Sunday, August 31, 2014

Irish Whiskey and recipes using it!

I don't really like Whiskey. However, I like it in baked goods. I like it in Bourbon Balls at Christmas. I can't remember a Christmas that my mother didn't make them. I also like it in other cookie recipes, breads and desserts. I recently bought an expensive bottle of Irish Whiskey just to use in baking.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes using Irish Whiskey.


We recently visited England and had a great time. I've been thinking about Irish and Scotch Whiskey. I'm not really a Whiskey drinker, but I understand that if you get a really good Whiskey, you can sip it slowly, and it's incredible, like an aged Brandy!

 I decided to create a recipe for a Whiskey Cake using the best Irish Whiskey.

I already have my "Best of the Best " recipe for what I call, The Queen's Whiskey Sauce, as if I know whether the Queen drinks Whiskey!
I did get a chance to see her when we were in England..... maybe that was my opportunity to find out!

I didn't want to wait until Christmas to create this, so I thought I'd post it ahead of time so you all can plan to serve it, as I will, for Christmas dinner!


Here's what you'll need:
1 - 10" Bundt pan ( I like the classic Kugelhopf Pan) , brushed well with my Pan Release Mixture that's posted under  Tips, Hints and More. It's fool proof for release!

1 C of Chopped Pecans
1 18.25 box of Yellow Cake Mix
1 5 oz. box of Jello Cheesecake Instant Pudding Mix
1/2 C Water
4 Eggs
1/2 C Vegetable Oil
1/2 C Irish Whiskey, the best that you can afford!  As I researched Irish Whiskey, I discovered that there are some incredibly expensive brands.

The following is a list of some of the best "affordable" Irish Whiskies for this cake:
Concannon
Jameson 12 yr. Old Blend
Black Bush
Powers
Redbreast
Green Spot
Connemara Cask Strength


Sprinkle the Pecans on the bottom of the pan

Mix together in a stand mixer or in a bowl with an electric mixer:
Cake Mix
Pudding Mix
Water
Eggs
Vegetable Oil
Whiskey
Beat well

Pour the batter into the pan.
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour

Place on a cooling rack until completely cooled.
Invert onto a serving platter

Serve with the following recipe for the Queen's Whiskey Sauce:

1 Pint of Heavy Cream
3 Eggs
1/2 C Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 C Irish Whiskey ( the same brand of Whiskey you used in the cake batter)

In a Double Boiler over simmering water.
Cook Cream and Eggs , whisking constantly
Add Sugar
Add Vanilla
Whisking constantly for about 10 minutes
Slowly whisk in the Whiskey until fully incorporated

Drizzle it over slices of the Whiskey Cake. ( Be generous, you paid dearly for the Whiskey)

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Irish Whiskey Cake with Whiskey Icing:

I've been fortunate enough to travel to many countries and experience the food and culture. My wife and I have friends in France, Switzerland, Morocco, Hong Kong, Sweden .....! We were in Great Britain recently during Christmas and loved everything about it. Our son travels a lot and he and his wife have both been to the British Isles, England, Scotland and Ireland. He came home from a trip once with some really good Whiskey and we sat around and had a tasting. I'm not much of a Whiskey drinker but I eventually bought a bottle of good Irish Whiskey. I decided that I would use it to make a cake. Here's the recipe for an Irish Whiskey Cake and Whiskey Icing. What a great way to enjoy good Irish Whiskey.

1/2 C + 2 C of the best Irish Whiskey you can afford.
6 oz. (70%cocoa) of the best Bittersweet  chocolate you can find, Scharffen Berger, Valhrona, Lindt, etc., chopped.
2 tsp Medaglio D'Oro instant Espresso Coffee, in 6 TBS of water.
1/3 C skinless whole almonds, toasted , approximately 2 oz.
6 TBS flour, divided.
3/4 C (1/1/2 sticks) butter, toom temperature, divided.
7 TBS vanilla sugar, divided.
3 large eggs, separated. ( when baking, it's important to use large eggs if the recipe calls for them)
A pinch of fine sea salt
2 oz. semi sweet chocolate, chopped. Again, buy the best, it makes a difference.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 10" Springform Pan with my Pan Release Recipe. (equal parts of Vegetable Oil, Flour and Crisco), mixed well and applied with a pastry brush.

Boil 1/2 C Whiskey in a saucepan and reduce it to 1/4 C, about 2 minutes.

In a small stainless steel bowl:
bittersweet chocolate
espresso coffee mixture
boiled whiskey
Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until smooth.
Remove the bowl and set aside.

Finely grind the almonds in a food processor with 2 TBS of flour.

In a bowl:
1/2 C butter
6 TBS of vanilla sugar
Beat well with a hand mixer until fluffy.
Add egg yolks, one at a time until incorporated.
Add sea salt.
Fold in the chocolate mixture.
Fold in the almond / flour mixture.

With clean beaters, beat the egg whites to soft peak, gradually add 2 TBS of vanilla sugar and continue beating to stiff peak.
Fold egg whites into the batter alternately with remaining 4 TBS of flour.
Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean in the center of the cake.
Remove from oven and cool in the  pan for 30 minutes.
Invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Icing:

In a small stainless steel bowl:
semisweet chocolate.
remaining 2 TBS of Irish Whiskey.

Place over a saucepan of simmering water and stir until smooth.

Remove the bowl and add remaining 1/4 C of butter, 1 small piece at a time until each piece is fully incorporated before adding the next piece.
Place the bowl over a larger bowl of ice water and beat with a an electric hand mixer until smooth, about 1 minute.

Ice the entire cake.




Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Bourbon Pumpkin Pie:

2 TBS butter
3/4 C sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 C canned pumpkin
1 C evaporated milk or heavy cream
1/4 C Irish  Whiskey
1-9" unbaked pie shell

Cream butter & sugar
Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition
Add remaining ingredients, beating well
Pour into the shell
Bake 450 degrees for 10 minutes
Reduce heat to 325 degrees and continue baking for another 45 minutes

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Holiday Whiskey Balls!

This one packs a punch ...... Oh, why not!
I would also make these with Irish Whiskey or Rum.
Make at least a week in advance so the Bourbon has a chance to...... mellow!
They're No Bake so they are less time consuming.

3 C crushed Vanilla Wafers.
1 C finely chopped Pecans ...... roasted if you prefer and have the time.
1 C Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 TBS Cocoa Powder .... You know what I say about the Cocoa Powder, don't skimp on this ingredient, nothing but the best. I now use Hershey's Special Dark.
2 TBS Corn Syrup  ( sorry about this one, but it's necessary)
1/2 C Bourbon, Irish Whiskey or Rum ... again, the best you can afford.
Powdered Sugar for rolling the cookies at the end.

Combine, in a medium bowl:
Wafers
Pecans
Powdered Sugar
Cocoa Powder

Stir in the Corn Syrup and Irish Whiskey
Use a small cookie scoop to form 1" balls.
Roll them in Powdered Sugar

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Rum Balls:

Another recipe from my mother's collection. I like the simplicity of this recipe. We'll make these for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

1 1/2 C Coconut
4 C Crushed Vanilla Wafers
1 1/2 C Chopped Pecans
Place in a large mixing bowl and mix well.

Add 1 C Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 C Rum
Mix well.
Use a cookie 1 1/2" Cookie Scoop to form each cookie. Roll in the palm of your hand.
Roll in Confectioner's Sugar, cover and refrigerate.
Roll in Sugar again just prior to serving.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Holiday Rum or Irish Whiskey Balls:

This one packs a punch ...... Oh, why not!
I would also make these with Irish Whiskey or Rum.
Make at least a week in advance so the Irish Whiskey has a chance to...... mellow!
They're No Bake so they are less time consuming.

3 C crushed Vanilla Wafers.
1 C finely chopped Pecans ...... roasted if you prefer and have the time.
1 C Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 TBS Cocoa Powder .... You know what I say about the Cocoa Powder, don't skimp on this ingredient, nothing but the best. I now use Hershey's Special Dark.
2 TBS Corn Syrup  ( sorry about this one, but it's necessary)
1/2 C Irish Whiskey ... again, the best you can afford.
Powdered Sugar for rolling the cookies at the end.

Combine, in a medium bowl:
Wafers
Pecans
Powdered Sugar
Cocoa Powder

Stir in the Corn Syrup and Irish Whiskey
Use a small cookie scoop to form 1" balls.
Roll them in Powdered Sugar

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


This favorite Egg Nog Recipes comes from Southern Living Magazine.
We were editing our vast collection of magazines so I went through them and cut out my favorite recipes.

Egg Nog Coffee Punch:

1 Quart of Coffee Ice Cream
1 Quart of Vanilla Ice Cream
1 Quart of Egg Nog
2 C Hot Brewed Coffee
1/2 C Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua)
1/2 C Irish Whiskey

1 container of Frozen Whipped Topping, thawed
Ground Nutmeg

Scoop all of the Ice Cream in a large Punch Bowl
Add Egg Nog, Coffee, Coffee Liqueur and Irish Whiskey.
Stir until the Ice Cream just begins to melt.
Serve in mugs topped with thawed Whipped Topping and a sprinkle of ground Nutmeg.

Enjoy!
The Holidays!



This bread makes a great gift for the holidays.
This is another one of Aunt Faye's original  recipes.

Here's what you'll need:
3 - 9"X 5" Loaf Pans brushed well with my Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each and keep it in a jar in the refrigerator. I always have it available for all of my baking needs. It's the best pan release. It's incredible when baking in Bundt Pans that have intricate designs.

I serve it with my Bourbon Sauce. (recipe to follow)

8 eggs, separated
3 C Granulated Sugar
4 sticks of Butter (1 pound)
3 C sifted Flour
1/2 C Bourbon
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tsp Almond Extract
1 C chopped Pecans

Is a large mixing bowl:
Egg Whites
Beat until soft peaks form.
Add 1 C of the Sugar and continue beating until stiff peak stage.
Set aside.

In a Stand Mixer with a paddle attachment:
Butter
Remaining Sugar
Beat until creamy smooth, about 3 minutes.
Add Egg Yolks one at a time, beating well after each yolk.

Add Flour in thirds with the Bourbon, alternating and mix well.
Add:
Vanilla Extract
Almond Extract
Pecans
Mix well.

Gently fold in Egg Whites.
Pour into the loaf pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Remove pans from the oven, cool on a rack for 10 minutes .
Invert onto a cooling rack covered with Parchment Paper and cool completely.

Serve with my Bourbon Sauce:

1 C  Granulated Sugar
1/2 C Butter, melted
1 Egg, beaten
1/4 C Irish Whiskey
1 tsp Vanilla

Heat Sugar and Butter in a saucepan
Add Egg, whisk well
Remove from heat
Add Irish Whiskey
Whisk well and return to heat until it thickens, whisking
Remove from heat and add Vanilla.

Transfer to a jar and keep refrigerated.
It can be served cold or reheated.


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


This recipe is what I would call an American version of the famous French Tarte Tatin.
It comes from Betty Crocker. I've adapted it and added recipes for Sugared Fruit.
I will make this for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
This would be a great cake to share at a  Fall Block Party, at a Church Supper, at a Holiday Party.

Parts of this recipe may seem complicated, but I believe that in the end it will make an impressive dessert.

Here's what you'll need:
2 - 8" round cake pans brushed well with my Pan Release Mix. ( equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each and store it in a jar in the refrigerator. I always have it available for all of my baking needs. If you're baking a cake in an intricately designed Bundt Pan, this is the only mix that I recommend for perfect release.
Line the bottom of the pans with a piece of round parchment paper and brush with Pan Release Mix.

Make the sugared Cranberries and Sugared Oranges ahead of time and keep in an airtight  container, at room temperature, for up to 2 days. I recommend this step.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1/2 C sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 C shopped dried apricots
2 tsp grated orange peel
3 TBS Irish Whiskey
3 red apples, unpeeled, quartered and sliced 1/4" thin.
1 box of  Betty Crocker Super Moist yellow cake mix.
1 C water
3/4 C  slivered almonds, finely ground.
1/3 C vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 TBS chopped crystalized ginger

Glaze:
1/4 C apple jelly
2 oz. (from an 8oz. container) Mascarpone Cheese, softened
1/2 C heavy cream
1 TBS sugar

Fresh sugared cranberries and sugared orange slices for garnish ( recipes to follow)

Whiskey Soaked Fruit:
In a medium mixing bowl:
Dried Cranberries
Apricots
Orange Peel
Irish Whiskey
Mix well and let stand at room temperature overnight.

Line the bottom and sides of each cake pan with overlapping apple slices. Trim slices as necessary to line the sides.

In a large mixing bowl:
Cake Mix
Water
Almonds
Oil
Eggs
Beat with an electric mixer, on low, until moistened.
Increase speed to medium and beat 2 minutes, scraping bowl as needed.
Fold in Whiskey soaked fruit by hand.

Gently pour batter , divided equally, into each pan.
Bake for 40 - 45 minutes.
Immediately release and invert the cakes onto wire cooling racks over a parchment paper lined sheet pan. Remove the parchment paper from the cake top.
Brush top and sides of the warm cakes with the glaze.

Glaze
In a small bowl:
Microwave the Apple Jelly for about 30 seconds, stirring half way through.
Brush top and sides of each cake with the glaze.
Cool completely, at least 1 hour.

In a small bowl:
Mascarpone Cheese
Heavy Cream
Sugar
Beat with an electric mixer on high until stiff peaks form.

Transfer each cake to individual serving platters and frost the tops only, with the whipped cream
Garnish with Sugared Cranberries and Sugared Oranges. Decorate the top and the base of the cakes with the fruit.


Sugared Cranberries:

1 C Granulated Sugar
1 C Water
1 C Fresh Cranberries
6 TBS Super Fine Sugar
Cook Sugar and water on low until sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat, do not boil.
Fold in berries and pour into a bowl.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Drain berries in a colander over a bowl.
Place super fine sugar in a shallow dish.
Add berries, roll to coat.
Spread on a parchment paper lined sheet pan in a single layer.
Let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour.

Sugared Oranges:

1 Navel Orange (leave peel on)
1/2 C Sugar
Slice 1/4" and cut each slice in half to create a crescent.
Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan.
Stir until sugar dissolves.
Wash down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals.
Add Oranges and reduce heat.
Gently simmer until Oranges are soft and glazed, about 1 1/2  hours. The larger the saucepan the easier it is to avoid splattering.

Use a slotted spoon and transfer to a wire rack over a parchment paper lined sheet pan.
Dry overnight at room temperature.


Note:
The berries and oranges can be made ahead of time. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature  for up to 2 days.
I recommend doing this to speed up the preparation of the cakes.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Irish Whiskey Cookies:

4 C Flour
1 C Granulated Sugar
8 TBS Butter. melted
3/4 C Heavy Cream
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
A Pinch of Black Pepper
1/2 C + 1/2 TBS Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 C Chopped Pecans
2 oz. Irish Whiskey

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl:
Flour
Sugar
Cloves
Pepper
Cocoa
Baking Soda
Baking Powder
Pecans
Mix well, by hand to combine.

Add:
Whiskey
Melted Butter
Cream
Mix well, by hand.

Refrigerate overnight.

Use a 1 1/2" cookie scoop and drop dough 2 " apart on a Parchment Paper lined Sheet Pan.
Bake until the edges are golden brown, about 8 - 10 minutes.

Remove sheet pan to a rack and cool slightly.
Ice the warm cookies with the following icing and transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

Irish Whiskey Icing:
1 C Confectioner's Sugar
A few drops of Irish Whiskey.
Mix in a small bowl until smooth enough to create a spreadable Icing.


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Homemade Irish Bream Liqueur:

1 (14oz.) can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 C Irish Whiskey
1/2 C Heavy Cream
1/2 C Half and Half
2 TBS Chocolate Syrup
2 tsp Medaglia d'Oro Instant Espresso Coffee Granules
1 tsp Vanilla

Put all ingredients in a large jar.
Cover
Shake
Refrigerate
Shake again before serving.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!










Bread

Bread is not something the the average baker makes. I have always enjoyed a great baguette in Paris or a crusty Pain de Campagne from the South of France. I don't mind making it if it's easy. Somehow I always thought it was a long, difficult process. If you love a hot loaf of bread, slathered with butter but were afraid you couldn't make it, I have some foolproof recipes here!

We have a Bread Cloche. It's a Terra Cotta vessel for baking crusty Artisan Bread. It's the answer to making complicated breads, easy!
My wife is a bread connoisseur. She never had a loaf of store bought, sliced , white bread until she went away to college. Can you image that? It was difficult for me to conceive, never enjoying Wonder Bread as a child. I even ate the crust! I don't think I would have survived my childhood without a daily sandwich made with Wonder Bread.
Then, I discovered France.... what a life changing experience for me to sit at a Paris Cafe in the morning and enjoy a cup of some of the best coffee I had ever had, along with a crusty loaf of French Bread with homemade butter! The Baguette!
As I continued to travel throughout France, I eventually discovered Pain de Campagne and again, I was hooked. I never ate another piece of sliced, white, Wonder Bread!

Since this Blog was created in memory of my Aunt Faye, I have to start my Bread Post with her recipe and the story about her Irish Soda Bread. Then I'll continue with my latest adaptation of a recipe that I recently discovered on a Blog  I follow, Chef in Training, for the Easy, Crusty, Pain de Campagne and continue with a few of my other favorite Bread recipes.


I started a collection of my favorite recipes when I was living in Steamboat Springs, Colorado in the 70's. I had been to college, joined the Peace Corps, returned to college and then had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I was a free spirit and decided I needed to take some time to ski.  I was raised in Michigan and when I was in High School, I joined the ski club and that passion was ignited. I chose to spend time in Colorado.  Colorado had such an impact on my life that I decided to invest in some land there in 1990 . Twenty Four years later we increased that 2.5 acres of land to 5 acres. It's our retirement vacation spot in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. While I was there in the 70's I worked in 3 different restaurants to support my skiing habit. I also did some freelance design to afford the best ski equipment. I became obsessed with cooking and recipes and that's when I started a collection of my "Best of the Best" recipes.
It all started with the influence of my Aunt Faye. I talk about her at the beginning of the blog.
Here's one of the recipes that I made often in Steamboat. It's a perfect Hippy in the Kitchen recipe.

Aunt Faye's  Stone Ground Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread.
Summer of 1974 , Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Note:
Stone Ground Whole Wheat flour is best. This makes 1 - 7" loaf. I often double or triple the recipe and make 2 - 3 loaves at a time.

1/2 C all purpose flour
2 1/4 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 TBS butter
1 1/3 C buttermilk

Mix both flours, salt and soda, sift thoroughly.
Cut in butter with fingers.
Make a well in the center of the flour, add buttermilk and stir until blended,
Dough should be dry enough to knead, but not too dry.
Knead the dough on a floured surface about 30 seconds.
Make a 6" - 7" ball and place on a baking sheet with a little cornmeal.
Cut an X in the top with a  floured serrated knife.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
Remove, rub the top with butter and cool completely,
Most of the time, I don't wait to cool it. I slice it and serve it hot with Fresh Irish Butter.


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Easy, Crusty, Pain de Campagne:

3 C All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Yeast
1 1/2 C warm Water

In a large mixing bowl:
Flour
Salt
Yeast
Whisk well.
Add Water and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined.
The dough will be sticky, that's OK.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature overnight, (12 - 18 hours).

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Heavily flour a work surface.
Form the dough into a ball on the flour.
Loosely cover it with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
At this point, put a Cast Iron Dutch Oven or Terra Cotta Bread Cloche (with a cover), in the oven to preheat for 30 minutes while the bread is resting.
NOTE: don't forget to use Oven Mitts when handling the hot Dutch Oven or Cloche!

Put the dough ball in the vessel , cover it and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the cover and continue to bake for 15 minutes.
This will create that crusty exterior of an Artisan Country French Bread.

Serve warm, slathered with homemade butter!

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

This is our Bread Cloche!




Here's my first recipe posted on my Blog for a very similar Cast Iron Dutch Oven Bread:

Our favorite recipe for rolls in 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 also 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:
flour
salt
yeast
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 coo in the pot until col 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

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Cast Iron Irish Soda Bread:
I love handmade bread. I don't make it often enough. My aunt had a great recipe for Stoned Ground Whole Wheat Irish Soda Bread. It's one of my favorite bread recipes. Here's another good Soda Bread recipe. It's make in a Cast Iron Skillet, that adds to the goodness and the homemade factor!

4 C flour
3 TBS sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 C raisins ( I use 1 C golden and 1 C dark)
2 C buttermilk
1 large egg, beaten

Grease a 10" cast iron skillet generously with Crisco or any vegetable shortening

In a bowl, combine:
flour
sugar
baking soda
salt
Whisk gently to blend

Stir in raisins to coat well with the flour mixture

Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk and eggs.
Stir until a stiff dough is formed
Mix with floured hands at this stage
Remove the dough and mound it in to the skillet to form a round loaf

Lightly moisten hands with water and smooth the top
With a serrated knife dipped in flour, score the top with an X - 1/2 " deep

Bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!




I have become a huge fan of Clodagh McKenna. I recently saw this recipe for an amazing bread, a very Hippy in the Kitchen recipe.
I simply did a copy and paste of the recipe so my European friends can have the recipe. I highly recommend that you research her other recipes.


Here's a bit of information taken from her website:

Over the past 15 years, Clodagh McKenna has become one of the most recognized faces and brands in Ireland’s Food & Lifestyle sectors.

With her passion for food combined with her business savvy, Clodagh has developed her brand into an emerging business empire encompassing Clodagh’s Kitchen restaurants, her television shows, cookbooks and her food column in Ireland’s number 1 glossy magazine, The Gloss. She is regularly asked to contribute to food columns in national newspapers and magazines.

More recently Clodagh has taken the US by storm with her hugely popular US show, Clodagh’s Irish Food Trails which aired on PBS and Create TV reaching audience levels of 15 million.

In addition to the series, Clodagh successfully published two of her cookbooks, Homemade and Clodagh’s Kitchen Diaries in USA. She best describes herself as an “eater and a feeder”!


Health Bread:


450g (1lb) wholemeal flour 
65g (21/4oz) wheat germ, plus extra for dusting
65g (21/4oz) plain white flour
65g (21/4oz) wheat bran
225g (8oz) pin-head oatmeal
2 tsp soft brown sugar
2 tsp bread soda or bicarbonate of soda
1 litre (1 3/4 pints) buttermilk
For the topping:
2 tsp (one per loaf) wheat germ 
2 tsp (one per loaf) sesame seeds







Preheat the oven to 230oC/ gas mark 8 / 450oF
Put all ofl the dry ingredients in to a large bowl and mix together. Stir in the buttermilk to make a moist dough. 
Lightly grease 2 900g/2 lb loaf tins and dust them with wheatgerm. Divide the dough betweent the tins, smooth the top and make a spacious cross on each one with a floured knife. Sprinkle with wheat germ and sesame seeds. 
Cook the loaves in the oven for 10 minutes, and then reduce the temperature to 130°C / Gas Mark 1 / 265 oF and bake for 1 hour. 
When the loaves are cooked, remove from the oven and leave in the tins to cool a little. Turn them turn out to partly cool in the tins. then turn them out onto wire racksto cool completely.



Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!








Saturday, August 30, 2014

Jalapeño Relish

This is my original recipe for Jalapeño Relish. We eat a lot of Jalapeños in Texas.
I serve this as a condiment.  It's one of my Best of the Best recipes.

Jalapeño Relish:

1 lb. Jalapenos
1 Medium Onion, 1/2 lb.
 4 Medium Carrots, 1/2 lb.
1 Large Red Pepper, stemmed and seeded
3 1/2 C Sugar
2 C Apple Cider Vinegar
1 TBS Mustard Seeds
1 TBS Dill Seeds

Cut Jalapenos in half lengthwise, seed them and julienne into 1/4" strips
Clean and julienne remaining vegetables

Combine Sugar and Vinegar in a stainless steel stockpot over medium heat and cook until the Sugar is dissolved completely.
Add Vegetables and bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes, until it begins to thicken.
Add Spices & continue to simmer for an additional 45 minutes.
Remove
Cool to room temperature
It will continue to thicken as it cools
Drain most of the liquid and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Keeps up to two weeks refrigerated
May be canned and stored for future use.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!







Cinnamon Roll Apple Pi

You read that correctly, it's Pi. It refers to a new pan that I bought from a company called Pi Pans.
This adapted recipe is from the Pi Pan Company.

Here's a photograph of the pan:





Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie
Here's what you'll need:
1 - 9"  Deep Dish Pie Pan or  1 - Pi Pan ( I have the Pi Pan) It's very cool!

Crust:
2 refrigerated 9" pie crusts
1 TBS Butter, melted
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Water beaten with 1 Egg for an egg wash.

Filling:
8 C peeled, cored and thin slices Apples. I use Jonagold.
8 TBS Butter, chilled and cubed.
1 C Brown Sugar
1 C Flour
Granulated Sugar for sprinkling the crumble on the pie.

Icing:
1/2 C Confectioner's Sugar
1/4 tsp Vanilla
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
4 tsp Heavy Cream

Unroll the two crusts separately on a floured surface, just to keep them from sticking.
Brush them both with melted Butter. (use additional if you think you need it)......I do!
Sprinkle them both with Cinnamon. (use additional if you think you need it).......I do!
Stack one of the crusts on top of the other.
Begin rolling them together into a tight log as if you were rolling out Cinnamon Rolls.
Cut the logs into 1/2" slices, ( little Cinnamon Rolls)

Place them on the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
Press them flat to fill in any gaps.
Brush with the Egg Wash.

Pour the Apples into the Crust and mound them high.

In a large bowl:
Flour
Brown Sugar
Whisk well.
Cut in the cold Butter with a Pastry Knife, 2 Forks or ...... your fingers!
Create a Crumble.
Bake for 45 - 55 minutes.
Check the crumble as it bakes, you can cover it with foil if it starts getting too brown to avoid burning.

Remove the pie from the oven, remove the foil if you used it and place the pie on a rack to cool completely or just until warm.

In a small bowl, prepare the Icing:
Whisk all ingredients together until smooth.
Drizzle evenly over the Crumble and serve.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!








Friday, August 29, 2014

Pecan Pie Bars from Betty Crocker

Another Fall treat!

Pecan Pie Bars from Betty Crocker

1 1/4 C Flour
1/2 C Confectioner's Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
8 TBS Butter, cubed
2 Eggs, beaten
1 C chopped Pecans
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1/2 C Maple Syrup
2 TBS Butter, melted
1/2 tsp Maple Flavoring
1/2 C White Chocolate Chips
1 tsp Crisco
24 Pecan Halves

Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees.
Line an 11"X7" baking pan with foil, extending over all four sides.
Spray with a vegetable cooking spray.
Set aside.

Crust
In a medium mixing bowl:
Flour
Confectioner's Sugar
Salt
Whisk well.
Cut in butter with a Pastry Knife or 2 Forks until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Press into the bottom of the pan.
Bake 20 minutes.
Remove pan to a rack and cool for 10 minutes.

Filling

In a medium mixing bowl:
Eggs
Chopped Pecans
Brown Sugar
Maple Syrup
2 TBS Butter, melted
Maple Flavoring
Mix well.
Pour over the Crust.
Bake for an additional 20 minutes.
Remove pan to a rack and cool completely.
Use the foil to lift it out of the pan.
Remove the foil.
Cut into squares.

Garnish each square.
In a small glass bowl or Pyrex measuring cup:
Heat the White Chocolate Chips and Crisco until melted and smooth.
Stirring often.
Drizzle the  White Chocolate over each square and top each one with a Pecan half.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Heath Bits O' Brickle Cookies

This recipe comes from Hershey's, the maker of Heath Candy Bars and Heath Bits.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2 1/4 C Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
8 TBS Butter, room temperature
3/4 C granulated Sugar
3/4 C Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Eggs
1 1/3 C (8oz. package) Heath Bits O'Brickle Toffee Bits.

Line a sheet pan with Parchment Paper.

In a mixing bowl:
Flour
Baking Soda
Salt
Whisk well.
Set aside.

In a Stand Mixer with a paddle attachment:
Butter
Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Vanilla
Beat 3 minutes.
Add Eggs and continue beating.
Gradually add Flour mixture.
Beat just until combined.

Fold in Heath Bits by hand.
Refrigerate covered for 30 minutes.

Use a 1 1/2 " cookie scoop and drop 2" apart on the sheet pan.
Bake 9 - 11 minutes.

Remove to a rack and cool for 10 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to the rack and cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Reese's Pieces Halloween Flying Saucer Cookies

Halloween will be here soon. We also have a Fall Block Party and these cookies would be a great dessert for the kids...... an adults!

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

8 TBS Butter, softened
1 1/4 C Granulated Sugar
1 TBS Water
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Egg
1 1/2 C Flour
1/2 C Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
2 C Reese's Pieces Candy

In a Stand Mixer with a paddle attachment:
Butter
Granulated Sugar
Water
Vanilla
Beat 3 minutes.
Add Egg and beta just until combined.

In a medium bowl:
Flour
Baking Soda
Cocoa
Salt
Whisk well.
Gradually add to the bowl of the mixer.
Beat just until incorporated.
Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Use a 1 1/2" cookie scoop and flatten the ball of dough into a 2" circle.
Place 9 Reese's Pieces Candies around the perimiter of the cookie.

Pinch off a pea sized ball of the dough ( use a level 1/4 tsp of dough)
Roll into a ball, flatten slightly and place in the center of the circle of candy pieces.
Bake 10 minutes.
Remove the pan to a rack and cool 10 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!




Cranberry Pecan Upside Down Pie

What a great Pie! It's just another new Thanksgiving / Christmas recipe.

2 C Fresh Cranberries
1/2 C chopped Pecans
1 C granulated Sugar, divided
2 Eggs, beaten
8 TBS Butter (1 stick), melted + additional softened butter for the pan.
1/4 C Heavy Cream
1 tsp Almond Extract
1 C Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt

Generously butter a  glass 9" Pie Pan with softened butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl:
Cranberries
Pecans
1/2 C of the granulated Sugar
Mix well to combine.
Pour into the  prepared Pie Pan.

In a large bowl with a hand mixer:
Melted Butter
1/2 C granulated Sugar
Heavy Cream
Almond Extract
Beat until smooth.

In a small bowl:
Flour
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Salt
Whisk well.
Add this to the wet ingredients.
Mix well , by hand.
Pour over the Cranberries .
Bake for 45 minutes.
Remove to a rack and cool for 30 minutes.
Invert the pie to a large serving platter.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Harvest Festival Apple Cake

We have an annual Harvest Festival at our Church and we have an annual Block Party with our neighbors. I'm always researching and creating new recipes for these events.
I already have my favorite Apple Cakes. I think there are two more on the blog. Here's another favorite that I may take to both events this year.

Harvest Festival Apple Cake:

4 C chopped, unpeeled Apples. I use Jonagold.
1 1/2 C granulated Sugar
1/2 C Brown Sugar
3 C Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 C Vegetable Oil
2 Eggs, beaten
2 tsp Vanilla
1 C chopped Walnuts
1 C Flaked Coconut

Glaze:
1 C granulated Sugar
4 Egg Yolks
1 Stick (8TBS) Butter
1 C Heavy Cream

Cake:
In a large bowl:
Apples
Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Mix to coat well.
Set aside for 20 minutes.

In a small bowl:
Flour
Baking Soda
Salt
Whisk well.
Fold into the Apples by hand.
Stir in:
Oil
Eggs
Vanilla
Walnuts
Coconut

Pour into a 9"X13" baking dish.
Bake for 40 - 45 minutes.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Apple and Butternut Squash Casserole

I'm always looking for new recipes to serve at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I also plan for Easter and any other family gatherings, church events, block parties and...... well, always researching new recipes.
We still have our favorite go-to traditional family recipes that we've made for years. Some of the dishes that are always on the menu are..... Potato Salad for every Picnic, Corn Timbale and Cranberry Mousse for Thanksgiving, Almond, Apricot, Amaretto Mousse, Hot Buttered Rum and Steamed  Puddings for Christmas. We also make a great Baked French Toast Casserole for Christmas Morning Brunch and then we have the Best of the Best recipes that are family favorites. Bread Pudding, Tex-Mex Corn Dip, Blueberry Blackberry Cornmeal Cake, Original Homemade Salsa, my original Sangria and more.

Here's my latest casserole to serve at Thanksgiving.

Here's what you'll need:
1 - 3 Quart Casserole (I use a Cast Iron Dutch Oven)
Preheat the Oven to 350 degrees.

Apple and Butternut Squash Casserole:

3 C steamed or roasted mashed and cooled Butternut Squash.
4 TBS Butter, melted + additional listed in the recipe.
1 TBS Brown Sugar + additional listed in the recipe.
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper
1 1/2 TBS Butter
6 C peeled, sliced Apples (about 2 pounds) I use Jonagold Apples.
1/4 C Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 C Crushed Corn Flakes
1/2 C chopped Pecans
1/2 C Brown Sugar
2 TBS Butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl:
Squash
4 TBS melted Butter
1 TBS Brown Sugar
Salt
Pepper
Stir to combine well.

In a large skillet:
Melt 1 1/2 TBS Butter
Add:
Apples
Sprinkle with 1/4 C Granulated Sugar
Cover and simmer on low heat until Apples are tender.

Place the Apples in the bottom of a 3 quart casserole.
Spoon the Squash over the Apples.

In a small bowl:
Corn Flakes
Pecans
1/2 C Brown Sugar
2 TBS Butter, melted
Sprinkle evenly over the Squash.
Bake 15 minutes.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!




Thursday, August 28, 2014

Chocolate Malted Financiers

I can't take credit for this recipe, however, I did change the name and adapted it a bit. The original recipe is from Baked, the incredible New York City Bakery. I love everything they create.
I have two vintage Financier pans so I opted to make this recipe in them, instead of in Madeleine pans. The only difference is the shape of the cookie. I also change the technique for greasing the pans to guarantee easy release. I use my favorite Pan Release Mix. I mention it in every recipe I bake.
These turned out perfectly. They released from the pans and they have a very "french" chocolate flavor. I think the type of Cocoa Powder you use is important. I used Van Houten's L'Original 100% Pure Unsweetened Cocoa Powder that we bought in France. I like the addition of Milk Powder with the Cocoa Powder in the dough and also in the dusting mixture for the final presentation.

1/2 C +2 TBS Flour
3 TBS +1 tsp Malted Milk Powder
2 TBS +1 tsp Dark Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, divided
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 Eggs, room temperature
1/2 C Granulated Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
5 TBS Butter, melted and at room temperature

Prepare the pans by brushing them with Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil, Flour)
I start with 1 C of each mixed well in a jar and refrigerated. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.

In a small bowl:
Flour
3 TBS Milk Powder
2 TBS Cocoa Powder
Baking Powder
Whisk well.

In a Stand Mixer with a Whisk attachment:
Eggs
Granulated Sugar
Salt
Whisk on high speed for exactly 3 minutes
Slowly drizzle in the Butter on Low Speed just until incorporated.
Remove the bowl from the mixer , cover with a Tea Towel and allow to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.

Stir the batter with a wooden spoon.
Carefully spoon the batter into the wells of the pan, about 3/4 full.
Bake for 10 - 12 minutes. I baked mine for 11 minutes.

They recommend rotating the pans half way through the baking time. I did not and they turned out perfectly. I baked two pans at the same time. I also placed the Financier Pans onto Sheet Pans to bake them.

Remove from the oven to cooling racks for 5 minutes.
Release the cookies and place them on the cooling racks to cool completely.

In a small bowl:
Remaining Cocoa Powder
Remaining Milk Powder
Whisk well.
Sift the Powder over the cookies. This technique can be difficult. I started with a small mesh sieve and a spoon, to dust them. I ended up using my grandmothers flour sifter. It was easier.

Note: I doubled the amount of the dusting Powder, I didn't feel that the original was enough for 24 cookies.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!






Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls from The Works Restaurant in Steamboat Springs, Colorado



I absolutely love Cinnamon Rolls. I can't imagine anyone that wouldn't. My wife was raised on them, on a Mennonite Farm in Kansas. Her mother made her Grandmother's Cinnamon Rolls and my wife continues the tradition and the recipe, so I think she makes the best Cinnamon Rolls.
In the early 70's my friend Jay and I packed up our things and moved from Chicago to Colorado.
We had big dreams of becoming ski bums. It was a passion that we shared. We had to figure how we were going to survive and afford it.  We came up with the brilliant idea to open a Hot Dog Restaurant at the base of the mountain. We kept it simple. Hot Dogs with "the works". We served the best organic Ice Cream, Soda's and Milk Shakes, along with Hot Dogs and a Hot Dog Bar for all of the "works" to put on them...... and then we decided to add ....... Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast. What a brilliant idea!  It was the perfect choice for skiers, early in the morning, to start with a boost of sugar and a hot cup of coffee. The rolls were  huge and became a huge hit. I kept the original recipe and here it is.
As I look back at the recipe, it's very Hippy!
We made some of them plain, no cinnamon/sugar, no raisins, no glaze. We called them Sweet Rolls and served them to dunk in Hot Coffee.
When I say to "make a lot " of something, you have to realize that our recipe was often tripled or quadrupled because we made tons of these rolls at a time. We created a restaurant quantity recipe.

We had restaurant measurements for the huge batches that we made so I've adapted it for the home baker.

The instructions are a bit shaky as I look at them now, but I'll try to make sense of them here.

Cinnamon Rolls from the Works Restaurant in Steamboat Springs, Colorado:

1 C Warm Water
3 packets of Yeast
2 C Scalded Milk
1 C Granulated Sugar
1 C Vegetable Oil
3 Eggs
A pinch of Salt
1 tsp Vanilla
Enough Flour to create a heavy dough ( this is the sketchy part) I guess I figured it out in the end..... because the rolls were amazingly large and yummy.
Cinnamon, a lot of it! (We made a Sugar/Cinnamon mix..... the ratio is 1 C of Sugar to 4 TBS of Cinnamon.) Make a lot!
Raisins, a lot of them!

Glaze recipe to follow.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
You'll need a Sheet Pan lightly greased with Vegetable Oil or Crisco.

In a small bowl:
Warm Water
Yeast
Allow it to soften in the water. Don't stir it, let it do it's thing.

In a large mixing bowl:
Combine the following ingredients:
Milk
Sugar
Oil
Eggs
Salt
Vanilla
Mix well with a wooden spoon.
Add the yeast and work it in.
Add enough Flour to create a heavy dough.

Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes.
Place the dough in a large, lightly greased (vegetable oil or Crisco again!) bowl.
Allow to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. at least 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
Punch down the dough, shape it into a ball, cover with a towel and allow to rest again for 10 minutes.
Roll the dough into an 18"X10" rectangle about 1/2" thick. The longest side should face you.
Cover the entire surface with a lot of the Sugar / Cinnamon Mix.
Cover the entire surface with a lot of Raisins.
Roll the dough from the long side facing you to the opposite side into a log , as tight as you can.
Cover the log with a towel and allow to rest again for 30 - 45 minutes.
Slice the dough  into 1" rolls, place a dozen of them onto the prepared sheet pan and bake for 15 - 20 minutes.
Remove the pan to a rack.
While they are still warm, cover them with glaze.
Allow to cool completely, well, sort of...... we served them warm!

Glaze: Make alot of glaze too.
4 TBS Butter, melted
2 C Confectioner's Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
3 - 6 TBS Hot Water

In a bowl:
Combine the Butter, Sugar and Vanilla, Whisk well.
Add hot water 1 TBS at a time until desired consistency.
Pour the glaze over the warm rolls and allow to cool completely, or not!

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Orange Spice Pumpkin Bread from Williams-Sonoma

I love all pans made by Nordic Ware. Cake Pans, Loaf Pans, Bread Pans, Bundt Pans and the designs go on and on and on.
We have so many of them and they just keep coming out with new designs. I just told my wife about a new Pumpkin Patch Design that I want and she said....... "we have one.  I looked and we do have one, but it's not the same design. They came out with a newer and bigger version of a (similar, but not quite the same) design. They're really good at that so of course I have to get the new one.
Use a traditional loaf pan if you don't have a decorative one or a 6 C Bundt Pan.

Here's the pan we have:



Here's the adapted recipe for Orange Spice Pumpkin Bread:

1 1/2 C Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Allspice
1 tsp Cinnamon
10 TBS Butter, melted
1/2 C Packed Brown Sugar
1 C Granulated Sugar
2 tsp Orange Zest
3 Eggs, beaten
1 C Pumpkin Puree

Glaze:
3/4 C Water
The Zest of 1 Orange
2 TBS diced candied Ginger
1/2 C Granulated Sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Brush the pan well with Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil, Flour) I start with 1 C of each mixed well in a jar and kept refrigerated. I always have it available for all of my baking needs. It's amazing in the most intricate Bundt Pan designs.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together:
Flour
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Salt
Ground Ginger
Nutmeg
Allspice
Cinnamon
Whisk well and set aside.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment:
Butter
Brown Sugar
Granulated Sugar
Orange Zest
Beat for 2 minutes.
Add:
Eggs
Pumpkin Puree
Beat just until incorporated well about 2 -3 minutes.
Fold in the flour mixture in two additions, by hand with a rubber spatula.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
Transfer the pan to a rack for 15 minutes.

Make the glaze:
In a small saucepan on medium heat:
Water
Orange Zest
Candied Ginger, finely minced.
Simmer, covered for 3 minutes.
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve over a glass measuring cup.
Pour 1/2 of the mixture into a clean saucepan and discard the rest.
Whisk in the granulated sugar.
Return to a simmer over medium heat and cook uncovered for 2 minutes to thicken.

Transfer the cake onto a work surface and gently tap the pan to loosen the cake. Set the rack over a sheet pan lined with waxed paper.
Invert the cake onto the rack, remove the pan and turn the cake over so it's right side up on the rack.
Use a pastry brush and cover the cake with the glaze.
Let it cool completely before serving.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Perfect French Pate Brisee Quiche Crust

We make a lot of Quiche at our house. There are so many favorite recipes to choose from.
Since I'm Vegetarian I don't make the Classic Quiche Lorraine , but I love Asparagus Quiche, Mushroom, Tomato and Onion Quiche.

Here's the only crust that I make for all of the Quiche recipes.


1 3/4 C All Purpose Flour
1 Stick of Butter, cold and cubed
1 Egg
1 tsp of Creme Fraiche (French) or Sour Cream (American, if you don't have Creme Fraiche.
1 /2 tsp Salt

This make 2 crusts. You can freeze one if you're only making one Quiche. We seem to make two at a time.

In a large mixing bowl:
Sift Flour
Add Salt and whisk well.

Cut in the Butter using your fingertips.
You should end up with a coarse, sandy texture.

Make a well in the center.
Add the Egg and incorporate with a fork and then finish blending with a wooden spoon.
Add Sour Cream and continue mixing with a spoon, just to incorporate the Cream.
Add a bit of water if the dough appears to be too dry.
Knead it with your hands, gently.
Divide into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
Let it it rest and get to room temperature before rolling to make the crust.
Continue the directions for the Quiche recipe that you choose.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tropical Rum flavored Hot Chocolate for a Cold Evening and other favorite Hot Chocolate recipes.


I have an amazing recipe for Hot Chocolate and I'll repost it at the end of this one and a Homemade Cappuccino Drink Mix.
This one is also incredible.

1 can (13.5oz.) Coconut Milk
1 can (14oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 C Dark Chocolate unsweetened Cocoa Powder
a Pinch of Salt
3/4 C Pineapple Juice
3/4 C Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
4 C Water
In a  large saucepan on medium heat:
Coconut Milk\Sweetened Condensed Milk
Cocoa Powder
Salt
Pineapple Juice
Simmer, do not boil.
Whisk in Rum and Water and heat until desired temperature. Whisking often.
Serve in mugs and top with Whipped Cream.


Whipped Cream:
1 C Very Cold Heavy Cream
3 TBS Granulated Sugar
3 TBS Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
Beat cream until soft peak. Add Sugar and rum and continue beating well.
Refrigerate until ready to prepare the drinks.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



It's cold, rainy and dreary outside. We may even get sleet or ice. It's the perfect time for Hot Cocoa.
We always have home made hot cocoa in the pantry. Today my wife found these miniature marshmallows, perfect for a mug of Hot Cocoa. It's Hot Cocoa time!
Previously I posted a recipe for Home Made Hot Chocolate. I'll re post it at the end of this post. I also re posted my Home Made Cappuccino Drink.


Home Made Hot Chocolate:
This is our favorite Hot Chocolate Drink!

3 C Whole Milk
3 C Half and Half

Heat to simmer

Add 2 C Chocolate Chips ( I prefer Ghirardelli)
Stir until the Chocolate melts
Add 2 TBS Vanilla
(if you want to kick it up a notch and make it Tex - Mex, add 1/8tsp Ground Cayenne Pepper)!

Serve Hot!

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



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.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!




Christmas Ginger Cake with Maple Icing and Alsatian Gingerbread with Orange Glaze

I love the flavor of Ginger at Christmas. It's one of the few times that I eat it. I like traditional Christmas Gingerbread during the holidays. I have a recipe for a French Alsatian Gingerbread with Orange Glaze, made in a loaf pan. I'll repost the recipe at the end of this one. I'll make German Lebkuchen this year and I usually make Pfeffernusse cookies. There's something about the combination of flavors that make up these Christmas desserts that I find appealing.

Gingerbread Cake with Maple Icing:

Here's what you'll need:
1- 10" X 2" cake pan. Brush it well with Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour.) I start with 1 C of each mixed well in a jar and refrigerate it. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3 C Flour
2 TBS Ground Ginger
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
3/4 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Salt
1/3 C Minced Crystallized Ginger + additional for garnish.
10 TBS Butter, room temperature
1 C Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
1 C light Molasses
1 C Boiling Water
3 tsp Grated Orange Peel

Maple Icing:
3 C Cold Heavy Cream
1/2 C Maple Syrup ( I always recommend the best that you can afford, the taste is worth it.)

Cake:

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together:
Flour
Ginger
Baking Soda
Cinnamon
Cloves
Nutmeg
Salt
Whisk well.
Stir in Crystalized Ginger

In another bowl with a hand mixer:
Beat Butter until creamy smooth.
Add:
Brown Sugar  and beat until combined.
Add Eggs, 1 at a time.
Beat in Molasses and then Boiling Water.
Fold in Orange Peel by hand.
Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix just until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Pour the batter into the pan.
Bake for 1 hour.
Remove pan to a rack for 10 minutes
Remove the cake from the pan.
At this stage I wrap the cake in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.  This keeps it moist, makes it easier to cut, put together and frost. It's a tip that I learned when I decorated cakes.
I do this with all of my cakes.

Icing:
In a large cold mixing bowl with a hand mixer:
Heavy Cream
Maple Syrup
Beat until stiff peaks form.

Cut the cake horizontally into three layers.
Transfer the first layer, cut down onto a large serving platter and ice with some of the whipped cream.
Place the second layer on top and repeat.
Place the third layer on and ice the entire cake.
Sprinkle additional crystalized ginger on the top of the cake to garnish.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Alsatian Gingerbread with Orange Glaze:

Here's another one of my favorite French Recipes. This recipe comes from the Alsace Region of France.

1/2 C Honey
2 TBS Brown Sugar
1/2 C Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 C Rye Flour
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp Ground Anise
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
1 1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1 Large Egg
4 TBS Whole Milk
2 TBS Candied Orange or Lemon Peel, diced

In a Saucepan:
Honey
Brown Sugar
Heat gently until sugar is dissolved

Sift together, In the bowl of a Stand Mixer:
Both Flours
Spices
Salt
Baking Powder

In a small bowl, Whisk together:
Egg
Milk

Turn mixer on low and slowly add milk to the flour mixture.
Scrape the sides of the bowl.
Add Honey and Brown Sugar.
Add Citrus Peel and mix on medium speed.

Butter and Flour a medium size Loaf Pan (I use my Pan Release Mix)

Pour Batter into the pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40 - 50 minutes.
Cool completely n the pan.
Release the cake onto a serving platter and drizzle with Orange Glaze.

Orange Glaze:
2 C Confectioner's Sugar
1/3 C Fresh Orange Juice
4 tsp Orange Zest
Whisk together until smooth

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Saturday, August 23, 2014

Christmas Cashew Ball Cookies

I'm obsessed with cookie recipes. I have hundreds of them on file. I create many of them myself. I enter a local Holiday Cookie Contest annually. I've been a finalist many times. The competition is so much fun. It's sponsored by The Dallas Morning News and Central Market. The judges are always well known Chefs and they keep us very well entertained while the judging is being done. They have drawings and door prizes and at some point during the event we all get our tupperware containers together and rush toward the table and "grab" all of the cookies that contestants have made to share. It's crazy fun! We go home with enough cookies to last us through the entire holiday season!
Here's another new favorite cookie recipe. I love Pecan Ball Cookies , but Cashews happen to be my favorite nuts. Well...... a tie with Pecans, since I do live in Texas and we love Pecans here!

Christmas Cashew Balls:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees to roast the Cashews. You'll reduce the temperature for baking.

1 C Cashews. (Roast them in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Transfer them to a bowl to cool.
2 C Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
2 sticks of Butter, cubed and softened to room temperature.
2 C Confectioner's Sugar, divided.
1/2 tsp Vanilla

In a Food Processor:
Roasted Cashews
Flour
Salt
Pulse to a fine powder.
Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside.

In the Food Processor:
Butter
1/2 C Confectioner's Sugar
Pulse until creamy smooth.
Add Vanilla and pulse  just to incorporate.
Add the Flour mixture and pulse until just combined.

Place the dough in a mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Put remaining Confectioner's Sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Use a 1 1/2" Cookie Scoop to form the cookie balls. Roll them in the palm of your hand to smooth them.
Place them 1" apart on a parchment paper lined sheet pan.
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
They'll be dry but still a bit soft.

Remove the pan to a rack for 5 minutes.

Gently roll the cookies in the bowl of Confectioner's Sugar.
Transfer the rolled cookies to the rack and cool completely.

If storing the cookies in an airtight container before serving, re-roll them in sugar just before serving

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Apple Bundt Cake, a Christmas tradition

This is my fresh Apple Cake recipe made in a Bundt Cake Pan.
It's a great Fall Cake. It evokes all of the traditional American Fall Cake flavors.

Here's what you'll need:
1 Bundt Cake Pan, brushed well with Pan Release Mix.(equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour.) I start with 1 C of each, mixed well in a jar and refrigerated. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl:
2 Eggs
2 C Granulated Sugar
1 C Vegetable Oil
1 Stick of Butter. melted
1 tsp Vanilla
Beat well with a hand mixer.
Set aside.

In another bowl, sift together:
3 C Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Nutmeg
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Salt
Whisk together and add to the first bowl and beat until combined well.

Fold by hand into the mixture:
3 C Finely chopped Apple, that's been peeled and cored.
1 C chopped Pecans
1 C Raisins

Mix until well combined.
Pour into the cake pan and bake for 1 hour.
Remove pan and place on a rack.
Pour the topping over the hot cake and let it stand for 2 hours before removing it from the pan to a serving platter.

Topping:
In a saucepan on low medium heat:
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1 Stick of Butter
1/4 C Whole Milk

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Irene's Tarte aux Pommes from the South of France

This is from our friend in France. She makes the best Apple Tart. They live in La Bouilladisse in Provence.
I've learned so much from the way she cooks and I have many of her recipes. When we visit, I take Tex - Mex ingredients and we make some of our favorite Texas recipes. They love our food as much as we love theirs.

Tarte aux Pommes from Irene's Kitchen:
This recipe makes 2 Tarts.
I still have her original hand written and translated recipe. We had to convert everything from metric measurements when we got home. My wife has made it often and it's one of our family's favorite dessert recipes.
This is a rough draft and experience will help to make this Tart.
My wife has figured it out!

2 Eggs
3/4 C Sugar
1 Stick (8TBS) Butter, melted.
2 C + 2 TBS Flour
1 packet of Vanilla Sugar (2tsp) I buy it at World Market or our local German Deli.
1 Packet (2tsp) Baking Powder
1/2 C Whole Milk

Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl.
Spread it out in 2 Tart Pans.

8 Apples, Peeled, cored and sliced.
The Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Mix well in a bowl.
Fan the Apple Slices over the batter.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Make the Topping.

2 Packets of Vanilla Sugar
3/4 C Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 sticks of Butter, cold and cubed.
1 1/4 C Flour
Mix well in a bowl and crumble over the apples.

Bake for 50 minutes.
Check to make sure it doesn't burn.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Friday, August 22, 2014

Coconut Cake with Coconut Lemon Glaze from Trisha Yearwood

Here's another great family recipe from Trisha Yearwood. This is her Grandmother's recipe.

Here's what you'll need:
1 - 9" Tube Cake Pan, brushed well with Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start by mixing 1 C of each in a jar and keep it refrigerated. I always have it available for all of my baking needs
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Cake ingredients:

2 Stick (16 TBS) Butter, room temperature
2 C Granulated Sugar
6 Eggs, room temperature
1 tsp Vanilla
1 (16oz) box of Vanilla Wafers, finely crushed
1 (6oz.) package of Grated Coconut
1/2 C Chopped Pecans

Coconut Lemon Glaze ingredients:

2 C Granulated Sugar
2 TBS Cornstarch
A pinch of Salt
Zest of 2 Lemons
1/4 C Fresh Lemon Juice
1 1/2 C Water
1 (6oz.) package of Grated Coconut


In a Stand Mixer with a paddle attachment:
Butter
Sugar
Beat until creamy.
Add:
Eggs
Vanilla
Beat well to combine.
Fold in by hand:
Vanilla Wafers
Coconut
Pecans
Pour batter into the pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Remove the pan to a rack and cool for 10 minutes.
Invert the cake onto the rack and cool completely.

Make the Glaze

In a saucepan on medium heat:
Sugar
Cornstarch
Salt
Lemon Zest
Lemon Juice
Water
Coconut
Cook for 15 minutes, until it thickens.
Set Aside to cool.

Invert the cake, right side up onto a  large serving platter.
Poke holes in the cake with a toothpick.
Drizzle the glaze evenly over the cake.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!












Chai Tea 101



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.
NOTE:
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.





Namaste!
















Thursday, August 21, 2014

Treacle Tart


We were in England for Christmas 2012. It was an amazing time to be there. We visited Birmingham for the German Christmas Market, London for all of it's splendor and Windsor with all of it's charm. We're ready to see more of the English Countryside on our next visit. The last time I visited England was in 1970. It was time to return.
One of the amazing desserts we experienced was the Treacle Tart. I've never tasted anything like it in the States.
It's a traditional English dessert. It's prepared by using a shortcrust pastry, with a thick filling of Golden Syrup also known as Treacle. Breadcrumbs and Lemon Zest. The Tart is served warm with a dollop of Clotted Cream, Ordinary Cream, Ice Cream or Custard.


Here's what you'll need:
 1 - 8" Fluted Tin or Quiche Pan.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. You'll lower it at a lair stage of the baking.

3/4 C Golden Syrup (we buy ours at a British Emporium in our town)
1 1/2 C Fresh White Bread Crumbs.
Grate the rind of 1 Lemon.
2 TBS of Fresh Lemon Juice

Pastry:
1 1/4 C Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
9 TBS Butter, chilled and cubed
4 TBS Ice Water

Make the Pastry:

In a medium bowl:
Flour
Salt
whisk together.
Cut in the cold butter with a pastry knife until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs.
Using a fork, stir in just enough Ice Water to keep the dough together.
Gather it into a ball, knead it lightly, wrap in plastic wrap an refrigerate for 20 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to 1/8".
Transfer to the pan and trim off the excess and reserve for lattice top.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

In a saucepan:
Warm the Syrup on medium heat, until it melts.
Remove from heat and stir in the Breadcrumbs and Lemon Zest.
Set aside for 10 minutes.
Add additional Breadcrumbs at this time if the mixture appears too thin and moist.
Stir in the Lemon Juice.
Spread the filling evenly into the crust.

Gather the pastry scraps and roll out into 12 thin lattice strips.
Twist them into spirals and lay half of them across the filling.
Arrange the remaining strips at right angles to form a lattice or use an "over under" technique to weave the strips. Press the ends into the crust to seal.
Place the pan on a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.
Lower the temperature to 350 and bake for an additional 15 minutes, the top should be golden in color.

It can be served warm or cold.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!









Baked Graham Cracker Squares with.......... Oats, Chocolate and Pecans!

One more incredible Dessert Bar to add to the list of favorite desserts.
This is an adaptation of a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. 
I'm part of a team that critiques and chooses magazine covers for a variety of magazines.
This was one of the magazine covers I picked. I felt that it would be proper to post one of the recipes.
I chose a Yummy recipe from the issue.

Here's what you'll need:
1 - 15"X10"X1" sheet pan lined with foil extending over all sides.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

24 Graham Cracker rectangles
1 1/2 C Rolled Oats
3/4 C Granulated Sugar
3/4 C Brown Sugar
3 TBS Flour
1 Egg, beaten
2/3 C Butter, melted
1 tsp Vanilla
2 C Chocolate Chips
1 C Coarsely chopped Pecans

Place all of the Graham Crackers in the pan, in a single layer.

In a medium mixing bowl, with a wooden spoon:
Oats
Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Flour
Mix well.
Stir in, by hand with a wooden spoon:
Egg
Butter
Vanilla
Mix until combined.
Spread evenly over the Graham Crackers
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.

Sprinkle with Chocolate Chips and continue to bake for 1 minute.
Remove the pan from the oven to a cooling rack.
Spread out the melted chocolate with an offset spatula.
Sprinkle the top with the Pecans.
Allow the pan to cool completely on the rack.
Use the foil to lift it out of the pan, remove the foil and cut into squares to serve.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!












Shortbread and Caramel Brownies

I don't think these need any introduction.
They are simply another tasty treat.

Shortbread and Caramel Brownies

Here's what you'll need:
1 - 9"X13" baking dish, sprayed with a vegetable cooking spray.


The First Layer:

1 C Butter, softened
2 C Granulated Sugar
4 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 C Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 1/3 C Flour


The Second Layer:

1 (10oz.) box of Lorna Doone Shortbread Cookies
6 oz. Cream Cheese, room temperature
1/2 C Granulated Sugar


The Third Layer:

1 -(14oz.) bag of Caramel Candies, unwrapped.
2 TBS Heavy Cream

The fourth layer:

1 1/2 C Milk Chocolate Chips
1/2 C Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 TBS Crisco Shortening


Let's put these bars together.

The First Layer:
In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer:
Butter
Sugar
Beat until creamy smooth.
Add:
Vanilla
Eggs
Beat until well incorporated.
Add:
Salt
Cocoa Powder
Flour
Stir by hand to incorporate.
Do not over mix.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 22 - 25 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a rack and cool completely.

The Second Layer:
In a Food Processor:
Pulse all of the Cookies to a time powder.
Add Cream Cheese and Sugar and pulse just until well combined.
Press evenly over the First Layer.

The Third Layer:
In a Microwave safe bowl:
Caramel Candy
Heavy Cream
Microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring until melted.
Evenly pour over the Second Layer.
Refrigerate to cool completely.

The Fourth Layer:
In a Microwave safe bowl:
Milk Chocolate Chips
Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
Shortening
Microwave 30 seconds at a time stirring until smooth.
Evenly spread the chocolate over the Third Layer.
Refrigerate until cooled.

Cut into squares to serve.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!