Monday, February 26, 2018

Apple Cinnamon Bundt Cake

I found this recipe on the internet.  It is positively delicious!

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
6 Granny Smith apples (about 2 cups chopped)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, melted
4 large eggs

1 to 2 tablespoons water
1 cup confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 350.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.

In a large bowl, combine butter, brown sugar and eggs.  Whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in dry ingredients just until combined.  Do not overmix.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the apples.  Spoon batter into a 12 cup nonstick prepared bundt pan and smooth the top.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes.  [In my oven 50 minutes was plenty of time]

Cool in pan on rack for 15 minutes.

Make the glaze:  Whisk together the confectioners sugar and enough water to form a thick yet pourable glaze.  Drizzle over cake, using wax paper underneath to catch the drip.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Chicken Queen Elizabeth

This is a superb dish that you would be proud to serve to important dinner guests.  It comes from an old cookbook of mine, Favorite Restaurant Recipes, copyright 1982.

6 servings

6 chicken breast halves, boned, skinned and pounded thin, seasoned with salt and pepper
6 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley
6 thin slices Swiss cheese
6 thin slices ham
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs


1 1/2 cups canned whole tomatoes, partially drained
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon white wine
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
pinch of garlic powder
pinch of freshly ground pepper

Freshly cooked rice
apricot halves for garnish

Preheat oven to 325.  Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.  Top each with 1 teaspoon parsley, 1 slice cheese, and 1 slice of ham.  Roll tightly.  Brush with some of the butter and sprinkle with 1/2 of breadcrumbs.

Arrange compactly, crumbed side down, in 6 inch square baking dish.  Pour remaining butter over top and sprinkle with remaining crumbs.  Cover and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove cover and continue baking until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Set aside and keep warm while preparing sauce.

For sauce:  Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan over medium high heat and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer sauce for 3 to 5 minutes.

Spoon rice over serving platter.  Arrange chicken over top.  Cover with sauce and garnish with apricots.

This one is a sure winner!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Apple Cheddar Soup

I'm not sure where I found this recipe.  It has been in my "big binder" of recipes for a long time.  I really like it and I think you will too.

1/2 stick butter
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
1/2 large onion, chopped
6 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup flour
3 cans (14.5 oz. ea.) chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded cheddar

Garnish:  1 McIntosh apple, cored and chopped into small cubes

In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add potato and onion; cook until potato is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in food processor, puree together 6 apples, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper.

Stir flour into sweet potato mixture; cook, stirring for one minute.  Stir in chicken broth, salt and apple puree.  Bring to rolling boil over high heat; boil 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

With a hand blender puree ingredients in saucepan until very smooth.  Whisk in cheese until melted.

Garnish with chopped apple at serving.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Coconut Cream Pie

This is an old favorite that is really delicious and quick and easy to put together.

1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup coconut
3/4 stick butter
2 cups milk
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Blend all the above in a blender.  Pour into a pastry lined pie pan.

Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 for 30 more minutes.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Hearty Beef Stew

This is a new recipe I like.  It caught my eye because it is quite different from the stew I make.  This recipe is from Ellie Krieger's Comfort Food Fix.  She has numerous cookbooks on the market and I particularly like this one.

1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 pound lean stew beef, cut into cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small rutabaga or turnip, peeled and cubed
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large russet potato, cubed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups reduced sodium beef broth
2 cups green peas

Place  the flour, salt, pepper, and paprika in a large sealable plastic bag.  Add the beef and shake to coat well.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large (at least 6 quart) saucepan or soup pot over medium heat.  Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes.  Transfer the meat to a plate, leaving the juices in the saucepan.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pot.  Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden, but not browned, about 10 minutes.  Add the rutabaga, carrot, and potato and cook until the vegetables soften slightly, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the tomato paste and cook 1 minute more.  Add the wine, bring to a boil, and reduce for 3 minutes.  Add the beef broth, return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low.  Cover and simmer until the meat is tender, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Add the peas and cook 5 minutes more.  Remove from heat and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Males 4 servings.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Hamburger Pie

This is another old, old favorite.  Don't know why I haven't made it recently.  It is a sure winner.

2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Crisco
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup milk

Stir together dry ingredients; cut in shortening.  Combine egg and milk, add to flour mixture.  Roll half of dough; place in a deep 9 inch pie plate.

2 lb. ground meat
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon dry mustard
3/4 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
dash of Tabasco sauce
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
salt to taste

Brown meat and onion; add remaining ingredients.  Place in pie shell.  Roll remaining dough to make top crust.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Blend butter and flour; gradually stir in remaining ingredients.  Serve over meat pie.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Gourmet Quickie (beef)

This is a really old recipe from my extensive recipe file!  I've made it so many times over the years.  It is easy and quick to put together and everyone likes it.  Serve with mashed potatoes and a vegetable.

Combine:  ground beef, ketchup, thyme, salt and pepper, one or two eggs and grated onion

Form into patties and dredge in flour.  Saute.  Remove from pan and make sauce with:
red wine, bouillon, ketchup, thyme, grated onion, mushrooms.

Pour over patties and serve.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Mediterranean Gratin of Tomatoes, Potatoes, Feta, and Olives

This delightful dish comes from my Passionate Vegetarian cookbook by Crescent Dragonwagon.  She comes across as quite a colorful person and I enjoy reading her cookbooks as much as I do trying recipes.  I have featured her recipes earlier in my blog and this probably won't be the last!

She offers one variation to this: Arrange a scattering of steamed, just barely limp fresh spinach over the tomatoes.

4 to 5 medium potatoes scrubbed
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
4 fresh tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup pitted and halved kalamata olives
2/3 cup coarsely crumbled feta cheese
1/2 to 2/3 cup Breadcrumb Topping Provencal (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Spray a medium-large gratin dish with cooking spray.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil, drop in the potatoes, turn down the heat and cook until potatoes are half done, about 15 minutes.  Drain and slice into 1/4 inch rounds while still hot.

While potatoes cook, heat about one third of the oil in a skillet.  Add the onions, lower heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until the onions are so soft, they are droop and starting to brown.

Arrange half the tomatoes in the gratin dish.  Sprinkle with salt (remembering that both the feta and olives are both salty), plenty of pepper, and the thyme.  Scatter about one third of the onions over the tomatoes and top with half he cooked potato slices, still warm.  Scatter with half the olives and feta and another round of seasoning.  Repeat the layering with tomatoes, seasonings, onions, potatoes, olives, feta, and seasoning.  Top with the final third of the onions.

Sprinkle with breadcrumb topping, patting it gently over the gratin.  Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the crumbs.

Bake until the crumbs are golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

Breadcrumb topping:

About 1/3 loaf leftover bread to yield 3 cups crumbs, crisp or soft
3 to 5 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian parsley leaves
1 tablespoon basil leaves

Tear the bread into large pieces and place in the food processor.  Pulse to make fine crumbs.  You need 3 cups.

Combine the crumbs, garlic, oil, parsley, basil, and pulse.  Then run the machine to get fine crumbs.

You are going to love this one!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Looking forward to smoking meat again!

Winters are long and harsh in New York State.  By the middle of January this year, I had a bad case of cabin fever.

Four years ago, I got hooked on smoking meat.  I had wanted to try it for years but it seemed so complicated.  WRONG!  In 2014, I bought the middle size Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker, even assembled it myself!

Since then I have smoked chickens, baby back ribs, briskets (Oh, they are really wonderful out of the smoker!), roast beef, and pork butt.

While some people use their smoker all year, I don't.  I enjoy sitting by the smoker, enjoying the aroma and taking in the warm, sunny sky.  That is part of the experience!

It really is easy to be an expert smoker in no time.  My first try was a whole chicken, which is the easiest to prepare and smoke.  In my opinion, the Weber Smokey Mountain is the best smoker, although there are other good ones out there.

So go ahead.  Try it.  You'll be glad you did.