Posts

Showing posts from 2016

Classic Cocktail to ring in the New Year!

Image
This is a simple classic drink
to ring in the New Year!
Angostura Bitters, you know, that easily recognized bottle with the oversized label and yellow lid in the grocery store and liquor stores...





It was 1824, when German born, Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert, serving as Surgeon General in Simón Bolivar's army in Venezuela, developed Angostura Bitters for use in his medical practice, in the town of Angostura, now known as Ciudad Bolívar. 

Dr. Siegert used his aromatic bitters as a medical tincture to improve the appetite and digestive well-being of the soldiers.  

By 1875, the family businessmoved to Port of Spain, Trinidadand was run by 3 of the doctor's sons.  The exact formula of Angostura bitters~ a unique blend of natural herbs and spices~ is a closely guarded secret formula.

To this day, people use a couple of drops of bitters in a little water or just plain to relieve an upset stomach, gas, hiccups and so forth.

The bitters are extremely concentrated and are an acquired ta…

Christmas Eve Prime Rib ~ Merry Christmas!

Image
Tradition here is Prime Rib, Standing  Rib Roast,  on  Christmas Eve. 


It doesn’t get much better than a beautiful slice of beef, cooked rare.  This is my version; served along with delicious Caesar salad, Hasselback potatoes, oyster dressing, sautéed green beans with mushrooms, and a nice flaky dinner roll, with caramel cheesecake to top it off. 


Our prime rib is ordered from our local Italian butcher shop.  The butcher trimmed a large part of the fat off, then cut the bone off and brought it all back together by tying it with string.  It’s perfect, easy to roast and even easier for slicing. 


Allow the meat to stand at room temperature for an hour;  rub it with salt, a little pepper, and garlic powder, before roasting it in a 350° oven, until it reaches 120° internally.  Upon removing it  from the oven, let it stand for about 25 minutes before slicing.  By then, it will the register about 130° on the thermometer. 




This is my favorite cut of meat, and it’s cooked to perfection, very tend…

XMAS - Mutti's Butter Cookies

Image
These little butter cookies 
are just 
the best!


The waft of cinnamon while baking, fills the kitchen with marvelous aroma.

And I wish I were baking them now, as it's -12° here this morning...
This is a simple recipe for these cookies, and I used all 3 cups of flour.





I reworked the dough a couple of times while rolling out and cutting.  It’s the first cookie dough I’ve made thatdid not crumble and dry out when re-rolling.  It's a magnificent dough to work with!

The Chicago Tribune Holiday Cookies cookbook featured this recipe that won second place for Ivy Risch in the 2009 cookie contest.  

She can trace the recipe back to her missionary grandparents’ years in China and her grandmother’s friendship with Madame Chiang Kai-shek.  

Her grandmother called the cookies “speculatius.”

I say they’re spectacular!  

They truly are spectacularly buttery ~ and delicious!


Mutti’s Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

2½ sticks (1¼cups)  butter, softened
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour, divided
¼ teasp…

Cookies! Apricot Kolaczski, Kolachke, Kolache or Kolacky

Image
Kolaczski, or whatever you call them,  are a tradition here,  as they are in many homes at Christmastime.



There’s a plethora of names for this cookie, all with the same basic ingredients, and a plethora of fillings.  Put simply:  they’re a type of pastry, that holds a dollop of fruit, surrounded by supple dough.

This old recipe is from Helen, a friend of my mother’s in Louisville, whose Polish grandmother made these great cookies. 

I particularly like this recipe because it has a healthy dose of cream cheese, more than most kolaczski recipes.  The dough is what makes them exceptional!




Kolaczski come in many shapes ~ I cut the dough into squares, fold the opposing corners together and pinch the dough to seal the cookie.


Fill these delicious little morsels with a nut filling, pastry filling, jam filling or a cream cheese filling; I use apricot jam.




Dust a little powdered sugar over the cookies when cooled…

They’re perfect tasty little gems!


Apricot Kolaczski

Ingredients:

4 packages (3 ounces eac…

Sprakling Chewy Ginger Cookies with a Twist

Image
Don’t say I didn’t warn you❣


These cookies are chewy and delicious ~ bursting with a warm, surprisingly fiery and pungent flavor!
The taste is almost peppery and that’s why I love these cookies, because the surprise ingredient is just that, pepper!

I always bake some sort of ginger cookie during the Christmas season, and this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens surpasses them all.

For additional spicy flavor, the recipe includes  molasses, dark brown sugar, fresh ginger and pumpkin pie spice.  

Gold sanding sugar sprinkled on top of each cookie gives them a festive look when baked and adds another touch of sweetness.

I think they’re divine ~ they’re addictive ~ and if you like ginger cookies,  I bet you will agree!   


Sparkling Chewy Ginger Cookies
Printable recipe

Ingredients:

1⅓ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup shortening
2 large eggs
½ cup molasses
4 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
3½ cups flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fre…

Braised Cube Steak w/Mushroom and Onion Gravy

Image
Cube steak is an underrated cut of beef.

The meat has great flavor, but tends to be on the tough side.  I have the butcher run top round steak through the tenderizer machine, which has a series of blades or nails that are designed to puncture the meat, giving it a cubed surface.






Grandma just grabbed a saucer out of the cabinet, and used the edge of it to thoroughly beat the meat to tenderize it.  A mallet will do also, I've used both methods with equal success.













First off, after dusting the meat with flour, I seared it in hot oil in the skillet, over high heat. I transferred the browned meat to a platter, then added onions and mushrooms to the skillet for searing.




The moisture from the vegetables deglazes the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet; scrape it well, and add a little flour. 

Once the onions were tender, the cube steak was returned to the skillet and covered for cooking, while sitting in beef broth with the mushrooms and onions.

This whole technique is known as…

Cranberry-Ginger Sauce for Your Thanksgiving Table!

Image
Cranberries add a little  glitz and glimmer  to your  holiday meal!


Cranberry sauce is one of my favorite foods on the holiday table, and I’m not referring to the canned variety.  

I like my cranberry sauce homemade and fresh…






This is an uncomplicated, easy recipe.  All I had to do was curl the grapefruit, fill the saucepan with more ingredients and cook.  




Aromatic notes from the ginger spices the sauce up a notch.  You can use grated fresh ginger, but I had on hand a jar of minced ginger.  

A jar of minced ginger is a great handy convenience for cooking and baking that remains fresh in the jar, when refrigerated, for approximately 3 months. 




When using the jarred variety, add the same amount that is called for in the recipe.  It's a wonderful thing to have on hand when your recipe calls for fresh ginger!

In my way of thinking, no Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner would be complete without a serving or two of this tangy, sweet, delicious cranberry sauce!

It’s divine!


Cranberry-Ginger Sauce
P…

Apple and Pecan Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash plus a Supermoon Stargazer Alert!

Image
The filling is the highlight here, as is the case in most stuffed dishes!





This scalloped smooth-textured tiny squash is about the size of a softball, and has cream-colored skin with green specks and stripes ~ resembling a mini-pumpkin with its top pushed in.

It’s a mild-tasting sweet squash with tender orange meat that is great for stuffing and baking.

This is easy to prepare:  a mixture of fresh apples, dried cherries, chopped pecans, butter and spices, to stuff the sweet squash and bake until the squash is tender.



There’s little better on the supper table on a cool fall night or…

At the Thanksgiving table!


Apple and Pecan Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash
Printable recipe

Ingredients:

2 sweet dumpling squash
½ cup apples, diced small
¼ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup dried cherries, diced
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, diced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°.
Cut each squash in half and scoop out see…

Vertans Day Tribute to Bill, and all Veterans!

Image
Happy Veterans Day!







With a special shout-out to Bill, my favorite veteran, thanks to all veterans out there, who served in defense of our great country, for protecting our freedom!  






You are all heroes!
Happy Veterans Day!



Printfriendly



I want to enjoy my life, and food is a big part of it.

~ Gwyneth Paltrow





ʟɪᴋᴇ ᴏɴ ғᴀᴄᴇʙᴏᴏᴋ

Dinner Party

Dinner Party
Jules-Alexandre Grun

Since 2009