Sunday, December 20, 2009

Green Beans (for canning)

Green Beans
Boiling Water

1. Wash beans and drain.  Trim ends and cut into 2" pieces, or leave whole (if packing vertically).  
2. Tightly pack raw beans into washed, hot jars, add 1/2tsp salt and top with boiling water, leaving 1" headspace. 
3. Wipe rim, center lid on jar, screw band down.
4. Place jars in pressure canner.  Adjust water level, lock lid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Vent steam for 10 minutes, then close vent.  Continue heating to achieve 15lbs of pressure and maintain pressure for 20 minutes for pint jars and 325 minutes for quart jars.
5. Turn off heat.  Let pressure return to zero naturally.  Wait 2 minutes longer, then open vent.  Remove canner lid.  Wait 10 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

Recipe from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, pages 385 and 386.

Carrots (for canning)

Boiling water

1. Wash and slice carrots.
2. Tightly pack raw carrots into washed, hot jars, add 1/2 tsp salt and top with boiling water, leaving 1" headspace. 
3. Wipe rim, center lid on jar, screw band down.
4. Place jars in pressure canner.  Adjust water level, lock lid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Vent steam for 10 minutes, then close vent.  Continue heating to achieve 15lbs of pressure and maintain pressure for 25 minutes for pint jars and 30 minutes for quart jars.
5. Turn off heat.  Let pressure return to zero naturally.  Wait 2 minutes longer, then open vent.  Remove canner lid.  Wait 10 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

Recipe from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, pages 385 and 389.

Beef Stew (for canning)

1 TBSP vegetable oil
4-5lbs stewing beef, cut into 1-1/2" cubes
12 cups cubed, peeled potatoes
8 cups sliced, peeled carrots
3 cups chopped onions
4-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
boiling water

1. Prepare weighted-gauge pressure canner, jars and lids.
2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Working in batches, brown beef, adding oil only if absolutely necessary.  Transfer beef to a large stainless steel saucepan and add potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, salt, thyme, pepper, and boiling water to cover.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
3. Ladel hot stew into hot jars, leaving 1" headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace.  Wipe rim with a paper towel moistened with vinegar.  Center lid on jar.  Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
4. Place jars in pressure canner.  Adjust water level, lock lid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Vent steam for 10 minutes, then close vent.  Continue heating to achieve 15lbs of pressure.  Process pint jars for 75 mintes and quart jars for 90 minutes.
5.  Turn off heat.  Let pressure return to zero naturally.  Wait two minutes longer, then open vent.  Remove canner lid.  Wait for 10 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

Recipe from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, page 407.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Almost-Blasphemous "Chex" Mix

One box (~9 cups) Crispix cereal (::gasp::)
2-3 C. Bugles crackers (my son's genius inspiration)
8 TBSP (one stick) butter
2 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp garlic salt
3 TBSP Worcester sauce

1. In a large bowl, combine cereal and crackers.  Mix thoroughly.
2. In a small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and microwave to melt butter.  Stir.
3. Pour butter mixture over cereal mixture.
4. Microwave on high for 6 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.
5. Spread on aluminum foil to cool.  Store in an airtight container.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

1lb white chocolate, broken, or chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp peppermint extract
~1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies

Combine chocolate and milk in a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave in one-minute intervals until chocolate is semi-melted.  Stir in extracts, and continue heating and stirring until the chocolate is completely melted. 

Pour onto greased sheet of aluminum foil and sprinkle peppermint candies over the top.  Allow to cool and break or cut into pieces. 

Adapted from:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Classic Creme Brulee

4 cups chilled heavy cream
2/3 cup granulated sugar
pinch salt
1 vanilla bean, cut in half and split lengthwise
12 large egg yolks
8-12 teaspoons turbinado or Demarara sugar

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle portion and heat oven to 300 degrees. 
  2. Combine 2 cups cream, sugar, and salt in medium saucepan; with paring knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into pan, submerge pod in cream, and bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally to ensure that sugar dissolves.  Take pan off heat and let steep 15 minutes to infuse flavors.
  3. Meanwhile, place kitchen towel in bottom of large baking dish or roasting pan and arrange eight 4- to 5-oz ramekins (or shallow fluted dishes) on towel.  Bring kettle or large saucepan of water to boil over high heat. 
  4. After cream has steeped, stir in remaining 2 cups cream to cool down mixture.  Whisk yolks in large bowl until broken up and combined.  Whisk about 1 cup cream mixture into yolks until loosened and combined;  repeat with another 1 cup cream.  Add remaining cream and whisk until evenly colored and thoroughly combined.  Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into 2-quart measuring cup or pitcher (or clean medium bowl);  discard solids in strainer.  Pour or ladle mixture into ramekins, dividing it evenly among them. 
  5. Carefully place baking dish with ramekins on oven rack, pour boiling water into dish, taking care not to splash water into ramekins, until water reaches 2/3 the height of ramekins.  Bake until centers of custards are just barely set and are no longer sloshy and digital instant-read thermometer inserted into centers registers 170-175 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes (25-30 minutes for shallow fluted dish).  Begin checking temperature about 5 minutes before recommended time. 
  6. Transfer ramekins to wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.  Set ramekins on rimmed baking sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or up to 4 days.  
  7. Uncover ramekins;  if condensation has collected on custards, place paper towel on surface to soak up moisture.  Sprinkle each with about 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar; tilt and tap ramekin for even coverage.  Ignite torch and caramelize sugar.  Refrigerate ramekins, uncovered, to re-chill, 30-45  minutes (but no longer); serve.  
Yield:  8 to 9- 4oz servings.

Recipe from Cooks Illustrated, November & December, 2001, Page 23. 

Cinnamon & Vanilla Bean Scented Honey

2 whole vanilla beans
8 cinnamon sticks
2 quarts raw honey

1. Cut vanilla beans in half and split the halves lengthwise.  Scrape out the seeds and mix them with the honey in a large saucepan.
2. Stirring constantly, bring the honey just to a boil.
3. Wash and sterilize eight - 8oz canning jars.  Place a cinnamon stick and a 1/4 of a vanilla bean in each jar.  Fill with hot honey, wipe rim, seal with lid and ring.
4.  Process for 25 minutes in a boiling water bath.  Remove lid from water bath, turn off heat, and allow the jars to rest for 5 minutes.  Place jars on a clean towel and allow to cool 12-24 hours.  Wipe jars clean and store in a cool, dark place.

Yield:  eight 8oz jars (plus some extra)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup

4 cups chicken broth (or veggie)
20 oz broccoli -- fresh or frozen
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1-1/2 cups cooked root veggies (optional - I used organic golden beets and organic carrots left over from a prior meal.  Shhh...don't tell the kids.)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp freshly-ground nutmeg
2 cups milk (I used whole milk)
3 cups shredded cheese (I used a 3-cheese blend)

1. Saute onions in olive oil until light brown.  Stir in a few tablespoons of flour to create a roux.  Brown for a few minutes, stirring frequently.
2. In the crockpot, combine the broth, onion mixture, root veggies, and broccoli with the spices.
3. Cook on high 4-6 hours, or low 7-9 hours.
4. Using an immersion blender, pulverize the soup ingredients until smooth.
5. Stir in milk and shredded cheese.  Blend again using immersion blender.  Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently.  Serve.

This recipe may be doubled.   

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pumpkin Bread (Bread Machine Recipe)

2/3 Cup warm water
3/4 Cup canned pumpkin pie mix
2 TBSP butter, soft
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3-1/4 Cups flour
3 TBSP sugar
1 and 1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly-ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
sprinkle of ground cloves
pkg active dry yeast

Add in that order on the sweet or quick setting of the machine. (Three hour cycle, kneading the dough twice).

Optional:  1/2 cup chopped nuts

Recipe compliments of Babyluv.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


1lb bacon. 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  2. Lay bacon in a single layer (or as close to a single layer as possible) on baking sheet. 
  3. Bake for 10 minutes.  Flip bacon. 
  4. Bake for 10 minutes.  Flip bacon. 
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels.  
  6. Walla.  Best.Bacon.Ever.  

Crash Hot Potatoes

  • 12 whole New Potatoes (or Other Small Round Potatoes)
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt To Taste
  • Black Pepper To Taste
  • Rosemary (or Other Herbs Of Choice) To Taste
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork-tender.
On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato.
With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with more olive oil.
Sprinkle potatoes with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and fresh chopped rosemary (or chives or thyme or whatever herb you have available.)
Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Amish Sourdough Cinnamon Bread

  • Do not use any type of metal spoon or bowl for mixing.
  • Do NOT refrigerate the starter. 
  • If air gets in the bag, let it out. 
  • It is normal for the bag to bubble, thicken and ferment. 
  • You can go over a day or two to feed the starter, but you cannot feed or bake early. 


Day 1:  Mush the bag.
Day 2:  Mush the bag.
Day 3:  Mush the bag.
Day 4:  Mush the bag.
Day 5:  Mush the bag.
Day 6:  Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and one cup milk to the bag.  Mush the bag to combine.
Day 7:  Mush the bag.
Day 8:  Mush the bag.
Day 9:  Mush the bag.
Day 10: Feed and divide the starter, bake the bread, following instructions below.

  1. Pour entire contents of the bag into a large non-metal bowl. 
  2. Add 1/2 cup flour, 1-1/2 cups sugar, and 1-1/2 cups milk to the batter; mix well. 
  3. Label four one-gallon zip-top bags with "Day 1, and the present date."  Fill each one of the four bags with 1 cup of the batter mixture.  These are the starters to pass along to your friends.  If you like, you may keep one for yourself.  If you keep one for yourself, you will be baking bread every 10 days.  If you don't keep one for yourself, you will have to wait until you receive another starter from a friend, or remake the starter from the recipe below.  
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
  5. To the remaining batter, add: 
3 eggs
1 cup oil (or 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup applesauce)
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flour
1 large box instant vanilla pudding
1 cup raisins (optional)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

      6. Grease the bottom and sides of two large loaf pans with Pam.  Mix 1-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar in a small bowl.  Dust sides and bottom of pans with half the mixture.
      7. Pour batter evenly into pans and sprinkle remaining cinnamon and sugar mixture over the top of the batter.
      8.  Bake for approximately 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool until bread loosens from the pan easily.  Serve.


This is the Amish Friendship Bread Starter Recipe that you’'ll need to make the Amish Friendship Bread (above). It is very important to use plastic or wooden utensils and plastic or glass containers when making this. Do not use metal at all!

1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110°F)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup warm milk (110°F)

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water for about 10 minutes. Stir well.
2. In a 2 quart glass or plastic container, combine 1 cup sifted flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or the flour will get lumpy when you add the milk.
3. Slowly stir in warm milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Loosely cover the mixture with a lid or plastic wrap. The mixture will get bubbly. Consider this Day 1 of the cycle, or the day you receive the starter.
For the next 10 days handle starter according to the instructions above for Amish Friendship Bread.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup water
2 cups sugar (I used unrefined)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

~Mix the cocoa and water in a saucepan. Heat and stir to dissolve the cocoa.
~Add sugar and stir to dissolve. Boil for three minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly.
~Stir in the salt and vanilla. Let cool.
~Pour into storage container (I used a small pitcher), and store in the fridge. Keeps several months.

Yield: two cups.

Recipe from:

Honey Packed Peach Slices

2.75 cups water, divided
.25 cup bottled lemon juice
5 pounds fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1.25 cups raw honey
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
6 strips of lemon zest

~In a large bowl, mix .25 cup water and lemon juice. Stir fruit in gently, coating all pieces. Set aside.
~ In a small saucepan, bring honey and remaining water to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Cover pan to keep contents hot.
~Pack fruit gently into six hot sterilized pint jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Place a piece of lemon zest in each jar.
~Fill jars with honey mixture, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe rims, lid the jars, and process for 45 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Yield: 6 pints.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Honey Cinnamon Peach Preserves

Of the four peach recipes I canned this year, this one is my hands-down favorite. It's lip-smacking goodness makes you want another piece of toast.


2 pounds ripe peaches
1 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup bottled lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon butter

~ Parboil, peel, pit and slice the peaches (1/4" slices)
~ Combine peaches, honey, lemon juice, butter and cinnamon in a large saucepan.
~ Bring fruit mixture to a boil and continue to boil hard for 25-30 minutes, until mixture thickens.
~ Can in sterilized (4oz) jelly jars, leaving 1/4" headspace, process 25 minutes.

Yield: 7 (4oz) jelly jars.

Adapted from:

Peach Pie Filling (for canning)

5 cups sliced peaches
2 Tablespoons bottled lemon juice
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons corn starch
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg

~Combine everything but the peaches in a large saucepan, bring to a boil.
~Add peaches to mixture, return to a boil, and boil for five minutes.
~Pack quart jars leaving 1" headspace.
~Process 45 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Yield: One quart.
Note: Recipe can be multiplied as needed.
Adapted from:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Easy Peasy Waffles

2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup milk (more to thin batter, as needed)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1.5 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons unrefined sugar
0.5 teaspoon salt

~Combine wet ingredients in a large batter bowl.
~Stir in the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.
~Bake in preheated waffle iron.

Adapted from Fanny Farmer, page 555.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Pork Carnitas, ala Jennifer

1 TBSP lemon juice (lime would be better, but hey...I had lemon, so that's what's here)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 TBSP dried cilantro
2 TBSP chili powder
0.5 small onion, chopped fine
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1.5 teaspoon salt
0.5 teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
2-4 cups chicken broth (I used 4c.)
1 pork roast (I used the big end -- 1/3ish -- of a whole tenderloin)

~Combine everything but the pork roast in the slow cooker, stir.
~Add the pork roast and cook 8-10 hours on low.
~Shred meat and serve.

Serve in fresh, hot, flour tortillas and garnish with chopped avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, lime wedges.

Fridge Pickles

1 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (adjust according to spice preference)
1 teaspoon dill seed
4 to 5 small kirby (pickling) cucumbers, peeled in stripes and sliced into 1/8 inch thick rounds
1/3 small white onion, thinly sliced into rounds

Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, black pepper, cloves, bay leaves, red pepper flakes and dill seed in a quart jar. Place the lid on the jar and shake until the sugar has dissolved.

Layer the cucumbers and onion in the jar using a wooden spoon to press them tightly into the jar. Place the lid on the jar, shake it well and refrigerate at least 4 hours, shaking the jar occasionally to keep the ingredients mixed. These pickles will keep in the refrigerator for at least one month.

Yield: Approximately one quart.
Adapted from:

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Peach Butter

4-1/2 pounds peaches, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup water
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup amaretto liqueur

1. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine peaches, water lemon juice and zest. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until peaches are soft (about 20 minutes).
2. Remove pan from heat and puree fruit using an immersion blender. Puree just until a uniform texture is achieved; do not liquefy.
3. In a clean large stainless steel pan, combine peach puree, sugar and amaretto. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently (almost constantly), until mixture thickens and holds its shape on a spoon.
4. Prepare canner, jars and lids.
5. Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe rim, center lid on jar, and secure with band.
6. Process 15 minutes. Remove canner lid and wait 5 minutes. Then, remove jars, cool 12-24 hours, clean jars, and store.

Yield: 15 (40z) jelly jars and 1 (8oz) jar.

Recipe adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, pg. 57.

Raspberry Jam

6 (6oz) packages Raspberries, pressed through food-mill to equal 4 cups of puree
6-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 packet (3oz) liquid pectin

1. Prepare canner, jars and lids.
2. In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine raspberries and sugar. Over high heat, stirring constantly, bring to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Stir in pectin. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam (important).
3. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe rim, center lid on jar, and secure with band.
4. Process for 15 minutes. Remove canner lid and wait 5 minutes. Remove jars, cool 12-24 hours. Clean jars and store.

Yield: 2.5 (1/2 pint) jars and 9 (4oz) jelly jars.

Recipe modified from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, pg. 41.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Blueberry-Plum Jam

4 cups fresh blueberries (2lbs), crushed
5 cups fresh plums (2lbs), chopped fine
6 cups sugar

~Combine fruit and sugar in a large saucepot.
~Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
~Cook rapidly to gelling point, stirring frequently.
~Remove from heat and skim foam if necessary.
~Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4" headspace.
~Adjust caps and process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Yield: Five (8oz) jars.

Recipe excerpted from Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, 100th Anniversary Edition, Page 32.

Plum Jam

5 cups coarsely chopped plums (~2lbs)
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup water

~Combine plums, sugar and water in a large saucepot.
~Bring slowly to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.
~Cook rapidly to gelling point.
~As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking.
~Remove from heat, skim foam if necessary.
~Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4" headspace.
~Adjust caps and process for 25 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

Yield: 9.5 (8oz) jars.

Recipe excerpted from Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, 100th Anniversary Edition, Page 33.

Rhubarb-Strawberry Pie Filling

3 large tart apples, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated orange zest (from two oranges)
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice (from 1.5-2 oranges)
7 cups sliced rhubarb (1" pieces)
2 cups granulated sugar
4 cups halved, hulled strawberries

~Prepare canner, jars and lids
~In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine apples and orange zest and juice. Stir to coat apples thoroughly. Stir in rhubarb and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until rhubarb is tender (about 12 minutes). Add strawberries and return to a boil. Remove from heat.
~Ladle hot pie filling into hot jars, leaving 1" headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace. If necessary, by adding hot filling. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
~Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait five minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

Yield: Four pint jars.

Recipe excerpted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, page 173.

Cherry-Almond Rhubarb Jam

This is seriously the best.jam.ever. Seriously. Like, for reals.


4 cups (1.5lb) finely-chopped rhubarb (1/4" slices)
1.5 cups sugar
1 3oz package cherry jello
1 21oz can cherry pie filling (I used Comstock More Fruit)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

~Mix rhubarb and sugar, allow to stand 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.
~Bring to a boil, and continue boiling for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
~Remove from heat.
~Add powdered jello and stir.
~Add pie filling and almond flavoring and stir.
~Fill prepared canning jars (8oz) using proper aseptic technique.
~Process 25 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Yield: approximately six (6) 8oz jelly jars.

Recipe compliments of Jenn S.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Veggie Stuffed Mushrooms

20 large muchrooms
1/2 c. broccoli, finely chopped
1/4 c. carrot, finely chopped
1 Tbsp onion, finely chopped
1 c. seasoned croutons, crushed (about 1/2 c.)
1/2 c. shredded cheddar
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp butter

~Preheat oven to 400 degrees
~Core/scoop stems out of mushrooms, reserve 1/4 c. chopped
~Place mushroom caps rounded sides down in deep dish
~Mix finely chopped ingredients, salt, cheese, & crushed croutons
~Stir in melted butter well
~Scoop stuffing into rounded piles in caps
~Bake 15-20 minutes
~Serve warm

Recipe compliments of Jenn S. 

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Amazing Almond Pound Cake

Follow the mixing instructions carefully, as the texture of this cake is highly dependent on the techniques used to combine the ingredients.

This pound cake is a fantastic part of a summer dessert when topped with berries and almond-scented whipped cream. Decadent!

2 cups unsalted butter (four sticks), softened
3 cups baker's sugar (18 ounces by weight)
6 large eggs (10.5 oz by weight, without shells)
3 large egg yolks (4 ounces by weight, without shells)
3 teaspoons pure almond extract
3 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups cake flour (14 ounces by weight)

1. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 325 degrees.. Grease and flour a bund pan.
2. Beat butter in bowl of electric mixer set at medium-high speed until smooth and shiny, about 15 seconds. With machine still on, take about 30 seconds to sprinkle in sugar. Beat mixture until light, fluffy, and almost white; 4-5 minutes, stopping mixer once or twice to scrape down sides of bowl.
3. Mix eggs (lightly beaten with additional yolks), almond extract, and water in a 2-cup glass measure with a pour spout, set in a pan of tepid water until mixture is about 70 degrees. With mixer set at medium-high speed, take 3-5 minutes to add egg mixture to butter/sugar mixture in a very slow, thin stream. Finally, beat in salt.
4. Remove bowl from mixer stand. Place half the flour into a sieve or sifter; sprinkle half of that amount over the butter mixture. Fold flour gently into the butter mixture with a rubber spatula, scraping up from bottom of bowl, until flour is incorporated. Repeat, until all flour is used.
5. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with a spatula or wooden spoon. Bake until cake needle or tester inserted into a crack running along top comes out clean, 70-80 minutes. Let cake rest in pan for 5-10 minutes, then invert onto wire rack. Cool to room temperature and enjoy. Store cake wrapped in plastic, then in foil, at room temperature.

Yield: one bundt cake (serves 16-20). This recipe may be halved to yield one 9"x5"x3.5" loaf pan.

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated, June, 1994, pg. 20.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal -- from Smurfette


2.5 C Steel Cut Oats
3.25 C Milk
2 Eggs
1 T Vanilla
1/2 Brown Sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
.75 C Dates, raisons, chopped fruit or craisons (I love diced up pear in ours)
.5 C chopped or sliced nuts (Optional)


combine ingredients and let sit for 15 min. Preheat oven to 350. Pour mixture into an 8" greased round cake pan or large rectangular baking/ pyrex pan. Bake for 45 min. Cut into wedges and serve warm with milk. Individual servings can be frozen and reheated later - they always defrost overnight in my fridge so if I want it in the morning I just pull it out the night before. Sometimes I add a bit more brown sugar when I heat it up but I like my oatmeal sweet Embarrassed

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Homemade Yogurt

From A Year of CrockPotting

The Ingredients.

--8 cups (half-gallon) of whole milk--pasteurized and homogenized is fine, but do NOT use ultra-pasteurized. (Debbie recommends starting with whole milk until you get the hang of yogurt-making)

--1/2 cup store-bought natural, live/active culture plain yogurt (you need to have a starter. Once you have made your own, you can use that as a starter)

--frozen/fresh fruit for flavoring

--thick bath towel

The Directions.

This takes a while. Make your yogurt on a weekend day when you are home to monitor.

I used a 4 quart crockpot. This is so exciting. My fingers are shaking!

Plug in your crockpot and turn to low. Add an entire half gallon of milk. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.

Unplug your crockpot. Leave the cover on, and let it sit for 3 hours.

When 3 hours have passed, scoop out 2 cups of the warmish milk and put it in a bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of store-bought live/active culture yogurt. Then dump the bowl contents back into the crockpot. Stir to combine.

Put the lid back on your crockpot. Keep it unplugged, and wrap a heavy bath towel all the way around the crock for insulation.

Go to bed, or let it sit for 8 hours.

In the morning, the yogurt will have thickened---it's not as thick as store-bought yogurt, but has the consistency of low-fat plain yogurt.

Blend in batches with your favorite fruit. I did mango, strawberry, and blueberry. When you blend in the fruit, bubbles will form and might bother you. They aren't a big deal, and will settle eventually.

Chill in a plastic container(s) in the refrigerator. Your fresh yogurt will last 7-10 days. Save 1/2 cup as a starter to make a new batch.


alternate (super easy recipe from BrahimBride)

  • Boil the milk on the stove (don't let it boil gotta watch it)
  • Put milk in desired c ontainter..Mix in 1/2 cup of your starter yogurt
  • Put container into oven that is NOT turned on.
  • Put on oven light
  • Leave until morning
  • viola! easy indian style yogurt


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Spiced Nuts

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 C unsalted mixed nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt

~Mix spices and reserve.
~Heat nuts in a dry skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to toast - about 4 minutes.
~Add butter and cook, stirring until the nuts begin to darken - about 1 minute.
~Add the spices, sugar, 1 tablespoon of water, and salt and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens and the nuts are glazed, about 5 minutes.
~Remove the nuts from the heat and transfer to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, separating them with a fork.
~Let the nuts stand until cooled and the sugar has hardened - about 10 minutes.
~Store in an airtight container.

Recipe compliments of Alisha S.

Salted Nut-Roll Bars

1lb Nutter Butter Cookies
1 stick melted butter

2 cups butterscotch chips (or peanut butter chips)
2/3 cups light corn syrup
4 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups small marshmallows
2 cups dry roasted peanuts
2 cups Rice Krispies

~Preheat oven to 350.
~Line a 13x9" baking pan with foil and coat well with nonstick spray.
~Pulverize cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs form (the kiddos love to help with this).
~Add melted butter; process until crumbs clump together.
~Press crumbs into prepared pan and bake 15 minutes or until golden.
~Melt butterscotch chips, corn syrup, butter, and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth, about five minutes.
~Spread 1/2 cup of the mixture over the crumb crust.
~Top with marshmallows and return bars to oven, baking until marshmallows puff (about two minutes). Do NOT overbake.
~Toss peanuts and cereal with remaining butterscotch mixture until well coated.
~Drop spoonfuls of topping over marshmallows and spread with an oiled spatula.
~Cool bars before cutting.

~~Yield: 24 bars~~