Archive for the ‘recipe’ Category


Finally, another recipe to share

June 6, 2014

artichoke pasta iiiI’ve been neglectful.  I apologize.  Sometimes life gets in the way of other things.  Sometimes it’s so bad that you realize you have a wonderful story or recipe to share, but you haven’t.  I planned to share this recipe a year ago, or close to it.  My girlfriend Cathy makes this dish.  She made it last year for her middle son’s eighth grade graduation party.  In two weeks she’s having her oldest son’s high school graduation party.  Like I said, I’ve been meaning to share this for a while.

This is a great recipe for a large group.  I made it and brought it to a good friend’s house for a cook out.  So it’s a perfect pasta salad too.  It tastes like stuffed artichokes.  Yummy, right?

I used jar artichokes.  I buy them from Costco.  I used about 1 1/2 C of artichokes, and added enough of the liquid to prevent the pasta from being dry.  Also, if you don’t plan to serve the dish right after tossing, hold off on adding the breadcrumbs.

I’m hoping that with the start of my new job I can get back on track with sharing.  The last two years were a blur.  Mostly because my job, which was great, prevented me from spending as much time as I could with my family.

artichoke pasta ivPenne with Artichokes

  • 1-10 oz can Artichokes, reserve liquid
  • 2 T Lemon Juice
  • 5 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 T Olive Oil, divided
  • 6 oz Sun-dried Tomatoes in Oil
  • 1/2 T Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 T Parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 C Bread Crumbs
  • 12 oz Penne Pasta
  • 1 T Parmesan
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Prepare pasta as suggested on package.

In a medium saute pan, heat 1 1/2 T of olive oil and add garlic.  Reduce heat and add artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes.  Stir in artichoke liquid, lemon, pepper flakes, parsley, salt and pepper.  Simmer for 5 minutes.

In a separate saute pen, stir the breadcrumbs in remaining olive oil until brown.

Before ready to serve, toss pasta, artichoke mixture, breadcrumbs and Parmesan together.



Pumpkin? Yes Please.

October 10, 2013

pumpkin pull apart bread iiIs it me, or do you think of pumpkin in the fall?  It’s like I can’t get enough of that squash.  When Meeshie was small we would always visit a pumpkin patch.  We carve pumpkins just to enjoy the pumpkin seeds.  Pumpkin flavored coffee is available at Dunkin Donuts.  I’m partial to Culver’s pumpkin pie shake.  As far as I know, the flavor is on their menu all year long, but I only want it now, when the weather is warm during the day.

I’ve made my share of pumpkin treats, but this next one is in my top five.  I made this along with the pumpkin donut muffins last weekend.  Oh, the aroma of pumpkin wafting through my kitchen….

Pull apart bread is quickly becoming my favorite treat.  I think it’s easier and less messy than a sweet roll.  It’s easier to roll out the dough, add the filling and cut it to set inside the bread pan.  Serving it is easier too; you can control the serving size when cutting the loaf.

I made this bread twice but did not double the glaze.  The glaze was the perfect amount for two loaves of bread.  Notice I didn’t say I doubled the recipe.  I’m not sure it can be doubled easily.  Try it and let me know.  In case you’re not aware, I bake a lot, but I don’t have luck with doubling a recipe unless it is stated.  So, I made the dough twice, which wasn’t that difficult.  I set up my mis en place and ran with it.

If you are still afraid to use yeast, try this.  Truly it’s pretty fool proof.  How do you know your yeast is working?  By the happy bubbles in the bowl, plus it will smell, for lack of a better term, yeasty.  No bubbles, then your yeast is probably bad and you can start again.  Don’t continue on, hoping the yeast will start to work.  It won’t.  Just get yourself some fresh yeast and soldier on.

What we loved about this bread was the fact that it wasn’t overly sweet.  That’s the problem sometimes with cinnamon rolls, too sweet.  Not this, the glaze is perfect and the rum just mellows the glaze.  It’s not something that is very prominent.  The nuts inside the layers are divine, but for those with the dreaded allergy, substitute the nuts with raisins and toasted pumpkin seeds.   And please, please, brown the butter.  I love the nuttiness of browned butter and it really does complement the pumpkin.

What’s your favorite pumpkin treat?

pumpkin pull apart bread viiPumpkin Pull Apart Bread


  • 2 T Butter
  • 1/2 C Milk
  • 2 1/4 t (1 envelope) Active Dry Yeast
  • 3/4 C Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/4 C Sugar
  • 1 t Salt
  • 2 1/2 Bread Flour


  • 3/4 C Brown Sugar
  • 1 T Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 C Chopped Pecans
  • 1 T Candied Ginger
  • 3 T Butter

Buttered Rum Glaze:

  • 2 T Butter
  • 2 T Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 T Milk
  • 3/4 C Powdered Sugar
  • 1 T Rum

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, brown 2 tablespoons of butter, letting it bubble up and turn a dark golden brown but being careful not to allow it burn. Once browned, remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the milk, return to stove and heat through. Pour the milk and butter into the bowl of standing mixer (fitted with a dough hook) and allow to cool so it is no longer hot but also not cool (about 100-110 degrees F). Once it has reached a warm but not hot temperature add the yeast and 1/4 cup of sugar and allow to proof (this can take up to 8 minutes, the top will look foamy and the liquid cloudy). Then add the pumpkin, salt, and 1 cup of flour. Stir until combined then add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time and knead for 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic and just slightly sticky. If the dough is too moist, add extra flour 1 tablespoon at a time.

Move dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean towel. Allow to rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size.

While dough is rising, brown another 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the sugar, pumpkin pie spice, pecans and ginger and mix well. Set aside. Next, line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.

When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and flip out onto a clean floured surface and knead with hands for 1-2 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 20-by-12-inch rectangle.  Spoon the  melted butter/sugar mixture generously over the dough. Cut the dough crosswise into 5 strips, each about 12 by 4 inches. (A pizza cutter is helpful here.)   Stack each strip on top of one another.  Cut the strip into six equal slices again.  You’ll have six stacks of six squares.  Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan.  While there is plenty of space on either side of the strips widthwise in the pan, fitting the strips lengthwise is tight. But that’s fine because the spaces between the dough and the sides of the pan fill in during baking. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until puffy and almost doubled in size.

In the meantime preheat an oven to 350 degrees. After rising in the pan bake for 30-40 minutes or until top is a very deep golden brown.

To prepare the glaze, brown the butter, add the milk, and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to boil then immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rum and powdered sugar.

Here’s the original post.


Fall Treat!

September 30, 2013

caramel corn


I know I’ve established my family’s love of Garrett’s popcorn.  It’s that love of caramel corn that caused me to dig up an old recipe.  I remember making caramel corn with my mom.  I also remember how quickly my brothers would swoop in and eat all that confectionary goodness.

For some reason I associate caramel corn with the fall.  Maybe it’s the warm color of the caramel.  Nothing says fall more than that golden brown color.  Plus the smell of it roasting in the oven is heavenly.  Just the memory of that wonderful smell brings a smile to my face as I type.

 This is a perfect after school snack.  Again, hello fall!  Make it fun and put it in a little brown bag and tuck it into a lunch box.  This fresh and simple recipe won’t last long.  A perfect treat to enjoy that can be tailored to you.

I pop my corn on the stove.  It’s just as easy as the microwave kind, without that after taste.  But you use whatever popcorn you prefer.

Mix it up and add sea salt before the last toss.  Or spice it up with nutmeg and cinnamon.  And, of course, you can also add some nuts like almonds or cashews.

 caramel corn viCaramel Popcorn

  • 4 quarts popped popcorn (1/2 C unpopped)
  • 2 C Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 C Corn Syrup
  • 1/2 C Butter
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 1/2 t Baking Soda
  • 1 t Vanilla

 Add popcorn to large shallow roasting pan and place in preheated 250°F oven while preparing caramel.  Mix brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat.  Boil 5 minutes WITHOUT STIRRING. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla. Pour syrup mixture over warm popcorn, stirring to coat evenly. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces. Store inn tightly covered container.



August 18, 2013

chocolate zucchini bread ii

I’m still enjoying zucchini. In the past, my zucchini has fizzled out by now. But not this year. Maybe it’s because of the newspaper I put down in the garden? I really don’t know. And what do you do with those jumbo zucchinis? Why bake with them.

I’ve shared my blueberry zucchini recipe before. This time I found a wonderful chocolate zucchini bread that is out of this world. Meeshie loves it, and she knows there’s zucchini in it. She saw the shredded zucchini in the colander in the sink and asked what I was doing with it. I told her about this wonderful bread, and although she was skeptical, she has managed to each an entire loaf.

It’s not overly sweet, but the cocoa and extra chocolate chips give it a perfect balance.  What I mean is that it tastes like chocolate.  Sometimes chocolate things are just sweet without the flavor of chocolate.  That’s not the case here.  I say that because, although I like chocolate, I don’t LOVE it.  I would not consider myself a chocoholic.  I would consider myself a very particular chocolate eater, though.

And once baked, you don’t see the shredded zucchini at all.

I wish I had a picture of the bread sliced, but I made three loaves with my jumbo zucchini, and once it was sliced it was gone.  I had this one loaf left only because it is a gift for one of my girlfriends.

chocolate zucchini bread

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 C Honey
  • 1/3 C Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 C Brown Sugar
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1/2 t Baking Soda
  • 1/2 t Baking Powder
  • 1/3 C Dutch Process Cocoa
  • 1 2/3 C Flour
  • 2 C Zucchini, shredded
  • 2/3 C Bittersweet Chocolate Chips, divided
  • 1/2 C Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 1/3 C Chopped Nuts, optional ( I used cashews)

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a loaf pan.

In a large bowl, mix the eggs, honey, oil, sugar and vanilla until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine the salt, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa, and flour.  Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, mixing until well combined.  Stir in the zucchini and 1/3 C of the bittersweet chocolate chips and all of the milk chocolate chips.  Add the nuts, if using.

Pour into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 C bittersweet chocolate chips.  You can also sprinkle a small amount of nuts on top, if desired.

Bake for 65-75 minutes until done.  A toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean when done.

Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes before turning out of pan to continue cooling.

Here’s the original recipe.  Thank you King Arthur Flour!


Blueberries for Karen

July 28, 2013

blueberry cobler

It’s blueberry season.

The last two years, I haven’t been able to enjoy blueberry season.  This year we found a new place.  It was a short drive to Michigan, and 15 pounds later here we are.

Now I can make jam, muffins, pie, pancakes, blueberry buckle, blueberry zucchini bread  and cobbler.

Cobbler is one of those great desserts that brings oohs and ahs without much fuss.  Not to mention, you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry.  Cobbler is easily adaptable to most fruit.  I actually love a peach cobbler, but my husband is not a fan of peaches.  So I used the blueberries instead.

This recipe makes quite a bit, so it’s perfect for company.  But if you don’t want to share, I’m not going to judge.

blueberry cobbler iiiBlueberry Cobbler

  • 1/4 C Butter
  • 1 C Flour
  • 2/3 C Sugar, divided
  • 2/3 C Brown Sugar, divided
  • 1 T Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 t Vanilla
  • 2/3 C Milk
  • 4 C Blueberries, fresh
  • 1 T Lemon Juice
  • 1 t Cinnamon
  • 1/2 t Nutmeg
  • 1/2 t Ginger

Melt the butter in a 13×9 baking dish.

Combine the flour, 1/3 C sugar, 1/3 C brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger together.  Add the milk, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.  Pour batter over the melted butter, do not stir.

Bring the 1/3 C sugar, 1/3 C brown sugar, lemon juice and blueberries to a boil in a medium sauce pan, stirring constantly.  Poor fruit mixture over batter, do not stir.

Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve warm with ice cream.


Something for the Trail

May 14, 2013

c ii 11may13Meeshie and I went to camp this past weekend with her girl scout troop.  I love her troop.  Every girl makes me smile and every mom makes me laugh.  To say I had a great weekend, is really underselling it.  We had perfect weather.  The activities included: archery, candle making, rifle shooting, rock climbing, canoeing, paddle boating, hiking and horse back riding.  The picture above is one of the two awesome slides for the girls to enjoy.  The hiking was world-class.  Lots of trails and beautiful sights.

Meeshie asked that I make trail mix for the trip.  This was a perfect treat.  Everyone enjoyed it.  I transferred it to a resealable bag and it went very quickly.

I used a fabulous recipe from Alton Brown.  I love him.  I really wish that Good Eats was still on the air.  I have to get my fix through reruns, which is better than nothing.

The key to good trail mix, in my opinion, is good granola.  Thanks again Alton.

trail mix iiiGranola

  • 3 C Rolled Oats
  • 1 C Silvered Almonds
  • 1 C Cashews, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 C Shredded Sweet Coconut
  • 1/2 t Nutmeg
  • 1 t Cinnamon
  • 1/4 C Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 C Honey
  • 2 T Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 t Salt
  • 1 C Raisins

In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar and raisins.  In a separate bowl, combine the honey, vegetable oil, and salt.  Combine both mixtures and pour the granola on a large jelly roll pan or two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake in 250 degree oven for and hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to prevent over browning.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

trail mix iiTrail Mix

  • 3 C Dried Fruit (I used bananas, mangos and blueberries)
  • 2 C Granola (see above recipe)
  • 1 C M&Ms

Combined ingredients in a large bowl resealable bowl.



Spread the Love

April 21, 2013

banana butterThis wonderful banana butter recipe is to die for.  It’s perfect for pancakes, french toast, toast, muffins, scones, or grilled peanut butter and jelly.  That’s right grilled peanut butter and jelly.

You’ve never had grilled peanut butter and jelly?  Assemble your sandwich as you always do.  Spread butter (or in this case banana butter) on the outside pieces of bread and grill the sandwich like you do with grilled cheese.  The natural sugar in the banana will caramelize, giving the bread a nice crust.  Plus, peanut butter and banana are a marriage made in heaven.

I came across this recipe in the latest Food and Wine.  This magazine is a great resource.  I love the accessibility of the recipes.  Or, in this case, the twist on something simple.  Flavored butter is something I make often, but I never considered adding banana.  The recipe pairs this with blueberry muffins.  Which, I’m making right now.  I’m sure blueberry zucchini muffins would also work.

Impress your friends and whip this up.  Heck, this would be a great gift.  Add it to a basket of muffins and enjoy the accolades.

banana butter vBanana Butter

  • 1/2 C Butter
  • 1 Ripe Banana
  • 1/2 t Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 t Ground Ginger

Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree.

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