American Classics


September 2, 2011


Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned ice cream sandwich? Ice cream sandwiches are a year round favorite of young and old alike. Store bought is fine, but homemade is always much better. I like to use a small amount of corn syrup and olive oil in the dough as it prevents the cookies from becoming hard when the sandwiches go into the freezer. These cookies are tasty on their own as well.


2 1/3 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

½ Teaspoon Salt

1 Cup Room Temperature Butter

2/3 Cup Packed Brown Sugar

½ Cup Sugar

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Light Corn Syrup

1 Egg

3 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

12 Ounces Chocolate Chips

5 Cups Vanilla Ice Cream

Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a large bowl stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In another bowl stir together the butter, sugars, olive oil and corn syrup until combined. Add the egg and vanilla until blended to the butter mixture. Next add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and combine. Stir in the chocolate chips. Using a ¼ cup measurer drop the dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. If you want to smaller cookies use two tablespoons of the dough. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned. Remove the baking sheets from the oven to wire racks and cool for 5 minutes. Using a spatula transfer the cookies to racks to completely cool. Repeat until all of the dough is used. Now you are ready to assemble the sandwiches. Let the ice cream soften in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Spread ½ cup of the ice cream on the bottom of one cookie and place a second cookie (bottom side down) on top of the ice cream. Repeat until all of the cookies are used. Wrap each sandwich individually in plastic wrap and freeze for 2 hours. If the sandwich cookies have become too hard then let them sit at room temperature before serving. Makes 8 large ice cream sandwiches

Oysters Rockefeller

August 25, 2011

This recipe is dedicated to my old friend Michael. I miss you very much!

Oysters Rockefeller


1 Dozen Scrubbed Oysters

Rock Salt

12 Ounces Spinach (Usually 1 Bunch)

1 Tablespoons Plus 2 Teaspoons Butter

2 Tablespoons Minced Onion

1/8 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne

1/8 Teaspoon Sea Salt

1 Tablespoon Pernod

¼ Cup Heavy Cream

2 Tablespoon Plain Dried Bread Crumbs

Lemon Wedges

Preheat the oven to 425° F. Shuck the oysters and release the meat from the bottom of the shells. Remove any pieces of the broken shell. Place the oysters in the bottom shells in a jelly roll pan on ½ inch of rock salt. This will keep the oysters flat. Refrigerate until ready to bake. Wash the spinach. In a medium saucepan cook the spinach with water clinging to its leaves over a high heat. Stir and cook until wilted. Drain well and chop very fine. In the same pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook 3 minutes until tender. Stir in the spinach, nutmeg, cayenne, salt and Pernod. Add the cream to the mixture and cook over a high heat. Stir and cook until reduced and thick. Remove from the heat. In a small saucepan melt the remaining 2 teaspoons of butter and stir in the bread crumbs. Spoon the spinach mixture evenly on top of the oysters. Sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture. Bake for 10 minutes and serve garnished with lemon wedges. Serves 4 as an appetizer

Chocolate Root Beer Cake

August 21, 2011

Chocolate Root Beer Cake

I love this cake. You can taste the root beer, but it isn’t overpowering.


2 Cups Unbleached Flour

2 Cups Sugar

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

¼ Teaspoon Sea Salt

1 Cup Softened Butter

½ Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

2 Eggs

½ Cup Buttermilk or Sour Milk

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

6 Tablespoons Root Beer Extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F and grease a bundt cake pan. Set aside. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt and set aside. In a medium saucepan combine the butter, cocoa powder and 1 cup of water. Bring the mixture just to boiling and stir constantly. Remove from the heat and add the cocoa mixture to the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer until combined. Add the eggs, butter, milk, vanilla and root beer extract. Beat for another minute until the batter is thin. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until done. You can either sprinkle with powdered sugar or frost with Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting. Serves 8

Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting

In a saucepan combine ¼ cup butter, 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder and 3 tablespoons of buttermilk. Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat. Add 2 ¼ cups powdered sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla. Beat until smooth. Pour the warm frosting of the cake and spread evenly.

Petite Pear Tarts

August 19, 2011

Petite Pear Tarts

Summer is the season for pears. What to do with all of those pears? Make pear tarts!


Pastry for 1 Pie Crust

2 Small Ripe Pears (Peeled, Cored and Sliced)

2 Tablespoons Unbleached Flour

2 Tablespoons Dried Currents

2 Teaspoons Fresh Lemon Juice

½ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

½ Cup Plus 6 Teaspoons Sugar

2 Tablespoons Milk

2 Tablespoons Chopped Pecans

Prepare the pastry for 1 pie crust. Shape two equal balls and chill for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, toss the pear slices with flour, currants, lemon juice, cinnamon and ½ cup of sugar. Set aside. On a lightly floured surface, with a floured rolling pink roll 1 dough ball into a 10 inch round. Transfer to one half of a large cookie sheet. Mound half of the pear mixture in the center of the round. Fold the dough up around the pears, leaving a 2 ½ inch opening in the center. Repeat with the remaining dough and pear mixture to make a second tart on the same cookie sheet. Brush each crust with 1 tablespoon of milk and sprinkle each with 2 teaspoons of sugar. Place 2 sheet of foil under the cookie sheet. Crimp the foil edges to form a rim to catch any drips during the baking. Bake the tarts for 20 minutes. In a cup, mix the pecans with the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar and sprinkle over the filling in the center of the tarts. Bake for 10 minute more or until the crust is brown. Cool the tarts on cookie sheets on a wire rack for 10 minutes to serve warm. Makes 2 petite tarts

Pie Crust Recipe


1 ¼ Cups Unbleached Flour

¼ Teaspoon Salt

2 Tablespoons Shortening

4 Tablespoons Cold & Cut Up Butter

In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. With a pastry blender cut in the shortening and butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle in 3 to 5 tablespoons of ice water, a tablespoon at a time. Mix lightly with a fork after each addition, until the dough is just moist enough to hold together. Shape the dough into 1 ball. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more. Remove from the fridge and let stand for 1 hour before rolling. You want the dough at room temperature. Make two separate balls. On a lightly floured surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll out each ball to make the petite pie crusts.

Blueberry Crumble

August 16, 2011

Blueberry Crumble

Who doesn’t love blueberries?! Blueberry Crumble is such a simple and delicious dessert. Something about it just warms the tummy!


Blueberry Filling

2 Pints Fresh Blueberries

1/3 Cup Sugar

3 Tablespoons Flour

2 Teaspoons Lemon Juice


1 Stick Butter

6 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

½ Cup Oats

1 Cup Unbleached Flour

¼ Teaspoon Grated Nutmeg

¼ Teaspoon Salt

The first thing that you will need to do is to make the topping. Mix the dry ingredients together and cut in the butter until it is all crumbly and the largest butter chunks are pea sized. Next toss the blueberries with sugar, flour and lemon juice. Transfer the blueberry mixture to a buttered 9 inch baking dish. Spread the crumble on top and bake in 350° F oven for 40 minutes until the topping is golden and the filling is bubbling gently through the crumble. Serve warm. Serves 6

Cold Watermelon Soup

August 15, 2011

Cold Watermelon Soup

More and more farm stands and supermarkets have a variety of melons in the summer. Watermelon is one of the ultimate tastes of summer.


4 Pounds Juicy Watermelon

½ Cup Chablis

1 Tablespoon Lime Juice

¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Mint

Lime Slices For Garnish – Optional

Cut off the watermelon rind. With a melon baller, but out 8 balls of watermelon fruit and reserve them for garnish. Remove all the seeds, cut the watermelon into rough chunks and spin them in a food processor. Add the wine, lime juice and chopped mint. Puree until smooth. Chill for several hours. Ladle into chilled bowls and garnish with reserved melon balls and lime slices. Serve 4

Victoria’s Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

August 12, 2011

Victoria’s Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

This recipe was inspired by my mother’s custard filled sponge cake. Pour yourself a big glass of super cold milk or a cup of dark coffee and enjoy one or two of these sinful delights.


1 ½ Cups Unbleached Flour (plus more to coat the tins)

1 ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder

½ Teaspoon Salt

½ Cup Buttermilk or Sour Milk

6 Tablespoons Unsalted Softened Butter (plus more to coat the tins)

3 Jumbo Organic Eggs

1 Cup Sugar

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter and flour standard muffin tins. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Warm the milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat. Beat the eggs and sugar with a mixer on high speed for 5 minutes until thick and pale. Beat in the dry ingredients. Bring the milk and butter to a boil and will the mixer on low speed add the milk mixture to the batter and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla. Divide the batter among the muffin cups making sure to fill each half way. Bake cupcakes for 15 minutes until light golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes and ONLY 10 minutes or they will stick. Then transfer to wire racks and let cool. Using a serrated knife cut each in half horizontally. Spread a spoonful of vanilla custard on each cupcake bottom. Sandwich with the top. Spoon glaze over each and serve immediately.


5 Tablespoons Sugar

4 Tablespoons Unbleached Flour

¼ Teaspoon Salt

1 ½ Cup Scalded Milk

1 Slightly Beaten Egg

1 ½ Teaspoon Butter

½ Teaspoon Vanilla

Combine the sugar, flour and salt in a small bowl. Scald the milk on medium heat (nearly boiling). Add the first three ingredients and stir over a medium heat until thick. Remove from the heat and add some of the warm milk mixture into the beaten egg and mix. Slowly add this to the remaining warmed milk. Cook long enough to cook the egg which should be for about 1 minute. Stir the custard constantly. Add the butter and vanilla and stir. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and cover with waxed paper directly on the surface of the custard to avoid a hard skin. Chill in the refrigerator. This can be made a day ahead.


¾ Cup Heavy Cream

4 Ounces Semisweet Chocolate

2 Ounces Bittersweet Chocolate Finely Chopped

1 Teaspoon Sugar

Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes and then whisk until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool slightly. Stir often. Drizzle over cupcakes immediately! Makes 12

Watermelon and Persecco Parfaits

August 10, 2011

Watermelon and Persecco Parfaits

This adult dessert is cool and refreshing. It is great for those hot evenings and very easy to make. Watermelon is one of the ultimate tastes of summer and everything gets better with Persecco.


4 Cups Diced Watermelon (Remove The Seeds Or Use Seedless)

1 ½ Cups Fresh Raspberries

Zest of 1 Lemon

2 Cups Persecco

2 Tablespoons Chambord Liquor

Layer the watermelon and raspberries in 4 parfait glasses. In a glass pitcher combine the Prosecco, Chambord and lemon zest. Stir and quickly pour over the parfaits. Serve immediately. Serves 4

Lobster Chowder

August 7, 2011

Lobster Chowder

This Lobster Chowder is more like a Lobster Bisque. With the lobster meat and fresh corn added it is delicious!


3 Lobster Shells

6 Cups Water

4 Tablespoons Butter

1 Celery Heart

1 Chopped Carrot

2 Sliced Leeks

1 Chopped Onion

2 Tablespoons Flour

1 ½ Cups Heavy Cream

½ Teaspoon Sea Salt

1/8 Teaspoon Cayenne

1 Cup Fresh Cooked Corn

½ Cup Lobster Meat

2 Tablespoons Chopped Flat Leaved Parsley

To make the lobster stock you will need to crack the lobster shells up a bit and throw them into a food processor a few pieces at a time. Pulse them until they break up into small pieces. Put the shells into a pot and cover with water. Cook over a medium heat for 30 minutes. Strain so that you have no remaining shells. This should give you about 4 ½ cups lobster stock.

In a heavy saucepan melt the butter and sauté the celery heart, carrot, leeks and onion for 5 minutes. Do not overcook these vegetables. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute constantly stirring. Now add the lobster broth and whisk until smooth. Gently cook for 20 minutes over a low heat until the vegetables are tender. Remove the mixture and put into the food processor and puree. Return to the saucepan and add the cream. Stir. Add the salt and cayenne and stir. Finally add the corn and lobster meat and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and ladle equal amounts into 4 warm bowls. Sprinkle with the chopped flat-leaved parsley. Serves 4

Fried Green Tomatoes

August 4, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes probably didn’t originate as a Southern dish, but have become a Southern classic over the years. It is thought that they were introduced in the Midwest and Northeastern parts of the United States by Jewish immigrants. By the early part of the 20th century, Fried Green Tomato recipes began popping up in newspapers, magazines and restaurant menus (for breakfast, lunch and dinner).


8 Slices of Bacon

1 Large Egg White

¼ Teaspoon Salt

½ Cup Cornmeal

¼ Freshly Ground Pepper

3 Medium Green Tomatoes

1 Tablespoon Chives

Cut the tomatoes into ½ inch thick slices and set aside. In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until browned. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Crumble the bacon and set aside the skillet with the bacon drippings. In a pie plate beat the egg white and salt together. On a piece of waxed paper combine the cornmeal and ground pepper. Dip the tomatoes in the egg mixture, pressing so the mixture sticks to the tomatoes. Place on a separate piece of waxed paper. Heat the bacon droppings in the skillet over medium high heat. Cook the tomatoes for 1 ½ minutes on each side, in batches, until golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Place tomatoes on a serving platter and top with the bacon and/or chives. Serves 6

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