Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Festive Spread

We missed you at the party, so I thought the least I could do is give you the menu.  Here's what we dined on in Durham during the snowstorm listening to drummer boy.


Puff pastry, thawed, egg-washed, sprinkled with pepper and parmesan, cut in strips with a pizza cutter, twisted and baked for 15 minutes at 400.

Sesame Snap Peas:

Blanch peas in boiling water for 30 seconds, remove, run under cold water, pat dry, coat with toasted sesame oil and black sesame seeds.


For the recipe to this delicious Japenese Soba Noodle dish go here.

Curried Chicken Salad:

A Martha fave found here.  Set bowl of salad on ice and serve with crackers.

Cheese selection (and pairing):

-Manchego with honeycomb
-Cheddar with pepper jelly
-Camembert with red pears

Crudite Platter:

Radishes halved lengthwise, cucumber spears, sliced fennel.  Serve with a mixture of buttermilk, mayonnaise, fresh dill, onion, garlic powder and s&p.


Apple Cider and Sprite with cinnamon sticks.

*Combine all above with an array of chocolates and chocolates.

*All of the above can be made ahead of time the morning of.


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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Orange Rolls

These are always a hit when I make them for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners. So easy, too. Another fabulous recipe from my long lost friend, Megan. Hope Canada appreciates her.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 grated orange peel
18 frozen dinner rolls (I use Rhodes)
Combine butter, sugar and orange peel in a bowl. Dip frozen rolls into mixture then place in an ungreased muffin tin or baking pan.
Let rise for three hours.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
Frost rolls with glaze while still warm.
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. fresh orange juice.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Pomegranate Salad

A yummy Leavitt Family tradition. Every year we serve this for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's the perfect fall/holiday salad - a fierce competitor to the traditional fruit salad.

Pomegranate Salad
3-4 large pomegranates, seeded
3/4 cup toasted pecan chips
4-5 apples, diced
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
4 Tbs powdered sugar

To seed a pomegranate, cut off the top and bottom, score the pomegranate in quarters. Over a bowl full of cold water, break apart and take the seeds out. The water will separate the seeds from the flesh. Grocery stores will usually have containers of pomegranate seeds if you don't want to seed them yourself.

Combine pomegranate seeds, pecans and apples in a large bowl. Whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Add to pomegranate mixture. Serve immediately.

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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Egglpant Focaccia with Fontina

This can make a quick easy Fall meal. Next time I would add onions and maybe some roasted garlic. I use trader joe's pizza dough, but homemade would be just as good (not better, but just as good).

One large eggplant sliced 1/4 inch thick crosswise
grated fontina cheese--just a pile or so
olive oil
salt and pepper
Fresh Oregano

Heat oven to like 500 degrees with pizza stone in oven. Sprinkle eggplant with salt in colander and let sit for 10 minutes then pat dry. Stretch dough out to fit pan/stone and set on pizza peel or inverted cookie sheet. Sprinkle dough with 1/2 of cheese, layer with eggplant, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, layer with rest of cheese and oregano. Bake 20 minutes or until edges begin to brown and cheese is bubbly.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dangerous Brownies

These brownies are so dangerous because 1.) you'll almost always have all the ingredients on hand and 2.)they are so freaking good you will make two pans on Sunday and eat one of them by yourself. And p.s. I am typing this recipe from memory because I HAVE IT MEMORIZED. So sue me.

Dangerous Brownies

1 cup melted butter
1/3 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients together and mix until well blended. Grease an 8x10 pan with butter and bake at 350 degrees for 20-27 minutes (depending on your oven). Eat them all and look five months pregnant.......

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cooking For One with Katy - Episode 14

Quesadillas with CJane

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Nectarine-and Chickpea Couscous Salad With Honey-Cumin Dressing

I made this easy recipe last night and all three of my girls chowed it down. Sometimes I forget how easy it is to make couscous. If you live in Utah, the cheapest place I have found to buy couscous is the bulk section of The Good Earth. Nectarines are in season right now and they are fabulous!!!

6 servings
Cooking Light, June 2000 ( 1 cup)

1 ¼ cups water
1 cup uncooked couscous
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped nectarines (about 3 medium)
½ cup coarsely chopped spinach
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
1 (15 ½-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
Nectarine slices (optional)

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan, gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork; cool. Combine lime juice and next 5 ingredients (juice through coriander0 in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add couscous, chopped nectarines, spinach, onions, and chickpeas; toss well. Garnish with nectarine slices, if desired.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Chicken and Corn Fried Rice

Delicious, kid friendly, and cheap! Does it get any better?

It may not seem like spinach with lemon juice would go well with chicken and corn fried rice, but trust me, this works! The different flavors, textures and temperatures go perfectly together. I tried this out on my kids, and all of them loved it (and 2 out of 3 even ate the spinach). This comes from Chef Ming Tsai who responded to a challenge to some of the nation's best cooks: Come up with a meal that is family-friendly, budget-conscious, and delicious. IMO, he nailed all three!

NOTE: I skipped the whole chicken step. I just bought a ready-made roasted chicken (Costco's are really good) and shredded it. I also just did white rice, because I didn't want to cook two different kinds of rice. I'm lazy.

Chicken and Corn Fried Rice

Serves 4

1 pound ground chicken
2 eggs
1 large yellow onion, minced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon ginger powder
2 ears of corn when in season, or 1 bag frozen (12 ounces)
1/2 (10 ounces) bag spinach (washed, spun dry, de-stemmed, leaves torn)
2 tablespoons naturally brewed soy sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
4 cups cold, cooked long-grain rice, brown and white combination, preferably day-old so it's nice and dry*
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Canola oil

Heat a wok or large saute pan over medium-high heat. Lightly coat with oil. When oil shimmers add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and brown, breaking up any large chunks with wooden spoon or spatula. Remove chicken to a plate. Add about 1/2-inch oil to wok and allow to heat; add eggs, which will puff up. Cook scrambled eggs and remove to a paper towel-lined plate. If necessary, add more oil to wok to lightly coat, then add onions, garlic, and powdered ginger, and cook until nicely caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add corn, rice, chicken and egg, and toss to combine. Add naturally brewed soy sauce, toss to combine, and check for seasoning. Place mound of raw spinach in center of four dinner plates. Drizzle with lemon juice and season. Top with fried rice to cover. Enjoy!

*Alternatively, if you're not cooking rice the day before, place the cooked rice in a single layer on a sheet tray, and place in freezer to cool and dry.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cooking for One with Katy - Episode #12

Gyosa with Kristi

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Curry pasta

So we had lots of family in town for the 4th of July...I planned out breakfasts, planned out dinners...but forgot about lunch. Noon rolled around and we were famished. So my mother in law whipped this up out of what I thought was no food in the house. So I make it now all the time...a different version according to what's in the fridge. But it is goo-0000-oooooooood.

Curry Pasta Salad

Halved grapes (green or purple)

Chopped celery (or sometimes not if I don't have it)

Chopped onion (whatever you have)

Cashews or peanuts
Cooked or canned chicken (we used canned and it's perfect and so easy)

Cooked pasta (I love whole wheat macaroni)

Blob of mayo (we use low-fat and it tastes the same) plus curry to taste

Mix this all up and chill in the fridge for about an hour. We double it sometimes and eat it for lunch and dinner all week. Lazy.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Pineapple Sorbet

No picture because me lazy. But this was the most delicious thing I have made in at least 28 days. Here:
1/ 2 a fresh pineapple chopped
1/2 c water
8 Tablespoons of sugar (or more or less depending on what you like, ya know?)
A squirt of lemon (if you feel like it)

Blend this all up. Put it in the fridge for awhile and then put it in your ice cream freezer (I bought a cheap Hamilton Beach one where you don't need salt or ice and it only takes a half hour) and let her go. You will not regret this baby. Not at all.

Type rest of the post here

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Grilled Vegetables

A yummy summer side dish (or meal if you're like me). Very easy - but looks very impressive.

Hi. I'm new here. (I'm not even sure if I'm doing this right). I'm Amy. I love photography and I love cooking. Thanks Holly, for the invite to contribute to this blog, where I will happily engage both of these loves!

This dish is deceptively easy but very impressive and looks like you spent a lot of time on it. This recipe is one of those you can just make off the top of your head - once you make it you will see how simple it is!

Grilled Vegetables

Choose your favorite from "grillable" vegetables. Tonight, I chose zucchini, crimini mushrooms, and red bell pepper. Also excellent: asparagus, green onions, eggplant and yellow squash.

2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
Fresh parsley
Fresh basil
Fresh rosemary

Cut zucchini lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices. Quarter the bell pepper, take the stems off the mushrooms.  Combine in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper.

Grill vegetables over medium high heat (be sure to grease the grill). Cooking times: about 8-10 minutes for the bell peppers; 7 minutes for squash, zucchini, eggplant and mushrooms; 4 minutes for asparagus and green onions.

Whisk the oil with vinegar and garlic. Add fresh herbs. You can use ANY of your favorite fresh herbs. I grabbed what was in my garden - basil and rosemary. Drizzle herb mixture over vegetables. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

When Are You All Gonna Get Your Butts Out Here To Visit Succotash

Here's the recipe:

Buy a ticket online.
Come here.
You may also bring your offspring.
Stay in my guest room.
Tag along with me to the farmer's market.

Buy: tomatoes, fresh-shelled peas/beans, and basil.

Boil: peas

Sautee: Leeks in olive oil, turn off heat, add tomatoes, boiled peas, basil chiffonade to leek mixture. S&P to taste. Sit down out on the screen porch and watch the bees and butterflies while we indulge in riveting convo and sip San Pellegrino Limonata while we savor our Succotash.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Strawberry Lemonade Salad

Hi. I'm back. It's been....many months. But I'm posting my favorite summer salad because it's so easy and refreshing and simple and EVERYONE LOVES IT. The secret is the dressing.
[If I've posted this already, cut me some slack. I am not getting enough sleep.]

Plus, I want to let everyone know my good friend, Amy L. is joining us. She has awesome recipes so be excited. Welcome, Amy L.!

Strawberry Lemonade Salad

1 bag baby spinach leaves

1-2 cups strawberries sliced

That's all the salad requires but I like to add candied almonds when I feel fancy. Or throw in some grilled chicken or avocado to make it a meal. Endless possibilities.


1/3 c. sugar

1 lemon plus some zest

1 T. oil

2 T. white vinegar

This salad is so good, the pickiest eater in the family will be asking for more spinach. . . .

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Monday, June 15, 2009

The Best Sandwich In the World

Have you watched the movie "Spanglish"? If you haven't, do. If you have, rent it again to get this recipe...or don't and just get it here.

BLT With A Fried Egg and Cheese

3-4 slices of bacon
2 slices of Monterey Jack cheese
2 slices of toasted rustic country loaf
1 tbsp of mayo
4 tomato slices
2 leaves of butter lettuce
1 teaspoon butter
1 egg

Disclaimer: As with any sandwich--the quality and freshness of the ingredients make or break it. So, it is worth it to get REALLY GOOD bread with a dense moist interior and a crackly crust. Use flavorful tomatoes, farm fresh eggs, and quality Jack and thick-cut bacon from your local butcher. Do you have a local butcher?


1. Cook the bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels
2. Place slices of cheese on one side of toasted bread. Place in toaster oven or under broiler to melt.
3. Spread mayo on other slice of bread top with bacon, sliced tomato, and lettuce
4. On non-stick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Fry egg, turning over briefly when the bottom is set (keep yolk runny)
5. Slide finished egg on top of lettuce, top with other slice of bread
6. Place sandwich on plate and slice in half, letting yolk run down sandwich

Enjoy with an ice cold bottled root beer with your lover.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

I am always looking for fast, easy and fresh pasta salads. I love making a big bowl to keep in the fridge for lunches and I love a big bowl in the cooler for road trips. My obsession with pasta salad started with AnnD and her love of "Suddenly Salad".
Please post any favorites that you may have. Here are two of mine . . .

Yummy Pasta Salad #1 (pictured above)

1 box of your favorite pasta
Boil pasta according to package directions, as water begins to boil, add 2-3 cloves of garlic. Save garlic to use later in dressing.

1/2 cucumber diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 can olives sliced
small chunks of fresh mozarella
handful of fresh chives chopped
handful of fresh basil chopped

juice of 1 lemon
2-3 TBS white wine vinegar
crushed garlic (from pasta water)
1-2 TBS olive oil
salt and fresh pepper to taste

Wisk dressing ingredients well and pour over pasta, veggies and herbs. Toss.

Pasta #2

1 box of angel hair pasta cooked according to package directions

8-9 roma tomatoes
1 can black olives sliced
large handful fresh basil chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
fresh parmesean cheese

soak tomatoes and olives in the vinegar, oil and salt and pepper up to 2 hours. Pour over pasta, toss well and sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve cold.

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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cooking for One with Katy - Episode #11

It's finally here folks - another episode. I'm looking for more guest cooks - whose in?

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tortellini and Ham Salad

I love the double pack of fresh cheese tortellini from Costco. We eat them with just pesto and Parmesan, in a yummy shrimp dish ( I will post the recipe later), with browned butter and fresh sage, and last night my Mom made this recipe with a package I had saved in my freezer. We substituted bottle roasted red pepper for the fresh and sadly she couldn't find marinated mushrooms at Days or Costco.

Tortellini and Ham Salad
Family Fun Magazine, 2006

1 (9-ounce) package fresh cheese tortellini
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups diced ham
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 (4-ounce) jar marinated mushrooms, drained
1/2 cup chopped black olives
4 scallions (white and pale green parts), chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan (optional)

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook according to the package directions, or just until tender. Drain the water, rinse the tortellini under cold water, and drain it again.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, rosemary, garlic, and sugar. Add the tortellini, ham, bell pepper, mushrooms, olives, and scallions to the dressing and toss to coat. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Cover the bowl and let the salad stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. Serve with grated Parmesan, if desired. Makes 4 servings

Note: We didn't let it cool longer than it took to throw the ingredients in and it was good without the Parmesan. One package of the tortellini from Costco was enough to roughly double the recipe.

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Barbecued Hamburgers

We had these burgers the other night and I remembered how much I like them. They are a good make-ahead meal if you are feeding a lot of people, or if you just have a few to feed you can freeze the leftovers in portions that are right for your family. They are good with just the BBQ sauce you cook them in or you can dress them up with the usual burger toppings. We had cheese, tomato, pickle, caramelized onion, and some chose to put Ketchup on. I like them on squishy wonder bread type buns, but I like them even better on fancy buns (possibly made with artisan bread dough). Whatever sounds good to you.

Barbecued Hamburgers

Managing Your Meals, Winnifred C. Jardine

1/1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1 egg, slightly beaten

3/4 cup dry bread crumbs or quick-cooking oats

3/4 cup evaporated milk

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons coarsely grated onion

3 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup catsup

½ cup water

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

Combine beef, egg, crumbs, milk, salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons chopped onion. Shape mixture into 12 patties, allowing 1/4 cup mixture per patty. Brown in hot skillet, using a little oil, if necessary. (Or patties may be quickly browned under the broiler; do not overcook, however.) Combine remaining ingredients in large heavy saucepan; simmer 5 minutes. Put in large heavy saucepan; simmer 5 minutes. Put drained patties carefully into barbecue sauce, making sure sauce is spooned over all of them. Simmer for 30 minutes. Serve each patty in a bun with 1 teaspoon sauce over top. Makes 12 patties.

Note: One advantage of these tasty burgers is that they may be prepared ahead of time, refrigerated, then heated slowly just before serving. You can freeze them too!!

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Asian Noodle Salad

I had some left over rotisserie chicken in the freezer. I gave it to my Mom and she made Asian Noodle Salad from July 2007 Cooking Light for dinner. It was fresh and good and light tasting. She put in more carrots and water chestnuts than the recipe calls for and used fresh zucchini cut into little squares in place of the green peppers ( I can't eat green peppers when I am pregnant). Since it is a recipe I am planning to make throughout the summer, I thought I would share it with you.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Molten Chocolate Cake

A month or so ago Spencer and I splurged on dessert and split a Chocolate Lava Cake from Dew (a restaurant in Provo). I have been wanting more ever since. I decided Mother's Day was the day I was going to try this recipe from Epicurious. The cakes turned out really well. I substituted 1 tsp almond extract for the brandy and left the espresso powder out all together. I served them with a very generous dollop of sweetened whip cream on the top. I used the semisweet chocolate chips and it was really good, but next time I think I will use quality bittersweet chocolate for even more chocolate goodness. I hope you had a Happy Mother's Day!!

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ancho Chili Fudge Pie for Cinco de Mayo

I made this pie for Spencer's work party yesterday. You can buy Ancho Chilis in the Mexican section of your grocery store. The Ancho Chili brings out the chocolate flavor. It isn't at all spicy--my little girls love it!! It is really good with vanilla ice cream on the side and a sprinkle of cinamon. The recipe is from ZTejas restaurant. We went to ZTejas one year for my birthday and fell in love with this dessert. Luckily the recipe was posted on their web site.

Ancho Chili Fudge Pie

1 9 in. Deep dish prepared pie crust
2 each Eggs
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup White sugar
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1 cup Butter (2 sticks)
1/2 cup Pecans
1/2 cup Walnuts
1 cup Chocolate chips
3/4 tsp Ancho Chili Peppers, ground
Ancho peppers are available whole. To grind, soften peppers in water for 3 minutes, drain, grind in blender. Do NOT use chili powder.

Melt butter and chocolate chips together in a microwave proof dish. Stir together and allow to cool. Toast pecans and walnuts (I usually use all pecans) in oven on flat sheet until lightly brown. Beat eggs well. Add white flour, white sugar and brown sugar. Mix until smooth. Add cool butter, mix well.
Mix in nuts. Fold into mixture. Pour into prepared pie crust.
Bake at 325 degrees for 45-55 minutes.
Posted by Picasa

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Easy Dinner Menus for the First Week in May

I sat down to make menus this morning so that I could go shopping while my three year old was in preschool. She was having a hard morning, so after I hand fed her breakfast I told her to go snuggle in her bed. When I went to get her dressed she was fast asleep. The poor little thing. At least I gave her the choice to either go to preschool or get in bed. She is still asleep and since I can't grocery shop I thought I would post my menu with links to the recipes. I don't feel great this morning and posting is much easier than cleaning the house.

These are in no particular order. I tried to use some things that are on sale and economize in other ways.

Mediterranean Burgers (I posted the recipe a few posts back) with oven fries--I wash some potatoes, put them through my french fry attachment to my Bosch, then I put them in a large ziploc with about 2 T canola oil on them and shake them. I dump them onto a large, greased cookie sheet and sprinkle them with some Johny's Seasoning Salt from Costco. "It's pure magic!!" I bake them at 475 for about 1/2 hour, turning once after 20 minutes or so.

Omelets with toast or flat bread--I am going to use ham chunks, cheese, tomatoes, fresh herbs, avocado, sour cream etc. Then I just let everyone pick what they want. I cook flat bread on my griddle using flattened pieces of well floured artisan bread.

Strawberry Chicken Salad with artisan bread
I am going to substitute feta for the blue cheese.

Curried Chicken Sandwiches
From Sunset--May 2009 page 106
Lightly season mayonnaise with curry powder. Toast sliced sourdough bread and spread half the slices with your favorite mango chutney (I like Patak's brand) and the rest with the curry mayo. Arrange sliced grilled chicken, baby spinach leaves, and sliced English cucumber on half of bread. Top with remaining bread.
I will probably have fresh mangos, or maybe apricot lassis with these sandwiches. To make an apricot lassi I take 1 1/2 C plain yogurt, 1 can apricot nectar, honey to taste, about 8 ice cubes, throw it all in the blender and blend it up. You can make any flavor by changing the nectar flavor. I bottled peach and apricot nectar in pint jars last year, so that is what I will use.

Ginger Beef Salad with Miso Vinaigrette and artisan bread and fresh fruit.

Bistro Chicken Pasta Salad with bottled fruit salad (I mix peaches and pears--including the juice--with lots of frozen blackberries).

--I am going to buy one big thing of plain Feta at Costco or Sams Club and use it in the pasta salad, strawberry salad, and Mediterranean burgers.

I bought the Top Sirloin Steak for $2.89 a pound at Buy Low and am substituting it for Flank Steak in Ginger Beef Salad with Miso Vinaigrette. I bought extra to freeze for other easy meals.

From my artisan bread dough I am going to make pitas for the burgers, bread for the Curry Chicken sandwiches, flat bread, grill bread, boule shaped bread to go with the salads, etc. It is really easy--I promise.

Strawberries are in season and therefore inexpensive.

I am going to use 1 rotisserie chicken from Costco for all the recipes with chicken even if they say to use grilled chicken instead.

I am using things I have bottled or frozen for side dishes.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chicken Quesadillas with Mango Salsa

My belly is so big that it is hard for me to cook. I am in need of a lot of easy dinners because I still have at least 8 weeks until this baby comes. I went grocery shopping at Buy Low last week and found lots of ripe mangos on sale as well as some avocados. Spencer reminded me of this recipe. I change it a bit depending on the ingredients I have. This is the first time I have used avocados in it. I usually put in steamed asparagus. Getting back to easy, I just used what I had. It was good, so I thought I would share it. I would love other easy (summer) dinner ideas from any of you.

Mango Salsa:

2 ripe Mangos cut into medium chunks. If you don't know how to cut a mango check out this clip.

2 ripe avocados cut into medium chunks.

3 T fresh chives--chopped (or any other kind of onion that sounds good to you--red, sweet, green)

Juice from 1/2 lemon or a whole lime

If I don't use chives I put in some chopped cilantro along with the onion.

Salt to taste


Cheddar and/or mozerella cheese--as much as you want


Sliced Grilled chicken--I put some KC masterpiece seasoning on two small breasts and cooked them on our BBQ. It was enough for two adults and three kids.

BBQ sauce to taste. I like a medium amount. Too much drowns out the salsa.

Make the quesadillas with the cheese, BBQ sauce and chicken in the middle. Serve with the salsa. We had home-made grape juice with this and that was it.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Asian Slaw

This is my version of Asian Slaw. It is really fresh tasting, especially if you grate/slice your own head of cabbage. It is also pretty inexpensive to make. If I am feeling poor and get invited to a pot-luck or asked to bring a salad to a party then I will often make it. It is always a winner. Last night we ate it alongside Lemongrass Pork Sandwiches.

Asian Slaw

1/2 head cabbage--sliced fine (I put mine through my Bosch or Cuisinart slicer, but it isn't hard to do by hand.)

2 carrots--peeled and grated

3 T regular or black sesame seeds--toasted (I use my toaster oven, but you could do it in a pan or your oven. The cheapest place I have found to buy sesame seeds is the bulk section of Good Earth. They keep for quite awhile, so stock up!!)

This is the dressing I use. It comes together quickly, so don't be intimidated.

Sweet Sour French Dressing yield 1 1/4 C
From Mormon Country Cooking by Winnifred Jardine

1/2 C sugar
1/4 C wine or apple cider vinegar
1/4 C fresh lemon juice
1 T onion, grated (I grate mine on my microplane.)
1/3 C canola oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp celery salt (I leave this out if I don't have it.)

In a small saucepan combine sugar and vinegar; cook just until sugar dissolves. In a pint jar combine sugar-vinegar mixture, lemon juice, onion, oil, and seasonings. Cover; shake thoroughly. Shake again before serving. Also good on fruit salad or melon.

Combine cabbage, carrots, and sesame seeds. Just before serving, add dressing to taste (about 1/2 C). This recipe can be easily doubled or even tripled without having to make extra dressing.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Mediterranean Burgers

Some day I am going to travel to Greece. I think I would like to go on a cruise of the islands and then pick my favorite one and stay in a villa by the sea side for the whole summer. I will hire a Greek chef who will cook for me and teach me how to make wonderful recipes (in between sitting on the beach, taking walks among ruins, and swimming/boating of course). Friends and family will be welcome to come stay for as long as they like. Until then I am going to make yummy recipes like these and pretend;).

Mediterranean Burgers

My Mom thinks she got this recipe from me. I can't remember.

1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1 cup yogurt

½ teaspoon cumin

1 pound lean ground beef or lamb

1 tablespoon ginger, minced

1/4 cup minced green onion

1/4 cup cilantro, minced

Garlic salt--to taste

Hot sauce--to taste

2 pita rounds

Thin slices peeled cucumber

Lettuce leaves

Combine first 3 ingredients; blend well; chill 1 hour. Combine next 6 ingredients. Shape into 4 patties ½-inch thick. Grill or broil for 6 to 7 minutes on each side till done. Serve patties in pita halves with cucumber, lettuce leaves and about 2 teaspoons feta-yogurt mixture.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tzatziki and "Chicken Kababs"

I made this recipe a little bit ago and it was the best Tzatziki I have ever had. I didn't have any of the Ouzo (Greek alcohol) so I left it out. I also substituted 2 tsp. dry dill for the fresh. I strained a 32oz. container of plain yogurt in a colander for about 8 hours (turning it with a spatula after 4 hours) because there wasn't any Greek yogurt at the grocery store I went to. Despite the modifications it was fabulous. Creamy and almost cheese-like with a great flavor. We had it with this version of "chicken kababs" and grill bread (flat bread made on the grill with artisan bread dough). I used 1/3 C of the strained yogurt in the marinade before putting the rest in the tzatziki. The whole meal was really good. If you don't want to make grill bread then just buy some thick flat bread. Now that I have been thinking about it I am going to have to make it again soon.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Here's the deal- This soup is the bomb. People have been asking me to post this recipe and I'm just now getting around to it. Sorry. It's not so much soup season anymore but who really cares? I entered this soup in a soup contest and it won. I went home with an award of white tic-tacs. It's that good.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

6 C chicken broth
1 pkg. Uncle Ben's Wild Rice & Seasonings (original. regular size)
1/2 C chopped green onion
1/2 C butter
3/4 C flour
1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
2 C half & half
1 1/2 C cubed cooked chicken
crumbled bacon (optional)

In a large pot boil chicken broth, rice with seasonings and green onion. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 35-40 min. Until rice is tender.

When rice is tender do this- In a separate pan add the butter, flour, salt, pepper and half & half. Cook until slightly thickened stirring constantly. Add mixture to broth and rice. Add chicken. Garnish with bacon if you feel so inclined.

I'm not so good at being thorough with my recipes. Questions are always welcome.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

So, I needed one more goody for my husband's birthday party, but I was already cooked out. Solution: Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches. No nonsense and entirely delicious. Adults and kiddies alike downed them.
2 dozen homemade or good-quality bakery cookies (I used Oatmeal Cranberry Walnut Cookies from Days Market, don't tell)
1 1/2 quart container good-quality ice cream (I used Breyer's Vanilla)
Sprinkles, Toffee Bits, Mini-Chocolate Chips, etc.
I cut the cookies in half with a knife first and then placed a scoop of just softened ice cream on one half and then squished the other half on top. To complete the ensemble, roll the edges of the ice cream in topping of your choice. The adults loved the toffee bits, the kids preferred sprinkles. Freeze until it's party time. Makes 24 half sandwiches or 12 big ones.

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Oakie Cake with Toasted Cinnamon-Sugared Pecans

Most of the known world calls this Texas Sheet Cake, Mexican Chocolate Cake or Stretch Cake, but not the Purveses. It's Oakie Cake and it's the best version of this type of cake I've ever tried. Why? Two sticks of butter vs. the typical one, and a particularly fudgy frosting. Do try.
2 cubes butter
1 cup water
4 Tbl. cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 heaping tsp. baking soda
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon
In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda and cinnamon until combined; set aside. Bring the butter, water and cocoa to a gentle boil. Pour over flour mixture and add remaining ingredients, mixing well. Pour into a greased jelly roll pan. Bake 20-25 minutes at 350*. Meanwhile, prepare icing and pour over cake while still hot.
Fudgy Chocolate Icing
1 cube butter
2-3 oz. good semi-sweet or bittersweet baking chocolate
6 Tbl. milk or cream
1 lb. or 2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Bring butter, chocolate and milk to a boil. Remove from heat and add powdered sugar, and vanilla.
Toasted Cinnamon-Sugared Pecans
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2 Tbl. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
In a skillet over medium-high heat, toast nuts with the sugar and cinnamon about five minutes, constantly flipping and stirring. Sprinkle over icing while warm.

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White Chocolate Berry Trifle

This is a win-win dessert. Easy to prepare and a real crowd pleaser. Enjoy!
1 butter pund cake (Costco's are yummy)
1 small package instant white chocolate pudding mix (not sugar-free)
1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup fresh whipped cream
4 cups fresh or frozen raspberries, strawberries, favorite berry
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups fresh whipped cream
1/4 cup sugar

Cut pound cake into 1 inch squares; set aside.
Mix berries and sugar; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, water and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until smooth, then fold in 1 cup whipped cream until no streaks remain.
In large trifle dish, place 1/3 of cake pieces, 1/3 of berries and 1/3 of pudding mixture. Repeat two more times. Refrigerate at least 8 hours. Top with fresh cream and garnish with more berries or chocolate shavings. Serves 10.

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Baked Ziti

I went to my Grandmas last night for dinner and a fireside with my cousins. She does them every month. She is pretty much the ultimate "home maker". Well educated, mother of eight successful children, fabulous cook, entertainer extroardinaire, gardener, author etc. etc. etc. etc. Sometimes I pretend to be like her. She turns 75 in May and I am positive she gets more done in a day than I do. Anyway, I got in line with my cousins to dish up dinner and I saw a baked pasta dish on the counter. I'm not really a fan of baked pasta, especially with red sauce, so I took a small serving. I went to my seat and had a bite. It was fabulous. I shouldn't have been surprised, after all my Grandma made it. I got the recipe from her and I found it on the internet to share with all of you. Truly it is way good. The diced mozerella was soooo good in it. The only thing she did differently was to use dried basil (to taste) instead of fresh. I am excited to have found such a yummy recipe. It always makes me happy to add another winner to my collection. I might even start subscribing to the magazine.

One day I will learn how to link the tricky way where you only have to click a highlighted word. For now, you might have to copy and paste it into your browser.

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

1 box Betty Crocker® Original Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® chocolate chip cookie mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
1 container Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy chocolate frosting

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray, or grease with shortening. Make brownie mix as directed on box, using oil, water and 2 eggs. Spread in pan.
2. Make cookie mix as directed on pouch, using butter and 1 egg. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls evenly onto brownie batter; press down lightly.
3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Cool on cooling rack 30 minutes. Frost with frosting. For brownies, cut into 8 rows by 6 rows.

A little birdie (her name is Bakerella) told me that if you want to make these even better, you can skip the canned frosting and make this ganache for topping instead. YUM!

Chocolate Ganache
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate morsels
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
6 Tbsp butter

* In a small saucepan, heat cream and butter until just before the boiling stage.
* Pour over the chocolate morsels.
* Let stand about 20 seconds and stir until smooth.
* Pour over brownies and let set before cutting.

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Strawberry Shortcake with Lemon Ginger Cream

My cousin Sarah is getting married and all she is serving at her reception is strawberry shortcake. I love strawberry shortcake, so that is fine by me. Here is my very favorite recipe.

Strawberry Shortcake with Lemon Ginger Cream

Sunset, May 1995

About 2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup plus about 2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel (colored part only)

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter or margarine, cut into chunks

2 large egg yolks

2/3 cup buttermilk

2 quarts strawberries, rinsed and hulled, at room temperature

Lemon-ginger cream (recipe below)

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, ½ cup sugar, baking powder, lemon peel, soda, and salt. With pastry blender or your fingers, cut or rub in butter until mixture looks mealy. Combine yolks and buttermilk to blend, then add to flour mixture and stir with a fork until dough holds together. On a floured board, knead dough until smooth, 15 to 20 turns. Reflour board and pat out dough 1 inch thick. Cut into 6 circles with floured 2 ½- to 3-inch round cutter, gathering and repatting scraps as needed. Lift onto an ungreased 12 x 15-inch baking sheet and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar. Bake shortcakes in 400 degree oven until deep golden, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to rack until cool, at least 30 minutes.

Set aside 6 whole berries. Slice remaining berries, place in bowl and stir with 2 tablespoons sugar; let stand 10 minutes to 1 hour. Split shortcakes horizontally and place each bottom on a plate. Cover them with some lemon-ginger cream and sliced berries, then the shortcake tops. Garnish each with a whole berry. Offer with remaining cream and sliced berries. Serves 6.

Lemon-ginger cream: In a small bowl, combine 1 cup sour cream, 1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1 ½ teaspoons grated lemon peel. In the large bowl of a mixer, beat ½ cup whipping cream until thick. Fold in sour cream mixture.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow Ice Cream

Today North Carolina got dumped on with piles of fluffy snow. This doesn't happen too often around here so we have to take advantage of it every way we can. Growing up in Utah, we made this often.

To make homemade snow ice cream:

Fill a bowl with the fluffiest snow available
Stir in milk until it is the perfect ice creamy consistency
Add sugar to taste
Add fresh fruit or chocolate or caramel sauce if desired

Enjoy by closing your eyes and by not thinking about the millions of pollutants you are consuming.

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Lemon Caper Chicken

My whole family loves this dish. My girls steal as many capers as possible to go on their chicken. I like it because it is a little fancy, but comes together in 30 minutes or less and it tastes great!! Lately I have been serving the chicken and sauce over whole wheat linguine with broccoli as a side dish. I don't have an exact recipe for this dish. I have adapted it over time from one my sister-in-law Jenny gave to me. I wrote it out the way I make it. I hope it makes sense to you. Feel free to ask questions and I will answer. Also, make sure to read the whole thing through before you start :) I put the ingredients in a different color, so you can quickly scan them when you are making your shopping list.

NOTE: The first thing I do when I am making this dinner is start a big pot of water for the noodles. Then I wash and cut the broccoli. I either cook the broccoli (when everything else is almost done) in the microwave with a little water in a glass pyrex, or steam it on top of my noodles. It turns the pasta water green, but doesn't affect the taste.

Then I start on the chicken:

2 large chicken breasts, pounded as thin as you can
flour--about 1/2 cup--on a plate with shallow sides
2 eggs--beaten--in a wide shallow bowl or plate with adequate sides.

1 T olive oil
1 T butter
Put the olive oil and butter in a large frying pan and start it heating on medium.

I always pound my chicken inside a gallon size ziploc bag to cut down on the mess. I use my marble rolling pin. After I have the chicken pounded I dip it first in the flour and then in the egg and set it directly in the hot frying pan. Cook the chicken until it is golden brown on both sides with no pink in the middle.

While the chicken is cooking make the sauce:
2 C water with 2 chicken bouillon cubes or 1 can chicken broth--divided
1-2 garlic cloves depending on your taste, grated on the microplane or minced
The juice and zest from 1/2 a lemon
Salt to taste
2 T flour

1 bottle of capers--to serve with the chicken and sauce

When the chicken is done, put it on a plate and cover it with foil. Your water will probably be boiling now, so check, and throw the noodles (about 8 oz.) in--if you haven't already. Pour the sauce ingredients into the chicken frying pan--reserving 1/4 C of broth. Scrape off the brown chicken bits at the bottom so they become part of the sauce and let it come to a boil. While you are waiting for it to boil, stir 2 T flour into the 1/4 C of broth until there are no lumps. When the sauce is boiling whisk in the flour/broth mixture and cook for an additional minute or two until it thickens. I always taste it at this point in case it needs salt. If it is too lemony I add more chicken broth. Once you have tasted it etc., take it off the heat. Cook your broccoli until tender crisp. Drain the noodles. Serve the noodles with chicken, sauce, and as many capers as you like. The lemon sauce is good on the broccoli too. Then pat yourself on the back for making your family such a fabulous dinner in 30 minutes.

(Sorry if the punctuation in this recipe is incorrect. I always feel self-concious about punctuation when I know Ann Dee is going to read my stuff. ;))

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lemon Grass Pork Sandwiches

Spencer and I tried out a new hole in the wall restaurant in Provo named Dew. We really liked it and I was craving the Lemon Grass Pork Sandwiches so much that I decided to make my own. Both Spencer and I decided we liked my version even better than the restaurant. You will have to decide for yourself. I made my own demi-baguettes from the basic artisan dough recipe. We also love the dumplings and the soup at Dew. I would definitely recommend it, but it isn't a fun place for kids.

Lemon Grass Pork Sandwiches

  • 6 green onions (white and pale green parts only), chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped lemongrass*
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 clove garlic--grated on the microplane or minced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds boneless pork loin chops (each 1/3 to 1/2 ich thick) or bone in if that is what you have.
Mix all marinade ingredients together and shake them with the pork in a ziploc etc. Marinate for 3 hours and up to overnight turning/shaking a few times if you remember. Grill chops with marinade sticking to them until they are done, but still juicy. Cover with foil for 5 minutes, then slice. Serve on baguettes with julienned cucumber, jicama, grated carrots, and sweet Thai chili sauce to taste.

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

New Podcast - Thai Food

This was really yummy - sorry I don't have the actual recipe to post. I guess you'll just have to watch the video to see what the ingredients are and how much to add.

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Bacon and Broccoli Quiche

This is so good on a cold night...I one and a half this recipe for two pie crusts. And I always cook it longer than the recipe says...

Bacon and Broccoli Quiche

4 slices bacon (sometimes I buy real bacon bits if I'm lazy)
1 c. half and half
2 c. broccoli flowerets
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
4 eggs
1 c. grated Swiss cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. lemon pepper
2 pie crusts (I just buy mine, maybe you'll make yours)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook bacon until crisp, set aside. Beat eggs with cream and cheese. Stir in broccoli, salt, garlic powder and lemon pepper. Crumble bacon into egg mix. Form mixture into a 9" pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Top with remaining bacon.

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What if I hosted a Book Club meeting last night and my friend Sarah brought a cheeseball and I ate (almost) the entire thing? That'd be so weird...

Sarah’s Cheese Ball that I ate half of last night:
1 Tbs. salt
2 bars cream cheese
3 Tbsp. green onion
½ cup green bell pepper chopped
½ cup pecans
1 small can crushed pineapple
Mix all together. Roll in additional pecans and put in fridge until ready to serve.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cinnamon Oatmeal Waffles

This is just a link to a post I saw on a cooking blog I like. I haven't made these. 

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vegetarian Lasagna

A good way to get rid of the spinach you bought at Costco and never use because maybe you don't eat as many salads as you should. I obviously need to stop going to Costco.

2 big handfuls of spinach, chopped
1 jar of alfredo sauce--I use Classico sun-dried tomato (or you can make your own)
1/2 cup milk (sometimes I don't add milk--depends on how runny I want it)
1 (8 ounce) package lasagna noodles
1 pint part-skim ricotta cheese
1 egg
8 ounces shredded carrots
8 ounces fresh mushrooms sliced or broccoli or artichoke hearts or zucchini (get crazy with it)
A lot of shredded mozzarella cheese and some parmesan too (or whatever italiany cheese you have on hand)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10x15 inch lasagna pan with cooking spray.
Soak the noodles in hot water while you assemble the other stuff.
Place the spinach in a medium bowl. Mix in ricotta. Beat the egg with a wire whisk, and add it to the spinach and ricotta. Stir well to blend.
Combine pasta sauce with milk in a medium bowl. Mix well.
Then I saute the vegetables with some garlic. You don't have to do this. You can just add them in raw but I like to make things difficult plus I bought that big garlic thing at Costco. I know, I know.

Now layer and you can do it however you want but here's one way:
Spread about 1/2 cup pasta sauce mixture evenly in the bottom of the dish.
Place 3 softened noodles over the sauce.
Spread half of the spinach mixture over the noodles.
Sprinkle with half of the carrots and half of the mushrooms.
Sprinkle the cheese.
Place 3 more noodles over the cheese.
Pour 1 1/2 cups sauce over the noodles.
Spread the remaining spinach mixture over the sauce, followed by layers of the remaining carrots and mushrooms and then some cheese.
Place 3 more noodles over the vegetables.
Pour remaining sauce evenly on top.
Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Spray a sheet of aluminum foil with cooking spray. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil, spray side down.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Turn the oven off and take off the foil (I'm not sure why this step is necessary and I don't really do it), and place the uncovered dish back into the warm oven for 15 more minutes. Serve at once, or let rest until ready to serve.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Roasted Root Vegetable Ragout with Creamy Polenta

Roasted Root Vegetable Ragout
6 cipolline onions (I used pearl)
4 baby turnips or 2 large, cut in eighths
1 small celery root, peeled and cut into wedges
1/2 pound whole baby carrots
3 new potatoes, halved
2 leeks, white part only, cleaned and cut into 1/4-inch rings
2 parsnips, peeled and quartered
8 brussel sprouts
1 tablespoon (or more) olive oil
2 sprigs each of fresh thyme, rosemary, and parsley
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups Vegetable Stock
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard (I used red)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Serves 4-6
Preheat oven to 475 F.
In a heavy roasting pan, combine the vegetables and olive oil and toss to coat. Roast 20 to 30 minutes, turning every 10 until the vegetables are nicely browned. Meanwhile, tie the herbs together with kitchen string. Transfer the pan to the top of the stove. Add the wine, stock, tomatoes, and herbs and cook over high heat for 15 minutes. Stir in the Swiss chard and cook 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. To serve spoon vegetables and sauce over polenta.
Creamy Polenta
4 cups Chicken Stock/or canned broth
1 cup polenta (yellow grits)
1/4 cup milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Serves 4
In a large Saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to medium and add the polenta slowly, whisking each addition very briskly. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes or until thick and creamy. Add the milk (I also added 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, freshly grated) and stir to thoroughly incorporate. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lemon Curd Layer Cake

This cake is divine. I modify the whipping cream by stabilizing it with plain gelatin because it always falls apart and never looks a thing like the lovely picture below. It is still beautiful, but in a more free-form, flowing kind of way. It is fairly time-consuming. I am going to make it for my Mom's Birthday because she is totally worth all the work and it is her favorite cake. I am going to make it in three stages, first the lemon curd (which keeps for 1 week), then the cake the day before, and then the frosting the day of the party.

Bon Appétit | March 1999

yield: Serves 8 to 10


For lemon curd
  • 2 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

For frosting
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups chilled whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp. gelatin
  • 2 1/2 T cold water

For cake
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 8 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • Lemon slices, halved, patted dry (I don't usually bother with this decoration)


Make lemon curd:
Combine 2 1/3 cups sugar and 2 teaspoons cornstarch in heavy medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in fresh lemon juice. Whisk in eggs and yolks; add butter. Whisk over medium heat until curd thickens and boils, about 12 minutes. Pour into medium bowl. Refrigerate until cold, at least 5 hours. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)

Make frosting:
Beat powdered sugar and 1 1/4 cups lemon curd in large bowl just until blended. Place gelatin and cold water in a small glass bowl and let sit 5 minutes. Dissolve gelatin by placing the glass bowl over a small pot of simmering water. Remove the bowl as soon as the gelatin dissolves. Immediately beat cream in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Beat in gelatin mixture and then fold cream into curd mixture in 3 additions. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours.

Make cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour three 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides; line bottoms with parchment paper. Whisk 1 1/2 cups cake flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and ‟ teaspoon salt in large bowl. Add 4 yolks, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, orange juice, lemon peel and 3/4 cup curd to bowl (do not stir). Combine whites and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar in another large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1 cup sugar, beating until stiff but not dry. Using same beaters, beat yolk mixture until smooth. Fold whites into yolk mixture in 3 additions.

Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 15 minutes. Turn cakes out onto racks; peel off parchment. Cool cakes completely.

Spoon 1 cup frosting into pastry bag fitted with plain round tip; refrigerate bag. Place 1 cake layer on cake platter. Spread top of cake layer with 1/3 cup curd, then 1 cup frosting. Top with second cake layer; spread with 1/3 cup curd and 1 cup frosting. Top with third cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Spread remaining curd over top of cake, leaving 3/4-inch plain border around edge. Pipe chilled 1 cup frosting in bag in small mounds around edge of cake. (Cake can be prepared 1 day ahead; refrigerate.) Place lemon slices between mounds of frosting. Slice cake and serve.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

What would you do with a

five pound pork roast that someone bought on sale at Costco because it was on extreme sale and they were trying to be frugal but then they ended up not so frugal because they spent money on a five pound pork roast and they've never cooked a five pound pork roast? I'm asking for a friend. Thanks.

Type rest of the post here

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Play Dough for All

K. This is a recipe for play dough. Don't eat it. But listen, it's not just for kids. I made some on Monday and it felt so good in my hands. My child was sitting at the island yelling "Play ooo, Play ooo" but I didn't want to give it up. Seriously. It's soft and it was warm and it's a great stress reliever. Not only that, kneading in the colors is fun. I am always amazed at how vibrant they turn out. That may be why I'm so hesitant to hand them over. For some reason, V does NOT want to keep the beautiful colors separate so it ends up one big gray blob. Oh well.

1 cup flour
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon oil
1/4 cup salt
food coloring

Mix all ingredients except the food coloring. Stir over medium heat until it turns into play doughish stuff. Remove from pan and knead until blended smooth. Divide the dough into how ever many colors of play dough that you want. Drop in the drops and knead.
Keep it in a plastic bag or airtight container when cooled. It keeps for awhile but then it gets crumbly all over the floor and gets tracked through the house. Unless you pay better attention which of course you all do.

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