Creating memories in the kitchen...One meal at a time.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Julia Child's Lobster Thermidor

I've been on this Julia Child recipe kick ever since I saw Julie and Julia. Here's another one of her fabulous recipes, Lobster Thermidor. Butter, heavy cream and can you go wrong? I have to admit, I cheated and used lobster tails, not whole live lobsters for two reasons. First, I couldn't bear the thought of mudering a lobster by boiling it alive, and secondly, because the thought of having to dissect if afterwards while its beady little eyes were still looking up at me was not very pleasing either. So, if you can stomach it with the whole lobsters, go for it, if not, this recipe works just fine with lobster tails, just make sure the total weight of the lobster is the same.
Lobster Thermidor
from Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking"
Steaming the Lobster:
3 cups dry white wine or 2 cups dry white vermouth
2 cups water
1 large onion , thinly sliced
1 medium carrot , thinly sliced
1 stalk celery , thinly sliced
6 sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. thyme
6 peppercorns
1 Tbsp. fresh or dried tarragon
3 live lobsters , 2 pounds each
1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. butter
6 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. cream
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup whipping cream
4 to 6 Tbsp. more whipping cream
Pinch cayenne pepper
Sautéed Lobster Meat:
4 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup cognac
Final Assembly:
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Swiss cheese
2 Tbsp. butter , cut into bits
Steaming the lobsters:
Simmer wine, water, vegetables, herbs, and seasonings in the kettle for 15 minutes. Then bring to a rolling boil and add the live lobsters. Cover and boil for about 20 minutes. The lobsters are done when they are bright red and the long head-feelers can be pulled from the sockets fairly easily.
While the lobsters are steaming, stew the mushrooms slowly in the covered saucepan with the butter, lemon juice, and salt for 10 minutes.
The sauce:
When the lobsters are done, remove them from the kettle. Pour the mushroom cooking juices into the lobster steaming juices in the kettle and boil down rapidly until liquid has reduced to about 2 1/4 cups. Strain into the 4-cup enameled or stainless steel saucepan and bring to the simmer.
Cook the butter and flour slowly together in the 1 1/2-quart saucepan for 2 minutes without browning. Off heat, beat in the simmering lobster-cooking liquid. Boil, stirring, for 1 minute. Set aside. Film top of sauce with the cream.
Split the lobsters in half lengthwise, keeping the shell halves intact. Discard sand sacks in the heads, and the intestinal tubes. Rub lobster coral and green matter through a fine sieve into the mixing bowl (skip this step if you are using lobster tails), and blend into it the mustard, egg yolks, cream, and pepper. Beat the sauce into this mixture by driblets.
Return the sauce to the pan, and stirring with a wooden spoon, bring it to the boil and boil slowly for 2 minutes. Thin out with tablespoons of cream. Sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon fairly heavily. Taste carefully for seasoning. Set aside, top filmed with a spoonful of cream.
Sautéing the lobster meat:
Remove the meat from the lobster tails and claws, and cut it into 3/8-inch cubes. Set the skillet with the butter over moderate heat. When the butter foam begins to subside, stir in the lobster meat and sauté, stirring slowly, for about 5 minutes until the meat has turned a rosy color. Pour in the cognac and boil for a minute or two, shaking the skillet, until the liquid has reduced by half.
Final assembly:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Fold the cooked mushrooms and two thirds of the sauce into the skillet with the lobster meat. Arrange the split lobster shells in the roasting pan. Heap the lobster mixture into the shells; cover with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and dot with butter. The recipe may be prepared ahead up to this point and refrigerated.
Place in upper third of 425-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until lobster is bubbling and the top of the sauce is nicely browned. Serve immediately on a platter or serving plates.
Posted by: Julia
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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll- 2 ways

Thanks to Julia for posting something other than pumpkin but you don't want to miss this one! (I'll try to shake it up and just post the other pumpkin recipes here and there.)I have two different versions that I really like. One is the recipe my Mom uses (not sure where it came from) and the other one I tweaked a little bit from Paula Deen's recipe to use ingredients I usually have around the house. Don't let the rolling intimidate you, it's easier that it sounds and makes a beautiful dessert. I just love this time of year! So many yummy foods.

Pumpkin Roll Up
adapted from Paula Deen

3/4 cup cake flour

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger

3/4 teaspoon ground allspice

6 large eggs, separated

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup golden brown sugar, packed

2/3 cup canned pumpkin, packed

1/8 teaspoon salt

Powdered sugar

8 oz. package cream cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

6 tbsp. butter, at room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla

6 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup English toffee pieces for garnish

Additional powdered sugar, for garnish

1 1/2 cups purchased or homemade caramel sauce, warmed, for garnish

For the cake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Line a 15 by 10 by 1-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray the parchment with nonstick cooking spray.
Sift the flour, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice into a small bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until very thick. Add the pumpkin to the egg mixture and combine at a low speed until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and beat at a low speed until mixed. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff but not dry. Fold into the cake batter, stirring with a spatula, until most of the white streaks are gone.
Spread the batter onto a baking sheet and smooth out. Transfer baking sheet to the oven and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 15 to 18 minutes. While the cake is hot, dust generously with powdered sugar. Loosen the edges and turn the cake out onto a kitchen towel. Fold the towel over the edge of the cake and roll up. Cool completely, edge down, for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

For the filling: Beat cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Fold in 6 tbsp. English toffee pieces.

To assemble, unroll the cake and sprinkle with 4 tablespoons of English toffee pieces. Spread the filling over the toffee. Start at 1 long side of the cake roll and, using the towel as an aid, roll up the cake to encase the filling. Place the cake, seam-side down, on a platter.

Trim the ends of the cake at a slight diagonal. Dust the cake with powdered sugar. Spoon some warm caramel sauce and the remaining toffee chips over the top of the cake. To serve, use a serrated knife to cut the cake crosswise into 1-inch thick slices. Drizzle more sauce on each slice and serve.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll Up

Allyson Washburn

3/4 cup sifted flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup sugar

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

3 eggs, slightly beaten

2/3 cup canned pumpkin

Cream Cheese Filling (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 15x10x1 jelly roll pan. Line with wax paper; grease and flour the wax paper.

Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg & salt onto wax paper.

Beat eggs and sugar in large bowl until thick and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in sifted dry ingredients all at once. Pour into prepared pan; spread evenly with rubber spatula. Sprinkle with nuts.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until center springs back when lightly touched with fingertip.

Loosen cake around edges with a knife. Invert onto clean damp towel dusted with confectioners sugar; peel off wax paper. Trim 1/4" from all sides. Roll up cake and towel together from short side. Place seam side down on wire rack; cool completely.

Unroll cake. Spread with cream cheese filling. Re roll cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cream Cheese Filling

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

6 tbsp. butter at room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla

Beat all ingredients until smooth.

Posted by: Sallie

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Okay, here we go. This is another classic favorite for fall. This Paula Deen recipe is the best! The cake is super moist and dense and has just the right amount of spices. The cream cheese frosting is amazing! Make them for your next get together and watch them disappear.

Pumpkin Bars
Paula Deen

For the bars:

4 eggs

1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

1 cup vegetable oil (can substitute 1/2 cup applesauce for 1/2 cup oil)

15-ounce can pumpkin

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Cream Cheese Frosting:

8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.

For Cream Cheese Frosting:
Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars.

Posted by: Sallie
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Pumpkin Pie Cobbler

I am a huge, repeat huge fan of pumpkin. Therefore I will be bombarding you with a host of delicious pumpkin recipes for fall. This is one of my favorites and super easy. Think pumpkin pie with a delicious, cinnamony, crumbly sweet struesel on top. Perfect with a nice big dollop of whipped cream or ice cream on the side. You won't be disappointed. I have also previously posted a delicious pumpkin recipe that can be found here .

Pumpkin Pie Cake
slightly adapted from Liz Claflin

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg

1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar (brown or white)
2/3 cup milk (I use evaporated)
3 eggs
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup butter, chilled
1/2 cup sugar (you can also use brown)
3/4 - 1 1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional

whipped cream or ice cream for serving alongside

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Set aside 1 cup of cake mix. Combine remaining cake mix with melted butter and 1 egg and mix until well blended; spread mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
In a large bowl combine pumpkin, white or brown sugar, milk, 3 eggs and pumpkin pie spice; mix well and pour this mixture over cake mix mixture in baking dish.
In a small bowl with a pastry blender, or in a food processor, combine chilled butter and white or brown sugar with reserved cake mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle chopped pecans over all. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, until top is golden. Garnish with whipped cream or ice cream. Makes 16-20 servings.

Posted by:Sallie

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cake

While scouring through old pictures trying to find things to post I found this and couldn't believe I hadn't posted it. (Well, I can't post every one of Melanie's recipes even though I've tried most of them and suggest that you do too.) This was one of my favorites and is a go to dessert in my house now. I love the chocolate/cinnamon combo . So moist and delicious and deliciously easy. Baked goods with sour cream are the best! For an extra treat, serve with a little vanilla ice cream on the side.

Chocolate Chip Cake
My Kitchen Cafe

Cake Batter:

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cups sour cream

2/3 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Middle & Top:

cinnamon sugar about 2 Tbsp. for each layer

1 12 oz. bag chocolate chips, divided


Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 if using a glass pan). Grease a 9 X 13 pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine all of the cake batter ingredients. Mix for 1 minute at low speed; mix 3 minutes at medium speed. Pour 1/2 of batter into greased pan. Generously sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over batter making sure to get the corners and then sprinkle with 1/2 bag of chocolate chips. Pour remaining cake batter on top and spread across bottom layer. Repeat with cinnamon and sugar and chocolate chips. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs (don't over bake or cake will be dry!).

*This could be really good with some chopped pecans on top.*
Posted by: Sallie
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sweet Chili Glazed and Walnut Crusted Tilapia with Roasted Asparagus

This was a nice light meal that was quick to prepare, perfect for a week night. I added a side of rice and dinner was served! My husband really like it too and he's very picky when I make fish.

Sweet Chili Glazed and Walnut Crusted Tilapia with Roasted Asparagus

1 bunch of asparagus
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
3 Tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon warm water
¾ Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
½ Cup ground walnuts (I ground them in food processor)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
4 tilapia fillets
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Place asparagus onto a edge rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and garlic salt. Roast in oven for 12-15 minutes or until fork tender, turning half way through. Remove and keep warm.

2. Place the honey, chili powder and warm water in a small bowl; mix to combine. Place crumbs, walnuts, salt, chili powder and pepper into a shallow dish; mix to combine. Season both sides of tilapia fillets with pinches of salt and pepper. With a pastry brush, brush honey glaze on both sides of tilapia then press into crumb mix. Continue until all fillets are coated.

3. Heat oil into a large skillet over medium heat. When hot place coated tilapia fillets into skillet; cook 2-4 minutes per side, until golden brown and fish flakes easy with a fork. Remove and serve warm.

4 servings

Posted By: Julia
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon

Last weekend I went and saw Julie and Julia with my friends Sarah and Christin. It was a great movie and made me want to go home and whip up some yummy french food!
We just started on our nursery, and we needed some help moving furniture around, so I thought I could bribe Vince's friends Frank and Steve to come over and help if I made them dinner. So, I decided to make Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon.
It was definitely a Sunday meal because I started it at 2:00pm and it wasn't finished until 6:30pm. But, other than being lengthy, the recipe was not difficult and it was definitely worth it! The dish was delicious. The meat was so tender and the brown braised onions and buttered mushrooms added such a rich flavor to the dish. Between the 4 of us, we finished off almost all of it.
I served it with mashed potatoes and some beer bread. The sauce from the dish makes a very good gravy.
Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon
From "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck (Alfred A. Knopf, 1961)
One 6-ounce piece of chunk bacon
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 carrot, sliced
1 onion, sliced
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups red wine, young and full-bodied (like Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone or Burgundy)
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups brown beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 teaspoon thyme
A crumbled bay leaf
18 to 24 white onions, small
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
Herb bouquet (4 parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf, one-quarter teaspoon thyme, tied in cheesecloth)
1 pound mushrooms, fresh and quartered
Cooking Directions
Remove bacon rind and cut into lardons (sticks 1/4-inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long). Simmer rind and lardons for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts water. Drain and dry.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Sauté lardons in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon.
Dry beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Heat fat in casserole until almost smoking. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and sauté until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the lardons.
In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the excess fat.
Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat again and return to oven for 4 minutes (this browns the flour and coves the meat with a light crust).
Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
Stir in wine and 2 to 3 cups stock, just enough so that the meat is barely covered.
Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove.
Cover casserole and set in lower third of oven. Regulate heat so that liquid simmers very slowly for 3 to 4 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with one and one-half tablespoons of the oil until bubbling in a skillet. Add onions and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling them so they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins. You cannot expect them to brown uniformly. Add 1/2 cup of the stock, salt and pepper to taste and the herb bouquet.
Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but hold their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove herb bouquet and set onions aside.
Wipe out skillet and heat remaining oil and butter over high heat. As soon as you see butter has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add mushrooms. Toss and shake pan for 4 to 5 minutes. As soon as they have begun to brown lightly, remove from heat.
When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan.
Wash out the casserole and return the beef and lardons to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms on top. Skim fat off sauce in saucepan. Simmer sauce for a minute or 2, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons stock. Taste carefully for seasoning.
Pour sauce over meat and vegetables. Cover and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve in casserole, or arrange stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles or rice, and decorated with parsley.
Posted By: Julia
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Chicken Tacos

This is a great meal we had awhile back. It's another recipe I found in Cook's Country Magazine . We love tacos around here and I was really intrigued by the unusual ingredients--orange juice, chipotle pepper, and worchestershire sauce. It was a big hit with everyone and a great change from the usual tacos we have. The meat was flavorful and really, really moist. This is a quick, healthy, weeknight meal that the whole family will love. If you have leftovers they'd be great in a Mexican flavored soup or as quesadillas or enchiladas.
Easy Chicken Tacos
Cooks Country
Serves 6
*To warm the tortillas, wrap them in foil and heat in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes. Top the tacos with shredded lettuce, grated cheese, diced avocado, tomato, and sour cream. *
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves , minced
2 teaspoons minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
Salt and pepper
12 (6-inch) flour tortillas
1. POACH CHICKEN Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and chipotle and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in orange juice, Worcestershire, and ½ cup cilantro and bring to boil. Add chicken and simmer, covered, over medium-low heat until meat registers 160 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking. Transfer to plate and tent with foil.
2. SHRED AND SAUCE Increase heat to medium-high and cook until liquid is reduced to ¼ cup, about 5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in mustard. Using 2 forks, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces and return to skillet. Add remaining cilantro to skillet and toss until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with tortillas.
Posted by: Sallie
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pumpkin Waffles

Alright, first the somewhat sad news. I have decided to do the P90x program, diet and all so I will only be posting about once a week for the next 90 days. I will try to post some old favorites but it might be hit and miss. I'll be back for sure after the 90 days! I'm leaving you with another fall favorite --pumpkin waffles. These are a favorite around our house. My Mom and sister first introduced these to me a couple of years ago at Christmas and I was hooked. I have tried all kinds of recipes and this one is a good one. It is originally from Cafe 222 in San Diego and was published in Gourmet Magazine. If you want a really delicious treat top it with this syrup!

Pumpkin Waffles

*This recipe works best in a Belgian waffle maker*

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil for brushing waffle iron


Preheat oven to 250°F and preheat waffle iron.
Sift together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices.
Whisk eggs in a large bowl until blended, then whisk in milk, buttermilk, pumpkin, and butter until smooth. Whisk in dry ingredients just until smooth.
Brush waffle iron lightly with oil and spoon batter (about 2 cups for four 4-inch Belgian waffles) into waffle iron, spreading quickly. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Transfer waffles to rack in oven to keep warm and crisp. Make more waffles in same manner

Accompaniment: warm pure maple syrup or buttermilk syrup
Posted by: Sallie
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Monday, September 14, 2009

Baked Ziti

I just have to tell you, Monday morning and I'm not in the best of moods after I found clumps of two of my daughters hair littering the garage floor. What am I going to do? Chop it off and have two little girls that might be mistaken for boys or just deal with the fact that their hair is going to be less than lovely for quite awhile? You know we all did it as kids so I guess I might as well just get over it and get on to better things, like this meal.

This was a perfect Sunday dinner. I made it before church so I could just pop it in the oven when we got home. My husband and I loved it and two of the kids did too, which in my house is cause for celebration. It had just the right amount of sauce and cheese. Not dry or rubbery. A great comfort meal for fall.

Baked Ziti

Cooks Illustrated
1 pound whole milk cottage cheese or 1 percent cottage cheese (see note)
2 large eggs , lightly beaten
3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
Table salt
1 pound ziti or other short, tubular pasta
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 5 teaspoons)
1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves (or 1 tbsp. dried)
1 teaspoon sugar
Ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream (or substitute whole milk but increase the amount of cornstarch to 2 teaspoons and the cooking time in step 3 by 1 to 2 minutes)
8 ounces low-moisture whole-milk mozzarella cheese , cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk cottage cheese, eggs, and 1 cup Parmesan together in medium bowl; set aside. Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and pasta; cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta begins to soften but is not yet cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain pasta and leave in colander (do not wash Dutch oven).
2. Meanwhile, heat oil and garlic in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until garlic is fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and oregano; simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in ½ cup basil and sugar, then season with salt and pepper.
3. Stir cornstarch into heavy cream in small bowl; transfer mixture to now-empty Dutch oven set over medium heat. Bring to simmer and cook until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove pot from heat and add cottage cheese mixture, 1 cup tomato sauce, and ¾ cup mozzarella, then stir to combine. Add pasta and stir to coat thoroughly with sauce.
4. Transfer pasta mixture to 13- by 9-inch baking dish and spread remaining tomato sauce evenly over pasta. Sprinkle remaining ¾ cup mozzarella and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan over top. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
5. Remove foil and continue to cook until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes longer. Cool for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons basil (if using fresh) and serve.
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Friday, September 11, 2009

Hot Fudge Cake

Who doesn't love a good old fashioned pudding cake? Especially when it's oozing warm, delicious, hot fudge. Fudge in any form is a favorite of mine and this cake is perfect for Fall when you're craving something warm. This is from one of my favorites-- Cooks Country. It uses Dutch Process Cocoa which has a little more punch than regular (if you can't find it, try using the Hershey's Dark. I've used it with good results) and also a sprinkling of chocolate chips to up the chocolate flavor to a whole new level. If you want it to be extra special try making the baby cake version.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Cooks Country

Serves 6 to 8

*Do not overbake this cake or the pudding sauce will burn in the pan and the cake will be dry, not fudgy. Store leftovers, covered with plastic, in the refrigerator. Reheat individual servings in a microwave on high power until hot (about 1 minute).*

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup boiling water
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8-inch square glass or metal cake pan with cooking spray. Whisk 1/2 cup sugar with 1/4 cup cocoa in small bowl.
2. Whisk flour, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, remaining 1/4 cup cocoa, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Whisk milk, butter, egg yolk, and vanilla in medium bowl until smooth. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips (batter will be stiff).
3. Using rubber spatula, scrape batter into prepared pan and spread into corners. Sprinkle reserved cocoa mixture evenly over top. Gently pour boiling water over cocoa. Do not stir.
4. Bake until top of cake looks cracked, sauce is bubbling, and toothpick inserted into cakey area comes out with moist crumbs attached (see photos), about 25 minutes. Cool on rack for at least 10 minutes. To serve, scoop warm cake into individual serving bowls and top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Baby Cakes: Put a fancy spin on this homey recipe by baking up individual pudding cakes. Spray eight 6-ounce ovenproof ramekins or coffee cups with cooking spray. Fill each with 2 tablespoons batter. Top each with 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa mixture, followed by 2 tablespoons boiling water. Arrange cups on rimmed baking sheet and bake until tops are just cracked, 20 to 25 minutes.

Posted by: Sallie

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The Cornbread

Okay, here's another cornbread recipe you have got to make. Sorry for the repeat so soon but this is utterly, amazingly, delicious! I made a batch up at the cabin and my friend and I of course had to sample it because the oven up there was not the greatest. We just couldn't stop picking at it. Needless to say, between us and the kids by the time the husbands made it back there was none left! We ended up making another batch and I have made it again since I got home! It's sweet, tender and with the honey butter it is just out of this world! Thanks Mel for another awesome recipe.


My Kitchen Cafe

½ cup cornmeal

1 ½ cup flour

2/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup oil

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten

1 ¼ cup milk

Add dry ingredients, make a well and add oil, butter, eggs, and milk into the center. Stir until just mixed (batter will be runny). Bake in an 8” square pan at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. This doubles perfectly for a 9X13-inch pan.

Honey Butter:2 sticks butter, softened1/2 cup honey1/2 cup marshmallow fluff. Whip all together with an electric mixer and serve at room temperature (can be refrigerated and softened).

Posted by:Sallie

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

This is one of those recipes that we had at Relief Society and I think it made the rounds of the whole neighborhood. It's one of my favorite fall/winter soups. It's so easy and creamy and uses ingredients you can always keep on hand. My kids really like it because it's so simple. Sometimes I'll throw in some carrots or corn which are great additions. I meant to get a picture but was rushing it out the door to take to a friend who just had a baby. I'll snap one next time.

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Julie Shirts

4 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

2 cooked, boneless chicken breast halves, shredded or 1 large can chicken with juice

1-6.2oz. Rice a Roni or Uncle Ben’s quick cooking long grain and wild rice with seasoning packet

½ t. salt

½ t. black pepper

¾ cup all purpose flour

½ cup butter

2 cups heavy cream

In a large pot over medium heat, combine the broth, water and chicken. Bring just to boiling and then stir in the rice, reserving the seasoning packet. Cover and remove from heat.In a small bowl combine the salt, pepper and flour. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the contents of the seasoning packet until the mixture is bubbly. Reduce the heat to low, then stir in the flour mixture by tablespoons to form a roux. Whisk in the cream a little at a time until fully incorporated and smooth. Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir the cream mixture into the broth and rice mixture. Cook over medium heat until heated through, about 10-15 minutes. Do not boil once the cream has been added. Makes 6 servings.

Posted by: Sallie
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Creamy Grape Salad

I hope everyone had as much fun as we did over the long weekend. We went up and stayed in a cabin in the Kolob Reservoir area. It was so nice to just get away and let the kids roam in the great outdoors . Of course we had lots of yummy food. My Mom passed this recipe on via one of her co-workers and it was a big hit. I know it sounds kind of strange but it was delicious. The cream cheese and sour cream blended wonderfully for a perfectly delicious and creamy dressing mixed with the slightly tart grapes .The brown sugar kind of soaks into the mixture and is really, really good. It's not the prettiest salad ever, but you'll just have to trust me on this one. I think I had probably closer to 3 lbs. of grapes but after you've made it you can decide to add more or less grapes depending on how much "dressing" you want.

Creamy Grape Salad
Adapted from the Worldwide Ward Cookbook
2 lbs. red seedless grapes
2 lbs. green grapes
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2-1 cup brown sugar ( I am not sure if I had the full amount of grapes but I used 1/2 cup and it was perfect but if you use the full 4 lbs. I would use 1 cup brown sugar.)
1 cup toasted pecans, optional
Mix cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla together until smooth in large serving bowl. Add grapes. Sprinkle brown sugar and pecans on top. It is best if it has a couple of hours to chill before serving. that way the brown sugar melts a little and mixes with the cream.
*This salad must be making the rounds because I just saw it on Leigh Anne's website a couple of days after I posted it. Her pictures are much better than the others I found on the internet (no camera at the cabin) so you can get a better idea of how yummy this is*
Posted by: Sallie
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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Chocolate Glazed Peanut Butter Bars

This is another classic Chocolate/Peanut Butter combo that I just can't resist. Delicious peanut butter bars studded with chocolate chips and then an super simple chocolate glaze on top. These come together so quick and I bet you already have all the ingredients in your house. I love the melted chocolate chips on top but you can also use chocolate frosting with delicious results. Perfect for a weekday treat or just because!

Chocolate Glazed Peanut Butter Bars
All recipes


1 cup peanut butter
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Mix peanut butter, butter , and sugars until creamy. Stir in vanilla. Beat in eggs. Mix in flour. Stir in 3/4c chocolate chips. Spread dough into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove pan from oven, and sprinkle with the rest of the chocolate chips. Let stand 5 minutes and spread. Cool, and cut into bars. Makes 18 bars.

Posted by: Sallie
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