4th of July

Mango Citrus Chicken Kabobs

June 22, 2011

Mango Citrus Chicken Kabobs


5 Pounds Boneless & Skinless Chicken Breasts

1 Large Orange or Red Bell Pepper


½ Pound Peeled/Pitted/Diced Fresh Ripe Mango

1 Pound Spicy Mango Chutney

1 Diced & Cleaned Green Bell Pepper

1 Teaspoon Fresh Cilantro

1 Teaspoon Fresh Chopped Jalapeno Pepper

1 Teaspoon Fresh Lime Juice

4 Teaspoons Teriyaki Sauce

1 Teaspoon Thai Chili Sauce

1 Teaspoon Salt

Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a food processor and blend for 20 seconds.  Cut the chicken breasts into 1 ½ inch cubes.  Place chicken cubes in a large zip lock bag or a square pan.  Pour marinade over chicken cubes and place in the refrigerator.  Marinade for at least 3 hours.  In the meantime cut up the bell pepper into pieces.  Soak 10 wood or bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes.  This prevents the skewers from burning on the grill.  Remove marinated chicken from the refrigerator and arrange the chicken and pepper on the soaked skewers.  Place on a medium-high heat grill and grill for 6 to 8 minutes on each side.  Serve warm.  Serves 4

Basic Yellow Cake

June 19, 2011

Basic Yellow Cake

I love this recipe.  It is incredibly versatile.  If you want to add fruit or flavorings to the cake you can.  Use whatever frosting that you wish.  Dress this cake up or dress it down. You can use this recipe for layer cakes, cupcakes, loaf cakes or specialty pan cakes.  It suits all occasions from everyday to a special occasion. 


3 Cups Sifted Cake Flour

2 ½ Teaspoons Baking Powder

½ Teaspoons Salt

1 ¾ Cups Sugar

2/3 Cup Softened Butter

2 Eggs

1 ½ Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1 ¼ Cups Milk

Preheat the oven to 350° F and grease tow 8 inch round cake pans.  Line prepared cake pans with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light.  Next, add the eggs and vanilla to the creamed butter and sugar mixture until thoroughly combined.  Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternating with the milk.  Beat well after each addition.  Continue beating for one minute.  Spread the batter evenly in the prepared cake pans.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until inserted wooden toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and cool layers, in the pans, on wire racks for 10 minutes.  Remove from the pans and cool completely.  Fill and frost as you like. For a list of frosting click to the right of this page.  Serves 12

Beantown Baked Beans

June 17, 2011

Beantown Baked Beans

This recipe is so easy.  All you need is simmering time!


1 Pound Dried Navy Beans

2 Chopped Onions

1 Cup Water

½ Pound Diced Bacon

½ Cup Brown Sugar

1/3 Cup Ketchup

¼ Cup Molasses

5 Cloves Crushed Garlic

1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

1 ½ Teaspoons Dry Mustard

¼ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Soak the beans in enough water to cover plus three inches over night.  Drain the beans and place in a large pot.  Bring to a boil for 15 minutes.  Turn heat down to simmer and add onions, water, bacon, brown sugar, ketchup, molasses, garlic, salt, dry mustard & black pepper.  Cover and simmer for 8 to 10 hours.  After cooking for some time add water as needed.  Serve hot as a side dish.  Serves 6

Blueberry Pie

June 15, 2011

Blueberry Pie

What is better than Blueberry Pie?  Answer: Two Blueberry Pies!


2 Rolled Out Rounds of Basic Pie Dough

4 Cups Blueberries

1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice

¾ Cups Sugar

3 Tablespoons Cornstarch

½ Teaspoon Finely Grated Lemon Zest

¼ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

2 Tablespoons Cold Butter

Fold 1 dough round in half and carefully transfer it to a 9 inch pie dish.  Unfold and ease the round into the pan without stretching it.  Pat it firmly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.  Using kitchen scissors ( I can’t live without kitchen scissors), trim the edges of the dough, leaving ¾ inch of an overhang.  Set the dough lined pie dish aside, along with the other dough in a cool place until you are ready to use it.  Place the blueberries in a large bowl, sprinkle with the lemon juice and toss to coat evenly.  In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, salt and cinnamon.  Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the berries and toss to distribute evenly.  Immediately transfer to the dough lined pie dish.  Cut the butter into small pieces and dot the top of the blueberry mixture with the butter. 

Fold the reserved dough round in half and carefully position it over half of the filled pie.  Unfold and trim the edge neatly, leaving 1 inch of overhang.  Next fold the edge of the top round under the edge of the bottom round and crimp the edges to seal.  Using a small, sharp knife, cut an asterisk 4 to 5 inches across in the center of the top to allow the steam to escape during baking.  You may also use a pie bird if you like.  Refrigerate the pie for 30 minutes until the dough is firm.  Meanwhile position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375° F.  Bake the pie, with a baking sheet underneath to catch drips, for 50 to 60 minutes until the crust is golden and the filling is thick and bubbling.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 1 to 2 hours to completely set.  Serve at room temperature.  Makes one 9 inch pie.  Serves 8

Double Pie Crust


2 ½  Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Teaspoon Salt

2/3 Cup Shortening

8 Tablespoons Cold Water

In a bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly.  Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.  Roll out to fit a 9 inch or 10 inch pie plate top and bottom. Transfer pastry to pie plate.  Trim pastry to ½ inch beyond the edge of the plate; flute the edges.  Fill shell according to recipe directions and top with the second round.  Crimp the edges and bake according to recipe directions.

Blueberry Crumble Pie

June 14, 2011

Blueberry Crumble Pie

Summer was created for blueberries and what a great way to honor summer than to make a blueberry pie!  This recipe is made with a crisp and crunch crumb topping which is the perfect match for a juicy berry pie filling. 


1 Basic Pie Dough

¾ Cup Plus 5 Tablespoons Unbleached Flour

2/3 Cup Firmly Packed Light Brown Sugar

1/3 Cup Plus 2 Tablespoon Sugar

2 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon

1/8 Teaspoon Salt

1 Stick (8 Tablespoons) Cold Unsalted Butter

5 Cups Blueberries

Put your oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400° F. 

Roll out the dough and transfer to a 9 inch pie pan.  Refrigerate until firm.  Line the chilled piecrust with a piece of aluminum foil.  Fill with dried bean, pie weights or uncooked rice.  Bake for 15 minutes until the pie crust dries out. Carefully remove the weights and the foil.  Reduce the heat to 350° F and continue to bake for another 5 minutes until the crust is lightly browned on the edges and dry looking on the bottom.  Transfer the pie crust to a wire rack. 

Increase the heat to 375° F.  In a large bowl, stir together the ¾ cup of flour, 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, the 1/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon and salt.  Cut the butter into ¾ inch pieces and scatter the pieces on top and toss around with a fork or your fingers to coat with the flour mixture.  Using a pastry blender or your fingers, work the ingredients together until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs that are the size of large peas.  Set the topping aside. 

In a separate large bowl, combine the blueberries, the remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar, the remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 4 tablespoons of the flour.  Gently stir to coat the blueberries evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of flour and 1 tablespoon of sugar over the bottom of the prebaked pie crust.  Pour the filling into the crust, spreading it evenly.  Sprinkle the topping evenly over the blueberry filling.  Bake the pie for 50 to 60 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the blueberry filling just begins to bubble.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.  Serve at room temperature.  The pie is best served the day it is baked.  Makes one 9 inch pie.  Serves 12

Single Pie Crust


1 ¼ Cups Unbleached Flour

½ Teaspoon Salt

1/3 Cup Shortening

4 Tablespoons Cold Water

In a bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in shortening until crumbly.  Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.  Roll out to fit a 9 inch or 10 inch pie plate.  Transfer pastry to pie plate.  Trim pastry to ½ inch beyond the edge of the plate; flute the edges.  Fill or bake shell according to recipe directions.

Victoria’s Cherry Pie

June 10, 2011

Victoria’s Cherry Pie

Cherry pie is one of my favorite things to eat!  Homemade cherry pie is one of life’s treats!


2 ½ Cups Unbleached Flour (Plus More For Dusting)

3 Tablespoons Plus 1 Cup Sugar (Divided)

¾ Teaspoons Salt (Divided)

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1 Cup (2 Sticks) Butter (Cut Into Small Cubes – Chilled)

7 Tablespoons Ice Water

2 Pounds Fresh & Pitted Cherries

3 Tablespoon Cornstarch

1 Tablespoon Milk

In a large bowl combine flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, ½ teaspoon salt and cinnamon.  Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter until butter is the size of small peas.  To ensure the butter is cold enough, chill in the freezer for a few minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.  I you do not have a pastry cutter you can use two knives to cut in the butter.  Stir in the ice water with a fork just until combined and the dough holds together.  Form the dough into two 5 inch discs.  Cover and chill for 1 hour or until cold, but not completely firm. 

Preheat the oven to 400° F.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disc of dough into a 12 inch circle.  Transfer to a 9 inch pie pan.  In a large bowl, toss together cherries, cornstarch, 1 cup of sugar and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt.  Spoon the cherry mixture into the dough lined pan and set aside.  On the same lightly floured surface, roll out the remaining disc of dough into a 10 inch circle and cut into ½ inch wide strips.  Top the cherry mixture in the pan with the dough strips, weaving them in and out to make a lattice crust and then crimp the outside edge of the crust.  If you don’t want a lattice crust you can just make a normal top crust like I have done in the photo above.  Brush the crust all over with milk and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Arrange on a baking sheet to catch any drips.  Yes, you will have drips so be sure to set the pie pan on the baking sheet.  I like to use a pie bird to let out the steam.  If you don’t have a pie bird  or pie vent then cut slits in the top crust (if you are not using a lattice crust).  Bake for 1 ¼ hours or until bubbly and golden brown.  Set aside to let cool before serving.  Serves 12

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