Saturday, October 31, 2015


My husband's college roommate was a great cook and I still hear stories of some of the southern fabulousness Dave Walker served up. So when Dave posted his biscuit recipe in FaceBook, I knew I had to share! Mark says that when Dave's momma made iced tea, it was so clear and incredibly sweet, it sparkled.
2 cups all purpose flour (never self rising)
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 T Crisco (never use oil)
1 1/4- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Preheat oven to 475. Put 1 T of Crisco on a 10" flat cast iron baker and put baker in the oven while it is preheating just long enough to melt the Crisco. Mix together the dry ingredients. Cut in remaining 2 T of Crisco with a pastry cutter. Mix in just enough buttermilk to make a slightly soft dough. Turn out onto a floured pastry cloth( mine is over 30 years old and is never washed, just stored in a Ziploc bag). Lightly knead then pat out (never roll) to about 3/4" thick. Cut all dough with 2" biscuit cutter then put biscuits on the baker turning them over 1 time to coat them evenly in Crisco ( this make them golden brown top and bottom). Bake 8-10 minutes then enjoy.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Cream Cheese Pound Cake and Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Browned Butter Frosting

Pound cakes taste fabulous after they've sat (covered) a couple of days. They're never as good on the day they're baked.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake - a delicate white cake
3 sticks butter (salted), room temp
1 - 8 oz bar cream cheese (not low fat), room temp
3 C white sugar
6 lg eggs, room temp
3C all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 T vanilla extract
Cream butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Don't over beat.  Gradually add sugar, beat well. Add eggs one at a time. Sift flour and salt. Gradually add to wet mixture. Stir in vanilla. Pour into well greased tube pan with a parchment or waxed paper liner on the bottom. Bake at 300 for 1 hour and 40 minutes.
This is not the same as the Sour Cream Pound Cake I make at Christmas. I may like it better!

Brown Sugar & Pecan Pound Cake - This cake comes out high and heavy and so so delicious.
Cream together:
3 sticks butter (salted), room temp
1 pound brown sugar (2 C)
1 C white sugar
Add 6 eggs one at a time
Add 1 C milk, alternating with
3 C all purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
Mix and then add
1 t vanilla and
1 C chopped pecans (optional)
Bake 325 degrees in a large prepared tube pan for 1-1/2 hours.

Browned Butter Frosting
2 sticks salted butter
2 C powdered sugar (16 oz)
1/4 C half and half cream (or milk)
1 t vanilla
In a saucepan, melt 2 sticks butter over medium temp, stirring constantly. It will be a constant boil. Continue for about 8 minutes until it has passed the golden stage and dark crumbs start to develop. Pour all of it, including the crumbs, into a glass bowl (put a metal spoon in to absorb the heat so the glass doesn't crack). Let it sit a few minutes and then remove the spoon and refrigerate until it is very cold and the edges start to harden. Scrape into a mixing bowl and mix until the butter looks a bit fluffy. Add powdered sugar and milk, alternating, ending with the powdered sugar. You can add/subtract sugar depending on thickness desired.  Add vanilla and mix. If you use these exact measurements, the frosting will be a bit loose, easy to ice cake, but won't slide down the sides. You will see specks from the burnt butter in the frosting, which to me, adds character. Decorate with pecan halves. This is my absolute favorite icing and well worth the extra time for cooking and cooling. It is really good on hummingbird cake too.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Low Carb Blueberry Omlette - a sweet treat, like french toast!

I made this and it was SO GOOD!

Here's what I did differently...
I mixed one tablespoon of room temp (microwave a few secs) cream cheese, mixed it with a dash of salt, cinnamon, and splenda.  Once it was in the buttered frying pan, I added about a dozen blueberries.  Cooked, flipped, and added a sliver of cream cheese, more splenda and cinnamon, and a few raw blueberries.

It was so so so good!  Mark said it was a blueberry fritatta.  It was like French toast without the bread and I could eat this every morning.  Very simple to make.

Here's a picture I took after I started eating mine. I couldn't stop myself!!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Creamed Shrimp and Vegetables

I found this blogger and like her recipes, but I have to make them my own.

I followed directions, but since I only had a half bag of spinach, I wilted that into the shrimp before pouring it on top of a bag of cooked and well-drained broccoli and cauliflower. Mark and I want to eat this again and again! We were surely members of the "clean you plate club!"

Sunday, February 1, 2015

It Was A Costco Day!

I have rheumatoid arthritis, a painful, energy sapping inconvenience in my happy life.  Yesterday was one of those days, but we needed stuff from Costco, stadium-sized, with mile long aisles of endless hard cement floors.  It looks different when you don't feel in tip-top shape.  My big sweetie recognizes my challenge at keeping up with his long strides and patiently slows for me. I am distracted by clothes and books, he waits. He is sidelined by tools and sports equipment and I breeze past, knowing he will easily catch up. I love him. I love that he understands that, after doing the Costco Mile, I have no energy left to help put away a grocery cart full of things we didn't plan to purchase and have no room for in the tiny kitchen of our 1300 sq ft retirement home into which we recently downsized. While I separate massive packets of hamburgers and pork chops into freezer bags of 3 each, he hides away a few granddaddy oak trees' worth of toilet paper in a garage cabinet that I cannot reach. The trash bags are too heavy for me to lift. Thank God for a car with a trunk massive enough to stash away five basketball players.

Costco is a store so huge, it would make people from third world countries cry at the excess. I wander down the aisles and get to a point that I could just collapse on the floor and cry from exhaustion.  But I don't. Mark is a dear and realizes my predicament and offers to get me a wheelchair or motorized cart.  I usually just man up and press on.  Mark makes sure there is something simple for us to eat after we finally get home and unload. I don't care much for the already prepared meals.  I am a better cook than the folks at Costco kitchens, mixing up foods for the masses.

I like their chicken alfredo, nope, too many carbs. Instead, we had my very favorite insty meal that Costco offers: hot roasted chicken and a spinach salad with cheese, cran-raisins, boiled eggs, and the most delicious poppy seed dressing. Markle-Farkle, my sweetheart, if you are reading this - Thank you for taking such good care of me, thank you for never letting us run out of toilet paper. And thank you for fixing blueberries and strawberries in heavy cream for dessert.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Low Carb Treat - a drink concoction I invented and LOVE

Into a quart jar goes
1-1/2 c.  almond milk
1 c. cold coffee - the strong stuff!
1/2 c. heavy cream
2-3 tsp. Splenda
1-2 T. cocoa powder
4 T sugar-free peanut butter - I make huge spoonfuls

Stick the immersion blender in and mix on high speed to blend completely. Share some with your sweetie. I like to drink mine from a straw, over ice.

Beef Shank and Eggplant - A fabulous one-pot meal.

Beef Shank with Onion, Mushroom and Eggplant

I started with two bone-in beef shanks that I bought because, well, I had never bought these before and a lady kept rhapsodising about using them in a recipe called Osso Buco. I planned on a two hour cast iron pot in oven cookathon, but I worked late and didn't get home until almost 6PM and we were pretty hungry, so following a recipe wasn't in my last minute plan.  I still haven't looked up Osso Buco.
Beef Shank is a slice of cow leg. It's tough. It's tasty.
Here's what I chose to make this meal: one big purple eggplant, a box of whole white mushrooms, a glass of dry champagne that had lost it's bubbles, one honking big sweet onion, some garlic, a can of chopped tomatoes, and a box of beef broth.  I could make that work!

Into the big frying pan/pot went a couple of swirls of olive oil and a pat of butter to get hot.  Added both beef shanks to sizzle and braise. I shook on my favorite spice on earth, Spike Original Seasoning. And because I like it so much, I added a half teaspoon of pepper too.  I also added more salt because I knew it would be spread amongst a host of vegetables once the meal was done.

While the meat was browning, I sliced up a huge sweet onion in big chunks (you know it will be sweet if the onion is flat instead of round) and chopped three garlic cloves. Once seared, I moved the meat to a plate and started the onion and garlic to cook on medium/high while I peeled and chopped the eggplant and sliced it into 1" cubes.  Add that to the pan, let it get a little suntan in the pot for a few minutes and then slosh in a couple of cups of beef broth and a regular sized can of petite chopped tomatoes in sauce. I poured myself the last glass of New Year's champagne, realized it was flat and tossed that into the pot too. Wine always makes stewy type food better. Give it all a good stir, nestle meat in, quarter and drop in about ten mushrooms, lower temp to med/med-low and put the lid on the pan.  I set my timer for a half hour, checked the pot to make sure it wasn't drying up (it wasn't) and then set it again for another half hour. Lord knows, those leg muscles would be tough as shoe leather if it didn't get some pot cooking time in.

With about 15 minutes prep time and an hour cook time, we were washing the ONE pot by 7:30. There was enough for another meal, but my husband is a big hungry boy, and devoured what was left in the pot because he couldn't stop himself.  It was heavenly!  The meat was tender. The vegetables and broth came together and became thick, delicious and savory. It was thick, as if I had used flour in the recipe, but I didn't. And I loved the occasional seed crunch in eggplant. It wasn't overwhelming (I prefer my eggplant sliced thin, breaded, fried and covered in spaghetti sauce). The marrow in the shank bone was heavenly, creamy, and delicious.  One we were finished, our little yorkie dog was so excited to get the bone. Bigger dogs could choke on a bone this size, but it was bigger than Juliet's tiny little mouth.

Mark asks to have this again, please.  Next time I'll put the extra aside before he starts serving himself a ridiculous, gut busting amount of food.  Did I mention low carb?  Yes. We are on a low carb diet and my Big Sweetie loves that he can eat until the cows come home as long as it isn't loaded in carbohydrates.

Dessert was sugar free strawberry Jello, buried in a blinding snowstorm of real whipped cream and topped with three big Plant City, FL strawberries, sliced.

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