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, September 29, 2015

Danish Pork Chops

This is a recipe given to me by the mother of one of my students when I taught in Germany.  It is always so GOOD, but a little on the rich side.

2-4 tablespoons butter/olive oil
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
2 small-medium onions, sliced < 1/4"
4 boneless pork chops, > than 1/2" thick
6-8 slices bacon
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 cup half and half cream

Optional: applesauce to serve on the side

Preheat oven to 350°.

Melt butter in a large skillet.  Sauté mushrooms and onions until onions brown slightly and mushrooms have released their liquor.  Remove to a bowl.  Brown the pork chops in oil on both sides.      Place the pork chops into a baking dish.  Cook bacon until crisp and drain on paper towel, then crumble or chop.

Layer the reserved onions and mushrooms on top of the pork chops.  Next put the bacon and then the parsley on top.  Pour the cream over all.  Bake for about one hour or until tender.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Strawberry Scones with Lemon Glaze

       Unlike most scones, these are tender and moist.  The fresh strawberries make these a special breakfast treat.  To enjoy these year round, or when I have extra strawberries (or other berries)  I cut them up into a 1/4" dice and freeze them in 1 cup portions.  Take out of the freezer so they thaw just enough to break them apart before adding to the dough.
       This is a combination of two recipes; the ingredients are mostly from King Arthur's Flour, and the directions are mostly from America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book (pp. 34-5), with adjustments of my own.  Flour is best measured on a scale.  A loosely packed cup can weigh less than 4 ounces, but a heavily packed cup could equal 5 ounces.

1 cup strawberries, cut into 1/4" pieces*
2 cups all-purpose flour (10 oz)                                  
¼ cup granulated sugar                               
2 teaspoons baking powder                         
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel 
½ cup cold butter, (freeze, then grate most of it into flour)
¾ cup buttermilk 
1 large egg
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice

1.    Preheat oven to 400°.  Place a piece of parchment on a baking sheet.  Place berries on a plate then place in the freezer while you prepare rest of the dough.
2.   Before your hands are covered with dough, get a plate and sprinkle with flour.  (You will need this in step 7.)
3.   In a bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest to blend. Add frozen butter, (grate until you barely have enough to hold) and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.
4.    In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk and egg to blend. Add to flour mixture just until combined; do not overmix.
5.   Turn dough onto a floured surface and, with well-floured hands, knead gently 6-8 times until it just holds together.  Add a little more flour as needed to prevent sticking.
6.   Roll dough out into a 12” square.  Fold 1/3 toward center, then fold other end over to form a long rectangle.  Now fold 1/3 toward center with each side until you have a 4” square.
7.   Place on a floured plate and put into freezer for 5 minutes.  Do not overchill or let freeze.
8.   Remove from freezer and put onto lightly-floured board.  Roll into a 12” square again.  Spread berries evenly onto the square, leaving about 1” space at the end closest to you.  (If berries are not very sweet, sprinkle with sugar.)
9.   Roll into a tight log, sealing the ends, and place with the seam side on the bottom.  Press into a 12x4” or 15x3” rectangle.  Using a sharp, floured knife, cut into 4 or 5 rectangles.  Cut each of the rectangles on the diagonal into 2 triangles.
10. Place on baking sheet. 
11. Bake scones until tops are lightly browned, 18 to 25 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let cool about 10 minutes on baking sheet.
12.Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle glaze over warm scones. Serve scones warm or let cool completely.

Yield:  Makes 8-10 scones  
* blueberries  or raspberries, [break apart raspberries after freezing]
*No berries?  Use frozen or ½ cup dried cranberries and ½ cup chopped nuts instead.

To make up to 24 hours ahead, stop at step 7.  Instead of placing in freezer, cover and place in refrigerator until ready to continue, then proceed to step 8.  If you continue, the frozen berries will bleed out.   It is better to add just before baking.)

To make up to one month ahead, complete through step 9, then freeze on a tray. Transfer to a freezer bag.  Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Wasabi Deviled Eggs

In looking through recipes in my mother's recipe box, I came across some deviled egg recipes clipped from the newspaper years ago.  The one that intrigued me was this one.  
To make great deviled eggs, one needs to have great boiled eggs.  It helps in peeling them, if the eggs have been bought a week or so ago.  Put the eggs in a pot and fill so there is about 1" of water to cover.  Put on high heat and bring to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute, then turn off heat and let rest for about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, get some ice cold water ready.
Drain the water from the pot, run some cold water over them and drain again, then shake the pan to break the shells.  Place the eggs into the ice water for about 15 minutes.  Peel and proceed with the recipe.

6 hard boiled eggs 
1/4-3/8 cup mayo
1-2 tsp of wasabi paste 
1 drop green food coloring (optional)

Cut eggs in half and remove yolks to a bowl.  Mash with a fork then add in mayo* and wasabi paste.  Start with 1 teaspoon, taste and keep adding until it reaches the flavor you want.  (Wasabi can slowly hit you, so be cautious.). Add the food coloring if you desire a greener color.  The color also serves as a warning that this is not a regular deviled egg.
*I like the filling creamy, so I tend to add more mayo than less.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wondra Brownies

I was at my mom's making some gravy, so I used the can of Wondra flour I had seen earlier.  Then I noticed this recipe on the back of the can.  Not having had sweets for awhile, I thought I would make this as a little treat.  It was quick to make and delicious.

1 1/2 cups sugar.                 3/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup flour.                       1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa.                      3 eggs
1/4 tsp salt.                            1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
                                                    1/2 cup chocolate chips** (optional)
                                                    1-2 tsp instant coffee (optional)

Heat oven to 350.*  Grease 8 or 9" square pan and line with waxed or parchment paper.  Grease and lightly flour.  (8" pan results in brownies about 1" thick.  9" will be thinner and take a shorter time to bake.  Your choice)

In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix until combined.  Spread into the prepared pan.

Bake for 25-35 minutes or until top appears dry.  Can be served with whipped or ice cream.

* To bake in muffin pans, heat to 375, use 1/4 C batter in each cup, and bake for 20-30 minutes.
**[We like Hershey's Special Dark chocolate chips the best.]

From a Wondra can.
Wondra Brownies