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Cornbread recipe

Cornbread recipe

Cornbread Recipe

The Mardi Gras dinner was delicious. I enjoyed the red beans and rice and the Cornbread Recipe. I went an extra step and made some King Cupcakes. Most years I make a traditional King Cake, so I shook things up a bit this year.  It was a good alternative.

I had cooked the beans in my electric pressure cooker on Monday and started the Red Beans after they had cooked. It’s amazing that I can cook enough beans for 2 recipes in less than 2 hours in my electric pressure cooker instead of overnight plus multiple hours on the stovetop. Tuesday all I had to do was reheat and finalize the seasonings to the beans, cook my rice, and bake some cornbread. Oh, and bake the King Cupcakes.

My mother loves cornbread and, like most things she cooks, has a recipe that she has used for decades. My father was never a huge fan of cornbread. I hate to say…maybe he just didn’t like mom’s Cornbread Recipe. I have tried dozens of cornbread recipes through the years. They are all relatively similar, but some are sweeter than others, some are drier than others. It’s a personal thing, I’m sure. I prefer mine to be less sweet but moist. The recipe I found and adapted for last night’s dinner is definitely going to make it in the top 5 list. I loved it and The Hubs loved it, except for the every now and then pop of heat he got from the jalapeños I diced and threw in. Maybe next time there will be fewer of those. Otherwise it was a huge success.

With the heat of the cornbread (and the tablespoons full of sliced jalapeños and pickled garlic I added to my bowl of red beans) the cupcakes were the perfect ending. The cake was not overly moist, but the frosting was sweet and fluffy with a hint of lemon. I got the recipe from the King Arthur Flour website. I recommend trying the recipe, but also perusing the site for other awesome recipes and excellent flour. https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/mardi-gras-king-cupcakes-recipe

King Cake cupcakes

The only thing missing from my meal was a perfect Mardi Gras cocktail. It’s never too early to start looking for one for next year, though.

 

Cornbread Recipe

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup corn kernels (canned or frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon pickled jalapeño (diced)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil (spray with cooking spray) an 8 X 8 baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Mix in milk, egg, and vegetable oil until well combined. Gently stir in corn and jalapeño Pour batter into prepared baking dish.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Place pan on cooling rack for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Note: Instead of the corn and jalapenos you can add a small can of fiesta

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2018 in Recipe

 

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Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and Gravy

While Biscuits and Gravy may be a staple or seem almost as All-American as apple pie to many people in North America, they are quite foreign to many cultures.

I grew up eating biscuits and gravy and not always in the traditional sense of the breakfast food ordered together as Biscuits and Gravy. Biscuits (not cookies) were served as the bread portion of many meals in my home growing up, and gravy was made at least once a week with the drippings from the meat that my mom cooked; fried chicken gravy, beef gravy from a roast, and even pork gravy from fried chops. I fell in love with gravy and still have a deep relationship with it today.

Gravy, like biscuits, means different things to different groups of people. If you were raised in an Italian home when you think of gravy you probably think of a tomato based sauce, like spaghetti sauce. Many people think of brown gravy made mostly with the drippings and stock of meat. The gravy I love the most is milk gravy.

Both of my parents made wonderful milk gravy; mom made it from the drippings of her fried chicken, and dad would brown sausage or ground beef and use the fat from that to make milk gravy. I still prefer milk gravy, but rather than using drippings from meat I make a white sauce with a butter and flour roux and then add my milk. Most generally I use mushrooms as my flavoring. It is delicious over biscuits or potatoes, and I have been known to eat it on a plain slice of bread.

When it comes to biscuits I like a big, fluffy, flaky biscuit. One of the best examples of this type of biscuit can be found in Colorado at the Denver Biscuit Company. Delicious. My biscuits do not always turn out quite as fluffy as I would like, but that doesn’t stop me from trying – or from eating the biscuits that aren’t as big and fluffy. I even make and eat drop biscuits. Also, I do not have to eat my biscuits covered in gravy. I can eat biscuits with butter, jam, honey, marmalade or a combination of those and more.

This past Sunday for brunch I made a pastrami hash for The Hubs and girls to eat, with homemade biscuits. For myself I made mushroom gravy. Later in the day I made a snack out of a leftover biscuit with some berry jam, served with some hot tea. For an evening treat I whipped up some chocolate gravy (yes, it’s a thing) and spooned that over yet another biscuit. That last combination may not be what most people think of when they’re thinking of a traditional serving of biscuits and gravy. In my opinion, that needs to change. It is wonderful.

I am intrigued to know if Biscuits and Gravy is common where you live, and how you like your biscuits and gravy.

Biscuit Recipe

  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter or shortening, chilled
  • 1 cup whole milk or buttermilk
  • Melted butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, and salt using a fork or whisk. Use fingers or pastry cutter to work butter or shortening into flour mixture until most of the mixture resembles coarse meal leaving some pieces no larger than peas. Make a well in the flour and pour ½ of the milk into the well. Quickly work the milk into the flour mixture, adding small amounts of milk as you go. The dough should be a little wet.

Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead gently for about 30 seconds. With a rolling pin roll dough gently to about 3/4 inch thickness, working in more flour if necessary. Using a biscuit cutter (or a glass or cookie cutter) cut into rounds. Place biscuits on greased baking sheet. Brush tops with melted butter. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

Note: soft winter flour is best for making biscuits.

Mushroom Gravy

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup cremini mushrooms, diced

Salt and pepper to taste

In a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until combined to make a roux. Do not overbrown. Whisking continuously add milk. Continue to whisk until sauce is thickened. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in mushrooms. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until gravy is thick and lightly brown.  Serve warm.

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Biscuits with mushroom gravy, smashed potato, fried egg

Chocolate Gravy

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup whole milk (any milk will work)
  • 4 teaspoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, and flour. Stir in milk, whisking constantly. Cook over medium heat, continuously whisking, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and stir and butter and vanilla until butter is melted and gravy is smooth. Serve over warm biscuits.

IMG_0408

Biscuits with Chocolate Gravy

 

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2018 in Recipe, Uncategorized

 

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Pizza Recipe

Pizza Recipe

Pizza Recipe

Happy National Pizza Day! Pizza is another one of the foods that I grew up on. I didn’t grow up on frozen pizza or pizza that came from a restaurant with a red roof. I didn’t grow up in Chicago or New York where they have their own way of doing pizza.

I grew up with a father who loved doing things for himself and doing things his own way. Once he found a dough and sauce that everyone in the family deemed “it” that was his standard pizza recipe. The toppings varied a little bit by palate, but the pizza was fairly straightforward: dough, pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, toppings of meat (usually browned and drained ground beef) and veggies (parboiled diced onion and green pepper).

As I became an adult and started making pizza for my own family I incorporated more variations. I tried different doughs, different sauces, different cheese, and vastly different toppings. My girls discovered they don’t like too much red sauce, if any. One of them loves goat cheese on pizza. One loves hamburger or sausage. The Hubs will eat almost anything that I put on a pizza, and I love experimenting with veggies and seafood toppings. I did find a basic pizza dough recipe that I use most often. It’s straightforward and easy to turn into thick or thin crust.

Homemade pizza has been a staple of my life for over 4 decades and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. Enjoy some pizza yourself today, and enjoy my pizza recipe!

Pizza Recipe

Pizza Crust

  • 3 ½ cups bread flour
  • 1 ½ – 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar (or honey)
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ¼ cups lukewarm water

Add the flour and salt to the bowl of the mixer, making a well in the middle. Heat the water to lukewarm in a large microwave proof measuring cup, add the yeast, sugar, and olive oil and leave for a few minutes. Gently mix the ingredients in the measuring cup with a fork, the pour gently into the middle of the flour. Mix at a slow speed until the liquid starts to incorporate into the flour. Increase the speed on the mixer gradually. Once all of the ingredients have become mixed, turn the speed up to medium and mix for 5-7 minutes. The dough will pull away from the sides and bottom of the bowl and become smooth and springy. Lightly oil the bottom of the bowl with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit in a warm area until doubled in size.

When the dough has doubled in size, dump it onto a floured surface and punch down the dough. This is a quick kneading to get the air bubbles out of the dough. Form the dough into a large ball. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into fourths (I was able to get 4 good sized pizzas using this recipe). Make balls of the cut dough, placing 3 back into the bowl. Cover with the plastic wrap. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to desired thickness.

Pizza Sauce (traditional)

  • 2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • A pinch of sugar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Spread over prepared, rolled out pizza dough. Follow with cheese and toppings.

Optional Pizza Sauce

  • ½ – 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano (or use fresh)
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil (or several leaves of fresh)

Spread olive oil over prepared, rolled out pizza dough. Sprinkle garlic and herbs over the oil. Follow with cheese and toppings.

Cheese Suggestions

  • Mozzarella, shredded
  • Fresh Mozzarella
  • Feta
  • Cream cheese
  • Fontina
  • Ricotta
  • Gorgonzola
  • Parmigiano

Topping ideas

  • Pepperoni
  • Canadian Bacon
  • Ground beef, browned and drained
  • Italian Sausage, browned and drained
  • Chicken breast, cooked and sliced
  • Smoked Salmon
  • Onion
  • Green Pepper
  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Tomato
  • Olives
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Roasted Red Pepper
  • Pineapple

Directions:

Remove all but one rack from the oven. Place cool, clean pizza stone on bottom rack. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Roll out dough for one pizza. Keep remaining dough covered, to avoid drying out. Place dough on peel or upside down baking sheet covered with parchment. Spread preferred over crust. Top with preferred cheese or cheeses. Add meat or veggie toppings of choice over pizza. Gently slide parchment, with unbaked pizza on top onto the hot pizza stone. Bake for 6-8 minutes, depending on thickness of crust. Cheese will be melty and toppings starting to brown. Remove onto a cutting board. Cool slightly before cutting into generous pieces and serving.

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2018 in Recipe, Uncategorized

 

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Brownie Recipe : Marbled Brownies

Brownie Recipe : Marbled  Brownies

Brownie Recipe : Marbled Brownies

If you are looking for an amazing Brownie Recipe to make for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day ( or anytime ) I suggest you try this one.

As Valentine’s Day is less than a week away I was looking for a recipe that I have made for The Hubs for Valentine’s Days past and thought I would make it again this year; Marbled Brownies.

Marbled Brownies may not seem like a typical Valentine’s Day food to most, but for me it is. My connection to and love for brownies goes back to my very early childhood. Brownies was the first thing I learned to bake and baked it so often that I had the brownie recipe memorized by Kindergarten. In high school I can remember my father helping me to perfect a microwave brownie recipe so that I didn’t have to wait so long to enjoy Brownies (this was the 80’s folks, before mug cakes were a thing). Since then I have made Peanut Butter Brownies and Black Bean Brownies and Fudgy Brownies and…

Fast forward to a date I went on and shared (what we dubbed) a cheesecake brownie. It was delightfully delicious! We both talked about it for some time after that. I wanted to replicate that brownie for him and enlisted the help of one of my brothers to search for and help me test out recipes. It was a painstaking process of him pouring over cookbooks and researching (at a library) to help me come up with the recipes that I then kitchen tested. It was a perfect dark chocolate brownie with velvety cheesecake swirled in. When I found ‘the one’ I baked a batch and took them to the cheesecake brownie date at his work. I am convinced that is one of the reasons he married me.

The brownie recipe we found was titled Marbled Brownies and so that is what I have continued to call them.  I don’t make these every year for Valentine’s Day, but most. I have also been known to add red food coloring to the batter to make them more of a Red Velvet-esque Brownie. This year I believe I will make the original version. The Hubs still enjoys them and the memory of sharing one on our first date makes both of us smile.

Do you have a favorite Brownie Recipe? I’d love to hear about it and maybe try it myself.

Marbled Brownies Recipe

Chocolate Batter

  • 8 – 1 ounce squares semi-sweet chocolate
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Cheesecake Batter

  • 4 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom of a 9 X 13 baking dish with waxed paper or parchment and lightly grease. Melt chocolate and butter over a double boiler or a glass bowl in the microwave on low power, stirring occasionally until smooth. Set aside to cool. Beat eggs until light and fluffy; gradually add sugar. Continue beating until blended.  Sift flour, salt, baking powder, fold to combine. Stir in cooled chocolate mixture; add vanilla. Measure and set aside 2 cups of the chocolate batter. For the cheesecake batter: cream softened butter and cream cheese; gradually add sugar. Continue beating until well blended. Beat in eggs, flour, and vanilla. Spread unmeasured chocolate batter in prepared pan. Pour cream cheese mixture over the top. Drop reserved chocolate batter by spoonfuls over the cream cheese batter. Run a table knife lengthwise through the top layer of chocolate batter beginning about one inch from the edge. Repeat, beginning at the other end of the pan going the opposite direction, about an inch or two from the first. Repeat, going opposite direction each time, to create a marbled effect. Bake until just set 35-40 minutes. Place on wire rack to cool. Turn pan onto a cutting board or platter to remove from pan. Cut into squares.

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2018 in Recipe

 

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Brunch Recipes : A Year’s Worth of Sundays

Brunch Recipes : A Year’s Worth of Sundays

Brunch Recipes : A Year’s Worth of Sundays

Hello. My name is Katherine and I love food. This is not new news, nor am I beginning a program for food addicts, merely stating facts. I have uttered the phrase “I love food” more than once in my life and made utterances of some variables, most common perhaps is “I love cheese”. However, another common phrase in my wheelhouse of ‘food love’ is “I love brunch”. If you do not currently find the same brunch love that I do, maybe these brunch recipes will change that.

From a young age breakfast foods have been found at the top of the ladder. My likes and loves have expanded throughout the years from basic and bourgeois to inspired and inventive. Brunch is the perfect excuse to enjoy both.

Like any self-respecting woman I do enjoy going out to brunch, whether it’s a sit-down affair to order off the menu or a large all-you-can-eat buffet. I prefer the out to eat brunches that allow me to imbibe, but I won’t rule out a dry brunch if the food is tasty and the coffee is plentiful.

Over the past 15 months of my seemingly nonstop travel I made the one homemade family meal of the week. This kept me connected to all of the best parts of my life: my family and food! It also gave me the chance to learn the history of brunch and discover amazing new brunch recipes.

I may not have an entire year’s worth of brunch recipes, although it would be very close to a year’s worth of Sundays! Obviously I will not share all of the awesome recipes that I have come across on this journey (at least not today), just my most recent.

This past Sunday’s brunch consisted of homemade cinnamon rolls, breakfast potatoes, baked eggs, and bacon for the meat eaters. Oh, and a Spicy Red Snapper cocktail for the non-meat eaters (me)! The brunch recipes are posted below.

Quick Cinnamon Rolls

Dough

  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 package instant yeast
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Filling

  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

Glaze

  • 4 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3-6 Tablespoons hot water

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, yeast, and salt. In a small glass bowl combine the sugar, butter, water, and milk. Microwave until the butter is melted. Gradually add the warm liquid into the bowl of the stand mixer. Add the egg and mix until a soft and sticky dough forms. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Using dough hook, turn mixer on lowest setting and mix for 4 minutes or until the dough becomes elastic. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
In a small bowl mix the sugars and cinnamon together for the filling.
Once the dough has rested, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a size of 16 X 9 inches. Spread the melted butter over the top of the rolled out dough, then cover with filling mixture. Beginning at the 16 inch side roll the dough tightly and pinch edge to seal. Using a serrated knife cut the dough into 12-15 equal size pieces. Place the rolls into a lightly greased 9 X 9 baking dish and gently press a piece of aluminum foil over the top. Turn the oven OFF and place the foil covered rolls inside to rise for 25 minutes. Remove the pan of rolls from the oven and turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Once pre-heated, remove the aluminum foil and bake the rolls for 15-18 minutes or until they are golden brown in color and sound hollow to tap.
While the rolls are cooking mix together the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add hot water 1 Tablespoon at a time until glaze reaches desired consistency.
Remove from the oven onto a wire rack. Cool for 5 minutes before spooning glaze over warm rolls.

IMG_0250

Baked Eggs

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons milk, half-and-half or heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the inside of 2 10-inch ramekins or custard cups. Break and gently slip 2 eggs into each ramekin. Spoon milk evenly over eggs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place ramekins on baking sheet. Bake in oven until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard, 10 -15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Breakfast Potatoes

  • 3-4 medium potatoes, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • ¼ red onion, diced
  • ¼ red pepper, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Bake 30-45 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden, turning once (or twice). In a large skillet melt butter. Add diced onion and red pepper and sauté until soft and onions are translucent. Add roasted potatoes and cook until all are hot and combined. Serve with your favorite potato condiments. I prefer mayonnaise and Sriracha.

Spicy Red Snapper Cocktail

  • Ice cubes
  • 5-6 ounces tomato juice (or v8, v8 hot and spicy)
  • 2 ounces dry gin (Spirit Hound is preferred)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon chili sauce
  • ½ Tablespoon bread and butter pickle juice
  • ½ Tablespoon pickled jalapeno juice
  • ½ Tablespoon pickled garlic juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed or salt
  • 1 pinch red pepper
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • For garnish
  • Bread and butter pickle slices
  • Stuffed olives
  • Pickled jalapeno slices
  • Pickled garlic cloves

Place ice cubes into a cocktail shaker, and pour in tomato juice, gin, and remaining ingredients other than garnish. Cover and shake until the outside of the shaker has frosted. Pour contents into a highball glass. Layer garnish ingredients onto a skewer. Place inside glass. Drink up.

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2018 in Recipe, Uncategorized

 

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Potato Salad Recipe

Potato Salad Recipe

Potato Salad Recipe

Growing up in Kansas you get used to the saying, “If you don’t like weather in Kansas…wait 5 minutes.”  It’s true. The weather in Kansas changes more often than a chameleon changes colors in a paint shop. Even D4 was discussing it yesterday, as we drove down a snow packed street wearing our heaviest winter gear. Just the day before she had been playing outside with her dog in 60 degree weather and The Hubs and I were grilling!

I have learned to love the ever changing weather in Kansas because it brings so much variety and adventure to life. It allows me to be grilling one day and making cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate the next. Definitely an adventure!

It can make meal planning a little bit difficult sometimes, especially if you have meat in the freezer that you are waiting for a gorgeous day to grill. D1 gave The Hubs some ribs, thick cut bacon, and Philly Cheesesteak Bratwurst for Christmas. Hoping that the weather reports were accurate he took out the brats to grill Saturday night. Also knowing that D2 would be home Saturday for dinner I had to plan around a strict vegetarian on bratwurst night. I decided that I would make a vegetarian (not vegan) recipe of her favorite potato salad.

It happens to be the favorite potato salad recipe of everyone in my family. I came across it nearly 30 years ago now. When D2 comes home I usually make 2 full recipes, one with bacon and one without. I only made one this time, which was fine. Although the others missed the bacon they didn’t complain.

In addition to the bratwurst that The Hubs was going to grill, I stuffed some red peppers with a blend of cheeses and herbs and I sliced some red onions to grill. Since I don’t eat red meat and D2 doesn’t eat any meat the cheese stuffed peppers provided for a protein source.IMG_0308

I had baked a banana cake with cream cheese frosting to end the meal.

The myriad foods cooking on the grill as well as the foods I had made inside presented a symphony of smells. The peppers and onions along with the smoky smell of bratwurst combining with the sweet baked banana cake and roasted potatoes for the potato salad recipe created a mouthwatering aromatic experience. It was a wonderful meal to see, smell, and taste. Still, the highlight of the meal was the roasted potato salad.

 

Potato Salad Recipe

  • 4 cups quartered, unpeeled small red potatoes
  • cup mayonnaise
  • 4 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
  • hard‑cooked eggs, chopped
  • ¼ cup sliced green onion
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

 

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Place potatoes on a cookie sheet sprayed with Pam.  Bake 30‑35 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden, flipping once.  Mix mayonnaise, bacon, eggs, onions, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Add potatoes and mix lightly.  Serve warm or cold.

 

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2018 in Favorite Recipes, Recipe

 

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Banana Cake Recipe

Banana Cake Recipe

Banana Cake Recipe

In addition to the most obvious reason I love to cook and to bake, which is eating the end result (usually), I enjoy both the history of food and the adventure that preparing food brings.

Thursday I had to bake some muffins for a school event for D3. I had a fruit bowl containing some browning bananas that I knew would be great for banana muffins, and a freezer full of some that I hadn’t had time to use when they turned brown. I turned some of them into the muffins that my daughter needed, but took some extra out to make a cake.

Banana bread and cake seem to have come about during the depression as a way to use bananas that would have otherwise had to be thrown out. Baking cakes and quick breads was also a way for women to earn a little money during that time period by selling the baked goods. The banana cake recipe I wanted to use also called for soured cream (not ‘sour cream’) which was used in creating fluffy cakes and quick breads before the invention of baking powder and also prevented waste. Every penny counted during the depression.

The banana cake recipe I use is in a cookbook my dad appreciated and used a great deal – The Fannie Farmer Cookbook – so he bought me one. Dad’s was copyrighted in 1979, while mine was copyrighted 1990. I have used the book so many times that the spine is need of repair.

I hadn’t made a banana cake for my family in probably half a decade. They were anticipating eating this one before I had even baked it! The looks on their faces and the sounds of disbelief when I told them it was for dessert, after dinner…hysterical. I hoped the hype would pay off and the cake would not disappoint.

The banana cake recipe in the book suggests making a pastry cream filling and also recommends a frosting. I have never used either. I like to frost my banana cake with a cream cheese frosting. Maybe one of these days I will try it the other way.

If you’re wondering if it lived up to the hype, it did! They all loved it and so did my mom when I took her a piece. I am so glad that my dad bought me a copy of one of his favorite cookbooks and that I have a wonderful banana cake recipe to bake for my family and to pass down.

Banana Cake Recipe

  • 1/4 pound butter (1 stick)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup mashed banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup soured cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and lightly flour a 9-inch square cake pan. Cream butter, slowly add the sugar and beat until light. Add the banana, eggs, and vanilla and beat well. Mixt the flour, baking soda, and salt, add to the first mixture, and blend. Slowly add the sour cream and beat until well blended. Spread in the pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack. Cool completely before frosting.

 

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2018 in Recipe, Uncategorized

 

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

I mentioned that I made some slow cooker (aka crockpot) meals for my oldest daughter and her husband for Christmas. One of those meals was a freezer to slow cooker pulled pork.

In case you are not familiar with pulled pork, it is traditionally a way to use a cheaper or tougher cut of meat like a pork shoulder, sometimes called pork butt, by cooking it low and slow. In many parts of the United States when they talk about barbecue they mean pulled pork.

Not everyone has access to a smoker or other method to cook or smoke their butts. I have found that making slow cooker pulled pork is a great way to get similar results without as much effort or having to go outside!

The recipe I made for D1 was a Carolina style slow cooker pulled pork. One of the things that makes it Carolina style, is the use of vinegar. Also, the way it’s topped is unique. Carolina Style pulled pork sandwiches are topped with coleslaw and onions. Another thing I did with D1’s cookbook was to include ideas for side dishes to go with the meals. Sometimes deciding what to serve with the main course can be as confusing or time consuming as choosing what the main course is going to be. For the meal of Slow Cooker Pulled Pork sandwiches I paired coleslaw to top the meat as well as chopped onion and baked beans and potato salad. All 3 of these sides can be made easily or picked up at the local grocery store.

Although I make the recipe for the freezer, you can certainly make this slow cooker pulled pork without freezing it first!

 

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

  • 3-pound boneless pork shoulder or roast
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Combine all the ingredients in a zip top freezer bag. Freeze. Remove from freezer the day before you want to serve it. Place all contents in slow cooker and cook on high for 6 to 7 hours or low for about 8-9 hours, until pork is done. Remove pork and pull or shred. Add shredded pork back into the slow cooker. Stir into the sauce / juices. Serve on sandwich buns, with coleslaw topping the meat.

 

NOTE:

To pull or shred the pork remove it from the slow cooker. Using 2 large forks pull the pork in opposite directions. Continue until all of the pork has been shredded. Remove any large pieces of fat and other pieces that you do not want to eat before returning it to the juices.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2018 in Recipe, Uncategorized

 

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Chili Recipe : The Standard

Chili Recipe : The Standard

I have mentioned that food was a way of life in my home growing up. It was different for my father than for my mother, but nonetheless a way of life for both. The chili recipe I am going to share is a prime example.

My mother cooked the way her mother cooked, which is the way she learned to cook from her mother and friends and neighbors. When my grandmother and then my mother had a recipe in hand that they liked it was “the” recipe. From that recipe onward they did not deviate. This was definitely true in the case of my mother’s chili recipe.

This chili recipe was handed down to my mother from her mother who was given the recipe by the mother of one of her neighbors. Because the chili recipe originated with this woman, whose name was  Nellie, it was and still is “Nellie’s Chili”. Anytime my mother was going to make chili, this was the chili recipe she used as her standard.

My father was a much more adventurous cook. He liked to research a recipe’s origin and read over multiple recipes for a dish before deciding which recipe he would make (this time). He never admittedly disliked the standard chili recipe that mother made, but he did like to make his own from time to time.

Although my father is no longer able to make chili, but my mother is. In fact just last week she made a pot of her chili recipe; Nellie’s Chili. She still loves it.

My brothers make this as their standard and the chili recipe I used today to top the chili cheese dogs that my family is eating for dinner; the standard chili recipe. I served the chili dogs (beef for the red meat eaters and turkey for the non-red meat eaters) with oven baked potato chips. They were delish! It was a perfect pairing.

 

Chili

  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • ¾ cup celery (chopped)
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 to mato paste can of water
  • 2 cans red kidney beans
  1. Brown ground beef. 

  2. Drain excess grease.

  3.  Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for 1 hour.

 

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2018 in Recipe, Uncategorized

 

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Electric Pressure Cooker : Teriyaki Chicken

Electric Pressure Cooker : Teriyaki Chicken

Electric Pressure Cooker

Since Christmas I have been using my electric pressure cooker at least once a week. It is a wonderful addition to my kitchen tools. It cooks meat so fast, even frozen chicken breasts. It’s also great with dried beans; cutting the cooking time by hours!

I had a busy day today and realized at about 3 this afternoon that I had forgotten to take anything out of the freezer for dinner. I found this recipe (I’ve adapted it to my family’s tastes and to my pressure cooker) and gave it a try.

This was a huge hit with The Hubs, Daughters 3 and 4 and me. I used some of the sauce as a marinade for green beans that I cooked and they were equally as delicious as the chicken. This will definitely make it into the lineup, and if I remember to take the chicken out the night before it will cut the cooking time by half!

I absolutely love having an electric pressure cooker, and think every household should have one.

Pressure Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (or to taste)
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 pounds frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts (if thawed, reduce cooking time)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Green onions, chopped, as garnish
  • Sesame seeds, as garnish

Spray inside of electric pressure cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Turn pressure cooker on to high and add sesame oil and chicken breasts. In a small bowl whisk together soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, brown sugar, honey, garlic, ginger and hot sauce. Pour sauce over chicken breasts. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and set to cook for 20 minutes (or according to manufacturer directions).

Release the pressure according to your cooker’s quick release instructions. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water, then add to the electric pressure cooker. Switch the cooker to saute mode and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, about 2 minutes.

Garnish with diced green onions and sesame seeds if desired and serve over cooked rice.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2016 in Recipe, Uncategorized

 

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