My "back porch" is my kitchen, my favorite room in the house. Come on in, the coffee is fresh, and I just made a pitcher of sweet tea. The cookies will be out in a minute. I have over 40 years of recipes to share with you, along with my opinion on everything. Oh my, you are right, it is cocktail time. What can I get you? Of course I can make you a Mint Julep! Stop by anytime, something is always cooking, and the back door is never locked.

Bon Appetit, Y'all

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oyster Stew with Rosemary Croutons

I was trying so hard to stay out of the kitchen on Saturday after all the cooking for Thanksgiving, but I just had to make a little something. It's really winter now and I needed soup and as I've mentioned before I'll eat oysters in any fashion.

This is a thick, rich stew that will warm you up anytime over the holiday season.

Oyster Stew with Rosemary Croutons
10 1/2 cups
print recipe

2 bacon slices, diced
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced onion
1/2 cup vermouth
2 pints of oysters, undrained
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 (8-ounce) bottles clam juice
3 cups half-and-half
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Rosemary Croutons

Cook first 3 ingredients in a Dutch oven over medium heat 12 minutes or until onion and celery are tender. Add vermouth, and simmer 1 minute. Add oysters.

Whisk together flour and clam juice in a small bowl, whisk into soup. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer 1 minute or until oyster edges curl. Reduce heat to medium-low; add half-and-half and next 4 ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat until thoroughly heated. (do not boil) Serve with Rosemary Croutons.

Rosemary Croutons
about 4 cups
Sprinkle these on salads also.

1/3 cup butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 cups (1-inch) French bread cubes (See Cooks Note)

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet; add garlic and next 3 ingredients. Saute' i minute over medium heat. Add bread cubes, tossing gently to coat.

Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally, 15 minutes or until bread is lightly toasted.

COOK'S NOTE: I used the fabulous No Knead Rosemary Bread from October Farm in place of French Bread. Once you make this bread you will find endless ways to use it. This is the easiest and best bread you will ever make.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Saint and Scriptures Sunday-First Sunday of Advent

Luke 21:21-35

"It will seem like all hell has broken loose- sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, in an uproar and everyone all over the world in a panic, the wind knocked out of them by the threat of doom, the powers-that-be quaking.

"And then-then!-they'll see the Son of Man welcomed in grand style-a glorious welcome! When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your head high. Help is on the way!"

He told them a story. "Look at a fig tree. Any tree for that matter. When the leaves begin to show, one look tells you that summer is right around the corner. The same here--when you see these things happen, you know God's kingdom is about here. Don't brush this stuff off: I'm not just saying this for some future generation, but for this one, too--these things will happen. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won't wear out.

"But be on your guard. Don't let the sharp edge of your expection get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping. Other wise, that Day is going to take you by complete surprise, spring on you suddenly like a trap, for it's going to come on everyone, everywhere at once. So, whatever you do, don't go to sleep at the switch. Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that's coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man."

Let's visit Dianna for more Saint and Scriptures at The Kennedy Adventures.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies

These are a good example of your own slice and bake cookies. Always fresh from your refrigerator or freezer. My freezer always has a batch of these ready to bake. The instructions say to let them thaw in the refrigerator, but I don't always have time and let them set out for about 30 minutes. They are fine, you might have to add a minute to the cooking time. These are my most requested cookie.

Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies
24 cookies
print recipe

12 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
11 1/2 ounces 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted, English or Black

In double boiler over hot water, melt bittersweet chocolate chips and butter. In a large bowl with electric mixer or whisk, beat eggs and sugar until thick; stir into chocolate mixture. In a small bowl, stir together flour and baking powder; stir into chocolate mixture. Gently mix in semi-sweet chocolate chips and walnuts. This is to soft to try to roll into logs at this point. Place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes for it to firm up a bit.

Using a sheet of plastic wrap, form dough into 2 logs, each 2 inches in diameter and about 12 inches long. Wrap tightly; refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm. (Dough may be frozen; thaw in refrigerator before proceeding with recipe). Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Unwrap dough; with sharp knife, cut into 3/4-inch slices. Place slices 1 1/2 inches apart on greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until shiny crust forms on top but interior is still soft. Cool on baking sheet; store in airtight tin up to 1 week.

COOK'S NOTE: Use the best chocolate you can find. I like Ghirardelli.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Feel Good Friday - I'm Still Stuffed

Did you have a wonderful Thanksgiving? I had the best Thanksgiving I've had in 10 years. It was just plain fun and the food was fabulous. As you know if you have tried any of Edie/Lucy's recipes from the blog, she is one fine cook. She has promised us more recipes, soon. Her Lemon Chess Pie yesterday was to die for.

Yes Larry (brother) your Deep Fried Turkey was wonderful.

I'm keeping this short today because we are making Turkey Bone Gumbo. Let me know how you like it! It's just another simple way to "feel good".

Let's go over to the The Girl Next Door Grows Up and see what makes other folks "feel good". Plus come back during the week and we'll use up those turkey leftovers. How about a Kentucky Hot Brown!

Turkey Bone Gumbo

As the story goes. There is a gentleman in Southern Louisiana who loves to make a big pot of Turkey Bone Gumbo on the day after Thanksgiving. He rises early on Friday, gathers turkey carcasses from friends around town, and spends the rest of the day making broth and putting together his gumbo. By early evening, the friends from whom he got the carcasses gather around his big table for one or two bowls, followed by a serious card game.

You may not have friends willing to give up their turkey carcass, which is fine, but they don't get any gumbo. This only requires one carcass.

Remember to make your Turkey Broth first.

Turkey Bone Gumbo
8 servings
print recipe

3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 flour
2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 pound smoked sausage, such as andouille or kielbasa, chopped
2 quarts turkey broth
Reserved turkey meat from broth
Reserved onions and celery from broth
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped green onions

1. Combine the oil and flour in a large cast-iron pot or enameled cast-iron Dutch oven, over medium heat. Stirring slowly and constantly for 20 to 25 minutes, make a dark brown roux, the color of chocolate.

2. Season the onions, bell peppers, and celery with the salt and cayenne. Add this to the roux and stir until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Add the reserved turkey meat and the reserved onions and celery and cook for 15 minutes. Add the parsley and green onions.

3. Serve in soup bowls with rice. (File' powder can be added at the table according to personal taste.)

Turkey Broth

When you have a turkey carcass after a holiday meal, use it to make broth. Highly prized by cooks in South Louisiana, it is used to make Turkey Bone Gumbo. Recipe coming right up. If you can talk a friend or neighbor out of their turkey carcass, so much the better because this broth freezes beautifully.

This recipe as well as the Turkey Bone Gumbo is from Emeril's Louisiana Real and Rustic. With a few minor changes of course.

Turkey Broth
2 quarts
print recipe

1 turkey carcass
3 ribs celery, cut into 4-inch pieces
2 medium onions, quartered
4 quarts of water, or enough to cover the carcass
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
4 bay leaves

1. Place the carcass in a large stockpot. Add the celery, onions, water, salt, peppercorns, and bay leaves.

2. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours. Remove from the heat. Skim any fat that has risen to the surface.

3. Strain through a large fine-mesh sieve. Reserve any meat that has fallen off the bones and pick off any meat that may still remain on the carcass. Reserve the onions and celery for gumbo. Use right away or store the broth in quart containers in the freezer.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Best Thanksgiving Ever

I have just returned from the most wonderful Thanksgiving I have had since returning to Kentucky. My brother, Larry, and Edie have only been in their new home for about 2weeks and everything is already perfect. I don't know how she did it, plus all the Christmas decoration and tree. She said Larry was a huge help. Right away I knew someone had taken my brother and left a droid is his place.

Her table was covered with her mothers beautiful lace tablecloth and she used her mom's silver and china. Beautiful! I have already posted the menu earlier and the food was out of this world. Edie had made a Pumpkin Cheese Cake, Pecan Pie and Lemon Chess Pie. She has promised all the recipes

Another reason I knew my "real" brother was not there is because he deep fried the turkey to perfection and carved it like a chef. I'm really worried.

The Durham Family were special guest, Gary, Ruth and their son Rich. What a wonderful family. If you think I can talk! This lady needs her own blog. They even remembered my dad. That's always good for lots of laughs.

If you are ever in doubt about an appetizer for a holiday gathering make The Uber Cake from October Farm.It really is a fabulous dessert, however everyone wanted "just a little bite" before dinner, so half the cake was gone before we even ate. Thank goodness for Edie's desserts. I have a strange family.

My "real" brother returned just before I was ready to leave because I had to beg for the turkey carcass to make Turkey Bone Gumbo tomorrow.

I hope everyone had as great a Thanksgiving as I did.

Thank you Larry and Edie.


Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. Remember "Gluttony" is a sin, except on Thanksgiving. I know I read that somewhere. Be kind to Uncle Arthur, even if he drinks and talks too much. Don't forget to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade while you're cooking.

Eat, until you think you're going to die.

Take a little nap.

Now it's time to watch those Cowboys, the ones with the cute butts, kick a few Saints behinds. By half-time it will be time for a turkey sandwich and another piece of pie, or cake, or whatever.

That's why it's important to eat early so you can eat twice.

Most importantly let us all remember to thank God for all the blessings in our lives, our family, friends and our many blogging and FB buddies who have become so important to us all.

God Bless You All.

Show up tomorrow, we are making Turkey Bone Gumbo!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Turkey/Chicken and Stuffing Casserole

This is a wonderful simple casserole than will help you use up Thanksgiving leftovers or can actually serve as your main dish for Thanksgiving. If you are a family with small children or an older couple than just don't want to be bothered with the big meal. This is the perfect solution.

Turkey/Chicken and Stuffing Casserole
6 servings
print recipe

3 cups cooked chicken or turkey
1 stick butter melted
2 1/1 cups cornbread stuffing mix
10.75 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
10.75 ounce can cream of chicken soup
2 cups chicken/turkey broth

Chop chicken or turkey into small pieces. Mix the butter with the stuffing in a large bowl. Blend together the soups and the broth in a separate mixing bowl. Place the stuffing mixture in the bottom of a 2-quart casserole dish, buttered or coated with cooking spray, and layer half of the chicken,turkey, then half of the soup mixture. Repeat layers.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Drag out some of that Grand Marnier Cranberry Relish

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mammaw's Scalloped Oysters

I can not imagine a Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner without Scalloped Oysters. Not just any Scalloped Oysters, but the way my grandmother and my mom made them. My dad and I could eat this whole recipe. The secret is saltine cracker, lots of butter and cream. If you're watching calories use half and half. Right!

If my dad and I could catch mom in a really good mood we could also talk her into making these for Christmas Eve dinner. Never enough scalloped, fried or raw oysters for the two of us.

Mammaw's Scalloped Oysters
6 to 8 servings
print recipe

1 quart oysters, drained; liquid reserved
3 cups cracker crumbs (about 48 2-inch crackers, crushed
4 tablespoons melted butter
Cream or half and half
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup butter

Pick over oysters and remove any shell particles. Set oysters aside. Lightly toss 1 cup of the crumbs with melted butter. Add enough cream or half and half to the reserved oyster liquid to yield 2 cups. Stir in the salt and pepper.

Line a shallow buttered 2-quart casserole with 1 cup of the unbuttered crumbs. Arrange 2 cups of the oysters on crumbs. Pour 1 cup of liquid over all. Sprinkle with one half of the chopped onion and dot with one-half of the butter. Repeat procedure. Top with the buttered crumbs.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Attention: Hunters

This is just tooooooooooooooo good! I had to share.

This was sent to me by my friend Sara. I tried to copy the actually newspaper article, but no luck. However this is just as it appeared in a San Francisco newspaper in a "Speak Out" column.

"To all you hunters who kill animals for food, shame on you; you ought to go to the store and buy the meat that was made there, where no animals were harmed."

Folks, just remember as you read this, this person probably drives and votes.

AND, may have already reproduced.....

God help us all......

Country Relish

This is one of those "trust me" recipes. Trust me it really is great even if it sounds weird. I think this is one of those that evolved from being in the kitchen with a friend drinking wine while doing prep work for a holiday dinner. I have made this for years and it keeps well in the fridge for days, but it really will not last that long.

Serve this on a relish tray or in a pretty glass bowl. Plus, this is to die for on a turkey sandwich.

Country Relish
Servings: Lots
print recipe

3 cups mincemeat
2 cups chopped sweet pickle
1 cup sweet pickle juice
1 cup chopped tart apples (I use Granny Smith)
6 cups whole-kernel canned or frozen corn. Thaw frozen. Drain both.

Stir together and refrigerate covered overnight or longer. I store mine in Mason jars.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saint and Scriptures Sunday - Joy and Laughter

If people only knew the healing power of laughter and joy, many of our fine doctors would be out of business. Joy is one of nature's greatest medicines. Joy is always healthy. A pleasant state of mind tends to bring abnormal conditions back to normal.

Feeling joy may not come naturally to us most of the time. We may, in fact, have to act "as if" with great effort. A technique for finding it is living fully in the present and with gratitude for all we can see, touch, and feel.

Joy is contagious. Joy is freeing. Joy brings into focus our distorted perceptions. Greeting life with joy alters every experience for us and for those we share it with.

God wants us to be happy, joyous and free. Loving Him and all others.

I will try to bring joy wherever I go today.

Thank you Dianna for letting me write whatever I feel like on your wonderful Saint and Scriptures Sunday.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Where Is Thanksgiving Dinner?

There has been a change in plans for Thanksgiving dinner. We are having it at my brother, Larry, and Edie's house. I could not be happier. First, that someone is willing to help with the cooking, planning and shopping, second, that with those two you never know who or how many people will be there. I think that's fun. Heaven knows you will always have enough food. Plus, if you are preparing food at two or three locations you have much more cooking space.

Try to think of someone that might not have any place to spend Thanksgiving and include them at your table.

Here is a tentative menu that Edie and I have decided on. Changes can be made until Tuesday then it's done, time to cook.

Turkey - Larry is deep frying the turkey
Baked Country Ham
Scallop Oysters
Turkey Gravy
Old Fashioned Bread Stuffing, Edie's favorite
Grand Marnier Cranberry Relish
Jellied Cranberry Sauce out of the can for Larry - Ugh
Country Relish, recipe will be posted this week
Pickled Beets, because you're suppose to according to my Mom.
Curried Apple Chutney
Fresh Veggie Tray
Twice Baked Potato Casserole or Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Stuff
Scalloped Corn
Creamed Onions in White Wine Sauce
Buttered Forkhook Lima Beans
Green Bean Casserole, yes with cream of mushroom soup, for Randy. Ugh
Homemade Rolls
Garlic and Sundried Tomato Corn Muffins

Wine of your choice, we're having Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay 2005, if I can get Randy to spring for the wine. You can get great wines for $12-15 a bottle.
Lots of Sweet Tea

Dessert Table
Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Roll
Uber Cake
Rum Cake?

We really need another simple green vegetable, maybe Roasted Asparagus, we'll see.

What have we forgotten??? I know we don't have appetizers but we'll think of something. We have to eat at least by 3:00 because we have to have time to have a turkey, dressing and cranberry relish sandwich before bedtime, and maybe one more piece of cake or pie.

I don't think I feel so good!


Everyone has their favorite way of making their turkey, I'm no different. First I have to decide if I'm doing the stuffing inside or in a casserole. Is my brother deep frying the turkey this year?Am I just cooking a turkey breast. See, it's not as easy as you think.

This is my favorite way if I'm not stuffing the turkey. Plus it takes less time and I don't have to baste. You will end up with a beautiful moist golden brown turkey with lots of drippings for your stuffing and gravy.

14-20 servings, depending on size of turkey
print recipe

1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons paprika
4 teaspoons hot water
1 cup of peanut oil
1 turkey, 14 to 16 pounds - DO NOT exceed

Combine pepper, salt, paprika, and hot water. Let stand at least 10 minutes. Add peanut oil and mix thoroughly. Wash and dry turkey. Rub peanut oil mixture into inside and outside of turkey. Truss as desired.

Pour remaining oil into large paper sack (Type they used in grocery stores in the old days, now you have to ask for them.) Pour remaining oil into large brown paper sack (type used in grocery stores). Rub oil inside sack until every pore in every inch of the sack is sealed. Add additional oil if needed.

Place turkey in sack, breast side up. Fold over end of sack and tie securely with string. Bake at 325 degrees F. approximately 10 minutes per pound. I find 10-12 minutes is perfect for a turkey that has been out of the refrigerator for 45-60 minutes. Since the sack is airtight, the turkey is cooked by live steam; therefore, when sack is opened, be careful! With no basting, no careful watching, the turkey comes out tender to the bone and golden brown.

Save that turkey carcass! Turkey Bone Gumbo coming soon.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Feel Good Friday- I Love Blogging

For years I always thought I was a fairly organized person, however since I started my blog, not so much. There always seems to be a thin layer of dust on everything, a load of laundry that needs to be done, closets and drawers that need cleaning out. You get the idea. But that seems so unimportant when I have so much to tell you, that I know you couldn't live without knowing.

It's not so much what I want to tell you, but I want to hear what you are doing also. Who's cooking what today, who's making soap, what are you reading, what have the kids done today, who' s been on vacation. It takes a lot of time to keep up with everyone. I love every minute of it.

We had a terrible wind storm on Tuesday and I lost telephone service which meant no Internet for 12 hours. I was in a panic! Who cares that I was sleeping for 7 of those hours. I was worried I'd miss something.

It makes me feel good knowing you guys are out there sharing your life with me. Slide on over to The Girl Next Door Grows Up for more Feel Good Friday.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and see you next Friday for Turkey Bone Gumbo. Now that will make you feel good.

Oyster Stuffing

It is less than a week until Thanksgiving and I think I've only posted a couple of recipes. I need to get on the ball.

I have made the same Oyster Stuffing since I was in my late twenties, a long time ago. To be honest I have not found a recipe that I like better or as well.

Sometimes I stuff the bird, sometimes I bake the stuffing in balls in a shallow dish. I always pray for left over stuffing. Sometimes I use all bread, sometimes bread and cornbread. It will be wonderful whatever you decide.

This year I have made October Farm No Knead Rosemary Bread to use in my stuffing. It just keeps getting better.

Oyster Stuffing
Stuffing for 15 pound turkey
print recipe

24 slices dry bread, cut in cubes
1 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup finely chopped turkey giblets
1 pint oysters
2 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cups grated apple (about 4 medium-sized, grated, pared)
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 eggs, beaten

Heat 1/2 cup butter in a heavy skillet. Add giblets and cook over medium heat 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain the oysters, remove any shell particles. Coarsely chop and refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet. Add celery, onion and apple' cook over medium heat until onion is tender, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, pour water over bread cubes. Sprinkle with a mixture of salt, pepper, sage and sugar; toss gently. Add eggs and mix lightly. Blend in oysters, giblets, and apple mixture. Lightly spoon into body and neck cavities of bird. Or form into large balls and place in casserole and bake for 45-60 minutes.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bread Machine Beer Bread

I love Beer Bread and have for years just made it with self-rising flour, beer and sugar. Well now that I have my fancy bread machine and this wonderful Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook this is a whole new ballgame. And a whole new Beer Bread that is about 100 times better tasting.

Whatever the brand of beer is, whether dark or light, domestic or imported, your choice of beer will dictate the distinctive flavor of the loaf. Serve the bread with roast pork and sauerkraut or with corned beef. Also makes a wonderful sandwich bread. Easy!

Bread Machine Beer Bread
2 pound loaf
print recipe

1-1/2 cups (12 ounces) beer
3 tablespoons olive oil
4-1/2 cups bread flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 teaspoons SAF yeast or 1 tablespoon bread machine yeast

1. Pour the beer into a bowl and let stand at room temperature for a few hours to go flat.

2. Place all the ingredients in the pan according to the order in the manufacturer's instructions. Set crust on dark and program for the Basic cycle; press Start. (This recipe is not suitable for use with the Delay Timer.)

3. When the baking cycle ends, immediately remove the bread from the pan and place it on a rack. Let cool to room temperature before slicing.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pecan Cookie Balls

I just had to sneak this cookie recipe in here. Everyone makes them by their own recipe. This happens to be the one I use. Made a batch for the freezer today.

If you are a first time home-made cookie maker, this is the perfect recipe for you. Also a great cookie to let the kids help make. It is not the cookie to let the kids go running through the house eating, powdered sugar will be flying every place.

These buttery melt-in-your mouth cookies are seen at all kinds of functions and are called by several different names. Most common are Italian Wedding Cookies or Mexican Wedding Cookies. If a wedding of any kind is having a cookie table these will be there. They make wonderful holiday gifts, cookie exchange additions, hostess gifts, etc.

They freeze beautifully after shaping into 1-inch balls, and can be baked as you need.

Pecan Cookie Balls
4 dozen
print recipe

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
2 cups finely chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add 1/2 cup of the sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and salt; beat until well blended. Stir in flour and pecans.

2. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake 15 minutes. Remove from baking sheets. Immediately roll hot cookies in remaining 2 cups sugar. Place sugared cookies on wire racks to cool. When cool, roll again in sugar.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Good Doggy Cake

Don't forget your precious doggies over the holidays. They like to celebrate also. This could be their birthday cake because it's very rich. It's the frosting. You can slice and freeze and give as a special treat any time they have been very good.

My house, as well as that of my niece, Angie. are always doggy friendly for any holiday.

Good Doggy Cake
Yield: Enough for the "good doggy" and five furry friends
print recipe

1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound ground chicken
1/2 pound ground turkey
8-ounce cream cheese
4-ounce package liverwurst

Spray 3 pans (cake or pie) with nonstick cooking spray.

Press the meat into separate pans, spreading evenly.

Bake pans at 350 degree for 25-30 minute. Using a turkey baster to suck out the grease.

Let meat cool completely in pan.

When meat is cool, it's time to make the frosting. Place the cream cheese and liverwurst in a medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl. Heat together on HIGH for 30 seconds. Stir together to make a paste.

Take one disk out and place it on a cake plate. Spread a little of the frosting on top. Continue on with next two layers as if frosting a cake. Frost sides and top.

If you'd like to decorate the cake, use little Milk Bones. The ones in colors are cute. Arrange artistically. If you mess up I don't think they will notice.

Keep the cake REFRIGERATED until serving time or freeze. Please serve small pieces.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pumpkin-Walnut Cake

It has been a long time since I've found a new cake recipe that I thought was outstanding. This is one of those cakes that can be used for breakfast, brunch, lunch/dinner or supper/dinner. The recipe comes from The Inn at Ormsby Hill, Manchester Center, VT. Nothing like a good B&B recipe.

This would make a beautiful addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table. Make this a day or two before serving for the best flavor. Freezes beautifully for a couple of months.

Pumpkin-Walnut Cake
14 servings
print recipe

3 tablespoons dry, plain bread crumbs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
5 eggs
1-1/2 cups cooked, pureed pumpkin
1 cup toasted and finely chopped walnuts, English or Black Walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 10-cup Bundt pan. Add bread crumbs and shake the pan to evenly coat the sides and central tube. Tap out excess crumbs.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugars, molasses, eggs, and pumpkin together until blended. At low speed, gradually add dry ingredients. When all dry ingredients are incorporated, fold in walnuts. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the cake top is springy to the touch.

Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Invert and let cool to room temperature. Lightly dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saint and Scriptures Sunday-Pain and Suffering

This is one of my top 10 favorite meditations, especially when things are just not going the way "I" think they should. In other words, when I forget who's in charge.

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

How awesome is our power, personally, to choose our situation and our responses to any situation, to every situation. We will feel only how we choose to feel, no matter the circumstance. Happiness is as free an option as sorrow.

Perceiving our challenges as opportunities for positive growth rather than stumbling blocks in our path to success is a choice readily available. What is inevitable-a matter over which we have no choice-is that difficult times, painful experiences will visit us. We can, however, greet them like welcome guests, celebrating their blessings on us and the personal growth they inspire.

No circumstance demands suffering. Every circumstance has a silver lining. In one instance you may choose to feel self-pity; in the next, gladness.

We do not always feel confident about our choices, even when we accept the responsibility for making them. Prayer and meditation, guidance from God, can help us make the right choices every time.

I will relish my freedom to choose, to feel, to act. I and only I can take it away.

More Saint and Scriptures at The Kennedy Adventures every Sunday.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomato Corn Muffins

I believe I have casually mentioned this before. I make the worse cornbread of anyone I know. To be a Southern girl with a grandmother and mother that made fabulous cornbread I don't know why I can't get the hang of it. So I have no choice but to resort to cornbread mix and add other stuff to it to make it "fancy".

This is one of my favorites and always get compliments. Recently I found another one that I love, Krusteaz Natural Honey Cornbread . I make the Bacon & Cheddar Muffins on the back of the box. My, My!

Both of these I made for our church luncheon tomorrow. Maybe I can slide by one more time without everyone knowing I can't make cornbread.

Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomato Corn Muffins
16 muffins- standard size
print recipe

2 (8 1/2-ounce packages corn muffin mix (I use Jiffy)
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2/3 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes (from an 8-ounce jar
2/3 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup sour cream
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 2 muffin tins.

In a large bowl combine the muffin mix, corn, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir to combine. In a small bowl whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and eggs until well blended. Add the buttermilk mixture to the muffin mix. Stir to combine. Spoon mix into the muffin tins, filling up the cups about 3/4 full, I use a scant 1/3 cup measure. Bake until golden brown on top about 15-20 minutes.

Comment: I just notice something. The corn I froze last summer, the tomatoes I sun-dried, the buttermilk I made and well as the sour cream. Good heavens all I need is a garlic plant and 2 chickens and I'll be all set.

Chunky Apple Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

This is my "go to" cake when I'm in a hurry or running behind, like today. I'm suppose to bring a dessert for our Appreciation Lunch on Sunday at church. Whip one of these up and you'll have dessert for the weekend. Everyone loves it.

This cake is so moist! I think its fantastic apple flavor is due to the apples being in larger chunks rather than finely chopped.

Chunky Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
12-15 servings
print recipe

1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe following
Chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)

Stir together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl until blended. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to butter mixture, stirring until blended. Stir in apple slices and 1 cup walnuts. Spread into a greased 13x9-inch pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Spread with Cream Cheese Frosting; sprinkle with walnuts, if desired. Store in refrigerator.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 1 2/3 cups.

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar and salt, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Feel Good Friday - It's Almost Thanksgiving

How could you not feel good when Thanksgiving is just around the corner. All that wonderful food and all those fabulous leftovers. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, except for my birthday of course.

I really don't like going to someones house for Thanksgiving. You have no leftovers. Even if they send some home with you it's never enough. I want the turkey bones and everything. Save your turkey bones, plus your neighbors, on both sides. I'm going to give you a recipe for Turkey Bone Gumbo after Thanksgiving.

I will post my menu with recipes as time gets closer because I do change my mind a lot. And I love getting a new recipe for the holidays. For example this year I'm making Sweet Potato Pie instead of Pumpkin. It's not a new idea, it's just new for me to change.

This week I attended a fresh wreath making class. I'm not at all crafty so I think they were glad when I finished my wreath and got the hell out of there. I'm sure I heard lots of sighs. Some people have no sense of humor. It really is beautiful, especially since it only cost $5.00. That's without the bow and stuff.

It was 75 degrees at my house yesterday and I actually washed a few windows, yes, me, clean. I got a late start so I didn't have to do many.

That's all the Feel Good from my house this week, for more visit The Girl Next Door Grows Up.

Sweet Potato Stuff

It's all in the prep work! That's how we get through the big holiday dinners. Anything that can be made a day or two ahead or a month will save your sanity on the BIG day.

Another death-defying recipe from Jill Conner Browne's God Save the Sweet Potato Queens. I can not emphasize enough the importance of reading these books. Life changing!

"Boil up a big pot of sweet potatoes; you want to end up with 3 cups worth of mashed sweet potatoes, so about 4 big sweet potatoes. Boil them with the skin on and they will peel so easy when they are done.( I bake mine for about 45 minutes or until done.) So boil'em and peel'em, then dump them in a big bowl and put in at least 1 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of milk, an 1 stick of butter, and a running over the edge teaspoon of vanilla. You also need just a dash of salt in there or it will taste flat. If you think it needs more sugar put it in? After you get done tasting and testing, beat in two eggs, don't taste after you put the eggs in. Put the 'tater stuff in a greased casserole. (Once again, you can make a vat of this and freeze it).

The topping is the kicker. You want a cup of dark brown sugar, 1/3 cup of butter, 1/3 cup of flour, and a cup of pecan pieces. Stir it up together and spread it over the top of the 'taters...After you put the topping on, you bake it at 350 degrees F for about half and hour. I'm thinking of putting this in a pie crust, since it's better than any sweet potato pie I've ever had."

COOK' NOTE: A 1/2 cup or so of flaked coconut can be added to the topping to really put it over the edge.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Just Soup

That's what my sister and I have called this soup for more than 25 years. I have no idea how this came to be. If I had to guess I would say it was a cold Saturday afternoon and we were in the kitchen with a good bottle of wine and decided to make soup with what we had. We both have been making this on a regular basis ever since.

I can't believe it's the middle of November and it's 70 degrees and I'm still getting enough fresh vegetables from the garden to make this soup. Enough of my green tomatoes ripened so I didn't have to use any of my canned. Fresh cabbage and kale are still available also. Amazing! I'm not complaining.

Everything about this recipe is healthy except the bottle of wine we drank while we made it. Cheap, healthy, delicious and filling!

Just Soup
6-8 big servings
print recipe

2 cups dried Great Northern Bean that have been soaked over night or brought to a boil in water to cover and left to soak for 1 hour. Drain

Saute in 1/3 cup olive oil (do this in the same large soup kettle you will be using to make the soup):

6 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 large can of diced tomatoes
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
1 pound fresh kale, rough chopped
2 or 3 medium cubed potatoes, I also use a turnip or two if I have them.

Add your drained beans back to the pot.

Season with:
Thyme (do not omit)
Crushed red pepper flakes
Big pinch of sugar

Add water, chicken or vegetable broth to cover, let simmer about 2 hours until the beans are tender.

If you feel like pasta add a cup or so of cooked elbow or your favorite pasta.

This is really good with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Way Too Easy Casserole

There is absolutely no way to mess this casserole up, except by adding twice the cheese. In this case more is not better. Too much melted cheese may act as an insulator, just like the insulation in your attic to keep the hot air out of your Florida home. I wish. The cheese when it melts, will spread out like insulation on top of the potatoes and keep the heat of the oven away from your casserole. Got it!

We are only talking about 4 ingredients here and the rest is my rambling on about nothing.

Way Too Easy Casserole
4-6 adult servings unless one is my nephew and he can eat half
print recipe

1 and 1/2 pounds lean ground meat (you can use hamburger, pork, chicken, turkey, lean sausage, or venison - any ground meat will do--or you can use any leftover meat cut up in bite-size pieces. I used leftover meatloaf once. OMG!)

2 cans (12-ounces) condensed cream of almost anything soup or a combination (I usually use cream of celery, mushroom, cream of chicken, or cream of onion - I'm not sure about cream of asparagus, but that might be good)

1-pound packaged frozen or refrigerated potatoes of some kind.(Tater Tots, potatoes O'Brien, hash brown, or shredded. You get the idea)

1 cup shredded cheese (Do Not Double) (I use cheddar, Pepper Jack, Monterrey Jack, or mix a few.

Suggestion: You can put in a thin layer of chopped onion, or a thin layer of vegetables cut in small pieces. Just don't add too many things or the potatoes and cheese on top with burn before the inside gets done.

Put the ground meat in the bottom of the pan, spreading it out as evenly as possible. Press down with your impeccably clean hands, or use the back of a spatula. Make sure you use lean meat because the fat does not drain out.

Spoon 2 cans of cream-of-whatever soup on top of the meat. Using a spatula, spread the soup over the meat evenly.

Put the frozen/refrigerated potatoes on top of the soup in a single-layer. Spread them evenly.

Sprinkle on the cheese of choice to top the potatoes.

DO NOT COVER the casserole with anything. Just throw it in the preheated 400 degree oven and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the potatoes on top are browned and crispy. Using a glass pan may make it bake a little faster.

No additional seasoning is suggested. However you might like to sprinkle a little Worcestershire sauce.

A green salad and rolls and you are done in less time than it took to read this mess.

Get creative and use up those leftovers.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wild Rice and Mushrooms

There are a zillion Wild Rice and Mushroom recipes out there, but this one is really special. It's the butter people, look how much wonderful butter is in this great dish. The mushroom selection is up to you. I have used everything up to and including dried.

Wild Rice and Mushrooms
6 to 8 servings
print recipe

3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup wild rice
1/2 pound mushrooms, your choice
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1/3 cup butter, melted

Bring water and salt to boiling in a deep saucepan. Wash wild rice in a colander or sieve. Add rice gradually to water so that boiling will not stop. Boil rapidly, covered, 30 to 40 minute, or until a kernel of rice is entirely tender when pressed between fingers. Drain rice in a colander or sieve. To keep rice warm, place colander over hot water and cover with a folded towel.

Wipe mushrooms with a clean, damp cloth and cut off tips of stems. Slice lengthwise through stems and caps. Heat 1/4 cup butter in a skillet. Add the mushrooms and onion. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are lightly browned.

Remove from heat. Combine mushrooms, onion, and wild rice with the melted butter. Toss gently until mushrooms and butter are evenly distributed throughout rice. Turn hot mixture into a warm serving dish.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

I am not getting into any more trouble with the "Trademark" infringement people, so right up front this is a recipe from LIBBY'S PUMPKIN. I haven't shared that story with you as yet, but I will.

You know these big companies spent a lot of money making sure they give us good and sometimes great recipes to get us to buy their products. We need to take advantage of this. I made this today while I was having my half-day jammie day. It's cold and rainy and I'm not expecting anyone to stop by, so I'm in my jammies cooking. Remember we need things in the freezer for the holidays.

This really is wonderful, and so moist.

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
2- 9x5-inch loafs
print recipe

3 cups all-purpose flour
5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups granulated sugar
1 (15-ounce) can Libby's Pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.

2. Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine, sugar, pumpkin, eggs, vegetable oil and orange juice in large mixer bowl; beaat until just blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Fold in cranberries. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pans.

3. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Cook's Note: I added the zest of one orange and about 1 cup of chopped walnuts. Not necessary but tasty.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cake Mix Cookies

Y'all know that I don't as a rule use cake mixes for cakes, but I have on lots of occasions used them for cookies if I'm in a hurry. This is a recipe I have used for years and very likely came from on of the "big name" companies, and even more likely Duncan Hines because that is the only cake mix I buy.

Check the box for spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc, and give it a pinch or two extra. I think mixes are little bland sometimes.

You can make your cookies chewy or crisp depending on the cooking time; 7 minutes for chewy; 10 minutes for crisp and brown.

Something else I find very helpful is to chill your dough well before baking.

You'll be thanking me for this one when you get behind on your Christmas cookie baking!

Did I mention I'm linking this recipe to Tuesdays at the Table. Check it out

Cake Mix Cookies
about 2 dozen
print recipe

1 box of your favorite cake mix
1/2-1 cup, nuts, dried fruit or a combination
1 jumbo egg
1 stick of butter, softened

1. Empty cake mix into a large mixing bowl.
2. Put in jumbo egg.
3. Add softened butter.
4. Mix until dough ball forms.
5. Place dough by tablespoons on greased cookie sheet (I use parchment paper)
6 Bake at 350 degrees F for 7-10 minutes, 7 for chewy, 10 for crisp and brown.
7. May add chocolate chips, nuts or dried fruit.
8. Chill dough if you like for a more uniform cookie.

Good Conduct - Saint and Scriptures Sunday

Of course fortune has its part in human affairs, but conduct is really much more important.

Behaving the way we honestly and sincerely believe God wants us to behave eliminates our confusion. When we contribute in a loving manner to the circumstances involving us, we carry God's message; and that's all that's expected of us in this life.

Life has involved us in the affairs of many other people. We are needed to listen, to guide and to suggest. Each time we have an opportunity to make an impact on another person, it's to our benefit, and theirs too, to let God direct our conduct.

Too often God's message is missed due to our selfish concerns, but it's never too late to begin listening for it. God is forever at hand, awaiting our recognition. We can be mindful that the ease of our lives is directly proportional to the recognition we offer.

Right conduct is never a mystery to us. We may not always choose to do it, but we never fail to know what should be done.

I will trust my conscience to be my guide every moment.

Please visit Dianna at The Kennedy Adventures for more Saint and Scriptures Sunday. Have a wonderful week.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Doves and Noodles

Do you have a bird hunter in your house or in my case a friend that hunts doves. My friend Tommy, is probably one of the laziest people I have every known when it comes to any type of physical exercise. He is an avid golfer only if carts are available. He also uses his cart for dove hunting. Lazy! However he does pay someone to clean the doves and he brings them to me ready to cook. What a guy!

Other than a simple pan roasting this is one of my favorite recipes for dove. This is straight from Joy of Cooking.

Doves and Noodles
6 servings
print recipe

For this recipe the doves can be skinned and cut into serving pieces. Rinse and pat dry, and place in a large pot:
12 whole doves, whole or cut up
Add water to cover, bring to a boil, and simmer until the doves are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, discard skin, if any, and season with:
Salt and Pepper to taste
Let cool. When cool, take the meat off the bones and reserve. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt in a medium saucepan over medium heat
2 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Cook, stirring, until soft. Remove from the heat, and mix in:
1 cup sour cream
One 10 3/4-ounce can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Combine the sauce in a 13x9x2-inch baking dish with:
4 cups cooked egg noodles (8-ounces dried)Mix in the dove meat. Cover with foil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until bubbling. Sprinkle with"
Chopped parsley and/or mint

Friday, November 5, 2010

Light Fruit Cake

I really don't want to hear how much you hate fruit cake. You have probably never had a really good fruit cake if that is the way you feel. This is one of my favorite recipes and it's an old Fanny Farmer.

This should have been made back in the middle of October, but I was still canning and freezing then. This will not be ready for Thanksgiving but if you make it now it will be ready for Christmas. Sorry I forgot. If you don't get it made I'll give you two other alternative before Christmas.

This is exceptionally good. Any combination of candied fruit and nuts will do, but the stuffed dates, which you will want to prepare before you start, are really good. Simply fill each date with a piece of nut and roll it in sugar. You will need about 1 pound of dates and a dozen or so extra nuts for this.

Light Fruit Cake
2- 9 x 5-inch loaves
Print recipe

1/2 pound butter
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
7 eggs, separated
2 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
2 cups seedless white raisins
2 cups pecans in large pieces
1 cup candied cherries
1 cup candied pineapple in large pieces
2 cups dates, stuffed with nuts and rolled in sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and lightly flour two 9x5-inch loaf pans. Cream the butter and slowly add the sugar, beating until light. Add the vanilla and the egg yolks and beat well. Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder, and stir them and 1/2 cup of milk and beat well. Stir in the raisins and the pecans. Beat the egg whites separately until they are stiff but not dry. Gently stir a third of the whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining whites carefully. Spoon a layer of batter into each loaf pan. Arrange several rolls of candied cherries and pineapple and dates on top of the batter, then cover with the remaining batter, filling each pan one-half to two-thirds full. Bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes before turning out onto racks. When completely cool, wrap well and store in a airtight container up to two months.

In my opinion you have to soak the fruit cake in brandy, rum or my personal favorite bourbon. This also helps to preserve it. Soak two large pieces of cheesecloth in, liquor of choice. Wrap each fruit cake in the cheesecloth, covering all sides, then wrap well in foil. Moisten the cheesecloth with additional liquor every few days for about a week to ten days.

Feel Good Friday - Some People Do Believe Me!

When I posted My True Ghost Story on Halloween, I was very reluctant. Years ago when I would tell people the stories their usual reaction was the "eye rolling", so finally I stopped talking about it. The day before Halloween a friend, Burton Stapp, reminded me of the stories and suggested I write about them. Burton knew the stories were true because he had lived in the house before me, and I'm sure he has his own stories.

Anyway it was nice to get several comments that indicated people did believe me. We never know what's real or not until you have experienced something.

I'm really at a loss this week with nothing to can or freeze except a cake or two for the holidays. But I have to get started on cookie dough soon.

Yes, I'm even going to start my cookbook this winter. Just what the world needs,one more cookbook!

More Feel Good Friday can be found at The Girl Next Door Grows Up. Check it out!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Edie's Rum Cake

Okay guys, as much as we hate to think about it, the holidays are upon us. We need to be thinking about stuff we can make ahead and take a little of the last minute pressure off.

This recipe from my friend Edie is best after it has been frozen and then thawed to bring out all that wonderful rum and pecan flavor.

Don't even think about the fact that it uses a cake mix. No one will ever know. Edie does not normally use mixes either but she says this is soooo good! Plus it is so moist. Plus I made one yesterday and it is now in my freezer. I hope no one in my family reads the blog today.

Edie's Rum Cake
12 servings maybe more
print recipe

1 cup chopped pecans
1 box yellow cake mix
1 - 3/4 ounce package instant vanilla pudding
4 egg, room temperature
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup dark, light or golden rum (not spiced)

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup rum

Prepare (grease) 10-12 cup tube pan. Sprinkle nuts in the bottom. In a large bowl combine cake mix, pudding, eggs, water, oil and rum. Mix well. Pour batter into pan. Bake 45 minute to 1 hour at 375 degrees F. Cool 20 minutes. Run a long sharp knife around the edges and invert on cooling rack. Poke numerous holes using a wooden skewer.

Prepare glaze:
Melt butter in sauce pan and stir in water and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook for 5minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in rum. Spoon and brush the glaze over the warm cake, repeating until all the glaze is used.

Cool completely before slicing. This cake freezes well and actually tastes better after it has been frozen and thawed.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Roman Bread - Flatbread

Get ready because my new The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook and I are dangerous. This is the perfect bread for anytime and a must have with all your wonderful fall soups and stews. If you have any leftover freeze it to use in your Thanksgiving stuffing.

The onion is added at the beginning with all the other ingredients, so it gets incorporated right into the dough. You can sprinkle it with grated Asiago cheese in place of the salt or with another dried herb, such as basil, before baking.

Roman Bread - Flatbread
2 pound loaf
print recipe

For the dough:
1 1/2 cups water
4 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon SAF yeast or 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon bread machine yeast

For the topping1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons dried rosemary, crushed
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling

1. Place the dough ingredients in the pan according to the order in the manufacturer's instructions. Program for Dough cycle; press Start.

2. Brush a large rectangular baking sheet with olive oil. When the machine beeps at the end of the cycle, press Stop and unplug the machine. Immediately remove the bread pan and turn the dough out onto the baking sheet. With oiled fingers or a rolling pin, press and flatten the dough into a 1-inch thick oval. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 40 minutes.

3. Twenty minutes before baking, place a baking stone on the lowest rack of a cold oven and prehet it to 425 degrees F. If you are not using a baking stone, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

4. Using a small, sharp knife, slash the top of the cough with a big tic-tac-toe grid, no more than 1/2-inch deep. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the rosemary. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned. When the bread comes out of the oven sprinkle it with the coarse salt. Serve cut into squares the day it is made, warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Green Tomato Soup With Country Ham

The green tomatoes for this season are finished at my house. I saved enough to make two batches of this soup. One batch I roasted all the vegetables as in Scotty's Roasted Tomato and Black Bean Soup and the other I made as explained below. They were both excellent. The recipe below takes about 15 minutes less time. Big Deal!

Serve this flavorful soup with hot baked cornbread/spoonbread and a simple salad.

I'm sharing this this week on What's Cookin on Wednesday. Stop by for more wonderful recipes.

Green Tomato Soup With Country Ham
4-6 servings
print recipe

2 tablespoons butter
4 to 6 ounces country ham or smoked ham, diced
1 small onion diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
8 medium green tomatoes, chopped
2 medium red tomatoes, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and stem removed, minced
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
dash Tabasco sauce, optional
salt and pepper, or House Seasoning, to taste

Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat; add ham, onion, and garlic. Saute, stirring, until onion is tender. Do not brown or overcook the ham. Add chicken or vegetable broth, chopped green and red tomatoes, and minced jalapeno pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Working in batches, pulse in a blender or food processor until almost smooth. Pour back into the saucepan and add celery salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper and Tabasco sauce, as desired.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Seriously Spicy Shrimp Stew

This dish is like gumbo but without the okra. Depending on who I'm serving I will sometimes replace the mixed vegetables with okra, fresh or frozen. When I say "seriously spicy" you should pay attention. You can always reduce the crushed red pepper flakes but it is sooo good just like this.

Seriously Spicy Shrimp Stew
4 servings
print recipe

3 tablespoons butter
1 cup sliced onion
1 cup sliced green bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup water
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cubed, peeled potato
2 cups diced tomato
One 10-ounce package frozen mixed vegetables - any kind you like
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 or 4 cups cooked rice

1. In a 6-quart pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, for 2 or 3 minutes.

2. Stir in the flour until absorbed. Stir in the water, seafood seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper; bring to a boil. Add the potato, tomato, and mixed vegetables. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

3. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are cooked, about 3-5 minutes. Serve over cooked rice.