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19th-Dec-2013 01:13 am - Previously unknown genre of art
I thought I had posted this before (as a reminder to myself) but I couldn't find it. SO I'm posting now and will tag it correctly so next time I want to find it I can get to it quickly.

Discovered a previously unknown genre of art. It occured in the 20's and 30's. Japanese Ukiyo-e techniques applied by Japanese artist with western training. Sort of like Ukiyo-e meets Ansel Adams and the impressionists of the American West. Probably considered derivative, but it speaks to my soul, so nyah!

Hiroshi and Toshi Yoshida. Google it!
Before I forget, new recipe I made for my daughter's birthday cake. Here is a link to the FB pic, I've given up on adding pics to LJ (for the moment): https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10201769957784943&set=a.3397246924227.2150307.1061344623&type=1&theater

The recipe is a riff on my friend Kathy's "Best Ever Banana Bread" recipe which I posted a while ago. One small can of Pumpkin makes 1.5 of these recipes, but my cake was not tall enough, so I'd double the recipe if I made it again and just find something else to do with the leftover canned pumpkin.


Best Ever Pumpkin Bread

Sift together, set aside

1 ¾ c. flour
1 ½ c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
½ t. salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
¼ tsp cloves

Mix

2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
½ c. veg. oil
¼ c. buttermilk plus 1 Tbs.
1 t. vanilla

Add combined wet ingredients to flour mix stirring until just combined. Pour into greased and floured 9 x 5 x 3 baking pan.


Bake 325 for 1 hour and 30 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack before removing from pan.

NOTES:

TO make an easy pumpkin shaped cake, double this recipe and bake it in 2 bundt cake pans. In a bundt pan, start checking for doneness at 45 minutes.



Ginger Spice Buttercream

To taste, add approx 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp ground cloves to your favorite buttercream recipe. You don't need to make the icing strongly spicy, it just needs to have a slight hint of spice to amplify the flavor of the cake. Depending on the amt your recipe makes, you may need to double the amt of spices. This will turn the frosting a light tan. Any colors you make with this will be slightly duller than normal.
25th-Oct-2013 12:56 am - Bratwurst Delight
This is more to jog my memory than a real finished recipe, but if you can cook by the seat of your pants, it is yummy:

Make spaetzle using:
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
a little bit of water

Drain spaetzle, reserve 1 cup of water, put spaetzle in bowl, add 1 tbsp butter

Saute a diced onion in a little oil until golden. Add 4 -6 bratwurst and brown lightly. Add some starchy water from the spaetzle and de-glaze pan. Throw in a few sprigs of fresh rosemary. Cover and simmer for a while, removing rosemary just before the needles start to fall off. Add a few tbsp of mustard. When water has cooked almost away, add 1/2 cup of milk or half & half and reduce by half. Throw in spaetzle and stir until sauce coats spaetzle and is mostly absorbed.
13th-Oct-2013 04:25 pm - Brownie Recipe
EDITED 3/1/14 FINAL VERSION OF RECIPE:

This is result of 5th trial of brownie recipes. I thought the Test Kitchen version was a little too gooey, so I added a little more flour and added baking powder, and also added the ganache frosting which adds chocolate flavor and also balances the sweetness of the brownies. I am going to test it one more time using three eggs instead of two eggs and two yolks and see if that works.

As with all Test Kitchen recipes, they aren't fooling around with the instructions, and when they say it needs to cool for a certain amount of time, they are telling the truth! These really need that amount of cooling down to reach the right consistency, otherwise they fall apart when you try to cut them. IMO, these are actually better on the second day.

CHEWY BROWNIES
(Slightly modified Test Kitchen recipe)

yield: 24 brownies

prep time: 15 minutes

cook time: 40 to 50 minutes

INGREDIENTS:
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
½ cup plus boiling water
2 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2½ cups (17½ ounces) sugar
2 cups (8¾ ounces) all-purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

GANACHE FROSTING
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
3 – 4 oz heavy cream (use 3 oz in summer and 4 oz in winter)

PB FROSTING LAYER
(this goes on uneven and lumpy, so use UNDERNEATH the ganache or see if it's prettier if you melt it)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
6 tbsp butter, softened
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS:
1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving about a one-inch overhang on all sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk cocoa and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add 2 oz semisweet chocolate chips and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. (Mixture may look curdled.) Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined. Fold in 4 oz semisweet chocolate chips.

3. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted near the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool 1½ hours. While brownies are cooling, bring cream to full boil. Whisk in 6 oz semi-sweet chips and whisk until completely smooth and whisk for 1 minute longer. Allow frosting to cool to room temp.

4. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Return brownies to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. (about 1 hour) Flip brownies over and peel foil from bottom of brownies. Return brownies to pan. Pour cooled frosting over brownies, using a spatula to distribute evenly almost to the edge of brownies. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
31st-Jul-2013 12:56 am - Sweet Corn Dumplings of Delish
I had some leftover sweet corn, so I created this recipe and was pleased with the results. I will make this again.

Sweet Corn Dumplings

1 cup flour
.5 tsp salt
.5 tsp nutmeg
.75 tsp dried thyme
1.5 tsp baking powder

1/3 stick butter

2 eggs, beaten
Approx 1/8 to 1/4 cup milk

Kernels cut from 2 ears cooked sweet corn, slightly crumble

Mix dry ingredients together. Cut in butter. Stir eggs into mixture. Stir in enough milk to make a batter slightly thicker than pancake batter. Because you will be adding so much corn, you don’t need to worry about over-beating making it tough, especially if you are stirring by hand.

Fold in corn.

Drop by rounded tablespoons into gently simmering stew or soup, cover and cook for about 20 minutes until dumplings are risen and done in the center.

Serves 4 – 6

Variations:
1. This would be good with lemon thyme or some lemon zest.
2. Replace nutmeg with 1 tsp cumin seeds that have been toasted and then ground. Serve with Mexican food.
4th-Jul-2013 02:00 am - PIckle Potato Salad
I was only going to post a link to the original recipe on FB, but when I went back to look at it, I realized I had modified it so much I need to write down what I did if I want to make it again. And a unanimous vote tells me I need to make it again! Unfortunately for people who don't cook that way, I'm a little vague on exact measures.

PICKLE POTATO SALAD

5 Russet potatoes the size of my fist, boiled, slighty cooled, cubed (3/4 to 1 inch cubes)
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup finely diced celery, including leaves

Dressing
3/4 cup bread and butter pickle juice
"enough" oil
1 heaping tsp miracle whip
black pepper to taste

Mix salt into diced onion and let marinate for 30 to 60 minutes.
Squeeze and discard onion juice. Put diced onions in a strainer and rinse and squeeze out extra moisture (If you were putting this into anything other than a pickle-juice dressing, the salt would be just right without rinsing)

Put pickle juice in a large bowl, and drizzle in oil (to taste, I like about equal amts oil and juice) while whisking vigourously. When it reaches a good consistency (vinaigrette) add miracle whip and whisk until smooth and emulsified. It may get very thick at this point, but don't worry, it will be OK. Stir in onions, and then pour dressing over potatoes and celery. Mix and refrigerate.

Variations:

Add 2 tbsps mustard to dressing.

Add 1/2 cup chopped pickles

Add bacon

Add chopped, hard-boiled eggs
26th-Mar-2013 01:45 am - BEST EVER BANANA BREAD
Seriously, I don't even like banana bread, and when I tasted this I begged the cook for the recipe! Of course, no recipe goes through my hands unchanged and I never make anything the same way twice, but all I added to this was a hint of cinnamon and cloves. I have no idea where the original recipe came from, and I can't exactly figure out why this is so delicious. Perhaps the long cooking period brings out the intense banana flavor. I think there is a bit more sugar than typical, which probably is what makes the crust so deliciously crunchy. It definitely has more oil or butter than most recipes which contributes to it's moistness.

Best Ever Banana Bread

Sift together, set aside

1 ¾ c. flour
1 ½ c. sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cloves

Mix

2 eggs
1 cup mashed overripe bananas
½ c. veg. oil or melted butter, cooled
¼ c. buttermilk plus 1 Tbs.
1 t. vanilla
1 c. chopped nuts


Add liquid ingredients to flour mix stirring until just combined. Add nuts. Pour into greased and floured 9 x 5 x 3 baking pan.


Bake 325 for 1 hour and 30 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack before removing from pan.

NOTES:

2 or 2 & 1/2 bananas usually makes about one cup of mashed banana. Slice the leftover banana and layer in the middle of the batter or decorate the top of the bread with banana slices.

You can substitute ¾ tsp of ground cardamom for the cinnamon and cloves.

This took about 1 hour 45 minutes in my oven. If you put it in 2 smaller pans it would cook faster, I’d guess it would take an hour, but I’d start checking them at 45 minutes.

If you use chopped almonds (IMO, a rather felicitous pairing with bananas) you can add ½ tsp of almond extract to the batter.

A tbsp or so of grated orange zest would be nice with this, also.
16th-Feb-2013 02:39 am - Lime and Onion Chicken
I've been trying to recreate the flavor of Persian Chicken Kabobs with less work than the real recipe, and this time I got a "keeper"

LIME AND ONION CHICKEN with CRANBERRY ONION CHUTNEY

1 large onion, sliced as thin as possible
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
4 chicken leg quarters

1 cup fresh cranberries
1/4 cup sugar

Cut off any large hunks of fat from the chicken legs and discard, or render and save for different recipe. Pull back the skin from the thighs and top of drumsticks and pierce the meat of each chicken leg in 10 or 12 places with a fork. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl or ziplock bag large enough to hold the chicken legs. Add chicken legs to the marinade and arange so legs are as completeley covered as possible. Marinate for one hour at room temp or 4 hours in fridge, re-arranging the legs occasionally so that all sides of the legs get some time in the marinade.

Remove legs from marinade and arrange on baking sheet, pulling skin back up to cover the meat. Don't worry if there are some slivers of onions stuck to the legs or under the skin. Bake at 350 for about 80 minutes and then turn heat up to 400 to crisp the skin for 10 or 15 more minutes. Meat thermometer should read 195 or 200 degrees. (I don't care if they say the correct temp should be lower, I like the fat to render on legs!! At that temp the meat should be almost falling off the bone, but not dry. Breast meat should only cook to about 160, though, if you are using that.)

While chicken is cooking, put leftover marinade and onions from marinade in a small saucepan. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes until onions are very soft and translucent. Add 1 cup fresh cranberries (substitute 1/2 cup craisins or dried sour cherries, if desired) and simmer briskly for about 1/2 hour until cranberries pop and cook down very soft. Add up to 1/4 cup sugar to taste. If cranberries seem bitter add a dash or two of distilled vinegar or lime juice. If desired, add a tablespoon or two of rendered fat from the chicken legs to the chutney.

Serve with buttered basmati rice.

NOTE: the REAL Persian recipe would add about 1/2 teaspoon of crushed saffron to the marinade. I'm going to do that next time, but I wanted to get the acid balance right before I used the saffron. It is DELICIOUS even without the saffron!

You could also add some very thin lime slices to the marinade and cook them into the chutney.
2nd-Feb-2013 11:31 am - Double Strawberry Bread Pudding
Strawberries were on sale at Produce Junction, 2 qts for 2 dollars! But then I had to figure out what to do with them. I've been making strawberry bread pudding for a couple of years, but it only just occurred to me to add extra strawberries on top, as in Smitten Kitchen's "Strawberry Summer Cake". And it also just occurred to me that if you BLEND the strawberries into the egg mixture, you don't need to pre-cook the strawberries so they don't come out half-raw. This was an experiment, but I don't think it needs any changes.


PUDDING INGREDIENTS

3 eggs
1 & 2/3 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1 pint strawberries, hulled
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1 tbsp lemon zest or a couple drops lemon oil

4 slices white sandwich bread, ripped into 1" chunks

TOPPING INGREDIENTS

1 pint strawberries, hulled and halved
1/4 cup sugar


INSTRUCTIONS:

Blend or process all pudding ingredients except bread until almost smooth. Pour into greased 12" square pan. Add bread chunks, stir gently and allow bread to absorb pudding mixture for 10 minutes. Top evenly with strawberry halves, cut side down. You may overlap strawberries slightly. Sprinkle strawberries with sugar.

Bake in a 325 oven for an hour to an hour an 15 minutes, or until center is set and a knife comes out clean.

Cool and refrigerate.

Serve with whipped cream or strawberry ice cream. If you serve it with whipped cream, you can call it "Triple Strawberry Delight".
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