Showing posts from October, 2010

"Good Cookies"

As children I think we all had our favorite places to go where we were able to let our imaginations run free. One of my favorites was 'The Old Smokey Ranch.' It was a Christian campground/retreat that was practically in my back yard. I just had to go around a small pond and a very small forest to get there. The ranch was old. It had awesome steam powered tractors and water pumps and all types of wonders that took me back to a different place in time. The owners, Herman and Hendrina, were amazing. It was such a great experience to have known them. I not only hung out at their ranch, I spent countless hours in Hendrina's kitchen. In hindsight, the woman had the patience of a saint. I asked question after question about how she did things.

In the modern world where microwaves were just gaining popularity, Hendrina still used a cast iron cook stove heated with wood. It amazed me! It was probably the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Some day I plan to have one just like i…

Chocolate Cream Filled Torte

I will wholeheartedly admit that I am addicted to chocolate. Milk chocolate will do but to really get me going I want the bitterness of darker chocolate.

This recipe is one of those that looks complicated but is so easy and will give the chocolate lover just what they are looking for. The richness of the torte does not require a large piece so it will serve many.

This isn't a dessert you want to take to a picnic because the cream filling does need refrigeration. If not you will find your layers sliding apart and very difficult to slice.

You will need: (I doubled the recipe and used the large pound cake for mine.)

1 frozen pound cake (10 3/4 oz), thawed
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup (1/2 pint) cold whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
Chocolate glaze recipe

Cut cake horizontally to make four layers. Don't worry if the layers aren't even. I used a cake leveler to slice mine but a long bread knife will work also.
Stir together sugar and cocoa in a medium bowl. Add wh…

Fried Chicken

What better comfort food than fried chicken. This is another fried food that I have experimented with over the years and finally found the perfect method. The chicken is flavorful and juicy, even the breast.

You will need:
Whole chicken, cut
corn starch
Frying Mix (recipe here)
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
Gallon ziploc bag
Oil for frying

Fold the top of a zippered bag over and set in a mixing bowl for support.
Pour in the buttermilk.
Add the eggs.
Add 1/4 cup of the frying mix. I also added a couple teaspoons more of black pepper.
Mix everything well. You can seal the bag and squish it or just use a whisk.
Add the pieces of chicken and put in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours.
An hour before dinner mix up 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup frying mix and 1/2 cup corn starch in bowl large enough to dredge biggest piece of chicken. (Again, I added a lot more pepper.) Mix well.
On one side of the flour mixture place your bag of chicken. (For me, it's on the left.) On the other sid…

Mini Blueberry Cheesecake Swirl Pies

This was only an idea I've had for a few days. I searched the internet for some sort of recipe of what I had in mind and couldn't find anything that baked blueberries and cheesecake together. Not to mention in a regular pie crust, most used a graham cracker crust. What follows is my experiment.

First I got the fillings ready.

For the blueberry I just used a pint of blueberry pie filling that I had canned.
For the cream cheese filling:

1 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
With an electric mixer on medium speed, mix until well blended.
Set aside.
Now, if you wanted to you could use a store bought crust. I prefer this all-butter recipe.
2 1/2 cups flour
2 sticks very cold butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup ice water

 Cut butter into small chunks and add to flour.

 With a pastry knife or two butter knives held together, cut the butter into the flour and sugar until it is coarse. You do not want to mix the butter any more than you have …

Hush Puppies

There are so many different stories on the origin of hushpuppies that I really have no idea where the truth begins or ends. Here is one reasonable explanation from Wikipedia: Hushpuppies are a food with strong ties to the American South, although they are available in many areas of America on the menus of deep fried fish restaurants. The name “hushpuppies” is often attributed to hunters, fishermen or other cooks who would fry some basic cornmeal mixture (possibly that they had been bread-coating  or battering their own food with) and feed it to their dogs to “hush the puppies” during cook-outs or fish-fries.

My first experience with these little fried balls of corn was in Southern Illinois at a fish fry. And honestly, I don't like them anymore today than I did then. But Mikey loves them and so do many others. They are rather fun to make and watch puff up and turn golden in the fish oil. By the way, the fish we had tonight was flounder.
I have tried several recipes and with a fe…

Liver and Onions - YUM!

Liver is usually one of those foods that people either love or hate. Growing up we were never forced to eat liver but encouraged to take a bite. I grew up loving liver and onions. Well, the liver part and the flavor of the onions. I don't actually eat the onion although many that love this dish swear the onion is the best part of the meal.

Mikey HATES liver! Not just a little. He can walk into a house a week after liver has been cooked in it and be nauseated by the lingering odor. I could think of all kinds of adjectives to describe his hatred of liver. So why am I making liver and onions while he is home? Because of the Travel Channel. You know all those people that travel the world eating strange exotic foods. One of them talks about how disgusting something looks or smells yet raves about how wonderful it is to eat. That brings us to tonight. Mikey is willing to ignore the smell of the liver cooking so he can taste it. And he will. As I'm writing this preface I do not know…