Sunday, December 20, 2015


(Serve with Caramel Economy Frosting)

2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature 
2 c. light brown packed sugar
4 eggs, beaten

1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. heaping baking soda
1 c. chopped black walnuts (or English)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 c. raisins
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. buttermilk
2 c. blackberry jam

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a large tube pan that holds 10 cups. (A standard bundt is too small!) Cream together butter, sugar, then add eggs. Set aside. Sift together all dry ingredients (including spices). Mix together the dry ingredients, alternating with 1 cup of buttermilk, into the creamed ingredients and mix well. Fold in blackberry jam. (I take a cup of the mixture and hand mix the blackberry jam into it) You want to avoid "clumps" of jam as they will fall to the bottom of the pan and make uneven baking. Fold in nuts and raisins. Bake in a tube pan (I put it on a cookie sheet) for 65-70 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool and frost with caramel economy frosting.
Note: This was a cake my grandmother, Ada, made for each of her children at Christmas.
Freeze in slices, freezes very well.

(For the Blackberry Jam Cake)

1 1/2 c. sugar
1 T. butter, unsalted
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. evaporated milk
1 T. white Karo syrup
Boil sugar, milk and Karo to a soft ball stage (like fudge). Cool slightly. Then add butter and vanilla. Beat until thick enough to spread. Add warm water droplets to thin out if it gets too thick to spread. Top with candied cherries or nuts if you wish.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Colonial Cookies (Page 73)

COLONIAL COOKIES                                                      Melody Bain
1 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar plus extra for dusting
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 c. quick cooking oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl mix the sugar, butter, flour and baking soda with very well a pastry blender. Mix in oats very well. Take a scoop measure and roll into balls, place on cookie sheet. Dip a glass in a bowl of sugar and then flatten the balls with the glass. Bake "until done" (she thinks it's funny when I want a time!). "Until golden around the edges." 15- 18 minutes for my oven. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet, as these cookies are very fragile (* see cloud note) .
Note: Melody is one of the best cookie makers I know. Her cookies almost float, hovering over the plate. Her cookies are a cross between a dessert and a *cloud. Light fluffy and delicious.

(For the fall I dusted with orange sugar)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Tuscan Bean and Sausage Dip

Tuscan Bean and Sausage Dip

1 lb bulk hot Italian sausage
1 med onion chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
½ c dry white wine or chicken broth
½ t oregano
¼ t salt
¼ t thyme
8 oz cream cheese softened
1 pkg (6 oz.) coarsely chopped baby spinach
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans rinsed & drained
1 cup chopped seeded tomatoes
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat 375. Cook sausage, onion & garlic over med heat until sausage cooked. Make crumbles, drain grease. stir in wine, oregano, salt & thyme. Bring to a boil & cook until liquid almost evaporated. Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Stir in spinach, bean & tomato. Cook and stir until spinach is wilted. Transfer to 8 in square or 1 ½ qt pan. Sprinkle w/ all the cheese.  Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with crackers or Tostito scoops.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Suppli Al Telephono

This means "Telephone wires" since they imitate telephone wires when you bite into them and have a cheese string from your mouth to your hand. These are fun to make.

Suppli al Telefono
This is a popular appetizer from Italy that was designed to use up leftover risotto. For advance preparation, the risotto balls may be fried ahead and reheated in 350 degree oven before serving. When it's prepared and heated properly it should be stretched strands of cheese when one bites into it. It imitates telephone wires, ergo the name.

Base risotto:
4-5 c. chicken broth
1/4 cup olive oil
 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium onion diced
 2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt to taste

Bring broth to a boil in a med. saucepan & keep it to a simmer (Don't let it boil away). In a separate large saucepan pan, heat olive oil and butter. Add diced onion and sauté over med. heat, until translucent 4-5 minutes. Stir in rice and cook just long enough to coat the grains thoroughly 1-2 min.
Heat on medium heat, add 1/3 cup simmering broth and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is absorbed. Always stir in the same direction "because"….not sure why, but that’s how I was trained. Continue to add broth 1/3 cup at a time stirring constantly over med. heat until all liquid is absorbed until all liquid is gone ~ about 16 min. until rice is tender with a bite to the middle. Remove from heat and add cheese, season with salt. Allow rice to cool about 2 hours before making the balls. You may also cover and refrigerate until the next day.

Mozzarella balls:
Risotto recipe as above.
3 large eggs DIVIDED,  1 in risotto and 2 eggs for dipping
4 oz. mozzarella diced
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese grated
2 Tbsp. minced Italian parsley
salt &pepper to taste
2 cups dried bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying

Beat 1 egg and add to cooled risotto, mix well. Combine  Parmesan, parsley, salt and pepper.

Scoop up egg sized amount of risotto (1 1/2 Tbsp.) and lay it in the palm of your hand.
 The rice should be no more than 1/2 inch deep.
 Make an indentation in the center, fill with small diced cube of mozzarella and fold over, roll into a ball. Don't over stuff it.
 Lay it on a bake sheet and finish rolling all the balls. (*Rinse hands every 4-5 balls). Beat the remaining eggs with a little salt in a small bowl. Set breadcrumbs on a small bowl or plate. Dip the ball first into the egg, and drop into the bread crumbs and roll.

“Wet hand" and "dry hand " technique works well here! (Keep 1 for wet and 1 for dry). Lay on separate sheet. You may need to refrigerate briefly until balls become firm. Heat 3 inches of oil in the pan until 375 degrees. Test oil by dropping a few bread crumbs in the oil. They should bubble and turn brown almost instantly. Using a slotted spoon lower the rice balls into the oil.
Fry until golden brown about 2 min. (I did 3 at a time) Remove with a slotted spoon onto paper towels.
Serve immediately with PIZZA SAUCE!
When you pull them apart the string should be line string. I have not tried freezing them. You can reheat in the oven 350 degrees until done or microwave (if you are a Type A Osler)

Makes 20-24.