Monday, July 31, 2017

Picnic and Party Pecans

Rolo candy on a snap. 250 degree oven for 3-5 minutes till soft. Press on a pecan.

32 pecan halves
5 oz Gorgonzola cheese
3 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 tea pepper
32 dried apricot halves

Place pecan halves in frying pan and roast for 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan immediately and cool. In food processor add both cheeses and pepper. Spread mixture over apricot halves and press a nut half into the center.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

A break from painting..Strawberry Pie

We recently went on the best summer holiday. A trip to visit my father in California. While there we went to dinner and had pie. We talked about my grandmother's homemade strawberry pie as being the best pie ever. My grandmother was an excellent cook. I came home knowing I had to make her pie even though I don't have it down perfectly yet.

I used my mother in law's amazing crust recipe.
Pie Crust
2 cups flour
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup water
1 tea salt
2 tea sugar

I used about 1/4 lard with 3/4 cup shortening and froze it. I also used frozen water that had just crusted over. So my ingredients were really cold. I use a food processor to mix the dry then the fat and then the water. It is shaggy then I pull it together on my floured pie towel. It comes together as you roll it out. This crust was tender and fantastic.

Grandma McQuivey's Strawberry Pie 
4-6 cups fresh ripe strawberries-washed and hulled
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
4 TB cornstarch
1/4 tea salt
1 TB butter
2-3 drops red food coloring

Crush 1 cup berries and cook with water 5 minutes. Strain. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add to strained juice an cook 3 minutes of until thick and clear. Stir constantly. Add butter and coloring. Place remaining berries in baked and cooled shell. Pour over fruit. Chill.

I made 2 pies. One was soupy because I thought the glaze would set up. It doesn't. The other pie I got the glaze way to stiff and it was like a layer of glaze on top of my fruit. You want your glaze to be pourable but thick enough to hold its shape. Not quit as thick as yogurt..and Greek yogurt is way to thick. I also added 1 cup sugar instead of 3/4th because my strawberries were a tad tart. With sweet strawberries 3/4th sugar is great.

What I discovered is that pie making is like painting. The success is in the prep work. You must have frozen fat and very cold water for pie crust to be its very best. Just like you must clean, mud, sand, and fill all holes before painting. It makes a huge difference.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Million Dollar Coconut French Toast

Counting change for our Europe trip! When I was younger my dad paid for pizza with change. I thought that was the most horrific thing that could happen. Now I am seeing the benefits of change! My dad gave us his loose change..over $800 dollars worth. We rolled it during breakfast.

Coconut French Toast

2 eggs
2 1/2 Tb sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
Texas toast cut on the diagonal
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

Heat pan with veggie oil. Mix eggs, sugar, salt, extract, milk, flour, baking powder, and 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut in dipping pan. On plate mix rest of coconuts. Dip bread in egg mix then in coconut. Add to hot pan. Cook till done. Place on paper towel. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Breakfast Porridge

We had the chance to go to Hell's Kitchen in Minneapolis for dinner and were told to get the porridge. For dinner? So glad we did. This has become one of my favorite things to make.

My nut allergy children do not like this so I use nuts!! The original recipe calls for a different nut but I like to use almonds. The original recipe can be found at

1 cup wild rice
1/2 cup nuts
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup maple syrup ( I use a very scant 1/4 cup almost 1/8)
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Rinse rice.
Cook rice in 4 cups water for 45 minutes. Drain.
Add all other ingredients and heat through.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Granola Smackdown

I love a food challenge! I love finding the best of the best recipes. These cookbooks hold the answer to what is the best granola question. If you like crunchy seeds go for the family cooks recipe. If you love a hint of orange in your wonderfulness then The 150 Best American Recipes is your recipe. If you love chocolate granola, Sweet in the book for you. These recipes I found were not better than one another but were stand alone great recipes for different occasions. All three are the best. Go to granola recipes.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Quinoa Potatoe Salad- A Thing of Wonder

The Splendid Grain by Rebecca Wood has some great recipes. We love a twist on a summer favorite, potato salad. The recipe below has my changes which includes leaving out pickles, olives and parsley.

Quinoa Potato Salad

1 1/2 pounds potatoes (or 1 pound box pasta for a pasta salad)
2-3 TB balsamic vinegar
1/2 tea sea salt
1/2 tea pepper
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 cups cooked quinoa (tricolored)
1/2 cup onion, minced
1/2 cup mayo
1 Tb Dijon mustard

Cook potatoes until tender but firm. Cube them. Sprinkle with 2 Tb balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Let stand at room temperature until potatoes are cool. Add celery, quinoa, and onion. Gently toss to combine. Combine mayo and mustard. Fold into potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Creme Brulee Wishes

I love creme brulee but rarely make it. If I had all the time in the world I would make the following different things.

pumpkin creme brulee (The Weekend Baker pg 213)
ginger creme brulee (The Bon Appetit Cookbook pg 611)
coconut creme brulee (The Flavors of Bon Appetit pg 183)
stove top creme brulee (The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook pg 359)
Lime creme brulee (a small slip of paper in some cookbook)