Monday, October 17, 2011


I was watching Mario on the Chew and he made an interesting chicken dish.  So I went on line to print it.

What a wonderful surprise.

He or someone with a brain reformatted how the recipe is listed.  I was so impressed.

I do some of mine in groups of :  Pot #1   Pot #2  etc...

On here its not so easy to do it that way just the way the blog is formatted and readable.

Check out the Chew reciipes.  

Thursday, September 22, 2011



A wonderful full flavored soup.  Its even good cold.


8 ripe tomatoes, cut in quarters
butter  (optional)
1 medium onion cut in quarters
1 stalk celery chopped
1 carrot, chopped
5 cups chicken stock
10 oz  blue cheese (I did not measure.  You might want to.)
¼ cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup half and half or fat free
Black pepper

2 T. Parsley for garnish
3 T. crumbled bacon


In a saucepan on the stove, Place tomatoes, onion, celery and a carrot.  Cover.
Simmer for 20 minutes or until soft. Add chicken stock.
Heat again.  Then place in food grinder and puree.  Throw out the skin and seeds. 
Place pureed soup minus the seeds etc... back into pot.
Mix  by shaking flour and some cold water in small container until no lumps of flour are left.
Slowly add to soup pot.  Mix flour and soup.  Crumble blue cheese in soup and bring to boil.  Stir until all cheese is dissolved.
Use a immersion blender to smooth the soup.  Now heat on low and slowy add half and half.  Do not boil. 

Serve in a bowl with crumbled bacon and more blue cheese.  Sprinkle with parsley.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Shopping at the local Winco

Today I was in Winco and it was "Come to Winco Day for all parolees or former residents of our penal system". How did I know? I just read their tattooes. They were pushing the cart while their women and kids discussed nutritional content. Okay I am joking. They were complaining about the prices. So math was involved.
I wanted to say "Hey, bro, either shop or shoplift". One must ultimately make a decision.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

LAMB SHANKS in a tomato sauce

Lamb Shanks
I cut the recipe in half and made it for my family and they wanted the recipe after eating it. This was their photo at the end of the dinner.  No meat left at all.
I extended cooking time, omitted fennel and will puree half of the cooked sauce and then add it back next time. Otherwise its the original recipe.
This is from the recipe on Food network but changed a little.
Mark Morais, owner of Giusti's in Walnut Grove, CA

Cook Time:    2 hr 15 min  (I roasted it 3 hours)  It was perfect.
4 servings

1 gallon water  1/2 cup sugar  1/2 cup salt

4 to 6 lamb shanks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Granulated garlic, to taste

All-purpose flour, to coat
2 to 3-ounces virgin olive oil
1 (96-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (Or a mix of whole tomatoes crushed)
2 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 bulb fresh fennel, chopped  (omitted for my taste)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup red wine
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup freshly chopped Italian parsley leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
1/2 cup freshly chopped oregano leaves, plus sprigs for garnish Italian Cheese,for garnish.


For the brine:

Place the water, sugar, and salt into a large container. Carefully add the lamb shanks and soak for 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove shanks from the brine and pat dry. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic, to taste.

Coat shanks with flour and saute in 2 to 3-ounces of virgin olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes each side.

Place the shanks in a roasting pan with the crushed tomatoes.

In same saute pan that the shanks were seared in, saute the carrots, celery stalks, onion, fresh fennel and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and add to the roasting pan.

Deglaze saute pan with 1 cup each red wine and orange juice. Reduce by half and add to roasting pan.

Add 1/2 cup each fresh Italian parsley and fresh oregano to roasting pan.
Cover and roast in oven for 2 hours or until tender. After 1 hour, turn shanks
and cover for remaining time, making sure shanks are covered in the gravy.

Remove shanks.  
My change is: 
Remove half of the sauce which is chunky and puree. Add this puree back to the rest of the sauce.  Replace shanks in pan and serve.
Garnish with fresh oregano sprigs and parsley and your favorite Italian cheese.
Best served with polenta!.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Alton Brown's chocolate chip cookies revisited

If you have seen the video on Food Network, its very good.  
I just changed a few things.



2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (or bread flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
14-15 T butter softened
¼  cup granulated sugar             
1¼  cup packed brown sugar        
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Egg Plus 1 Yolk.
2 T Sour Cream   (To Replace The Missing Egg White)
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.)   Chocolate Chips
1 cup  walnuts

Mix as usual. 
Cream  Eggs, sour cream, butter, sugar and vanilla
Cool in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Place on cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 for 10 minutes or more

NOTE:  Egg whites dry out cookies.  So to keep them moist, he added milk which I changed to sour cream.  Also I cut the butter back.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Italian Polenta Cookies

I have just started to make these cookies.  So far I have added chopped apricots and toasted almonds to one batch with no lemon zest.  The plain ones are very nice.  They do take long to bake.  It seems more like 20 minutes but they can burn so watch carefully.


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 

1 cup Italian polenta or coarse yellow cornmeal 

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 

2/3 cup sugar 

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest oe orange zest 

1 large egg plus

1 large egg yolk 

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together flour, polenta, and salt in a bowl.

Mix butter, sugar, and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer.  I used a hand mixer.

Add egg and egg yolk, one at a time, beating after each addition to combine.

Mix in vanilla or   almond extract   or    rum extract

Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until just combined.

Dump 1/2 of the dough onto a large piece of parchment paper.
Fold paper over and press against the paper and push the dough into a cookie roll with a straight ruler or some other straight edge.
Wrap up and place in the freezer.

Do same with the second half of dough.

Chill in freezer until dough is firm about 30 minutes.

Remove from freezer.  Cut into round cookies just like any other cookie roll.
Bake on parchment paper.  You can score the cookies much like a peanut butter cookie too.

Bake cookies until edges are golden, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.

Transfer cookies on parchment to wire racks; let cool about 10 minutes.

Remove cookies from parchment, and transfer to racks to cool completely.

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.


Traditional way:   Did not try this yet.
Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 7/16-inch star tip (such as Ateco #825).
Pipe S shapes about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide, spacing 1 ½ inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


This is a nice dark rich biscotti.  I used special dark cocoa and Starbucks VIA coffee package for the flavor.  Very nice. 


4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
7- 8 Tablespoons butter at room temp.

1½  cups sugar
1/2  cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 T grated orange zest (optional)
1 pkg  Starbucks VIA Ready brew coffee (optional)

1 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips or less
1 1/4 cup chopped walnuts  or less
1 cup dried cranberries, soaked in water and patted dry
1 cup dried apricots, chopped, soaked in water and patted dry

Chocolate flavoring:

2 (2 bricks) cubes of semi sweet chocolate cooking bars, 1 T butter (from recipe), melted in microwave on defrost for about 1 minute. 

2 ½ T to 3 1/2 T of the Hersey’s Special dark chocolate cocoa added to the dry.

1 pkg Starbucks VIA Ready brew Italian roast sprinkled into the warm 
cubes chocolate and then added to wet mixture. 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, 
orange zest or peel, cocoa 
and salt. Stir well.

Combine sugar and butter.  Beat. 
Add  eggs and beat well. 
Add vanilla extract and mix. 

Add melted cubes of chocolate.

Mix into flour mixture. 

Add chocolate chips and walnuts, cranberries, apricots. Stir well. Usually stiff so by wooden spoon or your hands.

To shape the dough into a log, lightly sprinkle flour on the work surface, on top of the dough, and on your hands.  Or refrigerate for 30 minutes. Its easy to handle with no additional flour. Butter helps by hardening some.

Use parchment paper for the baking.

Bake logs 28 minutes or until dough pops back up when lightly pressed with a finger.

Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes on a wire rack.

Reduce oven to 300 or less degrees. Using a long serrated knife, cut logs.

Second Baking:  Bake another 15 minutes.

NOTE:  Do not crowd the biscotti slices on the baking sheet for their second baking as they need the hot air to circulate to enable them to crisp up evenly.

Remove from oven and cool completely on wire racks.  Or cold tile counter

Yields about 6 dozen biscotti.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bad Recipes

I have a complaint on recipes found on the net.  I love Rachel Ray but sometimes recipes fall flat.  I did one of hers and its terrible.  Lentils and Potato Salad.  A real dog.  Its gotten terrible reviews but I tried it anyway. She needs to remove it.

Why keep it up online if its so bad?  Beats the heck out of me.