Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bacon Jam

Bacon Jam
1 1/2 pounds sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1 inch pieces (applewood smoked by Nueske's- thick sliced) was recommended. I used Jungle Jim's
2 medium onions, small dice
3 garlic cloves, smashed/rough chop
1 tsp. chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (freeze the rest of the can -1 pepper/snack bag)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (light is ok, but you lose the molasses level)
1/4 pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup)
3/4 cup brewed coffee

Cook the bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is lightly browned- about 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel and drain. Pour off all but a tablespoon of bacon grease. Add onions and garlic. Cook until onion are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add all the other ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring and scrapping up brown bits from the skillet with a wooden spoon. Add bacon and stir to combine.
You can transfer to a saucepan (I left it in the skillet) and cook uncovered over low heat until liquid is thick and syrupy. Place in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Cool and refrigerate in airtight containers, up to 4 weeks.
Makes a small amount - 2 1/4 cups but a little dab will do you!
It's good on crackers, hamburgers, omelet - Leigh suggested it on a baguette w/ goat cheese, bacon jam arugula and pecans as an appetizer. Goat cheese with this would be awesome. How about a chicken, goat cheese and bacon jam sandwich?
This recipe was from Leigh - Jungle Jim's "Gifts from the Kitchen" class 2012.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Chicken Tortilla Soup (Page 11)

8  6 inch corn tortillas 1 salt, for sprinkling tortillas
2 T. canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 oz. can of chopped green chilies
2 (14-oz.) cans of chicken broth
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix
2 c. cooked chicken, diced
1 T. lime juice
1 (15-oz.) can of whole kernel corn drained
Chopped cilantro
1 (15-oz.) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-oz.) can of chopped tomatoes with juice
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet and both sides of tortilla with nonstick cooking spray. Slice the tortillas in strips, sprinkle lightly with salt. Place on a baking sheet and bake 12-15 minutes, until crisp and lightly brown. Set aside. Meanwhile in a pot, heat canola oil over medium high heat. Add onions and saute until soft. Add chicken, corn, beans, tomatoes, chilies, and taco seasoning; stir to combine. Add chicken broth, stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes. Stir in lime juice. Place a few tortilla strips in the bowl and ladle soup over it. Sprinkle with cheese and cilantro. Top with remaining tortillas and garnish with
sour cream.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


IMPORTANT- the cookbook doesn't have the molasses (My error! Sorry!)
3 c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg, freshly grated if you can
1/2 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1 1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. molasses 
1 c. canned pure pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
2/3 c. dark brown sugar packed
1/2 c. butter, melted, plus extra for the griddle/iron

Preheat waffle iron. Sift all the dry ingredients and spices together, set aside. Mix
eggs, sugar,pumpkin,milk, molasses and melted stick of butter. Combine with dry
ingredients. Lightly butter waffle iron. Pour on batter as directed by the waffle iron
instructions. Don't overfill. Serve with syrup, whipped cream or fruit.
Fun holiday or winter breakfast.
I freeze these (flat) and they pop in the toaster nicely. Honestly I like them better frozen, then toasted.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Caramel Corn (Page 95)

6 quarts popped pop corn, remove unpopped pieces (They hurt later!)

2 sticks butter
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1 tsp. salt
2 c. brown sugar, packed

 1/2 tsp. baking soda
 1 tsp. vanilla
(Peanuts are optional)

Pop 6 quarts of popcorn and place in a 200-250 degree oven, to keep warm.
In a heavy saucepan, melt 2 sticks of butter. Stir in sugar, syrup, and salt.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat and add soda and vanilla. Stir, then gently pour
over popcorn. (I do small amounts in a big bowl, until covered.
Place on 2 large pans.(I spray lightly, don't use foil as pictured)
Bake 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove and cool completely.
Break into bits and serve.
Note: Easy gift idea and fun for the family to make.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Lemon Tea Bread (Page 62)

LEMON TEA BREAD from  Kathy Brinkman
3/4 c. milk
2 tsp. each lemon thyme, lemon verbena and lemon balm (or just of verbena)
1 c. sugar
1 T. lemon zest
2 eggs, beaten
2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
Confection sugar-add enough to thicken but still be runny
2 lemons (the juice from 2 lemons)

Spray or butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Chop lemon herbs. Heat milk (don't boil) and
add chopped herbs. Allow it to steep until it cools. Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a
separate bowl add flour, baking powder and salt, whisk to blend. In another bowl,
cream the butter and gradually add in the sugar. Beat until lighter and fluffy. Beat in
eggs, 1 at a time. Add lemon zest. Add flour mixture, alternating with herbed milk.
Mix until just blended and pour into the pan. Bake for 50 minutes, until a toothpick in
the center comes out clean. While cake is baking, mix the juice of 2 lemons and
enough powdered sugar to make the glaze thick, but pourable. Remove pan from oven
and place on a wire rack set over a sheet of wax paper. While the bread is still hot,
pour the glaze over the bread. Top with a few sprigs of lemon thyme.

Note: This is my favorite recipe from my friend, Kathy, who is in our herb club. It's a great use for those lemony herbs. This freezes well and is delicious to taste in the fall! You can always put the glaze on as it thaws, too. 1 year I used all lemon balm and it was fine, but verbena is best. Using all lemon thyme wouldn't be my choice.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Rocky Road Fudge (Page 91)

Rocky Road Fudge  By Mel Volkman

12 oz. butterscotch chips (they are now down to 11oz, but work fine)
12 oz. chocolate chips (same - 11 oz. situation)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 bag mini marshmallows
1 cup salted peanuts
1/2 bag of bits of brickle toffee chips (oh heck do the whole thing!)

Line a 9 x 13 pan with quick release/no stick foil. In a lg. heat resistant, microwaveable bowl melt butterscotch and chocolate chips. Microwave 1 min and stir. Maybe do another 30 seconds. You can over cook this so keep stirring and the residual heat will con't to melt the chips. It will ruin/seize if you try to melt all the chips in the microwave. Then stir in the creamy peanut butter. Add all the other ingredients. Spread in the 9 x 13 and chill. Cut in small pieces- it is rich. I would imagine it would freeze well. I may never know....

Monday, May 28, 2012

Low Fat Taco Salad (Page 20)

This is a quick and easy recipe which is low fat, but a little high in sodium. I make the beef and the cottage cheese mixture the day before then assemble the day of the party. We think it's best served with Tostido's scoops. It makes a 9x13 dish.

This is a photo of my Dad and Jim swinging outside the ship in Cozumel Mexico- OLE!
Taco Salad
1 lb. lean ground beef (we use a little more)
1 packet dry taco seasoning, like Ortega/El Paso
1 cup of water
1 lg. container of SMALL curd cottage cheese
1 packet of dry Hidden Valley ranch seasoning
1/2 head of lettuce, chopped
1-2 tomatoes (I like plum and get rid of all the seeds/messy stuff) , dice
1-2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
Tortilla chips (We like scoops)

Brown the hamburger, add taco seasoning and water. Cook until water is reduced. Spread in a 9x 13 dish and set aside to cool. (Or in a container for a day before prep- reheat beef the next day)
Place the cottage cheese in a bowl and mix until creamy. Add the dressing mix and whip some more.
(You can stop here for a day before and place back in the cottage cheese container)
Or layer the cottage cheese mixture over the slt. cooled beef.
 Sprinkle with lettuce cheese and then tomatoes. Serve with tortilla chips.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Swiss Chard Chicken Tacos

This recipe is great way to slip veggies in your diet. My teen sons love it as well as my husband. They say you eat with your eyes first. The more color the better. Spring is a great time for rainbow Swiss chard (pronounced shard)

Swiss Chard Chicken Tacos

2 cups cooked or grilled chicken breasts, cut up
1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
1 small vidalia onion , diced
1 large bunch of rainbow swiss chard
Taco sauce-like Ortega
sour cream
1 cup colby jack, shredded
Soft tortillas , wrapped in foil and warmed in the oven per package directions- usually 350 degrees for 8-10 min.
Cut the leaves off the washed chard and shred. Cut the stems of the chard fine. Add olive oil to  a skillet. Saute the chopped stems, onions and bell peppers. And the chicken and the chard leaves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the taco sauce to your taste - I start with 1/4 cup.  Mix well. Scoop onto tortillas and add sour cream,cheese and additional sauce to individuals tastes. I made a large batch of this and the guys were politely trying to divide the last bits. No leftovers- family full of's a good thing!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cranberry Walnut Multi Grain Bread

1 1/2 cups warm water (105-110 degrees, esp. not over 120 degrees - kills yeast!)
1/3 cup molasses, pref. unsulfured. (I use regular)
1 T. rapid rise yeast
3 cups total bread flour , divided
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup rye flour
1/2 cup while wheat flour
3 T. cocoa powder, sieved
3 T. vital wheat gluten (IMPORATANT_NEED- makes bread rise) Store in fridge
2 tsp. espresso powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup good quality dried cranberries (should be pliable not hard nuggets)
1 cup chopped walnuts (or your favorite nut)
2 generous T. walnut oil (store in fridge- will go bad)
Cornmeal for dusting

Put dough hook on mixing bowl. Place warm water, molasses and yeast in the mixing bowl. Let stand until mixture is foamy.
Meanwhile, combine 2 1/2 of bread flour with whole wheat, cornmeal, rye, wheat gluten, espresso, cocoa and salt. Whisk well.
Add four mixture to yeast mixture & mix on speed 2 ~ 2 min.
Add the cranberries, walnuts, and oil & mix on speed 3 for another 2 min.or until mixed. Con't on speed 3, add rest of the flour- 1/2 cup- a little at a time until a dough ball forms.
Knead in the bowl speed 2 for 4 minutes.
Put in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap- not a towel to preserve heat. Let rise in a draft free place x 2 hours or so.
Knead in, gently, any stray berries or nuts. shape into a 13 x 4 loaf. Place on a large bake sheet covered with parchment paper. Spray lightly with Pam and sprinkle cornmeal for dusting.
Cover again with plastic and let it rise 40 min.
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Cut 5 diagonal slices across the top. Bake on center rack so bottom doesn't burn. Bake 35-45 min. (Until center temp 205). The bread should sound hollow when tapped. Transfer to a wire rack and cool.

Double Orange Blossom Honey Butter

Whip 1 stick unsalted softened butter until fluffy. Beat in 2 T. good orange blossom honey or more, to taste. Add 1/8 tsp. orange oil or 1/2 - 1 tsp. orange extract.
Makes a wonderful combination
This recipe was from Rita Heikenfeld's Gifts from the Kitchen Class.You could easily make smaller loaves. This also makes great sandwich bread. Mmmmm sliced turkey, a light cheese.....enjoy.
Rita says "It doesn't matter where the recipe came from, it only matters where it's going"

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Easy Chicken & Rice Casserole (Page 36)

This recipe smells as good as it tastes. The yeast in the wine, as it bakes, makes the house smell like fresh baked bread. My sister in love, Melinda, gave us this recipe when the twins were born. We've loved it since!

Chicken & Rice Casserole
1 can each of cream of: celery,chicken & mushroom
1 cup of uncooked rise
1 cup of milk (skim works fine)
1 soup can full (or I use 1 small bottle from a 4 pack) of good white wine
1 pack of uncooked chicken tenderloins (or slice up a few breasts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix everything but the chicken in a 2 quart casserole dish & lay the chicken on top. Cover & bake for 1 hour with lid on, then stir a few times. Remove the lid and bake another hour.(Kind of a tease for the family at the 1 hour mark.) Serving fresh baked rolls with this does help your brain adapt for what your nose has been telling it is happening. It's great aroma therapy and EASY! A family favorite.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cranberry Almond Cake

Cranberry Almond Cake
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
8 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
7 oz. almond paste (found in the baking aisle- not marzipan)
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs , room temp.
1 tsp. vanilla extract (never imitation!)
1/4 cup milk at room temp.
1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries (you can buy these around the holidays and freeze them)- picked through & coarsely chopped
Confectioner's sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350.
You can do this in a buttered & floured bundt pan (recommended), loaf pans or even cupcakes
Sift together flour, salt & baking powder. Set aside. Beat together butter & almond paste. Add the sugar & beat until light & fluffy ~ 2 min. longer.Beat the eggs in 1 at a time, scraping down between each addition. Beat in vanilla.With mixer on low speed alt. flour mixture with milk, Stop and scrape down as needed.Fold in cranberries.
Transfer to pan and smooth with a spatula. Bake 45-50 min. (less for cupcakes) Consider checking at 42 min. with a wooden skewer to test doneness- should come out clean. Cool for 15 min. in pan, then invert on a wire rack. Once cool, dust with confectioner's sugar.
Do Ahead: I bake this and then slice, freezing the slices.

Rita's Pepperoni Bread (Page 64)

3 c. all purpose flour, unbleached, plus
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
more if needed
1 T. sugar
1 pkg. dry yeast (equals about 2T.)
1 tsp. salt
1 c. pepperoni, chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 small clove of garlic, minced
1 1/4 c. water
Optional glaze: 1 egg yolk - small amt. of milk to mix with egg yolk
In an electric mixer bowl, combine flour, yeast, and oregano. In a small saucepan,
heat garlic, water, olive oil, sugar and salt to 115 degrees (any hotter can kill the
yeast). Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Add wet mixture to the dry mixture and
combine with a wooden spoon. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Gently stir the
pepperoni in with the paddle attachment on low speed. Add more flour if you need to
so dough is pliable. Switch to dough hook and knead on #2 speed. You may need to
add even more flour. You want the dough to pull away from the sides.(Or you can do
by hand on a floured surface, adding pepperoni, then flour to make the dough smooth
and elastic.) The dough shouldn't be sticky. Place in an oiled bowl, flip once so the
top is oily. Cover with saran wrap in a draft free area. Allow it to rise until doubled,
about 45 minutes. Punch down the dough and form into 1 large round loaf (or 2 smaller loaves, adjust baking time). Place on a cookie sheet that has been lightly oiled
and dusted with cornmeal. Let it rise again for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375
degrees. Bake for 30 minutes (maybe less for smaller loaves). For a new glaze brush
egg/milk mixture onto the bread about 18-20 minutes into the baking.
Note: Don't cut the bread while it's hot. It will mash down. This is wonderful served
with Rita's white bean Italian soup! Heck this is wonderful served with anything!
Do Ahead: You can freeze the dough as soon as it is made (no rising!) OR bake it to finish and freeze the individual slices. We just pull out a slice from the freezer and toast lightly. Great with soup.


PUMPKIN SOUP Haitian Recipe
1 lb. beef stew meat
1 onion, cut up
1 lb. chicken
3 medium turnips, cubed
1/4 quart water
1 hot pimento, whole with stem
1 T. lemon or lime juice
1/4 lb. pasta or vermicelli
3 cloves, whole (I'd tie in cheesecloth)
1 c. flour
1/2 lb. cabbage, chopped
2 T. baking powder
1 lb. pumpkin (joumou), cubed
pinch of salt
2 large carrots, cut up
2 T. unsalted butter
1/4 c. celery stalks and leaves, cut up
cold water
3 medium potatoes, cubed
Use a large kettle and boil the beef and chicken in water with cloves (tied in
cheesecloth) and lime juice for 20 minutes. Remove froth as it forms. Add all of the
vegetables (except the pimento) Boil 35-40 minutes longer, until tender. You can
remove meat and cloves (or fish out 3 cloves) and puree veggies with an immersion
blender if you wish for a creamier base. Return meat and pimento to soup (make sure
pimento is not broken it is added for more aroma, than flavor). Add pasta and cook
until tender. This can be served with dumplings as well. Dumplings: Cut butter into
flour until it forms pea-sized lumps. Gradually add water until it is the consistency of
non-sticky pizza dough. Form into finger-like shapes. Cook in soup 5-10 minutes.
Note: New Year Day is a holiday observed in Haiti. The Christians pray till midnight,
sing to the Lord and wish each other ‘Happy New Year’ afterward. Then they go
home and eat pumpkin soup. To learn more go here