Sunday, November 30, 2008

Chicken Custard

Another wonderful creation compliments of Baba. I find this recipe to be quite the filling and cheap dinner for two! It may be perfect for our current ailing economy, but it is troublesome on the cholesterol levels!

Ingredients (serves 2)
1 cup very strong chicken broth
1 cup light cream
3 egg yolks, well beaten
  1. Scald together the broth and cream.

  2. Pour over egg yolks .
  3. Cook in double boiler stirring constantly until slightly thickened.

  4. Season to taste.

  5. Put in cups and serve ice cold.

Baba's Ham

This recipe compares to a Virginia Ham recipe, but is better, because my great grandmother says so! This is an all day recipe so start it in the morning and allow an hour for the final heating process. It sounds so good I think this will be on my Christmas Eve cooking list in place of the traditional smoked spiral ham. I have included a picture of a clove studded ham for your viewing pleasure!

Ordinary unsmoked ham
1.5 cup ground coffee
1 cup vinegar
4 cups brown sugar
1 Tablespoon allspice
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
grainy mustard
more brown sugar
whole cloves

  1. Place ham in stock pot over medium heat and cover with water, coffee, vinegar, brown sugar, allspice, and cinnamon.

  2. Simmer for 4 hours.

  3. Let stand in water until cold.

  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

  5. Put ham in roasting pan, cover with mixture of mustard and brown sugar. Stud with cloves.

  6. Place in oven and bake for an hour or until heated through.

Pate de Foie Gras Mousse

Another recipe from Baba. I am not a fan of pate and had no idea you could get it canned. My husband however was delighted that I found a pate made from mushrooms. SP thinks he has now gone to heaven!
1 large can pate
one cup whipped cream
mold pans
French Dressing


  1. Open large can of pate and work into a smooth paste.
  2. Soak 1 Tablespoon gelatin in 3 Tablespoons Luke warm water.
  3. When dissolved, beat, to make sure there are no lumps.
  4. When cool, fold in one cup whipped cream.
  5. Work in pate paste, season with salt and paprika.
  6. Pour into wet mold and set in refridgerator.
  7. Serve on shredded lettuce with French Dressing. (really?)
  8. Garnish with olives. This makes about 20 slices.

Caviar Jelly

This recipe is from my great grandmother Baba. It is enough to make 2 rings.

1.5 quarts highly seasoned rich soup stock
1.5 Tablespoons gelatin dissolved in water
2 molded pans
2 jars caviar.


  1. To each quart of stock, add I level Tablespoon gelatin.

  2. Add sherry to taste and heat

  3. Have wet molds ready with pimentos, cut into stars, on the bottom.

  4. When stock begins to thicken fold in two jars caviar.

  5. Fill molds and chill.


This famous dessert that may have originated in Italy. Ingredients have changed over time, from a traditional Italian wine to sugar in place of honey. Traditionallyserved with figs, Zabaglione is sometimes also spelled sabayon, while its real Italian name is zabaione (or zabajone, which is an archaic form). It is also popular in Argentina, where it is known as sambayón. In Colombia, it's known as sabajón. In Venezuela, a related egg-based dessert drink is called ponche de crema.
1/4 cup sugar
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sherry
  1. Mix sugar and eggs in saucepan

  2. Blend sherry in a little at a time.

  3. Place in double boiler and cook.

  4. Stir constantly until mixture thickens and sticks to wooden spoon.

  5. Serve in sherbet glasses, with fresh fruit.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Maine Indian Pudding

A perfect traditional New England recipe just in time for Thanksgiving!

1/4 cup yellow corn meal
1/4 cup Pearl Tapioca
4 cups milk
1.5 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup sugar mixed with
1/3 cup molasses
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg slightly beaten

  1. Butter an 8 inch baking dish.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  3. Soak Tapioca in water for 1 hour. Drain.
  4. Scald 3 cups milk over boiling water in a double boiler.
  5. Stir in corn meal gradually.
  6. Add salt and Tapioca.
  7. Cover and cook for ten minutes
  8. Add the butter, sugar, molasses, and cinnamon and stir to mix until butter is melted and blended.
  9. Stir in the egg.
  10. Turn into baking dish and pour remaining milk over the top -do NOT stir in.
  11. Bake in oven for 1.5 hours or until fairly firm in the center. Stir 2 or 3 times during the first hour of baking.
  12. Serve with plain or whipped cream.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Spiced Maple Apple Butter

16 to 20 apples
2 cups water
3 to 4 cups sugar
1 cup pure maple syrup (or more along the way if you like the taste)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice (or more)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves

  1. Core and chop apples (no need to peel).
  2. Put in 9 quart pan and bring to a boil.
  3. Stir several times and continue until it looks like all apples are mushy.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Run through food mill.
  6. Return to pot and add remaining ingredients.
  7. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  8. Reduce heat to medium or medium low and cook stirring frequently.
  9. You want the mixture to reduce and congeal reaching a stiff sauce consistency. It will become quite molten so watch out for splattering.
  10. When finished, ladle hot butter into hot jars and arrange lids.
  11. Process in a hot water canner by bringing to a boil and keeping at a boil for 10 minutes.
Enjoy! The perfect breakfast toast spread this time of year! I love the addition of syrup.

Wanna-be Samosas

Last night was another refrigerator dinner night, so many odds and ends that could come together to make a yummy surprise. Well this night was inspired by a recipe from the Kiwi magazine that was called Curry Potato Puffs. I of course did not use the recipe for anything more than an "ah ha!" moment. I said, "Ah ha! I have puff pastry in the freezer and those look remarkably like Samosas!" I know when I started this blog I said I would not be adding any of the famous Indian recipes. That still holds true because this recipe was a first time creation, so enjoy the small peek into my Pakistani teachings! Well, my first ever journey down the culinary road of puff pastry (yes I have had it in the freezer for at least a year!) was a success. I hope you enjoy, particularly my lack of specifics about the pastry!

4 medium to large potatoes
3 carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
One onion, peeled and chopped
1 Tablespoon + ground coriander
2 Tablespoons mild curry (if you cook Indian food like I do you have multiple types of curry. I made this for the children, so I chose a mild curry)
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 pound ground beef (or any other but tonight I used beef)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheese (because I had it left from another dinner)
2 sheets frozen puff pastry.
sides of chutneys or even Raita

  1. Unpack puff pastry and thaw side by side on cutting board on counter top.
  2. Peel and halve potatoes and put them in a sauce pot of water over high heat. Add some pieces of carrots too. Bring to a boil.
  3. Preheat oven 400 degrees.
  4. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium to medium high heat.
  5. Add chopped onion and saute until slightly translucent.
  6. Add three spices and stir to mix well. Saute some more.
  7. Add the ground meat to the skillet, breaking it up, and stirring to mix evenly.
  8. Remove potatoes and carrots from boiling water and rinse with cold water to cool. Drain.
  9. Stir meat mixture, reduce heat to medium low, and cook two minutes.
  10. Dice the potato, and cut the carrots into round slices or half slices. Add to meat mixture and stir.
  11. Season with dashes or grinds of salt and pepper.
  12. Add milk and stir into mix, cooking for one minute. Remove from heat.
  13. This is where I will get vague with you, because having never worked with puff pastry before, things didn't come out even. What you want to do is roll out each sheet and cut it into small 5" by 5" squares. I rolled mine too thin at times, so I caution against this. I think you want it rolled out only to half of it's original width. What ever size squares you get at that point, use them! :)
  14. In the center of each square, place a couple/few heaping teaspoons of the meat mixture.
  15. Using a basting brush, gently wet the edges of the square.
  16. Grab one corner of the square, and bring it diagonally across the square tot he opposing side. Seal edges of now triangle together and press together to adhere. Your final product should be a triangular shape.
  17. Place each samosa on an un-greased baking sheet.
  18. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until browned on top. Serve with a chutney or pickle, I served with Mom's tomato chutney I will be making again in the months to come.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cranberry Sauce

This recipe is taken more or less straight out of the Ball book for canning. I made sauce this weekend as a table setting gift for my Thanksgiving guests. I had gone into a store to get a sandwich for lunch and saw a basket of local organic cranberries and knew I had to fill a bag to bring home and work with. It was also the perfect project for our daughter to help with. Here's the recipe.


9 cups fresh cranberries
3 cups water
4 cups sugar

  • Wash cranberries and drain.
  • Combine cranberries and water in a large sauce pot. Bring to a boil and continue to boil until all the skins burst.
  • Press mixture through a food mill.
  • Return pulp and juice to a pot. Add the sugar. Boil to the gelling point (when it falls off the spoon in a sheet and not drops)
  • Boil hot sauce into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch head space, affix lids, and jar by bringing to a rolling boil and keeping there for 15 minutes.

Middle Eastern Kebab Marinade

Tonight was a refrigerator dinner night, that is, one of those evenings when you know you have odds and ends in the fridge that you need to use. Tonight the left over stock, raw pork and chicken were demanding to be cooked, so I thought to create a nice spicy marinade. We are serving it with the Caesar salad. To prepare the marinade, combine the following ingredients
Ingredients for Marinade
1/8 cup stock
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon tomato paste (I actually had some homemade left)
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 /8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoons Olive oil
A couple grinds of Salt
Several grinds of black pepper

Marinate the meat in it for at least 30 minutes before preparing on skewers.
You may make additional skewers with onions and your choice of kebab veggies but they may want to start them about 15 minutes ahead of the meat. Arrange meat and veggies onto Kebabs.

Bake on a broiler tray at 425 for 30 minutes or more, until done. This could also be done on the grill. Tonight, when cooked, I will be serving it with a side sauce of last nights attempt at homemade ranch dressing. The dill, buttermilk, and sour cream in it could make it a decent tzatziki, but I didn't like it enough to post the recipe - YET!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Breakfast Baby

I am reposting this today because we are eating it for breakfast. Why are these things called babies? This is a FABULOUS breakfast recipe. It feeds 4 to 6 people, so is perfect for a family of 5. If you have a large amount to feed, make 2! it's super easy and takes little prep time. If you need to make 2, don't double the recipe, just make two different babies. I bake mine into a deep casserole pan or a 9x12 baking pan! It works both ways! I hope your family enjoys this as much as mine. When we woke up the kids were chanting BABY! Yum yum yummy!

1 stick butter
6 eggs separated
1.5 cups flour
1.5 cups milk
lots of grated nutmeg
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
pinch of salt
2 cups blueberries (or raspberries)
maple syrup

  1. Preheat OVEN 425 degrees.
  2. Put butter in large pan (9 x 12 or a deep casserole pan or baking dish, and melt in oven.
  3. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form (mix-master users - if you end up meranging them it will still work).
  4. Mix egg yolks, milk, flour, nutmeg, vanilla and salt in a large bowl. GENTLY fold in egg whites.
  5. Pour batter in pan of melted butter. Arrange fruit on top.
  6. Bake 25 to 30 minutes - when brown on top and center is not liquid.
  7. It is VERY hot - give a few minutes to cool
  8. You may dust with powdered sugar if you wish.
  9. Cut into squares and remove from pan with a spatula. Serve with real maple syrup.

Becki's Macaroni and Cheese

Another version of a family favorite. This recipe is what got me liking Dijon in my Mac and Cheese! I recommend doubling this recipe so that you know there will be left overs.


1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Black pepper to taste
8 ounces Grated Cheddar Cheese (we use Cabot)
8 ounces elbow macaroni

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Begin cooking macaroni as directed.
  3. As that cooks, melt butter in large saucepan.
  4. Whisk in flour and salt, stirring constantly until thickened.
  5. Add all but 1/4 cup of cheese, the Dijon mustard, black pepper, and stir until melted.
  6. Add drained macaroni to cheese sauce and mix well.
  7. Turn mixture into a 2 quart baking dish and top with remaining shredded cheese.
  8. Bake in over for 15 minutes or more, until bubbly and lightly browned.

Microwavable Macaroni and Cheese

I got this recipe from a Mom in my mom's group. I believe it was Erin. I forgot all about this low hassle recipe and just found it while going through my cook book shelves. I have only made it once and doubled it easily for our family of five. Anyone with kids knows that mac and cheese is always a winner with kids!

Makes 4 servings

1 7 ounce package of elbow macaroni
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (but fresh Dijon would be good too!)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1.5 cups milk
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

  1. Cook macaroni as directed and drain.
  2. Melt butter in 2 quart microwavable casserole dish.
  3. Stir in flour and seasoning.
  4. Microwave 30 to 45 seconds on high.
  5. Add milk and stir until blended.
  6. Microwave 4 to 6 minutes until thickened, stirring EVERY minute.
  7. Add cheese and stir until melted.
  8. Microwave and additional 30 second if needed.
  9. Stir in macaroni and microwave5 to 6 minutes, stopping halfway to stir.


Crockpot Meatloaf

Friends that came over last night asked about this recipe. I had made it one night that they babysat for us. It's super simple and yummy!

2 pounds ground meat (beef, chicken, pork, or turkey)
1 envelope onion soup mix
1/2 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup Stove top (or bread crumbs)
1 large egg
1 cup shredded cheese
1 generous Tablespoon Worcestershire
salt and pepper to season

  • Lightly grease your crock pot.
  • In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients by stirring well.
  • Pack into crock pot - pushing to edges and flattening top - kind of molding the meat into your crock pot.
  • Cover and cook on high one hour.
  • Reduce heat to low and cook 3 more hours.
  • Before serving pour off grease so you can reduce your fat intake.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Big Martha's Mashed Potatoes with Cream Cheese

I am making this tonight to accompany Martha's pork, here is her mother's mashed potatoes.

Hard Cider Braised Pork Shoulder

This is what I am making for dinner tonight. I saw this recipe in this month's Martha Stewart Living magazine. I thought it sounded like a yummy autumn dinner and is perfect for this rainy night with friends over. I have doubled the recipe and find it is a struggle to flip that piece of meat. I am definitely stepping outside of my comfort zone because I am actually working with a piece of raw meat with a bone in it! I am using Hornsby's hard cider. The smell as it is coming to a boil is fantastic. I wish I had time to make my own hard cider but if it turns out to be a good recipe, maybe I will plan ahead next year! I'm not going to tell you how it turned out, I will let my guests do that for you so keep an eye out for comments! Here's a couple of pictures I took though.

Crockpot Tuna Casserole

I make this recipe differently every time. Sometimes it is simply the pasta that changes but other times it is the extra ingredients I might add. When I made this the other night, I added pearl onions. With anything in the crock pot, you can always mix and match at will just as long as your proportions even out or your sauce is enough to cover the bulk of the recipe. In this recipe you may choose 2 cans of the same type soup. You could also choose cream of mushroom soup if you like mushroom. Feel free to improvise - that's my favorite thing about cooking in crock pots! Regardless, here is my crock pot tuna casserole from the other night.

12 ounce can of tuna (you can add more if you want)
6 ounces egg noodles, cooked al dente first
1/2 cup to a cup pearl onions (if frozen like mine, thaw first)
1/2 cup to a cup green pepper
1/2 cup to a cup peas
1 can condensed cream of celery soup
1 can condensed cream of onion soup
1 can water
shakes of lemon pepper
shakes of celery salt
several dashes Worcestershire

  1. Combine all ingredients in crock pot.
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Cook on low 4 to 6 hours, or in a pinch on high for 2 to 3. If you cook on high please be around to check for scorching on the edges, and stir or reduce heat to low if necessary.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mima's Egg Salad

This recipe is written as the intended filling for a Caviar Jelly ring. I had hard boiled eggs on hand and was going to make the Egg Salad Ring recipe, but couldn't find my gelatin. So I fast forwarded in my recipes to go ahead and make this. Great idea for lunch, and a kid friendly recipe for little cooks. Our daughter helped shell the eggs, noticed the smell, remarked that she didn't like the yolks, but after tasting the salad said, "Well now I like the yellow things!" Enjoy any day as a snack, salad, or sandwich! Yum!

8 eggs, hard boiled
2 stalks celery, chopped fine
A few minced sour pickles
2 teaspoons chopped pearl onions ( I didn't have any so used a few of the onions in my Cornichon pickle jar)
1/2 cup + mayonnaise


  • Hard boil 8 fresh eggs (often done the night before so they chill)

  • Peel and chop eggs.

  • Mix with celery, pickle, pearl onions, and mayonnaise.

  • Season with salt and pepper to taste (I often add a little curry powder)

  • Serve on lettuce as a salad,as a dip with knife and cracker, with 2 slices rye bread for a sandwich, or as a center stuffing on the other mold recipes.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chicken Mousse with Nut and Celery Salad

This one is credited to my great grandmother. While somethings have clearly gone out of style in terms of eating gelatinous chicken for lunch, the use of salads in this recipe and another soon to come has not changed a bit in three generations! When we have leftover chicken we make it into a salad with celery and pecans. I like the use of French dressing over the top of this one!

Chicken Mousse with Nut and Celery Salad

1 cup cream, milk, or chicken broth (I live how this ranges from least to most healthy)
3 eggs separated
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 cup cooked chicken, pounded and chopped very fine.
1 cup whipped cream
leaf lettuce
chopped celery
chopped pecans
French Dressing

  1. Scald one cup milk cream or chicken broth.
  2. Beat yolks three eggs and add salt, celery salt, pepper, and paprika
  3. Cook as a custard...
(So this is where this recipe comes to a screeching halt so that I can insert the proper directions from Joy of Cooking for modern cooks who don't eat or cook custard on anything close to a monthly basis.)
  • ... whisking together ingredients until blended.
  • Bring to a summer in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking gently all the while.
  • In a separate bowl, add 1/4 package gelatin with 1/4 cup cold water
  • Place chicken in bowl and strain custard over cup of chicken.
  • Place over ice bath
  • Stir over ice water until thick
  • Add 1 cup whipped cream and stir.
  • Pour into mold and chill.
  • When ready to serve, place on lettuce.
  • Cover with chopped celery and pecans.
  • Pour French Dressing over the top.
The notes in the margin state: "4 lbs. chicken serves 18", but I wonder if she actually meant to write 4 cups of chicken and thus encouraging you to quadruple the recipe for a party?

Chicken Meatballs served on Rotini with homemade sauce

Yesterday was a busy day getting the garden put to bed for the winter, so when it came time for dinner we needed something easy and on hand. SP made chicken/turkey meatballs and put them on top of Rotini pasta with homemade sauce I had already canned.

Chicken Meatballs

2 lb ground chicken and/or turkey
3/4 package Italian dressing seasoning
1.5 cup bread crumbs
a dash of shredded Parmesan cheese

pasta and sauce for the meal

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees
  2. Mix ingredients
  3. Form into 2" size balls
  4. Cook on a greased cookie sheet for 30 minutes, turning every ten minutes, or until it reaches an internal temp of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Serve over cooked pasta with sauce
This recipe can be easily modified or added to for any craving.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Candy Corn Crisped Rice Cereal Treats

This was the perfect activity for today, the day after Halloween. I cleaned up a bowl of candy decorations into a perfect snack for the kids lunch boxes. Perfect way to find a use for that extra Halloween candy!


1 stick butter, plus more to grease the pan
10 cups crisped rice cereal.
9 cups marshmallows
2 cups candy corn
1 cup chocolate bits (chop some candy bars or else use chips)
  1. Grease a large lipped cookie pan

  2. In a big saucepan, melt 1 stick butter with the marshmallows. Stir frequently to prevent sticking and ensure smoothness.

  3. In a large bowl, mix cereal, chocolate and candy corns.

  4. Add melted marshmallow to cereal mixture and stir thoroughly to combine.

  5. Spread mixture onto cookie sheet and press together and into corners of pan.

  6. Refrigerate until well chilled and then cut into small pieces. Enjoy!