Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On the menu for today

Cruising can be overwhelming, and the last thing you might feel like doing at the end of a long day sailing (or motoring the ICW like today), is to fix a good meal. With a little planning and preparation, you can have good, hot meal on the table. Tonight we had chicken and dumplings and poached pears with cream cheese and candied walnuts. Sound hard?  Not so. The chicken was cooked in the pressure cooker in 7 minutes with vegetables included, and the dumplings are a quick mix and drop on the boiling stew and steam for 10 minutes. The "poached" pears? Canned pear halves with a dollop of cream cheese and topped with candied walnuts. Candied nuts are the easiest thing in the world to make and add a lot of panache to any side or dessert. Just melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet, add a spoon full of brown sugar, a 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. Stir in a cup of any nuts and stir constantly on low heat until crisp and fragrant. Cool and chop or use whole. The dumpling recipe will be forthcoming but I'm just about out of laptop batteries so it will have to wait!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Dema's Ginger Cookies

Yes, we're finally cruising so the cooking hiatus is over. Were in a big push to get south before the cold weather gets unbearable, but I'm finding time to do a little cooking here and there on the way. As promised on our site The Retirement Project, here are the famous ginger cookies which make such good cruising companions, especially when the weather is rough.

3/4 C butter
1/2 C brown sugar, packed
1/2 C white sugar
4 tsp molasses
1 egg
2 C sifted all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 very rounded tsp cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp ginger rounded
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 C. cinnamon sugar

 Mix softened butter, sugars, molasses and egg together well till creamy and light. Add dry ingredients and mix well. If the dough is too dry, add a tablespoon or two of water, one at a time.

Roll into balls and dip the top into cinnamon sugar. Place sugar side up on cookie sheet and bake 375° for 11-12 minutes.
Cookies will flatten and start to crackle on top. Cool and store in airtight bag.

Tip: If you are making these on a boat and you only have cold or frozen butter, you can grate the butter into your bowl and it will mix in easily.

Tip: If you hate sifting flour you can use unsifted, but reduce the amount by 2 Tbl.