Friday, February 26, 2010

Walnut Mocha Torte

Let's end the week with something sweet!

Walnut Mocha Torte:
1 cup walnuts (or pecans)
2 TB all-purpose flour
2 1/2 ts baking powder
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar

-Combine the nuts, flour and baking powder.
-Blend eggs and sugar, mix until smooth.
-Add dry and wet mixes, mix until smooth.
-Pour mixture into two 8" round baking pans.
-Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
-Frost with Mocha Frosting (below) and decorate with nuts.

Mocha Frosting:
1 ts instant coffee
1 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

-Dissolve instant coffee in cream, beat on low speed until slightly thickened.
-Add sugar and cocoa, beat until thick.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cloud Biscuits

It's been nothing but icy cold rain all week in Massachusetts... so we're posting warm, savory recipes.

Cloud Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 TB sugar
4 ts baking powder
1/2 ts salt
1/2 cup shortening (or butter)
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk*

-Sift together dry ingredients.
-Cut in shortening until mixture is coarse crumbs.
-Combine milk and egg, add to mixture and stir.
-Knead gently about 20 strokes, roll out to 3/4"
-Use 2" biscuit cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheet.
-Bake at 450 degrees for 10-14 min

*For drop biscuits, use 3/4 cup milk, and don't knead the dough.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Johnny Cake

A johnny cake is a bit like a cornbread pancake. I remember going to visit Grammy's house, and having the store bought ones for breakfast.

Johnny Cake

2 cups corn meal
1 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
2 TB shortening (or swap for butter)

-Mix all ingredients as you would pancake mix
- Scoop onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 min

Other recipes indicate you could cook these like pancakes on a griddle if you prefer.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Onion Pie

I'm not sure if this dish is best for breakfast, lunch or supper, but it sounds pretty interesting. Double click the image to enlarge it.
Apologies - the rest of the card should read:
-Pour egg and cream into crust over onions.
-Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Baked Custard

The recipe closely resembles Bread Pudding. It is also the rough equivalent of what you might get if you put French Toast in a blender, then baked it.

Baked Custard

4 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
2 TB sugar
1/4 ts salt
1 ts vanilla
2 slices of bread, torn up

- Mix the eggs, milk, sugar, salt and vanilla together
- Place the bread into a casserole/baking dish. Pour the egg batter over bread.
- Top with raisins
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes
- Lower temp to 275-300 degrees for the final 30 minutes

Grammy suggests rubbing the bottom of the crust with unbeaten egg white. I'm not quite sure how that goes.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Potato Gratin with Boursin

Potato Gratin with Boursin

2 cups whipping cream
1 5 oz pkg Boursin cheese (w/herbs)
3 lbs red potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
1 1/2 TB chopped parsley
salt and pepper

- Butter 9 x 13 " baking dish.
- Melt together whipping cream and cheese over medium heat.
- Arrange half potatoes in baking dish. Salt and pepper potatoes.
- Pour half cheese mixture over potatoes. Add second potato layer and repeat.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour, until top is golden brown.
- Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mocha Frosting

February... not always an exciting month in New England. It's cold and bleak. What it really needs is a strong dose of sugar and caffeine. For anyone who just gave up sweets for Lent (my roommate), apologies.

Mocha Frosting

2 cups confectionary sugar
2 TB cocoa
dash of vanilla
2 TB oleo -- better change that to butter
2 TB instant coffee
dash of salt

- blend with mixer until frosting-like... I assume.
This is another recipe that Grammy had in her head, and didn't write instructions. Good luck!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns

These look delicious!

Caramel-Pecan Sticky Buns

1 pkg active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup warm milk
1/4 cup sugar
3 TB vegetable oil
2 ts salt
4 cups all purpose flour (give or take 1/4 cup)

- Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, sugar, oil, salt and 1 1/4 cup flour. Beat on medium until smooth (2-3 min).
- Stir in remaining flour to form soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic (6-8 min).
-Place dough in greased bowl, flipping once to grease top.
-Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (1 hr).

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
3 ts ground cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

-When dough is ready, roll out flat on lightly floured surface.
-Butter the dough within 1/2 inch of edges.
-Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over butter.
-Roll up the dough like a jelly roll. Pinch edge to seal. Cut into 12 slices.
-Combine brown sugar and cream, pour onto a greased baking tray. Sprinkle pecans on top.
-Place rolls over pecans. Cover and let rise until doubled in size (1hr).
-Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
-Let the buns cool. Flip upside down to serve.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Another cold New England evening... perfect for a big bowl of soup. This recipe comes from the historic Red Lion Inn of Stockbridge, MA -- a favorite restaurant when we're visiting the Berkshires. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Starlight Mint Surprise Cookies

Happy Friday, have some cookies:

Starlight Mint Surprise Cookies

3 cups flour
1 ts baking soda
1/2 ts salt
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 TB water
1 ts vanilla
1 pkg Chocolate Mint Wafers
1 pkg walnuts

- Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt
- Cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar
- Gradually blend in the eggs, water and vanilla to the wet mix
- Mix dry and wet ingredients.
- Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours
- Wrap chocolate mint wafers in about 1 TB of chilled dough
- Top each doughball with a walnut half
- Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Marinated Asparagus and Diced Tomatoes

How good is your ounce to tablespoon conversion? I'm going to type this recipe as is, then translate it into tablespoons at the bottom:

Marinated Asparagus and Diced Tomatoes

1 bunch asparagus
1 cup plum tomatoes, diced
1 oz fresh basil (1 tsp dried)
3 oz oil
1 oz balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

-Wisk together the basil, oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
-Blanche asparagus for 3 minutes, and rinse in cold water
-Mix asparagus and tomatoes into basil oil and vinegar.
-Refrigerate until serving.

1 fluid ounce = 2 Tablespoons
(so this recipe needs 6 TB oil, and 2 of balsamic vinegar)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Beef Medley Soup

There's supposed to be some huge snowstorm tonight (maybe), so soup seems to be the way to go for dinner:

Beef Medley Soup

1 lb hamburger
1 T oleo*
3 onions, sliced
1/3 cup barley
1 can tomatoes
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
3 carrots, sliced
3 potatoes, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 tsp steak sauce

- Put ingredients into pot, add 1 1/2 qt water.
-Bring to boil, then simmer for 90 minutes

*though the original recipe calls for oleo, it should be swapped out for butter.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Peach Melba

Peach Melba

1 pkg frozen red raspberries
1 1/2 tsp corn starch
1/2 cup currant jelly

- Bring all of the above to boil. Cook until clear and thick.
- Strain and cool.

- Scoop vanilla ice cream into a bowl and place half a peach on top.
- Drizzle raspberry sauce over the peach and ice cream

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lemon Tea Bread

You should be able to click on the recipe to make it easier to read.

Friday, February 5, 2010


I've been trying to pick out Superbowl Party appropriate foods this week (well, except for the lemon shrimp pasta... we're not that fancy). This recipe would also work well for summer grilling.

Kielbasa - Barbecued (or stovetop)

1 Kielbasa
1 onion, choppd
2 TB butter
2 TB vinegar
4 TB brown sauce
1 TB mustard
1 1/2 cup water
10 oz ketchup
2 TB lemon juice

- Saute kielbasa and onion
- Simmer remaining ingredients for 20 minutes. Add kielbasa and onion.
-Serve in chafing dish and keep warm

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Outrageous Artichoke Dip

"Truly truly truly Outrageous" Artichoke Dip?
(Sorry, I grew up in the 1980's -- that's a cartoon reference)

Outrageous Artichoke Dip

2 cans (14oz) artichoke hearts, drained
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
1 cup mayonnaise**
1 cup sour cream
1 ts Tabasco sauce

-Preheat oven to 300 degrees
-Chop artichoke hearts in food processor until finely chopped (okay to chop by hand)
-Mix chopped artichoke with remaining ingredients
-Bake in casserole dish for 45 min until golden brown

She notes that this can be made ahead of time, and will last up to 24 covered in the fridge

**As always, Grammy Gertie's preferred mayonnaise is Hellmann's

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Grandma Beal's Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

I suppose this recipe is a bit of a family heirloom, since it came from Grammy Gertie's maternal grandmother.

Grammy Gertie on her Grandma Beal:

"My Grandmother Beal was not a big woman, but she worked hard. She raised five children. She was always very pleasant. She was a religious woman, and she was involved in Christian Science. I used to go and stay with her a lot in the summers when I was younger. That’s how I learned how to make butter, and work on the rug loom that I have a picture of now. I gave it to the museum in Lowell. I helped her with that. She was a nice gal."
Grandma Beal's Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup oleo
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup oats
1 cup coconut

-Mix ingredients, and shape in small balls on baking tray
-Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lemon Pepper Pasta Piselli with Shrimp

Lemon Pepper Pasta Peselli with Shrimp

1 TB butter
1 TB olive oil
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
3/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 TB fresh cilantro, chopped
1 pkg Lemon Pepper angel hair
3/4 ts salt

- Cook and drain pasta
- Melt butter with oil in skillet, add shrimp, peas and onion. Cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add cream, bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer until thick (about 3 minutes)
- Stir in cilantro
- Toss pasta with shrimp mixture and salt

Monday, February 1, 2010

Frying Batter

We're a few days away from Superbowl Sunday, and if you're doing the cooking, this recipe might help. Good for shrimp, onion rings, or anything else that you think needs a little frying: