Friday, June 29, 2012

Corn Pancakes

Today, for "French Fridays With Dorie," we made Corn Pancakes.  These  sweet litte cakes are used as an accompaniment for a meal. They are very simple to make. Begin by putting all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix until smooth.  You then fry the little cakes and eat!

They were very tasty and enjoyed by the family.  As was suggested by Dorie - they would make a terrific accompaniment for the Thanksgiving turkey.  A suggestion I am going to take her up on.

I would rate this recipe a 4 out of 5  stars:)  This recipe can be found on page 337 in "Around My French Table."

Ready to Get Blended


Frying in "The Black Pan"

Almost Ready


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Red Velvet - Berry Cobbler

It is hard to believe the Fourth of July is next Wednesday.  I have started my planning  and experimenting with different recipes to make for our family/friends cookout.  At cookouts, I usually make at least one cobbler for dessert.  To me, a cookout is not a cookout with out a cobbler.  Besides, they are easy and quick to make.
One great recipe I came accross was Red Velvet Berry Cobbler in Southern Living magazine.   It is loaded with fresh blueberries,blackberries and raspberries baked beneath a Red Velvet batter.

This cobbler was delicious, satisfying, and easy.  The berries  were a plesant mixture of sweetness with just a hint of tartness.  Combine this with the mild chocolate flavor of the Red Velvet "cake"  a scoop of homemade Cream Cheese Ice Cream and you have one delicious dessert.

The family loved this cobbler.  They were asking for seconds and thirds.

Red Velvet-Berry Cobbler
From Southern Living magazine


1 tablespoon conrstarch
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
6 cups assorted fresh berries (We used 2 cups each blackberries, raspberries, blueberries.)
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons red liquid food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir together cornstarch and 1/2 cup sugar.  Toss berries with cornstarch mixture, and spoon into a lightly greased 11-x7-inch baking dish.
Berries Tossed With Cornstarch Mixture

Berries in Bottom of Baking Dish

2. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add remaining 3/4 cup sugar, beating well.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.  Stir in red food coloring and vanilla until blended.
3. Combine flour, cocoa, and salt.  Stir together buttermilk, vinegar, and baking soda in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. (Mixture will bubble.)  Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat at low speed until blended after each addition.  Spoon batter over berry mixture.
Flour, Cocoa, and Salt

Bubbling Buttermilk Mixture

4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake topping comes out clean.  Cool on  a wire rack 10 minutes.

Makes 6-8 servings

Ready for Oven


MMM Wonderful

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cream Cheese Ice Cream

When I told the kids I was making Cream Cheese Ice Cream they weren't too sure about it.  One taste  changed their minds.  All I heard was MMMM as they were eating their dessert.  I was told I needed to make this again.

I found this delicious recipe in the recent issue of "Southern Living" magazine.  This ice cream had a rich velvety texture with a mild favor. Think frozen cheese cake.  The ice cream was delicious eaten by itself, but would be wonderful on a hot piece of apple pie or your favorite cobbler.  Try it topped with Roasted Blackberry Sauce.
The ice cream is is very easy to make.  Basically, you heat half-and-half, powdered sugar and eggs yolks in a saucepan.  Then you whisk in cream cheese and vanilla extract.  Chill and then freeze.  That's it!  You now have a nice refreshing and tasty summer treat.

Cream Cheese Ice Cream
From Southern Living Magazine

Special Equipment:  Ice Cream Maker

Cream Cheese Cubed

3 cups half-and-half
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cubed
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract


1. Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large heavy saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly.  Remove from heat, and whisk in cream cheese and vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, until cheese is melted.  Cool completely (about 1 hour), stirring occasionally.  Place plastic wrap directly on mixture (to prevent a film from forming), and chill 8 to 24 hours.
2. Pour  mixture into freezer container of a 1 1/2-quart electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. (Instructions and times may vary.)  Transfer ice cream to an airtight container.  Freeze 4 hours before serving.

Makes about 1 quart

Friday, June 22, 2012

Blueberry Nut Pancakes

I saw some beautiful blueberries at the store the other day. When I brought them home, I decided I would make some Blueberry Pancakes.   Blueberry pancakes with butter, maple syrup, and a dusting of confectioner's sugar.  Now that is good:)
Pancakes are easy, quick, and inexpensive.  You have flour, salt, baking soda, sugar, butter, eggs, buttermilk -  most items you already have in your kitchen.  In this recipe, buttermilk is used.  If you don't have buttermilk you can make your own easily.  Take one cup of milk and add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar, stir and let sit 5 minutes.  It is ready to use in your recipe. Instead of mixing the fresh blueberries in the batter, I drop about a tablespoon full over the batter as it is cooking.

These pancakes are light and fluffy.  When you bite into them you have a burst of flavor from the blueberries, walnuts, butter, and syrup.  They are  sooo delicious:)

Blueberry Nut Pancakes


2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry
Cooking spray
Maple Syrup


1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
3. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl.  Add the buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla extract.  Stir until combined.
4. Combine the flour mixture, the egg mixture, and chopped walnuts. Stir until the batter comes together.  You will have small to medium lumps.  Do not over mix.
5. Heat a griddle on medium heat.  Heat until a few drops of water flicked on the griddle dance across it. Lightly grease the griddle with cooking spray wiping off excess with a folded paper towel.
6. Ladle 1/3 cup of batter onto the griddle .  Scatter 1 tablespoon of blueberries over the batter.
7. Cook pancakes until bubbles form on the batter,  about 2 - 3minutes.  Flip and cook other side until golden brown -  about another 2 minutes.
8. Transfer cooked pancakes to a baking sheet and put in preheated oven to keep warm.
9. Dust the pancakes with confectioner's sugar and serve with warm maple syrup and butter.

Makes about 16 pancakes

Dry Ingredients



Stack of Delicious Blueberry Nut Pancakes

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Austin Baked Beans

This recipe for baked beans is from Sheila Lukin's, cookbook, "USA."  I became  a follower of Sheila Lukins when I bought my copy of her book "The Silver Palate." The pages of the book are stained from the use it got.
Sheila Lukins studied at the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in London.  When she moved back to the states, she operated a catering business out of her apartment named "The Other Woman Catering Company."  She met her future business partner, Julee Rosso, at an event she was catering.  They opened a Food Shop in Manhattan known as  The Silver Palate Food Shop.  They also wrote several cookbooks together before going their separate ways.
Sadly, Sheila Lukins passed away in August of 2009.  She left us with a treasure of wonderful recipes.

One of my favorite recipe is for Austin Baked Beans.  You have beans cooked in a rich sweet tomato sauce with bacon, honey baked ham, smoked pork chop, and Granny Smith Apples.   I modified the recipe ever so slightly.  I use crushed tomatoes instead of diced tomatoes (my family is not a fan of tomato chunks) and I cooked the beans in a crock pot and not in the oven.  Otherwise the recipe is as Sheila wrote it.

Austin Baked Beans
Adapted Slightly from "USA" by Sheila Lukins

Special Equipment:  Crock pot - 3 1/2 quart


1 pound dried navy beans
6 ounces slab bacon, rind removed, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, stemmed. seeded. and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, stemmed. seeded. and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 cup ketchup
3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4  cup dark molasses
1 tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1/2 pound honey-baked ham, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 smoked pork chop (about 1/2 pound) cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch cubes

Salt, to taste


1. Pick over the beans, discarding any stones.  Soak them overnight in cold water to cover by 2 inches.
2. Drain the beans, rinse in several changes of cold water, and drain again.
3. Place the beans in a large heavy pot and add water to cover by 2 inches.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until the beans are just tender but not mushy, about 45 minutes.  While the beans are cooking, skim off any foam that rises to the top.  Drain and set aside.
4. Place the bacon in a skillet.  Cook over low heat until the fat is just rendered - do not brown the bacon.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set it aside.  Add the onion to the skillet and cook over low heat until wilted. Add both bell peppers and cook, stirring for another 5 minutes. Set aside.
5. Place the ketchup, brown sugar, honey, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, and dry mustard in a large mixing bowl.  Stir until well mixed.
6. Add the tomatoes to the ketchup mixture.  Stir well.  Add the ham, pork chop, beans, bacon, onions, peppers, and apples to the mixture.  Stir until all ingredients are well mixed.
7. Pour the bean mixture into a crock pot.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
8. Season with salt.  Serve.

Beans Soaking

Ketchup, Brown Sugar, Honey, Molasses

Tomatoes Added

Everything All Mixed Together

Ready To Cook

Monday, June 18, 2012

Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars

I love making "Seven Layer Magic Bars."  Not only are they scrumptious, they are quick, easy,  and there are not a lot of dishes to wash:)
There are seven layers of goodness in these cookies.   Graham cracker crumbs, butter, sweetened condensed milk (mmm),  butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, coconut, and finally pecans.  The ingredients are spread over a graham cracker crust in layers.  You bake the cookies, cool, and eat.   They have a wonderful chewy texture with the flavors of butterscotch and chocolate.

One tip I have in making these cookies is to line the entire pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan.  Spray the foil with  cooking spray.  After the bars have baked and cooled, lift up by the edges of the foil to remove the cookies from the pan.  The cookies cut a lot nicer this way.

I sometimes do variations to the recipe below:  I substitute vanilla wafers for graham crackers and peanut butter chips for butterscotch chips.  The taste is still delicious.

Seven Layer Magic Bars
From Eagle Brand


No-Stick Cooking Spray
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter melted
1 (14oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 cup butterscotch-flavored chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).  Spray a 13x9 -inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.
2. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter; mix well.  Press crumb mixture firmly into bottom of prepared pan.  Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture.  Layer with remaining ingredients.

Graham Cracker Crumbs and Butter

Crumb Mixture Pressed in Bottom of Baking Pan

Sweetened Condensed Milk Pour Over Crust

Layer of Butterscotch Chips

Layer of Chocolate Chips

3. Bake 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned.  Loosen from sides of pan while still warm; cool on a wire rack.
4. Cut  into bars or diamonds.

Makes approximately 30 bars

Chopped Pecans
Layer of Coconut

Out of Oven

Seven Layer Magic Bars

Friday, June 15, 2012

Lime and Honey Beet Salad

Our assignment this week in "French Fridays With Dorie" was a delicious beet salad.    Cooked beets are tossed in a sweet and tangy lime and honey vinaigrette.  The vinaigrette completed the flavor of the beets nicely.  This salad was easy and quick.    I served the salad chilled as a side at a recent cookout.  I really liked this salad.  My family believes you need to like beets in order to eat anything with beets. I'm the only one who likes beets - so more of the salad for me:)

Olive Oil, Honey, Vinegar, Lime Juice and Zest

Herbs Added 

Beets Tossed in Vinaigrette

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Santa Fe Farmer's Market

Today, I am going to deviate from my traditional Blogging format.  I am going to post pictures of the wonderful produce and goodies I  saw at the Santa Fe Farmer's Market.
 I needed to have a rest this past weekend - on Friday night we had a Graduation Party for my daughter.  I loaded up the kids and husband in the car and we drove  to Santa Fe for a nice relaxing day.

The Santa Fe Farmer's Market began in the late 1960's with just a handful of farmers.  Today, it is New Mexico's largest market and one of the most widely recognized markets in the United States according to the Santa Fe Farmer's Market website.  The Market is located at the Santa Fe Railyard.

Below are some of the wonderful foods we saw.

The Roasted Garlic & Arugula Bread Was Fantastic!

Pie Cherries

Boston Cream - Delish