Monday, March 31, 2008

New York Egg Cream Soda

This is a classic breakfast drink I order when I am at the diner or when I am aching for something chocolaty and it's not that bad for you either...really...and contrary to non-believers, there is NO egg in egg creams sodas...recipe is from the late 1800's so I am sure there are no mistakes in this one rofl......

  • One extra large glass
  • 2 ounces of chocolate syrup - I use Nestles (no fat) - or more
  • 5 ounces milk (skim to whole milk ok)
  • 5 ounces seltzer - freshly open is best
  • 1 fork/whisk to stir

  1. In one large glass, pour milk till halfway up glass.
  2. Add chocolate syrup to make extra chocolaty.
  3. With fork or whisk, stir well till combined.
  4. Open fresh bottle of seltzer.
  5. While stirring 'chocolated' milk with fork or whisk all the while, add seltzer to fill glass to 1/2 inch below rim.
  6. Continue to stir till combined.
  7. Bubbles in seltzer will continue to form (like champagne) after you have
    finished stirring and will appear like the head on a properly poured
  8. Serve it up to one closest to you.
  9. Note: I have use this as a hangover cure in the past when I used to drink- it's like a yoohoo gone soda, and no I will not tell you how often I have hangovers....but I will tell you
    that I usually make this at least 2x a month for the fun of it for a dessert drink when I really need chocolate but do not wish the extra pounds of say a chocolate pound cake - lol.

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Creamy Chocolate Almond Butter Cream Frosting Recipe

Who doesn't love chocolate - This unexpected twist on milk chocolate frosting has almond extract as flavoring adding a delightful "adult-touch" to the frosting - perfect to use as decorating frosting too. Keeps really well and can be used as the "insides of mock truffles" See comments below for the how to on mock truffles....

  • 1 box (1 pound) of confectioners sugar sifted roughly 3-1/2 cups
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature (1 stick) (margarine will make a much softer frosting not great for decorating)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 4-5 tablespoons liquid - milk preferred - but water works great too.
  • 2/3 cups cocoa (I've tried the 3 oz squares of melted unsweetened chocolate
    - but really prefer the dried cocoa to melted chocolate which made a
    mess and screwed up the proportions of liquid measurements)
  • Equipment needed: Mixmaster such as kitchen-aid or hand mixer. Couple of bowls.
    Sieve to sift sugar, One cake readying themselves to be covered with
    delicious-tasting chocolate frosting and peeps to lick the beaters
    (yourself included, of course)

  1. Sift confectioners sugar and sift one more time with the cocoa powder and salt. - Set aside temporarily.
  2. Take butter and place in mixing bowl, whip till lighter in color maybe 2-3 minutes.
  3. Take and add about 1/3 third of powered sugar which now has the sifted cocoa
    powder in it, to the mixing bowl. Start mixer slowly at first to avoid
    sugar cloud coming up from out of the bowl with all that powdered sugar.
  4. Increase speed to incorporate well, stop mixer on occasion to scrape sides down
    with spatula to ensure all butter is incorporated into frosting.
  5. Add additional third of powered sugar along with 2 tablespoons of milk or
    liquid of your choice. Start mixer again to incorporate.
  6. Add last third of powdered sugar, and two tablespoons of remaining milk.
    Start mixer again slowly at first with each addition of powdered sugar,
    scraping bowl as necessary.
  7. If frosting is too stiff for you, you can then add the additional one tablespoon of milk
    at a time (or liquid you chose to use) - be sure to mix well at high
    speed to create the creamy texture this frosting is known for.
  8. Grab that cake and start frosting away!
  9. Want to learn about the mock truffles? See comments below...
  10. Enjoy! - This recipe is part of my holiday jelly roll cake that was a huge success this last Christmas holiday.
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Mock Truffles:

You can make these when you are in a jam and even have some leftover frosting if you made the recipe above.

Get frosting cold by chilling it in the refrigerator, and using a little melon scoop, roll a ball of it with your hands, moving quickly. Then roll balls into sifted confectioner's sugar or straight cocoa powder. Let put back into fridge until ready to serve. These melt in your mouth - and are so decadent.

How to Make Homemade Jerk Seasoning,

There are a variety of jerk seasonings out there as there are great cooks and real chefs who really know how to jerk chicken the right way. Now jerk seasonings are not always made for cooking chicken, in fact Jerk seasonings were developed in Jamaica and were made primarily to cook both goat and pork originally. Click on the link above to learn more about the history of jerk cooking and its origins in cooking processes.

There are both now dry rubs and wells as jerk marinades to use in your cooking. And like Gumbo from the South, each person may have their own version of what makes up their jerk seasoning. But the primary ingredients include
allspice (Jamaican pimento) and Scotch bonnet peppers (among the hottest peppers on the Scoville scale). Other ingredients include cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, thyme, garlic, which are mixed together to form a marinade which is rubbed onto pork, chicken, or fish.

This is just one version of the dry seasoning mix- I am sharing it here since it's used in several of my recipes, and wouldn't want to leave anyone out in the cold. Use it as a rub, or use it combined with your other spices for great outrageous marinades! Enjoy!...


  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon dried garlic or garlic powder (not salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon or less of chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of dried chives

  1. Mix all these ingredients in a bowl, stir till well combined.
  2. Place in empty spice jar - and your ready! Get going and go jerk!

For a Jerk Marinade here's another recipe:
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 lg yellow onions coarsely chopped
  • 4 scallions coarsely chopped
  • 3 habanero peppers or jalapeno peppers stemmed
  • 3 tbsp fresh gingerroot peeled & grated
  • 6 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg freshly ground
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  1. Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
  2. May be refrigerated, covered, for 1 day. Makes about 3 cups.
The above recipe for the mariade I found at

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Quick Shrimp Hoisin or Shrimp with Cashews

Easy and quick and oh so tasty, I had to share this concoction I made last night. The colors are bright, the food healthy - serve it up with cilantro basmati rice as shown in photo. You could easily grill or sautee shrimp as well which I had originally intended to, but ended up stir frying them - the shrimp were extra juicy and bursted with amazing flavors when bitten into - now that's what I am talking about!...

  • 5 jumbo shrimp per person - with shells still on, yet de-veined and cleaned. - Available this way as frozen in bags and per pound in your fish section as the store. (I went with the frozen and pick your own - they are already cleaned, deveined and can easily be thawed quickly in cold water which is what I did) - these shrimp satisfy super-picky people with their freshness - as they are cleaned and frozen basically right on the boat.
  • 1 large red sweet bell pepper
  • 1 large onion, cut up into large slices
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced cilantro
  • 2 scallions chopped
  • 1 cup or more of snap peas
  • 1/2 cup cashews (optional)
  • red chili flakes (optional)
  • ***For marinade:
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce (available in the Asian section of your grocery store - I prefer Kikomen' Hoisin Sauce) - really makes the dish!
  • 1-2 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon or more of sesame oil - really makes the dish!
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ******
  • ***Cooked rice ready to serve since this dish cooks up quite quickly.

  1. Take shrimp and quick thaw if frozen in cold water, rinsing water every so often. Once thawed, drain well and pat dry shrimp well with paper towels.
  2. In bowl, place juice and zest of one lemon, hoisin sauce, olive oil, good amount of salt and fresh cracked pepper, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Stir ingredients in bowl till incorporated.
  3. Place now dried shrimp into bowl to marinade for at least 10 minutes and up to 2 hours for extra full flavor - stir on occasion to ensure all shrimp are covered with marinade.
  4. ***At this point, you can take shrimp outside to grill or with a little oil and butter in pan and sautee in your skillet, but the following directions is for stir frying with the remaining ingredients.
  5. Get your wok super hot.
  6. While wok is getting hot, cut up your red pepper, rinse your snap peas and cut up your onion.
  7. Carefully add your wok oil or vegetable oil - 2 tablespoons and slowly tilt your wok so that oil bastes the bottom of your wok. I used stir fry oil flavored with garlic and ginger and added a little sesame oil to the mix.
  8. Carefully add onions and peppers to your wok, since some splattering may occur due to the hot oil. Stir frequently.
  9. Add some salt and pepper and if you would like, some red chili flakes.
  10. Once onions and peppers cook for three minutes, add shrimp.
  11. Since shrimp are jumbo, get them to be at the bottom, while pushing onion and peppers aside. Turn shrimp over when one side of shrimp is pink.
  12. Add scallions, garlic and snap peas to wok. Continue cooking till shrimp are cooked (hey take one out and taste-test it like I did and you'll know you are ready!)
  13. You may want to add 1 teaspoon sugar, additional soy sauce, hoisin sauce or sesame sauce which I did with fantastic results.
  14. Add fresh cilantro and optional cashews just before serving.
  15. Serve immediately with your rice or other chosen side.
  16. I served mine up with my 'basmati oh so nice rice' with extra minced cilantro and minced scallions added at the last moment and stirred into rice just before serving. But this would also go very well over pasta or Chinese noodles. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Warm Bacon Salad Dressing-Vinaigrette

Who doesn't love bacon? Ok there are a few of you out there, but for so many of us, it's a delectable tidbit we indulge in every so often.

This easy to make and oh so delicious warm bacon salad dressing I perfected after craving and recreating it from a local fave restaurant. This one does not call for cornstarch as I have seen elsewhere - I have made this one for years...It's a simple twist on my Balsamic Salad Dressing - this one obviously goes great over spinach salad...but any fresh looking salad greens will do.

Remember to allow the dressing to cool slightly, so that you don't unintentionally wilt your salad greens.


  • 1 pound bacon - thick sliced is best

  • 1 small onion-diced or minced/or three shallots minced

  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 1 tablespoon grainy dijon mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 1 cup olive oil

  • 1/3-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

  • Juice of one lemon (2-3 tablespoons)

  • 3 cloves garlic - minced

  • 3 tablespoons honey

  • 5 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • ****Equipment Needed:

  • Skillet, bowls, whisk, slotted spoon, One naked salad needing awesomely homemade warm bacon salad dressing


  1. The first trick when making this salad dressing dish, is not to overcook your bacon nor cook it too fast.

  2. Slice up bacon into 3/4" inch pieces

  3. In skillet, and add one tablespoon of olive oil into cold skillet.

  4. Place cold bacon in cold skillet.

  5. Turn on heat to medium - and let bacon slowly crisp on.

  6. If bacon fat, while cooking, is spattering onto your stove top, you are cooking the bacon too fast. Cooking bacon on medium and not high heat is best.

  7. Stir on occasion to turn bacon pieces over so they can brown evenly.

  8. While bacon is cooking, dice up onions and mince garlic.

  9. In separate bowl, add minced garlic, mayonnaise, mustard, honey and salt and pepper. Measure vinegars and add to bowl.

  10. With whisk, stir to incorporate well.

  11. Slowly with stirring with whisk, add olive oil very slowly stirring all the while to make an emulsion. Using a blender might make this step easier for some.

  12. Once bacon is crisp and cooked, using a slotted spoon, remove bacon and set aside allowing it to drain over some paper towels placed on top of a bowl.

  13. Remove most of bacon fat, reserving roughly three tablespoons of bacon in skillet.

  14. Wipe sides of skillet of any dripped bacon fat before returning to stove.

  15. Keeping heat on a medium to medium-low, add onions and let become translucent - maybe five minutes time.

  16. Turn heat off. Slowly add vinegar and oil mixture, the skillet will still be hot and mixture may bubble on you.

  17. Turn heat back on and let simmer (not boil) for three minutes.

  18. Let hot dressing cool 5-10 minutes before adding to salads, in case you do not wish to "cook" or wilt your salad greens - it will still be warm.

  19. Right before using salad dressing, add your bacon back to the salad dressing. And voila, add over your favorite salad.


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Leahs Oh So Famous Sexy Homemade Salsa

I actually would like not to share this recipe of mine. Really I wouldn't - but it is such a hit when ever I serve it up and when I bring it to parties, I finally decided I should share.

This easy to make and incredibly super-crowd pleasing Super Fresh Salsa is sure to be a huge hit. What's greater, it lasts (if not already eaten up) up to two weeks in fridge and can be put over chicken, pasta, into chili, over as nachos. You will find this salsa recipe quite versa

It's such a must for every party I have my guests would be terribly disappointed they have come to love this salsa that much!

Now, a word to the wise, the time it takes me to cut up everything can be daunting for some (it can take me an hour), but if you were to do this in a food processor, you would sadly be disappointed - the idea is for each ingredient to be finely chopped so that when you scoop it up with your chosen tortilla chip, you can see the actual ingredients, and not a mushed mess of glop!

This is a fresh bright tasting salsa, you will never want to eat it from a jar again. No offense to jar-lovers, but it is really that good!

  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 large can of petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1 large onion - Spanish, though Bermuda makes it look extra pretty
  • 3 scallions
  • 2 large sweet green peppers
  • 2 large sweet red peppers
  • 1 yellow or orange sweet pepper if it can be in your budget
  • 3-6 jalapeños
  • 1/2 of one seedless cucumber
  • 5 good sized fresh garlic gloves
  • 4 tablespoons spoons freshly diced cilantro (3 tbsp if dried)
  • Zest and juice of 4 limes (the fresh zest is a secret ingredient)
  • 3/4 cup of apple cider vinegar (the other secret ingredient)
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • A couple of shots/shakes of hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of dried crushed red pepper

  1. This amazing crowd-pleasing party dish does take up a lot of time in dicing and cutting up the ingredients but it is so well worth the oohs and ahs you will receive and this salsa can be made the day before your party. I wouldn't do it any further in advance since you want the colors to be bright as possible. Also I wouldn't attempt to do this in a food processor, the final results will be mush, you want the dish to look pretty, and be able to notice all the different colors, not a huge pulped mess.
  2. Once completed, put in bowl or container tightly covered until ready to use. It's great to impress if you bring it to a party, it's a sure fire hit.
  3. All ingredients are to be fresh, rinsed and diced up small as you can muster and hopefully nothing larger than 1/2" big. I try to get them about 1/4" and smaller. So a sharp knife is essential. Remember - these are to be easily scooped onto crackers, pita chips, etc.
  4. Starting with sweet peppers, rinse, remove seeds and dice, place in large bowl.
  5. Remove skin of cucumber, use half if a long cucumber, and slice and dice as you did the peppers, place into bowl.
  6. Finely mince garlic, place into bowl.
  7. Add canned tomatoes to bowl.
  8. Slice and dice up Onion and scallions and add to bowl.
  9. Add hot sauce and crushed red pepper
  10. Add apple cider vinegar along with salt, pepper and sugar.
  11. Stir what you have now got in the bowl.
  12. Roll limes on the counter with the palm of your hand to loosen up their juices, then grate all zest off, add to bowl.
  13. Next cut up limes, and squeeze as much juice from limes as you can into bowl.
  14. Rinse Cilantro well, then use a good handful, try to remove as much of stems as possible, then mince up small, place it in bowl then stir. See how pretty it's starting to look and the smell - oh my!
  15. Add one half of a small can of tomato paste stir till well incorporated into salsa.
  16. Taste - hmm getting very close.
  17. Add jalapeños, remove seeds as they add heat, slice and dice as small as possible similarly like you did the garlic. Start with two (2) jalapeño peppers to keep it on the mild side, add more as necessary to gain the heat factor that you would like.
  18. Wash and rinse hands with soap and even using the insides skins of what's left of the limes, to help remove any oils left over from the jalapeños.
  19. Do remember that even with one hour 's time in the refrigerator, the flavors will have come together more, and may be hotter than you first tried it since juices of vegetables have had the chance to settle into being an amazing super salsa.
  20. If you make it too hot, you can adjust by adding more sugar, a little water, and another med. sized can of crushed tomatoes to mellow it out.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bottom Round Roast of Beef - Best Recipes for Pot Roast and Beef Stroganoff

It's near St. Patty's Day and I found a good bottom round roast of beef, which was easier to find than say a good man. Little did I know, about this piece of beef - to me it looked like a good choice at a good buy for one heck of a sized piece of beef. But what to do with this monstrous beef I really did not have a clue. Basically is was the boyfriend who had seized upon this beef - alas his so-called primitive hunting instincts had taken over 'persuading' the cave woman side of me to accept his begging in allowing said beef into my shopping cart.

I learned that some of the best recipes to make with a bottom roast are all of the following due to their long cooking times: beef stew, beef stroganoff, beef pot pie, pulled BBQ beef, and of course pot roast.

So I can blame the boyfriend, but I cannot blame my ignorance when it came to this piece of beef - as it lay in the refrigerator, looking up the details in the many cookbooks that I have (me looking up recipes, not the beef), it seemed the best job for this beef was to become a pot roast (again the beef not me).

It was then, I realized, I had never cooked a pot roast. Had my mother ever made one when I was a kid? I think I can only recall one or two times - and its a murky memory if that! She was more known for her incredible roast beef, that succulent garlicky melted crispy fat juicing roast that smells super all over the house as it taunts you for the few hours it's in the oven.

So if it was going to be a pot roast, I wanted the best recipe for one. During my research, I also learned that this side of beef was also perfect to be cooked like a corned beef - covered in water, till it dies a second time. But that sounded ugly, since I prefer to only do that with corned beef, since amazing hash can come out of that. (Mind you, there is a corned beef with my name all over it sitting in the fridge as we read this - and it teases me over the bottom roast as to what I should cook first) - And as a side, do note that if you should decide to cook this like a corned beef, you can also make amazing 'corned beef' hash out of it - which I have done in the past. Click on link to see my recipe for that if you would like.

So if pot roast it was going to be, then pot roast it will be. But what exactly is pot roast? I had had my share of experiments - one ex mother-on-law had cooked hers so much, that the amount of salt could kill a horse, and her 'gravy' which I would call Italian red sauce was something else. Though this sauce served over her homemade wide noodles could not be exchanged for anything else but a personal dish cooked by Molto Mario himself, but I didn't think that would happen in any time too soon. So I started to look up pot roast recipes. Mind you pot roast recipes are the kind you do on a Sunday, and let it roast (simmer in water with chosen side veggies and herbs) for 3-5 hours or even more -yikes! But on a slow temperature over a long time is what makes this a super tender chunk of beef. This is one of those recipes that a slow cooker comes in super handy - but it is not necessary by all means - but a crock pot, or a deep and large soup pot with lid will easily suffice.

In this posting I share the best pot roast recipe and beef stroganoff recipes I could find and think are worthy should you too be looking at what the heck to do with your bottom roast of beef. I did learn that the bottom roast comes in two types, one has a point on one end and that is called the rump roast and the one I have with is simply a somewhat rounded rectangular slab of beef. Now the bottom round is not the most tender of cuts, hence why it is more affordable. Nor is it marbled, so it is quite lean - but when properly and slowly cooked - or in this case, pot roasted, you will have a tender roast that provides great juices for the perfect pan gravy.

Best Pot Roast Recipe:

  • beef rump roast, about 4 pounds
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons salad oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) beef broth, undiluted
  • 12 small white onions
  • 6 to 8 carrots, peeled & halved lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons flour


  1. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or large heavy kettle over medium heat, brown the rump roast with sliced onions, turning, until browned on all sides using olive oil and a little butter.
  2. Add garlic, thyme, marjoram, bay leaf, black peppercorns and and salt; cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add beef broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer; cover and cook for about 2 1/2 hours. Add onions, carrots, and parsley; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables and meat are tender.
  4. To make gravy: Transfer meat and vegetables from Dutch oven to warm serving platter. Keep warm, covered loosely with foil. Into 2-cup measure, strain liquid remaining in Dutch oven. If necessary, add water to measure 2 cups. Return the hot liquid to Dutch oven.
  5. Combine flour with 1/4 cup of cold water; stir until smooth. Stir flour mixture into liquid in Dutch oven and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer for another 3 minutes. Taste and add salt if desired. Serve with potatoes.

    Serves 8.

And of course, here's one recipe by a fave man of mine: Tyler Florence. Now you know I normally only share my own recipes here, but this one was on one of his 'Ultimate" shows, and I could not resist - pretty much like I couldn't or wouldn't resist if this man came on to me - oh my I digress.

Beef Stroganoff Courtesy of Tyler Florence:


  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 pounds chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cognac
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 (1-pound) package wide egg noodles

  1. Heat the beef stock with the carrot, 3 thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. Pat the beef dry and season it with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over high heat.
  3. Fry the meat in batches so that it is browned on all sides. Lower the heat to medium and return all the meat to the pot.
  4. Add the onions and cook until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Pour in the cognac and cook until the alcohol has burned off, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the beef stock, discarding the carrot, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. Cook, partially covered, over a very low flame for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  6. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and remaining 3 thyme sprigs and cook until the mushrooms are browned and cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.
  7. When the meat is done, remove it from the heat and fold in the mushrooms, sour cream, mustard, and parsley. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  8. Meanwhile, cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling, salted water until tender. Drain the noodles well, toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Serve the stroganoff over the noodles; garnish with more sour cream and chopped parsley.
Now you should have learned something you can do with a rounded beef roast, let alone learned who I may think is cute...have fun with these - and as I always say...stay tuned!

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Stuffed Pork Chops a la Leah with Apples and Raisins

My take on Stuffed Pork Chops - with the added raisins, grapes and apples to the mix create one heck of a tender stuffed chop with a wonderful complex sauce- this is one of those make it and forget about it dishes that you let simmer on the stove top or in the oven..I served it up last night with scalloped sweet & white potatoes along with hearts of lettuce - Enjoy!...

The sauce and stuffing really make this dish something else. It's a slight take off on Chicken Veronique for those in the know. The added fruit really help the sauce become complex while the wine adds a nice touch. You may substitute apple juice for the wine if you wish, but add a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar for the acidity that is needed to help tenderize the cooking pork chops.

Great for parties too, should you not wish to make the stuffed pork chops, you may prepare the stuffing and bake it in a buttered casserole dish in the oven and cook everything else as mentioned below for a great economical party dish people will want the recipe - but don't tell them where you got it, since this will become your new signature dish, it's that impressive in its fancy taste!


  • 1"-1-1/2" thick pork chops - 1 chop per person

  • 1 large crisp apple - granny smith just fine

  • 2 stalks celery chopped 1" thick strips

  • 2 large carrots chopped into 1" thick bites

  • 2 cups water - or chicken broth

  • 1 cup white wine or apple juice

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 4 whole cloves

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons 'better than bullion chicken flavored' if using water like I did.

  • 1/2 cup or more of raisins/currants

  • 1 cup seedless grapes

  • 1 extra large tomato cut into large cubes

  • 4 garlic cloves - chopped

  • 2 tablespoons corn starch

  • salt & pepper

  • toothpicks for sealing stuffed pork chops

  • Olive oil and butter

  • ***for stuffing

  • 1 medium sized bermuda (purple) onions- chopped fine

  • 1 crisp apple such as a granny smith - I used a red delicious - skinned and chopped fine

  • 2 celery stalks - chopped fine

  • 1 cup rustic bread cubes (I used my cilantro herbed bread I made over the weekend)

  • 1 Tablespoon each of olive oil and butter

  • 1 tablespoon herbs de province

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sage

  • 1/2 cup apple juice

  • salt & pepper
Equipment needed:

  • Deep skillet with lid for making stuffing (I used my deep le crueset skillet), for making both stuffing and the pork chops for a one 'pot' method or skillet and dutch oven with lid.


  1. Take pork chops out and its easier when still they're slightly frozen to slice into the sides of your pork chops to create pockets. Set aside to let chops come to room temperature.

  2. With skillet, heat it up with a little olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter.

  3. To melted butter and hot oil, add chopped onions and let sauté for 5 minutes, then add celery and apples, let sauté for another 5 minutes.

  4. Add salt, pepper, ground sage and herbs de province.

  5. Take off heat, and add mixture over cubed bread. Stir till combined, and add enough of the apple juice until bread is wet. Set aside.

  6. Heat up your deep skillet or your dutch oven till quite hot.

  7. Stuff pork chops with stuffing (some will come out - that's ok), then with toothpicks pierce right through to close. I used about 5 toothpicks per large chop.

  8. Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper, then sprinkle a little of the corn starch and with fingers spread to coat chops.

  9. Add a little olive oil and butter to hot skillet, and carefully place chops into skillet. Salt, pepper and cornstarch the other sides of pork chops if you hadn't done that before now they are in the skillet.

  10. Let chops really sear well - take a peek to see if one side is quite browned, when browned, turn over and turn down heat.

  11. To skillet, add chopped carrots and celery. Add more onion of you would like.

  12. Turn off heat for moment, and add wine/apple juice. Turn back heat and let simmer for a few minutes, moving chops if you would like to help de-glaze all those great bits of pieces that may have stuck to the bottom of your skillet.

  13. Now turn back the heat and add your chicken broth or water and 'better than bullion' like I did.

  14. Then add raisins, grapes, tomato, bay leaf, whole cloves, garlic and top with lid. Let come to a good boil, then lower heat on simmer.

  15. Since the tooth picks keep the chops lifted a bit off of the bottom of the skillet/dutch oven, make sure enough liquid is in your skillet so that the pork chops really simmer in the liquid broth sauce.

  16. On occasion, skim some of the liquid and pour your over your chops, flip half way through the cooking time so that both sides are extra tender.

  17. 15 minutes before serving, should you have any extra stuffing, you may either place it into the sauce (which is what I did) or reheat slightly and serve as an additional side.

  18. If you should wish to thicken the sauce, take out the pork chops and keep warm. Turn up heat and let sauce come to a hard boil and let reduce for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup heavy cream to 1 tablespoon cornstarch to create paste then add to boiling liquid and allow to thicken. Put back chops and serve it up! Remember to remove toothpicks before serving.

  19. Enjoy stuffed pork chops a la Leah.

Leah Quinn is a writer specializing on food, health and entertainment and is a multi-media artist living in New York. Stop by her food site to learn many more healthy and interesting recipes at and to find links to her many other sites and blogs.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Authentic Penne a la Vodka with Proscuitto and Peas

This authentic restaurant-styled penne a la vodka dish will truly amaze your friends and family, they will bow down to you.

Impress them easily while serving this up with warm crusty garlic bread and salad for a complete meal.

See below for
additional variations on this dish including using chicken or shrimp and/or additional vegetables.


  • 3/4 pound penne pasta

  • 10 slices of Prosciutto de Parma (American Prosciutto ok to use if budget doesn't allow) !***Ask butcher/deli person, to slice it thicker than normally, say 1/32"-1/16" thick

  • 1 and 1/2-2 cups of freshly grated Parmasean de Reggiano Cheese (please no green can stuff cheese ok?)

  • 2 cups frozen peas

  • 2 cups heavy cream, (light cream and half-n-half ok to use)

  • 1 small can of tomato paste

  • 1 medium onion diced small

  • 2 cloves garlic minced

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • Kosher salt and fresh crack pepper

  • 2 shakes of crushed red pepper

  • 1/2 cup vodka - more if you had a bad day, in a separate glass of course...

  • 1 cup of reserved pasta water
Equipment needed: Deep skillet to make sauce in and large enough to add cooked pasta in later (I use my "Le Creuset" Le Creuset 10-Inch Skillet deep frying pan since I can bring it right to the table"), and pot for pasta to boil in. Also needed is a whisk and pasta strainer.

  1. Put water in pot to boil for pasta. Once at a rolling boil, then add dash of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of salt.

  2. Get out your skillet, start to heat it up on low without any oil in it at first.

  3. While skillet heats up on low, dice up that onion and slice and dice up prosciutto.

  4. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter to skillet and bring heat up to medium-medium high, once butter is bubbling, add diced onions and sauté till almost translucent.

  5. Grate cheese at this point and set aside momentarily.

  6. Add prosciutto, crushed red pepper and freshly cracked black pepper and let it brown slightly - maybe five minutes, at this point throw the pasta in the boiling salted water and set your timer for 10 minutes.

  7. Add garlic to skillet, continue to sauté 2 minutes.

  8. Next turn off heat from under skillet for a moment, carefully add 1/2 cup vodka. Take second sip of your own vodka from your glass and return to paying some attention to what's in the skillet.

  9. Put heat back under skillet to medium-high.

  10. With whisk, scrape bottom of skillet to get all those great extra bits I like to call "flavor enhancers" that have formed from the sugars of the onions and prosciutto.

  11. Keep stirring till vodka is almost 1/2 evaporated (roughly 3 minutes) and add that can of tomato paste you forgot to open before, put heat on medium low, continue stirring.

  12. Take another sip from your glass and stir up that penne pasta so it doesn't stick, ok you are doing a great job so far! Now, back to the skillet.

  13. After 3-4 minutes, add cream, whisk to incorporate cream into what's cooking in your skillet.

  14. Once cream starts to bubble, add 1 cup of grated cheese, and stir some more.

  15. Taste-test penne pasta, it should be "al dente" but at least cooked through (no white inner rings). Drain pasta but try to reserve at least one cup of the pasta water.

  16. Throw peas into sauce along with pasta. Call troops to table.

  17. If sauce is too thick for your liking, you can "stretch it" by adding some of the pasta water or if you are a dangerous one who likes to live on the edge, add a little more cream.

  18. Taste-test sauce, add salt to your liking.
Serve your Penne a la Vodka dish proudly, tell them someone else has to clean up and get ready to be bowed down to...relish in your royal achievements and have someone else fix you up another glass - hey you had a bad day right? Well you are off to having a fantastic night starting with this amazing dish! Enjoy! Use the remaining grated cheese to top off your plated dishes.
I have many other recipes here at my Divaliscious Dinner and blog - come on by

Alterations and Additions to Penne a la Vodka Ideas:
  1. Like shrimp? Add de-veined with tails removed shrimp to skillet after prosciutto has browned prior adding vodka. Same with cut up chicken breast.
  2. Want veggies in? Add frozen or fresh veggies to pasta water five minutes before pasta is finished.
  3. You can also use ham or bacon or a combination instead of the prosciutto.
I have done all variations with excellent results. Let me know if you liked it once you tried it!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Corned Beef Hash - Like it Ought to Be, Not From A Can!

Corned Beef Hash like it should be! Homemade and not from a can. Seriously, when my people try this, they are 1) hooked, 2) in disbelief they ever lived through eating the canned-versions and 3) want the recipe!

You can actually substitute leftover roast beef or ham with amazing re
sults which I have done several times, you almost cannot tell that you didn't use corned beef. Yes, you can make ham hash and roast beef hash - who knew?!?

Photo shown to your right has the corned beef hash with a baked 'fried' egg from the oven on top - oh my Divalisciously divine!

Seriously people, it's truly amazing. I have been known to buy corned beef and cook it just for this dish.
...and once you have had the real thing, you will never order it in a restaurant again, unless maybe you are at NYC's Smith and Wolensky's Grill located in midtown on the east side (49th & Third Avenue) who does put out a decent tasting corned beef has - though theirs is a chopped up more than I personally like.

This is my mother's recipe which I have now inherited. What makes the difference is not mincing up the corned beef so it looks like baby food. You want to see the large chunks of food and real bite sized portions. This goes for the potatoes too. This is fantastic the next day, fried up in a pan with an egg fried on top or placed back into the oven to bake eggs on top for a fancy breakfast.


  • 3 cups left over corned beef - diced into 1-1/2' cubes or larger sizes (or substitute left over baked ham or roast beef

  • 2 or 3 cups boiled potatoes cut into same size as your corned beef - we have used red potatoes normally - but any type of potato will do as long as they have been boiled or at the very least par-boiled.

  • 1 large onion - finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves minced

  • 5 tablespoons ketchup

  • 1 small can of evaporated milk - or 1/2 cup rich milk or cream

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • ***Equipment needed

  • Glass pie pan or shallow oven-proof pan, large bowl, slow oven on 300 degrees, one lazy afternoon.


  1. Grease pie pan or shallow baking dish with butter, including up the sides.

  2. In large bowl, add all ingredients and gently stir till combined.

  3. Place wet mixture into greased shallow roasting pan or the glass pie dish and place onto middle rack in the slow oven.

  4. Stir mixture every 30 or so minutes - gently since as the potatoes cook more, they can become very tender.

  5. At last 20 minutes of cooking, you may wish to push up the heat to 375 - to make your hash extra crispy.

  6. Serve with a large salad for dinner - or throw on eggs on top and bake for 10 minutes in oven for a great looking brunch dish!

  7. Voila - real and awesome corned beef hash!
The total cooking time should be about 2 to 3 hours at 300 degrees. I like to up the heat for the last 20 minutes, to 375 to make it extra crispy. But the slow long cooking time really allows for the moisture to evaporate leaving just the wonderful seasonings.
Check out my many other recipes at Divaliscious Dinner and Jam blog out now!

Classic Corned Beef and Cabbage

It's that time of year again, and surprisingly, I have found a few people who do not know how to make this wonderful and tasty dish. Can you even imagine?!? Some of you may have never tried it, but I assure you, this recipe below is a super classic.

It's super easy, rather carefree cooking and hardly can one make a mistake with this one. Just make sure you save some to make amazing corned beef hash!

Serve this up with homemade horseradish sauce - a slightly spicy and decadent sauce along with mustard and you will find all your troops asking for more!

Ingredients for Making the Best and Classic Corned Beef Cabbage:

  • 5-6 pounds corned beef

  • 4 large onions, outer skin removed, each cut into large wedges

  • 10 carrots, peeled

  • 2 ribs celery, cleaned

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 bunch parsley, cleaned

  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard

  • 1 medium green cabbage

  • 12-14 small new potatoes, scrubbed

  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns


  1. In a large heavy-bottomed stockpot, combine the beef, 2 onions, 2 carrots, the celery, bay leaves, parsley and peppercorns.

  2. Add enough cold water to cover the beef by 3 inches and bring to a boil.

  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover.

  4. Cook for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, turning 2 to 3 times.

  5. Cook until the beef is very tender, almost shredding when speared with a fork.

  6. Remove the meat from the pot and strain the broth into a large bowl. Discard the solids and return the meat and the strained broth to the pot.

  7. Add the mustard, remaining onions, carrots, cabbage and potatoes.

  8. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 50-60 minutes until all the vegetables are tender.

  9. Season the broth with salt and pepper if needed.

  10. Slice the beef into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

  11. Surround the meat with the vegetables, served whole. The broth should be served on the side with a ladle.

  12. Make sure to have deep plates with a lip so lots of broth can be poured over the meat and vegetables, or use shallow bowls.

  13. Serve with a warm loaf of country bread.
To Make Homemade Horseradish Sauce:

  1. 1 c. heavy cream, whipped until thick

  2. 6 to 8 tbsp. prepared horseradish, drained (adjust amount for hotness)

  3. 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise (optional)

  4. Fold horseradish into whipped cream add mayonnaise. Chill until served. This sauce is fantastic to serve up with your corned beef (and even a good roast beef).
Check out my many other recipes here at Divaliscious' Dinner and Jam Blog - and heck even subscribe so that you never miss a fantastic recipe again - and it's free!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Health Benefits of Green Beans and Tricks to Get Your Kids to Eat Their Vegetables

Most people are always trying to eat healthier - I know I am. And this includes adding more vegetables into my daily meals. Some people simply adore green beans. Me, well I have learned to enjoy them more year after year.

After I found this recipe, I did some research and was truly amazed and super surprised to learn how much good these green beans are and what they can do for us, in fact I was only going to share the recipe, but after my research, I knew I had to share the importance and nutrients available to us in the affordable green bean.

My mother used to sauté slivered almonds in butter then sprinkle them over the green beans for me to be enticed to eat my veggies when I was a kid. Well this mother's trick actually worked, and I would eat up my green beans; she also did this little trick with the almonds over steamed broccoli - though despite all her efforts, the same trick just wouldn't work for me on Brussels Sprouts which I still have issues with - to me they are baby cabbages - and you would think a gal my age would have gotten over this issue, but I digress.

For years, I would make my green beans with the sauteed almonds for years until recently when I had them with sauteed mushrooms and onions. I was converted!

Now as a kid, eating vegetables was not my main priority and I am sure it is not your child's main gig either. And I do not blame them to bat. We eat with our eyes, as do your kids, a big point to remember. So to assist in getting them to see eating vegetables as simply as part of their meal and not some trick for them to have to eat so they can have their dessert, you need to be a little creative.

Getting you kids to eat the greens might take being a little creative but it is easier than you think.

1. First and super important to note, kids will generally eat the food they helped prepared. Why is that? They are curious to see their creations come to fruition. Just like a piece of art clay they may have made in class, should their school still be fortunate to have art classes.

2. Have the kids help you in picking the best looking green beans at the store.

3. Get the kids to use their kid-friendly scissors to cut off the ends of the greens and rinse them under water.

4. Using a kid-friendly knife - even a plastic knife, have them slice up the mushrooms for the recipe I share below.

5. Try growing green beans this spring, they are fast growing, kids can easily plant the large seeds in a circle with several tall bamboo rods sticking up out of the ground and tied towards each other like a 'tee pee' shape. With normal conditions, you should see sprouts starting in as little as 5 days. Kids love to eat what they grow. Easy to pick, the green beans will grow up the bamboo 'stalks' you planted - a good time to share the jack and the bean stalk story, huh?!?

Trying several of these techniques will surely get your kid a little more interested in trying out their vegetables. So now that you have learned a few tricks of the trade, let me share with you just how great these green beans are for you.

Health Benefits of Green Beans: Did you know that one serving of fresh green beans provides a whopping 25% of your vitamin K needs and is super important for maintaining strong bones? Vitamin K1 activates osteocalcin, the major non-collagen protein in bone. Osteocalcin anchors calcium molecules inside of the bone. Therefore, without enough vitamin K1, osteocalcin levels are inadequate, and bone mineralization is impaired. So if you are worried about Osteoporosis and Alzheimer's disease, green beans are a great natural helper in prevention. Vitamin K is also essential for blood to clot and it is a super green to eat for your heart - it really helps prevent plaque from building up on the walls of your arteries.

Green beans, while quite low in calories (just 43.75 calories in a whole cup), are loaded with enough nutrients to not only power up the Jolly Green Giant, but to put a big smile on his face. Green beans are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K as mentioned and manganese.

Plus green beans are very good source of vitamin A (notably through their concentration of carotenoids including beta-carotene), dietary fiber, potassium, foliate, and iron. And, green beans are a good source of magnesium, thiamine, riboflavin, copper, calcium, phosphorous, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and niacin. So eat 'em up and help yourself and your family to stay healthy!

Selecting the right kind of green bean: Available all year long at your grocery store, select only fresh green beans that are deep green and crunchy - pass up on them if they look dull, bruised and limp. Green beens are in season from summer through early fall when they are at their best and the least expensive.

Maybe you remember when you were a kid of having to pull the 'string' off of them while helping out your parent in preparing the dinner meal, most fresh green beans have now been grown so that this so-called 'string' is so thin you can now eat it, you do not have to pull the string (if you could find it), and in fact have been grown so that you may only have to snip off the ends if you want to before eating them up!

The recipe I share here is a nice twist on serving up green beans which will create a quick and easy side dish that will have people asking for seconds. The baby bella mushrooms help lower cholesterol while the onions are super good for your colon - just in case you wanted to know. One nice and easy thing also important to note in this recipe is that the green beans will keep their color, crispness and most importantly their vegetable nutrients.


* 1 box of baby bella mushrooms

* 1 onion - minced/chopped fine (you may substitute with shallots)

* Green Beans, rinsed and tips removed

* Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.

* Olive oil and butter

* 1 clove garlic minced

* Skillet with lid

* 1 working stove top

* 2-3 tablespoons water

* 1 cup boiling water

* 1 bowl


1. Boil water.

2. Place cleaned green beans into heat-safe bowl.

3. In skillet, place a little of the olive oil and add onions.

4. Let sweat for five minutes and add sliced mushrooms to skillet - and add 1 tablespoon butter to skillet.

5. Pour boiling water over green beans and let blanch for 4 minutes.

6. Strain all water off of green beans.

7. Add strained green beans and minced garlic to skillet and add salt and pepper to taste.

8. Add lid on top of skillet - checking in on it every so often, stirring it up a little bit.

9. Let sauté a few minutes more - and add a fresh little dab of olive oil or butter and serve it up as your fave side dish.

10. Want to go all out? Add a little of toasted almonds to the dish on top.

So enjoy this different twist on making green beans which keeps them super green and crisped yet cooked and extra tasty with the sauteed mushrooms and onions. We all had seconds last night with this super side dish along with my backwards grilled shrimp and basmati rice oh so nice with shredded carrots. Divalisciously Yummy!

Leah Quinn is a writer specializing on food, health and entertainment and is a multi-media artist living in New York. Stop by her food site to learn many more healthy and interesting recipes at and to find links to her many other sites and blogs.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Mediterranean Zahater Spice Blend

This interesting Mediterranean spice blend is often used as a spice to use when dipping bread in good olive oil...I share it here since it's a great addition to have in your cupboard, adding to stews, soups, use as a dry rub and of course you will see it in my I decided to share how to make it if you couldn't find it in the store...


    • Mediterranean Spice blend Zahatar can be used in variety of ways and adds complexity to any dish. Its' taste more earthy more than actually spicy hot in flavors. You will see it used in several of my dishes...The photo I have is one of the actual products you can buy at a Mediterranean store if you have on near by (check online too)

  • 2 teaspoons oregano flakes
  • 2 teaspoons basil, chopped up
  • 2 tablespoons ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon whole thyme
  • 2 teaspoons savory
  • 2 teaspoons ground marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoons whole dry marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon sumac (if available - see Middle Eastern store)
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
  • zest of two lemons, very finely minced
  • *******Equipment Needed:
  • Spice grinder or mortor and pestle - or bowl along with a "flat head" type potato masher
  1. Mix all ingredients into bowl, or grinder or using mortor and pestle, and mix/grind or mash till well incorporated.
  2. Store in tight covered lid, keeps 5 months.
  3. To use for dipping with olive oil, I see people put a little bowl in front of themselves, spoon a little of this mixture into it, along with drizzling a good olive oil, maybe adding a little more salt to taste, then dipping the Italian or rustic bread, pita or something along those lines into the mixture and popping it into the mouth. I adore it, it's great tasting!

Homemade Authentic Cornmeal Waffles

Here's an amazing from scratch cornmeal waffle recipe that kicks some serious pancake a$$!

Old Fashion recipe with authentic like-grandma's touch - we have always made these for brunch guests. Extra crispy, light and crunchy, spiced with cinnamon and simply delicious - the extra effort of whipping up egg whites really brings a light waffle to the table, you'll want seconds...and so will your guests!

Don't forget to see bottom of directions for Chocolate or Orange Waffle how-to's ...Oh YEAH!...


  • 3/4 cup flour

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 1-1/2 cup corn meal (yellow or white) - I prefer yellow for this recipe.

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves

  • 2 extra large eggs - separated (do separate eggs when they are cold - its easier)

  • 1-1/4 cups whole milk

  • 1/2 cup melted shortening - butter preferred - naturally naughty!

  • 1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • ***Equipment Needed:

  • Hand mixer or mix master for egg whites, big bowl, sieve, waffle iron - people needing their waffles

  1. Separate eggs and place egg whites into mixing bowl, set aside to let come to room temperature.

  2. Place all dry ingredients and spices into sieve, and sift into large bowl.

  3. Mix egg whites till stiff but not dry

  4. Beat egg yolks well, add milk and melted -but cooled down melted butter and stir till combined. (butter may slightly harden up again depending upon coldness of your milk- that's ok)

  5. Place wet mixture into dry ingredients and stir till just combined.
  1. Place 1/3 of stiff egg whites into waffle mix to lighten up batter - mix gently.

  2. Add remaining stiffened egg whites to batter and fold into batter.

  3. Add pure vanilla extract and stir till combined.

  4. Pour into preheated waffle iron and cook for roughly 5 minutes

  5. Serve with crispy bacon or sausage and warmed syrup and maple butter to be extra naughty. (ok I am more naughty than I like to let on when it comes to butter)(and bacon)...

Even Tarzan Loves His Waffles With His Ladies...

  • *****TIPS and TRICKS

  • We have an old waffle iron that produces four square waffles, we usually and carefully baste it with a little butter (dip paper towels into melted butter and rub carefully the buttered paper towels over waffle irons)

  • We also usually 'throw' the first one out...the first waffle will get into all the nook and crannies and will properly and naturally clean the waffle iron and set it up for the next and crispy waffle. (We usually give the birds our first waffle)

  • Left over batter? Make the remaining waffles, once cooked, place waffles up on their ends to cool (so they don't get soggy from any escaping steam) - I normally place them against something so they stand up. Then once completely cooled, place in ziplock bag into the freezer - great anytime in the future, simply toast up like a pop tart -on low and serve up as you would like.

  • Want Blueberries Waffles? Take 1 cup of blueberries and add additional 2 tablespoons sugar to bowl with berries and stir. Add to batter.

  • Want Orange Waffles? Reduce milk by 1/2 cup and substitute good orange juice and 2 teaspoons of orange zest.

  • OK How 'Bout Chocolate Waffles?!? When melting butter, add 2 unsweetened chocolate and melt together) Increase sugar to 6 tablespoons. - I would add a couple shakes of cayenne, yes cayenne if doing chocolate - it super enhances the chocolate.

Check out my many other from scratch, tried and true recipes here and at Homemade Cornmeal Waffles @ Group Recipes

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Pecan Dessert Sauce

Want a great homemade pecan sauce you serve up on ice cream or other dessert of your choice. This is an oldie but excellent tried and true recipe we have used for years in our family. So if you love nut topping this one is for you.

This version to try is for nut lovers everywhere - beware, sauce is highly addictive, you can also substitute walnuts for the pecans in this decadent dessert sauce. Serve warm or store in sealed contain
er in fridge for when you are ready for something extra special....

  • 1 cup light brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1/2 cup pecans

  1. In sauce pan, mix sugar and cornstarch.

  2. Stir in col water and turn on heat.

  3. Cook stirring constantly with whisk over low heat.

  4. Let it come to a boil, and let continue boiling till liquid is clear.

  5. Remove sauce pan from heat, add butter and pecans and chill

  6. Makes 1-1/2 cups of amazing pecan sauce.

  7. Recipe is over 60 years old and works every time!