Friday, December 15, 2006


Quick, easy, and delicious.

1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
12 ounces skinless boneless chicken, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups Basmati rice or medium-grain white rice (Orzo works too)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted

Heat oil in heavy large deep skillet (preferably nonstick) over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken and garlic to skillet; sauté until chicken is no longer pink, about 4-6 minutes. Stir in rice, cranberries, and cinnamon sticks. Add broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until rice is tender and most liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Discard cinnamon sticks. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.


Friday, December 01, 2006

Triple Chocolate Cream Pie

This recipe originated from Cooks Illustrated. I hope they don't mind me posting this recipe, but if you are chocoholics like we are, they will want to get it out to the entire civilized world. I claim absolutely NO creativity here. This pie will give you a buzz like you've never had before. There's a few back-and-forth steps in making it, and it can be a little confusing. When you taste the final result, however, you'll never remember all the steps. It is wonderful as a stand alone dessert, and especially good with a demitasse of espresso.

Two kinds of chocolate and Oreo cookies are used to produce a pie with rich chocolate flavor, and an easy-to-slice crust. We wanted a super rich and decadent creamy pie, with a well-balanced chocolate flavor somewhere between a milkshake and a melted candy bar, and a delicious, easy-to-slice crust.

A combination of semisweet and unsweetened chocolate produced the ultimate rounded, intense chocolate flavor. The custard texture depends upon carefully pouring the egg yolk mixture into simmering half-and-half, then whisking in cold butter.

Pulverized Oreos (regular or the double chocolate ones) and a bit of melted butter afford the tastiest, most tender, sliceable crumb crust.

Chocolate Cream PieFor the best chocolate flavor and texture, I recommend either Callebaut semisweet and unsweetened chocolates, Hershey's Special Dark and Hershey's unsweetened chocolates, or Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate and Bakers unsweetened chocolate. Do not combine the yolks and sugar in advance of making the filling--the sugar will begin to denature the yolks, and the finished cream will be pitted. Makes a 9-inch pie.

Chocolate Cookie Crumb Crust

16 - 18 Oreo cookies (with filling), broken into rough pieces, about 2 1/2 cups
2 TBS butter , melted and cooled

Chocolate Cream Filling

2 1/2 cups half-and-half
pinch table salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 TBS cornstarch
6 Large egg yolks at room temperature, (protein strands attached to yolk) removed
6 tablespoons butter (cold), cut into 6 pieces
6 ounces semisweet chocolate or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate finely chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped Cream Topping

1 1/2 cups heavy cream (cold)
1/4 Cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

(For an added dimension, add 1-1/2 tsp cinnamon. It REALLY enhances the chocolate)

1. For the Crust: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. In bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade, process cookies with 15 one-second pulses, then let machine run until crumbs are uniformly fine, about 15 seconds. (Alternatively, place cookies in large zipper-lock plastic bag and crush with rolling pin.) Transfer the crumbs to a medium bowl, drizzle with butter, and use fingers or a wooden spoon to combine until butter is evenly distributed.

2. Pour crumbs into 9-inch pie plate. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie plate. Refrigerate lined pie plate 20 minutes or more to firm crumbs, then bake until crumbs are fragrant and set, about 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack while preparing filling.

3. For the Filling: Bring half-and-half, salt, and about 3 tablespoons sugar to simmer in medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with wooden spoon to dissolve sugar. Stir together remaining sugar and cornstarch in small bowl, then sprinkle over yolks and whisk, scraping down sides of bowl, if necessary, until mixture is glossy and sugar has begun to dissolve, about 1 minute. Whisk yolks thoroughly in medium bowl until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. When half-and-half reaches full simmer, drizzle about 1/2 cup hot half-and-half over yolks, whisking constantly to temper; then whisk egg yolk mixture into simmering half-and-half (mixture should thicken in about 30 seconds). Return to simmer, whisking constantly, until 3 or 4 bubbles burst on the surface and mixture is thickened and glossy, about 15 seconds longer.

4. Remove to a cool burner. Whisk in butter until incorporated; add chocolates and whisk until melted, scraping pan bottom to fully incorporate. Stir in vanilla, then immediately pour filling into baked and cooled crust. Press plastic wrap directly on surface of filling and refrigerate pie until filling is cold and firm, about 3 hours. (The plastic wrap will stick at first, but then release once solidified.)

5. Just before serving, beat cream, sugar, Cinnamon, and vanilla in bowl of standing mixer on low speed until small bubbles form, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium; continue beating until beaters leave a trail, about 30 seconds more. Increase speed to high; continue beating until cream is smooth, thick, and nearly doubled in volume and forms soft peaks, about 20 seconds. Spread or pipe whipped cream over chilled pie filling.

NOTE: If you are not confident in getting a stiff whipped cream, dissolve a tsp. of gelatin and 3 TBS water. Place on low heat until completely dissolved. Drizzle the gelatin/water mixture in the whipped cream just before you feel the peaks are stiff enough; continue beating until well-incorporated. Refrigerate immediately. Spread the whipped cream once it has set up.


Monday, November 27, 2006

Mincemeat for Pies and Filled Cookies

Some folks like mincemeat...others don't. In any event, here's a recipe worth trying. We've made this recipe over and over again for the past 41-years. If you DO like mincemeat, then you are in for a real treat.


1 Orange peel Grated
1 Lb. Ground Beef (wild game – deer, antelope is particularly good) and will work here fine)
Enough water to cover the ground beef
1 Lb Apples
2 ½ Cups Currants
2 ¾ Cups Raisins
½ Cup Brandy
½ Cup Dry Red Wine
¼ Lb Citron
1 tsp salt
1 TBS ground nutmeg
1 ½ Cups sugar
1 Cup Apple Cider
1 TBS cinnamon

1 Cup meat liquor (broth after boiling ground meat)

Boil ground beef (or game) for about 45-minutes and let it cool in the water; save 1-cup of the broth. Put all ingredients in a big pot -EXCEPT for the brandy and wine. Simmer very slowly for 1-hour while stirring occasionally. Let cool to luke warm, then add brandy and wine. For best results, refrigerate it and let it gather the flavors of the brandy and wine which will further tenderize the product. If you’re not going to use it right away, pack in sterilized jars and pressure cook for 60-minutes at 10-Lbs of pressure.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding

After eating pounds and pounds of turkey and ham for Thanksgiving, we're ready for something different for the Christmas food fest. For the past 15 years, it has been a standing beef rib roast for us. The leftovers are delicious for sandwiches, or you can make your own roast beef hash. The following is a summation of the roast beef dinner.

Roast Beef

This may seem like a very different way of roasting a prime beef cut, but I can guarantee you will never go back to your standard method.

Prime Rib Roast or rib eye at room temperature (very important)

Dijon or brown mustard

Fresh thyme (Lots of it)

Fresh garlic cloves minced

Kosher salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

Place the rib roast, bone side down, starting at the tail or narrow end, make a flap by cutting the fat strip on top of the meat, going toward the thicker part, as far as you can without severing it. Lay the fat strip back, and set aside. If you can get a roast with the ‘lip’ on, that’s the way to go. Mix Dijon, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Spread this mixture on the meat underneath the flap/lip which you just made. Replace the flap and use kitchen string to loosely wrap the meat to keep the flap in place as it roasts, otherwise the flap will curl up. Place the roast in the oven in a shallow roasting pan.

Make sure your roast is at room temperature before you place it in the oven, otherwise you will have an under cooked roast at the end of the cooking cycle. Set the oven temperature at 500° degrees F.

Multiply the roast poundage on the package times 5 minutes to determine the amount of time the meat will roast at 500° degrees F. Be as accurate as possible! Example: if your roast weighs 5.53 pounds, then multiply 5.53 (pounds) times 5 (minutes) which equals = 27.65. This means you will roast your meat for (27.65) or 28 minutes.

At the end of the 28 minutes, turn the oven temperature off. Leave the roast in the oven for at least 2 hours - or more according to your liking as to doneness. During this 2 hour+ time, do not open the oven door as the meat is still cooking. This time is primarily for rare.

Serve with steamed asparagus, green beans, or Brussels sprouts. Mashed potatoes and gravy are aslo recommended. Plan for having brown and serve rolls. Yorkshire pudding is strongly recommended and is posted here further down on the list.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Dinner Rolls

For quick and easy, foolproof dinner rolls try this recipe.

6 to 6 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 T. sugar
2 pkgs. Yeast – (5-Tsp)
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk
2 T. butter

Note: Also a good recipe for loaf bread. If making dinner rolls add 2 TBS of honey.

In a large bowl, combine 2-1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Heat water, milk and butter (plus honey if using) to about 120 degrees. Gradually add to the dough ingredients; beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Add another 1/2 cup flour, beat two minutes at high speed. Add additional flour to make soft dough. (Good time to switch to dough hooks). Place in greased bowl, cover and let rise to 1-1/2 times or doubled.

Punch dough down and shape as desired.

Bake 375 for dinner rolls, about 20 minutes or until suitably browned on top. Brush with butter when done.

Hearth Braid 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Makes about 12-Dinner rolls

For rolls, divide dough into 12-pieces and shape into balls with a lot of tension on the tops. Place side-by-side in lightly buttered glass baking dish.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Chicken Salad Filled Puff Pastry

This makes a delightful taste tempting appetizer for a party.

Chicken Salad (**)

1-1/2 c. finely chopped cooked chicken
¼ c. finely chopped celery (*)
¼ c. finely chopped onion(*)
1 hard boiled egg, chopped (Optional)
1 TBS sweet pickle relish
1/4 tsp. salt
Garlic powder to taste
Dash of black pepper
1/8 scant tsp or less of curry (Add a pinch as you mix – add more if necessary to develop a subtle taste.
1/3 c. mayonnaise

Combine all ingredients. Chill in covered container until ready to serve.

(*) The celery and onion should be finely shredded in a food processor.

The curry is what makes this chicken recipe salad above and beyond the norm.

(**) This salad is exquisite served in small filled, cream puff pastries [2” diameter]

Cut puffs in half, stuff each half, put back together. and arrange on a nice plate

Cream Puffs

1 cup water
1 stick butter
1 cup flour
4 eggs, slightly beaten

Heat water and butter to boiling. Remove from heat and stir in flour vigorously for about 1 minute, or until mixture forms a ball and cleans the sides of the pan. Stir in eggs. Beat vigorously again until smooth and satiny. Dough will separate at first, but will all comes together after a while. You can drop dough by 1/4 cupful, 3 inches apart on an un-greased cookie sheet(s); or, refrigerate for at least 30-minutes then evenly portion the dough .

Bake 20 minutes in a preheated 400° oven. Lower temp. to 350° and bake 15-20 minutes longer, or until the puffs are firm, deep golden in color, and crisp. Cool on wire racks. Cut in half and pull out any under-baked strands, and fill with pastry cream or whatever you like. (Ice cream, pudding, whipped cream, chicken or lobster salad). Replace tops and refrigerate. If these are for dessert puffs, at serving time, dust with confectioner's sugar. Fill these as close to serving time as possible, as they will soften if filled and there will be a long wait before eating.

When working with puff pastry, keeping it cold is crucial. You don't want the butter to melt prematurely. Work quickly with one piece at a time and keep the rest covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator. Your tools and working area should also be kept cold.

Puff pastry relies upon heat for lift. Preheat your oven at least 15 to 20 minutes before you plan on using it.

Use a very sharp hot knife or pastry/pizza wheel to cut puff pastry, and be sure to cut straight down and not at an angle. Using a dull implement will fuse the layers together and discourage rising.

A half recipe works well.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ground Lamb and Orzo

If you like lamb, and are looking for an absolutely wonderful, quick recipe this is it!! It's like a Greek chili, and has multiple uses.


1 to 1-1/2 Lbs of ground lamb
3-5 Diced garlic cloves
1-Medium onion diced
1-1/2 TBS rosemary needles
1 Tsp ground or powdered oregano
2 TBS Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
3-cups of chicken broth
1 Cup orzo
Juice from 1/2 lemon


Brown the lamb, onion, rosemary, oregano, garlic in the olive oil until browned. Do not drain. When browned, add the chicken broth and the orzo. Cover and let simmer on VERY, very low heat for 15-minutes. Add lemon juice a few minutes before serving.

If you have leftovers, you can add bread crumbs, an egg to the leftovers, mix well, refrigerate. Flour the pattie on both sides before frying. Form chilled mixture into patties and fry them as you would a hamburger in olive oil. This would be a great time to make some pita bread and stuff the bread pockets with the fried pattie.


Saturday, September 30, 2006

Pork Loin Cutlets or Chicken Breasts in Lemon-Cucumber white sauce

This sauce has a wonderfully delicate combination of cucumber and lemon flavors.

3 TBS Butter
3 TBS Flour
1/2 Medium Cucumber – Peeled and sliced in ½” thick slices
1 Cup Chicken Broth
1-1 ½ Cups milk or cream
2-3 Large Lemon Myrtle Leaves

2-4 Pork loin ¾” thick slices, or Chicken Breasts B/S
Garlic powder
Onion Powder
Salt and Pepper
¼ Cup Macadamia mountain pepper oil.( Olive oil can be used, but not as tasty)

Macadamia mountain pepper oil is available from Australian exporters.

Make the white sauce (roux) by melting the butter. Remove from heat. Whisk in the flour. Add the milk, cream, and chicken broth. Place on medium flame until it starts to bubble; turn to very low. Add cucumber slices and the lemon myrtle leaves. Simmer on very LOW HEAT UNTIL THE CUCUMBER FALLS APART. Blend into the sauce for a smoother sauce, or leave the chunks.

Sautee the pork or chicken in the macadamia – mountain pepper oil until done, but first sprinkle with garlic salt/powder, onion powder, and salt and pepper. When done to your liking, remove meat to oiled oven proof casserole dish, pour white sauce over the meat, and bake for 20-minutes at 350. Or simply pour sauce over the vermicelli and meat and do not poach.

Serve with garlic bread.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Pot Roast Supreme

3-4 lb. English Cut Roast , Mock Tender, eye of round, or rump roast

1 chopped onion
1 envelope Onion Soup Mix
3 T Wyler's Low Sodium Beef Bouillon or 14 Oz Can Swanson’s Beef Broth
4 cups water
1 TBS capers
1 Tsp stuffed olives (chopped)
1 or 2 pkgs. Goya Sazón Tomato and Cilantro granules (found in Mexican food section)
2 Stalks celery diced or thinly sliced
2 carrots diced or thinly sliced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1-2 TBS Garlic powder or granules (optional but recommended)

Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 T Olive Oil for initial browning of the floured beef

Bring the four cups of water to a boil; add soup mix, bouillon/broth, tomato paste, and Sazón. Let simmer slowly. Using a LARGE Dutch oven, brown the floured roast in oil, turning to brown all sides and ends. Then add chopped onion, celery, and carrots and let cook 2 minutes with beef. Add simmering liquid, capers and olives. Bring back to a boil, cover and lower heat to simmer gently. Let cook at least two to three hours depending on the thickness of the roast, turning meat once after half the time. About 30 minutes before the meat is cooked, add peeled, quartered potatoes.

When meat is fork-tender, remove from pot and cover air-tight; wrap in foil. Remove potatoes. Turn up heat under pot and reduce liquid by half. Mix 4 T flour with 1/2 cup water, drizzle slowly into meat liquid whipping constantly with a wire whip until gravy thickness is to your liking. Add the garlic powder here. The onion soup mix and the Sazón have enough salt in them for the whole pot, but you may want to add some. Puree the liquid with a food processor – this will be your dynamite gravy.

This is wonderful served with green beans, Brussels sprouts, or ANY veggie. Garlic bread is a plus!!. Enjoy.


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Apple Stuffing for Poultry and Pork Chops

Stuffing is standard fare for whole chickens, turkey, or pork chops. This is a quick and easy recipe. Can be increased for larger birds.


2 to 4 slices bacon, diced, fried and browned, or salt pork(*)
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 beaten egg
3 apples, peeled, cored, and shredded or finely diced
1/4 cup sugar (optional)
4 cups dried bread crumbs or diced bread (1/2” dice)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tsp Poultry seasoning
Water if needed


Fry diced bacon or diced salt pork until crisp, then add celery and onion; cook until tender. In a large bowl, add all remaining ingredients, adding hot water only if needed. Mix well so that the bread has absorbed the moisture, but is not mushy. Refrigerate immediately if you are not going to use it right away.

(*)= Salt pork adds a much better flavor than bacon


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Il Crepes ha imbottito col pollo, il prosciutto, il formaggio e l'asparago

Crepes stuffed with shredded ham, cooked chicken, asparagus tips, bacon bits and mozarella cheese.

There are three steps to this recipe, but the results are worth it.

1 cup finely diced cooked chicken
1 cup cooked finely diced ham
2 slices bacon fried crispy, drained and crumbled
3/4 cup shredded mozarella
1 tsp porcini mushroom powder.

Finely dice the chicken and ham. Shred the mozarella. Put the ingredients in a bowl, an sprinkle the mushroom powder over all; stir/mix well.


1 cup AP flour
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 TBS sugar
4 TBS melted butter
1/8 tsp orange extract
Canola oil for frying - or use a teflon crepe skillet

3 tbsp. melted butter or oil

Mix with whisk. Heat pan until a drop of water sizzles. Remove pan from heat. Pour batter into center of pan and swirl pan until bottom is covered with batter. Pour any excess batter that doesn't stick to the pan back into batter bowl. Flip crepe and cook the second side. The first side will be a nice even brown; the second side will be an uneven color. Spread crepes out and allow to dry before stacking. If you make ahead and freeze, stack between pieces of wax paper.


3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour1 1 c. milk
1 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. white cooking wine
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp. capers (optional)

Melt butter, add flour and stir with wooden spoon until bubbly, but don't let mixture brown. Heat milk and stock to the simmer point. Remove bubbling flour and butter from heat and add boiling liquid all at once and stir vigorously. Return to heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, stirring to prevent scorching. Add cream bit by bit and stir to blend. Add cheese and stir until melted. If instant flour is used, mix all ingredients, except cream, together in saucepan, blend well and heat to simmer point. If sauce is too thick, add additional milk, chicken broth, or wine until consistency is right.

Spread a spoonful or two of filling down the center of each crepe. Roll and turn seam side down in a buttered baking dish. Use remaining 2 cups of cream sauce and remaining cheese for topping. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Freezes well. If you prepare ahead of time and freeze, defrost and proceed as you would have without freezing.


Monday, August 14, 2006

Calamari Appetizers

We Italians love calamari (squid). So many people get turned off at the thought of eating a squid, but you really need to try it before making a decision. Many of the finer restaurants offer this succulent appetizer on their menus.


2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 cup water
2 tablespoons Sriracha chili sauce (This is hot)
2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoon water
Chopped fresh basil leaves

Or you can use the standard shrimp sauce = Ketchup, horse radish, and lemon juice.


1 1/2 pounds squid cleaned tubes
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups of self-rising flour), seasoned to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Sauce Instructions

Combine the ginger, shallots and garlic together in a saucepan. Add the sugar, white wine and rice vinegars, tomato paste, water and Sriracha sauce. Stir to blend and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook gently, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes. Whisk cornstarch mixture into the sauce. Add a few chopped leaves of the basil, cook for a minute or two more, remove from heat and let cool. Refrigerate until serving time.

Calamari Instructions

Rinse the squid well and cut the tubes into rings. Pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. Pour the buttermilk into a wide bowl, and put the seasoned flour in a second wide bowl. Pour oil into a deep pan (or covered fryer) to a depth of 3 to 4 inches. Heat the oil to 350F.

Dip a handful or so of the squid into the buttermilk, let drain, then toss into the flour. Coat well, then place squid in a strainer, hold it over the sink and shake off the excess flour. Place the squid into the hot oil and carefully separate the pieces, taking care to avoid any spattering oil. Cook briefly, about 1 minute for the rings. The coating should be golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Serve immediately along with the sauce.

Makes about 6 appetizer servings.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Fish and Potatoes Poached in White Wine Sauce

This recipe goes well with any mild fish fillets like bass, flounder, crappie or any white fish. We used to make this a lot when we lived in CT where 9-10 pound large-mouthed bass were plentiful. Also is great with thin boneless pork loin chops.

Ingredients for white wine sauce:

4 TBS Butter
4 TBS Flour
1-1/2 Cup milk
1/2 Cup white wine
2 tsp dill seed
1/2 tsp onion powder
Salt to taste
1/8 tsp or less of white pepper
Dash of nutmeg

Make a roux by melting butter, remove from heat source, then whisk in the flour, salt and white pepper. Return to the heat source, then add the milk, nutmeg, onion powder and dill seed. Whisk continuously until it thickens; add wine and continue to whisk. Once thickened to a medium sauce, remove from heat. You may need to add more milk if the sauce gets to thick. But remember, the potatoes and the fillets will release additional moisture during the poaching process.

Other ingredients:

4 Medium to large fish fillets
3 Medium peeled potatoes quartered or cut in eighths
Flavored Bread Crumbs
Grated Parmesan Cheese

In a suitably-sized baking dish, lightly oil the bottom and sides. Coat the bottom with a little of the white sauce. Place the fish fillets in the bottom of the baking dish - do not overlap the fillets. Spread more of the white sauce over the fillets.

Place potatoes over the fillets, then pour the remaining white sauce over the potatoes. Sprinkle bread crumbs over all, then the Parmesan cheese.

Cover the baking dish with tin foil. Bake at 325 until the potatoes are cooked - about 45-minutes.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

If you like cinnamon rolls AND blueberries, this is the ticket to both in one.


1 1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp double strength vanilla
1 egg
3 1/3 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons SAF Red - Instant Yeast


2 TBS melted butter
1 Cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 TBS cinnamon

Place the first seven ingredients in your bread machine or in a stand mixer with the dough hooks. Select dough cycle, or knead with the dough hooks until you have a smooth dough.

Remove dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead for 2-3 minutes, then roll into an 18x9 rectangle. Brush dough with 2 tablespoons melted butter. In a separate container, mix together 1/2 cup sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon, add the blueberries (wet them first) and sprinkle over entire dough surface. Roll up tightly in a jelly roll style. Wet the end seam with water, then press so as to seal the roll.

Slice into 9 equal rolls of 2 inches each, then place in a greased 9x9 inch pan. Cover and let rise 30 to 40 minutes until doubled in size. Bake in a preheated 375F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.


1 cup powdered sugar
2 Drops of lemon extract
1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
2 TBS softened butter

Stir and mix all together until very smooth. Spread the glaze while the rolls are still warm.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Banana-Oatmeal Muffins

These muffins are terrific for breakfast or a break. They are loaded with nutrition and fiber, AND very tasty.

1 1/2 cups oatmeal (instant)
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
2 ripe bananas
2-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup brown sugar
Milk as needed to make a medium-thick batter.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray, or a six cup Texas sized muffin tin.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats and boiling water. Mix well until fully hydrated.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cardamon.
In a glass measure, mash the bananas thoroughly with a fork. Add enough vegetable oil to reach the 1 1/8 cup mark. (A little more is ok – say, a cup and a half) Stir together, then add to the oatmeal mixture, along with the egg, vanilla and sugar. Mix well. Add the flour mixture and mix gently until combined. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

I use the Texas-sized muffin tin – makes 6-large muffins, but you can also use the standard 12-muffin tin.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Honey Sesame Seed Pork Tenderloin

Pork... the OTHER white meat. This is a fast, easy to prepare meal. Can be served with most any vegetable, but brocolli or cauliflower with a mild cheese sauce goes exceptionally well. You might also want to consider asparagus with a Hollandaise sauce, and a twice baked potato.


1-2 lbs. Boneless Pork Tenderloin
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated or shredded fresh ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons sesame seed


Combine soy sauce, garlic, ginger and sesame oil. Place tenderloin in a heavy plastic bag, pour soy mixture over to coat. Let marinate 2 hours at room temperature, or overnight in refrigerator. Remove pork from marinade, pat dry.

Mix together honey and brown sugar in a shallow plate. Place sesame seed on a separate shallow plate. Roll pork entire tenderloin in the honey mixture, coating well; then roll in sesame seed. Roast in a shallow pan at 400 degrees F. for 20-30 minutes, until meat thermometer inserted registers 160 degrees F. Remove to serving platter, slice thinly to serve.

Serves four - that is unless you are extra hungry. :-)


Thursday, June 08, 2006

Chicken Lo Mein

This is a fast, tasty meal that is a great variation from the everyday doldrums of pork and beef.

1 Whole chicken breast or 1 ½ Lbs Chicken tenders
2 TBS Sesame Oil
1 Bunch Scallions
½ Lb Bean Sprouts
1 Cup Chicken Broth
1/3 Cup Soy Sauce
1 TBS Corn starch
2 Cups Shredded Lettuce
1 TBS Chopped Pimiento
Mini canned corn cobs (Optional)
Brocolli Flowerettes (Optional)
Vermicelli Pasta

Bone chicken breast, reserving skin and bone. Slice meat into thin strips;
set aside. Simmer the skin and bone in 1 ¼ cups of water for 15-minutes.
Strain into cup; add enough water, if necessary, to make one cup of broth.
Boil vermicelli according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Sauté the chicken until it’s golden brown on
all sides. Add chopped Scallions; sauté one minute longer. Add Reserved
chicken broth and Cook until thick and clear. Fold in the bean sprouts,
1 ½ cups of the shredded lettuce, and cooked vermicelli. Continue heating
until the lettuce is wilted, and the mixture is well combined. Serve and top
with remaining lettuce and the pimiento.

This is absolutely delicious served cold as a pasta salad.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Almond-Coconut Crumb Topped Peach Pie

If you have never had a peach crumb pie, or have never LIKED peach pie, get ready for the dessert treat of a life time. We made this for the first time today, and will be making it again, and again.

1 recipe Pie Pastry, Single Crust, refrigerated


6 Cups frozen sliced peaches, partially thawed

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon

1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons tapioca flour

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


1 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1 tablespoon milk

If you haven’t already, prepare the pie pastry and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour.

On a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, roll the pastry into a 13-inch circle with a floured rolling pin. Invert the pastry over a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie pan, center, and peel off the paper. Gently tuck the pastry into the pan, without stretching it, and sculpt the overhang into an upstanding ridge. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Combine the peaches, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 1/3 cup of the sugar in a large bowl and toss well to mix. Set aside for 10 minutes to juice. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix the tapioca flour with the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar. Sprinkle this mixture over the fruit and mix well. Stir in the vanilla and nutmeg. Turn the filling into the chilled pie shell and smooth the filling to even it out. Place the pie on the center oven rack and bake for 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the topping. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, almonds, and coconut in a food processor and pulse several times to mix. Scatter the butter over the top and pulse until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the milk and process again until the crumbs are like medium fine gravel. Transfer to a large bowl and rub gently between your fingers to make the crumbs uniform in texture. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Remove the pie from the oven and reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F. Carefully dump the crumbs in the center of the pie and spread them evenly. Press on the crumbs gently to compact them. Return the pie to the oven, placing it so that the part that faced the back of the oven now faces forward. Slide a large aluminum foil-lined baking sheet onto the rack below to catch any spills. Bake until the juices bubble thickly around the edge, about 30 minutes. Use a very thick layer of crumb topping.

Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Foolproof Italian Bread

For whatever reason, when baking bread is mentioned, so many people are simply not confident enough to make or bake it. Your worries are over!! If you have a stand mixer with bread hooks, you CAN make this bread with total confidence!! If you follow the simple directions given here, you will be suddenly known as a 'bread master. If you have been putting off baking bread, no need to put it off any longer; success is on the way.

6 to 6 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 T. sugar
2 TBS instant yeast
2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup milk
2 TBS softened butter

Makes 2-Loaves or a half dozen hoagie rolls.

In large bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Heat water, milk and butter to about 120 degrees. Gradually add to the dough ingredients; beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Add 1/2 cup flour; beat two minutes at high speed. Change beaters to the dough hooks. Add additional flour to make soft dough. Add additional water if necessary. When dough is ready it will pull away from the sides of the bowl. Place in lightly greased bowl, turn several times to completely coat the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and let raise to double in size.

Punch dough down and shape as desired. Let rise until 1 ½ times original size. Score the dough horizontally one time, or across the loaves several times on each loaf.

Bake at 375F. for about 20 minutes.

This dough freezes well and rises nicely after thawing and shaping.

Can use this recipe for hamburger-shaped rolls too.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Il pasto granoturco pane italiano (Corn meal Italian Bread)

This is a delightful, ciabatta type bread that you will make time after time.

1 TBS Instant yeast

1 1/2 Cup bottled water

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp sea salt

½ Cup White Corn Meal

1 ½ Cups boiling water

4 Cups High Gluten Bread Flour

2 Cups AP Flour

1 TBS Olive Oil

Boil 1 1/2 cups of bottled water in a medium sauce pan. Once boiling, remove from heat and quickly add the corn meal and salt. Stir so it is completely hydrated. Stir occasionally to assure there is no dry corn meal at the bottom of the pan. Let the mix cool completely. Here, you will have a corn meal mash or mush.

Add yeast to a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, and 1 1/2 cups warm bottled water (105-110). Mix well with beaters and let sit for 12-15 minutes until it gets creamy/foamy. Add one cup of bread flour and olive oil. Beat well with beaters. Add cooled corn meal and continue beating until well blended. Switch to oiled bread hooks.

Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time until you get a silky dough. The dough may be sticky, so add more flour until you are comfortable with the feel of the dough. The dough should pull away from the edges of the pan.

Place in large oiled bowl; turn several times to fully coat dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise to doubled. This will take only about 30-45 minutes.

Once doubled lightly flour counter, gently de-gas, and shape to either one large boule, or two small ones. Place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Brush with olive oil, lightly cover with plastic wrap, and let rise to doubled in size. You can add seeds of your choice at this point. You can also do a refrigerated rise for 6-12 hours. Bring to room temperature before baking.

Turn oven to 450F. Make sure you have a steam pan in oven. Once up to temperature, fill steam pan with hot water, spray oven sides with water – being careful NOT to spray light bulb or oven door glass. Place shaped dough in 450F. oven for 10-minutes. After 10-minutes, spray oven and turn cookie sheet 180 degrees for even baking. Reduce temperature to 400F. Bake for an additional twenty minutes or until the internal temperature of the bread reaches 180F. Remove from oven, and rub top of loaves with a stick of butter.

Let cool one hour before slicing. This bread gains flavor the longer it sits – up to four days. It has the beautiful texture of a ciabatta if not de-gassed too much for the second rising.


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Grilled Lamb and Onions on Rosemary Skewers

Lamb, garlic, and rosemary are a perfect blend. I'm not sure how easy it is to find the rosemary skewers in the U.S.,but they can be ordered over the internet primarily from Australia where rosemary is grown in huge amounts for both domestic use and exporting.

3 Lbs lamb, trimmed, cut into 1" Cubes

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup red wine

1 large shallot, chopped

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 tbls chopped fresh rosemary

24-30 pearl onions, trimmed and peeled

Salt and black pepper, freshly ground

12 rosemary skewers, fresh or dried

Combine all ingredients (except rosemary skewers) in a bowl and toss. Marinate in refrigerator for 2-3 hours, mixing occasionally. Remove lamb cubes and discard marinade. Thread lamb and onions alternately on to the skewers. You may need to make the hole for the rosemary skewers with a metal skewer.

Grill on barbeque for 6-8 minutes on each side, or until cooked as desired.

Serves 6


Friday, April 28, 2006

Pizza or Calzones

• 1 pkg dried yeast (or 3-tsp instant)
• 1 Cup warm water (105F - 110F) Bottled water is best
• 1 tsp salt
• 3 1/2 Cups High Gluten Bread flour
• 2 T olive oil
• Cornmeal to prevent sticking (not needed if you use parchment paper)
• Makes two 13-14 inch pizza shells or 6-calzones.

Dissolve yeast in water; let stand 5-10 minutes. Combine flour and salt in large bowl. Make a well in center of flour and gradually work half the yeast mixture into well with your fingers. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and gradually work in remaining yeast mixture. Add a tablespoon or more of water, if needed to make dough soft and smooth. Turn dough onto flat surface and knead vigorously for at least 10 minutes.

Shape dough in large ball and place in large greased bowl, turning dough over to grease top. Cover with a damp cloth, let rise in a warm place till doubled in bulk, about 45-60 minutes. Place in refrigerator for further rising for 6 hours.

Once risen, divide dough in half or 6- rounds for calzones. (At this point, dough may be frozen for later use.) On parchment paper, roll each half into a 13-14 inch circle about 1/8 inch thick, leaving a thick ridge around edge so topping will not spill over. Rub surface with about a tablespoon of olive oil and top with your favorite filling.

If doing calzones, stuff the rolled out dough leaving 1” around the edges, fold over, and wet the edges. Press with a fork to seal. Make slices in the top for the steam to escape. Heat oven to 500 degrees for about 30 minutes for pizza. Then lower heat to 475F – 450F and bake pizza for 10-15 minutes (depending upon the heat accuracy of your oven). Bake it directly on your pizza stone which has been in the oven while it is preheating or on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Be sure you have made slits in the top of each calzone so the steam can escape. Bake Calzones at 400F on a parchment lined cookie sheet until puffy and golden. To serve, dip in marinara sauce.
Calzone pictured.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Lamb Braised in Yogurt and Cream-Rogani Gosht

1 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream)
1 cup heavy cream
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup blanched almonds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 lb. boneless lean lamb, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
2 large potatoes, peeled and quartered

Combine all ingredients except the lamb and potatoes in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

Put the yogurt mixture and the lamb into a large, heavy pot (preferably nonstick) and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce the heat and simmer tightly covered for 2 hours.

Check the mixture and stir frequently, adding milk or water as needed if the sauce becomes too thick. Add the potatoes and continue cooking until tender, 30 to 45 minutes.

Serve with your favorite rice.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Charcoal Broiled Leg of Lamb

I'd rather have lamb than roast beef, salmon, or just about any red or white meat or seafood (scallops, halibut, swordfish, shark excepted.)

1 3-5 Pound sirloin leg of lamb
3 TBS olive oil
2 VERY large Garlic buds
Powdered Rosemary
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Charcoal broiler
2 Fatwood sticks

Start your fire about 45-minutes ahead of time. Place several sheets of newspaper in charcoal pan; 2-halved sticks of fatwood, generous amonut of charcoal. Light newspapers from the bottom. Let coals get to the ashy/white stage. If you like the lamb taste as opposed to a charcoal taste as with beef or pork, do NOT charbroil; you will lose much of the wonderful taste of the lamb!! Oven roast it for the delightful taste of the lamb.

Coat roast generously with olive oil. Make small slices in the fat side of the roast and insert thinly sliced garlic buds in the scored roast. If you have a heat-proof meat thermometer, stick it in the roast - AWAY from any bone. Turn or reposition the roast occasionally. Cook for several hours until thermometer reads 150F. For juicy, tender lamb, it should be roasted to NO more than 150F. internal temperature; medium rare - to medium. Save the juices for gravy. After roasting is completed, let the roast sit for 15-minutes before slicing. Save juice. This recipe can also be roasted in the oven at 325F. with peeled, quartered pototoes. (Photo)


3-4 Cups water
2-Chicken bouillion cubes
Drippings from roast after it's been sliced
2 TBS flour
1/4 Cup HOT water.

Dissolve cubes in the 3-4 cups of water.
Mix 1/4 cup hot water with flour
Place all together on a pan, whisk constantly until it thickens.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Chimichangas with rice and refried beans

Next to green chili with pork, this is my favorite Mexican dish.

1 lb Lean beef or venison
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
4 Tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp lard
1/2 onion chopped
1/2 bell pepper chopped
1 1/2 tsp Flour
1/2 c canned whole green Chiles
4 fl Tortillas
Oil for deep frying
Red chile sauce or salsa
1 c Jack or Colby cheese, shredded
1 c Sour cream
8 Black olives
1/4 c Green onion, chopped
1 tb Whipping cream
2 cups Shredded lettuce

Cut the beef into 4 pieces. Place in a 5 to 6-quart pan and add water tocover. Bring to a boil; skim the foam from the surface. Add the salt,pepper, and garlic. Simmer until tender, approximately 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Drain the beef, reserving 1/2 cup of the broth.

When the meat is cool, coarsely Shred in a food processor. Chop 2 of the tomatoes. Melt the shortening in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté until tender. Add the flour, whisking until no lumps remain, and cook 2 minutes. Add the shredded beef, reserved broth, chopped tomatoes, and whole chilies. Simmer 15 minutes.

Place about 1/2 cup of the meat mixture in a line down the center of each tortilla. Fold both ends over 1 inch to 2 inch; fold one side over the other and roll up in a neat package. Secure with a toothpick. Deep fry in very hot oil 400'F until crisp and well browned. Drain on paper towels.

Preheat the broiler. Place the chimichangas on an ovenproof plate or in a baking pan. Spoon red chili sauce over liberally. Sprinkle with grated cheese and green onion. Place under the broiler until the cheese melts.Combine the sour cream and the whipping cream. Slice the remaining 2 tomatos. Top the chimichangas with the sour cream mixture and Guacamole. Garnish with shredded lettuce, diced tomato, guacamole and olives.

Serve with rice and refried beans.

Mexican Rice

This is the perfect rice side dish for the chimichangas.

1 cup uncooked rice -- your choice
2 cups cold water
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
Olive oil
1/2 Onion Coarsely chopped
1 Small roma tomato, chopped into about 4 pieces
Hot pepper of your choice, sliced lengthwise
3 TBS Tomato sauce
1 tsp cumin powder
1 TBS chicken bouillon (1 cube in the cooking water)
Salt, to taste

Put a little olive oil (1-2 Tbs.) into a medium-sized pot and heat to a medium temperature, add the rice, uncooked, and brown in the oil. Make sure all the rice is lightly coated with the oil. You do not have to stir the rice around very much at first while browning, but as the rice becomes browner stir it around to make sure it all browns evenly and doesn't burn. It will turn brown, but it's not burning unless it's turning dark/black. Towards the end of the browning, add the garlic so that it is sauteed/browned.

Next, dump the water on the rice (it will steam up) and add the remaining ingredients. Stir well and cover (with a small air escape). Reduce heat to medium-low to medium, and let cook for 20-30 minutes. (Cooking time and temperature varies with your stove. Check after 20 minutes to make sure you don't burn it. The essential rule of this recipe is "Do Not Peek" while the rice is cooking.

When it is ready, all the water will be absorbed, the rice will fluff, and each grain will be "split open" because of the browning. It should be dry, not saucy. You can adjust the spices/peppers to your taste. The recipe can be changed by keeping with the 1 cup rice/2 cups water ratio, and adjusting remaining ingredients.

Just before serving, add green enchilada sauce to the rice and stir in.

Monday, March 27, 2006

BBQ Sauce for beef, pork or venison©

After experimenting and testing BBQ sauce recipes for a number of years, we found that this recipe is the best all-around BBQ sauce for beef, pork, and venison. With the wonderful subtle taste of juniper from the gin and the added juniper berries, this sauce is a real treat, it will tenderize an old army boot, and the toughest cuts of meat. If you have a REAL tough cut of beef - like a shoulder or arm, add the gin and vermouth at the very end when the sauce has thickened and further simmer for only 5-minutes.

2 Finely chopped onions
6 TBS Butter or bacon fat
1 Cup Ketchup
½ Cup Vinegar
5 TBS Brown Sugar
1 6-Oz. Can Tomato Paste
1 Cup Water
Dash of Cinnamon
2 TBS Sweet Vermouth
3 TBS Mustard
6 TBS Worcester Sauce
Ground black Pepper
4-5 Dashes Angostura Bitters
½ Cup Gin
Hickory Salt to taste
4 Dashes Tabasco Sauce
3 TBS Molasses
2 Juniper Berries

Melt butter. Sautee onions in butter until very soft. Add remaining ingredients and stir/mix well. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens.

Thinly slice meat while still partially frozen. Cook in sauce until it nearly falls apart. Serve on Kaiser Rolls. (Recipe posted here)

Side dishes that go well are cole slaw, potato salad, macaroni salad, potato chips, 10-bean salad or whatever suits your fancy


Sunday, March 19, 2006

Chicken Khorma

This is one of many meals that are served in the Muslim world on Eid, the festive holiday that breaks the year's 30-day Ramadan fast; a time when the faithful abstain from food, drink, and ALL other worldly pleasures. Food never tastes better than when you're hungry, and this particular dish is no exception. It is deliciously flavorful, easy to make, and very tasty.

1 whole chicken, cut up in small pieces, skinned (2 1/2 pounds) (*)
1/2 cup fried onions
3/4 cup plain yogurt
2 teaspoons ginger paste (gingerroot peeled, chopped and crushed)
2 teaspoons garlic paste (garlic cloves peeled, chopped and crushed)
5 cloves
4 cardamom seeds
1 1/2 sticks cinnamon
2 or 3 bay leaves
1 heaping teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup oil

Heat oil in 12-quart pan; add cloves, cardamom, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. Immediately add chicken, ginger and garlic pastes, and cook uncovered on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add coriander powder, cayenne pepper and salt, and cook for another 10 minutes, uncovered. Puree fried onions and yogurt in blender or food processor with 1 cup water. Add to chicken. Cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until chicken is tender.

This recipe is wonderful served over steamed Jasmine rice or egg noodles.

(*) In lieu of a whole cut up chicken, you can use drumettes or halved-boneless thighs. This way, there's no fighting to get individually selected parts, and everyone is a winner. :-) Be sure to remove the skin on whatever cuts of chicken you decide on.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

German Apple Cake © King Arthur Company

This recipe has been authorized to post here by the gracious permission of the King Arthur Company, in Norwich, Vermont.
It is one of the best cakes I've ever had. With a large scoop of ice cream, or a HUGE dollop of whipped cream, you will never forget the wonderful flavor and texture.



Apple filling

2-3 large apples cored and peeled- Granny Smiths are great
lemon juice (optional, to sprinkle over apples)
5 TBS sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon


3 cups unbleached All Purpose flour
1 TBS baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 c sugar
4 eggs
¼ c apple juice (On this baking, I used pineapple juice and have used V-8 Splash in the past. Mmmmmmmmm!)
2-1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.


The filling is made before the batter because it’s layered into the cake. Peel and core apples. Cut them in quarters and then again in about ¼” chunks. You can sprinkle them with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. Mix the apples, sugar and cinnamon together and set aside.


Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl, beat the oil and sugar on high speed for 2 or 3 minutes until it’s creamy.

In a separate small bowl (or a large mixing cup) beat the eggs until light. Add the juice and the vanilla, mix well and add it to the sugar and oil, beating thoroughly. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently fold together.

Assembling & Baking:

A tube tube pan works very well here. The cake rises quite a bit, so you'll need something fairly tall. You could also use a bundt cake pan.

Butter the pan then powder with a coating of confectioner’s sugar. Pour one-third of the batter into the pan, then add a thick layer of apples and sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar; repeat process, ending with batter - sprinkled with additional cinnamon sugar. Bake for about 50-55 minutes, or until a skewer or wooden toothpick comes out clean. (1)

The cake should be completely cooled before cutting into it, otherwise it may fall apart. Dust with additional powdered sugar.

(1) Depending on the amount of moisture in the apples, baking could take up to 70-minutes. If not done after 55-minutes, reduce heat to 325F. and continue baking until skewer comes out clean. Check in 5-minute intervals.


Monday, March 13, 2006

Callaloo and Shark 'n Bake

After having been on a consulting and training assignment for a month in Trinidad and Tobago a few years ago, the typical ‘soup and sandwich’ that we’re all so familiar with took on an entirely new meaning. Callaloo – a spinach-type soup and mainstay in the Caribbean, combined with ‘shark and bake’ served together, is hard to top. They take minimal time to prepare and I guarantee, once you’ve had them, they will become a regular meal in your household. Below are listed recipes for both.

This specialty is served by many fine restaurants and roadside vendors throughout the island. It is a T&T version of fish and chips. It's relatively easy to duplicate at home, and if shark is not available, substitute halibut or swordfish.

Yield: 2 to 4 servings


Juice from 1 lime
1 pound shark meat, cut into pieces about 3 or 4 inches long and 1 inch wide
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced chives or green onion tops
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour seasoned with salt and pepper
Vegetable oil for frying


Sprinkle the lime juice over the shark meat and let sit for 5 minutes. Combine the garlic, chives, thyme, and salt and mix well. Rinse the shark with water and dip the pieces first in the spicy mixture and then in the flour, coating them well. Fry the shark, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil, turning often, for about 12 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve wrapped in bakes. Sprinkle the shark-and-bake with your favorite hot sauce.


The shark can be marinated for 2 hours in a mixture of lime juice, onion, garlic, thyme, and minced Habanero or jalapeno pepper.


This is the bread that is served with shark to make the famous Maracas Bay shark and bake. The bakes are simple and quick to prepare. Yield: 4 to 6 bakes


2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup butter
1 teaspoon sugar
Vegetable oil for frying


Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the shortening and sugar, and mix with a fork. Add enough water to make a dough and knead gently. Cut the dough into 4 to 6 pieces (depending on how large you want the bakes to be) and roll each piece into a ball. Let stand for a few minutes.

Flatten the balls of dough until they are about ¼ inch thick, and fry in hot oil until they are brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Kind of like a pita bread.


This remarkable, bright green soup is often called "the national dish of T&T." It features callaloo (taro leaves or dasheen), but spinach is an excellent substitute. Yield: 8 to 10 servings


3 bundles callaloo or 3 bunches fresh spinach, washed, tough ribs removed, coarsely chopped
4 cups coconut milk
2 cups milk
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped
¼ pound pumpkin or Hubbard squash, peeled and coarsely chopped
¼ pound butter or margarine
salt and pepper to taste


In a stockpot or soup pot, combine all the ingredients and boil for 4 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes. If too thick, add more coconut milk. Remove from the heat, cool, and puree in a blender in small batches. Reheat the soup and serve.

NOTE: If you can get 2-3 medium to large live crabs, clean them, soak briefly in lime juice, and add them to the soup at the beginning. Now you have shark and crab. Makes for a very delicious and filling meal.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Corned Beef Hash

With St. Patrick's Day is here, many households will have scads of corned beef left over. It's hard to beat a corned beef sandwich on deli rye. But there is always corned beef hash which make a wonderful breakfast or brunch with a few poached or fried eggs on top.

1 – 2 Lbs Finely Shredded/chopped corned beef
1 - 2 Lbs quarter inch diced, cooked potato
1-2 TBS Chopped Parsley
½ Cup finely shredded onion
½ garlic bud shredded
¼ Cup melted butter
Salt and Pepper to taste

Just mix the meat, potatoes, parsley and melted butter in a bowl – taste it – and add salt and pepper. Put a generous amount of butter or bacon fat in a skillet and get it hot over medium-high heat (or high-medium heat if you prefer) and add the hash. You can add a little oil to the butter if you are scared of burnt butter. Fry it until it’s nice and browned on the bottom and crispy around the edges. Don’t pester it! If you keep moving it around and fooling with it - it will not brown properly. you can either cook it in one big batch or form it into patties. When it’s browned and crisped to your liking turn it and do the other side. Top it with a couple of poached or fried eggs and you have a world class breakfast.

This is best if all ingredients are combined, then put through a grinder WITH THE COURSE setting. .

Monday, February 20, 2006

Lemon Muffins

A new twist to muffins, and they are really a tangy treat.


2 cups self-rising flour
¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup Grated rind ½ lemon
1/3 cup presoaked golden raisins (optional)
1 cup orange juice
lemon-infused avocado oil
1 egg


Mix flour, sugar and salt in large mixing bowl. Into another bowl, whisk: Lemon rind, orange juice, egg and oil. Add the liquid, mix into the dry ingredients, folding gently until flour is damp. Be careful not to over-mix.

Oil a 12-muffin tray and spoon in the mixture. You can also use Texas Muffin Tins (6) Bake at 425 F. for 10-to-12 minutes.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Coconut Shrimp with Plum Sauce

Shrimp are always good. This recipe can serve as an appetizer or a main meal.


1 pound large shrimp
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup of flour or tempura batter mix
4 cups of shredded coconut


Peel and devein the shrimp leaving the tails. Combine milk and egg in a bowl and whip until well blended. Place the flour on a small plate. Place the shredded coconut on a larger plate.

Dip the shrimp into the egg/milk. Next flour the shrimp. Dip in the egg/milk. Place in the shredded coconut and press the coconut onto the shrimp on both sides. Method 1: Heat a deep pan with enough oil to completely submerse the shrimp. Fry until golden brown.

Method 2:

Heat the oven to 350 and place shrimp on a well oiled pan and bake until golden brown usually about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and drizzle with Plum sauce. You can find Plum Sauce in the Oriental or Ethnic food section of your grocery store

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Coconut Shrimp

This can be served as either an appetizer or a full meal.


2 lbs. jumbo shrimp or prawns deveined, boiled and cooled
1 cup evaporated milk
2 eggs
1 loaf unseasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 1/2 tsp Shrimp/seafood seasoning
Peanut Oil to cover shrimp half way up in pan


Add seasoning salt to bread crumbs and set aside for a few hours. Beat eggs well in a small bowl. Combine bread crumbs and coconut in a mixing bowl. Place shrimp in evaporated milk, then beaten eggs, then crumb, egg mixture a second time, then coconut mixture.

Fry until golden brown. Cooking time: about 20 minutes. Serve immediately over your favorite rice.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Baked Stuffed Clams for a Party

Having been born and raised in New England on the coast of Connecticut, baked stuffed clams were nearly an every weekend part of a party meal.


50 Large clams (Quahogs or cherrystones are best)
3 Lbs butter
2 ½ Loaves of stale bread broken into cubes or crumbs
4-6 finely diced onions
½ cup diced pimentos
1 1/2 tsp paprika
¼ cup parsley flakesor freshly chopped Italian parsley
1 TBS McCormick Seafood Seasoning
1/3 Cup Dry Vermouth
4 eggs

Steam clams for 30-minutes; clean and dice. Simmer butter, onion, parsley, and seasoning for 15-minutes. Pour over bread and chopped clams in a separate large bowl. Add eggs, paprika, vermouth and pimento. Blend thoroughly and stuff into half-shells leveling to the top of each shell. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until butter starts to ooze out and the crust is a light brown. Be SURE to use a pan with sides so the butter won’t get all over the oven.

These can be frozen and reheated.

For a smaller quantity to feed 6, (four halves each) use the following:

12 Large Clams
3 Sticks butter
2/3 Loaf of stale bread
1 ½ diced onion
1 Egg
2 TBS parsley flakes
1 tsp seafood seasoning
1/8 cup diced pimento
½ tsp paprika

Follow the same baking instructions


Saturday, February 11, 2006

Raspberry-Toasted Coconut Muffins©


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Malibu White Rum with Coconut•
2 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 tsp Instant Yeast (dissolved in water)
1 TBS water for yeast
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 Cup Toasted Coconut flakes
3/4 Cup Dried Raspberries Coarsely Chopped
Corn Starch
Cinnamon/Sugar MixtureButter for Muffin Tin


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Grease or line muffin tins.

In a medium bowl cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, making sure the eggs are fully incorporated. Stir in the rum.

Sift dry ingredients together into a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk in several additions, stirring just until combined. Add the toasted coconut. Add dissolved yeast.

Coat the raspberries with corn starch before adding so they won't sink to the bottom of the muffin tin. Scoop the batter into prepared tins. Sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar if desired and place in oven. Immediately turn oven temperature up to 400 degrees and bake for 25 minutes for standard muffins, 15 - 20 minutes for mini muffins; 25-minutes for Texas sized muffins. Cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from pan. Yield: 12 standard muffins, 24 mini muffins, or 6 Texas sized


Friday, February 10, 2006

Sourdough English Muffins

I don't know of anyone who doesn't like a nice English muffin slathered with butter and jam. These are not difficult to make, and the pleasure derived is long lasting.


½ cup sourdough starter, fed
¼ cup WW flour
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 cup bottled water
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar


Once the starter is fed, mix up the dough and let it sit covered overnight. You don’t have to worry about overdeveloping the sourdough flavor because the baking soda will neutralize some of it, leaving just the right amount of sourness in your muffins.

The major change in this recipe, aside from using some whole wheat flour (1/4 cup) was to replace the milk the original recipe called for with water so as to ensure you get the rather coarse, open texture for English muffins.

If you have only a small biscuit cutter – say 2” rather than a 3-inch round, you may need to cook for an extra minute or two per side and you will probably get fewer than the 20 or so that this recipe calls for with the 2” cutter. They taste fantastic.

They will be a bit doughy when hot off the grill, but like most yeast breads, their texture stabilizes once allowed to cool for a few minutes (they cool quickly).

Combine starter with 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of water. Stir thoroughly, cover with plastic wrap and let sit out overnight (about 7-10 hours). In the morning, add the baking soda, salt, sugar to the dough and gradually add the remaining flour, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the dough looses its stickiness.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll until about ½- 3/4 inch thick. Use a lightly floured biscuit cutter and cut the dough into as many rounds as possible. Place rounds on an ungreased baking sheet, covered with cornmeal. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with cornmeal and leave them to rise, covered with a clean tea towel, for about 45 minutes. Here, you can use English muffin rings if you want. (Available through the King Arthur Flour catalog.)

Heat a lightly oiled or nonstick skillet over high heat until very hot, then reduce the temperature to medium/medium high.Cook the muffins for about 5 minutes on each side, turning only once. The muffins will reach a light or medium brown (turn down the temperature slightly if they cook too quickly) on both the top and the bottom when they are cooked through.

Before the first flip, the sides of the muffin will start to look dry, like the edges of a pancake, when they are ready to be turned. You can peek at the underside, too. Cool completely before storing.

Rum Pudding Cake

This delicious dessert is quick and easy to make, and will satisfy the lustiest of sweets lovers.


9” Spring form Pan

2 7-ounce packages of anise-flavored sponge biscuits
¼ cup rum
4 cups whole milk
½ cup sour cream
1 package instant vanilla pudding (*)
1 package instant chocolate pudding(*)
1 cup heavy cream


Sprinkle one side of the biscuits with rum. Arrange one package of the biscuits flat side down in the pan, packed as tightly as possible. Crumble the remaining biscuits from the first package to fill spaces between the biscuits in the pan.

Mix 2 cups milk and the sour cream until well-blended. Stir in the vanilla pudding until very smooth. Allow to partially set, then pour and smooth over the biscuit layer.

Arrange the remaining package of the biscuits – flat side down – over the pudding. Crumble remaining biscuits to fill spaces.

Mix chocolate pudding with remaining milk in a medium size bowl following manufacturer’s directions. Allow to partially set, then pour and smooth over biscuits. Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Loosen cake around edges with knife, and carefully remove side of pan, leaving cake on the pan bottom.

Whip heavy cream until stiff. Spoon into pastry bag; pipe whipped cream around the cake bottom and top edge of the cake.

Serve with a demitasse of espresso.

(*) You can always make homemade pudding here, but the boxed instant pudding is quicker.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Stir Fried Curried Chicken©

This is a fairly quick recipe to make and it is very rewarding. It does require a little pre-planning, as you will need to toast the coconut flakes in the oven.



2 Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts Partially Frozen and Cubed
3 TBS peanut Oil

1 Cup Rice
1 TBS Dried Onion Flakes
1 Package Onion Soup

½ Cup Raisins
½ Cup REAL Bacon Bits (Fry bacon to crisp and drain on paper towels then break up)
½ Cup Crushed Spanish Peanuts
½ Cup Shredded, Toasted Coconut Flakes
½ Cup Dried Bananas
½ Cup Dried Apples
¾ Cup Indian (Bengali) Chutney (Mangoes-Papaya)
4 Hard Boiled and Chopped Eggs

White Sauce

2 TBS Peanut Oil
2 TBS Butter
1 TBS Curry Powder
1 Cup Milk


In a medium pan, add 3 TBS peanut oil, and sauté cubed chicken. In the WOK, add rice, dried onions, and the onion soup mix; cover the rice with water and cover the WOK. Turn to high and bring to a boil. Stir when it first comes to a boil. Reduce heat to the lowest possible setting and let steam for 15-minutes.

When rice is almost done cooking, make the white sauce. Melt the butter, remove from heat and whisk in the flour and the curry powder. When well blended and pasty, add milk. Return to heat and whisk until thickened. Add more milk if necessary.

Add remaining ingredients to the rice along with the white sauce. Stir well and serve immediately.

If you prefer, you can always make a clear sauce by using one can of chicken broth and enough corn starch and water to thicken it.


Friday, February 03, 2006

Blistering Hot, Nuclear Chicken Wings

2-3 Lbs Chicken wings (Drumettes are best)
1 12-Ounce Bottle Louisiana Hot Sauce
1 Stick butter

4 - 6 Habanero Peppers liquified in blender(*)

Melt butter on low. Add the Louisiana hot sauce and mix well. Stir in liquified habanero.

Deep fat fry wings. and drain on paper towels. When wings are fully cooked, place in pan and cover with foil. Place in 200 degree oven to keep warm.

Pour sauce over wings.

(*) You can use jalapeno peppers if you don't like the heat from the habaneros.



Monday, January 30, 2006

Cranberry-Walnut Muffins

Muffins are great anytime of day. These will carry you through mid-morning, and to break time. OR - have them mid-morning, and they will carry you to lunch.

1 Stick Butter at Room Temperature
1 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs at room temp
½ tsp Orange extract
½ tsp Almond extract
2 Cups All Purpose flour
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Baking powder
1 Cup Buttermilk
½ cup chopped or crushed walnuts
½ cup chopped dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time being sure they are well blended. Stir in the extracts.

Sift the dry ingredients into a separate bowl.

Add dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk until just combined. Do NOT over mix. Blend in the berries and nuts. If too dry, add more buttermilk or regular milk to get a pourable batter.

Spoon the batter into buttered muffin tins. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the batter. The yield here will be 12-standard muffins; 24-mini-muffins; or, 6-Texas sized muffins. Fill muffin tins to 2/3 each.

Turn oven to 400-degrees. Bake for approximately 25 minutes. Cool for 15-minutes before removing from muffin tins.