Monday, August 27, 2012

Steak Spring Roll with Red Wine Reduction

Thinking outside of the box is something I seem to do pretty well in my everyday life and now it seems to be trickling over into my kitchen.

I have made the traditional spring rolls with shrimp and have found that my family is not a fan of the shrimp but they love the concept of using the round rice disk as a way of holding delicious veggies.

Recently I found some beef that had been cut into thin wide strips at Whole Foods.  I figured this could be used for any number of dishes so I included it in my shopping cart.  I will often buy unique things in the store without having any idea of what dish I may include it in.

The next day I noticed I had a few vegetables that needed to be used up that day.  This idea came to my mind.  A steak spring roll.  Would it taste okay?  Sure, steak is kind of like bacon in our family, added to most things, it will taste fantastic.

Reaching for a baggie, I started adding a bit of this and a little of that to season and marinate the beef.  I had a feeling this would be amazing and so I wrote everything down as I went.  I don't always do this when I first try a recipe because it usually requires some tweaking over the next few months.

When you use certain ingredients a lot you learn their qualities and attributes to a recipe and when marrying the ingredients together you are able to create an explosion of flavor.  This happened. 

I wanted the meat to be somewhat strong in flavor, I was okay if it tasted a bit saltier than normal.  With the pairing of the fresh veggies and rice wrapper, this combination would allow the meat to shine in every bite.


Rye, my oldest daughter, is usually my taste tester when she is not in college and I knew this was a hit for the mere fact that she was pacing the halls back and forth from her room to the stove, asking me on more than one occasion, "are they done yet?" and telling me, "that smells so good".

The longest part of this dish?  Julienne vegetables.  I love the look and I wanted those thin matchstick pieces to shine in the pictures of the spring roll.  My hand and mind needed to work together to create these narrow sticks of beauty.

As I started to line up the veggies next to each and could see the rainbow of flavor that would be featured in each spring roll,  I was motivated to continue on to the next ingredient.  I do have a OXO mandolin that has a julienne blade but I wanted the challenge of doing it by hand.  

I love my kitchen gadgets that help me to save time but on this day I wanted the experience of doing this simple, yet taxing task, the old fashion way…me and steel.

Working with the rice wrappers is a new experience for some.  You have this hard disk and you are expected to create a spring roll of deliciousness how?  LOL

I have given you step by step instructions below to help you work with and use this ingredient.  

I love these steak spring rolls and cannot wait to make them again for myself, my family or friends. 

Recipe:  Steak Spring Rolls with a Red Wine Reduction 
makes 8, 16 halves

6 slices of thin strips of beef, cut 1/4 in thick
1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worceshershire Sauce
dash of pepper
oil, for searing meat
3/4 cup of red wine
salt to taste
toasted sesame seeds
assortment of veggies for filling: cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, onion,  bell pepper, etc…
8 rice spring roll wrapper disc

Marinate meat in a baggie along with onion powder, soy sauce, worceshershire sauce and pepper for one hour.

In a large skillet, heat oil and add meat.  Dispose of left over marinade.  

Cook meat for about 2 minutes on each side.  The thin strips will cook quickly and you don't need them well done and chewy.  Sprinkle each side with toasted sesame seeds. 

The meat marinade and juices, when combined with the oil in the pan, will create a small amount of liquid.  Remove your meat to a plate.  Set the pan aside with the juice for creating the sauce later.  Any juice that is left on the plate from the meat sitting should be added to the pan too. 

After the meat has cooled a bit, cut each piece into thin strips to match those of the veggies.  Try to cut across the grain so the meat will be easier to bite into.  

Prepare you veggies.  To help stack the veggies and meat, they will work better if everything is cut into thin strips.  The lettuce can be shredded.

The picture below will show you what a single rice disk will look like.  They are sold in packages at most grocery stores in the Asian sections.

I use a shallow pie dish filled half way with warm water to soften my rice disk in.  This process is quick.  You will place the disk in the warm water and wait about 30 seconds.  The disk will slowly go from hard to super soft in about 3 minutes.

Remove the disk to your work surface and start stacking your veggies and meat.

Try to work quickly.  Take the left side and the right side and fold into the middle.   Starting at the bottom, flip that over the filling, tighten a bit to secure all of the ingredients and proceed to roll into a spring roll form.

Your spring roll is complete.  I lay my rolls on a plate in a single roll.  The skin of the roll becomes tacky to the touch and if you lay them on top of each other they could tear apart.

Serving the spring rolls is easy.  I have an assortment of dipping sauces available and cut them in half.

Recipe: Red Wine Reduction

Drippings from pan and plate (around 1/4 cup)
3/4 cup of red wine

Heat pan and let the juices and wine simmer (gently rolling) until it reduces to 1/3 of a cup.  Stir occasionally. Taste the reduction to see if salt is needed.  The time for this step will depend on how thick you want the sauce.  It took me about 10 minutes.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fried Oysters

If you have made it this far, you either like oysters or are curious.

I hope both.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE oysters and I get the pleasure of living in Maryland where we have access to them during the "R" months fresh from the Chesapeake Bay.  The "R" months are the best time to eat fresh oysters and those months are September-March.  So why did we have oysters in the summer?

This advice was given long before there was refrigeration in most homes and the concern would be how to preserve them from day to day. This made sense because the oysters could easily go bad if not eaten soon.  The preferred months stay the same but eating an oyster in the spring or summer will not get you uninvited to your next dinner party.

Peggy Filippone has this to say about why we eat oysters in those desired months. "Oysters spawn in the warm summer months, usually May through August, although natural Gulfwater oysters can spawn year-round due to the warm waters. Spawning causes them to become fatty, watery, soft, and less flavorful instead of having the more desirable lean, firm texture and bright seafood flavor of those harvested in cooler, non-spawning months."

Maryland oysters are named the Eastern Oyster, also called the Virginia Oyster.  In recent years the bay has struggled to sustain the oyster population and our state is working hard to meet the demands set by companies and locals that still desire to partake of this shell fish.  The oyster also offers benefits to the eco structure of the bay with their oyster reefs and their built in filtering systems.

At one point in time the oyster beds were so abundant that boats would scrape the top of the oyster reefs in passing.  Times have changed. To give you an idea in numbers, I found this stat quoted from the Historic American Engineering Record for JC Lore Oyster House, "In 1885, more than 15 million bushels of oysters were harvested, but by 2004, that number had dropped to26,495 bushels."

Arriving in Maryland was a dream come true.  We were finally able to live by water and not just a small seashore, but more miles of seashore than the eastern and western shores combined.  The Chesapeake Bay shoreline is a total of 11, 684 miles stretched between 200 miles.

One of the first places we visited was a place called Solomon's Island.  Little did we know that this was also home to an earlier oyster business.  We learned so much about the industry in the early days.  My favorite were the pictures posted on every wall displaying the men and ladies working long hours shucking oysters.

How do you shuck an oyster?

Step by step instructions were written out and followed for every step of the process.  The company was concerned about safety and sanitation for the oysters and their workers.  Below you can find a general how-to and you better be fast.  The workers were paid by the bushel, so the more you shucked the more money you would have.

"A shucker grasps an oyster in his left with its flat shell up, presses it against the table, the hinge end pointed away from him, and inserts the tip of the oyster knife between the shells at the broad end. The knife enters the oyster about one-third of the distance from the bill to the hinge and on the side nearest to the man. This point is opposite the large muscle that holds the two shells together. In the next motion, the muscle is cut, following which the knife is used as a lever and one or the other of the shells is pried off and discarded. Better shuckers employ only six motions in this entire procedure. The oyster, or "meat," as it is now called, is now cut from the remaining shell and dropped into a pail.", the whole article can be read here.
I find the oyster business fascinating back in this time period.  It created jobs for the locals, provided a name for the town and food for thousands of oyster eaters.

The company is no longer active but you can eat at the building which once housed the oyster plant.  It has been turned into a lovely restaurant and the walls are a history lesson of what took place so long ago.

Oysters are eaten in a variety of ways: raw, fried, grilled, in sandwiches and soups.  This is just a few of the many styles that a person can enjoy a delicious oyster.  I would not recommend starting with a raw oyster unless you have no qualms about the texture.  Most people don't like the slimy consistency that a raw oyster has.  A fried oyster on the other hand has the crispy outside, soft inside and that yummy oyster flavor.

My first attempt at eating a raw oyster was a few years ago and my hubby begged me to try them.  I believe he thought with wine, chocolate and some oysters he might be in for a grand night…LOL

Oh, and by the way, he hates oysters.  So I knew I was on my own and what ever I ordered I would have to eat all alone.

I was worried that I would get stuck with some of the largest oysters that a person has ever seen…I just wasn't sure how this was all going to go down, literally.

To make a long story short, I ate one and then another until the half dozen was gone.  I did not think I could eat a full dozen by myself.

I can now say that I belong to the "I ate a raw oyster" club.  Your right, that club probably does not exist.  DANG IT.

I was surprised that the slimy oyster did not bother me.  Along with the oysters, they bring you all types of toppings and sauces.  This may be what helped me down 6 raw oysters in one night, heck, in 30 minutes.

Fried oysters are still my favorite and I do make these at home 5-6 times a year.  My son used to love them but with puberty he has decided he does not like seafood anymore, so I may not be making them as often in the future.

I usually buy my oysters from a seafood store in the local Annapolis area.  They are usually brought in that day.  I would suggest you get them as fresh as possible and it is nice to know where they come in from.

The coating on this recipe was created to create a crunchy outside with a soft warm inside, the oyster.

I know that oysters are not for everyone, but for those of us that enjoy them, they can be made at home with ease and good results.

I like to think this is a simply delicious gourmet meal to make in your own kitchen for fans of the oyster.

Recipe:  Fried Oysters

20-25 small to medium raw oysters, shucked and cleaned
2 eggs, beaten well
12 Ritz Crackers, crushed (GF crackers can be used)
1/3 cup of corn meal, fine works best
1/3 cup of flour, (GF version, use almond meal)
1/4 -1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt
oil, to fry oysters

Combine flour, corn meal, crushed crackers, salt and pepper together.

Drain oysters.

Prepare your station:  oysters, coating and eggs.

In a large sauce pan, add enough oil for the oysters to float and cook.  Let them cook for 4 minutes and then flip. Remove from oil and let them cool on a wire rack.

Serve with your favorite sauces. I made a tartar sauce using dill pickles, mayonnaise and red onion.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pizza Dip

My kids request this all the time, especially when they are having friends over on Friday and Saturday nights.

I think this is for two reasons.  One: it's cheesy and creamy.  Two: the leftovers make excellent midnight snacks.

I will buy a couple loaves of french bread to serve with the dip or make my own.  A great recipe for rustic white bread, in under an hour, can be found here.

I make the base and let the kids add their favorite toppings.

You can customize this with different cheeses, toppings, meats and veggies.  Have fun creating your version of "Pizza" dip.

Recipe: Pizza Dip

2-8 oz packages of cream cheese, soft
1 cup of mayonnaise
1 cup of mozzarella cheese + 1.5 cups for topping dip
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons of green onion
1 cup of pizza sauce or marinara (you can use less, we just like the sauce)
toppings:  pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, red onion, hamburger, bell pepper, bacon, etc…

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl, combine soft cream cheese, mayonnaise, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, green onions and the parmesan cheese.  Stir well.

I use a round stone ware oven proof pan to cook my dips in.  It measures 12 inches across.  The smaller the pan the thicker the dip, the larger the pan would result in a thinner cream cheese base.  I have made both and they are both delicious.   The thicker dip may require a few more minutes to cook.

Spread the cheese mixture in the bottom of the pan first.

Spread the pizza sauce next.

Sprinkle the cheese over the sauce.

Decide on your toppings and scatter those around the top of the cheese.

Bake your dip for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Serve with chunks of french bread.

This dip is very hot when it comes out of the oven. Please be careful.  The cheese makes it stringy and gooey.

Drunkin Noodles (Wide Rice Noodles)

Update:  9-19-2013.  The noodles that I have used for this recipe seem to contain wheat starch.  I was asked this by a reader and reached out to the manufacturer and he replied with this response:

Dear Sherron,
The rice sheet contains wheat starch, so it cannot be qualified as gluten free as wheat starch may contain trace amount of wheat protein (gluten).

This is a problem if you need this dish to be gluten free.  As a substitute you can use gf noodles, but you will lose the "wide noodle" look and texture.  If I find something that can be used for my gf followers I will definitely let you know.  Thanks!


I have been looking for these noodles for 20+ years.  I have googled every recipe that I can find on how to make your own wide rice noodles.  To be honest, it looks difficult.

I am not one to back away from a challenge and especially a food challenge, but I do believe that some things are just better left to the professionals.

I have moved numerous times and been in many Asian Markets.  I have looked through stacks of noodle packaging, often times not really knowing what I was reading or looking at.  The languages on the packages are from China, Korea and Japan….I don't speak any of these and can barely recognize the differences in the kanji's.  Throughout this search, I have discovered many other flavors and foods to test and try in the kitchen.

I stumbled upon a post, yes it was "how to make wide rice noodles" and there I discovered something.  You can BUY these noodles in the store.  I had to beg to differ.  I had been in stores and I could not find a wide rice noodle anywhere….It turns out, they are not sold as wide noodles, but sheets of rice pasta and they were sold in the refrigerator section.

Here they were, this whole time, tucked between the miso soups and tofus of the world.  All lined up in a row with their distinct languages printed across the packaging and without a single word saying "wide rice noodles".

Honestly, if I had not stumbled upon this post, I would never have found them and I am so glad that I did.

I make this dish similar to my other Asian influenced stir fry's.  I try to use the basic sauce recipe and change the veggies and meat around a bit.  For me, the noodle makes the dish.

While eating the meat and veggies can be reminiscent of  Pad Woon Sen, the noodle is not.  It has a smooth and slippery feel to it.  When this is combined with the crunch of al dante veggies and chicken or beef…you mouth sings!  OK, maybe that is just my mouth..LOL

I am trying to tell you it is delicious, different and definitely a family hit at our home.

I have included more pictures with this post because I want you to have something to reference when you go to the store.   The noodles can only be purchased at an Asian store or possibly on line and sent to you.

This is the brand that I use and a quick tutorial on how to prepare the noodles : see below.

Preparing the noodles is an easy process.  Puncture a whole in the bag and microwave for a minute.  The noodles should be soft and pliable when they are warm.  Once the noodles are soft, then you can unwrap the noodle sheets and cut them into WIDE noodles…FINALLY, I have wide rice noodles.

You may notice that some of the noodle sheet is still hard and this is okay.  I have still been able to cut and use them in my dish.  The noodles are stuck together and you will need to peel them apart.  Peeled apart they will be very thin and LONG.  I usually cut the noodle strips into 5-6 inch pieces.

Once the noodles are cut into strips and unstuck from each other, you are ready to use them.  I use them in a dish called Drunkin' Noodles, this is a favorite with my hubby when we go out to eat.

Recipe:  Drunkin' Noodles using Wide Rice Noodles

2 cups of cooked meat: chicken, beef or pork
1 small head of cabbage, diced into 1X1 inch squares
1 small red onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1 T. minced garlic
oil, vegetable
oil, sesame


1/4 cup of dark soy sauce, omit for gluten allergies and substitute the gluten free version
1/4 cup of soy sauce, use a gluten free version if need be
1 teaspoon fish sauce, use more if you want a bolder flavor

I have included a picture of the brands that I use with the sauce, I thought it would be easier.
Combine the three into a small bowl and set aside.

Prepare all of the veggies according to the recommended style: diced, sliced, cubed…etc.  I use napa cabbage for this dish and it does provide a lot more than a normal head of cabbage.  I cut off the bottom 4 inches.  I personally do not like this part of the cabbage and you might be able to add it to soup stock.

In a large pan or wok, add the oils.  I use a vegetable oil, that I add some sesame oil to.  This adds a nice flavor to the dish.  You can use just sesame oil but it makes the dish taste very "sesame".  Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.

Add the remaining veggies.  You may need to do this in two batches.  Just add a bit more oil and toss them together in the end.  The veggies will reduce.

Add the noodles (directions for preparation are on the back of the packaging or see above).

Add the sauce.  Toss and cook for 3-5 minutes.  The noodles will turn the color of the sauce.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

175. Almond Macaroons, the cookie

I had a batch of these delicious cookies at a party I attended last month.  I could not get them out of my head and decided that I would attempt to make them myself.

I was pleasantly surprised to find they were and are easy to make.

For a cookie that only has 4 ingredients…they sure did taste perfect to me.  The outside has a bit of a crispy texture while the inside is airy and soft.  If you enjoy the flavor of almond  then this cookie is for you.

The almond flavor shines through and is pronounced further with the almonds baked on top.  To spruce up the cookie, I sprinkled powdered sugar on top.

I made one batch and they were gone in a matter of minutes.  This is an expensive cookie to make because it takes a whole tube of almond paste.  I now know why they are so expensive to buy when I go to a bakery.

If you can find the almond paste on sale, buy it and horde it…LOL  

Recipe:  Almond Macaroons, the cookie
recipe adapted from Odense Almond Paste

1-7 oz. tube of almond paste, grated
2/3 cups of powdered sugar
1/4 cup egg whites, this should be one large egg
slivered almonds for the top
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Combine grated almond paste and sugar.  Beat until the texture resembles crumbs.

Slowly add the egg white and beat until well combined.

Beat on high for 3 minutes.  A creamy paste will start to form.  Scrape the sides of the bowl a few times.

Using a cookie scoop, place dough balls two inches apart.

Add the almond slivers to the top of each cookei.

Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly brown.

Cool completely on baking sheet.  If you try to remove them before they are cool you will scrape the whole bottom of the cookie and create a hallow cookie.

Makes 20 cookies.

Shish Kabobs

Shish Kabobs have long been a family favorite of ours when hosting parties.  Especially if kids are involved.

We will have a variety of meats, veggies and marinades available for our family and friends to create their own version of what sounds, taste and looks delicious to them.

I love to make my own marinades by using what I have in my fridge.  Sometimes they turn out okay and other times they turn out excellent.  It's always a new adventure.

Store bought marinades are a great way to save time and try new flavors.  We use them on rare occasions when we are in a hurry or going camping.

There is not much of a recipe to follow for making the shish kabobs.  You can buy wooden skewers or metal ones.  I like the metal ones because we can reuse them.  The kids have an easier time piercing the veggies and meat because they also seem a bit sharper.

Don't be afraid to have an interesting assortment of veggies and fruits too.  The thing to remind guest is when making their kabob to try and remember cook times for their meat and match the accompanying veggies and fruits.

You could end up with some charred pineapple if you want your steak well done.  Tomatoes are another veggie that taste great on a kabob but cooks fast and can get mushy.  

Have your BBQ nice and hot and ready to go.  The kabobs don't take long to cook.

If you are only sharing one type of meat, then you can marinade it longer in the refrigerator before your guest get there.  This is simple to do.  Cut your meat into smaller pieces and cover with marinade.  The smaller pieces are better because then more of the meat is marinating.  If you use one large piece of chicken or beef then the surface that is being marinaded is much smaller and the flavor may not shine through.

Types of meat to use:


Types of Veggies to use:

Bell Pepper
Yellow Squash
Cherry Tomatoes

Types of fruit to use:

Pitter Cherries
Grilled Peaches

Here are a couple of marinades that we have used before.  I found them on the Food Network Site.

Dijon-Rosemary Steak:

1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, stemmed
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons balsami vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound sirloin steak , cut into 1-inch cubes

Citrus-Tarragon Chicken:

1 orange, zested, then juiced, remainder discarded
1 lemon, zested, then juiced, remainder discarded
1 lime, zested, then juiced, remainder discarded
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes

The marinades are prepared the same.  Combine all of the ingredients, except the meat, and combine well.

Cut the meat into 1 inch cubes and add to the marinade.

Let meat marinade a minimum of 15 minutes, longer is preferred.  I would not recommend marinading the 1 inch cubes over night though.  You may end up with very strong cubes.

Recipe shared over at Amee's Savory Dish for Fit and Fabulous Friday.

Jalapeno Popper Dip

2020 UPDATE:  This recipe has been visited over 4 million times!  Thank you for the love!!!

Read the comments--lots of people love it as is, but some have made changes, like preparing it in a crockpot. Great idea!

Game day!  That's right, it has become a huge deal in our home to sit and watch football. It only took my husband 44 years to finally decide that he likes football.  I should rephrase that, that he likes to sit and watch football.  He is no longer content to read the sports page and sip his coffee.  He wants to see every play first hand.
I thought I was one of the few wives left on earth that was lucky enough to not have my Sundays and Mondays ruled by a football schedule.

It is a schedule because the NFL has the gall to play more than two teams on any given day…LOL

I am saying this all in tongue and cheek because I love football.  I grew up watching it with my grandfather.  That was back in the day when the Chicago Bears had the Refrigerator (a player).

I have enjoyed having the time to spend with my hubby and with our kids.  We make yummy food, choose teams and wear our favorite colors.  This season we hope to be wearing a lot of PURPLE…go RAVENS!

This dip is popular throughout the web and can be found on numerous blogs, Pinterest accounts, and feeds.  It's not that hard to throw together but it is still so dang good.

The dip can be made up the night before and the topping can be ready to go in a baggie.  It's a great traveler to take to friends and family that are having game day parties.  You can alter the temperature of the dip based on the jalapeno's used and whether you decide to have seeds or no seeds.

Recipe:  Jalapeno Popper Dip

6-8 slices of bacon, diced and cooked crispy
2 8-oz packages of cream cheese, soft
1 cup of mayonnaise
4-6 jalapeno's, chopped and deseeded.  The seeds will make it fiery hot.
1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup diced green onion


1 cup of crushed crackers ( I used Ritz)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 stick of butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine all of the ingredients into a medium bowl.  Stir well.

Transfer to an oven proof dish. The size of the dish depends on how thick the dip is.  The thicker the dip the longer it may need to warm up.  I used this stoneware dish that is round and measures 12 inches across.  My dip is usually about an inch thick.

Combine the topping ingredients and sprinkle all over the top of the dip.

Bake the dip for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly.

2020 Update: 

I'm still writing on my blog. I don't share many new recipes but I am working on updating the recipes I have here on my blog.

I went to school and got my degree. I had another baby. We moved.  Lots of new things in my life.

Add your email to keep up to date (enter on the home page on the top right).

Visit my HOME page to see my latest post!

Enjoy your day.



181. Ham and Potatoes on the BBQ

BBQ season is slowly coming to an end as we are almost to September and the weather will soon be getting much cooler.

I can't say we don't BBQ in the Fall but it is definitely not as often.

This was a dish that I threw together because I wanted to see if I could use my grill like my oven.  I already had the ham in the refrigerator and tossed in some potatoes, carrots, onions, salt and pepper.

I used a cake pan, covered it with foil and cooked them on the BBQ for 30 minutes.  The temperature was set to 350.

I removed the foil and added some cheese…tadah…dinner was served!

It also made great leftovers and a wonderful breakfast the next morning.

Simple.  I like that.

Monday, August 20, 2012

187. Lemon Pound Cake with Cherries

I remember the first time that we gave Isabella a slice of lemon.  We had gone to the zoo with a group of friends in Salt Lake City, UT.  Isabella was about 1.5 years old and at that curious age of being a toddler.

I can see us all sitting around the table at Red Robin chatting about our adventures and encounters of lion, tigers and bears (OH MY).  

Many of my friends enjoy having lemon with their Diet Coke.  If you have ever had teenagers while at the same time having a toddler, then you know that they master mind together.  Drake and Rye could not wait to see their baby sister enjoy a lemon slice.

We had brought our cam corder and so we were set to see the puckers, lip smacking and shrills of delight coming from Isabella.

She did not disappoint.  I told her it was sour and that she may not like it, she still reached for the slice of yellow flesh I held in my hand.

OH boy was it cute.  She did all of the right facial expressions and we laughed uncontrollably for an hour, in fact we still reflect on this memory.

To this day Isabella loves the slices of lemon that we get in our ice teas.  

I, on the other hand, don't think to make a lemony treat when I bake.  I am more of a chocolate and peanut butter kind of gal.  On this day I was desiring something new and light.

I had these cherries in the fridge and I was afraid they would go bad.  We love the Washington Cherry's but the season for those is short.  I then go for the red cherries and my family does not eat them.  I don't know why this is.

I love the colors  red and yellow together.  I pair these two colors together often when I quilt or decorate so it was an easy marriage of the two: lemon and cherry.

My oldest daughter loves pound cake.   In searching for a recipe I found this recipe on The Food Network.  The reviews were good and this led me to try it for the first time.


 I used my mini bundt pan that  Cory and the kids had given to me for Mother's Day.  They were so dang cute in the palm of my hand.  There it sat, all alone, pretty pale yellow and ready to be dressed up.

The cherry compote was a success too.  I had never boiled down fresh fruit for a dessert topping before.  I started with a little of this and a little of that and came up with this easy recipe.

Lemons and Cherry work together.  They compliment each other on a white plate.  They create a nice balance of sour and sweet. 

Simply put, it was a real treat that was different for my family and one that they enjoyed.  To add the gourmet touch to these cute little cakes, I dusted them with powdered sugar, topped them with whip cream and found the perfect cherry to go on top.

Recipe:  Lemon Pound Cake with Cherry Compote
Makes one bread loaf pound cake or 18-20 mini bundt cakes

1 1/2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of butter, softened
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup of lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.

Attach the paddle to your Kitchenaid, in the bowl cream the butter and sugar.  Add the eggs one at a time and mix well.  Add the vanilla.

Add the lemon juice and dry ingredients alternately until well combined.

If using a bread pan,  line it with parchment paper.  If using a mini bundt pan, use Pam to spray the pan well.  If using a cupcake pan, use liners.

The bake times for each will vary:

Bread pan- 1 hour and 15 minutes
Mini Bundt Pan-15-18 minutes
Cup Cake Pan- 15-18 minutes

Let cake cool completely on a wire rack.

Serve with your favorite glaze, compote or topping.

Recipe:  Cherry Compote, makes 1.5 cups

1 teaspoon of lemon zest
juice from 1/2 a lemon
2 cups of pitted cherries
1/2 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4-1/2 cup of sugar, use the minimum amount if you don't want it too sweet

Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pan.  

Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil.

Boil for 15 minutes, reduce heat and let simmer until the cherry compote reduces and gets thick.

Serve warm or store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

186. Curry and Chicken Rice

Dinner tonight was a hit.  I made curry and chicken rice.  I made a huge batch and we barely had any leftovers for tomorrow.  I love when that happens.

My recipe for Curry and Chicken Rice can be found on Recipe Lion or HERE.

*A few of my recipes are shared on their site first for a few months before they are displayed in full on my blog.  

Donut Breakfast Casserole

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