Winter Warmth

Molasses Cookies

October 11, 2011

Molasses Cookies

The word molasses comes from the Portuguese word melaço which means honey. Molasses is a byproduct of the processing of sugar cane, grapes or sugar beets into sugar. The quality of molasses depends on the maturity of the sugar cane or sugar beet, the amount of sugar extracted, and the method of extraction. I know someone who loves molasses so much he eats is out of the jar with a spoon. If you love molasses you will love these cookies. These cookies are delicious!

INGREDIENTS

3 ½ Cups Unbleached Flour

1 Cup Butter

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Molasses

½ Cup Sour Cream

½ Cup Plain Yogurt

¼ Teaspoon Salt

½ Teaspoon Cinnamon

¼ Teaspoon Allspice

¼ Teaspoon Grated Nutmeg

In a medium bowl mix the butter with the sugar and then slowly beat in the molasses. Set aside. In a small bowl combine the sour cream and yogurt. Set aside. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, salt, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Sift the flour mixture into the butter and sugar mixture alternately with the sour cream and yogurt mixture. Stir until blended. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Drop a tablespoonful of batter onto a parchment lined baking sheet 1 inch apart. Bake for 30 minutes until done. Remove and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and cool completely. Makes 40 cookies

Sweet & Sour Spare Ribs

October 10, 2011

Sweet & Sour Spare Ribs

I love Asian Spare Ribs. No need to go out to a restaurant because they are easy to make at home.

INGREDIENTS

2 Pounds Cut Pork Spare Ribs

1 Cup Sugar

¼ Cup Unbleached Flour

1 Teaspoon Salt

½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

½ Teaspoon Dry Mustard

2 Cups Water

½ Cup Soy Sauce

½ Cup Cider Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil

2 Chopped Garlic Cloves

Sesame Seeds For Garnish

In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, salt, mustard, pepper, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and water. Set aside. Put the ribs in a large cooking pot filled with water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes and drain. Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Brown the ribs on all sides. Next pour the sauce into the skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Place on a serving platter and garnish with sesame seeds. Serves 4

Chile Rellenos

October 8, 2011

Chile Rellenos

Chile Relleno is a Mexican dish that originated in Puebla and literally means “stuffed chile.” Chile Rellenos are usually stuffed with melted cheese like queso Chihuahua or queso Oaxaca (which are good for melting). They are also stuffed with something called picadillo meat which consists of diced pork, raisins, nuts and spiced with canella. Typically roasted poblano peppers are used, but sometimes are substituted with Anaheim, Hatch, Pasilla or Jalapeno chili peppers. After stuffing the chile pepper it is either covered in egg batter or corn masa flour and fried. Then served in a sauce.

INGREDIENTS

6 Fresh Poblano Chiles

1 Pound Queso Blanco

3 Tablespoons Flour

3 Eggs

½ Teaspoon Salt

2 Cups Olive Oil For Frying

For The Sauce:

14 Ounces Diced Tomatoes With Juice

1 Cup Chicken Broth

1 Diced Onion

For roasting the chiles place them directly on the burner of a gas stove until they are mostly blackened on each side. If you have an electric stove then put the chiles under the broiler. Remove the chiles from the burner and place them in bowl covered with plastic wrap for a minute. Peel off the blackened skin with your fingers. Don’t worry if you don’t get every bit of the skin off. Slice each chile on one side from the stem to the bottom. Remove most of the seeds and membranes, but if you like the chiles spicy then leave them in. Cut the cheese into long slices that fit the chiles and stuff the cheese into each chile. Roll in the flour. Separate the eggs. In a medium bowl beat the egg whites and salt until they are stiff. In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks and then gently fold into the egg whites. Pour the olive oil into a medium sauté pan and heat on medium high. Dip each chile into the egg coating and drop into the oil and cook for 2 minutes until golden brown on each side. Turn once with a spatula. Drain on paper towels. Top with either tomato sauce or enchilada sauce. You can top with chopped cilantro, sour cream, green chiles or shredded cheese. Serves 2

For the sauce: Combine onions, chicken broth and tomatoes with the juice. Simmer while you are making the rellenos. Serve on the side or cover the rellenos before serving.

Chocolate Cinnamon Cake

October 7, 2011

Chocolate Cinnamon Cake

INGREDIENTS

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1 ½ Teaspoons Baking Powder

¾ Teaspoon Baking Soda

2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

½ Teaspoon Salt

1 Cup Butter

1 ¼ Cups Sugar

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

4 Eggs

1 Cup Sour Cream

1 Cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips

1 Cup Chopped Pecans

¼ Cup Sugar

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Prepare a bundt pan. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl beat the butter and 1 ¼ cups of sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on high until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to medium and beat in the vanilla. Next beat in the eggs one at a time. Reduce the speed to low and alternately beat in the flour mixture and sour cream. Combine just until blended. In a separate small bowl combine the chocolate, pecans, ¼ cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon for the crumb mixture. Pour half of the batter in the bottom of the prepared bundt pan. Sprinkle half of the crumb mixture next and then the rest of the batter, ending with the last of the crumb mixture. Gently cut through the batter and crumbs with a knife. Bake for 45 minutes. Cover the top of the cake with foil and continue baking for 15 minutes longer until done. Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from the pan and finish cooling. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serves 14

Czech Potato Soup

October 4, 2011

Czech Potato Soup

Fall and winter soups are the best. So hearty and so warming. This Czech Potato Soup (Bramboracka) is an exceptional soup. Serve with sourdough or rye bread.

INGREDIENTS

6 Cups Water

¼ Cup Half & Half

1 Large Chopped Onion

1 Large Chopped Turnip

1 Cup Sliced Mushrooms

1 Chopped Celery Stalk

1 Large Chopped Carrot

3 Large Potatoes

½ Teaspoon Caraway Seeds

¼ Teaspoon Marjoram

1 Teaspoon Salt

2 Tablespoons Flour

5 Tablespoons Butter

½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

In a large sauté pan cook all of the vegetables, except the potatoes, in the butter. Slowly add the flour to the vegetables and add one cup of the water to the vegetables. Add the water, potatoes, salt, pepper, caraway seeds and marjoram. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Cook for 30 minutes. Add the half & half and cook another 5 minutes. Serve in bowls along with either sourdough bread or rye bread. Serves 4

Vanilla Babka

October 2, 2011

Vanilla Babka

INGREDIENTS

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

1 ½ Teaspoons Baking Powder

¾ Teaspoons Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

½ Teaspoon Salt

1 Cup Unsalted Butter

1 ¼ Cups Sugar

3 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

4 Eggs

1 Cup Sour Cream

Powdered Sugar For Dusting

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Prepare a bundt pan and set aside. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In a separate medium bowl beat the butter and 1 ½ cups sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and beat in the vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time. With the mixer on low speed, alternate beating in the flour mixture and the sour cream. Beat only until mixed in. Bake for 40 minutes. Cover the top of the cake with aluminum foil. Continue baking for 20 minutes longer. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Carefully loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Invert the cake onto a rack and cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar. Serves 12

Chicken Noodle Soup

October 1, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup

I was raised on good old fashioned Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. Everyone knows that homemade is much better. A great prescription for any malady. If you’re ailing or not try this fabulous recipe for what warms the body and soul.

INGREDIENTS

2 ½ Cups Wide Egg Noodles

1 Teaspoon Olive Oil

12 Cups Chicken Broth

2 Teaspoons Salt

1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 Teaspoon Poultry Seasoning

1 Cup Chopped Celery

1 Cup Chopped Carrots

1 Cup Chopped Onion

1/3 Cup Cornstarch

¼ Cup Water

3 ½ Cups Diced Cooked Chicken

In a large stock pot bring salted water to a boil. Add the egg noodles and olive oil. Boil for 9 minutes until tender. When done cooking drain. In a large saucepan combine the broth, salt and poultry seasoning. Bring to a boil and stir in the celery, carrots and onions. Reduce the heat and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes. In a small bowl mix the cornstarch and water together until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Gradually add to the soup. Stir constantly. Stir in the noodles and chicken. Cook for 10 minutes on a medium heat. Serve with salad and French bread. Serves 10

Victoria’s Naughty Naughty Mashed Potatoes

November 26, 2010

Naughty Naughty Mashed Potatoes!

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

5 Pounds Peeled & Cubed Russet Potatoes

2 Sticks Butter

¾ Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

¼ Teaspoon Garlic Powder

½ Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water.  Cook potatoes in boiling water until very tender for approximately 20 minutes.  Drain well.  Mash potatoes with butter.  Add cream, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Mix well.  Super yummy and super naughty.

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