Friday, February 28, 2014

Bicardi Rum Cake

Bacardi Rum Cake
I have always kept a very neat recipe box. Each recipe is in a protective sleeve.  If it came from a friend I wrote the name and date on the recipe.  Since I began my blog I no longer hand-write my recipes.  This recipe came from a friend that shared recipes with me over a time spanning the 40 plus years.  It  freezes very well when cut into serving sizes.  This recipe is marked June 1980 and Vigdis Sell.    
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 18oz. box yellow cake mix
1 sm. box instant vanilla pudding.
4 eggs
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup Bacardi Rum
Rum Syrup Glaze:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
Boil 5 minutes stirring constantly.  Slowly add:
1/2 cup Bacardi Rum
Cake Directions:
Grease and flour a 12" bundt pan or a 10" tube pan.  Sprinkle the walnuts or pecans on the bottom of the baking pan.  (I sprinkle some on the bottom of the pan and add the rest to the batter and mix well before I pour the batter into the pan.)

Mix together the cake mix, instant pudding, eggs, cold water, oil and rum.  Mix well and pour over nuts.   Bake 1 hour at 325^.  Cool and invert on serving plate.  (Here is where I make the change in the given directions.)  I allow the cake to cool in the pan about 5 to 10 minutes.  Using hot pads I tip the cake at an angle and tap it on a cutting board where I can see the cake has loosened from the pan.  I make sure the cake has loosened from all sides.  Make the rum syrup glaze.
Rum Syrup Glaze Directions:
Boil butter, water and sugar 5 minutes stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and slowly add 1/2 cup Bacardi Rum.  Boil 30 seconds more.
Pour over top and sides of cake.
Here is where I change the directions.  I leave the cake in the warm pan and pour the syrup over the cake covering the best I can.  I leave it about 5 minutes to be fully absorbed then I place a plate on the top of the baking pan and flip it over to release the cake.  It is not only delicious and looks beautiful  but it freezes well.
Optional: Decorate with whole maraschino cherries and a border of sugar frosting or whipped cream.  Serve with seedless green grapes dusted with powdered sugar.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

French Toast Casserole

1 loaf (10 ounces) french bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (10 cups)
3 cups milk
4 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt, optional
For the Topping:
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, cubed
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
maple syrup, optional

Place bread cubes in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt if desired. Pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Dot with butter. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over the top.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with syrup if desired.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Raisin-Cinnamon Apple Bread

Raisin-Cinnamon Apple Bread Recipe at
Raisin-Cinnamon Apple Bread

Make this moist, spicy bread one day ahead, then serve it with tea, coffee, or cocoa the next afternoon. Substitute 1/2 cup dried cherries, currants or cranberries for the raisins for a deliciously different taste.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup applesauce
2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup milk
1 cup raisins or 1/2 cup chopped dried cherries or dried cranberries

Grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan; set aside. In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a medium mixing bowl combine applesauce, eggs, oil, and milk. Add egg mixture to flour mixture; stir just till combined. Stir in raisins, cherries, or cranberries.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 60 to 65 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool thoroughly on a rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Seafood Bisque

Seafood Bisque
Recently I have been digging into my recipe box for comfort food.  I received this recipe from my friend Vigdis Sell in 1980 and have made it so many times I could make it from memory.  It will not disappoint you I guarantee.
1/3 cup butter
1 cup diced celery
1 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup flour
2 cups hot fish stock*
2 cups whole milk
3 tablespoon copped parsley
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped cooked fish or seafood

Garnish: cooked shrimp
Melt butter, saute diced celery, and chopped onion.  Add 1/3 cup flour stirring constantly to make a roux.  Slowly add hot fish stock stirring to prevent lumping: slowly incorporate milk.  Add salt to taste.  Garnish with chopped parsley and whole shrimp if decided.     

* To Make Fish Stock, I use the water used to cook the shrimp in the shells or I save any broth in the freezer from any shellfish I cook until I make this recipe.

Monday, February 24, 2014

King Hawaiian Rolls and Loaf

Homemade King Hawaiian Rolls and Loaf. (smells awesome)

6 cups all-purpose flour, plus an additional 1/2 cup flour, divided 
3 eggs 
2 cups pineapple juice, room temperature 
3/4 cup sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 (1/4 ounce) envelopes yeast 
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, melted

Instructions1.In a small bowl, beat your 3 eggs. Add the 2 cups pineapple juice, sugar, vanilla, and melted butter. 

2.Measure 3 cups of the flour into a large bowl. Stir in your egg mixture until well-combined. Sprinkle in the yeast packets, one at a time, mixing well. 

3.Add the remaining 3 cups of flour and mix well. If it becomes to difficult to stir with a wooden spoon, just use your hands! Make sure all of the flour is well incorporated—the dough should be tacky to the touch but not overly sticky. If it appears too wet, sprinkle in a bit of extra flour, just a tablespoon or so at a time. Cover your bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set it in a warm place to rise for 1 hour. 

4.Remove your dough from the bowl and knead in an additional ½ cup of flour. I kneaded mine 10 to 15 times, making sure the flour was well incorporated. Form the dough into rolls, and/or loaf. Place in buttered pans. Cover and place in warm place to rise for an additional hour, or until the dough doubles in size. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush tops with melted butter, and serve warm

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Broccoli Blue Cheese Soup

Broccoli Blue Cheese Soup

1 large head of broccoli florets
2 tablespoons coarse salt
ice cubes
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 leek, sliced
1 large yukon gold potato, chopped
6 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup blue cheese
pinch of mace
salt and pepper to taste
Cut broccoli florets to about uniform size. fill a pot 2/3 full of water, add 2 tablespoons coarse salt and bring the water to a boil on high. Add the broccoli to the pot and let boil for 3 minutes. While the broccoli is boiling, set up a large bowl of ice water to the side. Once the broccoli is boiled, quickly transfer to the ice bath, adding more ice if necessary to keep the water cold.
In a soup pot, saute the onions, leek, celery, and potato in the butter, then turn down the heat and let cook on low for about 7 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook for another 2.
Increase the heat and add the stock. Bring to a boil then simmer 15 minutes. Add the vegetables to a food processor with one cup of stock and process until smooth, adding the remainder of the stock gradually as it processes. 
Return the soup to the pot and turn the heat to low. Add the mace, salt, and pepper, then slowly stir the cheese in until it's fully melted. Serve warm with hardy bread or crutons.
recipe adapted from Splitting Hairs

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Farro and Kale Salad With Pine Nuts And Olives

Farro and Kale Salad
With Pine Nuts and Olives

¾ cup farro¼ cup pine nuts1 cup Castelvetrano olives (5 1/2 ounces), pitted and halved, plus 2 tablespoons of the brine2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice¼ cup extra virgin olive oilKosher saltFreshly ground pepper1 lb Tuscan kale, stems discarded and leaves cut into 1/2-inch ribbons1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice



In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the farro until al dente, about 25 minutes. Drain well and spread on a baking sheet to cool completely.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, tossing occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool completely.
In a large bowl, whisk the olive brine with the lemon juice and olive oil. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Add the kale, toss well and let stand until barely wilted, 15 minutes. Mix in the farro, pine nuts, olives and red bell pepper. Season the salad with salt and pepper and serve.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Start to finish: 14 hours (20 minutes active)
Makes 1 loaf (10 servings)
This recipe is from the famous Sullivan Street Bakery in 
New York City.  It requires all ingredients to be weighed.  
The no knead factor of this recipe is created by the slow 
rise of 3/4 teaspoon yeast.  A ordinary recipe calls for 1 
packet or 2 teaspoons yeast.

1/2 cup (50 grams) coarsely chopped walnuts
2 cups (266 grams) bread flour
1 cup (133 grams) whole-wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoons (8 grams) table salt
3/4 teaspoon (2 grams) instant or rapid-rise yeast
2 tablespoons (6 grams) chopped rosemary
1 1/3 cups (350 grams) cool water (55 F to 65 F)
Additional flour, wheat bran or cornmeal, for dusting
Heat the oven to 350 F.
Place the walnuts in a shallow baking dish, then 
place in the oven on the middle shelf to toast 10 to 
12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Once the nuts are cooled, in a medium bowl stir 
them together with both flours, the salt, yeast and 
rosemary. Add the water and stir briefly with a 
wooden spoon or your hands, just until the dough 
is barely mixed, about 30 seconds. The dough 
should be quite wet and tacky. If it is not, add 1 to 
2 tablespoons more water. Cover the bowl and let 
it rise at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours, or 
until it is more than double in bulk.
After the dough has risen, generously sprinkle a 
work surface with flour and gently, with the help of 
a plastic bench scraper, scoop out the dough onto 
the counter.
Working very quickly, with floured hands, fold the 
dough inward to the center on all sides to form a 
seam. Turn the dough over to form a round with 
the seam on the bottom. Generously sprinkle a 
clean kitchen towel towel with flour. Lay the towel 
flat on the counter and set the dough on top, seam 
down. Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with 
flour and loosely fold the ends of towel over the 
Let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours, 
or until almost doubled in bulk. You will know it is 
ready when you poke the dough and it holds your 
imprint. If the dough bounces back, it is not ready.
About 30 minutes before you think the dough is 
ready, heat the oven to 475 F. Put a rack in the 
lower third of the oven, and place a covered 4 1/2- 
to 5 1/2-quart casserole dish in the oven to heat.
When the dough has risen, carefully remove the 
casserole dish from the oven and remove the lid. 
With the aid of the tea towel, flip the dough gently, 
seam side up, into the casserole, put the lid on the 
casserole and return it to the oven. Bake for 30 
minutes. Carefully remove the lid and bake until 
the bread has browned nicely, another 15 to 30 
Remove the casserole dish from the oven and use 
a spatula or dish towel to carefully transfer the 
bread to a rack to cool completely before slicing.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Roast Turkey With Apple Sage Stuffing

Roast Turkey Stuffed With
Apple Sage Stuffing

1/4 cup butter
2 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped celery
8 oz. sage flavored
2 cups peeled diced apple
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
5 cups cubed egg bread cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 egg
1/2 cup apple juice or more
Salt and freshly ground pepper
one 14 lb. turkey
1/4 cup room temperature butter
For stuffing, heat 1/4 cup butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and sauté for 1 minute.  Add apples and saute until apples develop some color, about 5 minutes longer.  Stir in sage and cook 1 minute longer.
Remove from heat and scrape into a bowl.  Add bread and parsley and stir together.  When stuffing is cool, stir in egg and apple juice, season with salt and pepper.  Stuffing should be slightly moist.  Stuff into cavity prior to roasting the turkey.

Preheat oven to 400^F.

Loosen skin gently from turkey breast with finger tips and stuff a little butter under the skin.  It will baste the white meat.  Spread remaining butter over the bird and season with salt and pepper.

Truss the turkey and place on a rack.  Roast for 1 hour basting once.  Turn heat down to 375^F and roast another hour and 45 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 155^F at the thickest part of the thigh.  Baste a few times if you remember.

Let the bird rest on a carving board for 20 minutes while you make the the gravy.

Easy Pan Gravy
Fat and pan drippings from Roast Turkey
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups turkey or chicken stock
1/4 cup port
1 tablespoon red currant jelly
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Drain fat and pan drippings into a measuring cup.  Add 1/4 cup fat back into a measuring cup.  Add 1/4 cup fat back into roasting pan.  Skim fat from remaining drippings.

Sprinkle flour over fat in roasting pan.  Stir together over medium heat until flour is browned.

Stir in stock, any drippings and port.  Bring to boil, stirring, scraping up any bits on the base and simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened and smooth.  Stir in red currant jelly and simmer for another 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.  Makes about 4 cups.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Chocolate Souffle

Chocolate Souffle
Chocolate with or for your Valentine?

Chocolate Souffle


5 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 tablespoon softened,   
    the remaining butter cut into 1/4" chunks)
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for 
    coating the dishes
8oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped coarse
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
6 large egg yolks
8 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F. Coat eight 1-cup ramekins with 1 tablespoon butter, then coat the inside of the dishes evenly with the 1 tablespoon of sugar. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Melt the chocolate and the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Turn off the heat, stir in the salt, vanilla, and liqueur. Set aside.
Bring the 1/3 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons water to a boil in a small saucepan. Simmer until the sugar dissolves. Beat the egg yolks with a mixer (or whisk vigorously) and while mixing, slowly pour in the sugar syrup. Continue to beat until the mixture triples in volume (about 3 minutes). Fold the yolk mixture into the chocolate mixture.
In a separate bowl, beat or whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks start for form. Add the confectioner's sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Vigorously stir one quarter of the whipped whites into the chocolate mixture. Gently fold the remaining whites into the mixture until just incorporated.
Fill each ramekin almost to the rim, wiping the excess filling from the rim with a wet paper towel. Bake the souffle until puffed and set (30 to 35 minutes. Whatever you do, do not open the oven during the baking or souffle will collapse). Serve immediately.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Warned Camembert With Warm Mushroom Fricassee Post 1400

Warm Camembert with 
Warm Mushroom Fricassee
1/2 cup English walnuts
1 8oz. wheel of Camembert
1 tablespoon walnut oil
3/4 pound fresh wild mushrooms
salt and pepper
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
2 large sage leaves, minced
Sour dough toasts Warmed platter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast walnuts on a baking sheet 7 minutes or until lightly browned.
Reduce oven temp to 300 degrees. Remove Camembert from the box and remove the wrapper. Put the cheese back in the bottom half of the box and set on a baking sheet or cake pan to warm. Bake about 10 minutes or until soft.
Meanwhile in a large skillet heat the walnut oil. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until lightly browned, 3 minutes or longer. Add the shallots and cook about 2 minutes, until softened. Stir in the parsley and sage, season with salt and pepper.
Invert the warmed Camembert onto a platter. Stir the walnuts into the mushrooms and spoon mixture over cheese.
Serve with Sourdough toasts. 
My Recommendations: Since this recipe goes together very quickly with minimal effort, I would suggest mincing the parsley, sage, and shallot prior to beginning to prepare the recipe. Serve on a warmed platter (not hot). The walnut oil really enhances the flavors and I would highly recommend not substituting it with vegetable oil. Do not use dried mushrooms reconstituted as they always remain "tough". We also did not toast our baguette and found the thin slices of bread to be acceptable. This recipe was found in a Wine & Food magazine. Living near daughter Anne who planned a Saturday evening dinner while our youngest daughter Barbara was visiting for Mothers Day, I offered to bring this appetizer. We opened a chilled bottle of Chardonnay and all agreed this appetizer was over the top. (And the meal!)