Thursday, April 30, 2015


Old Fashioned Butter Cake

This beautiful cake recipe is a 100 year old treasure and a keeper!  Reeni of Cinnamon Girl discovered this recipe in an old McCall's cookbook published in 1910, and she too fell in love with this fluffy, moist, easy-to-prepare cake and was good enough to share it with the rest of us so that we could enjoy it as well.  Thank you, Reeni!  If you are not familiar with Reeni's blog, please take a few minutes to go and visit her.  Her food is fabulous, and her photography makes you want more!

Old Fashioned Butter Cake
(from Reeni's Cinnamon Girl blog

2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1  1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease and flour two 8 inch x 2 inch baking pans and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Add butter, milk, and vanilla.  With a hand mixer, beat for  2 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. 

Add eggs and beat for 2 minutes more.

Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing equally between the pans.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven.

Cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then turn cakes out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Frost with your favorite frosting.  I used my favorite chocolate frosting, the one on the back of the Hersey's cocoa can. 

"Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Frosting

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
2/3 cup Hershey's cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar)
1/3 cup milk  (plus an additional few drops to make a nice consistency)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter.  Stir in cocoa.  Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistency.  Add more milk if needed.  Stir in vanilla.  About 2 cups frosting

Wednesday, April 29, 2015



4 cups milk
2-inch strips orange zest
1 cinnamon stick
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

1.  Bring milk, zest and cinnamon to a boil in medium saucepan.  Remove from heat; stand, covered, 5 minutes.

2.  Discard zest and cinnamon.  Add chocolate; stir until smooth.

Prep & cook time:  15 minutes (plus standing)
Serves:  6

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Image result for olive oil cake

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup skim milk
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup orange juice, warmed, extra
1/4 cup confectioners sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 400*F (375*F convection).  Coat a 9-inch square cake pan with olive oil.

2.  Beat eggs, sugar and zest in medium bowl with electric mixer until thick and cramy and sugar is dissolved.  Stir in sifted flour, then combined juice, milk and oil, in three batches.  Pour mixture into pan.

3.  Bake cake about 45 minutes, Stand cake in pan 5 minutes; turn, top-side up, onto wire rack placed over tray.

4.  Pour extra juice over hot cake; dust with sifted confectioners' sugar.  Cool cake before serving.

Prep & cook time:  1 hour 10 minutes
Serves:  10
Tip:  Lemon zest and juice can be substituted for the orange.

Monday, April 27, 2015




1/2 large pineapple, peeled, thinly sliced
1/2 medium cantaloupe, peeled, thinly sliced
2 1/2 pound piece seedless watermelon, peeled, thinly sliced
2 oranges, peeled, thinly sliced

citrus sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
2 teaspoons fresh lime zest
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint

1.  Make citrus sugar.

2.  Just before serving, layer fruit on large serving platter, sprinkling citrus sugar between layers.

3.  serve with extra mint leaves, if desired.

citrus sugar  Process ingredients until combined.

Prep time:  20 minutes
Serves:  6

Sunday, April 26, 2015


Instead of placing a chicken on a roasting rack, cut thick slices of onion, put them in an oiled pan, then place the chicken on top. The onion will absorb the chicken juices. After roasting, let the chicken rest while you make a sauce with the onions by adding a little stock or water to the pan and cooking it for about 3 minutes on high heat. 

Donald Link
Cochon and Herbsaint, New Orleans

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Saturday, April 25, 2015


Flat, pointy-tipped nut with a pitted brown shell; its creamy white kernel is covered by a brown skin.  Mild in flavor when raw, roasting brings out a warm, embracing flavor.  They are available in the shell, as whole kernels (raw or roasted), blanched (kernels, skins removed), flaked (paper-thin slices), slivered (pieces cut lenthways), and ground.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Two main ingredients -- eggs and creme fraiche -- are all you need for this super-simple yet very tasty dish.  Look in your fridge and throw in whatever you find suitable.  Serve with plenty of crusty bread or, for a gluten-free alternative, try steamed asparagus, raw carrot, bell pepper or cucumber sticks.

Traditionally ramekins are used for baking oeufs en cocotte, but you can make them in teacups to add a little British touch to this classic French dish.

2/3 cup creme fraiche
Salt and pepper
A handful of chopped dill
4 eggs
Small sprigs of dill

Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Season the creme fraiche with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.  Place a heaped tablespoon of creme fraiche int he bottom of a ramekin, followed by a little dill.  Crack an egg on top, add a second tablespoon of creme fraiche, and sprinkle with a pinch each of salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Repeat with the other three ramekins.

Place the ramekins in a baking dish and pour enough lukewarm water into the dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Bake for 15 minutes or until the egg yolks ar set to your liking.

If you like, finish each serving with a sprig or two of dill on top.

* Sour cream may be used instead of creme fraiche if you can't find it.

* Try swapping the dill for parsley, basil, or cilantro.  Or spice things up with a dash of Tabasco or chile sauce.

Prep time:  10 minutes
Baking time:  15 minutes

Sunday, April 19, 2015


When making meatballs or meatloaf, you need to know how the mixture tastes before you cook it. Make a little patty and fry it in a pan like a mini hamburger. Then you can taste it and adjust the seasoning.
Isaac Becker
112 Eatery, Minneapolis

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Saturday, April 18, 2015


With its extensive coastline, fresh seafood is an important element of Mediterranean cuisine.  Fish, shrimp, mussles, clams, octopus and squid (to name just a few) are prominent, and commonly used in many classic dishes such as paella.

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Are small, coarse-textured pork and beef sausages.  They are deeply smoked, very spicy and dry-cured so that they do not need cooking.  Serve chorizo cold with bread, pickled vegetables and a glass of sherry as a tapas dish, or grilled or fried and served hot.  Chorizo can also be purchased as a fresh sausage.

Saturday, April 4, 2015


An irregularly round, sandy-colored legume used extensively in Mediterranean, Indian and Hispanic cooking.  They have a firm texture even after cooking, a foury mouth-feel and robust nutty flavor.  Available canned (pre-cooked) or dried (must be soaked in water for several hours before cooking).