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RE: Beans and Greens Recipes? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: ruthanna on 01.27.2015 at 09:02 pm in Cooking Forum

Here's my favorite beans and greens soup, which uses mashed beans for thickening. Once the prep work is done, it's quick to make but tastes like it's been simmering for a longer time.


1/ 4 lb. cooked ham, in one piece
2 medium-size celery stalks
2 medium-size carrots, peeled
1 medium-size onion, peeled
1 medium size yellow squash (about 8 oz.) (can substitute zucchini)
1 (40 oz.) can cooked Great Northern beans or 2 cans white kidney beans
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/ 2 tsp. dried basil leaves
1/ 4 tsp. pepper
1 (14 to 16 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
1 cup fresh spinach, packed, stems removed, and chopped
2 cups water
Grated Parmesan cheese

Cut ham into 1/2 inch cubes, dice celery, thinly slice carrots, chop onion, and dice squash. Drain and rinse beans. Remove 1 1/2 cups of beans to medium bowl and mash into a smooth paste with a fork or potato masher. In large pot, cook ham, celery, carrots, onion, and squash in oil over medium heat until vegetables are tender and begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Stir in basil, pepper, tomatoes, chicken broth, spinach, bean paste, and water. Over high heat, heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors. Stir in remaining beans; heat through. Add salt to taste. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Note: Ham can come from the deli section and spinach from the salad bar at the grocery store.


clipped on: 01.28.2015 at 07:45 pm    last updated on: 01.28.2015 at 07:46 pm

RE: Authentic 'Tea Cakes' from 60s-70s recipe? (Follow-Up #64)

posted by: msmmrox27 on 04.14.2013 at 10:53 am in Cooking Forum

I am familiar with Martino's tea cakes and could not find a recipe that came even close until recently. Gracie's Pastries in LA was famous for their square tea cakes back in the 60's and 70's. I tried a recipe for their tea cakes that finally surfaced and finally! ....a moist, buttermilk cake with a browgned butter glaze that some reviewers think is even better than Martino's.

I hope you enjoy the tea cakes as much as I do :)


Whenever I mention to folks who grew up in the Los Angeles area during the 50s, 60s or 70s, that my father owned Grace Pastries, tea cakes and dobash cakes inevitably enter the conversation. While I admit his multi-layer dobash cake was great, the tea cakes always had a special place in my heart. His original tea cake recipe for 70 DOZEN and called for 16 lbs of brown sugar and 24 lbs of buttermilk (just to name a few ingredients), proved a little too unwieldy not to mention, impractical for us home kitchen bakers. So without further ado, here is the tested, tried and true recipe for a more manageable number of Grace Pastries’ Danish Tea Cakes.

Makes 24

For the batter:

1-1/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup extra fine white sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs (minus 1 tablespoon)
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
2-1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
For the icing:

6 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons hot water

Preheat oven to 375°.

Cream together the brown sugar, white sugar, vegetable oil, salt and vanilla. Add the eggs in three parts. Cream slowly for six minutes, continually scraping down the sides. Add 3/4 cup of the buttermilk, cake flour and baking soda until smooth. Add the remaining 3/4 cup of buttermilk.

Line the muffin cups with paper liners. Fill cups 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn out on cooling racks. Repeat with any remaining batter. Let cool completely before topping with the icing.

Heat the butter slowly and cook until until golden brown.

In a separate bowl, mix confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and hot water together. Add the melted butter. Whisk until smooth.

While the icing mixture is still warm but the cakes are cooled, dip the tops of the cakes into the icing mix and cool again, careful not to layer the icing on too thickly.


Dad baked his tea cakes in restaurant grade square muffin tins using regular, round cupcake liners. Some specialty cookware stores may have the square tins, and you can also find them online but I found mine at, of all places, Marshall’s in the kitchen section. Enjoy!"

* Please take the time to follow the link and read about the history behind these wondrous tea cakes. Although the bakery has been closed for many years, the memories of a special family and their impact on so many loyal customers live on.

Now.....if anyone remembers and has a recipe for the LAUSD cookies from the 50's and 60's, it would be greatly appreciated :) They were cut into squares and tasted like a buttery, soft thin brownie and came in vanilla, chocolate and peanut butter flavors depending on the day/week.

Here is a link that might be useful: dad's Danish tea cakes


Try evaporated milk in the icing.
clipped on: 11.12.2014 at 08:22 pm    last updated on: 11.12.2014 at 08:23 pm

RE: Sea Bass cheeks? (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: ann_t on 08.24.2014 at 11:38 am in Cooking Forum

I like Halibut Cheeks. Usually just serve them in a brown butter and dill and lemon sauce.

Cheeks are dredged in seasoned flour and sauted in olive oil and butter. Brown some butter in a separate pan, add the juice of a lemon, and fresh chopped dill. Pour over halibut cheeks.


clipped on: 08.25.2014 at 09:00 am    last updated on: 08.25.2014 at 09:01 am

RE: Snickerdoodles.... (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: terri_pacnw on 12.14.2009 at 04:03 pm in Cooking Forum

Roselin's Chocolate are a favorite here..

Chocolate Snickerdoodles~Roselin CF
1c butter
1 1 /2c sugar
2 eggs
2 1/4c flour
1/2c cocoa
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2T sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Combine butter, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Cream well.
Sift all dry ingredients except 2T sugar and cinnamon.
Add to egg mixture and chill dough for at least one hour.
Roll dough into balls about the size of a walnut. Roll in
combined 2T sugar and cinnamon. Place on ungreased
cookie sheet and bake at 375� for 8-10 minutes.
Makes 4-5 dozen


clipped on: 08.24.2014 at 05:27 pm    last updated on: 08.24.2014 at 05:27 pm

RE: Favorite cold shrimp recipe/method? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: lvmadison on 08.02.2014 at 09:12 am in Cooking Forum

I tried Ina Garten's roasted shrimp and now I'm hooked. Everyone raves about how flavorful they are and preparation couldn't be easier. I usually don't bake mine quite as long as she does simply because the shrimp I buy are smaller.

Ina's Roasted Shrimp
2 pounds (12 to 15-count) shrimp
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place them on a sheet pan with the olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread them in 1 layer. Roast for 8 to10 minutes, just until pink and firm and cooked through. Set aside to cool.


clipped on: 08.02.2014 at 11:08 am    last updated on: 08.02.2014 at 11:09 am

Apricot preserves

posted by: mellyofthesouth on 07.17.2006 at 06:55 am in Harvest Forum

From Mes Confitures
Bergeron Apricot
2 1/2 pounds (1.15 kg) Bergeron apricots (a variety with firm dark flesh and red skin), or 2 1/4 pounds (1 kg) net
3 3/4 (800g) cups granulated sugar
7 ounces (200g/20cl) water
Juice of two small lemons

Rinse the apricots in cold water. Cut them in half to pit them. Mix the apricots, sugar, water and lemon juice in a cermamic bowl. Cover with a piece of parchment paper. Allow to macerate refrigerator for 8 hours.

Pour the contents of the bowl into the preserving pan and bring to a simmer. Return to the ceramic bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The second day, pour this preparation into a sieve. Remove the skin from the apricots. Bring the collected juice to a boil in the preserving pan. Skim and continue cooking on high heat. The syrup will be sufficiently concentrated at 221 degrees (105 C) on a candy thermometer. Add the apricot halves. Boil again, skimming carefully. Lift out the apricots with the skimmer and divide them among the jars. Continue cooking the syrup on high heat for about 3 minutes. Check the set. Finish filling the jars with the syrup and seal.

To make this jam, you need apricots that are ripe but firm. Apricots that are too juicy turn to mush when are cooked.

My Notes: I also used some fruit fresh. The apricots have to be just at the right point of ripeness. My soft ones turned to jam. When I made the batch of jam I had to toss too many apricots so I bought a few more at the grocery store. The were too hard and I had a hard time getting the skin off them at all. I weighted the parchment paper down with a saucer otherwise the apricots on the top were still exposed to too much air. I also tried to make sure they were turned with the skin sides up so that if some of them did turn brown it would be ok since I was removing the skin anyway. I only used half a cup of water since I figured I was just going to have to boil it off anyway. Since I was using less water, I warmed it with the lemon juice and dissolved the sugar before pouring it over the apricots.


clipped on: 07.21.2014 at 06:59 pm    last updated on: 07.21.2014 at 07:00 pm

RE: Looking for a recipe for food processor apple cake (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: lccntryrox on 01.22.2014 at 01:04 am in Cooking Forum

Sure, here it is:

Apple Kuchen

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a food processor with a knife blade, process 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into 3 pieces, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg until crumbly, about 20 seconds. Put into a large mixing bowl.

Slice 2 medium apples, cored, peeled and quartered. Add to the streusel and stir to coat the apples.

For the cake: in the food processor bowl with the knife blade, process 1 1/2 cups flour , 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup butter, chilled and cut into 3 pieces until butter is cut into the dry ingredients, about 15 seconds. Add 1/2 cup milk, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt ( I usually use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon since we don't use much salt in anything) and 1 teaspoon vanilla and process for 5 seconds; turn off processor, scrape down sides of bowl and process 5 seconds more.

Spread batter in greased 9X9 pan. Neatly arrange streusel mixture on top (I line the apples in neat rows).

Bake till cake is set and apples are tender, 40-45 minutes.

I have been making this for years, everyone loves it! Let me know if any of you try it and if you like it.



clipped on: 01.22.2014 at 07:18 am    last updated on: 01.22.2014 at 07:18 am

RE: Foods/ingredients that are impossible to re-create (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: publickman on 01.18.2014 at 12:34 pm in Cooking Forum

I don't really have a recipe for Ranch dressing - I just make off the cuff. Anyway, here is my method:

Take 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped roughly, and mash them in a mortar and pestle with some Kosher salt to make a paste - probably about half a teaspoon of salt, but you can adjust that to your taste. For some reason, mashing the garlic this way affects its flavor and seems to mellow it out a bit. Then add about 1/2 to one teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, and mash that together. Next add some fresh dill - about two tablespoons chopped, and mash that with the garlic. Then transfer all of that to a bowl and add the juice of one lemon. Then add 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup mayonnaise, stir together, and store in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavors mingle. At this point, it is a very tasty dip for vegetable or chips, but if you want to make it into a salad dressing, you can thin it with buttermilk to the consistency you want. This dip is very addictive with potato chips, and so I warn against serving them together, except at a party. You may want more or less lemon juice than I use, and so add that to taste, like the rest of the ingredients! If the flavor is too intense, you can add more sour cream/mayo.

Sorry I can't give you exact measurements, but I always just sort of throw it together, and so I do it by sight. Making it in the blender does not yield the same results as making it in a mortar and pestle - the garlic needs to be smashed with the salt, but you can also do this with the side of a knife on a chopping board.



clipped on: 01.18.2014 at 02:13 pm    last updated on: 01.18.2014 at 02:13 pm

RE: Cranberries & aluminum baking pan (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: ruthanna on 12.15.2013 at 12:28 pm in Cooking Forum


1 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbs. melted butter (no substitutes)
2 cups fresh cranberries, halved
2 medium naval oranges, peeled and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup room temperature butter
1/4 cup shortening
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. grated orange peel
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup evaporated (not sweetened condensed) milk
1/2 cup orange juice

Combine brown sugar and melted butter; spread evenly into a greased 13 X 9 X 2 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with berries and oranges. Set aside.

Cream butter, shortening and sugar in mixing bowl. Beat in eggs and orange peel. Combine the flour, baking powder and soda, and salt in another bowl. Add to creamed mixture alternately with milk and orange juice. Spread batter evenly over cranberry mixture in pan.

Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes or until cake tests done. Run a knife around edges of pan; immediately invert onto a serving plate. Serve warm.

TIP: After halving the cranberries crosswise, put them in a bowl of water to cover, and vigorously swish them around. Then remove with a slotted spoon to drain and most of the seeds will remain in the bowl.


clipped on: 12.15.2013 at 01:03 pm    last updated on: 12.15.2013 at 01:04 pm

RE: Calling Sol...... (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: solsthumper on 11.22.2013 at 06:22 pm in Cooking Forum

Peppi, it's no secret I prefer a classic cheesecake, but unlike my favorite classic, this chocolate version doesn't require a water bath, and it's very good.

Chocolate Cheesecake - Serves 12-16

For the crust

1½ cups chocolate wafer crumbs
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup sugar
1½ teaspoons instant espresso powder

For the cheesecake

1/3 cup boiling water
6½ ounces bittersweet, or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 pound softened cream cheese
1¼ cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 16-ounce container sour cream

A 9-inch Springform pan

To make the crust: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 ºF. Grease the cake pan. Use a fork to blend together the crust ingredients in a medium bowl. Press evenly over the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Dock the bottom of the crust with a fork and bake 10 min. Let cool on a rack before filling (leave the oven on).

To prepare cheesecake: In a small bowl, pour the boiling water over the chocolate and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer just until smooth, about 30 seconds at high speed (or use a heavy-duty stand mixer on medium speed with the flat beater attachment). Turn mixer back on medium-to-low speed, and gradually add the sugar, beat until smooth and creamy, then add the vanilla.

Add eggs one at a time beating well, and scraping the bowl after each addition. Add sour cream and beat just until incorporated.

Pour in melted chocolate and beat on low speed just until well blended. Pour batter into the crust and place the pan on a cookie sheet. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until cake looks set but still jiggles in the center when the pan is tapped.

Remove cake from the oven, and slide a thin knife around the top edge of the cake to detach from the pan, but do not remove the pan sides.
Place the pan on a rack and cover with a large inverted bowl, to slowly cool cake to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 5 hours (preferably 24) before serving. Adapted from 'Bittersweet,' by Alice Medrich.

Alice Medrich claims the flavors become even more intense after 48 hours, but I wouldn't know :) Happy Thanksgiving!



clipped on: 11.23.2013 at 09:33 am    last updated on: 11.23.2013 at 09:33 am

RE: Cookalong Extra! ****Holiday Cookies**** (Follow-Up #26)

posted by: caliloo on 11.28.2010 at 11:19 am in Cooking Forum

I made these yesterday for the first time... oh my they are GOOD! I did sub bourbon for the milk, added 1/2 tsp of orange oil and omitted the nutmeg and nuts. THey are wonderfully chewy and have a great flavor.

Jewel Cookies
These cookies are made with candied fruits.
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, stir before measuring
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup shortening
• 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 egg
• 2 tablespoons milk
• 1/2 cup chopped nuts
• 1/3 cup chopped candied cherries
• 2 tablespoons chopped candied fruits
• 2 tablespoons chopped candied peels
Preheat oven lo 375°. Sift flour with baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Beat together shortening, brown sugar, vanilla, and egg until well-blended. Blend in half of flour mixture, then milk, then remaining flour mixture. Stir in chopped nuts, cherries, candied fruit and peel. Drop by level tablespoons about 2 inches apart, onto greased baking sheets. Press lightly with a flat-bottomed glass covered with a damp cloth. Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 375°. Makes about 3 dozen fruit cookies.


clipped on: 11.10.2013 at 07:39 pm    last updated on: 11.10.2013 at 07:40 pm

RE: Cookalong Extra! ****Holiday Cookies**** (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: wizardnm on 11.26.2010 at 11:52 am in Cooking Forum

Here's my long time favorite cut out cookie dough. If I remember correctly it was originally in a BH+G magazine in the late 70's. I usually double it in my KA mixer and usually make at least three bowls of the dough. I have a very large tree shape cookie cutter (about 9") and love to make and decorate special cookies for those that love cutouts.
This dough is one that you can roll thick, if you like a softer cutout, yet still holds up.


1½ C sugar
1 C unsalted butter
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp almond extract
3½ C flour (I like unbleached)
1 tsp baking powder

In a mixing bowl cream sugar, butter and cream cheese until fluffy.
Add egg and flavorings, beat smooth'
Stir together the flour and baking powder, add to creamed mixture and mix thoroughly.

Chill dough. Roll out on surface dusted with a mixture of ½ powered sugar and ½ flour, ¼ to ½ inch thick depending on your preference. Cut into desired shapes. Place on ungreased cookie sheet ( I line with parchment paper) and bake in a 375° oven 8-10 minutes. Watch for the edges to just barely begin to brown if you like a moist cookie. Cool and frost.


Divide dough into portions and add desired colors. Force through cookie press onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake in a 375° oven 8-10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack. Before baking brush with slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with colored sprinkles if desired.
Note...I have added about 4 oz of almond paste to the dough when making the cookie press cookies.....yum!


2 c powered sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp softened butter
¼ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp almond extract
1 egg white
¼ C milk or cream

Combine egg white and milk, set aside.
Beat together powered sugar, butter and flavorings.
Add small amounts of the milk mixture until icing is spreading consistency.
Tint with desired colors.
Using the egg white will give you a nice finish on the icing, the butter will keep it soft on the inside.



clipped on: 11.10.2013 at 06:22 pm    last updated on: 11.10.2013 at 06:23 pm

RE: Calling Alexa !!!!! (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: caliloo on 10.28.2013 at 07:42 pm in Cooking Forum

Hey GF! Good to see you! A little bird whispered that I had a shout out... and here is the recipe!

That was an amazing visit with you all! Martini Mayhem!


Autumn Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup cranberries
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon Maple Syrup, Brown Sugar or Honey
1 tablespoon Dijon-style prepared mustard
1 cup vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
10 cups mixed salad greens, rinsed and dried
2 Anjou Pears, cored and thinly sliced

Toast the walnuts for 8 to 10 minutes in a 350F oven, or until lightly toasted.

In a food processor, combine the cranberries, vinegar, onion, syrup, and mustard. Puree until smooth; gradually add oil, and season with salt and pepper.

In a salad bowl, toss together the greens, pears, and enough of the cranberry mixture to coat. Sprinkle with walnuts, and serve.

Note: Also great with crumbled Gorgonzola


clipped on: 10.28.2013 at 08:36 pm    last updated on: 10.28.2013 at 08:36 pm

RE: T&T apple quick bread (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: wizardnm on 02.23.2009 at 09:01 pm in Cooking Forum

Laurie, I made this recipe a couple of weeks ago. I doubled it and it was really good. I make quick breads all the time and when cool, cut in pretty thick least an inch thick. Pkg in sandwich bags and stored in the freezer. Kim grabs one every morning to eat at work. Tides her over from 7am to 12 or 1pm.

Raw Apple Bread


[Beard's comment: "A rather unusual baking powder bread that you will find delightfully textured and interesting in color and flavor. It keeps very well and, as a matter of fact, will be better if left to mature for at least 24 hours. It is a fine bread to give as a gift."]

(1 large loaf)

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
2 tablespoons buttermilk or soured milk
1 cup coarsely chopped, unpeeled apples
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or grated lemon rind

Cream the butter or margarine, add the sugar slowly, and continue to beat until light and lemon-colored. Beat in the eggs.

Sift the flour with the salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir in the apples, nuts and vanilla or lemon rind.

Butter a 9 or 10x5x3-inch loaf pan. Spoon the batter into the tin and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 50-60 minutes, until the loaf pulls away slightly from the sides of the tin or until a straw or cake tester inserted in the loaf comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then loosen from the pan and turn out on a rack to cool completely before slicing.

VARIATION: Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon chopped nuts on top of the batter before baking.



clipped on: 10.09.2013 at 09:51 am    last updated on: 10.09.2013 at 09:52 am

RE: Ruthanna..could you share a recipe? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: ruthanna on 10.29.2011 at 07:40 pm in Cooking Forum

Jackie, I didn't add the walnuts to the cake in the photo but put some on top of the icing.


4 cup peeled and chopped apples
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp. cinnamon (or 3/4 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg)
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts

Mix together apples, raisins, sugar and cinnamon (and nutmeg, if used) in a large bowl and stir thoroughly. Let this mixture sit for one hour, stirring occasionally. Juice will begin to form - do not drain off. Meanwhile, mix together flour, salt, and baking soda in a separate bowl. Grease and flour a 9" X 13" pan.

After the apples have marinated for an hour, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the eggs, oil and vanilla and add to the apple mixture. Stir well, and then add the flour mixture. Mix well with a spoon and then add the nuts. Mix and pour into prepared pan.

Bake for about 45 minutes. Cool on a rack. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.

Notes: I like to substitute chopped dates for the raisins. Walnuts are the traditional nuts for this cake but I have used pecans or more often, omitted the nuts altogether.


1/4 lb (1 stick) butter
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk (not the sweetened condensed milk)
Pinch of salt
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan, add the brown sugar, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low for two minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and add the milk and salt. Return to the stove and bring to a full boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm. Gradually beat in the confectioners sugar and vanilla, beating until icing is thick enough to spread.

NOTE: I don't use a mixer for this, just a big spoon.

Yield: enough for a 13 X 9 inch cake or a 2-layer cake. Recipe should be doubled for a 3-layer 8-inch cake.


Try with coconut oil? Maybe make half.
clipped on: 10.05.2013 at 01:24 pm    last updated on: 10.05.2013 at 01:26 pm

RE: Let's talk about alcohol.... (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: ruthanna on 08.02.2013 at 05:07 pm in Cooking Forum

Since we don't drink wine with dinner, except when we have guests, so if I'm cooking with wine, I'll try to cook a few dishes using the same wine in a row when I open a bottle of it and reduce the rest for a sauce and freeze it.

It's not the greatest wine but I also keep a four-pack of both white and red 6 oz. bottles of wine for cooking when I don't want to open a full sized bottle.

Rum, bourbon or liqueurs like Cointreau keep for a long time so no problem for me to have them on hand.

This chicken dish made with rum is cooking in the oven now.


4 bone-in chicken or boneless chicken breasts or 1 cut up chicken
1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tbs. prepared Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. curry powder (I use Penzey's Maharajah blend)
2 Tbs. dark rum

Place chicken skin side up in shallow baking dish and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine remaining ingredients, stirring well. Pour sauce over chicken. Bake for one hour (40 min. for boneless breasts, depending on size), basting occasionally with sauce.

Note: I usually use skinless bone-in breasts so I turn them over halfway through the cooking time. I also melt the butter in a pyrex measuring cup in the microwave and then add the honey and orange juice directly to it so I don't dirty extra measuring cups.


clipped on: 08.02.2013 at 05:58 pm    last updated on: 08.02.2013 at 05:58 pm

RE: Your best chocolate cake recipe? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: pat_t on 05.30.2010 at 08:00 am in Cooking Forum

When I found this one, I threw away all other chocolate cake recipes.


1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted & cooled
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
1 cup boiling water (may use leftover coffee)
Milk chocolate icing (recipe follows)

Beat butter and sugar together in large mixing bowl; add eggs; beat until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and chocolate. Sift together dry ingredients; add alternately with sour cream to butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Add boiling water (batter will be very thin). Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch layer cake pans. Bake in preheated 350� F. oven 35 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool in pan on wire racks 10 minutes. Turn out onto racks; cool completely. Fill and frost as desired. Yield: 12 servings.

The Best Chocolate Frosting:
4 cups sifted confectioners� sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3+ Tblsp. milk

Beat ingredients together until smooth adding enough milk to make of spreading consistency.


clipped on: 07.24.2013 at 01:38 pm    last updated on: 07.24.2013 at 01:38 pm

RE: I looooove lemon! (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: doucanoe on 11.27.2012 at 05:27 pm in Cooking Forum

I love lemon too!

Lemon Yogurt Cake
2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home, All Rights Reserved


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar (I use 1/3 c confectioners sugar)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (I use 1/3 c lemon juice)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.

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Meyer Lemon Pudding Cakes

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup sugar, plus additional for ramekins
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-3 Meyer or regular lemons
3 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted and cooled
1 cup whole milk
1 pint raspberries, for garnish
Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease eight 4- to 5-ounce ramekins; sprinkle with sugar to coat bottoms and sides. Shake out any excess.

In small bowl, whisk flour, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt. grate 1 1/2 tablespoons peel and squeeze 1/2 cup juice. In large bowl, with wire whisk, beat egg yolks and lemon peel and juice. Whisk in butter and milk. Gradually whisk in flour mixture.

In another large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add one-third beaten whites to yolk mixture and, with rubber spatula, stir gently until incorporated. Gently fold in remaining whites until just incorporated. With ladle, divide batter evenly among prepared ramekins.

Arrange ramekins 1 inch apart in large (17-inch by 13-inch) roasting pan. Fill pan with enough hot water to come halfway up sides of ramekins. Carefully transfer pan to oven and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cakes are golden brown and tops rise 1/2 inch above rims.

Cool cakes in pan on wire rack 5 minutes. With sturdy metal spatula, carefully remove ramekins from pan with water and transfer to wire rack to cool 15 minutes longer.

Run thin knife around edge of 1 ramekin. Place small serving plate on top of ramekin and invert plate and ramekin together; remove ramekin. Repeat with remaining ramekins. Garnish each cake with a couple of raspberries and a mint sprig; serve warm.

Lemon Butter Bars
Source: Land-O-Lakes

1 c AP flour
1/2 c butter, softened
1/4 c sugar

3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
3 T lemon juice
2 T AP flour
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp baking powder

Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all crust ingredients in a small bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into bottom of ungreased 8x8-inch square baking pan. Bake 15-20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Meanwhile combine all filling ingredients except powdered sugar in small bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often until well mixed. Pour filling over hot crust. Bake 18-20 minutes or until filling is set.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar while still warm and again when cool. Cut into squares.

Makes 16 bars.

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Lemon Curd Bars
Source: Midwest Living December 2006

1 c unsalted butter, softened
1 c sugar
2 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 10-12 oz jar lemon curd
2/3 c flaked coconut
1/2 c sliced or slivered almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 375F.
In large mixing bowl, beat butter with electric mixer 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add flour and baking powder, beat until combined and mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 2/3 cup of crumb mixture, and set aside. Press remaining crumb mixture into bottom of a 9x13 pan. Bake 5-8 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven, spread lemon curd over crust, to within � inc of edges of pan.
In bowl, mix reserved crumb mixture with coconut and almonds. Sprinkle over the lemon curd. Bake for 18-20 minutes more or until edges are golden and topping is browned.

Cool and cut into squares. Makes 32 bars.



clipped on: 04.13.2013 at 05:55 pm    last updated on: 04.13.2013 at 05:55 pm

RE: What else to do with lettuce! (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: olychick on 04.11.2013 at 01:08 pm in Cooking Forum

These are completely delicious:
Splendid Table Almond Chutney Chicken in Lettuce Wraps

Chicken Salad:

One 3-pound roasted chicken (take-out works here)
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
Juice of 3 large lemons, or more to taste
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced, or hot sauce to taste
9-ounce jar Major Grey Chutney, cut into bite-size pieces if necessary
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
3 large stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 cup whole salted almonds, coarse chopped

Lettuce Cups and Herbs:

1 large head Bibb lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried
1 large bunch fresh basil, washed and dried
1 large bunch fresh coriander, washed and dried
8 radishes, thin sliced
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced into thin rounds or 2-inch sticks


Pull the meat from the chicken carcass, discarding the skin and bones. Cut it into bite-sized pieces.

In a large bowl combine the onions, lemon zest and juice, jalapeno, chutney, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Fold in the chicken. Taste the mix for lemon, mayonnaise, and herbs, adding more as needed. Let it stand 20 minutes to blend flavors, or refrigerate overnight.

To serve, blend the celery and nuts into the chicken mixture. Mound the salad at one side of a big platter. Pile up the lettuce leaves at the other side, and cluster sprigs of herbs in the center. Tuck the radishes and cucumbers next to the herbs.

Put a few herb leaves in the bottom of a lettuce "cup," top them with a spoonful of the salad, a slice each of radish and cucumber, and roll up.


clipped on: 04.11.2013 at 10:33 pm    last updated on: 04.11.2013 at 10:33 pm

RE: RECIPE: favorite lemon dishes (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: Ruthanna on 02.28.2005 at 10:40 pm in Recipe Exchange Forum

This pie has a puddinglike bottom layer and a cakey top layer. You will see it on the menu in many PA Dutch restaurants and diners.


Pie crust for 9 inch pie pan
3/ 4 cup sugar
1/ 4 cup melted butter
1/ 4 cup flour
Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons (no white part)
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs, separated
1/8 tsp. salt

Mix sugar, butter, flour, lemon juice and rind, milk salt and egg yolks in large bowl. Stir with a whisk until yolks are thoroughly mixed. (Mixture will look curdled but thats normal.) Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry and fold into lemon mixture.

Bake crust at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Pour lemon mixture into piepan and bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until top bounces back when touched with your finger. Cool completely before cutting. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Can also be baked without the crust in a piepan or individual custard cups. Pour lemon mix in them, set in a pan. Pour in hot water to go 1 inch up the sides and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes until done as per test for pie.


2 lemons, thinly sliced (including the peel)
cup sugar
4 cups water

In a large heatproof bowl or pitcher, place the lemons and sugar. Boil the water and pour over lemons and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate until well chilled. Serve over ice. You can also add a sliced orange along with the lemons or use 1 lemon and one lime.


Compare with Lemon Custard Cakes (from Carol, Long Island I think) now in Stickies.
clipped on: 11.28.2012 at 08:32 am    last updated on: 04.09.2013 at 11:32 am

RE: Puréed foods (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: jimster on 04.09.2013 at 11:07 am in Cooking Forum

Sopa de Aguacate (Avocado Soup)

3 fully ripe Hass avocados
6 cups of your best rich chicken broth
salt to taste

1. Remove pulp from the avocados.
2. Use a blender to puree the avocados with the broth.
3. Heat the mixture to just short of boiling, season and serve.

Don't be fooled by the simplicity of this recipe. It is very good. The better the chicken broth, the better it tastes.


This post was edited by jimster on Tue, Apr 9, 13 at 11:17


clipped on: 04.09.2013 at 11:20 am    last updated on: 04.09.2013 at 11:20 am

RE: Sherry (sheshebop) your prizewinning recipe (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: lorijean44 on 08.26.2010 at 02:18 pm in Cooking Forum

I think this is the recipe you were looking for, yes?

* Posted by sheshebop (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 7, 10 at 9:49

Ilana, that recipe did not come from here. It is my own recipe. I got your e-mail about wanting the recipe, but it has been crazy with the grandkids this weekend. Here goes:

Chocolate Mousse
8 oz. good quality chocolate, chopped (I use Callebaut semisweet, but have been known to round off it off with Ghiradelli chips)
2 egg yolks, beaten
1/3 cup sugar
1-3/4 cup whipping cream
Combine chocolate, egg yolks, 3/4 cup whipping cream in a small pan. Cook over medium heat until it starts to bubble around the edges. Remove from heat.
Pour into a large bowl and set it in a larger bowl of ice cubes. Stir frequently and do not let it get cold or it will turn hard. Just take the warm off so it doesn't melt the whipped cream that you will put in it. (f you do get it too thick and cold, just remelt and try again)
Beat 1 cup whipped cream just until thickened. You can beat to soft peaks, but the mousse will be pretty thick. However, I often beat until peaks form, and it is not a problem.)
Fold the whipped cream mixture into the chocolate mixture. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until chilled. (At least 2-5 hours) and up to overnight.
You can top with more whipped cream, if desired.

This is my favorite, and is so easy to make. I have tried lots of different ways to make it, but this was the one, when used as a filling on my Kahlua chocolate cake that won a prize at a chocolate contest. (Best of show, 2nd overall)

Here is the Kahlua cake recipe
2 cvups flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/4 tsp baking soda
1-1/4 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup cooking oil
1 Tbs. vanilla
3/4 cup stong coffee, cooled
1/2 up Kahlua (I have made with more Kahlua than coffee, and it was to boozy tasting)
Mix ingredients together like you usually do for a cake (Mixture will be thin) Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.
I have also made this with amaretto. You could use creme de cocoa or an orange liquor as well)

I do it in a Maryann pan, and it looks beautiful. You can decorate the top with whipped cream piped on. I decorated with edible orchids.


clipped on: 01.31.2013 at 11:59 am    last updated on: 01.31.2013 at 12:03 pm

RE: Beachlily's Meyer lemons (Follow-Up #13)

posted by: colleenoz on 11.27.2012 at 05:45 am in Cooking Forum

Glad it's so popular :-)

Colleen's Dead Easy Microwave Lemon Butter

4 oz butter
3/4 cup lemon juice (about 3 large or six small lemons)
1 cup sugar
4 eggs

Peel yellow rind from lemons and reserve. Cut off white pith from lemons, halve them and remove any seeds. Place lemon flesh into blender and whiz into juice (should be more than 3/4 cup due to being fluffy).
Add reserved rind to juice and whiz until finely ground. Place juice/rind mixture, sugar and butter into a largish microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring halfway through. Meanwhile whiz eggs in the blender until thoroughly beaten (this eliminates any white stringy bits). Whisk eggs into mixture and microwave a further 5 minutes, stirring every minute, until thick. Cool and pour into sterilised jars. Store in refrigerator after opening. Makes 4 to 5 medium sized jars.
If you overcook it and it separates (much nicer than "curdles" :-) ), beat another egg and stir in, cook a little longer.


clipped on: 11.28.2012 at 08:47 am    last updated on: 11.28.2012 at 08:48 am

RE: RECIPE: favorite lemon dishes (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: Roselin32 on 03.02.2005 at 02:50 pm in Recipe Exchange Forum

This is far and away the BEST lemonade I have ever had-it comes from Taste of Home and everyone that has had it, loves it:
Aunt Frances'Lemonade
5 lemons
5 limes
5 oranges
3 quarts water
1 1/2-2c sugar
Squeeze the juice from 4 of each fruits; pour into a 1 gallon container. Thinly slice remaining fruits and set aside for garnish. Add water and sugar to juice mixing well.
Store in refrig and serve over ice with fruit slices.
Yield:1 gallon (12-16 servings)


clipped on: 11.28.2012 at 08:35 am    last updated on: 11.28.2012 at 08:35 am

RE: And your #1 pick is---Recipes please (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: jenn on 12.06.2009 at 02:22 pm in Cooking Forum

It's hard to pick just one. This is a recipe my grandma made many years ago. We don't know the original source of the recipe (I've seen it on-line, possibly swiped from my many posts of it.) I give it away every year now and always get raves and requests for the recipe.

Oranged Walnuts

(Makes 3 cups)

* 1-1/2 C sugar
* 1/4 C orange juice (if possible, use fresh squeezed)
* 1/4 C water
* 1 tsp grated orange zest
* 2 C walnut halves (see note)

Pour nuts into large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with orange zest.

Combine sugar, orange juice, and water in saucepan; cook to softball stage (234F).

Remove from heat. Pour over nuts, and quickly mix well until the syrup becomes cloudy and hard to stir.

Quickly turn out onto waxed paper or buttered cookie sheet.

Separate into small clusters with 2 forks.

Note: I now use almost 4 cups walnuts with success. Since some of the syrup falls to the bottom of the pan and doesn't coat the nuts, using more nuts uses more of the syrup and yields more of these tasty nuggets. It just depends on how thick a coating you want on the nuts; more coating means more sugary sweetness, but they are just as delicious with a thinner coating.


clipped on: 12.22.2009 at 10:16 am    last updated on: 12.22.2009 at 10:17 am

RE: T&T apple quick bread (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: dixiedog_2007 on 02.23.2009 at 08:40 pm in Cooking Forum

Praline-Apple Bread - SL

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 8 oz. carton sour cream
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups chopped, peeled apples
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease the bottom and 1/2-inch up the sides of a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Set aside. In a bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl beat together sugar, sour cream, eggs and vanilla with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add flour mixture to sour cream mixture, beating on low speed until combined. Stir in apples and 1/2 cup of the pecans by hand. Spread batter in the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with the remaining pecans; press lightly into batter.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. If necessary, cover bread loosely with foil the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan.

Meanwhile in a small saucepan combine the butter and brown sugar; cook and stir until mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 1 minute. Drizzle brown sugar mixture over top of bread; cool.

"1 loaf"


clipped on: 02.23.2009 at 08:42 pm    last updated on: 02.23.2009 at 08:42 pm

RE: Make ahead Thanksgiving Question (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: woodie2 on 11.10.2008 at 05:48 pm in Cooking Forum

I think this is good gravy, I do not use the giblets or the neck, because I buy the turkey parts separately to make this gravy.

Cook's Country Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy
Makes about 2 quarts
For more flavor, after roasting the turkey you can skim the drippings from the pan and add them to the gravy just before serving. It's best to discard the strong-tasting liver before using the giblets. This recipe makes enough to accompany a large turkey and still have plenty for leftovers.

6 turkey drumsticks, thighs, or wings
reserved turkey giblets
reserved turkey neck
2 carrots , chopped coarse
1 head garlic , halved
2 ribs celery , chopped coarse
2 onions , chopped coarse
Vegetable oil spray
10 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups dry white wine
12 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Table salt and ground black pepper

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Place giblets, neck, drumsticks, carrots, celery, onions, and garlic in roasting pan, spray with vegetable oil, and toss well. Roast, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
2. Transfer contents of roasting pan to Dutch oven. Add broth, wine, and thyme and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until reduced by half, about 1 1/2 hours. Pour through fine-mesh strainer into large container (discard solids), cover stock with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until fat congeals, at least 2 hours.
3. Using soup spoon, skim fat and reserve. Heat 1/2 cup fat in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until bubbling. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking constantly, until honey colored, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in stock, bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Gravy can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.) Reheat gravy in saucepan over medium heat until bubbling.


clipped on: 11.10.2008 at 07:17 pm    last updated on: 11.10.2008 at 07:17 pm

RE: What's For Dinner? #284 (Follow-Up #43)

posted by: ann_t on 11.07.2008 at 02:37 pm in Cooking Forum

Jwm211, here is the recipe. I use fresh grated Reggiano Parmesan and haven't had a problem with it sticking.

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Parmesan-Coated Sweet Potato Fries

Serves 4; Prep time: 15 minutes; Total time 40 minutes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 large egg whites
1 1/3 cups grated Parmesan cheese
4 small sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds), scrubbed and quartered lengthwise (I peel the potatoes)
1. Preheat the oven to 425. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and then set aside.
2. In a shallow bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and pepper. In a separate shallow bowl, lightly beat the egg whites with 2 tablespoons of water until combined. Place the Parmesan on a sheet of waxed paper or put it in another shallow bowl.
3. Dip the sweet potato first in the flour mixture, shaking off excess. Then dip each wedge into the egg white mixture until coated. Finally, dip the sweet potato in the Parmesan, pressing the exposed surface of the potato into the cheese. (Don't worry if some gets on the skin.) Transfer potato wedges onto the prepared baking sheet as you go.
4. Bake potatoes until tender and crisp, about 25 minutes. Serve sprinkled with more salt if desired.


clipped on: 11.08.2008 at 02:34 pm    last updated on: 11.08.2008 at 02:34 pm

RE: recipe/instructions (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: earthlydelights on 09.07.2007 at 10:29 am in Cooking Forum

original recipe posting:

The USDA says that an internal temp of 165 F is sufficient to kill pathogens and viruses, so 180 is a bit of overkill.
Roasting chicken is one of those allegedly simple tasks which a lot of cooks can't do right. Here's a great recipe from Marcella Hazan's 'Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking' which is foolproof and absolutely delicious:
If this were a still life its title could be "Chicken with Two Lemons." That is all that there is in it. No fat to cook with, no basting to do, no stuffing to prepare, no condiments except for salt and pepper. After you put the chicken in the oven you turn it just once. The bird, its two lemons, and the oven do all the rest. Again and again, through the years, I met people who come up to me to say, "I have made your chicken with two lemons and it is the most amazingly simple recipe, the juiciest, best-tasting chicken I have ever had." And you know, it is perfectly true.
For 4 servings
# A 3- to 4-pound chicken
# Salt
# Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill
# 2 rather small lemons
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Wash the chicken thoroughly in cold water, both inside and out. Remove all the bits of fat hanging loose. Let the bird sit for about 10 minutes on a slightly tilted plate to let all the water drain out of it. Pat it thoroughly dry all over with cloth or paper towels.
3. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt and black pepper on the chicken, rubbing it with your fingers over all its body and into its cavity.
4. Wash the lemons in cold water and dry them with a towel. Soften each lemon by placing it on a counter and rolling it back and forth as you put firm downward pressure on it with the palm of your hand. Puncture the lemons in at least 20 places each, using a sturdy round toothpick, a trussing needle, a sharp-pointed fork, or similar implement.
5. Place both lemons in the birds cavity. Close up the opening with toothpicks or with trussing needle and string. Close it well, but dont make an absolutely airtight job of it because the chicken may burst. Run kitchen string from one leg to the other, tying it at both knuckle ends. Leave the legs in their natural position without pulling them tight. If the skin is unbroken, the chicken will puff up as it cooks, and the string serves only to keep the thighs from spreading apart and splitting the skin.
6. Put the chicken into a roasting pan, breast facing down. Do not add cooking fat of any kind. This bird is self-basting, so you need not fear it will stick to the pan. Place it in the upper third of the preheated oven. After 30 minutes, turn the chicken over to have the breast face up. When turning it, try not to puncture the skin. If kept intact, the chicken will swell like a balloon, which makes for an arresting presentation at the table later. Do not worry too much about it, however, because even if it fails to swell, the flavor will not be affected.
7. Cook for another 30 to 35 minutes, then turn the oven thermostat up to 400 degrees, and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Calculate between 20 and 25 minutes total cooking time for each pound. There is no need to turn the chicken again.
8. Whether your bird has puffed up or not, bring it to the table whole and leave the lemons inside until it is carved and opened. The juices that run out are perfectly delicious. Be sure to spoon them over the chicken slices. The lemons will have shriveled up, but they still contain some juice; do not squeeze them, they may squirt.
Ahead-of-time note: If you want to eat it while it is warm, plan to have it the moment it comes out of the oven. If there are leftovers, they will be very tasty cold, kept moist with some of the cooking juices and eaten not straight out of the refrigerator, but at room temperature.


clipped on: 09.07.2007 at 10:46 am    last updated on: 09.07.2007 at 10:46 am

RE: RECIPE: favorite lemon dishes (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: dishesdone on 02.27.2005 at 02:48 pm in Recipe Exchange Forum

Great thread, San! here's some of our favorites -

Raos Famous Lemon Chicken - Pollo al Limone

2 3-pound broiling chickens, halved
1/4 cup chopped Italian Parsley

Lemon Sauce:
2 cups freshlemon juice
1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

To attain maximum heat, preheat broiler for at least 15 minutes before using.

Broil chicken halves, turning once, for about 30 minutes or until skin is golden-brown and juices run clear when bird is pierced with a fork.

Remove chicken from broiler, leaving broiler on. Using a very sharp knife, cut each half into about 6 pieces (leg, thigh, wing, 3 small breast pieces).

Place chicken on a baking sheet with sides, of a size that can fit into the broiler. Pour Lemon Sauce over the chicken and toss to coat well. If necessary, divide sauce in half and do this in two batches.

Return to broiler and broil for 3 minutes. Turn each piece and broil for an additional minute.

Remove from broiler and portion each chicken onto each of 6 warm serving plates.

Pour sauce into a heavy saucepan. Stir in parsley and place over high heat for 1 minute. Pour an equal amount of sauce over each chicken and serve with lots of crusty bread to absorb the sauce.

Directions for Lemon Sauce
Whisk together juice, oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Whisk or shake vigorously before using.

Rao's Cookbook: Over 100 Years of Italian Home Cooking

You'll need at least 10 lemons to get two cups of fresh juice. Bottled juice will NOT give good results. Keeping the chicken at least 4 inches from the broiler's heat source will cut down on the smoking.
Sauteed Tilapia with Lemon-Peppercorn Pan Sauce

3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons drained brine packed green peppercorns, lightly crushed
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 (6-ounce) tilapia or sole fillets
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons butter
Lemon wedges (optional)

Combine first 3 ingredients.

Melt 1 teaspoon of butter with oil in a large nonstick skillet over low heat. While butter melts, sprinkle fish filIets with salt and black pepper. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Dredge fillets in flour; shake off excess flour.

Increase heat to medium-high; heat 2 minutes or until butter turns golden brown. Add fillets to pan; saute 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove fillets from pan. Add broth mixture to pan, scraping to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in two teaspoons of butter with a whisk. Serve sauce over fillets. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.

Cooking Light - March 2004

This piquant sauce is perfect over plain white fish. Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the brightest flavor. Serve with white rice.
Lemon Tart with Walnut Crust

For the Crust:
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
12 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups flour

For the Filling:
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 2 or 3 lemons)
1/2 cup heavy cream

FOR THE CRUST: In a food processor, grind the walnuts to a fine grind. You should have about 1/2 cup. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners' sugar at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg; mix to combine. Lower the speed to slow and add the flour, mixing until barely combined. Add the walnuts and continue mixing, scraping the sides of the bowl, until the dough comes together. Divide the dough. Wrap the half you'll be using in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Wrap the other half well in plastic and then in foil and freeze for future use.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9 1/2-inch tart pan. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a round about 1/8 inch thick. Arrange it in the pan, trimming to fit. Line the crust with foil or kitchen parchment and weight with beans or pie weights. Bake until the edge is light golden brown, about 20 min. Carefully remove the beans and foil and bake until the bottom is dry and light brown, about another 5 min. Cool to room temperature.

FOR THE FILLING: Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the sugar and whisk until just combined. Add the lemon juice and cream and whisk until just combined. Strain the mixture through a fine strainer and pour into the prepared pie crust.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake the tart until the filling is set, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool at room temperature. Serve at room temperature or chilled
Fine Cooking Magazine

NOTES : A light and bright lemon tart ends the meal on a perfect note. A crust made with ground walnuts and a silky smooth, tangy filling make every mouthful of tart deliciously interesting. The recipe yields enough dough to make two crusts. You can freeze the extra raw dough, well wrapped, for up to two months.

Here is a link that might be useful: lemon custard cakes thread (Dessert Exchange)


clipped on: 06.03.2007 at 01:59 pm    last updated on: 06.03.2007 at 01:59 pm

RE: North African Virtual Dinner party Entre (Follow-Up #23)

posted by: msafirstein on 05.15.2007 at 01:21 pm in Cooking Forum

Annie....pillows and costumes! Sounds like a set up to me!

From "The Scent of Orange Blossoms; Sephardic Cuisine from Morocco" by Kitty Morse

Serve the boundigaz hot with rice for a light supper, or cold with Dijon Mustard or harrissa.

Meatballs in Cinnamon-Onion Sauce (Boundigaz aux Oignons)

Serve the boundigaz hot with rice for a light supper, or cold with Dijon mustard or harrisa.

I'm wondering if this could also be used an appetizer???

NOTE: Recipe for Harrisa ie: Moroccan Hot Sauce is located in my above post.

4 onions
1 lb lean ground beef
2 slices crustless white bread, soaked in warm water and squeezed dry
1 egg, beaten
1 T. "Top of the Shop" spice blend (recipe following)
1 tsp salt
tsp ground black pepper
2/3 c. water
tsp ground cinnamon
2 T. vegetable oil (optional)

Grate 1 onion. Slice the remaining 3 onions into " slices.

In a large bowl, combine the grated onion, beef, bread, egg, spice blend, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Shape 1 rounded tablespoon into a ball about 1 1/4" in diameter, wetting your hands frequently to prevent sticking. Repeat until all the meat mixture is used.

In a large saucepan bring the water to boil over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, cover with the sliced onions and sprinkle with the cinnamon. Decrease the heat to medium. Cook until meatballs are no longer pink in the centers, 20-25 minutes. Add the oil for a richer sauce and serve hot or at room temperature.

Top of the Shop Spice Blend

2 tsp allspice, or 2 tsp allspice berries
1 tsp nutmeg or 1 whole nutmeg
2 tsp mace or 2 tsp blade mace
1 tsp ginger or 1-2" piece dried gingerroot
tsp pepper
tsp salt
tsp cinnamon or 1 stick cinnamon

Combine all the ground spices. OR if you are using whole spices, place them in a small, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Toast, stirring, until they release their aroma, 3-5 minutes. Allow to cool. Grind in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder until powdered. Sift to remove any fibrous elements. Store at room temperature in a tightly sealed container.



clipped on: 05.30.2007 at 01:23 pm    last updated on: 05.30.2007 at 01:23 pm

RE: North African Virtual Dinner party Entre (Follow-Up #21)

posted by: msafirstein on 05.15.2007 at 10:22 am in Cooking Forum

From "The Scent of Orange Blossoms; Sephardic Cuisine from Morocco" by Kitty Morse

Moroccan Hot Sauce (Harissa)

8 large or 16 small dried chilis
1 red bell pepper, roasted
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 c. EVOO, plus extra for storage
1 tsp salt or more
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin, or more

With a small knifer, but open the chilis, scrape out the dissard the seeds, and remove the stems. Chop the chilis into small pieces and transfer to a bowl of warm water. Soak until soft, 25-30 minutes. Drain the chiles and pat dry with paper towels.

In a blender or food processor, combine the drained chiles, bell pepper, garlic, lemon juice, oil, salt and cumin. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a clean pint jar. Cover with a thin layer of oil. Harissa will keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Serve as a condiment on the side.

Lamb Kebabs (Brochettes d'Agneau)

2 lbs boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of fat and cut into 1" cubes
15 sprigs of cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp sweet Hungarian Paprika
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin, plus additional for dipping
1/2 tsp salt, plus additional for dipping
2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Harrisa for dipping

In a large bowl, combine the meat with the cilantro, paprika, garlic, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp salt, lemon juice and EVOO. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill. Thread the meat onto metal skewers, allowing 8-10 pieces of meat on each skewer. Place the skewers on the grill rack and grill, turning occasionally, for 5-6 minutes for rare.

Serve with little saucers filled with cumin, salt and harissa, for dipping, on the side.



clipped on: 05.30.2007 at 01:22 pm    last updated on: 05.30.2007 at 01:22 pm

RE: North African Virtual Dinner party Entre (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: msafirstein on 04.30.2007 at 11:41 pm in Cooking Forum

Tunisian Snapper
from: FoodDownUnder

24 oz Red-snapper fillets, (one
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cumin seeds, crushed
1/4 tsp Coriander seeds, crushed
1/4 tsp Fennel seeds, crushed
1/4 tsp Crushed red pepper
2 tsp Vegetable oil
Lime wedges, for garnish

1. With tweezers, remove any small bones from snapper fillets.
2. On waxed paper, combine salt, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and crushed red pepper. Rub mixture on flesh side of fillets.
3. In nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil.
Add fillets and cook 5 to 8 minutes, turning once, until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve with lime wedges if you like.

Notes: Serve this exotic but easy main course with Lime Couscous and Coleslaw made with Buttermilk-Chive Dressing. Work Time: 5 minutes; Total Time: 10 to 13 minutes.


clipped on: 05.30.2007 at 01:20 pm    last updated on: 05.30.2007 at 01:20 pm

RE: LOOKING for: Broccoli Salad with raisins (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: lindac on 10.30.2006 at 09:51 pm in Recipe Exchange Forum

I like this with a lot less bacon....about 1/2 as much.
But it's a good salad.
1 bunch fresh broccoli, washed, drained, broken into flowerettes
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 lb. bacon fried crisp, drained, and crumbled
1/2 c. hulled sunflower seeds
1/2 c. raisins


3/4 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. sugar
2 tbsp. vinegar

Combine salad ingredients together in large bowl; set aside. Combine dressing ingredients together thoroughly. Pour dressing over salad ingredients; stir to blend. Serve chilled.
Linda C


use golden raisins or dried cranberries
clipped on: 05.30.2007 at 07:58 am    last updated on: 05.30.2007 at 08:03 am

RE: LOOKING for: Broccoli Salad with raisins (Follow-Up #14)

posted by: buyorsell888 on 11.29.2006 at 02:14 pm in Recipe Exchange Forum

Here is a similar one using grapes instead of raisins. Cashews could be used instead of almonds.

Broccoli Salad
1 bunch Broccoli cut into small pieces
1 cup Green Onions thinly sliced
1 cup Celery very small pieces
1 cup Red Seedless Grapes halved
1 cup Green Seedless Grapes halved
1 cup toasted slivered Almonds
1/2 lb cooked crumbled Bacon

Mix together with this dressing:
1 cup Mayonaise
1/3 cup Sugar
1 T vinegar


clipped on: 05.30.2007 at 08:00 am    last updated on: 05.30.2007 at 08:00 am

RE: greggii & microphylla xeric? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: rich_dufresne on 12.21.2006 at 10:47 am in Salvia Forum

Certainly S. microphylla San Carlos Festival (overall durability), Wild Watermelon (low growing, cold tolerant, huge pink flowers), Dieciocho de Marzo (18th of March), `La Trinidad Pink' (forms a clump from short stolons), `Orange Door' (robust, erect grower), `Red Velvet' (big bush with double-sized flowers), microphylla v. neurepia (very tough and persistent, blooms all summer through heat).

Also S. greggii alba (most cold tolerant), Plum Wine (a paler version of Raspberry Royale), `Cherry Queen' (low growing ground cover), `Big Pink' (tall, erect, large flowers)

The hybrid Cherry Chief is identical to Navajo Bright Red.


answering question: which salvias are best for the mid-Atlanric states?
clipped on: 05.29.2007 at 08:46 pm    last updated on: 05.29.2007 at 08:47 pm

RE: Fig preserves, thanks to Melly (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: annie1992 on 05.29.2007 at 03:16 pm in Cooking Forum

Michelle, Melly posted it for me on the "Plethora of Figs" thread. Here it is again:

Confiture de Figues Seches au Jus de Raisin
dried fig and grape juice jam
(from Provence)

Figs, grapes, apples and mushrooms are strung up and dried for the winter in the kitchen's huge stone fireplace. When sugar is too costly, jams are made from both dried and fresh fruits boiled in strong sweet grape juice. This one with its delicious crunch of fig seeds, is very good on flat, crusty Fougasse bread straight from the oven.

12 oz/350g dried figs, chopped
1 3/4 pints/1 litre pure unsweetend red grape juice
1 bouquet garni of mint, thyme and marjoram
shredded zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 vanilla pod
up to 3 oz/75g castor sugar (optional)

Soak the figs for 2 hours in the juice. sTrain juice into a wide heavy-based saucepan with the bouquet garni & reduce by half over high heat. Lower heat, add figs, lemon zest & vanilla pod, remove bouquet garni, and simmer very gently until fruit is tender (about 1-1 1/2) hours. Remove vanilla, stir in lemon juice and test for sweetness - you may want to add sugar. Boil rapidly, stirring often, just until setting point is reached (from 3 to 7 minutes), but be careful not to over-cook, as the liquid evaporates quickly and over-boiling will make the jam sticky and tasteless. Jam is cooked when a drop of it on a cold saucer wrinkles sluggishly (but doesn't run) when tipped on its side. Remove from heat, let stand until tepid and pour into cleaned and dried jars. Cover & seal when cool. It is best to refrigerate this jam after opening.



Annie said this made 3 half pints.
clipped on: 05.29.2007 at 07:43 pm    last updated on: 05.29.2007 at 07:44 pm

RE: How about these 2 nurseries? allentown area (Follow-Up #15)

posted by: rhodyman on 05.18.2007 at 10:28 pm in Pennsylvania Gardening Forum

Foliage Farm is toward Allentown from Kutztown. It is on the north side of 222. It is near the Rodale demonstration gardens.

Glick's Greenhouse is the best place for annuals at reasonable prices. To get there take PA 73 east from Oley east to the traffic light at Pleasantville. Turn south on covered bridge road. After you go through the covered bridge and pass the 2 churches, watch for the Glicks signs on the left.

Meadow View in Bowers is good for annuals and shrubs. They are a short distance from the Bowers Hotel, across the railroad tracks. Bowers is between Topton and Fleetwood.

The best places with super plants at rock bottom prices in the area are south of Reading on PA 625 down near Shady Maple Market/Restaurant.

Black Creek Greenhouse for annuals and water plants is open from 8 am to 8 pm Monday thru Friday. Closes at 5 pm on Saturday. From PA 23 (near Shady Maple) go north on PA 625 another 3.7 miles and turn right on Black Creek Road and go .4 miles. [(717) 445-5046, 211 E Black Creek Rd., East Earl PA 17519]

Conestoga Nursery for trees and shrubs is closed Tuesday & Sunday. Open from April to November. It is located on PA 625 1.5 miles north of PA 23 (near Shady Maple) [(717) 445-4076, 310 Reading Rd,
East Earl PA 17519]

Also, in Lancaster County area are:

Groff's Plant Farm. From Lancaster follow 222S through Quarryville. Approximately 1.5 miles south of Quarryville you will pass Solanco High School on the right. About 1/4 mile after the high school, Blackburn Road will branch off to the left. Follow Blackburn 3 miles until it ends. Turn left onto Puseyville Road, cross over the Octarara Creek, and immediately turn right onto Street Road. Follow Street around the bend, and we are halfway up the hill on the right. [(717) 529-2249 or(717) 529-3001,, 6128 Street Road, Kirkwood PA 17536]

Hershey's Azalea Farm. Open 8 am to 7 pm Monday to Friday. Closes at 5 pm on Saturday. Open from March to October. Located north of US 30 on County Line Rd. From PA 10 go west on US 30 to County Line Rd. and then north on County Line Rd. to curve in Rd. Nursery is on the right. [(717) 442-4523,, 775 County Line Road, Gap PA 17527]

Ken's Gardens. 1/4 mile west of Intercourse [(717) 768-3922, Route 772, Ronks PA 17572,]


clipped on: 05.29.2007 at 08:28 am    last updated on: 05.29.2007 at 08:28 am

RE: Feta ideas? (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: canarybird on 05.29.2007 at 04:20 am in Cooking Forum

This one is delicious:


Serves 4 - 6

9 ounces (250 grams) salmon fillet, skinned
5 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
9 ounces (250 grams) asparagus (about 16 medium spears), ends trimmed
9 ounces (250 grams) new potatoes, if possible red skinned, cooked and quartered
(approx 14 small potatoes see photo)
1 lb (450 grams) cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3/4 cup (4 oz or 125 grams) crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
6 spring onions, chopped
4 TBS fresh mint, chopped
3 TBS fresh basil, chopped
3 TBS fresh dill, chopped
10 ounces (300 grams) mixed salad leaves or baby spinach (about 2 small bags)
3 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1. Brush the salmon with 1 TBS olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
Place salmon on an oiled grill over medium-high heat and cook, turning once, about 4 minutes per side, or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily. Remove and set aside on a plate to cool.

If preferred, bake salmon in oven at 425F (218C) for about 10 to 12 minutes until it is opaque.

2. Slice asparagus spears diagonally into 1-inch (2.5 cm pieces) and cook in a steam basket placed
over a frying pan or pot of boiling water until spears are tender, about 5 minutes.
Then rinse them under cool water and set aside.

3. Prepare the vinaigrette by whisking together the remaining 4 TBS of olive oil, lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper. Toss the salad leaves with half the dressing and arrange on a large platter.

4. Once salmon has cooled, break it up into bite-sized pieces and place it in a large bowl, adding the
potatoes, tomatoes, asparagus, feta, spring onions and fresh herbs. Add the remaining dressing
and toss gently. Spoon this mixture over the salad greens and serve.

Source: Adapted from Rick Gallops Glycemic Index Diet Green-Light Cookbook



Replace asparagus with qqc else.
clipped on: 05.29.2007 at 07:27 am    last updated on: 05.29.2007 at 07:28 am

RE: Feta ideas? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: ann_t on 05.29.2007 at 12:23 am in Cooking Forum

Sharon's Spanikopita are delicious.

Yield: 48 Pieces
16 Ounces Phyllo Dough,thawed in the
fridge For 24 Hours
10 Ounces Frozen Spinach,Thawed and
drained of all liquid
3/4 Pound Feta Cheese
1/2 Pound Cottage Cheese,pressed and
drained of its liquid
1/4 Pound Cream Cheese,softened
3 Eggs
1/4 Cup Fresh Dill,chopped fine
Salt,pepper to tase
Pinch Nutmeg
3/4 Cup Butter,melted
. [Note: This recipe is from Carmen's Restaraunt in Toronto. Can be
frozen for up to 2 months.] In large bowl combine all ingredients
except phylo and butter. Working with one sheet of phylo at a time,
brush with melted butter and cut in 5 strips lengthwise. Place 1
spoonful of mixture at the bottom of each strip about 1 inch from the
bottom, fold the bottom pieece up over the filling and then fold up
into triangles. Fold like you fold a flag, to the left, up , to the
right ,up etc. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes
or until golden.

Serve warm


clipped on: 05.29.2007 at 07:26 am    last updated on: 05.29.2007 at 07:26 am

RE: Feta ideas? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: ruthanna on 05.28.2007 at 11:19 pm in Cooking Forum


2 1-lb. eggplants
4 tsp. olive oil
1 cup couscous, preferably whole wheat
1/ 2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
3/ 4 cup + 2 Tbs. crumbled feta cheese
3 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly oil two baking sheets or coat with nonstick cooking spray. Trim both ends of the eggplants. Stand one eggplant on end and remove a thin slice of skin from two opposite sides and discard. Repeat with the second eggplant. Cut each eggplant into 6 or more 3/8 inch slices. Using 2 tsp. of the oil, brush both sides of the slices and arrange in a single layer on the baking sheets.

Bake for 10 minutes, turn over and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes more, or until lightly browned and tender.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized saucepan, bring 1 1 / 2 cups water to a boil. Stir in couscous, thyme, and remaining 2 tsp. olive oil. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Uncover and let cool for 15 minutes. With a fork, stir in 3/ 4 cup of the feta, 2 Tbs. of the mint and some pepper.

Lightly oil a 9 X 13 inch baking dish or oil it with nonstick cooking spray. Place some of the couscous mixture in the center of each eggplant slice. Roll up the eggplant firmly around the filling and place, seam-side down, in the prepared dish. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover, spoon spaghetti sauce on top and bake for 5 minutes more. Sprinkle with the remaining 3 Tbs. feta cheese and 1 Tbsp. mint before serving.


Substitute cooked rice?
clipped on: 05.29.2007 at 07:25 am    last updated on: 05.29.2007 at 07:25 am

RE: advice on salvia from seed (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: rich_dufresne on 01.12.2007 at 11:27 pm in Salvia Forum

I use milled fresh sphagnum to just cover the seed. When the glutinous seed coat swells, the seed pokes out, but enough sphagnum sticks to the side to keep the seed moist. If the sphagnum turns light tan, it indicates dryness, so then the surface must be misted. This technique allows close control of moisture on the surface of the seed and also is helpful to show molding at an early stage. Some quick surgery will keep the mold from spreading and ruining the whole seedling patch.


clipped on: 05.27.2007 at 11:12 pm    last updated on: 05.27.2007 at 11:12 pm

RE: advice on salvia from seed (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: rich_dufresne on 09.17.2006 at 12:14 pm in Salvia Forum

Vanhouttei seeds often come up as orange sports. Make sure you have dark brown, oval shaped seeds free of mold and other ovary parts like the gynobase that the seeds grow on.

Seeds germinate in 5 to 15 days and may be covered with some finely milled spaghnum. They definitely do not need to be naked on the seed flat.

I usually let fresh seed fully dry and ripen for 2 weeks before sowing. Some seeds can germinate as soon as they get as dark as possible. This is especially true for the subtropical species like coccinea.


clipped on: 05.27.2007 at 11:10 pm    last updated on: 05.27.2007 at 11:10 pm

RE: Breakfast ideas for a picky teen on the go (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: pecanpie on 02.26.2007 at 12:01 pm in Cooking Forum

compumom and sharon s, here's a recipe we like for oatmeal muffins- the texture is good and they're delicious.


2 c. buttermilk
1 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking or instant)
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 c. whole wheat flour
2/3 c. unbleached flour
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
2 t. oil

Stir buttermilk into oatmeal and let stand, covered and chilled, overnight. Beat eggs and brown sugar until smooth, whisk in buttermilk and oats and oil and stir in combined dry ingredients. Bake at 400 for about 15-20 minutes. Makes a lot- maybe 2 dozen.


clipped on: 05.27.2007 at 12:13 pm    last updated on: 05.27.2007 at 12:13 pm

RE: Container soils and water in containers (long post) (Follow-Up #94)

posted by: tapla on 08.09.2005 at 05:16 pm in Container Gardening Forum

My thinking on reusing container soil: I usually don't do it. This year though, I planted pansies in 3 containers that still had the old root-mass fully intact. I just scuffed up the top of the soil & planted w/o any further ado They are growing strongly - even now, in all this horrendous heat. Qualifier: This is in a bark based soil that was highly aerated to begin with. I wouldn't have done it if it was a commercially prepared peat soil.

I think soils don't break down at an even rate. In other words, if the life of a soil is set at two years. It would probably be good for the first year, see 25% of its structural failure in the second year, and 75% of the collapse in the third year; and that would be loaded toward the end of the third year. The same is true of a soil whose useful life is only 1 year. If we mix used soil with "some fresh stuff" - say 50/50 - it rejuvenates it somewhat, but half of the soil is well on the way to total collapse.

I'm not being critical of reusing soil. Economics dictate it in many cases, and some folks can't stand to throw it on the compost pile as long as they think there's life in it. So be it. Adding pine bark and perlite to a used, peat based soil would definitely be preferential to adding more peat when viewed from a drainage/ aeration perspective, and pine bark based soils retain their structure at least twice as long as a peat based soil, possibly even three times as long - depending on watering habits (N supplementation frequency also has a large impact on organic soil breakdown rates).

BTW - All my old rootballs are spoken for. See post by AlcesB, about 10 replies upthread. ;o)



reusing Al's soil
clipped on: 05.26.2007 at 06:08 pm    last updated on: 05.26.2007 at 06:09 pm

RE: Container soils and water in containers (long post) (Follow-Up #88)

posted by: agmet_al on 07.20.2005 at 05:16 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Al: Minor detail. In the formulation for the soil mix that you give at the beginning of this thread, there is the ratio of 3:1:1 for pine bark, peat, and perlite. This ratio is not maintained for the big and small batch recipes and there are differences in this ratio between the batches. I realize that these types of formulations don't require high degrees of precision. Please comment on these differences in the ratio. Thanks.


ratio not same in big and small batches
clipped on: 05.26.2007 at 06:03 pm    last updated on: 05.26.2007 at 06:03 pm

RE: Container soils and water in containers (long post) (Follow-Up #89)

posted by: tapla on 07.20.2005 at 05:55 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Oops! The actual mix I use is the big batch recipe, which is almost a 5:1:1 ratio of bark:peat:perlite as the primary ingredients. The small batch, of course is 6:1:1. The general recipe at the top should have been 5:1:1 instead of 3:1:1. You're right in that you only need to be in the neighborhood to get a good soil out of the ingredients. It still would work very well as a container soil, but might drain too quickly to suit some in the dry or hot areas. I hope any that might have used the 3:1:1 ratio as the basis for building a soil aren't hissing at me if they need stand over the containers with a hose more often than they prefer. ;o)

Sorry for the inconsistency.



ratio not same in big and small batches
clipped on: 05.26.2007 at 06:01 pm    last updated on: 05.26.2007 at 06:02 pm

RE: Container soils and water in containers (long post) (Follow-Up #81)

posted by: tapla on 06.26.2005 at 03:07 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Peat is mainly cellulose, while bark products are a mix of cellulose, lignin, and contain good amounts of suberin, a lipid that inhibits microbes in their cleaving of hydrocarbon chains. I can't quantitatively say how quickly peat breaks down, because it depends on a number of factors, among them are temperature, moisture content, soil N levels, the decomposition rate of the other soil components, available O2 (a condition of aeration or soil porosity) etc. I can say that it breaks down faster than conifer bark products. In support of this, I would relate a couple of anecdotal observations that may be interesting. First, soils that I have used in the past that were peat based would rarely make it through one growing season without extreme reduction in percolation speeds, indicating compaction, and medium shrinkage was always quite high - sometimes around 25%, indicating particulate breakdown. With bark soils I see good percolation/drainage/aeration, often for two years & in some cases (if I get lazy about repots) 3 years - and shrinkage seems to be about half of what I see in peat-based soils.

The second observation should answer the question about commercial uses. Sphagnum peat that comes in bales is highly compressed and nearly doubles in volume when screened. I know this because I screen it for use in hypertufa & when I build soils, I push it through a 1/4 inch screen to break up large chunks. Compressed peat by the cu. ft. is a little more expensive than pine bark, but once it's screened or broken up to incorporate in soils, it nearly doubles in volume, making it less expensive than bark by volume. Another consideration is it's largely free of soil pathogens & useful for new plant material. Initially, it retains its volume & aeration, making it a good choice for bedding plants & material that is kept in greenhouses for relatively short times. If you notice, most perennials & almost all shrubs & trees are grown in some mix of bark and/or (if the material will tolerate it) clay. Bark is used in this application because of its ability to retain its structure for a substantially longer time than peat.

I'm not altogether sure that I answered all your questions, but I think I got most of them.

I have a friend in a nearby city who is an experienced MG and long time container gardener. I gave her several cu. ft. of bark-based soil for use in her containers this spring. I'm going to send her a link to this thread & see if she would like to comment on anything in particular. She may or may not respond & I haven't discussed this thread with her other than to tell her I would send the invitation.

One last thing: Thank you for the kind words to Jane, Cheflara (still think that's a cool name), and Galileo who posted immediately above.



peat volume
clipped on: 05.26.2007 at 05:58 pm    last updated on: 05.26.2007 at 05:58 pm

RE: Container soils and water in containers (long post) (Follow-Up #22)

posted by: tapla on 03.22.2005 at 04:07 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Hi, Jim. What else is in it? Any peat or sand/soil. I've bought pine bark under many names - soil conditioner, 100% southern yellow pine bark, pine mulch, 50-50 mix, etc.. If it's pine & mostly in small chunks it's probably fine. Did you see the pictures Kevin (Klundy) posted? Does it look like any of those bark components?

Hydrophilic gels or water absorbing polymers, can hold up to 150 times their dry weight in water when saturated. They're made from starches or acrylic polymers and are easily incorporated into soils. After the granules absorb water, they swell and assume a gel-like consistency. As the gels swell, they tend to maintain an open pore structure in a mix that already drains well. A mix containing even a small amount of gel will increase in volume as the gel swells. Of course, gels also increases the water-holding capacity of a soil, although a portion of the water in the gel is held so tightly that it is not available for plant growth.

My estimation is that if your soil is well aerated & drains well, they can be effective at extending intervals between watering, but if your soil drains poorly or is lacking aeration, their use will have additional adverse effects on root (and thus, overall plant) health. In other words, it's bad enough to have a soil that allows three or more days between waterings without trying to extend it to 4 or beyond.



re: P-4
clipped on: 05.26.2007 at 05:26 pm    last updated on: 05.26.2007 at 05:26 pm

RE: Container soils and water in containers (cont.) (Follow-Up #78)

posted by: tapla on 10.07.2006 at 09:19 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Plantings are in constant flux, so if a soil is perfect today, it may not be perfect tomorrow when cultural conditions change or the planting matures, or for a whole lot of other reasons. Your job is to supply the best soil you can, and then tailor your watering practices so you "do no harm".

I have about 75 tropical trees and another 30-50 other assorted plants (indoors, under lights) in some minor variation of the same soil mix, which is equal parts of fir (or pine) bark, Turface, and crushed granite (see picture above). There are other components that will yield a perfectly serviceable soil, but I have been growing in this mix or some variation of it for many (more than 10) years & have found nothing better for tropicals & houseplants (and you can believe me when I say I have tried lots of different variations of soils).

The bark-based mix in the thread above should easily outperform a primarily peat based soil and retain suitable structure much longer than the peat soils, but the soil in the picture will out-perform the bark-based mix. The only downside, again, is the need to water & fertilize more frequently, but the return is a much wider margin for watering error and a high probability of superior plant vitality.



clipped on: 05.26.2007 at 04:39 pm    last updated on: 05.26.2007 at 04:39 pm

RE: Components of Al's (Tapla's) Soilless Mixture (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: tapla on 09.20.2005 at 03:51 pm in Container Gardening Forum

The larger the container, the more growing plants in it is like growing in the earth. You can get by with denser soils when container size starts moving north of 10 gallons. If I remember my conversions correctly, your containers should hold some 700 gallons if full. That's just short of 100 cu. ft. or 3-1/2 cu. yds. - in any case, a lot of soil.

My first question: Did you remove the trees or add soil to the existing level? This is an important question if you wish the trees to remain healthy.

Second question: Is the entire container a soilless mix, or just the upper portion? Composed of what? Guess at ratios?

I have some thoughts, but would prefer to learn the particulars before commenting.



clipped on: 05.26.2007 at 04:20 pm    last updated on: 05.26.2007 at 04:21 pm

RE: Memorial Day Foods (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: wizardnm on 05.22.2007 at 12:04 am in Cooking Forum

Here's the recipe that Marigene mentioned.

Blue Cheese Potato Salad

3# cooked red potatoes, cooled and chopped
C dry white wine
tsp salt
tsp pepper
C mayo (Hellman's)
C sour cream
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
3 green onions, chopped fine
1 C coarsely chopped celery

In a large bowl combine potatoes, wine, salt and pepper. Let sit until the wine is absorbed by the potatoes, about 30 minutes.
Combine mayo with remaining ingredients. Add to potatoes and stir well. Allow about 30 minutes for flavors to combine before serving.

This blue cheese salad is great with a good steak or grilled tenderloin.


All the ideas are good! Sometimes the traditional things are best....

Linda, the recipe for penne with grilled beef sounds interesting, if you get a chance to post it, I'd like to see it.

I just checked the weather forecast for the weekend here...showers and low 60's....yuk! Maybe that's part of my problem....I want warmer temps.



clipped on: 05.22.2007 at 07:04 am    last updated on: 05.22.2007 at 07:04 am

RE: LOOKING for: t&t muffins (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: momj47 on 05.12.2007 at 07:28 am in Recipe Exchange Forum

My all time favorite.


1/2 c. butter
1 1/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. milk
1 pkg. Blueberries

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Mix dry ingredients and milk, alternately with creamed mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill paper lined tins to top. Sprinkle with sugar before baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Shut off oven, let sit in oven for a few minutes until nicely browned


clipped on: 05.21.2007 at 10:11 pm    last updated on: 05.21.2007 at 10:11 pm

RE: No Pine Bark Fines to be found...what now? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: tapla on 10.07.2005 at 10:44 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Hi, Amy. Folks have been growing in containers with what's commercially available for a fair number of decades now, so it's obviously not too difficult to get things to grow in commercial mixes. The more you know about a soil's physical and chemical properties the easier your job is. It's also easier to recognize the shortcomings of particular soils and adjust accordingly to compensate.

I have several friends in the nursery business. About 12 years ago, when I first became interested in growing plants on for bonsai, I realized that bagged commercial mixes were entirely inadequate for plantings that were to last more than a year between repots. They simply were not capable of retaining structure long enough to guarantee good aeration and drainage for a full season. I had noticed that my floral container displays would always begin to suffer terribly toward summer's end when using a commercial mix as well. At the end of the season, I would shake out the root-balls & notice the roots wrapped round & round the outside of the root-ball at the container walls. Because I'm always vigilant about watering, I decided that air was what the roots were looking for. I tried amending with perlite the next year & the plants actually did worse. Perlite is only marginally effective at increasing drainage/aeration in a soil whose particulates are already too fine. I realized I had to find a way to get my soils to hold air for extended periods.

I had already studied bonsai soils with a considerable amount of progress in learning why they are so effective. The year after the perlite experiment, I decided to grow my floral displays in the same soil I used for growing on bonsai (essentially a nursery mix). I never looked back.

The mix I grow in is not a mix that is unique to me. It is a close copy of the nursery mix that almost all nurseries use. Pine bark, small amounts of peat, perlite, and some other minor ingredients that a grower might favor, or that particular plants might like are a staple in the nursery trade. If you think about the plants that you buy in a peat based mix - aren't they all or nearly all plantings that are for the short term? You find bedding plants, house plants & some fast selling perennials in peat soils, all plantings designed to be on the shelf for a very short time.

The pine bark really is worth the effort to find. Of the 30 or so floral containers I still have in the garden, only two are looking shabby right now & it's because of my choice of the plant material mix & water requirements of two dissimilar plants in one container. The rest look as good as they did in June. I'm still cutting petunias & geraniums (in containers) back by the bushel.

Don't despair if you can't find the bark this season. It usually comes from southern yellow pine in your area (so it should be even more readily available than it is here - lower shipping charges to distributors too, so less expensive), or in more northern regions from hemlock, fir, or redwood. It is available somewhere near you. Keep looking at nurseries or even big box stores. I have found it at Meijer & at least 3 nurseries near me as well as two wholesalers where I can always get it.

I have conversed with (no exaggeration) easily several hundred people from the GW and even just from people on the net who have questions after reading some of my posts about soil. Many of them made radical changes in their container growing habits and a good percentage of them are now growing in a bark-based soil. I regularly get reports attesting to the degree of improvement in their containers & haven't yet had anyone say they like their old ways better. Perhaps there are growers that are disappointed with their results but are only being polite by not saying so - I can't say.

Having grown in commercial peat mixes for at least 10 years before making the transition to a bark soil about 12 years ago, I think I'm in a pretty good position to make comparisons and observations based on first-hand experience with both (and many other) growing mediums. The difference in growing in a highly aerated mix is stark, from both the perspective of ease of success and the possibility for plants to grow very near their potential genetic vigor. Something to consider: So far, the only ones that have stood up to pooh-pooh the use of a bark-based soil are folks who haven't (or said they won't) use it. ;o)



on Perlite: "I tried amending with perlite the next year & the plants actually did worse. Perlite is only marginally effective at increasing drainage/aeration in a soil whose particulates are already too fine."
clipped on: 05.19.2007 at 09:03 am    last updated on: 05.19.2007 at 09:13 am

RE: Container soils and water in containers III (Follow-Up #83)

posted by: justaguy2 on 05.04.2007 at 09:09 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Al, I have been using turface and perlite, but I note that you also use crushed granite in some of your soil mixtures and seem to reference lava rock/pumice as acceptable substitutes.

Would you mind explaining what the significant differences are (as it relates to plant vitality) between turface, crushed granite, perlite and the other non organic media that you use in planting mixes.

Specifically I am wondering about things like nutrient and water holding ability compared to their value as maintainers of internal and intraparticle air spaces.

For example, why would I want to use perlite instead of turface instead of crushed granite instead of small pumice, instead of whatever?



answer is in next clipping down
clipped on: 05.19.2007 at 08:24 am    last updated on: 05.19.2007 at 08:25 am

RE: Container soils and water in containers III (Follow-Up #84)

posted by: tapla on 05.04.2007 at 10:50 pm in Container Gardening Forum

For short term plantings like veggies or flowery, pretty stuff for the display containers, I use some minor variation of the mix I listed above. For long term plantings - all my woody plant material that I have in bonsai pots, the stuff I'm growing on for bonsai or containerized maples, etc, succulents, and houseplants, I use a mix that is some variation of equal parts of Turface, crushed granite, and pine or fir bark (1:1:1).

I vary the components to fit the preferences of the plant material, E.g., for pines & junipers, I might choose a mix of granite: Turface: Pine bark at a mix of 2:1:1 or 2:2:1, depending on the container size/shape, vigor of plant material, etc. Some plants I grow in straight screened Turface - nothing else.

In general, if I need more water retention, I increase the Turface and reduce the granite. If I want less water retention, I increase the granite while reducing the amount of Turface. Personally, I never use more than 1/3 organic component in long term plantings. It guards against soil collapse & root rot issues. As I always mention though, the added vitality provided by a fast draining, highly aerated mix comes at the price of having to water frequently. BTW, Lava rock/pumice, haydite, Play Ball would all be variably suitable as substitutes for Turface rather than crushed granite.

The bark component of soils holds nutrients reasonably well, Turface has an excellent CEC and holds nutrients & water well. Granite is used to "tune" water retention, add volume, and insure aeration. Pumice is good, similar to Turface, but not as porous & doesn't have as good a CEC.

I list a variety of ingredients so others can adopt a similar soil if they choose w/o having to kill themselves looking for exactly what I use. I do appreciate the uniformity and weight provided by the screened Turface & granite over perlite (already mentioned the superior CEC). Uniformity in particle size also promotes good drainage & aeration.

Sometimes the differences are just not that significant, and can be accommodated by minor chances in the frequency of watering/fertilizing.

Summarizing: A good strategy would be to stick with the less expensive, primarily bark/peat/perlite mixes for the short term plantings, while opting to move toward the primarily inorganic mixes for the longer term.



answer to query about the various grits and perlite used in Al's mixes. I'm saving that question after this so it will appear above
clipped on: 05.19.2007 at 08:22 am    last updated on: 05.19.2007 at 08:24 am

RE: Container soils and water in containers III (Follow-Up #72)

posted by: tapla on 04.18.2007 at 09:51 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Sure - add mature compost to raised beds if you wish - no reason not to & it really helps in raised beds where drainage is seldom an issue. I would still use the recipe above, but include 1-2 parts compost. You could also increase the Turface & sand by a half part each.

None of this is really too critical as far as being exact in measuring out ingredients. This mix works great for me in my 5b-6a raised beds, so it should be really close to working equally well for you. You can see how rich the soil appears in the photo and you can even gauge the excellent tilth.



raised bed recipe - questioner asked "no compost?"
clipped on: 05.19.2007 at 08:15 am    last updated on: 05.19.2007 at 08:16 am

RE: Container soils and water in containers III (Follow-Up #70)

posted by: tapla on 04.17.2007 at 08:29 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Something close to a mix of:

5 parts pine bark
1-2 parts sphagnum peat (could use Michigan, reed or sedge peat in raised beds if you wish - prolly better)
1 part Turface (the tan stuff in the photo)
1 part sand (fine sand is as its name suggests - fine in raised beds)
dolomitic lime
should get the job done. Layer in beds & mix all well (spade fork works best).


soil recipe for a raised bed
clipped on: 05.19.2007 at 08:12 am    last updated on: 05.19.2007 at 08:12 am

RE: Container soils and water in containers III (Follow-Up #68)

posted by: tapla on 04.17.2007 at 12:22 pm in Container Gardening Forum

I use Micromax for pre-planting incorporation and STEM for maintenance after the effects of the Micromax are diminished.



answering another question from the whiskey-barrel guy, about the same soil mix
clipped on: 05.19.2007 at 08:10 am    last updated on: 05.19.2007 at 08:11 am

RE: Container soils and water in containers III (Follow-Up #66)

posted by: tapla on 04.16.2007 at 09:09 pm in Container Gardening Forum

There is no difficulty building a perfectly serviceable soil that will last indefinitely in your containers. The difficulty arises when it's revealed that attention to cultural requirements may be sub-optimal.

Here is a soil that will perform well and last for at least 3 years if you add a little coarse pine or fir bark each year (you'll want to add it anyway to compensate for soil shrinkage):

by volume
3 parts partially composted pine bark
2 parts Turface
1 part sphagnum peat
1 part perlite
Controlled Release Fertilizer
Micro-nutrient supplement

If you decide to try this soil, and you think you need more water retention, add an extra part of Turface and/or substitute rockwool for the perlite.

There will be no need to add additional peat in subsequent years.

This soil should be in the range of 6 - 6.5 pH to begin with, which is why I suggested gypsum as a Ca source rather than dolomitic lime.

Good luck.



Answer to a question about whiskey barrels.
clipped on: 05.19.2007 at 08:07 am    last updated on: 05.19.2007 at 08:08 am

RE: What's For Dinner #236 (Follow-Up #32)

posted by: canarybird on 05.10.2007 at 09:20 pm in Cooking Forum

Great looking dinners and photos everyone!
I'm way behind again and it seems I'm always trying to catch up and read over what I've missed the last days here.

We're in the midst of a heatwave which started two days ago....a wind from Africa that has brought our temperatures up to 36.8C....that's 98.2F. We're keeping doors and windows shut to keep out the hot air, but I did want to sit outside today for lunch.
Here's my little weather station that I put on the patio dining table:
Free Image Hosting at The humidity has also gone down to 22% which is a change from our usual 63% and becoming a little hard on the throat. The time there (17:33....or 5:33 pm) is an hour ahead as this little gizmo receives a time setting signal from Germany where they are an hour ahead. So we had just finished lunch by 4:33 pm.

Free Image Hosting at I made a large mixed garbanzo salad which was perfect for this hot weather. We had the same yesterday but today I added more green beans, sliced a large beefsteak tomato and an avocado. We had it with a couple of small porkchops and onions, drinking chilled dry white wine and water.

Yesterday early afternoon Blackie was all pooped out as she lay on the shed roof.
Free Image Hosting at Today she had given up the hot tiles and went to hide in some shady shrubbery along with the other cats.
I'm wearing my straw hat for my walks to and from my exercise and dance classes. It's so hot in the street.....and even hotter moving around in the gym with no AC!

GARBANZO SALAD (4 - 6 servings)

3 medium potatoes diced
handful of green beans, trimmed and halved
1 - 15oz jar garbanzos (chickpeas) in liquid
3 hardcooked eggs, quartered
1 tin white tuna, drained and flaked
1 small red onion sliced into semicircles
2 cups mixed baby salad greens
1 small red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 English cucumber, peeled into stripes, cut to bit-sized chunks
2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup grated carrot (optional)
flatleaf parsley, chopped and more for garnish
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teasp seasalt
1/4 cup olive oil
fresh ground black pepper

1. Steam diced potatoes together with green beans until tender but not over-cooked

2. Drain garbanzos and reserve liquid

3. Combine tuna, greens, onion, potato, beans, cucumber, red pepper, garbanzos, (optional carrot) and eggs in salad bowl.

4. In mortar, grind salt together with chopped parsley and garlic. Add olive oil and half the liquid from the jar of garbanzos, stir with spoon until well mixed. Spoon mixture over the salad. Grind the pepper over all and gently turn the mixture with two large spoons. If it looks dry, add the rest of the garbanzo liquid. The eggs will break up and mix with the rest of the salad.

5. Arrange tomato wedges on top of the salad, and garnish with a few more pieces of parsley.



clipped on: 05.17.2007 at 11:07 pm    last updated on: 05.17.2007 at 11:07 pm

RE: What's For Dinner #236 (Follow-Up #56)

posted by: wizardnm on 05.13.2007 at 07:01 pm in Cooking Forum

Asiago, Potato, and Bacon Gratin

1 1/2 pounds peeled Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 teaspoon salt, divided
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Asiago cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

Place potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender. Drain. Sprinkle potatoes evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside and keep warm.

Heat a medium saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add shallots; cook 2 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Sprinkle flour over shallots. Gradually add 1/2 cup milk, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Gradually add remaining 1 1/2 cups milk, stirring with a whisk. Cook over medium heat 9 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in 3/4 teaspoon salt, Asiago, chives, pepper, and bacon.

Arrange half of potato slices in an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour half of cheese sauce over potato slices. Top with remaining potato slices and cheese sauce; sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

I baked this in 4- 4" round springform pans.



clipped on: 05.17.2007 at 11:04 pm    last updated on: 05.17.2007 at 11:04 pm

RE: Need simple recipes+ (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: msazadi on 02.06.2007 at 03:37 pm in Cooking Forum

This is another one that I love because it 1. tastes great 2. can be fixed in advance and 3. freezes well. ( Marilyn is the guru of this recipe.) Lazy cheap soul that I am I often use just ground beef or beef and pork. I suspect the original would be even better but I don't go out of my way for veal. Maureen


3/4 + 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/3 cup heavy cream (or milk)
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground veal or pork
1 onion; minced
2 cloves garlic: crushed or minced
1 teaspoon each; oregano, basil, parsley
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon table salt)
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
2 egg yolks

Combine 3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs with milk; let set for five minutes. Stir together meats, onion, garlic, oregano, basil, parsley, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, egg yolks and bread soaked in milk. Shape into 1/4-cup balls and roll in remaining bread crumbs. Place a rack inside a baking dish sprayed with Pam. Bake 30 to 35 minutes at 425 until they reach an internal temperature of 160. Do not over bake. Makes 20 meatballs. These are very tender and juicy.



clipped on: 05.15.2007 at 12:56 pm    last updated on: 05.15.2007 at 12:56 pm

RE: A plethora of figs, from Melly (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: mellyofthesouth on 05.13.2007 at 07:37 am in Cooking Forum

I still had the sent email in the folder so I'll be happy to post it.

The recipe is a photocopy from an unknown cookbook.

Confiture de Figues Seches au Jus de Raisin
dried fig and grape juice jam
(from Provence)

Figs, grapes, apples and mushrooms are strung up and dried for the winter in the kitchen's huge stone fireplace. When sugar is too costly, jams are made from both dried and fresh fruits boiled in strong sweet grape juice. This one with its delicious crunch of fig seeds, is very good on flat, crusty Fougasse bread straight from the oven.

12 oz/350g dried figs, chopped
1 3/4 pints/1 litre pure unsweetend red grape juice
1 bouquet garni of mint, thyme and marjoram
shredded zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 vanilla pod
up to 3 oz/75g castor sugar (optional)

Soak the figs for 2 hours in the juice. sTrain juice into a wide heavy-based saucepan with the bouquet garni & reduce by half over high heat. Lower heat, add figs, lemon zest & vanilla pod, remove bouquet garni, and simmer very gently until fruit is tender (about 1-1 1/2) hours. Remove vanilla, stir in lemon juice and test for sweetness - you may want to add sugar. Boil rapidly, stirring often, just until setting point is reached (from 3 to 7 minutes), but be careful not to over-cook, as the liquid evaporates quickly and over-boiling will make the jam sticky and tasteless. Jam is cooked when a drop of it on a cold saucer wrinkles sluggishly (but doesn't run) when tipped on its side. Remove from heat, let stand until tepid and pour into cleaned and dried jars. Cover & seal when cool. It is best to refrigerate this jam after opening.

We made a fougasse at our last french "lesson". Yum, yum!!
The fougasse before baking:
My friend from Texas slicing it (in the bowl is taboulleh, the french have adopted it):
serving lunch
The charlotte for dessert:
charlotte again

Be sure to notice the lovely provencal linen tablecloth.


clipped on: 05.13.2007 at 10:29 am    last updated on: 05.13.2007 at 10:29 am

RE: LOOKING for: T&T Homemade Granola.... (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: canarybird on 04.26.2007 at 04:02 pm in Recipe Exchange Forum

Eileen this isn't yet T & T by me, but rather was tried by my friend Lynne when I showed her the recipe.

* Posted by canarybird (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 12, 06 at 9:00

Okay heres one from the low Glycemic Index Recipe Book:


1 1/2 cups (7 oz) jumbo porridge oats
1 x 40 oz pack of dried apple rings, chopped OR 2/3 cup (3 oz) dried cranberries or 1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz) unsalted sunflower seeds
1/3 cup (2 oz) sesame seeds
1/3 cup (2 1/2 oz) chopped almonds
1/4 cup (2 oz) ground flaxseeds or linseeds
1 TBS ground cinnamon
2 teasp grated orange zest
1/2 teasp sea salt
1 large egg white
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 TBS clear honey
2 teasp frozen orange juice concentrate
1 teasp vanilla essence

1. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Mix together in a large bowl the oats, apple, sunflower seeds,sesame seeds, almonds, flaxseeds or linseeds,cinnamon, orange zest and salt.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white, oil, honey, orange juice concentrate and vanilla essence. Pour this into the oat mixture and toss until thoroughly coated. Turn out onto a shallow baking tray lined with nonstick parchment and spread evenly. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, turning the mixture once with a spatula halfway through baking time, or until mixture is golden brown.

Store in an airtight container for 2 days at room temperature or freeze for up to one month.

Source: Adapted from Rick Gallop's GI Diet Green-Light Cookbook

My Comments: I still haven't made this yet as we don't see frozen orange juice concentrate here but I hope to make it with fresh juice.
My friend Lynne made this and says it's delicious!



clipped on: 05.10.2007 at 04:28 pm    last updated on: 05.10.2007 at 04:28 pm

RE: Pine bark fines (Follow-Up #33)

posted by: tapla on 05.08.2007 at 08:34 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Ohhhh - this is where I saw your post, Mea. ;o)

I was shopping today @ Home Depot for a 24" square paver to use in the garden as a table top to set containers on. I walked bast the bark & mulch & spied something interesting. There was a ripped bag of mulch that looks perfect for container soils. The bag says: "Golden Trophy Pine Bark Mulch". It's bagged by "US Mulch LTD.", in Columbus Ohio. It really was perfect stuff - nicely composted & just a hint of piney smell. I didn't need any more, but I bought a bag anyway - just to be sure it was suitable. When I got it home & inspected closer, it appeared that there was very little sapwood in it. If any want to look for it - it's a good choice. It was $3.49 for a 2 cu ft bag.



clipped on: 05.09.2007 at 11:35 pm    last updated on: 05.09.2007 at 11:35 pm

RE: Container soils and water in containers (long post) (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: tapla on 03.21.2005 at 08:47 pm in Container Gardening Forum

Kevin (Klundy) - those are only some of the main components of some of my soils. The dark bark at the upper right is the partially composted pine bark I would use for most container plantings that only go a year between repots or a soil change, and is what most of the forum readers would probably wish to use if they decide to build this soil. The other two bark components would be for soils I would want to last longer than a year. The one on the upper left is uncomposted pine bark and the one on the low right is fir bark. The white material is perlite.

I sent you a picture of the soil I use for trees (soil 010). It is the one with three ingredients. Equal parts of pine bark, crushed granite, and Turface - a hi-fired clay granule. There is no peat in that soil. The inorganic parts of this soil allow it to maintain good structure for a long time. It is great for all things woody and very healthy for roots. I grow lots of stuff other than trees in that soil, too.

Paul - a wick, used as you described would not normally be effective. Reason: The wick would have to pull water vertically through the soil above the perched water. Since that soil is not saturated, it would wick the water from the wick before it could drain from the pot. However, since your container is very shallow, it's possible that the soil was completely saturated. In that case, it would work. It would certainly be more effective if it was situated to hang below the drain hole, though.

Thanks for posting the pic, Kevin. ;o)



clipped on: 05.09.2007 at 11:29 pm    last updated on: 05.09.2007 at 11:30 pm

Container soils and water in containers (long post)

posted by: tapla on 03.19.2005 at 03:57 pm in Container Gardening Forum

The following is very long & will be too boring for some to wade through. Two years ago, some of my posts got people curious & they started to e-mail me about soil problems. The "Water Movement" article is an answer I gave in an e-mail. I saved it and adapted it for my bonsai club newsletter & it was subsequently picked up & used by a number of other clubs. I now give talks on container soils and the physics of water movement in containers to area clubs.

I think, as container gardeners, our first priority is to insure aeration for the life of the soil. Since aeration and drainage are inversely linked to soil particle size, it makes good sense to try to find a soil component with particles larger than peat and that will retain its structure for extended periods. Pine bark fits the bill nicely.

The following hits pretty hard against the futility of using a drainage layer in an attempt to improve drainage. It just doesn't work. All it does is reduce the soil available for root colonization. A wick will remove the saturated layer of soil. It works in reverse of the self-watering pots widely being discussed on this forum now. I have no experience with these growing containers, but understand the principle well.

There are potential problems with wick watering that can be alleviated with certain steps. Watch for yellowing leaves with these pots. If they begin to occur, you need to flush the soil well. It is the first sign of chloride damage.

One of the reasons I posted this is because of the number of soil questions I'm getting in my mail. It will be a convenient source for me to link to. I will soon be in the middle of repotting season & my time here will be reduced, unfortunately, for me. I really enjoy all the friends I've made on these forums. ;o)

Since there are many questions about soils appropriate for containers, I'll post by basic mix in case any would like to try it. It will follow the Water Movement info.

Water Movement in Soils

Consider this if you will:

Soil need fill only a few needs in plant culture. Anchorage - A place for roots to extend, securing the plant and preventing it from toppling. Nutrient Sink - It must retain sufficient nutrients to sustain plant systems. Gas Exchange - It must be sufficiently porous to allow air to the root system. And finally, Water - It must retain water enough in liquid and/or vapor form to sustain plants between waterings. Most plants could be grown without soil as long as we can provide air, nutrients, and water, (witness hydroponics). Here, I will concentrate primarily on the movement of water in soil(s).

There are two forces that cause water movement through soil - one is gravity, the other capillary action. Gravity needs little explanation, but for this writing I would like to note: Gravitational flow potential (GFP) is greater for water at the top of the pot than it is for water at the bottom of the pot. I'll return to that later. Capillarity is a function of the natural forces of adhesion and cohesion. Adhesion is water's tendency to stick to solid objects like soil particles and the sides of the pot. Cohesion is the tendency for water to stick to itself. Cohesion is why we often find water in droplet form - because cohesion is at times stronger than adhesion, waters bond to itself can be stronger than the bond to the object it might be in contact with; in this condition it forms a drop. Capillary action is in evidence when we dip a paper towel in water. The water will soak into the towel and rise several inches above the surface of the water. It will not drain back into the source. It will stop rising when the GFP equals the capillary attraction of the fibers in the paper.

There is, in every pot, what is called a "perched water table" (PWT). This is water that occupies a layer of soil that is always saturated & will not drain at the bottom of the pot. It can evaporate or be used by the plant, but physical forces will not allow it to drain. It is there because the capillary pull of the soil at some point will equal the GFP; therefore, the water does not drain, it is "perched". If we fill five cylinders of varying heights and diameters with the same soil mix and provide each cylinder with a drainage hole, the PWT will be exactly the same height in each container. This is the area of the pot where roots seldom penetrate & where root problems begin due to a lack of aeration. From this we can draw the conclusion that: Tall growing containers are a superior choice over squat containers when using the same soil mix. The reason: The level of the PWT will be the same in each container, with the taller container providing more usable, air holding soil above the PWT. Physiology dictates that plants must be able to take in air at the roots in order to complete transpiration and photosynthesis.

A given volume of large soil particles have less overall surface area in comparison to the same volume of small particles and therefore less overall adhesive attraction to water. So, in soils with large particles, GFP more readily overcomes capillary attraction. They drain better. We all know this, but the reason, often unclear, is that the PWT is lower in coarse soils than in fine soils. The key to good drainage is size and uniformity of soil particles. Large particles mixed with small particles will not improve drainage because the smaller particles fit between the large, increasing surface area which increases the capillary attraction and thus the water holding potential. Water and air cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Contrary to what some hold to be true, sand does not improve drainage. Pumice (aka lava rock), or one of the hi-fired clay products like Turface are good additives which help promote drainage and porosity because of their irregular shape.

Now to the main point: When we use a coarse drainage layer under our soil, it does not improve drainage. It does conserve on the volume of soil required to fill a pot and it makes the pot lighter. When we employ this exercise in an attempt to improve drainage, what we are actually doing is moving the level of the PWT higher in the pot. This reduces available soil for roots to colonize, reduces total usable pot space, and limits potential for beneficial gas exchange. Containers with uniform soil particle size from top of container to bottom will yield better drainage and have a lower PWT than containers with drainage layers. The coarser the drainage layer, the more detrimental to drainage it is because water is more (for lack of a better scientific word) reluctant to make the downward transition because the capillary pull of the soil above the drainage layer is stronger than the GFP. The reason for this is there is far more surface area in the soil for water to be attracted to than there is in the drainage layer.

I know this goes against what most have thought to be true, but the principle is scientifically sound, and experiments have shown it as so. Many nurserymen are now employing the pot-in-pot or the pot-in-trench method of growing to capitalize on the science.

If you discover you need to increase drainage, insert a wick into the pot & allow it to extend from the PWT to several inches below the bottom of the pot. This will successfully eliminate the PWT & give your plants much more soil to grow in as well as allow more, much needed air to the roots.

Uniform size particles of fir, hemlock or pine bark are excellent as the primary component of your soils. The lignin contained in bark keeps it rigid and the rigidity provides air-holding pockets in the root zone far longer than peat or compost mixes that rapidly break down to a soup-like consistency. Bark also contains suberin, a lipid sometimes referred to as natures preservative. Suberin is what slows the decomposition of bark-based soils. It contains highly varied hydrocarbon chains and the microorganisms that turn peat to soup have great difficulty cleaving these chains.

In simple terms: Plants that expire because of drainage problems either die of thirst because the roots have rotted and can no longer take up water, or they starve to death because they cannot obtain sufficient air at the root zone for the respiratory or photosynthetic processes.

To confirm the existence of the PWT and the effectiveness of using a wick to remove it, try this experiment: Fill a soft drink cup nearly full of garden soil. Add enough water to fill to the top, being sure all soil is saturated. Punch a drain hole in the bottom of the cup & allow to drain. When the drainage stops, insert a wick several inches up into the drain hole . Take note of how much additional water drains. This is water that occupied the PWT before being drained by the wick. A greatly simplified explanation of what occurs is: The wick "fools" the water into thinking the pot is deeper, so water begins to move downward seeking the "new" bottom of the pot, pulling the rest of the PWT along with it.

Having applied these principles in the culture of my containerized plants, both indoors and out, for many years, the methodology I have adopted has shown to be effective and of great benefit to them. I use many amendments when building my soils, but the basic building process starts with screened bark and perlite. Peat usually plays a very minor role in my container soils because it breaks down rapidly and when it does, it impedes drainage.

My Soil

I'll give two recipes. I usually make big batches.

3 parts pine bark fines
1 part sphagnum peat (not reed or sedge peat)
1-2 parts perlite
garden lime
controlled release fertilizer
micro-nutrient powder (substitute: small amount of good, composted manure

Big batch:

3 cu ft pine bark fines (1 big bag)
5 gallons peat
5 gallons perlite
1 cup lime (you can add more to small portion if needed)
2 cups CRF
1/2 cup micro-nutrient powder or 1 gal composted manure

Small batch:

3 gallons pine bark
1/2 gallon peat
1/2 gallon perlite
handful lime (careful)
1/4 cup CRF
1 tsp micro-nutrient powder or a dash of manure ;o)

I have seen advice that some highly organic soils are productive for up to 5 years. I disagree. Even if you were to substitute fir bark for pine bark in this recipe (and this recipe will far outlast any peat based soil) you should only expect a maximum of three years life before a repot is in order. Usually perennials, including trees (they're perennials too, you know ;o)) should be repotted more frequently to insure vigor closer to genetic potential. If a soil is desired that will retain structure for long periods, we need to look to inorganic amendments. Some examples are crushed granite, pea stone, coarse sand (no smaller than BB size in containers, please), Haydite, lava rock, Turface or Schultz soil conditioner.

I hope this starts a good exchange of ideas & opinions so we all can learn.



clipped on: 05.09.2007 at 11:21 pm    last updated on: 05.09.2007 at 11:21 pm

RE: what are your favorite back of the bag recipes? (Follow-Up #57)

posted by: msafirstein on 03.11.2007 at 09:45 am in Cooking Forum

I'm going to try it with 3/4 teaspoon. I didn't notice the change, but come to think of it, last time I made it I did find it more vanilla-y than I remembered.

I noticed the recipe change right around when we were moving in 2000 but I just don't remember the exact year.

I know it was 3/4 tsp vanilla because I always double or triple the recipe and I have to stop and think about doubling the 3/4 tsp to 1 1/2 tsp or tripling to 2 1/4 tsp. I also add a bit more tapioca too as it makes a better pudding, doubling add 1 TBL, triple 1 well-rounded TBL.



clipped on: 04.29.2007 at 12:33 pm    last updated on: 04.29.2007 at 12:33 pm

RE: what are your favorite back of the bag recipes? (Follow-Up #48)

posted by: msafirstein on 03.10.2007 at 11:51 am in Cooking Forum

They often change or "improve" old recipes on the backs of the containers too.

You're right Annie. They changed the Fluffy Tapioca Recipe to 1 tsp vanilla and the original recipe called for 3/4 tsp vanilla. I made it once with the 1 tsp vanilla and it was okay but sweeter tasting. So now I just use the 3/4 tsp vanilla. Why they decided to increase the vanilla is beyond me.



clipped on: 04.29.2007 at 12:31 pm    last updated on: 04.29.2007 at 12:31 pm

RE: Hot Fudge Sauce (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: zolablue on 02.26.2007 at 03:11 pm in Cooking Forum

Ok, this sauce is to die for. You have to make it - I mean it! LOL. But I'm serious. This is wicked good. It is Sol's recipe and I'll bet she has a few others she could give you as well. We were eating this stuff by the spoonfuls out of the fridge because we simply couldn't stay way from it.

Chocolate Sauce - Solsthumper's recipe

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or liqueur

Heat the cream, sugar, salt and corn syrup in a saucepan over low heat. Bring to a boil, stirring often, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Allow to stand a few minutes until the chocolate has melted, then whisk gently until smooth. Whisk in vanilla or liqueur.


clipped on: 02.27.2007 at 09:36 am    last updated on: 02.27.2007 at 09:36 am

RE: Some things are just wrong...... (Follow-Up #41)

posted by: susie_que on 02.22.2007 at 09:00 am in Cooking Forum

Peach melba is easy. I add white peach puree to a base of cream, milk and sugar. Once churned I swirl in raspberry jam and nilla wafers and freeze.

I make the puree by simmering the peaches in a lite simple syrup with a vanilla bean!


Peach Melba Ice Cream
clipped on: 02.22.2007 at 09:38 pm    last updated on: 02.22.2007 at 09:38 pm

for maureen/msazadi - sticky bun recipe

posted by: earthlydelights on 02.16.2007 at 11:36 am in Cooking Forum

Maureen, here's the recipe you were looking for, courtesy of the Metropolitan Bakery Cookbook.

Looks like a lot of work, so i think i'll wait for you (or someone else) to make them before attempting it.



2 teaspoon active dry yeast
cup lukewarm water (80 degree f)
cup milk
cup A.P. flour

3 cups A.P. flour
cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 ounces (1 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut up

In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water and milk. Stir in the flour until combined. Cover the bowl and leave the sponge in a warm place until bubbly and active, about 2 hours.

Place the flour, sugar, eggs, egg yolks and salt in the bowl of a heavy0duty mixer with a paddle attachment. Scrape the sponge over the top. Beat at low sped until thoroughly combined, about 6 minutes. Add the butter. Increase the speed to medium, beat 15 minutes, until the butter is thoroughly incorporated and the dough is smooth, shiny and elastic. Cove the dough and refrigerate overnight.

(Makes 2/12 pounds of dough)

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups granulated sugar
cup water
tablespoon light corn syrup
1 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Scrape out the seeds of the vanilla bean. In a saucepan, stir together the vanilla bean and seeds, the sugar, water and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar caramelizes to a light golden brown. With a long-handled spoon, quickly add the cream, butter and salt. (The mixture will bubble vigorously, and the caramel will stiffen). Reduce the heat; stir gently to re-melt the caramel. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Cool. Transfer to an airtight container. (You may remove the vanilla bean at this point or leave it in). The caramel can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks.

Makes 2 cups

1 cups caramel
cup pecan halves
1 tablespoon currants
cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons Mexican ground cinnamon
1 cups pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
cup currants
1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 pounds brioche dough
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Coat an 8 x 3 round baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Pour the caramel evenly over the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle the pecans and currants evenly over the caramel. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, toll the brioche dough into a 12 x 20 rectangle. Arrange the dough so that 1 long side is facing you. Brush the dough with 6 tablespoons of the melted butter. Spread the brown sugar evenly over the dough, then sprinkle the cinnamon, pecans and currants evenly over the top. Drizzle the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter.

Brush the top edge of the dough opposite you with the beaten egg. Starting with the left corner of the edge closest to you, roll up the dough firmly (but not tightly) to form a log (similar to a jelly roll). Slice the log crosswise into eight 2 " pieces (buns). Arrange the buns, cut side up with the seam edges facing toward the center, in the prepared baking pan. (The buns should touch slightly). Loosely drape a piece of plastic wrap over the bunds. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 hours. (Or refrigerate the buns to rise slowly overnight).

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Uncover the buns, place on the center oven rack. Bake 1 hour. Cool the buns in the baking pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Place a serving platter or baking tray over the top of the baking pan and invert; remove the baking pan. Pull the buns apart to serve.


clipped on: 02.16.2007 at 12:56 pm    last updated on: 02.16.2007 at 12:57 pm

RE: RECIPE: D Greenspan 3 tier carrot cake.. (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: dishesdone on 02.09.2007 at 04:34 pm in Recipe Exchange Forum

I love the book, haven't made anything from it yet, but there is so much to go through, the pictures are amazing, and each recipe looks more delicious than the one before. One especially of a chocolate cake with thick layer of frosting. It's just begging for a glass of ice cold milk to with it. The cheesecake, everything in the book looks good! The pictures are all amazing. I recommend the book very highly.

Here's the recipe, Monique. It sounds great and the picture of it looks fantastic! Looking forward to seeing your pictures of Bill's Big Carrot Cake...

BILLS BIG CARROT CAKE (Baking From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots (About 9 carrots; I grate them in a food processor fitted with a shredding blade
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
1/2 cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola or safflower oil
4 large eggs

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound (3 3/4 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)

Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut, for topping (optional)

GETTING READY: Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the 325 degrees F. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides and tap out the excess. Put two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.
THE CAKE: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut and raisins.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one, and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix in the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean; the cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. (The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.)

TO MAKE THE FROSTING: Working with the stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice or extract.
If youd like coconut in the filling, scoop out about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into this portion.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: Put one layer top side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. If you added the coconut to the frosting, use half of the coconut frosting to generously cover the first layer (or cover generously with plain frosting). Use an offset spatula or a spoon to smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake top side down, and frost with the remainder of the coconut frosting (or more plain frosting). Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the topand the sides, if you wantof the cake. Finish the top with swirls of frosting. If you want to top the cake with toasted nuts or coconut, sprinkle them on now, while the frosting is soft.

Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, just to set the frosting before serving.


SERVING: The cake can be served as soon as the frosting is set. It can also wait, at room temperature and covered with a cake keeper, overnight. The cake is best served in thick slices at room temperature and while it's good plain, it's best with vanilla ice cream or even some Lemon Curd (page 462) with a little whipped cream folded in.

STORING: Covered, the cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen. Freeze it uncovered, then, when it is firm, wrap air-tight and freeze for up to 2 months; defrost, still wrapped, in the refrigerator overnight.


clipped on: 02.15.2007 at 11:05 am    last updated on: 02.15.2007 at 11:06 am