Year: 2011

Split Pea & Ham Soup

Just like with Thanksgiving and turkey I think it’s always good to have an arsenal of “leftover” recipes for the big meal you make on holidays.  For those of you making a ham on Christmas (or anytime for that matter) I’ve got two versions of this recipe for you based on how much time you have.  One version uses the ham bone to add in some extra flavor and is great if you’re spending the day at home and want the house to smell like home cooking all day! {Slow Going Split Pea & Ham Soup} from Molly Stephens   For the Broth: 1 ham bone 8 c. water 2 bay leaves 1 tsp. dried oregano 1 tsp. dried sage 1 tsp. dried thyme 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed 1 onion, peeled and quartered 2 carrots cut into large pieces Salt & pepper Bring everything to a boil in a large stock pot.  Stir and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer away for about 3 hours uncovered.  Strain and reserve …






The BEST cider brined & smoked turkey! Smoke the turkey on your grill and free up your oven space//Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles Blog

Cider Brined Smoked Turkey

Before we take off for Texas to celebrate Thanksgiving I wanted to post my favorite way to make turkey! I’ve always thought that brining a turkey was the way to go.  It makes it so juicy but it’s important to use a smaller bird (10-12 lbs).  If you need a bigger bird to serve more people really consider making 2 small ones.  This way of preparing the turkey is delicious but know up front that you’ll want your turkey thawed and ready to go 12 hours in advance of cook time as you’ll need 10-12 hours to brine.  Smoking the turkey also frees up oven space and who among us wouldn’t wish for more oven space!  The end result is a juicy, smoky bird that has become a family favorite and a staple at every Thanksgiving! PrintCider Brined Smoked Turkey Adapted from Emeril LagasseIngredients4 cups reduced cider (Boil 8 c. fresh cider until concentrated and reduced by half) 4 cups hard cider 8 cups fresh apple cider 2 cups coarse salt, plus more for seasoning 1/2 cup …






Creamy Chunky Tomato Soup

I really love this time of year for several reasons one of which being the craving for cozy, warm comfort food.  Today was double coupon day at our grocery store and on my way there I decided tonight would be a great night for a big pot of soup.  Mike has been craving grilled cheese lately so I decided to pair that with some tomato soup.  Below is the recipe I threw together.  I hope you enjoy! {Creamy Chunky Tomato Soup}serves 4 1 tbsp. butter 1 tbsp. olive oil 1 small onion, chopped 2 cloves of garlic, minced Salt & Pepper Basil (two  cubes Dorot or 1 tsp. dried) 28oz can crushed tomatoes (recommend Muir Glen crushed tomatoes w/ basil) 14oz can crushed tomatoes (recommend Muir Glen crushed fire roasted tomatoes) 1 1/2 c. half & half 2 tsp. sugar 2 tbsp. port wine Melt the butter and olive oil together in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper.  Saute for 5-7 minutes until the onions are translucent and …






Guinness Bacon Shepherds Pie

This past week there was a great deal at the grocery store and we got 1lb of ground beef for free.  I’ve been leaning towards making a shepherds pie out of it and today was perfect since it was so cold and rainy.  Below is my interpretation of a recipe that inspired me.  Hope you like it! {Guinness Bacon Shepherds Pie}Adapted from Rachel Ray 1 c. Guinness Fresh thyme sprigs 4 slices bacon, chopped 1 lb ground beef 1/2 c. each: diced carrots, peas, and diced onions 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme 2 tsp. dijon mustard 2 tbsp. butter 2 tbsp. flour 1 c. beef stock 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 2 c. mashed potatoes (I had frozen sliced potatoes that I heated and mashed with warm milk and butter.  You can use instant or make them homemade.  I just did what was easiest.) 1/4 c. crumbled gorgonzola cheese Salt & Pepper Smoked Paprika Heat oven to 375°. Start with the Guinness and a few sprigs of thyme in a small saucepan.  Heat to low boil and reduce …






Whisky Mustard Chops

I had some pork chops in the fridge but was uninspired on what to do with them.  I did some browsing and came across the recipe for whisky mustard chops.  I tweaked it a little bit but owe most of the credit to James Martin.  Here is his original recipe: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/whiskymustardcrusted_93746 Here is my version: {Whisky Mustard Chops} 2 boneless pork chops Salt & Pepper 3 tbsp. whiskey 1 tbsp. honey 1 tbsp. lemon juice 2 tbsp. whole grain mustard 1 tbsp. dijon mustard 2 tbsp. apple cider (or water) 1/4 c. bread crumbs 1/4 tsp. dried thyme 1 tbsp. butter 2 tsp. olive oil Heat oven to 400°.  Pat the pork chops dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper; set aside.  In a small saucepan combine the whiskey, honey, lemon juice, both mustards, and the apple cider.  Heat to boiling and lower to a simmer. Let reduce down to half of the liquid.  Remove to a shallow bowl (for coating the chops) and let cool. Mix the breadcrumbs and thyme together.  Heat the butter …






Smoky Sweet Popcorn

I love popcorn…a lot.  I came up with this combination after I discovered smoked paprika a few years ago. Consider this fair warning that this recipe is highly addictive.  This recipe is for a lot so feel free to cut it down for just yourself or a few people…that is if you feel like sharing! PrintSmoky Sweet Popcorn 6 servings You could also pop a microwave bag of popcorn and make the same butter mixture for a shortcut versionIngredients3 tbsp. vegetable oil 1/2 c. popcorn kernels 1/2 stick butter (4 tbsp.) 2 tbsp. brown sugar 2 tsp. smoked paprika (gotta use smoked!) 1/2 tsp. chili powder 1 tsp. kosher salt InstructionsPlace oil and popcorn kernels in a large pot with a lid over medium high heat. Shake the pan to move the kernels and prevent burning. Once the popping slows and then stops, remove from the heat. In a separate bowl melt the butter and add the brown sugar, smoked paprika, chili powder, and salt. Mix together and drizzle over the popcorn. Toss to coat the kernels …






Luly’s Banana Bread

Good Morning! Super happy I can squeak in another post before the wedding and it is all thanks to my mom!  She was in town this past weekend and was a huge help on tackling the to do list.  We had a really relaxing Sunday and that afternoon I was able to make some awesome banana bread. The recipe comes from my grandmother, Luly, and in my opinion is the best hands down.  We had a bunch of bananas that had gotten overly ripe (sometimes I swear Mike purposely doesn’t eat them so I have to make banana bread) and those really are necessary, especially for this recipe. The bread is super moist and instead of a hard crust, the outside of the bread develops this sweet, sticky outer layer that is really too good for words! It’s great plain and cold just out of the fridge or she serves it warmed up in the microwave with a bit of butter–either way its legendary in our family and I’ve got Mike hooked on it too …






Kick Off!

Welcome to Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles! I decided to start another blog after my previous one, The Unsinkable Molly M.  I was a bit scattered in that blog and didn’t have a clear focus of what I wanted it to be–at the time I was ok with that.  The previous posts below this one came from that blog. This blog will be different! Since I’ve been very young I’ve always been really interested in food and cooking.  I’ve grown up under some wonderful cooks in my circle of family and friends.  Lately, with lots of wedding planning going on, I’ve found myself really going back to cooking as a stress reliever and a way to just have some fun and relax.  I’ve gotten inspired by a lot of things (new restaurants, new recipes, throwing things together for fun, etc.) and decided to build a blog around my renewed love of all things food–hence Peanut Butter & Dill Pickles! So…I’m back…with renewed focus!  I’ve already got some great ideas for this blog and I wanted …