Sunday, September 29, 2013

Grilled Chicken Wings...

In my search for the perfect wings, I tried yet another recipe, this is my favorite so far!!! It is from America's test kitchen and it is so perfect!!! It is a great recipe to use right now during football season for those tailgate parties!! You are a Seattle Seahawks fan, right? I thought so! How about that game today? Wow!!!! They are amazing!

This recipe is so flavorful, the chicken is tender and crisp on the outside. I love the little charred edges. It is very difficult to BBQ chicken and especially the wings without burning anything. But these came out perfectly!

You start with a few ingredients that you may already have in the kitchen. The wings, cornstarch, salt, onion powder, chili powder, pepper, garlic.

 put 2 quarts water in a bowl and then add 1/2 cup of salt, mix until salt in dissolved... Add your wings in the brine and refrigerate for 30 minutes, (any more and it would be too saltly)
Here is a trick I recently learned, If you have a lot of meat to either marinate or brine, empty your bottom drawer in the fridge and wash very clean, marinate or brine directly in the drawer. Then of course wash very well in bleachy, soapy water to kill all bacteria.

season 3 large tablespoons of cornstarch...1 tsp of onion powder, 1 tsp garlic, 1/2 tsp chili powder, and a 1/2 tsp pepper...toss together and then toss in your brined chicken wings that you have patted dry

Just to coat, do this right before on a medium to low grill

place the skinniest side of the wing down, and cook for about 20 minutes and then turn, cook for about another 15 minutes...

You want the internal temperature of the wings to be 185 degree. They are cooked at 165, but the collagen have not broken down until it at least reached will be so tender and not falling apart...

These wings are the best!!!!

Toss in Franks buffalo wing sauce or your favorite, I had mine with a homemade ranch dressing with a bit of blue cheese in for flavor....They also taste great plain! They are tender on the inside and crisp on the outside!!!!
Cheers to Happy  !!!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Special Visit to a Very Special Garden

In a Japanese garden, every tree is perfectly pruned, without a leaf out of place. Nothing is planted without forethought as to the exact place appropriate to it.

 I want to share with you a little gift Debbie and I were given.  You see we work in a wonderful little restaurant in Kent, Washington.  We meet so many good people and some become such dear friends we look forward to every visit.
And this is no exception.  A dear couple had been coming into the restaurant for quite awhile and we had gotten to know them.  One of the gifts of being a regular is you get a whole set of friends.  We worry about them when we don't see them and cheer on the parts of their lives they share with us.

One day they slipped up and mentioned they had a garden that required lots of attention, being a wanna be gardener and always interested (nosy) I asked about it.  They told me a little bit about the plants and their Koi pond.  And the water wheel.  And away we went.  I told them Debbie and I would love to come and see their place and I would take pictures for them.

Well I took a bazillion pictures.  It took forever to edit them because they were so many great shots.
I am posting so many here because a garden like this just begs to be noticed.
Please enjoy them.

The wheel is so perfectly balanced that just a gentle push makes it turn.
Can you tell our friend is an engineer.... 
he built this himself it camouflages the garage at the
bottom of the garden. 
It is quite large and is a lovely spot to survey the beauty
all around.


 One of several pools for the showy Koi.  The cool thing is, the water feature is so large the fish can move about quite freely.

 There are two waterfalls- this one is under the bridge and is kind of like a
grotto.  It looks like it would be nice and cool for the fish on a really sunny day.

 This is the large waterfall, it draws you in and invites a walk across the bridge and a visit to the tea house.
 There are many different flowers featured our friend says she buys plants and he gets to plant them. 
Friendly daisies...
 Pink Lavender...and a bee.
 The rose garden -
 Isn't this a pretty colour?

The centerpiece of the rose garden.
 There are so many things to look at.
Love the simplicity of some of the plants
This green is so refreshing to the eye.
 More grass
Beautiful water lily.

Pictures of the lucky fish that get to live in this most beautiful garden:

Feeding the fish.

 Aren't the colors so amazingly beautiful?

 Do you love the whimsy?  

 I think this looks like Hotai  the God of Happiness
 The topiary is so large, their son keeps it trimmed for them.
Nice son I say.
 The stream feeds a pond on the other side of the garden. 
And there is an alligator in there.
 A better view of this amazing specimen.
 So peaceful.

 The view from the garden.  Yes that is Seattle and even the Space Needle
from this lovely garden in Kent.  Who knew?

 This is a picture of our dear friends.
No names please.
This is a private garden, and you have just received the
best gift ever.  An opportunity to visit this friendly retreat.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Dutch Baby or German Pancake...

Dutch Baby or German Pancake..doesn't matter what you call this. It is the same thing. We serve them at the restaurant I work in, and you should see people eyes when they are delivered to the table! The guests in the whole dining room crane their necks and ask "what is that?" It is simple to make and a real show stopper.

It is derived from the German pfannkuchen. It is made with eggs, flour, sugar and milk, and usually seasoned with vanilla and cinnamon, although occasionally fruit or another flavoring is also added. It is baked in a cast iron or metal pan and falls soon after being removed from the oven. It is generally served with fresh squeezed lemon, butter, and powdered sugar, fruit toppings or syrup. I like mine with syrup.

Mancas café is the furthest on the left. This picture is from 1902 and is on 2nd and Cherry in downtown Seattle.

According to Sunset magazine, Dutch babies were introduced in the first half of the 1900s at Manca's Cafe, a family-run restaurant that was located in Seattle, Washington and that was owned by Victor Manca. Victor, a staunch Catholic, moved here from Salt Lake City. His passion was cooking and he developed many recipes, this being his most famous. While these pancakes are derived from the German pancake dish, it is said that the name Dutch baby was coined by one of Victor Manca's daughters. She couldn't pronounce "Deutsch" - the German word for German.

I made mine substituting Gluten Free all purpose flour, and it turned out beautifully. I know regular all purpose flour gives you the same results. Just five ingredients and it is so easy it is child's play!

Dutch Baby
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup gluten free flour or regular all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 eggs
  1. Preheat over to 425
  2. In bowl mix GF flour, milk, sugar and eggs
  3. Melt butter in a 10 or 12 inch oven-safe frying pan
  4. Pour mixture into pan and bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until pancake rises
  5. serves 3-4 hungry people

melt the butter in a cast iron skillet on top of the stove..make sure the oven in hot and the skillet is hot...

then pour the batter in the hot skillet..

Voila!! It is magic!!! You can watch this take shape right through the oven door! Carefully slip it out of the pan, the butter keeps it from sticking and place on a large platter. You can cut it like pizza into wedges and serve with butter lemon wedges and powdered sugar.
Cheers to Happy  !!