Irish Soda Bread – So Tasty!

[print_link] This recipe was given to us by the master baker of Irish Soda Bread, Diedra Wynn, We are grateful for her help and training. She has surely perfected the art of this recipe. This recipe has been approved by Irishmen, who have claimed that they have not had such good Irish Soda Bread since they were in Ireland. So Lets get to it!
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease two 8” pie or cake pans

Ingredients:

4 – 4 ¼  Cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Soda
3 tsp baking powder
¼ Cup sugar
¼ Cup butter
1 egg
1 ¾ Buttermilk
2 Cups raisins or currants

In a large bowl mix together flour, salt, soda, baking powder, and sugar until thoroughly blended.
Cut in cold butter.  I literally take my hands and just break it into the dry ingredients by crumbling it through my fingers until fully into the flour mix. (do not melt the butter!)
Add Raisins if you like! I do!

Beat the egg slightly and add to buttermilk
Stir the buttermilk/egg into the dry mixture until blended.

Turn out the soft dough onto a floured board
Knead until smooth (2 -3 minutes)

Divide dough in two.  Shape each half into a smooth round loaf.
Place in 2 greased 8” pie or cake pans.  Press down until dough fills the pan.

Cut a cross in the top of the loaves.  Sprinkle with some sugar (or not)
Bake 375 degrees for 35-40 min for some of the finest Irish Soda Bread you have ever tasted..

A cube of room temperature butter is recommended as you will want to eat this as soon as possible, maybe even before it is possible. We have seen the loaves be totally consumed before they cool.

Enough and no waste is as good as a feast – Irish Saying –

There will be no waste on these loaves. guaranteed!
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Our April 2014 Flowers

The Roses and the Iris hit wonderful notes this April surrounding us with the beauty of mother nature everywhere we look. We are so grateful.

I see little tomato flowers too. Can’t wait for those big vine ripened tomatoes, and we will have four different types!

Enjoy

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Charley’s Kitchen – Six Bean Salad

6 Bean Salad by Charley Carlin

The has been a real hit at our table.

[print_link] Here in Charley’s Kitchen I took my Summer Bean Recipe and modified it for a larger batch and added a few twists. This recipe can be modified at will. For instance Anet does not care for the butter beans, so I simply do not put them in that batch. Each batch is a bit different abd they all are simple, easy, and taste so nice.

 

A real raving favorite for some of our guests! Just Chop, mix and chill! It really is that easy.

Charley’s Kitchen – Ingredients

Charley's Kitchen - Creating is easy

Simple and Straightforward

Charley's Kitchen - Good Food Starts Here!

Fresh Red Bell Peppers are so sweet!

Charley's Kitchen - Good food and Great Fun

Seeded and Minced the jalapeno is a mild addition to the salad (optional)

1 can – 15 oz black beans (rinsed thoroughly and drained)
1 can – 15 oz butter beans beans (thoroughly rinsed and drained)
1 can – 15 oz pinto beans (thoroughly rinsed and drained)
1 can – 15 oz red kidney beans (thoroughly rinsed and drained)
1 can – 15 oz pinquito beans (thoroughly rinsed and drained)
1 can – 15 oz white kidney beans (cannellini beans) (thoroughly rinsed and drained)
1 can – 15 oz diced tomatoes (juice and all) Continue reading

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Moroccan Crockpot Stew

Charley’s Kitchen Version of Moroccan Stew

[print_link] While at one of our favorite local restaurants, Fig Good Food, I tried a dish of Moroccan Stew. I liked it a lot and found myself ordering it again and again. Well, I went to the internet and looked up at least a half dozen versions of Moroccan Chick Pea Stew. With that input and my alterations for local conditions and local availability, I created Charley’s Kitchen version of Moroccan Stew which has been quite popular! Now you can create that same dish at your place. Enjoy!

Get that Crockpot out and put it on Low.  I like the slow cooking method myself. This filles the house with wonderful smells.

Add these to the Mix:

  • 2 Cans Garbanzo Beans (rinsed well)
  • 2 Cans Red Kidney Beans (rinsed well)
  • 2 Cans Pinto Beans (rinsed well)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more or less – some like it hot, some do not)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 big cans (28-ounce) diced tomatoes, juice and all!
  • 6 carrots diced small pieces
  • an equal sized pile of yam or sweet potato (Some prefer Potatoes – Your Choice)

Use olive oil to Saute the following:

  • One medium yellow or brown onion – Sauteed
  • One medium purple onion – Sauteed
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced and  Sauteed
  • 2 jalapenos seeded and minced and Sauteed

Saute till tender and add to the Crockpot. Make sure everything is covered in sauce – This usually means adding a few cups of water.

Eat in about 3 hours – when the carrots and Yams are tender.
Add a bunch of chopped cilantro and Lets Eat!
As Always
Charley Carlin
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Cherry Rice

Charley Carlin Cooks - Cherry Rice

Cherry Rice Ingredients

[print_link] Charley’s Cherry Rice
Well as luck would have it, I wandered into a Mediterranean restaurant in Lake Elsinore, CA, King Kabob. So I tried the saffron rice and lamb and loved it! Came back and tried the Chicken Kabob and Saffron rice and loved it even more. Came back again and tried the Cherry Rice and Loved it even more! They use a family recipe so I had to research and make up my own, so here it is! I include the link to restaurant for those who may be near or driving by from or to San Diego. (Railroad Canyon Ramp from Highway 15) Click to read Anet or my review on Yelp.
Half cube butter and one chopped onion saute then add half teaspoon for allspice, half teaspoon of cinnamon quarter teaspoon of ground cloves saute more add half teaspoon kosher salt some ground pepper saute and set aside next – Half cube butter and minced onions saute (one brown and one purple) add a teaspoon of salt add two cups Long Grain Basmati Rice – saute more and stir stir stir next – add three and a half cups of water – bring to boil then low heat for 20 minutes (till rice is done) next – a jar of Trader Joe’s Cherries (include about half the juice) add the sauteed spiced onions from step one mix in gently and put lid on rice and let is rest for 10 minutes next – get our clay pot with lid and fill with hot water wait 10 minutes to warm the container so it does not cool the rice! dump water – dry container and fill with rice and serve! Note the salt really wakes up the flavors – salt to taste Yippee – A double big Hit – First served on 4/18/2012.

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Texas Pecan Pie

[print_link] This is it the Texas Pecan Pie by Anet that will knock your socks off. Enjoy!
Make a crust of the following:
2 1/4 cups of flour
1 tsp of salt
3/4 C of vegetable oil or corn oil….no canola or olive
1/4 C milk
Simply mix the ingredients until the consistency of Play dough.  If it is too wet, sprinkle flour make it right.  If it is too dry it will not be like clay.
It is not necessary to roll this crust.  Simply take balls of it and form a fluted crust.  You do not have to use all of it.  Don’t make the crust too thick.  This is a delicious crust.  I promise.
Filling
3 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 Cup sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 Tablespoons flour
1 Cup DARK Karo Syrup
1 1/2 Cups of Pecans broken (ours come from Texas)
1 Tsp of Vanilla
Mix the ingredients and pour into pie.  I use a pie collar to make sure the edges don’t get too brown while the pie is cooking.  However, you can make a little wreath with foil around the pie to keep the fluted crust from cooking too quickly. Texas Pecan Pie at its best!
Bake at 350 for about 50-60 minutes
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Green Bean Blanch

[print_link] The Green Bean Blanch is another modification of a recipe that I got from Ken Hom (search You Tube for more of his recipes).
Anet Raves about this one, as it is now done with blanched beans instead of deep fried beans.
So get a couple pounds of fresh blue lake green beans. trim the ends and leave them long. Blanch them in boiling water for 4 and a half minutes.
use cold water to stop the cooking process. Now the sauce – 3 cloves garlic minced – equal size pile of ginger minced 4 minced scallions, 2 Tablespoons of sherry, 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of sugar.
mis it up and roll the beans in it. then I like to dress in up with black sesame seeds sprinkled all over the disk. regular sesame seeds will do fine as well.
Serve and Enjoy!

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Bobbi’s Award Winning Carrot Cake

[print_link] Bobbi’s Award Winning Carrot cake has been victorious at our carrot cake competition now for years running. We even retired her from competition declaring her the emiterius world champion. When another up and coming baker said ‘Bring her on,’ We did and she won again! Bobbi is quite the baker and has also been the winner of our pie competitions many times as well. Here is what she sent me for her Carrot Cake Recipe, I am sure you will need to have some baking experience to make this one work. I sure would.

Bobbi’s Ingredient List:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 can drained, crushed pineapple
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

Combine dry ingredients and then fold in wet ingredients. Mix together well and then pour into a large casserole dish and bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until firm.
Frost when cool with butter cream frosting.

Butter cream frosting:
1 stick softened butter, 1 box powdered sugar 1 8 oz package of softened cream cheese, 2 tsp vanilla. Blend until creamy. Install thickly!

Enjoy, Anet & Charley Carlin
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Charley’s Beans

[print_link] The most called for recipe at our house is for Charley’s Beans, the sweet and hot beans. These beans seem to always get stories about ‘the best beans I ever had’ from the dinner guests and I get an empty crock pot (or people requesting to take the leftovers home!)

Keep it simple – watch your ratios – a little more or less of any of the beans is ok. – I use a 6 quart crock pot. Watch you crock pot, some are hotter and some are cooler. Some do a vigorous boil on low (beware), and some are real slow cookers, this will take you learning your tool!
If you are adverse to hot, start with one tablespoon of the Sriacha HOT chili Pasta
Although I list Green Tabasco sauce, sometimes I use Cholula  Start with you crock pot on low and lets add a few things!

1 30 oz can diced tomatoes (juice and all for this item)
2 15 oz cans black beans drained and rinsed (Important Rinsed CLEAN – or you will have a crock pot of grey muck) 2 30 oz cans Bush’s Vegetarian Baked Beans – Just drain the sauce from the top (too much juice makes the beans runny) 1 30 oz can pinto beans drained and rinsed (Clean – See above) Siracha HOT Thai Chili Paste (rooster) 2 Heaping Tablespoons) 3/4 lb brown sugar (more or less I just guess) 20 – 30 shakes green Tabasco sauce half a jar of salsa or so (about 12 oz) (green or red, hot or mild – You choose – a mild red on your first outing) 1 brown onion chopped (If you mince it it will disappear in the the beans, so half inch square chunks) 1 purple onion chopped (Same on this onion – or use two of these – or use two of those or …)
leave on low for 6 to 9 hours (Stir and taste every hour or two – and add more beans if you eat too much and the crock pot is going down – Add Any bean to the mix – just follow rinsing and draining directions! – remember its all about ratios)
during the last two hours add 2 – 15 oz cans kidney beans drained and rinsed clean (some kidneys can get tough – others don’t – I like the red for color) Best served with the Smoked Chicken!

Charley’s Beans – Come and Get It!

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Little Museums Everywhere!

Finding little oddities, be they shrines, museums, overlooks, monuments, or restaurants is definitely one of the passions of travel for me. So here I will share a bit of bling from the YELP reviews I have written about places I / we have been.

A fun set of Reviews – All by Charley
(Yes – I have been to all of these places!)



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