Sunday, September 29, 2013

Maple Pumpkin Spice Latte and a few other homemade Lattes

I created this Maple Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe in 2011. We make it during Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's become a family favorite. My wife and I were just drinking a cup of Starbuck's Via Pumpkin Latte, she reminded me of this recipe and I had forgotten to post it on the blog.

Note: If you don't have an espresso machine, you can brew espresso strength coffee with your coffee maker. ( to brew espresso strength drip coffee) 1 C grounds to 4 C of water. It's not quite the same, but it will be a good substitute. I use a Bialeti stove top espresso maker.
I will start making this before Thanksgiving...... It would be great for Fall.

Maple Pumpkin Spice Latte:

This makes 14 cups.

4 C espresso coffee
1/2 gallon (8C) of Whole Milk
3/4 C canned 100% Pure Pumpkin ( not Pumpkin Pie Pumpin in a can) there is a difference! I make my own from a Sugar Pumpkin.
2 TBS vanilla
1 TBS + 1tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice ( the homemade recipe is on the blog under Tips, Hints, and More incase you don't have access to the spice) I make quite a bit and store it in a jar in the pantry.
3/4 C  pure Maple Syrup ( the best you can afford)

Combine all ingredients in a crock-pot and cook on high for 2-3 hours.

Here's another homemade Pumpkin Latte recipe:
This recipe makes 1 serving.

1 C Whole Milk
2 TBS Pumpkin Puree
1 TBS Granulated Sugar
1/4 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice + additional for garnish.
1/4 tsp Vanilla
1/4 C Hot Espresso Coffee ( I use instant Medaglia d'Oro Espresso Coffee if I'm too lazy to use the Espresso Machine)

In a glass bowl or measuring cup:
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Whisk well.
Heat in  a microwave safe bowl covered with plastic wrap and vent with a small hole.
Heat 1 - 2 minutes.
Whisk vigorously until the milk is foamy, 30 seconds.
Add Espresso Coffee to a Coffee Mug, add foamed milk, top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of Pumpkin Pie Spice.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Here's one more recipe for homemade Pumpkin Latte:

1 C unsweetened Almond Milk
2 TBS 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 TBS Maple Syrup
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground Ginger
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Vanilla
2 Shots of Espresso Coffee ( I use instant Medaglia d'Oro Espresso Coffee if I'm too lazy to use the Espresso Machine)
In a saucepan:
Maple Syrup
Bring to a boil, whisking.
Remove from heat and whisk in the Vanilla.
Whisk vigorously by hand, to froth.
Add Coffee to a Mug and top it off with the Pumpkin Milk.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Almond Mocha Latte:

1 C Silk Almond Milk
1/2 C Espresso Coffee (prepared)
1 TBS Chocolate Syrup
1/8 tsp almond extract

In a saucepan, on medium/low heat:
Simmer milk
Add coffee and syrup, continue to heat for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and add almond extract.
Pour into a mug.
Serve hot!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Gingerbread Latte:

There are so many variations of homemade Gingerbread Lattes. I like this one the best. We have a local coffee company that makes all of their flavors from scratch for spiced lattes. I like the concept of a Gingerbread Syrup for a homemade Gingerbread Latte.

Gingerbread Syrup:
1 1/2 C Water
1 1/4 C granulated Sugar
1 TBS ground Ginger
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground Cloves
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
2 tsp Vanilla

In a saucepan on medium heat:
Stir to combine and bring to a boil without stirring.
Reduce heat and simmer until it begins to thicken, about 10 - 15 minutes.
Swirl the pan without stirring the mixture.
Remove from heat and add Vanilla.
Cool completely.
Transfer to a jar and refrigerate.

To make a Gingerbread Latte:
Add a desired amount of Gingerbread Syrup to a cup of hot Coffee.

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This makes a hot, instant, homemade Cappuccino drink.

2 C non dairy coffee creamer
1 C instant dry milk
1 1/2 TBS Chocolate Nesquik
2/3 C instant coffee ( I use Medaglia D'Oro instant espresso) ( Folger's or Nescafe)
3/4 C sugar
3/4 C Confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
a dash of vanilla

Mix all but the vanilla
Store in a sealed container

Use 3 rounded TBS of the mix per cup of hot water
Add a dash of Vanilla to each cup of Cappuccino.

Peace in the Kitchen!

We had some amazing Chai Tea while on vacation in L.A.
Our son Taylor introduced us to Dirty Chai Latte.
Here's a great recipe to make your own mix.
It reminded me of Christmas  and I'll make this mix and have it available to serve during the Holidays.

Homemade Chai Tea Mix.
This is my favorite mix.
I simply double the recipe for two of us.
When it's finished, I strain it into a 2 C Pyrex Measuring Cup. It' makes it easier to divide for two drinks.
I also use an espresso cup to measure the coffee for our individual Latte.

For each 8 oz. cup of Chai tea:
1/2 C whole milk
1/2 C water
2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp loose Black Tea Leaves. I buy my tea leaves at an Indian Market.
1/4 tsp Chai Massala Mix. (recipe to follow)

Place all ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat.
Heat until bubbles appear around the perimeter of the pan.
Stir often to avoid scalding the milk. Adjust the heat if necessary.
Once it comes to a boil, remove from heat and stir well.
Return to heat and bring to boil again, turn off the heat, remove the pan and stir again.
Set aside and allow to steep for 3 minutes.
Strain into a mug and serve hot.
Enjoy it by itself as a Chai Tea Latte.
For a Dirty Chai Tea Latte, add 1 shot of espresso.
For a Filthy Chai Tea Latte, add 2 shots of espresso.

Chai Masala Mix:
1 C + 3 TBS roughly ground black pepper
3/4 C + 1 TBS ground ginger
1/4 C +2 TBS ground cinnamon
1/4 C + 2 TBS ground Cardamom
2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp ground nutmeg.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies / Ree Drummond / The Pioneer Woman

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies:

I just saw these on an episode of The Pioneer Woman. It may not be new to some of you, I've never seen these before.
They are simple, quick and delicious.
I decided to simply re post her recipe.

Refrigerator Peanut Butter Cookie Dough
Miniature Reeses Pieces Peanut Butter Cups


  • Refrigerator Cookie Dough
  • Miniature Chocolate Candies

Preparation Instructions

Slice the cookie dough into 1 to 1 ½ inch slices. Lay the slices on their side and cut them into quarters. Place each quarter into a greased mini-muffin tin. Peel the wrapper from as many pieces of candy as cookies you’re going to make. 
Bake the cookie dough in a 350-degree oven for just a few minutes, about 6 to 8 at the most. You’ll want to take them out just when they start to turn golden.
Almost as soon as you pull the warm cookies from the oven, begin lightly pressing one piece of candy into each cookie. The warmer the cookies, the better. They’ll grab onto the pieces of candy and work their magic, making the candy nice and soft and melty. And ridiculous.
When they’re all done, carefully remove from muffin tins with a spoon and arrange on a nice decorative platter.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Apple Cake / Thanksgiving 2013

This recipe was first published in 1973 by Jean Hewitt, former Home Economist at the New York Times.
It was shared by Food 52
The Tube pan is perfect for this cake. It maximizes the crust surface area and creates height.

Grease a Tube Pan ( I use my Pan Release Recipe on the blog under Tips, Hints and More)
I refer to this Pan Release often. It's the only mix I use to grease any sweet recipes I bake.

3 C flour
1 1/2 C vegetable oil
1 C granulated sugar
1 C brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
3 apples ( I prefer Jonagold  or Granny Smith, Honey Crips), peeled, cored and sliced
1 C coarsely chopped walnuts
1 C raisins ( can be soaked in Irish Whiskey as an option) Just enough to cover them, let them sit overnight, drain and drink the whiskey in a cup of coffee!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, with a paddle attachment:
Beat for 5 minutes

Add eggs and continue to mix until creamy

In a separate bowl, whisk:
baking soda
Add to batter

Mix well just until combined

Pour batter into prepared pan
Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes
Cool before serving
Dust with confectioner's sugar to serve.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ratatouille! Dallas Morning News Taste Section 9/25/2013

I was so excited when I saw the Taste section this morning. The title was" Crisp and Crunchy". Of course I was thinking about Fall, Apples, Apple Crisp, Crunchy topped Cobblers? No, it wasn't even close. It wasn't even Sweet or Vegetarian. I can't go into the story here.
So I kept reading. And then I saw it.... "Fresh Apples are piled high at local stores". I was thinking.... well,..... you know what I was thinking. Anyway, it wasn't about Fall, Apples, etc,
I kept reading. I was a little disappointed by now.
There was a recipe for Skillet Jalapeno Cornbread, blah, blah, blah, I've posted my Best of the Best Recipe for that.
By now I'm worried that I won't have a recipe for today. Then I saw, Jacques Pepin's Ratatouille.
How perfect is that? It's made with Eggplant and Zucchini,  they're Fall vegetables and it's Vegetarian.
It all made sense to me at this point. I'll post the Ratatouille Recipe.

I made this for dinner on September 29th. It is a favorite. It makes enough to feed a family of 4 - 6.
It's the best Ratatouille we've ever tasted. It is definitely considered a Best of the Best Recipe !
I wish the pictures were in order, I didn't want to take the time to shuffle them around.

Jacques Pepin's Ratatouille:

1/4 C olive oil
3 onions, chopped
1 large gren bell pepper, chopped
1 large eggplant, trimmed at both ends. Cut into 1" pieces
4 small zucchini, trimmed at both ends and cut into 1" pieces
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp salt
8 garlic cloves, sliced
4 ripe tomatoes, cut into 1" pieces
1 C shredded fresh basil
black pepper to taste

In a large saucepan:
heat oil
green pepper
Saute 5 minutes on medium high heat

pepper flakes
Reduce heat and cook covered for 25 minutes
Stir occasionally

cook for an additional 5 minutes

Remove from heat
Transfer to a serving bowl
Cool to room temperature

Just before serving:
Stir in 1/2 the basil
Sprinkle remaining basil on top
Garnish with a few TBS of olive oil and black pepper

The New York Times Country Weekend Cookbook, 2007, St. Martin's Press / Akron Beacon Journal

Peace in the Kitchen!

This picture is deceiving. the bowl is 13" in diameter and 6" deep.
There's Ratatouille under the Rigatoni too.

This All Clad Saute Pan is 11" in diameter and 2 1/2 " deep.
This recipe made a lot.

Ratatouille !
I ended up topping it with Grated Parmesan Cheese.

Apple Pie Cookies

We have an annual Harvest Festival at our Church and it's this weekend.
We raise money for Mission Trips and other amazing community outreach programs.
Part of the events include a bake sale.
I'm working on a new recipe to take this Saturday.
If it turns out well, I'll post the recipe and pictures!
Otherwise, it's back to the recipe file to take something else.

They turned out well.
This is an original recipe.

Apple Pie Cookies:

2 sticks of butter, softened
1 1/2 C packed brown sugar
2 TBS light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 2/3 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
2 C quick oats
1 TBS apple pie spice
1 C chopped dried apples

Stand Mixer:
Beat until creamy

Add egg
Mix well
Leave in the bowl of the mixer

In a small bowl:
baking soda
apple pie spice
Mix well.
Add to batter, mix on low speed until incorporated

Fold in apples by hand
Refrigerate dough 1 hour

Line baking sheets with parchment paper
Use a 1 1/2" cookie scoop and place cookies 2" apart
Bake at 375 for 10 -12 minutes
Cool on the sheet pan for 5 minutes
Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mexican Minestrone Soup

1 (15oz.) can of kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1/2 C prepared chunky salsa
1 C corn
1 (15 1/4 oz.) can of vegetable broth ( or 2 C vegetarian chicken broth or regular chicken broth for non vegetarians)
3/4 C elbow macaroni
1 C combined ( red and green bell pepper) diced
1 C sliced cabbage
1 TBS Adobo Seasoning

Combine all
Bring to a boil
Reduce heat and simmer until macaroni is tender

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tomato Lentil Soup

Fall = Soup! Another simple equation!

I will try to list all of my soup recipes on this page at a later date.

1 TBS olive oil
2 C chopped red onion
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp chile powder
1 tsp garlic powder
pepper to taste
3 C water
2 C dried lentils
3 ( 14oz.) cans vegetable broth
2 (14oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained

Heat oil in a Dutch Oven
Saute onion 3 minutes
tomatoes with juice
Bring to a boil
Reduce , simmer on low for 45 minutes

Blend 1/2 of the soup in a blender and add it back to the pot
Stir well
Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper

Peace in the Kitchen!

Apple Slaw / Thanksgiving 2013

Fall = Apples! Not a difficult equation.
I usually use Apples in desserts and not in savory recipes.
I happen to like this slaw with apple.

Apple Slaw:

1 un peeled red apple, cored and chopped
4 C shredded cabbage
1/2 C red onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 C vanilla yogurt
2 TBS fresh squeezed orange juice
a pinch of cinnamon

Combine all
Mix well
Refrigerate before serving

Peace in the Kitchen!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Corn Pudding

I love corn. I've talked about this many times on the blog. I can't seem to get enough recipes with corn. I have Corn Pudding , Corn Timbale, Creamed Corn, Texas Creamed Corn, Texas Spoon Bread and Sweet Corn Pudding from Farmhouse Rules.
This is an original recipe. I was making changes as I was putting it together. We had it last night for dinner and it was everything I hoped it would be.

2 TBS butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 C corn
1/4 C flour
2 C milk
1/2 C corn meal
1 (4oz.) can of diced green chiles
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
6 eggs, well beaten
Chimayo Chile Powder (or what ever Chile Powder you have)

In a large skillet:
Heat butter
Saute 3 minutes
Add corn, cook 3 minutes
Add flour, stir well
Add milk and simmer stirring constantly
Don't allow to boil

Add corn meal and chiles
Mix well
Remove from heat
Add salt and pepper

Process the mixture in a blender
Pour into a large bowl and allow to cool a bit before adding the eggs.
Whisk in the eggs.

Pour into a deep dish pie pan sprayed with a vegetable cooking spray.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle with Chile Powder just before serving.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Corn Soup with Roasted Chiles and Smoked Gouda Cheese

It's Soup season for me. It's Hatch Chile Season too. I love Smoked Gouda Cheese.
Here's the recipe that combines them all well:

4 TBS butter
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 pound of red potatoes, skin on, sliced
1 TBS fresh thyme
6 C water
4 C frozen corn
3 roasted hatch chiles, seeded, peeled, diced ( you can use 1 (4oz) cans of diced green chiles, well drained, if you don't have access to Roasted Hatch Chiles.
1 C half and half
1 C grated smoked gouda cheese
salt , to taste
chopped chives for garnish

in a large saute pan on medium heat:
saute for 10 minutes
transfer to a slow cooker and add potatoes, thyme,water
Cove and cook on low for 4 hours

Use an immersion blender and blend some of the potatoes, not all of them, just enough to thicken it

half and half
continue cooking for 30 minutes more

Serve garnished with chives

Peace in the Kitchen!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Chocolate Butterfinger Cake

Chocolate Butterfinger Cake:

A friend of mine sent me this recipe. Thanks Lauren. I changed the name.
It sounds like another family gathering, church function cake.
I would make it in a 9"X13" pan.

Prepare your favorite boxed Chocolate Cake recipe as directed in a 9"X13" pan.

You'll also need:
1 (14oz.) can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 - jar of Caramel Topping
5 Butter Finger Candy Bars, crushed
1 (8oz.) package of Cream Cheese , softened
1 (12.oz) container of Whipped Topping

Mix Caramel and Sweetened Condensed Milk together.
Poke holes in the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.
Pour Caramel mixture evenly over the entire cake.
Sprinkle 1/2 of the crushed candy bars evenly over the Caramel.

Chill completely in the refrigerator.

Mix Cream Cheese and Whipped Topping together  with a hand mixer , until smooth.
Spread evenly over entire cooled cake.
Sprinkle with remaining crushed Candy Candy Bars.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Pumpkin Butter / Thanksgiving 2013

Fall is about the flavors of the season. I love Apple, Pumpkin, Squash and Corn recipes for Fall. I make a lot of  Fall Soups and a lot of Fall desserts.

Here's another great recipe that's been shared and shared.......
This one comes from Citronlimette via The Fountain Avenue Kitchen.

The process I use in determining a recipe that I post goes something like this:
When I see a recipe shared online, I'll research online and in the hundreds of cookbooks that I own, dozens of recipes similar to the one I like. I may adapt it, change it and make it my own, or I may get permission to copy and post it on the blog.
If I find that a recipe has been shared my many with no reference to an origin, I'll simple post it.

I've stated in the past that I never post someone else's photographs. I only post my own. 
After seeing this recipe for Pumpkin Butter and researching dozens of others, I've chosen this one to write about.
Other recipes include clove. Clove is a very strong and fragrant spice that needs to be used in recipes with other strong flavors that can work well with it. I believe it would be too strong and overpowering in Pumpkin Butter. I've seen them with granulated sugar. I happen to like the added flavor of brown sugar in Fall recipes. Many times I use half brown sugar and half white sugar when a recipe calls for only white sugar.

I'll be making this soon and will post photographs.

Pumpkin Butter:

1 can ( 29oz.) pumpkin puree , not Pie Pumpkin ( I used 2 - 15oz. cans)
1 C brown sugar
3/4 C apple juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
juice of 1/2 lemon

In a large saucepan:
Whisk all ingredients well, except for the lemon juice.
Bring to a boil
Reduce to low heat, simmer 30 minutes
Stirring occasionally

Remove from heat
Add lemon juice
Cool completely

Pour into jars, sealed with a lid and refrigerate.

Peace in the Kitchen!

A new Blog that I follow! and a recipe for Crunchy-Top Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

This morning I received a shared recipe from a page that I follow on Face Book.
I loved the recipe and researched the blog. I loved the blog.
I believe in Blogging Etiquette so I reached out and asked permission to post the recipe and to list the blog as one that I follow.
I was very impressed with the blog. I loved every recipe that I read. We have very similar taste in food and recipes.
With that intro, I have to thank Ann from The Fountain Avenue Kitchen blog.
Thank you for permission and thank you for allowing me to list you as a blog I follow. My readers will love it too.
Ann's blog was influenced by her grandmother, I love that. My blog is dedicated to my Aunt Faye, that was a personal chef in Michigan.

I previously posted a story about a failed Crock-Pot Oatmeal recipe. When I saw this recipe for Oatmeal, I realized that I could redeem myself for writing that story. I do love Oatmeal and am always in pursuit of a great Oatmeal recipe.
When I read this one, I embraced it....... Ann, thanks, again!

This is the perfect Fall Oatmeal that I've been looking for:

Crunchy-Top Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen.

Crunchy-Top Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal (Muffins optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (can substitute honey)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (see note)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (can also use coconut or canola oil)
  • 1/2 cup 100% pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 small apple, grated (I leave skin on)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup brown sugar
  1. Butter 2-quart baking dish or muffin tins. (I like a 9×9 square pan or a 10-inch cast iron skillet. A 9-inch pie plate works, too, if you prefer a thicker baked oatmeal)
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except oats and brown sugar. Add oats and mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Place mixture in your baking dish or muffin tins. (If using muffin tins, fill until almost level with top of cup. See notes for a few extra tips.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least 4 hours.
  4. In the morning, set on counter while your preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 27-30 minutes for a baking dish, about 20 minutes for a muffin pan. Remove from oven, sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over top of oatmeal and broil for one minute, watching very closely, or until sugar melts and begins to caramelize.
  5. Serve warm with milk, fruit and/or nuts, if desired. Great leftover. Freezes well.
Pumpkin pie spice is a combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. If you do not have the pumpkin pie spice, use any combination of these that you like, or simply use cinnamon.
When baking as muffins, I refrigerate the uncooked oatmeal in the mixing bowl then transfer to the muffin tin once the liquid has been absorbed by the oats. The recipe yields 8 regular muffins or 6 jumbo.
I am always experimenting with my recipes and here is my latest trick: For those who like a little extra “texture”, mix two tablespoons of steel cut oats into the batter and proceed as usual. A quarter to a half cup of chopped nuts is another great option.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Fall Fruit Crumble

New Update, 9/20/2013 I bought Peaches today to make this with only white sugar and the addition of baking powder. I'll update when it's done. I'm convinced I'm going to create the perfect crumble..... it may already be perfected! More to come.........

I just made a new one with firm Peaches and a new topping, 9 /26 / 2013. I Sliced the Peaches, cooked them in the same amount of sugar and cinnamon as I did  the Apples. I only used white sugar and I added 1 tsp of baking powder. The end result is totally different. The crumble is not "crumbly" when its prepared. It has the texture of dough. I simply crumbled it  as I dropped it in the Spring Form Pan. I still placed it on the bottom and then on top of the fruit. I baked it at 350 degrees for 55 minutes. I'm keeping the original recipe because I prefer a crunchy crumble and I'll keep this addition because my wife likes a cake like crumble. So both turned out great.
The next time I'll use firm Pears.

Here's the final recipe. It's been perfected and taste tested........! This is a Best of the Best Recipe!
It may seem common, but all of the recipes I've seen, only have a topping they don't include a bottom.
When I lived in Germany, the family I lived with made something similar to a fruit crumble with a bottom and a top crumble. I've been getting nostalgic about my time spent in Europe when I was a college student and this is a fond memory. I only had to come up with the correct quantities of the ingredients to be pleased with the result.

Here's how this came about:
I wasn't planning on posting this because I didn't really have a recipe. I needed something for a dessert at the last minute and put this together.
It actually turned out really nice. I'll make it again with other fruit or pie filling.
In place of Apples you can use fresh firm Pears or fresh firm Peaches and prepare them like the Apples.
You could even use 1 can of your favorite fruit pie filling. You could even spread a jar of your favorite jam in the center.

2 pounds of Granny Smith Apples ( I used 4), peel, core and slice thin. I prefer Jonagold but the store I went to today did not have them,

3 TBS granulated sugar
1/8 tsp  cinnamon

Cook the apples in a saucepan just until tender.

Make a basic crumble:

2 C flour
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1 stick of butter,  softened.

Place all of the crumble ingredients in the bowl of a Stand Mixer with a dough hook.
Mix until it forms a crumble.

Sprinkle 1/2 of the crumble in a 9" spring form pan, (I buttered the pan on the bottom and sides).

Top it with the fruit
Sprinkle the remaining crumble on top of the fruit.

Top the cake with 10 walnuts halves and sprinkle with 2 TBS of raw sugar. ( bake as directed)

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack in the pan.
Transfer to a platter to serve.

I left it on the bottom of the pan when I transferred it to the plate.
My Spring Form Pan has a tempered glass bottom so I could easily have slid it onto the platter.

Note: I baked the pan on a cookie sheet to collect some of the juice that came out.
The next time I make it I will double wrap the Spring Form pan with heavy duty foil. I use this method for my Cheese Cake Recipe.

Peace in the Kitchen

This one has 1/2 brown sugar and 1/2 granulated sugar in the flour mixture, no baking powder.
 This crumble is crunchy. I like this one.

This is Peach, with the cake texture crumble.
It has all white sugar and baking powder. 

Same as above, out of the spring form pan.

Monster Cookies

Fall is coming, and so is the Dallas Morning News / Central Market , Holiday Cookie Baking Contest.
I've entered the competition for the past 6 years. I've been a finalist three times. I'm constantly working on cookie recipes for the contest. I don't post or share the recipes until after the contest, whether they get accepted or not.
I currently have 5 recipes in draft status on the blog. I'm looking forward to the event.
I have no idea which ones I'll enter this year, but I'll post them all before Christmas.
Until then, here's a recipe from the Wet Mountain Valley, where we have a place in Colorado. We have many Amish neighbors and we love it when they share their recipes. They've created a cookbook and this is one of the recipes from the book.

Monster Cookies:

Before I post this I have to mention that I find the name odd for an Amish recipe. There are some ingredients that I would not necessarily consider Amish. However, the recipe is from the book. I know that in some towns they have to shop at the grocery stores that are available, so, these products are quite common. When I did some research on these, I found the recipe to be quite common.

I happen to like this cookie!

1 1/2 sticks of butter
1 C white sugar
1 C brown sugar
4 eggs
1 pound of chunky peanut butter
2 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 pound of M&M's
1 (12oz.) bag of chocolate chips
Powdered Sugar

In a bowl, by hand:
Cream butter and sugars well
Add eggs, one at a time
Add all of the remaining ingredients
Add additional oatmeal if necessary to make a stiff dough

Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour
Use a cookie scoop, the size of a teaspoon
Roll the balls of dough in powdered sugar
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes
Do not over bake

Peace in the Kitchen

Cast Iron Dutch Oven Bread

Our favorite recipe for rolls is on the blog. They're Buttered Rosemary and Sea Salt Rolls from The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. They're served at every family gathering, every holiday dinner.
Here's a recipe for homemade bread and I've taken the concept of the rolls and applied it as an option for this bread recipe. My wife was raised on homemade bread. She never had sliced bread as a child. I can't even imagine that. I was raised on nothing but white sliced bread from the grocery store. I have since acquired a taste for homemade bread. My first experience with homemade bread was in Europe, the first time I had a Baguette in Paris. I also spent some time in Germany and fell in love with German Bread. I have a recipe from Aunt Faye for Stone Ground Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread. I've made that since the early seventies. Since I acquired a passion for Cast Iron Cookware, I love bread made in a Dutch Oven.

Cast Iron Dutch Oven Bread:

3 C flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh active dry yeast
1 1/2 C tepid water

In a large bowl:
Whisk well
Add water gradually, with a wooden spoon, mix well
Cover with a tea towel to rise overnight or at least 12 hours.

Place the Covered Dutch Oven in  the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
Remove the Dutch Oven and place it on a stove, remove the cover.
Rub a thin layer of Crisco in the entire interior of the pot using a paper towel.

Flour a work surface
Remove dough from the bowl and , with floured hands, work it into a ball
Place it in the Dutch Oven, cover it
Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minute
Remove the cover, continue baking for 15 - 20 minutes more
The top of the bread should be golden brown

Remove it from the oven
Brush the top with melted butter, sprinkle it with Sea Salt and Fresh chopped Rosemary.
Allow to cool in the pot until cool enough to handle

When the bread is still hot, brush the top with melted butter, sprinkle with sea salt and fresh chopped rosemary.
Serve with additional butter

Peace in the Kitchen!

Swiss Chard, Cannellini Bean and Barley Stew

Today there's a lot to choose from in the Taste Section of the paper. It's titled Super-Saver Specials.
It mentions meals that don't skimp on flavor, meals that are affordable, meals prepared on a budget. It's about the strategy for economical meals. There were savory recipes and sweet recipes.

 I tend to be attracted to the sweet recipes before savory. There are recipes for a Fritatta, Swiss Chard, Cannellini Bean and Barley Stew ( I like this one). There's Linguine with Spicy Lentil Sauce, it's interesting too. They are vegetarian and healthy!

I wasn't quite sure which one I would choose to blog about this morning and then I saw Crustless Coconut Pie with Jamaican Rum Sauce. It wasn't part of the "watch your dining dollars" recipes. It was a story titled " Coconut Pie Quest" by Alicia Ross with Kitchen Scoop.
I was about to post the recipe and then I continued to read the story about the pie. It began with a brief description of the pie and then she began talking about the restaurant that influenced her to research the recipe. It was then that I remembered I had already posted a story about the restaurant and the recipe.  In April ,I told my story about having dinner with my wife, son and his family at Bonefish Grill.
I was so impressed with the pie, that I researched it , found the recipe and it's history and blogged about it. So if you're interested , you can search it on my blog under Jamaican Coconut Pie with Warm Rum Sauce.

I've decided to post the following recipe today:

Swiss Chard, Cannellini Bean and Barley Stew:

I chose this recipe for a couple of reasons. It's vegetarian and I've never used Swiss Chard in a recipe.
Whenever I'm in the produce section of a grocery store or at the farmer's market and I see Swiss Chard, I'm tempted to buy it. I've read stories about how healthy it is, but I've never looked for a recipe that uses it. I'm not sure why...... maybe it's because I know that none of our children or grand children would eat it. I think my wife might like it. After all she did grow up on a farm and maybe her mother grew it in their  garden. I'll get back on that later.

I'll make this one when the weather begins to cool.

1 pound of Swiss Chard, washed thoroughly
1/2 C barley
salt to taste
1/4 C olive oil
1 C finely chopped onion
1 C finely chopped celery
1/3 C finely chopped carrot
1 clove of garlic, minced
2/3 C canned Italian Plum Tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
1 (15oz.) can of Cannellini Beans ( white kidney beans)
Fresh ground black pepper
3 TBS freshly grated Parmesan Cheese, more to taste if you prefer

Detach the stalks from the Chard and slice them crosswise into 1/8" pieces.
Cut the Chard leaves into 1/4 " wide strips. Set aside

Bring 5 C to 6 C of water to a boil in a saucepan.
Add barley and 1/4 tsp salt
Cook at a gentle simmer for 40 - 45 minutes, until tender, but still chewy
Set a colander over a bowl and drain the barley and retain all of the liquid

While the barley is cooking, heat oil in a soup pot on medium heat.
Add onion and cook until tender and golden in color
Add celery and carrot
Cook 6 minutes, stirring
Add garlic and continue to cook another minute
Add tomatoes , continue simmering for about 5 minutes
Add Chard leaves and stalks
Season with salt
Mix well
Cover the pot and turn the heat down to low
Cook about 25 minutes longer

Add drained barley and beans
Mix well
Add enough of the reserved barley liquid to make a stew consistency, if not enough, add water.
Season to taste with black pepper

Serve with grated fresh parmesan cheese on the side

This recipe was adapted from Marcella Cucina by Marcella Hazen

Peace in the Kitchen

Dessert Desserts !

I've talked about my large collection of Mennonite and Amish recipe books. I buy them at the MCC Sale in Kansas. The Mennonite Central Committee Sale raises money for Mennonite Relief. The Mennonites are quick to react to disaster in the world and they arrive at a disaster to lend many helping hands and ask nothing in return. They have many venues at the sale to raise money. My favorite is the booth that sells family and church cookbooks. I buy as many cookbooks as I can each year. When I use them I'm constantly reminded of how important these recipes have been to the many families that were connected to them.
Tonight I was reading several of them and I discovered that I love the recipes that are called  "dessert" recipes. That's why I titled this story, Dessert Desserts.

Here's an example of what I'm referring to:

Apple Dessert
Blueberry Dessert
Butter Brickle Desert
Coffee Banana Dessert
Elegant Cherry Dessert
Heavenly Raspberry Dessert
Lemon Dessert
Marshmallow Dessert
Oreo Cookie Dessert
Pineapple Dessert
Pumpkin Dessert
Refrigerator Dessert
Rhubarb Dessert
Ritz Cracker Dessert
Strawberry Swirl Dessert
Buster Bar Dessert
Chocolate Freezer Dessert
Frozen Strawberry Dessert
Rice Chex Ice Cream Dessert

Do you see what I mean?
I could go on and on and on and on.......

I've chosen one to post.

Heavenly Raspberry Dessert:

2 C flaked coconut
2 TBS sugar
1 TBS flour
3TBS butter, room temperature
1 (10oz.) package frozen raspberries , thawed
1 TBS cornstarch
1/3 C water
1 (8oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 C confectioner's sugar
3 TBS milk
1 (8oz.) carton whipped topping
1/3 C chopped pecans

In a small bowl, combine well:
Press into a 9" pie pan
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes
Cool completely

Cook raspberries, thicken with cornstarch and water.
Remove from heat, cool completely
Spread Raspberries over crust

In a bowl, combine well, with a hand mixer:
cream cheese
confectioner's sugar
Spread over Raspberry layer

Top with Whipped Topping
Sprinkle with Pecans

Peace in the Kitchen!

Here's one more.

Cherry Dessert:

 1 - 21 oz. can of Cherry Pie Filling
1 - 14 oz. can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 - 20 oz. can of Crushed Pineapple, drained
1 - 8 oz. container of Frozen Cool Whip, thawed.
1 C Miniature Marshmallows

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Stir well before serving.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sopapilla Cheesecake

My sister in law made this for a family gathering in Kansas. It was the first time I had ever tasted it. I did a story about the iconic American 9"X13" baking pan and one of the recipes in the 60's was called Crescent Roll Dessert. It was similar to this, but not the same. It had egg yolk and lemon juice in the recipe and no cinnamon and sugar. You can find it here on the blog under, 1960's American Desserts made in the Classic 9"X13" Pan. When I did additional research for this recipe I discovered that there are many variations.

Sopapilla Cheesecake:

1 - 9"X13" baking dish / un greased

2 cans of  Butter Crescent Rolls ( large size)
2 (8oz.) packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 C white sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1 tsp Mexican Vanilla
1 stick of butter, melted
1 TBS cinnamon mixed with 1/4 C white sugar and 1/4 C brown sugar

Unroll 1 can of crescent rolls and spread out evenly to cover the entire bottom of the pan

In a small bowl, with a hand mixer:
cream cheese
both sugars
combine well

Spread the mixture evenly over the first layer of crescent rolls
Unroll the second can of crescent rolls and place on top of the mixture
Brush evenly with the melted butter
Sprinkle the entire top with the cinnamon and sugar mixture

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
Cool completely
Cut into squares to serve

Peace in the Kitchen!

Mexican Street Corn

Texans love Tex - Mex cuisine and that includes any recipe made with corn.
I've been researching Street Corn. I've eaten it in Mexico and it's delicious. It's typically a roasted ear of corn with the shuck attached and used as a handle. The hot roasted corn is slathered with mayonnaise or Mexican sour cream, cheese and chile powder, salt and lime juice.
You can also enjoy it in individual ramekins, cups or small bowls.
I've adapted several recipes to make it easy.

Mexican Street Corn Cups:

1 ear of corn or 1 cup of kernels per person.  ( I have an easy method for cooking and shucking ears of corn, on the blog, under Tips, Hints and More). The ears of corn can also be roasted or grilled.

If the cob method is used, remove the kernels.

Place the kernels in individual dishes.
Top each serving with the following:

1 TBS of mayonnaise
1 TBS butter, softened
Shredded Queso Quesadilla or Crumbled Cotija Cheese
Sprinkle with:
Chile Powder

Serve each serving with Lime wedges.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Pie

I used to make the best cinnamon rolls, my wife makes the best cinnamon rolls because her mother made the best cinnamon rolls. We were with our kids last night, at a restaurant, for dinner. Our son in law informed us that he's been making cinnamon rolls. I assume they're the best.
I was researching cinnamon rolls today and resurrected this recipe from my book of The Best of the Best Recipes for Cinnamon Roll Pie. It's delicious and makes a great Brunch dish. This would also be great served warm on a cool Fall Sunday morning for breakfast.

Cinnamon Roll Pie:

3/4 C sugar
1/4 C vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 C milk
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C flour + 2 TBS, divided
1 container (8 count) cinnamon rolls with icing
1/2 C brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 TBS butter, melted

Grease a 10" pie pan with my Pan Release Mixture found on the blog under Tips, Hints and More.

In a bowl:
Whisk well
Set aside

Separate the cinnamon rolls
flatten each roll by hand and press them all into the bottom and sides of the pie pan, seal any gaps to create a crust.

Pour the mixture in the pan

In a small bowl:
brown sugar
2 TBS flour
Mix well
Sprinkle this over the pie mixture

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. A tooth pick in the center of the pie should come out clean
Drizzle the icing, that comes with the cinnamon rolls, over the pie.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Pumpkin Cream Pie / Ree Drummond / The Pioneer Woman / Thanksgiving 2013

This recipe is adapted from Ree Drummond's Pumpkin Cream Pie recipe.
Thanksgiving is the ultimate occasion to make pumpkin pie in America. It's a classic pie to serve at that time.
I have other recipes posted using pumpkin for the holiday, but just when you think you have enough, you discover another one!

Pumpkin Cream Pie:

1 1/2 sleeves of graham crackers + extra for garnish
1/2 C powdered sugar
1 stick of butter, melted, melted

1 (3oz.) box of Vanilla Cook and Serve Pudding mix
1 C half and half
1 C heavy cream, divided
1/8 tsp of each: cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves
2 TBS Brandy
1/2 C + 3TBS pumpkin puree
2 TBS brown sugar

Process crackers in a food processor
Add, powdered sugar and butter and process until well combined.
Press into a 9"-10" pie pan, up the sides too!
Bake at 300 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes
Remove, cool completely

In a saucepan:
dry pudding mix
half and half
1/2 C heavy cream
Bring to a boil on medium heat
Stirring constantly, until it thickens.
Remove from heat
Add Brandy
Add Pumpkin and stir well
Cover saucepan and cool completely

In a separate bowl:
1/2 C heavy cream
brown sugar
Beat with a hand mixer until light and fluffy
Fold into pumpkin mixture by hand

Pour into crust
Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight

Serve garnished with additional crushed graham crackers.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Holiday Pecan Cake

Another simple Mennonite / Amish cake.
Most of us have these ingredients in our pantry so it can be a last minute dessert at short notice.

Pecan Cake:

1 1/2 C sugar
1/2 C butter, room temperature
3 eggs, separated
2 1/2 C flour
1 C chopped pecans
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 C whole milk
a pinch of salt

Cream sugar and butter with a hand mixer until light and creamy
Beat in egg yolks until smooth.

Sift together:
baking powder
Add to butter/sugar mixture gradually beating, alternating with milk.

Fold in pecans by hand

In a separate bowl:
beat egg whites until stiff and fold into the cake mixture by hand.

Pour the batter into a loaf pan greased with my Pan Release Mixture, found on the blog under, Tips, Hints and More. ( for a perfectly released cake)

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Serve sliced topped with powdered sugar, vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Anise Christmas Cookies

The Mennonites make a traditional cookie called Peppernuts or Pfeffernusse.
They're made with Anise. I happen to like the flavor. Here's another cookie made with Anise Seed.
I also like the Provencal drink called Pastis. It has an Anise base. We drink it in the South of France with a bit of water and ice. It's actually a very refreshing drink in the heat of the summer. We always have a bottle of Pastis on hand.

I could talk about the origin and the uses, but I believe that you either like it or not and I won't be able to talk anyone into it.

Anise Christmas Cookies:

6 eggs, separated
1 C powdered sugar, sifted
1 C flour, sifted
3 tsp anise seeds

In a bowl:
beat yolks until thick and foamy

In a separate bowl:
beat egg whites until stuff

Fold whites into yolks, by hand
Gradually mix in powdered sugar and mix lightly, by hand
Fold in flour and anise seeds by hand

Drop from a teaspoon onto a parchment paper lines baking sheet, about 1" apart
Chill in the refrigerator, over night
Bake at 300 degrees for 12 minutes.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Chocolate Cookie Cream Dessert

With the Holidays approaching and guests gathering, this is a favorite crowd pleasing dessert.
It's another one of my favorite All American Iconic Desserts.
It's one of those family gathering, church gathering, take to work desserts.
It's also made in the famous 9"X13" baking dish, my favorite baking pan.

Chocolate Cookie Cream Dessert:

2 packages of Fudge Striped Cookies. you're favorite brand! Or you could break Oreos apart and use them in single layers!
2 small boxes of Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
3 C Whole Milk
1 (8oz.) package of Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 C Sweetened Condense Milk
1 (8oz.) container of Whipped Topping
1 can of Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Line the bottom of the dish with a single layer of cookies

In a bowl, with a hand mixer:
Pudding Mix
Whole Milk
Mix well
Set aside

In a separate bowl, with a hand mixer:
Cream Cheese
Sweetened Condensed Milk
Mix well
Add to the Pudding Mix
Mix well
Fold in Whipped Topping by hand
Spread this mixture evenly over the layer of cookies

Line the top with another single layer of cookies.

Warm the frosting in a microwave until smooth and creamy
Drizzle over the top layer of cookies, spreading evenly with an offset spatula.

Refrigerate until completely cooled.
Overnight is best.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Saturday, September 14, 2013


This is how our friends in Provence make Pesto.
It's the only recipe I use.
I recently purchased a large jar of minced garlic. It's very economical. So I've decided to use it instead of whole garlic cloves. The equivilant is 1/2 tsp of minced = 1 clove. In this recipe I use 1 tsp inpace of the 2 cloves.

Homemade Pesto:

2 C loosely packed Basil leaves
2 cloves of Garlic or 1 tsp minced.
1/3 C Pine Nuts
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 C grated Romano or Parmesan Cheese ( hold the salt if using Romano, it's a salty cheese)
Olive Oil

In a Food Processor:
Add Basil and Garlic
Puree until incorporated
Add Cheese and Pine Nuts and process to a thick paste
Gradually drizzle in Olive Oil until desired consistency
Season with Salt and Pepper

Peace in the Kitchen!
Our field of Basil

I left out the picture of Garlic, Salt and Pepper.
This is how I process the Pesto.

This is how I freeze it

Another picture of our crop of Basil

Friday, September 13, 2013

Edna Mae's Escalloped Cabbage / Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

I happen to love Cabbage. One of my favorite recipes made with cabbage is a Cabbage Soup, it's on the blog. I make it during the Fall and Winter Seasons. It's a great comfort soup. I know that not everyone likes cabbage. I hope that if you do, you'll try my soup and this interesting recipe from The Pioneer Woman. This recipe comes from her mother in law. I did a bit of research and discovered that Cheez Whiz was created in America in 1952.
It's one of those products that is shunned by many, but...... come on!, this has to be included in those All American Iconic Recipes. You know? those recipes that I always say that the French would raise and eyebrow at, if they read it. I happen to embrace many All American Iconic Recipes and I say....... try it before you say you just couldn't eat that!

I took creative licensing and adapted it just a little. Ree Drummond makes it with Cream of Chicken Soup and I make it vegetarian with Cream of Celery, if you like mushrooms, you could use Cream of Mushroom Soup.

1 head of Cabbage
1 jar ( 15oz.) Original Cheez Whiz
1 can (10oz.) Cream of Celery Soup
1 whole ( or 2) fresh jalapenos, seeded and finely diced ( 1 is spicy; 2 is very spicy)
1/4 C milk
Paprika to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Slice cabbage into 6 - 8 pie shaped slices. Remove hard inner core.
Par boil slices until nearly done but slightly firm.
Drain very well,then arrange in a buttered 9X13-inch dish.

Mix Cheez Whiz, Cream of Celerty Soup, jalapenos and milk.
Pour over the cabbage.
Sprinkle with paprika , bake 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Peace in the Kitchen!

the ingredients
adding jalapeno

the finished dish