Posted in Favorite Recipes

Peaches & Cream Pie

In case you haven’t noticed from the recipes I have posted so far, I love desserts. And there is nothing I like better that peaches and cream in whatever form it may occur. Have you ever bought those Quaker Oats Variety packs of instant oatmeal. When ever I bought those for my kids I would take out the peaches and cream flavors for my self. I don’t even think they knew those flavors existed until they were teenagers.

So when I saw this recipe on AllRecipes.com I knew I had to try it. But I never did. I just hadn’t gotten around to it. Not yet anyway. I am determined to stay true to my diet this year. So, I won’t be making any desserts anytime soon. But I think you should. So here’s the recipe. You can come back and let me know how it is. Maybe I can live vicariously through your experience.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 (3 ounce) package non-instant vanilla pudding mix
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 (29 ounce) can sliced peaches, drained and syrup reserved
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease sides and bottom of a 10 inch deep-dish pie pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and pudding mix. Mix in butter, egg and milk. Beat for 2 minutes. Pour mixture into pie pan. Arrange the peach slices on top of the pudding mixture.

In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add 1/2 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons reserved peach syrup. Beat for 2 minutes. Spoon mixture over peaches to within 1 inch of pan edge. Mix together 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and sprinkle over top.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Chill before serving.

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Posted in Favorite Recipes

Simple Holiday Turkey

Where would the holidays be without the turkey? I don’t know, but, I like a turkey during the holidays. Until a couple of years ago though, I had never oven roasted a turkey. I had deep fried a few, smoked a couple, but never oven roasted. So, here is a very simple, but delicious oven roasted turkey from FoodWishes.com with Chef John. I have used this one a couple of times and it is very easy and the turkey comes out perfect every time.

Ingredients:

12-24 pound turkey
seasoning salt: salt, black pepper, and cayenne
3 tbsp butter
4 sprigs of rosemary
1/2 bunch sage leaves
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 celery rib, sliced

Watch video for directions

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Posted in Favorite Recipes, food

Ginger Snap Pumpkin Cheesecake

We had a great Thanksgiving this year and lots of great food. The menu included two fried turkeys, a honey spiral ham, macaroni & cheese, sausage stuffing, corn, green bean casserole, and of course, desserts, which included this Ginger-Snap Pumpkin Cheesecake. I am told it was quite delicious. Of course, I tasted it my self, but, it is always good to hear feedback on a dessert you made yourself. My daughter contributed an Apple Pie, and Michele, another of our clan made the traditional Pumpkin Pie.

We had a great celebration. It’s always great to be with family on the holidays. I hope you enjoy this recipe. It’s sure to be a big hit at your next special occasion.

Ginger Snap Pumpkin Cheesecake

Ingredients:
12 ounces gingersnaps
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
6 tablespoons salted butter, melted
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
Dash of kosher salt
Three 8-ounce packages cream cheese softened
One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salted Caramel Sauce:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) salted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Whipped cream, for serving (I used canned whipped cream)
Chopped pecans, for serving

Directions:

For the pumpkin gingersnap cheesecake: In a food processor or blender, grind the gingersnaps until fine. Pour into a bowl and stir in the pecans, melted butter, brown sugar, and salt. Press into the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the filling, beat the cream cheese in a stand mixer until soft, scraping the sides once. Mix in the pumpkin, scraping the sides once or twice. Add the eggs 1 at a time, allowing them to mix in, then add the sour cream and mix. With the mixer on low, add the granulated sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg. Thoroughly scrape the bowl and mix to ensure everything is smooth and mixed in.

Pour the filling into the pan, smoothing the top. Set the pan on a baking sheet and bake until the filling is no longer soupy but still slightly jiggly, about 50 minutes. Turn off the oven, open the door just a hair and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for 15 more minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for 30 minutes, then cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

For the salted caramel sauce: Mix the brown sugar, heavy cream, butter, vanilla and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low to medium heat. Cook, while whisking gently, until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool, then refrigerate until needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Slice the cheesecake and top with the salted caramel sauce, whipped cream, and chopped pecans.

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Posted in Favorite Recipes, food

Fresh Apple Cinnamon Scones

First, the picture above is not mine. The link leads to the source of this recipe. Scones are considered a quick bread, like a biscuit. In fact, they are made same way. Before I began my Culinary studies I didn’t know what a scone was. And since I changed my diet I can’t eat them anymore, but, that doesn’t mean you can’t! These are great for breakfast with a nice cup of coffee. They’re easy to make. So let me know how you liked them.

SCONES

11-1/2 ounces King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2-3/8 ounces granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon Apple Pie Spice or ground cinnamon
4 ounces cold unsalted butter
2-3/4 ounces chopped fresh apple, in 1/2″ pieces (about half a medium apple); leave the skin on, if you like
4 ounces cinnamon chips
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces applesauce, unsweetened preferred
TOPPING
3 tablespoons coarse white sparkling sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and spice.
  2. Work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; it’s OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.
  3. Stir in the chopped apple and cinnamon chips.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and applesauce.
  5. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment; if you don’t have parchment, just use it without greasing it. Sprinkle a bit of flour atop the parchment or pan.
  7. Scrape the dough onto the floured parchment or pan, and divide it in half. Gently pat and round each half into a 5″ to 5 1/2″ circle about 3/4″ thick.
  8. To make the topping: Stir together the coarse sugar and cinnamon. Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with the topping.
  9. Using a knife or bench knife that you’ve run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges.
  10. Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit; there should be about 1/2 inch space between them, at their outer edges.

*For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.

  • Bake the scones for 18 to 22 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. When you pull one away from the others, it should look baked all the way through; the edge shouldn’t look wet or unbaked.
  • Remove the scones from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm. When they’re completely cool, wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to several days.

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Posted in Favorite Recipes, soups

Avgolemono Soup

I realize that hot soups are not usually a summertime dish. However, summer is almost over. The nice cool fall weather is coming. And I love soup. And this one is quite tasty. This is from FoodWishes.blogspot.com, a Chef John recipe. It is pretty easy to make, and as I’ve said, pretty tasty. I hope you like it as much as I do. This is not part of the keto-diet. But when I cheat, I cheat well. Here are the ingredients below:

Ingredients:

Makes 6 Servings Avgolemono Soup:
1 whole chicken, about 3 pounds
3 quarts cold water
2 tsp salt at least, plus more to taste
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 bay leaves
1/4 Tsp dried oregano leaves
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups finely diced onion
2/3 to 3/4 cup Arborio rice, depending on how thick you like it
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs
1/2 Tsp freshly ground pepper
pinch of cayenne

Directions:

1. Add Chicken, celery, 1 carrot, bay leaves, 1 onion large chop, dried oregano, and water to the pot.
2. Bring to a boil then lower heat and let simmer until the desired doneness. Remove unwanted foam from surface.
3. Sauté the 2 cups fine diced onions with olive oil until soft, sweet, and golden. Reserve until needed.
4. When the chicken is done, remove it and the vegetables from the chicken stock. Chop chicken into pieces (as big or as small as you like). Also, if you don’t want chicken pieces in the soup, cook until it falls apart in the in the stock
5. Set heat at medium-low, and add the sautéed onions to the stock.
6. Add the Arborio Rice. Let cook 30-45 minute until the rice is very, very soft.
7. Add salt to taste.
8. In the meantime squeeze 1/2 cup of lemon juice.
9. Beat the eggs and lemon juice and black pepper.
10. Once the rice is done, temper the beaten egg mixture with some of the soup liquid (2 cups). Once the egg mixture is tempered, add it back to the soup.
11. Add chicken back to the soup and cook another five minutes.
12. Serve.

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Posted in Favorite Recipes

Double Crust Apple or Peach Pie

Who doesn’t like Apple pie with vanilla ice cream? Even better, Peach Cobbler (pie)? I learned to make both of these at The Culinary Institute of Charleston. This is a great recipe. I couldn’t believe how well it turned out the very first time we made it in class. I know you will be pleased as well.

Ingredients:

Pie dough 2 twelve oz discs, chilled
5 oz granulated sugar
0.5 oz Tapioca starch
1 oz cornstarch
2 grams salt
1 gram ground nutmeg
1 gram ground cinnamon
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz butter, melted
24 oz Apples or peaches, peeled, cored, sliced 1/8 thick

Egg wash (1 egg, tbs water, slightly beaten) as needed.

Directions:

1) Roll both discs of dough into 1/8” thick circles. Line the bottom of a pie pan with one crust. Chill both crusts.

2) Combine the sugar, tapioca starch, cornstarch, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon juice, and melted butter and toss with the sliced fruit.

3) Fill the chilled, unbaked pie shell with the fruit mixture.

4) Egg wash the edge of pie shell. Top with a second rolled piece of pie dough(or lattice).

5) Crimp the edge to seal. Vent if not making a lattice top.

6) Egg wash the top crust or lattice.

7) Bake pie on a paper lined sheet pan at 375°F (non-convection) until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden approximately 45 minutes.

8) Serve warm or cool to room temperature.

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Posted in Favorite Recipes

3 – 2 – 1 Pie Crust

Here is a simple but tasty pie crust (pastry). It is worth a little effort to get a better crust than you might find at a grocery store in frozen foods.

Ingredients:

8 oz flour
4 grams salt
5.5 oz shortening
2.75 oz water

Directions:

1. Combine flour and salt.
2. Mix flour mixture and shortening together by hand until it forms pea size pieces.
3. Add water and mix just until dough comes together (should still be able to see pieces of fat in the dough)
4. Scrape out onto a floured table; knead slightly.
5. Portion out dough mix into 8 oz pieces (shape into a hockey puck)
6. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill.

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Posted in Favorite Recipes

Classic Lemon Meringue Pie

This is one of my favorite desserts. And if I have never said so, pies of all types are my favorite desserts. I don’t eat pie very often because they are also some of the most sugary desserts created. Lemon Meringue Pie was one of my Mom’s specialties. She usually made them at Christmas time. This isn’t her recipe but it is a very good one. It comes from BettyCrocker.com

Ingredients:

Pastry
1 cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water

Filling
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 cups water SAVE
3 tablespoons butter or margarine SAVE
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 drops yellow food color, if desired
Meringue
3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Direction:

  1. In medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
  2. Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry flakier. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.
  3. Heat oven to 475°F. With floured rolling pin, roll pastry into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pie plate. Fold and roll pastry under, even with plate; flute as desired. Prick bottom and side of pastry thoroughly with fork. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown; cool on cooling rack.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F. In small bowl, beat egg yolks with fork. In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch; gradually stir in water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute.
  5. Immediately stir at least half of hot mixture into egg yolks; stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir 2 minutes; remove from heat. Stir in butter, lemon peel, lemon juice and food color. Pour into pie crust.
  6. In medium bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer on high speed until foamy. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time; continue beating until stiff and glossy. Do not underbeat. Beat in vanilla. Spoon onto hot pie filling. Spread over filling, carefully sealing meringue to edge of crust to prevent shrinking or weeping.
  7. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until meringue is light brown. Cool away from draft 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate cooled pie until serving. Store in refrigerator.

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Posted in Favorite Recipes

Marinated Skirt Steak

Marinated Skirt Steak is one of my favorites. I mainly use it for fajitas. This marinade recipe comes from Epicurious.com. I used it a few days ago and it is quite tasty. Here it is:

Ingredients

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup corn oil or other neutral oil such as grapeseed or canola
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 shallots, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 pounds skirt steak, cleaned of all exterior fat and connective tissue

Directions

1) Put all ingredients except the steak in a blender and blend until smooth.

2)Pour the marinade over the skirt steak in a nonreactive pan.

3)Break Point

4)Marinate, refrigerated, for 3 to 4 hours before grilling, but no more than 10 hours.

5)When ready to cook the steaks, prepare your grill for grilling.

6)Remove the skirt steak from the marinade and clean away any excess marinade with the back of a knife.

7)Grill the steak over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes per side to serve it rare to medium-rare.

8)When cooked, slice the steak thinly against the grain, starting at one corner and cutting on the bias. Serve either hot or at room temperature.

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Posted in Favorite Recipes

Braised Red Cabbage

By Chef John

This was one of the best things I learned to make in culinary school. Not this exact recipe, however, it was very close. I trust Chef John. I haven’t come across one of his recipes that I haven’t like yet. And BRAISED RED CABBAGE IS THE BOMB! I think you will enjoy this as much as I did.

Ingredients for 4-6 portions:

2 tbsp butter
1 small Red cabbage, sliced thin, about a 1 1/4 pounds
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup red wine
2 tbsp red wine vinegar, or to taste
2 tbsp white sugar
pinch of caraway seeds
salt and pepper to taste
*Note: there are SO many ways to tweak this recipe! Raisins, currants, shallots, onions, leeks, apples, and pears are just a few things that rock in this recipe.