Thursday, April 17, 2014

Trivia answer and first of several reviews

Your last trivia question was: Which U.S. President made the first telephone call to the moon?
Does anyone want to hazard a guess? The answer Richard M. Nixon on July 20, 1969.

I know, I know...Still having some issues with blogspot, so it makes it look like I am not being a very responsible poster, but I am keeping on top of them...

Generally, I absolutly love Banquet brands TV dinners.  You get the most bang for your buck, the best flavour, and great ingredients for the most part.  Everyone in my family loves them, on the days that I dont feel up to cooking, etc.  We noticed, lately, that they are venturing into the breakfast bowl area...

The picture on the box looks pretty appetizing, but this new "cheesy Potato Bake with Bacon" really falls flat.  It seems to be a pretty good size bowl, but when you open the box, you, like we were, will be sorely disappointed.  It shows a bowl of chunky potatoes, a good amount of bacon and broccoli in a cheese sauce.  Guess what?  You will soon see that there are about 5 chunks of potatoes, bacon pieces that are so small they are unrecognizeable as bacon, and the same goes for the broccoli, the pieces are so small, that if these pieces weren't green, you would never know they were broccoli!  Plenty of sauce, which was bland and soupy.  Very little flavour, very little seasoning.  To be honest, don't waste your money on this, you need about three of these to make a worthwhile breakfast.  You are better off buying the breakfast pot pies that are also available...sure the picture is not as gourmet looking when it comes to the pot pies, but they taste better, and are more filling!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Better than cinnamon rolls...

Luxe Cinnamon Sugar Biscuits

Get a tube of grands flakey layers biscuits, separate them out onto a cookie sheet, spread a light layer of margarine on the tops of each biscuit, sprinkle the tops liberally with cinnamon sugar. put into a 350 degree oven for 14 minutes. While they are baking take about half a cup of margarine/butter and mix in 1/3 cup brown sugar. take the biscuits out and let them cool for about ten minutes. split each biscuit open and spread liberally with the brown sugar margarine spread...and if you really want to "guild the lily", you can make a topping for these biscuits using 1 cup mexican crema, plain/vanilla greek yogurt or sour cream and mix in 1/4 cup honey...drizzle the biscuits liberally with this topping...fantastic!!

I created this recipe when I really didn't know what I wanted to make for a dessert, one night.  I looked in the fridge, it was at the end of the month so we hadn't gone shopping yet, so there wasn't much to choose from.  So, I had a wild idea, Jr. had been asking for cinnamon rolls, but that is such a time consuming endeavor, I wanted to really cut down on the time and effort...pretty much fix it and forget it!  And so was borne the Luxe Cinnamon Sugar Biscuit recipe...and now my family begs for these, and drools over them every time I mention the idea of making them !!

Busy busy busy

Alright my dear readers, I have been gone awhile because I have been researching products and recipes for you...some good, some not so good...I will be posting all that i have done these past couple of weeks, I am sure this will have been worth the wait!

How about a bit of trivia?  Which U.S. President made the first telephone call to the moon?
Does anyone want to hazard a guess?

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Thai Fried Chicken Wings with Hot-and-Sour Sauce and Salted Mango


1/4 cup corn oil,[for sauce] 1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots or onions [for sauce] 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic [for sauce] 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons chopped dried red finger chiles [for sauce] 3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 fresh red Thai chile [for sauce] 2 fresh red Thai chiles, thinly sliced
1 1/4-inch piece fresh galangal, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices or ginger[for sauce] 1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon shrimp paste [for sauce] 2 pounds chicken mini drumsticks from chicken wings or chicken wings, separated at joint
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar in the raw [for sauce] 1 ripe mango, cut into 1-inch slices
2 tablespoons tamarind paste [for sauce] 2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar [for sauce] corn oil for deep-frying
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice [for sauce] 1/2 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon fish sauce [for sauce] 1/2 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt [for sauce] 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

  • 1 To make the sauce: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, until they become a deep golden brown. Add the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • 2 Simmer, stirring, for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and transfer to a blender. Purée carefully until smooth, transfer to a large mixing bowl, and set aside until ready to use.
  • 3 To make the wings: Put the soy sauce, lime juice, nam pla, garlic, chiles, and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cool completely, then pour over the mini drumsticks in a shallow baking dish and toss to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • 4 Meanwhile, toss the mango cubes with the salt in a small bowl and let sit for 30 minutes.
  • 5 When ready to cook, pour oil to a depth of 3 inches in a heavy, deep pot and heat to 375°F. Remove the drumsticks from the marinade and pat dry. Combine the cornstarch and rice flour on a shallow plate. Dredge the chicken in the mixture, then carefully put in the pot. Do not overcrowd; work in batches if necessary. Cook until crisp, brown, and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Adjust the heat as necessary to maintain the oil’s temperature.
  • 6 Drain on paper towels and transfer to the bowl of hot-and-sour sauce. Toss well to coat and transfer to the serving plates. Arrange the salted mango in a little mound next to the chicken, garnish with the mint leaves, and serve.

Emeril's Delmonico Crab Cakes with Mustard Creme Fraiche

Emeril's Delmonico Crab Cakes with Mustard Creme Fraiche


1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup mayonnaise 1 large egg
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs 1 tablespoon milk
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions 1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives Vegetable oil, for frying
2 tablespoons chopped parsley 1 cup creme fraiche (sour cream or mexican crema works well also)
1 tablespoon lemon juice 3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning breading 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cayenne 1/2 cup bread and butter pickles, roughly chopped, for garnish
3/4 teaspoon ground white pepper 1/2 cup pickled onions, roughly chopped, for garnish

  • 1 In a mixing bowl combine the crabmeat, mayonnaise, panko, green onions, chives, parsley, lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, cayenne and 1/4 teaspoon of the white pepper and stir gently to combine. Divide the crab mixture into 8 evenly sized cakes, about 1/4 cup each, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze for 20 minutes before proceeding.
  • 2 Place the flour into a shallow bowl and season lightly with salt. Place the egg and milk into a second shallow bowl and mix with a fork or small whisk. Season lightly with salt. Repeat with the breadcrumbs and a third bowl. Remove the crabcakes from the freezer and, one by one, dredge in the flour, then the eggwash, then finally in the breadcrumbs, shaking excess from the cakes after each step. Transfer to a clean parchment lined plate or baking sheet. Repeat with remaining crabcakes and refrigerate until ready to cook, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours in advance.
  • 3 While the crabcakes are chilling, make the Mustard Crème Fraiche by combining the crème fraiche, lemon juice, mustard seeds, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine and set aside to allow the seeds to soften.
  • 4 When ready to cook the crabcakes, place enough vegetable oil in a large (12-inch) skillet to come about 1/2-inch up the sides of the pan and heat over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the crabcakes to the pan and fry until golden brown on both sides, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper lined plate to drain briefly before serving. Serve hot, with the Mustard Crème Fraiche drizzled over the top and garnished with the chopped pickles and onions.

spotted dog scones

Spotted Dog Scones


3 2/3 cups Gold Medal® All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
2/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup currants(or regular raisins)
1 large egg
1 2/3 cups buttermilk


1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly dust a baking sheet with flour.
2. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and the dried fruit.
3. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg and buttermilk. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid mixture. Use one hand stretched like a claw to mix the dough and combine until all is moistened (don't try to knead it or it will be too heavy). The dough will be soft but not too wet and sticky.
4. Scrape the dough out onto a floured surface and bring together a little more, as needed. Transfer the dough to the floured baking sheet and form a long, flat rectangle- about 1-inch high. Cut into mini scones (triangles) using a pizza cutter or a knife. Pull each scone a little bit away from the others. Bake 12 to 15 minutes (or until golden and baked through). Let cool a bit, then serve warm with butter and jam. (re-heat as needed in the microwave)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

mini Pumpkin Spice Loaves

mini Pumpkin Spice Loaves (can be used in mini muffin pans also)

3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1/4 ground nutmeg
1 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup butter/margarine, softened
3 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 12 mini loaf pans (or the appropriate number of mini/regular muffin pans).
In medium bowl, mix dry ingredients, pecans and raisins. Toss to coat, then set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter/margarine with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy.  Gradually add sugar, beating well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating just till combined.  On low speed beat in flour mixture alternately with pumpkin.  Stir in vanilla.  Divide batter amongst loaf pans or about 3/4 of the way up the muffin pans.
Bake 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  For muffins, check them after about 20 minutes...and add more time accordingly, as needed, till the toothpick comes out clean.
Cool completely.  Dust with powdered sugar.