Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Overnight Eggnog Baked French Toast

Another very delicious and very easy overnight brunch recipe!


1/4 cup butter, melted (melt the butter while the dish is baking) or margarine, melted
7 large eggs
2 cups eggnog
1 1/2 ounces rum (optional)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 French bread, cut into 1 inch slices
icing sugar


Beat together eggs, eggnog, rum, sugar,nutmeg, cinnamon, salt& vanilla. Dip both sides of each slice of bread in this mixture and place them side by side in a greased oven proof pyrex dish Pour any remaining mixture over the slices. Cover and refrigerate overnight (If you wish you can freeze the dish and put in fridge to defrost the evening before you wish to serve it). Bake in 450f on bottom rack for 20-25 minutes (watch the bottom doesn't get too brown). Place on rack to cool slightly& dust with icing sugar. Serve with Canadian Maple syrup and the melted butter.

'Elegant' Brunch Casserole

I made this recipe this year twice for Christmas brunches with friends and family and had amazing results. The great thing about this casserole is that all of the prep is done the night before and can just be thrown in the oven in the morning. For a brunch with little clean-up, holiday or any day, this recipe rocks!


1 loaf French bread, sliced
3 tablespoons buter, plus more butter, for buttering dish
4 ounces swiss cheese, grated
4 ounces monterey jack cheese, grated
12 slices bacon, diced and fried until crisp (optional)
8 large eggs
1 1/3 cups milk
1/3 cup white wine
3 green onions
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup freshly-grated parmesan cheese

Grease bottom and sides of 9" x 13" glass casserole dish with butter. Tear bread into bite-sized pieces and place in dish, arranging so that they form a fairly solid layer but do not overlap (you may not need the whole loaf). Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan; drizzle evenly over bread. Sprinkle grated Swiss and Monterrey Jack cheeses evenly over bread. Top cheese layer evenly with cooked bacon bits. Break eggs into large mixing bowl and beat lightly by hand; add milk, wine, chopped green onion, mustard, black pepper and cayenne, beating again until foamy. Pour egg mixture evenly over casserole; cover tightly with foil, and refrigerate overnight. The following day, remove dish from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake, covered with foil, for approximately 45-50 minutes, until eggs are 'set' in the center. Remove from oven and spread sour cream evenly over the top of the casserole; sprinkle with grated Parmesan. Return to oven uncovered; bake an additional 10 minutes or so until lightly-browned.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Perfect Cookie to Eat with Blue Cheese

Ginger Molasses Cookies (From the Blue Cheese Bonanza -- I think this is the right recipe)

2 1/4 c (11 1/4 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 1/2 t ground (dried) ginger
1/2 t ground cloves
1/4 t ground allspice
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/4 t salt
12 T (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cool but soft
1/3 c (2 1/2 oz) granulated sugar (plus more for coating)
1/3 c (2 1/2 oz) packed dark brown sugar
(maybe a bit less sugar?)
1 egg yolk
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 c molasses

In a small bowl, whisk the flour together with the spices, soda and salt. In a medium bowl, cream the butter with the two sugars until smooth. Mix in the yolk and vanilla until homogeneous. Stir in the molasses until uniform. Mix in the flour until just mixed, but with no floury spots; pay attention especially to the bottom of the bowl.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190 C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Dump about 1/3 cup of white sugar into a shallow bowl. With your fingers, pull out walnut sized lumps of dough (or slightly smaller). Drop them into the sugar. Break off as many at a time as will comfortably fit in the sugar and then, one at a time, toss each in the sugar, roll into a ball and place on the lined baking sheets. Space the cookies about 2 inches apart from each other on the baking sheet.

Bake the cookies for about 11 minutes, until the edges are set but the inside still looks underdone. Let the cookies cool about 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer them to the racks with a spatula. They will firm up while they cool. Form and bake cookies as above until the dough is used up.

The cookies can be stored in a tin.

Birthday Cake!

In response to the post from MS, here is the recipe for the birthday cake I brought to Bret, Katy, and Andrew's birthday. Actually, I took this recipe, but changed the frosting to cream cheese and added funny chocolate decorations. But I have made this cake as described here and it's quite good. (Source - LA Times)

2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup safflower or canola oil
2 cups pumpkin purée

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 (9-inch) springform pans. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and salt. In separate bowl, stir together the eggs and sour cream. Stir in the brown sugar and then the oil until just combined; be careful not to overwhisk. Gently stir the flour mixture into the batter just until incorporated and there are no lumps. Stir in the pumpkin purée. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans.

Bake the cakes for about 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (the cakes are moist and there may be a few crumbs on the toothpick, but there should be no batter). Remove and allow the cakes to cool, still in the pans, on a wire rack to room temperature.

Sour cream ganache and assembly
12 ounces semisweet chocolate or 6 (3-ounce) bars, coarsely chopped*
2 cups sour cream, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt (or a bit less)
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans

*For the ganache, a less bitter, lower percentage chocolate will best complement the cake (preferably 60% to 65%)

Add ImageMelt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Remove from heat. Gently fold the sour cream into the chocolate until incorporated and uniform in texture, then stir in the salt. Remove the cakes from the pans and place one on a cake stand or serving plate with the flat-bottomed side up and spoon one-fourth of the ganache over the cake. Spread the ganache evenly over the top. Place the second cake, domed side up, evenly over the first and spoon one-half of the remaining frosting over the cake, evenly covering the top and sides. Add additional frosting as needed to coat the cake evenly.

Press the pecans into the sides of the cake. The cake can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Each of 16 servings: 612 calories; 8 grams protein; 59 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams fiber; 43 grams fat; 15 grams saturated fat; 73 mg. cholesterol; 355 mg. sodium.

Ramen with an Egg

This is a quick, cheep and easy meal that never gets old.

1 pack oriental ramen noodles (including flavor packet)
5 green onions (white and light green parts only) chopped small
1 egg
toasted sesame seeds

In a large pan, bring an inch and a half of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook (3 minutes?) drain water out of pan (I use a plate to hold the noodles in the pan while the water drains). Put pan back on burner and add flavor packet. return the flame to medium and crack the egg (or two if you're super hungry) over the noodles and scramble it all together. Once the egg is cooked, add the green onions and sprinkle the sesame seeds over noodles.

Serve and enjoy!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Italian Loooove Cake

I haven't been following this blog too much but I just tried this great cake and I got the recipe and I can't believe how easy it is to make. It was really delicious. I don't have any idea why it is called what it's called. Enjoy!

Italian Loooove Cake

1 Box Fudge Marble Cake Mix
2 lbs Ricotta cheese
3/4 cup sugar
4 Eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Box (3 3/4 oz) Instant Chocolate Pudding
1 cup milk
1 8oz carton Cool Whip

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cake mix as directed on box. Pour into greased and floured 9 x 13 pan.

In a separate bowl combine ricotta, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Spread over the top of unbaked cake. Bake for 1 hour. Cool.

Mix pudding with one cup of milk. Fold into whipped topping. Spread over cake and refrigerate for at least three hours before serving.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


My grandmother's recipe. For some reason she would never let me lick the bowl.

Granny's Christmas Cake

1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
Lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 bottle gin -Gilbeys London Dry
2 cups of dried fruit

Sample the gin to check temperature. Take a large bowl, check that the gin is maintaining the right temperature still, to be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level shot glass and sip it. Might as well finish the shot.Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the gin is still OK. The shot glass is empty. ust have evvaporated. Refill the damn thing. Just in Case. Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the frigging fruit up off floor. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the gin to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. How's the gin doin'?. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window.. Finish the gin and wipe counter with the cat.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Artichoke Nibbles

This makes for an amazingly delicious, vegetarian appetizer. It's a big crowd-pleaser and goes very fast!

2 small (6-oz) or one large jar of marinated artichoke hearts
1 small yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup pre-cooked Polenta (dry-ish)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbs pesto
1/8 teaspoon Tobasco sauce
2 cups extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 9x13x2 glass baking pan; set aside. Drain marinade from artichokes and pour half of it into a saucepan or large skillet. (Use marinade from second jar for salad dressing). Coarsely chop artichoke hearts and set aside. Heat marinade in skillet. Add onion and garlic, set over moderate heat, and stir-fry until glassy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add polenta and stir until lumps are mostly gone. Then add salt, pepper, pesto, hot pepper sauce, cheese, and chopped artichokes, and mix well. Add the eggs at the end and mix again. Pour into the greased baking pan and bake uncovered about 45 minutes, until well set (like custard or quiche). Cool slightly, cut into inch squares, and serve warm or at room temperature. (These can be cooked a day or more ahead and reheated, if desired.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Phuong's Banana Bread

My coworker, Phuong, gave me this recipe and it is AMAZING. It isn't actually called "Phuong's Banana Bread" but that is what I call it - I guess it is actually called "Brandt House Banana Bread" from Greenfield, Massachusetts.

2 sticks butter (1 cup)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons banking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups mashed bananas
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup sour cream

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Mix dry ingredients together and blend in. Fold in mashed bananas, chocolate chips, and sour cream. Pour into two greased to "Pammed" loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour (I don't actually think it takes this long - so check after 45 min prob) Let cool at least twenty minutes before taking out of pan. Makes two loaves.


Dear readers,

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.


Recipe Go Round

Friday, December 12, 2008

Recipe for a Birthday Cake

Hey Bret,

Happy Birthday!

I was going to bake you a cake, but I wasn't sure how to.

Anyone got some ideas?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cranberry Cheese Louise!

Brought to you by request...this is what I made for Friends Thanksgiving. It is easy...kinda quick...and very delicious!
I'm not much of a recipe guru, so this is how I make them...more or less.

-1 Package of dried cranberries
-1-2 Jalapenos (depending on your tolerance for pain)
-1 large container of cream cheese (you can use the reduced fat kind if you want...it won't ruin the recipe...even though my grandma would disagree)
-1 roll of Pillsbury dough boy croissants

How to:
• Let the cream cheese sit at room temperature...or heat it slightly in the microwave.
• Mix cream cheese together with dried cranberries, and diced jalapenos (seeds removed).
• Unroll the pastry dough and ignore perforated lines that the dough boy has so kindly cut for you. You can even smoosh them out if you like.
• Cut the dough into 1.5 inch squares.
• Scoop a small amount of cream cheese mixture onto the square of dough.
• Pull the four corners to meet at the top of the dumpling and pinch together so the cheese is fully enclosed.
• Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes...but keep an eye on them because, depending on your oven, they may take more or less time.
I usually like them to be a little bit crispy, so I take them out when they are brownish.

If you want to prepare them ahead of time, you can make them and refrigerate them until you are ready to serve them...they aren't that great cold.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Yummy Mushroom Casserole

I found this recipe online and it turned out delicious! Super easy and great for left-overs to bring to work. Enjoy!

Mushroom Casserole Recipe

Use any cooked grain you like. Feel free to use low-fat cottage cheese or sour cream if you prefer.

1/2 pound (8 ounces) brown mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
1 large onion, well chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups cooked brown rice, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
a bit of fresh tarragon, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Rub a medium-large baking dish with a bit of olive oil or butter and set aside. The pan I use is slightly smaller than a classic 9x13 baking dish - just grab for something in this ballpark.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat saute the mushrooms in a glug of olive oil sprinkled with a couple pinches of salt. Stir every minute or so until the mushrooms have released their liquid and have browned a bit. Add the onions and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes or until they are translucent. Stir in the garlic, cook for another minute and remove from heat. Add the rice to the skillet and stir until combined.

In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, and salt.

Combine the rice mixture and cottage cheese mixture in a large bowl, stir until well combined and then turn out into your prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with 2/3 of the Parmesan cheese, cover with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20 or 30 minutes more or hot throughout and golden along the edges. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and enjoy.

Serves about 8.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies - Grad Student Style

*Candied Bacon not included in this recipe

So Bret promised me his first-born child if I posted these to Recipe Go 'Round, and as there is no such thing better than a tiny little helper monkey, I must post it.


It was given to my mother when she was getting her masters in behavioral therapy by another grad student.  The name of the original giver is lost to time, but the recipe remains.  It was a favorite of mine as a child and still is.

Also, this is probably the easiest recipe in the world.

  • 1 box Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Fudge Cake
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 2/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 6 oz Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Cup Walnuts (optional)

  • Pre-heat oven to 350˚
  • Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl until everything is well incorporated.  The cookie dough should have a slightly glossy shine to it.
  • Take a spoonful of dough or just tear out a chunk from the mix and roll into balls between your hand.
  • Bake on a greased cookie sheet for 8-11 minutes.


I personally prefer the cookies to be slightly undercooked and allowed to cool for 15 minutes before eating them silly-like.  Also, the boxed cake mix doesn't have to be Duncan Hines nor the Fudge cake variety.  The cake mix does heavily influence the flavor of the cookie, so choose wisely.   From personal experience, strawberry cake mix does not taste that good.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A delicious stew

Winter's here, and that means one thing: stew. Stew for dinner, stew for lunch, for breakfast, brunch, midnight snack. Stew in your stocking, stew in the bathtub.

No, not really. But there are few things better than a good hot stew on a cold night, and you can make a big pot of it and eat it all week long, or freeze it for later. Full disclosure here: I don't actually know anything about stews. This particular one is based on a recipe my friend Andrew makes all the time, and I don't know if he got it from somewhere or if he just made it up. But it's hard to screw up, and totally delicious. You'll need:

A big pot
Lots of time
A big onion
a big zucchini or two small ones
Two carrots
A couple celery stalks
Four or five big potatoes, any type
Chicken stock
Spicy uncooked sausages, 4 or so
Roasted tomatoes

Chop the onions, and brown them in butter or oil, with garlic, for quite a while... 20 minutes or so, until almost black. Andrew swears this is the key to a delicious stew. Add the celery partway through.

Then, add the zucchini, potatoes, and carrots, all chopped fairly small, and add chicken stock and water (half and half or so) until the veggies are just covered. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook for a good half hour. Add the sausage, keep simmering until the sausage is cooked and and its juices have permeated the stew. Note: whatever sausage you choose will totally flavor the whole stew, so make them good! Add the tomatoes at the very end.

That's basically it. Feel free to add/remove veggies you like/don't like. This stew tastes better when it's cooled for a bit, so when it's done, take it off the heat and let sit for 20 minutes or so.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New Feature: Quick Links!

Dear Recipe Go Round Readers:

Now that we have a small but solid base of recipes and other posts, I have created links (top left of the main page) to quickly access certain types of recipes. Want an easy meal? Click 'easy.' Want a dessert? Click 'dessert.' You get the idea.

Keep posting, keep labeling, and keep on keepin' on.

Apple Cranberry Pie with cornmeal crust

Jessica and I made this last night, and it came out fantastic. Pretty easy, really... but allow a lot of time to make it. Goes best (as usual) with vanilla ice cream.

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
5 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening, room temperature
6 tablespoons (about) buttermilk


1 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3 pounds Pippin apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1/2 cup dried currants (note - we did not use these. They seemed redundant)
5 tablespoons all purpose flour

+ Buttermilk for brushing

For crust:
Mix first 5 ingredients. Add shortening and cut in until mixture resembles coarse meal. Blend in enough buttermilk by tablespoons to form dough that begins to clump together. Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Flatten each half into disk. Wrap each disk in plastic and chill 45 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)

For filling:
Position rack in lowest third of oven and preheat to 375°F. Coarsely chop cranberries with sugar and pumpkin pie spice in processor. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Add apples, currants and flour and toss well.

Roll out 1 dough disk between sheets of waxed paper to 13-inch round. Peel off top sheet of paper; invert dough into 9 1/2-inch-diameter deep-dish glass pie dish. Peel off paper. Fold under overhanging dough to form double-thick edge. Crimp edge. Roll out remaining dough disk on lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch-thick round. Using 3-inch-long leaf cookie cutter, cut out leaves. Using knife, mark veins in leaves. Slightly mound filling in pie dish. Arrange leaves around edge of pie and all over top, overlapping decoratively. Brush pastry all over with buttermilk.

Place pie on baking sheet. Bake 45 minutes. Cover pie with foil and continue baking until juices bubble thickly and crust browns, about 35 minutes more. Transfer pie to rack and cool 1 hour. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Coconut Rice

This is super easy, super delicious and super not that great for you.

If you want to mix it up and have something more exciting with your meal instead of the same old brown rice, white rice, etc; try using a can of low fat coconut milk instead of water. Works best with white rice. It is freaking amazing. Burma Super Star inspired me to try this because it is so delicious, and a bit over priced, and I figured it couldn’t be that hard - and it wasn't! I would recommend using the low fat coconut milk though - even the low fat has quite of bit of fat. yummm...fat.

1 cup basmati rice
1 can coconut milk

Put the two in the rice cooker, press down the button and wait for it to be done. Easy as that.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mommy's Buttermilk Pancakes

This makes enough for about 2 people...I usually double it because the pancakes are good later to snack on cold.

Sift before measuring: 1 cup cake flour (make sure this is cake flour and not normal flour)

Resift with:
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Beat until light: 1 egg
add: 1 cup buttermilk

Combine the dry & liquid ingredients with a few swift strokes

Beat in: 1 - 2 tbsp melted butter

I cook on a electric griddle and set it at 350....you can always cook them on the stove too though. Just pour some batter, and then one the cakes start bubbling up a little they are ready to flip.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Quick Sort of Oven-Fried Chicken

This is SUPER easy...and yummy!

Get some:
Chicken - Breasts are the best, I think.
Corn Flakes, or even better Trader Joe's Toasted Oatmeal Flakes
Paper bag
rolling pin
baking sheet
if you use plain corn flakes you might want some seasoning like garlic powder, paprika dried oregano....but if you use the oatmeal flakes its good as is.

Preheat oven to 375
Put enough cereal in the paper bag to cover your chicken, then use the rolling pin to roll the bag and crush the flakes into crumbs.
clean your chicken
put wet chicken in paper bag and give it a good shakin
place covered pieces on baking sheet, there will probably be crumbs left in the bag that you can place on top of your chicken
drizzle some melted butter over pieces
stick it in the oven!

The cook time depends on the type of chicken - breasts: 40-45 min

*its kinda fun to use different types of flaky cereal for this - even some with clusters!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Here's a good pizza dough, brought to us courtesy of Leo Menashe, via some restaurant or other in the East Bay:

Pizza dough for 6 pizzas

2/3 c warm water
2/3 c flour
1 1/3 T dry yeast

disolve yeast a bit stir in and mix flour let sit 20 minutes
add water plus half of next flour (with the salt):

1 c warm water
1 lb 2.5 ounces flour
1/4 c rye flour
2.5 tsp sea salt

let sit 20 minutes
add the rest of flour/salt
mix a bit then add

1/4 c olive oil

knead well and let rise a bit (hour?), then push down, roll out into portions and rise each dough.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Revision to previous post

Please note that my previous post, advertising another food blog, is in no way meant to detract from the amazing and totally comprehensive blog that we are all currently viewing. In fact, don't even think about looking at that other blog. Recipe Go 'Round is the ideal blog for us all.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Amazing Website

Hello friends! I found this AMAZING website with soooo many beautiful and interesting recipes. I highly recommend that you take a look. Every recipe has a lovely picture attached. Here are some examples of recipes that interest me: peach gnocchi, amazing black bean brownies, big slurp dumping soup, and many more. Check it out: http://www.101cookbooks.com/

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Two Estranged Carbs, One Delicious Reunion

Beer Bread.

It's so fast, and so good. It uses maybe $1.50 of ingredients, and takes 0 effort.

3 cups flour (sifted)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 (12 ounce) can beer
1/2 cup melted butter (1/4 cup will do just fine)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients. Mix in beer.
Pour into a greased loaf pan.
Pour melted butter over mixture.
Bake 1 hour, remove from pan and cool for at least 15 minutes.

I tried this recipe last weekend and didn't believe it. Especially the bit about pouring the butter right on top. When I put it in the oven, I expected disaster for sure. But everyone at the table was delighted. Using the full stick of butter makes for an extra delicious annd crunchy loaf. We used Pyramid Thunderhook IPA, which gave the bread a hoppy zing. I want to try it with a dark stout next.

Spanish Rice

This was really easy, and totally delicious. Double or triple the recipe and eat it alllll week long.

1 T veggie oil
2 slices bacon, minced (I didn't use this, but I bet it's good)
1/2 C chopped onion
1/2 C chopped green bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 C long-grain white rice
1 3/4 C chicken broth
1 C chopped drained canned tomatoes
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet or casserole dish, cook the oil, bacon, onion, bell pepper, and garlic over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir until well-coated. Add everything else, bring to a boil, then cover and put in the oven. (note - I don't have an ovenproof skillet, so I transferred everything to a bread loaf pan and it worked great). Bake about 25 minutes or until fluffy and awesome.

I added chicken, shrimp, and mushrooms, and it was a full meal. Basically a really great and easy way to make rice more interesting.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Veggie Lasagna

•1/2 box lasagna noodles or ~0.5 lbs lasagna noodles, cooked according to directions on box.
•1 Jar Pasta Sauce of your choice
•16 oz mozzarella, shredded
•A container of Ricotta Cheese (not sure how many ounces are in it)
•Two Eggs
•Two Zucchinis, sliced into rounds
•A gaggle of mushrooms. I had a bunch, I think 8 or so large white buttons, sliced
•1 Package Frozen Spinach, also prepared according to directions and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375˚

1) Take all of the ricotta cheese, and 3/4's of the sliced mozzarella, and mix together in a large bowl. Also add two eggs to this cheesy mixture and make sure it is well blended. You could also at this point mix in the cooked spinach to make things easy, but I made things hard on me and did not as will be seen below.

2) Grease up a baking pan with spray, olive oil, or butter. Anything will work, you just don't want too much sticking.
2) Lay down a layer of zucchini slices, and pepper/salt generously
3) A layer of sliced mushrooms
4) A layer of spinach goodness
5) Layer of Ricotta/Mozz/Egg mixture
6) Slap some noodles down, depending on the size of the pan, 3.5 noodles will do.
7) Cover in some sauce!
8) Repeat these steps indefinitely until you run out of things to add.
9) Once you have your top layer of sauce, cover with the remaining 1/4 of the shredded mozzarella on top.
10) Cover this whole 'Mesopotamia with aluminum foil and pop it in the oven for 30 minutes.*
11) Rip off the aluminum foil and let bake uncovered for 10 more minutes. Longer if you like it extra crunchy.
12) Take out of oven, let cool for ~10 minutes or until you cannot wait any longer and eat. I like it with salad and crusty bread.

**So someone in the Corral used all the aluminum foil and so I baked mine uncovered for the entire time. If you do this, it may take a bit longer for everything to get done. The veggies remain toothsome and the noodles are crunchy. You may want to have some sauce (or gravy) on the side if you like it wetter.

It makes a ton of lasagna. And is good energy for tackling reaction mechanisms.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Potato Salad?

I was perusing NYtimes.com (a common work day ritual) when I found what looks to be a delicious recipe for potato salad, with goat cheese. Here is the link and I will copy the recipe below). Personally, I LOVE potatoes and most things made with them. A personal favorite is potato salad and I am curious if anyone who reads this blog might want to share their favorite potato salad recipe? Thanks so much!

You can use Yukon golds, fingerlings or red bliss potatoes for this warm, creamy salad. The goat cheese melts into the dressing when you toss it with the hot potatoes.

Warm Potato Salad With Goat Cheese

For the dressing:

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small or medium garlic clove, minced or pureed
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, or for a low-fat dressing use 1/4 cup low-fat yogurt or buttermilk and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

For the salad:

1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold, fingerling or red bliss potatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped red onion (to taste), rinsed with cold water and drained
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 ounces soft goat cheese
2 to 3 sage leaves, cut in thin slivers (optional)

1. Make the dressing. Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic. Whisk in the olive oil or the yogurt and olive oil. Taste and adjust seasonings, Set aside.

2. Scrub the potatoes and cut into 3/4-inch dice if large. If using fingerlings cut in 3/4 inch slices. Steam above 1 inch of boiling water until tender but not mushy, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and toss while hot in a bowl with salt and pepper to taste, the onions, parsley, goat cheese, and the dressing. Sprinkle the sage over the top and serve.

Yield: Serves 6

Advance preparation: You can make the dressing several hours before making the salad.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pasta Sauce Magee, with Shrimp

Last night Bret and I made a really yummy pasta sauce for our dear friends Mary and Paul. It is really easy and quite tasty.

One onion, chopped
Garlic, couple cloves chopped
One orange (or any color) bell pepper, chopped, or slices
Handful of white mushrooms, sliced
One can stewed tomatoes
Seven or eight cherry tomatoes
White wine
Basil, bay leaves, other herbs that you like

Sautee the onions and garlic until soft. Add bell pepper and sautee until a bit soft. Add a hearty amount of white wine and the can of stewed tomatoes. Let simmer for a few minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes whole. The tomatoes get extra tasty as they stew in the hot sauce. Add the mushrooms and herbs and let simmer until everything is cooked through and delicious. Season with salt and pepper and serve in heaping spoonfuls over fresh pasta. We also added cooked shrimp on top of the pasta and sauce. You could also add unwrapped sausage and cook it in the sauce. This is another nice variation that goes well over pasta. We served this with a simple salad and bread.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Buttermilk Potato Bread

Made this for Jessica's birthday party, and it seemed to be of at least moderate popularity. I love it, and it goes great with brie, salad, or really, any meal of your choosing.

3/4 C freshly cooked potatoes, mashed (but not too much - it's awesome to find potato chunks in the bread)
1 stick butter
2 C room-temperature buttermilk
2 packages (1 1/2 T) active dry yeast
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 T sugar
2 1/2 tsp salt
6 1/4 C flour

While the potatoes are still warm, stir in the butter. Add the buttermilk, yeast, eggs, sugar, and salt and mix well. Then add in the flour very gradually, until you get a dough that's moist but not sticky. It takes a fair amount of mixing and kneading to get it to the right consistency, but press on - it'll get there.

Knead the dough about 10 minutes, then transfer into an oiled bowl and turn one to cover; cover with plastic wrap and let sit 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch it down, not too hard, divide in two, then lay (seam-side down) in two greased bread pans. Let sit another hour (it will again almost double in size), then brush the tops of the loaves with a beaten egg with a pinch of salt in it.

Bake in a 375 oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the bottom of the pans sound hollow when tapped. Let cool for 1/2 hr, then cut and serve!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Novelicious Pumpkin Butterscotch Chip Cookies

It's crazy, right? Pumpkin and butterscotch? Yes, it's a novelty cookie. But it works.

These little gems end up being more like bite sized cake-breads thanks to all the moisture (pumpkin and oil), but they have a fantastic flavor thanks to the surprising little butterscotch bits.

2 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 C. white sugar*
1/2 C. canola or corn oil**
1 C. canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
1 C. butterscotch chips

* (could reduce a tad?)
** (try butter instead for crunchier cookies?)

Rack in middle of oven. Preheat to 325 degrees.

Sift flour, powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, beat eggs and sugar until smooth. Mix oil, pumpkin, and vanilla until blended. Mix in flour mixture until incorporated. Mix in butterscotch chips.

Scoop out 1/4 C. mounds at least 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Smooth out the mounds with a spatula before baking to get a prettier cookie (they end up coming out about how they go in).

Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until the top are firm and toothpick just comes out clean -- about 16 minutes. Cool, and dust lightly with powerdered sugar.

Strangely, these cookies only get more and more moist the longer they sit around. Experiment with butter to keep that in check. Or just eat them up faster.

Lemon Ginger cookie sandwiches

Just made these tonight with my friend Isaac - they came out pretty well, though are insanely rich.


2 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
2 1/2 t. ground ginger
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 C (2 sticks) butter, room temp.
1 C powdered sugar
2 t. finely grated lemon zest
1 t. vanilla
1 C whole blanched almonds, toasted then finely ground (4 oz)

Lemon filling

1/2 C (1 stick) butter
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
2 t. lemon zest
1 TB lemon juice

Sift all the dry stuff. Mix butter and sugar until smooth, with an electric beater if you have one. Add the zest, vanilla, and almonds. Mix in the flour until it's just incorporated. Divide the dough in half and form into 2 6-inch disks - wrap in plastic and refrigerate 40 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 325. Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness, and cut out disks with your favorite round thing. This recipe is actually suppose to make only 9 cookies, but I made them a little smaller and wound up with more cookies. Since the recipe has THREE STICKS OF BUTTER in it, it's probably a good idea. For half of the cookies (ie, the tops of the sandwiches) it can be cute to poke out a smaller hole - donut-style - so that the filling oozes out of the sandwiches. 

Bake the cookies for 20 minutes, or until lightly brown. Note: They don't actually change color all that much.

For the filling: With an electric mixer, mix butter, sugar, zest, and lemon juice until smooth. 

Let cookies cool, then spread filling and make the cookies. Then, eat them. Store in the fridge but serve at room temperature.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pickled Red Onions

I had these at my birthday bbq a few weeks ago.  You can add whatever spice mixture you want, I used these for something slightly sweeter and hot, but you can go savory if you like.

adapted from David Leibowitz:

~3/4 cup white vinegar
~3 TB sugar
pinch salt
1 cinnamon stick
5 Cardamom seeds
small dried chili pepper
1 bay leaf
•large red onion, peeled and thinly sliced into rings.

1) heat vinegar, salt, sugar, and seasonings until boiling
2) add onion slices, submerge completely in boiling liquid, lower heat, simmer for ~30-60 seconds
3) Remove from heat and cool completely
4) Transfer to a jar and refrigerate.

Should last a couple of weeks.  Really good on hot dogs, pulled pork, any type of sandwich where you want some bite.

Mac 'n' Cheese Pancakes

You read that right.

Scrambled eggs, Ramsey-style

A pretty great way of scrambling eggs, if you have a little time. Keep in mind the eggs will reduce a LOT. Also keep in mind they will be delicious.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Apple Crisp

This is a really good recipe for right now because there are all kinds of good baking apples available now.

1 cube butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oatmeal
1 tsp cinnamon

6 crisp baking apples - Granny Smiths, Gravenstein or your favorite apple that you use for apple pie - needs to be tart

Peel and slice apples and place in a greased 9x12 baking dish and toss with a little bit of sugar and cinnamon.

Make topping: Add all ingredients together mix with a pastry cutter till you have small clumps

Pat the topping on top of the apples and bake at 350 for 1 hour

Serve warm or at room temperature. Adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream makes this very nice. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Matthew's Mexican Casserole

(It's lame my mom named this one after my brother, but whatever. It is still pretty darn tasty)

1 lb lean ground beef
1 tsp onion powder (I chop an onion real fine - aprox 1/4 cup or a little less)
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 16 oz can stewed tomatoes, chopped (I cut these up in the pan)
1 15 oz can ranch style beans, drained
1 egg
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 8 oz carton cottage cheese
4 oz slightly crushed tortilla/corn chips

Brown the beef along with the spices & drain off the liquid.
Add stewed tomatoes (these are usually pretty chunky out of the can & need additional chopping) and drained beans. Allow these to cook together until the tomatoes seem done to your liking.

Mix egg, cheese and cottage together in a bowl.

In a 7 x 11" baking dish, spread half of the meat mixtureTop with all the egg & cheese mixture then sprinkle over this with the crushed chipsCover with remaining meat mixturePlace some whole chips on top and cover with the grated cheese

Microwave on High for 8 Min. - Rotate dish once if your microwave doesn't turn

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Turkey cakes

These cakes are delicious and can be made with chicken, too - but with Thanksgiving around the corner, is a great way to use up leftover turkey. I've also been quite flexible with the recipe, especially with the herbs, so... experiment! One thing I've enjoyed adding is corn.

1 C onion, diced
1/2 C celery, diced
2 T butter
2 C cooked turkey or chicken
1 1/2 C bread crumbs
1/4 C chopped fresh parsley
1 T chopped fresh sage
1 T chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
4 eggs
4 T vegetable oil

Saute the onionjs and celery in butter over medium heat until soft. Transfer to a large bowl, let cool slightly, then add meat, bread crumbs, herbs, salt, and pepper. Fold in the eggs.

To form the cakes, lightly pack the mixture into a 1/3-cup measure, and then press down into 3-inch cakes on a flour-lined baking sheet. Chill at least 15 minutes, and dust the tops of the cakes with flour.

Fry the cakes in two batches in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat using 2 T oil per batch. Cook until golden, about 4 minutes, then flip and fry 1-2 minutes more.

I like to eat these with tomatoes and avocado.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The best chocolate pie in the WORLD!

Another great one from my Grandma.

Here's Grandmama's Chocolate Pie Recipe

3/4 cup Sugar
4 Heaping Tbsp. Sifted flour
1/4 Cup Hershey Cocoa

Mix dry ingredients well in your sauce pan -- to that add:

1 1/4 cup milk -- add a little at a time, on fairly high heat, stir constantly -- When hot, cut back heat to medium
and cook 'til it becomes lumpy -- keep stirring 'til the lumps fade away and remove from heat

2 Egg Yolks (save the whites for your meringe) Beat yolks well & add small spoonful of chocolate mixture to egg.
Keep adding spoonfuls ( 4 - 5 ) to the yolk. This will help "cook" the egg without it curdling

Add egg mixture to the pot & place back on low-medium heat and add:

1/2 Stick butter
1 tsp. Vanilla

Mix well & pour into your slightly pre-cooked pie shell


2 Egg Whites
4 level Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Beat egg whites in mixer 'til forms soft peaks. Gradually add sugar 1 spoonful at a time and beat well. Add vanilla and stir into the whites. Spread on pie after it has cooled a bit

Bake @ 325 aprox 15 min.

The Best Chocolate Cake in the WORLD!

From my Grandma, to my Mom, to me, to YOU! Enjoy!

Granmama's Chocolate Cake

Preheat oven at 400 Bake time: 20 - 30 min.

In mixing bowl: Mix these together really well
2 cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar

In Sauce pan: Bring this to a boil
1 Stick butter
4 Tbsp. Cocoa
1/2 Cup oil (Not Olive Oil)
1 Cup water

Pour this over the sugar & flour mixture and add:
1 level tsp baking powder
1 level tsp baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

Mix well
Fold in 2 beaten eggs
Bake in 9 x 14 greased & lightly floured pan
Let cake cool for at least 10 min. before icing

For the Icing: This is just the recipe off the Hershey Cocoa can which I like a lot.

1 Stick butter
2/3 cup Hershey cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter & stir in cocoa
Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistencey
Add more milk, if needed
Stir in vanilla

Onion Soup

This past weekend I spent a lot of time with a colleague from China. He owned two Chinese restaurants in the 70s in Palo Alto and he gave us a very simple recipe for Onion Soup. I haven’t tried it yet so no guarantees, but it is apparently a great base for other soups. Written out here it seems much less exciting than when Bill told me the recipe. Just try to imagine an elderly man describing the taste and smell of each common, yet amazing ingredient.

Heat a small amount of oil in a large, sturdy pot. Add about 4 or 5 sliced onions and saute until a lovely golden brown color. Add a small amount of butter to coat the onions with the rich flavor. Add a decent amount of any type of wine you like, either white or red. Add flour to make the broth thicker and to coat the onions. Afterwards, add water and simmer until the flavors are deliciously balanced and the desired consistency. Yum!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Bestemoder's Klejner

Bestemoder Jørgensen's Klejner (pronounced Kliner)

3 Eggs
1 cup Sugar
1/4 cup (whipping) Cream
1/2 cup Butter
1 1/2 tsp Cardamom (open pods, the crush the seeds inside)
1 tsp Baking Powder
3 & 1/2 cups flour (more or less)
vegetable oil for frying
powdered sugar, sifted and in a big bowl

Blend softened butter and sugar, then stir in the eggs and cream. Sift flour and baking powder. Add to first mixture. This should make a soft dough, yet stiff enough to roll. Chill the dough for at least two hours.

Roll dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness (thin) on a floured surface and cut into diamond shapes (a roller for cutting pastry helps here). Make a slit in the center and pull one point (end) through the slit.

Heat one or two frying pans half-full of oil (depending on how many people participate in this project! - if only one person, one pan is enough).

Drop a bit of dough in the oil to see if oil is hot enough (dough rises to the surface if hot enough). Place 3-5 klejner in the oil, turn them when they BEGIN to turn golden and have risen to the surface, then take quickly out of pan with a knitting needle (the Danish way) or, if no needle, use a pairs of tongs or skewers (for kebabs), and put on paper towels on a plate.

If children are involved in this (such as Katy and Bret (Jørgensen) Turner), they can do the following part with no risk of getting burned and much risk of getting cavities:

Sift powdered sugar lightly on klejner, or, more fun for kids, let them roll (LIGHTLY) the klejner in the powdered sugar. Place on a plate (or in the mouth if the parents aren't watching too carefully).

These doughnut like cookies need to be kept in an air tight container or in the fridge, well sealed, since they don't keep well. They are beautiful and delicious, well worth the work, and go very well with Christmas!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A few handy cooking tips

Important words have been bolded for your reading ease & pleasure. If you've got any great tips, share them in the comments. Soon we will have a veritable army of tips, and we will be unstoppable.

- To remove excess fat from chunky broth or stew, just place a lettuce leaf or two on the surface... and the fat will be absorbed.

- To hull strawberries without a huller (holla!), find a sturdy plastic drinking straw and push it through the bottom of the berry and up through the leafy end.
- To help keep your stovetop clean, place an overturned baking sheet over the unused burners. The baking pan will catch much of the grease and splatter and is much easier to clean. 
- Bonus oil tip! If you spill oil on the ground, sprinkle some flour over it, wait a few minutes, and it will be much easier to clean.
- To unscrew a small cap that just won't unscrew, grip a nutcracker around it and turn with that. Of course, you have to have a nutcracker for that.
- To make frothy milk without an espresso machine, just use an electric egg beater.

- When you have a party, and want to serve a lot of cool tasty beverages, simply fill your washing machine with ice and drinks. When the party's over, run the machine's spin cycle to remove the water.
- To cut very crusty bread, turn it on its side - easier to cut that way.
- To store bacon - roll up the bacon strips tightly in twos or threes or fours, and store them in a ziplock bag. This avoids the issues of frozen strips being impossible to thaw later.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Broiled fresh sardines with a simple potato salad

Ok, I am going to give it a try... This Monday (a joyful day off work) I was passing by my favorite fish supplier in the Bay Area. Actually, I have never found such a good fish store anywhere, so this store deserves my subjective "Best Ever" award. Yes, I am talking about Tokyo Fish Market on San Pablo Ave. They had fresh and wiggling sardines so I decided to grab a pound (did I mention how I love the fact that the staff there cleans, scales and cuts the fish for you for free?). I was too lazy to fire up the grill and decided to use the convenience of having an oven. A similar recipe in one of Gordon Ramsay's shows provided the inspiration.
Here it comes: very simple and tasty broiled sardines  with an even simpler potato salad:

To serve 2 you will need:
4 fresh sardines (or more if you really love them), cleaned, scaled, boned and cut in half like a butterfly
6 potatoes (I had Yukon Gold)
4 tbsp Creme fraiche  (Bret, forgive me for the missing accents)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp chives
olive oil
salt & pepper
lemon wedges

Boil the potatoes in their skins until tender. Drain and crush lightly with the back of a fork. Let cool. Add the creme fraiche, lemon juice and snipped chives. Season well with salt and pepper and set aside. If you don't want to spend money on creme fraiche, you could use sour cream, mixed with a tablespoon or two of heavy cream. Using sour cream alone would make the salad too tangy. Nothing compares to good old-fashioned creme fraiche though. 

Heat the broiler (set it to something like "very hot"). Lay the sardines skin-side up on a baking sheet brushed with olive oil. Broil for 4-5 minutes, turn them over and cook for another 3 minutes or so. The cooking time will depend entirely on your oven. My Wedgewood is from the 1930s and heats up like a nuclear plant. Remove the sardines from the baking sheet and season well.

Arrange the potato salad in a pretty pile on a plate (if you want to be fancy, you can place it on some lettuce leaves). The hot sardines go on top of the salad. Make sure to drizzle this dish with some freshly made dressing (lemon juice + some water + olive oil + salt & pepper). The water in the dressing is Gordon Ramsay's idea and I have actually come to like it. It makes the whole thing lighter while still preserving the flavors.

Serve the salad and fish with some lemon wedges.

Monday, September 29, 2008

BBQed Bread - it's hella good

This is a delicious flatbread recipe that this guy makes at a Labor Day barbecue I go to every year. You can bake them or cook them on a griddle, but BBQed is by far the best.

Makes 8 breads

1 package active dry yeast
1 1/4 C warm water
2 3/4 C all-purpose flour (unbleached)
1/4 C whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp crushed fennel
Olive oil for brushing

Combine yeast and water, then let sit for 15 minutes, until the mixture becomes frothy. Mix in both flours. Beat in salt & fennel, knead for 5-7 minutes, and then place the dough in an oiled bowl - turning once to coat completely - the cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in volume.

Punch down the dough, cover again and let rise for an another 45 minutes. It should again double in volume.

Divide the dough into 8 balls, and place them on a floured cookie sheet. Cover with a damp towel and let rest another 20 minutes (note: this part is of dubious importance). Roll out the balls into 7-inch disks, and brush with olive oil. Place oil side down, and the bread will rise almost immediately. Turn once, and coat again with olive oil. They're done when they're nice and golden.

Bring this to your next BBQ and be a backyard hero.

Easy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken

So, for years and years I knew I loved a good roast chicken, but had no idea how to pull off a perfectly cooked bird. I knew it could be oh so simple, but that these secrets were not for me. Until now. The butcher Mike at Star Grocery in Berkeley is systematically leading me through the basics of how to cook meat, and cook it well. All I have to do is show up after work and ask, "what's for dinner?" As a failed vegetarian, I'm a bit of a neophyte when it comes to these things, and am SO happy to have been taken under the wing (the perfectly cooked and tender wing), of a well seasoned pro. This recipe covers how to make an easy and delicious roast chicken, and if you feel like going the extra mile (which is actually only like a couple of yards), you can put together a really lovely "gravy" from the drippings. Chicken is cheap, can be organic, and this recipe will feed you for a couple of days, so for all you busy folks, cook this on Sunday night and have chicken salad sandwiches until Wednesday.

So, you'll need:

- One whole chicken, at room temperature (if it's at all frozen still, or even too cold, the cooking is a bit uneven).
- 2 tablespoons salt, preferably coarse and kosher.
- Pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons chopped herbs (I think thyme works best, but rosemary or chives also have their appeal).
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Rinse and dry the chicken, and rub it with the salt, inside and out. Put the chicken, breast side up, in an oven proof iron skillet and cook at high heat for about three minutes, until the pan is quite hot (this gives the bottom of the chicken a little head start). Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Take the chicken out of the oven and tip the skillet slightly so the drippings pool on one edge. Put the chopped herbs directly into the drippings which will cook the herbs slightly. Spoon the herb drippings over the chicken, and after it is entirely covered, transfer the chicken to a platter and let it rest.

To make the gravy:

Transfer the skillet with drippings to the stove and over medium low heat, add the flour and pepper, whisking constantly. When fully combined, add the milk and mustard, still whisking, and simmer over medium heat until the gravy has thickened. At this point, it's also great to add sauteed onions and/or mushrooms, if you'd like.

I usually make this with rice or potatoes, and a big salad of some sort. Easy, but feels fancy.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Chocolate cake - in 5 minutes

Yes - that's chocolate cake in a cup, in a microwave.

I haven't actually tried it. For all I know, it could be awful. There is definite evidence in the comments that it doesn't always work, and you end up with a cup of horrible chocolate sludge. The photos make it look part delicious, part gross.

But then again, it takes five minutes, and what if it works? For all those times you wanted a quick snack but didn't want to go to the store - you owe it to yourself to try.  

If anyone does, please report back here. You can also try 5-minute spice cake (no photos, though).

The juiciest chicken you'll ever eat

It sounds crazy, I know. But trust me - you're gonna love it.

Juicy-ass chicken

- Chicken (as much as you're going to want)
- Sprite
- Soy Sauce

Marinate the chicken overnight in a Sprite/Soy Sauce blend (or as long as you can). Use 1 part soy sauce to 1 part sprite, so that the chicken is barely immersed in it. Either bake, grill, or saute the chicken. Add to your favorite dish.

It's fuckin' great.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Recipe Go Round - Now we're cookin'

I love to cook. So do my friends. I also happen to love blogs, and the Internets in general. There are tons of recipe/cooking-related websites out there, but they are all written, moderated, and commented upon by strangers. How do I know who to trust? If Luvs2cook69LOL tells me I should double the garlic in a chicken soup recipe, how do I know if that's a good idea?

I don't.

However, if Jessica or Drew or my dad tells me that, or another friend, or even a friend of a friend, chances are better.

So, here we go. Post your grandma's patented cobbler, a link to a great beef stroganoff recipe you found, a question about how to "fold eggs," a new and crazy idea about combining shrimp and chocolate sauce, or anything else. Add "labels" to the post so the blog can be easily searched.