. . . AND I WILL MAKE YOUR PATHS STRAIGHT

. . . AND I WILL MAKE YOUR PATHS STRAIGHT.

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OUR FREE WILL vs. DEPENDANCE

OUR FREE WILL vs. DEPENDANCE.

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GUMBO GRAVY OVER STONE-GROUND GRITS

I started my process of thinking through the menu for this cooking class with the idea that I was going to make shrimp and grits.  As I pursued recipes and thought about the best thing for the class (and something I had never made before) I came up with this “Gumbo Gravy of Stone-Ground Grits”.  It is sort of a shrimp and grits on steroids!  I love the gumbo-ish texture to it and the stone-ground grits will convert many would be otherwise . . . grit haters!

Let’s start cooking!

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GUMBO GRAVY OVER STONE-GROUND GRITS

PREP: 15 minutes
Crockpot time: 2.5 hours
SERVES – 6 or more

Ingredients
•    1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
•    1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
•    6 ounces andouille sausage, diced
•    Vegetable cooking spray
•    2 teaspoons vegetable oil IMG_5507
•    1 cup diced sweet onion
•    1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
•    2 garlic cloves, minced
•    3 tablespoons Browned Flour
•    1 cup reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
•    1 cup sliced fresh okra
•    2 large plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
•    Slow-Cooker Stone-ground Grits
•    Garnish: sliced green onions

Preparation
1. Toss shrimp in Cajun seasoning in a medium bowl.
2. Cook sausage in a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add oil, onion, and next 2 ingredients; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle Browned Flour over sausage mixture; stir until blended. Stir in chicken broth, and increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, stirring often, and boil, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until thickened. Add shrimp, okra, and tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Serve over grits.

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That’s all there is to it now . . . ENJOY!

Thank you as always for reading and for your support.

Kris

For more information about upcoming cooking classes and idealic lodging in the fabulous Flint Hills VISIT OUR WEBSITE!

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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SUNSHINE SALAD

The Sunshine salad and a super easy and, light and delightful salad to serve to your guests and it is also perfect to bring with you to a brunch or dinner.  Christmas is over and now, all of a sudden, we all seem to be more focused on how our waistlines have expanded in just the last week or so!  How great it is to have something that is light, tasty and low in fat and calories for your friends as well as yourself.

Let’s make our salad!

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SUNSHINE SALAD

PREP: 20 minutes
SERVES – 10

Ingredients FOR DRESSING:IMG_4964
½ cup corn oil
¼ cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of sugar
½ tablespoon of poppy seeds
½ teaspoons dry mustard
½ teaspoon sea salt
Pepper to taste

Ingredients For SALAD:

8 ounces soft salad greens
8 ounces baby spinach
1 kiwi – peeled and sliced
1 small European cucumber, sliced
½ pint of grape tomatoes, halved
4 ounces fresh mushrooms
1 (8 ounce) can of mandarin oranges, drained1/2 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 green onions, chopped

Directions:

For the dressing, in a bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, poppy seeds, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.IMG_4966

For the salad, in a large serving bowl gently toss the salad greens, spinach, kiwi, cucumber, tomatoes, mushrooms, mandarin oranges, strawberries and spring onions.

Just before serving add the dressing and toss.

ENJOY!

 

Interesting Note:  Did you know that poppy seeds will cause a drug test to show positive for drugs?  I guess it is because the poppy plant is where opium and heroin come from.  How is it that I know this?!

Several years ago while living in California, my small group (bible study group) was presented with the opportunity to prepare a meal at a halfway house.  The residents were people recovering from drug or alcohol abuse and in general working at getting their lives back together.

We served then a nice pasta dish, with a salad and rolls . . . potato rolls . . . sourdough rolls and you guessed it . . . poppy seed rolls.  All of a sudden, one of the residents started running all through the dining area plucking dinner rolls off of everyone’s plate and promptly throwing them all in the trash,  What the . . . ?!!  It was then that he told us that there were two requirements each resident had to meet in order that they stay at the halfway house;  1.) be employed or in school and 2.) pass a drug test every week.  He explained to us then that the poppy seeds would show up positive on a drug test.  The administrator of the halfway house conferred.

Moral to the story: Be sure that if any of your guests are subject to drug testing at their jobs . . . perhaps they are a delivery driver or equipment operator . . . let them know about the poppy seeds in your salad.

 

That’s all for now.  As always, thank you for reading!

Kris

 

We are in the process of putting our 2013 schedule together for Cooking Classes at The Lark Inn.  Stay tuned to our website to find the right cooking class for you.

Also, all of a sudden we are getting a lot of requests for bookings for our guesthouses in the Flint Hills of Kansas.  Prairie Burning is coming this spring as well as many other events.  Be sure you have relaxing and comfortable lodging for your Flint Hills experience.  Check our website to learn more.

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TANGERINE BISCUIT RING and ANGEL BISCUITS

Loss of sleep keeping the kids in bed until after Santa comes . . . dealing with weird uncle Larry at Christmas dinner . . . . opening an insane amount of gifts or even if you are just chillin’ and taking in the deeper meaning of Christmas and what it means in your life.  Any way you cut it, my Tangerine Biscuit Ring will give you the nourishment you will need for the tough Christmas Day ahead!

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TANGERINE BISCUIT RING

PREP: 20 minutes
BAKING TIME: 35 MINUTES
OVEN TEMP: 350 DEGREES
SERVES – 10

Ingredients:IMG_4985

•    1 1/4 cups sugar
•    1 tablespoon finely shredded tangerine peel
•    1/3 cup tangerine juice
•    1/4 cup butter, melted
•    2  12 ounce package refrigerated biscuits (20 biscuits) or ANGEL biscuits *
•    kumquats (optional)
•    fresh cranberries (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees f. grease a 10-inch fluted tube pan; set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and tangerine peel, breaking up any tangerine peel clumps with a fork. In another small bowl, combine tangerine juice and melted butter.
3. Separate biscuits. dip each biscuit into the tangerine juice mixture, then roll in the sugar mixture to coat. Place biscuits on edge IMG_4986in the prepared pan. Pour any remaining tangerine juice mixture over biscuits.
4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 1 minute. Invert pan onto a serving platter with slightly raised sides; remove pan. Cool for 30 to 45 minutes. serve warm.
If desired, garnish center of biscuit ring with kumquats, cranberries, and fresh herbs.  This recipe can also be made using oranges instead of tangerines.
Makes 10 servings.
* see additional recipe for Angel Biscuits below:

ANGEL BISCUITS

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PREP: 15 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 10 – 12 MINUTES
OVEN TEMP: 450 DEGREES
SERVES – 10

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 
1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 
5 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 
1 cup lard or shortening, chilled
  • 
1 tablespoon melted butter

In choosing lard or shortening, be sure to use non-hydrogenated products. Butter may be substituted.
Directions:

  • Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar.
  • Set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the buttermilk, making sure it has first been warmed to room temperature so as not to shock the yeast.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Stir all ingredients together to mix well.
    Using your fingers, two knives or a pastry blender, work 1/2 the chilled shortening into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal.
  • Work in the remaining shortening until it resembles large peas.
  • Stir buttermilk and yeast mixture into the dry ingredients until just blended; do not overmix.
  • On a clean surface dusted lightly with flour, turn out dough and knead 6 to 8 times, patting together lightly into a flattened circle. Roll circle out 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick and cut using a floured glass or a 3 inch biscuit cutter. Dip in flour between each cut.
  • Arrange biscuits on a lightly greased baking sheet; leave 1/3 inch between for softer sided biscuits or 1 inch for more crisp sided biscuits.
  • Brush with melted butter before serving.

This dough can be refrigerated for 3-5 days, or frozen for up to a month.

As always, thank you for reading.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a super holiday season!

Kris

In January, we will be starting the year with our “Start the Year Healthy” Cooking Classes at The Lark Inn.  Check our Website to learn more about upcoming classes.

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OATMEAL BRULEE WITH GINGER CREAM

This recipe for Oatmeal Brulee with Ginger Cream is what I call a Real Sleeper.  When I picked it out for our holiday cooking class I thought it would be very nice and something interesting to try.  Oh My Gosh . . . It is fabulous!  It ended up being the favorite of the entire class.  This recipe makes for a great dessert or you could even fix this for Christmas morning breakfast!

Let’s not waste any time and get started!

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OATMEAL BRULEE WITH GINGER CREAM

PREP: 30 MINUTES
BROILING TIME: 10 MINUTES
SERVES –4

Ingredients

GINGER CREAM:IMG_4972

•    1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
•    2 slices fresh gingerroot (about 3/4-inch diameter)
•    1 cinnamon stick (3 inches)
•    1 tablespoon grated orange peel
•    3 tablespoons maple syrup
•    1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

OATMEAL:

•    4 cups water
•    2 cups old-fashioned oats
•    1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
•    1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
•    1/2 teaspoon salt
•    3 tablespoons brown sugar
•    2 tablespoons butter, softened
•    1 cup fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawedIMG_4973
•    1/4 cup sugar

Directions
•    In a small saucepan, combine the cream, ginger, cinnamon stick and orange peel; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; strain and discard solids. Stir in syrup and nutmeg.
•    In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil; stir in the oats, apricots, cherries and salt. Reduce heat to medium; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat; stir in brown sugar and 1/4 cup ginger cream. Let stand, covered, for 2 minutes.
•    Grease four 10-oz. broiler-safe ramekins with butter; place on a baking sheet. Divide raspberries among ramekins. Spoon oatmeal over raspberries; sprinkle evenly with sugar. Broil 4-6 in. from the heat for 7-9 minutes or until sugar is caramelized. Serve with remaining ginger cream.

ENJOY!!

Take special time to enjoy your friends and relatives this holiday season.  These recipes may help!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

Kris

For information about Cooking Classes at The Lark Inn or to see about spending a couple of nice nights in the Flint Hills of Kansas Visit our Website.

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