Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jenny's Whoopie Pies

This recipe is from my neighbor.
Our daughters are in K together, and this is their 3rd year going to school together. Coincidentally, our babies are also the same age and are in preschool together now. Jenny told me about her Whoopie pies, and I got the recipe from her in November, but am only now getting the recipe up?

I still haven't made these.
I think I am scared of them.
Scared that I will love them, and never stop making them, and only get fatter than I already am! :D

(If you are someone that looks at my other blog too, this is the neighbor in the house in the field, often pictured in the header photos of the sunsets from my porch. Go look now:

2 cups shortening
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, separated
4 cups flour
10 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda

2 cups milk

4 cups confectioners sugar

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Cream together 1 cup shortening and 2 cups sugar.
  • Add 4 egg yolks and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda, and 2/3 teaspoons of the salt (yes, it says 2/3- I don't know why- just eyeball it.)
  • Add the dry mixture to the sugar mixture and add 2 cups milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  • Drop by the heaping Tablespoons onto a cookie sheet (depending on how big you like your pies)
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes
  • To make filling, in a bowl with mixer add 1 cup shortening, 4 egg whites, 4 cups confectioners sugar, dash vanilla, dash salt and beat until fluffy.
  • Make sure cakes are cool before filling.
I have found they store best if you individually wrap each one in a baggy. If I have cake left over sometimes I fill them with coffee ice cream for a later treat.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bon Appetit's Middle Eastern Bison Meatballs

For a while now I have been taking considerable effort to know where my meat comes from, focusing on grass fed or free range meats, and to look at local sources of meat. One of my local meat sources is a Bison farm, so when I saw this recipe in Bon Apetite, with a middle eastern hint, I knew it was one for me to try. The sauce is delectable so I highly recommend keeping extra on hand as a sauce for other dishes.

Middle Eastern Bison Meatballs with Cilantro-Yogurt Sauce
Cilantro-Yogurt Sauce:
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup whole-milk Greek-style yogurt*
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño chile (about 1 large)
  • 2 tablespoons whole-milk Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground bison (often labeled buffalo)
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice


For cilantro-yogurt sauce:
Toast all seeds in small skillet over medium heat until aromatic and slightly darker in color, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Cool. Finely grind seeds in spice mill or coffee grinder. Place cilantro and all remaining ingredients in blender. Add 1 teaspoon ground seeds and process until smooth sauce forms, scraping down sides frequently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover sauce and chill. Reserve remaining ground seeds for meatballs. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated. Store remaining ground seeds in airtight container at room temperature.

For meatballs:
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy small skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes (do not brown). Cool. Toss breadcrumbs with milk in small bowl to moisten. Place cooled onion mixture, breadcrumb mixture, reserved ground seeds from cilantro-yogurt sauce, jalapeno, and yogurt in processor. Using on/off turns, process until coarse puree forms. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Add bison, egg, cilantro, sage, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, pepper, and allspice. Using hands or fork, mix until just blended. Using damp hands, form bison mixture into 1 1/4-inch balls. DO AHEAD: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in 2 batches, cook meatballs until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer meatballs to rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven to keep warm up to 15 minutes.

Serve meatballs with cilantro-yogurt sauce for dipping.

*A thick yogurt; sold at some supermarkets, specialty foods stores (such as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods), and Greek markets. If unavailable, place plain whole-milk yogurt in cheesecloth-lined strainer set over large bowl. Cover and chill 4 hours to drain.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

HiHo's Sweet Tomato Chutney

This recipe is hands-down most nearest and dearest to my heart as the number one culinary memory of my mother. This chutney is a truly epic olfactory event. Hi-Ho used to make this as Christmas gifts. The recipe elicits a whole manner of bittersweet memories. I remember returning from school to a house filled with a mouth watering aroma, only to find Mom standing protectively over her bubbling blue LeCreuset filled with simmering heaven. I would risk a finger scalding taste any chance I had. This chutney is Hi-Ho's legacy. I love you and miss you and think of you any time this chutney is close to mind or hand.

In recent years, I gave in to my gnawing desire to have chutney with dinner, and stumbled upon a perfect accompaniment: Fondue. Heaven on earth for sure! Many people have eaten this chutney: at every Indian dinner in my house, every New Years on hot oil fried meat and even with a steak dinner.

The origin of this chutney is from the Madhur Jaffrey.

Isn't she just the sweetest looking woman!? She totally reminds me of Mom. The best part though is how dog eared and stained the recipe page actually is. It is clearly the most actively used page in the book. I will never get rid of HiHo's note, reminding herself that she quadruples the recipe for Christmas.

Typically, I only doubled the recipe making sure I yield enough to can. I love my magnetic lid remover!

OK, enough rambling, and I will post the recipe, but please if you have eaten any of this chutney, please leave a comment!
To Hi-Ho! I love you Mom!



  1. Put the chopped garlic, ginger and 1/2 cup of the vinegar into the container of an electric blender and blend at high speed until smooth.
  2. In a 4-quart, heavy-bottomed pot with non-metallic finish, place the tomatoes and juice from the can, the rest of the vinegar, the sugar, salt and cayenne pepper (or, if you prefer, add the cayenne at the end, a little at a time, stirring and tasting as you do so).
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add puree from blender.
  5. Lower heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until chutney becomes thick.
  6. Stir occasionally at first, and more frequently later as it thickens. (A film should cling to a spoon dipped in it.)
  7. You may need to lower the heat as the liquid diminishes.
  8. You should end up with 2 1/2 cups of chutney, and it should be atleast as thick as honey after it cools.
  9. If the canned tomatoes you used have a lot of liquid in them, a longer cooking time may be required, resulting in a little less chutney.
  10. Add the almonds and the raisins.
  11. Simmer, stirring, another 5 minutes.
  12. Turn heat off and allow to cool.
  13. Bottle and Keep refrigerated. It last for years!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Faux-Russian Dressing

I put this dressing together as part of my Eat for Life, high protein diet that I am doing to get fit and healthy in the new year. I made turkey meat loaf the other night, and wanted to make a salad with it for lunch. When I reached for the Thousand Island dressing I told myself that I could make something better that still satisfied my "fat craving" tendencies. So here is what I did - no real measurements - just an eyeball and lots of whisking.


Large shake organic chili sauce
Large squirt organic ketchup
Generous amounts hummus - 1/2 cup to a cup
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon mayo (reduced fat is better) - just enough to taste

Combine ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Use as a salad dressing on a meaty/protein rich salad!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Another Pizza Night

All you need is to make the dough and have some fun.

When you can't seem to make up your mind
about red sauce versus pesto...

And then there is my pizza....

Banana peppers, feta, fresh mozz, and shredded mozz - a cheesefest as always!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pheasant/Gouda Pizza and Beet Pizza

I have made a pattern of posting the new and innovative pizzas we make at our house on pizza night. All you need is a pizza stone, a 550 degree (or more) oven, pizza dough (recipe here) and your toppings of choice. My origional

We made Pizzas on New Years Eve Night. Some yummy combinations were made with our houseful of about 15. There were two standouts of the night that I would like to share with you.

The first is the boys pizza, compliments of Uncle Luke who brought up two freshly shot pheasant which we promptly smoked and snacked on all weekend. Who would have thought of pheasant as a pizza topping? Better yet, who would have topped it with shredded Gouda that had been aged 4 years. Mmmmm mmmm good! Here's two pics of the wonderment.

The first round

The second round. (which I of course made sure had extra Gouda on it)

And then there was my pizza, which was of course vegetarian. ON this pizza is fresh mozzarella, thingly sliced potatoes, a few slices of banana peppers, a sprinkle or two of Feta, and generous amounts of Beet Marmalade (compliments of Angelica's Kitchen cookbook). it was beautiful and a hit.