Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Roasted Garlic Onion Jam Pizza

This is what's for dinner tonight, compliments of Stonewall Kitchen and my friend Colleen for introducing me!

  • 1 thin pizza crust (12" Boboli)
  • 3 tablespoons Stonewall Kitchen Roasted Garlic Onion Jam
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese (or feta, goat or any cheese)

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Spread jam evenly over crust
  3. Sprinkle blue cheese over entire top of the pizza
  4. Bake 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted and jam begins to bubble

Monday, December 20, 2010

Yorkshire Pudding

This is a Christmas standard in our house, and the first of many Christmas recipes to come. I look forward to making this one dish like nothing else, particularly now that I have mastered the art of making and the way to read my relatives directions. Don't be afraid, as long you have a nice fat filled hot pan from some beast you just roasted! Enjoy this amazing artery clogging recipe!

Equal number of eggs (as in one egg per person?)
Equal number tablespoons of flour

  1. Set oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Beat eggs and mix with equal number of tablespoons of flour.
  3. Add salt and nutmeg and milk, stirring to make a batter with the consistency of cream.
  4. Beat vigorously.
  5. Fold into used roasting pan, from which only the roast has been removed, and bake with the hot fat.
  6. Cook for about 10 minutes until risen. Cut into squares and serve, preferably with horseradish sauce.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hot Crabmeat Dip

Another family tradition for Christmas. As a child I wouldn't touch crab. After Hi-Ho died I made this dip to continue the tradition. One taste and I was hooked! I crave this stuff! I double this recipe to last through the holidays.

1/2 pound fresh crab meat
3 large cans crab meat
2 or 3 rectangles cream cheese
2/3 cup mayonnaise (and sour cream HiHo wrote in)
2/3 cup + white wine or dry vermouth
garlic powder to liking
2 teaspoons mustard
1 small onion grated
horseradish to liking ( a lot!!) (really - the more the merrier)
2 Tablespoons chives
2 Tablespoons parsley
Dash Worcestershire - and a dash more
1 cup slivered almonds, roasted
clam juice if too thick

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large sauce pan.
  2. Cook and stir until cream cheese melts
  3. Add more wine as needed to keep it at dip consistency.
Serve in a hot chafing dish, using French bread or Melba toast rounds for dipping. Serves 30.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Baked Brie

Baked Brie is a simple appetizer that feeds many for either any party or holiday celebration. This is a family favorite, particularly for my mother in law. There have been times of near warfare over this dish as we elbow each other out of the way. We are also notorious for stealing each others knives. This Christmas, I picked up the whole plate and walked to another room with it just to watch her head spin! It is simple and oh so yummy!

1 wheel of brie, any size.
brown sugar
sliced almonds

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Remove cheese from refrigerator and unwrap.
  3. Gently slice or cut off the entire top layer of the rind. Keep sides of rind intact. If top layer is not entirely removed you will not achieve the ooey gooey wonder of this dish.
  4. Pack top surface with brown sugar and almonds. The more the merrier.
  5. Press down on top to make sure it's packed in.
  6. Pop it in the oven and bake until ooey gooey wonderful! Timing is relative to the size and quality of the cheese, but you want it jiggly and liquidy in the center.
  7. Serve immediately with water crackers. Make sure everyone has their own knife!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Garro's Egg Nog

This Eggnog is legendary! There are countless stories out there from the numerous people that have consumed this on Christmas Eve at our house. Please, if you have a memory to share, leave a comment and share a story.

Also, don't question the measurements - they are tried and true.

75 oz eggnog
25 oz. whiskey
12.5 oz rum
12.5 oz brandy
3 oz. meyers

1. Reserve plastic milk jugs to store egg nog in.
2. Combine ingredients.
3. Make a nutmeg ice ring, placing water and ground nutmeg in a bunt pan, and place in freezer.
4. When ready, place Eggnog and ice ring in punch bowl.
5. Establish your designated driver, and drink accordingly.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bourbon Balls

I meant to get this recipe up before Christmas.
I then meant to get this recipe up for New Years.
Clearly I failed at both goals. Here is a recipe for a favorite treat of HiHos. She would make these beauties and have them placed around the house on silver treat stands lined with lacy doilies. My Dad recently told me that he liked these most once New Years rolled around and they had some time to harden. The recipe originates with Gourmet Magazine and HiHo doubled it for Christmas Eve.

2 Tablespoons cocoa
1 cup sifted confectioners sugar and then some more.
1/4 cup Bourbon
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
2 and 1/2 cups Vanilla Wafers, crushed
1 cup broken pecans

1. Sift 2 Tablespoons cocoa with 1 cup sifted confectioners sugar.
2. Mix bourbon with corn syrup and stir into cocoa sugar mixture.
3. Add vanilla wafers and pecans and mix thoroughly.
4. Shape the mixture into small balls by rolling in hand.
5. Dredge the balls with 1/2 cup sifted confectioners sugar.
Set out and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hot Buttered Rum

No... not the band silly... the DRINK!


1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of ground clove
pinch of salt
bottle of dark rum
boiling water

1. In a bowl, cream the first 6 ingredients.
2. Refrigerate until almost firm.
3. Spoon 2 tablespoons of butter mixture into a mug.
4. Pour 3 ounces of rum into mug.
5. Top with boiling water, stir well, and serve!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Blessed Be the Cheese Makers

Guess what I did?
I took a cheese making class. Meet My Camembert.
(I'm too busy to blog right now, but you just HAD to see my baby)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Curried Acorn Squash and Apple Soup

This simple and tasty autumn warmer was the perfect choice for last night. Not only was it a way to use up the acorn squash who's skins were damaged and therefore wouldn't survive storage, but SP and I have also been suffering the most miserable chest cold. Hot and spicy things is all that we want, and those hot toddy's are starting to lose their edge! Time to break out the curry! I based this recipe on one of Barbara Kafka's (if you don't know her go find out - we love her especially for her high temp roasting). I tweaked it my way - had to make it creamy, and of course had to overload it with curry. That's the essence of cooking - season to taste!

1/4 cup oil
4 tablespoons mustard seed
3 tablespoons (or more) curry
2 to 3 Acorn Squash
4 apples - don't peel, but quarter, core and cube
1 onion - diced
2 cloves garlic - crushed and minced
1 tablespoon ground fresh ginger - grated
4 cups broth
fresh cider
light cream
lime juice to taste
salt to taste

1. Preheat oven 400.
2. Wash acorn squash. Cut in half lengthwise and then core seeds out.
3. Place outside up on lightly greased baking tray, and cook in oven.
4. While squash cooks, cut other vegetables.

5. Cook squash until guts are soft enough to scrape out (outside is generally soft enough to poke through). Let cool briefly on stove top so that they are cool enough to handle.

6. In a stock pot over medium to medium high heat, heat the oil.
7. Add the mustard seeds to the oil when hot, and stir until popping.
8. Add the curry and stir some more.
9. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
10. Add the ginger and stir.
11. Add the squash guts, apples, and stock and bring to a boil.
12. Boil for 10 to 20 minutes until the apples are softened.

13. Process in small batches in the blender. To each batch, add a good glug of cider and several dashes of cream. This lightens and creams the soup. See the consistency and color difference in the picture below.

14. Return to pot over low heat. Season with lime juice and salt. Adjust as you desire.
15. Serve with crusty bread and even an extra dollop of sour cream in the middle to cut any over-spicing you might have done!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fresh Basil Pesto

We put the garden to bed this weekend.
There was a giant purple crate full of pesto to process.
Sadly, none of the canning books we own had a recipe in it because of the cheese and pine nuts that are in it. It's not recommended to freeze pesto because of the fats and the changes in consistency. We however are not afraid of making pesto cubes in the freezer. We plow through pesto in our house. So I looked in the Joy of Cooking and found a recipe with the hearty idea of add vegetables to cook with the pasta. I'll have to try that sometime, but last night we needed to pound our the pesto fast. We settled on preparing Jamie Oliver's recipe from The Naked Chef.

I'm not even going to post a recipe in this post, because truly, what ever pesto you choose to make (we used our food processor and do like using lemon juice) you will undoubtedly tweak and add to it before serving. So, go harvest and pick your basil and find a pesto recipe today! Enjoy for longer than they tell you you can!

Action shot!
(notice dehydrator in the back ground - had fresh dried herbs on the garlic bread with dinner)
Spread and press pesto into ice cube trays.
Cover and set in freezer.

Once frozen through, crack the cubes out of the tray, air tight seal them in a new bag and place back in the freezer.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Oh this was so NOT what I needed on day one of my new healthy eating regime!!!

All Recipes BLT Dip


  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tomato - peeled, seeded and diced


  1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain on paper towels.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise and sour cream. Crumble bacon into the sour cream and mayonnaise mixture. Mix in tomatoes just before serving.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Corn roasted in it's husks

Try something different with your fresh corn!
Thoroughly soak your corn husks for a couple hours.
Grill in it's husks on the grill.
It adds an extra wonderful taste.
Eat as normal or cut ears off husks for use in salads.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

One special pizza night!

This recipe is a standard for us. We have done it so many times, we have been able to modify the original dough recipe so that we can make it healthier and out of wheat flour. The dough is made in a bread machine, and if using wheat add about 3 or 4 tablespoons more water to make the dough work. It's family pizza night so the toppings are yours to decide!!! This pizza night was extra special too - because it was the first time that Puckstopper was almost entirely in charge of the process!

Pizza Dough
(enough to make 2 large pies)
1.5 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
4 cups bread flour
10 oz. Luke warm water (yes his cousins name is Luke and he gave us this recipe)
1.5 teaspoon salt
2 T olive oil
corn meal

Yours to decide

1. Put ingredients, in order, into bread maker and start on dough setting.
2. Remove dough from machine and split into three or four balls.
3. Roll out balls and toss on a well floured surface, here is what we use to get the rolled dough on the pizza paddle.

4. Coat your paddle thoroughly in corn meal.

5. Once it is ready, roll the edge of the dough back just a bit, and wiggle the paddle underneath it.

6. Gently spread some oil out on your dough and then a couple of blobs of sauce on top.

7. Go on... spread it around.

8. Now add your toppings. This here is a picture of my pizza.
Yes, my beloved boys are hand tearing fresh basil to go on top of my caramelized onions.

and the tween Puckstopper made sure he had to add a little bling into this photo essay.

9. Now gently, in one fluid motion slide your pizza onto the hot pizza stone that has already been preheated in an oven, as hot as it goes.
What no picture?
Can you imagine why?
My beloved Puckstopper was using MY PIE as his test run for that fateful slide.
Many a pizza have met their death at one such moment.
Me? I was lucky.
Puckstopper was stellar.

10. Remove from oven, cool, cut and eat!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chopped Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinagrette

This is the BEST recipe for hot and humid summer nights. SP was on his way home from work yesterday, asked my dinner plans, and when I said "too hot" he brilliantly picked up what we needed from the store. He even opted to keep it chill and omit the grill - keeping it vegetarian!

Refreshing to say the least...

Chicken breasts grilled (if preferred marinate them in lemon juice and cilantro first) and chopped
1 avocado chopped
2 heads romaine chopped
3 tomatoes chopped
4 ears corn, grilled and then kernels cut off ears.
I cup or less shredded cheese
8 tablespoons oil.
6 tablespoons Lime juice
1 or 2 cloves garlic
Half a bunch of fresh cilantro
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon sugar (if dressing is too sour add more)
1 teaspoon salt

1 raw egg - optional to those who fear them.

  1. In a blender or vat with an immersion blender, combine the dressing ingredients. Taste. Adjust ingredients or seasons to your liking. I like mine on the limey/sour side, but you may want it creamier.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss. Chicken and corn may be hot when put in salad. Toss with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cucumber Sandwiches

Meet my favorite summer sandwich. HiHo loved making cucumber sandwiches. My kids ask for them by name. Friends want me to fax them and there is none other can compare. My making of these sandwiches has been compared to OCD and has rendered other people incapable of making sandwiches. They are so good, SP at them while mowing the lawn.

Meet the cast of characters - a simple line up.


1/4 to 1/2 a red onion, minced
White Bread, preferably Pepperidge Farm
Hellmann's Mayo
one cucumber (yea there's 4 in the picture but you only need one)
lemon pepper
salt and pepper to taste

1. Mince your onion

2. Fork your cucumber - yes you take a fork and drag it down the skin, cutting slits into the skin and therefore softening it and beautifying it for your future slicing.
Yes and because HiHo taught me how.

3. Slice your cucumber thinly.

4. Lay out your bread into an assembly line.

5. Spread mayonnaise, salt, pepper and lemon pepper on slices of bread.

6. Sprinkle a layer of red onion down, and then cover it with a layer of cucumbers.

7. Close your sandwich and press.

8. Cut into different shapes, and arrange on a plate.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Berry Buckle for 5

A few weeks ago, the kidlets and I went on our first, of what I hope to be many, berry picking walks in the front field. It was an adventure for us - surviving blasting heat, prickers, a run in with poison ivy, and a collapsing stone wall leaving Puckstopper breathless. From our four mighty yet easily dropped containers, we yielded 2 cups of fresh black and rasp berries. The perfect incentive to not eat the precious bounty of our picking, Berry Buckle for dessert.

We had enough for HALF a recipe. So here is a modified berry Buckle, for a family of five. I baked it in a loaf pan.

2 cups berries - any variety! (only strawberries need to be cut)
A couple tablespoons of sugar (only really for tarter berries)
A dash of water if needed

1/2 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/8 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
grated peel from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
sprinkling of cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lightly coat a shallow casserole dish with spray.
3. Combine berries, sugar and water in baking dish.

4. Using electric mixer in another bowl, combine cake ingredients one at a time.

5. Spoon over berry mixture, leaving center uncovered.

6. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.

7. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the cake clean.

8. Remove from over and let cool a bit.

9. Serve with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I'm making a Fritata tonight, and it is the first of this gardening season, so it looks like it is time to post. This is a family favorite and exceptionally handy tonight with 2 hard working men in the house who also need breakfast bright and early in the morning. This is SO SIMPLE and so versatile for breakfast lunch or dinner!!! You decide the ingredients and don't have to use cheese - or egg yolks. Very versitile and excellent for using up extra veggies from the garden!

glass pie pan
2 TBS olive oil
6 eggs (lightly scrambled). Start with 6, if not enough to cover at end, make sure you have a few extra on hand.
cheese (shredded, crumbled or even curds)

your choice of hard veggies:
onions, squash, broccoli, beans, etc.

your choice of soft veggies:

  1. Preheat oven to 425o.
  2. Slice or dice your hard veggies and layer on bottom of pan (no more than 1/2 high.) Cook for 25 to 20 min , stirring once, or until browning or caramelizing.
  3. Remove from oven.
  4. Sprinkle with 1/2 cheese, and add 1/2 the 6 eggs. Layer soft veggies on top but not to lip of pan.
  5. Cover with remaining cheese. Pour eggs over - making sure the contents are covered (wet).
  6. Bake uncovered for 20 to 30 min., until browning on edges, and center is solid and not wobbly.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


In Marie's words, "It's spelled 'brajole' pronounced brashol." Meet Marie. There's much more to her name than that, so I'm just going to leave it at Marie. Heck, there's so much more to Marie than her name, like her cooking. It is Marie's cooking that I am now learning about, after knowing her for about the last 20 years of my life, give or take a few! Marie was up for our party last weekend, and at Bruce's request made Brajole. What a journey of cooking! It was a fun trip to the market with Marie and got most of the photos of the process that I wanted - even scoring my favorite cooking photo ever. With out further ado... here's Marie and her Brajole!
Flank Steak, butterflied
curly parsley, minced
fresh garlic cloves, minced
butchers twine
tomato sauce
bacon, slightly cooked
parmagiano reggiano cheese
Italian herbed bread crumbs

Basically you use butterflied flank steak, stuff it with various "stuff", roll, tie tightly with twine (don't use cotton twine) and bake fry or cook in oil or gravy aka tomato sauce. (oil cooks faster than the sauce).
Options for "stuff" include grated Parmagiano Reggiano cheese (can use Parm or Romano, any brand will do), minced fresh curly parsley, Italian flavored bread crumbs, minced FRESH garlic (jarred stuff just sucks all the way around), and raisins (these are optional).

And top it with bacon. My family does it the following: slightly undercooked bacon (don't use specialty bacon...just the run of the mill)

This is my favorite picture ever - just look at the shape of her hands and the way the raisins fill the bottom corner of the picture. OK, kill me now, I am loving food photography too much.

We roll it, tie it tight and fry in a frying pan with olive oil on low with lid on part of the time (helps to cook middle without charring the outside).

Let it cool a bit, carefully snip off twine and slice - not too thin as it will fall apart! A serrated knife works best. Sometimes it helps to slice before you take off the string. This dish takes time, patience and constant supervision.