Saturday, November 17, 2012

S'mores!

Gourmet S'mores, who knew they could be so delicious?
Once a month we get together with our neighbors for a dinner club.
Each month a different family hosts the event.
They pick a restaurant, we all meet for dinner and return to their house for cocktails, coffee and dessert.

Tonight we returned to enjoy Gourmet S'mores around the fire pit.
It was a chilly evening and the fire felt really comfortable.


And then the dessert began.

We had chocolate cake topped with a graham cracker, hot fudge and marshmallows we each toasted over the fire pit. What a great evening with a fun dessert.


Thank you to our hospitable neighbors for a very enjoyable evening!


Hobo Beans


This one is for the meat eaters, however, I make it vegetarian and will note that in the recipe.

This is a true Texas recipe.
There used to be a restaurant in Ft. Worth, Texas called, Larry's Crossing. The restaurant is no longer in business.
I met Larry many years ago and one day I asked for his secret recipe for Hobo Beans. ( true story, not a tall Texas tale). The recipe was eventually posted in the Fort Worth Star Telegram.

The restaurant was actually a train car, hence the name.......
It had an outdoor patio, live entertainment and plenty of Shiner Bock beer! ( you know, an imported beer from Shiner, Texas...... it's a local thing!) There are actually places here in Texas that make us pay an import price for Shiner....... Oh well, another time, another story!

Anyway, this is a great recipe!

Larry's Crossing Hobo Beans:

1 C Brown sugar. ( if it starts with brown sugar it has to be good)
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C of your favorite Barbeque Sauce
1/2 C catsup
1/4 C mustard
1/2 C Bacon, cooked and finely chopped
1/2 TBS salt
1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 TBS Tabasco Sauce
1/2 TBS Louisiana Hot Sauce or additional Tabasco Sauce
1/2 C water
64 ounces of commercial Pork and Beans
1/2 lb. chopped Barbeque Beef

Combine all ingredients in a Cast Iron Dutch Oven and simmer 30 minutes
Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Now for the Vegetarian version:
I use Bush's Vegetarian Baked Beans
Morning Star Farms Hickory BBQ Riblets.
Gardein Beefless Strips , shredded.
I also use a vegetarian bacon ( Morning Star Bacon Strips) fried crisp in a bit of vegetable oil or Microwave several strips for 1 minute. Use as many as you like in this recipe.

I have served this to my meat eating friends without telling them they're eating a vegetarian dish and they love it!

I sent the original clipping from the Fort Worth Star Telegram to my sister in Denver. It was in Aunt Faye's recipe book that my sister sent to me when I was researching recipes for the blog.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Adirondack Cranberry Conserve

I found this recipe in my collection and when I read, to combine in a jelly pot, I researched it.
We actually have one of these and I never new what it was for.
They are antique brass pots with handles. Mine holds pine cones!

Combine in a jelly pot:
2 finely chopped whole seedless oranges (peel included), 3 cups of Cranberry juice.
Fast Boil 20 minutes until the peel is tender.
Add 1.5 quarts ( 2- 12 ounce packages) of Cranberries.
1/2 C raisins
1/4 C sugar
Stir until the sugar dissolves.

Cook fast until volume reduces and fruit is almost jelly, about 8 minutes, stirring down boiling bubbles.

Add 1 C chopped Walnuts during the last 5 minutes of cooking, ( in Texas we add Pecans, Pecans to everything!)

Pour into hot sterilized 8 oz. jars leaving 1/4" space.
Makes about 9 cups.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!








Cranberry Relish

This comes from my collection of the Best of the Best recipes. 2008

The note I have at the bottom of the page in the book says, "don't even make another kind, this is incredible."

I know that everyone has their favorite cranberry relish recipe and I would have to say, this is mine.
I make it a week ahead.

Cranberry Relish:

1- 12 oz. bag of fresh Cranberries
1 large Apple, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1C Golden Raisins
3/4 C Sugar
1/2 C Orange Juice
1/2 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 C chopped Pecans (added when cooled)

Place all ingredients except vinegar and pecans in a saucepan and stir to combine well.
Bring to a boil over medium heat.
Lower heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes
Remove from heat, add vinegar.
Place in a heatproof container, cover and cool to room temperature.
Add Pecans when completely cooled.
Refrigerate covered.
It will keep up to 2 weeks refrigerated.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!





Friday, November 16, 2012

Xmas Date Loaf

I love these old recipes hand written on index cards.
This one was originally my Grandmother's and then my Mother's

1 lb, dates ( whole) or prunes
1 lb. walnuts ( whole)

Sift tog:

1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
4 eggs beaten light ( note the reference to egg beaters) I think my Mother  added that, I can't imagine that my Grandmother ever had egg beaters.
1 tsp vanilla, salt

Mix dates, nuts & sugar & flour
then eggs last.

Bake 350
1 hour
loaf pan


I think I'll make this one!

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Who wants fruitcake ? I do, I do!

How often do you hear that?

Ok, so it's not the most well received food , but maybe you'll like this recipe. I do, I do!


Refrigerator Fruitcake

1 - 12 oz. box of Vanilla Wafers, finely crushed.
1 - 16 oz. jar of Maraschino Cherries, drained and chopped.
Reserve a few Cherries halved for decoration.
or: 2 C of mixed Candied Fruit
1 C Raisins
1.2 C chopped Dried Apricot.
1 C roughly chopped Pecans. Reserve some halves for decoration.
1 - 3.5 oz. can of Bakers Angel Flake Coconut.
1 - 14 oz. can of Sweetened Condensed Milk.
1/4 C Brandy

Soak Cherries, Raisins, Apricots and Pecans in the Brandy, in a small jar for at least 2 weeks prior to making the cake.

In a mixing bowl combine:
Cookie Crumbs
Raisins
Apricots
Pecans
Coconut

Stir in the Milk, until combined well and all Cookie Crumbs are moistened.

Press into a Loaf Pan and flatten the top.
Decorate the top with reserved Cherries and Pecans.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1-2 weeks.
Un mold and slice to serve.

Who knows, maybe this is the one!

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cherry Cream Freeze , My mother's recipe

My mother always made this for Thanksgiving and Christmas beginning in the 50's.
It was my favorite dessert as a child.

My mother made it in aluminum ice cube trays without the dividers.
I have a source for them, I should order some.

Here's my mother's recipe.
Cherry Cream Freeze:

1 1/3 C (15oz. can) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 C lemon juice
1- 12 oz. package of frozen sweet dark cherries.
3/4 C ( 1 9 oz. can) well drained crushed pineapple.
1/4 tsp almond extract.
2 C heavy cream, stiffly whipped.

In a large mixing bowl, combine:
milk
lemon juice
cherries
pineapple
almond extract
Mix well.

Gently fold in whipped cream.

Place mixture into a 9x5x3in loaf pan.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Freeze for 24 hours.
Dip pan half way in a pan of warm water to release.
Un mold onto a serving platter.
Slice to serve.

Enjoy!
Peace in the kitchen!

Torta Di Riso

This doesn't sound like a Hippy in the Kitchen kind of recipe, but I was a privileged hippy! Or so my parents thought ........

Anyway, this is a Best of the Best from my personal collection of recipes. (1984)
Serve this and your guests will think you're  a really fancy cook!








Torta Di Riso

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees.

1 quart of milk (4 cups)
1/2 C Italian Arborio Rice
1 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C raw whole almonds ( here's where the hippy part is)
1 TBS sugar & a few drops of water
6 eggs
3 TBS almond liqueur
1 tsp almond extract
Additional Almond Liqueur
Homemade Whipped Cream, recipe to follow.

Bring milk to a boil in a heavy saucepan.
Stir in the rice, mix well.
Blend in sugar and vanilla.
Reduce heat and simmer slowly, uncovered, stirring occasionally about 20 minutes.
Allow to cool.

Pre heat broiler.
Arrange Almonds in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
Sprinkle with 1 TBS sugar and a few drops of water.
Broil until they begin to caramelize.
Transfer to a food processor and coarsely chop.

Generously butter a 10" quiche pan ( this recipe fits perfectly)

Beat eggs together with 3 TBS Almond Liqueur and Almond Extract, in a large bowl.
Add Almonds and rice mixture and blend well.

Place the mixture in the quiche pan
Bake until the top is chestnut brown, about 1 hour.
Remove immediately. poke holes in the top with a toothpick and sprinkle generously with additional liqueur.
Cut into wedges and cool before serving.

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!






Cranberry Salsa

Another favorite Cranberry recipe!

This may seem unusual but it's really one of my Best of the Best recipes.
In my notes , I wrote that I doubled this recipe.
This can be served as a side dish or served with tortilla chips.( after all it is a Salsa and I live in Texas).

I'm always researching and testing new recipes. When I can't find exactly what I'm looking for, I begin taking from one and adding something from another until I create what I believe is the Best of the Best!

I created this one a few years ago and it was served at Thanksgiving, there were no leftovers!

I refer to blanching in this recipe. Blanching is simply bringing water to a boil and adding something to it and then remove the contents and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking.

2 C whole fresh or frozen cranberries. Blanch the berries. Boil enough water to cover the berries. Pour boiling water over the berries,  then plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking.
1 small jalapeno pepper,minced
2 TBS chopped red onion
2 TBS chopped green bell pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
2 TBS chopped cilantro

Sauce:
1/4 C Canned Cherry Pie Filling from 1 - 21oz. can.( remove the cherries, divide them in half and save until later)
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 TBS sugar
1/2 TBS corn starch

Preparation:
In a saucepan, mix the sauce ingredients together and cook just until heated and combined well.
Cool the mixture, add all of the other ingredients listed above and combine well.

Process the mixture by pulsing it in a food processor.

Remove half of the mixture from the processor to a bowl and stir in half of the cherries from the filling.

Add the remaining  half of the cherries to the processor and pulse again.

Combine both mixtures and gently stir them together.

Chill before serving.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!





Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cranberry Almond Holiday Trail Mix

I can never get enough recipes with Cranberries. I could write a book on Cranberry recipes.
Before the Holidays come and go, I should post all of my Cranberry recipes.

I've posted a couple already and here's another favorite of mine.

3/4 C Butter.
1/2 C Packed Brown Sugar.
1 TBS of the best Maple Syrup you can find.
1 tsp cinnamon
2 TBS Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 1/2 C Dried Cranberries
1 1/2 C Slivered Almonds
1/ 1/2 C of your Favorite Trail Mix
1 1/2 C Pretzel Nuggets

Melt butter , brown sugar and maple syrup in a large stockpot over medium heat
Stir in cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice
Add cranberries, almonds and trail mix and stir to combine well
Add pretzels and mix well
Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Tex - Mex Corn Dip

I have 3 versions of this Best of the Best Dip!

The Original Recipe ( I entered this in the 2001 Hellman's Mayonnaise Picnic Recipe Contest)
The Creamy Version
Hatch Chile Version


Tex - Mex Corn Dip / Original Recipe:

350 degree oven
Bake in a 1.6 liter casserole, a 2 quart casserole or a 10" cast iron skillet.
Optional, add 1 - 10 oz. can of Ro-Tel tomatoes.

2 - 15.25 oz. cans of Mexi Corn, drained.
2 - 4 oz. cans of green chiles, drained.
2 C Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese.
1 C Grated Parmesan Cheese.
1 C Mayonnaise.

Mix all ingredients together .
Bake 1 hour, uncovered.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Tex - Mex Corn Dip / Creamy Version:

350 degree oven
Bake in a 1.6 liter casserole, a 2 quart casserole or a 10" cast iron skillet.

1- 15.25 oz can of creamed corn
2 - 11oz. cans of Mexi- Corn, drained.
1 - 4 oz. can of green chiles, not drained
1 C mayonnaise.
2 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 C grated Parmesan Cheese.

Mix all ingredients together.
Bake 1 hour, uncovered.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Tex - Mex Corn Dip Hatch Chile Version:

350 degree oven.
Bake in a 1.6 liter casserole , a 2 quart casserole or a 10" cast iron skillet.

1 - 15.25 oz. can of Creamed Corn.
2 - 11 oz. cans of White Shoe-peg Corn, drained.
3 Hatch Chiles, seeded,finely chopped. ( about 1 1/4C)
1 C Mayonnaise.
1 C Grated Parmesan Cheese.
2 C Grated Hatch Jack Cheese.

Mix all ingredients together.
Bake 1 hour, uncovered.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


There's a Hippy in the Kitchen!

I  created this blog. I'm not sure why I did it.
I love to cook, I have an extensive collection of cookbooks and recipes.
It's time consuming.
But, I often wonder who reads them?

Is anyone looking, is anyone enjoying reading the recipes, is anyone cooking them?
So, I am passionate enough about what I do that I will continue.

I don't expect to write a book.
I don't expect to be discovered by a cooking show.
I simply love what I do here. 

I have so many recipes to share and so many categories to talk about.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Pecan Balls

It doesn't get much easier than this!

1/2 pound of butter
4 TBS sugar
2 C ground pecans
2 C flour
1 tsp vanilla
powdered sugar for dusting

Cream butter and sugar.
Add other ingredients.
Use a cookie scoop to make the balls.
Bake 375 for 25 minutes, they should be lightly browned.
Dust with powdered sugar.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

There's A Mennonite in the Kitchen!

For those who know me , they know that my wife was raised on a Mennonite farm in Kansas. Her mother is an amazing cook, my wife Anne is an amazing cook and my sister's in law are amazing cooks. It's part of their heritage, I suppose.

If this blog wasn't titled There's a Hippy in the Kitchen we may have titled it .... There's a Mennonite in the Kitchen. However, cooking is a daily task for the Mennonites and not something to boast about, brag about or create a blog about, it's  simply a way of life. But all that aside, the recipes and food  they prepare is really good.

I mention this on my blog because many of my Best of the Best recipes have come from my wife's family and I will certainly give them credit.

There are many fragrances in the house today. We are both cooking. I have posted photographs of my creations today and I will post photographs of Anne's creations too.
She made a Warm Apple Pudding Cake that smells like Fall  and an Heirloom and Tomato/Ricotta Tart.

I have an extensive collection of cookbooks and recipe books and just when I think I have all that I need, I find another one.
I have purchased many books that once belonged to the Mennonite and Amish families in the Kansas community where Anne was raised. I'll have a section on the blog dedicated to those books, with recipes and photographs.
Until then .......

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Various stages of the Heirloom Tomato / Ricotta Tart and the Apple Pudding Cake.












Tips, Hints and More!

The following are my favorite Tips. I'll update them as needed.
These are my Best of the Best ideas that can simplify your cooking needs and provide you with shortcuts.
For example you'll learn how to cook the perfect hard boiled egg, the easiest and tastiest pastry cream, how to shuck the perfect ear of corn, thicken sauces , Pumpkin Pie Spice and Apple Pie Spice from scratch. and ....... More!


As I post recipes that are baked and require coating the pan.
Here's what I always use.
I believe this came from a Wilton Cake Decorating class that I took, sometime in the early 90's.

Pan Release:

Equal parts of:
Crisco
Vegetable Oil
Flour

Mix together well and store in a Mason jar.
Make as much as you want. 1C of each, 2C of each, 3C of each, you get the idea!
It keeps "forever" in the refrigerator!
It never has enough time to last forever in our refrigerator!


Pastry Cream:
This is truly one of my Best of the Best Recipes.
This is the only Pastry Cream I ever use.
Here are a few of the ways that I use it:

Cream Puffs
Frost the center of a layered cake
Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberries and Pastry Cream
A filling for Aebleskivers
Trifle

It's simple and decadent

Equal parts of Vanilla Ice Cream, softened and Heavy Cream
I usually start out with a pint of each (2 cups)
Whip the Ice Cream and the Heavy Cream together in a Stand Mixer with a whisk attachment
Add 1 TBS of Vanilla and 1TBS of Almond Extract
Add 1 1/2 boxes of French Vanilla Pudding and continue to mix well.
If you need a good Pastry Cream to fill something or layer something , I highly recommend my recipe.
It's simple and delicious!


The Perfect Hard Boiled and Peeled Eggs:

As many eggs as you want to hard boil, cover the entire bottom of a saucepan.
Add enough water to just cover the eggs.
Some recommend adding a tsp of Baking Soda. I have never done this.
Over medium hight heat, bring the water to a boil.
Cover the pan, remove it from the heat and let it sit for 10 -12 minutes.
Transfer the eggs to a colander and run cold water over them to stop the cooking.
Or, drain the water from the pan, cover with cold water and some ice cubes. ( this is what I do)

Here are my Personal Tips about Peeling:

This is  recommended for Commercial Eggs as well as Fresh Eggs, if you have your own Chickens.
Eggs are easier to peel if they have been around for at least a week and even two before hard boiling them. New eggs are virtually impossible to peel.
The longer the egg sits, the more the membrane beneath the shell separates from the shell, making peeling easier.
Think about Commercial Eggs that are labeled with a "use by" date that the use by date is 45 days from when the eggs were first packages.
Test the amount of time you let them rest (refrigerated)  It may take two weeks.
When the Eggs are Hard Boiled:
Tap the Egg on the Large end first to make some cracks in the shell, then the small end.
Continue making a million cracks in the entire shell before attempting to peel it.

Under cold running water:
Remove the large end first by peeling away from you with your thumb rather that toward you.
The large end tends to be where the membrane connects the closest.
Once you've gotten under that membrane, continue peeling under cold running water.
Sometimes the entire bottom half of the shell will release.
This is just my personal method after years of frustration.



Perfectly Shucked Corn on the Cob:

Begin with fresh ears of corn.
2 ears microwaved together 8 minutes
individual ears, 4 minutes
Microwave the corn
Remove from the microwave and cut about 2" from the bottom of the ear ( where it was connected to the stalk)
hold the ear at the top where the silk is and shake it until the ear falls out of the husk, perfectly clean!

Easiest way to peel Potatoes:

Score the skin of the potato around the center with a sharp paring knife.
Boil the potatoes as usual.
Hold the potato at one end and pull off the skin.
Do the same with the other half.


Homemade Creme Fraiche:

Heavy Cream and Sour Cream
Begin with any amount of Heavy Cream
Heat on low until warm
Add enough sour cream to make a thick and creamy consistency
Pour it into a jar and let it sit at room temperature for 12 hours
Refrigerate for another 12 hours before using.

Regular Popcorn in the Microwave:
No Butter
No Oil
No Microwave bags of Popcorn
Simply Popcorn Kernels
Place 1/4 C of kernels in a glass microwave safe bowl topped with a microwave safe plate to cover the entire top of the bowl.
microwave for 2 minutes and 45 seconds. Check often.
That's it.......... ! All of the kernels should pop.


Black Pepper Sauce:
This came from our friend in Provence.

1 tsp of butter
1 shot of Cognac
2 Beef or Vegetable Bouillon cubes
1 C Creme Fraiche ( recipe above)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

In a saucepan:
mix Bouillon with a small amount of water and a good pinch of pepper.
Heat until incorporated.
Add Cognac and heat until it flambes.
Add the butter and continue to stir until fully incorporated.
Remove from heat and add the Creme Fraiche.


Pumpkin Pie Spice:

1/4 C Cinnamon
2 TBS Ground Ginger
1 TBS Ground Nutmeg
1 TBS Ground Clove
Mix all together and store in a jar.


Apple Pie Spice:
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/8 tsp All Spice
1/8 tsp Cardamom


Thicken Sauces and Gravy:

Roux:
Equal parts of flour and butter cooked over medium heat, stirring constantly to blend well.
Types are White, Blond and Brown , depending on how long you cook it.

Cook a White Roux for a few minutes to cook out the raw flour taste, but not too long to change the color.
White is good for thickening Cream Sauces.

The darker the roux, the more it loses it's thickening properties.

A Blond Roux  thickens a Light Stock based sauce and a Brown Roux is better for Dark Sauces and Brown Gravies.


Beurre ManiƩ:

Unlike a Roux, it's not cooked.
Start with 1 TBS Flour and 1 TBS Softened Butter.
Work well with your hands until a mass is formed.
Once incorporated it's ready to use.
Start with a small amount and add more as needed.
The more you use, the longer you need to cook the sauce to cook out the flour taste.


Classic Vinaigrette:

The classic proportion is 3 to 1, 3 parts Vegetable Oil to 1 part White Wine Vinegar.

3/4 C Vegetable Oil
1/4 C White Vinegar
1 TBS Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste

Whisk Mustard and Vinegar together in a 2 cup glass measuring cup.
Slowly whisk in the Oil
Season to taste with Salt and Pepper

It can also be placed in a jar and shaken.


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Mocha Frosting:

This is my favorite Mocha Frosting for Cakes, Tortes, Brownies, etc.

1 pound of Confectioner's Sugar ( 4 2/3 C)
1 pound of Butter ( 4 Sticks)
1/4 C Cocoa Powder ( I use Van Houten Dutch)
1 TBS Chocolate Syrup
1 C Coffee Concentrate ( Medaglia D'Oro Instant Espresso is perfect)
3 TBS Vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

In a stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer, cream together until smooth and fluffy:
Butter
Sugar

Add:
cocoa powder
chocolate syrup
coffee
vanilla
salt

Continue mixing until creamy smooth.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Cinnamon Roll Waffles?

Simply buy pre - packaged cinnamon rolls and bake them in your waffle iron.
Genius!

Rock Hard Ice Cream?

Does your Ice Cream get so frozen that you can't scoop it?
Simply place the carton in a Zip Lock Bag when you freeze it.


Is that Avocado Ripe and ready to eat?

Pick off the little stem...... if it's brown underneath, it's not ready!
If it's yellow, it's ripe and ready to eat.
If someone has already done that.... just move on to another one.


Keep celery longer in the refrigerator, wrap it it foil!


Peel an entire head of Garlic in less than ten seconds:

Smash an entire head of Garlic with the palm of your hand to release the individual cloves.
Using two equal sized stainless steel bowls, toss all of the cloves in the bowl.
Top the bowl with the other one.
Shake vigorously.
Within a few shakes, the cloves will all be peeled!

You can also trim both ends of an entire head of Garlic. Put it in a jar, cover tightly with the lid and Shake, Shake Shake. All of the Cloves will separate and be peeled!


The Perfect Whipped Cream:
1 C heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 TBS confectioner's sugar.
Whip in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or in a bowl with a hand mixer.



Revive a scorched steel pan:



This is after I used the method below to revive it.
What a difference. 


Put the pan on a burner with enough water to cover the scorched area.
Add 1 cup of vinegar and bring to a full boil.

Remove the pan from the heat.
Add 2 TBS of baking soda.
It will foam immediately ( If cleaning a skillet, I place it on a layer of tea towels because it will fizz and spill over.

Drain the pan, rinse with hot water, pat dry with a towel. Return to medium heat to dry completely. Remove from heat and using a paper towel, rub the interior with a small amount of vegetable oil. Never use olive oil. Never wash the pan with soap.






I did the same process that I did with the Steel Omelette Pan, with these vintage
 Lady Finger / Financiers pans that I bought at an Antique Market.
The final finish is non stick and ready to bake Financiers.








Don't use ice cubes with water to make iced coffee! It just dilutes your coffee.  Instead, put some crushed Oreos in an ice cube tray, cover with milk or cream, freeze and use in your coffee!


Homemade taco shells are easier than you think. Preheat oven to 375F and warm the tortillas until they’re pliable. Spray with  cooking spray then drape over the oven racks with a sheet pan underneath them.


Want your bananas to last as long as possible? Separate each banana individually.


To make your celery last longer, wrap it in foil and refrigerate it! You'll be surprised how much longer it will keep.

Use a Drywall knife to cut sheet cakes and fudge. Get them at the hardware store. They're dishwasher safe too!

Need to clean a large quantity of potatoes? Put them on the top rack of your dishwasher and run it on the quick rinse cycle!
I also wrap vegetables tightly in foil and steam them in the dishwasher. Add a bit of lemon juice, salt and pepper before wrapping in foil!

Add baking soda to your water when boiling eggs, it makes them easier to peel!

Put 2 large marshmallows in your bag of brown sugar to keep it from hardening!

Wrap fresh celery in foil, it will keep for weeks in the refrigerator!

Use an egg shell to remove egg shells from the bowl when cracking eggs!

Use a paint can opener to break the seal on difficult to open jars. Just slip it under the lid in a few places and gently press down.  The lid will twist off with ease!

Use a nut cracker for those hard to open tops on 2 liter plastic bottles and water bottles that are difficult to twist off!

Butter large amounts of corn on the cob by melting butter in disposable aluminum pans. Fill with a single layer of ears of corn, use tongs to swirl them in the butter. Salt and Pepper them and serve! When grilling, keep the pan on the top rack of the grill !

Use a Muffin Tin Pan to create perfectly sized holes to plant seedlings in your garden. Simply press the bottom of the pan into the soil to make the indentations. Create multiple rows at one time!

Easy Peeled Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes or Potato Salad, when you have a lot of potatoes to peel:
Boil potatoes as usual, until tender. ( Russets are best for mashed potatoes and potato salad)
As soon as they're cooked, drop them into a bowl of Ice Water ( with ice cubes) let them sit a minute and when you take them out, you can easily rub off the skin. No potato peeler necessary!


Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

Store your opened chunks of cheese in foil. Cheese will stay fresher , longer.

Bell Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are better eaten raw. Four bumps are firmer and better for cooking.

Add a tsp of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.

Expand Frosting:
When you buy canned frosting, whip it with a hand mixer. It will double in size. You will get more and you end up eating less sugar per serving.

Mosquitos?
Put a dryer sheet in your pocket.

Ants?
Put a small pile of cornmeal wherever you see them.

Measuring Cups:
Before measuring a sticky substance such as peanut butter or molasses, fill the cup with warm water, discard the water, don't dry the cup. Or you can spray the cup with a vegetable cooking spray.

How to easily peel an entire head of Garlic:
Trim a bit off the top and the bottom of an entire head of Garlic.
Put it in a small jar.
Put the cover on and shake it rigorously.
All of the peeling will come off and the cloves will separate!

Mushrooms Burgundy

Another Best of the Best Recipes.
I've been making this side dish for at least 10 years.
We typically have it for Thanksgiving.
However, I will make it any time of the year.
If you just don't like Mushrooms, that's OK, move on to another recipe that's appealing to you. I'm never offended.
I make mine in an 11" X 4" Cast Iron Chicken Fryer.

Cook what you enjoy and enjoy what you cook!


2 TBS Dijon mustard
2 TBS vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 C packed brown sugar
3/4 C Hearty Burgundy
salt
pepper
1 onion, chopped
1/2 C butter (1stick)
2 pounds of sliced mushrooms

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.
Saute onion in butter
Add Mushrooms
Stir in the Wine Sauce
Simmer  for 45 minutes or until they thicken.
Stirring occasionally.

Enjoy!
Peace in the kitchen!















Vegetarian Meatloaf

I don't usually use a recipe when I make this, I substitute ingredients based on what I have available.
However, here's a general recipe that can be used.

1/2 package  (14oz. package) of vegetarian ground beef.
1- 12 ounce package of vegetarian burger crumbles

I sometimes add a cup of bulk vegetarian burger mix too.

1 onion, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
2 TBS vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1/3 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 TBS vegetable oil
3 1/2 slices of bread, cubed. ( I sometimes use 1 C of Italian flavored bread crumbs)
1/3 C whole milk or Soy or Almond milk if you prefer.
1- 8 oz. can of tomato sauce for a topping, or your favorite Ketchup and brown sugar topping! ( I know you all have a recipe for that) Here's my Mother's favorite Sauce and you might just as well make it.....
Mix together:
3 TBS Brown Sugar
1/4 C Ketchup
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Dry Mustard
Pour over the loaf and bake.


350 degree pre heated oven.
Vegetable Spray for the Pan.

In a large bowl, combine the following, gently by hand:
Ground Beef
Crumbles
onion
eggs
Worcestershire sauce
salt
pepper
garlic powder
mustard
oil
bread or bread crumbs
milk

Spray a  4 3/4" X 8 1/4"  loaf pan with vegetable spray
Shape the mixture into a loaf and place it in the pan
Pour tomato sauce ( or you favorite  sauce) on top. (My Mother's Sauce)
Bake for 1 hour.

This recipe is my favorite!

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Agar Agar ( vegetarian gelatin)

I mentioned Agar Agar in the Cranberry Mold recipe.

Agar Agar is derived from a plant source rather than an animal source.
It's suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans.
I has no color,odor or taste.
It sets more firmly than gelatin.
It's able to set at room temperature as well as when heated.
The same amount of Agar Agar can be substituted for powdered gelatin in a recipe.

Enjoy!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thanksgiving without Cranberries ? ....... I can't imagine!

I can't imagine a Thanksgiving dinner without some form of Cranberries.
Some people like the canned berries, some like the canned jellied sauce, sliced and served  out of the can and others make a simple Cranberry sauce in a bowl!
I was always the one looking for some creative, unusual sauce or mold. I've served so many variations over the years including a Texas version with jalapenos, ( I still like this one), but, most of the time no one ever touched any of them and all I ended up with was leftovers that I had to eat!

So, in search of something that everyone will enjoy, I'm trying a new Cranberry Sauce made in a vintage stoneware mold.  My Mold holds 3C of liquid to give you an idea of what size to use. Maybe the presentation alone will entice the family to try it. I'll post the results later. This may become a Best of the Best recipes!

The following is the recipe:

Cranberry Sauce in a Mold
prepared with a vegetable spray.

1 1/4 pounds of fresh Cranberries ( there's approximately 4 C to a pound, I use 5 C for this recipe)
1 1/3 C sugar
Zest of 2 oranges
3/4 C fresh orange juice
pinch of salt
3/4 C + 2 TBS ice cold water
2 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin ( Vegetarians can use Agar Agar)

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, combine the following:
Cranberries
sugar
zest
orange juice
salt
3/4 C cold water
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until it thickens, stirring until the Cranberries burst, about 15 minutes.

Pour the 2 1/2 TBS of cold water into a small bowl and add the gelatin.
Let it stand until the gelatin softens and swells, about 5-10 minutes.

Spoon 3/4 C of the juices from the berries into the gelatin and stir until gelatin dissolves.
Return this mixture to the Cranberry mixture
Pour the mixture into the prepared mold and cool to room temperature.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

To release:
Dip the mold up to, just below the rim, in a large bowl of very warm water.
Remove from the water and run a small paring knife around the rim.
Invert a serving platter onto the top of the mold, shake gently to release the sauce.
Lift off the mold.
This is a pretty common method of releasing any type of gelatin mold.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Curry Roasted Cauliflower

I'm a fan of Cauliflower, after all I am a Vegetarian. I use it it many ways. I have a great recipe for Cauliflower Parmesan Soup. I plan on dedicating a section to soup. I love making soup and I have some original recipes that I will share someday.

This is a way to have roasted Cauliflower with great flavor.

1 large head of Cauliflower broken into florets.
3 TBS olive oil
1 TBS curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
vegetable spray

Place florets in a large bowl.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Sprinkle with curry powder and salt.
Toss until well coated.

Place the Cauliflower ,in a single layer, and all of the liquid, into a roasting pan sprayed with vegetable oil.
Roast at 424 degrees for 30 minutes.
Stir occasionally.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Buttered Rosemary and Sea Salt Rolls

These rolls are from Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.
She writes about them on her blog. She adapted the recipe after having them in a restaurant.
I've made them many times and I consider them to be a Best of the Best recipe!

Rhodes frozen dinner rolls, do not thaw!
Vegetable Oil for the Pans.
Fresh Rosemary, chopped ( I take it from my garden)
Some butter, melted , I did say some..... I just melt some butter!
Sea Salt, I use Sel de Mer.... we travel to France often and we buy it there ( I'm not trying to be snobby, but good Sel de Mer is ...... well.....  Good!
A 7", 8" , 9", 10"... anyway, a cast iron skillet , you never know how many of these you will make.


Several pans at once I would say!
Or, you can make them in a cast iron muffin pan or, I also use the Lodge 7 well biscuit pan.

For 7 rolls:
Generously coat a 7"- 8" cast iron skillet, muffin pan or biscuit pan with Vegetable Oil

Place frozen rolls in the pan.
Cover them with a kitchen towel.
Walk away for 3 hours  to let them rise ..... check them ..... walk away for another 20 minutes to rise!
Lightly brush them with melted butter.
Sprinkle the tops with rosemary.
Gently brush again with butter ( I drizzle it on so I don't disturb the Rosemary)
Sprinkle with Sea Salt!

Bake 400 degrees for 17 - 20 minutes, in the middle of your oven, not the top or the bottom, the middle!
They will be golden brown 
Remove them from the oven and...... Oh Yes! Butter them again!
That's it!

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!







Friday, November 9, 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu!

We haven't finalized our Thanksgiving Dinner menu. We have some recipes that are expected by the family each year. We have 2 vegetarians in the family so I make a roasted Tofurky with a medley of roasted vegetables and vegetarian gravy.
Our stuffing is completely vegetarian.

We make the typical green bean casserole with the onion topping and we have mashed potatoes that are pretty basic and not complicated.
We always have Pumpkin Pie and some years my daughter in law brings an Apple pie too! This year I may make my Best of the Best Cranberry Cornmeal Cake in a cast iron skillet, posted on the blog. I have a Best of the Best recipe for Almond Apricot Amaretto Mousse,  typically served at Christmas.
I've made Cranberry Mousse since 1985. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving with out it! The recipe is on the blog.
And how could I leave out The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond's Rosemary and Sea Salt Rolls. If you haven't made them, you must! You can find the recipe on her blog. I have a link on the home page of my blog.

Some other recipes that have made it to the menu include a cranberry sauce ( I've made a Texas version too).
For many years I made a Corn Timbale recipe from Julia Child and every year we include a side dish with corn. I think this year it will be Corn Pie, it's posted on the blog.

I'll post my original, finalist recipes from the Dallas Morning News/Central Market Holiday Cookie Baking Contest.
There's a Chocolate Hatch Chile Cookie and Chocolate Almond Apricot Logs.
I've also entered a no bake bar version of the Apricot Log cookie and A cookie called The 12 Days of Christmas.

At some point I'll blog about one of my favorite pastry chefs in New York, Christina Tosi. She's a brilliant new chef with innovative concepts in baking. My 12 days of Christmas Cookie is an adaptation of her Compost Cookie Recipe. If you're not familiar with her, she's famous for her Crack Pie!
Later, I'll talk about many of my favorite cookbooks that inspire me, Christina's is one of them.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!




Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles:

1/2 C white chocolate chips
2 C white chocolate almond bark ( 4-5 squares)
1/3 C gingerbread cookie crumbs + more for garnish
1/4 C graham cracker crumbs + more for garnish
1/4 C canned pumpkin puree
1 TBS powdered sugar
1/2 tsp orange zest
1/8 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of salt
2 oz. cream cheese, softened

Melt 1/2 C white chips in a microwave
Stir often
Transfer to a large bowl.

Add gingersnap crumbs, pumpkin, graham cracker crumbs, sugar,
zest, cinnamon, salt and cream cheese , beat with an electric mixer until smooth.

Transfer to a shallow bowl, cover and chill until solid enough to roll into a truffle, about 2 hours.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Melt remaining 2 C of almond bark and transfer to a small bowl.

Scoop truffles with a small cookie scoop, roll in your hands and drop into the chocolate.

Gently spoon the chocolate to coat the truffles.

Using a  fork, lift the truffles out of the chocolate and shake off excess and place on the cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Sprinkle the tops with extra gingerbread cookie and graham cracker crumbs.

Chill 1 hour in the refrigerator

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie


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!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Peas in the Kitchen!

Peas in the kitchen,
Peas in the pot!
Peas aren't for everyone, cold nor hot.
I happen to enjoy them, I guess I always did.
I just put them in some water in a pot that has a lid, 
I cook them 'till they're tender, like my grandma always did.

I serve them on a platter just as plain as they can be.
I melt a bit of butter then I turned around to see,
There  are others at the table waiting patiently for me!
So, I offer them with pleasure, "help yourselves" if you please.
They turn around and say to me,
"No Thank You", we hate Peas!

Peace in the Kitchen! ( or Peas)!



Ode to the Artichoke !


Ode to the Artichoke, Terry Mosher!

I gave a dinner party, and I served some artichokes!
The guests began to laugh and make rude remarks and jokes.
They said, " these things could stick us" and they threw them on the floor.
I turned around, I walked away and thought I'd just ignore!

Then, I jumped up on the table and I began to say:
"what would you expect from a vegetarian, a meat filled, appetizer tray"?
Yes, artichokes are prickly, but I promise they won't hurt.
If you pick them up and eat them, I will serve a nice dessert!

The guests looked quite embarrassed and they said " we have to go",
leaving artichokes all over, on the table and below!
So, I picked them up and placed them in the fridge, upon a shelf.
And everyday, for breakfast, I enjoy one by myself!

Peace in the Kitchen!

Now is the time to have a good breakfast,continue to tend to our gardens, mind our manners, courageously nurture our hearts and begin the next phase of the transformation of the realms of humanity.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Texas Holiday Eggnog

I've researched many recipes for Eggnog and the following is the easiest and one of my favorites. I've made the most complicated recipes involving eggs that have to be beaten, egg whites that have to be folded into the mixture, recipes that include a French Vanilla Pudding mix, sweetened condensed milk etc.
I'm not opposed to tackling difficult or complicated recipes that are time consuming. I find some of them a challenge and I have created some original recipes that I don't expect others to make, however, I also appreciate some of the most simple, tried and true recipes, and this one is one of those! I've posted my favorite homemade recipe on the Blog too that's more traditional.

I'm not sure why I called it "Texas" Eggnog, maybe it's the addition of whiskey!
But it's dang good!

Texas Holiday Eggnog:

1/2 gallon of the best darn good Eggnog Ice Cream  money can buy.
1 quart of whole milk
1 quart of the best darn good Eggnog money can buy.
1/2 pint Brandy
1/2 pint Dark West Indies Rum!
1/2 pint  Blended Whiskey, what ever you can find!
Freshly ground nutmeg for a garnish.

Soften the ice cream
Mix all of the ingredients by hand, in a large bowl.
Chill in the refrigerator.
Just before serving, sprinkle the top of the Eggnog with a good amount of nutmeg.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Merry Christmas Y'all!

Blueberry/Blackberry Cornmeal Cake / with an option using Fresh Figs!

Here's another Best of the Best. I make it with Cranberries for Thanksgiving Dinner.
You can use any combination of berries. Raspberries are delicious too.
Cherries make a great Tex/French version of a Clafouti!
I also make it with Blackberries alone! It's very versatile.

375 degree oven, preheated
10" cast iron skillet


Blueberry/Blackberry Cornmeal Cake in a Cast Iron Skillet.

1 1/4 C all purpose flour
1/2 C yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 C + 2TBS sugar, for the batter
1/4 C sugar, for the topping
1/2 C buttermilk
2 eggs
7 TBS butter, melted + 1 TBS for the skillet
5.6 ounces each of blueberries and blackberries

In a small bowl whisk together:
flour
cornmeal
baking powder
salt and 1C + 2 TBS sugar

In a separate bowl,whisk together:
buttermilk
eggs
melted butter

Pour wet ingredients over dry and whisk to combine well.

Melt the 1 TBS of butter in the skillet , in the preheated oven and coat evenly.
Pour in the batter , sprinkle the top with berries.
Sprinkle the berries with the 1/4C sugar.
Bake for 45 minutes.


Here's an option using fresh figs:
8 oz. of fresh figs, stemmed and sliced in half.
Make the cake according to the directions above, substituting the figs for the berries and spread them out evenly on top of the batter, cut side up. Sprinkle with sugar and bake as directed above.



Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!
T!










Monday, November 5, 2012

Texas French Onion Soup and Classic French Soupe a L'Onion Gratinee!

Texas / French  Onion Soup
In Cast Iron:

Ye Haw, I'm a Texan with a French background so this makes perfect sense to me.

Texas French Onion Soup Y'all!

1- 6 cup  dutch oven soup pot
Pre Heated Oven  350 degrees.

3 TBS vegetable oil
2 pounds of onions, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 C Bourbon
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1C heavy cream
4 eggs
2 yolks
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
salt, pepper, cayenne pepper
3 TBS cornmeal

Heat oil in a Dutch Oven over medium low heat.
Add onions and cook slowly until golden brown, about 50 minutes.
Stir during cooking
Add Bourbon and Garlic and continue cooking until the liquid evaporates,
about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and cool slightly.
In a small bowl:
Blend cream, eggs and yolks and gently add to onions.
Season accordingly with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
Sprinkle the top with cornmeal.
Bake until the center is firm and the top is golden brown, 25 - 30 minutes.


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!




Classic French Soupe a L'Onion Gratinee:


Slice 1/2 pounds of Onion (I use Vidalia)
Saute in 2 TBS of Butter until soft but not browned.
Add 2 TBS of flour and stir with a wooden spoon for a few minutes.
Add 2 quarts of Chicken or Beef stock (I use a vegetarian version of either of those).
Simmer for 25 minutes.
Pour the soup into individual oven proof soup bowls and begin layering them with slices of oven dried sliced Baguettes, some grated Gruyere , Emmental or Swiss Cheese, and continue layering , ending with grated cheese, and a drizzle of melted butter.
Place in the oven and broil until the top is melted and golden brown.



Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Sunday, November 4, 2012

If they only knew how Mellow we are! They'd invite us in the front door to cook!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Terry's Original Sangria

I've only shared this original Sangria recipe with a few of my closest friends. It's definitely one of my favorites and a Best of the Best......
I was never pleased with any Sangria  I had purchased in a bottle or had been served in a restaurant, so I created my own.
I'm posting the pictures from one of my 3 books that I started in 1974 to show that I truly do create and re- create recipes.
I had to re write this recipe because it became difficult to read the original copy.

Terry's Original Sangria!

5 TBS sugar
2 Oranges( squeeze one, wedge one)
2 C Orange Juice
3 C Apple Juice
1 Bottle (4 liters or 13-1/2 C) Burgundy Wine
1/2 C Brandy
1/2 C Triple Sec
3 Cans = (4 1/2 C ) of Squirt (only Squirt)  (1-2 liter bottle if recipe is tripled)
Mix all of the ingredients well and serve over ice.
You can add fruit to the pitcher. I generally add lemon, lime and orange slices.

I generally triple it for a party!

1/2 the recipe for 1 pitcher.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Aunt Viv's Hot Buttered Rum

1985, Bon Appetit Holiday Magazine ( Aunt Viv's Hot Buttered Rum)
I've made this recipe for Christmas every year since 1985!
No one said it was healthy, but it's certainly delicious!





Best of the Best!

Hot Buttered Rum
The following is the Original Recipe, at the end I posted a Larger Recipe.

2C Vanilla Ice Cream
1 1/3 C Powdered Sugar
1 1/3 C firmly packed Dark Brown Sugar
1 C (2 sticks) Butter (I cut them into TBS pieces)
Dark Rum
Boiling Water

In a saucepan:
Combine Ice Cream, both Sugars and Butter.
Melt over low heat stirring constantly.
This is the basic Batter.
Refrigerate until needed.
It also freezes well.

To make the hot buttered rum:
In a mug:
Mix 3 TBS Batter
3TBS Rum
Stir in 3/4 C Boiling Water

Here's the easier ingredient recipe.
The preparation is the same as the original.

1 Pound of Butter
1 Pound of Powered Sugar
1 Pound of Dark Brown Sugar
1 quart of  Vanilla Ice Cream!


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!




Cranberry Mousse

I've been making this original recipe since 1985.
I've served it every Thanksgiving since then.
Every year my grandchildren ask if I've made it for Thanksgiving dinner, and I do!

I've tried to double the recipe and it doesn't work. If you need more, you make more!

Best of the Best!

Cranberry Mousse:
1C cranberry juice
1- 3 oz. package of raspberry jello or,  (1/3 C or 6 TBS)
1- can (16oz.) jellied cranberry sauce
1C heavy cream, whipped (the perfect whipped cream: 1C heavy cream, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 TBS confectioner's sugar) In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or  in a bowl with a hand mixer.

In a saucepan:
Heat juice to boiling
Stir in jello until dissolved
Add cranberry sauce and cook until dissolved.
Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until thickened.

Whip the cream and fold into the jello mixture.

Transfer to a clear serving bowl to serve.
Refrigerate covered until ready to serve

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Holiday Recipes

The Holidays are approaching quickly......


Cast Iron Skillet Cake:

Icing:
1/4C butter
2 TBS Dutch Cocoa Powder
4 TBS milk
1/2 C chopped pecans
2 C powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan over medium, heat:
Bring butter,cocoa,milk to boil,
remove from heat & add powdered sugar, pecans & vanilla. Stir well
Pour evenly over warm cake.

Cake:

1 C flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1C sugar
dash of salt
1/4 C butter
1/4 C vegetable oil
2 TBS Dutch Cocoa Powder
1/2 C water
1/4 C buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a bowl:
whisk flour,baking soda,sugar and salt

In a 10" cast iron skillet:
bring butter,oil,cocoa & water to a boil
Remove from heat
Whisk in dry ingredients well
Mix in egg,buttermilk & vanilla

Bake  20 minutes at 350 degrees of until a toothpick in the center
comes out clean.

Ice the cake when it's warm!

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Cornbread In A Skillet:
10" cast iron skillet
375 degree oven


2 TBS vegetable oil & 2 TBS butter
3 C ( Marie Callender's Cornbread Mix) or a mix of your choice. ( I know there are those who don't
believe in a prepared mix, but believe me this makes a great cornbread and easier than creating a batter from scratch)

1 1/2 C water
1 C creamed corn
1 sm. onion, chopped
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
3-4 jalapenos, seeded and minced. ( or 1 small can of chopped chile peppers)

Melt butter and oil in the skillet, in the pre heated oven.

In a bowl:
Mix  cornbread mix & water, blend well
Add corn, onion, cheese and jalapenos

Pour batter onto the heated skillet and bake for 45 minutes.

Hint:
cut left over bread into cubes and bake  on a cookie sheet in a single layer at 400 degrees for 15
minutes to make croutons!

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Here's another option:

Jalapeno Cranberry Skillet Cornbread:
It's basically the same preparation as the above recipe.
10" Cast Iron Skillet
375 degree oven

2 TBS Vegetable Oil and 2 TBS Butter
3 C Marie Callender's Cornbread Mix
1 1/2 C Water
3 Jalapeno's seeded and minced and combined with 2 TBS of Fresh Cilantro, chopped and placed in a Mortar and Pestle to create a paste.
1/2 C Dried Cranberries

Melt Butter and Oil in the skillet in the preheated oven.
In a bowl:
mix cornbread mix and water, blend well.
Fold in the Jalapeno/Cilantro Paste and Cranberries.

Pour the batter into the heated skillet and bake for 45 minutes.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Skillet Apple Pie Biscuits:
This is a recipe by Melissa's Southern Style Kitchen, a Blog that I follow.
Thank you Melissa, for sharing!

10" cast iron skillet
375 degree oven

8 frozen buttermilk biscuits, thawed
1- 21 oz. can of apple pie filling, cut the apples into smaller pieces.
1 stick of butter, melted and divided
1/2 C well packed dark brown sugar
1 TBS cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 C chopped pecans ( this was not in the original recipe, I love to add Pecans when possible)

Glaze:
1/3 C powdered sugar
2 TBS heavy cream
Whisk together until well combined

Brush the skillet including, the sides with some of the
melted butter, ( remaining will be used later)

In a Bowl:
Whisk brown sugar and cinnamon
Dip each biscuit in remaining butter & sprinkle all sides with the sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Arrange in the skillet.
Add vanilla to Apple Pie filling & spread over the biscuits.
Pour remaining butter over apples.
Sprinkle with the last of the sugar/cinnamon mixture and top with pecans.

Bake 35 minutes until golden brown
Drizzle the glaze over the biscuits and serve!

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!



Corn Pie:
This is one of my Best of the Best recipes!
There's a photo at the end of this post.

400 degree oven
9" pie pan
I make 2 at a time. I don't double the recipe. I measure
all of the ingredients and prepare them for each pie simultaneously.

1 1/4C of Ritz crackers, finely crushed
1/2C butter, melted
2TBS butter
1 1/4 C whole milk
2 C corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBS flour
1/2 tsp onion salt or onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1 TBS fresh chopped Rosemary

Combine cracker crumbs and 1/2 C melted butter and mix well, reserve 1/2C
of this mixture for the topping and press the remaining into the pie pan.

In a saucepan:
combine 2TBS butter, 1C milk, corn and salt.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 3 minutes.

In a small bowl:
Add flour and cayenne pepper to the remaining 1/4C milk and mix until smooth.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the corn mixture stirring constantly.
Cook 3 minutes until it thickens.
Cool slightly
Add onion salt and Rosemary
Slowly add eggs, stirring constantly
Pour into pie pan and sprinkle the top with remaining crumbs.

Bake for 30 minutes!



Cranberry Chess Pie:

375 degree oven

1- 9" rolled out basic pie crust.
1 1/3 C sugar
1/2 C melted butter
1/8 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/4 C flour
1/3 C buttermilk
1 tsp cider vinegar
2 tsp finely grated orange zest
2 C fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped

In a bowl:
Whisk together:
sugar
melted butter
salt

Add eggs, one at a time beating until smooth.
Stir in flour and then buttermilk, vinegar and zest, mix well.
Add cranberries.
Pour into the shell and bake for 50-60 minutes!



Pumpkin Pie Cake:
This is one of my Best of the Best Recipes!

9x13 baking dish, greased with Pan Release, you can use shortening and flour too.

Hint: I use this Pan Release for all of my baking.

Mix equal parts ( any amount, based on how much you bake):
Flour
Vegetable oil
Vegetable shortening.
I mix it until well combine and store in the refrigerator in a jar. It keeps forever!


1 box yellow cake mix
8 TBS butter, room temperature
4 eggs
2- 26 0z. cans pumpkin
1- 50z. can evaporated milk
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C sugar

Topping:
2TBS cinnamon
4 TBS chilled butter, cut into pieces
1/4 C sugar
1C chopped pecans


Measure 1C of the cake mix and set aside for the topping.
Place remaining cake mix, 8 TBS butter and 1 egg in a mixing bowl , mix on low speed
until evenly combines, about 1 minute
Using your fingers, press evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Filling:
In the same mixing bowl ( no need to clean it)
Mix pumpkin,milk,1/2C brown sugar,1/2C sugar, 3 eggs and cinnamon, mix on low
about 30 seconds..... increase speed to medium and mix until it lightens in color and texture, 1-2 minutes more.
Pour filling over the crust, spread evenly.

Topping:
Place remaining 1/4 C sugar , chilled butter and reserved cake mix in a clean bowl and work
with your fingers until crumbly.
Add pecans by hand and work the dough to incorporate the nuts.
Distribute evenly over the filling.
Bake 70 minutes until the middle no longer jiggles when the pan is shaken and the pecans begin
to brown.
Cool before cutting into squares.







I decided to bake the corn pie in a casserole instead of a pie pan. It's turned out well. It looks and smells amazing. I did this for Thanksgiving Dinner 2012!


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!

Pecan Pie Muffins and Pecan Pie Bars

The All American Iconic Pecan Pie!

Here are two more Holiday Best of the Best recipes:
Alternatives to the All American Iconic Pecan Pie and just as Yummy!

These are truly two of our favorite recipes!
You may want to make a few batches of the muffins.

If you need to make something to take to a Thanksgiving dinner or to share with
coworkers, this is it!
They are easy and they taste incredible!

The Bars are equally impressive.
Just two variations on the Iconic All American Pecan Pie!


Pecan Pie Muffins:

1C chopped pecans
1C packed brown sugar
1/2 C all purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 C butter, melted

Combine the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl.
Make a well in the center

In a separate bowl:
Beat eggs.
Stir in the melted butter and add this mixture to the dry ingredients.
Stir until moist.

Spoon the batter into paper lined muffin tins, filling 2/3 full.
 (I brush the cups with my Pan Release Mix, equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour. I start with 1C of each and keep it refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.)

Bake  at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Pecan Pie Bars:

Here's what you'll need:
1 - 9" X 13" baking pan, brushed well with my Pan Release Mix. ( Equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Shortening and Flour.) I start with 1C of each and keep it in a jar in the refrigerator for all of my baking needs.

1 1/2C Flour
1/2 C (1stick) Butter, softened.
1/4 C Brown Sugar

Filling:
3 large Eggs
3/4 C Corn Syrup
3/4 C Sugar
2 TBS Butter, melted
1 tsp Vanilla
2 C Chocolate Chips
2 C chopped Pecans

To make the Crust:

In a medium mixing bowl with a hand mixer:
Flour
Butter
Brown Sugar
Mix until it forms a crumble.
Press evenly into the pan. I use the bottom of a stainless steel measuring cup.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes.

Remove from oven to a cooling rack and prepare the filling.

To make the Filling:

In a large mixing bowl:
Eggs
Corn Syrup
Sugar
Butter
Vanilla
Whisk well by hand.
Fold in Chocolate Chips and Pecans by hand.
Pour evenly over the baked Crust.
Bake an additional 25 - 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven to a cooling rack and cool completely.
Cut into squares to serve.

Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!


Cast Iron

I cook in Cast Iron often. I set up my fireplace in the winter so I can cook in it. Here are some photos of my collection of cast iron. I'll publish 2 of the recipes shown in the pictures, Chocolate Skillet Cake and (Apple Pie Skillet Biscuits from Melissa's Southern Style Kitchen).
Some of the other photos include our Enameled Cast Iron Stove that we use as a kitchen island, a Model T wheel from my father in law that we use to hang cooking utensils for cooking outdoors ( I had a local Blacksmith make hooks to hang everything). Food seems to taste better when cooked in cast iron!
I never use soap on my cast iron. I clean it with Sea Salt and a bit of Vegetable Oil. Occasionally I place it back on the heat with water and boil it to loosen particles, and repeat the salt and oil process. All of my pieces are virtually non stick. I don't let anyone else clean them. I have been able to completely restore damages pieces too. I may have to sand some rust spots on vintage pieces and then re season them.