Friday, April 30, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo
I am posting four recipes beginning tomorrow that will complete your menu for a Cinco de Mayo dinner / celebration. Round out the celebration with a margarita or two or three! This is my favorite recipe!
Blended Margaritas
Margarita Mix:
3 cups water
3 cups sugar
2 cups lemon juice
2 cups lime juice
Combine water and sugar in a large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Cool syrup at least to room temperature.
Mix syrup. lemon juice and lime juice. Cover and chill until cold. Keeps 1 week in refrigerator.
Blended Margaritas:
Coarse salt and lime wedges
1 1/2 cups homemade Margarita Mix
3/4 cup gold Tequila
1/4 cup Triple Sec
8 ice cubes
4 to 6 lime wedges.
Rub the rims of six glasses with lime wedges and dip rims in coarse salt. Set aside.
Combine Margarita mix, Tequila, Triple Sec and ice cubes in blender. (Depending on the size of your blender, you may have to blend half at a time.) Process until well blended. Garnish each glass with lime wedge.
Note: I usually make one half of the recipe of the mix and then of course one half of the alcohol for a smaller amount.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Famous No-Knead Bread

Famous No-Knead Bread

What is tastier than warm bread, fresh from the oven, with melting butter? Panini Girl Blog posted this recipe with photos. I went online to learn the source of the recipe as it sounded worth posting. The recipe was posted by The New York Times who said it circulated faster than an African get-rich scheme. The original source of the recipe was the Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City
3 cups all purpose or bread flour
1/4 teaspoon yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1 5/8 cups tap water
Directions: In a large bowl combine flour, yeast, and salt.
Add water and stir until blended. The dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap.

Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably 18 hours, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees F.
When the surface is dotted with bubbles, lightly flour a work surface or silicone mat and place dough on it.
Sprinkle it with a little more flour, and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 15 minutes.
Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to the work surface and your fingers, gently and quickly shape the dough into a ball.
Generously coat a lint-free linen towel with flour. Not a terrycloth towel. Put the dough seam side down on the towel and dust with more flour. Cover with another lint-free linen towel and let rise for 2 to 3 hours. Dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
At least half an hour before baking, place a 3 to 4 quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex, or ceramic) in the oven and preheat to 450F.
When the dough is ready, carefully remove the pot from the oven. Slide your hand under the towel and turn the dough over into the pot. seam side up. It may look like a mess, but that's okay.

Shake the pan once or twice if the dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.
Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and bake 15 to 30 minutes more, until the loaf is beautifully browned.
Remove the loaf from the pot and cool on a rack.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mango Chutney

Mango Chutney
I prepared the Curry Chicken Burgers with Bismati Rice Recipe of April 20, 2010) and Naan (bread) for our Dinner. Being the frugal person I am, I thought the difference in the price of chicken breasts verses ground chicken breasts was $4.00 per pound. Now how difficult can grinding a chicken breast be? I must admit it was time consuming until I got it figured out that any tendons would block the grinding disc. For the difference of $6.00 for the one and one-half pounds, I still would grind the chicken breasts. I served a sour tofu instead of sour cream to reduce cholesterol. It was very tasty and difficult to distinguish from sour cream. The Mango Chutney certainly was the condiment that made the dish!
I would highly recommend that you use the Mango Chutney recipe the next time you plan to prepare pork, poultry, or fish. It is so worth your effort.
Mango Chutney

1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 cup mango, peeled and cut into 3/4" pieces
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 1/2 Tablespoons golden onions
2 teaspoons crystallized ginger, finely chopped
1/4 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds, whole
pinch of red pepper flakes

Combine sugar and vinegar in a 2 quart saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, until syrupy and slightly thickened, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir occasionally during cooking.
This chutney is great on poultry, pork, chicken and fish. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The "M" Restaurant

Click on the photos to enlarge detail!
Restaurant Manager Roshan Giving Us An Off Duty Tour! Great Job Roshan!
The Gates Which Hold The Secret Of The "M" Restaurant The Dining Room Of The "M" The Mahogany Bar Well Stocked Outdoor Seating With An Ocean View
The "M" Restaurant Of Catalina Island
Catalina Island celebrated the opening its newest restaurant February 12, 2010. The "M" Restaurant will be recognized as the epic center of change with the food service of the island, uniquely offering their customers "New American Cuisine". The menu offers choices prepared from fresh organic vegetables and ranch raised high quality meats and fresh seafood and fish. Sauces compliment the menu choices.
Upon entering the restaurant your eye is quickly drawn to the pristine cleanliness of the tranquil ocean view dining room. Tables are set with glasses and stemware and neatly pleated napkins with contrasting tablecloths. Immediately to the left of the entrance is a beautiful mahogany well stocked bar. A great selection of wine choices can be ordered from a well stocked wine cellar.
A patio setting with an ocean view will accommodate summer guests who prefer outdoor dining. This restaurant offers a great atmosphere as well as food choices not often found today in our "fast food" world. You will not be disappointed making "The "M" your choice.
No other restaurant on the island can advertise the quality and choices on their menu which can be found at The "M" Restaurant. The manager Roshan comes to the island with a lengthy history of successful operation in the food industry, most recently as owner of San Francisco's highly acclaimed restaurant and our favorite, Metro Kathmandu.
The "M" Restaurant has a website with a posted menu. Treat yourself to a healthy choice with nutrition foremost in your lunch or dinner choice from the menu at The "M" Restaurant. When you visit Catalina Island please tell Roshan you read this write up on "Dine With Donna".

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Catalina Island

The Tuna Club
The Tuna Club of Catalina Island was established in 1898 to promote fishing as a gentleman's sport through conservancy. Notice the word gentlemen as no women are members. The Tuna Club established the standards which are used in Anglers Club throughout the world today. The Tuna Club has a display of rods and reels as well as hooks and lures used over the years of the Club's history. Just a couple of notables who hold fishing records at the Club are author Zane Grey, and Winston Churchill.
The Tuna Club building was also the setting for the 1966 movie "The Glass Bottom Boat" which starred Doris Day, Rod Taylor and Arthur Godfrey. Now that is some reminiscing of bygone names and people. Catalina once was considered the playground of the rich and famous due to the prominence of the visitors of the Wrigleys and the Hollywood scene on the island.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Catalina Island

The Fountain With Original Tile Work Tiles Depicting The Early History Of The Island Tile Artistry Showing The Early Settlers Casino Facade with Beautiful Original Tile Art
Catalina Island Tile Company
In 1927 a vehicle became stuck in the mud while traveling the island. It was learned at that time the soil contained a clay that could be fired and used decoratively and functionally. For approximately 10 years the tile company flourished creating beautiful tiles, building supplies and housewares. The facade of the casino in the two bottom photos displays the original tiles of the early years as well as the fountain in the top photo.
The wall along the water edge, depicting the early history of the island, have been more recently designed by local artist Mary Kennedy who continues to design pottery tiles. A 4x4 tile commands approximately $16.00 while the 6X6 tile is approximately $26.00. They are beautifully designed but not duplicated designs of the original tiles.
The Catalina Island Museum displays an exhibit of dinnerware, gardenware as well as original tiles crafted on the island befor the demise of the business in 1937. A new owner took over the business which was phased into the Franciscan line of dinnerware.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Catalina Island

The Inn At Mt. Ada The Clock Tower
Catalina Island
Catalina Island was purchased by William Wrigley Jr. and his wife Ada in 1919. Their presence was felt very much by those living there at the time and continues with those who visit today. The home William built for his wife Ada sets atop the bluff on the east side of the crescent bay overlooking the town of Avalon and harbor. Today the home serves as a Bed & Breakfast known as "The Inn At Mt. Ada". Telephone 1-800-608-7669 or 310-510-2030. Email
Across the Bay is the clock tower which Ada had designed with Westminster Chimes in a majestic setting and a commanding view to all. It strikes the quarter hours and hour filling the area with its carillon chimes. Several years later, some people of the town claimed they were disturbed with the continuous chiming claiming to keep them awake at night. Ada agreed to muting the chimes for the hours of 8:00 p.m. through 8:00 a.m. Click on the photo of the clock tower and notice the tile roof. Tomorrow I will blog about the history of the clay tiles and pottery of the island.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Catalina Island

An Eighty Minute Ride Over Twenty-Six Miles Of Sea Approaching Avalon The Sitting And Dining Area Of Our Hotel Room The Sitting And Dining Area Of Our Hotel Room
And The Marvelous View!
Catalina Island
Our children gave us a stay on Catalina Island for our 50Th wedding anniversary. The island is rich in history with the Wrigley Family of Chicago. Much beauty of the island has been preserved through a Conservancy which keeps sixty-six of the seventy-six square miles from development. I will blog the highlights over the next several days.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I am planning a theme dinner party using the recipes of The Curry Chicken Burger and Bismati Rice of April 20, with today's recipe for Naan and the dessert will be the Flourless Carrot Cake which I posted February 5, 2010 . Today I am offering two choices for the recipe for naan.


1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume. Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat. At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared. Yields 14 servings.
Note: Please read the comment posted by Meli. Her suggestion is to roll the dough.
A second choice: Recipe For Naan
2 1/2 cups tepid water (about 90 degrees)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
5-6 cups bread flour (I use King Arthur)
1 Tablespoon salt(sesame seeds)
Directions: Put water and yeast in a large bowl and stir to blend. Add 3 cups of the flour, about a cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat for about a minute to develop the gluten. Sprinkle the salt over the mixture and slowly add more flower, a cup at a time, and stir until the dough is too stiff to work with. Note: you may not have to use all the flour…. Turn dough out on a lightly floured work surface and knead it for about 10 minutes until it’s smooth and easy to handle. Then put dough in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let it set at room temp for about 2 hours. If it goes longer, its ok… you can even put it in the refrigerator for up to 18 hours. Preheat oven to about 500 degrees. Punch down the dough, and cut it into about 4 or 5 pieces. Shape them into oval shaped balls 6×8 inches and let them sit for a few minutes to rest the gluten. Get a bowl of water to use. Take one piece and flatten it out by getting your fingers very wet and pressing them into the dough and make lots of deep dimples in it. If you make small holes, its ok. (It’s actually good for the texture.) The more wet the dough gets from pushing on it, the better! The pick the piece up and gently pull it in a long football shape 5 inches wide and about 12-18 inches long. If there are holes in the dough, its all good. Put some cornmeal on a peel, or use parchment paper and place on a baking stone in the oven for about 5 minutes. It cooks quick, so watch it closely… it should start to brown all around the edges. You can have 2 in the oven at one time if you are comfortable with it. Before you put these in the oven, you can put sesame seeds on top or olive oil with a few garlic cloves pressed in, or you can put cinnamon and sugar on top after it comes out. Thats it!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Curry Chicken Burgers With Apple Chutney & Spiced Bismati Almond Pilaf

Curry Chicken Burgers with Apple Chutney 
and Spiced Basmati Almond Pilaf 
A touch of whipping cream and fresh bread crumbs result in moist tender chicken burgers rich with Indian flavor.


1 large Granny Smith apple

1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup mango chutney
1 large Granny Smith apple
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp curry powder
1 egg
½ cup whipping cream
½ tsp salt
1½ cups fresh bread crumbs
¼ to ⅓ cup finely chopped fresh coriander
1½ lbs lean ground chicken
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
6 chapati, whole wheat pita or naan
2 to 3 cups lightly packed baby spinach
1 cup sour cream
Basmati Pilaf:
1 cup basmati rice
1¼ cup water
2 generous pinches of saffron
2 tbsp unsalted butter
6 green cardamom pods (not black smoked variety)
5 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
¼ cup dried currants or dark raisins
1 cup toasted sliced or slivered almonds
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1. To make chutney, peel, core and finely dice apple. Heat butter in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add apple; sauté 5 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned and softened. Meanwhile chop any large pieces of mango in chutney; return to chutney. Take apples off heat, stir in chutney and cool in heatproof bowl. Chutney can be covered and refrigerated for days.

2. For burgers, peel, core and grate apple. Heat butter in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add apple, onion and garlic. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until softened and no liquid is visible in pan; stir in curry powder. Cool.

3. To form burgers, place egg, cream and salt in a large mixing bowl; stir to combine. Sprinkle in bread crumbs and coriander; top with cooled apple and onion mixture. Stir until well mixed. Crumble in chicken. Using hands, work all ingredients until uniformly mixed. Form into 12 oblong patties about ¾ inch (2 cm) thick. Cover and refrigerate until ready to fry, up to a day.

4. For Pilaf, wash basmati rice in a sieve under cold running water until water runs clean. Drain, turn into a bowl and add measured water. Soak 30 minutes; drain, reserving soaking water. Add saffron to reserved soaking water.
5. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add cardamom, cloves and cinnamon; sauté 1 to 2 minutes. Add drained rice; sauté 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add soaking water, including saffron, and currants. Bring to a boil; stir. Reduce heat to very low and cover. Cook 15 minutes then turn off heat and let stand 10 minutes without removing top. Rice holds well for 30 to 60 minutes; stir in almonds when ready to serve.

6. Fry burgers in batches or in 2 pans as needed. Heat ½ tbsp (7 mL) each of butter and olive oil in a large frying pan over medium to medium-low heat. Add burgers without crowding. Fry for 8 to 10 minutes on fi rst side. Turn; fry for another 8 to 10 minutes or until crusty.

7. Warm chapati for 3 to 4 minutes in a preheated 400°F oven. Line each round with spinach leaves, add 2 burgers and dollops of chutney and sour cream; fold over and place on warmed serving plate. Spoon rice alongside, garnish with coriander. Allow guests, Indian style, to remove whole spices from rice as they eat. Pass remaining chutney and sour cream.
Makes 6 servings

This is another great recipe from my favorite Canadian site, LCBO.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Oatmeal Cookies

My mother baked a wonderful oatmeal cookie. I hope someday to duplicate her recipe. I think the m and m's in this recipe will be replaced with raisins. Nothing makes the house smell better than the aroma of cinnamon baking.
Printed from COOKS.COM
1 c. butter
1 1/2 c. light brown sugar

1 egg

1 1/4 tsp. vanilla

2 1/2 c. oatmeal (regular, not instant)

1 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. M&M candies

1/2 c. raisins

3/4 c. chopped nuts (optional)

1/4 c. coconut (optional)

Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Blend in vanilla and egg. Add oats, flour, soda and salt. Mix well. Stir in remaining ingredients. Drop by teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes about 4 dozen.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Almond & Orange Stuffed Figs

Almond And Orange Stuffed Figs
These are delicious at any time of the year. Use Medjool dates instead of figs if desired.
If you prefer not to use egg whites, decrease sugar to 2 tbsp and add 1 tbsp honey.
1 cup whole blanched almonds
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup candied orange peel
2 tsp grated orange rind
2 tsp orange liqueur
1 egg white, lightly beaten
18 good quality, plump dried figs
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2. Place almonds on a cookie sheet and toast for 8 to 10 minutes, or until slightly brown.
3. Grind together toasted almonds with sugar in a food processor until very fine. Add candied orange peel and process until mixture is fine. Stir in orange rind, liqueur and egg white.
4. With a small knife, trim stem end of fig. Make a vertical slit in the body of the fig and press 2 tsp. into the middle. Mixture should peek out from fig.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Buttermilk Waffles

Buttermilk Waffles
My favorite magazine "Cooks Illustrated" printed a recipe in the May-June 2010 edition titled Buttermilk Waffles. Three tips given by the editor Andrea Geary are, to use the buttermilk powder, seltzer water for a lighter waffle and not to place a waffle on a plate when it is removed from the waffle iron. Place it on a cooling rack placed on a baking sheet in the oven while the remainder bake. This third tip lessens the chance of the waffle becoming soggy.
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup dried buttermilk powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup unflavored seltzer water (not sparkling water)
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet and place baking sheet in oven. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, buttermilk powder, and baking soda in a large bowl to combine. Whisk sour cream eggs, vanilla, and oil in medium bowl to combine. Gently stir seltzer water into wet ingredients. Make well in center of dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir until combined. Batter should remain slightly lumpy with streaks of flour.,
Heat waffle iron and bake waffles according to manufacturer's instructions. (use about 1/3 cup for 7 inch round iron. Transfer waffles to rack in warm oven to hold for up to 10 minutes before serving with butter and maple syrup.
Yield: Eight 7 inch waffles.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Multi-Grain Waffles

Multi Grain Waffles
Weekly I receive an email from Heidi Swanson whose blog is 101 Cookbooks. This week she sent this recipe with a photo of the waffles. I too am trying to finish up perishables from my cupboards and freezer in preparation for my summer absence and this recipe had great appeal.
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup barley flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup rye flour
1 tablespoon cane sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
3 large eggs, whisked
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit
Directions: If you happen to remember, soak the poppy seeds in the buttermilk overnight, if not, it's no big deal. Just add them to the wet mix later on. Preheat your waffle iron. I set mine to medium heat, but you'll have to play around a bit with the settings on your particular waffle iron to settle on the right temperature.
In a large bowl mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs into the buttermilk mixture, then whisk in the melted butter. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined.I use about 1/2 cup of batter per waffle. Close the iron, and resist the urge to peek for a couple of minutes, the waffle needs time to set and develop a bit of a skin. After that you can check to see how your waffle is coming along. Cook until deeply golden. If you aren't eating the waffles immediately, keep in mind they can get a bit soggy if you place them directly on a plate. I tend to set hot waffles on a metal cookie rack in a warm/hot place while cooking the remainders. Serve with syrup, preserves, or sprinkled with more Muscovado sugar. Makes 6 - 8 standard waffles.Multi grain Waffles

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Potato Bacon Torte

Potato Bacon Torte
I saw this dish prepared on the cooking channel by Melissa D'Arabian. It certainly sounded and looked enticing but I had a little difficulty with the whipping cream. I thought of the grams of fat and cholesterol. I will try my attempt with a Bechamel sauce for less fat and fewer calories.
4 strips bacon
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 Pie Crusts, recipe follows
3 medium baking potatoes. peeled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 egg yolk, whisked with a splash of water  
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until just crispy. Drain on paper towel lined plate and set aside. Crumble the bacon when cool to the touch.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the thyme and cream over low heat to a bare simmer. Turn off the heat and let steep for about 5 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs.
Remove the pie pan from the refrigerator. Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and then finely slice the potatoes. Working in circles, arrange the potato slices in the pie crust, stopping to season each layer with salt, pepper, and about 1/4 of the crumbled bacon. Continue layering until the pie pan is nearly full. Top with an even layer of the cheese and gently pour cream around and over the entire pie, allowing it to seep down between the potato slices. (You may not use all the cream.)
Roll out the remaining disk of refrigerated dough. Cover the pie with the dough and crimp the edges closed. Brush the top and edges of the crust with egg wash. Make a few slits in the center of the top crust, for the steam to escape, and put the pie pan on a baking sheet. Bake the torte until the crust is browned and crispy and the potatoes are cooked through, about 50 to 60 minutes. If the crust edges get too brown, cover them with some strips of aluminum foil. Remove the pie from the oven and let rest at least 15 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.
Pie Crust:
1 cup butter (2 sticks), cubed and chilled
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 to 10 tablespoons ice water
Put the butter, flour, and salt in the food processor, and pulse lightly just until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing briefly after each spoonful of water. Keep adding water until the dough just begins to gather into larger clumps. Transfer equal amounts of the dough into 2 resealable plastic bags and pat each into a disk. Let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Remove 1 of the disks from the bag to a flour coated surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 10-inch round. Gently fit the rolled dough into a 9-inch pie pan, and refrigerate while you prepare the torte ingredients. Yield: 2 (9-inch) pie crusts

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chicken Piccata With Pasta And Mushrooms

Chicken Piccata With Pasta and Mushrooms
This chicken piccata replicates the rich lemon-caper sauce without the extra butter found in the classic Italian recipes. Make it a meal by sprinkling freshly grates Parmesan cheese, if desired and serve sauteed zucchini on the side.
6 ounces whole-wheat angel hair pasta
1/3 cup flour, divided
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 chicken cutlets (3/4 to 1 pound total), trimmed
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 10-ounce package mushrooms, sliced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons capers, rinsed
2 teaspoons butter
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
Meanwhile, whisk 5 teaspoons flour and broth in a small bowl until smooth. Place the remaining flour in a shallow dish. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper and dredge both sides in the flour, Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until the release their juices and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add garlic and wine to the pan and cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved broth-flour mixture, lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in parsley, capers, butter and the reserved mushrooms. Measure out 1/2 cup of the mushroom sauce. Toss the pasta with the remaining sauce. Serve the pasta topped with the chicken and the reserved sauce. Serves 4

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Re-Run

click to enlarge
A Re-Run
Last week we had visitors. My cousins from Arizona spent a few days visiting. Since Larry was stationed at Shelter Island while he served with the U.S. Navy, we wanted to share the changes of the waterfront since he last was in that area. When we came to this monument, we thought it would be fun for him and his wife to do a reenactment of the monument. Sara and Darla, this is to show you what a good time we had while your parents visited.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Kahlua Cake

Kahlua Cake
This recipe was posted with a product advertisement. I have made this same recipe with Sherry instead of Kahlua. It is a great recipe to have on hand when you have short notice of someone stopping by to visit.
1 package Golden Butter Cake Mix
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 pkg. vanilla instant pudding (3 1/2 oz.)
3/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup Kahlua
1 cup chopped pecans
Combine cake mix adding 1 egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream, pudding, oil and vanilla. Mix well.
Divide batter in half. To one half add brown sugar, Kahlua, and pecans.
Grease bundt pan.
Pour 1/2 of the pecan mixture, then all of the plain mixture, then remaining half of pecan mixture. Run a knife through mixture to marbleize.
Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350. degrees. Check cake in 1 hour.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Gruyere And Parmesan Cheese Souffle

Gruyere and Parmesan Cheese Souffle

Our daughter Barbara has shared another great sounding souffle recipe which she has prepared. It is always fun to visit Barbara as she serves such delightful and delicious menus. Barbara found this recipe on
Gruyère and Parmesan Cheese Soufflé
Grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter
5 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pinch of cayene pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup dry white wine
6 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons packed coarely grated Gruyere cheese (about 6 ounces)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
8 large egg whites

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F.

Generously butter one 10-cup soufflé dish or six 1 1/4-cup soufflé dishes; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to coat. (If using 1 1/4-cup dishes, place all 6 on rimmed baking sheet.)

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Cook without browning until mixture begins to bubble, whisking constantly, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, then wine. Cook until smooth, thick and beginning to boil, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Mix yolks, salt and pepper in small bowl. Add yolk mixture all at once to sauce and whisk quickly to blend. Fold in 1 1/4 cups Gruyère cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (cheeses do not need to melt).


Using electric mixer, beat whites in large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/4 of whites into lukewarm soufflé base to lighten. Fold in remaining whites. Transfer soufflé mixture to prepared dish. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Gruyère cheese.
Place soufflé in oven; reduce heat to 375°F. Bake soufflé until puffed, golden and gently set in center, about 40 minutes for large soufflé (or 25 minutes for small soufflés). Using oven mitts, transfer soufflé to platter and serve immediately.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


This dessert is from the files of Ina Gerten a.k.a. The Barefoot Contessa. The dessert is named for the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. I found the recipe quite easy to follow and the results quite light and not sacrificing that satisfying need for something a little sweet to finish the meal. This was my Easter dinner dessert.

4 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature

Pinch kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Sweetened Whipped Cream, recipe follows
1/2 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/2 pint fresh blueberries
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
Triple Raspberry Sauce, recipe follows


Directions Preheat the oven to 180 degrees F.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan. Draw a 9-inch circle on the paper, using a 9-inch plate as a guide, then turn the paper over so the circle is on the reverse side. (This way you won't get a pencil mark on the meringue.)

Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on high speed until firm, about 1 minute. With the mixer still on high, slowly add the sugar and beat until it makes firm, shiny peaks, about 2 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, sift the cornstarch onto the beaten egg whites, add the vinegar and vanilla, and fold in lightly with a rubber spatula. Pile the meringue into the middle of the circle on the parchment paper and smooth it within the circle, making a rough disk. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off the oven, keep the door closed, and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven, about 1 hour. It will be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
Invert the meringue disk onto a plate and spread the top completely with sweetened whipped cream. Combine the strawberries, blueberries and raspberries in a bowl and toss with about 1/2 cup of raspberry sauce, or enough to coat the berries lightly. Spoon the berries carefully into the middle of the Pavlova, leaving a border of cream and meringue. Serve immediately in large scoops with extra raspberry sauce.

Sweetened Whipped Cream:
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (you can also use a hand mixer). When it starts to thicken, add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until firm. Don't overbeat!
Yield: 1 cup
Triple Raspberry Sauce:
1 half-pint fresh raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup seedless raspberry jam (12-ounce jar)
1 tablespoon framboise liqueur
Place the raspberries, sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam, and framboise into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth. Chill. Yield: 2 cups

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup
Several years ago I bought a cookbook from a restaurant in Dallas known for serving wonderful food. The Restaurant was called "Under The Mushroom". The cookbook had a small mushroom printed next to recipes that were served in the restaurant. I found a recipe for Tortilla Soup and thought some day I would prepare it. Today was the day. Needless to say lunch turned into dinner. I do have my edition of shortcuts posted at the end for time savers. The frying of the tortilla strips seemed to take forever.
10 corn tortillas cut in strips
1/4 cup oil
4 green bell peppers, quartered
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 onion, minced
1 galic clove, minced
1/4 cup oil
8 cups chicked broth
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
(*I added 1 teaspoon of ground cumin and next time I will add 2 teaspoons)
In a skillet fry tortillas in oil, adding more oil if needed, until the strips are golden. Drain on paper towels. Saute the green peppers in the remaining oil until they are browned. Drain on paper towels and tear into pieces. Saute tomatoes, onion, garlic in 1/4 cup oil until they are soft. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Salt to taste. Divide the tortilla strips, peppers, and cheese among six bowls and pour the boiling soup over them. Serves Six

My shortcut! Buy tortilla strips or chips and break the chips, dice the green pepper it browns faster, minimize oil for frying. Frying tortilla strips took almost 2 hours. Way too long to spend making soup.