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Showing posts from July, 2016

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

The Sous Chef is a sucker for a coffee cake. I think they're OK but add some chocolate chips and I think they're more than OK. Because of the sour cream in this recipe the cake is really moist.

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake (Adapted from a page torn from a magazine from so long ago that the paper has yellowed)


3/4 c brown sugar
3/4 c flour
3/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
6 T butter, cold & cut up

2 1/4 c flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 stick butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1 c sour cream
1/2 c chocolate chips

Prepare topping: In a medium bowl cut butter into dry ingredients. You want it to look like wet sand. Place in refrigerator while you prepare the cake batter.
Cake: Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a mixer cream butter and sugar about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and mix well. Alternate adding sour cream and flour in three additions. Fold chocolate chips into batter. Spoon…

Chocolate Pudding?

When I first saw this recipe I was very intrigued. I mean avocado - really? Well let me tell you, you would never know there was avocado in there. It is so creamy and chocolatey. Best of all there's no heating up anything. It's the perfect summer dish If you have avocados in the kitchen, I suggest you make this immediately. Most of the other ingredients you probably have around.

Chocolate Pudding? (Adapted from BonAppetit)

2 avocados
1t vanilla
3/4 c cocoa
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c agave nectar
1/4 c OJ (preferably fresh)
1/2 t salt
up to 1/2 c hot water

Place all ingredients (except water) into the bowl of the food processor. Buzz until creamy consistency. Drizzle in hot water gradually until it reaches pudding consistency. Chill for 3 hours. Serve with desired topping.

See easy peasy. I didn't tell the Sous Chef that it was anything but chocolate pudding. He had no clue. The original recipe required 1/2 c maple syrup. I felt it was a little too sweet - shocking I know. I c…


You know how sometimes you get something in your head and you just have to have it. The eldest planted knishes in my brain and I had to make them. I haven't made them in ages. Summer is not necessarily the ideal time for knishes, but tell that to my brain. There's boiling and baking involved so try to find a cool-ish day.
Knishes (Adapted from Cooking Light - from so long ago it's not even on their website!)

3 c peeled baking potatoes, cut into 1" cubes (about 2 large)
1/3 c chicken broth
1 1/2 c finely chopped onion
olive oil

2 1/3 c flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 c yogurt (or sour cream)
4T water
1 egg
2 T butter, melted

Egg wash
1 egg
1 T water

Prepare Filling:
Boil potatoes in water until tender - about 15 minutes. Mash in chicken broth and salt/pepper. While potatoes are boiling saute onions with olive oil and salt in a frying pan until just starting to turn golden brown (the longer the better flavor but uglier color). Mix onions…

Coconut Milk Panna Cotta

Gelatin is a pretty cool thing - except when you start to think where it actually comes from. I'm thinking it's so processed now a days that it it's not really associated with the gelatin of olden days (I've convinced myself of this so that I'm not totally grossed out). When you look at a sheet of gelatin, it looks so benign.

I bought these quite some time ago in Aruba in a supermarket. I love to explore food stores in other countries. You often find some pretty cool things. This had no English translation on the package so I had to make do with the youngest translating it from German for me. She translated enough for me to get the major gist of it. I did some searching on the web-of-knowledge (AKA the internet) to find the equivalents to one envelope of the powdered stuff. I found anywhere from 3-5 sheets were equal to 1 envelope. I decided to start with the three and see what happened.

Coconut Milk Panna Cotta (Adapted from Cooking Pleasures)

1 pkg (1/4 oz) unfl…

Blue Cheese Cole Slaw

I had a head of red cabbage and was trying to decide what to do with it. I decided since it was warm out to make cole slaw. I like this version because it is slightly different than plain ol' cole slaw.

Blue Cheese Cole Slaw (Adapted from Ina Garten)

1/2 head small green cabbage
1/2 head small red cabbage
4 large carrots
about 2 c mayonnaise (preferably homemade!)
6 oz crumbled blue cheese
If not using homemade mayonnaise: add 1T vinegar, 1t Dijon mustard, & chopped parsley)

Cut cabbages in half and then quarters. Remove cores. Shred (more easily done in the food processor) cabbage, and carrots. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in mayonnaise. Add blue cheese, salt/pepper. Chill.

I think I much prefer using both the green and red cabbage. The red alone looks a little funky. The herbs that I put in the mayonnaise were parsley, chive, and a few sprigs of thyme.

FBF - Cracked Wheat and Nectarine Salad

Time for another salad. It's cracked wheat salad with nectarines this time around. This is a very refreshing salad. Since peaches are in season now, I see no problem with using peaches instead of nectarines.

Happy Bastille Day!

Happy Bastille Day - I was so excited, I couldn't keep my beret on!

Blueberry Cake

In addition to those wonderful life lessons, there are also those kitchen lessons. Like not forgetting to grease AND flour the pan. But it happens. What to do when you're stuck - make the best of it.

Blueberry Cake (Adapted from Fine Cooking)

1 c butter
6 oz. cream cheese
2 t. finely grated lime zest
1 3/4 c sugar
1t vanilla
4 large eggs 
2 1/3 cups) flour1 
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
2-1/2 cups room-temperature blueberries (about 13 oz.), washed and drained on paper towels


2oz cream cheese
2T confectioners sugar
1 T lime juice

Combine butter, cream cheese, and lime zest in mixer. Beat for about 3-5 minutes until light and creamy. Add sugar and continue to  mix for another 3-5 minutes. Add vanilla and eggs one and a time and mix well after each addition. In a separate bowl sift together dry ingredients. Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture. Mix until just combined. Fold in blueberries. Place in greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes or until toothpick …

FBF - Carrot & Zucchini Slaw

Carrot & Zucchini Slaw - This is such a refreshing salad and better than regular slaw. I posted this originally back in 2014. Since I make it quite frequently - especially during zucchini season, I thought it deserved a repost.

Eggplant Mushroom Sandwiches

This is a great summer dish. I made it on the grill pan on the stove but I think on a hot day it would do nicely on the outside grill.

Eggplant Mushroom Sandwiches

1 eggplant, sliced in 1/4 in slices
4 portabello mushrooms, stem removed
olive oil
1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
4-6 lettuce leaves
1/4 c mayonnaise
Reduced Balsamic vinegar
4 slices bread or buns

While grill pan (or grill heats) sprinkle eggplant slices with salt/pepper. Brush lightly with olive oil.  Grill eggplant until softened but slightly firm. Set aside. Grill mushrooms caps. Sprinkle with salt/pepper.

Assemble sandwiches. (I did open-faced sandwiches): Toast (if desired bread or bun). Spread 1T of mayonnaise on each sandwich. Place one slice (or 2 depending on size of eggplant) on top of mayonnaise. Stack mushroom, onion ring, and then lettuce. Drizzle with balsamic reduction. Serve.

I think once zucchini is in season that might also make a nice addition to this sandwich.


VIVE LA FRANCE - No it's not Bastille Day.  It's the first day of the 2016 Tour de France! VIVE Le Tour! What better way to celebrate than to make some crepes.

Crepes (Adapated from here, there, and everywhere)

3/4 c milk
3/4 c water
3 eggs
2T sugar
1t vanilla
5T melted butter
1 c flour
Additional butter for the pan

Buzz all the ingredients in the blender until well blended. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Heat a crepe pan on low/med heat. Add a small amount of butter. Quickly pour a scant amount of batter into pan and swirl in pan so it spreads. The amount will depend on your pan size (mine takes about 1/4 c). Cook until lightly browned. The batter will look slightly dry on top. Flip and cook until lightly browned (it will take less time on this side). The first crepe generally is for the chef (it tends to brown a little too much). Place on a plate. Stack crepes on top of one another to stay warm (They will not stick to one another). You might not need to add additional …

FBF - Butter

It's been a while since I've done a "Flash-Back Friday" (AKA recycling a previous post) so here goes...It is that time of year when I have to put my homemade butter back in the refrigerator instead of leaving it out on the counter (submerged in water) so I thought it might be a good time to talk about how wonderful homemade butter is.

I just knocked out another batch today. I happened to have some cultured buttermilk on hand so I added about 2T of that just to give the butter a little something extra in the flavor department. Butter is so easy to make and so worth the taste. I still keep the butter submerged in water when I have to put it in the refrigerator because then it doesn't pick up odd tastes from the refrigerator. The water keeps all the air out.

There is nothing like the taste of homemade butter on a good slice of bread. The great part about homemade butter is that it's the perfect time to add some fresh herbs. After you add the salt, you can also …