Wednesday, March 31, 2010

white doily dinner

These dishes were passed on to us by my mother-in - law. She worked for two years at a friends restaurant when she was young, in order to buy them. They are fine china, too delicate for me to use very often, used with doilies and candle sticks I made for this week's Metamorphis Monday.
                     I love the long white dish, a garage sale find a couple years ago.
These were at Target on clearance, $4 for both. A miniature trifle dish and a couple doilies give it a new "lift".
                              Some lemon bars  on a favorite square serving plate.
                                          And a little Dove dark chocolate.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Potato Klub (kloob)

OK here it goes..... this is not for the faint of heart or the kitchen novice. I grew up with my great grandma making this, only occasionally but it was quite a treat every time. I married a man who's mother used to make it in her restaurant, she actually taught me hands on how to do it. Thanks Carolyn! It is an absolute favorite. I have heard it has Norwegian as well as German roots.  No dieters allowed past this point!
 All amounts are approximate, it is not an exact kind of recipe, it is more about technique. This is a large recipe that will make about 25 klubs.
Boil ham bone in a large, very large pot filled half way.( I use my canner and another large aluminum pot) If you don't have a ham bone you can simply boil water and season with ham seasoning.
Peel approximately 15 pounds of potatoes and cut into pieces like this
Now, I use an old fashioned meat grinder......I have been asked if you can use a food processor, I don't know. I never have,  this is the way it was done and taught to me so this is the way I do it.

place ground potatoes into cool water, by handfuls, SQUEEZE the water and starch out of them and place into another bowl.

Now chop ham, left over or a Jenny-o ham, into 1/2 in squares, set aside.
For the 15 lbs of potatoes it ends up being about 10 c flour used. I keep the flour and potatoes separate and in a third bowl I begin to mix, add a little of each and form a ball, one that holds together like a snowball.  Too much flour or too little flour will cause klub to fall apart when boiling.  If you have the right consistency you can push your thumb in the middle to form a hole, place 4 or so pieces of ham inside, seal, again, squeeze hard, make sure the klub is firm, it will still be soft but should hold together well, form all balls, setting on a lightly floured surface.
Drop gently into pot a few at a time, try to keep at a full boil, cover partially with lid to keep temperature steady. When all have been added, gently stir to keep from sticking, soon....they will begin to float.
Let boil for about 1 hour and 15 min. To test doneness, let one sit for about 2 min, cut open, it will be slightly wet but firm and will continue to firm up and "dry out" if in 5 minutes it has a nice texture, it is done. Usually they don't take longer than 1 1/2 hours if the boil has been maintained.
You can remove them and let sit on a cooling rack for about 5 min, then.......Smother them with butter, salt and pepper. NO you can not merely place a little bit of butter on them, it is against the law. I know, some of you are saying..."Are you kidding?"  well...try them and see. They say you shouldn't swim for an hour after you eat.... with potato klub I think it is 4 days, you will sink!
When you are done....some fun things to is all the starch sitting in the water bowl after grinding.
YUK! and here is what your kitchen will look like if you did it right.
Take that Julia! Bon Appetite

Cranberry Apple Salad

Chop 2 heads of Romain lettuce
2 c fresh spinach
dice or leave in rings, 1/2 red onion
seed and chop 1 large apple, leave the peel on
toss in 1/2 c dried cranberries
add 1/2 c pecans or walnuts
drizzle with Balsamic vinegar and olive oil, or top with your favorite dressing.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Strawberry Glaze

Glaze for strawberry pie.
Cook 3/4 c sliced strawberries with 2 c water, when berries are soft, mash and then strain juice, place back into pot, dis-guard strawberries. Mix in 1 1/2 c sugar 6 Tbs corn starch and cook until bubbly an thick. Add 2-3 drops red food coloring. 
This is a large recipe, it will make one hefty pie or two average pies. Mix in strawberries and fill a baked pie crust, allow to cool in fridge 2-3 hours for best results.

Easy Strawberry Pound Cake

Ok this one goes down for cheater's baking.... You can however make the pound cake and the strawberry glaze from scratch, but for a quick spring dessert try this.

Make or buy a pound cake, I just happened to use Toro's gluten free sponge cake mix  for the one shown. You could use a Sarah Lee or even an angel food mix.
 Slice 1 pint of strawberries, cut cake in half. Mix in 1/2 package of glaze or make your own. Spread strawberry mix onto cake and top with other half. Serve with whipped topping. 
Walmart has a sugar free glaze mix for around 2 dollars, it is usually in the produce dept.
soon your cake will look like this.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring Tablescape

Spring is here! Well, so to speak I do live in North Dakota, so if you count cold weather, possible snow and snirt (snow- dirt piles) then spring is here! Let's celebrate.

First daisy dishes and gold chargers.

Little touches like individual salt and pepper shakers and wine glasses, with a flower tower for serving desserts!
                   Daisy Daisy Daisy

A few faux peonies under the cake plate, and a couple tea pot candles with a big chocolate bunny! He is made of plastic so he has no fear of the sunshine!
A wonderful matching tray...little story, my friend Deb bought this for herself, she knew I had these dishes, but she loved the tray and told me I could borrow it any time. However she (I think out of guilt) gave me the tray for my birthday....she can borrow it any time. *wink
Another little surprise, while visiting family in Mississippi, we went to the Dirt Cheap salvage store and bought a cart.....yes, a whole cart for a dollar and what should be inside?
                                           A daisy plate!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Coconut Macaroon, gluten free

1/3 c sugar
1 lg egg white
1 c shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
1/4 c slivered almonds (omit if nut allergy)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Whisk together egg white and sugar, fold in remaining ingredients, Form into 8 cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 15 min at 350.

Coconut Macaroons

2 egg whites at room temp
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 c sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/3 c flour
2 c toasted coconut

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form, Add sugar 1 Tbs at a time until incorporated and stiff peaks form, about 5 min.  Fold in extract and flour until blended, then coconut. Drop onto greased cookie sheet, or lined with parchment or Silpat. Bake at 325 15 -17 min or until golden brown. You can drizzle chocolate on top if you like, or dip half of cookie into melted chocolate.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Flourless Chocolate cake

This one is super gooey. I am one of those people in which the terms, too rich or too sweet, do not exist. In fact one of my favorite movies has a scene that goes like this. 

The women of Steele Magnolias are at the beauty parlor, when one asks for the cup a cup recipe, Dolly Partons character says " oh that's easy, a cup of flour, a cup of sugar and a can of fruit cocktail with the juice, bake for one hour." To which Olympia Dukakis's character says, "Sounds rich!" I love Dolly's reply...."It is, so I serve mine over ice cream." 
Oh Yes!
 Get ready for a side of ice cream.

 12 oz bag chocolate chips
1 1/3 c sugar
1/2 c water
1 c butter
5 eggs

 Butter or spray a 9 in round pan and line with parchment paper, now spray the paper. Set aside.
In a large sauce pan bring to a boil over med heat, 1/2 c water and 1 1/3 c sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in a 12 oz bag of chocolate chips, (milk, semi-sweet or dark). Now stir in 1 c softened, not melted butter. Stir until all is melted and combined.
Now lightly beat 5 eggs in a small bowl and place about 1/2 c choc mixture into eggs and whisk. Once incorporated pour contents into the pot of chocolate. This tempers your eggs so they will not cook.

Once eggs are mixed in, pour into pan and place pan onto a rack in an oven roaster or 9x 13. Pour hot water until it comes half way up the cake pan. This water bath or Bain Marie, ensures even cooking. Place in center of oven and bake at 350 for 30- 40 min. or until center tests almost done. Let cool on a wire rack.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I have to admit, I don't know if I ever make chili exactly the same way twice but here is a basic recipe that I probably adhere to the most.
This fills a large crock pot.
2 # ground beef or turkey, browned and drained
8 cans of beans, I use red kidney, chili, and white beans. Fell free to mix and match.
   (drain and rinse kidney, white, or navy beans. if I use chili beans I will put the liquid in with them, up to 3 cans, then I will drain any after that)
1 29oz can tomato sauce
2-3 cloves crushed garlic or 2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 large onion, diced
1/4 c honey
2 tsp. cumin
1-2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 c chili powder
salt and pepper
Put into crock pot and let simmer about 8 hours, a couple hours in, do a little taste test, add more of what you like, if it is too thick add 1/2 c water or more tomato sauce. 
You will notice I do not add canned tomatoes to mine, you however can if you like. I don't because I simply don't like them in my chili.
chopped onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, crackers, corn chips 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

1 1/2 c sugar, divided
1 Tbs. cinnamon
2 c flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c buttermilk
1 egg
1/4 c oil

Combine 1/2 c sugar and the cinnamon in small bowl,set aside. In large bowl mix flour, salt, soda and 1 c sugar. Mix together egg, oil and milk, add to flour mixture. Place half of recipe in sprayed loaf pan (spray bottom only) Place 3/4 of cinnamon/sugar mixture, then place remaining batter. Sprinkle the last of cinn/sugar on top. Bake at 350 for 45-50 min or until center tests done.

Monday, March 8, 2010

cream cheese squares

I have to admit, if I had come across this recipe on my own, it probably wouldn't have caught my eye. But I had heard friends raving about it so I thought I better try it. OH MY! I love them, super easy, super yummy!

2 (8oz) cans refrigerated crescent rolls                  
2 (8 oz) cream cheese
1 c sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 stick melted butter
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350, grease 9x13 pan. Press one can crescent rolls into bottom of pan -sealing seams. In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese, 1 c sugar and vanilla until creamy. Spread over rolls, unroll the other can of crescents and lay over cream cheese filling, do not press. Pour melted butter over top and sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over. Bake for 25-30 min.  The original recipe says best served cold, I have to say I like them hot or room temp best but they aint bad cold either.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

salad tools

Lettuce Knife
 made of plastic, it is safe and no metal to cause browning of the lettuce, available in most kitchen and supermarkets for $4-10.
The gadget on the right is a vegetable peeler that fits on your finger, I love it and think it works better than any other I have ever used. I found it at Bed Bath and Beyond for $5. The blue peeler to the left, I am afraid I don't know the official name, but it Julianes vegetables wonderfully! I found it at a local Asian market for around $6, if you know its official name, please comment.
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