Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Commercials, Half time Show and Food

Well, this Sunday marks another Superbowl extravaganza- football. The day when advertisers throw their best punches, the celebrities flock to be seen and heard, creative chefs, armchair quarterbacks and their significant others lay out a culinary delight from chips to lobster. Ah, even those who have no interest in football flock to the TV. Females in search of a mate head to the sports bars, a Sunday afternoon with girlfriends and wives occupying the same space with their mates to watch grown men fight for possession of an oblong shaped ball and cross over a goal line.

The best parts of the show are the commercials followed by the half time show. Who could resist a glimpse at the new upcoming or soon to be released fast cars, or a beer even reptiles will drink, what about some sexy babe advertising a dot.com, or the battle of the soft drinks and best chip for dipping? Reminds me of a party I attended a number of years ago and some fool had the nerve to try to take possession of the remote control and turn the channel during every commercial. That didn't last long. He was exiled from remote control by the ladies of the house.

Half time show- no one will ever forget Janet Jackson's boob which changed the way live performances are broadcast forever.

I happen to know the teams playing this year, Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers. I even watched the last playoff games or rather they were on in the background. Had to do some research in order to determine the color of this years Superbowl Decorated Sugar Cookie. If only I had an edible ink printer, I could really go overboard on this. Instead, two weeks before the event, I'm planning my royal icing strategy. I'm in cooking supply stores looking for some unique cookie cutter or decorating idea. I scour the internet to see what the commercial cookie gurus are doing. I resolve to my reliable standbys, a helmet and a homemade cutter out of a tin can flattened in the shape of the oblong football.

We are heading south to some friends for the day. Every year for the past 6 or 7 years a group of friends gets together for this event. I'm never asked to bring cookies and they have never told me not to, so I take it upon myself to offer this as my contribution to the party.

This year's theme is Hawaiian (ok as we live in sunny Southern California). The menu we'll see on Sunday. With MC at the stove, it has got to be great.

(P.S. Ziggy has even been requested to dress in his tropical attire.)

Go Team

Three flavors of dough: lemon, orange and vanilla almond.

(See recipe for No Fail Sugar Cookie and Royal Icing in the index to the right under Sweets.)

Note to self: The edible sparkling dusting powder may have had a better effect if I had dissolved a small amount in vodka and painted it on the icing versus dusting it. May be too girlie girl.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Weekend Dog Blogging #19 - Just a Little Snooze

Don't let the quiet, look fool you. Ziggy is a very energetic, vivacious Yorkie who is always into something. I caught this glimpse of him catching a nap after an outdoor excursion.
His downstairs favorite spot is on the couch overlooking the backyard. There he has a view of whatever happens to land in the yard, be it a bird, squirrel or cat. At this moment, he doesn't seem to care. However, the slightest sound back there will have him up and ready for action.

If looks could talk, I'd say Ziggy's words were "leave me alone, don't you see I'm busy".

Another Weekend Dog Blogging event hosted by Sweetnicks.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Cinnamon Raisin Bread to Bread Pudding Valentine

During the holidays (goodness, that was so long ago, January is almost over), I ate a number of bread puddings, prepared a number of ways, and all very good. I also read a number of posts describing some not so good outcomes and some better outcomes. Anyway, for some reason I did not get my fill of this dessert often made from leftover bread nor did I understand my inner drive to want to create the dessert that continued to haunt me.

While thumbing through Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook, I noted the recipe on page 301, "Cinnamon-Raisin Bread". It wasn't the call of the picture nor recipe that drew me to want to make this. It was the thought that once made, I could use the cinnamon raisin bread for a bread pudding. The recipe can also be found on the Martha Stewart Living website. I really had to want to make this recipe as the process took quite a while, rise after rise. In the end, I had two very nice looking loaves of cinnamon raisin bread.

Martha's Recipe


Prepping the Dough
Rise After Rise
While allowing the baked loaves to cool, I went on to search for a nice custard recipe to use to soak the bread in. I adapted a recipe posted on the Delicious Life in December. I substituted the vanilla extract for almond ectract and added a dash of nutmeg. I also cut the amount of sugar and cinnamon as there was plenty of these in the cinnamon bread also. I didn't want an overly sweet pudding.

3 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar (there is sugar in the cinnamon raisin bread)
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of freshly ground nutmeg
4 cups half and half
1/2 cup Nutella

The custard ingredients are combined and whisked.

I sliced and cubed one of my freshly baked loaves of cinnamon bread placing this in a bow3l and then poured enough of the custard mixture to cover the cubes. This I allowed to soak for about 3 hours. I also warmed 1/2 cup Nutella so that it could be drizzled throughout the soaked bread cubes.

I decided to use my valentine heart bundt pan just because Valentine's day is around the corner. The pudding was cooked in a 350 degree oven for about an hour.

(Note: I used a small valentine heart shaped pan. The recipe was enough to make two of these hearts. Side note- Use of the Nutella was not a good idea. I wouldn't use it this way again. Possibly drizzled over the finished product would be better.)

The finished cinnamon raisin nutella bread pudding baked to a nice crust in the heart pan. I was able to plate it nicely. I purchased this heart pan from Bed, Baths and Beyond with a $5.00 coupon but I also saw it at Williams-Sonoma for a similar price before the coupon.

Overall, I enjoyed the bread pudding. I'll place this adaptation in my keep file.

Soaking Bread Cubes

Heart Shaped Bread Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding with Nutella

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Paper Chef #14 Winners Announced

After a very long and tedious juding process, Belly Timber has announced the winner and honorable mentions of that Quinoa, Cashew, Yog(h)urt and "Baby" something event earlier this month. Check it out and for those who don't remember my entry for which I received one of the honorable mentions - "Fete of Culinary Goodness" (Chopper loves ribs) see my post on "Quinoa, Cashews, Yogurt and Baby Back Ribs".

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

There Must Be 1001 Ways To Use Costco Chicken

Salsified Chicken Vegetable Soup

This past weekend, I bought a Costco Rotisserie Chicken just because for $4.99, it's a fanatastic snack to nibble away at. Yes, a whole tasty chicken for $4.99. I still had about half of it left in the refrigerator today. I wanted some warm soup for dinner so what better than to make a quick chicken vegetable soup. I always have a can of chicken broth, onions, celery, carrots and bell peppers handy. In addition, I also had some store bought salsa.

Now I know you're thinking all I'm gonna do is mix all this, boil it, add some seasoning and she's good to go. Yep, you're right. That simple. I used a half of a medium onion, about 1/4 of a bell pepper, 2 cups of salsa, 1/2 cup sliced carrots, a stalk of celery, a couple of cayenne peppers, cumin, salt, pepper and garlic powder. After shreddng the chicken from the bones, I added it to the vegetables.

Took me 15 minutes to put it together, and another 5-10 minutes to bring to a medium boil. By the time I changed from my work clothes to my at home lounge wear, it was ready. Warm and tasty.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Visit To New Pet Store WDB #18

A new pet store opened in the shopping center near us. Part of their Grand Opening festivities included little doggie scarves, treats, picture buttons of your pet and many other fun things for pet lovers. Here's Ziggy sporting his new scarf.

Weekend Dog Blogging c/o Sweetnicks. Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 20, 2006

Revisiting Food Got To Love It

The recipes in the previous posts are from my Food Got to Love It Blog on MSN Spaces. In my attempt to index the recipes I have cited or adapted over the past year, I found that the indexing system was not very successfull in linking to those posts. I posted them again on this site for indexing sake.

Crust Bakery

Mocha Cookies

Last Year, The L.A. Times Food Section published a recipe from "Some Crust Bakery" located in Claremont. I was called to this recipe not simply because it was a cookie recipe, but for the picture of the large chocolaty crusty cookie that went with the recipe. I wish I had a picture to share with you, however the scan did not do the cookie justice.

They're soft, rich and dark, studded with chunks of chocolate.

Some Crust Bakery Mocha Cookies
Total time: 1 hour
Servings: Makes about 20(3 1/2 -inch) cookies

Note: Some Crust chef Jack Housen uses Guittard unsweetened and bittersweet (70%) cacao chocolate (available at Sur La Table) but you can substitute another top quality chocolate such as Scharffen Berger and Valrhona with the same percentage of cacao.

4 1/2 ounces (99% to 100%) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 eggs
3 tablespoons instant espresso
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2 -inch chunks

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan over low heat, combine the unsweetened chocolate, bittersweet chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until melted. Remove from the heat.

2. Combine the eggs, espresso and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low speed, scraping the bowl as needed, until blended, then on high speed until the mixture becomes lighter in color and thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the melted chocolate mixture (do not cool it beforehand) and beat on medium speed until just mixed with the batter.

3. Add the pastry flour, baking powder and salt and beat at medium-low until just mixed in, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the chocolate chunks.

4. Spoon one-fourth cup batter per cookie onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until set, about 15 minutes. Cool for a few minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

Each cookie: 287 calories; 4 grams protein; 34 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 19 grams fat; 10 grams saturated fat; 54 mg. cholesterol; 51 mg. sodium.

(Original post April 8, 2005 Food Got To Love It)

Osso Buco

(From Post in Food Got To Love It May 18, 2005)

David Shaw wrote in his Matters of Taste column for the L.A. Times a very interesting article on having Osso Buco at three different dinner parties given by different hosts who do not know each other. Is this the new entree du jour? See the link for the complete article. See recipe from this article. Note David found this particular version of the three to be the best because of the Gremolata added at the end

Osso Buco Alla MilaneseTotal time: 35 minutes, plus 2 hours braisingServings: 6
Note: Adapted from "A Treasury of Great Recipes" (1965) by Mary and Vincent Price


1 1/2 teaspoons
grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 anchovy, mashed
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

Combine the lemon rind, parsley, anchovy and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.

Osso buco

1/4 cup flour
6 (3-inch-thick) pieces veal shank or shinbones with marrow
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1 cup chopped seeded tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
1/2 teaspoon rosemary leaves
2 cups white wine

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the flour on a plate and dredge the veal shanks, covering all sides.
2. Melt the butter in a large heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the veal and brown on all sides. Turn the bones on their sides to hold the marrow in.
3. Add the salt, pepper, celery, onion, carrot, mushrooms, tomatoes, sage and rosemary to the pot, surrounding the meat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Add the wine. Replace the lid on the pot and put it in the oven. Cook for 2 hours until the meat is very tender. The liquid will barely cover the bones.
5. Just before serving, stir in the gremolata.

Each serving: 329 calories; 31 grams protein; 12 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 12 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 132 mg. cholesterol; 520 mg. sodium.

Side dish to go with the Osso Buco:

This recipe is from Gourmet 123.

RISOTTO ALLA MILANESE (Makes 4 side dish servings)

3 Cups Chicken stock, simmering
½ tsp Saffron threads (a good pinch)
1/6 oz 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Cup Shallots or white onions, finely diced
1 Cup Arborio Rice Rice 1.1 lb
2 Tbs Butter, cold, cut in small chunks
1 Cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly shredded or grated,
7 oz Salt & Pepper, to taste

1. Place the saffron in a small heatproof bowl and cover with about ½ cup of Salt & Pepper, to tastechicken stock and allow the saffron to ‘bloom’ in the hot liquid.
2. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pot. Keep the temperature at medium and add the diced onions. Cook for about 2 minutes until the onions are beginning to soften. Add the rice and, while stirring constantly with a non-metal spoon, cook for about 2 minutes until the rice begins to turns translucent and is well coated with oil.
3. Add about 1 cup of the hot stock. Be careful because it will steam and bubble rapidly. Cook, stirring constantly, until the stock is absorbed. Continue adding stock, about a half a cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding more. Never allow the rice to cook to a completely dry state.
4. After about 15 minutes, add the saffron-infused stock. The risotto will turn an intense yellow and develop a slightly earthy aroma. Continue cooking, adding any remaining stock, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite. Each variety of rice absorbs moisture differently; the texture you are looking for is similar to creamy, thick oatmeal.
5. Remove the risotto from the heat. Add the butter and about two-thirds of the cheese. Stir gently allowing the butter and cheese to melt and blend throughout. Adjust seasoning, to taste, with salt and pepper. Spoon the risotto into warmed bowls, garnish with the remaining cheese and serve immediately.

Lemon Pound Cake

My basic pound cake recipe originated from the July 2000 issue of Bon Appetit. I added about ¼ cup of lemon zest. The lemon zest was added to the sifted dry ingredients and mixed to distribute. I substituted the tablespoon of vanilla with 2 tsp of lemon extract and 1 tsp vanilla.

Lemon Pound Cake
3 C Flour
2 sticks butter
3 c sugar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ cup lemon zest
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp lemon extract
1 cup buttermilk

Sift flour, baking soda and salt. Distribute lemon zest in sifted dry ingredients- set aside
Cream butter and sugar using paddles on mixer
Add eggs one at a time to buttered sugar mixture
Add vanilla and lemon extract to buttered sugar mixture
Alternate addition of flour mixture and buttermilk to buttered sugar mixture
Bake 55 minutes to 1 hr 20min at 350 degrees. (Test for doneness at 55 min)
Cool on a raised rack.

While cake is cooling, prepare the Lemon Glaze.

Lemon Glaze
2 cups confectioners sugar
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Yellow food dye (optional)

Add lemon juice to confectioner’s sugar to achieve the consistency of glaze you wish. I like a fairly thick flowing glaze, not watery. Add a couple of drops of yellow food coloring (optional). Mix until color is evenly distributed and glaze is smooth. When cake is cooled, place racked cake on a baking sheet. Slowly pour lemon glaze over top of cake allowing it to slowing drip down the sides of the cake and onto the baking sheet. (A lot gets wasted)

Mini doughnuts with Purchased Lemon Curd

As I mentioned, I recently purchased a non-stick mini doughnut tin which I have been dying to try out. Why not use part of the above batter to make little pound cake doughnuts? I could glaze them or better yet, fill the little doughnut holes with lemon curd purchased from Trader Joe’s. This could have been a great idea had I not overcooked the little doughnuts. Also, the concept of a lemon curd filled mini doughnut sounds good, except that in order to keep the curd from flowing out the bottom, the little doughnuts had to be placed on little parchment squares.
I actually prepared two batches to make the mini doughnuts because I didn’t prepare the non-stick pan appropriately. In the first batch, I also overfilled the tin resulting in the batter rising above the hole to create what was a closed bottom. This could be the base of the little doughnuts. Turning them over, the lemon curd could then be added to the hole with no free flow out the bottom. I tried this with a couple of mini doughnuts I could salvage. Not bad. These I hadn’t overbaked but just couldn't get them out of the tin.

(From Food Got To Love It- May 20, 2005 SHF)

Fresh Fruit and Lemon Curd Tartlets

Lemon Curd

Adapted From Williams-Sonoma Desserts, The Best of the Kitchen Library 2005
If you’re into preparing Lemon Curd from scratch:

5 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
Freshly grated zest of 2 lemons
6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a heavy saucepan. Whisk vigorously for 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and zest and whisk one minute more. Place over low heat and cook, stirring constantly until slightly thickened; don’t let it get too hot or you’ll have scrambled eggs. Remove from heat and add the butter. Stir until smooth. Let cool, stirring occasionally. Makes about 1 cup. Refrigerate and let chill completely before using. Will keep about 10 days in refrigerator.
I cheated for this presentation and used Trader Joe’s Prepared Lemon Curd.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

If you’re into preparing a Flaky Tart Pastry Dough:
Tart pastry is firm and crumbly rather than the flaky dough for pies. This is because it is made with butter.

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter chilled
2 tablespoons cold water

The easiest way to do this is in a food processor.

Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the food processor bowl. Cut pieces of the butter into tablespoon sizes and drop into the bowl. Process using rapid on and off pulses until the mixture resembles small particles the size of oatmeal flakes. Add one tablespoon of the cold water and process a few more seconds. Add the remaining water and process with a few more pulses. The dough is ready if it forms into a rough mass it is ready. It should not be wet. You can adjust the consistency by adding a little more water if too dry or a little flour if too wet.
Turn dough onto work surface, gather together and form into a disk. Wrap and chill for about 30 minutes before using.

The pastry dough recipe is enough for a 9-inch tart pan.

I cheated again and used Pillsbury Frozen Pastry Dough. Two crusts per pack and I used one of the packages to fill six of the small tartlet shells. Though this manufacturer prepared crust was not made from butter, the tartlet shell was still quite flaky.

Roll out the dough on a floured work surface until about 1/8 inch thick and transfer into the shells. Press some of the overhang back around the edge of shell. Trim excess. Prick dough with a fork and bake until browned. Cool tartlet crust before filling.

Fresh Fruit Filling

I used frozen blueberries, fresh strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Just about any fresh fruit will do. Some larger fruits may need to be cut into smaller pieces, and citrus segments should be supremed (cut from membrane).

Remove browned pastry dough from shells. Spread about a tablespoon of lemon curd in each shell. Arrange the fresh fruit in any pattern or design desired in shell. Ready to serve. Now some of you are wondering why a sugary glaze was not applied to this tartlet. Well, it didn’t need it. The fruit was in season and sweet.

I actually refrigerated a couple of the tartlets overnight. Though they were not as pretty as fresh prepared and the fruit was a bit more ripened the next day, they were still quite good. Best serving suggestion is to eat them all so you won’t have left overs.

I first prepared these tartlets without an audience to eat them. I knew some of the neighborhood kids would be outside sometime soon, so I waited to see them outside and then presented them with this special treat. This is not unusual, as they are my tasting kitchen. Word from them, they were fantastic, make more.

(From Food Got To Love It- June 17, 2005 SHF)

Eggs Over Easy and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit

Cheddar Cheese Biscuit and Eggs

Two egss cooked sunny side up.

Biscuits Infused with Cheddar Cheese(Adapted from recipe by Alton Brown- FoodTV)

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup buttermilk, chilled
4 ounces cheddar cheese cut into chunks

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (The faster the better, you don't want the fats to melt.) Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. Add cheddar chesse chunks. The dough will be very sticky.

Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Place biscuits on baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting. (Biscuits from the second pass will not be quite as light as those from the first, but hey, that's life.)

Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes.

(From Food Got To Love It EoMEoTe Entry July 1, 2005)

Fish or Crab Cakes

Fish or Crab Cakes
Adapted from Phillips Crabmeat Canned Product Recipe 2002

1 lb crab (or flaky fish) in a mixing bowl. Leave in large lumps
Second bowl- beat:
1 egg
1 tsp worchestershire sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp seafood seasoning
1tsp seafood seasoning
1 tsp parsley flakes
¼ tsp dry mustard
1 heaping tbl mayonaise
1 heaping tsp prepared mustard (I use Dijon)
optional add 2 tbl diced onion and 1 clove diced garlic
Take 2 slices of toasted bread and crumble into small pieces (I use Japanese Panko bread instead of bread crumbs).
Mix bread with fish. Fold in egg-spice mixture with fish. Consistency shoud be moist but stays together.
Make patties- serving size
Use seasoned Flour mixture (add some seafood seasoning, cayenne, salt and pepper) to coat patties.
Coat skillet with Pam type coating or olive oill. Fry on each side til golden brown.
(From Food Got To Love It Post March 30, 2005)

Sweet Potato Pie- Bertha Style

Sweet Potato Pie

3-medium sweet potatoes (about 1-lb)
1/2-cup sugar
1/4- 1/2cup brown sugar
1 -tsp cinnamon
1/4-tsp nutmeg
1/8-tsp salt
1 stick butter (melted)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon extract
3/4 cup- sour cream
1-single crust pastry recipe
Prick potatoes with a fork and bake in a 450* oven for 40-50 minutes, until very tenderCool until easily handled

Meanwhile, prepare pastry- store bought frozen works wellBake crust at 450* for 8 - 10 minutes to set

For filling, scoop out potatoes into large mixing bowlMash with a potato masher (you should have 2-cups)Stir sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt into potatoesAdd eggs and butter
Add vanilla and lemon extractBeat lightly to smooth consistencyGradually mix in sour cream

This is where my mom does the most adlibing. She tastes the batter. If it's not sweet enough add more sugar, a tablespoon or so at a time. If it's not spicy enough, add more cinnamon and nutmeg, a pinch at a time. Basically adjust the batter to your taste.
Pour into shell

(optional note: here you can add a topping of Pecans)

To prevent over browning, cover edge of pie with foilBake for 25 minutes at 350 *Remove foil and bake 25-30 minutes more until knife comes out cleanCool on wire rack for 30 minutesChill 2 hours before serving
(From previous post Food Got To Love It, November 19, 2005)

Hot Chocolate "Nutella Syle"

A quick fix when you crave hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and there's no other chocolate in the house except for "Nutella" and some "Hershey Kisses" plus there is no milk or cream except for the can of whipped cream. What I did next will probably not surprise you. I boiled some water and added it to about a 1/4 cup of Nutella. With a few stirs it melted and I added a topping of the whipped cream. Well, this was heaven. It tasted fantastic and the whippep cream added just the right amount of dairy.

I'm sure a recipe for Nutella hot chocolate is written someplace and if not, you heard it hear first. (From a previous post at Food ot To Love It, December 15, 2005)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Moravian Sugar Cookies

Decorated Moravian Molasses Cookies
1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup molasses
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons minced candied ginger
1/3 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
¼ cup water
3 tablespoons egg white powder
2 ½ cups confectioners sugar
Cookies: Combine butter, molasses. Add sugar, spices, salt, soda and baking powder. Add flour gradually; mix well. Chill dough at least 2 hours.

Roll dough ¼ inch on floured surface. Use cookie cutter to cut in varying shapes. Bake 8-10 minutes on parchment lined baking sheets at 350°.Yield, depends on size of cookie cutter. 2 inch cutter yielded 24 cookies.

Icing: Whisk the water and egg white powder until smooth and foamy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar to make smooth icing. Divide into batches to make desired
Previously posted April 22, 2005 in Food Got To Love It

Chocolate Glazed Doughnuts

3 1/2 cups (1 pound) cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter*
1 cup milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fat for frying, such as canola oil*

Variation: for chocolate donuts, melt 3 ounces of unsweetened chocolate along with the butter and continue as directed.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the eggs until foamy, gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until thick and yellow. Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat and combine with milk and vanilla extract. Stir the milk mixture into the egg mixture until blended.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Chill for 30 minutes to make it easier to roll and cut.

Roll or pat the dough out on a heavily floured surface to about 1/4-inch thick, the dough is somewhat wet. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter, saving the holes. Transfer to a sheet of waxed paper and allow to air dry for 10 minutes. The dough will form a slight crust and absorb less fat when fried.

Heat 3-inches of vegetable oil or shortening to 375 degrees F in an electric fryer or deep saucepan. Fry doughnuts until golden, about 5 minutes each side. To keep the oil temperature constant, fry 3 at a time. Fry the holes separately and drain on paper towels.

Chocolate Glaze:1/3 cup unsalted butter4 ounces bittersweet chocolate2 cups confectioners’ sugar1/4 cup warm water

For the chocolate glaze: melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan until melted, remove from heat. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Gradually stir in the water until the mixture reaches the desired consistency. Dip the tops of the doughnuts in the glaze.

Yield: 6 doughnutsPrep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Recipe from Food TV as prepared on Dandy Doughnuts 2001

Previous Post September 2005 on Food Got to Love It

Dandy Doughnuts From Food 911

Jam Filled Doughnuts
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 package rapid rise dry yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
3 1/2 cups (1 pound) cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fat for frying, such as canola oil
10 ounces raspberry jam
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
In a small saucepan, scald the milk by heating just until bubbles form around the edge of the pot; the milk should not actually boil. Remove from heat and whisk in butter to melt, allow to cool 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. Bloom the yeast by sprinkling it over the warm milk and butter. Add the sugar and stir gently to dissolve. Let stand 10 minutes until foam appears, this indicates the yeast is active.
Turn mixer on low and add the egg yolks then gradually add the flour. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium and add the salt. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Mix just until the dough is supple and elastic, about 5 minutes. Once smooth, turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead gently for 2 minutes.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. If you have time, let rise in the refrigerator for several hours because chilling will make the dough easier to roll out.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/2-inch thick and cut with a floured biscuit cutter or water glass, about 3-inches in diameter. Transfer to a greased baking sheet, and allow to rise again for 30 minutes. Heat 3-inches of vegetable oil or shortening to 375 degrees F in an electric fryer or deep saucepan. Slip doughnuts in the hot oil, top-risen side down, and fry doughnuts until golden, about 4 minutes each side. To keep the oil temperature constant, fry 3 at a time. Drain on paper towels.
Fit a pastry bag with a small tip and fill with jam. Poke a small hole in the side of the doughnut and pipe the jam inside. Dust heavily with confectioners’ sugar while still slightly warm.

Yield: 6 doughnutsPrep Time: 10 minutesCook Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Recipe from Food TV Network 2001 as prepared on Food 911

Previously posted my experience on Food 911 on Food Got to Love It, September 12, 2005

It just came to my attention that the Dandy Doughnuts episode aired again on Fodd 911. Dang I wish I got royalties.

Food 911 Episode FO1C02
January 11, 2006 3:00 PM ET/PT
Dandy Donuts in L.A.When Sylvia tried making donuts herself they turned out greasy and hard as a rock. Fresh baked donuts are easy to master as Tyler shows Sylvia two delicious recipes: Raspberry-filled Donuts and Chocolate Glazed Cake Donut.
Jam Filled Doughnuts
Chocolate Glazed Cake Doughnuts

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
This is my own personal recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter (margarine ok but not as tasty)
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
12 ounces peanut butter chocolate chips
1 cup peanuts shelled coasely chopped
Mix first 6 ingrdients untill it looks creamy
Gradually add dry ingredients (baking soda, salt, flour) until all combined.
Add nuts and chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded spoonful on baking sheet. I cook at 350 degrees for about 14-15 minutes. Do not let it get too brown if you want them soft.
Recipe previously posted November 25, 2005, Food got to Love It

Pound Cake

Pound Cake
(Best One I Ever Made)
From Bon Appetit July 2000

3 C Flour
2 sticks butter
3 c sugar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
4 eggs
1 tbl vanilla
1 cup buttermilk

swift flour, baking soda and salt- set aside
cream butter and sugar using paddles on mixer
add eggs one at a tine to buttered sugar mixture
add vanilla to buttered sugar mixture
alternate addition of flour mixture and buttermilk to buttered sugar mixture

bake 1 hr 20min at 350 degrees

Recipe previously posted on Food got to Love It, May 24,2005.

Recipe Index Finally Up

I finally figured out how to create a Recipe Index for this site. It is located in the right side bar a little more than midway down the page. I haven't added a reference to all the posts yet, but over the next week hope to have it all complete. Some recipes are linked to my other food blog on MSN Spaces-Food- Got to Love It. For some reason, the links to that blog work only intermitently. I'll have to add the recipes to this site to assure they are always available.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Some Pig Blogging Weekend- Bounty of the Barnyard

Kate Hill's French Kitchen has invited all to join in celebrating all things pig. Check out her site for information on this event.

She describes that "in anticipation of celebrating le prince de Janvier a SOME PIG Blogging Weekend is dedicated to the bacon loving, sausage making, boudin nibbling, charcuterie mavens amongst you. Devote some or all of the weekend of Jan 14-15 to preserving, preparing, photographing or just writing about a favorite dish featuring the other white meat.." She will post blogs participating on Jan 17th- Blessing of the Pig in honor of the Patron Saint of farmyard animals—San Antonio Abate whose feast day is on January 17th.

Also see information on this event at Savoring the whole hog, one piece at a time.: on this Pig Earth

See the summary of posts at Going Whole Pig posted 1-14-06.

I just happened to grill a pork loin this weekend. It was a small boneless cut which I seasoned with a cajun rub and put on the grill at about 250 degress for about 5 hours. I basted it with A&W Root Beer as I had a can that was loitering in my pantry. This I chose after reading somewhere that Coca Cola was used as an ingredient in a BBQ Sauce recipe(can not remember where I saw this or I would give props to he source).

Cajun Seasoned Loin

Basting Solution

Perfectly Grilled Moist Loin

Paper Chef #14 Round-Up Is Posted

Check out the round-up for this months paper chef. Belly Timber has done a fantastic job summarizing the entries. The results are not in yet but after reading and viewing the entries, it is apparent why this is no easy job. Quinoa- who knew?

Saturday, January 14, 2006

A Bony Treat- WDB #17

Ziggy Enjoying A Doggie Bag Treat

Check out the WDB roundup with Sweetnicks later this weekend.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Yet- Another Meme

The Survival Gourmet tagged me to answer these questions. Now they don't really relate to food blogging, but do give insight into those answering the questions. A lot of you probably wonder who is Sylvie and what is her day job, etc. By reading my answers, you will know. Just something different to do for fun. Note that in the last question, I did not tag anyone. I'll leave it up to my readers to participate and you can even list me as the one that tagged you.

Four jobs you’ve had in your life:
1. Pharmacist
2. Secretary
3. Record Store Clerk
4. Pharmacy Assistant (includes Professor)

Four movies you would watch over and over:
1. The Professional
2. 40 Year Old Virgin
3. Looking for Mr. Goodbar (yea, and don't speculate on anything more)
4. Desperately Seeking Susan (yea, and don't speculate on anything more here also)

Four places you have lived:
1. Los Angeles, CA
2. Ann Arbor, Michigan
3. San Francisco, CA
4. Daly City, CA

Four TV shows you love to watch:
1. Survivor
2. Surface
3. Sex in The City
4. Ghost whisperer

Four places you have been on vacation:
1. Vancouver, British Columbia
2. Cabo San Lucas
3. Washington DC
4. Bahamas

Four websites you visit daily: (I'm not going there)
1. I take the 5th Amendment
2. I take the 5th Amendment
3. I take the 5th Amendment
4. I take the 5th Amendment

Four of your favorite foods:
1. Cookies (all types)
2. BBQ Ribs
3. Oysters On The Halfshell
4. Pork Cracklins

Four places you would rather be right now:
1. Home in my favorite chair watching TV or reading
2. A Cooking Class
3. Where my kids are
4. Where my Husband is

Four bloggers you are tagging:
Anyone wishing to participate. Go for It.

Addendum 1/15/06
Four (Food) TV shows you love to watch:
1. Sugar Rush
2. Any Food TV show with Paula Deen in it
3. Any Food TV show with Tyler Florence in it
4. Any Food TV show "Challenges"

Paper Chef #14 Quinoa, Cashew, Yogurt and Baby Back Ribs

This months Paper Chef is being hosted by one of the most creative and heatwarmingly outrageous foodies I know of, Bellytimber.

When I read the ingredients, I couldn't envision what it was I could put together. Cashews, yoghurt (as opposed to yogurt),Quinoa (pronouced 'keen wa'), I had no idea what that was let alone how to pronouce it and 'Baby' something (use your imagination). I almost decided to not participate until I did a little research into that 'quinoa' ingredient and then it hit me. This has to be some vegetarian influenced dish. Not I, a die hard meat eater. Thus I thought about that baby ingredient- how about 'Baby Back Ribs'?

I found the 'quinoa' in my local organic foods market and rest of the ingredients were picked up from Smart and Final. Now how was I going to put them together? It all just sort of fell in place.

 Posted by Picasa

Quinoa with Cashews
Cilantro and Hot Pepper Flavored Yogurt Sauce
Curry, Cilantro and Garlic Flavored Yogurt Sauce
Baby Back Ribs

The Baby Back Ribs were first marinaded in apple cider just because I had some left in the refrigerator. After about 2 hours I rubbed them with a cajun seasoning mixture and put in a 350 degree oven to cook.

I diced a bell pepper, 4-5 green onions, a cayenne pepper and lots of garlic. I previously bought this "tube" of cilantro paste and finally had a reason to also use it.

I took a cup of yogurt unflavored and placed in a mixing bowl. To this I added about 2 tbsp green onions, 1 tbsp of the cilantro paste and the diced red cayenne pepper. These ingredients were combined and set in the refrigerator.

With so much yogurt left in the tub I purchased, I once again took 1 cup and placed in another mixing bowl. To this bowl I added 2 tbsp green onions, 1 tbsp cilantro paste and 2 tsp of curry powder. This was also set in the refrigerator until ready for use.

The Quinoa was rinsed in a sieve with cold water and set to drain. After it had drained, I added it to a dry cast iron skillet to toast. After about 5 minutes, it was dry and toasty. I then sauteed in a sauce pan the bell pepper and remaining green onion in about 2 tbsp of olive oil. I had 1 1/2 cups of quinoa so I added 2 parts water to the sauce pan (3 cups) and added the quinoa. This came to a boil and then I lowered the heat to medium, covered the pan and simmered it for about 20 minutes (though the directions said 15 minutes, it was still too wet). When it was done, I added 1/2 cup half and whole cashews and combined.

After hte Baby Back Ribs were done, I let them set for about 15 minutes and then cut into riblets.

My initial intent was that the riblets would be dipped in the yogurt sauce and eaten. However, these sauces were also very good when combined with the quinoa. G and I found we preferred the Curry, Cilantro and Garlic flavored sauce over the Cilantro and Hot Pepper Flavored Yogurt Sauce.

This actually turned out to be a very good meal. The yogurt sauces made the meal.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

May I have Some Please? WDB #16

I can't believe the weekend is here again(Thank God). The holidays are behind us and all our resolutions are going strong. I spent this afternoon preparing for Paper Chef #14 which is being hosted by Bellytimber this month. As Ziggy watched me, something caught his attention and by the look in his eye, he wanted it.

I did wind up (unknowingly)dropping a piece on the floor which he thoroughly seemed to enjoy in that it was rotally devoured.

Weekend Dog Blogging # 16, hosted by Sweetnicks. Thanks again for allowing us to highlight our best friends.

Kitchen Gifts and Apparrel

I can't explain the excitement I felt when I opened this Christmas present from my sister. She understands my love of all things kitchen and food. These aprons and mitts are over the top and totally me.
A personalized Soul Fusion Kitchen apron embroidered so elegantly. I can just see me prancing around the kitchen in this or for showing off when I take a cooking class at my favorite local cooking school. Whatever the occasion, home, backyard or class, I'm styling.

My Moo Cow apron and mitts are just perfect apparrel for grilling outside or for when I cook anything beefy in the kitchen.

To add to my elation, my neice gave me a gift certificate to Willimas-Sonoma. I'm headed there this weekend to browse and spend. I love these gifts soooo much. Thank you A, P, C and J.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Jamaican Style Fish with Escoveitch Sauce

My husband, G and daughter, TNC requested I cook fish for dinner on New Years Eve. For those who follow my blog, you know G is an avid deep sea fisherman. On a recent 10 day fishing trip, he brought back what I'll call tons of fish including Yellowtail, Wahoo and Tuna galore. G removed some vacuum packed bags from the freezer so that by the time I returned from my bimonthly visit to the nail salon, the fish would be thawed. He also requested that I cook it Jamaican style in "Escoveitch" pickle sauce. Not to worry, this sauce comes in a bottle and can be purchased at some local grocery stores depending on where you live. We have some friends who told us about this sauce. It is probably better to prepare your own from scratch but then if the bottled is good, I say it's ok to use when you're rushed.

The label ingredients list: water, vinegar, onions, salt, carrots, scotch bonnet peppers, allspice berries, citric acid, garlic cloves, white pepper and thyme. The directions suggest that it is best poured over fried fish and that it also makes a tasty tangy chicken or seafood marinade.

I cut a medium sized onion in half and sliced it into 1/8 inch pieces. These were sauteed in olive oil until transparent yet still slightly crisp. The cooked onion was set aside. The fish I used was Yellowtail and Tuna fillets. I cut these into smaller pieces about 2 inches in size. I added salt, pepper, and garlic powder to some flour and then lightly dusted the fish. I fried the pieces (yes I fried tuna) in the same olive olive oil I cooked the onions until they were lightly browned and cooked through.

In addition, I sauteed a couple of sliced jalapeno peppers, a habanero pepper and a cayenne pepper in some olive oil. This was set aside to add heat to G's serving.

I placed the cooked fish in a 9X9 glass baking dish and added the cooked onions. I poured the escoveitch sauce over the fish and let set for about an hour. This was suggested by our friends P and J as this would allow the fish to absorb more of the flavor. I was initially concerned about the fish getting soggy but because I lightly dusted it in the flour, there wasn't much of a crust to worry about. I added some of the sauce to G's hot peppers so that he could add to his serving. Before I remembered to photograph this dish, G had already pulled his portion from the dish and added to the extra hot sauce and TNC had eaten her portion.

The taste was very good, with that hot, sour, salty thing going on that is so delicious. I am not a fan of fish, but this I did eat. This is G's serving of Tangy Fish Escoveitched with an extra bite.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New Years Day Dinner and Recipe Photoswap Roundup

Melissa, the Panama Gourmet from Cooking Diva has posted the roundup of the New Years Dinner and Recipe Photoswap. This is truly an amazing array of recipes from around the world. Readers can now vote for your favorite post from January 3rd through January 5th, 2006 at one of the below posts. Note, this event is posted in English, Italian, French and Spanish.

In English, visit Melissa's Blog

Visit Marcela´s blog to follow this event en EspaƱol.

Visit Elvira´s blog to follow this event in French.

Visit Cannella´s blog to follow this event in Italian.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year

As tradition has it, the New Year is begun with poor mans' foods which typically are greens (collard, mustard, turnip or a combination) and black eye peas seasoned with ham hocks (or other smoked meat), corn bread and some less expensive meats which includes for example chitlins, oxtails and ham. The myth is that the greens will bring you money and the black eyed peas will bring you luck for the new year. All this served with a prayer make for a very warming, soulful New Years dinner.

Today, I cooked black eyed peas, southern greens with oxtail stew and rice. A rainy day in L.A. was warmed by this meal. I also wanted to prepare some cornbread but to my dismay, found my cornmeal bugged (yikes). Plain bread will have to do. I do not eat chitlins and thus do not cook them, though my hubby loves him some "innards". He got his fill during our recent trip to N.C.

I also made vegetarian versions of the greens and black eye peas for TNC. The only difference is that I left out the ham hock. Not much favor to me but she enjoyed it.

Black Eyed Peas

1 lb bag of dried black eye peas(fresh are ok also)
1 large onion (chopped)
4 cloves of garlic minced (more or less to your taste)
2 smoked ham hocks
1 bay leaf
1 tsp oregano (1 tbsp fresh minced is better if you have it)
1 tsp dried pepper flakes (I used cayenne peppers which I dried from this summer's garden)
salt and pepper to taste

The night before rinse then soak your dried black eyed peas in water (2 cups water for each cup dried peas. If you use freash peas, no need to soak.)

Add your ham hocks to enough water to cover. Cook on medium heat for at least an hour to an hour and a half to release that smoky flavor.

Add the onion, garlic, bay leaf, oregano, pepper flakes and soaked black eyed peas to the water and ham hock. Cook until peas are tender (about an hour)

season to taste with salt and pepper

Oxtail Stew

Though I used my own recipe, it is very similar to one published on Food TV by Cheryl Smith plus or minus a few ingredients

6 pounds oxtails
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt

3 cups onions, medium dice
1 cup scallions, sliced
1 green bell pepper diced
3 stalks celery diced
4 garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh parsley coarsely chopped

4 cups chicken broth

3 tablespoons previously prepared roux ( I keep prepared roux available as a thickener. Same as roux used in gumbo recipe: 2 cups flour plus 1 cup olive oil butter mix. slowly brown over low heat until rick dark mahiononay color- do not burn!).

Wash then season oxtails with salt, pepper, garlic powder and celery salt

In a heavy-bottom braiser over medium-high heat, brown both sides of oxtail in batches in olive oil, drain excess oil leaving just enough to saute onion, bell pepper, celery mixture and thyme. After the onions mixture is sauteed return oxtails to braiser and add enough chicken broth plus water to cover the oxtails. Add the roux and disperse. Allow the liquid to come to a simmer. Season with salt, cover, and put into a preheated 350 degree oven for 2-3 hours or until oxtails are tender. Check to see if additional water is needed during braising process. Seasoning with more salt is recommended when finished.

Sprinkle with parsley and scallions, mix and serve.

Southern Greens (see previous post)

Vegetarian southern Greens for TNC
Vegetarian Black eye Peas for TNC

New Years Day Meal Photo Swap hosted by the Panama Gourmet, Melissa at Cooking Diva