I’m back again!  Thankfully (sadly?) I’ve only 3 new things to post.  Partly because I’ve been cooking less…and partly because I’ve just been cooking old things.  Things that have already appeared, or aren’t terribly exciting…or I’ve succumbed to the awful-ness of frozen pizza. Gasp!  Ah well, we all sink there at one time or another.  For those non-frozen pizza days, I give you these three new posts!

The first is applesauce.  My sister had been getting lots and lots of apples from her in-laws.  I really don’t actually know why.  She just was.  My guess was that they had an apple tree.  These were obviously that kind of apples, not store apples.  Whatever the reason, she had an overabundance and was sharing.  Therefore, I came home from her house with a bag full.  What to do, what to do?  I had already made a pie, and was (secretly at the time) planning one for Charlie’s surprise birthday party, so that couldn’t be it.  So I figured I should make applesauce.  I looked up recipes, but they were futzy and boring and really, it can’t be that hard, right?  So I made it up myself.  Turned out pretty darn well, if I do say so myself.  And I do.
Here goes!
10 small-medium golden delicious and Macintosh apples (I’m sure any variety would be fine, that’s just what I had)
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup apple juice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves (I’d originally done 1/4 ground and 1/4 whole…if you do that, remove the cloves after cooking or you’ll get a nasty surprise when eating the applesauce.  Yes, I am speaking from experience.)
1/2 tsp allspice
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
Throw it all in a pot, turn on the heat and wait till the apples begin to disintegrate.  Start mashing them when they’re mashable and stop heating and mashing when they’re at your desired consistency.

Back from an over long hiatus (heh heh…always wanted to use that word!)

Hello blogger world!

I’m here to update you all finally.  I’d love to blame the birth of my wonderful son, Arthur, for my extended absence…but as I last posted on Nov. 7, 2010…and he wasn’t born until Mar. 29, 2011, well…

To prove that I haven’t been lazy these past months though, I’ll post some pictures of what I have been up to.  Rest assured, this is not a comprehensive list, but just a taster—if you will.  Regular updates will begin: Now!

A word of warning though, regular they may be, but less often as well.  I’d love to cook as often as I used to, but sadly, Arthur does not always allow for that.  I hope you understand.

And without further ado…here are some samples.  If you’re interested in anything, let me know and I’ll share the recipe to the best of my ability.  First follows a list of the next pictures:
Corn Dogs and Onion Rings from scratch
Cranberry Chicken—of my own devising
Crepes!  (dessert and savory)
Lemon Poundcake—thank you, fellow blogger
Raspberry-Peach Sorbet—back to The Splendid Table
Rhubarb Custard Pie—Betty Crocker and Julia Child mashup
Zucchini Bread and Honey Butter—thanks Kerry!


Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding

Wednesday I went to Risen Savior up on 95th and Brown Deer. Pastor had this idea that it might be good for me to see how other church secretaries go about their business, so last month I visited with Gail at Atonement, and this month with Claudia at Risen Savior. (Yes, we do both know that we’re both secretaries and our names are both Claudia. And hah, hah, it was funny that we both happened to be wearing black and white striped shirts.) Anyway, not much point to that except that Risen Savior gets day old bakery items from the Pick ‘n Save nearby. So, while I was there they asked if I’d like anything. I took a couple loaves of French bread. I didn’t really know what I was going to do with it, but hey, we were having chicken for supper and maybe some bread would be nice. Then I got home and realized two loaves is a lot for two people. So I looked around for recipes that I could make using French bread. Sadly, this was not easy as google seemed to think I wanted to find a recipe FOR French bread, not WITH French bread. Bugger. Finally I came across a couple recipes for bread pudding. That sounded alright, and I thought we had most of the stuff. So, I’d decided on this recipe for Blueberry Bread Pudding .

Then, on Friday, an old lady at church called and then came over with a bag full of pears. Like 20-25 ripe pears. Well, Pastor’s got a wife and 4 kids, so I figured they could make use of a lot of them…but for Charlie and I, I took 6. They’re pears, I’m sure I can find a use for them. Well, then I thought I’d check to see what I could make with them. I have a torte I’m just itching to make, but first I did a bread pudding. A Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding. It was pretty good. But that was Friday. We had some today when our friend Kevin came over after church. It was really good today. Who’d have thought? (Oh, and I skipped the lemon juice and zest because I didn’t have one, and the raisins or currants because I didn’t have them either.)

Nixon’s Lime Pie

My old coworkers gave me a nice Amazon gift card as a gift when I left. It took me a while to think of what I wanted, and, as has happened with many an Amazon order lately, I ended up buying things for the kitchen. I like to have nice things. And I like to cook. So nice kitchen things are always a good bet. This time two of my purchases were cookbooks from the White House. Combine my love of history with my love of cooking and blammo! (to quote Liz Lemon).

So, last weekend we were going to Tim, Jess and Jonathan’s house for dinner. Jess was going to ask me to bring a salad or dessert, but then kindly excused me after I had an awful trip to Pick ‘n Save. It was very nice of her, but you can’t go to dinner at someone’s house and not bring something, so I decided to bring dessert. Jess was also a history person in college, so I thought she’s appreciate the historical “significance” of our dessert. Lately my challenge in all cooking is to make something special and delicious with very few ingredients. So, the two choices I found were Mrs. Nixon’s Florida Lime Pie and the Ford Family’s Lemon Sponge Pudding. I LOVE sour. I LOVE lemon and lime. So these two were hight on my list. For no particular reason, I chose the lime pie.
It was delicious. Jess can vouch, as can Charlie…and Wendy, Matt, Borck, Gary and Wendy and Myrriah’s Grandma and Grandpa. We visited them too…
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 package (1/4 oz) unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup lime juice
4 egg yolks
1 tsp grated lime rind
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1 fully baked 9 inch pie crust (I used half the recipe from the Joy of Cooking, which I think you’ll find in another blog entry)
Sweet whipped cream (I just pour heavy whipping cream in a bowl until it looks good, beat it for a while, add some powdered sugar, beat it, taste it, add some more, etc until it tastes good. Then I add a little vanilla. I don’t like my whipped cream super sweet.)
In the top of a double boiler (or in a small pot resting inside a small frying pan full of water as I had to do), combine 1/2 cup sugar with the salt, gelatin and water.
In a small bowl, combine the lime juice with the egg yolks; stir into the gelatin mixture int he double boiler, using a wire whisk.
Cook for about 7 minutes, or until gelatin dissolves and mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and stir in lime rind.
Place pan in a bowl of ice water, stirring occasionally as mixture cools.
In a large clean, dry bowl, beat egg whites until stiff; gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating constantly. (I didn’t read the amounts of sugar and so added them all in the double boiler and none here. It didn’t seem to make a difference.)
Fold cooled lime mixture into stiff egg whites, using a plastic spatula.
Turn into prebaked pie shell and refrigerate for several hours, or until set. Cover pie with sweet whipped cream and keep refrigerated until serving time.
Published in: Haller, Henry and Virginia Aronson. The White House Family Cookbook: Two Decades of Recipes, a Dash of Reminiscence, and a Pinch of History from America’s Most Famous Kitchen. (New York: Random House, 1987.) 115-116.

Oatmeal Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes

This recipe I can properly cite! The food section of the New York Times has WONDERFUL recipes. It takes some time to search them all…but I have a whole pile I’m dying to try. This one was first attempted this past winter…either at Christmas or right around Harry’s funeral. I can’t remember which. All I know is that there was a ton of family up in Osceola and everyone was impressed with these. And I was quite proud. So. We were planning on having breakfast this past week, but I leave it up to us the day of whether we want regular old pancakes or regular old waffles. Both quite good, but neither super exciting. So, Charlie had wanted waffles, but I wanted to make them more exciting. But, I couldn’t find an exciting recipe around home, or at least not one where I didn’t have to buy anything. And it was no-internet-Saturday…so I couldn’t look up a recipe. But then I remembered how good these pancakes had been. I pulled out the recipe and debated about trying to make them into waffles, but I was afraid of how the berries would react. So I stuck to pancakes. Thankfully, they were as good as we remembered. I believe we used fresh berries the first time I made this. This time we had frozen and they worked just as well and were quite delicious. Definitely high on the recommended list. Plus, we figure they have the “Oatmeal Raisin Effect” going on. You know, where they don’t have any less bad stuff in them…but they do have more good stuff…so they equal out to being somewhat good for you.

Here’s the link to the recipe:

Spiced Brioche French Toast with Maple Pears

For our first anniversary, Brandon Thomson, gave us a year’s subscription to the Sunday Journal Sentinel. (First anniversary is paper… :) ) I discovered the Entrée section. Oh recipes galore!! Unfortunately, the ones we’ve tried have been rather hit and miss. This one however was an enormous hit. Wow. Smelled incredible. Tasted incredible. Wow, wow, wow. I’d gladly give credit to the author. Or even cite the correct date of the paper…but sadly, I didn’t include that when I cut it out. Therefore, it’s reproduced below. I know it came from the Journal Sentinel.

Spiced Brioche French Toast with Maple Pears
1/2 cup milk
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp salt
4 (1/2 inch) slices day-old brioche loaf or challah (I used brioche)
Maple Pears (see recipe below)
Maple Syrup for serving (totally did NOT need this)
To make French toast, whisk milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice and salt together in a shallow bowl. Dip bread into egg mixture, one slice at a time, letting it sit a minute or two on each side to soak up liquid.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Coat with vegetable oil spray (I just used a little butter). Add bread. Cook 2-3 minutes per side, or until bread is golden brown and firm at the center.
While French toast is cooking, prepare maple pears.
To serve, divide French toast between 2 plates. Top each with half the maple pears. Pass extra syrup on the side if desired.
Maple Pears
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
pinch of salt
2 ripe Bosc pears, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tbsp maple syrup
Melt butter in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add cinnamon, allspice and salt. Stir. Add pear slices. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pears begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Reduce heat. Simmer 1 minute.

Roasted Peaches and Mascarpone Ice Cream

This is very likely one of the best, if not THE best thing I have posted on this site. Seriously. Absolutely, positively delicious. My sister sent me an email not long ago with three recipes in it. I think my keyboard at work needs replacing now I was drooling so much over them. Gosh do they sound good. So, she and my grandma came to visit on Sunday and I figured we’d go out to lunch (which we did. Mmmmmm Cafe Hollander), but I still wanted to make something for them. So I went with this one. Mostly because it required the least ingredients. And because I had TONS of mascarpone left over after the Agnopites and needed to use it up. Do keep in mind that if you don’t have an ice cream maker this is possible…but may have took me all Saturday to make. And by may, I mean did. It’s not hard, just time-consuming. Right now I’m way too tired to type every tiny direction. So I’m going to be lazy and copy the links. The first is to the recipe. The second to the directions for making ice cream without an ice cream maker.

Fruit Pizza

This was the first foray into this wonderful world of food. My aunt-in-law Nancy asked that we bring something fruit like to Easter dinner. Fruit salads and cut fruit are boring….so I found this.

Page 1 of 1