Recipes from an Edwardian Country House

Recipes from an Edwardian Country House is a book that was repackaged from an earlier book. Frankly, I hate it when publishers do this sort of thing, as I often have the first book and then end up with another copy of the same book .

Seasonal Recipes From The Garden

For a long time my cable provider didn't provide a PBS station. It seemed weird, no PBS, but I learned to live it. After changing providers, I suddenly had PBS again.

Favorite Recipes of Famous Men

We are suckers for collections of recipes by "famous" folk. So naturally, Favorite Recipes of Famous Men a 1949 cookbook collection by Roy Ald is a great one.

Spoonbread and Strawberry Wine

There is not a single member of Norma Jean and Carole Darden's family that you want to hang out with. While most of them are gone now, they live on in this delightful cookbook and memoir.

Recipes from an Edwardian Country House

Recipes from an Edwardian Country House is a book that was repackaged from an earlier book. Frankly, I hate it when publishers do this sort of thing, as I often have

Monday, March 16, 2015

Cake recipes from my mom's 70th birthday

As promised, I will deliver you today to dessert table my mom recipes. The cakes have proved popular, so I think you have tasted good. They are all recipes that can be made fast times simply, without much effort, but with much effect :)

Cake recipes
Cake recipes
Tiramisu Biskuitrolle


4 eggs
125 g sugar
1 sachet of vanilla sugar
50 g cornstarch
75 g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder


200 g cream
250 g mascarpone
75 g sugar
1 cold espresso
3 tablespoons Amaretto flavor powder Cappucino-


4-5 strawberries
Ladyfingers or Amarettini
dark cocoa

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. The eggs with the sugar and vanilla sugar until creamy. Mix the flour with the cornflour and the baking powder and the Eicreme seven, then undergo with a whisk. Spread on a baking sheet a piece of parchment paper and spread the dough out until golden brown about 10 minutes in the oven, take out and on a cloth that is sprinkled with sugar tip and gently peel away the parchment paper immediately. Roll the dough baked biscuit from the long side in the kitchen towel and let cool. Now the kitchen towel carefully roll hreausnehmen the biscuit. The whip cream for the cream stiff, the mascarpone with the sugar and stir until smooth Cappucino- powder, stir the cream into the mascarpone 1/2 loose, set aside the rest of the cream. Spread the mascarpone cream on the sponge cake and drizzle the espresso it. Now roll the sponge roll. Spread the rest of the cream over the sponge roll, sprinkle cocoa in a colander about halve strawberries to decorate the Amarettini and the strawberries on the jelly-roll.

best cake recipes
Cake Recipes

Crumb Cake


500 g flour
100 g sugar
300 ml of milk
100 g melted butter
1 cube of yeast
1 pinch of salt

crumble mixture

400 g flour
250 g sugar
250 g butter

Heat a little of the milk lukewarm, let the yeast work with a little sugar in 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients in a food processor with the yeast mixture knead to a smooth dough, cover and let rise for about an hour. For the streusel ingredients as long zerkneten in a bowl by hand until crumble is formed of. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. A Backplech grease with margarine and spread the dough on it and then distribute the Streuselmasse on the dough. Bake in oven, take out and cooled cut into smaller pieces for about 30 minutes.

Cupcakes, birthday cakes
Cupcakes, birthday cakes

Mini apple Gugels


250 g flour
150 g sugar
125 g margarine
2 eggs
1 sachet of vanilla sugar
1 cup milk or buttermilk
2 small grated apples
icing sugar

The ingredients all mix together in a bowl and pour into a silicone mini Cowl form (Ikea) and bake in a preheated oven at 175 degrees for about 20- 25 minutes. If the small Gugels have cooled sprinkle with a little powdered sugar.

Schoko- Kuchen für Motivtorte
Chocolate cake for cake motif

Chocolate cake for cake motif


250 g soft butter
170 g sugar
1 vanilla sugar
200 g flour
1 packet of baking powder
3 heaped tablespoons baking cocoa
4 eggs
1 pinch of salt
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons plain yogurt

80 g butter, softened
150 g icing sugar
250 g cream cheese
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons limoncello
yellow food coloring

The butter with the sugar and vanilla sugar mix, stir the eggs one, mix the flour with the baking powder, cocoa and salt alternately with the yogurt and stir in the milk.
Bake in preheated oven in a baking frame at 175 degrees bake for about 40 minutes.
For the cream stir the butter with the icing sugar and creamy mix in the remaining ingredients. Divide the cake is done in three equal parts, twice cut each piece to give the lowest part cream, the next part of it, put cake, spread cream until such time as the whole cake pieces and cream are used up.

I wish you much fun to bake

Friday, March 6, 2015


There seems to be two main variations of cream cheese frosting. One is more cheesy than sweet and the other is way more sweet than cheesy. Personally, I don't care for either.

Today's recipe is a magical blend of both styles of cream cheese frosting. It is VERY smooth and VERY creamy, it has the flavor of a GREAT cheesecake but it definitely has some sweetness's just perfect, AND it pipes well !!

(2) 8 ounce packages full fat cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup UNSALTED butter  (room temperature)
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 cups powdered sugar

Beat the cream cheese and the UNSALTED butter together with electric mixer (on high) until smooth and creamy.

Add the vanilla extract and the powdered sugar,(add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating until smooth between each addition.

Scrape down interior of the bowl and give it one last mix...that's it!!

This is the perfect frosting for that red velvet cake you've been wanting to make.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Slight variations of this easy angel food cupcake recipe are all over the Internet, but look no further, todays post is DELICIOUS!!!

Even my picky-picky husband ate several of these this afternoon and he is NOT known to be big on snacking (so that is quite the thumbs up at our house).

The cupcake is super moist, ultra light and fluffy and definitely going (immediately) into my "make again soon" recipe box.

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons caster sugar(divided)(see note below)
1/2 cup CAKE FLOUR  (no substitutions)
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 egg whites (at room temperature) (see note below)
2 1/2 tablespoons warm water (not hot)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1   tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350° and put paper cupcake liners in your cupcake pan (makes 18).

Sift together 1/2 cup castor sugar (reserve the rest) + 1/2 cup cake flour + salt and set this mixture aside. (*Make sure you use only 1/2 cup of the castor sugar in this step)

With electric mixer and a large bowl (I use my stand mixer), beat the egg whites, warm water, vanilla, lemon juice and 1/4 cup of the reserved caster sugar. Beat until its very foamy, then while the mixer is still going, sprinkle in the reserved final two tablespoons of caster sugar and beat on high till stiff peaks form. If you are using a hand mixer, this can take as long as 5 minutes, but I had stiff peaks in only 2-3 minutes with my stand mixer.

After egg white mixture reaches stiff peaks, turn mixer off and use a spatula to GENTLY FOLD IN the cake flour mixture (about 1/3 of it at a time).

Divide the batter (it will look like meringue) evenly between 18 cupcake papers. Stack the batter high above the top of the cupcake papers.

Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or till top is light golden. Remove from oven and cool in the pan. When they are completely cool to the touch  when you hold your hand against the underside of the cupcake pan.....then you can frost or top with whipped cream and berries.

NOTE:  If you do not have caster sugar(which is fine sugar but NOT powdered sugar) you can make it by putting it in the food processor for about 15 seconds. Just make sure you measure it AFTER it comes out of the food processor.
NOTE: To get "room temperature eggs", I put mine in a bowl and then cover them with (almost) hot tap water and let them sit for 15 minutes.
NOTE: Make sure you stack the batter in a well rounded mound above the top of the cupcake paper. When you first take them out of the oven, they will look tall, but they collapse as they cool so that the final cupcake is even with the top of the cupcake paper.

Friday, February 27, 2015


I don't know how many times I've tried one of those clone recipes and later thought..."close, but no cigar".  But this time, I've hit the mother lode.

Not only is this cake made from standard pantry staples, but it is rich, buttery and it has a very fine and velvety crumb, just like a Sarah Lee pound cake. I can think of a million great uses for this quick and easy cake, but I doubt it will last that long around here. I'm definitely going to be putting one of these beauties in the freezer for unexpected guests.

8 ounces butter at room temperature (no substitutions)
2 cups powdered sugar
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 2/3 cups CAKE FLOUR  (important, no substitutes)
2 teaspoons lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Recipe calls for an 8 1/2" loaf pan. If you are using Pyrex, preheat your oven to 325°. If you are using a metal pan, preheat the oven to 350°. Spray the pan with cooking spray, then line it with parchment paper (or foil) and spray again.

Cream the butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on high speed for a full FIVE MINUTES.

Add one of the eggs and a couple spoons of the flour and beat another TWO MINUTES.

Add the 2nd egg and half of the remaining flour  and beat another TWO MINUTES.

Add the sour cream and the rest of the flour and the extracts, and beat another TWO MINUTES.

Spread the batter into the greased parchment paper lined loaf pan and bake  65 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean.

Cool in the pan (on a rack) for 20 minutes before you take it out of the pan.  Wrap the HOT pound cake snugly in plastic wrap and cool completely.

NOTES: It is important to use cake flour. With all of the mixing in this recipe, all purpose flour or bread flour wouldn't give you a very good cake.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Catering to Charleston

On this cold and gloomy day the mind wanders to the warn, ocean blown streets of Charleston and the gentility that comes to mind.  Frances Hamby was the premiere caterer in Charleston, South Carolina.  Hamby Catering is still the cater to call for everything from bridge luncheons to elegant weddings.

Since Hamby catered most Charleston events, it has been said that more than one dowager existed almost exclusively on Hamby's food.  The menus are so ubiquitous that walking into an event, most women can tell which catering plan the hostess had opted to order.

Fran Hamby began in the "business" when she catered her daughter's wedding reception.  It was so successful that the elite of Charleston began to call Mrs. Hamby wherever they needed a party.  The rest, as they say, is history.

After years of being "The" caterer to Charleston, Mrs. Hamby collected her recipes in Catering to Charleston.   The book is filled with recipes and tips for successful events.  It is interspersed with poems and recollections from Elizabeth Bullock Godfrey, a close friend and lifelong Charlestonian.  Both food and history fall off the pages and while it is true that most every kitchen in Charleston has a copy of Catering to Charleston most people in Charleston simply call up Hamby.

Sadly, we are not in Charleston.  If there is a quintessential Hamby recipe, it might just be the shrimp paste.  We admit that the term "shrimp paste" seems a tad unappealing, but it is quite magical.  While the recipe suggests serving with crackers, it is the essential ingredient in shrimp sandwiches.  A thin layer on very white bread that has been denuded of any speck of crust and cut into a three bite serving.   Dowagers aside, this is a diet we would be happy to live on.

Mrs. Patrick's Shrimp Paste

1 pound medium sized shrimp, cooked, peeled, and deveined
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
1/4 teaspoon minced onions
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise or more to bind mixture
Assorted mild crackers

In a food processor, coarsely chop shrimp.  Combine together shrimp, salt, celery seeds, onions, juice and Tabasco.  Add mayonnaise and store until mixture holds together.  Cover and refrigerate.  Serve with mild crackers.

Ah to be in Charleston.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Cakes and Ale

Today's cookbook is a bit more on the essay side the the actual cooking side.  Cakes and Ale by Edward Spencer is a varied collection of recollections, meals, menus and haphazard recipes collected and published in 1897.  Spencer has an amazing turn of phrase and one cannot ope this book to any page without being thoroughly delighted at the banter.

Wholesome British food is usually sufficient for the ordinary British appetite, without such surroundings as marble pillars.

(But marble pillars are soooo nice.)

Let your sideboard -- it is assumed you have a sideboard -- sigh and lament its hard lot under its weight of cold joints, game and pies.

(Well, of course we have a sideboard!)

Clam Chowder is an acquired one, nor will stewed tortoise ever rank with thick turtle in British estimation.

(We are willing to acquire a taste for clam chowder if we could just get someone to make it for us.)

Spencer goes on and on...

Here is his recipe for a hot-pot, a casserole of epic proportion.

Lancashire Hot-Pot

Place a layer of mutton cutlets, with most of the fat and tails trimmed off, at the bottom of a deep earthenware stewpan.  Then a layer of chopped sheep's kidneys, an onion cut in thin slices, half a dozen oysters, and some sliced potatoes.  Sprinkle over a little salt and pepper and a teaspoonful of curry powder.  Then start again with the cutlets, and keep adding layers of the different ingredients until the dish be full.  Whole potatoes atop of all, and pour in the oyster liquor and some good gravy.  Mare gravy just before the dish is served.

Not too fierce and oven, just fierce enough to brown the top potatoes.

I long for a cookbook that calls for a "fierce" oven!

Clearly, one won't be doing a lot of cooking from Cakes and Ale, but it is a glorious read.  Troll the Internet and a digital copy may be found.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


This is one of those great old classic recipes that gets passed down from generation to generation because it is just SO delicious. It doesn't even need cake, I would be happy with a bowl of this frosting and a big spoon!! This frosting would be GREAT on ANY cake!!

A true caramel flavor, not that imitation caramel kind.

1/2 cup butter (no substitutions)
1 cup dark brown sugar (packed tight)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups powdered sugar
2 to 4 tablespoons milk

Melt the butter over medium low heat in a saucepan that has a heavy bottom (this helps the frosting not to scorch).

Add the dark brown sugar and stir well. Bring it up to full boil (stirring all the time)

Add the heavy cream (it will bubble up a little, so make sure your saucepan is big enough). Return to a boil (stirring) and boil for 30 seconds (keep stirring), then remove from the heat.

Pour this hot mixture into a stand mixer and add the sugar, vanilla, salt and 2 tablespoons milk (add sugar one cup at a time). Beat until well combined.

If the frosting seems a little thick, add the other 2 tablespoons of milk and beat well. (I always end up putting in all 4 tablespoons of milk for some reason).

This frosting is too creamy to use in a decorator bag, but it is perfect for sheet cakes, cupcakes, etc.

Keep in mind that this is a cooked frosting and it will "set up" after its completely cooled and be ALMOST fudgy in texture.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015


First, let me say that I love traditional refried beans. I could eat them in or on anything. However, recently, I've been trying to eat a little healthier, so I've been experimenting with bean recipes, trying to create one that will not only be "guilt free", but one that will hit all of those coveted comfort-food bells in my head. A tall order, I know.

My first attempts were just plain bland. The next attempts were tasty but it was still missing that butter, bacon, ham hock something I couldn't put my finger on.

So I finally just took a wild fling and added a can of fire roasted tomatoes and upped the seasonings just a little, and BINGO, I am VERY satisfied with the outcome. Even picky-picky husband (without prompting, mind you) said, "these beans are really good". They are also made in the Crockpot, so it doesn't get much easier than that!!!

1 1/2  cups DRY pinto beans (no need to soak)
(1)  15 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
1 1/2 tomato can of water
(1) 4 ounce can mild green chili's
2 (scant) teaspoons salt
1/2   teaspoon black pepper
1  tablespoon vegetable (or corn) oil
1/2  cup chopped onion
2  teaspoons minced garlic
3  teaspoons chili powder
1  teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (important)

Saute the chopped onion in the vegetable oil until they are tender, then add the garlic and sauté for another minute.

Put the sautéed onion/garlic in the Crockpot, then add everything else and cook on low for 8 hours, or overnight, your house will smell heavenly the next morning.

Drain the cooked beans (save the liquid) and put them in a food processor. Pulse a few times (depending on how smooth you like your refried beans). If they seem a little dry, add some of the reserved bean liquid (I like mine a little on the "wet" side, so I add about half cup of the liquid).

Use in any recipe that requires refried beans. This recipe freezes very well.

NOTE: Don't freak out about there being tomatoes in this recipe. I know it isn't traditional, but you can barely tell they are there. They just add a nice FULL (low calorie flavor).


Monday, February 9, 2015

My Beverly Hills Kitchen

Alex Hitz's book, My Beverly Hills Kitchen has that "old school" feel to it without being the least bit stuffy or dated.  It has that Craig Claiborne, James Villas, and Lee Bailey feel about it and rightly so.  Hitz has that erudite, well-travel, socially connected vibe about him, but whether in Paris, London, or Timbuktu, one can take the boy out of the South but one can never take the South out of the boy!

Seriously, who doesn't love a book featuring a big platter of fried chicken next to grand mama's silver? We would definitely party with this guy.  And we would have a good time, too. The book is a perfect storm of Southern classics like shrimp and grits with some biscuits thrown in along side some very French cooking things like a hollandaise from Escoffier.  Hitz likes to name drop, but rarely gives much detail other than he got this recipe from so and so  or he ate this dish with at her house.

His Osso Buco is one such dish.  He mentions that several years ago in LA.  (Los Angeles and not Lower Alabama) EVERYONE served osso buco.  He served it a dinner party, Betsy Bloomingdale served it and Prince and Princess Rupert Lowenstein served it at lunch.  He is somehow connected to the Rolling Stones which gives us an extra name or tow to drop.  And still, it is a fine recipe.

Osso Buco

3 pounds veal shanks with bones
1 teaspoon salt, divided
½ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
5 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons salted butter, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups chopped onion
1 cup sliced onions
½ cup diced carrots
½ cup diced celery
2¼ cups red wine
3½ cups chicken stock
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Gremolata (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Season both sides of the veal shanks with ½ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the ground black pepper.

Place the flour in a medium mixing bowl and toss the seasoned shanks in the flour until they are coated. Shake off the excess flour and reserve the ribs.

In a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the oil. When the foaming has subsided, add the shanks to the skillet.

This is the most crucial step: Brown, and I mean brown, the shanks in the butter and oil on all sides until they are crusty, about 15-20 minutes. You may have to do this in batches. Do not crowd the pan, or you will steam the meat instead of browning it. Pay attention, as this is truly the most important part of this recipe. Transfer the browned shanks to a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish and let them cool.

Remove the burned oil and butter from the skillet, and let the skillet cool slightly.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in the skillet over low heat, but do not let the butter burn. The skillet will be very hot.

When the foaming has subsided, add both the sliced and chopped onions and sauté for about 2 minutes, until just slightly translucent, and then add the carrots and celery. Sauté for 10 to 12 minutes until the vegetables are just barely soft.

Transfer the cooked vegetables to the baking dish with the shanks, and then pour in the wine and stock. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and the thyme. Top the dish with a bay leaf in the middle.

Cover the baking dish tightly and bake it for 2½ hours.

Remove it from the oven, uncover it, and remove the bay leaf. Remove the meat and pour the liquid and vegetables into a heavy medium saucepan. Place the saucepan in the freezer for about 20 minutes and then skim off the excess fat. Reduce the oven heat to 300° F.

After you have skimmed the fat, place the saucepan on the stove over high heat and boil it until the sauce thickens, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the parsley.

Put the shanks back in the baking dish and pour half the thickened sauce over them. Cover the dish tightly and put it in the oven again for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the shanks and uncover them. They should be falling off the bone by now. Heat the rest of the sauce in a heavy saucepan over a medium heat.

Turn to oven to broil. Broil the shanks for 5 to 7 minutes, until they are caramelized, and then let them rest for about 5 minutes before serving. Top with gremolata, and pass the remaining sauce with the shanks.

NOTE These are infinitely better if all the steps through the baking are done the day before serving.


2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, peeled
4 sprigs parsley
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process all the ingredients until a paste forms. Serve the Gremolata on top of the Osso Bucco.

Recently Hitz has been adding his recipes to the pages of House Beautiful, not to mention they ran a spread on his beautiful house.  Do check him out.

Friday, February 6, 2015


This cake is not only easy to make, but it is super moist and flavorful. It is great just to snack on, or for shortcake or even petit fours. When its cooled, it cuts beautifully.

3/4 cup butter (room temperature)
6 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
5 eggs (room temperature)
1 1/2  cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract (see note)
3 tablespoons milk
1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
Spray a 9" x 5" x 2 3/4" loaf pan with cooking spray and then line the bottom only with parchment paper (waxed paper will work in a pinch) then spray the paper too..
In large bowl, beat the butter, cream cheese, sugar, baking powder, milk and extracts until smooth.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. When the eggs are all in there, beat batter on high for 3 minutes.
Sift the flour, then add it (while the mixer is running on LOW) 1/4 cup at a time, beating only until the flour is well incorporated, but don't over mix.
Bake in prepared pan in pre-heated 350° oven for 70 to 75 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean. My electric oven takes 70 minutes.
Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and tip it out onto a cooling rack.
While the cake is still VERY hot, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and let it cool that way. This makes a huge difference in the moisture any cake will have. I do ALL of my cakes this way.
NOTE: The coconut extract gives this cake a wonderful flavor (you won't taste the coconut) but it really adds to the vanilla flavor. If you don't have coconut extract, use the required 2 teaspoons of vanilla and 1 more teaspoon of your favorite extract, like rum, or orange or almond.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Requiescat in Pace -- Colleen McCullough

Colleen McCullough died on 29  January.   She was Australia's best selling author, a neurophysiologist, and for us, a cookbook author.  She was boisterous, witty, and more accomplished than most.  So it was quite shocking and in profoundly bad taste that The Australian began her obituary, not with her remarkable gifts, but by stating she was "plain" and "overweight."  Screw them!

Take a few moments to read our Famous Food Friday on Colleen McCullough from several years ago.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Great British Breakfast

There is a famous quote by Somerset Maugham about the British breakfast.  He said, "If you eat well in England, you must eat breakfast three time a day."  We are very fond of eating breakfast for dinner and while we do love pancakes at supper, the traditional British breakfast can top that.  While the actual items on the plate vary, breakfast usually consists of the following:

fried eggs
black or/and white pudding
baked beans

A nice marmalade on the table for extra toast is a must.  In fact, this edition of The Great British Breakfast was published in association with Frank Cooper, who most probably made the marmalade on the table.

Jan Read and Maite Manjon have written a good bit about wine, food and history, but in The Great British Breakfast they take a historical view of the English breakfast.  If there was a prime period of breakfast, it was during the nineteenth century when country houses were flourishing.  During the end of the century and into the very beginnings of the twentieth century, many cookbooks were published specifically for preparing breakfast.  Some ideas for a proper breakfast for gentlemen included a menu of:

Kedgeree of Cod
Devilled Pheasant
Broiled Ham
Mutton Chops
Eggs aux Fine Herbs

While men might never pass on a breakfast option, women were much more particular and required a lighter fare such as:

Broiled Salmon
Roast Larks

The Great British Breakfast is one of our favorite kinds of food books.  It has a bit of history, a bit of story, and some recipes all mixed together. While the English loved a scone, a slightly different version existed in Scotland.  While their potato scones featured boiled potatoes there was push for cooks to invest in a patented potato steamer.  Steamed or boiled, potatoes are the key.

Potato Scones
1 lb (450g) potatoes, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
1 oz (30g) butter or margarine
3-4 oz (80-110g) flour

Boil, drain and sieve the potatoes,  Add the salt and butter and knead into a stiff dough with as much flour as it will absorb.  Roll out to about 1/4-inch thick on a floured board, cut into triangles and prick with a fork.  Bake on a hot greased griddle for about five minutes each side until browned.

A far cry from the usual breakfast of  -- coffee!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


A dear friend of mine, posted a video (from
poaching eggs in the oven and I was quite intrigued. Not only can poaching eggs, in the traditional method, be a disaster be challenging but you can only make 2-3 at a time!!

Here is what I found:

The video said to put about a tablespoon of water in each cup of a regular muffin pan, then crack an egg over the water and bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes.........well, that ALMOST worked.

I DID use the scant tablespoon of water, and I DID preheat my electric oven to 350°, but when I tried it using a standard cupcake (muffin) pan, the egg + water filled it to overflowing and took a full 20 minutes to cook, not 8 to 10.

On my second attempt, I had excellent luck using a jumbo size muffin pan (I think they call them Texas size?) and I gave it a light mist of vegetable spray, then put in the scant tablespoon of water and a large egg. I baked them at 350° for exactly 12 minutes (not 8 to 10)
and they lifted right out of the pan with a spoon.....YUM!!!

Whether you are making one or 30, this method (with my tweaks) really does work and it couldn't be easier!!
The difference in cooking time (between my oven and the Foodstyle video) COULD be that their oven simply runs hotter than mine or maybe they were using smaller eggs (?)With so many variables, I suggest you do a "test egg" to see how long it takes in your oven before you make a whole pan of these.
One other note: When your eggs are done to your liking, take them OUT OF THE PAN right away or they will continue to cook.
Don't you just want to
dunk your toast in this one?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Food For The Greedy

An oldie goldie on this snowy day.  Not only is this book old, but it is a reprint of an even older version.  Why Nancy Shaw chose to title this cookbook Food for the Greedy is beyond me.  She states in her introduction:
The receipts which I have assembled in this small book are ones which I use regularly in my own home. I think that, at any rate, half of the receipts could not be met with elsewhere, as I have collected them for many years, from many people, in many lands.
They are indeed as strange mix of recipes culled from a lifetime of thinking about food.  The Cambridge Guide to Women's Writing in English posits that food writing or cookbooks, as one would think about them today, began in the 1920's.  During this period, society ladies began to organize their recipes into collections and they often wrote columns in local papers.  Cambridge is quick to point out that virtually none of these women could actually cook.  This was a trend that continued through the 1930's when Food for the Greedy was originally published.

The very first recipe in the book is for a dish called Potassium Soup.  This hardly sounds like a dish served for some greedy foodie. It also calls for canned okra.  I can honestly say that I have never seen canned okra, but, in my defense, I rarely spend time in the canned vegetable isle of the grocery.  I was so interested that I checked to see if there was still such a thing as canned okra.  To my surprise, there is indeed canned okra and now I feel obliged to buy a can for my own edification, but I digress...

Potassium Soup

Cut up small: 3 carrots, 2 onions, 1 large head of celery, 1/2 can of okra and one kernel of garlic, and place them in 2 quarts of water.  Boil for 17 minutes. Then add one handful of parsley and one green pepper, and boil again for 7 minutes.  Add a large tin of tomatoes and boil up again.  Strain through a sieve to the desired thickness.

American receipt, said to ensure longevity!

The "Okra" can be bought at good class grocers who stock less well known canned goods.

Well, it turns out that "Okra" can be bought at good class grocers who stock less well known canned goods or at Amazon.  Clearly, with the help of Amazon we can all be greedy!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Death & Co

Death & Co is how I have been feeling lately, but I won't bore you with the details.  But I will try to start posting on a regular basis. 

So Death & Co was a Christmas gift.  Every year my friend, Ann, goes to my Amazon Wish List and buys me cookbooks.  But in the last few years, she has also gone a bit rogue by choosing an extra book she pick on her own.  This year, that book was Death & Co.

When I opened it, I told her that I was, indeed glad to get the book.  It had sold out at many bookstores shortly before Christmas and was quite a find.  Ann said proudly, "I know you like books about offal."   Now here was a dilemma.  Do I say but this is not a book about offal, it's a cocktail book?  Do I ignore the comment?  Does it matter?

Not really.  While Ann loves to eat, she is not a big cook, so it really didn't matter.  "It's a cocktail book," I said and Ann seemed pleased as she will drink cocktails but won't eat offal, so it was  kind of a "win/win" for both of us.

Death & Co is the cocktail book from the bar of the same name.  It has been that IT place to go in New York for grand chefs, hipster dudes, and other mere mortals.  The reason that there is so much respect for this bar is because they know their stuff.  David Kaplan, Alex Day, and Nick Fauchald have committed to paper the aesthetics of the bar. 

In the old days of cocktails, a gin and tonic was a gin and tonic.  Now days, there are hundreds of gins and more than a few different tonics.  (As the owner of over 15 gins and and a handful of tonic options, let me just say how happy I am about the proliferation of independent spirits, but I digress....) Today's world is filled with craft spirits, each having its own taste and flavor.  Add hundreds of new spirits to an equal number of new bitters and mixers and cocktails are exploding every where.

Death & Co like a good cocktail offers up a base of history, a bit of technique, a dash of science and mixes it together into a cocktail book that will stand the test of time.  Yes, fifty years from now, your grandchildren will be thumbing your old copy of Death & Co in their first apartment in Brooklyn...or probably Hoboken, as Brooklyn is already too expensive for you to live there!  The real question is how many of these specific "craft" spirits will still be here fifty years form now or even ten years from now?

My very favorite of all time gin, Veranda, had only a brief run over a decade ago in Vermont.  It was before every other disgruntled business owner opened a distillery.  It was before anyone ever mentioned craft spirits or cared that much about cocktails.  Still, it was sublime.  Then it was gone.  What makes Death & Co such a comprehensive work, its detail to specific ingredients, might just be the death of the book in the future.  So before we lose this wealth of glorious ingredients, get out there and have a drink.  While you may not be able to afford Brooklyn, you may be able to still drink one.


2 ounces Rittenhouse 100 Rye
3/4 ounce Dolin Dry Vermouth
1/4 ounce Amaro Ciociaro
1 teaspoon Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

Stir all the ingredients over ice, then strain into a coupe.  No garnish

Friday, January 23, 2015


The Éclair Cake idea has been around for years. It is a magical dessert that starts with pudding mix and graham crackers, and when it sits in the fridge overnight, something magical happens. The graham cracker layer "softens" and sort of turns into a "cake" layer (people are shocked when they find out its just graham crackers). The whole thing is delicious and I've made it a billion times.  But todays post is a new and simple twist to the Éclair Cake: peanut butter!!

Yes, peanut butter is mixed into the pudding and it takes this simple dessert in a whole different direction. The next time I make this variation, I will use chocolate graham crackers (I only had regular ones this time)'ve gotta give this one a try.  

(2) 3½ ounce instant vanilla pudding
1 cup creamy style peanut butter
8 ounce Cool Whip thawed
3 cups of milk

1 pound of graham crackers


6 tablespoons butter (melted)
6 tablespoons boiling water
6 tablespoons baking cocoa
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Place a single layer of graham crackers in the bottom of a 9x13 dish (breaking to fit if necessary). With an electric mixer, beat the instant pudding, peanut butter with 3 cups milk until very smooth (about 2 minutes) then fold in the Cool Whip. Immediately pour half of this mixture over the 1st layer of graham crackers, spreading it out evenly.

Put another layer of graham crackers on top of the pudding and then another layer of pudding mixture. Top second layer of pudding with a final layer of graham crackers.

Cover the dish tightly, with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about an hour before you frost it.

After an hour of chilling, whisk together the melted butter, boiling water, cocoa and vanilla until well blended. Add powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Immediately pour the frosting over the chilled pudding dessert and gently smooth it out.

Place dessert (uncovered) in fridge for an hour or so (until the frosting feels dry to the touch),then stretch plastic wrap over the pan(stretching it tightly so that it doesn't sag and touch the frosting)or just snap a lid onto the dish.
 Refrigerate overnight (important).

NOTE: After this "cake" has been in the fridge, overnight, it is easy to cut into squares to serve because the graham crackers are soft.