Thanksgiving with Julia & Friends

Thanksgiving with Julia Child…& Friends

– what could be more fun?

Thanksgiving with Julia

This cute illustration by Adriana Gallo along with the list of ‘greats’  caught my attention.  This suggestion hooked me right in:

 “IF – Julia Child, James Beard, and Mollie Katzen threw a potluck Thanksgiving, you’d want to go, right?”  

Of course I’d want to go!

Attempting to “honor the forefathers and mothers of American cooking” here is a menu full of favorite recipes from the Food52 community and staff, and blogosphere at large.

Thanksgiving Dinner with Julia

Among other ‘greats’ here are a few recipes to tempt you:

Julia Child’s Brussels Sprouts with Braised Chestnuts

James Beard’s  Rich Pumpkin Pie

Mollie Katzen’s Mushroom Yogurt Pie with Spinach Crust

Who are your favorite forefathers and mothers of American Cooking?

What are your favorite recipes?

 

 

More Than A Recipe

More than a recipe from Orange Peel Bakery

As usual – the photo caught my attention – a delicious, mouthwatering baked something or other – This one looks berry, juicy and baked brown nutty … some sort of tart – oh yum!

Berry - Nutty Tart

Curious (and hungry!) –  I checked out the article hoping for a recipe. Lucky me – it was there! Then, I read the accompanying article and got more than a recipe.  The article is a great read and offers a fascinating profile and insight of an interesting baker with an intriguing bakery to investigate – wood fired oven – Martha’s Vineyard…and an honorable mission, as well as.

Orange Peel Bakery is definitely on my list of places to visit– Not just to sample the baked goods which sound (and look)  amazing – but to experience the setting and support the admirable mission of the baker, Juli Vanderhoop.

Read the article  for yourself and learn more of what I am referring to:

Trained by a Medicine Man on Martha’s Vineyard, One Baker Gives Rise to an Honest Community

More than a recipe More than a recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More than a recipe

Let me know if you have a chance to visit Orange Peel Bakery – located at 22 State Rd, Aquinnah Martha’s Vineyard, and share your experience with us!

Here is the recipe.  BEWARE:  it is enough for a Bakery production– it makes EIGHT tarts!  Looks easy to reduce. I’ll let you know if I manage it.

Raspberry Bars with Almond Crust

Yield: Recipe is for EIGHT 8" TARTS

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups slivered almonds, divided
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups oats
  • 1 tablespoon and one teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups (four sticks) cold butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups raspberry jam

Instructions

  1. 1. Sauté ½ cup of the almonds in a pan until golden brown and set aside.
  2. 2. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, oats, remaining almonds, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. 3. In another bowl combine the butter and brown sugar. Add the almond extract and eggs and blend.
  4. 4. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, and mix until well blended. Press the mixture into eight 8? tart pans, onto the bottom and up the sides, leaving enough room for filling.
  5. 5. Bake the tarts at 360 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove them from oven and when cool, fill the shells with raspberry jam and top with the reserved toasted almonds. Bake the tarts for an additional 25 to 35 minutes, until the crusts are a rich, golden color.
  6. 6. Remove from the oven and let cool. Cut each tart into pieces and serve.
http://greatfoodfunplaces.com/2015/09/06/more-than-a-recipe/

 

 

It’s A WINNER!! Let’s Eat CAKE!

Yes! A Winner! Finally!!

Let’s Eat CAKE!!

Banana Chocolate-Chip Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

DSCN1132

The cake batter went together super easy – and once the sour cream and mashed bananas were mixed in it was one of the Best tasting cake batters I’ve ever snitched at!

The peanut butter frosting was also very easy, and actually ended up like it was supposed to –  very light and whipped.  With a super good flavor!

To be honest I’m not a great peanut butter fan when it comes to peanut butter cookies, cakes, frosting, etc.  (I LOVE peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, however!!)

And I certainly wasn’t sure about the flavor of banana and peanut butter.

So, I hedged a little, and instead of frosting between the layers with the peanut butter frosting (although there was certainly enough of it) I made a light, whipped chocolate frosting.  We Have A WINNE! Let's Eat CAKE!

The cake batter has mini chocolate chips in it, but other than using chocolate chips/candy for decorating the top, that’s the only chocolate called for in the recipe.  So I wanted a little more chocolate and a little less peanut butter.

I also made the recipe in three 9″ cake pans rather than two 8″ pans as the recipe calls for  – well, actually they say to use two 8″ square pans, which I don’t have, anyway.  The recipe makes a Lot of batter, and heeding Julie’s experience with her disaster cake I thought it best to use three pans instead of two.  Good thing I did – all three pans were close but not quite over the edges of the pans when the cake was done baking.

The cake itself was nicely moist and very flavorful.

The recipe suggests using chocolate chips and chocolate candy such as Hershey’s Kisses to decorate the top (see their photo).  I didn’t want to buy a whole bag of kisses – and a whole bag of chocolate chips, for that matter – just to use a few on the cake, so I scoured through the store to see what else was available.

I found the perfect things!  One was a a Nestle Toll House chip called “DelightFuls” – I’d never heard of them but maybe you guys have?  They are basically regular-sized chips that are filled with peanut butter – they also have ones that are filled with mint, or raspberry, etc. – and they come in a small bag.

We Have A WINNE! Let's Eat CAKE!

The other thing I found was Reese’s Pieces “Mini” peanut butter cups – they are unwrapped and only about a half-inch tall, and also come in a small bag.

So those are what I decorated the cake with!  Turned out really good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like most of these kinds of cakes that we’re making, this one is Very rich.  

We Have A WINNE! Let's Eat CAKE!

Finally –  a cake good enough to share with neighbors! And I’ll also take some into work on Monday!  YAY!!

 

 

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/banana-chocolate-chip-cake-with-peanut-butter-frosting-51117350

 

Hippity Hoppin’ Easter Fun

Have Hippity Hoppin’ Happy Easter FUN!

Natural Dye-d Eggs and Tie-Dyed Eggs, Bunny Buns, Deviled Chicks, and Bunny Cake

 

 And All I Need to Know…

. . . I Learned from the Easter Bunny!

HAPPY  EASTER!

Easter Bunny Cake

Let’s Eat CAKE!

Easter Bunny Cake

 Perfect for Easter:

Bunny Cake

 

Make this adorable Bunny Cake for Easter dessert.

 

What you will need:

1 layer of an 8 or 9 inch cake
White frosting
Shredded coconut
Green Food Coloring
Assorted Jelly Beans
1 sheet of plain white paper
Pink Colored Marker
2 toothpicks

 

Here are step-by-step directions for this Easy-to-make Easter Bunny Cake:

Bake a two layer cake using your favorite recipe. We like Chocolate but it could be a white or yellow cake if preferred.  You will use only one layer, so wrap the other layer a freeze for a quick dessert another time.

  Using a single layer of a baked cake slice in half diagonally.Easter Bunny Cake

Stand the two halves upright on a platter, cut sides down.Easter Bunny Cake

 About 2 inches up from one end, make a 2 inch wedge cut.

Easter Bunny Cake

Place this ‘wedge’ piece at the opposite side for the tail.Easter Bunny Cake

Slather frosting between the layers, including the tail and head pieces; then frost generously all over, giving a nice thick coating. We like a gooey boiled frosting such as Betty Crocker’s Fluffy Frosting but any butter cream, marshmallow, or egg white frosting will work. Easter Bunny Cake

Place shredded or finely flaked coconut in a medium sized mixing bowl. Using a fork, mix the coconut with a few drops of green food coloring.Easter Bunny Cake

Sprinkle, shake and pat plain white shredded coconut all over cake. Add the green ‘grass’ around the edges of the cake. Easter Bunny Cake

 Add dark jelly beans for eyes and a pink jelly bean for a nose.

Scatter additional jelly beans around in the grassEaster Bunny Cake

 Cut ‘ears’ from plain white paper and color in the centers with a marker. Poke a toothpick gently through the bottom edges of each of the ears

Easter Bunny Cake

 Insert toothpick into the ‘wedge’ cut behind the head

Easter Bunny Cake

HAPPY HOPPY EASTER!

Easter Bunny Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Eat CAKE! – mmm…CHOCOLATE!

 February – the month of LOVE – of Hearts…Flowers…Valentines and….

mmmm…. CHOCOLATE! 

Let’s Eat CAKE! 

A beautiful Chocolate Cake for this month of LOVE and Hearts and Flowers and Valentines and — mmmm…CHOCOLATE! This basic chocolate cake with sour cream fudge frosting is easy and also elegant — perfect for anytime: simple Sunday dinners or extra special occasions!Let's Eat CAKE! - mmm...CHOCOLATE!

Starting as a recipe titled ‘Top Tier” Devils Food cake, this is anything but ‘devils food’ … the flavor is a bit light,  lacking the dark  richness one expects of a ‘Devil’s Food’ cake.

The ‘Top Tier” aspect apparently is to offer that delightfully sized ‘top’ of a wedding cake. We chose, instead to go full-on with three 9″ layers of chocolate goodness.  Let's Eat CAKE! - mmm...CHOCOLATE! Doubling the cake recipe didn’t quiet fill  the larger pans, allowing the cake to become more torte-like.   To frost the entire cake including the sides, the frosting recipe, should also be doubled. As written, it is the perfect amount to finish off the “torte” look.

Overall, the flavor of the cake seems mild. Expecting a rich ‘Devils Food’,  we are disappointed. However, the recipe does call for ‘milk’ chocolate bars and only 1/4 cup of cocoa, so it is not going to be dark or rich flavored.  It IS an easy cake to make….so ‘top’ it with a lovely fresh rose, and ‘Voila?! Very Elegant!Let's Eat CAKE! - mmm...CHOCOLATE!

 

Get the Recipe

 

Images: A. Perkins

 

It’s Girl Scout Cookie Time!

Girls Scouts cookies are here!

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!

Girl Scout Cookie Time is a fun annual tradition that many of us look forward to, if for no other reason than our own bit of nostalgia. remembering our own efforts at sales — or getting to eat them!

My first memory of Girl Scout cookies and still a favorite of mine, is the shortbread Trefoils. I don’t remember which came first:  eating them or selling them.   Our Granddaughter – a Brownie Scout this year and yes – selling cookies! – announced that the Samoas are 40 years old this year. I was shocked! …and prompted to look into the Girl Scout Cookie History.It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!

An icon of American culture for nearly 100 years, the tradition, efforts and experiences offered to the Girl Scouts  through cookie sales has provided valuable life skills in leadership, personal development, confidence, and community involvement.

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!As early as 1917, just five years after Girl Scouting in America was started by Juliette Gordon Low, the sale of cookies has been  a way for troops to finance activities. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, Girl Scouts across the country, in partnership with their mothers, baked simple sugar cookies, and sold them door-to-door, packaged by the dozen in waxed paper bags sealed with a sticker. Get the Recipe below! It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!

The Greater Philadelphia Council was the first to sell commercially baked cookies (1934) and the Girl Scout Federation of New York purchased a die in the shape of Trefoil and used the words, “Girl Scout Cookies” on the boxes being sold (1935). The very next year, (1936) the  national Girl Scout association began the process to license the first commercial baker to produce cookies that would be sold nationwide by girls in Girl Scout councils. And the rest, we might say is “History”!

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!

Cookies were replaced with calendars during World War II with shortages of the key ingredients of Sugar, Flour and Butter. After the war, the sale of cookies resumed and three varieties were offered: Shortbread, Peanut Butter Sandwich, and Chocolate Mint.

A few year later, the flavors had evolved to a vanilla-based filled cookie, a chocolate-based filled cookie, shortbread, and the chocolate mint. Since the mid-1960s, a few more varieties have been offered, with the most popular and best sellers still the Shortbread, Chocolate Mint , and the Peanut Butter Sandwich. Now known as Trefoils, Thin Mints, and Do-si-dos, these continue to be the top sellers with the Samoas catching up in popularity!

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!The cookie boxes have also undergone a steady transformation. Now, bright and colorful, they depict scenes of Girl Scouts in action: hiking, canoeing, biking and promoting the benefits of Girl Scouting.

As early as the 1950s, and with the growth of suburbia, Girl Scout Cookies began being sold by girls at tables in shopping malls.

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!

 

Images and information from Girl Scout.org

 

GIRL SCOUT COOKIE RECIPE

An article  by Florence E. Neil, a local director in Chicago, Illinois, was published in The American Girl magazine in July 1922, by Girl Scout nationeal headquarters. In the article, Miss Neil provided a cookie recipe that had been given to the council’s 2,000 Girl Scouts.

Girl Scout Cookie, circa 1922

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • additional sugar for topping (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • • 1 teaspoon salt
  • • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Instructions

  1. Cream butter and the cup of sugar; add well-beaten eggs, then milk, vanilla, flour, salt, and baking powder. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Roll dough, cut into trefoil shapes, and sprinkle sugar on top, if desired.
  2. Bake in a quick oven (375°) for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Makes six- to seven-dozen cookies.
http://greatfoodfunplaces.com/2015/02/01/girl-scout-cookie-time/

Fun Football Food

Ready for the Big Game?

… here is some Fun FOOTBALL Food for any game time!

How fun is this?? A simple ‘football’ shaped meatloaf cleverly decorated with cheese is perfect for any  game day but especially Super Bowl!

Not a meat eater?  This great idea and simple presentation can even be adapted to yummy veggie-based loafs and burgers.

Fun Football Food

 

 

Get the Meatloaf recipe here

Get a non-meat loft recipe here

Bûche de Nöel

Let’s Eat CAKE!

Bûche de Nöel

Bûche de Nöel

 Christmas Yule Log Cake — a traditional French Cake for the Holiday Season.

You will see it in many shapes, colors, and flavors. The recipe is quite basic: cake, filling, and frosting… and is fairly simple to make. I’ve seen many variations but only tasted a few.

I still like my recipe the best! Besides coming from a dear friend in Provence, France (so it is quite authentic) I think it has the best flavor and texture. The frosting is a rich French Butter Cream (Lots of butter!). Since we have a family member who doesn’t eat chocolate (yes – there are a few  non-chocoholics around!!), we make a vanilla version for both the cake and butter cream filling adding a touch of coffee flavor to the frosting to give it a little darker color.

Assembling is easy: once the rolled cake is filled and re-rolled, a simple diagonal slice off one (or both) ends provides a ‘branch’ (or two). With the diagonal cut tucked against the main ‘log’ and a second piece perched on top, the Bûche de Nöel takes shape looking like a branch of a tree. A simple squigle through the frosting with a fork and … voila! you have the look of bark. Further adoration of greenery (either pine twigs, rosemary sprigs or even plastic representations,) and other Christmas-y ornamentation (mini balls, figurines, or try edible sugared cranberries) followed by a light dusting of powdered sugar and you have the proper Yule Log – a Bûche de Nöel.

Bûche de Nöel

Ingredients

    CAKE
  • 6 eggs - separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 c flour (sift 2x)
  • BUTTER CREAM for Frosting and Filling
    chocolate:
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3 1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 2 tsp rum or vanilla extract

Instructions

    Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Prepare a jelly roll pan with buttered waxed or parchment paper
  3. In mixer, beat egg yolks & sugar until foamy and light colored
  4. With mixer on low, add flour and baking powder (sprinkling)
  5. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until firm.
  6. Gently fold beaten egg white with flower & egg mixture
  7. Pour into prepared pan and gently spread evenly over pan
  8. Bake 10 minutes
  9. Lay a towel on the counter and dust lightly w/sugar. As soon as the cake is ready invert on the towel.
  10. Roll up the cake loosely rolling the towel with it
  11. Cool 10 min
  12. Meanwhile prepare butter cream
  13. Butter Cream Filling & Frosting
  14. Cream butter and sugar until smooth
  15. Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each
  16. Add melted choc and rum or vanilla extract
  17. Assemble Log
  18. Unroll cake & spread with about half the butter cream
  19. Re-roll cake very carefully (without towel this time!)
  20. Cut ends of the cake on a diagonal slice and set the small piece on top of the cake or on the side for desired effect.
  21. Spread the rest of the frosting over the cake
  22. Decorate by simulating bark or wood designed with the tip of a fork
  23. Add 'greenery', ornaments, berries, figurines as desired
  24. Dust lightly over all with powdered sugar
http://greatfoodfunplaces.com/2014/12/25/buche-de-noel/

 

 

Authentic French Provincial Recipe and photo by Great Food Fun Places

 

 

 

Easy & Fun Egg Muffins

Easy…& Fun…to Make   Easy…& Fun…to Eat

Healthy TOO!

 

EGG MUFFIINS

A Great Breakfast-by-the-Hand Recipe

Easy & Fun Egg Muffins

Delicious and healthy egg muffins are a great alternative to the usual breakfast-by-the-hand options that we often grab as we head out the door (think muffins, bagels, donuts, and other carb and sugar filled choices here) .  Great to throw in your bag to take to school or work or even headed out for fun excursion, Egg Muffins are a healthy and hearty snack for anytime and can be made in advance – ready to go!

The variations are endless.  Any combination of omelet, scramble or quiche fillings, meat, cheese and vegetables. I’m thinking Chili Rellenos s bake (green chilis & cheese), Spinach Ricotta Pie, (with a tasty salami added), Quiche Lorraine (Swiss Cheese & Bacon); Or the iconic Denver Omelet (ham, bell peppers, & cheese)

Easy Fun Egg Muffins

Ingredients

  • Green onions
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Onion
  • Bell peppers
  • Cheese
  • Green chillies
  • Fresh cilantro
  • You can add chicken or other lean meats, spinach, ricotta cheese, bell peppers, and lots more as per your taste.
  • Eggs 6 beaten with 2 tbsp milk, black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven at 400ºF
  2. Grease your muffin tin
  3. Add vegetables of your choice along with cheese (if you choose), pour beaten egg mixture on it.
  4. Place muffin pan on the center rack of a preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffins are light brown, puffy, and the eggs are set.
  5. Let muffins cool for a few minutes before removing from the muffin pan or cups. Loosen gently with knife if they seem to be sticking. Eat immediately or let cool completely and store in plastic bag in refrigerator or freezer. The Egg Muffins can be reheated in the microwave.
http://greatfoodfunplaces.com/2014/12/13/easy-fun-egg-muffins/

Adapted from SignatureWeddings