Thursday, March 31, 2016

Signers: New York and Maryland

This week's post concerns the state of my birth and the state where I live now.

New York
  • William Floyd (1734-1821), was a successful Long Island farmer at the beginning and end of his life.  He served in the Continental Congress as well as the New York militia and was later elected to Congress.  In Suffolk County, there is a William Floyd School District as well as a Parkway named for Floyd.
  • Francis Lewis (1713-1802), was a merchant, who lost all his property on Long Island when it was destroyed by the British. A resident of Queens, his legacy may be found in Francis Lewis Park, located under the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge; Francis Lewis High School, home of the Patriots; and Francis Lewis Boulevard, known by NYC commuters as the "Franky Lew."
  • Philip Livingston (1716-1778), a successful merchant was elected to the Continental Congress and then to the State Senate, but died suddenly in 1778.
  • Lewis Morris (1726-1798), was a farmer in Harlem before becoming involved in politics.  After the Revolution, he was appointed to the first Board of Regents for the University of New York.  He also abstains, courteously. The Lewis Morris Pizza at Declaration contains chive crème fraiche, capers, house cured salmon, shaved onion, arugula, tomato confit.
  • Charles Carroll (1737-1782), served in the Continental Congress and was an early advocate of independence.  While in Congress, he was also creating a framework for the state government of Maryland.  He holds the distinction of the last signer of the Declaration to die, passing away at the age of 95 in 1832.  Carroll is also depicted in the film National Treasure.
  • Samuel Chase (1741-1811), was a prominent judge at the time of his election to the Congress.  In 1796, he was appointed to the United States Supreme Court. The Declaration pizza dedicated to Samuel Chase has winter butternut squash, brown butter ricotta, crispy sage, truffle honey (but no kidney).
  • William Paca (1740-1799), was elected to the Congress while serving as a Representative in the Colonial Assembly.  In 1779, he was appointed Chief Justice of Maryland and later served as Governor of the State.
  • Thomas Stone (1743-1787), is the mystery delegate to the Congress.  He was known to be there, his name is on the Declaration and he was involved in the drafting of the Articles of Confederation.  He is reputed to have died of a "broken heart" in 1787, following the death of his wife.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Crock Pot French Dip

Yes, I know, Spring has sprung and it might be time to put the slow cooker away - but not necessarily.  Not before I make these. From Carlsbad Cravings via BuzzFeed.

Best Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
Prep time 5 mins
Cook time 6 hours
Total time 6 hours 5 mins
Serves: 6 servings

  • 1 3 lb. beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 6 French rolls or hoagie buns 
  • 12 slices provolone cheese 
  • Slow Cooker 
    • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce 
    • 1 cup Coke, NOT diet 
    • 2 10.5 oz. cans beef consommé** 
    • 1/4 cup dry minced onions 
    • 1 tablespoon beef bouillon 
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper 
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 
    • 1 bay leaf 

  1. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Using two forks or tongs to hold roast, sear on all sides until lightly browned. Add to slow cooker and top with all remaining Slow Cooker ingredients. 
  2. Cook on LOW for 4 hours then remove roast to a cutting board. Thinly slice roast across the grain. Place sliced meat back in slow cooker and continue to cook on LOW for 1-2 additional hours.
  3. When ready to serve, remove roast and strain fat from broth for dipping. 
  4. Split rolls and line the bottoms on a baking tray. Top each half with beef followed by 2 slices cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F or until cheese is melted. Serve with reserved au jus. 

*   The beef can be more or less than 3 pounds, but 3 pounds is roughly the amount for 6 sandwiches. ** Beef consomme can usually be found in the canned section next to the beef broth. If you can't find it, you may substitute beef broth.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Chicken Fajita Quesadillas

The quesadilla is a good go-to option for LBA and SoBA when a quick lunch is needed.  In fact, the quesadilla often makes an appearance as leftovers in one of their lunches, if there was any left after those two growing boys are done.

I am partial to the Fajitas when I go to a Mexican restaurant.  This recipe combines the best of both worlds.  Via BuzzFeed.

Chicken Fajita Quesadillas
  • 3 Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning 
  • 2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil 
  • 1 Onion, sliced 
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, sliced 
  • 3 Bell Peppers, sliced 
  • 1 Lime, juiced 
  • 8 Tortillas 
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter 
  • 2 Cups Mexican Cheese Blend 

  1. Slice the chicken breasts into strips, about an inch apart, and coat with taco seasoning. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil and cook chicken until no longer pink and slightly charred. Remove cooked chicken from the skillet.
  2. Heat another Tbsp. oil, add onion and garlic and cook for a couple minutes until it’s slightly translucent. Add the peppers, and cook slightly, then mix in the cooked chicken. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a clean pan, melt a bit of butter. Add a tortilla and move it around until it’s buttery. Add cheese, then fajita mixture, then more cheese, then top with another tortilla and pat it down.
  4. Flip the quesadilla over and cook the other side until it’s golden. Remove from pan and cut into quarters. Repeat these steps with the remaining tortillas.
  • Optional - Serve with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa. Enjoy!

Monday, March 14, 2016

It's Pi(e) Day!

From the Pioneer Woman

Strawberry Pretzel Pie
Prep Time: 4 Hours 
Difficulty: Easy 
Cook Time: 10 Minutes 
Servings: 8 Servings 

  • 4 cups Pretzel Sticks 
  • 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) Butter, Melted 
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar 
  • 1-1/2 cup Sugar 
  • 3 Tablespoons Cornstarch 
  • 1 package (3.5 Ounce) Strawberry-flavored Jello 
  • 1-1/2 cup Water 
  • 3 pints Strawberries, Hulled And Halved 
  • Unsweetened Whipped Cream

For the pretzel crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Crush the pretzels in a large resealable plastic bag with a rolling pin. Mix in a bowl with the butter and brown sugar. Press into a pie pan and bake for 8 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.

For the strawberry filling: Put 1 1/2 cups water, the granulated sugar, cornstarch and gelatin powder in a saucepan. Stir together and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook until it starts to thicken, about 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from the heat. Let the liquid cool for a good 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Put the strawberries in a bowl and pour over the sauce, gently tossing together. Allow to sit for 5-7 minutes, then carefully pile the coated strawberries into the cooled pie crust. Spoon over a little leftover sauce if needed, and refrigerate, uncovered, for 4 hours.

 Cut into slices and serve with whipped cream. (Unsweetened is nice because the pie is so sweet!)

Monday, March 7, 2016

Cookies AND a Brownie?

Hey Mrs. BA - isn't it time for March Madness Bakeoff? Via BuzzFeed

The Brookie

Chocolate Chip Batter:
  • 10 Tbsp. softened butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup chocolate chips 
Brownie Batter:
  • 10 Tbsp. softened butter
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 

For the chocolate chip batter, cream together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Blend in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the batter with the chocolate chips and mix. Cover and refrigerate while making the brownie batter.

For the brownie batter, cream together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Blend in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until combined.

Portion both sets of dough into teaspoon sized balls. Grab one chocolate chip ball and one brownie batter ball, press them together and gently form into a flat, but thick cookie shape. The dough will spread while baking.

Bake the cookies on baking sheets for 10 minutes at 375˚F / 190˚C. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool on a cooling rack.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Signers: Rhode Island and North Carolina

The third post in our Signers of the Declaration series features the state with the fewest delegates (and the second oldest one!) and North Carolina.

Rhode Island
  • Stephen Hopkins (1707-1785), the second oldest delegate at the Continental Congress, is regarded as Rhode Island's greatest statesman.  A mostly self-educated man, he represented Rhode Island at both Continental Congress and returned to the state to serve in the state legislature until his death.
  • William Ellery (1727-1820), holds another prominent role in the Brave Astronaut's orbit - he was involved in the drafting of the charter for Brown University, where both of the Brave Astronaut's parents went to school (and met).  Ellery was active in the Rhode Island Sons of Liberty and was named to the Congress after the death of Samuel Ward.  The William Ellery pizza at Declarations has roasted garlic, sauteed calamari, squid ink aioli, chili oil, oven dried tomatoes on it.
North Carolina
  • William Hooper (1742-1790), was a Loyalist and was slow to the cause of American Independence.  As a result of commitments in North Carolina, Hooper arrived at the Continental Congress after the vote for independence but was still able to sign the document in August 1776.  Hooper was actively working on getting North Carolina to adopt the United States Constitution at the time of his death in 1790.
  • John Penn (1741-1788), was born in Virginia and became a lawyer.  He was offered a judicial post following the adoption of the Declaration, but declined it due to ill health.
  • Joseph Hewes (1730-1779), was an active committee member in the Continental Congress.  When Hewes died after a brief illness in 1779 at age 50, the entire Continental Congress attended his funeral.  At Declaration, you can order the Joseph Hewes with braised pork, dijon, smoked mozzarella, smoked pears, north carolina bbq gastrique.