Your Words

Lacy eggs?
Try a different technique on some eggs this year – just wrap a scrap or 'end cut' of lace tightly around your egg and secure with a rubber band. Do NOT use Grandma’s antique lace for this!!!

Color in your glass of dye as usual. Easy, right?
[Submitted by Salyab]

Posted by Linda :
Saturday 23 March 2013 - 10:56:01
printer friendly create pdf of this news item

A St Patrick's day centerpiece
You know all those shamrock plants you see in the grocery and other stores this time of year? Well, here's what I did...

I just dug out the pulp of a large potato (a raw one), and then put as much dirt as I could and the plant into the hole.

When it gets a little warmer, you can plant the whole thing, potato and all smile

[Submitted by Salyab]

Posted by Linda :
Friday 08 March 2013 - 03:38:41
printer friendly create pdf of this news item

Recreating a Happy Accident
The story goes something like this: Best friends of many decades were exploring the delights of a city known for gambling, live shows, and all you can eat buffets. At an establishment of the last variety, somehow the choices of Cheesecake and Bananas Foster became co-mingled, thus creating, and I quote, “the best dessert ever”. Now if that doesn't sound like a divine kind of challenge, I don't know what would?! Yes, there are several things 'called' Banana Foster Cheesecake out there, but in reading the comments, they all seem to have one of two complaints: the cheesecake has an odd texture and/or the banana flavoring is overpowering (because it's in the cake). Let's fix that. For testing purposes, I liked the concept of the Apple Crisp Cheesecake bars - that way I only need make a half batch (8”square) at a time. As I was pleased the first time(!), it just gave me an excuse to make more wink The following is what I did, and why: So instead of the shortbread crust that my guide calls for, or a traditional graham cracker, I'm using Vanilla Wafer Crumbs (like they use in Banana Pudding?) - a dash of cinnamon just for fun? I think the cheesecake filling will serve my purposes, just as it is. Again, I added a dash of lemon juice and lemon rind to accent the contrast between the filling and sweet topping. Now here's the challenge: if I were serving this right on the spot, I'd just make Bananas Foster then and serve warm over the cold cake, and that would be it. But as in most of my elaborate cooking, it is meant for me to bring elsewhere, ready to serve. I'm looking for something that can be prepared ahead, and will still delight. Just pouring the sugar/rum syrup over the top would not sit well (literally) – so in looking for a way to create a glaze or spread, I remembered Cook's Country's tip on making banana pudding – they roasted bananas to intensify the flavor. SO – I pureed (raw) bananas and added the flavorings I wanted: butter, brown sugar, rum (quantities HERE) - make sure this is really smooth! Gently spread over the unbaked cheese filling, and into the oven. Oh wait! Garnish... I wasn't sure bananas would brown on their own, so I lightly brushed my remaining, sliced bananas with the melted butter/syrup from the pan, and arranged on top... NOW bake, lol!
I know I've talked a lot here – but don't you think it was worth it?!!? Having not been there on that fateful day, I can't truly speak to my success... Speaking strictly for myself? I'll make this again wink

Posted by Linda :
Wednesday 13 February 2013 - 21:45:21
printer friendly create pdf of this news item

From a new friend:

I grew up with a family of cooks and grandparents who owned restaurants, and this is actually from them...

I'm honestly not the biggest fan of cornbread, but on a cold winter night, fresh out of the oven, it's deliciously warming of your insides with every bite.
Cowboy Cornbread

3 boxes jiffy cornbread mix (or homemade cornbread. Jiffy is easier and I like it)
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 can Rotel (diced tomato with green chilies – available in different spice levels)
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can creamed corn
Shredded cheese
1lb ground meat
1/2 onion, chopped

Preheat oven to 350
Brown meat and onion. Season to taste. I like a bit of spice.
Mix jiffy mix with 3 eggs and 1 cup milk. - put about half into bottom of greased 9x13 pan (or split it into 2 8inch rounds to have one to save).
Layer with meat/onions, pinto beans, creamed corn, and Rotel. Layer on cheese.
Top with remaining jiffy.
Bake for 30-45 minutes or until top cornbread is fully cooked.
Want to top with some fresh jalapenos, add some chili powder? Go for it. This is one of those recipes you can't really mess up, as long as you stick to complementary flavors and don't over season. The Rotel has a bit of heat to it, depending on what kind you buy, but you could certainly put chili powder in it. You could probably even sub a layer of chili for the onions/meat/beans if you really wanted to.

You're Welcome,
The Bond Family (:

Thank you! Cookingskewl

Posted by Linda :
Saturday 05 January 2013 - 03:42:18
printer friendly create pdf of this news item

A Touch of Authentic Italy
You may have noticed that I’ve been on a somewhat Italian ‘theme’ lately, with one more to come – it all started when I heard from an old friend… Captain John, USN shares the following: "This is the intellectual property of Bernardo, or ‘Restaurante de Bernardo’ on the Island of La Maddelana, off the coast of Sardinia Italy. It was one of the favorite restaurants of Americans in La Maddalena and their own Crema de Limoncello was offered as an after dinner liquor to their customers. Debbie and I were having a Christmas party one year while we were there and we went to Bernardo's to ask them to sell us a bottle of their Limoncello for us to use at our party. They said that they couldn't sell it to us (due to Italian law), but that if we wanted to come down to their restaurant the next day, they would show us how to make it. The only restriction was that we couldn't share the recipe with other Italians on La Maddalena (due to their concern about the competition), but that we could share it with other Americans. So, as long as you are another American, you're welcome to try it. Be careful about the measurements. It is very important that you follow the recipe exactly. Too much Alcohol will make it too strong, too little and it will freeze solid. In La Madd, they would also wash the outside of the lemons with warm water and Bicarbonate of Soda (baking soda) to remove the natural wax. Also, when peeling the lemons, try to keep all of the white (or at least as much as you can) off of the peel (I have found that a vegetable peeler works pretty well, but you can use a sharp paring knife as well). In a perfect world, you would only want the yellow part of the peel. I said 10 lemons in the recipe because in America, we usually only get the small lemons that you get at the supermarket. In Italy, lemons were about twice the size of what we usually find in America, and the recipe there was six lemons. Bottom line is to try to get the largest lemons that you can.
Crema de Limoncello Wash and then peel the zest from 10 lemons, using a vegetable peeler or sharp knife. Place one liter of Everclear in a large jar that can be sealed. Add lemon peel to alcohol. Shake, seal and let stand at room temp for three days, shaking daily. In a large pan on the stove, combine two liters/8.5 cups of whole milk and one kilogram/4 cups of sugar and bring to a boil on medium heat, stirring frequently. As mixture begins to roll to a boil, remove from heat, cover, and allow it to return to room temperature - overnight (or for at least eight hours - do NOT put in refrigerator). Watch constantly as approaching boil, it will quickly boil OVER if not removed from heat as soon as it starts to roll. Once fully cool, pour alcohol mixture into milk and sugar mixture, being careful not to allow lemon peel to enter mixture. Mix well and pour into screw top bottles and place in freezer. Do not use corks as cork will freeze in the bottle top in the freezer and will not be easily removed. Enjoy in moderation! Makes approximately four quarts.
I started another batch for myself last night! Hope you enjoy!" From MY batch…
YUMMMMMMMY!!!!! And easy…

Posted by Linda :
Monday 27 August 2012 - 20:51:29
printer friendly create pdf of this news item

My friend and our contributor, Jerri, sent me this note on Facebook on a day she knew I was stressed – “Try the shortcake recipe I just posted, slather with strawberries and whipped cream....I think that is pretty close to a hug.” “This is from the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook that Mom gave me when we got married. It makes a great Shortcake for Strawberry Season....Ryan called yesterday asking for the recipe so I thought I would share it with you! Easy and Fast! Perfect!” Busy Day Cake - great name! I grew up on that cookbook – my Mom had also received it when SHE got married. Memories AND a hug – you’re a good friend, Jerri.

Posted by Linda :
Wednesday 02 May 2012 - 17:51:02
printer friendly create pdf of this news item

A new family recipe
From Ellen - "OK - left over Easter ham, craving ham salad, called my mom to ask what else besides ham and mayo was in the "family recipe" and she reminded me it was pickle relish. No pickle relish in the fridge - but I did have horseradish sauce! A new family recipe - YUM!!"

Sorry I didn't get this up sooner - but I just gotta try it!

Posted by Linda :
Thursday 12 April 2012 - 23:03:28
printer friendly create pdf of this news item

Great idea – made Gluten Free!
A friend of mine has been changing her lifestyle – at least in the foods she eats. Gluten is no longer her friend. But like most of us, she still loves her special treats. Kimberly took this recipe for Butter Pecan Cake and made it her own! She writes: “made a butter pecan GLUTEN FREE cake from scratch today using C4C flour. Tasty ... only thing I noticed was it took longer to bake so the bottom got browner than I would've liked ... but other than that ... pretty nice.” “The changes I made were using the C4C flour instead of regular flour. It can be used interchangeably. Instead of the sugary icing, I used real whipped cream and added the chopped buttery pecans ...” C4C means “Cup for Cup” – and apparently is worth searching for. Thanks Kimberly! Can’t wait to try this.

Posted by Linda :
Tuesday 10 April 2012 - 23:44:47
printer friendly create pdf of this news item

Life In The Bread Line
My passion for cooking started at an early age. The youngest of five children in an Armenian/Russian family, my early days were often spent playing with pots and pans in the kitchen, while my mother prepared dinner for the 7 to 10 people that graced our table each evening - promptly at 6 o'clock PM. My parents lived through The Great Depression and World War II, when food items were rationed, and items such as flour, sugar, butter and cheese required coupons. For many Americans during this historic time, jobs were scarce, and men, women and children often stood in "bread lines" or at soup kitchens to get a loaf of bread or a bowl of soup. Mom grew up on a farm, and her father had dairy cows, chickens, pigs, and a huge garden. Her mom cooked "from scratch" every day. Dad was an immigrant and fortunate to have many relatives helping his mother, whose husband had been murdered during the Armenian Genocide. Grandma worked in a shoe factory to support her children, but managed to keep a large vegetable garden. Both women cooked their own ethnic foods, and fed their families with the original "Whole Foods." In our family, we grew up eating a variety of Armenian and American foods, and an occasional Russian dish. My mom made the best homemade "French Fries" I have ever eaten. She detested fast food, and rarely let us have processed food products. We all would beg for the newest snack cakes or sugary cereals, but were always given a resounding, "No!" My first attempts at cooking were with one of my older sisters, who was very good at baking cookies. I still remember falling in love with "Lekvar", and getting the recipe from one of my elementary school teachers when I was only 8 years old. My mom helped a bit, but I had been watching for years, and took to the kitchen quickly. After my dad died suddenly when I was 9, my family moved to a different town. My mom went back to work, running my father's company, and my sisters and I had to step up and help with the shopping and preparation of meals. I usually had the boring job of setting the table and drying the dishes, but one day, I discovered Julia Child and then Graham Kerr, and was completely hooked on cooking. I will never forget bugging my mom for brioche tins. (Thank you Julia.) I was determined to make French Brioche, which is made much like bread, but considered to be a "Viennoiserie," or simply put, rich and fattening bread. Eggs, butter, milk and sugar added to the usual suspects of flour, yeast and salt, forming a flaky, delicious treat. Brioche was not available in bread lines, and my mom was abhorred at the amount of butter it called for. Making Brioche was my first success in getting flour all over myself and the kitchen floor. Flour was in my hair and even dusted my glasses, but the smell and taste was never forgotten. I am including a photo of Brioche here, as they truly are impressive and delicious. Baked in fluted pans, with a small ball of dough for a "topper", Brioche is now often made in a loaf pan or as rolls, for high end sandwiches, burger buns, and French Toast.
It was only a matter of time before I wanted to learn how to make various Armenian and Russian breads, and I have experimented with "Pita" and "Babka", as well as Russian Easter Braids and Hot Cross Buns. In the end, my Armenian roots have won out, and the one "bread" that I make every year, especially for Easter, is "Cheoreg", or in my family, "Keghkeh". Oddly enough, it too is a "Viennoiserie", and rich in eggs, butter, milk, and sugar. The difference is the savory twist, with fragrant Nigella Seeds incorporated into the dough, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds on the laminated surface of each delectable roll. Ironically, my mom never made these, and I never told her how much butter was in them. You do not have to wait for Easter to try these wonderful coffee rolls. You can shape them any way you desire. Nigella Seeds are also called Black Onion Seeds, and are available in Indian grocery stores, and in many Asian markets. You can order them online and freeze them in a jar. They will last for years. Family traditions are important to me, but passing along my ethnic heritage of unusual foods is a top priority, and I have made sure that my siblings, children, and cousins have this recipe, as it brings fond memories of growing up in a family of great cooks, and fills both the heart and home with love. [Submitted by lovechild]

Posted by Linda :
Sunday 12 February 2012 - 14:59:24
printer friendly create pdf of this news item

This may sound strange…
My family doesn’t visit my site very often. While they’re my primary guinea pigs, if they want the recipe for something I’ve made for them, they just give me a call! OR, more likely – ask me to make it again. On the plus side, I can talk freely about things that I think would be great gift ideas wink So it truly disheartened me when my Sis-in-law Anita told me that she had recently visited expressly to find a taco seasoning recipe – and I didn’t have one. “I KNOW you made a wonderful Taco Bar for us... “ Yes, I did, but that was a few years back, and despite the other great food available, the “kids” insisted on that stuff from a package! Time has past since that decadent buffet, and even the kids have matured in all ways – including their taste buds. Yet, they still love that ground beef taco. So Anita – this one’s for you! Mix up this big batch of taco seasoning and not only will you be covered for that hamburger/quick meal, you can add it to so many other foods. Chicken, pork, beef, even fish can benefit from the somewhat basic, yet smoky flavors this blend uses. Not too spicy – just enough. Explore, and share your results with us?

Posted by Linda :
Tuesday 11 October 2011 - 13:26:16
printer friendly create pdf of this news item

Go to page 1 2 3 4 5 
News Categories