Here's to good food!

I am finally putting my tried and true family recipes here. Check out my old-time favorites as well as newly discovered ones.

I hope you'll find some recipes here that you enjoy cooking, and those you cook for will find them tasty and satisfying.
Are you looking for something special? Something quick and easy? You'll find it here somewhere.
Check in often to see what's cooking in Monterey!

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. ~Luciano Pavarotti

If you are posting from this site, please give appropriate credit and notify me. Thank you.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cobb Salad with Dressing

For those of you who are interested in making the salad, here is the recipe.  The interesting thing was that all the lettuce was chopped, and they brought it to the table with the toppings laid out, but they tossed it, which I thought makes a lot of sense, and of course, it tasted better with the ingredients mixed together.

½ head Iceberg lettuce                       6 strips crisp bacon
½ bunch watercress                           1 avocado
1 small bunch chicory                         3 hard boiled eggs
½ head romaine                                 2 Tbsp chives, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, peeled              ½ C bleu cheese, crumbled
½ breast turkey, poached                  1 C dressing * (seems like a LOT)

Chop all greens finely and arrange in salad bowl.  Cut tomatoes in half, remove seeds, and dice fine.  Also fine dice turkey, avocado, and eggs.  Arrange the above ingredients, including the bleu cheese and bacon crumbles, in straight lines across the salad.  Arrange chive diagonally across the above lines.  Present this at the table, toss the salad with the dressing and place on chilled plates.

Makes 4-6 servings.

* See Brown Derby Cobb Salad Dressing

Brown Derby Cobb Salad Dressing

Cobb Salad was one of my favorite salads from when I first read a recipe for it in the early to mid 1980s.  It was awhile before it showed up on restaurant menus, and now just about every restaurant has some version of it.  The story goes that it was invented at the Brown Derby Restaurant in Hollywood late one night using up ingredients in the fridge.  When we visited MGM Studios at Disney World, we ate the Cobb Salad at the Brown Derby, where they gave out the recipe.  I've never made the entire recipe, but I use the salad dressing often.

I have included proportions for three different amounts as the original recipe makes a LOT!
Makes: 1 1/2 cups  2 cups 6 cups
1/4 t sugar 1/2 t 1 t
1 3/4 t salt 2 1/2 t 2 1/2 T
3/4 t black pepper 1 t 1 T
1/4 t ground mustard 1/3 t 1 t
3/4 t worcestershire sauce 1 t 1 T
1 clove garlic 1 clove 1 clove
1/4 C water 1/3 C 1 C
3/4 C salad oil 1 C 3 C
1/4 C red wine vinegar 1/3 C 1 C
1 1/2 t lemon juice 2 t 2 T
1/4 C olive oil 1/3 C 1 C

5 Cs-- Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is THE chocolate chip cookie recipe I've dreamed of.  One that produces a crisp, crunchy cookie but not too thin with buttery goodness!  It was among my clipped recipes from Sunset Magazine, December 1995.  I finally got around to baking it.  

If you like this type of cookie, this may become your favorite!  In a limited taste test several years ago, we found that the chocolate chips we liked best were Hershey's Special Dark mildly sweet chocolate chips.  We have not tried too many of the higher % chocolate chips.  I'm sure we would like those too, since we are fans of dark chocolate.  AND this recipe does not have any eggs in it.  It is not forgotten in the ingredient list.

1 cup ( ½ lb.) butter, melted and cooled

1 ½ cup all-purpose flour        
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼  teaspoon salt

¾  cup firmly packed brown sugar
½  cup granulated sugar
½  teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (9 oz.)
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts (nutty flavor is better when hand chopped very coarsely)

·         1.  Melt butter and cool to room temperature; set aside.
·         2.  In a small bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
·         3.  In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla until well blended and smooth; scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
·         4.   Stir or beat flour into butter mixture until well incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
·         5. Dough will be crumbly; pinch into 1-tablespoon lumps and place about 2 inches apart, onto sheets of parchment paper placed on cookie sheets.
·         6. Bake in a 315-325° oven. (Start with lower temperature, then raise if necessary.)  Bake until cookies are an even golden brown, 18 to 24 minutes.  [I checked for doneness by touching lightly.  The color doesn’t change much.]  If baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking.
·         7. Let cookies cool on pan for about 3 minutes, then with a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.

Makes about 4 dozen.
(I've increased the recipe by half.) 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Eileen's Coffee Cake

I have made this coffee cake for over 30 years.  It is adapted from an old Sunset recipe, but I have changed and adjusted it so the recipe is now truly mine.  My students used to make a "cake mix" (through step 2 of the recipe) for the 8 x 8" size to give as gifts to their parents for the holidays.
I've added fresh fruit to it on occasion.  Bake an extra 10-20 minutes.

            1 1/4 C flour
            3/4 C sugar
            1/4 tsp cinnamon
            1 Tbsp molasses
            1/3 C salad oil
            1/4 C oatmeal
            1/2 tsp cinnamon
            1/4 tsp nutmeg (opt)
            1/4 C chopped nuts (opt)
            1/2 tsp baking soda
            1/2 tsp baking powder

            1 egg
            1/2 C milk or water
            2 tsp vinegar

            In a bowl, mix together first 6 ingredients.  Remove an amount equal to the oil that was added.  (1/3 C)  This will be for the topping.  Add the nutmeg, cinnamon, oatmeal, and nuts; mix and set aside.

            To the remaining mixture, add the baking soda and baking powder.  This much can be done the night before or up to 6 weeks earlier.

            When ready to bake, combine the egg, vinegar, and liquid together in a small bowl, and then add to the main mixture.  Blend together; mixture will still be a little lumpy.  (Also, the batter is fairly thin in consistency and will not fill your pan very high, either.)  Pour into a greased and floured 8 x 8" baking pan.  Sprinkle the topping over the batter.  Bake at 350o oven for 25-30 minutes, or until wooden pick comes out clean.

Tastes best when served warm.

*To make in a 9 x 13" pan, double everything EXCEPT: use 2 1/4 C flour, and only 1 egg.

Greek Style Skillet Supper

I had made this several years ago from a McCormick recipe card and thought it was simple and tasty.  When I looked for the recipe on the McCormick website today, they had increased the amount of beef and the number of servings.

Prep Time: 5 minutes           Cook Time: 25 minutes

½-1* pound ground beef
½ cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons oregano leaves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 can (14½ ounces) reduced sodium beef or chicken broth
1 can (14½ ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1½ cups uncooked penne pasta
1½ cups frozen cut green beans, thawed
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese, divided

1. Cook ground beef and onion in large skillet on medium-high heat until beef is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Drain fat. Add oregano, cinnamon and garlic powder; mix well.

2. Stir in broth, tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to boil. Stir in pasta. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 10 minutes or until pasta is nearly tender. Stir in green beans and 1/2 cup of the feta cheese. Cover. Cook 5 minutes longer or until pasta is tender.

3. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup feta cheese. Cover. Let stand 5 minutes.

*Makes 4-6 servings.

* ½ pound for 4 servings, 1 pound for 6 servings.