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Showing posts from October, 2011

I'm Taking a Break

Due to family concerns, I will be taking a break for several weeks.  

I will miss you but I will be looking at your blogs from time to time.  Here's wishing you all the best.

Happy blogging and Happy Halloween!

Till later...

The Best Lemon Pound Cake ~ I’m Telling You the Truth!

On my September 27th post, I told you I would be baking the Lemon Pound Cake recipe from the Tate’s Bake Shop Cookbook that Bill had been yearning for.  I finally got around to baking it and now I’m trying to figure out what took me so long…

You know how foodies say, “I swear, it’s the best I’ve ever eaten?”  Sometimes I try the recipe, sometimes I don’t.  Everyone’s taste is different and you just never know; however, I can honestly say, “this Lemon Pound Cake is the best pound cake I have ever eaten in my life.”  And Bill echoes the same.  NO LIE!!!  It is outstanding!!!
Here’s what Kathleen King, the owner and founder of Tate’s Bake Shop, says about her cake, “The lemon flavor really comes through in my lemon pound cake.  It keeps well and freezes well, and is exceptional on its own or with fresh berries and cream.”

Here’s what I say about it:  Enjoy it on its own!   If you love lemon and love pound cake, you will fall hard for this one!  It’s so good that after having a slice of it, …

Crusty Cheddar Garlic Pepper Biscuits my Way

Biscuits aren’t fancy but believe me, these biscuits are as about as flavorsome as you can imagine a biscuit would be ~ crispy on the outside and smooth on the inside.  

Over the years, I’ve tried many variations of this biscuit and never achieved a “great” crusty top layer until by accident recently.  Here’s how it went:
Normally, in recipes for cheese-garlic biscuits, the biscuits are baked and then brushed with the garlic butter when they come out of the oven.  But, one evening in a rush, I brushed them with the butter mixture when I realized they needed more baking time ~ they just weren’t the golden brown they should have been and I was afraid they may not be baked through on the inside.  

So back in the oven they went and when they came out and I bit into one, Voila!  I was shocked!  They were a beautiful golden brown, tender inside with a very crusty, cheesy, garlicky top!
We swore they were the best!  Make the batter, drop the biscuits and bake a while.  Pull them out of the oven;…

Crunchy Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia plus… a Surprise Visit from Fairy Hobmother

I used to be leery of eating fish way back when and only ate fresh bluegills that Dad and friends caught at the lake.  With time, I tried more varieties.   

So, I was pleased to have my first tilapia experience at a restaurant with my boss and co-workers when I was in the working world not so long ago.  I saw tilapia on the menu but had never heard of it.  I was curious and then thankfully someone before me ordered it.  I was saved a lot of embarrassment as I would’ve definitely called it “till-up-eeee-uh!”
This dish is delicious with a capital “D!”  The crouton crumbs are crunchy to begin with and combining them with the cheese and cayenne pepper makes a perfect crunchy topping for the slightly firm flaky texture of the tilapia.  It’s a quick dish to prepare that we really like.  It’s a winner!  And I hope you will try it and think so also!

Crunchy Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia
4 tilapia fillets ¾ cup finely crushed garlic-flavored croutons 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated 2 t…

Skillet Spaghetti Squash

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I think spaghetti squash is just a bit bizarre!
You cut it in half, remove the seeds and roast it in the oven.  Then you pull it out and rake a fork across it.  It ends up in a heap that somehow looks just like spaghetti.  I’m just saying…bizarre? 

Bizarre or not, it’s delicious in this dish.  The original recipe is Paula Deen’s but since I’m a seasoned pepper addict, I added more of it and garlic also.    The spaghetti squash is combined with onion and bell pepper along with the seasonings.  It’s good! 
And since I don’t want to really diss spaghetti squash, I have to say it’s the most fun vegetable I’ve come across!

Skillet Spaghetti Squash Adapted
1 large spaghetti squash 1 tablespoon olive oil ½ cup diced onion ½ cup diced green bell pepper 2 cloves garlic, minced 3 tablespoons butter ¼ teaspoon salt ½-1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using the tip of a sharp knife, cut squash in half. Discard seeds and place on a ba…

German Breslauer Steaks with Egg Noodles and a Fine Midwest Cookbook

Oh my gosh!  We flipped over this dish, big time!

It was a beautiful cool fall day yesterday and Bill was busy working up an appetite burning brush in the back yard.   Much later, he was one happy man when I served him this incredibly delicious hearty dish for dinner. I was happy with it too!  Woo hoo! 

The other day, I had a great surprise when I read an email.  Travis, at The Harvard Common Press, had contacted me and asked if I would like a review copy of Prairie Home Cooking by Judith Fertig. 

He explained as a way of celebrating a growing focus on regional American cooking, The Harvard Common Press has re-jacketed its classic America Cooks series, including this cookbook by Fertig.
Travis further stated that Patricia Wells praised it as “pure inspiration.”  That really drew me in as I’m a huge fan of Wells and have a lot of her cookbooks.  

Here’s what Patricia went on to say about the cookbook:  “For those of us who grew up with cherry trees and fresh raspberries, corn and tomatoes f…

Marinated BBQ Pork Chops

I hope you all had a good weekend and enjoyed the warm weather like we did.  Our yard is now being blanketed with leaves and we've been having exceptionally nice weather for the last week ~ weather like we should’ve had in June!  It’s absolutely gorgeous out there this fall with all the different colors of leaves on the trees.
But now for the reason of this post:  saucy pork chops.  We really like pork chops and I prefer mine thick and juicy; saucy and tender.  

Pork is leaner and healthier than it used to be but may not contain enough fat to remain succulent ~ this is when marinating comes to the rescue.  This is a simple marinade that is not too sweet.  It’s easy to make with ingredients you most likely have on hand.    
This BBQ marinade makes some sticky and delicious chops.  I bet your palate will fall in love with these saucy chops!

Marinated BBQ Pork Chops 
2 tablespoons olive oil ½ cup cider vinegar ½ cup ketchup 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 te…

Cube Steak with Diced Tomatoes and Mushrooms

Once in a blue moon, we like cube steaks and I wanted them prepared some way other than being smothered in gravy ~ you know:  chicken fried steak. That’s when Rotel tomatoes with green chiles came on the scene.
First, here’s a little Rotel tomato trivia: 
Carl Roettele, a Texan and a vegetable packer in the 1940’s, started canning his own version of tomatoes, green chiles and spices.  He decided on the name “Ro*tel” as he thought no one would ever be able to remember or pronounce his real name if printed on the label. 
Mr. Roettele’s tomatoes were an instant hit; appearing on supper tables all over Texas and by 1956 had spread to supper tables in Arkansas and Oklahoma.   

In 1992, American Home Food Products bought the Roettele family’s business and ten years later; in 2002, Con Agra became the owner of Rotel tomatoes.  

It’s still the same product as when Carl started production of it and if you’ve never tried it, it’s the perfect ingredient to include in a recipe like this one.  It giv…

Roasted Italian Sausages with Grapes

I always knew good things come from Ohio.  I did!   ☺ 

I came across this recipe in the little cookbook Farm and Foods of Ohio by Marilou Suszko and have also seen many variations of it over the internet.  Ina Garten even cooked it on the “Barefoot Contessa.”

Italian sausages; hot or sweet, are delicious things ~ combine them with some luscious grapes and you have a mouthwatering dish.  

The grapes pop and burst their sweet juices as they cook slowly scattered around the sausages.  

The sauce is excellent, but there’s just not enough of it so I doubled it and it could even be tripled.  

I mixed red and green grapes ~ don’t bother; you won’t be able to differentiate the colors or taste after cooking.

This is a delicious dish that I’m glad I finally tried and you should try it too!  It contains the simplest of ingredients which yields the most amazing flavor you can imagine!

Roasted Italian Sausages with Grapes
1-1/2 pounds hot Italian sausage
1-1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage
6 …

“He toasted his bacon on a fork and caught the drops of fat on his bread; then he put the rasher on his thick slice of bread, and cut off chunks with a knife, poured his tea into his saucer, and was happy.”

~ D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

ᴡᴏᴏ ʜᴏᴏ!!!

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Dinner Party
Jules-Alexandre Grun

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