Category Archives: The Diner
Stuff I love to cook and love to eat.
A friend of mine made Honey Blackberry Butter yesterday. It sounded so good! But I didn’t have blackberries. I did, however, have red raspberries from my garden frozen! So into the kitchen I went.
I also only had lightly salted butter so I had to make do with that. I blended a stick of butter, approx. 4 tbls. honey and approx. 1 cup of raspberries. You can tweak it to your own tastes. Here’s a picture of it all finished.
Pretty isn’t it? Tastes as good as it looks, too!
But then what to spread it on?
Well, I had made a huge crockpot of bean soup yesterday as well so what better than a loaf of homemade bread to go with both the soup and the butter? This is one of my favorite recipes. It’s an egg bread. (aka Challah).
So as I sat there with my raspberry butter, my empty bowl from the soup I’d just eaten, I had to conclude…it’s been a great day. Thanks Bridgett!
Tonight I made the most wonderful snack! Cheesecake-stuffed Strawberries. How can you go wrong with that? The recipe came from The Sweets Life . I’ll print the recipe as is, but I did mine a little differently. First the recipe.
I cheated a little. I used Jell-O brand No Bake Cheesecake. I had that, but did not have any cream cheese. I’d like to try it the original way, too, but trust me, this was still wonderful. First I hollowed out the strawberries. There has to be an easier way to do this than the way I did it. It was kinda tedious. I wonder if a melon baller would work? Hmm… have to think on that. Anyway…
Then I made up the cheesecake mixture and put it in a ziploc bag and snipped off the corner to use like a cake bag.
Here they are all filled and topped with a sprinkle of the graham cracker crust mix. I had leftover cheesecake and crust mix so I added the butter to the crust mix and patted it into a bowl. I squeezed in the remaining cheesecake mix and topped it with cinnamon.
Here is the original recipe:
Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries
from Nutmeg Nanny
-1 lb large strawberries
-8 oz. cream cheese, softened (can use 1/3 less fat)
-3-4 tbsp powdered sugar (4 tbsp for a sweeter filling)
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-graham cracker crumbs
1. Rinse strawberries and cut around the top of the strawberry. Remove the top and clean out with a paring knife, if necessary (some may already be hollow inside). Prep all strawberries and set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Add cream cheese mix to a piping bag or ziploc with the corner snipped off. Fill strawberries with cheesecake mixture. Once strawberries are filled, dip the top in graham cracker crumbs. If not serving immediately, refrigerate until serving.
Last week I found out you could make homemade Beef Pepperoni. I had no idea that was possible so I just had to try it. I combined 2 recipes, mostly because I had trouble finding ingredients. Both recipes were similar so it wasn’t really a big deal.
First recipe called for Morton’s Quick Tender Curing Salt. Well, the stores here don’t sell that. So after having looked at other recipes who just used meat tenderizer, I got some of that.
Second recipe called for Liquid Smoke. I didn’t have that and, again, couldn’t find it, so I just omitted it.
The only real difference in the directions was length of time to cook the logs. Also, the recipes called for setting the oven at 150 degrees. My oven only goes down to 170 degrees.
So I went for the longer time, then took some off for the higher temp and popped them in the oven.
So the result? They look like the pictures in the other recipes, however… they taste awful. Now I love salt, but these are so salty even I can’t stand them. The texture is more like an overcooked meatball. They are also very spicy, of which I’m not a huge fan. I don’t know if they toughen up when they cool, but right now they are skinny logs of horribly salty, very spicy overcooked meatloaf logs.
I think I’ll look into getting the right items. I may have to order them. And this time I’ll do it with 1 lb. of meat. I did half this thankfully, so only wasted 2.5 lbs.
Anyone else ever try this and have some advice for me?
(my card reader died or I’d have a picture of the meat logs for you…sighs)
This looks so good. I really think I’m going to have to try it. There is no kneading so I can do this one by hand, not that I don’t LOVE my bread maker because I do, but sometimes I miss the “hands on” part of making bread.
This recipe is my mom’s pound cake. It’s not just any pound cake, either. This is the old-fashioned, from scratch, pound of everything pound cake. It’s lucious, addicting and not for the dieters. I thought I would share it with you. This is also my first step-by-step photo post so bear with me.
First the recipe: If you want this to be as yummmmmy as it should be, don’t substitute. I only make this twice a year. Sweetie’s BD and my BD. Today is his although he’s working so we will celebrate this weekend. So go all out and really make this decadently good. It’s worth it. This recipe also doubles very well. I did that today so the pictures you will see are very full because of being doubled.
Mom’s Old-Fashioned “True” Pound Cake
1 3/4 cups UNsalted, sweet butter (not marg, not shortening, not salted butter)
3 cups sugar
6 eggs (all of the egg)
1 1/4 cup whole milk (only use whole milk)
2 tsp vanilla (real vanilla, not imitation)
4 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
dash of Mace (this you can fudge if you have to and use Nutmeg, but mace is much better)
Set out eggs and butter to soften and warm to room temp.
Sift flour, salt, bp and mace together 4 times. (YES! I said 4 times. Noone has to sift anymore you say? They do if they are good bakers and understand that the lighter and fluffier and more aerated your dry goods are the lighter and fluffier your cake will turn out. Don’t argue. Just DO it. <winks> )
.Cream butter and sugar very well. Add eggs one at a time. (just do it. it helps with the incorporation of the eggs. Oh and in case you were curious… when you double it, that’s 7, count them, 7 sticks of butter. This cake is not for the faint of heart… or arterie.)
Add the dry ingreds. and the milk mixture alternately, but slowly to the creamed sugar and butter.
(Ok, do it slowly unless you want to wear it. Seriously…slowly.)
When it’s all together, turn your mixer up and whip the dickens out of it for at LEAST 2 mins. I clean up a bit when its doing this so mine might mix for 4-5 mins. I don’t care. It makes it creamier and lighter.
If you don’t have a good strong mixer and a really big bowl, don’t double it at one time. Do two seperate batters. I’m not responsible for overflowing bowls or burned out mixer motors. I warned you. Mine is a Kitchen-Aid Pro series so it can handle it without a problem in case you were wondering what I was using.
Grease your pans.
(OK, this is up to you, BUT…I don’t use Pam or Baker’s Secret in my good baking pans. It leaves residue that I don’t care for and it does flavor the baked goods. I use the fingers God gave me to butter, yes we’re still using butter, and then flour my pans the old fashioned way. My mom and I used to have a competition on who could shimmy their flour around the walls and spill the least flour out. Still, this step I’ll let you decide.)
Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. (This means at 45 start testing your cake with a thin skewer. When it comes out clean, it’s done.)
Now another baking tip:
You know how when you bake a cake it rises higher in the middle and makes a dome? If you don’t want that here’s how you fix it. Take an old terrycloth towel and cut it into long 1.5 inch wide strips. Soak those in COLD water, the colder the better. Then wrap them around the outside of your cake pan and pin it in place before sliding the pan in the oven. This helps you have less of a mound in the middle of your cake. Wilton also sells insulated strips that do the same thing, but unless you find them on sale, they are a little pricey and this works just as well.
Waiting to go into the oven:
Baked and cooling on racks:
Yep, that’s the name. It’s from the book “Chicken Foot Soup and other Recipes from the Pine Barrens.” I know the folks who put this book out, having lived in the Pine Barrens myself. Without further ado… the recipe and a little about it.
“This recipe was made by many women who lived along the Jersey seashore. When word was sent that a sea disaster had taken place, the ladies would prepare this dish and put it in the oven for about 2 hours. They then had hot food to serve to the survivors and rescuers.”
by Rai Milza, excerpted from “Chicken Foot Soup and other Recipes from the Pine Barrens.”
I can also personally attest to the fact that this went for forest fires as well. We only had volunteer fire fighters in those towns and when there was a fire, or as stated, a sea disaster, the ladies would gather at the local firehouse and start making huge trays of this. It really sticks to the ribs, its got enough zing to make it warm inside and its very nutritious.
2 large onions, thinly sliced
6 med. potatoes, thinly sliced
1 1.2 lbs. raw ground beef
1/4 cup uncooked rice
1 (1 lb. can) of red kidney beans
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 (1 lb. can) of italian plum tomatoes, cut into pieces (save the juice)
Old Bay Seasoning
Slice onion into a large baking dish. Place the following in layers: onions, potatoes, beef.
Then sprinkle a layer of rice, a layer of kidney beans and a layer of celery and green peppers.
Do this until all the ingredients are used up.
Sprinkle chopped tomatoes on top.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika and Old Bay. Pour the sauce all over the top of the casserole so that liquid shows around the edges. Sprinkle parsley on top of all that.
Cover pan with lid or aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1.5 hours or 325 degrees for 2-2.5 hours. Serve hot.
This recipe serves 4-6. Easily doubled, tripled or get your calculator and really go to town.
1.5 cups ketchup, bbq sauce or tomato juice.
1/4 cup steak sauce
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (to taste)
Leftover juice from the plum tomatoes
Mix ingredients in bowl. Add enough water to make the sauce a good pouring consistancy.
(Personal notes: I rarely have steak sauce so I use worcestshire sauce in place. I also use a little tomato sauce and mostly bbq sauce for my sauce. The other thing about this recipe is that really you can put anything you want into it. I’ve made it with chick peas when I had no kidney beans. I’ve added shredded carrot if I had a lot. You can add additional veggies to it to use them up. It’s very versatile. This particular picture is from the two I made today. Usually this fills up a larger pan right to the top, but I made two of them in smaller pans so it’s a little less full than usual. I also put some carrots on top because I had extras and didn’t want them to go bad.)