Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Raspberry Squares

I discovered this recipe on a food forum I belong to. Its from my cyber foodie friend Linda and it originated from her mother's friend. It's a tried and true cookie (bar), and an oldie AND goodie. You can find the recipe over at Linda's Blog, How to Cook Like a Wolf. I love her background music, photography, writing, not to mention amazing recipes!

What I love about these squares is that they are not overly sweet.......great with a hot cup of coffee or tea. I usually have all the ingredients on hand as well and they are easy to put together.


2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar (divided)
2 1/2 cups flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks
1 10 oz. jar seedless raspberry jam
4 egg whites
2 cups finely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350.
1. Cream together the butter,yolks, and 1/2 cup of sugar. Add flour and salt and knead with fingers. Pat dough into a greased 15 1/2 by 10 1/2 by 1" jelly roll pan.
2. Bake at 350* 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.
3. Remove from oven and spread with raspberry jam.
4. Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold in remaining 1 cup sugar
and nuts. Gently spread on top of jam. Bake for 25 minutes. Cut into bars while still warm.

check out this vintage sifter!

Ready for first bake


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Icing

When the leaves start to change it is time to make these pumpkin bars. Many thanks to a food forum where this recipe is shared, it has been a big hit here for the past several years. I've made it with the cream cheese icing and also without. If without I usually sprinkle with some powdered sugar. Very simple and tasty treat!

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temp.
2 cups canned pumpkin (one 15-oz. can)
4 eggs, room temp.
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. each cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt

Don't know why I added the vanilla to this photo - does not belong!

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 15 X 10 1/2 X 1 pan. Sift flour, baking soda, spices, and salt together; set aside. Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add pumpkin and eggs; beat until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Spread mixture into pan. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until cake springs back when touched or toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely and frost.

3 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
1 stick butter, room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. orange zest (optional)
2 cups powdered sugar

Beat together until smooth.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bogart's Meatloaf.....woof, woof!

In August 2010 we got a puppy......this after at least 15 years of our children begging for a dog. One son was going into his senior year of college out of town and our youngest son entering his senior year of high school. Now, thirteen months later my husband and I are empty nesters as youngest went out of town to start college and oldest son is living and working out of town. Doesn't make sense, does it? We got a Pug........an adorable Pug and named him Bogart, but we call him Bo.

We made rules, aka the "I nevers"........this dog will only eat dog food (dry kibble) and never hang upstairs where our bedrooms are. About four months ago Bo was upstairs with us, in our bedroom and YES, in our bed. Shortly thereafter, I started to make his food. I know, I know......SPOILED dog.

In all honesty, it is my pleasure to prepare his food. He loves it and gulps it happily down. Prior to making him food he often had tummy upsets....and would get very particular about the kibble. I also have found it more economical. Now he is a very happy pooch! Besides this meatloaf recipe I also make him a stew using either ground chicken, ground turkey, ground bison or ground lamb......will post that recipe at a future date.

This recipe is adapted (very tweaked) from a recipe I saw at www.allrecipes.com for Doggy Meatloaf.


2 pounds ground chicken
3 stalks celery
2 carrots
1 apple, peeled and cored
3 eggs
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup rolled oats
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup cooked brown rice

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Using a food processor finely chop the carrots, celery and apples.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the carrots, celery, apples, eggs, ground chicken, wheat germ, brown rice, rolled oats and tomato paste. Mix well.

4. Spray a muffin pan (12 muffins) with olive oil spray and put mixture in each section. You will have enough to make another small loaf, either by hand or in a small loaf pan.

5. Bake one hour and remove from pan once cooled down. Freezes well.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tribute to Becky a true lady - Decolady-Peach Cobbler

The end of last month was a sad one. A cyber foodie friend of mine who I've known since 2004 crossed over to her new journey in the after life. She left behind a wonderful family and many friends. She was an inspiration to me and shared with me and others many of her treasured family recipes. Creole Shrimp and Pound Cake are two recipes I have previously shared here.

Yesterday I made Becky's grandmother's Peach Cobbler as part of a cyber tribute to this wonderful lady. Check out Becky's blog http://decolady-randommusings.blogspot.com/ .........it is chock full of her love of all things deco - particularly dishware; recipes, gardening, travel and many of her varied interests. Also included in her blog were medical updates as Becky had a bone marrow transplant just over two years ago. All during her illness Becky kept up her positive attitude. What a spirited lady who lived each day with grace and dignity. She inspired me and I do miss her. This one's for you dear Becky, on your first birthday.......namasté.

I am providing the pastry dough recipe that Becky used but since I am seriously dough challenged I decided to simplify and used refrigerated Pillsbury Pie Dough.

2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup cold water
1 cup coarsely crushed sugar cubes (about 40), or use about 2/3 cup granulated sugar

1. Sift together the flour and salt. Cut in butter to look like cornmeal. Sprinkle on cold water and mix quickly with a fork. Divide into 2/3 and 1/3. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.
2. On floured surface roll out the large piece of pastry and line a large Betty Bowl or Fiesta pie plate. Sprinkle with 2-3 Tbsp of crushed sugar. Cover with wax paper and refrigerate. Preheat oven to 450°F. Roll out rest of pastry to form top crust and set aside. I used used a 9-inch pie dish.


5 (generous) cups fresh sliced peaches, about six peaches
juice of 1/2 lemon
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch or 3 Tbsp Wondra flour
pinch salt
4 Tbsp butter

2 Tbsp Half and Half

1. Mix peaches with lemon juice. Mix sugar with cornstarch and sprinkle over fruit. Add the pinch of salt and fold gently to combine. Fill pastry lined pan with fruit mixture and grate on a little nutmeg. Dot with butter. I left out the nutmeg on purpose as we are not fond of it.

Becky would have liked that I used my grandmother's red pyrex bowl:

2. Fit on top crust in one piece or in several smaller ones. If your edges are nearly sealed, cut slits for steam to escape. Can brush generously with half and half (do not brush edges) and sprinkle with remaining crushed sugar. Can also sprinkle on a bit of cinnamon. Place cobbler on baking sheet in oven. Immediately reduce heat to 350°F. Bake 50-60 minutes or until crust is a deep golden brown.

Ready for oven:

All baked:

Happy Birthday Deco Lady:
served in Fiesta rose color medium bowl

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Grilled Fennel-Spiced Pork Chops with Sage-Lemon Vinaigrette

This fabulous recipe is from Bobby Flay's Grilling for Life cookbook. Love fennel and pork and the vinaigrette truly enhances the flavors.

Sage-Lemon Vinaigrette

3 T chopped fresh sage leaves
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 shallot, coarsely chopped
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/3 c olive oil

Fennel-Spiced Pork Chops

2 T fennel seeds
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp whole black peppercorns
4 thick center-cut boneless pork chops (or 1 pork tenderloin, ~ 1 lb)
1 tsp canola oil


For vinaigrette:
Combine the sage, lemon juice, zest, shallot, honey, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in oil and blend until emulsified. I used an immersion blender.

For Pork:
1. Heat your grill to medium-high. Place the fennel seeds, salt, and peppercorns in a spice mill and process until finely ground. Alternatively, combine the spices ona cutting board and crush them with the bottom of a heavy pot. I used a mortar/pestle.
2. Brush pork with oil and season on both sides with fennel mixture.
3. Grill the pork until slightly charred on both sides and cooked to medium-well, 4-5 min per side.
4. Transfer pork to a place and immediately drizzle each chop with 2 T of the sage-lemon vinaigrette. Let the chops rest for 5 minutes until serving. Serving the remaining vinaigrette on the side if desired.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Grilled Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Lemon, Garlic and Rosemary

This recipe is adapted from the cookbook, Mad Hungry by Lucinda Scala Quinn. The recipe calls for roasting the lamb in the oven and I will provide that recipe. However, I grilled the lamb and we had a 4-lb. boneless piece of meat that took about 30 minutes per side. I let it rest a good 10 minutes prior to slicing at it was perfect. The grill was set at high so it was direct heat.


2 whole lemons, washed, seeded, and chopped
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed
5 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 boneless leg of lamb, butterflied, boned, and cut to lay flat (about 5 pounds)


1. Place the chopped lemon, rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a food processor. A blender can also be used, if done in batches. If you have neither, finely chop all ingredients together.

after pulsing:

2. Open up the lamb and lay it flat. Spread and massage the lemon paste evenly over the inside and outside of the lamb. Place in a baking dish and cover, or in a large resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate overnight to marinate or at least for several hours, turning occasionally.

3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove the meat from the refrigerator 30 to 60 minutes before cooking. Place the lamb on a rack in a foil-lined roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Place the meat in the oven and after 5 minutes, reduce the temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Roast for 45 minutes, or until medium rare, 140 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant read thermometer. Allow the meat to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving and serving.

Serves 6 to 8

New Potato and Green Bean Salad

This is a favorite potato salad for summer barbecues and perfect for a side to our Father's Day dinner today. It's adapted from the July 1994 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. As usual I added an additional garlic clove. I also used the last of some terrific olive oil a dear friend brought me back from Israel and rather than regular balsamic vinegar I used white balsamic vinegar with Madiera just because that is what I grabbed first out of the pantry.



1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


1 1/2 pounds small red-skinned potatoes
3/4 pound fresh green beans
1 small red onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil


Whisk together all dressing ingredients except oil, then gradually whisk in oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Steam potatoes until tender. Cool and cut into quarters.
Cook green beans in boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and transfer beans to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain. Cut beans in half.
Combine beans, potatoes, onion and basil in a large bowl. Add dressing; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead; cover and let stand at room temperature.)
Ready to serve:

Serves 6

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Strawberry Pie

This wonderful recipe is from a food forum that I follow. Nothing like a fresh strawberry pie when strawberries are in peak season as they are now! Be sure to buy the sweetest berries possible. This pie is not overly sweet so the sweeter the berries, the sweeter the pie!


1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Blend ingredients with fork until well incorporated. Press evenly into 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool.


1 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup water
2 cups mashed strawberries (pastry blender or potato masher works well for mashing - see *Note below)
1/2 tsp. lemon zest (optional)

Enough halved strawberries to place about 2 layers in pie crust (no more since you need room for the glaze).

Optional: Whole berries and mint sprigs for garnish, fresh whipped cream


Combine sugar, corn starch and salt in a saucepan. Stir in water and mix well. Cook over low heat briefly just until sugar dissolves. Add mashed strawberries. Cook over medium-low heat (stirring often) until mixture comes to a low boil, thickens, and "clears." Boil for another minute or two, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest, if using. Let mixture cool completely to room temp, stirring occasionally.

Place halved berries in baked pie shell as evenly as possible. Pour glaze over berries and chill for at least 4 hours. Before serving, cover pie with whipped cream or serve dollops on slices. Garnish with whole berries and mint sprigs.

*Note: Depending on how you prefer the glaze, the berries can be mashed until still somewhat chunky or more pureed.

Mixing graham cracker crust:

Smashing berries:

Cooking glaze:

Ready to pour glaze:

Ready to chill in refrigerator:

Sweet as pie:

Forgot about whipping the cream :(: