Archived entries for favorite recipes

Peach Melba Cobbler

This is my absolute favorite quick dessert recipe.

Its so easy and there isn’t a person on this planet who doesn’t love cobbler.  I know I have posted about this recipe in the past, but I will always come back to it.  Again and again, like how I watch Dirty Dancing at least once a year if not twice or six times in a row.  Anyway.  I’ve added a slight twist to warrant reposting. And, this is a recipe anyone with any amount of cooking skill can master on the first time.  Guaranteed. Here it is.

Peach Cobbler
serves 8-10

  • 1/4-1/2 c. butter (depending on your preference for fat)
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 can (16 oz) sliced peaches
  • 1/2 c. raspberries

Melt butter in 8″x8″ square glass dish or other small casserole

Add milk and mix batter.

Spoon batter into dish with melted butter.  Spoon peach slices into batter.  Sprinkle top with raspberries and extra sugar.

Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes, until golden.

Check out our video blog for a play by play.

 

The. Best. Cheesecake. Ever.

It is my pet peeve when periods are placed after each word to enforce the meaning. However, there is no other way for me to seriously communicate the deliciousness of this recipe then stooping to this grammatical device. The decadence of this lusciously fluffy cheesecake is making me do things I don’t normally do!


Image courtesy of Flickr User katewing

My sister’s mother-in-law, Trish (does that make her my mother-in-law once removed?) made this for a baby shower, and we all agreed it was the best cheesecake we ever had. And we’re pretty well versed in cheesecake. So I begged the recipe off her and here it is.

This cheesecake is the most fluffy, decadent and flavorful of any cheesecake I have ever had. Ever. If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself.

Trish’s Tall and Creamy Cheesecake
Serves 12 Prep time: 20 min  Inactive Time: 5 hours

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 4 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/3 c. lime juice
    Optional:
  • 1 (8 oz.) container sour cream, at room temperature
  • Chilled fruit topping

Preheat oven to 300ºF. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in small bowl.  Press firmly into bottom and up the sides of ungreased 9-inch spring form pan.  Optional: Line bottom of pan with parchment paper before putting in crust.

Beat/whip cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add eggs and lime juice; mix well. Pour into prepared pan.

BAKE 60-70 minutes or until center is set. Remove from oven; top with sour cream. Bake an additional 5 minutes. Cool 1 hour. Chill at least 4 hours. Garnish with pie filling, if desired.

Spinach Pie with Pita Crust

I love the spinach pies at my local Lebanese bakery with all their lemony spinach wrapped in a delicious fluffy pita crust. I’ve been wanting to make my own!

Whenever I search for recipes though, all I can find are ones with phyllo crusts.  Phyllo may be convenient since you can get it pre-made, but it always turns out soggy pies.  Since I can’t find any recipes for spinach pies with a pita crust, I decided to develop my own.  I mean, its just a spinach pie filling in pita, right?  Well, my guess was a good one and I was happy with the results.  Try for yourself.

Spinach Pie with Pita Crust
makes about 10 pies
2 1/2 hrs total: 60 min active time, 90 minutes inactive

Spinach Filling

  • 3 lbs cooked spinach or 3- 1 lb boxes of frozen spinach
  • 1/2 lb crumbled feta
  • 2 large lemons, juiced
  • 1 bunch of green scallions, chopped (about 1 1/2 c.)
  • 2 eggs
  • salt to taste

Pita Dough

  • 2 1/2 tsp yeast or 1 package
  • 1/2 c. warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 c.  flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c. lukewarm water
  • 1-2 egg yolks for glazing pies

Make Pita dough: Because the dough for the pita needs to raise, we’ll start with that.  Mix yeast with warm water and let sit until foamy.  Add sugar and stir until dissolved.   In a mixing bowl, mix flour and salt.  Make a well and add yeast mixture.  Mix and stir while slowly adding another cup of warm water.  Mix until elastic.  I usually use my electric mixer when making bread dough, but pita dough is softer and I think works better when doing it by hand.

When the dough is elastic, place on a well floured surface and kneed until its no longer sticky.  The dough should be soft and elastic but not stick to your hands.  Keep flouring the surface if you need to.  Once kneeding is done, coat a bowl with a small amount of oil.  Place dough in bowl, cover with towel and allow to raise until doubled in size, about 60 – 90 minutes.**

**Time Saving Trick: To speed up this process, preheat oven to 250 degrees.  When dough is ready, turn oven off and place dough in an oiled oven proof bowl covered with a towel and put into oven. Dough should rise in 30 minutes.

Make Spinach Filling: In a saute pan, cook fresh or defrosted spinach until wilted.  Remove from heat and squeeze out excess liquid.  You will probably have to do this in a couple of batches as spinach cooks down quite a bit.  Saute scallions in a small amount of olive oil until clearish.  Mix spinach, scallions, feta, lemon juice and eggs and mix well.  Place in saute pan and cook gently until eggs just begin to turn whitish, but the mixture is still juicy.  Remove from heat.  Taste and season with salt to taste.

Assemble Spinach Pies: Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Seperate egg yolks from egg whites and place yolks in a bowl with a pastry brush. Remove dough from bowl and roll into a log.  Cut dough into 10 sections.  On a floured surface roll out dough to about an 8 inch circle.  Place ~1/4 c. filling in center.  Brush egg yolks over edges of dough and pinch together. Allow a small hole at center where you can see filling, this will allow steam to be release from the pie.  Using hands, press in at edges of pie to form a triangle.  Place on a baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat.  Assemble all pies

Bake Pies: Once pies are assembled, cover with a towel and allow to raise for 15-20 minutes.  After raising, brush pies with remaining egg yolk.  Place in oven and bake for 8-12 minutes, until pies are golden brown.  Remove from oven, allow to cool and place in an air tight container.  Stays fresh for a week or so.

 

Lets Get Crunchy: Make Your Own Granola

Hey you! Do you want to make your own granola, but are afraid you can’t.  Just a short time ago, I, too was in your place.  But since then, I have conquered my fears and I HAVE MADE my own granola.  In this short blog post, I will help to empower you to do so as well.  But before we can move forward, first we have to deal with whats been holding us back.

Here are the top 3 most misleading assumptions about making your own granola.

  1. You can only get the ingredients for granola from an organic bulk foods co-op.
  2. Making your own granola is time consuming and difficult.
  3. To make your own granola, you must have dreadlocks, live in a commune AND be a fan of the Grateful Dead.

These are all FALSE!  I have easily made granola with ingredients from a regular grocery store and I HATE the Grateful Dead.  Granola is just a hodge-podge of ingredients, mainly just rolled oats and a sweetener.  Additional ingredients of seeds, nuts and dried fruit add to the outcome but are not necessary.   You don’t really need to follow a recipe, but it does help when making it for the first few times.  With the help of my Father-in-law’s time trusted recipe, you can experience the joys of your first homemade granola.  Tie-dyed apparel is not mandatory.

Leonard’s Big Batch of Granola
makes 1 1/2 quarts or 12 cups

Part A:

  • 8 c. rolled oats
  • 1 c. wheat bran
  • 1/2 c. ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. veg oil
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1/4 c. molasses
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Part B:  1/2 c. of any or all to make 2-4 c. total

  • raisins
  • dry sweet cranberries, cherries, blueberries or other fruit
  • seeds: pumpkin, sesame, sunflower
  • shredded coconut
  • nuts: pecan, walnut, hazel, or almonds

Preheat Oven to 275/300 max.

Mix Part A: Mix oats, bran, flax seed and vanilla in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix veg oil, honey, molasses, brown sugar, and vanilla.  Pour liquid mixture over the oats mix and blend to coat.

Bake Part A: Place mixture in baking sheet(s) with sides.  Bake for 3: 15 minutes time periods, removing trays in between to stir/flip granola to create an even bake.

Prepare part B: Mix together you selections of seeds, nuts and dried fruits to create 2-4 c. total.  These are the ingredients which can make granola expensive, so you can cut back to 2 c. if you wish to save money.

Add Part B and Bake: After 3rd 15 minute bake (45 minutes total), remove from oven and dump oats mixture into a large bowl.  Add your 2-4 c. of Part B (dried fruit, nuts and seeds).  Stir to mix.  Place back on baking sheet(s) and bake for 15 more minutes.

Eat! And your done.


MEAT LOAF: For Lovers

Ah, me gusta loafs of meat
Ah, me gusta loafs of meat
I like to eat; they are very sweet
Ah, me gusta loafs of meat
fin
.

Oh, hello. I didn’t see you there. I was just making meatloaf and singing the traditional meatloaf song. You want to join me? Of course. Everyone loves meatloaf! Lets make art.

Mimi’s Meatlaof
serves 6 – 8

  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 2/3 c. bread crumbs
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 grated onion
  • optional: chopped carrots, peppers or whatever vegetables you want!
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. ketchup
  • 1 Tbs dry mustard
  • 1/3 c. water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix ground beef, bread crumbs, milk, onion, egg, salt, pepper and whatever additional vegetables you want. Get in there, squidge them around with your fingers. It feels sooooo good.

Place meat mixture in a bread loaf pan. I like to make a few indentations in the meat with my fingers for the sauce to go down into.

In a separate bowl, mix the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard and water. Pour the sauce over the meatloaf. Place the bread pan on a baking sheet (to collect any stray juices) and bake for 1 hour.

EAT. Me gusta loafs of meeeeeeeeaat!

The Stupidly Simple Secret Ingredient of Hummus

Here it is, at long last, my New Year’s Hummus Resolution:

Hummus

  • 1 can (36 oz.) garbanzo beans, water from can reserved
  • 1-2 Tbs tahini
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c. garbanzo water
  • 1-2 lemons juiced
  • salt to taste

Video shot, directed and produced by Meena K. Singh.  Thanks Meena!

Deliciously Easy Peach Cobbler

Video shot, directed and produced by Meena K. Singh.  Thanks Meena!

Peach Cobbler

  • 1/4-1/2 c. butter (depending on your preference for fat)
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 can (16 oz) sliced peaches

Picture 1

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a 8×8 square glass dish, melt butter.

Mix dry ingredients.

Add milk and mix batter.

Spoon batter into dish with melted butter.  Spoon peach slices into batter.  Sprinkle top with extra sugar.

Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes, until golden.

How To Make Pulled Pork: Its SO EASY!


Photo Courtesy of Flickr User FotoCuisine

Pulled pork has to be one of my most favorite summer meals.  It’s the perfect choice for large parties because one pork roast provides about 20 servings, is very easy to prepare, inexpensive, and full of delicious fatty goodness. Although it needs about 24 hours prep time, only 30-45 mintues of this is active work.  Sounds good to me!  Plus who doesn’t like pulled pork.  Well, maybe vegetarians.  I bet if you could get them to try it though, this dish would be enough to send them over to the dark side!

Easy Pulled Pork
4-12 hours dry rub marinade, 6-7 hours roasting, 30-60 min. prep, Total: 10-20 hours total

1 large 6-8 lb pork shoulder or Boston Butt (which is a shoulder cut)

Dry Rub

  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/8 c. (2 Tbs) kosher or other coarse salt
  • 1/8 c. (2 Tbs) Paprika
  • 1/8 c. (2 Tbs) Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbs garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs dry mustard

Carolina Vinegar BBQ Sauce

  • 2 c. cider vinegar
  • 1 c. ketchup
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown mustard
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs hot sauce
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire
  • 2 Tbs Butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • horseraddish to taste

Prepare dry rub: 4-12 hours before roasting, marinate pork roast with dry rub.  The longer you can leave it the better.  I prefer to do it overnight.

Mix all dry rub ingredients in a bowl.  Rub over roast and into any folds and creases in meat to cover completely.

Wrap in cellophane and refrigerate for as long as you choose 4-12 hours or more.

Get Roast Pork In Oven: Preheat oven for 275 degrees.  Place pork roast in a roasting pan.  I’ve experimented before with placing the roast on a wire rack or just placing it on the bottom of the pan.  DO NOT use the wire wrack!  It keeps the fat from fully cooking and dissolving.  You want the fat to melt into the pot where it can then be reabsorbed by the meat, making for a much juicier roast!  Don’t worry about covering the meat for the majority of the cook time.  Just slap the meat in a roaster and put it into the oven!


You can see I’ve split up my roast into two sections.  I was experimenting with the rub.  On the darker one, I applied the rub before freezing months ago.  The other, I did according to these directions.  The freezing before hand worked, and helped cut out a bit of time, but not really worth doing as the meat flavor was a bit stronger.  It did work though.

Prepare BBQ Sauce: While your pork is roasting, make your BBQ sauce.  Mix all ingredients together.  Its just that easy.  Taste and tweak flavors according to desire.  Keep chilled until needed.

Roast Pork for 5-7 hours:  Check your roast at 5 hours.  Meat will be done with it reads about 170 degrees at its deepest part with a thermometer AND it will fall apart easily to the touch.  If the temp is good, but the meat still feels firm, leave it for another hour or so.  You’ll know your meat is done, when you can easily fork it apart.  If you check at 5 hours or so and the rub is starting to look blackish, like it might be burning, cover with tin foil and return to the oven.


You can see I used a wire wrack with this roast, but as I said before, I think it works better without it.  This roast was a bit drier then other roasts.  However, after pulling the meat apart, I poured the fat juices at the bottom of the pan over the roast and it made it much better.

Pull your Pork: When the pork is done, remove from oven and let sit for 15-20 minutes covered with tin foil.  If you have  pan full of melted pork fat, remove the pork from the pan and place in a bowl.  Using forks, pull the pork meat apart into strings.  Remove bone and excess fat.  You may want to pour a bit of extra juice from the roaster over the pork to keep it moist.  You can also pour some of your BBQ sauce on your pork now, or let people apply their own BBQ sauce depending on desire.

Serve your Pulled Pork: Set out with your BBQ sauce, buns and a delicious cole slaw for a topping.  Yum.  This really is so easy.  I’ve never had it go wrong.  I just don’t think you can screw this dish up!  Its a fail safe for anyone wanting to throw an awesome summer party!

Quickest, Easiest Christmas Candy: Choco-Butter Nut Clusters

This is one of my favorite holiday treats to make because it is FAST!  This is a no hassle candy which makes a great thrifty gift for co-workes, clients, teachers, bus drivers, mailman, or pretty much anyone.  With only three easy steps, this candy goes from cupboard to candy box!

Easy Nut Clusters
makes 2 to 3 dozen

12 oz. semi sweet Chocolate chips
6 oz. butterscotch chips
1 lb nuts
optional: 1/4 bar of gulf wax**

Gulf wax is a candy grade paraffin wax found in the baking isle near the gelatin and jam making supplies.  It helps the chocolate harden so it won’t melt when handled.  It also makes it easier to mix the chocolate with the nuts.  A box comes with 4 bars of wax.

Step One: Melt Chocolate and Butterscotch

double boiler

Using a double boiler, melt chocolate and butterscotch chips together.  If you choose to use the Gulf wax, which I always do, you can add it in as well.  Cut the 1/4 bar of wax into as small of chunks as possible.  This helps it melt faster.  Stir occasionally to help the mixture melt faster.

Step Two: Mix the melted chocolate with the nuts

Place all your mixed nuts into a large bowl. You can use peanuts, cashews, walnuts, pecans, almonds or whatever nuts you want.  I usually just purchase a container or two of mixed nuts.  Pour melted chocolate over the nuts and stir until all the nuts are completely covered.

Step 3: Spoon out clusters.

spooning clusters

Spoon clusters to your desired size onto baking sheets lined with wax paper.  I usually use a tablespoon or a large soup spoon to measure the size of my clusters.  Place baking sheets with clusters into refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill and harden.

As promised, that’s it and you’re done! Store clusters chilled in an airtight container for up to two to three weeks.  I usually double the batch to make a lot of these since they are so easy and quick to make.  The butterscotch chips help give extra flavor to the candy.  Considering the output, this choco-cluster gives you great bang for your time and buck!

How To Roast A Leg of Goat and Be Awesome!

Goat is a bit exotic. If you want to impress people. Exotic always works. So, roast a leg of goat and you’ll be awesome. Guaranteed. That’s a Forkable promise. You can also go off about how difficult it is to make goat and how its often tough, and then when people bite into the moist juicy meat this recipe will easily provide you, everyone’s brains will explode. Maybe that should be the title of this post: How To Make Everyone’s Brains Explode with Goat. Hmmm Anyway, onto the recipe.

If at any point during this recipe you ask Why? – here’s your answer.
_________________________________________________________

Roasted Leg of Goat

  • a 4-5 lb leg of goat, bone and all
  • seeds from a large mature papaya
  • 1-2 Tbs kosher salt
  • 2-3 large onions for roasting
  • -for the marinade-

  • 20 limes, juiced
  • 1 c. rum
  • 1 c. white wine
  • 2 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 2-3 large beets
  • -for the dry rub

  • 2 Tbs dry ginger
  • 2 Tbs cumin
  • 1 Tbs coriander
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs sumac
  • chopped fresh mint
  • head of garlic
  • fresh ginger knuckle- 2″ or so.


  • 1) Go out and purchase a fresh leg of young goat from your butcher.

    The night before you serve:

    2) Trim the roast. The roast may be covered by a hard white surface tissue. If so, you’ll want to trim this off. I found this to be a bit difficult, but just do your best to remove as much as possible without hacking apart the roast. Put your fingers underneath the tissue and see if you can work it away from the flesh and cut it off that way. Trim off any extra fat deposits. Reserve for later.

    3) Rub smashed seeds and salt on the leg to prepare it for the marinade. Take your papaya and cut in half. Take the seeds from half the fruit and using the flat end your knife, smash them until you can see the white insides. Mix with a few tablespoons of salt and rub over your meat. Chill while you make your marinade.

    4) Assemble your marinade. Freshly squeeze your limes. Mix lime juice together with your rum, wine, olive oil and brown sugar. Place your leg roast in your roaster and pour the marinade over the leg. Wash and peel your beets, slice and place the slices in the marinade with a few slices on top of the roast.

    5) Cover the roaster with cellophane and chill overnight. Check your roast every few hours to flip over. You don’t need to get out of bed in the middle of the night. Relax. It’ll be ok, just don’t forget to flip it at least once or twice. Now, go have a drink. You need it.

    The Day You Serve:

    6) Figure out what time dinner is and schedule cooktime. Once you have dinner time scheduled, figure out the timing of your meat. It will take about 3 hours with the dry rub, 20 min. or so on the bbq and ~90 minutes in the oven. It will be fine to sit for up to an hour after removing from the oven and still be warm. You’ll want to get the dry rub on your meal about 5-6 hours before dinner time.

    7) Remove the leg from your marinade. Reserve about 4 c. of the marinade for later.

    8) Insert your lardoons. Wait, what are lardoons? Well, I can see you didn’t read my previous goat article. That’s okay. I forgive you. Lardoons are just a fancy way of referring to the fat we trimmed off earlier. Take your roast, and make a few deep incisions into the meat- an inch or so. Stuff these incisions with any trimmed fat as well as a garlic clove and a thin slice of fresh ginger each.

    9) Get your dry rub on. Mix your ingredients for the dry rub. Feel free to edit or substitute any of the seasonings on my dry rub. Its not that important, just the salt, sugar and some spice. Take the seeds from the second half of the papaya and smash them the same way you did above. Mix the seeds in with the dry ingredients. They will bind the spices together into a paste. Smear that stuff all over the meat. This is always my favorite part!! Wrap it up in cellophone and chill in the fridge.

    10) Heat up the grill. 30-45 minutes before you’re ready to start this roast off, get your grill fired up. Figure out your timing based on your grill. We have a very small smokey joe which takes forever! But you may have a fancy stainless BBQ with burners, sinks and an attached swiveling lazy boy. If so, recline back and press the fire button on your remote control.

    11) Preheat Oven. While you’re messing with the grill, have the ol’ ball and chain preheat the oven to 325. If you don’t have an ol’ ball and chain, do it yourself, dummy!

    12) Grill it! Once that fire is HOT: get that roast on there, face down first. We’re grilling it first to sear it, so only give each side about 10 minutes, more or less until the surface is blackened.

    13) Roast it! Have the roaster ready to go at the side of the grill. Fill the roaster with 2-3 large onions quartered to rest the roast on so the meat doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan while its in the oven. Once the meat is done on the BBQ, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and get that pup into the oven. Keep an eye on the thermometer. Once it gets to 130 degrees, probably after 90 minutes or so, remove from the oven.

    14) Let it rest! After it comes out of the oven, tent it by taking a sheet of aluminum foil and loosely folding it over the top of the leg roast. Let it sit for about 20 minutes. While it sits, you’ll notice it will go up to about 140 degrees, which is EXACTLY what we want. Nice- medium rare!

    15) Carve it. I wish I could give you better instructions on how to carve, but I can’t. I suck at this! I’m told the only way to learn is to practice, so I’ll just have to keep at it. Its sort of depressing to make such a beautiful food item and then hack it apart, but oh well. Here’s a guide to carving a leg of lamb which may help you. I wish you luck.

    Eat it sucka! This of course is always the easiest part. Hopefully you have some people to eat it with. Make sure you tell them how long and hard you worked on this thing. Well, I hope it wasn’t actually hard, but make them think it was. Its great when people drool all over you with compliments. Suck it up. You’ve earned it. You just made a goat! Ha!

    -PS- Don’t you dare throw that bone away! Stick it in your freezer to save for stock. There’s another long hard winter in front of you and you’ll need some broth. I guarantee it.



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