Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sweet Corn Cakes

Sweet Corn Cakes

½ C medium-grind yellow cornmeal

½ C all-purpose flour
1 scant tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. honey
1 large egg, beaten
½ C plus 2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. melted butter
butter for frying

In a medium bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and honey. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and melted butter. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until just combined.

Heat a large non-stick sauté pan over high heat, and melt a little butter in it. Working in batches, drop the batter by spoonfuls to make 3-inch pancakes. Cook until light brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. (They’re ready to flip when the little bubbles that form on the top start opening.)

Thursday, February 25, 2010



1 cup (200g) sugar

1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup (80ml) water
1-2 drops oil of anise, cinnamon, clove, lemon or orange – I used vanilla extract
few drops of red, yellow, blue or green food coloring

Oil a marble slab or baking sheet. Have ready at least a dozen wooden sucker sticks.

In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water and stir to blend. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover and boil for 2-3 minutes. Uncover and insert a candy thermometer in the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 143ºC/290ºF. If sugar crystals form on the pan sides, wash the down with a pastry brush dipped in warm water.

Remove the pan from the heat and immediately dip the bottom of it into a pan of cold water to arrest cooking, removing quickly before the mixture gets too cold. Place on a dry kitchen towel. Add the flavoring and coloring of choice.

Using a large metal spoon, immediately spoon a little less than 4cm (1½ in) pools of syrup onto the prepared marble slab/sheet*. Lay one end of the lollipop stick in each pool of syrup while still soft and push gently to secure in place. Dot a little extra syrup on the embedded end of the stick. Let cool at room temperature until completely set, about 2 hours.

Wrap each lollipop in cellophane or waxed paper. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.

* once the mixture got cold and difficult to mold, I returned the pan to medium heat, stirring, until it became soft again (30 seconds or so)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Making Lollipops

We're focusing on hard candy making this week.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Just Like Red Lobster Biscuits!!!

Everyone loves Red Lobster, especially the biscuits that come by the basket full. This is the recipe for sure; based on Bisquick.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Spray one cookie sheet with non-stick spray

Garlic Butter Biscuits

2 ½ C Bisquick
4 T cold butter
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
¾ C milk
¼ t garlic powder.

Mix the Bisquick and butter in your food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix by hand until combined, but don't over mix.

Drop by ¼ cup portions of the dough onto the lightly greased using an ice cream scoop.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in preheated oven until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.

While the biscuits are baking, melt 3T butter is a small bowl in the microwave. Stir in ½ t garlic powder and ¼ T dried parsley flakes.

Use a brush to spread the garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits. Sprinkle a little kosher salt on the freshly coated biscuits.

Makes one dozen.

Best consumed right out of the oven.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Easy Coconut Custard Pie

This recipe is based on a Bisquick impossible pie pie concept, the self rising flour makes it really poofy and nice. I didn't have the Bisquick and had to use what I had on hand and was glad I did. I 'll make it this way from now on, because it is so much lighter.

We love this at our house and it's so easy to make in a blender or Cuininart.

Easy Coconut Custard Pie


6 eggs
1 3/4 c sugar
1/2 c self-rising flour
2 c milk
1/4 c melted butter
1 tsp coconut flavoring or vanilla
1 1/2 c sweetened, flaked coconut


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Take a 10 inch pie plate or pan and spray it with non-stick cooking spray.
Mix all ingredients together until well blended.
Pour mixture into prepared pie plate or pan.
Bake for 60 minutes or until golden brown and the center has set up (The deeper the pie the longer the cook time.)

Remove and let cool & Refrigerate

Friday, February 19, 2010

Best Caesar Salad Dressing

Best Caesar Salad Dressing


1 clove garlic -- minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese -- grated
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup olive oil


Mix well & chill

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Shrimp Salad

I poached this recipe off the net about a month ago, made it twice and love it. I wish I could remember where I found it to give them credit.

Shrimp Salad


2 cups chilled shrimp that are cooked, peeled, deveined with tails removed and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

2 cups frozen sweet corn, blanched for 1 minute in boiling water, then cooled and drained well
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/3 cup key lime juice
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 Tbsp dried or 2 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro or parsley for color

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and stir. Allow to marinate chilled for at least 24 hours, so that the flavors have time to meld.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Burr's Red Chile Cornbread

It's still cold here and when I ran across this cornbread recipe here at the Cuisine Magazine Cooking forums I just had to jump right up and make it as well as some beer simmered country cut pork ribs just smothered in Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce. Yeah, I know an off the shelf bottle of BBQ sauce ~ eye roll ~ but no matter how hard I try I can't create a sauce that comes close to Sweet Baby Ray's.

Burr's Red Chile Cornbread

3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup a.p. flour
1 T. Chile powder (I added 1/2 tsp Penzy's cayenne pepper, & 1/2 tsp. Penzy's toasted onion)
1 1/2 tsp. baking power
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg -- slightly beaten
3/4 cup milk (I used buttermilk)
2 T. melted butter -- cooled slightly
1 can corn or Mexicorn -- (7 oz.) (I used fresh de-cobbed grilled corn)
4 squirts hot pepper sauce -- optional
(I also added
1/2 C cheddar sharp, shreaded
2T drained canned green chilis)

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Place cornbread skillet in oven and heat while preparing batter.

In a medium-large bowl, toss together cornmeal, flour, Chile powder, baking powder, sugar and salt.

Add egg, milk, butter, corn & optional hot pepper sauce.

Stir until just mixed. Remove cornbread skillet from oven and coat with nonstick spray or oil.

Ladle batter into mold.

Bake 10 minutes or until bread is golden brown, tips begin to crack and cake tester comes clean when inserted in center. Remove pan from oven. Carefully lift and place on a cooling rack.

Serve immediately or at room temp.

This is the picture before the flip. It's amazing how pretty and toasted the underside looks from having heated the pan before adding the batter.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

"Mom's Best Made Easy" ~ Honey Lime Schnitzel

The cookbook I ordered,"Mom's Best Made Easy," finally arrived yesterday and I spent the day sipping hot Earl Grey and reading it from cover to cover and putting in book marks for the recipes I want to try first.

It was so hard to resist the urge to jump up and start cooking but we have been snowed in here on the shore of Lake Erie a few days and every recipe that has my mouth watering we are missing at least one ingredient for. Isn't that always how it is?

Today's plan of attack was to shovel out the end of the driveway where the city plows left a very heavy pile of snow about 2 feet high. Get the car started and warmed up and then head off to the grocery stores and post office.

I can't just shop at one grocery store anymore. I don't know why but guess that I have out grown them. I get the bulk of my food at Value King since I've been pinching pennies in this horrible economy. Not because I have to, we have been blessed as my hubster has been able to hold on to his job, but because we are saving for the first time in our lives and with the way things are going in my area there are no guarantees it will get better any time soon.

The stuff I can't buy at Value King, I get at Giant Eagle, I get spices at Penzy's, veggies at the open air market and pasta and all things Italian at Aleicis.I occassionally shop at Heinen's when I need something I can't find anywhere else around like Durkee's Turkey spread.

The First Recipe I'm going to try is the "Honey Lemon Schnitzel" from page 51, with my own adaptations of course!

Honey Lime Schnitzel
serves 4

2 T all purpose flour
1 t salt
1 t Penzy's white pepper
1 t Penzy's pork chop seasoning blend
4 pork chops hammered thin
2 T olive oil
1/4 C lime juice
1/4 C local honey

Combine flour, salt, chop seasoning, & white pepper in a resealable plastic bag. Add in pork medalions one at a time and shake to coat.

Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook pork until done 3-4 minutes per side or until juices run clear.

In a small sauce pan cook lime and local honey until reduced by half and syrupy thick.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Potato Leek Winter Chowder

It's still artic here in Cleveland, Ohio and after shoveling out of my 150 foot long driveway and trying to navigate my unplowed deadend street I needed something warm and comforting. This is what I chose and it was the perfect and quickest way to warm up from the inside out.

This recipe is adapted from Emeril’s Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Winter Chowder

Ingredients1 large or 2 small leeks, about 1 pound
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon white or black pepper
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 tablespoons real butter
2 strips bacon, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
5 cups chicken stock
1 to 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes, diced
1 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup cream or whole milk
snipped chives to garnish


Trim the green portions of the leek. Using a sharp knife, halve the white part of the leek lengthwise and rinse well under cold running water to rid the leek of any sand. Slice thinly crosswise and set aside.

In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the bacon. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is very soft and has rendered most of its fat. Add the chopped leeks and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the reserved thyme, pepper, bay leaves, chicken stock, potatoes, salt and white pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are falling apart and the soup is very flavorful.

Remove the bay leaves and, working in batches, puree only half of the soup the soup in a food processor or blender. (Alternately, if you own an immersion blender, puree the soup directly in the pot.) Stir in the cream and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Serve immediately, with some of the snipped chives sprinkled over the top of each bowl of soup.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
makes 4 dozen

For the oatmeal cookie layers:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon nut meg
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups (packed) brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or 1 tsp and the row from one vanilla bean)
3 cups old-fashioned (rolled) oats
1 cup dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

For the chocolate layer:
1 cup (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Getting ready:
Center a rack in the oven, and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray your cookie sheets with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.

To make the oatmeal layer:

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until it is soft and creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat for 2 minutes, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating for a minute after each egg goes in. Beat in the vanilla. The mixture should be light and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing just until they disappear. Still on low speed, or working by hand with a rubber spatula, stir in the oats and chopped peanuts.

Scoop the cookie mix by a tablespoon onto your prepared cookie sheets bake until done 10-12 minutes.

To make the chocolate layer:
Set a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Melt ingredients stirring constantly.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ruhlman’s Buttermilk Rolls

I found the recipe here at Ruhlman's website and followed the direction and recipe to the best of my ability. However, I had a bit of trouble with the cook time and internal temperature. The recipe says, “bake them for 40 minutes (to an internal temperature of 195-200 degrees F./90-93 degrees C.” Mine were 210 degrees F at 28 minutes. They smelled done so it was a good thing I checked.Maybe it was because I cooked these rustic on a jelly roll pan.

Ruhlman’s Buttermilk Rolls
28 ounces/800 grams AP flour (5 1/2 C)
20 ounces/570 grams buttermilk, room temp or microwave for 40 to 60 seconds to take the chill off it
1/4 ounce/7 grams (1 package) active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
1/2 ounce/14 grams kosher salt (1 tablespoon)
1.5 ounces/40 grams honey (2 tablespoons)
vegetable spray or butter for greasing a 9-inch pan
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (or poppy seeds)
1 egg
1 tablespoon melted butter, optional

Combine the flour, buttermilk, yeast, salt and honey in the bowl of a standing mixer. Mix on medium till the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Cover and let rise till doubled in volume (dough shouldn’t spring back when you poke it with your finger). This will take at least two hours or more depending on the temperature of your dough and the temperature of your kitchen.

Turn the dough out onto your counter and give it a good knead. Divide the dough into 16 equal portions (about 3 ounces each). Form each into a tight ball by rolling it on the counter (see video). Spray or butter a 9-inch square pan and line with parchment. Fit the balls into it, cover it with a damp towel and let the dough rise for an hour.

Whisk the egg until it’s uniformly yellow. When the rolls have risen again, brush them with the egg wash, sprinkle them with the seeds and bake them for 40 minutes (to an internal temperature of 195-200 degrees F). Let them rest for about 10 minutes before serving, if you can wait that long.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes

Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes adapted from Saveur Magazine
for a faster semi homemade pancake see, "Perfection Pancakes."


2 cups cake flour
2 tsp. sugar
1⁄2 tsp salt
1 cup yogurt
2 tsp. baking soda
1⁄2 cup seltzer water or club soda
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more to taste
fresh or frozen blueberries

Grade B real Maple syrup

Place a sieve over a large bowl and sift together the flour, sugar, and salt. In a large bowl, stir together the yogurt and baking soda; let sit for 10 minutes. Add the yogurt mixture, seltzer, and eggs to the flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Let batter rest.

Heat 1 tbsp. butter in a 12" nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, spoon about 1⁄4 cup into skillet, gently spreading out each portion of batter with the bottom of a spoon or a measuring cup to make disks about 4 1⁄2" in diameter. Cook pancakes until bubbles begin to form around edges, about 2 minutes.

Top each pancake with blueberries, press down on them gently with a spoon, flip each pancake with a spatula, and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes more.

Transfer pancakes to a rack on a baking sheet and cover with a towel to keep warm. Wipe out skillet and repeat process with remaining butter, batter, and blueberries to make about 12 pancakes

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

I saw this on Foodbuzz this past week but when I went back to find it, I couldn't. So, it's just bacon, fresh asparagus, and a toothpick dropped into a deep fryer for about 2 minutes. I dusted mine with Pecorino Romano Cheese.

Boy are they good, even my kid loved them!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Five Cheese White Pizza

Don't order pizza out or delivery you can make one that is much better for you and much tastier.

One basic pizza crust, I used fresh pizza dough I got at Aleici’s for 0.70 cents. I rolled it out with a rolling pin on a corn meal covered counter and pressed into a jelly roll pan.

Then I coated it with;

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil I had mixed with 1/2 teaspoon each of roasted garlic, rosemary, thyme, & cracked black pepper

1/2 cup of basic Alfredo sauce, homemade (or from a jar)

Cover with:

1 C mozzarella cheese shredded
¼ C Parmesan Cheese grated
¼ C Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
½ C Colby Jack mix, shredded

Bake 20 to 25 min in an oven preheated to 400 degree F. I recommend preheating your oven at least 30 before putting in the pizza.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Restaurant Review: Lucky’s Café

After seeing Lucky’s Café on Diners, Drive-ins, & Dives this past week we headed off to check it out ourselves today since it’s close to our house. Lucky’s is special because they make everything from scratch; everything. Even the hot sauce, jams, salad dressings, and beads.

We took the Guy Fieri route and had the Mac in Cheese, Ruben, and Biscuits & Gravy; then decided to have desserts too – the Cherry Bomb Truffle, the vanilla Bean Cupcake, and the Chocolate Dipped Toasted Coconut Macaroons.. We left feeling well taken care of for an affordable 64$.

Lucky's uses only the freshest herbs and produce. In the summer months they even have a garden and grow a lot of their own. They even grow their own yeats for the homemade breads they use on their sandwiches. The one they are using now the waitress told me was eight years old. When we were leaving they were getting a deliver of fresh local produce.

My son and I pay attention to all this as he intends to go to culinary school after graduation and would someday like to open his own 5-star dive or diner.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

Lemon Raspberry Coconut Birthday Cake

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Caramel Filled Brownies

This recipe was adapted from the book, The Pastry Queen: Royally Good Recipes from the Texas Hill Country's Rather Sweet Bakery & Cafe
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, broken up
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) (I used unsalted)
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon salt

Caramel Filling:
1/2 bag (7 ounces) unwrapped caramels
2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper (bottom and sides.

Place chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat until melted and smooth.

Using a wooden spoon, beat in sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time followed by vanilla. Beat thoroughly with spoon for about a minute. Stir in flour and salt (do not beat the flour).

Pour half of batter in lined pan and bake for 18 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes. While cooling, prepare filling.

Place caramels and cream in a saucepan. Heat over medium, stirring constantly, or until caramels are melted and smooth. Stir in pecans. Pour over partially cooled brownie layer. Spread remaining brownie batter over caramel. Cook for another 18 minutes.

Let cool completely then chill Use parchment to lift brownies from pan.
Cut into squares. Makes about 2 dozen

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

All About Eggs

This weeks we are watching a series of demos at Rouxbe on "How to Cook Eggs" in every way you can think of.

In this section you will learn how to cook eggs just like a professional chef. Watch close-up instructional egg cooking videos and learn how to cook eggs sunny up, over easy, poached and finally, learn how to cook perfect scrambled eggs. We will even show you the techniques you need to make perfect egg omelets.

Aside from breakfast eggs, eggs also play an important role in many of the dishes that we prepare and eat every day. Yet, despite their importance in cooking, many people don’t know a lot about eggs. So, we've also included some instructional videos on egg basics as well as videos on how to determine egg freshness and how to store eggs. From here, you can jump into a number of quick and easy egg recipes to test out your new knowledge. It won't be long before you are an expert with how to cook eggs.

Let’s get cracking; shall we?

There are also a number of You Tube Demos that can be watched:

Monday, February 1, 2010

Perfection Pancakes ~ semi homemade

If you as old as I am you probably remember watching episodes of “Green Acres” on television and probably can form a good mental picture when I say that for years and years I made “Green Acres' pancakes."

This year I decided to go on a quest for the perfect fast pancake. One that is light and can even be good eaten without syrup and this is the resulting recipe I came up after having researched the topic on All Recipes.

Perfection Pancakes
(makes eight 4” cakes)

1 C boxed pancake mix (I used Hungry Jack Original)
1 egg
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 C milk or half & half
1 teaspoon Madagascar Vanilla
1/3 C club soda

Butter to coat griddle each time you pour cakes

1. Heat Skillet or griddle to 375 degrees F.

2. Mix all ingredients in the order listed. It’s important that the club soda is mixed in last so the pancakes are light and airy.

3. Rub the stick on butter over the heated griddle or pan and then add ¼ C of your batter using a measuring cup.

4. When bubbles form all over the batter flip cake and finish cooking.

5. Serve immediately with butter and syrup.