By Kathy Hawkins, 05-Mar-2013 00:25:00
1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (6 ¼ ounces)
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into 1/2-inch cubes and well chilled
2 - 3tablespoons ice water
4 ounces bacon (about 4 slices), halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
Vegetable oil, if needed
1 ½ pounds onions, halved through root end, peeled, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
1 sprig fresh thyme
¾ teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs
½ cup half-and-half
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
FOR THE CRUST: Spray 9-inch tart pan with nonstick cooking spray. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in food processor with four 1-second pulses. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture; pulse to cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse sand, about fifteen 1-second pulses. Add 2 tablespoons ice water and process until large clumps form and no powdery bits remain, about 5 seconds, adding up to 1 tablespoon more water if dough will not form clumps. Transfer dough to greased tart pan. Following illustrations above, pat dough into prepared pan. Lay plastic wrap over dough and smooth out any bumps or shallow areas. Place tart shell on plate and transfer to freezer for 30 minutes.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Place frozen tart shell on baking sheet; lightly spray one side of 18-inch square extra-wide heavy-duty aluminum foil with nonstick cooking spray. Press foil greased side down inside tart shell, folding excess foil over edge of pan. Fill with pie weights and bake until top edge just starts to color and surface of dough under foil no longer looks wet, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully remove foil and weights by gathering edges of foil and pulling up and out. Return baking sheet with tart shell to oven and bake until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Set baking sheet with tart shell on wire rack. Do not turn off oven.
FOR THE FILLING: While crust is baking, cook bacon in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain bacon through mesh strainer set over small bowl; transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate. Return 2 tablespoons bacon fat to skillet, adding vegetable oil to make up difference if necessary.
Add onions, salt, and thyme to skillet. Cover and cook until onions release liquid and start to wilt, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, covered, until onions are very soft, about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice (if after 15 minutes onions look wet, remove lid and continue to cook another 5 minutes). Remove pan from heat and let onions cool 5 minutes.
Whisk eggs, half-and-half, and pepper together in large bowl. Remove thyme sprig from onions; discard. Stir onions into egg mixture until just incorporated. Spread onion mixture over baked crust (still on baking sheet) and sprinkle bacon evenly on top.
Return baking sheet with tart to oven and bake until center of tart feels firm to touch, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack at least 10 minutes. When ready to serve, remove tart pan ring; gently slide thin-bladed spatula between tart pan bottom and crust to loosen, then slide tart to serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve.
By Kathy Hawkins, 05-Mar-2013 00:21:00
Cook One Item on the Stove.
That's it. Dealing with sautèing hash browns, scrambling eggs, all the while entertaining the first few arrivals is just a disaster waiting to happen.
Cook. Assemble. Make Ahead.
Choose one item that requires attention the day of (scrambled eggs or hash browns), one that requires assembly (salad or sandwiches), and another that can be made start to finish the night before (quick breads or coffee cake), and brunch will be a breeze.
Simple Scrambled Eggs.
Eggs are cheap, traditional, and tasty, and they are easy to double and triple according to your party size. Go for a simple scramble, or choose an egg dish that only requires baking in the oven. A frittata or strata are great choices.
Quick breads, coffee cake and muffins are filling and will satisfy sweet tooths. Also if you wish to make them a few days or a week in advance, they freeze really well. Take them out the night before and they'll be defrosted when you need them.
Fruit and Yogurt.
It's good to have lighter options for light eaters. It'll brighten a monochromatic brunch plate.
A little sausage and bacon never disappoints. To avoid using your cooktop, bake your bacon and sausage in the oven. Drain the bacon afterwards on paper towels, as you would if you fried it in the pan.
Coffee, Tea and Juice.
Not everyone drinks coffee, so it's nice to have a few beverage alternatives. A good herbal tea or fresh juice like orange or grapefruit works well.
By Kathy Hawkins, 17-Sep-2012 22:54:00
This is a stand-up chicken that you'll be proud to serve at any family gathering. Treated to a savory rub, then roasted over a beer can for added moisture, it's so tasty you'll want to call dibs on the leftovers now!
Prep: 20 min. Grill: 1-1/4 hours + standing
Yield: 4 Servings
4 teaspoons chicken seasoning
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons chili powder
1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
1-1/4 teaspoons dried basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 broiler/fryer chicken (3 to 4 pounds)
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 lemon slices
1 can (12 ounces) beer or nonalcoholic beer
In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Gently loosen skin from the chicken. Brush chicken with oil. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of spice mixture into cavity. Rub the remaining spice mixture over and under the skin.
Place lemon slices in neck cavity. Tuck wing tips behind the back.
Prepare grill for indirect heat, using a drip pan. Pour out half of the beer, reserving for another use. Poke additional holes in top of the can with a can opener. Holding the chicken with legs pointed down, lower chicken over the can so it fills the body cavity.
Place chicken over drip pan; grill, covered, over indirect medium heat for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until a thermometer reads 180°. Remove chicken from grill; cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove chicken from can. Yield: 4 servings.
Nutritional Facts 7 ounces cooked chicken equals 415 calories, 25 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 131 mg cholesterol, 366 mg sodium, 3 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 42 g protein.
By Kathy Hawkins, 28-Jul-2012 19:42:00
So many people come in to our store or call us DAILY that they think they need a new dishwasher because their current unit is not cleaning their dishes. Or maybe they find debris in the inside of the glasses. If you have this problem it's probably not your dishwasher. The government required detergent makers to reformulate their detergent to no longer contain phosphates. This happened about a year ago with little to no notice or warning. Phosphates are like oxygen, they help clean. Phosphates are creating an algae problem in our waste water which is the reason for the government mandate. So now the dishwasher detergent that you have used for years doesn't work as well as it used to (especially if you live in Elk Grove and have very hard water).
You can very easily resolve this issue and save yourself a lot of money and headache. First you need to clean the dishwasher. Whirlpool corporation makes a wonderful dishwasher cleaner called Affresh. We sell it for $12.95 and you get 6 treatments (It's also fabulous to use in your garbage disposer). Then you need to switch to Quantum Finish Tabs. This dishwasher detergent has 2 different enzymes that work just like a phosphate. We have found it to work best. In fact it's the #1 recommended brand among many dishwasher brands like Whirlpool and Bosch. Come into our store and we will give you a free sample of it. You can also get coupons and other savings for this product at: http://www.finishdishwashing.com. We completely endorse this product.
By Kathy Hawkins, 31-May-2012 19:10:00
There is no doubt that I am a big fan of this Hood Company. They are built here in the US (Richardson Texas). They are the oldest manufacturer of residential range hoods in America. They only build hoods and they are really good at it. Their hoods come with a 5 year warranty. They will suck dust out of the air while they are on. There are good hoods and there are great hoods. Vent-A-Hoods are amazing hoods!!
They can build just about any "custom" hood you can dream up. Hoods are often over looked in kitchens. But from what you can see (attached) I think they should be the "focal point" in the kitchen. Hoods today can be a piece of art in the kitchen. Make your statement in your kitchen!!
Simply put, they just work really well.
If you have a gas cooktop/stove you should turn your hood on 10 minutes before you start cooking, each time you cook. Gas cooktops release gas contaminants that should be evacuated out of your home. You ever wonder why the top of your refrigerator gets greasy? Your hood isn't evacuating gas and grease. Have you ever fried bacon or fish and your house smells like that for hours? Your hood isn't sucking up food odors. I promise you nothing works like a Vent-A-Hood.
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