Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pumpkin Potato Bread

2-3/4 c. sugar
1 c. butter
3 eggs
2-3/4 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
1 t. cloves
1 t. salt
1-1/2 c. cooked pumpkin
1 c. mashed potatoes
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 t. vanilla
1 c. nuts (optional)

Cream sugar and butter in large bowl.  Add eggs, one at a time, using electric mixer.  Sift dry 
ingredients together; add to creamed mixture, blending well.  Add pumpkin, potatoes, oil, vanilla and nuts.  Blend well.  Grease and flour two loaf pans.  Divide batter; bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.  Yields two loaves or l large(1 Hr)or 2 rounds (45 min.)

(First place winner--1985 Wisconsin Potato Contest)

Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

1/2 baguette or crusty long loaf bread, sliced (12 pieces)
2 large cloves garlic, cracked away from skin
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
3 small plum tomatoes, halved and seeded
20 fresh basil leaves
Coarse salt

Preheat broiler to high, and place bread slices on a broiler pan.  Char bread on each side under hot broiler, keep an eye on it!  Rub toasts with cracked garlic and drizzle with oil.  Chop seeded tomatoes and place in a small bowl.  Pile  basil leaves on top of one another and roll into a log. Thinly slice basil into green confetti and loosely combine with tomatoes.  Add a drizzle of oil and a little coarse salt to the bowl and gently toss tomatoes and basil to coat.  Pile toasts a round the bowl of topping.  Place a spoon to scoop topping in bowl and serve.

4 servings

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Rigatoni with Sausage, artichokes and asparagus

3/4 c. drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
(2 T. oil reserved)sliced
1 pound hot italian sausage, removed from casing
(I add slices of salami as well)
1 (9oz.) packages frozen artichoke hearts
1 small bunch asparagus(8 oz)trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 3/4 c. clhicken broth (about 1 can)
1/2 dry white wine
12 ounces rigatoni or other tubular pasta
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/3 c. chopped fresh basil
1/4 c. shopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
8 ounces (about 1 1/2 c. )fresh mozzarella, cubed (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat reserved oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned, breaking meat into bite-sized pieces with a fork, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a bowl. Add artichokes, asparagus, and garlic to skillet, and saute over medium heat until garlic is tender, about 2 minutes. Add broth, wine, and sun-dried tomatoes. Boil over medium-high heat until sauce reduces slightly, stirrinng occasionally, about 8 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

3. Add pasta and sausage to artichoke mixture. Toss until sauce is almost absorbed by pasta, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan cheese, basil, parsley, and mozzarella, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, passing additional Parmesan cheese alongside.

Makes 6 Servings

Christmas Menu, 2008

Standing rib roast
Horseradish sauce
Potato Gratin p, 52 of La Madeline book, "Les Recettes de la Saison"
French green beans with almonds and tomatoes
Endive, pear and roquefort salad
Panetone bread pudding with cinnamon sauce...Giada

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Flour-less Chocolate Cake

1 lb semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped(40-50% chocolate)
1/2 lb unsalted butter cut into 12" cubes
1/4 c. Kahlua
8 lg. eggs
1 t. vanilla
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 salt

Confectioners sugar or cocoa plus fresh raspberries

OVEN: 325 F.

Butter with 1/2 T. butter 9" spring-form pan and line bottom
with a round of parchment.

Cover pan underneath and along sides with foil and set in roasting pan.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil.
Combine chocolate, butter and Kahlua in metal bowl and set over simmering water or in top of double boiler. Melt mixture, stirring constantly until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Reserve

MEanwhile, combine eggs, sugar,, vanilla and salt in large bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until frothy and almost doubled in volume, about 5 min to 10 minutes. Fold 1/3 of egg mixture into chocolate mixture using a rubber spatula. Repeat 2x more until all egg mixture has been folded in.

Pour batter into spring form pan and place in roasting pan. Pour boiling water into roasting pan to come up halfway up sides. Bake until cake has risen slightly and edges are beginning to set, about 40 -45 minutes. Remove cake from roasting pan and cool on wire rack to room temperature. Remove foil, cover and refrigerate over night.

Remove cake from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. Remove spring-form pan sides, invert cake onto large plate and peel away parchment paper from bottom. Re-invert cake on another large plate or serving platter and garnish with confectioners sugar or cocoa immediately before serving.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Roasted Chicken

This classic roasted chicken is great on its own and in countless other recipes (which I'll include later after I test them).

2 chickens, 4 1/2 to 5 pounds each
6 lemons
a poultry mix of fresh herbs: rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley and oregano work well

Marinade for one or two chickens:

1 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup juice from fresh lemon(don't discard rinds)

Place all ingredients in a nonreactive bow. Whisk with a wire whisk until ingredients are incorporated well--the marinade should have a smooth and cream consistency.

To make roasted chicken: Preheat oven to 425.

Clean chickens well and pat dry. Place each chicken in its own baking dish.

Stuff cavities with lemon rinds and fresh herbs. A poultry mix is fine, usually consisting of the above herbs.
Pour marinade over chicken. Add cracked pepper and remaining herbs to the top of each chicken.

Place an oven thermometer in each chick and cover with aluminum foil. Place on the lower rack of the oven. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, then remove the aluminum foil. Baste with a basting bulb. Keep basting often, every 15 minutes until the thermometer reads 180.

Parsnip Puree 4-6 servings

1 lb. parsnips, peeled and sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. heavy cream
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and gently smashed
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 stick unsalted butter (or less)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Parsley for garnish

Put parsnips in a pot, season with salt and cover with milk and cream. Add garlic, bay and thyme then place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook until tender, the tip of a paring knife should easily go through without resistance-about 12 to 15 minutes. Place parsnips in a food processor with butter and pour in enough of the milk mixture to puree the parsnips and
acive the texture of whipped cream. Season with salt and pepper then finish with a sprinkle of parsley.

(A delicious change from mashed potatoes)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Rustic Berry Crostata

Makes: 8 individual crostatas
Prep: 30 minutes
Bake: 45 minutes
chill: 1 hour

For Pastry Crust:

2 c. all-purpose flour
3 T. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg yolk
3 T. ice-cold milk (or water)

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix in butter with a pastry blender or two forks until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk together egg olk and milk; pour into flour mixture, stirring just until dough starts to form a ball. Press together with lightly floured hands, and form into a flat round. Cover with plastic wrap;place in refrigerator at least 1 hour or overnight.

For Berry Filling:

2 cups fresh blueberries (about 1 pint)
1 cup fresh raspberries (about 1/2 pint)
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top (about 1 to 2 tablespoons)
3 T. cornstarch
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. salt
4 T. butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 large egg
1 to 2 T. milk

1. Preheat over to 375 degrees
2. Combine blueberries, raspberries, 1/3 c. sugar, and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Remove dough from refrigerator; divide evenly into 8 pieces. Roll each piece on a lightly floured surface into about 6 inch rounds; place on 2 lightly greased large baking sheets. Scoop 1/4 cup berry mixture into center of each round; top each with butter. Fold about 1 inch of dough over fruit all the way around to form a rim.
4. Combine egg an milk; brush outside of each tart with the egg wash. Sprinkle tarts with about 1 to 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Let cool on pan 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack' let cool. Serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Blueberry Coffee Cake

1/4 c. soft butter
2/3 c. sugar
1 egg
1 c. +2T. flour, divided
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. milk
1 c. frozen or fresh blueberries
1 pkg (4 oz.) cream creese, cubed


2 T. flour
2 T. sugar
1 t. cold butter


In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Beat in egg.  Combine 1 c. flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.  Toss blueberries with remaining flour.  Stir blueberries and cream cheese into creamed mixture (batter will be thick).  Transfer to a greased 8 inch square baking dish.


In a small bowl, combine flour and sugar.  Cut in butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over batter.  

Bake @ 375 degrees---40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.  

Yield 6-8 servings

*Don't thaw frozen blueberries before using.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thai Hot Supper Salad Serves 4

1 pound lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup picante sauce
1 T. soy sauce
2 T. lime juice
1 t. hot sauce (optional)
2 t. shredded fresh ginger

1 package Japanese soba noodles or vermicelli
2 t. sesame oil
1 T. soy sauce

2 cups torn romaine lettuce
2 cups torn spinach
]1 tomato, cut in wedges


1/4 cup chopped peanuts
2 to 4 T. chopped cilantro
2 green onions plus tops, sliced

Brown meat with garlic in a skillet;add picante sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, hot sauce, and ginger to meat; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly.  Break noodles in half; cook according to package directions, drain and rinse in cold water.  Toss with sesame oil and sou sauce; set aside.

Tear lettuce and spinach, place on platter, top with noodles, arrange tomatoes around edge and top with hot meat.  Garnish with peanuts, cilantro and green onions.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
5 cups fresh corn kernels cut off the cob (6 to 8 ears)
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
4 extra-large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 T. chopped fresh basil leaves
 1 T. sugar
1 T. kosher salt
3/4 t. freshly ground black pepper 
3/4 cup (6 ounces) grated extra-sharp Cheddar, plus extra to sprinkle on top

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease the inside of an 8 to 10 cup baking dish.

Melt the butter in a very large saute pan and saute the corn and onion over medium high heat 
for 4 minutes.  Cool slightly.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, and half-and-half in a large bowl.  Slowly whisk in the cornmeal and then the ricotta.  Add the basil, sugar, salt and pepper.  Add the cooked corn mixture and grated Cheddar, and then pour into the baking dish.  Sprinkle the top with more grated Cheddar.

Place the dish in a larger pan and fill the pan halfway up the sides of the dish with hot tap water.  Bake the pudding for 40-45 minutes, until the top begins to brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Serve warm.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Meredith's Salad--Cole Slaw

1 1/2 bags coleslaw w/shredded carrots
1  16 oz. box frozen peas
1 jar Briannas Poppyseed dressing
1/2 can honey roasted peanuts

       Mix all ingredients in a large bowl 15 minutes before serving. 
 Peas will keep salad cold as they thaw.

Serves 12

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Casual Winter Brunch

After testing many different recipes these were my favorites.  Served with hot finger quiches, mimosas, and coffee, this is an easy entertaining idea to pull off and so much fun for guests.

CH2M Barbecue dinner

This menu was delicious.  

Salmon Dip w/crackers
Ginger pork w/horseradish dip
Raw vegies w/curry dip

Thai Chicken...barbecued
Spinach and Berry salad w/dill
Cornbread w/honey butter
Corn on the cob

Summer berry pie w/ice cream