Homemade Pumpkin Spice Blend Recipe

Personal Chef and Catering Austin Texas

Pumpkin Spice Powder

Do you love the taste of pumpkin spice? You can add this to your coffee blend, or a compound butter, or syrup. It has many possibilities. It is a combination of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and clove. You could add it to your mulling spice blend to give it a little extra spice as well. This is definitely a holiday favorite for all pumpkin spice lovers!

Ingredients
3 T Cinnamon (I actually oven roast the bark and grind my own)
2 T Allspice
2 T Nutmeg
1 T Ground Cloves
1/2 t Organic Ginger

Directions
If you desire to grind your own cinnamon bark I suggest finding it at your local Asian or Indian Market or Grocery Store. Take the bark out of the package, place on baking sheet and roast until it is nice a brown and moisture is removed. Remove from oven and let cool completely! (I have ruined several coffee grinders during this process if they are not completely cooled) once ground you will mix the spices and place in an airtight jar or tin. If you want to add this to a syrup for holiday pancakes, or a butter for a banana nut bread it all works just fine! Enjoy.

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Sweet Sriracha Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Tacos

Asian Pulled Pork Tacos

Personal Chef Austin Texas

Ingredients:
2-3 pounds pork shoulder roast
1 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup water
3 Tablespoons of sriracha chili sauce
8 flour or corn tortillas
1/2 cup small diced carrots
1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup of honey
1-2 scallions cut and use the green part into 1/4 inch pieces
1-2 toes of garlic crushed and minced
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of fresh minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon of fresh lime juice (save the rest for a little squeeze on the finished product if you wish)

Directions:
Place pork shoulder roast in the crock pot fat cap side up if there is one, trim the excess. Add the brown sugar, salt and honey to the soy and water and mix to try and dissolve it just a bit. Add the sriracha, ginger and garlic to the soy mixture and give that a little stir to blend in the flavors a bit. Pour the liquid over the pork roast and then add the carrots and cilantro on top of the roast. Cover ; cook on LOW 8 hours or until meat is tender. Remove pork from slow cooker and shred the roast using 2 forks. Add 1/2 cup cooking juices to moisten pork and more if needed. Serve on a warm tortilla with the sriracha slaw mix/ DELISH!!!!

** Slaw garnish or topping for pulled pork taco: 1 package of cole slaw mix, 1 Tablespoon of frech cilantro rough chop, 1 Tablespoon of sriracha, and 1/4 cup of mayo. Mix the srirachi with the mayo and then fold into your cilantro slaw or cabbage mix serve on top of your tacos when ready to grub down! You can also add a fresh squeeze of lime and some sweet onion slices if you wish. These are some of my favorite things to eat!

Central Texas Slow Cooker Rosemary Pot Roast

Personal Chef Austin Texas

Rosemary Pot Roast
Anyone from the Central Texas or The Hill Country area knows that there is rosemary in abundance. I love fresh rosemary and I have it growing everywhere and I have propagated plants to make even more plants. That is how much I love rosemary! They say that rosemary has many healing qualities as well as it helps keep bugs away too anyone here knows about those killer Texas Mosquitoes.

Pot Roast however is one of the all time favorite comfort foods and most people in the US absolutely love it. It has been a staple for many and also ways for moms to hide a few vegetables into their children’s diets. I really love the flavor of a good pot roast and vegetables medley with a hint of rosemary. Here is my pot roast recipe that I find is a really easy one to prepare and if you prefer not to have the red wine in it you can omit it from the recipe. The alcohol cooks off but it gives it a more rounded flavor if you do add it to the recipe.

Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat cut into 2 inch size pieces
3-4 cans of beef broth
4 small gold or red potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces
1-2 cups water
1-2 cups of baby carrots, rinsed
1 medium sweet onion, cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup of red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, rinsed and patted dry
2 sprig fresh thyme rinsed and patted dry
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

Use about 2 Tablespoons of butter and rub the inside of your crock pot to ease the cleanup and to add some extra flavor. Add all of the veggies starting with the carrots and onions first then the potatoes. Add the meat and add the garlic powder, salt and pepper, then pour in the beef broth and wine. Add the tomato paste to the water and stir a bit to incorporate the paste in to a soluble and then pour on top of the already added items. Add the fresh rosemary and thyme and cover.

Cook on HIGH 4 hours or on LOW 8 hours or until beef is tender. If you are using the higher setting you will need to monitor so you do not run it out of water/broth. You do not want to burn. When meat is tender turn off the crock pot and let rest for about 10- 20 minutes and then serve. Enjoy.

Homemade Cheddar Biscuits

Cheddar Bay Cheese Biscuits YUM
Private Dinner Party Services and Personal Chef Austin Texas

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 T sugar
1 T baking powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Butter Dressing for Bisciuts
3 T unsalted butter, melted
1 T chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt to taste

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. spray lightly with a non-stick spray
2. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients.
3. Add the butter and cut that in with a fork, add the buttermilk and mix until wet, do not over mix and then gently fold in cheese.
4. Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, scoop the batter evenly onto the prepared baking sheet and add to the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
5. When biscuits are pulled form the oven add the butter dressing, whisk together butter, parsley and garlic powder in a small bowl you will lightly brush the tops of the biscuits with the butter mixture add some coarse sea salt to taste if desired.
6. Eat or serve with meal.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Stuffed Zucchini Chef Shelley Pogue
Private Dinner Party Services and Personal Chef Austin Texas

Ingredients:
5 to 6 fresh zucchini
1 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano
4 portabella mushrooms, stemmed, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
3-4 vine ripe tomatoes or Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 slices of bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
2 egg, beaten
2 T softened butter
2 T of fresh basil
1 T of fresh parsley
1/2 tsp of fresh tarragon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and soft center flesh with a spoon to hollow out a cavity to hold the stuffing, but save the flesh from inside. Arrange the zucchini canoes or boats into a baking dish, and drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Chop the left over zucchini flesh that was scraped from your zucchini boats and set aside.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the mushrooms, onions and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add in the reserved zucchini and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, to taste and heat through for a few minutes, then remove from the heat.

While the veggies cook, use the butter, spread it on the bread. Add the buttered bread into your preheated oven until it browns and becomes like croutons or hard toast this will take about 5-10 minutes. When your toast comes out of the oven let it cool for a few minutes and then break them into manageable pieces for your food processor. When the bread pieces are in the food processor you will add your herbs and pulse. I prefer to have some texture with the crumb mixture so I do not pulse until there are no particles left.

Fold your bread crumb mixture into the veggies along with 3/4 of your Parmesan and your egg, remember to reserve some of the Parmesan to use as a topping. Mound the zucchini stuffing in to the zucchini boats and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the tops with remaining cheese turn your oven to broil, and broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until brown.

Coconut Shrimp Recipe

Coconut Shrimp
Private Dinner Party Services and Personal Chef Austin Texas


Ingredients:

2-3 lbs whole 16/20 shrimp, cleaned, deveined, with tail left on
2 cups corn flakes
2 cups beer batter (see below for recipe)
2 cups coconut, shredded
6-8 cups coconut oil
1-2 tsp salt and pepper added to your flour dredge
flour, for dredging


Beer Batter Recipe:

5-6 cups all-purpose flour, start with 5 and add more if batter is too runny
8 eggs
18 oz of a good dark beer that is equal to about 1 1/2 beers


Instructions:

1. Heat the coconut oil to about 350 degrees or medium high heat
2. Make your beer batter mixture.
3. Mix the corn flakes and coconut and hold until you are ready for them. The whole process is really quick after this step.
4. Add the shrimp to the flour dredge and coat until covered.
5. Dip the shrimp holding it by the tail into the beer batter mixture, and when well coated, roll into your cornflake coconut mixture. Press down if needed to get a good coating on your shrimp.
6. Add to the hot oil and cook until golden brown.
7. Remove and add to a paper towel to remove the excess oil. Serve and enjoy!

Key Tips For Growing Bell Peppers

Private Dinner Party Services and Personal Chef Austin Texas


Bell-Peppers-640x480
I love Bell Peppers in just about anything and I will eat them fresh after washing them first of course. Meatloaf would not be meatloaf without them in there! They are great on salads and they are a good source of vitamins. Here are 5 tips for growing great bell peppers.

Red, green, yellow and purple are all popular colors of bell peppers. This universal vegetable is native to North America and is not only used for cooking, but also decoration. Bell peppers are packed with vitamins including vitamin A and C, and do not lose their potency when cooked.

Although bell peppers take much longer to grow from seeds than other vegetables, they will yield several peppers on one plant with proper care and fertilizer. Generally, bell peppers, when planted from seeds will be ready to harvest in 10-12 weeks.

How to Grow the Best Tasting Bell Peppers

1. Prepare the ground before planting bell pepper seeds by turning the soil and adding organic matter such as peat moss. Bell pepper plants can be grown in rows or as single plants. Each plant may produce 4 or more peppers if taken care of throughout the growing season.

2. Bell peppers can be planted from seed, but due to the long growing season, it is probably best to buy plants when they are 4 to 6 inches tall. However, if you choose to plant from seeds yourself, plant seeds about ½ inch in the ground and 3 inches apart in rows or seed starter containers.

3. When plants reach 4 – 6 inches tall, and all possibility of frost has passed, transplant to your garden on a cloudy day or in the evening to prevent wilting. Create small wells, fill with water and allow to soak into the ground before planting bell pepper plants. The wells help retain moisture when watered.

4. Water bell pepper plants often so they do not wilt. Once pepper plants wilt they lose their yield and quality.

5. Bell peppers will be ready to pick when they are shiny and firm, about 8 – 10 weeks after transplanting. The more often you harvest, the more peppers that will grow. If peppers remain on the plant, likely they will turn yellow, red or purple and this will not affect the taste too much.

Other helpful tips for growing delicious bell peppers

Pepper plants grow best in warmer seasons and do require at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, so plant in full sun if possible.

Bell peppers are prone to some diseases especially in milder climates. Ensure you inspect leaves for spots, which are caused by bacteria and fungi. Leaf spots can be remedied with a treatment of sulfur, neem oil or other types of fungicides. Read all labels for safe application.

Peppers may also attract a number of insects that will affect plant growth. Flea beetles, leaf miners and aphids can all infect a plant’s growth. There are a number of insecticides on the market including organic such as sulfur and Bt-based products. Read all labels before using on your bell pepper plants.

Once harvested, bell peppers should be stored in a refrigerator, and are good up to 3 days, cooked or cut and freeze for later use

Source: beselfsufficient.net/growing-fantastic-bell-peppers/

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