Sunday, March 19, 2017

Fish Cakes on Friday!!

It's Lent here in my household and we are not fond of fishsticks from the grocery freezer, SO, I have to get creative and sometimes we do meatless/fishless meals, sometimes we do a soup and salad meal, or a breakfast dinner with eggs and toast, and sometimes I do a seafood of one sort or antoher.  There is one recipe that I found from Ina, Barefoot Contessa, that my husband especially enjoys:  Salmon cakes!  We never have all the ingredients, so here is what I do.

Salmon Cakes, courtesy of Ina Garten...with a few substitutions

Canned Salmon, or Canned Tuna, which ever you have on hand.
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
4 tbsp unsalted butter, (Always cook with UNsalted butter, that way you can season better!)
3/4 c red onion, I usually have yellow onion mostly, until summer with hamburgers!
4 small stalks of celery, I didn't have any can skip this ingredient.
1/2 c small-diced EACH of red pepper and yellow pepper...I had half of a green pepper on hand.
1/4 c minced fresh flat-leaf parsley,  I had dried, so to half or less....I put in 2 Tbsp
1 Tbsp drained capers
1/4 tsp tabasco.....I don't like it, so we don't add this, my husband keeps it at the table for his use.
1-1/2 tsp crab boil seasoning
3 slices of stale bread, crumbed
1/2 c Mayonaise
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 extra large eggs...... I get farm eggs, so 3 small/medium eggs will do.

Add all the ingredients into a bowl, mix thoroughly.  Mixture will be loose almost like pancake batter.  We used a 12" castiron skillet with Olive oil heated.  Pour the mixture into the pan with a 1/4 cup measure and cook 3 minutes on each side and are golden brown

Serve hot and enjoy!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

January Bakealong Challenge

King Arthur Flour's January bakealong challenge was a fun one, Pizza Party Buns!   I am always a rule or direction changer, so instead of making them pizza themed, I made them for a Sunday Family dinner with refried beans, tomato paste, and cheddar cheese and for excitement, chopped up bacon on the tops.

They were sensational and my son-in-law told me that they would be a great breakfast meal.  We tried it the next morning and sure enough, they were!

The directions were very easy, anybody can make these!  Here's the recipe:

For the Buns
Combine the following:
1 1/4 cups lukewarm milk
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups (14 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

For the Filling:
1 can of Refried Beans, your choice
1 sm can of tomato paste, or salsa
1.5 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, or mexican blend
Bacon bits, for the top

After adding all the bun ingredients in a mixer with a hook, knead the dough until it's smooth. (2 minutes)  Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and let rise for about 90 minutes.  Punch down and roll out in a rectangle about 11" x 18"     Spread the refried beans on first followed by the tomato paste and/or salsa.  Spread the cheese on top and then roll the dough up lengthwise pinching the end into the dough lengthwise.  Slice the log into 12 rolls and place on a cookie sheet and let rise again for about 90 minutes.  ( I didn't really do that second rise and they were great!)  Then bake them for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.   Serve warm with sour cream and more salsa!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Another birthday in our house

Our daughter, Sarah, is  turning 20 this week, so we are celebrating today with the family.  She requested a chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing.....and she got it.  Lately, I haven't been writing on my cakes, just giving them a nice shape and style.  Elegant and definitely chocolatey.

Where does the time go?  I just had her...or well, 20 years ago.  crazy.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Pumpkin Bundt on the fly....really!

My husband had an invite for a "pig-pickin" as they call them here in the carolinas on the spir of the moment...or else, he failed to let me in on the invite and the promise of a dessert until the night before.  Anyway, this cook on the fly thought about it for a while before falling to sleep and woke up with a plan.  Usually, I process my jack-o-lanterns the day after Halloween, but I had to act fast and in the spirit of the pumpkin season, I had only 1.5 hours to accomplish this and it wasn't a group of people I knew, but my husband works with it had to be good.

Pumpkin bundt was in order and it turned out very nice.  I found a few bundt recipes in my cookbooks, but I wanted something less spicy, but with still a flare.  Most recipe ask for more sugar than I think they need and canned pumpkin is lacking the depth of a homemade mash, that I make anyway, so here is what I came up with.
Pumpkin Bundt cake with flair
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp cloves
1 15 oz canned pumpkin
Mix together, confectioners sugar, cocoa, and cinnamon in a shaker...I used 1/4 cup confectioners sugar to 1 tbsp cocoa and 1 tsp cinnamon. for the topping.

Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Mix sugars, oil in a large mixing bowl until nicely blended.  Add the eggs.  Next in a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients together with a whisk.  Alternate the dry ingredients and the canned pumpkin mixing until all is incorporated.    For your bundt pan, I crisco it thoroughly with a paper towel, then flour it.  That way you can see where you missed with the shortening.  Pour the batter in the pan and bake for about 55 - 60 minutes.  Let cool for  about 10 minutes before inverting cake onto a cooling rack.  

Sprinkle with the sugar mixture on top and voila!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Pumpkin takeover 2016...and Lolek

Every year in the fall this amazing and sprawling plant brings forth it's fruit:  the pumpkin.  In recent years the retail world has commandeered this massive orange squash in a variety of ways that has snowballed into nothing short of a massive takeover this year!  What began as a fresh fall idea for all beer drinkers a few years ago has ballooned into a frenzy with nearly no limitations!  From pumpkin spice tea, donuts, and lattes to a more aggressive takeover of the well-known and loved original cereals of Shredded Mini Wheat, Special K Crunch, and Life, not to mention the unheard of pumpkin-flavored(gulp) baking chips, marshmallows, cookies, granola, instant pudding?!  I thought I had seen everything until, alas, the Blue Dog Bakery came up with pumpkin flavored dog treats.

I'm a cookie butter fanatic and there is always a jar of Biscoff in the pantry, but the pumpkin flavored cookie butter made by some other company is completely gross, so I won't mention their name.   Actually, the biggest surprise on my pumpkin discovery was the tortilla chips, they were actually very good.  They are not sweet, rather salty and crunchy with a pumpkin hint in the background.  So, to my surprise, they were a success.

I asked the grocery manager at the Food Lion near me how many people buy the pumpkin flavored baking chips, she didn't think they moved at wonder...yuck!  I did not dare try the pumpkin spice instant pudding.....we just couldn't do that to our taste buds, I am a scratch cook for heaven's sake!   This discussion does not cover the complete list of "gone pumpkin" favorites, but just the tip of the iceberg, I tell you, beer varieties abound and so does the donuts, air fresheners, and tea and coffees along with cookies, on and on.  I even saw that Triscuit had a pumpkin spice cracker and I thought, if they pumpkin-fy my kid's beloved goldfish crackers...well there is no telling where my crazy would go.

Anyway, to be completely honest here, my most favorite orange treat in my world is my beloved little ginger, Lolek.  He is the sweetest feline buddy I know.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

King Arthur Flour's October Bakealong

 Oh this one was a breeze!!  I haven't used my french loaf pans in ages, so what a sweet opportunity it was!

These are the Everyday Whole-Grain bread that is the October bakealong challenge from King Arthur Flour company.   This bread worked up beautifully, with little effort. 

This recipe makes two loaves and as many bread dough are, it is versatile.  This time around, I made it in my French loaf pans, but next time I am planning on baking them in standard loaf pans so I can slice them for sandwiches and toast.  It is that good!!

The recipe is on the website, and there is a step-by-step link as's the link from their site

The dulcimer is my birthday gift from my husband last I have a violin, mandolin, both a saprano and alto recorder, and a dulcimer.....and a piano, but our youngest is the master of that instrument.   I, however, an the master of none of these, but I love playing them when I have time.  Isn't it a pretty instrument, my dulcimer?

Anyway, I found it looked kind of traditional, basic, and old-timey at the same time with the lace tablecloth.
Well, I hope you will try the bread and enjoy it as much as we did.  I served this first bake with chili and it was fabulous!

If you make it, I'd love to hear about it.  Comment below and share your pics!

Until next time!