Æbleskiver Recipe

Æbleskivers are a Danish breakfast delicacy.  Æbleskiver literally means apple slice in Danish, but this dish has evolved to include a multitude of different flavor combinations from sweet including various sugars and fruits to savory with different types of cheeses and meats. 

Recommended Equipment:
aebelskiver pan
stand mixer
Æbleskiver pan (We bought a used cast iron pan on Ebay, you can also buy them new from Aunt Else's Æbleskivers)
chop stick or knitting needle

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tspn baking soda
1/2 tspn Kosher salt
3/4 tspn baking powder
2 eggs separated
2 cups buttermilk
1 tbsp vegetable oil + oil to grease  the Æbleskiver pan

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, Kosher salt, and baking powder).
  2. Separate the eggs.  Set the egg yolks aside.  Using a stand mixer, whip the egg whites until they become fluffy.
  3. Gradually mix the dry ingredients in with the egg whites.
  4. Mix in the egg yolks, buttermilk, and vegetable oil.
  5. Prepare all of the ingredients that you plan to add to the Æbleskivers in advance.  We used diced apple and garnished them with confectioner's sugar and maple syrup.
  6. Heat the Æbleskiver pan over medium heat (gas stoves work the best with heavy cast iron pans).
  7. Add a teaspoon of vegetable oil to each well in the pan.
  8. When the pan is hot, fill each well 3/4 full with the Æbleskiver batter.  Then place a small amount of diced apples (or whatever filling that you want to use) in the center of each well.
  9. Using a chop stick or knitting needle, slowly turn the Æbleskiver 1/4 length.  After this side cooks, turn the Æbleskiver another 1/4 turn.  Repeat until all sides of the Æbleskiver are cooked.  The Æbleskiver is done when the chop stick can be inserted into the Æbleskiver and it comes out clean.
  10. Remove the Æbleskivers from the pan and dust with confectioner's sugar and top with your choice of fruit, syrup, whipped cream, or other topping.  Serve them hot!
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Bourbon Slush Recipe

Bourbon SlushBourbon slushes are a tradition in our family. On Christmas Eve, there is always a big batch on hand as the family gathers. By midnight, the slushes are always completely finished off.

This is a great drink to have on hand throughout the year, however. You can store these in the freezer for months. When guests stop by, you will always have a great drink to serve.

3 12 oz. cans of lemonade concentrate
5 cups orange juice
2 16 oz. bottles of 7Up
1 fifth of Bourbon whiskey

  1. Mix together all of the ingredients.
  2. Put in the freezer for at least 24 hours.
  3. When you are ready to serve, chip the slush and add to a glass using a large metal spoon.
  4. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry.
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Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe

Mexican Wedding Cookies are both sweet and savory and are always one of the many types of cookies that we bake before the Christmas Holiday Season.  Many countries have similar types of cookies and they are known around the World by different names.  Most people agree, however, that whatever you call them they are extremely easy to make.  The dough can be prepared a day or two in advance and can be refrigerated until the time that you are ready to bake.

1/4 tspn Kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup shortening
5 tbsp butter
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups winter flour (or all-purpose flour)
1 1/4 cups finely chopped pecan pieces or ground sunflower seeds

  1. Using a mixer cream together the sugar, salt, shortening, butter, and vanilla.
  2. Add the dry ingredients and mix together.
  3. Form dough into a 1 and 1/2 inch diameter log.  Wrap the log in wax paper and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Cut the log into 1/4 inch disks.
  6. Place the disks on a lightly greased baking sheet and place on the upper rack of the oven.  Bake for 7 to 8 minutes until the just start to brown on the edges.
  7. Let the cookies cool completely and then roll the cookies in a small bowl of confectioner's sugar.
  8. Store the Mexican Wedding Cookies in an airtight container.

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Dark Chocolate-Ganache Mini Donut Recipe

There are many flavors of chocolate, ranging from white to milk to semisweet chocolate, but none are as rich - or so decadent - as dark chocolate.  The dark chocolate ganache that glazes these mini donuts is so rich that it can be served to only the truest of chocolate fans!

for donuts:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
2 tspn baking powder
1/4 tspn salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup whole milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp sour cream
1/2 tspn vanilla extract

for ganache:
3 oz. dark chocolate(at least 60% cocoa), chopped - I used Hershey's Special Dark
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp unsalted butter

  1. If using an electric donut maker, preheat according to manufacturer's instructions.  If using donut pans, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. and grease donut pans.
  2. In a small bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg and sugar.  Then add milk, oil, sour cream, and vanilla extract, mixing until thoroughly combined.  Gently stir in the flour mixture, stirring until there are no lumps.
  4. If using mini-donut pans:  carefully fill each donut indentation 3/4 full.  Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a donut comes out clean.  Transfer donuts to a cooling rack and let cool completely.  If using an electric mini-donut maker:  carefully fill each donut indentation 3/4 full.  Bake according to manufacturer's instructions or until a toothpick inserted into a donut comes out clean.  Remove donuts from appliance, transfer to a cooling rack, and let cool completely.
  5. Place chocolate in a medium-sized heatproof bowl and set aside.  Heat the cream, sugar, and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate.  Allow to stand, without stirring, for a few minutes.  Then, stir gently (you do not want to incorporate air into the ganache) with a spoon or whisk until smooth.
  6. Allow ganache to cool on the counter for about 10 minutes, stirring as needed, until it cools and slightly thickens.  Place wax paper under a wire rack to collect any drippings for an easy cleanup.  Dip the top of each donut into the ganache and transfer to a wire rack.
  7. Let donuts set for 5 minutes and then serve.  Donuts can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days but are best eaten fresh.
Recipe courtesy of Mini Donuts by Jessica Segarra

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Black Bean-Hemp Protein Patties Recipe

These patties are packed with premium protein, essential fatty acids, iron, calcium, fiber, and trace minerals, and won't contribute one bit to heart disease or diabetes, like animal-derived burgers do.  Perfectly aligned spices celebrate three plant-based protein sources:  black beans, hemp seeds, and quinoa.

coconut oil, for cooking
1 cup finely diced sweet yellow onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 cup finely diced red bell pepper (about 1 pepper)
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (unsalted)
1 cup hemp seeds
10 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water until soft, finely minced
1/2 tspn sea salt
2 tspn paprika powder
1/4 tspn chipotle powder
1/4 tspn cayenne pepper
2 tspn miso paste
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/3 cup quinoa flakes

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until onion begins to turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes.  Add the bell pepper, and continue to cook until vegetables are softened-about 5 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low and add the black beans, hemp seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, sea salt, paprika, chipotle, and cayenne.  Cook, stirring constantly, for an additional 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Add the miso paste into the mixture.  Use the back of a fork to mix the beans and miso together, partially mashing the beans.  Mix in the cooked brown rice and quinoa flakes.  When cool enough to handle, use clean hands to knead the mixture together to form a dense base.  Place in the refrigerator, covered, for 30 minutes to allow quinoa flakes to swell and absorb the excess moisture.
  3. Form the mixture into 6-8 patties, squeezing and packing the mixture together.  (If necessary, a spoonful or two of water may be added to make the patties stick together easier).  Warm a small amount of coconut oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat.  When the pan is hot, add the patties.  Cook for about 4 - 5 minutes on each side, or until browned.
Serving Suggestions:  Pair with spouted grain hamburger buns, avocado, tomatoes, onions, and sprouts.  Or, try it "high protein-style" - tucked inside a collard leaf wrap or on top of a salad.

Recipe courtesy of Superfoods Kitchen by Julie Morris

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Kransekake Ring Cake Recipe

Kransekake (Ring Cake) is a type of cake that is popular in Norway during the Christmas holiday season. It is served at weddings and other celebrations as well. The dough of this cake is made from almonds and confectioners sugar so the cake is somewhat dense, moist and chewy. It tastes a lot like a really good almond cookie. Kransekake is also different from most cakes in that it is baked as a series of rings that are plastered together with a sweet, almond icing and then adorned with a wide variety of candies or other decorations. Discover this cake this holiday season. It's fun to make and even better to eat.

Recommended Equipment:
spice or coffee grinder
tape measure or ruler

6 cups of water
1 pound of whole almonds
1 pound of confectioners sugar
2 tspn almond extract
3 egg whites
potato flour (for dusting the rolling surface)

4 cups confectioners sugar
1 tspn lemon juice
1 tspn almond extract
2 egg whites
your choice of candy for garnish. I used cinnamon imperials.

  1. In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add half of the whole almonds. After a few minutes, the almonds will begin rising to the surface of the water. As they do this, remove them from the saucepan when they hit the surface using a slotted spoon or strainer. Set them aside to let them cool. When you have removed all of the almonds from the saucepan, rinse them in cold water and remove the skins. Distribute them on a paper towel to let them dry completely. Wash the saucepan to use later.
  2. Using your spice or coffee grinder, grind up the half pound of almonds that still have their skins. Pour the ground almonds into the large saucepan. Do the same with the almonds that have their skins removed. You may need to regrind any of the large pieces of almond that were not ground originally.
  3. Add the confectioners sugar to the saucepan along with the almond extract and egg whites. Place the saucepan over low heat. Mix the ingredients together until they form a smooth paste that pulls from the sides of the saucepan.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it overnight.
  5. The next day, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease 2 to 3 baking pans.
  6. Dust a counter top or other flat surface with the potato flour.
  7. Roll the dough into 1/2 inch ropes. The length of these ropes will range from about 14 inches to 20 inches, varying in length by 1/2 inch each. So, you will make a rope of each of the following lengths: 14, 14.5, 15, 15.5, 16, 16.5, 17, 17.5, 18, 18.5, 19, 19.5, and 20 inches.
  8. Form a ring from each of these ropes and bake them for between 12 and 15 minutes until they turn golden brown. Remove them from the oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes before removing them from the baking sheets to cool further. You can bake 2 to 3 rings on a single baking sheet.
    rings ready for baking
  9. After you have baked all of the rings that you were able to make from the dough, construct the icing. In a mixing bowl, mix together the confectioner's sugar, lemon juice, almond extract, and egg whites using a wire whisk. When the icing mixture becomes thick and smooth add it to a pastry bag (or you can use a plastic freezer bag with one small corner cut). Pipe the icing onto the top of each ring. This will help to cement or secure the next ring that is placed on top. Start with the largest ring on the bottom and then add the ring that is 1/2 inch shorter next, until you have used all of your ring. You can add additional icing and candy garnish as you see fit.
  10. Serve and enjoy! Store this cake in an air tight container with a couple of slices of apple to keep it moist and chewy.
Norway [ print this recipe for Kransekake (Ring Cake) ]

Cheesy Kale Crisps Recipe

If you've never had Kale crisps before, you're in for a real treat.  (And if you have, get ready for one of the best recipes around- seriously).  These have a distinctly Parmesan-like flavor that is excitingly  addicting.  Just watch; even people who "don't like kale" will transform into kale-muching monsters before your very eyes (kids included).  Better just go ahead and start a second batch now.

1 large bunch of curly green kale
2 tbls coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp flaxseed powder
1 tspn fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp tahini
1 tspn onion powder
1/4 tspn sea salt, or to taste

  1. Wash the kale and dry very thoroughly (otherwise the flavorings will not coat the leaves well).  Remove the thick parts of the stem from the kale leaves, and tear the leaves into large pieces in a bowl.
  2. In a small bowl or cup, mix together the oil, flaxseed powder, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, tahini, onion powder, and sea salt.  Pour this mixture into the kale bowl.
  3. Using clean hands, massage the oil mixture into the kale, squeezing and tossing the vegetables as you go to help soften the leaves.  Mix for about 2 minutes until leaves are evenly coated.  Taste and adjust salt if needed.  
  4. Proceed with your method of choice below.
Dehydrator Method (preferred):   Warm the dehydrator to 115 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spread out the kale onto 4 perforated sheets, and dehydrate for 10-12 hours, or until crispy (time may vary depending on local humidity).  When done, store in an air-tight, sealed container.

Oven Method:  Heat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  Heat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spread the kale out as flatly as possible onto a couple of baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 55 - 80 minutes, or until kale has dried out and is crispy.  Keep a close eye on the kale at the end of its cooking process to make sure it does not burn.  Let cool, and store in an air-tight, sealed container.

Recipe courtesy of Superfoods Kitchen by Julie Morris

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Poulet Au Vinaigre Recipe

An old French dish,  chicken in vinegar sauce enjoyed a revival in the 1970s, and is still on many bistro menus.  For the best results, use naturally fermented French vinegar.

6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup water
2 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup top-quality red wine vinegar

  1. Melt the butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Working in batches, if necessary, add the chicken and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes.
  2. Lower the heat, and season the chicken to taste with salt and pepper.  Add 1/2 cup of water, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the scallions and 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley.  Move the pieces of white meat to the top so the dark meat, which takes longer to cook, can get more heat.  Cover again and cook until the meat shows no sign of pink when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife at the thighbone, about 20 minutes.
  4. Transfer the chicken to a platter.  Add the vinegar to the skillet.  Increase the heat to high, bring to a boil, and cook, scraping up the brown residue in the pan, until the vinegar has reduced to a thick glaze, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of water and mix until smooth.
  5. Add 1/4 cup of chopped parsley, pour the sauce over the chicken, and serve hot.

Recipe courtesy of The Essential James Beard Cookbook by James Beard.

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The Father Loaf Recipe

father loaf - meat loaf
If you're going to have the Mother Loaf, you've got to have the The Father Loaf.  So what makesthis meatloaf different from its better half?  You'll see.  We've added some barbecue sauce, a different herb blend, and topped it with Cheesy Taters.  Here's to dads everywhere!

1 cup dry white bread crumbs
1 cup 100% whole grain rolled oats
2/3 cup 2% milk
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tbsp + 2 tspn Worchestire sauce
2 tspn traditional barbecue sauce
2 tspn minced garlic
2 tspn minced fresh chives
1 tspn dried Herbes de Provence
1 tspn paprika
1 tspn fine sea salt
1 tspn black pepper
1 pound(450 g) ground chuck beef
1 pound(450 g) ground pork
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/3 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
2/3 cup finely chopped curly parsely
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
canola or vegetable spray, for greasing
1 batch of Cheesy Taters

For the Glaze and Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup traditional barbecue sauce
granulated sugar, to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine the bread crumbs, oats, and milk in a bowl and let soften.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and barbecue sauces, garlic, chives, Herbes de Provence, paprika, salt, and pepper.  In a large bowl, combine the ground meats, onion, celery, bell pepper, and parsley.  Add the eggs, the ketchup mixture, and the softened bread crumb/oats mixture, and then mix well with your hands.
  4. Cover a sheet pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray  with canola or vegetable oil.  Using your hands, form the meatloaf mixture into a generous log on the prepared pan and smooth the surface, or create your own shape - Dad may even want to fashion it into a football to accompany one of those big games!  Bake in the oven for approximately 35 minutes.
  5. While the meatloaf is baking, begin preparing the Cheesy Taters.  Also stir together the ingredients for the glaze and dipping sauce.
  6. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and brush the top with some of the glaze mixture.  Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit but note that the total cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of your particular creation.
  7. Top with hot Cheesy Taters and enjoy with the remaining glaze mixture as a dipping sauce. 
Recipe courtesy of The Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook - Comfort Food with a Twist by Cynthia Kallile

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Cheesy Taters Recipe

Cheesy potatoes
Imagine a creamy blend of three cheeses with sour cream and butter.  Cheesy potatoes have never been this good.  Love them alone and on the Father Loaf.

8 Russet potatoes (about 2 lb./900 g), peeled and cut into 2-inch/5-cm cubes
2 tbsp. 2% milk
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sour cream
1 1/3 cups shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese
1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
coarse sea salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

  1. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce the heat and continue cooking for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.  In the meantime, warm the milk in a microwave.
  2. Drain the potatoes in a colander and return to the pan.  Add the warm milk, softened butter, and sour cream, and then mash with a potato masher.  While the potatoes are still hot, add the cheeses and continue mashing until they are melted.  Season with salt and pepper - because these cheeses can be salty, you may not need to add any salt, perhaps only a little white pepper to bring out the flavors.  As for lumps, they're totally acceptable if you don't intend to do any creative piping.  However, if you'de like to try your hand with a pastry bag and your favorite decorative tip, be sure to minimize lumps, because they make piping more difficult.
Variation:  Caraway-Horseradish Smashers

Make 1 batch of Cheesy Taters, following the recipe above, but replace the cheeses with  1 tbsp. plus 1 tspn. prepared(pure) horseradish and the same quantity of crushed caraway seeds-feel free to add more horseradish to taste.  Continue mashing until the potatoes reach the desired consistency (smooth for piping or toping).  Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe courtesy of The Meatloaf Bakery Cookbook - Comfort Food with a Twist by Cynthia Kallile

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Coq au Vin Assez Rapide Recipe

Chicken with wine is one of those special dishes I’ve found everywhere in my travels through Burgundy. Classic coq au vin can be fussy and time-consuming, as some recipes call for marinating the chicken in wine overnight and peeling a lot of petits oignons (here, frozen pearl onions are used – no one will know the difference). The assez rapide (pretty quick) recipe gets right to the heart of the classic dish without a lot of fuss.

The traditional wine for coq au vin is a Pinot Noir from Burgundy. But I’ve always enjoyed this dish most when made with that other Burgundian red – the terrific cru Beaujolais (made from the Gamay grape). To me, Beaujolais is the quintessential dinner-at-home wine – fruity, soft, and approachable – and it goes with everything. Get an extra bottle to drink with dinner.

3 to 4 pounds bone-in, skin on chicken breast halves and/or thighs
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium-size carrot, peeled and diced
3 large shallots, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cru Beaujolais, such as Beaujolais Villages, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Morgon, or Brouilly (not Beaujolais Nouveau); you can also use Pinot Noir
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
1 tbsp snipped fresh parsley, plus additional snipped fresh parsley or chives, or a combination, for the garnish
1/2 tspn dried thyme, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups frozen pearl onions
3 tbsp unsalted butter
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, stems trimmed, left whole if small, quartered or halved if larger

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Snip away and discard any excess skin from the chicken thighs. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in 1/2 cup of the flour, pat off the excess, and set aside. Cook the bacon in a braiser or oven-safe Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Add the vegetable oil to the bacon fat left in the braiser; heat over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes (reduce the heat to medium if the chicken browns too quickly). Transfer the chicken to a plate and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the braiser.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the carrot and shallots to the braiser; cook, stirring, until the carrots soften somewhat and the shallots are tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Add the wine and chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf. Return the chicken, skin side up, to the braiser and add the bacon.
  4. Cover the braiser and transfer to the oven. Bake until the chicken is tender and no longer pink (the internal temperature should register 170 degrees Fahrenheit for breasts, 180 degrees Fahrenheit for thighs), about 1 hour.
  5. About 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time, cook the frozen pearl onions in a large saucepan according to the package directions. Drain and leave in the colander. In the same saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat; add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until tender and lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Return the onions to the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  6. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces to a large platter; cover with foil to keep warm. Discard the bay leaf. Pour the juices and solids into a large measuring cup and skim off the fat. You want a total of 2 cups of pan liquid, including the bacon, carrot, shallots, and garlic in the liquid. If you have more, boil the liquid in the pot over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 cups. If you have less, add additional chicken broth to make 2 cups, return the liquid to the pot, and bring to a boil.
  7. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons flour together to make a paste (a beurre manié). Add the beurre manié bit by bit to the cooking liquid, stirring with a wire whisk to blend away any lumps. Cook, stirring, until the mixture boils and thickens, then continue to cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Add the onions and mushrooms and heat through.
  8. Divide the chicken among six shallow bowls. Pour the sauce over the chicken, dividing the bacon, mushrooms, and onions evenly. Top each serving with a sprinkling of parsley or chives and serve.
Makes 6 servings

Recipe courtesy of The Bonne Femme Cookbook by Wini Moranville

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Easy Thanksgiving Dinner Recipe

Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday because it has nothing to do with politics or religion and it is all about getting family and friends together to enjoy great food. Many of us are fortunate enough to be a part of a large gathering on this day. However, many people will be spending this holiday alone because they are far from home, have a small family, have to work during the holiday, and/or many other reasons. Although they won't be able to join members of their family and friends, they can still enjoy a quick and easy Thanksgiving dinner that can be prepared by one person in less than 20 minutes. Here's how to do it.

3 boneless turkey or chicken breasts
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 and 1/4 cup water
1 10 3/4 oz. can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 6 oz. package of your favorite bread stuffing mix

serve these along with chicken and stuffing for a fast and easy Thanksgiving feast.
1 can Cranberry
1 store bought pie
1 bottle of your favorite wine (we chose Fritz's Riesling - $13 per bottle)

  1. Place the chicken at the bottom of a greased slow cooker.
  2. Pour the condensed soup over the chicken.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the stuffing, water, and melted butter. Distribute this mixture evenly over the chicken.
  4. Place cover on the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours.
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Italian Meat Balls Recipe

If you never seem to have time to cook during the week, try this recipe for Italian meatballs. You can make these on the weekend and heat them up in the microwave (for about 1 minute) when you need them during the week.

We will cover them in a simple tomato sauce before they go into the oven. In addition, we made a velouté sauce that can be poured over the meatballs when they are served. This sauce is optional but very easy to make.

The Italian meatballs can be eaten as a stand alone dish or they can be added to your favorite pasta (such as Risotto Milanese) and sauce. Regardless of how you decide to use them, they will save you time during the week.
risotto Milanese with meatballs

1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
2 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tspn salt
1 1/2 tspn black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp dried porcini mushrooms, ground

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a large casserole dish.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the pork, beef, bread crumbs, milk, eggs, garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and porcini mushrooms.
  3. Using your hands, form golf ball sized meatballs.
  4. Place the meatballs into the casserole dish and place the dish into the oven.
  5. Cook for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the casserole dish containing the meatballs from the oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Cover the meatballs with your favorite spaghetti sauce. I used canned pizza sauce.
  8. When the temperature in the oven has reached 350 degrees Fahrenheit, place the meatballs back into the oven and bake for 1 hour.
  9. Remove the meat balls from the oven and serve hot.
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Spicy Sesame Noodle Bowl Recipe

from  White Jacket Required by Jenna Weber.....

Whenever I am craving for Vietnamese food, I head to the kitchen and make this recipe.  Cooked shrimp make a nice addition.

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/8 cup chili oil
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
5 clove garlic, minced
8 oz. soba noodles, cooked and drained (drizzle with sesame oil after cooking)
sesame seeds for garnish
sliced raw vegetables of your choice (red pepper strips, carrot sticks, bean sprouts)

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the soy sauce and hot water until combined and smooth.  Add canola oil and mix again, then add tahini, sugar, and vinegar, mixing well after each addition.
  2. Add chili oil, sesame oil, and garlic.
  3. Whisk until everything is combined.
  4. Serve with noodles and top with sesame seeds and raw vegetables.

Recipe courtesy of White Jacket Required by Jenna Weber (author of the blog Eat, Live, Run

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Slow Cooker Feijoada Recipe

Feijoada is Brazil's national dish.  It is usually served in restaurants throughout the country every Saturday.   This dish can be traced back to the early days of Brazil.  Slaves that worked the sugar cane plantations used the undesirable parts of the pig that were discarded to make this hearty pork stew.  They served it with Kale, rice and farofa (made from casava root) to make a perfectly well rounded meal.  Combine it with a few caipirinhas or caipiroskas and you will learn why this is the most popular dish in Brazil. 

3/4 pound pork ribs
1/2 pound smoked bacon
2 ham hocks
1 tbsp tomato paste
8 oz. chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
28oz. can of black beans
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound of pork filets
4 cloves garlic,minced
1 yellow onion, diced
1/2 pound linguiça or chorizo sausage, chopped into thin slices
1 4oz. can of green chiles
4 scallions, sliced lengthwise and then sliced across into 2 to 3 inch pieces

  1. Put the pork ribs, smoked bacon (slices unseparated), and ham hocks in the slow cooker.  Add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, black beans, bay leaf, salt, and pepper.
  2. Cover with lid and cook on low for 7 hours.
  3. Remove the ham hocks and ribs from the slow cooker.  Remove any bones that you can find and then place the pieces of meat back in the slow cooker.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Remove the smoked bacon from the slow cooker and place it in the skillet.  Skim off the fat and add crisp bacon back to the slow cooker.
  5. Add the olive oil to the skillet along with the onions and garlic.  Cook the garlic and onions until the onions are translucent.  Place the onions and garlic in the slow cooker.
  6. Slice up the linguiça or chorizo into 1/4 inch slices and add them to the skillet.  Brown the sausage and then add it to the slow cooker.
  7. Add the can of green chilies to the slow cooker and cook on low for another hour.
  8. Chop up the scallions lengthwise and then into 2 inch slices.
  9. Serve the feijoada over steamed rice with the scallions as garnish.
Serve with couve or just lightly steamed kale and fresh orange slices.  Farofa, rice, and heart of palm are also served with feijoada as they taste great along with the pork and black beans!! 

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Jackie Kennedy's Beef Stroganoff Recipe

If you're looking for something to make for dinner on election night, we recommend this one direct from Camelot. You can fill up the slow cooker before you head out to the polls on Tuesday and by the time the election results begin to trickle in, you will be enjoying one of Jackie's best recipes.

From Holiday Slow Cooker by Jonnie Downing....

Was there anything this amazing woman wasn't good at?  Try the first lady's delicious beef stroganoff recipe and judge for yourself.  While this version is modified for the slow cooker, you'll still need to do some prep work.  It's worth it.

2 pounds top sirloin, trimmed of fat and cut into 2-inch strips
1/4 tspn salt
1/4 tspn pepper
1/4 cup grated yellow onion 
1 1/2 cups sliced baby portabello mushrooms
2 cups beef broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tspn onion powder
egg noodles, for serving
1/2 cup sour cream

  1. Spray the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray.
  2. Season the beef strips with the salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker.
  3. Lightly saute the onions. 
  4. Add the onion, mushrooms, broth, tomato paste, and onion powder.  Cover and cook on low for 10 hours, until the beef is tender.
  5. Shortly before serving time, cook the noodles according to the package directions.  While they are cooking, mix the sour cream into the meat mixture in the slow cooker.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, as needed.
  6. Serve the hot stroganoff over the noodles. 

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Garlic Bread Recipe

Everybody loves warm bread when it arrives at the table, and when it has the scent of garlic wafting from it, you know it has the Italian touch.  The goal in making a good garlic bread is to rub the bread with the crushed garlic clove, not to load it with chopped garlic; remember, just the essence is enough to gratify your senses.

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
12-inch loaf Italian bread without seeds
1 tspn dried oregano
Kosher salt for seasoning

  1. Combine the olive oil and garlic in a small bowl, and steep about 30 minutes, to let the flavors mingle.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Split the bread in half lengthwise, then cut in half crosswise, to make four pieces.  Set the pieces, cut side up, on a baking sheet, and brush the bread with the flavored oil, rubbing with garlic cloves and leaving them on top.  Sprinkle with the dried oregano.
  3. Bake until the bread is golden and crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes.  Remove any large garlic pieces, and lightly season the bread with salt before serving.
Garlic Bread Topped with Cheese (Pane Strofinato con Formaggio):  substitute 1/4 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano for the oregano.

Garlic Bread Rubbed with Tomatoes (Pane Strofinato con Pomodoro):  Cut some ripe tomatoes in half crosswise.  While the baked bread is still hot, rub cut surfaces of the bread with the tomato halves, until the bread has absorbed the tomato juices, and the tomato pulp has rubbed onto the bread.  Season lightly with salt, drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil on top, and serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy of Lidia's Favorite Recipes by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali.

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Wild Mushroom Risotto Recipe

Everyone thinks of mashed potatoes and gravy or mac and cheese as comfort foods. But after tasting this risotto, you may just have a new favorite.

6 cups beef stock (or substitute chicken or mushroom stock)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and julienned
1 cup oyster mushrooms, sliced
1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
1 pound Principato di Lucedio Arborio rice
1/2 cup Courvoisier cognac
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley.

  1. Pour the stock into a stock pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer.
  2. In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes, or until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining olive oil and butter in a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown. Pour in the cognac and keep stirring until it is completely absorbed. Using a large ladle, add the stock one ladle at a time, stirring constantly, until absorbed. Continue this process until all the stock is used and the rice is creamy.
  4. Add the mushroom mixture to the risotto and continue cooking and stirring. Stir in the heavy cream and cheese and continue stirring. Risotto should have a very creamy texture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, garnished with chopped parsley.
Serves 8

Recipe courtesy of Lobster for Leos, Cookies for Capricorns by Sabra Ricci

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Paglia e Fieno (Straw and Hay) Recipe

This colorful pasta dish has been on restaurant menus as far-back as I can remember.  Patrons love the two-tone pasta, crispy peas, prosciutto bits, and creamy sauce.  Your family and guests will ask for second helpings every time.  But, as traditional as this dish is, feel free to change the vegetables according to seasons; for example, I love adding fava beans in the spring, corn in the summer, mushrooms in the fall, and cooked chestnuts in the winter.

salt for the pasta pot
4 scallions
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup shelled fresh peas, blanched or frozen baby peas, defrosted
6 to 8 slices imported prsciutto, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick ribbons
2/3 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound fresh paglia e fieno fettucine, or 1/2 pound dry egg fettucine and 1/2 pound dry spinach fettucine
3/4 cup freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Trim the roots, tips, and any yellow or wilted leaves from the scallions.  Cut them in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 3-inch lengths.  Cut the scallion pieces lengthwise into thin strips.
  3. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add the scallions, and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.  Scatter in the peas and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes.  Add the prosciutto, and toss until it changes color, 1 to 2 minutes.  Pour in the chicken stock, and bring the liquid to a boil.  Reduce the sauce to a simmer, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.  Add the heavy cream, and continue to simmer until the liquid is lightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Stir the pasta into the salted boiling water.  Return to a boil, and cook the pasta until al dente.  Fish the pasta out of the boiling water with a large wire skimmer, and add it directly to the sauce in the skillet, stirring to coat the pasta with the sauce.  Cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced enough to form a creamy sauce.  Remove from the heat, toss in the grated cheese, and serve immediately in warm bowls.
Recipe courtesy of Lidia's Favorite Recipes by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali.

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Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe

From the Essential James Beard Cookbook by James Beard.....

As the first course for a company dinner, or as a cold-weather lunch, cream of mushroom soup is very versatile.  Crimini (baby portabello) mushrooms are more flavorful than white mushrooms, and can be used, but they make a darker soup.

1 pound white mushrooms
4 cups chicken stock
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups heavy cream
2 tbsp sherry or Cognac (optional)
1/4 tspn Tabasco
Kosher salt

  1. Wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth and break off the stems.  In a large pot, simmer the stems in the stock for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the mushroom flavor has thoroughly permeated the stock.
  2. Strain the stock through a sieve into a bowl;  discard the stems.  Return the stock to the pot.
  3. Mix the flour and butter into a paste, beurre manié, and roll into tiny balls.  Bring the stock to a boil; drop in the balls of beurre manié and beat in with a whisk until the beurre manié is absorbed and the stock is slightly thickened.
  4. Slice the mushroom caps thinly and add them to the thickened broth.  Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the cream in another pan, stirring, until just at the simmering point.  Add the sherry, if using, and stir in the cream.  Stir in the Tabasco and season with salt.
  6. Reheat the soup until hot, but not boiling, and serve in heated soup plates or cups.
Makes 6 servings

Recipe courtesy of The Essential James Beard Cookbook by James Beard.

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Book Review: Kitchenability 101 - The College Student's Guide to Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Food

You have spent the last decade or more trying to save money and prepare your child for college.  You have taken them shopping for the basic things that they will need to survive during their first year away from home.  But if you think that you have all of the bases covered, you need to check out Kitchenability 101:  The College Student's Guide to Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Food by Nisa Burns.

This book includes 65 easy, affordable, and healthy recipes designed with high school and college students in mind.  The book offers personal and practical advice to improve your student's abilities in the kitchen.  It helps students discover the satisfaction of cooking on a budget for themselves and for their friends.

Author Nisa Burns is a culinary graduate of the Art Institute of Virginia Beach and CEO of Kitchenability, Inc.  Her company was founded with the goal of giving students the confidence and skills to make easy, healthy, and delicious foods suited to their lifestyles.  Burns contends that if colleges had a mandatory introduction to cooking class, more students would become lifelong healthy eaters.

The book begins with a wealth of information devoted to setting up a basic, working kitchen designed for the students specific living accommodations.  Author Burns includes sections on dorm room essentials, must-have utensils, and basic pantry staples.  She also provides QR codes that point the reader to her instructional videos where she provides information from basic cooking techniques to shopping advice.  Here is one example of these videos:  how to cut an onion and stretching your budget by shopping at a farmer's market.  Kitchenability is divided into several chapters with a multitude of fundamental recipes that help students gain confidence as they develop their culinary skills.  

As part of our review, we prepared two dishes:  Creamy Hummus Dip and Bananas Foster.  The hummus was very easy to make.  Within 5 minutes we had fresh homemade hummus that tasted better than the brand that we usually buy at the store.  The author's suggestion of adding sun dried tomatoes to the mix would make this recipe even better.  This was a simple, fundamental recipe that can serve as a quick and easy snack or a building block for a more complex dish.  Next, we tried Bananas Foster another classic recipe that was easy and affordable to prepare. This dish has a long history and was first prepared back in the early 1950s at Brennan's Restaurant in New Orleans.  This was a great tasting, simple dessert that we put together in a matter of minutes.  Overall, Kitchenability 101 provides the essentials for college students to explore and develop their culinary skills.  In her debut effort, Author Nisa Burns has provided an outstanding collection of healthy, easy, economic, and fun recipes for students to explore.  We give Kitchenability 4 out of 5 stars.

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