Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sticky Toffee Pudding

This is a pudding recipe...but an English style pudding...not an American style pudding! This pudding is a spiced, slightly sweet 'cake' with a hot sticky sweet toffee flavored sauce...this sauce is poured over the warm cake so it can soak in and make this super yummy!!  This recipe has really basic ingrediants so you can whip one up anytime!

Sticky Toffee Pudding

7 tbl butter at room temp
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tea salt
1 1/2 tea baking powder
2 tbl dark molasses
3/4 cup milk
 for sauce:
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup honey
6 tbl butter
1 12 oz can of evaporated milk

preheat oven to 350.  grease or PAM a 13x9 baking dish.
Beat butter, sugar, eggs, flour, and molasses together.  When well combined slowly drizzle milk in while continuing to mix. continue until smooth.  Pour into bake and bake about 30 minutes. you want it to be golden and and just set in the middle.   While the 'pudding' bakes make the sauce.  In a saucepan put sugar, honey and butter and cook over low heat until melted and combined.   simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in evaporated milk...simmer 2 minutes.
When cake come out of oven pour 1/2 of the sauce over the hot cake.  Save the rest for topping each yummy piece of pudding...trust me the extra sauce will be wanted it is so good.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hot Mulled Cider

This is the perfect Autumn beverage....and even more perfect when the snow starts flying...  Hot, sweet, spiced...well duh, that is what mulled means! The dictionary says...and I quote..."to MULL: to heat, sweeten, and flavor with spices for drinking, as with ale or wine."   But hey why not mull cider too?
The best part (okay the best part BESIDES the taste)  is that it is sooooo easy. You can make a huge batch right in your crock pot.  You can make a plain old cider version, or you can make an adult version by adding some alcohol.
This is a perfect party beverage since the crock pot keeps it hot all night!  I often do 2 crockpots ...1 with cider, 1 with cocoa (white chocolate, or mint, or whatever type of cocoa sounds delish at the time!)
Or what about a long lazy cold snowy Sunday...put this on in the morning and enjoy ALL day.



Hot Mulled Cider
1 gallon of apple cider
2 tea allspice (whole)
3 tea cloves (whole)
4 cinnamon sticks
1 whole star anise
1 coin sized slice of ginger
1 orange unpeeled - sliced thin
1 orange squeezed for juice
1/2 cup brown sugar

cheesecloth / twine

wrap all of the spices securely in cheescloth tie with twine and lay in large crock pot. Pour in cider,and juice of 1 orange. float orange slices on top. Cover ...serve when nice and hot.

For adult version:  add a shot of spiced rum or brandy to each glass before serving.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Balsamic Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

I found this delicious recipe on Southern Living and I had to share it with you. I made a few adjustments(of course since I cannot leave well enough alone) but this would be a great side dish for your Thanksgiving meal.

Balsamic Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
  • 1 (4-oz.) package feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup chopped Cran-raisins  (original recipes -dried sweet cherries)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (I used 1/2 tea...I don't care for spicy)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots
  • 1 1/2 pounds parsnips
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbl butter melted (my addition)
Preheat oven to 400°. Toss together first 5 ingredients and 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a small bowl.
 Cut carrots and parsnips lengthwise into long, thin strips.
Whisk together brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and remaining 3 Tbsp. olive oil  and melted butter in a large bowl. Toss with carrots and parsnips, and place on a lightly greased 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Sprinkle with desired amount of salt and freshly ground pepper.
 Bake at 400° for 40 to 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender and browned, stirring every 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and gently toss with feta cheese mixture.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Another old Cookbook - 'The Young Housekeepers Friend'

I have told you all before that I have an absolute obsession with cookbooks....old, new, big, small...if there is a recipe in it I will read it!  I came across an AMAZING find in an old box of assorted books that someone (my Mom probably) got in a yard sale or auction or something. The book I am speaking of is called 'The Young Housekeepers Friend' by Mrs Cornelius  (yes back in 1859 the Mrs was all she needed...no first name.)  The recipes (or as they were called then, receipts, are mixed in with bits of wisdom and 'counsels' that Mrs Cornelius felt that every young woman should know who is of "neither poverty nor riches".
What I find funny when I read this book is how even that far back in our culture...the older generation felt then as is often said now(okay not in the same way of course but you get my meaning).... "young ladies whose intellectual attainments are of high order, are profoundly ignorant of the duties which all acknowledge are particular to woman. Consequently many have to learn after marriage how to care for a family.............thus their housekeeping is little else but a series of experiments; often unsuccessful resulting in mortification and discomfort in the parlor, and waste and ill temper in the kitchen."

Well.....tell me what you really think Mrs Cornelius!

She states that "many a day laborer, on his return in the evening from his hard toil is repelled my a disorderly house, or a comfortless supper. He is met with a cold eye instead of the thriftie wifie smile and thus escapes to the grog shop."      
Here is her list of womanly virtues:
Energy, industry, economy, order, skill, vigilance, cheerfulness, kindness, charity, discretion, and the fear of God
Not a half bad list really....she says these have and will always be true...and frankly I tend to believe her...I definately see that I am seriously lacking on a fair share of these virtues and that is not good at all.  I really should work on being more virtueous....maybe later...when I have more time.....

Her advice about not exciting your "domestics" when company comes as they will imagine the additional work much greater than it is ......well now, I have no domestics but I do have kids and I am sure that the theory will still apply.

Mrs Cornelius has advice on many housekeeping topics as well as manners and 'keeping your husband happy with a happy organized household'.  Mostly though, the book is filled with 'receipts' for everything from toothpaste, to soap, to bread, to beer! The items called for in the recipes are often odd or no longer available..and the measurments are questionable at best but I enjoyed reading them and thought you all might too....so here is a tiny sample of Mrs Cornelius's receipts - I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Sally Lunn
A quart of flour, a piece of butter the size of an egg, 3 tablespoon fulls of sugar, 2 teacups of milk,2 teaspoons of cream of tarter, 1 teaspoon of saleratus, a dash of salt.  To mix, scatter cream of tarter salt and sugar into the flour. add eggs without beating, add the butter -melted- and 1 cup of milk. disolve the saleratus in the 2nd cup then stir all together. Bake in 3 pans the size of a breakfast plate for 15 or 20 minutes.

Snow Fritters
Stir together milk, flour and a dash of salt to make a rather thick batter. Add new fallen snow in proportion of 1 teacup full to a pint of milk. Have fat hot and ready when you stir in the snow, drop batter into hot fat with a spoon...these pancakes are preferred to those made with egg.

Calf's foot broth -for the sick and infirm
boil 2 feet in 3 quarts of water util wasted to 3 pints. Strain and set aside to cool.  when cold remove fat. Heat as needed and salt,nutmeg(if tolerated) and a tot of good wine

Wine Whey - to restore one who is ill
To a pint of milk add 2 glasses of winemix and let stand 12 minutes. strain through a muslin bag sweeten with loaf sugar

Tooth Powder
2 ounces of peruvian bark, 2 of myrrh, one of chalk, 1 of Armenian bole, and 1 of orris root

Maple Beer
to 4 gallons of boiling water add 1 quart of maple syrup and a small tablespoon ful of essence of spruce. When it cools to 'milk warm' add a pint of yeast...when fermented bottle it. wait 3 days before drinking

Syrup of Cream
to a pint of fresh cream, put 1 pound and a quarter of loaf sugar. boil it in an earthen pot; pour it into a basin and let stand until cold. Then put in phial and cork closed. This will keep several weeks and is conveniient to carry to sea.

Monday, November 7, 2011

ButterNut Squash Soup

This soup to me is the ultimate comfort food in soup form. My daughter is a big fan as well...and often will request this in the fall when she is home from college...... Rich with butter and cream...smooth and silky and soooooo delicious.  I will admit that I play with the seasonings to suit my mood....sometimes it is a touch sweeter, sometimes I add ginger, or cayenne, or all spice, or cloves.  Feel free to season to taste.


Butternut Squash Soup

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 very small sweet onion, chopped fine
1 large butternut squash (about 3 pounds), cut in half lengthwise, and each half cut in half widthwise; seeds and strings scraped out and reserved
6 cups chicken stock
1 tea salt

1 tea cracked black pepper
½ cup heavy cream

1 tbl honey
1 tea dark brown sugar
Pinch of grated nutmeg and cinnamon



Preheat oven to 425  and oil a cookie sheet.  Place squash on cookie sheet and roast until golden and soft. Let cool and scoop the soft flesh out of the skins and into a bowl, mash with fork and set aside.(if you want your soup NOW..lol...a quick alternative is to simmer peeled and cubed squash in the stock until soft)

In a heavy soup pot, melted butter and add onion until soft and fragrant…NOT browned. Add squash and stir well. Add stock and simmer for ½ hour or so letting the flavors combine.  Using a stick blender (or blend in batches in a regular blend) puree the soup until smooth continue to simmer soup for about 10 minutes. Add cream, honey, brown sugar, and seasonings…warm soup back up until hot..about 2-3 minutes. DO NOT BOIL the soup. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your preference.  Serve hot with a small swirl of heavy cream in each bowl. YUM!  Wonderful Comfort Food!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pumpkin Dump Cake

Okay most of you out there know or have heard of dump cake.  As the name implies you dump everything in a pan and it sorts itself out in the oven and becomes a sweet treat.  I have always 'kinda' liked dumpcake...but it was super sweet to me and I always needed unsweetened whipped cream or something to tame that over the top sweetness.  I always preferred a more tart fruit like cherry to a sweeter fruit like strawberry or raspberry...for the same reason.  However I have been seeing recipes all over with a pumpkin version of dump cake. So after reading about 12 different versions I decided to give my own version a whirl and see what happens....what happens is YUMMMMMMMMY!
A big hit in our house that is for sure.  We have even voted to add it to the Thanksgiving Line up of desserts...this is a big deal!
So here is my version of.....

Pumpkin Dump Cake

  • 1 15 oz can Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 12 oz can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 2 sticks butter melted
  • 1 cup pecans chopped
    Preheat oven to 350..spray a 13x9 baking dish with PAM.
    Combine the pumpkin, evap milk, sugar, eggs, and spice and pour into the prepared pane.
    Sprinkle the entire box of cake mix evenly over the pumpkin mixture. Then sprinkle the nuts evenly over the mixture.  Pour the melted butter evenly over all.  Bake 45 - 55 minutes until the edges are lightly browned and center is set.
    I served it with fresh whipped cream that I added 2 tbl sugar and 1 tea pumkin spice to.

        Thursday, November 3, 2011

        Swirled Pancakes

        So I have an obsession...Pinterest....have you tried it?  Oh my....it makes my creative juice flow to the extreme. So the other day I was browsing the food section (duh) and I saw a picture of these swirled pancakes...and I thought to myself..."wow I could do so much with that idea"!  So this past weekend I took a squeeze bottle and made some cinnamon swirled pancakes....but I also think this idea could go with a raspberry swirled, chocolate swirled, applesauce, mashed banana, lemon, any flavor melted jam...whatever you can come up with.  This is less a recipe and more a technique to run away with and make your own.

        Use your favorite pancake recipe...
        We like buckwheat pancakes in our house...thin buckwheat pancakes. I took a squeeze bottle and added 1/2 stick of melted butter, 4-6 tbl brown sugar, 1-2 tbl apple or pumpkin pie spice(to taste), 1/2 tea vanilla.  Shake well and 'swirl' the mixture - pinwheel style - before flipping the pancake. 
        Enjoy! Let me know what YOU come up with!