Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ambrosia Macaroons

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
3 large eggs
24 ounces sweetened flaked coconut (about 6 cups firmly packed)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Line 3 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar and salt; beat until blended. Beat in orange peel, then eggs, 1 at a time. Mix in coconut. Drop batter onto sheets by tablespoonfuls, spacing 1 1/2 inches apart.

Bake macaroons, 1 sheet at a time, until golden on bottom and browned in spots, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely on sheets.

Using fork, drizzle chocolate over macaroons. Chill on sheets until chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


I have been known to eat a whole pan of this just by myself, so be forewarned...it is addictive! I want no accusations of gained poundage by overindulgence of this product.

Saltine Crackers (I usually go through a sleeve and a half for one pan)
One bag of chocolate chips
One Cup butter
One Cup of brown sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Line a lipped baking sheet (jelly roll pan) with foil. Place saltine crackers down so the entire pan is full.
  3. Melt butter and brown sugar together over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil for three minutes.
  4. Pour butter and brown sugar mixture over the saltine crackers.
  5. Put in oven for aprox. 7 minutes
  6. Take out, pour entire bag of chocolate chips evenly over the crackers. As they melt spread with a a spatula and smooth until all chips are melted.
  7. Place in freezer until hardened.
  8. Break into pieces and either refrigerate or freeze.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

A big hit at Halloweenie 2008! (I used french bread - one very large loaf yields enough bread cubes - and omitted the golden raisins and powdered sugar.) The caramel sauce may be made in advance and reheated . . . and is good on LOTS of other things (ice cream, cheesecake . . .).

Bread Pudding
2 cups half and half
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1 cup (packed) plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 cups 1/2-inch cubes egg bread (about 10-ounces)
1/2 cup golden raisins

Caramel sauce
1 1/4 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
Powdered sugar

For bread pudding:Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk half and half, pumpkin, dark brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and vanilla extract in large bowl to blend. Fold in bread cubes. Stir in golden raisins. Transfer mixture to 11x7-inch glass baking dish. Let stand 15 minutes. Bake pumpkin bread pudding until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare caramel sauce: Whisk brown sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until butter melts. Whisk in cream and stir until sugar dissolves and sauce is smooth, about 3 minutes.

Sift powdered sugar over bread pudding. Serve warm with caramel sauce.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pear, Apple and Cranberry Crisp

This recipe is for all of us "crisp" fans out there. Of course a Barefoot Contessa recipe, this one is my new favorite. It is so yummy!!

2 pounds ripe Bosc pears (4 pears)
2 pounds firm Macoun apples (6 apples) any baking apple you like
3/4 cups dried cranberries (or dried cherries)
1 tsp grated orange zest
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

For the topping:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced

Preheat oven to 350

Peel and core the pears and apples and cut them into large chunks. Place the fruit in a large bowl and toss with the cranberries, zests, juices, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour into a 9 by 12 inch baking dish.

For the topping:
**Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 - 2 minutes, or until the mixture is in large crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.

Place the baking dish on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 50min. to 1 hour, until top is brown and fruit bubbly. Serve warm with ice cream. Enjoy!

**This was my first time making a crumb topping using my Kitchen Aid... it was sooo easy and it made a great crumb topping!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


In a saucepan, bring 1 cup of sugar,  1 cup of  peanut butter, and 1 1/2 cups corn syrup to a creamy melt.     Pull from heat and add 6 cups of Rice Crispies    
In the microwave, melt one bag of butterscotch chips and chocolate chips.  Start at 1 minute and 
continue till melted                                                                         
In a large dish, put rice crispy mixture on bottom and then place the melted chips on the top.  Let set in the frig for 15 minutes or so.  Take out and serve at room temp.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Frosted Pumpkin Bars

2 Cups Sugar
4 Eggs
1 Cup veg. oil
1 can pumpkin
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine and pour in an unbuttered 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan. Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes. Let cool and frost.

1 package of cream cheese
6 Tablespoons of butter
4 Cups powdered sugar
1 Teaspoon of vanilla

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bacon Cheddar Quickbread

Lovely for a fall afternoon - I made it this morning and the whole loaf was gone by 2:00 p.m. I substituted dried apples for the pears and baked it five minutes less than specified in the recipe.

5 bacon slices, chopped
1 cup coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese plus 1/2 cup 1/4-inch cubes extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces total)
1/2 cup finely chopped moist dried pears (about 3 1/2 ounces)
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted , chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Generously butter 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch metal loaf pan. Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
Combine bacon, all cheese, dried pears, walnuts, and sage in medium bowl. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and black pepper in large bowl to blend. Whisk eggs, milk, and olive oil in another medium bowl to blend. Pour egg mixture over flour mixture and stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Add bacon-cheese mixture and stir until incorporated (dough will be very sticky). Transfer dough to prepared loaf pan; spread evenly.
Bake bread until golden on top and slender knife inserted into center of bread comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool bread in pan 5 minutes, then turn out onto rack and cool completely. Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap in plastic, then foil, and store at room temperature.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sarah's Mexi-Bake

There has been a little interest in this mexican-style casserole dish so thought I'd throw it up here for your enjoyment...super easy and cozy in the fall/winter:

one tube of buttermilk bisquits (regular, not butter flavored)
one pound ground beef
one jar mild chunky salsa
one can drained black beans
1 chopped green onion
1 bag mexican cheese
sour cream and sliced avocado on the side

Pam spray a square casserole dish. Place one layer of the bisquits on the bottom of the dish. Brown ground beef (add taco seasoning if you'd like, but not necessary) and lay over biscuits. Cover that with drained black beans, salsa, chopped onions and cheese. Cover with pam sprayed aluminum foil (so cheese doesn't stick).
Back at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover the foil to let cheese brown and cook 10more minutes. Serve with sour cream and avocado on the side.

This is a great one to make for people at anytime, it stores great in the freezer!
O.k I promise to provide a recipe in the future that isn't mexican-themed. :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


This recipe is based on the San Chez Bistro Paella.  I love Paella because you can do it just about any way you want (as evident by the Paella Party of 2008).

This is based on a 11" Paella pan.  If you have a bigger pan you may need to adjust the ingredients.

    1 T  Olive Oil
1/3 C  Roma Tomato (Grated using the large holes of a box grater)
1/3 C  Yellow Onion - Diced
1/3 C  Pimento (one small jar)
1/3 C  Green Onion -Diced
1/3 C  Peas
    1  t Garlic
    2 t  Parsley - Chopped
1/2 t  Kosher Salt
1/2 t  Spicy Smoked Paprika
1/8 t  White Pepper
    1 t  Saffron Threads (I usually use one whole packet from World Market)
3/4 C Bomba Rice (Aborio is a good substitute)
    1  C Meat (Spanish Chorizo, Shrimp, Mussels, Chicken etc.)
    2  C Stock
    1 Lemon - Quartered

  1. Heat oil in pan over med high heat.
  2. Add the Tomato, Onion, Peas and Pimentos until they are tender.
  3. Add the Garlic, Parsley, Saffron, White Pepper, Kosher Salt and Paprika to the vegetables.
  4. Add the Meat and cook lightly.
  5. Add the Rice and cook until light brown.
  6. Slowly add Stock to just submerge rice.
  7. Cook until the rice is no longer soupy (20 min). 
  8. DO NOT STIR the rice.  This forms the crusty bottom layer.
  9. Squeeze lemon over the top, let stand off heat for 5 minutes and serve.


Put on some island music, pour yourself a glass, break out the chips, and start cooking!

1 orange, cut into 1/8-inch slices
1 cup sugar
1 bottle white wine
1 bottle red wine

Sliced peaches, grapes, strawberries, apples, or other seasonal fruit (optional)
Gin, Grand Marnier, or brandy to taste (optional)

Combine wine with sugar, stirring frequently to dissolve. Add orange, other fruit or liquor options, stir. Place in frig for 4-6 hours or overnight.

Don't forget to eat the fruit when you get to the bottom of your glass-it has a little kick...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Avocado Salsa

Wow your friends at your next shin dig or canoe trip with this easy salsa that is a real crowd pleaser. Be sure to have some "Beano" on hand for anyone who may experience some abdominal discomfort due to one of the main ingredients - the black beans. Enjoy!

4 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 avocados, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 can of corn, drained
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons of water
1 packet of good seasons italian dressing mix

In a bowl, combine ingredients, cover and refrigerate for an hour. Serve with chips

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Canoe Trip Pancakes

I had so much fun on the 2008 canoe trip that I have decided that for this post, I will call these "Canoe Trip Pancakes".

Here is the recipe that I used for the pancakes. This is the recipe that ended my desire to buy box pancake mix.

1 Egg
4 Tablespoons Sugar
Pinch of Salt
2 Cups of Buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 2/3 Cups of Flour

Combine the first three ingredients (egg, sugar, salt) in a bowl and whisk well.

To that add the last three ingredients (buttermilk, baking soda, flour) and combine. Do not over-mix, it should still be a just mixed.

I use an electric griddle on high heat. Pour the pancakes on the griddle. When you flip the pancakes, poke the top with the spatula to let the steam out.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sarah's Santa Fe Bean Dip

My staple at all neighborhood events. I am not responsible for any stomach malfunctions following the large intake of the black beans...

Just add the following to a bowl and serve with tortilla chips:
1 drained can black beans
1 drained can corn
1 bag of mexican cheese
1/2 cup chopped vidalia or green onions (whichever you prefer)
1/2 cup chunky mild salsa
2 chopped avocados
Juice from one lime
salt and pepper to taste

*Optional items I have added at various events: 1 small can chopped black olives, 1/2 cup chopped green pepper, one drained can of pinto beans

For fun, you could add grilled chicken breast to the dish, as well as romaine lettuce to make more of a "salad" and less of a "dip."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Grandma Doublestein's Chicken Paprikash

A staple in the Doublestein family, this Hungarian dish has been made with Slovak modifications for decades and enjoyed by generations. Jemma even loves it, and she hates almost everything not involving bread, cheese, or sugar! The recipe is not exact in any way. I wrote down my grandma's approximations quite a few years ago, and it always turns out fine. A perfect meal for a crisp fall afternoon in front of a Michigan game or a snowy winter's night.

Saute 1 Large Onion in butter in large dutch oven
Add Chicken (about 4 legs, 4 thighs, and 2 breasts, on the bone, skin attached)
Add 4 T. Paprika
Crush a few garlic cloves into the pot, add some salt
Cover with water, cook until tender (about an hour or so). Your house will start to smell awesome!
Remove the chicken out of the "juice" and set aside

While the chicken cooks, you can mix your batter for the dumplings (which we call Halushki in Slovak)
-2 cups flour
-2 eggs
-1 t. salt
-enough water to make a thick dough (about 1 cup)

Boil the chicken "juice" after the chicken has been removed and drop the Halushki batter in by the teaspoonful. Let them cook in the boiling "juice" for about 7 minutes.
After the dumplings are cooked, you can slightly thicken the "juice" to make it "gravy" with a little flour and milk mixure. Not sure about that ratio, but use something similar in consistency as you would for a basic beef or chicken gravy. (I wouldn't use corn starch, though).
To finish the gravy, add about half a pint of sour cream. Salt and pepper to taste. You can either add the chicken back in and serve as a stew (either on the bone, or remove all the meat from the bone if you don't want to get messy), or serve the chicken as it was when removed from the liquid with the gravy and dumplings on the side. Since I like to eat it off the bone, I usually go with the latter unless I made a lot to serve at a gathering or something, in which case boneless is easier to serve and eat.
The part of this meal that still stumps me is what to serve along with it. If anybody discovers any winning combinations, let me know. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

To Begin: Frozen Berries with White Hot Chocolate

One of the many (some good, some not) ideas generated out of Orchard Ave. Canoe '08 was to create an Orchard Avenue cookbook, or something similar that would let us share all the fantastic recipes we're always cooking for one another at block parties, tailgates, progressive dinners, etc. And I thought, why not have a blog? So here's a first attempt. Everyone can log in and post. I sent an e-mail to at least one person in each family; if you want another person added, let me know the e-mail address and I'll make it done. This makes me the administrator, which is scary, because while I love to write, I am not the most tech-savvy person on the block. So, somebody else figure out how we can "tag" these recipe entries into categories, OK? That way, when Scott DeKoker wants to get Brent Early's grilled coleslaw recipe, he won't have to dig through months of random recipe listings.

I'll start off with the easiest dessert ever, one which some of you sampled under the open sky this weekend. Cheers to cooking together for many more years!

Frozen Berries with White Hot Chocolate (Ina Garten, modified to be easier by me)

serves 6-8

2 - 3 bags frozen mixed berries
1 C. heavy cream
8-10 oz. good white chocolate (not chips), chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Let the berries thaw for 10 - 15 minutes while you make the sauce. In a double-boiler (or similar), heat the cream, chocolate, and vanilla just until the chocolate melts and it's warm to the touch, whisking constantly. Divide the berries into cups or bowls, and pour the white hot chocolate evenly over them. Serve immediately.