Monday, February 23, 2009


Chicken Flutes - Yields 12 flautas

These are as easy to make as a taco salad. And can be quite a filling meal if topped heavy.

1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
12 7”-8” flour tortillas
Oil for frying.
Spoon 1 rounded tbsp. of the chicken across bottom of each tortilla. Roll up tightly; secure with wooden picks. Heat 1-in of oil to 350ยบ in a 4-quart Dutch oven. Cook tortillas in oil, turning once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes; drain. Remove wooden picks.

Top with desired condiments:
Salsa, Guacamole, Sour cream, Sliced olives, Chili peppers, Grated Cheese, Shredded lettuce, Chopped tomatoes, etc.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Scotch Shortbread

1 lb. butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 cups flour

Cream butter and add sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Add flour and mix well. Chill several hours. Roll out about 1/4 inch thick on floured board. Cut into 2x2 inch squares and place on ungreased baking sheet. Prick each cookie several times with fork. Bake at 325 F about 30 minutes, until cookies are delicately brown. Cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet.

Serve with lemon curd.
Makes about 40 cookies.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Creamed Rutabaga

Rutabaga used to be considered poor man's food because it was easy to grow, like potatoes. This is an easy and nutritious side dish; a nice alternative to mashed potatoes.

1 rutabaga, peeled, cubed
6 carrots, peeled, cut up
¼ cup butter to season
Salt & pepper to taste

Boil veggetables until tender, about 20-30 minutes. Mash and add seasonings.

Abraham Lincoln Meal

Since Jon is such a fan of Abraham Lincoln, last year I researched what Lincoln's favorite foods were and made this meal for him for President's Day. It turned out to be pretty good and we did it again this year. This will probably make it a family tradition to commemorate our 16th President.

Fricasseed Chicken
2 chickens (3.5-4 lb. each) or 5-6 medium-sized chicken breasts
black pepper
3 Tb. butter or margarine
2 lg. onions, diced
2 lg. carrots, coarsely chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly sliced
4 bay leaves
6 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 tsp. dried thyme
3 Tb. flour
3 c. chicken stock
3 c. milk
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Rinse and dry chicken pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Melt butter over stovetop and cook chicken pieces in butter, without browning. When all the chicken, set aside and add onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves and thyme in skillet to cook about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add stock, milk, and nutmeg. Increase heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil. Replace the chicken and cook for another 15-25 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
Chicken and vegetables can then be separated, with the vegetables/sauce served over rice or pilaf and the chicken on the side. Or, the chicken and sauce can be served together.

Mary Todd Lincoln's White Almond Cake
1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
3 c. flour
1 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped baking almonds (no skins)
3 tsp. baking powder
6 egg whites

Cream butter and sugar, sift flour and baking powder together 3 times, and add to butter and sugar alternating with milk. stir in nut meats and beat well. Fold in the stiffly beaten whits and vanilla. Pour into well greased and floured bundt or flute pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for one hour or until cake tests done.
Mr. Lincoln is said to have remarked that Mary Todd's white cake was the best he had ever eaten.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

German Chocolate Cake

I found this wonderful recipe and used it for Josh's birthday cake. The recipe is AMAZING! It is well written, detailed, and the cake cooks perfectly (or maybe it was a fluke thing). Not only was the cake batter perfect but the frosting is really good too.
German Chocolate Cake from Let Joy Resound
I topped my cake with toasted coconut.

I've now made the cake a total of three times (soon to be four). It has turned out perfectly each time and is absolutely heavenly! This recipe is a KEEPER. I've been having nightmares that the above link for some reason won't work and I will not be able to find the recipe so I decided to go ahead and copy the entire recipe over.

4 egg yolks
1 can evaporated milk (12 ounces)
1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar (1 3/4 ounces)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into 6 pieces
1/8 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut (7 ounces)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans (6 1/2 ounces), toasted on baking sheet in 350-degree oven until fragrant and browned, about 8 minutes

1. FOR THE FILLING: Whisk yolks in medium saucepan; gradually whisk in evaporated milk. Add sugars, butter, and salt and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is boiling, frothy, and slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl, whisk in vanilla, then stir in coconut. Cool until just warm, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cool or cold, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. (Pecans are stirred in just before cake assembly.) ***I have never over cooked the frosting but I have slightly undercooked it. Still tastes good but is not as thick and drizzles down the sides.***

4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate , chopped fine
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa , sifted
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces), plus additional for dusting cake pans
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar (about 4 3/4 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon table salt
4 large eggs , room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream , room temperature

2. FOR THE CAKE: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine chocolate and cocoa in small bowl; pour boiling water over and let stand to melt chocolate, about 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth; set aside until cooled to room temperature.

3. Meanwhile, spray two 9-inch-round by 2-inch-high straight-sided cake pans with nonstick cooking spray; line bottoms with parchment or waxed paper rounds. Spray paper rounds, dust pans with flour, and knock out excess. Sift flour and baking soda into medium bowl or onto sheet of parchment or waxed paper.

4. In bowl of standing mixer, beat butter, sugars, and salt at medium-low speed until sugar is moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula halfway through. With mixer running at medium speed, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down bowl halfway through. Beat in vanilla; increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 45 seconds. With mixer running at low speed, add chocolate, then increase speed to medium and beat until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl once (batter may appear broken). With mixer running at low speed, add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream (in 2 additions), beginning and ending with dry ingredients, and beating in each addition until barely combined. After final flour addition, beat on low until just combined, then stir batter by hand with rubber spatula, scraping bottom and sides of bowl, to ensure that batter is homogenous (batter will be thick). Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans; spread batter to edges of pans with rubber spatula and smooth surfaces.

5. Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto greased wire rack; peel off and discard paper rounds. Cool cakes to room temperature before filling, about 1 hour. (Cooled cakes can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.) ***I freeze the cakes in the cake pan after they have cooled for 10 minutes in the pan and about 15 minutes on the wire rack. Freezing them makes cutting them very easy when assembling.***

6. TO ASSEMBLE: Stir toasted pecans into chilled filling. Set one cake on serving platter or cardboard round cut slightly smaller than cake, and second cake on work surface (or leave on wire rack). With serrated knife held so that blade is parallel with work surface, use sawing motion to cut each cake into two even layers. Starting with first cake, carefully lift off top layer and set aside. Using icing spatula, distribute about 1 cup filling evenly on cake, spreading filling to very edge of cake and leveling surface. Carefully place upper cake layer on top of filling; repeat using remaining filling and cake layers. If necessary, dust crumbs off platter; serve or refrigerate cake, covered loosely with foil, up to 4 hours (if refrigerated longer than 2 hours, let cake stand at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes before serving).

Low Fat Blueberry Oat Muffins

Another healthy muffin recipe that uses fresh blueberries. My boys also loved these. They were very moist and cinnamon sweet. I found this recipe at

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 + cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a large bowl combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a medium bowl combine applesauce, buttermilk, sugar, oil and egg. Make a well in dry ingredients and add applesauce mixture. Stir until just moist. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.

Bake for 16-18 minutes (I always cut the time on my oven. Mine cooked for 14 min)

Cranberry, Orange and Pecan Muffins

I found this recipe online, tried it and loved it. I then tried it again with the following modifications with whole wheat and flax. The boys love these muffins inspite of my healthy additions. I will say these are a very dense muffin and on the dry side BUT very yummy and filling. The original recipe was from

2 Cups Wheat Flour (original recipe uses all purpose flour)
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Milled Flax (not in original recipe)
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Cup Craisins
2 tsp Orange Zest
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Orange Juice
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil (original called for 1/2 Cup)
1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
Whole Pecans to Decorate

Preheat oven to 375 and prepare muffin pan.

Soak the Craisins in the orange juice for 20 mins or so (I let them sit while I mix the other ingredients)

In mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, flax, baking powder and salt.

In a smaller mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs then add the oil, cranberry/orange juice mixture, and the orange zest. Then mix the dry and wet ingredients until the dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in the nuts then spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan and top each muffin with a whole pecan.

Bake for 13-20 muffins, until they just start to golden. Don't over cook or they will be even drier and the whole pecan will burn.