I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

I Stink, Come Closer.......

If and when I actually follow a recipe while cooking you can be guaranteed that if the recipe calls for fresh garlic that I will double or triple the amount called for. I absolutely adore that stinking rose it has such a multi-faceted flavor personality. It can be bold, sweet, gentle and sometimes a little unkind in certain situations but always gets along well with any dish it touches
In my neighborhood I have at times been referred to as the "Queen of Garlic" since on any given day the exterior pores of my home would excrete garlic's hypnotizing perfume beckoning people to my door. My table has seen many gather round it for many a year filling many with the contentment a good meal and good company can bring. Whoever said garlic keeps people away, if it wasn't for all the darn lights I bet even Dracula himself would be knocking at my door!

Garlic Hot Wings
4 to 6 chopped fresh garlic cloves
1/2 stick butter
4 tbsp. olive oil
6 oz. Frank's hot sauce (Frank's isn't quite as spicy but I think it has one of the best flavors. If you prefer more heat add some crushed red pepper or cayenne or just use a more intense hot sauce).
18 or more med. to lg. chicken wings (wings may be baked, if you prefer)

Heat butter in small saucepan add olive oil and garlic sauté garlic until tender (do not let brown or garlic becomes bitter), heat large pan of vegetable oil (2 to 3 inches).
Cut chicken wings into 3 sections, discard wing tips. Add hot sauce to the butter, olive oil and garlic, keep warm. Deep fry wings until desired shade of brown. Remove, drain on paper towels and place in medium bowl, cover with hot garlic sauce and serve.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

"Happy Birthday To Me"

Words to live by......

I have always liked this poem it expresses so clearly how I strive to be, so I am posting it as a birthday gift to myself to keep me in check whenever I feel myself begin to stray.

Poet: Edgar A. Guest

I have to live with myself and so
I want to be fit for myself to know.

I want to be able as days go by,
always to look myself straight in the eye;

I don't want to stand with the setting sun
and hate myself for the things I have done.

I don't want to keep on a closet shelf
a lot of secrets about myself

And fool myself as I come and go
into thinking no one else will ever know

The kind of person I really am,
I don't want to dress up myself in sham.

I want to go out with my head erect
I want to deserve all humankinds respect;

But here in the struggle for fame and wealth
I want to be able to like myself.

I don't want to look at myself and know that
I am bluster and bluff and empty show.

I never can hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see;

I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself and so,

Whatever happens I want to be
self respecting and conscience free.

This recipe was the one I tended to go to when my Mother asked what I wanted as my special birthday dinner. I always loved when she made this for me, of course you can substitute any type of meat that you like. We always enjoyed it using chuck only because it had a good amount of marbling and as we all know much to the chagrin of our waistlines that fat has a lot of flavor.

Beef Parmesan

1 1/2 - 2 lbs. of Chuck Steak or Roast (cut into one inch strips and pound slightly) to make cutlets
2 tbsp. flour
3/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can tomatoes
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. sweet basil
1 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz. shredded Mozzarella cheese

Cut chuck into one inch strips, sprinkle with garlic salt and flour. Pound thin, between pieces of waxed paper. Sauté quickly in olive oil and butter. Place in baking dish, sprinkle with Parmesan.
Mix tomatoes, breaking them up a bit, with tomato sauce, oregano, basil, parsley, garlic and pepper. Simmer in saucepan 25 minutes. Pour over chuck and top with mozzarella. Bake at 300 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Serves 4.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Family Tree Of Food

While digging through my endless collection of recipes from relatives spanning generations. I came across a recipe that belonged to my great grandmother Mama Rose that was passed down to my grandmother Caroline (Meema) and now it lovingly rests in my possession (granddaughter Julie). All these recipes over time become the family tree of food, a glorious tree whose roots are deeply planted with the love and memories of all the people who loved and fed us throughout the years.
This particular recipe is one I know that I will be sharing and passing along to those that I love and cherish. This recipe is a combination of two desserts that are loved by many; comforting rice pudding and lemon meringue pie. Without giving up its homey nature this dessert can rise to the stature of being elegant, worthy of serving at any type of gathering.

Lemon Rice Pudding with Meringue Topping

1 cup of cold cooked white rice
1 pint of cold milk (16 ounces)
3 eggs, separated
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 1/2 to 2 tbsp. butter
2 cups of sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

Combine rice and milk and 1/2 cup of sugar; add egg yolks, lemon rind and butter. Mix well pour into 9" by 13" bake dish and Bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours.
Beat egg whites until stiff; add remaining 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar along with the juice of one lemon half way into beating. Spread meringue onto cooled pudding and bake at 350 degrees for 10 -15 minutes, just until meringue is browned.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Warming A "Chili" Heart

Why not turn up the heat this Valentines Day and add a little spice to your sweetie's day.
Like they say everything is better with chocolate and this Chili is just added proof of that.
It really makes a difference in a profound way without that OMG someone dropped a candy bar in my Chili reaction. There is a depth and a mouth feel that is uniquely that of chocolate, couple that with all that savory and spicy...well it is just the perfect symphony to serenade your taste buds.
So on this Valentines Day, if it starts to get too Chili, just add chocolate. It will instantly warm the heart of that very special someone.

Chili Con Chocolate

2 lbs. of ground beef
2 (15 oz.) cans of kidney beans
2 (15 oz.) cans of tomato sauce
1 lg. onion, diced
1 lg. green pepper, diced
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies
1/3 c. Chile powder
2 tbsp. of dark brown sugar
2 tbsp. prepared grated horseradish
1 Hershey's Special Dark Bar (1.45 oz.) or just use 1 tbsp. of unsweetened cocoa powder. I prefer the dark chocolate bar; you may also substitute your own favorite chocolate.
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground pepper

In a large pot sauté your ground beef until lightly browned (drain any excessive fat). Add in the rest of the ingredients, set the temperature to medium low and let simmer, covered for 1 hour.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Food Law 101; "Even If You Can't Say It Correctly..It is Perfectly Legal To Eat It"!

What do you get when you cross a waffle, a pancake and a doughnut together? You get Aebleskivers of course! Don't worry about the pronunciation; there will be no test at the end of this post...
Aebleskivers are much easier to make and far easier to eat than they will ever be to say. They even have their own special little pan, which is an absolute must to make these properly. These are so much fun; they end up being the size of a tennis ball with the slight crunch of a waffle, the tenderness of a pancake and the taste and sensory pleasure of munching on a doughnut.
Just like doughnuts Aebleskivers can be eaten plain fried or you can fill them with assorted jams, jellies, chocolate or they are incredibly good with a little mashed ripe banana in the middle. Aebleskivers can be dusted in powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar or can be dunked in maple syrup or whipped cream. You can just go crazy with these little sugary carby delights.
I truly believe that an Aebleskiver pan is a must in everyone's baking pan collection, once you have it you will see just how much fun they are to make as well as eat.


2 c. buttermilk
2 c. flour
2 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. soda
2 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. melted butter

Separate the eggs and beat the whites stiff. Mix all the other ingredients together at one time and beat until smooth. Fold in egg whites last. Put about 1 tablespoon of oil or shortening in the bottom of each cup of the aebleskiver pan and have hot.

Pour in about 2 tablespoons of batter into cup and as soon as they get bubbly around the edge turn quickly. Use forks to turn continue cooking turning the ball to keep from burning.

If you would like these filled add your choice of filling (no more than a teaspoon full) to the center of the batter right before you flip your Aebleskiver over. When finished roll in sugar or leave plain, may also dunk in syrup or dip in whipped cream.