Sunday, November 15, 2009

Grocery List Wizard

This is a great little application.  You imput your grocery list, select the correct aisle, generate an approximate price, print it out and you’re good to go.  Give it a click…

Sunday, November 8, 2009

How to eat a chicken wing…

My buddy, Carlene, sent me this video.  I never knew you could  debone a chicken wing, this is worth the watch, girlfriends…

Holiday Teas are here from Celestial Seasoning….

holiday_tea_banner

I LOVE Celestial Seasoning Teas!  Love them, and yeah, I admit a lot of the charm is the packaging… I’m a sucker for great packaging, and this company has had the best for years!   I think their teas have improved so much over the years, too. 

Back in the 80’s I worked in the marketing department for 7-Eleven in Denver.  One of the perks was taking home all the freebies that the companies shipped to us in an effort to obtain shelf space.  I had a cupboard full of Celestial Seasoning, and a lot of it was so herbal tasting that I was turned off despite the packaging.  It wasn’t until a few years ago that I tried them again, and quickly realized that  they had revamped thelr line and I was just blown away by the flavors.  I’ve been a diehard fan ever since!

I was shopping yesterday and their holiday collection has arrived in our local grocery. Decisions, decisions…decision made!  It has to be the Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride. I’m intrigued.

~ jan

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Baked Caramel Corn


cc 

This is one of our family’s favorite recipes.  I make it often when I visit the kids, everybody loves this.  It’s an old recipe, I remember my Aunt Idalene making it when I was just a little girl.  It so easy to make, just be careful when you pour in the baking soda; it foams, and this stuff is hot!

~ Jan

  • 24 cups popped yellow popcorn
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups firmly-packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Here's How:
Preheat oven to 250F. Coat the bottom and sides of a large roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place popped popcorn in roasting pan. Salt the popcorn lightly.  I cook the popcorn in an air popper, so I don’t have additional oil.

In a heavy pan, slowly melt butter; stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Heat to a boil, stirring constantly; boil on medium low heat without stirring for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda and vanilla. Gradually pour over popped popcorn, mixing well. Bake for 1 hour, on the bottom rack of your oven, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cool completely. Break apart and store in tightly-covered container.

Yield: about 6 quarts

Notes:  The secret to this caramel corn is to stir it often when it’s baking, because the caramel topping melts and runs to the bottom of the pan.  If you don’t keep stirring, it just puddles at the bottom.

When you take it out of the oven, immediately put it on sheets of waxed paper that you’ve put on your countertop.  Then let it cool for just a bit and break apart.  If you leave it in the roaster pan, it will stick to the bottom and you will have a mess.

Also immediately immerse your roaster pan in water for easy cleanup.  Do the same as soon as you empty your saucepan of the caramel syrup, or you will have a sticky gooey mess to deal with.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Mom’s Sloppy Joes

sloppy-joes I’ve made this recipe for Sloppy Joes for thirty+ years now.  It’s just the BEST! It’s our Halloween favorite, and an annual tradition with our family; Sloppy Joes and potato chips every Halloween evening.  It’s one of the classic recipes that you just don’t mess with.  It’s perfect just the way it is…

~ jan

1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
2 heaping Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Cup Heinz Ketchup
1/4 cup water
Cayenne Pepper to taste

Brown meat and onion, season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.

Drain, add remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.  If mixture gets too thick, add a bit more water. 

Note:  I usually double this recipe.  When the boys were little, they loved Velveeta Cheese melted on the top of the sloppy joes.  I would put the joes on the bun, top with the cheese, leave the top bun off, and nuke it until the cheese melted.  Velveeta is so “not cool” these days, but for some things it will always be the best!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Gourmet Magazine closing it’s doors, it’s a sad day in publishing….

When John Durkin, chef-owner of Trattoria Diane in Roslyn, was in his 20s and the idea of owning a fine restaurant was decades in the future, Gourmet magazine offered a window into another world. "I thought it was such an elegant magazine," he said, "with all those places in France and Italy - and the recipes always worked."

Durkin still gets Gourmet, but November's issue will be his last. A memo issued Monday by Condé Nast chief executive Chuck Townsend stated that Gourmet, which began publishing in 1940, will cease monthly publication.

According to Townsend, Condé Nast remains committed to the Gourmet brand, "retaining Gourmet's book publishing and television programming, and Gourmet recipes on Epicurious.com." Just last month, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published "Gourmet Today: More than 1000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen," a cookbook edited by the magazine's editor, Ruth Reichl - perhaps the most prominent food editor in the country.

In addition to Gourmet, wrote Townsend, Cookie (launched in 2007 and self-described as "a lifestyle magazine for the modern mother"), Modern Bride and Elegant Bride will cease publication. However, Brides will increase its frequency from bimonthly to monthly.

Gourmet's sales of ad pages had been steadily declining. The September figures, announced in July, were down 52 percent from a year ago. Bon Appétit, Condé Nast's other heavy-hitting food magazine, will continue to be published. Its September figures were reported to be down only 40 percent. Bon Appétit also has a higher circulation (1.4 million as compared to Gourmet's 978,000, according to Condé Nast's September 2009 media kit), higher household income ($83,563 as compared to $81,179) and lower median age (49 as opposed to 50.3).

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Latte (Just Like Starbucks!)

2009_09_21-PumpkinSpiceLatte.jpg

Many fans of Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte eagerly wait for it to show up on menus again in the Fall. It made its annual re-appearance last week. However, for those of us on a budget, those little cups of goodness can add up. Making your own at home will not only save you money, but you can also enjoy them year-round. In addition, you have more control over the ingredients, so you can tweak the recipe to your liking.

You can change the sugar and fat content of this recipe quite easily.

Pumpkin Spice Latte
makes 1-2 servings

Ingredients:
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin OR 1 teaspoon of Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup (your choice)
2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute - you can halve this amount
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1-2 shots espresso (about 1/4 cup of espresso or 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee if you don't have an espresso machine.)

Directions:
In a saucepan combine milk, pumpkin and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy. If you don't have a blender, don't worry about it - just whisk the mixture really well with a wire whisk.

Pour into a large mug or two mugs. Add the espresso on top.

Optional: Top with whipped cream and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, or cinnamon on top.

Source: DIY Network

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Carlene’s Broken Leg

I think this sounds wonderful for a chilly fall evening…

Pour very hot apple cider over two fingers of ginger brandy in a coffee cup. Add a cinnamon stick and a thin wedge of orange; too fat a hunk of orange ruins it. Don sheepskin slippers, find comforter and soft seat and, if possible, a working fireplace. Caveat: If you’re like me and occasionally find yourself “ingredient-challenged,” keep in mind that substituting something else for the brandy will radically change the drink; there is some je ne sais quois about the symbiosis of apples and ginger that should not be monkeyed with.

Original recipe source: Killington Ski Resort

Carlene’s Hot Buttered Rum

Hot Buttered Rum

1-2 tsp. brown sugar
1 Tbs.  good vanilla ice cream
1-2 jiggers of rum
1 tsp. butter
1 cinnamon stick

Mix brown sugar and ice cream in the glass mug, add the rum, fill with hot water...add the cinnamon stick and the pat of butter.

I swear, this works just as well as Mentholatum or Vicks Salve....it's a great inhaler, even if you don't care to drink it.. 

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rustic Canyon's cranberry orange cornmeal cake

cornmeal cranberry cake

From the L.A. Food Times S.O.S. Column..

My newest favorite Santa Monica restaurant is Rustic Canyon. The pastry chef, Zoe Nathan, has created the yummiest dessert ever, cranberry orange cornmeal cake served with an elegant scoop of homemade ice cream.
I am a baker myself, so I know a fabulous cake when I taste it -- and I've never met a cranberry I didn't love. Will you please ask the chef to share this special recipe?
--Clyde Young, Brentwood

Dear Clyde: This beautifully rustic cornmeal cake has light notes of vanilla and maple, with ricotta folded into the batter just before baking for extra-moist texture. Tart scarlet cranberries and sweetly fragrant orange zest flavor this creation for a perfect fall dessert.

Cranberry orange cornmeal cake

Total time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Servings: 18
Note: Adapted from pastry chef Zoe Nathan of Rustic Canyon.
2 cups flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
Zest of 1 orange
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 1/2 cups cranberries, divided

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round by 3-inch tall cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, oil and vanilla. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, salt and zest. Mix just until thoroughly combined; do not overmix.

4. With the mixer running, slowly incorporate the egg mixture into the butter just until combined.
5. With the mixer on low speed, add one-half of the flour mixture to the batter and quickly mix for 5 seconds. Turn off the mixer and add the rest of the flour, the ricotta and one-half of the cranberries. Mix the remaining ingredients into the batter over low speed just until combined, being careful not to overmix.
6. Gently pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth the top. Scatter the remaining cranberries over the top of the cake, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
7. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Place a loose piece of foil over the top of the cake if it starts to darken. Cool the cake on a wire rack before removing it from the pan.
Each serving: 354 calories; 6 grams protein; 42 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 18 grams fat; 9 grams saturated fat; 72 mg. cholesterol; 444 mg. sodium.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Dreamsicle Fudge, oh my, I’ve died and gone to heaven!

fudge1
  YUM!  Find this at Pioneer Woman’s Tasty Kitchen

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lawry's Coconut Banana Cream Pie

coconut Heads up coconut lovers, this pie is amazing, totally decadent, and the coconut crust is absolutely awesome.  The crust takes it from ordinary to sublime.

Back in August of 2002, I emailed the L.A. Food Times regarding a recipe that I had gotten from their S.O.S. site and lost.  We made it several times and it was one of those special to-die-for recipes, so I was not a happy camper when I misplaced the recipe.

After writing to them, they reposted the recipe for me in their food column, I came across it again today and wanted to put it on Jan CAN Cook before I lost it again.  If you want a truly wonderful dessert, forget about the calories and make this.  It’s really special.

~ jan

DEAR SOS: About five or six years ago you printed a recipe for Lawry's Coconut Pie. It had a coconut crust and was to die for.

JAN

DEAR JAN: This is a great pie for those who fail at making pie crusts. This crust is really simple, consisting of melted butter and coconut pressed into a pie plate.

Lawry's Coconut Banana Cream Pie

Active Work Time: 20 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes plus 2 hours chilling

COCONUT PIE SHELL

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, plus more for pie plate
3 cups sweetened flake coconut

Lightly butter a 9-inch pie plate and set aside.

Melt the 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat and brown the coconut flakes, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. They should be golden brown. Press the coconut firmly and evenly in the pan to form a shell. Chill the crust 30 minutes before filling.

PIE FILLING

4 egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar, divided

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup flour

3 cups half-and-half, divided

Yellow food coloring

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 bananas

1 cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Combine the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch, salt and flour in a small bowl. Gradually add 1 cup of the half-and-half.

Combine the remaining 2 cups half-and-half and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a 3-quart saucepan and bring just to boil over medium heat. Add the egg mixture and cook and stir until the mixture returns to a boil and thickens, about 1 minute.

Remove from the heat. Stir in 2 drops of food coloring and the vanilla. Cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool.

Slice the bananas into the pie shell. Pour the filling into the shell.

Whip the cream with the powdered sugar until stiff. Spoon in dollops or pipe with a pastry bag around the edge of the pie. Chill 2 hours before slicing.

6 to 8 servings. Each of 8 servings: 563 calories; 427 mg sodium; 182 mg cholesterol; 39 grams fat; 26 grams saturated fat; 50 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 1.62 grams fiber.

Update:  So many of you have found your way to this recipe via Pinterest, I appreciate all of the Pins, and hope you all enjoy this incredible pie.  I've received a few emails from people saying it was hard to cut through the crust, the only thing I can think of is that perhaps you are pressing the coconut into the pie pan, too firmly.  The majority of people seem to have no trouble with this, so I hope bit of information helps others who are going to bake this wonderful pie.  The response to it has been so positive, this is truly a one of a kind recipe.

Also, if you would like to see more of my recipes, just go to the main area of Jan CAN Cook, here's a quick click for you, you might also want to go to my Tried' 'N True Hall of Fame, there are some really good recipes in that area.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I also blog daily at Jan's Daily Dish, and this summer I built a knock-off Pottery Barn Bulletin Board, which turned out so well, that I want people to know about it in case they want to try it.  It hasn't had a lot of interest yet on Pinterest, but if you like it, would you please take a minute and pin it.   I think a lot of people would enjoy making this at a fraction of the cost of the Pottery Barn ones.  I give detailed instructions and pictures of how to make this, it's a great family project, and the results are spectacular, use your imagination, any type of fabric can be used, I'm really happy with the way this turned out.

Thanks for visiting my site, enjoy that pie, and if you like my bulletin board, please pin it.  ~ Jan

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Julienne's graham cracker chewy bars

Graham cracker chewy bars 

These delicious little bars combine a dense graham cracker base with a velvety custard filling rich with brown sugar and chopped pecans. Sweet, but not overly so, each bar is like a perfect miniature pecan pie baked over a wonderfully crumbly graham cracker crust. Plan ahead and make an extra batch.
These bars are adapted from a recipe by Susan Campoy. Campoy, chef-owner of the French-inspired bistro Julienne, in San Marino, recently passed away due to complications from breast cancer. Her love of cooking and entertaining prompted Campoy to start a home-based catering business and after just a few years she opened Julienne in 1985. Her operation expanded over the years to include a gourmet market. Julienne continues to operate under the direction of Campoy's daughter and business partner, Julie Campoy.

This is just one example of the types of recipes in Campoy's new cookbook, "Celebrating With Julienne."

Graham cracker chewy bars


Total time: 45 minutes, plus cooling time
Servings: 24 bars
Note: Adapted from "Celebrating With Julienne" by Susan Campoy. Campoy writes, "I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite books, 'Nantucket Open-House Cookbook,' by Sarah Leah Chase. I love watching people's expressions when they bite into these bars for the first time. The textures and flavors -- rich toffee, a chewy center and a crunchy bottom -- make everyone smile. The secret is not to over-bake the crust. Serve them at room temperature, so the flavors meld together."

Crust


3 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar and flour until moist and well-blended. Press the mixture firmly and evenly over the bottom of a 13-inch by 9-inch baking pan. Bake until the crust is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

Topping and assembly


2 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 extra-large eggs
2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 prepared crust

Powdered sugar, if desired
1. While the crust is baking, in a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and eggs to blend. Whisk in the graham cracker crumbs, vanilla, salt and baking powder until well-blended. Stir in the pecans.
2. Spread the mixture over the baked crust and return to the 350-degree oven until the filling is dark-golden on top and jiggles slightly when tapped, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and cool completely.
3. Sprinkle a light coating of sifted powdered sugar over the pan if desired, and cut into 24 bars. The bars can be made 1 day in advance. Wrap in plastic and keep at room temperature.
Each bar: 247 calories; 2 grams protein; 36 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber;11 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 50 mg. cholesterol; 184 mg. sodium.

Source: L.A. Food Times S.O.S.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fried Green Tomatoes With Bread-and-Butter Pickle Rémoulade

Fried Green Tomatoes With Bread-and-Butter Pickle Remoulade

 

Yield

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 4  large green tomatoes
  • 2  teaspoons  salt
  • 1  teaspoon  pepper
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • Parchment paper
  • 1 1/2  cups  buttermilk
  • 2  cups  Japanese breadcrumbs (panko)
  • 1  tablespoon  Creole seasoning
  • 1  teaspoon  paprika
  • 1  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1. Preheat oven to 400°. Cut tomatoes into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Sprinkle both sides of tomatoes evenly with 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper.

    2. Place a wire rack coated with cooking spray in a parchment paper-lined 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan.

    3. Pour buttermilk into a shallow dish or pie plate. Stir together panko, Creole seasoning, and paprika in another shallow dish or pie plate.

    4. Dredge tomatoes in flour. Dip tomatoes in buttermilk, and dredge in panko mixture. Lightly coat tomatoes on each side with cooking spray; arrange on wire rack.

    5. Bake at 400° for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown, turning once after 10 minutes. Serve with Lightened Bread-and-Butter Pickle Rémoulade.

    Lightened Bread and Butter Remoulade

    Yield

    Makes about 1 cup

    Ingredients

    • 3/4  cup  light mayonnaise
    • 1/4  cup  Creole mustard
    • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh chives
    • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh parsley
    • 1  tablespoon  finely chopped bread-and-butter pickles
    • 1  teaspoon  lemon zest
    • 1  tablespoon  lemon juice
    • 1/2  teaspoon  hot sauce
    • 1/4  teaspoon  filé powder
    • 1/8  teaspoon  salt
    • 1/8  teaspoon  pepper

    Preparation

    1. Stir together all ingredients.

    Southern Living, JUNE 2009

Creamy Lemonade Pie

I made this for the first time July 4th, 09, and it was a huge hit!  A definite keeper, everybody really enjoyed this outstanding 4Star recipe.  ~ jan


Prep: 10 min., Freeze: 4 hrs.

Yield

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2  (5-oz.) cans evaporated milk
  • 2  (3.4-oz.) packages lemon instant pudding mix
  • 2  (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2  (3-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1  (12-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, completely  thawed
  • 1  (9-oz.) ready-made prepared graham cracker crust
  • Garnishes: whipped cream, fresh mint sprigs, lemon slices

Preparation

1. Whisk together evaporated milk and pudding mix in a bowl 2 minutes or until thickened.
2. Beat cream cheeses at medium speed with an electric mixer, using whisk attachment, until fluffy. Add lemonade concentrate, beating until blended; add pudding mixture, and beat until blended.
3. Pour into crust; freeze 4 hours or until firm. Garnish, if desired.
Note:  The original recipe called for partially thawed lemonade concentrate – that’s what I did, but when I incorporated it with the softened cream cheese, the cream cheese congealed into small pieces, and it was really difficult to get it smooth again.  This can easily be remedied by using thawed concentrate.  ~ jan
Jean Voan, Shepherd, Texas, Southern Living, MAY 2007

Monday, July 20, 2009

Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

Roasted garlic vin If you like honey dijon salad dressing, you’ll love this recipe – it’s is a winner!
~ jan

1/2 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried basil (I omitted this)
1 large clove garlic, crushed/finely minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper, to taste

Whisk all together or buzz with an immersion blender.

MAPLE VINAIGRETTE

MixedGreenswithPearWalnutandMapleVi.jpg image by witchywifeA tried-and-true totally great salad!!!!! If the measurements seem a bit odd, it's because I had to cut it down from a gallon recipe of a top-notch, great restaurant in town.This lady got down on her knees and begged for this recipe.

Ingredients:

  ● 2/3 Cup 100% maple syrup (the real thing)
  ● 2-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  ● 1/3 tsp. maple extract (imitation maple flavor)
  ● 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
  ● 1 tsp. kosher salt
  ● 1/5 tsp. cayenne pepper
  ● 1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
  ● 3-3/4 tsp. minced shallot
  ● 2/3 cup olive oil or olive oil blend

Directions:

Blend all ingredients well except oil. Then whisk in oil slowly to emulsify. (Best made the morning of, or the night before to blend flavors.) Toss well with:

Romaine lettuce

Mixed baby greens

Ripe pears (Anjou are nice) cut bite-size

Candied pecans

Plate greens. Dribble a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over each serving (this is an important step) and top with a little sprinkle of bleu cheese crumbles. Add more candied pecans if needed.

Source:  Finer Kitchen Forums

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Peach Praline Pie

  http://blogs.wenatcheeworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/peach-pie-082808-feil.JPG 

* 4 cups ripe peach slices
    * 2 tbs.+ 1 tsp all-purpose flour
    * 2/3 cup sugar
    * 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    * 9-inch unbaked pie shell 
  * 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    * 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    * 3 tablespoons cold butter
    * 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Prepare the praline topping by combining the brown sugar and 1/4 cup flour, and cutting in the butter with a pastry blender, until mixture has a crumbly texture. Stir in the chopped pecans. Sprinkle one-third of the mixture in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell.

Combine the sliced peaches, 2 tablespoons flour, 2/3 cup sugar and lemon juice, and pour into pie shell over praline mixture. Sprinkle remaining praline mixture evenly over peaches.

Bake for 45 minutes to 50 minutes, or until syrup boils in heavy bubbles that do not burst. Serve warm, with or without vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Stand’s Marshmallow Shake


http://static.px.yelp.com/bphoto/IqgjTpXr-_ko0V7ZfanzGQ/lThis is the last recipe I’m posting from the FoodTV’s, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.”  I can’t believe I found recipes and pictures online for all of these recipes!!!  Google totally rocks…

3 scoops vanilla ice cream (they use Laboratorio del Gelato)
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 large dollop, er, Woodstock Water Buffalo Milk yogurt (For the 300 million of you that can't pick water buffalo milk yogurt  at your corner store, feel free to use a substitute yogurt--it's just there to add a little more liquid and balance out the sweetness of the ice cream a bit)
5 Kraft Jumbo Jet-Puffed marshmallows
Whipped cream
1) Toast marshmallows under a broiler, or, if you're frisky, over a flame until they just start to blacken evenly (the trick is to make sure it's evenly toasted and dark, but not turned to charcoal).
2) Put the milk, yogurt, and then ice cream in the blender. Blend carefully, just until you get a "doughnut"--when you see the shake holding to the sides of the blender with a hollow core.
3) Add three of the toasted marshmallows to the blender, and whirl it just until they're all broken up and distributed evenly. Be careful not to overblend it, making it too melty.
4) Pour shake into a glass, top with a dollop of whipped cream, break the last two marshmallows on top, and serve with an extra-wide straw.
5) Repeat if necessary. And it will probably be necessary.

Luna Park S’Mores from The Best Food I Ever Ate

http://www.tvweek.com/images/random/20MelsDinerSLipscomb4.jpg

Another recipe from The Best Food I Ever Ate.  This time it’s S’mores from Luna Park Restaurant.  The chef makes his own graham crackers, fudge sauce and toasts the marshmallows.  This recipe is for the kid in all of us…

Graham Crackers

Blend together in a kitchenaid fitted paddle:

½ C Sugar

1 C brown sugar

1 C pastry or all purpose flour

2 C graham flour

½ tsp. Baking powder

pinch salt

Add, and paddle at med speed until resembles sand:

½ C shortening

Stir together, and add the following:

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ C (or more, as needed) whole milk

Blend until comes together, do not over mix. Portion onto sheets of parchment paper, top with second sheet, and roll very thin, approx. 1/16” thick. Remove top sheet. Bake in a 375-degree oven, scoring halfway through baking with a pizza cutter. Finish until golden brown. Cool completely, and store in an airtight container.

Hot Fudge

Stir together:

5 oz unsweetened cocoa

6 oz brown sugar

6 oz sugar

Bring to a boil:

1 ¼ C Heavy cream

8 oz butter

pinch salt

Pour over dry ingredients, return to low heat, and whisk until smooth

Toast a ramekin of miniature marshmallows in a 400 degree oven until melted and toasty brown -

Serve in individual bowls so everyone can make their own s’mores..  Enjoy!

Rustic Apple Tarts from The Best Thing I Ever Ate

Rustic Apple Tarts by David Leite

by Johanne Killeen and George Germon
of Al Forno Restaurant, Providence, RI
Makes 4 tarts

Another favorite recipe from Food TV’s, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” – this one is for Dilly, she and hubby are our apple lovers, well, John, too.  Anyway, I saw this recipe on the show and the people eating it were totally orgasmic, so it must be good!!! Right??

Because these tarts are less bothersome to make than a pie — they take all of 30 minutes to make once you have the dough prepared — you can file them under easy-to-make. I bake them for weeknight dinners, brunches, picnics, even late-night snacks.—David Leite

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 pound cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup ice water
2 tablespoons sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, cut in quarters and sliced paper-thin
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, quartered

Vanilla ice cream, optional

Methodomg,
1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt until blended. Add the butter cubes and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with pieces no bigger than small peas, about 13 to 15 one-second pulses.

2. With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Process for about 10 seconds, stopping before the dough becomes a solid mass. Turn the contents of the bowl onto a work surface, form into four equal-size discs, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an one hour.

3. Preheat the oven to 450°F (220°C). On a lightly floured surface, roll out each disc into a 7-inch circle and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

4. Spread one-quarter of the ginger mixture on each tart, then arrange one-quarter of the slices (about half an apple) in an overlapping circular pattern on top, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle the sugar evenly on top of the apples and fold over the borders. Most of the apples will remain uncovered. Press down the dough on the baking sheet, snugly securing the sides and seams to prevent drips. Dot the center of each tart with butter.

5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the crusts are golden and the apples have begun to brown slightly. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Brigsten’s Pecan Pie

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2053/2099705638_3c57a29127.jpg?v=0This is quite possibly the most amazing, fantastic pecan pie yet, girlfriends.  I was watching FoodTV, and chefs were talking about their very favorite desserts.  One of them was this recipe, from Brigsten’s Restaurant in New Orleans.  I was intrigued because it was made with roasted ground pecans in the filling.

So I went online, sure enough, I found not only the recipe, but a video from the Chef, himself!  Is this cool or what???

It looks identical to the one they showed on television, except they served it with a caramel sauce, instead of whipped cream, which would take it still to another level.  So I’ll try and find a caramel sauce, but in the meantime I couldn’t wait to post this.

Frank Brigsten is amazing in this video.  I think I’m in love!  He’s so calm, and explains things so well, he makes it look so simple. 

It’s not exactly pecan pie season, but this looks like a keeper for sure.  I’ll be trying it this fall.

Take time to watch the video, it’s so worth it…

Link to Pecan Pie with Fresh Whipped Cream Video

If you don’t have a current version of Adobe Flash Player, you will need to download it to access the video.  It’s worth the trouble, though, pinkie swear.  ~ jan

And here is the recipe…

Serves:  8

Cooking Time:  2 hours

For the Dough

    * 1 cup all-purpose white flour
    * 1/2 tsp salt
    * 7 tbsp cold unsalted butter, grated
    * 1/4 cup ice water

For the Filling

    * 1/2 cup darkly roasted pecans, ground
    * 3 eggs
    * 1 cup granulated white sugar
    * 1 cup dark corn syrup
    * 2 tbsp melted unsalted butter
    * 1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
    * 1/8 tsp salt
    * 1 cup medium pecan pieces

For the Whipped Cream

    * 1 cup high quality cream
    * 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    * 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Special Equipment

    * hand grater
    * 10" pie pan

How-to

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Make the Dough

   1. To make the dough, sift the flour and  salt into a mixing bowl.  Using the large holes of a hand grater, grate the butter into the mixing bowl with the flour mixture
   2. Lightly blend the butter and flour mixture with your fingertips until the texture is like coarse grits or cornmeal
   3. Add the ice water and blend well until thoroughly incorporated.  Be careful not to overwork the dough.  Form the dough into a ball and place it on a lightly floured cutting board
   4. Roll out the dough, adding flour as necessary, to 1/8" thickness.  Place a 10" pie pan face-down on the dough and cut the dough to fit the pan, leaving a border of about 1"
   5. Line the pan with the dough, crimp and trim the edges, and refrigerate until ready to use

Make the Filling

   1. In a mixing bowl, add the eggs and whisk until frothy, about 1 minute
   2. Add the sugar and whisk for 1 minute
   3. Add the corn syrup, melted butter, vanilla, 1/8 tsp of salt, and the ground roasted pecans.  Whisk until well blended.  Stir in the pecan pieces and blend well

Bake the Pecan Pie

   1. Pour the filling into the pie shell.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake until the filling is browned on top and the crust is light golden brown, 30-40 minutes
   2. Remove from oven and cool at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving

Make the Whipped Cream

   1. Have a stainless still bowl chilled in the refrigerator
   2. Whisk together cream, sugar & vanilla to stiff peaks

Friday, June 26, 2009

Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostados

tostadas

The tostadas can easily become soft tacos if you skip broiling the tortillas. Serve with black beans.

Yield

4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 2  teaspoons  canola oil
  • 12  ounces  chicken breast tenders
  • 1  cup  chopped red onion (about 1)
  • 1  cup  fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
  • 1  cup  chopped zucchini (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/2  cup  green salsa
  • 3  tablespoons  chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 4  (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preparation

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 3 ingredients, stirring well. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over chicken. Add chicken to pan; sauté for 3 minutes. Add onion, corn, and zucchini to pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in salsa and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently.

Working with 2 tortillas at a time, arrange tortillas in a single layer on a baking sheet; lightly coat tortillas with cooking spray. Broil 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Spoon about 3/4 cup chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla; sprinkle each serving with 1/4 cup cheese. Broil an additional 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas, chicken mixture, and cheese. Sprinkle each serving with about 3/4 teaspoon of remaining cilantro. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information

Calories:
398 (30% from fat)
Fat:
13.1g (sat 5.9g,mono 4.1g,poly 1.2g)
Protein:
32.5g
Carbohydrate:
36.7g
Fiber:
3.1g
Cholesterol:
75mg
Iron:
1.4mg
Sodium:
799mg
Calcium:
236mg

Melanie Barnard, Cooking Light, AUGUST 2006

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Spicy Potato Salad

Spicy Potato Salad
Yield 8 to 10 servings Ingredients * 4 large round red potatoes(about 2 pounds) * 1/3 cup vegetable oil * 1/4 cup white vinegar * 1 tablespoon sugar * 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder * 1 teaspoon seasoned salt * 1/8 teaspoon hot sauce * 1 (8 3/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained * 1 small carrot, shredded * 1 (2.5-ounce) can sliced ripe olives * 4 green onions, sliced Preparation Cook red potatoes in boiling water to cover 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool to touch. Cut potatoes into cubes; place in a large bowl. Whisk together oil and next 5 ingredients; pour over potato, tossing gently. Cover and chill 1 hour. Stir in corn and next 3 ingredients. Southern Living, DECEMBER 1997

Tuna Cornbread Cakes

Tuna Cornbread Cakes from Southern Living
 

Yield

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1  (6-oz.) package buttermilk cornbread mix
  • 2/3  cup  milk
  • 2  tablespoons  mayonnaise
  • 3  green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3  large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh parsley
  • 1  teaspoon  Old Bay seasoning
  • 1  teaspoon  Worcestershire sauce
  • 2  (5-oz.) aluminum foil pouches herb-and-garlic-flavored light tuna chunks
  • 3  tablespoons  butter
  • 3  tablespoons  vegetable oil
  • Lemon Aïoli

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Stir together cornbread mix and 2/3 cup milk. Pour batter into a lightly greased 8-inch square pan.

2. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack 5 minutes or just until warm.

3. Stir together mayonnaise and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl.

4. Crumble cornbread to equal 2 cups. Reserve remaining cornbread for another use. Fold cornbread crumbs and tuna chunks into mayonnaise mixture until well blended. Shape tuna mixture into 8 (3- to 3 1/2-inch) patties.

5. Melt 3 Tbsp. butter with vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tuna patties, and cook, in batches, 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown; drain on paper towels. Serve cakes with Lemon Aïoli.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Martha White Buttermilk Cornbread Mix and StarKist Tuna Creations Herb & Garlic Chunk Light Tuna.

Sherry Little, Sherwood, Arkansas, Southern Living, JANUARY 2008

Friday, June 12, 2009

Slow Cooker Pork Sandwiches with Root Beer Barbecue Sauce

Pork Sandwiches with Root Beer Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Karen Currie's tasty recipe is sure to please a crowd! The Kirkwood, Missouri cook loves the subtle kick and hint of sweetness in this dish. Try serving these sandwiches with coleslaw and pickles.

Ingredients:
  • 1 boneless pork sirloin roast (2 pounds)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced garlic
  • 3 cups root beer, divided
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) chili sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 8 kaiser rolls, split
Directions:
Place roast in a 3-qt. slow cooker. Add the onion, garlic and 1 cup root beer. Cover and cook on low for 9-10 hours or until meat is tender.
    In a small saucepan, combine the chili sauce, hot pepper sauce and remaining root beer. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes or until thickened.
    Remove meat from slow cooker; cool slightly. Discard cooking juices. Shred pork and return to slow cooker. Stir in barbecue sauce. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes or until heated through. Serve on rolls. Yield: 8 servings.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Niagra Falls Chicken for Two

Mandi sent this recipe, it’s tried and true, she says it’s awesome!

4 boneless skinless chicken tenderloins, pounded thin with a meat tenderizer
Salt and Pepper to taste
Italian Seasonings to taste
1/2 jar of sun-dried tomatoes
4 tablespoons of feta cheese
2 cans of diced tomatoes (or one large can; I use the regular kind, but you can use garlic-basil-oregano flavored if you’d like)
2 skewers or 4 toothpicks
Shredded cheese (I love the 4-cheese blend by Sargento, but use whatever you like!)


Penne pasta, cooked (or whatever kind of pasta you prefer)


-Preheat oven to 400 degrees


-Pour the cans of diced tomatoes into an 8×8 baking dish and sprinkle with Italian Seasonings. This will become the “sauce” for the pasta.


-Pound the tenderloins with a meat tenderizer until it’s thin enough to roll, but not too thin, and season with salt and pepper.


-Dice up the sun-dried tomatoes and spread evenly on each tenderloin.
-Spread a tablespoon of feta cheese on each tenderloin.


-Roll each tenderloin and secure with a toothpick, or put two to a skewer.
-Place in the baking dish and cover with tomatoes.


-Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.


-Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until chicken is baked all the way through.

-Remove skewers and place chicken on top of pasta. Heap all of the remaining tomato-y goodness onto your plate.

You can easily make this a healthy recipe by substituting low-fat cheese.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow

cupcAKE

Ingredients

Makes 2 dozen

  • 2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 squares)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • Marshmallow Frosting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners; set aside.
  2. Sift 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix ingredients together on low speed.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl and continue mixing on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add boiling water and stir to combine; set cake batter aside.
  4. Place graham cracker crumbs, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl; stir until well combined.
  5. Place 1 tablespoon graham cracker mixture into the bottom of each prepared muffin cup. Use the bottom of a small glass to pack crumbs into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Reserve remaining graham cracker mixture for topping.
  6. Place 2 teaspoons chocolate in each muffin cup. Transfer muffin tins to oven and bake until the edges of the graham cracker mixture is golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and fill each muffin cup three-quarters full with cake batter. Sprinkle each with remaining chocolate and graham cracker mixture. Return to oven and bake, rotating pans halfway through baking, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer muffin tins to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely.
  7. Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a large plain round or French tip (such as Ateco #867 or Ateco #809). Pipe frosting in a spiral motion on each cupcake. Transfer cupcakes to a baking sheet. Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the frosting, taking care not to burn the cupcake liners. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container, up to 2 days.

Source:  Martha Stewart Living

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Root Beer Baked Beans from Southern Living

Root Beer Baked Beans Recipe

 

Yield

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3  bacon slices
  • 1  small onion, diced
  • 2  (16-ounce) cans pork and beans
  • 1/2  cup  root beer (not diet)
  • 1/4  cup  hickory-smoked barbecue sauce
  • 1/2  teaspoon  dry mustard
  • 1/8  teaspoon  hot sauce

Preparation

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp; remove and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon.

Sauté diced onion in hot bacon drippings in skillet over high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Stir together onion, crumbled bacon, beans, and remaining ingredients in a lightly greased 1-quart baking dish.

Bake beans, uncovered, at 400° for 55 minutes or until sauce is thickened.

Southern Living, OCTOBER 2004

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Almost Olive Garden Salad and Dressing..

Almost-Famous Garden Salad

We all love Olive Garden Salad, it’s a total girl thing.  My Food Network Magazine duplicated their recipe.  This salad dressing differs from other ones I’ve seen online that tried to copy them.  This is a must try, ladies.  I would make it tonight but I don’t have white wine vinegar.  If you make this, let me know what you think.  I’m really excited about the possibility of making this at home and having it taste like Olive Garden.  Hot Damn, wouldn’t that be something?

~ jan

Ingredients

For the dressing:
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Miracle Whip
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
For the salad:
  • 1 10-ounce bag American salad blend
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 small pickled peppers, such as pepperoncini
  • 1 small vine-ripened tomato, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup large croutons
  • 1 tablespoon grated

Directions

Combine all the dressing ingredients and 1 to 2 tablespoons water in a blender or food processor; puree until smooth.

Place the salad blend in a large bowl and top with the remaining salad ingredients. Drizzle with the dressing.

Almost Olive Garden Breadsticks

Almost-Famous Breadsticks

This recipe is from my Food Network Magazine, they duplicated Olive Garden’s Breadsticks….

Ingredients

For the Dough:
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour,plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter,softened
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fine salt
For the Topping:
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter,melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of dried oregano

Directions

Make the dough: Place 1/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a mixer; sprinkle in the yeast and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, butter, sugar, fine salt and 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water; mix with the paddle attachment until a slightly sticky dough forms, 5 minutes.

Knead the dough by hand on a floured surface until very smooth and soft, 3 minutes. Roll into a 2-foot-long log; cut into 16 1 1/2-inch-long pieces. Knead each piece slightly and shape into a 7-inch-long breadstick; arrange 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with a cloth; let rise in a warm spot until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Make the topping: Brush the breadsticks with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Bake until lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt with the garlic powder and oregano. Brush the warm breadsticks with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with the flavored salt.

Yield – 16 Breadsticks

Friday, May 1, 2009

Wowza, are these cute or what????

2009_05_01-Spatulas.jpg

You can snag them at ChefTools, they’re a little pricey, but oh are they special!

Find them here.

Source: the kitchn

Friday, April 24, 2009

Must Have Margaritas

Must-Have Margaritas

Whether you like them straight up, on the rocks, or fresh from the blender, we've got a margarita recipe for you.

Lots of different lavors to choose from, you can access them here…

Source: myrecipes.com

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pavlova with Lemon Creme, Berries and Grapes

apav

For the meringue...
1 cup superfine granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 large eggs at room temperature 30 minutes
3 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
For the filling...
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 stick unsalted butter
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups mixed berries
2 cups grapes
Preheat oven to 300ºF and position a rack in the center.
To prepare the lemon cream, stir sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan. Add the lemon juice and butter, bringing the mixture to a simmer over medium high heat. Continue to whisk at a simmer, about 1 minute. Whisk about 1/4 of the mixture into the beaten egg yolks, then transfer the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan. Over low heat, continue to cook, but make sure not to boil, whisking constantly until the lemon curd is thick, about 2 minutes. Scrape into a shallow bowl, stir in the lemon zest, and place a piece of parchment over the surface. Refrigerate for about 1-1/2 hours.
To prepare the meringue, line a baking sheet with parchment and trace a circle about 7" in diameter in the center. Turn the parchment over.
Whisk superfine sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat whites with a pinch of salt at medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the water and beat until whites hold soft peaks once again.
On medium-high, beat in sugar mixture 1 Tbsp at a time. After all sugar has been added, beat 1 minute longer. Add vinegar, then beat at high speed until glossy and stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes (longer if using hand-held mixer). The meringue will be extremely thick.
Spread meringue carefully to cover the circle on the parchment, creating a cavity in the center (for the filling). Bake until meringue is pale golden and has a crust, about 45 minutes. Avoid opening the oven door! Turn oven off and prop door open slightly with a wooden spoon. Cool meringue in oven 1 hour. The exterior will be dry and possibly cracked, the inside more like the consistency of marshmallow.
To assemble the pavlova, beat the heavy cream just as it holds stiff peaks, then 1/4 cup at a time, whisk cream into the lemon curd. Check consistency each time before adding more cream. It should be able to mound. Spoon lemon cream into cooled meringue and mound fruit in the center. Serve with extra whipped cream if desired.

Southern Living’s Best Buttermilk Biscuits

buttermilk-biscuits-m

I've spent countless Sunday mornings in a flour-covered kitchen trying to perfect this elusive delicacy. Like most of you, I'm always careful to use a light hand when working the dough, but Test Kitchens Professional Vanessa McNeil Rocchio and I discovered a secret that makes these biscuits our best ever.

The trick is in the unique dough-folding method, the same one used to make puff pastries and croissants. Folding creates multiple layers of dough and fat, giving rise to a tender, puffy biscuit. Combine the dry ingredients the night before, and refrigerate for an easy, hot breakfast in the morning.

Yield

Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cup  cold butter
  • 2 1/4  cups  self-rising soft-wheat flour
  • 1 1/4  cups  buttermilk
  • Self-rising soft-wheat flour
  • 2  tablespoons  melted butter

Preparation

1. Cut butter with a sharp knife or pastry blender into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Sprinkle butter slices over flour in a large bowl. Toss butter with flour. Cut butter into flour with a pastry blender until crumbly and mixture resembles small peas. Cover and chill 10 minutes. Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 or 4 times, gradually adding additional flour as needed. With floured hands, press or pat dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches). Sprinkle top of dough with additional flour. Fold dough over onto itself in 3 sections, starting with 1 short end. (Fold dough rectangle as if folding a letter-size piece of paper.) Repeat entire process 2 more times, beginning with pressing into a 3/4-inch-thick dough rectangle (about 9 x 5 inches).

3. Press or pat dough to 1/2-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, and place, side by side, on a parchment paper-lined or lightly greased jelly-roll pan. (Dough rounds should touch.)

4. Bake at 450° for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; brush with 2 Tbsp. melted butter.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used White Lily Self-Rising Soft Wheat Flour.

Cinnamon-Raisin Biscuits: Omit 2 Tbsp. melted butter. Combine 1/2 cup golden raisins, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, and 1/3 cup chopped pecans with flour in a large bowl. Proceed with recipe as directed. Stir together 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 2 Tbsp. buttermilk until smooth. Drizzle over warm biscuits. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

Black Pepper-Bacon Biscuits: Combine 1/3 cup cooked and crumbled bacon slices (about 5 slices) and 1 tsp. black pepper with flour in a large bowl. Proceed with recipe as directed. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

Feta-Oregano Biscuits: Combine 1 (4-oz.) package crumbled feta cheese and 1/2 tsp. dried oregano with flour in a large bowl. Proceed with recipe as directed. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

Pimiento Cheese Biscuits: Combine 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese with flour in a large bowl. Reduce buttermilk to 1 cup. Stir together buttermilk and 1 (4-oz.) jar diced pimiento, undrained. Proceed with recipe as directed. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

Southern Living, NOVEMBER 2007

Friday, April 10, 2009

How to make Creme Brulee

Auntie Em’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal cookie.

I had such good luck with Auntie Em’s Cupcakes that I  decided to post her recipe for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  If they are half as good as the cupcakes, they will be a winner!

 butterfly-dog.SMALL

Dear SOS: I was at Auntie Em's Kitchen in Eagle Rock today for the first time. While they are known for their amazing cupcakes and fantastic food, today I had the best oatmeal cookie I've ever eaten. It was thin, chewy and crispy at the same time, with subtle hints of spices. Absolutely delicious! I'm sorry I didn't bring home a few more. Do you think they might share the recipe with us?

Dear Michelle: These oatmeal cookies are packed with oats and raisins, and the scent of cinnamon and vanilla as they bake is all but overpowering. And you're right: with crisp outer edges and wonderfully chewy centers, these combine the best of both cookie worlds. You might want to plan ahead and make a double batch.

Auntie Em's Kitchen oatmeal raisin cookies

Total time: 30 minutes, plus baking time
Servings: 2 dozen large cookies
Note: Adapted from chef Michelle Risucci of Auntie Em's Kitchen.
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
1 1/3 cups (10 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) flour
3/4 cup wheat germ
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups ( 1/2 pound) golden raisins
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. With the mixer running, add the eggs, one at a time, until each is incorporated. Stir in the vanilla extract.
3. In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, flour, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
4. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients until just combined. Gently fold in the raisins.
5. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop one-fourth cup dough for each cookie and slightly flatten them, leaving 2 inches between each cookie (they will spread). Slightly flatten the top of each cookie and bake one tray at a time, on the center rack, for consistent baking and coloring. The cookies will be done when set and lightly colored and the edges are slightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes.
Each cookie: 317 calories; 5 grams protein; 47 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 13 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 56 mg. cholesterol; 199 mg. sodium.

Source:  Culinary S.O.S. – LA Food Times

Apple-Pear Salad With Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing

FEATURED RECIPE

Yield

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1  (16-oz.) package romaine lettuce, thoroughly washed
  • 1  (6-oz.) block Swiss cheese, shaved
  • 1  cup  roasted, salted cashews
  • 1/2  cup  sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1  large apple, thinly sliced
  • 1  large pear, thinly sliced
  • Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing

Preparation

1. Toss together first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; serve with Lemon-Poppy Seed Dressing.

Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

Yield

Makes 1 1/4 cups

Ingredients

  • 2/3  cup  light olive oil
  • 1/2  cup  sugar
  • 1/3  cup  fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  poppy seeds
  • 2  teaspoons  finely chopped onion
  • 1  teaspoon  Dijon mustard
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt

Preparation

1. Process 2/3 cup light olive oil and remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week; serve at room temperature.

Lori Manry, Rochester Hills, Michigan, Southern Living, MARCH 2007

Monday, April 6, 2009

Applebee’s Triple Chocolate Meltdown with Ice Cream….

Applebee's Triple Chocolate Meltdown

http://img518.imageshack.us/img518/2752/zxabil6.jpgChocolate Cake
8 (1 oz.) squares semisweet chocolate
1/2 C. unsalted butter
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
1/3 C. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 C. flour

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Heavily butter and then flour 8 (1-cup) ramekins or coffee cups. Set cups on a cookie sheet. Chop chocolate into small even pieces. Melt with the butter in a double boiler over barely simmering water (or microwave, uncovered, on MEDIUM, stirring every 20 to 30 seconds after the first one or two minutes, until only a small chunk of solid chocolate remains). Remove from heat and stir until melted, smoother and cooled.

Beat eggs, yolks and sugar together at high speed for 6 to 8 minutes. The mixture will become thick like cream and become beige-colored. Fold in the cooled chocolate and vanilla extract. Sift the flour over chocolate and fold in. Pour batter into prepared cups. Bake 7 minutes. Pull out of oven and tuck a piece of frozen lava deep into the center of the half-baked batter in each cup. Return to oven and bake for 6 to 7 minutes more. Cakes will rise straight over the rims of the cups and may crack slightly. Cool in cups on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Chocolate Sauce
8 (1 oz.) squares semisweet chocolate
1 C. cream
1/2 C. sugar

Chop chocolate evenly. In a saucepan, heat half the cream with sugar until it boils. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and stir until it melts and sauce is smooth. Add remaining cream and stir again, patiently, until thick and smooth. Warm sauce gently for pouring. If allowed to set at room temperature, it will turn the consistency of sour cream and can be used like frosting. Makes 2 cups.

To assemble, make Chocolate Sauce. Drizzle Chocolate Sauce in a north-south zigzag over the caramel. Pull a wooden pick or knife back and forth cross the chocolate, going east-west to create a feathering effect. Run a thin knife around each cake to carefully loosen, then invert onto the sauce. Top with warm Chocolate Sauce, letting sauce drip down the sides of the cakes. If desired, decorate with fresh berries. Serve warm. When cut, chocolate will spill out of the warm cake

Source:  Yahoo Answers

Lemon Creme Brulee, one of my very favorite things…

Lemon Crème Brûlée To ensure the custards cook gently and gradually, place the ramekins in a baking pan lined with a kitchen towel and partially fill the pan with hot water (known as a water bath). This helps insulate the delicate custards from the heat.
Ingredients:

Juice of 2 lemons
2 cups heavy cream
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup plus 6 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 egg yolks

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 300°F. Line a shallow baking pan with a kitchen towel. Have a pot of boiling water ready.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the lemon juice to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the juice is reduced to about 1 Tbs., 3 to 5 minutes.

In another saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, lemon zest and the 1/2 cup sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until steam rises from the surface, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together the vanilla and egg yolks until smooth and combined. Slowly add the cream mixture, whisking constantly, then stir in the reduced lemon juice. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl and divide among six 3.5-oz. ramekins. Place the ramekins in the prepared baking pan and add boiling water to fill the pan halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake until the custards are just set, about 40 minutes.

Remove the ramekins from the pan and transfer to a wire rack. Let the custards cool to room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

Just before serving, sprinkle 1 tsp. sugar evenly over the surface of each custard. Using a kitchen torch according to the manufacturer’s instructions, move the flame continuously in small circles over the surface until the sugar melts and lightly browns. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.

Emeril’s Signature Banana Creme Pie

bananna-cream Ingredients

# 5 large egg yolks
# 1/4 cup cornstarch
# 3 to 3 1/2 cups heavy cream
# 1 1/2 cups sugar
# 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
# 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
# 1/2 ripe banana, mashed
# 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
# 3 pounds of bananas, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
# 3/4 cup caramel sauce
# 1 cup chocolate sauce
# 2 cups heavy cream whipped to stiff peaks with 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
# shaved chocolate
# powdered sugar

Caramel Drizzle Sauce
# 1 cup granulated sugar
# 1/4 cup water
# 1 cup heavy cream   

Chocolate Sauce
# 1/4 cup half-and-half
# 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
# 1/2 pound semisweet chocolate chips
# 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract   

Directions for the Pie

In a mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks, cornstarch and 1 cup of the heavy cream. Whisk to blend well. Set aside. Combine the remaining 2 cups cream, 1 1/2 cups of the sugar, and the vanilla bean in a large heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat, Whisk to dissolve the sugar and bring to a gentle boil, about 10 minutes.

Slowly add the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Be forewarned: the mixture will break. Don't be alarmed! Pour it into a glass bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap down over the surface of the mixture to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool completely at room temperature.

When cooled, remove the vanilla bean and pour the mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a wire whip. Beat at medium-speed to combine the mixture. If it will not combine, warm another 1/2 cup heavy cream and slowly add it to the mixture. Whip until you have a thick and creamy custard.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, the remaining sugar and the mashed banana. Mix thoroughly. Add the butter and mix well. Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan. Bake until browned, about 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool, for about 10 minutes.

Directions for the Caramel Sauce

1. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is a deep caramel color and has the consistency of a thin syrup, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cream, return the saucepan to the high heat and boil the sauce until it regains the consistency of a thick syrup, about 2 minutes. Cool.

2. The sauce can be refrigerated until ready to use. Allow it to reach room temperature before drizzling it over the pie.

Directions for the Chocolate Sauce

1. Combine the half-and-half and butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Heat the mixture until a thin paperlike skin appears on the top. Do not boil. Add the chocolate and vanilla and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.

2. Remove from the heat and let cool.

3. The sauce can be kept refrigerated for several days, but it must be returned to room temperature before serving.

Assembling Directions

1. To assemble, spread about 1/2 cup of the custard on the bottom of the crust. Arrange about a third of the banana slices, crowding them close together over the custard. Next, spread 1 cup of the custard over the bananas. Arrange another third of the banana slices close together over the custard. Top with 1 cup custard and the remaining banana slices. Top with the remaining custard, covering the bananas completely to prevent them from turning brown.

2. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours.

3. To serve, cut pie into wedges and drizzle on the caramel sauce and chocolate sauce. Top with the whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar.

Yields: One 9-inch pie, 8 to 10 servings

Maria’s in the kitchen, baking brownies – enjoy….

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

enchiladas-sl-257868-l

Ingredients

    * 3  cups  chopped cooked chicken
    * 2  cups  (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with peppers
    * 1/2  cup  sour cream
    * 1  (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
    * 1/3  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
    * 8  (8-inch) flour tortillas
    * Vegetable cooking spray
    * 1  (8-ounce) container sour cream
    * 1  (8-ounce) bottle green taco sauce
    * Toppings: diced tomato, chopped avocado, chopped green onions, sliced ripe olives, chopped cilantro

Preparation

Stir together first 5 ingredients. Spoon chicken mixture evenly over each tortilla, and roll up. Arrange in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Coat tortillas with vegetable cooking spray.

Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Stir together sour cream and taco sauce. Spoon over hot enchiladas, and sprinkle with toppings.

Southern Living, FEBRUARY 2000

Friday, April 3, 2009

Lemon-Dill Chicken Salad-Stuffed Eggs

image

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4  pounds  skinned and boned chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  salt, divided
  • 1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground pepper
  • 24  large hard-cooked eggs, peeled
  • 1  cup  mayonnaise
  • 2  green onions, finely chopped
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh parsley
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh dill
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice

Preparation

1. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Grill, covered with grill lid, over high heat (400° to 500°) 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until done. Let stand 15 minutes; cover and chill at least 30 minutes.

2. Slice hard-cooked eggs in half lengthwise; carefully remove yolks, keeping egg white halves intact. Reserve yolks for another use.

3. Stir together mayonnaise, next 4 ingredients, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt in a large bowl.

4. Pulse cooled chicken, in batches, in a food processor 3 to 4 times or until shredded; stir into mayonnaise mixture until blended. Spoon chicken mixture evenly into egg white halves. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

Southern Living, APRIL 2007

Salted Caramel Strawberries

Salted Caramel Strawberries from Southern Living

Ingredients

  • 20  large fresh strawberries
  • 40  caramels
  • 3  tablespoons  whipping cream
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1 1/4  cups  coarsely chopped mixed nuts
  • Wax paper

Preparation

1. Pat strawberries completely dry with paper towels.

2. Microwave caramels, 3 Tbsp. whipping cream, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a 1-qt. microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM (50% power) 3 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring at 1-minute intervals.

3. Dip each strawberry halfway into caramel mixture. Roll in nuts, and place on lightly greased wax paper. Let stand 15 minutes. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 8 hours.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Kraft Caramels and Planters NUTrition Heart Healthy Mix.

Southern Living, APRIL 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

Black Forest Muffin Cakes

Black Forest Muffin Cakes

1    box (1 lb 2.25 oz) Betty Crocker® double chocolate muffin mix
1    can (21 oz) cherry pie filling
1    egg
    Frozen (thawed) whipped topping, if desired
12    maraschino cherries, if desired
1.    Heat oven to 400°F. Place paper baking cup in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups.
2.    In medium bowl, stir muffin mix, pie filling and egg until blended (batter will be very moist). Divide batter among muffin cups.
3.    Bake 28 to 30 minutes or until tops spring back when touched. Cool 5 minutes; carefully remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Serve each cake topped with dollop of whipped topping and a cherry.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Place paper baking cup in each of 18 regular-size muffin cups. Stir 2 tablespoons Gold Medal® all-purpose flour into dry muffin mix.
Make the Most of This Recipe
Did You Know?
Black Forest is the area in Germany where chocolate cake and cherries were first combined in the classic Black Forest dessert.
Nutrition Information:
1 Serving: Calories 250 (Calories from Fat 70); Total Fat 8g (Saturated Fat 3g, Trans Fat 1g); Cholesterol 20mg; Sodium 220mg; Total Carbohydrate 43g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 32g); Protein 3g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 0%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 20%; Iron 10% Exchanges: 1/2 Starch; 2 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 3
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Source:  Betty Crocker

Sauteed Chicken with Mushroom Sauce….

I’ve had really good luck with Pampered Chef recipes. Doesn’t take a rocket scientiest to figure out that  they would use really good recipes to promote their product.   This recipe looks good, but I can’t keep from thinking that this saute pan is way too small to cook those mushrooms in.  I would have then all over the stove…

~ jan

It’s a quick little video, easy recipe, but it looks pretty good… 

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Coconut Cream Tarts with Macadamia Nut Crusts

Coconut Cream Tarts with Macadamia Nut Crusts

Ingredients

  • 1/3  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 3/4  cup  sugar
  • 4  large eggs
  • 2  cups  milk
  • 1  tablespoon  vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2  cups  flaked coconut, divided
  • 2 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 3/4  cup  cold butter or margarine, cut up
  • 2  tablespoons  water
  • 1 1/2  cups  macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 1  cup  whipping cream
  • 3  tablespoons  sugar

Preparation

Stir together 1/3 cup flour and 3/4 cup sugar; whisk in eggs.

Cook milk in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until hot. Gradually whisk about one-fourth of hot milk into egg mixture; add to remaining hot milk, whisking constantly.

Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, 5 to 6 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and 1 cup coconut. Cover and chill 3 hours.

Bake remaining 1/2 cup coconut in a shallow pan at 350°, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes or until toasted; set aside.

Pulse 2 1/2 cups flour and butter in a food processor until crumbly. Add 2 tablespoons water, and pulse 30 seconds or until dough forms a ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead in nuts.

Divide dough into 12 equal portions; press each portion into a(3- to 4-inch) tart pan. Prick bottoms with a fork, and place on a 15- x 10-inch jellyroll pan. Cover and freeze 30 minutes.

Bake on jellyroll pan at 375° for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Cool in tart pans 5 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Spoon coconut custard mixture into tart shells.

Beat whipping cream and 3 tablespoons sugar at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; dollop or pipe onto tarts. Sprinkle with toasted coconut; chill.

Southern Living, DECEMBER 1997

Strawberry Basket Cake from Southern Living

Oh, wouldn’t this be special on an old cake stand.  I wonder if it’s difficult to basket weave the frosting?

Chocolate-Strawberry Basket Cake from Southern Living

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cup  butter or margarine, softened
  • 1  cup  sugar
  • 1  cup  firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2  large eggs
  • 2  teaspoons  instant coffee granules
  • 1  cup  boiling water
  • 1 1/2  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 3/4  cup  cocoa
  • 2  teaspoons  baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1  cup  sour cream
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
  • Florist wire
  • Assorted fresh flowers and foliage
  • Florist tape
  • Florist water picks
  • Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries
  • Garnish: Marzipan Bees

Preparation

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugars, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Set mixture aside.

Stir together instant coffee granules and 1 cup boiling water until granules dissolve.

Stir together flour and next 4 ingredients. Add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Gradually add coffee mixture and vanilla, beating at low speed just until blended. Pour batter into 2 greased and floured 8-inch square cakepans.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool on wire racks.

Spread a thin layer of Chocolate Buttercream Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake, reserving remaining frosting.

Fit a decorating bag with basket-weave tip, and fill with some of remaining frosting. Pipe basket-weave pattern around sides, refilling bag as needed. Change to star tip, and pipe ruffle around top and bottom of cake.

Form handle from florist wire; attach foliage and flowers with florist tape.

Insert 2 water picks into top of cake near 2 opposite edges, and insert wire ends of handle into water picks. Mound Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries onto top of cake.

Garnish with Marzipan Bees, if desired.

NOTE: For foliage, we used strawberry plants. Roses, pansies, and violas may also be used.

Southern Living, APRIL 1998