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.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Chocolate Thumbprints

L olallieberry jam, C orange marmalade, R chocolate chips
I made several changes to a recipe to suit my chocolate-loving husband, as well as reducing the sugar slightly and simplifying the steps.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa 

1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarse or powdered sugar for rolling
1/2 cup orange marmalade, berry jam, OR 1 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, and salt. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat 1 cup each butter and sugar on until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; beat to combine. Lower mixer speed and gradually add flour mixture. Beat to combine.

Place 1/2 cup coarse sugar in a pie pan. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then roll in sugar to coat. Place balls, 1 inch apart, on parchment-lined baking sheets. Using your thumb or back of a spoon, press a 1/4-inch indentation into the top of each cookie. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon jam or 5-6 chocolate chips* into each indentation.  

Bake until cookies are just set but still look moist, 12-15 minutes.  Let cool on wire racks.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Note:  *Chocolate chips will retain their shape, so after removing from oven, flatten with a knife.  Once cool, place in refrigerator for half an hour or more until the chocolate has set.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Beef Stroganoff

This is a wonderful treat, but especially in the winter.  I've been using this recipe for over 40 years.  There are many recipes that cook it for less time, but this is what I've always made.  Very tender and oh so good.

3-4 Tbsp butter or olive oil              1/3 C flour  
1 onion, chopped                            salt & pepper if needed  
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced                 2 C beef broth
2 lb. sirloin steak, cut in strips         1/2 C red wine (optional)                           
             1/2 C sour cream or creme fraiche*

Saute onion and mushrooms in some of the oil on medium heat until onions are softened and lightly browned.  Remove to a bowl.  Spread beef strips on a cutting board and sprinkle with flour.  (You may need more or less.)  Toss around until they are more or less covered.

Heat more oil and saute half the meat at a time until browned.  Remove to another bowl.  Saute rest of meat, then return first batch of meat to pan.  Add broth and wine.  Let simmer one hour.  Add onion and mushrooms to meat and cook another 20-30 minutes.  

Turn off heat and mix in sour cream.  (Sour cream will curdle if heated too high.  Creme fraiche isn't supposed to.)  

*To make your own creme fraiche, watch Chef John make it here:  creme fraiche

Special Day Waffles

These can be "special day" waffles or you can make them to be "everyday" by varying the amount of a few ingredients.  I like this recipe because you don't need to whip the egg whites, as most waffle recipes call for. * Use the greater amount for Special Day, and the lesser amount for everyday.  Or something in between.  This is another recipe that I've been making for over 40 years.

2 C sifted flour                              2 C buttermilk or sour milk (see note below)
1 Tbsp baking powder                   *2-4 eggs
1 tsp baking soda                          *1/2-1 C melted butter, or salad oil     
1 tsp salt 

Start heating waffle iron as directed.  Melt butter and set aside to cool slightly, if using.

Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Combine buttermilk and eggs in another bowl, then add to the flour.  Beat with a mixer on medium to high until smooth; stir in butter or oil.

When waffle iron is ready to use, pour batter into center of lower half until it spreads about 1" from edges.  Bring cover down gently.  Cook as directed. 

Makes about 10 6" round waffles.

 Note: To make sour milk, add 2 Tbsp vinegar to measuring cup.  Add milk and stir.  Let sit a few minutes before using.

Recipe from : Good Housekeeping Cookbook, 1963