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Our favorite pound cake

 

OUR FAVORITE POUND CAKE

 

Yield: Makes 10 to 12 servings

active time: 20 min

total time: 3 1/2 hr (includes cooling)

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for buttering pan
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring) plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 7 large eggs, at room temperature 30 minutes
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Special equipment: a 10-inch tube pan (4 1/2 inches deep; not with a removable bottom) or a 10-inch bundt pan (3 1/4 inches deep; 3-qt capacity)

Preparation

Put oven rack in middle position, but do not preheat oven.

Generously butter pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess flour.

Sift together sifted flour (3 cups) and salt into a bowl. Repeat sifting into another bowl (the flour will have been sifted 3 times total).

Beat together butter (2 sticks) and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or 6 to 8 minutes with a handheld mixer. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add half of flour, then all of cream, then remaining flour, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down side of bowl, then beat at medium-high speed 5 minutes. Batter will become creamier and satiny.

Spoon batter into pan and rap pan against work surface once or twice to eliminate air bubbles. Place pan in (cold) oven and turn oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in middle of cake comes out with a few crumbs adhering, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool cake in pan on a rack 30 minutes. Run a thin knife around inner and outer edges of cake, then invert rack over pan and invert cake onto rack to cool completely.

Cooks’ note: Cake keeps, covered well with plastic wrap or in an airtight container, at room temperature 5 days.

 

Christmas Eve Breakfast

STUFFED FRENCH TOAST

For the French Toast

1 loaf firm Italian-style bread {I sometimes use French bread – which was what I used this morning}

12 smoked bacon strips, cooked {today I used center cut bacon – for that was what was I had in the refrigerator!}

6 slices Cheddar cheese, each about 2 inches square, at room temperature {I LOVE cheese and thus used a full slice, folded in half}

3 eggs

6 tablespoons milk

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons butter or margarine

PREPARING THE BREAD

1.       Slice off 1 end from the loaf of bread.  To form bread pockets, use a serrated bread knife to cut a slit ½ inch from the end and three-quarters of the way through the loaf; then slice all the way through the loaf, ½ inch from the slit, making a 1-inch pocketed slice.

2.       Continue cutting pockets and slices into the loaf, making a total of 6 pocketed slices.

MAKING THE FRENCH TOAST

1.       Wrap 2 bacon slices around 1 slice of Cheddar, making sure the cheese is completely covered; insert into the pocket of 1 bread slice.  Repeat with remaining bacon, cheese and bread pockets.

2.       In a shallow bowl, lightly beat eggs and milk; add nutmeg and salt.

3.       On a griddle or large frying pan, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat.  Working with 3 sandwiches at a time, dip each sandwich into the egg mixture, turning to coat both sides.  Let excess egg mixture drip back into the bowl.

4.       Place 3 egg-coated sandwiches on the griddle; cook over medium heat until lightly golden on the bottoms, about 2 minutes.  Using a spatula, turn each sandwich over, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until golden brown, 3-5 minutes longer.  Add the remaining butter to the pan; repeat with the remaining egg-coated sandwiches.

KITCHEN TIPS

  • Day-old bread works best for this recipe.  If you must use fresh bread, refrigerate the loaf before slicing.  Then let the sliced bread stand at room temperature for a few minutes before cooking.
  • If you are using an electric griddle for the French toast (a convenient kitchen tool with a temperature control function), it should be heated to 350 degrees F – 375 degrees F.
  • Fruit is a good accompaniment to the French Toast (although the toast alone is satisfying and filling)

Baked Ziti

Baked Ziti

Ingredients

1 box Ziti, cooked according to package directions
2 links hot Italian sausage, cooked and sliced (I was unable to find hot Italian sausage this time – just used all mild)
2 links mild Italian sausage, cooked and sliced
1 container (15 oz.) part-skim ricotta cheese (I didn’t use the part-skim — went all the way with regular ricotta cheese – shame on me!)
Small can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon garlic powder
Pinch of salt
Small can of tomato sauce (homemade or jarred)
1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese
Cooking spray (olive oil is best)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking oil.

In a medium bowl beat an egg. Add ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, garlic powder, salt, mix thoroughly. Set aside.

Return drain Ziti to cooled pot and add the sausage and diced tomatoes;  mix thoroughly.  {I put the diced tomatoes in the cheese, parsley, spices mixture.}

Spoon half the Ziti and sausage mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

Spread the ricotta cheese mixture over the Ziti.

Sprinkle ½ cup mozzarella cheese over the ricotta cheese.

Spoon the rest of the Ziti over the mozzarella cheese.

Drizzle the reserved cup of tomato sauce over the top of the Ziti.

Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese over the top of the casserole.

Very lightly spray cooking spray on the mozzarella cheese.   This will aid in smoothly melting the cheese.

Bake uncovered for approximately 35 minutes until it is heated through and cheese has melted.

If cheese or Ziti start to get too dark, cover loosely with foil. Spray the bottom side of the foil with a little cooking spray to prevent the cheese from sticking to the foil.

TIP: Reynolds Wrap has a new non-stick foil  called “Release”  that is excellent.  Nothing sticks to it and it is perfect for things like this.

NOTE: I only had a cup of tomato sauce on hand; it would be best to have a cup of tomato sauce (at least a cup – perhaps a little more) along with the diced tomatoes in the sausage, Ziti, and tomato mixture.

oh yes!

This is definitely a KEEPER!

I should have doubled this recipe – for we DO like these cookies.

The recipe made about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

FILLED PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

1 1/2 cups quick oats

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup honey roasted peanut putter

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 egg

For the filling:

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 cup smooth peanut butter

Preheat an oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, mix the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix butter, both sugars, egg, peanut butter, and vanilla. Pour oat mixture into peanut butter mixture, stirring until just mixed. Place rounded teaspoonfuls of batter on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving about 2″ between each one. Using your finger, pat dough down so they form small flattened circles. Bake for 8 minutes. Let cool completely on cookie sheet.

While the cookies are baking, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and peanut butter until light and airy, about 5 minutes.

On a work surface, place half of the cookies upside down. Whisk the filling to lighten it. Dollop 1 tablespoon of filling into the center of each upside down cookie.  Place second cookie on top of filling and press together until filling just comes to the edges.  [I just spread some filling on a cookie –  then placed a second cookie on top and lightly pressed the cookies together.]

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Gingersnaps

GINGERSNAPS

Yield : 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 18 tablespoons (9 ounces) butter, at room temperature
  • 1¼ cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons powdered ginger
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 cup raw sugar (sometimes called demerara, coarse, or crystal sugar) or granulated sugar, for dusting

Directions

Cream the butter and incorporate the eggs.  Place the butter in the bowl of the stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the light brown sugar and beat on medium-high speed until the mixture becomes fluffy and lighter in color, 6 to 8 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat until they are fully incorporated and the batter looks smooth and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the dry ingredients and molasses.

In a dry bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the dry mixture, all at once, to the butter mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold together for a few turns. With the mixer on slow speed, mix the dough until thoroughly combined, 1 minute.

Add the molasses and mix until incorporated. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours.

Bake the cookies:

Preheat the oven to 350°F ½ hour before baking the cookies. Spray cookie sheets with oil and line with aluminum foil, parchment, or silicone pads, or use nonstick pans.

Place the raw sugar in a small bowl. Pinch off 1½-inch pieces of batter and roll into balls. Roll each ball in the sugar to coat. Arrange the cookies on the prepared sheet 2 inches apart and press your thumb in the center of each cookie to flatten it a bit. Bake until the cookies spread, crack a bit, and take on a dark golden brown color, 10 to 15 minutes. For even browning, rotate your cookie sheets from front to back and between each of the baking racks at least once while the cookies are baking.

Notes

Storage: These cookies will keep, sealed in a container, for 3 days.

Pumpkin Roll

PUMPKIN ROLL

Keep one of these rolls frozen, in slices, and bring some out when guests drop in.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2/3 cup Pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup All-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

Filling:

  • 8 ounces Cream cheese — softened
  • 4 tablespoons Butter — or margarine
  • 1 cup Powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

Preparation:

In large bowl, combine eggs and sugar, beating with an electric mixer until thick and light yellow in color. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, mixing until blended.

In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Add to egg mixture, mixing well. Spread batter into greased and waxed-paper lined 10-by-15-inch jelly-roll pan.

Bake at 350 ° for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool for 15 minutes. Place cake on clean tea towel sprinkled liberally with powdered sugar. Cool 10 minutes longer. From 10- inch side, roll cake up in towel. Set aside.

While cake is cooling in towel, prepare filling. Beat together cream cheese and butter; stir in powdered sugar and vanilla and blend until smooth.

Unroll pumpkin cake when cool, and spread with filling.  Re-roll, and push aside the dish towel.  Unroll long sheet of waxed paper.  Put pumpkin roll on waxed paper.  Dust pumpkin roll with powdered sugar.  Twist ends of waxed paper like a piece of candy.

Put pumpkin roll in refrigerator and cool overnight.  Before slicing, dust with powdered sugar.  Serve chilled.

NOTES: I’ve not had good luck unrolling and rolling the cake when it is cool (it will often crack).  Quite likely, this is just due to my lack of  expertise; however, I’ve found that if I unroll when it is slightly warm, the cake doesn’t crack.

I rarely sprinkle powdered sugar on top of the roll once it is filled and re-rolled.

OPTIONS: After spreading the batter evenly in the pan, spread pecans evenly on top and press lightly into the batter.

The pumpkin roll freezes well.

ENJOY!

 


Tamale Pie

TAMALE PIE

12 SERVINGS

 

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 ½ cups chopped green bell pepper

1 cup chopped onion

1-pound ground beef

1 (15-ounce) can black olives, drained

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (16-ounce) can tomatoes

1 (12-ounce) can whole-kernel corn, drained

2 tablespoons chili powder, or more to taste

1 tablespoon sugar

1 ½ cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese

¾ cup yellow cornmeal

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups cold water

Sour cream (optional)

 

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet.  Sauté the garlic, bell pepper, and onion until tender.  Add the ground beef and cook until browned.  Stir in the olives.  Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, corn, chili powder, and sugar; stir well.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat; cool.  Stir in the cheese.  Pour the mixture into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the cornmeal, salt, and water in a small saucepan. Cook until thickened, stirring continuously.  Spread over top of mixture in the baking dish, sealing edges.  Bake for 40 minutes.

Serve with dollops of sour cream on top, if desired.  We skipped the sour cream but piled Frito Chips on top!

popovers

POPOVERS

1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Sift flour and salt into a bowl.  Beat eggs with rotary beater, add milk, butter and sift in flour, beating only enough to make a smooth batter.

Fill hot greased gem pans 1/3 full of the mixture.  Bake in quick oven 450 degrees F. for 30 minutes, then at 350 degrees F. for 15 minutes or until firm, brown and popped.  Keep oven door closed while baking.

We buttered these – right of the oven – popped them open and poured a dab (or more!) of honey inside – ooooh – soooo good!

Oatmeal Cookies

OATMEAL COOKIES

3 eggs, beaten

1 cup raisins

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 cups rolled oats

¾ cup chopped pecans

In a small bowl, combine the eggs, raisins, and vanilla.  Cover and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture and stir until all of the dry ingredients are absorbed.  Next, stir in the egg and raisin mixture, and then stir in the rolled oats and pecans.  Dough will be stiff.  Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an unprepared cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges are golden.  Allow cookies to cool 5 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

He did it again!

As I was trying to complete a couple of projects yesterday, Dear Hubby took over the kitchen and made a delicious Shrimp Salad!

No photos of this scrumptious dish because we gobbled it up immediately!

Shrimp Salad

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons dry mustard

6 green onions, minced or diced

2 stalks celery, minced

1 teaspoon paprika

2 drops hot sauce

3 sprigs parsley, minced

2 pounds shrimp, boiled and peeled

Lettuce leaves

Hard-boiled eggs, halved

Combine the first 8 ingredients and pour over shrimp; refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
Serve on lettuce leaves and decorate with eggs.

OH SO GOOD!


 

Simple Banana Pudding

 

SIMPLE BANANA PUDDING

  • 1 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dash salt
  • 1 box vanilla wafers
  • 6 bananas, sliced

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

For the sauce, mix 1-cup sugar and flour well.  Slowly add the boiling water, stirring constantly.  Cook over low heat until the mixture begins to thicken.  Stir in the beaten egg yolks.  Continue to cook until thick.  Add the butter, vanilla, and salt.  Let cool.

In a quart-size casserole, place a layer of vanilla wafers.  Cover with a layer of bananas, then a layer of sauce.  Beat the egg whites until stiff.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.  Spread over the pudding and bake a few minutes until golden brown, keeping an eye on the topping.

Beef Stew with Wine

Beef Stew with Wine

1 pound bacon, cut into pieces

3 pounds boneless beef roast, cut into 1-inch cubes

½ cup flour, lightly seasoned with salt and black pepper

1 cup sliced shallots

2 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

8 ounces cremini or white mushrooms, wiped clean, cut in half if large

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1½ cups full-bodied red wine or 12 oz. stout beer

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Cooked noodles, rice or garlic mashed potatoes, optional, for serving

In a large skillet, cook the bacon until just crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon pieces, leaving the drippings in the skillet, and keep heated over medium heat. (Save bacon for another use.) Place beef cubes in a large bowl and sprinkle with seasoned flour. Toss to coat beef cubes lightly with flour.

Working in batches, brown the beef cubes on all sides in the bacon drippings. Remove to the slow cooker. In the skillet, sauté shallots, celery, carrots, mushrooms and garlic until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker. Add wine, bay leaf, salt and pepper and stir. Cover; cook for 7 to 9 hours on low setting (or 4 hours on high setting).

The meat should be falling-apart tender. About 30 minutes before serving, if sauce needs thickening, stir in cornstarch mixture. Cover and continue cooking until thickened. Remove bay leaf and serve stew with some sauce, over noodles, rice or mashed potatoes. Serves 6.

Absolutely Delicious!

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Sent Papa Bear out with a grocery list – and bless his heart – he searched all over Seguin for speckled butter beans.  None to be had.  Substituted lima beans – and this dish was absolutely delicious!  We both wished I had doubled the recipe.

Speckled Butter Beans with Andouille Sausage

Cook time: 8 hours

INGREDIENTS

2 packages frozen speckled butter beans, about 1 1/2 pounds

12 to 16 ounces Andouille sausage

2 cups water

2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth

1 large bell pepper, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, or to taste

PREPARATION

In a slow cooker, combine the speckled butter beans (or lima beans!), sliced sausage, water, broth, bell pepper, and onion.  Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours.  Add Creole seasoning and continue cooking for 2 hours longer, or until beans are tender.

Serve with cornbread for a delicious,comforting meal.

Serves 4 to 6 (this actually only served two – however, this is because we made two meals out of this dish – could have had it for a third meal and been very happy!).

Blueberry Cornmeal Cake

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BLUEBERRY CORNMEAL CAKE

1 1/3 cups flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
6 Tbsp oil
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 tsp honey
10 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup plain yogurt
3 cups fresh blueberries

Spray 10 inch springform pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour and next 3 ingredients in medium bowl. Whisk oil, eggs, vanilla and honey in another medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter, 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt in large bowl until creamy. With mixer on medium, gradually add egg mixture; beat to blend. Mix in flour mixture carefully, just to blend. Add ricotta and yogurt, mix on low, just to blend, do not beat. Pour half the mixture into pan, scatter half the blueberries over, spoon remaining batter over in dollops, then spread to cover berries. Scatter remaining berries on top. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of sugar. Bake 325 for about 1 hour, 15 minutes, or until pick comes clean. Cool completely in pan.

I neglected to sprinkle sugar over the top layer of blueberries; should have done so – it would have made a nice crusty top.

The cake is very moist and tasty!

Apple Dumplings

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APPLE DUMPLINGS

INGREDIENTS

2 whole Granny Smith apples

2 cans (8 oz. cans) crescent rolls

2 sticks butter

1 -1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cinnamon, to taste

1 can (12 oz.) Mountain Dew soda (I only had 7-Up – thus made a substitution)

PREPARATION

Peel and core apples.  Cut each apple into 8 slices each.  Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll.  Place in a 9″x13″ buttered pan.

Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir.  Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over apples.  Pour Mountain Dew (worked quite well with 7-Up) around the edges of the pan.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees F. for 40 minutes.  Serve with ice cream and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

Hubby declared this Oh Yes!  DELICIOUS!

Lemon Bars

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When our children were young, seems as though I was making lemon bars every weekend (surprisingly the kids liked them).  We love this dessert!

LEMON BARS

Ingredients

Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting

Pinch salt

2 sticks butter, at room temperature; plus more for greasing

Filling:

4 eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 9″x13″x2″ pan.

Make the crust by combining the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt in a large bowl.  Cut in the butter to make a crumbly mixture.  Press the mixture into the prepared pan.  You may need to dip your fingers into a little flour or confectioners’ sugar to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers.  Bane for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the filling, mix the eggs, granulated sugar, flour, and lemon juice.  Pour this over the baked crust and bake for 25 minutes longer.  Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, when the bars are done.

Kohlrabi Salad

If (IF) I make this salad again, I plan to add Mandarin oranges and toasted almonds and probably slices of red onion.  The salad was okay but could have been better with these additions, I think.

Ingredients:

1 medium kohlrabi

spinach leaves (recipe called for 1 medium fennel bulb – but of course couldn’t obtain that in any of our grocery stores)

Also called for a small handful of rocket (arugula) – didn’t use

If I had used fennel, it should have been sliced thinly and put into a bowl of chilled water and lemon juice until the kohlrabi was prepared.

Slice the kohlrabi and then pare strips off each slice with a vegetable peeler (in order to get wafer thin slices).  Add to the bowl with the fennel (in this case spinach).

Lemon-Caper Dressing:

garlic

sea salt

black pepper

wholegrain mustard

1 large lemon

capers

olive oil

Crush the garlic with a generous pinch of sea salt in a pestle and mortar.  Add some black pepper and heaped teaspoon of wholegrain mustard.  Stir together.

Add the juice of 1 large lemon, the capers and twice the amount of olive oil.  Whisk to emulsify.

Kolhrabi is a member of the turnip family.  Sometimes it’s called ‘cabbage turnip’ and is very good eaten raw.

Roasted Cauliflower and Grapes

Roasted Cauliflower and Grapes

There are only three ingredients in this delicious vegetable dish (plus the olive oil and Kosher salt).

Cut up a head of cauliflower into florets and toss them on a baking sheet with red or black seedless grapes and big slices of red onion.

Sprinkle liberally with Kosher salt and olive oil.

Roast in a 425 degree F. oven for about 20-30 minutes until cauliflower is turning a nice caramel color, shaking the pan a few times during cooking period.

We really liked this dish!!!  Of course, we like cauliflower . . .

Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.
– Mark Twain

Walnut Date Bread

WALNUT DATE BREAD

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup boiling water

1 cup chopped pitted dates

2/3 cup walnut pieces

1 cup granulated sugar

1 egg yolk

1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Strawberry cream cheese, optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Generously oil a 9″x5″ loaf pan and dust with flour.

Place butter, baking soda, boiling water and dates into a heatproof mixing bowl.  let cool.  Mix in walnuts, sugar, egg yolk, flour and vanilla extract.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 1 hour.

Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan onto rack to cool.  Slice and serve with strawberry cream cheese and freshly brewed tea.

ENJOY!

Bakers of bread rolls and pastry cooks will not buy grain before eleven o’clock in winter and noon in summer; bakers of large loaves will not buy grain before two o’clock. This will enable the people of the town to obtain their supply first. Bakers shall put a distinctive trademark on their loaves, and keep weights and scales in their shops, under penalty of having their licences removed.
1635 law introduced by Cardinal Richelieu

I prefer to regard a dessert as I would imagine the perfect woman:  subtle, a little bittersweet, not blowsy and extrovert.  Delicately made up, not highly rouged.  Holding back, not exposing everything and, of course, with a flavor that lasts.  ~Graham Kerr

Rigatoni Bake