Thursday, May 5, 2016

Summer Berry Poundcake

Summer Berry Poundcake:

Here's an easy, delicious Summer Dessert
This is another recipe that's not really a recipe. 

Here's what you'll need:

1- Purchased Pound Cake
Any of your favorite Fresh Summer Berries. (Sliced Strawberries, Blue Berries, Blackberries, Raspberries) A mix of each.
1 Recipe of my Pastry Cream, recipe to follow.
1 Large container of Frozen Cool Whip, thawed.

Slice the Pound Cake into horizontal layers.
Transfer the first slice to a serving platter.
Top it with some of the Pastry Cream and then some of each of the Berries.
Continue Layering the Cake ending with a slice of Pound Cake.
Spread some of the Cool Whip on the top.
Slice it and top each serving with additional Cool Whip.

This is the best and easiest pastry cream I've ever made.

My Favorite Pastry Cream:

It can be used for:
Cream Puffs
Icing the center of a layered cake
Strawberry Shortcake
Aebelskiver filling
Pastry Cream Crepe Cake
Macaron Filling

This is definitely a Best of the Best recipe!

1 pint of Heavy Cream. (2 Cups)
1 pint of Vanilla Ice Cream (2 Cups), softened.
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 boxes of Instant French Vanilla Pudding
Combine ice cream and heavy cream in a mixer with a whisk attachment
Begin whipping on low speed.
Add vanilla and almond extract
Gradually add the pudding mix and combine well.
Refrigerate and use as needed.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Pancakes with Strawberry Preserves and Gruyere Cheese

I hesitated to post this breakfast recipe. It's not really a recipe but a breakfast created by Dominique Ansel. He's the Chef that created the Cronut. However, he uses a different Cheese in his creation. So, this may be considered an adaptation, but I give full credit to Chef Ansel.
It's sort of a Sweet and Savory Breakfast item. I love it!

Here's what you'll need for each serving:

2 Hot Pancakes
Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves
Thinly sliced Gruyere Cheese
Confectioner's Sugar

It's quite simple and you've probably figured it out already!

Spread one of the Pancakes with a generous amount of Strawberry Preserves and add slices of Gruyere Cheese.
Top it with the second Pancake.
Heat it in a Microwave or in a 250 degree oven until the Cheese melts.
Transfer to a serving Platter.
Dust with Confectioner's Sugar.
Serve with a side of additional Preserves.

Peace in the Kitchen!

The History of The Ice Cream Sundae and The Banana Split

I love the history of food. I have several posts on the Blog that I've researched. I recently received this story about the origin of The Ice Cream Sundae and The Banana Split.
Here's a link to the story from Food52.


Peace in the Kitchen!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Cast Iron Skillet Blueberry Croissant Pudding

Bread Pudding is one of my favorite desserts. I love all types of Bread Puddings. Here's one made with Croissants, baked in a Cast Iron Skillet.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - 9" Deep Cast Iron Skillet or 1- 10" Cast Iron Skillet. Sprayed well with a Vegetable Cooking Spray.

Cast Iron Skillet Blueberry Croissant Pudding

1 Jar of Bonne Maman Wild Blueberry Preserves (This is the only brand of Preserves that I use)
6 Large Day Old Croissants, cut in half.
6 Large Eggs
1 1/3 C Whole Milk
1 1/3 C Heavy Cream
2/3 C Granulated Sugar
4 TBS Butter, melted and set aside to cool.
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla
2 C Fresh Blueberries
1/4 C Sliced Almonds
1 Recipe of Vanilla Sauce
Confectioner's Sugar for Dusting

Spread each half of the Croissants generously with Wild Blueberry Preserves.
Put them together and cut into Cubes.
Spread them evenly in the Skillet.

In a Large Mixing Bowl:
Cooled Melted Butter
Whisk well.
Fold in Blueberries.
Fold in Almonds.
Set aside for 15 minutes.

Pour over the Croissants.

Bake for 60 to 90 minutes.
After 40 minutes, loosely cover with Foil.
Continue baking until Golden Brown.
Remove Skillet to a rack to cool about 15 minutes.

While cooling, make the Sauce.

In a Medium Saucepan on Medium Heat:
1 C Heavy Cream
1/3 C Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
Whisk well.
Heat just until it begins to simmer.
Whisking constantly.

Remove from heat.

In another Bowl:
2 Large Egg Yolks
Whisk well.
Slowly drizzle with 1/2 C of the Hot Cream mixture.
Whisk constantly.

Add this mixture back to the Saucepan on Medium Heat.
Whisking constantly.
It will begin to thicken after 3 - 4 minutes.
Strain through a fine Sieve into a serving bowl.
Cover with Plastic Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Dust the Pudding  generously with Confectioner's Sugar.
Serve the Sauce on the side for individual servings.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Aunt Faye's Irish Soda Bread

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.
I previously posted it under a category about St. Patrick's Day. I decided to give it it's own post today.

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

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, dust the top with additional flour and place on a baking sheet
Use a Chef's Knife and cut all the way through the dough in a + sign. 
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.

Peace in the Kitchen!

French Press Coffee

It may seem odd to some people that I would write a recipe for French Press Coffee. We learned to drink great coffee in Europe. I started when I was 20 years old. Our standard of comparison has always been French Coffee. I know it's all relative and based on personal taste but I decided to do this for our own reference. The issue with French Press recipes is that they're written in Milliliters. and Grams. I've broken it down to Cups and Tablespoons to simplify it for the American Market.
French Press makes a great cup of coffee. The French Press Coffee Makers come in various sizes ranging from 2 Cups to 8 Cups.

We have a Glass 8 C  Classic Coffee Press.

8 C Coffee Maker
4 C Water
10 TBS Coffee Grounds (French Press Grind, not a Fine Grind) (a Good 1/2 C of Grounds)

Peace in the Kitchen!

Here's a Guide to making a great cup of French Press Coffee:

French Press Coffee: Step-by-Step Guide to Handcrafted Coffee

Peace in the Kitchen!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Grilled Cheese Glazed Donuts with Sea Salt in a Cast Iron Skillet

I know it's not healthy but.......... who cares? All things in moderation, so try it if you like Grilled Cheese. There are so many versions of Grilled Cheese and I'm adding this to my collection.

Grilled Cheese Glazed Donuts with Sea Salt in a Cast Iron Skillet

Here's what you'll need:
A Cast Iron Skillet (only recommended) Any heavy skillet will work.
Vegetable Oil for frying. A light Oil is best.
These directions make 1 Sandwich.

Glazed Donuts (no other)
Softened Butter
Thick Slices of Cheddar Cheese (2 per Donut) Shredded Cheese doesn't work because it will melt through the Donut Hole.
Sea Salt to taste.

The directions are pretty easy......!

Slice the Donut in half.
Spread each cut side with Butter.
Place them, cut side down in the heated skillet.
Sprinkle some Sea Salt over the Glaze. (it sticks to the Glaze)
Place Cheese on one of the halves.
When the cut sides are browned, flip one half over the other to make the Sandwich.
Press gently with a Silicone Spatula.
Continue cooking just until the Cheese begins to melt.
Flip it to brown the other side.
Remove to a serving platter........... and,

Peace on the Kitchen!