Wednesday, March 30, 2016

White Cheddar Cheese and Rosemary Cookies

A Savory Cookie is delicious. I have a favorite vintage Cheddar Cheese Cracker recipe that my mother made in the 60's. I used to make them often. They're a great appetizer. This recipe is very similar so it's a debate whether they're Crackers or Cookies. You can decide and serve them as you wish.

White Cheddar Cheese and Rosemary Cookies.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Sheet Pans lined with Parchment Paper.
A 2" - 3" Plain Round or Scalloped Round Cookie Cutter.

1 3/4 C Flour
1/2 pound of White Cheddar Cheese, Grated.
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp finely Chopped Fresh Rosemary.
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
16 TBS Butter, Cold and Cubed

In a Food Processor:
Flour
Cheese
Salt
Rosemary
Cayenne Pepper
Pulse to mix well.

Add:
Butter, a few pieces at a time until it forms a dough.
Remove and knead together by hand.
Cover with Plastic Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll out the Dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4" thick.
Cut out shapes with the Cookie Cutter.
Transfer to the Sheet Pan 1" apart.
Refrigerate again for 30 minutes.
Bake for 20 - 30 minutes.

Remove pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes.
Transfer cookies to the rack and cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Potato Slices Baked in a Muffin Tin

Here's an great alternative to Baked or Mashed Potatoes. These are thinly sliced Potatoes baked in Muffin Tins. They're flavored with Butter, Herbs and Spices. They're a decadent side dish that will impress your guests.




Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Muffin Tins greased well with Softened Butter.
A Mandoline Slicer

The ingredients are estimated amounts, you can certainly use more according to taste.
10 Yukon Gold Potatoes, Peeled and thinly slice to 1/16" on a Mandoline Slicer.
4 TBS Butter, melted + additional for garnish.
4 TBS of Freshly Shaved Parmesan Cheese + additional for garnish.
1 tsp Garlic Powder
3 TBS Chopped Fresh Thyme leaves + additional for garnish.
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a very Large Bowl........ large enough to toss the Potatoes Slices by hand.
Melted Butter
Cheese
Garlic Powder
Thyme Leaves
Salt and Pepper
Mix well.

Add:
Potato Slices
Gently toss by hand to coat the potatoes well.

Stack the slices in the Muffin Tin until each well is full.
Bake for 1 hour.
Remove the pan to a rack.
Remove the stacks to a serving platter.
Garnish the tops of each stack with additional melted Butter, Cheese and Thyme Leaves.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!






Monday, March 28, 2016

Fig and Stilton Cheese Appetizers


I love the combination of Fig and Stilton Cheese. This is a simple and easy appetizer that's very tasty.




Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Several Large Rimmed Sheet Pans
Parchment Paper


1 - 14oz. package of Frozen Puff Pastry, thawed but still cold.
Bonne Maman Fig Preserves
Stilton Cheese, crumbled.


Roll out the Pastry to a 16" X 11 1/2" rectangle, on a floured surface.
Trim it to 15" X 10 1/2".
Transfer it to one of the Sheet Pans.
Cut 1 3/4" squares.
Freeze them for at least 30 minutes.

Line a Sheet Pan with Parchment Paper.
Place 12 of the Squares onto the Pan.
Add another layer of Parchment Paper.
Place another Pan on the top.
Repeat this with as many Pans as you have until all of the Squares are ready to bake.
If you don't have enough Pans, bake them is stages.
Make sure that the top is a Sheet Pan.

Bake for 35 minutes.
Remove the Pans to a rack to cool completely.
Transfer as many Squares as you can onto a Sheet Pan lines with Parchment Paper.
Top each Square with some of the Fig Preserves and sprinkle with some Crumble Stilton Cheese.
Return to the oven to bake for an additional 5 minutes.
The Cheese should be melted.

Transfer to a Serving Platter and serve them warm.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Saturday, March 26, 2016

Nordic Ware Bunny Cakelet Pan

I purchased the Nordic Ware Bunny Cakelet Pan for Easter. This is the recipe for that specific pan.

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

1 C Granulated Sugar
8 TBS Butter, melted and set aside to cool slightly.
1 1/2 C Flour
1/2 C Whole Milk
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Vanilla
1/4 tsp Salt
2 Eggs
Confectioner's Sugar for Dusting

In a Large Mixing Bowl with a Hand Mixer on Low:
Sugar
Butter
Mix until blended.
Increase Speed to Medium.
Mix until light and fluffy.

Add:
Flour
Milk
Baking Powder
Vanilla
Salt
Eggs
Beat until completely combined.

Dive Batter evenly among the wells.
Bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
Remove the pan to a rack to cool for 10 minutes.
Invert the cakes onto the rack to release them and allow to cool completely.

Just prior to serving, transfer the cakes to a Serving Platter and dust generously with Confectioner's Sugar.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!





Ricotta Cheese Pie

Cheesecake or Cheese Pie! An endless debate without a definitive answer.
Graham Cracker Crust vs. Pie Dough Crust?
Cream Cheese vs. Ricotta?
Bain Marie vs. Baked without Steam?
Or is Cheesecake really considered a Custard Pie?
However you describe the difference, simple Enjoy!
I have a favorite recipe for Cheesecake and it's the only one I make. Here's my choice when it comes to Cheese Pie!


Ricotta Cheese Pie.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - 9" Deep Dish Pie Pan and enough of your favorite Pie Crust Dough to cover the bottom and up the sides.

Place the Crust in the Pie Pan so it covers the bottom and up the sides.
Cover with Plastic Wrap and refrigerate.

Filling:
15 oz. Ricotta Cheese
1 C Granulated Sugar
1 TBS Flour
1 TBS Orange Zest
1 tsp Orange Extract
4 Eggs
1 C Golden Raisins
Bonne Maman Orange Marmelade.
1 - recipe of Homemade Whipped Cream. (recipe to follow)

In a Large Mixing Bowl:
Cheese
Sugar
Flour
Orange Zest
Orange Extract
Mix well by hand.

In a Medium Bowl:
Eggs
Whisk well by hand for 5 minutes.
Fold into the Cheese Mixture by hand.
Fold in Raisins.
Mix well.
Pour into the Crust.
Bake for 50 minutes.

After 50 minutes:
Crack open the Oven Door and allow the Pie to rest until completely cooled.

Remove and brush generously with Orange Marmalade.

Serve individual slices with Homemade Whipped Cream.


This is my favorite recipe for homemade Whipped Cream.



Homemade Whipped Cream:

1 C Heavy Cream
1 tsp Vanilla
1 TBS Confectioner's Sugar.
Whip the Cream in a Stand Mixer with a Whisk Attachment.
Beat to Soft Peak.
Add:
Vanilla
Confectioner's Sugar
Beat to Stiff Peak.
Transfer to a Serving Bowl to serve.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!





















Friday, March 25, 2016

Zucchini Soup

We had a delicious Zucchini Soup at our friends house in Provence.  It's simple and it's not made with cream as most Zucchini Soups are. It's very Provencal!

2 TBS Olive Oil
1 1/2 C Diced Onion
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 1/2 - 3 pounds of Zucchini, skin on and sliced 1".
5 C Vegetable Broth (I use a Vegetarian Chicken Broth)
1/2 tsp Pepper

In a large Soup Pot or Dutch Oven:
Olive Oil, heat it before adding:
Onion
Garlic
Sauté 5 minutes

Add:
Zucchini
Broth
Pepper
Bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes.
Use an Immersion Blender and Purée the soup.

Serve with toasted slices of a good crusty baguette.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Tex - French Bar Nuts

I created this recipe for Bar Nuts.
This is a combination of Texas Spice and French Sea Salt and Herbs. It has a Sweet Savory and Spicy flavor.
If we're having a party I double or triple the recipe. They don't last long.

Tex - French Bar Nuts.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1- Large Rimmed Sheet Pan

6 C Nuts, without Peanuts. I either use Mixed or a combination of (Pecans and Almonds, 3 C of each.)
4 TBS Butter, melted
4 tsp Sea Salt
4 TBS  Dark Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Chipotle Powder
2 TBS Herbes de Provence
4 TBS Chopped Fresh Rosemary

Roast the Nuts on the Sheet Pan for 10 minutes.
Transfer to a Large Mixing Bowl.

In another bowl:
Butter
Salt
Brown Sugar
Chipotle Powder
Herbes de Provence
Rosemary
Whisk well.
Add to the Nuts and toss to combine well.

You can serve them hot or refer to the Option below.

Option:
Turn the oven off.
After the Nuts and Herbs have been combined, stir again.
Return them to the Sheet Pan and place in the oven to allow them to dry.
I've left them up to 6 hours.
Break up any clusters prior to serving.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Another Corn Casserole Recipe

I've posted so many recipes for Corn Casserole, Corn Pudding, Corn Soup, Corn anything...... I love corn.
Here's another great Corn recipe.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1- 2 quart Casserole Dish sprayed with a Vegetable Cooking Spray.

1 can of Corn drained.
1 can of Creamed Corn
2 large Eggs, beaten.
8 TBS Butter, melted.
4 TBS Flour
2 TBS Sugar
1- 4 oz. can of Diced Green Chiles
1 C Half and Half
1/2 C Shredded Swiss Cheese
1/4 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Salt to taste.

Combine all ingredients in a Large Mixing Bowl.
Mix well.
Spoon into the Casserole Dish.
Bake for 1 hour/15 minutes to 1 hour/ 30 minutes. Until Golden Brown.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Corn Soup #2

Here's another favorite Corn Soup. I love Corn Soup, Corn Chowder and any Corn Casserole or Gratin.
This one is served with a very tasty Texan Sour Cream and Chipotle Pepper Garnish.


Here's what you'll need:
1 Large Soup Pot, Stock Pot or Dutch Oven.

4 TBS Butter
1 Large Onion, chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Chile Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
5 C Frozen Corn, thawed.
4 C Vegetarian Chicken Broth
2 TBS Lime Juice
3/4 C Sour Cream, divided.
3 TBS Chopped Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce

In the Stock Pot on Medium Heat:
Butter, heat until melted.

Add:
Onion
Garlic
Cumin
Chile Powder
Salt
Pepper
Cook, stirring often for 10 minutes.

Add:
Corn
Stir to combine well.
Bring to a boil.
Reduce Heat and Simmer for 5 minutes.

In Batches, Transfer to a Blender to Purée. Transfer to a Mixing Bowl after each batch.
Whisk in:
Lime Juice
1/4 C Sour Cream

In a small bowl:
Remaining Sour Cream
Chipotle Peppers
Whisk well.
Garnish Individual Servings.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Italian Lemon Crostada

I just received this recipe and it looks yummy. I decided to copy a link to the recipe so you can see the photograph and get an idea of how delicious this looks. I love all things Lemon and I have great Lemon Pie Recipes. I haven't made this one so I don't know how it differs from our traditional Lemon Pie in America. This comes from Sweet Paul, a Blog that I follow and he got it from An Italian in My Kitchen. It was translated from Italian so that makes it authentic!  I just ordered his Cookbook and it arrives this week. I'm looking forward to sharing additional recipes from him.




http://anitalianinmykitchen.com/lemon-crostata/

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Cauliflower and Leek Gratin and another one of my favorite Cauliflower Gratin Recipes

I eat a lot of Cauliflower so I'm always looking for interesting ways to make it. I add raw Cauliflower to Salads, I make Cauliflower Soup, other Gratin recipes and Roasted. I like this addition of Leeks to a Cauliflower Gratin.




Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - 2 Quart Gratin Dish, well Buttered.

Water to cover the Florets.
1 - 3 Pound Head of Cauliflower broken into Florets.
2 Leeks, White and Light Green parts only. Trim into 1/4" slices.
2 Shallots, Peeled and Thinly Sliced.
4 TBS Butter
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes. Additional to taste.
1 tsp Finely Chopped Fresh Thyme Leaves.
1/4 C Flour
1 1/2 C Heavy Cream
1 1/2 C Grated Gruyere Cheese. You can also use Emmental or your favorite  Swiss Cheese.
Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste.

In a large Soup Pot or Dutch Oven on Medium High Heat:
Bring Water to a Boil.

Add:
Cauliflower
Cook 2 minutes.
Drain, Rinse under Cold Water.
Transfer to a Large Mixing Bowl and set aside.

In a Saucepan on Medium Low Heat:
Butter
Heat until melted.

Add:
Leeks
Shallots
Red Pepper Flakes
Thyme
Mix well.
Cook, stirring often for 5 minutes.

Add:
Flour
Stir to combine well.

Add:
Heavy Cream, Slowly, stirring constantly just until well combined.

Increase heat to Medium High.
Bring to a Boil for 3 minutes, until it Thickens.
Remove from Heat.

Add:
3/4 C Cheese
Pepper to taste.
Stir until well combined.
Pour over Cauliflower.
Gently stir just to coat well.
Transfer to the Gratin Dish.
Sprinkle evenly with Remaining Cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes.
After Baking, Broil the top until Golden Brown (about 5 minutes).

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Here's my other favorite Recipe:

Cauliflower Gratin

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
A 2 Quart Gratin Dish, well buttered.

1 3 lb. Head of Cauliflower broken into Florets.
8 oz. Heavy Cream
4 oz. Milk
1 C Grated Cheddar Cheese + 1/4 C for Sprinkling prior to baking.
2 Eggs
Salt and Pepper to taste
A Pinch of Nutmeg
4 TBS Bread Crumbs ( Italian flavored if you like)

In a Saucepan with Boiling Water:
Cauliflower
Boil for 3 minutes.
Drain
Place in the Gratin Dish

In a Mixing Bowl:
Cream
Milk
1 C of the Cheese
Eggs
Whisk well.

Add:
Salt
Pepper
Nutmeg
Mix well.
Pour over the Cauliflower.

In a Mixing Bowl:
Breadcrumbs
Remaining Cheese
Mix well.
Sprinkle evenly over the Cauliflower.
Bake for 30 minutes.
It should be Golden Brown.


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!












Sunday, March 20, 2016

Baked Sun Dried Tomato and Artichoke Dip

This is a Baked Dip that's served on Toasted Slices of French Baguette Bread. I like Fresh Bruschetta and I also like Baked Dips. I have many Dip recipes on my Blog.



Baked Sun Dried Tomato and Artichoke Dip.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - 9" X 13" Casserole Pan or 2 - 9" Round Pie Pans, sprayed with a Vegetable Spray or brushed well with Vegetable Oil.

1- 8 oz. Jar of Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil. Drain, reserve 2 TBS of the Oil and finely chop the Tomatoes.
2 - 14 oz. Cans of Artichoke Hearts, drained.
1/2 C Diced Onion
3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
2 C Shredded Swiss Cheese
1/4 C Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 C Shredded Pecorino Romano Cheese
1/2 C Sour Cream
1/2 C Mayonnaise
1 - 10 oz. Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and squeezed dry in paper towels.
1 TBS Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Toasted Slices of French Baguette Bread

In a Skillet on Medium High Heat:
Reserved Olive Oil, until Hot.

Add:
Onion
Sauté until translucent.

Add:
Garlic
Stir well and continue to cook for 1 minute.

Transfer to a Large Mixing Bowl.

Add:
Tomatoes
Artichokes
Swiss Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
Pecorino Romano Cheese
Sour Cream
Mayonnaise
Spinach
Oregano
Black Pepper
Mix until completely combined.

Spoon into the Casserole Dish or Pie Pans.
Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve Spread onto  Toasted Slices of French Baguette Bread.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Baking Pans, Cup Volume vs. Pan Size

I was working on a recipe this morning and I wasn't quite sure what size pan I would bake it in. I did some research and decided to consolidate this information on measurements to convert Cups to Pan Sizes. I think it's great information. You can figure out the size of the pan based on the amount of Cups you have. This may be very common knowledge but I've never had it in one place where I can use it as a reference. I did an entire post on the Iconic 9" X 13" Casserole dish in America. The pan was probably created when America started producing Boxed Cake Mixes. In the end, I discovered that my recipe would fit in 1 - 9" X 13" X 2" Casserole Pan or (2) 9" Pie Pans.












Volume vs. Pan Size:

3 C = 8" X 1 1/4" Round Cake Pan

4 C = 8 1/2" X 1 1/2" Round Cake Pan
          8" X 4" X 2 1/2" Round Pie Pan
          9" X 1 1/2" Round Pie Pan
          11" X 1" Round Tart Pan

6 C = 8" Round Cake Pan
          7 1/2" X 3" Bundt Tube Pan
          8"X 8" X 2" Square Pan
          8 1/2" X 4 1/2" X 2" Loaf Pan
          9" X 1 1/2" Round Cake Pan
          9" X 2" Round Deep Dish Pie Pan
          9" X 9" X 1/2" Square Pan
          10" X 1 1/2" Round Pie Pan
          11" X 7" X 2" Rectangular Pan

7 C = 8" X 2" Round Cake Pan
          9" X 9" Square Pan

8 C = 8" X 8" Square Pan
          9" X 2" Round Cake Pan
          9" X 5" X 3" Loaf Pan
          9" X 9" X 1 1/2" Square Pan
          9 1/4" X 3 1/4" Brioche Pan
          11" X 7" X 1 1/2" Casserole Pan

9 C = 8" X 3" Bundt Pan
          9" X 3" Tube Pan

10 C = 8" X 2 1/2" Springform Pan
            9" X 9" X 2" Square Pan
            11 3/4" X 7 1/2" X 1 3/4" Casserole Pan
            9" X 13" X 2" Casserole Pan
            15" X 10 1/2" X 1" Jellyroll Pan
            10" X 2" Round Cake Pan

11 C = 9" X 3" Springform Pan
            10" X 2" Round Cake Pan

12C =  (2) - 9" Round Cake Pans
            9" X 3" Angel Food or Tube Pan
            10" X 2 1/2" Springform Pan
            10" X 3 1/2" Bundt Pan
            9" X 13" X 2" Metal Baking Pan
            14" X 10 1/2" X 2 1/2" Roasting Pan

15 C = 9" X 13" X 2" Casserole Pan

16 C = 9" X 3 1/2" Springform Pan
            10 " X 4" Tube Pan

18 C = 10" X 4" Angel Food or Tube Pan

9" X 13" X 2" = (2) 8" Round Pie Pans


Here's another bit of information that I think is helpful when considering what size Baking Pan can be subsituted for a 2 Quart Casserole.

2 quarts
Casserole Substitutions
CASSEROLE SIZEBAKING-PAN SUBSTITUTE
2 quarts8-inch square cake pan
2–½ quarts9-inch square cake pan
3 quarts13x9x2-inch cake pan
4 quarts14x10x2-inch cake pan
Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


       


Friday, March 18, 2016

Cream of Corn Soup

I love Soup and I have a lot of Soup Recipes on the Blog. I make Soup during the entire year. In the Winter I make it every weekend.
I was surprised to see that I've never posted my recipe for Cream of Corn Soup.

Cream of Corn Soup

4 TBS Butter
1/2 C Diced Onion
1 C Diced Celery
2 1/2 C Water
2 C Cubed Raw Potato
2 C Frozen Corn
1 - 14 oz. Can of Creamed Corn
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
3 TBS Flour
3 C Half and Half

In a Large Soup pot on Medium Heat:
Butter
Heat until melted.

Ad:
Flour
Whisk well until completely incorporated.

Add:
Onion
Celery
Cook and additional 5 minutes. Stir often.

Add:
Water
Potato
Corn
Creamed Corn
Salt
Pepper
Whisk well.
Cover and simmer 30 minutes.

Add:
Half and Half.
Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Stir often as it thickens.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Individual Pineapple Upside Down Cake

A High School Classmate from Michigan sent me a picture of a Pineapple Upside Down Pan that she has. Thanks Cheryl, it was the inspiration for this post. It makes 6 individual servings. I immediately ordered one.
After much research, I decided to post this recipe.
I just received the recipe from Cheryl and photographs of the articles in which a recipe appeared to make these individual cakes in a 12 C Muffin Tin. This offers an alternative to those that don't have the NordicWare Pineapple Pan.




Individual Pineapple Upside Down Cake

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

Pineapple Layer:
1 C Pineapple Rings, drained and reserve the Juice.
6  Red Maraschino Cherries
4 TBS Butter, melted
2/3 C Dark Brown Sugar

Cake Batter:
2 Large Eggs
2/3 C Granulated Sugar
4 TBS of the reserved Juice
2/3 C Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
A Pinch of Salt


Pineapple Layer Directions.
In a Small Bowl:
Butter
Brown Sugar
Mix well.
Divide Evenly among the 6 cups in the pan.

Put 1 Pineapple Ring in each Pan.
Place 1 Cherry in the center of each Pineapple Ring.

Batter Directions:
In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer:
Eggs
Sugar
Beat until Pale Yellow.

Add:
Juice
Mix just to incorporate.

Add:
Flour
Baking Powder
Salt
Mix in just until well incorporated.

Spoon Batter evenly over the Pineapple Rings.
Bake 20 - 25 minutes until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Remove the Pan to a Rack to cool for 10 minutes minutes.

Invert the Cakes onto a Large Serving Platter.
(Preferably a Rectangular Platter)
You can also turn them out onto a Sheet Pan and transfer to individual plates to serve.
(Place the Sheet Pan onto the Pineapple Pan and quickly flip it over)

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Here's the recipe for a 12 C Muffin Tin

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
1 - 12 C Muffin Tin brushed well with Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each mixed well and refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.





Batter:
6 TBS Butter
1/2 C Whole Milk
1 C Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
2 Eggs
3/4 C Granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla

Topping:
6 TBS Butter
3/4 C Dark Brown Sugar
12 Red Maraschino Cherries
1 - 20 oz. Can of Pineapple Rings

Batter directions:
In a Saucepan on Medium Heat:
Butter
Milk
Heat, stirring until Butter melts.
Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

In each well of the Muffin Pan:
1/2 TBS of Butter/Unmelted.
1 TBS Brown Sugar
Place Pan in the Preheated Oven until the Butter Melts. (about 3 minutes)

But Pineapple Rings into Quarters.
Put 1 Cherry in the center of each well.
Place 2 pieces of the Pineapple around the Cherries in the wells.
Set aside.

Batter directions:
In a Medium Mixing Bowl:
Flour
Baking Powder
Salt
Whisk well.

In a Large Mixing Bowl:
Eggs
Sugar
Vanilla
Whisk well.

Add:
Flour Mixture.
Stir well with a Blending Fork.

Add:
Milk Mixture.
Stir to combine well.

Pour Batter evenly among the wells.
Bake 25 minutes.

Transfer Pan to a Rack to cool  fo 5 minutes.
Place a Sheet Pan over the top of the Muffin Pan.
Invert it, releasing the cakes.
Transfer each cake to the rack, over the Sheet Pan to cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!





Apple Pie Cake in a Springform Pan served with Homemade Whipped Cream

I've talked about Apples in many of my recipes. I grew up in Michigan where Apple Orchards were all around us. We would enter the neighbor's orchard and pick apples. I'm sure we must have had a stomach ache many times from eating Green Apples, but it was just what we did as kids.We managed to escape getting caught!
This is a great Pie/Cake combination. I have a Springform Pan with a Tempered Glass Bottom and I don't remove it when serving anything made in it. I simply transfer the dessert to a Serving Platter.
I included my recipe for Homemade Whipped Cream Recipe to garnish individual servings.

Jonagold Apple



Apple Pie Cake in a Springform Pan

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

8 Jonagold Apples, peeled, cored and sliced.
1 1/2 TBS of Cinnamon/Sugar. (1 1/4 TBS Cinnamon with 1 1/4 TBS of Granulated Sugar)
3 Large Eggs
1 1/2 C Superfine Sugar. (Granulated Sugar gently pulsed in a Food Processor)
1 1/2 C Vegetable Oil
3 tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 C Flour
(additional Cinnamon/Sugar for dusting before baking)

Layer Apple Slices in the Pan. Start on the outer edge and layer in a circle until all of the Apples have been used.
Sprinkle with additional Cinnamon/Sugar.


In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment:
Eggs
Sugar
Mix until Pale Yellow.

Add:
Oil
Vanilla
Beat until well combined.

Add:
Flour, slowly, until fully incorporated.

Pour Batter over the Apples.
Bang the Pan several times on a hard surface to distribute the Batter into the Apples.

Bake 1 hour.
Remove the Pan to a Rack to cool completely.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes. This will help set the Apples.
Release the sides of the Pan, leaving the cake on the removable bottom and transfer it
to a Serving Platter to slice and serve.

Heat individual slices in a Microwave or serve at Room Temperature.
Servings can be garnished with Homemade Whipped Cream.

This is my favorite recipe for homemade Whipped Cream.



Homemade Whipped Cream:

1 C Heavy Cream
1 tsp Vanilla
1 TBS Confectioner's Sugar.
Whip the Cream in a Stand Mixer with a Whisk Attachment.
Beat to Soft Peak.
Add:
Vanilla
Confectioner's Sugar
Beat to Stiff Peak.
Transfer to a Serving Bowl to serve.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!




Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Traditional Shepherd's Pie / Vegetarian

I decided to make a Vegetarian version of a traditional Shepherd's Pie for Easter. Obviously you can use a non Vegetarian Meat for the recipe. I also use a Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce and a Vegetarian Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock. Other than that, it's the same. I note all of those adaptations in the recipe.






Thanksgiving 2016
Before the Potatoes are added.

With Mashed Potatoes added.
Just before Baking, I Drizzle with Melted Butter
and Sprinkle with Grated Parmesan Cheese.


Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
1 - 9" X 13" Glass Casserole Dish, brushed well with Olive Oil.


1 TBS Olive Oil
1 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 Pound of Yves Meatless Ground sautéed in 3 TBS of Olive Oil. (prepare this ahead and set aside until it's added later.
1 Large Onion, Diced
4 Large Carrots, Diced
1 1/2 C Frozen Peas
3 TBS Finely chopped Fresh Thyme Leaves
2 TBS Flour
1 TBS Butter, melted + additional for brushing over the Potatoes.
8 oz. Red Wine
2 TBS Tomato Paste
2 TBS Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce
1 C Vegetarian Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth

6 C of Mashed Potatoes. About 1 pound of Potatoes. (I recommend Yukon Gold)
6 Spring Onions, finely sliced and mixed into the Potatoes.
1 Egg, beaten (mixed into the Potatoes)

Grated Parmesan Cheese

In a large skillet on medium heat:
Oil
Carrots
Sauté just until tender.

Add:
Onion
Cook for an additional minute.

Add:
Meatless Ground
Pepper
Thyme
Stir to combine well.

Add:
Butter
Peas
Sprinkle with Flour.
Stir to combine well.

Add:
Tomato Paste
Wine
Worcestershire Sauce
Mix well and cook just until heated well.

Add:
Broth
Mix well and Cook until it begins to reduce and thicken into a gravy.
Pour into the Casserole Dish and smooth out evenly with a Silicone Spatula.

Spoon Potatoes with Spring Onions evenly over the top and spread with a Silicone Spatula.
Brush the top with Additional Melted Butter and Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Bake for 20 minutes until the Potatoes begin to Brown.

Serve with slice of Baguette Bread.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Saturday, March 12, 2016

French Lavender Cookies, other Lavender Stories and Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Lavender

We buy Culinary Lavender when we're visiting France. You can find in in the States in Speciality Cooking Stores. There's a difference between the Lavender you buy in stores for Pot Potpourri and the Lavender you grow in your Garden. You can eat the Lavender from your Garden but commercially sold Lavender for Fragrance had been infused with oils. Make sure you use edible Lavender.
Although most varieties of Lavender can be used in cooking, some varieties are more widely used, including Lavendula Angustifolia and Munstead. These have the sweetest fragrance that creates floor in baking. The flowers also add a subtle, sweet citrus flavor.

I took this photograph when we were in France in the Summer of
2015. We wanted to be there specifically for the Lavender Harvest and the Lavender Festivals.
It was the first time we were in the fields during the harvest. The fragrance is more intense during the harvest.



French Lavender Cookies.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Sheet Pans lined with Parchment Paper.

3/4 C All Purpose Flour
1/2 C Almond Flour
2 TBS Cornstarch
2 TBS Granulated Sugar
1 TBS Culinary Lavender
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
8 TBS Cold Butter, cubed
Zest of 1 Lemon
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 TBS Honey

In a small bowl, sift together:
All Purpose Flour
Almond Flour
Cornstarch

In a Food Processor:
Flour Mixture
Sugar
Lavender Salt
Pulse just to combine.

Add:
Butter
Lemon Zest
Continue pulsing just to form a coarse texture with visible pieces of Butter.

Add:
Lemon Juice
Honey
Pulse just until it comes together and forms a soft dough ball.

Wrap it in Plastic Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove the Dough, use a 1 1/2" Cookie Scoop and drop the dough onto the Sheet Pan.
Gently flatten each cookie with the bottom of a Stainless Steel Measuring Cup.

Bake 9 - 11 minutes.
Remove Pan to a Rack to cool for 5 minutes.
Transfer Cookies to the Rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Over the Memorial Day weekend in 2014, we went to our local Lavender Festival. Lavender Ridge Farms is located 8 miles east of Gainesville, Texas.
I've included stories, photographs and some of the recipes from their farm.








It was originally a strawberry and melon farm in the 1920's and 30's. It is now a lavender, cut flower
and herb farm. It has 2 acres of lavender, and a field of Zinnias, Bachelor Buttons, Sunflowers and a variety of vegetables for picking.



You can have lunch in the cafe or bring a picnic.
There's also a gift shop with Dried Lavender, Homemade Soaps that are amazing, Pottery , Herbs, Culinary Lavender and Cookbooks.

Twice a year they have a Festival that includes tents with vendors selling a variety of antiques, collectibles and various other knick-knacks that we just can't seem to live without.





 The gift shop is charming ,with a variety of Lavender gifts.








Anne and I bought Soap, Culinary Lavender and a Cookbook. We discovered, for the first time, Aubrey Oaks Alpacas, a vendor that raises Alpacas and sells the most beautiful items of clothing and accessories made from the hair that has thermal properties. The hair is strong, soft and comes in a variety of natural colors. Anne got a Sweater/Coat and I bought a Vest that looks very German/Austrian.
















I purchased the Lavender Farms Cookbook and Culinary Lavender to bake a variety of items and post recipes on the blog. I received permission from Kevin and Jerry to talk about the Festival and post some of their Lavender Recipes. Thank you for allowing me to blog about your wonderful farm and event. We've visited the farm several times and will return again many more times!




If you're ever in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, take a day trip to visit the Farm.





We've spent many years vacationing in Provence, France enjoying the Lavender Fields near Valensole. We have many friends throughout France. Provence in the summer is amazing! We'll be returning next summer.
If you can't make it to France to see the lavender, come to Texas and visit Lavender Ridge Farms.
Before I post recipes, I wanted to show you that even when we left Lavender Ridge, it reminded us of Provence.




And now........ Recipes!
As I make some of these recipes, I'll add photographs.

I added a note at the end of this post talking about Lavender and Culinary Lavender. The recipes mention Culinary Lavender . We purchase ours at Lavender Ridge Farms.


There are so many great recipes, it was difficult to choose, but here are some of my favorites from their cookbook.

Summer is approaching so I'll start with two drink recipes.

Lavender Lemonade:

Steep 2 TBS dried lavender in 1 C of boiling water, about 5 - 10 minutes.
Cool and add 2 quarts of prepared lemonade.
Stir well, serve chilled and garnish with a fresh lavender sprig.


Lavender Lemon Chiller:

Vodka
2 C Water
1 C Sugar
1 TBS Lavender Ridge Farms culinary lavender
1 1/2 C Lemon Juice
1 Lemon, sliced

Place a bottle of Vodka in the freezer for 2 - 3 hours until syrup like.
Combine Water, Sugar and Lavender in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.
Allow to cool at room temperature.
Add Lemon Juice.
Strain to remove the Lavender.
Fill a tall glass with Ice and 1 shot of  Vodka.
Fill the glass 3/4 with the Lemon mixture.
Add a fresh Lavender Sprig and a Lemon Slice.
Top off each glass with Sparkling Wine.


I have to add this recipe for Lavender Hot Cocoa and I'll make this for family and guests during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Lavender Hot Cocoa:

1/2 C Sugar
1/4 C Cocoa
Dash of Salt
1/3 C Hot Water
4 C  Milk
3/4 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Lavender Ridge Farms culinary lavender.


Milk Mixture:
In a medium saucepan, combine milk and finely ground culinary Lavender.
Bring to a simmer.
Remove from heat, cover with a lid and allow to steep for 10 minutes.
Strain before combining with Chocolate mixture.

Chocolate Mixture:
Mix Sugar, Cocoa and Salt in another saucepan, stir in hot water.
Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.
Remove from heat and add vanilla and milk mixture.



Lavender Pound Cake:

This recipe calls for a prepared loaf pan. I use my Pan Release Mixture. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each, mix well and keep refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.
The recipe calls for a Lavender Syrup, so here's my personal favorite.

Lavender Syrup:
1 C Water
1/2 C Sugar
1 TBS Lavender Ridge Farm's Culinary Lavender
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
Strain through a fine sieve and cool completely at room temperature.


1 1/2 C Sugar
1 1/4 C Butter
3/4 C Vanilla
6 Eggs
1/2 tsp Salt
2 2/3 C Flour
2 TBS Lavender Ridge Farm's Culinary Lavender

Cream Butter and Sugar.
Add Vanilla and Eggs.
Add Salt, Flour and Lavender.
Mix well.
Pour the batter into an 8 1/2" X 4 1/2" X 2 1/2" prepared loaf pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. ( or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean) This cake took almost 1 1/2 hours.
Cool 10 minutes in the pan.
Remove the cake from the pan while it's still warm.
Transfer to a cooling rack placed over a sheet pan.
Brush the sides and top  generously with Lavender Syrup until well saturated.
Cool completely before serving.


The batter is incredible!


Lavender Syrup



The final cake with the glaze brushed on it.




Lavender Lemon Bars:

2 1/2 C Flour
1 1/2 C Powdered Sugar + additional for dusting
1/2 pound Butter (2 sticks) chilled and cubed
1 1/2 C Sugar
6 TBS Lemon Juice
Grated Zest of 1 Lemon
1 tsp Ground Lavender Ridge Farms Lavender
4 TBS Flour (set aside)
1 tsp Baking Powder
4 Eggs

In a mixing bowl, combine 2 1/2 C Flour and Powdered Sugar.
Cut in the Butter with a pastry blender or two forks.
Press evenly into the bottom of 9"X13" baking pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

In a separate bowl:
Sugar
Lemon Juice
Zest
Lavender
4 tsp Flour
Baking Powder
Eggs
Mix well
Pour batter over the crust and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
Remove from oven, place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Cut into bars and dust with additional Powdered Sugar.


Lavender Pecan Crisps:
I love this recipe!

2 C Sugar
2 C Butter
3 C Flour
1 tsp Crean of Tartar
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Soda
6 tsp Lavender Ridge Farms culinary lavender
4 C Corn Flakes
1 C toasted chopped Pecans

In a mixing bowl:
Sugar
Butter
Beat until creamy and smooth.

Slowly Add:
Flour
Tartar
Salt
Baking Soda
Lavender
Mix well.

Fold in Corn Flakes and Pecans by hand.
(at this stage, I would chill the dough for at least 1 hour)

Use a 1 1/2" cookie scoop and place cookies 2" apart an a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and place the sheet pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
Transfer cookies to the rack and cool completely.


Lavender, Potato and Leek Soup:

4 - 5 slices of real bacon (Vegetarian version, I use Morning Star Farms Bacon Strips. I microwave 5 strips for 2 minutes. They should be crisp. Crumble and set aside.
3 large Leeks (white part only) Washed well to remove sand, chop and set aside.
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
6 C peeled and diced potatoes
6 C Chicken Broth ( Vegetarian version, I use a vegetarian Chicken Broth)
1/2 C Heavy Cream
1/2 C Milk
1 1/2 tsp Lavender Ridge Farms Herbes de Provence
1/2 tsp Lavender Ridge Farms culinary Lavender
Salt and Papper to taste


In a large soup pot:
Cook Regular Bacon until crisp.
Remove and crumble.
Add Leeks to the bacon drippings and sauté until they're soft. (Vegetarian version, add 2 TBS Olive Oil to the pot and cook the Leeks.)

Add:
Garlic
Potatoes
Chicken Broth
Simmer until the Potatoes are soft, 20 minutes.
Pour into a Food Processor and puree the soup.
Return to the soup pot.

Add:
Cream
Milk
Bacon
Herbes de Provence
Lavender
Reheat until hot but do not boil.
Add Salt and Pepper to taste.



This next recipe does not use Lavender but it use Herbes de Provence that are available at Lavender Ridge Farms.
This looks very appealing to me.

8 oz. Cream Cheese or Neufchatel Cheese, softened
1/4 C Mayonnaise
2 cloves of crushed Garlic
1 tsp Lavender Ridge Farms Herbes de Provence
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a mixing bowl:
Cheese
Mayonnaise
Garlic
Lavender
Mix thoroughly.
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Serve with a variety of Crackers or slices of toasted French Baguette Bread.


Lavender Goat Cheese Croustades:

1/4 C of your favorite Italian Dressing
1 French Baguette
5 oz. Goat Cheese, softened
1 TBS ground Lavender Ridge Farms culinary Lavender

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice bread into 1/4" slices.
Brush with Italian Dressing.
Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, until lightly browned.
Allow to cool.

In a small bowl:
Cheese
Lavender
Mix well.
Spread on toasted bread and serve.


Lavender Honey Salad Dressing:

6 TBS Olive Oil
2 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
1 TBS Lemon Juice
1 Garlic Clove, crushed
1 tsp Coarse Grain Mustard
2 TBS Honey
1 tsp Lavender Ridge culinary Lavender

Mix all ingredients together.
Let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Whisk,
Serve.
Store refrigerated up to 1 week.



Raspberry and Lavender Vinaigrette:

1/2 C Olive Oil
3 TBS White Wine Vinegar or Balsamic Vinegar
3 TBS Raspberry Vinegar
1 TBS minced Lavender Ridge Farms culinary Lavender
2 TBS Lime Juice
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients together in a jar and shake well until blended.
Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.


This is the last recipe and it says to serve this sauce warm, over Bread Pudding. They did not include a recipe for Bread Pudding but I will post my Best of the Best Bread Pudding recipe at the end of this sauce recipe.

Vanilla Sauce with Lavender:

1 C Sugar
1 Stick  (8oz.) Butter
1/2 C Half and Half
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Lavender Ridge Farms culinary Lavender

Grind the Lavender with 1 TBS of sugar in a spice grinder to a fine consistency.
Put remaining ingredients in a saucepan.
Simmer for about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Serve warm over Bread Pudding.



Another Best of the Best Recipes.
I've had this recipe since the early 70's.
It's the only Bread Pudding I make.


1 Baguette, sliced
1 Quart of Milk (4C)
3 eggs, beaten
2 C Sugar
2 TBS Vanilla
3 TBS Butter
1 C Raisins

Mix Bread and Milk by hand
Add all other ingredients except the Butter
Melt the Butter in a 9X13 pan in a 350 degree pre heated oven, coating the bottom and sides well
Pour the mixture in the pan and Bake for 45 minutes

Another option is to bake the Pudding in Muffin Tins lined with paper cups.
If you bake the Pudding in Muffin Tins, make sure to break up the bread into small pieces, not slices.
Spray the paper cups with a vegetable cooking spray.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Serve with The Queens Sauce:
1 Pint Heavy Cream
3 Eggs
1/2C Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 C Brandy or Whiskey

In the top of a doubler boiler,  place the Cream and Eggs and whisk well
Add Sugar and Vanilla
Stir constantly for 10 minutes
Slowly add the Brandy or Whiskey and whisk until incorporated

Here's another Whiskey Sauce :

In a sauce pan, over medium low heat:
1/2 stick of butter
THe juice of 1 lemon
1 C apple cider
1/2 C brown sugar
a pinch of salt
1 C Bourbon Whiskey

Cook to reduce to 1/2
Serve on the side with Bread Pudding.


I hope my readers have learned a bit about cooking and baking with Lavender. I hope you all take some time and make some of these wonderful recipes.
Again, I want to thank Lavender Ridge Farms for allowing me to share our experience, photographs and recipes at their farm outside of Gainesville, Texas.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!