Food

Dad's Day Gift Box Sweepstakes

My Dad’s Day Gift Box

My Dad’s Day Gift Box

I’ve recently given away a basket of good things for Easter, and a bushel of blessings for Mother’s Day… It wouldn’t be fair to skip over the very very important men in our lives, so I’ve pulled together a box brimming with gifts for a special dad on his day!

How does books, music, relaxation, candy, and a shopping spree sound to you?

I’ve chosen three books I think he’ll enjoy; an inspiring autobiography, and two action-packed novels my hubby gives the thumbs-up!

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GRATEFUL AMERICAN, by Gary Sinise: You know him from his stage, film, and television roles, and perhaps for his musical act, The Lieutenant Dan Band… and now you’ll know him for his book, Grateful American. After 9/11, honoring America’s defenders with the respect and gratitude their sacrifices deserve became Gary’s focus. He now works tirelessly on behalf of those who serve this country through the Gary Sinise Foundation with a mission to serve and honor veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need.

Grateful American is the moving, entertaining, profoundly gripping story of how one man found his calling: to see that those who defend this country and its freedoms are never forgotten and to inspire others to a life of service and gratitude.

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OPEN CARRY, by Marc Cameron:  Open Carry is the first in a new series featuring U.S. Marshal Arliss Cutter. He’s on a case in the icy wastelands of southeast Alaska, where someone’s declared open season on humans, including a young native girl. Cutter’s job is to find the bodies, examine the crew’s footage for clues, and track down the men who killed them. Easier said than done. Especially when the whole town is hiding secrets, the trail leads to a dead end—and the hunter becomes the prey . . . 

Cameron took over for Tom Clancy, and is the bestselling author of the latest Jack Ryan novels.  His nearly 30 years in law enforcement serving as a police officer, SWAT member, detective, and Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal helps to explain his mastery of his action novels.

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CUTTHROATS by William W. Johnstone and J.A. Johnstone: After a lifetime of robbing banks and holding up trains, Jimmy “Slash” Braddock and Melvin “Pecos Kid” Baker are ready to call it quits—though not completely by choice. Sold out by their old gang, Slash and Pecos have to bust out of jail and pull one last job to finance their early retirement . . .

Not every Western hero wears a white hat or a tin star. The Greatest Western Writers of the 20th Century kick off a new series featuring two wanted outlaws - with one heck of a story…

I’ve tossed in some great music too!

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Damn Country Music, by my good friend, Tim McGraw: This cd features the hit single, Humble and Kind, one of my favorite songs ever! I’ve not met anybody (that enjoys Country music even a little bit) that didn’t sing the praises of this song. I’ve had sons and daughters dedicated it to dads, dad’s dedicated it to sons and son-in-laws, wives dedicating it to husbands. Humble and Kind, the ideal we all reach for and that we wish upon our loved ones.

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Brave Enough, Lindsey Stirling: Another great friend, Lindsey, is an incredible violinist and dancer who has managed to merge these two talents, and in combination with her gypsy spirit, unique style, incredible inner and outer beauty, created an entirely new genre of entertainment that appeals to a huge variety of music lovers. Did I say “unique?” We are so fortunate to be able to experience life through Lindsey’s music, that’s why I’m including Brave Enough in the box of gifts for Dad!

 Everyone loves to shop - for things THEY want!

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So I’m also including a $50 Gift Card for The Home Depot. Whether it’s a new tool or two, some gardening equipment or plant starts, garage organizers, or an interesting gadget, The Home Depot has it all. The winner of my gift box will have $50 to spend any ole’ way he wants!

How ‘bout some R&R after all that shopping?

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Gravity Blanket: Last year I stumbled upon a product that has an unbelievable soothing, calming effect - by design! The Gravity Blanket, a weighted throw, uses the power of "deep touch pressure stimulation" shown to increase serotonin and melatonin, the hormones responsible for calming relaxation, while decreasing cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress.

What dad couldn’t benefit from that?! Enter to win one in the box or could pick one up for him, and one for yourself at Gravity Blanket.

  • Designed with the same therapeutic benefits as the original Gravity Blanket, the new Cooling Blanket will keep you cool and comfortable all summer long during use. Use code DELILAH to get 20% off your purchase at gravityblankets.com!

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Almond Roca, from Brown & Haley: I’m so fortunate to have confectioners Brown & Haley as long-time sponsors, and even luckier still to have them in my back yard! Almond Roca was delivered on festive occasions to my childhood home by my grandmother, and now that I have grandchildren of my own, I love to spoil them with this special treat. Spoil your dad with the unmistakable taste of Almond Roca!

My Dad’s Day Gift Box Sweepstakes is not a contest; the winner will be picked at random from all entrants.

All you must do is send me an email and let me know you’d like to win it. You DO know of course, that I’d absolutely LOVE it if you included a little story about a special dad in your life!

Write to me HERE by midnight on Sunday, June 9.

Yukgaejang (Korean Beef Stew with Fiddleheads)

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Gosari is the Korean term for dried fernbrake - or fiddleheads - the tightly curled new fronds of the common Bracken Fern.

Fiddleheads have been prepared and eaten on several continents for hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of years. But there are some precautions you should take with it.

Within bracken fern lurks a substance called ptalquiloside. It’s a known carcinogen, and therefore, NOT our friend, but because it is 1) water-soluable, and 2) breaks down in warmer temperatures, steps can be taken to greatly reduce the levels of this harmful stuff in your hard-earned harvest.

First, you should soak the fiddleheads in cold water for several hours, changing the water often. Second, at some point in the preparation process you should boil bracken fern in salted water for 30 minutes or longer, making it both tender and safer for consumption.

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That said, I encourage you to do your research and decide yourself what your comfort level with this is. I’m told that different fern varieties, such as the Lady Fern, contain less or even no ptalquiloside, so perhaps you could educate yourself and use only those types if there is lingering concern.

Kimmy and I harvest the traditional Bracken Fern, soak it, dehydrate it, store it in air-tight baggies and for months following, boil to reconstitute and then use and enjoy it in dishes like Bibimbap (Rice Topped with Vegetables) and Yukgaejang (Beef Stew with Vegetables.)

I’m going to share her recipe for Yukgaejang with you. We enjoy it so much and I think you will find it an enjoyable way to celebrate your adventurous experience!

Korean Yukgaejang

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil

  • 2 Tablespoons gochugaru (red chili pepper flakes)

  • 1/2 large yellow onion

  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic

  • 1 cup rehydrated gosari

  • 8-10 cups beef broth 

  • 8 ounces Korean radish,  cut into chunks

  • 3 shiitake mushrooms, sliced (other mushroom varieties may also be used.)

  • 1 teaspoon (or more) gochujang ( chili pepper paste)

  • 1 teaspoon doenjang (fermented soybean paste)

  • 2 tablespoons guk ganjang  (soup soy sauce)

  • 2 bunches scallions, sliced

  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Place dried gosari into a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 30 minutes or longer.

  2. Rinse in cold water, drain and cut into 3-4 inch lengths. Set Aside.

  3. Put 2 tablespoons of sesame oil on the bottom of a large stock pot, heat and add the gochugaru chili pepper flakes. Cook over medium-high heat until the oil begins to turn red from the pepper flakes, turn down to medium then add the onion and garlic; saute until the onion is translucent. Do not burn the chili flakes.

  4. Add the gochujang chili pepper paste, and doenjang soybean paste to mixture. (More or less chili paste can be used to create desired level of spice.)

  5. Add beef broth, shredded beef, radish, mushrooms, gosari (fiddleheads,) and guk ganjang soup soy sauce. Stir to combine.

  6. Boil over medium heat, covered, for 20 minutes.

  7. Add scallions and boil for another 10 minutes.

  8. Season with 1 teaspoon salt (or more) and pepper to taste.

  9. Serve with rice.

Dried and packaged gosari is readily available at Korean markets and since you’ll probably be making a trip to one for several of the ingredients, you could elect to skip the harvesting expedition and go right to making and enjoying this dish!

Strawberry "Poke" Cake

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I posted this picture of the strawberry poke-cake I made and served on Easter, to my Facebook page… and received many requests for the recipe after doing so. I wish I could take credit for coming up with the idea, but it’s been around for some time and is already pretty well known.

For those who have never been introduced, here’s the basic gist. A light, moist, refreshing desert with fresh strawberries as a bonus! I am always one to improvise based on what I have on hand, or if I think I might like to change things up a bit, and I encourage you to do the same.

Cream cheese frosting is a departure I made from the recipe when it was given to me. I think whipping cream is what’s traditional. Do what you think you’ll like best!

CAKE

Ingredients:

  • 1 box white, yellow (butter,) or even strawberry flavored box cake mix

  • eggs, oil and water as called for on the box

  • 1 (3 oz.) box Strawberry Jello

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • cream cheese frosting

  • sliced strawberries, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Prepare cake batter according to the packaging directions:

  2. Pour into greased 9x13 inch baking pan and bake, again, according to box directions.

  3. Remove from oven. Let cool 30 minutes.

  4. Using the handle of a large wooden spoon, poke holes all over the cake.

  5. In a medium bowl, stir together jello mix and boiling water until jello dissolves completely.

  6. Carefully pour mixture evenly over the top of cake. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge to chill for 2 hours or until Jello is firm and set.

  7. Remove from refrigerator and ice with cream cheese frosting (recipe below,) garnish with sliced strawberries.

  8. Serve immediately, or return to refrigerator until served.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 8oz cream cheese

  • 4 cups powdered sugar

  • 2 tsps vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Combine softened butter and cream cheese in medium bowl: beat on medium speed until well blended.

  2. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until creamy.

Zucchini Fritters

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I recently hosted a cooking demonstration on a big boat in a bigger sea.

It was a cruise ship actually, and I was in the middle of the Caribbean, chatting away to a group of Delilah enthusiasts about my kids, my life, my farm, and my love of cooking!

I shared my Zucchini Fritter recipe with everyone, and then we taste-tested the result! Mmmmm.

Perhaps it was the excitement, the sea air, the energetic participants… but oh my, they were delicious if I do say so myself!

It will soon be zucchini season, so here’s the (easy!) recipe if you feel like giving them a try:

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 medium zucchini, grated

  • 1 small to medium onion, finely diced

  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour

  • 2/3 cup Panko bread crumbs

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (or 2 tsp garlic powder)

  • salt, freshly ground black pepper, and paprika to taste (or use about 2 teaspoons of seasoning salt)

  • 4 tblsp olive oil

Directions:

  1. Place grated zucchini and diced onion in middle of a square of cheesecloth, or a clean kitchen towel, and squeeze to drain as much moisture from the vegetables as you can. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, Panko, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika (or garlic powder and seasoning salt,) then add the zucchini and onion and stir well.  

  3. Add the 2 beaten eggs to the batter just before frying, and mix until evenly combined.

  4. Working in batches, heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Gently drop mounds of the zucchini batter into the skillet, about 2 heaping tablespoons at a time; flatten slightly with the back of a spatula.

  5. Fry until cooked through and golden brown; approximately 2-3 minutes per side. Remove to paper towels, then to serving dish.

  6. Serve warm as an appetizer, side, or light lunch/brunch. Use your favorite aioli sauce or plain yogurt for dressing.

Happy Pi Day!

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Ok, not exactly A pie, but then again, pie isn’t exactly pi, so let’s dispense with technicalities, and say it’s a wedge, from a circle, which is from whither pi derives. (You’ve caught on by now that no mathematician am I!)

What I offer you here, my pi and pie loving friends, are hand pies. No more mess, or (in my house) arguments over whether someone is dipping inside the un-cut portion of the pie to pull out more filling than they deserve.

These are flakey, buttery, fruit-filled, wedge shaped, hand-held treats of deliciousness!

Ingredients:

BLACKBERRY FILLING:

  • 2 cups of cleaned blackberries, fresh or frozen

  • 1/2 cup of sugar

  • 2 Tablespoons of corn starch

  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

PASTRY CRUST:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 Tablespoon sugar

  • 1/2 tablespoon Salt

  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

  • 1 egg lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons of water

LEMON GLAZE

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 3-4 Tablespoons of cream (half and half or milk will do)

  • 3-4 Tablespoons of lemon juice

  • Zest of 1/2 lemon

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized saucepan, combine blackberries, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until well combined and blackberries are hot and releasing juices.

  2. Crush blackberries in the saucepan with a potato masher.

  3. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil by increasing heat to medium-high. Boil and stir for approximately 3 minutes, then remove from heat.

  4. Add vanilla extract, and continue to stir until saucepan has cooled enough that mixture will not burn.

  5. Set aside.

PASTRY CRUST:

  1. Pulse flour, sugar, and salt together in a food processor, or mix well in a large bowl.

  2. Add chopped, cold butter and continue to pulse until coarse crumbs form - or use pastry knife.

  3. Turn dough out onto clean, floured surface and dust with a little more flour.

  4. Kneed, adding a little flour if needed, or scant cold water, until smooth and no longer sticky.

  5. Flatten the dough, then fold, flatten, fold, several times - this creates the desired “flakiness.”

  6. Divide the dough in half, roll into balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

  7. Turn cooled dough onto a clean, floured surface, and use a rolling pin to roll each ball into an 8” circle.

  8. Place one circle on top the other, then use a pizza cutter to cut into 8 double layer pie wedges.

  9. Working with a top and bottom pastry layer at a time, separate, brush the edges of each with egg/water mixture, place 1-2 heaping tablespoons of filling in the center of the bottom layer, then cover with the matching top layer of pastry.

  10. Crimp the edges with a fork to seal and place on parchment covered backing sheet.

  11. Repeat for all 8 wedges.

  12. Brush tops with remaining egg/water mixture

  13. Back at 400 degrees for approx 20 minutes, until edges begin to turn golden brown.

  14. Cool completely

LEMON GLAZE

  1. In medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, cream, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

  2. Drizzle over cooled hand pies.

  3. Let the glaze set (15-30 minutes) before serving.

Notes:

Make filling and dough a day ahead and refrigerate. This breaks the process up, and helps things to move along more quickly the day of assembly and baking (especially if you have little helpers, like I usually do!)

Hi-Octane Breakfast Muffins

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This breakfast muffin recipe comes from my friend, Chris, a teacher who needs to fuel up before she starts her day in the classroom. Her hubby, a hard-working construction manager, says they keep him satisfied all morning long. We can all use that kind of fulfillment!

Little muffins packed full of healthful ingredients; seeds, nuts, fruits and veggies, these are truly hi-octane!

There are a LOT of ingredients, so I think it would be a fun recipe to try out with an equally busy friend or neighbor. Shop together and split the cost of the ingredients, then spend a fun afternoon or evening mixing and baking up your healthful breakfast bites for the days (or weeks) ahead.

With so many bodies under my roof, I’d double or triple the recipe, and think about freezing them for those mornings I can’t make breakfast. I say THINK because I know they’d be gone in a flash, even before they got to the freezer!

These are tasty, with the perfect mix of sweet and savory, and the right combo of soft and chewy. Enjoy!!

Ingredients:

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  • 2 cups multi-grain flour

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

  • 1 1/2 - 2 cup dried fruit bits

    • ( Choose 3-4 of your favorites and use a half cup of each: raisins, craisins, dried blueberries, cherries, apricots, dates, figs, etc.)

  • 2 cups carrots, grated

  • 3/4 cup low-sugar apple sauce ( or one medium apple, shredded)

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds

  • 3 eggs

  • 2/3 cup coconut oil (vegetable or olive oil also work)

  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Mix together.

  3. Add all the dried fruit, coconut, seeds, carrots and applesauce. Stir well to combine mixture.

  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with coconut oil and vanilla extract.

  5. Add the egg and oil combination to the dry mixture in the large bowl and stir to combine well so that all ingredients are evenly mixed.

  6. Spray about 12 standard cupcake tins or about 16 smaller muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray, or use paper liners. Fill to heaping.

  7. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, until tops are browned well.

Have one or two for breakfast and start your day off on the right foot, fully fueled, for what’s to come, with these hi-octane muffins!