Monday, November 30, 2009


Orange-Cranberry Bread With Grand Marnier Glaze on Foodista
1 - 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 - 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup orange juice
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 - 1/2 cups dried cranberries
2 cups powdered sugar
7 to 8 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter two loaf pans.

In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar at medium speed, until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Add orange juice, sour cream, orange zest and vanilla; mix until blended.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture and cranberries to wet ingredients and mix just until dry ingredients are absorbed; do not over mix.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in centers of bread comes out clean.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and 7 tablespoons Grand Marnier. Glaze should have consistency of thick maple syrup or corn syrup. If it is too thick, thin with an additional tablespoon of liqueur.

Let loaves cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a cooling rack set over a baking sheet. With a thin skewer or long toothpick, poke deep holes in tops of loaves. Drizzle with Grand Marnier glaze so that it coats the top, runs down the sides and seeps through the holes.

Let loaves cool completely, then slice and serve or wrap and freeze.

Makes: 2 large loaves or spread the joy with 6 mini loaves.

Loaves can be made up to 1 month ahead and frozen. Bake and glaze loaves and allow them to cool completely. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, put in zip-lock plastic bags and freeze. When ready to serve, remove from freezer and defrost at room temperature.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Mexican Turkey and Dumplings on Foodista
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion (8 oz.) peeled and diced
1 green bell pepper, rinsed, stemmed, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
4 cups turkey, cooked and shredded
1 can (15 oz.) chicken broth
1 can (10 oz.) Ro-tel diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 can (10 oz.) red enchilada sauce
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup milk

Pour oil into a 5 to 6 quart pan over medium-high heat; when hot, add onions, bell pepper and garlic, stir often about 5 to 7 minutes.

Add broth, tomatoes, enchilada sauce and turkey to pan, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, whisk melted butter into milk, stir into flour mixture until blended. Drop batter by tablespoon portions into simmering turkey mixture, cover and simmer gently until dumplings are cooked all the way through (cut to test), about 10 to 12 minutes.

Ladle turkey, dumplings and sauce equally into a wide shallow bowls and serve immediately.

YIELDS: 4 to 6 servings.

NOTES: Shredded leftover turkey or chicken can be used in this recipe.

You can also use 3 pounds skinned chicken thighs. Cook thighs with the broth and tomato mixture until chicken is no longer pink at the bone (cut to test), about 40 minutes.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Mama's Homemade Banana Pudding on Foodista
30 to 60 vanilla wafers
6 to 8 bananas, sliced
2 cups milk
1 - 5 ounce box instant French Vanilla Pudding
1 - 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 - 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 -12 ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with vanilla wafers and layer bananas on top.

Crush to remaining wafers and reserve.

In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding, blend well using a whisk or hand mixer. Using another bowl, combine cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold in whipped topping into cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the wafers and bananas and cover with the remaining crushed wafers. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

YIELDS: 12 servings

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Lemon-Pecan Cookies on Foodista
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable or butter flavored shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped (see notes)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease baking sheet.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt.

In a medium bowl, beat together butter, shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add egg, honey, lemon peel and lemon extract. Beat until smooth. Add flour mixture, stir until a soft dough forms. Stir in toasted pecans.

Drop dough by measuring tablespoons 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.

Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until a light golden color (do not overbake). Cool cookies on the baking sheet on a wire rack 2 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Because nuts are rich in oil, toasting brings out the flavor and aroma. Toast them in a 350 F. oven in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 10 minutes, stirring at least once. Smelling the aroma of toasting nuts is a signal that they are ready to use. Once at this stage, they will scorch easily.

Toasting pecans extends the flavor of the pecans and makes it seem like there is more than a cupful in the recipe.

You can also add 1/2 cup of mini white chocolate chip to this recipe.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Pumpkin Ice Cream With Ginger Crust Torte on Foodista
8 ounces of crisp gingersnap cookies
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin, chilled
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
About 1 - 1/4 cups caramel ice cream topping
1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened (see notes)
About 1 cup hot fudge sauce or chocolate topping
Candied walnuts or pecans

Place about a third of the cookies in a zip-lock plastic bag, seal bag, and roll with a rolling pin, until cookies are finely crushed; pour into a 9 - inch cheesecake pan with removable rim (at least 2 - inch tall). Repeat to crush remaining cookies ( you need 1 - 3/4 cups total) and pour into pan. Add sugar and butter and mix. Press cookies mixture over bottom and about 1 - inch up side of pan.

Bake crust in a 325 F. oven until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes then chill or freeze until cold, 5 to 10 minutes.

In a chilled large bowl, mix pumpkin, pumpkin spice and 1/4 cup of the caramel topping until smooth. Add ice cream and mix until blended.

Working quickly, spoon about a third of the ice cream mixture into the cold crust. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons caramel topping and 2 tablespoons fudge sauce ( if fudge sauce is too stiff, warm slightly in a microwave oven at full power (100%), stirring once, just until fluid, 15 to 30 seconds); sprinkle half the candied walnuts on top. Repeat with two more layers, omitting nuts on the top layer. Freeze until solid, about 5 hours, then cover and freeze up to 1 week.

About 15 minutes before serving, remove sides from pan, set torte on a serving plate, and let stand in refrigerator to soften slightly. Cut into wedges. Serve with additional caramel topping and fudge sauce (warm and stir again if too stiff) to add to taste.

For the smoothest texture, use a rich, full-fat ice cream.
To soften slightly, heat it in the carton in a microwave oven at half power (50%) for 15 to 30 seconds.

YIELDS: 12 servings


6 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cups walnuts or pecan pieces

In a heavy 8 to 10 - inch frying pan, combine sugar and walnuts pieces. Shake and stir over medium-high heat until sugar is melted and amber-colored, about 5 minutes. Pour onto a piece of foil and spread into a thin layer. Let cool until hard, about 7 minutes. Break into small piece.

Use these sweet nuts in the Pumpkin ice cream torte or sprinkle on salads or ice cream.
Candied nuts can be made up to 2 days ahead, cool and store airtight at room temperature.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Christmas Rainbow Cookies on Foodista
2 - 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 drops red food coloring
1/4 cup finely chopped, well-drained maraschino cherries or candied cherries
1/4 cup flaked coconut
4 drops green food coloring
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup chopped pistachio nuts

Line the bottom and sides of a straight-sided 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with waxed paper of foil.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until well blended.

Divide dough evenly into 3 parts. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 15 minutes.

To make pink layer, remove 1 portion of dough from refrigerator. Add red food coloring one drop at a time. Stir in cherries. Press dough firmly and evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan . Refrigerate dough.

To make white layer, stir in coconut into second portion of dough. Press i firmly and evenly over pink layer. Refrigerate dough.

For the green layer, add green food coloring a drop at a time to remaining portion of dough. Add almond extract and pistachio nuts and mix well. Press it firmly and evenly over the white layer. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Invert pan of cookie dough onto a cutting board. Remove waxed paper or foil. Cut crosswise into 1/4 - inch thick slices. Then cut each slice vertically into 3 equal pieces. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Makes: 6 dozen cookies

This recipe sound complicated to make, but the recipe is easy to follow, one step at a time.
The pink, white and green cookie makes an attractive addition to any Christmas Cookie Tray.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


2 pounds thinly sliced peppered pastrami
2 pounds thinly sliced corned beef
2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
16 slices rye bread
8 slices Swiss cheese
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
About 3 cups coleslaw (homemade or from the deli)

Place pastrami, corned beef and broth in a slow cooker. Heat, covered on lowest setting until hot, stirring periodically, at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Set out bread slices and cheese on a platter and mustard and coleslaw in a small bowls. Cover with plastic wrap until served (up to one hour).

When pastrami mixture is hot, invite guest to make their own sandwiches or assemble for them. Spread 2 slices of bread with mustard. Pile a generous helping of the meats onto 1 slice, then top with a slice of cheese, about 1/3 cup coleslaw and the second piece of bread. Cut sandwiches in half, they're large, so consider sharing.

Makes ; 16 sandwiches

Notes: If you don't have a slow cooker, put the pastrami and corned beef with a little broth in the microwave-safe bowl, cover and warm in a microwave oven.
I make these for the boys on Sunday while they watch football. They assemble the sandwiches themselves.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Pecan Caramel Tart on Foodista
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 - 1/2 cups al-purpose flour
3//4 teaspoon salt
2 - 3/4 cups pecans halves
1 - 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat 1/2 butter and the brown sugar until smooth.
Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Add flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt and beat until mixture forms a ball.

Press dough over bottom and up sides of a 9 - inch fluted tart pan with removable rim. Freeze until firm, 15 minutes.

Meanwhile spread pecans in a large baking pan. Bake until lightly golden, about 8 minutes
(leave oven on). When pecans are cool enough to handle, chop 2 cups; reserve remainder.

Bake tart shell until golden, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack.

Meanwhile, in a 3 to 4 quart pan over medium heat, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then increase heat to high and boil,, swirling mixture occasionally, until mixture is a deep golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in whipping cream, remaining 1/4 cup butter and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt ( mixture will foam). Stir until smooth.

Spread chopped pecans in tart shell, then pour in hot caramel; spread level. Garnish edge of tart with reserved pecans halves. Let tart cool until caramel is firm enough to slice, at least 4 hours, or chill up to 2 days (bring to room temperature before serving). Cut into thin wedges.

Yields: 12 to 16 servings.

Notes: This fall safe press in crust makes this tart easy to pull off.
Prep and cooking time, about 1 hour, plus at least 4 hours to cool.

Friday, November 6, 2009


1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon rum
1 - 1/3 cups cranberries
1 cup toasted coarsely chopped pecans
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 - 1/2 cups flour
1 - 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Butter a 9 - inch square pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in brown sugar until blended. Remove from heat and whisk in rum. Pour mixture into prepared pan evenly covering the bottom.

In a small bowl, combine cranberries and pecans; arrange evenly over brown sugar mixture.

In a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed, beat eggs, pumpkin, oil and sugar until smooth. In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture. Spread batter evenly over cranberries and pecans.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of cake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 20 minutes in pan. Run a thin-bladed knife between cake and sides of pan, then invent cake onto a serving platter. Remove pan and parchment and let cool at least 20 minutes. Serve slightly warm or cool with whipped cream.

Notes: To toast pecans, bake in a 350 F oven until golden, 7 to 10 minutes. You can also use walnuts.
If using frozen cranberries measure while frozen, then thaw before using.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Pineapple-Apricot Coffee Cake on Foodista
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, well drained
1/4 cup apricot jam
1 - 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk

Streusel Topping

1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and lightly flour an 8 inch-square baking pan.

Prepare streusel topping: In a small bowl combine nuts, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a small bowl combine crushed pineapple and apricot jam. Set aside.

In a medium size bowl stir together flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl beat butter and until creamy. Beat in sugar, egg and vanilla until well combined (batter may appear curdled). Stir in flour mixture and milk, alternately, mixing only until combined. Don't over mix.

Spread batter in prepared pan. Dollop the pineapple mixture by teaspoonfuls on top of the batter. With a narrow-bladed knife, swirl the pineapple mixture into batter. Sprinkle with streusel topping.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near the center of the coffee cake (not in the pineapple mixture) comes out clean and the coffee cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Serve warm

Makes: 1 - 8 inch square coffee cake.

Notes: Crushed pineapple will measure 2/3 cup after drained.
If you bake with butter you know that "softened butter" means to use it at room temperature or beat until it is soft. But when you use margarine, you can save time by substituting the kind that comes in tubs or one of the low-fat spreads.
Baked goods made with these lower-fat products tend to dry out quicker and become stale faster. so if you want blue ribbon results, especially if you don't plan to serve all of the baked product immediately, stick with butter or regular margarine.