Sunday, January 31, 2010

Let's talk about brownies we can actually make!!!

After reading this post on Evil Shenanigans the other day and some of the comments made I decided to adapt this recipe so that we could talk about brownies most of us American homemakers could even make. I used the following chart scanned from a refrigerator magnet I have to make the conversions as a starting point and then weighed and adjusted using my digital kitchen scale.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
Yield 32 brownies

2 TBS unsalted butter
1/3 C creamy peanut butter
1/4 C chopped semi-sweet chocolate
1 ¼ C light brown sugar (firmly packed!)
½ C golden syrup or corn syrup
¼ C unsalted butter
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 C cake flour
2 TBS Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions quoted from Evil

Heat the oven to 350 F and prepare a 1/4 sheet pan with non-stick spray and a sheet of parchment that is also sprayed with non-stick spray.

In a small bowl combine the first addition of butter, peanut butter and chopped chocolate. Over a double boiler, or in the microwave on 30 second bursts, melt the mixture until smooth. Mix well then set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl combine the peanut butter mixture, sugar, golden syrup, and the second addition of butter until creamy and well combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.

In a separate bowl sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until most of the flour is moist. Add the chocolate chips and fold to combine and mix in the remaining flour.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until puffed and just set in the center. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning out onto a cutting board to cool completely.

Friday, January 29, 2010

“Wauchula” version of a Shepherd’s Pie

You know when I was in college we would have what they called “Wauchula” parties where everyone would bring whatever liquor they could beg, borrow, and steal. We would dump it all into a huge pot and drink it. This resulted in some of the worst sickie hangovers I ever had in my life and eventually led to me giving up drinking altogether.

Well today, I made the “Wauchula” version of a Shepherd’s Pie. I brought everything I had left in my refrigerator out and a can of mixed veggies and this was the result.

This is what I had

½ pound ground beef
3 green onions, diced
6 huge closed cap mushrooms, sliced
¼ white wine
¼ stick of butter
4 all purpose potatoes
¾ C half n half
2 T flour
¼ Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Garlic rosemary seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, spray a casserole dish with non stick cooking spray

Sauté ground beef until done, drain off grease and put in bottom of prepared baking dish

Sauté green onion and mushrooms in butter until tender. Add wine and reduce liquid by half. Add seasonings. I used garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper.

Drain canned mixed veggies and dump on top of beef. Sprinkle with flour, Add mushroom mixture. Pour about ¼ C of the half n half over all.

Boil and mash potatoes using ½ cup of the half n half then spread over mushroom, veggie, beef mixture and dust with breadcrumbs.

Bake until bubble about 40 minutes.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

English Cut Beef Shoulder Roast

“This chuck section comes from the shoulder and neck of the beef, and it yields some of the most flavorful and economical cuts of meat. The downside is that these cuts tend to be tough and fatty, and they have more than their fair share of bone and gristle. It's usually best to cook them slowly in a liquid.” ~ The Cook’s Thesaurus


3 lbs English cut shoulder roast
3 to 4 cups beef stock
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 large onion quartered

Brown roast on all sides; place in crock pot. Add beef stock to cover. Add garlic, thyme, and rosemary and a quartered onion. Cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.

I have started this in the morning in my crockpot and then gone for the day. When I do this I start with extremely cold stock out of the fridge.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Five Technique: French Mother Sauces: The Mother of all Resources

Presented wonderfully by Chef Jacob Burton through his online free culinary school. This is an informative and help resource so be sure to bookmark his site.

I love the podcasts!!!! This is a rare find.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Evil's Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this recipe at Evil Shenanigans and followed it precisely but my cookies ended up dome shaped and not flat and cookie like. This however, didn't affect the taste which is beyond perfection.

I'm trying to figure out what to do to make them flatter and more cookie like next time because they taste great. So, I asked her via a comment she might never see and I also asked in the baking forum at ChefTalk.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies Yield 5 dozen

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 375F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both the sugars on medium-low speed until well mixed but not light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and mix until well blended. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Whisk until well combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl of the mixer and, on low speed, mix until most of the dry ingredients are combined. Add the oats and chips and mix them in on low speed, or by hand.

Scoop the cookies on to the prepared pan by rounded tablespoons. Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned and puffed.

Cool on the pan for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Definitely not your same old pasta...

serve 4-6

1 pound of Orecchiette cooked, al dente
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 C ricotta cheese
1/3 C Romano cheese
4 Cups pasta sauce

Mozarella to garnish

Cook sausage and cut into rounds, drain grease from pan. Add olive oil and saute garlic. Add sauce and cheeses stir until bubbly and add cooked Oreccheitte. Toss, add in meat and toss again. Serve immediately.

B&B Hash {bacon & brussels sprouts}

I was directed to this recipe at Deliciously Organic through FoodBuzz this morning and since I had load of Brussels sprouts in the ice box to use I decided to give it a go.

I adapted the recipe provided below by adding garlic rosemary seasonings, 1/2 pound of sweet Italian sausage, and topping it with a fast creamy horseradish aioli.

Brussels Sprout and Bacon Hash
Serves 4-6

1 pound Brussels sprouts, ends cut off
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
6 slices of bacon, chopped (organic, nitrate-free and pastured preferred)
1 onion, chopped

Combine Brussels sprouts, water and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover with lid, and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, until a knife inserted into Brussels sprout goes in without any resistance. Strain Brussels sprouts and finely chop them.

Cook bacon, over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon. Add onion to pan and sauté in bacon fat until soft and caramelized, about 8 minutes. Add chopped Brussels sprouts and sauté with onions for 5 minutes. Add bacon, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Blondies are often called brownies without chocolate, which I find extremely silly; blondies are a dessert with their own unique deliciousness and personality. Whereas brownies, depend on chocolate for their flavor. For blondies it's all about the brown sugar, giving the blondies their distinctive molasses flavor. Chewy, rich, and flavorful blondies, when made right, are an indulgent dessert that are hard to resist.

This is my "go-to" dessert recipe since it only takes about 5 minutes to make and then throw in the oven. I can't count how many times I dashed this together so that last second company could arrive to a freshly baked treat. Plus, it only makes a small batch, so you don’t have to worry about being tempted by dozens of tasty treats lying in wait for you.


•1/2 cup of butter, melted
•1 cup of tightly packed dark brown sugar
•1 egg, lightly beaten
•1 teaspoon of Penzy's Madagascar vanilla
•1/2 teaspoon baking powder
•1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
•Pinch of salt
•1 cup of all-purpose flour
•1/3 cup of any flavor chips, or nuts, or Heath toffee bits (mix-ins)


1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter and flour an 8X8 pan. Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a bowl.

2 Add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk.

3 Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, mix it all together. Add the mix-ins.

4 Pour into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool. Cut into squares and serve.

Makes 9 blondies.

Of course this recipe can be doubled for a 13" by 9" pan.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chinese Quesadillas

I was inspired to make this watching an episode of Diners, Drive Ins,& Dives; Guy Fieri tracks down great tastes from a Phoenix mom-and-pop joint that has a mix of Mexican, Chinese and Caribbean food.

I'm using the leftover fried rice from yesterday.

Chinese Quesadillas

1 package of 10" flour tortillas
2 C fried rice
1/4 C black beans, drained
1/4 C frozen corn
2 C Mexican blend cheese shreds (or any cheese shreds)
4 tsp butter

Sour cream, salsa, & avacado for toppings

Assemble, lightly butter the outside, & grill on each side till golden.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fried Rice ~ technique

Basically you can add in whatever you want. Mise en place is extremely important for this.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Meatball Sub HNT

Fresh Tomato Sauce ~ Donatella Arpia

Today, we well need to make another batch of meatballs using this Basic Meatball recipe. They will become meatball subs for dinner tonight and so here is a short YouTube on how to make the fresh sauce we will top our subs with. Of couse, the recipe will be modified by using oven roasted garlic instead of the fresh garlic Arpia uses. We also sugar sauces to keep from getting indigestion and won't use the carrot. ;o)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sage Dressing Muffins

In my opinion this is a wonderful way to do stuffing differently. His recipe is adapted from a recipe found issue 59 of the Cuisine at Home Magazine. I found it here in the Cuisine at Home Forums.

Sage Dressing Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

1 bag of herbed stuffing mix – 16 ounce (I used Pepperidge Farm)
2 cups chicken broth
3 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
Sauté in 3 T. Unsalted Butter; Combine with Soaked Bread
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 T. minced fresh sage
1 t. sea salt
1 t. black pepper
1 t. Penzy’s Poultry seasoning blend

add all dry ingredients into a big bowl

Whisk broth, eggs, and milk in a bowl; add to dry stuff and toss gently. Let mixture stand until liquid is absorbed, at least 5 minutes.

Divide dressing among 12 muffin cups mounding it gently on top. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes, or until browned and set.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Yummy Apple Pie Spice Donut Holes

This recipe was based on “The Perfect Donut” recipe I poached off lipstick blogger. I decided to add a teaspoon of Penzy’s Apple Pie Spice blend to the dough, then glaze in a powdered sugar & apple juice drizzle and dust with more powdered sugar. I also made only holes since there aren’t any calories in those.

Yummy Apple Pie Spice Donut Holes
(makes 4 dozen holes)

1 c. milk
5 t. yeast (or two packets)
1 pinch sugar

2 c. all-purpose flour
½ c. warm mashed potatoes
½ t. salt
1 t. apple pie spice blend
¼ c. sugar
2 T. oil

1 bread machine

Microwave the milk for about 1 minute in the microwave. Make sure it is warm (not hot) and add the 5 teaspoons of yeast (2 packets) and a pinch of sugar and stir. Cover and let stand for about 5 minutes until the yeast blooms.

Meanwhile, in a bowl combine the remaining ingredients into your bread machine basket. Add the yeast mixture and start the machine on the basic setting. When machine gets to the "rest" setting remove dough from basket on your floured surface.

Prepare your kneading surface by spreading a few tablespoons of flour on a smooth surface. Put the dough in the middle of the flour and sprinkle a little flour on top and on your hands. Knead the dough a few times. Once the dough has been kneaded, spread it out to be a half inch thick with your hands or with a rolling pin.

Now it is time to cut out the donuts, you can use a donut cutter or just use something about the same size and then find something smaller to make a hole with. I use the small hole only cutter.

Place the donuts on a floured pan to let rise as you get the oil ready. Let them rise for a total of ten minutes (it takes about five to ten minutes for the oil to heat up). I used my deep fryer.

The oil needs to be about 360 degrees. If the oil starts to smoke it is way too hot. Test the oil with some of the scraps of dough and when it is ready, cook the donuts until golden brown on each side.

Allow the donuts to cool on a rack or on some paper so that the oil soaks off.

Apple Pie Spice Donut Glaze
1 t. apple pie spice blend
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 – 4 T. apple juice or cider


Put the powdered sugar into a bowl with the pie spiced. Gradually stir in the water until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. Dip the tops of the doughnuts in the glaze.
Dry on a rack.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Eye of the Round Roast

This recipe takes a very tough piece of meat and makes it so tender and delicious. The easiest roast you'll ever cook!


1 eye of round roast that is 4 to 5 pounds
Garlic, granulated (I used Penzy’s)


Make sure roast is room temperature before you start and dry.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Season the roast with salt, garlic, and pepper and place in a roasting pan or baking dish. You must place roast fat side up. The fat bastes the meat as it cooks.

Do not cover or add water.

Place the roast in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 475 degrees. Roast for 28 minutes (seven minutes per pound) then turn the oven down to 200 degrees and let the roast sit in the hot oven for 2 1/2 hours. Do not open the door at all during this time!

Remove the roast from the oven, the internal temperature should have reached at least 145 degrees. If it did not turn over to 350 degrees and bake for 5 min for each degree it’s under the 145 internal temperature mark. Check temperature again.

Let roast sit covered with foil at least 20 min before you carve and serve.

Carve into thin slices to serve.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Garlic & Butter Chicken

1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1 tablespoon dried parsley
6 boneless chicken thighs, with
dried parsley, to taste


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a baking pan.

2. In a microwave safe bowl, mix the butter, garlic, soy sauce, pepper, and parsley. Cook 2 minutes on High in the microwave, or until butter is melted.

3. Arrange chicken on the baking pan, and coat with the butter mixture, reserving some of the mixture for basting.

4. Bake chicken 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until juices run clear, turning occasionally and basting with remaining butter mixture. After chicken is done turn on the broiled and brown the chicken for a few minutes to crisp up the skin.

Sprinkle with parsley to serve.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Since it's so cold and miserable here in the midwest, cooking is a must to keep the house warm and silly as that sounds it works. Especially, when you made Chocolate Crinkle Cookies and modify the recipe a bitsy with a lot of Penzy's cayenne pepper.

I got the basic recipe here at Evil Shenanigans and when I saw the list of spices in them I decided to modify it since my family likes hot stuff.

Chocolate a heat go well together. I used 1/2 of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in the first dozen and then added another half for some real bite. They turned out well and would be good with or without the heat. They are a soft chewy cookies with a chocolaty flavor, next time I think Ill use all butter and no oil and see if they crisp up.

I prefer a cookie that is a little crisper but really these are great either way. I used Penzy's chocolate in my batch too and all Penzy's versions of the listed spices. They are my flavor connection of choice and have a store here near me.

Spiced Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Yield 4 dozen using a mini scoop

1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons canola, or vegetable, oil
2 cups packed light brown sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon all spice
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons baking powder
Powdered sugar for rolling the cookies

Heat the oven to 300 F and line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a mixer cream together the butter, oil and brown sugar until well combined but not fluffy.

Add the eggs all at once with the vanilla and mix to combine.

In a separate bowl sift the flour, cocoa powder, spices, and salt together. Add the sifted mixture to the egg mixture and mix well.

Scoop the dough by rounded tablespoons into the powdered sugar. Roll the dough to coat and place on the prepared sheet about two inches apart.

Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, or until puffed all over. Cool on the sheet pan for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Basic White Chicken Stock

Well this week we are focusing on knife skills and stocks. I've already got 3 cuts & one serious burn from last weeks cooking and hope things are better this week. I was able to find a nice butcher shop close to my house that is a wonderful source of bones.

Today's task is making the Basic White Chicken Stock and I have the following ingredients:

6 pounds of chicken backs
cold water to cover by at least an inch or two
1 1/2 pound mirepoix (1/2 inch diced celery, onion, & carrot)
1 bouquet garni (peppercorns, bay leaves, parsley stems, fresh thyme and celery leaves)

Put the chicken backs into the pot and cover with cold water. Turn the heat to medium and slowly bring the bones to a simmer, making sure it doesn’t come to a boil.

After the stock has simmered for about 30 minutes, skim, then add the mirepoix.

Let the stock gently simmer for another hour or so, skimming the surface as needed.

Add the bouquet garni making sure to gently tuck it underneath the surface. Continue to simmer for about 30 minutes.

Once the stock has cooked for at least 1.5-2 hours, you can strain it. First, skim off as much fat as possible from the surface. Then gently remove the solids and discard. Finally, strain the stock through a sieve lined with a piece of cheesecloth.

You can either use the stock immediately or cool it over an ice bath. Store it in the refrigerator for a few days, or portion it out and freeze for several months.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Today I made more peanut butter cookies only I put them into the oven like thumb prints and then shoved a mini peanut butter cup in the center when they came out.

Boy, are these popular with my boy!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Brunch Strata

Brunch Strata
1 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup rosemary olive oil (or any oil)
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
12 eggs 4 cups cubed day-old bread
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms, ham, onions, and garlic in oil until tender. Drain and pat dry; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and cream until smooth. Stir in the bread, cheese, salt, pepper and sauted mixture.
Pour into greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dishes. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Did I tell you that I cannot stop eating these cookies and neither can my son.

This recipe was adapted from the one I found on Natalie's Killer Cuisine.

4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
yield: 12 cookies

1 cup Peanut Butter, smooth or crunchy
1 cup Sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 Egg
sugar for rolling

preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Combine the peanut butter, sugar and egg in the bowl of an electric mixer until fully combined then add in flour.
2. Portion into 12 balls and roll in sugar, then place on a greased baking sheet. Softly press your palm into the dough to spread, then use a fork to create the criss-cross pattern.
3. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes then cool. Enjoy!


1/2 chocolate chips
1/4 stick of butter

melt and stir together and then spoon onto the bottom of one cookie and stick another on top. Let chocolate set before eating.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cayenne Carmel Corn

Adapted from "The Craft of Baking"

This is PG-13 caramel popcorn — according to the blog I found a version of this recipe on, "the taste will surprise you if you are expecting traditional caramel popcorn, and may delight you if you were never into the original." It surprised me in a really good way.

If you want to make a traditional caramel popcorn just skip the cayenne and peanuts!

Makes 4 quarts

Nonstick cooking spray or vegetable oil

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
2 cups dry roasted peanuts (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper ( I used Penzy’s)
3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon table salt

Lightly coat two large, heatproof rubber spatulas, a very large mixing bowl and two large baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray or a thin slick of oil.

In a large saucepan or pot with a lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the popcorn kernels, cover and keep the saucepan moving until all of the kernels have popped, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the prepared bowl, removing any kernels. Toss with dry roasted peanuts, if using.

In a small bowl, whisk together the baking soda and cayenne pepper.

Have the two large baking sheets ready. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, salt and 1/2 cup water. Cook over high heat, without stirring, until the mixture becomes a light golden-yellow caramel, 10 to 14 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the baking-soda mixture (the mixture will bubble up).

Immediately pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn and don’t fuss if it doesn’t all come out of the pot — you’ll have plenty. Working quickly and carefully use the prepared spatulas to toss the caramel and popcorn together, as if you were tossing a salad, until the popcorn is well coated.

Spread the popcorn onto the baking sheets and quickly separate them into small pieces while still warm. Cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.

Once cool, store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Basic Meatballs

This recipe was adapted from the Cuisine at Home Magazine's recipe. It made 52 one inch diameter meatballs for me.

Stir together:
1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup low sodium beef broth
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 eggs, beaten
2 T. dried Italian seasonings
1 T. garlic, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 T. ground black pepper
2 t. dried basil--or a bunch of fresh!!!!
1 t. cayenne pepper
Pinch nutmeg

add; Shape:
2 lb. ground chuck

Cover bottom of pan with:
1 cup low sodium beef broth

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Stir together all ingredients except ground meat in a large bowl.
3. Add the ground chuck and mix together thoroughly.
4. Shape the mixture into balls about 1"in diameter. (use a small scooper)
5. Coat a baking sheet or shallow roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray. Space the meatballs so that they are not crowded together.
6. Cover the bottom of the pan with beef broth.
7. Bake for 25 minutes or until the meatballs are just cooked through. Reserve pan juices for sauce.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Favorite Dinner Rolls

My Favorite Dinner Rolls

I don’t know about your family but mine loves fresh baked breads. The give the entire house a really stay at home mom “homey” smell. I use the recipe provided by “Cuisine at Home Magazine,” only I half it and cheat a bit to save time and effort. Of course, this is a secret; I let people think I am kneading dough all day.

This is my bread machine version of the recipe and what I do:

2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 egg beaten
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon table salt
3 ½ cups all purpose flour

1 bread machine

1. Put the yeast in warm water with the pinch of sugar and cover for 10 minutes
2. Stir together the egg, sugar, salt, and oil put in the bottom of the machine
3. Put the 3 ½ cups of flour on top of that
4. Pour in the yeast mixture
5. Start machine on basic setting
6. Remove dough after rising
7. Punch down and roll into balls the size of golf balls and place on jelly roll pan
8. Cover & let rise a second time in a warm place for 40 – 45 minutes
9. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes

This made 24 for me which I basted with Italian herb butter after removing them from the oven and then sprinkled with pecorino romano cheese.

Picture scanned from magazine

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

English Cut Shoulder Roast

This cut of beef is going to require a moist-heat cooking method (braising, steaming or poaching) in order to be edible. I picked up a number of these roasts at “Ghetto King” yesterday for around 5$ each at $1.70 a pound.

Tough cuts of meat should be cooked slowly, at low heats, for a long time, and with plenty of moisture. Prepared properly, these cuts can be incredibly tender and delicious. I typically make this roast again and again in my crockpot with carrots, celery, onions, and stock.

The first thing I do is sear it on all sides in rosemary infused olive oil. Then I lay it on top of a bed of those ready to eat Peter Rabbit carrots you can buy in bags at the market for about $1 each. Of course, you could just use regular carrots.

I add onion, a few garlic cloves, and celery tops along side and then cover with stock ~ I use chicken stock. I use chicken stock for everything regardless of whatever type of meat I am cooking. Chicken stock works well for me and I’m very comfortable with it. That being said, I make two types of chicken stock ~ light & dark. I use the dark chicken stock the most and in this case will use the dark.

There will be a 4 to 5 hour crocking time for this roast on high and about an hour before it becomes fork tender I will add cut peeled potatoes, turnips, parsnips, and a sachet of herbs that include rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves.

Today's plan -- watch braising video class and continue with top down kitchen cleaning and organization.

Here are a few good basic recipes:

Pot Roast -- Paula Deen

Basic Pot Roast

The Southern Fried Chicken

Soaked in buttermilk and single dipped this was heaven in a mouthful!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Pan Sauces ~ today’s plan

For dinner last night my son produced a perfect rendition of Chicken Saltimbocca after having watched the recipe video and learned a little about pan frying.

To make the pan sauce he used a white chardonnay and some of the chicken stock I had produced recently. It was a picture perfect meal but a little salty for my taste. I don’t know if this was because he did so many batches of the prosciutto covered chicken medallions before making the pan sauce or if it was because I removed salt from my cooking decades ago and have eaten nothing but flavorless nursing home worthy grub ever since.

Today’s Plan is to make Southern Fried Chicken with Ancho Honey and serve it with a side of Italian style green beans, homemade dinner rolls, and huge twice baked potatoes.

We will also watch the "How to Make Pan Sauce" video and make their dark chicken stock to practice with. As well as the following YouTube video produced by one of my favorite cooking implement stores Sur La Table.

Also on the agenda is to start my first of the month, top to bottom, kitchen cleaning & organizing project as well as locate the memory card reader so I can get the pictures off my camera to post here.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Hi there, my name is Kim and welcome to my journal where I write about the recipes, pictures, and other things that intersect my life, travels, and everyday interests. Often the recipes are from my cookbook collection, magazines I regularly read, and Food TV, sometimes; however - they might come from a friend, or I might write about a recipe I created myself. In fact with my family’s preferences, it’s probably safe to say that every recipe has been adapted to suit our unique tastes and the availability of ingredients on hand at the time.

Fresh home grown produce will be used during the growing season as we have a huge home garden and several herb beds. Organic gardening is a hobby of mine and one of my biggest methods of stress relief weather permitting.

I focus primarily on food that is family oriented and fast to prepare. My kids as they were growing up called me Mc Mom because every time they wanted to go to a fast-food place for a burger or an order of chicken nuggets I made my at home much healthier version of it for them and the only thing they missed out on was the cheap plastic toy (marketing ploy?).

I’m definitely not Martha Stewart by any stretch of the imagination and I have made several attempts ~ New Years resolutions ~ over the past decades to become more like her only to fail miserably (smile).

I’ve started this project to help motivate me to be a better homemaker and to help my youngest child explore his dream of being a professional chef some day. His name is Joe and he will be 15 in February.

I will use this blog to keep track of our progress ~ the recipes we make and create. All Photographs will be taken by me with my Nikon D-90 or backup camera unless otherwise stated.