Monday, May 31, 2010

Taylor Tracker Day 1

I had this crazy idea that while we traveled from Virginia to Arizona we could post where we were by what we ate. A foodie travel log if you will. It was Dominoes pizza tracker that gave me the idea. I love to see where my pizza is and follow it right to my door!

Now, being naive about traveling across the country with 6 humans, a cat, hedgehog, and our entire house in a truck with us I am thinking that I could post along our trip! Because when we arrive at the hotel I will be full of energy and life and wanting to spend time on the computer!

Day 1
Lunch in Knoxville TN at a diner called Litton's voted East Tennessee's Best Burgers and Award Winning Bakery...check out their dessert menu.
Sadly, they were closed for the holiday!! So we ate there anyway...just outside while charging my phone and downloading pictures.

There happened to be a beautiful park across the street so we went and feed the ducks.

Fun sites along the way:
I wish someone would have told me that I could have been baking all along the way!!!

Dinner in Jackson TN at a place called The Old County Store. What a riot!!! This was a sudden change because our planned place was so busy for the holiday that they ran out of food and closed early. This place was so fun. It had an enormous candy store, tee shirts to make you laugh, and aprons o'plenty. Thanks Char for the is a great place to visit.

Tables made from sewing machine stands!! Got to love this place.

Sample plate...round 1 at the buffet..Southern Food at its finest.
Collard Greens
Sweet Potatoes
Black Eyed Peas
Mac and Cheese
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Fried Apples
Cornbread with Cracklin

The Taylors sing for their supper..actually for a free banana split.

All in all a great adventures, beautiful scenery, great company, and only one negative...bleach on my favorite chef shirt (black)!
Don't you think that justifies a new fun cooking shirt????

I am holding my eyes open with toothpicks and am laying on my keyboard....
Goodnight Tennessee

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Peanutty Noodles for Christine

I love Christine Brame. She is a great example to me of true friendship. She is also an example of endurance and having a positive attitude. She keeps me organized and in a positive place...even when there is chaos all around.
I will miss our yearly celebration of Chinese New Year and Chinese class. But, the great thing about having such a good friend is that distance will not keep us apart.

Peanutty Noodles (source: cooking light)

A quick and easy meal with everyday staples. I like it best with snow peas and carrots. Beware of using regular soy sauce-it is very salty.

  • 1 lb spaghetti noodles

Boil as directed

  • 1 tea oil
  • 1 tea minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tea minced fresh garlic

Saute for 30 seconds.

  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 Tb rice vinegar or white wine vinegar

Add to above and whisk well. Simmer 7 minutes stirring often.

Mix noodles and sauce with any of the following:

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shaved into thin strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 box frozen snow peas, cooked
  • 1/2 lb bean sprouts, washed

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hungry? Quick Lemon Pasta

How can something so simple be so mouthwatering?
I had to make this today for lunch after my friend Sarah sent it to me. It is brilliant!
While you cook your pasta, saute fresh garlic..I used 4 cloves in olive oil (I used garlic and basil infused olive oil). Take off heat and add the zest and juice of one fresh lemon. Add cooked and drained pasta to pan. Add S&P to taste and top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hospitality and Hot Dogs Southern Style

Do you ever wonder if you had a twin separated at birth?

A missing piece...a "twin less ness"? I never had but I have found my twin..obviously separated at birth!! We are the same in so many ways. How wild is it that we both have children the exact same age!! Both love food and photography. Love chick flicks and all night chat fests. It is because of my twin that my youngest had a crib and for that matter clothes! Generosity does not begin to describe my twin: possibly heaven sent?
She arrived with dinner the other day. My favorite of her recipes is her Dr. Pepper Chili! It arrived for our dinning pleasure.

Hot dog bun

Hot dog

Dr. Pepper Chili

smear with coleslaw

smear with coleslaw

top with cheese

We learned the joys of the southern style hot dog from JT's aunt from North Carolina. I now love my hot dogs this way all the time.

Friday, May 21, 2010

150 Best- Spaghetti with Tuna Sauce

I often find recipes that I want to make simply because they sound gross. So wild or ridiculous that I just have to find out what the buzz is about. I have found 2 of my favorite recipes this way: peanutty noodles and this one, spaghetti with tuna sauce. Now the reason I say gross to this particular recipe is because I am not a fan of fish..anchovies...or capers-all included.

Spaghetti with Tuna Sauce
source: The 150 Best American Recipes

  • 1 Tb salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tb pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-4 anchovy fillets
  • 1 tea capers
  • 1 tea red pepper flakes
  • 28 oz diced tomatoes
  • 4 vine ripened tomatoes
  • 6-8 oz tuna (Italian in oil)
  • 1/4 golden raisens
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 1/4 chopped fresh parsley

  • Bring salted water to boil for noodles. Cook noodles while preparing the sauce.
  • Heat oil. Cook pinenuts until light brown
  • Add garlic, anchovies, capers, and red pepper flakes. Cook 2 minutes breaking everything up.
  • Add tomatoes and bring to boil. Simmer 30 minutes.
  • Add tuna and raisins. Heat and break up tuna.
  • Add cooked and drained pasta to sauce.
  • Add parsley and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Librarian Baked Alaska Challenge

Some of you may have read my Humble Samoan Chicken post. Wondering about the line between pride and humility. Excitement and showing off. Well, here I was in my favorite place in Radford...the library.
Being excited about something I had just made and sharing that excitement with the children's librarian..when my prideful side said,
"If you ever want me to make anything."
Like I could make "anything"!
Well lightening didn't strike but she did give me a challenge. Baked Alaska!!
I said, "Baked Alaska!"
I had to take a chair and stop my brain which kept saying, "I can't do that, I can't do that".
Once the fear was under control...I began my study of Baked Alaska..and found some great websites to share with you.
Check out a Video
A recipe
The History of the dessert

The hardest direction was the following:
  • Place a board at least 1 1/2 inches thick between 2 pieces of corrugated paper; cover top with waxed paper.
I thought it must need it for insulation of the ice cream! Luckily we are moving and had plenty of cardboard!! And the men could do this part..right? Wrong...see below.

I used already prepared sponge cake because I wanted to do individual sizes for our "spur of the moment" guests. We had friends bring us dinner..we tied them up so they would stay and dine with us!

I had everything ready to go before baking so that we could serve it immediately.

4 egg whites
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat until stiff.
Top your ice cream with the egg white mixture. Any ice cream will do..I thought strawberry would be a nice contrasting color to the cake.

Top with egg whites. I found that crazy was best..I tried to be creative and perfect with the spirals but that didn't look as good and was too time consuming. Just make sure that your ice cream is COMPLETELY covered or they say it will ooze..yuck.

The video said to use a 500 degree oven but the recipe I used said 475 it was!

Baked, warm and ice cold on the inside!! You must like meringue to enjoy these..Bon Appetit!

Oh, I had asked the men to know cardboard and wood. But, they played with salt clay instead.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Strawberry Muffins for Amber

I have wanted to have my friend over for months to try these muffins! They live in a cookbook called "the good enough to eat Breakfast Cookbook" by Carrie Levin. Other favorite recipes in this cookbook are Orange Date Muffins, Norwegian Waffles, Fundamental French Toast, and Corned Beef Hash. Not to mention the best hash browns you have ever had!!

I invited my friend over to pamper her and she came bearing gifts for me!!

New Aprons for my wall...hands off they are vintage and I will not be wearing them.

The greatest 1959 cookbook that has a recipe for a lime jello encrusted ham that I must make someday. Perhaps a new Thanksgiving tradition?

All I made her was a muffin!
Toss berries with lemon juice.

Mix egg yolks with vanilla.
Whip whites with cream of tarter.
I like to have everything ready to just dump it in the sugar and butter after they are fluffy:
Add to sugar in this order:
  • Yolks with vanilla
  • half dry ingredients
  • buttermilk
  • rest of dry ingredients
  • berries with lemon juice
  • Coconut
  • Whites with cream of tarter

Cut ingredients together. It is very thick. Be gentle.

I load the cups up. Bake 325 degrees approx 25-30 minutes.

Strawberry Coconut Muffins (source)

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1/4 tea baking soda
  • 1 tea baking powder
  • 1/4 tea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 tea lemon juice
  • 1 tea vanilla
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter, room temp
  • 1/4 tea cream of tarter
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup coconut

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Fairy Godmother and the Tri-Lemon Pie Contest

Oh the wonders of a pie contest!! Any contest is a good contest..but lemon pie is the best kind of contest. I love my sour cream lemon pie recipe...but will it be able to compete?

I have a fairy godmother. I just can't believe how I have been blessed in my life! She is my neighbor, friend, adopted younger sister, and taste tester baker companion. She is always giving me the most wonderful gifts. In fact, my favorite kitchen tools have come from her. Some fairy godmothers give shoes and dresses..NOT MINE. She has given me a super duper double boiler, super zester, pineapple corer, and the most beautiful vintage table cloth. Where other women need fancy hair she knew I needed a kitchen pick me up. She has even kidnapped me and taken me to two fantastic gourmet food shops and then out to lunch at the most yummy restaurant!!

It is with my fairy godmother that we had the contest.

Blue Moon Lemon Supreme Pie

Fairy Godmother Lemon Cloud

Sour Cream Lemon Pie

And the cutting and feasting begins....

I wish you could have all been judges....

I used a new pie recipe from the pioneer woman. I love it because it is so easy!! I added the recipe but you really need to see her post...she has beautiful photos and step by step directions.
  • 1-½ cup Crisco (vegetable Shortening)
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 5 Tablespoons Cold Water
  • 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

In a large bowl, with a pastry cutter, gradually work the Crisco into the flour for about 3 or 4 minutes until it resembles a coarse meal. In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork and then pour it into the flour/shortening mixture. Add 5 tablespoons of cold water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir together gently until all of the ingredients are incorporated.

Separate the dough into thirds. Form 3 evenly sized balls of dough and place each dough into a large Ziploc bag. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each ball of dough (about ½ inch thick) to make rolling easier later. Seal the bags and place them in the freezer until you need them. (If you will be using it immediately it’s still a good idea to put in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes to chill.)

When you are ready to use the dough to make a crust, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw for 15 minutes. On a floured surface roll the dough, starting at the center and working your way out. (Sprinkle some flour over top of the dough if it’s a bit too moist.) If the dough is sticking to the countertop use a metal spatula and carefully scrape it up and flip it over and continue rolling until it’s about ½ inch larger in diameter than your pie pan.

With a spatula, lift the dough carefully from the surface of the counter into the pie pan. Gently press the dough against the corner of the pan. Go around the pie pan pinching and tucking the dough to make a clean edge.

Blue Moon Lemon Supreme Pie

I saw this first pie on the Food for Thought website that I participate in. The pictures are breathtaking. The review is a book called The Illustrated Olive Farm. I just had to make this pie because of the pictures.

Making the bottom layer.

Spread in the pan.

Top with lemon and put in fridge.

Lemon Supreme Pie (source)
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep-dish pastry shell
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 4 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups whipped topping
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Line unpricked pastry shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack.
In a saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in water; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; add remaining sugar. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from the heat; stir in butter, lemon peel and food coloring if desired. Gently stir in lemon juice (do not over mix). Cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Do not stir.
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped topping and lemon juice. Refrigerate 1/2 cup for garnish. Spread remaining cream cheese mixture into shell; top with lemon filling. Chill overnight.
Place reserved cream cheese mixture in a pastry bag with a #21 star tip; pipe stars onto pie. Store in the refrigerator.

Sour Cream Lemon Pie

Whisk dry ingredients.

Add milk.

Whisk while boiling.

You want it very thick.

Add sour cream.

Fill shell and cover with wrap before putting in fridge.

Sour Cream Lemon Pie (Recipe)

I wish you all could have a fairy godmother like mine. She is beyond the description of words in my vocabulary or ability to write. If you were here she would invite you to sit and most definitely she would feed you something wonderful. Maybe her wonderful lemon cloud pie...if you were lucky.