"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Traditional Sweet Roll Dough (Betty Crocker)

Coffee Cake with Cream Cheese and Pecan Filling.

2     packages active dry yeast
1/2  cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1/2  cup lukewarm milk (scalded then cooled)
1/2  cup sugar
1     teaspoon salt
2     eggs
1/2  cup shortening or butter or margarine, softened
4-1/2 to 5 cups Gold Medal Flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Stir in milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and 2-1/2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth.  Mix in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.

Turn dough onto lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Place into greased bowl; turned greased side up.  (At this point, dough can be refrigerated 3 to 4 days)  Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 1-1.2 hours.  (Dough is ready if impression remains when touched.)

Punch down dough.  Shape dough into desired rolls and coffee cakes.  Cover; let rise until double, about 30 minutes

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake as directed.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Quinoa Salad with Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette

Prepare Quinoa per package directions.  I used one cup of Quinoa with two cups water.  Boiling for 15-20 minutes.  Cool.
I seed and diced one Roma tomato, one small to medium cucumber.  Diced one leak (white part only) saute in a tablespoon of olive oil, add 1/2 cup of diced broccoli and continue to saute until broccoli just starts to soften.

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2003

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar, optional*
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
Mesclun salad mix or favorite greens, for accompaniment
Assortment of salad ingredients, such as cherry tomatoes, chopped carrots, sliced red onion, chopped celery, diced cucumbers, walnuts
Blue cheese, for garnish
Beat the vinegar in a bowl with the optional sugar, garlic, salt and pepper until sugar and salt dissolves. Then beat in the oil by droplets, whisking constantly. (Or place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to combine.) Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Toss a few tablespoons of the dressing with the salad mix and desired salad ingredients, top with blue cheese and serve immediately.

If not using dressing right away, cover and refrigerate, whisking or shaking again before use.

*If using a good quality balsamic vinegar you should not need the sugar, but if using a lesser quality you might want the sugar to round out the dressing

Copyright 2013 Television Food Network G.P.
All Rights Reserved

Read more at:,1946,FOOD_9936_22916_RECIPE-PRINT-FULL-PAGE-FORMATTER,00.html?oc=linkback

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Homemade Rye Bread

I made a couple changes:  I added 1 cup of whole wheat flour and used less bread flour and 1 teaspoon of onion powder.

Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2005

Prep Time:30 min
Inactive Prep Time:2 hr 0 min
Cook Time:45 min
10 to 12 servings

1 envelope (1/4-ounce) dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg
1 cup warm milk (about 110 degrees F)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup rye flour
2 1/2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 large egg, beaten

Combine the yeast, sugar, melted butter, egg, and milk in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Beat on low speed for 1 minute. Add the salt, rye flour, all-purpose flour, and caraway seeds. Beat at low speed until all of the flour is incorporated, about 1 minute. Then, beat at medium speed until the mixture forms a ball, leaves the sides of the bowl and climbs up the dough hook. Remove the dough from the bowl. Using your hands, form the dough into a smooth ball. Lightly oil a bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it to oil all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 5 1/2 by 9-inch baking pan.

Remove the dough from the bowl and invert onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead the dough several times. Tuck and roll so that any seams disappear into the dough and place in the prepared baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in size, about 1 hour. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg lightly over the top of the dough. Bake until lightly brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

Copyright 2013 Television Food Network G.P.
All Rights Reserved

Read more at:,1946,FOOD_9936_31699_RECIPE-PRINT-FULL-PAGE-FORMATTER,00.html?oc=linkback

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Have you ever had one of those "Oh No" moments trying recreate something you remember eating as a kid?  Well here's mine.. We went to one of the area's Amish markets yesterday and saw the bags of Tapioca.  I used to love tapioca pudding as a kid.  You can read the directions on the label, I followed the directions... Oh no... this isn't right.... I remember creamy pudding not a clear sauce.  Most of the recipes I found "later" on the web call for milk and water in the cooking process.

I whipped up One Cup of heavy cream until it held peaks, added one teaspoon of vanilla and then slowly added the chilled clear sauce.  Pudding came out very smooth and creamy.  The only thing that is missing is the color if you would have added an egg yolk in the finishing part of cooking the tapioca. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013


We don't have meatballs at our house very often.  Husband has been asking.. so here they are.

1 lbs. Ground beef
1 cup Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup Romano Cheese
1 large teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon Freshly Ground Oregano
1 large teaspoon Parsley
2 eggs
1 medium onion finely chopped and saute
Salt and Pepper to taste

I used a 1/8 cup measuring cup to get uniform size.

Form balls and roll in bread crumbs
Place on lightly oiled baking sheet
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour
Serve with your favorite sauce

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Everything Pumpkin

Pumpkin is ready!

 I tried my hand at roasting pumpkin seeds.  Turned out pretty good.  Combined several different recipes, including soaking the seeds overnight in salt water to improve digestion.  I tried, sweet, spicy and hickory salted.

Paula Deen's Gooey Pumpkin Cake

1 18 1/4-ounce package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 15-ounce can of pumpkin
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 16-ounce box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make the cake, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Pat the mixture into a lightly greased 13x9-inch baking pan.
Prepare filling:
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together.
Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well.
Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey.

Serve with fresh whipped cream.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fresh Apple Pie

Pastry for 9-inch Two-crust Pie

3/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Gold Medal Flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash salt
6 cups thinly sliced pared tart apple
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Prepare pastry.  Stir together sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt; mix with apples.  Turn into pastry-lined pied pan; dot with butter.  Cover with top crust which has slits cut in it; seal and flute.  Cover edge with 2- to 3 inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning; removed foil last 15 minutes of baking

Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust.

Sit back and watch it disappear!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Pastor Ryan’s Bloomin’ Herb Bread

My first try at this bread.  It is not a beautiful as the loaf in the link below.  But it will do for a first time try.  I used thyme and chives as the herbs.  My cast iron pot is the old style so the bread baked a bit faster than if I would have had the lighter coated pot.  Very beautiful crust.

Prep Time 2 Hours
Cook Time 1 Hour Servings 8 Difficulty Easy

20 ounces, weight Bread Flour (all Purpose Is Okay, Too) - About 4 Cups
8 ounces, fluid Water
4 ounces, fluid Melted Butter With Chopped Herbs Of Choice. We Like Chives, Rosemary Or Thyme.
2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Active Or Instant Yeast (if Active, It Would Be Best To Sprinkle Yeast Over The Water To Let It Start To Work Before Mixing It In)
Preparation Instructions

Combine all ingredients together in the KitchenAid stand mixer with the dough hook (it can be done by hand…it just takes longer).

I mixed them together for about 10 minutes or so until I could successfully achieve a windowpane with the dough. This is where you can pull off a small chunk of the dough you’re kneading and stretch it gently to see if it is somewhat translucent. If you can do this without it tearing, it’s ready.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

After the dough starts rising, it should be kneaded for a minute or two so that the yeast can redistribute. Form it into a dome and place in a covered cast iron pan after coating it with olive oil and a sprinkling of kosher salt. Cut a large ‘X’ into the surface of the bread dough so it can bloom!

Bake on the center rack of your over for 30 minutes with the lid on, them remove the lid to finish it off for another 15 to 30 minutes.

Grilled garlic cheese bread... wow!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Vermont Chocolate Potato Cake

Granny Williams requested MORE desserts... and some more of those cubed fried potatoes... Here's the dessert I decided on..The recipe left one item out -- 2 teaspoons of baking powder. I also added 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tarter to the egg whites.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2    teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened but still cool
2 cups granulated sugar
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 cup freshly mashed potato
2 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter used in beaten egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup milk
1 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions:Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the melted unsweetened chocolate and mashed potato, and beat until smooth. Add the egg yolks along with the vanilla and almond extracts and continue beating.Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, then blend in the nuts.

In a clean, medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry, then gently fold into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for one hour or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pancakes Oatmeal Pecan Spice

3/4 Cup bread flour
1/2 Cup quick cooking oatmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar-adjust to your liking
1 egg
1 cup butter milk or regular milk with lemon juice added
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Pecans pieces to taste

Mix dry ingredients 
Whisk egg, milk and oil together add to dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Let sit while griddle heats. Stir and cook.  Enjoy. 

A great breakfast for a cool fall morning.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Not knowing what flavors we would like the best, I seasoned in sections.  The whole loaf was first coated with garlic butter and sea salt, yes I left the chucks of garlic on the bread.  There was Basil, Thyme and several different kinds of graded cheeses.

Basic Focaccia Recipe
Makes 1 (13 x 9 Inch) Rectangular Pan, or 3 (10 – 12 Inch) Round Loaves
by Deborah Mele

5 Cups All-purpose Unbleached Flour
2 Teaspoons Instant Yeast
2 – 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Plus 2 Additional Tablespoons To Oil Bowl)
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups Warm Water
Measure and assemble your flour, oil, salt, yeast, and water
Add everything but the water into a large bowl and stir.
Add half the water and stir.
Continue to add water until the dough begins to come together into a shaggy ball.
Dump the dough mixture onto a lightly floured surface surface and begin to knead with the heels of your hand.
Knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and pliant.
Add a little oil (2 tablespoons) to the bottom of a large bowl and place your ball of dough inside. Roll the ball around in the oil, ensuring the sides of the bowl, and ball of dough are both lightly oiled.
Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise.
I cover mine with a kitchen towel on top of the plastic wrap and sit it on a large sunny windowsill.
Let the dough rise until it is doubled in size, about an hour or an hour and a half depending on ambient temperature.
To make a large rectangular focaccia, lightly oil a 13 X 9 inch baking sheet with sides
Use your fingers to push and press the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 20 or 30 minutes or until the dough dimples when pushed with your fingertip.
Use the tips of your fingers to dimple the entire top of the focaccia.
Drizzle olive oil over the top turning the pan carefully to allow the oil to roll into the indentations.
Sprinkle coarse sea salt over the top of your focaccia and then let it sit and rise for another 15 minutes while you preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool to room temperature before slicing.

For Baking:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Coarse Sea Salt
Optional Toppings of Choice

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Empanadas mendocinas (Laylita Recipes)

Yield: ~20 medium or ~30 small empanadas

Easy recipe for empanadas mendocinas, traditional Argentinean baked empanadas filled with beef, onions, paprika, hot pepper powder, cumin, oregano, hard-boiled egg and olives. Adapted from From Argentina with Love

Dough for empanadas mendocinas – makes about 20 medium or 30 small empanadas

3 cups flour
1 egg yolk
½ cup of grasa - lard or butter or mix of both
¾ cup to 1 cup of warm milk
½ tsp salt

Beef picadillo filling

1 lb ground beef
2 white onions, diced, about 3 cups
1/2 cup lard or butter
2 tbs smoked paprika
2 tbs chili powder or any ground hot pepper
1 tbs finely chopped fresh oregano
½ tbs ground cumin
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
¼ cup sliced green olives
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, white and yolk separated and lightly whisked

Dipping sauce options:
Balsamic chimichurri sauce
Quick chimichurri sauce
Aji criollo sauce
Tree tomato hot sauce

Empanada dough
Mix the flour and salt in a food processor, pulse until well combined.
Add the lard or butter, blend well.
Add the egg yolk and the milk in small amounts, pulse until small dough clumps start to form.
Make a couple of balls, flatten into disks and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate).
Use the empanada discs immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.
Beef picadillo filling and empanada assembly
Combine the ground beef, paprika, red pepper, cumin, salt and pepper in a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together and chill until ready to use.
Melt the lard in a large frying pan or sauté pan, add the onions and salt, cook until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes.
Add the meat mixture to the onions and cook on medium heat until the meat is done, stir frequently.
Let the meat mixture or picadillo cool down, and then mix in the chopped green onions and chopped oregano.
To assemble the empanadas add a spoonful of the meat mixture on the center of each empanada disc, add a slice of egg and sliced olive.

Brush the edges of the empanada discs with the egg whites, you can also use water but the egg white is a good natural “glue” that helps seal the empanada.
Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges gently with your fingers, twist and fold the edges of the empanadas with your fingers, as a final step use a fork to press down and finish sealing the empanadas.
Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with the egg yolk; this will give them a nice golden glow when they bake.
Let the empanadas rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until ready to bake.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 F and bake for about 25 minutes.
Serve warm with chimichurri sauce or other dipping sauces.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Rotisserie Chicken, Injector Basting and Peach Cobbler

Recipes to follow..

Injection Basting Sauce
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons finely minced onions
3 cloves minces garlic
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/3 cup chicken broth
dash lemon juice
fresh basil
Melt butter, add onions and saute until almost clear, add garlic as soon as you start to smell garlic add fresh thyme leaves (removed from stem) and broth.  Let simmer for a few minutes releasing thyme flavor.  Remove from heat chop and add fresh basil to taste, lemon juice if desired.  When cooled puree with your "smart stick".  Fill up your flavor injector and inject small amounts under the skin of the chicken and into the thickest parts of the meat.
Place chicken in a zip lock bag or covered glass bowl and put in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours.
Cook meat according to method instructions.

Peach Cobbler

1/2 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 cups sliced fresh peaches peeled
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 easpoon lemon juice
1 cup gold metal flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup milk

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Blend 1/2 cup sugar and the cornstarch in a medium saucepan.  Stir in peaches and lemon juice.  Cook, stirring  constantly, until mixture thickens and boils.  Boil and stir 1 minute.  Pour into un greased 2 quart casserole.  Keep fruit mixture hot in the oven while preparing biscuit topping.

Measure flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, the baking powder and salt into bowl.  Add shortening and milk.  Cut through shortening 6 times; mix until dough forms a ball.  Drop dough by 6 spoonfuls onto hot fruit.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until bisuit topping is golden brown.  Serve warm and if desired, with cream.
6 servings.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Fresh Peach Pie

Pastry for 10-inch Two-crush Pie

6 Cups sliced fresh peaches
(about 11 medium)

1 teaspoon lemon juice
1-1/4 Cups Sugar
1/3 cup Gold Medal Flour
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
(I added 1/8-1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg)
3 Tablespoons butter or Margarine

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Prepare pastry.  Mix peaches and lemon juice.  Stir together sugar, flour and cinnamon; mix with peaches.  Turn into pastry lined pan; dot with butter.

 Cover with top crust which has slits cut in it; seal and flute.

Cover edge with 2 to 3 inch strip of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning; remove foil last 15 minutes of baking.

Bake 8 and 9 inch pies 35-45 minutes.  10 inch pie 40-50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust.