment, should I so choose.

It’s a little exercise that make me read the recipe and

do exactly what it says to do.

And then fill out the questionnaire.

Hmmm – follow directions and THEN have opinions. Not my natural order of business….

I don’t test every recipe. Just the ones I think I’ll like, which is actually one of the ground rules. Don’t make things you don’t eat. Actually, a pretty good rule in general.

Soooo  – here’s my totally casual, breezey easy take of the recipe. If you want to fiddle with 1/4 teaspoon of some seasoning or another, go to Cook’s Illustrated.

SAUSAGE WITH GRAPES

oil for the bottom of the pan

1 package hot Italian sausage

1 large onion

seedless red grapes (1# or 3 cups or whatever uses them all up)

salt and pepper

1/4 cup dry white wine (since I had no wine in the house, I used an old 17th century trick of using 1/2 white wine vinegar + 1/2 water and a little sugar = wine (ish)): OR  2 Tablespoon water and 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon sugar

a little oregano

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

perhaps another teaspoon or 2 of sugar

(a little chopped fresh mint)

12″ pan with a lid

  1. Cut the onion in half and slice thin.  Onion-Step-4-Version-4
  2. Cut the grapes in half lengthwise
  3. Heat a skim of oil in a 12 inch pan over medium heat. Sausages go in to brown, 2 stripes only, 5 minutes.
  4. Add all the sliced onions and all the halved grapes and 1/4 cup water to the pan with the sausages. PUT A LID ON IT.
  5. Let cook about 10 minutes at medium. Sausages should be 160° – 165° and grapes should have softened.
  6. Transfer the sausage out to a paper-towel lined plate – tent with foil  to keep warm.
  7. Turn the heat under the pan up to med-high. sat and pepper and spread the grape/onion mixture around the pan and cook without stirring until browned, 3-5 minutes.
  8. Start stirring about and continue cooking until the mixture browns and the grapes are definitely soft.
  9. Reduce heat to medium, add the water/wine vinegar mixture (or the wine, if you have it). Sprinkle in some oregano.Scrape any lingering goodness from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to meld into the sauce.
  10. Taste. Adjust. I had to add a little more sugar because the grapes were THAT sour.
  11. Take off the heat and add the balsamic vinegar.
  12. Put the sausages on a serving platter, top with the sauce. Optional: sprinkle with chopped mint.
  13. Good over polenta (Great over polenta!) or over pasta. I intend to eat a leftover sausage with onion/grapes in a roll for lunch this week, and the thought of that seems pretty good, too.
This is the photo from the Cook's Illustrated website of the nearly finished dish.

This is the photo from the Cook’s Illustrated website of the nearly finished dish.

Another grape was a topic of conversation this week, too.

Goofy Grape.

goofy grape

Goofy Grape was part of the Funny Face Gang – a whole family of cyclamate sweetened drink of my childhood. Once the cyclamates were banned, they had plain ole sugar. And some of the more racist flavors were re-worked .

Funny face gang

Goofy Grape. Rootin’ Tootin’ Raspberry. Jolly Olly Orange. Freckled Face Strawberry. With-it Watermelon.

My brother still has his With-It Watermelon cup.

My brother still has his With-It Watermelon cup.

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Filed under Recipe, The 1960"s

Salads, Dressing

Claude Monet Jar of Peaches

Why did the peach blush?

Because it saw the salad dressing!

 There are so many things that can be salad…..really – like

Potato to make Potato Salad

Potato to make Potato Salad

Tuna for Tuna Salad (this tuna is named Charlie)

Tuna for Tuna Salad (this tuna is named Charlie)

Fruit in fruit salad

Fruit in fruit salad

even kale can be a salad

Kale and Chickpea Salad

Kale and Chickpea Salad

But the mostest salad I’ve eaten in my days is a lettucey, leafy greens base with stuff in/on/around and topped with

Dressing

Dressing that increasing came in bottle form…..

Ken's Blue Cheese Salad Dressing is on of my faves...it reminds me of steak and baked potato and a side salad. Now I mostly eat if without the steak and I'm as likely to put it on the potato as the salad. Also good on the sandwich made from the leftover steak - a thing I did not know existed in the world until I moved out and away from 4 brothers - in a sandwich with sliced tomato the next day for lunch

Ken’s Blue Cheese Salad Dressing is one of my faves.

Ken’s  reminds me of steak and baked potato and a side salad. Now I mostly eat it without the steak, and I’m as likely to put it on the potato as the salad. But when there IS steak it is also good on  leftover steak – a thing I did not know existed in the world until I moved out and away from 4 brothers – in a sandwich with sliced tomato the next day for lunch. Excellent good, in fact.

Jars replace bottle in the late '80's and '90's as even better salad dressing.

Jars replace bottles in the late ’80’s and ’90’s as even better salad dressing.

My son is a ranch Dressing lover, so this was on our table for years......

My son is a Ranch Dressing lover, so this was on our table much of the ’90’s

But this is the ranch dressing he really wanted, so these packets were part of our pantry for years...

But this is the Ranch Dressing he really wanted, so these packets were part of our pantry for years…

Newman's Own is my current bottle of choice. Bottle are convenient to carry to work for lunch salad.

Newman’s Own is my current bottle of choice. Bottle are convenient to carry to work for lunch salad.

The supper salad – the home game, versus the away game lunch salad – was increasing dressed in the bowl, like I was taught in ’60’s, but with more variety, like in Red, White and Blue Salad, which I had thought I had already shared, but it’s not showing up here when I searched for it…so here it is, possibly again

RED, WHITE AND BLUE SALAD

2 cups red cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes or big ole vine ripened tomatoes, chopped and equal to the grapes)

2 cups white grapes

Optional: ½ cup roasted and chopped nuts

Dressing:

         1 Tablespoon Blue cheese

1 Tablespoon wine vinegar

3 Tablespoons yoghurt

2 Tablespoons oil

1 garlic clove

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

  1. Put all dressing ingredients in blender and blend (use a food processor if you prefer. Creamy, rich, tasty goodness.
  2. Put aside.
  3. Wash and dry the fruits. Cut the cherry tomatoes and grapes in half over the bowl you toss them into.
  4. Top with the dressing and mix.
  5. Top with chopped nuts if you prefer.

Dorry Baird Norris. Sage Cottage Herb Garden Cookbook. The Globe Pequot Press. 1991, 1995. p.267

Sage Cottage Herb Garden Cook Book by Dorrie Norris

Sage Cottage Herb Garden Cook Book by Dorrie Norris

Mason jars are good to mix salad dressing in - NOT the salads, which need bowls or plates.

Mason jars are good to mix salad dressing in – NOT the salads, which need bowls or plates.

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Filed under 1990's, Summer, The 1980's