©Life of a Foodie and Her Family 2008-2013, Lynn Tabor



Rock Candy Experiment - Day 8

Finally some real progress on the skewers!

Chromatography, what is it?

Chroma is the Greek word for color.  Chromatography is a method used to separate compounds in a mixture.

What you need:
White Coffee Filter cut into strips
Tall clear glasses
Water Soluble markers and one permanent marker
Pencils or skewers

Place a dot about one inch from the end of a coffee filter strip.  Tape the other end around a pencil or skewer.  Place the skewer on the lip of the glass.  Carefully add water to the glass until it barely touches the bottom of the filter strip.  Then wait to see what happens.

When I asked her why the permanent marker didn't do anything, she so smartly told me because the ink doesn't dissolve in water.

Then for fun I tried to peel an onion skin.  That is cool, but I wish I had iodine to stain it.

Miss V has been checking all the samples out for the past 40 minutes and hearing "Oh this is so cool!"


Rock Candy Experiment - One Week

The evaporation has slowed down since there is a layer of crystals.  We poked holes through the layer to see if the evaporation will continue.


Sausage and Mushroom Stuffed Turkey Breast

On Saturday I cooked for a 50th anniversary party and this was the main dish.  I did have some issues that were out of my control (butcher/meat market issues).  Some of the ingredients are not widely available down here and made a couple substitutions.  The couple wanted turkey, but not like a Thanksgiving type of turkey.  I found this on Food Network

I did double the recipe, but the one below is the original recipe.
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and julienned (couldn't find so I used a mix of cremini and white button)
1/2 bunch sage, leaves finely chopped
1 pound bulk Italian sausage, crumbled
1 turkey breast, removed from the bone, about 4 pounds
2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 eggs
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 pounds caul fat (cannot find down here, so had to use a little extra bacon)
1 1/2 pounds sliced bacon
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
Thyme bundle
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Coat a large saute pan, over medium-high heat, with olive oil, add in half of the diced onion, season with salt, to taste. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and very aromatic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Toss in the mushrooms and sage, season with salt, to taste. Cook until they are soft and wilted, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the sausage and use a large kitchen spoon to chop up the sausage. Cook until the sausage is brown and a little crispy, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the sausage mixture to a large mixing bowl and let cool.

While the sausage mixture is cooling, cut the turkey breast into 2 separate halves and remove skin. Butterfly each half to make a wide, flat surface. Cover each half with plastic wrap and with a meat mallet, gently pound each breast half, to flatten.  (Butcher/meat market did not do any of that like was requested.  Now I know not to go there....  I did leave the skin on to help keep it moist) 

To the mixing bowl with sausage mixture, add the bread crumbs, grated cheese, the eggs and 1/2 a cup of water. Mix together until it becomes a homogeneous mixture. Taste and season with salt if needed.

Lay a large piece of caul fat out on a large, flat work surface. Lay about 10 bacon slices in the middle, slightly overlapping. Arrange a turkey breast on top. Lay half the stuffing mix on the turkey and roll it up, creating a neat even log. Wrap 2 pieces of bacon around each end, then fold the bacon that's underneath around the turkey. Wrap the caul fat in an even layer to create a smooth even log. Tie with twine to secure. Repeat with second turkey breast.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Put a large roasting pan on a burner, coat it with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the turkey rolls and brown on all sides. Remove the rolls from the pan and add in the remaining diced onion, carrots, celery. Season with salt, to taste, and cook the veggies until they start to soften, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add 1 cup of chicken stock and 1 cup of white wine to the roasting pan with a thyme bundle. Return the turkey rolls to the pan, cover with foil and roast for 25 minutes, remove the foil and roast for 10 more minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the turkey to a tray or platter and cover with foil to rest and keep warm.

Put the roasting pan over 2 burners to make the gravy. Remove the thyme and skim the fat. Mix the flour with 6 tablespoons chicken stock and slowly whisk it into the roasting pan. Whisk in the remaining chicken stock and bring it the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the mixture has thickened to a gravy consistency. Taste and season with salt, if needed.

Remove the string from the roulades and slice into medallions. Arrange the roulades on a serving platter and serve with the gravy.

This was also served with mashed potatoes, Hasselback potatoes, and roasted Asparagus with bacon.

Sorry to say I don't have pictures....

I did taste as I went along and it tasted pretty good.

Rock Candy Experiment - 168 Hours


Frozen Berry Cobbler - Thanks to Pinterest

I know I have mentioned a few times lately about my love of Pinterest.  This recipe for what I call Frozen Berry Cobbler really caught my eye.  I read through all the comments and kind of made some changes. 

This morning Miss V and I were at Sweetbay and picked up the ingredients.

24 oz frozen fruit
1 box cake mix, the original recipe called for "non" pudding cake, but I didn't notice it until we got home that this one does have pudding in the mix.
1 can of diet soda (I just got an 8 pack of Sprite 16 oz bottles)

Preheat your oven to 350.

Place the frozen berries in the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish.

Now here is where I changed from the original recipe.  It said to just sprinkle on the cake mix and pour the soda over it and do not mix.  From the comments some commenter's said that there were spots of dry mix after cooking.

So Miss V mixed the cake mix and soda in a bowl and then spread it over the fruit.

I did sprinkle on some sanding sugar for texture.

Bake for 55-60 minutes depending on your fruit.  Mine took closer to 60 minutes.

It actually came out better than my expectations!  I am not sure if it was Miss V's choice of fruit or what.  But you can certainly change it up with different fruit.

Rock Candy approx 144 hours


Rock Candy Approx 96 Hours

Here is Miss V's Rock Candy Experiment at approx 96 hours.  Look at how much solution has already dissolved.

 Look at all the crystals!

 Look at all the blue crystals!!!

 And look at the crystals around the top of the container!


Rock Candy Experiment approx 72 hour

 Look you can see crystals growing on the skewer that had sugar on it!!

Kitchen Craft - Large Suncatchers

So I saw this idea on Pinterest this week and knew it would be something that Miss V would want to try.  We just happened to be at Michaels this afternoon and picked up a big bucket of translucent colorful pony beads and a package of just clear pony beads.


Preheat oven to 400.

In a round cake pan, place a single layer of pony beads.  You can get creative of just pour them in and shake around.

I did the creative thing with just a few colors and Miss V just poured them in.
Bake in the oven for approx 20 minutes.  They will smoke and smell for a bit.
Let them cool completely in the pan, you may here them pop when they pull away from the sides of the pan.
Drill a small hole and use fishing line to a loop.  (I couldn't find any so I just used some pastel yellow embroidery thread for now)
Hang them wherever you have a sunny window. 
I just hung them in the family room window for now since I had a couple of command hooks up already.  The ceiling fan is making them twirl around too.

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