Saturday, January 29, 2011

the best the processed foods industry has to offer

aka Bavarian Dessert aka Million Dollar pie

But let's be honest. Those names are stupid.

Crust option 1:
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup flour

Bake at 350 for 15 min

Crust option 2:
1 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 C crushed Oreos
1/2 C flour

Bake at 350 for 10 min

Layer 1:
1 8 0z. pkg. cream cheese (softened to room temp)
1 C powdered sugar
1 C cool whip (from 8 oz tub)

Layer 2:
1 large box chocolate instant pudding, prepared according to box directions

Layer 3:
the rest of the cool whip from the 8 oz tub

Just try and feel bad about all the gross stuff that's in oreo cream filling, cool whip, and boxed pudding. It's impossible in the face of this deliciousness.

Sam's Hash Browns

While making these pancakes, I suggested to Sam that he cook up some raw potatoes we had that wouldn't fit in the roast we ate earlier in the week. I told him he could do whatever he wanted since I wasn't going to eat them anyway. Here's what he did:

Cook some bacon and keep all the grease in the pan.
Dice some small red potatoes into 1/4 inch cubes.
Reheat the grease and put the potatoes in. Salt and pepper generously.
Cook them for a little while (3 minutes?) and decide they're not going quickly enough. Cover with a pan lid and cook until tender and crispy, stirring occasionally.

Needless to say, these taste like the best french fry you'll ever eat. I ate at least 1/3 of them.

Triple Grain Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

The holy grail of pancake recipes, as far as I'm concerned. I've been making pancakes nearly weekly playing with measurements of ingredients and finally hit the sweet spot once I added some corn meal.

Makes 12-18 pancakes. You can freeze what you don't eat and microwave them for 1 minute to thaw.
  • 1 C white whole wheat flour (as opposed to the regular "whole grain flour" you buy at the grocery store, which I think is red wheat)
  • 1/2 C oat flour (put oatmeal in the blender or food processor and blend till floury)
  • 1/4 C corn meal
  • 1/4 C all purpose flour
  • 2 heaping TBSP ground flax seeds
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4-1/3 C sugar (you can make some of this brown sugar for a caramel-ier taste)

  • 2 C buttermilk (substitute 1 C milk + 1 TBSP vinegar or lemon juice + 1 C plain yogurt if you don't have buttermilk)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 TBSP melted butter, cooled enough that it won't cook the eggs

  • blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed slightly
  • butter for frying
  • real maple syrup
Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls.
Heat your griddle to 350-375 degrees.
Whisk wet and dry ingredients together until just combined.
Put your maple syrup in the microwave.
Rub the griddle with butter.
Pour approx 1/4 C of batter to make 1 pancake. Once it's cooked a little, place 5 blueberries on the side of the pancake facing up.
Turn the pancakes when bubbles are forming on the top, edges are solidifying, and bottom is browned.
Eat with butter and warmed maple syrup, or this cream cheese frosting.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"Minestrone" Soup

I got this recipe from my History of Food professor, Jim Faulconer, in London 2005. He calls it minestrone, but it is nothing like any other minestrone I've ever had and everything like every Italian wedding soup I've ever had. Either way, it's really good. You could substitute some kale for the spinach if you wanted.

serves 4-6

2 T olive oil
1/4 lb Italian sausage, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
3 large cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 bay lead
1 can white beans
1 can garbanzo beans/chick peas
salt and pepper
8 C chicken stock
1 C small shell pasta
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
10 oz spinach, clean and coarsely chopped (any dark greens work)
1/2 C freshly grated Parmigiano-reggiano or romano cheese, plus extra for topping
12-16 leaves fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade-- substitute 1/4 C chopped parsley if necessary (don't tell Jim, but we used dried basil. just know fresh is way better)

Heat a soup pot over medium high heat. When the bottom of the pot is hot, add the olive oil and turn the pan to distribute the oil.

Saute the sausage for two minutes.

Add the onions, celery, garlic, zucchini, and bay leaf.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add white beans, garbanzo beans, and chicken broth.
Cover and bring to a boil.

Add pasta and green beans to the boiling broth, and cook 8 minutes or until pasta is barely tender.

Stir in the spinach. When it is wilted-- about 1 minute-- stir in the grated cheese.

Ladle soup into bowls and top each bowl with a bunch of basil chiffonade or chopped parsley.

Creamy White Chili

Creamy White Chili
7 Servings

1 lb cubed chicken (or 2 lbs)-- any left over chicken, especially rotisserie is good
1 med onion, chopped
1.5 tsp garlic powder-- we use fresh garlic
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 cans (15.5 oz) Great Northern Beans-- any white bean will work. we use 2 different sizes for variety
1 can of chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
.5 tsp pepper
.25 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
.5 cup whipping cream

Sautee chicken, onion, and garlic powder in oil
Add beans, broth, seasonings, and boil
Simmer down for 30 minutes
Remove from heat, stir in sour cream and whipping cream

Monday, January 10, 2011

Really Gross Macaroni and Peanut Butter

1 Package of macaroni and cheese
3 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup milk

Boil water and cook macaroni until tender.  Discard cheese package. Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Mix in peanut butter.  Pour over boiled macaroni.  Stir until well mixed.  Serves three.

Note: This is competely disgusting and you should not try it. It is an ugly greyish brown color and tastes even worse. I just thought for scientific integrity that I should publish negative results as well as positive, to avoid skewing the statistics.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

French Toast Dip-- Anna's first recipe

Anna made this little creation for dipping her french toast tonight. I asked her if I could have some and she shook her head no. I dipped anyway and I was severely reprimanded. And after having tasted it, I can see why. It was delicious! Once I told her how much I liked it and what a fabulous cook she was, she had even more fun mixing and stirring.


maple syrup


Mix and dip :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Cake

from 17andbaking

This is one showstopper of a cake. Triple layer, lusciously moist, not too sweet. I dream about this kind of cake. I want to try it again with some chocolate butter cream frosting to get an ultimate chocolate experience.

Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Cake
Including Sour Cream Chocolate Cake from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes
Makes a three layer 8″ cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup canola oil
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
Raspberry Ganache (recipe follows)
2/3 cup raspberry jam

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 8″ cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Butter again. [ I just buttered and dusted with cocoa. It was extremely hard to get the cakes out - don't skip the parchment paper.](Note from Heather: I just buttered and floured my pans well and had no problem getting the cakes out. Also, I used 9" pans since that's what I had and it turned out fine.)

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and whisk to combine. Whisk in the oil and sour cream, then gradually beat in the water. Add the vinegar and vanilla and mix to combine, and finally beat in the eggs until the batter is well combined. Divide among the three cake pans.

Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out almost clean. Cool in the pans for 20 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and peel off the parchment paper, letting the cakes cool completely. These cakes are very soft, and it helps to freeze them for 15 minutes at this point. While the cakes cool, make the Raspberry Ganache.

If the cakes are not flat, use a serrated knife to even the tops. Place one layer onto a parchment-lined cardboard cut out and spread 1/3 cup raspberry jam. Cover the jam with a thin, 1/4″ thick layer of raspberry ganache. Top with the second layer and repeat. Then invert the final layer and place on top.

To frost the cake, start with a crumb coat: barely cover the entire cake with a thin, see through layer of ganache. This is to help create a smooth finish later. Chill the cake for 10 minutes.

Frost the cake with the remaining raspberry ganache and top with fresh raspberries. I would recommend leaving the cake at room temperature to prevent the ganache from becoming too brittle.

Raspberry Ganache
Makes just enough to fill and frost a three layer 8″ cake

15 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped * (Note from Heather: I used about 2 C bittersweet Ghiradelli chocolate chips since that's what I had. It worked fine.)
1 2/3 cups frozen raspberries
8 oz (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

Bring an inch or two of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. As the water heats, microwave the raspberries in 1 minute intervals, stirring and mashing with a fork, until they become a smooth liquid. Pour through a strainer (should yield 1/3 cup raspberry juice) and set aside to cool.

Place the chopped chocolate and the butter in a large heatproof bowl and set over the saucepan. The bowl should not touch the water or fall more than halfway into the saucepan. Stir until the chocolate and butter melt, then gradually add in the slightly warm raspberry juice, whisking to combine.

(Note from Heather: I just microwaved the butter and chocolate together at 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until it was almost melted. Then I stirred till it was all melted, added the raspberry juice, and let it cool.)

Take the ganache off the heat and let cool until spreadable, stirring once in a while.

* The ganache was almost too sweet, but I used a combination of semisweet and bittersweet chocolate. Use the bitterest, darkest chocolate possible to counteract the sweetness of the berries.

Roasted Pork Loin with Pearl Onions

from Martha Stewart

Serves 4

  • 1 boneless center-cut pork loin roast, (2 pounds)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs
  • 1 pound frozen pearl onions, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. 1 Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Rub pork with salt, pepper, and 2 teaspoons mustard. On a plate, season breadcrumbs with salt and pepper. Coat top and sides of roast with breadcrumbs, leaving ends uncoated.
  2. 2 In a 9-by-13-inch roasting pan, toss onions with the oil; season with salt and pepper. Place pork in center of pan; roast 15 minutes. Turn onions; cook 10 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water; stir onions to coat.Continue cooking until onions are caramelized, pork juices run clear, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 140 degrees. 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove pork and onions from pan; let meat rest 20 minutes before slicing.
  3. 3 While meat is resting, add 1/2 cup water and remaining teaspoon mustard to pan. Cook over medium heat, scraping up browned bits. Stir until sauce is fully blended, 3 to 5 minutes; serve with pork and onions.

Read more at Roasted Pork Loin With Pearl Onions - Martha Stewart Recipes

Catskills Cubano

From the panini book. This sandwich is way awesomer than you could ever imagine.

Serves 2-- do the math for more

2 Ciabatta rolls or sliced ciabatta bread
2 Tbsp yellow mustard
4 thin slices (about 2 oz) sliced swiss cheese
2 tsps finely chopped pickled jalepenos or more to taste
4 thin slices (about 2 oz) serrano ham, prosciutto, or cured ham
4 thin slices (about 2 oz) roast pork*

Slice open rolls and spread 1 Tbsp mustard on bread. Place cheese on mustard. Sprinkle with 1 tsp jalepenos. Lay on 2 slices of ham. Top with pork. Cover with top half of roll. Grill on a panini press, George Foreman grill, or on your stove, 4-7 min or until bread is golden brown.

*I use this recipe for roasted pork loin for a meal earlier in the week and use the leftovers for this sandwich.