Monday, July 27, 2015

Cherry Lemonade

It's cherry season, and we're inundated with my favorite fruit: Door County tart cherries. Here's something I threw together while pitting three grocery bags full of them:


  • Two cups pitted tart cherries, fresh or frozen
  • One cup of lemon juice (This was about five large lemons for me)
  • One cup of sugar (or a cup-for-cup substitute), to taste
  • Eight cups of water
Use a blender to puree the cherries, then run the result through a fine strainer. You can use the strainer again for the lemon juice if you don't want pulp in the final product.

In a large pitcher, combine the strained cherry puree, lemon juice, water, and finally the sugar, and stir until combined. This mixture will settle a bit in the fridge but usually recombines with a good stir or shake.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Italian Chicken Nachos

When my schedule is busy, it typically revolves around a lot of evening meetings and, unfortunately, a lot of eating out. I tried to combat that this week with a collection of crock pot meals, and this is my favorite. To give credit where it's due, the starting point for this recipe was this version at Beyer Beware.


  • One pound of boneless, skinless raw chicken (breasts, thighs or tenders should all work)
  • One 12-ounce jar of mild pepper rings (I used 3/4 of a 16-ounce jar)
  • Two .7 ounce packets of dry Italian dressing mix
  • One bag of tortilla chips
  • One cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 pound of sliced mushrooms
  • One regular size or two Roma tomatoes, diced
  • About 1/4 cup sliced black olives (half of a small can)
Combine the chicken, pepper rings (with the liquid from the jar) and dry Italian dressing mix and cook in a slow cooker on low for at least three hours. More time wouldn't hurt, but that was enough for me. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and shred it, then return it to the slow cooker while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Saute the mushrooms in a little olive oil until they've reduced a bit and are tender. Line a cookie sheet with foil and grease it with a little cooking spray, then layer the ingredients in this order:
  • Tortilla chips
  • Chicken and pepper mixture (allow the liquid to drain off as you remove it from the slow cooker)
  • Cheese
  • Mushrooms and olives
  • Tomatoes (or you can wait and add these after baking)
Bake this on a high rack in the oven for eight minutes at 350, then switch to the broiler and allow it to cook for another two minutes or so, until the cheese browns a little.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Italian Marinated Turkey Burgers with Fresh Mozzarella and Roasted Red Pepper Aioli

Here's the first entry in a project I'm calling Burger Quest. I've been making a lot of burgers in various forms lately and really enjoying the results, so it's time to start documenting them for my own future reference, and hopefully so you can enjoy them too.

Lean ground turkey is (in theory and when properly labeled, at least) a somewhat healthier alternative to ground beef, but when it's overcooked and dry it just becomes a flavorless hockey puck. Marinating helps some, but you still have to be careful or your healthy alternative won't be very satisfying.

A great collection of toppings helps too, and this burger has lots of them: Deli pepperoni, fresh mozzarella, sauteed mushrooms, and roasted red pepper aioli add a lot to this dish.


  • One pound of lean ground turkey (I bought it pre-pattied)
  • 1/2 cup light Italian dressing
  • Four ounces of sliced baby portobello mushrooms
  • 1-2 tbsp hard apple cider or beer (I prefer hard cider) - optional
  • Roughly 12 slices of deli pepperoni
  • Four thick slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Roasted red pepper aioli (see recipe below)
  • A bun or some lettuce or whatever you're going to use to keep meat and cheese from getting burger all over your hands.
If you didn't buy pre-pattied burgers, divide your ground turkey into four patties, place them in a container you can seal, pour the Italian dressing over them, cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. 

While you're waiting for that, you can make the aioli. 

Aioli ingredients:

  • One red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • A pinch of salt
Preheat your oven to 500, line a small oven-safe vessel with foil, put your red pepper on it and place it in the oven. Bake about 20-30 minutes, turning the pepper periodically until it's charred on all sides. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for a bit.

Once the pepper has cooled enough to handle, it should be relatively easy to peel it and remove the stem and seeds. Place the peeled, seedless pepper into a food processor with the mayonnaise, garlic powder and salt and process until smooth.

Saute the mushrooms in a little oil until they're softened. Once they're cooked I like to add a bit of hard cider to deglaze the pan a bit.

Now, for the burgers: Grill them for about 4-5 minutes on medium-high heat or until done (your grill times may vary based on your grill and the thickness of your burgers). When the second side is a minute or two away from being done, put a layer of pepperoni and a slice of the fresh mozzarella on top and cover the grill to trap in the heat and allow the cheese to melt.

Spread some aioli on the bottom of the bun, then add some mushrooms and place the burger, pepperoni and cheese on top. I enjoyed this with some grilled asparagus.

Chicken Dumpling Soup

I LOVE chicken or turkey dumpling soup, and I've experimented with so many recipes over the years. I've never found one that's easier or turned out better than my mom's, however, and I've probably asked her for the dumpling ingredients half a dozen times over the years. Now I'm finally documenting it, so I'll have it when I need it again.

Ingredients for soup:

  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 medium onion
  • Half of a red bell pepper
  • 10 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, in bite-size pieces
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Chop and saute the carrots, celery, onion and pepper with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt on medium-high heat until softened a bit. Add the stock, chicken, thyme, rosemary, sage, bay leaves and more salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or more. At this point, remove the bay leaves.

Ingredients for dumplings:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Milk (see below)
To make the dumplings, combine the flour, eggs, baking soda and salt, then add milk until a stiff dough forms. Drop into soup by the spoonful, raise the heat a bit, cover and cook for 15 minutes before serving. Salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Roasted Brussels Sprouts And Apples

FOUND IT: On, via Pinterest.

22-year-old me would have laughed out loud if you'd told him that 29-year-old me LOVES Brussels sprouts. I'm becoming the guy I hated when I was a kid, who hears you think you don't like something and makes you try them again his way.

I've already handed this recipe out a couple of times now to people like me who just recently discovered that sprouts don't suck.

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, with the stems trimmed off, halved lengthwise and with the loose leaves removed.
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced (the original recipe calls for Fuji or Braeburn)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans (original recipe called for walnuts)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Toss the sprouts, apples, oil, salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway through. They're done when they're fork-tender and browned on the edges.

In a large bowl stir together the cooked sprout mixture, cranberries, walnuts and maple syrup.

Crock Pot Cashew Chicken

FOUND IT: On, via Pinterest.

I did my best to make this a little healthier, and served it to rave reviews.

  • One pound boneless chicken breasts or thighs.
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 lb fresh mushrooms (I used white), chopped small
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (I use reduced sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup 
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • Two cups steamed broccoli (optional)
  • About two cups cooked brown rice.
Chop the chicken into small bite-sized pieces. Combine the flour and pepper in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, then add the chicken and shake to coat. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and brown the chicken. Add the cooked chicken and the mushrooms to your slow cooker.

In a bowl combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes, then pour this over the chicken and stir. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, then stir in the cashews and serve with the broccoli and rice.

Chicken Marsala

FOUND IT: On, via Pinterest.

One of the reasons I've been neglecting this site a bit lately is the fact that I've been spending a lot of time pinning and trying recipes from Pinterest. I think I've finally got a few of them from there that I'm ready to share.

  • Four boneless chicken breasts, trimmed.
  • 1 cup flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 ounces pancetta, cut into small pieces.
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet Marsala wine
  • 4 1/2 tsp lemon juice (the juice of one small lemon was a little more than I needed)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Slice the chicken breasts in half the long way, then cover them with plastic wrap and pound them down to about 1/4 inch thick. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, then season with the salt and pepper. Place the flour in a pie plate, then dredge the chicken in it.

Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and place half the chicken in there. Cook them about three minutes on each side until they're golden brown, then transfer them to an oven-safe plate and repeat the process again with the other chicken, starting with more oil. Once all eight cutlets are cooked, tent aluminum foil over the plate and place it in a 200 degree oven while you make the sauce.

Cook the pancetta in the now-empty skillet over medium heat until it's crispy, then remove it to a paper towel-lined plate. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook the mushrooms until softened and lightly browned, around 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste and pancetta and cook for a minute or two, then remove from the heat and add the Marsala to deglaze the pan. Scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, then return the pan to the heat and bring it to a "vigorous simmer" for about five minutes. The sauce should reduce down to around 1 1/4-1 1/2 cups.

Remove the sauce from the heat and add the lemon juice, then whisk in the butter one piece at a time. Pour this sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.

Pulled Pork

FOUND IT: In a Penzey's catalog.

This was so good I ate it four times in a span of six meals and was still happy to see it the fourth time.

  • One ~4 lb pork shoulder or butt roast (I used a 3 lb shoulder)
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced.
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Premade coleslaw (optional)
Layer the onions in the bottom of a roasting pan. Combine the brown sugar, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl and rub this onto the roast, then place the roast on top of the onions.

Combine the vinegar, crushed red peppers, sugar, mustard powder, garlic powder and cayenne pepper in a bowl, and drizzle about a third of this over the roast. Cover and refrigerate the rest.

Cover the roasting pan and bake at 275 for 5 hours. At this point, drizzle another third of the vinegar mixture over the roast, then cover it again and return it to the oven for another 30 minutes.

Remove the meat and onions from the roasting pan and shred the meat in a serving bowl. Before serving, pour the rest of the vinegar mixture over the meat.

I like to serve this on a bun with the coleslaw. I also ate it reheated on a bun with a slice of cheese and barbecue sauce.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Slow-cooked Steak Bacon Rollups

FOUND IT: This is an old family recipe, typically made with venison.

A few months ago, I emailed my mom asking for a recipe we made all the time when I was younger. Here it is.

  • Roughly two pounds of something like round or chuck steak
  • 1 lb bacon, give or take
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup beef stock (I think I used chicken)
  • One large onion, sliced
  • Fresh garlic, minced
Cut the steak into roughly 2" wide strips and pound to tenderize. Place a strip of bacon over each strip of steak and roll the long way, securing with a toothpick. Brown the steaks in a skillet with the butter, then add the beef stock, onion and garlic to the skillet and bake at 300 for three hours.

Lemon Cherry Cheesecake

FOUND IT: A google search led me to a website called "Fleur de Sel."

We made this recipe for my mother in law's birthday. I had been saving it to make again once we had fresh cherries, but this year there wasn't much of a cherry season. I'll save it for next year, I guess.


  • Nine graham crackers
  • 1 cup toasted almonds
  • 4 1/2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 3 ounces of white chocolate, melted
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • juice and zest of one lemon
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups cherries, pitted
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
Combine the graham crackers and almonds in a food processor, then add the butter. Line an eight inch springform pan with this mixture, including the sides. Bake it at 325 until golden, about ten minutes.

In another bowl, combine the cream cheese, 2/3 cup sugar, vanilla, eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice. Once they're combined, add the melted chocolate. Pour this mixture into the crust and bake at 325 for 40-45 minutes, until " the edges are set but the middle still jiggles when you give it a shove."

For the sour cream topping combine the sour cream, 3 tbsp sugar and vanilla and allow to rest at room temperature until the cheesecake has baked.

Combine the cherries and 1/3 cup sugar and wait for a few minutes, then add the cornstarch and cook over medium heat for about five minutes or until the juices start to thicken.

When the cheesecake comes out of the oven let it rest for 5-10 minutes, then spread the sour cream mixture on top. Return it to the oven and bake for five more minutes. Once it's cooled again, spread the cherry mixture on top. Allow to cool overnight.

Lemon Squares

FOUND IT: In the August 2012 issue of Cooking Light

The same night we made the BBQ chicken sandwiches, we served these lemon squares as a light, somewhat summery dessert. Our guests had also brought dessert but pretty quickly set theirs aside and had seconds of these.


  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
Toast the pine nuts by placing them in a 9x9 pan in a single layer and baking them at 350 for five minutes or so.

Place the toasted pine nuts, the 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, the 3/4 cup flour and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and oil and process until the mixture "resembles coarse meal."

Coat your 9x9 dish from before in cooking spray and press the processed mixture into it. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Combine the 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tbsp flour, lemon rind, lemon juice, eggs and egg white in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour this mixture over the crust and bake at 325 for 20 minutes or until set. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, then cover and chill them for two hours. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining powdered sugar before serving.

Peach French Toast Bake

FOUND IT: In a July issue of USA Weekend

I'm sorry I didn't share this earlier, as we've made it multiple times during peach season.


  • cooking spray
  • About half a loaf of a hearty bread, cut into large cubes
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 5 cups sliced peaches
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (or more)
  • 1 1/2 cups light yogurt (plain or vanilla)
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray, then spread the cubes of bread out in the pan. 

Whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk and vanilla, then pour that mixture over the bread. Scatter the peach slices evenly over the bread and eggs, and sprinkle them with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Bake for 40 minutes at 350, and serve topped with the yogurt and maple syrup.

Layered Pizza Dip

FOUND IT: This recipe was in the Appleton Post Crescent, and is also similar to one my aunt shared with me at one point.

This is a great, flexible party dip - feel free to change the ingredients to include your favorite pizza toppings, make it vegetarian, or whatever works for you.

I also saved some of the leftovers from this and had it on top of a sliced, grilled zucchini the next day.


  • One 8 oz package of light cream cheese, softened.
  • 1/2 tbsp (or more to taste) dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce (I use one of these pouches, which is about perfect)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup pepperoni, diced (I got this from the deli but the slices were too thin and kind of melted away.)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used all mozzarella, but it's flexible)
Spread the softened cream cheese on the bottom of a nine inch pie plate, and sprinkle the oregano over that. Spread the pizza sauce over the cream cheese, then sprinkle the chopped bell pepper and pepperoni over that. Top with the cheese, and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Serve with crackers.

Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches

FOUND IT: In the May 2012 issue of Cooking Light

I usually don't like to make a new recipe for the first time when we have company coming over, but earlier this summer Laura convinced me to try this one and I'm glad I did.

Laura and I have a difference of opinion on one of the methods here, though: I went with more chicken than the recipe called for, which created a dish with a barbecue flavor but relatively limited sauce, then served it with extra BBQ sauce on the side so everyone could determine what level of sauce they wanted individually. If you want a better sauce-to-meat ratio, though, then stick with the proportions below.

You can also, of course, make your own coleslaw. I misunderstood the initial ingredient list, though, and bought some premade from the deli counter. I think that worked fine.

I also used the leftover chicken to make a barbecue chicken pizza the next day, and that may actually have been more popular.


  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp honey mustard
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • a dash of salt
  • 3 cups shredded boneless, skinless rotisserie chicken (a full chicken makes about 4 cups)
  • 3 cups premade coleslaw (I cheated here accidentally).
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 6-8 hamburger buns
Combine the ketchup, mustard, water, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, Worcestershire sauce and salt in a saucepan (I used a deep skillet, which I think turned out to be easier). Bring the sauce mixture to a simmer and cook for ten minutes. Combine the sauce and the chicken, stirring to coat.

Place about half a cup of the chicken mixture on a bun, top with the coleslaw and green onions, and serve.

Chicken And Wild Rice Soup

FOUND IT: Nowhere in particular. I followed the instructions on the box of wild rice, but eyeballed the rest.

I tend to eyeball soups, so some of my measurements here are imprecise. I think they're pretty close, though.

  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 3 cups water (probably could use chicken stock here)
  •  1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Half of a red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 or 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
  • Four large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 cups shredded, cooked chicken (for me this was frozen leftovers from two rotisserie chickens)
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp each cayenne pepper, dried thyme, sage and rosemary (I would've used parsley too, but I was out)
  • 2 cups skim milk (or whatever milk you have on hand)

Bring the water, salt and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the rice, reduce heat and simmer for 55 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, saute the red ball pepper, zucchini, carrots, celery and onion with the olive oil in a large soup pot. When they're almost translucent, add the garlic. Cook the garlic for a few minutes with the vegetables, then add the chicken, stock, cayenne pepper, thyme, sage and rosemary. Stir to combine, then allow to cook over medium-low heat until the rice is done.

Drain the excess water off the rice after 55 minutes (there will be a fair amount of excess water, don't worry about it), and add the rice to the soup along with the milk. Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes or so, then serve with oyster crackers, a crusty bread and butter.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Chocolate Beet Cake

FOUND IT: My friend Liz was kind enough to share it.

This is the only way I've ever cooked beets. It's certainly not healthy, but having the beets in there probably makes it a little better than a normal chocolate cake.

The frosting was also Liz's suggestion, but the two recipes don't have to be tied together. Frost it with whatever you like, or just serve it warm with ice cream.

Ingredients for cake:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3-4 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3 cups shredded beets (this was about a bunch and a half of beets for me, peeled and then shredded)
Ingredients for frosting:
  •  1 stick of butter
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
Grease two nine inch cake pans (I used a 9x13). Combine dry ingredients. Melt the chocolate slowly, either stirring every 30 seconds in the microwave or using a double boiler, then set the chocolate aside to cool.

Once the chocolate has cooled, combine it thoroughly with the eggs and oil. Add half the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, stir, then add half the beets. Repeat this process with the other half of both. Pour the batter into your cake pan (or pans).

Bake at 325 until a fork inserted in the middle comes out clean, around 40-50 minutes.

To make the frosting, melt the butter and stir in the cocoa. Add half the powdered sugar, then half the milk, then repeat with the other halves. Add milk if you'd like the frosting to be smoother. Stir in vanilla, then spread over the cooled cake.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Grapefruit Pound Cake

FOUND IT: My wife tore it out of an issue of Cooking Light.
MODIFIED IT: I accidentally included a couple of extra ounces of cream cheese, but that was it.

I'm frequently skeptical of Cooking Light dessert recipes, since they're often healthier but also not very appealing. They usually look great but you can tell the good stuff is missing. This cake is different from their usual in two ways: First, it's better than you'd expect. Secondly, it's not actually very healthy. 1/16th of this cake is a pretty small serving and still contains almost 300 calories.

With that said, I'll probably make this again because it's good. One regular sized grapefruit is likely more than enough for both the grated rind and juice.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt plus a dash, divided
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar (some could probably be replaced with Splenda or another substitute)
  • 6 tbsp butter, softened
  • 6 ounces cream cheese (I used a full eight ounce package. You only live once.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tbsp grated grapefruit rind
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar

Combine the flour, baking powder and all but a dash of the salt in a bowl. Cream the butter, sugar and cream cheese with a mixer in a large bowl, then add the eggs, oil, grapefruit rind and vanilla in that order.

Add half the dry ingredients to this mixture carefully, then half the milk. Repeat that process with the other half of both, finishing with the milk. Be careful not to overbeat the batter.

Spoon the batter into a greased 10 inch tube pan and bake at 325 for an hour and ten minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out "with moist crumbs clinging."

Allow the cake to cool for ten minutes in the pan, then tip it over onto a wire rack and allow it to finish cooling there.

To make the glaze, heat the grapefruit juice to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Allow it to cook this way until about a third of the liquid has boiled off, then put it in the fridge to cool. Once it's cooled about 10-15 minutes, stir in the powdered sugar and the dash of salt from earlier. Drizzle this mixture over the cake and serve.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Turnip Poutine

FOUND IT: On Hungry Girl on Cooking Channel
MODIFIED IT: I changed the cheese and gravy, and added some seasoning.

Poutine is a somewhat interesting current food fad. Gravy on french fries is still a little weird to me, but it turned out pretty well here.

Turnips, meanwhile, turned out to be a pretty genius healthy substitution for potatoes.

  • 24 ounces turnips, scrubbed (This was six smallish turnips for me, but 2-3 large ones would be better if available.)
  • 12 ounces potatoes (one large baking potato should do it.)
  • 1 or 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fat free condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
Clean the vegetables (no need to peel them) and cut them into french fry spears. Place them in a single layer on a greased baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme, give them a quick stir and bake at 425 for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Once the potatoes and turnips are browned remove them from the oven, stir again and rearrange them in a pile on the cookie sheet. Combine the condensed soup and water and drizzle it over the pile of fries, then sprinkle the shredded cheese on top. Broil this on high until the cheese has melted and browned just slightly.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pumpkin Pie

FOUND IT: My mother-in-law shared it.

As you probably know, I cook with pumpkin a lot. This has become my standard pie recipe, though...which says a lot, because I've tried a lot of them.

  • One pre-made pie crust (I know, I cheat.)
  • Two cups pumpkin puree (I use homemade, but I'd assume canned works too)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (original recipe calls for 3/4 cup, and omits the following ingredient)
  • 1/2 cup Splenda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1 12 oz can evaporated milk
Combine pumpkin, sugar and eggs and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and mix again.

Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pie crust and bake ten minutes at 450. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 50 more minutes, or until a knife inserted in the pie comes out clean.
With most of the sugar replaced, this is probably about as close as you'll ever get to a *healthy* pie.

Cherry Pie

FOUND IT: On the Food Network website.

I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time this year, and this is one of the three pies we made. It's received pretty universally positive reviews in the past. We pick a boatload of cherries each year in Door County and freeze them, and this is a great use for them.

One note: The original recipe called for 1 to 1 1/2 cups of sugar. To me this tastes sweet with half a cup of sugar and half a cup of Splenda. But if you really want more sugar than pie, feel free to add more.

  • Four cups pitted tart cherries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup sugar (I use half a cup, and half a cup of Splenda)
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tbsp almond extract
  • Enough pie crust for a top and bottom layer (I cheat and buy pre-made)
  • 2 tbsp butter
Heat the cherries in a saucepan over medium heat until some of the liquid has evaporated, roughly ten minutes. Mix in the sugar and cornstarch and stir until the mixture begins to thicken (you should notice a change nearly immediately). Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Roll out one layer of the pie crust in a pie plate, then pour the cherry mixture over that. Dot the cherries with the butter (cut into 8-10 small cubes), then cover with the second layer of pie crust. Flute the edges of the crust with a fork, and cut a few slits in the top layer for steam to escape.

Place the pie plate on a cookie sheet, and bake at 375 for 50 minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool.