Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon

Roasted Lemony Brussels Sprouts Recipe

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds fresh brussels sprouts, end trimmed and halved
1 lemon, zested
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
juice of half a lemon

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

Cut off the rough ends of the brussels sprouts and remove the loose outer leaves. Cut the brussels sprouts in half, lengthwise. Toss with olive oil.

On a baking sheet, evenly spread the brussels sprouts making sure not to stack them and roast for 25 minutes.

Season the brussels sprouts with lemon zest, salt, pepper, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cupcake Cones


1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix or your favorite recipe from scratch
24 flat bottomed ice cream cones
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or icing
1 ounce colored candy sprinkles

Prepare cake mix according to directions. Fill each cone about 3/4 full of batter, up to first ridge. Place cones in the cups of a cupcake pan or on cookie sheets.

Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 15 to 18 minutes.

Place 10 chocolate chips on top of each warm cone, and in a minute or two spread melted chocolate over top. Decorate with candies.

Fun, get creative recipe! Made a double batch using two different cake mixes and found that the mix calling for eggs, water and butter (not oil) baked better, yeiled a much better looking cone and had less overflow problems. Using 1.75 ounce cones, I got 25 cones from one box of cake mix. I filled them up to just shy of the top inside line, gently tapped the bottom of the cone to settle the mix and baked them in a cupcake pan with paper liners. The only time I had overflow was when the edge of the cone was broken. If one should overflow to the bottom, I found that if you take it out and replace the paper liner, it breaks the stream and stops. Just frost the drips, after all ice cream melts! Frosted with canned chocolate chip icing, the cones look really authentic! Tip for transporting: Use egg cartons. Cut off the top, then bottoms of each egg holder and you have a "collar" that holds the cones. Then I taped the egg carton collars into a box lid and it made for both easy transport and serving when sitting on a buffet table.

Monday, August 16, 2010

BLT Pizza


I stumbled across this and had to make it immediately.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Strawberry-Lime Cupcakes

Strawberry-Lime Cupcakes


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk


1 1/3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 drop green food coloring
6 large ripe strawberries, hulled
Green sanding sugar
Fresh mint leaves or candied leaves


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

In another medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. While beating, gradually pour in the butter and then the vanilla.

While mixing slowly, add half the dry ingredients, then add all the milk, and follow with the rest of the dry ingredients. Take care not to over mix the batter. Divide the batter evenly in the prepared tin.

Bake until a tester inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove. Cool on the rack completely.

For icing: Mix the confectioners' sugar and lime zest in a medium bowl. Add the lime juice and mix with an electric mixer to make a firm but pourable icing. (If needed, add up to 1 teaspoon more juice, but take care if the icing is too loose it doesn't set properly.) Add food color to make a pale pastel green icing.

To assemble: Remove cupcake from its liner. Cut and remove a strawberry (coned) shaped portion of cupcake from the top of each cupcake, leaving about 1/2 to 1-inch of cake in the bottom. Stuff each cake with a strawberry and cover with a little bit of cake. Spoon and spread icing over the top of the cupcakes. Sprinkle with green sanding sugar. Top with small mint leaves or candied leaves.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cheesecake Cupcakes ~ Raspberry

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Cupcakes

Yield: 32 cupcakes


For the crust:

1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp. sugar

For the topping:

6 oz. fresh raspberries or other fresh berries
2 tbsp. sugar

For the filling:

2 lbs. cream cheese, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature


Preheat the oven to 325˚ F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Stir together with a fork until well blended and all the dry ingredients are moistened. Press 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner. (I like to use a small drinking glass to easily and evenly press the crumbs down. One of Andrew's sippy cups works wonderfully.) Bake until just set, 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.

To make the raspberry puree, combine the raspberries and sugar in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth, then pour through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.

To make the cheesecake, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy. Blend in the sugar until smooth. Mix in the salt and vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

To assemble, spoon 3 tablespoons of the cheesecake batter over the crust in each cupcake liner. Dot a ½ teaspoon of the raspberry puree in a few dots over the cheesecake filling. Use a toothpick or a wooden skewer to lightly swirl and create a marbled effect.

Bake until the filling is set, rotating the pans halfway through baking, about 22 minutes. (They will look quite puffed initially but will return to normal quickly.) Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to the refrigerator and let chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cinnamon Roll Clone Muffins

A scrumptious cinnamon roll shouldn't have to take hours of preparation and painful waiting for the dough to rise (no patience for sweets here) . . . It should be as easy as, well, making a muffin!

Cinnamon Roll Clone Muffins


1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
3 to 3-1/2 cups flour


2 tbsp. butter, room temperature
2/3 cups brown sugar
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon


1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp. milk or cream


Preheat oven to 375° F

Measure the brown sugar, baking soda, salt, vanilla and egg into a mixing bowl. Add the buttermilk. Add the flour. Stir until thoroughly combined.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or two. Roll the dough into a 12-inch by 24-inch rectangle. Using a rubber spatula, spread with butter. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.

Roll the dough into a log and stretch slightly. Cut into two-inch pieces and put the pieces into greased muffin tins or muffin tins lined with cupcake papers.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes, and then remove from the muffin tins.

Drizzle with icing (if using) when cool. Makes 12 muffins.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Blueberry Ebelskiver

2 large eggs, separated
2 tbsp sugar, divided
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup all purpose flour
approx 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and 1 tbsp sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add vegetable oil and buttermilk and mix well. Whisk in salt, baking powder and flour until batter is relatively smooth, with only a few lumps, and no streaks of flour remain.

In a medium bowl, beat egg whites with remaining tbsp of sugar until soft peaks form. Fold into flour mixture.

Once the batter is made, heat ebleskiver pan over medium heat until very hot. Brush each of the wells with a bit of vegetable oil, then fill each indentation almost to the top with batter. Place 3-4 blueberries (depending on size) into the center of the pancakes.

When the batter bubbles slightly around the edges and the bottom is golden, turn over by inserting a fork (or skewer) into the side and flipping quickly. Cook until second side is golden brown. If the ebleskiver are too dark, reduce heat down slightly.

Serve with maple syrup and extra blueberries.

Makes about 20 ebleskiver (serves 5-6)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

35 Meals for the Single Person

I happened across this post in the credit forums and thout I would repost it here. I'm single for the entire second half of July and this has come in really handy since I'm economizing while my son is gone ahead of our move.

Well, here's what I do.

I buy a big box of sandwich baggies at Walmart.

Then, I head for the meat department. You can usually buy two small steaks, or four small chicken breasts, for around $5 each. These will make four meals each, for a total of 8 meals for $10.

Buy a big bag of basmati rice, and pasta when it's on sale a dollar a box. Measure out portions of the size you would usually make (I typically make 1 cup pasta, or 1/2 cup rice or couscous). This helps keep you from making more than you'll eat and throwing it out.

I also buy Annie's mac and cheese at BJs where it is less than $1 per box in bulk.

Buy canned soup on sale or store brand if you have it.

Buy larger loaves of white bread (or wheat, or whatever) and make toast for breakfast. You get more meals per loaf than you would get from a box of cereal.

Here is my shopping list for this week:

Boneless Chicken Breast 3lbs $3.34 (it was buy 2 get 1 free, so I got 3 1lb packages)
Navel oranges 12lbs $5.40 (I use one bag for fruit for my lunches, and make juice with the rest as a treat)
Lean cuisine entrees $10 (they do specials where they're 5 for $10, so I take some for lunch or I'm too tired to cook)
Sliced Turkey 1lb $2.64 (buy one get 1 free, I bought 1/2lb)
Chicken Nuggets $5.49 for 48oz (10 meals for me)
Salad dressing $2 for 2 bottles (buy 1 get 1)
White bread $1.69 for 2 loaves (buy 1 get 1)
Baguette $1.99 (makes 3 sandwiches)
Orange juice 2 for $3
Frozen ravioli $3 for 3lbs
Pretzels $1.77
Poptarts 99cents (we all run late sometimes!)
Pasta $3 for 3lbs
Fruit cocktail $1.89 for 30 oz
Macaroni and cheese $3 for 3 boxes
Salad 2 for $5 (enough for 8 salads)
yogurt $5 for 10

Total: $59.20 and enough food for one person for two weeks, given the supplies I already have like rice and peanut butter.

Meals look something like this:

Breakfast: Toast with peanut butter, orange slices, coffee at work (where it's free)
Lunch: Small salad with two chicken nuggets (made at home so they're crispy, then sliced) and dressing, yogurt, water
Dinner: Ravioli and meatballs (bought on sale, carefully portioned so I don't cook too much and not eat it)

Breakfast: poptart and coffee at work
Lunch: Peanut butter sandwich with fruit cocktail, yogurt, and water
Dinner: Grilled chicken breast with rice

I eat as a single person for under $100 a month, easily. I buy stuff when it's on sale, don't buy what's not, and I plan meals around being able to make small amounts of things. A loaf of bread can make at least 8 breakfasts (2 slices of toast) and another 6 lunches. When I buy meat, as soon as I get it home I cut each piece of meat in half and freeze them in separate baggies. A pound of meat makes 4 meals.

When I buy rice, I take the whole container and scoop out half cup servings. This also helps you see how MUCH you're buying when you buy a bag of rice. I know when I buy a 5lb bag of rice that I will get at least 12 half cup servings out of that, and each box of pasta has another six servings. A bag of rice is about $2, so for $4 I have rice and pasta to go with 24 meals a month.

The biggest thing that cut my expenses when i realized I was spending too much on food was that I was making more than I'd eat, filling the fridge with leftovers, and throwing them out. Now, I only cook exactly what I will eat. A small portion of meat, some rice, and if I'm still hungry later I'll grab a granola bar. This, combined with buying things on sale, stretched what I was buying a lot farther. If I make mac and cheese, I save what I don't eat and eat it at work the next day, but I don't plan on keeping leftovers longer than that because I won't eat them.

It requires organization, and work, but once you get the hang of it it's really easy. My list above has enough food for 35 meals if you plan them well.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Maple Oat Muffins with Bacon

Maple Oat Muffins with Bacon

1 1/4 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 cup milk
2 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
8 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Line a muffin tin with muffin cups and set it aside.

In a large bowl combine oats and milk then let it sit for 5 min. In a separate large bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk sugar, maple syrup, egg and butter into milk mixture. Lightly mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients along with the bacon.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin until each are about 3/4 of the way filled. Bake them for 20 - 25 minutes until they're golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer them to a cooling rack and cool.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Iced Tea x 3

Iced-Tea is one of the simplest drinks you will make all summer. The two main ingredients are literally tea and water, any additional garnishing is up to you.
1. Traditional Iced-Tea: My rule of thumb is 5-6 tea bags per 2 quarts of water when brewing any kind of tea. Of course, if you want stronger tea feel free to add in more bags! To make traditional iced-tea, first, choose five tea bags from your stash and clip their strings to the side of the pitcher so that the bags are dangling into the center of the pitcher. Bring 2 quarts of hot water to a boil on the stove and pour it into the pitcher, making sure the tea bags are fully covered. Allow the tea to steep for 5-10 minutes, or until the tea is a dark golden color. Remove tea bags, cover the pitcher and place it in a fridge to cool down before drinking.

2. Sun Tea: Since Sun Tea is brewed outside it is important that the container in which you are brewing it is completely sterilized before continuing. Clip five tea bags to your pitcher as directed above. Pour 2 quarts of cool water into the pitcher and place a light cover or a tea towel over the pitcher. Place pitcher in direct sunlight outdoors for one hour. Keep an eye on the tea, when it is dark golden remove it from the sun.
3. Cold-Brewed Tea: Follow the directions above for clipping tea bags to the side of your pitcher. Pour in 2 quarts of cold water, cover the pitcher with a lid and place it in the refrigerator. The tea will need to steep like this for at least 12 hours in the fridge, but will turn out beautifully.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cupcake Archive to Sample

This is inspiring for sure ;o)~

recipes foound here at Love and Olive Oil 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Dog A Day...

... keeps lunch entertaining! I was inspired by the recent Food Network magazine article and also this post on the Food Network website.

There was a time in my life not too many years ago when my son, who was about 10 at the time, craved hot dogs for breakfast. You can imagine how I rolled my eyes the first time I heard that at 7 in the morning. I did eventually compromise with the little angel by making a versioon of a corn dog by dipping a sausage into my perfection pancake batter and serving them with a side maple syrup.

Building Soup

Soup Building

The Three Opportunities: You can dictate the character of your soup by how you decide to start cooking it.

1. Bold and sturdy flavors come from starting the soup by fast-browning the onions and some of the vegetables in good tasting fat over medium-high heat.

2. Mellow flavors are achieved with slow-stewing onions and key ingredients, like herbs, in a little fat in a covered pot over low heat.

3. Clear, true flavors come from simmering everything in liquid with no pre-sautés.

A Basic Formula:

•2 parts onion
•1/2 part garlic
•2 parts members of cabbage family (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.)
•1/2 part carrot
•1/4 part celery with leaves
•1/2 part root vegetables (celery root, rutabaga, turnips, etc.)
•1 part leafy vegetables (salad greens, chard, kale, turnip greens, mizuna, dandelion, escarole, endive, collards, etc.)
•1 part dry white or red wine
•Water as needed

Note: Wine is a powerful flavor booster because alcohol opens up flavors that neither fats nor water release. Also, red wine is high in umami, a chemical component of some foods which heightens flavors. So be generous with the wine. Use white wine in pale soups, red in dark ones, and anticipate 1/2 cup for every eight cups of liquid.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

■2 ¼ cups of unbleached flour
■1 teaspoon salt
■1 teaspoon baking soda
■1 cup butter
■1 cup sugar
■1 cup packed brown sugar
■1 Tablespoon Madagascar vanilla
■2 large eggs
■2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
■1 cup white chocolate chips
■2 cups walnuts

Mix the butter, both sugars, and the vanilla until smooth. Add the eggs, mix until blended. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder- add to the wet mixture just until blended. Add the dark, and white chocolate chips, then the walnuts, mix well. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges become slightly brown. Cool slightly and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Thai Peanut Sauce & Chicken Satay

This is a great recipe for chicken, or any white fish. It also works on salads, veggies, and rice. If you want a thicker sauce, simply add more peanut butter.

■1 cup creamy peanut butter
■½ cup sesame oil
■¼ cup vegetable oil
■½ cup honey
■½ cup pineapple juice
■¼ cup coconut milk
■1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
■1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
■1 teaspoon black and regular sesame seeds
■Salt and pepper to taste
■1 tablespoon chives

Place all the ingredients except the chives in a bowl, mix with a whisk. Top with chives or chopped peanuts.



1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
20 wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes
Vegetable oil, for grilling
Butter lettuce leaves
Fresh cilantro leaves
Peanut sauce, recipe above


Combine the yogurt, ginger, garlic, and curry powder in a shallow mixing bowl, stir to combine. Place the chicken strips in the yogurt marinade and gently toss until well coated. Cover and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at up to 2 hours.

Thread the chicken pieces onto the soaked skewers working the skewer in and out of the meat, down the middle of the piece, so that it stays in place during grilling. Place a grill pan over medium heat and brush it with oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Grill the chicken satays for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until nicely seared and cooked through. Serve the satays on a platter lined with lettuce leaves and cilantro; accompanied by a small bowl of peanut sauce on the side.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Perfect Sandwich Bread

How many recipes do you know where you can cut the loaf into whisper-thin (1/8”) slices, without it crumbling? Not many, I’d wager.

Perfect Sandwich Bread
based on a recipe from King Arthur's

1 1/4 to 1 1/3 cups water, depending on the time of year (more in the winter, less in the summer)
1 heaping tablespoon honey or sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk granules
2 tablespoons real butter
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt
4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Place the ingredients in your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer, and program the machine for white or basic bread, or for the dough cycle. Press Start.

If you're using the dough cycle, after the cycle is complete, allow the dough to continue to rise in the machine until it has really doubled in bulk. Remove the dough, shape it into a loaf, and place it in an 9" x 5" loaf pan. Let it rise until almost doubled. Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will read 195°F to 200°F.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

King Arthur's Zebra Cake

Zebra Cake

1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup milk (whole, 2% or 1%)
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons Double Dutched Dark Cocoa


1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9" x 2" round baking pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment, and spritz again. Set the pan aside.

2) In the bowl of your mixer, blend the sugar and eggs until lightened, about 2 minutes. On low speed blend in the oil, milk and vanilla until well combined and smooth

3) In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to remove any lumps. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients. Combine on medium speed 1-2 minutes or until the batter is smooth and lump free. Be sure to scrape down the bowl halfway through mixing.

4) Remove 2 cups of the vanilla batter and place it in the measure you used for the liquid ingredients. Sift the cocoa over this batter, and stir well to combine. Be sure to use a sifter to avoid cocoa lumps in the batter.

5) Now for the stripes. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of vanilla batter into the center of the cake pan. Next, spoon 3 tablespoons of the chocolate batter into the center of the vanilla batter. This causes the vanilla batter to spread out. Continue to alternate batters, in bulls-eye fashion until all batter is used. You will now have thin rings of each batter on the outer edges of the pan, thicker rings towards the center.

6) Bake the cake in the center of the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the cake is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Frost if desired.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bacon & Peanut Butter ~ YUMMY!

Bacon & Peanut Butter Cookies
(Recipe adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook)

1 cup all-natural chunky or smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 slices of bacon, cooked, cooled and diced

In a skillet over medium high heat, fry up bacon until cooked through and let cool on paper towels until cool enough to dice. Dice up and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment & set aside. In a mixer combine peanut butter and sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg and baking soda and mix for another 2 minutes. Fold in cooked bacon. Roll into large walnut sized balls and create a crisscross pattern with a fork. If you’d like, roll the dough balls in granulated sugar before making the crisscross pattern. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned.

Cool on a baking sheet for five minutes, and then transfer to… your mouth.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread
Makes 1 large Bundt pan


4 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon instant yeast
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon


Preheat oven to 200F. Lightly oil a large Bundt pan or other baking pan.

In a large bowl, add melted butter, milk, brown sugar, vanilla and yeast. Stir together, and then add the flour and salt. Mix with mixer until dough comes together in a shiny mass, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Put the dough in a large oiled bowl, cover with a towel, and place in the preheated warm oven for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. When the dough has risen, take it out of the oven and pour the melted butter into a small bowl. Put the sugar and cinnamon into a second bowl and whisk well to combine.

Punch down the dough to knock the air out of it and then form and roll small balls in your hand or on the counter. Dip them first in the melted butter and then roll in the cinnamon sugar and layer them in the Bundt or other baking pan.

Put the pan into the oven to rise for a second time, for about 45 minutes, until the dough balls reach the top of the pan and double once again.

Remove from the oven, and increase the heat to 350F. Once hot, place the pan back into the oven and bake for 40 minutes.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Strawberry Bundt Cake

Strawberry Bundt Cake


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 Tb. lemon juice, divided
Zest of 1 lemon
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
a few grinds of pepper
8 oz. plain or vanilla, greek yogurt
12 oz. fresh strawberries, diced

Preheat oven to 325*. Grease and sugar a 10 inch Bundt pan. Sift together the 2 ¼ cups of flour, baking soda and salt& pepper. Mix in the lemon zest and set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in 1 Tb. lemon juice. Alternate beating in the flour mixture and the yogurt, mixing just until incorporated.

Toss the strawberries with the remaining ¼ cup of flour. Gently mix them into the batter.

Pour the batter into the Bundt pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

pâte à choux


1 cup water
3/4 stick butter (6 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon sugar plus 1/8 teaspoon salt (for sweet)
1 teaspoon salt (for savory)
5 3/4 ounces flour
1 cup eggs, about 4 large eggs and 2 whites


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Boil water, butter, and salt or sugar. Add flour and remove from heat. Work mixture together and return to heat. Continue working the mixture until all flour is incorporated and dough forms a ball. Transfer mixture into bowl of a standing mixer and let cool for 3 or 4 minutes.

When the mixture comes off of the stove, it will be very hot. If you try to add the eggs now, they’ll scramble; so you need to wait for the mix to cool down. 140°F is what we’re shooting for.

With mixer on stir or lowest speed add eggs, 1 at a time, making sure the first egg is completely incorporated before continuing. Once all eggs have been added and the mixture is smooth put dough into piping bag fitted with a round tip.

Pipe immediately into golf ball-size shapes, 2 inches apart onto parchment lined sheet pans. Cook for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and bake for 10 more minutes or until golden brown. Once they are removed from the oven pierce with a paring knife immediately to release steam.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Spaghetti Carbonara with Roasted Garlic

The crown of comfort: a huge plate of spaghetti carbonara, big and bold and bursting with flavor. Comfort food at its best!

Spaghetti Carbonara with Roasted Garlic

2 eggs at room temperature

10 cloves garlic
2 ounces good olive oil, divided
8 ounces prosciutto, cut into ¼” strips
6 ounces pecorino romano cheese, grated just before adding
1 pound spaghetti noodles (not thin)

Ample water for boiling noodles

Roast the Garlic: Preheat oven to 350º. Peel 10 cloves of garlic and cut into almond-sized pieces if the cloves are large. Put a generous tablespoon of oil onto the center of an 8-inch sheet of foil, plonk the garlic on top and fold to make a sealed pouch. Bake for 12 minutes, and set aside. Do not open foil pouch for at least 5 minutes after removing from the oven.

Cook the pasta: Bring water to boil in a large pot. Add the pasta and time for 1 minute less than the cooking instructions.

Cook the prosciutto: Heat the rest of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. When there is 5 minutes left on the pasta, add the prosciutto. When there is 2 minutes left on the pasta, add the garlic. Lower the heat if necessary. You want these ingredients hot but not sizzling.

Heat the bowls: Put 4 pasta bowls or wide soup bowls into the oven to heat for 2 or 3 minutes.

Final cooking and plating: Remove pasta when slightly undercooked, and drain in a colander.Whisk the two eggs vigorously and set aside. Bring the prosciutto and garlic back up to medium heat and toss in the pasta, primping it as you would a stir-fry. Cook for a minute or two.

Remove the bowls from the oven and set to one side. Add the noodles, dividing them and the toppings into four portions, and put some of the egg directly over each portion, stirring slightly. When the egg has set (30 seconds or less), top generously with pecorino romano cheese. Toss lightly.

This is a simple pasta preparation. What is of absolute importance is that the components and the pasta bowls are all hot when the final dish is assembled. This assures the complete melding of flavors and adequate cooking of the eggs.

Serve immediately with thick slices of foamy ciabatta bread (or Lago di Como bread) and slathers of fresh butter. If this doesn’t make you feel better after a long day, then I’m afraid there’s no hope for you! 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


This is a second run at this clone of a seasoning mix and I think it's spot on...


3 cups sifted flour
1/3 cup powdered eggs
2 teaspoon garlic salt (or garlic powder)
2 teaspoons onion salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried powdered rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried powdered thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper (or a little more to taste hotter)

Combine all ingredients for the seasoned flour.

Rinse chicken with water and roll in flour mixture and fry. Best if cooked in canned Crisco shortening till golden brown.


Dip in flour mixture, then dip in beaten eggs and re-dip in flour mixture pressing the flour onto the chicken for a good thick coating.


Makes 3 1/2 cups of seasoned flour

Sunday, May 23, 2010



1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
4 tablespoons milk, lukewarm
1 teaspoon white sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup butter
4 tablespoons white sugar, I used vanilla sugar from Penzy's
6 egg yolks
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups milk
1 cup butter, melted
2 (6 ounce) jars honey
1 to 2 cups raisins
1 1/2 pounds walnuts, chopped
ground cinnamon


1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease one large baking sheet.

2 Dissolve yeast in 4 tablespoons lukewarm milk. Add 1 teaspoon sugar and 3 tablespoons flour. Stir well and set aside.

3 Cream 1 cup butter with 4 tablespoons sugar. Add egg yolks, one at a time. Add yeast mixture and mix well.

4 Add 5 cups sifted flour, salt and 1 1/3 cup milk and beat well. Beat dough for 10 minutes or until bubbles form. Cover with flour and let rise 2 hours.

5 Cut dough in half and roll out each half as thin as possible on floured board. Spread each half with melted butter, honey, raisins, walnuts and douse with cinnamon.

6 Roll up like jelly roll, place on baking sheet, allow to rise and bake for one hour.

Makes 24 servings

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spago House Salad Dressing

Spago House Salad Dressing

2 large shallots, minced (1 heaping tablespoon)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Zinfandel vinegar
2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Freshly ground white pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the shallots and the mustard. Whisk in the vinegars, and then the olive and vegetable oils. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate until needed.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups

Sunday, May 16, 2010

No Knead Bread ~ technique

Start here with a discussion on it in the NY Times, "Better Bread with Less Kneading."

Read this one too,"The Secret of Great Bread."

Then watch this video, "No Knead Bread."

And this video, "No Knead Bread Revisited."

The recipe below was found  here.

No-Knead Bread

Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery

Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast or 3/4 teaspoon regular dry yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups water, plus about 1/8 c more
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 1/2 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Peppermint Sandwich Brownie Cookies

Brownie Cookies

2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter; more for the pan
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup mini semt-sweet chips

Position an oven rack on the center rung. Heat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment (or grease and flour the pan).

In a double boiler over simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate. Stir to combine; let cool. In an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium high to a ribbon consistency, 3 to 4 min. Take the bowl off the mixer. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and the vanilla; stir to combine. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Stir the flour mixture and the chips into the batter; let the batter rest for 5 min.

Spoon the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a #4 tip (or into a heavy-duty zip-top bag with one bottom corner snipped to create a 2/3-inch diagonal opening). For each cookie, pipe 1 Tbs. batter onto the lined baking sheet. While you pipe the second tray, bake the first until the cookies are puffed and cracked and the tops barely spring back when pressed, 8 to 10 min. The cracks should be moist but not wet. Cool the cookies on a wire rack.

Peppermint Filling

1/2 stick butter (4TBS), softened
1/2 to 3/4 cup powder sugar
1/4 tsp peppermint extract or oil ( to taste you may like more)

Just stir together until you have an icing thickness.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Brioche Dough

Brioche Dough:

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
2 1/4 cups bread flour
3 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 cup cold water
6 eggs
2 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 10 to 12 pieces

Using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the all-purpose flour, bread flour, yeast, sugar, salt, water, and 5 of the eggs. Beat on low speed for 3 to 4 minutes, or until all the ingredients are combined. Stop the mixer, as needed, to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all the flour is incorporated into the wet ingredients. Once the dough has come together, beat on low speed for another 3 to 4 minutes. The dough will be very stiff and seem quite dry.

With the mixer on low speed, add the butter, 1 piece at a time, mixing after each addition until it disappears into the dough. Continue mixing on low speed for about 10 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. It is important for all the butter to be thoroughly mixed into the dough. If necessary, stop the mixer occasionally and break up the dough with your hands to help mix in the butter.

Once the butter is completely incorporated, turn up the speed to medium and beat until the dough becomes sticky, soft, and somewhat shiny, another 15 minutes. It will take some time to come together. It will look shaggy and questionable at the start and then eventually it will turn smooth and silky. Turn the speed to medium-high and beat for about 1 minute. You should hear the dough make a slap-slap-slap sound as it hits the sides of the bowl. Test the dough by pulling at it; it should stretch a bit and have a little give. If it seems wet and loose and more like a batter than a dough, add a few tablespoons of flour and mix until it comes together. If it breaks off into pieces when you pull at it, continue to mix on medium speed for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until it develops more strength and stretches when you grab it. It is ready when you can gather it all together and pick it up in 1 piece.

Put the dough in a large bowl or plastic container and cover it with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the surface of the dough. Let the dough proof (that is, grow and develop flavor) in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or up to overnight At this point you can freeze the dough in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dulce de Leche Topping

Dulce de Leche Topping

In a heavy 5- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat, stir 4 cups whole milk and 1 1/4 cups sugar until sugar is dissolved and mixture is boiling. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally with a flexible spatula, until mixture is golden brown and reduced to about 2 cups, about 1 1/2 hours (mine took about 2 1/2 hours on very low heat).

Pour through a fine strainer into a bowl; discard residue. (*I did not have to do this step. Mine was smooth and rich and had no residue.)

Makes 2 cups.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake
Yield: 10 servings
Time: 25 minutes prep + 60 minutes to bake
Recipe adapted from: My Baking Addiction


2 t ground cinnamon
1 C white sugar

2 1/2 C flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 C butter, softened
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
3 eggs at room temperature
2 t vanilla
1 C full-fat sour cream at room temperature


1. In a small bowl, combine 1 C sugar and 2 t cinnamon. Mix it together well.

2. Generously grease the inside of your bundt pan with shortening, or spray heavily with Bake Kleen Cooking Spray.

3. Gently dust the entire inside of your pan with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Be sure you get inside all the little nooks. You will most likely only use about 1/3 C of the mixture. Set aside the leftovers to use in the middle of the cake.

4. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set the good little mixture aside for later.

5. In a Kitchen Aid mixer or using hand held beaters beat the softened butter on medium speed for 1 minute.

6. Add the white sugar and mix for 3 minutes.

7. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the brown sugar. Mix for 2 minutes.

8. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for a full minute after each one.

9. Stir in the vanilla.

10. Grab your good little dry mixture and add it alternately with the sour cream. When both sour cream and all of the dry mixture are added continue to mix for 2 minutes.

11. Spread 1/2 the batter into your pan. Pour the leftover cinnamon and sugar over the top. Spread the rest of your batter over the top.

12. Bake at 325 degrees for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

13. Cool for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding

Adapted from: Classic Southern Desserts


1 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 1 tsp flour
3 cups whole milk
3 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
6 oz. vanilla wafers (about half of a box)
3 bananas
3/4 cup whipping cream (or more if you’d like!)
1/8 cup powdered sugar
few dashes salt


Whisk milk and egg yolks in a bowl and pour into a heavy saucepan. Add sugar, flour, and salt and whisk together until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 20 minutes or until thickened. If it’s not getting as thick as you’d like after 20 minutes, feel free to add another teaspoon of flour. Remove from heat; stir in the vanilla.

Arrange one-third of vanilla wafers in bottom of a small serving dish. Slice 1 banana and layer over wafers. Spoon one-third of custard over bananas. Repeat until custard is gone and you have a few solid layers.

Beat whipping cream at medium speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar to mixture, beating until soft peaks form. Spread over custard. Serve immediately or cover and chill for eight hours.

Makes: 6 servings

Monday, May 3, 2010

Benedictine Sandwiches

Benedictine Sandwiches (from Saveur Magazine)

6 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and grated
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and grated
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. Tabasco sauce
White pepper
Green food coloring (I used 2 T watercress)
1 cucumber sliced paper thin
Watercress for garnish

1. Place cream cheese in a bowl and mash with a fork until smooth. Wrap cucumber in cheesecloth, then squeeze out and discard juice. Put in the blender with the watercress and pulse a few times. Add cucumber mixture to cream cheese and mix thoroughly.

2. Wrap onions in cheesecloth and squeeze juice into cream cheese mixture, then discard onions.

3. Mix mayonnaise and Tabasco sauce and add to cream cheese mixture. Season to taste with salt & pepper, then add 1 drop green food coloring if you would like and mix well. Serve on thinly sliced white sandwich bread. Garnish with cucumber slices and watercress

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Buttermilk Fried Chicken ~ KFC Clone

Well today, I said enough is enough, and I set out to come up with the best buttermilk fried chicken recipe. A fried chicken that the Colonel himself would swoon over, with a thick, crunchy, aromatic crust, and a tender juicy interior that’s infused with flavor, right down to the bone.

To make my ultimate fried chicken, I’ve employed a few tricks that I’ve learned over the years. The first is to brine the chicken. This is a must for any roast chicken, and it works equally well in fried applications. The fundamentals of brining are simple, you’re soaking the chicken in a salt and sugar solution that flavors the meat, and much like a marinade would, while increasing the chicken’s moisture content. For my fried chicken, I decided to user buttermilk instead of water, and I stuffed it full of aromatics such as onion juice, garlic, celery seed and rosemary. After a night soaking in the buttermilk brine, the chicken is literally bursting with flavor, from the inside out.

Satisfied that I’d given the chicken the love and flavor that it needed, I moved onto the skin. In fried chicken circles, there’s much debate over how to get a nice crunchy crust. I’ve found the double dredge gets a nice thick crinkled crust that stays crunchy long after the chicken has turned cold (not that there would ever be chicken left on the plate long enough to go cold). Since the brine is quite salty, I avoided adding any salt to the flour, but that didn’t stop me from cramming in more flavors with spices like onion powder, paprika and more celery seed.

The last secret to making the best fried chicken is to let the coated chicken air dry for about an hour before frying it. This does two things. The first is that it gets the chicken up to room temperature, which helps it cook evenly once it’s in the oil. The second benefit is that some of the surface moisture evaporates, making the chicken crisp up nicely as it’s fried.

Best Buttermilk Fried Chicken

1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic finely grated on a micro plane
1/2 small onion finely grated on a micro plane
2 C cultured buttermilk
2 Tbs kosher salt (half if using table salt)
1 Tbs sugar
4 whole chicken legs (thigh and drumstick connected)
1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 Tbs onion powder
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp celery seed grounds
1/4 tsp black pepper ground
Vegetable oil for frying


Put the celery seed, rosemary, peppercorns, and bay leaf in a spice grinder and grind. Add the spices, onion and garlic into a gallon sized freezer bag with the buttermilk, salt and sugar. Seal the bag and shake to combine. Add the chicken legs and seal the bag, pushing out as much air as possible, so the chicken is submerged in the buttermilk. Refrigerate overnight.

In a gallon sized freezer bag, combine the flour, onion powder, paprika, celery seed and black pepper and shake to combine. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk brine and use paper towels to dry off the chicken and remove any extra bits of spices. Add the dried chicken into the freezer bag with the flour one at a time and toss to coat. Shake any excess flour off as you transfer the chicken to a wire rack.

Strain the buttermilk brine through a sieve to remove the spices. Dip the chicken in the buttermilk mixture then put each piece back in the bag with the flour and apply a second thicker coating of flour. Place the chicken on the rack and let it air dry for at least 1 hour.

In a large heavy bottomed pot, add the oil. The oil should be at least 2″ deep. Heat over medium high heat until it reaches 340 degrees F. Carefully add the chicken to the hot oil. The temperature will fall a bit, and you want to keep the oil right around 320 degrees F for the duration of them frying, so adjust the heat source as needed. The chicken will take about 12-15 minutes to cook through and should be golden brown on the outside. You can use a meat thermometer to check and see if the chicken is cooked on the inside, but take the chicken out of the oil once before checking, or the juices coming out of the chicken will make the oil splatter.

As the chicken is done, remove them from the oil and drain on a paper towel lined wire rack. Let the fried chicken rest for a few minutes and serve.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010



 1/2 cup warm water
 1 1/2 tsp yeast
 1 1/2 tsp sugar
 1 tsp salt
 1 and 1/2 cups flour
 1/3 cup butter, melted
 3 Tbsp yogurt

Pour the water into a medium bowl, and then pour the yeast and sugar over the water. Wait for the yeast and sugar to dissolve.

Stir in the flour, salt, and then the melted butter and yogurt. Mix until a sticky dough is formed.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rise 60-90 minutes

When the dough is finished rising, punch it down and then lightly knead it for a few minutes. The dough will be very sticky, so you’ll need to add flour to it as you knead. When you’ve reached a smooth consistency, divide the dough into balls and then roll them out on a floured surface. Place a few pieces at a time into a heated sauce pan coated in vegetable oil.

Fry until each side is golden brown.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Grapefruit Granita

Grapefruit Granita

makes a little less than a quart. You can store it in the freezer
Shopping List:
3 Pink Grapefruits (plus one for garnish)
Dissolve 3/4 cup sugar (you could dial this back a bit) into 2 cups water.

Finely zest half a grapefruit avoiding the white pith and add zest to sugar-water mixture.

Juice 3 grapefruits (approx 2 1/2 to 3 cups juice). Keep the pulp, remove the seeds. Then add the juice/pulp to the sugar and water mixture. Stir well. Taste to make sure the flavor works for you.

Pour into a freezer safe container. Wide and shallow is better because there’s more surface area for ice crystals to form.

Stir well every hour to break up and mix in the ice crystals that form. You’ll need to do this 3-4 times until you have a nicely uniform, slushy consistency.

Cover and let freeze solid.

To serve, let defrost for a 5-10 minutes then scrape the top with a fork and scoop the fluffy ice into a small goblet or bowl. I like to serve mine in espresso cups.

For some extra grapefruit tang, garnish with some grapefruit segments. As you cut the grapefruit garnish, reserve the juice and sprinkle over top


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Moelleux au Chocolat Lava Cake

Moelleux au Chocolat… A French classic that literally melts in your mouth!!! This dessert is usually made in individual ramekins

Chocolate Lava Cake

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (4 people):

6 oz. Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate (or use your favorite 70% dark chocolate bar)
6 oz. Butter (diced, room temperature)
3 Eggs
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 cup Flour
Butter for Ramekins

How to Make It:

Preheat oven to 350°F

1. Melt chocolate on low flame in a bain-marie (double boiler). When melted, take of flame, and…

2. Stir in diced butter, until it melts.

3. In another bowl, beat eggs and sugar, until it starts to whiten.

4. Stir in melted chocolate and then the flour.

5. Butter 4 individual ramekins, and pour in chocolate batter.

6. Cook for about 10 minutes.

7. Tip ramekins upside down onto dessert plates and serve.


You can definitely prepare your chocolate lave cake recipe ahead of time, and then bake 10 minutes before serving. I always do it this way!

In terms of buttering the ramekins: butter the bottoms first, and then butter the sides, wiping from the bottom up to the top. It helps the chocolate to rise even more.

In terms of baking time… well, it depends on how runny you want it! I like it with a super-liquid-oozing center -- so do my guests! For this, you want the top to be cooked through, but the center to be liquid. You can check with a toothpick after 10 minutes of baking.

If you don't like liquid-center chocolate desserts, just cook for a little longer, and you will have an incredibly moist chocolate cake. So, either way, you can't go wrong!

You can, if you want, serve your chocolate lava cake recipe with a Crème Anglaise (English Cream) or a Coulis aux Framboises (Raspberry Sauce). Personally, I always serve it as is (no sauce). And honestly, everyone FALLS IN LOVE with this dessert!!! How could they not?!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Buttermilk Cornbread

Buttermilk Cornbread


1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Penzy's cayenne pepper


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.

2. Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, cayenne pepper, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Donut Muffins

Donut Muffins

For the muffins:

12 oz. (24 Tbs.) unsalted butter, warmed to room temperature
1-3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 lb. 11 oz. (6 cups) all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1-3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1-2/3 cups milk
1/4 cup buttermilk
For dipping:

8 oz. (16 Tbs.) unsalted butter; more as needed
2 cups sugar
2 Tbs. ground cinnamon

To make the muffins

Put a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. In a stand mixer or a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just mixed in. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Combine the milk and buttermilk. With a wooden spoon, mix a quarter of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Then mix in a third of the milk mixture. Continue mixing in the remaining dry and wet ingredients alternately, ending with the dry. Mix until well combined and smooth, but don't over mix. Grease and flour a standard-size muffin tin. Scoop enough batter into each tin so that the top of the batter is even with the rim of the cup, about 1/2 cup. (A #16 ice-cream scoop gives you the perfect amount.) Bake the muffins until firm to the touch, 30 to 35 min.

To finish

Melt the butter for the dipping mixture. Combine the sugar and cinnamon. When the muffins are just cool enough to handle, remove them from the tin, dip them into or brush them all over with the melted butter, and then roll them in the cinnamon sugar

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fruit crumble cake

Fruit crumble cake

adapted from Modern Classics Book 2: Cookies, Biscuits & Slices, Small Cakes, Cakes, Desserts, Hot Puddings, Pies & Tarts By Donna Hay

¾ cup + 1 tablespoon (184g) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cups + ½ tablespoon (272g) sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 1/3 cups + 1 tablespoon (337g) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
¼ cup whole milk
5 dried plums, reconstituted and thinly sliced
5 dried apricots, reconstituted and thinly sliced
caster sugar, extra, for sprinkling

Crumble topping:

1/3 cup + ½ tablespoon (51g) all purpose flour
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
2 ½ tablespoons (35g) cold unsalted butter, chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking pan and line with baking paper – butter the paper as well.

Place the butter, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy. Gradually add the eggs and beat well. Sift the flour and baking powder over the mixture, add the milk and beat in low speed until combined. Spoon the mixture onto prepared pan, arrange the fruit over the top and sprinkle with the extra sugar.

To make the crumble topping, place the flour, sugar and butter in a bowl and rub with your fingertips until fine crumbs form. Scatter over the fruit.

Bake for 50 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010



Yield: 18 massive cookies

• 3/4 cups butter, softened
• 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1 egg, room temperature
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon Penzy's real vanilla extract
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two cookie sheets or jelly roll pans with parchment paper. Cream butter and both sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer). Add egg, vegetable oil and vanilla, and mix until incorporated.

In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt, and mix to combine. Add flour mixture to mixing bowl and mix until all ingredients just come together.

Portion dough into 18 balls using a medium scoop and place on cookie sheets about 2 1/2 inches to 3 inches apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes for chewy cookies, and 16 to 18 minutes for crunchy. The chewy cookies will be pale in color with crisp edges, while the crunchy ones will be a little more uniformly golden. Remove from oven, cool in pan for 5 minutes before placing on rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Basic Cake Donuts

Basic Cake Donuts

• 3 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 and 1/4 cup sugar
• 3/4 cup milk
• 2 large eggs
• 2 Tablespoons shortening
• 3 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• vegetable oil - for frying
• powdered sugar - for dusting

In a deep fryer, add vegetable oil so the oil is about 3 inches deep; heat oil to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, take 1 and 1/2 cups of the flour and add the sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add milk and stir.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Add shortening. Mix with an electric beater set to low speed for about 30 seconds - making sure to occasionally scrape batter down that sticks to the side of the bowl.

Increase beater speed to medium and beat for an additional 2 minutes - adding a bit of remaining flour every 10 or 15 seconds until all flour is used.

Turn dough out onto a well-flour surface. Sprinkle a little flour over the top of the dough. Roll out dough until it’s about a 1/2 inch thick.

Cut out individual donuts with a donut cutter. Dust the cutter with a little flour to avoid sticking.

Carefully, drop donuts into hot oil: wear a cooking glove or oven mitt and transfer donuts to oil using a spatula. As the donuts cook, they will rise to the surface of the oil. When they do, flip them with the spatula.

Fry them for about 1 minute per side - until golden brown.

Transfer completed donuts to stacked paper towels to drain off excess oil & allow donuts to cool to room temperature then dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

These are gobbled up as soon as family sees them. I'll never try another cinnamon roll recipe, because I think these are the best. Note: These are wonderful fresh, but they don't freeze well

Cinnamon Rolls


1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
 2 tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg

3 tablespoons softened butter
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup raisins (optional)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoons milk or juice


In saucepan, heat 1/2 cup milk, water, and 2 tablespoons butter until very warm. Place milk mixture, salt, flour, yeast, sugar, and eggs in the pan of the bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. Select the Dough cycle. Press Start.

Once Dough cycle is complete, remove the dough from the bread machine and punch down. On a floured surface, roll into a large rectangle. Smear with the softened butter. Combine the cinnamon and 1/3 cup sugar. Sprinkle over the rectangle. Generously sprinkle the raisins and/or chopped nuts over the top.

Roll the dough up into a log starting at the long side. Cut into 12 slices. Place the rolls cut side down into a 9x13-inch greased baking pan. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Combine the confectioners' sugar, 1.5 tablespoons melted butter, vanilla extract, and 1.5 tablespoons milk into a thick frosting; set aside.

Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool 10 minutes. Spread frosting over baked rolls and enjoy.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Thrifty Food Plan & Shopping

I have been doing a bit of research on the USDA website and trying to figure out the food budget they think is the ultimate Thrifty Food Plan for us American. For a family of three (two adults & 1 teen son) I have narrowed it to 490$ a month and that doesn’t include anything which isn’t edible so toilet paper, napkins, sandwich baggies, etc are separate. They recommend that the weekly budget of @122$ be divide in the following way. When I got this all worked out I was shocked because we buy and eat a lot more meat than that.

This is how it should be.

Group 1: 19$ a week

Flours, rice pasta, chips, cereals, breads and grains, and other baking goods like baking soda & baking power.

Group 2: 32$ weekly
Potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, fresh veggies ~ greens, yellow, & orange

Group 3: 21$ weekly

Fresh Fruit, canned & frozen fruit, juices

Group 4: $17 weekly

Milk, butter, sour cream, cheeses, yogurt, any dairy

Group 5: $20 weekly

Eggs, bacon, beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, shellfish, nuts, nut butters, and dry beans & lentils.

Group 6: $14 weekly

Sugars, brown sugar, coffee tea, pop, condiments & sauces, snacks, pop & everything else like oils

Well today I went to four of the eight grocery stores in my area: ALDI’s, Value King, Giant eagle, and BJ’s whole sale club. I was shocked to find out that the cheapest and best prices were at ALDI’s on the baking supplies and just about everything else including hamburger and pasta. Unless, it was something on sale and I had a coupon for the sale item. Then it was cheapest to shop at Giant Eagle. That being said, it would be most cost effective for stuff like flour & sugar to get those at the BJ’s because there you can get a named brand in a huge 25 pound or larger bag for slightly more than the smaller generic version at ALDI’s.

We blow through a lot of flour and sugar here, with my son Joe planning on culinary school after he graduates next year.

I was shocked to discover how pathetic our consumption of fresh fruit & veggies is. In fact our consumption of them including canned and froze items is embarrassingly low. We are carnivores and junkasaurouses. The bulk of our items fall in group 4, 5, 1, 6 and after today’s weekly trip which came in under budget by 12$ we were way over in those categories and need to spend another 40$ on fruit & veggies to achieve a balanced diet.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Breakfast Biscuits

Breakfast Biscuits


2 cups flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 milk


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Sift (or mix, in my case... Sifting on a saturday morning?!) the flour, sugar, bp and salt. Cut the butter in with a pastry cutter or two knives until the butter is about the size of peas.

Mix in the milk until barely combined. Turn out onto a floured countertop, and knead about 10 times, until everything is smoothly combined. Roll or press the dough out to 1/2 an inch thick (or thereabouts). Cut with a floured round cutter of some sort... I use a glass. The number you get depends on the size...

Bake for 10-12 minutes on an UNGREASED cookie sheet until puffy and golden brown.

For me, the trick is to work them as LITTLE as possible.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Steakhouse Wheat Bread

This recipe is just like the yummy bread you get at restaurants on the little carving board served with a crock of whipped butter.

Steakhouse Wheat Bread


3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon Penzy's unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 cup bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast


Place the warm water, butter, honey, salt, coffee, cocoa, sugar, bread flour, whole wheat flour, and dry yeast in the pan of a bread machine in the order listed. Put on regular or basic cycle with light crust.

** You can remove the dough at the end of the rise stage and cook in mini loaf pans or make rolls etc.

Saturday, March 20, 2010




2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon chopped green onion
2 egg yolks, beaten
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups potatoes (half mashed & half shredded)
1 egg, beaten
Sifted dried bread crumbs

Peanut oil, enough to fill pan 1/2-inch


Add milk, salt, pepper, chopped onion, beaten egg yolks and flour to mix of the potatoes. Chill and then shape using an ice cream scoop. Dip in the beaten egg, then roll through bread crumbs. Fry each boxty in shallow oil until brown on all sides.

Cook's Note: Cook in small batches, giving each boxty at least 2 inches of space around it to not overcrowd the pan. This prevents the boxty from crumbling while frying.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Perfect Pie Crust

I got this recipe out of an old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that my mom bought and passed down to me from when she was living in New Orleans in the 1950's. I have never made or eaten a crust that was flakier or had better flavor.

You can roll it out between two sheets of wax paper if you need a top crust or just prefer to do it that way.


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons milk


Mix flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. With a fork whip together oil and milk; pour over flour mixture.

Mix with fork until dampened; turn into pie plate and press dough evenly against bottom and sides. Crimp edges if desired.

To pre-bake: Prick; bake 425 about 15 min

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

3 1/2 cups unbleached flour (or use 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour plus 1 cup unbleached)
1/2 to 3/4 cup raw or brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick butter, softened
1 egg
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup golden raisins or currants
1 teaspoon dried caraway seeds (optional)

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.

Cut the butter into the flour mixture, until crumbly.

Add egg and buttermilk.

Mix until moistened.

Add raisins or currants and caraway seeds if desired.

Form into a round loaf on a greased baking sheet.

Use a knife to cut a spiral or cross on the top.

Bake one hour.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Soft Caramels

These soft caramels have a creamy, chewy texture that melts in your mouth and never sticks to your teeth. They are delicious on their own, dipped in chocolate, or used in other baked goods. For the best texture, allow the caramels to sit at room temperature overnight to fully set up.

Soft Caramels


• 2 cups heavy cream
• 1/2 cup condensed milk
• 2 cups light corn syrup
• 1/2 cup water
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter, cut into small cubes

1. Prepare a 9x9 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Combine the cream and condensed milk in a small saucepan, and place the saucepan on a burner set to the lowest heat setting. You want the milk and cream to be warm, but do not allow it to boil.

3. In a medium-large saucepan combine the corn syrup, water, and granulated sugar over medium-high heat. Stir the candy until the sugar dissolves, then use a wet pastry brush to wash down the sides of the pan to prevent sugar crystals from forming and making the candy grainy.

4. Insert a candy thermometer and reduce the heat to medium. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and cook until the thermometer reads 250 degrees.

5. Add the softened butter chunks and the warm milk-cream mixture. The temperature should go down about 30 degrees.

6. Continue to cook the caramel, stirring constantly so that the bottom does not scorch. Cook it until the thermometer reads 244, and the caramel is a beautiful dark golden brown.

7. Remove the caramel from the heat and immediately pour it into the prepared pan. Do not scrape candy from the bottom of the saucepan. Allow the candy to sit overnight to set up and develop a smooth, silky texture.

8. When you are ready to cut the caramel, place a piece of waxed paper on the counter and lift the caramel from the pan using the foil as handles. Flip the top of the caramel onto the waxed paper and peel the foil layer from the bottom of the caramel.

9. Spray a large knife with nonstick cooking spray. Firmly cut into the caramels, creating 1” squares. Wipe the blade and re-spray as necessary.

10. Wrap the squares in waxed paper. The caramels will gradually spread and lose their square shape if not wrapped soon after cutting. Alternately, you can dip them in chocolate once they are cut.

11. Store the caramels at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cranberry Maple Madeleine's

For about 30 Madeleine’s:

3/4 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
4 eggs
3 T milk
2 cups flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup dried cranberries


In one the bowl of the mixer, to put the butter and the sugar, and to beat until mixture is creamy and light.

While continuing beating, adding the maple syrup, then eggs and the milk.

Lower the speed of the percussionist and add the flour and the powder with paste which will have been sieved, in anticipation. Add the dried cranberries and blend.

Cover the bowl of paste and refrigerate 1 hour at least.

Preheat the oven in 350 F (180 C).

If use you of moulds in Madeleine’s in metal, spread with butter and will you flour them? If you use moulds in silicone, this stage will not be necessary.

Fill molds with Madeleine’s of paste in 2/3 of their capacity, then cook for 15 minutes.

Takke out the mould of the oven and wait 5 minutes before turning out of the tin

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Herbed Chicken Parmesan

My family recommends rice-shaped orzo pasta with this saucy chicken entrée, but you can serve spaghetti or angel hair pasta instead.

Herbed Chicken Parmesan
Cooking Light magazine, NOVEMBER 2003


1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided

1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs (I use Italian seasoned ones)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 pound chicken breast tenders
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups bottled fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) shredded provolone cheese


Preheat broiler.

Combine 2 tablespoons of Parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley, basil, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a shallow dish. Place egg white in a shallow dish. Dip each chicken tender in egg white; dredge in the breadcrumb mixture. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Set aside.

Combine 1/8 teaspoon salt, pasta sauce, vinegar, and pepper in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; vent. Microwave sauce mixture at HIGH 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Pour the sauce over chicken in pan. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining Parmesan and provolone cheese. Wrap handle of pan with foil, and broil 2 minutes or until the cheese melts.