Showing posts with label Mothers' Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mothers' Day. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Rhubarb Sauce Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

Rhubarb sauce cookies make the most of tart spring rhubarb in the most deliciously portable way. Their subtle pink hints at the lovely rhubarb flavor inside. 

I’m pretty sure I might have told part of this story before, but when we lived in Paris 20-odd years ago, on a visit in our last year there my sharp-eyed mother-in-law pointed out that we had rhubarb growing in the front garden. It was hiding under some other big green leafy bushes. Life is full of small regrets and that I missed two springs of fresh homegrown rhubarb is one of mine.

Since then I’ve tried to make up for it by buying rhubarb when I can. It makes me think of Fiona, she of celebrated wheat bread and sausage roll fame, and I know she’d like these cookies. This month’s Creative Cookie Exchange theme is Mothers Day so, while Fiona was not my actual mother, or even my husband’s mother, she treated her stepson like a son and me like a daughter. Like most grandmothers, she thought our girls were such fun to spend time with and she was especially good at making storybooks come alive. They loved it when she did "voices." Her classroom full of students were all her beloved children and they'd come back regularly to visit long after they had moved on. She was a special lady.

Ingredients – Makes 2 1/2 dozen
1/2 cup or 115g butter
1 cup or 200 sugar
1 large egg
2 cups or 250g flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup or 190g thick rhubarb sauce

For the rhubarb sauce:
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
12 oz or 340g rhubarb
1/8 cup or 25g sugar – or more to taste
Good pinch salt

Optional for serving: powdered sugar

Trim the ends off the rhubarb, cut into chunks. Combine with the sugar and the orange zest and juice in a pan and gently cook for 5-10 minutes until the rhubarb begins to soften.

Cook a bit longer, until some of the juice has evaporated. You want a nice thick spoonable sauce. Set aside to cool.

Note: You won't use it all of the sauce in this recipe since it makes more than one cup. Stir the balance through some yogurt or serve it on pancakes. Its bright fresh taste will have you making the sauce again just to eat.

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C and prepare your cookie sheet by lining it with baking parchment or silicone liners.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisking brings in air, much as sifting does so you can sift them together if you prefer.

In a larger bowl, cream together butter and sugar until they are light yellow and fluffy. Add in the egg and beat again until blended.

Add in the rhubarb sauce and mix till blended.

Now beat in the flour mixture briefly until just blended. Don't over beat.

Drop by spoonfuls or a cookie scoop, onto your prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the first batch is just starting to turn golden around the edges.

Leave to cool on the pan for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat until all the cookies are baked.

Once cool, sprinkle with a little powdered sugar, if desired.


Needing some inspiration for Mothers Day? We've got some lovely cookies for you!

Creative Cookie Exchange is hosted by Laura of The Spiced Life. We get together once a month to bake cookies with a common theme or ingredient so Creative Cookie Exchange is a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts at The Spiced Life). We post the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Smothered Pork Chops with Potatoes

We have a game in my family that my mother instigated.  (And now you’ll know what a food obsessed family I come from.)  It began as a way to pass time on road trips but now and again it comes up in different settings or if a new person wants to join the discussion.  It’s a simple question:  If you knew you were dying, let’s say you are on death row, what would your final meal request be?  The rules are few.  1.  Money is no object.  2.  It doesn’t have to be a full meal.  You want to eat just ice cream?  No problem.  And  3.  You can order whatever you want, in whatever quantities, as long as you don’t list everything you’ve ever liked.  Try to narrow it down in the interest of discussion.

The rest of us change our minds regularly but my mother always has the same answer:  Potatoes.  Creamed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, hash browns, baked potatoes, baby new potatoes with butter and green onions, home fries, you get the picture.  The woman likes potatoes.  The funny thing is, whenever I am home or she is visiting, she doesn’t ask for potatoes.  She asks me to make smothered pork chops.  I made these a while back, unfortunately when my mom wasn’t with me, but I thought of her the whole time.  Smothered pork chops?  Check.  POTATOES?  Check.  I think she’d love this.  Maybe even for a final meal.

As it happens, right now, I am on a two-week holiday with my lovely mother.  And since today is Mothers’ Day, I thought this would be an appropriate time to post this dish.

What would your mother choose for her final meal?  What would you choose?  Discuss.

Ingredients for two people – you and Mom?  Or this is easily doubled or trebled.
2 thick pork chops (and if you are cooking for my mother, the fat around the rim is essential)
Olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper
1 large onion
5-6 medium new potatoes

If your pork chops have the rim of fat with skin on the outside, cut through this in several places to stop the chops from curling up as you cook them.  It’s really hard to brown a curled chop evenly.

Sprinkle your chops liberally with salt and pepper.

Drizzle a little olive oil in your very hot pan and brown the chops well on each side.  According to my photo details, that took about four minutes for each side.

Meanwhile, peel and slice your onion thinly.

After the chops are browned on both sides, cover them with the sliced onions and add in just enough water to come up the sides of the chops.

Cover and cook for about 45- 50 minutes, checking and turning occasionally and adding a little bit more water if the pan looks like it's drying out.

Pork chops are funny.  You can either cook them till they are just done and they’ll be moist.  Or you can cook the bejezus out of them and they will be moist.  Anything in between and you will need a lot of gravy because the meat will be dry.  Smothering falls under method number two.  I thought it was a common term and way of cooking but I just looked it up and several sites, including Wikipedia,  say it is a Cajun or Creole method.  So I come by it honestly.  I thought everyone’s grandmother smothered everything. Who knew?

Now you can slice your potatoes (about 1/4 inch or 1/2 centimeter thick) and add them to the pan in an even layer.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and put the lid back on.

Cook until the potatoes are fork tender and the pork chops get a little sticky underneath but be careful not to let them burn.  You can add a little more water if you need to.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve along side some steamed vegetables or salad.


And Happy Mothers’ Day to you and/or your mother!

If I don’t answer comments right away, please know that I am still delighted when you leave them and will respond as soon as I have internet access again.