Tuesday, December 28, 2004

On substitutions

Bananas I had, aplenty.
Sugar was there, for sure,
No eggs, no vanilla
No baking powder.
Yet muffins I would make!

For eggs, use mayo;
Vanilla flavored creamer;
Baking mix is self-rising!

2 cups mashed bananas (about 3 - 4 if they're small)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup mayonnaise (trust me)
1/2 cup vanilla flavored coffee creamer
2 cups baking mix

If your bananas aren't ripe enough, put them in the microwave for a couple of minutes then mash away.

Too many bananas to use right away? Peel and freeze. The freezing also brings out more liquid from the bananas, so adjust your recipe accordingly.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Chipotle Lime cookies

Experiments in cooking:

Use extreme caution!

(these are GOOD!)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice - fresh squeezed
1/2 to 1 teaspoon minced chipotle
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Lime Chipotle Icing
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/4 tablespoons Key lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chipotle, ground to a paste (optional)

Butter Cookies: Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl down as needed. Add the egg yolk, then the vanilla extract and 1 1/2 teaspoons Key lime juice. Lastly, blend in the flour.

Transfer the dough to a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a cylinder that is 2 1/4 inches in diameter. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 large baking sheets and set aside.

Cut the cookies into 1/4-inch slices. Place the slices on the baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes. Place the baking sheets onto a cooling rack and cool for 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to the cooling rack.

For the key lime icing: Combine the confectioners' sugar, Key lime juice and chipotle paste in a small bowl. Brush the tops of the cookies with the icing as soon as the cookies are transferred off the baking sheets.

Yield: 50

Monday, November 29, 2004

Almond Biscotti

Always requested by the licorice lovers in the family. Personally I prefer chocolate with hazelnuts, but that's just me.

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup slivered almonds
2 large eggs, room temperature
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure anise flavoring (or vanilla)

1. Adjust a rack to the center position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nuts in a large bowl and stir to combine. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, butter and anise or vanilla and whisk to fully combine. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Using a rubber spatula, mix to combine until a rough dough forms.

2. Dump the dough onto a work surface and knead a couple of times or until the dough comes together, adding extra flour sparingly and only if necessary. Start to form the dough into a big, fat cigar and cut it in half. Form each half into a cigar about 1 inch thick, 2 inches wide and about 12 inches long. Place them onto the cookie sheet and lightly press with your fingers to slightly flatten the cigars.

3. Bake for 25 minutes reversing the pan halfway through. The bars (cigars) will be firm to the touch and just slightly browned. Remove from the oven and lower the temperature to 300 degrees. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 15 minutes.

4. Remove cookies to a cutting board using two spatulas. Using a serrated knife, slice the bars on an angle about 1/2 inch thick to form the biscotti. Lay them back on the cookie sheet with either cut side down and place back in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn each cookie to expose the other cut side and place back in the oven for another 15 minutes. The cookies will take on the slightest bit of color and feel firm and dry. Let cool on a rack to room temperature. Store in an airtight container.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Surprise Pie

This is one I got from Little House on the Prairie. The mother wants to make a pie, but has no apples, so she uses a squash or pumpkin instead.

The results are much better than you would expect, for those of you who have only ever used the canned pumpkin.

1 recipe pie crust
6 cups raw pumpkin (or a winter squash such as blue hubbard) peeled and sliced like you would apples
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup plain flour
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves or allspice
1 egg beaten

Make the bottom crust and set aside.
Put the sliced pumpkin in a large bowl and pour the egg over it, stir to get egg on all the pieces.
Mix together the dry ingredients and stir into the pumpkin.
Pour into the pie crust, make the top crust and cut slits to allow the steam to escape.
Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar.
Bake at 400° degrees for 15 minutes then lower temperature to 350° and continue to bake for another 30 minutes or until crust is nicely browned.

Excellent served warm with ice cream or cold with whipped cream.

Yum factor: 62

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Fall is in the air...

Time for winter food!

A simple family favorite is Sheperd's Pie. Making it with leftover mashed potatoes makes it quick!
I love this stuff way too much, so I only make it a couple times a year.

Ingredients: Potatoes, meat (lamb or ground beef are best) gravy and canned corn.

6 to 8 large potatoes, washed and cut into 2 inch cubes - you can peel them if you like I'm lazy and prefer to leave the peeling to others. DO peel if the potatoes are old or late-winter, the skins will be too tough to mash otherwise.

Cook the potatoes until soft enough to mash. Mash with butter and milk (whole milk, please!), salt and pepper.

While the potatoes are cooking, get the meat part ready. Lamb is always best in this dish, but if you don't happen to have any leftover, use ground beef, browned and drained.
If you ARE using lamb, cut it into 1 inch cubes and make a gravy from the drippings to go with it, if you didn't do that when you first made the lamb, or you don't have any left over.

Lamb: 4 to 6 cups, cubed (Ground beef: 2 lbs browned and drained)
Gravy: 2 cups

To assemble the 'pie' spread the lamb/ground beef in the bottom of a buttered 13"x9" baking pan. Pour the gravy over the meat. Drain and spread 2 cans of whole kernal corn over this layer. drop the mashed potatoes by spoonsful over this and spread to cover completely.

Dot the top with pats of butter and bake at 350° for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the edges of the potatoes start to brown.

This is just so good.

Yum factor: 75

Friday, October 15, 2004

Key Lime Cookies

This is my next recipe to try out and modify to my own taste:

Iced Key Lime Cookies

Butter Cookie
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons Key lime juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Key Lime Icing
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Key lime juice

Butter Cookies: Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl down as needed. Add the egg yolk, then the vanilla extract and 1 1/2 teaspoons Key lime juice. Lastly, blend in the flour.

Transfer the dough to a large piece of plastic wrap and form into a cylinder that is 2 1/4 inches in diameter. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 2 large baking sheets and set aside.

Cut the cookies into 1/4-inch slices. Place the slices on the baking sheets and bake at 350 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes. Place the baking sheets onto a cooling rack and cool for 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to the cooling rack.

For the key lime icing: Combine the confectioners' sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons Key lime juice in a small bowl. Brush the tops of the cookies with the icing as soon as the cookies are transferred off the baking sheets.

Yield: 50

recipe found here

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Salmon Pea Wiggle

Everyone has a comfort food they go back to. In my family it's this dish. Simple and fast, it takes about 15 minutes to make. It's the one thing my younger son, Aaron wants when he comes to visit.

Salmon Pea Wiggle:

15 ounces salmon, canned
15 ounces canned peas, baby
4 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Clean skin and bones from salmon and drain juice - feed to cat.

2. Drain peas, reserving 1/4 cup of liquid

3. Melt butter in 2 quart saucepan, add salt and pepper, stir in flour.

4. Add reserved peas liquid, stirring quickly.

5. Add milk slowly, whisking it in.

6. Simmer until the wiggle thickens.

7. Add the salmon and peas, heat thoroughly.

8. Serve over crushed saltine crackers.

9. This only actually serves 2, if I'm making it for Aaron (younger son) and myself

Coming soon!

New (to you) recipes.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Crunchatized cookies

Butter cookies with cinnamon are rolled in cinnamon-sugar mixture before baking.


* 2/3 cup butter
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/2 cup crushed Cap'n Crunch cereal - original flavor
* 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
* 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Sift flour with baking powder and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; add to butter mixture and blend well. Chill dough for 30 minutes. In a wide shallow bowl, combine crushed Cap'n Crunch cereal with 2 tablespoons cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar.

Form chilled cinnamon cookie dough into small balls; roll each ball in the cinnamon-sugar-cereal mixture then place on greased and floured cookie sheets (or use silpat sheets) about 2 to 3 inches apart. Bake at 350° for about 10 to 12 minutes. Makes about 36 cinnamon cookies.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Baked Apples

It's like a pie, without having to slice it!

6 large apples, raw, (Macintosh or Granny Smith, the Delicious variety will not do for this)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 recipe pie crust
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Wash and core apples, slicing a bit off the bottom so they will stand straight without rolling.

3. Sprinkle all cut parts with lemon juice.

4. Mix sugar and spices together. Reserve 2 tablespoons of mixture.

5. Divide pie crust into 6 equal parts, roll out each part into a square big enough to envelope the apple.

6. Place apple in the middle of the rolled out crust.

7. Place a pat of butter (1 tablespoon) into the cored out apple, cover with sugar mixture, dividing it equally among the apples.

8. Bring opposite corners of the crust up to meet at the top of the apple, then do the same with the other corners.

9. Pinch the top and sides of the crust to seal. You should now have what looks like an apple in a basket.

10. Sprinkle each with part of the reserved sugar and spice mixture.

11. Fold the corners of the 'basket' over the apple in the same direction all the way around. It just looks pretty. :c)

12. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes or until crust is golden and apples are tender.

13. Serve in a bowl with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese*, vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

*Note: This seems to be a New England thing, I've never seen apple pie/baked apples served with cheese anywhere else in the country. I recommend the Hunter, Private Stock or Vintage. The sharper the better!

Monday, September 20, 2004

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

This is a family favorite any time of the year:

1 pound brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
15 ounces pumpkin, canned
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 each egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons flour
1 pound confectioner's sugar
1 cup shortening

1. Cookies:

2. Cream together sugar and oil.

3. Add eggs and pumpkin.

4. Gradually add sifted dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

5. Drop by tablespoonsful on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

6. Filling:

7. Combine all ingredients, except box of confectioner's sugar.

8. Mix well then add 10x sugar and beat until fluffy.

9. Put filling between matched cookies.

Saturday, September 18, 2004


No, not Adam's.

We had a couple of racks of ribs that had to be cooked during the fun-times last week.

Unfortunately, someone forgot to pick up the new tank for the grill, so we didn't 'actually' do that part.

Ribs and sauce were so good, I hated packing up the rest for family members we were hurrying out the door...

2 large racks of pork ribs
1 very large roasting pan
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons basil, marjoram, and parsley
1 tablespoon oregano, sage and thyme
1 teaspoon garlic, lemon pepper seasoning and cayenne
1/4 cup soy or Worcestershire

Mix together everything but the ribs. Rub mixture on the ribs and place in very large pan to marinate for an hour. Pour rest of mixture over the top then set aside to marinate.

After marinating, place ribs on grill for 5 to 10 minutes on each side. You're not cooking them here, just getting the flavor.

Place back in large pan and put in the oven on 350°. Bake for 2 hours uncovered, then cover and bake for 2 to 3 more hours.

trust me

While baking the ribs, make the sauce...

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
2 large cans tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
1/2 cup hot sauce - your choice, I used the 'louisiana' brand
1/4 cup prepared horseradish
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup honey
1 large onion, minced
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup vodka or whiskey of your choice ( I happened to have vodka on hand)
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

Process diced tomatoes until not quite but almost smooth, a few chunks are good.
In a 2 quart saucepan combine all the tomato items and turn heat on low.
In a small saute' pan melt butter and brown the onions until they are not quite crispy brown.
While onions are getting almost-but-not-quite crispy brown, add the rest of the ingredients to the saucepan, except for the alcohol.

Once the onions are done, add them to the other pan. Continue to simmer sauce until it cooks down to about 3/4 to 1/2 of the original amount. Add the alcohol and continue to cook until it starts to thicken again. Keep warm until ribs are done.

Monday, September 13, 2004

chipotle and cream cheese

in avacado halves.

This is so yummy, thank you (you know who you are), for the inspiration!

1 small can chipotles in adobo sauce (cans of chipotles come in small and smaller, use the smaller size )
1 8 oz package of cream cheese
2 large avocados
1 tablespoon lemon (or lime) juice

Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit, sprinkle with the lemon (or lime) juice, set aside.
Put chipotles, sauce and all into a blender or food processor, process for a few seconds. Add the cream cheese and process for 20 to 30 seconds more, or until completely mixed.
Spoon into avocado halves and chill for an hour or two before serving.

Or eat it right way, chilling the sauce seems to increase the heat. ;)

Sunday, September 12, 2004


Why are people so amazed when you make one and put it in the oven?

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 packages cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350°

2. Mix crumbs, sugar, and butter. Press onto bottom of 9 or 10-inch spring-form pan Bake 10 minutes.

3. Beat cream cheese, sugar, and flour at medium speed until well blended.

4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in sour cream, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice.

5. Pour over crust. Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes. Turn oven off and let cake sit in oven with the door propped open until oven has cooled.

6. Loosen cake from rim of pan. Rim can be removed when completely cooled.

7. I prefer this as is, but most people seem to like a topping. Choose as you will.

8. Substitute key lime for the lemon and leave out the vanilla, trust me.

9. Leave out lemon, divide filling in half and add melted chocolate to one half, stirring in to blend thoroughly. Pour the white half into pan, swirl the chocolate half on top and use a knife to mix the two. Marble cheesecake!

10. You get the idea, experiment!



Substitute chocolate cake and pudding mixes, kalhua for the rum.

Friday, September 10, 2004


You just have to say no.

For those of you who don't know, I started this blog from another one, where I had starting posting recipes to show people how easy it is to take a just a little time and actually cook.

This all started from my disgust at the convenience foods available in the grocery stores, not to mention fast food restaurants.

Don't get me wrong, I like a Big Mac and fries a couple times a year, must come from the 10 years I spent working there.

I just like to cook.

I don't understand people that don't cook. Can't cook? Please. Anyone can cook. It's just a matter of what's more important, watching that TV show, or feeding your face?

For me it's the face that wins. TV is highly overrated, other than a few choice shows that I don't get to watch anyway since I don't have a TV.

No recipe today, I'll get back into it soon.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Ginger water

This is a drink my grandmother made in the summertime for quick rehydration. Kind of an early version of the -ades that do that these days.

Ginger Water:

1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1 to 2 tbsps ground ginger (to taste, I use 2)
1/2 tsp salt
2 to 3 tbsps cider vinegar (must be cider, not white!) (again, to taste, you don't want it too vinegary, but if you mis-measure the sugar you may need more)

2 quarts ice cold water

Mix the first 5 ingredients thoroughly and add to the water stirring slowly. Taste and add more vinegar as needed.

You have to mix the ingredients into the water, not the water into the ingredients, or you'll get a lot of froth. Not that I have anything against froth, I just do it the way grandma did.

Serve over ice. Lay back in a hammock, relax.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

It's just so hot today

nothing really sounds good.

well, maybe ice cream, or a sorbet

oooo an italian lemon ice!

::rummages through her recipe folders::

Found it!

1 cup boiling water

1 small package unflavored gelatin

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup chilled lemon lime-flavored seltzer

1/2 tsp grated lemon peel

3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Stir boiling water and sugar into gelatin in medium bowl at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in seltzer, lemon peel and juice. Pour into 9-inch square pan; cover.

Freeze 3 hours or until frozen. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes.

Beat with electric mixer or blend in covered blender container on high speed until smooth. Spoon into dessert dishes. Store leftover ice in freezer.

My boys loved making this when they were small. I think breaking up the flavored ice was the best part for them. (grin)

Well, after eating it, of course!

They also liked adding other flavors via kool-aid packets when my back was turned!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Real popcorn

Popped kernels of buttery delight.
Popcorn has been a snack for thousands of years.
Granted the addition of butter came much later but that's not the point today.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking technology, but I just do not care for microwaved popcorn. It has a filmy taste to it that brings to mind the Valdez for some reason.

I can remember Saturday nights, huge bowls of popcorn that took a while to make (there were 10 of us, so that means a LOT of popping) and sitting around the TV watching whatever it was we watched on Saturday nights in the 60's.

Everyone had their own preferences, "Extra, extra butter!" "Lots of salt!" "No salt!!!" so mom would make a couple of the huuuuge bowls with butter and we'd add our own extra. (Yes, I'm the "No salt!!!" kid)

To make the popcorn you need:

Heavy 2 quart saucepan with a lid.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or (best) coconut oil
1/4 cup popcorn

Heat the pan until a drop of water sizzles away quickly.
Add the oil and popcorn, cover.
Shake the pan over the heat slowly. Yes it makes noise, deal with it, it's worth it!
As the kernels start popping shake the pan faster to make sure none of the popped corn scorches. There are few things more noxious than the smell of burnt popcorn!
When the kernels are all popped (you'll always have a few that don't pop, listen for the popping to slow down to about 5 seconds between pops) pour the popped corn into a large bowl, melt REAL butter and pour over. Add salt if you must, the butter usually has more than enough for me.

Using the coconut oil will give you the taste of popcorn as it was made in the movie theaters 'back in the day'. It is truly wonderful, trust me!

After I wake up

And make dozens of cookies...

"How to make popcorn"
(without a microwave)

Monday, September 06, 2004

Mmmmm Crisp

Rhubarb, to be exact.

4 cups rhubarb, cut 1/2" thick
1 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar, packed firmly
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, not the quick-cooking
1/2 cup butter, softened

1. Preheat oven to 375°

2. In a large bowl combine rhubarb with sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and cinnamon, spread out in an 8" x 8" pan that has been buttered generously.

3. In a bowl combine remaining 1 cup of flour, brown sugar, rolled oats, and butter, mixing well.

4. Sprinkle over the rhubarb mixture and bake for 35 minutes until topping is golden brown and rhubarb is tender.

5. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

This is a family favorite, everyone still fights over the pan to clean it out!