Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hot Dog Days.

There is nothing like grilling hot dogs. The sizzle, the smell. The fun that usually goes with a cook out. It says Summer Time!

I have some ideas for some different toppings. Try a taco dog, or a burrito dog, or maybe a pizza dog. Hot dog Nachos or that old childhood favorite hot dogs and spaghetti. Then there are chili dogs and Chicago dogs. How about a Hawain Dog? (add pineapple and sweet and sour sauce.)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Peanut Butter Cookies

So it’s a busy Sunday in the kitchen.  The morning started off with biscuits, and sausage gravy. Then I made a sour dough starter. It is now happily bubbling away. I can’t wait to use it next weekend.
I've got butter softening to make peanut butter cookies. They will be dipped in chocolate.

The family reunion is coming up in a month. Mom said “You’re the cook” plan us a menu for the week.  I have some ideas. I've been thinking dishes like, steak brushed with rosemary infused olive oil, grilled chicken with a white barbecue, pasta with fresh spinach and beans with a lemon sauce, and of course beans and corn bread, fried chicken and grilled corn with Parmesan cheese. Maybe a chocolate pie

And I have recipes to start organizing for the cookbook.
--Thanks to the cousins for providing some goodies.  I've been working on that. And so yeah, A very busy Sunday.

For the peanut butter cookies:
Preheat the oven to 375

½ cup butter softened
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 ¼ flour

For the dip: 8 oz Hershey Crunch bars melted.

In a large mixing bowl beat butter and sugar and peanut butter with an electric mixer. Add the egg soda and baking powder. Slowly add the flour.
Chill for ½ hour.
Scoop out teaspoon full roll in a ball and flatten onto a greased cookie sheet. Take a fork and press into each cookie, turn the fork at a 90 degree angle and press again to get a tick tack toe pattern on the cookie.
Bake for 7 to 9 minutes Cook on a rack.
Next melt the chocolate candy until smooth. Take each cookie and dip part way into the chocolate.
Let dry in a rack.

When the chocolate sets up… enjoy with a nice tall cold glass of milk. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Cherry Limeade Pie

Sunday dinner for two? Looking  For a special meal for two? OK, how about steak with a mushroom sauce, rice pilaf, and asparagus with lemon. Followed by a slice of cherry-limeade pie. 
Sounds good, yes? 

Start with pie. Since this has to chill a few hours before serving. 
You need one graham cracker crust
1/2 cup lime juice
4 eggs
18 oz sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup cherry juice 
4 tbl water
15 maraschino cherries. 

For the filling:
Separate the egg yolks from the whites and place in a separate bowl. Put 3 yolks in one bowl and the 4th yolk in its own bowl. Set the whites aside. 
Beat the 3 yolks with a wire whisk. Slowly add 3 tbls of water and 14 oz of the milk. Blend until smooth.  
Pour into pie shell. 
Beat the other yolk, water, cherry juice and remainder of milk. Blend until smooth. Pour over lime mixture. 
Bake 25 to 30 minutes at 325 degrees.

For the meringue:  
While the pie bakes place the egg whites in a mixing bowl. Start with the mixer on low and start beating the whites, when they start to foam add cream of tarter and slowly turn the mixer up to medium. Add the auger 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue mixing until stiff glossy peaks form. 
When the pie comes out of the oven torn up  temp to 350, spread the meringue    on the pie. Make sure none of the filling is showing. Bake 15 minutes to set the meringue.  
Refrigerate pie for at least 2 hours before serving. 
Before cutting, sprinkle the maraschino cherries on top. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mocha Java Chocolate Cake

1 cup cocoa powder (unsifted)
2 cups fresh brewed coffee  
1/8 tsp coffee extract
2 3/4 cups flour, all-purpose (sifted)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter (or margarine, softened)
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1) To make the cake: In medium bowl, combine cocoa with boiling water, mixing with wire whisk until smooth. Cool completely. Sift flour with soda, salt, and baking powder. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease three 9 by 1-1/2 inch layer cake pans. Line with parchment paper. Grease paper and lightly flour pans. Set aside. In large bowl of electric mixer at high speed beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla, scraping bowl occasionally, until light, about 5 minutes. At low speed, beat in flour mixture (in fourths), alternately with cocoa mixture (in thirds), beginning and ending with flour mixture. Do not overbeat. Divide evenly into pans; smooth top. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until surface springs back when gently pressed with fingertip. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Carefully loosen sides with spatula; remove from pans; cool on racks.
    To make the coffee mousse filling:
    Yield: 8 servings of coffee mousse


    2 cups evaporated milk
    2/3 cup strong coffee
    2/3 cup brown sugar
    3 egg yolks
    1 envelope unflavored gelatin, softened in 3 tablespoons cold water
    1 ½ cups heavy cream

    In a medium saucepan, combine the evaporated milk and coffee; cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it just starts steaming. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and brown sugar.

    Add ½ cup of the hot milk to the egg mixture, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Add the warm egg-milk blend back into the hot milk in the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 165 degrees on a digital candy thermometer. Remove from the heat and stir in the softened gelatin. Chill the coffee custard thoroughly.

    Beat the 1 1/2 cups of cream in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Thoroughly stir ½ cup of the whipped cream into the chilled custard, and then gently fold in the remaining cream. The coffee mousse is ready when the custard is thoroughly incorporated into the whipped cream, and no marbling shows. Serve the mousse chilled.

    This coffe mousse recipe makes 8 servings.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Lemon Chicken Pizza with Spinach

Cute. This happens to be one of those things to reproduce at home. This cute little bite of culinary bliss came from Old Chicago. 
It is a thin crust topped with a lemon garlic sauce, grilled chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh spinach, and a lemon vinaigrette. The cheese tasted like an Asiago Parmesan blend. 
The drinks were a sparking effervescent mix of pomegranate and ginger ale.  
The only set back--The pizza was not warm enough. 
But I will be attempting to make this succulent wonder at home soon. Wish me luck.